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B2B influencers make strides on LinkedIn with focus on what works and what doesn't


By Laurie Fullerton, Freelance Writer

January 4, 2017 | 4 min read

With a number of B2B industry leaders standing out amongst a total of 160,000 articles published on the LinkedIn network weekly, influential marketers focusing on management, culture, marketing and social have gained larger followings with 64 times more comments, 52 times more likes, and 24 times more shares on their articles than average users, LinkedIn reports. Each of LinkedIn’s top writers generated an average of 54,000 new follows this year and B2B marketers are likely to continue the trend in 2017.

Tom Goodwin, EVP and head of innovation for Zenith Media; Dennis Williams, content marketing manager of Augment; Jan Rezab, founder of Socialbakers and Katie Martell, a Boston-based marketing consultant are among the top influencers in the B2B sphere according to LinkedIn's report on the top influencers of 2016.

Goodwin explores issues at the heart of technological change where behaviors, new platforms and societal movements converge, the article notes. This includes why the problem of creativity, why Apple hasn’t cracked wearables and how 5G connectivity will transform mobile (again).

He reports that his most popular post was “Why the future of TV isn’t TV,” which was a dive into how digitization has changed the trajectory of entertainment. “It got a lot of people engaged and started a big debate,” says Goodwin.

One of the emerging influencers for B2B marketers includes Katie Martell, a Boston-based marketing consultant who was recently tapped as a top ten marketing writer on LinkedIn and one of three of the top marketing writers on Twitter. She covers “what's working and - and what’s completely ridiculous - about this strange world of marketing,” she explains. “I write articles that are primarily driven by my experiences in the realm of B2B marketing, tech and entrepreneurship, but also from the perspective of operating in this space as a female millennial.”

She notes that 2016, in her opinion, did not see the rapid adoption of marketing tech that she expected. “I don't mean buying tools; I mean actually integrating them into the ways in which marketing teams operate,” says Martell. “What we're seeing instead is a lot of hype in the marketing tech world situated next to marketing practitioners who are wondering… how do I actually get this done? This gap is a huge opportunity for martech brands to educate / guide their customers through the confusion and into the kind of future their technology promises.”

When it comes to B2B and the “the trends, future, and societal impact of social media,” Jan Rezab of Social Breakers has raised some interesting points about whether instant articles on Facebook were helping or hurting media companies.

“Media companies are afraid that Facebook will change the model, change the distribution - and change the monetization. They see it as giving content out to someone else, and effectively outsourcing the user experience (the second part being true),” he wrote in the article. “I don’t really think that media companies should be scared of that.”

With B2B marketing, industry thought leaders and Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) tend to have the greatest impact due to their knowledge of and authority in a particular subject. With a large and loyal following, these influencers are more likely than not to enhance brand awareness or knowledge particularly in areas of martech and social channels.

“All of them are worth following – whether they’re in your industry or not,” said Daniel Roth, executive editor at LinkedIn.

“These are people whose insights can help you start your own conversations, lead to new ways of thinking or provide lessons that you might not get elsewhere that can give you an edge."

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