Nick Nelson

Break Free B2B Series: Judy Tian on Humanizing B2B Through Influencer Marketing

Nick Nelson on Dec 10th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Influencer Marketing, Video Interviews

As the world’s largest social network for professionals, LinkedIn* lies at the epicenter of people and business. 

Profiles on the platform put a real face on our professional brands, allowing visitors to learn about our interests, career experiences, and personalities. Emphasizing this human element, and creating a genuine sense of community among members, is paramount to LinkedIn’s brand mission according to Marketing Manager Judy Tian

“As a platform where so much of people’s job opportunities and personal and professional development takes place,” she says, “we really sought to humanize the brand and make it a more community-based platform, where real stories can be told and people would feel like they have relatable experiences there with others.”

Ashley Zeckman

10 Top B2B Influencer Marketing Predictions for 2020

Ashley Zeckman on Dec 9th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Influencer Marketing

Influencer Marketing Predictions for 2020

In late 2018, B2B influencer marketing was on the industry watch list as predictions for what this year would hold began popping up. And what we saw were some major advancements in what B2B marketers had planned for influencer marketing in 2019 including:

Some of these initiatives rose to the top for 2019, while others got lost in the day-to-day shuffle. However, 2019 was the year that B2B marketers really LEANED IN on influencer marketing in a way they hadn’t before. Many of the predictions from last year have become best practices for some of today’s top brands.

Nick Nelson

Break Free B2B Series: Janine Wegner on Building Brand Thought Leadership With the Help of Influencers

Nick Nelson on Nov 26th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Influencer Marketing, Video Interviews

Break Free B2B Marketing Interview with Janine Wenger of Dell Technologies

Influencer marketing is in a state of flux. In the past 10 days alone, I’ve seen suggestions that paid influencers are out, and that “influencer marketing — in the traditional sense — is in the midst of an irreversible fail from grace.”

Neither of these arguments is off the mark, per se, but they both frame the concept in outdated B2C-centric terms (the authors more or less acknowledge this with their qualifiers). No one can deny that the impact of hired celebrity influencers, transparently shilling products or services, is waning. It’s not an approach that builds trust or credibility. 

Kelly Hogan

Break Free B2B Series: Amisha Gandhi on Global B2B Influencer Marketing

Kelly Hogan on Nov 7th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Influencer Marketing

Break Free B2B Interview with Amisha Gandhi

Amisha Gandhi is the VP of Influencer Marketing & Communications for SAP Ariba & SAP Fieldglass. She is a sought-after speaker, and in this video — fresh off of a workshop presentation at MarketingProfs B2B Forum that absolutely rocked — she shares fascinating ideas about how to make an ongoing B2B influencer content marketing program not only work but drive organizational change and success. With that said, check out the full interview below.

Break Free B2B Marketing Interview with Amisha Gandhi

Below are some of our favorite insights from the chat between Amisha and our president and co-founder Susan Misukanis.

Sue: I’ll always get calls from B2B marketers who say they want to deploy the Kardashian model for their long-tale, B2B influencer program that is still in its infancy, and I feel like I need to redirect. What are your thoughts on that?

Lane Ellis

10 Tips From Influencer Marketing’s Hidden 1,000-Year History

Lane Ellis on Oct 24th, 2019     Influencer Marketing

Parthenon sunrise image.

When it comes to influencer marketing, we usually think of it as a fairly recent or even cutting-edge innovation. However, when you consider what’s at its heart, influencer marketing’s roots date back well over 1,000 years.

The way successful professionals practice influencer marketing is undoubtedly innovative and thoroughly modern, yet for more than a millennia we’ve had the trust, expertise, and wisdom that meld together to allow one person to hold influence over another.

There’s a reason influencer marketing has become one of the most powerful methods to build trust, create strong communications, and lasting professional relationships that it’s becoming more renowned for every day. That reason centers on fundamental human emotions and our innate desire to gain wisdom from people we trust — primal elements that apply equally to life and marketing that date from our earliest written history.

Ashley Zeckman

Tales from the B2B Influencer Marketing Trenches with Leaders from Dell & SAP #MPB2B

Ashley Zeckman on Oct 21st, 2019     B2B Marketing, Influencer Marketing, MarketingProfs B2B Forum

When was the last time you made a purchase without reading multiple reviews, asking your friends for recommendations or relying on an endorsement from someone that you know and trust? The likely response is: “I can’t even remember that far back.”

While trusting the insights of others to inform our purchasing decisions has become second-nature for both personal and business purchases, influencer marketing for B2B organizations is still fairly new. In fact, only 24% of marketers are currently partnering with influencers to expand their reach (CMI & MarketingProfs). 

Last week at MarketingProfs B2B Forum, seasoned influencer marketing leaders Konstanze Alex and Janine Wegner from Dell* and Amisha Gandhi from SAP* teamed up to share tales from the trenches of influencer marketing at their respective organizations. Below is just a sampling of the insights they shared that can help guide your approach for your brand. 

Nick Nelson

A Journey Through Always-On Influencer Marketing with Ashley Zeckman #MPB2B

Nick Nelson on Oct 16th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Influencer Marketing, MarketingProfs B2B Forum

Ashley Zeckman Presenting at MPB2B 2019

What is that makes Alice in Wonderland so powerful and resonant? It’s a tale that’s been retold – through books, movies, TV, video games, and various other content formats – time and time again. Terms like “down the rabbit hole” and “through the looking glass” are now fixtures in our collective lexicon. Almost everyone is familiar with Lewis Carroll’s whimsical world of fantasy.

Why?

There are many reasonable answers, but for me, it comes down to the characters. From Alice to the Mad Hatter to the Cheshire Cat to Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, the denizens of Wonderland are deeply memorable, and – in their own ways – relatable. As humans, we connect with people on a level that transcends things or places. 

Joshua Nite

Get Heroic Results from B2B Influencer Marketing with Advice from Ashley Zeckman #CMWorld

Joshua Nite on Sep 9th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing World, Influencer Marketing

Ashley Zeckman Presents at CMWorld 2019

B2B content marketers have faced many epic foes over the last few years. There’s the nefarious Content Shock, the demoralizing Facebook Algorithm, and the destructive Google Search Update. We have battled them all and continued to thrive.

But now we face our most fearsome foe: The Dreaded Trust Gap.

Less than half of consumers trust brands. Seventy-one percent of buyers are turned off by overly sales-y content. Buyers increasingly prefer content from industry influencers rather than brands.

It’s a daunting problem that needs a bold solution: The Guardians of Content!

In her Content Marketing World 2019 presentation, our very own Director of Digital Strategy Ashley Zeckman explained how B2B content marketers can initiate and scale up a heroic influencer content program of their own. Here are a few key takeaways.

Lane Ellis

The Currency of Influence in Marketing — Buy, Sell, or Trade

Lane Ellis on Aug 27th, 2019     Influencer Marketing

Paper currencies from many nations image.

Influence is its own form of a modern digital currency. Influence is able to overcome almost any obstacle, and more than ever, it’s the powerful (sometimes-hidden) global fuel that helps drive our multi-trillion dollar online business world.

In fact, according to the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer “In Brands We Trust?” report, 63% of consumers trust what influencers say about brands much more than what brands say about themselves within their advertising messages.

An even more telling statistic from the same study is that 58% said they had purchased a product in the past six months because of an influencer, as shown below.

2019 Edelman Trust Influencer Image

As the internet has matured since its 1991 creation, networking between people around the world has expanded to truly astounding heights, helping make wonderful projects and partnerships happen.

Debbie Friez

Margaret Shepard Shares How Mayo Clinic Built its Facebook Live Broadcast Strategy #DSMPLS

Debbie Friez on Aug 19th, 2019     Digital Summit, Facebook, Influencer Marketing, Video

The Mayo Clinic, one of our nation’s most renowned hospitals, believes in being social. More than 100 years ago, the Mayo brothers got the social ball rolling by inviting other surgeons to come to its facility in Rochester, MN to talk and learn from one another.

Today, that sharing and learning principle continues through social media, particularly Facebook Live.

With the hopes of helping patients learn more about their health care options, Mayo Clinic knew that research showed that word-of-mouth and expert insight could make an impact. With that in mind, it began its foray into live video on social media with Periscope and eventually moved to Facebook Live.

The hook of the broadcast? Leveraging the expert insights of experienced physicians.

Debbie Friez

TopRank Marketing’s Ashley Zeckman Shares How to Build Consumer Trust with Influencers #DSMPLS

Debbie Friez on Aug 19th, 2019     Digital Summit, Influencer Marketing

Ashley Zeckman Speaking at Digital Summit

In a world of consumer distrust, especially when it comes to marketing messages, it can sometimes feel like you’re living in the “Upside Down.” Everything that you thought was true about marketing and how you engage with customers and buyers is now different. In fact, sometimes nothing seems to make sense anymore.

In fact, Edelman found that less than 50% of U.S. consumers trust brands. In her Stranger Things-themed presentation at Digital Summit Minneapolis, TopRank Marketing’s Ashley Zeckman addressed the current state of marketing affairs and offered insight into ways that brands can improve trust and connect with their buying audience.

What’s her advice on changing the narrative and winning back the hearts and minds of customers? Partner with influencers to create credible content that can change the day and save the world. Stranger Things have happened, right?