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Yearly Archives: 2020

B2B Marketing News: Digital Ad Spend Grows, LinkedIn’s New Lead Gen & Ad Tools, What Drives Customer Loyalty, & The Success Of Mobile Streaming

2020 September 11 IAB Chart

2020 September 11 IAB Chart

75% of people unlikely to use branded hashtags, survey finds
A quarter of consumers have engaged with customer reviews over the past 30 days, while 26 percent said they are likely to review a business on a third-party website — two of several finding of interest to digital marketers in recent survey data examining the performance of user-generated content (UGC) for brands. Mobile Marketer

Merkle: How Much Loyalty Customers Have Depends On Several Factors
When it comes to driving brand loyalty, 35 percent of millennials and Gen Z desire badges and 27 percent want leaderboards — as the demographic values competition and achievement, while older consumers prefer writing online reviews, taking surveys, or attending events — two of the findings of interest to digital marketers in newly-released report data. MediaPost

LinkedIn Publishes New Guide on How to Use its Ad Tools for Brand Building and Lead Generation
To help balance lead generation with brand building efforts, LinkedIn (client) has released a new guide for marketers, including updated information on the professional social media platform's audience reach and ad tools, the Microsoft-owned firm recently announced. Social Media Today

Snapchat had a big August amid TikTok uncertainty
Snapchat saw 28.5 million app installations during August, its highest number in more than a year, up some 29 percent year-over-year, according to recently-released app store intelligence estimates. TechCrunch

CMO Job Changes Up 15% Despite COVID-19
The technology sector has led the way with the most marketing job moves, recently-released study research shows, with a 15 percent jump in the number of top level marketing moves in 2020 through June. Forbes

Consumers Have Adopted New Habits Since the Pandemic, but Don’t Think They’re All Here to Stay
21 percent of consumers have been shopping online more during the pandemic and say that they plan to continue doing so in post-pandemic times, as are eight percent who say they have been taking part in more group video chats, according to recently-released survey data examining which consumer changes are most likely to become permanent. MarketingCharts

2020 September 11 Statistics Image

Exclusive: U.S. media spending drops 19.1 percent in first half of 2020
Between January and June U.S. media spending fell by some 19 percent compared to the same period in 2019, with the tightening of purse-strings having the least impact on digital advertising, according to recently-published report data. AdAge

Audio Streaming on Smartphones Grows in Popularity
Streaming audio usage via smartphones was up some 28 percent during the first quarter of 2020, while audio streaming on tablets increased by a more modest four percent, according to recently-released survey data of U.S. adults, also showing that smartphone audio streaming opportunities for marketers have expanded. MarketingCharts

Microsoft Advertising expands LinkedIn Profile, dynamic remarketing, in-market audience targeting
Microsoft's Bing advertising tools have added an array of new features for B2B marketers allowing the use of more advanced LinkedIn profile targeting, expanding the scope of audience targeting as well as the geographic availability of a previous test, the company recently announced. Search Engine Land

Traditional media suffer as digital ad spend grows in 2020 forecast shows
Paid search and social advertising are bright spots for media spending, as digital spending is expected to increase by six percent in 2020 while total ad spend will fall by eight percent, according to recently-released Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) forecast data. Search Engine Land

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

2020 September 11 Marketoonist Comic

A lighthearted look at “the productivity trap” by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist

Employees Returning to Work for First Time in Months Discover Office Overrun by Weeds — The Hard Times

TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:

  • Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise (ALE) / TopRank Marketing — 2020 Finalists and Winners - Content Marketing Awards — Content Marketing Awards
  • Lee Odden — What’s Trending: Make the List — LinkedIn (client)
  • Lee Odden — Humor In Content Marketing: It’s NOT About Being Funny — Mark Armstrong
  • TopRank Marketing — Judging a blog by its cover — COM 311 Blogs

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

Thank you for joining us for the weekly B2B marketing industry news, and we hope you'll return again next Friday and tune in 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: Digital Ad Spend Grows, LinkedIn’s New Lead Gen & Ad Tools, What Drives Customer Loyalty, & The Success Of Mobile Streaming appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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YouTube for Marketing: What Marketers Need to Know

Wondering if YouTube can help your business? Looking for tips to generate leads and sales on YouTube? To explore YouTube for marketing, I interview Nick Nimmin on the Social Media Marketing Podcast. Nick is a YouTube expert. His YouTube channel has more than 650K subscribers and is dedicated to helping YouTube content creators thrive on […]

The post YouTube for Marketing: What Marketers Need to Know appeared first on Social Media Examiner | Social Media Marketing.

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Why UX matters for marketers: 8 tips to improve your UX

Chances are you’ve heard that marketers need to create meaningful “experiences” for their customers. Sounds good, right? But what does that actually mean? Hey, Read more...

This post Why UX matters for marketers: 8 tips to improve your UX originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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34 Journal Prompts & Ideas to Unlock Your Writing Creativity

Let me guess… You’ve been asking Google to help you find journal prompts or journaling ideas, right? You know that successful writers throughout history have kept a journal for creative writing, …

34 Journal Prompts & Ideas to Unlock Your Writing Creativity Read More »

The post 34 Journal Prompts & Ideas to Unlock Your Writing Creativity appeared first on Smart Blogger.

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How social listening benefits your organization at four levels

It’s safe to say everyone on the internet has an opinion—and many are comfortable with thinking out loud on social media. On Twitter, it’s Read more...

This post How social listening benefits your organization at four levels originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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8 Things B2B Marketers Need To Know About Reddit in 2021

Professional business-woman smiling image.

Professional business-woman smiling image.

What do B2B marketers stand to gain by using Reddit?

Just how effective is Reddit for advertising and organic marketing communication, and what are some of the top tips and advice for B2B marketers new to Reddit or those looking to expand their presence on the social media platform?

Let’s take a look at the answers to these questions and more, including eight things B2B marketers need to know about social news aggregator and discussion platform Reddit, including why more businesses than ever will be using the platform in 2021 and beyond.

While by no means a thorough guide to marketing with Reddit, we'll explore what it is, who uses it, what it's doing to help marketers, how some B2B marketers are using it, plus some of the latest news from the social media platform.

1 — What Is Reddit & Who Uses It?

As one of the world’s most used websites and the fifth most-visited in the U.S., Reddit presently counts some 430 million average monthly active users, generating more than 30 billion monthly views of user-generated content in over 130 thousand message board communities.

74 percent of consumers in a joint Reddit and YPulse survey said in a whitepaper that Reddit — founded 15 years ago — is where they learn about the topics they love the most.

Earlier this year our senior content marketing manager Joshua Nite advised B2B marketers to proceed, but with some caution, when considering Reddit, in “6 Unconventional Social Channels for B2B Marketing.”

“If your target audience is on Reddit, it’s worth testing the waters with a few sponsored posts. Just keep it transparent, honest and genuine: There’s a whole sub-Reddit devoted to mocking tone-deaf marketing,” Joshua urged.

In my article “B2B Marketing Mythbusters: Dispelling 10 Common Myths with Extraordinary Marketing,” I used Reddit as an example of the myth that B2B marketers don’t use cool social media platforms, and pointed out that Fortune 500 firms now regularly have social media presences on the more fashionable social channels such as Giphy, Snapchat, Facebook Horizons — the social media giant’s foray into the virtual reality (VR) world — and certainly Reddit.

2 — What Is Reddit Doing To Help Marketers?

Reddit Screenshot

Reddit has noted its ability to let advertisers target their audiences, tell their stories, and measure their success, along with the opportunity to reach influential communities where millions of people are engaging with relevant content — all areas that B2B marketers are keen on improving.

Reddit offers a variety of promoted post options that let marketers place ads throughout the platform as well as in the firm’s official app.

To encourage businesses to try advertising on the platform, over the past year Reddit has partnered with three research firms and released report data showing some of the advantages Reddit offers over other social media sites.

In conjunction with Verto Analytics, Reddit has explored how the platform offers a unique path to driving purchases, in “Reddit’s Role in the Path to Purchase.”

The study compared some 1,500 instances of product research on Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest, and found that Reddit users evaluate just over twice as many brands in up to four times as many research sessions as on other platforms, with the notable exclusion of LinkedIn*, traditionally the leading social media platform among B2B marketers, which was not included in the survey.

The study noted that Reddit users decide on purchases nine times faster than on other social platforms, spend 15 percent more, and are some 13 percent more likely to share positive messages about a brand both online and offline. For B2B marketers dealing with often lengthy sales cycles, some of the speed advantages seen for Reddit could be a welcome experience.

Reddit users appear to spend more time in the consideration stage of the purchasing journey than those on other platforms — with its 32 percent tally versus 20 percent for other platforms, and they also tend to spend less time in the decision making stage.

Reddit Purchase Journey

The study also found that a whopping 90 percent of consumers trust the research they do using Reddit more than other websites or apps, a situation that will appeal to B2B marketers who have been working hard to rebuild eroded trust in marketing, as our CEO Lee Odden explored recently in "In Search of Trust: How Authentic Content Drives Customer Experience."

Earlier this year Reddit joined with GlobalWebIndex to conduct a study examining Reddit’s increasing role in the online community space, resulting in the 29-page “The Era of We and the Rise of Online Communities” report.

The report offers marketers looking to begin advertising on Reddit a fair amount of background data including what the platform's users want brands to be using Reddit for, with the leading desired qualities being content that is:

  • Bold
  • Exclusive
  • Funny
  • Trendy / Cool
  • Reliable

Reddit Brand Qualities

3 — How Are B2B Marketers Using Reddit?

“We're using data sets like Reddit, where the depth and the quality of conversation are extremely high in the communities,” Brian Wright, social media listening and intelligence leader at Wells Fargo recently told eMarketer.

Jennifer Heyman, vice president of digital and social media at Wells Fargo, also mentioned Reddit in our annual social media marketing trends article, “13 Top B2B Social Media Marketing Trends & Predictions for 2020.”

“My prediction is that brands will divert spend from large paid awareness campaigns to more targeted authentic conversations found on platforms like Reddit or in Facebook Groups,” Jennifer observed.

“Essentially a shift of paid spend to the channels enabling a more focused and direct conversation with a customer. Personalization will continue to dominate social conversation, as brands emphasize both staying connected and infusing some fun into the message,” she added.

[bctt tweet="Brands will shift social media focus from paid spend to channels enabling a more focused and direct conversation with a customer. @jheyman " username="toprank"]

Wells Fargo also mentions Reddit in some of its educational resources, noting that “Sites like Reddit and Quora are also popular options where potential students can talk about applying to schools,” all joining to highlight the social media platform’s increasing presence among large businesses.

Marketers promoting podcasts can connect with specific audiences on Reddit, or in its podcast-specific /r/podcasting sub-Reddit. Outside of that sub-Reddit, podcast marketers can generally find greater acceptance by first becoming known to an audience on the platform rather than posting links — to podcasts or any manner of outside content — right off the bat.

Podcasts have seen increasing numbers of listeners during the pandemic, and we've examined the growing success of podcasting among B2B marketers in several recently article including "What B2B Podcasters Need to Know About SEO" and "B2B Podcasting: 20 Stats that Make the Marketing Case."

4 — AMAs Find A Welcome Home On Reddit

Reddit has also been a popular platform for hosting ask-me-anything (AMA) events, which can be a good way for B2B firms to begin utilizing the service if the interviewee is especially relevant to a particular topic.

Even NASA used Reddit’s /askscience sub-Reddit for a recent AMA event with planetary scientists and astrobiologists, which the organization cross-promoted on its LinkedIn and other social media accounts.

Technology giant Accenture also recently used its /accenture sub-Reddit for an AMA with its managing director Tristan Morel L'Horset, and last year the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity conducted its first Reddit-hosted AMA, featuring the noted festival’s managing director Simon Cook.

5 — Finding Relevant Audiences & Low-Hanging Keywords

In “The Guide to Unbundling Reddit,” Greg Isenberg, growth advisor at TikTok, has examined how Reddit has been affected by the pandemic, and looks at tools such as RedditList.com for finding relevant audiences.

The folks at Backlinko recently explored how to use keyword-finding tools such as those from SEMrush or Ahrefs to find relevant Reddit keywords for marketing efforts, in “17 Advanced SEO Techniques for 2020.”

HubSpot also recently took a look at some of the challenges and opportunities marketers face using Reddit, in “Everything Our Paid Team Learned From Attempting a Reddit Advertising Strategy,” finding the platform’s audience engagement a key advantage.

6 — Reddit’s Penchant For Technology Industry Professionals

With an especially avid cadre of technology enthusiasts, Reddit joins developer communities at GitHub, LinkedIn, HackerNews and others as go-to social destinations for engineers and programmers, making it a good choice for B2B firms in those sectors.

The tech-savvy nature of many of the communities on Reddit may seem merciless and intimidating at first glance, however with proper interactions brands can find valuable communication possibilities on the platform, especially when B2B marketers take the time to understand their audience and the questions they're asking.

7 — Reddit Helps Customers Vent & Connect

Reddit joined Twitter and Facebook as the go-to platforms for venting about poor brand experiences online, with Twitter typically offering the speediest replies from brands — according to survey data from WhoIsHostingThis?

Who Is Hosting This Image

With enough effort, B2B brands that genuinely care about addressing such concerns can find Reddit a good spot for building goodwill, as we explored in "Wow Your Crowd: How Content Marketers Can Create Powerful Audience Connections," and "B2B Marketers, Are Your Content Marketing Efforts Sparking Joy for Your Audience?"

8 — What Else Is Up With Reddit Lately?

Reddit is presently running an “Up the Vote” brand marketing campaign — its first — as Adweek’s Sara Jerde chronicled in “Reddit’s Cheeky Marketing Campaign Encourages Users to Vote.”

In May Reddit tapped a former Pinterest and Google advertising leader in a move aimed at bringing more brand advertising activity to the platform, a shift that also saw the firm restructuring its sales team to adjust to changes brought by the global health crisis.

This year Reddit also rolled out its most visible advertising format to date, with “Trending Takeover” 24-hour campaigns that offer prime exposure advertisers, after having tested the format with partners including Adobe* and Spotify.

Adobe previously partnered with Reddit for a unique collaborative global digital canvas, with “Reddit X Adobe,” featuring thousands of artistic layers of imagery from users around the world.

Make Your Reddit High Noon Move Count

via GIPHY

While Reddit may no longer be the wild west for B2B marketers, incorporating it into your strategy doesn’t have to be a shootout at high noon if you take to heart the information we’ve explored together here.

When coupled with a powerful strategy such as B2B influencer marketing, Reddit can play an important role in driving successful business and customer communications.

* LinkedIn and Adobe are TopRank Marketing clients.

The post 8 Things B2B Marketers Need To Know About Reddit in 2021 appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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How to Drive Local Foot Traffic With Twitter Ads

Want more customers for your local business? Have you considered using Twitter to connect with customers? In this article, you’ll discover how to use Twitter ads and organic techniques to bring more foot traffic to your local business. #1: How to Build a Local Audience via a Twitter Follower Campaign Before you reach out to […]

The post How to Drive Local Foot Traffic With Twitter Ads appeared first on Social Media Examiner | Social Media Marketing.

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Before, during & after: 6 powerful tips to get the most out of a virtual event

Ever experienced this? You attend an amazing conference. Maybe it’s a live, in-person event at a conference center, like in the olden days, or Read more...

This post Before, during & after: 6 powerful tips to get the most out of a virtual event originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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Do Sponsored Instagram Contests Really Work? A Case Study

Do you want more followers on Instagram? Wondering if a sponsored Instagram giveaway contest will work for you? In this article, you’ll find key insights from a case study to help you understand the pros and cons of sponsored giveaways on Instagram. What Are Sponsored Instagram Giveaway Contests? If you’re interested in running an Instagram […]

The post Do Sponsored Instagram Contests Really Work? A Case Study appeared first on Social Media Examiner | Social Media Marketing.

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How to Win at B2B Influence With The Magic of Content Co-Creation

Win B2B Influence

Win B2B Influence
Today we live in an age of information overload where the speed of content discovery and the variety of options for media consumption across connected devices presents new challenges for B2B brands and buyers alike.

The natural response for buyers is to filter their choices and focus those few sources which are most trusted, credible and meaningful. For brands that want to differentiate and even dominate in their category, becoming known as “the best answer” for their domain of expertise will have enormous impact.

The challenge of increased digital sophistication brings an opportunity: businesses can differentiate and capture market attention by growing their authority and influence.

Content is a top priority for brands.
Numerous research studies continue to support the fact that content marketing is a top priority for marketers but there are also some challenges; companies find it difficult to produce enough content, as well as create content that engages and has enough variety.

Even when companies are able to produce high quality, relevant content on a regular basis, the challenge of distribution and reach is a concern for many. Part of the solution is to connect B2B content creation efforts with internal and industry influencers that already have communities they engage with on the same topics.

Influencer content and authority.
Brands aren’t the only non-traditional online publishers. Subject matter experts are also able to publish through social networks and media, blogs and increasingly easy contributions to online publications.  Besides creating topically competitive content, SME publishing has empowered individuals to attract their own audiences and become as influential as the some of the companies they buy from.

In addition to working with established influencers, brands can nurture future influencers to create a more effective brand community that exponentially scales reach and engagement.

The shock of content proliferation.
As a result of the content explosion, brands are faced with the reality that the majority of the content they produce might never be discovered or engaged. At the same time, brands must recognize their customers are becoming more influential about the same topics brands are spending advertising and marketing budgets on.

When business customers are empowered to create, consume, publish, interact and transact anytime, anywhere, how do brands break through to create meaningful connections and engagement? How does the dynamic of content and influence help fulfill buyer information discovery, consumption and engagement expectations while delivering on business outcomes for the brand?

As a vehicle for influence, content is one of the most powerful tools in a digital marketer’s mix to attract, engage and inspire buyers to act.

“Content co-creation is the currency for building relationships that can boost credibility, influence and action.”

The B2B content + influence solution.
A business content and influencer marketing strategy can be one of the most effective combinations B2B marketers can make.  By incorporating relevant influencers that can inspire action with content marketing efforts, marketers can reach new audiences with brand messages that are credible and trusted.

Influencer driven content marketing is also one of the best examples of how digital marketing and public relations are converging. The integration of messaging, content, social media and engagement right along with the promotion of information and media designed to inspire transactions should be the focus of any business that wants to differentiate and grow.

Buyers trust influential experts.
The 2020 State of B2B Influencer Marketing Research Report reveals that 77% of B2B marketers believe their prospects rely on advice from industry influencers. Additionally, 84% trust influencers to create brand awareness and 69% count on influencers to help generate new leads.

While B2B content marketing on its own is effective, working with influential experts to co-create content is an approach that yields surprising results.

Lead with Empathy
Influencer content gets results.
When the pandemic swept through the world in early 2020, monday.com identified an opportunity to help support teams that had gone from working in-office to working remotely.

As a provider of remote project management software this transition created an opportunity for our client monday.com to position itself as a valuable resource for remote teams. Monday.com partnered with TopRank Marketing to develop an influencer marketing campaign featuring industry experts that could reach and engage remote work teams more effectively than the brand on its own.

Seasoned experts and influencers in the remote work space were engaged to collaborate on and promote content published on the brand site, on the influencers own sites, brand social channels and via livestream.

By engaging influencers with audiences hungry for information about remote work best practices, this campaign added value to the target audience and increased awareness of monday.com’s offering with impressive results:

  • 17.9M in potential reach from brand mentions by influencers (goal was 1M)
  • Over 300K organic impressions on social media
  • Nearly 3k video views of a live stream featuring two industry experts within the first week

See the full Monday.com influencer marketing case study here.

By connecting with market and niche influencers and working with them to achieve mutually beneficial goals, modern marketers can create invaluable relationships with authoritative experts. These connections can result in the creation of high quality, relevant and authoritative content that serves the interests of the influencer and the brand as well as providing access and reach to the influencer’s community.

B2B influencers are credible, authoritative individuals who have an engaged community that follows and acts on their thought leadership.

Winning at B2B Influencer Marketing means working with influencers to affect change in thought and action amongst a network towards goals that are mutually beneficial to the brand, the influencer and their community. Whether it is a partnership to co-create content or more general advocacy, business influencers open doors for brands to connect with engaged buyers they might otherwise never reach in a meaningful way.

"Everyone is influential about something."

B2B influencers can be industry professionals, they could also be inside a company as subject matter experts or a company’s own customers. Influencer relationships with brands often include a value exchange of some kind and it’s up to the company and influencer to decide whether that’s an exchange of information, visibility, compensation or something else.

The essential questions of B2B influencer content.
To be effective when working with business influencers, B2B brands need to consider what they want the influencer to do for them beyond a simple endorsement.

  • How will the influencer’s involvement help the company reach a particular business goal?
  • What will an ongoing relationship with influencers mean to the brand’s marketing efforts and reputation in the industry?
  • Also, what kind of content does it make the most sense for the influencer to contribute to?
  • How does the brand want to be known and which influencers already have that credibility and authority?

These questions and more will be answered in the following model for B2B influencer content co-creation.

6 best practices for working with and influencing B2B influencers to co-create content:

  1. Identify Influencer Program Goals
  2. Research, Engage and Recruit Influencers
  3. Develop Co-Created Content with Influencers
  4. Inspire Content Promotion
  5. Influencer Measurement and Program Optimization
  6. Ongoing Influencer Relationships

1. Identify Influencer Program Goals – Serving different audiences (influencers, brand, prospects, industry media) requires a strategy that identifies distinct goals. While most subject matter experts and influencers desire increased visibility, B2B brands will want to grow their expertise for a topic amongst a target audience and attract new business. Consumers of the influencer content will want expert information from someone they trust. Industry news media will want examples they can reference and subject matter experts they can cite.

Just starting out, co-created influencer content can be as simple as a value exchange: increased exposure for both the influencer and the brand with the objective of attracting new target audience engagement and influencing a spectrum of conversion actions: subscribe, download, register, request information.

As an influencer content program matures, goals can become more sophisticated and multi-faceted to include public relations, recruiting, customer marketing and more advanced customer acquisition.

B2B influencer content programs should be tied into the content marketing plan and editorial calendar. An important part of designing an effective influencer content program is to identify the specific topics to be covered. Specifying topics and themes will drive all subsequent actions in the program from influencer recruiting to planning which media type to create to content promotion.

2. Research, Engage and Recruit Influencers – It’s important to identify the key themes that represent topical focus for the brand, the product or service and the campaign or program that you will creating with influencers. The sooner your company specifies these topical areas of focus, the sooner influencers can be identified and engaged.

“The time to start recruiting influencers is long before you need them. Romance takes time.”

It can be useful to start influencer identification by brainstorming with executives, marketing, communications and product managers to develop a list of known topical experts and even nominations of specific individual influencers. However, subjective measures like these bring heavy bias. It is always a good idea to validate influencer recommendations using data about topical relevance, resonance of that topic with the influencer's audience and the their network size. There are many influencer marketing platforms which can provide the data needed to properly filter which individuals are perceived as influential by the communities that listen to them.

Influencer sourcing and engagement takes time. Many influencer co-created content projects will draw from both existing influencer relationships and involve making new influencer connections. Initial recruiting might be limited to small, easy projects that advance the relationship to more robust and substantial time commitments.

It is possible to jump start an influencer content program by working with a specialist agency that already has relationships with relevant industry influencers.

The most common mistake businesses make with influencers is to qualify them based purely on network size (fans, friends and followers) and affinity to a certain industry or area of interest. Without the ability to affect the way a network thinks and how they act, an influencer isn’t really influencing anyone.

“A brandividual is popular. An influencer is effective at creating popularity.”

Topical relevance, resonance and reach characteristics will be useful with influencer discovery tools like BuzzSumo which focuses on Twitter data. There are also robust tools like Traackr or Onalytica.

After you use a tool to identify and initially qualify influencers for each topic, then you can bring that list back to your internal subject matter experts to manually review and filter. Of course, no influencer discovery tool is perfect. Correlation between internal recommendations and data from an influencer marketing platform might take more time, but it’s a best practice for distinguishing between brandividuals and effective influencers.

When recruiting influencers, there are several important considerations:

  • Relevancy and effort to ask ratio - It has to be timely and on message with what they stand for. It also has to be easy for them to do. Popular, smart people are busy!
  • Be clever or humorous - Nothing cuts through the crap like humor but most of all, be a real person when you communicate, not salesy, pushy or entitled
  • You are a known entity - Having a reputation as a brand or being a well-known person in the industry is very useful. Previous personal contact with the influencer is even more valuable.
  • Vision of the project - Be able to articulate what the influencer’s involvement will be and what it will do for them personally. Also show how the project will help others.
  • Optimize for attract - Create influencer projects so good and so well known, people compete to be involved.

What doesn’t work.
Presumptive, high expectation recruiting pitches with no personalization and little upside for the influencer rarely work. It’s the equivalent of a stranger approaching you and saying, “Let’s get married”.

The time to start creating relationships with influencers is long before you actually need them. If a company is thinking that working with influencers is even a remote possibility, they should start identifying, qualifying and engaging with them now. That way, when the time comes to work together on a project, there’s already some familiarity and credibility before “the ask”.

Effective influencer recruiting for content co-creation projects comes down to being relevant and interesting, respectful and to deliver a great experience that results in a desire for more.

3. Develop Co-Created Content with Influencers – The content marketing plan for co-created influencer content should identify the primary and sub-themes, the influencers to work with for those assets, the types of contributions the influencers will make, the type of content to be created, deconstructed component parts, social share messages and details on repurposing.

Go modular - Modular content planning allows pre-promotion of the co-created content project to build momentum for launch and then deconstruction of the content for customized repurposing and social promotion on networks, blogs, and the media.

Select topics - Topics represent the themes and areas of focus for planning editorial and for sourcing influencers. Topic alignment between brand, influencer and community is essential for mutual value to be created.

Identify type of content or media mix - Types of content are often determined by the content marketing plan, and target audience. At the same time, there are some types of content more amenable to co-creation with influencers such as eBooks, reports, blog posts, quoted infographics and video compilations. A clear line of sight must be present between the co-created content and the content objectives in the marketing plan.

Once influencers, topics and media types are identified, a campaign to request content is initiated. Setting expectations during the recruitment phase for how participation will work is essential. Influencers are busy people and providing a timeline with due date, clear instructions and even examples will result in a higher participation rate.

Influencer content collection requests are often more effective when a few A-list influencers are already on board with the project. Leverage their name recognition to influence other influencers to participate.

Be prepared to send 2 to 3 content collection emails and when the deadline arrives, do not be afraid to use a fear of loss pitch. But by all means, be cordial, helpful and respectful.

4. Inspire Content Promotion – Influencer communications should provide expectations and clear timelines along with the benefits for all when a co-created influencer content project is successful.

Providing influencers with tools such as sharing images, pre-written tweets, embed codes and short URLs can substantially increase promotion participation and reach.

There are four important considerations when encouraging influencers to help promote the content they helped your company create.

Create content worth sharing. Topics that address issues that are important to the influencer will get your foot in the door and useful, visually compelling content will inspire them to open that door and share. Reaching out blindly and asking to share doesn’t work as well as having a connection first and then asking.

Let the ego do the talking. Content that includes an influencer’s contribution will probably get shared even more. Because let’s face it, people love to see themselves get recognized. Better yet, ask them to participate in the creation of the content.

However, when mentioning influencers in content it’s essential that it be credible, high quality and creative. Most influencers have caught on to the tactic of simply mentioning famous industry people just to get them to share. There must be value created that inspires and earns the share

Make it fun and easy. When emailing a promotion request, consider making it funny or at least clever. We’ve gone so far as to write outlandish examples of what NOT to do or suggest fake prizes for contributing like his/her beard scarves or beef jerky underwear.

Also make it especially easy for the influencer to share. Capture their attention, succinctly explain what it is and what you want them to do. Then offer pre-written social share text that’s even personalized just for them. You may even create a resource page with images and other share options for them to use.

Pay them. Either compensate the influencer with information and promotion or simply pay them to share your content. Once you start down this road, it’s pretty difficult to get off, so plan for continued compensation once you start.

5. Influencer Measurement and Program Optimization – Individual influencer promotions of the co-created content project can be measured based on social network shares, sentiment of those shares, engagement on the topic, links and blog pickups.

Embeds used by influencers to create blog posts can be tracked for referred search traffic along with referred social traffic from their links. Referred traffic that results in website visits can be further analyzed for metrics such as time on site, categories of content consumed, leads and sales.

Overall reach, engagement, traffic, leads and sales for the content project can be tracked as well, taking note of the contributions made by influencers towards key performance metrics like growing affinity between a topic and the brand as well as business outcomes like leads and sales.

6. Ongoing Influencer Relationships - Beyond the campaign or program at hand, do make the effort to continue the relationship with influencers you have worked with. The 2020 State of B2B Influencer Marketing Research found that 12 times more B2B marketers who run Always-On influencer marketing programs are successful vs. those running intermittent campaigns. Focus on creating a great experience for contributing subject matter experts and they’ll be very interested in working with your brand again on future projects.

The more influencer programs you develop, the more influencers you will have connections with and draw from. Remember, when it comes to promotions, you can also ask past influencers who are not part of your current program to help, since they are aware of the value that would bring and the effect of “a rising tide lifts all ships.”

Ways to stay connected and Always-On with influencers in a meaningful way include:

  • Offer them feedback after the program about the effect of their contribution
  • Cite influencers in your future blog posts
  • Connect and engage with influencers on social networks
  • Refer influencer expertise to other companies that could use them (i.e. help them get work)
  • Cite influencers in contributed articles to industry magazines, newspapers, websites and newsletters.
  • Include them in future projects

Whether your brand is engaging with influencers to provide useful information or you’re co-creating content with influencers to create a useful industry resource that will be shared with new communities, there’s a value exchange that can benefits everyone involved. Content is the key to that value transfer between brand and consumer, brand and influencer and for the overall community involved.

To learn more about B2B influencer and content marketing best practices, be sure to check out the 2020 State of B2B Influencer Marketing Research Report, or contact us directly at TopRank Marketing.

The post How to Win at B2B Influence With The Magic of Content Co-Creation appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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