Ashley Zeckman

Ashley Zeckman

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

Ashley Zeckman on Feb 2nd, 2016     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 on Feb 1st, 2016     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.

Ashley Zeckman

How to Decode The Connection Between Organic & Paid Content Promotion

Ashley Zeckman on Jan 27th, 2016     Content Marketing, Online Advertising, Online Marketing

Organic-and-paid-content-promotion

We often have new customers ask us what the best approach is for breaking the code of content promotion. Is it purely organic reach, social amplification or is paid promotion the way to go?

The short answer is, all of these and more.

When content marketing first hit the market, brands used it as an opportunity to follow a formula for something they already knew, online advertising. Banner ads, spam emails and other forms of advertising were a precursor to the more recognized forms that we see today. In the mid-nineties, brands were spending upwards of $11,000 a week for banner advertisements.

Ashley Zeckman

5 Opportunities to Tell Stories & Touch Hearts with Visual Content Marketing

Ashley Zeckman on Jan 12th, 2016     Content Marketing

visual-content-marketing

Do you remember when great content marketing meant your copy was properly optimized for search engines so your customers could find you when searching?

Today’s customers have raised the bar, and it’s time that content marketers follow suit. As marketers, we have a unique opportunity to create a more one-to-one experience with our customers and prospects through the use of compelling visuals.

Recent research from Content Marketing Institute has found that content containing relevant images gets 94% more views than content without. Additionally, social content containing visuals typically receives 150% more retweets when scheduled using tools like Buffer.

Ashley Zeckman

How An Integrated Approach Can Help You Become Content Marketing Royalty in 2016

Ashley Zeckman on Jan 6th, 2016     Content Marketing

content-marketing-royalty

The stories that we are told as children are largely focused around kings, queens, princes and princesses. These characters are beautiful, intelligent and live a life that others can only dream of.

Today’s royalty take somewhat of a different form. They are marketers that inevitably stand out from the crowd due to their digital marketing creativity, smarts and success. But what is it that makes these marketers royalty?

The key to becoming content royalty in 2016 is taking an integrated approach to content marketing, or a “content plus” model. This approach shows a level of content marketing maturity and looks beyond content as a singular element, and combines it with other digital marketing services and best practices.

Ashley Zeckman

16 Digital Marketing Resolutions to Make & Keep in 2016

Ashley Zeckman on Jan 4th, 2016     Digital Marketing

2016-Digital-Marketing-Resolutions

Ah, the dreaded New Year’s resolutions. Every year, just like clockwork we spend time putting together a list of things that we’ll do better or differently in the coming year. And just like clockwork, that list is soon forgotten.

When it comes to your digital marketing, you can’t afford to fall into the same bad habits that you may have in previous years due to the increasingly competitive landscape. Marketers today are getting increasingly savvy and motivated to beat the competition.

The important part of making digital marketing resolutions is that they are things that you can reasonably accomplish. You could spend time putting together a list of all the of things that you dream to do in 2016, but may not have the time, funds or resources to get them accomplished. That is a surefire way to find your digital marketing resolutions in the wastebasket.

Ashley Zeckman

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

Ashley Zeckman on Dec 31st, 2015     Online Marketing, TopRank Agency News

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.

Ashley Zeckman

TopRank Marketing’s 2016 Influencer Marketing Predictions

Ashley Zeckman on Dec 30th, 2015     B2B Marketing, Influencer Marketing

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

Ashley Zeckman

TopRank Marketing’s 2016 Content Marketing Predictions

Ashley Zeckman on Dec 23rd, 2015     Content Marketing

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.

Ashley Zeckman

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

Ashley Zeckman on Dec 22nd, 2015     LinkedIn, Online Marketing

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.

Ashley Zeckman

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

Ashley Zeckman on Dec 17th, 2015     Digital Marketing, Online 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.

Ashley Zeckman

TopRank Marketing’s 2016 Social Media Marketing Predictions

Ashley Zeckman on Dec 16th, 2015     Online Marketing, Social Media

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.