How are marketers using IoT in 2019?

Tell us your IoT plans in our short poll; we’ll share the answers in a future story.

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The Next Level of Influence: 30 Essential Influencer Marketing Statistics

30 Essential Influencer Marketing Statistics

30 Essential Influencer Marketing Statistics

Pop Quiz: When influencer marketing is done right, who wins?

a) Your brand
b) The influencers
c) Your audience
d) All of the above

In case you missed the last few classes, the answer is D. In the ideal influencer marketing engagement, your brand gets a boost in credibility, authority, and exposure to a new audience. The influencer gets a cool content asset to promote, association with other thought leaders, and is able to grow their influence in their niche. And the audience gets awesome content neither the influencer nor the brand could have produced on their own.

Getting to that “everyone wins” stage requires strategic planning and execution, though. You can’t just throw money at someone with a big Instagram following and expect results.

Our agency was a pioneer in B2B influencer marketing, and we’re invested in taking it to the next level. Our approach has seen amazing results for Fortune 500 companies and small businesses alike.

To help you reach the next level of influencer marketing — what we call Influence 2.0 — this post combines our experience with original research from other thought leaders in the industry:

  1. Influencer Marketing: Science, Strategy & Success (Zine)
  2. An Evaluation of Brand Influencer Partnerships (Onalytica and Smart Insights)
  3. Two Sides of the Same Coin: Exploring the Brand and Influencer Relationship in Influencer Marketing (Activate)
  4. State of Influence 2.0 2018 (Traackr & Altimeter Group)
  5. Influence 2.0: The Future of Influencer Marketing (TopRank & Altimeter & Traackr)
  6. The State of Influencer Marketing 2017 (Linqia)
  7. Sponsored Spenders Survey (Collective Bias)

Read on to upgrade your influencer marketing and get ready for what comes next.

30 Essential Influencer Marketing Statistics

Influencer Marketing Works

  1. Over half of brands say influencer content outperforms brand-created content. Only 6% said it underperformed brand content. 6
  2. 78% of consumers will buy when recommended by someone they feel they know and trust. 1
  3. 67% of consumers have no negative reaction to sponsored content. 7
  4. 58% of brands have seen improved brand awareness and perception from influencer marketing campaigns. 2
  5. 54% saw an increase in leads and revenue. 2

Influencer marketing works because the message comes from people your audience already trusts. It also works for awareness and brand positioning, but also for driving revenue.

As our CEO Lee Odden defines it: “Influencer marketing activates internal and industry experts with engaged networks to co-create content of mutual value and achieve measurable business goals.”

[bctt tweet=”#InfluencerMarketing activates internal and industry experts with engaged networks to co-create #content of mutual value and achieve measurable business goals. – @leeodden” username=”toprank”]

Very Few Influencer Marketing Programs are Fully Mature

  1. Only 10% of organizations are fully mature with influencer marketing; that is, running a cross-functional program. 4
  2. 46% are using influencer marketing tactically, but have not integrated it across marketing. 4
  3. 57% of marketers say influencer marketing will be integrated in all marketing activities by 2020. 5
  4. 62% are going to spend more on influencer marketing in the year to come. Only 4% will spend less. 4

Marketers have a ways to go with influencer marketing sophistication. Investing more time and budget is a good start, but sophistication really comes from integrating influencers across your marketing initiatives on an ongoing basis, from strategy to content to promotion and beyond.

[bctt tweet=”#B2B #influencermarketing is still in its infancy—which means there are plenty of opportunities to begin implementing it today. @azeckman” username=”toprank”]

Sophisticated Influencer Marketing Involves Deeper Relationships

  1. Nearly half of marketers are working on long-term campaigns w/influencers. 2
  2. 40% of influencers say they’re in long-term partnerships. 2
  3. 48% of B2C influencer programs are ongoing, but only 11% of B2B are. 5
  4. Only 29% of influencers are asked for their opinion on content direction. 1
  5. 55% of marketers say content strategy and direction are decided well before influencers are added. 1
  6. Only 25% of influencers said brands shared engagement goals with them. 1

Building long-term relationships with influencers is crucial for sustainable influencer marketing. The relationship-building should include working with the influencers on content strategy, direction, and engagement goals.

As Rani Mani, Adobe’s Head of Social Influence Enablement, recently told us in an interview: “We at Adobe pride ourselves on cultivating and nurturing long term relationships with our influencers. We look at it as dating with an eye towards long term commitment which means we are always looking to establish a ‘give to get’ exchange where all parties come out ahead.”

[bctt tweet=”We look at #influencermarketing as dating with an eye towards long term commitment, which means we are always looking to establish a ‘give to get’ exchange where all parties come out ahead. – @ranimani0707″ username=”toprank”]

Influence Is More than Follower Count

  1. Only 25% of consumers are more likely to buy a product when someone with over 1 million followers recommends it. 1
  2. As reach grows, engagement tends to drop. 1,ooo-10,000 is the sweet spot for engagement. 1

It’s time to rethink what makes a good influencer, especially for B2B brands. Reach is only one part of the equation; resonance and relevance are even more important than size of audience.

Not long ago, our own Ashley Zeckman, Senior Director of Digital Strategy, wrote: “Social reach should be a consideration for your B2B influencer marketing program, but not the only one. Sometimes the influencers with the largest reach may not be engaging their audience in a meaningful way that leads to more users connecting with your content.”

Look for people who are actively engaging with their audience, and are talking about topics relevant to your brand.

[bctt tweet=”#Social reach should be a consideration for your #B2B #influencermarketing program, but not the only one. @azeckman” username=”toprank”]

Aim for Content Co-Creation, Not Sponsorship

  1. 73% of influencers said they put more effort into content when they’re passionate about the brand/product. 1
  2. Only 27% said they put in more effort when the campaign involves financial compensation. 1
  3. Only 34% expect financial compensation. 1
  4. However, 65% expect some form of reward. 1
  5. Only 14% said being paid well was the most important reason to work with a brand. 2
  6. 52% say building their influence on key topics is most important reason to be an influencer. 2
  7. Top criteria for influencers choosing brands? Most important is “I love the brand and already post about them organically.” 3

While financial compensation can be part of your influencer marketing strategy, it shouldn’t be the whole strategy. Money can’t buy genuine enthusiasm and emotional investment. Look for influencers who are already excited about your brand, are eager to share their thoughts and expertise on a relevant topic, and work with them to create content you both can be proud of.

[bctt tweet=”While financial compensation can be part of your #influencermarketing strategy, it shouldn’t be the whole strategy. Money can’t buy genuine enthusiasm and emotional investment. @NiteWrites” username=”toprank”]

Level Up Your Measurement

  1. 78% of marketers surveyed use influencers to build brand awareness. 3
  2. 45% cite sales conversion as their primary goal. 3
  3. 5% of marketers surveyed are tracking engagement rate, while only 45.92% track sales conversion. 3
  4. 37% of influencers cite brand awareness as their goal, while 22% cite sales conversion. 3
  5. 74% of marketers surveyed said sales conversion was one of their top goals for influencer marketing. 5
  6. 76% of marketers surveyed said determining ROI was their top concern. 6

Influencer marketing isn’t just for brand awareness. Like every other marketing tactic, your influencer efforts can contribute to revenue and that impact should be properly attributed. It’s important to make revenue measurement part of your initial planning and goal-setting.

[bctt tweet=”#InfluencerMarketing focuses on the entire customer journey, driving demand, leads and to help with nurture. @AmishaGandhi @SAPAriba” username=”toprank”]

The Next Evolution of Influence

As these statistics show, it’s time to rethink what influencer marketing is and what it can do. It’s more than one-off sponsorship deals with celebrity contributors to boost brand awareness.

Influence 2.0 means finding the true influencers for your audience. It means developing long-term relationships to co-create valuable content worth getting excited about. And it means setting goals throughout the marketing funnel and being equipped to measure them, from engagement down to revenue. When you can do all of that, everybody wins.

Is your B2B organization just getting started with influencer marketing? There are six things you absolutely need to know.

The post The Next Level of Influence: 30 Essential Influencer Marketing Statistics appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Social Media Marketing Strategy for 2019

Social Media Marketing Strategy for 2019




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How To Create A Memorable Experience For Your Customers

How To Create A Memorable Experience For Your Customers

Think small businesses can’t compete with bigger brands when it comes to marketing?

Think again. Now that we’re judging the success of marketing on whether or not it creates an engaging experience, and not just on whether it results in a sale, the playing field is effectively leveled.

Customers are willing to demonstrate their loyalty to whichever brand promises a more interesting time, in addition to a superior product.

For a start, the allure of this kind of marketing strategy is that it scratches a very particular itch, and one that younger generations of customers seem to have in spades: the desire to spend money on experiences, rather than solely on material products.

For large corporations and small businesses alike, this has proven to be a double-edged sword: Experienced-focused customers can be brand-loyal for a long time if you keep them interested. However, it also raises the stakes considerably.

So, how can a small business get in on this phenomenon? Here’s how to put experiential marketing to work for you.

Throw a party, host or sponsor an event

One of the best ways to create an experience for your customers and recent converts will never forget is to host a local event. Consider things like a pop-up sale, street fair or live music.

Small businesses and nonprofits are a perfect match for this type of thing. Your company could partner with a community organization, charity or food pantry to put together a mutually beneficial community concert, potluck, ice cream social, charitable dance or something else entirely. You could even adopt a stretch of highway or get involved in another type of humanitarian project in your area. Encourage local participation, with or without incentives like discounts on your products or services, with entry into regular prize drawings.

Strategic, and also pro-social, partnerships like these are a great way to create memorable one-off or recurring experiences that let you do some good while also boosting brand recognition for your company.

Incorporate your customers into your marketing efforts

What better way to create an experience for would-be customers than to use the experiences – and the enthusiasm – of your existing ones?

Lots of companies have been getting into crowdsourced marketing materials for a while now, including major names like Airbnb. However, the concept can readily apply to businesses of any kind and size. In Airbnb’s case, their “Stories From the Community” series does double-duty: It’s a transparent way to market to people who might not have any experience using Airbnb’s services, or even know what the concept entails.

Doubly important, it puts the people being marketed to in the shoes of Airbnb’s previous customers, who can share photos, videos, anecdotes and more about their trips and adventures. It’s great marketing material for the company, but it also increases customer loyalty, making them feel more closely knit. It helps potential customers easily envision adventures and experiences of their own.

Offer workshops and classes in your area

Every small business is staffed with people who have talents and passions – whether it’s directly or only somewhat related to the work you do. The idea of becoming a thought leader in one’s industry is hardly a new one, but small companies are in a unique position to demonstrate what they do in an up-close, personal and relatable way. Consider partnering with a local library or another venue so your staff can demonstrate some of the practical skills that go along with the work they do or the products they offer.

Like Barnes & Noble, your classes could focus on educating your user base about how to get even more out of your products, as the bookseller does with its e-readers in its stores on a monthly or bi-monthly basis.

Give live video a try

There can be a lot of cognitive distance between the average customer and some of their favorite brands. No matter how great the product might be, if the company and its people are a mystery, or if the business seems to skate by with an uninspiring or arms-length presence, customers might go elsewhere for a more dynamic experience. Live video can help bridge this cognitive distance by offering fans and customers around the world the opportunity to watch your company operate behind the scenes. They can see how your employees conduct themselves when they’re not, strictly speaking, on the clock.

Maybe you can create the impression of a live event. When Sculpteo wanted to show the world what its 3D printer could do, it put together a road trip to perform a test on its newest creation: one of the world’s first 3D-printed, fully functional bicycles. It documented the entire journey on its blog through photos and videos. The result was a true experience for those following along at home, who came away with a new appreciation for what a midsized company’s products can do in the real world.

Build a knockout booth and attend a trade show

Build a Knock Out Booth and Attend a Trade Show like nettime solutions for experiential marketing

Image Source: Speedpro

Trade shows are a wonderful opportunity to show off your products, services and personnel, scope out the competition, and create a strong impression among potential customers, including other area business owners.

Admittedly, not every company’s trade show booth is created equal – and if you come across as drab and uninspiring, your presence there might even do more harm than good. However, take a look at what’s possible with some out-of-the-box thinking. You can turn your trade show booth into a must-see destination by setting up tables where customers can put products through their paces or by incorporating AR and VR technology for an uncanny virtual experience. You can also simply go big and bold with imposing signs and banners plus well-chosen colors that appeal to the eyes. Trade shows are experiences unto themselves, but your company needs to bring something exciting and dynamic to the table.

Let customers test your products and provide feedback

Conducting focus groups and rounds of product testing is nothing new, but how can you use such an opportunity to engage with the public and market your business in a memorable way?

Let your customers test your products and provide feedback for experiential marketing

Image Source: Surveyanyplace

One of your jobs in marketing your products is to present them in a way people can immediately grasp and appreciate. If you want to make an experience of it, you might consider creating an environment where customers can touch and appreciate the build quality or the materials you’ve chosen, and see how they work up close. You can take this concept and turn it into a proper experience by building showrooms for your products, like Philips does with its lighting solutions and Clopay does with its artisanal garage doors. If you’re really feeling ambitious, you can invite returning customers to give you feedback on new products before they’re officially launched, which will further make them feel valued and loyal.

Brands can create memories too, not just products

Research published by Freeman indicates two things about marketing in 2018 and beyond: A majority of marketers today believe that offering experiences is key to creating lasting relationships with consumers.

That same majority believes traditional advertising will see lower returns as the public becomes savvier about shopping for experiences rather than just for material goods. Maybe it’s time your company got started creating some potential memories of its own.

Guest authorFrom Pittsburgh, PA, Nathan Sykes is the founder of Finding an Outlet and writes about business and technology on sites such as BestTechie, Simple Programmer, and TechTalks.

The post How To Create A Memorable Experience For Your Customers appeared first on Jeffbullas's Blog.