7 Keys To Successful B2B Influencer Marketing #MPB2B

Businessman looking intently at computer image.

MarketingProfs educational content director Kerry O’Shea Gorgone kicked off an insightful #MPB2B Forum 2020 session with our CEO Lee Odden exploring B2B influencer marketing, “New Research: How to be Successful With Influencer Marketing.”

Lee began by explaining that when it comes to B2B influencer marketing, to create and maintain a successful program you’ve got to do the hard work and be smart about it, and set about to demystify some of the lesser-known aspects of B2B influencer marketing by sharing what he’s learned from having been deeply involved with the practice for the past eight years.

Let’s take a look at the new B2B influencer marketing research Lee explored in his insightful MarketingProfs B2B Forum #MPB2B 2020 session.

1 — Utilize Influencers to Rise Above Pandemic Uncertainties

Kerry & Lee Odden #MPB2B

The pandemic has given rise to many new challenges that B2B marketers have had to deal with, including budgets that are often on hold while at the same time sales goals are not, leading to high levels of uncertainty.

B2B influencer marketing offers a powerful solution for rising above these uncertainties, by unleashing the power of collaboration with experts, Lee noted.

While we’ve been used to buyers actively looking for solutions, there’s a greater reliance on content today, making the trustworthiness of content sources more important than ever, Lee pointed out.

To help address the issue of trustworthiness and how B2B influencer marketing can help marketers now more than ever, Lee explained how TopRank Marketing produced the industry’s first 2020 State of B2B Influencer Marketing Report, with groundbreaking insights from 20 top B2B brands.

Lee shared how the report’s data makes it clear that B2B influencer marketing:

  • Improves customer experience (CX)
  • Positively impacts marketing overall
  • Increases brand awareness
  • Improves lead generation
  • Builds brand reputation and advocacy

“Partnering with well-matched influencers is a handy way to infuse your brand with creative energy and inspiration,” #MPB2B’s Ann Handley, who is among the top B2B marketing experts included in the report, observed.

Ann Handley Report Image

“Partnering with well-matched influencers is a handy way to infuse your brand with creative energy and inspiration.” — Ann Handley @MarketingProfs Click To Tweet

2 — What Will Effective B2B Influencer Marketing Look Like in 2021?

Using remote work company monday.com* as an example, Lee shared how B2B influencer marketing had helped the platform achieve social reach from influencer shares of brand content that reached 1,790 percent above the target goal.

Lee also explained how monday.com successfully utilized B2B influencer marketing to partner with remote work experts and to drive discussions via live-stream that resulted in exposure to thousands of potential customers.

monday.com Image

In another example, Lee showed how IT service management software firm Cherwell Software* used B2B influencer marketing to achieve 342 percent better click-through-rate (CTR) on influencer content, and how the firm was successfully able to use influencers to build trust around a topic they hadn’t previously been known for, resulting in some 90 percent entirely new people in their database.

Cherwell Image

LinkedIn* served as another powerful example shared by Lee, who explained how the professional social media platform created a strong community of 75 influencers — recognizing the importance of investing in influencer relationships, and also the growing need for always-on B2B influencer marketing programs.

Lee shared how LinkedIn had partnered and developed relationships with influencers, how it was able to create a community of respected voices that became an ongoing voice of the brand, and how doing so allowed LinkedIn to be the best answer for its customers.

3 — What Makes B2B Influencer Marketing Content So Special?

B2B influencer marketing adds invaluable third-party credibility and trust to content, Lee said, also noting that it helps to extend content creation and expertise and to infuse the voice of the customer in your brand content, creating powerful trusted voices.

It also offers the added benefit of creating the type of inspiring promotion that traditional advertising may not be nearly as successful in doing, Lee suggested.

Lee then focused on steps B2B marketers can take to achieve success with an influencer marketing program.

4 — Scaling With Strategy

Scaling with strategy begins with finding the topics most relevant to your business, and Lee used an example from SAP*’s Tech Unknown podcast.

The podcast came about as a way to serve both internal customers and multiple external audiences, using an industry influencer — in this case technology futurist Tamara McCleary — as the podcast’s host.

SAP Image

Lee shared how influencers serve multiple uses for the SAP Tech Unknown podcast series, now in its third season, and how by following best-practices the podcast’s content has also been successfully repurposed into eBook and other content formats.

5 — Understand Topical Demand Using Specialized Software

Lee shared how using tools including SEMrush and BuzzSumo can play an important role in  helping to answer customer questions from third-party experts, and also explained how using the right software makes it possible to validate ideas with relevant data.

Lee recommended data-driven influencer marketing platform Traackr to help qualify and validate potential influencers and discover whether they have the right tone of voice, cadence, and other relevant criteria.

When it comes time for publishing B2B influencer marketing content co-created with influencers, it’s important to incorporate blog content as a part of your organization’s overall content publishing strategy, Lee noted, as it’s a vital part of the diverse array of content publishing formats that should be utilized when sharing co-created influencer content.

6 — Use an Always-On Engagement Strategy

Lee stressed the growing importance of an always-on engagement strategy, citing research from the 2020 State of B2B Influencer Marketing Report showing its effectiveness, and sharing a quote from Garnor Morantes, group marketing manager at LinkedIn: “Being ‘always-on’ has allowed our team to build meaningful relationships with influencers,” Garnor said.

Garnor Morantes Always-On Influence Quote

“Being ‘always-on’ has allowed our team to build meaningful relationships with influencers.” — Garnor Morantes of @LinkedIn Click To Tweet

An always-on approach that’s centered around creating relationships helps build community and advocacy, Lee explained, noting the importance of playing the long game.

Lee presented a case study showing the effectiveness of B2B influencer marketing, from Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise (ALE), which created a successful IT Vanguard Awards program using IT industry influencers  as judges.

The awards program shared the advice and insight of honorees and helped to make them into influencers, Lee noted of the program, which went on to win an award at the 2020 Content Marketing Awards.

IT Vangards

Lee explained how TopRank Marketing has a proven process of working with influencers for many of the top brands on the planet such as Adobe, LinkedIn, Dell, 3M and others, and he urged those considering a B2B influencer marketing program to look closely at who really influences your buyers.

Only then can you move forward with investing in and executing a successful influencer program, Lee observed, which could start with outside help in the form of a pilot B2B influencer marketing program.

By using the insight gained from a pilot influencer program, B2B marketers can further build an influencer strategy, grow a content community of influencers, and activate return on investment (ROI), Lee noted as he concluded his #MPB2B presentation.

7 — Bonus #MPB2B B2B Influencer Marketing Insight

During the post-session question and answer period, Lee was asked for advice writing about non-marketing-related content, and he urged marketers to always strive to empathize with the audience, and to make content meaningful to them.

Using an example of a shareable social media message, Lee noted that tweets created for influencers won’t work nearly as well when an organization’s entire team shares these same messages, and instead recommended the messaging be changed to better suit those sharing the content in a more general way.

Lee was also asked whether B2B influencer marketing can also work for smaller firms, and he shared several examples of TopRank Marketing’s work with small-to-medium size businesses (SMBs), utilizing locally influential people, for firms such as Welter Heating and Prophix Software.

Welter Heating was able to utilize local celebrity influencers to poll and gather feedback, giving them something fun, easy, and interesting to do, which was then made into round-up posts for the company’s website, Lee noted.

Lee explained how despite the fact that financial management software solution provider Prophix Software was centered around a fairly niche topic, they were able to find relevant specialized influencers that fit and worked well.

Prophix Influencer Marketing Example

Asked to provide a quick tip for getting started in B2B influencer marketing, Lee suggested making and publishing a list of the people who are influential in your particular industry, as a way to honor them and then also to use as an opportunity to follow up with each person with a brief and easy-to-fulfill request for a future co-collaboration project such as an interview or eBook.

While B2B influencer marketing had previously been roughly 80-90 percent of the unpaid variety, that number is now up to around 25 percent paid, Lee said, noting that there are now more B2B professionals who bring to the table the type of influencer skills worth paying for, such as much more robust and relevant content from brandividuals.

When asked about budgeting, Lee suggested that B2B influencer marketing can be budgeted as with any other advertisement expenditure, and explained how using paid influencers can be a great way to find and recruit lesser-known influencers.

Lee suggested that it’s helpful to have a long runway for building influencer relationships, and explained how TopRank Marketing was able to find remote work experts for client monday.com by  using Traackr and a variety of other criteria to those most influential around the topic, along with those who have a community of followers that will respond to that topic. These join other metrics including network size, publishing cadence and format, along with the influencer’s particular values, Lee noted, before they are ultimately approved by the client.

Another question Lee fielded was who within an organization should run a B2B influencer marketing program, and he noted that in the early days of influencer marketing it was likely to be the director of marketing or people in social media roles — all community-oriented professionals.

As time has passed, Lee explained, with B2B influencer marketing having grown in both success and sophistication, new dedicated roles are being created, such as those held by people including Rani Mani, head of global employee advocacy at Adobe*, and Ursula Ringham, head of global influencer marketing at SAP, and there has also been more integration with other departments at organizations.

Lee’s final question was whether B2B influencer marketing could be used to test new markets, and Lee shared how it can be successfully used to find new marketing topics by conducting tests with various content formats to see how each resonates, before ultimately deciding whether to scale or bail, Lee noted.

Learn more about B2B influencer marketing from Lee by watching our #InsideInfluence series, including the latest episode “Inside Influence EP06: Amisha Gandhi from SAP on the Power of Mutual Value in B2B Influencer Marketing.”

Be sure to check out our additional #MPB2B 2020 coverage listed below:

Want further help? 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.

* monday.com, Cherwell Software, LinkedIn, SAP, Welter Heating, Prophix Software, and Adobe are TopRank Marketing clients.

7 Keys To Successful B2B Influencer Marketing #MPB2B

Businessman looking intently at computer image.

Businessman looking intently at computer image.

MarketingProfs educational content director Kerry O’Shea Gorgone kicked off an insightful #MPB2B Forum 2020 session with our CEO Lee Odden exploring B2B influencer marketing, “New Research: How to be Successful With Influencer Marketing.”

Lee began by explaining that when it comes to B2B influencer marketing, to create and maintain a successful program you’ve got to do the hard work and be smart about it, and set about to demystify some of the lesser-known aspects of B2B influencer marketing by sharing what he’s learned from having been deeply involved with the practice for the past eight years.

Let’s take a look at the new B2B influencer marketing research Lee explored in his insightful MarketingProfs B2B Forum #MPB2B 2020 session.

1 — Utilize Influencers to Rise Above Pandemic Uncertainties

Kerry & Lee Odden #MPB2B

The pandemic has given rise to many new challenges that B2B marketers have had to deal with, including budgets that are often on hold while at the same time sales goals are not, leading to high levels of uncertainty.

B2B influencer marketing offers a powerful solution for rising above these uncertainties, by unleashing the power of collaboration with experts, Lee noted.

While we’ve been used to buyers actively looking for solutions, there’s a greater reliance on content today, making the trustworthiness of content sources more important than ever, Lee pointed out.

To help address the issue of trustworthiness and how B2B influencer marketing can help marketers now more than ever, Lee explained how TopRank Marketing produced the industry’s first 2020 State of B2B Influencer Marketing Report, with groundbreaking insights from 20 top B2B brands.

Lee shared how the report’s data makes it clear that B2B influencer marketing:

  • Improves customer experience (CX)
  • Positively impacts marketing overall
  • Increases brand awareness
  • Improves lead generation
  • Builds brand reputation and advocacy

“Partnering with well-matched influencers is a handy way to infuse your brand with creative energy and inspiration,” #MPB2B’s Ann Handley, who is among the top B2B marketing experts included in the report, observed.

Ann Handley Report Image

[bctt tweet=”“Partnering with well-matched influencers is a handy way to infuse your brand with creative energy and inspiration.” — Ann Handley @MarketingProfs” username=”toprank”]

2 — What Will Effective B2B Influencer Marketing Look Like in 2021?

Using remote work company monday.com* as an example, Lee shared how B2B influencer marketing had helped the platform achieve social reach from influencer shares of brand content that reached 1,790 percent above the target goal.

Lee also explained how monday.com successfully utilized B2B influencer marketing to partner with remote work experts and to drive discussions via live-stream that resulted in exposure to thousands of potential customers.

monday.com Image

In another example, Lee showed how IT service management software firm Cherwell Software* used B2B influencer marketing to achieve 342 percent better click-through-rate (CTR) on influencer content, and how the firm was successfully able to use influencers to build trust around a topic they hadn’t previously been known for, resulting in some 90 percent entirely new people in their database.

Cherwell Image

LinkedIn* served as another powerful example shared by Lee, who explained how the professional social media platform created a strong community of 75 influencers — recognizing the importance of investing in influencer relationships, and also the growing need for always-on B2B influencer marketing programs.

Lee shared how LinkedIn had partnered and developed relationships with influencers, how it was able to create a community of respected voices that became an ongoing voice of the brand, and how doing so allowed LinkedIn to be the best answer for its customers.

3 — What Makes B2B Influencer Marketing Content So Special?

B2B influencer marketing adds invaluable third-party credibility and trust to content, Lee said, also noting that it helps to extend content creation and expertise and to infuse the voice of the customer in your brand content, creating powerful trusted voices.

It also offers the added benefit of creating the type of inspiring promotion that traditional advertising may not be nearly as successful in doing, Lee suggested.

Lee then focused on steps B2B marketers can take to achieve success with an influencer marketing program.

4 — Scaling With Strategy

Scaling with strategy begins with finding the topics most relevant to your business, and Lee used an example from SAP*’s Tech Unknown podcast.

The podcast came about as a way to serve both internal customers and multiple external audiences, using an industry influencer — in this case technology futurist Tamara McCleary — as the podcast’s host.

SAP Image

Lee shared how influencers serve multiple uses for the SAP Tech Unknown podcast series, now in its third season, and how by following best-practices the podcast’s content has also been successfully repurposed into eBook and other content formats.

5 — Understand Topical Demand Using Specialized Software

Lee shared how using tools including SEMrush and BuzzSumo can play an important role in  helping to answer customer questions from third-party experts, and also explained how using the right software makes it possible to validate ideas with relevant data.

Lee recommended data-driven influencer marketing platform Traackr to help qualify and validate potential influencers and discover whether they have the right tone of voice, cadence, and other relevant criteria.

When it comes time for publishing B2B influencer marketing content co-created with influencers, it’s important to incorporate blog content as a part of your organization’s overall content publishing strategy, Lee noted, as it’s a vital part of the diverse array of content publishing formats that should be utilized when sharing co-created influencer content.

6 — Use an Always-On Engagement Strategy

Lee stressed the growing importance of an always-on engagement strategy, citing research from the 2020 State of B2B Influencer Marketing Report showing its effectiveness, and sharing a quote from Garnor Morantes, group marketing manager at LinkedIn: “Being ‘always-on’ has allowed our team to build meaningful relationships with influencers,” Garnor said.

Garnor Morantes Always-On Influence Quote

[bctt tweet=”“Being ‘always-on’ has allowed our team to build meaningful relationships with influencers.” — Garnor Morantes of @LinkedIn” username=”toprank”]

An always-on approach that’s centered around creating relationships helps build community and advocacy, Lee explained, noting the importance of playing the long game.

Lee presented a case study showing the effectiveness of B2B influencer marketing, from Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise (ALE), which created a successful IT Vanguard Awards program using IT industry influencers  as judges.

The awards program shared the advice and insight of honorees and helped to make them into influencers, Lee noted of the program, which went on to win an award at the 2020 Content Marketing Awards.

IT Vangards

Lee explained how TopRank Marketing has a proven process of working with influencers for many of the top brands on the planet such as Adobe, LinkedIn, Dell, 3M and others, and he urged those considering a B2B influencer marketing program to look closely at who really influences your buyers.

Only then can you move forward with investing in and executing a successful influencer program, Lee observed, which could start with outside help in the form of a pilot B2B influencer marketing program.

By using the insight gained from a pilot influencer program, B2B marketers can further build an influencer strategy, grow a content community of influencers, and activate return on investment (ROI), Lee noted as he concluded his #MPB2B presentation.

7 — Bonus #MPB2B B2B Influencer Marketing Insight

During the post-session question and answer period, Lee was asked for advice writing about non-marketing-related content, and he urged marketers to always strive to empathize with the audience, and to make content meaningful to them.

Using an example of a shareable social media message, Lee noted that tweets created for influencers won’t work nearly as well when an organization’s entire team shares these same messages, and instead recommended the messaging be changed to better suit those sharing the content in a more general way.

Lee was also asked whether B2B influencer marketing can also work for smaller firms, and he shared several examples of TopRank Marketing’s work with small-to-medium size businesses (SMBs), utilizing locally influential people, for firms such as Welter Heating and Prophix Software.

Welter Heating was able to utilize local celebrity influencers to poll and gather feedback, giving them something fun, easy, and interesting to do, which was then made into round-up posts for the company’s website, Lee noted.

Lee explained how despite the fact that financial management software solution provider Prophix Software was centered around a fairly niche topic, they were able to find relevant specialized influencers that fit and worked well.

Prophix Influencer Marketing Example

Asked to provide a quick tip for getting started in B2B influencer marketing, Lee suggested making and publishing a list of the people who are influential in your particular industry, as a way to honor them and then also to use as an opportunity to follow up with each person with a brief and easy-to-fulfill request for a future co-collaboration project such as an interview or eBook.

While B2B influencer marketing had previously been roughly 80-90 percent of the unpaid variety, that number is now up to around 25 percent paid, Lee said, noting that there are now more B2B professionals who bring to the table the type of influencer skills worth paying for, such as much more robust and relevant content from brandividuals.

When asked about budgeting, Lee suggested that B2B influencer marketing can be budgeted as with any other advertisement expenditure, and explained how using paid influencers can be a great way to find and recruit lesser-known influencers.

Lee suggested that it’s helpful to have a long runway for building influencer relationships, and explained how TopRank Marketing was able to find remote work experts for client monday.com by  using Traackr and a variety of other criteria to those most influential around the topic, along with those who have a community of followers that will respond to that topic. These join other metrics including network size, publishing cadence and format, along with the influencer’s particular values, Lee noted, before they are ultimately approved by the client.

Another question Lee fielded was who within an organization should run a B2B influencer marketing program, and he noted that in the early days of influencer marketing it was likely to be the director of marketing or people in social media roles — all community-oriented professionals.

As time has passed, Lee explained, with B2B influencer marketing having grown in both success and sophistication, new dedicated roles are being created, such as those held by people including Rani Mani, head of global employee advocacy at Adobe*, and Ursula Ringham, head of global influencer marketing at SAP, and there has also been more integration with other departments at organizations.

Lee’s final question was whether B2B influencer marketing could be used to test new markets, and Lee shared how it can be successfully used to find new marketing topics by conducting tests with various content formats to see how each resonates, before ultimately deciding whether to scale or bail, Lee noted.

Learn more about B2B influencer marketing from Lee by watching our #InsideInfluence series, including the latest episode “Inside Influence EP06: Amisha Gandhi from SAP on the Power of Mutual Value in B2B Influencer Marketing.”

Be sure to check out our additional #MPB2B 2020 coverage listed below:

Want further help? 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.

* monday.com, Cherwell Software, LinkedIn, SAP, Welter Heating, Prophix Software, and Adobe are TopRank Marketing clients.

 

The post 7 Keys To Successful B2B Influencer Marketing #MPB2B appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.


Source: SEO blog

LinkedIn’s Ty Heath: 3 Enduring B2B Marketing Trends #MPB2B

Woman at computers looking at trend data image.

Woman at computers looking at trend data image.

While MarketingProfs B2B Forum’s Ann Handley was introducing Ty Heath, director of market engagement at The B2B Institute at LinkedIn*, for her keynote, “Evolve your Strategy: 3 Mega Marketing Trends to Outperform Your Competition,” she shared that one of the advantages of holding the event virtually for the first time was that you could be three places at once by being able to watch all sessions once the conference concludes.

2020 marked Ty’s third year speaking at #MPB2B, and her first keynoting the event, and for the occasion Ann shared her hand-drawn portrait of Ty.

Ty Heath Screenshot A

Ty began by explaining that LinkedIn’s B2B Institute serves as a think tank for accelerating B2B marketing and creating more value for B2B marketers, and then started her exploration of the three big trends that won’t necessarily change over time — trends savvy marketers will want to invest in over the next decade in order to see their organizations thrive.

A key point prefacing her three major trends was that marketers shouldn’t ask what everyone else is doing, but instead should be asking about what nobody is doing, and the importance of both doing what nobody else is and — equally important — being right about it.

B2B marketing is largely a long-term game, Ty explained, noting that the three trends she would focus on during her #MPB2B presentation came from a robust collection of some 30 marketing trends that LinkedIn has researched over the past five years, available in report form in “2030 B2B Trends: Contrarian Ideas For The Next Decade.”

Let’s take a look at the three mega-marketing trends Ty explored in her insightful MarketingProfs B2B Forum #MPB2B 2020 session.

Trend #1 — The War on Brand

Ty shared the importance of B2B marketers striking just the right balance of short-term activation versus long term branding, pointing out that one of brand-building’s truest strengths is its effect on long term sales.

While it often takes six months to begin seeing the effects of a B2B brand campaign, only a paltry four percent even measure beyond the six month mark, Ty explained, pointing out that smart B2B brands should be investing at least 50 percent on branding initiatives.

Ty noted that in today’s B2B landscape, more buyers are doing their own research, but only on the brands that they’ve heard of.

Branding can do so much more than activation alone can, Ty explained, including:

  • Delivering better short-term results
  • Increasing sales from future customers
  • Using brand investment’s powers to raise prices
  • Acquiring and retaining the best talent

Ty took a look at the traditional sales funnel and shared how LinkedIn has benefited by flipping it sideways, allowing for observations of growth over time and a better visual understanding of in-market and out of market buyers.

Trend #2 — Blockbuster Marketing

Ty explored the power of creative effectiveness, using several film examples from Disney.

Creativity isn’t some magical state that exists off by itself, Ty said, however there are some general creativity principles that can work in more general terms.

One tenet of blockbuster B2B marketing is betting big, as small bets are inherently risky, while big bets can be very profitable, Ty noted, showing examples of the dramatic differences in return from a variety of Disney films.

Why are big bets more profitable?

One reason is our attention spans, Ty observed, noting that big bets can be among the only ways that brands can break through today. Another is the role of familiarity, pointing to the success of movie sequels, and the fact that these are stories we know and are comfortable connecting with.

Since at least 2015, Salesforce has used its “State of Sales” initiative to successfully build on familiarity through tactics such as reinvesting in existing creative and updating reports with new data to stay connected and keep these campaigns fresh, Ty explained.

B2B marketers should also focus on the consistent distinctiveness of their efforts, Ty noted, with a unique look and feel that has been built and invested in over time.

Look like yourself and no one else,” Ty urged, by using a logo, colors, and visual elements in advertisements that are recognizable.

She also pointed out the power of total merchandising, by bringing the same creative to different channels, and used the successful Star Wars franchise — with its $33 billion galaxy of revenue — as an example.

B2B marketers are well-served by making creative ideas into extensions of the franchise, Ty explained, such as by using total merchandising and through using the same creative in both online and traditional efforts, with each piece building on the last.

Trend #3 — The Death of Hyper-Targeting

There has been a major change in distribution effectiveness, as over the last decade B2B marketers have become obsessed with hyper-targeting using laser-like precision, Ty noted.

This move to narrowly target tiny audiences has been taken to an extreme and has swung too far in that direction, Ty noted, explaining that “We’ve gone way overboard in the direction of hyper-targeting.”

This isn’t to say that account-based marketing (ABM) no longer has a place, she noted, suggesting that it still has a place in complementing an overall plan.

In B2B it’s important to go broad, but not too broad, Ty observed, and then took a look at relevant reach and why it matters, suggesting that marketers also read LinkedIn’s “5 Principles Of Growth In B2B Marketing” report.

Reach is just as important in B2B as it is in B2C, depending on your competition, Ty noted, and used the example of Occam’s razor — the thirteenth-century philosopher’s principle that entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily — to reinforce that in marketing, reach equals growth.

A very real problem that arises with hyper-targeting is that it is sometimes — perhaps more often than we might expect — based on assumptions, which can lead to dangerous marketing problems, Ty noted.

Such unsafe assumptions often include inaccurate data, and Ty shared a personal example of several websites she used that attempt to find demographic information from web browsing history data, each missing the target wildly in her case, with much incorrect data.

Another peril B2B marketers face is assuming that we know precisely who to target, Ty observed, and suggested that we don’t often know, but that we should let smart systems start to help us predict where we’re going to get the best value.

Hyper-targeting is usually more expensive while broad targeting can be more efficient, and the better value, and Ty noted that “Category reach is the most important thing.”

Wrapping up her insightful presentation, Ty urged B2B marketers to invest in brand building and in creating blockbuster franchises, and ended by asking “What’s your share of voice? How does that compare with your market share, and how can you apply these three big trends?

In the post-session question and answer period, Ty expanded on methods for computing a share of voice (SOV) measurement, a metric she believes is greatly underrated and which can be quite telling, and which can also successfully be used to make the case for investment.

Ty Heath Screenshot 2

Ty also expanded on the merchandising concepts she’d mentioned earlier in her presentation, noting that it’s an area where B2C marketers do an especially good job, and she urged B2B marketers to take stock of where their assets lie and to work towards building fame, uniqueness, and the other elements that make your brand special.

Be sure to check out our additional #MPB2B 2020 coverage listed below:

* LinkedIn is a TopRank Marketing client.

The post LinkedIn’s Ty Heath: 3 Enduring B2B Marketing Trends #MPB2B appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.


Source: SEO blog

10 Must-See Sessions at MarketingProfs B2B Forum 2020 #MPB2B

Woman With Illuminated Fingertips Image

MarketingProfs B2B Forum 2020 will be the center of the B2B marketing world this week, as many of the world’s leading B2B marketers gather virtually on November 4 – 5 to learn and exchange the industry’s latest research and insight.

This year’s first-ever virtual edition offer a vast array speakers and sessions relating to all areas of B2B marketing, and while we’ve already shared our handy list of “25 Top B2B Marketing Influencers To Follow In 2021 #MPB2B,” we also want to provide you with a list of some of the sessions that we’re most looking forward to this week during #MPB2B.

Here are 10 sessions that stand out to us as must-see presentations as we head towards 2021 and beyond.

Speaker: Rani Mani, Head of Global Employee Advocacy, Adobe*Rani Mani

Time: Wednesday, November 4 — 11:50 a.m. Eastern

Rani will take a close look at the numerous advantages of long-term commitment in the would of B2B influencer marketing, and “why you need to stop using influencers as just billboards and mouthpieces, and instead tap into their unique skills and talents,” along with sharing what it takes to build passionate and enduring influencer relationships.

Learn more from Rani in her interview with our CEO Lee Odden, “B2B Influencer Marketing Interview: Rani Mani, Adobe,” and in “20 B2B Influencer Marketing Pros to Follow from Top Brands.”

Speaker: Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer, MarketingProfs Ann-Handley

Time: Wednesday, November 4 — 1:00 p.m. Eastern

Ann will examine the elements that B2B marketers can combine to create memorable and successful newsletters, including proven tips and examples that specifically focus on how the pandemic has affected email newsletter marketing.

“Come to this fun, inspiring session intervention to hear how to write one that gets fantastic results, and not squander the clear opportunity we all have,” Ann notes

Learn more from Ann in her interview with Lee, “B2B Marketing Spotlight: Ann Handley on Being a ‘Badaxe’ Marketer.”

Speaker: Tim Matthews, CMO, HackerOneTim Matthews

Time: Thursday, November 5  — 11:45 a.m. Eastern

Join Tim for an insightful look at the power of YouTube in B2B marketing including its strength reaching target buyers, increasing awareness, along with setting demand generation targets — plus a look at the platform’s unique SEO challenges and opportunities.

“Most B2B CMOs know YouTube is the #2 search engine behind Google. Yet most phone it in when it comes to treating their YouTube channel as a serious marketing channel. That’s a mistake,” Tim suggests.

Speaker: Joe Lazauskas, Head of Marketing, ContentlyJoe Lazauskas

Time: Thursday, November 5  — 12:20 p.m. Eastern

Joe will use neuroscience as a lens for more clearly seeing what it takes for B2B marketers to create memorable and engaging content, with an examination of Steady State Topography (SST) and the new science of “branding moments.”

He’ll also share a proprietary study and other B2B marketing insight surrounding the creation of truly memorable content.

Speaker: Lee Odden, CEO, TopRank MarketingLeeOdden

Time: Thursday, November 5  — 12:55 p.m. Eastern

Our CEO Lee will share his latest insights into building a successful B2B influencer marketing program, including new data from the industry’s first State of B2B Influencer Marketing Research Report, in which hundreds of marketers were recently surveyed to identify strategies, tactics, best practices, and predictions for the future of influence in B2B.

Lee will explore what this data reveals and how B2B marketers can best use it to implement a successful influencer program.

“60% of marketers don’t have the knowledge to execute or have the right skills in house to implement ongoing influencer marketing programs. And yet, of those that do engage influencers, 96% feel they are successful. Discover what they’re doing that can help you get your influencer programs working for your brand,” Lee notes of this must-attend #MPB2B session.

Speaker: Christopher S. Penn, Co-Founder, Trust InsightsChrisPenn

Time: Wednesday, November 4 — 1:35 p.m. Eastern

Christopher is set to share how B2B marketers can best gain insight from analytics, including a look at which areas are important to measure and which may not be worth it.

“You’ve heard the adage, ‘You can’t manage what you don’t measure.’ But in a world of ever-increasingly complex data and confounding circumstances, what if you’re not even sure what to measure,” Christopher asks — one of numerous B2B marketing analytics strategy questions he’ll tackle in his #MPB2B session.

Speaker: Tyrona Heath, Director, Market Engagement, The B2B Institute, LinkedIn*Ty Heath

Time: Thursday, November 5 — 2:10 p.m. Eastern

Ty’s keynote presentation is set to reveal three mega-marketing trends along with key macro-trends that will endure — and which B2B marketers will be able to count on — over the next decade.

“Discover how you can recalibrate your marketing strategy by following the key macro-trends you can count on for the next decade,” Ty notes.

Speaker: David Meerman Scott, Fandom Strategist, FanocracyDavid Meerman Scott

Time: Wednesday, November 4 — 11:00 a.m. Eastern

David will deliver a keynote presentation showing how making business personal can be among the most powerful business strategies you can implement, and he’ll also explore the process of creating the type of fandom he’s written about in Fanocracy.

“Creating fandom isn’t just for actors, athletes, musicians, and authors. Fandom can be rocket fuel for any company or organization that chooses to focus on inspiring and nurturing true fans,” David notes of his #MPB2B keynote session, in which he’ll also present examples from a variety of businesses and organizations that have incorporated newfound passion to create fans and achieve success.

Speaker: Ashley Zeckman, Senior Director, Inprela CommunicationsAshley Zeckman

Time: Wednesday, November 4 — 4:45 p.m. Eastern

Ashley will guide B2B marketers on a journey to create more meaningful experiences in a virtual world — a journey that’s more important now than ever — including sharing how businesses can stand out and achieve strong results despite today’s world of diminished brand loyalty

“Brands across the globe have done what they can to continue to drive revenue and service customers, but something is missing: the human connection,” Ashley notes of her #MPB2B session, which will also examine how B2B marketers can best maintain ongoing connections and create meaningful experiences with teams, customers, and industry experts in our increasingly virtual world.

Speaker: Pam Didner, B2B Tech Marketing Consultant & Author, Relentless PursuitPam Didner

Time: Wednesday, November 4 — 1:00 p.m. Eastern

Pam is set to share some of the best methods and hidden opportunities that B2B marketers can implement to support their sales team, along with looking at why greater aligning with your sales team is vital when it comes to quantifying your marketing’s ROI.

“For complex sales or when selling technology, content that showcases the technology and product benefits can be key to moving prospects through the sales funnel. In the era of digital and social selling, marketers can use existing marketing elements to better engage and support sales,” Pam explains, an area she’ll expand on in her must-see #MPB2B session.

Join Us Virtually at MarketingProfs B2B Forum 2020!

We hope you’ll join us virtually for these 10 must-see sessions during MPB2B, and for the many additional stellar presentations that will take place over November 4 – 5, for B2B marketing insight to drive your efforts well into 2021 and towards the post-pandemic future.

Also be sure to keep posted for live-blog coverage here on TopRank’s Online Marketing Blog.

* Adobe and LinkedIn are TopRank Marketing clients.

10 Must-See Sessions at MarketingProfs B2B Forum 2020 #MPB2B

Woman With Illuminated Fingertips Image

Woman With Illuminated Fingertips Image

MarketingProfs B2B Forum 2020 will be the center of the B2B marketing world this week, as many of the world’s leading B2B marketers gather virtually on November 4 – 5 to learn and exchange the industry’s latest research and insight.

This year’s first-ever virtual edition offer a vast array speakers and sessions relating to all areas of B2B marketing, and while we’ve already shared our handy list of “25 Top B2B Marketing Influencers To Follow In 2021 #MPB2B,” we also want to provide you with a list of some of the sessions that we’re most looking forward to this week during #MPB2B.

Here are 10 sessions that stand out to us as must-see presentations as we head towards 2021 and beyond.

10 Must-See Sessions at MarketingProfs B2B Forum 2020

1 — Influencer Love Affair: Dating With an Eye Towards Long-Term Commitment, Not One-Night Stands

Speaker: Rani Mani, Head of Global Employee Advocacy, Adobe*Rani Mani

Time: Wednesday, November 4 — 11:50 a.m. Eastern

Rani will take a close look at the numerous advantages of long-term commitment in the would of B2B influencer marketing, and “why you need to stop using influencers as just billboards and mouthpieces, and instead tap into their unique skills and talents,” along with sharing what it takes to build passionate and enduring influencer relationships.

Learn more from Rani in her interview with our CEO Lee Odden, “B2B Influencer Marketing Interview: Rani Mani, Adobe,” and in “20 B2B Influencer Marketing Pros to Follow from Top Brands.”

2 — How to Create an Email Newsletter People Will Clear Their Calendars to Read: 5 Lessons from the Past 8 Months

Speaker: Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer, MarketingProfs Ann-Handley

Time: Wednesday, November 4 — 1:00 p.m. Eastern

Ann will examine the elements that B2B marketers can combine to create memorable and successful newsletters, including proven tips and examples that specifically focus on how the pandemic has affected email newsletter marketing.

“Come to this fun, inspiring session intervention to hear how to write one that gets fantastic results, and not squander the clear opportunity we all have,” Ann notes

Learn more from Ann in her interview with Lee, “B2B Marketing Spotlight: Ann Handley on Being a ‘Badaxe’ Marketer.”

3 — YouTube for B2B? Your Secret Weapon for Awareness and Demand

Speaker: Tim Matthews, CMO, HackerOneTim Matthews

Time: Thursday, November 5  — 11:45 a.m. Eastern

Join Tim for an insightful look at the power of YouTube in B2B marketing including its strength reaching target buyers, increasing awareness, along with setting demand generation targets — plus a look at the platform’s unique SEO challenges and opportunities.

“Most B2B CMOs know YouTube is the #2 search engine behind Google. Yet most phone it in when it comes to treating their YouTube channel as a serious marketing channel. That’s a mistake,” Tim suggests.

4 — How to Create Truly Memorable Content According to Neuroscience

Speaker: Joe Lazauskas, Head of Marketing, ContentlyJoe Lazauskas

Time: Thursday, November 5  — 12:20 p.m. Eastern

Joe will use neuroscience as a lens for more clearly seeing what it takes for B2B marketers to create memorable and engaging content, with an examination of Steady State Topography (SST) and the new science of “branding moments.”

He’ll also share a proprietary study and other B2B marketing insight surrounding the creation of truly memorable content.

5 — New Research: How to be Successful With Influencer Marketing

Speaker: Lee Odden, CEO, TopRank MarketingLeeOdden

Time: Thursday, November 5  — 12:55 p.m. Eastern

Our CEO Lee will share his latest insights into building a successful B2B influencer marketing program, including new data from the industry’s first State of B2B Influencer Marketing Research Report, in which hundreds of marketers were recently surveyed to identify strategies, tactics, best practices, and predictions for the future of influence in B2B.

Lee will explore what this data reveals and how B2B marketers can best use it to implement a successful influencer program.

“60% of marketers don’t have the knowledge to execute or have the right skills in house to implement ongoing influencer marketing programs. And yet, of those that do engage influencers, 96% feel they are successful. Discover what they’re doing that can help you get your influencer programs working for your brand,” Lee notes of this must-attend #MPB2B session.

6 — B2B Marketing Analytics Strategy

Speaker: Christopher S. Penn, Co-Founder, Trust InsightsChrisPenn

Time: Wednesday, November 4 — 1:35 p.m. Eastern

Christopher is set to share how B2B marketers can best gain insight from analytics, including a look at which areas are important to measure and which may not be worth it.

“You’ve heard the adage, ‘You can’t manage what you don’t measure.’ But in a world of ever-increasingly complex data and confounding circumstances, what if you’re not even sure what to measure,” Christopher asks — one of numerous B2B marketing analytics strategy questions he’ll tackle in his #MPB2B session.

7 — Keynote: Evolve your Strategy: 3 Mega Marketing Trends to Outperform Your Competition

Speaker: Tyrona Heath, Director, Market Engagement, The B2B Institute, LinkedIn*Ty Heath

Time: Thursday, November 5 — 2:10 p.m. Eastern

Ty’s keynote presentation is set to reveal three mega-marketing trends along with key macro-trends that will endure — and which B2B marketers will be able to count on — over the next decade.

“Discover how you can recalibrate your marketing strategy by following the key macro-trends you can count on for the next decade,” Ty notes.

8 — Keynote: YES, You Can Build Passionate Fans in B2B Businesses!

Speaker: David Meerman Scott, Fandom Strategist, FanocracyDavid Meerman Scott

Time: Wednesday, November 4 — 11:00 a.m. Eastern

David will deliver a keynote presentation showing how making business personal can be among the most powerful business strategies you can implement, and he’ll also explore the process of creating the type of fandom he’s written about in Fanocracy.

“Creating fandom isn’t just for actors, athletes, musicians, and authors. Fandom can be rocket fuel for any company or organization that chooses to focus on inspiring and nurturing true fans,” David notes of his #MPB2B keynote session, in which he’ll also present examples from a variety of businesses and organizations that have incorporated newfound passion to create fans and achieve success.

9 — How to Create Meaningful Experiences That Inspire Action in an Unpredictable World

Speaker: Ashley Zeckman, Senior Director, Inprela CommunicationsAshley Zeckman

Time: Wednesday, November 4 — 4:45 p.m. Eastern

Ashley will guide B2B marketers on a journey to create more meaningful experiences in a virtual world — a journey that’s more important now than ever — including sharing how businesses can stand out and achieve strong results despite today’s world of diminished brand loyalty

“Brands across the globe have done what they can to continue to drive revenue and service customers, but something is missing: the human connection,” Ashley notes of her #MPB2B session, which will also examine how B2B marketers can best maintain ongoing connections and create meaningful experiences with teams, customers, and industry experts in our increasingly virtual world.

10 — 5 Creative Ways Marketers Can Support Their B2B Sales Team

Speaker: Pam Didner, B2B Tech Marketing Consultant & Author, Relentless PursuitPam Didner

Time: Wednesday, November 4 — 1:00 p.m. Eastern

Pam is set to share some of the best methods and hidden opportunities that B2B marketers can implement to support their sales team, along with looking at why greater aligning with your sales team is vital when it comes to quantifying your marketing’s ROI.

“For complex sales or when selling technology, content that showcases the technology and product benefits can be key to moving prospects through the sales funnel. In the era of digital and social selling, marketers can use existing marketing elements to better engage and support sales,” Pam explains, an area she’ll expand on in her must-see #MPB2B session.

Join Us Virtually at MarketingProfs B2B Forum 2020!

We hope you’ll join us virtually for these 10 must-see sessions during MPB2B, and for the many additional stellar presentations that will take place over November 4 – 5, for B2B marketing insight to drive your efforts well into 2021 and towards the post-pandemic future.

Also be sure to keep posted for live-blog coverage here on TopRank’s Online Marketing Blog.

* Adobe and LinkedIn are TopRank Marketing clients.

The post 10 Must-See Sessions at MarketingProfs B2B Forum 2020 #MPB2B appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.


Source: SEO blog

Imagine What’s Possible: Top Insights & Favorite Marketing Moments From #MPB2B 2019

If we had to describe the experience at this year’s MarketingProfs B2B Forum in one word, we would probably have to go with “neighborly.”

Yes, this vibe was intentionally embedded by the event organizers, who constructed the main stage and supporting elements at MPB2B around a “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” theme. But the speakers and attendees at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center all did their parts to foster a helpful, friendly, and kind environment. 

As a result, we’ve returned home with our mental batteries recharged, full of inspiration and motivation to help our clients, partners, audience, and coworkers achieve new heights with B2B marketing strategy.

So hang your coat up on the rack, untie your shoes, and settle in for ways that you can reimagine the way your team approaches events and to read our most memorable moments from a few beautiful days in the MPB2B neighborhood.

7 Ways to Reimagine How Teams Approach Industry Events

Amping up the Audience Pre-Event

Leading up to MPB2B, our team created some killer content to help whet the appetite of conference attendees. Below you can find each of these awesome experiences: 

MPB2B Speaker Interviews

As part of the pre-MPB2B experience, our CEO Lee Odden conducted these fascinating video interviews with some of the top event speakers to dig deeper into their expertise and top insights. 

Ann Handley on Being a ‘Badaxe’ Marketer

Interview Ann Handley

Jay Baer on Employee Generated Content

Jay Baer Interview

Ty Heath on Optimizing ABM & Social Sales with LinkedIn

Ty Heath Interview B2B Marketing

Neen James on How to Make Attention Pay

Neen James Interview

Interactive Experience

Struggling to whip your content marketing into shape? Our team tapped into the minds of 16 speakers to get their top tips for improving content performance.

B2B Marketing Fitness: 16 B2B Experts Share Top Tips for Optimized Performance

B2B Marketing Fitness

MPB2B Top 50

Which speakers are walking the walk and talking the talk? This list from the team at TopRank Marketing includes an analysis of MPB2B speakers to identify which speakers are most topically relevant, have great network engagement with on-topic content and overall network size and reach. 

50 Top B2B Marketing Influencers, Experts & Speakers in 2019

B2B Marketing Influencers 2019

Sharing Expertise with Attendees

When you spend every day with the people you work with, you recognize that they are smart and talented, but are they influential? Lee shared an idea a few years ago that has always stuck with me: 

“Everyone is influential about something.”

And one of the ways to showcase your team smarts is to participate as a speaker at industry events like MarketingProfs B2B Forum. And yes, while speaking may not be for everyone (and does require a certain level of effort to build your presence, pitch speaking ideas and comfort speaking in front of a crowd), it can be an excellent way to evangelize a message that aligns with attendee needs. This year at MPB2B we had two team members that took the stage. 

Lee Odden – CEO, TopRank Marketing

First up, our CEO Lee Odden helped attendees get their content marketing into shape with a talk titled: Content Marketing Fitness – 10 Exercise to Build Your Marketing Beach Body. Here are some of the top attendee takeaways from Lee’s session: 

Ashley Zeckman – Senior Director of Digital Strategy, TopRank Marketing

I also had the honor of presenting again this year and shared a whimsical look at creating and scaling B2B influencer marketing programs with a talk titled: Through the Looking-Glass – Enter a New World of Successful, Always-On Influencer Marketing. Here were some of my favorite tweets from the audience: 

Most Talked About at MPB2B

Chris Penn, the master of data/data visualization created one of his famous interactive maps showcasing who was most talked about at this year’s event. I was excited to see that our brand, our clients Amisha Gandhi and Konstanze Alex, as well as Lee and I, were both mentioned. 

Covering Stellar Sessions

When attending an event like this one, it is IMPOSSIBLE to see everything. That’s why you’ll see our team furiously typing and publishing session coverage throughout the conference. A very special shout out to TopRank Marketing’s Nick Nelson for his amazing session coverage at MPB2B!

Breaking Down Barriers for Healthy B2B Marketing with Lee Odden #MPB2B

As we alluded to earlier, Lee presented an energy-packed and informative session on B2B marketing fitness that enthusiastically wove his personal journal of losing 65 pounds during the course of a year together with how to best deliver long-term marketing fitness and health.

Lee’s B2B marketing acumen and prowess are among the best in the business, and both were on display as he shared a powerful array of actionable tactics for handling the barriers to healthy marketing, including methods that can lead to breakthroughs in the areas of delivering sustained growth using always-on marketing, integrated strategy, empathetic content planning, and more.

A Journey Through Always-On Influencer Marketing with Ashley Zeckman #MPB2B

Ashley Zeckman Presenting at MPB2B 2019

In my session, we covered the ins-and-outs of always-on influencer marketing strategy. Taking my cue and inspiration from Alice in Wonderland, we explored the whimsical world that is always-on influencer marketing, sharing a connected, relationship-based approach to scalable influencer success — from finding your topical sweet spot and identifying a balanced mix of influencers to creating a repeatable engagement model.

The Truth About Marketing Personalization, According to Arm Treasure Data’s Tom Treanor #MPB2B

Arm Treasure Data’s Global Head of Marketing Tom Treanor presented a spirited session that looked deeply at the vast power and occasional perils of B2B marketing personalization.

Tom explored the changing B2B customer journey and how personalization is more of a critical challenge now than ever, and offered up a series of informative examples from global leaders in personalization, along with how the greatest successes come from those who can use data to work in a way that’s smarter, wider, deeper, and faster.

Tom also shared a selection of the tools and technologies he uses to simplify B2B marketing personalization and dug into how the right timing and context play key roles in getting it all right.

A Primer on Combining Account-Based Marketing and Social Selling, from LinkedIn’s Ty Heath #MPB2B

LinkedIn’s Ty Heath led a fascinating and informative session on how account-based marketing (ABM) and social selling align for a better B2B strategy in a complex world where the lines between sales and marketing have significantly blurred.

Ty shared smartly-aligned ABM and social selling tactics, tools, and insights for creating a professional brand, by focusing on the right prospects, engaging with insights, and building trusted relationships — ranging from social media cues to demographic data, and she even previewed some of the new relevant features forthcoming from LinkedIn.

Tales from the B2B Influencer Marketing Trenches with Leaders from Dell & SAP #MPB2B

Konstanze Alex and Janine Wegner of Dell and Amisha Gandhi of SAP combined to present a powerful and information-packed session on the latest B2B influencer marketing insights from their respective firms, and each explored how a keen understanding of influence can provide measurable business success.

Konstanze, Janine, and Amisha each shared their own first-hand experiences building successful and scalable influencer marketing programs, and dug highlighted specific must-haves such as setting the right objectives, finding influencers who align with the values of your organization, gaining leadership buy-in, and nurturing relationships for long-term value.

How Intuit Surmounted Stagnating Lead Gen with Customer Insight

Intuit Digital Director Brian Hood led a thorough presentation on how customer insights can pair with data to significantly improve and rejuvenate lead generation, while also looking at customer empathy’s growing role.

Brian shared how both prospect and customer observation contribute to lead generation innovation, and how smart testing contributes to hitting existing goals and achieving new levels of success.

Connecting with Clients

Events also provide a great opportunity to connect with clients that you might not get to see as often as you’d like. We were excited to spend some quality face-to-face time with our clients from Dell, SAP, LinkedIn, Arm Treasure Data, Antea Group and Prophix at this event. 

Connecting Speakers Around a Unified Idea

Our friends and clients at LinkedIn did a fantastic job of taking the online experience offline by hosting fun, intimate happy hour for many of the speakers that we partner with as part of this program.

This event was a great opportunity to spend some quality time getting to know more about these industry experts and also provided them an opportunity to connect with each other prior to day 1 of the conference. Thank you to Garnor Morantes and Judy Tian for hosting this phenomenal gathering. 

Saying Thank You

The team at TopRank Marketing also hosted our own special event for clients, partners, speakers and friends at MPB2B. This has become somewhat of a tradition and something we all look forward to. In addition to breaking bread together, it gives us all an opportunity to get closer and exchange lessons in marketing and in life. Thank you to everyone who made this an epic experience!

Creating Content for the Future

Have we mentioned how important it is to take advantage of in-person interactions? Over the course of two days, Susan Misukanis and Kelly Hogan from our team interviewed 13 speakers, clients and attendees from the event. Thank you to all of you for taking the time to sit down with our team and share your smarts!

Thank You All!

I must say, it truly was a beautiful two days in the B2B marketing neighborhood at MPB2B. Thank you to the entire MarketingProfs team for putting on a great event, the amazing attendees for bringing your energy and questions, the phenomenal speakers for helping educate our community, our clients for spending time talk through programs and to Ann Handley…the woman who brings us all together. 

Disclosure: Dell, LinkedIn, SAP and Arm Treasure Data are TopRank Marketing clients. 

Imagine What’s Possible: Top Insights & Favorite Marketing Moments From #MPB2B 2019

If we had to describe the experience at this year’s MarketingProfs B2B Forum in one word, we would probably have to go with “neighborly.”

Yes, this vibe was intentionally embedded by the event organizers, who constructed the main stage and supporting elements at MPB2B around a “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” theme. But the speakers and attendees at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center all did their parts to foster a helpful, friendly, and kind environment. 

As a result, we’ve returned home with our mental batteries recharged, full of inspiration and motivation to help our clients, partners, audience, and coworkers achieve new heights with B2B marketing strategy.

So hang your coat up on the rack, untie your shoes, and settle in for ways that you can reimagine the way your team approaches events and to read our most memorable moments from a few beautiful days in the MPB2B neighborhood.

7 Ways to Reimagine How Teams Approach Industry Events

Amping up the Audience Pre-Event

Leading up to MPB2B, our team created some killer content to help whet the appetite of conference attendees. Below you can find each of these awesome experiences: 

MPB2B Speaker Interviews

As part of the pre-MPB2B experience, our CEO Lee Odden conducted these fascinating video interviews with some of the top event speakers to dig deeper into their expertise and top insights. 

Ann Handley on Being a ‘Badaxe’ Marketer

Interview Ann Handley

Jay Baer on Employee Generated Content

Jay Baer Interview

Ty Heath on Optimizing ABM & Social Sales with LinkedIn

Ty Heath Interview B2B Marketing

Neen James on How to Make Attention Pay

Neen James Interview

Interactive Experience

Struggling to whip your content marketing into shape? Our team tapped into the minds of 16 speakers to get their top tips for improving content performance.

B2B Marketing Fitness: 16 B2B Experts Share Top Tips for Optimized Performance

B2B Marketing Fitness

MPB2B Top 50

Which speakers are walking the walk and talking the talk? This list from the team at TopRank Marketing includes an analysis of MPB2B speakers to identify which speakers are most topically relevant, have great network engagement with on-topic content and overall network size and reach. 

50 Top B2B Marketing Influencers, Experts & Speakers in 2019

B2B Marketing Influencers 2019

Sharing Expertise with Attendees

When you spend every day with the people you work with, you recognize that they are smart and talented, but are they influential? Lee shared an idea a few years ago that has always stuck with me: 

“Everyone is influential about something.”

And one of the ways to showcase your team smarts is to participate as a speaker at industry events like MarketingProfs B2B Forum. And yes, while speaking may not be for everyone (and does require a certain level of effort to build your presence, pitch speaking ideas and comfort speaking in front of a crowd), it can be an excellent way to evangelize a message that aligns with attendee needs. This year at MPB2B we had two team members that took the stage. 

Lee Odden – CEO, TopRank Marketing

First up, our CEO Lee Odden helped attendees get their content marketing into shape with a talk titled: Content Marketing Fitness – 10 Exercise to Build Your Marketing Beach Body. Here are some of the top attendee takeaways from Lee’s session: 

Ashley Zeckman – Senior Director of Digital Strategy, TopRank Marketing

I also had the honor of presenting again this year and shared a whimsical look at creating and scaling B2B influencer marketing programs with a talk titled: Through the Looking-Glass – Enter a New World of Successful, Always-On Influencer Marketing. Here were some of my favorite tweets from the audience: 

Most Talked About at MPB2B

Chris Penn, the master of data/data visualization created one of his famous interactive maps showcasing who was most talked about at this year’s event. I was excited to see that our brand, our clients Amisha Gandhi and Konstanze Alex, as well as Lee and I, were both mentioned. 

Covering Stellar Sessions

When attending an event like this one, it is IMPOSSIBLE to see everything. That’s why you’ll see our team furiously typing and publishing session coverage throughout the conference. A very special shout out to TopRank Marketing’s Nick Nelson for his amazing session coverage at MPB2B!

Breaking Down Barriers for Healthy B2B Marketing with Lee Odden #MPB2B

As we alluded to earlier, Lee presented an energy-packed and informative session on B2B marketing fitness that enthusiastically wove his personal journal of losing 65 pounds during the course of a year together with how to best deliver long-term marketing fitness and health.

Lee’s B2B marketing acumen and prowess are among the best in the business, and both were on display as he shared a powerful array of actionable tactics for handling the barriers to healthy marketing, including methods that can lead to breakthroughs in the areas of delivering sustained growth using always-on marketing, integrated strategy, empathetic content planning, and more.

A Journey Through Always-On Influencer Marketing with Ashley Zeckman #MPB2B

Ashley Zeckman Presenting at MPB2B 2019

In my session, we covered the ins-and-outs of always-on influencer marketing strategy. Taking my cue and inspiration from Alice in Wonderland, we explored the whimsical world that is always-on influencer marketing, sharing a connected, relationship-based approach to scalable influencer success — from finding your topical sweet spot and identifying a balanced mix of influencers to creating a repeatable engagement model.

The Truth About Marketing Personalization, According to Arm Treasure Data’s Tom Treanor #MPB2B

Arm Treasure Data’s Global Head of Marketing Tom Treanor presented a spirited session that looked deeply at the vast power and occasional perils of B2B marketing personalization.

Tom explored the changing B2B customer journey and how personalization is more of a critical challenge now than ever, and offered up a series of informative examples from global leaders in personalization, along with how the greatest successes come from those who can use data to work in a way that’s smarter, wider, deeper, and faster.

Tom also shared a selection of the tools and technologies he uses to simplify B2B marketing personalization and dug into how the right timing and context play key roles in getting it all right.

A Primer on Combining Account-Based Marketing and Social Selling, from LinkedIn’s Ty Heath #MPB2B

LinkedIn’s Ty Heath led a fascinating and informative session on how account-based marketing (ABM) and social selling align for a better B2B strategy in a complex world where the lines between sales and marketing have significantly blurred.

Ty shared smartly-aligned ABM and social selling tactics, tools, and insights for creating a professional brand, by focusing on the right prospects, engaging with insights, and building trusted relationships — ranging from social media cues to demographic data, and she even previewed some of the new relevant features forthcoming from LinkedIn.

Tales from the B2B Influencer Marketing Trenches with Leaders from Dell & SAP #MPB2B

Konstanze Alex and Janine Wegner of Dell and Amisha Gandhi of SAP combined to present a powerful and information-packed session on the latest B2B influencer marketing insights from their respective firms, and each explored how a keen understanding of influence can provide measurable business success.

Konstanze, Janine, and Amisha each shared their own first-hand experiences building successful and scalable influencer marketing programs, and dug highlighted specific must-haves such as setting the right objectives, finding influencers who align with the values of your organization, gaining leadership buy-in, and nurturing relationships for long-term value.

How Intuit Surmounted Stagnating Lead Gen with Customer Insight

Intuit Digital Director Brian Hood led a thorough presentation on how customer insights can pair with data to significantly improve and rejuvenate lead generation, while also looking at customer empathy’s growing role.

Brian shared how both prospect and customer observation contribute to lead generation innovation, and how smart testing contributes to hitting existing goals and achieving new levels of success.

Connecting with Clients

Events also provide a great opportunity to connect with clients that you might not get to see as often as you’d like. We were excited to spend some quality face-to-face time with our clients from Dell, SAP, LinkedIn, Arm Treasure Data, Antea Group and Prophix at this event. 

Connecting Speakers Around a Unified Idea

Our friends and clients at LinkedIn did a fantastic job of taking the online experience offline by hosting fun, intimate happy hour for many of the speakers that we partner with as part of this program.

This event was a great opportunity to spend some quality time getting to know more about these industry experts and also provided them an opportunity to connect with each other prior to day 1 of the conference. Thank you to Garnor Morantes and Judy Tian for hosting this phenomenal gathering. 

Saying Thank You

The team at TopRank Marketing also hosted our own special event for clients, partners, speakers and friends at MPB2B. This has become somewhat of a tradition and something we all look forward to. In addition to breaking bread together, it gives us all an opportunity to get closer and exchange lessons in marketing and in life. Thank you to everyone who made this an epic experience!

Creating Content for the Future

Have we mentioned how important it is to take advantage of in-person interactions? Over the course of two days, Susan Misukanis and Kelly Hogan from our team interviewed 13 speakers, clients and attendees from the event. Thank you to all of you for taking the time to sit down with our team and share your smarts!

Thank You All!

I must say, it truly was a beautiful two days in the B2B marketing neighborhood at MPB2B. Thank you to the entire MarketingProfs team for putting on a great event, the amazing attendees for bringing your energy and questions, the phenomenal speakers for helping educate our community, our clients for spending time talk through programs and to Ann Handley…the woman who brings us all together. 

Disclosure: Dell, LinkedIn, SAP and Arm Treasure Data are TopRank Marketing clients. 

The post Imagine What’s Possible: Top Insights & Favorite Marketing Moments From #MPB2B 2019 appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.


Source: SEO blog

How Intuit Surmounted Stagnating Lead Gen with Customer Insight

Here’s something you might already know about Intuit: The leading financial software company has been around for 35 years, buoyed by its primary software offerings, TurboTax and QuickBooks.

Here’s something you might not know (at least it was news to me): While Intuit does market to consumers, B2B customers comprise a large portion of the company’s base – its ProConnect division sells products to tax and accounting professionals, while Intuit, in general, is reliant on such pros to recommend TurboTax and QuickBooks to their own clients.

And on this B2B front, Intuit was facing a challenge: Leads had been flat for five years. Despite extremely high product awareness (I doubt anyone reading this hasn’t heard of those two main products) and strong tax firm industry retention rates around 90%, Intuit simply wasn’t bringing in new business at the desired rate.

To rejuvenate its lead generation, the company completely refreshed its strategy last year with an experimental approach driven by empathy and customer insights. Intuit’s Digital Director, Brian Hood, detailed their story during an eye-opening session full of practical takeaways at MarketingProfs B2B Forum last Thursday afternoon.

A New Spin on Customer Observation

When digital marketers think about customer insight, we usually think in terms of harnessing data and deriving useful conclusions. This is, of course, an important aspect. But Brian and his team at Intuit wanted to get a closer view. While their brand name might be defined in the dictionary as “to understand or work out by instinct,” they weren’t satisfied to rely on their gut.

Customer empathy is something Brian values immensely in his job. That was instantly clear. And speaking of definitions, I really like the one he shared for empathy: “Having such a strong understanding that it’s hard to tell the line between us and our customers.”

Customer empathy is having such a strong understanding that it’s hard to tell the line between us and our customers. @bw_hood Click To Tweet

Any marketer should aspire to this level of empathy, but it is not easily attained. Data and conversations with the sales team are certainly key pieces of the puzzle, but the team at Intuit sought a more direct perspective. So they decided to observe their prospects and customers – choosing 20 and connecting with each for an hour, via video or in-person.

One thing Brian has come to notice is that leading questions are problematic; either intentionally or subconsciously, people will often tell you what they think you want to hear. So his team made sure to be vague in direction, to obtain genuine insight.

“We asked, ‘Imagine you you were looking for a new bank. Here’s a computer. How would you start looking?’ ” he says. And a revelation quickly came to light: “What they say and what they do are very different.”

One unexpected finding: Many of these individuals went to the question-and-answer website Quora as a first step. “Our data never would have told us that was the No. 1 place they were going to do research,” Brian says.

With this knowledge about audience preferences in hand, Intuit’s marketing team was able to make some strategic adjustments, committing more dollars to paid media testing. Through these efforts, they saw a 15% growth in absolute leads.

“If you have flat leads, go talk to people,” Brian urges. “Find out what they’re doing and see if you can find some new insights.”

Innovation through Smart Testing

If you want to truly innovate for your customers, you can’t simply ask them what they want, because their imagination is inherently limited by existing solutions and capabilities. To illustrate this, Brian points to a classic example: Before the invention of the automobile, when consumers wanted to get to their destinations more quickly, they could only ask for a faster horse.

His team stays nimble and creative by following a broad-then-narrow testing model. “Start with what’s possible, then narrow down,” he advises. By developing empathetic customer insights, then using them as the basis for testing new techniques and rapidly iterating, Intuit maintains an innovative focus with its marketing strategy. But they offset the risks by committing only 5-10% of working capital to these types of tests.

“New experiments might fail, and probably will fail,” Brian acknowledges. But fear of failure can be a major detriment to meaningful progress.

He cited another use case where his team was feeling pressure to increase close rates and boost funnel conversion, and through this model, settled on a high-effort email and direct mail campaign. It wouldn’t have been their first choice, given the cost, but the experiment paid off as they hit their goals.

Insight through Empathy

“Make sure your marketing teams are out with your prospects and customers,” Brian urges. “Make sure that you use deep observation to understand how your products are actually helping them.”

Make sure your marketing teams are out with your prospects and customers. Make sure that you use deep observation to understand how your products are actually helping them. @bw_hood Click To Tweet

Granted, it’s not feasible for every company to set up the same types of investigative customer interfaces as Intuit does, but it’s always worth thinking about how you can better combine direct observation with data, surveys, social monitoring, and other methods to gain a full understanding of the audience you serve.

Until it becomes hard to see the line between you and your customers, there’s always more work to be done.

How Intuit Surmounted Stagnating Lead Gen with Customer Insight

Here’s something you might already know about Intuit: The leading financial software company has been around for 35 years, buoyed by its primary software offerings, TurboTax and QuickBooks.

Here’s something you might not know (at least it was news to me): While Intuit does market to consumers, B2B customers comprise a large portion of the company’s base – its ProConnect division sells products to tax and accounting professionals, while Intuit, in general, is reliant on such pros to recommend TurboTax and QuickBooks to their own clients.

And on this B2B front, Intuit was facing a challenge: Leads had been flat for five years. Despite extremely high product awareness (I doubt anyone reading this hasn’t heard of those two main products) and strong tax firm industry retention rates around 90%, Intuit simply wasn’t bringing in new business at the desired rate.

To rejuvenate its lead generation, the company completely refreshed its strategy last year with an experimental approach driven by empathy and customer insights. Intuit’s Digital Director, Brian Hood, detailed their story during an eye-opening session full of practical takeaways at MarketingProfs B2B Forum last Thursday afternoon.

A New Spin on Customer Observation

When digital marketers think about customer insight, we usually think in terms of harnessing data and deriving useful conclusions. This is, of course, an important aspect. But Brian and his team at Intuit wanted to get a closer view. While their brand name might be defined in the dictionary as “to understand or work out by instinct,” they weren’t satisfied to rely on their gut.

Customer empathy is something Brian values immensely in his job. That was instantly clear. And speaking of definitions, I really like the one he shared for empathy: “Having such a strong understanding that it’s hard to tell the line between us and our customers.”

[bctt tweet=”Customer empathy is having such a strong understanding that it’s hard to tell the line between us and our customers. @bw_hood” username=”toprank”]

Any marketer should aspire to this level of empathy, but it is not easily attained. Data and conversations with the sales team are certainly key pieces of the puzzle, but the team at Intuit sought a more direct perspective. So they decided to observe their prospects and customers – choosing 20 and connecting with each for an hour, via video or in-person.

One thing Brian has come to notice is that leading questions are problematic; either intentionally or subconsciously, people will often tell you what they think you want to hear. So his team made sure to be vague in direction, to obtain genuine insight.

“We asked, ‘Imagine you you were looking for a new bank. Here’s a computer. How would you start looking?’ ” he says. And a revelation quickly came to light: “What they say and what they do are very different.”

One unexpected finding: Many of these individuals went to the question-and-answer website Quora as a first step. “Our data never would have told us that was the No. 1 place they were going to do research,” Brian says.

With this knowledge about audience preferences in hand, Intuit’s marketing team was able to make some strategic adjustments, committing more dollars to paid media testing. Through these efforts, they saw a 15% growth in absolute leads.

“If you have flat leads, go talk to people,” Brian urges. “Find out what they’re doing and see if you can find some new insights.”

Innovation through Smart Testing

If you want to truly innovate for your customers, you can’t simply ask them what they want, because their imagination is inherently limited by existing solutions and capabilities. To illustrate this, Brian points to a classic example: Before the invention of the automobile, when consumers wanted to get to their destinations more quickly, they could only ask for a faster horse.

His team stays nimble and creative by following a broad-then-narrow testing model. “Start with what’s possible, then narrow down,” he advises. By developing empathetic customer insights, then using them as the basis for testing new techniques and rapidly iterating, Intuit maintains an innovative focus with its marketing strategy. But they offset the risks by committing only 5-10% of working capital to these types of tests.

“New experiments might fail, and probably will fail,” Brian acknowledges. But fear of failure can be a major detriment to meaningful progress.

He cited another use case where his team was feeling pressure to increase close rates and boost funnel conversion, and through this model, settled on a high-effort email and direct mail campaign. It wouldn’t have been their first choice, given the cost, but the experiment paid off as they hit their goals.

Insight through Empathy

“Make sure your marketing teams are out with your prospects and customers,” Brian urges. “Make sure that you use deep observation to understand how your products are actually helping them.”

[bctt tweet=”Make sure your marketing teams are out with your prospects and customers. Make sure that you use deep observation to understand how your products are actually helping them. @bw_hood ” username=”toprank”]

Granted, it’s not feasible for every company to set up the same types of investigative customer interfaces as Intuit does, but it’s always worth thinking about how you can better combine direct observation with data, surveys, social monitoring, and other methods to gain a full understanding of the audience you serve.

Until it becomes hard to see the line between you and your customers, there’s always more work to be done.

The post How Intuit Surmounted Stagnating Lead Gen with Customer Insight appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.


Source: SEO blog

Tales from the B2B Influencer Marketing Trenches with Leaders from Dell & SAP #MPB2B

When was the last time you made a purchase without reading multiple reviews, asking your friends for recommendations or relying on an endorsement from someone that you know and trust? The likely response is: “I can’t even remember that far back.”

While trusting the insights of others to inform our purchasing decisions has become second-nature for both personal and business purchases, influencer marketing for B2B organizations is still fairly new. In fact, only 24% of marketers are currently partnering with influencers to expand their reach (CMI & MarketingProfs). 

Last week at MarketingProfs B2B Forum, seasoned influencer marketing leaders Konstanze Alex and Janine Wegner from Dell* and Amisha Gandhi from SAP* teamed up to share tales from the trenches of influencer marketing at their respective organizations. Below is just a sampling of the insights they shared that can help guide your approach for your brand. 

#1 – Understanding Influence

Influencer marketing is often pegged as a tactic rooted in paying celebrities or brandividuals with large social followings to push your product or service. But influence isn’t defined by popularity or number of followers. As our own CEO Lee Odden has shared time and again: “Influencer marketing is the practice of engaging internal and industry experts with active networks to help achieve measurable business goals.”

For Konstanze, Janine and Amisha, putting this definition into practice and creating effective partnerships means identifying individuals who align with your company values, priority topics and already have influence with your target audience. Additionally, successful influencer marketing serves the community on a larger scale to bring new ideas that help advance the knowledge of everyone involved. 

[bctt tweet=”Successful influencer marketing is really about the community. @AmishaGandhi” username=”toprank”]

#2 – Setting Your Business Objectives

A critical step toward creating a successful and scalable influencer marketing program is to clearly define your business goals. From awareness to purchase, there are a multitude of different goals and KPIs that organizations can track to show program success, our veteran panel stated. 

[bctt tweet=”If you don’t tie your influencer marketing to business objectives, you can quickly lose track of what you’re trying to accomplish. @Konstanze” username=”toprank”]

When it comes KPIs, here are a few that the TopRank Marketing team tracks to show influencer marketing success: 

  • Estimated Reach via Influencers
  • Estimated Impressions via Influencers
  • Influencer Referrals (Total & New)
  • Influencer Editorial Mentions
  • Influencer Share Clicks
  • Brand Mentions by Influencers (SOV)
  • Conversions via Influencers

An effective program will also serve multiple departments or business units within your organization. An example Amisha provided was that of an integrated campaign that not only supported her direct team, but was translated into multiple languages and even broke down into more snackable content to support sales enablement. 

[bctt tweet=”We want to partner with influencers to create an experience that takes people on an engaging journey that encourages them to want to work with your brand. @AmishaGandhi” username=”toprank”]

#3 – Building for the Long-Term

The issue with many influencer marketing programs is that they aren’t built to last. Often, brands will implement one-off programs that lead to one-off interactions with target influencers. 

Instead, brands should identify how their influencer relations efforts integrate with larger marketing efforts to effectively support the aforementioned business objectives. 

According to Konstanze, Janine and Amisha, one of the most important but often overlooked pieces to a successful influencer program is nurturing influencer relationships. And we couldn’t agree more. Once you’ve identified influencers that align with your brand, the next step is to begin growing the relationship. That relationship development can include connecting via social media or in real-life, honoring them in content and getting to the core of what they care about most. 

[bctt tweet=”To be successful at influencer marketing, you can’t engage an influencer one day and then drop them the next. It requires a multi-year effort. @Konstanze” username=”toprank”]

#4 – Creating Value for All

For a partnership with influencers to work, there has to be value for all; value for the audience, value for the influencer and value your brand. But keep in mind that not every partnership will be the same.

Some thought leaders want to bolster or grow their influence, while others simply want to create something their proud of (or their bosses can take pride in). For example, for certain programs influencers will see value in the exposure they’ll get from partnering with large brands (like SAP and Dell).

However, it’s also important to note that when you’re asking something substantial of an influencer (e.g. attending an event, hosting a podcast, etc.), it’s appropriate to compensate them for their efforts.

[bctt tweet=”Partnering with influencers can help humanize your brand. @JanineWegner” username=”toprank”]

#5 – Gaining Leadership Buy-In

Many influencer programs don’t get off the ground because proper attention wasn’t paid to both educating and influencing leadership to understand the value of influencer partnerships.

And as these leaders revealed during their session, leadership buy-in will directly impact the budget and manpower needed to effectively resource your program (with either internal staff or influencer partnerships), as well as the tools needed to identify and manage influencer relationships. 

[bctt tweet=”Leadership buy-in is a key foundational pillar to influencer marketing success. @JanineWegner” username=”toprank”]

So, take the time to educate early and often, as well as regularly share progress and results to keep leadership engaged.

Bonus: Q&A with Konstanze Alex & Janine Wegner of Dell

Prior to their session at MPB2B, Konstanze and Janine were able to spend a few minutes with our team to share some additional insights for influencer marketing success:  

When you talk about integrated influencer marketing, what are some of the different elements/functions that must be included?

For 360 message pull-through and highest audience impact it is critical to embed influencer marketing into the larger marketing ecosystem and be part of all relevant corporate and business unit plans. This includes PR, AR, Brand, Product Marketing, Field Marketing, Global Marketing, Event Marketing, etc. This often requires an additional cross-team and cross-functional leader buy-in and influencer strategy road showing.

– Konstanze Alex

What do you think are 2-3 essential elements for successfully scaling a B2B influencer marketing program? 

  1. Have concrete business objectives that you want to achieve with your influencer program and have the program embedded into your overall marketing plan.
  2. Based on objectives, find the right influencers, listen and observe first (what they say, how they say, who they follow, who they amplify, how they engage), and then start building a mutually beneficial relationship.
  3. Leadership buy-in: influencer marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. You need to have leadership buy-in and funding for internal resources, agencies, activations, promotion/ amplification and influencer reimbursements/ fees.

– Janine Wegner

*Disclosure: Dell and SAP are TopRank Marketing clients.

The post Tales from the B2B Influencer Marketing Trenches with Leaders from Dell & SAP #MPB2B appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.


Source: SEO blog