Home / 2020 / February

Monthly Archives: February 2020

Facebook Launches Live Producer and Creator Studio App

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 the full rollout of Facebook’s Live Producer for managing live-stream video and the new Creator Studio app […]

The post Facebook Launches Live Producer and Creator Studio App appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

Read More »

Digital Marketing News: B2B Content Lifecycle Study, LinkedIn’s New Featured Section, B2B Millennial Report, & Facebook Adds Story Discovery Feature

2020 February 28 Skyword Chart

2020 February 28 Skyword Chart

Millennial buyers want better content from B2B marketers
Better B2B content is a top concern among Millennial buyers, as the demographic accounts for some 33 percent of overall B2B buyers, a portion Forrester's newly-released report expects to grow to 44 percent by 2025. Digital Commerce 360

LinkedIn Launches New 'Featured' Section on Profiles to Highlight Key Achievements and Links
LinkedIn (client) began a gradual roll-out of a new "Featured" section, where users' key achievements will appear near the top of profiles when starred from updates, the Microsoft-owned platform recently announced. Social Media Today

How the Fastest-Growing US Companies Are Using Social Media
87 percent of Inc. 500 firms used LinkedIn for social media during 2019, topping a list of how the fastest-growing U.S. firms are using social media, outlined in a recently-released UMass Dartmouth report of interest to digital marketers. MarketingProfs

The Best Times to Post on Social Media According to Research [Infographic]
B2B businesses find that the best posting times on LinkedIn are before noon and around 6:00 p.m., one of numerous social media platform most effective posting time statistics outlined in a recently-released infographic. Social Media Today

Gen Z Craves Multifaceted Content, Audio - And Even Likes (Relevant) Long-Form Ads
Digital media consumption habits vary by generation, with members of the Gen Z demographic more often seeking out multifaceted content comprised of interactive elements such as polls and quizzes, according to recently-released content consumption preference data. MediaPost

Are Brands Getting Smarter About Social? New Data Reveals Surprising Trends Across Platforms
2019 saw U.S. brands receiving an average of five percent more social engagement that during 2018, with video engagement achieving an even higher eight percent growth rate — two of numerous statistics of interest to online marketers contained in recent social media activity study data. Forbes

2020 February 28 Statistics Image

How Businesses Handle Customer Reviews [Infographic]
Over 35 percent of businesses often or always use positive reviews in their marketing efforts, with Google, Facebook, and Yelp being the three platforms most often monitored for online reviews, according to recently-released survey data focusing on how reviews are used by businesses. Social Media Today

IAB: Programmatic Now 85% Of All U.S. Digital Advertising
By 2021 programmatic advertising spending will exceed $91 billion in the U.S. alone, and account for 86 percent of overall digital ad spend — two of several items of interest to digital marketers in newly-released Interactive Advertising Bureau report data. MediaPost

Facebook Tests New Format for Separate Facebook Stories Discovery Page
Facebook has continued to ramp up its support for content shared in the Stories format, announcing recently that certain Stories will receive larger images in a test of a distinct new Facebook Stories discovery page, according to the social media giant. Social Media Today

From Consistent Publishing to Performance Peaks: What You Need to Know About the Life Span of Content
Digital B2B content assets often bring peak value two months after publishing, while going on to achieve steady endurance among consumers, two of many findings of interest to digital marketers contained in new B2B content lifespan report data. Skyword

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

2020 February 28 Marketoonist Comic

A lighthearted look at what is digital transformation? by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist

Jif Partnered With Giphy to Make a Limited-Edition Peanut Butter No One Can Pronounce — Adweek

TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:

  • Lee Odden — Not Another State of Marketing Report — HubSpot
  • Lee Odden — What’s Trending: Aim for Excellence — LinkedIn (client)
  • TopRank Marketing / Prophix — B2B Campaign Spotlight: Prophix Strikes a Chord with Visual Storytelling — LinkedIn (client)
  • Lane R. Ellis — 10 Tips to Help You Better Understand Your Small Business Customers — Small Business Trends
  • Lee Odden — How to Create Trustworthy Content That People Want to Read — Aweber
  • Lee Odden — Speaker Spotlight: Lee Odden — Content Marketing Conference

Do you have your own top B2B content marketing or digital advertising stories from the past week? Please let us know in the comments below.

Thank you for joining us, and please return next week for a new selection of the most relevant B2B and digital marketing industry news. In the meantime, you can follow us at @toprank on Twitter for even more timely daily news. Also, don't miss the full video summary on our TopRank Marketing TV YouTube Channel.

The post Digital Marketing News: B2B Content Lifecycle Study, LinkedIn’s New Featured Section, B2B Millennial Report, & Facebook Adds Story Discovery Feature appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

Read More »

How to Rethink Your Way to Business Growth

Do you want to grow your business? Is it time to rethink the way you market and deliver experiences? To explore how to grow your business via innovation, I interview Duncan Wardle on the Social Media Marketing Podcast. Duncan is the former head of innovation & creativity for Disney. He’s also a keynote speaker who […]

The post How to Rethink Your Way to Business Growth appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

Read More »

Knock your next social media presentation out of the park

As a social media professional, presentations are an inevitable part of your job and a vital part of your career growth. If that gives Read more...

This post Knock your next social media presentation out of the park originally appeared on Sprout Social.

Read More »

Social Spotlight: Adobe and How to Borrow from B2C

Welcome to the Social Spotlight, where we dive deep into what we love about a brand’s approach to a specific social campaign. From strategy Read more...

This post Social Spotlight: Adobe and How to Borrow from B2C originally appeared on Sprout Social.

Read More »

Optimizing ABM with Influencer Marketing at #B2BMX

Lee Odden Speaking at B2BMX 2020

Lee Odden Speaking at B2BMX 2020

Account based marketing (ABM) is the hybrid sales/marketing/revenue discipline that is shaking up the status quo for marketers and sales pros alike. There are as many definitions of ABM as there are accounts to target, but I’m partial to this one from LinkedIn’s Megan Golden

“ABM is a strategy that directs marketing resources to engaging a specific set of target accounts. Instead of casting a wide net with their lead-generation efforts, marketers using ABM work closely with sales to identify key prospects and then tailor customized programs and messages to the buying team within target accounts.” Megan Golden, Group Manager, Global Content & Social Media Marketing, LinkedIn*

It’s all about earning the trust of — and ultimately influencing — members of specific buying committees. In other words, it’s the distillation of what all B2B marketers should be doing. Or as Sangram Vajre, CEO of Terminus, put it (embroidered on his sneakers, no less):

Sneakers that Read ABM Is B2B

Marketers who practice ABM are seeing impressive results. A recent report from ITSMA and the ABM Leadership Alliance found that 73% of marketers plan to increase ABM budgets in the coming year, and 71% saw greater ROI compared to traditional marketing.

Yet as much success as marketers are seeing with ABM, most are missing a crucial part of the strategy: Building trust through external influence.

In his B2BMX presentation, Lee Odden observed that ABM marketers tend to focus on internal influence — which members of the buying committee have a say in the purchase decision. But…

Diagram Asking Who Influences the Influencers

Here’s what is possible when B2B marketers include influencer marketing in their ABM strategy.

Influence in ABM: It’s All About Trust

According to Lee, “Trust is one of the most paramount matters in marketing today.” If buyers don’t trust your brand, it’s hard to even get a message through, let alone close a sale. The problem is, buyers overall don’t trust brands. In the CSO Insights report from Marketing Charts, brands were near the bottom for trust:

Chart Showing Customers Trust Influencers More than Brands

And who is at the top of the list? Subject matter experts from the industry or third parties. These are the people your audience wants to hear from...which means they’re the voices you want to highlight in your content.

[bctt tweet="“Trust is one of the most paramount matters in marketing today.” @LeeOdden" username="toprank"]

Dell Outlet Builds Trust & Brand Awareness with B2B Influence

For his first example of the power of influence in B2B, Lee shared a success story from Dell Outlet*, a 2020 Killer Content Award Finalist.

Dell Outlet needed to build awareness as an entity distinct from their parent brand. With a focus on refurbished hardware and a commitment to a more sustainable, circular economy, Dell Outlet has a unique personality, purpose and value proposition. But they needed to both establish themselves as their own brand, and educate a small business audience on the value of refurbished equipment.

With targeted research and outreach, Dell Outlet was able to connect and co-create content with small business influencers that had relevance and resonance with the brand’s target audience. The full campaign, featuring videos, a landing page, and social promotion, achieved amazing results that were only possible with influencer marketing:

Results from Dell Influencer Marketing Campaign

Of particular interest is that the campaign was 175% over goal for traffic to product pages. Even though this was primarily an awareness campaign, the influencer contributions actually drove conversions. That’s a powerful testament to how successfully the campaign built trust with its target audience.

Cherwell Employs Influence Across the Customer Lifecycle

For his next example, Lee shared a success story from software company Cherwell*. Their story highlights the importance of a diverse influencer mix to appeal to buyers across the lifecycle, from awareness to engagement to decision.

Cherwell needed to create awareness around their brand, build trust with IT executives, and ultimately drive leads and sales. This full-funnel approach required different types of influencers for each stage:

Chart Mapping Influencers to Funnel Stage

At the top of the funnel, brandividuals with large networks and enthusiastic audiences help drive awareness. Further down, subject matter experts add even more substance to the conversation, contributing to meatier content. Finally, at the bottom of the funnel, brand advocates help with the final push to conversion.

This type of strategic co-creation, with influencers at every stage of the funnel, generated unbelievable results for Cherwell. The campaign achieved over 400% more social reach than any previous campaign, and influenced 22% of their sales pipeline for the year.

ALE Creates a New Industry Award

Lee’s final example shows just how powerful influencer marketing can be not only for awareness, engagement, and conversion, but also for creating goodwill among influencers, prospects, and customers.

Alcatel Lucent Enterprise (ALE)* wanted to raise awareness and add credibility with prospects to accelerate sales discussions. Their solution: With the help of influencers, create a new award to honor and uplift the IT professionals in their target audience.

The 2020 IT Vanguard Awards started by selecting judges, influencers in the IT space, as well as a subject matter expert from ALE. These judges shared their thoughts on what qualities defined the best IT leaders. Then ALE asked their target audience to nominate their co-workers and peers for the award.

Alcatel Lucent Enterprise Campaign Results

The resulting campaign saw unprecedented levels of engagement and influencer promotion for ALE, along with earned media reporting in industry publications. The resultant flood of goodwill from IT professionals firmly established ALE’s credibility and added deals worth millions of dollars to their pipeline. And for a finishing touch, the campaign won ALE an award of its own: A Killer Content Award (“Finny”) for 2020.

Optimizing ABM with Influencer Marketing

Looking to get some of those results for yourself? Lee offered a 5-step plan to integrating influencer marketing into your ABM strategy:

#1: Find Your Ideal Customer Topics. Use tools like SEMrush, Brandwatch and BuzzSumo to identify your customers’ burning questions — and how they search for answers. Seek out the topics that align with your brand’s expertise and your customers’ need to know.

#2: Find Your Ideal Customer Influencers. With the help of tools like Traackr, identify the people who are influential about your topics. You’re looking for those who care about these topics, whose audience cares about them too, and who are regularly publishing content.

#3: Identify, Qualify and Recruit. The three key considerations for an influencer are:

  • Popularity: How large of a following does the influencer have?
  • Resonance: How well does the influencer actually move their audience to take action?
  • Relevance: How closely aligned is the influencer’s output with your values, audience, and topics?

For top of funnel influencers, popularity is the #1 consideration. For middle of funnel, it’s relevance, then popularity. For the bottom of the funnel, resonance and relevance rule. And also look for the five key traits of the best B2B influencers: Proficiency, Popularity, Personality, Publishing and Promotion. 

#4: Create Content & Activate Influencers. Plan your content types, platforms and media —based on your audience research. Once you co-create content with your influencers, activate them to share the fruits of your collaboration.

#5: Practice Ongoing Engagement. Don’t make your influencer involvement a one-and-done. Keep following and engaging with your influencers, helping promote them and developing a community. Better yet, introduce influencers to each other! They’ll have your brand to thank for meaningful connections they make with their peers.

Lee Odden B2BMX 2020

Understanding Influence, Influencing Understanding

In closing, Lee urged account-based marketers to include influencer marketing in their ABM strategy. In addition to your brandividuals, advocates, and experts, he also recommended adding prospects into your influencer mix. Promote your most valued potential customers right alongside leaders in the industry, help them become influential, and you can begin a mutually profitable relationship.

Is influencer marketing part of your B2B marketing mix? Whether you’re running multiple campaigns, or just thinking about testing the waters, we want to hear from you. Take our quick B2B Influencer Marketing Survey to share your experience, and have a chance to win a $500 Amazon gift card!

* LinkedIn, Dell Outlet, Cherwell, and Alcatel Lucent Enterprise are TopRank Marketing clients.

The post Optimizing ABM with Influencer Marketing at #B2BMX appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

Read More »

How to Create Landing Page Variants & Optimize with AI

Wanna optimize your landing pages with AI? Learn how to create variants for Unbounce’s Smart Traffic™ and start converting more of your visitors.

Read More »

15 inspiring social media landing page examples

Landing pages are easily one of the most important pieces of your social media marketing strategy, they’re unfortunately easy to overlook. That’s because marketers Read more...

This post 15 inspiring social media landing page examples originally appeared on Sprout Social.

Read More »

The B2B Marketer’s Journey To Experiential Content at #B2BMX

Ryan Brown Ceros

Ryan Brown Ceros

What makes an experience an...

B2B Marketing Experience?

Full disclosure: I am not on the design team at TopRank Marketing.

But you know what I mean. You’ve eaten dinner at dozens, if not hundreds of restaurants in your lifetime. But there are likely one or two that stick out in your memory. What makes them memorable?

That question drove an intriguing presentation at B2B Marketing Exchange, led by four expert marketers:

B2B Content Experience Team

Short answer: What makes experiences different and memorable is if they’re really good… or really bad. Anything in the middle tends to blur together in our recollection. Only the extremes stand out.

[bctt tweet="“What makes experiences different and memorable is if they’re really good… or really bad. Anything in the middle tends to blur together in our recollection. Only the extremes stand out.” @NiteWrites" username="toprank"]

Case in point: The vast majority of B2B content. It’s...fine! But maybe not so memorable. 

The Five Levels of Memorable Content

Ryan observed that, when a B2B business has customers or clients in the office, we offer amazing experiences: Everything from go-kart rides to monogrammed socks. 

So why do we offer blocks of black-and-white text in a PDF to our digital customers? Not only does our static content fail to be memorable, it isn’t measurable, either. Interactive, immersive content can provide a better experience and help marketers optimize at the same time. 

According to Ryan, there are five levels of “memorability” for great content:

  1. Narrative. This is text content at its most elemental: ad copy, blog posts, stories, scripts.

 

  1. Visual Elements. Images, graphics, photos and videos liven up the text, but are still static assets on the page.

 

  1. Integrated elements. Forms, maps, chat, embedded content. This level pulls in multiple different types of content from external sources, like a lead gen form or a Google map.

 

  1. Interactive Elements. This type of content solicits and rewards active engagement, versus passive consumption. It can include content you click, touch, or hover over to open content paths and customize the experience.

 

  1. Immersive Elements. This type of content comes alive as the audience moves through it, with animation, actions triggered on scroll and click, parallax effects to give depth, and multiple layers of content.

Most B2B marketers are proficient in the first two levels, and many are getting comfortable with the third. But truly interactive and immersive experiences aren’t as common.

Barriers to Immersive Content

Workflow

According to Ryan, one reason we get stuck with same-old content is the workflow between teams. Typically, content teams create the copy and hand it off to design. The design team isn’t consulted in the planning or execution of the copy. 

Then, the design team takes the copy and goes through the design process in their silo. There’s no collaboration; it’s content + design. 

To fix that workflow, Bluecore’s Paige and Sharon recommend that content and design teams work together, from planning to execution to optimization, in order to:

  • Engage early
  • Partner on content development
  • Frequently sync on milestones

To illustrate how their process leads to more engaging experiences, Paige and Shannon showed off their Content Concierge, an interactive recommendation engine for their content library.

Versus their static content, Bluecore's Content Concierge achieved a 93% higher interaction rate, and 80% more dwell time.

Tools

The other major roadblock for interactive experiences is the tools marketers use to create content. These tools tend to reinforce the divide between content and design, Ryan says. More complex multimedia experiences also require a third cook in the kitchen: A web development team or vendor partner.

The solution is to seek out tools that empower content and design to work together on interactive, immersive experiences.

Darius from Carbon Black shared how his team used Ceros to design different types of experiences for their customers. They created a choose-your-own-adventure style game for an immersive, long-form experience. But they also created a snackable March Madness-inspired tournament game that people could play in under a minute.

Memorable & Measurable Experiences

According to Ryan, downloadable assets — like a typical white paper — miss the opportunity to provide a memorable experience. What’s worse, they’re not measurable once downloaded. Did the downloader make it past the front page? Was there an infographic that really hit with your target audience? It’s impossible to tell. 

With the right type of interactive content, you can be a fly on the wall as people go through the experience. You can tell where people are clicking, how deep they’re scrolling, and when they’re likely to drop off. That means more opportunities to optimize and engage more deeply. 

Darius encouraged marketers to invest their time and energy in creating and optimizing these memorable experiences. “If we’re not putting the time in with our customers, we can’t expect them to give us their time back,” he said.

[bctt tweet="“If we’re not putting the time in with our customers, we can’t expect them to give us their time back.” — Darius Eslami, Carbon Black" username="toprank"]

Getting Started with Experiential Content

Creating memorable content experiences requires a shift in mindset and operations. Making the change can be tricky, Sharon and Paige warned. They offered a three-step approach to getting started:

  1. Create a business case to get buy-in
  2. Do a proof of concept — have a clear outline, objectives and measurable goals.
  3. Prioritize where you will get the most impact 

That last point is crucial, Sharon said. Without a clear set of priorities, you can get option paralysis with the possibilities. Or, as she put it, “It’s like going to the Cheesecake Factory hungry and trying to navigate that massive menu.”

Be the Architect of Your Brand

Ryan ended the session on an aspirational note. He reminds marketers that we are responsible for designing the ways that customers encounter and perceive our brands. “Take pride in the experiences you create,” he said. “Stop ‘writing at’ your customer, and start ‘creating for’ them.”

Dynamic, interactive, immersive content is more engaging for customers, gets better results for marketers, and can even lead to quicker sales and more revenue for the company. It’s well worth making your content experience into an…

Experience in glitter text

See how interactive content made for a memorable experience that smashed benchmarks for our client Prophix.

The post The B2B Marketer’s Journey To Experiential Content at #B2BMX appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

Read More »

How to Use LinkedIn for Competitor Research

Do you want a competitive edge in your marketplace? Are you using LinkedIn to research your competitors? In this article, you’ll learn how to use LinkedIn to gather valuable insights about your competitors and use what you learn to grow your own business. Why You Should Research Your Competitors on LinkedIn There are many benefits […]

The post How to Use LinkedIn for Competitor Research appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

Read More »
css.php