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Influencer marketing for B2B: Interview with Dave Schneider

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When competitive struggle gets tough, you have to seek for new effective solutions. Influencer marketing is one of comparatively new marketing types that in fact is almost as old as content marketing and SMM. The truth is although it has always been here for us, marketing experts decided to allocate it to a separate group within marketing sphere.

The key strength of this particular marketing technique lies in people – the most well-known and respected experts within the sphere. Influencer marketing uses their reputation to spread the key brand messages to the large audience. This technique works as people are more enthusiastic about purchase after receiving a feedback from a real person that watching the ad banner on the site.

It’s growing effectiveness became a moving force for integrating influencer marketing techniques into contemporary SaaS options lists. NinjaOutreach is a blogger outreach SaaS for online business development through influencer marketing. This service helps growing traffic to blog, site, social media platforms, apps, etc. through developing social connections with experts and leading professionals within a particular sphere, using their expertise and authority to expand target audience and reach new clients.

NinjaOutreach team are the ones who know the real value of influencer marketing for B2B and have researched all details of this marketing technique. That is why we decided to talk with NinjaOutreach Co-Founder Dave Schneider and ask him about the best ways to implement influencer marketing into practice to increase traffic and grow sales.

Influencer marketing is one of the most rapidly developing marketing branches. Can you identify the key strengths of influencer marketing that differs it from all other marketing branches?

Influencer marketing delivers faster results. Influencers already have the following and engagement you target. You don’t need to do the consistent quality content production, refining target audience, building email list and increasing social media followers part, because they (influencers) already got it. All you need is to get on the influencers’ good sides. If the influencer finds value in referring or promoting you, you get all these benefits in one go, and almost instantly. For example, two of our top sources of referral traffic and signups have come from what I’d call influencers that linked and mentioned us: Moz and Neil Patel.

What do you consider to be the key elements of influencer marketing?

Sending targeted, personalized outreach, and even more importantly, opening a mutually beneficial relationship. You have to open an opportunity that will also benefit the influencer. Otherwise, it’s like you’re just begging for alms.

To identify a real influencer you have to use certain criteria.

What features in your opinion define an effective influencer?

An effective influencer is one whose influence can be tested. As I’ve mentioned before, Moz and Neil Patel are examples. We can prove from our analytics how much traffic they’ve driven to our blog. There are also more niche type influencers who may have less followers, but high engagement and audience loyalty. This trumps sheer number of followers/subscribers. There’s not much “influence” there if you have a 30k subscriber list but an open, CTR, and conversion rate of less than 1%.

Influencer marketing is always about an expert and the decisions he/she makes when starting to work on the project. What do you consider to be the must-have elements of an effective influencer marketing campaign?

Again, you’ll need templates that work. Also, it’s mostly a numbers game and you have to be strategic with the time you put in. Influencers that are too big—you have a low probability of response, as they most probably get hundreds of emails and may not get back to you ASAP, if at all. What we now call micro influencers, you have a better chance of getting a response (and results) from. So you keep the big ones in your list, but build an even bigger list with these micro influencers who are more likely to get back to you.

With the growing number of marketing influencers, a certain distinction started to develop within the group. How social media influencers are different from the rest?

At the core, I don’t think there’s that much difference between an influencer on social media or an influencer in general, aside from a difference in platforms they use. Eventually, social media influencers build their own websites and bloggers almost always extend their reach on social media.

How do you see the future of influencer marketing? What position it might obtain within the market?

There are plenty of opinions about where influencer marketing could go. Some say it’s dead/dying, some say it could explode. So far, it still seems to be working. But with the trend comes the bandwagoners. There are so many people cropping up these days who call themselves “influencers” to gain big companies’ attention and gain some quick bucks. They use heavy marketing techniques to get them on the map, but the value they produce for their (sometimes manufactured) followers can be questionable. I’m not going to name names, but this new pool of unreliable “influencers” can create some unwanted repercussions for the influencer marketing niche as a whole. Some businesses who invested and had bad “influencer marketing” experiences may have tapped into this bad pool.

We know that Ninja Outreach includes influencer marketing in the list of its main focus areas of work. How can you define the role of influencer marketing in the overall effectiveness of digital marketing campaign?

Despite some black hats emerging in this space, true influencer marketing still is a powerful complement to any digital marketing strategy. It speeds up the process of reaching target users and gaining exposure.

What role does influencer marketing plays in online business development? What are the main guidelines for business owners that want to become more effective in influencer marketing?

The support of influencers played a big part in how we were able to increase traction for NinjaOutreach, so I’d say in terms of marketing your business, spreading the word out fast, and gaining credibility, the word of influencers is key. The challenge in influencer marketing would be more of thinking up the best way to get your ideal influencer’s attention first. What’s the best way to achieve this? You have to come up with an opportunity that’s juicy enough for them to notice you. In other words, you have to give them an offer they can’t refuse.

Can you share some secrets of successful influencer marketing with our readers?

Since, as I’ve said before, it’s more of a (more targeted) numbers and value game. First, you have to keep reaching out. If you don’t get a reply the first time, wait a while and send one to two more feelers. Otherwise, move on to the next prospect. If you want to get at least 50 prospects, you have to have a list of at least 200 leads, and so on. Also, value comes in where numbers fail. For example, we’ve had a NinjaOutreach user (in a highly competitive space) who diligently used our tool for their outreach campaign but got a less than 2% response rate. Nevertheless, they persevered, and from the few that replied, they were able to get high-value backlinks that upped their site’s domain authority. These are things you have to weigh when doing influencer marketing. It’s a delicate balance between numbers, and how much value your target influencer truly has.

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