Channel-Specific Growth Skills: Technical SEO, Influencer Marketing, and Account-Based Marketing (Review)

CXL Growth Marketing Minidegree: Week 9

Week 9 of CXL Institute’s Growth Marketing Minidegree wrapped up the channel-specific growth skills module with courses on technical SEO, data-driven influencer marketing, and account-based marketing (ABM).

Technical SEO

Data-Driven Influencer Marketing


Influencers build influence by:

  1. Consistency (same story, different flavors)
  2. Social proof (authenticity and content quality)
  3. Liking
  4. Authority
  5. Kindness
  6. Entertainment value

Influencers add a human touch and authentic story to brands that resonate with their audiences, driving up to 11x ROI.

When NOT to use influencer marketing

The overall marketing objective is reaching awareness

  • Social media marketing is still cheaper than longer-standing marketing channels (eg. TV ads), but influencer marketing can get expensive. Influencer marketing focuses on quality of audience rather than quantity, so if you’re trying to reach as many people as possible, PPC is cheaper and more effective for awareness-level goals.

The content isn’t a good match

  • The message needs to be hyper-relevant to the influencer’s audience

A brand can’t give creative freedom to influencer

  • Influencers have a following because they have a certain content niche, style, and tone. If you impose rigid guidelines for your sponsored content, then the post comes off as inauthentic and loses the value of the message.

Working with influencers

  1. No creative freedom — only 29% of influencers are asked for their opinion on the content direction
  2. Late payments
  3. Short deadlines
  4. Last minute changes to campaign requirements
  5. Unclear briefs

Ensure you outline your objectives, audience, timeline, product magic (why should people care), key messages, influencer target list, budget, influencer objectives, and terms and conditions before you finalize any partnerships.

Identifying Influencers: Synergy & Brand Fit

5 guiding questions to help prioritize the first list are:

  1. What is the role of social for my brand? What is the goal of this social campaign?
  2. How creative is the influencers content?
  3. Has the influencer worked with competitors?
  4. Does the tone, voice, and style of influencer match that of my brand?
  5. What type of content will my campaign require?

The Value Exchange

Brands want:

  1. Access to relevant audience
  2. Engagement
  3. Reach/traffic/sales
  4. Product feedback
  5. Authenticity & trust
  6. Testimonials
  7. Commitment

And influencers want:

  1. Audience growth
  2. Monetary compensation
  3. Great content
  4. Access (eg. pre-launch products, brand trips)
  5. Exclusivity (eg. custom product line, workflow, or campaign)
  6. Recognition
  7. Commitment

The lists go from easiest to hardest to achieve, both ending with commitment. Commitment comes from planning for (and delivering) value.

Guiding questions to plan for value exchange include:

  • How do we let influencers experience the best of our products?
  • How do we incentivize and let our influencers create as freely as possible?
  • How do we as a brand co-create with our influencers?
  • Why should their audiences care, participate, and share?

There are of course more technical components of working with influencers, but I haven’t heard many marketers talk about what makes for a successful influencer/brand relationship — you can get all the technical pieces right, but if the value isn’t there for either party, then for next campaign, you’ll have to start over from 0 with someone else, wasting effort and resources.

Account-Based Marketing

The 3 types of ABM are:

  1. Strategic ABM: one-to-one accounts, where prospects for $250k+ deal sizes are given individual marketing attention. The campaigns are highly specialized, customized, complex, and strategic.
  2. ABM Lite: one-to-few accounts where marketing programs are lightly customized for clusters of similar accounts.
  3. Programmatic ABM : a one-to-many accounts approach that leverages technology to customize marketing programs at scale.

The top ABM performers use all three types of ABM programs but allocate the budget based on: deal size, strategic importance of particular clients, current perception of the firm, competitive environment, internal factors, product complexity, and customer/prospect org size and complexity.

Channel Section Overview

All the courses balanced the high-level overview of how each channel fits into a marketing strategy with specific channel skills. As an entry-level marketer, I will mostly be applying the specific skills from the channel section, and I appreciated all the actionable resources.

P.S. :)

Recent undergrad business graduate with a passion for personal growth, professional development, and tech marketing.