Influencer Marketing Strategies That Work

For our B2B marketers here are several strategies, techniques, and ways to use influencer marketing that Prevail Marketing has successfully implemented for our clients.


Bill Arnold

12/28/20239 min read

Influencer Marketing Strategies That Work
Influencer Marketing Strategies That Work

In today's digital age, influencer marketing has emerged as a dominant method employed by marketers to capture leads, attract customers, and enhance brand recognition. With the rise of social media platforms, influencers have gained immense popularity, amassing a large and attentive audience. Leveraging the trust and authority established by these influential figures, marketers can effectively promote their products and services to a targeted demographic.

By collaborating with influencers, brands can tap into their followers' preferences and buying behaviors, leading to increased customer engagement and conversion rates. Moreover, influencer marketing allows brands to humanize their image and establish a more authentic connection with their audience. Through strategic partnerships and compelling content, marketers can leverage the power of influencer marketing to drive business growth and solidify their position in the market.

In the last few articles we have been exploring who is an influencer, and why influencer marketing works. Today, we are going to share specifically for our B2B marketers several strategies, techniques, and ways to use influencer marketing that Prevail Marketing has successfully implemented for our clients. This section is not intended to be all-encompassing but to present several programs that Prevail Marketing has found to be highly impactful.

Peer-to-Peer Review Sites - B2C businesses have had for some time review sites that allow the public to rate them and share their experiences (e.g., Yelp, Google Reviews). That same review process is available in the B2B business sector and has become an increasingly legitimate source for obtaining high-quality leads. Some of these sites include Gartner Peer Insights, Capterra, G2 Crowd, Finances Online, GetApp, SourceForge, and Software Advice. Each of these sites has both an organic and a pay-to-play option.

Customer Reviews - These sites are effective because it is not what you say about yourself that counts, but what others say about you. One highly effective strategy for growth is to optimize the information on these referral sites by sharing images, videos, and information about your value proposition. Then work with your customers, and encourage them to provide positive reviews. Since these sites are seen as impartial information sources their authenticity and trustworthiness will transfer to you. There are several ways you can earn this transfer of trust.

Performance Badges -The companies that garner the most reviews can earn badges of honor from the referral sites. These badges can be put on your website or marketing materials and they provide a quick visual shorthand that says this company provides value, quality, and can be trusted.

A second reason to optimize the information and encourage your clients to submit reviews is the referral sites offer a quick comparison between your product and those of your competitors.

Pro Tip - While you want your best customers to submit reviews to these sites, they all don’t have to be and should not be all five (5) star reviews. The public is skeptical of any product or service where all the reviews are perfect. The optimal range to garner credibility and trustworthiness is between 4.2 to 4.7 range. (Influencer)

Pay-To-Play - Finally, some of these peer-to-peer referral sites have a pay-to-play program where they will screen individuals who are interested in your product offering. If they find a match, they will tell the prospect that your product meets their needs and is highly recommended. They then give you the contact information and the background of the call. Again, the prospect feels that they are a third-party expert’s recommendation. They are not told that the referral site is only recommending someone who has paid for the service.

Reseller Programs Value-added resellers (VARs) can be an effective marketing tool for companies who want to quickly scale growth and differentiate themselves from the competition. A VAR will take your product or service and create integrations or add products and features that provide enhancements and sell as an integrated package. Well-structured VAR programs will allow you to leverage the time, energy, and talent of a highly motivated organization willing to learn how to sell and service accounts from top to bottom. It is like hiring a commission-based sales team. However, where the real value of a VAR network is aligning yourself with resellers who already have a large client list of companies that represent your targeted personas.

This streamlines and shortens the sales process as they do not need to find a prospect and build trust, they simply are sharing a new product or service with their existing customers. You then are leveraging the trust and relationship they already have acquired.

How effective are reseller programs, well many companies find that upwards of 65% of their revenues come from their reseller programs. However, these programs only work if it is attractive enough for the reseller to change their business model to actively solicit your business.

Pro Tip - If you create a reseller program make sure it is compelling. The ones that I have created that have worked extremely well have the following characteristics:

A significant commission structure based on volume sold and serviced. Typically, that has tiers that provide ten, fifteen, and twenty percent commission on all sales.

Have the revenue share run for as long as that company remains a client. A VAR will not only sell but be the first line of support for the client they bring on. You want to make sure that they always value that client in the manner you would.

Provide “marketing in the box” programs where each month you provide a marketing program where the reseller can simply co-brand it and roll it out. It has to be feet-on-the-desk marketing, meaning that they simply have to click a few keys to execute. If it requires real effort, they will not do it.

Referral Programs- A referral program is a marketing strategy that encourages existing customers to advocate and refer a business opportunity to your company. They are motivated to make the referral in exchange for a financial reward. Many programs have a bifurcated reward structure paying a small amount if the referred prospect takes a meeting and a larger amount if they become a customer. “Refer a Friend” programs can generate a bump in your quarterly sales if you truly make it worthwhile for them to make the connection. I have seen companies try to “reward” a highly paid professional with fifty dollars ($50) for any referrals. Any individual who is already well-paid is not going to put their reputation on the line for such a meager amount. If expect a referral program to work make sure that the people you ask will find the reward enticing.

Pro Tip - If you create a referral program make sure you provide your referral network with a program that provides: real rewards for their efforts and has transparency in the outcome and payments.

Create marketing material like a one-pager they can share with their network. For the referral partner to earn their commission fee, they have to actually communicate the value proposition and not just submit a name.

Affiliate Programs- A referral program is a marketing strategy where an influencer is compensated to promote your product or service to their sphere of influence generating traffic or leads to a landing page or website. The influencers are purely motivated to monetize their audience in exchange for revenue share. To track the origination of the lead, the affiliate is given a unique affiliate link to share with their audience. In the United States, affiliate marketing spending is twelve billion dollars with upwards of eighty percent of advertisers utilizing it. (Influencer Marketing Hub)

We have found the best affiliate marketers are those with a larger social reach so we focus on Mega, Subject Matter, Macro, and Mid-tier Influencers who have an authentic connection to the product or service. While there are many ways to compensate affiliate marketers (e.g., Pay-Per-Click, Pay-Per-Lead, or Pay-Per-Sale), we recommend the pay-per-sale model because you only pay when you receive results and it assures that the influencer is utilizing their best efforts to deliver results.

Pro Tip - If you create an affiliate program, support your affiliates by providing marketing collateral that they can co-brand and share. Provide a transparent platform for them to track their performance and how those customers originated.

Content Sharing Programs Spend time speaking to influencers who created their sphere of influence through the creation of unique and compelling content, as they all have the same problem.

How do you continue to generate ideas that will resonate with your audience, much less create that high-caliber content? Most influencers are individual entrepreneurs or work in small teams. They do not have the bandwidth or capacity to produce the type of content that will propel mass adoption and increase their brand.

We have had great success partnering with influencers who fall into the Subject Matter, Macro, and Mid-tier Influencers by creating content that is unique and specific to them. It usually has more in-depth information or has a higher production value than it can produce on its own. They can slice this content for distribution over all social platforms for an extended period of time. While the content is ALWAYS educational, informational, or has a high entertainment value that addresses the interest and concerns of a highly targeted persona. The company will then amplify the influencers' original posts by sharing them across their social platforms.

The content will make reference to the sponsoring company or have components showcasing how their product or service helps or works in conjunction with the underlying theme.

The value the influencer receives is the ability to share high-value content to their existing audience increasing their loyalty and attracting new followers. The company can have its value proposition introduced to a new audience that can use its products or services.

Pro Tip - It is imperative that any content generated under this program be closely aligned with the passion or expertise of the influencer. It has to be a natural fit to ensure authenticity. Do not try and hide the fact this was a joint collaboration. It should be such a natural fit and the content of such high value that the audience completely understands why they worked together to share the information.

Cross Promotion Programs Influencers do not have to be individuals, some of the best influencer marketing programs are collaborations between two organizations. While there are tons of B2C examples of cross-promotion programs (e.g., Apple Watch and Nike App) there are fewer examples in the B2B space.

An example of how these collaborations have worked very effectively in the B2B world is the relationship HubSpot has had with its marketing partners. In the earlier days of HubSpot, they would promote road trips across the United States where there would be joint presentations by HubSpot and one or more respected partners. The turnouts were great and both parties won as they each spoke about the benefits and the successes of the other.

Pro Tip - The relationship between the two organizations has to be genuine. While in the B2C space, you can have gimmicky tie-ins (e.g., KitKat and Google’s Android KitKat operating system), that will not work for B2B.

Gamification - Gamification is one of my favorite tools as it can be an extremely powerful influencer marketing force. Imagine having an army of advocates and influencers who respond to your request for them to provide a recommendation. The best example of this was a now-defunct program set up by HubSpot called HubStars. HubSpot’s program used Influitive to gamify die-hard HubSpot users. The HubStars would earn points for such things as writing a blog, doing a review on a referral site, being a reference on a call, etc. These points could be exchanged for gift cards at retail outlets (e.g., Starbucks, Home Depot), for cool HubSpot swag, or for free tickets to attend their annual Inbound event.

However, the best use case was a testimonial program. HubSpot sales team would tell a prospect to do their own investigation. Go to a social media platform such as LinkedIn and ask the public would you recommend between themselves and one of their competitors (e.g., HubSpot or Marketo ).

Imagine asking the question on LinkedIn and within a few hours seeing thirty to forty responses all sharing the virtues of HubSpot. The prospect would always be amazed by the outflowing of mass support for HubSpot. What they didn’t know is that the HubStars were all asked to respond immediately in exchange for points.

Pro Tip - If you want to implement a gamification program avoid trying to start it from scratch. Invest in gamification software. It will provide a better user experience and save you a lot of headaches.

Public Relations - What the experts are Saying – When most people think of public relations campaigns, they assume the corporate communications team is going to release a stuffy one or two-page article where the CEO or other executive officer is commenting on a great success or initiative. Well, that does not have to be the case. Successful public relations initiatives are about relevant storytelling that makes an impact. It can introduce your product or services to an untapped audience where they can be further nurtured.

Remember, it is what others say about you that matters because it is deemed more credible.

Third-party research studies, a review, an interview by an independent source, or a compilation of what third-party experts are saying about your product or service can be a legitimate public relations release. Once this information is distributed it loses the characterization that you created the content. The essence of what it says and who said it matters more.

Pro Tip - Whether or not your press release gets picked up by the wire services is secondary, however, you can pay to get distribution. The key is how you slice, dice, and share that information across your website and social media platforms. Encourage your advocates the trusted influencers to repost the information.


While all of these strategies have proven highly effective for our clients, they are the mere tip of the iceberg of how influencer marketing can grow your business and create brand awareness. We will provide additional programs we have run in a future blog. We will also share case studies examples that show how impactful they were.