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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.

Social Media Marketing Strategy for a Multi-Location Business

Does your business have multiple locations? Need a better social media strategy? In this article, you’ll find a four-part plan to structure a social media marketing strategy you can execute seamlessly across all markets. #1: Create an Overarching Brand Message As you look to extend your business operations into different markets (countries, states, cities, or […]

The post Social Media Marketing Strategy for a Multi-Location Business appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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Break Free B2B Marketing: Latane Conant of 6sense on Reinventing the CMO Role

Latane Conant

Latane Conant What’s in a job title? In my tenure as a marketer, I’ve met gurus who don’t live on mountaintops, ninjas who don’t know martial arts, and evangelists who don’t preach on Sunday.  At worst, these creative job titles are pure puffery. But at best, they serve as a statement of purpose. I’m thinking of titles like Shep Hyken’s Chief Amazement Officer, or Ann Handley as Chief Content Officer: They tell us something about what the person — and their organization — values. Latne Conant from 6sense has a subtly unusual job title: Chief Market Officer. She dropped the ‘ing’ from ‘Marketing,’ and that tiny change signals a major shift in the way she approaches her job. Instead of focusing on the verb of marketing — what tactics to deploy to reach an audience —  her job is to deeply understand the market, the people her brand is trying to reach. For Latane, getting rid of that ‘ing’ makes all the difference in turning marketers into revenue-generating dynamos. In her Break Free B2B interview with our president and co-founder Susan Misukanis, Latane elaborated on how 6sense’s approach is unique, what technologies they use, and how they’ve achieved some truly impressive results. [bctt tweet="“If I am engaging accounts more effectively than my competition, I will generate more pipeline, I'll win more often, I'll have bigger deals, and I will set my relationship off with those customers better.” #B2BMarketing @LataneConant @6senseInc" username="toprank"]

Break Free B2B Interview with Latane Conant

Timeline and Highlights :58 - How can CMOs better understand customer insight in the age of the “dark funnel?” 2:52 - Changing focus from the tactics of marketing to knowing your audience 4:00 - The Chief Market Officer - losing the “ing” 6:45 - Not accepting limitations in pursuing a career 7:29 - Getting what you want is easy; knowing what you want is hard 8:30 - The Fun Factor in managing a team 9:00 - V2MOM and organization 10:15 - If you’re not effing up, you’re not pushing the envelope hard enough 12:21 - Inverting the org chart — leading from the bottom 13:45 - Leads are not the primary measure of success 16:10 - Marketing is a revenue team 17:25 - Engagement is the new oil 18:45 - The new standard for marketing executives Susan: You were recently quoted saying that today's CMOs need to be the masters of understanding customer insights and putting them to use. So are CMOs progressing in this area of insights, or is it just still a massive black hole, and that's why you're preaching?  Latane: Well, first of all, I hope I would never seem preachy, because we are all in this together, we're all in the black hole together. I think the challenge that we have is only 13% of sales and marketing teams have any confidence in their data, because it's primarily opportunity data in CRM, or it's map data, which is basically lead-based.  And if you think about the buying journey, most of it happens anonymously, or what we at 6sense call your “dark funnel.” So that's where all the rich research is really happening.  No one's coming to your website and downloading your content anymore. It's also a buying team. It's not a lead or contact, and buyer journeys aren't linear. So you think about this new modern buying journey, which is anonymous. It's a buying team, not a leader contact, and it's not linear. And you look at the tools that we have at our disposal as CMOs, and it's sort of like we are a Model T trying to get to the moon.  And so thinking about the black hole, it's really looking for platforms that are AI and big data based. Because at the end of the day, even if you're amazing, your data is gonna suck, and it's okay. So I think admit that all our data sucks. Yeah, we've got to marry our data up with a much bigger platform and be able to understand that anonymous activity so we have a true picture of this nonlinear buying journey. Once you have that, you can start to re-imagine a better what I call prospect experience. Susan: How do you manage your teams and get them motivated? How do you hold the bar where you hold it? Latane: I would say the first thing is I'm clear that my expectations are high. And I'm very clear in the interview process, that my expectations are going to be very, very high. And you have to want that! Some people don't want that. So the first thing is, do you want to do good work or do you want to do great work? And it is okay if this is not the gig for you. So I think that's the first level of it. The second level of it is, I really believe in having fun. So my old CEO, Chris Barban, taught me this: He said, eight out of 10 working days, you must be having fun. And that’s we call the fun factor. And so everyone on my team, what's your fun factor? And if it's not an eight, what's going on, but it's also up to me to bring the fun, right? To say, hey, let's go grab a soulcycle class or let's go for a run or let's — you know what, we're all strung out — let's do something fun together. So, I think having fun and enjoying each other is allowed. We laugh a lot. We joke around a lot.  And then the third really key thing for me is a strategic planning process that I use called V2MOM. And it originated with Salesforce. But it's now really popular — a lot of tech companies use it and I've used it at two companies now, and two of the boards that I work on have adopted it, and it's all about prioritization.  I don't know if I can cuss on this show, but I consulted The CMOs that I work with, from an advisory perspective, I say you have to know what you give an F about. And know what you don't give an F about, because you can't give an F about everything. So what V2MOM forces is everything is time-bound, and everything is prioritized.  So I have high expectations for these things. I don't care. Don't wait. Like, if you're spending one second over there — that's not going to be an excuse for missing on this. And we all agree to those priorities every single quarter. So it's very clear what we're doing and we're gonna do it right. Latane: I actually just changed my title to Chief Market Officer. And it's an important distinction that a lady who was actually on our board — who's amazing, her name is Christine Heckard, And she's been a CMO. And now she's the CEO. And she's talked a lot about the role of the CMO. And we have gotten ourselves really mired down in ‘ing.’ “I did a blog, I did webinars, look at all these MQLs I pass to sales, here's my funnel, here's my tech stack.” That is all ing ing ing.  Her challenge to CMOs is to redefine that. We are the seat at the table that needs to understand the market. That is customers today and customers tomorrow. That's why this audience-first approach and understanding the market, then you can apply the ing. But it's not a cheap financing offer sir or cheap selling officer. We sort of diminished our role by not taking that seat at the table.  Stay tuned to the TopRank Marketing Blog and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more Break Free B2B interviews. Here are a few more highlights from this season:  

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How to Retarget Facebook Ad Traffic for Conversions

Are you working with a new Facebook pixel? Wondering whether to use a traffic objective campaign or a conversion objective campaign? In this article, you’ll discover how to combine Facebook ads traffic and conversion campaigns to meet your goals. Understanding Facebook Ads Traffic and Conversions Objectives The objective you choose when you create your Facebook […]

The post How to Retarget Facebook Ad Traffic for Conversions appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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How to Build Empathy Into Your Landing Pages During COVID-19

There’s never been a better time to stretch your empathy muscle. In today's post, Directive's Liam Barnes talks about how you can build it into your landing page copy and design.

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What’s next? 10 actions every social marketer needs to take today

Pivot, iterate, adapt. Marketers all around the world have had to embrace these actions as they learn about what’s next for their brands and Read more...

This post What’s next? 10 actions every social marketer needs to take today originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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A look ahead: Examining the shifts in the COVID-19 conversation

For brands and consumers alike, a return to normal is unlikely to occur any time soon. As of May 5, there are over 3.5 Read more...

This post A look ahead: Examining the shifts in the COVID-19 conversation originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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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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