Tag Archives: Content Marketing

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

 

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

Three Reasons Video Is Increasingly Important in Demand Gen

When we talk about demand gen today, it is an ever-growing beast akin to the mythical hydra, spawning two heads for every head lost. Indeed, businesses today deal with an exponentially growing number of components in each demand gen campaign, which now warrant a dedicated team member, if not a full team, to handle. Traditionally, demand gen’s content engine relied heavily on the written word and other data-driven digital content. However, the wild popularity of video assets, brought on by a generation raised with YouTube, Vine (RIP) and Snapchat, throws a curveball into traditional demand gen content strategies.

Fear not, businesses that incorporate video into their overall demand gen strategy wager minimal risk for great reward. If a picture is worth 1,000 words, then, as Forrester’s Dr. James McQuivey put it, 1 minute of video is worth 1.8 million words. So if you’re tiptoeing the diving board, unsure of whether or not to take the plunge, here are three reasons to give you that needed push to think video!

Video is digestible
Would you rather read a 2,000-word whitepaper, or watch a 90-second video? The majority of senior executives today (59 percent) lean toward the latter. Don’t get me wrong – a fleshed-out whitepaper is still a valuable asset to have and use. However, people are consuming more content at a faster rate than ever before. Instead of taking unabridged adventures into full-blown thought leadership essays, your buyers only have time for the quick and dirty version.

Video is a happy medium – excuse the pun – between in-depth storytelling and tightly packaged content. Within the span of 1-2 minutes, video can cover pain points, industry context, innovative solutions and more. Furthermore, instead of a name and title on a byline, your thought leader gets quality facetime with your prospects as what we like to call a “talking head.” While face-to-face communication still reigns supreme as the most effective way to convey a message and build a relationship, video comes in as the close second.

Video is convertible
OK, it might not do 0-60 mph in a matter of seconds, but it is most likely the best-looking and most powerful vehicle you have in your demand gen garage. According to our Tech Marketing Content Survey, video is tied with social media as the most effective medium for content. And the numbers don’t lie. Videos on your homepage increase conversion rates by 20 percent. Videos on your landing pages increase conversion by 80 percent. Better yet, videos in email campaigns result in a 200-300 percent increase in click-through rates (CTR), and 64 percent of consumers are more likely to buy product after watching a video.

As such industry research proves, video is without a doubt a fast and furious accelerator to your demand gen campaigns.

…I’ll stop now with the dad puns.

Video is scalable
Regardless of your company’s size and success, and/or where your buyers are in the customer journey, there is always a time and place for video. If you’re trying to establish brand awareness, company overviews and customer case studies can quickly establish who you are and what you have to offer. As your company continues to expand, videos that highlight your products, as well as those that promote recruitment and culture, will help you maintain momentum. Finally, once you’re ready to establish yourself as an industry leader, a healthy helping of video blogs (vlogs) and consistent sales kickoff (SKO) and Year in Review videos will do just that.

Industry research proves video is, without a doubt, a fast and furious accelerator to your demand gen campaigns. Click To Tweet

That’s a wrap!
Content consumption will continue to trend toward smaller, faster, more visual assets. In order to keep up, and more importantly stay ahead, businesses must invest in video to bolster their PR, marketing and demand gen efforts. For a sneak peek into how this looks when put into real-world practice, swing by ProMotion Studios and take a quick look at our recent content survey to learn more.

By Webbo Chen

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Reciprocal Relationships: The Key to Influencer Partnerships that Work

“Influencers are an important factor in spreading brand awareness and increasing content visibility

What is an influencer?
Influencers are industry experts that maintain engaged followings in their niche. These individuals are highly sought after, for both their insight and the promotional ability for brands and ideas. A savvy marketer can utilize an influencer’s large reach and high engagement rates to promote their own or a client’s visibility and thought leadership. This transfer of credibility can help secure coverage, build an audience, and elevate industry authority.

So, how do you get their attention?
If you work in digital marketing, there is a pretty good chance you’ve made your share of attempts at influencer marketing. Some well-known strategies often comprise of a few common steps, including:

NO FOLD ICON 15x15 Engagement with social media accounts, specifically retweeting and sharing posts that promote their original content
NO FOLD ICON 15x15  Following, sharing, and (most importantly), engaging with their blogs, articles, and webinars
NO FOLD ICON 15x15   And joining discussion forums that they lead Q&A sessions in (Reddit, LinkedIn Groups, and Developer Forums are all good options)

These are all worthwhile and necessary steps you should take in order to keep attention on you or your client over time, and we will go into further detail on these tactics in another blog soon.  But when so many people are adopting the same strategies, what can you do to truly stand out?

Dig In: Running a Tweetchat- Best Practices for Success

How can I break through the noise?
One of the best ways to get your targeted influencer to work with you is to offer something of value in return. Organizing a unique and creative effort to promote an influencer’s thought leadership provides a good opportunity to present the value your reciprocal relationship can offer. Let’s take a look at a 10Fold case study to illustrate our point.

Former 10Fold client Silver Spring Networks wanted to run a tweetchat to provide opportunities to connect with and engage followers. To attract users to the tweetchat, 10Fold found a Smart Cities industry expert in Tech Republic’s senior writer Teena Maddox. 10Fold had worked with Teena before for media coverage, and this event represented a new development in the relationship.

Organizing a unique and creative effort to promote an influencer’s thought leadership provides a good opportunity to present the value your reciprocal relationship can offer. Click To Tweet

Offering her influencer status to moderate the discussion, Teena was instrumental in the success of the tweetchat. On the day the event took place, Silver Spring’s 37 Tweets earned 24,148 organic impressions. At the conversation’s peak, 13 participants were involved and the #SSNIchat hashtag was also used over 150 times. 10Fold and Silver Spring Networks were able to offer Teena a position to exercise her thought leadership and industry authority, while reciprocally elevating her own brand and transferring credibility to our event.

Looking for more ways to earn the attention of influencers? Stay tuned for more content and subscribe to our newsletter as we delve into our series about why influencers matter and how you can get their attention.

By Katrina Cameron and Tyler Trainer

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If You Are a B2B Tech Marketing Exec, Get Ready to Increase Content Production by 300%

Most Prospects Purchasing B2B Tech Do Their Research BEFORE They Talk to Any Vendors – Content is the Lynch Pin to Ignite Sales

10Fold recently commissioned a survey with Dimensional Research to better understand U.S. tech marketing executives’ plans for content as part of their marketing initiatives for the coming year. We uncovered five interesting trends – all that surprised us, and will definitely surprise you too!  In this first blog, we’ll be discussing the amount of content marketing execs have planned for the next 12 months.

First, a bit about our research.
Survey respondents included 172 U.S. technology marketing executives that had both budget and approval authority over content development. Vice Presidents of Marketing, CMOs, and CEOs all qualified as participants. Responses were evaluated as a whole and based on company revenues, vertical market focus, and headquarters location.

But, here’s the punch line.
Seventy-six percent of tech marketing executives expect to TRIPLE content production in the next 12 months. Let that sink in for a moment.

10Fold had a hunch that demand for content was increasing, but even we were surprised that these tech marketers were planning an increase of 300 percent. We think that it’s largely based on the pivotal role content is having in the B2B sales process.  A new report from Forrester suggests that prospects have completed more than 50 percent of their buying process BEFORE they ever speak with the vendors they are considering.

Dig In: Content is Still the King!

The line of site is pretty clear:  Companies need to produce more videos, blogs, and articles detailing customer successes, technology differentiation, and vendor stability so that when the research is complete their name ends up on the short list for that RFP.

But how are they going to produce all that content? Over 40 percent of our respondents claimed they plan to have at least a $250,000 budget dedicated to content next year and 90 percent suggest that will be an increase in budget.

 

One more thing: It’s not just the big companies that plan to spend on content – small companies also have aggressive plans to produce content.

For additional information about content quantities and budgeting, including budgets for small companies, check out our full report here. As we approach 2018 and begin to finalize marketing plan and budgets, consider taking your content marketing to the next level.

This blog is the first in the series, Content is Still King.

By Sarah Thorson

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Content is Still the King!

It won’t be surprising for many of you to learn that content is king, but what may not be so obvious is that this king is getting more powerful than ever.  What most marketing execs struggle with is how do you identify what type of content works best, and how often you should produce the content? To answer these questions and many others about content, 10Fold commissioned a study with Dimensional Research to deliver a better understanding of content marketing plans, budgets, frequency, and preferences for the type of content measurement of that content among nearly 200 U.S. tech marketing executives.

Check Out: 2017 Content Insights from Tech Marketing Execs

Here’s a sneak peek:

  1. 32 percent produce content daily or hourly
  2. 75 percent of plan to generate three times more content in the next 12 months than they did in the previous year
  3. 42 percent will spend $250,000 or more in the next 12 months on content

The research also revealed that feedback from customers and sales teams are the most important ways U.S. technology marketing executives are judging content effectiveness. These answers ranked higher than the response of using marketing automation tools, indicating that soliciting customer feedback never goes out of style.

For additional information about trends based on company size, geography, and industry targets, find the full report here.

Check out what industry experts, press, and more think about the report below!
NO FOLD ICON 15x15 Measuring the Success of Content Marketing Initiatives [Susan Thomas Interview]
NO FOLD ICON 15x15 More Marketers to Invest in Content
NO FOLD ICON 15x15 Tech Marketing Executives To Up Digital Media Content – MediaPost Communications
NO FOLD ICON 15x15 Tech Marketers Are Relying on Customer and Sales Feedback to Judge Content Effectiveness

And more!

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