Why influencer marketing is the future of content

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In many posts have we written about the relevance of influencer marketing and how it differs from the value of brand advocates. Today, many marketing organizations and brands have understood the power of influencer marketing and dedicate a significant amount of their budget to them. And there are good reason for it which we can see from one of the latest infographics in the market provided by the guys from The Shelf.

Shoppers trust in influencers and use them as their third-most-consulted consumer decision information source. Although brand and retail sites are still in the lead as an information source. Blogs already come in right after them, even ranking higher than well-trusted social networks like Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram.

Years ago, we have made clear that the 3 Rs of the social consumer will be leading the decision making process in the future: ratings, reviews and recommendations. The infographic is another proof for our thesis those days. These days, influencer are more trusted than brand content where recommendations have got the biggest power with 92% of consumers trusting in those. Reviews have become the second most trusted source (70%). People also try to stay on top of thought leaderwith blog content that is consulted by 47%.

Although the opportunities are there, only two out of three marketers (65%) invest in influencer marketing so far. and every second company separates their budgets for sponsored social content from other budgets (52%). Still, the amount of investment is not „nickles and dimes“ anymore for brands and companies. Every fourth company already spends over $500,000 already.

Spot On!
Why influencers play an important role inside your content strategy is obvious. They can explain products from various subjective and objective angles. They can play an important role in your community management when negative input needs tob e turned into positive arguments. They can have a big impact in your content production strategy in having an external view on your business and relevance in the market, and thus become your „search-engine-optimizers“. And, they will play a significant role in your sales approach if you take your time to think about it (or maybe talk to us if you don’t have an answer).

Have a look at the infographic and decide yourself if and how you would like to use influencer marketing in the future.

TheShelf-Influencer-Marketing-Infographic-2015

The YouTube revenues (and more) in a minute (Infographic)

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The guys at YouTube Downloader Blog have created a very interesting infographic. Where they have recently explained why Saudi Arabians are the most engaged YouTube viewers in the world, this new infographic shows us the YouTube world in one minute in order to reveal what happens during 60-seconds on the world’s leading video sharing site.

The infographic shows the amount of video uploaded to YouTube each minute and gives insights in the ad revenue that the site’s top channels generate in that minute. Thus, we get to know that PewDiePie earns more than $13 a minute.

According to the infographic, YouTube generates more than $10,000 in revenue per minute. A figure that is base on the site’s estimated annual revenue of $5.6 billion, which means over $14 million of revenue each day.

Youtube-In-A-Minute

Study shows, how B2B decision-makers consume vendor content

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Some weeks ago, we spoke about a study that described what B2B decision makers expect to read on vendor websites. Now, a new study of 352 buyers (predominantly large businesses) from The CMO Council and NetLine shows that the majority of organizations (94%) favors to curate and circulate relevant content in their organization before finally deciding to purchase B2B solutions and services. For years, marketers thought B2B buyers and influencers alike are simply using vendor-related content from time to time.

The study makes clear that there is no real sharing structure to be made out from company to company. However, there are three main patterns that the study highlights in their results:
From the Middle Out (35%): Execution-level executives search and find content about vendors/products and make the purchase. Senior management gets educated thorugh them why the decision was made.
From the Bottom Up (30%): Junior or mid-level employees find vendor-related content and share their discoveries with senior management. Then they make the final decision.
From the Top Down (29%): Senior managers find the content, then share it with lower-level managers for analysis and final purchase.

CMO Council Netline B2B content sharing

The same as with the sharing patterns, there are three key personas within the businesses who act according to their own behaviors, expectations and needs.
Researchers: Primarily focused on new industry reports/research to inform them of advancements in solutions, trends affecting the markets, and opportunities for improvement.
Influencers: Interested in both thought leadership found in trusted third-party channels and vendor-branded technology specifications, data sheets, and use cases. Their special interest is in summarized content, i.e. infographics, videos, and blog comments.
Decision-Makers: Want to stay informed through broad research reports and analyst commentary. However, they expect to have access to detailed data to enable better decision-making at the tail end of the purchasing funnel.

Spot On!
The study reveals some further interesting insights. The vendor selection is major to moderate influenced by online content, find 88% of the B2B buyers and more than a third (38%) find that online content provides strategic insights and shapes the purchase decision. The content that is valued the most is research reports and studies (65%), technical spec and data sheets (50%), analyst reports (46%), whitepapers (35%) and posts on trade publishing sites (30%). The power of Google and the vendor website comes out as well: When more than two third state they start their vendor-related content sourcing with search engines and portals, it shows that the best training the marketers is to read the two B2B studies and draw some conclusion out of it for the future of your own content, PR and marketing acitivites. And if you cannot find a solution, we are happy to help…

Content: Secrets of a killer blogpost (Infographic)

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Many marketing, PR or product managers think about starting their own blogs when joining one of our inhouse or open seminars. And for most of them, it has become a challenge just finding the right topic that makes them outstanding with their product or service offering. This is not surprising, bearing in mind that there were already 74.874.233 WordPress websites out there when I wrote this post – and when you think about Blogger, Typepad, Tumblrs and all of those enterprise blogs, it becomes a mission impossible to find a niche that helps building brands.

Now, the guys at WhoIsHostingThis.com have published some helpful infographic which give us some quite good arguments on what matters when you start blogging.

Which Content?
There is no magazine without a smashing title. Ideally, you write about the topics you are an expert in. As people will want credible, meaningful and authentic blog posts, this is the only way to get your readers attention. Then, check out what readers do want, discuss and share on your topic via social media monitoring. This will make your content interesting and will prevent you from writing content that nobody reads.

Original or Curated?

If you have got the time to write original content, go for it. It’s the best for your reputation and shows your own mindset. And most importantly, Google likes original content which is more likely to rank better. Whenever, there are guest bloggers who want to contribute to your website, invite them.
However, the truth is that if you curate your competitor’s content or third party content from time to time (with a back link!), you jump into their fish-bowl. The easiest bit is if you use their infographics, webinars and branded industry blogs to expand their ideas and thoughts.

Consistency? 

Find your style and stick with it. People want to feel „at home“ and comfortable. Figure out when most people share your updates, or when it’s better not to send them live. If you can afford it, stick to an editorial calendar as people love publishing source they can rely on finding the relevant set of information that stands out.

Good luck (and if you need help), we are here to advice…

How-to-Write-a-Successful-Blog-Post

7 Tips: How to generate more sales leads via your website

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There are some secrets in online marketing, and there are those that have become common knowledge which people might spread in infographics. However, it is still a challenge for most marketers to detect those inbound marketing insights that simply come from the structure and content of a website. If you as a marketer are looking to increase the data you generate through your landing pages, this infographic might offer some more food for thought.

Whether you know what it means to create a user-friendly website structure, a clever banner campaign to get more potential customer data, or not. Reach Local states in their advice that almost half of the users come to research your service or products via the mobile website. So, did you ever invest in a mobile-friendly website? Or have you ever thought about a video and the time people invest to watch it? Often you loose a sales pitch in 10 seconds but according to the infographic your clients might spend 60 seconds at least to watch a video about your product or service.

Check out which of the seven hints might help you drive more leads through to your sales team.

And, whether you believe it or not, there are three more hints in this text that might foster lead generation for The Strategy Web. If you have found them, share them with a comment below. If not, get in touch and we will help you.

Reach-Local-Seven-Website-Essentials-land-For-More-Sales

InMobi Global Study: Mobile media consumption outpacing TV, mobile ads drive sales

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In prepapration of the first dmexco Night Talks moderation in Hamburg on „Mobile: The new first screen: reach, engage, measure, monetize“, sometimes studies fly into my mailbox which are reaching me just at the right time.

InMobi released their second wave research report on Mobile Media Consumption at Mobile World Congress. It covers some on-going overview on 14 countries on how we consume mobile content these days, and it obviously underlines the rapid growth of mobile media and the benefits of mobile advertising around the globe.

From a global perspective, mobile has reached the sweet spot in media consumption. It will generate its growth in the coming year predominantly via social media, search/download apps and search activities. In the 14 countries, humans spent from 7 hour media consumption (apart from other channels)…
1. Mobile 1,8 hours
2. PC 1,6 hours
3. TV 1,5 hours

The research piece shows that 50% of the average global mobile web users primarily use their mobiles now to go online. The average mobile web person uses 6.5 apps throughout a 30-day period.

But what does this mean for marketers?

The study states that globally, 54% of users discover mobile ads via apps, 40% on a search engine, 27% on a retailer website and 23% on a video website. It also makes clear that mobile is the touchpoint for finding new products and services. 3 out of 4 say mobile advertising has opened doors to something new. Almost every second say mobile ads have influenced them to buy mobile (46%) and almost the same amout (45%) say that mobile has mobile ads have influenced their purchase decision.

When seeing mobile ads, it is not that users don’t take any actions. It is actually the other way round. Mobile ads let users downloaded an app (80%), visit the advertiser’s website (67%), visit the store/retailer/business for additional information (52%), locate an advertiser on map (45%), or even take an immediate phone call (37%).

Mobile Media Consumption InMobi 2013

Spot On!
While I still have some marketers from media houses and brands in my ears, saying that apps and mobile ads don’t seem to be the right marketing approach, it seems they just did not find the right content approach to their users. The mobile commerce world is growing at speed of light and innovative retailers and brands should be well-prepared for it – and ideally have at least a click-to-call solution on their mobile website. It is not surprising that in these 14 countries 80% retailers say they plan to get the right approach to mobile in 2013.

How about you? Are you prepared for the mobile sales and marketing development? What experiences do you have so far with mobile ads?

PS: If you are interested in attending the dmexco discussion in Hamburg, please book your seat here.

Is Social Media going corporate?

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It is always exciting watching the results from the latest contradictory studies and infographics on corporate Social Media these days popping up here and there. While one company claims businesses adopt Social Media not fast enough, the other shows the opposite truth.

Last week DOMO, a Social Media analytics service company, came to the conclusion that 70% of Fortune 500 CEOs cannot be found on any Social Media or social networking platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest. However, another infographic by MBA Programs states the intense evolution of Social Media in corporate business.

The results of the DOMO study states that only 7.6% of CEO’s can be made out on Facebook, Twitter & Co. Isn’t this kind of scary bearing in mind that Social Media is here to stay?! How can CEOs understand the shift in the world of their buyers when they are not paying attention to the three reasons why Millennials are redefining the purchase behavior of today?

Is it not the best argument that the average number of followers for Fortune 500 CEOs with Twitter accounts is 33,250? We would be glad to have that figure!

The only shame of the report is that it has no depth in the argumentation why the CEOs are not to be found on those social platforms. Do they not believe in it? Are they not convinced of the ROI it might provide, although 45% of Execs see the positive impact on business? Do they not have the time for it? Many guesses…

„The primary reason you have to be social is because that is where your customer lives. Even if you are not leveraging it to close business and interact with your customers, you have to spend enough time online to at least understand the shift in the world.“ Josh, James, Founder, Domo.

An MBA programs infographic shows that 94% of corporate business are embracing Social Media these days. Even more, 85% also mention the positive impact it has on their business… and if it is just more exposure which can be assumed to be the main reason in many companies why they use Social Media.

Although, we have a different approach und understanding as to how to correctly do Social Business, we can today understand the base motives. Time, money, people and policies are the corporate hurdles. If you look at them, then you know why they manage Social Media in the traditional advertising, marketing and PR manner. It is not surprising that Facebook is the favorite tool for most companies (92%). I bet you can find many examples where they do not reply to customers.

The reason? Social Media is not used and understood as a customer service tool. Most companies (and often their management teams) don’t want to believe in conversation as being the catalyst for making business. And sometimes it is uncomfortable to give feedback to some critical words. Although there might be found the next generation of their brand advocates. But only bright CEOs will figure that out…

Is Social Media really going corporate? What is your view why CEOs of corporates don’t embrace Social Media? Why do they hide away?

How the digital revolution drives the millenial teenager…

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We know that our teenagers are tech-savvy like we have not even been TV-savvy at the same stage of live. This modern generation is incredibly connected, wired and online these days. The digital world and technical devices seem to rule their daily lives. So, how far are they going with their digital communication engagement?

Some interesting studies and infographics might help us identify what drives the lives of the 18-34 year olds. The millenial teenager has…

– 319 online connections (versus 35-46 year olds with 198 online connections)
– 40% video chat with their friends
– 63% write daily text messages with friends
– 39% speak on the phone daily
– 35% interact face-to-face outside of school

The downside of all the digital consumption was found by a Kaiser Family Foundation study. It shows that heavy users (47%) were earning grades of C or below in school versus only 23% of the light users. And if the heavy users get in trouble twice as much as light users, it makes you think what all that digital overload is not making with us, and especially our young generation.

I know of friends and other people that passed my life who had bad grades and today have their own company, did fantastic start-ups, or help other people manage their business better. So, is the digital revolution really bad for this tech-savvy millenials?

An interesting infographic from OnlineSchools.com combined the Kaiser and Pew results and added some findings from Common Sense Media and some other organizations. This, and some another infographic from OnlineGraduatePrograms.com, will help marketers and the „older“ generations understanding why technology is driving young peoples‘ lives. This is not all the latest findings but seeing it on one spot always gives some thought-provoking statement which we all should think about and discuss…

Inbound Marketing is the key to B2B Social Media

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As I am doing many webinars and seminars on B2B Social Media, it is always good to get and share some of the information and data that will help marketers understand the opportunities of Social Media. The expensive outbound marketing tactics will lack behind to the cost-effective inbound marketing efforts that micro-blogging, blogs, videos and webinars could provide to prospects.

The challenge will be to enbable a cultural change inside the company where content, context and collaboration can grow. Where employees can create intelligent, educational, entertaining and remarkable input for their customers – and ideally they share it with the quantity and quality streams of their networks and social graphs.

The below infographic includes many of the B2B social media statistics. A clever approach from them to create an infographics which other people will be sharing, and thus spreading the word in favor of B2B Social Media blog, published by Kipp Bodnar and Jeffrey L. Cohen.

The mobile workplace is growing (and maybe three reasons still against it)…

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There are only three reasons left why we might have a small workplace or personal roll container in the future (although most UK workers seem to see no reason for having an office by 2021)…

1. Controling still store paperwork as lawyers and tax consultants recomment it (fear of data loss).
2. HR wants to take control of how much time you spend in the office (productivity check – employees check employees).
3. A boss that fears to loose control over your work productivity (better see than hope, hierarchy could change).

However, I have stated in many interviews lately why -except for the three reasons above- I love to work mobile, in hotel lobbies, lounge bars, at the airport or in restaurants as well as coffee shops. And I have not ever thought about my past and how co-workers might have a killing impact on my lifetime. Thanks for sharing the Tel Aviv University study insights, Wired!

OK, I have to admit, I have found bars that call themselves „News Bar“ and still don’t offer any WiFi connection for their guests – but hundreds of print magazines. It somehow fits my theme „Talking is Online, Silence is Print!“ but business is challenging if you want to work in your mobile office.

Nevertheless, smartphones, laptops, tablets and WiFi offer us a complete new workplace freedom and leverage mobile productivity. We use those devices to finish more and more work from whereever we are.

The wrong use of the mobile workplace is exaggered and extreme mobilie efficiency. Quite often I see people in cars, using the time when commuting to and from the office efficiently (and in a very dangerous way, see the „Don’t text and drive!“ Facebook page) checking emails during two red traffic-light periods.

Spot On!
I am happy that companies like Gist create infographics that put together data explaining the rise of the mobile workforce. It gives insights on device popularity and and the preference of where people love to work mobile.

Managers should start thinking about how they could make the mobile office a flexble solution for their employees, don’t you think?

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