April 21, 2021
  • by

Did you lose your job or business in this pandemic?

top questions when hiring a B2B influencer marketing agency

top questions when hiring a B2B influencer marketing agency

Confidence amongst B2B marketers in the role of influence, both externally and internally, has grown substantially in the past year. Following that growth is the number of B2B influencer marketing success stories inspiring marketers to investigate collaborative content strategies that include influencers.

At the same time, the pandemic has had its effect on marketing budgets and one of the trends over the past year that has stuck is the need for greater accountability and demonstration of ROI for marketing investments. While research shows that 96% of B2B marketers that engage influencers consider their program to be successful, 60% of marketers overall do not feel they have the skills or expertise in-house to execute on influencer programs.

The contrast of confidence and opportunity with the lack of in-house capabilities has drawn more marketers than ever to seek outside help for working with influencers. Agencies with deep expertise in B2B influencer marketing strategy, tactics, software and relationships with top influencers enables B2B brands to hit the ground running with confidence and acceleration that simply isn’t possible working alone.

Our research has found that B2B marketers that seek help from agencies often engage those experts to perform several key functions:

  • Identify influencers 79%
  • Manage influencer relationships 76%
  • Develop influencer marketing strategy 71%
  • Measure influencer program effectiveness 66%
  • Integrate with other marketing efforts 63%
  • Implement influencer marketing campaigns 60%
  • Manage influencer marketing technology 44%

While the value agencies can provide B2B brands around working with influencers is clear, there are some things marketers should look for and ask in order to separate those with actual skills and capabilities vs. those agencies opportunistically adding another offering to their services mix. Here is a collection of important questions B2B marketers should ask when evaluating B2B marketing agencies for influencer content marketing programs:

How long have B2B companies engaged your agency to deliver influencer marketing services?

As with all marketing strategies that gain popularity, many agencies with tack them on to their services mix in order to capitalize on the trend without actually having the expertise (yet). Do you want to be a guinea pig for an agency or do you want to be another success story?

Have you provided influencer marketing services in our industry before? Please share an example:

Expertise in your industry matters enough that this question must be asked. While overall influencer marketing is newer to B2B than in consumer industries, there are a growing number of specialists that understand the nuances of the industries they focus on and have existing relationships with influencers in those industries. Influence requires authenticity and to create that kind of trusted credibility with industry influencers, it can be very beneficial if the agency has deep expertise and connections already.

What is the size and nature of your influencer network and how do you ensure we are only working with the most impactful influencers?

Experienced B2B marketing agencies that work with influencers understand the value of relationships. Therefore, they will not simply “use” influencers for campaigns, but work to create, maintain and elevate relationships with those influencers so when a new client project comes along, they are warm to the idea of an invitation to participate. The best influencers are very, very busy and in high demand. An existing relationship with the agency is often the reason a coveted influencer says yes to engage in a B2B brand they have not worked with before.

How do you go about identifying and activating the right influencers for us?

As mentioned above, our research found that the top task B2B brands get help with from agencies is influencer identification. It’s important to understand if the agency takes a transactional approach or a more romantic/persuasive approach. Technology also plays a role and if the agency simply says they would use Twitter and LinkedIn vs. a software platform that uses algorithms and sometimes artificial intelligence to analyze vast amounts of social data to identify individuals most appropriate to your topics of relevance, audience resonance and reach – then there will be disappointment. Influence in B2B is more than social data and requires both technology and industry expertise to identify, qualify and activate.

What is your process for campaigns vs. always-on influencer programs?

Many agencies new to influencer content marketing don’t really understand when campaign is right compared to an always-on program or even what an always-on program entails. It’s important that the agency can describe the use case differences and how an influencer program can evolve over time to deliver substantially greater value.

What compensation or value exchange approach do you recommend when working with influencers?

In B2B, the majority of influencer engagement is organic value exchange where influencers participate in content collaboration in exchange for exposure or participation in a formal brand influencer program. However, there are a growing number of professional B2B influencers and that means more financial compensation. It is important to understand whether the agency defaults to simply paying influencers for every contribution or if they have the ability to recruit influencer organically as well as work with professional influencers for hire.

How do you integrate external influencers with internal executives and SMEs?

Influence is more important than ever for B2B brands to create, maintain and grow connections with their customers. Pairing external influencers with internal executives or subject matter experts creates value for the customer experience multiple levels. Including both internal and external influencers in brand content gives it more credibility as well as building the influence of internal brand staff through association with respected industry experts. Does the agency understand this opportunity and do they have expertise in convincing executives to be more social and influential?

What types of content do you specialize in for influencer collaboration?

A growing number of B2B influencer marketing resources offer both technology and services from an influencer identification and engagement standpoint. It is important to understand what outputs and outcomes are possible as a result of the expertise the agency brings. Content is one of the most valuable products from B2B brand and influencer collaborations and it will be important to understand whether the agency has experience in the formats that influencers favor: live video streaming, recorded video, podcasts, social audio, episodic “show” content, social media content, live events and of course all forms of text content – blog posts, research, reports, etc.

What software or technologies do you use to support influencer identification, management and performance measurement?

There simply is no scaling of impact when it comes to influencer marketing unless technologies are in place to support ongoing influencer identification, management and performance measurement. There are a handful of platforms that promise to do everything but the more likely scenario for a B2B brand is that there will be a combination of platform + specialist tools. It is important to know what the agency has deep experience with and what kinds of specialist tools are used and for what reason.

The evaluation process for engaging a B2B marketing agency to provide influencer content marketing services will vary by the needs of the company, market, resources, timeframe and industry. But these questions should give B2B marketers that are considering engaging outside expertise in any industry the answers to identify the best possible partners. On the surface, partnering with influencers can seem pretty straightforward. But the reality is, the difference between a successful pilot that generates both results and the data to support scaled influencer marketing engagement and a waste of time and resources is whether marketers have invested getting help from those that have proven strategies, processes, relationships and technology savvy.

The post 9 Questions to Ask When Hiring a B2B Influencer Marketing Agency appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

April 21, 2021
  • by

Do you know anyone that likes to shop online?

top questions when hiring a B2B influencer marketing agency

top questions when hiring a B2B influencer marketing agency

Confidence amongst B2B marketers in the role of influence, both externally and internally, has grown substantially in the past year. Following that growth is the number of B2B influencer marketing success stories inspiring marketers to investigate collaborative content strategies that include influencers.

At the same time, the pandemic has had its effect on marketing budgets and one of the trends over the past year that has stuck is the need for greater accountability and demonstration of ROI for marketing investments. While research shows that 96% of B2B marketers that engage influencers consider their program to be successful, 60% of marketers overall do not feel they have the skills or expertise in-house to execute on influencer programs.

The contrast of confidence and opportunity with the lack of in-house capabilities has drawn more marketers than ever to seek outside help for working with influencers. Agencies with deep expertise in B2B influencer marketing strategy, tactics, software and relationships with top influencers enables B2B brands to hit the ground running with confidence and acceleration that simply isn’t possible working alone.

Our research has found that B2B marketers that seek help from agencies often engage those experts to perform several key functions:

  • Identify influencers 79%
  • Manage influencer relationships 76%
  • Develop influencer marketing strategy 71%
  • Measure influencer program effectiveness 66%
  • Integrate with other marketing efforts 63%
  • Implement influencer marketing campaigns 60%
  • Manage influencer marketing technology 44%

While the value agencies can provide B2B brands around working with influencers is clear, there are some things marketers should look for and ask in order to separate those with actual skills and capabilities vs. those agencies opportunistically adding another offering to their services mix. Here is a collection of important questions B2B marketers should ask when evaluating B2B marketing agencies for influencer content marketing programs:

How long have B2B companies engaged your agency to deliver influencer marketing services?

As with all marketing strategies that gain popularity, many agencies with tack them on to their services mix in order to capitalize on the trend without actually having the expertise (yet). Do you want to be a guinea pig for an agency or do you want to be another success story?

Have you provided influencer marketing services in our industry before? Please share an example:

Expertise in your industry matters enough that this question must be asked. While overall influencer marketing is newer to B2B than in consumer industries, there are a growing number of specialists that understand the nuances of the industries they focus on and have existing relationships with influencers in those industries. Influence requires authenticity and to create that kind of trusted credibility with industry influencers, it can be very beneficial if the agency has deep expertise and connections already.

What is the size and nature of your influencer network and how do you ensure we are only working with the most impactful influencers?

Experienced B2B marketing agencies that work with influencers understand the value of relationships. Therefore, they will not simply “use” influencers for campaigns, but work to create, maintain and elevate relationships with those influencers so when a new client project comes along, they are warm to the idea of an invitation to participate. The best influencers are very, very busy and in high demand. An existing relationship with the agency is often the reason a coveted influencer says yes to engage in a B2B brand they have not worked with before.

How do you go about identifying and activating the right influencers for us?

As mentioned above, our research found that the top task B2B brands get help with from agencies is influencer identification. It’s important to understand if the agency takes a transactional approach or a more romantic/persuasive approach. Technology also plays a role and if the agency simply says they would use Twitter and LinkedIn vs. a software platform that uses algorithms and sometimes artificial intelligence to analyze vast amounts of social data to identify individuals most appropriate to your topics of relevance, audience resonance and reach – then there will be disappointment. Influence in B2B is more than social data and requires both technology and industry expertise to identify, qualify and activate.

What is your process for campaigns vs. always-on influencer programs?

Many agencies new to influencer content marketing don’t really understand when campaign is right compared to an always-on program or even what an always-on program entails. It’s important that the agency can describe the use case differences and how an influencer program can evolve over time to deliver substantially greater value.

What compensation or value exchange approach do you recommend when working with influencers?

In B2B, the majority of influencer engagement is organic value exchange where influencers participate in content collaboration in exchange for exposure or participation in a formal brand influencer program. However, there are a growing number of professional B2B influencers and that means more financial compensation. It is important to understand whether the agency defaults to simply paying influencers for every contribution or if they have the ability to recruit influencer organically as well as work with professional influencers for hire.

How do you integrate external influencers with internal executives and SMEs?

Influence is more important than ever for B2B brands to create, maintain and grow connections with their customers. Pairing external influencers with internal executives or subject matter experts creates value for the customer experience multiple levels. Including both internal and external influencers in brand content gives it more credibility as well as building the influence of internal brand staff through association with respected industry experts. Does the agency understand this opportunity and do they have expertise in convincing executives to be more social and influential?

What types of content do you specialize in for influencer collaboration?

A growing number of B2B influencer marketing resources offer both technology and services from an influencer identification and engagement standpoint. It is important to understand what outputs and outcomes are possible as a result of the expertise the agency brings. Content is one of the most valuable products from B2B brand and influencer collaborations and it will be important to understand whether the agency has experience in the formats that influencers favor: live video streaming, recorded video, podcasts, social audio, episodic “show” content, social media content, live events and of course all forms of text content – blog posts, research, reports, etc.

What software or technologies do you use to support influencer identification, management and performance measurement?

There simply is no scaling of impact when it comes to influencer marketing unless technologies are in place to support ongoing influencer identification, management and performance measurement. There are a handful of platforms that promise to do everything but the more likely scenario for a B2B brand is that there will be a combination of platform + specialist tools. It is important to know what the agency has deep experience with and what kinds of specialist tools are used and for what reason.

The evaluation process for engaging a B2B marketing agency to provide influencer content marketing services will vary by the needs of the company, market, resources, timeframe and industry. But these questions should give B2B marketers that are considering engaging outside expertise in any industry the answers to identify the best possible partners. On the surface, partnering with influencers can seem pretty straightforward. But the reality is, the difference between a successful pilot that generates both results and the data to support scaled influencer marketing engagement and a waste of time and resources is whether marketers have invested getting help from those that have proven strategies, processes, relationships and technology savvy.

The post 9 Questions to Ask When Hiring a B2B Influencer Marketing Agency appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

April 20, 2021
  • by

Did you know you could market your business online at a very low cost?

top questions when hiring a B2B influencer marketing agency

top questions when hiring a B2B influencer marketing agency

Confidence amongst B2B marketers in the role of influence, both externally and internally, has grown substantially in the past year. Following that growth is the number of B2B influencer marketing success stories inspiring marketers to investigate collaborative content strategies that include influencers.

At the same time, the pandemic has had its effect on marketing budgets and one of the trends over the past year that has stuck is the need for greater accountability and demonstration of ROI for marketing investments. While research shows that 96% of B2B marketers that engage influencers consider their program to be successful, 60% of marketers overall do not feel they have the skills or expertise in-house to execute on influencer programs.

The contrast of confidence and opportunity with the lack of in-house capabilities has drawn more marketers than ever to seek outside help for working with influencers. Agencies with deep expertise in B2B influencer marketing strategy, tactics, software and relationships with top influencers enables B2B brands to hit the ground running with confidence and acceleration that simply isn’t possible working alone.

Our research has found that B2B marketers that seek help from agencies often engage those experts to perform several key functions:

  • Identify influencers 79%
  • Manage influencer relationships 76%
  • Develop influencer marketing strategy 71%
  • Measure influencer program effectiveness 66%
  • Integrate with other marketing efforts 63%
  • Implement influencer marketing campaigns 60%
  • Manage influencer marketing technology 44%

While the value agencies can provide B2B brands around working with influencers is clear, there are some things marketers should look for and ask in order to separate those with actual skills and capabilities vs. those agencies opportunistically adding another offering to their services mix. Here is a collection of important questions B2B marketers should ask when evaluating B2B marketing agencies for influencer content marketing programs:

How long have B2B companies engaged your agency to deliver influencer marketing services?

As with all marketing strategies that gain popularity, many agencies with tack them on to their services mix in order to capitalize on the trend without actually having the expertise (yet). Do you want to be a guinea pig for an agency or do you want to be another success story?

Have you provided influencer marketing services in our industry before? Please share an example:

Expertise in your industry matters enough that this question must be asked. While overall influencer marketing is newer to B2B than in consumer industries, there are a growing number of specialists that understand the nuances of the industries they focus on and have existing relationships with influencers in those industries. Influence requires authenticity and to create that kind of trusted credibility with industry influencers, it can be very beneficial if the agency has deep expertise and connections already.

What is the size and nature of your influencer network and how do you ensure we are only working with the most impactful influencers?

Experienced B2B marketing agencies that work with influencers understand the value of relationships. Therefore, they will not simply “use” influencers for campaigns, but work to create, maintain and elevate relationships with those influencers so when a new client project comes along, they are warm to the idea of an invitation to participate. The best influencers are very, very busy and in high demand. An existing relationship with the agency is often the reason a coveted influencer says yes to engage in a B2B brand they have not worked with before.

How do you go about identifying and activating the right influencers for us?

As mentioned above, our research found that the top task B2B brands get help with from agencies is influencer identification. It’s important to understand if the agency takes a transactional approach or a more romantic/persuasive approach. Technology also plays a role and if the agency simply says they would use Twitter and LinkedIn vs. a software platform that uses algorithms and sometimes artificial intelligence to analyze vast amounts of social data to identify individuals most appropriate to your topics of relevance, audience resonance and reach – then there will be disappointment. Influence in B2B is more than social data and requires both technology and industry expertise to identify, qualify and activate.

What is your process for campaigns vs. always-on influencer programs?

Many agencies new to influencer content marketing don’t really understand when campaign is right compared to an always-on program or even what an always-on program entails. It’s important that the agency can describe the use case differences and how an influencer program can evolve over time to deliver substantially greater value.

What compensation or value exchange approach do you recommend when working with influencers?

In B2B, the majority of influencer engagement is organic value exchange where influencers participate in content collaboration in exchange for exposure or participation in a formal brand influencer program. However, there are a growing number of professional B2B influencers and that means more financial compensation. It is important to understand whether the agency defaults to simply paying influencers for every contribution or if they have the ability to recruit influencer organically as well as work with professional influencers for hire.

How do you integrate external influencers with internal executives and SMEs?

Influence is more important than ever for B2B brands to create, maintain and grow connections with their customers. Pairing external influencers with internal executives or subject matter experts creates value for the customer experience multiple levels. Including both internal and external influencers in brand content gives it more credibility as well as building the influence of internal brand staff through association with respected industry experts. Does the agency understand this opportunity and do they have expertise in convincing executives to be more social and influential?

What types of content do you specialize in for influencer collaboration?

A growing number of B2B influencer marketing resources offer both technology and services from an influencer identification and engagement standpoint. It is important to understand what outputs and outcomes are possible as a result of the expertise the agency brings. Content is one of the most valuable products from B2B brand and influencer collaborations and it will be important to understand whether the agency has experience in the formats that influencers favor: live video streaming, recorded video, podcasts, social audio, episodic “show” content, social media content, live events and of course all forms of text content – blog posts, research, reports, etc.

What software or technologies do you use to support influencer identification, management and performance measurement?

There simply is no scaling of impact when it comes to influencer marketing unless technologies are in place to support ongoing influencer identification, management and performance measurement. There are a handful of platforms that promise to do everything but the more likely scenario for a B2B brand is that there will be a combination of platform + specialist tools. It is important to know what the agency has deep experience with and what kinds of specialist tools are used and for what reason.

The evaluation process for engaging a B2B marketing agency to provide influencer content marketing services will vary by the needs of the company, market, resources, timeframe and industry. But these questions should give B2B marketers that are considering engaging outside expertise in any industry the answers to identify the best possible partners. On the surface, partnering with influencers can seem pretty straightforward. But the reality is, the difference between a successful pilot that generates both results and the data to support scaled influencer marketing engagement and a waste of time and resources is whether marketers have invested getting help from those that have proven strategies, processes, relationships and technology savvy.

The post 9 Questions to Ask When Hiring a B2B Influencer Marketing Agency appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

April 19, 2021
  • by

Are you ready to start your online business now?

top questions when hiring a B2B influencer marketing agency

top questions when hiring a B2B influencer marketing agency

Confidence amongst B2B marketers in the role of influence, both externally and internally, has grown substantially in the past year. Following that growth is the number of B2B influencer marketing success stories inspiring marketers to investigate collaborative content strategies that include influencers.

At the same time, the pandemic has had its effect on marketing budgets and one of the trends over the past year that has stuck is the need for greater accountability and demonstration of ROI for marketing investments. While research shows that 96% of B2B marketers that engage influencers consider their program to be successful, 60% of marketers overall do not feel they have the skills or expertise in-house to execute on influencer programs.

The contrast of confidence and opportunity with the lack of in-house capabilities has drawn more marketers than ever to seek outside help for working with influencers. Agencies with deep expertise in B2B influencer marketing strategy, tactics, software and relationships with top influencers enables B2B brands to hit the ground running with confidence and acceleration that simply isn’t possible working alone.

Our research has found that B2B marketers that seek help from agencies often engage those experts to perform several key functions:

  • Identify influencers 79%
  • Manage influencer relationships 76%
  • Develop influencer marketing strategy 71%
  • Measure influencer program effectiveness 66%
  • Integrate with other marketing efforts 63%
  • Implement influencer marketing campaigns 60%
  • Manage influencer marketing technology 44%

While the value agencies can provide B2B brands around working with influencers is clear, there are some things marketers should look for and ask in order to separate those with actual skills and capabilities vs. those agencies opportunistically adding another offering to their services mix. Here is a collection of important questions B2B marketers should ask when evaluating B2B marketing agencies for influencer content marketing programs:

How long have B2B companies engaged your agency to deliver influencer marketing services?

As with all marketing strategies that gain popularity, many agencies with tack them on to their services mix in order to capitalize on the trend without actually having the expertise (yet). Do you want to be a guinea pig for an agency or do you want to be another success story?

Have you provided influencer marketing services in our industry before? Please share an example:

Expertise in your industry matters enough that this question must be asked. While overall influencer marketing is newer to B2B than in consumer industries, there are a growing number of specialists that understand the nuances of the industries they focus on and have existing relationships with influencers in those industries. Influence requires authenticity and to create that kind of trusted credibility with industry influencers, it can be very beneficial if the agency has deep expertise and connections already.

What is the size and nature of your influencer network and how do you ensure we are only working with the most impactful influencers?

Experienced B2B marketing agencies that work with influencers understand the value of relationships. Therefore, they will not simply “use” influencers for campaigns, but work to create, maintain and elevate relationships with those influencers so when a new client project comes along, they are warm to the idea of an invitation to participate. The best influencers are very, very busy and in high demand. An existing relationship with the agency is often the reason a coveted influencer says yes to engage in a B2B brand they have not worked with before.

How do you go about identifying and activating the right influencers for us?

As mentioned above, our research found that the top task B2B brands get help with from agencies is influencer identification. It’s important to understand if the agency takes a transactional approach or a more romantic/persuasive approach. Technology also plays a role and if the agency simply says they would use Twitter and LinkedIn vs. a software platform that uses algorithms and sometimes artificial intelligence to analyze vast amounts of social data to identify individuals most appropriate to your topics of relevance, audience resonance and reach – then there will be disappointment. Influence in B2B is more than social data and requires both technology and industry expertise to identify, qualify and activate.

What is your process for campaigns vs. always-on influencer programs?

Many agencies new to influencer content marketing don’t really understand when campaign is right compared to an always-on program or even what an always-on program entails. It’s important that the agency can describe the use case differences and how an influencer program can evolve over time to deliver substantially greater value.

What compensation or value exchange approach do you recommend when working with influencers?

In B2B, the majority of influencer engagement is organic value exchange where influencers participate in content collaboration in exchange for exposure or participation in a formal brand influencer program. However, there are a growing number of professional B2B influencers and that means more financial compensation. It is important to understand whether the agency defaults to simply paying influencers for every contribution or if they have the ability to recruit influencer organically as well as work with professional influencers for hire.

How do you integrate external influencers with internal executives and SMEs?

Influence is more important than ever for B2B brands to create, maintain and grow connections with their customers. Pairing external influencers with internal executives or subject matter experts creates value for the customer experience multiple levels. Including both internal and external influencers in brand content gives it more credibility as well as building the influence of internal brand staff through association with respected industry experts. Does the agency understand this opportunity and do they have expertise in convincing executives to be more social and influential?

What types of content do you specialize in for influencer collaboration?

A growing number of B2B influencer marketing resources offer both technology and services from an influencer identification and engagement standpoint. It is important to understand what outputs and outcomes are possible as a result of the expertise the agency brings. Content is one of the most valuable products from B2B brand and influencer collaborations and it will be important to understand whether the agency has experience in the formats that influencers favor: live video streaming, recorded video, podcasts, social audio, episodic “show” content, social media content, live events and of course all forms of text content – blog posts, research, reports, etc.

What software or technologies do you use to support influencer identification, management and performance measurement?

There simply is no scaling of impact when it comes to influencer marketing unless technologies are in place to support ongoing influencer identification, management and performance measurement. There are a handful of platforms that promise to do everything but the more likely scenario for a B2B brand is that there will be a combination of platform + specialist tools. It is important to know what the agency has deep experience with and what kinds of specialist tools are used and for what reason.

The evaluation process for engaging a B2B marketing agency to provide influencer content marketing services will vary by the needs of the company, market, resources, timeframe and industry. But these questions should give B2B marketers that are considering engaging outside expertise in any industry the answers to identify the best possible partners. On the surface, partnering with influencers can seem pretty straightforward. But the reality is, the difference between a successful pilot that generates both results and the data to support scaled influencer marketing engagement and a waste of time and resources is whether marketers have invested getting help from those that have proven strategies, processes, relationships and technology savvy.

The post 9 Questions to Ask When Hiring a B2B Influencer Marketing Agency appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

April 19, 2021
  • by

Did you lose your job or business in this pandemic?

top questions when hiring a B2B influencer marketing agency

top questions when hiring a B2B influencer marketing agency

Confidence amongst B2B marketers in the role of influence, both externally and internally, has grown substantially in the past year. Following that growth is the number of B2B influencer marketing success stories inspiring marketers to investigate collaborative content strategies that include influencers.

At the same time, the pandemic has had its effect on marketing budgets and one of the trends over the past year that has stuck is the need for greater accountability and demonstration of ROI for marketing investments. While research shows that 96% of B2B marketers that engage influencers consider their program to be successful, 60% of marketers overall do not feel they have the skills or expertise in-house to execute on influencer programs.

The contrast of confidence and opportunity with the lack of in-house capabilities has drawn more marketers than ever to seek outside help for working with influencers. Agencies with deep expertise in B2B influencer marketing strategy, tactics, software and relationships with top influencers enables B2B brands to hit the ground running with confidence and acceleration that simply isn’t possible working alone.

Our research has found that B2B marketers that seek help from agencies often engage those experts to perform several key functions:

  • Identify influencers 79%
  • Manage influencer relationships 76%
  • Develop influencer marketing strategy 71%
  • Measure influencer program effectiveness 66%
  • Integrate with other marketing efforts 63%
  • Implement influencer marketing campaigns 60%
  • Manage influencer marketing technology 44%

While the value agencies can provide B2B brands around working with influencers is clear, there are some things marketers should look for and ask in order to separate those with actual skills and capabilities vs. those agencies opportunistically adding another offering to their services mix. Here is a collection of important questions B2B marketers should ask when evaluating B2B marketing agencies for influencer content marketing programs:

How long have B2B companies engaged your agency to deliver influencer marketing services?

As with all marketing strategies that gain popularity, many agencies with tack them on to their services mix in order to capitalize on the trend without actually having the expertise (yet). Do you want to be a guinea pig for an agency or do you want to be another success story?

Have you provided influencer marketing services in our industry before? Please share an example:

Expertise in your industry matters enough that this question must be asked. While overall influencer marketing is newer to B2B than in consumer industries, there are a growing number of specialists that understand the nuances of the industries they focus on and have existing relationships with influencers in those industries. Influence requires authenticity and to create that kind of trusted credibility with industry influencers, it can be very beneficial if the agency has deep expertise and connections already.

What is the size and nature of your influencer network and how do you ensure we are only working with the most impactful influencers?

Experienced B2B marketing agencies that work with influencers understand the value of relationships. Therefore, they will not simply “use” influencers for campaigns, but work to create, maintain and elevate relationships with those influencers so when a new client project comes along, they are warm to the idea of an invitation to participate. The best influencers are very, very busy and in high demand. An existing relationship with the agency is often the reason a coveted influencer says yes to engage in a B2B brand they have not worked with before.

How do you go about identifying and activating the right influencers for us?

As mentioned above, our research found that the top task B2B brands get help with from agencies is influencer identification. It’s important to understand if the agency takes a transactional approach or a more romantic/persuasive approach. Technology also plays a role and if the agency simply says they would use Twitter and LinkedIn vs. a software platform that uses algorithms and sometimes artificial intelligence to analyze vast amounts of social data to identify individuals most appropriate to your topics of relevance, audience resonance and reach – then there will be disappointment. Influence in B2B is more than social data and requires both technology and industry expertise to identify, qualify and activate.

What is your process for campaigns vs. always-on influencer programs?

Many agencies new to influencer content marketing don’t really understand when campaign is right compared to an always-on program or even what an always-on program entails. It’s important that the agency can describe the use case differences and how an influencer program can evolve over time to deliver substantially greater value.

What compensation or value exchange approach do you recommend when working with influencers?

In B2B, the majority of influencer engagement is organic value exchange where influencers participate in content collaboration in exchange for exposure or participation in a formal brand influencer program. However, there are a growing number of professional B2B influencers and that means more financial compensation. It is important to understand whether the agency defaults to simply paying influencers for every contribution or if they have the ability to recruit influencer organically as well as work with professional influencers for hire.

How do you integrate external influencers with internal executives and SMEs?

Influence is more important than ever for B2B brands to create, maintain and grow connections with their customers. Pairing external influencers with internal executives or subject matter experts creates value for the customer experience multiple levels. Including both internal and external influencers in brand content gives it more credibility as well as building the influence of internal brand staff through association with respected industry experts. Does the agency understand this opportunity and do they have expertise in convincing executives to be more social and influential?

What types of content do you specialize in for influencer collaboration?

A growing number of B2B influencer marketing resources offer both technology and services from an influencer identification and engagement standpoint. It is important to understand what outputs and outcomes are possible as a result of the expertise the agency brings. Content is one of the most valuable products from B2B brand and influencer collaborations and it will be important to understand whether the agency has experience in the formats that influencers favor: live video streaming, recorded video, podcasts, social audio, episodic “show” content, social media content, live events and of course all forms of text content – blog posts, research, reports, etc.

What software or technologies do you use to support influencer identification, management and performance measurement?

There simply is no scaling of impact when it comes to influencer marketing unless technologies are in place to support ongoing influencer identification, management and performance measurement. There are a handful of platforms that promise to do everything but the more likely scenario for a B2B brand is that there will be a combination of platform + specialist tools. It is important to know what the agency has deep experience with and what kinds of specialist tools are used and for what reason.

The evaluation process for engaging a B2B marketing agency to provide influencer content marketing services will vary by the needs of the company, market, resources, timeframe and industry. But these questions should give B2B marketers that are considering engaging outside expertise in any industry the answers to identify the best possible partners. On the surface, partnering with influencers can seem pretty straightforward. But the reality is, the difference between a successful pilot that generates both results and the data to support scaled influencer marketing engagement and a waste of time and resources is whether marketers have invested getting help from those that have proven strategies, processes, relationships and technology savvy.

The post 9 Questions to Ask When Hiring a B2B Influencer Marketing Agency appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

April 19, 2021
  • by

Are you ready to start your online business now?

2021 April 16 MarketingCharts Chart

2021 April 16 MarketingCharts Chart

The Buzz On B2B: Email Is Tops For Both Acquisition And Retention
Half of B2B marketers have seen email click-through rates (CTRs) remain steady during the first quarter of 2021, while 28 percent saw higher CTR than during 2020, according to recently-released survey data, which also showed that by early 2022 some 40 percent of marketers expect to restore their marketing spending to regular levels, with 25 percent doing so in early 2021. MediaPost

Vast Majority of Consumers Associate High-Quality Creative with Brand Trust
85 percent of U.S. adult consumers in a recent survey said that well-designed ads help build brand trust, while 64 percent said that brands with poor creative design were less trsutworthy, according to the Celta survey. MarketingCharts

B2B Content Marketers Get Higher Salaries, Bonuses Than B2C
B2B content editors and marketing professionals have earned more than their counterparts in B2C marketing, and were more likely to be paid cash bonuses, according to newly-published survey data of interest to digital marketers. MediaPost

Google Launches Video Ad Experiments to Help Refine Marketing Approaches
Google has announced a forthcoming feature that will allow brands to try various video ad approaches in its Google Ads program, offering video marketers new ways to experiment and observe how multiple ad variations resonate with their audiences, the search giant recently revealed. Social Media Today

IAB: Digital Ads Grew 29% In Q4 In Pandemic Rebound
Digital advertising spending grew to $45.6 billion during the fourth quarter of 2020, a 29 percent increase year-over-year that represented to top quarter in 20 years, while overall Internet ad spend climbed by 12.2 percent for 2020, reaching $139.8 billion, according to newly-released revenue report data from the Interactive Advertising Bureau. AdExchanger

Facebook Tests Updated Up and Downvoting for Comments in Groups
Facebook has experimented with comment voting, having added Reddit-like up and down rankings in an expanded Facebook group test, the social media giant recently announced. Social Media Today

2021 April 16 Statistics Image

Nearly half of execs expect social marketing budgets to double in next 3 years, study finds
46 percent of business executives have said that the social media marketing budgets at their firms are expected to double within the next three years, while 91 percent said that their social marketing budgets will experience a rise of any level, according to recently-released survey data from The Harris Poll. Marketing Dive

Facebook tests Hotline, a Q&A product that’s a mashup of Clubhouse and Instagram Live
Facebook has tested a mash-up that adds video into the mix for its new Hotline product, combining the functionality of Clubhouse and Instagram Live, the social media firm recently announced. TechCrunch

Google Search Console adds regular expression support and more data filtering to Performance reports
Google has updated its latest Search Console to include more comparison mode filtering options, along with the addition of more powerful regular expression search functionality, the search firm announced recently. Search Engine Land

What Are Marketing Leadership’s Biggest Gaps?
The customer journey along with its acquisition and conversion sits atop the list of marketing leadership deficiencies, according to a recently-released survey of chief marketing officers, followed closely by segmentation and personalized messaging at scale, with action on customer data insight occupying the third most frequently noted marketing leadership gap. MarketingCharts

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

2021 April 16 Marketoonist Comic

A lighthearted look at “advertising without cookies” by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist

These Were the Most Effective Ads of 2020, According to Kantar — Adweek

TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:

  • Susan Misukanis — 10 Personal Development Tips to Help You Love Your Small Business Life — Small Business Trends

Have you come across your own favorite B2B marketing story from the past week of industry news? Please let us know in the comments below.

Thanks for joining us for the TopRank Marketing B2B marketing news, and we hope that you’ll return again next Friday for more of the week’s most relevant B2B and digital marketing industry news. In the meantime, you can follow us at @toprank on Twitter for even more timely daily news.

The post B2B Marketing News: B2B Email Study, Marketing Leadership Gaps, Digital Ad Spend Surges, & High-Quality Creative Drives Brand Trust appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

April 19, 2021
  • by

Are you ready to start your online business now?

small-business-now-fully-reopened.png

Following the easing of COVID restrictions, more than half (57%) of small businesses are now fully reopened.

This welcoming news was uncovered by Kabbage, an American Express Company, in its Small Business Recovery report. The report tracks the recovery of small businesses in the US throughout 2021, as they rebound from the crisis.

The first instalment of the report polled more than 550 small business leaders. The research tracked numerous pointers, including profit, total revenue, headcount, future outlooks, and online strategies.

57% of Small Business Fully Reopened Post-COVID

It found that reopening rates were significantly aided by shifting operations online. One-third of the participants said they either sell exclusively online or offer a hybrid model of selling. This compares to pre-pandemic days when the average monthly online sales of respondents represented 37% of total revenue.

The findings of the report offer important insight into how small businesses are recovering as lockdown restrictions are eased and markets start to open up. It reiterates the importance of adopting an online presence and selling either exclusively online or through a hybrid model.

Tools to Support Recovery and Growth

The report also highlights the need for small businesses to have the right tools and facilities in place to help nurture and sustain growth.

Rob Frohwein, co-founder of Kabbage, says, “As our economy recovers it’s imperative all small businesses, especially those most marginalized and vulnerable, have equitable access to financial tools, systems and stimulus programs to ensure we all rebound from the crisis together.”

Recovery Milestones

The small business leaders were asked which milestones would best indicate that their business has recovered from the pandemic. 50% of respondent said paying employees their full wages without concern was their leading recovery milestone.

47% of business leaders said paying themselves their pre-pandemic salary was the most significant indicator of recovery. The same number believe attaining the levels of gross revenue and total daily transactions as before the pandemic were their primary recovery milestones.

39% said reaching greater levels of customer demand and new inbound business were their principal indicators of recovery.

Importance of Vaccinations

Vaccinations are also at the top of the priority list among small businesses in the drive to recovery. At the time the survey was carried out, 12% of the small business leaders had received a COVID vaccination. Many cited having greater access to vaccinations was required in order to fully reopen.

Most of the milestones listed by small businesses are related to revenue and profit. However, they also show how important small businesses hold the wellbeing of their employees, something that all small businesses should take note of and act upon.

Image: Depositphotos

This article, “ 57% of US Small Businesses Now Fully Reopened After COVID Restrictions Eased” was first published on Small Business Trends

April 18, 2021
  • by

Do you need help with marketing material or software?

using-short-video-content.png

The face of social media has changed significantly in a short time, and today short video content is dominating user news feeds. While some social media platforms use video as a feature, like Instagram Stories, others, such as TikTok, use short videos as their main form of communication. Businesses can then leverage this content on their own social media pages to help improve their customer engagement and boost sales. To share insights on how to do just that, 12 experts from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) answer the following question:

“What’s one way you’ve used Instagram Stories, TikTok or other short video content for your small business, and why do you think it was so effective in achieving your goal?”

Use one of these methods to make your video content really work for you and your business.

1. Connecting With Client Pain Points

“We use Instagram Stories to connect with the pain points and goals of our customers. The key is to quickly show how your product can solve an industry-specific problem. When followers can see the benefits of becoming a customer, they are more likely to visit your website and make a purchase.” ~ Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights

2. Sharing Media Clips

“We’ve appeared on various news shows and other media outlets to talk about relevant issues in our industry around certain times of the year when our audience is looking for particular answers. We’ve posted these short clips on our website. It’s effective because we’re getting our name out there during key times of the year when our followers most need our expertise and insight.” ~ Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

3. Offering Quick Education

“The great thing about short videos is that you are forced to share impact immediately. As a lawyer, the law can be a difficult topic to explain. But by using visual cues tied with quick graphics, we can share important information with our audience in a way they can remember and actually enjoy.” ~ Matthew Podolsky, Florida Law Advisers, P.A.

4. Providing Information and Advertising

“I switched my entire marketing plan to using short TikTok-style videos over the last three months. This is what is trending and what works. People want video content that is short and simple. I have used these videos to give information and tips, as well as advertise for products and upcoming webinars. These videos perform 10 times better than regular content and graphics.” ~ Lisa Collum, Top Score Writing

5. Showcasing User-Generated Content

“We’ve had success including user-generated content as a part of our short videos on YouTube and Instagram. In our videos, we include example campaigns that users have made with our software and positive feedback so people can see what others think of our brand.” ~ John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC

6. Showing the Completed Buyer Journey

“In the service business, offers are commoditized. Everyone’s selling the same thing and, even if you offer better services, it can be hard to stand out with standard social marketing activities. With Stories, we give customers and prospects a behind-the-scenes look at the completed buyer journey, showing how we play a role in its success. It adds another level of proof to our campaigns.” ~ Samuel Thimothy, OneIMS

7. Sharing the People Behind the Brand

“Small businesses can use livestreaming to introduce the people behind the brand and humanize it. Sometimes there’s a block between a business and its customers because there’s a lack of connection or emotion. But you can use video content to give viewers and potential customers a different look at your brand.” ~ Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

8. Creating Product Demonstrations

“We’ve used animated videos to help demonstrate the TutorMe online tutoring platform as well as tell the brand story in a concise but compelling way. Because our service requires interaction to understand the benefits fully, video has been highly effective because consumers prefer easily digestible content that highlights key points and speaks to their short- and long-term goals.” ~ Myles Hunter, TutorMe

9. Doing Unboxing Videos

“Instagram Stories have been great for connecting with audiences who already know and love your brand. If you are doing anything with paid advertising to grow your following and brand, this is a great way to elevate your content even more. What’s worked extremely well for us is doing video stories on the unboxing of different products, which simply doesn’t work as well with static photos or images.” ~ Zac Johnson, Blogger

10. Providing Quick Daily Updates

“We have had amazing success utilizing the Instagram Stories feature. We use our posts on Instagram to promote larger concepts or events, and use Stories for the quick daily updates. This ensures we don’t lose the energy of posting new topical content as it reaches us, but also that we maintain the integrity of our grid and remain in control of the story we are telling.” ~ Ashley Sharp, Dwell with Dignity

11. Creating Giveaway Contests

“We’re using the short video format, especially when they stick around for just 24 hours, to create giveaway contests and other time-bound offers. Because this type of content disappears fast, it creates FOMO and compels viewers to take action right away. It’s important to combine different formats with the right content to see the best effect.” ~ Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

12. Driving Traffic to a Sales Page

“Instagram Stories can be an effective way to drive traffic to a sales page. One method we’ve used that works really well is to block out an entire day in your Stories devoted to promoting a product by posting 20-40 short clips throughout the day. Then save the story series as a highlight so it shows up under your bio and above your grid and continues to send traffic to your sales page.” ~ Joe Stolte, The Tractionology Group

Image: Depositphotos

This article, “12 Effective Ways to Use Short Video Content for Your Small Business” was first published on Small Business Trends

April 17, 2021
  • by

Do you know anyone that likes to shop online?

Foreign Qualify

Whether you are just starting your business or expanding, at what point should you foreign qualify? Similarly, what are the best states to incorporate. These are some very important questions in the entrepreneurial journey of a business person. And these are some of the questions the webinar, Best State to Incorporate will be answering.

Nellie Akalp, CEO of CorpNet.com and Anita Campbell, Founder and CEO of Small Business Trends, are going to be hosting the webinar and bringing their many decades of experience to answer issues related to location for entrepreneurs. So, what is  Foreign Qualification? It is the act of registering your business with the secretary of state office of another state. This allows your company to legally pursue growth opportunities across state borders without incorporating a new business entity.

Some of the other learning objectives Akalp and Campbell will be discussing include: why Delaware, Nevada and others are ‘popular’ states with entrepreneurs, what state option most business owners should choose, discover questions to help identify when a business must foreign qualify, and others.

The webinar is going on July 28, 2021, 2 p.m. (EDT). Click the red button and register now for this free webinar to learn more about the value of incorporating in a particular state.

 

Register Now



Featured Events, Contests and Awards

WEBINAR: What Business Structure is Right for You?WEBINAR: What Business Structure is Right for You?
June 17, 2021, Online

Picking a business structure is usually the first big legal decision for a new business owner and one of the most confusing. However confusing, it is an essential step to protecting your personal assets from any liabilities of the company. In this webinar, Nellie Akalp CEO of CorpNet.com, will share insight on business entities to help guide you to the best decision for your new venture.


WEBINAR: Best State to IncorporateWEBINAR: Best State to Incorporate
July 28, 2021, Online

Some say Delaware, others say Nevada while someone else may say your home state. What is the best state to register a business in? What if your business is expanding into new territory? At what point should you Foreign Qualify? Nellie Akalp, CEO of CorpNet.com, will go in-depth to answer these questions and more in this webinar.


WEBINAR: Steps to Start Your BusinessWEBINAR: Steps to Start Your Business
October 20, 2021, Online

Starting a business can be an exhilarating time, where everything seems full of potential and purpose. But navigating the logistics of launching a business can be daunting. In this webinar Nellie Akalp, CEO of CorpNet.com, will outline the steps necessary to legally start a business and get up and running on the right foot.


More Events

More Contests

This weekly listing of small business events, contests and awards is provided as a community service by Small Business Trends.

You can see a full list of events, contest and award listings or post your own events by visiting the Small Business Events Calendar.

Image: Depositphotos

This article, “Webinar Asks: At What Point Should You Foreign Qualify?” was first published on Small Business Trends

April 17, 2021
  • by

Do you need help with marketing material or software?

2021 April 16 MarketingCharts Chart

2021 April 16 MarketingCharts Chart

The Buzz On B2B: Email Is Tops For Both Acquisition And Retention
Half of B2B marketers have seen email click-through rates (CTRs) remain steady during the first quarter of 2021, while 28 percent saw higher CTR than during 2020, according to recently-released survey data, which also showed that by early 2022 some 40 percent of marketers expect to restore their marketing spending to regular levels, with 25 percent doing so in early 2021. MediaPost

Vast Majority of Consumers Associate High-Quality Creative with Brand Trust
85 percent of U.S. adult consumers in a recent survey said that well-designed ads help build brand trust, while 64 percent said that brands with poor creative design were less trsutworthy, according to the Celta survey. MarketingCharts

B2B Content Marketers Get Higher Salaries, Bonuses Than B2C
B2B content editors and marketing professionals have earned more than their counterparts in B2C marketing, and were more likely to be paid cash bonuses, according to newly-published survey data of interest to digital marketers. MediaPost

Google Launches Video Ad Experiments to Help Refine Marketing Approaches
Google has announced a forthcoming feature that will allow brands to try various video ad approaches in its Google Ads program, offering video marketers new ways to experiment and observe how multiple ad variations resonate with their audiences, the search giant recently revealed. Social Media Today

IAB: Digital Ads Grew 29% In Q4 In Pandemic Rebound
Digital advertising spending grew to $45.6 billion during the fourth quarter of 2020, a 29 percent increase year-over-year that represented to top quarter in 20 years, while overall Internet ad spend climbed by 12.2 percent for 2020, reaching $139.8 billion, according to newly-released revenue report data from the Interactive Advertising Bureau. AdExchanger

Facebook Tests Updated Up and Downvoting for Comments in Groups
Facebook has experimented with comment voting, having added Reddit-like up and down rankings in an expanded Facebook group test, the social media giant recently announced. Social Media Today

2021 April 16 Statistics Image

Nearly half of execs expect social marketing budgets to double in next 3 years, study finds
46 percent of business executives have said that the social media marketing budgets at their firms are expected to double within the next three years, while 91 percent said that their social marketing budgets will experience a rise of any level, according to recently-released survey data from The Harris Poll. Marketing Dive

Facebook tests Hotline, a Q&A product that’s a mashup of Clubhouse and Instagram Live
Facebook has tested a mash-up that adds video into the mix for its new Hotline product, combining the functionality of Clubhouse and Instagram Live, the social media firm recently announced. TechCrunch

Google Search Console adds regular expression support and more data filtering to Performance reports
Google has updated its latest Search Console to include more comparison mode filtering options, along with the addition of more powerful regular expression search functionality, the search firm announced recently. Search Engine Land

What Are Marketing Leadership’s Biggest Gaps?
The customer journey along with its acquisition and conversion sits atop the list of marketing leadership deficiencies, according to a recently-released survey of chief marketing officers, followed closely by segmentation and personalized messaging at scale, with action on customer data insight occupying the third most frequently noted marketing leadership gap. MarketingCharts

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

2021 April 16 Marketoonist Comic

A lighthearted look at “advertising without cookies” by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist

These Were the Most Effective Ads of 2020, According to Kantar — Adweek

TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:

  • Susan Misukanis — 10 Personal Development Tips to Help You Love Your Small Business Life — Small Business Trends

Have you come across your own favorite B2B marketing story from the past week of industry news? Please let us know in the comments below.

Thanks for joining us for the TopRank Marketing B2B marketing news, and we hope that you’ll return again next Friday for more of the week’s most relevant B2B and digital marketing industry news. In the meantime, you can follow us at @toprank on Twitter for even more timely daily news.

The post B2B Marketing News: B2B Email Study, Marketing Leadership Gaps, Digital Ad Spend Surges, & High-Quality Creative Drives Brand Trust appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

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