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How Music Can Help Make Your B2B Content Sing

Music Inspired B2B Content

Music Inspired B2B ContentI asked ChatGPT to write the introduction for this post. Here’s what it gave me:

In the world of B2B marketing, creating engaging and effective content is crucial for attracting and retaining customers. However, the process of brainstorming ideas and putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) can sometimes feel daunting and unproductive. That’s where music comes in. Listening to music has been shown to have a multitude of benefits for the brain, including improved mood, increased focus, and enhanced creativity. In this blog post, we’ll explore how incorporating music into your writing process can help B2B marketers produce better content and connect with their audience on a deeper level.

Now, that’s not a bad introduction, per se. It reminds me of a high school student writing a 5-paragraph essay. It knows the notes, but not the music — it’s hard to imagine someone feeling passionate about this content, its author, or the brand that brought it to you.

But the problem here isn’t AI. B2B brands have been putting out robotic, commodity content for years. AI just makes it possible to churn it out faster.

How can B2B content marketers make sure audiences will love their content? How can writers create content that builds a relationship with the brand?

Make it sing.

As a writer, I find listening to the right mix of music helps me put soul and personality into my stuff.

Why Music?

Great writing has rhythm. It ebbs and flows, sometimes speeding up and up and up and up until it seems like it can’t go any faster…sometimes…slowing. To. A. Crawl. It shimmies. It jives. It shakes all over like a jellyfish (sorry, Freddie).

If a song has the same rhythm, tempo and melody all the way through, it starts to grate—think “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall.” The same is true with your writing. A little music in the background will work its way into your subconscious and out through your content.

What Music?

Taste in music is highly subjective (except for mine, which is impeccable), and the right music for productive writing will vary from person to person. For example, I can’t write to songs with lyrics—the vocal track captures my full attention.

So when I need an energy boost, I go for synthwave music. Think of it as a never ending soundtrack to the best 90s video game that never existed.

For editing, I switch to “lo-fi hip-hop” music. The dirty secret: It’s really just smooth jazz with a makeover to appeal to the youths. Just the same, it’s good for covering up distracting background noises and getting into deep concentration mode.

Finally, for a brain break and quick burst of energy, some new-school pop punk is just right:

You might substitute gangsta rap for high-energy, classical for editing, and country and western for your brain break. Find what works for you; just don’t sit in stone-faced silence writing staid and bland content.

Music and Your Brand

So far, we’ve been talking about how music can liven up your B2B content and boost your creative process. But music can be more than just a conduit between your brain and your keyboard.

Part of differentiating your brand in a sea of B2B content is developing a unique brand voice. That voice should come across not just in written content, but in every type of media you put out.

When you make social media videos for your brand, what’s your soundtrack? It’s not enough to go to your favorite stock music site and search for “Inoffensive Corporate Vibes.” You’ll either get something that sounds like the intro to the nightly news, or one of those ukelele/fingersnap/whistling monstrosities that pass for breezy corporate pop music.

For TopRank Marketing’s Break Free B2B Marketing series, we wanted something with a little attitude, something attention-grabbing—the audio equivalent of a grizzly bear shooting laser beams. So we did this:

As our brand evolves, we’ve been exploring more chill, sophisticated, but still unique sounds:

Which type of music matches your B2B brand will vary. What’s important is to be mindful of music whether you’re using it to set the mood for creativity or picking the background music for a content marketing project. Don’t throw in whatever comes up on your first search. Be just as strategic developing your brand’s musical personality as you are with the rest of your branding.

Face the Music and Dance

B2B content marketing is currently getting flooded with repetitive, bland, AI-generated content. This is different than just a few years ago, when content marketing was flooded with repetitive, bland content written by humans.

The only way to rise above either of these content deluges is by writing with passion, personality and style. It’s developing a brand identity for your B2B business that’s consistent across media, including the soundtrack that plays in the background.

So crank up the tunes, keep your content fun, and dance your way into your customers‘ hearts.

Want to step up your content game? We’re here to help.

The post How Music Can Help Make Your B2B Content Sing appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.


Elevate B2B Marketing News: CMOs Shift Priorities, Adobe’s New AI, Changing B2B Buyer Journeys, & Google Rolls Out Bard AI

2023 March 24 MediaPost / IPG Chart

2023 March 24 MediaPost / IPG ChartB2B CMOs Make Meaningful Shifts in Priorities
30 percent of B2B chief marketing officers have said that growth was tops when it comes to what they want to deliver in their role, while 21 percent pointed to better customer experiences, with 19 percent having said greater efficiency — three findings contained in newly-published B2B CMO survey data. MarketingCharts

B2B purchasing is for the young — and digital [Report]
35 percent of B2B buyers in the millennial and Generation Z demographic are say that they prefer using enterprise purchasing apps, while 24 percent of older buyers prefer inside sales reps, while dissatisfaction with vendors was also higher among younger B2B buyers — three of numerous findings of interest to B2B marketers contained in recently-released survey data. Digital Commerce 360

The B2B buyer journey is not fit for purpose, here’s how to fix it
B2B buyer journeys have shifted from a single hand-off to sales from marketing, as greater overlap between the two departments has begun helping brands appreciate and capitalize on the nuances and strengths of both, and Marketing Week takes a look. Marketing Week

Adobe announces Firefly for AI-driven creative
Adobe has announced the addition of Sensei GenAI to the its Adobe Experience Platform, along with generative AI-infused Adobe Firefly visual tools for creators, in a move aimed at ramping up Adobe’s AI creative technology for marketers and other professionals. MarTech

[bctt tweet=““I’m very excited for Adobe Firefly and how thoughtfully they’ve addressed issues and concerns in the #AI space.” — Goldie Chan @GoldieChan“ username=“toprank“]

Google Bard Begins To Slowly Rollout – Citations, Limitations & Early Access
Google has begin a limited launch of its Bard collaborative artificial intelligence (AI) generative chatbot service, which it has sought to differentiate from the search giant’s traditional search services. Search Engine Roundtable

Startup behind Stable Diffusion releases AI system for generating videos from text
Runway has augmented its AI lineup which already included the Stable Diffusion AI image creator with an early rollout of an AI-to-video tool — limited initially to three seconds in length, Runway recently announced. Reuters

2022 July 15 Statistics ImageYouTube Adds Podcast Analytics, New Hashtag Recommendations for Long-Form Clips
Google’s YouTube has added an array of new options for creating and managing podcasts on the video platform — an area that has seen continued growth — among other updates including suggested hashtags for long-form video content, YouTube announced recently. Social Media Today

High-Tech Touchpoints Are Changing Customer Experience
More intuitive customer interactions can lead to better customer experience (CX) as touch-points undergo changes, and the Harvard Business Review takes a look at creative way to expand on traditional CX components such as convenience, choice, navigation, and payments. Harvard Business Review

LinkedIn Adds Native Post Scheduling for Company Pages, New Audio Event Options
Microsoft-owned LinkedIn has rolled out a series of new updates, including allowing pages to follow other LinkedIn pages on the platform, along with a full launch of native scheduling, and an array of audio event features, LinkedIn (client) recently announced. Social Media Today

Ad-Blocking Consumers Influence Purchase Decisions, Magna Study Finds
53 percent of the millennial demographic have said that they block digital ads — a practice undertaken by just 19 percent of Gen Z and six percent of baby boomers — and marketers are adjusting their techniques when it comes to reaching these ad-averse groups, according to newly-published survey data of interest to B2B marketers. MediaPost


2023 March 24 Marketoonist Comic Image

A lighthearted look at “Do Something” by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist

New NCAA Streaming Service Lets Fans Watch 4 Capital One Commercials At Same Time — The Onion


  • Katelyn Drake — This Week in Marketing: Check Your Marketing Mix — LinkedIn (client)
  • Lee Odden / NetLine — Celebrate! NetLine’s 6th Annual B2B Content Consumption Report Wins Award for Best Research — NetLine


Masha Finkelstein @masha3003
Ann Handley @MarketingProfs
Michael J. Barber @michaeljbarber
Melanie Deziel @mdeziel
Christopher Penn @cspenn

Learn more about TopRank Marketing‘s mission to help elevate the B2B marketing industry.

Have you found your own top B2B marketing news item for the week that we haven’t yet covered? If so, please don’t hesitate to drop us a line in the comments below.

Thanks for joining us for the Elevate B2B Marketing News, and we hope you’ll return again next Friday for another array of the most up-to-date and relevant B2B and digital marketing industry news. In the meantime, you can follow us on our LinkedIn page, or at @toprank on Twitter for even more timely daily news.

The post Elevate B2B Marketing News: CMOs Shift Priorities, Adobe’s New AI, Changing B2B Buyer Journeys, & Google Rolls Out Bard AI appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.


Feeding Today’s Hunger For Better B2B Content Marketing Experiences

3 types of B2B content sure to win readers over jumping marketers image

3 types of B2B content sure to win readers over jumping marketers image

It’s a great time to be a B2B content marketer. The appetite for content marketing within B2B audiences is high, and content marketers say it remains by far the best tactic in terms of ROI.

But as content marketers we have to tread carefully: to paraphrase the old proverb, an opportunity is just a crisis waiting to happen. We need to make sure we are giving our readers what they want, because if we don’t, they’ll look elsewhere — and they might not come back.

And we don’t have to look far to know we can’t take our audiences for granted. The wild and frankly erratic moment happening in the world of social media has seen participation and engagement on social channels drop significantly. All except for TikTok, that is.

Lucky for us, we have a bit of insight into what B2B audiences want in their content marketing in 2023. Let’s take a look at the top three demands for content marketing in 2023.

1 — Empathetic, human content

The persistent success of TikTok holds a lesson for content marketers: it’s raw, funny, relatable… in a word, human. B2B content marketing, on the other hand, has a different reputation: boring. In fact, on this blog alone there are over 430 instances of us assuring you that B2B content doesn’t have to be boring.

B2B content marketing consumers‘ taste is starting to catch up with us. Writing empathetic, human content is a surefire way to engage your audience, because it feels relatable and validating.

But you don’t have to go with your gut on writing empathetic content. In fact, writing content based on your audience’s experience is best done with plenty of data. By learning what motivates your audience through research, you can more effectively speak empathetically about the topic at hand. They are then more likely to recognize themselves and their own problems in the content, and are therefore more likely to trust you as a source.

[bctt tweet=““By learning what motivates your audience through research, you can more effectively speak empathetically about the topic at hand.” — Art Allen @Punsultant“ username=“toprank“]

2 — High quality thought leadership

This remains an open secret that I am eager for more of you to take advantage of: there is huge demand for high quality thought leadership. And yet, in 2023, there is still not a lot of it to be found.

Why am I making such a big deal about this? It’s not just a hunch: a recent study conducted by LinkedIn* and Edelman found that thought leadership is the most effective type of content marketing a B2B organization can produce.

And this isn’t just in good times. Most of the decision makers surveyed said good thought leadership content can persuade them to buy non-essential products and services even in an economic downturn.

So what makes good thought leadership content? According to that LinkedIn-Edelman report, it’s content that gets right to the point: how I can help your business succeed and outperform your competitors. If you can demonstrate your value, you’re in.

[bctt tweet=““There is huge demand for high quality thought leadership. And yet, in 2023, there is still not a lot of it to be found.” — Art Allen @Punsultant“ username=“toprank“]

3 — Content that matches intent

The days of capitalizing on search volume by optimizing your content based on a list of keywords are long gone. In 2023, your content needs to match search intent if it’s going to be valuable to the reader.

For instance, if the search term you chose for your B2B brand is also related to a popular basketball team, you need to figure out how to tweak that search term to capture the B2B audience and avoid the basketball fans.

But search intent is more than just matching the semantic intent of search terms. You also have to match the user’s intent in terms of the type of information they’re looking for. Are they trying to learn the basics about a topic, research the best option for their specific use case, or are they ready to buy?

These different search intents map quite neatly onto the marketing funnel, and you should consider where your user is in that journey and match the content and CTA accordingly. No one wants the hard sell when they’re just browsing.

For more empathetic, high quality thought leadership from the humans you love, follow the TopRank Marketing blog.

Learn more about crafting great B2B content experiences with our new free guide, Marketing with Intent: The Future of SEO & B2B Search Traffic.

* LinkedIn is a TopRank Marketing client.

The post Feeding Today’s Hunger For Better B2B Content Marketing Experiences appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.


Humanize, Organize, Strategize & Personalize: 4 Ways To Boost B2B Influencer Marketing With Generative AI

4 ways to boost B2B influencer marketing with generative AI man and robot image

4 ways to boost B2B influencer marketing with generative AI man and robot image

How can B2B brands best harness the power of generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools to help take their influencer marketing to the next level?

At this point, it seems unlikely content that has been created with at least some AI-generated tool assistance will be shunned, making it likely that for better or worse it will soon be the rule rather than the exception — if it isn’t already.

Some organizations may put policies in place that forbid the use of generative AI, however for those that don’t there are many helpful and creative ways these tools can be harnessed to take B2B influencer marketing to the next level.

Let’s explore top ways B2B marketers can use generative AI to humanize, organize, strategize and personalize when it comes to influencer marketing.

1 — Humanize Influence With AI

When used wisely, generative AI can genuinely help build better B2B influencer marketing relationships.

In what may be a surprisingly counterintuitive twist, AI can also help marketers build and strengthen very real human relationships, and to connect with audiences and potential customers using powerful human touch-points, as we explored in „What Recent Data Shows About The Rising Importance of Human Touch-Points in B2B Marketing.“

There’s never been a time when our innate human elements have held greater importance as a key differentiator in marketing, however this doesn’t mean that AI can’t also play a role.

AI tools can help in a number of areas in B2B influencer marketing, not only allowing marketers to expand on the efforts they can accomplish alone, but to use AI for freeing up time that can be spent on real human interactions — the lifeblood of B2B influence.

Whether it’s using generative AI tools to help pre-sorting and pre-analyzing data before a B2B marketer takes that written work to levels that AI can’t, or drawing on the power of AI image, video, and audio tools to quickly build mock-ups, AI technology can play a helpful role in B2B influence.

One thing AI has brought to B2B marketing is a new focus on the power of words and the stories they tell.

„Whether you believe AI is a game-changer or not… there’s been a 180-degree, hard-turn towards this: WORDS MATTER,“ Ann Handley, chief content officer at MarketingProfs, recently observed.

[bctt tweet=““Whether you believe AI is a game-changer or not… there’s been a 180-degree, hard-turn towards this: WORDS MATTER.” — Ann Handley @MarketingProfs“ username=“toprank“]

2 — Organize & Craft With AI Assistance

Taking complex and sizable amounts of B2B influencer marketing data and organizing it into the most relevant structures to begin crafting highly-focused influencer campaigns are tasks that generative AI is especially useful for.

Begin by gathering the data you wish to analyze, and then focus on winnowing down the prompts you use to query the AI tool of your choice, refining your questions to produce better output with each iteration, until you’re left with results that you can then begin to enhance with the human elements that no algorithm can synthesize.

Strong organizational skills augmented with AI tools can then help when it comes time to craft content of all sorts.

AI not only offers potential boosts to B2B influencer marketing, but also to content marketing, as we recently explored in „5 Ways ChatGPT Will Change the Future of B2B Content Marketing.“

„Smartly leveraging AI tools for content creation can drive costs down and boost efficiency, but it’s crucial to avoid generic and uninspired content,“ Benjamin Shapiro, CEO at I Hear Everything, suggested recently.

[bctt tweet=““Smartly leveraging AI tools for content creation can drive costs down and boost efficiency, but it’s crucial to avoid generic and uninspired content.” — Benjamin Shapiro @benjshap“ username=“toprank“]

3 — Strategize With Generative AI Insight

Analyzing a variety of influencer marketing approaches from top competitors will help highlight key differences, and allow you to develop campaign strategies that capitalize on your own organization’s strengths.

AI tools can be put to use to help compile strategic B2B influencer marketing options that truly stand out from the competition.

By using AI to strategize and help with even mundane day-to-day B2B marketing tasks, marketers stand to gain both time and new insights.

„My recommendation for anybody who is actually not familiar with artificial intelligence is to look at what you do on day-to-day basis, your roles and your responsibility, and think about how AI can apply,“ Pam Didner, vice president of marketing at Relentless Pursuit, recently shared in a discussion with our own CEO Lee Odden, in „B2BMX Speaker Spotlight: Pam Didner on Artificial Intelligence Impact on B2B Marketing.“

Care must be taken to recognize that influencer efforts that rely solely on AI and automation tools can only go so far, while the most successful strategies take off from this point and utilize human-powered marketing skills to reach levels AI alone can’t achieve.

„Automation hands many of your mundane and repetitive tasks over to technology, freeing you and your team to focus on the creative elements of content generation,“ Brody Dorland, co-founder of DivvyHQ, noted recently. „AI allows you to create more in less time,“ Dorland added.

[bctt tweet=““Automation hands many of your mundane and repetitive tasks over to technology, freeing you and your team to focus on the creative elements of content generation. AI allows you to create more in less time.” — Brody Dorland @BrodyDorland“ username=“toprank“]

4 — Personalize & Grow Your Network of Influence With AI

AI tools can also help with potential B2B influencer identification, sorting, and outreach assistance.

AI may be destined to become a built-in part of nearly all the digital tools we use daily, from social platforms and search engines to apps to software of all sorts.

A role AI tools are increasingly playing is that of automated personal assistant, and in that capacity they can certainly enhance B2B influencer marketing efforts.

Concerns over whether AI is bringing us a general sense of positivity and making us feel that we’re heading in the right direction, or instead that we’re heading off the tracks, are genuine and will be addresses throughout 2023. It’s a topic we recently expanded on, in „The Prompt Whisperer: ChatGPT’s Rising Reach In B2B Marketing & The AI Revolution.“

We should be excited about AI. And we should be worried,“ David J.P. Fisher, global social selling lead — senior sales enablement program manager at SAS recently observed.

„Because that means we’ll look at it from as many angles as possible and hopefully avoid as many ‚unanticipated‘ consequences as possible,“ Fisher added.

[bctt tweet=““We should be excited about AI. And we should be worried. Because that means we’ll look at it from as many angles as possible and hopefully avoid as many ‚unanticipated‘ consequences as possible.” — David J.P. Fisher @dfishrockstar“ username=“toprank“]

Use The Right Generation AI Tools For The Job


By taking the generative AI steps we’ve outlined to humanize, organize, strategize and personalize your B2B influencer marketing, your tactical tool-belt will be ready to tackle a wide range of online marketing tasks in 2023 and beyond.

We hope this look at some of the ways that AI tools are being used in B2B influencer marketing will help in your own efforts.

Learn more about the nuances of B2B influence in our free B2B Influencer Marketing Research Report, 59 pages rich with survey insights, case studies from B2B brands, predictions from top B2B marketing experts, a list of 20 top influencer marketing practitioners from major B2B brands, and much more.

More than ever before, creating award-winning B2B marketing that elevates, gives voice to talent, and humanizes with authenticity takes considerable time and effort, which is why more brands are choosing to work with a B2B marketing agency like TopRank Marketing. Reach out to learn how we can help, as we’ve done for over 20 years for businesses ranging from LinkedIn, Dell and 3M to Adobe, Oracle, and many others. Whether you are looking for an influencer pilot program or ready to expand your current efforts, our team can help!

The post Humanize, Organize, Strategize & Personalize: 4 Ways To Boost B2B Influencer Marketing With Generative AI appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.


Outreach: Make every email count

30-second summary:

  • Send emails manually to be able to build longer-lasting relationships with your recipients
  • Set up your email signature to make your emails look professional
  • Track email opens to be able to tell which emails were never seen
  • Create an effective follow-up strategy (which includes Twitter)
  • Organize your email campaigns using labels

Email fatigue is real: People get weary of opening yet another email pitch, especially people like bloggers and journalists who are bombarded by emails on a daily hourly basis.

Editors are skeptical of people looking for links, popular bloggers have more offers than they can handle and influencers are too busy to give your email a chance.

Fortunately, there are a few little email tricks you can use to help make things easier and help you get more responses.

Don’t email from an outreach tool

I know the overall industry’s standard is to always use some kind of email outreach platform in order to be able to send hundreds of emails a day. Most outreach managers will tell you that you cannot have a successful email outreach campaign without streamlining it with tools (and they actually told me that).

When I am not a professional outreach manager, and when you do outreach for clients, that’s likely true. But when you reach out to people on behalf of your own business or about your own project, have your team do it manually.

Yes, it will take more time but the reward will be more niche relationships.

Somehow tools make it too quick and faceless. You automate pretty much anything and move on from contact to contact without paying much attention.

When you send manually, you get to know each contact better. You spend some time reading their site or their column. You may even click on their social media links and follow them. You take time to personalize your email with some nice details.

People respond to these emails better. It always feels like there’s a truly personal touch. You just cannot fake it.

Create a detailed email signature

Have your outreach people set up their email signatures which would mention your business, their position, and maybe your social media accounts.

This is a great way to show that you represent a trustworthy brand and can be worked with. It makes it easy for the editor you’re trying to reach to do a little bit of research on you beforehand and know that you’re not hiding anything.

Here’s how to add a signature in Outlook, and here’s how to do that in Gmail. Here’s also a guide for Mac Mail users.

It is also a good idea to include some kind of soft CTA into your email subject. For example, you can invite your prospects to subscribe to your newsletter. This way there will be an additional conversion funnel for those who didn’t feel like replying right away.

Experiment with your copy

This step can never be perfected because there are no limits to improving your response rate. Just try different subjects and copy ideas to try and get more people to notice your email.

Asking ChatGPT for some email subject and copy ideas is a good way to get inspired!

ChatGPT on email ideas

There are also quite a few templates to experiment with different layouts and wording.

Track your email opens

There are quite a few tools that track certain emails to see whether or not they’ve been opened. You are in control of which emails you want to track so you are not overloaded with information, and those tools work with Gmail, Outlook, and even a few specialty email platforms.

I am using one called Mailtrack, and here’s what it looks like when my email wasn’t read:

Icon when email is unread

The icon changes once your email is opened:

Change email icons

If an email has been opened, you will get a notification at the top of your screen. You can also organize your sent messages to show only unopened emails you are tracking. You can “mute” a conversation whenever you’d like and there are plenty of customizable settings.

This is an excellent way to see where you should spend your time sending follow-up messages. If you know that someone opened your email and did not respond, it means they will likely recognize a second one and may have forgotten to respond. You don’t want to be overbearing, but this helps you see where your opportunities may lie.

Fine-tune your follow-up strategy

Life is busy, so your email may be unnoticed by those who would otherwise find it useful. Following-up is an integral part of any outreach.

Gmail comes with a few nice features helping you follow up manually. For example, it will remind you of unanswered emails automatically after a few days. You can also snooze your emails to be reminded of them once the time comes. To enable snoozing:

  • Select the email you want to Snooze.
  • Click the Snooze button on top of the list
  • Pick a date and time to bring that email back to the top of your inbox.

Snooze emails

You can find your snoozed emails in the Snoozed tab in Gmail.

When it comes to follow-up, a little automation won’t hurt, so you can use one of the many follow-up solutions that work on Gmail or your email client.

It is always a good idea to ping that person on Twitter. This will make you look real and will likely help your lead remember you and find your email in the inbox. Obviously, you can only do that for those contacts that are very important to you.

Use labels to create folders for your pitches

There are certainly different ways you can craft your email pitch, but there are also methods you can use that are directly related to your email interface that can help you stay organized if you use them in the right way. Using labels is one of those methods.

This is another way to stay organized if you’re trying to find different opportunities. As you continue to pitch different editors, you can create a label to sort out all of your emails. You will already have System Labels, such as your Inbox, Starred, Sent, etc., as well as Categories, such as Social, Updates, etc., but you have the opportunity to create custom labels.

If you group your email pitches using campaign-based labels, you can help keep them away from your other work emails and have one specific place to see everyone you’ve tried to reach out to within every campaign; thus helping you know when it’s time for a follow-up email.


Email outreach is still the most effective way to generate backlinks, build niche contacts and create brand awareness. It is becoming harder year by year. Hopefully, the above tips will make yours easier and more productive!

Ann Smarty is the Founder of Viral Content Bee, Brand and Community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas. She can be found on Twitter @seosmarty.

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