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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.

Social media and journalism: how to effectively reach the public

Social media and journalism are one and the same these days. Perhaps that’s because over 50% of people rely on social as a news Read more...

This post Social media and journalism: how to effectively reach the public originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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The B2B Marketing Force Multiplier: Integrated SEO and Influencer Marketing

B2B Marketing Force Multiplier SEO Influence

B2B Marketing Force Multiplier SEO Influence As business customers with questions are ignoring tone deaf brand marketing (and tiring of Pandemic messaging too) they are increasingly in search of information more than ever. Trust Radius reports that some B2B tech categories are seeing anywhere from 194% to 613% increases in search driven traffic. Search engines are clearly positioned to deliver answers for buyers seeking answers, but where is the trust? And more importantly, is your brand the best answer when and where buyers are looking? SEO alone is not enough. A study from CSO insights ranked Web searches the 8th most trusted source of information for technology buyers. According to a study by Forbes/Yext, only 50% of customers believe search results. Search ads are not necessarily the solution because 65% of marketers don’t trust them either (HubSpot).

What good is being found in search if customers don’t trust what they find?

The solution? Make search optimized content more trustworthy, credible and useful by partnering with industry experts to create it. A Demand Gen Report study reports that 95% of buyers prefer influencer content. That's an incredibly strong level of preference that B2B marketers would be negligent to ignore. SEO and influence are excellent partners to deliver a satisfying content experience. To do that, you must first find the sweet spot for your customers with content that is findable with SEO and credible by showcasing relevant expertise from industry influencers. Influencer content also optimizes B2B brands for Google E-A-T. Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness are page quality characteristics highlighted in Google's Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines. When B2B companies ensure their content demonstrates E-A-T characteristics, it's akin to optimizing for both better Google and customers. Credible Content Creation and Promotion can be a force multiplier for your marketing performance for multiple reasons. First, influential experts can extend the output of your marketing department by helping you make content. Second, those same experts can add credibility to brand content with quotes, insights on entirely influencer generated content. Third, the investment in content creation by those influential experts can also inspire them to promote that content to their trusted networks through social shares, inclusion in industry publications or cross published to influencer media (podcasts, livestream video, recorded video, blog posts, etc). Like all marketing efforts, its important to identify your SEO and influencer marketing goals: improved organic search visibility, increased click through rates from Google to your site, improved time on site, increased click throughs from SEO landing pages to deeper content, and conversions referred from organic search. Because influencers are involved, you can also benchmark and monitor the brand share of voice on social networks for the influencers you are working with, the social reach and impressions of their social shares, the referred traffic and conversions from their shares. If the influencers you are working with publish their own content and you are able to engage them to cross-post or create original content aligned with your campaign, you can track the search visibility of your brand mentions on their websites. Doing so can help you manage achieving multiple positions within search results on the same query. To help you get started towards realizing the marketing multiplier effect of integrated SEO and influencer marketing, here is a checklist of considerations in 5 sections:

Step 1 - Create Your Target Customer Profile

  • Describe your customer - demographics, psychographics, firmographics
  • What search keywords matter to this customer?
  • Which types of influencers matter to this customer?
  • What content topics and types are important for this customer?
  • What questions does this customer want answered?
  • Which social platforms does this customer use?
  • Which publications, podcasts or “shows” does this customer subscribe to?

Step 2 - Identify Influencers for SEO Topics

  • Leveraging SEO keyword research and an understanding of the content to be created/optimized, research 5-10 on-topic influencers using BuzzSumo, Traackr or other influencer marketing software.
  • Identify influencers creating on-topic content with great search visibility (Consider influencers recognized by Google with a Knowledge Panel).
  • Evaluate influencer’s link attraction rate when they publish or contribute content.
  • Align search keywords and corresponding influencers with content intended to function at the appropriate stage in the customer journey: Top, Middle and Bottom of funnel.

Step 3 - Activate Influencers to C0-Create Optimized Content

  • Use the Target Customer Profile to document specific content types and content sources (social platforms, media, blogs, newsletters, podcasts, YouTube channels etc) that matter to your customer.
  • By topic, map relevant influencers to specific content assets for activation.
  • Engage influencers and invite them to provide content for their assigned topics in the format preferred.
  • Use SEO topics in influencer interview questions to inspire SEO-friendly answers.

Step 4 - Inspire Content Promotion & Links

  • Identify opportunities to engage individual influencers for content promotion. Examples include: podcast, webinar, report contribution, social shares, quotes for blog posts, 3rd party editorial, newsletter or brand social channels.
  • Create UTM codes for URLs of content provided to influencers to share so they can be tracked in your analytics.
  • Provide influencer creators with topic clusters they can organically use in content and social shares.
  • Identify pre-launch influencer engagement opportunities - provide prewritten social shares.
  • Create an announcement blog posts, social promotions and engage influencers to create blog, video and social network content.
  • Create a series of promotional emails.
  • Support blog, social and earned media with targeted online advertising.
  • Post launch, repurpose influencer content on brand social networks, blog and in contributed articles.

Step 5 - Implement Ongoing Optimization & Influencer Engagement

  • Monitor the group of influencers you are working with for brand & keyword mentions on social networks and engage appropriately.
  • Repurpose influencer quotes in ongoing content: newsletters, presentations, contributed articles to publications, ebooks, infographics, etc.
  • Share updates with the influencers you are working with on the status of the campaign they participated in, updates to relevant technology or solutions and about your influencer program.
  • Find ways to connect influencers with each other: host an influencer happy hour on Zoom, create a LinkedIn or Facebook group, create channel on Slack.
  • Surprise and delight influencer contributors with feedback, tokens of appreciation and thank you's.
  • Consider providing influencers with SEO audits of their blogs so they can improve their organic search visibility.
Topics that drive SEO and topics that guide influencer identification and content collaboration are a natural fit and can expand the impact of your organic search visibility as well as the advocacy about your brand amongst trusted voices in your industry. As effective organic search visibility requires ongoing care and optimization, influencer relationships also require ongoing care and nurturing. Organic SEO is a form of "always on marketing" that works 24/7 and a small ongoing investment can pay big dividends when your B2B brand content is presented by Google at the very moment the buyer is looking. The same optimism about influencers can be said when it comes to brand advocacy and a trusted industry expert organically recommends your brand. I hope this checklist has provided you with some direction that will help you get started with a search optimized and integrated influencer marketing strategy. There are many levels of process, tools and deep expertise that can make implementing an effort like this successful in a reasonable amount of time. If you have any questions or need help, the masters of SEO and Influence at TopRank Marketing are happy to help! Visit our Influencer Marketing Services resources or contact us directly.

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2020 Social Media Marketing Industry Report

Wondering how fellow marketers are using social media? Want to know what marketers plan to do with organic social activities, video marketing, and social ads? In our 12th annual social media study, we surveyed more than 5,200 marketers who reveal details you won’t find anywhere else. How Are Marketers Using Social Media? To understand how […]

The post 2020 Social Media Marketing Industry Report appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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Managing Algorithmic Volatility

Upon the recently announced Google update I've seen some people Tweet things like

  • if you are afraid of algorithm updates, you must be a crappy SEO
  • if you are technically perfect in your SEO, updates will only help you

I read those sorts of lines and cringe.

Here's why...

Fragility

Different businesses, business models, and business structures have varying degrees of fragility.

If your business is almost entirely based on serving clients then no matter what you do there is going to be a diverse range of outcomes for clients on any major update.

Let's say 40% of your clients are utterly unaffected by an update & of those who saw any noticeable impact there was a 2:1 ratio in your favor, with twice as many clients improving as falling.

Is that a good update? Does that work well for you?

If you do nothing other than client services as your entire business model, then that update will likely suck for you even though the net client impact was positive.

Why?

Many businesses are hurting after the Covid-19 crisis. Entire categories have been gutted & many people are looking for any reason possible to pull back on budget. Some of the clients who won big on the update might end up cutting their SEO budget figuring they had already won big and that problem was already sorted.

Some of the clients that fell hard are also likely to either cut their budget or call endlessly asking for updates and stressing the hell out of your team.

Capacity Utilization Impacts Profit Margins

Your capacity utilization depends on how high you can keep your steady state load relative to what your load looks like at peaks. When there are big updates management or founders can decide to work double shifts and do other things to temporarily deal with increased loads at the peak, but that can still be stressful as hell & eat away at your mental and physical health as sleep and exercise are curtailed while diet gets worse. The stress can be immense if clients want results almost immediately & the next big algorithm update which reflects your current work may not happen for another quarter year.

How many clients want to be told that their investments went sour but the problem was they needed to double their investment while cashflow is tight and wait a season or two while holding on to hope?

Category-based Fragility

Businesses which appear to be diversified often are not.

  • Everything in hospitality was clipped by Covid-19.
  • 40% of small businesses across the United States have stopped making rent payments.
  • When restaurants massively close that's going to hit Yelp's business hard.
  • Auto sales are off sharply.

Likewise there can be other commonalities in sites which get hit during an update. Not only could it include business category, but it could also be business size, promotional strategies, etc.

Sustained profits either come from brand strength, creative differentiation, or systemization. Many prospective clients do not have the budget to build a strong brand nor the willingness to create something that is truly differentiated. That leaves systemization. Systemization can leave footprints which act as statistical outliers that can be easily neutralized.

Sharp changes can happen at any point in time.

For years Google was funding absolute garbage like Mahalo autogenerated spam and eHow with each month being a new record. It is very hard to say "we are doing it wrong" or "we need to change everything" when it works month after month after month. Then an update happens and poof. Was eHow decent back in the first Internet bubble? Sure. But it lost money. Was it decent after it got bought out for a song and had the paywall dropped in favor of using the new Google AdSense program? Sure. Was it decent the day Demand Media acquired it? Sure. Was it decent on the day of the Demand Media IPO? Almost certainly not. But there was a lag between that day and getting penalized. Panda Trivia The first Panda update missed eHow because journalists were so outraged by the narrative associated with the pump-n-dump IPO. They feared their jobs going away and being displaced by that low level garbage, particularly as the market cap of Demand Media eclipsed the New York Times. Journalist coverage of the pump-n-dump IPO added credence to it from an algorithmic perspective. By constantly writing hate about eHow they made eHow look like a popular brand, generating algorithmic signals that carried the site until Google created an extension which allowed journalists and other webmasters to vote against the site they had been voting for through all their outrage coverage. Algorithms & the Very Visible Hand And all algorithmic channels like organic search, the Facebook news feed, or Amazon's product pages go through large shifts across time. If they don't, they get gamed, repetitive, and lose relevance as consumer tastes change and upstarts like Tiktok emerge. Consolidation by the Attention Merchants Frequent product updates, cloning of upstarts, or outright acquisitions are required to maintain control of distribution:

"The startups of the Rebellion benefited tremendously from 2009 to 2012. But from 2013 on, the spoils of smartphone growth went to an entirely different group: the Empire. ... A network effect to engage your users, AND preferred distribution channels to grow, AND the best resources to build products? Oh my! It’s no wonder why the Empire has captured so much smartphone value and created a dark time for the Rebellion. ... Now startups are fighting for only 5% of the top spots as the Top Free Apps list is dominated by incumbents. Facebook (4 apps), Google (6 apps), and Amazon (4 apps) EACH have as many apps in the Top 100 list as all the new startups combined."

Apple & Amazon

Emojis are popular, so those features got copied, those apps got blocked & then apps using the official emojis also got blocked from distribution. The same thing happens with products on Amazon.com in terms of getting undercut by a house brand which was funded by using the vendor's sales data. Re-buy your brand or else.

Facebook

Before the Facebook IPO some thought buying Zynga shares was a backdoor way to invest into Facebook because gaming was such a large part of the ecosystem. That turned out to be a dumb thesis and horrible trade. At times other things trended including quizzes, videos, live videos, news, self hosted Instant Articles, etc.

Over time the general trend was edge rank of professional publishers fell as a greater share of inventory went to content from friends & advertisers. The metrics associated with the ads often overstated their contribution to sales due to bogus math and selection bias.

Internet-first publishers like CollegeHumor struggled to keep up with the changes & influencers waiting for a Facebook deal had to monetize using third parties:

“I did 1.8 billion views last year,” [Ryan Hamilton] said. “I made no money from Facebook. Not even a dollar.” ... "While waiting for Facebook to invite them into a revenue-sharing program, some influencers struck deals with viral publishers such as Diply and LittleThings, which paid the creators to share links on their pages. Those publishers paid top influencers around $500 per link, often with multiple links being posted per day, according to a person who reached such deals."

YouTube

YouTube had a Panda-like update back in 2012 to favor watch time over raw view counts. They also adjust the ranking algorithms on breaking news topics to favor large & trusted channels over conspiracy theorist content, alternative health advice, hate speech & ridiculous memes like the Tide pod challenge.

All unproven channels need to start somewhat open to gain usage, feedback & marketshare. Once they become real businesses they clamp down. Some of the clamp down can be editorial, forced by regulators, or simply anticompetitive monpolistic abuse.

Kid videos were a huge area on YouTube (perhaps still are) but that area got cleaned up after autogenerated junk videos were covered & the FTC clipped YouTube for delivering targeted ads on channels which primarily catered to children.

Dominant channels can enforce tying & bundling to wipe out competitors:

"Google’s response to the threat from AppNexus was that of a classic monopolist. They announced that YouTube would no longer allow third-party advertising technology. This was a devastating move for AppNexus and other independent ad technology companies. YouTube was (and is) the largest ad-supported video publisher, with more than 50% market share in most major markets. ... Over the next few months, Google’s ad technology team went to each of our clients and told them that, regardless of how much they liked working with AppNexus, they would have to also use Google’s ad technology products to continue buying YouTube. This is the definition of bundling, and we had no recourse. Even WPP, our largest customer and largest investors, had no choice but to start using Google’s technology. AppNexus growth slowed, and we were forced to lay off 100 employees in 2016."

Everyone Else

Every moderately large platform like eBay, Etsy, Zillow, TripAdvisor or the above sorts of companies runs into these sorts of issues with changing distribution & how they charge for distribution.

Building Anti-fragility Into Your Business Model

Growing as fast as you can until the economy craters or an algorithm clips you almost guarantees a hard fall along with an inability to deal with it.

Markets ebb and flow. And that would be true even if the above algorithmic platforms did not make large, sudden shifts.

Build Optionality Into Your Business Model

If your business primarily relies on publishing your own websites or you have a mix of a few clients and your own sites then you have a bit more optionality to your approach in dealing with updates.

Even if you only have one site and your business goes to crap maybe you at least temporarily take on a few more consulting clients or do other gig work to make ends meet.

Focus on What is Working

If you have a number of websites you can pour more resources into whatever sites reacted positively to the update while (at least temporarily) ignoring any site that was burned to a crisp.

Ignore the Dead Projects

The holding cost of many websites is close to zero unless they use proprietary and complex content management systems. Waiting out a penalty until you run out of obvious improvements on your winning sites is not a bad strategy. Plus, if you think the burned site is going to be perpetually burned to a crisp (alternative health anyone?) then you could sell links off it or generate other alternative revenue streams not directly reliant on search rankings.

Build a Cushion

If you have cash savings maybe you guy out and buy some websites or domain names from other people who are scared of the volatility or got clipped for issues you think you could easily fix.

When the tide goes out debt leverage limits your optionality. Savings gives you optionality. Having slack in your schedule also gives you optionality.

The person with a lot of experience & savings would love to see highly volatile search markets because those will wash out some of the competition, curtail investments from existing players, and make other potential competitors more hesitant to enter the market.

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New Pinterest Tools for Marketers

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 Pinterest’s new shopping capabilities, Verified Merchant Program, and new marketing tools with special guest, Jennifer Priest. Tune […]

The post New Pinterest Tools for Marketers appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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B2B Marketing News: Brands Spending More on Data, Spotify Turns Video Chats into Podcasts, & Consumers Trying More New Brands

2020 May 8 MarketingCharts Chart

2020 May 8 MarketingCharts Chart How COVID-19 Is Impacting Business Event Planning 70 percent of business event planners have changed previously-planned in-person events to virtual platforms due to the pandemic, and 47 percent expect that once it ends people will still be hesitant to travel, with 27 percent expecting a swift uptick in real-world events due to pent-up demand, according to newly-released survey data from the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA). MarketingProfs Google ad sales steady after coronavirus drop; Alphabet leads tech share rally 2020 first-quarter advertising sales at Google tallied $33.8 billion, with 73 percent coming from search and 12 percent from its YouTube property, and Google's ad business accounting for some 83 percent of revenue for parent firm Alphabet, according to newly-released financial results. Reuters Spotify-owned Anchor can now turn your video chats into podcasts Spotify will utilize its Anchor property to make it possible to convert video meeting content into podcasts, offering marketers new options for making use of a virtual hangout video content podcast conversion feature, Spotify recently announced. TechCrunch Google’s new Podcasts Manager tool offers deeper data on listener behavior Google has rolled out a new podcast analytics data feature — Podcasts Manager — that provides marketers an assortment of new podcast listening data, the search giant recently announced. Marketing Land LinkedIn's up to 690 Million Members, Reports 26% Growth in User Sessions LinkedIn (client) saw its user base increase to 690 million members — up from 675 in January — with an accompanying 26 percent increase in user sessions, and LinkedIn Live streams that increased by some 158 percent since February, according to parent firm Microsoft’s latest earnings release. Social Media Today Advertisers Continued to Gravitate to Instagram in Q1 Advertisers moved to spend more on Instagram during the first quarter of 2020, with ad spending up 39 percent year-over-year on the platform, holding steady at 27 percent of parent company Facebook’s total ad spend, according to recently-released Merkle data. MarketingCharts 2020 May 8 Statistics Image Brands Are Using More Data And Spending More On It: Study B2B marketers are making greater use of data and spending increasingly to gather it, according to recent report data from Ascend2, showing that 47 percent use engagement data to make marketing decisions, one of several report statistics of interest to digital marketers. MediaPost Most consumers are trying new brands during social distancing, study finds Brands are seeing newfound levels of audience interest, with an uptick in consumer interest for trying new brands that has been observed during the pandemic, with members of the Gen Z and Millennial demographic seeing the biggest increases, according to recently-released survey data. Campaign US Marketers Ante Up for In-Game Advertising A $3 billion in-game advertising market in the U.S. alone has attracted additional advertisers, and a new Association of National Advertisers (ANA) examination of data from eMarketer found some surprises in that most mobile gamers were over 35, with 20 percent being over 50, while the majority were female, several of the in-game advertising statistics of interest to digital marketers. ANA Data Hub: Coronavirus and Marketing [Updated] Digital marketing has fared better than traditional campaigns in the face of the global health crisis, according to newly-released survey data from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) exploring the differences between the pandemic and the 2008 recession. MarketingCharts ON THE LIGHTER SIDE: 2020 May 8 Marketoonist Comic" A lighthearted look at generic advertising “in these uncertain times” by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist WHO Releases New Guidelines to Avoid Being Nominated for Viral Challenges — The Hard Times Major Relief: Microsoft Has Confirmed That The Xbox Series X Will Play Video Games — The Onion TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:
  • Lee Odden — What’s Trending: Embracing Data — LinkedIn (client)
  • Lee Odden — 10 Expert Tips for Marketing During a Crisis — Oracle (client)
  • Lee Odden — Klear Interviews Lee Odden, CEO, TopRank Marketing [Video] — Klear
  • Lee Odden and TopRank Marketing — Pandemic Cross-Country Skiing in Duluth, Minnesota: A Personal Timeline — Lane R. Ellis
Have you got your own top B2B content marketing or digital advertising stories from the past week of news? Please let us know in the comments below. Thanks for taking time to join us, and we hope you will join us 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.

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Using Facebook Ads in Uncertain Times

Wondering if you should make changes to your Facebook ads strategy? Looking for tips to guide your decision-making during times of uncertainty? To explore how to navigate Facebook advertising during the COVID-19 pandemic, I interview Amanda Bond on the Social Media Marketing Podcast. Amanda is a Facebook ads expert and founder of The Ad Strategist. […]

The post Using Facebook Ads in Uncertain Times appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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How to Get Buy-in for Your Projects, Plans and Proposals From the First Pitch to Successful Completion (plus free template)

This free template is designed to quickly, clearly and easily communicate the value prop for your IT project, marketing plan, advertising campaign, etc

The post How to Get Buy-in for Your Projects, Plans and Proposals From the First Pitch to Successful Completion (plus free template) appeared first on MarketingExperiments.

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Instagram ads vs Facebook ads: Which is better for your business?

You’ve got a limited social advertising budget but you don’t know where to drop it: Facebook or Instagram? It’s a tough question with an Read more...

This post Instagram ads vs Facebook ads: Which is better for your business? originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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66+ Alliteration Examples to Make Your Message More Memorable

Looking for some alliteration examples to expand your writing repertoire? This post is going to be your go-to resource. It’s packed with examples from pop culture, sports, literature, and content …

66+ Alliteration Examples to Make Your Message More Memorable Read More »

The post 66+ Alliteration Examples to Make Your Message More Memorable appeared first on Smart Blogger.

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