Nick Nelson

Becoming a Better Marketer by Embracing Your Passions Outside the Office

Nick Nelson on Jul 4th, 2018     B2B Marketing, B2C Marketing, Digital Marketing

How Our After-Hours Passions Elevate Us as Marketers

In the first post I ever wrote for the TopRank Marketing Blog, I reflected on the marketing lessons I’d picked up through my baseball blogging hobby. Helping build an online community at Twins Daily has instilled many important fundamentals that, I feel, make me better at my day job.

I’m always fascinated by this interplay. We spend so much of our time each week alongside our coworkers, but are often unaware of the interests and side hustles that drive them outside of the office. Those very passions can be such integral parts of who we are and how we operate.

More recently, this has been a topic of focus for our friends at LinkedIn*. In April, Jason Miller wrote a piece about following your dreams while staying committed to your career, and in June, Sean Callahan profiled a LinkedIn marketer who moonlights as a DJ.

Alexis Hall

How to Rally Around ROI & Prioritize Your Digital Marketing Efforts in the Face of Budget Cuts

Alexis Hall on Jul 2nd, 2018     B2B Marketing, B2C Marketing, Digital Marketing

Prioritizing After Marketing Budget Cuts

Ask any marketer if they’ve ever had to contend with the shrinking or deep cutting of their budgets, odds are you’ll get a deep sigh and a “more than once” response.

Organizations are always looking for efficiencies and ways to tighten their financial belt, and marketing departments are among the first to be placed on the chopping block because it all comes down to ROI—something many modern marketers find hard to prove

In fact, according to a recent report from Demand Gen Report and BrightFunnel, 58% of B2B organizations surveyed said their current ability to measure and analyze marketing performance “needs improvement” or worse.

Nick Nelson

A Non-Agency Guy Reflects on His First Year at TopRank Marketing

Nick Nelson on Apr 23rd, 2018     B2B Marketing, Digital Marketing, Integrated Marketing

TopRank Marketing Team

Liking where you work is not an optional luxury. At least it sure shouldn’t be.

Spending 40 hours of every week at a place you dread is a tough way to go through any stretch of life. I’ve been there and I’m sure many of you have as well — especially if you work in digital marketing, which can often be a fast-paced, demanding, and stressful field.

So last year, when I decided to pursue a new professional venture, finding the right culture fit was a huge priority for me. As I started exploring the possibility of joining the TopRank Marketing team, I had some reservations; not because of anything specific to the company, but because it’s an agency.

Alexis Hall

To Gate, or Not to Gate? Answers to an Age-Old Digital Marketing Question

Alexis Hall on Apr 4th, 2018     Content Marketing, Digital Marketing

When Not to Gate Your Content

Modern marketers understand that quality, engaging and relevant content is at the core of any integrated digital marketing strategy. After all, in a world where consumers are increasingly self-directed in researching their options to make purchasing decisions, that quality, engaging and relevant content aids their journey and decision-making.

But let’s face it. While marketers want to inform and engage their audience, they ultimately want to generate viable leads to meet their goals and grow their respective businesses. Oftentimes, that means deciding when, where and how to gate certain content assets. In fact, perhaps one of the most common questions we get from our book of clients is: “Should I gate my content?”

The answer? It depends.

Alexis Hall

Better Together: Why Your Content Marketing Campaigns & Always-On Programs Should Work in Harmony

Alexis Hall on Mar 26th, 2018     Content Marketing, Digital Marketing

Campaigns + Always-On Strategy = Content Marketing Harmony

Regardless of industry or niche, nearly all B2B marketers—91% to be exact—are focused on leveraging content marketing to reach, resonate and inspire audience action. But budget and resource constraints and lofty lead generation goals—not to mention increasing buyer numbness to marketing messages and the extinction of organic visibility on social media—means you have to get scrappy when designing a content marketing strategy that drives toward business goals.

Oftentimes, this leads brands and marketers to focus on content marketing campaigns to quickly generate buzz, spike awareness and foster audience engagement. However, in our experience, campaigns alone will not help you reach your short- and long-term marketing goals.

Why? They’re simply not sustainable. Campaigns create spikes in activity that can quickly die out if there’s not a significant investment in ongoing promotion—specifically paid promotion.

Lee Odden

54 Artificial Intelligence Powered Marketing Tools

Lee Odden on Mar 21st, 2018     Digital Marketing

AI Powered Marketing Tools

The expression, “Marketers are data rich and insight poor” is more true today than ever.

Marketers all over the world are working to optimize marketing operations and effectiveness using their abundance of data. Many are turning to tools and platforms powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning. AI promises to make sense of all the dark data companies are sitting on as well as structured and unstructured data online to surface insights about customer behaviors, opportunistic content and emotional triggers to inspire conversions.

In an age of too many choices, increased competition for customer attention requires every advantage to optimize for reach, engagement and conversion. Marketers are using AI to automate and optimize their marketing because that’s what it will take to meet customer appetite for personalized experiences.

Anne Leuman

4 Integrated Content Marketing Insights From the Trenches of Online Dating

Anne Leuman on Mar 12th, 2018     Content Marketing, Digital Marketing

Left. Left. Left. Right. Left. No, this is not an army drill. These are the swiping habits I’ve picked up from my time online dating. Done in a split second, I can swipe faster than most people can snap their fingers. If you’ve ever dabbled with dating apps or online dating, you know that these snap judgements start to become second nature.

With the average human attention span lasting just 8.25 seconds, there’s something to be said about those snap judgements. As a marketing copywriter who’s working day in and day out to woo my audience with clever prose and charming insights, it’s my job to make a great first impression on my audience. If I fail, they’re going to move on to something (or someone) else. And I don’t want my audience dating around — I’m after that exclusive kind of relationship.

Nick Nelson

In a World of Diminishing Trust, Data-Driven Marketers Can Turn the Tide

Nick Nelson on Feb 21st, 2018     Digital Marketing

Trusting Hands

My first encounter with marketing data malpractice came at a young age. I wasn’t old enough to understand what was going on at the time, but my dad loves to tell the story. As I’ve gotten older, the humor and timeless relevance of this anecdote have struck me more and more.

It was the mid-90s. We received a piece of mail at our house addressed to Lucy Nelson. It was a credit card offer from one of the industry’s heavy hitters. Nothing out of the norm so far, right?

Here’s the problem: Lucy was no longer alive.

And the bigger problem: Lucy was not a human. She was our dog.

Lee Odden

9 Top Marketing Trends for 2018

Lee Odden on Feb 5th, 2018     Digital Marketing

Top Marketing Trends 2018

There is no question that 2017 was an incredible year for marketing.

What’s even better than a banner year is fresh optimism for the next. Predictions and trends for 2018 present even more opportunities for marketers that can see the signal amongst the noise.

As we continue to grow, I’ve been researching what trends are worth considering and investing in for B2B marketers. The result is the following list: Influencer Marketing, Content Experiences, Artificial Intelligence, Data, Video, Privacy Protection, Audience Development, Voice and Purpose Driven Marketing.

Influencer Marketing Grows Up

Within the realm of influence, there are big shifts towards engaging with microinfluencers, always on programs, greater accountability of influencer reach and effectiveness and an emphasis on measuring influencer marketing ROI. Marketers are also taking a more holistic view of who an influencer is, including customers, members of their community and employees.

Ashley Zeckman

New Year, New Outlook: TopRank Marketing’s 2018 Integrated Digital Marketing Predictions

Ashley Zeckman on Jan 22nd, 2018     Digital Marketing, TopRank Agency News

The new year is barely underway and already we’re already seeing significant shifts in digital marketing.

Facebook recently announced their decision to favor friends over brands in news feeds and YouTube has tightened the reins on what channels can be monetized. And this is just within the first few weeks of the year.

Undoubtedly, digital marketing tactics like content marketing, SEO, paid, influencer marketing and social media will all face changes in the coming year. Some of which we’ll be able to predict, and some of which we won’t.

However, today’s best marketers know that individual marketing tactics do not stand alone. Which means that integrated, “best answer” digital marketing strategies will reign supreme. That is why instead of focusing our team’s predictions on how individual tactics will evolve in 2018, we’ve uncovered how the role of each tactic will change as part of the overall digital marketing mix.

Caitlin Burgess

4 Top Trends in Customer Centricity to Drive Digital Marketing Success in 2018

Caitlin Burgess     Content Marketing, Digital Marketing

Consumer Trends Marketers Need to Know

Ask any digital marketer if they’ve been able to set their strategy on autopilot over the past decade, and I bet you’ll get a laugh or two—as well as an emphatic “No.” If we’ve learned anything it’s that the digital landscape is simply too fast-changing to keep the business as usual mindset.

But while the global rise of the internet, the explosion of social media, and the development of mobile technologies and other digital tools and platforms are undoubtedly “to blame” for the constant state of change we operate in—it’s really the everyday use of these innovations that requires our flexibility and attention.

Lee Odden

25 Women Who Rock at Digital Marketing in 2017

Lee Odden     Digital Marketing

25 Women Who Rocked Digital Marketing 2017

2017 marks the 8th year we’ve published a list featuring “women who rock” in the digital marketing space. I started the list in 2010 with social media specifically and after 5 years handed the reins over to Ashley Zeckman for a few years when the focus has broadened to digital marketing.

In the past I would ask each years’ honorees to nominate someone for the following year and so on. Following that we started ranking the huge list of women in marketing that we had compiled over the years using Traackr’s influencer marketing software.

In 2017 I’m making another change: to ask influential men in the marketing industry to nominate women who are leading in the marketing world.  I thought this was a timely and relevant way to help male leaders in our industry shine a light on their female counterparts, peers, superiors or subordinates.