Lane Ellis

Digital Marketing News: How B2B Buyers Pick Vendors, BuzzSumo’s New YouTube Insights, ABM Brings B2B Improvements, & How Brands Use Direct Messaging

Lane Ellis on Feb 21st, 2020     Online Marketing News

2020 February 21 MarketingCharts Chart

B2B buyers consume an average of 13 content pieces before deciding on a vendor
B2B buyers say that they take in an average of 13 pieces of online content before choosing a vendor, consisting of eight vendor-made and five third-party elements, according to newly-released survey data from FocusVision, containing a number of additional insights of interest to digital marketers. Marketing Land

B2B Firms Are Failing To Integrate Sales, Marketing And Customer Success Teams: Study
Revenue growth is a top challenge for B2B brands, and some 84 percent of B2B sales and marketing professionals say that revenue responsibility rests with both sales and marketing, however 37 percent say the two functions aren’t optimally aligned — some of the findings in new survey data from Leandata and Sales Hacker. MediaPost

Anne Leuman

4 Questions to Drive More Productive Marketing Meetings

Anne Leuman on Feb 20th, 2020     B2B Marketing

Group at table conducting a meeting image.

Allow me to paint a picture.

SCENE

INTERIOR – OFFICE

The CAMERA pans to a worker, furiously typing on their computer. Headphones on. The keys CLACK with productivity until–

— A LOUD CHIME rings out.

The CAMERA zooms slowly to the computer screen. A meeting alert flashes across the monitor.

— The worker’s head hits the desk with a soft THUD.

We CUT back to the worker. Head hung in exasperation, the worker stops their typing, rises, and departs to attend their call.

END SCENE

It’s happened to all of us. Stop work. Attend meeting. Rinse and repeat.

Lane Ellis

24 Essential B2B Influencer Marketing Statistics

Lane Ellis on Feb 19th, 2020     B2B Marketing, Influencer Marketing

Business people throwing papers in the air image.

How important is influencer marketing to businesses in 2020?

Influencer marketing will see global brand spending of up to $15 billion by 2022 (Business Insider Intelligence), and B2B marketers who haven’t yet experienced its many benefits now have more research data than ever to make the case for starting an influencer marketing program.

Even if you’ve already developed an influencer marketing strategy, the wealth of new information coming out about its power to build trust and inspire action is growing, which is why we wanted to share 24 significant B2B influencer marketing statistics that combine to tell a compelling story that will alter your future campaigns.

Let’s jump right in with a look at some of the latest influencer marketing statistics.

Lee Odden

5 Key Traits of the Best B2B Influencers

Lee Odden on Feb 18th, 2020     B2B Marketing, Influencer Marketing

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.

Lee Odden

How Influence and SEO Can Drive Customer Experience

Lee Odden on Feb 17th, 2020     B2B Marketing, Influencer Marketing

Influence and Customer Experience

We talk a lot here on Online Marketing Blog about influencer marketing and one of the benefits of incorporating the voices of influencers in brand content is not often covered: customer experience.

What’s the connection between CX and influence? A big part of customer experience is trust and many customers simply do not trust brands or advertising.

That’s where adding credible 3rd party voices to brand content comes into play. Brands that want to deliver the most relevant, engaging and actionable experience for their customers will often incorporate external experts that already have the attention of the audience that brands want to reach.

Partnering with relevant influencers to co-create content can open doors for brands trying to engage hard to reach and increasingly skeptical audiences. Those content collaborations can also help deliver an experience that is more credible and trusted than brand content alone.

Lane Ellis

Digital Marketing News: Record Influencer Spending, Google’s Gmail Shopping Ads, Pinterest’s Verified Merchant Program, & Twitter Engagement Stats

Lane Ellis on Feb 14th, 2020     Online Marketing News

2020 February 14 MarketingCharts Chart

Facebook Adds ‘One-Time Notification’ API to Messenger for Business
Facebook has given marketers new options for contacting consumers who have agreed to notifications, with the release of an API token system that will enable expanded brand-to-customer contact choices, the social media giant recently announced. Social Media Today

Twitter says ad tech and product updates will improve direct response advertising
Twitter saw fourth quarter advertising revenues climb by some 12 percent to $885 million, with monetizable daily active users (mDAUs) up 21 percent to 152 million, and pointed to several updates that it expects to continue bringing better direct-response ad revenue, the firm recently reported. Marketing Land

Joshua Nite

5 Ways to Humanize B2B Content Marketing

Joshua Nite on Feb 13th, 2020     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

Humanizing B2B Content Father and Son Cooking Together Image

“You’ve really got to put yourself out there. Don’t be too stiff.”

“Be honest and sincere!”

“Be vulnerable and relatable… and it doesn’t hurt if you can make ‘em laugh.”

Is this advice for a middle-aged man trying online dating for the first time? Or is it advice for B2B marketers?

Given the proximity to Valentine’s Day, can’t it be both?

The point is, as good as this advice may be for marketers, it’s as vague as it is omnipresent. We talk about “person-to-person” marketing and “humanizing the brand.” But what does it really mean to humanize a brand? 

Michelin Men Original Costumes

Yes, these were the original Michelin Tire mascots.

In some cases, apparently, it means high-octane nightmare fuel. So, maybe don’t try and make an adorable mascot for your software-as-a-service solution.

Lane Ellis

31 DIY Marketing Tools To Create Remarkable Experiences

Lane Ellis on Feb 12th, 2020     B2B Marketing

Workbench wall full of various tools for handcrafted work image.

Sifting through thousands of available tools is a hit and — more often than not — a miss proposition, but we’ve got you covered with 31 do-it-yourself marketing tools that are perfect for helping you create remarkable campaign experiences.

It can be overwhelming even deciding which new tools to start trying out to see if they’re helpful, so to jump-start your marketing efforts in 2020 we’ve gathered a varied selection of innovative and helpful tools that can significantly enhance your marketing efforts.

These tools come from a varying array of categories useful to digital marketers, from artificial intelligence (AI) content analysis bots and data manipulation utilities to video and image manipulation — a smorgasbord of helpful software that is unified in that each tool can provide immediate improvements to your marketing campaigns.

Lee Odden

25 B2B Influencer Marketing Campaign & Engagement Ideas for 2020

Lee Odden on Feb 11th, 2020     B2B Marketing, Influencer Marketing

B2B Influencer Marketing Campaign Ideas

In the business world, you don’t have to look far to see that the number of B2B companies engaged with influencer marketing is growing. As more companies are moving beyond experimentation to conducting pilots, sequential campaigns and always on programs, there is an increasing desire to expand how brands engage with business influencers.

To help B2B marketers solve that problem, I’m going to share a swipe file of sorts of different business influencer campaigns and engagement opportunities. Implementing just a few of these could help a company with a substantial amount of influencer program activity.

Of course just because you can, doesn’t mean you should! As with all effective marketing, it’s important to match up the campaign approach with the criteria for your customers and how they want to engage with influencer/brand content.  Check out the list below and hopefully some good ideas will spark and ignite your 2020 B2B influencer marketing to new levels.

Nick Nelson

Hungry for More: What B2B Marketers Need to Know About Episodic Content

Nick Nelson on Feb 10th, 2020     B2B Marketing

B2B Marketing Episodic Content

The cliffhanger is one of the greatest tools in entertainment. I’ll explain why later.

Seriously though, we’ve all experienced the cliffhanger: It’s that tension-building moment of uncertainty at the end of a chapter or installment that leaves the audience impatiently awaiting the next one. Some of my favorite binge-worthy TV shows and page-turning novels have been defined by this quality.

A perfect example from modern cinema is the conclusion of 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War. While I won’t give anything away, the movie ended with a shocking turn of events that seemed to leave little hope for the franchise’s heroic protagonists. In the 12 months that passed between Infinity War and its sequel, fans waited with rabid eagerness for answers and closure, reveling in theories and hyper-analysis.

Lane Ellis

Digital Marketing News: YouTube’s Robust Revenue, LinkedIn’s Record Engagement, Gen Z Brand Expectations, & Google’s Unified Messaging

Lane Ellis on Feb 7th, 2020     Online Marketing News

2020 February 7 MarketingCharts Chart

YouTube is a $15 billion-a-year business, Google reveals for the first time
For the first time in nearly 15 years YouTube has released its advertising revenue information, showing that the video platform annually accounted for some 10 percent of Google-parent Alphabet’s revenue, heftily topping Wall Street expectations, while Google Search accounted for $98.1 billion in 2019, the firm revealed. The Verge

By 2021, More than Half of Companies Will Use LinkedIn for Marketing
For the first time in its history, by 2021 the majority of U.S. marketers will use LinkedIn (client) for advertising, according to newly-released report data from eMarketer, which expects the Microsoft-owned professional social network to see a 49.6 percent marketer usage rate in 2020, up from 48.8 percent in 2019. eMarketer

Caitlin Burgess

Break Free B2B Season 1 Wrap Up: Top Insights from the Marketing Industry’s Best and Brightest

Caitlin Burgess on Feb 6th, 2020     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing, Video Interviews

Break Free B2B Marketing Round Up

Three different hosts, 19 jam-packed episodes, 20 incredible guests—countless amazing insights gained.

TopRank Marketing’s inaugural season of Break Free B2B, a video podcast series featuring the expertise, experiences, and advice of diverse marketing minds, is officially wrapped. 

With the goal of delivering B2B marketers the encouragement and inspiration to break free of business-to-business norms to drive bigger, better, bolder results, we covered everything from change management to visual storytelling to what’s next in B2B influencer marketing. And of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t take a moment to reflect and share some of our favorite tidbits from each of our incredible guests.

Throughout the season, there were a few key topical areas we honed in on: