Ann Handley

Inside B2B Influence is a show that goes behind the scenes of B2B marketing and showcases conversations with insiders from the world of influencer marketing. We connect with influential practitioners at B2B brands of all kinds and sizes to answer the rising number of questions about working with influencers in a business context.

In this first episode of the second season of Inside B2B Influence, I was able to catch up with the incredibly popular, talented and beloved Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs, Ann Handley. I’ve known Ann for well over 10 years and she’s been a great friend, client and source of inspiration to me about more meaningful content marketing.

Ann talks with me about a variety of topics ranging from the nature of influence in B2B, demand for B2B influencers during the pandemic and our mutually favorite “dogfluencer”, August – the most dashing Cavalier King Charles Spaniel … Read more

Digital First B2B Content

The evolution of B2B marketing has required companies to extend the transformations and pivots made during the pandemic to more permanent changes in marketing driven by evolving consumer preferences for information discovery, consumption and interaction. B2B marketing is evolved as a digital first practice and there’s no going back.

While most marketers understand it is simply not enough to rely on push marketing tactics and advertising, they still rely on these familiar and comfortable tactics.

Today’s business customers have more content choices in text, images, audio, video and interactive formats on more devices than ever. They expect more than just useful information from the brands they buy from.

In reaction to many of these changes in technology and an increased demand for information, many businesses have resolved to creating more content; more information to feed the insatiable appetite of the search and social web.

B2B marketers are responding to this … Read more

Dog surfing in the summer of B2B marketing image.

I’m going to knock on wood as I type this, but: It looks like we might have a (mostly) normal summer this year in the U.S. After the lockdowns, isolation, anxiety and fear of 2020, it finally feels like things are opening up.

This is all great for everything except getting people to read your marketing content. In 2020 we had a captive audience starved for entertainment. Now we’ll be competing with everything from music festivals to movies to walking in the park.

The way to break through and have a “hot brand summer?” First, don’t use phrases like “hot brand summer,” because you’ll just make people hate you. Second, it’s all about customer engagement. That means connecting with people on a personal level, offering something novel and fascinating, and using that contact to build a meaningful relationship.

No sweat, right? According to a recent survey, though, 54% of brandsRead more


Stand-up comedians need to make a connection with their audience. It starts with getting attention, then stoking interest, developing a rapport, and ultimately provoking a reaction. 

To do it right, you need empathy, knowledge of your audience, creativity…oh, and a spark that makes you unique.

B2B marketers: Does any of the above sound familiar? I’ve been a professional marketer and an amateur comedian for over a decade, and it’s surprising how much the two inform each other. 

Here are just a few lessons that B2B marketers can learn from standup.

Keep It Real

In the early 19th century, standup comedy depended on wordplay and absurdism. For example: “Take my wife…please!” or “The other night I shot an elephant in my pajamas… how he got into my pajamas, I’ll never know.” 

As the art form of standup has evolved, however, personal observations with a unique point of view (more on that Read more

B2B Community of Influence with Content
One of the most compelling scenarios for B2B marketers to build content and community is through a combination user generated content (UGC) and strategic content collaborations. To do this, many B2B brands will initiate ongoing social media content and engagement programs to stimulate dialog with customers, community and influencers to build essential relationships.

With B2B marketing shifting to digital first, there is more demand for content than ever, but there are also resource challenges with the need to continuously create new content. At the same time traditional social media and content marketing can have trust issues if the brand isn’t engaging with the community or the right influencers on a regular basis. A content marketing focused solution that solves for both of those challenges that also helps build community and influence for B2B brands can be found through participation marketing – aka, user generated content in the form of content … Read more