B2B Marketing News: B2B User Reviews, Instagram’s New Branded Reels, Writing To Reward, & Google’s Refined Smart Bidding

2020 November 27 Uberflip Chart

2020 November 27 Uberflip Chart

Instagram turns influencer branded content on its head, giving advertisers greater control
Instagram has rolled out features that will give digital marketers new branded content options for its Instagram Reels and Live products, the Facebook-owned social media platform recently announced. AdAge

Write to Reward Your Reader
The Harvard Business Review takes a look at the role and power of rewarding your reader in writing, an element that applies especially well for the material content marketers write. Harvard Business Review

Google Ads’ Smart Bidding Enhances Predictions & Insights
Google has launched updated features to its Google Ads offering, with new smart bidding to offer more relevant predictions and new insights, the search giant recently announced. Search Engine Journal

Only A Tiny Fraction of Ad Spending is Allocated to Media Focused on African Americans
The top 20 advertisers increased advertising spending by 15.6 percent between 2011 and 2019, yet only a small portion of overall ad spend has been focused on this demographic, according to recently-released survey data. MarketingCharts

Instagram’s Testing a new FAQ Option for Direct Interactions with Business Accounts
Instagram has conducted tests for a more interactive frequently-asked-questions (FAQ) offering, a new feature that would give brands a new way to reach customers on Instagram, the social media platform recently announced. Social Media Today

Hubspot and Howard University partner for Center of Digital Business
HubSpot and Howard University have joined forces to create a new Center of Digital Business, focusing on experiential learning opportunities, the organizations recently announced. Marketing Land

2020 November 27 Statistics Image

Instagram will exceed 1 billion users worldwide this year, a milestone originally predicted for 2023
Instagram is poised to top the one billion user mark this year, which represents an estimated year-over-year user base growth up from 8.4 percent to 22.9 percent for 2020, according to recently-released report data. Business Insider

YouTube Will Start Inserting Ads into Non-Monetized Content, Updates Rules Around Facial Recognition
Creators using YouTube may begin seeing ads in their non-monetized videos, a change announced in the Google-owned video platform’s newly-updated terms of service. Social Media Today

The Most Popular Email Clients in 2020
A newly-released survey of web-mail clients shows that the two most popular email clients, Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Gmail, have a combined 65 percent share. MarketingProfs

Study Finds Disconnect Between B2B Marketers And Buyers
B2B buyers find more value in user reviews, product tours, and videos, while many B2B marketers continue to prioritize long-form written content, according to recently-released survey data of interest to digital marketers. MediaPost

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

2020 November 27 Marketoonist Comic

A lighthearted look at “brand purpose marketing” by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist

A New Study About Color Tries to Decode ‘The Brain’s Pantone’ — Wired

TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:

  • TopRank Marketing — 2021 CX retail trends: How to defy the decline of brick-and-mortar — The Future of Customer Engagement & Experience
  • TopRank Marketing — 14 Expert B2B Influencer Marketing Predictions for 2021 — Brian Solis
  • Lee Odden — Advice for Influencers from Brands and Agencies — Jason Falls
  • Lee Odden — How to Create Your B2B Digital Marketing Strategy for 2021 (and beyond) — Stream Creative
  • Lee Odden — 60 Best SEO Quotes From Experts And Influencers — Himanshu Tyagi

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

Thanks for joining us for this abbreviated Thanksgiving holiday week edition of the B2B marketing news, and we hope that you’ll return again next Friday for another full round-up of 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 User Reviews, Instagram’s New Branded Reels, Writing To Reward, & Google’s Refined Smart Bidding appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.


Source: SEO blog

Gratitude In Uncertain Times: What the TopRank Marketing Team is Most Thankful For

Family gathered for Thanksgiving for video call with remote family members.

Family gathered for Thanksgiving for video call with remote family members.

Have our views on thankfulness changed in the turmoil and uncertainty of 2020?

As the U.S. celebrates Thanksgiving Day, the pandemic continues to have a profound global impact, making this start to the holiday season one unique in modern history.

This doesn’t mean that we have less to be thankful for, however — indeed the opposite may be true, based on what our team here at TopRank Marketing have taken the time to reflect on for our traditional post sharing messages of thankfulness.

Our ability to see and express gratitude in difficult times can be especially meaningful and replenishing. This may be a prime year to consider the words of writer G. K. Chesterton.

[bctt tweet=”“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” — Gilbert K. Chesterton” username=”toprank”]

Let’s open our hearts and take in messages of thankfulness from our team during this unprecedented pandemic year, shared with the hope that you’ll also be inspired to reflect on some of the silver linings that may be hidden in our lives if we take the time to listen.

What the TopRank Marketing Team is Most Thankful for in 2020

Lee OddenLee Odden

CEO and Co-Founder

2020 has been a remarkable year for many reasons. With all of the challenges, uncertainty and obstacles, I could not be more proud of my team at TopRank Marketing for how they have adapted quickly, with care and quality to every speed bump to roadblock they have encountered.

Amidst the significant changes and challenges, new leaders have emerged, processes have been refined and accountability for work quality has improved.

Most of all, the attention and responsiveness to customer needs that have been a hallmark of TopRank Marketing for many years were rewarded with incredible customer retention rates, program expansion and the addition of some of the largest client engagements we’ve ever had in our 20 years in business.

I am thankful for the leadership of our management team, the next level organizational and relationship management skills of our account team, the unrivaled creativity of our content and creative teams, the tech and marketing mastery of our SEO team, the industry leading capabilities of our fast growing influencer marketing team, our internal marketing for keeping this blog and our social media accounts a source of insight for hundreds of thousands of people and how operations has been able to make sure everything we need to do business is working properly.

I am thankful for the continued confidence and partnership with our clients who represent some of the top B2B brands in the world. The opportunity to collaborate and create influencer content experiences with these brands is a source of inspiration to our team and to the B2B marketing community at large as we get to share success stories through case studies and industry awards.

I am thankful for the TopRank Marketing community of industry influencers who have raised the bar on our collaborations with clients and helped us produce meaningful, impactful marketing resources that customers actually love.

I am thankful for our community of marketers who visit us here on our B2B Marketing Blog, read our newsletter, attend event presentations and engage with us on our social media channels.

2020 has been remarkable not just because of the challenges, but because of the way those in our community, amongst our clients and team have responded. The clarity of our purpose in creating content experiences that inspire by helping B2B brands become the best answer for their customers has served our clients and company well. 2020 will be one of our most successful ever.

I am eternally thankful for the opportunity to live a dream of working with an agency dedicated to making a difference for our clients with care, creativity and impact. Thank you!

Jane BartelJane Bartel

Senior Account Manager

I’m thankful for everybody who learned and leveraged new ways to tell their stories, create their content, and reach their audiences this year. This includes many of our clients as well as my yoga and school-teacher friends, my travel-blogger parents, my trivia team, and everybody keeping in touch along the way — all of whom I admire very much. I’m a lucky person to be surrounded in both my work and home life by caring, compassionate, funny, kind people who value growth.

My amazing husband and our snuggly dog Monroe are endless sources of mood-boosters, and undisputed MVPs of our “quaranteam.”

Lane R. EllisLane Ellis

Social Media and Content Marketing Manager

In our uncertain 2020, I’m especially thankful for my wonderful family, friends, and associates.

Celebrating 19 years of marriage with my amazing wife and pandemic partner Julie Ahasay tops my thankfulness list, along with the joy of having my parents Konnie and Bob in my life, as well as my astounding and always-inspiring 103-year-old grandma Lilly Haldorsen, who is living through her second pandemic.

I’m thankful for over 36 years of using the Internet, and to still be able to run, mountain bike, and cross-country ski the beautiful trails of Duluth, and for our loving cats — Phineas Faustus and Kukla Francis Oliver.

It’s a great time to reach out and give the world and its endless opportunities a cozy wintery embrace, so here’s a big virtual hug to all of you I’m lucky enough to know, lovely family and friends. Thank you.

Elizabeth WilliamsElizabeth Williams

Senior Account Manager

In reflecting on 2020 there is so much more to be grateful for than meets the eye. So yes, my children got too much screen time. But they also got 5x more baking soda/vinegar science experiments, pillow tents and Friday movie nights with their parents. Yes, I miss getting out of the house, but I cannot rejoice enough for the innumerable moments my husband and I have had.

I am also thankful for our TopRank Marketing team – dealing with COVID and civil unrest in real, close-to-home ways – all the while coming to work ready to hustle, learn and drive results. I’m grateful and optimistic for all of the outstanding talent that has joined our team this year. And, I’m proud of the growth in each and every single one of us professionally and personally in 2020!

Speaking of growth… we are beyond grateful to announce baby number 3 coming to our locked down home in June 2021! And yes, we have confirmed – it is just one baby.

Joshua NiteJosh Nite

Senior Content Marketing Manager

In my professional life, I’m grateful for an amazing team that stays engaged and keeps in touch even when we can’t be in the office together.

Personally, I’m grateful for my at-home team — my wife, my 5-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son. We’re getting more together time than ever before, but we still enjoy each other’s company. Couldn’t ask for a better lockdown crew.

Debbie FriezDebbie Friez

Influencer Marketing Strategist

I’m thankful to be busy working with fabulous clients and amazing thought leaders every day. In a year that has hit many people very hard, I know that each day is a blessing. And, I am especially blessed to be able to get up every day and walk into my office and do work that I enjoy.

On a personal note, I am thankful for my health and that of loved ones who have recovered from sickness. And in a time when I don’t leave my house, I am especially blessed to have my husband and fur babies keeping me happy and busy.

Mike Odden

Research Analyst

I am mostly thankful for my wonderful family, my wife of 56 years, our three children and seven wonderful grandchildren.

I feel blessed to be father of this great family! May the new year bring enlightenment.

Birdie ZepedaBirdie Zapeda

SEO Strategist

While these are things I’m always appreciative of, 2020 has me extra thankful for family, friends, and good health. I’m thankful for discovering sports like roller skating to keep me active during these tough times.

I love working alongside the amazing businesses we, at TopRank Marketing, partner with, and I’m grateful I can continue to do so and achieve great results.

Keith WiderskiKeith Widerski

Account Manager

I’m thankful for the amazing team and collaborative work environment we have at TopRank Marketing. All throughout this wild ride we call 2020, we’ve stuck together and have been able to achieve some incredible milestones and results for clients.

On a personal level, I’m thankful for the health and support of my friends and family. Thank you all for continuing to challenge me and make me a better person each and every day. And of course, my new puppy Chief who we got in the middle of this pandemic. He has certainly helped keep us plenty busy and can always help brighten up a Zoom call.

Mairi MorganMairi Morgan

Senior Influencer Marketing Manager

Bizarrely, I’m thankful for 2020 and all of the curveballs it’s thrown. Personally, I’ve been grateful for all the extra time with immediate family — even virtual schooling a 7 year old while trying to entertain a 4 year old! — as I’ve realized we have a lot of fun together and are very fortunate.

All of our wider family lives abroad so we’ve not been able to see them in almost a year, which has been really sad, but made me value them all the more and be tremendously excited for travel and reunions in 2021!

And professionally, if 2020 didn’t go the way it did, I may never have landed at TopRank Marketing, as I was lined up for another role which quickly evaporated as Covid took hold. I’m so grateful to now be working alongside such a stellar crop of people and being at the cutting edge of B2B content and influencer marketing for some amazing clients. Every day is invigorating and brings a new challenge, and a lot of collaboration and laughter. All things to be celebrated : )

Nic MichaelNic Michael

Influencer Marketing Strategist

In a year that has felt like a decade, I am thankful that me, my family, and loved ones are all healthy and still standing. I also started at TopRank Marketing this year which was scary and exciting, but the team is amazing and supportive which I am truly thankful for.

Lastly, I would like to thank quarantine for allowing me to hone my cooking skills — I’m no Gordon Ramsay, but an air fryer does wonders.

TopRank Marketing Gives Thanks For You

All of us at TopRank Marketing are grateful for you, and thank you for being the supportive fans, amazing clients, and enthusiastic influencers that have allowed us to achieve personal, professional, and brand success.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sincerely,

The TopRank Marketing Team

The post Gratitude In Uncertain Times: What the TopRank Marketing Team is Most Thankful For appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.


Source: SEO blog

Inside Influence EP08: Srijana Angdembey from Oracle on How Influence Creates Better B2B Customer Experiences

Srijana-Angdembey Oracle

Srijana-Angdembey Oracle

Improving Customer Experience is one of the top priorities for B2B marketers today. With the challenges of real-world experiences from field marketing to in-person tradeshows all but gone, B2B marketers are focused on figuring out how to maximize digital experiences.

Working with influencers has proven to be an effective solution. In fact, 74% of marketers agree that influencer marketing improves customer and prospect experience with the brand according to the 2020 State of B2B Influencer Marketing Report. But how are B2B brands working with influencers to create those experiences?

To find out, I reached out to Srijana Angdembey, Director of Social Media Marketing at Oracle for this 8th Episode of Inside Influence – Interviews with B2B Influencer Marketing Insiders. During our talk, we discussed:

  • How influencer marketing for B2B has changed
  • What it takes to be a top B2B influencer marketing professional at a B2B brand
  • Top challenges and opportunities for influencer marketing during the pandemic
  • How influencer engagement impacts customer experience for B2B companies
  • An example of a successful influencer marketing campaign
  • Advice for B2B marketers that are considering working with influencers and what to expect
  • Trends in influencer content
  • Criteria for identifying and partnering with business influencers
  •  Measures of success for a B2B influencer marketing program
  • Influencer marketing after the pandemic and future predictions

Below are some of the highlights of our discussion with the full video interview embedded below.

How did you first start working with influencers and how has it changed?

Srijana: The funny thing is I actually started in policy and working with politicians and policy makers. I was working in government affairs and in a way, I think I’ve always worked with influencers. I’ve always kind of known who are the people of influence or who could influence things to accomplish my goals. So when I jumped into the role of CX marketing, it just so happened that I also got influencer marketing. I felt very natural coming into it. I think the way things have changed now from when I started, is influencer marketing was very much for B2C. Now we’re seeing more B2B companies really embracing it. That’s been the major change that I’ve seen.

What do you think are some of the top challenges and opportunities for influencer marketing posed by the pandemic?

Srijana: Honestly I wouldn’t say that I’ve seen any or it’s not been much of a challenge. We’ve definitely had to tweak our strategy because we rely on influencers for our event marketing. For example, we’ve worked with Matt Heinz on a road show that we did, which was awesome. So we were continuing to do something similar this year before the pandemic, but when it hit, we realized we had to really pivot.

We were doing all these virtual shows and including influencers, hosting and attending, speaking and that was fine. We were also thinking about how we could be more helpful and make our content more relevant for our audience right now?  I wouldn’t say that was so much of a challenge, but it was sort of like the guiding principle behind picking up influencer marketing this year and really seeing and working with those influencers who kind of got that.

We also realized that influencers were more accessible now and maybe more available to work to make sure that we have that equal value partnership. So we’re not taking advantage of them but being able to get something done that was of value for our audience.

According to our research presented in the 2020 State of B2B Influencer Marketing report, 74% of marketers agree that influencer marketing improves customer and prospect experience. In what ways do you believe influence has an impact on CX?

Srijana: Gosh, when I think of influencer marketing the first thing I think about is trust. Trust is the currency that makes the experience economy go around, right? We’re all trying to be more more human in our approach to marketing. We’re trying to come across as more friendly and not trying to push our solutions and products as much. But how do we do that?

When I think of influencer marketing the first thing I think about is trust. Trust is the currency that makes the experience economy go around. @srijanaa

I really think that influencer marketing helps fill that gap because now we’re working with individuals that our audience trusts and look up to us as experts. I think that’s the key. I think that’s how influence drives customer experience. Working on anything, content marketing or events with influencers just helps build the trust factor. It also adds credibility and makes everything so much more authentic.

Our research found that 96% of B2B marketers implementing influencer programs are successful in some way. Even with that optimism, 60% of B2B marketers say they don’t have the skills in house or expertise to execute. What advice can you share for marketers considering working with influencers?

Srijana:  I think the first thing I’d say is you may not realize, but your company might already be doing some form of influencer marketing. A lot of times I don’t think people know for sure. When I was doing influencer marketing here initially at Oracle, I was surprised to find how many other people were already working with influencers. But maybe you don’t have that strategy in place yet or an official program.

If you set your goals for working with influencers and what you’re trying to achieve with the influencer marketing program, then you can start really slow and small. @srijanaa

I think if you set your goals for working with influencers and what you’re trying to achieve with the influencer marketing program, then you can start really slow and small. It could be as easy as just reaching out organically and trying to build that relationship with an influencer. That’s where you start and really start studying and understanding if this is the right influencer that you want to work with. What content are they producing? Who are their audiences? How are they engaging with them? So I would say start there.

B2B marketing and content expectations increasingly demand experiences, including with influencer content. What are you seeing in terms of recorded and live video, stories, podcasts and even interactive content with influencers?

Srijana: Tik Tok is a great example, right? As far as pushing the boundaries of content.

That’s another thing about working with influencers. I think they’re so good at that. Maybe I have restrictions and boundaries or maybe I don’t have the resources in my company. Maybe I have brand guidelines that restrict me from doing certain forms of content. I’m loving what I see from Brian Fanzo do for example. He has such good stuff like with virtual events that he’s doing. I love that.

Influencers know that the content needs to be very engaging and it needs to hold the attention of the viewer. @srijanaa

When working with Shep Hyken, for example, this year on one of our events, I was just blown away by the technology that he had and the ability to pull in things when he was speaking. He had slides up and had stats pop up and I was so impressed. I think that influencers know that the content needs to be very engaging and it needs to hold the attention of the viewer.

I’m just finding that we’re just getting more and more innovative and as we are exploring newer forms of news and new kinds of social media, for example, it just pushes the boundary even more.

What do you think will be different about influencer marketing for B2B companies post-pandemic? Any predictions for the future?

Srijana: No predictions, but I definitely don’t think we’re going back anytime soon to how things worked or how we were doing things.

One thing that this pandemic really did was make us all pause and kind of look at our (influencer) marketing in a more prescriptive way. “Is this going to add any value?” @srijanaa

One thing that this pandemic really did was make us all pause and kind of look at our marketing in a more prescriptive way. “Is this going to add any value?” I think even more so than ever, it kind of made that really clear to us.

I think even with influencer marketing, we became very focused on, is what this person saying aligned to our values and what we want? Post pandemic, I think that’s going to continue. For example, we want to work with a diverse range of influencers, right? Maybe that was already top of mind before, but now it’s even more top of mind because of the current situation.

I think we’re going to be more prescriptive on how we do things and who we align with and make sure that person is not just what they’re saying on social media, but also that they are good people to work with and that our customers really look up to.

To see the full Inside Influence interview with Srijana Angdembey, check out the video below:

If you would like to connect with Srijana further about B2B influencer marketing, you can find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Next up on Inside Influence, we’ll be talking to Brian Solis, Global Innovation Evangelist at Salesforce about how influence and thought leadership transcend marketing to become partners to drive business growth.

Be sure to check out our previous Inside Influence B2B Influencer Marketing interviews:

The post Inside Influence EP08: Srijana Angdembey from Oracle on How Influence Creates Better B2B Customer Experiences appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.


Source: SEO blog

B2B Marketing News: Digital Marketing Priorities, Ultimate CX, B2B Burnout, The Power of Podcasting

Digital Marketing Priorities 2020

Digital Marketing Priorities 2020

Where Do Digital Marketers’ Priorities Lie for the Year Ahead?
Digital marketers have a clear vision of their priorities though some are working with less marketing resources than others, according to Altimeter’s State of Digital Marketing report for 2020. The report highlights that organizations are either cutting costs as a response to the financial uncertainties of the crisis or upping investments in digital to keep up with customers moving online. MarketingCharts

The CX Courtship: How B2B Brands Get To The Partnership Stage [Merkle Study]
The B2B customer experience should be just as smooth as B2C. But too often it’s not. Indeed, 35% of businesses with 1,000 or more employees find choosing a B2B supplier to be almost a nightmarish process, judging by Architecting The Ultimate Customer Experience, a study by Merkle, with participation from its gyro and B2B International agencies. MediaPost

B2B Pros Say: ‘We’re Burned Out’ By Pandemic: Study
B2B marketers are falling apart from the stress of COVID-19 and its ongoing impact, according to Revealing What’s Fact And What’s Fiction, a study by RollWorks. Of the marketers surveyed, 50% have suffered from pandemic-related burnout, And 50% say the lines between work and personal life have become more blurred in a negative way.  Email Marketing Daily

Google Page Experience Update To Launch May 2021 With New Snippet Labels.
The update will show new basic page performance and expected experience statistics to searchers, Google says. Search Engine Roundtable

How Social Issues Are Sparking Action Among Brands
A majority of consumers now expect brands to take a stand on social issues and work to effect positive change—though their sentiments are sometimes complicated. A June 2020 survey by Mindshare found that more than two-thirds of US adults said brands should play an important role when it comes to speaking out against racial inequality and injustice. However, six in 10 believed brands that spoke out were being opportunistic. eMarketer

B2B influencer marketing budgets 2021

Marketers Raise Podcast Volume to Eleven – The format is poised to become a permanent and powerful marketing channel
With podcast advertising racking up 48 percent year-over-year growth in 2019, according to an IAB study, the medium’s 14.7 percent projected growth in 2020 might seem anemic. But that slowed growth is merely a pandemic-induced blip on the radar. The longer-term outlook remains stellar, with spending projected to rebound almost 45 percent, to more than $1 billion in 2021, according to eMarketer, and marketers and media companies are making big bets on the format’s staying power. ANA

We’re in this together: 5 takeaways from Adobe Experience Makers EMEA 
This is a unifying moment for businesses. Across virtually every industry and discipline, business leaders are rethinking their approach to leadership, employees are finding new ways to perform their jobs in a digital world, and consumers are re-evaluating the way they make purchases. Adobe

Instagram Adds Keyword Search in Addition to Profiles and Tags 
Instagram has announced an update to its search functionality which will give users the capacity to search for specific keywords, as opposed to being limited to profiles, hashtags and locations. Social Media Today

Executing A B2B Integrated Marketing Strategy: Who and What’s Involved?
7 in 10 organizations have implemented integrated marketing to some extent, though it remains challenging for many, according to Demand Gen Report and True Influence’s report on the state of integrated marketing in B2B. When it comes to the best tools for executing an integrated marketing strategy, respondents cited CRM (80%), data tools (65%), reporting platforms (63%) and collaboration tools (44%) as particularly useful. MarketingCharts

New Survey Says We’re Spending 7 Hours Per Day Consuming Online Media 
A new survey conducted by the research firm DoubleVerify found that we’re now spending about seven hours per day consuming online content. In the past we typically spent about three hours per day consuming media. YouTube streaming has sky-rocketed, up 43% since the pandemic started. We’re also even more obsessed with Facebook with a usage increase of 40%. Forbes

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

Strategic Planning Cartoon Tom Fishburne
How to do strategic planning by Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist

TOPRANK MARKETING IN THE NEWS:

TopRank Marketing – 2020 Research: The Current State & Future of B2B Influencer Marketing – Onalytica

TopRank Marketing Blog – Top 20 Digital Marketing Blogs and Their Specialties – Vocal

Have you found your own favorite B2B marketing story 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 that you will return again next Friday for another round-up of 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: Digital Marketing Priorities, Ultimate CX, B2B Burnout, The Power of Podcasting appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.


Source: SEO blog

12 Expert B2B Influencer Marketing Predictions for 2021

Meeting table with people's hands working on predictions image.

Meeting table with people's hands working on predictions image.

What will B2B influencer marketing look like in 2021, and where will it take B2B marketers and brands when a post-pandemic world eventually arrives?

To help answer these questions we’ve gathered top B2B influencer marketing insights from both industry experts and our own team, and present our look at their predictions for 2021.

Let’s jump right in and see how top B2B influencer marketing practitioners expect 2021 to change the way we do business, and why it will likely be a breakout year for building influence.

1 — Anti-Marketing and The Real vs. The Ideal

Ann Boyd
Ann Boyd
Vice President of Communications, Rubrik

My prediction is that we’re moving into an anti-marketing, influencer marketing world. No one has time for the deluge of commercial content coming their way these days on every platform. The pendulum has swung to where the obviously-solicited and carefully-curated feedback is flooding our inboxes and social feeds.

The trick is finding authentic advocates and keeping the content short, sweet, timely, and targeted! 2021 is going to be all about the real vs. the ideal.

[bctt tweet=”“The trick is finding authentic advocates and keeping the content short, sweet, timely, and targeted! 2021 is going to be all about the real vs. the ideal.” — Ann Boyd @annb” username=”toprank”]

2 —Ethos, Relatability, Affinity and True Partnerships

Ann-Handley
Ann Handley
Chief Content Officer, MarketingProfs

I have 3 predictions for 2021:

1. A long-term approach to influencer marketing growth is the Miracle-Gro B2B brands need. Influencer relationships have increasingly been about building long-term partnerships — not short-term, one-off collaborations. This has been evolving for a while… but in 2021 it’s critical. One-offs are choked off so true partnerships can thrive.

2. Purpose-driven partnerships become a thing. It’s not the size of an influencer’s audience — it’s what they stand for. Brand, ethos, character, relatability, affinity… it all matters.

3. A B2B brand will create the first viral TikTok video in partnership with a TikTok creator. (Why not?)

3 1/2. Instagram stops updating its platform in annoying ways that repel users. (Wait. Now I’m just making a Christmas wish list…. Never mind.)

If the pandemic has taught B2B marketing anything, it’s that trust, relatability, and TikTok matter more than ever.

Just kidding on that last one.

Or am I?

[bctt tweet=”“A long-term approach to influencer marketing growth is the Miracle-Gro B2B brands need.” — Ann Handley @MarketingProfs” username=”toprank”]

3 — More B2B Influencer Marketing Professionals Will Move the Needle

Ryan Bares
Ryan Bares
Global Social Programs Lead: Social Influencers & Employee Advocacy, IBM Systems

2021 will be the year of focus for the influencer marketer. B2B brands should now see the fruits of their influencer marketing labor, but is that really moving the needle?

Influencer marketing professionals – a position that will have more headcount in 2021 – will be expected to show results and focus on the right influencers engaging with your target audience vs. trying everything and seeing what sticks.

[bctt tweet=”“2021 will be the year of focus for the influencer marketer. Influencer marketing professionals will be expected to show results and focus on the right influencers engaging with your target audience.” – Ryan Bares @RyanBares” username=”toprank”]

4 — Virtual Events Become Stronger B2B Marketing Tools

Anton Shulke
Anton Shulke
Head of Influencer Marketing (SEO), SEMRush

Influencer marketing for me is about relationships.

Between you, as a part of your brand, and a person — an influencer. Sure, there is some kind of relationship between an influencer and the brand, but still, in the end, it comes down to personal relationships between particular people.

Many of us build it using real-life meetings, a cup of coffee or a beer. What could be better than face-to-face conversations?

It abruptly stopped in 2020 with COVID, and my guess is it won’t be back soon. I don’t want to use a cliche — the world won’t be the same again — but it might be partially true.

What could replace real-life conferences and personal meetings?

The obvious answer — online ones. I think in 2021 a lot of influencer marketers will look at online events as arguably the strongest influencer marketing tool. We will be arranging virtual conferences with the major goal to “steal the soul” of our influencers. Saying so, remember what is the best way to please your influencer/speaker: have a big, engaged audience.

[bctt tweet=”“In 2021 influencer marketers will look at online events as arguably the strongest influencer marketing tool.” — Anton Shulke @anton_shulke” username=”toprank”]

5 — Better Mutual Long-Term Influencer Value

Tim Williams
Tim Williams
CEO, Onalytica

As an industry the early adoption phase is now over. B2B influencer marketing is now a more mainstream strategy integrated by marketers who are not specialists.

This in turn has caused a lot of brands and agencies to jump on the bandwagon and collaborate with the same top tier industry global influencers with mixed results.

The increased take up has shone a spotlight on the knowledge gaps and improvements that are required by marketers and influencers to collaborate better as the industry matures.

In 2021 there are 3 key areas for marketers to improve:

  1. Better design of initial brand/influencer partnerships to deliver mutual long-term value
  2. Help develop a community of internal & external influencers as content creators around thought leadership themes
  3. Improve onboarding and management of influencers, as poor processes can negatively affect the relationship

[bctt tweet=”“As an industry the early adoption phase is now over. B2B influencer marketing is now a more mainstream strategy integrated by marketers who are not specialists.” — Tim Williams @WilliamsTim” username=”toprank”]

6 — A Blended and More Human Approach

Nic Michael
Nic Michael
Influencer Marketing Strategist, TopRank Marketing

What we see right now is a distinction between B2C and B2B influencer content creation — but why not blend the two?!

My prediction is that B2B content will begin to take on a more B2C approach, in that the way influencers develop content will be a bit scrappier and more human rather than buttoned up and polished.

[bctt tweet=”“B2B content will begin to take on a more B2C approach, in that the way influencers develop content will be a bit scrappier and more human rather than buttoned up and polished.” — Nic Michael @TopRank” username=”toprank”]

7 — Deep Engagement and Finding a Value Sweet Spot

Rachel Douglas
Rachel Douglas
Senior Manager of Marketing and Brand, Prophix*

Influencers are becoming more savvy about brands they partner with and why.  Organizations and marketers have to work harder to nurture key relationships and ensure we aren’t just asking for content or activation, but rather find a value sweet spot where both parties benefit and win.  That means meaningful content, authentic voices and deep engagement.

[bctt tweet=”“Influencers are becoming more savvy about brands they partner with and why.  Organizations and marketers have to work harder to nurture key relationships and ensure we aren’t just asking for content or activation.” — Rachel Douglas” username=”toprank”]

8 — Seek Up-And-Coming Influencers who Align with Brand Values

Tom Treanor
Tom Treanor
CMO, Treasure Data*

With the pandemic, we’ve seen a massive rush online, and many of these new habits will continue in 2021 and even post-pandemic.

Because of this, the importance of online influencers has only increased. Expect to see brands increasingly working with influencers in B2C and B2B environments. The smart money will go after influencers on the rise, so look out for up-and-coming influencers who are seeing some success in the platforms your audience prefers, as well as who align with your brand’s values.

[bctt tweet=”“The importance of online influencers has only increased. Expect to see brands increasingly working with influencers in B2C and B2B environments.” — Tom Treanor @RtMixMktg” username=”toprank”]

9 — Always-On Influence and Greater Sophistication

Debbie Friez
Debbie Friez
Influencer Marketing Strategist, TopRank Marketing

Brands often engaged influencers around events, and that is where they were able to get budget. With so many events going virtual, I see brands reassessing this tactic. More brands are striving to engage influencers throughout the year and look to have an always-on program. Thus, the budgets and alignments are changing.

Additionally, virtual events are not new, but their importance and sophistication is already radically improving. 2021 will continue to see more influencers upping their game around lighting, microphones and cameras to have the best experience for their audience. I’m excited to see how influencers will develop their video and audio presence to help companies share information.

[bctt tweet=”“More brands are striving to engage influencers throughout the year and look to have an always-on influencer marketing program.” — Debbie Friez @dfriez” username=”toprank”]

10 — Network and Credential-Building Activities in a Maturing Influencer Industry

Paul Dobson
Paul Dobson
Senior Director of Social and Influencer Marketing, Citrix

Here’s what’s been on my mind while I have been thinking about planning for 2021. With the ongoing discussion about misinformation in the media, I think that B2B influencer teams are going to be looking for a solid balance between the influencer’s network and their credential building activities that continue to build on their reputations as a strong voice in the industry that they represent.

With the influencer industry maturing, and mindspace on social media shrinking, there is going to be increasing competition to find the right person to help promote B2B brands and brand messages.

[bctt tweet=”“B2B influencer teams are going to be looking for a solid balance between the influencer’s network and their credential building activities.” — Paul Dobson @svengelsk” username=”toprank”]

11 — Long-Term Cooperation and Deepening Influencer Relationships

Michaela Underdahl
Michaela Underdahl
Senior Community Manager
Nimble

I predict two key trends happening in the B2B influencer marketing space in 2021. The first one will be the continuation of brands’ focus on nurturing existing relationships and building new long-term connections.

At Nimble, we believe in treating business relationships the same way we treat other important relationships in our lives. Long-term cooperation with influencers is our number one priority because it’s a win-win for everybody.

Both we and the influencers we work with invest time, energy, and resources into every campaign we run. We only reach out to people who we want to build a long-lasting relationship with. The end goal with our influencers is to eventually turn them into Nimble power-users and life-long brand advocates.

The other thing I think companies will be focusing on in 2021 is “fishing out” the micro-influencers from the deep waters of their existing base. It’s much easier to deepen the relationship with someone who already loves your product, turning them into an evangelist, than it is to teach an influencer the product after you’ve spent months — sometimes years — nurturing a new relationship.

[bctt tweet=”“It’s much easier to deepen the relationship with someone who already loves your product, turning them into an evangelist, than it is to teach an influencer the product.” — Michaela Underdahl @Nimble” username=”toprank”]

12 — Experiences, the Business of Influence, Agency Influencer Networks and Brand Individuals


Lee Odden
CEO, TopRank Marketing

In our 2020 State of B2B Influencer Marketing Report, 80% of B2B marketers agree that influencer marketing will be more important in the coming year and 80% expect their influencer marketing budgets to increase or stay the same. As the pandemic has driven B2B marketing activities decidedly digital, influence will continue to play an increasingly important role in the B2B marketing mix and here’s how:

  • Experiences – 74% of marketers believe working with influencers improves the experience of prospects and customers with the brand. That trend will continue as more influencers are engaged creatively to partner with brands on messaging and trusted content. The definition of influencer will broaden enabling brands to activate more of the individuals internally and externally playing a role in delivering the best experiences for customers.
  • Business of Influence – More professional influencers will come on the scene in the B2B world to provide brands with everything from analyst level expertise to turn-key research and promotions projects, professional media and content creation that are accountable to more than just “potential social impressions.” Business influence in 2021 means accountability to the bottom line, not just superficial KPIs.
  • Agency Influencer Networks – As more B2B brands come on board the influencer marketing train, they’ll want to fast track the most difficult part: identifying, qualifying and recruiting influencer partners. Specialist agencies will maintain relationships with networks of industry specific influencers and be able to provide new clients with near-immediate connections with experts that might otherwise take months to nurture.
  • Brand Influencers – Employee advocacy can tip the scales in favor of the B2B brands that are able to activate their staff and this trend will continue. Additionally, more B2B brands will invest in the building of influence for their key executives. B2B brands that both harvest relationships with top industry influencers and build the influence of their key execs and subject matter experts could see a multiplier effect on warming the market, building trust, thought leadership, and credibility when it comes to the confidence needed to make purchasing decisions.

[bctt tweet=”“The definition of influencer will broaden enabling brands to activate more of the individuals internally and externally playing a role in delivering the best experiences for customers.” — Lee Odden @LeeOdden” username=”toprank”]

Putting 2021 B2B Influencer Marketing Trends to the Test

2021 will see B2B marketers taking influencer marketing into not only a new year but a new more mainstream era of wider adoption among major brands, and the insightful predictions we’ve examined here are sure to play out in altogether new and sometimes unpredictable ways.

* Prophix and Treasure Data are TopRank Marketing clients.

The post 12 Expert B2B Influencer Marketing Predictions for 2021 appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.


Source: SEO blog

10 Expert Pointers To Create Better B2B Content With Authentic Influence

Smiling woman at computer.

Smiling woman at computer.

How does authentic content help drive better customer experience?

And how does influence help optimize B2B content marketing performance?

Both of these are important questions for today’s B2B marketers heading into the uncertainty of 2021, where we face falling organic social reach and declining brand trust. To help guide the way we have gathered together the answers to these key questions and eight others.

Our CEO and co-founder Lee Odden explored the topics of authentic content and how influence can optimize content marketing performance during virtual presentations for the ContentTECH Summit and the IABC MN Convergence Summit, and we’ll share some of the top take-aways from his insight-filled sessions.

Let’s dig right in and look at Lee’s 10 pointers to create better B2B content with authentic influence in our age of the new normal.

1 — Build Brand Trust With Authentic Content Co-Created With Experts

Women's rowing team image.

Lee explained how in order to win the hearts, minds, and wallets of customers, successful brands should harness the power of authentic content co-created with experts — a process that when done right delivers stellar results and memorable customer experiences.

The pandemic has changed B2B marketing, however, with 72% of B2B events having cancelled their physical experiences (CEIR), and driven buyers to consume 50% more content (MFG), all while three in five CMOs say that marketing is more important than ever (The CMO Survey).

What can B2B marketers do in such a volatile and uncertain market?

Lee pointed out that B2B content preferences have changed significantly in 2020, and noted that smart marketers will need to factor in these changes for successful 2021 efforts.

The top content consumption habit that changed during 2020 has been an increased focus on the trustworthiness of content sources, Lee noted.

He cited a DemandGen study which revealed that 67% of respondents said they rely even more on content than they did last year to research and inform purchase decisions, and noted that 58% of B2B buyers don’t believe the claims made by the vendors they most recently bought from (TrustRadius).

The most successful types of content also changed in 2020, with the same study noting that the top content types were:

  • 65% Video
  • 60% White Papers
  • 56% Blogs
  • 54% Webinars
  • 54% Case Studies

How can B2B marketers stand out in such a crowded and content-filled landscape with less trust than ever?

2 — Savvy Brands Differentiate with Powerful Customer Experience

Rocketship and booster rockets image.

With such a lack of trust in 2020, Lee encouraged marketers looking to differentiate their brands to focus on the power of customer experience in 2021.

What can help in this area, and what kind of experiences are you set to create in 2021 and in an eventual post-pandemic landscape?

74% of B2B marketers said that influencer marketing improves customer and prospect experience with the brand, according to our groundbreaking 2020 State of B2B Influencer Marketing Report.

Lee said that it’s hard to create a great experience if customers don’t trust brand communications, and pointed out that trust is the gateway to influence.

It’s no wonder that interest in influencer marketing is high, as it allows B2B marketers and brands to co-create so many powerful types of content, including:

  • Blog Posts
  • Recorded Video
  • Webinars
  • Interviews
  • Podcasts
  • Live Video
  • Industry Presentations
  • Case Studies
  • Infographics
  • Interactive Content
  • Third-Party Analyst Reports

86% of customers said that authenticity is important when deciding what brands they like and support (Stackla), Lee shared, and offered four insights about what the customers of 2021 will want:

  • Customers Want What’s Real
  • They Want to Trust
  • They Don’t Trust Brands
  • They Trust Peers and Experts

3 — Learn From Brands Putting Authenticity into Action

Lee used real-world client success stories as examples of brands putting authenticity into action, starting with LinkedIn’s* use of authentic influencers.

LinkedIn’s social-first campaign focused on the personal stories behind influencers and their individual and unique marketing careers, which turned into an influencer community of 75, with some 2,000 brand mentions by the influencers and their networks, totaling a potential reach figure of 84 million, Lee explained.

Lee showed how IT service management software firm Cherwell Software* used trusted B2B influencers to achieve 342% better click-through-rate (CTR) on influencer content, with a potential reach of some 5.45 million from influencer shares, 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 90% of all visitors being entirely new users.

Lee also shared how Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise* (ALE) co-created content with prospects which led to an award-winning program, with the successful IT Vanguard Awards program, using IT industry influencers as judges to honor prospective customers. The awards program facilitated multi-million dollar deals, and went on to win an award at the 2020 Content Marketing Awards, while producing:

  • 52 Nominations
  • 14,000 Micro-Site Views in 10 Weeks
  • 3rd Party Media Recognition & Local Ceremonies

4 — Accelerate Internal Credibility

By matching internal influencers with external experts, B2B marketers can accelerate internal credibility, whether it’s executives, industry experts, analysts, stakeholders, media, peers, or sales, Lee explained.

Using an example from SAP* and its Tech Unknown podcast, Lee showed how the firm created a podcast show with an influencer host in Tamara McCleary, featuring both industry influencers and SAP executives.

This approach resulted in some impressive outcomes, including:

  • 128M in potential reach from influencer shares
  • 101% of industry average for downloads
  • 66% increase in podcast downloads over the show’s previous season

A solution that applied a unified process and specific tools for efficient sourcing, production, and promotion was employed for the SAP Tech Unknown podcast, creating a successful storytelling format surrounding technology topics.

Accelerating internal credibility is just a part of the overall trust equation, however.

5 — Double Down on Activating Customers

Mirrored floor reflections of giant puzzle piece image.

Another step for building trust with authenticity in content marketing is to double down on activating customers, Lee explained.

It’s important to identify both the customer roles and the brands that are most influential — information that can then be applied when leveraging for reviews, testimonials, case studies, as well as a variety of contributions to brand content, Lee noted.

An example Lee shared came from SAP’s Success Factors, a resource for customers that includes both customers and industry influencers alongside employees, to explore the universal issue of wellness versus well-being.

Using brandividuals — a term Lee uses to represent those influencers who have reached the level of being their own brand — along with industry experts, employee experts, and customers, SAP Success Factors delivered:

  • 66% landing page conversion rate
  • 85% of all views driven by organic social (contributors)
  • 69% of all conversions drive by organic social (contributors)

The power of customer activation takes on even more important role when external influencers are included in the credibility mix, however.

6 — Work with External Influencers to Build Credibility

Working with external influencers is also a key step in building credibility and trust with authenticity in content marketing, especially as marketers increasingly face what Lee has called a content attention deficit.

This is especially important today, as 77% of B2B marketers say prospects rely on influencers for information, and 63% believe they would have better marketing results by having an influencer marketing program — two revelations Lee shared from our 2020 State of B2B Influencer Marketing Report.

B2B is behind on influencer marketing, however, as just 19% of marketers run ongoing influencer marketing programs, and 60% say they don’t have the knowledge to execute or have the right skills in-house, according the the report.

Lee showed an example from monday.com* in which the remote team management firm significantly boosted brand trust using relevant industry experts.

Content that monday.com co-created with industry influencers added credibility, trust, reach and engagement, leading to impressive results including:

  • 1,700% above-goal social reach from influencer shares
  • 17.9M potential reach from brand mentions by influencers, topping a 1M goal
  • Over 300K organic impressions on social media
  • Nearly 3K video views of a live-stream featuring industry experts within the first week

Lee also showed how monday.com successfully utilized B2B influencer marketing to partner with remote work leaders, driving discussions via live-stream that resulted in exposure to thousands of potential customers.

[bctt tweet=”“With content attention deficit and information overload, buyers can easily be distracted. It’s important for B2B brands to stand out and stay connected with findable, credible content that delivers an experience.” @LeeOdden” username=”toprank”]

7 — Create a Content Collaboration Ecosystem

An additional step for building trust through content marketing authenticity comes when B2B marketers work to create a content collaboration ecosystem.

Lee shared a powerful example of such an ecosystem in the Adobe* Insiders program, a diverse group of over 60 influencers that includes leading executives, industry leaders, major media correspondents, contributing journalists, technology pioneers — including Lee.

Adobe utilized its influencers and activated its industry experts for the Adobe Summit event to create a variety of content types — from social shares and live-stream video to blog posts and articles in major publications including Forbes and CMO.

Lee showed how the Adobe Insiders worked together to provide a cornucopia of content creation, resulting in:

  • Millions in social reach from brand mentions and earned media by influencers during and after the event
  • A Twitter DM channel for influencer communications that’s had daily posts since 2019
  • Individuals to sub-groups of influencers continue to be activated

8 — Optimize Measurement to Customer ROI

Another step in the content marketing authenticity equation comes by taking the time to optimize measurements to customer return-on-investment (ROI), Lee showed.

  • By attracting, marketers reach new audiences
  • By engaging, they improve content consumption
  • By converting, they gain subscribers, downloads, trials, demos, leads, & sales
  • By retaining, they increase community participation
  • By advocating, they inspire brand love and referrals

Lee shared an example of how these elements can successfully come together, from Dell Outlet*, which used each to optimize for trust using influencers.

Dell Outlet took a small-to-medium-sized business audience and used industry influencers to combat an initial lack of brand awareness and trust, while also increasing the perceived value of refurbished technology.

Working to build awareness and credibility, Dell Outlet partnered with SMB influencers, and achieved a Finny-award-winning program that saw:

  • Awareness: 425k additional reach from influencers
  • Engagement: 693k video views and 1,350 hours watched
  • Purchase Influence: 175% over goal in traffic referred to product pages

9 — Harness Technology to Help with Influencer Marketing

Hands holding gears and cogs image.

Smartly harnessing an ever-expanding array of software technology can take a good influencer marketing program and make it great, and Lee shared how B2B marketers are using technology to help with influencer marketing, with data from the 2020 State of B2B Influencer Marketing Report showing uses including:

  • 76% to identify influencers
  • 69% to monitor influencer social network activity
  • 65% to qualify influencers
  • 63% to measure and report on campaign or program results
  • 43% to manage influencer campaigns or programs
  • 41% to manage and nurture influencer relationships
  • 35% to activate influencers

In the latest episode of our new Inside Influence series, Lee also took a close look at how B2B marketers can help maximize their return-on-investment (ROI) with data-driven influencer marketing software, exploring the issue in detail with Pierre-Loïc Assayag, CEO and founder at enterprise influencer marketing platform Traackr, in “Inside Influence EP07: Pierre-Loïc Assayag from Traackr on Influencer Marketing Technology.”

Traackr is one of several powerful B2B influencer marketing tools, Lee shared, with a sample including:

  • BuzzSumo — For social, author, and influencer search
  • Onalytica —An enterprise B2B influencer marketing platform
  • Traackr — A B2B & B2C enterprise influencer marketing platform
  • CreatorIQ — A B2C enterprise influencer marketing platform
  • BuzzStream — An outreach tool
  • Pitchbox —An outreach tool
  • Nimble — A social customer relationship management (CRM) and influencer engagement tool
  • GroupHigh — A blogger and influencer discovery and outreach tool
  • Keyhole — A social listening and influencer discovery tool

[bctt tweet=”“The pandemic and the strain on budgets in companies…really forces everybody to face the music and stop focusing on vanity metrics and start focusing on results.” @pierreloic” username=”toprank”]

10 — Achieve Content Marketing Success with Purpose, Relevance, Reach & Resonance

Through the smart use of each of Lee’s steps we’ve outlined and shown examples of here, B2B marketers can achieve content marketing success that is rich in purpose, relevance, reach, and resonance.

Sharing a quote from Richard Edelman, president and CEO of Edelman — “In this time of turmoil people are turning to brands as islands of stability,” — Lee urged marketers to ask themselves two important questions:

How will the world be different after you’re successful doing what you do?

How does that narrative translate into your marketing?

To bring greater relevance to your content marketing efforts, Lee urged marketers to use data to understand and create authentic content experiences, leverage the voices of your customers, prospects, and those they trust, in order to add credibility and context to your message.

To maximize your reach, Lee recommended that marketers look to “be the best answer” for your customers with content that is easy to find and exists in context wherever buyers engage.

Finally, to increase resonance, Lee said that B2B marketers should seek to understand the motivations of their audience throughout the entire buyer journey, to better inform the creation of messaging that truly “clicks,” and inspires the type of action and makes a concrete and measurable business impact.

Ready to learn more about B2B influencer marketing? 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.

* LinkedIn, Cherwell Software, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, SAP, monday.com, Adobe, and Dell Outlet are TopRank Marketing clients.

The post 10 Expert Pointers To Create Better B2B Content With Authentic Influence appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.


Source: SEO blog

Inside Influence EP07: Pierre-Loïc Assayag from Traackr on Influencer Marketing Technology

Pierre-Loic-Assayag

Pierre-Loic-Assayag

Scrow: A conjunction of “scale” and “grow”, which is a word I made up to talk about the value of technology when it comes to ramping up the impact of B2B influencer marketing during the latest Inside Influence show about what’s working and what’s not inside the world of B2B Influencer Marketing.

When B2B marketers think about how to “scrow” the success of their influencer marketing, they often start by looking beyond spreadsheets from transactional to more relationship driven influencer models. To support these efforts they often seek influencer marketing platforms.

There’s a lot to uncover when it comes to understanding what role technology plays in identifying, engaging, implementing and measuring influencer collaborations. Lucky for us, in this 7th episode of Inside Influence, we have Pierre-Loïc Assayag, CEO and Founder at Traackr to share his experiences plus a few relevant statistics from the 2020 State of B2B Influencer Marketing Report about how B2B marketers are using technology (or not) for their influencer marketing programs.

In this 7th episode of Inside Influence, Pierre-Loic and I talk about:

  • Influencer Marketing in 2008 and 2021
  • The business case for pandemic era B2B influencer marketing
  • Crawl, walk, run options for influencer marketing software
  • Influencer Marketing Success: Is it the software or Marketing technology?
  • Skills needed to maximize influencer marketing platform ROI
  • How influencer marketing software enables Always-On influencer engagement
  • New updates to Traackr
  • The future of influencer marketing tech and martech integration
  • How B2B brands can justify dedicated internal influencer marketing leaders

Here are a few highlights on those topics with the full video interview embedded below.

What would you say the business case is for B2B brands engaging in influencer marketing in our current environment?

Pierre-Loic: So first and foremost, I’d say, “what else you got?”  If you look at the tools available to a B2B marketer and you apply them in the context of a pandemic where people are not allowed to travel to go to events, whether they’re small venues or big venues, where just a whole bunch of other offline activities that we use to perform on a regular basis are just gone, those tools are  not available anymore. So, in many ways what you are left with are the digital tools. The thing that has historically worked is influence marketing. In there I would include things like PR and analyst relations too, because they’re all versions of influencer marketing. And your own content.

You need a community of people that are there to both amplify (your voice) and compliment it. That’s influencer marketing. @pierreloic

In other words, what do you need to succeed? You need your voice and that voice to have a personality, to have a message that you give to communicate. And you need a community of people that are there to both amplify it and compliment it. That’s influencer marketing.

The pandemic and the strain on budgets in companies…really forces everybody to face the music and stop focusing on vanity metrics and start focusing on results. @pierreloic

There’s not been a better time for influencer marketing to strive. If anything, the pandemic and the strain on budgets in companies that are B2B and B2C, I find personally extremely helpful because it really forces everybody to face the music and stop focusing on vanity metrics and start focusing on results. It’s been a long time coming and I’m glad that we’re here from that vantage point.

What are some of the major trends you’re seeing with B2B brands in how they are evolving the use of influencer marketing?

Pierre-Loic: I’d say 2020 and the coronavirus crisis was a proxy for things that were already on the way that have really accelerated.

We’ve seen longer-term partnerships being formed between influencers and brands a lot more than we did before. @pierreloic

The first one is the move from transactional tactical influencer marketing to relational and more long-standing relationships. We’ve seen longer-term partnerships being formed between influencers and brands a lot more than we did before. There’s a lot less focus on just purely campaigns. That’s one trend that was there before, but it’s really been put into focus.

One that really transcends influencer marketing is this idea of values driven purchases. In the B2C world it’s happened a lot for some time now. You’ve seen the Nike ads from two years ago with Kapernick. But now you have a lot of brands that have started standing up for something. In the B2C world it’s a trend that has accelerated, but was there before. For B2B it’s somewhat new.

Some of the social movements in 2020 have really put an emphasis on the notion of brand purpose and how important that is to guide their decision, to interact with employees, partners, influencers, etc. That trend is also touching on influencer marketing because the only way it works is if it is received as being authentic for your community. The way you can get that seal of endorsement is through your community of influencers.

Our research found that 50% of the most successful marketers use influencer marketing software vs. just 25% of the least successful.  Is this about influencer marketing software by itself or is it more about the overall ability of a company to use technology in an integrated marketing mix?

Pierre-Loic: I think you need to have technology in order to harness the amount of data that you need and to mix it with your other data sets in order to figure out your best practices. We’ve been advocating data driven, influencer marketing for just about a decade now. It’s really important that companies start immersing themselves in the richness of the data in order to learn their best practices.

I’m genuinely curious about the other 50%, if they don’t have access to this. I don’t know how you access it manually. That said, I’m not sure that it’s something special about influencer marketing software. I think it has more to do with a relationship between a company and their use of technology and marketing technology.

At the end of the day, success at scale only happens when you have a piece of software that powers your influencer marketing, that you can connect with your other data sets. @pierreloic

At the end of the day, success at scale only happens when you have a piece of software that powers your influencer marketing, that you can connect with your other data sets on the CRM side, etc. It’s true of every level. It’s true for reporting purposes. It’s also true in the way you build your marketing attribution models.

At a very small scale you can do all this manually. It’s not that big of a deal, but the minute you start seeing a sign of success at that very small scale, then you’re going to need to equip yourself. Not just with a piece of influencer marketing software, but with the ability to start merging your datasets together.

For that you have a piece of technology that you can connect with as you do with a Traackr, but you also need the skills of people that are able to build these dashboards, to create these data lakes, that they retrieve data from via attribution models. So there’s a layer of complexity that just goes with the world that we live in. Instead of deflecting or sidetracking that complexity, my advice would be to embrace it.

In our research, we found that 60% of companies running always-on influencer programs were very successful vs. only 5% who do periodic or intermittent campaigns. What role does influencer marketing software play in an Always-On approach?

Pierre-Loic: Good question. Software plays two roles really and you’re absolutely right about the stat. I’m not surprised by the results that you found. We have the same kind of data that shows that the response of an influencers audience is a function of how authentic the message from the influencer is, which itself, is a reflection of the duration of the partnership.

The response of an influencers audience is a function of how authentic the message from the influencer is, which itself, is a reflection of the duration of the partnership (with the brand). @pierreloic

In other words, if tomorrow I’m starting to promote TopRank Marketing, everybody’s going to believe me because I’ve talked about you guys forever. So there’s nothing that feels “off” about my communication. But if I start talking about a different topic or different brand, it will feel inauthentic to people who may listen to me. Right? So, so I completely agree with the finding.

With regards to software, there are two ways in which software is helpful. One is how you vet influencers, how you select your influencers to work with. What you want to find are people that will be on the fast lane of being able to build that relationship early. These are people that have endorsed either your brand or what you stand for as a company.

Finding people that already have a voice that is credible in the same topic area, even if they haven’t mentioned your brand or if they’re just a fan you just didn’t know, happens quite often, surprisingly. It gives you a leg up when you start these partnerships. In that selection process, technology is very important because you can take a look back at their communication, you can do it at scale and find the people that are the best match for you.

And then software is also helpful in the relationship building. So, you know, Traackr acts as a CRM for influencers, where as an organization you may not know Lee Odden, but probably somebody else at my company does. It’s good to know that we already have the beginning of a partnership. It also gives brands an opportunity to engage an influencer on a very regular basis. Even if your department or marketing is not doing something this month, there’s probably somebody else that is. Just being able to bring visibility into the true partnership between an influencer and a brand is quite useful.

To see the full Inside Influence interview with Pierre-Loïc Assayag, check out the video below:

If you would like to connect with Pierre-Loic further about B2B influencer marketing, you can find him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Next up on Inside Influence, we’ll be talking to Srijana Angdembey, Director, Social Media Marketing at Oracle about how working with influencers can help create a better customer experience.

Be sure to check out our previous Inside Influence B2B Influencer Marketing interviews:

The post Inside Influence EP07: Pierre-Loïc Assayag from Traackr on Influencer Marketing Technology appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.


Source: SEO blog

B2B Marketing News: B2B Buying Disconnect Study, Google’s SERP Video Carousels, B2B Event ROI Data, & Instagram’s New Story Reactions

2020 November 13 TrustRadius Chart

2020 November 13 TrustRadius Chart

How Can You Improve Your B2B Virtual Event’s ROI?
47.6 percent of B2B professionals see post-virtual-event audience engagement as having the top return-on-investment (ROI) potential, followed by some 36 percent who said that making the virtual format more dynamic and interactive was a priority, according to recently-released survey data. MarketingCharts

Adweek Survey Finds 40% of Brands Might Seek New Agencies in 2021
75 percent of marketers have been satisfied with how agencies have handled the global health crisis, while a third performed better than expected during the pandemic — two of several statistics of interest to digital marketers contained in newly-released Adweek Intelligence survey data. Adweek

Prop 24 — the California Privacy Rights and Enforcement Act — passed by voters
The California Privacy Rights and Enforcement Act (CPRA) was recently enacted, which will replace the state’s California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and which includes several new online consumer privacy protections marketers will need to align with or face potential violation penalties from a new California Privacy Protection Agency. DigiDay

Google Short Videos Carousel In Search Results
Google has conducted limited testing of a new type of carousel “short videos” section within mobile search results, which would expand on the search giant’s existing video carousel search results and which could eventually offer marketers greater video cross-linking options. Search Engine Roundtable

COVID-19’s Impact on B2B Martech Budgets
Some 44 percent of B2B marketers expect marketing technology spending levels to return to normal in 2021, while 19 percent have invested in communication technologies during the pandemic — two of several insights of interest to digital marketers in recently-released survey data. MarketingProfs

Instagram Tests a New Way for Users to React to Stories Without Sending a DM
Facebook-owned Instagram has conducted limited testing of a new option allowing users to react to Instagram Stories on the frame of a story, rather than by the existing method of sending a direct message to the publisher of the story content — a move that could lead to new audience interaction opportunities for marketers. Social Media Today

2020 November 13 Statistics Image

Twitter launches carousel ads to drive web traffic, app installs
Twitter has released a new advertising option that will allow marketers the ability to include up to six videos or images in a new carousel ad format, Twitter recently announced. The firm also released accompanying statistics showing that testing of the new format resulted in a 15 percent greater click-through-rate on average. Mobile Marketer

Facebook Tests New Options to Add Motion Effects to Still Images in Feed
Facebook has tested new visual effect options that add several video-like motion elements to static imagery, with the new image movement features differing from the social media giant’s existing simulated 3D and animated image options. Social Media Today

Research: Small Wins Can Make a Big Impact on Gender Equality
The Harvard Business Review takes a look at some of the methods that can help in closing the perception gap, along with recently released health technology industry survey data examining how people can work towards being on the same gender equality page. Harvard Business Review

The 2021 B2B Buying Disconnect [Report]
46 percent of B2B technology buyers have felt that there are too many social media ads, with 30 percent noting that they prefered targeted ads, according to recently-released B2B buyer survey data. The report also showed that the most trusted sources of information buyers use include product demonstrations, vendor product websites, and user reviews. TrustRadius

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

2020 November 13 Marketoonist Comic

A lighthearted look at “lead nurturing isn’t a numbers game” by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist

Amid the Uncertainty, There’s Room for Levity in Ads — ANA

TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:

  • Lane R. Ellis / TopRank Marketing — Can You Create a Meaningful Experience in a Virtual Conference? — Timothy Hughes

Have you found your own favorite B2B marketing story 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 that you will return again next Friday for another round-up of 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 Buying Disconnect Study, Google’s SERP Video Carousels, B2B Event ROI Data, & Instagram’s New Story Reactions appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.


Source: SEO blog

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

Incredible Content Marketing: 6 Tips for Infusing Credibility into B2B Content

Business-woman at Computer Image

Business-woman at Computer Image

One of my favorite moments from The Simpsons is when the hilariously incompetent physician Dr. Nick burns down a building by mishandling a clearly marked chemical tank, and then exclaims, “Inflammable means flammable?! What a country!”

via GIPHY

“Incredible” is a word that can spark similar cognitive dissonance for marketers. Sure, it might technically be defined as “impossible to believe,” but if your content isn’t credible, would anyone describe it as incredible?

Quite the opposite. In this business, incredible means credible. So let’s explore the cornerstones of creating credible, and thus truly incredible, content marketing.

6 Tips for Making Your B2B Content (Incredibly) Credible

Just as you can’t fake authenticity, you can’t fake credibility. This label is earned by brands over time by developing a trusted voice, showing up for your audience, and — above all — knowing what you’re talking about. With these being table stakes, today’s post examines how you can make sure this foundational credibility is showing up in the content marketing you create and distribute.

Speaking of table stakes:

1 — Don’t lie to your audience

We’re living in an age where misinformation runs rampant. Frankly, it can make the entire experience of being online very draining and exhausting. And while folks might have no choice but to put up with the zany Facebook post by their uncle, or the click-baity headline on Google News, they are less likely to tolerate it from companies they do business with.

To be clear, I’m not under the impression that many B2B brands are out here attempting to flat-out fib to people. On this subject, I’ll make two points:

  1. It’s all too easy to be untruthful with your audience unintentionally. If careless, marketers can fall into the same disinformation traps that plague many users of the web. Always fact-check and verify information before sharing it with your audience, and don’t make a habit of running with assumptions.
  2. Shying away from the truth isn’t much different from lying. It might not feel dishonest to downplay your solution’s weaknesses, or hide negative reviews, but will your customers feel the same?

2 — Gain credibility through association

One of the primary advantages of influencer marketing is that it allows brands to co-opt the credibility of respected experts and business leaders they partner with. When audiences see these individuals collaborating with a company, producing useful and enjoyable content together, it infuses an instant element of trust.

It is not enough to simply activate influencer marketing, though — be strategic about it. Identify influencers who truly fit with your brand values, and aim for transparent authenticity in your engagements. In other words, beware of pay-to-play.

As Lee Odden put it in an interview with Brand24: “Without clear alignment between the brand, influencer and audience, the program won’t resonate and everyone loses credibility.”

3 — Be thoughtful about where your content is showing up

Your brand’s associations aren’t limited to “who”; there is also the matter of “where.” Credibility can be affected by the reputations of platforms where content is distributed, and by the other content that appears around it.

In the social media sphere, Business Insider’s Digital Trust Report has found LinkedIn* to be the platform most trusted by users three years straight, and what’s especially interest to note is the dramatic drop-off Facebook has seen over this span:

Business Insider Chart

Nearly half of the respondents (47%) in Business Insider’s 2019 report said they think Facebook is “extremely likely” to show them deceptive content. I wrote on this blog recently about the B2B implications of the Facebook advertising boycott. This isn’t to say marketing on Facebook is a universal cred-killer, but it’s something that should increasingly be weighed in your decision-making.

Any podcast your brand representatives appear on, or blogs they guest-post on, should also be vetted deeply. Just as you can gain credibility through association, you can also lose it.

4 — Put your brand’s purpose forward

I like to frame a company’s relationship with its purpose as that between the Earth and the Sun: Not so close that it’s constantly in your face, but always within view, and all of your marketing activities orbit around it.

There are many benefits to being a purpose-driven brand, but the credibility factor is a big one. Credibility is built, in part, through consistency. Staying true to a clearly articulated guiding mission is one of the simplest ways to demonstrate consistency, even amidst rapidly changing conditions.

Kim Davis of MarTech Today recently highlighted Deloitte’s seven marketing trends for 2021, which are geared toward “breaking out of our often defensive mindsets to more holistically — and authentically — meet human needs.”

The first item on the list is purpose. And I might argue that the following six confidence-building touchstones – agility, human connections, trust, participation, fusion, talent transformation – all feed off it.

Like planets orbiting the Sun.

 5 — Elevate the voices of your community

Companies aren’t credible. We can say they are, as a shorthand, but nobody actually finds a business entity trustworthy or dependable on its own. Credibility is driven by the people behind the brand, and by its advocates. Do all you can to showcase those individuals and continually reinforce their loyalty.

Customers and employees come together to form your brand’s community. People see themselves in the reflection of the community, not the company logo or product features. So if you want to build credibility, lift those voices up. In the past, we’ve preached the value of user-generated content and employee advocacy. More recently, Cara Sloman wrote at Entrepreneur about the power of customer champions for trust and credibility.

6 —Make the commitment and investment to do marketing well

At the end of the day, actions — and results — speak louder than words. Nothing is more credible than a piece of content that is downright GOOD – where it is clear that serious effort and expertise were channeled into creating something that would connect and make an impact.

You can’t manufacture the credibility of ranking first in Google for a keyword you want to own, or building a large and engaged following on social media, or boasting heartfelt customer testimonials on your website.

These things don’t come easily or automatically. And they’re never earned by taking the easy route.

Jeff Bezos once said, “A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.” Say what you will about the Amazon overlord, but no one can deny he’s got credibility on the subject of growing a modern business.

Want help making your content marketing more credible AND incredible? Reach out to our team at TopRank Marketing.

* LinkedIn Marketing Solutions is a TopRank Marketing client

The post Incredible Content Marketing: 6 Tips for Infusing Credibility into B2B Content appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.


Source: SEO blog