How important is influencer marketing to businesses in 2020?
Influencer marketing will see global brand spending of up to $15 billion by 2022 (Business Insider Intelligence), and B2B marketers who haven’t yet experienced its many benefits now have more research data than ever to make the case for starting an influencer marketing program.
Even if you’ve already developed an influencer marketing strategy, the wealth of new information coming out about its power to build trust and inspire action is growing, which is why we wanted to share 24 significant B2B influencer marketing statistics that combine to tell a compelling story that will alter your future campaigns.
Let’s jump right in with a look at some of the latest influencer marketing statistics.
Making The Statistical Case For B2B Influencer Marketing
It Makes Financial Sense
Among B2B buyers the type of influencer content with the most value is the venerable case study. 47 percent of B2B buyers found case studies to be the most valuable type of influencer content, ahead of webinars at 39 percent, third-party or analyst reports at 35 percent, and user reviews and video content, each at 32 percent, according to survey data from Demand Gen Report published by MarketingCharts as shown below.
Influencer marketing has also delivered impressive value, beginning in 2018 when analyst data showed that each dollar spent for influencer marketing yielded $5.20 return in media value.
From that point forward influencer spending increased, as in 2019 it saw the highest growth of all online channels, reaching some $2.6 billion in the U.S. alone, and a growth rate of a whopping 70.5 percent year-over-year, according to report data from Winterberry Group published by MarketingCharts.
The same forecast predicts $3.4 billion for influencer spending in 2020 in the U.S. alone.
It Builds Trust & Credibility
“Partnering with relevant influencers to co-create content can open doors for brands trying to engage hard to reach and increasingly skeptical audiences.” @LeeOdden Click To Tweet
The recent Edelman Trust Barometer report placed influencer trust above that from delivered from brands.
63 percent of survey respondents said that they trust influencers more than what a brand says about itself.
A compelling case for influencer marketing in the B2B world also comes from the aforementioned MarketingCharts B2B buyer survey, which found that 95 percent of B2B marketers say they prefer credible content from industry influencers.
Separate survey data from Demand Gen Report of senior level marketers, also published by MarketingCharts, revealed that 65 percent of B2B buyers said their consumption habits have changed to prefer credible content from industry influencers.
When done well, influencer marketing builds levels of trust that exceed traditional campaign methods, however consumers need to feel confidence in the influencers they follow. 82 percent of U.S. consumers believe that influencers should disclose their history of personal use of a product or service. (Influence.co)
Consumers are also wary of influencers who post too frequently. The same survey found that 74 percent of consumers say they would sever ties with influencers who post too often, a statistic savvy B2B influencer marketers take into account.
It’s Being Rapidly Adopted For Good Reason
In several 2019 surveys influencer marketing was cited as one of the top marketing trends expected to have a sizable impact in 2020, a prediction that during the first two months of the year has materialized according to initial influencer marketing spending figures that we’ll examine.
By the end of 2019 survey data forecast that influencer marketing adoption among B2B tech marketers was expected to expand by 31 percent from 2018 implementation levels, a prediction that now appears on the conservative side as influencer marketing has continued to swiftly evolve.
At our client SAP’s annual conference, a group of only 15 influencers drove 25 percent of all social media impressions, which our CEO Lee Odden explores in more detail in a recent article examining how even a small number of influencers experiencing a brand event can make a big impact, with “25 B2B Influencer Marketing Campaign & Engagement Ideas for 2020.”
Another positive signal for the growth of influencer marketing is that 21 percent of marketers plan to make influencer posts the focus of their 2020 social media strategy, according to Social Media Today poll data.
Additionally, 88 percent of consumers have found purchasing inspiration from viewing influencer content. (Rakuten 2019 global influencer marketing survey.)
It Spans Global Boundaries & Generations
The global nature of online advertising has proven to mesh well with influencer marketing, as nearly 70 percent of consumers follow at least one influencer from a country not their own (Rakuten), which plays especially well in the hands of B2B businesses that often include multinational units.
Globally during 2019 some 59 percent of marketers said their budget for influencers has increased, while 39 percent of brands in the U.S. say they would be encouraged to invest even more in influencer marketing programs if they were better able to see the impact it has in the broader scope of the customer purchasing journey, the same survey noted.
“Influencer marketing for B2B offers impressive options to optimize marketing performance across the entire customer lifecycle.” — Lee Odden @LeeOdden Click To Tweet
Implementation of influencer marketing has grown not only among pure B2B marketers, but also in the marcomm sector. 67 percent of global marcomm professionals now see influencer marketing within their scope, according to recent data from Talkwalker and MarketingCharts.
Influencer marketing’s power has been seen not only in its global scale, but also its multi-generational pull, as 18 percent of Gen Z consumers say they discover brands via influencers (GlobalWebIndex).
When an influencer recommends a product, 51 percent of Millennials say they are more likely to try it, according to survey data from Valassis and Kantar.
Influencer Marketing & Social Platforms
When it comes to the under-10,000-follower micro-influencer niche, Instagram is the clear top social media platform of choice at 75.9 percent, according to recent survey data, which offers a look at the top social network choices among micro-influencers.
We recently published a list of “31 DIY Marketing Tools To Create Remarkable Experiences,” which includes some of the tools used most frequently by micro-influencers to create content targeting Instagram.
Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, blogs, Twitter, and LinkedIn (client) top one recent list of most popular social media platforms for influencer marketing. 89 percent of marketers said that Instagram was important for their influencer marketing strategy. (Fourstarzz Media)
How Do I Begin An Influencer Marketing Program?
Finding the ideal influencers for your audience is a challenge most marketers consider significant, as 51 percent of marketers have reported difficulty finding the right influencers. (Visme.)
At TopRank Marketing we’ve specialized in influencer marketing for years now, and were named by Forrester as the only B2B marketing agency offering influencer marketing as a top capability in its “B2B Marketing Agencies, North America, Q1 2019” report.”
To help you along your influencer marketing journey, including suggestions for finding the right influencers for your particular audience, here are five articles we’ve written that dig in to the nuances of the process:
Learn More From TopRank Marketing Online & In Person
Statistics tell an important story that can help direct B2B marketers along a data-and-research-based journey. No matter how revealing statistics may be, however, they don’t tell the entire story, as the human elements are what drive real progress in successful influencer marketing programs.
“Stories are just data with a soul.” @BreneBrown Click To Tweet
B2B marketing’s use of influencer marketing to bring a human touch is the focus of a Break Free B2B video interview we held with our client LinkedIn’s Marketing Manager Judy Tian.
You can learn more about how B2B marketers are benefiting from influencer marketing, whether it’s through building better customer experiences (CX) or building trust, by attending one or all of the speaking events our CEO Lee Odden has lined up in the coming months, which are listed below.
February 24-25, 2020 – B2BMX – Scottsdale, AZ
How to Optimize ABM Results with Influencer Marketing
March 19, 2020 – Convergence Summit – Minneapolis, MN
In Search of Trust: How Authentic Content Drives Customer Experience
March 24, 2020 – Pubcon – Miami, FL
B2B Influencer Marketing Workshop
April 20-22, 2020 – Content Tech – San Diego, CA
How to Optimize Content Performance with Influence
April 22-23, 2020 – Content Marketing Conference – Boston, MA
Be Best Answer for Your Customers with SEO and Influence
May 27 -28, 2020 – B2B Ignite USA – Chicago, IL
In Marketing We Trust: How to Build Influence with the C-Suite and on the Street