Daily Archives: September 7, 2017

Lilly to cut jobs, close R&D sites

Some 3,500 positions will be shed amid latest research shake-up

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Trees with a probiotic boost clean up a carcinogen

Symbiotic bacteria help poplars strip trichloroethylene from groundwater

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Seeking materials to send unbreakable codes

Scientists want to develop photonic materials to bring quantum communication closer to reality

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Lee Odden Shares 5 Best Practices for Enterprise Influencer Marketing #CMWorld

It was all aboard the Content Marketing World Enterprise Wednesday morning, as TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden took marketers to the not-so-final frontier of marketing: influencer marketing.

Lee’s session, “Big Brand Influencer Marketing: Trends & Best Practices,” had the flight deck packed with eager marketers from brands big and small as well as agencies, all looking for insight to define, refine or inspire their influencer marketing journey.

While Lee covered influencer marketing trends, tools and interesting B2B and B2C case studies, much of the presentation focused on five best practices for creating a dynamic influencer marketing program with the perfect balance of great content and strong influencer relationships.

What are those five best practices? Read on to find out.

#1 – Goal Setting

Goal setting is part of a responsible marketer’s DNA. Your objectives are the foundation of your marketing strategy, guiding every decision and tactic that comes next. When it comes to goal setting for influencer marketing, Lee believes that means thinking about all of the possibilities and then drilling down into specific, measureable goals.

#2 – Smart Influencer Engagement

As Lee said: “There are a lot of cowboys out there. … A lot of people are just shooting from the hip when it comes to influencer marketing.” When it comes to engaging with the influencers you want to create relationships with, you should absolutely be a little wild and free to pique interest, but at the right times.

Lee told the story of his first influencer content project, in which he reached out to about marketing influencers with several questions for them to answer, and not necessarily tailored to their expertise. As you can imagine, the response wasn’t great. He then walked the room through what he called the “Confluence Romance,” a kind of framework that helps you make connections, get on the radar, build and maintain relationships with influencers. The “steps” he outlined were:

  1. Follow and interact with influencers on social channels
  2. Recognize influencers on a featured list or blog post
  3. Invite influencers to share a quote or a one-on-one interview
  4. Use that interview or quote content as modular content to repurpose and continue to share
  5. Engage with influencers in the real world
  6. Invite them to become a VIP influencer

Of course, these steps are a bit nuanced and not one-size-fits-all, and need to be tailored to your brand, objectives and resources. But either way, it can serve as a helpful guide.

#3 – Co-Creation

Lee is an avid fan of co-creating content with influencers. As he’s been known to say: “If you want your content to be great, ask influencers to participate.” Influencers add perspective, insight and credibility, and in return you get to create an awesome piece of content that makes them look great.

For co-creation magic, Lee’s top tips were picking a very specific topic so you can easily match the best-fit influencers, and weaving influencers into your content planning.

“You always make sure that your content is accountable to targeted keywords, so why not also make your content accountable to influencers?” Lee asked rhetorically.

#4 – Amplification

At the end of the day, most marketers hope their influencer relationships and the content they’ve built with influencers is seen. And that’s where amplification comes in.

As for some best practices for this best practice, Lee offered up several. My favorite was openly sharing your content and marketing objective with the influencer. While some marketers may hesitate to do something like that, Lee believes that cluing influencers in on the purpose will give them the opportunity to be more effective.

#5 – Measurement

Marketers know that measurement is key to understanding how your marketing efforts are performing, as well as if you’ve reached your objectives. When it comes to influencer marketing, Lee suggested three different metrics to pay attention to:

  • Influencer performance
  • Influencer community performance
  • Overall content performance

You Can Get Aboard the Enterprise, Too

Even if you were unable to attend CMWorld, you can still get insight and inspiration from Lee’s session. His presentation is available on SlideShare.

Stay tuned for more #CMWorld coverage and insights on the TopRank Marketing Blog. In addition, follow myself and the rest of our on-the-ground team members on Twitter at: @CaitlinMBurgess, @Tiffani_Allen, @leeodden, @knutesands, @NiteWrites, @amywhiggins and @azeckman.

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Arie Luyendyk Jr. Is Your Next 'Bachelor' and Honestly Who Asked for This?

Arie Luyendyk Jr. has been announced as the next Bachelor, and it’s very surprising because he’s been off the show for so long.

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The Secret to Achieving Enterprise-Wide Content Marketing Buy-In? Understanding Your Cast of Characters #CMWorld

It’s certainly no secret that quality content is the foundation of every marketing strategy. And you may think the success of your content marketing initiatives rests in the capable and creative hands of your marketing team members. But you may be missing out on a big internal opportunity.

During her session titled “Driving Content Marketing Success in Your Organization: Sales, Product and Global-Regional Collaboration,” Jillian Hillard, the Director of Brand and Product Marketing for Electrolux Home Care and SDA, North America, emphasized the importance of enterprise-wide buy-in.

Using three rebranding case studies as examples, Hillard walked us through her process for getting key players from multiple departments to buy-in, get excited and see the value in content marketing.

“Everyone needs to have a seat at the table in the beginning,” Hillard said. “This creates community of openness, trust, camaraderie, support and gets everyone excited about the new journey.”

So, how can you win the buy-in of key departments within your organization to drive your content marketing strategy? Get started by understanding your key players and departments or as she referred to them: your cast of characters. When you need to understand your organization’s characters, you’ll be able to help them understand how content can make a difference for the business and the customer.

Character #1 – The Product Line

The folks working on product line and development quite obviously have intimate knowledge of how the product works and benefits your customers. They’re your subject matter experts. But they have a lot to gain from content marketing. You just have to show them.

“Your products are an extension of your story,” Hillard said. “And content is a must to help you sell and onboard your products.”

Character #2 – Sales

Hillard recognized that many marketers are hesitant to involve sales during early strategy development. But she argued that sales reps are your “on-the-ground storytellers,” so getting them to collaborate and share insights early can make or break your efforts.

“If sales is not behind your content revolution, you have lost the best resources for customer buy-in,” she said. “But, you need to show them that marketing is more than freebies and product catalogs.”

To achieve sales buy-in, it’s important for marketers to ask for feedback along the way, and sometimes this requires a meeting just for marketing and sales teams to work together and brainstorm. During these meetings, you can clearly layout what their role is in your organization’s content marketing journey.

Character #3: Finance

As Hillard put it: ”A well-funded story goes far.” So, if you can help your finance players see that content marketing is a business generator, that’s when you go from the spenders to the viable business drivers.

To get buy in from finance, share short- and long-term ROI possibilities. Then brief them on how content can contribute to a reduction in costs and increase in sales. Finally, include finance in any management presentations and milestone updates.

Character #4: Customer Service

Nobody spends more face-time with your customers than your customer service team. And as Hillard explained: “Customer service provides fuel for your content. Their insights allow the organization to take trending issues and feedback and proactively output content. That content then aids customer service as well by making answers and suggestions readily available for them to pass along.”

For customer services teams to hop on board with your content marketing plan, they need validation. They spend a lot of time listening to customers, so it’s important that you lend them your ear and give them a voice.

“Ask them to participate in editorial calendar brainstorms,” Hillard suggested. “They can also give insight on how the customer wants to receive their content. [In addition], offer trainings and easy ways for the team to access the content for their own use.”

The Main Takeaway?

In order to drive content marketing success for your organization, everyone in the organization needs a hand on the wheel. You need buy-in and collaboration from conception to execution, and ultimately optimization. Hillard said it best in the final moments of her presentation:

“Once your organization sees the value, then content marketing becomes contagious.”

Stay tuned for more #CMWorld coverage and insights on the TopRank Marketing Blog. In addition, follow myself and the rest of our on-the-ground team members on Twitter at: @Tiffani_Allen, @leeodden, @knutesands, @NiteWrites, @azeckman, @amywhiggins and @CaitlinMBurgess.

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