Kategorie-Archiv: SEO

Top SEO Strategies for Lead Generation

One of the most common arguments against investing in Search Engine Optimization is that the practice doesn’t impact the bottom line enough. And the truth is, it is difficult to get lead-gen content to rank for non-branded terms.

Fortunately, that’s far from the only way SEO can be useful for lead generation. In fact, SEO is indispensable to contemporary B2B lead generation, if you take the right approach.

By incorporating a few new strategies, your optimized SEO can attract the right audience, build the right awareness and brand memorability, guide prospects through the full funnel, and all-but gift wrap MQLs for your sales team to contact.

Target keywords with lower funnel intent

Not all keywords are created equal. Some keywords are informational, which means the users searching them are looking for the answer to a question. Other keywords are commercial or even transactional, which means users are looking for a product, service, or brand.

Conventional SEO wisdom suggests that informational keywords are upper funnel, commercial keywords are middle funnel, and transactional keywords are lower funnel. When it comes to specific products and audiences, however, that distinction isn’t always as cut and dry.

As our guide to Marketing with Intent demonstrates, you should consider the funnel stage of a keyword completely distinct from its intent. Finding and targeting the lower funnel keywords across all the different intents is an excellent way to set your SEO apart.

Long-tail keywords are one perfect example. According to backlinko, keywords between 10 to 15 words in length get x1.76 more clicks than single-word terms. Despite their value, however, keywords this long are still frequently ignored by SEO strategists. This happens for two reasons: first, because their monthly search volume tends to be much lower than shorter keywords. Second, because long-tail keywords are usually informational in intent and therefore seem high funnel. But that may not be the case.

Often, a long-tail keyword indicates a searcher with a deep knowledge into the subject they’re researching. For example, this blog is pursuing the long-tail keyword “seo lead generation strategies.” This keyword has less than 100 monthly searches and its intent is informational, but the users searching for it are looking for the kind of very specific, technical information that makes it the perfect topic for a blog.

Great SEO always comes back to knowing your audience, and great lead generation SEO is no exception. Take the time and effort to get to know what your audience is searching for at every stage of the funnel and why, then create content that can expertly speak to their lower funnel questions and concerns.

Don’t neglect raising awareness with upper funnel content

The 60/40 rule that marketers should spend 60% of their budget on brand and 40% on demand generation still holds true today. In the long run, brand awareness is a more effective means of creating leads* than demand generation. This counts double for B2B marketing, because at any given time, 95% of a B2B brand’s audience* is not in-market for their services.

Even when your audience’s in-market, they probably aren’t searching for lower funnel, transactional search terms. If these are the only search terms you pursue, they’ll never find you until the 5% of the time they are in-market – and then, because they haven’t heard of you before, they’ll go with the competition they’re more familiar with instead. According to a McKinsey study, brands that audience members know when they first enter the market are more than twice as likely to win their business than brands they discover at that point.

Your SEO and content’s primary focus should be on raising your brand’s awareness and memorability among your audience before they’re in-market. By creating high-level, informational content about subject matter related to your services, you can catch your audience members from the very beginning of their customer journey.

If you can demonstrate expertise from this point, your audience will start associating your brand with your category, raising your Share of Voice. They’ll keep looking to you for answers, start seeing you as the go-to source for information, and then, when they’re in-market, they’ll know just who to turn to first.

Develop an integrated SEO and paid search strategy

Compared to SEO, paid search or PPC is considered a short-term strategy for rapidly gaining visibility with key audiences. By paying to appear at the top of SERPs for critical keywords, you can ensure that any audience member searching for a high-intent, commercial keyword like “B2B search engine optimization agency” finds you right away.

Used correctly, SEO and PPC should complement and enhance each other. For example, you could think of paid search as the Lead Generation to SEO’s Brand Awareness – ultimately, SEO is a better way to drive relevant traffic to your site, but PPC is how you get the right eyes on the right page right now.

Even the way ad auctions work demonstrate how intertwined the two disciplines are: in basic terms, the better the SEO of your website and the page you promote with paid, the more frequently your content will “win” auctions and appear in SERPs.

Focus your PPC efforts on a small, highly strategic set of lower funnel keywords, then support it with SEO. You could even take the killer combo further by retargeting audience members you attract with SEO using paid media campaigns, or using paid campaigns to research how to better appeal to your audience organically.

Guide prospects through the funnel with crosslinking

When we think of a CTA, we naturally think of it as a tool for demand generation: it’s where you write “Contact us to get started now” or “Claim your discount today.” But that’s not all a CTA is for.

Every page should have CTAs – even your highest-funnel, most strictly informational SEO-optimized pages. These CTAs shouldn’t try to seal the deal directly. Instead, use them to direct readers to your next piece of helpful content and guide your audience further down the funnel in the process.

Your highest-level SEO content is likely going to draw the most attention to your site, because you’ll use it to target the broadest keywords. If you waste these CTAs on low funnel prompts, you’re not going to get anywhere.

If you use your CTA more strategically, however, by linking to related pieces of content that supply the next piece of useful information, you can keep them on your site and engaging with your brand far longer. Not only will this lower your churn rate and improve your engagement metrics, but it will also help you create your own marketing funnel for turning new visitors into MQLs.

CTAs aren’t the only way you can do this, either. Take any opportunity that feels natural to link to your other content. When you mention a product, link to its page. When you reference another topic you’ve created content about in your copy, link to that content (the way we did in the last paragraph). You want your audience to engage with as much of your content as possible, as often as possible.

Ultimately, every stage of your customer’s journey is a part of your lead generation strategy, from the first time they engage with your brand to when they’re a loyal customer reading your latest thought leadership. By influencing every part of this journey, the right SEO strategy can become one of your brand’s most valuable lead generation assets.

To learn more about what it takes to maximize the effectiveness of your SEO initiatives today, check out our guide on Building an SEO Strategy in 2024 (a high-level CTA!).

* LinkedIn Marketing Solutions is a client of TopRank Marketing. We weren’t involved in the research cited in this blog.

The post Top SEO Strategies for Lead Generation appeared first on TopRank® Marketing.

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How Does B2B Influencer Marketing Actually Work?

Would you pay Justin Bieber to create a video about your company’s SaaS offering? How about contracting Kim Kardashian to produce an Instagram Reel summarizing the highlights of your latest whitepaper? Strategically, it simply makes no sense for enterprise brands to engage with these consumer-friendly faces.

While B2C (business to consumer) marketing and B2B (business to business) marketing share a similar name, the types of influencer programs offered under these categories vary, and the tactical approach couldn’t be more different.

B2B influencer marketing, a strategy of partnering with influential figures in the industry to boost your brand’s reach and credibility, is more prevalent than you think. Perhaps you’re familiar with this campaign by monday.com. Or for a more recent example, take a look at TopRank Marketing’s 2023 B2B Influencer Marketing Report: Elevate & Ignite, a resource fueled by today’s top thought leaders, featuring expert insights and eye-opening statistics like this one: 94% of marketers believe influencer marketing is a successful strategy for B2B marketing.

We know B2B influencer marketing works, but you still may be wondering: how exactly does it… work? Let’s take a look at what goes into crafting an influencer marketing campaign from start to finish.

Step 1: Choosing an influencer marketing program

What type of influencer marketing program is right for your brand: campaign-based or always-on?

Campaign-based: A one-off campaign featuring professional influencers and prospects, while still including customers, industry experts, and niche experts.

  • Use cases: You have an in-person event and want to tap into new audiences and drive registrations. You want to test influencers marketing for the first time. Options include, but are not limited to: featuring influencer quotes in an ebook or leveraging an influencer’s audience to drive event registrations.

Always-on: An influencer program with consistent engagement and campaigns.

  • Use case: You want to leverage influencers to create evergreen content, supporting product launches and ongoing initiatives.

Both options have their merits; however, our research concluded that marketers who utilized always-on programs saw 10%+ increases in key areas like sales revenue, brand reputation, and brand advocacy over those using a campaign-based approach.

As our own co-founder Lee Odden said, “Engage an influencer for a campaign and they are your friend for the day. Help someone become more influential and they’re your friend for life.”

While there are many things to consider when trying to figure out which program is right for your brand, it usually comes down to two: bandwidth and budget.

Step 2: Conducting a competitive audit

Every successful influencer marketing program begins with a competitive audit. This is where we utilize a combination of SEO and SEM tools, influencer marketing and social media platforms, along with manual searches to identify competitors and uncover strategic insights. Once these methods have been performed, we can provide guidance on how to differentiate, reach underserved audiences, and take advantage of opportunities that may have not been apparent on the surface.

Step 3: Prioritizing influencer qualities and categories

Activating an influencer with a big following means your campaign will be successful! Right? Survey says *audible Family Feud buzzing sound*

While audience size should be a key consideration, marketers who ran “very effective” influencer programs believe audience trustworthiness, audience relevance, and professional credentials are most important. There’s so much to consider, and for this reason, we group B2B influencers into four distinct categories:

  • Thought Leaders: Industry experts with large audiences who serve as professional influencers.
  • Niche Experts: Topical experts who have a high degree of credibility within a specific group.
  • Practitioners: Highly respected people who work in your industry.
  • Internal Influencers: Executives and employees with great topical expertise.

The number of influencers in each of the groups taking part in your program will vary based on your overall goal, timeframe, and budget.

Step 4: Identifying and vetting influencers

Discovering influencers who will add value for your campaign can be an arduous task – and we have the data to back it up. Fifty percent of respondents to our survey found it to be the most significant challenge in their influencer marketing programs.

Browsing compiled “top influencer” lists scattered throughout the internet isn’t going to be helpful. To find influencers who provide the right mix of reach, resonance, and relevance, marketers must take a methodical approach that includes the use of tools and manual searches. For example:

Google Boolean Search: We embrace the power of using AND, OR, and NOT to find influencers faster and with more precision.

Influencer Marketing Platforms: Solutions like Klear, Traackr, and Onalytica help streamline the process of identifying and analyzing prospective candidates.

Social Listening Platforms: Meltwater, Sprinklr, and Brandwatch can be used to scour various social media platforms and find influencers who are creating content around your key topics.

LinkedIn/X(formerly known as Twitter) Groups: Manually searching these groups is a great way to find influencers who are providing valuable thought leadership and are active on social media and in their respective communities.

Step 5: Building relationships and outreach

Influencers are the most important part of your campaign – but they don’t have to work with you. And money talks, but they can still walk. This brings us to the importance of building relationships with quality candidates.

How many times have you received a sales email or a message on LinkedIn from a cold contact with boilerplate text? Influencers, especially those in demand, receive the same messages – likely with the same openers.

To get an influencer on board, marketers must offer up more than payment and the opportunity to work with your brand. These thought leaders, much like sales prospects, require nurturing and personalized effort. It’s important to take the time to learn more about them via third-party profiles, reading their work, and engaging with them on social media.

Once equipped with enough information, we recommend sending them a message with a thoughtful opener. Simply let them know you know them.

Step 6: Negotiating

B2B influencers, much like B2C creators, will want to be compensated for their work. Well-established influencers will have a rate sheet you can request to determine what you can afford. Don’t lowball; this isn’t a car dealership. If you feel inclined, give the prospective influencer an idea of your budget. Under the right circumstances, they may be willing to provide a discount of some sort.

After an understanding has been reached, the contract can be drafted and filed away for record-keeping once both parties have signed. And, of course, payment must be handled – which will vary depending on the details of the contract.

Note: The negotiating step provides an excellent opportunity to request benchmarks from the influencer. The benefits of having them are twofold, as they assist in negotiations and give you the ability to grade the influencer post-campaign.

Step 7: Briefing influencers and launching your campaign

Once the influencer has agreed to the work, you will want to provide them with a brief. This will ensure your influencers are set up for success. What’s included in an influencer brief will vary, but should, at the very least, consist of the following:

  • Campaign overview and objective
  • Key messaging points
  • Channels and deliverables
  • Social copy
  • Relevant links and hashtags.

Finally, once the content is approved, we’ll work with the influencer to determine publishing dates for every single deliverable. We take great care in communicating the launch of every piece of content to ensure the brand can engage and amplify.

Step 8: Report, optimize, and repeat

In our B2B Influencer Marketing Report survey, 93% of respondents said the pressure to prove marketing return on investment (ROI) has increased in the past year, making a comprehensive analysis of your program all the more important.

One-off campaigns are measured upon completion while always-on programs should be reported on a monthly basis.

To understand the effectiveness of your program, we’ll measure results against the benchmarks set previously. But, of course, simply measuring the results isn’t enough. No matter the level of impact, the strategy will need to be optimized to increase its effectiveness, and in turn, the ROI of your program. Take the time to reflect on your goals and ambitions. The success of your next campaign hinges on your ability to implement changes and innovate.

Are you ready for an influencer marketing program?

Influencer marketing programs require a lot of work – so it’s no wonder why so many organizations contract outside agencies to carry out their influencer operations. In fact, our B2B Marketing Report survey found that 70% outsourced their entire program to a B2B influencer marketing agency – and 83% outsourced at least some activities.

We can provide you with greater influencer access and identification insights, relationship-building and nurturing expertise, influencer selection objectivity, content customization, and so much more.

If you’re looking for a trusted partner in the ever-evolving world of influencer marketing, we’re here to help. Contact us today.

The post How Does B2B Influencer Marketing Actually Work? appeared first on TopRank® Marketing.

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How to Check Your Website’s SEO Rankings (and Improve Them)

Building a data-informed search engine optimization strategy is critical for every brand. But before you can start improving your site’s SEO, you’ll have to learn how to monitor your website’s SEO rankings in the first place. Earning rankings for strategically important keywords is a clear sign that your approach is working, but the difference between a top-10 ranking versus a top-3 ranking can lead to a massive difference in organic traffic.

There are plenty of free and easy-to-access resources out there you can use to start checking your brand’s SEO performance today. Let’s go over how to use a few of the most helpful starter tools and what to do with the information they’ll help you uncover.

In 2023, the top-ranked result of a SERP in Google generated 39.8% CTR rates, with the second and third-ranking results getting 18.7% and 10.2% respectively. (Backlinko)

How to check your website’s SEO rankings

You can manually check your website’s SEO rankings but, as TopRank Marketing’s associate content director Nick Nelson wrote recently, this is a bit like “using an eyedropper to drain a swimming pool.”

If you need to find out how effectively you’re ranking for hundreds or thousands of keywords in a reasonable timeframe, you’ll want to use SEO website analysis tools. Start with these:

Free SEO analysis tools

Google Search Console (GSC)

Google created its Search Console tool to track website performance on its search engine. Using it is easy and free:

  1. Verify that you own your domain by following these steps.
  2. Type in your domain in the “domain” section or the URL of the specific page you’d like to check in the “URL prefix” section.
  3. Find the Performance section on the menu sidebar to the left of your results and click on the “Search Results” tab beneath it.
  4. Click “queries” to see a list of all the search terms that your site or page currently ranks for.
  5. Click on the “average position” number above the line chart to see your average position for each query.
  6. You can also edit the timeframe you’re checking by clicking the “Date” tab above the chart.

From this view, you can use GSC to see:

  • All of the search phrases your site is currently ranking for.
  • Where you are ranking on Google SERPs of that search phrase.
  • Which pages appear in the SERP.
  • The number of clicks and impressions your URL receives from this search phrase.
  • The click-through rate of your URL in these SERPs.

Google Analytics (GA)

Using Google Analytics is a great way to further contextualize the information you find on GSC. While Search Console focuses exclusively on Google organic (or unpaid) traffic, Google Analytics provides information about all sources of traffic, including organic search, paid search, social media, direct visits and more.

After you see how your pages are performing in SERPS with GSC, you can use GA to understand how well they’re performing in terms of metrics like views, events, and conversions. By looking for correlations between SERP and performance, you can understand which of your SEO efforts are translating to greater success.

Use this information to start putting together an SEO optimization strategy and check back frequently to see the results of your efforts.

Paid SEO analysis tools

When you want to take your SEO evaluations to the next level, a wide variety of free and paid tools can provide powerful analytics and insights. These are a few of our favorites.

Semrush: Semrush, a frequently used tool at TopRank for SEO and content marketing, offers a user-friendly interface facilitating quick assessment of SERP rankings, search phrase details, technical SEO audits, backlink monitoring and more.

Ahrefs: Ahrefs provides a deep suite of tools including keyword rank tracking as well as competitor backlink and keyword analysis through its proprietary web crawler, AhrefsBot, making it a highly reliable source for up-to-date and accurate SEO information.

Moz Pro: Moz Pro offers an all-in-one SEO toolkit featuring keyword exploration, rank tracking, site crawling, and customizable reporting tools, providing comprehensive insights and analysis tailored to your brand’s needs.

How to improve your website’s SEO rankings

Once you can measure your SEO performance, you can start improving it. As you take each of the following steps, check back on your SEO and site performance using GSC and GA to see their effects.

Build your strategy

The first and most important thing you can do to start improving your SEO performance is to commit to a formal strategy. You have to define what you want to rank for, why, and how you will pursue those rankings.

Start with keyword research. Develop a prioritized list of search terms valuable to your business. These should be a combination of branded terms – such as the name of your brand, products, and services – and non-branded terms related to the kind of service you offer, such as your industry and product category.

One of the most effective ways to learn which keywords to pursue is to develop an understanding of search intent. Download our free guide on Marketing With Intent to learn more.

Look for optimization opportunities

When you have a good understanding of the search terms you want to pursue, associate each with the page you want to rank for that term. Use GSC and GA to check your page’s current ranking with its target keywords to start looking for opportunities. For example:

  • If your page isn’t ranking for the search term at all, look for ways to rewrite the name, headers, and content to include that keyword where it seems appropriate and natural. Be careful not to “keyword stuff” by adding the keyword too many times or you’ll be penalized. Also make sure to avoid using AI-generated content, as Google’s algorithm is evolving to devalue it.
  • If your page is ranking but not as high as you’d like it to, try comparing it to the pages that currently outrank it to see what you could do to improve your own ranking. You could try restructuring the existing content, adding new content such as new sections, images or videos, or adding semantically-related keywords to the page, just to name a few tactics.
  • If your pages are competing against each other to rank for the same keyword, or “cannibalizing” each other, try to edit the content on both pages so they rank for their own, unique keywords instead. A cannibalization audit is an important aspect of an SEO content audit, helping find and resolve duplicative content that hurts rankings.

Create high-quality content

Creating new content, or building out and optimizing your existing content, will become the cornerstone of any impactful SEO strategy. The more relevant search terms your site ranks for, the higher your site’s authority on search engines becomes. The higher your authority, the easier it is to rank for the keywords you’re after. A rising tide raises all boats.

To raise your authority, therefore, you should constantly strive to pursue new search terms that are relevant to your brand and/or services. The best way to do this on a long-term basis is to start producing high-quality content of your own. The more useful your audience finds your content, the more they’ll interact with it, the higher you’ll rank for the search term you want, and the more authority you’ll build.

SEO optimization is a never-ending process that’s a lot of work, but you don’t need to do it all alone.

No matter where you are in your SEO journey, the experts at TopRank Marketing are ready to help. Learn about our SEO services and how we can bring your rankings to the top.

The post How to Check Your Website’s SEO Rankings (and Improve Them) appeared first on TopRank® Marketing.

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How to Build a Winning YouTube SEO Strategy

What’s the second most-used search engine in the world?

Nope, not Bing. Or DuckDuckGo. Certainly not Yahoo, AltaVista or AskJeeves.

The second most-used search engine in the world is YouTube. Over 2.5 billion users visit the site per month, and people watch over a billion hours of video on the platform every day.

It’s no surprise that brands are looking to connect with an audience on YouTube. But the sheer size of the site — and the algorithms that govern it — can make it hard to be seen.

Here’s a quick guide to help your channel make the grade.

Keys to an effective YouTube SEO strategy

As with any content marketing, a great video SEO strategy takes great content. Make sure that the video content you’re producing is relevant to your audience, offers genuine value, and meets the specific intent of the keywords you’re targeting. It doesn’t need to be a Hollywood-grade production, but should cast your brand as credible and worth remembering.

When you’re ready to upload that killer content and start racking up views, keep these elements in mind.

Optimize the video title

A title is just as important to a YouTube video as a headline is for your blog posts. Treat your title the same way. The goal is to entice people to press play and clearly identify your subject matter for the search algorithm.

Aim for specific and quantifiable value for the best result. For example, consider these two titles:

  • New trends in B2B automation
  • Make your invoicing more efficient with these B2B automation tips

The first title is short and it has our keyword (B2B automation). But it’s too vague — it doesn’t tell me what I’m going to get for my time investment. You could get even more granular, depending on the audience: “Save 10 hours of accounting time with B2B Automation.”

To avoid having your title truncated, aim for 75 characters or less. The descriptive second title above is only 65 characters, so you have more room than you think.

Optimize the description

YouTube offers a generous 5,000 characters for the description field. But it doesn’t offer a guarantee that anyone will read to the bottom. It’s a good idea to be thorough in your description, including links and time stamps, but don’t feel like you need to fill space. And definitely don’t feel like you need to shoehorn in more keywords!

For long videos, your description should include:

  • A one-sentence quick description
  • A one-paragraph summary
  • Timestamps for each topic you cover
  • Links to other relevant content
  • Links to your brand’s social media
  • Hashtags (more on that later)

For shorter videos, a quick summary may be all you need. It shouldn’t take longer to read the description than it does to watch the video.

Add hashtags

Hashtags on YouTube work the same way as they do on X, Facebook or Instagram: They are intended to help people find content on a specific topic. For YouTube, it’s best not to do an Instagram-style deluge of hashtags #wokeuplikethis #marketerlife #B2B5eva #Hashtag.

Stick to the two or three most relevant terms related to your topic, and include them in your description and (if there’s room) the tail end of your title.

Choose a category and add tags

When you upload new content, YouTube gives the option to add it to an existing category. Don’t pass up that drop-down box; it’s one way that the search engine knows what your video is about.

YouTube tags are the other crucial add-on that can help your video show up in search. You can select these tags when you’re uploading video, or edit the video’s details to add them after the fact.

It’s important to include both hashtags and YouTube tags for each video. Hashtags only apply to the hashtag search, while YouTube tags inform the results for every search on the site. Keep the tags short and descriptive, and aim for 3-5 total. One easy way to know what tags are most relevant for your audience: Check the tags on your competitors‘ videos.

Organize your content

Once you have a decent content library built up, it’s important to organize it for both human and algorithmic browsers. YouTube offers a robust set of tools for organizing your channel’s home page and it’s worth exploring them all.

If you have multiple videos on the same topic, make a playlist to group them together. That way if someone finds one video, they’re more likely to be recommended the next one (and the next and the next).

Add eye-catching thumbnails

A compelling thumbnail won’t help the algorithm find your video, but it will help your offering stand out in a search. It’s just as important to get humans to click on your video as it is to show up in search results.

When choosing a thumbnail, make sure it:

  • Accurately depicts the content
  • Includes the topic as in-image text

In other words, if your video is about B2B automation, don’t make your thumbnail about hilarious skydiving fails. An eye-catching thumbnail is only useful if it makes a promise the content can keep.

Take that, radio star!

Video content has been a rising star for B2B, and it’s only going to get more popular. YouTube makes it easy for your brand to upload and host content—but it’s up to you to make sure the content gets seen.

With great content and a solid SEO strategy, you’ll be ready to rock the world’s second-biggest search engine.

Need help with your SEO? Request a free site SEO scorecard.

The post How to Build a Winning YouTube SEO Strategy appeared first on TopRank® Marketing.

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2024 B2B Influencer Marketing Statistics and Trends

Here at TopRank Marketing we do more than just plan and execute B2B influencer marketing programs. We also conduct research on the state of B2B influencer marketing at companies across multiple industries.

The statistics and trends surfaced by this report and the iterations that preceded it are incredibly valuable for any B2B marketer looking to start or expand an influencer marketing program.

Let’s take a look at some of the highlights from our research and that of others in the industry.

Influencer marketing is taking root

While influencer marketing isn’t new, its prevalence among B2B marketers certainly is. In fact, it wasn’t so long ago that a small but wise minority of marketers recognized how important influencer partnerships are. As recently as 2020, only 34% of B2B marketers said they used influencer marketing. The next year that number ticked up to 46%.

More recently, influencer marketing has become a standard part of the B2B marketing mix. Our most recent Influencer Marketing Report found 85% of B2B marketers emphasize the importance of influencer marketing in their suite of tactics.

Influencer marketing contributes to success

According to Forbes, 94% of B2B marketers say influencer marketing is a successful strategy. This is up significantly from last year. This level of confidence is an improvement from the already positive feelings for influencer marketing of last year, when our 2022 Influencer Marketing Report revealed that 86% of marketers found their influencer marketing to be either moderately or very successful.

To put this confidence in perspective, respondents to our 2023 survey told us that influencer marketing contributes even more to the success of their marketing programs than social media marketing or content marketing.

When asked “Which of the following contributes most to the success of your marketing programs?” marketers responded:

  • Search Engine Optimization (49%)
  • Influencer Marketing (39%)
  • Social Media Marketing (36%)
  • Content Marketing (36%)

But just how successful are these programs? Research from Zen Media found that as of 2022, B2B influencer marketing programs were generating a 520% return on investment (ROI). Of course, this ROI is not guaranteed, but averaging $5.20 for every dollar spent very effectively demonstrates the real, measurable impact influencer marketing can have for B2B brands.

Maturity of B2B influencer marketing programs

Because it is still relatively new to most B2B marketers, it may not come as a surprise that influencer marketing programs vary widely in their level of maturity. Our research divided influencer marketing maturity into four groups: beginning, moderate, extensive, and those who do not use influencer marketing at all.

In 2023, our research reveals that most B2B marketers fall somewhere in the middle of their influencer marketing journey, with 48% reporting that they fall into the moderate category. This means they are already using influencer marketing, but it is usually limited to one-off campaigns and not involved in their overall strategy.

Beginners – those just starting out with researching or testing these programs – make up only 15% of those we polled. Another 15% of marketers reported they do not use influencer marketing at all.

The remaining marketers are those who have fully matured influencer marketing programs. This group makes up 26% of respondents from our 2023 influencer marketing survey. This group takes advantage of a developed strategy with ongoing “always-on” engagement and campaigns.

This bell curve highlights the evolving landscape of B2B influencer marketing, with most companies still navigating the path to full-fledged integration but with a significant portion already demonstrating its potential as a valuable marketing tool.

Influencer marketing challenges

Another indicator of the increasing maturity of B2B influencer marketing is the evolution of its top challenges. We have tracked this in each of our influencer marketing reports, and the trend indicates an increasing sophistication in influencer marketing.

For example, in our 2020 report, respondents said their top challenge was the influencer marketing process being too manual.

Once B2B marketers got their sea legs for influencer marketing programs and entered the moderate stage of maturity, they cited their number one challenge as a lack of documented strategy.

By 2023, the challenges became less about how to do it and more about how to do it well. The top challenge in our latest influencer marketing report is identifying, qualifying and engaging with ideal influencers – a clear indication of experience and sophistication with influencer marketing.

Outsource for success

One important trend uncovered in our 2023 report involves how B2B marketers execute their influencer marketing programs. Slightly more than half of all the marketers we surveyed said they conduct their influencer marketing initiatives in-house. However, among those who reported the most effective programs, an astounding 70% said their influencer marketing programs are entirely outsourced.

This correlation with outsourcing and success is no coincidence. Agencies that have been specializing in influencer marketing for years bring a lot of advantages to B2B brands, including a deep bench of thoroughly nurtured influencer relationships, outreach expertise, and content co-creation capabilities.

Outlook for B2B influencer marketing

The future of B2B influencer marketing is bright. Recent research found that an overwhelming 93% of CMOs plan to increase their use of B2B influencers in the coming years.

Given the remarkable success reported by those already using these programs, this is not a surprise. This trend makes it clear that the rise of influencer marketing is bound to continue in the coming years.

Ready to learn more about influencer marketing for your B2B brand? Discover the latest insights in our Influencer Marketing Report and find everything you need to get your own program started at our B2B Influencer Marketing Resource Hub.

The post 2024 B2B Influencer Marketing Statistics and Trends appeared first on TopRank® Marketing.

Source:: toprankblog.com