Home / 2019 / January

Monthly Archives: January 2019

10 Things You’ll Only Understand If You’re a Domain Name Junkie

It’s an addiction like any other. Ten or twenty bucks will scratch that itch, but the high never lasts, and before long you’re craving the next hit. And the worst part? Nobody understands. Except just maybe a fellow addict… “Hello. My name is Glen, and I’m a domain name junkie. My last domain purchase was(...)

The post 10 Things You’ll Only Understand If You’re a Domain Name Junkie appeared first on Smart Blogger.

Read More »

Measure for Success: 7 Secrets of Actionable Content Marketing Dashboards

Elements of an Actionable Content Marketing Dashboard

Elements of an Actionable Content Marketing Dashboard

Hey, content marketers. Imagine this: You’re sitting in a marketing meeting and you hear the following:

  • Our conversions are up 50% year-over-year!
  • Our blog traffic is down.
  • We saw a big spike in traffic this month to our primary service page!
  • Our bounce rate is all over the place.
  • This blog post about “X” had 2,000 page views last month!

What are the first thoughts that come to mind? For many, the first thought would likely be: Why? Followed by a: Is that good or bad? And then finally: What do we need to do next?

If you’ve ever experienced a similar scenario, you’ve come face-to-face with insight famine. The statements above simply relay data points and lack the insight needed to take any sort of action. And this is why an actionable content marketing dashboard is so incredibly important.

When properly set up, an actionable dashboard marries data and insight, helping you quickly see how you’re performing against your benchmarks, goals, and key performance indicators (KPIs), and where you have opportunities to improve results or need to dig deeper.

What makes a dashboard actionable? What key data and insight elements should be included? Let’s dig in.

What Makes a Marketing Dashboard Actionable?

For a content marketing dashboard to be actionable, it has to answer two simple questions:

  • Is what we’re doing working?
  • Why is it (or is it not) working?

In order to answer those questions, there are specific metrics to include based on your overall objectives. For example, if your objective is to drive qualified leads for your sales team, you might measure the amount of inquiries that resulted from a piece of content, how many of those inquiries turned into MQLs, then SQLs, then ultimately customers.

If you apply those metrics to each piece of content, you’ll quickly see which content is hitting the mark, and what needs to be adjusted. And if your objective varies by topic cluster or funnel stage, you’ll need different sets of KPIs for each.

7 Essential Elements of an Actionable Marketing Dashboard

So, how do we answer those two simple questions posed above? There are several key components to consider including in your dashboard:

#1 - Content Benchmarks

Benchmarks are essential for understanding how different types of content have performed on average over a specific period of time. Your benchmarks can and should be different based on the content type and its objective.

For example, a top-of-funnel blog post meant to drive traffic will have a different benchmark than a middle-funnel infographic meant to engage. By keeping these front-and center in your marketing dashboard, you can compare at-a-glance.

#2 - Goals

More than likely your goals are to beat your benchmarks every single time. But it’s important to document your goals so you can gauge success. By adding your goals to your marketing dashboard, you can quickly determine whether you’re on pace to hit your goal and if you’ve been able to surpass it.

And ultimately, keeping that data within your dashboard will help you course-correct where needed and celebrate wins as they occur.

#3 - Real-Time KPI Monitoring

Depending on your objective for the content you’re creating, there could be any number of KPIs to watch. Automating those reports in a dashboard will help you report to your internal team and leadership in an easily consumable way.

For example, if your KPIs are pageviews and asset downloads for a specific campaign, pull those into an executive summary that’s easy to digest with an option to drill down into more specific sources of traffic and conversions.

#4 - Traffic Trends

While measuring specific pieces of content is helpful to enhance performance, it’s important to keep your eyes on overall performance as well. Knowing whether overall website or blog traffic is trending up or down versus the previous year or month will help you inform the types of content you need to create next.

For example, if you notice your organic traffic is trending down month-over-month, you will want to dig into your content report to determine why that is and what needs to be done to repair the situation on a more granular level.

#5 - Performance by Topic and Persona

If you’re trying to reach a specific persona, or increase visibility around an important topic, segmenting your data within a dashboard can be hugely valuable. You’ll be able to tell if your content is more or less visible for your target, or if your content marketing strategy needs to shift to meet a different type of demand for that topic.

#6 - Engagement Metrics

All of the traffic in the world won’t mean a thing if would-be customers are bouncing off your site immediately. Make sure you’re monitoring your bounce rate and time-on-page for each post to determine if the content is resonating and adjust as needed. While these are often bucketed as vanity metrics, that doesn’t mean they can’t provide meaningful insight or should be forgotten.

#7 - Proof of ROI

To be fully actionable, integrate your sales team’s data sources into your dashboard. With the right analytics strategy, you can pull in performance by page or post from visit to sale. This will help you prove the value of your content, and understand which kind of content converts the prospects you’re looking for.

As a bonus, your sales team will be able to share that kind of converting content as a follow-up from an initial meeting or as a pre-meeting email with their prospects.

Take Action to Spur Action

An actionable content marketing dashboard is a pivotal piece to a data-informed content marketing strategy. If your data is accurate and your dashboard is actionable, you’re in the right place to start creating and marketing incredible content that has proven ROI and helps your sales team meet their goals. Talk about a win-win!

And before I go, I’d like to leave you with a few rules for measurement mastery:

  • Setting up a custom and integrated dashboard takes time and patience. You may set it up in one way and realize that the KPIs and metrics you have aren’t the ones you need, and that’s okay. Looking at the data in different ways can tell you different parts of the same story. Edits aren’t rework, they’re character development.
  • Don’t be afraid to spend some quality time with your data. As you create the dashboard, it’s important to dig in and manipulate data from different sources to understand how it’s best pulled in to complement the rest of your data set. Sometimes this means changing the way you have forms or tags set up. The more time you spend digging into data up front and understanding the finer points, the better equipped you’ll be to answer questions and provide insights into remaining questions.
  • If you find yourself asking why, look deeper. Sometimes you’ll put all the data together expecting answers, and you’ll encounter more questions. Questions are good, it means the data is telling you something you need to investigate. Don’t be afraid to dig deep, and ask other departments or SMEs for their perspective.
  • Always, always, always annotate. Did you run a really great campaign that showed a spike in traffic or conversions? Make an annotation. Did you lose tracking for a little while? Make an annotation. Did you implement some major website changes, or do a migration? Make an annotation. Those kinds of anomalies in the data seem major at the time, but easily get lost in the day-to-day management of your world. Annotations will save you from having to dig into your notes, emails or previous campaign data every time it pops up in a report.

Don’t forget: You can’t achieve goals you don’t set. And you can’t optimize performance without measurement. Your content marketing dashboard can hold you accountable to both and more.

Are data challenges holding your content marketing dashboard or other initiatives back? Check out our post covering the five top marketing data and analytics challenges, complete with tips to start solving them.

The post Measure for Success: 7 Secrets of Actionable Content Marketing Dashboards appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

Read More »

How to Organize Social Media Marketing Tasks: 3 Tools

Do you need to bring some organization to your social media workflow? Looking for tools to help? In this article, you’ll discover three tools to help you better organize social media posting, monitoring, and campaign execution tasks. #1: Plan Your Social Media Schedule With ContentCal One of the biggest challenges for multi-platform social media managers […]

The post How to Organize Social Media Marketing Tasks: 3 Tools appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

Read More »

Changing the Marketing Team: The Journey: Season 2, Episode 19

Are you doing too much yourself? Then watch The Journey, Social Media Examiner’s episodic video documentary that shows you what really happens inside a growing business. Watch the Journey This episode of The Journey explores how Social Media Examiner’s Michael Stelzner begins the search for someone to replace himself as the head of marketing. It also […]

The post Changing the Marketing Team: The Journey: Season 2, Episode 19 appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

Read More »

The Best Landing Page Designs to Inspire Your Next Layout

Stunning landing page design can be more important than you think. Today we've rounded up inspiring examples of really beautiful Unbounce customer landing pages that use design to drive conversions.

Read More »

How to build your social media marketing strategy for 2019

Do you have your social media marketing strategy squared away for 2019? If not, we don’t blame you. Because 2018 was a whirlwind year Read more...

This post How to build your social media marketing strategy for 2019 originally appeared on Sprout Social.

Read More »

Content Marketing Gold Rush: How to Unearth Content Gold at Marketing Industry Events

The promise of professional growth. The excitement of striking new connections. The anticipation of hearing and learning from industry legends and up-and-comers. The marketing industry conference and event circuit is an absolute gold mine of opportunity.

What’s one of our favorite ways to strike-it-rich at any industry event? Panning for content gold.


The content marketing gold rush that started roughly a decade ago has content marketers stamping, picking, drilling, and grinding away at content creation so they can break-ground with their audience and fend off the competition. And industry events can be boomtowns, not only allowing you to make the most of your time, budget, and resources—but also ideate, create, amplify, and repurpose compelling content that will resonate with your audiences.

How do you uncover golden content nuggets at industry events? Let’s dig in.

Before the Rush, Put Your Pre-Prospector’s Hat On

Before rushing to golden conference lands, it's critical to pre-prospect your mission to ensure you have the right information, focus, and tools to unearth content opportunities.

Some of the actions to take here include:

  • Dig up event-related hashtags so you can keep track of what’s happening before, during, and after the event, as well as engage with speakers and attendees. Pay close attention to specific themes or topics being shared. This can be the start of content ideation.
  • Strike a connection with speakers, presenters, and attendees on social media and start to engage with them. This could not only help you land some new friends before the event, but also lay the foundation for amplifying the event-inspired content you create.
  • Survey the schedule of events and pre-select the digging fields (e.g. keynote addresses and breakout sessions) you want to go to. Pay special attention to sessions that have the most promise for helping you grow as a marketer—not simply create content. If a session has the potential to inspire you, it’s likely that you’ll be able to parlay that into great content for your audience, whether they’re fellow marketers or chief technology officers.

Read: 12 Helpful Tips for Effectively Using Social Media at Events

Bonus Nugget

If you thought content gold could only be found when you’re physically at the event, that’s fools gold. Pre-event content creation is a golden opportunity for any marketer.

“Reach out to the conference organizer, sponsors or speakers at the event that represent topics and brands of interest to your community to do pre-conference interviews,” Lee Odden, TopRank Marketing’s CEO and a seasoned conference speaker and prospector, suggests. “A series of interviews can be branded with a common theme and header image to let readers know there’s a connection to a conference.”

The key here? Choosing speakers that align to the topics and brands of interest to your unique community.

[bctt tweet="Tip for creating #ContentGold around industry events: Reach out to organizers, sponsors, or speakers that represent topics and brands of interest to your community to do pre-conference interviews. @leeodden" username="toprank"]

Once You Arrive, Stake Your Claim

You’ve arrived in the land of golden content opportunity. You have your content prospecting plan in place. Now it’s time to sharpen your marketing pickaxe and start digging up the field. This is where you stake your content claim.

To break-ground on content mining and creation, we suggest that you:

  • Get to your digging fields early to get a primo spot. This will ensure you can clearly hear and see the presentation, and give you a better photo opportunity. All of this is critical for creating content on the fly.
  • Leverage flakes of speaker and presenter insights to create content gold in real-time. Whether you’re live-blogging or live-tweeting, keep an ear out for inspiring quotes and insights that you can share quickly with your audience. (If you’ve done your pre-prospecting diligence, it should be easy to mention/tag speakers in your social media posts. This will add credibility and make it easier for speakers to engage with and amplify your content.)
  • Participate in Q&A sessions to extract nuggets of insight that can enhance your content. Most speakers try to leave time at the end for audience questions. Use this as an opportunity to ask a specific question that can not only add more depth to your content, but also something that your audience would truly want to know.

Read: 10 Conference Hacks to Help You Crush Marketing Event Attendance

Bonus Nugget

Whether you missed your opportunity to ask a burning question or you’re interested in some one-on-one time with a speaker, take the time before or after their session to introduce yourself. You may just strike gold.

“Many speakers will also share their slides with you (if you ask nicely), which can be a fantastic resource for live blogging or taking information back to your team,” Ashley Zeckman, TopRank Marketing’s Senior Director of Digital Strategy, speaker, and seasoned live-blogger, shares.

[bctt tweet="Tip for striking #ContentGold at industry events: Many speakers will share their slides with you if you ask nicely, so don’t be shy. @azeckman #ContentMarketing" username="toprank"]

Once the Rush is Over, Take Your Content to Repurposing Boomtown

Think that content gold isn’t possible after a conference has panned out? Guess again. Gold fever can strike again. How? Repurposing.

For starters:

  • Those quotable moments you pushed out via Twitter? Roundup up your favorites and repackage them as a conference wrap-up post. Or leverage one quote that directly speaks to a pain-point, attitude, or question your target audience can identify with, and build almost net-new content around it.
  • That one-on-one question you asked a speaker? Share it out on your social networks and ask for your audience to weigh in, too. (Oh, and then, leverage that UGC for another blog post or two.)
  • Those photos you took? Bring them to life by putting them into a video slideshow and sharing with your network.
  • Those interesting topics or common themes that arose during your networking interactions or learning sessions? Run them through your editorial process to determine whether they’re a fit for your audience, opportunities, and objectives.

Read: 12 Ways to Crush the Competition With Content From Events

Bonus Nugget

Whether you feel a conference produced dust, flakes, or enormous golden content nuggets, don’t underestimate the value of the content that you have gathered.

As I recently shared in a post (which coincidentally covered how to repurpose content marketing leftovers … and was inspired by another piece on repurposed content cobbler, which happened to feature one of my favorite conference quotes from Jay Acunzo):

“All content—fresh or seemingly expired—has the potential to be carved into something new and fresh.”

See. Content gold right there.

[bctt tweet="All content—fresh or seemingly expired—has the potential to be carved into something new and fresh. @CaitlinMBurgess #ContentMarketing #ContentGold" username="toprank"]

Strike Content Gold at Your Next Event

Seasoned content marketing writer or not, industry conferences and events are golden content ideation, creation, amplification, and repurposing opportunities for every marketer.

So, as you saddle up for your next conference, remember that content gold awaits you—if you’re willing to claim it.

Speaking of conferences? TopRank Marketing’s next stop is B2B Marketing Exchange from Feb. 25-27, 2019 in sunny Scottsdale, AZ. Our own Lee Odden will lead a session on leveraging influencers and interactive content to take B2B content from boring to bold. In addition, myself and Ashley Zeckman will be on-hand to learn, connect, and, of course, create content gold.

Will we see you there? Tell us in the comments section below.

The post Content Marketing Gold Rush: How to Unearth Content Gold at Marketing Industry Events appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

Read More »

How to Use Facebook Premiere: What Marketers Need to Know

Do you want more views for your Facebook videos? Wondering how Facebook Premiere can help? In this article, you’ll learn how to schedule a Facebook premiere and find tips to help you better engage with your viewers. What Is Facebook Premiere? Facebook Premiere is a feature that allows you to upload and schedule pre-recorded videos […]

The post How to Use Facebook Premiere: What Marketers Need to Know appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

Read More »

Use this Research-backed Landing Page Template for Your Next Offer Page

We examined the patterns common among most landing page tests we’ve run that have achieved a business result. What we found was a series of common denominators that we then integrated in our offer page template.

The post Use this Research-backed Landing Page Template for Your Next Offer Page appeared first on MarketingExperiments.

Read More »

5 Examples of B2B Influencer Marketing to Inspire You in 2019

B2B Influencer Marketing Examples 2019

B2B Influencer Marketing Examples 2019

B2B brands don't have it easy when trying to attract, engage and persuade today's increasingly distracted and distrustful buyers. Many are experimenting with influencer marketing but results without an informed plan can be a mixed bag. Trust me, I know.

We've been experimenting heavily with B2B influencer marketing for over 6 years, partnering with hundreds of B2B influencers and B2B brands of all sizes while also learning a lesson or two.

Fast forward to today and we understand that for successful influencer marketing in the B2B world. Relationships are key, right along with shared values and some robust validation when it comes to topical relevance, ability to create and engage on-topic with an interested community.

Beyond simply collaborating with expert voices that have an audience in the hopes that the influencer will promote brand messages, successful B2B marketers are seeing value across the entire customer lifecycle. Influencer engagement creates mutual value for both brand and influencer as well as for customers. From building brand trust to helping to humanize a brand, the value of influencer relationships is much broader than most B2B marketers realize.

We've learned many lessons about working with B2B brands on influencer content programs ranging from Dell to SAP and more than anything, we've realized the value of learning through examples. That's why I've put together this collection of 5 B2B influencer marketing program examples from brands that TopRank Marketing is working with to help you visualize ways to make your influencer marketing efforts more impactful and meaningful.

Dell Luminaries

Dell Luminaries - Led by Dr. Konnie Alex, Head of B2B Influencer Relations at Dell Technologies has launched an influencer hosted business podcast called Luminaries that features conversations with technology visionaries and the very human face of innovation. Influencer hosts Mark Schaefer & Doug Karr are "phenomenal digital storytellers and bring the outside-in view into every episode, every conversation with every guest with a deep commitment to and appreciation of our combined audiences."

Beyond the podcast, Dell works with influencers like Tamara McCleary, Daniel Newman and Oliver Christie to author blog posts, do interviews on podcasts, attend Dell events and engage in briefings with Dell subject matter experts.

What's inspiring about this program is that Dell has successfully been able to simultaneously develop solid relationships with a core group of influencers for a variety of content collaboration opportunities on an ongoing basis as well as partner with two key industry influencers to highlight internal Dell subject matter experts (internal influencers) from across the different companies that make up Dell Technologies. Dell is effectively benefitting from influencers and creating influencers at the same time - all while creating value for their customers.

Employee Experience

SAP App Center - The SAP App Center is a hub for 3rd party applications that integrate with SAP solutions. While functional, SAP realized there was an opportunity to better attract and engage an audience looking for applications as solutions by developing more robust, credible content that would be easy to find through search.

To make SAP App Center topics of focus become "the best answer" for customers, robust Power Pages including The SAP Guide to Employee Well-BeingThe SAP Guide to Employee Experience, and The SAP Guide to Talent Acquisition were created incorporating SEO keyword research, SAP domain expertise and topically relevant influencer contributions.

Attraction objectives were reached through improved search visibility on topics that aligned with influencer expertise, social promotion by brand and influencers and link optimization. Engagement objectives were achieved with more robust, "best answer" content optimized for credibility with influencer experts and optimized link placement from the Power Pages to solutions content.

What's inspiring about this program is the effort to understand demand from the buying audience through keyword research which helped inform both relevant content creation and influencer engagement. Influencers added credibility and amplification as well as SEO relevance to content intended to deliver answers for customers that were actively looking - thereby attracting and engaging an audience that is further along in the sales journey.


Science Champions Podcast 3M

3M Science Champions - With the objective of making science accessible to the everyday person, 3M launched the State of Science Index research report in connection with the Science Champions podcast hosted by 3M Chief Science Advocate, Jayshree Seth. As one of 3M's first podcast series, the first season featured 21 science experts/influencers discussing a variety of science-related topics ranging from an introduction to science to science in everyday life to careers in science. The number of listens/downloads per episode far exceeded expectations and the podcast will return with season 2 in 2019.

What's inspiring about this program is that 3M was able to take a data-rich research report and humanize topics by connecting them to real people with expertise in the field. By featuring an internal influencer as the host, 3M was able to facilitate natural discussions around the topic of science in a way that achieves the objective of making science accessible to non-scientists while also honoring 3M brand expertise. Publishing through a conversation in podcast format also effectively supported distribution and engagement goals.

AI Finance

Prophix: AI & the Next Evolution of Finance - As a provider of Corporate Performance Management software, Prophix wanted to empower their customer audience, finance leaders, with insights on future technologies like Artificial intelligence affecting their industry. Prophix went beyond engaging with influencers to co-create useful content on the desired topic. An interactive microsite was created using a common application of AI, a simulated voice assistant. In the spirit of Siri and Alexa, this voice assistant named Penny served as host to expertise from a group of influencers in AI and machine learning as well as the office of finance.

Experts including Oliver Christie and Christoper Penn provided insight on how to plan for industry changes and embrace AI with an opportunity to further explore the topic with a worksheet download: The CFOs guide to AI and Machine Learning in Finance. The combination of interactive experience, voice and text content, relevant finance and AI influencers plus brand thought leadership resulted in a record-setting engagement.

What's inspiring about this program is that Prophix was willing to create a relevant and credible interactive content experience that was not only new to their marketing mix but new to their industry. The microsite featuring top industry influencers and Penny, the simulated voice assistant, continues to attract and engage customers plus the Prophix Sales team is using the microsite as a tool for engaging with prospective customers.

Cybersecurity Intelligence Report

Oracle Dyn - Known for world-class managed DNS services, Oracle Dyn wanted to create awareness and authority for their Web Application Security solutions focused on bot management and mitigation services.

To create awareness and credibility for this new cybersecurity capability, internal subject matter experts and relevant industry influencers including Eric Vanderburg and Kevin L. Jackson with authority in the cybersecurity space were engaged to collaborate on The Cybersecurity Intelligence Report: Bot Management and Mitigation.

In addition to adding credibility to the campaign content and Oracle Dyn brand, influencer shares were combined with a comprehensive promotional strategy to help Oracle Dyn's bot management and mitigation services expertise reach the desired audiences. In the first 60 days, program goals were exceeded substantially.

What's inspiring about this program is that Oracle Dyn was able to reach credibility and reach objectives on a topic they were not known for, bot management and mitigation services, by combining their internal subject matter experts with relevant industry influencers. The relevance of this connection was so great that 100% of engaged influencers helped promote the report.

Whether you're a CMO thinking about how to grow brand trust and authority in the marketplace, a marketing director seeking a way to break free of boring B2B with an interactive microsite featuring influencers like Prophix or a VP of PR wanting to implement a thought leadership podcast like 3M and Dell have done, it's clear that an influencer content program can be a powerful force in your B2B marketing mix.

The post 5 Examples of B2B Influencer Marketing to Inspire You in 2019 appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

Read More »