Welcome to this week’s edition of the Social Media Marketing Talk Show, a news show for marketers who want to stay on the leading edge of social media. On this week’s Social Media Marketing Talk Show, we explore the return of the chronological timeline on Twitter and new ways to sell your products directly from [...]Read More »
Digital Marketing News: Haptic Marketing, Twitter’s Ranked Feeds, B2B’s ABM Challenges, & YouTube’s Vertical Video Ads
The Power of Micro-Influencers [Infographic] A look at the benefits of working with highly-targeted audiences, and how micro-influencers can work to build brand awareness and drive sales. MarketingProfs Twitter will soon let you switch between chronological and ranked feeds Twitter announced that it will change how its feed works, with a forthcoming update allowing users [...]Read More »
Want more people to watch, share, and comment on your live videos? Looking for tips on improving the quality of viewer engagement? To explore how to get more engagement with Facebook Live video, I interview Stephanie Liu. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is designed to help busy marketers, business owners, and [...]Read More »
Show of hands, B2B marketers: How many of you know which Hogwarts house you belong in? Or which Disney princess best represents your personality and relationship ambitions?
Don’t be shy. I’m a Gryffindor wizard through and through—and apparently, I’m more of a Jasmine than an Ariel. And I know all this thanks to the rise of interactive content.
From quirky quizzes to ROI calculators to guided eBooks, interactive content is a rising content marketing star. BuzzFeed is perhaps the most prolific example, creating dozens of quizzes each week that are making their way into social feeds and search results. (And almost all users reportedly finish them).
But why should B2B marketers consider adding interactive content to their mix?
Because B2B is often pegged as bland and boring. And in a crowded content market, not to mention the fact that buyers' content preferences are turning increasingly visual, interactive content is the next evolution.
But if that doesn't convince you, read on for a few more reasons why its time for B2B to embrace interactive content.
#1 – Interactive content is more engaging than static content—for the long-term.
Interactive content may seem a little gimmicky for some marketers—especially those in the B2B space. But the vast majority of marketers who use interactive content agree that it not only grabs attention, but can also hold that attention beyond that initial view.
In fact, according to the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and Ion Interactive 2017 Interactive Content Study:
- 87% of marketers agree that interactive content grabs the attention of the reader more effectively than static content
- 77% of marketers agree that interactive content has reusable value, resulting in repeat visitors and multiple exposures
- 73% of marketers agree that interactive content, when combined with other more traditional content marketing tactics, enhances message retention among their audiences.
So, if you’re aiming for awareness, engagement, and attention, interactive content holds incredible potential. But I’d also add that this is only true if you deliver quality, relevant content in an interactive format.
As my colleague Josh Nite points out: “[Interactive content is] absolutely designed to grab attention. But if your content provides value—if it’s worth paying attention to—interactive elements can help you bring in an audience.”
[bctt tweet="#InteractiveContent is absolutely designed to grab attention. But if your content provides value—if it’s worth paying attention to—interactive elements can help you bring in an audience. - @NiteWrites" username="toprank"]
#2 – Interactive content can differentiate you from your competitors.
Content has always been a foundational element of B2B marketing. Buyers don’t make hard and fast decisions. Instead, they do their research, weigh their options, and have multiple engagements with sales reps before they sign on the dotted line. Interactive content can help you make an impression and stand out in a crowed, competitive content landscape.
In addition, according to the aforementioned report, just 46% of marketers report using interactive content right now—which was flat year-over-year. And if history is any indicator, I’d wager that interactive content adoption among B2B marketers is far lower since the industry is typically slower to adopt new tactics.
But that won’t always be the case. Harnessing the opportunity right now has the potential to differentiate your B2B brand from the competition early on, showcasing your commitment to innovation.
For example, Prophix, a leading provider of corporate performance management (CPM) software solutions in the FP&A industry, wanted to drive awareness in a unique way around its report on the evolution of financial planning and analysis, as well as its solutions.
By repurposing its original research and adding influencer perspectives, we created an interactive quiz to help empower their audience to "crush" their jobs to succeed now and into the future.
This anchor asset, which was promoted using a supporting mix of blog content, social amplification, email, and more, saw a view rate 6-times higher than the benchmark for a similar resource. In addition, the page where it lived garnered 3-times the average share rate. This unique approach to interactive influencer content made Prophix stand out from the competition and deliver a great resource that performed.
#3 – Interactive tools can provide you with exclusive data and analytics.
Savvy marketers are driven by data insights. And many of the interactive content tools you’d leverage for an asset come with their own analytics dashboards, allowing you to get near real-time data on how your audience is interacting and absorbing your content.
For example, Ceros, an interactive content software that simplifies the creation process, provides all the basic KPIs such as visitors, opens, and pageviews, as well as engagement metrics like time spent and interaction clicks. But they also track inbound referrals, social shares, video plays, and outbound link clicks.
Oh, and that data is viewable in its Analytics Dashboard within second of it happening.
While traditional analytics platforms and the data within them is invaluable, from my perspective, this more niche data can help uncover some insights that can help you refine your asset on the fly or consider how to improve other content types moving forward.
#4 – Interactive content can drive results at every stage of the funnel.
From educating buyers to creating customer loyalty, interactive content can serve a purpose (and drive results) at every stage of the funnel. Interactive content users report using the tactic for lead generation, lead nurturing, customer retention, and the list goes on.
And interactive is especially powerful, when combined with other tried-and-true content marketing tactics.
To help promote the Influencer Marketing 2.0 report based on research conducted by Traackr, Altimeter Group and TopRank Marketing, we partnered with interactive content platform Ceros to produce an Influence 2.0 interactive infographic.
The infographic was promoted via blog posts, social channels, email, and through the influencers that contributed. With calls to action embedded within the interactive infographic, this content succeeded at attracting over 1,700 prospective customers to download the full report with a 43% conversion rate.
What Opportunity Does Interactive Content Hold for Your B2B Brand?
Interactive content is here to stay. But the real opportunity doesn’t lay in the interactivity itself. The real value creation is in the excitement or connection that you can make with your audience, as well as the potential to hold their attention for long enough to engrain your message or inspire action.
[bctt tweet="The real opportunity with #interactivecontent doesn’t lay in the interactivity itself. The real value creation is in the excitement or connection that you can make with your audience. - @CaitlinMBurgess" username="toprank"]
So, B2B marketers. If you’re ready to break away from boring and drive better engagement, interactive content deserves your consideration.
How can you leverage interactive content? Check out our post featuring five ways of making marketing magic with interactive content.Read More »
Wondering how to optimize your marketing images for different social media platforms? Looking for a guide to help you make sure your image dimensions are correct? In this article, you’ll discover a guide to the optimal image sizes for nine of the top social media networks. #1: Facebook Image Sizes Facebook is a starting place [...]
The post Social Media Image Sizes for 2018: A Guide for Marketers appeared first on Social Media Examiner.Read More »
Have you ever put off launching a project because you don’t have all your I’s dotted and all your T’s crossed? Then watch the Journey, Social Media Examiner’s episodic video documentary that shows you what really happens inside a growing business. Watch the Journey In episode 3, Michael Stelzner challenges his marketing team to launch [...]Read More »
Just over two decades ago, search engine optimization (SEO) burst onto the internet scene and kicked the digital marketing doors wide open. Today, marketers consider SEO an effective and required part of their digital marketing mix — well, some of us at least.
Many thought leaders, marketers, and brands have speculated that SEO is dead, but we’d argue that it most certainly isn’t. Rather, it’s being reborn. However, it appears to be fading as a core digital and content marketing strategy.
Why? There’s no one answer. Instead, multiple challenges and frustrations have fused to create disenchantment with the practice.
The Current Sitch
While HubSpot’s State of Inbound 2018 report indicates that 61% of marketers say improving SEO and growing their organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority, a recent survey from Clutch shows that SEO is the least popular digital marketing tactic, with just 44% of marketers leveraging SEO. (And just think of how many articles you’ve seen — including this one — pondering whether SEO is dead or alive.)
Setting aside the different methodologies and sample groups used for these reports, I think we can all agree that some marketers are struggling to see the value of SEO (and many may even be missing its important connection to content marketing).
*Cue the dramatic music.*
But why are marketers shying away from this foundational digital marketing tactic?
The Modern Marketer’s SEO Struggle
It’s a Dog Eat Dog World
We’ve all heard (and maybe said) the top complaint: Thanks to high content marketing adoption, the organic search landscape has become too [expletive] crowded. And as a result, many marketers feel they can’t effectively compete.
As a result, more marketers are forgoing the long-term play and turning to paid search to get top placement in SERPs. In fact, paid content promotion has increased almost 400% since 2014, according to a survey from Orbit Media.
Furthermore, digital marketing budgets are slowly growing. According to August 2018 CMOsurvey results, in the next five years, digital marketing spending is expected to overtake the majority of marketing budget spend, rising from 44% to 54%.
To us, this not only signals that marketers feel the required SEO effort is too taxing and competitive, but also that they’re under increasing pressure to deliver fast results. And with larger budgets to allocate to digital, marketers may be looking to other options that can show results more quickly.
It’s Not Black and White
Since its inception, Google has been constantly leveling up the sophistication of its ranking algorithm — much to the dismay of marketers. In fact, just this summer there were several Google updates such as mobile site speed and HTTPS, all of which had SEO and ranking implications.
Savvy marketers have been paying attention to these updates. They understand that while Google will never divulge its full ranking algorithm, there are key ranking factors such as relevant, user-friendly content and quality backlinks that are important for SEO and user experience. And they know content optimization requires tweaking and testing to see what works for them.
However, with so much on their plates, the fast paced change is hard to keep up with. And couple this with the content saturation mentality, SEO can feel like a losing battle.
It’s a Waiting Game
When black-hat tactics went extinct, marketers had to get used to the notion that SEO was the long-play. But that doesn’t mean they’ve been happy with the waiting game, especially if other tactics have the potential to work more quickly.
But marketers aren’t the only ones who want fast results — so does the C-suite. And if marketers don’t deliver, they sow seeds of doubt and stand to disappoint executives, who are likely the ones who approve their budgets.
And, of course, hearing phrases like “Rome wasn’t built in a day” or “It’s a marathon, not a sprint” adds to the frustration — and doesn’t quell pressure from higher-ups.
Our Hot Take: Now Is Not The Time to Quit
The changing and challenging search landscape is frustrating. There are trillions of unique web pages and counting to compete with. Algorithms and search styles are constantly evolving. And, to top it all off, you’re under pressure drive results and meet internal stakeholder expectations. We get it.
But here’s the thing all marketers should remember: Change is inevitable. Our world is increasingly digital, which means the digital marketing landscape will continue to experience rapid shifts.
Also, many of the changes and challenges you’re experiencing now aren’t new. “Easy win” or black-hat SEO tactics have been dead and gone for a while now, and Google has been tweaking algorithms on the daily for a decade or more. Furthermore, content marketing is closing in on a decade of growing use—and shows all the right signs to continue as a staple digital tactic.
“SEO is powerful precisely because it’s hard to predict and hard to measure.”
So, it’s not a matter of “can” you get results with SEO, it’s a matter of “how” you’ll adapt to find success.
We know quality content that matches search intent is a key ranking factor. And we also know quality backlinks are important, too. So, how do you create link-worthy content? Check out our post featuring five types of link-worthy content.Read More »
Want to create social media images without purchasing expensive software? Looking for a solution you can access from any computer? In this article, you’ll learn how to create professional-looking images using Google Drawings. Why Use Google Drawings? Google Drawings was originally built to help businesses create flowcharts, website wireframes, mind maps, and other types of [...]
The post How to Create Social Media Images With Google Drawings appeared first on Social Media Examiner.Read More »
Eyes fixed on his computer monitor, Jack felt perspiration form on his forehead as he waited in anticipation for the flood of visitors to the new campaign he and his team just launched. Anticipation turned to nervousness as he looked around the room and asked, “Who’s promoting this content?” All Jack got in return were [...]
The post Invisible Content Syndrome and the Content Promotion Tactics to Cure It appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.Read More »
Do you host online events, webinars, or product launches? Wondering how to incorporate Facebook events into your marketing strategy? In this article, you’ll discover how to create and host a virtual Facebook event. Why Host a Virtual Facebook Event? A virtual Facebook event allows you to actively engage Facebook users without having (or in addition [...]
The post How to Add a Facebook Virtual Event to Your Launch Strategy appeared first on Social Media Examiner.Read More »