Alexis Hall

How Collaborating with Influencers Can Help You Save the Day and Change the World of Marketing

Influencer marketing is a phrase on the tip of most marketer’s tongues, but many are still struggling to figure out exactly what it means in the context of their B2B business and how to implement.

At last week’s MarketingProfs B2B Forum in San Francisco, TopRank Marketing’s Ashley Zeckman took the stage to help set the influencer marketing story straight and provide insights into what it REALLY takes to develop a successful B2B influencer marketing program.

Why the Sudden Need for Influencer Marketing?

Trust in marketers has fallen. In fact, a recent study by HubSpot found that only 3% of people trust marketers (just over lobbyists and politicians). And B2B marketers specifically are facing the worst of it. MarketingProfs and CMI’s most recent report found that only 51% of B2B marketers state that their marketing is moderately successful and 61% of them still don’t have a document content strategy.

Ashley Zeckman

How Dell, SAP and Dun & Bradstreet Collaborate with Influencers to Scale Successful B2B Content #MPB2B

This week at MarketingProfs B2B forum, some of my favorite influencer marketers took the stage for a lively discussion on how they’ve been able to scale content creation by collaborating with influencers.

The panel was led by TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden and included the following rockstar marketers:

Dr. Konstanze Alex – Head of Corporate Influencer Relations, Dell

Amisha Gandhi – Vice President, Influencer Marketing, SAP Ariba

Luciana Moran – Senior Vice President, Content & Creative, Dun & Bradstreet

If you’re interested in influencer marketing, then you’re in for a real treat. In this post, I’ll outline some of the best insights for B2B influencer success. But first, let’s look at WHY influencer marketing is a must-have for B2B marketers.

Ashley Zeckman

7 Must-See #MPB2B Sessions Plus Exclusive Insights From Top B2B Marketing Speakers

The air is crisp and the leaves have fallen which means it’s time for one of my favorite Fall events: MarketingProfs B2B Forum.

Each year, B2B marketers from around the globe gather for this epic event. And this year, the forum is moving to San Francisco (we’ll miss you Boston) for the very first time.

At the conference, TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden will be guiding an expert panel of B2B influencer marketers who will dig into what it REALLY takes to create and scale a successful program. Shortly after, I will be taking the stage to share how you can identify influencers and tap into their superpowers with my Stranger Things themed presentation. We’d love to see you at both sessions if you can make it!

Lee Odden

B2B Influencer Marketing Interview: Whitney Magnuson, IBM

Whitney Magnuson IBM

Our journey into the world of B2B influencer marketing continues this week with an interview featuring Whitney Magnuson, Global head of social and influencers at IBM Systems.

Overall, IBM has a long history working with influencers ranging from the Midsize Insider blogging program to the IBM Futurists. For her part at IBM Systems, Whitney has overseen the creation of a first-of-its-kind external influencer outreach program that has since become the model for IBM company-wide among many other accomplishments.

In this interview, Whitney talks about the differences between B2C and B2B influencer marketing, how influencer marketing is positioned within her company, a favorite influencer marketing campaign and tips on tools and measurement.

What brought you to the world of Influencer Marketing?

Lee Odden

B2B Influencer Marketing Interview: Rani Mani, Adobe

Rani Mani Adobe

For this week’s installment of B2B influencer marketing interviews, we get to meet Rani Mani, Head of Social Influencer Enablement at Adobe. Besides her accomplishments working with cross functional teams and developing strategies for cultivating and nurturing community engagement so that Adobe can be a community driven business, she has an amazing and inspiring personal story.

In this interview, Rani shares how working with B2B influencers can drive marketing results, how influencer engagement is organized at Adobe, tips on recruiting and engaging influencers, and some her favorite B2B influencers to work with.

What brought you to the world of Influencer Marketing?

I am passionate about community building and shining a light on the people doing amazing things in the world with our products and services. Influencer Relations is a perfect fit for that passion.

Lee Odden

Just Getting Started with Influencer Marketing? 6 Things You Should Know

Lee Odden     Influencer Marketing

Smarter Influencer Marketing
According to the World Federation of Advertisers, 65% of multinational brands will increase their influencer marketing spending in the next 12 months. Mediakix reports that influencer ad spending alone will increase from $5 billion to $10 billion in the next 5 years.

Clearly, more companies are moving into the world of influencer marketing. Recent research from Traackr and Brian Solis from Altimeter group offers evidence of this momentum with the number of companies moving from experimenting to implementing tactical influencer marketing programs increasing from 28% to 47%.

While there’s a lot of inertia towards influencer marketing, it’s still early days for many companies, especially in B2B industries. Fortunately, B2B influencer content is a speciality area for us and if you’re thinking about starting or evolving your business influencer engagement and content program, here are a few things to consider:

Lee Odden

B2B Influencer Marketing Interview: Martin Jones, Cox Communications

Martin Jones

I’ve known Martin Jones casually through marketing conferences for several years. Martin occupies that unique position of being someone who manages influencer marketing programs for his brand and is also an influencer himself.

In fact, it is through an influencer engagement for IBM that both Martin and I were involved with that I had a chance to get to know him in earnest. His climb at Cox Communications is a classic American success story and at the same time, Martin is incredibly humble and one of the nicest people in the industry.

In this interview, Martin shares his journey into working with influencers, tips on identifying, recruiting and managing relationships with influencers as well as insights on measurement and his thoughts towards the future.

Lee Odden

From Basic to Advanced, the B2B Influencer Marketing Software You Need to Succeed

B2B influencer marketing software

A hot topic for every marketer today is working with influencers. But how do you find the right influencers? How do you manage those relationships and how do you scale programs?

Basically, what tools do you need when it comes to B2B influencer marketing?

Here is a collection of social media and influencer marketing tools you might find useful whether you’re a B2B or a B2C marketer. But definitely if you work in B2B.

Outside of the promotional tools you might use for the content marketing that goes along with most influencer marketing programs, there are three general areas of opportunity to scale with technology when it comes to working with influencers.

1- Identification, qualification and recruiting

Lee Odden

Enterprise B2B Influencer Marketing Interview: Angela Lipscomb, SAS

Angela Lipscomb

One of the great things about social media is connecting with other professionals and Angela Lipscomb and I have been connected on multiple networks for several years. I appreciate her relationship focus towards PR and influencer relations because so much of what is being done in the name of influencer marketing is transactional.  As I like to say, it’s the meaningful not the mechanical connections you make that contribute to success.

As the Influencer Relations Manager for SAS (business analytics software and services), Angela developed their first influencer program back when her role was in corporate communications. Her work there and on to media relations were ideal prep for her current influencer relations role to identify, engage and manage influencer relationships.

Lee Odden

Enterprise B2B Influencer Marketing Interview: Amisha Gandhi, SAP Ariba

Amish Gandhi Influencer Marketing Interview

One of the pioneers in the enterprise B2B influencer marketing space that I’ve been most fortunate to collaborate with most is Amisha Gandhi, (AmishaGandhi) Vice President of Influencer Marketing at SAP Ariba.

Whether it was the SAP Leonardo launch microsite with interactive content and 30+ influencers sharing their expertise reaching 21 million views or campaigns like this one with Arianna Huffington plus internal and external influencers for SAP SuccessFactors, there’s a lot of success in the momentum Amisha has created in the B2B influencer marketing world.

As the creator of SAP’s Global Influencer Program, Amisha has numerous B2B influencer marketing case studies being used in articles and presentations all over the industry. Now her focus is specifically with the Ariba global program that also includes working with analysts, communities and brand partners.

Lee Odden

Enterprise B2B Influencer Marketing Interview: Luciana Moran, Dun & Bradstreet

Influencer Marketing Interview with Luciana Moran

The world of B2B influencer marketing continues to grow and we continue to tap the top marketing executives in charge of leading the industry for their insights and experience.

In this installment of our Enterprise B2B Influencer Marketing Interview series, I talk with Luciana Moran (@lucymoran) Senior Vice President, Digital, Content & Creative at Dun & Bradstreet. Our mutual connections have only the best things to say about Lucy and in this generous interview you’ll learn why.

You’ll learn about how influencer marketing is organized within the company, tips on handling compliance, campaign structure and favorite influencer marketing platforms.

What brought you to the world of Influencer Marketing?

Lee Odden

Enterprise B2B Influencer Marketing Interview: Dr Konstanze Alex, Dell

Influencer Marketing Interview With Konstanze Alex

Within the world of B2B influencer marketing, there are a handful of brand experts who have been charting a course within large enterprise organizations for the rest of us to follow. One of those pathfinders is Dr. Konstanze Alex (@konstanze), Head of Corporate Influencer Relations at Dell.

My first experience with Konnie was several years ago when TopRank Marketing was working with Dell to develop relationships with IT influencers as part of an online publication initiative. Since then, we’ve worked with Dell to help develop an influencer marketing playbook, support influencer engagement at events and through content, but her relationship focus on working with influencers has stuck with me through it all.