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Wow Your Crowd: How Influencers and Media Integrations Can Add Pizzazz to Your Content Act

3 Pointers for Adding Pizzazz to Your Content Marketing Act

Some performers take the stage all by themselves, with no props or partners to lend support, and capture their audience with a riveting solo act. Hilarious standup comedy routines and enlightening TED Talks exemplify this ability in action. 

As a content marketer, there are occasions where a well written piece will take off on its own, with no help required beyond a powerful message presented clearly. But more often, spicing things up with added elements of interactivity or visual pizzazz provides a necessary added boost in today’s busy digital environment. And incorporating the right strategic partners is a reliable way to increase your program’s reach and impact.

When I attended my first Digital Summit Minneapolis two years ago, Seth Godin delivered the opening keynote. He employed a technique that still stands out in my mind to this day. Following a fairly brief monologue, he pulled out a plush cube toy and tossed it into the audience, encouraging the recipient to ask him a question and then throw it to anyone else around them in the crowd. This went on for about 30 minutes.

With one ultra-simple prop, Seth brought freshness to the familiar and turned his audience into part of the show. This represents a broader goal for modern content marketers of all stripes, and one we can achieve digitally through various emerging tactics. 

Plenty of other practitioners are mastering the art of elevating experiences through audience immersion today. Whether through props (multimedia, interactivity, augmented reality) or partnerships (influencers, user-generated content, co-creation), they add an extra flare that makes content irresistibly engaging. How?

Ahead of Content Marketing World 2019, TopRank Marketing teamed up with Content Marketing Institute to create an insight-fueled interactive experience: The Greatest Content Marketing Show on Earth. One of the most vital topics covered — and one that will surely be a central focus at CMWorld 2019 — is picking the right props and partners to propel your content. Today we’ll touch on some key insights from those leading the way.

3 Pointers on Adding Punch to Your Content Act

#1 - Choose Influencers that Align with Your Strategy

Siegfried and Roy make the perfect pairing. So do Penn and Teller. But if you remixed those combinations, it probably wouldn’t work out so well. (Poor old Teller would be silently limping away from a performance covered in tiger scratches.)

At TopRank Marketing, we obviously believe in the power of partnering with influencers. But in order for this strategy to pay dividends, you need to put serious thought and research into the selection process. It is essential to identify influencers who align with what you’re trying to do, have the relevant topical expertise, and will resonate with the audience you’re trying to reach.

“Finding ideal influencers for impact means discovering those with on-topic credibility, the ability to publish, an engaged network and a willingness to share,” says our CEO Lee Odden. This collection of qualities is harder to find than you might think, but once you do, compelling collaboration awaits.

It’s a mistake to base influencer selection solely on celebrity or star power. In many cases the most fitting partner will be someone with a smaller but more tightly attuned and aligned audience. Lee often says “everyone is influential about something,” and sometimes the most relevant thought leaders are living outside of the spotlight. For now.

[bctt tweet="Brandividuals can drive awareness, subject matter experts can create engagement and customers who advocate can help inspire sales. @leeodden on #influencermarketing alignment #CMWorld " username="toprank"]

#2 - Put On an Eye-Catching Show 

In his extended interview with us, Andrew Davis had one overarching message for video marketers: show, don’t tell. We are often not doing enough to take advantage of this medium’s visual nature, he argues, and as such we’re leaving opportunities on the table. 

“Instead of a talking head or another interview, how can you SHOW me?” he asks. “Spend more time shooting the rest of the story and immediately, you'll take your videos from drab to show-stopping.” 

Bringing a TV producer’s mindset to the discipline, Andrew advocates for shooting plenty of B-roll footage that you can intercut with your main narrative to keep the action moving throughout. This applies beyond video content, as well; we should always be looking for ways to catch a viewer’s eyes, even (especially?) when dealing with written text. Don’t forget about the importance of sound, either.

[bctt tweet="You shouldn't forget about the soundtrack for your video … sound effects and music go a long way to making video that works. @DrewDavisHere on #videomarketing #CMWorld" username="toprank"]

Delivering a high-quality, visually interesting video production doesn’t necessarily require deep expertise or a lofty budget. As we wrote last year in offering up video marketing tips for beginners, your efforts will benefit from proper preparation, creative use of resources, practice, and purpose.  

#3 - Appeal to Audience Emotions

The most effective way to create a memorable experience for your audience is to engage them emotionally. There are many different ways to approach this — through humor, suspense, sadness, etc. — but the bottom line is that you need to make them feel something.  

Annie Granatstein, who runs WP BrandStudio for the Washington Post, is at the frontline of emotionally connective content. With a purpose of elevating experiential storytelling through diverse multimedia integration and other emerging technologies, BrandStudio is a model for modern marketers everywhere.

“One example is an investigative multimedia feature covering the opioid crisis for Optum, blending emotional videos and evocative imagery with interactive infographics to educate our audience on the epidemic and solutions,” she says. You can explore that experience here.

As content marketers, we have a vast assortment of tools and tech at our fingertips, and they can bring our initiatives to life in unprecedented ways. It’s all about choosing the right ones for what you’re trying to accomplish. As you weigh the merits of techniques like motion graphics, 360-degree experiences, augmented reality, and photo tours — all mainstays in the BrandStudio mix — think always about which will be most effective for building those crucial emotional connections.

[bctt tweet="Multimedia and interactivity are in our wheelhouse at WP BrandStudio for driving engagement with our stories. @anniegranat on building emotional connections with content #CMWorld" username="toprank"]

By striking the intersection of influencers, visual appeal, and interactivity via technologies like VR, we can bypass the barriers of traditionally dry verticals and earn emotional investment from our audience, as Lee discussed earlier this year at B2B Marketing Exchange:

Enter the Era of Integrated Content Experiences

As Seth Godin remarked in his aforementioned Digital Summit keynote, “When a system changes, the people who come out ahead are the people who change.” 

Content marketing is changing. The bar has been raised when it comes to engaging our audiences in an era of attention deficits and content saturation. Building meaningful emotional connections by integrating the right influencers, multimedia, and interactive elements presents the key to delighting audiences and driving action. 

You’ll learn plenty more about the changing content landscape at Content Marketing World 2019 when the curtains open on Sept. 3, 2019 in Cleveland. Before then, you can find plenty more guidance on taking your programs to the next level in our interactive experience, The Greatest Content Marketing Show on Earth.

The post Wow Your Crowd: How Influencers and Media Integrations Can Add Pizzazz to Your Content Act appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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How to Create a Model of Your Customer’s Mind

(This article was originally published in the MarketingExperiments email newsletter.) Marketer, you know you have a good product. In fact, it’s exceptional. And you need to get this message out to as many people as possible in the most effective way. So, you have a message you are trying to communicate with prospective customers. But determining exactly […]

The post How to Create a Model of Your Customer’s Mind appeared first on MarketingExperiments.

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The Great Marketing Get-Together

State fair season brings tasty new foods-on-a-stick and a grandstand full of marketing lessons for those willing to walk the midway.

State fair season brings tasty new foods-on-a-stick and a grandstand full of marketing lessons for those willing to walk the midway.

State fair season brings tasty new foods-on-a-stick and a grandstand full of marketing lessons for those willing to walk the midway.

The Minnesota State Fair, known affectionately as the Great Minnesota Get-Together, begins tomorrow, and we’ll explore some of the wild new food concoctions on offer this year, and dig in to a bucket-of-cookies-size list of surprising things it can teach us about marketing.

The fair, which began all the way back in 1859, is one of the largest in the U.S., now often topping the 2 million attendee mark each 12-day season and offering fair-goers 322 acres of summer fun in the form of amusement rides, live music from at least four stages, art, animals, parades and more.

Marketers can gain plenty of insight from the spectacle of the Minnesota State Fair, so let’s take a food-centric look at some of the marketing lessons we can learn from the Great Minnesota Get-Together.

The Power of Anticipation On A Stick

Spiral potatoes on a stick image.

Each year fair-goers eagerly anticipate the list of new foods being released, followed by a period of speculation about how each new food will taste before the event begins, including some who even place odds on each new fair food.

Marketers have long built anticipation into campaigns, especially for organizations with popular products and services with many dedicated fans such as top car manufacturers and video game makers.

Getting your audience excited, whether it’s by building anticipation through social media, search marketing, or influencer marketing, is a time-tested tactic in many successful campaigns, and we’ll see how the sometimes over-the-top foods of the fair parallel these methods.

In our age of instant gratification and always-on answers, anticipation is sometimes overlooked as a powerful marketing element.

[bctt tweet="“The idea of waiting for something makes it more exciting.” — Andy Warhol " username="toprank"]

If your organization is lucky enough to already have throngs of hard-core fans, keeping them happy through clear communication about upcoming releases, teaser previews, behind-the-scenes glimpses, and other fan-pleasing methods is likely to build continued success.

[bctt tweet="“Anticipation is sometimes more exciting than actual events.” — Ana Monnar " username="toprank"]

FOMO & The Power of Ever-New Fair Food

Two women with cotton candy image.

Over 30 all-new foods will premier tomorrow at The Minnesota State Fair for 2019, including:

  • Bada Bing Sandwich
  • Blueberry Key Lime Pie
  • Cheesy Sriracha Funnel Cake Bites
  • Pebbles & Bam Bam Nordic Waffles
  • Peaches n’ Cream Nachos

Whether it’s one of these or the new Wingwalker Donut Flight with user-injectable flavor filling syringes, each year state fairs do an admirable job of getting mouths watering — or perplexing us with unusual concoctions — ultimately driving interest in a way that even B2B marketers can emulate and achieve success with.

Reading the list of new fair foods induces a super-size dose of Fear of Missing Out (FOMA), an emotion that marketers can play on and work to include in our own campaigns, even if they may not include chocolate coatings, tornado potatoes and other deep-fried delights.

Try not to let FOMA detract from either your marketing or your personal life, however.

[bctt tweet="“Joy comes to us in moments — ordinary moments. We risk missing out on joy when we get too busy chasing down the extraordinary.” — Brené Brown @BreneBrown" username="toprank"]

State fairs thrive by augmenting each year’s wild new foods with tried-and-true standby favorites such as corn-on-the-cob, cheese curds, and corndogs, which fair-goers have come to expect, just as many midway thrill-seekers still expect to enjoy a ride on the Tilt-a-Whirl — a 1926 Minnesota invention.

Tilt-a-Whirl Carnival Ride Image

Knowing when to retire a food requires walking that fine line between getting rid of a slow seller and possibly removing mom’s favorite fair treat.

Marketers too need to consider their audiences before dropping an old marketing tactic or channel in favor of a shiny new selling method.

Conducting audience surveys can help you find out how your customers would feel if you removed an element from your organization’s systems, whether it’s a chatbot virtual assistant, an online form, or even support for a particular social media platform.

Understanding your audience’s needs and desires goes a long way towards building strong customer relationships, and one way to gain these types of insight is through researching the questions that your audience is asking, as I wrote about recently in “10 Smart Question Research Tools for B2B Marketers.”

[bctt tweet="“Finding trends in what your current customers need can help you answer questions that your prospective customers might be asking, too.” — Jessica Best @bestofjess" username="toprank"]

Corn Dogs & Classic Social Media Marketing

Corn dog image.

These days social media marketing is a classic tactic, a comforting corn dog of the marketing world. The specific platforms we use come and go, and their features change as frequently as the fair-goers riding the SkyRide or Octopus, yet many social tactics are bedrocks of marketing.

A sizable part of a successful social media marketing campaign is keeping track of performance benchmarks, as Joshua Nite, our Content Marketing Manager explored in detail in “Social Media Marketing Benchmarks: What Works & Where to Focus,” which was our most popular social media marketing post of 2018.

[bctt tweet="“We should approach evolving our social media with the same data-driven, strategic rigor that applies to everything else we do.” — Joshua Nite @NiteWrites" username="toprank"]

Over the past 15 years we’ve written a midway-full of additional helpful articles about how you can best incorporate social media marketing into your own campaigns, and some of the top recent ones are listed here, with no midway ticket coupons even required…

Blooming Onions & Podcast Marketing

Blooming onion image.

Podcasting has been among the biggest blooming marketing trends in recent years, with forecasts predicting that ad spending in the podcasting industry will top $1 billion by 2021, equal to more state fair blooming onions than you could shake a corn-dog stick at.

As one of today’s most promising marketing opportunities, podcasting has found a new way to take the simple commodity of people talking and turn it into a highly desirable and profitable digital asset, much the same as how state fair vendors take an ordinary onion and transform it into a showy explosion of deep-fried rooty tentacles.

[bctt tweet="“Stay closer to top-of-funnel with your podcast ideas. It’s far better to educate, inspire, and entertain your audience than to try and sell them something.” — Joshua Nite @NiteWrites" username="toprank"]

As podcasting has bloomed over the past several years, our team at TopRank Marketing has explored its’ relevant use in B2B marketing, including the following recent articles:

Deep-Fried Candy Bars & The Promise of VR/AR Interactive Marketing

Fried oreo image.

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have also taken marketing by storm, similar to how deep-fried candy bars have given many the promise of a bold new future of state fair indulgences.

Dip your marketing Snickers and advertising Milky-Ways into a batter of VR and dunk them into the fryer, and read up on how interactive elements will play a bigger role in our future marketing efforts, with our recent articles here:

Cheese Curds & Search Marketing

Cheese curds image

Cheese has been around a lot longer than search engines, yet both are modern staples for most marketers and many fair-goers.

As with social media marketing, the specific tactics needed to achieve success in search and SEO are highly-specialized.

Get to the cheesy, gooey center of your search marketing learning by grabbing a bit bite of our recent posts on the subject here:

The Full Food Court of Influencer Marketing

Minnesota State Fair aerial image.

Influencer marketing is hard to pair with any single state fair delicacy, as the many benefits it offers when executed smartly are more akin to the virtually unlimited smorgasbord of flavors available in the state fair’s main food court.

Influencer marketing spending in the U.S. and Canada has seen 83 percent year-over-year growth, accompanied by second-quarter spending of $442 million, according to recent research.

Recent data also shows that micro and niche-influencers are forging stronger target audience connections and boosting long-term loyalty, and over the next 12 months, 65 percent of multinational brands plan to increase influencer marketing spending, according to the World Federation of Advertisers.

[bctt tweet="“Whether you’re tired of or wired for “influencer marketing”, make no mistake: The growth of influence on individual and organizational effectiveness in the B2B marketing world will continue for years to come.” @LeeOdden" username="toprank"]

In Minnesota our State Fair is considered our state’s Greatest Show on Earth, a similar theme we recently pursued as we partnered with the Content Marketing Institute to showcase the powerful and entertaining combination of influencer marketing and interactive digital assets, which you can experience here:

If you’ve never had the opportunity to experience the splendors of a state fair, we hope you’ll someday be able to visit one, and if you’re near Minnesota be sure to take in our Great Minnesota Get-Together.

I'll leave you with a photo of this author preparing to tackle a mountain of spiral potatoes at the Minnesota State Fair in 2014.

Lane R. Ellis eating spiral potatoes at the Minnesota State Fair in 2014.

The post The Great Marketing Get-Together appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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How to Analyze Your Facebook Ad Funnel Using Facebook and Google Analytics

Do you really know which of your Facebook ads produce customers and revenue? Is Facebook telling you one thing and Google Analytics saying something different? In this article, you’ll discover how to use Facebook and Google Analytics together to reveal how your Facebook customers engage with your funnel on their path to purchase. The Attribution […]

The post How to Analyze Your Facebook Ad Funnel Using Facebook and Google Analytics appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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How to create a social media calendar that works

With the constant flow of new content, news and ideas, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day of managing multiple social media Read more...

This post How to create a social media calendar that works originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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11 Marketing Experts Share Their Marketing Fails (and Lessons Learned)

Even the experts experience marketing fails. Read about the important lessons that 11 pro marketers learned from their past mistakes.

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Digital Marketing News: Google Indexing Podcasts, Unity’s Rising Marketing Value, Facebook’s Flashy Slideshows & More

The post Digital Marketing News: Google Indexing Podcasts, Unity’s Rising Marketing Value, Facebook’s Flashy Slideshows & More appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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9 essential social media management tools for marketers

If you’ve been in the industry for a while, you’ll know that social media management is no joke. From planning and scheduling your posts Read more...

This post 9 essential social media management tools for marketers originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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Email Marketing 101: The Simple, Definitive Guide for 2019

Let’s cut to the chase: If you want to nurture leads and turn them into raving fans who will shout your virtues from rooftops (as well as buy whatever you’re selling), you need to learn the ins and outs of email marketing. In this simple, easy-to-digest guide, you’ll learn: The two things you need to(...)

The post Email Marketing 101: The Simple, Definitive Guide for 2019 appeared first on Smart Blogger.

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Essential Tips for How to Get Verified on Instagram

We all crave validation. Whether it’s a thumbs up on your new outfit or a pat on the back from your boss, endorsement feels Read more...

This post Essential Tips for How to Get Verified on Instagram originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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