B2B Marketing – Online Marketing Blog – TopRank® http://www.toprankblog.com Wed, 17 Jan 2018 11:30:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.2 4 Tips for an Out-Of-This-World B2B Marketing Agency Partnership http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/11/out-of-this-world-agency-partnership/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/11/out-of-this-world-agency-partnership/#respond Tue, 07 Nov 2017 11:30:56 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=23214 Who was the first person to set foot on the moon? Of course the answer is Neil Armstrong — who else? But, actually, the question really is “who else?” In order for Armstrong to walk the moon, there were innumerable individuals who contributed something large or small to get him there. His mom and dad, [...]

The post 4 Tips for an Out-Of-This-World B2B Marketing Agency Partnership appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

]]>

Who was the first person to set foot on the moon? Of course the answer is Neil Armstrong — who else?

But, actually, the question really is “who else?” In order for Armstrong to walk the moon, there were innumerable individuals who contributed something large or small to get him there. His mom and dad, Mission Control, fellow astronaut and crew member Buzz Aldrin, a nation of taxpayers — and the list goes on.

What’s the point? Simply put, there’s no doubt that Armstrong was an amazing pioneer, but he didn’t get to the moon — or back home — alone. It took a team.

Being a marketing pioneer in the B2B technology space is no different. You need to have skills and ambition of your own, but you also need an amazing team by your side.

“The technology industry is synonymous with rapid pace and constant change, and technology marketers are expected to lead that change,” trusted colleague and client Angela Schwecke, Senior Director of Global Audience Marketing at SAP SuccessFactors, said. “Success depends on many factors, but the most important is choosing the right team, not the least of which is your agency.”

So, how can you be sure you have the right team aboard your mission? Let’s blast off and explore the four critical characteristics of an outstanding partnership with a marketing agency, plus snag some pointers from marketers like you on how to make your client-agency partnership soar.

Always-On, “Snoopy Cap” Communication

It’s no secret that astronauts must wear protective, pressurized suits to keep them safe whenever they exit a spacecraft. And as you might expect, constant communication with their team is critical. So, their space suit comes equipped with a Communications Carrier Assembly, which is often called: the “Snoopy Cap.”

Just like astronauts must stay in direct, always-on communication during spacewalks for safety and effectiveness, so too must a client and agency to be successful.

In the B2B space, you’re likely fielding communications from a variety of stakeholders inside and outside of your Mission Control center. As a result, you need an agency partner who can cut to the chase — with good news and opportunities.

Expect your agency to regularly share what is happening with your results. In a perfect world, your results would always give you over-the-moon warm-fuzzies. But if the results aren’t where you’d like them, expect your agency to acknowledge that directly and bring you an action plan. A great partner should serve up solutions — not problems.

Flight Surgeon Trust

In the early days of space exploration, astronauts-in-training avoided their flight surgeons at all costs. Just one sneeze in front of their doc might get them grounded. Today, things are different. Flight surgeons have strong partnerships with astronauts. From riding along during training exercises to flying in T38s, flight surgeons do everything they can to ensure astronauts stay on flight status. Once in flight, astronauts can feel safe putting their health in their flight surgeon’s hands because they’ve become a trusted partner.

In our experience, top-performing marketing programs are rooted in a similar, strong, trusting client-agency partnership. To select an agency, listen to your gut during the sales process. If you’re feeling uncomfortable or pressured up front, it might not be a fit.

Then look for signals that instill confidence from Day 1 of your partnership:

  • Are they asking critical questions to completely understand your objectives, priority metrics, audience, industry, brand voice, key messages and more?
  • Do they understand your marketing mix and how their contribution fits in?
  • Are they genuinely interested in how your brand can solve problems for your customers?
  • Are they familiar with the intricacies of your industry?

Once you’re feeling comfortable with your agency, don’t be afraid to give them the joystick. You hired them for a reason. Let them push boundaries and you might be surprised how high you can soar.

Mission-Specialist Thought Leadership

A “mission specialist” is an astronaut with specific expertise who comes aboard a spaceflight to lead a particular research project. These individuals may not be able to fly a space shuttle, but they are the absolute best at what they do.

Expect your agency partner to be the mission specialist and a strategic thought leader on your team. Esteemed marketer and client, Katie Levinson, Senior Product Marketing Manager at LinkedIn Elevate, said partnering with a strategic thought leader is her top priority when solidifying a long-term partnership.

“I like agencies who bring fresh new ideas to the table, and the ideas are based on the goals of my business and their knowledge of my target audience,” she said.

Schwecke also added that your agency partner in the B2B tech space should be able to help you lead marketing change, have their pulse on modern marketing hallmarks and be able to create star-studded communications.

“Tech marketers must look for an agency that not only embraces, but embodies change,” she said. “Many agencies will claim to have B2B tech capabilities, but spend time drilling down on those details.”

“Look for a team that embraces modern marketing hallmarks like digital, social, and influencer marketing,” Schwecke added. “You’ll be able to find a few. But rarer still, will be the agency that understands the how those marketing elements can be combined to create new and disruptive communications. If they are passionate about that, you have a winner.”


Tech marketers must look for an agency partner that embraces & embodies change. @aschwecke
Click To Tweet


Your agency should continue to earn their seat in the cockpit by bringing forward new ideas and by iterating on tactics based on learnings. You don’t want an agency that is going to sit still.

“We Have Lift Off” Execution

Perhaps one of the most iconic quotes from the launch of the Apollo 11 mission — the mission that would land humans on the moon — is “We have lift off.” As it relates to choosing a trusted agency partner, the former characteristics discussed don’t mean much if your agency can’t execute.

Many agencies can show you a beautiful presentation, but if they are not driving results aligned with your objectives then what’s the point?

When it comes to selecting an agency that can execute the mission, Levinson said: “I look for attention to detail, creative thinking, and the ability to stick to a timeline (or beat it) as key for success long-term.”

She also noted it was important for an agency to drive optimization after tactics are implemented:

“Along with this, the ability to optimize content and other programs through performance metrics is key,” Levinson said. “It’s not enough to launch a program — an agency needs to help you understand if it’s successful and how to make the next project even better.”


The ability to optimize through performance metrics is key. - @kplevins on working with an agency
Click To Tweet


Look for a partnership where your agency leads the charge with thoughtful execution, quickly followed by measurement and optimization.  

Astronaut Training Never Stops

No astronaut can be flight-ready without intensive, ongoing training. If you really want to fly, take some advice from stellar content marketer and longtime client, Emily Miller, Content Strategy Lead at Pantheon.io:

“Working with an agency is a two-way street,” she said. “It is important as a client to make sure you’re upholding your end of the agreement. You can’t expect the agency to be successful if you aren’t willing or able to put in the energy to make sure they understand your business. That includes sending timely and constructive feedback, as well as doing your homework before meetings to make sure you’re both getting the most out of the time.

“From the agency side, I always appreciate when account managers document meetings and follow up with what was discussed and who has ‘homework’ so that we aren’t re-hashing the same thing each meeting.”


It is important as a client to make sure you’re upholding your end of the agreement. Emily Miller
Click To Tweet


You can help your agency become a trusted extension of your marketing team by:

  • Providing frequent, constructive feedback – even if the conversation isn’t easy
  • Setting clear expectations for what you are looking for and when
  • Extending your trust, allowing the agency space to think big

Need a New Support Team?

If this article left you wanting more from your agency partner, don’t be afraid to reach out. Our team of smart, creative and results-focused professionals are ready to take on your biggest challenges and bring new ideas to your content, SEO, social media, digital advertising and influencer marketing. Pop on your “Snoppy Cap” and send some radio waves our way today.


Email Newsletter Gain a competitive advantage by subscribing to the
TopRank® Online Marketing Newsletter.

© Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®, 2017. | 4 Tips for an Out-Of-This-World B2B Marketing Agency Partnership | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post 4 Tips for an Out-Of-This-World B2B Marketing Agency Partnership appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

]]>
http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/11/out-of-this-world-agency-partnership/feed/ 0
4 Spooky Marketing Lessons from Classic Halloween Monsters http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/10/marketing-lessons-halloween-monsters/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/10/marketing-lessons-halloween-monsters/#comments Tue, 31 Oct 2017 10:30:15 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=23175 Halloween is objectively the best holiday of the fall-winter season. You don’t have to go broke buying people gifts. You don’t have to cook an enormous meal (then pass out after gorging on turkey). The only obligations for Halloween are to play dress up and eat candy! Not to mention I’m somewhat partial to the [...]

The post 4 Spooky Marketing Lessons from Classic Halloween Monsters appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

]]>

Halloween is objectively the best holiday of the fall-winter season. You don’t have to go broke buying people gifts. You don’t have to cook an enormous meal (then pass out after gorging on turkey). The only obligations for Halloween are to play dress up and eat candy!

Not to mention I’m somewhat partial to the holiday’s aesthetic. Give me skulls and bats over tinsel and garland any day of the week, and twice on Friday the 13th.

Sure, there’s a horror/scary element to Halloween. But it’s a fun, safe kind of scary. If you’ve spent an hour on social media recently, you know there are scarier things than ghoulies and ghosties.

But Halloween isn’t just fun. It’s educational, too! I realized this year that some of my favorite Halloween monsters are hiding valuable lessons for marketers. For example…

#1: Dracula Rules Influencer Marketing

Count Dracula is often romanticized as a solitary figure, brooding in his castle. That image couldn’t be further from the truth. He’s constantly making new friends—and making those friends into vampires. The way Dracula builds a relationship is a solid lesson in influencer marketing.

Drac doesn’t just meet someone and immediately offer to make them immortal. He starts by getting to know them socially and paying them visits. Then he invites them to become a thrall, feeding on insects and getting a taste of the vamp life. Finally, when the relationship is mature, he converts them into full-fledged creatures of the night. It’s an easy sell by then, because he didn’t skip any steps in the relationship.

I don’t recommend making your influencers eat bugs, of course (unless they happen to enjoy doing so). But you should build relationships with influencers over a series of small, incremental steps. Start by socializing and promoting them, then ask for a small content contribution, and finally move on to co-creating together.

#2: Dr. Frankenstein Is Great at Repurposing

If you ask me, Dr. Frankenstein (the scientist, not his monster, of course) gets a bad rap. Yes, he took his research a little too far. Sure, he was a bit of an amoral lunatic. Okay, so he tampered in God’s domain a little. But you can’t deny that he got results!

In real life, after the hullabaloo died down, scientist would be scrambling to corroborate and replicate his findings. Frankenstein’s monster 2.0 and beyond would be far less “shambling horror” and more “hey, we finally beat death!”

Where others saw a pile of discarded body parts, Dr. Frankenstein saw the potential for new life. When we’re looking at a content calendar, we should be following in his footsteps. Repurposing content—up to and including stitching parts of old posts into a new one—can bring your old content to a new audience with a minimum of effort.

#3: The Wolfman Is a Content Strategy Object Lesson

Quick: What’s the wolfman’s biggest problem? No, it’s not that he’s vulnerable to silver. It’s not even that he turns into a brainless monster every full moon.

No, what always gets the wolfman in the end is his failure to plan ahead. He always ends up roaming the countryside chowing down on rabbits, and then someone sees him, and then out come the silver bullets. If he were to approach the problem strategically, he could spend each wolf session safely locked in a basement somewhere. He could live a full life 28 days out of the month, and no one would ever know he had a lycanthropy problem.

If you’re creating content without a content strategy, you’re practically begging the townsfolk to load up on silver buckshot. You may score the occasional win—like the wolfman gets a rabbit or two—but on the whole, it’s counter-productive. Plan your content in advance, with a rationale, research, and an amplification plan, and your content is far more likely to have a long and prosperous life.

#4: Dr. Jekyll Is Extremely Empathetic

Just how far would you go to get inside someone else’s head? You might walk a mile in their shoes, as the cliché goes. But honestly, how much can you know about someone just by borrowing their footwear? By that logic, every time I went bowling I’d learn about hundreds of people.

Dr. Jekyll takes empathy to the next level. He transformed himself into Mr. Hyde to learn exactly how a monster thinks. Granted, the experiment didn’t end well, but the lesson is still valid.

Marketers don’t have to undergo a monstrous physical transformation to feel empathy, of course. But we should be striving to learn as much about our audience as we can. That means learning about them beyond their interactions with the brand. The more we can use data to truly know our customers, the more relevant our content will be.

Practice Frighteningly Good Marketing

Sociologists and anthropologists would say that the monsters we create in folklore and fiction survive because they are a reflection of our deepest fears. For example, the wolfman is about loss of control, fearing the beast within us all. Dracula is about the fear of death and disease—and of creepy old guys lurking in castles.

I would argue that these monsters have such enduring power because at the heart of each story is an eternally relevant marketing lesson. Stay tuned for my next horror story, “The Beast that Wouldn’t Stop Sending Boilerplate Sales Emails.”

Is your skill at creating awesome content almost paranormal? Are you terrifyingly good at account management? TopRank Marketing is hiring.


Email Newsletter Gain a competitive advantage by subscribing to the
TopRank® Online Marketing Newsletter.

© Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®, 2017. | 4 Spooky Marketing Lessons from Classic Halloween Monsters | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post 4 Spooky Marketing Lessons from Classic Halloween Monsters appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

]]>
http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/10/marketing-lessons-halloween-monsters/feed/ 4
B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks: How We All Can Do Better http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/10/b2b-content-marketing-benchmarks/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/10/b2b-content-marketing-benchmarks/#respond Tue, 24 Oct 2017 10:30:01 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=23127 B2B content marketing is having a moment—a moment that’s rapidly becoming a movement. We’re finally breaking free of the idea that “professional” means “boring.” Transparency and authenticity are becoming more than just buzzwords. Unique, emotionally compelling content used to be the outlier; soon it will be the norm. It’s thrilling to see B2B content marketers [...]

The post B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks: How We All Can Do Better appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

]]>

B2B content marketing is having a moment—a moment that’s rapidly becoming a movement. We’re finally breaking free of the idea that “professional” means “boring.” Transparency and authenticity are becoming more than just buzzwords. Unique, emotionally compelling content used to be the outlier; soon it will be the norm.

It’s thrilling to see B2B content marketers find a new groove. As a creative, comedic weirdo myself, it’s a great time to be in the business. However, these industry-wide changes do come with significant challenges. As B2B marketing evolves, we need to continually adapt our procedures, KPIs, even our philosophy of marketing.

The whip-smart marketers at Kapost just published their 2017 B2B Content Strategy & Operations Benchmark. They surveyed hundreds of B2B marketers in diverse industries, from small businesses to enterprise organizations. Here are the challenges their research identified, and how B2B marketers can adapt to thrive.

Challenge: Lack of Communication/Alignment

You can’t score a touchdown if you don’t know where the end zone is. Unfortunately, it looks like a great deal of B2B content marketers are lost in the field. Kapost found that 22% of content creators didn’t know if their organization set lead generation goals, and 32% weren’t sure if they were meeting revenue goals. Perhaps most troublingly, 60% said they didn’t have visibility into how their content aligns to organizational priorities.

Solution: Clear Goals & KPIs

Content creators need to fully embrace their role as content marketers. It’s not enough to get a work order, fill in the appropriate number of pretty words, then release it into the ether. That’s commodity work, and it results in commodity content.

Everyone responsible for creating content should have a working knowledge of the entire process, from strategy through amplification to measurement and optimization. Every piece of content should have the following:

  • Proof that it serves an existing search demand
  • Specific target audience
  • Rationale for why this content will appeal to that audience
  • Amplification plan
  • Specific next-step goal (CTA) that maps to organizational goals

Content creators and management need to share responsibility for communication. Ideally, the whole team should be working on content strategy (including goal-setting) together.

Challenge: Organizational Silos

When teams and departments are isolated from each other, efficiency takes a hit. Marketers estimated that around 25% of their content is duplicative work, a troubling statistic in its own right. But it gets worse: Only 44% said they have complete visibility into other departments’ campaigns and content. The real amount of duplicated effort could be far higher.

These organizational silos are not only inefficient, they encourage over-specialization and information hoarding.

Solution: Centralized Content, Multi-Disciplinary Teams

If your organization has multiple marketing teams in different departments, it’s vital to centralize content strategy to a platform that everyone can access. Breaking down silos and working together will eliminate that redundant content and help departments find new synergies together.

TopRank Marketing recently restructured our teams. We used to have a content team, an SEO team, a design team, etc.—organized according to specialty. In the restructure, we formed “pods” across disciplines. Each pod has content, SEO, and design experts, and we all work together. Reaching across silos has helped our teams cross-train, learn from each other, and produce more strategic content.

Challenge: Calculating ROI

Measuring the impact of our marketing efforts continues to be a top concern for marketers. In Kapost’s survey, 54% of marketers listed proving ROI as one of the greatest barriers to success. Yet nearly half of respondents said they use vanity metrics like web traffic to track ROI, and a full 25% said they use no ROI-tracking metrics at all (Somewhere, Joe Pulizzi is weeping).

Solution: Get Serious about Revenue

Just as content creators need to learn the entire content marketing process, marketers need to learn the entire revenue process. We can’t skate by on nebulous metrics anymore. We’re living in the age of data, and we have to take control of that data to prove ROI.

It’s not enough, for example, to measure web traffic. Where is the traffic coming from? Are they in your target audience? Does an increase in traffic lead to an increase in conversions? What’s the monetary value of each conversion?

All of this data is available to us. We just have to use it. We can determine what percentage of traffic downloads an eBook. We can see how many who download a gated asset do a demo, and how many who demo ultimately make a purchase. Working backward, we can put a dollar amount on each micro-conversion.

All of this means dipping a toe – or diving headfirst – into what we previously thought of as the sales department’s responsibility. But it’s necessary for marketers to understand and own a piece of the entire revenue process, if we’re going to help meet revenue goals.

Challenge Accepted

B2B content marketing has done a lot of growing up in the past few years. But it’s clear that we can be more sophisticated in our efforts. For content creators, that means a greater understanding of strategy and goals, more communication with leadership and between teams, and a renewed focus on metrics that prove ROI. If we can overcome these challenges, we can exceed the benchmarks for 2018.

Ready to get smarter, more creative, and more focused on results? We’re here to help.


Email Newsletter Gain a competitive advantage by subscribing to the
TopRank® Online Marketing Newsletter.

© Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®, 2017. | B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks: How We All Can Do Better | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks: How We All Can Do Better appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

]]>
http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/10/b2b-content-marketing-benchmarks/feed/ 0
Why to ROI: Proving the Value of B2B Influencer Marketing with Lee Odden http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/10/influencer-marketing-roi/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/10/influencer-marketing-roi/#comments Mon, 09 Oct 2017 10:30:16 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=23042 Last week at Marketing Profs B2B Forum it was pretty clear B2B marketers are more interested in influencer marketing than ever before. Lee Odden’s session – Why to ROI: B2B Marketing Case Studies for Success– promises to deliver not only why influencer marketing is something we should all be talking about, but also how to [...]

The post Why to ROI: Proving the Value of B2B Influencer Marketing with Lee Odden appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

]]>

Last week at Marketing Profs B2B Forum it was pretty clear B2B marketers are more interested in influencer marketing than ever before.

Lee Odden’s session – Why to ROI: B2B Marketing Case Studies for Success– promises to deliver not only why influencer marketing is something we should all be talking about, but also how to use ongoing influencer marketing to deliver ROI to your business.

Some of us may still be thinking about influencer marketing as a B2C tactic. A Kardashian on Instagram touting the newest vitamin.

This isn’t exactly relevant to those of us in the B2B space.

Except, what if we think about influence more holistically. Lee points that you don’t have to be a Kardashian to be influential. From singing the praises of the battery life on your new iPhone8 or telling your coworker about the new software you’re testing in your department, we’re all influencing each other.

This holistic view of influencer marketing, thinking beyond the brandividual, is what will help you drive ROI within your influencer marketing.

5 Steps to Driving ROI with B2B Influencer Marketing

Step 1: Determine Why or Why Not

Spoiler alert – Lee thinks you should be doing influencer marketing if you’re a B2B marketer. And a lot of you are. 43% of marketers are experimenting with B2B marketing. But we’re still in the early days. Only 11% of B2B companies are running ongoing programs, compared to 48% of B2C companies.

So why are so many B2B marketers experimenting with influencer marketing? Largely, we believe that influencer marketing can help us with lead gen. 67% of marketers cited lead gen as a goal for influencer marketing. In fact, influencers can help us at each stage of the buying cycle, from awareness to purchase to advocacy.

So even though we’re just getting started. You believe in the why, and are very optimistic. 57% of marketers say influencer marketing will be integrated in all marketing activities in the next 3 years.

In order to achieve true integration, and keep our budgets and resources growing for more influencer marketing, we need to drive ROI from those programs.

Step 2: Find ROI Opportunities

Lee shares several examples of B2B influencer campaigns generating major ROI. He highlights several opportunities to drive value for your brand and influencers.

  • Simple Content: Influencer co-created content doesn’t have to be complicated. Find 10 influencers, ask them one question and compile and their responses in an asset with 90% influencer contributed content. Gating the asset with an easy to fill out form, can drive big results in terms of MQLs.
  • Influencer Integrated Content: Influencer content can take multiple forms. In the previous example, it was 90% influencer created and gated. Influencer content can also be incorporated into an asset as seasoning, providing support or color for brand generated content.
  • Repurposing Content for ROI: You can drive more ROI by getting the most out of your influencer content with repurposing. Once you’ve done all the work of getting influencer contributions, use the full contributions in a guide, include preview snippets in a blog post, round up some key ideas with stats into an infographic, or leverage important topics for an influencer webinar. Content repurposing not only helps you get more mileage out of your content, it will help drive additional amplification to your core assets, creating opportunity for ROI.
  • Interactive Content: Interactive content is intrinsically more engaging. If the visitor has to act in order to consume the content, they are already activated to take the next steps to share, click or download.

Now that we talked about all the great opportunities for ROI, Lee shares sometimes when influencer marketing is not an opportunity, including:

  • Magic sales expectations: This is an outdated perception that mean treating influencer marketing like an ad buy, instead of an opportunity to create organic experience. This works for B2C, but not for B2B.
  • Lack of consensus on the strategy: In order to be successful, you must have agreement on who your influencers are and how you are leveraging them . If there is a disconnect between PR and marketing, it can dilute ROI and create a less than awesome experience for your influencers.
  • Lack of resources to commit: Influencer marketing isn’t something you want to throw an intern at. You need people and resources that can perform at a very high level.
  • Disregard for FTC compliance: Enough said.
  • Unable to measure inputs, outputs and performance: In order to show value and continue to grow budgets, you must be prepared to report on the results.

Step 3: Create profitable relationships & content

Once you have identified your opportunities, start putting together a plan to show ROI, including these critical considerations:

  • What will it cost to implement?
  • What will it cost you if you don’t secure relationships with the top influencers in your industry and the competition does?
  • What influencer engagement models should we start with?

Planning ahead for these considerations, will ensure your team is starting your influencer program with appropriate goals in order to show ROI.

Step 4: Leverage an Integrated Approach

We already know that influencer marketing doesn’t work when there is a lack of consensus on your influencer strategy. In order to truly maximize ROI, you should consider influencer programs across your organization. In a cross functional model you’ll be able to tap into all types of influencers, including journalists, affiliates and customers, illustrated in the model from Traackr below.

Step 5: Start with Best Practices for Measurement

For best practice measurement, first you need to align your goals with influencer specific measurement. You want to look beyond your typical content KPIs, like views and time on page, and include:

  1. Metrics for influencer performance, for example referral traffic, downloads, subscribers from a specific influencer
  2. Metrics for influencer community performance, for example number of conversations around your brand or campaign within the larger influencer community

Now Take it to the Next Level

Regardless if you are just starting to experiment with influencer marketing or  you already have an ongoing program, there is an opportunity to take it to the next level.

Think about where you might fit into the spectrum of influencer marketing maturity progression Lee shared.

Then consider how you can optimize your approach. Here are 3 ways to start moving:

Get Expert Help:

An expert may be an agency that specializes in influencer marketing or a consultant you bring in to help you get started. An expert may be able to help you with these things:

  • Research the market
  • Who are your influencers?
  • Develop a Strategy
  • Create a playbook and plan\

Invest in Tech:

The right technology can help you quickly and efficiently assess and improve your influencer marketing tactics, for example:

  • ID needs and specifications
  • Create a pilog
  • Identify, qualify and recruit
  • Measure & optimize

Activate:

Accelerate your influencer marketing efforts by activating your existing community and focusing efforts on what works best.

  • Start with employees, client and community
  • Invite co-creation
  • Scale what works

What is one way you are planning to take your influencer marketing to the next level this year?

For more insights into enterprise influencer marketing, check out our interactive infographic showcasing key insights from the Influence 2.0 report.


Email Newsletter Gain a competitive advantage by subscribing to the
TopRank® Online Marketing Newsletter.

© Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®, 2017. | Why to ROI: Proving the Value of B2B Influencer Marketing with Lee Odden | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post Why to ROI: Proving the Value of B2B Influencer Marketing with Lee Odden appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

]]>
http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/10/influencer-marketing-roi/feed/ 1
Must-See Sessions & Top Tips for Finding Your Squad at #MPB2B http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/10/must-see-mpb2b/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/10/must-see-mpb2b/#respond Wed, 04 Oct 2017 09:30:46 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=23029 For some people the happiest place on earth is Disneyland, for me, it’s the annual MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum in Boston. Last week, I ran a poll on Twitter to see what people were looking forward to most at the B2B Marketing Forum, and while many are interested in learning new B2B tactics and meeting [...]

The post Must-See Sessions & Top Tips for Finding Your Squad at #MPB2B appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

]]>

For some people the happiest place on earth is Disneyland, for me, it’s the annual MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum in Boston.

Last week, I ran a poll on Twitter to see what people were looking forward to most at the B2B Marketing Forum, and while many are interested in learning new B2B tactics and meeting other smart marketers (smarketers?), the vast majority are excited to see what Ann Handley has in store for this year’s conference.

There are two things that make this conference one of my favorites:

  1. The content is amazing.
  2. The people are amazing.

This is my third year attending MPB2B and my first year speaking, so I’d like to think that I’ve gotten the lay of the land by now. So, to help you out, I’ve compiled a list of must-see sessions (so you’re not scrambling for the next three days) and some top tips for finding your squad at this great event.

Must-See Sessions at MPB2B

Ardath Albee
CEO & B2B Marketing Strategist, Marketing Interactions

How to Create Binge-Worthy Content Experiences that Move Buyers to Buy

We all know that more content is being created than ever and many of us struggle to keep our increase our content engagement. Ardath Albee’s session promises to deliver on the secret of getting yours buyers to binge on your content, by connecting the dots and showing them the value of swift immersion.

Jon Miller
CEO & Co-Founder, Engagio

The Secret Sauce for Account Based Marketing

If you’re wondering how industry leaders are practicing ABM, what works and what doesn’t, this is the session for you. Jon Miller’s session will give you the inside scoop of how ABM works at Engagio and how you can orchestrate programs that get results.

Lee Odden
CEO, TopRank Marketing

From Why to ROI: B2B Influencer Marketing Case Studies for Success

How can B2B brands put influence to work in their marketing? Through three case studies, Lee Odden will demonstrate influencer strategy best practices and how to measure performance to satisfy both the why and the ROI of working with B2B influencers.

What You Know About Content Marketing—FoGetAboutIT—This Is ABM

On this panel, Lee Odden, Joe Chernov, Meagan French and Justin Gray will discuss the role of content through the lens of ABM. The conversation will also explore how hyper-personalized, value-driven content and sales offers completely reframe your outbound strategies and tactics.

Chris Moody
Content Marketing Leader, GE Digital

Content Marketing on a Shoestring Budget

You must show the value of your content marketing, in order to gain more budget and grow the success of your program

If you can spare 45 minutes and $1,000 to spend on content marketing, walk away from Chris Moody’s session with documented content strategy and an action plan for content success that you can start today.

Alex Rynne
Content Marketing Manager, LinkedIn

Your LinkedIn Marketing Tactical Plan

If you are looking for an actionable plan for driving brand awareness and revenue on Linkedin, then don’t miss Alex Rynne’s Thursday session.  Based on the results of dozens of A/B tests, find out what type of content performs best across LinkedIn Company Pages, Sponsored Content and InMail and how to run your own A/B tests to ensure your content is as relevant as possible to your target audience.

And walk away with a one-page plan to outline key metrics and determine the success of your LinkedIn plan.

Dayna Rothman
VP Marketing & Sales Development, BrightFunnel

Connecting Your Customer Journey to See More Success

In her session, Dayna Rothman will explain how to use measurement to optimize each stage of the buyer’s journey, make informed marketing decisions, and better understand what’s working—and what’s not. You’ll learn how your marketing team can utilize existing campaign data to dig deeper into performance and make intelligent decisions that will positively impact future pipeline and revenue.

Tim Washer
Creative Director, Cisco

Stop Boring Content with Comedy Writing Secrets

Join Tim Washer Friday morning for a lively session to help you hack the secrets of comedy writers to create content which is never boring. You will learn how to identify the common causes of dull content and tap into tactics for generating tons of creative ideas quickly.

Avoid corporate creativity deathtraps and use this session to spark creativity within your corporate team.

Ashley Zeckman
Director of Agency Marketing, TopRank Marketing

Scrappy B2B Creativity Hacks

What kind of marketer would I be if I didn’t encourage you to attend my own session? I will be taking the stage with Nick Westergaard and Andy Hunt to engage in an eye-opening discussion that will show you how you can leverage the latest content marketing tools to build your brand and grow your business without breaking the bank. In short, you’ll learn how to be scrappy.

Top Tips for Finding Your Squad

MarketingProfs has done an amazing job of connecting attendees to each other. And how could they not with an amazing Chief Content Officer like Ann Handley at the helm?

Getting the most out of a conference isn’t always about the content (although that’s important), it’s about meeting other like-minded marketers that you can connect with and learn from.

Below are three of my tips for finding your squad at an event like MPB2B:

#1 – Attend Social Events

I will be the first to tell you that being super social isn’t always easy. So while it may be tempting to sit in your room and fire of emails, peel yourself away from the comfy bed and make your way to one of the many social events surrounding the conference. These events offer a great opportunity to make new friends in a relaxed setting and learn a little bit more about what they do and why they are here. To help you out, here are a couple ice breakers:

  • What are you looking forward to most at this conference?
  • Have you attended before or is this your first time? (the marketer’s equivalent of “do you come here often?”)

#2 – Make New Friends in Session & at Lunch

While it can be tempting to sit with people you already know during sessions and lunch, don’t.

Instead, sit in a random row or at a random table and start a conversation with someone you don’t know. I have met some great people by plopping myself down at a table where I didn’t know a soul.

#3 – See Who’s Interacting Online

It’s amazing to think about the number of people you meet virtually, but have not met in real life. Events like MPB2B are a great opportunity to take those online conversations offline. See who is interacting on platforms like Twitter (or the event app) and set a designated time and place to meet.

What Are You Looking Forward to Most at MPB2B?

So now that you have some insights into what I’m looking forward to most, I’d like to know: what do you consider must-see sessions at MPB2B?


Email Newsletter Gain a competitive advantage by subscribing to the
TopRank® Online Marketing Newsletter.

© Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®, 2017. | Must-See Sessions & Top Tips for Finding Your Squad at #MPB2B | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post Must-See Sessions & Top Tips for Finding Your Squad at #MPB2B appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

]]>
http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/10/must-see-mpb2b/feed/ 0
50 Top B2B Marketing Influencers 2017 http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/10/50-b2b-marketing-influencers-2017/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/10/50-b2b-marketing-influencers-2017/#comments Tue, 03 Oct 2017 10:06:11 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=23021 It’s October and you know what that means? Its B2B Marketing influencer speaker list time again. One of my all-time favorite conferences is MarketingProfs B2B Forum in Boston and for the past few years I’ve had some fun listing out a top list of speakers ranked by influence around the topic of “B2B marketing”. As [...]

The post 50 Top B2B Marketing Influencers 2017 appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

]]>
B2B Marketing Influencers

It’s October and you know what that means? Its B2B Marketing influencer speaker list time again.

One of my all-time favorite conferences is MarketingProfs B2B Forum in Boston and for the past few years I’ve had some fun listing out a top list of speakers ranked by influence around the topic of “B2B marketing”.

As usual, I used the influencer marketing platform Traackr to import the list of speakers from #mpb2b 2017 and rank them according to a combination of topical resonance and relevance as well as network reach related to “b2b marketing”.  Of course, use of their platform in this way is like 1% of what Traackr can do. I imagine they cringe every time I use their robust tool for such a simple list – but hey, they provide me with access and I use the tool as I see fit.

To clarify, my agency TopRank Marketing is also a paying customer of the Traackr platform for clients, where it is used in support of B2B influencer marketing programs for brands like SAP, BMC Software, McKesson and others in ways that are more in line with the platform’s capabilities.

B2B Marketing influencers network

This is a legit list that recognizes people creating content around B2B marketing that resonates with their social following. At the same time, sometimes people take lists a little bit too seriously, so let’s have a little fun here and there with some special “awards”.

First, here are some “compelling” stats about the people on this year’s list:

  • 40% are women
  • 14 are CEOs
  • 4 are CMOs
  • 6 are named Chris
  • 12 have beards

And the “Khaleesi of Content” Award goes to:

Ann "Queen of Content" Handley
Ann Handley @marketingprofs
Chief Content Officer
MarketingProfs

Here’s the 49 additional B2B marketing speakers that came up in the search for influencers:

Pam Didner @pamdidner
Senior Marketing Consultant, Author, Speaker
Relentless Pursuit

Michael Brenner @BrennerMichael
CEO
Marketing Insider Group
Winner of the “nicest guy you’ll ever meet in marketing” award

Lee Odden @leeodden
CEO
TopRank Marketing
Winner of the “Puts himself in his own list” award – actually, it’s legit

Ardath Albee @ardath421
CEO & B2B Marketing Strategist
Marketing Interactions

Katie Martell @KatieMartell
Marketing Consultant
Katie Martell, On-Demand Marketing
Winner of “I will always remember the marching band at B2B Forum” award

Christopher Penn @cspenn
Vice President of Marketing Technology
SHIFT Communications
Winner of the “You think you know AI? I AM AI!” award

Kerry O’Shea Gorgone @KerryGorgone
Director of Product Strategy, Training
MarketingProfs

Jon Miller @jonmiller
CEO and Co-Founder
Engagio
Winner of rocket scientist marketer AND serial entrepreneur award

Doug Kessler @dougkessler
Creative Director & Co-Founder
Velocity Partners
Winner of the “I swear and people love me for it” award

Carlos Hidalgo @cahidalgo
Founder & CEO
VisumCx

Joe Pulizzi @JoePulizzi
Founder
Content Marketing Institute
Also Co-Founder & Board Member, The Orange Effect Foundation
Winner of “I’m doing whatever I want from now on” award

Mark Schaefer @markwschaefer
Keynote speaker
Schaefer Marketing Solutions

Pawan Deshpande @TweetsFromPawan
CEO
Curata

Ashley Zeckman @azeckman
Director of Agency Marketing
TopRank Marketing

Mary Ellen Slayter @RepCapital
Owner
Rep Cap

James Thomas @jthomas_44
CMO
Allocadia Software

Chris Chariton @cchariton
Senior Director, Marketing & Business Development
GTM

Samantha Stone @samanthastone
Founder & CMO
The Marketing Advisory Network

Stephan Hovnanian @stephanhov
Content Solutions Architect
Bambu by Sprout Social

Raviv Turner @ravivturner
Co-Founder & CEO
CaliberMind

Heidi Cohen @heidicohen
Chief Content Officer
Actionable Marketing Guide

Tim Washer @timwasher
Creative Director, SP Marketing
Cisco
Winner of “deadpan everyman funnyman” award

Justin Gray @Jgraymatter
CEO
LeadMD

Nancy Harhut @nharhut
Chief Creative Officer
Nancy Harhut & Associates

Andrea Fryrear @AndreaFryrear
President and Lead Trainer
AgileSherpas

Tamsen Webster @tamadear
Founder and CEO, Strategic Speaking
Winner of “I’m on the same list as Tom” award

You Mon Tsang @youmon
Founder and CEO
ChurnZero

Bob Meindl @BobMeindl
Director, Marketing
Cisco

Mitch Joel @mitchjoel
President
Mirum Agency
Winner of “best looking bald man dressed in black” award

Bill Sebald @billsebald
Founder / Partner / SEO
Greenlane Search Marketing

Dayna Rothman @dayroth
VP Marketing & Sales Development
BrightFunnel
Winner of “coolest tattoos on a marketer” award. 

Chris Arrendale @Arrendale
CEO & Principal Deliverability Consultant
Inbox Pros

Chris B Wilson @DrSocialMedia
Inbound Consultant
HubSpot

Chris Marr @chrismarr101
Founder & Director
Content Marketing Academy
Winner of “the best accent, ever” award

Ahava Leibtag @ahaval
President
Aha Media Group

Derreck Kayongo @DerreckKayongo
CEO
Center for Civil and Human Rights

Jessica LaHaie @JessieLaHaie
Influencer Relations Coordinator
TechSmith Corporation

Brian G. Peters @Brian_G_Peters
Digital Marketing Strategist
Buffer

Michelle Huff @michelle_huff
Chief Marketing Officer
Act-On Software, Inc.

Meagan French @mkfrench
Founder and President
Lotus Growth

Tom Webster @webby2001
Vice President, Strategy and Marketing
Edison Research
Winner of “I’m on the same list as Tamsen and she’s kicking my butt” award

Scott Monty @ScottMonty
CEO & Co-Managing Partner
Brain+Trust Partners

Jason Hsiao @jason_hsiao
President & Co-Founder
Animoto

David Berkowitz @dberkowitz
Chief Strategy Officer
Sysomos

Alison Levine @Levine_Alison
Executive Producer — The Glass Ceiling, Follow Your Dream

Chris Goward @chrisgoward
Founder & CEO
WiderFunnel Marketing Optimization

Matt Childs @MattyChilds
Director of Digital Marketing Sales, North America
Brightcove

Melissa Case @startabuzz
Corporate Blog Manager
Citrix

Joe Chernov
Joe Chernov
@jchernov
CMO
InsightSquared
Winner of “most epic beard on a CMO” award

If you’re a conference organizer looking for influential speakers on all topics around B2B marketing, then this list might be a good reference for your 2018 planning.

And if you’re attending MarketingProfs B2B Forum in Boston this week, there’s an entire schedule of talented marketers enlisted to share their B2B knowledge bombs on you including this fine group.

Why to ROI B2B Influencer Marketing
TopRank Marketing will be participating in the B2B Forum with Alexis Hall and Dan Rasmussen attending. Ashley Zeckman and I will also be involved with multiple presentations including:

We hope to see you there!  If not, be sure to follow us on the conference hashtag #mpb2b and @toprank.


Email Newsletter Gain a competitive advantage by subscribing to the
TopRank® Online Marketing Newsletter.

© Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®, 2017. | 50 Top B2B Marketing Influencers 2017 | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post 50 Top B2B Marketing Influencers 2017 appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

]]>
http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/10/50-b2b-marketing-influencers-2017/feed/ 3
Funny Content, Serious Business: How to Use Humor in Content Marketing http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/09/use-humor-content-marketing/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/09/use-humor-content-marketing/#respond Thu, 28 Sep 2017 10:30:47 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=22997 Everyone likes a good joke. Everyone wants to be entertained. But when it comes to using humor in content marketing, people still hesitate. We are, after all, not here purely to entertain. Our content needs to serve a business purpose, inspire action, and rack up the sweet, sweet conversions. Can potential buyers really take your [...]

The post Funny Content, Serious Business: How to Use Humor in Content Marketing appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

]]>

Everyone likes a good joke. Everyone wants to be entertained. But when it comes to using humor in content marketing, people still hesitate. We are, after all, not here purely to entertain. Our content needs to serve a business purpose, inspire action, and rack up the sweet, sweet conversions.

Can potential buyers really take your brand seriously if you make them laugh?

I call this the Roger Rabbit/Goodfellas conundrum, best expressed by these two quotes:

How do you get the Roger Rabbit benefits of making people laugh, without becoming a Joe Pesci-esque laughingstock?

It can be done. You can still be funny and do serious business. The question is not whether to use humor in your content, but how you use it.

I believe humor serves a different purpose throughout the three loosely-defined stages of a buyer’s journey. Call them top, middle, and bottom of funnel. Or call them Attract, Engage, and Convert, as our team does. The idea is the same: How you use humor should change depending on your context.

Top of Funnel: Pure Comedy Gold

Top of Funnel content can be mostly comedy – designed exclusively to entertain people. This is what we call a “chocolate cake” or “dessert” post. The key difference between, say, a Buzzfeed post about funny tweets and your top-of-funnel content is that yours will be focused on a very specific audience.

Use humor as a way of showing your audience that you understand them. That you’re one of them. Make jokes only they will get, and you will invite them into your tribe.

That’s what I did with my “20 Jokes Only a B2B Marketer Will Get.” I called out the audience in the title, and made sure each joke used vocabulary and common experiences that only the intended audience would share. The result: One of the most-shared posts on the TopRank Marketing Blog this year.

Middle of Funnel: Humor + Value

In the middle of the funnel—what we call the “Engage” stage—comedy is still a welcome component of your content. But unlike, top of funnel, the comedy can’t be the main attraction. You’ve already brought your audience in. Now you have to provide value beyond a chuckle or two.

Start with a legitimately useful premise, and use humor to demonstrate personality and keep your content readable.  For example, the introduction to this post on video content marketing on a budget starts with a funny intro and a truly hilarious image. Images are a great way to introduce a little humor, by the way—especially if you’re on a WordPress blog and the image can show up in the excerpt.

You don’t have to confine humor to the introduction; just don’t forget the value. This post from Jason Miller at LinkedIn is a good example of a funny post that still has plenty to offer the audience. It uses the silly names and weird visuals of a BBC kids show to teach some solid content marketing lessons. And it gave Jason the excuse to make a personalized kid’s book cover:

Bottom of Funnel: Keep It Consistent

By the time your customer is almost ready to make a purchase decision, you don’t need to keep throwing out the punchlines. They’re already sold on your brand’s personality; now they need to make sure your solution is the perfect fit.

Bottom-of-funnel content is by necessity more utilitarian, more focused on your offering. But you shouldn’t suddenly become all business all the time. Aim for a consistent brand voice throughout the buyer’s journey. You can still be lighthearted and informal on a landing page or a contact form.

This “Content Marketing Kitchen” post, for example, is an announcement post that serves chiefly to drive traffic to a landing page. I dialed back the jokes but kept the tone light and personal. The result: A bottom-of-funnel piece that still kept people entertained, as the comments show:

Good Humor Isn’t Just an Ice Cream Brand

The same comedic approach won’t work for every brand or every audience. People who love zany one-liners from a fast-food company likely don’t want the same from their bank. It’s important to find the degree of comedy that puts you firmly on the Roger Rabbit side of the equation.

That said, if you keep your level of humor appropriate for the stage of the buyer’s journey, you can attract your audience, engage them with entertaining but valuable content, then convert with the same sense of personality and fun that attracted them to begin with.

Learn more about humor in content marketing from a master of the form in this interview with Tim Washer.

LinkedIn Marketing is a TopRank Marketing client.


Email Newsletter Gain a competitive advantage by subscribing to the
TopRank® Online Marketing Newsletter.

© Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®, 2017. | Funny Content, Serious Business: How to Use Humor in Content Marketing | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post Funny Content, Serious Business: How to Use Humor in Content Marketing appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

]]>
http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/09/use-humor-content-marketing/feed/ 0
LinkedIn Native Video: What Works, What Doesn’t, What Marketers Need to Know http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/09/linkedin-video-need-know/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/09/linkedin-video-need-know/#comments Thu, 21 Sep 2017 10:30:23 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=22962 Video content is eating the internet. It started with video-specific platforms like YouTube and Vimeo. Then Twitter and Facebook added support for live and pre-recorded video. Now these insatiable moving pictures are becoming serious business: LinkedIn now supports native video. What would compel a buttoned-down, professional networking site like LinkedIn to embrace video? Simply put, [...]

The post LinkedIn Native Video: What Works, What Doesn’t, What Marketers Need to Know appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

]]>

Video content is eating the internet. It started with video-specific platforms like YouTube and Vimeo. Then Twitter and Facebook added support for live and pre-recorded video. Now these insatiable moving pictures are becoming serious business: LinkedIn now supports native video.

What would compel a buttoned-down, professional networking site like LinkedIn to embrace video? Simply put, people—even businesspeople—want to watch. Fifty-nine percent of executives say that if text and video are available on the same topic, they’re more likely to choose video.

There’s no denying that marketers should embrace video content as a general rule. If your audience wants video, it’s wise for your brand to be the one supplying it. But why publish natively on LinkedIn?

Here are the upsides, downsides, and what-you-need-to-know-sides.

How to Create a LinkedIn Video

LinkedIn has been slowly rolling out its video capabilities, starting with a few influencers and expanding out from there. Most members who have the most recent version of the mobile app should have the capability now.

If your account has video enabled, you will see a camera icon available where you normally post to your feed. On mobile, you can create a video (not a live stream…yet) or upload from your photo gallery. On desktop, you can only upload a pre-recorded video. Nearly every common form of video file is supported.

To record a video, just tap the camera icon, give the app permission to access your camera, and go. To upload video, just navigate to the file you want to add and select it—there’s no learning curve there.

Your file must be at least three seconds long and no longer than 10 minutes, but LinkedIn suggests between 30 seconds and 5 minutes for better engagement. The maximum file size is five gigabytes, which should be plenty of space.

Your post will look…well, a lot like a post with an embedded video, just without the link out at the bottom:

Why Marketers Should Care about LinkedIn Video

You can already embed YouTube video in your LinkedIn feed posts, of course. But posting native video may get you more engagement. On Facebook, native videos typically get 10x more shares than embedded videos. If that trend holds for LinkedIn, you could be missing out on a substantial chunk of potential audience by linking to a YouTube video.

So native video matters—and for virtually all B2B marketers, LinkedIn matters. While Facebook videos can be dominated by memes and entertainment, the LinkedIn audience is specifically there for business. They’re browsing their feeds looking for something that can help advance their career, give them a competitive edge, or just do their jobs better. Useful, professional video content is likely to fare better on LinkedIn than on Twitter or Facebook.

The other reason to go native on LinkedIn video is LinkedIn’s analytical capability. Their demographic data is likely to be more useful to B2B marketers than Facebook’s data is. You can zero in on job function, job title, and seniority of the people who view your video. That data will help you adjust your strategy to hit and engage the right audience.

As native video is more widely adopted by its userbase, LinkedIn is likely to give it preferential treatment over embedded video. LinkedIn has already switched from a pure timeline feed to an algorithm-based feed. Just as Facebook currently gives pride of place to native videos, LinkedIn is likely to prioritize it in their feeds, too.

Downsides to LinkedIn Video

Since this is a new feature, there are some still some quirks to be ironed out, and a few features that are missing. These negatives won’t keep your video from being seen and appreciated, but they’re worth noting:

  1. No playback speed or picture quality settings. Users can’t customize the viewing experience the way they can on YouTube.
  2. It’s hard to link out. the URLs for a video-embedded post are unwieldy: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6316276929771245568/, for example.
  3. The video isn’t embeddable on other sites. It’s definitely intended for consumption on LinkedIn.
  4. Only members can post, not companies.
  5. There’s no dedicated video tab, which can make video content hard to find. I’m willing to bet some kind of tab or filter is in the works, but we don’t have it yet.

What to Use LinkedIn Video For:

Given the limitations of the format, it’s best to think of video on LinkedIn as an add-on to your current marketing strategy. Use it to build your personal brand, or go behind-the-scenes at your company, or interview co-workers and executives.

Many users are already using the format to do quick tips, like this video from Viveka Von Rosen. That kind of informal, live-shot video is an easy way to get started.

There are a few people attempting to create series on the platform, too. Building an audience for a series could be tricky without a dedicated video tab, but Mike Morgan’s Humans of LinkedIn series is making a go of it. If more people start serializing their videos, LinkedIn is likely to add tools that support the practice.

LinkedIn to the Future

If you’re marketing to a B2B audience, native video on LinkedIn is well worth a try. Instead of linking out to YouTube, upload the video natively to LinkedIn and keep an eye on how it performs. Make sure to include keywords and relevant hashtags in the post so your video is easier to find, keep an eye on your analytics, and let the data guide your next steps.

Need more help? Check out these easy ways to get started with video content marketing.

Disclosure: LinkedIn Marketing is a TopRank Marketing client.


Email Newsletter Gain a competitive advantage by subscribing to the
TopRank® Online Marketing Newsletter.

© Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®, 2017. | LinkedIn Native Video: What Works, What Doesn’t, What Marketers Need to Know | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post LinkedIn Native Video: What Works, What Doesn’t, What Marketers Need to Know appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

]]>
http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/09/linkedin-video-need-know/feed/ 2
Behind the Marketing Curtain: An Interview with Social Customer Care Wiz Dan Gingiss, McDonald’s http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/08/behind-the-curtain-dan-gingiss/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/08/behind-the-curtain-dan-gingiss/#respond Tue, 29 Aug 2017 10:30:26 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=22836

Behind the Marketing Curtain with Dan Gingiss

Social media marketing has become an important part of any brand’s digital marketing mix, helping brands of all sizes foster customer connections and engagement. But as more consumers use social media to “ring the bell” and gain access to the person who can help solve their problems, many find the social bell is out of order when it comes to customer service.

For social media wiz Dan Gingiss, McDonald’s Corporation’s Senior Director of Global Social Media, customer service is arguably one of the most important pieces of social media marketing.

“Social media is the first and only channel where customers can talk back, marketers need to listen and engage,” Dan told me in a recent interview.

With more than two decades building up his marketing wizardry, Dan knows a thing or two about ushering people through the emerald social media gates and providing great social care—and no ruby red slippers are required for entrance.

With that said, as part of our Wizard of Oz-inspired Behind the Marketing Curtain interview series, today we’ll pull back the fabric and get to know more about how Mr. Gingiss arrived in the wonderful world of marketing, and share insights that can help inspire better customer service within your social media strategy, and perhaps kick a wicked habit or two.

Enjoy!

The Man Behind the Curtain

Dan Gingiss, Senior Director, Global Social Media, McDonald'sDan has spent most of his life and marketing career in the Chicago area—that’s his Kansas, he said.

“[Well], it’s not quite Kansas, but still the Midwest!” he joked.

And while Dan has been a marketer for more than 20 years, his numerous talents aren’t bound to any one industry. He also bills himself as a “pretty decent” pinball player and a grammar nerd—and he’s also a licensed bartender.

“[I got my bartender’s license] after taking a two-week night course after college and placing first in the speed drink-making contest,” he explained while also noting that there’s no fire or bottle flipping in his repertoire.

Dan is also a huge baseball fan—particularly when it comes to the Chicago Cubs club. But he’s arguably a pretty big Cleveland Indians fan, too; his all-time favorite movie is Major League.

“[It’s the] perfect combo of humor, a little bit of romance, and baseball!” he said.

As a marketer, he’s built his career as a marketing generalist. Borrowing a phrase from the John Fogerty song “Centerfield”—and keeping in line with his love of the game, Dan said: “I am a ‘put me in coach’ kind of guy. As a result, I’ve enjoyed domestic and global roles in B2C and B2B, product management, loyalty programs, and acquisition marketing.”

Over the last two decades, Dan has held positions at Discover Card, Humana, Diner’s Club International, and Mesirow Financial. Earlier this year, Dan joined McDonald’s Corporation as Senior Director of Global Social Media. He’s also a podcaster and the author of Winning of Social Customer Care: How Top Brands Create Engaging Experience on Social Media.

So how did self-proclaimed marketing generalist land in a social media-specific role? We’ll cover that in the next section.

Following His Yellow Brick Road

As an undergrad student at the University of Pennsylvania, Dan was majoring in Psychology and Communications—meaning he had no idea what he wanted to do with his life, he said. But, being the grammar nerd he is, he was the managing editor of the college newspaper. One evening, as he was pasting up the next day’s edition, he spotted an ad from MBI, Inc., a high-end collectibles company in Norwalk, CT that operates under The Danbury Mint brand.

“The ad promised to teach me ‘everything you need to know about direct marketing,’” he recalled. “So, I applied and they did.”

“On my first day of work, I was handed a bunch of product lines and told to create and execute marketing plans in direct mail, package inserts, and the Sunday coupons—that’s how I learned,” he said.

Four years later, Dan went back to school for his MBA and took his “first” marketing class. At that point, he realized that his undergrad studies provided the perfect foundation for becoming a marketer.

“Psychology and Communications are two perfect majors for a marketer because they are two skills that basically define what marketing entails—understanding your customer, and knowing how to speak to him or her,” he said.

But his journey was certainly not over. While spreading his wings as a marketing generalist over the years, in 2012 Dan found his true marketing passion: social media.

“[Mike Boush], the Chief Digital Officer at Discover Card, asked me to lead digital customer experience and social media even though I had no professional experience with either,” he recalled. “He recognized something in me even before I did: That I am most comfortable with my ‘customer hat’ on, thinking about every experience through the customer’s eyes. I also immediately fell in love with social media—especially Twitter—and never looked back.”

Dan’s Traveling Companions

Just as Dorothy found dear friends and encouragement in the Scarecrow, Tinman and Cowardly Lion as she made her way to Emerald City, Dan’s yellow brick road was paved with a little help, too.

The aforementioned Mike Boush was one such individual who made an impact.

“He challenged me to become a “recognized leader” in social media,” Dan said.

Another was Jeff Reid, who was Dan’s boss at Humana.

“He asked me to create a personal goal (writing a book) and execute on it,” Dan explained.

Another mentor that came to Dan’s mind was the late Robin Carey of Social Media Today.

“She definitely had courage,” he said. “After meeting me once, she agreed to sponsor my brand-new podcast called ‘Focus on Customer Service.’ It was the first of its kind—dedicated solely to customer care in social media—and I had never recorded a podcast episode previously. Fifty-plus episodes later, that podcast spawned my book.”

“Robin believed in me when she didn’t have to, and I’ll never forget her for that,” he added.

Meeting the Wizard

At TopRank Marketing we believe in taking a smart, creative and results-focused approach in everything we do for our clients, as well as our own personal growth. Dan is certainly someone who exemplifies these qualities in his work as a social media marketing wizard. So without further ado, let’s dive into Dan’s tips for better social media marketing.

Good witch or bad witch? What’s one bad social media marketing habit marketers should drop?

Thinking that customer service is someone else’s problem. When we interrupt people’s social media feeds with marketing messages, we hope that they will engage with our fun and interesting marketing content. But sometimes, all we do is remind them that they had some other problem with our brand. Since social media is the first and only channel where customers can talk back, marketers need to listen and engage.

[bctt tweet="#SocialMedia is the only channel where customers can talk back, #marketers need to listen. @dgingiss" username="toprank"]

Dorothy’s ruby slippers were the key to achieving her end goal of returning home. What are a few tools you believe are key for social media marketing success?

Always be listening. People will generally tell you everything you need to know about your business—what’s working, what needs fixing, and what could be your next big hit. Marketers need to embrace the feedback, including compliments, questions, and complaints. Knowing your customer will definitely help you become a better marketer.

There are a number helpful social media marketing and listening tools out there—many of which I covered in the chapter on social customer care tools in my book—that can fit into any marketing budget and are worth the investment.

[bctt tweet="#Marketers need to embrace positive & negative feedback on #socialmedia. @dgingiss" username="toprank"]

Poppies. Poppies. Poppies will put them to sleep! What creative tactics can marketers use to keep their social audience engaged?

Always be engaging, too. I know, so many rules! But consumers want to engage with brands on social media. That’s usually why they reach out in the first place. Companies that engage back can create loyal brand advocates that will tell their friends and followers on social media. We’ve all seen the studies—there’s nothing more believable than an objective friend talking positively about a brand. And I’ve personally seen 1:1 engagement rates even after a customer service inquiry that far surpass any marketer’s wildest dreams. Then scaling that becomes the challenge.

[bctt tweet="There’s nothing more believable than an objective friend talking positively about a brand. @dgingiss" username="toprank"]

What’s one thing you would ask the all-powerful marketing wizard for? (More budget, more resources, better data?)

An end to social media marketers thinking of social as a “special” channel that gets to play by different rules. Other than that consumers can talk back, social is just another marketing channel. It’s not unfair to ask for a return on that marketing investment. It’s not unfair to point out that likes, comments, and retweets don’t mean anything if more people aren’t buying your company’s products. Social marketers need to understand that corporate marketing budgets are finite, and social is competing against more mature marketing channels that have shown results for decades.

[bctt tweet="#Marketers need to stop thinking #socialmedia is “special” channel that has different rules. @dgingiss" username="toprank"]

We’re Off to Meet More Wizards

I’d like to sincerely thank Dan for taking the time to open up about who he is, where he comes from and how he approaches content and comedy. Thanks, Dan!

Of course, TopRank Marketing’s journey to Emerald City is still underway. In the coming months, we’ll be bringing you more exclusive interviews and insights from industry wizards to add some smarts, heart and nerve to your marketing efforts.

Stay tuned for our next installment, my pretty!

What’s one thing you’d ask the all-powerful marketing wizard for? Tell us in the comments section below.

The post Behind the Marketing Curtain: An Interview with Social Customer Care Wiz Dan Gingiss, McDonald’s appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

]]>

Behind the Marketing Curtain with Dan Gingiss Social media marketing has become an important part of any brand’s digital marketing mix, helping brands of all sizes foster customer connections and engagement. But as more consumers use social media to “ring the bell” and gain access to the person who can help solve their problems, many find the social bell is out of order when it comes to customer service. For social media wiz Dan Gingiss, McDonald’s Corporation’s Senior Director of Global Social Media, customer service is arguably one of the most important pieces of social media marketing. “Social media is the first and only channel where customers can talk back, marketers need to listen and engage,” Dan told me in a recent interview. With more than two decades building up his marketing wizardry, Dan knows a thing or two about ushering people through the emerald social media gates and providing great social care—and no ruby red slippers are required for entrance. With that said, as part of our Wizard of Oz-inspired Behind the Marketing Curtain interview series, today we’ll pull back the fabric and get to know more about how Mr. Gingiss arrived in the wonderful world of marketing, and share insights that can help inspire better customer service within your social media strategy, and perhaps kick a wicked habit or two. Enjoy!

The Man Behind the Curtain

Dan Gingiss, Senior Director, Global Social Media, McDonald'sDan has spent most of his life and marketing career in the Chicago area—that’s his Kansas, he said. “[Well], it’s not quite Kansas, but still the Midwest!” he joked. And while Dan has been a marketer for more than 20 years, his numerous talents aren’t bound to any one industry. He also bills himself as a “pretty decent” pinball player and a grammar nerd—and he’s also a licensed bartender. “[I got my bartender’s license] after taking a two-week night course after college and placing first in the speed drink-making contest,” he explained while also noting that there’s no fire or bottle flipping in his repertoire. Dan is also a huge baseball fan—particularly when it comes to the Chicago Cubs club. But he’s arguably a pretty big Cleveland Indians fan, too; his all-time favorite movie is Major League. “[It’s the] perfect combo of humor, a little bit of romance, and baseball!” he said. As a marketer, he’s built his career as a marketing generalist. Borrowing a phrase from the John Fogerty song “Centerfield”—and keeping in line with his love of the game, Dan said: “I am a ‘put me in coach’ kind of guy. As a result, I’ve enjoyed domestic and global roles in B2C and B2B, product management, loyalty programs, and acquisition marketing.” Over the last two decades, Dan has held positions at Discover Card, Humana, Diner’s Club International, and Mesirow Financial. Earlier this year, Dan joined McDonald’s Corporation as Senior Director of Global Social Media. He’s also a podcaster and the author of Winning of Social Customer Care: How Top Brands Create Engaging Experience on Social Media. So how did self-proclaimed marketing generalist land in a social media-specific role? We’ll cover that in the next section.

Following His Yellow Brick Road

As an undergrad student at the University of Pennsylvania, Dan was majoring in Psychology and Communications—meaning he had no idea what he wanted to do with his life, he said. But, being the grammar nerd he is, he was the managing editor of the college newspaper. One evening, as he was pasting up the next day’s edition, he spotted an ad from MBI, Inc., a high-end collectibles company in Norwalk, CT that operates under The Danbury Mint brand. “The ad promised to teach me ‘everything you need to know about direct marketing,’” he recalled. “So, I applied and they did.” “On my first day of work, I was handed a bunch of product lines and told to create and execute marketing plans in direct mail, package inserts, and the Sunday coupons—that’s how I learned,” he said. Four years later, Dan went back to school for his MBA and took his “first” marketing class. At that point, he realized that his undergrad studies provided the perfect foundation for becoming a marketer. “Psychology and Communications are two perfect majors for a marketer because they are two skills that basically define what marketing entails—understanding your customer, and knowing how to speak to him or her,” he said. But his journey was certainly not over. While spreading his wings as a marketing generalist over the years, in 2012 Dan found his true marketing passion: social media. “[Mike Boush], the Chief Digital Officer at Discover Card, asked me to lead digital customer experience and social media even though I had no professional experience with either,” he recalled. “He recognized something in me even before I did: That I am most comfortable with my ‘customer hat’ on, thinking about every experience through the customer’s eyes. I also immediately fell in love with social media—especially Twitter—and never looked back.”

Dan’s Traveling Companions

Just as Dorothy found dear friends and encouragement in the Scarecrow, Tinman and Cowardly Lion as she made her way to Emerald City, Dan’s yellow brick road was paved with a little help, too. The aforementioned Mike Boush was one such individual who made an impact. “He challenged me to become a “recognized leader” in social media,” Dan said. Another was Jeff Reid, who was Dan’s boss at Humana. “He asked me to create a personal goal (writing a book) and execute on it,” Dan explained. Another mentor that came to Dan’s mind was the late Robin Carey of Social Media Today. “She definitely had courage,” he said. “After meeting me once, she agreed to sponsor my brand-new podcast called ‘Focus on Customer Service.’ It was the first of its kind—dedicated solely to customer care in social media—and I had never recorded a podcast episode previously. Fifty-plus episodes later, that podcast spawned my book.” “Robin believed in me when she didn’t have to, and I’ll never forget her for that,” he added.

Meeting the Wizard

At TopRank Marketing we believe in taking a smart, creative and results-focused approach in everything we do for our clients, as well as our own personal growth. Dan is certainly someone who exemplifies these qualities in his work as a social media marketing wizard. So without further ado, let’s dive into Dan’s tips for better social media marketing. Good witch or bad witch? What’s one bad social media marketing habit marketers should drop? Thinking that customer service is someone else’s problem. When we interrupt people’s social media feeds with marketing messages, we hope that they will engage with our fun and interesting marketing content. But sometimes, all we do is remind them that they had some other problem with our brand. Since social media is the first and only channel where customers can talk back, marketers need to listen and engage. [bctt tweet="#SocialMedia is the only channel where customers can talk back, #marketers need to listen. @dgingiss" username="toprank"] Dorothy’s ruby slippers were the key to achieving her end goal of returning home. What are a few tools you believe are key for social media marketing success? Always be listening. People will generally tell you everything you need to know about your business—what’s working, what needs fixing, and what could be your next big hit. Marketers need to embrace the feedback, including compliments, questions, and complaints. Knowing your customer will definitely help you become a better marketer. There are a number helpful social media marketing and listening tools out there—many of which I covered in the chapter on social customer care tools in my book—that can fit into any marketing budget and are worth the investment. [bctt tweet="#Marketers need to embrace positive & negative feedback on #socialmedia. @dgingiss" username="toprank"] Poppies. Poppies. Poppies will put them to sleep! What creative tactics can marketers use to keep their social audience engaged? Always be engaging, too. I know, so many rules! But consumers want to engage with brands on social media. That’s usually why they reach out in the first place. Companies that engage back can create loyal brand advocates that will tell their friends and followers on social media. We’ve all seen the studies—there’s nothing more believable than an objective friend talking positively about a brand. And I’ve personally seen 1:1 engagement rates even after a customer service inquiry that far surpass any marketer’s wildest dreams. Then scaling that becomes the challenge. [bctt tweet="There’s nothing more believable than an objective friend talking positively about a brand. @dgingiss" username="toprank"] What’s one thing you would ask the all-powerful marketing wizard for? (More budget, more resources, better data?) An end to social media marketers thinking of social as a “special” channel that gets to play by different rules. Other than that consumers can talk back, social is just another marketing channel. It’s not unfair to ask for a return on that marketing investment. It’s not unfair to point out that likes, comments, and retweets don’t mean anything if more people aren’t buying your company’s products. Social marketers need to understand that corporate marketing budgets are finite, and social is competing against more mature marketing channels that have shown results for decades. [bctt tweet="#Marketers need to stop thinking #socialmedia is “special” channel that has different rules. @dgingiss" username="toprank"]

We’re Off to Meet More Wizards

I’d like to sincerely thank Dan for taking the time to open up about who he is, where he comes from and how he approaches content and comedy. Thanks, Dan! Of course, TopRank Marketing’s journey to Emerald City is still underway. In the coming months, we’ll be bringing you more exclusive interviews and insights from industry wizards to add some smarts, heart and nerve to your marketing efforts. Stay tuned for our next installment, my pretty! What’s one thing you’d ask the all-powerful marketing wizard for? Tell us in the comments section below.

The post Behind the Marketing Curtain: An Interview with Social Customer Care Wiz Dan Gingiss, McDonald’s appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

]]>
http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/08/behind-the-curtain-dan-gingiss/feed/ 0
6 Quick & Dirty SEO Research Tips for B2B Content Planning http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/08/seo-b2b-content-planning/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/08/seo-b2b-content-planning/#respond Mon, 21 Aug 2017 10:30:03 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=22791 When it comes to crafting compelling content that informs, engages and inspires action, seasoned B2B digital and content marketers know our content needs to captivate both humans and search engines to be effective. After all, 81% of B2B decision makers conduct research before reaching out to a vendor, so we know our content needs to [...]

The post 6 Quick & Dirty SEO Research Tips for B2B Content Planning appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

]]>

When it comes to crafting compelling content that informs, engages and inspires action, seasoned B2B digital and content marketers know our content needs to captivate both humans and search engines to be effective. After all, 81% of B2B decision makers conduct research before reaching out to a vendor, so we know our content needs to meet them whenever and wherever they’re searching.

As a result, striking that “perfect balance” between SEO and user experience is a must—and that perfect balance is rooted in the content planning stage.

“SEO needs to be baked into the process early so that the optimization is as natural as possible,” Kevin Cotch, TopRank Marketing SEO analyst, says. “It can’t be treated as an afterthought. It’s not only more efficient to do your research up front, but it also enhances the content by helping you touch on the specific phrases your audience is using to search to solve their pain points or answer their questions.”

But there’s a little hitch—SEO research can be overwhelming for content creators. We’re often strapped for time and it’s easy to fall down a less-than-productive SEO rabbit hole. In addition, some of us may feel we don’t have the needed expertise or tools.

The good news is that you don’t need to fanciest tools or a dedicated background in SEO to craft great SEO-driven content. Below are a handful of helpful research tactics you can use to make the most of your time and create a content plan that’s flush with solid topics.

#1 – Perform incognito searches for your most important keywords.

Your team has likely developed a list of core keywords and topics that are incredibly important to your brand from a service and search standpoint. And you’ve likely begun to create content around those key topical areas and you’re seeing some movement in the SERPs. Naturally, your ultimate goal is to get your content to the top of Page 1 search results. But have you taken the time to dig in and draw insights from the content you’re hoping to dethrone?

Incognito searches using your priority keywords can help you uncover some of those important insights. An incognito search prevents your browser history or cache from impacting the results, allowing for a more accurate picture of search results. As my colleague Jesse Pickrain so eloquently said in one of my recent posts on finding B2B content marketing inspiration: “There’s gold in them thar SERPs.”

Once you’re served up with some results, spend about 10 to 15 minutes reviewing the content in the top three to five spots. Your goal should be to learn how the content is structured, identify the perceived value it provides your audience, the main pain points it addresses, and ultimately if you have the ability to create something better than what’s ranking at the top. In addition, take a peek at the “related searches” area so you can see other queries that match the search intent of your original search for more clarity and direction for planning your content.

Let’s take the keyword topic “content marketing planning” as an example. At first glance, I see the top results all offer frameworks or tactical guides.

Content Marketing Planning Search in Incognito Window

As I dig in, I can see that four of the top five are all in-depth, long-form pieces, and the content is organized using a range of heading tags and bulleted sections to make it easy to scan. But I also notice that “content marketing planning” isn’t an exact keyword match, rather “content marketing strategy” is present in nearly all of the pieces.

In addition, I can see that the related searches have several variations of “content marketing strategy.” After clicking around in those results, I can see that a lot of the same content is coming up in the top five, but there’s a broader mix as the queries get more specific.

Searches Related to Content Marketing Planning

Roughly 10 minutes later, I’ve pulled some very valuable insights:

  • Long-form content wins for this topic and search intent, and people are looking for detailed plans, examples and templates to make their lives easier.
  • More people are searching for strategy-related keywords, which tells me that “content marketing strategy” may be more relevant or have higher volume, but it’s likely a more competitive keyword term.
  • It’s going to be difficult to crack the top spots for short-tail keywords, but longer-tail or more specific, related search queries definitely have some opportunity.

Based on these insights, as well as my knowledge of existing content, I can start to flush out some relevant concepts that are on-topic and SEO-infused, and guided by the top-performing content that’s already out there. My goal now is to craft a concept that will provide a better answer than what currently exists.

#2 – Consult Google AdWords’ Keyword Planner tool for low-hanging opportunities or additional insight.

The Keyword Planner tool within Google AdWords is often a go-to research tool for SEO and developing paid search campaigns, providing cost-per-click data and average search volume estimates to help you judge competitiveness and relevancy.

When it comes to content planning, this data along with keyword topic and query suggestions, can help you identify low-hanging opportunities or further refine the other research you’ve already done.

Building off my previous example of “content marketing planning,” I know that my incognito search revealed that “content marketing strategy” was a heavily-related keyword from a search intent standpoint. I can now use the keyword planner to dive deeper into the competitiveness surrounding both variations, as well as related keywords, to further refine my concepts.

Keyword Planner Tool Example

#3- Review Google Search Console to see what keywords your existing content is already ranking for.

In my opinion, Google Search Console, formerly Google Webmaster Tools, is one of the most helpful SEO and content planning tools out there. From a technical standpoint, Google Search Console enables you to monitor and maintain your entire website’s presence in Google search results. But from a content planning perspective, Google Search Console allows you to see which queries actually caused your site’s content to appear in search results.

The best part? You can filter by page, allowing you to see how a specific piece of content is drawing visibility. This means you can not only find opportunities to optimize existing content with other related keywords it’s coming up for, but also identify gaps and related topics that can spawn additional content.

#4 – Look to evergreen content for inspiration.

Chances are you have some really solid, evergreen pieces of content that are driving in huge amounts traffic. Why? Because that content is doing a great job at providing the answers searchers seek—and you can build off that.

Use the Google Search Console tip to understand which queries are getting eyeballs on that content, and be on the lookout for:

  • Contextual nuances. Does it appear that your content isn’t the best answer for certain queries? If so, this is a golden opportunity to create new content that can better answer that query.
  • Content branches. You may find that some of the queries your content is coming up for centers on a specific section of your content. If so, that may be an opportunity to drill-in deeper on that specific topic.
  • Follow up questions. When you’re able to see the wide range of queries your existing content is coming up for, you can get a bigger picture of what questions your audience may ask next. If you identify next questions, you can create best-answer content and add add a call to action to that evergreen piece so readers can continue their journey.

#5 – Leverage free tools and Q&A platforms to uncover burning questions.

At TopRank Marketing, we believe that striving to be the best answer wherever and whenever your audience is searching is the key to creating content that resonates. Luckily, there are a number of free platforms and tools such as QuoraAnswer the PublicUbersuggest, and Keyword Tool.io that can provide quick answers and long-tail search opportunities.

Once you’ve discovered some of those burning questions, you can use the incognito search tip to understand what content already exists out there for that question, and determine how you can answer the question better and provide more value to searchers.

#6 – Use social media to get keywords and content topics directly from your audience.

Social media is all about giving people a place to share their thoughts and experiences with one another. So why not take advantage of your community’s willingness to share by asking engaging and thoughtful questions to tap into their insights?

A great example of this in action are Twitter polls, which allow people to weigh in on a specific topics as well as continue the conversation through the reply function. And, while they’re not exactly scientific, polls and social discussions can actually be a chunk of your content as you can feature the responses you get in the content to add more authenticity and perspective.

Don’t Fail to Plan

As the old adage goes: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. And when it comes to crafting effective content, SEO needs to be part of the content marketing planning process if you want to drive results. Use these tips to help make it an easy and efficient part of the process.

What are some interesting ways you conduct SEO research for your B2B brand? Tell us in the comments section.


Email Newsletter Gain a competitive advantage by subscribing to the
TopRank® Online Marketing Newsletter.

© Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®, 2017. | 6 Quick & Dirty SEO Research Tips for B2B Content Planning | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post 6 Quick & Dirty SEO Research Tips for B2B Content Planning appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

]]>
http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/08/seo-b2b-content-planning/feed/ 0
New Report: 5 Statistics You Need to Know on How Content Influences Purchases http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/08/content-influences-purchases/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/08/content-influences-purchases/#comments Thu, 03 Aug 2017 10:30:00 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=22687 How Content Influences the Purchasing Process

These days there’s no question that great content is a foundational element of any marketing strategy—especially in B2B. In fact, according to Content Marketing Institute’s (CMI) 2017 benchmarking report, 89% of B2B marketers use content marketing to “attract and retain a clearly defined audience—and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

And thanks to yet another insightful report from CMI—the latter objective is our focus today.

Last week, CMI and SmartBrief released their How Content Influences the Purchasing Process report, featuring data and insights collected from 1,200 SmartBrief subscribers. The aim of the report was to dig into the minds of those who are actually consuming content, and uncover what types of content are most influential, how decision-makers perceive vendor content, and more.

From a marketer’s perspective, the findings both reinforce and redefine how marketers should be crafting their B2B content marketing strategies. Below I share five key statistics from the report, and some associated takeaways that can help you both bolster and boost your content efforts to drive action by decision makers.

#1 - 81% say they generally conduct research before bringing a vendor in.

Marketers know that the modern buyer’s journey is becoming increasingly self-directed. After all, this shift is arguably what drove the emergence of content marketing in the first place. So, it’s no surprise that CMI and SmartBrief’s report revealed that an overwhelming majority of decision-makers are conducting their own research before making contact with a vendor.

The big takeaway: Simply put, decision-makers want to be educated. Thanks to the rise of the internet, social media and mobile technologies, buyers are more empowered than ever to take things into their own hands. As a result, marketers need to double-down on their efforts to guide people through the purchasing process by creating content for each stage of the sales funnel.

For the TopRank Marketing team, this means leveraging the Attract, Engage, Convert model, as well as an integrated mix of tactics, to craft customer-centric content that’s easy to find, consume and share.

[bctt tweet="Simply put, decision-makers want to be educated. #B2B #contentmarketing @cmicontent" username="toprank"]

#2 - 40% say credibility trumps the source of information.

Since decision-makers are often taking research into their own hands, it stands to reason that they’re consuming information from a variety of sources. According to the report, 66% of respondents admitted to using sources other than vendors to initially collect information.

But perhaps one of the most interesting revelations was that 40% say the information source isn’t a big concern. In the end, they just want good, credible information.

The big takeaway: As long as the content is credible, the source doesn’t matter. While an organization’s owned channels may never be a one-stop-shop for all prospects’ needs, the report encourages vendors to ensure their websites are up-to-date. In addition, since your prospects will likely come into contact with your brand in a variety of ways, marketers can take the lead on evaluating how their brand is being presented across all channels (i.e. printed materials, social media, third-party review sites, in-person events, etc.) to ensure consistency and build credibility.

[bctt tweet="When it comes to gathering info for purchasing decisions, #content credibility > source. @cmicontent" username="toprank"]

#3 - 62% say they want content that speaks to their specific needs and pain points.

As marketers, it’s our job to dig deep to understand who our audience is, the challenges they face and the questions they’re asking. But perhaps we’re falling a little short in this area.

According to the report, the No. 1 most important quality for content during the purchasing process is that is speaks to the specific needs or pain points of the decision-maker. Product or service specifications, and educational rather than promotional, came in at No. 2 and No. 3 respectively.

The big takeaway: Give the people what they want by delivering best-answer content that is tailored to specific niches, scenarios, pain points or questions your prospects/customers are asking.

But where do you start? From my perspective, your first stop should absolutely be your sales team. These folks are in the trenches every day and can give you detailed insights on customer characteristics (i.e. job title, company name, company size, etc.), as well as the challenges they’re looking to solve. Then conduct keyword topic research, and analyze your website and social data to learn more about how your prospects are searching and how they’re engaging with your existing content.

[bctt tweet="Give the people what they want: best-answer #content tailored to specific niches. #B2B #contentmarketing" username="toprank"]

#4 - Just 21% rank blog posts as influential in their purchasing decisions.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, CMI and SmartBrief found that 80% of decision-makers ranked peer recommendations as their No. 1 purchasing influencer. But the No. 2 spot went to original research, with 74% of respondents rating it as influential. Furthermore, many of the most “traditional” content marketing tactics such as eBooks (33%), blogs and articles (21%)  and email newsletters (21%) landed toward the bottom.

The big takeaway: It’s time to expand your content mix. To revisit CMI’s 2017 benchmark survey, social media content (83%), blogs (80%) and email newsletters (77%) were ranked as the top three most-used content marketing tactics. But as stated above, these are less influential in purchasing decisions.

So, if you want to really connect with decision-makers, it’s probably time to step up with more robust and engaging content offerings such as webinars, on-demand product demos and—if you have the bandwidth and budget—original research.

Now, this doesn’t mean you should completely abandon blogs or email marketing. Every organization’s content mix will be different depending on the industry and business objectives. Take stock of what you’re doing, and use the data and insights you have to draw some conclusions about what is and isn’t working. This will help you make decisions on where to ramp up your efforts, and where you can start dabbling with different content types.

[bctt tweet="Based on @cmicontent research, it may be time to expand your #contentmarketing mix." username="toprank"]

#5 - Just 5% say they share information with colleagues on social media.

Generally speaking, purchasing decisions are a group effort. But how are decision-makers communicating with one another? According to the report, the vast majority (82%) of decision-makers are sharing content via email with other colleagues. The next most popular channels are conference calls (64%) or through a shared document or folder (36%)—with social channels coming in at 5% or less.

The big takeaway: Social sharing metrics don’t give you the full engagement picture, so don’t fret if your shares are looking a little low. From my perspective, the bottom line here is the more you tap into the unique content needs and pain points of your audience, the better chance your content has at making an impression on all decision-makers.

[bctt tweet="#B2B decision-makers are sharing #content via email - not #social. @cmicontent" username="toprank"]

Want to Read the Full Report?

Get access to the free report here.

Are you surprised by any of the findings in the report? Tell us in the comments section below.

The post New Report: 5 Statistics You Need to Know on How Content Influences Purchases appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

]]>
How Content Influences the Purchasing Process

These days there’s no question that great content is a foundational element of any marketing strategy—especially in B2B. In fact, according to Content Marketing Institute’s (CMI) 2017 benchmarking report, 89% of B2B marketers use content marketing to “attract and retain a clearly defined audience—and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” And thanks to yet another insightful report from CMI—the latter objective is our focus today. Last week, CMI and SmartBrief released their How Content Influences the Purchasing Process report, featuring data and insights collected from 1,200 SmartBrief subscribers. The aim of the report was to dig into the minds of those who are actually consuming content, and uncover what types of content are most influential, how decision-makers perceive vendor content, and more. From a marketer’s perspective, the findings both reinforce and redefine how marketers should be crafting their B2B content marketing strategies. Below I share five key statistics from the report, and some associated takeaways that can help you both bolster and boost your content efforts to drive action by decision makers.

#1 - 81% say they generally conduct research before bringing a vendor in.

Marketers know that the modern buyer’s journey is becoming increasingly self-directed. After all, this shift is arguably what drove the emergence of content marketing in the first place. So, it’s no surprise that CMI and SmartBrief’s report revealed that an overwhelming majority of decision-makers are conducting their own research before making contact with a vendor. The big takeaway: Simply put, decision-makers want to be educated. Thanks to the rise of the internet, social media and mobile technologies, buyers are more empowered than ever to take things into their own hands. As a result, marketers need to double-down on their efforts to guide people through the purchasing process by creating content for each stage of the sales funnel. For the TopRank Marketing team, this means leveraging the Attract, Engage, Convert model, as well as an integrated mix of tactics, to craft customer-centric content that’s easy to find, consume and share. [bctt tweet="Simply put, decision-makers want to be educated. #B2B #contentmarketing @cmicontent" username="toprank"]

#2 - 40% say credibility trumps the source of information.

Since decision-makers are often taking research into their own hands, it stands to reason that they’re consuming information from a variety of sources. According to the report, 66% of respondents admitted to using sources other than vendors to initially collect information. But perhaps one of the most interesting revelations was that 40% say the information source isn’t a big concern. In the end, they just want good, credible information. The big takeaway: As long as the content is credible, the source doesn’t matter. While an organization’s owned channels may never be a one-stop-shop for all prospects’ needs, the report encourages vendors to ensure their websites are up-to-date. In addition, since your prospects will likely come into contact with your brand in a variety of ways, marketers can take the lead on evaluating how their brand is being presented across all channels (i.e. printed materials, social media, third-party review sites, in-person events, etc.) to ensure consistency and build credibility. [bctt tweet="When it comes to gathering info for purchasing decisions, #content credibility > source. @cmicontent" username="toprank"]

#3 - 62% say they want content that speaks to their specific needs and pain points.

As marketers, it’s our job to dig deep to understand who our audience is, the challenges they face and the questions they’re asking. But perhaps we’re falling a little short in this area. According to the report, the No. 1 most important quality for content during the purchasing process is that is speaks to the specific needs or pain points of the decision-maker. Product or service specifications, and educational rather than promotional, came in at No. 2 and No. 3 respectively. The big takeaway: Give the people what they want by delivering best-answer content that is tailored to specific niches, scenarios, pain points or questions your prospects/customers are asking. But where do you start? From my perspective, your first stop should absolutely be your sales team. These folks are in the trenches every day and can give you detailed insights on customer characteristics (i.e. job title, company name, company size, etc.), as well as the challenges they’re looking to solve. Then conduct keyword topic research, and analyze your website and social data to learn more about how your prospects are searching and how they’re engaging with your existing content. [bctt tweet="Give the people what they want: best-answer #content tailored to specific niches. #B2B #contentmarketing" username="toprank"]

#4 - Just 21% rank blog posts as influential in their purchasing decisions.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, CMI and SmartBrief found that 80% of decision-makers ranked peer recommendations as their No. 1 purchasing influencer. But the No. 2 spot went to original research, with 74% of respondents rating it as influential. Furthermore, many of the most “traditional” content marketing tactics such as eBooks (33%), blogs and articles (21%)  and email newsletters (21%) landed toward the bottom. The big takeaway: It’s time to expand your content mix. To revisit CMI’s 2017 benchmark survey, social media content (83%), blogs (80%) and email newsletters (77%) were ranked as the top three most-used content marketing tactics. But as stated above, these are less influential in purchasing decisions. So, if you want to really connect with decision-makers, it’s probably time to step up with more robust and engaging content offerings such as webinars, on-demand product demos and—if you have the bandwidth and budget—original research. Now, this doesn’t mean you should completely abandon blogs or email marketing. Every organization’s content mix will be different depending on the industry and business objectives. Take stock of what you’re doing, and use the data and insights you have to draw some conclusions about what is and isn’t working. This will help you make decisions on where to ramp up your efforts, and where you can start dabbling with different content types. [bctt tweet="Based on @cmicontent research, it may be time to expand your #contentmarketing mix." username="toprank"]

#5 - Just 5% say they share information with colleagues on social media.

Generally speaking, purchasing decisions are a group effort. But how are decision-makers communicating with one another? According to the report, the vast majority (82%) of decision-makers are sharing content via email with other colleagues. The next most popular channels are conference calls (64%) or through a shared document or folder (36%)—with social channels coming in at 5% or less. The big takeaway: Social sharing metrics don’t give you the full engagement picture, so don’t fret if your shares are looking a little low. From my perspective, the bottom line here is the more you tap into the unique content needs and pain points of your audience, the better chance your content has at making an impression on all decision-makers. [bctt tweet="#B2B decision-makers are sharing #content via email - not #social. @cmicontent" username="toprank"]

Want to Read the Full Report?

Get access to the free report here. Are you surprised by any of the findings in the report? Tell us in the comments section below.

The post New Report: 5 Statistics You Need to Know on How Content Influences Purchases appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

]]>
http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/08/content-influences-purchases/feed/ 1
5 TopRank Marketing Team Insights for Finding B2B Content Marketing Inspiration http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/07/b2b-content-marketing-inspiration/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/07/b2b-content-marketing-inspiration/#comments Thu, 27 Jul 2017 10:30:41 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=22644 These days, there’s little doubt among B2B marketers that content is the foundation of digital marketing success. After all, studies show that nearly all B2B buyers do some form of online research before making a purchasing decision. As a result, we content creators are tasked with turning out informative, engaging and inspiring content that helps [...]

The post 5 TopRank Marketing Team Insights for Finding B2B Content Marketing Inspiration appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

]]>

These days, there’s little doubt among B2B marketers that content is the foundation of digital marketing success. After all, studies show that nearly all B2B buyers do some form of online research before making a purchasing decision. As a result, we content creators are tasked with turning out informative, engaging and inspiring content that helps our brand be the best answer wherever and whenever our audience is searching.

But let’s face it, content folks. Despite being proven wordsmiths and marketers, our creative engine stalls from time to time. I’ll certainly admit that my computer screen and I have had some intimate moments—mostly me staring longingly at a blank document and praying the words will come.

So, what’s a B2B content marketer to do when our creative engine breaks down—or rather before it loses steam? Where can we find inspiration?

For me, my salvation lies in my fellow TopRank Marketing team members. As the old adage goes, two heads are better than one, so I often tap outside perspectives to kick-start my creative juices. So it’s only natural that this piece includes tips and insights from some of those team members.

Whether you’re planning content or looking to weave a creative metaphor into a piece, below my team members share how they overcome creative challenges and find content inspiration in the B2B space.

1. Mining for gold in SERPs.

“Lately I’ve been performing more incognito searches for priority keywords. Whether you need contextual clues surrounding search intent, or need to brainstorm ways to one-up your top competition with an even better answer, there’s gold in them thar SERPs.”

Jesse Pickrain, Senior Content Marketing Manager


There’s gold in them thar SERPs. - @jpickrain on finding #B2Bcontentmarketing inspiration
Click To Tweet


2. Finding the pulse.

“For me, it’s all about tapping into topics that are occupying our societal consciousness at the moment. What are people talking about? Where are they focusing their attention? Why are these matters so magnetic? I’ll peruse Google News, Buzzsumo and various blogs in efforts to press my finger on the proverbial pulse. It doesn’t even need to be business-related; sometimes entertainment and politics can provide valuable fodder enabling us to look at B2B marketing in new and enlightening ways.”

Nick Nelson, Content Strategist


Entertainment & politics can enable us to look at #B2Bmarketing in enlightening ways. @NickNelsonMN
Click To Tweet


3. Adding some visual stimulation.

“I go to free image sites like Pixabay and Pexels, and just browse the most recently added pictures. It’s a soothing stream-of-consciousness tour through visual content that will frequently spark a creative idea.”

Josh Nite, Content Marketing Manager


I go to free image sites & browse new pictures to inspire #content creativity. @NiteWrites
Click To Tweet


4. Giving the people what they want

I spend a lot of time researching and reading to stay on top of what is happening in the world of marketing. A lot of my inspiration comes from the stories I read from other smart marketers. I like to find a ways to help our team create content that aligns with the needs of our audience.

Like Nick, Buzzsumo is a fantastic tool for uncovering top stories (across multiple verticals) that people are sharing. You can also use the tool to identify who the top sharers are to see if they are either part of your target audience, or influence your target audience.

I also spend a significant amount of time reviewing the performance of our own content to see what is resonating most with our audience. This can help determine where we should invest more time and effort. (Give the people what they want!).

Ashley Zeckman, Director of Agency Marketing


Inspire your #B2B #contentmarketing by staying on top of the latest industry happenings. @azeckman
Click To Tweet


5. Being in the “brief”.

I routinely use Anders Pink to stay up on the latest news and find inspiration. This web app allows me to create a “briefing” where I can see everything trending in B2B content marketing. If I want to see what resonated the most with audiences, I can filter the briefing down further by limiting results to the past 24 hours, three days, or even three months.

Annie Leuman, Copywriter


I routinely use @AndersPink to stay up on the latest news & find #content inspiration. @aleuman4
Click To Tweet


Looking for More B2B Content Marketing Inspiration?

Then allow me to suggest a few other posts to give you a creative boost:

If you’re looking to tap the talented TopRank Marketing team to inspire your efforts, learn more about our approach to B2B content marketing.

Where do you find creative inspiration for your B2B content marketing efforts? Tell us in the comments section below.


Email Newsletter Gain a competitive advantage by subscribing to the
TopRank® Online Marketing Newsletter.

© Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®, 2017. | 5 TopRank Marketing Team Insights for Finding B2B Content Marketing Inspiration | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post 5 TopRank Marketing Team Insights for Finding B2B Content Marketing Inspiration appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

]]>
http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/07/b2b-content-marketing-inspiration/feed/ 2
11 Content Marketing Tips to Build Your B2B Business http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/07/11-content-marketing-tips-b2b/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/07/11-content-marketing-tips-b2b/#comments Mon, 24 Jul 2017 10:30:46 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=22627 As the father of an 8-year-old boy, most of my disposable income is tied up in little plastic bricks. In my house, you’ll find thousands of them in bins, several elaborate sets on display, and a distressing number of the (razor-sharp) things underfoot. I’m not complaining, really. I have as much fun building with them [...]

The post 11 Content Marketing Tips to Build Your B2B Business appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

]]>

As the father of an 8-year-old boy, most of my disposable income is tied up in little plastic bricks. In my house, you’ll find thousands of them in bins, several elaborate sets on display, and a distressing number of the (razor-sharp) things underfoot.

I’m not complaining, really. I have as much fun building with them as he does. And as a marketer, having Lego around is a good reminder of the value of content marketing. Great content can drive marketing goals while providing something of real value to its target audience: The Lego Movie was a 90-minute commercial for Lego, but it was also entertaining and heartfelt. I laughed, I cried, I bought $100 worth of tie-in toys… everybody won.

Your B2B offering may not have that Lego coolness factor. The Industrial Turbine Movie is unlikely to score with critics or with audiences. But content can still help you build your business.

If you’re just getting started with content marketing, start with this guide to content marketing strategy. Then use the following tips as an advanced class to make your content even more valuable to your audience. And, most importantly, to connect that audience to your business goals.

11 Content Marketing Tips to Build Your B2B Business

#1: Find the Intersection of Brand Expertise and Customer Needs

The Venn diagram of what your brand wants to talk about and what your customers want to learn about is never going to be a perfect circle.

The value lies in the overlap of your brand’s knowledge and your customer’s questions. It doesn’t help anyone to write informed content on an irrelevant topic, or uninformed content on a relevant one. Find out where your Venn diagram overlaps and start there. Then add a unique angle—something your brand is uniquely qualified to bring to the table.

#2: Help Prospects Succeed at Their Jobs

Note that you’re not just addressing the intersection of your company’s solution and customers’ needs. If your only helpful advice is, “Buy our product, here’s how it solves your problem,” you’re not really serving the audience.

B2B marketers frequently hear, “This content doesn’t address our product’s features, so it’s not relevant.” But anything that helps your potential buyer do his or her job better is acutely relevant. Helpful content builds brand recognition, establishes trust, and leads to loyalty when it’s time to make a purchase.

#3: Start with a Single Channel

In his book Content, Inc., Joe Pulizzi suggests focusing on just one channel for publishing your content. Create a repository of content on your owned real estate, using organic and paid social to drive traffic back to your home turf. The end goal should be creating a destination for visitors, who can become subscribers and eventually customers.

#4: Beef up Your Core Content

Before you start filling out your editorial calendar, make sure your site has a bare minimum of useful static content. The most compelling, viral blog post can’t get business results if your site lacks some of these basic building blocks:

  • An “About” page with your company’s philosophy and mission statement
  • A product page that explains exactly what your offering is and does.
  • A differentiator page explaining why your offering is unique.

#5: Encourage C-Suite Thought Leadership

Make sure there is a variety of voices in your content. That means tapping internal subject matter experts, certainly. But it’s also worth encouraging executives to contribute to content as well. Your C-suite is influential both in your organization and in your industry. Help them see the real business value of thought leadership content in building an audience, accelerating sales cycles, and lifting brand recognition.

 

#6: Collaborate with Influencers (and Prospects)

We’re pretty sold on influencer marketing at TopRank Marketing, for at least a dozen reasons. Influencer co-created content helps you reach a wider audience, boosts your credibility, and helps build mutually beneficial influencer relationships, for starters.

Start seeing your prospects as influencers, too. The next time you’re creating an influencer asset, look to people working at your most valuable target companies. Promote their content, make contact, and ask them to share their expertise. Working together to make something cool is a great way to start a relationship.

#7: Set a Cadence of Quality

How often should you publish content? As often as you can without sacrificing quality. If you can publish in-depth, supremely useful, world-beating content every day, go for it. But it’s better to post one great piece of content a week than 7 mediocre ones.

Set a cadence you will be sure to keep up with, and publish regularly to get your audience in the habit of visiting your site.

 

#8: Plan a Full-Funnel Content Mix

It’s easy to focus on bottom-of-funnel content—the ultra-specific stuff designed to lead directly to a purchase decision—because that content is perceived as having the greatest effect on the bottom line. But if all your content is at the bottom of the funnel, you don’t have a funnel.

Plan to cultivate a healthy content balance that addresses every stage of your buyer’s journey. That means more top-of-funnel than bottom-of-funnel content, and middle-funnel content that connects research to purchase intent.

 

#9: Create a Variety of Content Types

Nothing against the venerable white paper, that staple of B2B content marketing, but modern buyers are looking for a little more variety. Spice up your content mix with infographics, short video, SlideShare presentations—anything that adds visual interest can make your content stand out from the crowd.

When your content plan has diversity in content type, funnel stage, and authorial voice, you’ll be far better equipped to make your site a destination for readers.

 

#10: Include Logical Next Steps

Building a business with content is all about laying out a journey your customer can take. Their path may loop, move backwards, or leap forward, but each piece of content should clearly point them to the next destination. Every asset should have at least one call to action, whether it’s to read a piece of content further down the funnel, download an asset, subscribe, or schedule a demo.

 

#11: Gate Assets Sparingly

A gated eBook is most B2B marketers’ go-to lead capture tool. It’s a fine tactic, and one that we regularly employ to great success. It’s important, though, to make sure you have a healthy portion of ungated content. And it’s vital that your gated content provide value that’s worth the customer giving up their contact information.

For the most part, save your gated content for middle and bottom-of-funnel content. Keep the content highly specific and targeted at those most ready to purchase, and you can pre-qualify your leads. Gating top-of-funnel content can lead to either a high influx of low-quality leads, or (more likely) precious few people making the conversion at all.

Lego of Your Fear and Start Creating Great Content

You don’t have to be a billion-dollar toy corporation to create content that moves people to take action. With these tips in mind, you can develop a relevant, dynamic, compelling content marketing mix. Superlative content gets results, whether you’re selling little plastic bricks or million-dollar cloud software solutions.

Need help building your content empire? Learn more about TopRank Marketing’s content marketing services.


Email Newsletter Gain a competitive advantage by subscribing to the
TopRank® Online Marketing Newsletter.

© Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®, 2017. | 11 Content Marketing Tips to Build Your B2B Business | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post 11 Content Marketing Tips to Build Your B2B Business appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

]]>
http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/07/11-content-marketing-tips-b2b/feed/ 3
6 Best Practices for Nurturing B2B Marketing Qualified Leads http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/07/nurturing-b2b-marketing-leads/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/07/nurturing-b2b-marketing-leads/#respond Thu, 13 Jul 2017 10:30:06 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=22558 The rise of the internet, digital technologies and social media platforms have transformed the way consumers make purchasing decisions—and not just for B2C consumers, but for B2B as well. In fact, according to CEB, B2B buyers are 57% of the way through a purchasing decision before engaging with a sales rep. But, as a savvy [...]

The post 6 Best Practices for Nurturing B2B Marketing Qualified Leads appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

]]>

The rise of the internet, digital technologies and social media platforms have transformed the way consumers make purchasing decisions—and not just for B2C consumers, but for B2B as well. In fact, according to CEB, B2B buyers are 57% of the way through a purchasing decision before engaging with a sales rep.

But, as a savvy B2B marketer, you already knew all this. So, you’ve designed an integrated strategy featuring a hearty mix of marketing tactics to help build trust and awareness as prospects do their research. You’re turning out thoughtful, relevant content that informs, engages and inspires action. You’re working with industry influencers to add credibility and authority to your efforts. Heck, you’re even driving what you believe are solid marketing qualified leads (MQLs).

However, there’s a problem: The leads you’re generating in aren’t translating into sales. What’s a savvy marketer to do? You know this, too—it’s time to double-down on nurturing those MQLs.

Simply put, MQLs are warm prospects who are not ready to make a purchasing decision yet—and lead nurturing can help you turn up the heat. And most of you are probably doing some form of lead nurturing already. According to DemandGen Report’s 2016 Lead Nurturing Benchmark Study, 89% of marketers use lead nurturing programs as part of their demand generation strategy. In addition, the remaining 11% said they plan to start a lead nurturing program in the next 12 months.

But whether you’re seasoned at lead nurturing or just getting started, you’re likely facing some common struggles. DemandGen Report’s study also revealed that more than half of marketers ranked “developing targeted content by buyer stage/interest” as their greatest challenge. Other top challenges included adapting to modern B2B buyer expectations, changing and unpredictable buyer behavior, and processes and workflow.

In this post, we share tips and best practices for heating up your MQL nurturing efforts, so you can build trust and relationships with prospects, and hopefully hand them off as SQLs (sales qualified leads) when the time is right.

#1 – Determine what qualifies as a qualified lead.

Every company has a different perspective on what MQLs and SQLs actually look like—and some may not differentiate between them at all. In addition, every lead is different and not all leads are created equal. Depending on your product or service, and your marketing mix and program goals, you’ll want to work with your marketing and sales team to define each lead type.

Why is this so important? At a basic level, it makes sure that everyone is on the same page and enhances communication between the two departments. But perhaps more importantly, understanding the differences between the two helps you craft a more effective strategy—and ultimately—help you serve up higher-quality sales-ready leads.

Read: Want Better Leads? 7 Tips for Achieve Sales & Marketing Alignment

#2 – Make sure you have a deep understanding of your target customer.

It’s no secret that audience and customer knowledge is the foundation of all marketing initiatives. If you want to create relevant content that nurtures them throughout their journey, you need to understand your audience’s pain points, what they care about, how they like to get information, and what influences their purchasing decisions.

If you don’t already have them, build out customer personas that define who your ideal customers are—and what they look like at each stage of the sales funnel. Ask yourself:

  • What are the common characteristics of my best and worst customers?
  • What are their content preferences, search phrases, social networks, and the types of products or services they buy or “like”?
  • What does my ideal customer look like at the top, middle and bottom of the funnel?

Read: Adele Revella Weighs In On Connecting B2B Content to Customers

#3 – Understand where your leads are in the sales funnel.

The modern customer journey is far from linear and requires multiple touch points throughout the sales funnel. When it comes to your bucket of MQLs, while they’ve signaled their interest through some type of conversion, that doesn’t mean they’re sales-ready. As a result, you need to make an effort to map your leads to a specific area of the sales funnel if you want to nurture them properly.

For example, for new leads—such as those that have just converted for the first time through a download or newsletter signup—they’re likely pretty new to your brand. As a result, the content you use to nurture may include tactical blog posts, curated third-party articles and long-form thought leadership pieces aimed at engagement.

Leverage your MQL and SQL definitions, customer personas and any analytics data you have to audit your existing list of MQLs. This gives you important insights into where you stand with prospects, and can help you plan you segment your list to create nurture more effectively.

When it comes to segmenting or categorizing your list, it may seem like a daunting task. If you’ve been building your list for many years, it will take a bit of work—but it’s worth it. In addition, begin incorporating and requiring segmentation information in your lead capture forms. This ensures that new audience members are categorized appropriately from the start.

Depending on your prospect base and how the information will be used you can include simple qualifiers such as:

  • Company Name
  • Title
  • Area of Interest

Read: Is Your Content Marketing Designed for the New Customer Journey?

#4 – Audit your existing content for repurposing opportunities.

Chances are that your team has a huge portfolio of existing content. As TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden often says: “Content isn’t King. It’s the Kingdom.” So why not get the most out of the kingdom you’ve built?

Take an inventory of your existing content, paying special attention to the unicorns—the content that is generating the awesome traffic, engagement and helping move people to the next step. Then look for ways to repurpose and personalize the content in ways that maps to your leads at every stage of the funnel.

Read: 5 Magical Tactics for Repurposing B2B Marketing Content

#5 – If you’re new to lead nurturing, start small.

This one’s pretty simple. If you’re just beginning to dip your toe in the lead nurturing waters, don’t dive head-first just yet.

Get started by launching a single campaign such as a bi-monthly newsletter or monthly offer for all leads. By starting small, you can get something in front of your prospects right away and keep your brand top-of-mind.

Read: 5 Elements of a Successful Email Based Lead Nurturing Program

#6 – Invest in marketing automation software when it makes sense.

Marketing automation software from vendors like Marketo and HubSpot can be an incredible lead nurturing tool. However, if your lead nurturing program is relatively young, don’t spring for marketing automation software right away. Marketing automation software is an investment that requires budget, and the appropriate resources to execute effectively.

When it’s time to scale your lead nurturing program, ask yourself the following questions to help you make the right decision:

  • What is the organizational goal you hope to achieve with marketing automation?
  • What is the health of your current database? (Hopefully, your recent audit can help you answer this one.)
  • What content assets are available? (Again, your work up to this point should help you answer this.)
  • Do you have the resources to dedicate to the planning, implementation and measurement of a marketing automation system?
  • Are sales and marketing aligned?
  • What does success look like?

Read: How to Avoid Marketing Automation Disaster: 6 Essential Pre-Planning Steps

Ready. Set. Nurture.

At the end of the day, your marketing efforts aim to drive leads that have a high chance of turning into paying customers. But without effective lead nurturing, valuable prospects will inevitably slip through the cracks or find your competitor.

Use these best practices to bolster your integrated marketing strategy, build relationships with your prospects, achieve marketing ROI and eventually deliver your sales team with better quality leads.

What are your biggest lead nurturing challenges? How are you working to overcome them? Tell us in the comments section.


Email Newsletter Gain a competitive advantage by subscribing to the
TopRank® Online Marketing Newsletter.

© Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®, 2017. | 6 Best Practices for Nurturing B2B Marketing Qualified Leads | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post 6 Best Practices for Nurturing B2B Marketing Qualified Leads appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

]]>
http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/07/nurturing-b2b-marketing-leads/feed/ 0
10 Easy Wins to Improve Your B2B Marketing Leads http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/07/improve-b2b-marketing-leads/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/07/improve-b2b-marketing-leads/#comments Tue, 11 Jul 2017 10:30:11 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=22542 And now, a brief message from Captain Obvious and his sidekick, Sidekick Boy: The goal of marketing is to generate leads that convert to sales, thereby generating revenue. What a thunderously, crashingly obvious statement! Captain Obvious saves the day again. But seriously, it’s useful for marketers to occasionally contemplate this most fundamental truth about our [...]

The post 10 Easy Wins to Improve Your B2B Marketing Leads appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

]]>

And now, a brief message from Captain Obvious and his sidekick, Sidekick Boy:

The goal of marketing is to generate leads that convert to sales, thereby generating revenue.

What a thunderously, crashingly obvious statement! Captain Obvious saves the day again.

But seriously, it’s useful for marketers to occasionally contemplate this most fundamental truth about our profession. We’re not here to just raise awareness, get subscribers, or foster engagement. All of these goals should be parts of a strategy to get to the ultimate goal: lead generation.

We have more tools now than ever before to measure how our efforts translate to leads. Unfortunately, that means marketers—especially in B2B—are under more pressure than ever to improve the quantity and quality of the leads we deliver to sales.

To boost your lead generation efforts, you don’t have to torch your entire content marketing strategy. Start with these easy wins and expand from there.

10 Easy Wins to Improve B2B Lead Generation 

#1: Use SlideShare for Increased Conversion Rates

SlideShare leads tend to be higher converting than leads from other social media sources. If your content is featured on the site, it’s a guaranteed boost in traffic. Create high-quality, visually compelling content with a strong CTA at the end, and you can drive relevant traffic to your landing page.

This SlideShare on Influencer Engagement was a great lead driver for our agency. We saw results for both of our dual CTAs.

SlideShare offers a pay-per-capture embedded lead gen form option as well. If your potential ROI is high enough, it’s worth using their native format to simplify conversion. Otherwise, a clickable link in the last few slides is the way to go.

#2: Mobile-Optimize Your Landing Pages

It’s easy now to create mobile-optimized social media advertising. All the major networks have a native format for paid content that looks just as good on mobile as it does on the desktop. But when a mobile user taps on the ad to visit your site, what does the landing page look like?

Make sure your landing page is designed to be responsive, or use a mobile-specific landing page to put your best foot forward. The page should be light on text, with no need to scroll or zoom to read. A sentence or two with a clear statement of benefit, a short form, and a submission button are all that should be on the page.

#3: Add CTAs to High-Performing Content

It’s easy to add new content in an attempt to get more eyeballs on your landing pages. But if you’re not refreshing existing content, you’re likely missing out on potential leads.

Check your analytics for older content that is still bringing in traffic. Give the content a refresh, then update the CTA to a current relevant offer.

I’ve seen far too many posts that CTA to, for example, register for a webinar that has already passed. Keep your CTAs fresh on old posts and they can continue to drive leads.

#4: Balance Top and Bottom-of-funnel CTAs

We’ve all heard the old axiom, “Don’t propose marriage on the first date.” It’s one of Captain Obvious’ favorite quotes. But it does hold true for lead generation.

For top-of-funnel CTAs, make the process as easy and frictionless as possible. Ask for a bare minimum of information and provide plenty of value in return. A blog subscription CTA is a prime example. They give an email address, you provide a newsletter with (hopefully) personalized, segmented content.

Bottom-of-funnel CTAs should require a little extra effort—that way, you’ll weed out those who aren’t ready for more commitment. For example, a “schedule a demo” link at the top of your homepage isn’t likely to get results. But a demo request at the bottom of your “About Us” or “Learn More” page should be more successful.

#5: Take the “Squint Test”

Your site visitors can’t convert if they don’t know where to click. It’s easy to get a little too into design elements and end up burying the CTA.

Look at your website and squint until you can’t read the text (or, in my case, just remove your glasses). Can you tell where the CTA is? If not, it’s likely that your readers can’t either.

#6: Refresh Your Personas

If your content isn’t converting, or if it’s converting leads that don’t end up qualified by sales, it’s time to take a look at the personas that inform the content. Personas aren’t meant to be set in stone; they should change over time as you experiment and explore your target audience.

Revisit your personas on a regular basis, evaluating them based on sales department feedback, keyword research, and content performance. Keep the content relevant and it’s likely your CTAs will be relevant, too.

#7: Diversify Your Content Mix

A B2B buying committee tends to have multiple stakeholders with differing interests and pain points. Factor in those who don’t make the final decision but influence the process, and you have a lot of different potential audiences.

So it’s important to make sure your content speaks to the interests of everyone involved in the decision-making process. You may never get the CEO to download your eBook—but the Human Resources Manager who does download it is likely to share what they learn.

#8: Try Audience-Specific Webinars

If your organization hasn’t tried hosting a webinar yet, it’s high time to give it a shot. According to research, up to 40% of webinar attendees turn into qualified leads.

Use webinars to speak to a single segment of your audience, providing value that is exceptionally relevant to their needs. Publish a preview blog post with a registration link, then promote the event with paid and organic social, too.

#9: Add a “Download” Option to Top Content

This one is as simple as it is effective. On your longer pieces of ungated content, give people the option to download it for offline viewing later. It’s surprising to see how many people will happily trade a little contact info for a downloadable PDF of content they find valuable.

#10: Analyze and Optimize Your Conversion Rate

There are two ways to increase the net amount of leads your landing pages bring in: increase traffic, or improve your conversion rate. While both are worthwhile goals, the latter will have far more impact than the former. Capture a larger percentage of your traffic, and you’ll end up with more and more relevant leads.

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is an entire discipline unto itself, but there are plenty of CRO tools that can help you measure and improve your rate.

Take the Lead in Lead Generation

As Captain Obvious would say, the goal of marketing is to encourage sales that lead to revenue. Every marketing tactic should serve that ultimate goal. Use the tips in this article to start capturing more and higher-quality leads. And remember: Capturing a lead is the beginning, not the end. Make sure your lead nurturing strategy is on point, too.

Need help with conversion rate optimization? Explore our analytics & CRO services.


Email Newsletter Gain a competitive advantage by subscribing to the
TopRank® Online Marketing Newsletter.

© Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®, 2017. | 10 Easy Wins to Improve Your B2B Marketing Leads | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post 10 Easy Wins to Improve Your B2B Marketing Leads appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

]]>
http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/07/improve-b2b-marketing-leads/feed/ 5
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: 6 Tips for Helping Your Marketing Team Work Better Together http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/07/marketing-team-work-together/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/07/marketing-team-work-together/#comments Thu, 06 Jul 2017 10:30:36 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=22539 Who doesn’t love a good inspirational quote on the power of teamwork? Teamwork makes the dream work. TEAM: Together Everyone Achieves More Teamwork: Simply stated, is less me and more WE. Teamwork divides the task and multiplies the success. There’s no “I” in team. We’ve all heard them. We’ve all said them. But can we [...]

The post Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: 6 Tips for Helping Your Marketing Team Work Better Together appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

]]>

Who doesn’t love a good inspirational quote on the power of teamwork?

Teamwork makes the dream work.

TEAM: Together Everyone Achieves More

Teamwork: Simply stated, is less me and more WE.

Teamwork divides the task and multiplies the success.

There’s no “I” in team.

We’ve all heard them. We’ve all said them. But can we all say that our marketing teams actually live by them?

For you marketing managers out there, there’s little doubt that you strive to support and enable great teamwork within your organization. After all, you’re likely managing an integrated marketing strategy that requires all hands on deck to get something cohesive and effective out the door. However, breaks in communication, bottlenecks, missed tasks, discontent and finger pointing can still be a daily struggle.

At TopRank Marketing finding ways to work better together has become a core business objective. From implementing agile marketing principles to launching a new project management system to a more collaborative hiring process, we’re doubling down on teamwork to not only create a great work environment, but also help drive great work and the best possible results for our clients.

As someone who works very closely with a diverse team of marketers, I wanted to share a few tips that can help you build trust with individuals on your team, and foster more and better teamwork.

#1 – Get to know your team members—and encourage them to do the same.

Let’s face it. We spend a lot of time with our coworkers—perhaps even more time than we do with our families in a given week. So why not get to know each other better on both a personal and professional level?

On a professional level, marketing managers and each team member should have a deep understanding of each other’s respective skills and strengths. Taking the time to learn these things makes it easier to delegate tasks and gives everyone insight on whose brains they can pick for advice.

On a personal level, we all have hobbies, interests and dreams outside of work. When we pay attention and show interest in a person’s life outside of company walls, we build a personal connection that fosters trust, friendship and compassion. And in my experience, having a personal connection to a coworker or supervisor absolutely drives more collaboration because we all care about each other, and all want to do our best to lift each other up.


Get a deep understanding of each other’s respective skills & strengths. #marketing #teamwork
Click To Tweet


#2 – Define individual and team goals.

Goal setting is a critical piece of any initiative as goals help guide your overall strategy. As a result, if you want your team to come together, you have to make sure they have clearly defined goals for themselves and as team in front of them.

Gather your team members for a goal setting session so they can document what they want to accomplish both together and individually. Use the objectives you’ve outlined in your marketing strategy as the ultimate goals, and encourage them to outline items that will help reach those goals and what success actually looks like.


If you want your #marketing team to come together, get clearly defined goals in front of them.
Click To Tweet


#3 – Outline individual responsibilities—and understand how they intersect with others’ duties.

Each individual has an important role to play within the larger team, and there needs to be clarity in who is responsible for what—as well as how their work has an impact on other members of the team.

During your goal setting session, outline each team member’s roles and responsibilities, and encourage everyone to weigh in. At the end of the session, not only will every member know what’s expected of them and their peers, but also feel like they’ve had a say.


There needs to be clarity in who is responsible for what. #marketing #teamwork
Click To Tweet


#4 – Determine how you’ll communicate.

It’s certainly no secret that communication is vital to the success of any team. As a result, every team should establish a communications plan to help ensure people are in the know and accessible to each other.

At TopRank Marketing, we have an “open door” policy. This means that at any time, a team member can pop by with a question or for a quick strategy session. Of course, sometimes we need to be heads down and don’t want to be disturbed. So, recently we’ve added colorful flags to each of our desks. If the flag is up, send an email or stop by later. If the flag is down, we’re open for business. As far as task management goes, we use Workfront as our project management system to communicate details and deadlines.

For larger teams or those working remotely, Slack can be a fantastic option. As Beverly Jackson, Vice President of Social Portfolio Strategy for MGM Resorts International, told me in a recent “Behind the Marketing Curtain” interview: “Communication between team members is crucial. And if you have team members who are always on the move, sometimes you can’t catch them by phone and email isn’t fast enough. We use Slack to stay in touch, and share things in small bursts.”


Establish a comms plan to keep people in the know & accessible to each other. #marketing #teamwork
Click To Tweet


#5 – Hold regular standups.

As part of your communications plan, consider holding regular, in-person standup meetings. Inspired by Scrum and agile theories, these meetings should be about 15 minutes in length, and serve as a check-in to ensure everyone is on the same page and there are no hurdles in the way.

Depending on your organization or the task at hand, your standups could take place twice a week or every day. I’d recommend starting with daily, and then adjusting down based on your needs.


Hold regular, in-person standups. #marketing #teamworktips
Click To Tweet


#6 – Eliminate work silos whenever possible.

No matter the industry, “eliminating silos” is often cited as key to better collaboration and success. But how? For marketers, it may be easier than you think.

As previously mentioned in this piece, most organizations are operating an integrated marketing strategy featuring several interconnected tactics such as social media marketing, content marketing, SEO and paid search. Chances are each of your team members specialize in one of these areas and a waterfall workflow is in place. For example, your SEO team needs to conduct keyword research before your content team can plan and create content. But these are perfect situations for deliberate and meaningful teamwork.

At TopRank Marketing, we’ve begun to eliminate the waterfall workflow in these cases. We’re having live working sessions in which the SEO, content, paid, social, analytics and account folks are in one room, working on all the tasks for a specific deliverable at once. This allows us to work more quickly and strategically, as well as continue to build trust and camaraderie with one another.


Eliminate waterfall workflows when possible boost efficiency & strategy. #marketing #teamworktips
Click To Tweet


Teamwork Really Does Make the Dream Work

If there’s anything that I’ve learned in my time at TopRank Marketing, it’s that I can’t achieve marketing awesomeness on my own. I need multiple perspectives. I need specialized expertise. And I need to know what time happy hour is starting on Friday.

By digging into who your team members are, understanding their strengths and passions, and creating an environment where everyone is heard, your organization can achieve your marketing dreams.

What tactics has your organization employed to foster better teamwork? Tell us in the comments section.


Email Newsletter Gain a competitive advantage by subscribing to the
TopRank® Online Marketing Newsletter.

© Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®, 2017. | Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: 6 Tips for Helping Your Marketing Team Work Better Together | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: 6 Tips for Helping Your Marketing Team Work Better Together appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

]]>
http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/07/marketing-team-work-together/feed/ 1
Don’t Skip Leg Day: 7 Content Marketing Must-Haves for Healthcare Marketers http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/06/content-marketing-must-haves-healthcare/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/06/content-marketing-must-haves-healthcare/#comments Thu, 15 Jun 2017 10:30:59 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=22447 Never skip leg day. That is, when you’re working out, it’s important to change it up. Vary your routine and work different sets of muscles. It’s the difference between looking incredible, and looking like Mr. Incredible. Your healthcare marketing needs just as much variety as your fitness routine does. Different types of content will appeal [...]

The post Don’t Skip Leg Day: 7 Content Marketing Must-Haves for Healthcare Marketers appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

]]>

Never skip leg day.

That is, when you’re working out, it’s important to change it up. Vary your routine and work different sets of muscles. It’s the difference between looking incredible, and looking like Mr. Incredible.

Your healthcare marketing needs just as much variety as your fitness routine does. Different types of content will appeal to different audiences, or the same audience in different ways. Stick with a single content marketing strategy—whether it’s white papers, webinars, or trade events—and you may see gains in one area. But you’re skipping leg day, and you’re going to end up top-heavy.

Fortunately, there’s plenty of variety to be had in healthcare content. With the content types below, you can build a well-rounded workout that will improve your content marketing’s overall fitness.

#1: Data Stories

Modern healthcare is all about data. We’re looking for more efficient ways to capture patient data, make it more widely available across the health system, and use that data for better-informed patient care.

Healthcare marketing is similarly data-driven. We don’t have to wonder how many radiology scans a certain hospital does, or how much cloud storage hospitals need—all that data is captured and available. Odds are your organization is sitting on a wealth of data. But it’s not just the data; it’s how you use it.

Strive to bring context, narrative, even emotion to your data. Don’t just list the stats and figures. Say your solution increased efficiency in the Emergency Department by 5%. What did that mean to patients in the ED? What do the physicians that work there say about it? What can the hospital do with that 5%?

Data provides the logical proof for your solution, but tying it to emotion makes it far more likely to inspire change.

#2: Infographics

If your marketing is mostly white papers and blog posts, odds are your audience could use a little visual stimulation. Infographics are a compelling way to present data for any B2B audience. Healthcare audiences are no different; we’re all people, and we all enjoy a good infographic.

Good graphic design can help your data shine. This 2017 trends infographic is a good example of a clean and simple presentation of a metric ton of information.

healthcare marketing trends

Keep these tips in mind for creating your own infographics:

  • Keep the design simple – one or two colors is enough
  • Organize your data left-to-right, top-to-bottom
  • Optimize your image for mobile – avoid blocks of tiny text & huge file sizes
  • Include a logical CTA – they’ve seen your data, now what should they do?

#3: The Patient Perspective

In B2B healthcare marketing, it’s easy to get overly focused on the hospital or physician’s perspective. On one level, that makes sense. You’re selling to radiology department leaders, or the hospital’s C-suite, so the majority of your content addresses them directly.

However, as in all B2B, it’s important to keep your customer’s customer in mind. Our client McKesson Medical Imaging realized their target audience was hungry for that patient perspective and we helped create content to meet that demand. The resulting blog post and infographic, A Tale of Two Patients, is one of the top-shared articles in the blog’s history. It continues to drive traffic nearly a year after it was posted.

When you talk about the difference your solution can make to a health system, take it a step further: How does your solution improve patient care? You can make it a mental exercise, or even better, find patients who can share their experience with your audience.

#4: Your Customers’ Voices

There are few marketing forces more powerful than a customer’s rave review. That holds true for anything from the latest trendy restaurant to a multi-million-dollar PACS system. Your satisfied customers hold tremendous potential to persuade their peers and colleagues.

How do you get your customers’ voices in your marketing? Ask them! Ask for an interview for your latest case study. Feature their expertise in your blog content. Include them in your latest eBook, or grab a quote for your snazzy new infographic.

In short, treat your customers like the influencers they are. Help promote them, celebrate their successes, and ask their opinions. Not only will you get more compelling content, you will strengthen your relationships with your most valuable customers

#5: The Latest News & Trends

It’s ironic that as the healthcare industry moves towards holistic patient care, healthcare marketing still struggles with tunnel vision. Creating content that doesn’t directly address your business’ solution can be a tough sell to both the marketing team and management. There’s a definite preference for bottom-of-funnel content aimed at matching your solution to specific pain points.

Healthcare marketers should follow the lead of health systems and treat the patient, not just the problem. Content that may seem irrelevant to the buyer’s journey is actually crucial, provided it meets a potential customer’s needs.

Include news and trends in your content to keep your customers informed, establish your organization’s thought leadership, and raise brand awareness. Provide the insights your buying committee needs to succeed at their jobs, and they’re far more likely to consider you when the committee convenes to make a decision.

#6: Interactive Content

B2C healthcare marketers already understand the benefit of interactive content. There’s no shortage of calculators, quizzes, and social media challenges to engage healthcare users. It’s high time that B2B healthcare marketing joins in on the fun.

Interactive content is yet another powerful way to tell stories with data. A calculator or quiz can help personalize your marketing to each potential customer’s specific use case. User-generated content campaigns can help you surface and promote compelling client stories.

#7: Influencer Content

What does influencer content even mean for healthcare marketing? Is it Kim Kardashian posting your latest MRI machine on Instagram? LeBron James posing with your Vendor Neutral Archive? The glamorous world of influencer marketing and the less-glamorous reality of B2B healthcare marketing may seem like an odd fit.

The key is that influencers are those who are influential to your audience. Taylor Swift won’t convince a hospital CEO to buy your solution. But there are people in the industry who that CEO respects and trusts, and they might. Your influencers might not have millions of followers, but their hundreds (or dozens) of followers are the people you want to reach.

Unlike sports stars and pop musicians, your potential influencers may not immediately see the value in creating content with you. Start by recognizing and promoting them, as we did in this healthcare marketer roundup. Follow them on social media, share their content, and then reach out with a small request. Continue to build the relationship, and you can move to interviews, guest blog posts, even full co-creation on a major content asset.

Give Your Healthcare Content A Full-Body Workout

Is your content addressing the diverse needs of your diverse audience? Or are you still skipping leg day? Expand your audience, and better engage your existing followers, with the different content types in this post. You will be better equipped to engage at the top of the funnel, develop relationships, and ultimately drive purchase decisions with a holistic content fitness routine.

For more healthcare content marketing advice, check out our recent interview with Amanda Todorovich.


Email Newsletter Gain a competitive advantage by subscribing to the
TopRank® Online Marketing Newsletter.

© Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®, 2017. | Don’t Skip Leg Day: 7 Content Marketing Must-Haves for Healthcare Marketers | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post Don’t Skip Leg Day: 7 Content Marketing Must-Haves for Healthcare Marketers appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

]]>
http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/06/content-marketing-must-haves-healthcare/feed/ 3
Cozy Up With Your New Company: 7 Tips to Transition Into Your New Marketing Role http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/06/new-marketing-role/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/06/new-marketing-role/#respond Mon, 12 Jun 2017 10:30:26 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=22423 Think back to your first day of school (that you can remember), and take a moment to relive some of those feelings: excitement, worry, happiness, fear and maybe a little nausea. There were a lot of new faces and some familiar ones which helped ease the initial panic. Now, fast forward to “adulthood”. You’re starting [...]

The post Cozy Up With Your New Company: 7 Tips to Transition Into Your New Marketing Role appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

]]>

Think back to your first day of school (that you can remember), and take a moment to relive some of those feelings: excitement, worry, happiness, fear and maybe a little nausea. There were a lot of new faces and some familiar ones which helped ease the initial panic.

Now, fast forward to “adulthood”. You’re starting a new marketing position at a new company, and the “first day of school” feelings are resurfacing. Only this time, there are no familiar faces. It’s mentally and physically exhausting wondering if you’re going to fit in, wanting to make a great impression and also exciting because you have a lot to offer, you’re smart and your new company goals align with your career path.

This is exactly how I felt (almost) when I started my new marketing role at TopRank Marketing. Although, I don’t remember feeling nauseous. The excitement far outweighed the worry, and I was very happy to find a professional work environment that supported my personal goals and emphasized personal growth and company growth in tandem. I knew I could bring a lot to the role of marketing copywriter, and there was a lot of potential for growth and learning.

Even though there was enormous opportunity, being the “new kid” isn’t easy. I was nervous about how the transition was going to go, and knew I had to act quickly to understand the ins and outs of the brand, produce results and assimilate into the new company culture gracefully.

So, how do you successfully transition into your new marketing role and show your value?

To help answer this question, here’s a list of 7 tips that I’ve learned to get you accustomed to your new marketing role. Whether the specialty is in content marketing, digital advertising, social media or influencer marketing, you’re going to want to slip on your Snuggie and discover how to quickly get comfortable in your new company.

#1 – Research

Familiarizing yourself with as many aspects of the company, as quickly as you can, will have a  huge impact on your transition. While any and all research is helpful, try to focus on the following three types of research at the beginning:

 

  • Company – Understanding the story behind the company, the types of customers it serves and the primary goals and objectives will help you get a better understanding of who you are representing and how your specific job duties fit into the grander scheme of things.  
  • Culture – The environment in which you work in on a daily basis will dictate certain behaviors, processes and actions you will take in your new company. It’s important to identify what’s appropriate, how the team works together and understand where you fit into the mix.
  • Audience – As a professional marketer, you need to understand who the company is targeting. Researching detailed information about your ideal audience from a company perspective will help you provide value in your role.

 

All of this research should be done in a number of ways: talking to coworkers, reading the company website and seeing what other people are saying about the company, to name a few.

#2 – Become the Brand

Once you get a clear understanding of what your company stands for, how it provides solutions to your customers and day-to-day processes and procedures, you’ve got to immerse yourself in the brand and become an active participant. Share news, exciting updates and spread the word on social media. When you’re not at work, be open to opportunities to advocate for your brand in a respectful and appropriate way.

#3 – Find a Mentor

Making connections with coworkers isn’t easy, especially in the beginning. It takes time to get to know who someone is on a professional level, and weaving in bits of personal information takes skill and emotional intelligence. Remember, you don’t have to be best friends, but you do have to nurture a respectful professional relationship because you’re going to rely on these people to be successful in your role, and vice versa.

Finding a mentor is a great way to get advice and an outsider’s perspective on situations and experiences. This person could be inside or outside of your organization, and depending on which you choose (could be both), the relationship may vary:

Outside Your Company: Bounce ideas off of this person, get advice and sometimes, you’ll just use them as a sounding board. Be open to what they have to say because being removed from the situation allows them to offer you unbiased opinions and advice.

Inside Your Company: Learn, listen, pick their brain, ask questions and don’t forget to thank them. Keep it professional and use this as an opportunity to increase your knowledge and skills.

#4 – Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

While it feels safe to just sit back and slowly get acquainted with your new surroundings, team members and job duties, one way to quickly make an impression is by stepping outside of your comfort zone and taking initiative to make connections. If you are in a meeting and have questions, don’t be afraid to ask them, if one of your team members seems really interesting, strike up a conversation be friendly. Putting yourself out there (in a respectful way) will help your team get to know you better, and you’ll produce better work and results together.

#5 – Learn the Ropes

This might go without saying, but to successfully transition into your new marketing role, you must learn quickly. This includes any tools, software, processes and skills that are required. It’s important to take the lead and acquire as much information as you can (and retain it). Seeking out additional training opportunities (internal and external) and learning from your peers are great ways to speed up the process.

Also take this time to learn about yourself. In your new marketing role, think about time management, how you work best and what you can share with your coworkers to maximize productivity.

#6 – Voice Your Ideas

The biggest factor that often times gets in the way of voicing your ideas is the fear of the unknown: not knowing how others will interpret your ideas, not knowing if what you say will come out the way you intended and not knowing if your idea is “good”.

In any industry, especially marketing, creativity is necessary to thrive. Like any other skill, creativity requires practice. By overcoming your fear, you’ll be able to perform your job duties to the best of your abilities, and be a contributing member of the team. Not every idea is going to be amazing, and that’s okay. Just keep calm and carry on.

#7 – Be Yourself

Last, but definitely not least, be yourself. It’s tempting when you start a new job to hold back a little bit so you don’t embarrass yourself, and you might think it’s easier to “fit in”. But remember, you were hired for a reason and the brand sees the potential in you.

Staying true to yourself will help your co-workers get to know you, the real you. It creates genuine connections which will improve your collaboration and enable you to perform your best at all times.

Using these 7 tips, the transition into your new marketing position should be smooth sailing, however, don’t forget to account for some rough waters at times. It can’t all be sunshine and rainbows. Maybe bring a raincoat instead of a Snuggie. This is a learning experience for everyone involved, and taking initiative and being yourself will get you through even the toughest of times.

Ready to Make a Smooth Transition into a New Marketing Career?

TopRank Marketing is hiring! Check out our open positions below, join our amazing team and best of all, be yourself!

Digital Advertising Manager

Content Marketing Manager

Content Marketing Strategist

Social Media & Influencer Relations Specialist

Applying is easy! Simply email your resume to hr@toprankmarketing.com, and don’t forget to include additional details explaining why you’re excited about the position.


Email Newsletter Gain a competitive advantage by subscribing to the
TopRank® Online Marketing Newsletter.

© Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®, 2017. | Cozy Up With Your New Company: 7 Tips to Transition Into Your New Marketing Role | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post Cozy Up With Your New Company: 7 Tips to Transition Into Your New Marketing Role appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

]]>
http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/06/new-marketing-role/feed/ 0
12 Ways to Ignite Your B2B Marketing #IgniteB2B http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/06/ignite-b2b-marketing-2017/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/06/ignite-b2b-marketing-2017/#comments Tue, 06 Jun 2017 07:15:46 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=22408 B2B is no longer the purview of “boring to boring” but instead represents one of the greatest opportunities for innovation in the marketing world. But what ideas, strategies and tactics are igniting the sales cycles, lead nurtures and ROI performance metrics for B2B brands? To answer that question I reached out to my fellow speakers [...]

The post 12 Ways to Ignite Your B2B Marketing #IgniteB2B appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

]]>
Ignite B2B Marketing

B2B is no longer the purview of “boring to boring” but instead represents one of the greatest opportunities for innovation in the marketing world. But what ideas, strategies and tactics are igniting the sales cycles, lead nurtures and ROI performance metrics for B2B brands?

To answer that question I reached out to my fellow speakers at the upcoming Ignite B2B Marketing conference, happening in London June 22nd. B2B marketers from major brands including Dun & Bradstreet, Shell, Philips, ADP, Adobe, Cisco, Samsung and IBM as well as my pals Carla Johnson and Doug Kessler chimed in with their insights on everything from the growing role of data to customer experience to virtual reality to continuous innovation.

Whether you’re a marketer based in the UK, Europe, the U.S. or anywhere else, I invite you to ignite your B2B marketing in 2017-2018 with the insights from these top marketers.  As a bonus, I threw in a few of my own tips in too.

A more data driven, sales-integrated and accountable marketing methodology is becoming the new normal. @joel_b2beditor #igniteb2b

ABM is Becoming the New Normal
ABM (account based marketing) seems to be transforming the way that B2B marketing and sales people understand the opportunity, and go about addressing it. Whilst there’s an ongoing debate about what is and what isn’t ABM, it’s clear that the principles of a more focused, data driven, sales-integrated and accountable marketing methodology is increasingly gaining traction and becoming the new normal. Examples of organisations using it effectively outside of the tech space are few and far between, and even where it has been deployed there is potential for approaches to be honed further to reap even greater rewards. The vendors are ramping up the hype, but the agencies (at least on this side of the pond) have been slower to respond.
Joel Harrison
Joel Harrison @joel_b2beditor
Editor in Chief at B2B Marketing
B2B Ignite Presentation: Opening & closing comments plus “Revealed! The habits of highly successful B2B marketers”

Real-Time Data Insights
The sheer quantity of data that can be analyzed and processed in real-time is igniting a marketing revolution. The output achieved from gathering data and insights and deploying the latter intelligently, in real-time, is helping accelerate sales. But this data must be organized, structured, and integrated across the enterprise. In other words, the data must be mastered so the information driving your key business decisions is accurate and fresh. Leveraging Master Data will ignite B2B marketing!
Rishi Dave
Rishi Dave @RishiPDave
Chief Marketing Officer at Dun & Bradstreet
B2B Ignite Presentation: Panel Discussion on how to succeed in B2B Marketing and “Accelerate!: Creating a Faster Path from Prospect to Profitable Customer”

Content at Scale with Customers
Customer generated content will ignite the B2B marketing world. Stories that are credible , authentic and engaging will replace the vendor vanity that dominates today. We tend to be proud of our purchase decisions however small and need to capture this authentic storytelling and passion much more in the B2B environment.
Emma Roffey
Emma Roffey @ERoffey
Senior Director Marketing EMEAR at Cisco
B2B Ignite Presentation: “Cisco: A transformation story – how to achieve radical change in your marketing culture, people and process”

B2B companies are recognizing what their B2C peers have long understood: experience matters. @davidburnand #igniteb2b

Experience Matters
In 2017, B2B companies are recognizing what their B2C peers have long understood: experience matters. A recent Accenture survey showed over 90% of B2B companies plan to increase spending on experience and 78% believe it provides competitive advantage. At Adobe, we are seeing the impact, as seemingly ‘traditional’ B2B companies such as Siemens drive personalisation and optimisation initiatives and create new digital experiences.
David Burnand
David Burnand @davidburnand
Director of Enterprise Marketing EMEA at Adobe
B2B Ignite Presentation: “Humanising B2B marketing”

Social Sales Priority
Social selling, and realizing there’s more to it than just firing out InMails to random prospect lists is igniting B2B. We’re finally aligning marketing and sales. Marketers are getting better at tying channel data together to measure interaction values through the customer journey, and map this to lead quality scores. It’s still nascent, but social sales is being talked about as a priority in most businesses.
Matt Owen
Matt Owen @lexx2099
Global Social Media Manager at Shell
B2B Ignite Presentation: “Can Artificial Intelligence save social media?”

Perpetual Innovation
Brands that focus on relentless innovation are igniting the B2B marketing world. For too long, we’ve looked at our work as one-and-done instead of continual iteration. Audiences connect with brands that perpetually evolve their experience by looking at ways to stay perpetually fresh, interesting and valuable.
Carla Johnson
Carla Johnson @CarlaJohnson
Chief Experience Officer at Type A Communications
B2B Ignite Presentation: “Creative on demand: How the habit of creativity delivers exponential outcomes from limited resources”

Digital Engagement with VR
2017 is all about embracing technology and developing memorable experiences that lead to much deeper connections with our customers. In the new digital engagement economy, we as B2B marketers, must inspire, excite and engage when delivering our value stories. For me, VR offers the best platform and opportunity to create immersive experiences that engages the big-ticket B2B buyers.
Sally Wright
Sally Wright @sallyannewright
Enterprise Marketing Director at Samsung
B2B Ignite Presentation: Panel Discussion – What’s the Big Idea? Creative excellence in B2B

Martech that Drives ROI
I’m excited by the explosion of marketing technology and what that means for B2B marketers. Now, with AI and advanced analytics, companies of all sizes can derive insights from across the entire business to drive personalised campaigns and prove marketing ROI.
Holly Gage
Holly Gage @hollga
EMEA Marketing Services Director at Bluewolf, an IBM Company
B2B Ignite Presentation: “What is the digital marketing transformation curve and why is is it important?”

Customer Data is the New Currency
For instance, It’s key to identify ‘buyers’ vs. ‘shoppers’ within your B2B customers to implement a good pricing model for your portfolio. Hence we need to stop thinking about Customer Decision Journeys and start looking for Customer Experience Journeys to be effective as B2B marketeers.
Sam Talya
Sam Talya @sam_talya
Global B2B eCommerce Lead at Philips
B2B Ignite Presentation: “Customer Obsessed Digital Business for OEMs”

Connected Data is King
Data is igniting the B2B marketing world. But not isolated, channel-specific data puddles. Instead, we’re seeing joined-up Data Lakes that combine different data sources (like CRM, marketing automation and web analytics) into one, agile resource. Can lakes ignite? This kind can.
Doug Kessler
Doug Kessler @dougkessler
Co-Founder, Velocity Partners
B2B Ignite Presentation: “Smash things up!”

Tech Distracts from Core Skills
Technology is igniting B2B. Be careful what you ignite, after all people who play with fire are likely to get burned. Technology has massive potential, but millions of dollars are going up in smoke while marketers are forgetting (or never bothering to learn) the essential lessons of our profession.
Graham Wylie
Graham Wylie @grahamwylie
VP Marketing EMEA at ADP
B2B Ignite Presentation: “Watch out! It’s our turn to be disrupted”

Content is Influential
With buyer distrust of brand messaging and advertising, B2B marketers need to get creative about making sure content reaches, engages and inspires their customers. B2C marketers have figured out that influencer engagement helps to bypass these obstacles. Likewise, a growing number of B2B companies are realizing that content co-created with internal and industry experts adds authenticity, quality and reach to their marketing. The value of influence is universal and B2B brands are now developing relationships with industry experts and micro-influencers alike to improve their content effectiveness.
Lee Odden
Lee Odden @leeodden
CEO at TopRank Marketing
B2B Ignite Presentation: “Influencer Marketing – Mighty hype or great hope for B2B?”

Ignite Your B2B Marketing in London, 22 June 2017

Ignite B2B Marketing London
If you’re in the UK and would like to dig even deeper into what’s igniting B2B marketing in 2017, 2018 and beyond, then be sure you’re registered for the #IgniteB2B conference in London June 22nd.

Ignite is the largest B2B marketing event in the UK with 8 different content tracks, top brands and speakers, networking and vendor resources. Top marketing leaders and future B2B marketing leaders will be there learning, making new connections and most certainly attending my keynote on influencer marketing. (I can hope, right?).  I hope to see you there!


Email Newsletter Gain a competitive advantage by subscribing to the
TopRank® Online Marketing Newsletter.

© Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®, 2017. | 12 Ways to Ignite Your B2B Marketing #IgniteB2B | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post 12 Ways to Ignite Your B2B Marketing #IgniteB2B appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

]]>
http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/06/ignite-b2b-marketing-2017/feed/ 1
10 Infographics to Guide Your Content Marketing Strategy http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/05/infographics-content-marketing-strategy/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/05/infographics-content-marketing-strategy/#respond Wed, 31 May 2017 10:30:12 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=22361 Your brain can identify and retain details of an image in 13 milliseconds. That’s less than a 20th of the time it takes to blink your eyes. So it’s no surprise that visual content is on the rise as attention spans shrink. If you could choose between a consumer spending 20 seconds with a wall [...]

The post 10 Infographics to Guide Your Content Marketing Strategy appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

]]>

Your brain can identify and retain details of an image in 13 milliseconds. That’s less than a 20th of the time it takes to blink your eyes. So it’s no surprise that visual content is on the rise as attention spans shrink. If you could choose between a consumer spending 20 seconds with a wall of text or 20 seconds with an image, it makes sense to go with the latter.

In other words, people like looking at stuff. As such, infographics are rapidly becoming an essential component of a solid content marketing strategy. Free tools like Canva and Pixlr make it easier than ever to turn your data into compelling visual content.

The best infographics give equal weight to both parts of the word – they combine essential info with stellar graphic design. I could write a whole blog post about how great infographics can be. But, of course, that would defeat the purpose.

Instead, let’s look at ten great infographics with a meta twist: They’re content marketing assets about content marketing! These examples can inspire your own infographic creation while they inform your strategy.

#1: How to Socialize a Blog Post

Creating great content is less than half the battle for marketers. You should spend roughly 20% of your effort creating, and 80% in promotion. What good is awesome content if no one sees it? This colorful gem from DigitalMarketer efficiently illustrates how to make sure your content reaches your target audience. You’ll learn how to create assets that help promote the piece, make your shares trackable, and analyze your results to do it even better next time.

#2: The Top 8 B2B Customer Marketing Trends to Watch Out for in 2017

This piece from Digital Marketing Philippines (via the good folks at HubSpot) really puts the “info” in “infographic.” It’s a good example of just how much data you can pack into a visual asset while still keeping it easily-digestible. The bright colors, solid organization, and statistic call-outs grab attention, while the text provides plenty of value to keep people reading.

#3: What Does It Take to Make a Piece of Content?

Dive into this cool blue infographic for an insider look at how content powerhouse Contently goes from strategy to creation to distribution. This piece is a great counter-example to the design-heavy look of the previous entry on the list. It relies on simple line art to create a cooking metaphor that provides visual interest without overpowering the text. A soupcon of highlighted statistics help make the case for the solid advice they’re presenting.

#4:  The Ultimate Content Marketing Strategy

There are plenty of resources out there that explain the “Big Rock” content marketing strategy, but this Curata infographic gets points for thoroughness and nifty graphical interest. Learn how to create a gated asset, slice it into top-of-funnel ungated content that feeds back to the gated asset, then dice it into even smaller gems to share on social media. One nifty trick to steal for your next long infographic: The progress bar at the top that shows exactly how far you’ve read and how far you have left to go.

#5: A Brief History of Content Marketing

Who better to give a primer on the 200+ year history of content marketing than the Godfather himself, Joe Pulizzi of the Content Marketing Institute? This timeline serves as a reminder that quality content can help build a business, from John Deere’s The Furrow to the Michelin Guide to the Will It Blend? Videos. Wrapped in Joe’s signature orange, this bite-sized history lesson is well worth a read.

#6: 10 Visual Marketing Statistics for 2017

This infographic collects results from a Venngage survey of over 300 digital marketers. It’s a great resource for seeing how the industry is moving toward visual content, and what types of visual content are leading the pack. Compare your progress to the results here, or use it to inspire your strategy, or just enjoy the pink-and-purple visuals.

#7: The Ins & Outs of Awesome Infographics

Fans of marketing, infographics, and pentagons will enjoy this groovy piece from IBM. The simple, clean design work complements the solid advice on offer about how to create memorable visual content. Learn how to choose the right visuals for your data, pick the right layout, and avoid common mistakes.

#8: What Buyers Really Want from Content Marketers

The team at Uberflip demonstrates a lesson well worth learning in this piece: Not every infographic has to be six screens tall. They manage to pack a wealth of data into a fairly small space, distilling the message into something that gets the value across without spraining your scrolling finger. Find out what buyers want marketers to do, and not do, to create content that really resonates.

#9: The Importance of Visual Content

You don’t have to have a team of researchers and designers to create a solid infographic. This piece from kwikturn media is a good example of doing more with less. It’s essentially a stats blog post, compiled from sources around the internet. Add some thoughtful but simple clip art, a slate background, and it’s far more interesting than a text list would be.

#10: The Secret to Creating Scalable, Quality Content and Better CX

Static infographics have more visual interest than text does. But you can take it a step further with an animated, interactive infographic. Some people call these “gifographics.” Those people are wrong. But whatever you call them, they’re undeniably cool. We created this interactive piece on the Ceros platform.

Infographics are an indispensable part of a modern content marketing strategy. Use them to highlight data points from your gated content, replace a list-based blog post, or just to brighten up a how-to post. Just keep the design simple and clean, and the text informative and valuable.

Seen any cool infographics lately? Let me know in the comments.

And if you need help creating your own infographics, check out our content marketing services.


Email Newsletter Gain a competitive advantage by subscribing to the
TopRank® Online Marketing Newsletter.

© Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®, 2017. | 10 Infographics to Guide Your Content Marketing Strategy | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post 10 Infographics to Guide Your Content Marketing Strategy appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

]]>
http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/05/infographics-content-marketing-strategy/feed/ 0