In today’s episode of Triblio’s marketing podcast we interview Influitive’s VP of Marketing: Jim Williams. Jim Williams is leading Influitive into the emerging advocate marketing space. He oversees marketing strategy, advocacy marketing, demand generation, content marketing, product marketing, social media and public relations.
His marketing team has been able to develop an inbound marketing machine that’s helping drive 400% revenue growth year after year for Influitive.
Influitive helps B2B companies capture advocates and leverage them for marketing and sales efforts. With Influitive’s AdvocateHub platform, B2B marketers can generate more referral leads, customer references, social buzz, success stories and product reviews.
Can you tell us more about BAM TV?
With a major product launch in the fall of 2014, most product launches tend to be very myopic. They’re very inward-focused. There’s too much talk about the product and features and not enough education so for this product launch campaign, Influitive wanted to focus on teaching B2B marketers how to solve problems in an innovative more relevant way.
Most of us can all relate to the format of a late-night TV talk show. Conan, Tonight Show etc..people like to watch them, they’re very entertaining, fast-paced, engaging and humorous. Jim asked himself if this would be a unique way to do a product launch and the team agreed. In 2014, Influitive’s BAM TV became the first ever B2B late-night talk show.
How does content intertwine with advocate marketing?
It takes a lot of money to create great content and it’s tough to push that content into the marketplace and many B2B marketers struggle in reaching a broader audience. Advocates are the key in unlocking a wider and more meaningful reach.
“Your advocates are associated to your brand they have a stake in the success of your company. They believe in your products.” – Jim Williams, Influitive (TWEET THIS)
Jim believes that “advocates don’t just re-tweet your content but they do it with gusto, fervor & passion.”
Professionally written content is great but the most meaningful content can come from your prospects and customers themselves. Almost 40 percent of Influitive’s blog content comes directly from contributions from advocates and tends to be part of their most successful campaigns.
What else are you doing in terms of strategy to scale Influitive’s growth?
Influitive published 150 blog posts, 15 eBooks and a dozen case studies in 2014. Publishing content regularly draws in people to our message. Our content is evangelistic because we’re trying to create a new advocate marketing software category. About 3 to 4 years ago B2B marketers didn’t think about advocate marketing as a program that needed funding. That’s why our content has been focused on spreading the idea of advocacy and the benefits they can offer B2B marketers.
Influtive is also regularly using events, webinars, email campaigns, product demos, paid advertising but their secret weapon is a referral engine that operates at peak performance. Advocacy comes in content shares, reviews, followers, engagement.
Referrals make up less than 3% of new leads but accounts for 22% of the sales pipeline and 40% of new revenue. What referral leads lack in quantity they’ll make up for it in quality.
“If you do not have a referral engine that systematically cultivates new business from your existing customers, you’re missing a huge, huge opportunity.” – Jim Williams, Influitive (CLICK TO TWEET)
What are the metrics that CMOs and VPs of Marketing care about?
Influitive measures the success of it’s customers and the engagement they’re driving through their advocates via it’s platform. Marketing executives also care about:
- Volume of leads
- Buyer Journey
- Conversion Rates
- Average Sale Cycle
- Total Revenue
- Forward Looking Pipeline Revenue
- Total Business Growth
What B2B brands have fresh marketing ideas?
Vidyard. They do a really, really good job.
Lattice Engines. They are doing an unbelievable job and are really clever.
HubSpot, Marketo are always producing great content and guides.
What tip would you give to someone that’s new to B2B marketing?
“Your number one job as a marketer is to stand out & to get noticed.” – Jim Williams, Influitive (CLICK TO TWEET)
Jim also added “Keep your customers happy, keep them satisfied, grow those accounts because the reality is that most cloud companies don’t make a lot of money on the initial order. They got to make it on secondary orders from upsales and the like.”
“2015 will the year of providing unbelievable customer experiences & keeping them engaged through the entire lifecycle” – Jim Williams, Influitive (CLICK TO TWEET)
Did you enjoy this interview? Check out some of the videos from our series below.