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Yearly Archives: 2020

How the Medium Partner Program Can Make You Rich (Slowly)

Some writers are earning thousands in passive income every month with the Medium Partner Program. Why not you too? Whether you’re looking to write full-time, or you just want an extra …

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How to Measure Changing Marketing Goals During a Crisis

Seated man looking a monitor of marketing goals.

Seated man looking a monitor of marketing goals. In recent months, I’ve been listening to Paramore’s song “Hard Times” a lot. Their 2017 hit talks about struggling to overcome challenging circumstances above '80s-inspired new wave pop. It’s a bop, as the kids say, and confronts hardship — truthful and emphatic with a spoonful of sugar. via GIPHY During this global health crisis, I’m sure most marketers want to wake up fine, be told that they’re alright, and — in their weakest moments — have “wonder[ed] why [we] even try.” While we have no control over the state of the world, we do have control over how we react or work in tandem with it. With data, we get a glimpse into how our respective markets have been impacted, and it can inform a new perspective and next steps. Let’s take a look at how the pandemic affects data and analytics, and if B2B marketers need to shift their pre-pandemic goals.

Examine Pre- & Post-Crisis Data, Then Decide If Goals Need Updating

This may be the first time in our lifetimes where the whole world is going through the same crisis, but that doesn’t mean that all businesses are being affected in the same way. Some businesses within industries like tech, religious goods, home improvement, and health and fitness are finding themselves in higher demand. Other industries see buyers backing away from the table or putting processes on hold, waiting for more certain times. Since stay-at-home orders across the U.S. started in early March, we now have enough data to see how this time has impacted shopping and purchasing. We can examine market trends — for example, has search volume around your target keywords changed since March? If so, how? Look at website traffic and revenue data for the last 90 days and compare it to pre-crisis and average or seasonal data. It should be evident whether your business is growing or slowing. via GIPHY Both camps can benefit from an update in goals. I say “update” rather than “pivot” because sales expectations haven’t disappeared. The journey has just changed. Businesses that are experiencing increased demand want to become as visible and available to their customers as possible while supplies last, while those with the short end of the stick want to mitigate sales losses and prepare for the end of the crisis. An update to marketing goals may bring changes to strategies, which brings changes to how we measure performance. [bctt tweet="“Sales expectations haven’t disappeared. The journey has just changed.” @birdie_zepeda" username="toprank"]

Ensure Your Approach Fits Updated Goals

For Sales-Centric Goals


As shared in a previous SEO for B2B Marketers post, we are seeing reports that both B2B and B2C brands have seen increases in website traffic, improving 13 percent in March 2020 compared to February, according to HubSpot benchmark data. Buying online is even more popular and many users are using search engines to find online stores. Consequently, those with sales-centric goals should focus on optimizing landing pages with high conversion rates and that target keywords for the bottom of the sales funnel (i.e. Intent, Purchase, and Customer Loyalty).


Even if growing brand awareness isn’t the primary target of your updated crisis goals, it’s important to update copy to reflect the tone of current times. Customers or clients may not want to partner with someone who isn’t acknowledging that the way of the world has changed, even though it may be temporary. This allows for the opportunity to ensure high trafficked pages have calls to action that are relevant for visitors that navigate or land there. That way, you can help customers best find what they’re searching for during this time.

Paid Advertisements

Similar to SEO efforts, focusing on search queries or campaigns that are high converters or at the bottom of the funnel can make the most of your ad spend. If possible, consider increasing ad spend where you’re already seeing great returns.

For Branding-Centric Goals

via GIPHY We’re seeing marketers anticipate longer sales cycles by shifting focus from explicit sales to brand awareness for when the crisis begins to settle, so that customers and clients think of your business first when they’re ready to act. For example, just because I can’t travel right now doesn’t mean I’m not dreaming of being on a beach or visiting my family once travel restrictions are lifted!

Content & Influencer Marketing

Content with a distinct voice is at the center of any brand awareness campaign. It supports SEO efforts by creating content for gaps in coverage of top- and middle-of-funnel search queries. It builds credibility and thought leadership when paired with industry leaders and influencers. As audiences become more skeptical of brand marketing and tired of in these uncertain times, we're here for you ads, unique content can build relationships. Find your voice and work to make it stand out and provide value to your audience.


Identifying keywords and optimizing content for the top and middle of the sales funnel (such as: Awareness, Discovery, and Evaluation) supports brand awareness efforts and can help you reach sales goals without coming off as “salesy.” While your customer may not be ready today, you’re proactively helping them make a buying decision.

Paid Advertisements

If you find your budget is smaller, target smarter. Are there geographies that are or aren’t buying? Can your targeting better reflect your converting demographic? Can you focus on keywords or tactics that have a better return on advertising spend (ROAS)? If you find your budget is unchanged or has even increased, don’t be afraid to try new tactics to gain visibility. This can come in the form of display campaigns, social media promotions, or commercials on digital media platforms. [bctt tweet="“Content with a distinct voice is at the center of any brand awareness campaign. It supports SEO efforts by creating content for gaps in coverage of top-and-middle-of-funnel search queries.” @birdie_zepeda" username="toprank"]

Measurement for New Times (KPIs)

Organic Search & Content Marketing

  • increase in impressions
  • improvement in ranking/position for target keywords
  • increase in organic traffic
  • increase in conversions

Paid Advertisements

  • improved ROAS
  • increased click-through rates (CTR)
  • increase in conversions

Social Media or Influencer Marketing

  • increase in impressions
  • increase in engagement
    • likes, shares
  • brand mentions in social and earned media
  • referral traffic to website from social

Hard Times Feeling Easier?

via GIPHY These hard times are trying, but we hope in covering this topic that times start to feel a bit easier. If hard times were to be easier with some extra support or guidance, reach out to TopRank Marketing to learn how we can help.

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How to build a seamless social media approval process

Reality check: social media is rarely a “solo act” for businesses today. From content creation to distribution and beyond, collaboration is key to any Read more...

This post How to build a seamless social media approval process originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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Day 4,777: Remote Work Tips From 13+ Years As A Distance Marketer

Hand marking days on a chalkboard image.

Hand marking days on a chalkboard image. Today is day 4,777. Not days quarantined, but days working remotely. On Monday, March 23, 2007 I started working remotely, and 4,777 days later I still do. A staple aspect of my daily work life that had been the exception for most marketers is now — at least temporarily — the rule, with most people working from home due to the global health crisis. Having been a remote worker for a long time, I wanted to share the helpful practices that I wish I’d known when first starting out, and expand on my previous article “Remote Communication Opportunities For B2B Marketers.” Many have been working remotely much longer than me, and each one will have their own stories of remote work successes and snafus. According to my “days-since” calculator, my 4,777 days of remote work has been comprised of:
  • 412,732,800 seconds
  • 6,878,880 minutes
  • 114,648 hours
  • 4777 days
  • 682 weeks and 3 days
  • 13.08 years
That’s a lot of remote work time, yet for me I wouldn’t want it any other way, as I’ve found that the many advantages of working remotely outnumber those of traditional business office work settings.

Remote Work Has Changed Forever

How cataclysmic have the changes brought about by the pandemic collectively affected perceptions surrounding remote work, and what lasting changes will forever alter how — and especially where — we work? Survey data has begun to show that people are increasingly seeing remote work as being at least as efficient and in some cases even more effective than traditional pre-pandemic office-based work. 65 percent of B2B decision makers now view their new work model as being as effective or more effective than pre-pandemic models, an increase of 5 percent over just one month, as shown in the following chart from McKinsey. B2B Remote Sales Model Chart McKinsey Even with dismal unemployment rates, new remote work job opportunities have begun to expand, as Entrepreneur recently explored in “These 50 Companies Are Growing and Hiring Remotely Right Now.” Let’s take a look at five helpful practices I’ve learned during my 13-plus year stint of remote work, including a third option that sits squarely between traditional work-spaces and the work-from-home model.

1 — Create Your Own Separate & Pleasant Physical Workspace

It's helpful to create your own separate physical workspace that's both pleasant and conductive to productive remote work. Whether it’s a dedicated room in your home where you’ll be doing the bulk of your work, a makeshift office set up in a garage or attic space, or a co-working space in another location, having a physical place — no matter how small — that you can leave at the end of the workday is a helpful way to separate your personal and professional life. When it comes to where you physically work, another option to consider is leasing your own private office space. This can be an ideal way to work remotely while also keeping home life separated from business, although depending on your location office space can be expensive. I’m lucky enough to live in a city with inexpensive office space where I’ve kept a private office for over 13 years, and I highly recommend this approach when possible. It combines most of the advantages of traditional offices in a corporate environment with the benefits of working remotely.

2 — Implement and Stick To a Firm Schedule

I’ve always found it helpful to build a regular schedule into each remote workday, starting and ending at predetermined times as much as possible. At the other end of the remote work spectrum are situations where you can take advantage of the flexibility of certain remote schedules, and work as needed throughout each 24-hour period. This will depend on your particular company, duties, and the value you place on either regular work hours or the freedom of work-time flexibility. Whichever method you choose, during that first year of remote work it’s helpful to devise your own personalized schedule that pulls in some of the best elements from your previous office location in order to bring a sense of familiarity and organization to your new working environment.

3 — Gain Energy By Embracing Remote Work’s Advantages

Although they may be difficult to find early on while you’re adjusting to remote work, it can be helpful to take the time to learn and savor the advantages of working remotely, especially for those working from a home office. Particularly if your remote work situation isn’t a permanent one, it's beneficial to take the time to appreciate the little things that working remotely provides — whether it’s sharing a lunch with your partner or children, taking a break-time walk in a new nearby area, or simply enjoying some extra time you’ve saved by not having to contend with a lengthy work commute. Once stay-at-home safety measures are a thing of the past, another advantage of remote work to explore will be the ability to work from a variety of locations, which can help keep your B2B marketing work fresh and provide extra energy as you bring your laptop office to different spots in your city — an eventually as the pandemic subsides — state, country, and internationally. Remote work situations will likely become permanent for many in the months and years ago, while a variety of hybrid scenarios may also proliferate, such as splitting the work-week between remote and time at the company office.

3 — Creatively Insulate Yourself From Distraction

Just as in a traditional office environment, it’s smart to minimize distractions as much as possible, so that you can use remote work to find a newfound focus on your projects. If working from home, be sure the people in your home know your working schedule, and encourage them to connect with you only during set times such as over lunch or breaks. Some remote workers like to get outside when possible, especially if distractions threaten to interfere with important meetings or projects. Other remote workers chose to wear noise-cancelling headphones or to listen to music while working if noisy distractions are otherwise unavoidable.

4 — Utilize Powerful Remote Collaboration Software

During the Internet’s amazing 50-year history we’ve never had such powerful remote collaboration software available as we do now, and during the pandemic more people than ever have learned to use tools such as Zoom and Slack. Marketers typically use a vast number of tools daily, and thankfully nearly all can be used successfully in remote work settings, as our senior operations strategist Anne Leuman recently explored in “5 Examples of Effective B2B Content Marketing in Times of Crisis,” also showing how marketers are adjusting messaging during the pandemic. Offering a complete remote work operating system, our client monday.com has been sharing the fascinating stories of how its team has been finding success during the pandemic in a series of team member portraits called #MyRemoteLife, and publishing helpful information such as “19 WFH Stats That Might Surprise You.” Whatever tools you work with, in a remote work setting it’s just as important as in a traditional office environment to make sure that all your hardware and software are fully set up and ready for marketing action.

5 — Implement Remote-Friendly Tech Gadgets

As with a traditional business office, remote workers should set up the technology hardware necessary for doing your best work, whether it’s a second, third, or fourth monitor, or a WiFi signal extender. The size and number of monitors you work with is a personal preference, and may be limited by your laptop or desktop’s graphic cards. For me, I found the jump in productivity of going from two monitors to three was much more noticeable than the move long ago from one to two. I first worked with a multiple-monitor setup all the way back in the 1980s, when I used three monitors in a multiple Commodore Amiga computer system. Lane Ellis Triple Commdore Amiga Monitors Technology and marketing have both changed significantly during the intervening years, yet thankfully much also still remains the same, such as the importance of trust in marketing and the power of telling a good story.

Get Closer To Your Projects Than Ever Through Remote Work

A properly set up remote work environment can provide a positive and distraction-free place to focus intensely on your projects, and research continues to emerge showing that this is a very real advantage of working outside of a traditional office environment. Every successful remote worker has their own favorite productivity and well-being tips, and our team at TopRank Marketing has penned the following recent remote work articles offering additional insight: There’s never been a better time to tackle remote work, and the challenges and opportunities created by a workforce that will likely continue to make this switch in numbers the world has never seen, will combine to make this an era unlike any other. As B2B marketers, even if we continue to work from the traditional office building, we’ll be working with a new era of clients, associates, and business partners featuring more remote workers than ever — a grand experiment with outcomes and possibly unforeseen consequences. Looking for help with your B2B marketing? Contact us today and find out why clients such as LinkedIn, Adobe, Dell, 3M, Slack, and Oracle have chosen TopRank Marketing, and connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and our YouTube channel.

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Social Media Marketing Strategy for a Multi-Location Business

Does your business have multiple locations? Need a better social media strategy? In this article, you’ll find a four-part plan to structure a social media marketing strategy you can execute seamlessly across all markets. #1: Create an Overarching Brand Message As you look to extend your business operations into different markets (countries, states, cities, or […]

The post Social Media Marketing Strategy for a Multi-Location Business appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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Break Free B2B Marketing: Latane Conant of 6sense on Reinventing the CMO Role

Latane Conant

Latane Conant What’s in a job title? In my tenure as a marketer, I’ve met gurus who don’t live on mountaintops, ninjas who don’t know martial arts, and evangelists who don’t preach on Sunday.  At worst, these creative job titles are pure puffery. But at best, they serve as a statement of purpose. I’m thinking of titles like Shep Hyken’s Chief Amazement Officer, or Ann Handley as Chief Content Officer: They tell us something about what the person — and their organization — values. Latne Conant from 6sense has a subtly unusual job title: Chief Market Officer. She dropped the ‘ing’ from ‘Marketing,’ and that tiny change signals a major shift in the way she approaches her job. Instead of focusing on the verb of marketing — what tactics to deploy to reach an audience —  her job is to deeply understand the market, the people her brand is trying to reach. For Latane, getting rid of that ‘ing’ makes all the difference in turning marketers into revenue-generating dynamos. In her Break Free B2B interview with our president and co-founder Susan Misukanis, Latane elaborated on how 6sense’s approach is unique, what technologies they use, and how they’ve achieved some truly impressive results. [bctt tweet="“If I am engaging accounts more effectively than my competition, I will generate more pipeline, I'll win more often, I'll have bigger deals, and I will set my relationship off with those customers better.” #B2BMarketing @LataneConant @6senseInc" username="toprank"]

Break Free B2B Interview with Latane Conant

Timeline and Highlights :58 - How can CMOs better understand customer insight in the age of the “dark funnel?” 2:52 - Changing focus from the tactics of marketing to knowing your audience 4:00 - The Chief Market Officer - losing the “ing” 6:45 - Not accepting limitations in pursuing a career 7:29 - Getting what you want is easy; knowing what you want is hard 8:30 - The Fun Factor in managing a team 9:00 - V2MOM and organization 10:15 - If you’re not effing up, you’re not pushing the envelope hard enough 12:21 - Inverting the org chart — leading from the bottom 13:45 - Leads are not the primary measure of success 16:10 - Marketing is a revenue team 17:25 - Engagement is the new oil 18:45 - The new standard for marketing executives Susan: You were recently quoted saying that today's CMOs need to be the masters of understanding customer insights and putting them to use. So are CMOs progressing in this area of insights, or is it just still a massive black hole, and that's why you're preaching?  Latane: Well, first of all, I hope I would never seem preachy, because we are all in this together, we're all in the black hole together. I think the challenge that we have is only 13% of sales and marketing teams have any confidence in their data, because it's primarily opportunity data in CRM, or it's map data, which is basically lead-based.  And if you think about the buying journey, most of it happens anonymously, or what we at 6sense call your “dark funnel.” So that's where all the rich research is really happening.  No one's coming to your website and downloading your content anymore. It's also a buying team. It's not a lead or contact, and buyer journeys aren't linear. So you think about this new modern buying journey, which is anonymous. It's a buying team, not a leader contact, and it's not linear. And you look at the tools that we have at our disposal as CMOs, and it's sort of like we are a Model T trying to get to the moon.  And so thinking about the black hole, it's really looking for platforms that are AI and big data based. Because at the end of the day, even if you're amazing, your data is gonna suck, and it's okay. So I think admit that all our data sucks. Yeah, we've got to marry our data up with a much bigger platform and be able to understand that anonymous activity so we have a true picture of this nonlinear buying journey. Once you have that, you can start to re-imagine a better what I call prospect experience. Susan: How do you manage your teams and get them motivated? How do you hold the bar where you hold it? Latane: I would say the first thing is I'm clear that my expectations are high. And I'm very clear in the interview process, that my expectations are going to be very, very high. And you have to want that! Some people don't want that. So the first thing is, do you want to do good work or do you want to do great work? And it is okay if this is not the gig for you. So I think that's the first level of it. The second level of it is, I really believe in having fun. So my old CEO, Chris Barban, taught me this: He said, eight out of 10 working days, you must be having fun. And that’s we call the fun factor. And so everyone on my team, what's your fun factor? And if it's not an eight, what's going on, but it's also up to me to bring the fun, right? To say, hey, let's go grab a soulcycle class or let's go for a run or let's — you know what, we're all strung out — let's do something fun together. So, I think having fun and enjoying each other is allowed. We laugh a lot. We joke around a lot.  And then the third really key thing for me is a strategic planning process that I use called V2MOM. And it originated with Salesforce. But it's now really popular — a lot of tech companies use it and I've used it at two companies now, and two of the boards that I work on have adopted it, and it's all about prioritization.  I don't know if I can cuss on this show, but I consulted The CMOs that I work with, from an advisory perspective, I say you have to know what you give an F about. And know what you don't give an F about, because you can't give an F about everything. So what V2MOM forces is everything is time-bound, and everything is prioritized.  So I have high expectations for these things. I don't care. Don't wait. Like, if you're spending one second over there — that's not going to be an excuse for missing on this. And we all agree to those priorities every single quarter. So it's very clear what we're doing and we're gonna do it right. Latane: I actually just changed my title to Chief Market Officer. And it's an important distinction that a lady who was actually on our board — who's amazing, her name is Christine Heckard, And she's been a CMO. And now she's the CEO. And she's talked a lot about the role of the CMO. And we have gotten ourselves really mired down in ‘ing.’ “I did a blog, I did webinars, look at all these MQLs I pass to sales, here's my funnel, here's my tech stack.” That is all ing ing ing.  Her challenge to CMOs is to redefine that. We are the seat at the table that needs to understand the market. That is customers today and customers tomorrow. That's why this audience-first approach and understanding the market, then you can apply the ing. But it's not a cheap financing offer sir or cheap selling officer. We sort of diminished our role by not taking that seat at the table.  Stay tuned to the TopRank Marketing Blog and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more Break Free B2B interviews. Here are a few more highlights from this season:  

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How to Retarget Facebook Ad Traffic for Conversions

Are you working with a new Facebook pixel? Wondering whether to use a traffic objective campaign or a conversion objective campaign? In this article, you’ll discover how to combine Facebook ads traffic and conversion campaigns to meet your goals. Understanding Facebook Ads Traffic and Conversions Objectives The objective you choose when you create your Facebook […]

The post How to Retarget Facebook Ad Traffic for Conversions appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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How to Build Empathy Into Your Landing Pages During COVID-19

There’s never been a better time to stretch your empathy muscle. In today's post, Directive's Liam Barnes talks about how you can build it into your landing page copy and design.

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What’s next? 10 actions every social marketer needs to take today

Pivot, iterate, adapt. Marketers all around the world have had to embrace these actions as they learn about what’s next for their brands and Read more...

This post What’s next? 10 actions every social marketer needs to take today originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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A look ahead: Examining the shifts in the COVID-19 conversation

For brands and consumers alike, a return to normal is unlikely to occur any time soon. As of May 5, there are over 3.5 Read more...

This post A look ahead: Examining the shifts in the COVID-19 conversation originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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