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Yearly Archives: 2017

#SproutChat Recap: Leveraging Social Monitoring & Listening

You understand the importance of social media monitoring, but beyond keeping an eye on brand mentions how are you taking advantage of monitoring and social listening Read more...

This post #SproutChat Recap: Leveraging Social Monitoring & Listening originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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Digital Marketing News: Social Video, Google Consumer Confidence & Content’s Influence

Everything You Need to Know About Using Video in Social Marketing [Infographic]
We often hear how engaging videos are on social media - but there's certainly a trick to getting it right for your audience. This infographic shows highlights from a recent study from Animoto, where 1,000 consumers sounded off on what they wanted to see. MarketingProfs

2017 Google Consumer Confidence Report
Digital Examiner recently conducted a survey to determine how much consumers trust the information they are served in Google search results. The trust for Google remains high despite recent commentary surrounding alleged biases, with 72% of consumers saying they trust search results. Digital Examiner

How Content Influences the Purchasing Process: Tips for Content Marketers [Research]
CMI and SmartBrief teamed up to create new research that reveals how content influences the purchasing process. The research found that 81% of buyers say they conduct their own research before bringing in a vendor, and 62% wanted content that speaks to their needs and pain points. You can read more analysis of the study on the TopRank Marketing blog. Content Marketing Institute

The Remarkable Rise of Influencer Marketing [Infographic]
In an effort to understand the current state of influencer marketing, Influencer Marketing Hub conducted an online survey. They report: "The results are definitely optimistic, indicating that influencer marketing is truly mainstream, on an upwards trajectory as a preferred method of marketing." Influencer Marketing Hub

Coming Soon: Website Demographics
LinkedIn has announced that they'll soon release Website Demographics to allow brands to better understand their audience, create tailored content based on resonance, and reach ideal prospects. LinkedIn Marketing Solutions

Google Said to Offer Publishers A New YouTube Deal
AdAge reports: "[YouTube] is offering major publishers who choose its backend video player the ability to control ad sales both on their sites and on YouTube, according to people familiar with the new offering." AdAge

Twitter Is Testing a Feature That Lets Brands Automate Their Promoted Tweets
Twitter is beta testing a program for brands that will allow them to automatically promote their Tweets. The targeting options are limited, and the platform will choose which Tweets to sponsor on behalf of the brand. This new program costs $99 per month for those interested. AdWeek

Facebook will Rank Links to Slow-loading Pages Lower in People’s News Feeds
For brands with a slow website, the past few years have been pretty tough. Now, Facebook joins in on the movement toward better UX by tweaking its news feed algorithm to penalize links to slow-loading websites. Marketing Land

What were your top digital marketing news stories this week?

We'll be back next week with more top digital marketing news! As always, if you need more in the meantime follow @toprank on Twitter or subscribe to the TopRank Marketing blog for daily insights to your inbox.

The post Digital Marketing News: Social Video, Google Consumer Confidence & Content’s Influence appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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Live Video Tools: The Best Apps for Going Live

Are you planning to start a live video show? Want to know which tools you’ll need to broadcast live? To explore the best live video apps and software to produce your own live show, I interview Ian Anderson Gray. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from [...]

This post Live Video Tools: The Best Apps for Going Live first appeared on .
- Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

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What the Heck Is Ghostwriting? (And Why You Might Want to Do It)

You want to make money as a writer, right? You’ve told everyone on Facebook (including your weird aunt) that you’re available to write. You’ve been writing guest post after guest post to showcase your talent and get your name out there. Maybe you’ve even landed a few jobs already. (Good for you!) But then a(...)

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New Report: 5 Statistics You Need to Know on How Content Influences Purchases

How Content Influences the Purchasing Process

These days there’s no question that great content is a foundational element of any marketing strategy—especially in B2B. In fact, according to Content Marketing Institute’s (CMI) 2017 benchmarking report, 89% of B2B marketers use content marketing to “attract and retain a clearly defined audience—and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

And thanks to yet another insightful report from CMI—the latter objective is our focus today.

Last week, CMI and SmartBrief released their How Content Influences the Purchasing Process report, featuring data and insights collected from 1,200 SmartBrief subscribers. The aim of the report was to dig into the minds of those who are actually consuming content, and uncover what types of content are most influential, how decision-makers perceive vendor content, and more.

From a marketer’s perspective, the findings both reinforce and redefine how marketers should be crafting their B2B content marketing strategies. Below I share five key statistics from the report, and some associated takeaways that can help you both bolster and boost your content efforts to drive action by decision makers.

#1 - 81% say they generally conduct research before bringing a vendor in.

Marketers know that the modern buyer’s journey is becoming increasingly self-directed. After all, this shift is arguably what drove the emergence of content marketing in the first place. So, it’s no surprise that CMI and SmartBrief’s report revealed that an overwhelming majority of decision-makers are conducting their own research before making contact with a vendor.

The big takeaway: Simply put, decision-makers want to be educated. Thanks to the rise of the internet, social media and mobile technologies, buyers are more empowered than ever to take things into their own hands. As a result, marketers need to double-down on their efforts to guide people through the purchasing process by creating content for each stage of the sales funnel.

For the TopRank Marketing team, this means leveraging the Attract, Engage, Convert model, as well as an integrated mix of tactics, to craft customer-centric content that’s easy to find, consume and share.

[bctt tweet="Simply put, decision-makers want to be educated. #B2B #contentmarketing @cmicontent" username="toprank"]

#2 - 40% say credibility trumps the source of information.

Since decision-makers are often taking research into their own hands, it stands to reason that they’re consuming information from a variety of sources. According to the report, 66% of respondents admitted to using sources other than vendors to initially collect information.

But perhaps one of the most interesting revelations was that 40% say the information source isn’t a big concern. In the end, they just want good, credible information.

The big takeaway: As long as the content is credible, the source doesn’t matter. While an organization’s owned channels may never be a one-stop-shop for all prospects’ needs, the report encourages vendors to ensure their websites are up-to-date. In addition, since your prospects will likely come into contact with your brand in a variety of ways, marketers can take the lead on evaluating how their brand is being presented across all channels (i.e. printed materials, social media, third-party review sites, in-person events, etc.) to ensure consistency and build credibility.

[bctt tweet="When it comes to gathering info for purchasing decisions, #content credibility > source. @cmicontent" username="toprank"]

#3 - 62% say they want content that speaks to their specific needs and pain points.

As marketers, it’s our job to dig deep to understand who our audience is, the challenges they face and the questions they’re asking. But perhaps we’re falling a little short in this area.

According to the report, the No. 1 most important quality for content during the purchasing process is that is speaks to the specific needs or pain points of the decision-maker. Product or service specifications, and educational rather than promotional, came in at No. 2 and No. 3 respectively.

The big takeaway: Give the people what they want by delivering best-answer content that is tailored to specific niches, scenarios, pain points or questions your prospects/customers are asking.

But where do you start? From my perspective, your first stop should absolutely be your sales team. These folks are in the trenches every day and can give you detailed insights on customer characteristics (i.e. job title, company name, company size, etc.), as well as the challenges they’re looking to solve. Then conduct keyword topic research, and analyze your website and social data to learn more about how your prospects are searching and how they’re engaging with your existing content.

[bctt tweet="Give the people what they want: best-answer #content tailored to specific niches. #B2B #contentmarketing" username="toprank"]

#4 - Just 21% rank blog posts as influential in their purchasing decisions.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, CMI and SmartBrief found that 80% of decision-makers ranked peer recommendations as their No. 1 purchasing influencer. But the No. 2 spot went to original research, with 74% of respondents rating it as influential. Furthermore, many of the most “traditional” content marketing tactics such as eBooks (33%), blogs and articles (21%)  and email newsletters (21%) landed toward the bottom.

The big takeaway: It’s time to expand your content mix. To revisit CMI’s 2017 benchmark survey, social media content (83%), blogs (80%) and email newsletters (77%) were ranked as the top three most-used content marketing tactics. But as stated above, these are less influential in purchasing decisions.

So, if you want to really connect with decision-makers, it’s probably time to step up with more robust and engaging content offerings such as webinars, on-demand product demos and—if you have the bandwidth and budget—original research.

Now, this doesn’t mean you should completely abandon blogs or email marketing. Every organization’s content mix will be different depending on the industry and business objectives. Take stock of what you’re doing, and use the data and insights you have to draw some conclusions about what is and isn’t working. This will help you make decisions on where to ramp up your efforts, and where you can start dabbling with different content types.

[bctt tweet="Based on @cmicontent research, it may be time to expand your #contentmarketing mix." username="toprank"]

#5 - Just 5% say they share information with colleagues on social media.

Generally speaking, purchasing decisions are a group effort. But how are decision-makers communicating with one another? According to the report, the vast majority (82%) of decision-makers are sharing content via email with other colleagues. The next most popular channels are conference calls (64%) or through a shared document or folder (36%)—with social channels coming in at 5% or less.

The big takeaway: Social sharing metrics don’t give you the full engagement picture, so don’t fret if your shares are looking a little low. From my perspective, the bottom line here is the more you tap into the unique content needs and pain points of your audience, the better chance your content has at making an impression on all decision-makers.

[bctt tweet="#B2B decision-makers are sharing #content via email - not #social. @cmicontent" username="toprank"]

Want to Read the Full Report?

Get access to the free report here.

Are you surprised by any of the findings in the report? Tell us in the comments section below.

The post New Report: 5 Statistics You Need to Know on How Content Influences Purchases appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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3 Blogging Tools to Improve Your Content Quality

Want to publish more polished blog posts? Looking for free or low-budget tools to help? In this article, you’ll discover three blogging tools that will help you catch typos and improve readability of your blog posts. #1: After the Deadline After the Deadline can be best summarized as a “language checker for the web.” This [...]

This post 3 Blogging Tools to Improve Your Content Quality first appeared on .
- Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

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Master Your Next Feature Launch: How Vimeo Uses Unbounce Landing Pages to Go to Market Faster

In an increasingly saturated competitive landscape, brands need to be able to launch new features and products quickly — without bottlenecks. This is the story of how Vimeo has mastered the art of going to market with new products on time and on budget (and how your marketing team can do the same).

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20 Jokes Only a B2B Marketer Will Get

Lately, there’s been a big push for adding humor and personality into B2B marketing. I’m all for it—not only does it play into my natural strengths, it means that B2B marketers can bring more creativity and fun into their day-to-day. It may be hard to cast off the idea that we on the B2B side [...]

The post 20 Jokes Only a B2B Marketer Will Get appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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How to Split Test Your Way to Facebook Ads Success

Want to lower the cost per conversion of your Facebook ads? Wondering how to serve the right ad to the right audience? In this article, you’ll discover a six-step plan to test, analyze, and optimize Facebook ads, as well as the audience segments you target. Let Facebook Split Test Multiple Ad Variations When you run [...]

This post How to Split Test Your Way to Facebook Ads Success first appeared on .
- Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

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Our New Podcast: Social Media Marketing Talk Show

Have you noticed that social networks seem to change every week? How can anyone possibly keep up, right? We have a great new (and free) solution for you–the busy marketer. I’m excited to announce the new Social Media Marketing Talk Show audio podcast. Each week your friends at Social Media Examiner bring you: #1 News: [...]

This post Our New Podcast: Social Media Marketing Talk Show first appeared on .
- Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

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