6 Influencer Marketing Lessons Marketers Can Learn from Journalists

As some of you regular TopRank Marketing Blog readers may know, before making my way into the world of digital marketing, I was a journalist covering the wild news happenings in a handful of Twin Cities metro towns.

While I wore many hats during those days—from reporter to managing editor to social media maven—building strong community connections was probably the most important hat of all.

Truly, the people I engaged with were more than connections. They were lifelines. They represented untold stories, interesting perspectives, inside scoops and friendly gateways to new sources, allowing me to craft quality news pieces that people actually wanted to read, share and talk about.

Now as a digital marketer, my community connections and sources often go by a new name: influencers.

2017 Trends for CMOs: Ignite Content Performance with Influencers

Companies launching into new markets often spend substantial budgets on advertising and PR in order to create awareness. These investments can be significant when there is no existing affinity between the brand and the solution in target markets.

For example, Orange France faced this challenge when launching Homelive, a connected home management platform for IoT devices. Turning to their influencer marketing platform, Traackr, the company identified and engaged influencers in new communities outside of high tech and marketing to include lifestyle design and connected home. These influencers were engaged to create reviews on their blogs and inspire social traffic.

9 Sizzling Influencer Activation Tips from Lee Odden #MPB2B

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Influencer marketing is an incredibly hot topic in the marketing world—and it’s not hard to see why. Influencers add insight, credibility and authority to the content they help create, and they also have the potential to bring that content to a new audience.

But what makes someone influential? Is it popularity? Is it celebrity? Is it the fact that they have niche expertise? And how do you identify, activate and continue to build on your relationships with influencers?

During his Sexy Hot B2B Influencer Activation session at MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum, TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden delivered a presentation packed with actionable tips, tools and examples that answered all these questions and more.

[eBook] Influencer Marketing: It’s Time to Get Real

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If you’re interested in influencer marketing, let’s do a little thought exercise:

Imagine being invited to a party full of influential people. The moment you walk through the door, you approach the first famous face you recognize and say, “Hey, I just met you and this is crazy, but can you help me move this weekend?”

Imagine the stunned silence…the sideways glance…the “And you are…?” that is sure to follow. The hardest thing to imagine would be that strategy succeeding.

In real life, we take time to get to know someone before asking them for a favor. We take an interest in them as a person. We try to do something nice for them. After a good long time, we might lay a big ask on them—once we could make a compelling case for doing so.

How to Win Social Friends & Influence Your Customers @LeeOdden Keynote

How to Win Social Friends and Influence Your Customers

In his keynote at the Social Media Rockstar event yesterday, TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden opened with a heartwarming story about building influence.

For anyone who doesn’t think that building influence is something they can do, this story is a must hear (or in this case, read).

The story is about a fifth grader named Sam. Sam is an influencer. An aspiring author, Sam decided to write a book and include some of his classmates as characters. To make editing and collaboration easy, Sam wrote his book on Google Drive and shared it with his classmates, asking them to review and make edits. This small ask quickly became a competition in his classroom to be included in the story and to be involved in the project. Sam become the center of attention. Sam become influential.

Digital Marketing Spotlight: Amy Lamparske, Head of Social Media at 3M

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One of the great benefits of social media is the dual effect of creating access to people of influence while helping individuals with expertise and points of view become influential themselves. One of my connections that serves as a great example of this is Amy Lamparske, Head of Global Social Media at 3M.

Local events and blogging undoubtedly created mutual awareness, but I didn’t meet Amy in person until she was Director, Digital Marketing at Walmart and then again when she was Director, Digital and Social Media at General Mills. In her current role at 3M, I’ve been able to see Amy’s thought leadership in action in situations ranging from being a keynote speaker at the first Brandwatch user conference to host of a Conference Board event on Social Media. Each time was a learning opportunity because Amy provides a view into enterprise social media marketing and advertising that is deep, insightful and fast moving. I’m not alone in this sentiment:

How B2B Marketers Can Rise Above Roadblocks with Influencer Marketing

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As the old joke goes, there are two seasons in my home state of Minnesota: Winter and Road Construction. Right now, we are smack in the middle of the latter.

I’m a guy who doesn’t like pony-sized potholes on my streets. So I try to make peace with the endless lane changes, reroutes, and slow-downs. But sometimes it seems like they go out of their way to mess up our routines, doesn’t it?

If you’re a B2B marketer, you may feel similar desperation looking at your marketing channels. It seems like every route between you and your audience is getting blocked or traffic jammed. Organic social visibility is way down: Each Facebook post you make will reach between 2-6% of your followers. A quarter of those who might be interested in your display ads are using ad blockers. Your content can only engage readers if they can find it, and there’s a lot of commodity content clogging the roads.

What Is Influencer Marketing? Definitions, Examples, and Resources

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Content marketers are facing their most daunting challenge yet. We survived the content glut with solid, documented strategy. We have made great strides toward properly measuring and attributing our content marketing ROI. But the next big bad is even bigger and badder than those obstacles: It’s the Fearsome Social Media Algorithm.

The Algorithm Monster already turned our Facebook streams into trickles. Now Twitter and even Instagram are falling under its spell. The once mighty organic platforms are becoming increasingly pay-to-play. Can marketers beat these algorithm-based feeds to get our content to our audience?

Yes, we can. But we can’t do it alone. As the Lego Movie teaches us, everything is cool when you’re part of a team. With influencer marketing, you can form your own team to take on the Fearsome Algorithm, increase your organic reach, and create awesome content while building lasting relationships.

Learn How to Create a More Effective Influencer Marketing Strategy

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“Who is more influential to you than the people closest that you respect and trust?” – Lee Odden

In the time that I’ve been at TopRank Marketing, I’ve had the opportunity to witness first-hand how influencer marketing can be an incredibly powerful way to build credibility for a brand, and create connections with the right people.

I remember that one of my first experiences with influencer marketing was an interview that I did with Avinash Kaushik (that was of course facilitated by Lee Odden). I was overwhelmed by how humble and happy he was to collaborate with me. Why? Because Lee and the team at TopRank Marketing had found ways to feature him previously and begin building that relationship.

[eBook] Influencer Engagement: 15 Ways to Fail & 25 Ways to WIN

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Schadenfreude (n.): Pleasure derived by someone from another person’s misfortune.

Who doesn’t like watching a good fail? As long as the subject isn’t seriously injured, we can all enjoy a hearty laugh at the guy who slips on the banana peel, the woman who gets her shoe caught in a grate, or the kid getting bopped by the family cat. Even if you’re the one who fails, you know eventually it will be a funny story you can tell at parties.

While these minor pratfalls are all in good fun, failing at influencer engagement isn’t as entertaining. Instead of a few bruises and an amusing anecdote, an influencer outreach fail can end your campaign before it starts. And there are far more ways to fail than you might imagine.

Learn Where Influencer Marketing Fits in the B2B Customer Journey

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When you lose a potential customer to a competitor it can leave you reeling with questions and wondering what they did to set themselves apart and how they did it. Companies that work hard to be the best answer wherever their customers are looking and build trust and credibility early in the sales cycle are typically those that win new business when it comes time for customers to make a decision.

One way that brands can begin building trust and credibility early on with prospects is to incorporate influencers into content meant to represent different stages of the buying cycle. In fact, recent research has found that 51% of marketers believe that incorporating influencers into their marketing helps them get better customers.

5 Steps to Perfecting Your Influencer Marketing Waltz

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A well-performed waltz can move those watching it unfold on the dance floor. The audience can get caught up in the seemingly intricate steps and the flow with which the dancers move.

However, one small misstep can change the entire vibe for both the audiences and the dancers. As with dancing, influencer marketing can be both beautiful, and filled with stumbling blocks.

Influencer marketing has become a much larger part of the way that successful brands approach digital marketing. In fact, a recent study from McKinsey found that influencer marketing (which falls under Word of Mouth marketing) shows an average of a 37% higher retention rate and twice the amount of sales when compared to paid advertising on its own.