It's that time of year, marketers. Once again, we're absolutely thrilled to present our annual list of 50 influential leaders who are engaging on social networks around the topic of social media marketing.
The goal of this annual list? To showcase the top 50 influential voices in the marketing industry we can all learn from and follow.
Influencer Relationship Management (IRM) Platform Assisted: Ranking of the people in this list leverages data and algorithms from Traackr, which is an influencer relationship marketing platform. Unlike the vast majority of lists like this that are published online, this list considers many more data sources than just Twitter. To provide a better sample across the web, Traackr rankings can include citations and links from data sources such as blogs, publications, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Ranking data sources and scoring: For the ranking, this list leverages a combination of data points including:
- Relevance: A score that indicates how influential a person is to a specific topic based on the keywords you provide. Signals for relevance include keyword mentions, keyword diversity, content production rate, freshness of content and other contextual measures. In this case, it was "social media marketing" as well as 10-plus derivative phrases.
- Resonance: A score of how impactful the influencer is with their audience. Resonance measures engagement activity that occurs as a result of publishing (mostly social) content.
- Reach: A score derived by the reach algorithm that takes into account followers, fans, subscribers, visitors and other audience metrics. Remember, this is more than just Twitter.
- Audience: Unsurprisingly, this refers to overall social audience size.
Each of these signal sources are factored into the algorithmic ranking for identified influencers with a focus on topical relevance, resonance of message with the audience and then audience reach. The result is a combination of broad-based influencers as well as individuals with a very specific focus and very high resonance and relevance scores. You'll see new faces as well as as a variety of disciplines and specialties represented.
Many thanks to all who continue to actively share their knowledge about social media marketing through year-round engagement and by providing help to others with insight and expertise in our vast social realm. We hope this list will serve as a handy jumping off point to start your ongoing journey of learning from these leading social media marketing industry influencers.
You'll likely see both many familiar faces and a wonderful variety of new social media influencers. We plan to learn new lessons from these 50 social media marketing influencers and hope you'll do the same throughout the year.
2019 — 50 Social Media Marketing Influencers
Kim Garst @kimgarst
CEO, KG Enterprises
Donna Moritz @sociallysorted
Visual Content Strategist, Socially Sorted
Ian Anderson Gray @iagdotme
Founder, Seriously Social
Neal Schaffer @NealSchaffer
Madalyn Sklar @madalynsklar
Social Media Speaker & Consultant, MadalynSklar.com
Dan Gingiss @dgingiss
CEO, Winning Customer Experience, LLC
Brian Fanzo @isocialfanz
Founder and CEO, iSocialFanz
Mari Smith @MariSmith
Social Media Speaker & Consultant, MariSmith.com
Rebekah Radice @rebekahradice
Jasmine Star @jasminestar
Carlos Gil @CarlosGil83
CEO, Gil Media Co.
Tamara McCleary @tamaramccleary
Dustin W. Stout @dustinwstout
Co-Founder, Warfare Plugins
Peggy Fitzpatrick @PegFitzpatrick
Marketing & Social Media Manager, Kreussler Inc.
Michael A. Stelzner @mike_stelzner
CEO & Founder, Social Media Examiner & Social Media Marketing World
Lee Odden @LeeOdden
CEO, TopRank Marketing
Christopher Penn @cspenn
Co-Founder and Chief Innovator, Trust Insights
Owen Hemsath @owenvideo
Video Producer, The Videospot
Bernie Borges @bernieborges
Co-Founder & CMO, Vengreso
Samantha Kelly @tweetinggoddess
Heidi Cohen @heidicohen
Chief Content Officer, Actionable Marketing Guide
Brooke B. Sellas @brookesellas
Founder & CEO, B Squared Media
Gini Dietrich @ginidietrich
CEO, Arment Dietrich, Inc.
Roberto Blake @robertoblake
Owner & Creative Director, Create Awesome Media
Chris Strub @chrisstrub
CEO, I Am Here LLC
Mark Schaefer @markwschaefer
Executive Director, Schaefer Marketing Solutions LLC
Jay Baer @jaybaer
Founder, Convince & Convert
Nicky Kriel @nickykriel
Social Media Consultant & Strategist, Nicky Kriel Social Media
Park Howell @parkhowell
Business Story Strategist & Keynote Speaker, Business of Story
Amanda Webb @spiderworking
Social Media Trainer & Strategist, Spiderworking
Andrew Pickering @andrewandpete
Co-Founder, Andrew and Pete
Viveka Von Rosen @linkedinexpert
Co-Founder & Chief Visibility Officer, Vengreso
Sean Cannell @seancannell
Founder, Think Media
Amy Porterfield @amyporterfield
Online Marketing Expert & Trainer, Amy Porterfield, Inc.
Steve Dotto @dottotech
President, Dotto Tech
Guy Kawasaki @GuyKawasaki
Chief Evangelist, Canva
Sue Beth Zimmerman @suebzimmerman
Keynote and Breakout Speaker, Sue B. Zimmerman Enterprise
Ann Handley @annhandley
Chief Content Officer, MarketingProfs
Sunny Lenarduzzi @sunnylenarduzzi
Social Media Strategist & Consultant, SunnyLenarduzzi.com
Laura Rubinstein @CoachLaura
CEO & Social Media Strategist, Transform Today
Josh Elledge @joshelledge
Ramon Ray @ramonray
Editor and Founder, Smart Hustle Magazine
Chalene Johnson @chalenejohnson
CEO & Social Media Consultant, Team Johnson and SmartLife
Brian G. Peters @brian_g_peters
Strategic Partnerships Manager, Buffer
Robert Rose @Robert_Rose
Chief Troublemaker, The Content Advisory
Lewis David Howes @lewishowes
Founder, School of Greatness
John Jantsch @ducttape
President, Duct Tape Marketing
Ian Cleary @iancleary
Jo Saunders @mrslinkedin
Trainer & Conference Speaker, Wildfire Social Marketing™
Billy Gene Shaw @askbillygene
Founder & CEO, Rethink & Relive LLC
Spread the Social Wisdom & Love
Statistical analysis, no matter how deep and well-researched, can only go so far in finding the people who you'll find the most helpful and influential in your daily professional marketing lives, which is why we'd love it if you'd please share the name of social media marketers that influence you most in the comments section below.
Some of our social media marketing influencers will be speaking at this week's Social Media Marketing World 2019 conference, and we'll have plenty of live-blog coverage of the event throughout the week, from our Senior Digital Strategy Director Ashley Zeckman and Content Strategist Anne Leuman. See where we'll be here.
To further your own social media marketing expertise, here's a bonus list of our top 5 posts about social media marketing from the past 12 months:
- Where Do Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn Stand With B2B Video? Nick Nelson
- TopRank Marketing’s Top 6 B2B Social Media Marketing Predictions & Trends to Watch in 2019 Caitlin Burgess
- Our Top 10 Social Media Marketing Posts of 2018 Lane R. Ellis
- A Taste of Social and Influencer Marketing: What B2B Can Learn from B2C #SMBMSP Debbie Friez
- Tapping Key Takeaways from Recent Research on Fortune 500 Social Media Usage Nick Nelson
The post Our 2019 List: The Top 50 Social Media Marketing Influencers appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.Read More »
Are you planning a live event? Wondering how to use Facebook marketing to reach and stay in touch with attendees? In this article, you’ll discover how to promote your live event or conference on Facebook before, during, and after the show. #1: Design a Facebook Frame for Your Event Facebook allows you to upload your […]Read More »
From data and privacy concerns to new product launches like live video and 3D photos, the social media marketing landscape is in constant flux. And you need to quickly adopt and adapt if you want to effectively raise brand awareness and engage audiences over social.
That’s why you can find us at Social Media Marketing World in San Diego this week. We’re excited to hear where the social media industry is headed, how they’ll adapt to potential data regulations, and expert advice on how to account for these changes in our social media marketing strategies.
And just like we never execute a marketing campaign without a plan, we have a plan for this conference as well. See how we’re going to make the most of our time at #SMMW19 and how you can, too.
#SMMW19: Our Plan of Attack
#1 - Go to the networking events.
Hands down, learning is the top reason behind our attending this year’s Social Media Marketing World. However, followed closely behind that is to meet other peers and experts in our industry. And the conference’s many networking breaks and events are a great way to do that.
If you’re going to the conference, we’d love to meet up with you there. In fact, you’ll be able to find us at the opening night networking party or at one of the networking lunches.
#2- See Brian Solis discuss digital distraction and how to change.
Brian Solis, Principal Analyst at Altimeter Group, is one of our favorite digital experts. And the future of social media is one of our favorite topics. Combine the two and what do you get? A #SMMW19 session that is guaranteed not to disappoint.
- What: The Rise of Digital Distraction: How Businesses (and You) Need to Change
- When: Thursday, March 21 at 11:35 a.m.
- Where: 29ABCD
To get a taste of Brian’s expertise, watch (or read) our conversation with him on his newest book, Lifescale - How to live a more creative, productive and happy life.
#3 - Learn influencer marketing lessons from Ursula Ringham.
Your target audience doesn’t want to be marketed or advertised to. They want great information and advice from trustworthy sources. Influencer marketing can help your brand provide that. And Ursula Ringham, the Global Head of Influencer Marketing for SAP*, is one of the leading voices in influencer marketing strategy and program management. Her session at #SMMW19 is a can’t-miss.
- What: Influencer Marketing: Lessons From the Trenches
- When: Thursday, March 21 at 11:35 a.m.
- Where: 24ABC
What kind of insight can Ursula provide? Read our latest interview with her.
#4 - Find out what’s next for Facebook from ‘Queen’ Mari Smith.
Cambridge Analytica. Congressional testimonies. Fake ads. Facebook is having quite the year. And marketers everywhere are wondering what the platform will do to recover and address consumer (and government) concerns. Luckily the “Queen of Facebook” herself, Mari Smith, will be at #SMMW19 to preview what the future of Facebook will look like and how marketers can adapt.
- What: Facebook Marketing In a Changing World: Your Road Map for The Future
- When: Friday, March 22 at 8:30 AM
- Where: 20ABCD
If you’re struggling to generate an ROI on Facebook, check out our recap of Mari’s SMMW 2017 session.
#5 - Listen to Shep Hyken’s customer service tips.
What’s the best way to get a brand’s attention today? Mention them over social media, of course. With the invention of social media came a new, much more public channel for customer service. To avoid a publicity nightmare, or celebrate a special customer-brand interaction, you need to know how to perform service over social media effectively. And Shep Hyken, author of The Convenience Revolution, is the perfect person to offer that advice.
- What: How to Use Customer Service as a Marketing Opportunity
- When: Friday, March 22 at 10:15 AM
- Where: 25ABC
Discover additional ways marketers can improve the customer experience from our full interview with Shep.
#6 - Witness Ann Handley’s content marketing genius.
Few people give an impactful keynote like Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer for MarketingProfs. We’re sure this session from Ann will be no different. This year for Social Media Marketing World, Ann’s session promises to do the impossible – help marketers create newsletters that people want to read. Considering her newsletter is one that we revisit time after time, we can’t wait to hear what her secret is.
- What: How to Write an Email Newsletter That People Clear Their Schedules to Read
- When: Friday, March 22 at 11:20 AM
- Where: 29ABCD
Learn Ann’s secrets to success by reading our interview with her from Content Marketing World.
#7 - Document our experience and key learnings.
As a leading B2B digital marketing agency, our No. 1 goal is to empower other marketers to become masters of the craft. We want our clients to be seen as the heroes of their organization. We want to provide our audience with solutions to their top marketing problems. To do that, we need to share and spread our knowledge.
With that goal top of mind, we’ll be live blogging, tweeting, and recording our time at #SMMW19. If you’re missing out on the conference this year, missed a buzzed-about session, or just want a recap of the event, keep your eyes glued to this blog and your Twitter feed for session summaries, key takeaways, actionable tips, and more.
Uncover content gold at your next industry event. Read our post, How to Unearth Content Gold at Marketing Industry Events.
*BONUS* Enjoy the warm weather.
In case you weren’t aware, our agency is based in Minneapolis, MN. And this winter has been rough. In fact, this February was the snowiest on record and the polar vortex led to wind chills near negative 60-degrees Fahrenheit.
So, we plan to take full advantage of this year’s conference location of San Diego. While we will probably be too busy to go to Coronado Beach, you will definitely see us shedding our winter wardrobe and soaking up the sun. Our hope is that the extra warmth and Vitamin D will keep us charged until summer.
We’re Ready to Roll
Attending a conference is anything but easy. And we want to make sure we leave no stone left unturned and get the most out of the conference. To do that, we’ll be networking with other social media marketers, attending several must-see sessions, sharing our experience, and more. If you want to make the most of your time at Social Media Marketing World, we suggest laying out a similar event strategy.
Keep up on the latest happenings at this year’s Social Media Marketing World by following @toprank, @azeckman, and @annieleuman on Twitter for live coverage, as well as the TopRank Online Marketing Blog.
*Disclosure: SAP is a TopRank Marketing client.
The post Social Media Marketing World 2019: What to Do & Who to See appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.Read More »
Want to quickly grow your Instagram audience? Looking for a strategy that attracts the right kind of connections? In this article, you’ll discover how to combine an Instagram growth strategy with an ad sequence that can turn followers into customers. How This Instagram Growth Strategy Works On average, Instagram users share “more than 95 million […]
The post How to Grow Your Instagram Following: A Strategic Plan appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.Read More »
It has been a while since Google has had a major algorithm update.
They recently announced one which began on the 12th of March.
This week, we released a broad core algorithm update, as we do several times per year. Our guidance about such updates remains as we’ve covered before. Please see these tweets for more about that:https://t.co/uPlEdSLHoXhttps://t.co/tmfQkhdjPL— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) March 13, 2019
It appears multiple things did.
When Google rolled out the original version of Penguin on April 24, 2012 (primarily focused on link spam) they also rolled out an update to an on-page spam classifier for misdirection.
And, over time, it was quite common for Panda & Penguin updates to be sandwiched together.
If you were Google & had the ability to look under the hood to see why things changed, you would probably want to obfuscate any major update by changing multiple things at once to make reverse engineering the change much harder.
Anyone who operates a single website (& lacks the ability to look under the hood) will have almost no clue about what changed or how to adjust with the algorithms.
In the most recent algorithm update some sites which were penalized in prior "quality" updates have recovered.
Though many of those recoveries are only partial.
Many SEO blogs will publish articles about how they cracked the code on the latest update by publishing charts like the first one without publishing that second chart showing the broader context.
The first penalty any website receives might be the first of a series of penalties.
If Google smokes your site & it does not cause a PR incident & nobody really cares that you are gone, then there is a very good chance things will go from bad to worse to worser to worsterest, technically speaking.
“In this age, in this country, public sentiment is everything. With it, nothing can fail; against it, nothing can succeed. Whoever molds public sentiment goes deeper than he who enacts statutes, or pronounces judicial decisions.” - Abraham Lincoln
Absent effort & investment to evolve FASTER than the broader web, sites which are hit with one penalty will often further accumulate other penalties. It is like compound interest working in reverse - a pile of algorithmic debt which must be dug out of before the bleeding stops.
Further, many recoveries may be nothing more than a fleeting invitation to false hope. To pour more resources into a site that is struggling in an apparent death loop.
The above site which had its first positive algorithmic response in a couple years achieved that in part by heavily de-monetizing. After the algorithm updates already demonetized the website over 90%, what harm was there in removing 90% of what remained to see how it would react? So now it will get more traffic (at least for a while) but then what exactly is the traffic worth to a site that has no revenue engine tied to it?
That is ultimately the hard part. Obtaining a stable stream of traffic while monetizing at a decent yield, without the monetizing efforts leading to the traffic disappearing.
A buddy who owns the above site was working on link cleanup & content improvement on & off for about a half year with no results. Each month was a little worse than the prior month. It was only after I told him to remove the aggressive ads a few months back that he likely had any chance of seeing any sort of traffic recovery. Now he at least has a pulse of traffic & can look into lighter touch means of monetization.
If a site is consistently penalized then the problem might not be an algorithmic false positive, but rather the business model of the site.
The more something looks like eHow the more fickle Google's algorithmic with receive it.
Google does not like websites that sit at the end of the value chain & extract profits without having to bear far greater risk & expense earlier into the cycle.
Thin rewrites, largely speaking, don't add value to the ecosystem. Doorway pages don't either. And something that was propped up by a bunch of keyword-rich low-quality links is (in most cases) probably genuinely lacking in some other aspect.
Generally speaking, Google would like themselves to be the entity at the end of the value chain extracting excess profits from markets.
This is the purpose of the knowledge graph & featured snippets. To allow the results to answer the most basic queries without third party publishers getting anything. The knowledge graph serve as a floating vertical that eat an increasing share of the value chain & force publishers to move higher up the funnel & publish more differentiated content.
As Google adds features to the search results (flight price trends, a hotel booking service on the day AirBNB announced they acquired HotelTonight, ecommerce product purchase on Google, shoppable image ads just ahead of the Pinterest IPO, etc.) it forces other players in the value chain to consolidate (Expedia owns Orbitz, Travelocity, Hotwire & a bunch of other sites) or add greater value to remain a differentiated & sought after destination (travel review site TripAdvisor was crushed by the shift to mobile & the inability to monetize mobile traffic, so they eventually had to shift away from being exclusively a reviews site to offer event & hotel booking features to remain relevant).
It is never easy changing a successful & profitable business model, but it is even harder to intentionally reduce revenues further or spend aggressively to improve quality AFTER income has fallen 50% or more.
Some people do the opposite & make up for a revenue shortfall by publishing more lower end content at an ever faster rate and/or increasing ad load. Either of which typically makes their user engagement metrics worse while making their site less differentiated & more likely to receive additional bonus penalties to drive traffic even lower.
In some ways I think the ability for a site to survive & remain though a penalty is itself a quality signal for Google.
Some sites which are overly reliant on search & have no external sources of traffic are ultimately sites which tried to behave too similarly to the monopoly that ultimately displaced them. And over time the tech monopolies are growing more powerful as the ecosystem around them burns down:
If you had to choose a date for when the internet died, it would be in the year 2014. Before then, traffic to websites came from many sources, and the web was a lively ecosystem. But beginning in 2014, more than half of all traffic began coming from just two sources: Facebook and Google. Today, over 70 percent of traffic is dominated by those two platforms.
Businesses which have sustainable profit margins & slack (in terms of management time & resources to deploy) can better cope with algorithmic changes & change with the market.
Over the past half decade or so there have been multiple changes that drastically shifted the online publishing landscape:
- the shift to mobile, which both offers publishers lower ad yields while making the central ad networks more ad heavy in a way that reduces traffic to third party sites
- the rise of the knowledge graph & featured snippets which often mean publishers remain uncompensated for their work
- higher ad loads which also lower organic reach (on both search & social channels)
- the rise of programmatic advertising, which further gutted display ad CPMs
- the rise of ad blockers
- increasing algorithmic uncertainty & a higher barrier to entry
Each one of the above could take a double digit percent out of a site's revenues, particularly if a site was reliant on display ads. Add them together and a website which was not even algorithmically penalized could still see a 60%+ decline in revenues. Mix in a penalty and that decline can chop a zero or two off the total revenues.
Businesses with lower margins can try to offset declines with increased ad spending, but that only works if you are not in a market with 2 & 20 VC fueled competition:
Startups spend almost 40 cents of every VC dollar on Google, Facebook, and Amazon. We don’t necessarily know which channels they will choose or the particularities of how they will spend money on user acquisition, but we do know more or less what’s going to happen. Advertising spend in tech has become an arms race: fresh tactics go stale in months, and customer acquisition costs keep rising. In a world where only one company thinks this way, or where one business is executing at a level above everyone else - like Facebook in its time - this tactic is extremely effective. However, when everyone is acting this way, the industry collectively becomes an accelerating treadmill. Ad impressions and click-throughs get bid up to outrageous prices by startups flush with venture money, and prospective users demand more and more subsidized products to gain their initial attention. The dynamics we’ve entered is, in many ways, creating a dangerous, high stakes Ponzi scheme.
And sometimes the platform claws back a second or third bite of the apple. Amazon.com charges merchants for fulfillment, warehousing, transaction based fees, etc. And they've pushed hard into launching hundreds of private label brands which pollute the interface & force brands to buy ads even on their own branded keyword terms.
They've recently jumped the shark by adding a bonus feature where even when a brand paid Amazon to send traffic to their listing, Amazon would insert a spam popover offering a cheaper private label branded product:
Amazon.com tested a pop-up feature on its app that in some instances pitched its private-label goods on rivals’ product pages, an experiment that shows the e-commerce giant’s aggressiveness in hawking lower-priced products including its own house brands. The recent experiment, conducted in Amazon’s mobile app, went a step further than the display ads that commonly appear within search results and product pages. This test pushed pop-up windows that took over much of a product page, forcing customers to either click through to the lower-cost Amazon products or dismiss them before continuing to shop. ... When a customer using Amazon’s mobile app searched for “AAA batteries,” for example, the first link was a sponsored listing from Energizer Holdings Inc. After clicking on the listing, a pop-up window appeared, offering less expensive AmazonBasics AAA batteries."
Buying those Amazon ads was quite literally subsidizing a direct competitor pushing you into irrelevance.
And while Amazon is destroying brand equity, AWS is doing investor relations matchmaking for startups. Anything to keep the current bubble going ahead of the Uber IPO that will likely mark the top in the stock market.
Some thoughts on Silicon Valley's endgame. We have long said the biggest risk to the bull market is an Uber IPO. That is now upon us.— Jawad Mian (@jsmian) March 16, 2019
As the market caps of big tech companies climb they need to be more predatious to grow into the valuations & retain employees with stock options at an ever-increasing strike price.
They've created bubbles in their own backyards where each raise requires another. Teachers either drive hours to work or live in houses subsidized by loans from the tech monopolies that get a piece of the upside (provided they can keep their own bubbles inflated).
"It is an uncommon arrangement — employer as landlord — that is starting to catch on elsewhere as school employees say they cannot afford to live comfortably in regions awash in tech dollars. ... Holly Gonzalez, 34, a kindergarten teacher in East San Jose, and her husband, Daniel, a school district I.T. specialist, were able to buy a three-bedroom apartment for $610,000 this summer with help from their parents and from Landed. When they sell the home, they will owe Landed 25 percent of any gain in its value. The company is financed partly by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Mark Zuckerberg’s charitable arm."
The above sort of dynamics have some claiming peak California:
The cycle further benefits from the Alchian-Allen effect: agglomerating industries have higher productivity, which raises the cost of living and prices out other industries, raising concentration over time. ... Since startups raise the variance within whatever industry they’re started in, the natural constituency for them is someone who doesn’t have capital deployed in the industry. If you’re an asset owner, you want low volatility. ... Historically, startups have created a constant supply of volatility for tech companies; the next generation is always cannibalizing the previous one. So chip companies in the 1970s created the PC companies of the 80s, but PC companies sourced cheaper and cheaper chips, commoditizing the product until Intel managed to fight back. Meanwhile, the OS turned PCs into a commodity, then search engines and social media turned the OS into a commodity, and presumably this process will continue indefinitely. ... As long as higher rents raise the cost of starting a pre-revenue company, fewer people will join them, so more people will join established companies, where they’ll earn market salaries and continue to push up rents. And one of the things they’ll do there is optimize ad loads, which places another tax on startups. More dangerously, this is an incremental tax on growth rather than a fixed tax on headcount, so it puts pressure on out-year valuations, not just upfront cash flow.
If you live hundreds of miles away the tech companies may have no impact on your rental or purchase price, but you can't really control the algorithms or the ecosystem.
All you can really control is your mindset & ensuring you have optionality baked into your business model.
- If you are debt-levered you have little to no optionality. Savings give you optionality. Savings allow you to run at a loss for a period of time while also investing in improving your site and perhaps having a few other sites in other markets.
- If you operate a single website that is heavily reliant on a third party for distribution then you have little to no optionality. If you have multiple projects that enables you to shift your attention toward working on whatever is going up and to the right while letting anything that is failing pass time without becoming overly reliant on something you can't change. This is why it often makes sense for a brand merchant to operate their own ecommerce website even if 90% of their sales come from Amazon. It gives you optionality should the tech monopoly become abusive or otherwise harm you (even if the intent was rather than outright misanthropic).
As the update ensues Google will collect more data with how users interact with the result set & determine how to weight different signals, along with re-scoring sites that recovered based on the new engagement data.
Recently a Bing engineer named Frédéric Dubut described how they score relevancy signals used in updates
As early as 2005, we used neural networks to power our search engine and you can still find rare pictures of Satya Nadella, VP of Search and Advertising at the time, showcasing our web ranking advances. ... The “training” process of a machine learning model is generally iterative (and all automated). At each step, the model is tweaking the weight of each feature in the direction where it expects to decrease the error the most. After each step, the algorithm remeasures the rating of all the SERPs (based on the known URL/query pair ratings) to evaluate how it’s doing. Rinse and repeat.
That same process is ongoing with Google now & in the coming weeks there'll be the next phase of the current update.
So far it looks like some quality-based re-scoring was done & some sites which were overly reliant on anchor text got clipped. On the back end of the update there'll be another quality-based re-scoring, but the sites that were hit for excessive manipulation of anchor text via link building efforts will likely remain penalized for a good chunk of time.
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 updates to Facebook ad relevance metrics with special guest Amanda Bond. Watch the Social Media Marketing Talk […]Read More »
Wondering how to tell better stories with video? Wondering how to create interesting stories from mundane events or topics? To explore how to tell fascinating stories with video, I interview Cody Wanner. Cody is a classically trained filmmaker who specializes in telling compelling video stories. He’s also the founder of No Small Creator. You’ll learn […]Read More »
Modern B2B marketers understand that the key to an effective digital content strategy is meeting customers where they’re at, and giving them what they want.
Then again, certain developments may cause us to question what we think we know. How meaningful is it, really, if X% of users are watching X% of a video while scrolling through their feeds? And how can we be confident this data is even accurate, after the whole inflated metrics fiasco?
If this matter is pressing on your mind, you’re not alone. Social media is an eternally tough nut for B2B marketers to crack. In Content Marketing Institute’s (CMI) 2019 benchmarking report, fellow practitioners called out changes in social media algorithms as the second-biggest issue of importance this year, behind search algorithms.
We believe that best answer content is the most reliable way to remain visible amidst Google’s unpredictable shifts. Is video the best answer for enduring social media relevance? To explore that question, let’s dive into the latest news surrounding the three most prominent social platforms for B2B marketers: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn*.
Facebook: Pivoting Once Again?
Not so long ago, Facebook was one of the leading forces behind the “video takeover” movement. In 2016, Mark Zuckerberg was predicting that within five years, he “wouldn’t be surprised if … most of the content that people see on Facebook and are sharing on a day-to-day basis is video.”
It was a natural direction. The engagement metrics for video were stellar, and brands couldn’t help noticing the way this content type was gaining higher placement in the platform’s feed algorithm.
But later that same year, the company disclosed a “miscalculation” that led to inflation of video view numbers. This later became the subject of a lawsuit from advertisers, alleging that Facebook knowingly obscured and downplayed this information.
And now? Facebook doesn’t seem to be quite as all-in on video as they once were. Earlier this month Zuckerberg laid out his privacy-focused vision for social networking, and talked about private messaging as a central emphasis going forward. The only time video was mentioned in his overview was a reference to “video chat.”
It bears noting that Facebook video isn’t disappearing anytime soon. A recent study found that video posts drive more interaction on the platform than other types, and a product called Facebook Premiere launched late last year, enabling interactive video polls, pre-recorded live broadcasts, and more.
At this moment, there’s no reason to abandon video on Facebook. However, the company’s evolving priorities are worth tracking. So too are the movements of their top competitors in the social space...
Twitter: Powering Up Video Analytics and Engagement
As Facebook appears to be taking its foot off the gas pedal with video, Twitter is pressing right down. We wrote last year about the platform’s renewed push for live video, and it seems that was only the beginning. A post on the company’s blog earlier this month asserted that “video is reshaping digital advertising,” and called out the format’s significant inroads.
“There are around 1.2 billion video views on Twitter each day, which is 2x growth in 12 months according to Twitter internal data,” wrote Liz Alton. “Tweets with video attracted 10x more engagements than Tweets without video. And Promoted Tweets with videos save more than 50% on cost-per-engagement.”
Within the past few weeks, Twitter has rolled out new tools for maximizing video engagement by helping publishers understand which times of day people are most likely to watch, based on historical data. This is helpful info, since the ephemeral nature of Twitter’s feed can make it tough to nail down timing.
The insights are extremely high-level so we can’t necessarily draw specific conclusions about when audience segments (say, the B2B crowd) might be more likely to engage. But it’s a start, and I suspect we’ll only see the platform steepen its commitment to growing out video capabilities for brands.
LinkedIn: Let’s Do It Live!
Finally, we come to the No. 1 social network for B2B lead gen. LinkedIn has made video a major focus since launching the feature for brands last summer. The big fresh development here is the platform’s brand-new live streaming video service, which debuted in February. “LinkedIn Live” is still in beta form, so it’s not available to everyone, but we can safely assume it will be soon.
In the past, we’ve shared pros, cons, and examples of real-time video for content marketing. The engagement, authenticity, and accessibility are attractive perks, and now marketers will have an opportunity to tap them with more B2B-centric audiences (and deeper professional insights around viewers).
TechCrunch says of LinkedIn’s vision for live video: “the plan is to cover conferences, product announcements, Q&As and other events led by influencers and mentors, office hours from a big tech company, earnings calls, graduation and awards ceremonies and more.” It’s easy to see how B2B audiences would find value in this kind of content, and you might already be seeding ideas for relevant broadcasts in your brain.
The State of Social Media Video for B2B Brands
There’s an old saying that change is the only constant, and it certainly applies for social media. Keeping up with all the pivots and posturing can feel exhausting. Given the relative cost of investing in video content, this is a weighty issue for marketers.
We’re here to help you keep a finger on the pulse of this key tactical area. And while this is all — of course — subject to change, these appear to be the top present takeaways for B2B marketers where social media video is concerned:
- Video still drives engagement on Facebook, but the platform’s heightening focus on privacy and direct messaging casts some doubt on the long-term impact. However, now is not the time to call it quits.
- Twitter is only increasing its commitment, building out the advertiser’s toolkit after elevating live video last year.
- Speaking of live video, it’s coming soon for all brands on LinkedIn, and offers an intriguing assortment of possibilities there for high-value B2B content.
Want more insight on where social media marketing stands today and where it’s heading? Check out some of our recent updates:
- Social Media Marketing Benchmarks: What Works & Where to Focus
- From Messenger Bots to the Growth of ‘Gram, Social Media Examiner’s Annual Report Reveals Trends to Watch
- How to Survive the Social Media Midlife Crisis
*Disclosure: LinkedIn is a TopRank Marketing Client.
TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden is on the road again. His next stop? inOrbit 2019 Conference in Portorož, Slovenia on Thursday, March 14, 2019. Learn more here.
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