For B2B brands, it is no longer a question of whether or not influencer marketing works. In fact, a vast majority of respondents to our 2023 Influencer Marketing Report report that they have seen extensive benefits in the form of increased sales revenue and improved customer brand reputation.
But one thing that came through clearly in this research is that the most successful influencer marketers are not attempting to go it alone.
Our respondents also told us that, among the brands that had the most success with their B2B influencer marketing campaigns, 70% outsourced their entire program to a B2B influencer marketing agency. Eighty-three percent outsourced at least some activities.
Want to learn more about what these marketers know? Let’s explore some of the advantages and efficiencies that B2B companies realize by outsourcing at least some of their influencer marketing program.
What happens when companies outsource B2B influencer marketing?
Greater influencer access and identification insights
B2B influencer marketing agencies have spent considerable time developing extensive networks of influence partners. These connections are not mere professional acquaintances, they are long-established relationships that are rooted in previous influencer marketing collaborations. When you partner with a B2B influencer marketing agency, you gain immediate access to this diverse network of influencers without having to forge any of the relationships from scratch.
To complement this access to a diverse network of influencers, B2B influencer agencies are skilled at identifying and recruiting new influencers who perfectly align with your brand identity, campaign goals and target audience. This is key because, according to the Influencer Marketing Report, identifying and engaging with ideal influencers is the number one challenge faced by respondents.
This dual track approach of accessing a well-developed network of partners along with identifying new influencers allows for greater flexibility and adaptability. When you’re presented with the exact right mix of influencers, you can tailor your campaigns to specific market segments or niche audiences.
Relationship-building and nurturing expertise
Once a slate of influencers has been identified, the work of rolling out your influencer marketing program has just begun. Experienced B2B influencer agencies will have a proven track record of working with B2B influencers and will be able to nurture each influencer relationship to deliver the best possible results for your campaign.
Nurturing influencers can be time-consuming. Handing this off to an agency makes the process more efficient, freeing you to focus on more strategic tasks. Agencies are also better equipped to scale their services to accommodate larger campaigns and more complex influencer networks.
But building and nurturing relationships with influencers requires more than time. It takes a specific skill set, and agencies that specialize in influencer relationship management understand the nuances of developing trust and fostering these long-term partnerships. A reputable influencer marketing agency will have the expertise to navigate the complexities of influencer relationship management, ensuring smooth and mutually beneficial partnership.
Influencer selection objectivity and customization
Partnering with an agency brings an objective perspective to the influencer selection process that prevents personal biases from influencing influencer choices. These agencies understand that the most effective influencers may not be readily apparent to individual marketers.
By bringing in this outsider’s perspective, an agency can unlock a much wider array of potential influencers that will lead you to fruitful partnerships you may never have considered. With an agency, your campaign partners are chosen based on their genuine fit with your brand and target audience rather than any one person’s subjective preferences.
B2B influencer marketing agencies can also help you find influencers who fit the right criteria to connect with your brand and buyers. In our report, the most effective influencer marketers cited audience trust and relevance of network as more important influencer qualities than size of network or professional credentials.
Powering content co-creation
An agency acts as a bridge between brands and influencers, facilitating open communication and collaboration throughout the content creation process.
In this role, the agency collaborates directly with the influencer to ensure they understand the objectives of the campaign and the type of content they are expected to produce. This fast-tracks the delivery of high-quality content that resonates with your target audience and aligns with your brand and campaign objectives.
Full service agencies will also offer in-house influencer content creation services. This generally includes writing multiple content pieces on behalf of your brand, saving you time and effort. As part of this process, agency partners can integrate influencer contributions into the content that will be published by your brand, while also setting up a plan and process for optimized promotion.
Tap into a suite of specialized services and expertise
Some B2B influencer marketing agencies offer a comprehensive suite of services beyond influencer identification and outreach. From pre-planning to reporting, B2B influencer marketing agencies handle a wide range of tasks that would require coordination with multiple departments to handle internally.
This depth of support can be essential to executing an always-on influencer strategy, which also proves to be a key success factor: 51% of very effective influencer marketers use an always-on program, compared to 14% of all others.
Just a few of the administrative and creative functions an agency will manage include:
- Strategic planning. Agencies work closely with you to develop a data-driven strategy aligned with your brand objectives and target audience.
- Competitive audits. They analyze how your competitors are leveraging influencer marketing, enabling you to identify best practices and differentiate your own approach.
- Contract negotiation and management. Agencies handle the legal aspects of influencer contracts, ensuring compliance with industry regulations and protecting your interests.
- Payment pass-through. Partnering with an agency helps streamline influencer payments, eliminating administrative burdens and ensuring timely compensation.
- Reporting and analysis. B2B influencer agencies provide comprehensive reports and analytics, allowing you to track campaign performance and make informed decisions.
When outsourcing programs to a B2B influencer marketing agency, brands gain access to a team of experts who can handle every aspect of the campaign, from strategy and planning to execution and analysis. This frees marketers up to focus on core business activities while ensuring their influencer marketing efforts deliver the desired results.