Trade Associations & industry analysts: the “celebrities” of B2B Influencer Relations
Influencer Marketing is taking off. The concept of using influencers to seed the right message is relatively easy to grasp in consumer industries such as fashion and beauty. Here we’re regularly confronted with influencers either directly or indirectly helping to enhance a reputation. Take those celebrity gossip articles featuring recommendations for where to purchase a replica of THAT dress or THOSE shoes. Well over 60% of professional marketers in this sector possess a good influencer relationship plan in their marketing strategies. But what about in our complex world of B2B?
While in B2B it can be a challenge to find and manage the right influencer who will have the most impact with your business’ customer base, connecting with trade associations and industry analysts provides a channel that can be used to amplify messaging, enhance your reputation as a thought leader and stay close to industry trends. During a recent visit to EMG HQ by Lejeune Association Management owner Jules Lejeune shed light on how the evolution of associations can provide a valuable piggy-backing platform for B2B marketers. “Besides the ‘internal’ benefits of networking, learning and joint development, the ability of associations to exert influence on external stakeholders is one of the key drivers of their success. In today’s connected, multichannel world, associations are no longer the closed, ‘member-only’ shops of the past. They are in continuous interaction with the surrounding environment and this has increased the importance of having an integrated communications strategy that aims to position the industry, profession or charity they represent.”
According to a McKinsey study, 20-50% of all purchasing decisions are based on word-of-mouth recommendations from a trusted source. Trade associations focus on collaboration between companies and are an important voice in the industry dialogue; and are usually heavily into publishing. Participation brings benefits in reaching your target market, in particular if the goal is to influence public policy or regulatory bodies. Associations are globalising and consolidating, bringing more members with shared goals together.
Information sharing – going digital
Trade associations, particularly international ones, are moving with the times and increasing their online presence. This creates opportunities to use digital content to reach association members and industry analysts. Webinars and social media are becoming a more common way of sharing information. Issue-driven communities are developing, providing more opportunities to address niche audiences relevant to your business.
But remember….as with all marketing channels…strong, succinct content is vital to getting interest. Among the top 10 trends reported at the ASAE American Society of Association Executives conference 2017, content marketing and storytelling are key to earning the attention of target audiences.
Relationships don’t happen without putting in the legwork. EMG provides research and recommendations on industry analysts and association activities to maximise networking opportunities. To help you enhance your reputation, we highly recommend meet & greet events, round tables, speaker platforms at events, engagement through social media and other activities such as participation in analyst newsletters and mailings.
To explore how our influencer marketing experience can benefit your business, contact Greg Farrett.
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