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Q1’s a Wrap, B2B Marketers: Where We’ve Been & What’s Next in 2019

Q1 Digital Marketing Recap

Q1 Digital Marketing Recap

We made it, B2B marketers. Spring is finally in the air and Quarter 1 is officially a wrap. Take a moment to bask in your individual, team, and business successes—you earned it.

As is tradition, in just a few short months the digital marketing industry has experienced some newsworthy shifts—from a big Google algorithm update in March to a host of new targeting and advertising features across several platforms.

To build on the Q1 successes we just celebrated—and take full advantage of new opportunities—let’s take a look back at what 2019 has gifted us so far.

What’s new and worth paying attention to? What opportunities and challenges have arisen? And what do we all need to keep in mind as we move into and beyond Q2? Let’s dive in.

The Digital Marketing Sights and Sounds of Q1

When It Comes to Digital Marketing Spend …

CMOs are continuing to diversify their budgets to adapt to new trends, take advantage of opportunities, and overcome challenges. According to Forrester, CMOs will spend nearly $150 billion by 2023 on search marketing, banner and outstream advertising, instream advertising, and email marketing in the United States. However:

  • Paid search is expected to lose share to shopping and voice search;
  • Programmatic banner buys will retrench;
  • Television innovation will likely drive more instream growth;
  • And email will “woo B2B adopters.”

Should you do a complete overhaul on your budget allocations? No. But it’s worth taking a deeper look at the market conditions (e.g. increasing use of home assistants) that are driving these trends—and looking at your historical performance data to see if you can find opportunities or correlations with rising trends.


What Else?

  • As the B2B buyer’s journey becomes increasingly similar to that of its B2C counterpart, the B2B e-commerce market is expanding rapidly—and expected to reach $1.8 trillion in 2023. (Demand Gen Report)
  • B2B brands are feeling the pressure to take a stand on values, as a new study reveals that 8 in 10 business leaders would end a business relationship based on the vendor’s failure to address high-stakes communications like data security. (Marketing Dive)

When It Comes to Search Marketing …

While Google always draws plenty of news coverage, it’s recent core update was a big attention grabber. According to Search Engine Journal, it was “one of the biggest updates in years,” focusing not on any particular signal or niche, but to make overall improvements.

In addition, mobile continues to be an area worthy of marketers’ attention for a couple reasons:

Mobile web traffic is dominating the search landscape, with Google releasing its first mobile-first indexing update last year and indicating that mobile-first will be an ongoing focus. As a result, this should be an ongoing focus in Q2 and beyond.

Beyond the search implications, mobile is essential to connecting and creating amazing experiences. In fact, according to a new Adobe* survey of 1,000 adult smartphone owners:

  • 89% of respondents agreed strongly that they need a device while on the go, while one-fifth of respondents said that they cannot live without their devices.
  • 50% of respondents said the ad offers they receive are just “OK.”
  • Less than 20% of respondents said the offers they receive are relevant.

The takeaway? Creating quality experiences—across platforms and devices—is only growing in importance, even for B2B marketers. This is not a passing fad, it’s the new era of business.

[bctt tweet="Creating quality experiences—across platforms and devices—is only growing in importance, even for B2B marketers. @CaitlinMBurgess" username="toprank"]

What Else?

  • Updates to Google My Business now gives business owners the opportunity to share service areas and information via Google Maps and Search. (Google)
  • In addition, business owners can now respond to reviews via Google Maps on desktop. (Search Engine Roundtable)
  • Bing began piloting Custom Audiences, which would enable marketers to remarket customized messages to each customer segment (Search Engine Land)
  • Nielsen and Google announced a new partnership for mobile ad measurement. (Fast Company)

When It Comes to Content Marketing …

Content is the beating heart of digital marketing strategies. And Backlinko, with the help of their data partner BuzzSumo, recently analyzed 912 million blog posts to understand the current state of content marketing. Some interesting findings include:

  • Long-form content gets an average of 77.2% more links than short articles.
  • When it comes to social shares, longer content outperforms short blog posts. However, for articles that exceed 2,000 words, return diminishes.
  • Question headlines get 23.3% more social shares than headlines that don’t end with a question mark.
  • “Why” and “what” posts, as well as infographics, received 25.8% more links compared to videos and “How-to” posts.

For us, this reinforces the core principle of our approach to content marketing: Striving to be the best answer.

Your customers, prospects, and target audience are searching for answers—the best answers. They want in-depth, relevant content that makes it easy for them to gain insight and make decisions. This requires a thoughtful narrative, not just all the words. This should be top-of-mind for all marketers moving forward.

[bctt tweet="Your customers, prospects, and target audience are searching for answers—the best answers. This requires a thoughtful narrative, not just all the words. @CaitlinMBurgess" username="toprank"]

Read more on this topic:

What Else?

  • The 2019 Edelman-LinkedIn B2B Thought Leadership Impact Study is out. It’s findings? Thought leadership content influencers the majority of buyers, but only if it’s done right. (Edelman)

When It Comes to Social Media …

We predicted that 2019 would bring a new age of “Stories-telling” on social media. Simply put, Facebook Stories for Pages and Instagram Stories have offered brands a new medium and style for reaching their audience.

And some cool stuff happened on this front in Q1. Most notably, Facebook confirmed in mid-March that it was testing a new feature that would let Pages archive and share Stories.

Why is this a big deal? Because it would allow users to help expand the organic reach of a brand’s content beyond its followers, according to Search Engine Land. And in a time when organic reach and engagement on social is dwindling for brands, it’s worth considering whether the Stories format fits in with your business and marketing objectives, your audience, and so on.

Read more on this topic:

What Else?

  • LinkedIn* launched its live video platform in January, giving organizations the ability to broadcast in real-time to select groups or the LinkedIn community at large. (TechCrunch)
  • Facebook announced that it would be updating its ad reporting, replacing its singular relevancy score with three new metrics: Quality ranking, engagement rate ranking, and conversion rate ranking. (Search Engine Journal)
  • Twitter announced it was developing new tools to make it easier for publishers to understand what type of content is resonating with their readers. (TechCrunch)
  • To avoid data privacy issues and get paid for its data, Twitter announced that it will start requiring app developers to submit their app for review if that app calls recent tweets or mentions a user more than 100,000 times per day. (TechCrunch)
  • LinkedIn announced a new partnership with Adobe to improve ad targeting. (Social Media Today)

When It Comes to Influencer Marketing …

Adoption of B2B influencer marketing continued to rise in Q1. From enhancing trust and credibility to reaching new audiences, more B2B brands are beginning to understand the many benefits of forming mutually beneficial partnerships with influential voices.

Just last month, TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden outlined five B2B influencer marketing trends marketers need to pay attention to:

  • Micro and Macro Influencers. A lot of marketing press has emphasized micro or even “nano” influencers over celebrities. There’s merit to that. But successful programs map the right “big and small” influencers to the right content within the buying journey.
  • Centralizing Influencer Operations. Disparate processes and lack of coordination can create real problems. But centralizing influencer marketing operations can create opportunities across organizations.
  • Always-On Influencer Engagement. Early on, many B2B brands are campaign-focused when working with influencers. But more advanced marketers and brands are focused on developing relationships and fostering advocacy with influencer partners on an ongoing basis.
  • Focus on Quality vs. Quantity Metrics. From influencer identification to brand vs. popularity, there’s a big shift happening in the way qualitative metrics are used.
  • Influencer Marketing Software Investment. As organizations begin to implement influencer marketing initiatives across departments and businesses, coordination in identification, engagement, and measurement needs to be a priority. And specialized platforms can help.

What Else?

  • According to Buffer’s State of Social 2019 report, 37% of survey respondents—marketers from across a wide range of industries—say their business has invested in influencer marketing. And 68% say their investment has been “somewhat” or “very” effective. (Buffer)

When It Comes to The TopRank Marketing Team …

We’ve been busy. And without going into too much detail, here’s just a quick recap of some of the team’s highlights:

We also added a special new member to our team: Laser Bear.


Get to know him more by checking out Lee’s post dedicated to “Breaking Free of Boring B2B."

Bye-Bye, Q1. Hello and Welcome, Q2.

To recap our recap, here are some core things to keep in mind as you move into Q2 and beyond:

  • As innovation accelerates and preferences changes, budgets are shifting. Don’t set and forget. Always be looking for opportunities to refine and optimize.
  • Mobile-first is the new mantra for improving performance and experiences.
  • Best-answer content will continue to rule as buyers continue to guide their own search for solutions and inspiration.
  • Social offerings are evolving in a way that benefits B2B brands. But before you jump in, do your due diligence to ensure you’re making an informed and strategic bet.
  • As more B2B brands adopt influencer marketing, sophistication is growing (and so is the competition).

B2B marketers, we wish you all the best in Q2 and beyond. Keep up with the latest industry news, trends, and opportunities by tuning in each week for our Digital Marketing News Roundup, with highlights and video commentary from Tiffani Allen and Joshua Nite.

*Disclosure: LinkedIn and Adobe are TopRank Marketing clients.

The post Q1’s a Wrap, B2B Marketers: Where We’ve Been & What’s Next in 2019 appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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How To Choose the Right Ad Platform for Your Business

When you're just starting out, it can be a struggle to find simple advice about where you should be advertising your business online. ParaCore's Adam Arkfield discusses what counts when selecting ad platforms to grow your business.

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B2B Marketers, Are Your Content Marketing Efforts Sparking Joy for Your Audience?

How to Spark Audience Joy with Your Content

How to Spark Audience Joy with Your Content

Best-selling author, tidying expert, and star of a massively successful Netflix show, Marie Kondo, is really on to something. Her simple yet effective tidying method is brilliant, but what it stands for is what’s truly inspiring.

All over the world, people are asking themselves a simple yet powerful question: Does it spark joy?


But be honest, B2B marketers: When’s the last time you stopped to consider whether your marketing efforts were sparking joy for your audience? (Was it before, during, or after you dropped your latest white paper?)

Joy is a powerful emotion—it signals happiness, triumph, and exuberance. And in a time where delivering amazing, personalized experiences to our buyers is the new bar, we need to commit to delighting our audience throughout their journey. When we do this, we not only give them what they want and need, but we can also build a stronger connection with our brands.

So, what does it take to spark joy? How do you delight your buyers throughout their journey? Here are a few top tips and considerations.

Don’t Make Them Wait for Joy

As much as it pains me to say, your audience isn’t hanging on your every word. In a study of their own content, CoSchedule found that only 10-20% of their readers made it to the bottom of the post. Many readers never made it past 20-30% of the way through the post.


Delight your audience by getting to the point, making it easy for them to capture inspiration and insight early on. As Chris Brogan recently said at Social Media Marketing World 2019:

“The average human reads only 19 minutes a day. That includes texts, emails, and BuzzFeed articles. They’re not going to read your 2,000-word missive. You can’t write your content like it’s a murder mystery and reveal the butler did it on the last page. Get the story into the first paragraph.”

Look to your own online-reading experiences to give you some perspective here. Odds are, you often skim articles and blogs for the nuggets of information you’re looking for. So, don’t let your content hide those nuggets away.

And that’s not to say that you can’t provide a little mystery or intrigue. Your goal should always be to pull your reader through to the end. The real point here is to give them a reason to keep reading.

Empathize By Humanizing Your Brand

Your customers, prospects, and target buyers are real people. They want transparency and authenticity from the brands they do business with both professionally and personally. They want to work with brands they feel like they know and trust. For marketers, that means connecting on a human level.

One way? Make your audience laugh.

Laughter reportedly boosts the immune system, relaxes the body, protects the heart, and triggers the release of endorphins. And as longtime marketer and comedian Tim Washer has pointed out: When we can make someone laugh, we make an intimate connection; we show them that we understand their point of view.

“Comedy is the most powerful way to humanize a brand because it demonstrates empathy,” Tim told us in an interview. “Let’s face it, a lot of true comedy comes from pain. So, when we can come out and touch on a customer pain point, we show them that we understand their point of view. When we do something that is self-deprecating, when we look vulnerable, and when we let our guard down a little bit that’s when we make a connection.”

[bctt tweet="Comedy is the most powerful way to humanize a brand because it demonstrates empathy. @timwasher #B2BContentMarketing" username="toprank"]

So, tell a joke, share a personal story, make a pun, share a meme that has relevance and resonance for your audience. It will delight them to know they’re understood.

Another way? Connect them with the insights of the people they know, think they know, and trust.

Couple general distrust with historical skepticism of marketing and advertising messages, and it’s more imperative than ever for B2B marketers to focus on building trust and credibility with buyers and prospects. Partnering with influential voices and industry thought leaders can help you do just that.

As Rani Mani, Head of Social Influencer Enablement at Adobe, recently shared with us:

“The main benefit is that influencers humanize a brand and capture the personality behind the logo. Additionally, influencers raise brand awareness and engagement by giving companies access to an audience they may not otherwise have through a trusted and credible source.”

[bctt tweet="Influencers humanize a brand and capture the personality behind the logo. @ranimani0707 #B2BInfluencerMarketing" username="toprank"]

Give Them Something to Delight Their Senses

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. But so much B2B content is still text-based today. Pictures, gifs, videos, charts, and other visual aids can not only grab attention, but they can also help you communicate ideas. In fact, visuals communicate those ideas more effectively than text-only content, according to eLearning Industry:

  • Visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text
  • 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual
  • The human eye can register 36,000 visual messages every hour

All that said, we’d suggest kicking it up another notch to provide joy-worthy experiences. How? With interactive and/or mixed media content. Why? Interactive content is more engaging that static content for the long-term, offering potential drive results at every stage of the funnel. Need an example? Look no further than a "Break Free of Boring B2B" gem that’s affectionately being called “Laser Bear” around these parts.

It’s fun. It’s bold. It’s insightful thanks to the several industry thought leaders who contributed. And it allows the reader to choose their own content consumption adventure.

Click Here to see the Break Free from Boring B2B Guide in Full Screen Mode

Plus, it was paired with a fun teaser trailer to bring the fun to other platforms.


Become an Advocate With Best Answer Content

Your audience has questions. And you have the opportunity to provide answers—the best answers.

“Great content answers questions and solves problems for your customers,” Amanda Todorovich, Senior Director of Content & Creative Services, Cleveland Clinic, has said. “When you do that—no matter what platform or format—it works and generates engagement every time.”

[bctt tweet="Great content answers questions and solves problems for your customers. @amandatodo #ContentMarketing" username="toprank"]

Use keyword research, CRM data, web analytics, crowd-sourcing, and other sources of customer insight to guide your content strategy. This ensures the topics you cover and questions you choose to answer are ones that your customers are actually seeking.

What does best-answer content look like? Our own CEO, Lee Odden, says best-answer content encompasses the following:

  • Specific, in-demand topic
  • More valuable and useful than other sites
  • Credible
  • High quality
  • Engaging
  • Device friendly, accessible
  • Fast

Spark Joy. Spark Audience Connections.

Your audience is hungry for information and connection that informs, engages, and inspires. They want to satisfy their queries, needs, and wants—they want joy. So give them something to be joyful about.


What else does it take to be the best answer? Read our guide to creating a Best-Answer Content Strategy.

The post B2B Marketers, Are Your Content Marketing Efforts Sparking Joy for Your Audience? appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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3 Analytics Tools That Help Measure Your Marketing Results

Need better ways to analyze your social activities? Looking for tools to prove your marketing efforts are working? In this article, you’ll find three tools to analyze and report on your social media marketing efforts. #1: Evaluate Keyword Mentions and Sentiment Awario is a social media monitoring and analytics tool that finds mentions of your […]

The post 3 Analytics Tools That Help Measure Your Marketing Results appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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If you’re familiar with #SproutSessions, you know it’s a free digital conference where we host a variety of marketing and social talent from your Read more...

This post The next era of social is about trust: Sprout Sessions Live kicks off with a real bang originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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How B2B Marketers Can Strategically Test New Digital Marketing Tactics

How to Strategically Test New B2B Marketing Tactics

How to Strategically Test New B2B Marketing Tactics

When it comes to testing new marketing tactics, B2B marketers often find themselves in one of two camps:

  1. Chasing the new, shiny object. (Their motto: Let’s innovate, innovate, innovate!)
  2. Maintaining the status quo. (Their motto: We don’t mess with what’s working.)

Whichever camp you currently find yourself in, chances are high that you’re intrigued by what the other has to offer. The chasers are fearless innovators who are eager to test any new platform, media type, or strategy—and the keepers of the status quo are methodical budget managers who have proven tactics and processes on lockdown.

However, we’d suggest finding a middle (camp)ground: Testing strategically. (Your motto: I test to add to my success.)

Our rationale is simple: Too much chasing can cause you to lose focus on winning tactics or switch gears without giving a new tactic the proper testing time. And maintaining your commitment “tried-and-true” isn’t wise in the evolving digital landscape; what works today may not work tomorrow. You need to regularly test strategically to keep up with the changing needs and preferences of your target audience.

Testing strategically will not only help you accurately measure the effectiveness of new tactics, but also ensure you aren’t blowing your budget (or your reputation) on an unsuccessful test.

Regardless to your current approach to testing, start with this six-step framework to give your team a rhythm and process for testing new B2B marketing tactics.  

A Six-Step Framework for Strategically Testing New B2B Marketing Tactics

Step 1: Follow the 80/20 Rule

Dedicate 80% of your marketing budget and resources to tactics you know work based on past performance and historical data and use the other 20% to place a SMART bet on something new.

This mix gives you enough budget to give your pilot a chance at success, but ensures you’re got the lion's share of your budget working for you to drive ROI. If you (or your boss) is a keeper of the status quo, this balance should help you both feel comfortable in the fact that you’ll have core tactics working for you.

But there’s an important thing to note here: Don’t assume that 20% of the budget will drive 20% of your results. Remember, this is a test, so use it to set a benchmark and set goals around that 80% driving 100% of your results. If you’re not able to do that, then it might make sense to look at a smaller testing budget or a different tactical mix.

Step 2: Document How Your Test Maps to Your Overall Strategy

Like any other tactic, a documented marketing strategy that maps into your overall strategy is key to the success of your pilot. The approach should include the objective(s), target audience, tactics, and KPIs that make sense for your business, industry, and so on.

Documenting your approach is a great time to check in and see if this is the right test for your brand. For example, while Instagram for B2B brands is a rising trend, if you’re looking to drive more leads, then it may not be the right tactic to test.

If you can, validate whether your target audience is using a new platform or consuming media in a new format. After all, tactics that work really well for some brands may fail for others because their target audience isn’t interacting in that space or in the same way.

In terms of goal setting, you may choose to use this test as a benchmark. Or you can elect to set goals based on a similar tactic or test you’ve run previously. Regardless of which road you take, document the decision as part of your approach. This will help set appropriate expectations with your team and help you better determine whether a tactic was successful.

[bctt tweet="If you’re testing a new marketing tactic, document everything. This will set expectations and help you measure success. @Alexis5484" username="toprank"]

Step 3: Research and Consult with an Expert

If you are testing a new tactic, in order to really understand the effectiveness, it’s important to have the best execution possible. For example, if you’re trying a new advertising platform, advice and case studies from experts can help guide your approach to setting up targeting, media types, messaging, and so on.

If you’re making a larger investment, consider partnering with an experienced agency or consultant. Agencies and consultants are typically the first to test new media types and tactics. For example, influencer marketing is rising in adoption in the B2B, but few brands have the bandwidth or the experience to build a successful campaign from scratch. However, an experienced B2B influencer marketing agency will have the expertise and connections can help you nail your pilot.

In addition, if you tested a tactic one or two years ago and determined it to be ineffective, do some research and consider testing again. Whether your target audience is slower to adopt new formats or refinements have taken place, you may be missing out on a new opportunity if you’re not open to all possibilities.

Read: 5 Key Trends in B2B Influencer Marketing Plus Critical Do’s and Don’ts

Step 4: Create a Plan of Attack

Right after you’ve documented your strategy, create a plan that includes the steps, timeline, communication channels, resources and milestones for launch, optimization, and measurement. It’s easy to miss steps when you’re testing something new. If the test is complex, get the team together to brainstorm process based on their expertise.

However, as detailed as your plan is, you’ll probably miss something. So, build in some flexibility in your timeline and a solid communication platform to ensure your team can adapt to the unexpected.

Step 5: Give Yourself Time to Optimize

Despite all your planning and research, there will almost certainly be opportunities to optimize and improve the performance of your pilot.

If you’ve ever launched a new blog, podcast, or social channel, you know it can take a while for performance to build. For any new destination, we’d recommend at least four to six months of testing.  During this time frame, you’re looking to:

  • Test within your test. Piloting video? Try different topics, formats (e.g. talking head, motion graphics, or live interviews), destinations, and promotional tactics.
  • Identify high-flyers. As you’re monitoring results, identify which variations and combinations work the best and do more of that.
  • Look for a steady improvement in performance. Typically, we recommend pulling the plug on a test if after two or three rounds of optimization if you see little or no improvement in performance.

Measuring and optimizing over time, will give you the most accurate measure of effectiveness of a test, and ensure you’re not passing on a potentially impactful tactic.

Step 6: Schedule a Retrospective

Retrospectives can be a really impactful tool when it comes to evaluating the effectiveness of a test. At the start of your test, schedule a retrospective based on your planned timing for wrap. Invite all key stakeholders who worked on or were impacted by the results of the test.

Plan to discuss:

  • Results: How did the results compare to goals or benchmarks? What variations worked best? What didn’t work?
  • Process: How was the workflow for planning, execution, reporting and optimization? What improvements can be made for this specific workflow?
  • Next Steps: Do you plan to continue this tactic? Try another test with new variations? Expand to another business line or team?

The retrospective can be an easy step to miss, especially if you’re already on to the next shiny object. It can be easy just to expand or close a test without much discussion. But it's an important step to share information with your entire team and apply learnings to your next test. It can also be an opportunity to iterate on your testing process.

[bctt tweet="Retrospectives can be a really impactful tool when it comes to evaluating the effectiveness of a #marketing test. @Alexis5484" username="toprank"]

Ready to Start Testing New Marketing Tactics?

We all know it’s important to keep evolving our digital mix, in order to continue to reach and nurture our prospects. Creating a framework for how you approach and execute on test will ensure you are able to truly measure the effectiveness of every test.

Don’t have the personal bandwidth, budget, or internal resources to test something new? Working with an agency that can adapt to your changing needs could be the ticket.

The post How B2B Marketers Can Strategically Test New Digital Marketing Tactics appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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The post How to Create Instagram Stories People Love to Watch appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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Hey Alexa: How Do I Bake Voice Search Into My B2B Marketing Strategy?

Voice Search & B2B Marketing Strategy

Voice Search & B2B Marketing Strategy

Can you imagine if we actually talked to one another the same way we’ve historically talked to search engines? It would make for some awkward interactions.

"Minneapolis movie showtimes."

"Um... come again?"

"Showtimes Captain Marvel 55441."

"Are you –"

"Movie showtimes cheapest theater arcade games. I'm feeling lucky."

"Sir, this is a Wendy's."

It’s only fitting I suppose that our adherence to Google’s robotic algorithms has, in turn, made us more robotic. Searchers became trained to speak in the engine’s keyword-driven language. Marketers crafted SEO strategies accordingly.

Today, the advent of voice search is making our conversations with search engines more… conversational. It’s not incidental that we activate this feature on our smartphones or voice assistants by addressing “Alexa” or “Siri” — this dynamic is very much intended to humanize the devices, which is a little creepy and dystopian if you think about it, but it’s best not to think about it.

In any event, this movement toward more conversational search aligns with a general focus on humanizing B2B brands. So let’s take a look at how marketers can adapt and thrive in the age of voice search.

Voice Search and B2B Marketing Strategy

In January, TopRank Marketing’s Associate Director of Search and Analytics Tiffani Allen outlined SEO predictions and trends for 2019, and voice search was of course one of the pillars.  

“In 2019 and beyond it will be increasingly important for marketers to optimize and create content that lends itself to voice search,” she wrote, pointing out that — according to Gartner projections — 30% of web browsing sessions will be done without a screen by next year. “From a technical perspective, the usual suspects of page speed, site security, and domain authority will play an important role here. But at the end of the day, it’s all about ensuring your site content can be easily found via voice search.”

So, beyond those mainstay technical aspects, how can we ensure our content is discoverable for the right people?

Fundamentally, the solution lies in best answer content. We recently discussed the ways in which a best answer SEO strategy lines up with voice search, because it compels us to understand the mindsets of searchers and speak their language. That post features a number of suggested methods for learning about the questions your customers are asking. Once you’ve completed this groundwork, it’s all about creating content that comprehensively answers those queries.

Beyond this overarching guideline, here a few specific items for B2B marketers to keep in mind when assessing their go-forward approach to voice search.

Think Mobile

The majority of voice searches come from mobile devices, increasing the emphasis on what should already be a central consideration. Research shows that some 50% of B2B queries come from smartphones, and Boston Consulting Group expects that figure to reach 70% by 2020.

Responsive design and lightning-quick load times will be the big difference-makers here. If you haven’t lately, we recommend working with an agency or your internal SEO and analytics team to conduct a full mobile audit for your website and any other key digital real estate.

Think Local

A significant portion of voice searches carry some level of location-based intent. This is often at odds with digitally oriented B2B brands, which tend to be less reliant on attracting physical customers and thus less likely to prioritize local search. But if you want to be visible (er — audible) in voice search results, it’s worth exploring ways you can invest in local content.

Think Vocal

This brings us back to the “best answer” imperative we mentioned earlier. When conceiving and creating content, do so with a literal question-and-answer format in mind, based on the research you’ve done to understand your audience’s top curiosities. And I mean really answering the questions, not just fulfilling the search query. Nearly every piece of content we generate should tie back to some particular question that might follow a “Hey Alexa…”

Google has been prioritizing semantic search ever since the Hummingbird update, so this is a consideration that extends beyond voice.

B2B Marketers: Find Your Voice

Even though one recent study suggests that the seemingly unstoppable momentum of voice search is slowing just a tad, there’s no question that it has become a sizable factor in customer journeys and will remain one going forward.

The good news is that optimizing your B2B content strategy for voice search doesn’t need to be a separate and distinct focus. Most of the practices that are conducive to voice search traction are just plain generally advisable for B2B brands:

  • Answer your audience’s most burning questions in conversational terms.
  • Summarize the core substance of your content early on for traction in featured snippets.
  • Deliver a seamless mobile experience at every step.
  • Tap into the hidden B2B opportunity that is local search.

The bottom line is that B2B companies need to be less robotic, and more human. The rise of voice search is simply another trend feeding the urgency.

For a deeper dive into the combination of best answer content and search, read: How B2B Marketers Win at Search with Best Answer Content.

The post Hey Alexa: How Do I Bake Voice Search Into My B2B Marketing Strategy? appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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The post How to Lower Your Facebook Ad Costs: 4 Tips appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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