Lane Ellis

Digital Marketing News: Google’s New Ad Tools, Facebook’s Snoozefest, and LinkedIn’s QR Code Refresh

Lane Ellis on Jul 13th, 2018     Online Marketing News

Facebook's New Custom Snooze Tool

Google leans more on algorithms for ads as critics highlight risks
Google has unveiled a slew of new ad-buying tools that incorporate machine learning, and expanded availability of a utility for running the best text-based search result ads. What will the new ad tools announced Tuesday offer for digital marketers? Reuters

Facebook Adds Keyword ‘Snooze’ Option to Help User Avoid Spoilers
Facebook has launched a new feature allowing users to hide certain words, effectively snoozing them for 30 days. How might marketers be affected? Social Media Today

Google’s New Speed Update Works On Gradual Scale; Small Improvements Matter
Google has shared information about its latest search algorithm update, which has a greater focus on site load speed that takes into account even the smallest increased efficiencies. SEO Roundtable

Ashley Zeckman

CMWorld Interview: Gartner’s Heather Pemberton Levy Shares How Story First Marketing Drives Success

Ashley Zeckman on Jul 11th, 2018     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World

While digging through data and market research, it can be easy to get lost in the numbers. But when assessing these insights, what really matters is the stories they tell.

This is a key point of emphasis for Gartner, and specifically its Smarter with Gartner content platform, which adds context and substance to trends surfaced by the research firm’s findings.

So it is quite fitting that Heather Pemberton Levy, who helps guide Gartner’s strategic direction as VP of Content Marketing, champions the “Story Comes First” method. This concept served as a framework for her 2016 book, Brand, Meet Story: How to Create Engaging Content to Win Business and Influence Your Audience, and will also be in play during her workshop at Content Marketing World, entitled “From 0 to 60: Building a Mature B2B Content Marketing Organization.”

Nick Nelson

The Power of Social Media Polls: The Drill-Down on 3 Platforms + 5 General Best Practices

Nick Nelson on Jul 9th, 2018     Social Media

The Power of Social Media Polls for Marketing

Let’s take a trip down memory lane, all the way back to 2007.

The world was a different place. Rihanna’s “Umbrella” (ella, ella) dominated the Billboard Charts. Scorsese’s masterpiece The Departed won Best Picture. Facebook was only a year removed from opening its membership to the general public, and Twitter was a fledgling startup, still looking to gain traction.

But even then, online polls were already emerging as an intriguing tool for digital marketers. On this blog, TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden penned a post about the relatively nascent tactic, which could be utilized through a modest WordPress plugin.

“If you want to know what your users are thinking,” Lee wrote. “Just ask them.”

Lane Ellis

Digital Marketing News: Google’s Marketing Platform Partners, LinkedIn’s Translations, & Facebook’s Instant Articles Subscription Results

Lane Ellis on Jul 6th, 2018     Online Marketing News

LinkedIn Adds Translation Services In Over 60 Languages

Google announces Google Marketing Platform Partners program
Google has been busy consolidating and refreshing its marketing partner offerings, with individuals, companies, and sales partners on its new approved-training list, combining Google Analytics Certified Partners and DoubleClick Certified Marketing Partners. MarTech Today

Facebook trials subscription tool to appease Instant Article publishers
On the heels of Facebook’s recent subscription Groups announcement, could the news that the social media giant is also testing subscription-based Instant Article signal a shift that digital marketers will need to adjust to? The Drum

Forrester issues first Wave report on Experience Optimization
“The Forrester Wave: Experience Optimization Platforms” report examining the continued consolidation of online testing, behavioral targeting, and recommendation practices in experience optimization, with Adobe garnering top marks. MarTech Today

Nick Nelson

Becoming a Better Marketer by Embracing Your Passions Outside the Office

Nick Nelson on Jul 4th, 2018     B2B Marketing, B2C Marketing, Digital Marketing

How Our After-Hours Passions Elevate Us as Marketers

In the first post I ever wrote for the TopRank Marketing Blog, I reflected on the marketing lessons I’d picked up through my baseball blogging hobby. Helping build an online community at Twins Daily has instilled many important fundamentals that, I feel, make me better at my day job.

I’m always fascinated by this interplay. We spend so much of our time each week alongside our coworkers, but are often unaware of the interests and side hustles that drive them outside of the office. Those very passions can be such integral parts of who we are and how we operate.

More recently, this has been a topic of focus for our friends at LinkedIn*. In April, Jason Miller wrote a piece about following your dreams while staying committed to your career, and in June, Sean Callahan profiled a LinkedIn marketer who moonlights as a DJ.

Alexis Hall

How to Rally Around ROI & Prioritize Your Digital Marketing Efforts in the Face of Budget Cuts

Alexis Hall on Jul 2nd, 2018     B2B Marketing, B2C Marketing, Digital Marketing

Prioritizing After Marketing Budget Cuts

Ask any marketer if they’ve ever had to contend with the shrinking or deep cutting of their budgets, odds are you’ll get a deep sigh and a “more than once” response.

Organizations are always looking for efficiencies and ways to tighten their financial belt, and marketing departments are among the first to be placed on the chopping block because it all comes down to ROI—something many modern marketers find hard to prove

In fact, according to a recent report from Demand Gen Report and BrightFunnel, 58% of B2B organizations surveyed said their current ability to measure and analyze marketing performance “needs improvement” or worse.

Lane Ellis

Digital Marketing News: Facebook’s Subscription Groups & Brand Collabs Manager, New URL Tools at Google, & Employee Advocacy Study

Lane Ellis on Jun 29th, 2018     Online Marketing News

Facebook Brand Collabs Manager, Image by Facebook

Facebook tests ‘subscription Groups’ that charge for exclusive content
Facebook has begun testing subscription-based Groups among a select array of users, which now allow Group managers to charge monthly for exclusive content, and which will open up new possibilities to digital marketers when rolled out to all users. TechCrunch

Google Search Console URL Inspector Tool Is Still Rolling Out
Google has added several features to its beta Search Console that offer greater insight into indexed URLs, including new more detailed crawl, index, and page-serving information, the Internet giant announced this week. SEO Roundtable

Report: Employee advocacy trumps influencer marketing
Employee advocacy has gotten recommendations that are seen as more trustworthy than those of traditional influencers, while the accurate measurement of return-on-investment (ROI) remains a top challenge for social media marketers, according to interesting recent Sprout Social report data. PR Daily

Nick Nelson

CMWorld Interview: Path to 1M Monthly Readers Has No Shortcuts, Says J.P. Medved

Nick Nelson on Jun 27th, 2018     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World

In her introduction to The Ultimate Guide to Conquering Content Marketing, Content Marketing Institute’s Cathy McPhillips draws several commonalities between content marketing and video games: the interactivity, the trial-and-error learnings, the camradery.

But, while many marketers have their own personal “cheat codes” that help them gain an edge, there are no true hacks in content. Certain video games allow you to tap in a series of commands and gain invincibility, or jump ahead to the next level. Content marketers, however, cannot magically produce an audience or monetization out of thin air.

As the Content Director for Capterra, and also an avowed lover of gaming, J.P. Medved understands this reality. His company’s industry-specific blogs have grown to 1 million monthly readers, and it wasn’t because of any secret elixir.

Anne Leuman

5 Powerful Types (And Examples) of Link-Worthy Content

Anne Leuman on Jun 25th, 2018     Content Marketing, Link Building, Search Marketing, SEO

How to Create Link-Worthy Content

Since the inception of the search engine, marketers have spent an obscene amount of time optimizing their content and strategy for search. And while the old days of keyword stuffing and other black-hat SEO tactics are behind (most marketers), there’s two constants that remain the same for driving organic search results: The importance of good content and getting credible links to that good content.

In fact, Google’s former Search Quality Senior Strategist and current Partner Development Manager, Andre Lippattsev, made it official in a recent interview stating that content and backlinks were the top two ranking factors in Google’s elusive algorithm.

As a result, there’s little doubt that we marketers must create something irresistible for searchers and search engines if we want to score good results.

Lane Ellis

Digital Marketing News: Instagram Adds Hour-Long Videos With IGTV, Weeding Out Influencers Who Buy Followers, & Mobile’s Vast Growth

Lane Ellis on Jun 22nd, 2018     Online Marketing News

Instagram IGTV Announcement
With IGTV, Instagram Takes Aim at YouTube
Instagram has added the ability to upload videos up to an hour long, with the launch of its new IGTV feature, offering digital marketers a much bigger video canvas. Instagram also announced that it has broken through the one billion user barrier. Wired

Unilever stops working with digital media influencers who buy followers
Unilever has ceased working with social media influencers who buy followers, a first-of-its-kind effort to increase influencer transparency, the mega-brand recently announced. Marketing Land

Marketing-driven revenue from mobile apps has grown 80% since 2016
Marketers focusing on mobile may be on the right track, as mobile apps have driven a vast 80 percent marketing revenue expansion since 2016, according to voluminous new report data from Facebook and marketing analytics firm AppsFlyer, detailing major differences among the gaming, shopping, and travel markets. Venture Beat

Ashley Zeckman

CMWorld Interview: Thinking Inside the (Answer) Box with Courtney Cox

Ashley Zeckman on Jun 21st, 2018     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World

In a digital marketing career that has spanned numerous roles, often with a heavy focus on SEO, Courtney Cox has watched plenty of trends come and go.

But like many of us, she’s convinced that answer boxes (or “featured snippets,” or “position zero,” as you will) hold the key to search success going forward.

Not only do these “best answer” results attain prime visibility on SERPs, but as voice search continues to grow more prominent, they are likely to become the only result for many user queries within a few years.

Caitlin Burgess

Creating Content Connections: 10 Lessons in Resonance from Content Marketing Pros

Caitlin Burgess on Jun 20th, 2018     Content Marketing

Lessons in Content Marketing

Spot on.

via GIPHY

Exactly.

via GIPHY

Truth.

via GIPHY

Accurate.

via GIPHY

Yaaaaaaaaaas!

via GIPHY

It’s hard to contain the excited, “uh huh” head nodding when you read, watch, or listen to a piece of content that really hits home … strikes the right chord … illuminates something deep inside your soul.

And for us marketers, these moments should remind us of an important digital marketing truth:

Creating content that resonates is key to building rapport, credibility, and trust with our audience, and, ultimately, driving marketing results.