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Why These Digital Marketers Swiped Right on Working at TopRank Marketing


Applying for a new job isn’t too different than today’s world of online dating. You do a little research to see if you like them and then once you hit submit, you wait anxiously to see if they like you back.

When you receive that email or phone call that they’d like to interview you, the nerves really start to set in. You change your outfit no less than five times and realize that you’re more nervous than any other first “date” you’ve ever been on.

Navigating the world of digital marketing and finding the right career path is not always an easy task. There are many bright and talented marketers out there, and a seemingly endless list of agencies that at least claim to have digital marketing expertise. And weeding your way through the duds to find those that will truly create a great experience, and a lasting connection takes work.

Below are a few short stories of four TopRank Marketing employees (including myself) that swiped right on our agency and haven’t looked back since.

What Do You Continue to Choose TopRank Marketing?


Jolina Pettice
Title: Vice President

I actually get this question a lot when I’m interviewing candidates for TopRank Marketing. The answer has evolved over the years to be honest, but let’s go way back.

My first goal – when interviewing at various agencies around the Twin Cities – was to put my degree to work.

My second goal – I didn’t want to be bored. I remember telling Susan Misukanis (President of TopRank Marketing) in my interview that while I’m a fiercely loyal person, if I find myself looking at the clock during the day, longing for the day to be over, I’ll know this job isn’t for me. I had worked more than one job at a time for most of my years in college, so I knew all about having a job that was nothing more than a paycheck… and slowly watching the second hand slow tick down to punch out time.

It’s been 10+ years. I’ve not once looked at that clock and longed for quitting time. I love my job. I love the challenge. I love our clients. I love our team.


Joshua Nite
Title: Content Marketing Lead

I feel my greatest success thus far has been moving from a copywriter to a marketer. I came in with writing skills and not much else, but thanks to the nurturing and supportive environment here, I was able to begin an ongoing education. I have learned more in the past 18 months than I did in the previous decade.

There are accomplishments here I’m proud of: Writing blog posts that get thousands of views and shares, hearing marketers I respect tell me they’re fans of my work. But what I’m proudest of is how much I’ve developed as a marketer, and that’s entirely due to TopRank Marketing’s incredibly smart team and willingness to educate.


Leila De la Fuente
Title: Account Manager

I was interested in working for TopRank Marketing because I saw an opportunity to dig my hands into complex marketing programs. The experience that I’ve gained here is invaluable and have learned how important a strategic and results focused approach is for developing a successful client program.  

One of the most important things I’ve learned is the importance of digital marketing integration. For example, when you pair content and SEO together from the very beginning as part of an integrated approach, the results can be incredibly powerful.


Ashley Zeckman (That’s Me!)
Title: Director of Agency Marketing

When I first started at TopRank Marketing I was one of those people that thought I knew everything. I was never afraid to share my opinions or be the one piping up the most in a meeting. In working at TopRank Marketing, I quickly found that there was so much that I didn’t know (and still don’t!).

Working here has taught me that digital marketing requires an ongoing desire to learn, share, collaborate and reach for greatness. I’ve also been very appreciative that I get to work in an environment where failure is encouraged, as long as you’re able to adapt and evolve your approach based on what you learned.

I feel honored that I am able to work in a place surrounded by smart marketers that all bring something special to the table.

What Makes A Good TopRank Marketing Team Member?

Finding the right employee and agency match requires much more than a surface level assessment. We understand that not everyone is a fit for us, and we’re not a fit for everyone. At our core, we are working to add even more people to our team that are passionate about what they do, and want to work with a diverse team of professionals.

The tagline below the logo on our website reads “Smart, Creative, Focused on Results.” That mantra is a big part of how we approach business for our agency , recruiting new talent and working with our clients.

We work with everything from mid-size to enterprise organizations that are looking for a true agency partner. And we want employees that are invested in helping to build that relationship and deliver results, no matter what their role.

6 Fun Facts About TopRank Marketing

  1. Our agency (and our CEO) are consistently named as top influencers in digital marketing, content marketing, social media and more by companies like Onalytica.
  2. Earlier this year, we moved into a new, custom built office that was made just for our team in Minneapolis.
  3. In 2016, we were named one of the Top 100 Places to Work by Minnesota Business.
  4. Many team members have the opportunity to travel around the nation to attend educational conferences and meet other smart marketers.
  5. We set aside time monthly to educate, learn and grow together as a team.
  6. Our conference and huddle rooms are named after superhero lairs (and are decorated to match).
  7. We do in-fact have a hamburger chair in our office based on an employee request (you can see it on our instagram page).

If you want to join our team of digital marketing professionals that are smart, creative and focused on results, check out our current openings on our agency careers page.

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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2016. |
Why These Digital Marketers Swiped Right on Working at TopRank Marketing | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post Why These Digital Marketers Swiped Right on Working at TopRank Marketing appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

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About Daniel Rodgers

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

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5 Key Traits of the Best B2B Influencers

Traits B2B Influencers

Traits B2B Influencers

Marketers are still asking, what is B2B influencer marketing? Here’s a definition I’ve been using over the past 5 years or so:

B2B influencer marketing is activating internal and external subject matter experts with engaged networks to advocate and co-create content of mutual value that drives measurable business goals.

As the groundswell around influencer marketing rises and becomes a normal part of the B2B marketing mix, the volume of information and misinformation on the topic also increases.

One of the most popular questions people also ask about B2B influencer marketing focuses on what makes a good business influencer? By now we all know that popularity alone does not make someone influential. It’s certainly important, it's just not the only thing.

As B2B marketers mature in their understanding of the role influence plays and how the dynamic of brand content co-created with industry experts plays out with customers, they begin to realize that other factors matter. Topical relevance matters of course as well as resonance of the topic amongst an influencer’s community.

B2B Marketing Influencers

The intersection of individual expertise, how well that expertise resonates with followers and the size of network creates a baseline of characteristics when evaluating whether a certain influencer might be a match.

But there’s more than that. Understanding what makes a great influencer is both art and science, soft and hard skills. The success of identifying, qualifying and engaging influencers is also directly tied to how they will be engaged and to what end.

Some people reading this might think that influencer marketing isn’t the magic pill some are playing it up to be. There’s a reason for that, because it’s not magic. It’s more like alchemy.

The reality is, there’s no one formula for the perfect B2B influencer, but there are some common characteristics that B2B brands should look for in varying proportions according to what’s important to a program or activation. I call those characteristics:

The 5 Ps of B2B Influence

Proficiency - In B2B marketing, the vast majority of those considered influential possess deep expertise in the field they work in. This is a significant difference from many B2C influencers who are often self proclaimed as influential with clever media creation skills.

As B2C influencer content and engagement tactics evolve, some are crossing over into B2B with a trickle of opportunists successfully creating influence amongst B2B audiences not solely for their expertise, but for a combination of adept social media content creation skills and some expertise. B2B marketers who do their due diligence will be able to filter accordingly.

Popularity - While network size is not the only thing, nor is it the most important thing, it is definitely a metric to consider. Some marketers swing in the direction of ignoring audience size altogether because of lower engagement rates with popular influencers. This is simply foolish. All things being the same, I’ll take 2% engagement of an influencer with a million followers over 2% from someone that has 1,000 followers.

What matters is how network size factors in with the type of influencer you need. For example, popular influencers aka “brandividuals” are often best for top of funnel content. Niche domain expert influencers are better for middle and end of funnel content. Engaging a brandividual and expecting conversions is just naive.

Personality - If you’ve worked in B2C influencer marketing and been exposed to all the characters there, B2B is going to seem a bit dry. Now there are some colorful characters in the B2B influencer community, no doubt. But personality is often a trait that needs to be uncovered when you’re working with some types of business influencers.

The good news is that savvy influencer marketing practitioners know how to plant the seeds that can grow and blossom within an otherwise introverted influencer. You don’t need them to be a colorful character, ripe with personality per se, but you do want them to connect with the passion they have with their craft and how their expertise can help others be successful.

Publishing - Content is the media that conveys the ideas of influence and while B2B influencers are not expected to produce the same types and quantity of content as in B2C, it is ideal when there’s a platform where the influencer publishes. At a minimum, that would be social networks but to be a B2B influencer, it’s most likely that also includes articles contributed to publications if not research, books and presentations.

Promotion - The value a B2B influencer brings beyond adding expertise and credibility to brand content is the ability to share what they helped create with their network. Trust of brand content is at a low, especially with advertising. Customers yearn for authentic content and the right kind of influencer collaboration can give them that, delivered via the influencer’s own distribution channels. That means social networks for course but also potentially blogs, email newsletters, podcast, LinkedIn Live, contributed articles or columns in industry publications.

I know some people reading this are thinking there could be even more P’s like being Prolific, Persuasive or Passion. Yes, there could be so many more but we have to draw the line somewhere! It's important to be able to manage the data and insights necessary to factor these characteristics into selection, qualification and engagement.

Some of these traits will not fully reveal themselves until you work with an influencer on a few content activations. Others will fluctuate over time and that is normal. It's important to understand that influence is a temporal thing. It is not fixed or permanent. It’s important marketers realize that before they disengage an influencer in the short term due to lower performance. The same goes for high expectations after great performance.

Organic influencer engagement is a little dynamic and what you don’t spend on paid influencers like an ad buy you will (in part) need to invest in relationship management, education and even tips that will help the influencers be more effective.

B2B brands with high influencer churn or low performance often apply “ad buy” perspectives to a what is actually a relationship driven effort. Mismatched expectations are not helpful for anyone, so think about the 5Ps as you evaluate and nurture your influencer community. Consider where of each your ideal influencers need to score on the 5 Ps in order to be a good match for the kind of activation you have in mind.

When there’s 5P alignment, there's happiness: for customers, influencers and your B2B brand.

The post 5 Key Traits of the Best B2B Influencers appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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