B2B influencer marketing: eight fascinating personalities for your business
Influencer marketing has long been reserved for B2C, but now more and more companies are recognizing the potential of collaborating with influencers for B2B. We took a look at eight personalities from the field of B2B influencer marketing.
B2C influencers: a women’s domain
Collaborating with influencers is now an integral part of the marketing mix and became even more relevant in 2021. The coronavirus pandemic didn’t put a stop to this trend. To the contrary: the influencer industry continues to grow, the numbers are increasing, and so are sales.
In 2021, the industry’s revenue grew by a whopping 42 percent, from 9.7 billion euros to 13.8 billion euros (source for figures: Collabstr). In 2022, this could break the 15-billion mark. Women are massively overrepresented as B2C influencers. The three main platforms for influencer marketing are Instagram (78% women – 22% men), TikTok (75% women – 25% men), and YouTube (69% women – 31% men).
One particular strength of influencer marketing is that it really taps into niches. People who have gained a certain level of credibility in the relevant communities act as testimonials and authentically advertise individual products or brands. It’s no surprise then that collaborating with influencers is especially successful, most of all in B2C marketing.
The key niches for influencers are:
• Comedy & entertainment
• Music & dance
• Health & fitness
• Art & photography
• Food & drinks
B2B influencers: LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube
B2B marketing is less about these niches and usually finds expression on Twitter and LinkedIn rather than Instagram or TikTok. However, B2B marketing is also seeing more and more companies embracing collaboration with influencers, who then gain the status of credible voices in their respective industry sectors. They can either be customers, business partners, or clients of the company in question. Or they may also be direct employees acting as corporate influencers.
We have put together a list of some of the most fascinating personalities. Our selection is purely subjective and not based on the following they attract or the topics they represent.
Eight interesting personalities in B2B influencer marketing
1. Miriam Meckel
Miriam Meckel is a professor of corporate communication at the University of St. Gallen and a renowned marketing expert. She is the founder of ada, a digital learning and training platform, and has also written a number of books. Last but not least, she is well-connected in the political world and previously served as State Secretary for the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia.
2. Ann Handley
Ann Handley is an author, digital marketing pioneer, founder, and out-and-out marketing pro. She reaches more than a million people on Twitter and LinkedIn alone. She was the world’s first chief content officer.
3. Lee Odden
Lee Odden is one of the world’s most acclaimed B2B marketing strategists. He is the author of several books and is a popular keynote speaker at international trade shows, conferences, and festivals. He is also the founder of TopRank Marketing.
4. Gary Vaynerchuk
Gary Vaynerchuk is an absolute pioneer of influencer marketing. The serial entrepreneur started out as a “wine guy” and has become one of the most well-known personal brands. Whether YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn – Gary Vaynerchuk stands out on nearly all channels with his vibrant personality and profound expertise.
5. Neil Patel
Forbes Magazine has named Neil Patel as one of the most influential personalities in online marketing several times over. He himself claims to reach more than four million people a month through his blog. His YouTube videos have also been viewed millions of times. Another million fans follow him on Facebook. On that basis, Neil Patel has one of the biggest online followings.
6. Céline Flores Willers
In the German-speaking region, Céline Flores Willers is regarded as one of the most significant people in B2B marketing. She is unbelievably popular, especially on LinkedIn. She is the founder of “The People Branding Company” and has great expertise, particularly when it comes to corporate influencers and personal branding.
7. Joe Pulizzi
The author, podcaster, and entrepreneur is renowned as an outstanding expert in content marketing – some would even say he invented it. With his four companies, Pulizzi has set benchmarks for digital marketing strategies. He has won numerous accolades for his work, including the “Lifetime Achievement Award” presented by the Content Council.
8. Sascha Lobo
He probably wouldn’t call himself an influencer, and definitely not a B2B influencer. That said, Sascha Lobo often hits the nail right on the head with his keynotes, analyses, and texts. He is an author, columnist for Spiegel magazine, and strategic consultant.