How Dell, SAP and Dun & Bradstreet Collaborate with Influencers to Scale Successful B2B Content #MPB2B

This week at MarketingProfs B2B forum, some of my favorite influencer marketers took the stage for a lively discussion on how they’ve been able to scale content creation by collaborating with influencers.

The panel was led by TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden and included the following rockstar marketers:

Dr. Konstanze Alex – Head of Corporate Influencer Relations, Dell

Amisha Gandhi – Vice President, Influencer Marketing, SAP Ariba

Luciana Moran – Senior Vice President, Content & Creative, Dun & Bradstreet

If you’re interested in influencer marketing, then you’re in for a real treat. In this post, I’ll outline some of the best insights for B2B influencer success. But first, let’s look at WHY influencer marketing is a must-have for B2B marketers.

The Current State of B2B Marketing

To open up the discussion, Lee walked the audience through some B2B highlights.

According to CMI and MarketingProfs, 50% of B2B marketers say that producing content consistently is a top challenge. It doesn’t matter if you’re a large organization or small business, the struggle is the same.

One way to increase quality content production is to collaborate with influencers. And, interest in influencer marketing among marketers is currently outpacing trending searches for content, social and email.

Unfortunately, when it comes to implementation of influencer marketing, B2B marketers are still trailing behind their B2C counterparts. Which is why this panel of experts is here to help!

Exploring the Benefits of Collaborating with Influencers

In Luciana’s experience, working with influencers has been instrumental in growing their audience. Even when you’re implementing tactics such as PR, paid and organic content, your reach is only going to get so far.

Additionally, working with influencers can help you build credibility both internally and externally. One of the reasons is because it can help to humanize your brand. Because so much of what we do is digital, influencers can help humanize your marketing.

At Dell, Konstanze and her team have created the B2B Luminaries influencer program. One key factor with Dell’s program is that their B2B buyers are also consumers. So partnering with influencers has proven essential for building trust. Dell focuses on partnering with deep subject matter experts and conducts extensive research to ensure that they’re partnering with the right people.

Amisha and her team at SAP have done a fantastic job of working with influencers that offer different value. They partner with a mix of influencers which includes people who have hyper-relevant expertise, large network size or are effective at building awareness.

Advice for Measuring Influencer Marketing Success

Konnie cautions brands not to focus so much on vanity metrics. Of course, everyone still uses them but it’s really just the tip of the iceberg. We now have more and more data around content engagement but should also begin tracking how are our influencers performing overall and what is considered awareness versus conversion information.

To Amisha, engagement metrics are their top priorities. Additionally, they are effectively tracking downloads, views and shares which allows them to create a complete picture of how the program is performing.

Luciana advises anyone executing influencer marketing to be very clear up-front with the team what the goals are and the impact you expect it to have on the business.

Where Should You Start?

Luciana encourages marketers to start with their regular content roadmaps and then identify areas where you can incorporate influencers. Then determine if it makes sense to partner with an external agency.  You’ll want to start building your influencer program gradually so that you can remain nimble and identify what is working and what isn’t.

Want More Influencer Marketing Advice?

Thank you to Konnie, Amisha, Luciana and Lee for all of the great insights! For more from these great marketers, download our new un-gated eBook: The Business of Influence – Formulas for Success from Top B2B Brands.

Disclosure: SAP and Dell are TopRank Marketing clients.

Digital Marketing News: LinkedIn Gets Events & Objective-Based Ad Features, Growing Nanoinfluencers, & MarTech Trends

2018 November 16 News Buffer Chart Image

We Analyzed 15,000 Instagram Stories from 200 of the World’s Top Brands (New Stories Research)
A new study from social media management platform Buffer takes a close look into Instagram Stories and how 200 leading global brands are utilizing the popular feature. Buffer

[embedded content]

LinkedIn Introduces Public Beta of Objective-Based Advertising in Campaign Manager
LinkedIn has unveiled objective-based advertising for its Campaign Manager, with a slew of features and easier campaign creation functionality. LinkedIn (client)

Are You Ready for the Nanoinfluencers?
The New York Times takes a close look at the increasingly wide scope of nanoinfluencers in the social media and marketing landscape. The New York Times

The Top Factors That Slow B2B Purchases
Data from a recent B2B survey revealed that lack of information was the leading factor slowing down purchases, one of several insights relevant to digital marketers. MarketingProfs

Customer Data Driven B2B Marketing: Designing for 2020 and Beyond
A look at the roles of first and third-party data in making better B2B marketing experiences, plus a glimpse at what may be coming next. MarTech Advisor

Marketing’s next battlefield: Your phone’s camera
An examination of camera marketing and its growing position in the digital marketing landscape. PRWeek

Marketing Technology Trends Survey Summary Report
A look at marketing technology trends, the needs of today’s marketers, some of the challenges being encountered, and how they’re generally being overcome. Ascend2

2018 November 16 Statistics Image

LinkedIn tests feature that lets you create real-world events
LinkedIn (client) has also begun testing new features relating to real-world events, in a move that will bring back a very different experience from the firm’s previous events feature retired in 2012. CNET

WhatsApp ads are coming: Will advertisers start buying?
Facebook’s has announced that it plans to begin offering advertisements on its encrypted messaging app WhatsApp. Marketing Land


2018 November 16 Marketoonist Cartoon

A lighthearted look at math men and data-driven marketing by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist

Facebook Just Filled With Crazy Idiots Now [The Onion] — The Onion


  • Lee Odden — 2018 Blogging Research: How Does Your Blog Compare To The Best — Heidi Cohen
  • Lane R. Ellis — 10 Expert Tips for Finding and Communicating with Your Ideal Customers — Small Business Trends
  • Ashley Zeckman — Takeaways from KFC’s and Wendy’s fan appreciation efforts — Ragan Communications
  • Joshua Nite and Tiffani Allen — Google Flexes Ad Muscles With More Updates for Content Marketers — ClearVoice
  • Lee Odden — Top Trends Awaiting Marketers at the 2019 MarketingProfs B2B Forum — PAN Communications
  • Lane R. Ellis — Advanced Analytics for Facebook, Instagram & Much More – Ep. 43 — Marketing O’Clock
  • Lee Odden — B2B Marketing Books: MarketingProfs B2B Forum Authors — Heidi Cohen
  • DivvyHQ — Celebrating the Best Content Marketing Tools of 2018 — DivvyHQ (client)

Do you have your own favorite influencer marketing news items for the week?

Thank you for joining us, and we hope you’ll return back again next week for a new round-up of the most relevant digital marketing industry news, and in the meantime you can follow us at @toprank on Twitter for even more timely daily news. Also, don’t miss the full video summary on our TopRank Marketing TV YouTube Channel.

YouTube SEO: Top Factors to Invest In – Whiteboard Friday

If you have an audience on YouTube, are you doing everything you can to reach them? Inspired by a large-scale study from Justin Briggs, Rand covers the top factors to invest in when it comes to YouTube SEO in this week’s episode of Whiteboard Friday.

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab!

Video Transcription

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we’re chatting about YouTube SEO. So I was lucky enough to be speaking at the Search Love Conference down in San Diego a little while ago, and Justin Briggs was there presenting on YouTube SEO and on a very large-scale study that he had conducted with I think it was 100,000 different video rankings across YouTube’s search engine as well as looking at the performance of many thousands of channels and individual videos in YouTube.

Justin came up with some fascinating results. I’ve called them out here @JustinBriggs on Twitter, and his website is You can find this study, including an immense amount of data, there. But I thought I would try and sum up some of the most important points that he brought up and some of the conclusions he came to in his research. I do urge you to check out the full study, especially if you’re doing YouTube SEO.

5 crucial elements for video ranking success

So first off, there are some crucial elements for video ranking success. Now video ranking success, what do we mean by that? We mean if you perform a search query in YouTube for a specific keyword, and not necessarily a branded one, what are the things that will come up? So sort of like the same thing we talk about when we talk about Google success ranking factors, these are success factors for YouTube. That doesn’t necessarily mean that these are the things that will get you the most possible views. In fact, some of them work the other way.

1. Video views and watch time

First off, video views and watch time. So it turns out these are both very well correlated and in Justin’s opinion probably causal with higher rankings. So if you have a video and you’re competing against a competitor’s video and you get more views and a greater amount of watch time on average per view — so that’s how many people make it through a greater proportion of the video itself –you tend to do better than your competitors.

2. Keyword matching the searcher’s query in the title

Number two, keyword matching still more important we think on YouTube than it is in classic Google search. That’s not to say it’s not important in classic Google, but that in YouTube it’s even more important. It’s even a bigger factor. Essentially what Justin’s data showed is that exact match keywords, exactly matching the keyword phrase in the video title tended to outperform partial by a little bit, and partial outperformed none or only some by a considerable portion.

So if you’re trying to rank your video for what pandas eat and your video is called “What Pandas Eat,”that’s going to do much better than, for example, “Panda Consumption Habits” or “Panda Food Choices.” So describe your video, name your video in the same way that searchers are searching, and you can get intel into how searchers are using YouTube.

You can also use the data that comes back from Google keyword searches, especially if videos appear at the top of Google keyword searches, that means there’s probably a lot of demand on YouTube as well.

3. Shorter titles (<50 characters) with keyword-rich descriptions

Next up, shorter titles, less than 50 characters, with keyword-rich descriptions between 200 and 350 words tended to perform best in this dataset.

So if you’re looking for guidelines around how big should I make my YouTube title, how big should I make my description, that’s generally probably some best practices. If you leak over a little bit, it’s not a huge deal. The curve doesn’t fall off dramatically. But certainly staying around there is a good idea.

4. Keyword tags

Number four, keyword tags. So YouTube will let you apply keyword tags to a video.

This is something that used to exist in Google SEO decades ago with the meta keywords tag. It still does exist in YouTube. These keyword tags seem to matter a little for rankings, but they seem to matter more for the recommended videos. So those recommended videos are sort of what appear on the right-hand side of the video player if you’re in a desktop view or below the video on a mobile player.

Those recommended videos are also kind of what play when you keep watching a video and it’s what comes up next. So those both figure prominently into earning you more views, which can then help your rankings of course. So using keyword tags in two to three word phrase elements and usually the videos that Justin’s dataset saw performing best were those with 31 to 40 unique tags, which is a pretty hefty number.

That means folks are going through and they’re taking their “What Pandas Eat” and they’re tagging it with pandas, zoo animals, mammals, and they might even be tagging it with marsupials — I think pandas are a marsupial — but those kinds of things. So they’re adding a lot of different tags on there, 31 to 40, and those tended to do the best.

So if you’re worried that adding too many keyword tags can hurt you, maybe it can, but not up until you get to a pretty high limit here.

5. Certain video lengths perform and rank well

Number five, the videos that perform best — I like that this correlates with how Whiteboard Fridays do well as well — 10 to 16 minutes in length tend to do best in the rankings. Under two minutes in length tend to be very disliked by YouTube’s audience. They don’t perform well. Four to six minutes get the most views. So it depends on what you’re optimizing for. At Whiteboard Friday, we’re trying to convey information and make it useful and interesting and valuable. So we would probably try and stick to 10 to 16 minutes. But if we had a promotional video, for example, for a new product that we were launching, we might try and aim for a four to six minute video to get the most views, the most amplification, the most awareness that we possibly could.

3 takeaways of interest

Three other takeaways of interest that I just found potentially valuable.

Older videos do better on average, but new videos get a boost

One is older videos on average tend to do better in the rankings, but new videos get a boost when they initially come out. So in the dataset, Justin created a great graph that looks like this –zero to two weeks after a video is published, two to six weeks, six to twelve weeks, and after a year, and there are a few other ones in here.

But you can see the slope of this curve follows this concept that there’s a fresh boost right here in those first two to six weeks, and it’s strongest in the first zero to two weeks. So if you are publishing regularly and you sort of have that like, “Oh, this video didn’t hit. Let me try again.This video didn’t hit. Oh, this one got it.This nailed what my audience was looking for.This was really powerful.” That seems to do quite well.

Channels help boost their videos

Channels is something Justin looked deeply into. I haven’t covered it much here, but he looked into channel optimization a lot. Channels do help boost their individual videos with things like subscribers who comment and like and have a higher watch time on average than videos that are disconnected from subscribers. He noted that about 1,000 or more subscriptions is a really good target to start to benefit from the metrics that a good subscriber base can bring. These tend to have a positive impact on views and also on rankings. Although whether that’s correlated or merely causal, hard to say.

Embeds and links are correlated, but unsure if causal

Again on the correlation but not causation, embeds and links. So the study looked at the rankings, higher rankings up here and lower rankings down there, versus embeds.

Videos that received more embeds, they were embedded on websites more, did tend to perform better. But through experimentation, we’re not quite clear if we can prove that by embedding a video a lot we can increase its rankings. So it could just be that as something ranks well and gets picked up a lot, many people embed it rather than many embeds lead to better rankings.

All right, everyone, if you’re producing video, which I probably recommend that you do if video is ranking in the SERPs that you care about or if your audience is on YouTube, hopefully this will be helpful, and I urge you to check out Justin’s research. We’ll see you again next week for another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Take care.

Video transcription by