This past summer the smart folks at eMarketer reached out to interview the Leadtail team for our perspective on B2B social marketing and influence. The interview was recently published by eMarketer. Here’s an excerpt…

eMarketer: How can B2B marketers measure their influence on buyers?

Karri Carlson, Leadtail: 

The first part is what we call the ‘You guys are everywhere’ strategy. To break through the amount of information that executives are processing every day, you want to create this impression that your brand and your way of seeing the world is everywhere.

That means having a strategy that allows you to target the publications that are reaching that audience with your PR strategy, your earned media strategy and even perhaps your paid media strategy. It’s about understanding who the influencers are in that decision-making group on social media.

Often, it’s going to be the people who are writing for those key publications. It’s going to be the people who have a large audience on social media. Some people still have a large audience in the real world through the company they work for or they might be active on the conference circuit.

Carter Hostelley, Leadtail: 

A more sophisticated way of thinking about it is to identify who the key influencers are about a certain topic. In the old days, those key influencers would have been industry analysts like Gartner, Altimeter and Forrester.

Today, the key influencers may not only be those, but it could be a blogger with a huge Twitter following or someone with a large LinkedIn group. Measuring influence is as simple as asking how many of the top 10 influencers engaged and shared with a piece of content or mentioned the brand.

eMarketer: What are the biggest mistakes in how B2B marketers measure their influence?

Carter Hostelley, Leadtail: 

There are B2B marketers who apply the ROI mindset too early in the process, but if you’re still in the investment stage, you’re still in the stage of making your blog work, still in your social channels, identifying brand advocates and figuring out your content strategy—that’s not the time to ask if there’s a return. The answer will be no.

(You can read the full write-up that eMarketer did on the Leadtail interview here)