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Online Marketing News: Pinterest Matters, Google Loses Sidebar Ads and Facebook Reacts

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Why Pinterest Matters to Marketing [Infographic]
Did you know that Pinterest is the third most popular social network in the US, behind Facebook and Twitter? That statistic came as a surprise to me. But what isn’t surprising is the rise in brands that are using Pinterest as part of their social and content marketing strategy. While the platform is easy to use and visually appealing, there’s more to using the platform effectively than meets the eye. This infographic details the demographics of the Pinterest audience, the best time to post, and even what post categories work best on which days. WebpageFX

Google Removes Right Hand Sidebar Ads
Starting on February 19th, Google began phasing out sidebar ads from their search engine results pages. They will now show one to four ads before the organic search results, and the rest will be pushed to the bottom of the page. The update – which is described as “global and permanent” will only apply to desktop searches, which may affect the traffic you see from desktop devices. According to Search Engine Journal: “High volume and general search terms have been most severely affected by the update so far. Long-tail and niche terms will begin to see their right hand ads disappear in the coming weeks.” This change hasn’t yet rolled out to mobile, so it remains to be seen if/when that will happen and what the results will be. Search Engine Journal

Facebook’s Reactions are Here – Here’s How They’ll Change Your Approach to Facebook Marketing
If you’re like me, you went on Facebook earlier this week and noticed something odd — in addition to the Like button, there were options for reactions as well: Love, Haha, Wow, Sad and Angry. Pretty cool, right? These alleviate the commonly expressed concerns about Liking sad or negative statuses in an effort to show support, and also allow users to express other emotions, even if they aren’t ready or willing to leave a comment at the time. If you haven’t seen them yet, go ahead an log into Facebook and take them for a spin. I’ll wait. My only complaint is that we still don’t have a ‘Dislike’ button – but maybe that will make it through phase two. Social Media Today

From the @toprank Twitter Community
content marketing storytelling

Instagram Now Has More Advertisers Than Twitter
According to Marketing Land: “Seemingly as a result of all those moves, Instagram now claims more than 200,000 active advertisers as of February 2016, the Facebook-owned photo-and-video-sharing service announced on Wednesday. That number may pale in comparison to Instagram’s parent company — Facebook claims more than 2.5 million advertisers — but it trumps Twitter, which had more than 130,000 active advertisers as of the fourth quarter of 2015.” Although Instagram has probably had some serious help ramping up their advertising platform from their parent company, Facebook, it still says a lot about the direction online advertising seems to be taking. The ability to easily purchase ads from anywhere, and in formats that can contain links or extended video, makes a difference for online marketers. Marketing Land

Here’s Why You’re Failing By Ignoring LinkedIn As a Content Platform (Study)
According to a recent study from Wibbitz, more people (28% vs 24%) prefer reading their news online than seeing it on TV. This could have quite a bit to do with the variety of sources to choose from online compared to the relatively limited amount available on TV. That same study found that 67% of LinkedIn users polled considered themselves “news junkies”. So what does that mean for digital marketers? If you have relevant industry news or content, especially for those brands in the B2B sector, it makes sense to include LinkedIn in your content marketing strategy. Read more on SocialTimes.

Google To Shut Down Google Compare Products In US And UK On March 23
In a letter from Google to Compare partners, Google wrote: “Beginning on February 23, 2016, we will start ramping down the Google Compare product, which is currently live in both the US and UK. We plan to terminate the service as of March 23, 2016.” Google cites lack of success as their primary reason for shutting down the lead generation product that serviced the credit card, auto insurance, mortgage and travel insurance industries. Search Engine Land reported: “A Google spokesperson told Search Engine Land that while searches on these queries remained high, the product didn’t get the traction it hoped for and revenue was minimal.” The next step, according to Google, is a focus on transitioning these partners to standard AdWords products. Search Engine Land

Adobe Launches App Creation & Management Tool For Marketers
Adobe is hoping to make app creation and management easier for marketers, according to Marketing Land. The new Experience Manager Mobile app, launched as part of Marking Cloud, is meant to simply app creation and management, making it almost as easy to manage your mobile app(s) as it is to manage your website(s). With the rising popularity of mobile web and app use for shopping, consuming content, and myriad other activities, it’s not surprise that an organization like Adobe would come up with a way to make the lives of marketers a bit easier. But, my prediction is that as we’ve seen with ‘do it yourself’ website development tools, is that while you can certainly create apps on your own, but at some point you’ll need to harness the knowledge of someone who knows more about mobile development for it to be successful. But, only time will tell.  Marketing Land

What were the top online and digital marketing news stories for you this week?

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend! I’ll be back next week with more online marketing news. Have something to share? Tweet me at @Tiffani_Allen or send it to @toprank!

Infographic – WebpageFX

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The post Online Marketing News: Pinterest Matters, Google Loses Sidebar Ads and Facebook Reacts appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

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About Daniel Rodgers

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

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Social Media Secrets: 5 Under-the-Radar LinkedIn Features for Marketers

Under-the-Radar LinkedIn Features for Marketers

Under-the-Radar LinkedIn Features for Marketers

It's plain to see that B2B marketers, at large, see the value in social media. The latest B2B benchmarking research from CMI and MarketingProfs found that nearly two out of three respondents (61%) increased their usage of social media for content marketing purposes in the previous year. Another new report shows that social content is atop the list of focal areas for B2B marketers in the coming year.

It’s also fair to say, based on various data points and conversations with folks in the biz, that most of us feel we could be doing better with social. The size of the audiences on these platforms make them essential to any digital strategy, but breaking through suppressive algorithms and showing clear ROI is a perpetual challenge for brands.

One pivotal key to excelling with social media marketing is understanding all the tools you have at your disposal. Each platform offers a number of capabilities that seem to be underutilized by marketers who either don’t know they exist, or don’t fully recognize their potential impact.

With this in mind, we’re setting out to highlight some of the most useful yet overlooked features for driving results on social media platforms. Today we're focusing on the channel most pertinent to B2B marketers: LinkedIn*, with its member base of more than half a billion professionals.

Take Notice of These 5 Marketing Tools & Features on LinkedIn

Whether your goal is building brand awareness, generating leads, or boosting conversions, these five fundamental functionalities can provide a big assist if you aren't taking advantage of them already.

#1: Robust (and Now Simplified) Audience Targeting

LinkedIn recently overhauled its Campaign Manager tool (the interface through which marketers build, manage, and measure ads) around an objective-based advertising framework. The basic purpose of this initiative was to make it easier for users to align every element of their campaigns with the overarching objective. One of the slickest improvements to come out of this is the audience setup experience, which is now simpler and more intuitive.

From a B2B marketing perspective, the depth of available professional targeting parameters is by far LinkedIn’s biggest relative advantage compared to other social platforms. Nowhere else can you accurately filter audiences based on facets such as Job Title and Job Seniority. This provides unparalleled ability to reach decision makers and purchase influencers directly.

The revamped interface makes it quicker and more straightforward to select a qualified audience in line with your campaign goals.


#2: Revamped LinkedIn Analytics

The latest Social Media Marketing Industry Report via Social Media Examiner found more than half of respondents (54%) either uncertain or disagreeing that they are “able to measure the return on investment (ROI) for my organic social media activities.”

This is another area of Campaign Manager that LinkedIn recently spruced up. Given that advertising on this platform tends to be more expensive than other social networks, it’s especially important to ensure you’re getting return on that spend. The new reporting experience makes it easier to see results at a glance, and make optimization tweaks on the fly.

The underlying appeal of LinkedIn’s targeting facets also applies to its reporting mechanism; you can get an aggregated look at who is viewing and engaging with your content (i.e., which companies, which job titles, which experience levels). These insights can help you align your LinkedIn strategy and even your content marketing strategy more generally.

#3: Content Suggestions

Can’t figure out what to share on social media? That’s a common enough challenge. The Content Suggestions tab, found on the top nav bar within LinkedIn Page admin center, offers ample inspiration. It serves up a list of third-party articles your defined audience is engaging with — essentially a readily available stream of targeted, trending content.

Not only does this make it easy for marketers and social media managers to find share-worthy content that’s more likely to resonate with their followings, but it can also fuel employee advocacy efforts.

#4: Website Retargeting

Retargeting is a popular digital marketing tactic, which involves serving ads to people who’ve already encountered your brand. The element of familiarity, plus a concrete demonstration of past interest, tends to drive considerably higher clicks and conversions than standard ads.  

Through its Matched Audiences feature, LinkedIn allows you to place a pixel on your company’s website, then serve ads to people who’ve visited it before, while they’re on LinkedIn. It’s a great way to follow up with someone in a different context. One especially savvy approach is to create customized retargeting creative based on the specific section of your site a person visited (i.e., upper-funnel messaging for someone who went to your “About” page, and lower-funnel for someone who checked out a solution page.)


#5: Lead Gen Forms

This might be my favorite marketing tool on LinkedIn, and it definitely seems like one that more B2B brands could be utilizing. Lead Gen Forms are leveraged in combination with various types of ads, enabling your company to collect valuable contact info (and additional data about a prospect) from an individual who downloads something of value with minimal friction.

Unlike most gated-asset forms, which require a user to tediously fill out multiple fields, Lead Gen Forms automatically populate based on the member’s LinkedIn profile data. As such, it takes only a couple of seconds to get through the process. Because you’re attaining a more comprehensive snapshot of people who download, you can better qualify them as leads in comparison with other form-fills that often procure only a name, phone number, and email.


Step Up Your LinkedIn Marketing Game

LinkedIn can be one of the most valuable components of a holistic B2B marketing strategy. As mentioned earlier, there’s no denying it’s a pricier place to play than most other social networks, but you’re also paying for access to a higher-quality audience. Using the five features above can help you understand, segment, reach, and engage this audience efficiently while closely tracking the impact of your efforts.

Another underutilized tool on LinkedIn is video, which has been a key focus for the platform recently. Learn about all the metrics and specs for video on LinkedIn, as well as every other major social network!

*Disclosure: LinkedIn is a TopRank Marketing client.

The post Social Media Secrets: 5 Under-the-Radar LinkedIn Features for Marketers appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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