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A new comprehensive report from TopRank Marketing indicates that B2B influencer marketing is more effective than many would have expected.

The 60-page report includes survey data, case studies, and information collected through extensive analytics analysis. 

Among all this information is the finding that 86% of B2B businesses report being successful in using influencer marketing to reach their goals. Specifically, the survey found that:

  • 86% of businesses say influencer marketing is moderately or very successful
  • 72% say it helped improve their brand reputation
  • 70% say it improved brand awareness
  • 56% say it drove new leads
  • 33% say it generated revenue for their company

B2B Influencers Aren’t Your Usual Influencers

These findings might surprise many business owners who are imagining a TikTok star promoting manufacturing equipment or professional services.

As the survey makes clear, though, the most effective B2B influencers are often not the figures with the biggest follower or subscriber counts.

“Audience size matters less than audience relevance. The sheer number of followers isn’t as important to marketers as relevance, credibility and expertise. Those with a large audience can help with the reach of a campaign, but it’s vital to include more influential people with smaller audiences.”

Instead, the most effective partnerships with influencers are those who are seen as industry experts or professionals with personal experience in your industry. According to the survey results, B2B companies partner with influencers who are:

  • Industry experts and analysts (77%)
  • Internal executives (56%)
  • Niche experts (48%)
  • Customers (46%)
  • Professional influencers (45%)
  • Employees (42%)
  • Prospects (12%)

The importance of only partnering with influencers who are relevant to your field or audience is also reflected in the answers to what qualities are most important for B2B influencer marketing:

  • Relevance of audience (98%)
  • Audience sees them as trustworthy (87%)
  • Subject matter expertise (78%)
  • Values align with the brand (69%)
  • Influencer publishes on at least one platform (65%)
  • Ability to create content (54%)
  • Size of audience (49%)
  • Professional credentials (42%)
  • Advocate for our brand (33%)

What Types of Influencer Marketing Are Most Effective

As for what types of content brands are making with influencers, the results clearly favored webinars, though other content like social media or blog posts were also popular with brands:

  • Webinars (81%)
  • Social media (74%)
  • Blog posts (71%)
  • Recorded video (67%)
  • Interviews (62%)
  • Podcasts (52%)
  • Live video (48%)
  • Case studies (38%)
  • Industry (33%)
  • Interactive content (31%)
  • Third-party analyst (29%)
  • Social audio (22%)
  • Infographics (17%)

For more, you can get the full 60-page report for free here.

YouTube is testing out a new feature that would improve synergy between brands and creators by automatically inserting visual links to businesses mentioned in videos. 

The feature, which is being called Places Mentions, was revealed during a recent video on the Creator Insider channel.

At the moment, the feature is limited to just Android and iOS devices using the YouTube app to watch content related to food or drinks.

The goal behind it is simply to streamline the process of finding out more about places mentioned in a video, such as in a review of a local eaterie. 

Before, creators had to manually add a text link if they wanted to direct people to the locations they mention in their videos. By automating this process, YouTube is making it easier for content creators to spread the word about your brand without having to establish a formal collaboration.

As the announcement says:

“This new feature, within the video description box, will give users an easy and engaging way to find out about places mentioned in a video.”

While the initial test is limited to food and drink videos, the company says it plans to expand the feature to more categories soon.

The announcement did not provide a specific date that we can expect to feature appear in search results, but it is safe to assume it will roll out for testing any day.

For more, check out the full Creator Insider video below: