Archives for July 2014

Content Marketing Interview with Jascha Kaykas-Wolff CMO of BitTorrent

Jascha Kaykas-Wolff interview

The power of storytelling in content marketing is unmistakable. But what is there beyond storytelling? That’s a key question being asked and answered at the upcoming Content Marketing World conference Sept 8-11th in Cleveland.

To offer insights into the advancing world of Content Marketing, CMI and TopRank Online Marketing have collaborated for the 3rd year in a row on a conference eBook project highlighting strategic and practical content marketing advice from select #CMWorld speakers. As an extension of the conference storytelling theme, this year’s project is a series of eBooks using a theme from one of the most imaginative stories of all time: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. We’re calling this series of eBooks, “Content Marketing in Wonderland”.

The Power of Empathy for More Customer Focused Content Marketing

Customer Empathy

Marketers are really jumping on the content bandwagon while the definition of what “content marketing” really means varies greatly between the SEO, PR, advertising and custom publishing industries.

For example, I recently read a very clever post about content marketing on a popular SEO website providing an impressive array of content types, tactics, tips and shortcuts for content to be created and used as a marketing asset. But not once were “customer journey”, “buying cycle”, “customer insight” or related concepts mentioned.

The focus on tactical execution without insight into a targeted audience that the content is intended to reach, engage and inspire – seems pointless. At best, it’s a speculative exercise in “seeing what sticks”.  The same thing often happens with social media marketers curating content from influential publishers in the hopes of sticky engagement.

Online Marketing News: Google+ Lets You Fake It, Facebook Saves, Microsoft Overtakes Yahoo

How Social Signals SEO

How do Social Signals Impact SEO? [Infographic] – How is social tied to SEO?  Click the graphic above to checkout how social signals can impact your SEO. SocialTimes

Twitter and Pinterest Lead Mobile Sharing Growth as Desktop Declines – In Q2 of 2014, shares from smartphones and tablets increased by approximately 31 percent, while desktop shares declined by 6 percent. Twitter and Pinterest were the biggest drivers of mobile sharing growth. ClickZ

Study: Only 22 Percent Of Top 200 Apps Using Deep Links – Among the top 200 mobile apps only 22 percent are using “deep links” from their websites into their mobile apps. This is according to an analysis by URX. Marketing Land

Influencer Marketing and Content FTW! 7 Steps to Co-Created Awesome

Influencer Marketing

What’s a faster way to connect with a target audience than building thought leadership from scratch? Working with influencers that already have authority and credibility with the target audience you want to reach.

Why so many companies focus only on buying their way into new markets and audiences I may never know. Working with industry influencers through networking, interviews co-created content has been an instrumental approach for our boutique and specialized agency. By connecting with influencers and working with them to achieve mutually beneficial goals, we’ve grown our business substantially.

This post is an in-depth look at how your business can tap into the power of influencers and co-created content through 7 steps that go from planning to implementation to measurement.

What Marketers at Dell, IBM, Optum, General Mills and Bank of America Think About the Future of Search Marketing

Future of Search Marketing in Digital

As the search marketing industry continues to feel the sting of Google narrowing down what passes as acceptable search marketing practices, more practitioners find themselves having to defend the channel. This is more true with SEO than Search Advertising, but for many, search marketing isn’t exactly the poster child it once was.

But that’s not how the panel of digital marketers we polled from major corporations including Optum, General Mills, Bank of America, Carlson, Dell, IBM and AOL see it. Their view is far more optimistic.

As companies begin to plan their strategic marketing initiatives, it can be tough sorting through the “propaganda” from search engines and search marketers alike. I’m a fan of going to the source whenever possible for clarity on marketing trends and besides your own data, what better source than companies making choices about marketing budgets, developing strategy, implementing tactics and defending marketing performance on a daily basis?

Learn, Network, Create – Upcoming Digital Marketing and PR Conferences in 2014

TopRank Marketing Events 2014

Continuous learning is the key to stay ahead in the digital marketing and PR world. Besides learning from your own experiments, connecting with other industry subject matter experts and peers can be a great way to expand your knowledge network. You ARE building a knowledge network, right?

Events are a big part of how I stay connected in the industry and create content. I also get to learn a lot from the awesome people I meet at conferences – both offline and online.

In fact, I must REALLY like learning and building my network because over the next 3 months at least 8 events are in store and unlike the top photo from a recent event in London, all are in the U.S.!

Online Marketing News: #SongsSecretlyAboutPancakes, Yelp Complains, Twitter Gets Analytical

Apps Driving Twitter Sharing

Twitter Engagement Study: Top Apps, Content Sources & Profiles Among Search Marketers – The search marketing community is one that can be defined by the topics we write about and share with our colleagues. In its latest report, “How Search Marketers Engage on Twitter,” social insights company Leadtail looked at 521 U.S. search marketers (SEMs) on Twitter to discover what topics they talked about, which content they consumed and shared, and what publications and people were the most influential in the Twittersphere. Search Engine Watch

REPORT: Facebook, Google To Represent 15% Of Total Ad Market In 2016 – Facebook and Google combined will account for a 15 percent share of the total media advertising marketing of $200 billion in 2016, according to the latest projections from market researcher eMarketer. AllFacebook

Digital Marketing – What Does It Really Mean? Insights from 9 Brand Digital Marketers

What is Digital Marketing?

Need help with Digital Marketing? Check out the services at TopRank Marketing

Have you noticed the phrase “digital marketing” being bounced around a lot more lately? Me too.

I admit that I’m one of the sources of that bouncing. With the rate of change occurring in the marketing world, I think describing what we do is something that isn’t really satisfied by just one phrase.  Content, Search, Inbound, Multi-Channel, Integrated, all seem to have their place, but “Digital” seems to express what most companies are creating in their marketing right now.

What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing is a term used to describe the integrated marketing services used to attract, engage and convert customers online. Digital marketing utilizes multiple channels such as content marketing, influencer marketing, SEO, social media and online advertising to help brands connect with customers and uncover performance of marketing programs in real-time.

Two Marketing Tips for Creating More Meaningful and Profitable Content

Content Tips

Understand Globally, Communicate Locally

Literally and figuratively.

While at networking event in Bucharest I met the head of global business development and partnerships for a well known video hosting platform. Working with professionals from so many different countries, cultures and customs requires careful attention to communications and behavior – not entirely unlike how marketers who create content need to flavor their message according to the unique needs of each target audience.

He shared with me how things like accepting a business card from someone in China and then writing on it or not greeting the most senior person first in a Middle Eastern country, can kill a deal. He also talked about the importance of structuring engagements in a way that not only empathizes with the business customs of the region, but also makes money for all involved.

Online Marketing News: #NewTweetRecord, B2B Wants To Go Automatic, Tweeting Is Bad For The Bedroom

New Twitter Record

With 35.6 Million Tweets, Germany’s 7-1 #WorldCup Win Over Brazil Sets A New Twitter Record [STATS] – Tuesday, in a match that will be remembered for a long time and likely take the host nation (and its ardent fans) years to recover from, Germany humiliated a Sunday league-esque Brazil side 7-1 in the World Cup semi finals. AllTwitter

How To Be in the Top 5% of Bloggers [Survey] – Orbit Media Studios conducted a survey of more than 1,000 bloggers to better understand the processes of industry experts. Respondents answered questions about time spent on a typical post, frequency, editing, promotional tactics and more. Orbit Media Studios

10 Real Time Content Discovery Tools for Curation, Engagement and Sharing

Real Time Content Discovery

The influence of search on content beyond Google, Bing and Yahoo is pretty amazing. Just think of all the social media monitoring platforms that have launched – they’re all essentially search engines.

Another category of online tool that relies on search are content discovery tools (just like Google is a content discovery tool).  Except this category of content discovery weights content shared on social media channels more heavily and often provides the ability to organize and flavor search results based on an analysis of what your own social networks are posting and sharing links to.

Attract, Engage, Convert – How to Better Measure and Optimize Content Marketing Performance

Safe is Risky - Tom Fishburne Cartoon

The obstacle in front of most large, or mature companies of any size when it comes to digital and content marketing, is the battle with status quo. From strategy to tactics and especially measurement, change is often seen as interruptive and risky vs. adaptive. But without adaptation, we can hardly evolve, can we?

As Tom Fishburne implies in the cartoon above, change isn’t risky, safe is risky.

Companies evolving from Stasis to Production and into Utility and Storytelling modes of content marketing maturity begin to broaden the scope of what business goals content can deliver for a company.