📈 75% of B2B marketers now use influencer marketing

119 | ... and 93% of those are planning to increase B2B influencer activity

Issue #119 | Your reading time this week is 6 mins. 20 secs.

Welcome back to the Creator Briefing. Here’s just some of what we’re looking at this week:

  • New research from Ogilvy shows that B2B Influence is one of the fastest-growing marketing priorities.

  • The positive (and negative) drivers affecting trust in advertising.

  • Just 5% of influencer spend targets Gen X (though this age group is responsible for 27% of global spending) - a new report breaks down the Don’ts and dos for building a Gen X influencer strategy.

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75% of B2B marketers use influencer marketing

New research from Ogilvy shows that B2B influence is one of the fastest-growing marketing priorities.

B2B influence requires credible expertise rooted in proven experience that contributes to professional opinion. B2C influencer marketing is often demands trendsetters and tastemakers.

Based on interviews of 550 CMOs across 11 markets, from brands including LinkedIn, Dell, EY, IBM, and Samsung, the Ogilvy study research shows that 75% of B2B marketers are now utilising B2B influencer marketing, and 93% of those are planning to increase B2B influencer activity.

Key stats

  • 75% of B2B marketers surveyed are already working with influencers. Of those who aren’t, most are planning on starting soon.

  • Of those that are, 93% of them are planning to increase their usage of Influencers.

  • 90% of the industry now seeing social media as an important source of business information - influencers are impacting due diligence.

  • 67% of B2B Influencer campaigns had more impact on their marketing performance than their brand only marketing, rising to 77% of people expecting it to outperform in the near future.

Beth Saint, CMO at Schroders, reflected on the implications of the report:

“The untapped potential is to unlock every individual within their circles to influence and advocate on behalf of the brand. It’s not really a question of how or should - but when. Those who move first and move faster will have the competitive advantage of space, but brands that are yet to develop their own Influencer strategy, are already playing catch up with their competitors.”

Beth Saint, CMO at Schroders

This week’s Creator Briefing is sponsored by the Influencer Marketing Trade Body the professional membership organisation dedicated to building a robust, sustainable future for the influencer marketing industry.

Trust in advertising - key drivers

What are the biggest drivers affecting trust in advertising - both negatively and positively?

Credos, The Advertising Association's think tank, has revisited its ground-breaking Public Trust in Advertising research from 2018 and 2021 in a new study – ‘What drives the public’s trust in advertising’ to find out.

Key positive trust driver

Engaging and enjoyable creativity in advertising is the leading positive driver affecting trust in advertising finds the analysis.

What makes an ad engaging and enjoyable? We like video ads with a story. Specifically:

  • A story, not just a functional message

  • Emotion – usually humour

  • A human centred narrative

  • Innovative creative idea – that makes them feel like a piece of art

What’s our greatest turn-off affecting our trust in ads?

Bombardment. We don’t care for ads that delay or interrupt what we’re trying to read or watch. We don’t like to be inundated with a high volume of ads and we hate seeing the same ad repeated. We also don’t care for ads with little to no personal relevance. Though we acknowledge it’s a trade-off between accepting a degree of irrelevance in return for protecting our privacy.

Report: Influencer marketing snapshot

Morning Consult takes a snapshot of the influencer marketing industry in a new report.

Key findings:

  • Uptick in trust - Gen Zers and millennials who said they trust social media influencers grew from 51% in 2019 to 61% in 2023

  • Aspirational & authentic - aspirational content remains a driver (especially at the upper edgest of the sales funnel) but it’s more important for influencers to be authentic and fun.

  • Entertain and inspire - The main characteristics of successful influencers in consumers’ minds are that they post entertaining content or share inspiration.

  • Niche - People are more likely to say they don't have a favourite influencer than to agree on one, and 51% of the influencers Gen Z listed as their favorite were unique.

“Fundamentally that’s what influencer is: niche content to niche audiences at scale”

Arron Shepherd - Global CEO, The Goat Agency

Just 5% of influencer spend targets Gen X

Key stats about Gen X

  • Makeup 31% of the global population

  • Responsible for 27% of global spending

  • 92% are on social every day

  • Comprise 28% of TikTok users - the fastest-growing generation on the platform

  • Command just 5% of brand spend on influencer campaigns

Wavemaker has published a report revealing the distinct behaviours and desires of Gen X (45-60 year-olds). The report comes with practical advice to help you communicate with this audience more powerfully and build a creator strategy that creates the lasting trust that unlocks sales.

The report shows that whilst 92% of Gen X use social media daily, and hold 27% of the world’s spending power, just 5% of influencer marketing spend is targeted at this age group.

Influencer marketers’ bias

Three-quarters (75%) of influencer marketers in the UK are aged 32 or younger. Just 6% are aged 41+. This is according to the recent SUMO Influencer Marketing Salary Survey and Benefits Analysis undertaken in partnership with the Influencer Marketing Trade Body (See Creator Briefing #116).

This underrepresentation of a significant consumer base is skewing marketing decisions. The Wavemaker report points out that “in an industry that prides itself on audience insight, this blind spot is bizarre.”

4 Gen X social behaviours

Wavemaker identifies 4 key social behaviours of Gen X:

  1. The desire for connection is the top reason why Gen X use social media. For Gen X social media is a place where people come together to connect, chat about things they’re interested in, to buy and sell, to be entertained and to serve their local community.

  1. With a more established sense of self, Gen X seem less concerned with performing different versions of themself online. Instead, they use platforms to support the different real-life roles we all inhabit - friend, colleague, parent etc.

  1. Social plays a vital role for Gen X as an outsourced memory. It’s a phone book, address book, photo album.

  1. Usage is less about boredom relief. Their time on social is more scheduled and deliberate, more uninterrupted me-time. It tends to book-end their day.

The report then goes on to provide readers with a breakdown of Don’ts and dos for building a Gen X social strategy.

This week on the podcast …

This week on the Influencer Marketing Lab podcast Alice Audley, founder and CEO of bCreator talks about the importance of live events and explains why the the bCreator Awards are so special.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • The rebadging after a decade from Blogosphere to bCreator

  • Why in-person, face-to-face events are so important to building relationships

  • How we can ensure our category is effective without losing the essence of creator marketing

  • Advice for female-founded, female-led businesses.

  • And what to expect from the bCreator Awards

Where to listen

You can always listen to this week's Influencer Marketing Lab podcast from the show notes on the website. But if you want to subscribe for free to get every episode, here's how:

  • If you're on an iPhone or iPad, just tap this link.

  • If Android is your thing, you can find the Influencer Marketing Lab in the Google Podcasts app by tapping here.

  • Or, if you enjoy listening to podcasts on Spotify you’ll find the Influencer Marketing Lab there, too. Tap away.

White House goes to VidCon

An official assistant to the President of the US and the director of the White House Office of digital strategy, Christian Tom, is set to give a key note at this week’s VidCon Baltimore.

Why it matters: The Biden administration has long-understood the importance of working with creators to carry important messaging - especially to young voters.

In Creator Briefing #17 we reported that the White House had recruited over 50 Twitch streamers, YouTubers, and TikTokers. Whilst State and local governments have turned to “local micro influencers” to promote Covid-19 vaccines to their fans.

In Creator Briefing #77 we reported that Over 20 content creators joined U.S. President Biden recently to mark the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, Democrats' signature spending package. The influencers received special invitations as part of a White House strategy to reach younger people where they are — on social media.

Not all beer and skittles: Understanding creators’ power to influence their communities doesn’t mean Biden’s administration has got creators in its pocket.

In late July Elise Joshi, a young content creator and climate activist, confronted the Biden admission during a press conference to question its approval of oil and gas projects.

Speak up on sustainability - Unilever urges creators

Unilever has set up a new independent Creator Council to support and educate beauty influencers with their social media content on sustainability.

The initiative follows Unilever-sponsored research findings showing 3-in-4 (76%) of content creators would like to mention sustainability more in their content, but 8-in-10 (84%) experience at least one barrier that holds them back from sharing sustainability or environmental content.

Fears of greenwashing claims was the most frequently mentioned obstacle, with 38% of content creators listing it.

Compare these stats with results from an earlier Unilever study. As reported in Creator Briefing #97:

Consumers turn to creator content for information about making green choices (78%) ahead of turning to TV documentaries (48%), news articles (37%), and government campaigns (20%).

  • 8-in-10 (77%) of survey respondents support creators encouraging their audience to behave in an environmentally friendly way.

  • 7-in-10 (72%) support creators selling products or services focused on sustainability.

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