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Monthly Archives: August 2018

Digital Marketing News: Facebook’s User Ratings & Groups Pixel, Google’s Ad Strength Tool, & Surprising Gen Z Survey Findings

Facebook moves to rate users on trustworthiness: report Facebook has started assigning users a reputation score. Will the new user trustworthiness rating system, which has been refined over the past year, see eventual digital marketing uses? Reuters Machine learning reveals crazy advertising ideas that actually work Artificial intelligence aims to not only create but monitor [...]

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How to Build Better Stories With Collaboration and Improv

Want fresh ideas for your marketing content? Curious how improv techniques can help? To explore how collaborative storytelling can help you create engaging or interactive content, I interview Kathy Klotz-Guest. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is designed to help busy marketers, business owners, and creators discover what works with social media [...]

The post How to Build Better Stories With Collaboration and Improv appeared first on Social Media Examiner.

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New Research: 2018 Content Planning Report from DivvyHQ & TopRank Marketing

2018 Content Planning Report

2018 Content Planning Report

Whenever failure strikes in content marketing and the post mortem is reviewed, there is almost always the same missing component: adequate planning.

The expression “a failure to plan is a plan to fail” is as true for content marketing as it is for navigating any aspect of business life. Why do so many marketers fail at content planning? Do they not have the skills or information? Maybe they don’t have the right tools or a fleshed out, documented strategy.

I’m pretty sure just about every marketer from early stage to advanced could do with some content planning optimization.

Lucky for you, we’ve partnered with our client, content planning software platform, DivvyHQ to find out where content planning stands today. We've also collaborated with top content marketing leaders including Michael Brenner, Carla Johnson, Robert Rose and Tamsen Webster for their strategic guidance.

Besides the fact that my team at TopRank Marketing helped conduct the research, analyze the data and compile it into a handsome-looking report, what I like most is that the information is broken down into actionable advice that ranges from top challenges to operations to the data that drives strategic content marketing success.

Here are a few highlights:

Top Content Planning Challenges

Content Planning Challenges

As Carla Johnson shared with us: “Great planning has more than one perspective. And that means you have to include people outside your normal circle. Instead of planning content for sales teams and then turning it over, have someone from sales in the meeting to share their perspective from the get-go.”

[bctt tweet="Include people outside your normal circle. Instead of planning content for sales teams and then turning it over, have someone from sales in the meeting to share their perspective from the get-go. - @CarlaJohnson" username="toprank"]

Top Content Planning Successes

Content Planning Successes

[bctt tweet="We simply have to stop measuring content and start measuring its impact on the audience. - @Robert_Rose" username="toprank"]

There's a lot to be said for the maturity of outputs versus outcomes when it comes to measuring success, as Robert indicates. While 78% of the survey respondents measure content planning effectiveness though consumption and 73% do so with content engagement, 27% of marketers have taken those insights to heart and changed their content planning significantly as a result.

Top Content Marketing Tactics

For the respondents of this report, blog content takes the top spot (83%) followed closely by social media content (81%) and emails (80%). These are the bread and butter content types for most content marketers. There's also appetite for visual content with video (74%) and infographics (63%) scoring well in their own right.

Content Planning Maturity Opportunities

Many marketing maturity models use levels of sophistication as a way to measure where the user base falls to determine the levels of maturity. In this report, 80% of survey respondents stated they use a content calendar in some way, which represents an early stage. 42% use calendars to track publish dates which is slightly ahead and 22% manage all milestones related to campaigns, production and publish dates which would represent more advanced use.

With marketers in this survey not showing signs of advancing maturity over 2017, there are many content planning maturity opportunities in the form of awareness, education, adoption and process/skills optimization. This is a challenge that TopRank Marketing consulting and DivvyHQ software eagerly accept!

Content Planning Report 2018

Take action towards advancing your own level of content planning and marketing maturity by downloading the 2018 Content Planning Report  here.

The post New Research: 2018 Content Planning Report from DivvyHQ & TopRank Marketing appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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How to Create LinkedIn Video Ads

Do you want to reach more prospects on LinkedIn? Interested in using LinkedIn video ads to promote your products and services? In this article, you’ll learn how to plan and execute your first LinkedIn video ad campaign. #1: Define Your Target Audiences The first step is to determine what audiences you want to target with [...]

The post How to Create LinkedIn Video Ads appeared first on Social Media Examiner.

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The Original List: 50 Content Marketing Influencers and Experts to Follow into 2019

Content Marketing World 2018 will be here before you know it. The largest content marketing conference in the world brings together an incredible cornucopia of talent, curiosity, knowledge and aspirations for success. Marketers from all over the world come to Cleveland, Ohio for this event of epic proportions. Readers of our blog know we have [...]

The post The Original List: 50 Content Marketing Influencers and Experts to Follow into 2019 appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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How to Research Buyer Personas for More Successful Marketing Campaigns

Do you market to multiple buyer personas? Wondering how to be sure you’re marketing to each audience segment in the right way? In this article, you’ll learn how to research buyer personas to reveal preferences and behaviors that will help you deliver successful, targeted social media campaigns. How Researching Buyer Personas Improves Marketing Campaigns The [...]

The post How to Research Buyer Personas for More Successful Marketing Campaigns appeared first on Social Media Examiner.

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Words of Wisdom: Lee Odden’s Top 9 Insights on How to Succeed at Influencer Marketing 2.0

Lee Odden Influencer Marketing 2.0 Insights

Lee Odden Influencer Marketing 2.0 Insights

Today’s content marketing space is a tumultuous one. Content shock, ever-changing search engine algorithms, social media’s midlife crisis, growing consumer distrust in brand messaging—marketers are constantly challenged to adapt and scale their strategies to simply bolster visibility, nevermind reach objectives and prove ROI.

Emerging from the noisy marketing mix is a promising strategic marketing star that can capture the attention of hard to reach buyers, improve audience engagement, bring insightful perspectives to the forefront, and build brand trust and credibility.

Of course, I’m talking about influencer marketing.

Spokespeople, brand advocates, experts—brands have been tapping “influential” people as marketing and advertising partners for a century. And, just as it’s always been, in the modern era of influencer marketing, some love it, some hate it, and plenty of people question whether it “actually works.”

At TopRank Marketing, we see credibility, value, and opportunity in influencer marketing; people crave credible content.

And we also see authenticity, relevancy, and thoughtfulness as defining characteristics of the modern approach to influencer marketing—we call it Influencer Marketing 2.0.

Lee OddenOur own resident marketing influencer and CEO, Lee Odden, has been evangelizing influencer marketing inside and outside company walls since 2012, before the practice in the content marketing realm went boom.

Lee’s been named the No.1 “Influencer Marketing Influencer” by Onalytica, and his expertise on the subject has been featured on top industry publications including CMO.com, Forbes, and Social Media Examiner. Lee was also instrumental in the Influence 2.0 research report in partnership with Traackr and Brian Solis of Altimeter Group.

So, what is the “Influencer Marketing 2.0” approach? Let these words of Lee Odden wisdom—words that have defined how we’ve architected our influencer marketing manifesto—lend some guidance, focus, and inspiration to your influencer marketing efforts.

How to Approach Influencer Marketing 2.0

Co-Create for Greatness

Content is the foundation of marketing. Period. But marketers repeatedly cite that consistent creation of strategic, quality, engaging content is a top marketing challenge.

But as Lee often says:

[bctt tweet="If you want your content to be great, ask influencers to participate. - @leeodden" username="toprank"]

When you co-create content with influencers, you not only provide influential experts with a medium to share valuable insights, but can also provide your audience with a mix of perspectives—upping your storytelling capabilities and credibility. In addition, some influencers already have a desire and knack for creating content, so an opportunity to collaborate will be welcomed and beneficial to your business.

[bctt tweet="For any kind of content a business creates and publishes to the world, there is an opportunity for collaboration with credible voices that have active networks interested in what those voices have to say. - @leeodden" username="toprank"]

However, it’s also important to note that co-created content isn’t inherently valuable or set up to drive gangbusters marketing success. Value and relevance is certainly in the eye of the beholder—your audience. As a result, you need to stay true to your audience and your influencers, which requires an integrated approach that includes SEO and other proven content marketing tactics.

As Lee has said:

[bctt tweet="With an understanding of keyword demand, B2B marketers can tap into the opportunity to be the best answer … (adding influencers) to that optimized content will give it the credibility and engagement needed to inspire action. - @leeodden" username="toprank"]

Influencer Marketing 2.0 In Action

Content planning software company DivvyHQ* took their marketing the "back to the future", launching a long-running campaign that included a sequence of connected content marketing campaigns featuring relevant influencers.

The SaaS company secured contributions from top content marketers for campaigns that resulted in significant increases in credibility and engagement. Additionally, the campaigns exceeded performance goals and added to DivvyHQ’s bottom line. The end result was this interactive eBook asset.

DivvyHQ Back to the Future eBook

Define Influence for Your Brand & Audience

Influencer marketing is often pegged as a tactic rooted in compensating celebrities or brandividuals with large social followings to push your product or service. But influence isn’t defined by popularity or number of followers:

[bctt tweet="Influence is the ability to affect action. - @leeodden" username="toprank"]

There may be no bigger mistake than focusing on “shiny object” individuals; fame by association is more than hard to come by. There is absolutely a place for brandividuals in your influencer mix, but it’s important to remember that:

[bctt tweet="Everyone is influential about something. - @leeodden" username="toprank"]

Your brand, industry, product or service, and audience is undeniably unique—and influence varies. Furthermore, it may be easier than ever to give the perception of influence. After all, Twitter’s recent purge of suspicious accounts sent some individuals’ follower count into a landslide.

However, the potential is there to validate and build relationships with relevant, experienced individuals—inside or outside your organization; broad expertise and niche knowledge; large or intimate yet engaged followings—who have the ability and willingness to affect action.

Nurture Relationships Early & Often

At its core, influencer marketing is all about brands engaging and developing relationships with individuals—individuals who have relevant topical expertise, reach, and resonance that aligns with the goals of the brand.

But strong, lasting relationships aren’t built overnight. Some influencers are frequently tapped to participate in various projects. In addition, other more niche experts or rising stars may not be as experienced in content collaboration. So, as Lee says, you need to develop rapport with influencers early:

[bctt tweet="Grow your influencer network long before you need them. The day to create an army of influential advocates isn’t the first day of the war. Find common interests and develop rapport. - @leeodden" username="toprank"]

And your work shouldn’t stop after the first collaboration. You need to keep connections hot and mutually beneficial. In addition, for those more niche experts or rising stars, you can help them create more influence for themselves and your brand.

[bctt tweet="Work with an influencer, you’re friends for a day. Help someone become influential and they’re a friend for life. - @leeodden" username="toprank"]

Influencer Marketing 2.0 In Action

Prophix*—a leading provider of corporate performance management (CPM) software solutions—combined original research with influencer content to create crush-worthy content marketing force.

With an interactive quiz, with influencer micro-content featured throughout, serving as the anchor asset, additional tactics such as long-form influencer interviews, email marketing, and more, rounded out this campaign.

The results? In the first 45 days, the anchor asset landing page garnered a view rate six-times higher than the benchmark for a similar resource. It was also the fourth most trafficked page—behind the Home, About Us, and Privacy pages.

Prophix Crush It Interactive Quiz

Entice Participation By Showcasing Value

Whether you’ve cultivated warm relationships or you’re hoping to go beyond social engagement with the first collaboration ask, your success in securing their partnership is grounded in showcasing the mutual value proposition.

Some thought leaders want to bolster or grow their influence, while others simply want to create something their proud of (or their bosses can take pride in). Regardless, be transparent, make sure your ask is relevant, and lead with the value.

Invite influencers to make something together that drives the influencer’s objectives, while at the same time, fuels brand objectives. - @leeodden

Specifically, when it comes to colder relationships, don’t ask too much too soon.

[bctt tweet="Be thoughtful about how you ask and how you reward when working with influencers. - @leeodden" username="toprank"]

Make Amplification Natural & Easy

There are obvious business benefits to working with influencers. Not only do they lend authority and credibility to your content and brand, but they also hold the power to introduce you and your content to their audiences.

Once your co-created content is ready to be released into the wild, at a minimum, provide influencers with the messaging and visuals they need to easily promote on their channels. In addition, make sure the final product lives up to its full potential. Regardless of their intentions for participating, if they’re going to share content with their followings, they need to be proud of it.

[bctt tweet="If they care, they’ll share. - @leeodden" username="toprank"]

Influencer Marketing 2.0 In Action

There are few better examples of this principle in action than SAP's* interactive microsite designed to help launch their Leonardo platform. Thirty-two influencers were engaged to share their insights on digital innovation topics from blockchain to machine learning.

The content experience was so compelling for the influencers that the share rate was 100%. In fact, several influencers shared multiple times. The content experience was engaging for the audience, too—the microsite had over 21 million social impressions.

SAP Leonardo Interactive Microsite

Put Wisdom Into Action

Whether you love, hate, or question the potential of influencer marketing, it’s undoubtedly on the rise. It’s enjoyed a couple years of big hype, but now is the time to decide if it should be a trusted part of your integrated marketing strategy.

Use these guiding principles and snackable quotes from a pioneer of the craft to help you define what influence means to your brand, and opportunities for collaboration and co-creation.

Speaking of quotes, as the “Prince of Preachers,” Charles Spurgeon said: “Wisdom is the right use of knowledge.”

So, go forth and put your newfound influencer marketing wisdom into action.

Remember how we said that influencers add credibility to your content? Learn how three brands co-created more credible content to drive awareness, engagement, and action.

If you still want more influencer marketing insight, join Lee along with TopRank Marketing Digital Strategy Director, Ashley Zeckman, at their CMWorld sessions to learn how influencer marketing can grow your business. Get the details here.

*Disclaimer: DivvyHQ, Prophix, and SAP are TopRank Marketing clients.

The post Words of Wisdom: Lee Odden’s Top 9 Insights on How to Succeed at Influencer Marketing 2.0 appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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How to Create an Effective Facebook Ad Retargeting Funnel

Want to improve your Facebook retargeting campaigns? Wondering how to build a Facebook ad funnel that saves you time and effort? In this article, you’ll discover how to build a Facebook ad funnel that retargets users with multiple ads over a substantial time period. About Facebook Retargeting and Ad Fatigue Most businesses have relatively small [...]

The post How to Create an Effective Facebook Ad Retargeting Funnel appeared first on Social Media Examiner.

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AMP: The Easiest Way to Build Lightning-Fast Mobile Pages is Almost Here

This year Google's got a need for speed. They've made pagespeed an official mobile ranking factor, and support the AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) project. See what this means for you, and how to start building faster pages.

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50 Content Promotion Tactics to Help Your Great Content Get Amazing Exposure

You’ve just launched a gorgeous campaign with all the design bells and whistles. The copywriting is art and the experience intoxicating—so say your design and content team. The day of launch has everyone excited. The marketing team smells a win at Cannes Lions and the sales team anticipates Glengarry-level leads. But wait, what’s that? Nothing? [...]

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