B2B Marketing Subject Matter Experts & Industry Influencers: Which Should I Choose?

Four businesspeople holding question mark signs over their faces image.

Four businesspeople holding question mark signs over their faces image.

What does being an influencer really mean in the B2B world?

The classic B2C influencer is someone with a big following on social media, someone who makes a living doing makeup tutorials or cosplay or skateboarding tricks. Brands who want to reach their audience can simply provide free products or sponsor a post — it’s inherently transactional.

But for B2B, the question is a little trickier. B2B influencers are very rarely celebrities with millions of followers. For example, given enough time and money, you could get Taylor Swift to endorse your hybrid cloud solution. But would her endorsement really persuade your audience?

You can’t judge influence in B2B by follower counts alone. There are multiple ways that people can be influential in the B2B space. Which type of influencer your project needs will vary depending on your goals.

Let’s take a look at two different types of B2B influencer: The Subject Matter Expert and the Industry Influencer.

Subject Matter Experts Vs. Industry Influencers for B2B Marketing

Which is better for your project: A thousand impressions or a single multi-million-dollar click? There’s no right answer for every situation, of course, and the answer may very well be “both.” But the point is to ask the question when your project is in the planning stages.

We can start by defining each of these influencer types, and then we can dig into how to choose the right influencers for your content.

Who Is a Subject Matter Expert?

A subject matter expert (SME) could mean anyone who knows a lot about one particular subject. In influencer marketing, though, it means something slightly different: It’s someone who has that knowledge, and may be influential in business circles, but also has a small social media footprint.

SMEs can include practitioners in a particular field, executives of successful businesses in your target industry, or even your own employees. They may not have the reach of an industry influencer, but they do have knowledge that your target audience will find valuable. What’s more, they’re a credible source, because they’re right down in the trenches with your audience.

The challenge of working with an SME for creating content is that they may not be used to speaking to an audience. While an industry influencer can whip up a 500-word blog post in their sleep, an SME will take more time and encouragement before they’re ready to contribute.

If your goal is to maximize awareness with top-of-funnel content, you wouldn’t go with SMEs exclusively. For content further down the funnel, with a highly-targeted audience, however, the more SME content, the better.

Who Is an Industry Influencer?

Let me say, first, that an industry influencer is no less knowledgeable than an SME. But the work of an industry influencer includes building an audience and actively pursuing thought leadership status. They’re keynote speakers, authors, and podcast hosts. They are more likely to be analysts and consultants than active practitioners.

There are several advantages to working with industry influencers, beyond the obvious broader reach: They already know how to quickly create content and package it for their audience. They know the value of self-promotion and can see when it’s mutually beneficial to create content with your brand. And they can have a broader perspective of the industry, gleaned from analyzing trends and/or consulting with multiple businesses.

Industry influencers are perfect for top and middle-funnel content. But they are less likely to get into the specifics of day-to-day operations, while an SME would be equipped to give those practical details that make lower-funnel content work.

What Type of Influence Does Your B2B Marketing Need?

Which influencer is right for you? As I said, you might want more SMEs in a lower-funnel piece and more industry influencers in top-of-funnel content. But really, the answer is that a healthy mix of influencers tends to get the best results.

Industry influencers bring reach, polish and thought leadership. SMEs bring a practitioner’s experience and credibility. The two can complement each other to make your content irresistible to your audience.

For example, our client monday.com created content with SMEs and industry influencers for their remote work campaign. By combining the strengths of different types of influence, the campaign achieved 1,790% of its projected goal for social reach.

Create an Influencer Community

Here’s one more way that B2B influencer marketing is different from B2C. While B2C agreements tend to be one-off and transactional, B2B influence is about building relationships and forming a community. Instead of contracting with an influencer for a single project, it’s important to keep in contact. Make sure your influencers know each other and facilitate conversations. Help them network, teach, and learn from each other.

When you take an always-on approach to influencer marketing, you can create a trusted group of go-to experts, folks who are loyal to your brand and ready to collaborate on an ongoing basis.

And that’s far more valuable than a Taylor Swift retweet.

What’s working, what isn’t, and what’s next for B2B influencer marketing? Find out what your peers had to say in our 2020 State of B2B Influencer Marketing report.

The post B2B Marketing Subject Matter Experts & Industry Influencers: Which Should I Choose? appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.


Source: SEO blog

B2B Marketing Subject Matter Experts & Industry Influencers: Which Should I Choose?

Four businesspeople holding question mark signs over their faces image.

What does being an influencer really mean in the B2B world?

The classic B2C influencer is someone with a big following on social media, someone who makes a living doing makeup tutorials or cosplay or skateboarding tricks. Brands who want to reach their audience can simply provide free products or sponsor a post — it’s inherently transactional.

But for B2B, the question is a little trickier. B2B influencers are very rarely celebrities with millions of followers. For example, given enough time and money, you could get Taylor Swift to endorse your hybrid cloud solution. But would her endorsement really persuade your audience?

You can’t judge influence in B2B by follower counts alone. There are multiple ways that people can be influential in the B2B space. Which type of influencer your project needs will vary depending on your goals.

Let’s take a look at two different types of B2B influencer: The Subject Matter Expert and the Industry Influencer.

Subject Matter Experts Vs. Industry Influencers for B2B Marketing

Which is better for your project: A thousand impressions or a single multi-million-dollar click? There’s no right answer for every situation, of course, and the answer may very well be “both.” But the point is to ask the question when your project is in the planning stages.

We can start by defining each of these influencer types, and then we can dig into how to choose the right influencers for your content.

Who Is a Subject Matter Expert?

A subject matter expert (SME) could mean anyone who knows a lot about one particular subject. In influencer marketing, though, it means something slightly different: It’s someone who has that knowledge, and may be influential in business circles, but also has a small social media footprint.

SMEs can include practitioners in a particular field, executives of successful businesses in your target industry, or even your own employees. They may not have the reach of an industry influencer, but they do have knowledge that your target audience will find valuable. What’s more, they’re a credible source, because they’re right down in the trenches with your audience.

The challenge of working with an SME for creating content is that they may not be used to speaking to an audience. While an industry influencer can whip up a 500-word blog post in their sleep, an SME will take more time and encouragement before they’re ready to contribute.

If your goal is to maximize awareness with top-of-funnel content, you wouldn’t go with SMEs exclusively. For content further down the funnel, with a highly-targeted audience, however, the more SME content, the better.

Who Is an Industry Influencer?

Let me say, first, that an industry influencer is no less knowledgeable than an SME. But the work of an industry influencer includes building an audience and actively pursuing thought leadership status. They’re keynote speakers, authors, and podcast hosts. They are more likely to be analysts and consultants than active practitioners.

There are several advantages to working with industry influencers, beyond the obvious broader reach: They already know how to quickly create content and package it for their audience. They know the value of self-promotion and can see when it’s mutually beneficial to create content with your brand. And they can have a broader perspective of the industry, gleaned from analyzing trends and/or consulting with multiple businesses.

Industry influencers are perfect for top and middle-funnel content. But they are less likely to get into the specifics of day-to-day operations, while an SME would be equipped to give those practical details that make lower-funnel content work.

What Type of Influence Does Your B2B Marketing Need?

Which influencer is right for you? As I said, you might want more SMEs in a lower-funnel piece and more industry influencers in top-of-funnel content. But really, the answer is that a healthy mix of influencers tends to get the best results.

Industry influencers bring reach, polish and thought leadership. SMEs bring a practitioner’s experience and credibility. The two can complement each other to make your content irresistible to your audience.

For example, our client monday.com created content with SMEs and industry influencers for their remote work campaign. By combining the strengths of different types of influence, the campaign achieved 1,790% of its projected goal for social reach.

Create an Influencer Community

Here’s one more way that B2B influencer marketing is different from B2C. While B2C agreements tend to be one-off and transactional, B2B influence is about building relationships and forming a community. Instead of contracting with an influencer for a single project, it’s important to keep in contact. Make sure your influencers know each other and facilitate conversations. Help them network, teach, and learn from each other.

When you take an always-on approach to influencer marketing, you can create a trusted group of go-to experts, folks who are loyal to your brand and ready to collaborate on an ongoing basis.

And that’s far more valuable than a Taylor Swift retweet.

What’s working, what isn’t, and what’s next for B2B influencer marketing? Find out what your peers had to say in our 2020 State of B2B Influencer Marketing report.

Page Authority 2.0 Is Coming This Month: What’s Changing and Why

Hey folks,

I’m Russ Jones, Adjunct Search Scientist with Moz, and I’m proud to announce that this month we’ll be releasing a terrific update to our metric, Page Authority (PA).

Although Page Authority hasn’t attracted the same attention as its sibling metric Domain Authority, PA has always correlated with SERPs much better than DA, serving as a strong predictor of ranking. While PA has always fluctuated with changes in the link graph, we’re introducing a whole new method of deriving the score.

Learn More About Page Authority 2.0

What’s changing

Long gone are the days of just counting backlinks a couple of ways and hoping they correlate well with SERPs. As Moz tends to do, we’re pioneering a new manner of calculating Page Authority to produce superior results. Here are some of the ways we’re changing things up:

The training set

In the past, we used SERPs alone to train the Page Authority model. While this method was simple and direct, it left much to be desired. Our first step in addressing the new Page Authority is redefining the training set altogether.

Instead of modeling Page Authority based on one page’s ability to outrank another page, we now train based on the cumulative value of a page based on a number of metrics including search traffic and CPC. While this is a bit of an oversimplification of what’s going on, this methodology allows us to better compare pages that don’t appear in the SERPs together.

For example, imagine Page A is on one topic and Page B is on another topic. Historically, our model wouldn’t get to compare these two pages because they never appear on the same SERP. This new methodology provides an abstract value to each page, such that they can be compared with any other page by the machine-learned model.

The re-training set

One of the biggest problems in building metrics is not what the models see, but what the models don’t see.

Think about this for a minute: what types of URLs don’t show up in the SERPs that the model will use to produce Page Authority? Well, for starters, there won’t be many images or other binary files. There also won’t be penalized pages. In order to address this problem, we now use a common solution of running the model, identifying outliers (high PA URLs which do not in fact have any search value), and then feeding those URLs back into the training set. We can then re-run the model such that it learns from its own mistakes. This can be repeated as many times as is necessary to reduce the number of outliers.

Ripping off the Band-Aid

Moz is always cognizant of the impact the changes to our metrics might have on our customers. There is a trade-off between continuity and accuracy. With Page Authority, we’re focusing on accuracy. This may cause larger-than-normal shifts in your Page Authority, so it’s more important than ever to think about Page Authority with respect to your competitors, not as a standalone number.

What actions should we take?

Communicate with stakeholders, team members, and clients about the update

Just like our upgrade to Domain Authority, some users will likely be surprised by changes in their PA. Make sure they understand that the new PA will be more accurate (and more useful!) and that the most important measurement is relative to their competitors. We won’t release a Page Authority which isn’t better than the previous version, so even if the results are disappointing, understand that you now have better insight than ever before into the performance of your pages in the SERPs.

Use PA as a relative metric, like DA

Page Authority is intrinsically comparative. A PA of 70 means nothing unless you know the PA of your competitors. It could be high enough to allow you to rank for every keyword you like, or it could be terribly low because your competitors are Wikipedia and Quora. The first thing you should do when analyzing the Page Authority of any URL is set it in the proper context of its competitor’s URLs.

Expect PA to keep pace with Google

Just as we announced with Domain Authority, we’re not going to launch the new PA and just let it go. Our intent is to continue to improve upon the model as we discover new and better features and models. This volatility will mostly affect pages with unnatural link profiles, but we would rather stay up-to-date with Google’s algorithms even if it means a bit of a bumpy ride.

When is it launching?

We’ll be rolling out the new Page Authority on September 30, 2020. Between now and then, we encourage you to explore our resources to help you prepare and facilitate conversations with clients and team members. Following the launch of the new PA, I’ll also be hosting a webinar on October 15 to discuss how to leverage the metric. We’re so excited about the new and improved PA and hope you’re looking forward to this update too.

If you have any questions, please comment below, reach out to me on Twitter @rjonesx, or email me at russ@moz.com.

To get prepared and learn more about the upcoming change to Page Authority, be sure to dig into our helpful resources:

Visit the PA Resource Center