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Monthly Archives: February 2019

Social media listening: Your launchpad to success on social

This post Social media listening: Your launchpad to success on social originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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B2B Brands Go Bold: 7 Great Examples of Interactive B2B Content

B2B Interactive Content Examples

If you’re not convinced that interactive content in the B2B space can work: Well, first check out these interactive content stats.

If you’re still on the fence, here’s an object lesson from a master of audience engagement:

Freddie plays that 100,000-person crowd like an instrument. You can feel the energy, even through a tiny YouTube window.

When you invite your audience to be part of the show, the results can be magical.

Now, odds are your brand can’t match the raw charisma of Freddie Mercury in tight jeans. But you can still get your audience cheering with interactive B2B content.

Here are a few great examples to light your creative fires and open your B2B minds to the possibilities of interactive.

7 Great Examples of B2B Interactive Content

What do we mean by interactive content? Generally speaking, it’s any content that requires more input from the user than simply scrolling or clicking links. In practice, there are a few broad categories:

  • Interactive infographics use animation, navigational elements, and customizable data sets.
  • Interactive eBooks can incorporate audio, video, and animation.
  • Quizzes ask users a series of questions and display results.
  • Calculators allow users to input and manipulate data to view potential outcomes.
  • Interactive video lets users make choices that affect the plot of a short film.

#1: IBM Takes Storytelling to the Next Level

We often talk about storytelling in B2B content. But it’s usually in the context of helping customers see what life with our solution could be like, or highlighting success stories. IBM takes the concept more literally in this interactive video.

IBM Interactive Content Example

It’s a fully-realized work of fiction, presenting an original story of a power plant operator struggling to bring power back on during an outage. The user has to help the protagonist make decisions (and learn about IBM’s app suite along the way).

The true mark of greatness for this piece is it’s compelling even if you know nothing about mobile apps for power plant management. It actually stands on its own while still being relevant to IBM’s target customer.

#2: NASDAQ Spices Up Case Studies

Customer success stories are some of the most valuable marketing material you have. When a buyer is doing research, though, they get repetitive fast: Customer had problem, tried our solution, got great results.

NASDAQ livens up their case studies in this animated eBook. Client testimonials zoom in; pages are easy-to-browse with extra detail hidden behind tabs. The layout helps NASDAQ highlight the most important parts of the case study, while still offering depth for interested customers.

Nasdaq Interactive eBook Example

#3: DivvyHQ Takes Us Back to the Future

TopRank Marketing helped create this interactive eBook for DivvyHQ. The challenge for this piece was to present a metric ton of content in an easy-to-browse and compelling format. We chose a lively pop-culture theme to unify the content. Then we focused on strong navigational elements that guide the reader while still allowing them to choose their own path.

DivvyHQ Interactive Content Example

The result? An instantly engaging piece that encourages readers to explore. As a bonus, we were able to use the theme for spin-off pieces like blog posts and promotions.

#4: HubSpot’s Website Assessment Makes the Grade

Automated tools are the next evolution of assessment-style interactivity. If your solution is web-based, you may be able to show customers specifically what you can do for them. HubSpot offers this web performance evaluation site that has proven to be a powerful lead-generation tool.

There’s minimal interaction required — the user puts in a URL and an email address— but the in-depth results are more than compelling. It’s a great example of how to win customers by providing value up-front.

#5: VenturePact Elegantly Answers a Common Customer Question

Calculators are an often-overlooked type of interactive content. In this case, a calculator helped VenturePact fix a leak in their marketing funnel.

VenturePact discovered that price was their potential customers’ number one source of hesitation. Many of VenturePact’s prospects balked at requesting an estimate before they had a general idea of how much the agency’s services might cost.

VenturePact’s mobile app price calculator asks detailed questions about a potential product to generate a rough estimate of cost, then invites the user to fill in a form for a more detailed estimate.

Venture Pact Interactive Calculator Example

#6: Prophix Showcases Actual Intelligence

Audio is an under-explored component for interactive content. It’s easy to assume our audience is going to have us on mute. But audio can make content more compelling, especially influencer content. It’s easier than ever to capture audio, with tools like Zencastr. It makes sense to add that component wherever you can.

This interactive eBook for our client Prophix uses influencer audio and a computer-generated “virtual assistant” to make the material more compelling. We saw an unprecedented level of interaction with this piece; our analytics showed people were spending a great deal of time and clicking deep into the asset.

Prophix Interactive Content Example

Read the full case study to learn more about our approach to this interactive content campaign.

#6: SnapApp Gamifies Lead Collection

Lead capture is a balancing act: If we ask for too little data, we could be capturing underqualified leads. If we ask for too much data, people will run away screaming. This Candyland-themed piece from SnapApp—which happens to fall into the interactive content tool category—solves the problem in an elegant fashion.

SnapApp Interactive Content Land Example

On every stage of the game, you get two to three pieces of marketing advice and one question to answer. The questions are all stuff that’s useful to SnapApp: How big your team is, what your role is, etc. It’s a lot to ask, but the useful info and whimsical experience make it a fair trade for the customer.

Bonus Example: TopRank Marketing Breaks Free of Boring B2B

TopRank Marketing wants to make 2019 the year that boring B2B finally goes extinct. To help things along, we created Break Free of Boring B2B. It has advice from folks like Ardath Albee, David Meerman Scott, Brian Fanzo and more… and laser-powered grizzly bears, sharks, and pugs in sports cars.

Click Here to see the Break Free from Boring B2B Guide in Full Screen Mode

Ready, Freddie? Let Boring B2B Content Bite the Dust

These examples prove that interactivity boosts content effectiveness no matter what your goals might be. Whether it’s creating awareness, educating customers, driving leads, or attracting talent, content is more engaging when it invites the reader to play along.

Speaking of interactive content for B2B brands, our own Lee Odden will be digging into this topic at the upcoming B2B Marketing Exchange conference in Scottsdale, AZ during his presentation: Break Free of Boring B2B with Interactive Influencer Content, which is set for Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019.

The post B2B Brands Go Bold: 7 Great Examples of Interactive B2B Content appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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How to Improve Your Instagram Photos

Are you happy with your Instagram marketing images? Looking for tips to improve your photos? In this article, you’ll discover four tips to help you create better photos so you can stand out, drive more clicks, and generate more revenue. Why Good Photography Matters on Instagram The imagery you’re posting to Instagram can help make […]

The post How to Improve Your Instagram Photos appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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How social listening powers real connection with your customers

This post How social listening powers real connection with your customers originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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Why Always-On Is Always Better for Driving B2B Influencer Marketing Success

Show of hands: How many of us brush our teeth at least twice a day? All of us? Great.

Now, a follow up question: Why?

The reasons are numerous, right? We care about maintaining our hygiene on a daily basis. We want to keep our smiles bright. We need to defend against offensive bad breath. We want to ensure the long-term health of our teeth, gums, and mouths. And, mostly, we want to successfully avoid pricey and painful dental work now and in the future.

via GIPHY

The moral here? With consistency and commitment we reap both short- and long-term benefits—and avoid a whole lot of pain. And the same is true when it comes to B2B influencer marketing.

As we like to say of consistency and commitment in marketing: “Always-on is always better.” However, most B2B marketers aren’t brushing as often as they should when it comes to influencer marketing. In fact, roughly 11% of B2B influencer marketing programs are ongoing. To put this into perspective, 48% of B2C influencer marketing programs are ongoing.

From building lasting relationships to enabling marketing scalability, an always-on approach to working with influencers is always, always, always better in our experience for several reasons. Today, we explore three of those reasons with the help of seasoned influencer marketing leaders at B2B brands.

#1 - Strong relationships are at the root of influencer marketing success—and relationships aren’t built in a day.

At its core, influencer marketing is all about brands engaging and developing relationships with individuals—individuals who have relevant topical expertise, reach, and resonance that aligns with the goals of the brand.

“It’s really about building a relationship that brings value to both parties,” Amisha Gandhi, Vice President of Influencer Marketing for SAP Ariba*, told us not long ago. “Companies should approach influencers as partners, not just as people that they can use for their marketing efforts and launches.”

[bctt tweet="Companies should approach influencers as partners, not just as people that they can use for their marketing efforts and launches. - @AmishaGandhi #B2BInfluencerMarketing" username="toprank"]

However, strong, long-lasting relationships aren’t built overnight, rather they’re sewed over time.

Success with influencer content is so much more than including a few famous people in a listicle post or quote roundup,” our own CEO Lee Odden says. “Competition for influencers is growing fast and there are only so many top influencers in each industry. It’s essential to create relationships now, long before you need to activate them.”

[bctt tweet="It’s essential to create influencer relationships now, long before you need to activate them. - @leeodden #B2BInfluencerMarketing" username="toprank"]

And as that demand for working with influencers increases, it will become more and more difficult to capture and hold their attention. By committing now to always-on relationship building and collaboration, every party can “come out ahead,” as Rani Mani, Head of Influencer Social Enablement at Adobe*, told us in a recent interview.

“We at Adobe pride ourselves on cultivating and nurturing long-term relationships with our influencers,” she shares. “We look at it as dating with an eye towards long-term commitment, which means we are always looking to establish a ‘give-to-get’ exchange where all parties come out ahead.”

[bctt tweet="We look at influencer relationships as dating with an eye towards long-term commitment, which means we are always looking to establish a ‘give-to-get’ exchange where all parties come out ahead. - @ranimani0707 #B2BInfluencerMarketing" username="toprank"]

And before your start to feel overwhelmed by the prospect of ongoing influencer nurturing and relationship building, don’t worry. Yes. It takes work. But by making it part of your integrated marketing strategy, you’ll have an opportunity to hone in on the specific characteristics and people who are the best matches for your brand.

“We used to think quantity was the key to everything,” Angela Lipscomb, Influencer Relations Manager for SAS, told us. “Now it is much more about quality over quantity. So, we’ve scaled back the scope of our engagement activities to focus on developing collaborative relationships with fewer individuals. That means that sometimes we focus on influencers who may not have the largest reach, but have greater engagement and subject-matter authority and the ability to inspire.”

[bctt tweet="We used to think quantity was the key to everything. Now it is much more about quality over quantity. - @AngelaLipscomb #B2BInfluencerMarketing" username="toprank"]

#2 - Influencers can be an extension of your content marketing team.

Content is the strategic foundation of marketing. Period. But marketers frequently cite that consistently creating strategic, quality, engaging content is a top marketing challenge.

However, with an army of influential voices—an army that you’ve carefully cultivated and nurtured over time—you have a band of partners who can be an extension of your in-house content marketing team.

In addition, by co-creating content with influencers on a regular basis, you give influential experts with a steady medium to share valuable expertise and perspectives, as well as provide your audience a drumbeat of influential, insightful, on-brand content.

“Partnering with an influencer allows you to highlight your brand’s own existing narrative in a new way, so that you can reinforce the proof points you really want your customers to know,” Whitney Magnuson, Global Head of Social Media and Influencer Programs for IBM, told us not long ago.

[bctt tweet="Partnering with an influencer allows you to highlight your brand’s own existing narrative in a new way. - @whitneymagnuson #B2BInfluencerMarketing" username="toprank"]

Oh, and you can fill your editorial calendar, add flavor to your content campaigns, extend your audience reach—and the list goes on. And as Lee has said:

“For any kind of content a business creates and publishes to the world, there is an opportunity for collaboration with credible voices that have active networks interested in what those voices have to say.”

#3 - An always-on commitment to influencer marketing helps you refine, evolve, and scale your marketing efforts.

Marketers are in the business of driving results, which means we’re constantly reviewing our tactical mix and strategic priorities. This constant vigilance helps us grow in marketing sophistication so we can drive success at scale.

Simply put, we don’t set and forget—we optimize and evolve our approach to achieve success. But with just one-tenth of B2B influencer programs falling in the “ongoing” bucket … there’s immense opportunity for improvement and alignment. As Dr. Konnie Alex, Head of Corporate Influencer Relations for Dell*, shared with us:

“A sophisticated influencer program doesn’t rely on a single identification method or one-time vetting process to start and maintain a relationship with an influencer, but rather develops a scorecard that gets constantly reviewed and, most importantly, evolves as this emerging field matures. At this point, we review strategy, methods, tactics, and measurement on an ongoing basis.”

Konnie also said: “We have a number of strategic partners who never stop evolving or expanding their expertise. We value them highly and feel that they represent a reflection of our brand’s values and long-term vision.”

[bctt tweet="A sophisticated influencer program doesn’t rely on a single identification method or one-time vetting process to start and maintain a relationship with an influencer. It develops and evolves. - @konstanze #B2BInfluencerMarketing" username="toprank"]

Speaking of long-term, an always-on approach to influencer marketing can help you strengthen all your other marketing efforts. How?

For one, you can keep a pulse on your evolving audience.

“Strategic partnerships with influencers provide for an outside-in view when creating content for our customers,” Konnie said. “We need to constantly ensure that, as a brand, we don’t start talking to ourselves, but keep a keen focus on the evolving challenges our customers have and on the language they use to express these challenges.”

And secondly, you can create better experiences that lead to real results.

With influencer marketing, you’re looking to offer a better experience to your customers and deliver knowledge-based educational content with a third-party voice,” Amisha shared. “These experiences can be achieved through content, influencers speaking directly to customers, nurturing them through digital and high value assets. This approach with influencers will help you to drive sales journey and demonstrate pipeline touch.”

Smile for Always-On B2B Influencer Marketing

While many B2B brands are still cutting their teeth on influencer marketing, success and sophistication are rooted in giving the practice constant attention and care.

This commitment will not only help you grow lasting relationships with influential leaders in your industry, but also enable consistent, quality content creation and make a scalable impact on your overall marketing strategy.

Looking for more inspiration? Check out these five examples of B2B influencer marketing in action.

*Disclaimer: SAP, Adobe, and Dell are TopRank Marketing clients.

The post Why Always-On Is Always Better for Driving B2B Influencer Marketing Success appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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3 Instagram Marketing Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Is your Instagram marketing working? Wondering if you’re making mistakes that could hurt you? In this article, we asked some of today’s top Instagram marketers to share common mistakes they see and how to avoid them. #1: Using Instagram Hashtags Incorrectly In 2018, Instagram finally allowed hashtags in a profile’s bio description to be clickable […]

The post 3 Instagram Marketing Mistakes and How to Fix Them appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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12 High-Converting Landing Pages (That’ll Make You Wish You Built ‘Em)

Ready to kick your conversions into overdrive? Check out these high-converting landing pages built with Unbounce, plus conversion hints from the marketers who put them together.

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How to Build the Perfect LinkedIn Company Page

Be honest: when’s the last time you updated your LinkedIn company page? Although the platform may not seem to be scoring as many headlines Read more...

This post How to Build the Perfect LinkedIn Company Page originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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Break Free of Boring B2B with Interactive Influencer Content

The post Break Free of Boring B2B with Interactive Influencer Content appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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How to Get Leads With Facebook Messenger Ads

Want to generate more leads from your Facebook marketing? Have you tried Messenger ads? In this article, you’ll discover how to create Messenger ad campaigns that will generate new leads for your business. A Note on Using Messenger Ad Destinations Before diving into Messenger ads, it’s worth noting that this article isn’t about the Messenger […]

The post How to Get Leads With Facebook Messenger Ads appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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