Ashley Zeckman

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:

Ashley Zeckman

5 Steps to Perfecting Your Influencer Marketing Waltz

Ashley Zeckman on Feb 15th, 2016     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

Ashley Zeckman on Feb 10th, 2016     Content Marketing, Digital Marketing, Online Marketing

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.

Ashley Zeckman

How to Decode The Connection Between Organic & Paid Content Promotion

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     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     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     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     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     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