B2B influencer marketing (creating a buzz through others)

I’m thrilled to be announcing a new webinar in conjunction with B2B Marketing Magazine, which will be taking place on 20th November as part of their all-new tailored B2B training programme.

I see influencer marketing becoming a core staple of the evolving B2B marketing mix as referral, recommendation and advocacy become ever more critical to the success or failure of brands.

I think marketers who see influencer marketing as a PR tactic are missing a golden opportunity to position their business and its products and services in a way to add value by solving real world customer problems. Tapping into trusted voices and channels is a powerful way of serving credible communications to the right people at the right time.

I’m finalising a very practical session laced with real-world examples and practical application and will be exploring the nature of importance and why it is important in B2B sales cycles, what influencer marketing is, what it involves, who it should target, how to go about it and to evaluate the success of it.

Some specifics include:

– Understanding what influencer marketing is and how B2B brands can benefit

– Identifying and ranking influencers

– Communicating with influencers

– Measuring the effectiveness of influencer marketing programmes

Falling at a perfect time for many marketers’ planning cycles, I hope you (and your team) can join us on 20th November 14:00 GMT. More information can be found at www.b2bmarketing.net

PS: I’m looking for 1-2 companies to profile. Are you active in influencer marketing or have seen some brands doing some cool things in this area?

Your invite to an exclusive “7 steps to brilliant digital B2B marketing” webinar with Silverpop

The lovely people at Silverpop have asked me to be the second speaker in their Silverpop Book Club initiative. On Thursday 11th April (14:00 GMT), join me as I discuss some of the concepts and thinking contained in my book Brilliant B2B Digital Marketing – which is available for Kindle Readers and any device with the free Kindle app from the Amazon store.

The webinar on Thursday, hosted on the BrightTalk platform offers lots of tips and pointers – as well as an unusual array of B2B digital case studies – in areas including digital strategy, websites, search, inbound marketing, social media, CRM and analytics and evaluation.

Register for the webinar here. I understand Silverpop are planning to gift 20 attendees the book for free. At 330 pages and costing less than a large Domino’s Create Your Own pizza, it remains a snip even if you elect to buy a copy.

I do hope you can find the time to join us and learn more about the book…especially if you haven’t already ‘Looked Inside‘.

 

Best b2b social media tools: webinars

The age of the webinar – a seminar on the web for the uninitiated– is upon us and if you are selling expertise, you should be considering them. Easy to set up, all you need is a slide presentation, a headset with mic, somewhere to host it and an audience.

Why?

Webinars have exploded into use in b2b marketing because business is international, technology is now available to support online information exchange and there is a thirst amongst business professionals for information to assist them in doing their job more efficiently and effectively.

Attending a webinar does not involve any travel time or in most cases, any cost. As most businesses and homeworkers have broadband internet access, the ability to access and follow a livestream of information is available to all.

Webinars are best used in support of other activity and act as a call to action to website and blog visits, material downloads and enquiries. Why? Because a group of people have identified themselves as being interested in what you have to say.

And you benefit twice, because webinars are often recorded and hosted on demand for people to view after the event. So, even if the number of people that attend ‘live’ can be significantly down on the registration number, the likelihood is most (around 80%) will view the webinar within a few months.

How to get started?

The format of a webinar is fairly uniform. The presenter controls a screen and the material and has access to instant messaging in order to respond to messages and questions. A typical duration is thirty minutes presentation plus time for questions.

Specialist sites such as Bright Talk have channels dedicated to all sorts of business and educational sectors, whilst major sector specific media owners offer webinar services to clients.

Remember to give yourself time to promote the webinar. Add sign-up details and URLs to your email footer, website, blog, social media profiles, tweet regularly, your Linkedin status and groups and any other customer/prospect facing material.

Webinars are taking off in a wide variety of sectors including food (NutraIngredients above), packaging, professional services and chemicals to name just a few. Check out websites of leading publications in your sector and industry portals; there will be opportunities.

Summary

Webinars are a great way of reusing existing content to great effect, to build a thought leadership position and to draw customers and prospects towards you in an engaging way.

The do’s and don’ts of social media marketing (A CIM event review)

The North West branch of The CIM recently staged a ‘Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media Marketing’ event. It was interesting learning more about the CIM’s position on social media and to hear from two industry practitioners including Marketing Scout’s Helen Dolce-Lund. Here are my key takeaways.

1. In a presentation delivered by Regional Director Diane Earles, it was encouraging to see the CIM sit up and look at social media from a business-use perspective. Though some of the examples cited were a little dated (Dell Outlet succeeding on Twitter, the relaunch of Wispa via Facebook and US shoe seller Zappos delivering gold standard service via social media) there were some interesting statistics on social media use and how personal and professional use is beginning to blur.

2. It is critical to think about your objectives of getting involved in social media before you get involved. Go where your audience is and use the tools that best promote your products and expertise. Video showcases product, white papers, podcasts and webinars deliver opinion and perceived expertise.

3. Brands clearly need to take some risk to engage audiences through social media. Establish how brave or conservative your business is and choose the channels that are less risky.

4. Don’t look at a popular channel and assume you can’t make it work. You might not think your customers use Facebook, but they all have a life when they leave their office. You can use the targeted advertising tool to see if there is value in targeting a particular geographic, age, gender, job title or sector before actually having to use it. Having a profile on high traffic social media sites also does wonders for your search engine optimisation.

5. Helen reminded the assembled group that for professionals and jobseekers, it goes without saying that you should set up an active Linkedin profile – and that it should be kept separate from Facebook and Twitter accounts, unless you take a professional approach to them all. Understanding privacy settings is also critical – especially if you ever looking for a new position!

In summary, an interesting event with some new material for the social media naive and a refresher for the early adopters.

Information regarding future events is available from the main CIM North West site.