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5 Key Insights from TrackMaven’s 2017 Digital Marketing Analytics Performance Report

In today’s changing digital landscape, marketers know that having good data and analytics are vital for understanding the impact of their digital marketing efforts. After all, in order to drive performance and prove ROI, you have to be able to measure what’s working and what’s not so you can address issues and capitalize on opportunities.

While digging into your brand’s own web and marketing analytics is an absolute must, understanding how you measure up to your industry peers can bring more insight and context—something TrackMaven’s 2017 Digital Marketing Analytics Performance Report aims to help with.

To create the report, TrackMaven used its digital marketing analytics platform to analyze a year’s worth of data—including social media performance, blog performance, public relations performance, and website health metrics—from over 700 businesses. The end product not only highlights trends, but also provides benchmarks and analysis of the most effective marketing channels across 13 industries and 39 sub-sectors.

Below we share five interesting takeaways, as well as some tips for using these insights to boost your efforts.

#1 – The higher education industry is killing it on social media.

According to the report, higher education institutions saw the highest social media follower growth across the social media landscape, averaging a 77% annual growth in followers. Of course, engaging social media content was a correlated factor, with the education industry ranking sixth in engagement out of the 13 industries analyzed.

Tip: Get to know your audience inside and out. From my perspective, achieving both follower growth and high engagement is directly tied to knowing who your audience is and using that information to deliver relevant, inspiring and valuable content.

Also, take some time to peruse social pages for higher ed institutions to get a feel for what their strategy is. Are they sharing tons of blog content? Are they highlighting students? Are they asking engaging questions? While your industry may be wildly different from higher education, you’ll likely find something worth tailoring and testing with your audience.


Achieving both follower growth & high engagement is directly tied to knowing who your audience is.
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#2 – Don’t underestimate the power of Pinterest for B2B.

While Instagram was found to be the overall engagement winner—with 12 out of the 13 industries seeing the highest engagement ratio on that platform—Pinterest is also an engagement driver, particularly for B2B brands.

As you can see in the graph below, for B2B industries such as software and applications and construction equipment, Pinterest is getting more engagement on average than Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

TrackMaven Report - Social Media Engagement Ratio

While this little tidbit did not get a special call out in the report, TrackMaven has highlighted Pinterest’s “hidden value” for B2B in the past, saying: “B2B marketers need to stop thinking of Pinterest as a simple bulletin board and start thinking of it as your company’s whiteboard.”

Tip: Most social media platforms are meant for communication, Pinterest is all about providing a place for users to discover new things and ideas, and find inspiration for all areas of their lives. Create boards that intertwine industry-specific topics, as well as boards that allow you to share your own compelling content and showcase your brand’s personality.

HubSpot is a great example of all this in action. With nearly 60 different boards, HubSpot shares fun facts, inspiring quotes, an inside look at their company culture, client spotlights and tons of marketing content.

Example of HubSpot on Pinterest

Some other B2B brands to look to for inspiration include FedEx, IBM, Adobe and Microsoft.

Read: Is Pinterest Still Alive & How Are Brands Using It?

#3 – Brands can take a content cue from the sports and entertainment industry.

According to the report, sports and entertainment brands have the strongest blog content performance on social media, with an average of 12,098 social shares per blog post. Of course, it’s also important to note that these brands are publishing an average of 55 blog posts per month—which comes in second for most posts published after the media and publishing industry, for obvious reasons.

Of course, sports and entertainment brands have one distinct advantage over other industries—timely, newsworthy items pop up pretty often, which gives them interesting content on the regular. But they’re still contending with competitors and news feed algorithms to get eyeballs to their content.

Regardless, for me the report findings still show that consistently publishing relevant, entertaining and valuable content, and amplifying it across your digital channels, is an absolute must.

Tip: Create a content creation and amplification calendar, that also builds in flex time to cover breaking industry news or timely topics that your audience will care about.


Build in flex time to cover breaking industry news or timely topics. @CaitlinMBurgess #digitalmarketing
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#4 – Website health varies widely from industry to industry.

To assess website health, TrackMaven averaged a year’s worth of Moz Domain Authority scores and ranked industries from lowest to highest—revealing a wide gap between industries.

For a quick overview, Moz’s Domain Authority is a 100-point logarithmic scale that uses more than 40 signals such as total number of links, MozRank and MozTrust to determine the strength of a website. Typically, sites with higher domain authority should fare better in organic search results—something of obvious importance to all brands.

According to the report, media and publishing brands ranked at the top with an average score of 86.23. Ranking at the bottom with 58.35 was the wellness industry. Those industries with scores under 60 get “failing grades” for website health, the report said.

Tip: Take advantage of Moz’s free tools to check the health of your website. Start by downloading and installing the free MozBar to get a high-level glance at what your Domain Authority looks like. In addition, use the Open Site Explorer option to see what quality link building opportunities exist, as well as get the scoop on how your competitors are doing, too. If you want to dive deeper, sign up for a free Moz Pro trial.

#5 – PR is an opportunity for all.

The higher education, media and publishing, and sports and entertainment industries consistently ranked at the top of performance areas in this report—and PR performance was no different. While more press mentions doesn’t necessarily equal more social shares of that mention, it’s clear that getting a little PR only adds to your digital marketing success.

Tip: Start building relationships with key industry news sites and publications, as well as industry thought leaders. Get on their radar by following and engaging with them on social media. When the time is right, reach out to introduce yourself and comment on the good work they’re doing.

Also, if you’re in the practice of sending out press releases, offer to give an exclusive interview with a key player in your organization. Journalists love exclusivity, and this could help you get your message out.

Finally, if you do get some good PR, amplify the crap out of it. If they’ve taken the time to write something good about you, thank them for it. This will also help you to continue to build that relationship.


If you get some good PR, amplify the crap out of it. @CaitlinMBurgess #digitalmarketing #socialmedia
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Want More Digital Marketing Analytics Performance Insights?

Read the full TrackMaven report here.

How do you plan to up the effectiveness of your digital marketing efforts this year? Tell us in the comments section.


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The post 5 Key Insights from TrackMaven’s 2017 Digital Marketing Analytics Performance Report appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

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About Daniel Rodgers

A lot of news that you will not see in the paper. A lot of technology that is coming out that will not see in the paper.

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5 Key Traits of the Best B2B Influencers

Traits B2B Influencers

Traits B2B Influencers

Marketers are still asking, what is B2B influencer marketing? Here’s a definition I’ve been using over the past 5 years or so:

B2B influencer marketing is activating internal and external subject matter experts with engaged networks to advocate and co-create content of mutual value that drives measurable business goals.

As the groundswell around influencer marketing rises and becomes a normal part of the B2B marketing mix, the volume of information and misinformation on the topic also increases.

One of the most popular questions people also ask about B2B influencer marketing focuses on what makes a good business influencer? By now we all know that popularity alone does not make someone influential. It’s certainly important, it's just not the only thing.

As B2B marketers mature in their understanding of the role influence plays and how the dynamic of brand content co-created with industry experts plays out with customers, they begin to realize that other factors matter. Topical relevance matters of course as well as resonance of the topic amongst an influencer’s community.

B2B Marketing Influencers

The intersection of individual expertise, how well that expertise resonates with followers and the size of network creates a baseline of characteristics when evaluating whether a certain influencer might be a match.

But there’s more than that. Understanding what makes a great influencer is both art and science, soft and hard skills. The success of identifying, qualifying and engaging influencers is also directly tied to how they will be engaged and to what end.

Some people reading this might think that influencer marketing isn’t the magic pill some are playing it up to be. There’s a reason for that, because it’s not magic. It’s more like alchemy.

The reality is, there’s no one formula for the perfect B2B influencer, but there are some common characteristics that B2B brands should look for in varying proportions according to what’s important to a program or activation. I call those characteristics:

The 5 Ps of B2B Influence

Proficiency - In B2B marketing, the vast majority of those considered influential possess deep expertise in the field they work in. This is a significant difference from many B2C influencers who are often self proclaimed as influential with clever media creation skills.

As B2C influencer content and engagement tactics evolve, some are crossing over into B2B with a trickle of opportunists successfully creating influence amongst B2B audiences not solely for their expertise, but for a combination of adept social media content creation skills and some expertise. B2B marketers who do their due diligence will be able to filter accordingly.

Popularity - While network size is not the only thing, nor is it the most important thing, it is definitely a metric to consider. Some marketers swing in the direction of ignoring audience size altogether because of lower engagement rates with popular influencers. This is simply foolish. All things being the same, I’ll take 2% engagement of an influencer with a million followers over 2% from someone that has 1,000 followers.

What matters is how network size factors in with the type of influencer you need. For example, popular influencers aka “brandividuals” are often best for top of funnel content. Niche domain expert influencers are better for middle and end of funnel content. Engaging a brandividual and expecting conversions is just naive.

Personality - If you’ve worked in B2C influencer marketing and been exposed to all the characters there, B2B is going to seem a bit dry. Now there are some colorful characters in the B2B influencer community, no doubt. But personality is often a trait that needs to be uncovered when you’re working with some types of business influencers.

The good news is that savvy influencer marketing practitioners know how to plant the seeds that can grow and blossom within an otherwise introverted influencer. You don’t need them to be a colorful character, ripe with personality per se, but you do want them to connect with the passion they have with their craft and how their expertise can help others be successful.

Publishing - Content is the media that conveys the ideas of influence and while B2B influencers are not expected to produce the same types and quantity of content as in B2C, it is ideal when there’s a platform where the influencer publishes. At a minimum, that would be social networks but to be a B2B influencer, it’s most likely that also includes articles contributed to publications if not research, books and presentations.

Promotion - The value a B2B influencer brings beyond adding expertise and credibility to brand content is the ability to share what they helped create with their network. Trust of brand content is at a low, especially with advertising. Customers yearn for authentic content and the right kind of influencer collaboration can give them that, delivered via the influencer’s own distribution channels. That means social networks for course but also potentially blogs, email newsletters, podcast, LinkedIn Live, contributed articles or columns in industry publications.

I know some people reading this are thinking there could be even more P’s like being Prolific, Persuasive or Passion. Yes, there could be so many more but we have to draw the line somewhere! It's important to be able to manage the data and insights necessary to factor these characteristics into selection, qualification and engagement.

Some of these traits will not fully reveal themselves until you work with an influencer on a few content activations. Others will fluctuate over time and that is normal. It's important to understand that influence is a temporal thing. It is not fixed or permanent. It’s important marketers realize that before they disengage an influencer in the short term due to lower performance. The same goes for high expectations after great performance.

Organic influencer engagement is a little dynamic and what you don’t spend on paid influencers like an ad buy you will (in part) need to invest in relationship management, education and even tips that will help the influencers be more effective.

B2B brands with high influencer churn or low performance often apply “ad buy” perspectives to a what is actually a relationship driven effort. Mismatched expectations are not helpful for anyone, so think about the 5Ps as you evaluate and nurture your influencer community. Consider where of each your ideal influencers need to score on the 5 Ps in order to be a good match for the kind of activation you have in mind.

When there’s 5P alignment, there's happiness: for customers, influencers and your B2B brand.

The post 5 Key Traits of the Best B2B Influencers appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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