Archives for December 2015

Reflecting on 2015 & Gearing Up For Digital Marketing Innovation in 2016

2015-TopRank-Marketing-Reflections

This year brought many opportunities for innovation, creativity and growth for the team at TopRank Marketing.

On a personal note, I was beyond excited to re-join the team and dive head first into my new role as Director of Agency Marketing. In this role, part of my responsibilities include ensuring that our team provides creative, engaging, actionable and innovative content for our blog readers each week.

In 2015, our team published nearly 300 blog posts and amassed over 1.4 million unique pageviews for our blog content alone. Keeping the content engine running is an essential part of what we do at TopRank Marketing and I’m pleased to report the numbers above. Nearly a million of the pageviews above were generated from Organic Search which means that our strategy to optimize customers and search engines has led people to our content.

TopRank Marketing’s 2016 Influencer Marketing Predictions

2016-Influencer-Marketing-Predictions

This year, headlines throughout the marketing blogosphere proclaimed that influencer marketing is “the next big thing.”

At TopRank Marketing, we have been refining our influencer marketing strategy for nearly a decade. It’s our past, present, and next big thing. When done well, influencer marketing can boost brand credibility, provide valuable exposure for the brand and the influencer and create killer content your audience will love.

Now that influencer marketing has officially arrived, how will it evolve in 2016? We asked our in-house experts, and some of our favorite marketers outside the TopRank Marketing team, for their opinion. Here are the influencer marketing predictions for 2016.

Steve Rayson

Steve-Rayson
Director, BuzzSumo
@steverayson

Content Marketing Tactics: Earned Media Pros, Cons, Examples & Best Practices

content-marketing-earned-media

For any brand, reputation is everything—and reputations are often built (or torn down) with earned media. From a glowing news article about one of your products to that horrific Yelp review, every brand experiences the benefits and drawbacks of earned media.

And in today’s socially connected world, marketers are increasing their use of earned media as a contact marketing tactic as it continues to be a crucial factor in consumer decision making.

In fact, a study by Nielsen and InPowered shows that expert content—credible, third-party articles and reviews—is the most effective source of information in impacting consumers along all stages of the purchase process across product categories. The study also showed that earned media is 88 percent more effective than owned media content alone.

12 Content Marketing Lessons Learned in 12 Years of Blogging

Content Marketing Lessons LearnedHappy 12th Birthday to TopRank Marketing’s Online Marketing Blog!

In Malcom Gladwell’s book, Outliers: The Story of Success, he mentions the “10,000-Hour Rule”, which describes the key to achieving world class expertise in any skill as a matter of practicing for a total of 10,000 hours or so.

By many definitions, this humble marketing blog has involved many more than 10,000 hours of practice. While we’ve achieved many milestones from being the only blog ranked the #1 content marketing blog three times by CMI to helping our boutique digital marketing agency reach a worldwide audience, it continues to be a work in progress.

There are multiple dimensions for evaluating a blog’s impact. Here is some statistical trivia about TopRank’s Marketing Blog (thanks to BuzzSumo) representing some of this “practice makes expert” effort.

Online Marketing News: Bing’s Biggest, Google Goals Get Smarter, Twitter Signals State-Sponsored

Guide to 2016 Content Marketing Trends

A Complete Guide to 2016 Content Marketing Trends [Infographic] – Take a look at this infographic, which reveals their expectations for content marketing budgets, benchmarks and the key trends for 2016. Social Media Today

Bing Reveals The Top US and UK Searches of 2015 – Bing says we’re done collating stuff in 2015, and now’s the time to rank it all in order. What else are you going to do in December? Work? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Search Engine Watch

Why Sponsored Social Is One Of 2015’s Most Effective Marketing Tactics [Study] – Digital marketing is everywhere, but new research shows that sponsored social posts are actually getting noticed, explaining their growing popularity. ClickZ

Content Marketing Tactics: Influencer Content Pros, Cons, Examples and Best Practices

Influencer-Marketing

While the world is more connected than ever, it’s also more cluttered than ever. Yes. It’s the age of information overload, and competition to get noticed is fierce. As a result, marketers are focusing on creating scalable content that gets shared more often and reaches more people by using influencer content programs.

Influencer marketing often refers to celebrities or brandividuals advocating for a brand. Influencer content goes beyond advocacy to focus on the actual content being produced for marketing. Influencer content isn’t something new, but the digital era has changed how it’s used. Influencer content marketing in its current form started gaining momentum in 2014, and it’s now the fastest growing and most cost effective marketing channel.

TopRank Marketing’s 2016 Content Marketing Predictions

2016-Content-Marketing-Predictions

Was 2015 the year content marketing died? A quick Google search for “the death of content marketing” pulls up at least five articles written in the last six months, each seeking to put the final nail in the content coffin. To confuse the issue, for every “content marketing is dead” article, there’s a “traditional advertising is dead. Long live content marketing!” piece to balance it out.

Is this a Schrodinger’s Cat scenario? Are we holding a wake, or should we be performing CPR? In reality, it’s non-strategic content marketing that’s on life support. Audiences are increasingly ignoring the glut of mediocre content tossed haphazardly onto the web.

That’s good news. It means exceptional content with strategic creation and promotion can thrive. Making quality content the new minimum requirement is good for marketers and customers alike.

How to Use LinkedIn Sponsored Updates to Jumpstart Content Promotion in 2016

linkedin

2015 was the year that content marketing exploded. Brands have become publishers and are all competing in the same arena to provide a quantity of quality content for their audience. In the coming year, content capabilities and demands will only increase.

It’s time that marketers think beyond creation, and take advantage of the tools available for content amplification, promotion and measurement. With over 4million business pages housed on their platform, there is no denying that LinkedIn is a powerhouse for amplifying and boosting great content.

Today, LinkedIn released their newest guide to LinkedIn Sponsored Posts. This guide was composed by scouring LinkedIn to find the best examples of business sponsored content. In order to  take the leap into investing in sponsoring content, you first have to make sure that you have something worth promoting. Below are a handful of examples of businesses using great content on LinkedIn to capture the attention of their audience.

Defying Gravity: Our 5 Most Shared Influencer Marketing Posts of 2015

Top-Influencer-Marketing-Posts-of-2015

If you have ever seen a space shuttle launch–and let’s pause for a moment of silence for NASA’s funding—you remember how small the shuttle itself looks on the launch pad. Even though it’s a massive vehicle, it’s dwarfed by the fuel tanks that will boost it into orbit. It takes a lot of energy to defy gravity, and the shuttle needs all the help it can get.

For marketers, influencers are the fuel that can get our content out of the gravity well and up where people can see it. We know influencer marketing gets results, and it’s great to see it emerging as a trend. Eighty-four percent of marketing and communications worldwide expect to launch at least one influencer marketing campaign in the next year, and 81% who have already tried it say influencer engagement was effective.

Online Marketing News: Facebook Adds Instant Article Ads, LinkedIn Introduces Interesting Insights, YouTube Tacks On Trending Tab

What Santa Can Teach You About Email Marketing

What Santa Can Teach You About Email Marketing [Infographic] – What can we learn from watching Santa and the way he organizes his work? A lot, actually. Every stage in the process that ends with a present under your Christmas tree has a parallel in email marketing. Let’s look at what Santa does and how we can apply those lessons to email marketing. FreshMail

AdSense Mobile Text Ads Get Another Facelift – Among several design updates, the newer version does away with the need to swipe in order to see the display URL. Marketing Land

Facebook Improves Their Name Process – This week, we will begin to test new tools that address two key goals. First, we want to reduce the number of people who are asked to verify their name on Facebook when they are already using the name people know them by. Second, we want to make it easier for people to confirm their name if necessary. Facebook

Spoiler Alert: How to Resist Falling to the Dark Side of Digital Marketing

Digital-Marketing-Dark-Side

“Fear is the path to the dark side.” – Yoda

On December 18th, Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits the big screen. Throughout the entire series we have cheered for our heroes and heroines to resist the dark side.

We’ve seen them face temptation, make the right (and sometimes wrong) choice, but at the end of the day, we’re rooting for their success. Similarly, digital marketers have faced some familiar and sometimes devastating challenges. But what can we do to avoid the path to the dark side and instead come out as heroes to our customers?

Spoiler alert, just kidding, this is a different type of spoiler. In this post we will explore avoidable mistakes in the galaxy of options available to us today. Arm yourself with your lightsaber and get ready to start building your digital marketing empire.

TopRank Marketing’s 2016 Social Media Marketing Predictions

2016-Social-Media-Marketing-Predictions

This year was a rollercoaster for social media marketers.

Let’s take a look at what changed in 2015 alone:

  • Facebook Pages took a big hit on organic views. In order to increase reach to just your existing audience, it is now a pay to play model.
  • Meerkat, Periscope and Blab all launched this year, making real-time video streaming and interaction a reality.
  • Twitter announced late this year that share counts would no longer be available through 3rd party applications, forcing marketers to find other ways to determine how much love their Twitter content was really getting.