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Monthly Archives: January 2017

#SproutChat Recap: Company Culture Content

More and more brands are incorporating company culture into their social strategies. This is a great tactic for humanizing your brand while simultaneously making Read more...

This post #SproutChat Recap: Company Culture Content originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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Online Marketing News: Influence 2.0, Facebook Trending Overhaul and Snapchat TV Style

Influence 2.0 – The Future of Influencer Marketing Research Report 2017
TopRank Marketing and Traackr, in partnership with Altimeter, released a brand new report this week. The goal of this report was to clarify the definition and meaning of influencer marketing and provide solid future direction to influencer marketing programs through research. For example, 71% of marketers said their influencer marketing programs are strategic or highly strategic, but account for less than 10% of total marketing budget. As Lee said in his blog post: "Clearly, enterprise companies need to put their money where their strategy is." Online Marketing Blog.

Facebook Overhauls Trending and Will Now Show the Same Topics to Everyone
Facebook announced on Wednesday that it won't be personalizing their list of trending topics going forward, meaning that everybody will see the same stories in Facebook's Trending section without consideration given to location. This is done in an effort to help users avoid missing important news. Entrepreneur

Snapchat Offers to Bill Brands for Ads Based on TV-Style Ratings From Nielsen
Ad Age reports: "On Tuesday, [Snapchat] confirmed it would let brands plan and pay for ad campaigns using Nielsen's digital ratings. It's a small tweak to the ad offering, but comes as Snapchat looks to show that its ads are on par with its digital rivals and traditional television." Ad Age

Google Developing Robust Mobile Analytics for YouTube
Google is developing a cloud-based measurement solution for YouTube, emphasizing more detailed, cross-device analytics. This means advertisers will now have more detailed insights across devices. Additionally, YouTube will be able to use Google account activity data to influence which users see which ads, and will be enabling YouTube customer match. SocialTimes

Instagram Confirms Live-Streaming Coming to All Users This Week
On Tuesday, Instagram confirmed that their new live-streaming option will roll out this week. According to Instagram, they're "excited to share that live video on Instagram Stories — a new way to connect with your friends and followers right now — will be rolling out to our entire global community over the next week." Social Media Today

Who Searches on Bing, and Why They're Important for Marketers [Infographic]
Bing has grown a great deal since their debut in 2009 -- the Bing Network powers searches on Yahoo, Amazon and others. But who is using the Bing network, and why should Marketers care? This infographic gives more details. MarketingProfs

Publishers Made Only 14 Percent of Revenue from Distributed Content
A new report from Digital Content Next, the premium publishers’ trade group, shows that publishers are only making 14 percent of their revenue from distributing their content on third party platforms like Facebook, Snapchat, Google AMP and more. Digiday

Google’s 2016 Bad Ads Report: 1.7 Billion Ads Removed, Including Fake News Ads
Search Engine Land reports: "In its annual Bad Ads report, Google says it took down more than double the number of ads in 2016 that it did in 2015 by removing 1.7 billion ads, compared to the 780 million removed in 2015." Search Engine Land

What were your top online marketing news stories this week?

We'll be back next week with more marketing news. If you have something to share, please do so in the comments or Tweet to @toprank.

The post Online Marketing News: Influence 2.0, Facebook Trending Overhaul and Snapchat TV Style appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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Content Marketing Success: Why Answering Questions Sells

Do you want more sales? Is content marketing a part of your strategy? To explore how to create content that sells, I interview Marcus Sheridan. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It’s designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what [...]

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Influence 2.0 – The Future of Influencer Marketing Research Report 2017

Future of Influencer Marketing

influencer marketing 2.0
What does “influencer marketing” mean to you?

Are you thinking of celebrities posting product photos to Instagram? Or having a famous YouTuber run a contest for a meet and greet at an event? Why not send products to bloggers in the hopes that they’ll do a review and say nice things?

Surely that’s not all enterprise marketers think of when it comes to the possible outcomes with influencer relationships.

The promise of brands collaborating or outright paying influential individuals to create content that lifts the brand’s credibility and reach to sell more products is something that companies of all sizes have been hot on - especially in the past 12 months.

With a groundswell of interest, there are many divergent interpretations of what influencer marketing really means.

With so many different opinions, best practices and even definitions, we set out with influencer marketing platform Traackr to bring clarity and future direction by conducting research into the practice for large, enterprise organizations.

We also engaged my pal and respected futurist, author and analyst, Brian Solis of Altimeter Group to conduct an analysis of that research and write a report outlining what is working, what isn’t and future trends.

Download the Influencer Marketing Report
The result is something I am very proud to be a part of.  Influence 2.0: The Future of Influencer Marketing.

In this elegantly designed report, Brian outlines an argument for evolving influencer marketing to influencer relations, or Influence 2.0.  Brands need to evolve their view of influencer marketing from short term transactional engagements to a more strategic and holistic view that emphasizes long term influencer relationships.

He also discusses the digital transformation of marketing, the importance for brands to humanize their marketing and the role of influence with customer experience. Of course he covers the role of content within influencer marketing and makes predictions for the future too.

While this report is geared towards senior enterprise level marketers, it also includes 10 steps for setting the foundation of an Influence 2.0 approach that I think practitioners at companies of all sizes will find valuable.

The icing on the cake to this report are the quotes and case studies from marketing influencers, many of which are clients of our agency, that I respect greatly including: Ted Rubin, Amanda Duncan (Microsoft), Dr. Konstanze Brown (Dell), Amisha Gandhi (SAP), Ann Handley (MarketingProfs), Jon Miller (Engagio), Jason Miller (LinkedIn) and more.

Working on this project with the teams at Traackr and Altimeter has been an incredibly satisfying journey as we surveyed over 100 enterprise level marketers and brand strategists from companies including Microsoft, American Express and 3M.

What we found is compelling and cause for even more optimism around influencer marketing - especially for those brands that approach the practice strategically, holistically and with the right resources.

Here are 7 of the key trends in the report that will help point marketers in the right direction for realizing true ROI and business impact in 2017

1. 71% of marketers say their influencer marketing programs are strategic or highly strategic. 

At the same time, on average, enterprise companies are allocating only a 10% share of marketing budget to influencer marketing. In fact, 50% of the CMOs we surveyed allocate less than $100,000 annually.

Clearly, enterprise companies need to put their money where their strategy is.

The good news is that 55% of marketers surveyed plan to spend more on influencer marketing in the coming year and for those that spend more than $250,000 annually, that number jumps to 67% and even higher to 77% for those brands using influencer marketing technology.

2. 67% of marketers want to drive lead generation through the use of influencer marketing. 

Beyond improving brand advocacy, awareness and reaching new audiences, the majority of marketers are also focused on improving leads and sales conversion (74%) as a result of working with industry influencers. Thinking holistically, influence plays a role throughout the customer lifecycle and in all relationship-drive brand communications. The movement towards brands incorporating influencers in content beyond marketing to sales, customer service, recruiting and PR is gaining momentum.

Influencer Marketing Goals

3. 80% of marketers rate content marketing as most impacted by influencer marketing. 

In discussions about the ROI of brand relationships with influencers, there's simply no better match than content collaboration for creating measurable, impactful business outcomes. The research supports this with content being rated highest in impact from influencer marketing along with social media marketing and media relations.

4. 43% of marketers are experimenting with influencer marketing. 

It is still early days for influencer marketing within companies with such a large number still experimenting. 28% of marketers rate the maturity of their influencer marketing program as campaign driven and 24% are implementing ongoing programs. As brands mature their ability and relationships with influencer marketing, I think the trend will change significantly towards the majority of companies implementing always on, ongoing programs.

5. 48% of B2C influencer marketing programs are ongoing. 

This is in contrast to only 11% of B2B companies running ongoing influencer marketing programs. With 80% of marketers rating content so important in terms of influencer marketing impact and the importance of content for longer B2B sales journeys, I think we'll see explosive growth of ongoing programs in the B2B space.

6. Marketing owns influencer marketing (70%) but PR engages with influencers most often (70%). 

There is, what seems, an eternal battle between who owns influencer marketing and rather than a turf war, I think what we'll see more of is convergence between marketing and PR. The same influencers could be engaged by multiple departments within an organization beyond marketing and PR, so a more holistic and strategic view along with the right technology for management of those influencer relationships will be essential.

7. 57% of marketers say influencer marketing will be integrated in all marketing activities in the next 3 years. 

Currently, only 5% of marketers rate the maturity of their influencer marketing program as integrated, so the forward looking optimism for the next 3 years towards integration should be a strong signal for the direction influencer marketing is going.

In the Influence 2.0 model, influencers can play a role in each moment of truth during the customer journey through content, engagement and community. A strategic and always on approach to influence enables true customer centricity by placing customer experience at the center of an enterprise business strategy. It is by engaging influencers in authentic, long-term relationships and creating value within the relationships between influencers and their communities, that CMOs can impact sales, satisfaction, retention and overall customer experience. This report dives deep into each of these areas and represents a real evolution of the influencer marketing practice. 

A big thanks to Delphine Reynaud and the team at Traackr for all their hard work on this research project and report from the planning to the initial analysis to the beautiful design. Also, a big thanks goes to Brian Solis for his insight and intelligence around the future of influencer relations - Influence 2.0.

You can download the full Influence 2.0: The Future of Influencer Marketing report here.

If you need help developing your influencer marketing strategy, finding the right influencers and integrating influencers with your digital marketing mix, check out TopRank Marketing influencer content services here.

The post Influence 2.0 – The Future of Influencer Marketing Research Report 2017 appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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20 Ways to Be Just Another Mediocre Blogger Nobody Gives a Crap About

A troubling thought, isn’t it? You’re slaving away at your blog, but you can’t help wondering if you have a shot in hell of getting anyone to read it. What makes you any different from the millions of other bloggers hoping for attention? You’re all doing the same stuff. Cranking out posts, messing around on(...)

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How to Improve Your Blog Posts With YouTube Videos

Do your blog posts need a little pizzazz? Have you considered using video to enhance your articles? Combining YouTube videos with your written content can help you stand out from your competitors. In this article, you’ll discover how to enhance your blog posts with YouTube videos. Embed YouTube Video in Your Blog Posts Embedding videos [...]

This post How to Improve Your Blog Posts With YouTube Videos first appeared on .
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Conversions Are for Closers: Using Conversion-Centered Design Principles to Inspire More Clicks

The final step of the campaign conversion path is simple (or at least it *seems* simple): Getting your visitor to fill in your form and click on your call to action. By leveraging the Conversion-Centered Design principle of Closing, you can ensure your CTA copy and design is doing everything it can to inspire a click.

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How to Use Social Listening to Find Qualified Sales Leads

Social media is great for branding and customer service, but don’t overlook its value for lead generation as well. One of the best ways Read more...

This post How to Use Social Listening to Find Qualified Sales Leads originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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How to Create Best Answer Content: 6 Inspiring Examples

Undoubtedly you've heard the expression "content shock," coined by marketing expert Mark Schaefer.

With immense respect, I have to admit: I don’t believe in it.

The idea that there’s so much content out there, people are tired of content altogether? That no one’s giving new content a chance? That it’s too hard to get new content seen?

Not buying it.

I think what’s happening is simply this: People don’t want “content.”

They want answers to questions. They want a few minutes of entertainment. They want to learn something new. They want what they were searching for in the first place.

To reach our audience, we need to stop creating content and start producing the best answer to their queries.  Companies that adopt this content marketing strategy tend to top search engine rankings (Top…rankings…there’s an agency name in there somewhere, I can feel it).

It’s easy to find examples of what Lee Odden refers to as “best answer content.” Just go to your friendly neighborhood search engine, enter a query, and browse the first few results. With few exceptions, you will see content that is:

  1. Addressed to a Specific Audience
  2. Addressed to a Specific Query
  3. Substantial
  4. Comprehensive, Addressing Complimentary Queries and Crosslinking
  5. Not Blatantly Promotional

At TopRank Marketing, we call this type of content a “Power Page.” It’s designed to not only top the rankings, but inspire longer time-on-page, lower bounce rates, and direct readers deeper into the site with solid next steps.

Here are a few of my favorite Power Pages. Some are from our clients, some I found at the top of my search results.

#1: A Beginner’s Guide to Email Marketing

Graph of Email Opens Over Time

Nobody beats Neil Patel and his crew at KISSmetrics for sheer volume of best-answer content. This 2,000+ word monster is ranked in the top three on Google for “How to Do Email Marketing.”

It’s easy to see why. Author Nathan Hangen walks the reader through every aspect of creating an email marketing campaign, including tangential topics like how to put together a newsletter and how to write a compelling CTA.

This piece’s search engine ranking is a clear indication that great content is its own SEO. There’s no keyword stuffing in the first paragraph, no awkwardly-shoehorned-in links. It’s just great, valuable, thorough content.

To my eye, the only thing lacking here is a navigational element. A sidebar with links to the headers would make it even easier for people to find what they’re looking for.

#2: 7 Questions Every B2B Content Marketing Strategy Should Answer

B2B Marketing Questions

This page from client LinkedIn Marketing Solutions looks like a mild-mannered blog post, but it’s secretly an organic search powerhouse. Most blog content has a limited life span for search potential. Blog posts generally get shared in the first 2-3 days, then the Internet’s collective consciousness moves on to the next new thing.

By contrast, this post was designed to be evergreen. It addresses crucial concerns marketers have about B2B content marketing strategy, thoroughly answering each and including links to further reading. Many of these links are next-steps to gated content, which add value while also capturing leads.

#3: 100 Best Paleo Diet Recipes of All Time

100 Best Paleo Recipes Graphic

Not every Power Page has to be a 2,000 word original piece of content created from scratch. This page from Paleo Grubs ranks highly for “best paleo recipes,” and is at heart, a roundup of the site’s previously-published recipes, with a few external links for good measure. A little repurposing, a little curation, a little new content for the blurb on each recipe, and voila: An evergreen resource.

This page not only has immediate value for a reader, it has lasting value. They’re bound to spend several minutes browsing, then bookmark the page for future reference.

Notice the CTA at the top left, and the continued offers throughout as you scroll. They’re never intrusive, but they’re highly visible just the same.

#4: The Future of Diagnostic Imaging

This Power Page from McKesson’s Medical Imaging Talk Blog is another permutation of what best-answer content can be. It serves as a topics page, rounding up blogs on medical imaging in several different categories. But it also features commentary on each of the categories, a live Twitter feed, polls and links to gated content.

The result is a dynamic page worth bookmarking, where content is continually refreshed while the anchor page remains the same. A Power Page like this can be a portal to the rest of your blog, selecting out a sub-audience by topic and showing them only your most relevant content.

#5: The Best Hiking Boots for Men

 Row of Hiking Boots in the Snow

Everything about this page from Outdoor Gear Lab is above and beyond the call of duty. There’s no wonder it ranks consistently at the top for “Best hiking boots.” Notice how it starts with “What is the best men’s hiking boot?” What a great way to pull in a likely keyword query. That little SEO flourish is genius, but it’s this page’s comprehensive content that makes it unbeatable.

Note the navigational tabs on the top—you can immediately see there’s a great deal of content here and that it’s well-organized. That kind of information right up front is likely to keep readers on the page exploring. Not only that, the ability to jump right into the information they’re looking for will keep bounce rates low.

This page is packed with valuable information for a prospective hiker, presented in a simple but attractive format. Bonus points for the extensive use of home-grown visuals—there’s not a stock photo in sight.

6. Account Based Marketing Resources: Definitions, Tactics, Tips & Strategy

Archer Taking Aim

Predictive marketing platform Everstring sought to create a one-stop shop for account based marketing with this Power Page. They began with one of the most-searched queries for this relatively new term: “What Is Account-Based Marketing (ABM)?” That query is the start of a deep dive into every relevant aspect of ABM, from getting started to refining tactics.

The organization of this page is exceptional; it’s definitely optimized for ease of reading. Big, bold headers lead to short paragraphs with bulleted points of interest. And it includes rich media in the form of embedded SlideShares, which add value, visual interest, and can increase time on page.

Don’t Be The Ocean. Be the Lighthouse.

Nobody wants more “content.” Your audience is looking for a guiding light, not another drop in the bucket. Create best answer content—data-based, comprehensive, valuable—and let it be a beacon to lead weary sailors to your shore.

To learn more about how TopRank Marketing creates exceptional content, check out our content marketing service page.

Disclosure: LinkedIn, Everstring and McKesson are TopRank Marketing clients. 

The post How to Create Best Answer Content: 6 Inspiring Examples appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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5 Snapchat Metrics to Improve Your Snapchat Marketing

Are you using Snapchat for business? Wondering how to analyze your Snapchat efforts? It’s important to understand where to find Snapchat performance metrics and how to use that data to make smart choices for your Snapchat marketing. In this article, you’ll discover five metrics you should focus on to get more out of Snapchat. #1: [...]

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