Ashley Zeckman

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

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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

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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

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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

 

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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

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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:

Ashley Zeckman

5 Steps to Perfecting Your Influencer Marketing Waltz

Ashley Zeckman     Content Marketing, Influencer Marketing

influencer-marketing-waltz

A well-performed waltz can move those watching it unfold on the dance floor. The audience can get caught up in the seemingly intricate steps and the flow with which the dancers move.

However, one small misstep can change the entire vibe for both the audiences and the dancers. As with dancing, influencer marketing can be both beautiful, and filled with stumbling blocks.

Influencer marketing has become a much larger part of the way that successful brands approach digital marketing. In fact, a recent study from McKinsey found that influencer marketing (which falls under Word of Mouth marketing) shows an average of a 37% higher retention rate and twice the amount of sales when compared to paid advertising on its own.

Ashley Zeckman

Why Your Approach to Digital Marketing Should be Crafted Like a Well-Balanced Breakfast

well-balanced-digital-marketing-strategy

I start each morning the same way: After feeding my spoiled dog his morning delicacy of premium dog food, hamburger, rice and veggies, I go about making my morning meal. I know that this is a luxury that many people will say that they don’t have the time to do and are instead getting ready, herding children and grabbing a pastry on the way out the door. However, I’m one of those people that loves a hearty, flavor-filled meal to start my day.

Many Americans skip breakfast saying they don’t have time or don’t need it, while foregoing what is arguably the meal that gives you fuel for the day, can seriously hinder your ability to be productive during the workday.

Ashley Zeckman

Social Media Images Part 2: Creating Brand Recognition & Learning From Inspiring Brand Examples

Ashley Zeckman     Online Marketing, Social Media

social-media-brand-recognition

Each day customers are becoming increasingly self-directed, and are using search engines, content assets and social media to help guide purchasing decisions. Need proof? The average person now spends approximately 8 hours each day consuming some sort of media.

There is an enormous amount of opportunity for brands today to incorporate strong visuals as part of their overall digital marketing strategy. One of the biggest opportunities is on social networks.

Recent research has found that people only retain 20% of text that is read without visuals. What that should tell you is that in order to help your prospective and customers retain information, you MUST include compelling imagery.

In Social Media Images Part 1 we discussed the proper image sizing, best practices and tools. In part 2 we will explore inspirational brand examples and tips for uncovering imagery.

Ashley Zeckman

Book Review & Interview: Meaningful: The Story of Ideas That Fly

Ashley Zeckman     Book Reviews

meaningful-the-story-of-ideas-that-flyFor every startup that succeeds, many more fail. But what is it that makes the difference between a successful company, and one that just doesn’t quite hit the mark?

Bernadette Jiwa uncovers that and more in her new book, Meaningful: The Story of Ideas That Fly. According to Jiwa, many companies miss an essential opportunity to focus on the customer story and what they want, and instead focus on the story that they want to tell.

The mix of customers and innovation is a key focus for the book and how those two concepts can be used to change the life of the people that use your products or services.