by Joe Edwards F IDM | Director of Global Campaign Development, Sage | March 07, 2016 It’s powerful, its social, everybody’s talking about it - Influencer Marketing is a great way to enhance your brand’s exposure and company awareness, however many marketers struggle to harness the power of influencer marketing and execute this effective medium correctly. Leading B2B leaders from across the industry (Neville Hobson, Tim Hughes, Thomas Power and Lee Odden) joined me at our recent Disrupt Forum event, to discuss the benefits and power of influencer marketing and raised a couple of interesting comments and observations… Get to know your influencer Influencers vary from industry to country, not all markets are as mature as others. The image below shows just how varied the distribution of followers of the influencer market can be across the world (dependent on the subject matter): More often than not, marketers (some, but not all!) don’t take the time to get to know the influencers they are targeting, often approaching those influencers whose subject area and background do not reflect the purpose of the brands content push. Brands need to understand the thinking behind influencers, research your influencer before approaching them, reach out to them one by one by their preferred social channel. Make sure they’re the right fit for you and that you’re the right for them. Do not underestimate the power of consumer influencers Influencers are more than just marketing. The Top 100 B2B influencers have a combined follower base of around 2.4 million; the image below shows the break down by agencies, brands and individuals with total followers. However compared to some the most popular consumer influencers which have a follower base of 4 million +, B2B have some work to do. Understand the value exchange One size does not fit all and often the value exchange differs between B2B and B2C, make sure you try to understand what the value exchange will be. Will the influencers act as an evangelist for the brand? Will this be an opportunity for you to boost your company profile? Or a simple case of payment? Influencers are always keen to look for different ways in which to build their profiles, give them something that they would want to share with their network. Make sure you clarify the finer details. Social media is a powerful tool, it allows consumers to listen, follow and trust those who share the same interest. Influencers who already have that creditability and following can enhance on that trust – the perfect platform for B2B and B2C marketers. Make sure you harness the power of influencer marketing in the correct way. If you want to hear more from Joe, then check out his 2 day course Social Media: Strategy, Tools and Tactics and learn how to execute the best social media strategy for your business.