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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.

From reporting to analysis: How storytelling with data helps secure executive buy-in

Your comments and likes are up month over month, and your new campaign hashtag has been used over 1,000 times, but what do the Read more...

This post From reporting to analysis: How storytelling with data helps secure executive buy-in originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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B2BMX 2020 Wrap Up: B2B Marketing Evolved

B2BMX B2B Marketing Wrap Up

B2BMX B2B Marketing Wrap Up

Over the past 10 years that our marketing agency has been focused on B2B marketing, there have been many changes: From the advent of marketing automation and social media to the growing popularity of interactive content, ABM and influencer marketing.

Staying on top of trends and best practices requires continuous innovation, education and cycles of marketing optimization. The reward for this continuous effort is staying one step ahead of the competition in the form of quality and performance.

Events play a big role in the ongoing effort to draw on the collective wisdom of the B2B marketing industry and last week TopRank Marketing wrapped up speaking and attending our 8th B2B Marketing Exchange conference. In case you missed the conference, here are a few highlights:

Award Winning B2B Influencer Marketing - I am very proud to say that our clients dominated the influencer marketing category of the B2BMX Killer Content Awards.

Dell Outlet was a finalist with a campaign featuring small business influencers advocating on video, audio and test for the value of refurbished computers. Alcatel Lucent Enterprise was the influencer marketing category winner with an innovative awards campaign featuring influencer judges that generated millions in sales pipeline.

Connecting the Dots Between ABM and Influence - For the 8th year in a row I had the opportunity to present at B2BMX and in 2020 it was about how ABM marketers can leverage influencer marketing to improve the performance of their programs. Josh Nite liveblogged the presentation here.

The First Ever B2B Influencer Marketing Study - At B2BMX we announced the launch of the first B2B influencer marketing research study that aims to provide B2B marketers with a single source of data when it comes to business influencer marketing strategies, tactics, budgets, trends and future plans. Whether you’re just thinking about influencer marketing, have only piloted or are engaged with an ongoing program, we invite you to take the survey here: State of B2B Influencer Marketing Study 2020.

Break Free B2B Marketing - Susan Misukanis and Josh Nite from our team spent much of the conference interviewing top B2B marketing executives from brands including on how they’re “breaking free” in their marketing. Interviews include senior marketing executives from Dell, Oracle, 6sense, SAP, ON24, Johnson Controls and more. Be sure to subscribe to TopRank Blog and catch Season 2 of Break Free B2B.

Insights From Top B2B Marketing Speakers - When I present at conferences, especially B2B events, I try to attend presentations and below are a few highlights:

Customers Are Your Best Marketers
Vinay Bhagat - Trust Radius
: What content can customers relate to better than content created by other customers? When you do awareness campaigns, reviews can make them more effective. To optimize customer reviews, ask questions that draw out your solution differentiators. Review can support lead generation activities by supporting buyer intent data, retargeting, content, nurture, website and landing pages. Adding reviews to a trial page increased conversions by 20%.

Innovative Conversions Strategies 
Anamaria Alba, Dell Technologies: Dell needed something that would break through the noise and get the attention of IT buyers. The solution was to develop a Tech Score to meet the need of getting truly qualified, high quality leads. A Tech Score is an interactive assessment oriented demand gen product that requires users to self identify pain points, providing them the right content at the right time. Using the Tech Score has resulted in 3X higher more ROI and 5-10% higher conversions.

A Modular, Multi-Touch Approach To Campaign Strategy
Christine Cornwell - Equifax: Start with evergreen high value content, then figure out how you can pull it apart into snackable formats and work with your martech stack for publishing and promoting that content. Don’t retire content, reuse it.

Katie Fisher - JLL:  Use a platform like Adobe to organize content, repurposing, and syndication. Be sure to listen to and learn from your partners about what’s reasonable and impactful for your marketing.
The Power of Experiential B2B Content
Ryan Brown - Ceros:
If the goal for marketers is to create things that are memorable to people, we must realize how much opportunity there is to avoid the mediocre middle. To start on the experiential content journey create content by thinking about what experience you want your customers to have, vs. making content and then adding experiential elements to it.

Darios Eslami - VMware Cabon Black: Experiential content is not just for prospect engagement but it’s a great internal tool to make you think about how you’re delivering all of your content. Commitment to thoughtful marketing, engaging opportunities and experiential content. If we can’t invest time into great experiences for our clients we can’t expect them to give us their time back.

Sharon Shapiro & Paige Gildner - Bluecore: Experiential content is at the intersection of content an design. It’s essential to engage content and design early and often on programs. With experiential content, you have access to data about how users interact with elements of a content experience. From those data insights, future experiential content can be customized according to customer preferences.

Josh Nite liveblogged the Experiential Content session here.

A huge thank you to Andrew Gaffney and the team at B2B Marketing Exchange for the opportunity to present at this excellent event. The Scottsdale, Arizona location, the presentation content, the food, the full exhibit hall and after conference networking events were all first rate.

B2B Marketing is not a place for marketers to "coast" and staying relevant means investing in education like B2BMX and expertise like the fountain of knowledge found amongst long time B2B marketing specialists like TopRank Marketing.

Eight More Event Opportunities to Boost Your B2B Marketing Smarts in 2020

March 9, 2020 Webinar Panel
Are you ready to transform your B2B marketing?

Featuring Joel Harrison for B2B Marketing, Doug Kessler from Velocity Partners, Me, and Mark Bornstein from ON24
Registration info here

March 19, 2020 Convergence Summit Minneapolis
Lunch Keynote: In Search of Trust: How Authentic Content Drives Customer Experience
Agenda and registration info

March 24, 2020 Pubcon Florida
B2B Influencer Marketing Workshop
Register here

March 25, 2020 Webinar
Top B2B Marketing Challenges, Trends and Best Practices for 2020
Register here

April 22, 2020 - ContentTECH Summit
How to Optimize Content Performance with Influence 
Session info and register here

April 23rd, 2020 - Content Marketing Conference
How to Optimize Customer Experience with SEO and Influence
Conference info and register here

May 13 - 14, 2020 - Ceros Experience Matters
How to Optimize for Customer Experience with Interactive Content
Event and registration info here

May 27-28, 2020 - B2B Ignite USA
Keynote - In Marketing We Trust: How to build influence with the C-Suite and on the street
Conference agenda and registration info here

If you're going to attend any of these B2B marketing events, be sure to reach out beforehand, I'd love to connect.

The post B2BMX 2020 Wrap Up: B2B Marketing Evolved appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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How to Easily Analyze Facebook Ad Results With 3 Custom Reports

Want to save time analyzing your Facebook ads results? Looking for an easy way to create custom reporting in Ads Manager? In this article, you’ll discover three custom reports in Ads Manager to help you quickly analyze your Facebook ad performance. Why Create Custom Reports in Facebook Ads Manager If you’re anything like me, you’re […]

The post How to Easily Analyze Facebook Ad Results With 3 Custom Reports appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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The State of SaaS Landing Pages in 2020

SaaS landing pages have changed a lot in the last 10 years. Check out new research on how they’re performing today and examples of how you should optimize your campaigns in 2020.

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Facebook Launches Live Producer and Creator Studio App

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 the full rollout of Facebook’s Live Producer for managing live-stream video and the new Creator Studio app […]

The post Facebook Launches Live Producer and Creator Studio App appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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Digital Marketing News: B2B Content Lifecycle Study, LinkedIn’s New Featured Section, B2B Millennial Report, & Facebook Adds Story Discovery Feature

2020 February 28 Skyword Chart

2020 February 28 Skyword Chart

Millennial buyers want better content from B2B marketers
Better B2B content is a top concern among Millennial buyers, as the demographic accounts for some 33 percent of overall B2B buyers, a portion Forrester's newly-released report expects to grow to 44 percent by 2025. Digital Commerce 360

LinkedIn Launches New 'Featured' Section on Profiles to Highlight Key Achievements and Links
LinkedIn (client) began a gradual roll-out of a new "Featured" section, where users' key achievements will appear near the top of profiles when starred from updates, the Microsoft-owned platform recently announced. Social Media Today

How the Fastest-Growing US Companies Are Using Social Media
87 percent of Inc. 500 firms used LinkedIn for social media during 2019, topping a list of how the fastest-growing U.S. firms are using social media, outlined in a recently-released UMass Dartmouth report of interest to digital marketers. MarketingProfs

The Best Times to Post on Social Media According to Research [Infographic]
B2B businesses find that the best posting times on LinkedIn are before noon and around 6:00 p.m., one of numerous social media platform most effective posting time statistics outlined in a recently-released infographic. Social Media Today

Gen Z Craves Multifaceted Content, Audio - And Even Likes (Relevant) Long-Form Ads
Digital media consumption habits vary by generation, with members of the Gen Z demographic more often seeking out multifaceted content comprised of interactive elements such as polls and quizzes, according to recently-released content consumption preference data. MediaPost

Are Brands Getting Smarter About Social? New Data Reveals Surprising Trends Across Platforms
2019 saw U.S. brands receiving an average of five percent more social engagement that during 2018, with video engagement achieving an even higher eight percent growth rate — two of numerous statistics of interest to online marketers contained in recent social media activity study data. Forbes

2020 February 28 Statistics Image

How Businesses Handle Customer Reviews [Infographic]
Over 35 percent of businesses often or always use positive reviews in their marketing efforts, with Google, Facebook, and Yelp being the three platforms most often monitored for online reviews, according to recently-released survey data focusing on how reviews are used by businesses. Social Media Today

IAB: Programmatic Now 85% Of All U.S. Digital Advertising
By 2021 programmatic advertising spending will exceed $91 billion in the U.S. alone, and account for 86 percent of overall digital ad spend — two of several items of interest to digital marketers in newly-released Interactive Advertising Bureau report data. MediaPost

Facebook Tests New Format for Separate Facebook Stories Discovery Page
Facebook has continued to ramp up its support for content shared in the Stories format, announcing recently that certain Stories will receive larger images in a test of a distinct new Facebook Stories discovery page, according to the social media giant. Social Media Today

From Consistent Publishing to Performance Peaks: What You Need to Know About the Life Span of Content
Digital B2B content assets often bring peak value two months after publishing, while going on to achieve steady endurance among consumers, two of many findings of interest to digital marketers contained in new B2B content lifespan report data. Skyword

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

2020 February 28 Marketoonist Comic

A lighthearted look at what is digital transformation? by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist

Jif Partnered With Giphy to Make a Limited-Edition Peanut Butter No One Can Pronounce — Adweek

TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:

  • Lee Odden — Not Another State of Marketing Report — HubSpot
  • Lee Odden — What’s Trending: Aim for Excellence — LinkedIn (client)
  • TopRank Marketing / Prophix — B2B Campaign Spotlight: Prophix Strikes a Chord with Visual Storytelling — LinkedIn (client)
  • Lane R. Ellis — 10 Tips to Help You Better Understand Your Small Business Customers — Small Business Trends
  • Lee Odden — How to Create Trustworthy Content That People Want to Read — Aweber
  • Lee Odden — Speaker Spotlight: Lee Odden — Content Marketing Conference

Do you have your own top B2B content marketing or digital advertising stories from the past week? Please let us know in the comments below.

Thank you for joining us, and please return next week for a new selection 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.

The post Digital Marketing News: B2B Content Lifecycle Study, LinkedIn’s New Featured Section, B2B Millennial Report, & Facebook Adds Story Discovery Feature appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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How to Rethink Your Way to Business Growth

Do you want to grow your business? Is it time to rethink the way you market and deliver experiences? To explore how to grow your business via innovation, I interview Duncan Wardle on the Social Media Marketing Podcast. Duncan is the former head of innovation & creativity for Disney. He’s also a keynote speaker who […]

The post How to Rethink Your Way to Business Growth appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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Knock your next social media presentation out of the park

As a social media professional, presentations are an inevitable part of your job and a vital part of your career growth. If that gives Read more...

This post Knock your next social media presentation out of the park originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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Social Spotlight: Adobe and How to Borrow from B2C

Welcome to the Social Spotlight, where we dive deep into what we love about a brand’s approach to a specific social campaign. From strategy Read more...

This post Social Spotlight: Adobe and How to Borrow from B2C originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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Optimizing ABM with Influencer Marketing at #B2BMX

Lee Odden Speaking at B2BMX 2020

Lee Odden Speaking at B2BMX 2020

Account based marketing (ABM) is the hybrid sales/marketing/revenue discipline that is shaking up the status quo for marketers and sales pros alike. There are as many definitions of ABM as there are accounts to target, but I’m partial to this one from LinkedIn’s Megan Golden

“ABM is a strategy that directs marketing resources to engaging a specific set of target accounts. Instead of casting a wide net with their lead-generation efforts, marketers using ABM work closely with sales to identify key prospects and then tailor customized programs and messages to the buying team within target accounts.” Megan Golden, Group Manager, Global Content & Social Media Marketing, LinkedIn*

It’s all about earning the trust of — and ultimately influencing — members of specific buying committees. In other words, it’s the distillation of what all B2B marketers should be doing. Or as Sangram Vajre, CEO of Terminus, put it (embroidered on his sneakers, no less):

Sneakers that Read ABM Is B2B

Marketers who practice ABM are seeing impressive results. A recent report from ITSMA and the ABM Leadership Alliance found that 73% of marketers plan to increase ABM budgets in the coming year, and 71% saw greater ROI compared to traditional marketing.

Yet as much success as marketers are seeing with ABM, most are missing a crucial part of the strategy: Building trust through external influence.

In his B2BMX presentation, Lee Odden observed that ABM marketers tend to focus on internal influence — which members of the buying committee have a say in the purchase decision. But…

Diagram Asking Who Influences the Influencers

Here’s what is possible when B2B marketers include influencer marketing in their ABM strategy.

Influence in ABM: It’s All About Trust

According to Lee, “Trust is one of the most paramount matters in marketing today.” If buyers don’t trust your brand, it’s hard to even get a message through, let alone close a sale. The problem is, buyers overall don’t trust brands. In the CSO Insights report from Marketing Charts, brands were near the bottom for trust:

Chart Showing Customers Trust Influencers More than Brands

And who is at the top of the list? Subject matter experts from the industry or third parties. These are the people your audience wants to hear from...which means they’re the voices you want to highlight in your content.

[bctt tweet="“Trust is one of the most paramount matters in marketing today.” @LeeOdden" username="toprank"]

Dell Outlet Builds Trust & Brand Awareness with B2B Influence

For his first example of the power of influence in B2B, Lee shared a success story from Dell Outlet*, a 2020 Killer Content Award Finalist.

Dell Outlet needed to build awareness as an entity distinct from their parent brand. With a focus on refurbished hardware and a commitment to a more sustainable, circular economy, Dell Outlet has a unique personality, purpose and value proposition. But they needed to both establish themselves as their own brand, and educate a small business audience on the value of refurbished equipment.

With targeted research and outreach, Dell Outlet was able to connect and co-create content with small business influencers that had relevance and resonance with the brand’s target audience. The full campaign, featuring videos, a landing page, and social promotion, achieved amazing results that were only possible with influencer marketing:

Results from Dell Influencer Marketing Campaign

Of particular interest is that the campaign was 175% over goal for traffic to product pages. Even though this was primarily an awareness campaign, the influencer contributions actually drove conversions. That’s a powerful testament to how successfully the campaign built trust with its target audience.

Cherwell Employs Influence Across the Customer Lifecycle

For his next example, Lee shared a success story from software company Cherwell*. Their story highlights the importance of a diverse influencer mix to appeal to buyers across the lifecycle, from awareness to engagement to decision.

Cherwell needed to create awareness around their brand, build trust with IT executives, and ultimately drive leads and sales. This full-funnel approach required different types of influencers for each stage:

Chart Mapping Influencers to Funnel Stage

At the top of the funnel, brandividuals with large networks and enthusiastic audiences help drive awareness. Further down, subject matter experts add even more substance to the conversation, contributing to meatier content. Finally, at the bottom of the funnel, brand advocates help with the final push to conversion.

This type of strategic co-creation, with influencers at every stage of the funnel, generated unbelievable results for Cherwell. The campaign achieved over 400% more social reach than any previous campaign, and influenced 22% of their sales pipeline for the year.

ALE Creates a New Industry Award

Lee’s final example shows just how powerful influencer marketing can be not only for awareness, engagement, and conversion, but also for creating goodwill among influencers, prospects, and customers.

Alcatel Lucent Enterprise (ALE)* wanted to raise awareness and add credibility with prospects to accelerate sales discussions. Their solution: With the help of influencers, create a new award to honor and uplift the IT professionals in their target audience.

The 2020 IT Vanguard Awards started by selecting judges, influencers in the IT space, as well as a subject matter expert from ALE. These judges shared their thoughts on what qualities defined the best IT leaders. Then ALE asked their target audience to nominate their co-workers and peers for the award.

Alcatel Lucent Enterprise Campaign Results

The resulting campaign saw unprecedented levels of engagement and influencer promotion for ALE, along with earned media reporting in industry publications. The resultant flood of goodwill from IT professionals firmly established ALE’s credibility and added deals worth millions of dollars to their pipeline. And for a finishing touch, the campaign won ALE an award of its own: A Killer Content Award (“Finny”) for 2020.

Optimizing ABM with Influencer Marketing

Looking to get some of those results for yourself? Lee offered a 5-step plan to integrating influencer marketing into your ABM strategy:

#1: Find Your Ideal Customer Topics. Use tools like SEMrush, Brandwatch and BuzzSumo to identify your customers’ burning questions — and how they search for answers. Seek out the topics that align with your brand’s expertise and your customers’ need to know.

#2: Find Your Ideal Customer Influencers. With the help of tools like Traackr, identify the people who are influential about your topics. You’re looking for those who care about these topics, whose audience cares about them too, and who are regularly publishing content.

#3: Identify, Qualify and Recruit. The three key considerations for an influencer are:

  • Popularity: How large of a following does the influencer have?
  • Resonance: How well does the influencer actually move their audience to take action?
  • Relevance: How closely aligned is the influencer’s output with your values, audience, and topics?

For top of funnel influencers, popularity is the #1 consideration. For middle of funnel, it’s relevance, then popularity. For the bottom of the funnel, resonance and relevance rule. And also look for the five key traits of the best B2B influencers: Proficiency, Popularity, Personality, Publishing and Promotion. 

#4: Create Content & Activate Influencers. Plan your content types, platforms and media —based on your audience research. Once you co-create content with your influencers, activate them to share the fruits of your collaboration.

#5: Practice Ongoing Engagement. Don’t make your influencer involvement a one-and-done. Keep following and engaging with your influencers, helping promote them and developing a community. Better yet, introduce influencers to each other! They’ll have your brand to thank for meaningful connections they make with their peers.

Lee Odden B2BMX 2020

Understanding Influence, Influencing Understanding

In closing, Lee urged account-based marketers to include influencer marketing in their ABM strategy. In addition to your brandividuals, advocates, and experts, he also recommended adding prospects into your influencer mix. Promote your most valued potential customers right alongside leaders in the industry, help them become influential, and you can begin a mutually profitable relationship.

Is influencer marketing part of your B2B marketing mix? Whether you’re running multiple campaigns, or just thinking about testing the waters, we want to hear from you. Take our quick B2B Influencer Marketing Survey to share your experience, and have a chance to win a $500 Amazon gift card!

* LinkedIn, Dell Outlet, Cherwell, and Alcatel Lucent Enterprise are TopRank Marketing clients.

The post Optimizing ABM with Influencer Marketing at #B2BMX appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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