Behind the Marketing Curtain: An Interview with Influencer Marketing Wiz Amisha Gandhi, SAP

From emerging social media channels to the rise of artificial intelligence, the exciting cyclone of change often drops us marketers into unfamiliar territory—and we have to find our way home.

Thankfully, the marketing industry is flush with talented marketers leading the way, and we often look to them for tactical insights to navigate the winding road and avoid fields of deceiving poppies. However, in our thirst more knowledge, we often don’t get to see who these leaders are in full living color.

To bridge the gap between person and marketer, we’re kicking off an exciting new “Behind the Curtain” interview series—which, if you haven’t guessed, is inspired by Dorothy Gale and the classic film, The Wizard of Oz.

The Next Evolution of Influencer Marketing: 4 Key Insights And What They Mean

We marketers love to chase shiny objects. It’s part of the constant drive to experiment, optimize, and improve. Any new tactic that looks promising is going to attract our attention.

During his presentation last week at Social Media Marketing World, Lee Odden offered proof of just how shiny influencer marketing is: It can potentially return $9.60 for every dollar invested. Campaigns that include influencers have shown a 10x increase in conversion rates. And those customers who convert stick around–influencer campaigns tend to achieve a 37% increase in retention.

Clearly, influencer marketing deserves the buzz it’s been getting. But most marketers are just getting started. There’s plenty of activity, but not much strategy. It takes a concentrated, strategic, sustained effort to fully realize the benefits.

The No BS Approach to Influencer Marketing

No BS Influencer Marketing
Since I’ve been monitoring the topic of “influencer marketing” through BuzzSumo Alerts, the number of articles surfaced has gone from a few per week to 5 or 10 per day.

Out of that rising wave of expression from industry websites and blogs is a mix of news, tips, trends and 100% pure B.S.

Rising popularity makes things shiny and as influencer marketing enters the shiny object phase, it’s more important than ever to separate the facts from the fake.

Whether it’s practices that will get you in hot water with the FTC or the waste of a perfectly good budget on micro-influencer wannabes promising viral hits galore, there are plenty of distractions from realizing true influencer marketing ROI.

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

Amy Lamparske

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

Influencer Marketing Lee Odden

“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.