Category Archives: Blog

This category is for all pages linked to our blog

4 Things You Can Do to Engage Influencers Online Right Now

Influencer marketing should be a part of every marketer’s strategy in boosting their brands credibility and reaching new audiences. If you’ve kept up with our blog to this point, you know we’ve talked about this before (and if you haven’t, subscribe below so you stop missing out!). While locking down an influencer may take some fancier maneuvering (See: Reciprocal Relationships: The Key to Influencer Partnerships that Work for the lowdown here), keeping a consistent eye on the high-profile players in your target market and building awareness with them over time, is foundational.   

Keeping a consistent eye on the high-profile players in your target market and building awareness with them over time, is foundational. Click To Tweet

Engage with their social media accounts
Yes, following the individuals you are seeking to build relationships is important. However, most of the pool of people we call influencers often maintain thousands of followers, and without further action they certainly won’t notice you. Consistently liking favoriting, sharing, or retweeting (respective to the platform, or course) their content – especially their original content- still goes a long way. Over time, this shows that you care about their perspective, and they are more likely to respond to your questions, comments, and other requests in the future.

Dig In: How Do I Build an Influencer List?

Follow, share, and (most importantly) engage with their blogs and articles
As above, consistently engaging with an influencer’s original work doesn’t go unnoticed if you keep at it. Commenting on blogs gives you the opportunity to personally ask questions and establish your own credibility and that you are worth speaking to. Hint – don’t just say “nice post” or “Agree” – add to the conversation! Doing your best to make sure your followers also see their content, can help further build a relationship, so make sure to reference and mention their work and share your own insights!

Join the discussion in their webinars and Tweetchats!
Participating in discussion forums is a good way to personally interact with influencers. Selecting those events that the hosts present as Q&A sessions are a particularly good idea to attend. Most influencers have a preferred platform they work with, but it’s always a good idea to make a habit of scanning Reddit, LinkedIn groups related to your industry, and developer forums are all great options to keep an eye on and in your to-do list. Tweetchats are great for this as well. These are essentially made for direct contact with influencers, and further, allow you to showcase your thoughts to a wider audience at the same time!

Dig In: Building a Social Media Plan – Content is King

Contact them directly
Sometimes simply reaching out can be the most effective! If you take this approach, make sure to have something to present so you spark their interest and can reciprocate their time with your valuable insights. Further, demonstrating that you’re willing to communicate and linking to your content or content stream gives them an idea of how to best approach you with content and opportunities that may interest you or further your relationship.

Ready for more?
Looking for more ways to build your influencer marketing strategy? Check out our blog here and stay tuned for more content by subscribing to our newsletter below as we delve into our series about why influencers matter and explore different ways to target them.

By Tyler Trainer

Security Never Sleeps 2018 – Buyers and Sellers Face to Face

10Fold hosted our eighth annual Security Never Sleeps event during the 2018 North American RSA trade show yesterday. The event is conveniently located within walking distance of the Moscone Center at the Red Dog Café in San Francisco. Building on the success of the events previous years, the luncheon had more than 90 attendees made of up CISOs, security architects, venture capitalists, and security vendors participating in the cybersecurity discussion. The conversation facilitated a dialogue between Security vendors and buyers, enabling a marketplace of ideas that helped all attendees perfect their communication strategies.

Panelists at the event included:
NO FOLD ICON 15x15 Carl Wright – CRO at AttackIQ – a continuous validation provider for enterprise security programs.
NO FOLD ICON 15x15 Kathy Orner – Chief Risk Officer at Carlson Wagonlit Travel, a business travel and management firm dealing with events, meeting accommodations and more.
NO FOLD ICON 15x15 Mike Kearn – BISO at Consumer Banking Division of US Bank, responsible for the security of checking and savings accounts, mortgages, and more.
NO FOLD ICON 15x15 Peter Galvin – CMO at Thales, a France-based multinational that supplies electrical systems and services to aerospace and defense industries.
NO FOLD ICON 15x15 Rich Campagna – CMO at Bitglass, a Next-Gen CASB provider for Zero-Day data and threat protection.
NO FOLD ICON 15x15 Dr. John D. Johnson – CEO and Founder Aligned Security, LLC, Which develops and delivers of targeted security training .

The event also saw attendance from many high-profile players in the security space, including Chad Sweet (Founder and CEO of the Chertoff Group), Shira Rubinoff (President of Secure my Social), Chenxi Wang (Managing Partner of Rain Capital) and many more!

The panel covered some of the biggest topics covering marketing and selling security products in the industry today. This included registration for content barriers, making your products accessible to buyers, the importance of building customer relationships, and the efficacy of alternative marketing efforts – such as video marketing and email marketing.

The audience was very active this year and led the discussion into many trends and how they relate to security today. GDPR was certainly a popular moment of debate, as the upcoming deadline (May 25th) is fast approaching, and means more than meets the eye for vendors, buyers, and even marketers!

Sad you missed all the valuable insights from this year’s event? Never want to miss one again? Get notified when we have and recap all the other awesome events we attend and sponsor, and have consistent B2B marketing content sent to your inbox by subscribing below!

By Tyler Trainer

Building a Social Media Plan – Content is King

How often should I Tweet? Is there a best practices strategy for sponsoring posts for maximum effect? Which products and services are best to monitor growth?

These are some of the most common questions I hear from those looking to put together growth-based social media plans. While it is important to consider how to track growth, there is no shortcut to success, especially without the right content.

Content production should be #1 on your agenda
News curation, short-form commentary, and event live-tweeting are great, and certainly necessary for many reasons, especially in the deep tech space. But what will gain you long-term growth in followers (i.e., people who care about consistently seeing your posts) is a focus on providing valuable insights in an original content format. Essentially, your social media strategy should be heavily influenced by your content strategy. It’s pretty intuitive when you think about it. We all understand it’s great to know when to post to maximize engagement, but what are you actually posting? Is this yet another curated news sweep, or are you adding to the conversation?

While it is important to consider how to track growth, there is no shortcut to success, especially without the right content. Click To Tweet

Dig In: How Do I Build an Influencer List?

Blogs

When is the last time you dusted off your blog page and added some of your expertise to the internet? Blogs are a relatively simple and effective way to get out short-form content and transmit your thought leadership in small, bite-size chunks. The idea is to allow people to finish reading in just a few minutes, with a focused post that delivers rich insights. Depending on the topic, the post should be between 450-800 words, otherwise, you will lose your audience, big time. If you use Google Analytics or a similar service and know the average time typically spent on each page, I’d write something to match that length of time. If users are only staying on a post for an average of 45 seconds, your 1200-word essay on influencer marketing probably isn’t going to work too well!

Videos
Video is really the ultimate in your digital marketing strategy. In fact, a recent survey of B2B marketing execs commissioned by 10Fold and conducted by Dimensional Research found that almost 40% of firms prefer video to any other media. This would certainly include webinars that showcase your product to prospective buyers, but beyond that, recording panel discussions where your leadership team presents, customer testimonial videos, and other promotional content. 10Fold’s video division, ProMotion Studios, produces many high-quality examples of this, such as the multi-award winning Silver Springs Year in Review video:

Dig In: Reciprocal Relationships: The Key to Influencer Partnerships that Work

What are best practices for keeping up consistent content?
Maintaining a strong stream of content is the strategy next in line to ensure your goals are met. There are many ways to do this, but we think creating a detailed content calendar is the best way to track and monitor your progress over time. We will dive into this, and other strategies that support a solid social media plan in future blogs. Keep a lookout for this new series, and make sure to subscribe below so the tips go straight to your inbox when they post!

By Tyler Trainer

 

Thinking (and Writing) Like a Thought Leader

This blog post marks the start of a 4-part series that will cover multiple steps on the path to becoming a thought leader.

Let’s be honest: we (marketers, communicators, PR practitioners) are all contributors to the next chapter of our industry’s evolving story. We’ve got a constantly shifting media landscape as the backdrop, and amidst all of the excitement and uncertainty, one thing remains consistent: rock-solid writing skills are a critical cornerstone in architecting any successful communications initiative.

With this (+ a bit of bias, due to my journalistic roots), I’ve opted to kick-off  this series with a focus on getting writing – for thought leadership purposes – right.

There’s been a paradigm shift around the concept of “thought leadership” – have you noticed? I sure have. Until recently, the idea of  having “thought leadership” readily accepted as a program objective was something I’d often only get to imagine about and hope for prior to a kickoff meeting with a new client.

In that hypothetical meeting with a new client, the hurdles of resistance and doubt I was trying to clear – by persuading an experienced marketing director that the effort required to source, write and seek approval on a 1,200-word contributed article was worth a placement that never mentioned their brand – were rooted in very valid uncertainties and completely warranted.

Here’s why: longform, written content – drafted on behalf of an executive spokesperson – is a labor of love, to say the least. That resistance I used to get from clients is understandable even before you consider the process that follows. Let’s be honest: internal edits and approvals can sometimes be equally – if not more – rigorous than editorial review

Here’s the good news
I’ve been able to scale back all that hoping and wishing. Mostly because 
nearly every marketing, communications and PR professional I’ve encountered recently will agree that this notion of “thought leadership” no longer requires quotation marks. In fact it’s no longer perceived as “just a notion,” either – it’s been elevated in priority and seen as a critical element of any solid external communications campaign

With the average blog now requiring more than three hours to write, it’s critical that we root thought leadership platforms in tactics that are executable, and those that rank high in terms of impact, visibility and efficacy. Click To Tweet

Ironically, the bad news sounds a lot like the good news: “since nearly every marketing, communications and PR professional I’ve encountered agrees…[that this is a] critical element of any solid communications campaign,” these thought leadership opportunities have become a bit more challenging to navigate, and – to some degree – more difficult to attach value to. While there are seemingly a TON of editorial opportunities to which our innovative clients can contribute their expertise; the cloudiness around when, where and how we can get the most value out of contributed thought leadership content has increased at the same rate.

With the average blog now requiring more than three hours to write, it’s critical that we root thought leadership platforms in tactics that are executable, and those that rank high in terms of impact, visibility and efficacy.

If all of this is ringing a bell, keep reading for tips on: putting pen to paper, understanding how and where your wisdom may be best spent and how to make the most of a thought leadership placement once the headline hits:

Teach vs. Preach and Show vs. Tell (or Sell)
Think of your contributed article as an opportunity to have an engaging, compelling and thought-provoking conversation with a target buyer – not dissimilar from the one you might have at a networking event or during a panel discussion. You probably wouldn’t use those opportunities to drop a series of not-so-subtle hints about how great your company’s products/services are; nor would you immediately follow a handshake with a hard sell; so, don’t do it here either.

Plus, the article you worked so hard to write and shepherd through the internal approval process  will never see the light of day if an editor reviews it and catches on (and, believe me, they will). If the creativity well feels a bit dry, look to recent events, industry trends/research and pain points in your industry as opportunities to elevate thought leadership. By tailoring our experts’ insights to timely topics – such as GDPR, DACA, the U.S. government’s Billion Dollar Climate Report and the Retail Apocalypse – our team has effectively raised the thought leadership profile of clients in every domain we work within.

Resist the Urge to be Redundant
At core, remember that the  most compelling thought leadership articles are rooted in authentic and often contrarian points of view supported by data or noteworthy experience, and present a new perspective that adds to the industry conversation. Your exec spokesperson may be a seasoned security expert, or a notable networking guru, but the overdone angle of “top X security/network threats to the enterprise” is – for lack of a different term – completely overdone. Daring to be different will pay off in dividends when it comes to landing a valuable thought leadership opportunity. Take a provocative standpoint by picking a fight with a giant entity – such as AWS – and call out the pain points the masses face due to a gap that has yet to be spotlighted by mainstream media. Drafting customer bylines – that effectively tell a unique and differentiated story – is another way to stand out from the crowd, in a good way.

“Pay-to-Play” Has Its Place
I used to be quick to dismiss any editorial that had a price tag attached as “illegitimate,” because there was a time when that wasn’t a necessary part of achieving thought leadership in the technology arena. Things have changed, and there are plenty of low cost, high value editorial  opportunities available through a number of well-respected media properties. Think of it this way: you’re not paying for the opportunity to publish, you’re paying for the opportunity to communicate to an in-demand audience that’s inundated with messages from companies like yours daily; this is your chance to stand out. In addition to the opportunity to reach a key audience, a recurring contributor opportunity – like the Forbes Technology Council – is a great way to guarantee a steady stream of content over an extended period of time.

Merchandising, Maximizing and Marketing Your Thought Leadership Win
Assuming one of the above – or one of your own – tips landed you a homerun thought leadership placement, it’ll be time to make the most of your hard-earned placement! As you do so, keep the following two objectives and strategies in mind:

Continue to elevate your thought leader’s profile to new heights
To continue to augment his/her profile, you’ll want to rely on your tried and true communications tactics: social sharing; bite-sized summaries in newsletters on the website and via internal platforms (i.e. Slack). However, a less traditional tactic that I’ve found to be effective – and a good reason to engage on positive marketing results with the sales team – is a quarterly coverage memo summarizing top wins that they can point to in order to further validate your organizational and executive thought leadership in the industry. A standalone summary may even be justified depending on what content was placed, and where.

Make the most of the already approved and compelling content you’ve created
To maximize the value of the content itself, consider condensing it into a teaser or summary format that can be repurposed as a longform LinkedIn post or a blog post that directs readers to the full text if they’re interested in reading more. Many outlets – such as eWeek – also accept contributed content in the form of a slideshow. If the contributed piece would play well in that format (i.e. a “listicle” concept), re-work the copy to ensure it’s differentiated, and pair it with some strong imagery to further the value of your already-placed piece.

Hopefully these tips have been helpful, and feel free to share additional insights you have advice or tactics that have proven especially helpful for you or your team.

Looking ahead, we’ll continue to explore opportunities for enhancing thought leadership via other program tactics, such as speaking opportunities and strategic leadership awards, social influence, key positions on boards and committees, as well as policy-driven positioning.  

By Meghan Brown

Three Ways to Get a Promotion: Elbow Grease with a Dash of Strategy & Creativity

There are few things more rewarding than getting a promotion. It’s an accomplishment that validates the hard work you’ve put in at your job, underscores your value to your organization and colleagues, and – as importantly – presents an opportunity for your friends, family and coworkers to heap some well-deserved praise on you. And no matter how humble you might be, that feels good! Oh, and a promotion usually means a bit more cash in the bank…

But promotions can be tricky things – not only in the sense that it usually takes a lot of hard work to get one, but also in the more nuanced sense that there is strategy involved in when to go for it. We’ve already covered that second point in a recent blog post on deciding when the time is right for a promotion, so in this post, we’ll offer three tips to help you reach the next rung on your career ladder.

Plan, Plan, Plan
We realize this isn’t the sexiest tip – and if you’re a slightly disorganized person, this will sound especially painful – but the quickest path to attaining that promotion is devising a plan for how you’ll get there. This is one of the reasons you (hopefully) have a manager or supervisor, as they can help you develop that plan.

One of the first items in your plan should be fully understanding the roles and responsibilities of your desired position. Well-run organizations expect you to be executing the responsibilities of the position above you before they move you into it, so you should know exactly what those responsibilities are. Hopefully your organization has an official job description for each role within the company – if so, get your hands on it, and if not, request that one be created.

Now that you know exactly what your new position entails, another critical step is to document everything. No, we’re not advocating that you become the “hall monitor” of your organization tracking every move your colleagues make – after all, that’s what HR’s for, right? Instead, we’re advising that you create a repository for all feedback you receive on your performance and anything related to your path to the next level. You can use almost any tool for this; a simple folder in your email will do the trick. The point here is you want to be able to demonstrate to your organization’s decision-makers that you’ve done what’s expected (and ideally, more) to warrant moving you to the next level.

You want a promotion, but maybe not to the position on the next rung on your organizational ladder. Rather than feeling trapped, get creative! Click To Tweet

Observe & Adapt
If there’s one skill the human species has mastered over the course of our existence, it’s being adaptable. Just as we learned to evolve so we could thrive alongside other species in highly diverse environments, we have the ability to change our behaviors and mindsets in the workplace. And you might just find that this skill comes in quite handy in your campaign to get promoted.

Now that you know the specific responsibilities of your desired position, you can take it a step further and begin observing your colleagues in that position:

NO FOLD ICON 15x15  Watch how they approach the tasks you hope you’ll be doing sooner rather than later

NO FOLD ICON 15x15 Listen to how they communicate with their/your colleagues and customers, what questions do they tend to ask

NO FOLD ICON 15x15 Talk to them about the techniques they use to perform well at their job

From those crucial observations, you can adapt your approach and mindset accordingly. Don’t become a copycat, but there are tremendous benefits to be gained from emulating the behaviors of successful people around you.

Get Creative!
You want a promotion, but maybe not to the position on the next rung on your organizational ladder. Rather than feeling trapped, get creative! Perhaps your organization has specialist roles outside of the “common track” you could explore. After all, skills are like muscles, and you’re bound to have some skills that you’ve worked extra hard at honing, meaning you’re especially strong in that area. If your organization has a certain specialist role that places an emphasis on that skill, it stands to reason you’d perform well in that role.

But what if your organization doesn’t offer any specialist roles? Consider creating a brand new position! Yes, this could seem daunting and unrealistic, but you might be surprised to find out how open your organization is to this idea, provided you can make a case for the value it will bring your company. After all, if you’ve developed a skill – especially to the point that you’re the only one who has it, making you almost indispensable – your organization would be foolish to dismiss the idea of turning that into a full-time role for you.

So, there you have it: three techniques to help you get that promotion. As your parents would say, there’s no substitute for good old-fashioned hard work – and that’s true – but by putting a little bit of strategy behind that elbow grease, you’ll be climbing the ladder faster than you ever thought was possible.

By Drew Smith
Need more great insights? Check out some of our other content here, and subscribe to our email list below:

Three Things You Need to Know Before Accepting Your Next Agency Job

Irrespective of where you are in your career, it’s tricky to find a new job.  Of course, we all worry about knowing the right things to say that will impress the hiring manager, but maybe you should worry as much about what they are promising you.  Just like job applicants, employers can all start to sound the same.  If you are going to throw your heart and soul into a new job, what will you really get back?

For most, especially at the beginning of a career, training and development opportunities are incredibly important.  It’s time to build your professional value, and many job seekers put a premium on opportunities to do just that.  The second most common “must have” we find from job applicants is finding a good culture to work within.  And although the company’s Instagram page may be full of alcohol-infused fun outings, it’s important to know how things go during the regular work day.   This blog is meant to help identify and ask about the key elements of a position that lead to job satisfaction.

Tip 1:  Training and Development Opportunities That Are More than Lip Service!
When asking about learning and development opportunities, almost every employer is going to say “we have those.”  Anxious to get out of your old job, and thrilled by the attention associated with the interview process, some candidates find themselves accepting exactly that answer.  Which is actually not a real answer.  Here are a few more specific questions to ask that will demonstrate your real enthusiasm for learning and development.  If an employer can’t recall or is hesitant to answer these types of questions, the job may not be for you!

NO FOLD ICON 15x15What is the training budget for the agency or budget per person?
NO FOLD ICON 15x15 What are the training options?
NO FOLD ICON 15x15 How do you measure training efficacy?
NO FOLD ICON 15x15 How many people take training?
NO FOLD ICON 15x15 Is the training provided by someone in house? OR, do you work with external trainers?
NO FOLD ICON 15x15 Do you pay for team members to get certified in anything?
NO FOLD ICON 15x15 Where is the training concentrated?

Tip 2:  Should You Stay or Should You Go?
Culture is another biggie that applicants at every level seem to care about.  Because the majority of your waking hours will be spent at work, it’s really important to ensure you like the way the company works, and that you appreciate the way they treat team members.  Don’t be shy about asking some pointed questions about how people work together and how transparent the organization is (if they don’t share any information, it’s likely to create a rumor-oriented culture).  The best possible way to assess your fit in the culture is to meet one or two people that you will work with that would be considered your peers in the organization.  A casual conversation with these people will help you really feel good about your career choice.  Here are a few questions that might come in handy:

NO FOLD ICON 15x15 What is the best staff outing or event you have had in the past six months?
NO FOLD ICON 15x15 When and and how do staff collaborate, and do you have any tools to facilitate that collaboration?
NO FOLD ICON 15x15 When is the last time the team all got together (assuming the company has multiple offices)? How often do you do that?
NO FOLD ICON 15x15 How are staff members recognized for a job well done
NO FOLD ICON 15x15 How transparent is the company? Do you share financial information?  Do you share client budgets?  What company milestones are shared with the team? When are these milestones communicated?
NO FOLD ICON 15x15 What’s the churn rate at the senior level? Focus on most senior execs because they stay many several years at those jobs
NO FOLD ICON 15x15 How often do you see or interact with upper management? Do you have access to the VPs, the President, or the CEO?

Agencies that tend to hire fast also typically have problems keeping great talent. If you read D-E-S-P-E-R-A-T-E between the lines, you are likely walking in to a difficult situation. Click To Tweet

Tip 3:  Is it You, or Would Anyone With a Pulse Do?
It’s always flattering when a company appears to be anxious to make you an offer – but don’t be flattered into your next position.  A company that moves too fast may be desperate.  Although we would all like to believe they are simply making an exception to the hiring process because you are so wonderful, agencies that tend to hire fast also typically have problems keeping great talent.  If you read D-E-S-P-E-R-A-T-E between the lines, you are likely walking in to a difficult situation.  Here is a short check list of a solid hiring process that reputable agencies should offer and ask for:

NO FOLD ICON 15x15 A job description
NO FOLD ICON 15x15 An application
NO FOLD ICON 15x15 Skills testing
NO FOLD ICON 15x15 Reference
NO FOLD ICON 15x15 Background check
NO FOLD ICON 15x15 At least two people should interview you
NO FOLD ICON 15x15 The interviewers should be prepared with insightful questions that make you squirm just a little

If your potential employer doesn’t follow these steps, chances are they didn’t test or verify anyone working at the agency.  What does that say about the agency’s standards and your co-workers?

Having hired more than 200 people, my best advice is don’t fall for empty promises –  there is really no rush!  If you want a great position with a great agency, do your homework and ask great questions!  The best agencies won’t mind your questions, in fact, you might be hired because you ask them.  And, if you are in the market for a new position, check out the 10Fold website!

By Susan Thomas
Need more great insights? Check out some of our other content here, and subscribe to our email list below:

The Top Big Data Awards You Don’t Have to Pay For

Competing for industry awards brings a multitude of benefits. Not only does it allow industry experts to provide useful feedback about your company and its technology, winning or even participating in certain awards can result in different pieces of collateral like press releases, blogs, or social media promotions. This, in return, can become a great recruiting tool for your company and can also be promoted by your sales teams.

Although there is a wide variety of industry awards to choose from, some are quite expensive – think the CODiE Awards (a total of $995 for non-members) or the Best in Biz Awards (a total of $400 per submission). Furthermore, most awards don’t guarantee you a winning or finalist spot, and there is no refund policy in place.

To lead a successful award program, one should consistently compare the value of the submission versus the cost, and to help you get started, our 10Fold experts put together a list of valuable, free-to-apply awards in Big Data:

AI
AI.Awards
The AI.Awards are a relatively new award program, looking to support the AI community by recognizing the hard work and dedication of those working in the field. If your company is new, and is looking to snag their first few awards, the AI Awards would be a great place to start. Last year 17 winners were announced, but this year they are planning on announcing 52 winners. Nominations are open now!

CB Insights AI 100 List
The AI 100 recognizes the teams and technologies that are successfully using AI to solve big challenges, preferably startups. CB Insights holds a strong influence in the AI market, due to the large amount of research and focus they put on the topic. Of the 100 companies included on the list of 2016, 55 of them went on to raise additional funding nearing $2B and 5 were acquired. These awards are competitive with over 2,000 entrants, but the benefits of the award could be worth the time.

Big Data
Datanami Reader’s and Editor’s Choice Awards
Do you have a solution that is worth nominating? Do you have a good social media presence or a large audience? If you answered yes to both of these questions, the Datanami Reader’s and Editor’s Choice Awards may be one of the top free awards for you to apply for. Covering a large amount of Big Data categories, the primary audience here are readers of Big Data trade publications, as well as those possibly searching for better and new solutions for their companies. Although the awards are not open yet, they should definitely be on your radar, as winning these awards could earn you some nice editorial opportunities.

TDWI Best Practices Award
Does your client have a customer willing to speak on their behalf? Does your company have solid statistics or story of the deployment or development of their Big Data solution? The TDWI Awards are looking for just those things. The Awards are designed to honor companies that have demonstrated best practices in developing, deploying and maintaining solutions for BI, analytics, data warehousing, and more. Winners are chosen by a panel of experienced judges, and we all know that people seeking out winners of these awards may definitely be looking to bring a hint of innovative technology to their practice. Winning this award can definitely position any company as a proven leader in big data. Applications are open now, and deadlines are closing on April 23rd.

Health Technology Awards

Modern Healthcare Awards -100 Most Influential People in Healthcare List
Have an influencer that you believe is of the top tier of the healthcare industry? Then look no further. This Modern Healthcare list honors individuals who are influential in terms of impact, and leadership. Readers will vote for their top choices and the honorees are published in Modern Healthcare’s popular annual ranking. Nominations close on May 8th! This list is influential in itself, and those who search for it are more than likely looking to follow thought leaders.

IET Innovation Awards
Winning an IET Innovation Award is quite the feat, with competition being high, and the award being free to apply! IET is the second largest membership organization for engineers in the world, and by winning the awards, you could place your company in the forefront of innovation thought leadership. Engineers are the primary audience of the award, and who better to impress than some of the smartest individuals in the world?

Applying for industry awards leads to benefits beyond a simple self-assessment or a logo for the company website. It also allows you to research past winners and help you get a sense of what others are doing in your industry in addition to gains in your recruiting and sales outreach. Although time-consuming and sometimes distracting, you and your team should consider applying for a select few opportunities that can be of value to you and your business.

By Anne Stanley, Kyra Tillmans, and Kory Buckley

Need more great insights? Check out some of our other content here, and subscribe to our email list below:

Video Marketing and Its Effect on Marketing Today

This blog first appeared on our video divisions website, ProMotion Studios.

There is no denying video marketing has become a staple of modern online marketing. Brands have flocked to the web to exploit video’s explosive effectiveness, reflected in the projected growth rate of video to 80% of all internet traffic by 2019 as estimated by Cisco.

One in four of us will lose interest entirely if we are not able to watch a video Click To Tweet

Not only is this marketing tactic increasing in popularity, one could argue it’s becoming the de facto standard for top marketers. A recent Animoto Survey confirms that four times as many consumers would prefer to watch a video about a product rather than read about it, and what’s more — one in four of us will lose interest entirely if we are not able to watch a video!

Video has also exhibited a capability to drive higher sales as well.
Forbes has reported that 65% of executives who watch video continue their buyer’s journey to the vendor’s website.

So what does this mean for marketers? Video marketing success has reached over 82% in the B2B field and continues to grow. Ben Kopetti, Director of Video Commerce Strategy at Liveclicker, has said “It’s no longer a ‘nice to have’—it should be a key instrument in every brand marketer’s orchestra.” The demand from consumers is readily apparent, with greater than three quarters expressing their belief in the importance of a service providing a video to demonstrate what that service really provides and how it will benefit them. A LOT of Marketing Execs feel the same way about the value of video, and it’s easy to see why. Taking a look at 10Fold’s own Content Survey, you can see that nearly 40% of content decision makers said that video marketing was a top priority in 2017. If current trends continue, even if you only implement smaller income streams like affiliate marketing or web-advertising your partners will want to see video.

In short, if you have yet to add video to your content marketing “bag of tricks,” you’re missing a huge market opportunity as millions of customers will never even give you the time of day – no matter how great your product is – if they can’t see your story through video.

Looking for video content as well as an extra boost to your B2B Marketing? 10Fold has many packages that are crafted to fit your specific needs. Find more information about those here.

By Tyler Trainer

More insights from our other content can be found here, and be sure to subscribe to our email list below:

When Everything at RSA is Over the Top, How Can I Stand Out?

If you’ve ever been to RSA, you know it can be a mind-numbing experience. So many booths with so much noise and activity while everyone clamors for attention. As seasoned veterans of this show, security clients often ask us:

“When everything at that show is so over the top, how can we stand out?”

After walking and studying the show floor at seven RSA shows, I’d like to share a few things I’ve seen and that stick out in my mind in a positive way… and a couple of things to be wary of. What follows below are my top 10 things vendors can do to stand out at RSA.

Do something different at your booth… and no, that does not mean “booth babes” (Bo-Ring).
To give you a sense of the possibilities, last year two of the cleverest booth attractions included Nyotron’s Daniel Craig impersonator (doing his best James Bond spiel as he talked about the company’s technology) and TrapX’s body painter, who painted a woman against a TrapX backdrop so that she completely disappeared into the background. Both of those booths attracted hordes of people. In Nyotron’s case, exhibit event reps—on a number of occasions—had to tell them to thin their crowd out because they were blocking the flow of traffic.

Use a prop.
At one RSA, an up-and-coming security vendor built a demolition booth that had a bunch of antiquated firewalls from a number of well-established security companies. They then gave people a hard hat, safety goggles, and a sledge hammer, then invited them to go to town on the appliances. There’s just nothing more satisfying than taking your frustrations out on a bunch of broken electronics. One year another security company had a Formula One racing car on the floor. The vendor let people climb into the front seat and take photos. To build on the prop idea, you could offer a company T-shirt if people take a selfie with your prop and share it on Twitter with specific trending hashtags.

Plan ahead and try to get a speaking slot.
Getting a speaking slot at RSA is hard… but not impossible. It helps if your security company has a threat research arm that’s able to uncover new/unique threat data. For example, how a new piece of malware works in the wild. Once you’ve secured a slot, announce the win through a press release a couple of weeks before the show and socialize the heck out it in the run-up to the show and during the show. Do a live Tweet session during the actual presentation.

Look alive!
Enforce a two-drink maximum per employee per night. Nothing looks sadder than a booth full of security execs who are milling about nursing hangovers (yes, we can tell!). And it’s usually reflected by the fact that none of the people in the booth is making eye contact with anyone, and, as a result, their booth is practically empty.

Have some snacks/drinks at the booth for reporters.
Tons of reporters attend RSA, and they are on their feet all day walking the halls going to and from meetings. Quick note: reporters are always distinguished by a badge that’s a different color than regular conference attendees—know what that badge color is before the show starts and make sure everyone in the booth is on the lookout. Offer a monetary bonus to any staffer who draws a reporter into the booth to listen to your spiel. One way to lure them in when you see one coming towards you is to offer them some nourishment. Have some cold drinks on hand and some snacks you can offer up. The quickest way to a reporter’s heart is through their stomach.

Make sure everyone in the booth knows your product.
Make sure they’re prepared to answer high-level questions about your product. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve stopped at a security booth and asked someone standing by a kiosk how their product works only to be told they have to go find someone to explain it to me. At that point, I’m gone.

Don’t forget to promote your appearance at the show in advance of the show.
Part of RSA includes the buildup to RSA. Issue a press release two weeks before the show that says you’re going to be there and what you’re going to be showing off. A week before the show, issue another press release that highlights any other activities you have planned, such as any special guests you have coming by, times you’ll be doing special giveaways at the booth. Also, suggest that people send out specific tweets with relevant hashtags for a chance to win a great prize at the show.

Hire a special guest to stop by.
I’ve seen Scott Adams (Dilbert fame) and Kevin Mitnik (hacker fame) signing books at booths, and they’ve had lines a mile long.

Make sure your booth signage tells your potential customer who you are and what you do.
You might think your name and logo is known around the world, but you’d be surprised – with so many security companies in one place, it’s easy to get confused as to who there does what.

Last, but not least, produce some short videos highlighting key execs and customers.
There’s something about video that draws the viewer’s eyes in. If you believe a picture is worth a thousand words, then imagine how many a video is worth!

A couple extra tips.
If you have some real news you want to announce at the show, like the discovery of a brand new Zero Day or some other significant compromise, think about pre-briefing the media and breaking the news in the leadup to RSA. The competition for news headlines will be fierce at the show. How fierce? Here’s a link to a list of this year’s exhibitors that you’ll be competing against.

And whatever you do, DON’T give away flash drives at your booth. At one RSA, I walked by a VERY prominent security company’s booth and a couple of booth models-for-hire were handing out flash drives with the company’s logo on it to everyone walking by. I took one, walked a few steps, decided I didn’t need another flash drive for my junk drawer, turned around and gave the drive back to one of the models. She took it and dropped it back into her basket to hand out to the next unwitting conference attendee walking by. Anyone who knows ANYTHING about security knows how easy it is to load executable malware onto a flash drive. Can you imagine the PR nightmare someone could cause by taking a bunch of these drives, loading them up with malware and giving them back to the person handing them out only to reissue them to other attendees?

By Rick Popko

Need more great insights? Check out some of our other content here, and subscribe to our email list below:

How Do I Build an Influencer List?

How many times have you been mindlessly digging through social media purgatory with no direction looking for someone who might, maybe, possibly, kinda sorta be called an influencer? Us, too – until we found some amazing platforms that did a lot of that work for us!

Followerwonk
One of our favorite tactics is targeting influencers based on their Social Authority. The best tool for that is Followerwonk, which finds a Twitter account’s Social Authority. “But wait,” you ask, “what is Social Authority?” Social Authority is an influencer metric from Followerwonk (a child firm of Moz) that calculates the level of engagement a user’s Twitter account receives. While Followerwonk won’t tell us exactly how Social Authority is calculated, we know it has multiple components. These include metrics such as the number of followers the account has; their Social Authority numbers; and the percentage of likes, impressions, and clicks they receive, to name a few. The most important aspect, however, focuses on the number of retweets the user earns. Further, the number of retweets cross-measured by the recency of those tweets that are shared is especially important. They emphasize this specifically in their algorithm because the size of a user’s audience and their engagement is a true test of their influence on the Twitter platform, and retweets are consistently the best way to determine if people are listening.

Pros:
Followerwonk provides a simple and user-friendly tool to track influencers from their Twitter profiles. The way it works is pretty intuitive, especially when you understand the significance of Social Authority. After you visit the site, start with the Search Bios tab.

When you enter your search query (we will take “B2B Marketing” in this example), select “Search Twitter Profiles” and enter the industry in which you are looking to search for users. When your results pop up, filter your results by ‘Social Authority’ – as we’ve done below:

From here, you can choose whether the most or least influential profiles show up first and organize your search around these and other metrics. Targeting these users will give you the most engagement if they promote you or a client’s content. Additionally, you can filter by other important factors such as followers, tweets, etc. This method is generally how we like to start an influencer list, but the social authority metric is not exactly perfect for finding all your influencers.

Cons:
Followerwonk is a good start, but should we rest on the Social Authority metric alone? Not quite. Although Social Authority is a strong marker for the influence a person holds within Twitter, it is inherently incapable of accounting for a person’s title or true status outside the platform. For example, if the CEO of a large healthcare organization doesn’t have a Twitter account or doesn’t tweet often, their social authority score would very likely be low and not come up as noteworthy in a search. However, this obviously doesn’t mean the CEO isn’t an extremely influential person. This is the case for many influential decision makers across many spaces: their social authority may not be high, but their actual influence in their organization or in the industry can still be massive.

Targeting influencers to grow your social authority score is always an important standard every account should hold themselves to for the inherent good it represents, but your search for influencers can and should encompass much more than solely social media influence. Social media can also be used as a way to keep up with the conversation in relevant spaces in order to better align your products and services to your customers in fast-changing industries.

Your search for influencers can and should encompass much more than solely social media influence. Click To Tweet

Let’s say your company mainly sells its products and services to healthcare organizations. It would be extremely important to target decision makers at these healthcare organizations in order to keep your company in the loop on what these people are talking about. Anyone who is a potential partner or customer should be labeled as important to your client. In this case, you would need to conduct searches for the social media profiles of the top hospitals and clinics, i.e. looking for the CEO of Aetna, the CEO of Blue Shield, and more. These people may not have a strong influencer score but are still very important to target nonetheless.

Right Relevance
Right Relevance is a free or paid social tool that can be used to find influencers for pretty much any topic or keyword. This allows you to view their area of influencer and find their top followers under that topic. The platform allows you to discover conversations involving influencers under any topic and provide an interface to interact with them. Right Relevance offers a premium version, Right Relevance Pro, which allows you to access the same features as the free version, but also adds some intriguing functions, such as:

NO FOLD ICON 15x15 Save topics of interest as feeds
NO FOLD ICON 15x15  Save articles, video for reading/sharing later
NO FOLD ICON 15x15  Deep graph-based analytics for topical distribution of following as friends, and topical influence measurement and visualization

Pros:
You can access Right Relevance or Right Relevance Pro through its website, or use it as a plug-in on Hootsuite (my preferred method). You can also sort and filer by relevance, time, location, influencers and topic score. Sorting by time and location can be especially helpful if you’re searching for influencers at a specific tradeshow or conference. The free version works well, but we did upgrade to Right Relevance Pro when we were searching for influencers for our client OVH US around our VMworld social campaign. Right Relevance also lets you search for popular articles and shows you which articles each influencer has shared. Knowing which types of news your influencer cares about can help you develop a pitch or anecdote when you start engaging with them.

Right Relevance in Action
We used a few searches for influencers using various search terms: “VMworld,” “private cloud,” “public cloud,” and “hybrid cloud,” along with Followerwonk, to cross-reference our findings. All told, we followed the 65 people who were discussing these topics and had high influencer rankings.

We added them to a list on Twitter (which we also made a column on Hootsuite for) called “VMworld 2017” so we would be able to easily monitor their conversations in real-time.

Cons:
Right Relevance is usually pretty good about being able to separate business accounts from individual accounts, but I still found myself having to sift through all the accounts before selecting the relevant influencers. It also is not really clear how Right Relevance determines an influencer score, and whether there is a weighted value to criteria that you would think matters more (i.e. shares, followers, etc). The last major fault would have to be the plug-in version on Hootsuite; it just wasn’t as easy to use as going directly to the RR website, despite the convenience of it being right there in the customizable platform.

Remember: Verify Your Finds!
Sometimes you just have to do things the old-fashioned way (i.e. verification through manual search). By continuing your searches to relevant conferences in the industry and sorting through the list of speakers, you might be able to uncover some people you may have never found on social media, but are still influential. Yeah, we know it’s a boring and painstakingly long process! But it’s always worth the extra effort to verify your influencers. We’ve commonly come across a well-respected industry analyst or journalist who appear to not be active on Twitter – but are still considered a top influencer.
Anyone who has tried building an influencer list knows that while the project is an important one, it can be quite a difficult process. These quick tips should not only make your results more impactful, but should also make your job a little easier – and who wouldn’t want that?

By Tyler Trainer,  Katrina Cameron, and Nathan Zaragosa