B2B Marketing News: B2B Content Gating Study, Social Ad Spend Soars, Facebook’s New Playable Ads, & New B2B Marketer Pandemic Response Insights

2020 October 30 McKinsey Chart

2020 October 30 McKinsey Chart

Do Most B2B Marketers Gate Content? [Study]
64 percent of B2B marketers utilize gated content to obtain prospect and customer information, with some 5 percent always gating their content and 34 percent sometimes using gating, according to recently-released survey data of interest to digital marketers. MarketingProfs

Global social media ad spend jumps 56.4% in Q3
Social media advertising spending climbed 56.4 percent globally during the third quarter, while in North America the increase was even greater at 61.7 percent, and video content longer than five minutes saw 70.4 percent greater reach than that having shorter durations, according to recently-release report data. The Drum

LinkedIn Up to 722 Million Members, Continues to See ‘Record Levels of Engagement’
LinkedIn saw a 31 percent increase in sessions during the most recent quarter, accompanied by a 16 percent growth in revenue year-over-year led by LinkedIn Marketing Solutions (client), while the Microsoft-owned platform’s 722 million users achieved record levels of engagement, the firm recently reported . Social Media Today

YouTube revamps its mobile app with new gestures, video chapter lists and more
YouTube has rolled out new mobile app gestures for additional video chapter control, while also making its captioning features more accessible, along with other features including a nighttime reminder function, the Google-owned platform recently announced. TechCrunch

Facebook Steps Into Cloud Gaming With Playable Ads
Facebook has given a limited roll out to playable ads for the platforms cloud-streamed gaming feature, offering a glimpse of the type of spots that will increasingly blur the lines between ad and game, the social media giant recently announced. MediaPost

CX: What’s Next? Brands Forced To Respond To Changing Customer Patterns
13 percent of businesses plan to invest in social listening or media monitoring tools for customer experience (CX) in 2021, while 79 percent of CX leaders say that the global health crisis has caused an increase in brand digital interactions — two of several statistics of interest to online marketers contained in recently-released survey data. MediaPost

2020 October 30 Statistics Image

400,000 Articles Analyzed: Here’s What We Learned About Content Engagement
Content that resonates well and drives engagement on one social media platform may perform poorly on another, especially when the two are Facebook and Twitter, according to newly-released survey data gathered from some 400,000 pieces of content analyzed by BuzzSumo. BuzzSumo

Deloitte’s 7 marketing trends for 2021 include agile, digital transformation
Uncertainty caused by the pandemic has played a part in a significant drop in confidence among corporate executives, according to Deloitte’s new Global Marketing Trends 2021 report, surveying over 400 global CMOs and other executives. Among the trends the report highlights are greater brand purpose, agile marketing strategies, and more authentic connections. MarTech Today

Where Are Marketers Struggling with Lead Conversion?
43 percent of marketing and sales professionals at B2B and B2C firms say that they have experienced difficulty collecting enough lead data, and 41 percent find lead follow-up problematic — two insights from recently-released survey data of interest to digital marketers. Marketing Charts

Survey: US B2B decision-maker response to COVID-19 crisis
More than 90 percent of B2B decision makers believe the uptick in remote and digital experiences brought about by the pandemic will endure once the global health crisis subsides, while less than 30 percent of B2B buyers say that they would prefer a return to in-person sales interactions in post-pandemic times — two of several statistics of interest to digital marketers in newly-released survey data. McKinsey

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

2020 October 30 Marketoonist Comic

A lighthearted look at “changing customer needs” by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist

Confused Army Corp Of Engineers Trying To Find Out What Big Blue Cable Connected To Country Does — The Onion

TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:

  • TopRank Marketing — Top 20 Digital Marketing Blogs and Their Specialties — Rank Company
  • Lee Odden — Devising Influencer Marketing Campaigns — Evans on Marketing

Have you found your own top B2B marketing stories from the past week of industry news? Please let us know in the comments below.

Thank you for joining us for our weekly B2B marketing news, and we hope you will return again next Friday for another look at the most relevant B2B and digital marketing industry news. In the meantime, you can follow us at @toprank on Twitter for even more timely daily news.

The post B2B Marketing News: B2B Content Gating Study, Social Ad Spend Soars, Facebook’s New Playable Ads, & New B2B Marketer Pandemic Response Insights appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.


Source: SEO blog

B2B Marketing News: B2B Content Gating Study, Social Ad Spend Soars, Facebook’s New Playable Ads, & New B2B Marketer Pandemic Response Insights

2020 October 30 McKinsey Chart

Do Most B2B Marketers Gate Content? [Study]
64 percent of B2B marketers utilize gated content to obtain prospect and customer information, with some 5 percent always gating their content and 34 percent sometimes using gating, according to recently-released survey data of interest to digital marketers. MarketingProfs

Global social media ad spend jumps 56.4% in Q3
Social media advertising spending climbed 56.4 percent globally during the third quarter, while in North America the increase was even greater at 61.7 percent, and video content longer than five minutes saw 70.4 percent greater reach than that having shorter durations, according to recently-release report data. The Drum

LinkedIn Up to 722 Million Members, Continues to See ‘Record Levels of Engagement’
LinkedIn saw a 31 percent increase in sessions during the most recent quarter, accompanied by a 16 percent growth in revenue year-over-year led by LinkedIn Marketing Solutions (client), while the Microsoft-owned platform’s 722 million users achieved record levels of engagement, the firm recently reported . Social Media Today

YouTube revamps its mobile app with new gestures, video chapter lists and more
YouTube has rolled out new mobile app gestures for additional video chapter control, while also making its captioning features more accessible, along with other features including a nighttime reminder function, the Google-owned platform recently announced. TechCrunch

Facebook Steps Into Cloud Gaming With Playable Ads
Facebook has given a limited roll out to playable ads for the platforms cloud-streamed gaming feature, offering a glimpse of the type of spots that will increasingly blur the lines between ad and game, the social media giant recently announced. MediaPost

CX: What’s Next? Brands Forced To Respond To Changing Customer Patterns
13 percent of businesses plan to invest in social listening or media monitoring tools for customer experience (CX) in 2021, while 79 percent of CX leaders say that the global health crisis has caused an increase in brand digital interactions — two of several statistics of interest to online marketers contained in recently-released survey data. MediaPost

2020 October 30 Statistics Image

400,000 Articles Analyzed: Here’s What We Learned About Content Engagement
Content that resonates well and drives engagement on one social media platform may perform poorly on another, especially when the two are Facebook and Twitter, according to newly-released survey data gathered from some 400,000 pieces of content analyzed by BuzzSumo. BuzzSumo

Deloitte’s 7 marketing trends for 2021 include agile, digital transformation
Uncertainty caused by the pandemic has played a part in a significant drop in confidence among corporate executives, according to Deloitte’s new Global Marketing Trends 2021 report, surveying over 400 global CMOs and other executives. Among the trends the report highlights are greater brand purpose, agile marketing strategies, and more authentic connections. MarTech Today

Where Are Marketers Struggling with Lead Conversion?
43 percent of marketing and sales professionals at B2B and B2C firms say that they have experienced difficulty collecting enough lead data, and 41 percent find lead follow-up problematic — two insights from recently-released survey data of interest to digital marketers. Marketing Charts

Survey: US B2B decision-maker response to COVID-19 crisis
More than 90 percent of B2B decision makers believe the uptick in remote and digital experiences brought about by the pandemic will endure once the global health crisis subsides, while less than 30 percent of B2B buyers say that they would prefer a return to in-person sales interactions in post-pandemic times — two of several statistics of interest to digital marketers in newly-released survey data. McKinsey

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

2020 October 30 Marketoonist Comic

A lighthearted look at “changing customer needs” by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist

Confused Army Corp Of Engineers Trying To Find Out What Big Blue Cable Connected To Country Does — The Onion

TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:

  • TopRank Marketing — Top 20 Digital Marketing Blogs and Their Specialties — Rank Company
  • Lee Odden — Devising Influencer Marketing Campaigns — Evans on Marketing

Have you found your own top B2B marketing stories from the past week of industry news? Please let us know in the comments below.

Thank you for joining us for our weekly B2B marketing news, and we hope you will return again next Friday for another look at the most relevant B2B and digital marketing industry news. In the meantime, you can follow us at @toprank on Twitter for even more timely daily news.

Sustainable Link Building: Increasing Your Chances of Getting Links — Best of Whiteboard Friday

Link building campaigns shouldn’t have a start-and-stop date — they should be ongoing, continuing to earn you links over time. In this informative and enduringly relevant 2018 edition of Whiteboard Friday, guest host Paddy Moogan shares strategies to achieve sustainable link building, the kind that makes your content efforts lucrative far beyond your initial campaigns for them.

Sustainable Link Building: Increasing Your Chances of Getting Links

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

Video Transcription

Hi, Moz fans. Welcome to Whiteboard Friday. I’m not Rand. I’m Paddy Moogan. I’m the cofounder of Aira. We’re an agency in the UK, focusing on SEO, link building, and content marketing. You may have seen me write on the Moz Blog before, usually about link building. You may have read my link building book. If you have, thank you. Today, I’m going to talk about link building again. It’s a topic I love, and I want to share some ideas around what I’m calling “sustainable link building.”

Problems

Now, there are a few problems with link building that make it quite risky, and I want to talk about some problems first before giving you some potential solutions that help make your link building less risky. So a few problems first:

I. Content-driven link building is risky.

The problem with content-driven link building is that you’re producing some content and you don’t really know if it’s going to work or not. It’s quite risky, and you don’t actually know for sure that you’re going to get links.

II. A great content idea may not be a great content idea that gets links.

There’s a massive difference between a great idea for content and a great idea that will get links. Knowing that difference is really, really important. So we’re going to talk a little bit about how we can work that out.

III. It’s a big investment of time and budget.

Producing content, particularly visual content, doing design and development takes time. It can take freelancers. It can take designers and developers. So it’s a big investment of time and budget. If you’re going to put time and budget into a marketing campaign, you want to know it’s probably going to work and not be too risky.

IV. Think of link building as campaign-led: it starts & stops.

So you do a link building campaign, and then you stop and start a new one. I want to get away from that idea. I want to talk about the idea of treating link building as the ongoing activity and not treating it as a campaign that has a start date and a finish date and you forget about it and move on to the next one. So I’m going to talk a little bit about that as well.

Solutions

So those are some of the problems that we’ve got with content-driven link-building. I want to talk about some solutions of how to offset the risk of content-driven link building and how to increase the chances that you’re actually going to get links and your campaign isn’t going to fail and not work out for you.

I. Don’t tie content to specific dates or events

So the first one, now, when you coming up with content ideas, it’s really easy to tie content ideas into events or days of the year. If there are things going on in your client’s industry that are quite important, current festivals and things like that, it’s a great way of hooking a piece of content into an event. Now, the problem with that is if you produce a piece of content around a certain date and then that date passes and the content hasn’t worked, then you’re kind of stuck with a piece of content that is no longer relevant.

So an example here of what we’ve done at Aira, there’s a client where they launch a piece of content around the Internet of Things Day. It turns out there’s a day celebrating the Internet of Things, which is actually April 9th this year. Now, we produced a piece of content for them around the Internet of Things and its growth in the world and the impact it’s having on the world. But importantly, we didn’t tie it exactly to that date. So the piece itself didn’t mention the date, but we launched it around that time and that outreach talked about Internet of Things Day. So the outreach focused on the date and the event, but the content piece itself didn’t. What that meant was, after July 9th, we could still promote that piece of content because it was still relevant. It wasn’t tied in with that exact date.

So it means that we’re not gambling on a specific event or a specific date. If we get to July 9th and we’ve got no links, it obviously matters, but we can keep going. We can keep pushing that piece of content. So, by all means, produce content tied into dates and events, but try not to include that too much in the content piece itself and tie yourself to it.

II. Look for datasets which give you multiple angles for outreach

Number two, lots of content ideas can lead from data. So you can get a dataset and produce content ideas off the back of the data, but produce angles and stories using data. Now, that can be quite risky because you don’t always know if data is going to give you a story or an angle until you’ve gone into it. So something we try and do at Aira when trying to produce content around data is from actually different angles you can use from that data.

So, for example:

  • Locations. Can you pitch a piece of content into different locations throughout the US or the UK so you can go after the local newspapers, local magazines for different areas of the country using different data points?
  • Demographics. Can you target different demographics? Can you target females, males, young people, old people? Can you slice the data in different ways to approach different demographics, which will give you multiple ways of actually outreaching that content?
  • Years. Is it updated every year? So it’s 2018 at the moment. Is there a piece of data that will be updated in 2019? If there is and it’s like a recurring annual thing where the data is updated, you can redo the content next year. So you can launch a piece of content now. When the data gets updated next year, plug the new data into it and relaunch it. So you’re not having to rebuild a piece of a content every single time. You can use old content and then update the data afterwards.

III. Build up a bank of link-worthy content

Number three, now this is something which is working really, really well for us at the moment, something I wanted to share with you. This comes back to the idea of not treating link building as a start and stop campaign. You need to build up a bank of link-worthy content on your client websites or on your own websites. Try and build up content that’s link worthy and not just have content as a one-off piece of work. What you can do with that is outreach over and over and over again.

We tend to think of the content process as something like this. You come up with your ideas. You do the design, then you do the outreach, and then you stop. In reality, what you should be doing is actually going back to the start and redoing this over and over again for the same piece of content.

What you end up with is multiple pieces of content on your client’s website that are all getting links consistently. You’re not just focusing on one, then moving past it, and then working on the next one. You can have this nice big bank of content there getting links for you all the time, rather than forgetting about it and moving on to the next one.

IV. Learn what content formats work for you

Number four, again, this is something that’s worked really well for us recently. Because we’re an agency, we work with lots of different clients, different industries and produce lots and lots of content, what we’ve done recently is try to work out what content formats are working the best for us. Which formats get the best results for our clients? The way we did this was a very, very simple chart showing how easy something was versus how hard it was, and then wherever it was a fail in terms of the links and the coverage, or wherever it was a really big win in terms of links and coverage and traffic for the client.

Now, what you may find when you do this is certain content formats fit within this grid. So, for example, you may find that doing data viz is actually really, really hard, but it gets you lots and lots of links, whereas you might find that producing maps and visuals around that kind of data is actually really hard but isn’t very successful.

Identifying these content formats and knowing what works and doesn’t work can then feed into your future content campaign. So when you’re working for a client, you can confidently say, “Well, actually, we know that interactives aren’t too difficult for us to build because we’ve got a good dev team, and they really likely to get links because we’ve done loads of them before and actually seen lots of successes from them.” Whereas if you come up with an idea for a map that you know is actually really, really hard to do and actually might lead to a big fail, then that’s not going to be so good, but you can say to a client, “Look, from our experience, we can see maps don’t work very well. So let’s try and do something else.”

That’s it in terms of tips and solutions for trying to make your link building more sustainable. I’d love to hear your comments and your feedback below. So if you’ve got any questions, anything you’re not sure about, let me know. If you see it’s working for your clients or not working, I’d love to hear that as well. Thank you.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

10 Horrifying Marketing Fears & How To Turn Them Into 2021 Successes

Man cowering in fear behind a blanket.

Man cowering in fear behind a blanket.

What are your most daunting and horrifying marketing fears?

Have you confronted them, or are they still lurking in the dark corners of your marketing mind?

The uncertainty of the pandemic has given rise to new fears for many, and brought out long-recessed ones for others.

Luckily with all of these fears come new opportunities for tackling them, learning more about ourselves, and perhaps even becoming better marketers in the process.

Let’s take a look at some of the top fears in marketing, including examples from some of our own team, and explore how you can take action to conquer your greatest marketing fears and turn them into 2021 successes.

1 — Fear of Boring and Losing Your Audience

via GIPHY

A top fear shared by many marketers is undoubtedly creating content that does nothing but bore your audience.

Especially among B2B marketers, the fear of producing dull and dry content is a valid concern, where many worry about how to bring life and energy to the latest whitepaper data or statistics.

Thankfully, the B2B marketing industry has undergone a significant sea change in recent times, as methods for infusing interactive and experiential elements, genuinely interesting storytelling, and the trustworthiness of expert industry influencers have proliferated — all methods you can incorporate into your own efforts to ditch the legacy of dusty old boring B2B.

Over the years we’ve written many articles about how B2B marketers can bring energy, inspiration, and genuine excitement to digital efforts, and here are just a few to help you overcome the fear of creating boring B2B content:

[bctt tweet=”“B2B marketing has undergone a sea change in recent times, as methods for infusing interactive and experiential elements, storytelling, and the trustworthiness of expert industry influencers have proliferated.” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis” username=”toprank”]

2 — Fear of Not Doing Enough & Being Unmotivated

As Tim Herrera, smarter living editor at The New York Times recently wrote in the piece “7 Months Into the Pandemic and I’m Losing Motivation. Help!”, now isn’t the time to pretend we’re living in normal times.

“Accepting that it’s OK to not feel as inspired as you did a year ago can help us adjust to this new way of life,” Herrera suggested.

Anxiety and stress can take a huge toll on productivity, so it’s important for marketers to reassess — daily or even hourly — just what progress and personal success are during a lengthy pandemic, and to define them in more forgiving and graceful ways during the pandemic.

During the pandemic some 23 percent of people across the world have turned to online communities for stress management, according to Facebook’s recently-released “Connected Convenience: How People Are Finding And Fostering Togetherness Online” report, which for marketers has given rise to newfound digital connection opportunities to reach audiences.

The fear of facing lost motivation and the decreased productivity that often follows is a significant challenge, however there are ways to start turning the table on them.

We should remind ourselves that we’re in the midst of a pandemic, and that simply making it through a day can in its own way be the biggest victory we can hope for.

It can also be helpful to take stock of anything extra beyond the bare minimum that we’ve been able to accomplish during the day — even if it’s just one small task — to remind ourselves that we not only have the power to push on and survive the daily challenges of the global health crisis, but also the ability to perform in ways that may surprise us if we take the time to seek out and acknowledge them.

B2B marketers are a busy bunch, and while having a chock full or overbooked schedule can in some ways help us make it through the next day, it’s important to take care of our own needs — whether by boosting happiness hormones or through other methods — and to work in time for reflection, physical and creative activities, and other self-care elements that will help avoid marketing burnout as time passes.

[bctt tweet=”“It’s important to take care of our own needs and work in time for reflection, physical and creative activities, and other self-care elements to help avoid marketing burnout as time passes.” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis” username=”toprank”]

3 — Fear of Uncertainty

via GIPHY

During the pandemic the fear of uncertainty has affected us all. Most marketers are still dealing with the upheaval of remote work, and the uncertainty surrounding a future that remains more of a mystery than anyone would like can at times feel overwhelming.

This fear of uncertainty has played a part in a significant drop in confidence among corporate executives, according to Deloitte’s new Global Marketing Trends 2021 report, surveying over 400 global CMOs and other executives. From CEOs and CIOs to COOs and CMOs, confidence has understandably fallen during the pandemic.

Deloitte Image

Marketing activities that boost trust can help overcome the confidence debt that has risen during the pandemic, such as those our CEO Lee Odden recently explored in “In Search of Trust: How Authentic Content Drives Customer Experience.”

To help face some of the fears surrounding remote work, we’ve also written several articles to assist you in turning those remote work challenges into newfound advantages, including my own “Day 4,777: Remote Work Tips From 13+ Years As A Distance Marketer.” Here are the others:

[bctt tweet=”“Marketing activities that boost trust can help overcome the confidence debt that has risen during the pandemic.” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis” username=”toprank”]

4 — Fear of Giving Away Your Secret Sauce Recipe

It’s not uncommon in the marketing world to face the fear of divulging what may appear to be too much information — to the point where you might think a client would simply be able to take your secret sauce recipe and create the same type of success that you have.

One of the greatest elements in both content marketing and B2B influencer marketing, however, is the expectation and respect of freely sharing helpful information.

Content marketing has been built on a foundation of giving away helpful information — whether in the form of writing or visual elements — which has undoubtedly been a primary reason why it’s become such a popular and successful method marketers use to connect with people.

B2B influencer marketing similarly counts among its core values the free exchange of expert insight and advice, which has likely contributed to a rise in the use of B2B influencer marketing among top brands, such as with our own clients Adobe, LinkedIn, AT&T, Dell, Oracle, and other top organizations.

Face the fear of giving away your secret sauce recipe by learning more about content marketing  — we have you covered with the following recent articles about the practice, and for learning more about the power of B2B influencer marketing a great starting point is our groundbreaking and authoritative 45-plus page 2020 State of B2B Influencer Marketing Research Report.

[bctt tweet=”“One of the greatest elements in both content marketing and B2B influencer marketing is the expectation and respect of freely sharing helpful information.” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis” username=”toprank”]

5 — Fear of Oversharing or Under-Sharing

via GIPHY

I must be sharing too much content too often? But what if I’m not sharing nearly enough to be effective…

These common fears arise when marketers haven’t conducted tests to determine the sharing cadence that works best among a particular audience or on a specific social platform.

Although it can take time to fine-tune your social media sharing frequency, finding the cadence that best resonates with with your audience is well worth it to not only attract new followers but also keep existing fans.

In our informal poll asking B2B marketers their primary reason for unfollowing a brand, sharing too much content and irrelevant content were the top reasons aside from poor quality content.

LinkedIn Poll

Each year firms produce reports based on the examination of social publishing data in an attempt to pinpoint the top times to publish on various platforms, such as Sprout Social’s “How COVID-19 Has Changed Social Media Engagement,” and Hootsuite’s “The Best Time to Post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.” This data can be helpful in developing your own plan, however it should be considered a starting off point rather than social posting gospel.

[bctt tweet=”“Finding the social publishing cadence that best resonates with with your audience is well worth it to not only attract new followers but also keep existing fans.” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis” username=”toprank”]

6 — Fear of Messaging That Appears Too Old or Too Young

Aside from our physical age, the messaging we create can be constructed in a vast range of tones, with only certain ones ringing true with your intended audience.

Many marketers are afraid of crafting messaging that goes too far in either direction — appearing to be made for much older audiences than intended, or taking on tones that make the content skew far too young.

You can help overcome this fear by learning more about your audience — who are they, what questions are they asking, and what tone will work the best when communicating with them?

Our “10 Smart Question Research Tools for B2B Marketers” shares many tools B2B marketers can use to uncover the questions people are asking, while our “5 Essential Questions to Guide Your B2B Influencer Marketing Strategy” explores how B2B influencer marketing can help connect with audiences, and in “Your B2B Marketing Book of Life: 10 Inspiring B2B Marketing Tips From Family History,” we take a family history themed look at getting to know your particular marketing audience.

7 — Fear of Aiming For the Stars

I can’t compete with that — it won top honors at Cannes!

The fear of aiming too high is another common one among marketers, as it can be daunting to contemplate going head to head with the very best marketing efforts the world has to offer.

Looking at examples of award-winning efforts, however, is a great way to help you dream big and see how brands are making their marketing dreams come true. Breaking down award-winning examples into bite-sized chunks — from start to finish — can help us see that even the greatest digital campaigns were formed by perfectly piecing together small elements that all work together in harmony.

In the following articles we’ve explored some top examples to help you conquer your fear of reaching for the marketing stars:

[bctt tweet=”“Even the greatest digital marketing campaigns were formed by perfectly piecing together small elements that all work together in harmony.” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis” username=”toprank”]

8 — Fear of Missing Deadlines

I need to put in a twenty hour day to be absolutely certain this project meets the deadline!”

The fear of being unable to meet deadlines can be daunting for many marketers, but doesn’t have to rule your professional life if you put your projects in order and implement scheduling touch points that keep things on track through the process, so those last minute surprises are few and far between.

Getting into good deadline scheduling habits that include plenty of built-in time for leeway needed to ward off last-minute chaos is well worth the effort.

Here are several articles we’ve written that will help overcome those efficiency and time management fears:

[bctt tweet=”“Getting into good deadline scheduling habits that include plenty of built-in time for leeway needed to ward off last-minute chaos is well worth the effort.” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis” username=”toprank”]

9 — Fear of Presenting New Ideas

Even if you never miss a deadline, many marketers face another fear that arises when plans abound and suggestions are plentiful — the fear of presenting new ideas.

Our own influencer marketing strategist Nic Michael has several tactics for facing and overcoming this widespread fear.

“One of my biggest marketing fears is presenting new ideas,” Nic shared.

“Whether an influencer list or a creative execution, I always fear that my client stakeholders will hate what I have done. Over time, I have realized that coming in with strategic thinking, enthusiasm, and confidence, makes presenting a much less stressful situation than it plays out in your head,” Nic observed.

Our own vice president of client accounts Alexis Hall takes a look at these and other methods for better marketing presentations in “How to Power Marketing Presentations With Data Visualization & Win Over Your Audience,” including helpful tips to overcome even the strongest fear of sharing new ideas.

10 — Fear of Missing New Industry Trends

Plenty of marketers also fear missing out on new industry trends, as keeping up with the swift twists and turns of today’s marketing scene — with mile-a-minute product launches, ever-new platforms, feature changes and additions — is not an easy task.

It can be done, however, as our director of search and analytics Seth Epstein explained.

“For a long time I was fearful that I wouldn’t be able to stay up to date on everything I need to know to be relevant as a marketer,” Seth said.

“To overcome that, I’ve learned to focus on business goals and on understanding who potential customers are and what they want. Testing new strategies and tactics, and keeping up with trends becomes easier — and fun — when you’ve got confidence in your marketing foundations,” Seth observed.

One way to keep up on the latest B2B marketing industry trends is by following blogs such as our own, and by keeping up with our B2B Marketing News, which publishes every Friday.

Don’t Look Back At Your Marketing Fears

via GIPHY

Whether it’s the fears we’ve explored here or some of the many more marketers are facing today more than ever because of the pandemic, it’s important to move forward and not look back — like Count Orlok in F.W. Murnau’s fear-riddled Nosferatu — on the fears we’ve either already overcome or are working to face in our daily lives.

Facing our fears can make us better B2B marketers and in many aspects of our professional and personal lives as well, so I encourage you to use this first-ever Halloween pandemic season to take the methods and suggestions we’ve looked at to heart, and to create your own new form of fearless marketing and living.

Want further help facing your marketing fears? Contact us and find out why brands from SAP, LinkedIn, AT&T Business, and Adobe to IBM, Dell, Cherwell Software, monday.com and more have chosen TopRank Marketing.

The post 10 Horrifying Marketing Fears & How To Turn Them Into 2021 Successes appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.


Source: SEO blog

10 Horrifying Marketing Fears & How To Turn Them Into 2021 Successes

Man cowering in fear behind a blanket.

What are your most daunting and horrifying marketing fears?

Have you confronted them, or are they still lurking in the dark corners of your marketing mind?

The uncertainty of the pandemic has given rise to new fears for many, and brought out long-recessed ones for others.

Luckily with all of these fears come new opportunities for tackling them, learning more about ourselves, and perhaps even becoming better marketers in the process.

Let’s take a look at some of the top fears in marketing, including examples from some of our own team, and explore how you can take action to conquer your greatest marketing fears and turn them into 2021 successes.

1 — Fear of Boring and Losing Your Audience

via GIPHY

A top fear shared by many marketers is undoubtedly creating content that does nothing but bore your audience.

Especially among B2B marketers, the fear of producing dull and dry content is a valid concern, where many worry about how to bring life and energy to the latest whitepaper data or statistics.

Thankfully, the B2B marketing industry has undergone a significant sea change in recent times, as methods for infusing interactive and experiential elements, genuinely interesting storytelling, and the trustworthiness of expert industry influencers have proliferated — all methods you can incorporate into your own efforts to ditch the legacy of dusty old boring B2B.

Over the years we’ve written many articles about how B2B marketers can bring energy, inspiration, and genuine excitement to digital efforts, and here are just a few to help you overcome the fear of creating boring B2B content:

“B2B marketing has undergone a sea change in recent times, as methods for infusing interactive and experiential elements, storytelling, and the trustworthiness of expert industry influencers have proliferated.” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis Click To Tweet

2 — Fear of Not Doing Enough & Being Unmotivated

As Tim Herrera, smarter living editor at The New York Times recently wrote in the piece “7 Months Into the Pandemic and I’m Losing Motivation. Help!”, now isn’t the time to pretend we’re living in normal times.

“Accepting that it’s OK to not feel as inspired as you did a year ago can help us adjust to this new way of life,” Herrera suggested.

Anxiety and stress can take a huge toll on productivity, so it’s important for marketers to reassess — daily or even hourly — just what progress and personal success are during a lengthy pandemic, and to define them in more forgiving and graceful ways during the pandemic.

During the pandemic some 23 percent of people across the world have turned to online communities for stress management, according to Facebook’s recently-released “Connected Convenience: How People Are Finding And Fostering Togetherness Online” report, which for marketers has given rise to newfound digital connection opportunities to reach audiences.

The fear of facing lost motivation and the decreased productivity that often follows is a significant challenge, however there are ways to start turning the table on them.

We should remind ourselves that we’re in the midst of a pandemic, and that simply making it through a day can in its own way be the biggest victory we can hope for.

It can also be helpful to take stock of anything extra beyond the bare minimum that we’ve been able to accomplish during the day — even if it’s just one small task — to remind ourselves that we not only have the power to push on and survive the daily challenges of the global health crisis, but also the ability to perform in ways that may surprise us if we take the time to seek out and acknowledge them.

B2B marketers are a busy bunch, and while having a chock full or overbooked schedule can in some ways help us make it through the next day, it’s important to take care of our own needs — whether by boosting happiness hormones or through other methods — and to work in time for reflection, physical and creative activities, and other self-care elements that will help avoid marketing burnout as time passes.

“It’s important to take care of our own needs and work in time for reflection, physical and creative activities, and other self-care elements to help avoid marketing burnout as time passes.” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis Click To Tweet

3 — Fear of Uncertainty

via GIPHY

During the pandemic the fear of uncertainty has affected us all. Most marketers are still dealing with the upheaval of remote work, and the uncertainty surrounding a future that remains more of a mystery than anyone would like can at times feel overwhelming.

This fear of uncertainty has played a part in a significant drop in confidence among corporate executives, according to Deloitte’s new Global Marketing Trends 2021 report, surveying over 400 global CMOs and other executives. From CEOs and CIOs to COOs and CMOs, confidence has understandably fallen during the pandemic.

Deloitte Image

Marketing activities that boost trust can help overcome the confidence debt that has risen during the pandemic, such as those our CEO Lee Odden recently explored in “In Search of Trust: How Authentic Content Drives Customer Experience.”

To help face some of the fears surrounding remote work, we’ve also written several articles to assist you in turning those remote work challenges into newfound advantages, including my own “Day 4,777: Remote Work Tips From 13+ Years As A Distance Marketer.” Here are the others:

“Marketing activities that boost trust can help overcome the confidence debt that has risen during the pandemic.” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis Click To Tweet

4 — Fear of Giving Away Your Secret Sauce Recipe

It’s not uncommon in the marketing world to face the fear of divulging what may appear to be too much information — to the point where you might think a client would simply be able to take your secret sauce recipe and create the same type of success that you have.

One of the greatest elements in both content marketing and B2B influencer marketing, however, is the expectation and respect of freely sharing helpful information.

Content marketing has been built on a foundation of giving away helpful information — whether in the form of writing or visual elements — which has undoubtedly been a primary reason why it’s become such a popular and successful method marketers use to connect with people.

B2B influencer marketing similarly counts among its core values the free exchange of expert insight and advice, which has likely contributed to a rise in the use of B2B influencer marketing among top brands, such as with our own clients Adobe, LinkedIn, AT&T, Dell, Oracle, and other top organizations.

Face the fear of giving away your secret sauce recipe by learning more about content marketing  — we have you covered with the following recent articles about the practice, and for learning more about the power of B2B influencer marketing a great starting point is our groundbreaking and authoritative 45-plus page 2020 State of B2B Influencer Marketing Research Report.

“One of the greatest elements in both content marketing and B2B influencer marketing is the expectation and respect of freely sharing helpful information.” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis Click To Tweet

5 — Fear of Oversharing or Under-Sharing

via GIPHY

I must be sharing too much content too often? But what if I’m not sharing nearly enough to be effective…

These common fears arise when marketers haven’t conducted tests to determine the sharing cadence that works best among a particular audience or on a specific social platform.

Although it can take time to fine-tune your social media sharing frequency, finding the cadence that best resonates with with your audience is well worth it to not only attract new followers but also keep existing fans.

In our informal poll asking B2B marketers their primary reason for unfollowing a brand, sharing too much content and irrelevant content were the top reasons aside from poor quality content.

LinkedIn Poll

Each year firms produce reports based on the examination of social publishing data in an attempt to pinpoint the top times to publish on various platforms, such as Sprout Social’s “How COVID-19 Has Changed Social Media Engagement,” and Hootsuite’s “The Best Time to Post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.” This data can be helpful in developing your own plan, however it should be considered a starting off point rather than social posting gospel.

“Finding the social publishing cadence that best resonates with with your audience is well worth it to not only attract new followers but also keep existing fans.” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis Click To Tweet

6 — Fear of Messaging That Appears Too Old or Too Young

Aside from our physical age, the messaging we create can be constructed in a vast range of tones, with only certain ones ringing true with your intended audience.

Many marketers are afraid of crafting messaging that goes too far in either direction — appearing to be made for much older audiences than intended, or taking on tones that make the content skew far too young.

You can help overcome this fear by learning more about your audience — who are they, what questions are they asking, and what tone will work the best when communicating with them?

Our “10 Smart Question Research Tools for B2B Marketers” shares many tools B2B marketers can use to uncover the questions people are asking, while our “5 Essential Questions to Guide Your B2B Influencer Marketing Strategy” explores how B2B influencer marketing can help connect with audiences, and in “Your B2B Marketing Book of Life: 10 Inspiring B2B Marketing Tips From Family History,” we take a family history themed look at getting to know your particular marketing audience.

7 — Fear of Aiming For the Stars

I can’t compete with that — it won top honors at Cannes!

The fear of aiming too high is another common one among marketers, as it can be daunting to contemplate going head to head with the very best marketing efforts the world has to offer.

Looking at examples of award-winning efforts, however, is a great way to help you dream big and see how brands are making their marketing dreams come true. Breaking down award-winning examples into bite-sized chunks — from start to finish — can help us see that even the greatest digital campaigns were formed by perfectly piecing together small elements that all work together in harmony.

In the following articles we’ve explored some top examples to help you conquer your fear of reaching for the marketing stars:

“Even the greatest digital marketing campaigns were formed by perfectly piecing together small elements that all work together in harmony.” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis Click To Tweet

8 — Fear of Missing Deadlines

I need to put in a twenty hour day to be absolutely certain this project meets the deadline!”

The fear of being unable to meet deadlines can be daunting for many marketers, but doesn’t have to rule your professional life if you put your projects in order and implement scheduling touch points that keep things on track through the process, so those last minute surprises are few and far between.

Getting into good deadline scheduling habits that include plenty of built-in time for leeway needed to ward off last-minute chaos is well worth the effort.

Here are several articles we’ve written that will help overcome those efficiency and time management fears:

“Getting into good deadline scheduling habits that include plenty of built-in time for leeway needed to ward off last-minute chaos is well worth the effort.” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis Click To Tweet

9 — Fear of Presenting New Ideas

Even if you never miss a deadline, many marketers face another fear that arises when plans abound and suggestions are plentiful — the fear of presenting new ideas.

Our own influencer marketing strategist Nic Michael has several tactics for facing and overcoming this widespread fear.

“One of my biggest marketing fears is presenting new ideas,” Nic shared.

“Whether an influencer list or a creative execution, I always fear that my client stakeholders will hate what I have done. Over time, I have realized that coming in with strategic thinking, enthusiasm, and confidence, makes presenting a much less stressful situation than it plays out in your head,” Nic observed.

Our own vice president of client accounts Alexis Hall takes a look at these and other methods for better marketing presentations in “How to Power Marketing Presentations With Data Visualization & Win Over Your Audience,” including helpful tips to overcome even the strongest fear of sharing new ideas.

10 — Fear of Missing New Industry Trends

Plenty of marketers also fear missing out on new industry trends, as keeping up with the swift twists and turns of today’s marketing scene — with mile-a-minute product launches, ever-new platforms, feature changes and additions — is not an easy task.

It can be done, however, as our director of search and analytics Seth Epstein explained.

“For a long time I was fearful that I wouldn’t be able to stay up to date on everything I need to know to be relevant as a marketer,” Seth said.

“To overcome that, I’ve learned to focus on business goals and on understanding who potential customers are and what they want. Testing new strategies and tactics, and keeping up with trends becomes easier — and fun — when you’ve got confidence in your marketing foundations,” Seth observed.

One way to keep up on the latest B2B marketing industry trends is by following blogs such as our own, and by keeping up with our B2B Marketing News, which publishes every Friday.

Don’t Look Back At Your Marketing Fears

via GIPHY

Whether it’s the fears we’ve explored here or some of the many more marketers are facing today more than ever because of the pandemic, it’s important to move forward and not look back — like Count Orlok in F.W. Murnau’s fear-riddled Nosferatu — on the fears we’ve either already overcome or are working to face in our daily lives.

Facing our fears can make us better B2B marketers and in many aspects of our professional and personal lives as well, so I encourage you to use this first-ever Halloween pandemic season to take the methods and suggestions we’ve looked at to heart, and to create your own new form of fearless marketing and living.

Want further help facing your marketing fears? Contact us and find out why brands from SAP, LinkedIn, AT&T Business, and Adobe to IBM, Dell, Cherwell Software, monday.com and more have chosen TopRank Marketing.

10 Tips To Turn Your B2B Podcast Promotions Up To 11

Woman recording a podcast in a studio image.

Woman recording a podcast in a studio image.

According to the latest numbers, more people in the US have listened to a podcast than have not — and a full quarter of the population listens weekly. It seems like they’re everywhere…


We made the case for B2B podcasts in a post last year, and that case has only grown stronger. Podcasts are a great way to build an audience for your content, work with influencers, and produce cool stuff that earns attention.

Case in point: The Tech Unknown podcast for SAP* is exceeding benchmarks for downloads, and each new episode inspires more people to check out the entire archive.

Of course, the current podcast boom is a double-edged sword for new podcasts. There are more people listening than ever, but there are also more podcasts than ever. Apple reports at least 500,000, while the total number may be closer to a million.

For your podcast to find its intended audience, you must promote it as strategically as you would any other piece of content. Here’s what you need to know about using social media to bring in listeners.

How to Promote Your B2B Podcast on Social Media

Before we get into specific tactics, the heart of any content promotion is having content worth sharing. So make sure your podcast is relevant to your audience, includes influencers that they know and respect, and is edited to bring them the good stuff without filler.

Once you have 2-3 of these high-quality episodes ready to publish, you can start promoting. We’ll start with some general tips, then take a quick look at a few specific social media platforms.

[bctt tweet=”“Make sure your podcast is relevant to your audience, includes influencers that they know and respect, and is edited to bring them the good stuff without filler.” — Joshua Nite @NiteWrites” username=”toprank”]

Follow Influencers with Your Podcast Account

The first step here is to create separate social media accounts for your podcast. Make it its own entity for promotion and audience engagement purposes. Then, follow well-known folks who are relevant to your subject matter. Include industry analysts, practitioners, and anyone who is knowledgeable and trusted about your core topics.

This will help with promotion in two ways: First, following these folks will get you on their radar for potential amplification or collaboration. Second, you’ll be able to see what kind of content they share with their audience, which will help you make your podcast more relevant.

Include Influencers in Content Creation

Influencers bring credibility, a new audience, and original ideas to your content. They don’t just provide amplification; they actually make the content better

We have found that more influencers are open to audio interviews than to other forms of co-creation. And tools like Zencastr make it easy to capture high-quality audio over the internet.

Just make sure to give your podcast guests everything they need to promote their episode: 

  • Custom images sized for Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter
  • Audio snippets/video for Stories
  • A custom URL for tracking

Set a Social Media Content Calendar

Your podcast’s dedicated social media accounts should do more than just post a link when you put up a new episode. You can consistently bring value to your audience and start conversations with posts, the same way you do on other brand channels.

Plan for at least one or two meaningful posts a day that correspond to the topics you talk about in the podcast. Share related content, post polls to spark discussion, and repost content from influencers you’re featuring (or courting). And, of course, make sure to participate in any discussions that arise — don’t leave your listeners hanging.

Create Promotional Material for Each Episode

After you record an episode, transcribe the audio (otter.ai is a good quick-and-dirty solution) and find your most quotable moments. Use these to create assets for promotion. Tools like Canva make it easy to create quote images, and even simple videos, at the optimum size and resolution for each site.

Cross Promote with Other Podcasts

People who already listen to podcasts are likely to try out new ones. Other podcasts in your industry aren’t necessarily competitors — their audience is likely to add your podcast to their rotation.

B2B brands are in a uniquely good position to cross-promote across podcasts. For example, if your CEO is influential in the industry, they would be a valuable guest on another industry podcast. And conversely, your show could feature subject matter experts from another podcast. Genuine, generous cross-promotion is a great way to help your podcast find its audience.

[bctt tweet=”“B2B brands are in a uniquely good position to cross-promote across podcasts.” —@NiteWrites” username=”toprank”]

Add Smart Paid Promotion

Your organic reach may vary across sites — it’s non-existent on Facebook, better on Instagram, and much better on LinkedIn. So some savvy paid promotion can help your podcast find its audience. Use your most compelling clips and quotes to create your assets, and target your audience by vertical. 

The CTA for these ads should be to subscribe, rather than listen to a single episode. The value of a podcast for marketers is building a loyal audience over time. And it’s best to target Android and iOS users separately, with ads that feature a subscribe link to their respective podcast apps. 

Promotion Tips by Platform

Here are a few specific ways you can promote your podcast on the three most relevant platforms:

LinkedIn

While it’s important to have separate social media accounts for your podcast, your brand should be driving promotion on LinkedIn*. Share links and promo materials from your company page, and repost your podcast page’s posts there, too. 

LinkedIn is the perfect platform to promote employee sharing, too. Make sure your employees are equipped with promotional materials and links to share. They can also tag prospects and relevant influencers — anyone valuable to the brand who might find your podcast interesting.

Instagram:

While LinkedIn is a great platform for employee activation an influencer engagement, Instagram may present the best opportunity to engage your podcast’s audience. 

Use Stories to share teasers, previews and quotes from each episode. Include candid photos and videos of the recording process, too — take your listeners behind the scenes.

Twitter:

As you saw in the embedded tweet above, short videos are a great way to hook an audience on Twitter. Create video by adding a simple static or looping animated background to your audio highlights — even a basic video editor like iMovie will do the trick. 

Make sure your video makes sense without audio, as most mobile viewers will be watching on mute, and keep them under a minute long. And, of course, add relevant hashtags and tag your guests and relevant influencers.

A (Pod)Cast of Thousands

I’ve lost count of which Podcast Renaissance we’re in at this point, but it’s fair to say the medium is stronger than ever. And there’s still plenty of untapped audience potential out there, especially for business podcasts that bring real value and industry insight to their listeners.

To learn more about B2B podcasting, check out our webinar: The 4 P’s of B2B Podcasting Success.

* SAP and LinkedIn are TopRank Marketing clients.

The post 10 Tips To Turn Your B2B Podcast Promotions Up To 11 appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.


Source: SEO blog

10 Tips To Turn Your B2B Podcast Promotions Up To 11

Woman recording a podcast in a studio image.

According to the latest numbers, more people in the US have listened to a podcast than have not — and a full quarter of the population listens weekly. It seems like they’re everywhere…

We made the case for B2B podcasts in a post last year, and that case has only grown stronger. Podcasts are a great way to build an audience for your content, work with influencers, and produce cool stuff that earns attention.

Case in point: The Tech Unknown podcast for SAP* is exceeding benchmarks for downloads, and each new episode inspires more people to check out the entire archive.

Of course, the current podcast boom is a double-edged sword for new podcasts. There are more people listening than ever, but there are also more podcasts than ever. Apple reports at least 500,000, while the total number may be closer to a million.

For your podcast to find its intended audience, you must promote it as strategically as you would any other piece of content. Here’s what you need to know about using social media to bring in listeners.

How to Promote Your B2B Podcast on Social Media

Before we get into specific tactics, the heart of any content promotion is having content worth sharing. So make sure your podcast is relevant to your audience, includes influencers that they know and respect, and is edited to bring them the good stuff without filler.

Once you have 2-3 of these high-quality episodes ready to publish, you can start promoting. We’ll start with some general tips, then take a quick look at a few specific social media platforms.

“Make sure your podcast is relevant to your audience, includes influencers that they know and respect, and is edited to bring them the good stuff without filler.” — Joshua Nite @NiteWrites Click To Tweet

Follow Influencers with Your Podcast Account

The first step here is to create separate social media accounts for your podcast. Make it its own entity for promotion and audience engagement purposes. Then, follow well-known folks who are relevant to your subject matter. Include industry analysts, practitioners, and anyone who is knowledgeable and trusted about your core topics.

This will help with promotion in two ways: First, following these folks will get you on their radar for potential amplification or collaboration. Second, you’ll be able to see what kind of content they share with their audience, which will help you make your podcast more relevant.

Include Influencers in Content Creation

Influencers bring credibility, a new audience, and original ideas to your content. They don’t just provide amplification; they actually make the content better

We have found that more influencers are open to audio interviews than to other forms of co-creation. And tools like Zencastr make it easy to capture high-quality audio over the internet.

Just make sure to give your podcast guests everything they need to promote their episode: 

  • Custom images sized for Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter
  • Audio snippets/video for Stories
  • A custom URL for tracking

Set a Social Media Content Calendar

Your podcast’s dedicated social media accounts should do more than just post a link when you put up a new episode. You can consistently bring value to your audience and start conversations with posts, the same way you do on other brand channels.

Plan for at least one or two meaningful posts a day that correspond to the topics you talk about in the podcast. Share related content, post polls to spark discussion, and repost content from influencers you’re featuring (or courting). And, of course, make sure to participate in any discussions that arise — don’t leave your listeners hanging.

Create Promotional Material for Each Episode

After you record an episode, transcribe the audio (otter.ai is a good quick-and-dirty solution) and find your most quotable moments. Use these to create assets for promotion. Tools like Canva make it easy to create quote images, and even simple videos, at the optimum size and resolution for each site.

Cross Promote with Other Podcasts

People who already listen to podcasts are likely to try out new ones. Other podcasts in your industry aren’t necessarily competitors — their audience is likely to add your podcast to their rotation.

B2B brands are in a uniquely good position to cross-promote across podcasts. For example, if your CEO is influential in the industry, they would be a valuable guest on another industry podcast. And conversely, your show could feature subject matter experts from another podcast. Genuine, generous cross-promotion is a great way to help your podcast find its audience.

“B2B brands are in a uniquely good position to cross-promote across podcasts.” —@NiteWrites Click To Tweet

Add Smart Paid Promotion

Your organic reach may vary across sites — it’s non-existent on Facebook, better on Instagram, and much better on LinkedIn. So some savvy paid promotion can help your podcast find its audience. Use your most compelling clips and quotes to create your assets, and target your audience by vertical. 

The CTA for these ads should be to subscribe, rather than listen to a single episode. The value of a podcast for marketers is building a loyal audience over time. And it’s best to target Android and iOS users separately, with ads that feature a subscribe link to their respective podcast apps. 

Promotion Tips by Platform

Here are a few specific ways you can promote your podcast on the three most relevant platforms:

LinkedIn

While it’s important to have separate social media accounts for your podcast, your brand should be driving promotion on LinkedIn*. Share links and promo materials from your company page, and repost your podcast page’s posts there, too. 

LinkedIn is the perfect platform to promote employee sharing, too. Make sure your employees are equipped with promotional materials and links to share. They can also tag prospects and relevant influencers — anyone valuable to the brand who might find your podcast interesting.

Instagram:

While LinkedIn is a great platform for employee activation an influencer engagement, Instagram may present the best opportunity to engage your podcast’s audience. 

Use Stories to share teasers, previews and quotes from each episode. Include candid photos and videos of the recording process, too — take your listeners behind the scenes.

Twitter:

As you saw in the embedded tweet above, short videos are a great way to hook an audience on Twitter. Create video by adding a simple static or looping animated background to your audio highlights — even a basic video editor like iMovie will do the trick. 

Make sure your video makes sense without audio, as most mobile viewers will be watching on mute, and keep them under a minute long. And, of course, add relevant hashtags and tag your guests and relevant influencers.

A (Pod)Cast of Thousands

I’ve lost count of which Podcast Renaissance we’re in at this point, but it’s fair to say the medium is stronger than ever. And there’s still plenty of untapped audience potential out there, especially for business podcasts that bring real value and industry insight to their listeners.

To learn more about B2B podcasting, check out our webinar: The 4 P’s of B2B Podcasting Success.

* SAP and LinkedIn are TopRank Marketing clients.

The State of B2B Influence Marketing – Top 10 Insights for 2021

Lee Odden B2B Influencer Marketing

Lee Odden B2B Influencer Marketing

What does the state of B2B influencer marketing look like now and in the future? How can B2B brands start a successful influencer program? Why is it more important than ever to approach B2B influencer marketing with an always-on influencer strategy?

Many of these questions are answered in the 2020 State of B2B Influencer Marketing Report and yet we all know the complexity and opportunity combination of influencer marketing requires further exploration. Luckily Jason Falls connected with our CEO Lee Odden for a podcast interview to explore  the answers to these questions and more, along with his most recent B2B influencer marketing insight.

After listening to the podcast, I’ve pulled out 10 of the most compelling insights about the state of B2B influencer marketing to help inspire your success in 2021 and beyond.

1 – B2B Influencers Are Credible Voices Throughout The Customer Lifecycle

B2B purchases are a journey, and there is a long cycle of education and content consumption that occurs as brands or buyers educate themselves about possible solutions and how they might work for their company.

When you talk about end-of-funnel activities, where you’re looking for increasing purchase intent, increasing order volumes, and acceleration through the sales cycle — things like that — the explicit advocacy of a subject matter expert in the form of an industry influencer can definitely facilitate these.

The credible voices of B2B influencers play a role throughout the entire customer life cycle.

It’s important to identify the topics of influence that are representative of how the brand wants to be known — topics that customers actually care about — and find the people that can represent those ideas and values.

[bctt tweet=”“The credible voices of B2B influencers play a role throughout the entire customer life cycle.” @LeeOdden” username=”toprank”]

2 – Digital Influence Is Heightened During The Pandemic

The ability to influence doesn’t just exist in a digital world, but with the pandemic, for B2B it’s more digital now than it ever was before. There are opportunities now to connect with people who may be more offline influencers, however the bulk of digital marketing that’s occurring in the B2B space is online, and the signals of credibility that people are using to determine whether someone is relevant or interesting to them tend to be digital.

A holistic approach is important, including the use of tools, including Traackr, which is both a B2C and B2B platform. A tool is only as effective as the expertise of the person using it. It is up to the expertise of the users as much as it is about the platform, because the data is agnostic in terms of B2C or B2B — people are either publishing or they’re not.

The content they’re publishing is either topically relevant or it’s not, and the topics they are publishing are either resonating or not. These can be identified by engagement activities, and by whether messages are propagating and being shared or not.

[bctt tweet=”“A tool is only as effective as the expertise of the person using it.” @LeeOdden” username=”toprank”]

3 – Identify Core Characteristics Of Influence Around A Topic

We can identify core characteristics of what makes a person influential around a topic of influence, partially through the use of the appropriate software. There are however lots of other steps to consider — manual inspection of the content that influencers are publishing, the cadence of publishing, and certain background information that should be taken into consideration before recommending them to a client. They have to be doing what your brand is talking about to determine whether an influencer may work or not.

Influence is not permanent — it’s temporal. While at the moment of identification a person may be very influential about a topic, will they always be influential about it? Maybe, or maybe not, and on top of understanding the key performance indicators (KPIs) being delivered on for the campaign, or for the influencer engagement activity, you’ve also got to be able to report on the effectiveness of what is being done.

[bctt tweet=”“Influence is not permanent — it’s temporal.” @LeeOdden” username=”toprank”]

4 – Understand The Conversations Being Driven By Influencers

Are we moving the needle or not? Are we reaching those business outcomes that we’re after, and at the same time we have to identify — through tracking URLs and other metrics available via influencer marketing platforms and web analytics — whether or not, or the degree to which an individual is effective for a purpose.

You can certainly look at data from social media monitoring tools such as Brandwatch, Agorapulse and others, to monitor various topics and hashtags, and Keyhole is another useful tool for hashtag and handle tracking. They offer an on-demand way to understand the conversations being driven by influencers, as they share social messages and the content they help to make.

At the same time, you have to be accountable as in any campaign, and you’ve got to report upstream to the stakeholders in the organization things such as, “Okay —here’s our goal, and here’s what we achieved.” There are real-time metrics and things that help you optimize in an ongoing way. There are also campaign metrics that determine the effectiveness of a program, and that may ultimately help decide whether you keep someone or sunset them and replace them.

5 – Use The Right Influencer Ingredients For Your B2B Recipe

Everyone is influential about something, as Lee often points out, and all of us both influence other people and are influenced by others on a daily basis.

When we take this holistic view, it’s like we’re a chef in a kitchen with a recipe, and we have ingredients and there are different types of influencers that can make a very effective campaign. If you’re making a stew, you know that potatoes are one ingredient — and that’s your brandividual — the famous person you’re going to use to attract others.

However you’ll also want to go after reach influencers, internal subject matter experts at the brand and perhaps some of their customers, along with other niche experts that are out there in the field that are practicing in their particular area — people who their friends would go to if they needed help or if they needed advice. You want to bring all these different ingredient voices into a campaign and architect and build a recipe highly appropriate to what the audience will find delicious.

[bctt tweet=”“Everyone is influential about something.” @LeeOdden” username=”toprank”]

6 – Achieve Affinity & Elevate Brand Perception With Influencers

It’s so much more than just a tally of fans, friends and followers and whether a person is famous — there are different types of influence. This is something to consider as you become more sophisticated in B2B influencer marketing.

It’s more about what they are and how they are using influencers than merely what they’re good for. A lot of B2B marketing investment you think of as overwhelmingly focused on the end-of-sale-cycle type of activities. However, they’ll never get there if they don’t achieve affinity, if they don’t achieve connection and engagement before that. If they’re not ever considered, they’ll never make it to the sales conversation. A lot of the top and middle of funnel activity is where a great deal of demand generation activity is happening.

At the moment that’s where a lot of B2B marketers are investing in influencer marketing — to elevate brand perception, to warm the market and increase consideration. Ultimately they will also get to that point-of-sale conversation as well.

[bctt tweet=”“A lot of the top and middle of funnel activity is where a great deal of demand generation activity is happening.” @LeeOdden” username=”toprank”]

7 – Recognize B2B Influencer Marketing’s Sales-Generation Potential

B2B is different from B2C, in that with B2C it’s fine if you have a person explicitly advocating for a product — it’s often what people do — they hold up a bottle of soda or face cream or whatever it may be and ask people to buy it to look beautiful.

In the case of B2B, however, if you have someone explicitly endorsing a product like that — for something that can often take six months to two years as a sales cycle — and you have someone explicitly endorsing it, that can come across as not so believable.

To some degree that’s why there aren’t more B2B marketers using industry influencers specifically for sales generation. There are however quite a few interesting anomaly types of case studies where millions of dollars in revenue was generated by working with influencers, however this isn’t the norm just yet.

8 – Overcome The Fear Of Getting Started In B2B Influencer Marketing

In some ways there’s both so much and so little confidence in B2B influencer marketing at the same time. 96 percent of marketers believe that engaging influencers consider their programs to be successful, according to our recent groundbreaking 2020 State of B2B Influencer Marketing Research Report.

We have that on the one hand, yet the other hand, 60% say they don’t have the knowledge to execute or have the right skills in-house to implement ongoing influencer marketing programs.

This isn’t exactly an apples to apples comparison, however, because one is just broadly about influencer marketing, and the other has more to do specifically with ongoing, always-on efforts, which tend to be more successful.

9 – Benefit From The Advantages of Ongoing Influencer Programs

Only 19 percent of companies are implementing ongoing influencer marketing programs, however 60 percent of marketers who use always-on influencer marketing programs consider themselves very successful, versus only 5 percent who do traditional periodic campaigns.

This means that 12 times more marketers who use always-on say they’re very successful than those who just do periodic campaigns.

B2B influencer marketing is without a doubt a relationship business, and this means developing genuine relationships, where through the exchange and through the experience a brand is creating for the influencer, that influencer is getting value and getting exposure.

Sometimes they get paid, and all the while they’re also learning more about the brand and growing closer to the brand.

10 – Learn From Successful Influencer Marketing Programs

Our client Adobe has an influencer program called Adobe Insiders, and Lee is a member of the program.

He’s seen the program from the inside and found it to be incredibly effective with the relationships that Adobe has invested in and developed among their community of influencers.

Many, without even being asked, are publishing to business publications like Forbes, Inc., and other publications, just because they have this love for the Adobe brand.

There’s no doubt that it’s a very beloved brand anyway, but the fact that Rani Mani, the head of global influencer enablement at Adobe, is such a charismatic personality and pays so much close attention to personalized communications with the people that are part of this community and creates a platform for them to connect with each other has a great deal to do with its success and what a powerful community the Adobe Insiders have created.

Find out more about Rani and the B2B influencer marketing advantage in our recent Inside Influence video interview with Lee, in “Inside Influence: Rani Mani from Adobe on the B2B Influencer Marketing Advantage.”

Learn More About Ascending To B2B Influencer Marketing Success

via GIPHY

We hope these 10 B2B marketing insights and tips from Lee’s conversation with Jason on the Winfluence influencer marketing podcast have been helpful, and that they’ll inspire and bring newfound success to your own efforts.

You can listen to Lee and Jason’s complete interview on the Winfluence podcast here.

If you’re among the 60 percent of B2B marketers who feel they need help to execute an ongoing influencer marketing program, contact us to get started with B2B influencer marketing, and find out why brands from SAP, LinkedIn, AT&T Business,  and Adobe to IBM, Dell, Cherwell Software, monday.com and more have chosen TopRank Marketing.

The post The State of B2B Influence Marketing – Top 10 Insights for 2021 appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.


Source: SEO blog

The State of B2B Influence Marketing – Top 10 Insights for 2021

Lee Odden B2B Influencer Marketing

What does the state of B2B influencer marketing look like now and in the future? How can B2B brands start a successful influencer program? Why is it more important than ever to approach B2B influencer marketing with an always-on influencer strategy?

Many of these questions are answered in the 2020 State of B2B Influencer Marketing Report and yet we all know the complexity and opportunity combination of influencer marketing requires further exploration. Luckily Jason Falls connected with our CEO Lee Odden for a podcast interview to explore  the answers to these questions and more, along with his most recent B2B influencer marketing insight.

After listening to the podcast, I’ve pulled out 10 of the most compelling insights about the state of B2B influencer marketing to help inspire your success in 2021 and beyond.

1 – B2B Influencers Are Credible Voices Throughout The Customer Lifecycle

B2B purchases are a journey, and there is a long cycle of education and content consumption that occurs as brands or buyers educate themselves about possible solutions and how they might work for their company.

When you talk about end-of-funnel activities, where you’re looking for increasing purchase intent, increasing order volumes, and acceleration through the sales cycle — things like that — the explicit advocacy of a subject matter expert in the form of an industry influencer can definitely facilitate these.

The credible voices of B2B influencers play a role throughout the entire customer life cycle.

It’s important to identify the topics of influence that are representative of how the brand wants to be known — topics that customers actually care about — and find the people that can represent those ideas and values.

“The credible voices of B2B influencers play a role throughout the entire customer life cycle.” @LeeOdden Click To Tweet

2 – Digital Influence Is Heightened During The Pandemic

The ability to influence doesn’t just exist in a digital world, but with the pandemic, for B2B it’s more digital now than it ever was before. There are opportunities now to connect with people who may be more offline influencers, however the bulk of digital marketing that’s occurring in the B2B space is online, and the signals of credibility that people are using to determine whether someone is relevant or interesting to them tend to be digital.

A holistic approach is important, including the use of tools, including Traackr, which is both a B2C and B2B platform. A tool is only as effective as the expertise of the person using it. It is up to the expertise of the users as much as it is about the platform, because the data is agnostic in terms of B2C or B2B — people are either publishing or they’re not.

The content they’re publishing is either topically relevant or it’s not, and the topics they are publishing are either resonating or not. These can be identified by engagement activities, and by whether messages are propagating and being shared or not.

“A tool is only as effective as the expertise of the person using it.” @LeeOdden Click To Tweet

3 – Identify Core Characteristics Of Influence Around A Topic

We can identify core characteristics of what makes a person influential around a topic of influence, partially through the use of the appropriate software. There are however lots of other steps to consider — manual inspection of the content that influencers are publishing, the cadence of publishing, and certain background information that should be taken into consideration before recommending them to a client. They have to be doing what your brand is talking about to determine whether an influencer may work or not.

Influence is not permanent — it’s temporal. While at the moment of identification a person may be very influential about a topic, will they always be influential about it? Maybe, or maybe not, and on top of understanding the key performance indicators (KPIs) being delivered on for the campaign, or for the influencer engagement activity, you’ve also got to be able to report on the effectiveness of what is being done.

“Influence is not permanent — it’s temporal.” @LeeOdden Click To Tweet

4 – Understand The Conversations Being Driven By Influencers

Are we moving the needle or not? Are we reaching those business outcomes that we’re after, and at the same time we have to identify — through tracking URLs and other metrics available via influencer marketing platforms and web analytics — whether or not, or the degree to which an individual is effective for a purpose.

You can certainly look at data from social media monitoring tools such as Brandwatch, Agorapulse and others, to monitor various topics and hashtags, and Keyhole is another useful tool for hashtag and handle tracking. They offer an on-demand way to understand the conversations being driven by influencers, as they share social messages and the content they help to make.

At the same time, you have to be accountable as in any campaign, and you’ve got to report upstream to the stakeholders in the organization things such as, “Okay —here’s our goal, and here’s what we achieved.” There are real-time metrics and things that help you optimize in an ongoing way. There are also campaign metrics that determine the effectiveness of a program, and that may ultimately help decide whether you keep someone or sunset them and replace them.

5 – Use The Right Influencer Ingredients For Your B2B Recipe

Everyone is influential about something, as Lee often points out, and all of us both influence other people and are influenced by others on a daily basis.

When we take this holistic view, it’s like we’re a chef in a kitchen with a recipe, and we have ingredients and there are different types of influencers that can make a very effective campaign. If you’re making a stew, you know that potatoes are one ingredient — and that’s your brandividual — the famous person you’re going to use to attract others.

However you’ll also want to go after reach influencers, internal subject matter experts at the brand and perhaps some of their customers, along with other niche experts that are out there in the field that are practicing in their particular area — people who their friends would go to if they needed help or if they needed advice. You want to bring all these different ingredient voices into a campaign and architect and build a recipe highly appropriate to what the audience will find delicious.

“Everyone is influential about something.” @LeeOdden Click To Tweet

6 – Achieve Affinity & Elevate Brand Perception With Influencers

It’s so much more than just a tally of fans, friends and followers and whether a person is famous — there are different types of influence. This is something to consider as you become more sophisticated in B2B influencer marketing.

It’s more about what they are and how they are using influencers than merely what they’re good for. A lot of B2B marketing investment you think of as overwhelmingly focused on the end-of-sale-cycle type of activities. However, they’ll never get there if they don’t achieve affinity, if they don’t achieve connection and engagement before that. If they’re not ever considered, they’ll never make it to the sales conversation. A lot of the top and middle of funnel activity is where a great deal of demand generation activity is happening.

At the moment that’s where a lot of B2B marketers are investing in influencer marketing — to elevate brand perception, to warm the market and increase consideration. Ultimately they will also get to that point-of-sale conversation as well.

“A lot of the top and middle of funnel activity is where a great deal of demand generation activity is happening.” @LeeOdden Click To Tweet

7 – Recognize B2B Influencer Marketing’s Sales-Generation Potential

B2B is different from B2C, in that with B2C it’s fine if you have a person explicitly advocating for a product — it’s often what people do — they hold up a bottle of soda or face cream or whatever it may be and ask people to buy it to look beautiful.

In the case of B2B, however, if you have someone explicitly endorsing a product like that — for something that can often take six months to two years as a sales cycle — and you have someone explicitly endorsing it, that can come across as not so believable.

To some degree that’s why there aren’t more B2B marketers using industry influencers specifically for sales generation. There are however quite a few interesting anomaly types of case studies where millions of dollars in revenue was generated by working with influencers, however this isn’t the norm just yet.

8 – Overcome The Fear Of Getting Started In B2B Influencer Marketing

In some ways there’s both so much and so little confidence in B2B influencer marketing at the same time. 96 percent of marketers believe that engaging influencers consider their programs to be successful, according to our recent groundbreaking 2020 State of B2B Influencer Marketing Research Report.

We have that on the one hand, yet the other hand, 60% say they don’t have the knowledge to execute or have the right skills in-house to implement ongoing influencer marketing programs.

This isn’t exactly an apples to apples comparison, however, because one is just broadly about influencer marketing, and the other has more to do specifically with ongoing, always-on efforts, which tend to be more successful.

9 – Benefit From The Advantages of Ongoing Influencer Programs

Only 19 percent of companies are implementing ongoing influencer marketing programs, however 60 percent of marketers who use always-on influencer marketing programs consider themselves very successful, versus only 5 percent who do traditional periodic campaigns.

This means that 12 times more marketers who use always-on say they’re very successful than those who just do periodic campaigns.

B2B influencer marketing is without a doubt a relationship business, and this means developing genuine relationships, where through the exchange and through the experience a brand is creating for the influencer, that influencer is getting value and getting exposure.

Sometimes they get paid, and all the while they’re also learning more about the brand and growing closer to the brand.

10 – Learn From Successful Influencer Marketing Programs

Our client Adobe has an influencer program called Adobe Insiders, and Lee is a member of the program.

He’s seen the program from the inside and found it to be incredibly effective with the relationships that Adobe has invested in and developed among their community of influencers.

Many, without even being asked, are publishing to business publications like Forbes, Inc., and other publications, just because they have this love for the Adobe brand.

There’s no doubt that it’s a very beloved brand anyway, but the fact that Rani Mani, the head of global influencer enablement at Adobe, is such a charismatic personality and pays so much close attention to personalized communications with the people that are part of this community and creates a platform for them to connect with each other has a great deal to do with its success and what a powerful community the Adobe Insiders have created.

Find out more about Rani and the B2B influencer marketing advantage in our recent Inside Influence video interview with Lee, in “Inside Influence: Rani Mani from Adobe on the B2B Influencer Marketing Advantage.”

Learn More About Ascending To B2B Influencer Marketing Success

via GIPHY

We hope these 10 B2B marketing insights and tips from Lee’s conversation with Jason on the Winfluence influencer marketing podcast have been helpful, and that they’ll inspire and bring newfound success to your own efforts.

You can listen to Lee and Jason’s complete interview on the Winfluence podcast here.

If you’re among the 60 percent of B2B marketers who feel they need help to execute an ongoing influencer marketing program, contact us to get started with B2B influencer marketing, and find out why brands from SAP, LinkedIn, AT&T Business,  and Adobe to IBM, Dell, Cherwell Software, monday.com and more have chosen TopRank Marketing.

HTTPS Is Table Stakes for SEO in 2020

Back in the spring of 2017, I wrote that HTTPS results made up half of page-one Google organic URLs. In over three years, I haven’t posted an update, which might lead you to believe that nothing changed. The reality is that a whole lot changed, but it changed so gradually that there was never a single event or clear “a-ha!” moment to write about.

Now, in the fall of 2020, HTTPS URLs make up 98% of page-one organic results in the MozCast 10,000-keyword tracking set. Here’s the monthly growth since April 2017:

There was a bump in HTTPS after October 2017, when Google announced that Chrome would be displaying more warnings to users for non-secure forms, but otherwise forward momentum has been fairly steady. While browsers have continued to raise the stakes, there have been no announced or measured algorithm updates regarding HTTPS.

I scoff at your data!

So, why am I writing this update now? While the MozCast 10,000-keyword set is well-suited for tracking long-term trends (as it’s consistent over time and has a long history), the data is focused on page-one, desktop results and is intentionally skewed toward more competitive terms.

Recently, I’ve been gifted access to our anonymized STAT ranking data — 7.5M keywords across desktop and mobile. Do these trends hold across devices, more pages, and more keywords?

The table above is just the page-one data. Across a much larger data set, the prevalence of HTTPS URLs on page one is very similar to MozCast and nearly identical across desktop and mobile. Now, let’s expand to the top 50 organic results (broken up into groups of ten) …

Even at the tail end of the top 50 organic results, more than 92% of URLs are HTTPS. There does seem to be a pattern of decline in HTTPS prevalence, with more non-secure URLs ranking deeper in Google results, but the prevalence of HTTPS remains very high even on page five of results.

Does this increase in HTTPS prevalence at the top of the rankings suggest that HTTPS is a ranking factor? Not by itself — it’s possible that more authoritative sites tend to be more sensitive to perceived security and have more budget to implement it. However, we know Google has stated publicly that HTTPS is a “lightweight ranking signal”, and this data seems to support that claim.

You can’t make me switch!

I don’t know why you’re being so combative, but no, I can’t really make you do anything. If you’re not convinced that HTTPS is important when 97-98% of the top ten organic results have it, I’m not sure what’s left to say. Of course, that’s not going to stop me from talking some more.

When we focus on rankings, we sometimes ignore core relevance (this is a challenge in large-scale ranking studies). For example, having relevant keywords on your page isn’t going to determine whether you win at rankings, but it’s essential to ranking at all. It’s table stakes — you can’t even join the game without relevant keywords. The same goes for HTTPS in 2020 — it’s probably not going to determine whether you rank #1 or #10, but it is going to determine whether you rank at all. Without a secure site, expect the bouncer to send you home.

As importantly, Google has made major changes around HTTPS/SSL in the Chrome browser, increasingly warning visitors if your site isn’t secure. Even if you’re still lucky enough to rank without HTTPS URLs, you’re going to be providing a poor user experience to a lot of visitors.

There’s not much left between 97% and 100%, and not many blog posts left to write about this particular trend. If you’re not taking HTTPS/SSL seriously in 2020, this is your final wake-up call.