Lee Odden

50 Social Media Marketing Influencers to Follow

SMMW16 Influencers Social Media Marketing Speakers

One of the largest and most influential social media conferences, Social Media Marketing World, starts this week in San Diego.

Bringing together a mix of industry experts, influencers, brands, practitioners and social media enthusiasts, #SMMW16 represents a confluence of interests about all things social media that is virtually unmatched.

At the center of the conference is the program featuring big name speakers like Gary Vaynerchuck, Guy Kawasaki and Mari Smith. There are over 100 speakers in all that will be giving presentations and imparting their knowledge.

With such a concentration of authority, expertise and industry influence, I wanted to see who the most influential speakers are, relative to “social media”. The influence of a speaker affects who follows who and can guide which presentations to attend.

Ashley Zeckman

Marketers Unite: Join us for April’s Mega Social Media Marketing Conference #SMMW16

Ashley Zeckman on Apr 7th, 2016     Social Media, Social Media Marketing World

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Social media marketing is no longer seen as the passing fad it once was. In fact, brands have invested billions of dollars trying to build a social community that would ideally build awareness, engage potential customers and eventually lead to sales.

However, to this day over 65% of marketers are still challenged to assess the effectiveness of their social media activities and 62% are still struggling to design an effective social media strategy (eMarketer).

It’s clear that while there is opportunity with social media marketing, there is still much to be learned. Later this month some of the TopRank Marketing team will be attending Social Media Marketing World in San Diego. This conference is the largest of its kind and will not disappoint social media marketers looking for a way to improve effectiveness and create a more effective social media strategy.

Below are just a portion of the sessions that we are most excited to attend and cover at the upcoming conference. Let’s dive in!

Ashley Zeckman

Heidi Bullock of Marketo Helps Uncover Ways to Engage Self-Directed Buyers

heidi-bullock-marketo

Last week at the Content2Conversion conference, Heidi Bullock, VP of Demand Generation at Marketo took the stage and covered a topic that is top of mind for all marketers. That is, how to create the right message at the right time to meet the needs of customers.

Today’s self-directed buyers typically go through up to 90% of their purchasing journey on their own. Which means that marketers need to find a way to build credibility, without even speaking with customers directly. Below we’ll discover some best practices for creating engaging to better meet the needs of self-directed buyers.

Content Marketing for Self-Directed Buyers

According to a 2016 report from MarketingProfs and Content Marketing Institute, B2B marketers list “producing engaging content” as their top challenge, followed closely by “measuring content effectiveness” and “producing content consistently”. To help with this top need, Heidi provided a formula for creating engaging content:

Knute Sands

The New Rules & Realities of Sales & Marketing

“The biggest mistake I see with marketing is companies talk too much about their own products and services.”

As the author of 7 books, David Meerman Scott brings tremendous knowledge, real-world insights and infectious energy to the stage. As yesterday’s opening keynote at Content2Conversion in Scottsdale, David challenged the audience to set the bar higher with their content marketing efforts. In his own words, “B2B doesn’t have to stand for Be-Too-Boring.” I couldn’t agree more!

Below I share a few of Scott’s New Rules, including how the B2B buying process has changed, the importance of real-time engagement, and how content marketing just might land you on an Antarctic journey.

Lee Odden

8 Digital Marketing Events Where You Can Learn, Connect and Grow in 2016

Digital Marketing Events

Smart, Creative and Focused on Results.

That expression is central to our approach as an agency business and in our continuous pursuit to improve as marketers. Ubiquitous information access and increasing complexity and competition means the need to advance knowledge and creativity with digital marketing strategy, tactics and performance is greater than ever.

There are many sources marketers can choose from to learn, grow and collaborate. Over the next few months there are multiple learning and peer networking opportunities to satisfy just about anyone’s need for marketing smarts, whether it’s content marketing, social media marketing, B2B or B2C marketing, SEO and more.

To do my part, I’ll be drawing on my experiences, best practices and strategies developed during my time with TopRank Marketing to deliver presentations at 89 upcoming events ranging from webinars to events in Amsterdam, Scottsdale, London, Copenhagen and San Diego.  I hope to see you at one or more!

Joshua Nite

How to Create Content that Abides, Dude: Content Marketing Lessons from the Big Lebowski at #MNBlogCon

Ashley-Zeckman-Creative-Content-Marketing

Does pondering content marketing strategy make you feel a little out of your element? Are you missing the key components that really tie a strategy together? Do you sometimes feel like stepping away from the laptop, pouring a White Russian, and zoning out to Creedence Clearwater Revival?

You’re not alone. Only 30% of B2B marketers believe they are effective at content marketing, and more than half don’t know how to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns. And as buyers are inundated with more and more content, it can be difficult to get your message out there.

Fortunately, when it comes to content marketing success, there are rules. And at the 2015 Minnesota Blogger Conference, TopRank Marketing’s Directory of Agency Marketing Ashley Zeckman laid down the law, Big Lebowski-style. Here are the key takeaways:

Ashley Zeckman

Why Ongoing Digital Marketing Training Creates More Engaged Employees

Engage-Employees

When you hire a new employee, the first few months of their employment is typically a whirlwind of trainings on process, procedure and industry best practices. A strong onboarding strategy is key to team members successfully integrating into your business and gaining an understanding of what is expected of them. Unfortunately, once the initial training is complete, employees are often deprived of quality ONGOING training.

A workplace survey found that employees that feel valued by their employer are 60% more likely to report they are motivated to do their very best. One way to show your employees that you value them is by investing in their ongoing professional development. This can include everything from marketing training related to their expertise, to leadership training for company managers.

Ashley Zeckman

TopRank Marketing Top Takeaways & Words of Wisdom from MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum #MPB2B

Ashley Zeckman     B2B Marketing, Marketing PR Conferences

marketingprofs-b2b-forum-recap

Last week, the amazing Ann Handley and her team at MarketingProfs put on a phenomenal conference for B2B marketers from all over the country. The information, networking, events and even the swag were all top-notch.

On the first day, Ann set the stage and asked everyone in attendance to find their squad of other marketers at the event, and to take their work seriously, but not to take themselves too seriously. I’m so thankful to have gotten to know some familiar faces a little bit better, and to make some new fast friends in a short amount of time.

This great conference inspired me to share what I thought were the top takeaways and words of wisdom from the speakers for those of you that weren’t able to attend.

Ashley Zeckman

13 Considerations for Creating Successful Landing Pages from Oli Gardner of Unbounce #MPB2B

oli gardner unbounce mpb2b 2015

While B2B marketing KPIs such as views, shares and impressions are important in helping to determine your digital marketing strategy, conversions will always be more important. You have to provide enough value to encourage people to click on your content, and then once they reach your destination, you have to convince them again that it is worth providing their contact information.

Landing pages can be an incredibly powerful tool for moving prospects through the sales process but they are not all created equal. Oli Gardner of Unbounce provided an incredibly amount of information on the four corners of conversion for landing pages in his presentation at MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum.

Ashley Zeckman

Case Study: How IBM Changed Perception & Increased Revenue by 20% YOY #MPB2B

IBM mainframe

“Why not let every client who sets foot in the door know that this agency has entered the future?” – Don Draper

If you ask most people what they think a mainframe is, most will likely get visions of black and white photos of antiquated computers housed in an IBM backroom. As the Vice President of Z Systems Marketing for IBM, it’s Deon Newman’s job to change that perception.

Believe it or not, all of us are connected to a mainframe multiple times each day. The stats might actually surprise you. For example:

  • 80% of all corporate data resides or originates on mainframes.
  • 55% of all enterprise applications need a mainframe to complete transactions.
  • 30 billion business transactions are processed on mainframes every day.
Ashley Zeckman

Digital Marketing That Focuses on User Intent – Avinash Kaushik #MPB2B

Avinash-Kaushik

“It’s not the ink, it’s the think.”

This quote was the basis for Avinash Kaushik’s opening keynote at MarketingProf’s B2B Marketing Forum. For those of you that don’t know, Avinash is a Digital Marketing Evangelist at Google and best-selling author.

According to Avinash, the difference between companies that will be great and those that will die (either quickly or slowly) are the ones that understand how to obsess about the think. Thinking about how your company can connect with people and execute process and structure will make you masters of marketing. Below are some of the many highlights from his entertaining, informational and inspiring keynote.

Ashley Zeckman

Is There Really A Secret to MAKING B2B Marketing Magic? #MPB2B

Ashley Zeckman     B2B Marketing, Marketing PR Conferences

marketingprofs-preview-post

Every industry experiences evolutions. For some it’s hundreds of years before innovations are made, whereas others change in the blink of an eye. Like a well timed magic trick, one minute you see something, and the next minute it’s completely transformed.

Digital marketing is one of those industries that is always on the cusp of something new and exciting. Personally, that is one of my favorite parts of working at an agency like TopRank Marketing. Each day is an adventure with exciting new things to learn.

Many digital marketers today seem to think that they’ve nailed making marketing magic, but have they really? There are some that in my opinion are constantly making magic (Michael Brenner, Ann Handley and Lee Odden to name a few), while the vast majority are just trying to keep up.