Rani Mani, head of global employee advocacy at Adobe* delivered an impassioned presentation filled to the brim with B2B influencer marketing insights, with a special focus on how the best influencer relationships are in essence not that different from successful personal relationships.
Rani explained how she’s come to have a love affair with influencer marketing, and shared the process she uses to help turn mere social media heavyweights into long-term and deeply-engaged Adobe advocates — a plan than can be implemented by any brand willing to put in the time, effort, and especially the passion that Rani and her team have.
When it comes to the domain experts Adobe is leveraging for the good of the brand, there isn’t any magic involved — no algorithm or gimmicks to beat the system — instead simply leveraging the power of humanity within B2B marketing influencer relationships, just as we do in successful real life relationships, Rani explained.
Now let’s jump right in with the five top tips I took away from attending Rani’s insightful MarketingProfs B2B Forum 2020 session, “Influencer Love Affair: Dating With an Eye Towards Long-Term Commitment, Not One-Night Stands.”
1 — Building Sustainable B2B Influencer Relationships
Rani examined how building sustainable influencer relationships involves a journey through the funnel, from being generally unaware about your brand to obtaining a certain level of awareness, and then moving on to genuine interest, ultimately followed by engagement, connection, and becoming powerful and loyal brand advocates.
Rani suggested working with influencers towards a goal of making the conversion from being unaware to passionate advocates for the brand, at which point they can become active and important parts of a brand’s strategy.
Many of the best practices that Rani shared are equally adept in the oftentimes different worlds of B2B and B2C, she noted, sharing an “Influencer Mantra” theme she has used for Adobe.
The mantra focuses on how building new B2B influencer relationships can benefit from some of the similarities with dating, with an eye toward long-term commitment and engagement, while also recognizing that not all influencers want to be involved in long-term commitments.
2 — Starting Out With Long-Term Influencer Programs
How do successful long-term influencer relationships begin?
Many times they start with saying “thank you,” Rani suggested, coming in the form of a physical hand-written card sent through the mail system, or via e-mail or a public social media post. Whatever form these thank you messages take, influencers should be addressed by name, and thanked individually for what they’ve done for you or your brand.
Holidays provide additional opportunities to thank influencers with gifts, which Adobe uses to help show just how special their influencers are, Rani noted.
When posted publicly on social media, expressions of influencer thanks and appreciation can be powerful messages that other brands will often see.
Thanking your existing or potential B2B influencers can also come in the form of a LinkedIn* endorsement, and can even involve referring them for additional influencer work at partner brands.
3 — Investing Time Upfront Pays Off With Lasting Influencer Relationships
A big part of any lasting relationship is when we each learn about one another, and Rani explained how it’s no different in B2B influencer marketing, where savvy brands will genuinely want to find out what makes the heart of a particular influencer sing?
It’s important to put in the time to develop strong and enduring influencer relationships, Rani noted.
As in any relationship, learning who an influencer really is requires time, and speed-dating just doesn’t work, as strong relationships don’t happen overnight.
Learn about influencers by 工作职能邮件数据库 asking thoughtful questions to learn their passions and topics of interest, and this can be accomplished adeptly by asking open-ended questions such as “Where do you want to go, and what do you want to do?” Rani suggested.