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Daniel Rodgers

A lot of news that you will not see in the paper. A lot of technology that is coming out that will not see in the paper.

10 Worst Practices for B2B Influencer Marketing – Don’t be a Clown

Worst Practices B2B Influencer Marketing

Worst Practices B2B Influencer Marketing When it comes to sharing B2B marketing advice, I prefer not to clown around too much and do my best to be positive and optimistic with trends, insights and how to's focused on looking forward towards best practices and getting better results. Marketers expect serious results but unfortunatley, many B2B marketers insist on clowning around with half-hearted or incomplete influencer marketing efforts. I know this from stories told by brand marketers that have worked with other agencies and from being on the receiving end of clueless pitches, minimum viable engagement efforts and willfully ignorant attempts to get me to promote something I really have no business caring about. I've heard much of the same from other people who are often engaged as influencers as well. This post is an appeal to B2B marketers to stop clowning around with influencer marketing efforts, especially now when marketing has no room to be wasteful or unsuccessful. Below is a list of some of the worst offenders. If your B2B company is doing these things, whatever efficiency or shortcut you're hoping for is a joke on you in terms of program success and building real relationships with the credible experts your customers listen to. 1. Lead Gen Disguised as Brand Awareness - Marketers initiating an influencer program with stated goals of increasing brand awareness inevitably always shift their thinking midway through and start talking about lead generation and sales expectations if not from the start. Of course building brand awareness and lead generation are two different strategies with different types of metrics. Expecting both from the same campaign is like expecting a flying car to also be a submarine. It's possible, but not very practical. 2. Choosing Influencers Based on What? - Companies hire influencer marketing staff, consultants or agency specialists to help with influencer identification and qualification more than just about any other aspect of an influencer marketing program. And yet, some marketers prefer to choose influencers based on who they think would be influential or based on the opinions of a few executives vs. based on data. Influencer Programs have a strategy for how to achieve a particular goal with the identified audience using a specific mix of content and tactics. Influencers play a role like ingredients in a recipe and data informed selection incorporates a minimum of topical relevance, audience resonance, network size, publishing type, style and cadence as well as brand alignment into consideration. When you start deciding on ingredients for recipe you haven't made before based on what you like vs. what tastes good for your guests, it's possible the dish will be tasty, but probably not. 3.  Overpromise and Underdeliver - Marketers are busy and often overzealous when pressed for time and resources to recruit influencers for a project. Value exchange scenarios emerge where the influencer is asked to X and the brand will do Y in exchange. Then surprises start to happen, like being asked to do this one extra thing. Or two. Or three. When a big exposure opportunity implied in the recruiting effort falls through (it was actually speculative), gets switched for another thing the influencers don't want or requires the influencers to sell their soul to the brand with some kind of endorsement to participate - all contribute to the experience the brand is creating for the influencer. When expectations are not met either by the brand or the influencer, nobody wins. Such disconnects are avoidable with effective influencer program management. 4. Transactional Engagement - Efficiency is an expectation now more than ever in marketing departments and at the same time, influencer engagement is a relationship focused practice. When marketers treat influencer interactions like sales transactions or as impersonal exchanges, it may create conveniences for the marketer, but it's nothing special or worth repeating for the influencer. The classic transactional engagement example is when the marketer invites the influencer to contribute to a project of relevance and then sends a link to a form with 10 more questions than implied in the invite. Once the form is complete, there is no thank you, no acknowledgement and no follow up until the content is published and the marketer sends an email with the exact same 5 social share message suggestions that were sent to the other 49 people who were asked to fill out the form. Yuk. 5. Nowhere to Publish - Less an issue with small or medium sized companies, publishing influencer content on the large B2B brand websites or blogs should already be coordinated and approved before the influencers are recruited and informed where they will see exposure. Nobody wins when a top lineup of experts share their expertise and the brand doesn't have somewhere for that content to live. Also, simply publishing episodic content like a podcast to aggregators and not creating a web page index for the podcast or episodes is a huge missed opportunity. Web pages are hooks in the water for search engines, social shares, industry blogs and media websites. Plus, those web pages also create exposure for the contributing influencers, which is probably why they said yes to the invitation. 6. Fear of Commitment - Relationships take time, effort and investment of resources and can pay incredible dividends over a long period of time. It's definitely a best practice for B2B brands to conduct a pilot influencer project to work out processes and capture initial data for insight into building a program. But make no mistake, it is an ongoing effort towards influencer engagement that builds the kinds of relationships that drive high ROI advocacy from the people your customers trust the most. Fear of committing to some kind of ongoing effort to nurture influencers as part of a strategy to drive brand conversations, grow brand influence, reach new customers and inspire more business has a cost that shows no ROI. 7. Management by Spreadsheet - Like any marketing program, there are many elements to manage in an influencer program from the marketing plan, campaign, assets and measurement to the management, engagement and measurement of influencers. Doing all of that by spreadsheet can work for a pilot but for any B2B company to scale it's influencer marketing efforts, investment in technology like an influencer marketing platform will be worthwhile. An influencer marketing platform should enable marketers to find, manage and measure influencer relationships (at a minimum). 8. Promotion Black Hole - Imagine an exciting new project where everything comes together: the influencers, the brand executives and SMEs and the content is impressive. Then the content publishes and... nothing.  Sometimes brands overestimate the value of publishing on their own properties including social channels. Promotion of influencer content is a bit part of why influencers agree to contribute to a brand's influencer marketing program. Of course the influencer will promote to their own channels and the brand will benefit from that. But if the content the influencer contributed to is not promoted on brand channels, it deflates the influencers motivation and that's a lost opportunity for the brand. 9. One Night Stands - Engaging and activating influencers comes in many forms and some marketers miss the boat entirely on the relationship aspect of co-creating with influencers in search of quickie content capture and social shares. That quickie for a listicle might be satisfying for the marketer as efficient content creation, but it does very little to create a real relationship with trusted experts making product and service recommendations to their loyal audiences.

Engaging influencers only when you need them shows them you only care about yourself. That's not how successful relationships are built.

It's perfectly fine to engage in small or individual projects with influencers. Just don't make that the only thing. Ongoing, or "always on" influencer engagement is practical, manageable and it creates a mutual will scenario for the brand, its customers and the influencers. 10. Goals to Measurement FUBAR - Influencer Marketing is still relatively new to B2B and many marketers add-on influencer contributions to existing content marketing programs than implement dedicated influencer programs on their own. Ambiguity about goals for the influencer part of a content marketing program leads to lack of defined metrics and performance measurement. It could happen that a B2B brand adds a few high profile influencers to a demand gen project that achieves millions of social impressions. But it turns out, very few people shared their email for the download. If the project had goals of name capture, a specific type of influencer that more middle-funnel appropriate should be engaged and provided with UTM encoded URLs for influencer level tracking. When goals to measurement are not clear with influencers that are part of a content project or a dedicated influencer marketing program, measuring and reporting success is basically guesswork. For even more laughs about the ways B2B marketers are sidetracking the results of their influencer marketing efforts, check out this timeless list of 50 ways to fail at influencer engagement. There's nothing funny about failing but it's a lot of fun to hit and exceed program goals. Be sure to check out these examples of successful influencer marketing for B2B brands, big and small and here are 25 campaign ideas.        

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8 Instagram Stories Hacks to Give You a Creative Edge

Want to give your Instagram stories a creative edge? Looking for hidden features to try out? In this article, you’ll discover eight Instagram Stories power tips including how to save your Stories effects for quick access, add multiple photos, add a custom GIF, and more. To learn how to make the most of the brush […]

The post 8 Instagram Stories Hacks to Give You a Creative Edge appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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LinkedIn Live Streaming for LinkedIn Events

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Social Media Marketing Talk Show, a news show for marketers who want to stay on the leading edge of social media. On this week’s Social Media Marketing Talk Show, we explore LinkedIn live streaming for Virtual Events and LinkedIn Polls with special guest, Michaela Alexis. We also discuss […]

The post LinkedIn Live Streaming for LinkedIn Events appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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Industry benchmarks to inform your social media presence

You know what’s unique about your brand, but in a crowded social landscape, it’s a constant challenge to find the right messaging that rises Read more...

This post Industry benchmarks to inform your social media presence originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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Your Marketing Know-How, Augmented: Introducing Conversion Intelligence

Marketing is evolving. Discover how machine learning and AI can amplify your marketing skillset to ensure you build the best-performing campaign every time.

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B2B Marketing News: Changing B2B Sales Models, LinkedIn Adds Polls, Social Media Engagement Data, & Twitter’s Scheduled Tweets

2020 May 15 MarketingCharts Chart

2020 May 15 MarketingCharts Chart COVID-19's Impact on B2B Software Budgets 31 percent of B2B software buyers say they'll spend less due to the pandemic, while 30 percent said that spending won't be affected, according to recently-released survey data. Web conferencing, collaboration, and remote desktop software were the three top segments for expanded spending, the survey also noted. MarketingProfs 90% of people buy from brands they follow on social media, study says Nine out of 10 people purchase from the brands they follow on social platforms, and the amount they spend climbed 12 percent from 2019 figures — two of numerous findings of interest to digital marketers contained in new report data. Just 23 percent of marketers use social media data for measuring return-on-investment (ROI), the report also noted. Mobile Marketer LinkedIn Adds Poll Feature LinkedIn (client) has rolled out a user polling feature to members, offering marketers a new avenue for gathering community sentiment, the Microsoft-owned professional social media platform announced this week. Adweek Eric Schmidt, who led Google's transformation into a tech giant, has left the company Longtime former Google chief executive Eric Schmidt — a staple public face at the company — has exiting the firm, after nearly 20 years with Google and its parent company Alphabet, the firms recently announced. CNET Digital ad market not yet 'back to normal' but recent stability fuels optimism Advertisers are finding more stability in the global ad market than was seen during March, according to newly-released data of interest to digital marketers from Socialbakers, which also found that traditional daily ad performance click-through-rate (CTR) peaks have largely disappeared, as most consumers have been working from home. Campaign Brands and Retailers Are Changing Their Approach to Influencer Marketing Financial firms have increased their use of influencer marketing to drive awareness of services in higher demand due to the global health crisis, according to recently-released survey data which also found that app developers have turned up their use of influencers. eMarketer 2020 May 15 Statistics Image Consumers tire of COVID-19-related ads, survey finds 41 percent of consumers are ready to hear brand messaging that’s not pandemic-related, while 73 percent said that recent increases in the frequency of messages from brands has been appropriate — some of the findings of interest to online marketers in newly-released global survey data. Marketing Dive New Survey Looks at How Marketers and Consumers View Social Media Engagement Sprout Social’s latest Social Index report explores social engagement challenges and solutions, and found that 69 percent of marketers use social media primarily to increase brand awareness, with 46 percent doing so to expand a brand's audience. Social Media Today Twitter is rolling out tweet scheduling feature to some users Twitter has been actively testing a variety of new desktop tweet scheduling functionality that could eventually expand brand marketer publishing options on the platform. The Next Web B2B Decision-Makers Say Changes to Their Go-to-Market Approach Are Likely to Stick After COVID-19 57 percent of B2B U.S. firms have cut back spending on marketing due to the global health crisis, recently-released survey data shows, while self-serve interactions such as e-commerce and use of web support have both increased, the B2B sales study also noted. MarketingCharts ON THE LIGHTER SIDE: 2020 May 15 Marketoonist Comic A lighthearted look at “resilience and change” by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist Former Reddit Mod Successfully Re-Enters Society as Wikipedia Editor — The Hard Times TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:
  • Lee Odden — How to boost SEO flow like a pro during COVID-19 — Ragan
  • Lee Odden — 5 Hours of Content Marketing — SEMrush
Do you have your own top B2B content marketing or digital advertising stories from the past week of news? Please let us know in the comments below. Thank you for taking the time to join us this week, and we hope you'll join us again next Friday for more of the most relevant B2B and digital marketing industry news. In the meantime, you can follow us at @toprank on Twitter for even more timely daily news. Also, don't miss the full video summary on our TopRank Marketing TV YouTube Channel.

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Local Business Marketing in Uncertain Times

Wondering how to stay top-of-mind with your customers, even if you aren’t open? Looking for new, creative ways to continue to show up for them? To explore how local businesses can market during uncertain times, I interview Bruce Irving on the Social Media Marketing Podcast. Bruce is a local business marketing pro. He’s the host […]

The post Local Business Marketing in Uncertain Times appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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How to improve your social media engagement

How is it that you can post so often with seemingly good content but people just aren’t engaging with it? Many brands want more Read more...

This post How to improve your social media engagement originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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How to Start a Podcast in 2020: No Fluff (Just the Essentials)

The time has come. You know that idea bouncing around in the back of your mind? That dream, fearlessly waging war against your internal fears? It’s time to let it …

How to Start a Podcast in 2020: No Fluff (Just the Essentials) Read More »

The post How to Start a Podcast in 2020: No Fluff (Just the Essentials) appeared first on Smart Blogger.

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5 Project Management Tips for Adrift Remote Marketing Teams

Remote island in ocean image.

Remote island in ocean image. “WILSON!” “Wilson, I’m sorry!” via GIPHY Work, lately, feels a little like being a castaway. Isolating yourself. Dreaming of the past. Trusting in technology — however advanced or primitive — to get us through. And work could stay this way for a while. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought an unprecedented number of information workers, including marketers, home for work. In fact, 62% of American workers said they’ve worked from home at some point during this crisis. But many experts are estimating that this volume of distributed and remote work won’t decrease after the pandemic ends. They see that hundreds, if not thousands, of businesses are realizing they never really needed an office — they could have operated remotely all along. As we all come to grips with what could become the new normal, I realized there are lessons to be learned from feeling like a castaway. So, I turned to the world’s most famous — and successful — castaway: Chuck Noland. via GIPHY His actions are actually great examples of how we should approach project management for remote marketers. Don’t believe me? Keep reading to learn my top project management tips for remote marketers with lessons from Cast Away.

Tip #1 - Over-communicate with your team and your clients.

There are a lot of iconic relationships shown in film. Bert and Ernie. Lucy and Ethel. And, of course, Chuck and Wilson. via GIPHY As the film progresses, Chuck talks to Wilson more and more. In a lot of ways, he helps Chuck stay sane and talk through challenges like making fire, building a raft, and more. While we aren’t physically together, it’s still incredibly important to keep open lines of communication among your marketing team. Similar to Chuck and Wilson, communicating often will keep you sane and organized, as well as give you a sounding board. You may even feel that you’re over-communicating with your team, but this is natural and necessary. When we’re remote, it’s more likely we'll skip over a message, misinterpret text, or a host of other things. Over-communicating helps ensure those details are less likely to be missed or misunderstood. Over-communicating doesn’t just apply to your team, either. Over-communicating with clients reaps the same benefits — your messages are less likely to be missed or misunderstood. And in my experience, clients appreciate the update, even if it’s only a couple of sentences.

Tip #2 - Rely on technology for collaboration, communication, and more.

Chuck shows us just how resourceful he is: he fashioned a figure skate into a knife, a porta-potty into a sail, a volleyball into a companion, and more. And if there’s one thing you need to be when stranded on an island, it’s resourceful. via GIPHY That same holds true while we all work on our own remote “islands.” Physically separated, we need to rely on our technology resources to bring us closer together and closer to our goals. Here at TopRank Marketing, we use Slack for team communication, Google Drive to collaborate, Zoom to meet virtually at any time, and Mavenlink to organize our work. We used them while in the office, but we’ve become even more dependent on them outside of the office. We’ve also started to use these tools in new ways to help us adapt to the changing work environment. For example, we’re now using Slack for informal voice calls between teams since we can’t just stop by someone’s desk or stay in a meeting room together after a client meeting to discuss a plan of attack.

Tip #3 - Organize your projects and tasks often.

Once the time jump happens in Cast Away, Chuck has a plan. He’s getting off the island. But to stay on track, he has to organize his materials and plan out his actions carefully. He even makes a chart and counts down the days on the walls of his cave so he can stay organized and catch the trade winds in time. Rock image. To help your team stay on track, you need to stay organized and regularly check in on your plans. Keeping a chart or countdown like Chuck isn't a bad idea, either. It’ll help you stay up to date on your projects and tasks without having to chase down details or remind yourself of progress.

Tip #4 - Run and share reports on a more regular and frequent basis.

Early on in Chuck’s journey, he and Wilson realize they need more information to aid them in their survival. They need to know just how lost they really are. So, they crunch the numbers. And what they find out is harrowing: the search area they’re lost in is over 500,000 square miles. The chance of someone finding them is slim to none. Realizing that a search party is unlikely to find them, Chuck and Wilson spur into action. It empowers them to make the life-saving decision of getting off the island. Information is powerful and reporting helps surface insights that aid your team in their decision making. From a project management perspective, increasing the frequency of your reporting will also help illuminate how your efficiency has changed since shifting to remote work. Run and share reports often with your team and it will help your projects progress and your team adapt to remote work. [bctt tweet="“From a project management perspective, increasing the frequency of your reporting will also help illuminate how your efficiency has changed since shifting to remote work.” — Anne Leuman @annieleuman" username="toprank"]

Tip #5 - Escape with some time away.

Chuck Noland eventually made it off the island with a lot of hard work and a small miracle. You, however, have the luxury of being able to leave the mental “island” of work at any time. Schedule a happy hour with the team. Call each other and go on a group walk. Have a Halloween in April party. We’ve done all of those things here at TopRank and it’s done wonders for our engagement with work. Taking breaks and giving yourself a mental escape is essential to staying motivated with and focused on your projects.

The Island Isn’t So Bad… With the Right Approach

It’s normal for us all to feel like we live on our own islands during this time. Because we do, we’re all separated by distance. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways to come together and overcome the physical barriers between us. Over-communicating, relying on technology, staying organized, sharing reports, and giving yourself and your team an escape are the best project management tips for overcoming these remote challenges. And I’m sure this will be all of us once the crisis passes: via GIPHY

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