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Tag Archives: software

TikTok: What Marketers Need to Know

Are you curious about TikTok? Wondering how to use TikTok for your marketing? To explore what marketers need to know about TikTok, I interview Rachel Pedersen on the Social Media Marketing Podcast. Rachel is an organic social marketing pro and host of the Social Media Secrets podcast. Her new book is called, I Need Attention. […]

The post TikTok: What Marketers Need to Know appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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The guide to winning social media for law firms

For years, social media has been a popular marketing channel for consumer brands. You see companies like Wendy’s, Airbnb and MoonPie dominating the landscape Read more...

This post The guide to winning social media for law firms originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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B2B Marketing Spotlight: Ty Heath on Optimizing ABM & Social Sales with LinkedIn #mpb2b

Ty Heath Interview B2B Marketing

Ty Heath Interview B2B Marketing

Ty Heath is one of those people who's reputation precedes them. I had heard of Ty as a marketing industry speaker and force for change working at LinkedIn before finally meeting her in person. The IRL Ty experience did not disappoint. Each time I meet with Ty, ideas pop like popcorn - who needs coffee with such inspiration around what's possible?

Currently Ty is Global Lead of The B2B Institute at LinkedIn where she is responsible for scaling education on LinkedIn’s Marketing Solutions product globally. She has previously worked for major brands including IBM, Nestle and over 7 years at Google - plus she’s had her own consultancy.

On top of that, Ty is Co-Founder of LinkedIn's annual TransformHER conference, was a contributing author in the recently published books "The Professional Black Woman” and the "Black Female Leader” and author of the book, "Marketers of Tomorrow: A Step by Step Toolkit for Inbound Marketing". Ty was also honored as one of the Top 25 Influential Women in Marketing Who Inspired Us in 2018.

One thing you may not know about Ty is that she is a two time Olympic Trials qualifier in track and field for the 800 meters.

I’ve known Ty for just over a year - we serve on an industry advisory council for The Digital Marketing Institute together and have many mutual friends and shared interests like B2B marketing, science fiction and brunch. That's why I was very happy to interview Ty as a speaker at the upcoming MarketingProfs B2B Forum conference on all things ABM and Social Selling.

If you want to optimize your ABM and social sales efforts, be sure to see Ty in Washington D.C. during the Oct 16-18 B2B Forum. In the meantime, this video is a must-watch:

Ty Heath on the Growth of ABM

Many folks have been thinking about making account based marketing part of their go-to-market strategy or maybe it's already a part of it. I think the primary reason why that's happening is because buyers expect more. We've all gotten used to the experience that Amazon and Netflix, and other companies have created.

Business buyers expect more personalized attention and customization of content...and account-based marketing is a way to deliver on that. @tyrona

Even though we are in the space of B2B, that experience and those expectations are translating over from B2C. That expectation of personalization and level of knowledge around the buyer's needs. So, I think ABM is in demand more because of changing business customer expectations and account-based marketing is a way to deliver on that.

Ty Heath on Alignment Beyond Sales and Marketing:

At the core of a powerful account based marketing plan is a team that is invested in sales and marketing alignment. And frankly, when you think about account-based marketing it's not even just about sales and marketing. It's about having your entire team oriented to connect with customers wherever they are in their journey, wherever they touch your business and have them make that the best possible experience. Sales and marketing tend to be the two groups within your business that are most oriented towards having those conversations and having those touch points.

Ty Heath on Ann Handley:

I've been following her for so long. That's the thing. I'm one of the subscribers to MarketingProfs, but even before that, even earlier in my career as a marketer I read Content Rules. I read Everybody Writes. I've been following her for a long time. I think she is truly a pioneer as a woman in the space of B2B marketing. I think she's an amazing storyteller. Her ideas are clear. She's been an inspiration for me!

Thanks Ty! 

B2B Forum
Bound for B2B Forum: For more information about imagining what’s possible in B2B marketing including Ty Heath's presentation, check out the MarketingProfs B2B Forum conference including agenda, list of speakers (including Ashley Zeckman and myself) and many other fun facts on the B2B Form website here. Also, get $100 off by using this mpb2b discount code: B2BFriends

You can find more information about Ty on her website The Spectacled Marketer and follow her on Twitter here: @tyrona

The post B2B Marketing Spotlight: Ty Heath on Optimizing ABM & Social Sales with LinkedIn #mpb2b appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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IGTV for Business: New Research for Marketers

Thinking about adding IGTV to your marketing activities? Want to know how other businesses and marketers are finding success with IGTV? In this article, you’ll discover insights from new research that shows what types of businesses use IGTV, how marketers are reaching IGTV viewers in the Instagram feed, and more. Why Consider IGTV? According to […]

The post IGTV for Business: New Research for Marketers appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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5 Top B2B Brands Delivering Exemplary Twitter Engagement

Four happy businesspeople jumping above cityscape.

Four happy businesspeople jumping above cityscape.

With more than 139 million active daily users and available in over 40 languages, Twitter has increasingly grown as a platform for both B2B and direct-to-consumer brands looking to creatively and effectively showcase products and services.

Twitter has kept up a steady pace of new feature roll-outs over the past few years that have helped it make significant gains as a social media platform not just for consumers, but also for more professional business users than ever.

It's also increasingly become a destination for all manner and size of brands, and the users who frequent Twitter expect an experience markedly different from that offered by LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. As the following chart from MarketingCharts shows, over the last year Twitter has seen increasing satisfaction among social media users.

2019 August 9 Marketing Charts Chart

Since Twitter has launched so many new resources for brands to maximize their engagement on the platform — such as six-second viewable video ads — let’s take a look at how five large primarily B2B companies are using them to connect with audiences.

#1 — Adobe

Adobe Twitter Image

Twitter profile: @Adobe
642,400 followers
Twitter tagline: "Changing the world through digital experiences. "

Adobe* has creatively used Twitter to engage with its audience of fans, using a plentiful variety of message post types, including many that incorporate innovative use of video.

From a recent tweet announcing the firm’s latest drawing and painting app's arrival on iOS, to news of its subsidiary Marketo’s Fearless 50 list of top global marketers, Adobe keeps its Twitter messaging both lively and information for the 640,400 people following its page.

Adobe Twitter

Whether it’s a tweet celebrating World Interaction Design Day 2019 (IxDD) — a global happening featuring over 100 events in more than 40 countries focusing on interaction design's ability to improve the human condition, or a tweet looking ahead 10 years at the future of advertising, Adobe keeps its Twitter page both fun and relevant.

#2 — Deloitte

Deloitte Twitter

Twitter profile: @Deloitte
479,600 followers
Twitter tagline: "Sharing the latest news, research, events and more from Deloitte Global and the Deloitte network of member firms."

Multinational professional services network firm Deloitte uses a variety of engaging techniques to connect with its sizable Twitter audience.

From using visually engaging native video tweets highlighting record $46.2 billion revenue and over 90,000 new hires, to image tweets about company initiatives such as its global impact map helping children in Papua New Guinea, Deloitte offers an informative and compelling Twitter presence.

Deloitte Twitter Example

#3 — Dun & Bradstreet

Dun & Bradstreet Twitter

Twitter profile: @DunBradstreet
18,800 followers
Twitter tagline: "Official Dun & Bradstreet Twitter. Our #DNBDataCloud delivers #data & insights to help customers improve business performance."

Dun & Bradstreet uses images, documents, video and other digital assets to enhance its Twitter customer and fan experience.

A recent tweet used video to explore the firm's data and analytics initiatives, while another announced an upcoming webinar focused on turning data into return-on-investment (ROI).

Using Twitter to thank its constituents who attended a recent company event with a multiple-photo tweet, Dun & Bradstreet mixes up its messaging on the platform to keep fans both informed and entertained with video and image-rich content, all with a down-to-earth yet professional tone business customers have come to expect on Twitter.

Dun & Bradstreet Example

#4 — General Electric

General Electric Twitter

Twitter profile: @generalelectric
455,800 followers
Twitter tagline: "For over 125 years, GE has worked around the clock to tackle the world’s biggest challenges."

Tying 3D printing to one of New York's top fashion events, a recent tweet by GE used native video to stunningly highlight a company report about its GE Additive program and a dress printed entirely from 21 plastic petals and a titanium cage.

Both lighthearted animated GIF images and brief video clips were recently utilized by GE as part of an employee social media takeover initiative — a time-tested tactic that has proven successful for both B2B and B2C businesses.

General Electric Example

#5 — Intel

Intel Twitter

Twitter profile: @intel
4,800,000 followers
Twitter tagline: "Intel news, views & events about global tech innovation."

From a tweet announcing an immersive highlights partnership with English Premier League Champions Manchester City, to video-rich content featuring artificial intelligence (AI) innovations from the firm's presence at technology conference IFA, or its 2020 Tokyo Olympics partnerships for real-time athlete insights, Intel keeps it's Twitter feed filled with news delivered within the platform's unique format.

Intel Example

Creating a Powerful Twitter Strategy

It’s clear from the mix of fine examples we’ve looked at here implemented creatively by Adobe, Deloitte, Dun & Bradstreet, GE and Intel that there are a wide variety of successful methods for building a solid and sustainable Twitter brand strategy.

Twitter itself has had an ongoing effort to help brands with content creation on the platform, including it's recently-updated marketing playbook.

With enough time, staff, and dedication most brands can build their own successful ongoing Twitter strategy, while others may find it more efficient and practical to partner with a professional marketing agency highly skilled in Twitter-specific efforts.

TopRank Marketing had the honor of being named by Forrester as the only B2B marketing agency offering influencer marketing as a top capability in its “B2B Marketing Agencies, North America, Q1 2019” report.”

Finally, here are five recent articles we've written that relate specifically to either Twitter or to the process of creating engaging B2B content marketing:

* Adobe is a TopRank Marketing client.

The post 5 Top B2B Brands Delivering Exemplary Twitter Engagement appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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How to Reduce Facebook Ad Costs With Manual Bidding

Want more control over your Facebook campaign costs? Have you considered using manual Facebook ad bidding? In this article, you’ll discover three ways to control your Facebook advertising costs with manual bid strategies. Understand How Facebook’s Ad Delivery System Works Facebook uses an auction system to determine which advertisers get their ads shown. Advertisers bid […]

The post How to Reduce Facebook Ad Costs With Manual Bidding appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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Charitable giving on a global scale: Sprout Social Philanthropy Week 2019

It’s hard to say you’re a values-driven company unless you dedicate time and resources to advancing those values outside of your four walls. That’s Read more...

This post Charitable giving on a global scale: Sprout Social Philanthropy Week 2019 originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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5 Unexpected Content Marketing Benefits of B2B Podcasting

The Content Marketing Benefits of B2B Podcasting

The Content Marketing Benefits of B2B Podcasting

We all know by now that podcasting is a fantastic content marketing tactic, right?  To review: 

  • Over 81 million people listen to podcasts (Edison Research)
  • 80% finish the majority of every episode on their favorite podcasts (Edison Research)
  • Most people who listen to one podcast are likely to pick up more (Edison Research)

In other words, there’s an enormous audience out there, ready to spend multiple hours with your quality content. And now they can get your episodes right on the Google results page.

So, since you’re ready to start your podcast anyway, how can you use it to elevate the rest of your content marketing efforts?

It turns out podcasts can do more for your editorial calendar than just deliver value to your subscribers. At Content Marketing World this year, I saw a presentation from Ryan Estes of Frontline Education about the hidden marketing powers of podcasts. The points he hit on were spot on with how we view the potential of B2B podcasting. So, with a tip of the hat to Mr. Estes and his Field Trip podcast...

B2B Podcasting: 5 Unexpected Content Marketing Benefits

#1: Content Research

Say you’re a marketer who just got hired by a supply chain logistics company. Odds are you don’t yet know how your target audience thinks and talks about supply chain issues. You might not even know what problems supply chain folks are currently looking to solve. You’re good at marketing; you’re not a subject matter expert... yet.

Usually, the answer is to fire up your web browser, pull up some industry publications, and do hours of research. 

Certainly, some first-hand research is a must, but what if you could deepen your knowledge and create content at the same time?

Interviewing industry experts for your new podcast will help you learn the industry, the lingo, the concerns, the potential solutions, you name it. Each interview is a podcast episode and a treasure trove of audience research, all in one.

#2: Prospect & Customer Relations

Planning a B2B podcast means finding subject matter experts — trusted voices who can lend credibility to your podcast and provide riveting content. When you’re looking for these guests, include prospects and customers in your search. 

For prospects, the podcast interview can be a great way to start a conversation. Which is more compelling:

  1. Let’s book a half hour so we can talk about our supply chain solution?
  2. I would love to get your industry expertise in an interview for our podcast.

The second one is clearly the easier (and more value-driven) ask. 

Inviting customers on your podcast can help deepen that business relationship, too. But it also provides proof to your prospects that you support and promote your customers — something that will come in handy for the next deal.

#3: Influencer Relations

We may have mentioned this before: Co-creating content with influencers results in better content an a wider audience to receive it. Podcasts are no exception. In fact, the basic interview format that is a perfect fit for podcasts is also the perfect way to engage industry influencers.

We have found that people are amenable to an audio interview who would never, say, contribute a guest post to your blog. It’s easier to say 2,000 words than to type them out.

Simply put, a podcast gives influencers another option — a fun and creative one — for co-creating content.

[bctt tweet="Simply put, a podcast gives influencers another option — a fun and creative one — for co-creating content. @NiteWrites #B2BPodcasting #ContentMarketing" username="toprank"]

#4: Repurposing Possibilities

Think of a podcast as you would any other marketing content: When you’re producing it, you can plan for endless content repurposing. That doesn’t mean just using the transcript in a blog post, though you should do that, too. You can pull quotes for an eBook, do a roundup with highlights from every episode, even add video to portions of the audio for organic social or YouTube.

Here's a recent example from SAP*. Following the release of Season 1 of its Tech Unknown Podcast, original and previously unreleased content was brought together for a tales from the trenches eBook.

My favorite repurposing tip, though, comes from Ryan’s session: When he does a podcast interview with a Frontline Education customer, the first half of the interview is customer-focused. There’s no talk about the education software Ryan’s company sells, no testimonial, just the customer’s story about finding and solving a problem. That part is what goes into the podcast.

The second half of the interview is explicitly focused on how the customer used the software to solve a problem. Ryan then repurposes that audio into case studies, using embedded audio excerpts to emphasize the customer quotes. It’s a powerful way to get a podcast episode and a case study in one go.

#5: Podcast Cross-Promotion

We know that people who listen to one podcast are likely to listen to more. That makes podcasts unique among marketing channels: Other podcasts aren’t your competition. Your ideal potential listener is the one who makes podcast listening a habit, who is looking for the sixth or seventh show to round out their weekly listening.

As such, having a podcast gives you the opportunity to cross-promote with other podcast hosts. Look for podcasts where your host might make a knowledgeable, valuable guest. And look for podcasts hosts who might bring value to your show. The ability to expand and cross-pollinate audiences is one of the cooler aspects of the whole podcast community.

Read: How to Promote Your B2B Podcast

Cast Your Pods to the Wind

A podcast in and of itself is a great channel for bringing valuable content to your audience. But the benefits don’t stop there. From filling out your editorial calendar to spicing up your case studies and beyond, a podcast can elevate your B2B content marketing efforts across your entire strategy.

Guess what? There happens to be an on-demand webinar covering the art of B2B podcasting, featuring moi and TopRank Marketing President Susan Misukanis: The 4 P's of B2B Podcasting Success. Check it out!

*Disclosure: SAP is a TopRank Marketing client.

The post 5 Unexpected Content Marketing Benefits of B2B Podcasting appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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What’s Missing In Your B2B Marketing Strategy? 5 Key Elements You Don’t Want to Overlook

A car engine without a water pump. A baseball team without a shortstop. A guitar without a D string.

All it takes is one missing piece to prevent something from working as it should. Your B2B marketing strategy might excel in certain areas, but a single overlooked element can cause results to stall out. 

I’m not talking about tactics here, because those can vary on a case-by-case basis. But there are specific considerations and focal points that ought to exist in pretty much every marketing strategy, and if we fail to account for them we are doing ourselves a disservice.

This isn’t a matter of covering bases or checking boxes. This is about thinking through your marketing approach holistically to set it up for sustainable growth. If any of the following aspects are amiss for your team at a strategic level, I highly recommend addressing them.

Common Gaps in a Modern B2B Marketing Strategy

#1 - You Don’t Have a Sophisticated Content Promotion Plan

I came across two different blog posts in the past couple weeks highlighting common mistakes in content marketing – one from Social Media Today, another from Business 2 Community – and they both mentioned this in some form. There’s a good reason for that: Way too many marketers out there are narrowly focused on content creation, with promotion of said content lagging behind as a distant afterthought. 

When we say that a simple checklist doesn’t suffice, this is a prime example. If you want to make a real impact, it’s simply not enough to blast the same blurb and link across all social channels, every time, and call it a day. Your promotion plans should be built in from the beginning. It should align with the purpose and goals of the specific content in question. And it shouldn’t fall into the cyclical trap of sameness that eventually causes audiences to tune out.

There are plenty of creative ways to prop up content and get people’s attention. I really love the assortment of creative promotional tactics shared by our Lane Ellis earlier this year. If you’re feeling limited in ways to gain exposure, TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden’s mega-list of 50 content promotion tactics is an essential read. Pick the ones that jibe with what you’re creating, and who you hope to reach.

#2 - You’re Not Getting Maximum Mileage from Your Content

An excellent piece of content deserves more than one fleeting opportunity to be consumed. Yes, promotion is important to maximizing your investment in creation, but so is the extensibility of your creations. Repurposing is a concept that tends to be overly simplified – there ought to be more to it than just republishing a blog post six months later, or turning your podcast episode into a readable transcript.

[bctt tweet="An excellent piece of content deserves more than one fleeting opportunity to be consumed. @NickNelsonMN" username="toprank"]

Like promotion, repurposing should be wired into your planning from the get-go. When you conceive a content idea you think will hit home with your audience, think about the different ways you can package and present it. More formats equates to more ways for people to find and experience it. Staggered rollout equates to more opportunities for getting noticed over time.

It’s important to remember that not every eventual hit is an immediate winner.

Read: A Tasty, Strategic Content Marketing Table: ‘Repurposed Content Cobbler’

#3 - You’re Not Focusing on User Intent

Back in the day, SEO was about talking to machines. Now, it’s about talking to humans. Finding high-volume keywords and optimizing for them or bidding for them is not a straightforward recipe for driving results. We should be thinking not just about what people are searching for, but why they’re searching for it. 

As Google’s algorithm grows more advanced, rankings are increasingly reflective of searcher motivation as opposed to technical signals. It’s not uncommon that I’ll search for a phrase, and the exact wording won’t appear in any of the headlines or descriptions on the first page. But the results are still relevant, because the engine is elevating results that similar searches have found useful in the past. 

I firmly believe that intent should be at the heart of any marketing strategy. It is vital not only to SEO, but also operational efficiency and customer-centricity. Using data, audience research, and intuition, we need to be analytical and predictive about the intent behind each search, each click, each engagement.

[bctt tweet="I firmly believe that intent should be at the heart of any marketing strategy. It is vital not only to SEO, but also operational efficiency and customer-centricity. @NickNelsonMN" username="toprank"]

In her recent “Soapbox” contribution for Search Engine Land, Fractl’s marketing director Amanda Milligan argues that intent should be every marketer’s No. 1 obsession. “Without it, it’s like serving someone steak when they ordered a cheeseburger. Sure, steak is great, but it’s not what they wanted.” 

Even metrics are evolving accordingly. For example, Aberdeen’s Olivia Lipkin recently wrote about a new form of lead: the Intent Qualified Opportunity (IQO).

Read: The Key to SEO & Content Marketing Success: Understanding Search Intent

#4 - You’re Not Optimizing

Lee’s 2012 book Optimize! offered a simple premise: Everything is optimizable. The word has long been closely associated with trying to rank in searches (especially around that time), but it’s a practice that should be the lifeblood of any marketing unit seeking reliable growth and results.

Our CEO doesn’t just preach optimization, he lives it. In his book he wrote about how he once considered himself a timid and under-equipped public speaker, but he worked systematically at improving his skills. Now he travels the world delivering major keynotes. He also applied this mindset to his diet and exercise routine, and lost 65 pounds in one year as a result.

At its core, optimizing is a pretty basic and uncomplicated endeavor. It’s about experimenting with different things, measuring how audiences respond to them, then proceeding with an emphasis on what’s working and a de-emphasis on what is not. You can apply this to almost every component of your strategy. Don’t stop at A/B testing ads.

#5 - You’re Not Thinking Your Goals and Measurement Through

The term KPI has started to bug me lately. Not because of what it is, but what it often seems to represent: static and inflexible goal-setting. By definition, Key Performance Indicators are vital to ongoing measurement and optimization, but it’s a mistake to get too caught up in one single metric or to use it as a blanket across campaigns and initiatives.

Goals should always be laid out from the start, and they should always be tailored to what you’re trying to achieve with any given initiative. For example, I rather like the way LinkedIn’s* revamped interface for advertisers promotes this type of process; called objective-based advertising, the new experience compels users to select an objective and desired outcome from the outset, then places them at the center of campaign creation.

Eliminate Holes to Make Your Strategy Whole

If your marketing strategy isn’t quite yielding the results you desire, the fix might be relatively minor. In many cases it’s just one or two missing or insufficient elements that greatly affect overall performance, like absent cogs in a clock’s gearwork. 

Taking a step back and looking at the totality of your strategy – especially in terms of how the five functions above are working in unison – can make all the difference. Sometimes, it helps to gain an outside perspective or expert diagnostic (I happen to know of one agency that specializes in such assessments).  

Don’t let unaddressed holes diminish your whole marketing strategy. Once you’re hitting every necessary note, you’ll know it by the harmonious result.

Another key aspect of a B2B marketing strategy? Documenting it! If you’re wondering where to start, check out our three-point checklist.

* Disclosure: LinkedIn is a client of TopRank Marketing.

The post What’s Missing In Your B2B Marketing Strategy? 5 Key Elements You Don’t Want to Overlook appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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The Unconventional Way to Grow a Facebook Group With Facebook Ads

Want to grow your Facebook group membership? Looking for a strategy that works? In this article, you’ll discover how to use an underutilized Facebook ad campaign type to attract new members to your Facebook group. Why Use a Facebook Page Likes Ad Campaign to Grow Your Facebook Group? Attracting new group members with Facebook ads […]

The post The Unconventional Way to Grow a Facebook Group With Facebook Ads appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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