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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.

15 Tips to Building a Better Social Media Presence

If you’re a brand today, there’s a non-zero chance you’re on social media in some way, shape or form. But how many brands have Read more...

This post 15 Tips to Building a Better Social Media Presence originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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eBay Partner Network: Is eBay’s Affiliate Program Right for You?

Your blog is up and running. You’re ready to earn money and the eBay Partner Network (EPN) sounds intriguing. But, you don’t quite know what EPN is all about. How does it differ from all the other affiliate networks out there for affiliate marketers? You need more information. More details. You’re looking for something that answers: What(...)

The post eBay Partner Network: Is eBay’s Affiliate Program Right for You? appeared first on Smart Blogger.

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12 Must-See Sessions at MarketingProfs B2B Forum #MPB2B

MarketingProfs operates on the belief that learning changes lives. And from that perspective, it might be fair to suggest next week’s B2B Forum will be a life-changing experience for those in attendance, because there is a whole lot of learning in store.

Dubbed by MarketingProfs as the “most let's get down to business but not take ourselves too seriously while doing it marketing conference on the planet,” B2B Forum brings together many of the brightest minds in the industry around a singular focus: improving. The well-rounded agenda on tap will run the gamut of vital topics in the modern B2B marketing environment, offering opportunities to improve by learning from foremost experts and leaders in the field.

These 12 sessions, in particular, stand out to us as must-see attractions amidst a schedule brimming with brilliant business minds. 

12 Must-See Sessions at This Year’s B2B Forum

#1 - Through the Looking-Glass: Enter a New World of Always-On Influencer Programs

Speaker: Ashley Zeckman, Senior Director of Digital Strategy, TopRank Marketing

Time: Wednesday, Oct. 16 from noon-12:45 p.m.

Don’t be late for this very important date. Our Senior Director of Digital Strategy will guide you through a Wonderland-themed exploration of ongoing influencer engagements, and the mutual value they can provide. You’ll learn how to develop an always-on influencer program and avoid falling down the rabbit hole.

#2 - Dessert & Development: The Truth About Personalization

Tom Treanor, Arm Treasure DataSpeaker: Tom Treanor, Global Head of Marketing, Arm Treasure Data

Time: Wednesday, Oct. 16 from 1:35-2:15 p.m.

The larger a company and its audience, the greater the challenges involved with scaling personalization. As Arm Treasure Data’s* Global Head of Marketing, Tom has seen many of the struggles and successes on this front experienced by enterprise organizations around the world. The benchmarks and insights he’ll share promise to be useful for businesses of any size.   

#3 - Dessert & Development: ABM Nirvana — Reaching the Buying Committee at Your Target Accounts

Peter IssacsonSpeaker: Peter Isaacson, Chief Marketing Officer, Demandbase

Time: Wednesday, Oct. 16 from 1:35-2:15 p.m.

Understanding the nuances of buying committees is critical for B2B marketers everywhere, and is being increasingly emphasized in the age of account-based marketing. Being able to reach these committees with relevant and timely messaging is of the essence, and new waves of technology are breaking down the barriers. Demandbase’s CMO will enlighten us on what’s happening and what’s coming. 

#4 - How to Create a Messaging Framework That Resonates

Pam DidnerSpeaker: Pam Didner, B2B Tech Marketing Consultant & Author, Relentless Pursuit

Time: Wednesday, Oct. 16 from 2:30-3:15 p.m.

We often have only a small amount of time and/or space to communicate the value of our product or service to those who can benefit from it. It’s crucial that we make the most out of these opportunities with a message that makes an impact. As one of the top B2B tech marketing consultants in the biz, Pam knows how to align value propositions with customer pain points, and will share some of her best tips. She’ll even provide templates you can put to use right away. 

#5 - The Secret to a Truly Measurable Content Strategy

Speaker: Robert Rose, Chief Troublemaker, The Content Advisory
Time: Wednesday, Oct. 16 from 3:30-4:15 p.m.

Content can feel like an ambiguous frontier, and as a result, it tends to be managed haphazardly. Even the most seasoned marketers and sophisticated organizations fall into this trap. Through his work with the Content Advisory, Robert has witnessed this phenomenon in many different settings, and he’s helped plenty of companies work through it. He’ll show you how to treat content as a scalable and measurable business model.

#6 - How to Combine Account Based Marketing and Social Selling on LinkedIn

Speaker: Ty Heath, Global Lead of The B2B Institute, LinkedIn

Time: Wednesday, Oct. 16 from 4:45-5:30 p.m.

LinkedIn* is a key fixture in the evolution of modern B2B sales, enabling reps to become more personalized, insightful, and relationship-driven in their outreach. When converging this approach with ABM fundamentals, you create a powerful engine for business development. Ty will break down the research and lay out a six-step framework in her session, and you can prime yourself for it by checking out her recent B2B Spotlight interview with Lee Odden.

#7 - Tale of Two Tech Companies: Scaling a Data-Driven Influencer Marketing Program

Speakers: Konstanze Alex, Director Global Enterprise (B2B) Influencer Relations and Digital Storytelling, Dell Technologies; Janine Wegner, Global Though Leadership Program Manager, Dell Technologies; Amisha Gandhi, Vice President of Influencer Marketing & Communications, SAP Ariba and SAP Fieldglass

Time: Thursday, Oct. 17 from 8:45-9:30 a.m.

Both Dell* and SAP Ariba* are on the cutting edge of enterprise influencer marketing, so any time their leaders talk about the subject, we tune in. Alex, Janine, and Amisha will dish on what it takes to create cross-functional partnerships and scalable influencer content, while coloring their insights with real-world examples. 

#8 - Content Marketing Fitness — 10 Exercises to Build Your Marketing Beach Body

Lee OddenSpeaker: Lee Odden, CEO, TopRank Marketing

Time: Thursday, Oct. 17 from 11:00-11:45 a.m.

It’s just as true in the world of marketing as it is in the world of fitness: shortcuts don’t work. The keys to both sustained weight loss and marketing results lie in cutting out bad habits and committing to an effective regimen. TopRank Marketing’s CEO will guide you through 10 marketing fitness exercises that can whip your strategy into shape.

#9 - The Importance of an Audio Strategy for B2B Marketers

Speaker: Tom Webster, Senior Vice President, Edison Research

Time: Thursday, Oct. 17 from 1:30-2:15 p.m.

Anyone who’s paying attention to content consumption trends can see the shift from text to audio. Podcasts are rapidly gaining popularity while smart speakers and voice assistants become increasingly prevalent. Edison Research’s SVP will draw from his experience working with clients like Audible, Spotify, and Pandora to sound off with best practices for a B2B audio strategy that delivers.

#10 - Account-Based Marketing: New Insights and Best Practices for 2020 

Jon MillerSpeaker: Jon Miller, CEO and Co-Founder, Engagio

Time: Thursday, Oct. 17 from 1:30-2:15 p.m.

When it comes to ABM, most of us have a good grasp by now of the “why.” Jon’s session promises to explain the “how.” The former Marketo co-founder and current Engagio CEO knows this changing landscape as well as anyone, and will provide a look at where account-based strategies are heading in the year to come.  

#11 - Getting Personal: Improve Lead Generation With Customer Insights

Speaker: Brian Hood, Digital Director, Intuit ProConnect

Time: Thursday, Oct. 17 from 3:45-4:35 p.m.

Are you talking to your customers, or at them? Too many marketers are stuck in the latter mode, due to a lack of personalization, and lead generation suffers as a result. Intuit ProConnect’s Digital Director will illustrate the ways in which today’s B2B companies can drive business growth by leveraging customer insights and analytics to the fullest.  

#12 - Follow the Fear: Creativity in B2B for Better, Stronger, More Fulfilling Results

Speaker: Tim Washer, Keynote Speaker, Event Emcee, and PowerPoint Comedian, Ridiculous Media

Time: Thursday, Oct. 17 from 3:45-4:30 p.m.

As Ann Handley told Lee in their B2B Spotlight conversation, “I think it's important to approach our jobs not just as robots but as whole people.” This is very true, and it’s also important for us to approach our prospects and customers as people and not robots. That means speaking to emotion as well as logic. Tim is a master of infusing humor into marketing, and in this session he’ll cover the most powerful emotion of them all. 

We’ll See You at MarketingProfs B2B Forum!

Will attending this conference change your life? We can’t guarantee that. But it will very likely change your marketing strategy for the better, because there will be so very much to learn. That’s an opportunity we’ll be taking seriously (but maybe not too seriously). 

If you can’t make it to B2B Forum in person, be sure to follow our blog for live coverage of the event, including detailed recaps of many of the sessions listed above! And make sure to prep yourself for all the mind-expanding knowledge to come with these 16 B2B marketing fitness tips from the experts.

The post 12 Must-See Sessions at MarketingProfs B2B Forum #MPB2B appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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B2B Marketing Fitness: 16 B2B Experts Share Top Tips for Optimized Performance #mpb2b

B2B Marketing Fitness Cover

B2B Marketing Fitness

In a world where shiny object marketing and weight loss fads equally distract from reaching our potential, there are many parallels between improving physical health and optimizing B2B marketing effectiveness.

Just like world class athletes, top B2B marketers focus on key areas for improvement starting with goals and including the right mix of data insights, tactical best practices and ongoing performance optimization.

To help B2B marketers achieve record breaking levels of marketing fitness, we've tapped some of the top B2B experts from brands like MarketingProfs, LinkedIn, Content Marketing Institute, SAP Ariba, Dell Technologies, Facebook, Skyword, Arm Treasure Data, & Engagio.

B2B Marketing Experts

We also collaborated with B2B marketing influencers like Ann Handley, Pam Didner, Michele Linn, Christopher Penn, Ashley Zeckman, Keith Reynold Jennings, and Kathleen Booth for their best advice to help marketers on their fitness journey.

From setting goals to nutritious data to exercising best practices and optimization, this group of speakers from MarketingProfs B2B Forum will inspire you to break free of sluggish B2B and optimize for greatness. Enjoy!

See the full screen B2B Marketing Fitness interactive ebook here.

Marketing Fitness Goals

Fun Sized Goals Drive B2B Success - Too often B2B marketers treat content as a process vs. a competition for the time and emotion-driven attention of customers that drive marketing ROI. Oversized goals are often lost to distraction and the wrong metrics. For optimal marketing fitness, start with long term goals broken down into short term goals relevant to audience impact and business outcomes, not just the content.

The challenge for a lot of B2B marketers is that the goals we set tend to be big and long-term, when they should be small and short-term. @MarketingProfs

One critical factor of measuring marketing goals is to be able to talk about the progress of the goals honestly, without sugar coating. @PamDidner

True content marketing starts at setting specific, concrete goals on what we believe audiences who engage with our content will do vs. those who don't. @Robert_Rose

We need to rethink our "Business to Business" strategy more as a "Business to Business People" strategy to remind ourselves that the person, not the business, is ultimately behind the driver's seat. Matthew Sutton of @Facebook

Learn More about B2B Marketing Goals from Ann Handley, Pam Didner, Robert Rose and Matt Sutton here.

Marketing Fitness Data

Feed Your Program What It Needs to Succeed - You are what you eat. If you’re feeding bad data into your marketing engine like sugary vanity metrics and high-calorie fluff, your results will suffer the crash that follows. No regimen for getting your B2B marketing in tip-top shape will work without a balanced diet of audience research and insights, industry benchmarks, and measurements of bottom-line impact.

When it comes to B2B influencer marketing, don't just look at popularity metrics and social media following. Look at deeper engagement metrics. @AmishaGandhi

B2B marketing fitness requires a proper diet of data about customer preferences for: Information discovery, content types and topics, and triggers to take action. @leeodden

In B2B if you publish research, you're sharing something new and meaningful that is backed by numbers instead of opinion. @michelelinn

Clean. Complete. Comprehensive. Chosen. Credible. Calculable. Adhere to the 6 C’s of data quality and you'll be well on your way to great B2B marketing fitness. @cspenn

Learn more about using data in B2B Marketing from Amisha Gandhi, Lee Odden, Michele Linn and Christopher Penn here.

Marketing Fitness Best Practices

Tighten Up Your Core Strategy with Tactics - Focusing on only one marketing muscle group isn’t the path to total marketing fitness or a great beach body. It’s about a holistic and varied workout plan that accounts for all the tactical elements from social media to influencers to analytics that are important for delivering a great experience for your buyers.

If your brand’s value proposition increases the health or endurance of your influencer and your brand, you're setting yourself up for a long and enjoyable run. @Konstanze

Marketers should continuously revisit the results their best practices are driving, and evolve them to raise the bar. @Allen

One strategic exercise that never goes out of style is keeping a constant pulse on who your audience is and what they need. @azeckman

We need to invest in branding alongside our lead generation. It maximizes marketing efficiency, strengthens pricing, and increases profitability. @tyrona

Learn More About B2B Marketing Best Practices from Konstanze Alex, Allen Gannett, Ashley Zeckman and Tyrona Heath here.

Marketing Fitness Optimization

Improving Every Day Is Essential - One size solutions do not solve fitness or marketing problems. While the right goals, data insights and best practices can improve any B2B content marketing program, it is ongoing performance optimization that develops beach body results. Optimization comes in many forms from stepping back for big picture analysis to daily performance review and adjustment.

There are no silver bullets in B2B marketing. Gains from gimmicks will often be short-lived (just like that fad diet!). @RtMixMktg

B2B marketing is a team sport. Just like in a soccer game, it takes every player on the field working together to win. @jonmiller

Like a good personal trainer, successful B2B marketers must serve the deeper jobs that motivate prospects to commit. @keithjennings

One of the most impactful things that any marketer can do is block off time to step away from their day-to-day work and do some deep thinking. @WorkMommyWork

Learn More About Optimizing B2B Marketing with Tom Treanor, Jon Miller, Keith Reynold Jennings and Kathleen Booth here.

If you really want to optimize your B2B Marketing performance, I highly recommend you get signed up for MarketingProfs B2B Forum next week in Washington D.C.. There's a full agenda featuring amazing keynote speakers like Ann Handley, Jay Baer, Kara Swisher and Neen James.

As an extra incentive, you can get $150 off with this code B2BFitness.

There are also amazing breakout sessions from pro B2B marketers like Tyrona Heath who will be talking about ABM and Social Selling on LinkedIn and Ashely Zeckman who will be presenting, Through the Looking-Glass: Enter a New World of Always-On Influencer Programs.

PLUS you can learn even more about improving your B2B content marketing fitness with my presentation on Thursday, October 17th at 11am: Content Marketing Fitness - 10 Exercises to Build Your Marketing Beach Body

Check out the full interactive ebook featuring all 16 B2B marketing experts here.

At MarketingProfs B2B Forum you can also meet several members of the TopRank Marketing team including Susan Misukanis (@smisukanis), Kelly Hogan and Nick Nelson (NickNelsonMN) who will be liveblogging daily. Be sure to follow us on @toprank and the conference hashtag #mpb2b.

The post B2B Marketing Fitness: 16 B2B Experts Share Top Tips for Optimized Performance #mpb2b appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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How to Get Started With TikTok: A Guide for Marketers

Thinking of putting your business on TikTok? Wondering how other brands are using TikTok successfully? In this article, you’ll discover how to create TikTok video and find examples to inspire you to use TikTok in your own marketing. Why Consider TikTok? TikTok’s growth is fascinating on many levels. For starters, it’s the first major social […]

The post How to Get Started With TikTok: A Guide for Marketers appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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17 Revealing B2B Marketing Insights From Poll Data

17 Poll Insights Purple Tech Background Image

17 Poll Insights Purple Tech Background Image

The revelations people provide when they respond to online marketing polls include a wealth of industry information. Poll data shows what marketers are thinking about in a variety of important subjects, ranging from everyday tasks to far-reaching future trends.

Over the past four months, we've utilized our TopRank Marketing Twitter channel to publish a weekly poll, asking a range of questions to B2B marketers. Today, we share some of the data we've collected throughout this series of 17 polls.

Social Media Polls

Our first two polls asked B2B marketing about social media, and the responses can help us gauge the pulse of marketers on the social platform front.

Each week more social platforms are experimenting or implementing hiding some of the forward-facing counts we've all been used to seeing for years, such as the number of followers a page or person has, and how many people have liked a particular social message, image, or video.

Our very first poll in the series asked about hiding like and follower counts.

Twitter Poll Image

Fifty-three percent of marketers said they wouldn't support hiding like and follower counts on Instagram, while 18% stated they would support such a move. Furthermore, 17% said they would support dropping just the like counts and 12% just the follower tallies.

Our second poll also marketers to share which channels (other than LinkedIn) they'd seen the most B2B success with:

Twitter Poll 2

Outside of LinkedIn*, 50% of marketers shared that they've found B2B marketing success using Twitter, followed by 20% who said Facebook provided surprising success. Instagram also came in at 20%. Finally, YouTube came in last at 10%.

Our most recent poll asked a more traditional question of B2B marketers.

Latest Twitter Poll Image

Unsurprisingly, 63% of marketers viewed LinkedIn as their top choice social media platform for finding B2B industry content. Twitter came in second with 23% of the vote, and Facebook and Instagram each came in at 7%.

Blogging & Blog Promotion Polls

We ran several polls that asked B2B marketers their input regarding blogging and blog promotion.

Twitter Poll

Fifty percent of marketers see interactive elements as offering the biggest potential performance increase in blog posts, followed by 42% for images and 8% for animated GIFs. Surprisingly, no respondents choosing embedded video as their top choice.

Another polls asked respondents about the number of channels they use when promoting blog content.

Twitter Poll Image

A whopping 73% of marketers promote blog posts to an average of two to five online channels, while the remaining 27% shared that they promote to just one channel.

Influencer Marketing Polls

Several additional polls have dug in to B2B marketers' takes on influencer marketing.

Twitter Poll Image

Fifty percent of B2B marketers said their top challenge with influencer marketing is measuring its impact, while 18% said finding top influencers as their biggest hurdle. In addition, another 18% said that getting initial buy-in for influencer marketing was the leading challenge, followed by utilizing influencers at 14%.

Another influencer marketing polls looked at 12-month trends.

Twitter Poll Image.

When it comes to influencer marketing trends for 2020, 38% of B2B marketers said increased use of artificial intelligence (AI) will be the most important, followed by the rise of micro-and-macro influencers at 31%, quality metrics at 19%, and experience management at 13%.

Analytics & Website Optimization Polls

We also touched on analytics and website optimization questions in two of our recent polls.

Twitter Poll.

Thirty-five percent of respondents said that using insights from data is the top challenge in measuring campaign performance. As for other struggles, 26% said that inadequate tools topped their list and 22% said that proving the value of analytics. Lastly, 17% shared that having too much data at hand was their top issue.

An interesting recent poll question looked into how long B2B marketers will tend to wait for a webpage to load before giving up.

Twitter Poll Image.

Forty-four percent of marketers will abandon a slow-loading page within three to five seconds, while 33% leave after six to 10 seconds. In addition, 19% after 11 to 15 seconds and 4% said they'll wait until a page times out before giving up.

The Rise of Podcasting Poll

The rise of podcasting's popularity caused us to inquire about the matter with a poll.

Twitter Poll Image.

Sixty-five percent of marketers said they use podcasts in their campaign efforts and plan to increase their use, while 35% said they don't use podcasting currently but plan to start. As you can see, zero respondents indicated that they would do less podcasting in the coming year or didn't plan to start.

Content Marketing Polls

The majority of our polls have dealt with various aspects of content marketing, such as this one looking at the importance of captioning in online video.

Twitter Poll Image.

Fifty percent of marketers polled said they plan to use the same level of video captioning going forward, while 33% plan to do even more captioning, and 17% plan to start captioning their video content.

Content re-purposing was the subject of another of our content marketing polls.

Twitter Poll Image.

Fifty-four percent of marketers said that blog posts were the top performing type of content for re-purposing use, followed by interviews at 31%, and both eBooks and white papers coming in at 8% each.

The components making up our content marketing toolkit were also examined in a poll.

Twitter Poll.

Sixty-eight percent of marketers said that video is the format that brings the most engagement to B2B content, followed by interactive assets at 26%, and virtual reality (VR) and AR at 5%.

With video holding the top spot in that poll, we were curious how many channels B2B marketers typically promote video content to.

Twitter Poll.

Eighty-five percent of marketers said they promote videos on two to five online channels on average, with 8% promoting videos to between six and 10 channels, and the same percentage promoting video to just a single channel.

Email Marketing & Search Polls

Email marketing has remained an important part of many campaigns, and we explored two aspects of the practice in recent poll, including the following poll that generated the most engagement yet among our polls.

Twitter Poll.

Fifty-five percent of B2B marketers view the reputation of the sending the most important factor in choosing whether to open an email newsletter. Twenty-three percent said that an interesting subject line was most important, followed by the anticipation of the content at 13%, and a desire for unique content at 9%.

Another email marketing poll asked what causes us to unsubscribe from an email newsletter.

Twitter Poll.

Sixty-seven percent of B2B marketers said the top reason they unsubscribe from email newsletters is receiving mail from sources they never subscribed to in the first place. Furthermore, 33% shared that lack of original email newsletter content was their number one reason for unsubscribing.

Search marketing was the subject of one week's poll. Recent study data has shown that for the first time the majority of Google searches don't result in additional clicks from the results page.

Twitter Poll.

Forty-six percent of respondents said their initial Google search provided the information they need between 110 and 50% of the time, with 38% saying results answered their queries most of the time. Surprisingly, a combined 16% said their queries are only answered 1-10% of the time or never.

Including Poll Insights in Your 2020 Marketing Plans

By taking the time to listen to what B2B marketers are saying through their answers to these poll questions, you'll have an inside glimpse at where our industry is heading as we near 2020 and all the changes it will inevitably bring.

While we happened to use Twitter's polling feature, if you're interested in conducting your own series there are poll options available for numerous social media platforms, along with polling plug-ins and built-in functionality for various website and content marketing system types.

It can be ideal to ask poll questions on the digital channel that best suits your particular audience. Some organizations even choose to conduct polls on several platforms and to then compare the results, or even compile them together to get a larger sample answer size.

Do you have your own poll questions you'd like us to ask on our Twitter channel? Leave a comment below and we may include your question in a future poll.

The post 17 Revealing B2B Marketing Insights From Poll Data appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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5 Ways to Humanize Your Instagram Business Account

Want to make your business more memorable on Instagram? Looking for tips to boost brand loyalty with your audience? In this article, you’ll discover five tips to ensure your Instagram account stands out. #1: Give Your Instagram Copy Personality When developing an Instagram business profile, most companies focus on the visual aspects of their brand. […]

The post 5 Ways to Humanize Your Instagram Business Account appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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12 Simple Rules to Boost Your Ecommerce Conversion Rates

Directive Consulting's Olivia Ross-Taylor tells you everything you need to implement an optimized checkout process and boost your ecomm conversions. More conversions, more sales!

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Content Marketing Lessons from Music Icon Lizzo

Content Marketing Lessons from Lizzo

Content Marketing Lessons from Lizzo

Here in Minnesota, home of TopRank Marketing and birthplace of yours truly, we tend to take great (excessive?) pride in famous figures who carry the “one of us” label. When you encounter a Minnesotan in the wild, you’re very likely to overhear some level of boasting about Prince, or Bob Dylan, or F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Why is this? Maybe it’s driven by an inferiority complex, stemming from our reputation as “flyover country.” Or maybe it’s just a natural extension of the “Minnesota nice” disposition. Whatever the case, we love to brag about our locally-sourced successes, and lately, that means showing lots of love for Lizzo.

Who is Lizzo? For those who’ve somehow failed to take notice, she’s one of the biggest things in music right now. The singer/rapper/songwriter has rapidly transformed into an industry icon after finding mainstream traction with her third studio album, Cuz I Love You. Last month, Lizzo’s hit song “Truth Hurts” reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, passing up some obscure singer named Taylor Swift. 

Lizzo isn’t from Minnesota originally but moved here in 2011 and now calls the Twin Cities home. As a follower of the local hip-hop scene, and someone who had the opportunity to see her perform in front of tiny audiences at basement venues many years before her breakout, it’s been inspiring to see the uber-talented diva ascend to worldwide recognition. 

And as a content marketer, I find her story inspiring for different but no less impactful reasons. Today, I thought I would share a few of them.

Important Lessons Content Marketers Can Learn From Lizzo’s Success

Beyond sheer talent, Lizzo’s rise has been driven by persistence, authenticity, and honesty. Marketers everywhere can take note.

Not Every Eventual Hit Is an Immediate Winner

I pulled the above phrase directly from my recent post discussing holistic content strategy, and the importance of ongoing promotion. When I originally wrote those words, Lizzo immediately came to my mind. 

Truth Hurts” recently set a Billboard record as the longest-standing solo female rap No. 1 song in history. By now you’ve almost certainly heard that infectious thumping piano melody on your radio, computer, or TV. But what you might not know about the song is that it was originally released back in 2017, to little fanfare. 

“The day I released ‘Truth Hurts’ was probably one of the darkest days I’ve had ever in my career,” Lizzo told People in an interview this past summer. “I remember thinking, ‘If I quit music now, nobody would notice. This is my best song ever, and nobody cares.’ ” 

If you’re a marketer, artist, or creator of any kind, you’ve surely had moments like this. You put your heart into something, you’re certain it’s going to be great… and then it falls flat. But as Lizzo’s story reminds us, a lackluster initial reception doesn’t mean you were wrong. 

That’s why it is so vital to extend content promotion beyond the initial burst. Sometimes it just takes the right platform and timing to break through. One signal-boost in front of a new audience can make all the difference. In Lizzo’s case, a co-sign from and collaboration with the aforementioned legendary “one of us” Prince was instrumental (pun intended) in vaulting her to stardom.

When charting a new content initiative, it’s always smart to build in staggered promotion that crosses multiple channels, and is customized to the context of each. You never know when and where it’ll catch fire.

[bctt tweet="When charting a new content initiative, it’s always smart to build in staggered promotion that crosses multiple channels, and is customized to the context of each. @NickNelsonMN" username="toprank"]

via GIPHY

Be Genuine. Be Yourself.

Lizzo does not look, act, or make music like others at the pinnacle of her field. And that’s exactly why she’s there.

She conveys a resounding message of body positivity. She is unapologetic with her bluntness and snark (“It’s a me, myself kinda attitude,” she explains in the song “Soulmate”). And she doesn’t constrain herself to any category with her music. One minute she’s rapping forcefully, the next she’s crooning soulfully, and then all of a sudden she’s blowing your mind with a flute solo.

via GIPHY

I’ve long preached the importance of authenticity in marketing. People want to do business with brands that are genuine and relatable, and not in a way that makes it seem like they’re trying too hard. Lizzo’s persona comes off as natural and effortless because it’s who she is. She isn’t pretending or conforming. 

Oh, and she also takes emphatic stands. In addition to embracing her body and encouraging folks of all shapes and sizes to do the same, she’s a vocal advocate and ally in the LGBQT community

To look at faces in the crowd at one of her performances is to understand how deeply connected Lizzo is with her fans. This rapport is built through shared values as much as the quality of her music.

What values does your company share with its audience? How can you broadcast them, authentically? Here lies the key to affinity and loyalty.

[bctt tweet="What values does your company share with its audience? How can you broadcast them, authentically? Here lies the key to affinity and loyalty. @NickNelsonMN" username="toprank"]

Sometimes, the Truth Hurts (and That’s OK!)

What made “Truth Hurts” such a viral hit? Well, for one thing, it’s an incredibly catchy jam. But it’s also bitingly honest and candid – a breakup song featuring lines such as “Why men great ‘til they gotta be great?” and “You're supposed to hold me down, but you're holding me back.” 

via GIPHY

Lizzo has plenty of upbeat, positive songs, but she’s not afraid to touch on the real struggles, frustrations, and setbacks of life. She shares in the pain of her listeners. This empathy leads to resonance, and it’s a valuable example for marketers. No one wants to deal with a brand that’s constantly enveloped in negativity, but at the same time, how can I connect with one that’s nothing but sunshine and roses? How can I trust them to shoot straight with me? 

Being honest with our marketing means being transparent with the good and the bad. Don’t run from your failures; learn from them, and improve. Don’t hide your flaws; fix them, and invite feedback. Don’t sweep bad reviews under the rug; respond to them, and try to make it right.

As our CEO Lee Odden put it in a recent interview featured on the LinkedIn Marketing Blog*,  “No one is fooled by brands only showing the positives. By being open and responsive, brands reveal they are relatable and worth trusting.”

[bctt tweet="No one is fooled by brands only showing the positives. By being open and responsive, brands reveal they are relatable and worth trusting. @leeodden" username="toprank"]

Patient, Genuine, Strong: Be Like Lizzo

It fills me with joy to see Lizzo conquering the world. Yes, it’s partially because I love seeing my home state get some shine, but even more so, it’s because she embodies many qualities that I believe are essential to creating awareness, engagement, and loyalty in today’s world – whether you’re a musician, influencer, entertainer, or content marketer. 

“When I have to make decisions, I always choose honesty and I always stay true to myself, because I know at the end of the day that is what’s going to remain. That is what’s going to be the legend: That I was true to myself and that I honored every person by staying truthful to them.” – Lizzo in an interview with the Rolling Stone

In addition the above, Lizzo also delivers unforgettable, epic experiences while on-stage. (See: her VMA performance.) If you’re looking for more marketing inspiration on that front, check out our collection of expert tips on creating memorable content experiences.

*Disclosure: LinkedIn Marketing Solutions is a TopRank Marketing client.

The post Content Marketing Lessons from Music Icon Lizzo appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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How to Scale Facebook Ad Results With a Tiered Bid Cap and Lookalike Audiences

Want a better way to scale your Facebook ad campaigns? Wondering how best to allocate ad spend to your Facebook lookalike audiences? In this article, you’ll learn how to scale Facebook ads by combining strategic bid capping with Facebook lookalike audiences. Why Scale Facebook Lookalike Audiences With a Tiered Bid Cap? Imagine the following scenario. […]

The post How to Scale Facebook Ad Results With a Tiered Bid Cap and Lookalike Audiences appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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