Founder & CEO, Jennifer Compton, Among 2020 Enterprising Women of the Year

Congratulations to our very own Founder & CEO, Jennifer Compton for being among the 2020 Enterprising Women of the Year Award winners!

 

Enterprising Women Magazine Announces
2020 Enterprising Women of the Year Award Winners
Prestigious Awards Program Recognizes World’s Top Women Entrepreneurs

RALEIGH, N.C. January 2, 2020 – Monica Smiley, publisher and CEO of Enterprising Women magazine, has announced the winners of the 2020 Enterprising Women of the Year Awards, an annual tribute to the world’s top women entrepreneurs. Honorees will be recognized at the 18th Annual Enterprising Women of the Year Awards Celebration & Conference, to be held from Sunday, March 29 to Tuesday, March 31 at the Wyndham Grand in Clearwater Beach, Florida.

The Enterprising Women of the Year Awards is widely considered one of the most prestigious recognition programs for women business owners. To win, nominees must demonstrate that they have fast-growth businesses, mentor or actively support other women and girls involved in entrepreneurship, and stand out as leaders in their communities. Many of the honorees also serve as leaders of the key organizations that support the growth of women’s entrepreneurship.

B2B Content Marketing Lessons from 2019 and Predictions for 2020

 

Keeping on top of the latest trends and developments in B2B content marketing is never easy. New content types and formats are continuously evolving to be pushed out through emerging channels, while at the same time budgets are squeezed and KPI expectations rise. As we usher in a new year, here are our main takeaways from 2019 and trends we predict will be key to creating successful corporate content in 2020.

1. Creative thoughts

What was clear is corporate giants have upped their game creatively. It turns out that inspiring and innovative campaigns aren’t just for B2C companies – B2B marketers like IBM & SAP pushed the boundaries in terms of content and channels despite having fewer internal resources. And while Virtual Reality didn’t take off in the way many had predicted, we think there will be huge returns for marketers who continue to experiment with creative solutions – with brands fighting for attention, standing out from the crowd with innovative campaigns pays dividends.

2. Adding some bite

Snackable, bite-sized content, now a content marketing mainstay, became more informal and cheaper to produce than ever and B2B brands certainly created no shortage of it. This jump in volume saw plenty of clever, engaging content but also a deluge of low-quality filler, which left some clients distinctly unimpressed. The average person spends just 37 seconds looking at B2B marketing content and 53% of B2B buyers consume 3-5 pieces of content before making contact, so quality is key to conversion.

3. Great(er) expectations

As client attention has been harder to grab and budgets are tightening, marketers are putting more emphasis on detailed reporting and results. It’s not just about coming up with big ideas but being able to successfully execute them and then generating measurable data to record campaign metrics, showing engagement and leads. Most marketers (40%) now monitor their campaigns weekly with more than 25% checking results on a daily basis.

 

So, what does all this mean for 2020?

 

1. Every picture tells a story

Instagram will continue to be even more important as a channel, allowing B2B brands to meet and engage with customers where they are as the line between work and personal life blurs. More and more corporates are starting to embrace Instagram as a means of attracting new talent by showcasing their company’s culture, values and purpose.

2. Quality not quantity

Brands will have learnt the lesson of 2019 and invest more in quality over quantity as they figure out which content drives awareness, engagement and leads. But we don’t expect marketing budgets to be increased. Instead, we predict brands will need to be more creative with what they have and much pickier when approving projects and campaigns to ensure the content they do invest in provides demonstrable returns.

3. Rise of the machines

Automation will become commonplace in marketing teams as the routine tasks of social scheduling, posting, and optimizing are no longer manually completed by junior executives but instead teams will utilize Artificial Intelligence (AI). While some B2B companies already take advantage of AI to extend their manpower, we expect this to become more common in 2020 as teams become leaner while servicing ever-growing workloads.

4. Building the right relationship

Corporate giants have switched from agency to in-house and back again as they try to get the right balance – the goal seemingly to create an in-house team vibe within their agencies. While creativity used to be the primary USP of an agency, building trust with the client and gaining a deeper understanding of their internal framework (process, legal, compliance, etc.) are now just as important. Corporations will be looking for a holistic approach and seeking partners who can develop campaigns which deliver results, while seamlessly integrating with internal stakeholders.

 

Contact us to find out more about our thinking and approach, and how we’ve helped Fortune 500 companies achieve their complex goals.

Has selling on social media become more important than traditional networking?

Traditional ways of networking and connecting are being challenged with the transformation of social media platforms into part of the sales funnel. Has social media changed from social networking to social selling? And is that now more important than traditional networking?

Let us help you decide the best approach for you and your company.

Be where your customers are

Today, roughly two-thirds of the buying process is performed online – before a meeting is even scheduled, let alone taken place. LinkedIn is one of the first places people turn to when they want to find out about any individual or organization. But just having a profile with a CV ­is not enough – people buy into people and their ideas, so potential clients are looking for leaders who are commenting on and shaping their industry.

What makes LinkedIn such a great sales tool is that you’re able to bypass gatekeepers and get insights and expertise directly in front of key decision-makers.

In contrast, networking for its own sake is increasingly outdated and the lack of authenticity is often felt by event goers. When thinking about where your customers are physically, get specific. Narrow the list. And prepare to go to fewer live events – but when you do, be prepared to commit.

All in all, meeting customers is a 360 degree approach, but given the amount of time people spend online, an emphasis on social media is imperative.

Build trust

Meeting in person builds rapport which eventually leads to trust but waiting for meetings and events takes a lot of time and effort.

Leveraging digital platforms like LinkedIn allows Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and senior leaders, who are representatives of their companies, to create a unique and trustworthy brand, whereby they can influence the overall perception of the business at large.

The Edelman Trust Barometer 2019 reveals that company or technical experts (SMEs in other words) are now the most trusted of online resources, ahead of academic experts, entrepreneurs, financial industry analysts, the media and even government officials.

Executed properly, you can get results in just one or two sentences as opposed to a couple of months.

Stay top of mind

In this category, social media wins hands down! It’s less invasive than emailing and generates active engagement with minimal effort.

Creating and pushing out problem-solving content that addresses and offers solutions to your client’s problems means they’ll likely remember you as a resource they can count on.

The key to making this strategy work is consistency. Create a content plan and consider automation as a tool to keep your SMEs message online regularly.

But if all this isn’t enough, how do you persuade senior leaders of the benefits of social selling?

Here are five things we’ve learned from developing the social media profiles of leaders at Fortune 500 companies.

  1. Becoming a thought leader is easier than they think. Work with them to agree on themes they can be known for. Pick one or two hot topics and set about building a reputation as a go-to thought leader on those issues. Don’t just post company thought leadership but encourage leadership to think about what they’re reading in the media and how they can share a POV that is both unique and powerful.
  2. Clients are already on the outskirts of their network. If you investigate LinkedIn’s ‘six degrees of separation’ you’ll be surprised to see how closely your people are connected to their prospects or customers – the flipside is those leads are likely equally well-connected to the competition.
  3. Leaders want to be equal if not at the top of their peer set. More times than not, when we start to speak with a leader about his or her account they will say, “If only I could be more like X on social – they’ve developed a great POV and personal brand.” We encourage SMEs to adopt what they like about what this person is doing, and add their own unique brand, voice and style.
  4. Remind them that people are Googling them. Don’t underestimate the importance of personal SEO – clients and prospects are almost certain to Google anyone they’re meeting or engaging with. LinkedIn ranks highly with Google so guiding your SMEs and leaders to produce good content will support their personal brands and enhance their reputations as leaders in their field.
  5. Richard Branson says so! The founder of Virgin Group posted “How to Cause Disruption and Create Change” which reached 140,000 people and famously said, “Embracing social media isn’t just a bit of fun, it’s a vital way to communicate, keep your ear to the ground and improve your business.” Today’s professionals are so connected they don’t miss much – the best place to stay relevant is in their social feed.

Social media provides an unbelievable opportunity to communicate with people across geographies, time zones, and demographics. Use this to position your leadership as the sharpest, most-insightful thinkers in the game. And remember, if your people aren’t actively engaging with social you can be sure the competition will be and they’ll own it, increasing their share of voice while yours declines, and fast!

Contact us for more information about how we can help your senior leaders and partners develop and build their presence online.