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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.

How to Scale Facebook Ads: 4 Ways

Want to maximize the results of your top-performing Facebook ads? Looking for ways to get more leads or sales from your existing Facebook ad campaigns? In this article, you’ll discover four horizontal and vertical ad-scaling techniques for Facebook ads. Horizontal Facebook Ad Scaling To scale your Facebook ads for reach, try adding new ad sets […]

The post How to Scale Facebook Ads: 4 Ways appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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How to Read Google Algorithm Updates

Links = Rank

Old Google (pre-Panda) was to some degree largely the following: links = rank.

Once you had enough links to a site you could literally pour content into a site like water and have the domain's aggregate link authority help anything on that site rank well quickly.

As much as PageRank was hyped & important, having a diverse range of linking domains and keyword-focused anchor text were important.

Brand = Rank

After Vince then Panda a site's brand awareness (or, rather, ranking signals that might best simulate it) were folded into the ability to rank well.

Panda considered factors beyond links & when it first rolled out it would clip anything on a particular domain or subdomain. Some sites like HubPages shifted their content into subdomains by users. And some aggressive spammers would rotate their entire site onto different subdomains repeatedly each time a Panda update happened. That allowed those sites to immediately recover from the first couple Panda updates, but eventually Google closed off that loophole.

Any signal which gets relied on eventually gets abused intentionally or unintentionally. And over time it leads to a "sameness" of the result set unless other signals are used:

Google is absolute garbage for searching anything related to a product. If I'm trying to learn something invariably I am required to search another source like Reddit through Google. For example, I became introduced to the concept of weighted blankets and was intrigued. So I Google "why use a weighted blanket" and "weighted blanket benefits". Just by virtue of the word "weighted blanket" being in the search I got pages and pages of nothing but ads trying to sell them, and zero meaningful discourse on why I would use one

Getting More Granular

Over time as Google got more refined with Panda broad-based sites outside of the news vertical often fell on tough times unless they were dedicated to some specific media format or had a lot of user engagement metrics like a strong social network site. That is a big part of why the New York Times sold About.com for less than they paid for it & after IAC bought it they broke it down into a variety of sites like: Verywell (health), the Spruce (home decor), the Balance (personal finance), Lifewire (technology), Tripsavvy (travel) and ThoughtCo (education & self-improvement).

Penguin further clipped aggressive anchor text built on low quality links. When the Penguin update rolled out Google also rolled out an on-page spam classifier to further obfuscate the update. And the Penguin update was sandwiched by Panda updates on either side, making it hard for people to reverse engineer any signal out of weekly winners and losers lists from services that aggregate massive amounts of keyword rank tracking data.

So much of the link graph has been decimated that Google reversed their stance on nofollow to where in March 1st of this year they started treating it as a hint versus a directive for ranking purposes. Many mainstream media websites were overusing nofollow or not citing sources at all, so this additional layer of obfuscation on Google's part will allow them to find more signal in that noise.

March 4, 2020 Algo Update

On May 4th Google rolled out another major core update.

I saw some sites which had their rankings suppressed for years see a big jump. But many things changed at once.

Wedge Issues

On some political search queries which were primarily classified as being news related Google is trying to limit political blowback by showing official sites and data scraped from official sites instead of putting news front & center.

"Google’s pretty much made it explicit that they’re not going to propagate news sites when it comes to election related queries and you scroll and you get a giant election widget in your phone and it shows you all the different data on the primary results and then you go down, you find Wikipedia, you find other like historical references, and before you even get to a single news article, it’s pretty crazy how Google’s changed the way that the SERP is intended."

That change reflects the permanent change to the news media ecosystem brought on by the web.

YMYL

A blog post by Lily Ray from Path Interactive used Sistrix data to show many of the sites which saw high volatility were in the healthcare vertical & other your money, your life (YMYL) categories.

Aggressive Monetization

One of the more interesting pieces of feedback on the update was from Rank Ranger, where they looked at particular pages that jumped or fell hard on the update. They noticed sites that put ads or ad-like content front and center may have seen sharp falls on some of those big money pages which were aggressively monetized:

Seeing this all but cements the notion (in my mind at least) that Google did not want content unrelated to the main purpose of the page to appear above the fold to the exclusion of the page's main content! Now for the second wrinkle in my theory.... A lot of the pages being swapped out for new ones did not use the above-indicated format where a series of "navigation boxes" dominated the page above the fold.

The above shift had a big impact on some sites which are worth serious money. Intuit paid over $7 billion to acquire Credit Karma, but their credit card affiliate pages recently slid hard.

The above sort of shift reflects Google getting more granular with their algorithms. Early Panda was all or nothing. Then it started to have different levels of impact throughout different portions of a site.

Brand was sort of a band aid or a rising tide that lifted all (branded) boats. Now we are seeing Google get more granular with their algorithms where a strong brand might not be enough if they view the monetization as being excessive. That same focus on page layout can have a more adverse impact on small niche websites.

One of my old legacy clients had a site which was primarily monetized by the Amazon affiliate program. About a month ago Amazon chopped affiliate commissions in half & then the aggressive ad placement caused search traffic to the site to get chopped in half when rankings slid on this update.

Their site has been trending down over the past couple years largely due to neglect as it was always a small side project. They recently improved some of the content about a month or so ago and that ended up leading to a bit of a boost, but then this update came. As long as that ad placement doesn't change the declines are likely to continue.

They just recently removed that ad unit, but that meant another drop in income as until there is another big algo update they're likely to stay at around half search traffic. So now they have a half of a half of a half. Good thing the site did not have any full time employees or they'd be among the millions of newly unemployed. That experience though really reflects how websites can be almost like debt levered companies in terms of going under virtually overnight. Who can have revenue slide around 88% and then take increase investment in the property using the remaining 12% while they wait for the site to be rescored for a quarter year or more?

"If you have been negatively impacted by a core update, you (mostly) cannot see recovery from that until another core update. In addition, you will only see recovery if you significantly improve the site over the long-term. If you haven’t done enough to improve the site overall, you might have to wait several updates to see an increase as you keep improving the site. And since core updates are typically separated by 3-4 months, that means you might need to wait a while."

Almost nobody can afford to do that unless the site is just a side project.

Google could choose to run major updates more frequently, allowing sites to recover more quickly, but they gain economic benefit in defunding SEO investments & adding opportunity cost to aggressive SEO strategies by ensuring ranking declines on major updates last a season or more.

Choosing a Strategy vs Letting Things Come at You

They probably should have lowered their ad density when they did those other upgrades. If they had they likely would have seen rankings at worst flat or likely up as some other competing sites fell. Instead they are rolling with a half of a half of a half on the revenue front. Glenn Gabe preaches the importance of fixing all the problems you can find rather than just fixing one or two things and hoping it is enough. If you have a site which is on the edge you sort of have to consider the trade offs between various approaches to monetization.

  • monetize it lightly and hope the site does well for many years
  • monetize it slightly aggressively while using the extra income to further improve the site elsewhere and ensure you have enough to get by any lean months
  • aggressively monetize the shortly after a major ranking update if it was previously lightly monetized & then hope to sell it off a month or two later before the next major algorithm update clips it again

Outcomes will depend partly on timing and luck, but consciously choosing a strategy is likely to yield better returns than doing a bit of mix-n-match while having your head buried in the sand.

Reading the Algo Updates

You can spend 50 or 100 hours reading blog posts about the update and learn precisely nothing in the process if you do not know which authors are bullshitting and which authors are writing about the correct signals.

But how do you know who knows what they are talking about?

It is more than a bit tricky as the people who know the most often do not have any economic advantage in writing specifics about the update. If you primarily monetize your own websites, then the ignorance of the broader market is a big part of your competitive advantage.

Making things even trickier, the less you know the more likely Google would be to trust you with sending official messaging through you. If you syndicate their messaging without questioning it, you get a treat - more exclusives. If you question their messaging in a way that undermines their goals, you'd quickly become persona non grata - something cNet learned many years ago when they published Eric Schmidt's address.

It would be unlikely you'd see the following sort of Tweet from say Blue Hat SEO or Fantomaster or such.

To be able to read the algorithms well you have to have some market sectors and keyword groups you know well. Passively collecting an archive of historical data makes the big changes stand out quickly.

Everyone who depends on SEO to make a living should subscribe to an online rank tracking service or run something like Serposcope locally to track at least a dozen or two dozen keywords. If you track rankings locally it makes sense to use a set of web proxies and run the queries slowly through each so you don't get blocked.

You should track at least a diverse range to get a true sense of the algorithmic changes.

  • a couple different industries
  • a couple different geographic markets (or at least some local-intent vs national-intent terms within a country)
  • some head, midtail and longtail keywords
  • sites of different size, age & brand awareness within a particular market

Some tools make it easy to quickly add or remove graphing of anything which moved big and is in the top 50 or 100 results, which can help you quickly find outliers. And some tools also make it easy to compare their rankings over time. As updates develop you'll often see multiple sites making big moves at the same time & if you know a lot about the keyword, the market & the sites you can get a good idea of what might have been likely to change to cause those shifts.

Once you see someone mention outliers most people miss that align with what you see in a data set, your level of confidence increases and you can spend more time trying to unravel what signals changed.

I've read influential industry writers mention that links were heavily discounted on this update. I have also read Tweets like this one which could potentially indicate the opposite.

If I had little to no data, I wouldn't be able to get any signal out of that range of opinions. I'd sort of be stuck at "who knows."

By having my own data I track I can quickly figure out which message is more inline with what I saw in my subset of data & form a more solid hypothesis.

No Single Smoking Gun

As Glenn Gabe is fond of saying, sites that tank usually have multiple major issues.

Google rolls out major updates infrequently enough that they can sandwich a couple different aspects into major updates at the same time in order to make it harder to reverse engineer updates. So it does help to read widely with an open mind and imagine what signal shifts could cause the sorts of ranking shifts you are seeing.

Sometimes site level data is more than enough to figure out what changed, but as the above Credit Karma example showed sometimes you need to get far more granular and look at page-level data to form a solid hypothesis.

As the World Changes, the Web Also Changes

About 15 years ago online dating was seen as a weird niche for recluses who perhaps typically repulsed real people in person. Now there are all sorts of niche specialty dating sites including a variety of DTF type apps. What was once weird & absurd had over time become normal.

The COVID-19 scare is going to cause lasting shifts in consumer behavior that accelerate the movement of commerce online. A decade of change will happen in a year or two across many markets.

Telemedicine will grow quickly. Facebook is adding commerce featured directly onto their platform through partnering with Shopify. Spotify is spending big money to buy exclusives rights to distribute widely followed podcasters like Joe Rogan. Uber recently offered to acquire GrubHub. Google and Apple will continue adding financing features to their mobile devices. Movie theaters have lost much of their appeal.

Tons of offline "value" businesses ended up having no value after months of revenue disappearing while large outstanding debts accumulated interest. There is a belief that some of those brands will have strong latent brand value that carries over online, but if they were weak even when the offline stores acting like interactive billboards subsidized consumer awareness of their brands then as those stores close the consumer awareness & loyalty from in-person interactions will also dry up. A shell of a company rebuilt around the Toys R' Us brand is unlikely to beat out Amazon's parallel offering or a company which still runs stores offline.

Big box retailers like Target & Walmart are growing their online sales at hundreds of percent year over year.

There will be waves of bankruptcies, shifts in commercial real estate prices, more people working remotely (shifting residential real estate demand from the urban core back out into suburbs).

More and more activities will become normal online activities.

The University of California has about a half-million students & in the fall semester they are going to try to have most of those classes happen online. How much usage data does Google gain as thousands of institutions put more and more of their infrastructure and service online?

A lot of B & C level schools are going to go under as the like-vs-like comparison gets easier. Back when I ran a membership site here a college paid us to have students gain access to our membership area of the site. As online education gets normalized many unofficial trade-related sites will look more economically attractive on a relative basis.

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Facebook Shops and Shops on Instagram: New Business 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 Facebook Shops and Shops on Instagram with special guest, Allie Bloyd. Tune Into the Social Media Marketing […]

The post Facebook Shops and Shops on Instagram: New Business Tools for Marketers appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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B2B Marketing News: Biggest B2B Differentiators Study, Facebook Buys Giphy, LinkedIn Prepares Stories, & Facebook’s New Video Chat

2020 May 22 MarketingCharts Chart

2020 May 22 MarketingCharts Chart B2B Decision-Maker Survey: COVID-19's Impact on Marketing, Buying, and Sales 65 percent of enterprise B2B buyers now view online interactions as being more important than traditional vendor conversations, one of several findings of interest to digital marketers contained in newly-released U.S. B2B pandemic response survey data. MarketingProfs Facebook just bought Giphy Facebook has acquired popular animated GIF image platform Giphy in a $400 million move that will likely bring deeper integration with both Facebook-owned Instagram and its messaging features, the social media giant announced.Engadget LinkedIn Stories Is Almost Here: Will It Reinvent the B2B Social Media Landscape? LinkedIn (client) has tested its variation of the popular ephemeral stories format. When rolled out to the Microsoft-owned platform's 690 million users, LinkedIn Stories would bring B2B marketers on the platform a new digital storytelling tool option. MarketingProfs Brand Awareness is Top of Mind in Email Signature Marketing 82 percent of marketers seek brand awareness from email signature marketing, topping the list of objectives in recently-released survey data, which also showed that 48 percent look to drive website traffic via email, while just 19 percent are looking for customer retention, the survey found. MarketingCharts Google is auditioning candidates to succeed the third-party cookie With the use of traditional Web tracking cookies largely being abandoned, Google has continued its testing of the firm’s recently-announced Privacy Sandbox alternative, which still works with the ad auction format, the search giant announced. Digiday ANA Report Finds Most Marketers Have Supplier 'Diversity' Programs, About Half Impact Marketing/Ad Services While some 75 percent of marketing firms incorporate supplier diversity initiatives, just 40 percent is specifically for advertising services, one of several findings of interest to digital marketers in recently-released report data from the Association of National Advertisers (ANA). MediaPost 2020 May 22 Statistics Image Facebook's 'Messenger Rooms' Multi-Participant Video Chat Option is Now Available to All Facebook has launched its Messenger Rooms video messaging feature with a global release that includes up to 50 video participants and the ability to drop in via Facebook’s feed, the firm recently announced. Social Media Today Reddit overhauls ad sales, with a new boss from Pinterest Reddit has tapped a former Pinterest and Google advertising leader in a new move aimed at bringing more brand advertising activity to the platform, a shift that has also seen the firm restructuring its sales team to adjust to changes brought by the global health crisis. Digiday Pandemic Sentiment Shifts From 'Acute' To 'Transitory,' Here's What Consumers Want From Brands Some 56 percent of global consumers say that they now approve of brands advertising primarily as normal, according to recently-released survey data of interest to online marketers. 10 percent of respondents, however, said that they somewhat disapprove of brands returning to normal advertising, while 5 percent strongly disapprove, the survey noted.MediaPost Marketers at B2B Firms Tout the Value of Social Media 37 percent of B2B decision-makers see a brand's social media presence as the biggest online differentiator, according to newly-release survey data, followed by the digital experience and self-service options both at 33 percent, and content marketing and community involvement, both at 31 percent. MarketingCharts ON THE LIGHTER SIDE: 2020 May 22 Marketoonist Comic A lighthearted look at “communicating in a crisis” by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist Freelancer Channels Inner Don Draper to Write $15 Blog for Used Car Dealership — The Hard Times TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:
  • TopRank Marketing — 25 Best Digital Marketing Blogs You Need to Follow in 2020 — Better Business Tools
  • Lee Odden — Marketing Through Uncertain Times: Insights From 15 Experts [PDF] — InsightBrief
  • Lee Odden — 20 Marketing Experts on Content that Helps Sales Reps Sell - Part 1 — Modus
  • Lee Odden — 20 Marketing Experts on Content that Helps Sales Reps Sell - Part 2 — Modus
  • Lee Odden and TopRank Marketing — The Definitive List of 2020 Content Marketing Predictions and Other Goodies — UpScribed
  • Lee Odden — Social Media in Times of Social Distancing Planable Webinar [VIDEO] — Planable
  • TopRank Marketing — 20 Clever Link Building Techniques to Earn High-Quality Backlinks — Kevin Payne
  • Lee Odden — 6 Engaging Webinar Formats to Create More Compelling Content — TwentyThree
  • TopRank Marketing — 25 Best Digital Marketing Blogs You Need to Follow in 2020 — Better Business Tools
Have you found your own top B2B content marketing or digital advertising stories from the past week of news? Please let us know in the comments below. Thanks for joining us this week, and we hope you'll return again next Friday for more of the most relevant B2B and digital marketing industry news. In the meantime, you can follow us at @toprank on Twitter for even more timely daily news. Also, don't miss the full video summary on our TopRank Marketing TV YouTube Channel.

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Facebook Organic Reach: How to Develop an Engaged Following

Want a more engaged Facebook following? Looking for creative ways to leverage organic marketing rather than ads? To explore how to develop an engaged organic following on Facebook, I interview Fallon Zoe on the Social Media Marketing Podcast. Fallon is an organic reach expert who specializes in Facebook. Her Facebook-focused membership community for female business […]

The post Facebook Organic Reach: How to Develop an Engaged Following appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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How to use emoji in marketing to drive engagement

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. Using images in your marketing campaigns can communicate a lot about what types of Read more...

This post How to use emoji in marketing to drive engagement originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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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 …

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

The post How the Medium Partner Program Can Make You Rich (Slowly) appeared first on Smart Blogger.

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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

SEO

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).

Content

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.

SEO

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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