Categorized as Channel Marketing, Customer Experience, Return on Investment, Social Media, Strategy

The Influencer Marketing Opportunity in Channel Marketing

For many business-to-consumer brands, influencer marketing has become an important part of their overall content marketing strategy. The ability to leverage the implied, third-party endorsement an influencer brings to bear on behalf of a brand, as well as the social channel and connections that expose a brand’s products and services to new target audiences is extremely powerful.

Business-to-business marketers are now starting to realize the potential power of influencer marketing as well. For B2B brands that rely on distribution partners, such as dealers and distributors, there’s a unique opportunity to include influencer marketing in their channel marketing programs as well. That said, like any channel marketing program, there are a number of factors to consider in determining how influencer marketing can be leveraged to drive desired outcomes. Let’s take a look at a couple of key considerations.

An Integrated Effort
Channel marketers know all too well that a critical factor in delivering successful channel marketing programs is the integration between program strategy, execution and ongoing management. The ability to create and execute channel marketing program elements that allow dealers or distributors to seamlessly participate and have an ecosystem of support tools and services is essential to driving results for their local businesses and the brand(s) they represent.

This type of coordination is magnified when brands contemplate an influencer marketing program as part of their overall channel marketing offering. Up front, brands have to identify an influencer, or influencers, whose content is going to resonate with local dealers and distributors and, most importantly, their customers and potential customers. Some factors to consider and address when pursuing an influencer marketing program include:
How often will content be created?
Where will the content be distributed and by whom? A channel partner that works with the local dealer or distributor?
How will the content be localized to ensure its relevancy for dealers and distributors?
How will co-op or market development funds be allocated and distributed for influencer marketing?
How will success be measured?

Addressing these questions will help channel marketers determine what systems and processes are needed to scale their influencer marketing program and measure return on investment.

Authentic and Relevant
Successful influencer marketing programs deliver authentic content that helps support, or pay off, a brand’s key value propositions and is relevant to the target audience. For channel marketers looking to create an influencer marketing program that supports their dealers or distributors, ensuring authenticity and relevancy is critically important. If an influencer lacks legitimacy and applicability in terms of the content they create and deliver for local dealers or distributors, chances are the program will not deliver its desired outcomes.

Much like other channel marketing program elements, if the influencer marketing program provides a logical connection between the brand, and its distribution partners from a messaging and value proposition perspective, chances are the content will resonate with dealers, distributors, customers and potential customers alike. In turn, dealers and distributors are more likely to utilize influencer marketing made available to them by the brands they represent and customers and potential customers will have access to content to help them make repurchase or purchase decisions.

As B2B brands evaluate the potential role influencer marketing could play in their marketing strategy, those brands that rely on distribution partners to sell and service their products have additional dimensions to consider. Understanding how a potential influencer marketing program will fit and be executed within a channel marketing program as well as ensuring the content is helping dealers and distributors achieve their desired outcomes are just two factors to bear in mind.

About Channel Fusion
For 20 years, Channel Fusion has provided brands and their channel partners with a wide variety of solutions and industry expertise. We continue to invest in the overall ecosystem of our channel marketing offering to ensure our clients provide their partners with an optimal customer experience. Our core technologies and configurable platforms are supported by a team of customer-centric “Fusers.” Let us know if you’d like to learn more about how we deliver desired outcomes for brands and their channel partners.

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