Before introducing you to the top B2B content marketing influencers, let’s see how content marketing has been influencing businesses in achieving their goals. There are experts who claim that the origins of content marketing started with cave paintings (source) while others say that the real developments started happening after the invention of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg (source). Companies then in existence started using the printing machine for creating marketing pamphlets which were circulated far & wide for their promotional activities. This proved to be the turning point in the timeline of marketing. But the credit for popularizing the term ‘Content Marketing’ especially in B2B businesses should be given to the internet.
The Contrast Between B2B & B2C Content Marketing
B2B content marketing can be considered as the art of using content for promoting the brand identity & reaching out to a larger audience for ultimately achieving more sales by being appealing to other businesses. Usage of editorial, graphics and videos to attract, inform and engage a target audience has become widely popular among B2B content marketing professionals due to the influence of technology. What makes B2B content marketing different from B2C content marketing is that it’s solely created for businesses rather than consumer-specific content. B2B content marketing professionals should always focus to make their content useful, engaging, and of high quality – even more perfectly than B2C content marketers.
Integrating Content Marketing Influencers In B2B business
In today’s corporate world marketers use many different techniques for connecting with the target audience, influencer marketing being one among them. Influencer marketing is a strategy that requires brands to enlist the help of influencers to achieve their business goals. These influencers often have a large social media following and are recognizable among specific audiences online which the brands can use for promotions. Majority customers view them as authority figures as they are well known professionals in their fields. But still, only 15% of B2B brands are running ongoing influencer programs for their promotions(source).
Benefits Of Influencer Marketing In B2B Businesses
- Guaranteed Quality Content
80% of B2B marketers who have enrolled influencer marketers have reported that great improvement has happened in the quality of the content marketing campaigns (source). This is mainly because B2B clients do not want to be felt as if they are being sold to & influencers aren’t looking to make any sale through their interactions with their audience. Influencers focus on providing high-quality content which provides a valuable experience to the audience that sidesteps promotion.
- Stretching The Reach
B2B content marketing influencers already have a huge fan base which the companies can access for expanding their reach. This point holds strong if the Influencers are having a huge fan base on their blogs or other social media channels. According to the study by Tomoson, 37% believed blogs were the best influential marketing platform followed by facebook at 25% (source).
- More Sales With Customer Retention
Influencer marketing, in general, is nothing other than word-of-mouth marketing. When customers trust the influencers, the chances of them responding positively to the brands become greater which results in more sales (source). Also, customer retention rates are also higher for customers who are obtained through word-of-mouth marketing (source).
- Industry Authority Through Trust & Credibility
By partnering with influencers who have proved themselves in their own respective fields customers will feel more confident in partnering with the corporates. B2B content marketing influencers are considered a trustworthy source of information than the regular salesmen who are employed to boast about the companies. The credibility of the brand can be properly established in the minds of customers through the use of influencer marketing.
Top B2B Content Marketing Influencers To Follow
Meet some of the top B2B Content Marketing Influencers of 2017 who are rocking the internet with their fan base.
Arnie Kuenn (@ArnieK)
CEO of Vertical Measures, an instructor for the Content Marketing Institute & the author of the award-winning content marketing book Accelerate! is one of the top B2B Content Marketing Influencers on the internet today. CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox are some of the corporates who have worked with Arnie and have experienced his quality service.
Having founded multiple companies and possessing more than 25 years of experience in the field of technology and content marketing, Arnie was also voted as the most Interactive Person of the Year at the AZIMA TIM Awards.
2. Joe Pulizzi(@JoePulizzi)
Besides being the founder of Content Marketing Institute which is the leading education and training organization for content marketing, Joe Pulizzi is also the winner of the 2014 John Caldwell Lifetime Achievement Award from the Content Council & an internet sensation in terms of online marketing. He was the one who coined the term “content marketing” in the year 2001. Dubbed as the “Godfather of Content Marketing” in twitter, Joe has authored & co-authored several books including “Get Content Get Customers”, “Managing Content Marketing”, “Epic Content Marketing”, “Content Inc.”& “Killing Marketing” which has come out this month.
Joe is also a popular B2B content marketing influencer in LinkedIn & writes content for Entrepreneur.com. Besides blogging, you can hear Joe on his podcasts, “This Old Marketing” and “Content Inc.” Joe’s affirmation that B2B content should be focused on what the customers care about rather than what should be sold is the main reason why he’s famous in the B2B content marketing world.
3. Heidi Cohen(@heidicohen)
President of Riverside Marketing Strategies & chief content officer at Actionable Marketing Guide Heidi Cohen wanted to become a writer at the early age of 8. Heidi built her marketing career with international corporates like Citibank, Bertelsmann and The Economist and in 2006 she has received New York University’s Outstanding Service award.
Heidi simplified the complex concepts behind today’s evolving integrated marketing challenges for clients such as the New York Times Digital, AccuWeather.com, Cheap Tickets, and the UJA. She also writes for various other publications including Content Marketing Institute and Smart Brief for Social Media. Additionally, she’s been ClickZ’s Actionable Analysis columnist since 2004. She was also named to the Nifty Fifty Women on Twitter as well as other top social media lists and is one of the top female B2B content marketing influencer on internet.
- Leonard Kim(@MrLeonardKim)
Transforming himself to the top personal branding expert from being almost homeless, Leonard Kim’s content has been read over 10 million times within the first 1.5 years of get published online and he has a social-media following of over 250k.
Adweek recognized Kim as one of their “Socially Strong Entrepreneurs Every VC Should Be Following” while his talk in TEDx, “Why You Should Let Your Fears Guide You”, has been internationally recognized as one of the best TED Talks by Forbes and Inc. Magazine. Managing partner of InfluenceTree, Mr. Kim is considered as one of the top B2B content Marketing Influencers of today’s generation.
- Andy Crestodina(@crestodina)
Co –founder of Chicago-based Orbit Media, Andy Crestodina is a web strategist, speaker, author of ‘Content Chemistry: An Illustrated Guide to Content Marketing’. Being rated as one of the top 5 speakers at Social Media Marketing World 2017, Andy was also Content Marketing World 2015’s highest rated breakout session speaker.
Andy who is one of the top B2B content marketing influencers of 2017 is also the author of 300+ web marketing articles, on the Orbit blog and other sites including Copyblogger, MarketingProfs, Content Marketing Institute, Problogger, Social Media Examiner and many others. Besides working for top corporates, Andy is also a well-known humanitarian and part of his commitment to the local B Corporation community can be found in the Chicago cause, the non-profit donation program that Andy help pioneer.
- Ann Smarty(@seosmarty)
Besides being the Brand & community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas & community manager at SEOchat and Threadwatch, Ann is also the co-founder of ViralContentBuzz.com & founder of MyBlogU and TwChat. Ann started working in the SEO industry from high-school as a part time job for improving her English(which was not her native language) & she has been in the industry ever since.
A regular contributor to a number of high-profile marketing and business media outlets including Small Biz Trends, Business.com, Chamber Of Commerce, etc. Ann is also a well-known B2B content marketing influencer.
Wrapping It Up
Utilizing the option of Influencer marketing for attracting the audience is essential in today’s B2B corporate world as the ways of trade have changed a lot after the introduction of the internet. Today customers are not anything like how they were ten or twenty years ago. They can find information on their own with the help of the internet and do not require a salesman’s pitch for the same. With the help of influencer marketing, companies can earn the trust of customers and make profit at the same time because at the end of the day, gaining credibility is sometimes more important than making money in business.