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Hitting Your Target: Why Account-Based Marketing and Influencers Are the Perfect Match

I’ve never been very good at saving money — unless I’m saving for something specific. Give me a defined target, and the intrinsic motivation that comes along with it, and I’ll get there. There is much to be said about the value of focus in achieving a goal. The same philosophy is at play with account-based marketing (ABM). Everyone knows it’s important to bolster a business pipeline — just as it’s smart to save money — but lacking clear direction can be a hindrance. This is especially true at a time where B2B prospects crave personalization and tailored experiences more than ever. As the saying goes, if you’re talking to everyone, you’re talking to no one. ABM provides a focused framework for pursuing your ideal prospective customers. Here comes the twist: Influencer marketing can be the perfect pairing with the approach, providing additional voices who can speak authentically and credibly to the exact people you want to reach. [bctt tweet=”As the saying goes, if you’re talking to everyone, you’re talking to no one. And that’s one reason why #ABM and #InfluencerMarketing can be a perfect pairing. @NickNelsonMN” username=”toprank”]

How Account-Based Marketing Works

There’s nothing too complicated about it. Basically, rather creating buyer personas and orienting your B2B marketing strategy toward companies that are similar, you instead identify specific companies you’d love to have as customers, then align your strategy more directly.  Once you’re able to win an account’s business, you can shift focus to growing the partnership through upselling, cross-selling, and referrals — a technique often referred to as “land and expand.” This graphic, via SuperOffice, provides a visual explanation of how the ABM process differs from a traditional sales funnel: The prevalence of ABM is growing rapidly as B2B organizations come to embrace the logic behind it. Research found that 61% of companies reported having an established ABM practice in 2018, up from 36% in 2017. 

Combining ABM with Influencer Marketing

In general, B2B marketing is undergoing a fundamental shift — from quantity to quality. Savvy organizations recognize that meaningful engagement is far more valuable than overall reach, so they’re refining their strategies to connect with the right prospects, rather than emphasizing vanity metric volume.  At TopRank Marketing, we follow a similar mantra with influencers. It’s not about who has the most followers, or the gaudiest personal brand. It’s about who resonates most with your specific customers and prospects. ABM helps bring clarity to the matter because you can more confidently pinpoint individuals who are influential with the precise businesses you wish to win over. [bctt tweet=”It’s not about who has the most followers, or the gaudiest personal brand. It’s about who resonates most with your specific customers and prospects. @NickNelsonMN #InfluencerMarketing” username=”toprank”] Once you’ve defined a list of target accounts, you can begin to map out their buying committees and gather insight around the individuals who are likely to impact purchase decisions. When marrying your influencer strategy to your ABM program, you’ll want to consider questions like these:

  • Who is influential to people within your targeted accounts? Based on their professional networks and social media activities, which influencers do they pay attention to and trust? 
  • What topics do your target accounts talk about most? Try to get as specific as you can, then seek out micro-influencers and niche experts with authority in that particular area.
  • Who will the people in your target accounts be able to relate to? Authenticity is essential for influencer engagements. You’ll want to identify candidates at similar-sized companies, and with similar roles/functions.

When it comes to making a bottom-line impact, you’ll especially want to concentrate on finding partners with purchasing influence (i.e., they can speak from experience or expertise about your solution and its benefits) for co-creation of content. In essence, this knocks out two birds with one stone, assisting with the development of powerful assets that can activate the influence of your collaborators. 

Bring Focus to Your Marketing Strategy

B2B influencer marketing isn’t about enlisting the trendiest Instagram celeb with the most followers. (Well, it is for some companies, but those ones tend to struggle with it.) Instead, it’s about finding the perfect alignment with your audience. Nothing brings more clarity and precision to understanding your audience than ABM, which swaps out theoretical personas for actual organizations and people. This intersection of ABM and influencer marketing represents one of the most promising frontiers for B2B marketing, especially when it comes to the pursuit of enterprise customers. Not only do influencer partnerships help you break through and gain visibility with busy decision makers at these coveted accounts, but also drive engagement and persuasively move the needle. [bctt tweet=”The intersection of #ABM and #InfluencerMarketing represents one of the most promising frontiers for B2B marketing, especially when it comes to the pursuit of enterprise customers. @NickNelsonMN” username=”toprank”] Influencer marketing plays well with numbers B2B marketing tactics. Learn how influence also intersects with SEO.

The post Hitting Your Target: Why Account-Based Marketing and Influencers Are the Perfect Match appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

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About 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.

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10 Crucial Steps for Launching Your B2B Podcast Into the Wild

Hey, friend, have you heard the good news about podcasts? 

Given the most recent stats, it’s highly likely you have. Over half of all Americans over 12 years of age have listened to at least one. Podcasts have well and truly hit the mainstream. In other words, the gold rush is on for brands looking to connect with a highly-engaged, long-attention-span audience.

However, getting a podcast up and running isn’t as simple as publishing a blog. We recently published an entire B2B podcasting webinar to walk you through the entire process, from conception to publication. This post will zero in on the choices you need to make and the steps you need to take to release your podcast into the wild.

B2B Podcasting Launch Checklist: 10 Steps

Sure, you could just upload your audio to your web server, add an RSS feed, and call it good. But if you want people to actually find and listen to your podcast, there are a few extra steps you should take. This checklist will help your podcast find an audience and start building a subscriber base.


#1: Choose Your Hosting Platform

A podcast syndication platform makes it easy to publish your podcast and get listed in directories. Think of it like WordPress is for your blog — it hosts the files, makes them look pretty, and makes it so people can find them.

Most platforms will also give you embed codes for embedding episodes in blog posts or on a landing page. You’ll also get stats on how many people are downloading episodes, and on what program they’re listening.

We prefer Libsyn as our hosting platform. Podbean, buzzsprout, and Blubrry are also solid options. They all have a free tier of hosting, but you’ll want to pay a few bucks a month for bandwidth and analytics.

#2: Upload Your First Three Episodes

Podcasting is all about establishing a regular cadence (more on that later). But for launch, you’ll want to have at least three episodes ready to go. There are a few reasons for publishing multiple episodes for your debut:

  1. One episode may not be enough to convince people to subscribe. 
  2. Multiple episodes show you’re committed to keeping the content coming.
  3. Most importantly, Apple podcasts requires at least three episodes to qualify for their “New and Noteworthy” section. 

So before you publish, have at least three episodes completed, and be ready to follow up with more at your promised publishing cadence.

#3:  Register with Podcast Directories

Podcasts are peculiar in terms of content delivery. Your hosting platform makes the files available, but most people will listen to your podcast on their chosen podcast app. Each app maintains its own directory — think of it as a search engine for podcasts. 

Your podcast needs to be listed in their directory, or people won’t be able to find you. I recommend registering with at least these six:

  1. Apple Podcasts
  2. Google Podcasts
  3. Stitcher
  4. Podbean
  5. Spotify
  6. TuneIn

Each of these sites will ask for the RSS feed of your podcast, which your hosting platform will generate for you.

I created a podcast tracker to keep track of all these directories — sign up for the webinar and you can download it for free.

B2B Podcast Tracker

#4: Promote Internally

Gaining visibility on a podcast directory is tricky business. Apple and Google are where the majority of your listeners will be, and each employs an algorithm to promote podcasts in search results and feature pages.

How do you get an algorithm’s attention? Engagement! Start by promoting your podcast to all of your employees. Encourage them to subscribe on Apple or Google, give a rating, and write a brief (and honest) review. What’s more, draft some social messages and encourage everyone to promote the podcast to their networks, too.

That base level of initial engagement will help your podcast start finding its audience.

#5: Activate Your Influencers

Most podcasts are Q&A-style interviews with influential guests. If your podcast includes influencers in your industry, make sure they know as soon as their episode goes live. Give them the tools to promote the podcast easily:

  • Sample social messages
  • Social media images in the correct sizes
  • Embed codes

If your podcast doesn’t feature influencers, it’s worth re-evaluating your strategy for your next season. Influencer content not only is more valuable to your audience, it’s an indispensable channel for promotion.

#6: Publish Blog Posts

The one downside of audio content: It’s not super crawlable for SEO purposes. Granted, Google has started to auto-transcribe episodes and add them to search results, but the technology is still in the early stages.

To truly get some SEO juice from your podcast, we recommend embedding each podcast in a blog post. This example from the Tech Unknown Podcast by SAP* shows how simple it can be. All you need is an introduction, a few pull quotes, some key takeaways, and a transcript.

#7: Add Paid Promotion

As with any content, you want to use every tactic available to make sure it gets seen by your target audience. That’s especially true with podcasts, since podcast search engines are incredibly competitive.

Targeted, paid social promotion can help establish your subscriber base and get your new podcast some much-needed visibility.

It’s also worth considering cross-promotion on other podcasts. Consider both paid advertising and trading guest spots with a podcast that shares your target audience. 

#8: Solicit Listener Feedback

Ratings and reviews are essential to your podcast’s success. They’ll help provide social proof for new listeners and boost your search visibility in podcast directories. 

The best way to get ratings and reviews? Ask for them. Make it part of each episode’s sign-off. You can even encourage thoughtful reviews by reading the best ones on future episodes. You will engage your listeners and solicit more reviews at the same time.

#9: Keep Up Your Cadence

As with blog content, there’s no single “right” frequency to publish a podcast. Some of my favorite podcasts publish weekly, biweekly, or even monthly. The best cadence for your podcast is “However frequently you can reliably, regularly publish quality content.”

Choose your cadence with an eye to long-term sustainability, and tell your listeners explicitly how frequently you’ll publish. Whether it’s “See you next week,” or “PodcastTitle is a monthly podcast that…” listeners will find it easier to make your podcast a habit if you stick to a schedule.

#10: Repurpose, Repurpose, Repurpose

In my last post on the content marketing benefits of B2B podcasting, I mentioned that podcasts are a content machine, and I’ll say it again. It’s easy to finish an episode, publish it, then forget it and move on to the next thing. But don’t do that! 

Pull snippets of audio content for social media. Turn them into short videos, too: Add a still image or a simple looping GIF for visual interest.

Use your transcriptions as fodder for future blog posts, quotes for influencer marketing, or even a stand-alone asset. 

Any way you can reuse that content can help bring more listeners to your podcast. What’s more, putting the content in a different medium can reach an audience who might not be into podcasts (yet). 

Check, Check, One Two

Launching a podcast is a little trickier than launching a new blog, especially if you’re new to the format. But if you follow this checklist, you can make sure your podcast is available on all the right channels and is ready to start attracting an audience.

Need more podcasting help? Check out our B2B Podcasting Webinar. In addition to learning the Four P’s of podcasting success, you’ll see me make this face:

B2B Podcasting Face

*Disclosure: SAP is a TopRank Marketing client.

The post 10 Crucial Steps for Launching Your B2B Podcast Into the Wild appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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