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Monthly Archives: June 2020

The Marketer as PhilosopherEpisode 2: Using Data as a Force for the Good (plus get a free Data Pattern Analysis tool)

Episode 2 is coming soon …   If you missed Episode 1, you can view it here Visit our sister site, MarketingSherpa, to learn more about the series — 5 Marketing Lessons From a Unique Nonprofit That Sells Products (and why the world needs marketers today more than ever) Sign up for the free MarketingExperiments […]

The post <b>The Marketer as Philosopher</b><br>Episode 2: Using Data as a Force for the Good <h4>(plus get a free Data Pattern Analysis tool)</h4> appeared first on MarketingExperiments.

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B2B Marketing News: Most Valued B2B Buyer Traits, Top B2B Content Types, LinkedIn Updates Retargeting Tools, & Mobile Ad Engagement Climbs

2020 June 12 MarketingCharts Chart

2020 June 12 MarketingCharts Chart

Key Insights: B2B content marketing decoded, top marketing technologies, and AI spotlight
Demand for webinars has increased among B2B marketers during the global health crisis, with 76 percent of marketers seeing webinars as an increasingly successful method of driving leads, while the top B2B content types are eBooks, white papers and guides — two of numerous statistics of interest to digital marketers in recently-released B2B marketing survey data. ClickZ

LinkedIn introduces new retargeting tools
LinkedIn has expanded its retargeting feature set, with new tools for video advertising and lead generation among the latest virtual engagement additions at LinkedIn (client), the Microsoft-owned firm recently announced. TechCrunch

PR Industry Survey: The Tactics and Skills Rising in Importance
50 percent of public relations and communications professionals find measuring impact the leading communications challenge, followed by 45 percent who face executive teams without sufficient understanding of communications, and 40 percent who say that cutting through clutter and noise is a primary concern, according to newly-released survey data. MarketingProfs

YouTube Adds New Analytics Report, Alerts for Merchandise Sales Within Live-Streams
Google-owned YouTube has rolled out new features for marketers, including an updated monthly insight report that adds a number of additional data views, while also implementing new live-stream sales alert functionality, the firm recently announced. Social Media Today

Two-Thirds Of Brands Plan To Increase Their Programmatic Ad Spending, Study Finds
Some 66 percent of marketers plan to boost their programmatic ad spending during the months ahead, with their leading objectives including 53 percent looking to drive sales, 47 percent to both generate leads and build awareness, and 36 percent to bolster customer retention, some of numerous statistics of interest to digital marketers contained in recently-released study data. MediaPost

Facebook Looks to Prompt More Comments with New Comment Engagement Stats
Insights on Facebook page comments will offer marketers a range of new engagement metrics, as the social media giant has been rolling out comment insights, which show how posts that pages have commented on compare with those they have not commented on. Social Media Today

2020 June 12 Statistics Image

Mobile ad engagement rises 15% during pandemic, study says
Engagement among mobile ads has climbed by some 15 percent during the global health crisis, with the greatest increase among women, according to recently-released report data from MobileFuse. Mobile Marketer

Publishers see video ad revenue begin to rebound on Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube
Some publishers have seen revenue from video ads start to turn around from pandemic-related declines, especially for social media platforms Facebook, Snapchat, and YouTube, where cost per thousand rates have also begun to stabilize, and DigiDay takes a look at the rebound. DigiDay

51% of marketing professionals expect virtual events to stick around, survey finds
Most media and advertising executives see virtual elements becoming an ongoing part of post-pandemic in-person events, while 27 percent don't see attendance at in-person events ever returning to levels seen before the global health crisis — two of several statistics of note for digital marketers contained in recently-released survey data. Marketing Dive

B2B Buyers Value These Traits in Salespeople
Active listening, problem solving, confidence and relationship-building top the list of traits B2B buyers value the most in salespeople, while top-performing salespeople report getting better leads from marketing, according to recently-released business decision-maker survey data. MarketingCharts

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

2020 June 12 Marketoonist Comic Image

A lighthearted look at “Brands, Hashtag Activism, and a Time for Real Reflection” by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist

Tired Of FaceTime? Good News, Rotary Cell Phones Are Here — Cracked

TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:

  • SAP (client) — What SAP did digitally to address the COVID-19 climate — CMOAustralia
  • Lee Odden — 5 Hours of Content Marketing [Video Archive] — SEMrush
  • LinkedIn (client) — LinkedIn has a new CEO. Here are 30 power players and rising stars helping him lead the company — Business Insider
  • Lee Odden — The Keys to Successful B2B Influencer Programs [Register For Free Webinar Replay] — MarketingProfs
  • Lee Odden — Working Like a Blog: Why B2B blogging needs to be about more than just writing — MD Consulting
  • Lee Odden — Why Your Blog Gets No Traffic — SME Pals

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

Thank you for spending time with us, and please return again next Friday for more 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 B2B Marketing News: Most Valued B2B Buyer Traits, Top B2B Content Types, LinkedIn Updates Retargeting Tools, & Mobile Ad Engagement Climbs appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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Chatbot Strategy: How to Improve Your Marketing With Bots

Wondering if your business should start using chatbots? Looking for tips on what chatbots can do and how to set them up? To explore how to improve your marketing with bots, I interview Natasha Takahashi on the Social Media Marketing Podcast. Natasha is a chat marketing expert and co-founder of School of Bots, the leading […]

The post Chatbot Strategy: How to Improve Your Marketing With Bots appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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The 21 Best Content Marketing Tools in 2020 (Best of the Best)

There’s a ton of content marketing tools and services out there, vying for your attention (and your wallet). But which are the best? Which content marketing tools offer the most bang for …

The 21 Best Content Marketing Tools in 2020 (Best of the Best) Read More »

The post The 21 Best Content Marketing Tools in 2020 (Best of the Best) appeared first on Smart Blogger.

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Project Management FAQ: Top Questions B2B Marketers Ask About Projects and Process

Hands putting flowchart pieces together colorful image.

Hands putting flowchart pieces together colorful image.

What is every B2B marketer’s favorite word?

Process. 

Okay, I’m kidding. For people who live and work in a creative field like B2B marketing, process has a little bit of a reputation. A reputation for stifling the creative process with extra steps, procedures, and — depending on who you ask — hoops to jump through.

While it’s certainly true that too much process becomes a hindrance, it’s also true that not enough process becomes chaos. We need processes to onboard new staff, establish marketing innovations, create more efficient projects, and more.

With such a critical  — and controversial — role in B2B marketing, it makes sense that marketers have a lot of questions when it comes to processes and the projects they aid. You may even be one of those marketers. To help you get the answers you seek, here are the most frequently asked questions B2B marketers have about process and projects.

Question #1: Do we really need another process?

Easily the most asked question of the bunch.

Striking the right number of processes is a real balancing act. Too many and it feels as if there is no freedom. Not enough and there’s no order keeping everything together. To get just the right mix of order and freedom, B2B marketers need to be asking this question.

So, what’s the right answer? It depends. Do a gut check on your current processes. Are they helping the work or are they preventing the work? If you and your fellow marketers feel like they’re getting in the way, you should look at reinventing an existing process instead of adding another one to the mix. Too often, the impulse is to make a new process. Instead, we should put our marketing hats on and optimize the processes we have.

Question #2: Where can I find my processes?

It’s tough to find the right process. For example, here at TopRank Marketing, we have hundreds of documented processes but only a handful of them apply to our influencer marketing team. So, how are they supposed to find the processes they need without having to sort through the rest of them?

It’s natural for marketers  — and everyone, really — to wonder where the processes that pertain just to them are located. For us, that meant creating a process database with segments for each team. This helps us keep our processes organized, clear, and concise. With the central hub, any team member can come, search for the action they need to perform, and find the process they need to follow. The easier we can make it to find the right process, the more likely they are to be followed.

Question #3: Are we following the process?

Speaking of following processes, a process becomes useless unless it is followed. So it makes sense that marketers are wondering how well process is being followed. However, it’s a little hard to measure and track.

Whether it’s due to falling back on old habits, or forgetting a few steps, following a process to a T is tough to do. It’s much more likely that only 50 - 90% of the steps of a process are followed. And then there are the times that we ignore the process altogether.

To ensure process is being followed, there are a few things every process needs:

  • First, every process needs to document the steps and who is responsible for each one.
  • Second, each process should have a scenario for when the process gets triggered.
  • Lastly, processes need to hold someone accountable for ensuring it gets followed.

These three things ensure marketers know when they need to do a process, who needs to do what, and indicates a process owner in case the process falls off.

Question #4: How far along in the project are we?

Process and project management go hand in hand. Each marketing campaign we’re behind has a method to the madness and project management helps us keep it all organized and tracked.

But oftentimes projects just become a massive list of tasks to complete, making it even harder to know what stage in a campaign you’re at.

We’ve found that using milestones helps us keep track of our progress. Our campaign milestones are typically:

  • Discovery - At this milestone in the process, we meet with the client and get a sense for their needs, objectives, pain points, and more.
  • Strategy - Here, we formulate a strategy and marketing mix that will best help us achieve our goals.
  • Execution - As the name suggests, the execution milestone is the part in the project/process where we complete the work.
  • Optimization - Our last milestone is where we monitor our campaign results weekly and compile recommendations to optimize our performance.

With tasks that roll up into each of these milestones, we’re quickly able to see what’s been completed and what hasn’t, without having to check on each individual task. Using milestones also enables us to see which pieces of our campaign process are the most and least efficient, helping us optimize our processes and projects in the future.

[bctt tweet="“Using milestones enables us to see which pieces of our campaign process are the most and least efficient, helping us optimize our processes and projects in the future.” @annieleuman" username="toprank"]

Question #5: How are we executing projects against scope?

The way our projects and processes are built help set our campaigns up for success, avoiding scope creep, maintaining profitability, and bolstering our bottom line. As B2B marketers, this speaks to us on a personal level. And it begs the question: how are we executing against scope?

To get an accurate picture of our own execution and performance, we compare our scoped, planned, and actual project hours. This helps us reveal how much time is spent at each step of the process and how over or under scope that time was. With this data and insight, we can then alter our scopes to better match our processes and how long they take.

Trust the Process. Trust the Project.

While we don’t love it all of the time, process is a necessary part of any business, including B2B marketing. And to make sure our processes are working for us, not against us, we need to make sure we have the answers to the questions above. We need to know if more process is needed or less. We need to know where our processes and projects are. And we need to know how well we’re following them.

For more tips on how to juggle process and project management for B2B marketers, read this guide

The post Project Management FAQ: Top Questions B2B Marketers Ask About Projects and Process appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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Sprout Social stands with the Black community

“We want our lives to be valued. We want protection. We want what is promised to all of us. Our inalienable right to life Read more...

This post Sprout Social stands with the Black community originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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How to Improve Your Instagram Video Ads: 5 Tips

Want to do more with Instagram video ads? Wondering how to enhance your Instagram video ads? In this article, you’ll discover five tips to create Instagram video ads that perform well in the feed. #1: Focus on One Goal in Your Instagram Video Ad Advertisers often think that to generate maximum ROI from their ads, […]

The post How to Improve Your Instagram Video Ads: 5 Tips appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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Break Free B2B Marketing: Sofia O’Malley of Dell Outlet on Creating a Global B2B & B2C Marketing Team

Break Free B2B - Sofia O'Malley

Break Free B2B - Sofia O'Malley

Okay, marketers, here’s your content marketing challenge for the day. Your target audience includes the following:

  • Small business owners
  • Gamers
  • Teachers
  • Lifestyle bloggers
  • Young professionals/Entrepreneurs

All you have to do is come up with messaging that will resonate with each of these groups, while repurposing as much content as possible for maximum efficiency. Some of these segments are B2B, some are B2C, and some ride the line between the two, so plan accordingly. 

Oh, and while you’re at it, we need versions of your content for multiple regions around the world. So make sure your Super Bowl metaphors are converted into World Cup references.

If you can get your head around this monumental task — well, you’re probably Sofia O’Malley, Global Marketing Director at Dell Outlet*. For the past three years, Sofia has worked with a team of talented marketers worldwide to turn Dell Outlet into a powerhouse brand. 

We caught up with Sofia at B2BMX in February, at which Dell Outlet’s influencer content was a finalist for a Killer Content Award. The conversation covered everything from the difference between B2B and B2C messaging to the importance of purpose-driven marketing.

You can watch the full video and subscribe to the podcast below. Read on for highlights from the interview.

B2B Marketing Interview with Sofia O’Malley


1:06 From managing a cyber cafe to leading a global marketing team

2:33 Adapting messaging for B2B and B2C

4:00 Messaging and branding for refurbished electronics

7:00 Using technology to test and refine messaging

10:15 Marketing with a purpose

14:30 Adapting marketing for multiple geographic regions

18:00 How to structure global marketing teams

20:15 Mapping the customer journey to offer better customer experiences

24:36 New opportunities in digital marketing

27:00 Break Free: Going from good to great

Susan:

So okay, you manage a very unique product or service offering, I should say. And you have got two distinct audiences. You really are B2B as well as B2C.  Can you talk about how you divide up your marketing programs?

Sophia:

You know, I think when you look at our customer base, there is a unifying element that is common across both subsets. And I think that's the problem, right? It is a technology need, whether you're a consumer or a big corporation or a small business, you have that underlying need that you want to have access to high quality technology, and you want to be able to go with a partner that you know will stand behind the offerings. 

Susan:

Okay, great. Is there anything that you would counsel marketers on, who are trying to test their messaging?

Sophia

I will say we utilized some technology when it came to messaging, the high level message is still there and relevant, but when we do individual communication, we utilize certain technology to really offer more of a personalized message tailored to that party or curated to a particular audience at a given point in time. 

One of the things that we have done that has been very successful is utilizing technology to overlay emotional messaging. That was really insightful because throughout the journey, we learned that there are people out there who are reward driven. So for example, instead of messaging you “Hey, Susan, come and take a look at my product.” I will maybe say something like “Hello Susan, come and reward yourself with a gaming system.” Because we have information that we know that maybe you like gaming and you’re a reward-driven person. So that has been super exciting. I know it's not accessible to a lot of people, right? But I think that's one of the areas that for me has worked really well. And we love to be able to do it.

Susan:

Okay, so even something as subtle for marketers who don't have larger tools, even testing — AB testing one or two words — as you said, reward yourself is far different than, you know, come and check out the speeds and feeds. 

Sophia:

Absolutely, it goes a long way into understanding like the audiences I think. It’s really important to have an understanding of who that consumer is. You know who your target is. Because in that way you'll narrow it down, especially if you're not using AI to do the heavy lifting. And if you don't have the volumes to be able to conduct this kind of testing at scale, and see impact, I think if you're on the smaller side, AB testing is the way to go. But you have to kind of help that process by really zeroing in on what audience is to be more effective.

Susan:

Right, what do you see as being the biggest difference in terms of global marketing? Is LATAM completely different than other regions, for example?

Sophia:

Well tricky question, because there are a lot of commonalities. But I think the key is really to have a consistent strategy. I think that needs to be scalable. And then where we start to see a little bit more difference is on the tactics. 

So when you think about implementation of go to market, I think you really have to be cognizant of what is unique to each market. What’s the consumer behavior? Or what’s the consumer expectation within a given market or appetite for a type of execution. 

So when I think, in Latin America, there are still challenges when it comes to maturity on the technology front. I think there is evolution and there is a lot more appetite for people too, more comfort level in people utilizing the internet for big ticket purchase items than there was maybe like 15-10 years ago. It continues to evolve. But I think still having that local presence and introduction in your creative and in your assets of local holidays or local events or big sporting events that might not necessarily be that big within the North American market. 

For instance, in the US we're all about our regular holidays like the Super Bowl, whereas Latin America is very passionate about soccer. So it's a matter of balancing the tactics and being contextually relevant for the audience. But overarching, your message and your brand promise should be consistent.

Susan:

Okay, so for some of our viewers who are struggling with or even thinking about how to structure a global marketing team, can you talk about how you structure your team to actually address those contextually relevant needs? 

Sophia:

Absolutely. So one key area that is super important is to be able to have in-region geographically-placed leaders ready for each of my regions. So for example, for the North American market, I need to have someone in the US, right? For Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ), I need to have someone in the APJ region to be able to effectively not only be co-located with our sales teams, but also be very much aware of the environment and the key nuances that are needed to effectively drive marketing in a region. 

And I will say the other big element is the right partnerships, which I know might be challenging, especially if you're on the smaller side, but we typically try to identify partnerships with local agencies or agencies that have local presence. Because of the same objectives, we want to make sure that we are having the best or most recent information that is impacting that market. And if you work with a centralized team outside of the region, that might be a challenge. So yeah, I will say when I looked at the structure, that's key. 

The other big factor for us is to still be able to drive economies of scale — and it's a fine balance — it requires ongoing effort because you always want to drive efficiencies, right? So I'm always thinking about what kind of  parts of the business will we scale and share, such as when it comes to content, when it comes to asset creation, when it comes to even older areas of the business which are more focused on the merchandising and execution. How will I utilize maybe an asset that was originally created for the US market, for instance, and scale it? Right. So there is always thought of that. But that doesn't — and I don't believe it will ever — replace having that regional expertise.

Stay tuned to the TopRank Marketing Blog and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more Break Free B2B interviews. Here's a sample of the series so far:

*Dell Outlet is a TopRank Marketing client.

The post Break Free B2B Marketing: Sofia O’Malley of Dell Outlet on Creating a Global B2B & B2C Marketing Team appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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How to Use LinkedIn Message Ads to Get Into LinkedIn Inboxes

Want to guarantee your message makes it into your prospects’ LinkedIn inboxes? Are you familiar with LinkedIn message ads? In this article, you’ll learn how to set up LinkedIn message ads. What Are LinkedIn Message Ads? With all of the other ad formats on LinkedIn, you pay only when someone clicks. But with LinkedIn message […]

The post How to Use LinkedIn Message Ads to Get Into LinkedIn Inboxes appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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How to Convert More Instagram Traffic: 3 Tips

Are you marketing products or services on Instagram? Are you looking for ways to improve your conversions from Instagram? In this article, you’ll discover three tips to improve the chances that people on Instagram will convert into customers on your website. #1: Create and Optimize a Dedicated Landing Page Building traffic to your website from […]

The post How to Convert More Instagram Traffic: 3 Tips appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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