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

Lee Odden B2B Influencer Marketing

Lee Odden B2B Influencer Marketing

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

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

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

1 – B2B Influencers Are Credible Voices Throughout The Customer Lifecycle

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

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

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

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

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

2 – Digital Influence Is Heightened During The Pandemic

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

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

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

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

3 – Identify Core Characteristics Of Influence Around A Topic

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

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

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

4 – Understand The Conversations Being Driven By Influencers

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

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

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

5 – Use The Right Influencer Ingredients For Your B2B Recipe

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

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

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

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

6 – Achieve Affinity & Elevate Brand Perception With Influencers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

9 – Benefit From The Advantages of Ongoing Influencer Programs

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

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

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

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

10 – Learn From Successful Influencer Marketing Programs

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

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

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

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

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

Learn More About Ascending To B2B Influencer Marketing Success

via GIPHY

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

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

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

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


Source: SEO blog

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

Lee Odden B2B Influencer Marketing

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

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

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

1 – B2B Influencers Are Credible Voices Throughout The Customer Lifecycle

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

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

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

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

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

2 – Digital Influence Is Heightened During The Pandemic

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

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

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

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

3 – Identify Core Characteristics Of Influence Around A Topic

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

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

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

4 – Understand The Conversations Being Driven By Influencers

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

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

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

5 – Use The Right Influencer Ingredients For Your B2B Recipe

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

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

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

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

6 – Achieve Affinity & Elevate Brand Perception With Influencers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

9 – Benefit From The Advantages of Ongoing Influencer Programs

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

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

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

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

10 – Learn From Successful Influencer Marketing Programs

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

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

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

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

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

Learn More About Ascending To B2B Influencer Marketing Success

via GIPHY

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

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

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

HTTPS Is Table Stakes for SEO in 2020

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

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

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

I scoff at your data!

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

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

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

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

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

You can’t make me switch!

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

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

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

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

B2B Marketing News: Google Faces Monopoly Probe, Sophisticated B2B Attribution Models Study, & LinkedIn’s New Video Meeting Options

2020 October 16 Hootsuite Chart

2020 October 16 Hootsuite Chart

Most B2B Demand Gen Pros Use Sophisticated Attribution Models
Some 43 percent of B2B demand generation buyers say that they use advanced attribution models with multiple touchpoints, while 21 percent don’t have a campaign attribution model at all, according to recently-released data surveying B2B technology marketing and demand generation decision-makers. Marketing Charts

LinkedIn Adds New Event Features, Rolls Out Video Meeting Options via LinkedIn Messages
LinkedIn has launched an array of new event-related features, along with rolling out private messaging access to video from Zoom and other virtual meeting providers, Microsoft-owned LinkedIn (client) recently announced. Social Media Today

Tubular Labs Launches Deduped Audience Ratings For Video On Facebook And YouTube
A new effort from video intelligence firm Tubular Labs aims to deliver a more standardized video viewing metric across the Facebook and YouTube platforms, with support for Instagram forthcoming, the firm recently announced in a move of interest to digital marketers. AdExchanger

US Justice Department Files Complaint Against Google Over Monopoly Tactics
Google’s search dominance has led the U.S. Justice Department to file a complaint seeking yet-to-be-announced remedies, the department recently announced. Google responded by calling the complaint filing “deeply flawed,” the Alphabet-owned search giant announced. Social Media Today

Instagram agrees curbs on paid influencers, says UK watchdog
New technology to help spot undisclosed influencer social media posts will come to Instagram, Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) recently announced, as Instagram parent Facebook has begun working with the governmental group on efforts to increase transparency, the social media firm has said. Reuters

Google Search Announcements: BERT, Passages & Subtopic Indexing & More
Google has rolled out several new search-related features and updates, including Google Lens improvements, greater use of key moment chapters, and the addition of associated subtopics within search, the firm recently announced. SEO Roundtable

2020 October 23 Statistics Image

Facebook opens Messenger API to Instagram messaging for businesses
Facebook has launched an updated Messenger API that will allow for new automated responses and other integration features that aim to ease business communication via Instagram, Facebook recently announced. VentureBeat

Google Tests Ads In Google Maps Autocomplete Predictions
Google has been spotted testing a potential new variety of advertising for its popular Google Maps product, which would allow advertisers to place ads that appear amidst autocomplete search prediction results as users type. SEO Roundtable

Dropbox is the latest San Francisco tech company to make remote work permanent
Dropbox has announced that it has made remote work a permanent part of the firm’s future, a shift that when combined with similar moves by other technology firms, has led some workers to leave the Bay Area, driving certain rent rates down 20 percent since last year. CNBC

More than 50% of humans in the world use social media — here’s what you need to know [Hootsuite Study]
During the second quarter of 2020 global social media advertising spending was down 13 percent over the same period last year, however the figure represents an improvement over last quarter’s drop of 19.2 percent globally — just one of numerous findings of interest to digital marketers contained in Hootsuite’s recently-released Digital 2020 October Global Statshot Report. The Next Web

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

2020 October 23 Marketoonist Comic

A lighthearted look at “generic advertising ‘in these uncertain times’” by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist

Alexa Hilariously Disrupts Epic Moments in Droga5 London’s Ads About Voice Control — Adweek

TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:

  • Lee Odden — L’expertise en marketing: notre Top 20 de 2020 [In French] — ExoB2B
  • TopRank Marketing — Permission to Interrupt (aka The Great Unfollowing of 2020) — Jason Falls
  • TopRank Marketing / SAP — The No. 1 Factor in B2B Influencer Marketing with Ursula Ringham & Rachel Miller | Studio CMO — Golden Spiral

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

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

The post B2B Marketing News: Google Faces Monopoly Probe, Sophisticated B2B Attribution Models Study, & LinkedIn’s New Video Meeting Options appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.


Source: SEO blog

B2B Marketing News: Google Faces Monopoly Probe, Sophisticated B2B Attribution Models Study, & LinkedIn’s New Video Meeting Options

2020 October 16 Hootsuite Chart

Most B2B Demand Gen Pros Use Sophisticated Attribution Models
Some 43 percent of B2B demand generation buyers say that they use advanced attribution models with multiple touchpoints, while 21 percent don’t have a campaign attribution model at all, according to recently-released data surveying B2B technology marketing and demand generation decision-makers. Marketing Charts

LinkedIn Adds New Event Features, Rolls Out Video Meeting Options via LinkedIn Messages
LinkedIn has launched an array of new event-related features, along with rolling out private messaging access to video from Zoom and other virtual meeting providers, Microsoft-owned LinkedIn (client) recently announced. Social Media Today

Tubular Labs Launches Deduped Audience Ratings For Video On Facebook And YouTube
A new effort from video intelligence firm Tubular Labs aims to deliver a more standardized video viewing metric across the Facebook and YouTube platforms, with support for Instagram forthcoming, the firm recently announced in a move of interest to digital marketers. AdExchanger

US Justice Department Files Complaint Against Google Over Monopoly Tactics
Google’s search dominance has led the U.S. Justice Department to file a complaint seeking yet-to-be-announced remedies, the department recently announced. Google responded by calling the complaint filing “deeply flawed,” the Alphabet-owned search giant announced. Social Media Today

Instagram agrees curbs on paid influencers, says UK watchdog
New technology to help spot undisclosed influencer social media posts will come to Instagram, Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) recently announced, as Instagram parent Facebook has begun working with the governmental group on efforts to increase transparency, the social media firm has said. Reuters

Google Search Announcements: BERT, Passages & Subtopic Indexing & More
Google has rolled out several new search-related features and updates, including Google Lens improvements, greater use of key moment chapters, and the addition of associated subtopics within search, the firm recently announced. SEO Roundtable

2020 October 23 Statistics Image

Facebook opens Messenger API to Instagram messaging for businesses
Facebook has launched an updated Messenger API that will allow for new automated responses and other integration features that aim to ease business communication via Instagram, Facebook recently announced. VentureBeat

Google Tests Ads In Google Maps Autocomplete Predictions
Google has been spotted testing a potential new variety of advertising for its popular Google Maps product, which would allow advertisers to place ads that appear amidst autocomplete search prediction results as users type. SEO Roundtable

Dropbox is the latest San Francisco tech company to make remote work permanent
Dropbox has announced that it has made remote work a permanent part of the firm’s future, a shift that when combined with similar moves by other technology firms, has led some workers to leave the Bay Area, driving certain rent rates down 20 percent since last year. CNBC

More than 50% of humans in the world use social media — here’s what you need to know [Hootsuite Study]
During the second quarter of 2020 global social media advertising spending was down 13 percent over the same period last year, however the figure represents an improvement over last quarter’s drop of 19.2 percent globally — just one of numerous findings of interest to digital marketers contained in Hootsuite’s recently-released Digital 2020 October Global Statshot Report. The Next Web

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

2020 October 23 Marketoonist Comic

A lighthearted look at “generic advertising ‘in these uncertain times’” by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist

Alexa Hilariously Disrupts Epic Moments in Droga5 London’s Ads About Voice Control — Adweek

TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:

  • Lee Odden — L’expertise en marketing: notre Top 20 de 2020 [In French] — ExoB2B
  • TopRank Marketing — Permission to Interrupt (aka The Great Unfollowing of 2020) — Jason Falls
  • TopRank Marketing / SAP — The No. 1 Factor in B2B Influencer Marketing with Ursula Ringham & Rachel Miller | Studio CMO — Golden Spiral

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

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

4 Google My Business Fields That Impact Ranking (and 3 That Don’t) — Whiteboard Friday

With so many customization options in your Google My Business profile, it can be tough to decide what to focus on. But when it comes to ranking on the SERP, there are actually only four GMB fields that influence where your business will land. 

In this brand new Whiteboard Friday, MozCon speaker and owner/founder of Sterling Sky, Joy Hawkins, takes us through the fields she and her team has found do (and do not) effect rankings.

4 GMB fields that impact ranking

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

Video Transcription

Hello, Moz fans. My name is Joy Hawkins, and today I’m going to be talking about which Google My Business fields impact ranking in the local pack. At my agency, Sterling Sky, we do a lot of testing to try and figure out what things actually influence ranking and what things do not.

We’ve come to the conclusion that there are only four things inside the Google My Business dashboard that a business owner or a marketing agency can edit that will have a direct influence on where they rank in the local results on Google. 

1. Business name

So to start us out, I’m going to start with the first thing that we found has impacted ranking, which is the business name. Now this is one that’s kind of frustrating because I don’t think it should have so much of an influence, but it does.

This year in the local search ranking factors study I actually put this as my number one. Of all the things that influence ranking, this one, in my experience, has the most weight, which is again unfortunate. So as a business owner, obviously you’re thinking, “I can’t really change my business name very easily”. If you do happen to have a keyword rich business name, you will see an advantage there.

But the real action item would be to kind of look to see if your competitors are taking advantage of this by adding descriptive words into their business name and then submitting corrections to Google for it, because it is against the guidelines. So I’m not saying go out there and add a whole bunch of keywords to your business name on Google. Don’t do that. But you should keep an eye on your competitors just to see if they’re doing this, and if they are, you can report it to Google using the Google business complaint redressal form.

Now one thing that’s kind of a tip here — it has nothing to do with Google — but we’ve seen the same thing on Bing, which doesn’t get talked about a whole lot, but on Bing you’re actually allowed to have descriptors in your business name, so go ahead and do it there. 

No impact: Q&A

Now I’m going to switch over to something that we found has not influenced ranking at all, which is Q&A. I kind of shoved it over to the section over there because it’s not actually in the dashboard currently. There isn’t a Q&A section in there, but it is on the knowledge panel on Google, and it is something that you should get an email alert about if somebody posts a question to your listing. 

So we did a bunch of testing on Q&A and found, despite putting random keywords and very specific things in questions that we posted and also in the answers, there was no measurable impact on ranking.

So, unfortunately, that is not one area where you can kind of manipulate ranking for your clients. 

2. Categories

Moving on to the second thing that we have found influences ranking — categories. Categories might sound kind of simple, because you go and you pick your categories. 

There are 10 that you can add on there, but one thing I want to point out is that Google has around 4,000 categories currently, and they keep adding categories, and then they also sometimes remove them.

So we have been tracking this month over month, and we usually find that there are about two to 10 (on average) changes every month to the categories. Sometimes they add ones that didn’t exist before. For example, we found in the last year there have been a lot of restaurant categories added as well as auto dealer categories. But there are also some industries like dentists, for example, that got a new one a couple of months ago for dental implants.

So it is something that you want to kind of keep track of, and hopefully we will have a resource published soon where we can actually log all of the changes for you. 

No impact: services

Now moving on to another thing that does not impact ranking, we’ll move over here to services

So the services section — at first glance it looks like an SEO dream. You can put all kinds of descriptive words in there. You can tell Google a lot about the different services you offer.

But we have found that whatever you put there has no actual bearing on where you rank. So it’s not something I would spend a lot time on. Also, it’s not very visible. Currently it’s not really visible on desktop at all. Then if you go onto a mobile device, it’s kind of hidden off to a tab. It’s not something we have found really has a lot of weight, so spend a few minutes on it, but it’s not something I would revisit quite often.

3. Website

Then moving back to the things that do impact ranking, number three would be the website field

So this is something where you do want to kind of think and possibly even test what page on your website to link your Google My Business listing to. Often people link to the homepage, which is fine. But we have also found with multi-location businesses sometimes it is better to link to a location page.

So you do want to kind of test that out. If you’re a business that has lots of different listings — like you have departments or you have practitioner listings — you also want to try and make sure that you link those to different pages on your site, to kind of maximize your exposure and make sure that you’re just not trying to rank all the listings for the same thing, because that won’t happen. They’ll just get filtered. So that is a section that I would definitely suggest doing some testing on and see what works best for you and your industry.

No impact: products

Now moving on to something that we have found did not impact rankings — products

So this is a feature that Google launched within I think about a year or so ago. It’s available on most listings. They are actually slowly rolling it out at the moment to all listings with the exception of a few categories that don’t have it. This section is kind of cool because it’s very visual.

If you’re a business that offers products or even if you offer services, you can technically list them in this section with photos. One of the neat things about the products section is that they are very visible on the knowledge panel on both desktop and on mobile. So it is something you want to fill out, but unfortunately we have found it doesn’t impact ranking. However, it does have an impact on conversions for certain industries.

So if you’re a business like a florist or a car dealer, it definitely makes sense to fill out that section and keep it up to date based on what products you’re currently offering. 

4. Reviews

Then moving back to the final thing that we found: number four for what influences ranking would be reviews (which is probably not going to be shocking to most of you). But we have found that review quantity does make an impact on ranking.

But that being said, we’ve also found that it has kind of diminishing returns. So for example, if you’re a business and you go from having no reviews to, let’s say, 20 or 30 reviews, you might start to see your business rank further away from your office, which is great. But if you go from, let’s say, 30 to 70, you may not see the same lift. So that’s something to kind of keep in mind. 

But there are lots of reasons as a business, obviously, why you want to focus on reviews, and we do see that they actually have a direct impact on ranking.

There was an article that I wrote a couple of years ago that is still relevant, on Search Engine Land, that talks about the changes that I saw when a whole bunch of businesses lost reviews and just watching how their ranking actually dropped within a 24 to 48-hour period. So that is still true and still relevant, but it’s something that I would also keep in mind when you’re coming up with a strategy for your business.

Conclusion

So in summary, the four things that you need to remember that you can actually utilize inside Google My Business to influence your ranking: first is the business name, second would be the categories, third would be the website field, and finally the review section on Google. 

Thanks for listening. If you have any questions, please hit me up in the comments.


Ready for more?

You’ll uncover even more SEO goodness in the MozCon 2020 video bundle. At this year’s special low price of $129, this is invaluable content you can access again and again throughout the year to inspire and ignite your SEO strategy:

  • 21 full-length videos from some of the brightest minds in digital marketing
  • Instant downloads and streaming to your computer, tablet, or mobile device
  • Downloadable slide decks for presentations

Get my MozCon 2020 video bundle

28 B2B Marketing Insights To Energize & Humanize Your 2021

Colorful running shoes, water bottle, and headphones image.

Colorful running shoes, water bottle, and headphones image.

What will successful B2B marketing look like in a post-pandemic world, and what can we as marketers do today to be as ready as possible?

Here are 28 quotes from some of the best in the B2B marketing business, taken from our two seasons of Break Free B2B Marketing video interview episodes, that will help keep your efforts on track, energized, and filled with the subtle humanizing elements sometimes neglected in the B2B landscape.

Keep posted for the launch of an all-new season three of Break Free B2B Marketing video interviews, and now let’s dig right in with an array of B2B marketing insights to help you prepare for a successful 2021.

1 — Hal Werner of Mitel

Hal Werner
Global Manager of Digital Marketing and Strategy
Mitel

Break Free B2B Interview with Hal Werner of Mitel

“If you want to create a piece of content about a topic, but you can’t create the best one, why are you creating it? If you don’t truly believe that you can outdo your competitors in the space for that function, then what are you wasting your time on?”

“Whether you earn it or whether it’s paid for, you’re going to need more voices putting out there what you’re about so that not only people see you, but you begin to be associated with that thing at a critical mass.”

[bctt tweet=”“If you want to create a piece of content about a topic, but you can’t create the best one, why are you creating it?” @halwerner” username=”toprank”]

Watch our full interview with Hal in “Break Free B2B Series: Hal Werner on the Intersection of Marketing Creativity and Analytics.”

2 — Stephanie Stahl of Content Marketing Institute

Stephanie Stahl
General Manager
Content Marketing Institute

Break Free B2B Interview with Stephanie Stahl

“As content creators, sometimes we try to do everything that we possibly can on every channel. I think it’s important for content teams and marketing teams to go back and say, ‘What do we need to stop doing? What are we doing that really isn’t giving us the result that we’d like? And how can we then focus more on the things that are working?’ So ask yourselves, ‘What can we stop doing today, so we have more time to do the things we’re really good at?’”

[bctt tweet=”“It’s important for content and marketing teams to go back and say, ‘What do we need to stop doing? What are we doing that isn’t giving us the result we’d like? How can we then focus more on the things that are working?’” @EditorStahl” username=”toprank”]

Watch our full interview with Stephanie in “Break Free B2B Series: CMI’s Stephanie Stahl on Data-Driven Event Planning and Promotion.”

3 — Jon Miller of Demandbase

Jon Miller
Chief Product Officer
Demandbase

Jon Miller

“The explosion of digital noise means that traditional marketing channels like ads are becoming less and less effective. What marketers need to think about is, how do I orchestrate multiple channels together?”

[bctt tweet=”“The explosion of digital noise means that traditional marketing channels like ads are becoming less and less effective. What marketers need to think about is, how do I orchestrate multiple channels together?” @jonmiller” username=”toprank”]

Watch our full interview with Jon in “Break Free B2B Series: Jon Miller on How ABM Can Help Marketers Keep Their ‘Ship’ Together.”

4 — Adi Bachar-Reske of 20x

Adi Bachar-Reske
Founder and CMO
20x

Break Free B2B Interview with Adi Bachar-Reske

“These days, the way you build the trust is showing how nimble and flexible you can be. Both in your development and your product, but also it has to be reflected in your marketing and your digital presence.”

[bctt tweet=”“The way you build the trust is showing how nimble and flexible you can be. Both in your development and your product, but also it has to be reflected in your marketing and digital presence.” @AdiBacharReske” username=”toprank”]

Watch our full interview with Adi in “Break Free B2B Series: Adi Bachar-Reske on Taking the Lead in the Evolution of B2B Content Marketing.”

5 — Emily Thompson of EST Creative

Emily Thompson
Owner
EST Creative

Break Free B2B Interview with Emily Thompson

“When an organization can deliver strong content that helps inform people, it only builds that trust. Ultimately, people just want information that’s helpful to them. Especially with digital, it’s very easy today to try a new type of message, or a new way of communicating to someone. Let’s say you never blogged before, why not try a blog? Let’s say you never did email marketing, why not try it? Or a new type of message? The worst that can happen is you measure it, you learn from it, and you try something new.”

[bctt tweet=”“When an organization can deliver strong content that helps inform people, it only builds that trust. Ultimately, people just want information that’s helpful to them.” @BosCreativeCopy” username=”toprank”]

Watch our full interview with Emily in “Break Free B2B Series: Emily Thompson on the Power of Content Marketing in Health Care.”

6 — Margaret Magnarelli of Morgan Stanley

Margaret Magnarelli
Executive Director of Digital Product Evolution and Growth Marketing
Morgan Stanley

Break Free B2B Interview with Margaret Magnarelli

“We have to be able to give our customers as much information as we can, and take them as close to the line of purchase — to the experience of purchase — as we can.”

“People can see through fake attempts to build trust. It’s hard for consumers to just believe a brand when they say they can do a thing. So if you have other people who say you can do a thing and you can do it well, and they can be your advocates, that’s really powerful.”

[bctt tweet=”“It’s hard for consumers to just believe a brand when they say they can do a thing. So if you have other people who say you can do a thing and you can do it well, and they can be your advocates, that’s really powerful.” @mmagnarelli” username=”toprank”]

Watch our full interview with Margaret in “Break Free B2B Series: Margaret Magnarelli on the Psychology of Trust for Better Content Marketing.”

7 — Gary Gerber of nClouds

Gary Gerber
Head of Product Marketing
nClouds

Gary Gerber

“It’s about building a relationship that’s built on trust, not on hype. If you’ve built that trust and you’re adding that value to them that they trust you’re interested in their success, and you’re providing information and content and messaging and whatever it is, that will help them be successful.”

[bctt tweet=”“It’s about building a relationship that’s built on trust, not on hype.” @Gary_Gerber” username=”toprank”]

Watch our full interview with Gary in “Break Free B2B Marketing: Gary Gerber on Scaling ABM without Losing Focus.”

8 — Kelvin Gee of Oracle

Kelvin Gee
Senior Director, Modern Marketing Business Transformation
Oracle*

Kelvin Gee Break Free B2B Image

“We believe that data is the future of B2B marketing. If the goal is to deliver a better customer experience, you’ve got to break down those data silos.”

“Once you consolidate all your data silos onto one bed, so to speak — in this case a customer intelligence platform or customer data platform or whatever you want to use — once you combine all that data, that’s when you start to see all the insights of your customers. All marketers should have empathy. What drives customer-centricity is empathy.”

[bctt tweet=”“We believe that data is the future of B2B marketing. If the goal is to deliver a better customer experience, you’ve got to break down those data silos.” @kgee” username=”toprank”]

Watch our full interview with Kelvin in “Break Free B2B Marketing: Oracle’s Kelvin Gee on Winning with Enterprise ABM.”

9 — Danny Nail of Microsoft

Danny Nail
Account Based Engagement
Microsoft

Danny Nail

“Historically, marketing and sales have kind of been at odds a bit, which is unfortunate, but ABM brings the two together. The key to that is understanding the sales cycle, and understanding how sellers think and what they’re up against. The continuum should be from target account marketing, to ABM, to one-to-one ABM, all the way across that scale.”

“You have to let go of templatized, old ideas. You have to break free of thinking about things the way we’ve always thought about them, and start really digging into how you can change what you’re doing and make it more efficient, more effective, but be creative about that.”

[bctt tweet=”“You have to let go of templatized old ideas to break free of thinking about things the way we’ve always thought about them and start digging into how you can change what you’re doing and make it more efficient and effective.” @DannyNail” username=”toprank”]

Watch our full interview with Danny in “Break Free B2B Marketing: Danny Nail of SAP on Creating a Global ABM Platform.”

10 — Julie Brown of Johnson Controls

Julie Brown
Institutional Market Leader
Johnson Controls

“It really starts with understanding what customer needs are — where are their pain points — are there new and creative ways that we can help address those needs and pain points?”

[bctt tweet=”“It really starts with understanding what customer needs are — where are their pain points — are there new and creative ways that we can help address those needs and pain points?” — Julie Brown” username=”toprank”]

Watch our full interview with Julie in “Break Free B2B Marketing: Julie Brown of Johnson Controls on Proving the EBIT of Your Marketing.”

11 — Andre Ortolon of Dell Outlet

Andre Ortolon
eCommerce and Marketing Manager
Dell Outlet*

Break Free B2B Andre Ortolon of Dell Outlet Image

“There’s so much data out there. We’re so busy with emails and meetings that you can really get stuck in a rut and forget to take the time to step back and look at the bigger picture.”

“You also have to take stock sometimes and really look at your overall process, you can’t always be in the execution mode, you have to look at end to end, the processes and making sure that you’re developing kind of a holistic approach and not just selling a unit. You’ve got to think about your strategy and make sure you’re still aligned with that in what you’re doing day to day.”

[bctt tweet=”“There’s so much data out there. We’re so busy with emails and meetings that you can really get stuck in a rut and forget to take the time to step back and look at the bigger picture.” — Andre Ortolon” username=”toprank”]

Watch our full interview with Andre in “Break Free B2B Marketing: Dell Outlet’s Andre Ortolon on Microinfluencers for Hyper-Relevant Content.”

12 — Amanda Todorovich of Cleveland Clinic

Amanda Todorovich
Senior Director of Digital Marketing Health Content
Cleveland Clinic.

“I think it’s really important content marketing is not a campaign, it’s not a project, it’s not a one-off. We like to talk about our content channels and process like products, you know, you really need to invest in them. It’s a long-term strategy. It’s something that you really have to think about how you build a long-term committed relationship with that user – it’s not a one-and-done. There’s never really an end to it. It’s continuous and iterative.”

[bctt tweet=”“You really have to think about how you build a long-term committed relationship with the user – it’s not a one-and-done. There’s never really an end to it. It’s continuous and iterative.” @amandatodo” username=”toprank”]

Watch our full interview with Amanda in “Break Free B2B Series: Amanda Todorovich on Creating Content that Pays Off.”

13 — Amisha Gandhi of SAP Ariba

Amisha Gandhi
Vice President of Influencer Marketing and Communications
SAP Ariba*

Break Free B2B Interview with Amisha Gandhi

“Do not just start calling influencers and say, ‘I’m doing this campaign, do you want to be a part of it?’ and be very prescriptive. You want to invite people to be in your program first and then do some brainstorming with them and see what they like, how they like to interact or what they like to do for companies.”

[bctt tweet=”“You want to invite people to be in your program first and then do some brainstorming with them and see what they like, how they like to interact or what they like to do for companies.” @AmishaGandhi” username=”toprank”]

Watch our full interview with Amisha in “Break Free B2B Series: Amisha Gandhi on Global B2B Influencer Marketing.”

14 — Brody Dorland of DivvyHQ

Brody Dorland
Co-Founder
DivvyHQ

An Interview with Brody Dorland of DivvyHQ

“The holistic content marketing world, which is non-campaign focused, continues to proliferate. It’s going to get better, but most agencies out there are still so campaign focused — that’s what they’ve been doing for decades. Getting out of that mindset, even from a logistics standpoint, is harder for an agency to do. Not to say that agencies can’t continually be involved in longer-term content marketing engagements, but it’s just it’s a different beast, a different animal than the typical world that they’ve been in for decades.”

[bctt tweet=”“Most agencies out there are still so campaign focused —that’s what they’ve been doing for decades. Getting out of that mindset, even from a logistics standpoint, is harder for an agency to do.” @brodydorland” username=”toprank”]

Watch our full interview with Brody in “Break Free B2B Series: Brody Dorland on Creating Long-Lasting Content Marketing Strategy.”

15 — Clare Carr of Chief

Clare Carr
Vice President of Marketing
Chief

TopRank Marketing Interviews Clare Carr, VP of Marketing at Chief

“It takes a human element that cannot be taken out of this equation. If you can make data something that people associate with you, they trust you more, you can connect with them more, and you can tell better stories. All those things you want as a content marketer, as a B2B marketer, data can actually do for you. It’s not just good writing, good storytelling, and good creative anymore.”

[bctt tweet=”“All those things you want as a content marketer, as a B2B marketer, data can actually do for you. It’s not just good writing, good storytelling, and good creative anymore.” @clareondrey” username=”toprank”]

Watch our full interview with Clare in “Break Free B2B Series: Clare Carr on Using Data to Drive Content Marketing Success.”

16 — Janine Wegner of Dell Technologies

Janine Wegner
Global Thought Leadership Program and Activation Manager
Dell Technologies*

Break Free B2B Marketing Interview with Janine Wenger of Dell Technologies

“What’s the customer journey? And what are the content pieces we want to develop? And what are the voices we want to have in each of them, and how to then activate and amplify those?”

[bctt tweet=”“What are the content pieces we want to develop? What are the voices we want to have in each of them, and how to then activate and amplify those?” @JanineWegner” username=”toprank”]

Watch our full interview with Janine in “Break Free B2B Series: Janine Wegner on Building Brand Thought Leadership With the Help of Influencers,” and in our Inside Influence series with “Inside Influence: Janine Wegner from Dell on Thought Leadership and Influencer Relations.”

17 — John Joyce of Brennan Industries

John Joyce
Global Marketing Director
Brennan Industries

“We try to do mainly two things: build trust and also provide value. We want them to trust this and to think of us as the place to go that provides value from the very beginning of the relationship, from the first time they go to the website – oh yeah, this is really good. It’s providing me the answers to my questions and knowledge I need, it’s saving me money”

[bctt tweet=”“We try to do mainly two things: build trust and also provide value. It’s providing me the answers to my questions and the knowledge I need, and saving me money.” @mrjohnjoyce” username=”toprank”]

Watch our full interview with John in “Break Free B2B Series: John Joyce on Taking B2B Content Marketing Back 2 Basics.”

18 — Judy Tian of LinkedIn

Judy Tian
Marketing Manager
LinkedIn*

“Relevancy and engagement are what’s important. Are the influencers actually experts in the areas you want to talk about? And are they going to have credibility with their end users? And then are they going to shed credibility onto your brand as a result?”

[bctt tweet=”“Relevancy and engagement are what’s important. Are the influencers actually experts in the areas you want to talk about? And are they going to have credibility with their end users?” @judytian07″ username=”toprank”]

Watch our full interview with Judy in “Break Free B2B Series: Judy Tian on Humanizing B2B Through Influencer Marketing.”

19 — Maliha Aqeel of Fix Network World

Maliha Aqeel
Director of Global Communications
Fix Network World

Maliha Aqeel

“Focus on culture. There’s still a misconception that culture is about only HR. But culture is something that’s pervasive throughout the organization, and why we choose to work somewhere, why we choose to engage with the brand.”

[bctt tweet=”“There’s still a misconception that culture is about only HR. Culture is something that’s pervasive throughout the organization, and why we choose to work somewhere, why we choose to engage with a brand.” @MalihaQ” username=”toprank”]

Watch our full interview with Maliha in “Break Free B2B Series: Maliha Aqeel on How to Ace B2B Company Culture.”

20 — Tom Treanor of Arm Treasure Data

Tom Treanor
CMO
Arm Treasure Data*

Tom Treanor

“You can’t solve personalization before you solve customer understanding. At the top of the funnel, keep it very basic and personalize at a high level.”

[bctt tweet=”“You can’t solve personalization before you solve customer understanding. At the top of the funnel, keep it very basic and personalize at a high level.” @RtMixMktg” username=”toprank”]

Watch our full interview with Tom in “Break Free B2B Series: Tom Treanor on Perfecting B2B Marketing Personalization.”

21 — Zari Venhaus of Eaton

Zari Venhaus
Director of Corporate Marketing Communications
Eaton

Break Free B2B Marketing Interview with Zari Venhaus

“I see the IT space and the marketing space are starting to come together so much more — particularly when you think about martech. We learned that it wasn’t enough to just be marketing coming to IT with an answer. We really needed to involve our IT partners upfront in the process.”

[bctt tweet=”“The IT space and the marketing space are starting to come together so much more — particularly when you think about martech.” @zvenhaus” username=”toprank”]

Watch our full interview with Zari in “Break Free B2B Series: Zari Venhaus on How to Scoot Your Way to Martech Transformation Through Storytelling.”

22 — Adam Dunn, Oscar-Winning VFX Editor

Adam Dunn
Oscar-winning VFX Editor
Evil Ice Cream Productions

Break Free B2B Interview with Adam Dunn

“Video marketing is intriguing, because it brings in real-life storytelling. The biggest factor in successful video content is cohesiveness of vision.”

[bctt tweet=”“Video marketing is intriguing, because it brings in real-life storytelling. The biggest factor in successful video content is cohesiveness of vision.” @adamjdunn” username=”toprank”]

Watch our full interview with Adam in “Break Free B2B Series: Adam Dunn on Creating Blockbuster Video Content in B2B.”

23 — Carol-Lyn Jardine of Alteryx

Carol-Lyn Jardine
Vice President of Marketing Operations and Productivity
Alteryx

Carol-Lyn Jardine

“Assume good intent from the people around you as you’re going through change behaviors.”

[bctt tweet=”“Assume good intent from the people around you as you’re going through change behaviors.” @cljardine” username=”toprank”]

Watch our full interview with Carol-Lyn in “Break Free B2B Series: Carol-Lyn Jardine and Heather Hurst on Effectively Managing Change in B2B Marketing.”

24 — Sruthi Kumar of Sendoso

Sruthi Kumar
Associate Director of Field and Partner Marketing
Sendoso

Sruthi Kumar

“It’s about bringing all the channels together to create that seamless experience for the end user, and that person who you want to book a meeting with or have a signed contract with or whatever else you need from them. I think it’s just about being okay with being yourself and incorporating that into your whole corporate brand.”

[bctt tweet=”“It’s about bringing all the channels together to create that seamless experience for the end user, and that person who you want to book a meeting with or have a signed contract with or whatever else you need from them.” @sruthikkumar” username=”toprank”]

Watch our full interview with Sruthi in “Break Free B2B Marketing: Sruthi Kumar on Creating Memorable Experiences.”

25 — Latané Conant of 6sense

Latane Conant
Chief Market Officer
6sense

Latane Conant

“You look at the tools that we have at our disposal as CMOs, and it’s sort of like we are a Model T trying to get to the moon. I think the challenge that we have is only 13 percent of sales and marketing teams have any confidence in their data.”

[bctt tweet=”“You look at the tools that we have at our disposal as CMOs, and it’s sort of like we are a Model T trying to get to the moon.” @LataneConant” username=”toprank”]

Watch our full interview with Latane in “Break Free B2B Marketing: Latane Conant of 6sense on Reinventing the CMO Role.”

26 — Mark Bornstein of ON24

Mark Bornstein
Vice President of Marketing
ON24

Break Free B2B Marketing Mark Bornstein Image

“It’s the experience you give, it’s the way you’re able to connect and interact with audiences that matters. Because that’s where you’re going to get the real data. That’s where you’re going to learn a lot about them. You want to create an environment where people are doing stuff, and it’s a multi-touch content experience.”

“We need to find ways to get people who want our marketing to opt into our marketing. At a time when all of this digital noise is scaring them away. We need to bring them back in through more authentic, more human, more experiential marketing.”

[bctt tweet=”“We need to find ways to get people who want our marketing to opt in. At a time when all of this digital noise is scaring them away,  we need to bring them back in through more authentic, human, and experiential marketing.” @4markb” username=”toprank”]

Watch our full interview with Mark in “Break Free B2B Marketing: “Webinerd” Mark Bornstein of ON24 on Dialing In Digital Experiences.”

27 — Sofia O’Malley of Dell Technologies

Sofia O’Malley
Global Marketing Director
Dell Technologies*

Sofia O’Malley

“You really have to be cognizant of what is unique to each market. What’s the consumer behavior? Or what’s the consumer expectation within a given market or appetite for a type of execution. Be very much aware of the environment and the key nuances that are needed to effectively drive marketing in a region.”

[bctt tweet=”“You really have to be cognizant of what is unique to each market. What’s the consumer behavior? Or what’s the consumer expectation within a given market or appetite for a type of execution.” — Sofia O’Malley” username=”toprank”]

Watch our full interview with Sofia in “Break Free B2B Marketing: Sofia O’Malley of Dell Outlet on Creating a Global B2B & B2C Marketing Team.”

28 — Sean Crowley of Dun & Bradstreet

Sean Crowley
Leader of Integrated Marketing and Sales and Marketing Solutions
Dun & Bradstreet

Break Free B2B Sean Crowley Image

“When you look at being able to bring people together, it’s about creating a common message, a common purpose, and a common effort with everything that you do and how you go to market. Ensure that you have consistency of messaging to a target persona and target audience, regardless of what channel they’re choosing to interact with you on.”

“The balance of power of information has shifted from the vendors to the consumers, to the buyers, and they can now go and search for information much more readily — much more freely — and they want that choice of how and when they choose to interact with you.”

[bctt tweet=”“When you look at being able to bring people together, it’s about creating a common message, a common purpose, and a common effort with everything that you do and how you go to market.” @seantcrowley” username=”toprank”]

Watch our full interview with Sean in “Break Free B2B Marketing: Sean Crowley of Dun & Bradstreet on Cracking the Alignment Code.”

Embrace An Energized 2021 B2B Marketing Landscape

via GIPHY

Use the energizing advice we’ve highlighted here from 28 B2B marketing innovators to spark your own marketing ideas that will take you to electrifying new heights in 2021 and beyond.

One powerful way to combine many of these energizing marketing elements is by harnessing the power of B2B influencer marketing, as we outline in our groundbreaking 2020 State of B2B Influencer Marketing Report, featuring insights from hundreds of marketers surveyed as well as expert analysis by the TopRank Marketing team and contributions from top B2B influencer marketing professionals from SAP, LinkedIn, AT&T Business, Adobe, Traackr, IBM, Dell, Cherwell Software, monday.com and more.

Contact us to find out why TopRank Marketing is the only B2B marketing agency offering influencer marketing as a top capability in Forrester’s “B2B Marketing Agencies, North America” report, and discover how we can help create award-winning marketing for you.

* Oracle, Dell Outlet, SAP Ariba, Dell Technologies, LinkedIn, Arm Treasure Data, are TopRank Marketing clients.

The post 28 B2B Marketing Insights To Energize & Humanize Your 2021 appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.


Source: SEO blog

28 B2B Marketing Insights To Energize & Humanize Your 2021

Colorful running shoes, water bottle, and headphones image.

What will successful B2B marketing look like in a post-pandemic world, and what can we as marketers do today to be as ready as possible?

Here are 28 quotes from some of the best in the B2B marketing business, taken from our two seasons of Break Free B2B Marketing video interview episodes, that will help keep your efforts on track, energized, and filled with the subtle humanizing elements sometimes neglected in the B2B landscape.

Keep posted for the launch of an all-new season three of Break Free B2B Marketing video interviews, and now let’s dig right in with an array of B2B marketing insights to help you prepare for a successful 2021.

1 — Hal Werner of Mitel

Hal Werner
Global Manager of Digital Marketing and Strategy
Mitel

Break Free B2B Interview with Hal Werner of Mitel

“If you want to create a piece of content about a topic, but you can’t create the best one, why are you creating it? If you don’t truly believe that you can outdo your competitors in the space for that function, then what are you wasting your time on?”

“Whether you earn it or whether it’s paid for, you’re going to need more voices putting out there what you’re about so that not only people see you, but you begin to be associated with that thing at a critical mass.”

“If you want to create a piece of content about a topic, but you can’t create the best one, why are you creating it?” @halwerner Click To Tweet

Watch our full interview with Hal in “Break Free B2B Series: Hal Werner on the Intersection of Marketing Creativity and Analytics.”

2 — Stephanie Stahl of Content Marketing Institute

Stephanie Stahl
General Manager
Content Marketing Institute

Break Free B2B Interview with Stephanie Stahl

“As content creators, sometimes we try to do everything that we possibly can on every channel. I think it’s important for content teams and marketing teams to go back and say, ‘What do we need to stop doing? What are we doing that really isn’t giving us the result that we’d like? And how can we then focus more on the things that are working?’ So ask yourselves, ‘What can we stop doing today, so we have more time to do the things we’re really good at?’”

“It’s important for content and marketing teams to go back and say, ‘What do we need to stop doing? What are we doing that isn’t giving us the result we’d like? How can we then focus more on the things that are working?’” @EditorStahl Click To Tweet

Watch our full interview with Stephanie in “Break Free B2B Series: CMI’s Stephanie Stahl on Data-Driven Event Planning and Promotion.”

3 — Jon Miller of Demandbase

Jon Miller
Chief Product Officer
Demandbase

Jon Miller

“The explosion of digital noise means that traditional marketing channels like ads are becoming less and less effective. What marketers need to think about is, how do I orchestrate multiple channels together?”

“The explosion of digital noise means that traditional marketing channels like ads are becoming less and less effective. What marketers need to think about is, how do I orchestrate multiple channels together?” @jonmiller Click To Tweet

Watch our full interview with Jon in “Break Free B2B Series: Jon Miller on How ABM Can Help Marketers Keep Their ‘Ship’ Together.”

4 — Adi Bachar-Reske of 20x

Adi Bachar-Reske
Founder and CMO
20x

Break Free B2B Interview with Adi Bachar-Reske

“These days, the way you build the trust is showing how nimble and flexible you can be. Both in your development and your product, but also it has to be reflected in your marketing and your digital presence.”

“The way you build the trust is showing how nimble and flexible you can be. Both in your development and your product, but also it has to be reflected in your marketing and digital presence.” @AdiBacharReske Click To Tweet

Watch our full interview with Adi in “Break Free B2B Series: Adi Bachar-Reske on Taking the Lead in the Evolution of B2B Content Marketing.”

5 — Emily Thompson of EST Creative

Emily Thompson
Owner
EST Creative

Break Free B2B Interview with Emily Thompson

“When an organization can deliver strong content that helps inform people, it only builds that trust. Ultimately, people just want information that’s helpful to them. Especially with digital, it’s very easy today to try a new type of message, or a new way of communicating to someone. Let’s say you never blogged before, why not try a blog? Let’s say you never did email marketing, why not try it? Or a new type of message? The worst that can happen is you measure it, you learn from it, and you try something new.”

“When an organization can deliver strong content that helps inform people, it only builds that trust. Ultimately, people just want information that’s helpful to them.” @BosCreativeCopy Click To Tweet

Watch our full interview with Emily in “Break Free B2B Series: Emily Thompson on the Power of Content Marketing in Health Care.”

6 — Margaret Magnarelli of Morgan Stanley

Margaret Magnarelli
Executive Director of Digital Product Evolution and Growth Marketing
Morgan Stanley

Break Free B2B Interview with Margaret Magnarelli

“We have to be able to give our customers as much information as we can, and take them as close to the line of purchase — to the experience of purchase — as we can.”

“People can see through fake attempts to build trust. It’s hard for consumers to just believe a brand when they say they can do a thing. So if you have other people who say you can do a thing and you can do it well, and they can be your advocates, that’s really powerful.”

“It’s hard for consumers to just believe a brand when they say they can do a thing. So if you have other people who say you can do a thing and you can do it well, and they can be your advocates, that’s really powerful.” @mmagnarelli Click To Tweet

Watch our full interview with Margaret in “Break Free B2B Series: Margaret Magnarelli on the Psychology of Trust for Better Content Marketing.”

7 — Gary Gerber of nClouds

Gary Gerber
Head of Product Marketing
nClouds

Gary Gerber

“It’s about building a relationship that’s built on trust, not on hype. If you’ve built that trust and you’re adding that value to them that they trust you’re interested in their success, and you’re providing information and content and messaging and whatever it is, that will help them be successful.”

“It’s about building a relationship that’s built on trust, not on hype.” @Gary_Gerber Click To Tweet

Watch our full interview with Gary in “Break Free B2B Marketing: Gary Gerber on Scaling ABM without Losing Focus.”

8 — Kelvin Gee of Oracle

Kelvin Gee
Senior Director, Modern Marketing Business Transformation
Oracle*

Kelvin Gee Break Free B2B Image

“We believe that data is the future of B2B marketing. If the goal is to deliver a better customer experience, you’ve got to break down those data silos.”

“Once you consolidate all your data silos onto one bed, so to speak — in this case a customer intelligence platform or customer data platform or whatever you want to use — once you combine all that data, that’s when you start to see all the insights of your customers. All marketers should have empathy. What drives customer-centricity is empathy.”

“We believe that data is the future of B2B marketing. If the goal is to deliver a better customer experience, you’ve got to break down those data silos.” @kgee Click To Tweet

Watch our full interview with Kelvin in “Break Free B2B Marketing: Oracle’s Kelvin Gee on Winning with Enterprise ABM.”

9 — Danny Nail of Microsoft

Danny Nail
Account Based Engagement
Microsoft

Danny Nail

“Historically, marketing and sales have kind of been at odds a bit, which is unfortunate, but ABM brings the two together. The key to that is understanding the sales cycle, and understanding how sellers think and what they’re up against. The continuum should be from target account marketing, to ABM, to one-to-one ABM, all the way across that scale.”

“You have to let go of templatized, old ideas. You have to break free of thinking about things the way we’ve always thought about them, and start really digging into how you can change what you’re doing and make it more efficient, more effective, but be creative about that.”

“You have to let go of templatized old ideas to break free of thinking about things the way we’ve always thought about them and start digging into how you can change what you’re doing and make it more efficient and effective.” @DannyNail Click To Tweet

Watch our full interview with Danny in “Break Free B2B Marketing: Danny Nail of SAP on Creating a Global ABM Platform.”

10 — Julie Brown of Johnson Controls

Julie Brown
Institutional Market Leader
Johnson Controls

“It really starts with understanding what customer needs are — where are their pain points — are there new and creative ways that we can help address those needs and pain points?”

“It really starts with understanding what customer needs are — where are their pain points — are there new and creative ways that we can help address those needs and pain points?” — Julie Brown Click To Tweet

Watch our full interview with Julie in “Break Free B2B Marketing: Julie Brown of Johnson Controls on Proving the EBIT of Your Marketing.”

11 — Andre Ortolon of Dell Outlet

Andre Ortolon
eCommerce and Marketing Manager
Dell Outlet*

Break Free B2B Andre Ortolon of Dell Outlet Image

“There’s so much data out there. We’re so busy with emails and meetings that you can really get stuck in a rut and forget to take the time to step back and look at the bigger picture.”

“You also have to take stock sometimes and really look at your overall process, you can’t always be in the execution mode, you have to look at end to end, the processes and making sure that you’re developing kind of a holistic approach and not just selling a unit. You’ve got to think about your strategy and make sure you’re still aligned with that in what you’re doing day to day.”

“There’s so much data out there. We’re so busy with emails and meetings that you can really get stuck in a rut and forget to take the time to step back and look at the bigger picture.” — Andre Ortolon Click To Tweet

Watch our full interview with Andre in “Break Free B2B Marketing: Dell Outlet’s Andre Ortolon on Microinfluencers for Hyper-Relevant Content.”

12 — Amanda Todorovich of Cleveland Clinic

Amanda Todorovich
Senior Director of Digital Marketing Health Content
Cleveland Clinic.

“I think it’s really important content marketing is not a campaign, it’s not a project, it’s not a one-off. We like to talk about our content channels and process like products, you know, you really need to invest in them. It’s a long-term strategy. It’s something that you really have to think about how you build a long-term committed relationship with that user – it’s not a one-and-done. There’s never really an end to it. It’s continuous and iterative.”

“You really have to think about how you build a long-term committed relationship with the user – it’s not a one-and-done. There’s never really an end to it. It’s continuous and iterative.” @amandatodo Click To Tweet

Watch our full interview with Amanda in “Break Free B2B Series: Amanda Todorovich on Creating Content that Pays Off.”

13 — Amisha Gandhi of SAP Ariba

Amisha Gandhi
Vice President of Influencer Marketing and Communications
SAP Ariba*

Break Free B2B Interview with Amisha Gandhi

“Do not just start calling influencers and say, ‘I’m doing this campaign, do you want to be a part of it?’ and be very prescriptive. You want to invite people to be in your program first and then do some brainstorming with them and see what they like, how they like to interact or what they like to do for companies.”

“You want to invite people to be in your program first and then do some brainstorming with them and see what they like, how they like to interact or what they like to do for companies.” @AmishaGandhi Click To Tweet

Watch our full interview with Amisha in “Break Free B2B Series: Amisha Gandhi on Global B2B Influencer Marketing.”

14 — Brody Dorland of DivvyHQ

Brody Dorland
Co-Founder
DivvyHQ

An Interview with Brody Dorland of DivvyHQ

“The holistic content marketing world, which is non-campaign focused, continues to proliferate. It’s going to get better, but most agencies out there are still so campaign focused — that’s what they’ve been doing for decades. Getting out of that mindset, even from a logistics standpoint, is harder for an agency to do. Not to say that agencies can’t continually be involved in longer-term content marketing engagements, but it’s just it’s a different beast, a different animal than the typical world that they’ve been in for decades.”

“Most agencies out there are still so campaign focused —that’s what they’ve been doing for decades. Getting out of that mindset, even from a logistics standpoint, is harder for an agency to do.” @brodydorland Click To Tweet

Watch our full interview with Brody in “Break Free B2B Series: Brody Dorland on Creating Long-Lasting Content Marketing Strategy.”

15 — Clare Carr of Chief

Clare Carr
Vice President of Marketing
Chief

TopRank Marketing Interviews Clare Carr, VP of Marketing at Chief

“It takes a human element that cannot be taken out of this equation. If you can make data something that people associate with you, they trust you more, you can connect with them more, and you can tell better stories. All those things you want as a content marketer, as a B2B marketer, data can actually do for you. It’s not just good writing, good storytelling, and good creative anymore.”

“All those things you want as a content marketer, as a B2B marketer, data can actually do for you. It’s not just good writing, good storytelling, and good creative anymore.” @clareondrey Click To Tweet

Watch our full interview with Clare in “Break Free B2B Series: Clare Carr on Using Data to Drive Content Marketing Success.”

16 — Janine Wegner of Dell Technologies

Janine Wegner
Global Thought Leadership Program and Activation Manager
Dell Technologies*

Break Free B2B Marketing Interview with Janine Wenger of Dell Technologies

“What’s the customer journey? And what are the content pieces we want to develop? And what are the voices we want to have in each of them, and how to then activate and amplify those?”

“What are the content pieces we want to develop? What are the voices we want to have in each of them, and how to then activate and amplify those?” @JanineWegner Click To Tweet

Watch our full interview with Janine in “Break Free B2B Series: Janine Wegner on Building Brand Thought Leadership With the Help of Influencers,” and in our Inside Influence series with “Inside Influence: Janine Wegner from Dell on Thought Leadership and Influencer Relations.”

17 — John Joyce of Brennan Industries

John Joyce
Global Marketing Director
Brennan Industries

“We try to do mainly two things: build trust and also provide value. We want them to trust this and to think of us as the place to go that provides value from the very beginning of the relationship, from the first time they go to the website – oh yeah, this is really good. It’s providing me the answers to my questions and knowledge I need, it’s saving me money”

“We try to do mainly two things: build trust and also provide value. It’s providing me the answers to my questions and the knowledge I need, and saving me money.” @mrjohnjoyce Click To Tweet

Watch our full interview with John in “Break Free B2B Series: John Joyce on Taking B2B Content Marketing Back 2 Basics.”

18 — Judy Tian of LinkedIn

Judy Tian
Marketing Manager
LinkedIn*

“Relevancy and engagement are what’s important. Are the influencers actually experts in the areas you want to talk about? And are they going to have credibility with their end users? And then are they going to shed credibility onto your brand as a result?”

“Relevancy and engagement are what’s important. Are the influencers actually experts in the areas you want to talk about? And are they going to have credibility with their end users?” @judytian07 Click To Tweet

Watch our full interview with Judy in “Break Free B2B Series: Judy Tian on Humanizing B2B Through Influencer Marketing.”

19 — Maliha Aqeel of Fix Network World

Maliha Aqeel
Director of Global Communications
Fix Network World

Maliha Aqeel

“Focus on culture. There’s still a misconception that culture is about only HR. But culture is something that’s pervasive throughout the organization, and why we choose to work somewhere, why we choose to engage with the brand.”

“There’s still a misconception that culture is about only HR. Culture is something that’s pervasive throughout the organization, and why we choose to work somewhere, why we choose to engage with a brand.” @MalihaQ Click To Tweet

Watch our full interview with Maliha in “Break Free B2B Series: Maliha Aqeel on How to Ace B2B Company Culture.”

20 — Tom Treanor of Arm Treasure Data

Tom Treanor
CMO
Arm Treasure Data*

Tom Treanor

“You can’t solve personalization before you solve customer understanding. At the top of the funnel, keep it very basic and personalize at a high level.”

“You can’t solve personalization before you solve customer understanding. At the top of the funnel, keep it very basic and personalize at a high level.” @RtMixMktg Click To Tweet

Watch our full interview with Tom in “Break Free B2B Series: Tom Treanor on Perfecting B2B Marketing Personalization.”

21 — Zari Venhaus of Eaton

Zari Venhaus
Director of Corporate Marketing Communications
Eaton

Break Free B2B Marketing Interview with Zari Venhaus

“I see the IT space and the marketing space are starting to come together so much more — particularly when you think about martech. We learned that it wasn’t enough to just be marketing coming to IT with an answer. We really needed to involve our IT partners upfront in the process.”

“The IT space and the marketing space are starting to come together so much more — particularly when you think about martech.” @zvenhaus Click To Tweet

Watch our full interview with Zari in “Break Free B2B Series: Zari Venhaus on How to Scoot Your Way to Martech Transformation Through Storytelling.”

22 — Adam Dunn, Oscar-Winning VFX Editor

Adam Dunn
Oscar-winning VFX Editor
Evil Ice Cream Productions

Break Free B2B Interview with Adam Dunn

“Video marketing is intriguing, because it brings in real-life storytelling. The biggest factor in successful video content is cohesiveness of vision.”

“Video marketing is intriguing, because it brings in real-life storytelling. The biggest factor in successful video content is cohesiveness of vision.” @adamjdunn Click To Tweet

Watch our full interview with Adam in “Break Free B2B Series: Adam Dunn on Creating Blockbuster Video Content in B2B.”

23 — Carol-Lyn Jardine of Alteryx

Carol-Lyn Jardine
Vice President of Marketing Operations and Productivity
Alteryx

Carol-Lyn Jardine

“Assume good intent from the people around you as you’re going through change behaviors.”

“Assume good intent from the people around you as you’re going through change behaviors.” @cljardine Click To Tweet

Watch our full interview with Carol-Lyn in “Break Free B2B Series: Carol-Lyn Jardine and Heather Hurst on Effectively Managing Change in B2B Marketing.”

24 — Sruthi Kumar of Sendoso

Sruthi Kumar
Associate Director of Field and Partner Marketing
Sendoso

Sruthi Kumar

“It’s about bringing all the channels together to create that seamless experience for the end user, and that person who you want to book a meeting with or have a signed contract with or whatever else you need from them. I think it’s just about being okay with being yourself and incorporating that into your whole corporate brand.”

“It’s about bringing all the channels together to create that seamless experience for the end user, and that person who you want to book a meeting with or have a signed contract with or whatever else you need from them.” @sruthikkumar Click To Tweet

Watch our full interview with Sruthi in “Break Free B2B Marketing: Sruthi Kumar on Creating Memorable Experiences.”

25 — Latané Conant of 6sense

Latane Conant
Chief Market Officer
6sense

Latane Conant

“You look at the tools that we have at our disposal as CMOs, and it’s sort of like we are a Model T trying to get to the moon. I think the challenge that we have is only 13 percent of sales and marketing teams have any confidence in their data.”

“You look at the tools that we have at our disposal as CMOs, and it’s sort of like we are a Model T trying to get to the moon.” @LataneConant Click To Tweet

Watch our full interview with Latane in “Break Free B2B Marketing: Latane Conant of 6sense on Reinventing the CMO Role.”

26 — Mark Bornstein of ON24

Mark Bornstein
Vice President of Marketing
ON24

Break Free B2B Marketing Mark Bornstein Image

“It’s the experience you give, it’s the way you’re able to connect and interact with audiences that matters. Because that’s where you’re going to get the real data. That’s where you’re going to learn a lot about them. You want to create an environment where people are doing stuff, and it’s a multi-touch content experience.”

“We need to find ways to get people who want our marketing to opt into our marketing. At a time when all of this digital noise is scaring them away. We need to bring them back in through more authentic, more human, more experiential marketing.”

“We need to find ways to get people who want our marketing to opt in. At a time when all of this digital noise is scaring them away, we need to bring them back in through more authentic, human, and experiential marketing.” @4markb Click To Tweet

Watch our full interview with Mark in “Break Free B2B Marketing: “Webinerd” Mark Bornstein of ON24 on Dialing In Digital Experiences.”

27 — Sofia O’Malley of Dell Technologies

Sofia O’Malley
Global Marketing Director
Dell Technologies*

Sofia O’Malley

“You really have to be cognizant of what is unique to each market. What’s the consumer behavior? Or what’s the consumer expectation within a given market or appetite for a type of execution. Be very much aware of the environment and the key nuances that are needed to effectively drive marketing in a region.”

“You really have to be cognizant of what is unique to each market. What’s the consumer behavior? Or what’s the consumer expectation within a given market or appetite for a type of execution.” — Sofia O’Malley Click To Tweet

Watch our full interview with Sofia in “Break Free B2B Marketing: Sofia O’Malley of Dell Outlet on Creating a Global B2B & B2C Marketing Team.”

28 — Sean Crowley of Dun & Bradstreet

Sean Crowley
Leader of Integrated Marketing and Sales and Marketing Solutions
Dun & Bradstreet

Break Free B2B Sean Crowley Image

“When you look at being able to bring people together, it’s about creating a common message, a common purpose, and a common effort with everything that you do and how you go to market. Ensure that you have consistency of messaging to a target persona and target audience, regardless of what channel they’re choosing to interact with you on.”

“The balance of power of information has shifted from the vendors to the consumers, to the buyers, and they can now go and search for information much more readily — much more freely — and they want that choice of how and when they choose to interact with you.”

“When you look at being able to bring people together, it’s about creating a common message, a common purpose, and a common effort with everything that you do and how you go to market.” @seantcrowley Click To Tweet

Watch our full interview with Sean in “Break Free B2B Marketing: Sean Crowley of Dun & Bradstreet on Cracking the Alignment Code.”

Embrace An Energized 2021 B2B Marketing Landscape

via GIPHY

Use the energizing advice we’ve highlighted here from 28 B2B marketing innovators to spark your own marketing ideas that will take you to electrifying new heights in 2021 and beyond.

One powerful way to combine many of these energizing marketing elements is by harnessing the power of B2B influencer marketing, as we outline in our groundbreaking 2020 State of B2B Influencer Marketing Report, featuring insights from hundreds of marketers surveyed as well as expert analysis by the TopRank Marketing team and contributions from top B2B influencer marketing professionals from SAP, LinkedIn, AT&T Business, Adobe, Traackr, IBM, Dell, Cherwell Software, monday.com and more.

Contact us to find out why TopRank Marketing is the only B2B marketing agency offering influencer marketing as a top capability in Forrester’s “B2B Marketing Agencies, North America” report, and discover how we can help create award-winning marketing for you.

* Oracle, Dell Outlet, SAP Ariba, Dell Technologies, LinkedIn, Arm Treasure Data, are TopRank Marketing clients.

Basic Reputation Management for Better Customer Service

The Internet can be a great connector, but sometimes, it acts as a barrier.

Your local business receives a negative review, and the slate-colored words on the bland white screen can seem so cold, remote. You respond, but the whole interaction feels stilted, formal, devoid of face-to-face human feelings, like this:

At least when a complaint occurs via phone, the tone of a customer’s voice tells you a bit more and you can strive to respond with an appropriate vocal pitch, further questions, soothing, helping, maybe resolving. Still, if you’re working off a formal script, the human connection can be missed:

Image credit: News Oresund, Elvert Barnes

It’s a win when a customer complains in person to your staff, but only if those employees have been empowered to use their own initiative to solve problems. Employees who’ve been tasked with face-to-face interactions but lack permission to act fully human when customers complain will miss opportunity after opportunity to earn the loyalty your brand would give almost anything to amass. Two people can be looking one another in the eye, but if one has to act corporate instead of human, too much formality ensures forgettable experiences:

Image credit: Jan-Willem Boot, Amancay Blank

What you really want as a local business owner is to have the power to turn those chilly black-and-white words on a review profile into a living color interaction. You want to turn one-way messaging into front porch conversation, with the potential for further details, vital learnings, resolution, and deeply informal human connection with a neighbor, like this:

Image Credit: Christian Gries

The great barrier: reviews

Seventeen years into my journey as a local SEO, I’ve come to realize that my favorite businesses — the ones I’ve come to patronize with devotion — are the ones with owners and staff who treat me with the least formality. They’ve creatively established an environment in which I felt liked, heard, regarded, trusted, and appreciated, and I’ve responded with loyalty. It’s really a beautiful thing, when you step back and think about it.

For me, it’s small local farmers who epitomize informal neighborliness in business. They:

  • Do their best to grow high quality food
  • Know me by name
  • Know my dietary preferences
  • Let me roam around their properties for enjoyment’s sake
  • Trust me to pay via an honor system
  • Ask me if there’s additional produce I’d like them to grow
  • Want to know how I’m cooking their produce
  • Tell me other ways I might prepare their produce
  • Have nice conversations with me about a variety of topics

Am I describing a business here, or a friend? The line is blurry. I’ve hugged some farmers. Prayed for a few when they’ve had hard times. I may have first met them for monetary transactions, but we’ve built human relationships, and the entire way I relate to this sector is defined by how the farmers go about their business.

With a few exceptions, most local brands can work at building less formality and more neighborliness into their in-person customer service. Think about it. In most settings, your customers would enjoy being treated with the respectful interest and kindness that invites camaraderie.

But we hit a strange barrier when the medium is online reviews. If we learned to read and write in a formal school setting, we may unconsciously ascribe a certain stiffness to textual exchanges. We’re worried about getting lower marks for making a mistake, and we’re aware of being in front of a public audience in writing review responses. We’re missing vital communicative cues, like the facial expression of the customer, their tone of voice, and their body language.

On our side of the equation, we can’t shake hands, or physically demonstrate our willingness to help, or even signal our approachability with a smile.

To tell the truth, reviews aren’t a great substitute for in-person communication, but they are here to stay, and there’s a certain amount of fear on both sides of many transactions that builds up the layers of the barrier, like this:

What can be done to bring the two parties closer together, so that they are at least leaning over the same fence to talk?

Create a workflow for spotting single and aggregate review cues

The easiest way I know of to get started with a workflow surrounding reviews is via a very intuitive product like Moz Local. Basic components are built into the dashboard, offering a simple jumping off point into the complex world of reputation management.

The screenshot above shows a portion of the functions Moz Local offers for review management. The organization of the various data widgets create a bridge for getting closer to customers and engaging in real, meaningful dialogue with them in an atmosphere of goodwill, rather than fear. Let’s break it down by tasks.

1. Seek cues in single reviews with ongoing alerts

To enter into a conversation, you have to know when it starts. The right-side column of the Moz Local dashboard keeps a running feed of your incoming reviews on a variety of platforms, as well as incoming Google Q&A questions. On a daily basis, you can see who is starting a conversation about your business, and you can tell whether customers most recent customers were having a good or bad experience by looking at the star rating.

Make it your practice to click first on any review in this feed if it’s received a 3-star rating or less, and see how much information a customer has shared about the reason for their less-than-perfect rating, as in this fictitious example:.

Because the reviews are timestamped, you may have the ability to connect a customer’s poor experience with something that happened at your place of business on a specific day, like being understaffed, having an equipment failure, or another problem.

In fact, a second view in the dashboard makes it immediately obvious if the reviews you received on a particular day had lower star ratings than you’d like to see:

If you know a customer’s complaints can be tied to an issue, this gives you something more and better to say than just “I’m sorry,” when you respond. For example, broken equipment leading to a cold meal is something you can explain in asking the customer to let you make it up to them.

2. Seek cues in aggregated sentiment

Knowing whether you have just one customer with a single complaint or multiple customers with the same complaint is vital quality control intelligence. Very often, Google reviews are particularly brief in comparison to reviews on other platforms, and you need to be able to take a large body of them to see if there are shared topical themes. The Review Analysis widget in the Moz Local dashboard does exactly this for you:

In this view, you can see up to 100 of the most common words your customers are using when they review you, the percentage of the reviews containing each word, and the star rating associated with reviews using each word. You can toggle the data for each column.

In our fictitious example, the business owner could see that when food is served cold, it’s yielding very poor review ratings, but that, fortunately, this is a complaint contained in only 1.7% of total reviews. Meanwhile, the business owner could notice that 2% of reviews with a 3.8 star rating (only a moderately good experience) are revolving around the phrase “service”. The owner can click on each word to be shown a list of the reviews containing that term to help them identify what it is about the service that’s diminishing customer satisfaction.

The figures in the above screenshot are all pretty low, and likely represent only mild concerns for the business. If, however, the business owner saw something like this, that would change the narrative:

Here, 12.2% of the reviews mentioning the restaurant’s veggie burgers are associated with a very poor 2.0 rating. The owner would need to dive into this list of reviews and see just what it is customers don’t like about this dish. For example, if many of these reviews mentioned that the burgers lacked flavor, had bland condiments, or buns that fell apart, these would be cues that could lead to changing a recipe. Again, this would give the owner something genuine to say in response to dissatisfied customers. Ideally, it would lead to the customer being invited to come again for something like a free taste test of the new recipe.

Whatever details the review sentiment analysis function yields for your business, use it with the intention of having a two sided conversation with your customers. They complain, in aggregate, about X, you research and implement a solution, and finally, you invite them to experience the solution in hopes of retaining that customer, which is typically far less costly than replacing them.

3. Grade your business at a glance

These two views in the Moz Local dashboard allow you to analyze two key, related aspects of your business at a glance.

The Average Rating view is the fastest way to grade yourself on aggregate customer satisfaction. This example shows a business with little to fear, with 96% of customers rating the business at 4-or-more stars and only 4% having a three-stars-or-less experience. In terms of having happy customers, this fictitious company is doing a great job.

However, the Reviews Reply rate needs some work. They’re only replying to 1% of their overall reviews, 0% of their 2-to-5-star reviews, and only 21% of their 1-star reviews. The business is doing an excellent job offline, but unless they improve their online responsiveness, their average review rating could begin to decrease over time.

In sum, a workflow which investigates reviews singly and in aggregate tells the story or customer satisfaction across time, and gives the business owner a clearer narrative to tap into and write from in responding.

Make optimal response rates and two-way conversation your goal

As a local business owner, you have many demands on your time. That being said, my pro tip for you is to respond to every review you possibly can. There’s no scenario in which it’s smart to ignore a conversation any customer starts, whether positive or negative. Just as you wouldn’t ignore a percentage of your incoming calls or customers walking around your business, you shouldn’t ignore them online.

If thinking of reviews as a two-way conversation is a bit of new concept to you, consider that most review platforms enable people to edit their reviews for a reason: many of your customers think of the reviews they write as living documents, and are willing to update them to journal subsequent interactions that made a scenario better or worse. My own research has shown this to be true, and multiple studies have reached the conclusion that the majority of customers will continue doing business with brands that resolve their complaints.

This means that local businesses can manage a customer journey that follow this pattern for negative reviews, much of the time:

In black-and-white review land, this might look like this:

Or, when a customer is happy to begin with, offering extra incentives to come again while thanking the customer for taking the time to write their review could look like this:

Here, a conversation starter about salsa has been turned into a two-way dialog guaranteed to make the customer feel heard and valued. They’ve been invited back, their opinion has been solicited, and both the existing customer and all potential future customers reading Mary’s response can see that this is a restaurant with a lively, on-going relationship with its diners.

Takeaway: don’t just say “thanks” to every customer who positively reviews your business. Seek cues in their words that show what they care about and tie it to what you care about. Find common ground to further engage them and bring them back again.

How big of a priority are reviews, really?

I’ve consulted with so many local business owners over the years — everybody from beekeepers to bookkeepers. It’s a plain fact that all small business owners are extremely busy, and not all of them instantly take a shine to the idea of having a lot of little two-way conversations going on with their customers in their review profiles.

Statistics can change minds on this, when it comes to figuring out how much of a priority review analysis and management should be. Consider these findings from the Moz State of the Local SEO Industry survey of over 1,400 people involved in the marketing of local businesses:

Respondents placed aspects of Google reviews (count, sentiment, owner responses, etc.) as having the second greatest impact on Google’s local rankings.

90% of respondents agree that the impact of reviews on local pack rankings is real.

Nearly 14% of those marketing the largest local enterprises realize that more resources need to be devoted to review management. Yet, in another section of the survey, agency workers placed review management in a lowly 11th place in terms of something they are requested to help their clients with. Learn more about these trends by downloading the free State of the Local SEO Industry Report for 2020.

Statistics like these indicate that there is a maturing awareness of the vital role reviews play in running a successful local business. Management of all aspects of reviews deserves priority time.

Make a habit of reading reviews between the lines

Moz Local software will ensure you know whenever single reviews come in, and help you slice and dice review data in ways that tell customer service narratives in aggregate. If you’re already using this software, your first steps of reputation management are just waiting to be taken with ease and simplicity.

But to get the most of any review management product, you’ll need to bring a human talent to the dashboard: your ability to read between the lines of review text that can be brief, vague, sharp, and sometimes unfair.

With the exception of spam, there’s a real person on the other side of each text snippet, and for the most part, their shared desire is to be treated well by your business. Even if a review stems from a customer you can’t identify or one who communicates disappointment rudely, you can take the high road by making a mental image of yourself standing face-to-face with someone you highly value who is voicing a problem. Respond from that good place, with the conscious intention of improved neighborly communication and you may be pleasantly surprised by your ability to transform even the most dissatisfied person into a happier, more loyal customer.

I’ll close today with an excerpt of a very long real-world review which I’ve truncated. I’ve underlined the cues and the rewards I’m hoping you’ll spot and see as you strengthen your commitment to review management as a key component of your customer service strategy.


The new Moz Local plans — Lite, Preferred, and Elite — are designed to offer more features and flexibility to better meet the needs of local businesses and their marketers. Customers on any of the new plans can now monitor reviews via alerts, and depending on the plan, respond to reviews and take advantage of social posting. It’s never been more important to actively engage and listen to the needs and concerns of your current customers — and potential customers will take notice.

How To Move From A Pilot B2B Influencer Marketing Program to Always-On Success

Light Bulb Turned On

Light Bulb Turned On

It sure is a good thing that the internet turns off at 10:00 PM every night, and doesn’t flip back on until 8:00 in the morning. And thankfully, business buyers completely tune out after they finish work, which is always at 5 o’clock sharp in this world of reliable and universally consistent routine.

Marketers and brands would really have their hands full if these things weren’t true.

Wait, what’s that? None of them are remotely true?

Welcome to the World of Always-On

There is no off-switch. The internet is open for business 24 hours a day. Buyers and decision makers are engaging with content in unpredictable patterns, thrown further askew by the pandemic-driven disruption of workday archetypes. An increasingly lengthy and complex buyer’s journey challenges B2B marketing strategies to be more versatile, agile, and perpetually present than ever before.

[bctt tweet=”“There is no off-switch. The internet is open for business 24 hours a day. Buyers and decision makers are engaging with content in unpredictable patterns.” @NickNelsonMN #AlwaysOn #B2Bmarketing” username=”toprank”]

Earlier this month, Howard J. Sewell wrote at Business 2 Community about marketing success and the accident of timing.

“For more companies than not, marketing success is rarely about convincing a given individual, on a given day, to buy what it is you’re selling,” he argues. “Rather, it’s a question of being the company that the buyer finds, or thinks of first, when the relevant need occurs.”

This essentially makes the case for adopting always-on marketing programs, which are gaining traction as more organizations see the value. It’s a convention that can apply to many different elements of a strategy, including (and especially) influencer marketing.

Today we’ll explore taking the step from pilot B2B influencer marketing program to always-on success — why and how?

Taking B2B Influencer Marketing from Pilot to Autopilot

Running a pilot program is a great way to get a feel for influencer marketing and validate it as a smart tactic for your organization. Earlier this year I shared tips for jumpstarting a pilot B2B influencer marketing program in five steps, which included:

  1. Get buy-in throughout the organization
  2. Compile a list of influencers who align with your brand
  3. Start priming influencer relationships
  4. Integrate B2B influencer marketing into your strategy
  5. Co-create a piece of content with one or more influencers

The key here is not to treat influencer engagements as one-off, transactional encounters. As TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden put it during an interview for the Social Media Marketing Live Streaming Show over the summer, “If you only have one interaction with an influencer and then you don’t ever see that person until the next time you need them, that leaves the influencer feeling very transactional, and not very special.”

Running a pilot program doesn’t need to entail a long-term commitment to influencer marketing in your strategy, but it should always be built on a long-term, relationship-building mindset.

This sets you up to take the next step: from pilot to autopilot, where your always-on influencer program becomes a self-sustaining community of genuine brand advocacy and affinity. That’s not to say it’ll become completely hands-off — maintaining and nurturing influencer relationships takes work, as do the collaborative efforts with these influencers that drive business results — but once you’ve laid proper groundwork and set a clear vision, much of the heavy lifting is done.

Lee makes this point in explaining why always-on influence costs less and provides better ROI. Some things he recommends keeping in mind:

  • Pay-to-play doesn’t always pay off: Organic relationship-building can take a little more time and effort up front, but tends to be far less expensive than one-off, paid influencer campaigns, with much greater all-around value.
  • Old friends know the brand ropes: Deeper ongoing engagements with influencers leads to better mutual understanding of needs and guidelines, with less hand-holding required.
  • Return on relationships: Building authentic relationships with influential experts in your industry yields word-of-mouth and proactive advocacy benefits that money can’t buy.
  • Repurpose with a purpose: Always-on programs bring new efficiencies in terms of repurposing and refreshing co-created content in ways that support the brand, influencer, and audience.
  • Advocacy at scale: Developing and strengthening relationships over time leads to compounding benefits, as trust grows and new contacts enter the fold.

When considering these advantages, it comes as no real shock that — according to the 2020 State of B2B Influencer Marketing Reportonly 5% marketers who do periodic campaigns are very successful vs. 60% of marketers who implement always-on influencer marketing programs. That is a sizable chasm.

“Being ‘always-on’ has allowed our team to build meaningful relationships with influencers,” says Garnor Morantes, Group Marketing Manager for LinkedIn (a TopRank Marketing client) in the report. “This approach means that the relationship ceases to be ‘transactional’ (what can you do for us) when we’re in a state of ongoing activity. Because of this foundation, we are in a situation where, when urgency strikes, we’ve been able to immediately activate influencers, whether it be for private, direct, unfiltered feedback and consult, or for external, public-facing advocacy and amplification.”

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

That’s the kind of marketing engine built for our modern-day environment, where buyers and decision makers are essentially active and consuming content round-the-clock, seven days a week. An always-on influencer strategy allows brands to be reactive, nimble, and responsive to change. You can learn more about LinkedIn’s successful program in our case study.

LinkedIn Case Study Image

Take the Next Step with Always-On Influence

The good news is that a properly executed pilot influencer marketing program — one focused on relationship-building and brand synergy — helps facilitate the transition to an always-on program that can become a pillar of your marketing strategy. At TopRank Marketing, we’re happy to help out with whichever stage of the journey you’re in.

Check out the 2020 State of B2B Influencer Marketing Report to learn more about always-on influence, why it makes sense, and how to make it work. Reach out to us if you’re ready to get rolling.

The post How To Move From A Pilot B2B Influencer Marketing Program to Always-On Success appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.


Source: SEO blog