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How to Use LinkedIn Website Demographics as a Marketing Tool

Want to learn more about the professional traits of your website visitors? Are you using LinkedIn’s Website Demographics tool? In this article, you’ll discover how to use LinkedIn Website Demographics to reveal useful information about people who visit your website. Why Use LinkedIn Website Demographics? What marketers want is a way to understand who their […]

The post How to Use LinkedIn Website Demographics as a Marketing Tool appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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What the Future of Google Search Means for B2B Marketers

Low angle shot of modern glass city buildings looking up image.

Low angle shot of modern glass city buildings looking up image.

The future of search at Google includes fascinating changes that will deeply affect the course of B2B marketing.

Google’s search and other services jointly hold vast influence over what people see and do online, a powerful position that isn’t likely to significantly change anytime soon.

Like ocean waves, search always changes at Google, and whether it’s through tiny incremental shifts or explosive changes of course, the future this tech giant is enthusiastically creating is one savvy B2B marketers can’t afford to ignore.

Let’s explore some of Google’s future plans and most recent search changes, while also looking at what they mean for B2B marketers.

Google Search & The Sands of Time

Blowing sand dunes image.

Although change has always been swift in online search, the sands of time leave none unaffected, and eventually even Google may one day find itself as the next to meet the fate of Yahoo or Ask.com. I remember the sad day in 2003 when I had to say goodbye to my longtime beloved search engine from AltaVista, one of the major casualties of upstart Google’s rise to search dominance.

Most agree that Google is well-positioned for many years of continued success however, and learning how to best work within the future of search the firm is pursuing may be more important right now than ever before for B2B marketers. Let’s look at how and why.

What Should B2B Marketers Do? Orchestrate What You Can Control

Orchestra conductor image.

For many years now most of the mechanisms Google uses to show search results have been hidden and proprietary. Long gone are the days when you could completely reverse-engineer or decode a search algorithm, as Brett Tabke, search pioneer and founder of the Pubcon series of conferences and the WebmasterWorld message forums, did with the circa-1995 Excite search engine.

B2B marketers are well-served by focusing on the qualities that make your business’s marketing efforts unique, and turning them into best-answer content, the kind our CEO Lee Odden has spoken and written about extensively over the past several years. “How A Best Answer Content Strategy Drives B2B Marketing Results” offers a good introduction to what best-answer content is.

[bctt tweet="“Is your marketing about creating content or answers? Think about what your customers really want.” @LeeOdden" username="toprank"]

By creating best-answer solutions that Google will want to present to searchers, you’re focusing on what you have the most control over rather than on forever trying to catch up with the maneuvers of another business — even if it’s Google.

There’s nothing wrong with also devoting some of your resources to attempting to understand the private portions of Google’s search algorithms, however it’s important to recognize where your marketing efforts will reap the greatest dividends, especially as the search landscape matures and changes.

Let’s examine how these search and technology shifts at Google are poised to take place — and how some are already happening.

Prepare Your Business For Touch-Free Gesture Marketing

Robot and human hands forming a heart image.

When it comes to Google, B2B marketers should prepare for a future in search that features more touch-free phones and devices, controlled by body gestures and sometimes even helped by special connected clothing and accessories.

Google’s newest efforts in these areas will arrive first this fall, as its forthcoming Pixel 4 phone is set to include the type of gesture control features that will let users perform tasks by waving a hand, finger pinching, or even by simply blinking.

When touch screens appeared they brought with them new opportunities and challenges, however Google’s touchless features of the immediate and distant future will go much farther, and require B2B marketers to work even harder to adapt if they wish to embrace and drive gestural marketing in search.

Using a small radar chip with sensors, Google newly-FCC-approved Motion Sense technology is set to be the firm’s newest public release of the gesture controls it has been working on for some five years in its Soli project through X, the skunkworks test lab formerly known as Google X.

via GIPHY

Whether it’s Google, Apple, or another tech firm that makes the touchless search future mainstream, B2B marketers can prepare by learning as much as possible about gesture technology, and anticipating the many ways it could be used to create better, more immersive kinds of best-answer content.

When the touch-free future arrives in earnest, it’s bound to have many implications in search and other marketing areas. Just a few of the possible marketing tactics incorporating gesture controls we may see include:

  • Business websites that detect visitors who are using gestural tech and present full navigation, search, chat, and contact elements optimized for touch-free customers
  • Organic and paid advertisements that go far beyond today’s virtual reality and augmented reality experiences do, being able to more efficiently deliver your business’ campaign messaging
  • Always-on touch-free messaging to reach your audience — and allow them to reach you — wherever they are and at any time, which means that smart businesses even in the B2B world should prepare for inquiries arriving when a customer is in the car, out walking, or up getting a late-night snack in the kitchen.

How strong will your campaign’s messaging need to be — and how powerful your storytelling — when in a touch-free marketing landscape all a consumer needs to do in order to skip your ad is blink?

Google’s new phones are also slated to include facial recognition features, presenting marketers with a slew of fascinating possible targeting options once advertising delivery systems catch up.

These and other innovations at Google will alter how people search, learn, and lead their professional and personal lives, but most of the fundamental elements of search — the query and the answer — will thankfully remain, and continue to be an important area for B2B marketers to have a real impact connecting with audiences.

[bctt tweet="“Innovations at Google will alter how people search, learn, and lead their professional and personal lives.” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis" username="toprank"]

Discovering the questions that are important to your audience is a great way to help make the most of your search strategy, and we recently dug into how to do this in “10 Smart Question Research Tools for B2B Marketers.”

Keyword Planner’s Future Starts Now

Typewriter with keyword on sheet of paper image.

Changes in search at Google aren’t all über-futuristic technologies like touch-free gestural controls and face recognition. Most of the changes the firm makes are gradual and continuing efforts, such as some of the recent updates it released for marketers using its popular Keyword Planner tools.

Just last week Google made several changes to Keyword Planner — more robust keyword filtering offering related keywords, and brand-related term exclusions — which may seem minor when taken on their own, but which also represent Google’s continuing efforts to refine its search offerings for marketers, publishers, and individuals.

Google’s path forward in search evolves almost daily, and B2B marketers wanting to get the most from their Google-related efforts will increasingly need to adjust to both the minor changes and the major innovations coming down the pike.

Plan For Fewer Organic Opportunities as SERPs Evolve

Word SERP image comprised of zeroes and ones.

Google continues to refine the SERP — a term and abbreviation short for Search Engine Results Page that’s now mainstream to those in the SEO industry and beyond, coined by Brett Tabke in a post on his WebmasterWorld message forums.

In the past several years Google has more radically changed the way it displays SERP information than ever before, incorporating ever-more elements on what for many years was a rather simple and straightforward list of search results.

Just a handful of some of the SERP elements that Google is using or has experimented with include:

  • Search Box Auto-Complete
  • Featured Snippets
  • Calculators
  • Answer Boxes
  • Localized Results
  • Knowledge Panels & Carousels
  • Image Results
  • Video Results

It’s been no secret to those in the SEO world that the percentage of the SERP page dedicated to showing organic results has significantly diminished, as they’ve largely become surrounded or even at times drowned out by these additional types of results.

In Google’s defense, some would say these elements are primarily aimed at providing answers on a single SERP listing, however as many marketers know, by giving searchers answers in this way Google also decreases the likelihood that people will ever need to visit your website.

Google sometimes calls this “good abandonment,” and some types of B2B firms — those whose businesses revolve around providing static answers to questions — are especially prone to being affected.

As Google continues to present more information panels and answers without having to click and visit the website where the answer originated, or when it shows similar rich snippets and knowledge graph information, B2B marketers face a very real struggle in surfacing their content — a difficult challenge that’s driven many to shift resources from Google search to social platform solutions.

These types of changes happen frequently — just the other day Google made changes to how it incorporates video suggestions in search results, playing video directly from it’s YouTube property, without taking searchers to YouTube’s site.

With today’s non-linear SERP layouts at Google — ones that vary depending on which device you use — it’s also more challenging than ever to get your B2B marketing messages into search results, especially in the coveted non-paid organic segments.

Create a Future Google Search Preparedness Action Plan

Paper time to plan card held by clothes pin image.

What’s a poor B2B marketer to do in the face of so many rapid and radical changes coming from seemingly every direction at the world’s largest search firm?

Focusing on the areas you have control over while also keeping up with Google’s newest changes and upcoming plans gives B2B marketers the chance to develop best-answer content while simultaneously working with the world’s largest search platform.

These days B2B marketers are also lucky to have no shortage of digital avenues outside of search to follow for sharing great content, and below you’ll find four lists — each offering five helpful recent articles we’ve put together that dig in to the alternatives in content marketing, influencer marketing, social media marketing, and of course SEO and search marketing.

Content Marketing

Influencer Marketing

Social Media Marketing

Search Marketing

You can also learn more on these subjects by joining us at upcoming speaking events and conferences. Our CEO Lee Odden will be speaking at Content Marketing World this fall, where on September 3 he'll be presenting "How to Develop a B2B Influencer Marketing Program That Actually Works" with Amisha Gandhi of SAP, and a solo session on September 4 exploring "Content Marketing Fitness - 10 Exercises to Build Your Marketing Beach Body."

Our Senior Director of Digital Strategy Ashley Zeckman will also be speaking at Content Marketing World, in "Guardians of Content Vol 1: How to Scale B2B Influencer Content to Save the Galaxy."

The post What the Future of Google Search Means for B2B Marketers appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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Facebook Ad Placements for Marketers: How to Make the Right Choices

Are you wondering which Facebook ad placements you should choose? Looking for some guidance to improve your ad performance? In this article, you’ll find a guide to all of Facebook’s advertising placements and discover how to edit your placements to deliver the best results for your campaign. What Is Facebook Ad Placement? Facebook calls the […]

The post Facebook Ad Placements for Marketers: How to Make the Right Choices appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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Facebook and the FTC: What the Agreement Means 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 details of the FTC settlement agreement with Facebook and what it means for marketers with special guest […]

The post Facebook and the FTC: What the Agreement Means for Marketers appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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The 21 Psychological Elements that Power Effective Web Design (Part 2)

Watch the teaching session about 3 design elements: flow, personality, connection. Free infographic.

The post The 21 Psychological Elements that Power Effective Web Design (Part 2) appeared first on MarketingExperiments.

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Digital Marketing News: Facebook’s Newest Ads, Bravery in Marketing, YouTube’s Masthead Ads, Influencers on LinkedIn & More

The post Digital Marketing News: Facebook’s Newest Ads, Bravery in Marketing, YouTube’s Masthead Ads, Influencers on LinkedIn & More appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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How to Succeed With LinkedIn Ads

Do you want to create successful LinkedIn ad campaigns? Wondering how to get started with LinkedIn ads? To explore how to succeed with LinkedIn ads, I interview AJ Wilcox. AJ is the world’s leading LinkedIn ads expert and author of LinkedIn Ads Demystified. He’s also the founder of B2Linked.com, a LinkedIn ads agency. AJ shares […]

The post How to Succeed With LinkedIn Ads appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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Creating an online review management strategy

Reviews for local businesses are everywhere. As consumers, we search for opinions and ask our friends for recommendations. From the business’ perspective, a review Read more...

This post Creating an online review management strategy originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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B2B Marketing Spotlight: Alexandra Gobbi, CMO at Secureworks #B2BSMX

Alexandra Gobbi

Alexandra Gobbi

Sales and Marketing alignment is a wonderful and yet elusive thing. Many B2B marketers and sales professionals in particular are in search of leadership, strategy, best practices and networks of peers they can connect with as they adapt to an ever changing marketing world. Lucky for those working in B2B industries, there's an upcoming conference in Boston that was developed for just this purpose: B2B Sales and Marketing Exchange.

That name might sound familiar because the same people at Demand Gen Report who brought you B2BMX in Scottsdale have expanded. This first B2BSMX event in Boston features both a Sales and Marketing focus with 6 keynotes, 50+ sessions and over 1,000 registrants. TopRank Marketing has partnered with B2BSMX to give you a glimpse at some of the top talent speaking at the conference through a series of pre-conference interviews.

Let's get started with the impressive Alexandra Gobbi, Chief Marketing Officer at Secureworks. At B2BSMX Alex will be presenting, The Five Languages Of Digital Transformation, on Tuesday, August 13th at 2:39 PM.

Lee Odden: Thank you for joining us for B2B Marketing Spotlight. Today, we are fortunate to have with us Alex Gobbi, CMO of Secureworks, which is a global cyber security company. Welcome, Alex!

Alex Gobbi: Thank you for having me, Lee.

Lee Odden: Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your role at Secureworks?

Alexandra Gobbi

Alex Gobbi: I've been in B2B tech marketing for over 20 years. I've been with Secureworks coming up on three years. My role is global CMO. I have end-to-end marketing responsibilities for the brand, the messaging, everything that's around corporate communications, product marketing, analysts relations, demand generation, field marketing, event marketing and marketing operations.

Lee Odden: Wow. Yes, that really is end-to-end isn't it? You've been in the digital marketing world for 20 years or so and you've held previous senior marketing leadership positions at companies like EarthLink and HP, plus I think you had some independent consulting experience. I'm curious, out of those experiences what has best prepared you for the role of CMO?

Alex Gobbi: I think every single role prepares you along the way. I spent about nine years with a management consulting company called A.T. Kearney and I will say that experience prepared me exceptionally well for the core skills of problem solving, presentation skills, and analytical skills that I've really used throughout my career.

As a consultant I had the good fortune of working across different industries and then working with different levels of leadership, so that's also been a great experience. I would say every single experience has really helped me in terms of what it takes to build a great team, how you manage and motivate teams, how important analyst and influencer relations are, and building out demand generation. I dipped my toe in Demand Generation at EarthLink and really got into running a Demand Gen engine at Secureworks.

The CMO is not only responsible for leading the marketing team, but you also are an executive with a seat at the table. @alexandra_gobbi

Last but not least, I would say my product marketing experience is mainly from my experience at EarthLink. But as you well know, the CMO is not only responsible for leading the marketing team, but you also are an executive with a seat at the table. I think these past few years have really enhanced my appreciation for that perspective of the CMO role, which is really having a point of view at the table and interacting really, really closely with other members of the executive team. Just continuing to have that voice of the customer and voice of the market perspective has been valuable.

Lee Odden: The CMO role really brings marketing to that executive level. I forget the statistic, but there's an increasing number of CEOs coming from marketing.

Alex Gobbi I haven't seen that. That's great.

Lee Odden: There's a certain well-roundedness to a CMO as a CEO. Of course I may be biased being a marketer myself, but as someone who gets to work with a variety of different large B2B company executives, sometimes you see what their CEOs are like. Those that have come from marketing are wonderful to work with. Not that others aren't, but if you compare a CEO that's come from finance or some other operational discipline versus marketing, it is a different interaction, a different leadership style sometimes.

We are all operating in a digital economy and I think that is something marketers really understand. @alexandra_gobbi

Alex Gobbi: I agree with you. I think that's a great statistic to hear. I hear that boards are trying to get more CMOs at the table as well and I think it's long overdue, really. Marketing in and of itself is a fantastic training ground. We are all operating in a digital economy and I think that is something marketers really understand.

Lee Odden: With your global end-to-end responsibilities, I'm kind of curious, has your ability to speak five different languages ever been put to use?

Alex Gobbi: Absolutely. In fact, I look for those opportunities. Except for a few years at EarthLink, I've always worked in global environments. It's been a great asset to be able to speak those languages just because of the trust that kind of gets built from the get-go, if you will, when you're native and you know the tongue of your French or your German or your Italian counterpart.

The ability (for marketers) to engage with your counterparts, whether it's in HR or product marketing or in finance, in their language is really key to be able to establish trust. @alexandra_gobbi

So it's certainly helped me a lot and I think it's given me an appreciation for language, which is kind of going to be the topic of my presentation at B2BSMX. Of course there are the languages of the world, but there are also business languages. Not understanding that we don't all speak the same language can be a huge barrier to trust and to being able to work together.

You spoke earlier about CEOs that come from a finance background versus from a marketing background, and if you've grown up in a certain function, there is a language, a business language, that's innate to that function that you're unconsciously biased towards. And so the ability to engage with your counterparts, whether it's in HR or product marketing or in finance, in their language is really key to be able to establish trust.

Lee Odden: That's a really good point. I'm kind of curious, what is the genesis of your presentation at B2BSMX? Is it a function of what you've experienced and your ability to advance and be successful or patterns of success and best practices?

Alex Gobbi: Absolutely. I mean, I think you hit on it with the fact that I grew up with five languages, so I probably have just an innate sensitivity to being able to communicate and articulate using the same vocabulary and the same words.

But, like you've mentioned, I've had both successes, and probably failures as well, where you realize that you're just not getting your point across or your interpreter, the person that you're speaking to, has just checked out or he's just not engaged because they really don't understand what you're talking about. So the idea has come from both my personal background and a topic that's just something that's authentic to me, as well as the experiences I've had over the years.

Lee Odden: It's interesting, when you look at something like digital transformation and how broad of an impact that can have on a company, it really is important to have empathy for those different constituents that are going to have to be part of that change, right? It's not just about the technology is it? It's about culture and other elements too.

Alex Gobbi: It is and I think at the heart of digital transformation is this notion of the ability to be agile and to be quick. Underpinning that is really how fast can you communicate and how easily those communications flow up and down the organization. Language is a part of that, right?

Lee Odden: Absolutely. I'm curious, speaking of digital transformation, what are some ways that you see digital transformation happening in organizations in terms of how marketing is done?

Marketing, has gone digital over the past 10 years at a speed that is unparalleled to any other function. @alexandra_gobbi

Alex Gobbi: Well, I think marketing, has gone digital over the past 10 years at a speed that is unparalleled to any other function. And not only have we gone digital in the ability for technology to make us smarter about our customers and our target audience but to be able to know more about them, target them better and to engage more effectively.  We've been able to do so in a way that's probably unsurpassed relative to the other functions.

Certainly HR has gone digital, finance has gone digital in terms of increasing productivity or increasing access to internal data, but marketing really bridges that gap between the internal data of the organization and the digital engagement of your customer.

Lee Odden: Let's switch gears just a little bit. This is something I've seen a lot of talk about over the last couple of years. How important do you think it is for senior executives to pay attention to their own personal brand, especially in areas like social media or their own thought leadership?

A voice as an individual, be that a leader or a consumer, can sometimes be just as loud as the voice of the marketing department in promoting a brand. @alexandra_gobbi

Alex Gobbi: I think it's important to have an awareness of your own personal brand, and I think because of digital, a voice as an individual, be that a leader or a consumer, can sometimes be just as loud as the voice of the marketing department in promoting a brand.

I think having that awareness is really job one. I think job two is recognizing that you've got a market. You've got to engage authentically with influencers and with customers because their voices can be just as loud on digital. I also think that it shouldn't be a check box. I've seen executives that say, "Well I need to have a Twitter handle and I need to have a LinkedIn handle," and "Hey marketing, can you just manage that for me?".

If you're going to have a digital voice as an executive, have an authentic digital voice. Have one that is true to who you are and not just replicating the social handle of the company. @alexandra_gobbi

I think that is where it's just inauthentic, right? If you're going to have a digital voice as an executive, have an authentic digital voice. Have one that is true to who you are and not just replicating the social handle of the company.

Lee Odden: Excellent. I love that. Great to hear it. We have a pretty substantial audience that is in that mid-level part of their career and I'm kind of curious, what can you share for someone who really aspires to achieving a CMO level of success in their marketing career? What advice might you give them as an up-and-coming marketing leader?

The more you can learn about how the P&L of the company works and how, really, the company is not only driving revenues but also driving those profitably, the better. @alexandra_gobbi

Alex Gobbi: It's a great question. I would say a couple of things that I would consider. One is, gain an appreciation for the other business functions that are critical to the success of any company. The more you can learn about how the P&L of the company works and how, really, the company is not only driving revenues but also driving those profitably, the better. So, engage with finance and really understand that. You don't have to become a whiz at it, but just understanding some of those basic things, I think, will get you a long way.

Similarly, walk in the shoes and understand your sellers. Understand your product management team. Those are going to be key counterparts with marketing. I think the more you understand the world that they live in, the more you can engage and bring the value of marketing in the context of their world. I would say that would be one piece of advice.

The other pieces of advice would be don't be too fixated on your next career move within marketing. What I have found is if you're open to opportunities, working with the right team, the right leadership, can really expose you to new areas and help you appreciate other areas of marketing that may not be the one that you are most familiar with.

If you're a digital marketer and there's an opportunity for you to work in analyst relations, work in the events team, or to work in field marketing, seize those opportunities. Every single one of those facets can bring value and, as a CMO, you need to understand the end-to-end and how all those functions play well together and the thread between all of those functions.

Lee Odden: What are some of the top resources that you rely on from a marketing perspective?

Nothing beats a peer network. Building a great network of other marketers is fantastic, and it really needs to be an authentic network. @alexandra_gobbi

Alex Gobbi: You know, I think nothing beats a peer network. Building a great network of other marketers is fantastic, and it really needs to be an authentic network.

I have found over my career that people I've worked with or people I've had the opportunity to interact with and to get to know are the people that I can just pick up the phone or send a quick text to and say, hey, I'm struggling with this. Do you have any advice, or, who do you know that does this type of work, or what are some of the metrics that you use? For those types of questions, I think my network been great for me.

I would also say that I've really gained a huge appreciation for all of the organizations that make marketing successful, whether it's your PR agency, your digital agency, or your demand gen agency. I've had fantastic partners along the way that I've come to rely on, and that have really educated me in a lot of areas that have been key to my success or to our organization's success. So those will be some of the people that I would reach out to.

Lee Odden: What are some of your top digital marketing priorities for 2020? What are some high level areas that you feel like you're really going to focus on?

Alex Gobbi: We just implemented ABM technology last year and it's been phenomenal in terms of the impact that it's already had through initial pilots and now the rollout to the organization. I think continuing to hone our account-based marketing skills is going to be a key priority, and really thinking about how we apply our core demand gen engine paired with account based marketing to be successful. What does that look like in terms of ABM 2.0, if you will, in terms of website personalization and all of those things. That would be one of the key priorities that we have for next year.

I would say a second priority is continuing to simplify our portfolio. Secureworks has a very broad portfolio of end-to end-products and solutions in the security operations space. I think, from a marketing perspective, the more we can simplify and bundle offerings the easier we make it to position and digest end-to-end value propositions for our sellers as well as full marketing is always going to be another priority for us.

Lee Odden: That makes sense. My last question for you, Alex, is what are you most excited about for the upcoming B2B SMX conference in Boston?

Alex Gobbi: Well, as you know, when you and I first spoke of, you know, this is my first B2B Sales and Marketing Exchange. So for me, it's really very exciting to attend and get to know the perspective of some of my peers as well as some of the other presenters. I love that it is purely B2B focused and I actually love that it is marketing and sales focused. So I think just in general, the whole theme and the concept for the conference is something that I'm excited about, and building new connections.

Lee Odden: Fantastic. Thank you for your time, Alex!

Be sure to follow Alexandra Gobbi on Twitter: @alexandra_gobbi

For information about the B2BSMX conference including agenda, speakers, workshops, mentor opportunities and more:

B2B Sales and Marketing Exchange: Boston
August 12-13, 2019
Encore Boston Harbor
GET 25% OFF using Discount Code: 25TRB
Registrationhttps://b2bsalesmarketing.exchange/registration

 

The post B2B Marketing Spotlight: Alexandra Gobbi, CMO at Secureworks #B2BSMX appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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Make the most of your Sprout trial

Now that you’ve signed up for your Sprout Social 30-day free trial, you may be wondering: what should I do next? To answer that Read more...

This post Make the most of your Sprout trial originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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