Who Conducted the 2022 B2B Influencer Marketing Research Report Survey?
TopRank Marketing conducted the 2022 B2B Influencer Marketing Research Report Survey.
The Top Rank Marketing agency was co-founded in 2001 by Lee Odden and Susan Misukanis. Since then, they’ve earned a significant reputation as a top-notch influencer marketing agency specializing in B2B technology brands. Some of their clients include Dell Technologies, Linkedin, and SAP.
How was the Survey Conducted?
TopRank Marketing paired up with Mantis Research to conduct this B2B marketing and communication professionals survey.
The online survey was conducted over email through organic invitations on TopRank Marketing’s B2B marketing blog. TopRank Marketing accepted survey answers from late 2021 through the first quarter of 2022.
The respondents were broken into the following categories by TopRank Marketing:
- 78% of respondents work primarily in marketing roles
- 75% of respondents work at B2B organizations exclusively
- 22% of respondents were at a Director level
- 22% of respondents were the Vice President or CMO of their organization
- 36% of respondents work in companies with over 1,000 employees
- 67% of respondents work in companies located in the United States
- A Lack of Strategy is Devasting
Survey respondents reported that a lack of a documented strategy was the biggest challenge they experienced regarding influencer marketing. Many also said their organizations were still approaching influencer marketing as a tactic, suggesting less consistency and one-off campaigns rather than a consistent, disciplined approach.
Other widely reported B2B Influence challenges include:
- Trouble qualifying and activating influencers
- Finding authentic influencers
- Too much time lost on manual processes
- Finding the right influencers for your projects
The report noted that some of these issues could be addressed by using an influencer marketing agency. Agencies can effectively close the gap between strategy, implementation, and measurement. The survey confirmed this when many respondents reported that agencies were an invaluable resource to their company regarding influencer marketing.
55% of respondents working for B2B companies with 500 to 1,000 employees reported that working with an agency to find influencers was effective. Only 27% of respondents in this group said that using influencer software was effective.
Another critical takeaway about influencer marketing opportunities from this survey is that 100% of brands who indicated they had an “always-on” approach to influencer marketing said they were “successful” or “very successful.” Clearly, an always-on approach to influencer marketing is more rewarding.
Unfortunately, only 21% of brands surveyed actually practiced constant influencer marketing, indicating that many brands are missing out on a huge opportunity. 24% of brands that ran periodic campaigns said that their influencer marketing campaigns were “not very successful.”
- Influencer Marketing Will Continue to Grow
The 2022 B2B Influencer Marketing Research Report found that influencer marketing will only continue to grow, and brands are already preparing themselves for this.
Over 70% of survey respondents agreed that their customers leaned on advice from influencers and industry experts. 62% claim that influencer engagements have increased and improved upon their customers’ brand experiences showing that influencer marketing will only continue to grow among B2B brands.
Brands are already preparing for this, with 85% of respondents indicating that their influencer marketing budgets will increase or stay the same in 2023. Only 5% reported a decrease in their planned influencer marketing budget.
The 2022 B2B Influencer Marketing Research Report backs the decision to increase influencer marketing budgets up. During the pandemic, 71% of respondents said that influencer marketing became even more critical, and 86% reported that this type of marketing was moderately to very successful for their company.
Over a third of respondents reported that influencer marketing directly increased their sales revenue and another half reported that it increased brand awareness, recognition, and lead generation.
In short, you are missing out on tremendous opportunities if you’re not looking to start or grow your influencer marketing strategy.
- Internal Influencer Marketing is a Missed Opportunity for Many Brands
Many brands are missing out on a big opportunity: internal influencer marketing.
While many brands look outside their company for influencers to help with campaigns, employee influencers have been deemed an enormous growth opportunity by the 2022 B2B Influencer Marketing Research Report.
The report shares that employee posts and shares receive eight times more engagement and 561% more reach than the typical brand messages and posts. In addition, executives within the company can increase brand credibility, awareness, and thought leadership online.
Two-thirds of companies reported that executive influencer campaigns were “very or extremely successful,” which is a fantastic indication of what internal influencer marketing can accomplish.
Respondents also shared that executives can do much more than just posting on social media or blogs. Many said that executives who participated in interviews, contributed to brand social media content, or created content alongside outside influencers were highly successful.
75% of B2B marketers surveyed said they already use internal executives to increase their credibility online, while 63% said they use executive influence online to increase sales conversions.
In short, you’re missing out if you’re not already working with internal executives to grow your credibility with your online audience.
You should not underestimate the importance of employee influencers either. 77% of survey respondents reported working with industry analysts and experts. However, only 42% of respondents said they were using employees as part of this program, indicating a missed opportunity for a massive number of brands. Keep in mind that using employees and executives to build credibility and social influence online is much more cost-effective than hiring outside influencers consistently. It can also improve your brand’s reach over time, making it a sustainable investment.
The Impact on Creators and Influencers
So, how does all of this affect creators and influencers?
For starters, you can rest easy knowing that influencer marketing isn’t going anywhere. More and more brands are realizing the huge potential and value that influencer marketing adds to their marketing strategy, which is reflected in increasing budgets despite a possible upcoming recession.
In addition, more brands are realizing that audience size is one of the least important factors in finding influencers to partner with. Survey respondents reported that having a relevant audience and audience’s trust were the two most important qualities of a B2B influencer. More brands also recognize that subject matter expertise and values that align with their company are more important than other qualities.
If you’re a creator, you may also want to consider working with an agency. Many brands are turning to agencies to cut down on the manual work of sorting through influencers, finding verified, authentic influencers, and much more. Agency work may continue to be a more lucrative opportunity for building brand relationships as we enter 2023.