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Content Curation Inspiration: Types, Examples, & Use Cases for B2B Marketers

Content Curation Inspiration for B2B Marketers

If you create and share content, curation is part of your B2B marketing strategy. From seasoning a blog post with key third-party statistics to sharing an interesting article from an industry publication or influencer across your social channels, you’re curating.

But content curation has a place beyond adding an insight or two to your content.

With large volumes of information available today and short attention spans, curation allows content marketers to create more convenient, valuable content experiences for their target audience, while growing thought leadership, bolstering their content calendar, and increasing production efficiency.

What types of curation exist? How are B2B brands doing curation? When does it make sense to do curation? Let’s dive in.

Types of Content Curation and B2B Examples

The Curation Kitchen Staples: Microcontent

Statistics. Quotes. Tips. Social media commentary. Third-party videos. Gifs. Memes. Curated microcontent is what gives your content its flavor—whether its used as seasoning in a long-form blog post or modularly in short-form social content. This is foundational curation, and it plays a role in all other types. And as TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden once said:

“Snackable content can often be managed and repurposed like ingredients to create a main course. On their own, short-form content like quotes, tips, and statistics are useful for social network shares and as added credibility to blog posts, eBooks, and articles.”

See what I did there? Microcontent is simplistic and easy to integrate, helping you provide more depth and insight on a topic, infuse credibility, and highlight industry experts.

When microcontent curation makes sense: Always—if the content is relevant to the topic you’re discussing. Microcontent helps you provide proof points to bolster your narrative and build credibility with your audience.

The Curation Classics: Roundups, Listicles, and Resource Hubs

Collecting key bits of information and insights and organizing them into an easy to digest format is the quintessential content curation tactic. The premise is simple: You’re gathering interesting tidbits from multiple sources on a specific topic and placing them in one central location.

The underlying theme for this curation tactic (and any content tactic for that matter) is relevance and value. It needs to be topically relevant to your audience and it can’t be a lazy compilation; it needs to serve a purpose.

News roundups are perhaps the most popular of the curation classics. We’ve all seen them and likely have a few we go back to on a regular basis, so I won’t spend too much time here. (Shameless plug to check out our weekly digital marketing news roundup.)

But here’s an example of a roundup style piece from EHS and sustainability consulting firm *Antea Group that brings video content together to have a little fun and spark a connection with the audience.

The post showcases six workplace safety videos—all sourced and easily embedded from YouTube—with movie-critic-like commentary that make connections to the daily life and work of their target audience.

Content Curation Example from Antea Group

When it comes to resource hubs, HubSpot is an “ultimate list” destination on a variety of subjects, most notably digital marketing statistics. Here’s a recent example featuring Instagram statistics.

Content Curation Example from HubSpot

For listicles, one of our recent BIGLIST editions featuring 50 of the top marketing blogs featuring martech brands is a solid example. Time was spent on researching and vetting, and the list provides a short and sweet description of each blog, as well as our favorite recent article to give readers a cue on what’s worth checking out first.

Content Curation Example from TopRank Marketing's Lee Odden

Finally, events can be great opportunities for curation. *Introhive, an enterprise relationship management (ERM) platform, regularly curates social and team member insights to compile post-event infographics with top takeaways.

Content Curation Example from Introhive

When classic curation makes sense: Classic curation is largely an awareness and engagement play. If you’re looking to provide your audience with a helpful resource that hits quick on the points, and showcase your brand as a thoughtful expert in the space, this type of curation can make it easy for your audience to find insight and inspiration—and minimize the amount of time they need to spend on the hunt.

The Next Level of Curation: Thought Leadership Mashups

Curation isn’t limited to assembling a robust, scannable list of information or resources, or seasoning original content with stats, quotes, or videos. Curation can fuel thought leadership.

Great examples of this kind of curation are trends-focused pieces. Taking a cue from the classic curation formats, this kind of content aims to identify one or more trend or pattern using curated bits of information, all tied together with your knowledge and expertise.

This could be small-scale or large-scale—meaning a single concept could provide the supporting content or tie-in, or it could be your take on a collection of related trends, facts, or insights. This piece from *SAP’s Digitalist Magazine is a great example.

Content Curation Example from Introhive

But this kind of curation doesn’t just lend itself to discussing trends. Many of our own blog posts use a mashup curation method to educate and engage marketers, and define our perspectives and approach to marketing.

This can be seen in a recent post from Nick Nelson on how to write clear, concise content. Using our words intentionally is a core belief, and Nick was able to illustrate that with his deep knowledge and some relevant insights from third parties.

Content Curation Example from TopRank Marketing's Nick Nelson

Also, when we say “curation,” we don’t just mean collecting insights from third-party sources. You can curate your own content—it’s just most often called repurposing.

Salesforce has a great example here. This recent post touches on a key trend in the marketplace (lack of consumer trust), leverages microcontent from Salesforce’s own research (the Trends in Consumer Trust research report), and then original content builds a narrative for a specific audience (retailers).

Content Curation Example from Salesforce

In addition, curating and repurposing influencer content is an especially big opportunity. More than likely, the insights that influencers share with you have implications and applications across other related topics.

When curation mashups make sense: If you want to build thought leadership on a subject, mashups should be in your content lineup. Mashups allow you to elevate an idea, perspective, challenge, or opportunity, while using existing content as a jumping off-point or as part of the foundation of your take.

Read: A Tasty, Strategic Addition to the Content Marketing Table: ‘Repurposed Content Cobbler’

Content Curation for the Win

Regardless of your editorial plan, you’re already doing some form of content curation. However, you can make curation a more deliberate and effective part of your overall B2B content marketing strategy.

Whether you create an ultimate list featuring statistics from multiple sources, provide high-level takeaways from an event or report, give your own content new life to build thought leadership, content curation can provide value and convenience for your audience and writing team.

Looking for content curation best practices, tools, and more examples? Check out our post on Content Curation 101.

*Disclosure: Antea Group, SAP, and Introhive are TopRank Marketing clients.

The post Content Curation Inspiration: Types, Examples, & Use Cases for B2B Marketers appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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Do Your Homework: Selecting the Right Influencers for Your B2B Brand With Tips from the Experts

Selecting B2B Influencers

Selecting B2B Influencers

The influencer identification, validation, and recruitment process is time consuming, resource intensive, and high stakes. Without the right mix of influencers to drive awareness, intrigue, conversation, and action, your marketing initiatives will miss the mark with your audience and fall short of expectations.

But how? How do you artfully and strategically find, vet, and entice industry experts to partner with you?

You need to do your homework—and fortunately, insights from several seasoned B2B influencer marketing experts can provide some great guidance.

Read on to get perspectives and advice from leaders serving a range of B2B brands, as well as some of our own resident experts.

#1 - Set the bar for quality—not quantity of audience reach.

Analyzing an influencer’s social reach and following is certainly par for the influencer identification and qualification course. Amplification and reaching new audiences are primary objectives for most marketers’ influencer marketing efforts.

But seasoned B2B influencer marketing leaders have some words of caution: Don’t let large follower counts be a distraction or the only means of qualification.


It's critical to dig deeper to truly gain an understanding of who an influencer is, what they can offer your audience and brand, what they're talking about, the kind of content they’re sharing, and the list goes on.

“Go beyond what the numbers are and see what that data really means,” Amisha Gandhi, Vice President of Influencer Marketing and Communications for SAP Ariba, shared with us. “Look at who influencers are engaging with, how many comments they receive and how long they’ve been engaging.”

[bctt tweet="When identifying and qualifying influeners, go beyond what the numbers are and see what that data really means. - @AmishaGandhi" username="toprank"]

And as Martin Jones, Senior Marketing Manager at Cox Communications shared: “Selection of the right influencers for your campaign will be one of the single most significant factors in its success or failure. It’s easy to get excited about a big name or an influencer with a large following, but neither of those will necessarily translate to your ultimate goal of delivering results to your organization.”

[bctt tweet="It’s easy to get excited about a big name or an influencer with a large following, but neither of those will necessarily translate to your ultimate goal of delivering results to your organization. @martinjonesaz" username="toprank"]

#2 - Keep relevance at the forefront.

Relevance is a key success driver for any marketing initiative. Relevance breeds resonance, which is key to connecting with buyers at every stage of the funnel and building trust. Working with influencers who don’t topically align or lack the right expertise simply won’t produce fruitful results for either party—or your audience.

As Ashley Zeckman, TopRank Marketing’s Senior Director of Digital Strategy, has said: “First, you’re going to want to identify the topics that are most important to your audience and how they align with the topics you want to be known for. Then, you’ll need to determine what types of influencers (aligned with your target topics) will be the best fit based on your objectives. Each influencer type holds a different value for your audience and your brand.”

Here's an example of a topical alignment score Ashley shared. (See if you can guess the "client.")

[bctt tweet="Identify the topics that are most important to your audience and how they align with the topics you want to be known for. Then identify the right types of relevant influencers. @azeckman" username="toprank"]

Influencer types include brandividuals—those recognizable experts who have an extensive network size—as well as up-and-comers, niche and internal experts, and current customers and prospects.

One great way to ensure relevance is to do some old-fashioned crowd sourcing, according to Lucy Moran, now the Senior Vice President of Brand, Digital, and BU Marketing at Dun & Bradstreet.

“Ask your customers who they follow or read,” she said. “They are your target audience and you want to be where they are.”

Finally, finding the right fit also comes down to shared values, according to Abobe’s Head of Social Influencer Enablement, Rani Mani.

“My main tip is to make the upfront investment to ensure the influencer is the right cultural fit for your brand,” she told us. “Ultimately, ask yourself pretty much the same questions as you would if you were going to hire this individual because, at the end of the day, they will be representing your brand.”

[bctt tweet="Make the upfront investment to ensure the influencer is the right cultural fit for your brand. At the end of the day, they’ll be representing your brand. - @ranimani0707" username="toprank"]

Read: Creating Content Connections: 10 Lessons in Resonance from Content Marketing Pros

#3 - Take an always-on approach to vetting existing and prospective influencers.

As TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden is often quoted as saying: “Everyone is influential about something.” This means that there’s always opportunities to connect and work with relevant thought leaders—and you should be looking at those opportunities on a regular basis.

[bctt tweet="Everyone is influential about something. @leeodden " username="toprank"]

Perhaps one of the biggest opportunities in this arena is identifying and nurturing up-and-coming experts. As Lee also says: “Work with an influencer, you’re friends for a day. Help someone become influential and they’re a friend for life.”

But from an even more practical perspective, regularly vetting your influencer partners and prospects helps ensure you’re keeping your eye on relevance.

“A sophisticated influencer program doesn’t rely on a single identification method or one-time vetting process to start and maintain a relationship with an influencer, but rather develops a scorecard that gets constantly reviewed and, most importantly, evolves as this emerging field matures,” Dr. Konstanze Alex, Head of Corporate Influencer Relations at Dell, so eloquently said.

[bctt tweet="A sophisticated influencer program doesn’t rely on a single identification method or one-time vetting process to start and maintain a relationship with an influencer. @Konstanze" username="toprank"]

#4 - Aim to build long-term relationships, not one-time transactions.

At its core, influencer marketing is all about brands engaging and developing relationships with individuals—individuals who have relevant topical expertise, reach, and resonance that aligns with the goals of the brand. But strong, lasting relationships aren’t built in a day.

We’re big believers in growing partnerships long before you make your first collaboration ask. But the linchpin of this approach is showing influencers the value a partnership with your brand can bring.

“We’ve scaled back the scope of our engagement activities to focus on developing collaborative relationships with fewer individuals,” Angela Lipscomb, Influencer Relations Manager for SAS, shared.  “That means that sometimes we focus on influencers who may not have the largest reach, but have greater engagement and subject-matter authority and the ability to inspire.”

“I want to get to know what makes that person tick, and how SAS can be of help to the influencer, and not just how they can be of value to us,” she added.

[bctt tweet="We focus on influencers who may not have the largest reach, but have greater engagement and subject-matter authority and the ability to inspire. @angelalipscomb" username="toprank"]

Read: Why Always-On Is Always Better for Driving B2B Influencer Marketing Success

Do Your Homework, B2B Marketers

Your brand, industry, product or service, and audience are undeniably unique—and influence varies. Furthermore, it may be easier than ever to give the perception of influence. (Here’s looking at you fake follower counts.)

As a result, you need to look beyond metrics to qualitative indicators to get to know prospective influencer partners. You need to keep relevance top of mind. You need to consistently be vetting and refining your list of partners and prospects. And you need to put effort into building relationships, rather than engaging in a one-time transactions if you want to scale.

Want more B2B influencer marketing insights? Get inspiration and insight on Influencer Marketing 2.0 from our own Lee Odden.

The post Do Your Homework: Selecting the Right Influencers for Your B2B Brand With Tips from the Experts appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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3 Image Tools for Marketers on a Budget

Do you need to create professional-looking images for your social media marketing? Looking for mobile and desktop tools to help? In this article, you’ll discover three affordable image design tools for marketers. #1: Create the Perfectly Sized Image for Every Social Network Over (available for iOS and Android) is a powerful image tool that lets […]

The post 3 Image Tools for Marketers on a Budget appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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I Wanted to Convert on Your Landing Page, But I Couldn’t. Here’s Why.

While you’ve been following “best practices” to tune up your page, you’ve ignored the most critical factors in conversion rate optimization. Paid Search Magic's Amy Hebdon lets you know why she wouldn't say "yes" to your call-to-action. (Ouch!)

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Trust Factors: The (In)Credible Impact of B2B Influencer Marketing

How Influencer Marketing Can Help B2B Brands Build Trust

How Influencer Marketing Can Help B2B Brands Build Trust

Trust is a currency. It’s arguably the most valuable currency in today’s B2B marketing environment. And much like real money, it needs to be earned; the risks of attempting to counterfeit trust are grave.

In the first installment of our Trust Factor series, we discussed how creating best-answer content serves a long-term trust-building strategy. Today we’ll examine the ways in which partnering with influencers can provide a dramatic boost to your brand’s credibility and authority in the eyes of your audience. We’ll also share some examples of companies that are already doing this effectively, and the lessons we can draw from them.

There are no shortcuts when it comes to developing genuine trust with your customers. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take the shortest possible path, so long as you know where you’re going. Walking this road with the right influencers at your side can expedite the journey.

Coordinating Content, Co-opting Trust

In the past, we have defined influencer marketing as “the practice of engaging internal and industry experts with active networks to help achieve measurable business goals.” Building trust should be a primary goal for virtually every business, and is a helpful guiding imperative as you start building out an influencer strategy.

Sometimes, objectives tied to influencer marketing campaigns can feel ambiguous. Usually, brands are looking to gain reach and visibility with targeted audiences. But it’s not just about getting in front of those people; it’s about the perception of your company’s association with the influencers in question. It’s also about trusted voices delivering messages with expertise and credibility in a time when buyers are increasingly wary of advertising and marketing messages.

A strong influencer candidate already has trust equity built up with their (your) audience. They speak knowledgeably and persuasively on topics that align closely with your business. They’ve developed a sturdy reputation in their industry or niche that holds weight with the people who follow it.

It’s a level of credibility that can’t be matched. Data shows that an increasing number of B2B buyers trust digital content from influencers, more so than content from the brand itself. According to the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer, the three most trusted voices are “company technical experts,” “academic experts,” and “a person like yourself.” All three represent common influencer profiles.  

Edelman Trust Graphic

In large part, this resonance owes to relatability, which brings us to our next point: engaging the wrong influencers can be detrimental to what we’re trying to achieve.

How NOT to Build Trust with Influencer Marketing

The caveat here is that if you don’t do it right, influencer marketing can actually diminish trust with your audience. So before we dive into practical examples of trust-building influencer engagements, let’s outline a few things to avoid.

Don’t Prioritize Quantity Over Quality

It’s one of the most prevalent pitfalls in the influencer marketing universe: “This person has a huge following! Let’s partner with ‘em!” In fact, research from Influencer Marketing Hub for the 2019 Influencer Marketing Benchmark Report actually found that larger followings, on average, correlate with lower ROI.

The same report shows that 48% of brands are smartly treating audience relationship as the most valuable factor in working with influencers, higher than any other benefit. And while this isn’t always true, influencers with smaller (not tiny) followings can often foster more tightly knit communities, with more meaningful bonds.

Don’t look strictly at popularity when selecting influencers. As our CEO Lee Odden has written: “Relevance, resonance and reach metrics should be used for influencer identification and validation.”

[bctt tweet="Relevance, resonance and reach metrics should be used for influencer identification and validation. - @leeodden" username="toprank"]

Don’t Try to Buy Trust Equity

Influencers should always feel like their efforts in a brand partnership are worthwhile. Sometimes, it makes sense to compensate them financially, but the most fruitful deployments of this strategy tend to take shape when both sides are invested beyond a simple money exchange.

“The real goal should be to develop mutually beneficial relationships with experts to co-create content that works for your audience, their audience and your mutual audience to build credibility,” writes TopRank Marketing Senior Director of Digital Strategy Ashley Zeckman.

Internet users are becoming smarter in general. If the extent of your motivation is to simply to associate your brand name with Instagram celebrities in a pay-to-play scenario (I’m looking at you, Fyre Festival), it’ll be transparent to your audience, and is likely to do more harm than good.

Creating a mutually beneficial scenario, as Ashley referenced, means that influencers see incentive in growing their own personal brands by partnering with yours. Establishing this dynamic is key to genuine and lasting influencer relationships.

Create Something Valuable

So, you’ve recruited an influencer to join your cause. Great! Now what are you going to do together? Too often, it seems like this is a secondary concern when it should be a foremost priority.

We consistently find that the most effective influencer marketing programs involve co-creation of content, where the expert perspectives lend tangible value to something your audience wants. Given the knowledge and authority held by niche influencers, this can greatly enhance the credibility of your best-answer content, which also supports SEO efforts.

If you want to see what this looks like, I invite you to peruse some of the examples below.

Examples of Trust-Building Influencer Engagements in Action

Trust is difficult to measure. But when you’re building it successfully, the impact tends to ripple outward into other metrics, like earned media value, prospect quality, and positive brand mentions. Here are a few campaigns that delivered results thanks, in large part, to an infusion of influencer content.  

SAP SuccessFactors

Focus is an important aspect of any well conceived influencer content campaign. You want to address a direct pain point for your customers in a substantive way. SAP SuccessFactors, a provider of cloud-based human resource management software, wanted to zero in on employee health and well-being.

In partnership with our team at TopRank Marketing, SAP SuccessFactors created an eBook featuring unique insights from respected executives and leaders in the human resources space. One contributor, Chris Paine, even has “Chief HR Geek” for a title.

SuccessFactors Well-Being eBook

This collaborative influencer marketing campaign surpassed download benchmarks by 272%, and most pertinently, organic social messaging (via SAP and influencers) drove 69% of conversions.  

Cisco Champions

This program exemplifies an influencer ecosystem that is driven by mutual benefit. Through its Cisco Champions community, the company nurtures a collection of brand enthusiasts who are also industry experts and active social media participants. By participating, these influencers are able to grow their own personal brands (while tethering themselves to the “single biggest player in enterprise networking”), and they also get special access to groups, training, and new products.

Cisco Champions Community

“The program reaches a diverse audience and allows Cisco to earn the trust of the IT community with authentic and relevant content. Our community views the information as ‘for us, by us,’ ” according to Cisco’s social media marketing manager Linda Hamilton (via Influitive). That is precisely the outcome any similar initiative should aim for.


For this highly successful influencer program, Prophix tapped TopRank Marketing to help showcase powerful influencer content in action. The series of Pro Talks interview clips align with Prophix’s model as a provider of finance software, offering practical guidance for delivering finance presentations. The angle of the topic meant that this content was oriented directly toward CFOs and other business leaders that Prophix most wanted to reach, while also helping industry leaders showcase their expertise in an impactful way to grow their own influence.

Prophix ProTalks

Presenting insights through video, with the speaker talking directly into the camera, helps enhance the trust-building qualities by simulating a face-to-face conversation with subject matter experts who embody the “trusted advisor” persona.

Supported by a mix of blog, social, and paid promotion, this campaign drove big results. An impressive 42% of viewers completed each video (7-to-9 minutes in length) and conversions exceeded the benchmark by 200%. Prophix captured multiple enterprise-level CFO leads.

Trust in Influencer Marketing

Even if trust is tough to measure, marketers are clearly seeing the value in influencer content, and trust is a key (if subtle) component of that. In the aforementioned State of Influencer Marketing report from IMH, 92% of respondents said they believe the tactic is effective and 86% plan to dedicate budget to influencer marketing activities this year.

These are further reasons to trust in influencer marketing, but I’d argue that the No. 1 driver should be the trust these strategic collaborators can imbue into your brand. By choosing the right influencers, creating mutually advantageous programs, and jointly creating content that serves your audience, you’ll be on your way to earning the kind of trust that simply cannot be bought.

Want to learn more about TopRank Marketing delivers trusted influencer marketing solutions for B2B companies? Check out our influencer marketing service page.

The post Trust Factors: The (In)Credible Impact of B2B Influencer Marketing appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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How to Use Twitter Media Studio to Improve Your Video Marketing

Want more views for your Twitter videos? Curious how Twitter Media Studio can help optimize your video tweets? In this article, you’ll learn how to use Twitter Media Studio to improve the performance of the videos you publish on Twitter. What Is Twitter Media Studio? With Twitter Media Studio, you can improve the videos you […]

The post How to Use Twitter Media Studio to Improve Your Video Marketing appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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B2B Social Media Shakeup: 4 Developments That Have Caught Our Eye

B2B Social Media Shakeup

B2B Social Media Shakeup

Following scandal, criticism, and calls for more privacy and relevancy, social media giants are working hard to recapture their original allure as safe communities and conversation destinations.

And while platforms are ardently focused on heightening the everyday user’s experience, the movements we’ve seen so far in 2019 signals that B2B brands will still have some things to look forward to.

This is a teeny sampling of the social media headlines we saw in the first quarter of 2019 alone:

Now just 6 weeks into Q2, important announcements and shifts abound—which of course present opportunities and challenges for B2B marketers.

Below we dive into a handful of the latest and greatest changes that have caught our attention.

#1 – Twitter’s Jack Dorsey Alludes to a Potential Platform Overhaul

In April, Twitter Co-Founder and CEO Jack Dorsey sat down with Chris Anderson and Whitney Pennington Rodgers of TED for a roundtable discussion on the state of his company, with much of the discussion centering on Twitter’s conversation health and how to improve it.

As TopRank Marketing’s Senior Content Strategist Nick Nelson reported: “Some of the possible changes hinted by Dorsey are relatively minor and uncontroversial … But the bombshell of the interview came with Dorsey’s allusion to an entirely new structural underpinning for Twitter.”

Dorsey said that he believed Twitter is “best as an interest-based network,” suggesting that a shift from following accounts to following topics could be part of Twitter’s future.

While only time will tell whether Twitter actually follows through on any of its hopes and dreams for improving conversation health, even a small shift in making it easier for users to find and engage with topics they care about is good news for B2B brands and marketers.

“Brands need to be speaking the language of their customers and reaching them in the right context,” Nick wrote. “Fewer trolls and more substantive, expert content organized around topics would make the platform a stronger piece in any B2B digital marketing strategy.”

Read: The Impact of Twitter’s Proposed Shakeup on Marketers and Influencers

#2 – LinkedIn Releases New Post Reactions

In mid-April, LinkedIn announced new post reactions were starting to roll out, which would allow users to express themselves beyond the “like.” Within the last week, reactions have gone mainstream. As LinkedIn’s Cissy Chen wrote:

“You can use Celebrate to praise an accomplishment or milestone like landing a new job or speaking at an event, or Love to express deep resonance and support, like a conversation about work life balance or the impact of mentorship. Insightful can help you recognize a great point or interesting idea, while Curious lets you show your desire to learn more or react to a thought-provoking topic.”

LinkedIn Post Reactions

Image Credit: LinkedIn

This isn’t an earth shattering development by any means. I’d say it’s a natural evolution of the platform. However, it’s still great news for B2B marketers: An array of reaction options will help you better understand the impact of your posts. Naturally, this kind of qualitative data can guide your messaging strategy on the platform, helping you share content to pique interest and engagement.

The interesting thing moving forward will be whether LinkedIn refines the emotional mix. Currently, reaction options don’t allow for expressing anger, disappointment, or sadness. And as all social networks strive to bolster safe, positive spaces for communication and interaction, this could be a slippery slope.

#3 – Facebook Reveals Redesign with Privacy in Mind

Thousands of developers, creators, and entrepreneurs descended on San Jose, CA for Facebook’s 2019 F8 conference, an event dedicated to discussing the future of technology.

During his opening keynote, Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed a long list of coming changes—including a redesign. But this is no run-of-the-mill refresh, rather one that “puts your communities” at the center.

Facebook Stories still appears to have a prominent top spot, but the News Feed—the product of a historic past redesign itself—will be taking a backseat to Facebook Groups and event listings.

“There are tens of millions of active groups on Facebook,” Facebook said following the first day of F8. “When people find the right one, it often becomes the most meaningful part of how they use Facebook.”

New Facebook Design

Image Credit: Facebook

Last year, we explored the growing interest in and adoption of Facebook Groups among brands. With increasing engagement as a top priority, Groups are mini-communities that can foster direct communications with prospects and customers, and build brand affinity without hard-sell marketing messages.

Today, it appears that is the future of “organic” marketing on Facebook. As our Nick Nelson so eloquently said months ago:

“Some marketers have understandably been reluctant to dive into this functionality over concerns that Facebook will change gears and renew its focus six months from now, but I believe it’s safe to say — based on the social network’s clear commitment to elevating active participation and ‘meaningful communities’ — that groups are going to be a mainstay feature going forward.”

For many B2B brands, Facebook marketing has traditionally focused more on highlighting company culture, news, and events rather than straight content promotion. But with what’s to come, it’s worth exploring whether Facebook should be more (or less) of a focus moving forward.

Read: The Question on Many Marketers’ Minds: Should My Brand Start a Facebook Group?

#4 – Instagram Announces That Anyone Will Be Able to Create Stories Filters

Instagram has been gaining prominence within B2B marketing strategies, representing an opportunity to establish a brand’s visual identity—something that can be hard to capture when physical products don’t exist.

With the launch of Instagram Stories, B2B interest in the platform reached a new level, allowing for serialized storytelling as well as the implementation of links and calls to action. Of course, augmented reality (AR) filters are a signature feature within the Stories platform—and now any developer or brand can create them through the Spark AR Studio.

Facebook's Spark VR

“Over the past year, more than 1 billion people have used AR experiences powered by Facebook’s Spark AR platform, with hundreds of millions using AR each month across Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram,” Facebook reported. “They’re expanding the language of expression, transforming the way we shop, and adding meaning to real-world objects in fun and interesting ways.”

Under the right circumstances, creating a custom filter could be an opportunity to foster awareness or engagement at a major B2B industry event, encourage advocacy among employees or help with recruiting efforts, or promote the release of a new asset or product. In addition, this could be a great influencer activation tool.

If Instagram is going to be a core focus of your B2B marketing efforts going forward, this new development for Stories is at least worth reading up on.

Read: What You Need to Know About Instagram Stories for B2B Marketing

Keeping Up with the Changing Social Media Landscape

For a steady stream of social media and digital marketing news, tune into the TopRank Marketing Blog every Friday for our weekly news roundup, featuring video commentary from Senior Content Marketing Manager Joshua Nite and Associate Director of Search & Analytics Tiffani Allen.

What social media news item has got your attention? Tell us in the comments section below.

*Disclosure: LinkedIn is a TopRank Marketing client.

The post B2B Social Media Shakeup: 4 Developments That Have Caught Our Eye appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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How to Research Your Competitors’ Facebook Ads

Want to know more about your competitors’ Facebook ad campaigns? Wondering how to study their ad strategy? In this article, you’ll discover six ways to research your competitors’ Facebook advertising campaigns and discover creative ideas for your next Facebook ads. #1: Build a Facebook Ad Swipe File A swipe file is a place where you […]

The post How to Research Your Competitors’ Facebook Ads appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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Facebook Marketing Declining: New Research

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 findings from the 2019 Social Media Marketing Industry Report and Facebook’s new Automated Ads tool with special […]

The post Facebook Marketing Declining: New Research appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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9 YouTube stats to inform your marketing strategy in 2019

When YouTube first arrived in 2005, few likely had any idea how valuable it would become. The first video, “Me at the Zoo,” launched Read more...

This post 9 YouTube stats to inform your marketing strategy in 2019 originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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