Archives for May 2017

How to Inspire Your B2B Audience with Killer Content Marketing

B2B content marketers: It’s time to get over our inferiority complex.

Yes, the B2C folks are over there marketing cool stuff like basketball shoes and energy drinks, while we’re stuck with cloud software solutions and medical imaging machinery.

Yes, we’re marketing to business professionals on a buying committee that has to commit to million-dollar deals. Which would buy a lot of basketball shoes and energy drinks.

But that does not mean B2C has more fun. It doesn’t mean B2B is boring. It doesn’t mean we have to play it safe.

Can B2B content be as compelling, as emotional, as vibrant—let’s face it—as cool as B2C?

As we say in Minnesota, yabetcha.

CMWorld In-Flight Content Guide: Creating a Memorable Content Experience

Today’s modern customer is OBSESSED with experience. Everything from the ability to quickly order an Uber through a mobile app to spending hard-earned money on trips and adventures, not your typical investments.

The customer expectations for content marketing experiences are no different. In fact, a recent study by  Kampyle found that 87% of customers think brands need to put more effort into providing a consistent experience.

So now that you’ve prepped for your content marketing journey by diving into our first eBook, In-Flight Content Guide: Prepping for Your Content Marketing Expedition, it’s time to create a great experience.

To help set you down the path to creating a great “in-flight”content  experience for your customers, TopRank Marketing and Content Marketing Institute have partnered to bring you yet another go-to-guide from some of the brilliant minds speaking at Content Marketing World in September.

8 Fundamental Elements of a Successful Social Media Marketing Strategy

Social media is a staple marketing tactic for nearly every business, helping brands build awareness, share and interact with customers and prospects, and create important touch points in the changing customer journey.

However, both green and seasoned marketers are still trying to nail down what a successful social media marketing strategy looks like. According to Social Media Examiner’s 2016 industry report, 90% of marketers say social media is important to their business. However, just 41% say they’re able to measure the ROI of their social activities.

As any successful marketer will tell you, the road to success begins by physically documenting your strategy. As for what needs to be included, below you’ll find some essential elements to consider.

The Secret to Creating Scalable, Quality Content and Better CX – Infographic

Content Experience Influence

A woman walks into a retail store and looks around, not finding what she’s there for. She approaches a sales associate and asks, “Excuse me, can you show me where the top of the funnel is? I need to be confronted by every touchpoint of your predetermined sales process before I can purchase something”.

Not one of your customers is doing this.

So why do brands continue to drive content marketing programs based on a linear, sequential buying journey? With so many consumers numb to brand messaging and increasingly blocking advertising, how can marketers do a better job of connecting with and engaging customers with content?

Digital Marketing News: Mobile Marketing Facts, Augmented Reality on Snapchat and More Google Updates

104 Facts You Didn’t Know About #Mobile #Marketing (Infographic)
There’s a lot to know about mobile marketing. To help keep fellow marketers up to speed, this infographic shares 104 facts about mobile marketing including usage, commerce, advertising and email. Case in point: mobile marketing is a key player in all marketing strategies. Walkertecharts.com

Snapchat Releases Sponsored World Lenses, Which Allow Brands to Augment Reality
Snapchat is now bringing ads to the real word with Sponsored Lenses. This new feature builds on Snapchat’s world lenses, and brands like Warner Bros., Netflix and Dunkin’ Donuts are turning these 3D graphics into ads. What will they do next? Adweek

Social Media Marketing Report: Does Your Engagement Measure Up?

If I had to sum up marketing’s relationship with social media in a single nerdy meme, it’d be this:

Yes, much as Obi-Wan Kenobi was dismayed to find that Anakin had turned to the dark side, many marketers feel betrayed by social media. Each platform offered the potential to build an audience and deliver content straight to their feeds. They were supposed to be a powerful tool for organic reach. But one by one, they fell to the dark side of the algorithm.

But don’t throw away your social media channels just yet. After all, if you strike them down, they will become more powerful (sorry, that’s the last Star Wars reference). Instead, let’s have a clear-eyed assessment of what organic engagement looks like on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, and see where to go from here.

8 Examples of Brands Using Instagram to Showcase Company Culture

In today’s business world, a strong company culture is no longer a “nice to have.” It’s a business imperative. In fact, according to Deloitte’s 2016 Global Human Capital Trends survey, 82% of respondents said they believe culture is a potential competitive advantage.

“Few factors contribute more to business success than culture—the system of values, beliefs, and behaviors that shape how real work gets done within an organization.” Deloitte states. “Culture brings together the implicit and explicit reward systems that define how an organization works in practice, no matter what an organizational chart, business strategy, or corporate mission statement may say.”

As a result, showcasing company culture has become a useful marketing tactic, with brands often using social media—especially Instagram—to get the word out.

5 Essential Insights on Influence and the Future of Customer Engagement

Future Marketing Influential

When planning for 2017 and into 2018, many marketers have placed a high priority on customer experience and the content that helps make the best customer engagement happen.

At the same time, companies are challenged to create a variety of engaging content on a consistent basis coupled by the fact that consumers are less trusting of brand communications and advertising.

There are many suggested solutions to the challenges of creating consistent, high quality experiences for customers that range from integrated technology platforms to cognitive marketing applications incorporating big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning. This is one of the key roles that a savvy agency can play for brands: to help develop a digital marketing strategy and corresponding technologies needed.

#CMWorld Interview: Amanda Todorovich Dishes on Creating Impactful Content for Healthcare

Each year, Content Marketing World receives hundreds of nominations for the coveted Content Marketer of the Year award. Past winners include Vishal Khanna of Wake Forest Innovations (2015), Bryan Rhoads, Intel Digital Media Labs (2014) and Julie Fleischer of Kraft Foods Group (2013).

In 2016, this award went to another truly deserving content marketer, Amanda Todorovich Director of Content Marketing, Cleveland Clinic. Amanda and her team at the Cleveland Clinic have proven that content marketing really works for healthcare organizations. In fact, their blog has been named as the most visited hospital blog in the entire country!

If you’re like me, you likely wondered “How does she do it?”. Fortunately for you (and myself), I was able to steal away some of Amanda’s valuable time to gain insights into everything from how her team has managed to develop such a successful content strategy to what an average day looks like in her world.

Digital Marketing News: Generational Social Media, QR Code Comeback and Bing’s Chatbots

Social Media Use by Generation [Infographic]
Preferences vary by generation – this certainly isn’t a well kept secret in the marketing world. So how do you create a message, and choose a medium, that will resonate with your target audience? This infographic shares some ideas. MarketingProfs

Pinterest’s object-recognizing Lens feature now scans QR codes, too
QR codes, like the common cold, never seem to really go away. Pinterest announced this week that their Lens feature will now allow users to scan QR codes that lead to web pages within the Pinterest app, eliminating the need to download a special app to do so. MarketingLand

#CMWorld Interview: Adele Revella Weighs In On Connecting B2B Content to Customers

The 2017 Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs B2B content marketing research uncovered some fascinating insights this year. One of the most interesting aspects of this research was the techniques B2B marketers are leveraging to better understand their target audiences.

And the techniques they aren’t using.

When asked which techniques they used to better understand their target audience(s) for content marketing purposes, “Auditing Existing Buyer Data” didn’t even crack the top ten (at 24% of respondents). Now there’s a real head-scratcher.

So what were the top 3?

  • Website analysis (58%)
  • Keyword search (57%)
  • Employee feedback (50%)

While all of these techniques are wonderfully helpful, I’d gamble they aren’t giving B2B marketers the ammunition they need when it comes time to flesh out an editorial calendar.

New eBook: 30 Essential Ingredients to Stock Your Content Marketing Kitchen

My mother was the chief cook in our household. It was a thankless job. Her customers were three kids with radically different ideas about what was edible and what was, like, totally grody.

When we asked what was for dinner—one of her least favorite questions—she would frequently answer, “Well, we could make peanut butter sandwiches, if we had any bread. Or any peanut butter.”

In other words, regardless of what your diners are craving, you can only make what you have the ingredients to make.

Mom’s little proverb holds true for content marketing, too. We have finnicky readers to please, people who won’t settle for filet mignon when they really want a classic PB&J. They’re increasingly demanding a more personalized menu: Research shows that over 200 million people use ad blockers to cut out content that isn’t to their taste. To make a crowd-pleasing recipe, you have to stock the right ingredients.