Ashley Zeckman

Content Conversations: How to Hit the Ground Running with Content Marketing in 2018

Ashley Zeckman on Nov 29th, 2017     Content Marketing, Digital Marketing

We are in the final stretch of 2017 which means 2018 will be here before we know it. And unfortunately, Q2 will be here in the blink of an eye.

All too often we spend weeks or even months creating a content strategy, and quickly find that by the middle of March, we’ve already abandon our best laid plans. Instead, we should be spending our efforts developing a plan that is tied to a core group of objectives that we can reference as soon as it feels like things may be getting off track.

Ashley Zeckman

The TopRank Marketing Team Reflects & Gives Thanks

Ashley Zeckman on Nov 23rd, 2017     Digital Marketing, TopRank Agency News

Today is a day that has become a cornerstone of American tradition and many of you are preparing for a day of fun and feasting with your love ones.

Every family has their own Thanksgiving traditions. For many families, you spend the day cooking, eating, conversing and eating some more. Others (like myself) take a more non-traditional approach and host a Friendsgiving with no turkey (don’t worry, there is prime rib).

The team at TopRank Marketing has our own Thanksgiving tradition which includes asking our team members to share thanks on a specific topic each year. Last year we shared why we were thankful for our clients and the year before we focused on why we were thankful for our team members.

This year, we decided to focus on what we are most thankful for in our career and what we’ve learned in our time at TopRank Marketing.

Ashley Zeckman

Content Conversations: Top Content Marketing Lessons Learned in 2017

Ashley Zeckman on Nov 21st, 2017     Content Marketing, Digital Marketing

One of the best ways to improve your skills as a content marketer is to learn from the successes and failures of other marketers. And as we near the end of 2017, many marketers are reflecting on what has (and hasn’t) worked in the past year and looking to what this means for content goals and plans for the coming year.

It doesn’t matter if you are a team of one or a team of one hundred, outside insights can be incredibly valuable for improving your approach to content marketing.

Since we know you’re likely busy working, wrapping up 2017 and planning for 2018, we’re here to help. Recently we had the chance to sit down (or stand up?) for some great content conversations with some of today’s top marketers.

Below you’ll find their top content lessons learned in 2017 as well as how you can apply these insights to your own content marketing approach.

Lee Odden

The State of Minnesota Marketing: Insights from 6 Minnesota Brands

Lee Odden on Oct 23rd, 2017     Digital Marketing
State Minnesota Marketing

Minnesota is home to numerous nationally and internationally known brands, ranging from household consumer names like Target and Best Buy to giants like Cargill and United Healthcare. Given their broad focus, their home state isn’t a singular marketing focus for these big companies. But what about brands where the state brand plays a part of the company brand? What impact does that have on marketing?

That was the topic of a brand panel at the recent Minnesota Marketing Summit in Minneapolis.

Moderated by Nicole Shannon, Executive Director, Advertising for Star Tribune, the session opened up to a standing room only crowd. Panelists were on-hand from Minnesota brands including Explore Minnesota, Minnesota State, Sunrise Banks, Sun Country, Children’s Minnesota and the Minneapolis Downtown Council to discuss: What is the Minnesota brand and how does it relate to marketers and brands of companies operating here?

Joshua Nite

How to Choose Dynamic Images for Your Blog Posts

Joshua Nite on Oct 17th, 2017     Content Marketing, Digital Marketing

I’m a content writer, not a graphic designer. My job is to make the words dance, to convey useful information in an entertaining way.

As such, for a long time visuals were just an afterthought for me. Yeah, a blog needs a header image. So after I’m done writing I’ll slap something on there, check that box, and send it off to the client.

As content continues to proliferate, though, that laissez-faire approach isn’t enough. Your potential audience has far more content available to them than they’ll ever be able to read. That means they’re actively looking for reasons not to read your content. A weak—or worse, missing—visual is a perfect excuse to move to the next thing.

Dan Rasmussen

Learn How to Connect Actions to Results Using Marketing Attribution

Dan Rasmussen on Oct 10th, 2017     Digital Marketing, MarketingProfs B2B Forum

We’ve all been there. The big marketing campaign you spent months on just ended, it was a smashing success! Champagne was popped, there were pats on the back all around, life was good. But when the dust finally settles, you’re left staring a mountain of data square in there eyes, wondering if the marketing attribution you set up tells the real story.

Fortunately for you, during this year’s MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum, Dayna Rothman of BrightFunnel broke down how you as a savvy marketer can orchestrate the buyer journey and turn it into a science by properly leveraging data and analytics.

The “Marketing Holy Grail” is to turn the buyer journey into a science by sending the right message, to the right person, at the right time.

Ashley Zeckman

2018 B2B Content Marketing Report Indicates Marketers are Finding Content Marketing Success

Ashley Zeckman on Oct 2nd, 2017     Content Marketing, Digital Marketing

As a community, content marketers have experienced some significant ups and downs over the years. For every step forward we take toward content success, it sometimes seems like we take a couple backwards.

But perhaps, this will be the year that changes.

Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs just released their annual report–The 2018 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends.

We’ve come to rely on this report to be a definitive content marketing guide of sorts that provides a finger on the pulse of our industry and shows how we align (or don’t) with our content marketing peers.

In order to move forward, we have to know where we are today, including what is working and what is not. Below are what I consider to be some of the top learnings from the report.

Anne Leuman

The Mighty Cheeseburger: How to Construct Your Content for the Perfect Bite

Anne Leuman on Sep 18th, 2017     Content Marketing, Digital Marketing

You might not know this but today, Sept. 18, is a national holiday to remember: National Cheeseburger Day. We know, we know, everyday now has an arbitrary national holiday that has little to offer outside of free food or funny tweets. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth celebrating.

For our own National Cheeseburger Day celebration, we took a look at what makes a great burger. From a perfectly toasted bun to secret sauces, there is a lot that goes into creating the perfect staple of American food. And as content marketers, we could relate to trying to find the perfect mixture of ingredients and techniques to create something that people love.

Nick Nelson

Digital Marketing Tools & Tactics: What the Trends Tell Us

Nick Nelson on Sep 14th, 2017     Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing Trends, Tools & TacticsAs the old saying goes: the more things change, the more they stay the same — a saying that certainly has resonance across the marketing industry right now.

As it stands, the top challenges many of us are facing in 2017 are, in essence, the same ones we’ve been battling for years. According to an expansive aggregation of digital marketing studies and reports from Getapp Lab, the industry’s top pain points include: lack of time, knowledge, and resources; difficulty converting leads into customers; and diminishing reach in an increasingly crowded digital environment.

The analysis offers a widescreen view of the current landscape for businesses, highlighting tactics that are leading the way, solutions being embraced to overcome prevalent hurdles, and emerging technologies that hint at the direction of the marketing industry for startups and enterprises alike.

Anne Leuman

Back to the Future: 5 Marketing Predictions That Were Right on the Money

Anne Leuman on Sep 4th, 2017     Digital Marketing

Great Scott!

Image via Tumblr

The TopRank Marketing blog has been around since 2003, way back when content marketing and blogging were relatively new to the business world. We are proud of the fact that we were early adopters of the blogging trend—one of today’s leading content marketing strategies for improving brand visibility and engagement.

Trends and predictions shape the world of both B2B and B2C marketing. They help us shift our marketing strategies to meet the needs of our customers and reach them in the right place and the right time. But not every trend survives the test of time.

Since our blog started in 2003, we’ve made some bold marketing predictions of our own. In this post, we’re hopping into our time machine and traveling back in time to see which of our top marketing predictions hold true as we look ahead to 2018.

Debbie Friez

Principles and Books for Looking into the Digital Future from Lee Aase

When asked to share digital trends and predictions to kick-off the inaugural Minnesota PRSA Digital Skills Workshop, Lee Aase, Director, Mayo Clinic Social Media Network, took an alternative approach.

I’ll share the trends that I’ve observed, and the books that I have read or heard at least two times, but generally more. And link you to the Audible store, while the future I cannot foretell these principles will serve you well.

Digital media is changing fast, so Aase, a leader in utilizing social media, shared insights for getting your mind moving in new directions. Along the way, he shared some of his favorite audio books, and  joked if you subscribe to the one book per month plan on Audible, you will be set for the next year. (Note – one book is free.)

Ashley Zeckman

Digital Summit Minneapolis: A Look Back at What We Learned

Ashley Zeckman     Digital Marketing, Digital Summit

Parting [ways after an amazing conference] is such sweet sorrow.

Your energy is high, your brain is full and you feel the love of other like-minded marketers. Sometimes however, it’s hard to keep that drive alive once the closing keynote has commenced and you resume your normal routine.

But what if instead of going about business as usual, you keep the momentum going?

Our team was very fortunate to participate in an event this week in our own backyard, the 2017 Digital Summit in Minneapolis. In addition to speaking, we had a large group of team members attend to gain new knowledge, created live blog coverage of the event, and hosted an attendee happy hour and dinner.