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If You Only Had $1k to Invest in Content Marketing, How Would You Spend it?

Budget is always top of mind for content marketers, but especially this time of year. In order to get even close to the budget that you want or need, you have to justify the spend.

Unfortunately, we’ve been ineffective at content for a while. But the question is, can we change the narrative?

In his presentation last week at the MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum, GE Digital’s Chris Moody gave the audience insights into why we’re ineffective, and what we can do to improve, without having to spend a significant amount of money.

Where Are We Failing?

While approach and hurdles will vary from brand to brand, there are three key reasons that content marketing isn’t working today. Below are three stats that paint a very clear picture of where we’re going wrong:

  • Only 37% of marketers have a documented content strategy. (Content Marketing Institute & MarketingProfs)
  • Unfortunately, 82% of enterprise marketers have no centralized view of the customer. (Forrester)
  • 65% of CMO’s can’t measure ROI for digital marketing. (Forrester)

Why Are We Failing?

The problem with many content marketing teams today is that they are not obsessed with business performance. We’re focusing on KPIs instead of outcomes and often have a hard time tracking and mapping content success.

5 Quick Tips for Advancing Your Content Marketing

Change can be tricky and it’s important to make small incremental changes that set your team up to be successful. Below are a few quick tips that Chris offered in session. Instead of feeling like you need to make all of these changes right away, pick a couple and get started.

#1 – Define your mission. Your mission should be a guiding force for your approach to content and all other facets of your marketing strategy.

#2 – Institute the one word challenge. When you think of companies like Apple and Volvo, you immediately know what they stand for in one single word. Challenge your team to attempt the same with your brand.

#3 – Stop chasing the next big thing. One of marketer’s biggest challenges today is the fact that we are constantly distracted. Instead of focusing on content quantity, direct your attention to content impact.

#4 – Determine your top goal. While there may be a plethora of business objectives you’re trying to achieve through marketing, pick one goal and divert your attention to helping your team achieve whatever that is.

#5 – Use insights to drive approach. Too often, content teams put a significant amount of effort into planning for, creating and launching their content. Then it’s never touched again. Immediately after launching your content, begin monitoring the performance and start talking about what worked, what didn’t and what you’ll change going forward.

How Does GE’s Chris Moody Think You Should Spend Your $1,000?

Finally, for the moment you’ve all been waiting for; how should you spend your $1,000 budget?

While there are literally a thousand ways you could spend your budget, Chris recommended the following:

$300 on Video

It’s no surprise that video content is in high-demand from customers. However, venturing into a new medium can sometimes seem like a very overwhelming undertaking.

While you can invest a lot in equipment, there are some great low-cost options today (including your smartphone). A good place to start is by spending your budget on editing video. You’d be amazed at what some good editing can do to turn a basic video into a masterpiece.

$100 Each on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter

You’ll never know what works until you test it. By investing a small amount in social advertising and boosting posts on top social networks, you’ll be able to identify what does (and does not) resonate with your audience on each platform. When setting up your social advertising, be sure to:

  • Start measuring traffic
  • Narrow your target audience to under 10k (small as possible)
  • Copy your customers
  • Target news feeds
  • Set a low daily budget
  • Use a call to action and social proof
  • Measure and gather insights

$400 Repeating What Works

After you initial investment of $600, you should have a rough idea of what tactics are working. Based on that data, invest your remaining budget into the tactics that performed best.

View Your Constraints as Opportunities

There will always be brands with larger budgets and more resources. Instead of lamenting about what you don’t have, focus on what you do. A great idea doesn’t cost a dime and there is no replacement for testing. If you’re ready to call in the experts, see if our content marketing services might be a fit for your brand.

What do you see as your biggest opportunity for getting more from your content marketing budget?


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2017. |
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The post If You Only Had $1k to Invest in Content Marketing, How Would You Spend it? 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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5 Key Traits of the Best B2B Influencers

Traits B2B Influencers

Traits B2B Influencers

Marketers are still asking, what is B2B influencer marketing? Here’s a definition I’ve been using over the past 5 years or so:

B2B influencer marketing is activating internal and external subject matter experts with engaged networks to advocate and co-create content of mutual value that drives measurable business goals.

As the groundswell around influencer marketing rises and becomes a normal part of the B2B marketing mix, the volume of information and misinformation on the topic also increases.

One of the most popular questions people also ask about B2B influencer marketing focuses on what makes a good business influencer? By now we all know that popularity alone does not make someone influential. It’s certainly important, it's just not the only thing.

As B2B marketers mature in their understanding of the role influence plays and how the dynamic of brand content co-created with industry experts plays out with customers, they begin to realize that other factors matter. Topical relevance matters of course as well as resonance of the topic amongst an influencer’s community.

B2B Marketing Influencers

The intersection of individual expertise, how well that expertise resonates with followers and the size of network creates a baseline of characteristics when evaluating whether a certain influencer might be a match.

But there’s more than that. Understanding what makes a great influencer is both art and science, soft and hard skills. The success of identifying, qualifying and engaging influencers is also directly tied to how they will be engaged and to what end.

Some people reading this might think that influencer marketing isn’t the magic pill some are playing it up to be. There’s a reason for that, because it’s not magic. It’s more like alchemy.

The reality is, there’s no one formula for the perfect B2B influencer, but there are some common characteristics that B2B brands should look for in varying proportions according to what’s important to a program or activation. I call those characteristics:

The 5 Ps of B2B Influence

Proficiency - In B2B marketing, the vast majority of those considered influential possess deep expertise in the field they work in. This is a significant difference from many B2C influencers who are often self proclaimed as influential with clever media creation skills.

As B2C influencer content and engagement tactics evolve, some are crossing over into B2B with a trickle of opportunists successfully creating influence amongst B2B audiences not solely for their expertise, but for a combination of adept social media content creation skills and some expertise. B2B marketers who do their due diligence will be able to filter accordingly.

Popularity - While network size is not the only thing, nor is it the most important thing, it is definitely a metric to consider. Some marketers swing in the direction of ignoring audience size altogether because of lower engagement rates with popular influencers. This is simply foolish. All things being the same, I’ll take 2% engagement of an influencer with a million followers over 2% from someone that has 1,000 followers.

What matters is how network size factors in with the type of influencer you need. For example, popular influencers aka “brandividuals” are often best for top of funnel content. Niche domain expert influencers are better for middle and end of funnel content. Engaging a brandividual and expecting conversions is just naive.

Personality - If you’ve worked in B2C influencer marketing and been exposed to all the characters there, B2B is going to seem a bit dry. Now there are some colorful characters in the B2B influencer community, no doubt. But personality is often a trait that needs to be uncovered when you’re working with some types of business influencers.

The good news is that savvy influencer marketing practitioners know how to plant the seeds that can grow and blossom within an otherwise introverted influencer. You don’t need them to be a colorful character, ripe with personality per se, but you do want them to connect with the passion they have with their craft and how their expertise can help others be successful.

Publishing - Content is the media that conveys the ideas of influence and while B2B influencers are not expected to produce the same types and quantity of content as in B2C, it is ideal when there’s a platform where the influencer publishes. At a minimum, that would be social networks but to be a B2B influencer, it’s most likely that also includes articles contributed to publications if not research, books and presentations.

Promotion - The value a B2B influencer brings beyond adding expertise and credibility to brand content is the ability to share what they helped create with their network. Trust of brand content is at a low, especially with advertising. Customers yearn for authentic content and the right kind of influencer collaboration can give them that, delivered via the influencer’s own distribution channels. That means social networks for course but also potentially blogs, email newsletters, podcast, LinkedIn Live, contributed articles or columns in industry publications.

I know some people reading this are thinking there could be even more P’s like being Prolific, Persuasive or Passion. Yes, there could be so many more but we have to draw the line somewhere! It's important to be able to manage the data and insights necessary to factor these characteristics into selection, qualification and engagement.

Some of these traits will not fully reveal themselves until you work with an influencer on a few content activations. Others will fluctuate over time and that is normal. It's important to understand that influence is a temporal thing. It is not fixed or permanent. It’s important marketers realize that before they disengage an influencer in the short term due to lower performance. The same goes for high expectations after great performance.

Organic influencer engagement is a little dynamic and what you don’t spend on paid influencers like an ad buy you will (in part) need to invest in relationship management, education and even tips that will help the influencers be more effective.

B2B brands with high influencer churn or low performance often apply “ad buy” perspectives to a what is actually a relationship driven effort. Mismatched expectations are not helpful for anyone, so think about the 5Ps as you evaluate and nurture your influencer community. Consider where of each your ideal influencers need to score on the 5 Ps in order to be a good match for the kind of activation you have in mind.

When there’s 5P alignment, there's happiness: for customers, influencers and your B2B brand.

The post 5 Key Traits of the Best B2B Influencers appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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