What we learned at B2B Marketing Expo 2017!
From the off, the B2B Marketing Expo sounded pretty impressive, promising cutting ideas and tips from the most innovative and influencing figures working in marketing at the moment.
These influential figures included talks from the likes of LinkedIn, Google, Salesforce, Smart Insights and IBM, but it wasn’t all as great as it seems.
The small seminar rooms made it hard to see all of the key speakers. But amongst the hassle, I still managed to note down some pretty great insight and form some digestible snapshots of everything you need to know about content, influencer marketing and social in 2017.
One thing that really stood out to me at the expo was how every single keynote speaker I listened to brought up the overwhelming amount of content that is being produced every single day.
Every channel is being flooded by an exponential amount of content, meaning most of our content is lost in the noise.
Really this is no surprise when we take into consideration that online users are engaging in far more content prior to making a sale, and in response, 88% of B2B marketers use the content as the foundation of their strategies.
As for the solution, Jason Miller, Global Content Marketing Leader at LinkedIn, was particularly enthusiastic about debunking the theory about the 8-second-rule.
Yes, shock horror, the claim that the human attention span is the same as a goldfish is false, humans can in fact pay attention to something longer than 8 seconds on average.
Due to the evolution of digital media, we are more efficient, better at multitasking, and we can keep attentive for longer periods of time.
So, what does this mean for marketers? Well, we should be producing relevant, well-written, long-form content.
Why? Because as marketers, we can never over-deliver on value.
How? By listening to our audiences, identifying their problems and taking ownership of one of their questions.
TOP TIP: Use Google Analytics to identify the specific questions your website users are searching for to land on your website, and ensure that you have produced relevant and valued content to answer that question.
From here Jason’s message was simple.
Once the content is produced, extract every single inch of value out of it and personalise to your different audiences.
Test everything. Test it again.
Then strategically place the content in front of your relevant audiences through a mix of sponsored content, email, SEO, social, display and even PPC.
It is no industry secret that we are lacking an end-to-end measurement solution to accurately and effectively measure the ROI for our content.
Of course, we can look at dwell time, likes, shares, engagement etc. but these measurements are dependent on client requirements.
In a panel session with leading industry experts from the likes of Havas Media and Progressive Content, three key principles were raised to produce a more thorough and well-rounded measurement:
- Are your competitors producing similar content?
- Is the content relevant to your target audience?
- Is your content true and valued?
TOP TIP: Define your objectives prior to your campaign, integrate your objectives into your strategy from the very beginning.
If you’re looking to ramp up your content strategy and creation get in touch with us @HarvestDigital
#2 Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing has been on the rise since 2014, as an agency, we firmly believe it is one of the biggest emerging digital channels, and we have good reason.
In a fantastic seminar from Elliot Maidenberg, Managing Director at JIN, he highlighted how in 2017 84% of B2B marketers plan on incorporating influencer marketing to their strategies in the next 12 months.
Since 47% of online users are installing ad blockers we need alternative marketing methods to reach our target audiences.
So, with Brits spending two hours per day browsing social media and engaging with content, we need to understand how to best work with influencers and use their audiences for marketing.
If you are unsure about how influencer marketing can work best for you, here’s a snapshot of the need-to-know information.
DEFINITION: Influencers in the digital age are anyone who can affect the sales cycle
There are some major benefits of influencer marketing as it can take huge amounts of pressure off of the team attempting to build a social following to help gain engagement and traction for your campaign.
Firstly, influencers have an existing audience and an engaged community, so since 92% of people look for recommendations they can trust before purchasing, there is real value in sourcing the correct influencer to support your campaigns.
Influencers also have an individual tone, helping to convey your marketing message in a more authentic way, boosting the credibility of your brand through user-generated content and recommendations.
Searching for influencers on a top-level is simple, prepare relevant keywords and search these key terms in social platforms. Tools such as Follower Wonk can also help out with the manual search element.
TOP TIP: Be crystal clear on the type of influencer you want, even if they have a lower social following. As the influencer will be the best fit for your brand and campaign objectives, your content will receive higher levels of interest and engagement.
Here are some do’s and don’ts of influencer marketing 101:
According to leading industry experts, like Elliot Maidenberg, designing an influencer programme is the best way to create a solid structure and avoid overpaying on a case-by-case basis.
An influencer programme is a great way to outline all client guidelines for pricing, tone of voice, call to actions and general brand requirements. Having these processes set in place from the beginning will limit any confusion between the brand and influencer, helping to promote a good relationship and increase your credibility within the influencer marketing sphere.
TOP TIP: Include an example of the influencer’s previous work in a similar style to what you or a client is after, so the proposed marketing message is illustrated within their authentic style.
If you are unsure how best to measure the ROI of influencer marketing, read up on some detailed insight about measuring the ROI of your influencer marketing campaigns.
If you have any further queries, drop us a message in the comments below!
Nicky Kriel was quick to point out how many brands consider Twitter as a free form of advertising, in her seminar “How to use Twitter for Social Selling”.
Along with this common mistake, Nicky outlined key practices that are damaging your brand on Twitter:
- You are a company focused – all of your tweets direct back to your company website and you only retweet if you receive a positive message or review
- Your tweets are all scheduled and your profile is on autopilot – there is an evident lack of engagement within conversations and live trends
- Your feed is neglected and growing spider webs – for instance, if your Facebook posts automatically post onto your Twitter stream
- You’re a part-timer – your feed only comes to life in the lead up to an event, call Twitter high maintenance but anything less than full commitment just isn’t good enough
If these sound familiar, and Twitter is part of your marketing strategy, considering social selling like a romantic relationship could be the key to your social success.
The social-selling-romantic-relationship whirlwind consists of three key parts; attracting, discover and nurture.
The attraction phase includes all the basics; optimising your profile for your audience and utilising the best Twitter features i.e. pinned posts. The discover and nurture phases are focused on ensuring your strategy is customer-focused and helps to solve their problems.
The key is to create a content strategy that equally balances the content that you want to push out, combined with what your customers are interested in.
Creating a social strategy that is led by building a credible and loyal relationship with your followers, through small online gestures (replies, likes, following etc.), is a great way to make your followers smile and feel valued.
TOP TIP: Focus on building a relationship with your target audience, through regular interactions and a human-led approach before using Twitter as a channel for promotions of your own products and services.
It was a busy couple of days that’s for sure, but amongst the overcrowding, it was certainly worth the trip as the expo provided huge amounts of insight into the future of B2B marketing.
We will be taking all of this knowledge onboard, and at least think more carefully about the content that we produce, our focus and how we target our promotions.