Michael Brito the Executive Vice President of the Zeno group is a celebrated digital strategist, author, TEDx speaker, and a professor. He loves data and is a specialist in Brand Building, Social Marketing, Content Marketing, Influencer Marketing, Integrated Marketing, and Employee Advocacy.

Michael has worked with Fortune 500 brands and helps his clients connect with their target audience. ‘Right story, at the right time, in the right channel and with the right media’ is what Michael believes in.

‘Smart Business, Social Business’, ‘Your Brand: The Next Media Company’ and ‘Participation Marketing’ are some books authored by Michael. Michael also has bylines in several publications like Entrepreneur, Forbes, Adweek, MarketingLand, Information Week and NASDAQ.

‘Smart Business, Social Business’, ‘Your Brand: The Next Media Company’ and ‘Participation Marketing’ are some books authored by Michael. Michael also has bylines in several publications like Entrepreneur, Forbes, Adweek, MarketingLand, Information Week and NASDAQ.

In this interview, Michael Brito explains the excellent qualities that a B2B marketer must possess, current trends, application of psychology in the B2B arena and content management.

You have been called an ‘Epitome of Do-leader’. What are the 2 Dos and Don’ts that you suggest for B2B marketers?

Use audience data for quality content and programming.

When creating content for B2B audiences try to humanize it as much as possible. CIOs, IT Executives, Business decision-makers and Developers are people too.

Don’t do whatever everyone else is doing. A quick look at LinkedIn shows that a lot of B2B companies are sharing/promoting content the exact same way – stock photography, a “download now” call to action and very boring copy. Think out of the box. Keep it simple, short and clever. Use short-form video with captions as an example.

Don’t ‘consumerize’ the message too much. While B2B folks are also human, they need to see value in the content. There needs to be a delicate balance.

6 B2B brands that rock

LinkedIn Marketing content

6 B2B brands that rock

LinkedIn Marketing content

What according to you are the trends that B2B marketers must pay more attention to?

B2B influencer marketing is not as easy as consumer marketing. It’s very complex. In many cases, a successful influencer marketing program may just require identifying the right influencers and researching their behavior- what they are talking about, what they are reading, what channels they are using. Activating is a natural next step but not always required.

Don’t get this demented with social listening. In “traditional” social listening, you would typically create a very complex Boolean query, select the content sources (blogs, news, social) and then mine the data. With audience listening, you’d build an audience first (CIOs or developers as examples) and then mine their conversations to understand what they are talking about, what they are reading, what channels they are using.

The concept of the brand as a media company is cliché. Everyone has been talking about it for years. Most B2B companies are not doing it, and in fact, it’s not as easy to implement and can get expensive too.

Real-time content marketing requires a specialized workforce and processes like:

  1. Data and social intelligence: This requires having an analyst on staff.
  2. Editorial & Creative Content: Writers, editors, producers and even community managers should be active and ready to think out of the box.
  3. Paid media budget: The process that must be followed has been elucidated in 3 simple
    steps below:

Build an audience, as mentioned above.

Monitor audience in real-time for insights.

Once you find an insight, create the content

4. Paid propaganda: Once the content is published, promote it with the help of paid publicity.

You have worked with Fortune 500 brands. What are the winning factors that are common among all of them?

Results. From a marketing perspective, results are number one. This is non-debatable.

You say that you had a lot of fun building your own small business in the initial days. You also mention that ‘when you have a passion for something, it doesn’t feel like a grind going to work every day.’ What’s your piece of advice to all the B2B startup owners to handle stress?

Passion. If you aren’t passionate about what you do, you will burn out really fast. Passion can’t be taught or learned. You either have it or you don’t. It has to come from within. So, if you work in a startup that you aren’t passionate about, you are in the wrong startup.

Passion. If you aren’t passionate about what you do, you will burn out really fast. Passion can’t be taught or learned. You either have it or you don’t. It has to come from within. So, if you work in a startup that you aren’t passionate about, you are in the wrong startup.

Passion. If you aren’t passionate about what you do, you will burn out really fast. Passion can’t be taught or learned. You either have it or you don’t. It has to come from within. So, if you work in a startup that you aren’t passionate about, you are in the wrong startup.

What is the Relevance of Employee Advocacy to the B2B industry?

Employee advocacy is critical for B2B for a few reasons. B2B decision-makers trust other people. When operationalizing an employee advocacy program, you have the ability to shepherd conversation between employees and external stakeholders – buyers, influencers, the media, etc.

Also, employees have communities that don’t overlap with a brand’s audience. This will result in branded content reaching new audiences.

In your book ‘Your Brand: The next media company’, you say content still remains the king. Do you think the ‘King’ is getting sufficient importance?

Yes, but also cliché. Again, everyone talks about the content being king, but very few actually execute.

Advice that you would like to give to struggling B2B startups

Startups must be aware of what they are talking about, what they are reading and what channels they are using.

What’s the role of Psychology in the B2B industry?

Psychology in B2B is about getting in the head of business decision-makers. If B2B brands can understand the psychology of their customers on how they make buying decisions, they can build content that addresses their psyche.

Connect with the business
decision-makers
of your Industry Today!

B2B marketers will surely benefit from the valuable insights given by Michael Brito. Ensure you strategize your processes according to the above guidelines and reap high benefits.

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