The phrase "influencer marketing" tends to conjure up images of Instagram models and, for good or ill, the Kardashians. But in the world of B2B marketing, we focus on marketers who are experts in their fields and who have proved their mettle.

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In this episode we dive into influencer marketing with SAP's Ursula Ringham, who wears many hats. Head of marketing. Extrovert. Author. Connector. Influencer. Mother. Workforce returnee. She's certainly a force to be reckoned with.

In today's episode we somehow cover all those hats (and more!).

Ursula's job as the head of global influencer marketing is to drive early awareness—to get those net new names and guide them on their journey to ultimately understand that SAP is a solution to their business problems.

Enter B2B influencers—trusted voices influencing buyer decisions. They have been in the industry for a long time and have proven that they know their stuff.

When looking for influencers for your brand, Ursula tells us, it's all about networking, creating partnerships, and building relationships. And, just as it's important for your brand to find the right person, it's just as critical for that person to want to work with you. Associating with you has to be good for their brand.

When SAP runs an influencer marketing campaign, the influencers don’t talk about the product; instead, the focus is on the business challenges that users face. Acknowledging those challenges and sharing expertise around them goes a long way toward building confidence and credibility.

After all, influencer marketing is all about building bridges and community. Not just building a community around a product or service, but around their influencers. At the start of each project, SAP has influencers together for a kickoff/intro call; eventually, those folks start spinning off and doing things together for the good of the greater community (and own their brands, of course).

It’s all about making connections, which is right up Ursula’s alley. She loves to help people connect. She's asked our listeners to reach out and connect with her via LinkedIn if there's something she can help with. But be ready: in her words, "Be prepared to bring your skillset and show me what you can do!"

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This episode brought to you by Widen and Leap Advisory by Demand Spring.

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Support for this Marketing Smarts podcast episode comes from Leap Advisory by Demand Spring. Our advisors are all experienced marketing executives who have walked in your shoes and can help with any marketing challenge. They listen first, and offer advice you can act on today. Meet our advisors at Leap by Demand Spring.   Widen helps brands deliver content with confidence. Their cloud-based DAM and PIM software, the Widen Collective, empowers marketers to bring content together, send it anywhere, and automate in-between. Visit Widen to see why they're trusted by hundreds of world-class brands, like Crayola, Trek, and Renewal by Andersen.



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