Archives for October 2016

The Importance of Storytelling in Content Marketing #MPB2B

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Once upon a time …

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away …

There once was …

These aren’t just classic fairy tale or movie beginnings. They represent memories. They evoke feelings. They get our minds churning. They signal that an exciting story is about to unfold—and those stories are powerful.

As content marketers, we need to be in the business of storytelling if we want our content to resonate and inspire. As Shane Snow, Chief Creative Officer and Co-Founder of Contently, said during his session Create, Connect, And Optimize Through Storytelling: The New Formula For Content Success at the MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum.

“When you engage in a story, your brain lights up.”

Marketer or Mind-Reader? 3 Ways to Find Out What the B2B Buyer is Thinking #MPB2B

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When it comes to creating quality content that informs, entertains, engages and inspires action from our target audience, we marketers wish we knew one thing: exactly what our audience is thinking.

Unfortunately, that’s not exactly possible. While we’d all like to believe we have amazing mind-reading capabilities, most of us really only have the informed assumptions we’ve built with research and data.

But what if I told you there were a few things you could do to get closer to savant status? Well, it just so happens that I received some nuggets of insights today on that very topic.

During their session Are You A Marketer Or A Mind-Reader? How To Know What Your B2B Buyer Is Really Thinking at MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum in Boston, Aberdeen Group’s Director of Content Strategy Matthew T. Grant and Research Analyst Andrew Moravick shared three options for getting deeper into the minds of B2B buyers.

Learn How to Launch an Integrated Strategy for Account Based Marketing #MPB2B

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“How do we start to synchronize all of the efforts between marketing and sales into a coordinated play through account based marketing?”

That is the question Jon Miller posed to an audience of 150 marketers in today’s first breakout session at MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum. As the CEO and Co-founder of Engagio and Co-founder of Marketo, Jon shared his passion of analytics and his experience in what he refers to as “account based everything.”

As he began, he explained the difference between traditional inbound marketing and account based marketing through a unique analogy:

“The demand generation method we historically used was similar to fishing with nets. We didn’t care which type of fish we caught, we were focused on getting a lot of fish.” He explained.  “It doesn’t make sense to just wait and see if a big fish swims into your net. Account based marketing is fishing with spears.”

A Preview & Exclusive Insights for the 2016 MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum #MPB2B

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This week, members of the TopRank Marketing team are off to Boston to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum. It’s no mystery that this conference put on by Ann Handley and the incredibly talented MarketingProfs team is one of our favorites.

In addition to our CEO Lee Odden speaking at the conference on the topic of influencer marketing, a few of our team members will be live blogging some of our favorite sessions and connecting with other marketers.

Below is a preview of some of the sessions we’re most excited about as well as some exclusive conference insights from MarketingProf’s Marketing Manager, Rob Zaleski.

MPB2B Sessions You Can’t Miss

Session: Sexy Hot B2B Influencer Activation: The Art And Science Of Romancing B2B Industry Influencers To Collaborate, Co-Create, And Advocate Content Using Leading Influencer Marketing Tools

50 Top B2B Marketing Influencers 2016

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First of all, Happy 10th Birthday to our favorite B2B Marketing Influencer, Ann Handley and the MarketingProfs B2B Forum team!

Time flies when you’re working hard, smart and with style – just like Sharon Hudson, Julie Pildner and their team have been for so many years to create a great experience for B2B Forum attendees.

There are a very small number of industry conferences that I look forward to attending year after year and the B2B Forum is at the top of that list. Many other B2B marketing practitioners and leaders that feel the same way and that’s why the content is so good year after year. MarketingProfs has built something solid both in terms of the event and the community.

Mastering the Art of Blogging: 6 Recipes to Help You Become A More Successful Content Creator

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Last Saturday, Ashley Zeckman presented to a packed room of bloggers and shared a presentation titled: Mastering the Art of Blogging: 6 Recipes to Help You Become A More Successful Content Creator at the annual MN Blogger Conference.

The MN Blogger Conference offers a great opportunity for bloggers and content marketers to gather and learn insights on content strategy, search engine optimization, and social media. In her presentation, Ashley shared that unfortunately only 37% of companies have a documented content strategy (according to Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs) which presents an opportunity for content marketers to gain an advantage over competitors. Ashley was able to outline six recipes or strategies to gain your advantage. The six content marketing recipes include:

  1. Discovery Donuts
  2. Content Mission Canapés

Online Marketing News: Infographics in SEO Strategy, Google Pixel & The Value of UX

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Why Infographics Should Be Part of Your SEO Strategy [Infographic]
It isn’t just readers who appreciate the value of a good infographic — search engines do, too. Infographics drive more engagement and social shares, signaling bots that content is relevant to the searcher and is a good answer for what they’re looking for. But how do you create a great infographic? Read on for 6 simple steps to make your own. HubSpot

Google Pixel marketing push is worth $3.2M in ads and much more
Google released Google Pixel, their new smartphone offering, to the market and has made quite a splash. Google has reportedly spent $3.2 million in their initial advertising push for TV ads, and experts in the field believe that’s just the metaphorical tip of the iceberg in terms of spending. Their Pixel product is rumored to be poised to connect with the iPhone, which begs the question, how will this affect marketing and design for mobile devices? TECHMalak

100+ Digital Marketing Tools to Help You Become A More Effective Marketer

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Here’s the honest truth: You’re busy and finding the time to be not only efficient but effective is a constant struggle.

Recent research from MarketingProfs has found that B2B companies plan to increase digital marketing budgets by 12 – 15% year over year. But are the funds being invested in the right place?

A healthy mix of talent, customer experience, process and digital marketing tools are a winning combination for digital marketing success. Below are insights into some of our tool related posts that we’ve gathered to help you choose which free or paid tools are the best fit for your organization.

Conversion Rate Optimization

Improving your conversion rate is a never ending battle that requires testing and optimization. To make your conversion rate optimization efforts easier, this post contains 21 hand-picked tools to get a better ROI on your website.

[eBook] Influencer Marketing: It’s Time to Get Real

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If you’re interested in influencer marketing, let’s do a little thought exercise:

Imagine being invited to a party full of influential people. The moment you walk through the door, you approach the first famous face you recognize and say, “Hey, I just met you and this is crazy, but can you help me move this weekend?”

Imagine the stunned silence…the sideways glance…the “And you are…?” that is sure to follow. The hardest thing to imagine would be that strategy succeeding.

In real life, we take time to get to know someone before asking them for a favor. We take an interest in them as a person. We try to do something nice for them. After a good long time, we might lay a big ask on them—once we could make a compelling case for doing so.

Social Media Marketing: 7 Opportunities for B2B Brands to Rock Pinterest

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While other visual social media platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat are getting most of the press these days, Pinterest is still a growing platform that offers B2B brands and marketers an opportunity to grow and connect with their audience, drive brand awareness and website traffic, and enhance their overall social media marketing strategy.

But despite its potential, Pinterest hasn’t exactly been embraced by B2B. In fact, just 14% of B2B marketers say they use Pinterest to distribute their content, according to Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs’ B2B Content Marketing 2017: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America report.

One big reason for this may be that B2B companies struggle to find a way to fit in on a visual platform like Pinterest. Oftentimes, a B2B company’s products and services don’t always have a recognizable physical presence or give off an exciting vibe—which B2C brands typically have going for them.

Why These Digital Marketers Swiped Right on Working at TopRank Marketing

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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.

Online Marketing News: Organic CTR Hacks, Annoying Social Habits and Expanded PPC Ads

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Infographic: 11 Amazing Hacks that will Boost Your Organic Click-Through Rates
Organic search is one of the most important traffic channels for digital marketers. Optimizing your organic click through rate can only help increase the amount of organic traffic you see, and actions taken by those who arrive on site. But how exactly can one increase their organic CTR? This infographic has 11 tips to get you started. Search Engine Land

New Study Looks at What Makes People Unfollow Brands on Social
Your social followers are more likely to convert than those consumers who don’t follow your brand, so it stands to reason that a good marketer wants to keep them around. So, what annoying habits cause users to unfollow? Being too promotional, posting too frequently or too infrequently and sharing irrelevant content. Social Media Today