More B2B Companies Are Turning To Influencers & Sponsorships (πŸ“ˆ MTN #09)

Move The Needle Apr 26, 2023 4 minutes read

Table of contents

    In this edition

    • πŸ“Š Digital Advertising Cost Benchmarks for B2B Companies
    • πŸ’‘ Influencers, Sponsorships, or Ads: How Are B2B Companies Using Their Spend?
    • πŸ“ˆ Win By Being Different, Not “Better”

    πŸ“Š Featured Benchmark Data (from Benchmark Groups)

    Digital Advertising Cost Benchmarks for B2B Companies

    Median ad campaign spend, broken down by channel (March 2023):

    • Google Ads Cost: $2,009.50
    • LinkedIn Ads: $1,597.29
    • TikTok Ads: $547.85
    • Facebook Ads: $1,403.92

    Join this group to see how your company stacks up. See if you’re ahead or behind the curve, and where you can improve.


    πŸ’‘ Trends & Insights (from Reports & Surveys)

    Influencers, Sponsorships, or Ads: How Are B2B Companies Using Their Spend in 2023?

    We often hear marketers tell us that Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) is getting higher, along with the cost of running paid ads. At the same time, we’ve noticed an interesting trend where more and more B2B SaaS companies are choosing to invest directly in creators by sponsoring their content (i.e. newsletters or podcasts), or working with influencers or ambassadors who can promote their brand.

    For example, HubSpot built a podcast network andAhrefs spent over $200k in podcast sponsorships, while pledging even more to creators this year.

    We wanted to explore how many B2B companies are investing in sponsoring creators or working with influencers, how much they’re currently spending on paid ad campaigns, and how they plan to use their spend in 2023. So in our recent article, we surveyed 44 B2B companies.

    Here are a few insights:

    • On average, they allocate 60% of marketing budget to ads, 22% to influencer marketing, and 16% to sponsorships.
    • 86% consider their influencer marketing successful.
    • 20% have never tried influencer or sponsorship marketing campaigns
    • Companies still cite paid ads as yielding the best ROI, but it’s followed closely by influencer marketing. Very few (15%~) considered sponsorships to be effective. However, this could be more a result of the way they’re measuring the efficacy of those campaigns.

    πŸ“ˆ Drive Predictable Performance (from Metrics & Chill)

    Win By Being Different, Not “Better”.

    A great brand is a strong moat. Competitors may copy your product, but they can’t copy your brand so easily.

    To help build one, focus on how you’re different – not better – than the competition. A few examples…

    Drift isn’t better than Intercom. They’re just different. Both are chat tools, taking a different approach to solving the problem. Early on they led with language like, “build a bigger pipeline” , “grow your customers”, and “the new way businesses buy from businesses.”

    Intercom has led with language around helping existing customers.

    Or take Basecamp. They believe there’s a better way to work together asynchronously, and built a product around that method.

    Asana, on the other hand, is incredibly feature-rich. It’s flexible, and allows any size company or department to adapt it to the method they like best.

    If you agree with Basecamp’s point of view on the best way to work, you’ll love their PM tool. There are no true alternatives to that method of working.

    If you want endless integrations, features, and flexibility, you’ll probably love Asana.

    “We’re better” isn’t a strong selling point, unless it’s true. And IMO, it very rarely is, once companies reach a certain level of maturity.

    Some use the same tech for a slightly different application (Intercom vs Drift). Some take a different approach to solving their customer’s pain (HubSpot vs Salesforce). And some hold a different point of view on the right way to solve the problem (Basecamp).

    In a recent interview, Mark Jung shared how he’s building Nextiva’s brand and how you can stand out from the competition.

    Here are 3 takeaways:

    πŸ‘‰ Be different, not better (see above, inspired by Mark).

    πŸ‘‰ Find your “white space”: the less competitive space your company can occupy to differentiate from the competition.

    Mark creates a β€œjobs to be done” framework. This lets him visualize the problems competitors are positioning themselves as solving, and plot where he feels his company can occupy and win.

    It’s inspired by a grid Front included in their series C deck, where they outlined the space they can serve and occupy.

    He also studies how top competitors are positioning themselves: from messaging, to how prospects talk about them and what their leaders/PR are saying.

    This gives a clearer picture of how Mark can stand out, and position and differentiate the company from the noise.

    πŸ‘‰ Build a media arm to distribute your differentiation.

    Once you can articulate how your company is different from competitors, the last step is to get your messaging out.

    Mark says this often looks like brand, product marketing, and leaders to agree on what their go-to-market (GTM) messaging should be, and then distributing it using one or more of the following:

    1) Company brand (company social, podcasts, newsletter, etc)
    2) Leaders’ personal brands (c-suite social, writings or video)
    3) External media arms (3rd party content media)


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    Article by
    Jeremiah Rizzo

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