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Monthly Archives: October 2019

How to Get Started With TikTok: A Guide for Marketers

Thinking of putting your business on TikTok? Wondering how other brands are using TikTok successfully? In this article, you’ll discover how to create TikTok video and find examples to inspire you to use TikTok in your own marketing. Why Consider TikTok? TikTok’s growth is fascinating on many levels. For starters, it’s the first major social […]

The post How to Get Started With TikTok: A Guide for Marketers appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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17 Revealing B2B Marketing Insights From Poll Data

17 Poll Insights Purple Tech Background Image

17 Poll Insights Purple Tech Background Image

The revelations people provide when they respond to online marketing polls include a wealth of industry information. Poll data shows what marketers are thinking about in a variety of important subjects, ranging from everyday tasks to far-reaching future trends.

Over the past four months, we've utilized our TopRank Marketing Twitter channel to publish a weekly poll, asking a range of questions to B2B marketers. Today, we share some of the data we've collected throughout this series of 17 polls.

Social Media Polls

Our first two polls asked B2B marketing about social media, and the responses can help us gauge the pulse of marketers on the social platform front.

Each week more social platforms are experimenting or implementing hiding some of the forward-facing counts we've all been used to seeing for years, such as the number of followers a page or person has, and how many people have liked a particular social message, image, or video.

Our very first poll in the series asked about hiding like and follower counts.

Twitter Poll Image

Fifty-three percent of marketers said they wouldn't support hiding like and follower counts on Instagram, while 18% stated they would support such a move. Furthermore, 17% said they would support dropping just the like counts and 12% just the follower tallies.

Our second poll also marketers to share which channels (other than LinkedIn) they'd seen the most B2B success with:

Twitter Poll 2

Outside of LinkedIn*, 50% of marketers shared that they've found B2B marketing success using Twitter, followed by 20% who said Facebook provided surprising success. Instagram also came in at 20%. Finally, YouTube came in last at 10%.

Our most recent poll asked a more traditional question of B2B marketers.

Latest Twitter Poll Image

Unsurprisingly, 63% of marketers viewed LinkedIn as their top choice social media platform for finding B2B industry content. Twitter came in second with 23% of the vote, and Facebook and Instagram each came in at 7%.

Blogging & Blog Promotion Polls

We ran several polls that asked B2B marketers their input regarding blogging and blog promotion.

Twitter Poll

Fifty percent of marketers see interactive elements as offering the biggest potential performance increase in blog posts, followed by 42% for images and 8% for animated GIFs. Surprisingly, no respondents choosing embedded video as their top choice.

Another polls asked respondents about the number of channels they use when promoting blog content.

Twitter Poll Image

A whopping 73% of marketers promote blog posts to an average of two to five online channels, while the remaining 27% shared that they promote to just one channel.

Influencer Marketing Polls

Several additional polls have dug in to B2B marketers' takes on influencer marketing.

Twitter Poll Image

Fifty percent of B2B marketers said their top challenge with influencer marketing is measuring its impact, while 18% said finding top influencers as their biggest hurdle. In addition, another 18% said that getting initial buy-in for influencer marketing was the leading challenge, followed by utilizing influencers at 14%.

Another influencer marketing polls looked at 12-month trends.

Twitter Poll Image.

When it comes to influencer marketing trends for 2020, 38% of B2B marketers said increased use of artificial intelligence (AI) will be the most important, followed by the rise of micro-and-macro influencers at 31%, quality metrics at 19%, and experience management at 13%.

Analytics & Website Optimization Polls

We also touched on analytics and website optimization questions in two of our recent polls.

Twitter Poll.

Thirty-five percent of respondents said that using insights from data is the top challenge in measuring campaign performance. As for other struggles, 26% said that inadequate tools topped their list and 22% said that proving the value of analytics. Lastly, 17% shared that having too much data at hand was their top issue.

An interesting recent poll question looked into how long B2B marketers will tend to wait for a webpage to load before giving up.

Twitter Poll Image.

Forty-four percent of marketers will abandon a slow-loading page within three to five seconds, while 33% leave after six to 10 seconds. In addition, 19% after 11 to 15 seconds and 4% said they'll wait until a page times out before giving up.

The Rise of Podcasting Poll

The rise of podcasting's popularity caused us to inquire about the matter with a poll.

Twitter Poll Image.

Sixty-five percent of marketers said they use podcasts in their campaign efforts and plan to increase their use, while 35% said they don't use podcasting currently but plan to start. As you can see, zero respondents indicated that they would do less podcasting in the coming year or didn't plan to start.

Content Marketing Polls

The majority of our polls have dealt with various aspects of content marketing, such as this one looking at the importance of captioning in online video.

Twitter Poll Image.

Fifty percent of marketers polled said they plan to use the same level of video captioning going forward, while 33% plan to do even more captioning, and 17% plan to start captioning their video content.

Content re-purposing was the subject of another of our content marketing polls.

Twitter Poll Image.

Fifty-four percent of marketers said that blog posts were the top performing type of content for re-purposing use, followed by interviews at 31%, and both eBooks and white papers coming in at 8% each.

The components making up our content marketing toolkit were also examined in a poll.

Twitter Poll.

Sixty-eight percent of marketers said that video is the format that brings the most engagement to B2B content, followed by interactive assets at 26%, and virtual reality (VR) and AR at 5%.

With video holding the top spot in that poll, we were curious how many channels B2B marketers typically promote video content to.

Twitter Poll.

Eighty-five percent of marketers said they promote videos on two to five online channels on average, with 8% promoting videos to between six and 10 channels, and the same percentage promoting video to just a single channel.

Email Marketing & Search Polls

Email marketing has remained an important part of many campaigns, and we explored two aspects of the practice in recent poll, including the following poll that generated the most engagement yet among our polls.

Twitter Poll.

Fifty-five percent of B2B marketers view the reputation of the sending the most important factor in choosing whether to open an email newsletter. Twenty-three percent said that an interesting subject line was most important, followed by the anticipation of the content at 13%, and a desire for unique content at 9%.

Another email marketing poll asked what causes us to unsubscribe from an email newsletter.

Twitter Poll.

Sixty-seven percent of B2B marketers said the top reason they unsubscribe from email newsletters is receiving mail from sources they never subscribed to in the first place. Furthermore, 33% shared that lack of original email newsletter content was their number one reason for unsubscribing.

Search marketing was the subject of one week's poll. Recent study data has shown that for the first time the majority of Google searches don't result in additional clicks from the results page.

Twitter Poll.

Forty-six percent of respondents said their initial Google search provided the information they need between 110 and 50% of the time, with 38% saying results answered their queries most of the time. Surprisingly, a combined 16% said their queries are only answered 1-10% of the time or never.

Including Poll Insights in Your 2020 Marketing Plans

By taking the time to listen to what B2B marketers are saying through their answers to these poll questions, you'll have an inside glimpse at where our industry is heading as we near 2020 and all the changes it will inevitably bring.

While we happened to use Twitter's polling feature, if you're interested in conducting your own series there are poll options available for numerous social media platforms, along with polling plug-ins and built-in functionality for various website and content marketing system types.

It can be ideal to ask poll questions on the digital channel that best suits your particular audience. Some organizations even choose to conduct polls on several platforms and to then compare the results, or even compile them together to get a larger sample answer size.

Do you have your own poll questions you'd like us to ask on our Twitter channel? Leave a comment below and we may include your question in a future poll.

The post 17 Revealing B2B Marketing Insights From Poll Data appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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5 Ways to Humanize Your Instagram Business Account

Want to make your business more memorable on Instagram? Looking for tips to boost brand loyalty with your audience? In this article, you’ll discover five tips to ensure your Instagram account stands out. #1: Give Your Instagram Copy Personality When developing an Instagram business profile, most companies focus on the visual aspects of their brand. […]

The post 5 Ways to Humanize Your Instagram Business Account appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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12 Simple Rules to Boost Your Ecommerce Conversion Rates

Directive Consulting's Olivia Ross-Taylor tells you everything you need to implement an optimized checkout process and boost your ecomm conversions. More conversions, more sales!

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Content Marketing Lessons from Music Icon Lizzo

Content Marketing Lessons from Lizzo

Content Marketing Lessons from Lizzo

Here in Minnesota, home of TopRank Marketing and birthplace of yours truly, we tend to take great (excessive?) pride in famous figures who carry the “one of us” label. When you encounter a Minnesotan in the wild, you’re very likely to overhear some level of boasting about Prince, or Bob Dylan, or F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Why is this? Maybe it’s driven by an inferiority complex, stemming from our reputation as “flyover country.” Or maybe it’s just a natural extension of the “Minnesota nice” disposition. Whatever the case, we love to brag about our locally-sourced successes, and lately, that means showing lots of love for Lizzo.

Who is Lizzo? For those who’ve somehow failed to take notice, she’s one of the biggest things in music right now. The singer/rapper/songwriter has rapidly transformed into an industry icon after finding mainstream traction with her third studio album, Cuz I Love You. Last month, Lizzo’s hit song “Truth Hurts” reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, passing up some obscure singer named Taylor Swift. 

Lizzo isn’t from Minnesota originally but moved here in 2011 and now calls the Twin Cities home. As a follower of the local hip-hop scene, and someone who had the opportunity to see her perform in front of tiny audiences at basement venues many years before her breakout, it’s been inspiring to see the uber-talented diva ascend to worldwide recognition. 

And as a content marketer, I find her story inspiring for different but no less impactful reasons. Today, I thought I would share a few of them.

Important Lessons Content Marketers Can Learn From Lizzo’s Success

Beyond sheer talent, Lizzo’s rise has been driven by persistence, authenticity, and honesty. Marketers everywhere can take note.

Not Every Eventual Hit Is an Immediate Winner

I pulled the above phrase directly from my recent post discussing holistic content strategy, and the importance of ongoing promotion. When I originally wrote those words, Lizzo immediately came to my mind. 

Truth Hurts” recently set a Billboard record as the longest-standing solo female rap No. 1 song in history. By now you’ve almost certainly heard that infectious thumping piano melody on your radio, computer, or TV. But what you might not know about the song is that it was originally released back in 2017, to little fanfare. 

“The day I released ‘Truth Hurts’ was probably one of the darkest days I’ve had ever in my career,” Lizzo told People in an interview this past summer. “I remember thinking, ‘If I quit music now, nobody would notice. This is my best song ever, and nobody cares.’ ” 

If you’re a marketer, artist, or creator of any kind, you’ve surely had moments like this. You put your heart into something, you’re certain it’s going to be great… and then it falls flat. But as Lizzo’s story reminds us, a lackluster initial reception doesn’t mean you were wrong. 

That’s why it is so vital to extend content promotion beyond the initial burst. Sometimes it just takes the right platform and timing to break through. One signal-boost in front of a new audience can make all the difference. In Lizzo’s case, a co-sign from and collaboration with the aforementioned legendary “one of us” Prince was instrumental (pun intended) in vaulting her to stardom.

When charting a new content initiative, it’s always smart to build in staggered promotion that crosses multiple channels, and is customized to the context of each. You never know when and where it’ll catch fire.

[bctt tweet="When charting a new content initiative, it’s always smart to build in staggered promotion that crosses multiple channels, and is customized to the context of each. @NickNelsonMN" username="toprank"]

via GIPHY

Be Genuine. Be Yourself.

Lizzo does not look, act, or make music like others at the pinnacle of her field. And that’s exactly why she’s there.

She conveys a resounding message of body positivity. She is unapologetic with her bluntness and snark (“It’s a me, myself kinda attitude,” she explains in the song “Soulmate”). And she doesn’t constrain herself to any category with her music. One minute she’s rapping forcefully, the next she’s crooning soulfully, and then all of a sudden she’s blowing your mind with a flute solo.

via GIPHY

I’ve long preached the importance of authenticity in marketing. People want to do business with brands that are genuine and relatable, and not in a way that makes it seem like they’re trying too hard. Lizzo’s persona comes off as natural and effortless because it’s who she is. She isn’t pretending or conforming. 

Oh, and she also takes emphatic stands. In addition to embracing her body and encouraging folks of all shapes and sizes to do the same, she’s a vocal advocate and ally in the LGBQT community

To look at faces in the crowd at one of her performances is to understand how deeply connected Lizzo is with her fans. This rapport is built through shared values as much as the quality of her music.

What values does your company share with its audience? How can you broadcast them, authentically? Here lies the key to affinity and loyalty.

[bctt tweet="What values does your company share with its audience? How can you broadcast them, authentically? Here lies the key to affinity and loyalty. @NickNelsonMN" username="toprank"]

Sometimes, the Truth Hurts (and That’s OK!)

What made “Truth Hurts” such a viral hit? Well, for one thing, it’s an incredibly catchy jam. But it’s also bitingly honest and candid – a breakup song featuring lines such as “Why men great ‘til they gotta be great?” and “You're supposed to hold me down, but you're holding me back.” 

via GIPHY

Lizzo has plenty of upbeat, positive songs, but she’s not afraid to touch on the real struggles, frustrations, and setbacks of life. She shares in the pain of her listeners. This empathy leads to resonance, and it’s a valuable example for marketers. No one wants to deal with a brand that’s constantly enveloped in negativity, but at the same time, how can I connect with one that’s nothing but sunshine and roses? How can I trust them to shoot straight with me? 

Being honest with our marketing means being transparent with the good and the bad. Don’t run from your failures; learn from them, and improve. Don’t hide your flaws; fix them, and invite feedback. Don’t sweep bad reviews under the rug; respond to them, and try to make it right.

As our CEO Lee Odden put it in a recent interview featured on the LinkedIn Marketing Blog*,  “No one is fooled by brands only showing the positives. By being open and responsive, brands reveal they are relatable and worth trusting.”

[bctt tweet="No one is fooled by brands only showing the positives. By being open and responsive, brands reveal they are relatable and worth trusting. @leeodden" username="toprank"]

Patient, Genuine, Strong: Be Like Lizzo

It fills me with joy to see Lizzo conquering the world. Yes, it’s partially because I love seeing my home state get some shine, but even more so, it’s because she embodies many qualities that I believe are essential to creating awareness, engagement, and loyalty in today’s world – whether you’re a musician, influencer, entertainer, or content marketer. 

“When I have to make decisions, I always choose honesty and I always stay true to myself, because I know at the end of the day that is what’s going to remain. That is what’s going to be the legend: That I was true to myself and that I honored every person by staying truthful to them.” – Lizzo in an interview with the Rolling Stone

In addition the above, Lizzo also delivers unforgettable, epic experiences while on-stage. (See: her VMA performance.) If you’re looking for more marketing inspiration on that front, check out our collection of expert tips on creating memorable content experiences.

*Disclosure: LinkedIn Marketing Solutions is a TopRank Marketing client.

The post Content Marketing Lessons from Music Icon Lizzo appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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How to Scale Facebook Ad Results With a Tiered Bid Cap and Lookalike Audiences

Want a better way to scale your Facebook ad campaigns? Wondering how best to allocate ad spend to your Facebook lookalike audiences? In this article, you’ll learn how to scale Facebook ads by combining strategic bid capping with Facebook lookalike audiences. Why Scale Facebook Lookalike Audiences With a Tiered Bid Cap? Imagine the following scenario. […]

The post How to Scale Facebook Ad Results With a Tiered Bid Cap and Lookalike Audiences appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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LinkedIn Enhanced Ads Targeting Tools: What Marketers Need to Know

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Social Media Marketing Talk Show, a news show for marketers who want to stay on the leading edge of social media. On this week’s Social Media Marketing Talk Show, we explore enhanced LinkedIn ads targeting tools, as well as Pinterest business profile and shopping updates with guests AJ […]

The post LinkedIn Enhanced Ads Targeting Tools: What Marketers Need to Know appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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Aligning the Brand with the Value Proposition Is the Most Powerful Way to Create Value Momentum

Learn a systematic approach for linking the value proposition argument to the execution of the branding strategy.

The post Aligning the Brand with the Value Proposition Is the Most Powerful Way to Create Value Momentum appeared first on MarketingExperiments.

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Digital Marketing News: LinkedIn Tops Trust Study, Facebook’s Disappearing Likes, Ad Spending Climbs, Reddit’s New Marketing Features & More

The post Digital Marketing News: LinkedIn Tops Trust Study, Facebook’s Disappearing Likes, Ad Spending Climbs, Reddit’s New Marketing Features & More appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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Video Marketing Strategy: The Power of Video During the Customer Journey

Want to use video marketing more effectively? Looking for a proven video strategy? To explore how to develop an effective video marketing strategy, I interview Ben Amos on the Social Media Marketing Podcast. Ben is a video marketing expert and host of the Engage Video Marketing Podcast. He coaches video marketers and video producers and […]

The post Video Marketing Strategy: The Power of Video During the Customer Journey appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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