Archives for March 2013

Social Content Relevance on Holidays: Baileys, Brennans & Tourism Ireland St Patrick’s Day Wins

Social media marketing wins  holidays and special occasions.Brands often struggle to hit that elusive mix of creative, timely content relevant to their audience that still directly aligns with their brand. If you have something of a sense of humor, entertaining your audience isn’t that hard. Yet for your social content to be effective in marketing, at least a good portion must be relevant to your brand, as well. You know the deal, though; if you’re only talking about your brand or products, fans get bored with your self-promotion.

Special occasions and holidays offer marketers a great chance to get creative with their social content, to capture the attention of an increasingly attention-deficit audience.  Yet simply being an Irish company doesn’t make your product or service relevant on an Irish holiday. Being a Canadian, or American, company doesn’t guarantee relevance on holidays specific to North America, either.

What is Content? Learn from 40+ Definitions

What is ContentWith all of today’s hype about content marketing, taking a step back and looking at what content is in the first place might bring some signal to all the noise.

Defining a thing as broad as “content” is a bigger task than you might think. You’re probably thinking of a definition of content now and it’s likely a bit different than mine.

Content is many things to different people and situations due to context. Fundamentally, content = information. Content = experience. Content = nothing specific. These are all observations shared with me by digital smarties ranging from Avinash Kaushik to Joe Pulizzi in a poll I ran on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook last week.

Online Marketing News: Google’s Next-Gen Infographic, Pinterest Has New Analytics

Google Wants You to Know How Search Works - Infographic

Google Wants You to Understand How Search Works

Google has released an interactive, next-generation infographic to explain how search works. Viewers are guided down the page, with clickable areas to pop-up text explanations of their visual points. The infographic walks readers through crawling and indexing, algorithms and fighting spam (they fight spam 24/7, it proclaims). Behind your simple page of results is a complex system, carefully crafted and tested, to support more than one-hundred billion searches each month, according to Google.

Pinterest Launches Web Analytics to Allow Marketers to See Referrals to Site

Pinterest is rolling out their new web analytics tool. It shows data on how many people have pinned from a site, the number of views each pin has, and how many users have visited a site from Pinterest. The tool is free starting today for companies with a verified Web site, making good on their 2012 promise to businesses to introduce data analytic tools for companies to track Pinterest traffic.

Content Marketing Tips You Can Bank On from Intel, Kraft, SAP & Content Marketing Institute

content marketingIn a recent study by Content Marketing Institute, it was reported that 54% of B2B marketers will increase their spend on content marketing over the next 12 months. Pouring more money into content doesn’t automatically result in success.

As with wise investing for financial success, marketers need to back up their content investments with a plan, resources, goals, measurement and many other answers to questions their competition aren’t bothering with.

This doesn’t mean you need some grand, perfect strategy to see a return on content development spend. But it does mean having a clear vision and approach. To help guide you in this content marketing journey, here’s advice from some of the top content marketers in the industry including pros from Intel, SAP, Kraft, and the Content Marketing Institute.

How Retailers Are Boosting Sales With B2C Video Content

Bloomingdales uses video content to give viewers a sneak peek at insider info.Video has exploded as an online marketing tool over the past few years for B2C marketers. As the interent’s second most popular search engine, YouTube has reduced the barriers to entry to almost nil. As a result, marketers quickly jumped on board with vloggers and other personalities to capitalize on video’s ability to capture and hold the interests of an increasingly attention-deficit consumer.

In fact, video is second only to feature articles as the content marketing tactic with the greatest ROI, according to eMarketer. Video allows marketers to connect with web and mobile customers, across websites, social media and apps, in order to offer targeted information in a visual and auditory format appealing to a wide audience.

Social Visualization of Brand & Culture: IBM Voices Does the Talking

Social VisualizationAbout today’s guest post: As companies mature their online presence though more robust social engagement, individuals within those companies are advancing use of social technologies to communicate and collaborate publicly. At the same time, consumers’ evolving use of social platforms has lead to increased expectations for brand information discovery, consumption and engagement. Surfacing organizational culture and expertise helps companies better connect with their customers in terms of who they are and what they stand for.

Tapping into the collective wisdom of an organization’s thought leadership has enabled social business transformation in ways we never would have imagined 5 or 10 years go. In today’s post,  Ethan McCarty, IBM’s Director of Enterprise Social Strategy, @ethanmcc has offered to bring some clarity to this opportunity and to share one example of what IBM is doing about it.  Ethan McCarty

The Creative Content Marketing Bar is Higher. Can You Reach It?

creative content marketingThe increasing popularity of the visual web as evidenced by the growth of sites like Pinterest and Instagram along with the recent updates to the Facebook News Feed and Google+ cover images has raised the bar on creative content marketing.

Not long ago, it was progressive just to create blog posts and a few social shares every day. Now so many brands have adopted a publisher model for content marketing that the web is flush with content marketing tactics.

Brands are hard pressed to stand out with their content marketing, often taking a “more is better” approach. As David Meerman Scott says, the marketing one hundred is now the marketing ten thousand.

Online Marketing News: Facebook’s Redesigned Newsfeed, Google Attacked Over Elephant Ivory Ads

2013 Social Media Roadmap

Intuit Shares a Social Media Marketing Roadmap for Brands in 2013

Intuit shared an incredibly helpful infographic on their Small Business Blog to guide marketers in their social strategy this year. Path to Social Success in 2013 assigns a theme for each quarter; we begin the year by taking a social media inventory. As we enter the second quarter next month, it’s time to focus on working on relationships. The third quarter is all about integrating everything, while at the end of the year it’s time to take stock and look forward.

Of course, these are all important aspects of social media management throughout the year. Intuit’s guide is a good reminder to help marketers remember to revisit each area and concentrate on it at some point in 2013.

B2B Conversion Optimization: How Buyer Personas Inspire Content That Converts

Conversion OptimizationThe mantra for digital marketers interested in conversion optimization is ABT “always be testing.”  That mantra fits well with the perspectives TopRank has been advocating for years: optimization is a continuous process.

Although consumer needs remain fairly simple when it comes to achieving an outcome after they arrive at your website, the opportunities to test different elements to improve conversion performance has grown in both sophistication and complexity. From eye tracking studies to monthly A/B tests, converting more visitors into buyers is both an art and a science.

The Internet is not a static environment; change is constant and consumers’ expectations have evolved along with web technology. The challenge for marketers is to make sense of the customer journey and provide the right information at the right time to inspire a desired outcome.

SlideShare Best Practices: Content Marketing Tips from Top SlideShare Marketers

Top Marketing SlideShares for Content MarketersAt TopRank Online Marketing, we’ve been singing SlideShare’s praises for years. With over 50 pieces of content shared through the platform, some closing in on 100,000 views, we’re well aware of its power and potential.

Forbes calls SlideShare the “Quiet Giant of Content Marketing” with good reason; with 60 million monthly visitors, it’s one of the top 200 most visited sites in the world. Yet Joe Pulizzi says Slideshare is the “most underutilized content distribution tool” in content marketing today and he’s right. How can marketers make best use of this incredible resource?

Feeling Lost In LinkedIn? 5 Elements of An Optimized LinkedIn Profile

5 Elements LinkedinLinkedIn has quickly achieved top status as “the” business to business social networking destination.  In fact, less than two years after going public, LinkedIn’s value has risen from $4 billion to over $18 billion.

Not only has LinkedIn’s value increased significantly, but their capabilities and engagement have as well.  The same Wall Street Journal article that included the valuation above also shared the following insight:

  • In the most recent quarter LinkedIn’s page views have risen 67%
  • LinkedIn’s new “content” features include news aggregation and hosting of expert blog posts

If your company hasn’t quite figured out the secret sauce needed to really make your executives’ LinkedIn profiles shine or how to make meaningful connections, you’re in luck.  Whether you want to increase your brand or individual online visibility, this post shares insights into the 5 elements of an optimized LinkedIn profile.  

SES New York – 3 Big Reasons to Go 360 Degrees with Your Online Marketing in 2013

SES New YorkSES New York is coming up in just a few weeks and I really can’t wait.  New York is easily one of my favorite cities in the world and I’m looking forward to joining thousands of marketers who feel the same March 25-28.

Today’s online marketing draws us in many directions and with the ever changing landscape of search, social media and technology, the demands on marketers to view their world from 360 degrees is more important now than ever.

At this year’s SES New York event, I’ll be giving a brand new presentation, Creative Content Marketing: Winning the Hearts, Minds and Wallets of Today’s Distracted Consumer on Thursday March 28th at 9:30am, which digs down into why, for who and how of tapping into ongoing creative ideas for content marketing that actually works.