What 5 Recent Search Marketing Changes Mean For B2B Marketers

Black woman marketer deep in thought image.

Black woman marketer deep in thought image.

How can B2B marketers adapt to the latest changes in search engine marketing?

Google, Bing, and other search engines have continued to refine their services, bringing changes that B2B marketers need to be aware of.

Holding the dual roles of the world’s most popular search engine and its biggest search advertising provider, Google and its parent company Alphabet saw an especially strong 70 percent increase in advertising revenue during the second quarter of 2021, the firms recently disclosed. That equates to some $560 million is advertising revenue per day during the quarter, and a year-over-year increase of 62 percent, rebounding from the firm’s only revenue decline a year ago due to the global health crisis.

Search advertising revenue alone rose by 68 percent and accounted for some $38.8 billion during the reporting period, making it as clear as ever that paid search ads continue to be used as an important part of the marketing strategies of both B2C and B2B firms.

The recently-released 2020-2021 edition of the ACSI (American Customer Satisfaction Index) shows some of the reasons why Google’s search remains essentially a de-facto element in marketing efforts, and reinforces Google’s continuing dominance, topping the customer experience list with a score of 76 out of 100.

Microsoft’s Bing wasn’t far behind Google in the index rating, however, with a customer experience score of 71.

Let’s take a look at five of the most recent changes among Google and Bing that are likely to affect B2B marketers, and how they may play out as we push ahead towards 2022.

1 — Google’s „About This Result“ & Feedback Features

Google recently introduced a new search feature that now shows some of the reasons why it ranked a specific search result in the position it was discovered, via the three dot additional options section to the right of most search results.

This new list of certain factors taken into account by Google for individual search results launched in late July, and reveals information that can include:

  • Matching Keywords
  • Related Terms
  • Looking-at Links
  • Local Relevance

Not all search engine result page (SERP) entries contain data from all four categories, however each piece of information shown can certainly help B2B marketers determine some of the factors Google has considered in relation to a particular search result, such as this example:

Google Image A

The “looking at links” information shows, according to Google, “When other pages link to a page using similar words as your query, that page might be relevant to your search. It can also be a helpful indicator of whether online content creators tend to regard the page as useful for that topic.”

The option to send feedback to Google on a particular SERP entry may also offer B2B marketers a route to providing additional insight about an indexed page — or perhaps even on competitor pages, as was discussed on the WebmasterWorld message forums.

Some search results shown through the new panel also include the ability to perform a similar results search, offering more insight on which pages Google’s search index and algorithms consider as holding similar value or information.

Other results include underlined words that can be hovered over to show a selection of search tips meant to refine a particular search — another potentially helpful feature for marketers.

While offering only limited information to marketers, what is available can still be used to refine and improve existing page search engine optimization (SEO) efforts.

2 — Display & Video 360 Bring New Google Data Insights

Google has also recently added an array of new visual overview data to its Display & Video 360 enterprise advertising and analytics platform, in a change that is set to smooth the job of marketers using the product across various channels.

Google Image B

The new views offer a real-time glimpse of reach — gleaned partially from DV360’s log data — when it comes to a campaign’s performance, and should also make it easier to find the highest performing programmatic advertising campaigns, including video.

Video has only become more important to B2B brands during the global health crisis, and recent Hubspot data shows that 72 percent of customers prefer to learn about a product or service from video content.

The functionality of Google’s YouTube as a search engine for both B2C and B2B queries is also an important part of today’s marketing considerations, with recently-released study data from SEMrush showing that even smaller YouTube channels can still produce content that places among the top search results on the platform.

SEMrush Image

3 — Learning More With Google Discover

As more B2B brands than ever fall into today’s expanding publisher category, some marketers are increasingly turning to more niche and specialized Google products for fine-tuning their SEO efforts.

One of these is Google Discover, the search giant’s personalized Android-only mobile offering, has been tricky to specifically target with optimization efforts, however recent insight has come from several marketers and SEO professionals, including Lily Ray and her “Google Discover: 10 Characteristics of Top-Performing Content” study.

Perhaps currently overlooked by the majority of B2B marketers, devoting SEO efforts to Google Discover can nonetheless be worthwhile, Ray noted.

“Performing well in Google Discover will likely stem from a content strategy mimicking that used on other social platforms, rather than a keyword-research-driven, E-A-T focused SEO strategy,” Ray said.

Ray was one of the 12 top industry experts featured in our annual trends and predictions article, “12 Top B2B SEO Trends & Predictions for 2021.”

[bctt tweet=“The biggest overarching trend in SEO in recent years which will undoubtedly continue in 2021 is the focus on E-A-T: expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. — Lily Ray @lilyraynyc“ username=“toprank“]

4 — Google TensorFlow Ranking Updates

Despite its well-entrenched position as the world’s leading search engine and search advertising provider, Google has developed framework adjustments that aim to allow it to more quickly implement any manner of algorithmic and search ranking improvements.

Front and center of this push are Google’s recent TensorFlow Ranking changes, that affect how swiftly new search technology is able to be tested and rolled out to the public.

Long-time search industry professional Roger Montti — another of the subject matter experts featured in our annual SEO predictions article — examines many of the technical details surrounding Google’s latest TensorFlow Ranking features in “Google’s New Technology Helps Create Powerful Ranking-Algorithms.”

These types of changes that allow Google to quickly try out new things can represent an underutilized opportunity for savvy B2B marketers looking for detail-oriented advantages that more slowly-moving brands may not be able to react fast enough to take part in and learn from.

[bctt tweet=“SEO is so consumed with SEO rituals, optimizing for Google, that it forgets that the end game to all of these shenanigans is increasing sales. — Roger Montti @martinibuster“ username=“toprank“]

5 — Bing’s New Chat & Related Image Features

Microsoft’s Bing search engine also continues to innovate and implement a variety of new features as it has evolved over the years.

One experimental new change has been the introduction of artificial intelligence (AI) backed interactive chat features within Bing’s search results, bringing a new level of interactivity to SERP content that could also offer future optimization opportunities for B2B marketers.

While currently only a limited test, Bing’s chatbot feature represents a shift that’s been happening over the past five years, to content that’s more interactive. 33 percent of members of the global CMO Coucil recently said that they plan to upgrade digital interactive marketing efforts during 2021, as we reported.

Bing has also recently rolled out a search feature that makes it easier to view images related to particular search results, offering a pop-up that displays an array of additional images from the site hosting the SERP entry.

Visual search optimization has grown in importance, and changes such as Bing’s recent carousel of related images from the site of origin highlight some of the lesser-known gains that B2B marketers can achieve in the area.

Ratchet Up Your B2B Search Marketing

via GIPHY

B2B marketing doesn’t have to be a conveyor belt of boring content efforts when you spice up your efforts by incorporating the latest search marketing news, tactics, and tips from Google and Bing that we’ve explored here.

By implementing the items we’ve dug into, from Google’s „About This Result“ and feedback features to its new Display & Video 360 data insights, Google Discover, TensorFlow ranking updates, and Bing SERP chatbot and related-image features, we hope you’ll come away with new ideas and inspiration as we make the drive ahead towards successful B2B marketing efforts in 2022 and beyond.

Crafting award-winning digital search experiences featuring elements such as these takes significant time, resources, and effort, which is why many of the world’s top B2B brands choose to partner with a leading B2B marketing agency. Contact us today and learn why for more than 20 years brands from LinkedIn and 3M to Dell and Adobe have chosen to work with TopRank Marketing.

The post What 5 Recent Search Marketing Changes Mean For B2B Marketers appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Source:: toprankblog.com

Gut genug

Mehr Bilder…

Von der Überforderung und Limitation der Multioptionsgesellschaft

Gut genug ist eine zufällig und fragmentarisch zusammengesetzte Sammlung von Gesprächen, Methoden, Analysen, Fotografien, Emotionen, Impulsen und Beobachtungen. Sie hat keine Reihenfolge, weder Anfang noch Ende, nur einen Rahmen, der die Entscheidung war, keine Entscheidung mehr zu treffen.

Sie rät dazu loszulassen, sich einzulassen und Ungewissheit zu vertrauen. Sie versucht nicht einen Sinn zu machen, sondern Lust, danach zu suchen.

Heute ist es kaum mehr vorstellbar nur eine limitierte Auswahl zu haben. Wird uns eine von 99 Alternativen verwehrt, fühlen wir uns eingeschränkt. Wir sind an die dauernde Verfügbarkeit von Ressourcen gewöhnt und blicken fasziniert und entgeistert auf Menschen, die nicht so viele Möglichkeiten haben. Meist denken wir, dass deren Leben nicht erfüllt sein kann, dass sie etwas verpassen müssen. Dabei sind wir selbst meist überfordert und verloren zwischen all den Optionen – egal ob Job, Urlaub, Partnerwahl, Hobbys, Kleidung oder die Frage: »Wo sollen wir heute bestellen?“. Die Lösung muss so individuell wie möglich sein, jede Entscheidung wird mit Bedeutung aufgeladen. Doch was passiert, wenn wir uns dazu entscheiden, uns nicht mehr zu entscheiden? Wenn wir freiwillig einen Teil unserer Selbstbestimmung aufgeben und entschließen nicht alle Freiheiten zu nutzen?

Masterarbeit (SoSe 2021) im Studiengang Transformation Design an der Hochschule Augsburg
von Susanne Pötzsch.

Source:: designmadeingermany.de

5 Olympic Lessons for Marketing Project Managers

Olympic and international flags image.

Olympic and international flags image.

Shattered world records. Nail-biting competition. Limitless sportsmanship. The Olympic Games are a sight to behold.

via GIPHY

While we had to wait a little longer for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, they’re still captivating audiences with competition that pushes the limits of athletes and of humans.

As a long-time spectator of the games, however, I’ve found that some of the most memorable Olympic moments hold real-life lessons and even happen outside of the competition floor. Already at these Olympic Games, I’ve taken note of several moments that are unforgettable in life and in work. Especially as a marketing project manager, where we often have to coach our team members, I’ve learned several lessons from the first week of competition. To learn what those lessons are and how they can impact your marketing projects, read on.

Lesson #1 — It’s okay to say, “no.”

Simone Biles, the GOAT ?, shocked the world when she pulled out of the women’s artistic gymnastics team final. And shocked us again when she pulled out of the women’s individual all around.

via GIPHY

But when you learn the reason why, wanting to avoid personal injury due to the “twisties” and to focus on her mental health, it’s easy to see why she withdrew. In fact, it makes complete sense. There are times where saying, “no” is the best, most brave thing you can do.

In marketing, business, and even in life, it’s really hard to say, “no.” When clients or execs come to you with requests, it’s only natural to want to say yes. We want to please and delight those that we work with. But there are times where saying, “yes” could lead your team to become stretched too thin, stressed, and overworked. “No” can be a powerful term in those situations and can help safeguard your team against unnecessary crunch. I would also advise that “but” can be a very useful word here as well. “Yes, we can service your request, but it means your other deliverables may be delayed.” With a small “but,” you’re able to make room for the new request while still safeguarding your team.

Lesson #2 – Celebrate the victories, big and small.

When Australia’s Ariarne Titmus won the gold in the women’s 400 meter freestyle, I don’t think anyone was more excited than her coach, Dean Boxall:

via GIPHY

It was an epic celebration that went viral shortly after. It’s hard to watch that and not feel the excitement, the hype.

Energy like that is infectious. As a marketing project manager, you want that energy among your team. You want morale to be high so team members are engaged in the work and motivated to achieve success. And this Olympic moment is a good reminder to celebrate your project’s success, both big and small. Those wins can do wonders for your team morale and energy.

Lesson #3 – Persevere.

This Olympics, Hidilyn Diaz won the first ever gold medal for the Philippines. And it came in women’s weightlifting.

But what I find so inspiring about Hidilyn’s story is when you look at her history in this sport. In 2008 in Beijing at the age of 17, she finished second to last. In London in 2012, she missed all of her clean and jerk attempts, resulting in a DNF (did not finish). But she shook it off and persevered. In Rio in 2016, she took home the silver medal becoming the first Filipino woman to win an Olympic medal. And even then she wasn’t satisfied, competing and training for another five years to compete in Tokyo, where she took home the gold and made history yet again. That’s amazing dedication, determination, and perseverance.

Perseverance is a great quality to have as a marketing project manager, and Hidilyn’s story is a great reminder of that. It’s not uncommon for marketing projects — or any projects or work for that matter — to experience setbacks. But it’s important that when setbacks happen, we forge ahead. We pivot. We adapt. And who knows, if we persevere long enough, we may break records and barriers not unlike Hidilyn.

Lesson #4 – Experience isn’t everything.

Watching the women’s skateboarding street finals was a trip! I could not believe the ages of these young athletes. The gold and silver medalists were both just 13 years old and the bronze medalist wasn’t much older at the age of 16.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by NBC Olympics (@nbcolympics)

And in watching them perform, I couldn’t help but be reminded that age is just a number. In work environments, it can be easy to judge someone based on their age or level of experience. After all, reviewing one’s experience is how we determine one’s role on the team and the work they can make the greatest impact on. These skateboarders just go to show that excellence can come from anywhere and anyone. All we need to do as project managers is give individuals the tools and resources to get there. Experience isn’t the end-all be-all we sometimes think it is.

Lesson #5 – Diversity breeds success.

206 countries. Over 11,000 athletes. 309 medals up for grabs in 33 sports. It’s the most diverse gathering of athletes in terms of sport, race, and nationality. I also think it’s the perfect case study for why diversity drives excellence and innovation.

Just take a look at the current medal count and imagine if only certain countries could compete. While those countries would go home with more medals, it might be a hollow victory. An athlete that might not have been on the podium or even in the final heat, is suddenly a medal winner. Current Olympic and world records might stand when they would have been shattered otherwise. It’s the wide range of international competition that continues to push athletes to their limits.

When it comes to forming the teams for your marketing projects, make sure they are diverse ones. The more perspectives you have, the better your project will be in the long run and the more success you’ll find.

Take Your Team to Olympic Heights

Project management and people management are one in the same. For our projects to be successful, we have to effectively manage people in the process. Watching the Olympics, it’s clear to me that there are a lot of people management lessons we can learn from Olympians, their coaches, and their actions.

For your own marketing projects, use the advice above to keep the people on your teams motivated, happy, and successful. In need of more marketing project management advice? Learn about the common barriers to marketing project management and how to overcome them.

The post 5 Olympic Lessons for Marketing Project Managers appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Source:: toprankblog.com

The future of gaming and streaming: a networking and SEO arsenal

Alinity on gaming and the need for networking, content creation, SEO

30-second summary:

  • As the world starts to return to normalcy, the gaming and live streaming industry need SEO, social networking, and online marketing for continued growth
  • I spoke with industry influencers Alinity, Matt Rehwoldt, and eUnited’s General Manager and VP, Matt Potthoff on the industry’s current scenario, the obstacle course for amplified audience engagement, and the budding need for innovation

Over the past five years, the boom of the live-streaming, esports, and gaming industries has been stealing headlines not only in the tech industry but also in mainstream media.

That boom only increased its radius during the pandemic, which saw astronomical highs in terms of viewership numbers for the Amazon-owned Twitch streaming platform, Google’s YouTube, and even Facebook Gaming, who jumped more aggressively into the marketplace with the acquisition of Microsoft’s Mixer platform during the summer of 2020.

Since then, much of the world has started getting back to more normalcy, which means that studios are back to work on big project games, esports teams are heading back to regular competitions, and the streaming landscape continues its evolution.

Despite the boom, the industry lacks some key ingredients

But despite the impressive numbers, the industry as a whole still lacks some key ingredients that can not only take the industry to the next level, but also improve the business landscape of content creators as well.

More often than not, the industry is splintered off into a number of sectors that, aside from annual conventions and events, don’t often regularly network efficiently.

Compounding the limitations of networking efficiency is the void in marketing practices such as search engine optimization (SEO) and traditional internet marketing that content creators and brands are leaving on the table.

Some of the core complaints among streamers and content creators, among others, is – the lack of discoverability provided by their platforms, and how their growth seems bottlenecked and capped due to the lack of visibility.

Furthermore, content creators and brands often find themselves in the cycle of social media posting, which can lean heavily into monotony and automation – two major factors that drive down engagement.

Sure, you can blame the platforms themselves and you would be partially right. Social media platforms are a wide net of interests and demos, so posts may not hit at high percentages consistently. Streaming platforms seem to be staying the course, which is smart business as it has proven to be profitable, even during the most challenging economic crisis in nearly a century.

That leaves content creators, esports teams, game studios, and the industry as a whole, at a crossroads. Where innovation has seemed to bypass the needs for more connected networking and growth potential, many are forced to double down on the work despite the lack of return just to stay afloat.

Natalia Mogollon, better known as Alinity, is one of the most popular streamers on the Twitch platform, boasting over one million followers to her channel and had leveraged the platform to build one of the more recognizable brands in the streaming industry.

Streaming and content creators

To get an objective perspective on the matter, I caught up with gaming content creator, Alinity and Matt Rehwoldt, former WWE wrestler and content creator.

“In regards to networking with other creators, I feel like most creators currently use Twitter for that”

“The problem is that I don’t know which creators are genuinely interested in networking and which just want interactions in order to increase their following. It’s probably 50-50.

“But again, I think the market for small to medium size creators is huge. People that are starting to grow and want to meet other creators”

And it’s the market that remains largely untapped or maximized.

Outside of the most famous streamers in the world, many streamers may be stuck under a ceiling or bottlenecked when it comes to growth, and that is where the streaming side of the industry needs to evolve.

A few years ago, professional wrestler and content creator Matt Rehwoldt was involved in the WrestleMania 34 United States Championship match between Randy Orton, Bobby Roode, Jinder Mahalm, and Rusev, performing in front of over 78,000 people in New Orleans, Lousiana.

And while Rehwoldt is back in the industry with promotions such as New Japan Pro Wrestling and rumored to be heading to Impact Wrestling, the ‘Drama King‘ has carved out a home for his brand on both Twitch and YouTube.

Despite his name recognition and work on some of the biggest wrestling stages in the industry, the limitations that platforms present can still negatively impact his content.

Matt Rehwoldt on the gaming industry and the need for SEO skills

“The biggest challenge facing content creators is always discoverability,”

“Twitch struggles with this the most and it’s been said to death by any “How To Grow On Twitch” video you see on YouTube – which is the very point. You need to bring people to Twitch from other sources as their search and discoverability is extremely limited.”

“Here I’ll refer your readers to Alpha Gaming’s Harris Heller. He makes some great points about Twitch’s weaknesses with the most glaring being its searchability.

The inclusion of things like highlights or clips is very cool, but why can’t I search “Crazy FRAG” and find a whole list of clips around those search terms? Then through watching things like that I find new creators. So there needs to be more searchable content on Twitch where you don’t have to just go to the search bar and type the exact name of the stream you’re looking for.”

“Browsability is key,” he said.

But Rehwoldt also points out that YouTube may present better discoverability but also has its own setbacks.

“YouTube is better but there you’re competing in an even larger ecosystem against clickbait warriors and what feels like the whole world”

he points out.

Rehwoldt goes on to point out how SEO is not only impactful but a valuable resource to learn and utilize.

“That said, if you can take the time to teach yourself a little SEO and how to use titles and keywords properly, it’ll help you a lot. It’s something I still struggle with and am learning too.”

But like many streamers, Rehwoldt has been frustrated with the issues that hold back his content. He stresses the importance of understanding that it all comes down to patience and hard work.

“I’m still learning,”

Rehwoldt says.

“My channels are growing but not nearly as fast as I’d like them to. So for me, it’s more about keeping my mind right. Do good work that I love and the growth seems to come. Not letting myself get discouraged because some video or stream didn’t “pop off” is key too.”

“Everyone points to people like Ludwig or other creators who blew up seemingly overnight and then get frustrated when they feel like they make similar quality content and the same doesn’t happen to them.”

Well there are two things to consider here: First, that often those creators didn’t blow up from “nowhere” and they’ve been working hard either behind the scenes or prior to launching their content and got seen by the right people at the right time. A classic case of preparation meets opportunity.

Secondly, life is also full of incredible exceptions.

People who explode into stardom because they went viral etc. But never ever try to compare yourself to the exception. I’ve known and spoken to so many creators, those who make a living at it, and it takes years of trying and putting out content that you later look back on and shake your head. Trial and error everyone. Have patience with your work and yourself.”

Esports

While SEO is not prominent in sectors such as streaming, and the collective industry as a whole, it has trickled in with regards to the Esports industry.

Matt Potthoff is the general manager and Vice President of eUnited, and a former professional esports player who has won championships as a player, coach, and general manager.

eUnited

“eUnited has blossomed into a staple esports organization in North America since its inception in 2016”, Potthoff said.

“We have competed across many titles and have accumulated over $3 million dollars in prize winnings.

eUnited’s most notable championships are winning the 2018 Smite World Championship and the 2019 Call of Duty World Championship. We pride ourselves on growing amateur talent into championship contender players over numerous gaming communities.”

Part of their growth has been the incorporation of SEO and internet marketing through leveraging social media.

“eUnited does use elements such as SEO to increase visibility when selling merchandise or showcasing new sponsors. Additionally, we help players revise their stream titles and descriptions for better chances of obtaining new viewership when users are searching for different topics on Twitch”

Potthoff points out that the integration of internet marketing, SEO, and targeted social networking can provide results and those results can impact profitability.

“eUnited leverages streaming platforms to grow their players‘ brands and sell ads to sponsors by utilizing their player’s streaming audience. Most sponsorship activations in esports that aren’t held in person are done over streaming platforms like Twitch”

Innovation and moving forward with solutions

Regardless of the sector of industry, it seems the problems remain the same, and some success can be rooted in the implementation of SEO and optimized networking.

  • But how does the industry innovate to address this?
  • How do content creators address the areas of need?
  • How do we implement better networking and more meaningful connectivity between these different sectors?

Many brands and content creators face hurdles with finding these solutions. They may not have the budget to consistently contract a quality Internet Marketing & SEO agency, and the SEO agency market certainly doesn’t hone in on these offerings.

So, what is the solution?

I considered all of this when I initially launched Gamactica in October 2018. I asked myself these same questions, and I saw the very issues pointed out in this article when I started streaming.

This is why the foundation of what we have been building with Gamactica is rooted in SEO, internet marketing, and intuitive social networking for the industry. Award-winning internet marketing company Elite Rank Media is the backbone of the internet marketing initiatives and processes. Since 2009, the company has been providing marketing services to brands around the world and has been recognized for its work in both Medical SEO and localized Miami SEO marketing, among others.

An industry where content creators, streamers, gamers, esports teams, esports players, game studios and developers, and cosplayers are spread out so distantly on the social space is one that needs the innovation of improved connectivity.

Our purpose is to provide a professional social network to streamline social networking, bring these sectors together more efficiently, and provides the tools and resources that empower these brands and content creators to reach new levels.

And these are the innovations that can help push through the ceilings, break through the bottlenecks, and clear the hurdles that everyone seems to face, regardless of the industry sector.

Gamactica is implementing those innovations.

“I think the idea is very interesting,”

Alinity says of Gamactica.

“Most current social media platforms focus on relationships with our followings, but a new focus towards networking is innovative. It almost makes me think of LinkedIn.

“I feel like it has a lot of potential for connecting brands and creators, I think there is a big need in that regard. It seems like some streamers are really well connected and get lots of sponsorships, whereas the new creators have no idea how to get these. I think there is a big untapped market within the creators with about 100-500 concurrents (viewers)”

she adds.

“They have more tight communities and often get overlooked but I think there is a huge potential for brand deals with high return on investment for brands, as they tend to be more connected with their viewers. This connection becomes difficult once you get over 1000 concurrent viewers”

she continued.

Alinity points out the vitality of the current market size, the need for better networking, and industry innovation.

“I think the market for small to medium size creators is huge. People that are starting to grow and want to meet other creators. I think the large “whale” streamers would be a good influence for smaller ones to join.”

During the journey of Gamactica, it has been key to stand out as a unique platform, and showcasing how it stands alone is vital to the continued growth.

“I love the idea of something like Gamatica”,

Rehwoldt said.

“But I will be blunt – I’ve seen many trying to compete in this niche space as well. I myself have been approached by several ‘gamer social media‘ sites where you open an account, you can link all your streams, socials etc, and it involves you in a like-minded community with the idea that you can all discover each other.

“The key here will be offering something to truly stand apart! Think outside the box!”

And that outside the box thinking is structured in Gamactica’s platform, community, and directories. Streamlining popular social networking features and intuitively interweaving them with the marketing and branding impact that is needed on a larger scale.

“I do think a platform that offers a solution to increase visibility for players is needed,”

Potthoff said.

“My only problem is that a majority of the users are on platforms such as Discord, Twitch, and YouTube.”

“I feel anyone can be discovered in gaming,”

he added.

“It just takes the right moment and presence to take advantage of a situation. If another platform is increasing the odds for a player or company to be discovered, they should definitely sign up and take advantage of it.”

Pushing the needed innovations is at the core of Gamactica’s journey, and implementing the proper concepts while listening to the industry, as a whole, will shape its continued growth.

Not only is the focus on connectivity and marketing, but also helping structure the platform to help combat the harassment and toxicity issues that plague the industry, and also help empower female creators and brands that are operating in a male-dominated sector.

The future requires innovation to achieve growth and continued success, and that journey is what Gamactica is dedicated to continuing.

Stay tuned for more articles in this series.

Anthony DiMoro is CEO of Gamactica. He can be found on Twitter @AnthonyDiMoro.

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The post The future of gaming and streaming: a networking and SEO arsenal appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Source:: searchenginewatch.com

7 Questions B2B Marketers Need to Answer About Influencer Marketing

Essential B2B Influencer Marketing Questions

Essential B2B Influencer Marketing Questions

Diminishing organic social reach, distrust of brand marketing and information overload makes reaching and engaging today’s B2B buyer harder than ever. On top of that, the major changes brought by the pandemic have created new challenges and opportunities for B2B companies to better attract and engage customers in meaningful ways.

Out of the pandemic and the shift to digital first go-to-market approaches for B2B companies, Influencer Marketing has emerged as one of the most effective ways to connect with customers to create better experiences. Despite substantial growth in the discipline from best practices to software, many B2B brands are still experimenting or simply don’t know how to identify, engage and activate influencers.

As I’ve talked with prospective clients and my own team, many B2B marketers see the value in working with influencers to drive credible conversations and content about topics that customers care about. They simply don’t have enough information or experience to execute.

Evolving from this tentative stage to one of driving profitable marketing requires answers to several important questions:

How do you identify the right influencers?

Capturing the value of working with influencers doesn’t start by picking the most popular people in your industry to work with. There has to be a reason for them to do so and that purpose comes from a solid marketing strategy that identifies the topics, narratives and hooks that the marketing will use to engage customers. Those same marketing campaign elements will be used to then identify the people that have influence about the topics your customers care about.

Once topics of influence have been determined, there are a mix of ways to practically identify influencers from interviewing your key executives and customers to leveraging influencer marketing software which acts like an influencer search engine.

The important thing to understand about influencer identification in B2B is that not everyone who influences your customers thinks of themselves as an influencer. In turn, not everyone that identifies as a B2B influencer actually has influence. They might be better at creating engaging media and promotion than getting customers to buy.

The key is that there is tremendous value in working with both ends of the B2B influencer spectrum by matching them to the right kinds of content collaboration and activations.

How can you engage influencers and bring them onboard?

Many B2B marketers want to hit the ground running with influencers as if it were an advertising campaign and for the most part, that is simply not how influencer engagement works. More so than in B2C, B2B influencer marketing is a relationship business. Relationships take time to develop – you don’t simply „turn them on“ by asking influencers to join your campaign or even to pay them to create content.

Most great relationships start with some romance where there are efforts to understand what’s important to the influencer and create value before getting any in return. Paying influencers to create content off the bat will get you a content deliverable, but it won’t make the influencer care about your brand. But if they do care, they will share and evangelize your brand, products and people organically.

Once you understand what motivates an influencer (sometimes you simply have to ask them) then you have context to invite them to participate in your marketing effort. Whether they are focused on advocating and growing a certain discipline in the industry or they are already a fan of your brand, you can put together the right kind of invitation to work with your brand to create mutual value and achieve mutual goals.

How do you engage with paid influencers vs organically?

Paying influencers for content deliverables or services has increased substantially in the past 2-3 years. And that is a good thing because it represents a growth in the number of professional influencers in B2B industries that understand how their role as an influencer can contribute to helping brands achieve marketing and business goals.

Typically, B2B influencers are paid for specific deliverables or for a commitment to deliver content over a defined period of time to specifications.

Organic influencer engagement is more about inspiring the influencer to be a part of the movement the brand is advocating. The purpose of the engagement is to join forces to achieve mutual goals and the influencer receives value in the exposure from being a part of the program, access to information, people and/or experiences from the brand.

Most mature B2B influencer marketing programs use a combination of organic engagement and paid. Always-On influencer engagement would typically be relationship building and organic. Asking 10 influencers to create 2 blog posts each or 2 videos each about defined topics to certain criteria would be something the brand would pay for.

Which collaboration efforts have a significant impact?

While content format trends in B2B are definitely leaning towards video, the best B2B influencer collaborations are those that align with customer content preferences. Once you understand how your customers prefer to consume content – most likely a mix of formats – then the task is to find influencers with specific skills or talents using those media formats.

In some cases the influencer can be a turnkey solution and produce content whether it’s a research report, webinar, podcast or video and deliver it to the brand for publishing. In other cases, the influencer is better as „on air talent“ and can be the personality representing the brand engaging with internal and external influential voices – on a podcast, video series, webinar or a virtual / in-person event.

How can you integrate influencers with content marketing?

The topics of influence mentioned earlier help B2B brands match the people who are most influential about topics that drive the marketing narrative. Those same topics help guide the actual content influencers provide to the brand for use in content marketing.

Influencer content can be used to „optimize“ brand content to be more credible, as in the use of influencer quotes in articles, research reports or as participants in webinars and events. Whatever topic the influencer is most credible about is matched with the corresponding content marketing asset.

Virtually any content marketing effort can benefit from including internal or external expert citations or contributions to give expertise and credibility to the messages intended for customers. Additionally, influencers that have the attention of customers that the brand is trying to reach can assist in promoting the content and reaching those customers.

How do you measure influencer effectiveness?

Marketing measurement has everything to do with the goals for the marketing so thought leadership is measured differently than a lead generation campaign. The same goes for influencer marketing.

When content is involved with an influencer marketing effort, all of the same KPIs are involved as with any other content marketing program. Is the content attracting the right audience, are they engaging with the content and is it converting?

With influencers it’s also important to measure the effectiveness of the influencers using tracking URLs to see how well their content resonates with audiences on delivering the above KPIs.

If a defined group of industry experts are engaged then it’s important to measure things like the brand’s share of voice within that group of influencers.

If the brand could get the most influential people in the industry talking about their brand in a positive way, that could have a significant warming effect if not direct impact on the marketing consideration of their products/services. Mentions and advocacy can be measured from benchmark to ongoing progress.

The trend in those influencer mentions can be overlaid with analytics tracking changes in more direct marketing KPIs to see if there is a correlation between increased influencer brand advocacy and lift in commercial content consumption, brand interest, leads and sales.

How does influencer marketing software help optimize marketing?

The influencer martech industry has grown substantially over the past 9 years TopRank Marketing has been involved with B2B influencer marketing. There are a variety of tools from specialty applications that are only used to identify Twitter influencers to enterprise level platforms that can handle everything from influencer identification to CRM to program measurement.

Picking influencers should be a data informed decision and influencer marketing software can comb through vast amounts of data to identify those individuals with the right mix of relevance, resonance and reach for your marketing program.

Communicating with influencers from initial social engagement to invitations to collaborate to contract management and deliverables management are all essential and best handled by software.

Monitoring your influencers and surfacing activation opportunities is essential for an Always-On program.

Measuring campaign performance as well as the share of voice and sentiment a group of influencers has about your brand is most effectively handled by influencer marketing software.

Influencer Marketing programs that work with 10, 20 or 100 different influencers simply cannot scale with any quality using a spreadsheet. Influencer Marketing software helps add both quality and efficiency to a program. That means more relevant influencers are identified, communications are more timely and effective and the performance measurement that you need is there for program optimization.

I will be digging into the details of each of these questions during a 3 hour workshop at the Pubcon conference tomorrow: How to Develop a B2B Influencer Marketing Program That Actually Works. Of course if you have any questions of your own, feel free to connect with our team at TopRank Marketing.

The post 7 Questions B2B Marketers Need to Answer About Influencer Marketing appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

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