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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 Use Facebook Live Producer to Go Live From the Desktop

Want to live-stream on Facebook? Wondering how to go live without third-party tools? In this article, you’ll discover how to set up a live stream with Facebook Live Producer. You’ll learn how to activate valuable features that improve engagement and live-stream management, and find out how to customize the thumbnail for your Facebook live video. […]

The post How to Use Facebook Live Producer to Go Live From the Desktop appeared first on Social Media Examiner | Social Media Marketing.

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Your guide to Instagram Live for business

It seems like nearly every social media platform has the option to livestream. That’s because it’s such a powerful way to connect with your Read more...

This post Your guide to Instagram Live for business originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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Overwhelmed at work? Here’s how to talk to your boss about burnout

Today, brands’ front doors are their social media profiles—and you, the social media managers, are the gatekeepers. That is not an easy job. Building Read more...

This post Overwhelmed at work? Here’s how to talk to your boss about burnout originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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How to Optimize Original B2B Research Content For Credibility and Impact

Optimize Original Research Content

Optimize Original Research Content

For many in the B2B marketing world, original research provides an effective way to build thought leadership and drive content for owned and earned media.

Unfortunately, many research reports from B2B companies are dry, uninspired and focus solely on pontifications from the brand point of view. Such unremarkable content isn't helping customers, especially if they never see it due to information overload or they don't trust it.

“With more information, options and people involved in a buying process, buyers are paralyzed when trying to move forward.” Gartner

Fortunately, there's a better way.

More often than not, B2B research reports have marketing objectives focused on building brand thought leadership, attracting new names for nurturing and to serve as a resource for sales. Since most B2B brands don't have the credibility and distribution to reach their marketing goals on their own with such reports, they rely on advertising and PR to attract attention.

Ads and PR are fine complements to content. But they're even more effective if that content delivers an experience that is includes built-in credibility and distribution to the the audiences that are probably ignoring most marketing and advertising.

How can you optimize research report content to deliver this kind of experience?

Brands that co-create experiential content with relevant experts and influencers can build industry confidence, grow brand trust, create a more effective digital customer experience and drive business growth.

What does that kind of research report collaboration content process look like?

B2B marketers have included quotes from industry experts in their reports for many years - but most do not. However there are many more ways to engage with credible voices that have the trust and attention of the audience you're after.

For example, you might partner with a mix of industry experts, influential customers and people who work at brands that represent your ideal clients to add perspective to original research.  Adding that expertise isn't enough. The content itself should be packaged as an experience. Whether it's interactive or just well-designed, research content doesn't have to be boring.

I think our latest research report on B2B Influencer Marketing is a perfect example of this.

B2B Influencer Marketing Report Preview

We partnered with 20+ B2B brand marketing executives and influencers to provide perspective on the key issues surfaced by the research. Instead of the report being authored by me (with some help from my team), there are contributions from influential B2B brands that include:

  • Dell
  • SAP
  • LinkedIn
  • AT&T Business

There are also insights provided by some of the top B2B influencers in the industry including:

  • Brian Solis
  • Ann Handley
  • Tamara McCleary
  • Mark Schaefer

Pulling together credible voices to join your own in an experiential piece of content is far more likely to be shared by contributors and your community, looked at by industry media and potential customers, and actually used by your sales people in their communications with prospects.

Such a rich content experience can deliver far more value than a one time campaign, especially if you roll it out in phases.

For example, you might extend the value of original research by implementing a phased content approach. For example:

The first phase might be the co-creation and publishing of the original research with industry experts and clients.  Promotion would focus mostly on owned channels, organic social and private channels like email, forums, etc.

The second phase could emphasize earned media and extensions of the narratives highlighted by the research. Names captured can be nurtured with useful resources that go deeper on the topics and a video interview series with the experts who contributed would feature more in-depth conversations around the key report findings. Online events and some useful tools and more visual versions of the original content could also help with promotion hang time.

The third phase takes the report content and repurposes it into new formats: explainer videos, a podcast, infographics. An interactive microsite that gives viewers and opportunity to assess themselves against the benchmark data from the research provides an engagement opportunity without substantial investment in new content. The original group of influencers is now expanded to invite more people in those roles to contribute their expertise to content around the report's narratives.

What you do specifically for your B2B business is up to you, but publishing original research in white paper format without any 3rd party validation within is simply no longer enough to attract, engage and inspire a meaningful experience or a return on your investment.

Creating a content experience that is credible and that can rely on distribution by its influential contributors on top of brand channels, PR efforts and ad buys will certainly achieve the expected thought leadership, engagement and demand gen goals more effectively. In the case of our report mentioned above, we hit one of our most important 3rd Quarter goals in just the first 2 weeks because of following this advice.

Imagine what you could do?

 

The post How to Optimize Original B2B Research Content For Credibility and Impact appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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How to Analyze Instagram Stories: 7 Metrics to Track

Want to know if your Instagram Stories content is working? Wondering how to make sense of Instagram Stories Insights? In this article, you’ll discover seven key Instagram story metrics that reveal what content piqued users’ interest, where interest may have dropped off, and whether people are taking action and engaging with your stories. Note: This […]

The post How to Analyze Instagram Stories: 7 Metrics to Track appeared first on Social Media Examiner | Social Media Marketing.

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B2B Marketing News: B2B Ad Spending Soars, Google’s New Audio Ad Features, Facebook’s Partnership Group Ads, & Top B2B Buyer Challenges

2020 August 14 MarketingCharts Chart

2020 August 14 MarketingCharts Chart

B2B Buyers' Top Challenges With Their Current Vendors
51 percent of B2B buyers have changed their vendor preferences during the global health crisis, and they find that slow and inefficient inquiry responses from vendors is their biggest challenge — two of several findings of interest to B2B marketers in recently-released survey data. MarketingProfs

Facebook Adds New Sponsored Post Options for Groups
Facebook has launched a new option for digital marketers allowing paid partnership posts in Facebook Groups, giving admins new branded post advertising opportunities, the social media giant recently announced. Social Media Today

eMarketer: US B2B digital ad spend soars 22.6%
Bucking the overall pandemic ad spending trend, 2020 B2B digital ad spend in the U.S. is expected to rise over 22 percent from 2019 figures, a significantly better performance outlook than the 1.7 percent forecast increase in overall U.S. digital ad spend, according to newly-released B2B ad spending findings. The Drum

Google Sees Big Potential in Audio for Marketers and Publishers
Google has launched a new audio-specific area in its Google Ad Manager that offers marketers a variety of advertising options dedicated solely to digital audio ads, the search giant recently announced, as the digital audio market is poised to hit $1.3 billion by 2022 by some estimates. Adweek

Black Gen-Zers Want To See More Joy On Social Media, Study Finds
Almost 90 percent of black Gen-Z social media users would like to see more online content that celebrates joy, with the demographic also noting that the top emotions missing from content are excitement, joy, and comfort — some of the findings in recently-released Gen-Z social media survey data. Forbes

YouTube Publishes New Data on Rising Trends During COVID-19
Social connection, self-care and identity-related video content were among the top rising pandemic trends among newly-released YouTube viewership data, the Google-owned firm announced recently. Social Media Today

2020 August 14 Statistics Image

US Mobile Ad Spending Will Manage to Grow in 2020
As with the previously-mentioned B2B ad spending forecast, mobile ad spending in the U.S. is also forecast to buck the overall ad spend trend by climbing 4.8 percent this year, helping to keep total digital ad sales for the year on track for modest growth, according to recently-released report data. eMarketer

Google extends lead forms to YouTube, Discovery campaigns
Google has expanded its Google Ads platform to give digital marketers an array of new lead form extensions that allow advertisers to show forms directly in search, YouTube, and Discovery content, the search giant recently announced. Marketing Land

YouTube will stop emailing subscribers about new videos next week
YouTube has ceased sending the email notifications about newly-added content and live-stream events it has for years sent out to channel subscribers, noting that fewer than one percent of recipients typically opened the notification emails, parent company Google announced recently. 9to5Google

B2B Buyers’ Engagement With Digital Content Has Grown During the Pandemic, With Some Behavior Changes
B2B content engagement has risen by 40 percent during the pandemic, with the largest increases coming from executive summaries, landing pages, webinars, brochures, and briefs, while data sheets and presentations have seen decreased consumption, according to recently-released survey data. MarketingCharts

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

2020 August 14 Marketoonist Comic

A lighthearted look at “From Brand Safety to Brand Suitability” by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist

Apple Brilliantly Imagines a Parallel Universe Where Hollywood Always Used Vertical Video — Adweek

TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:

  • Lee Odden — Introducing AWeber’s New Email Marketing Podcast — The FWD: Thinking Show! — AWeber
  • TopRank Marketing — 8 Types of B2B Influencer Marketing for You to Consider (with 18 Examples) — ExpertClick
  • TopRank Marketing — Call for nominations: The Online Influence Awards 2020 — Vuelio
  • TopRank Marketing — Will Unions Make or Break Influencer Marketing [Video] — Cornett
  • TopRank Marketing — 2020 State of B2B Influencer Marketing (IM) Report from TopRank — Social Media Explorer
  • TopRank Marketing — Influencer Marketing Believed To Improve CX, According To New TopRank Marketing Report — Demand Gen Report
  • Lee Odden — Top 10 Social Media Marketing Podcasts You Should Listen To — PostBeyond

Have you found your own favorite marketing stories from the past week of news? Please let us know in the comments below.

Thank you for joining us, and we hope that you'll return again next Friday for another collection 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.

The post B2B Marketing News: B2B Ad Spending Soars, Google’s New Audio Ad Features, Facebook’s Partnership Group Ads, & Top B2B Buyer Challenges appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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Instagram Live: Creative Hacks to Get Engaged Viewers

Do you want more Instagram engagement? Wondering how to grow and engage your Instagram Live audience? To explore how to get more engaged viewers on Instagram Live, I interview Natasha Samuel on the Social Media Marketing Podcast. Natasha is an Instagram expert, founder of Sol Studio—an Instagram creative studio—and host of the Shine Online Podcast. […]

The post Instagram Live: Creative Hacks to Get Engaged Viewers appeared first on Social Media Examiner | Social Media Marketing.

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Social media for gamers: How to level up your video game marketing

To say the gaming industry is doing well would be the ultimate understatement. Video games represent a $130+ billion market with no signs of Read more...

This post Social media for gamers: How to level up your video game marketing originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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A Day in the Life of a Content Marketer During the Pandemic: Challenges and Tips

Working at Home with Cat on Laptop

Working at Home with Cat on Laptop

I'll never forget the night that everything really changed.

It was my wife's birthday, March 11th. I took her out for dinner at a lovely restaurant in South Minneapolis, and for a couple of blissful hours, over exotic cocktails and delicious food, we unplugged from the loudening noise of a worrisome outside world.

After we walked out of that restaurant, there would be no more tuning out.

Stepping out from the darkly lit building, I looked down at my phone, and tried to process the sudden rush of stunning headlines:

WHO declares global pandemic. NBA suspends season. Trump addresses the nation. Tom Hanks has coronavirus. Tom Hanks!

It all happened on the same day, like a floodgate bursting. And the ensuing deluge has since uprooted almost every sense of normalcy we once knew. Around that time, I stopped going into work, as did most others around the country. I haven't gone back since, save for the odd trip to water a plant or record a video in an empty office.

TopRank Marketing has been in WFH mode for more than five years now. Sorry, did I say years? Months. Needless to say, I know we are not alone, which is why I thought I'd offer a look at my typical day as a content marketer in the (ugh) "new normal," and share some helpful things I've learned.

We're all figuring this out as we go.

Overcoming New Daily Challenges as a Content Marketer During the Summer of COVID

I count myself as a lucky man, for a lot of reasons. One of them is that I can do my job pretty frictionlessly from home. While I miss seeing my coworkers, and there are newfound challenges (as I'll discuss), I'm able to stay productive. In part that’s because I’ve developed my own personal solutions to these WFH hurdles. Maybe some of them can help you.

Getting Going in the Morning

I'm not what one would call a "morning person." Generally I am rather groggy and cloudy after waking up. In this respect, going into the office was always helpful for me – the routine of showering, getting dressed, prepping some breakfast and coffee, and hopping into the car was inherently awakening.

I can't say I take all those steps on a typical morning anymore. For a while, it was tough, getting in the mindset of traveling from bedroom to living room, and suddenly entering Work Mode. But what I've found helpful is using the morning as a bit of personal zen time. Unless I have early meetings, I'll usually rouse myself gradually, pour some coffee, scroll Twitter, and size up my day. I'll go through my emails, prioritize my tasks, and check in with account managers. This helps me build momentum toward optimal mid-day productivity.

Takeaway: Work/life balance can be tough during these times. (It’s often cited in surveys as one of the biggest challenges for full-time remote workers.) Don’t force yourself to instantly flip a switch. Find a comfortable routine that works for you.

Managing Distractions and Finding the Zone

Being in the office can bring its own set of distractions, but there are some unique ones associated with working from home. For many people, creating a designated workspace around the house is helpful. Personally, I live in a small apartment with my wife (who’s also working from home), and all of our building’s common areas have been closed, so finding our own space can be a challenge.

There are no easy answers to this one. Folks who have children home all day have it much worse than me. Especially in creative pursuits like planning and developing content, it’s key to find a zone, and the disruptions of screaming kiddos or a construction worker banging away outside can be anathema when it comes to getting things done.

The main thing I would advise is this: embrace asynchronous work to the extent possible. This basically refers to operating around your own schedule rather than those of others. For example, if there’s no timely need for me to work on something during the day, and my wife has meetings throughout the afternoon, maybe I’ll set aside a few hours in the evening to dive in.

Takeaway: Flexible work is becoming the new norm. Free yourself from the constrictions of a 9-to-5 workday and determine a schedule that facilitates your best work (while still being there for your teammates and clients as needed).

[bctt tweet="“Overcome WFH distractions by embracing asynchronous work to the extent possible.” @NickNelsonMN #ContentMarketing #WFHtips" username="toprank"]

Communicating with Colleagues and Clients

In Buffer’s State of Remote Work Report 2020, when respondents were asked about their biggest struggle with working remotely, there was a two-way tie for first place:

  • Collaboration and communication
  • Loneliness

No surprise, as these responses basically tie back to the same ultimate downside of working away from our coworkers: disconnection and isolation. Collaboration is vital to producing the best work possible, as I rely on the talents and smarts of my teammates to enhance my own efforts.

There is no way to replicate the energy and organic spontaneity of working in the physical proximity of your coworkers. My best recommendation is finding varied ways to coordinate and communicate. Don’t rely on just one channel. Slack is good, and Zoom is good, but both can cause fatigue when overdone. Try different methods of collaborating, like generating ideas with a teammate simultaneously in a Google Doc, or even jumping on the good ol’-fashioned telephone.

One more thing: carve out “do not disturb” zones. When you’re in the office, you can plug in your headphones and signal that you’re focusing. Work with your team to create similar arrangements in the WFH, where this is far more ambiguous. You might even collectively decide on a consistent portion of the day where no meetings are scheduled and expectations for responsiveness are lowered (for us at TopRank, this is from noon to one every afternoon).

Takeaway: Maintaining consistent and constructive communication is one of the toughest challenges for distributed teams. The best way to foster remote collaboration is to … collaborate. Work together to develop practices and protocols that best align with everyone’s preferences.

[bctt tweet="“The best way to foster remote collaboration is to … collaborate. Work together to develop practices and protocols that best align with everyone’s preferences.” @NickNelsonMN #ContentMarketing #WFHtips" username="toprank"]

Breaking Up the Day

Monotony can be one of the biggest inhibitors of creativity and productivity in WFH settings. There is a natural variety that plays out when you go into the office: interacting with different people, moving between meeting rooms, maybe running out for coffee or lunch as a change of scenery. Working from home, especially at a time where we’re all encouraged to quarantine and avoid public places, can really make the hours and days run together.

This leads to one of the biggest benefits I’ve discovered in the altered routine. It is now much easier to get out and get active. Sure, we’d occasionally go out for team walks when we were in the office, but without the ability to shower and change clothes I wasn’t exactly going out for intense exercise. And by the time I got home, I was often too tuckered out.

Now, I find myself getting out for a run, bike ride, or brisk walk almost every afternoon. It’s rejuvenating for body and mind. One silver lining of this pandemic is its timing; at least it struck as the summer was getting underway, which has allowed me to enjoy a lot of nice weather outdoors.

Takeaway: Find activities you enjoy to break up your workday and keep your mind fresh. Whether it’s exercise, a hobby, or simply unplugging, working from home provides the freedom to step away. And embracing asynchronicity enables you to distribute your work throughout the day.

For Better or Worse… There’s No Place Like Home

Plenty of people have been working from home full-time for years, and have developed their own habits and routines to optimize for it. But for many, like myself and surely many reading this, it’s something we’ve had to learn on the fly, out of necessity.

The good news is that our adaptations during this time will benefit us and our companies going forward. I am in full agreement with our clients at Sococo, who make a strong evidence-based argument that distributed work is here to stay and will forever be part of our reality going forward. Those individuals and teams that take this opportunity to innovate and create seamless remote work infrastructures will be poised to excel in the (groan) new normal.

With all that said, when I’m finally able to go back into the office and see my coworkers face to face, I’m definitely going to have an all-new appreciation for it.

For tips from one of those full-time remote workers who has been doing it a long time, explore Lane Ellis’s post from earlier this year sharing remote working tips from a distance marketer.

The post A Day in the Life of a Content Marketer During the Pandemic: Challenges and Tips appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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This Marketing Consultant Hit 5x Growth With Landing Pages and an AI-Powered Sidekick

Need to accomplish more with less? See the machine learning strategy one marketer used to grow his business 5x while keeping his operation lean.

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