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Monthly Archives: July 2018

IGTV: What Marketers Need to Know

Do you use Instagram video in your marketing? Want to use IGTV to deliver longer video to your Instagram audience? In this article, you’ll discover what Instagram’s IGTV is, and find tips for using the feature in your marketing. #1: Set Up Your IGTV Channel One of the unusual aspects of IGTV is that it’s [...]

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Ranking in Search in 2018: A Q&A With SEO Pros Rob Bucci and Cyrus Shepard

How exactly is Google interpreting search queries in 2018? And what about the risks of the "no click" search? Today we chat with SEO experts Rob Bucci and Cyrus Shepard about local targeting, featured snippets, and more.

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Digital Marketing News: Google’s Marketing Platform Partners, LinkedIn’s Translations, & Facebook’s Instant Articles Subscription Results

LinkedIn Adds Translation Services In Over 60 Languages

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LinkedIn Adds Translation Services In Over 60 Languages

Google announces Google Marketing Platform Partners program
Google has been busy consolidating and refreshing its marketing partner offerings, with individuals, companies, and sales partners on its new approved-training list, combining Google Analytics Certified Partners and DoubleClick Certified Marketing Partners. MarTech Today

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Facebook trials subscription tool to appease Instant Article publishers
On the heels of Facebook's recent subscription Groups announcement, could the news that the social media giant is also testing subscription-based Instant Article signal a shift that digital marketers will need to adjust to? The Drum

Forrester issues first Wave report on Experience Optimization
"The Forrester Wave: Experience Optimization Platforms" report examining the continued consolidation of online testing, behavioral targeting, and recommendation practices in experience optimization, with Adobe garnering top marks. MarTech Today

Facebook starts showing all ads a Page is running
Facebook has introduced a new Info & Ads dashboard that shows all ads run including those on Instagram, Messenger, and partner networks, a move that may simplify certain tasks for some digital marketers. Marketing Land

Unveiling Translations in the LinkedIn Feed: Keep in Touch with Your Global Community
LinkedIn's new “See Translation” feature brings post translation in 60 languages to the service's users, offering interesting audience reach expansion to digital marketers. LinkedIn (client)

Instagram Rolls Out Video Chat, New Camera Effects And Topic Channels
Instagram has released several new features including video messaging, new camera effects, and topic channels on Explore, for users of its Android and iOS apps. How can digital marketers best use the new features? Forbes

July 6, 2018 Artificial Intelligence Statistics Image

Dove introduces a mark indicating its ad images are free of digital manipulation
Unilever's Dove has put out a branding mark meant to signify that an advertising image is free of digital manipulation. Will the move represent a shift the use of such marks in the greater digital marketing universe? AdAge

B2B marketers are ‘generally unclear’ of what AI means, according to research
With 32% of marketers not confident in their knowledge of AI, and 54% only somewhat confident, greater understanding could be a worthwhile goal among B2B marketers. The Drum

Why publishers are ditching viral clips for long-form video series
Some publishers have found greater success with video series than with traditional clips aiming solely for viral popularity. What could a shift to episodic video publishing mean for marketers? Axios

Teens, YouTube and the rise of the micro-influencers
70% of teen YouTube audiences are more likely to be influenced by YouTubers, recent survey data shows. How can savvy marketers utilize these findings in campaigns targeting teens? The Drum

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

Marketoonist Tom Fishburne Brand Positioning Cartoon

A lighthearted look at brand positioning, by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist

1990, meet 2018: How far does 20MHz of Macintosh IIsi power go today? — Ars Technica

TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:

  • Lee Odden — Pubcon Pro 2018 Featured Speaker: Lee Odden — Pubcon
  • Lee Odden — IDMA 2018: Celebrating the best in the industry — Exchange4Media
  • Lee Odden — It takes a Village — Digital Doughnut
  • TopRank Blog — My 10 Biggest Mistakes in 10 Years as an Entrepreneur — Medium

What are your top content marketing news items this week?

Thank you for joining us, and we hope you'll return next week for another round-up of the latest digital marketing news, and in the meantime you can follow us at @toprank on Twitter for even more timely daily news. Also, don't miss the full video summary on our TopRank Marketing TV YouTube Channel.

The post Digital Marketing News: Google’s Marketing Platform Partners, LinkedIn’s Translations, & Facebook’s Instant Articles Subscription Results appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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Messenger Bot Strategy: How Businesses Can Use Bots

Want to boost conversions while lowering marketing costs? Wondering how Facebook Messenger bots can help? To explore how to improve your marketing and sales with Messenger bots, I interview Molly Pittman. 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 [...]

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4 Influencer Tools to Find and Vet YouTube Influencers

Do you want to work with influential YouTubers to promote your products or services? Looking for tools to help you partner with the right YouTube influencers? In this article, you’ll discover four tools to help you find and connect with influential YouTubers for marketing campaigns. How to Identify the Right YouTube Influencers If you’re using [...]

The post 4 Influencer Tools to Find and Vet YouTube Influencers appeared first on Social Media Examiner.

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Becoming a Better Marketer by Embracing Your Passions Outside the Office

How Our After-Hours Passions Elevate Us as Marketers

How Our After-Hours Passions Elevate Us as Marketers

In the first post I ever wrote for the TopRank Marketing Blog, I reflected on the marketing lessons I’d picked up through my baseball blogging hobby. Helping build an online community at Twins Daily has instilled many important fundamentals that, I feel, make me better at my day job.

I’m always fascinated by this interplay. We spend so much of our time each week alongside our coworkers, but are often unaware of the interests and side hustles that drive them outside of the office. Those very passions can be such integral parts of who we are and how we operate.

More recently, this has been a topic of focus for our friends at LinkedIn*. In April, Jason Miller wrote a piece about following your dreams while staying committed to your career, and in June, Sean Callahan profiled a LinkedIn marketer who moonlights as a DJ.

The subject of Sean’s piece was Ish Verduzco (aka DJ Ishh), who says that spinning the turntables on weekends has helped him learn how to get in tune with online audiences as a social media marketer. Incidentally, Jason and Sean themselves are great examples of this dynamic — Jason is a rock-and-roll photographer whose creativity and energy infuse the content he produces, while Sean is the author of several children’s books with a knack for conveying information clearly and understandably.

These posts from LinkedIn inspired me to learn more about my own colleagues here at the TopRank Marketing office, and how their outside hobbies or passions help shape them professionally. So I asked around:

What activities occupy your time when you’re not at the office, and how do they help make you a more clever, curious, and courageous marketer?

Hopefully their answers will inspire other marketers to fully embrace their own passions, and think about ways in which their personal pursuits can fuel their professional success — or vice versa.

The After-Hours Passions that Elevate Our Team Members' Marketing Skills

Improving Through Improv

Josh NiteJosh Nite, Senior Content Marketing Manager

His jokes and puns are cherished staples during the workday, and Josh puts his sharp wit to good use after it ends by participating in improv shows and competitions. He believes that these comedy performances make him a better marketer for two primary reasons.

“First, they force me to carefully consider words, how they have an effect on people, how powerful they can be. Second, they're performed live in front of an audience, so I can see whether or not I'm making a connection. It really helps me have a mental image of the reader in mind when I'm writing content.”

Making a Habit of Being Helpful

Debbie Friez, Influencer Marketing Strategist

Debbie is very active at her church, Spirit Garage, where she applies her professional skills to help out with marketing functions.

“I serve on the marketing committee, so that has me looking for new ideas,” she says. “I subscribe to a few newsletters and I’m active in Social Media Shepherds, a group of church communicators.”

In turn, Debbie’s community work through church and other endeavors — she picks up garbage at local parks on Earth Day, participates in a book club, and serves cotton candy during street festivals, for example — helps her develop rock-solid relationships with influencers and clients.

Finding Focus on the Fairway

Anne Leuman, Content Strategist

As someone who regularly covers SEO-related topics on the TopRank Marketing Blog, Anne understands the importance of links (she recently wrote about examples of link-worthy content). And on the weekend, she likes to unwind by hitting the links.

“My No. 1 hobby outside of work is golf,” Anne says. “Golf, believe it or not, requires a great amount of imagination. If you can see a shot, you can make the shot. Playing the sport allows me to hone my imagination skills, leading to more creativity and well-thought-out content strategy.”

She also adds that the sport’s individualistic nature helps her focus on self-improvement. Bolstering your score on the golf course is all about looking inward and making the right personal tweaks, which is also true of content creation.

“Similar to working on my golf game,” she starts. “I'll take lessons, ask for advice, or spend hours writing each day to ensure I'm above par.”  

Managing to Make a Difference

Elizabeth Williams, Account Manager

As a mother raising two young children of mixed race, Elizabeth feels strongly about doing her part to create a more accepting and fair environment for individuals of all ethnicities and backgrounds.

“As a marketer sometimes it’s hard to see that direct impact on ‘making a the world a better place’ in your day-to-day. But, it’s something I crave. Having that reason behind what we do inspires us to keep going when we're feeling frustrated or overloaded.”

She continues: “My ‘making the world a better place’ is working toward MLK's dream — for a world where people will not be judged by the color of their skin. In my family, we experience racism nearly every time we're in public, whether it’s big or small.”

And so she commits much of her energy outside of work to advocating for the cause of social justice. A marketer’s understanding of how to engage and influence proves helpful in this regard.

“I love applying my knowledge of digital marketing to my activist communications,” she says.

Making Creativity is the Name of the Game

Patrick Pineda, Motion Designer

If you watched any of the awesome 8-bit videos he whipped up for our Content Marketing Combos series, you might peg Patrick as an avid video game enthusiast. But his real passion is for tabletop role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons and World of Darkness.

Earlier this year, he collaborated with Anne to create a blog post around content marketing lessons from the realm of D&D, such as the value of originality, the pitfalls of corralling an audience, and the importance of customization — something that is incredibly important and top-of-mind for marketers today.

“The best Dungeon Master doesn’t just create a good story, but they also help players reach their goals,” Patrick noted.

The Rabid Researcher

Lane EllisLane Ellis, Social & Content Marketing Manager

Working remotely from northern Minnesota, Lane conducts plenty of helpful research for the team at TopRank Marketing, and his proclivities in this area are deeply ingrained.

“Since 1994 I've been doing family history research, including several years as one of Duluth's few professional genealogists, which has taught me many research-related lessons that I try to apply to my social media and marketing career,” he explains.

As someone who was using the internet for research before many of us were using it at all, he’s very adept at quickly finding what he’s looking for.

Harnessing Healthy Results Like a Boss

Lee OddenLee Odden, CEO

Employees at TopRank Marketing are accustomed to the occasional week or two where Lee isn’t in the office, given the amount of traveling he does for speaking engagements around the world, but recently we’ve noticed that we’re seeing less of him — literally. The agency cofounder has been on a major health kick over the past several months, and the impact has been visibly evident in his physique.

“I've found diet, cardio and other exercise have direct correlations to goal-setting, discipline, quality of effort, time management, and optimization of marketing performance,” Lee explains.

In particular, he’s sees parallels in the ways success is measured for fitness and marketing. In neither case should vanity be the name of the game.

“I found it interesting not to focus on weight loss, but clothing size, energy level, and quality of life improvements since those are the real goals,” he says. “I think there are lessons there as a marketer in measuring performance. Views, shares and impressions are like sugary candy metrics that give spikes of endorphins, but don't really reflect the real goals of leads, deals, and revenue.”

What Drives You?

At TopRank Marketing, we’re lucky to have a team with diverse interests and hobbies. Working with these folks on a daily basis, it’s easy to see they are keeping their marketing skills sharp through after-hours activities, even if that’s not necessarily the inherent rationale.

Meanwhile, staying busy and focused on other things outside of work helps us stay refreshed and rejuvenated once we arrive each morning. So, I ask you, too: What passions outside of work make you better at your job?

Let us know in the comments section below.

Disclosure: LinkedIn is a TopRank Marketing client.

The post Becoming a Better Marketer by Embracing Your Passions Outside the Office appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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How to Use Instagram Stories to Drive Traffic to an Opt-In Form

Want to grow your email list using Instagram? Wondering how to generate email leads with an Instagram story? In this article, you’ll discover a step-by-step plan to drive traffic to your opt-in form using Instagram Stories. #1: Develop an Offer to Exchange for Opt-Ins Instagram Stories has the power to help convert viewers into leads. [...]

The post How to Use Instagram Stories to Drive Traffic to an Opt-In Form appeared first on Social Media Examiner.

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#SproutChat Calendar: Upcoming Topics for July 2018

Summer is just around the corner and we’re getting ready by brushing up on our strategic chops. This June, #SproutChat is bringing you insight Read more...

This post #SproutChat Calendar: Upcoming Topics for July 2018 originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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5 Affordable Social Media Video Tools for Marketers

Need to add more video to your social media content? Looking for affordable and simple DIY video tools? In this article, you’ll discover five easy-to-use tools to bring more video into your social media marketing. #1: Share Stock or Custom Video to Facebook and YouTube With Biteable Biteable is a desktop tool that boasts hundreds [...]

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How to Rally Around ROI & Prioritize Your Digital Marketing Efforts in the Face of Budget Cuts

Prioritizing After Marketing Budget Cuts

Prioritizing After Marketing Budget Cuts

Ask any marketer if they’ve ever had to contend with the shrinking or deep cutting of their budgets, odds are you’ll get a deep sigh and a “more than once” response.

Organizations are always looking for efficiencies and ways to tighten their financial belt, and marketing departments are among the first to be placed on the chopping block because it all comes down to ROI—something many modern marketers find hard to prove

In fact, according to a recent report from Demand Gen Report and BrightFunnel, 58% of B2B organizations surveyed said their current ability to measure and analyze marketing performance “needs improvement” or worse.

So, if you’re staring down a budget reduction, don’t panic. This is the time to evaluate and prioritize your efforts so you can revamp your integrated digital marketing strategy to include a tactical mix that will not only refocus your strategy to reach your objectives, but also improve how you measure and achieve ROI.

[bctt tweet="If you’re staring down a #marketing budget reduction, don’t panic. This is the time evaluate, prioritize, and focus. - @Alexis5484" username="toprank"]

Here are four key actions you’ll want to take:

#1 - Evaluate your existing data against your goals.

While it may seem obvious, the first step is to evaluate how you’re performing against your objectives; what’s working and what’s not. However, you can’t rely solely on high-level or vanity metrics like overall traffic. In order to really dig into what’s working, you need to map each of your tactics and/or channels to closed business—and total revenue numbers if you can.

Not only will this help you focus on where to revamp and hone your strategy, but also put you in a better position to consistently measure as you move forward. So, when the next budget cut comes along, you can better prove the ROI of your marketing activities and make a stronger case for keeping your budget.

#2 - Narrow your targeting.

Every marketer knows that understanding your audience is key to developing and executing a strategy with impact. But audience characteristics, preferences, and habits—as well as the market you operate within—can change overtime. As a result, you may be wasting precious marketing dollars on the “wrong” people. So, it’s time to redefine and zero-in on who your ideal customer or buyer is and who are most likely to convert.

With the budget and resources you do have, it may be worth investing time and money in a survey or analysis of your existing client or prospects to better understand their preferences and pain points.

This will not only give you a clearer picture of what channels or tactics are working—but which may have the most potential based on who your customer is, where they’re interacting with your brand or other brands, what they’re interested in, and what moves them to a conversation.

[bctt tweet="If you're facing #marketing budget cuts, it may be worth using the resources you do have to analyze your customers and prospects to hone in on their needs, preferences, and paint points. - @Alexis5484" username="toprank"]

#3 - Place safe bets if your data is limited.

Effective measurement is a problem that’s plagued marketers for years. As a result, you may not have all the data to inform your decision making. In this case, we’d suggest making some “safe marketing bets” based on tried-and-true tactics.

For example, email marketing. Email marketing is perhaps the oldest digital marketing tactic around, but still one of the most effective. Not only does it deliver helpful information to your clients and prospects, when segmented and constructed correctly, it helps nurture them toward the sale. In fact, three-quarters of companies say email offers “good” or “excellent” ROI.

In addition, SEO and content marketing are consistently rated by marketers as top channels with the best ROI.

That said, be careful not to stake your success on simply following what’s “always” worked. The safe bets you place should be a temporary strategic solution as you work to get better measurement and data practices in place so you can continuously optimize your strategy.

#4 - Invest in efficiency.

Efficiency isn't about doing more in less time, but rather making the most of your time by doing the right things. As the old saying goes: Work smarter, not harder. From our perspective, there’s three core investments to consider:

1. Technology

Whether you want to optimize your workflow or automate time-consuming processes, investing in the right technology for your needs can make a major positive impact on efficiency.

2. Training

Your marketing spend is likely not the only item that took a hit. You may have also needed to cut internal resources. As a result, investing in training for the team you do have is a good play—whether you want someone to expand their skill set or level up his or her existing skills—to help your team work more efficiently and ultimately drive more ROI with less.

3. An agency partnership

Oftentimes, partnering with an agency can help you stretch your budget for maximum ROI. Rather than solely relying on your in-house team for expertise, execution, and strategy—an agency can be a robust extension. You get access to an entire team of digital marketing experts, made up of individuals with a range of skill sets—and often at a lower cost than having the equivalent depth of knowledge as internal hires.

[bctt tweet="Efficiency isn't about doing more in less time, but rather making the most of your time by doing the right things. - @Alexis5484" username="toprank"]

Focus on the Opportunity, Not the Loss

Budget cuts are no fun. But they’re not the end of the world. After all, we marketers can be scrappy—and we live to innovate.

So, use recent or near future cuts to redefine your marketing strategy from both a tactical and measurement standpoint, and work to put better measurement in place. Hopefully, this will not only help you avoid bumps in momentum as you deal with less financial resources, but also help you get better ROI data so you can defend against future cuts.  

How can you prove the value of your content marketing efforts to your CMO? Check out our three steps to proving content marketing ROI.

The post How to Rally Around ROI & Prioritize Your Digital Marketing Efforts in the Face of Budget Cuts appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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