Nick Ehrenberg

Nick Ehrenberg

Influencer Marketing: Should You Pursue High Profile or Socially Authoritative Brand Advocates?

Nick Ehrenberg on Sep 3rd, 2015     Content Marketing, Influencer Marketing


We’ve been talking a lot about influencers lately – and with good reason. The right mix of thought leaders and valuable content can catapult any integrated marketing campaign into vast new heights and audiences. Finding and connecting with those ideal influencers, however, has always been the challenge.

While there are multiple discovery tools available for influencer marketing research, identifying your influencers is only part of the battle. The next part is reconciling them with your overall program objectives. It’s here that we’ve witnessed disconnects between marketing teams and their executive leadership – and where the need for executive buy-in is crucial for any influencer marketing campaign. Executives may crave big names – chief executives of major industry organizations who may/may not have an active social presence.

Nick Ehrenberg

How to Make Free Stock Images Work for Content Marketing

Nick Ehrenberg     Content Marketing, Visual Marketing

stock images, success, content marketing

Visual content is king, but what happens if you don’t have a massive library of brand images to use for your online content? Do you try a simple Google image search and grab something that might be approved for commercial use? Or, do you simply go image-less and rely on your copy to carry the weight?

If you’re pillaging images from Google’s regular search, stop right now. Google might tell you that it’s approved for commercial use, but there are other resources that provide greater assurances (and more relief for your legal team).

In this post I’ll show you where to find (truly) free stock images, and how to use those images for the best visual impact on your content marketing.

Nick Ehrenberg

How to Be Creative AND Brand Compliant in Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing

Ask social media managers about “brand standards” and you might elicit some uncomfortable expressions. Brand standards, created to ensure uniformity with brand messaging and imagery, can sometimes feel like restrictions for creative social development.

“Do I really need to include all these brand logos and elements in every social message?”

The answer (most often) is yes, but don’t let this dampen your spirits. Maintaining a consistent brand identity is vital for long-term business growth, and you can still flex your creative social muscle within brand guidelines. Here are some tips that can help you stretch your brand’s identity to its creative peaks:

Nick Ehrenberg

How to Make B2B Marketing Stories Bigger With Social Media Microcontent

Nick Ehrenberg     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

storytelling in b2b marketing

Storytelling is a fundamentally human experience. We love to tell stories, ranging from whimsical fantasy to tense political thrillers. Some psychologists believe storytelling is actually necessary for human survival — we are hard-wired to respond to compelling narratives.

Storytelling is frequently cited as a best practice for content marketers, but what happens when your publishing space is limited? B2B social media marketers only have enough space for 1-2 sentences per post, so how can they tell a story with such little space?

When it comes to effective B2B social storytelling, it’s not about shrinking the story to fit within character limits. Rather, it’s about using social tools to make the story bigger. Here’s how you can make your story bigger on social networks:

Visualize the message

social media marketing, star wars, cisco

Nick Ehrenberg

Welcome to the Funnel, We Have Leads & Names – Jason Miller of LinkedIn at MnSummit

GnR Jason Miller MnSummit

Photo credit: Jason Miller

If there is anyone that can leverage a rock and roll metaphor for content marketing, it’s Jason Miller @JasonMillerCA, Senior Manager, Content Marketing at LinkedIn (LinkedIn is a TopRank client).

And at the first ever Minnesota Search Marketing Association Summit, he did not disappoint.

Content marketing can often seem like a never ending sea of songs, and only the best tunes emerge as a hit. To separate the harmony from the noise, companies need to start with a content strategy that begins at the top of the funnel. With high-level and in-demand concepts, marketers can attract customers in droves, like fans to GnR show. Attracting attention and creating demand at the top of the funnel will keep your content tour rich with new fans. But how?

Nick Ehrenberg

Beyond Newsjacking: Pop Culture in Content Marketing with Movies, TV and Memes

Content Marketing, Real-Time Marketing

The expression “newsjacking” has been popularized by David Meerman Scott and the available material on the topic is near limitless from case studies of Oreo’s Dunk in the Dark Twitter ad to missed opportunities by Poland Spring.

Related to newsjacking is the practice of leveraging popular culture references in brand messaging. Movies, music, memes and more can be deftly integrated into your social media and content marketing programs to provide an entertaining context to otherwise boring business information. Beyond attaching to something that’s popular on TV, the best applications of popular culture references find creative ways to make a connection back to the brand’s products or services.

Nick Ehrenberg

The Hashtag Test: Best and Worst Practices for Social Media Marketers

Nick Ehrenberg     Online Marketing, Social Media


Hashtags are wonderful social media marketing tools. They can highlight trends, tie campaigns to chosen keywords, and isolate conversations. The allure of the hashtag is strong, especially for brands that desire a customized platform for their content. Twitter (and, to a lesser extent, Facebook, Instagram and Google+) thrives on hashtags for everything from primetime TV shows to organic political movements.

However, like all good things in life, the hashtag should be used in moderation. The pound sign carries great power, but only if deployed responsibly. TechCrunch’s Jordan Crook bluntly referred to users who abuse the hashtag as “hash-holes.” Avoiding that label requires an understanding of where the hashtag is most beneficial in messaging – and where it should never be deployed.

Nick Ehrenberg

How to Make the Most of Vine’s 6 Seconds #NMX

Vine, social marketing, NMXDoes your business utilize Vine for micro-content creation? The nascent video social network may not seem like a business-friendly target for social marketing, but there are several opportunities for engagement and retention within it. We may be conditioned to use Instagram or YouTube to tell longer video stories, but Vine’s six-second limit forces marketers to truly be creative with their time.

What makes a good, business-centric Vine video? Spud Hilton, Martin Jones, Jon Skogmo, Josh Entman and Richard Spalding explained the key traits in an NMX panel session.

Emphasizing mobile social marketing first

Vine is inherently mobile – they may have recently added a Windows client, but its foundation stems from mobile devices. That itself presents a unique opportunity for brands. Spalding noted that content created on Vine is instantaneous, spontaneous, and quickly shareable. Add the connection with Twitter, and you have a large audience at the ready.

Nick Ehrenberg

How to Build Your Brand’s Voice Through Blogging #NMX

Branding, #NMX, content marketing, online marketingWhen you think of your brand’s online voice, what comes to mind? Perhaps it is embodied by the people running your social media accounts, or by the marketing professionals that craft content for your website. In any case, your online brand goes far beyond the logo – and it needs to be nurtured with a robust content marketing strategy.

Digital strategist Luvvie Ajayi used her NMX session to stress the importance of identifying and optimizing brand voice and reputation. Businesses that don’t tend to their online identities risk appearing isolated and disconnected from their audiences.

The process for building or repairing an organization’s online identity begins with an analysis of the current situation: How are people talking about your brand now?

Nick Ehrenberg

How to Get Thousands of Facebook Fans in 6 Months #NMX

Social Marketing, Andrea Vahl, NMXWhen I first wrote this headline, it almost sounded too good to be true. Sure, you can generate Facebook fans via random followings, scattered postings, and local word-of-mouth. Eventually, you’ll run out of steam – and your company page will run out of influence. There is a better way to handle social marketing on Facebook – and it can bring thousands of active people into your community.

Social media consultant Andrea Vahl presented such a plan at NMX, focusing on the harmonious relationship between content strategy and efficient Facebook page design. You won’t even need to raid the company budget much – Vahl emphasized that these tips are made for businesses with little room for additional social marketing funding.

Here are Vahl’s 5 easy steps to skyrocket your Facebook brand page:

Nick Ehrenberg

Unleash Your Inner Influencer with Content Marketing #NMX

Chris Ducker, Content Marketing, InfluencerEveryone wants to be valued for their insights, and today’s content marketing-fueled age presents multiple opportunities for people to become influencers. I covered how to crowdsource these influencers in an earlier post, but what if you wanted to become one yourself? What does it mean to be an influencer? How do you reach a point where people in your industry are clamoring for your perspective? Finally, how do you build your business from such influence?

It’s not as difficult as you think, and it all revolves around efficient content marketing and re-purposing. Serial entrepreneur Chris Ducker outlined the process in an NMX super session, charting the path for people to build their influence.

Ducker, author of The New Business Manifesto, presented a plan for entrepreneurs to build personal/brand influence with content marketing, eventually seeking to launch a business from that attention.

Nick Ehrenberg

How to Create a Mobile Content Marketing Strategy

Nick Ehrenberg     BlogWorld NMX, Content Marketing, Mobile

mobile content strategy, Greg Hickman, #NMXWhen was the last time your checked your mobile device? Ten seconds ago? A minute? An hour? (Wow, you have strong willpower.) Whatever the case, you know that mobile is already a significant influence in our lives. For businesses, it’s fast becoming a necessity for content marketing: 57 percent of mobile users wouldn’t recommend a business with a poorly-designed mobile website.

However, creating an effective mobile content strategy involves more than repurposing desktop content to fit on a smaller screen. The magic formula, according to MobileMixed podcast host Greg Hickman, involves a restructuring of control between businesses and customers.