Buzzword Breakdown in B2B Influencer Marketing

May 1, 2024 0 Comments

Here’s the buzzword breakdown surrounding the b2b influencer marketing industry that no one asked us for, but everyone probably needs:


🔹 Personal Branding:

Individuals marketing themselves and their careers as brands, establishing a unique professional identity and presence. Anyone can do personal branding – the end goal doesn’t have to become a ‘thought leader,’ ‘influencer’ or to win business or a new job. But it 100% helps all of those things, which is why people won’t shut up about it. Learn it from: Lottie Unwin or Ash Jones


🔹 Thought Leadership:

When you go from being a player to a coach in your industry. Sharing insights and ideas that not only show you know your stuff but also shape the conversation. It’s like being the person everyone listens to at a conference panel but it can happen on LinkedIn or Youtube, too. Companies or individuals ‘do’ thought leadership, and although its definition can be broad, it isn’t new.
Learn it from: Ashley Faus – she has some great posts and content on the ‘4 pillars of thought leadership’ that we think is useful.


🔹 Founder-led Marketing:

Company founders actively participating in marketing efforts, using their vision and personal stories to shape the brand narrative. Learn it from: Chris Walker for @Passetto @Refine Labs and @Hatch. This guy’s not going anywhere on LI (in a good way).


🔹 Business or B2B Influencers:

These are your corporate celebrities. Definitely don’t call them that though – this is not consumer marketing! Business influencers are industry veterans or trailblaizers with significant or highly engaged followings. They can impact purchasing decisions and industry trends through curated or original content, endorsements, and thought leadership.People like Andreas Welsh (Artificial Intelligence), Jane Frankland (Cybersecurity), Efi Pylarinou (Financial Services) are b2b influencers. Every industry and functional area has them.


🔹 Subject Matter Experts:

The wizards in their fields. Subject matter experts possess deep knowledge and expertise in a specific field, contributing their insights to create authoritative and informative content. Importantly, not all SME’s are sharing on social or are in the business influencer category. Don’t get that one twisted. (Will leave examples out for that reason).


🔹 Content Creators:

The artists, story-tellers or comedians of social media. They create engaging blogs, videos, and posts that pull audiences like a magnet. And they may have a small team of editors, producers or creatives that make them like their own micro media company. There are more content creators in b2c than b2b overall, but people like Tom Boston (sales), Aydan Al-Saad (entrepreneurship) and Ross Webb (product) fit that description. Aside from individual content creators, some b2b companies are now hiring their own as an extension of their content marketing efforts as well! Serra Alban is a great example of an in-house content creator/content marketers at @UserGuiding.


🔹 Social Selling:

Involves leveraging social networks to find and engage with prospects and building relationships that lead to sales opportunities. It’s like being at a networking event but digitally. Less cold calling, more LinkedIn comments – with an agenda 😉. Richard van der Blom is a Top Voice in social selling, check him out.


🔹 Employee/Customer Advocacy:

Employee and Customer advocacy is the promotion of a company by its staff or customers, who share their support and positive experiences with the brand through individuals’ social media accounts. Everyone wants this, and enterprise tech spends major £$£$ to invest in these programs. It can be hard to execute – but these programs are authentic, powerful, and, let’s be honest – way better than a banner ad. @AWS springs to mind as a company that does Employee and Customer Advocacy programs quite well.


And there you have it. All of the above may have some overlap, and are important to understand for a social-first b2b strategy. And with remote and hybrid working here to stay and the ‘searchification’ of social media platforms for business being on the rise, it’s never been a more important time to invest in b2b social.

Custom Influence operates in the b2b influencer and content creator space, helping brands partner with independent voices on thought leadership or content collaborations that educate, engage or entertain the professionals they want to speak to. If we can help you incorporate b2b influencer marketing into your social strategy, drop us a line.