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’s the best way to navigate the stops and jams? Do what you wish you could do on the road: Rise above it.
Instead of dodging detours and fuming in traffic, reach your buyers via the people they’re already listening to. [Keep reading for a chance to win a free ticket to the conference!]
The Solution: Influencer Content
To help marketers understand how to approach (and get more out of) influencer marketing, TopRank Marketing’s CEO Lee Odden will be presenting influencer content best practices to attendees at this year’s Überflip Experience.
Date: August 25, 2016
Session Title: Winfluencer Marketing: How B2B Companies Are Winning Hearts & Minds with Influencer Content
Word of mouth is still the most powerful form of advertising and recommendations from friends, peers and experts hold valuable influence in the mind of business buyers. Losing business to content overload, disappearing organic social visibility and the effects of ad blocking, B2B marketers are looking for better ways to attract, engage and
convert new business.
This presentation will provide the strategy, tools, and tactics for developing an integrated influencer content program that will put points on your ROI scoreboard.
Attendees will learn:
- The fundamentals of organic and paid influencer recruiting
- Creative ways to engage influencers to co-create content
- Top influencer marketing platforms and tools
- How to maintain influencer relationships between campaigns
Snackable Q&A with Lee Odden: What is the most compelling reason for B2B companies to start influencer marketing?
“Buyers are tired of being bombarded by salesy brand content and more than 50% say they don’t trust advertising (Nielsen). What they do trust are peers, experts and influencers in their networks. By developing relationships with industry influencers to collaborate on content, B2B companies can scale the quantity of quality content they produce, boost their credibility and influence, differentiate from the competition and substantially extend their reach – all without a substantial increase in budget.”
3 Elements of Successful Influencer Marketing Programs
Create a Strategy for Influencer Alignment
All influencers are not created equal, but everyone is influential about something. It’s your job as a marketer to identify what it is that your customers care about and find influencers that align with those needs.
In addition to finding influencers that align with customer needs, they also should align with your brand message and marketing goals. Influencers that are properly aligned are much more likely to promote the content that you create together.
Develop Relationships with Influencers
Some brands hire influencers as a one-time, strictly business exchange. That’s fine, to a certain point, but developing ongoing relationships with influencers is better for everyone in the long run. Here are some easy tips to begin building relationships:
- Add Value First. Don’t propose on the first date. And definitely don’t propose before then, either. Start by following influencers on social media, commenting on their shares, and sharing their work with your audience. Provide value first.
- Start with an Easy Ask. Asking for a quick quote is a good way to begin an influencer relationship. It’s a low effort/high reward proposition, far easier than asking for an hour-long interview or a 1,000-word blog post.
- Make Promotion Easy. Many influencers are incredibly busy, make sure to provide them with the necessary tools to promote the content that you co-created.
- Follow up, Follow up, and then Follow up. Stay current with your influencers. Congratulate them when they make the news. Keep promoting their content. Show genuine interest even when (especially when) you don’t need something from them.
Don’t Just Collaborate, Co-Create
There’s no bonding experience quite like joining forces to create something cool. The influencers who are willing to truly co-create with you are far more likely to create with you in the future, promote you to their audience, and introduce you to other influencers.
The Cure for Content Traffic Jams
If your usual routes to reach your audience are blocked, influencers can help your content fly over the obstacles. Even a little influencer collaboration can go a long way. And once you start building relationships and regularly co-creating awesome content over time, the sky isn’t even the limit.
If you’re ready to rise above, join Lee at the Überflip Experience in Toronto, August 24th and 25th. Our President, Sue Misukanis, will also be there to answer any questions you might have. And our Director of Agency Marketing, Ashley Zeckman, will be attending and live-blogging sessions.
I know what you’re thinking: “But I don’t have a ticket!” Well, we can help with that.
If you’d like to win a conference pass (does not include flight and hotel) that is worth over $800, all you need to do is answer the question below in the comments. We are looking for the most creative response so give it your all!
What is a creative or innovative way that B2B marketers can use influencers to create awesome content?
Make sure to include your Twitter handle in your response. The winner will be announced on Friday, August 12th.