Content Marketing Conversation: SAP’s Amisha Gandhi Schooled Us On B2B Influencer Marketing

Christel van der Boom / December 8, 2017

Amisha Gandhi, senior director influencer marketing at SAP, brought five influencers to a customer event in Germany to speak about machine learningIoTinnovation and data analytics. These five influencers ended up driving 50% of all the mentions about the event on social—and the event ended uptrending in Germany for two days straight.

Gandhi used this example at Content Marketing World to teach other B2B marketers how to start an influencer marketing program from scratch. While 55% of B2C companies have ongoing influencer marketing programs, only 15% of B2B companies have integrated such programs into their larger marketing strategy, according to MarketingProfs. The way to run a successful influencer marketing program for a B2B brand is also different from the B2C world, where celebrity endorsements are still important.

Picking the right people is one of the keys to a successful B2B influencer program. It sounds easy, but in practice there’s a lot to think about. For instance, for a B2B brand it’s important to realize that influencers aren’t always the people with the most followers! While it might be beneficial to include “macro influencers” with a wider reach—say, 100,000 followers or more—the right “micro influencers” may have a bigger impact.

Gandhi recommends looking for people who inform and inspire the company’s buyers, which means that someone with “just” 10,000 followers might be an important influencer. The way to find out is by looking at what they write about and who they are engaging with online. It’s also important to look at the comments and “likes” on the influencer’s own content as those indicate engagement.

Since finding the right people is the key to the success of any program, Gandhi recommends investing in technology. There are free tools by Onalytica and BuzzSumo to help find the right influencers for you, and Google is helpful, too. She also uses Traackr, which helps identify relevant influencers, as well as monitor the results of her program.  

For B2B marketers who are new to influencer marketing, Gandhi recommends starting with an event. Meeting in person is a great way to start off a relationship and influencers can give feedback in real-time. B2B influencer marketing is built on one-on-one interactions with influencers and becoming part of the community, according to Gandhi. Given the results of SAP’s event in Germany, she has the results to prove it works.

Gandhi sat down with our head of curation, Mia Quagliarello, to share her insights around B2B influencer marketing as well as her approach to time management, what she reads to stay up on what’s happening in the industry and the things she is passionate about. Watch the full interview here.

~Christel van der Boom is curating Eye Openers