Ashley Zeckman

Ashley Zeckman

7 Tips for Incorporating Snapchat into Your Marketing Strategy

Ashley Zeckman on Apr 19th, 2016     Online Marketing

snapchat-marketing-tips

Let’s face it, Snapchat is an application that has many of us scratching our heads and wondering if it’s simply something the “kids are doing these days” or if there is valuable as part of a marketing strategy.

The good news is, Snapchat has faced tremendous growth since launching a couple years ago. In fact, there are an average of 9,000 snaps per second and over 8 billion video views on the platform per day.

So, how fitting that the session I attended about Snapchat Marketing at Social Media Marketing World yesterday started strong with the panelists sending videos of the audience to their respective Snapchat audiences.

In this session, led by Carlos Gil of BMC Software, these brand marketers and Snapchat influencers shared some wisdom on how they use Snapchat to create connections and build engagement.

Ashley Zeckman

Book Review: 5 Takeaways From Scott Brinker’s Hacking Marketing + Bonus Author Interview

Ashley Zeckman on Apr 13th, 2016     Book Reviews, Online Marketing

scott-brinker-book-review

Digital marketing is a very competitive race. The team that is nimble, creative and working smarter will almost always win and keep the business in the end.

Many tools and processes have surfaced over the years that can help marketers improve their efficiency and deliverables. However, there are still many antiquated processes that still exist that may be hindering success.

Scott Brinker’s new book Hacking Marketing: Agile Practices to Make Marketing Smarter, Faster and More Innovative takes a much needed look at the areas of marketing that are broken and ways that they can be fixed.

Ashley Zeckman

Keeping it Real with Content Marketing: Why Integrity, Storytelling & Creativity Reign Supreme

Ashley Zeckman on Apr 12th, 2016     Content Marketing, Online Marketing

KEEPIG-IT-REAL-WITH-CONTENT-MARKETING

Marketing is often seen as a game. A game in which the marketers are the strategists and the customers are the pawns. Unfortunately, that is a game in which nobody wins. Marketers may feel a quick rush due to their success but customers that feel duped or mislead will surely, and quickly spread news of foul marketing practices.

There is no shortcut to providing value to customers through your marketing. In fact, now more than ever self-directed buyers are relying on the content they read online to lead their purchasing decisions and if something “feels fishy” they’ll quickly move on to a more reputable source.

Because of the amount of content being created today, that also means that not only integrity, but creativity and storytelling are an incredibly important part of creating content that connects your customers to your brand.

Ashley Zeckman

7 Influential Software Marketers Creating Great Content (& Where You Can Find it)

Ashley Zeckman on Apr 11th, 2016     Online Marketing

influential-software-marketers

How often have you met someone that walks the walk, but can’t quite talk the talk? Chances are, we’ve all encountered marketers that fit that bill. Fortunately, there are many influential marketers that are consistently creating great content that showcases their expertise.

Upwards of 60% of B2B marketers have stated that creating engaging content is their top challenge. However, that does not seem to be an issue for the rockstars on this list.

This is by no means a complete list, but merely a sample of how some of today’s most influential software marketers that are putting their content where their expertise is.

Michael Gerard

Michael Gerard

Chief Marketing Officer, Curata
@michaelgerard

Ashley Zeckman

Marketers Unite: Join us for April’s Mega Social Media Marketing Conference #SMMW16

Ashley Zeckman on Apr 7th, 2016     Social Media, Social Media Marketing World

smmw16-preview

Social media marketing is no longer seen as the passing fad it once was. In fact, brands have invested billions of dollars trying to build a social community that would ideally build awareness, engage potential customers and eventually lead to sales.

However, to this day over 65% of marketers are still challenged to assess the effectiveness of their social media activities and 62% are still struggling to design an effective social media strategy (eMarketer).

It’s clear that while there is opportunity with social media marketing, there is still much to be learned. Later this month some of the TopRank Marketing team will be attending Social Media Marketing World in San Diego. This conference is the largest of its kind and will not disappoint social media marketers looking for a way to improve effectiveness and create a more effective social media strategy.

Below are just a portion of the sessions that we are most excited to attend and cover at the upcoming conference. Let’s dive in!

Ashley Zeckman

7 Tools to Uncover Customer Needs & Map the Customer Journey to Create Better Experiences

Ashley Zeckman on Apr 4th, 2016     Integrated Marketing, Online Marketing

map-the-customer-journey

Marketers have become increasingly focused on the importance of understanding the customer journey and using data to lead their marketing strategies. Salesforce recently reported that 86% of senior-level marketers say that creating a cohesive customer journey is absolutely critical.

However, knowing where to start can be a daunting endeavour. But not taking action has the potential to put companies at serious risk as Gartner estimated that nearly 90% of companies expect to compete mostly on the basis of customer experience starting this year.

Ashley Zeckman

[eBook] Influencer Engagement: 15 Ways to Fail & 25 Ways to WIN

Ashley Zeckman on Mar 31st, 2016     Influencer Marketing, Online Marketing

Influencer Engagement - 15 fails and 25 wins

Schadenfreude (n.): Pleasure derived by someone from another person’s misfortune.

Who doesn’t like watching a good fail? As long as the subject isn’t seriously injured, we can all enjoy a hearty laugh at the guy who slips on the banana peel, the woman who gets her shoe caught in a grate, or the kid getting bopped by the family cat. Even if you’re the one who fails, you know eventually it will be a funny story you can tell at parties.

While these minor pratfalls are all in good fun, failing at influencer engagement isn’t as entertaining. Instead of a few bruises and an amusing anecdote, an influencer outreach fail can end your campaign before it starts. And there are far more ways to fail than you might imagine.

Ashley Zeckman

Learn Where Influencer Marketing Fits in the B2B Customer Journey

Ashley Zeckman on Mar 28th, 2016     Content Marketing, Influencer Marketing

influencer-marketing-b2b-customer-journey

When you lose a potential customer to a competitor it can leave you reeling with questions and wondering what they did to set themselves apart and how they did it. Companies that work hard to be the best answer wherever their customers are looking and build trust and credibility early in the sales cycle are typically those that win new business when it comes time for customers to make a decision.

One way that brands can begin building trust and credibility early on with prospects is to incorporate influencers into content meant to represent different stages of the buying cycle. In fact, recent research has found that 51% of marketers believe that incorporating influencers into their marketing helps them get better customers.

Ashley Zeckman

7 Weird Social Media Marketing Habits All Marketers Need to Break NOW

Ashley Zeckman on Mar 21st, 2016     Social Media, Social Media Advertising

7-weird-social-media-marketing-habits

We all have bad habits. Whether it’s biting our nails, constantly driving like we’re on a racetrack or something you’d rather not admit to, we’ve all got them. Some are easy to break while others quickly find their way back into our lives. The same can be said for social media marketing habits. Once you get in a routine, it can be hard to break habits that are helping, but may possibly be hurting your brand.

Within social media marketing there is a lot of opportunity for brands to create great experiences for their communities, create brand affinity and influence purchasing decisions. A recent study found that 84% of CEOs and VPs say that they use social media to make purchasing decisions.

Ashley Zeckman

Book Review & Interview: 3 Marketing Lessons From The Big Data-Driven Business

Ashley Zeckman on Mar 17th, 2016     Digital Marketing, Online Marketing

Russell-Glass-and-Sean-Callahan-Book-Review

How many times have you made a purchase either online or in a store and found that you either received recommendations or coupons after your purchase that seemed to be exactly what you were looking for? That experience is one example of how companies are using big data to create a better experience and more effectively target buyers based on previous behaviors.

The sheer amount of trackable activity that exists today has begun to make data collection and analysis a much more manageable task, and the impact is in the numbers. Research has found that for a Fortune 1000 company, increasing data accessibility by just 10% has the potential to result in more than $65 million dollars in additional revenue.

Ashley Zeckman

7 Ways Sales Emails Fail & 7 Ways to Win

Ashley Zeckman on Mar 16th, 2016     Email Marketing, Online Marketing

 

7-ways-to-win

Like you, my email inbox is filled with email marketing newsletters, requests for information, spammy emails that managed to make it through my filter and the urgent things I actually need to respond to. Each day as I watch the number of unread emails grow, it takes more and more convincing for me to open the emails that do not come from people I know.

In my role as the Director of Agency marketing for TopRank Marketing, I receive a steady influx of emails each day from sales reps at various companies trying to meet with me about how their solution will make me more effective at my job. Nine times out of ten, I have had no previous contact with these reps, nor have I signed up to receive emails from them.

Ashley Zeckman

Heidi Bullock of Marketo Helps Uncover Ways to Engage Self-Directed Buyers

Ashley Zeckman on Feb 23rd, 2016     Content Marketing, Marketing PR Conferences, Online Marketing

heidi-bullock-marketo

Last week at the Content2Conversion conference, Heidi Bullock, VP of Demand Generation at Marketo took the stage and covered a topic that is top of mind for all marketers. That is, how to create the right message at the right time to meet the needs of customers.

Today’s self-directed buyers typically go through up to 90% of their purchasing journey on their own. Which means that marketers need to find a way to build credibility, without even speaking with customers directly. Below we’ll discover some best practices for creating engaging to better meet the needs of self-directed buyers.

Content Marketing for Self-Directed Buyers

According to a 2016 report from MarketingProfs and Content Marketing Institute, B2B marketers list “producing engaging content” as their top challenge, followed closely by “measuring content effectiveness” and “producing content consistently”. To help with this top need, Heidi provided a formula for creating engaging content: