Online Marketing Blog – TopRank® http://www.toprankblog.com Wed, 18 Jul 2018 10:35:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.7 Lee Odden Demystifies the Confluence Equation to Help Marketers Get Better Results http://www.toprankblog.com/2018/03/confluence-equation-lee-odden/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2018/03/confluence-equation-lee-odden/#respond Mon, 05 Mar 2018 11:30:31 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=23886 Influencer marketing is not a new concept. Public relations professionals, journalists and forward-thinking marketers have been executing some form of influencer marketing for decades. While that may be the case, times have changed. The expectation for influencer content marketing has evolved, which means consumers have higher expectations and the influencers themselves are more particular about [...]

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Influencer marketing is not a new concept. Public relations professionals, journalists and forward-thinking marketers have been executing some form of influencer marketing for decades.

While that may be the case, times have changed.

The expectation for influencer content marketing has evolved, which means consumers have higher expectations and the influencers themselves are more particular about who they partner with. However, our Influence 2.0 report with Altimeter Group and Traackr found that 57% of marketers say influencer marketing will be integrated in all marketing activities in the next 3 years.

Last week at Social Media Marketing World, TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden took the stage to help marketers transition influencer marketing from something they’d like to do, to something they can execute strategically.

Interest in Influencer Marketing is on the Rise

According to Google Trends, the interest in influencer marketing has outpaced email marketing, SEO, social media marketing and content marketing.

What is Influence Really?

Often, influence is confused with simply having a large social following. According to Lee, there are five areas that make up influence:

  • Personality
  • Passion
  • Popularity
  • Persuasion
  • Power

Not every influencer (even good ones) are going to have all five nailed down. Some may have a combination of passion, persuasion and power, but don’t have the popularity. That’s why it’s essential to include different types of influencers into your content programs such as brandividuals, niche experts, internal experts, up-and-comers, customers and prospects.


Influence is the ability to affect action. @leeodden
Click To Tweet


How Can Influencer Marketing Help Solve Common Marketing Challenges?

Marketers are experiencing challenges in every stage of the buying funnel all the way from the attract stage to advocacy. Here are some ways influencer marketing can help at the different stages:

Attract

  • Reach new audiences
  • Inspire advocacy
  • Retarget influencer followers

Engage

  • Creators bring talent
  • Authenticity and voice of customer
  • Influencer and audience channel match

Covert

  • Influencers are trusted
  • Relevance increases action
  • Credibility converts

Retain

  • Community participation
  • Showcase employee influencers
  • Create info-taining utility

Advocate

  • Showcase customer expertise
  • Testimonials
  • Create incentives for referrals

The people who are ignoring your ads are still engaging with peers and influencers. @leeodden
Click To Tweet


Why Empathy + Ask + Reward (repeat) = Success

To create a successful influencer marketing program, Lee suggests implementing the following three steps and then repeating to continue developing audience and influencer relationships:

Empathy: Understand customer and influencer goals

Ask: Engage influencers to collaborate

Reward: Show recognition or compensate for influencer contributions


Be thoughtful about how you ask and how you reward when working with influencers. @leeodden
Click To Tweet


How to Find the Right Influencers to Partner With

An essential key to influencer marketing success is to find the RIGHT influencers to partner with for content co-creation. Here’s how:

Topic: Determine the topic (aligned with audience needs) that you’d like influencers to contribute to.

Research: Based on the defined topic, begin searching for experts who are influential.

Validate & Refine: It’s best to use multiple tools (which pull from different sources) to validate the list you’ve created. Use tools like Onalytica, Traackr and BuzzSumo to research and correlate this information.


When you are creating content, think about which influencer you could include who might be willing to contribute and then share. @leeodden
Click To Tweet


A Maturity Model for Influencer Marketing

As with any digital marketing tactic, it’s important to know where you are now in order to understand what it takes to get to the maturity level you’d like to be. Use the sample influencer marketing maturity model below to identify where your brand lands today:

What to Do Next

If you’re ready to begin your influencer marketing journey, or just want to mature your approach, follow the three steps below:

  1. Get Expert Help: Research the market and identify who your potential influencers are. Then develop a strategy to lead your efforts.
  2. Invest in Technology: Finding the right technology (or partner that has the technology) is essential to developing and scaling a successful influencer marketing program.
  3. Activate Influencers: Begin by interviewing your internal experts, clients and existing online community. Then you can identify what works best and scale your efforts.

To see some examples of great influencer marketing in action read: How to Succeed at Great B2B Content Marketing with More Credible Content


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7 Down & Dirty Ways Brands Can Collaborate with Fans to Create Amazing Content #SMMW18 http://www.toprankblog.com/2018/03/collaborate-with-fans-ugc-smmw18/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2018/03/collaborate-with-fans-ugc-smmw18/#respond Thu, 01 Mar 2018 20:23:39 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=23871 “So much time and so little content to create.” – Said no one ever Let’s face it marketers, creating a quantity of quality content isn’t easy. Even more so, creating a quantity of quality content that your audience cares about is even more difficult. So, when you don’t have an unlimited budget or execution resources, [...]

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“So much time and so little content to create.” – Said no one ever

Let’s face it marketers, creating a quantity of quality content isn’t easy. Even more so, creating a quantity of quality content that your audience cares about is even more difficult.

So, when you don’t have an unlimited budget or execution resources, what can you do?

One way to create more impactful content, is to encourage and support the creation of user generated content (UGC).

But does it really work? According to TapInfluence, 92% of consumers turn to people they know for referrals above any other source. Additionally, 88% of consumers trust online reviews written by other consumers as much as they trust recommendations from their personal contacts.

To help determine how UGC can work for your brand, the Delightful Duo which consists of MGM Resorts International’s Beverly Jackson and Microsoft’s Karianne Stinson took stage at Social Media Marketing World to share some real-world, down and dirty tips for collaborating with fans. Here are the top takeaways:

#1 – Stock Photography: Yea or Nay?

Both members of the Delightful Duo unanimously voted nay on using stock photography. But why? Authenticity is a key factor in great UGC which means if your brand is creating and sharing original images, it will inspire and encourage your audience to follow suit.


The whole point of UGC is that it drives greater engagement and makes the content more authentic. @bevjack #SMMW18
Click To Tweet


#2 – Investing in UGC

Truth be told, most brands do not have a defined budget allocated for UGC. However, there is a big opportunity to invest in your UGC strategy. That means, taking the time to be thoughtful about how you will approach UGC and what you’d like to achieve.


If your brand is just starting out, there may be an investment needed to encourage UGC. @karianne #SMMW18
Click To Tweet


#3 – Work with Influencers to Inspire UGC

Engaging influencers to create content is a fantastic way to show a good example of the type of UGC content you’d like to see your audience creating. Working with professionals will help show your audience the power of what is possible.


Using UGC in a brand narrative alongside influencers, allows you to empower your audience to see what is possible with the product/service. @karianne #SMMW18
Click To Tweet


#4 – Make the Experience Special

According to Beverly, her team has taken photos of every possible angle of the Bellagio fountains in Las Vegas. So, photos of the fountain may not be the best solution for UGC. Instead, find unique and special content that truly reflects what the brand believes and share that with your audience (which will inspire them to do the same).


Get past the thing that is the obvious and find the thing that truly makes the experience special. @bevjack #SMMW18
Click To Tweet


#5 – Make Branded Content More Like UGC

Brands, take a note from UGC. Your content should feel more like UGC because let’s face it; it’s the content they want. Learn to speak your fan’s language through your branded content. The two content types should be complimentary to each other.


If UGC content is more interesting than what your brand is creating, your brand is doing it wrong. @karianne #SMMW18
Click To Tweet


#6 – Strive for Content Authenticity

In the end, if your content isn’t authentic, the audience experience will not be a great one. Make sure that you are real and honest with your content in a way that your audience won’t walk away disappointed.


Focus on great experiences. What does the content mean for real people? @bevjack #SMMW18
Click To Tweet


#7 – Keep in Mind Rights & Legality

Ultimately, brands need to ensure that UGC is used with permission and that creators are compensated in some way (if it makes sense). If necessary, get permission to use UGC in writing to avoid any legal issues.


You can’t just take someone else’s content for free. @bevjack #SMMW18
Click To Tweet


Start Making UGC Work for Your Brand!

If you’re considering UGC but haven’t started, what are your biggest questions? If you’ve incorporated UGC into your content strategy, what has worked?

For more on influencer marketing be sure to join us at 4:10PST this afternoon for TopRank Marketing’s Lee Odden’s presentation on How Content Plus Influence Equals Results: The Confluence Equation.


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2018 – 50 Top Social Media Marketing Influencers http://www.toprankblog.com/2018/02/social-media-marketing-influencers-2018/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2018/02/social-media-marketing-influencers-2018/#respond Mon, 26 Feb 2018 11:00:00 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=23857 It’s that time of year again for the conference extravaganza known as Social Media Marketing World.  Each year I pull together a list of influential voices that are engaging on social networks around the topic social media marketing. My goal? To help showcase speakers for people in the industry to learn from and follow. Why are [...]

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Social Media Marketing Influencers 2018

It’s that time of year again for the conference extravaganza known as Social Media Marketing World.  Each year I pull together a list of influential voices that are engaging on social networks around the topic social media marketing. My goal? To help showcase speakers for people in the industry to learn from and follow.

Why are these people influential? That’s a great question. I would answer with, “Why is anyone influential?”. Because they have specific expertise that they share publicly, consistently and in a way that improves the knowledge, skills and perspectives of those who follow them.

Influence is not only popularity. Influence is the ability to affect action.

When I started out in my digital marketing career, it was thanks to connecting with some generous people that had a lot more experience than me that I was able to overcome introversion and reluctance to write and become an international keynote speaker, author and blogger with over 1.4 million words written so far. What I have learned about influence is that it is not self-assigned.

Influence is earned by being helpful, effective and relevant as well as having reach. Influence is also earned by mentoring those who are coming up in the industry. While working with influencers transfers influence by association, helping others become influential is when earned influence really skyrockets.

In this year’s list of Social Media Marketing Influencers there are many people who demonstrate this kind of helpfulness and I am encouraging those influencers as well as our community of readers to nominate up and coming social media marketing leaders. You can find more details on that at the end of the post.

About the Methodology for this List:

Specific Scope: Rather than scan the entire social web, the starting data set for this list is having been named as a speaker for the SMMW18 conference. Mike Stelzner and Phil Mershon of Social Media Examiner do an amazing job of hand picking speakers for this conference and this list is an extension of their research and expertise into finding, qualifying and recruiting over 180 social media marketing speakers.

IRM Platform Assisted: Ranking of the people in this list leverages data and algorithms from Traackr, an influencer relationship marketing platform. Unlike the vast majority of lists like this that are published online, this list considers many more data sources than just Twitter. To provide a better sample across the web, Traackr ranking can include citations and links from data sources such as blogs, publications, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+.

Ranking data sources and scoring: For the ranking, this list leverages a combination of data points including:

  • Relevance – A score that indicates how influential a person is to a specific topic based on the keywords you provide. Signals for relevance include keyword mentions, keyword diversity, content production rate, freshness of content and other contextual measures. In this case, it was “social media marketing” as well as 10+ derivative phrases.
  • Resonance – A score of how impactful the influencer is with their audience. Resonance measures engagement activity that occurs as a result of publishing (mostly social) content.
  • Reach – A score derived by the reach algorithm that takes into account followers, fans, subscribers, visitors and other audience metrics. Remember, this is more than just Twitter.
  • Audience – Overall social audience size

Each of these signal sources are factored into the algorithmic ranking for identified influencers with a focus on topical relevance, resonance of message with the audience and then audience reach. The result is a combination of broad based influencers as well as individuals with a very specific focus and very high resonance and relevance scores. What I like about pulling this list together is seeing a number of new faces as well as as a variety of disciplines and specialties represented.

This list of 50 industry experts speaking at Social Media Marketing World is worth checking out as you plan which presentations to see, who to follow online and who to meet.

Kim Garst @kimgarst
Live Streaming Strategist, Social Selling Pro, Keynote Speaker at Boom! Social
Presenting: How to Make Money With Live Video

Donna Moritz @sociallysorted
Digital Content Strategist, International Speaker, Visual Content Strategist at Socially Sorted
Presenting: Tips and Tools for Visual Storytelling on Instagram

Brian Fanzo @isocialfanz
Founder and CEO at iSocialFanz
Presenting: Facebook Strategy in Light of the Facebook Apocalypse

Koka Sexton @kokasexton
Advisor, SenderGen
Presenting: How to Turn LinkedIn Into a Funnel for New Leads

Madalyn Sklar @madalynsklar
Social Media and Digital Marketing Strategist, Blogger, Podcaster
Presenting: How to Up Your Twitter Game With Smart Tools

Dan Gingiss @dgingiss
Vice President, Strategic Group at Persado
Presenting: Why Social Media is Key to the Customer Experience

Ian Anderson Gray @iagdotme
Co-founder at Select Performers Internet Solutions
Presenting: How to Create Your Killer Live Video Show: Tools and Tips

Jeff Sieh @jeffsieh
Pinterest Manager at Social Media Examiner
Presenting: Visual Marketing for Non-Designers: Tips, Tricks, and Hacks

Viveka Von Rosen @linkedinexpert
LinkedIn and Personal Branding Expert, Co-founder and Chief Visibility Officer at Vengreso
Presenting: How to Best Use LinkedIn Native Video in Your Marketing

Neal Schaffer @NealSchaffer
CEO at Maximize Your Social
Presenting: How Brands are Breaking Through to Generate Results on LinkedIn

Josh Elledge @joshelledge
Founder at upendPR
Presenting: How to Get Traditional Media Exposure Using Social Media

Robert Rose @robert_rose
Founder at The Content Advisory & Chief Strategy Advisor at Content Marketing Institute
Presenting: Becoming an Audience First Company: How to Understand and Measure the Most Valuable Asset in Your Business

Gini Dietrich @ginidietrich
Chief Executive Officer at Arment Dietrich
Presenting: Crisis Communications: Tips From the Trenches

Carlos Gil @CarlosGil83
Founder, Gil Media Co.
Presenting: Snapchat Ads: How-to Use Snapchat’s Full Service Ad Platform

Darren Rowse @problogger
Founder and Keynote Speaker at ProBlogger
Presenting: 10 Things I Wish I’d Known about Blogging That Will Shortcut the Growth of Your Blog

Mark Schaefer @markwschaefer
Executive Director at Schaefer Marketing Solutions
Presenting: 10 Mind-Bending New Ideas for Our Social Media Marketing Future

Tamara McCleary @tamaramccleary
CEO at Thulium.co
Presenting: Innovating Your Way to Strong Social Media ROI

Mark Mason @masonworld
Quality Manager, Interface Products at Texas Instruments
Presenting: How to Make Your Podcast Stand Out: Tips from the Trenches

Rebekah Radice @rebekahradice
Founder at RadiantLA
Presenting: How to Make Visual Content Your Social Media Secret Weapon

Brooke B. Sellas @madsmscientist
Founder & Chief Executive Officer at B Squared Media
Presenting: Organizing for Social Success: Insource? Outsource? No Source?

Tyler Anderson @tylerjanderson
CEO / Founder at Casual Fridays
Presenting: Winning With Influencer Marketing: What Top Brands are Doing Now

Samantha Kelly @tweetinggoddess
Owner of Women’s Inspire Network
Presenting: How to Convert Twitter Conversations Into Customers

Ian Cleary @iancleary
Founder at RazorSocial
Presenting: 9 Content Marketing Tools to Drive More Traffic to Your Website

Mari Smith @marismith
Keynote Speaker, Brand Evangelist, Bestselling Author
Presenting: The Future of Facebook: What Marketers Need to Know for 2018 and Beyond

Mike Stelzner @mike_stelzner
CEO and Founder at Social Media Examiner
Presenting: Social Media Marketing in 2018: What the Newest Research Reveals

social media marketing speaker network connections

Andy Crestodina @crestodina
Strategic Director at Orbit Media Studios
Presenting: Building Better Mousetraps: A Content-Driven Approach to Conversion Optimization

Bernie Borges @bernieborges
Advisory Board Member at OneMob and Co-founder and CMO at Vengreso.
Presenting: The Secrets to Getting Employees to Engage on Behalf of Your Brand

Alex Khan @1alexkhan
CEO at Attractive Media GmbH
Presenting: Mass Seduction: Proven Techniques to Engage and Build Your Audience

Peg Fitzpatrick @PegFitzpatrick
Director of Social Media + Marketing at Kreussler
Presenting: How to Use Pinterest to Drive Long Term Traffic

Chris Penn @cspenn
Vice President of Marketing Technology at SHIFT Communications
Presenting: Seeing Into the Future: Predictive Analytics for Social Marketers

Michael O’Neal @solohour
Host of The Solopreneur Hour Podcast
Presenting: Becoming an Interview Master and How it Can Massively Grow Your Podcast or Livestream

Brian Solis @briansolis
Principal Analyst at Altimeter Group
Presenting: The Past, Present and Future of Social Media

Park Howell @parkhowell
Founder and President at Business of Story
Presenting: How to Invest in Brand Storytelling to Earn the Greatest Return

Nicky Kriel @nickykriel
Social Media Consultant & Social Media Strategist at Nicky Kriel Social Media
Presenting: How to Use Twitter Data to Improve Your Content Marketing

Melanie Deziel @mdeziel
Brand Strategy Consultant and Speaker at Mdeziel Media
Presenting: 5 Branded Content Best Practices From the World of Journalism

Andrea Vahl @andreavahl
Social Media Consultant at Andrea Vahl
Presenting: Facebook Ads Strategy for Small Businesses

Jay Baer @jaybaer
Founder at Convince & Convert
Presenting: How to Prove Social Media Works to Skeptical Managers

Steve Dotto @dottotech
President at Galileo Consulting and Producer of Dotto Tech
Presenting: YouMake YouFortune on YouTube: Making Money on YouTube

Ann Handley @marketingprofs
Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs
Presenting: Creating Better Content in Less Time: 5 Real-World Writer Secrets

Lee Odden @leeodden
CEO at TopRank Marketing
Presenting: How Content Plus Influence Equals Results: The Confluence Equation

Guy Kawasaki @GuyKawasaki
Chief Evangelist at Canva
Presenting: Achieving Social Media Success by Defying Conventional Wisdom

Shaun McBride @Shonduras
Owner Esports/Shonduras Inc
Presenting: How to Influence Influencers: The Creative Process

John Jantsch @ducttape
President at Duct Tape Marketing
Presenting: How to Grow a Highly Profitable Consulting Practice Without Adding Overhead

Jessika Phillips @jessikaphillips
Relationship Marketing Evangelist, President at NOW Marketing Group
Presenting: Relationship ROI: How to Grow Your Business by Focusing on Repeat and Referral Relationships

John Lee Dumas @johnleedumas
Host of the EOFire Podcast
Presenting: How to Grow Your Podcast Audience and Fuel Your Business

Roberto Blake @robertoblake
Owner at Create Awesome Media
Presenting: Mastering and Measuring YouTube Analytics for Video Marketing

Shep Hyken @Hyken
Chief Amazement Officer and Owner, Customer Service Speaker and Expert at Shepard Presentations
Presenting: How to Turn Social Customer Service Into a Marketing Strategy

Jasmine Star @jasminestar
Owner at Jasmine Star Photography
Presenting: How to Create 30 Days of Instagram Content in a Single Day

Bryan Kramer @bryankramer
Keynote Speaker, Emcee and Event Host at PureMatter
Presenting: How to Humanize Your Social Brand for Better Conversions

Brian Peters @brian_g_peters
Digital Marketing Manager at Buffer
Presenting: How to Build and Maintain an Authentic Community on Instagram

If you want to follow all 50 of these fine folks, then check out the speaker list on the SMMW18 conference schedule page.

What about non-digital influence? 

I think this is a great question because not everyone that is influential (especially in the B2B world) spends as much time tweeting, blogging and posting Instagram photos as many of the influencers listed above do. And yet they are highly influential.

For example, here are several more speakers that are pretty influential to me, even though they are not on the list above: Amisha Gandhi (client), Beverly Jackson, Brian Clark, Chris Brogan, Konnie Alex (client), LaSandra Brill, Shannon Paul, Tim Washer, and Ursula Ringham to name a few.

Suffice it to say, I think when you are deciding on which influencers to work with, it’s important to get out of the digital bubble and consider offline-specific influencers as well – especially in B2B.

Big Questions About Influencer Lists & Influencer Marketing:

  • How do you find the right influencers?
  • What do you collaborate with them on?
  • How do you measure influencer marketing performance?
  • Are there processes and formulas for success?

These are some of the most common topics that come up through my agency’s influencer content marketing consulting with brands like Dell, SAP, LinkedIn, 3M and even mid-market companies like DivvyHQ or Cherwell Software.  I’ll be tackling these questions and more in my presentation at Social Media Marketing World 2018. Here are the details:

How Content Plus Influence Equals Results: The Confluence Equation
Thursday, March 1st at 4:10pm Room: 32AB
Content marketing and influencer marketing are hot topics for marketers all over the world as two of the most promising strategies for attracting, engaging and converting ideal customers. But how do you find the right influencers? What kind of content should you collaborate on? How do you best measure influencer and content success? Join Lee Odden to learn from his experience working with brands big and small to develop efficient and effective formulas for influencer content success.

I hope to see you there!

NOMINATE YOUR PEERS!

I know some folks are feeling left out and others would have added other social media marketing speakers to this list. Lists are exclusive by nature, but I think it would be amazing for the experts on this list as well as our readers would nominate up and coming industry social media marketing pros that are consistently providing useful expertise, leadership and engaging with their communities.

Please leave full name, title, company and Twitter handle (or other social profile) of your nominee in the comments. I will follow this list up with a People’s Choice style list of Rising Social Media Stars after the conference.


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The Next Evolution of Influencer Marketing: 4 Key Insights And What They Mean http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/03/influencer-marketing-smmw17/ Mon, 27 Mar 2017 10:30:26 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=22083 We marketers love to chase shiny objects. It’s part of the constant drive to experiment, optimize, and improve. Any new tactic that looks promising is going to attract our attention. During his presentation last week at Social Media Marketing World, Lee Odden offered proof of just how shiny influencer marketing is: It can potentially return [...]

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We marketers love to chase shiny objects. It’s part of the constant drive to experiment, optimize, and improve. Any new tactic that looks promising is going to attract our attention.

During his presentation last week at Social Media Marketing World, Lee Odden offered proof of just how shiny influencer marketing is: It can potentially return $9.60 for every dollar invested. Campaigns that include influencers have shown a 10x increase in conversion rates. And those customers who convert stick around–influencer campaigns tend to achieve a 37% increase in retention.

Clearly, influencer marketing deserves the buzz it’s been getting. But most marketers are just getting started. There’s plenty of activity, but not much strategy. It takes a concentrated, strategic, sustained effort to fully realize the benefits.

Earlier this year, Toprank Marketing released Influencer 2.0: The Future of Influencer Marketing. Lee offered four key insights from the report, and what each means for marketers looking to take their influencer marketing to the next level.

What Is Influence? What Is Influencer Marketing?

Before we get into insights and best practices, it’s important to define terms. Lee defines influence like this:


Influence is the ability to effect action. Fans, friends, and followers are meaningless unless the audience actually does something. @leeodden
Click To Tweet


That definition alone should change the way you approach influencer marketing. It’s not about chasing the most famous person…it’s about the person who best can move their audience.

Here’s how Lee defines influencer marketing:

“Influencer marketing develops relationships with internal and industry experts with active networks to co-create content that helps drive mutual value and measurable business goals.

There’s a lot to unpack in that sentence. First, influencer marketing means developing relationships, not isolated pieces of content or campaigns. Second, look for influencers in your company as well as outside of it. Third, you’re looking to create mutual value, value beyond compensation. Finally, influencer marketing can and should serve measurable business goals.

What Not to Do for Effective Influencer Marketing

Based on the definition above, avoid the following five missteps to greatly increase your effectiveness:

  1. One-Off Campaigns: Don’t activate influencers, have them contribute, then abandon them and start all over next time. Aim for sustainable relationships.
  2. Focusing on Celebrities: They may have a huge audience, but celebrities are hard to reach, expensive to activate, and their audience may not be the most relevant for you.
  3. Using Influencer Marketing for Ads Only: Our agency co-creates content with influencers–eBooks, blog posts, video. This type of content lets influencers go beyond endorsing your product or service to create something of real value.
  4. Only Doing Pay-to-Play: We’re not saying “never pay influencers.” But when you’re building relationships and co-creating cool stuff, you can have genuine mutual value without exchanging cash.
  5. Only Measuring Social Metrics: You can measure the business value of influencer marketing, not just engagement and brand lift. Start your program with these goals in mind and build tracking in.

Four Key Influencer Marketing Insights (And What to Do with Them)

Influence 2.0 draws on the expertise of noted industry analyst Brian Solis, as well as over 100 experts from brands like Microsoft, Adobe, and SAP. Lee dove deep into the data to present these insights and the best practices they suggest.

Insight #1: Influencer Marketing Is Underfunded

On average, companies have just 10% of their marketing budget allocated to influencer marketing. Half of the companies analyzed are investing less than $100,000 per year–which is a small slice of the pie for enterprise-level organizations.

As interest in influencer marketing grows, however, the budgets are starting to grow. 55% plan on spending more money in the coming year. 70% of companies who already have an influencer marketing platform in place plan to increase their budgets.

What to Do: It’s important to understand the opportunity for return on investment, Lee said. Think of what it will cost to implement a program versus the cost of losing access to the top influencers in your industry when the competition gets their first.

Think about implementing programs, not projects. Long-term relationships create the most value for your spend.

Insight #2: B2B is behind B2C

Fifty-five percent of B2C companies have an ongoing and integrated influencer marketing program. Only 15% of B2B marketers could say the same. Overall, 49% of B2B marketers say they’re still in the experimentation phase.

What to do: B2B influencer marketing is a different animal than B2C. You’re not likely to get ahead by paying Youtube stars to pose with your cloud-based network solution.

Start by engaging expert help to research the market, identify influencers, and develop a plan tied to ROI.

It also makes sense to invest in technology. It’s hard to start a sustainable program with a spreadsheet. Influencer marketing platforms can help you identify, qualify, and engage with influencers, as well as help with measurement and optimization.

To kick off your program, start by activating your clients. Start with people who already advocate for your company, invite them to co-create content, and scale up the content that performs best.

Insight 3: The Top Influencer Marketing Goals

Brand advocacy and awareness were at the top of respondents’ minds, with 94% and 92% respectively saying these were the top goals. 88% said reaching new audience was a top goal as well.

Sales conversion and lead generation were still in the top ten, but trailed with 74% and 67%. These results demonstrate that any marketers aren’t aware of influencer marketing’s potential for lower-funnel goals.

What to Do: Keep ROI-proving business goals in mind when designing your program. Make sure to align brand and influencer goals, too–when you have alignment with influencers, it’s easier to inspire organic participation.

Insight #4: Areas Most Impacted by Influencer Marketing

When we asked in which areas has influencer marketing made the biggest difference for marketers, 80% of respondents said content marketing, and 75% said social media marketing. These two are definitely the biggest opportunities; in fact, Lee said companies who aren’t using influencers in these areas are at a disadvantage.

What to Do: Social media and content marketing are the baseline. Beyond that, make your program more sophisticated by integrating it across the organization. Look for internal influencers in your marketing, PR, customer success, community management, and HR departments. Externally, look to industry thought leaders, your own customers, and journalists to round out your program.

Three Levels of Influencer Engagement

It’s easy to get started with influencer marketing. From the first stage, you can gradually grow your efforts to a sustained long-term program built on strong relationships. Lee identified three levels of influencer engagement. These are additive, not exclusive–we currently use all three at TopRank Marketing.

  1. Microcontent: Short-form content used as a “seasoning” for brand-created content. Think quotes, tips, and insights from influencers added to your brand assets. Microcontent can include influencer outreach or simply be curated from external sources.
  2. Campaigns: A campaign includes longer-form contributions directly from the influencer, like an interview for an eBook. You’re asking the influencer to co-create content, which you can repurpose–eBook to blog post to social media images with quotes, for example.
  3. Community: The ultimate goal for a sustainable program is a dedicated group of influencers that contribute a variety of short and long form content for brand communications. These are people who have relationships with your brand and your people, who co-create content motivated by shared goals to realize mutual value.

Everyone Is Influential

As Lee says, everyone is influential about something. Regardless of your industry, it’s high time to find and activate the people who can make a difference with your audience. Make an investment, make a commitment, and start building relationships that can lead to a long-lasting program.

For the full report from TopRank Marketing, Traackr, and Altimeter Group, read Influence 2.0: The Future of Influencer Marketing.


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50 Social Media Marketing Influencers to Follow in 2017 http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/03/50-social-media-marketing-influencers-2017/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/03/50-social-media-marketing-influencers-2017/#comments Mon, 20 Mar 2017 10:01:21 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=22035 The topic of Social Media Influence has really taken off since we first published this list. Many changes have happened in the social media marketing world ranging from the surprisingly close competition between SnapChat and Instagram stories to the acquisition of LinkedIn by Microsoft to the explosive growth of “creators” and micro-influencers. On top of all [...]

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Social Media Marketing Influencers SMMW17

The topic of Social Media Influence has really taken off since we first published this list.

Many changes have happened in the social media marketing world ranging from the surprisingly close competition between SnapChat and Instagram stories to the acquisition of LinkedIn by Microsoft to the explosive growth of “creators” and micro-influencers.

On top of all that is the growth of the influencer marketing industry from platforms to brandividuals that use social media to create, publish, promote and engage communities.  Where is it all leading? Who is on the front lines and in the captain’s chair when it comes to making sense of social media marketing for brands big and small?

To help point our readers, attendees of SMMW17 and the industry in the right direction, I’ve put together a list of 50 relevant voices in the social media marketing world for you to consider. These voices range from business leaders to real-time video experts to bloggers, podcasters and YouTubers. Putting this list together was a combination of art (experience + subjective bias) and science (big ass data).

Allow me to explain the methodology:

Art: Criteria for consideration in this list is having been named as a speaker for the SMMW17 conference. Therefore, this is NOT a comprehensive industry list – but a ranked collection of SMMW17 speakers. Mike Stelzner and Phil Mershon of Social Media Examiner do an amazing job of hand picking speakers for this conference and the human element to any such list of influencers is essential.

Science: Ranking of the individuals in this list leverages data from our friends at the influencer relationship management platform, Traackr. I think it’s useful to point out that unlike the vast majority of lists like this that are published online, this list and Traackr consider many more data sources than just Twitter.

Monitoring data sources: For each person in the database, there is potential for citations and links from data sources that include: blogs, publications, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+.

Ranking data sources and scoring: For the ranking, Traackr leverages a combination of data points including

  • Relevance – A score that indicates how influential a person is to a specific topic based on the keywords you provide. Signals for relevance include keyword mentions, keyword diversity, content production rate, freshness of content and other contextual measures. In this case, it was “social media marketing” as well as 10+ derivative phrases.
  • Resonance – A score of how impactful the influencer is with their audience. Resonance measures engagement activity that occurs as a result of publishing (mostly social) content.
  • Reach – A score derived by the reach algorithm that takes into account followers, fans, subscribers, visitors and other audience metrics. Remember, this is more than just Twitter.
  • Audience – Overall social audience size.

Social Media Marketing Influencers SMMW17

Each of these signal sources are factored into the creation of a ranking for identified individuals. With any kind of social influencer list building, the key is to focus on relevance and resonance then factor in reach. The result is a combination of broad based influencers as well as individuals with a very specific focus and very high resonance and relevance scores.

Below is the subsequent ranking for 50 of the industry experts speaking at Social Media Marketing World this week including their Twitter handles and their presentation title(s).  I encourage you to check them out as well as their presentations in San Diego this week.

Kim Garst @kimgarst
Social Selling Pro, Author, Keynote Speaker at Boom! Social
Presenting: How to Promote and Sell Using Live Video

Holly Homer @Texasholly
Founder and Owner at Business 2 Blogger
Presenting: How to Go From Blog to Successful Business and How Businesses Use Pinterest to Drive Traffic and Profits

Darren Rowse @problogger
Blogger, Speaker, Author, Podcaster and Online Entrepreneur – Owner and Editor at Problogger
Presenting: The Changing Role of Blogs in a Social Media Age

Brian Fanzo @isocialfanz
Keynote Speaker and CEO at iSocialFanz LLC
Presenting: How to Grow a Following and Stand Out With Live Video

Jeff Sieh @jeffsieh
Pinterest Manage at Social Media Examiner
Presenting: Building Better Pinterest Pin Images: Tools, Tips and Hacks and How Businesses Use Pinterest to Drive Traffic and Profits

Koka Sexton @kokasexton
Global Industry Principal, Social Selling at Hootsuite
Presenting: How to Turn LinkedIn Into a Funnel for New Leads

Guy Kawasaki @guykawasaki
Chief Evangelist at Canva
Presenting: How to Become an Evangelist on Social Media and Beyond

Donna Moritz @sociallysorted
Social Media Strategist at Social Sorted
Presenting: Six Hot Tools for Visual Storytelling on Facebook and Instagram

Mari Smith @marismith
Facebook Marketing Expert, Consultant, Speaker, Author
Presenting: How To Improve Your Facebook Marketing ROI

Neal Schaffer @NealSchaffer
CEO and Principal Social Media Strategy Consultant at Maximize Your Social
Presenting: Growth Hacking: How to Use Social Media to Rapidly Grow Your New Business or Product

Mark Schaefer @markwschaefer
Author, Speaker, Adjunct Marketing Professor and Executive Director at Schaefer Marketing Solutions
Presenting: Becoming Known: How to Establish Yourself as a Thought Leader

Shaun McBride @shonduras
Owner at Shonduras.com
Presenting: How to Work With Snapchat Influencers

Ian Anderson Gray @iagdotme 
Co-founder, Social Tools Strategist & Web Developer at Select Performers Internet Solutions
Presenting: Twitter Tools to Help Improve Your Marketing Success

Jay Baer @jaybaer
Author, Speaker and President at Convince & Convert
Presenting: How to Use Customer Service to Turn People Into Brand Advocates and How to Staff Your Social Media Team in a Changing Marketplace

Gini Dietrich @ginidietrich
Chief Executive Officer at Arment Dietrich, Inc.
Presenting: How to Manage Your Next Social Media Crisis and How to Use Data and Analytics to Prepare for Your Next Crisis

Roberto Blake @robertoblake
Owner and Creative Director at Creative Awesome Media
Presenting: YouTube Video Production: From Idea to Execution

Ann Handley @marketingprofs
Author, Speaker and Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs
Presenting: How to Create Breakthrough Written Marketing Content

Christopher Penn @cspenn
Vice President of Marketing Technology at SHIFT Communications
Presenting: Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and the Future of Social Media Marketing and The Social Media Marketer’s Guide to Artificial Intelligence

Gary Leland @garyleland
Co-founder at Podcast Movement
Presenting: How to Monetize Your Podcast

Madalyn Sklar @madalynsklar
Social Media Coach, Speaker and Consultant
Presenting: How to Use Twitter Chats to Grow Your Business

Ileane Smith @ileane
Manager Member Promotion & Academic Outreach at ASTM International
Presenting: How to Get Started With Live Video

Ian Cleary @iancleary
Founder at RazorSocial
Presenting: How to Use Social Media Analytics Tools to Produce Better Results

Peg Fitzpatrick @PegFitzpatrick
Director of Content Strategy + Social Media at Tailwind
Presenting: Top Tools to Improve Your Instagram Engagement and Growth and How Businesses Use Pinterest to Drive Traffic and Profits

Rebekah Radice @rebekahradice
Chief Marketing Officer at Post Planner
Presenting: How to Create Highly Shareable Social Media Images

Bryan Kramer @bryankramer
Author, Speaker, President and CEO at PureMatter
Presenting: Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and the Future of Social Media Marketing, How to Create and Manage an Influencer Marketing Program and Why Stories Catch Fire and Become Sharable

Shep Hyken @Hyken
Chief Amazement Officer and Owner at Shepard Presentations
Presenting: Customer Service is the New Marketing: How to Make Social Care Your Competitive Advantage

Carlos Gil @CarlosGil83
Global Head of Global Social Media at BMC Software
Presenting: Snapchat Strategies for Marketing Your Business

Jasmine Star @jasminestar
Owner at Jasmine Star Photography
Presenting: How to Improve Your Instagram Photos and Your Engagement

Josh Elledge @joshelledge
Chief Executive Angel at SavingsAngel
Presenting: How to Get Traditional Media Exposure Using Social Media

Heidi Cohen @heidicohen
Chief Content Officer at Actionable Marketing Guide
Presenting: How to Create Quality Blog Posts Consistently

Chelsea Crockett @chelseacrockett
Beauty and Fashion Blogger at BeautyLiciousInsider
Presenting: How to Integrate Product Sales Into Your Videos

Joel Comm @joelcomm
Speaker, Author, Live Video Expert and CEO at Joel Comm Company
Presenting: The Future of Live Video (and How You Can Prepare Today)

Dan Gingiss @dgingiss
Head of Digital Marketing at Humana
Presenting: How to Identify the Customer Experiences That Will Get Amplified in Social Media and How Companies Become Best-in-Class at Social Customer Care: Panel Discussion

Jenn Herman @jenns_trends
Social Media Consultant & Trainer at Jenn’s Trends
Presenting: How to Use a Business Profile to Get More Sales From Instagram

Tim Schmoyer @timschmoyer
YouTube Video Strategist at Video Creators
Presenting: How to Develop a Loyal YouTube Audience and How to Integrate Product Sales Into Your Videos

Steve Dotto @dottotech
Host and Executive Producer at Dotto Tech
Presenting: How to Grow Your First 100 YouTube Subscribers

Sunny Lenarduzzi @sunnylenarduzzi
Freelance Social Media Strategist and Consultant, Radio/TV Host/Reporter
Presenting: How to Build a Business With YouTube

Jon Loomer @jonloomer
Owner at Jon Loomer Digital
Presenting: Facebook Targeting Priorities: How to Reach Those Who Matter Most Using 6 Different Methods

Cathy Hackl @cathyhackl
Chief Communications & Content Officer at Future Lighthouse
Presenting: Facebook Live for Brands

Lee Odden @leeodden
Author, Speaker and CEO at TopRank Marketing
Presenting: Future of Influencer Marketing: Strategies and Trends

Alex Khan @1alexkhan
CEO at Attractive Media GmbH
Presenting: How to Create Engaging Content With Live Video

John Lee Dumas @johnleedumas
Host of the EOFire Podcast
Presenting: How to Monetize Your Podcast and How to Land Guest Appearances on Podcasts

Adel De Meyer @adeldmeyer
Digital Media Specialist and Author at Adeldermeyer.com
Presenting: How Businesses Use Twitter to Promote Their Content

Joe Pulizzi @joepulizzi
Founder at Content Marketing Institute
Presenting: How to Generate Large Amounts of Revenue From the Content You Create

Andy Crestodina @crestodina
Author, Speaker, Co-Founder and Strategic Director at Orbit Media Studios
Presenting: Google Analytics Fundamentals: How to Measure What Matters for Your Business

Michael A. Stelzner @mike_stelzner
CEO and Founder at Social Media Examiner
Presenting: Social Media Marketing in 2017: What the Newest Research Reveal and How to Get Speaking Opportunities at Social Media Examiner Events

Michael O’Neal @solohour
Host, Solopreneur Podcast
Presenting: Becoming an Interview Master and How it Can Massively Grow Your Podcast

Sue B. Zimmerman @suebzimmerman
Instagram Expert at Sue B Zimmerman Enterprise
Presenting: How to Use Instagram Stories for Your Business and How Brands Use Instagram to Tell Visually Compelling Stories

Larry Kim @larrykim
Founder of WordStream
Presenting: Hacking Facebook Ads: How 50 Dollars Can Drive Enormous Traffic to Your Best Content

Andrea Vahl @andreavahl
Author, Speaker and Social Media Strategist at AndreaVahl.com
Presenting: Facebook Advertising: Your Questions Answered by Top Experts and How to Build a Facebook Marketing Funnel With Ads and More

If you want to follow all 50 of these fine folks, then check out the Twitter list.

What’s interesting about this list is that it highlights a number of people who are known more broadly for their expertise as well as a number of new faces compared to last year’s list.

A few thoughts about building influencer lists.

What social influencer lists don’t account for is the cumulative effect of influence a person achieves over time and in the “real world”. Lists like this are a snapshot in time – they are temporal, just like any measure of influence is. No one has the same level of influence all the time. A list of influencers based only on social media data is useful for content and communications through those social channels. It’s not the same thing as saying “These people are universally influential about social media marketing for now and all time.” That’s just silly.

Feeling left out? A list is inclusive so sometimes the criteria scores across a spectrum of the social web cause some filtering, especially when up and coming influencers have extremely high resonance and relevance scores. For example, Mitch Joel, Chris Brogan, John Jantsch, Beverly Jackson, Konnie Brown, Justin Levy, Scott Monty, Brian Clark, Viveka von Rosen and Sandy Carter are all pretty influential to me personally and to many other people. But they are not on this particular social influencer list of 50 for the topic “Social Media Marketing”. That doesn’t mean they are not influential on this topic.

More considerations than you think. When building out an influencer list for a content marketing program, you have to consider relevance, resonance, reach and audience of the influencer specific to the industry as well as their channels and the prospect audience for the specific program. Also, you have to consider the current state of relationship with those influencers, if any. Romance for recruitment can take a long time – or it can be very expensive.

Additionally, you need to consider the likelihood that any prominent influencer on your list will even be interested in the project. Is your project and invitation going to be useful to them? Will it be inspiring? All of that is considered in the identification and qualification phases so that when it comes time to recruit, everybody is on the same page and moving ahead.

Topical and context disconnects are very bad for business in the influencer marketing game. Lists are just the first step to creating a mutually beneficial relationship, especially if it involves content and is maintained over time.

Influencer 2.0 CoverLists based on data and strategy based on research. The whole influencer marketing topic has a lot of noise attracted to it and we recently partnered with Traackr and Altimeter to conduct research to answer some of the key questions about influencer marketing. We surveyed mid-market companies and many large enterprise organizations about trends, maturity of their work with influencers, budgets, areas of most impact, goals and even where influence impacts customer experience and digital transformation.

The research report was written by my pal Brian Solis and you can get a copy of it here.

At Social Media Marketing World, I’m going to be giving a presentation that includes many of the insights included in the report plus practical influencer engagement models, tactics and influencer marketing tools.

The presentation is called, Future of Influencer Marketing: Strategies and Trends which you can see on Friday March 24th at 10:15am – 11:00am in the same room as the keynotes: 28ABCDE.

I hope to see you there!


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Social Media Marketing: 7 Opportunities for B2B Brands to Rock Pinterest http://www.toprankblog.com/2016/10/pinterest-b2b-brands/ Tue, 11 Oct 2016 10:30:50 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=21204 While other visual social media platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat are getting most of the press these days, Pinterest is still a growing platform that offers B2B brands and marketers an opportunity to grow and connect with their audience, drive brand awareness and website traffic, and enhance their overall social media marketing strategy. But [...]

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7-b2b-brands-pinterest

While other visual social media platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat are getting most of the press these days, Pinterest is still a growing platform that offers B2B brands and marketers an opportunity to grow and connect with their audience, drive brand awareness and website traffic, and enhance their overall social media marketing strategy.

But despite its potential, Pinterest hasn’t exactly been embraced by B2B. In fact, just 14% of B2B marketers say they use Pinterest to distribute their content, according to Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs’ B2B Content Marketing 2017: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America report.

One big reason for this may be that B2B companies struggle to find a way to fit in on a visual platform like Pinterest. Oftentimes, a B2B company’s products and services don’t always have a recognizable physical presence or give off an exciting vibe—which B2C brands typically have going for them.

However, at the end of the day Pinterest is all about providing a place for people to discover new things and ideas, and find inspiration for all areas of their lives. And isn’t that exactly what your marketing efforts—whether they be B2B or B2C—aim to do?

With that said, below we dive into a few ways that B2B brands can use Pinterest as a social media marketing tactic to share content, drive awareness and grow their audience.

#1 – Repurpose existing content into visual content.

Humans are visual creatures by nature, which is probably why Pinterest and other visual social media sites are growing so rapidly, and why other networks are working hard to enhance video and image capabilities.

A fantastic way to grab attention and promote your quality content is to repurpose it into a visual asset like an infographic. Did you recently publish an eBook? Create an infographic that highlights some interesting takeaways. Add the infographic to the main landing page for your eBook, and pin to your Pinterest page from there. This will give your audience a helpful, visual piece of content, as well as help drive traffic to your website and the eBook itself.

HubSpot is an infographic powerhouse. They have boards dedicated to marketing and sales infographics, as well as infographic content included on other boards, too. Some are their own, while others belong to other brands.

B2B Marketing on Pinterest - HubSpot

Already have infographic assets? Of course you should find a home for it on one of your boards, but you could also take a step further and break the content down into more bite-sized visual content pieces. Perhaps your infographic features interesting statistics that a recent report uncovered. Highlight some of them on their own individual images, with the pin pointing to the link where the infographic lives on your website. To pump these out quickly, consider using a graphic design tool like Canva.

#2 – Give industry influencers a shout-out.

Engaging with industry influencers on any social media channel is a great way to build relationships that can lead to a larger audience and future collaboration.

Continue to foster those relationships by giving them a little shout-out on Pinterest, featuring a favorite quote or insights an influencer has shared. Here’s an example from TopRank Marketing’s Pinterest page. After working with influencers on an eBook project on B2B marketing innovation, we created individual images featuring their respective insights.

B2B Marketing on Pinterest - TopRank Marketing

#3 – Give all your content a second home.

Blog posts, videos, images, eBook, white papers, product tutorials, company news—any content that lives on your website can find a new “home” on Pinterest. Just make sure anything you save has a compelling image and caption to go with it.

Create boards that can house the different topics your content covers such as industry news and trends, new product launches, customer testimonials, and so on. Of course, don’t just pin your own content. Seek out other helpful pieces that your audience will benefit from.

#4 – Tell your company’s story.

Social media is an incredible tool for building brand awareness and showcasing what your company is all about. Consider giving your Pinterest followers a behind-the-scenes look inside your company’s culture or project that you’re currently working on. This not only helps your audience get to know you a little better, but can also be a great recruiting tool.

FedEx’s “I Am FedEx” board features interesting videos and profiles that showcase employees at all levels of the organization—from truck drivers to IT engineers. Some link back to the I Am FedEx blog or the company’s YouTube account, while some others to local news coverage featuring an employee.

B2B Marketing on Pinterest - FedEx

SAP also highlights employee testimonials to add a human element and give followers a sneak peek at what it’s like to work for the company on its “A day in the life” board.

B2B Marketing on Pinterest - SAP

#5 – Speak to your audience’s other interests.

A great way to engage and entice new followers on Pinterest is to go beyond the pain points they have as potential customers and speak to their other needs, desires and interests—while also staying true and relevant to your brand.

Adobe’s Pinterest presence is a fantastic example. The company known for its creative design and document management tools features a number of interesting art-related boards that speak to some of the fundamentals of their target audience.

Boards such as “What’s Your Type?” featuring cool typography and “The Art of Fashion” showcasing amazing fashion creations aim to connect with followers on an artistic level, while reinforcing Adobe’s creative legacy.

B2B Marketing on Pinterest - Adobe

#6 – Highlight your customers.

Your current customers are perhaps your biggest opportunity when it come to social media marketing. By highlighting how your product or services helped them get results, or by simply highlighting interesting and innovating things that company is doing, you’re not only giving them credit, but also showing potentials how you value your customers.

#7 – Create group boards that allow for collaboration.

Group boards allow multiple pinners to collaborate and share ideas in one space. B2B companies can use this capability to encourage more engagement and collaboration with influencers, or get company employees involved in contributing to the board. If you do decide to create a group board, add some text in the description to let people know they can participate, too, and provide a contact email so they can get in touch if they want to be added.

Is Pinterest Right for My Brand?

Pinterest is not going to make sense for every brand. Your audience, your marketing goals and overall business objectives, and the resources you have to work with all play a role in deciding where to put your social media marketing efforts. But hopefully this post has given you a little food for thought and some ideas for taking your social media marketing strategy higher.

If you’re looking to experiment a little bit, get some best practice tips from our post Is Pinterest Still Alive & How Are Brands Using It?

What unique boards or content to you promote on your B2B company’s Pinterest board? Why has it been successful? Tell us in the comments section below.


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© Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®, 2016. | Social Media Marketing: 7 Opportunities for B2B Brands to Rock Pinterest | http://www.toprankblog.com

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Social Media Marketing World 2016: Insights, Top Blog Content & Words of Wisdom http://www.toprankblog.com/2016/04/social-media-marketing-world-2016/ Mon, 25 Apr 2016 18:09:00 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=20325 Last week, we had the privilege of participating in the annual Social Media Marketing World conference in San Diego. We joined over 3,000 other marketers and marketing influencers who were looking to explore the latest trends and best practices for social media marketing. From the moment (literally) that I stepped on the plane, I had [...]

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SMMW-Recap-2016

Last week, we had the privilege of participating in the annual Social Media Marketing World conference in San Diego. We joined over 3,000 other marketers and marketing influencers who were looking to explore the latest trends and best practices for social media marketing.

From the moment (literally) that I stepped on the plane, I had a conversation about the upcoming conference with the woman next to me. It was her first time at a conference like Social Media Marketing World and she planned on spending the flight trying to figure out which sessions made the most sense for her to attend.

Fortunately, I had done my homework and gave her suggestions on which sessions I thought could be of use to her. Because she was able to get her planning out of the way and we had a great discussion about our roles and the organizations that we worked with (I also had someone to spend hours in the airport chatting with on the way home).

For me, a large part of a successful event is having the opportunity to meet great people like Darcy and learn more about what they’re doing on a day-to-day basis at the companies they work for. That coupled with thought provoking insights from speakers that have been very successful at implementing the ideas that they’re covering makes for a great conference.

Below you’ll find some interesting statistics about the reach of the topics discussed both online and in-person at the event, access to all of TopRank Marketing’s blog coverage and some snackable tips that you can learn and share, even if you weren’t at the event.

Just How Big Was Social Media Marketing World’s Footprint?

Using metrics gathered from Keyhole, we were able to get a sense of just how far the #SMMW16 hashtag could reach. All data that was collected was for April 17 – April 25.

kehole metrics

Zignal Labs also created an event wrap up post that showed that the content created on TopRankBlog.com drove more than double the amount of shares to the conference hashtag than the next referring website which was Instagram.

top sites by shares

In looking at the top domains from Keyhole, it appears that TopRankBlog.com ranked only below Twitter, Instagram, Buffer and Periscope for the event. Facebook YouTube, Vine and many others did not have quite the reach and domain authority as our timely content.

Top Sites Keyhole

Not surprisingly, mobile (iPhones specifically) was without question the top device used to share information using the #SMMW16 hashtag. Not everyone in attendance was sitting there with a laptop furiously taking notes like I was, but there was not one person I saw that didn’t have a smartphone in hand for the majority of the conference.

iphone top sources

Conference Coverage From TopRank Marketing

Many of the conferences that we attend also present the opportunity to create some great content to share with our online community. This is a great way to provide insights to people who are attending but can’t possibly go to every session, as well as those that weren’t able to make it this time around but still want insights into what is being learned. In total, we created 8 blog posts that either featured influencers at the event, or provided coverage of the sessions.

Top 50 Social Media Marketing Influencers at Social Media Marketing World

SMMW16 Influencers Social Media Marketing Speakers

Based strictly on data collected from Traackr, TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden was able to shine a light on some of the top industry experts, influencers, brands and practitioners that would be speaking at Social Media Marketing World.

To find out who made the list and how you can connect with them, read: 50 Social Media Marketing Influencers to Follow


Where Does Snapchat Belong in Your Digital Marketing Strategy?

snapchat-marketing-tips

After attending this session, I walked away excited and encouraged about the possibilities that exist for marketers looking to find a way to better connect with their audience. This panel included two of the top Snapchat influencers that clearly know what they’re doing, as well as two brands that have made Snapchat a cornerstone of their marketing engagement strategy.

To find out how if there is an opportunity to use Snapchat for your brand, read: 7 Tips for Incorporating Snapchat into Your Marketing Strategy

The Role of Storytelling in Building Brand Awareness

Storytelling-Tips

It’s no surprise that today’s customers have so many options available to them. Companies that find a way to create a strong connection through their content efforts almost always win the business. To help you understand how to do that more effectively, this panel of speakers shared some amazing insight into how to incorporate more storytelling into your marketing as well as some exercises to put it into practice.

To begin creating your own happily ever after please read: Learn How to Compel Your Audience to Act with These 3 Storytelling Tips

What Does it Take to Build a Successful Client & Agency Relationship?

how-to-get-the-most-out-of-your-digital-agency

Many brands have not only one, but many agencies that they partner with to help support their digital marketing initiatives. These relationships can provide many benefits, if you’re working with the RIGHT companies to help meet your goals. This panel of experts included TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden, Mitch Joel and Jessika Phillips.

To find out what it takes to create a successful partnership with an agency, read: 5 Secrets for Developing a Successful Client & Agency Relationship

Is Your Brand Equipped to Create a Successful Social Care Program?

social-care-program

A social care program is not one that can be tip-toed around. If you begin setting an expectation that customers can communicate with you on social platforms to solve their problems, you’d better be there to answer their questions. A social care program is something that requires planning and technology to truly deliver value to your customers.

To see if a social program might be a fit for your company, read: 8 Building Blocks to Create a World-Class Social Care Program

Get More out of Content on LinkedIn

Alex-Rynne-and-Jason-Miller

It’s always a treat to have representatives from a platform present at a conference and give insight into how to get the most out of their tool. Well, that is exactly what happened at Social Media Marketing World and Jason Miller and Alex Rynne of LinkedIn did not disappoint. They focused on four major opportunities with LinkedIn and provided sample objectives, key metrics and action items for being successful.

To find out how you can create and promote great content on LinkedIn, read: 4 Components of a Killer Content Marketing Tactical Plan on LinkedIn

Create a Better Experience on Instagram

Instagram-Marketing

People learn visually which is why so much opportunity exists within platforms like Instagram. But to really stand out to your audience (and attract new audience members), it is just as much about the stories that you’re telling with the content as the visuals themselves. This panel included awesome Instagram’ers from Adobe and the San Diego Zoo, both of which shared their unique perspective on what has made their Instagram strategy so effective.

To learn how to hook your audience with killer visual content, read: What Brands Like Adobe & The San Diego Zoo Can Teach us About Instagram Marketing

Expert Advice on how to Identify, Qualify & Recruit Effective Influencers

SMMW-Lee-Odden

In his second session of the conference, TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden pulled out the big guns and shared some amazing insight into the world of influencer marketing. By now, most companies recognize that they should incorporate influencers into content programs to serve many benefits including advocacy, variety of content, as well as increased engagement and reach. The who, the how and the what are all very important elements to consider before embarking on an influencer marketing initiative. If you’re looking for some best practices, tools and fails/wins of influencer marketing from someone with invaluable experience, be sure to check out this post.

To see if your approach to influencer marketing is hitting the mark, read: Learn How to Create a More Effective Influencer Marketing Strategy

Top Words of Wisdom from #SMMW16 Speakers

“If you want your content to be great, ask influencers to participate!” @leeodden #SMMW16 – Tweet This

“Platforms change slowly. Strategies change quickly.” @markwschaefer #SMMW16 – Tweet This

“The simple nature of questioning and shifting perspective allows innovation to happen.” @briansolis #SMMW16 – Tweet This

“Always start with strategic intent. Think about how you can repurpose your Facebook live videos.” @MariSmith #SMMW16 – Tweet This

“Tone of voice is your gutsiest, bravest asset. It is vastly undervalued.” @annhandley #SMMW16 – Tweet This

“Find a niche where you can be the leading expert in the world.” @joepulizzi #SMMW16 – Tweet This

“Advance your brand without talking about your brand.” @timwasher #SMMW16 – Tweet This

Thank You For a Great Event!

Thank you to the team at Social Media Examiner for putting together yet another great conference filled with innovative and actionable tips for maintaining and improving social media marketing strategies.

I’ve shared some of my top takeaways, I’m curious to know what you found to be the most useful piece of information you learned at #SMMW16.

Disclosure: Traackr and LinkedIn are TopRank Marketing Clients


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Learn How to Create a More Effective Influencer Marketing Strategy http://www.toprankblog.com/2016/04/more-effective-influencer-marketing/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2016/04/more-effective-influencer-marketing/#comments Mon, 25 Apr 2016 10:30:14 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=20321 “Who is more influential to you than the people closest that you respect and trust?” – Lee Odden In the time that I’ve been at TopRank Marketing, I’ve had the opportunity to witness first-hand how influencer marketing can be an incredibly powerful way to build credibility for a brand, and create connections with the right people. [...]

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Influencer Marketing Lee Odden

“Who is more influential to you than the people closest that you respect and trust?” – Lee Odden

In the time that I’ve been at TopRank Marketing, I’ve had the opportunity to witness first-hand how influencer marketing can be an incredibly powerful way to build credibility for a brand, and create connections with the right people.

I remember that one of my first experiences with influencer marketing was an interview that I did with Avinash Kaushik (that was of course facilitated by Lee Odden). I was overwhelmed by how humble and happy he was to collaborate with me. Why? Because Lee and the team at TopRank Marketing had found ways to feature him previously and begin building that relationship.

Today, it has become much more difficult to capture and hold the attention of many in-demand influencers. Many companies are unsure of how exactly to effectively identify, qualify and recruit influencers into their digital marketing strategy.

Last week, TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden presented to a packed room at Social Media Marketing World with the intent of enlightening, inspiring and instructing marketers on how to effectively add influencers to their digital marketing programs. Below are what I would consider to be some of the top takeaways from this information packed presentation.

5 Important Benefits of Influencer Marketing

The long-term benefits of influencer marketing are often overlooked for the short-term gain. Some of the top benefits of collaborating with influencers include:

  • Advocacy: The credibility that often comes along with collaborating with influencers can be incredibly important as a tool for building brand advocacy.
  • Quality: When you tap into influencers, you’re gaining input from a knowledge base outside your own. Their expertise can help increase the quality of the content being produced to better serve your target audience.
  • Variety: Again, an outside perspective is a great way to add variety to the content being produced by your brand. While the messages should be aligned, their unique perspective may speak to your audience in a way that your brand content may not.
  • Engagement: It’s no secret that customers buy from people that they know and trust. And that people trust individuals over brands. Armed with this knowledge, brands can incorporate influencers to increase the engagement of their target audiences with the content that is co-created with influencers.
  • Scale & Reach: Not only does working with influencers help companies create more quality content, but it exposes that content to audiences that they may not otherwise have access to.

16 Ways to Engage Influencers with Content

The options for incorporating influencers into your content strategy are nearly limitless. While some marketers may think that interviews, or videos are the only way to go, there are so many more options including:

  • Quotes
  • Social Content/Shares
  • Short Interviews
  • Long Interviews
  • Blog Posts
  • eBooks
  • Video
  • Visual Content
  • Events
  • Contributed Articles
  • Contests
  • Twitter Chats
  • Event Panels/Presentations
  • Webinars
  • Product Reviews
  • Endorsements

Influencer Marketing Tools 

The evolution of influencer marketing has been largely due to the tools made available today. Depending on the needs of your influencer marketing, you can use one, a few or many of the following tools to aid your efforts:

  • LinkedIn (client)
  • FollowerWonk
  • Klear
  • Kred
  • Klout
  • Keyhole
  • BuzzSumo
  • Onalytica
  • Nimble
  • Brandwatch
  • GroupHigh (client)
  • Little Bird
  • Traackr (client)

Top Influencer Engagement Fails & Wins

FAIL: Too Much, Too Soon
Many marketers make the mistake of trying to squeeze too much out of influencers before building the appropriate amount of time building the relationship. If you haven’t had any previous content, then you should avoid asking an influencer to participate in a big project.

FAIL: Forgetting to Ask for Permission
It can be tempting just to include influencers in your content without reaching out to them first. However, when you publish a piece of content that includes any amount of content from an influencer and you haven’t made content to let them know, you absolutely should not reach out to them cold and push them to promote the content.

FAIL: The Bait & Switch
It is always important to be honest and transparent with influencers that you ask to collaborate with you. Whatever you promise when they agree to participate should be 100% what is delivered to them.

WIN: Research influencers
In order to find influencers that are the right match for your brand, it’s important to understand:

  • What they care about.
  • How your company can offer value for their collaboration.
  • What you can offer that is unique.

WIN: Make it Easy for Influencers to Participate
Many companies fail at influencer marketing because there is too much complexity in the things that they are asking of influencers. To stand out in a sea of emails, make it as easy as possible for influencers to get on board and share their insight with you.

WIN: Continue to Feed the Influencer/Brand Relationship
If you want to create a sustainable influencer marketing program, you must continue to nurture your relationship with influencers. That means, showing your appreciation, providing feedback, finding ways to stay connected, refer them business or other influencer opportunities and citing them in ongoing content.

Is Your Influencer Marketing Strategy Aligned with Marketing Goals?

Influencer marketing has evolved significantly over the past few years and will only become more competitive as more and more brands continue to develop a savvy approach. There is no denying the immense value of incorporating influencers into your digital marketing strategy, but understanding where to start (or where you may have gone wrong) is not always easy.

If you’d like to learn more about how to find, engage and collaborate with industry influencers to boost the reach and performance of your content marketing programs, check out our influencer marketing services page and contact us for a consultation.


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8 Building Blocks to Create a World-Class Social Care Program http://www.toprankblog.com/2016/04/social-care-program/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2016/04/social-care-program/#comments Wed, 20 Apr 2016 18:00:04 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=20297 We’ve all heard the stories of brands failing and flailing on social media as they try to respond to customer service inquiries. And here’s why. Most companies are barely set up to meet expectations, let alone exceed them. So when they fall short, they are falling short of the bare minimum, creating friction and negative [...]

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social-care-program

We’ve all heard the stories of brands failing and flailing on social media as they try to respond to customer service inquiries.

And here’s why. Most companies are barely set up to meet expectations, let alone exceed them. So when they fall short, they are falling short of the bare minimum, creating friction and negative experiences between the brand and its customers for everyone to see.

Add that to the fact that some companies are doing it so well and therefore aiding an increase in customer expectations. In fact, customers now expect a response in an hour or less after reaching out to a company.  

Social Care Expectations

For the first time at Social Media Marketing World, there were sessions dedicated to building a social infrastructure to enable your company to exceed customer expectations.

In his session, Dan Gingiss, the head of Digital Marketing at Humana, provided 8 building blocks to help marketers create a world-class social care program.

For the following 8 steps, Dan provided a definition for what it is and what you need to think about when venturing out on this sort of initiative

#1 Social Care Philosophy

What is it?

The philosophy you develop should be crystal clear about what you’re doing and who you’re doing it for. Everything that comes next should leverage the philosophy as a guiding principle and help inform the strategy.

Take the time to first understand your products and/or services. Without a native understanding, any interactions as a customer service group within the organization will fall short.  

What do you need to think about?

  • Availability, what is the capacity to take on social care within your organization?
  • Response time, what is your current response time and what is the goal?
  • What languages need to be accounted for?
  • Social media platforms currently monitored or that need to be monitored.

#2 Technology

What is it?

Put simply, the backbone that allows you to effectively scale social care efforts.

What do you need to think about?

  • What platform do you need, an all-in-one or a dedicated service platform?
  • Investment you are prepared to make.
  • Platform integrations necessary to be successful.
  • Technical and strategic support required.
  • Innovation roadmap from the platform, what are the product updates on the horizon?

Three technology categories to consider:

Free/Mass Subscriptions

All-in-one Enterprise

Dedicated Service Platform

#3 Team Selection & Operationalizing

What is it?

Social Care programs won’t work if they’re created by the marketing team and then handed over to traditional customer service teams. Each team has a different skillset and training and there is a potential for seemingly small mistakes that can have a significant impact if social care is not handled by the right team.

Creating a social care program will often come with the need to hire people and set up the infrastructure to effectively scale.

What do you need to think about?

  • Skillsets / job descriptions, what type of person do you need and what role does the hire fill in your overall plan?
  • Customer service vs Social Media background. If you can’t find or afford to hire someone with both skill sets, understand which one you are getting and have training ready to fill in the gaps.
  • Hiring / Interviewing, determine who is involved in the process upfront to avoid delays after interviewing starts.
  • Organizational structure, where does this fit, who will the person(s) report to?
  • Feedback loop, how and how often will feedback regarding performance of the team be shared internally?

#4 Training

What is it?

Educating the team on the business, philosophy, technology, best practices and channels for creating a successful social care program.

What do you need to think about?

  • Different parts of the business, teams on the front lines of social care, have to know about all facets of the business or at least have a way to quickly find answers.
  • Most frequent types of inquiries, and most common solutions.
  • Understanding of each social media channel.
  • Uniqueness of public customer service, and how to avoid missteps.

#5 Process

What is it?

The steps which enable you to deliver superior customer service and business results, using your philosophy, technology, and people. An effective process should have enough information to keep you safe, but not so much that it slows you down.

What do you need to think about?

  • When to take discussions offline, and how to show the community the issue was resolved.
  • Escalation procedures for a variety of different issues, when to involve PR vs HR for example.
  • Empowering your team to resolve problems and/or provide ‘surprise and delight’ moments.

#6 Reporting

What is it?

Define which KPIs need to be reported to determine team performance, and report up internally on successes and areas of opportunity.

What do you need to think about?

  • First response time, how long is it taking to initially respond?
  • Resolution time, how long is it taking to provide a satisfying solution?
  • Social agent / office performance.
  • Daily/hourly performance, see trends about volume and its effect.
  • Channel performance
  • Post engagement
  • Satisfaction scores
  • Top issues / feedback loop

#7 Integration with Core Business

What is it?

Internal Integration to ensure the rest of the business is hearing the voice of the customer.

Ultimately, you want to make sure your company is using social care as a feedback loop for product development so that your team isn’t continually having to address the same problems.

What do you need to think about?

  • Which areas of the company will benefit from – and use – social feedback?
  • Tracking business response and circling back with the customer even if it’s weeks or months later.

#8 Integration with CRM

What is it?

External integration, and starting to use the voice of the customer to influence that customer’s future experiences with the brand.

For example, Hyatt is able to take the information they know about a customer (a request for a hypoallergenic pillow for example and apply that to all future stays) to create better experiences.

What do you need to think about?

  • Technology, how will you make this happen? What pieces are missing?
  • Data capture, where are the current data inputs and how is that information stored and accessed?
  • Data activation, when is the data triggered and to what department?

Does a Social Care Program Make Sense for Your Organization?

Brands that are responsive and in-tune with customer needs are building brand affinity and trust with customers. Those that are not, will surely be forgotten or discounted if a competitor is responsive. After learning more about the 8 building blocks above, do you think that your organization has a need and the potential to develop a social care program?


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5 Secrets for Developing a Successful Client and Agency Relationship http://www.toprankblog.com/2016/04/5-secrets-client-agency-relationship/ Wed, 20 Apr 2016 10:30:19 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=20294 Brands large and small around the globe are working with agencies to further their digital marketing efforts. Many companies have been working with agencies for years while others have traditionally kept marketing in-house and are just now dipping their toe in the water. No matter what stage they’re in, every brand has questions about how [...]

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how-to-get-the-most-out-of-your-digital-agency

Brands large and small around the globe are working with agencies to further their digital marketing efforts. Many companies have been working with agencies for years while others have traditionally kept marketing in-house and are just now dipping their toe in the water.

No matter what stage they’re in, every brand has questions about how to best work with a digital marketing agency and make the most of the relationship. To help answer those burning questions, TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden participated in a panel along with Mitch Joel and Jessika Phillips at Social Media Marketing World that tackled some of the questions that everyone has, but are afraid to discuss.

Below you’ll find answers to 5 of the top questions that many people have about what to do and what to avoid to develop a successful client and agency relationship.

Q1: Why should a brand pursue or have an interest in an agency relationship?

#1 – Agencies Specialize in Marketing

While many companies may already have a scalable and successful marketing function internally, a competitive market will often call for bringing in outside expertise. The accumulative knowledge that exists within an agency because of their ability to experiment can be much more difficult for a brand to pull off alone.

#2 – It Doesn’t Make Sense Financially to Build a Team

Many companies have some budget to build a marketing team but not necessarily the right team. When you partner with an integrated marketing agency, you’re gaining access to expertise across multiple areas that would be very costly to build internally.

#3 – To Bring in an Additional Perspective

Working with an agency means that they can also help strategize and push ideas through that you may not be able to do on your own. Their outside perspective and experience in similar scenarios with other clients can add an additional layer of credibility and knowledge to help convince the rest of your team that you need to take a particular course of action.

#4 – The Relationships Agencies Have with Influencers

Influencer marketing has become a staple of many digital marketing programs. However, the task of building relationships with influencers can be a lengthy and detailed process. Many agencies (like TopRank Marketing) have already been building relationships with B2B and B2C influencers for years and can utilize those existing relationships to incorporate influencers into your digital strategy.

#5 – Agencies Are Often Ahead of the Curve

Because agency teams live and breathe marketing, they’re constantly consuming information about the latest trends and best practices to help clients remain competitive in the marketplace. Brands can use that ongoing education to their advantage by staying ahead of the curve against competitors.

Q2: What are some examples of what makes a good relationship between a client and their agency?

#1 – Understanding What Each Team Brings to the Table

One of the most important parts of a good relationship is having a great vibe and respect for what each team does. This should be a dynamic that is data-informed and constantly evolving for maximum value. When both teams work well together and are very capable at creating value it allows the agency to shine for the brand.

#2 – Becoming an Extension of the Brand

Integration and stellar communication between the brand and agency is an integral part of a good client/agency relationship. This integration and constant contact makes it much easier to ensure that the agency can align with the brand message.

#3 – Challenging the Status Quo

One of the most important but sometimes uncomfortable conversations that clients and agencies NEED to have are ones that push everyone outside of their comfort zone to create a truly great digital marketing strategy. It’s important to anticipate that if you’re going to work with a really great agency, there are times you’ll be challenged. Sometimes things gong very smooth and other times there may be opposing views. The question that both teams to answer at the end of the day is: Will this help our brand meet our goals?

Q3: What are some key things that cause issues between clients and agencies?

#1 – Brands & Agencies Not Boxing in Their Weight Class

Finding an agency match that is structured to support your business can be tricky. Often times you’ll find that smaller companies want to work with an agency that is built to service larger clients and the relationship quickly becomes strained because of the involvement that the client may want to have. Similarly, some agencies are not setup to service large-scale clients and will struggle to execute and meet expectations. It’s important that both the client and the agency are structured in a way that compliments the other business.

#2 – Key Decision Makers Missing From the Equation

When you’re going through the process of hiring an agency, it’s important that all key decision makers are participating in process where appropriate. That way, everyone is defining and analyzing the same goals from the beginning. If you don’t, it can cause serious issues with expectations later down the road.

#3 – When Clients Are ONLY Looking to Value Shop

There is nothing wrong with a company looking to find an agency to work with that is within their budget. However, when companies are strictly focusing on value as it relates to low cost, that’s where things can get disjointed. Anytime an agency compromises on price it lowers the value of their offering and has the potential to cause issues. Both companies should strive instead to make sure that the agency they’ve chosen is a good fit and that they see value in what the agency can provide, at a price that is reasonable for both parties.

#4 – Contracts Are Not Clearly Laid Out

Leaving things open to too much interpretation has the potential for disaster. The verbiage that an agency may use to describe the services offered may not completely align with what the customer thinks is included. That is why it’s important to cover exactly what will be completed (and sometimes what is not included) to make sure that everyone understands what role they play in the relationship.

#5 – Clients Believing Their Efforts Stop Completely Once An Agency is Hired

Just because an agency has been hired, that doesn’t mean that the client no longer has any responsibility for the marketing initiatives. The insight that the agency gathers from the client on an ongoing basis is ESSENTIAL for accelerating the voice of the brand and cannot be replaced with independent research.

#6 – If the Relationship Isn’t Growing, It’s Dying

If you’ve had the exact same program with an agency for years and years, it’s time to take a look at the relationship. Your agency should be adapting and evolving your digital marketing strategy on an ongoing basis and informing you of new trends and platforms that will help you meet business objectives. If those conversations aren’t had, both companies are at risk of losing the relationship.

Q4: What have you found to be the best formula for client and agency communications?

In short, it depends on the client, the nature of the agreement and how new the program is. At varying stages of the relationship you will need to meet either more or less frequently. The teams should decide together what cadence works best to meet everyone’s needs and objectives. At the very minimum, clients and agencies should meet at least once a month.

Q5: What is the one thing that could improve the client and agency relationship?

#1 – Finding the Right Fit

Clarity and transparency up-front can add a lot of value. It’s important to make sure that capabilities as well as culture are a fit for both teams. Then, both teams have to deliver on what was promised.

#2 – Having the Right Team

When an agency has a solid team that can develop niche expertise and continue educating themselves constantly, there is a lot of value that can be provided to clients. There is no replacement for having a great team that can not only meet but exceed the expectations set.

#3 – Empathy From Both Teams

At the end of the day, we’re all people. Clients and agencies just happen to be two groups of people that are partnering together toward a common goal. Part of fostering a good client and agency relationship includes each team having empathy for the other.

Start Getting More out of Your Digital Marketing Agency

Expertise, clarity, relationships and a realistic outlook all play a huge part in creating a successful client and agency relationship. There will always be unknowns and time that needs to taken to find your groove in working together, but by following the advice above, you can ensure that there is alignment between both parties to help meet business objectives more effectively.

What questions do you have about partnering with a digital marketing agency?


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© Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®, 2016. | 5 Secrets for Developing a Successful Client and Agency Relationship | http://www.toprankblog.com

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Learn How to Compel Your Audience to Act with These 3 Storytelling Tips http://www.toprankblog.com/2016/04/3-storytelling-tips/ Tue, 19 Apr 2016 16:00:44 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=20291 When you hear the phrase “once upon a time…” your mind likely flashes to some of your favorite childhood stories. But what exactly is it that you remember about these stories, is it: The conflict between Cinderella and her stepmother, that didn’t stop her from finding a happy ending? The irony that Jack won a [...]

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Storytelling-Tips

When you hear the phrase “once upon a time…” your mind likely flashes to some of your favorite childhood stories. But what exactly is it that you remember about these stories, is it:

  • The conflict between Cinderella and her stepmother, that didn’t stop her from finding a happy ending?
  • The irony that Jack won a ticket on the Titanic at the last possible moment, only to slip away into the icy waters of the Atlantic?
  • The various social norms that were crossed, broken or all but forgotten in Alice in Wonderland?

As marketers we crave the opportunity to have top-of-mind awareness with prospects and customers when they hear certain phrases or are thinking about ideas that compel them to take action. Building that awareness doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and the right injection of storytelling into your digital marketing strategy.

Yesterday at Social Media Marketing World, I was able to gain insight into just how brands can do this from a panel of expert storytellers in a session moderated by Park Howell  that included Tim Washer, Kathy Klotz-Guest and Ron Ploof.

Below we’ll explore three ways and three exercises to help brands tell better, more impactful stories to create a lasting connection with their audience and compel them to take action.

#1 – Create Irony

Irony can be an incredibly effective tool in your storytelling arsenal as it forces the reader to analyze the situation in more detail.  As a brand, getting the audience to think through your message, to spend more time with it – is a good thing.

To start adding more irony to your content strategy, try the following exercise:

  1. Take some time each day to look at images
  2. Write down what you think is happening in the image
  3. Then, write down the opposite.

Then take both of those scenarios to the extreme. Wire your mind to be absurd. If you can do this, you can find stories that connect with the audience on a deeper level, compelling them to act.

#2 – Find the Conflict

Human brains are wired to seek out the conflict and take joy in the resolution.

To create a more compelling story, start with documenting the problem your brand solves and everything that can happen before you enter the picture. This is the conflict and will become the cornerstone of your story.

After you have the story written, then edit with the Rule of Replacement by:

  1. Counting the instances of  ‘and’ within the copy
    • Do the ‘and’s outnumber ‘but’ and ‘therefore’?
  2. If so, replace ‘and’ with ‘but’ and ‘therefore’ to create more conflict

#3 Learn to Heighten the Story
Now that you have a story to work with, it’s time to push narrative further.  

Here’s an exercise to get you started:

  1. Pretend for a minute that the problem your company solves goes unchecked.
  2. What would happen? Document everything you can think of, no matter how crazy.
  3. Now, document how the outcome would have been different had your product or service entered the story earlier.

Mayhem from Allstate is one of the best examples of a brand heightening the story. The story they tell is everyone’s worst nightmare and in painting such a vivid picture, they are able to connect with the audience. On the flip side, had they started with the product they would be telling a very similar story as the competition.

 

Are You Leveraging Your Story to the Fullest?

Knowing where to begin incorporating storytelling into your content marketing strategy can seem like a daunting task. Fortunately, with the help of today’s speakers, you can turn it into a more manageable opportunity.

Remember that you may only be able to tackle one story at a time, and you won’t want to lose all the great ideas you or your team developed. One way to avoid that is to create a story bank that you can pull from constantly.

What are the brands that you think create and tell amazing stories?

Another way to tell great brand stories is by incorporating influencers. If you’re at Social Media Marketing World and are looking for a great session to attend, I encourage you to stop by room 28ABCD at 1:30pm to see TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden discuss Influencer Marketing Playbook: How to Identify, Qualify and Recruit Effective Influencers


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© Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®, 2016. | Learn How to Compel Your Audience to Act with These 3 Storytelling Tips | http://www.toprankblog.com

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2016: 50 Social Media Marketing Influencers to Follow http://www.toprankblog.com/2016/04/50-influential-social-media-marketing-speakers/ Mon, 18 Apr 2016 10:05:42 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=20282 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 [...]

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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.

To create the list, we identified the speakers thanks to SME and imported them into the Traackr influencer marketing platform (client).  The result is the following list sorted by:

  • Relevance (to “social media”)
  • Resonance (network impact/engagement)
  • Reach (network size)

social media marketing influencers smmw16

Before too many people get excited and think this is a list of people with the biggest networks, or the people who are generally most influential, I will clarify: this is a list of speakers at SMMW16 that are most influential online about “social media” and “social media marketing” based on their content, how their networks engage with them and reach.  The combination of those factors determine the ranking.

I think the list is a great mix and representation of the voices on social media topics. I can’t wait to see their presentations!

Kim Garst @kimgarst
Best Selling Author, Twitter Expert, Keynote Speaker, Brand Influencer – Boom! Social
Presenting: Everything You Need To Know To Get Started on Periscope
and Live Video: Why the Future of Marketing Is Going Live

Donna Moritz @sociallysorted
Social Media Strategist, Trainer, & Visual Specialist, Speaker – Socially Sorted
Presenting: 5 Ways to Use Visual Content to Drive Traffic, Shares, and Sales

Ian Anderson Gray @iagdotme
Co-founder, Digital Marketer, Social Tools Strategist & Web Developer – Select Performers Internet Solutions
Presenting: 10 Tools & Techniques to Boost your Twitter Productivity & Success

Neal Schaffer @NealSchaffer
Social Media Keynote Speaker, CEO – Maximize Your Social
Presenting: How to Unleash Twitter’s Marketing Power: 5 Insider Tips

Ian Cleary @iancleary
CEO – RazorSocial
Presenting: 9 Essential Tools for Every Social Media Marketer’s Toolbox

Peggy Fitzpatrick @PegFitzpatrick
Director of social media marketing and content strategy – Guy Kawasaki
Presenting: How to Make Your Images Stand Out on Instagram

Martin Shervington @martinsherv
Writer and founder of PlusYourBusiness.com
Presenting: How to Use Google+ Collections to Serve Highly Targeted Content
and How to Manage Your Online Review Presence to Grow Your Business

Jeff Sieh @jeffsieh
Pinterest Manager – Social Media Examiner
Presenting: Re-purposing With Results: 5 Ways To Share Your Content On Pinterest

Brian Fanzo @isocialfanz
Chief Social Media Officer – MyChannel Inc
Presenting: How to Know if Your Business Should Get Into Live Video

Gary Vaynerchuk @garyvee
CEO – VaynerMedia
Presenting: Testing, Hustling and Outrageous Transparency in the Digital Age

Melonie Dodaro @MelonieDodaro
CEO, Social Media Strategist, LinkedIn Expert, Social Selling Speaker & Trainer – Top Dog Social Media
Presenting: How to Use LinkedIn Publisher to Build Trust and Establish Your Authority

Vincenzo M. Landino @vincenzolandino
Creative Director – Fifty 2 Creative
Presenting: How Brands Are Telling Stories on Periscope

Rebekah Radice @rebekahradice
Chief Marketing Officer – Post Planner
Presenting: How to Create an Unforgettable Brand Through Visual Marketing

Mark Schaefer @markwschaefer
Executive Director – Schaefer Marketing Solutions
Presenting: Breakthrough Growth Ideas: How Marketers Can Truly Fly

Jay Baer @jaybaer
Author of Hug Your Haters, President – Convince & Convert
Presenting: How Big Brands Are Using Social Influencers to Gain Massive Reach

Michael Stelzner @mike_stelzner
CEO and Founder – Social Media Examiner
Presenting: Social Media Marketing in 2016: What the Newest Research Reveals
and Is There A Future For Content Marketing?

Juntae DeLane @juntaedelane
Digital Brand Manager – University of Southern California
Presenting: Twitter Marketing: How Big Brands Get Ever Bigger Results

Carlos Gil @CarlosGil83
Head of Global Social Media – BMC Software
Presenting: Snapchat Marketing: How Businesses are Connecting With Millennials

Madalyn Sklar @madalynsklar
Twitter Marketing Coach/Consultant, Blogger, Podcaster – MadalynSklar.com
Presenting: How to Use Twitter Cards to Massively Grow Your Audience

Guy Kawasaki @GuyKawasaki
Chief Evangelist – Canva
Presenting: How to Perfect Your Personal Marketing

John Lee Dumas @johnleedumas
Host of the EOFire Podcast, Entrepreneurship Podcasting & Podcast Training – EOFire.com
Presenting: How to Grow Your Authority, Audience and Email List With Podcasting

Martin Jones @martinjonesaz
Sr. Marketing Manager, Social Media & Content Marketing – Cox Communications
Presenting: How Big Brands Are Using Social Influencers to Gain Massive Reach

Bernie Borges @bernieborges
Executive Producer: Social Business Engine, Find and Convert
Presenting: How to Organize Cross Functional Marketing Across the Business

Darren Rowse @problogger
Speaker, Author, Blogger, Podcaster & Founder – ProBlogger, Problogger Events & @DigitalPS
Presenting: How to Turn Casual Readers Into a Loyal Community

Jenn Herman @jenns_trends
Social Media Consultant & Trainer – Jenn’s Trends
Presenting: How to Run a Contest Effectively on Instagram to Grow Your Audience

Christian Karasiewicz @ckroks
Social Business Manager – IBM
Presenting: How to Use Facebook Notes and Facebook Instant Articles

Mari Smith @marismith
Facebook “Boost Your Business” 2015 National Tour Presenter & Facebook Small Business Training – MariSmith.com
Presenting: How Companies Are Succeeding With Facebook: 7 Power Tips

Steve Dotto @dottotech
Host/Executive Producer – Dotto Tech
Presenting: How to Use YouTube to Grow Your Email List

Andrea Vahl @andreavahl
Social Media Coach, Strategist, and Speaker – AndreaVahl.com
Presenting: Getting Started With Facebook Ads

Joel Comm @joelcomm
Internet Marketer, International Keynote Conference Speaker – Joel Comm, Inc.
Presenting: Live Video: Why the Future of Marketing Is Going Live

Dan Gingiss @dgingiss
Head of Digital Marketing – Humana
Presenting: How to Create a World-Class Social Care Program: 8 Building Blocks
and How Businesses are Building World Class Customer Services

Lee Odden @leeodden
CEO – TopRank Marketing
Presenting: Panel: How to Get the Most Out of Your Social Media Agency
and Influencer Playbook: How to Identify, Qualify & Recruit Effective Influencers

Jessica Mack @js_mack
Blogger – Brown Paper Bunny
Presenting: How Businesses are Building World Class Customer Service

Tyler Anderson @tylerjanderson
CEO / Founder – Casual Fridays, Inc.
Presenting: Panel: How to Get the Most Out of Your Social Media Agency

Brian Carter @briancarter
CEO / Digital Marketing Consultant – The Carter Group (TCG)
Presenting: Twitter Marketing: How Big Brands Get Ever Bigger Results

Dorie Clark @dorieclark
Marketing Strategist & Speaker, Duke Fuqua Professor, Author of Stand Out & Reinventing You
Presenting: How to Establish Yourself as a Thought Leader

Mitch Joel @mitchjoel
President – Mirum Agency
Presenting: Panel: How to Get the Most Out of Your Social Media Agency

Bryan Kramer @bryankramer
International Keynote Speaker, Emcee and Event Host, President & CEO – PureMatter
Presenting: Employee Advocacy: How to Engage Your Workforce on Social Media
and How to Get People to Consume Your Content In a Noisy World

Christopher Penn @cspenn
Vice President of Marketing Technology – SHIFT Communications
Presenting: How to Create an Analytics Dashboard for Real World Marketing Problems

Joe Pulizzi @joepulizzi
Founder – Content Marketing Institute
Presenting: Content Marketing for Small Businesses: 6 Steps

Stephanie Sammons @stephsammons
CEO – Stephanie Sammons Inc.
Presenting: 9 Advanced LinkedIn Profile Tactics to Boost Your Visibility and Grow Your Influence

Azure Collier @azurecollier
Social Media Marketing and Community Manager – Constant Contact
Presenting: How Brands are Optimizing Their Pinterest Marketing

Dave Peck @davepeck
Global Head of Digital & Social Media Marketing – PayPal
Presenting: How Leading Brands Get Gigantic Results with Facebook

Sue Beth Zimmerman @suebzimmerman
Online Business & Instagram Expert, Creator of Insta-Results – Sue B Zimmerman Enterprise
Presenting: How to Use Instagram’s Direct Message Feature
and How Brands Use Instagram to Tell Visual Compelling Stories

Paul Colligan @colligan
Director Of Content Marketing – Instant Customer
Presenting: How to Turn Your Podcast into a Content Marketing Machine

Chris C. Ducker @chrisducker
Founder and CEO – Live2Sell Group
Presenting: How To Build Your Business and Brand Through Podcasting

John Jantsch @ducttape
President – Duct Tape Marketing
Presenting: How to Design, Build and Grow an Insanely Profitable Marketing Consulting Practice

Amy Porterfield @amyporterfield
Social Media Marketing Consultant (Specializing in Facebook) – Amy Porterfield, Inc.
Presenting: How to Grow Your Email List With Facebook Ads, On a Budget

Kathy Klotz-Guest @kathyklotzguest
Chief Storyteller, Author, Speaker – Keeping it Human
Presenting: How to Leverage the Power of Story to Grow Your Business

Sandy Carter @sandy_carter
General Manager, IBM Ecosystems and Social Business Evangelism IBM
Presenting: How to Organize Cross Functional Marketing Across the Business

Most people think of influence in terms of popularity and reach. Things like celebrity endorsements or popular social media content creators on YouTube Instagram and Snapchat come to mind.

“Everyone is influential about something.”

However, every one of us has interests and we are all empowered to publish, create, connect and share through mobile and social technologies. I believe everyone is influential about something and the value of influence is in the ability to inspire action.

Influencer Marketing is a very hot topic right now and it’s growing fast. New influencer platforms, marketplaces and tools seem to be coming online every day. In the way that every marketer became an SEO, social media or content marketing expert in the past, opportunists are now beginning to claim expert status in the space of influencer marketing.

The fast growth of influencer marketing is problematic for brands looking for qualitative guidance in developing an influencer marketing strategy. To provide a clear signal and direction about influencer marketing, I am suggesting two new resources that my team has created in partnership with some of the top marketing influencers in the world as well as one of the best influencer marketing platforms.


15 Ways to Fail and 25 Ways to Win at Influencer Engagement: This eBook includes a practical and actionable list of things you should NOT DO when trying to engage with influencers – all provided by industry influencers who are on the receiving end of pitches on a daily basis. It also includes 25 best practices, also based on actual influencer marketing engagements.


Influencer Marketing Intervention – The rush towards influencer marketing as a shiny object has created a lot of misinformation and bad habits amongst marketers. We need an intervention to get brands back on track. This ebook features a 12 step program of advice from Traackr that also features insight from 11 of the most qualified people to talk about influencer marketing. This is an excerpt of the full ebook, which you can get here.

Check out the ebooks and definitely follow the Social Media Marketing World speakers listed above. While this list is focused on SMMW16 speakers, outside of that group, who do you think should be added to the list?

Influencer Marketing Playbook
Influencer Marketing Playbook at Social Media Marketing World

Of course, if you are attending the SMMW16 conference, be sure to check out my presentation on Tuesday, April 19th at 1:30pm called, “Influencer Marketing Playbook”, where I will be giving a framework for influencer engagement and specific do’s and don’ts that you can implement with your own influencer marketing programs immediately.

It is a very actionable presentation and my goal is to help marketers become much more effective at influencer engagement so when they send requests to people like the speakers on the list above, their chances of a yes will go way up!


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Marketers Unite: Join us for April’s Mega Social Media Marketing Conference #SMMW16 http://www.toprankblog.com/2016/04/social-media-marketing-conference/ Thu, 07 Apr 2016 10:30:22 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=20230 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 [...]

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smmw16-preview

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!

Influencer Playbook: How to Identify, Qualify & Recruit Effective Influencers

Speaker: Lee Odden, CEO TopRank Marketing

Date/Time: Tuesday April 19, 1:30pm

Do you have the skills necessary to compete in the influencer marketing game? According to recent research, 61% of companies can’t find real influencers and another 56% can’t quite figure out how to recruit influencers that they want to collaborate with.

In his session, Lee will teach you a framework for effective influencer marketing, tools to help with the heavy lifting, and tips for recruiting influencers to put you on the path to success. If you’re interested in adding influencers to your digital marketing mix, or would like to be more successful with your current program, this is a must attend session.

Snapchat Marketing: How Businesses are Connecting With Millennials

Speakers:

Carlos Gil, Senior Social Media Manager, BMC Software

Joel Price, New Media, San Diego Chargers

Shaun Ayala, Lead Marketing Strategist, Best Buy

Shaun McBride, Digital Media Strategist

Callan Green, Director of Social Media Communications, L’Oreal

Date/Time: Monday April 18, 10:30am

Marketers everywhere are trying to find the most effective ways to connect with Millennials. One of the ways that many brands are finding success is by incorporating the use of apps like Snapchat to create this connection.

This session is filled with brand heavy hitters that are known for their Snapchat expertise. If you’re on the hunt for a way to reach Millennials on a platform where they’re spending their time, lend these top brand marketers your attention to learn how to create a successful Snapchat strategy.

How to Create Experiences That Inspire People to Share

Speaker: Brian Solis, Principal Analyst, Altimeter Group

Date/Time: Tuesday April 19, 10:15am

The experience that you create for your prospects can be the difference between them becoming a customer and moving on to another brand for a solution. Brian Solis is a strong proponent of the importance of customer experience and the opportunity that marketers have to create more meaningful experiences.

In this session he will share some of his original research as well as insights for ways to create memorable connections with your customers that will ultimately inspire them to share.

How To Create A Content Marketing Tactical Plan for LinkedIn

Speakers:

Jason Miller, Global Content & Social Initiatives Leader, LinkedIn

Alexandra Rynne, Associate Content Marketing Mgr., LinkedIn

Date/Time: Monday April 18, 11:30am

Who better to teach a tactical plan for one of the largest social networking platforms in the world than two of the people leading the charge for LinkedIn’s own marketing? Utilizing a platform like LinkedIn requires a plan that is customized for the platform, and the audience that you’re trying to engage.

Jason Miller will outline how you can build a more effective marketing plan for LinkedIn, complete with examples (we love examples!). Additionally, Alex Rynne will provide insight into 4 essential LinkedIn content marketing tools to drive results.

Live Video: Why the Future of Marketing is Going Live

Speakers:

Kim Garst, CEO, Boom! Social Media Marketing

Mari Smith, Social Media Strategist

Shaan Puri, CEO, Blab

Joel Comm, CEO and Founder, Joel Comm, Inc.

Date/Time: Tuesday April 19, 8:30am

If someone were to ask you only a couple short years ago what role live video played in your marketing strategy, they would likely receive only puzzled looks. Now however, live video has taken off and tools  like Periscope, Blab and Facebook Live are on the tip of every marketer’s tongue, and the top of their minds.

This panel includes marketers with experience using live video for business, as well as the CEO of one of today’s biggest live video platforms, Blab.

How Companies Are Succeeding With Facebook: 7 Power Tips

Speaker: Mari Smith, Social Media Strategist

Date/Time: Monday April 18, 2:00pm

Every time I have seen Mari Smith present I have walked away feeling like I not only learned, but retained a wealth of information. The queen of Facebook will be presenting 7 power tips to help companies succeed with today’s biggest social network.

In this session Mari will cover how successful companies have been able to:

  • Maximize organic reach
  • Generate authentic engagement
  • Build loyal communities
  • Create high-converting ads
  • Substantially increase revenue

Twitter Marketing: How Big Brands Get Ever Bigger Results

Speakers:

Aggie Nixon-Kirschner, Senior Manager of Marketing, Marriott International

Brian Carter, Founder, The Carter Group

Mikey Kilun, Sr. Director, Digital & Social Strategy, House of Blues Entertainment

Juntae DeLane, Digital Brand Manager, University of Southern California

Lauren Harper, Senior Manager of Global Social Marketing, Oracle Marketing Cloud

Date/Time: Tuesday April 19, 11:15am

Many customers that need instant resolution for issues are turning to Twitter for answers. The brands that respond and engage in real time are the ones that experience the rewards.

This session will take a dive into how brands can use Twitter to improve customer service and make it a better experience for customers, and companies.

Let’s Connect at #SMMW16

In addition to Lee’s information packed session at Social Media Marketing World, myself as well as TopRank Marketing Vice President, Jolina Pettice will be providing live coverage of the event and interacting with fellow attendees.

If you are unable to attend, or would just like to learn more you can find our coverage on on TopRankBlog.com or interact with us on Twitter by following  @TopRank, @LeeOdden  or @azeckman.

Disclosure: LinkedIn Marketing is a TopRank Marketing client.

Header image via Shutterstock


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Social Media Marketing World 2015: Memorable Moments & Top Takeaways #SMMW15 http://www.toprankblog.com/2015/04/smmw15-takeaways/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2015/04/smmw15-takeaways/#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 10:00:16 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=18281 They say that the third time’s the charm. According to the word on the street (and our own opinions), Social Media Marketing World 2015 may have been the best party Michael Stelzner and his team have thrown since the conference’s inaugural event in 2013. Three of TopRank Online Marketing’s team members – Debbie Friez, Brooke [...]

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Debbie Friez and Brooke Furry at Social Media Marketing World 2015

They say that the third time’s the charm. According to the word on the street (and our own opinions), Social Media Marketing World 2015 may have been the best party Michael Stelzner and his team have thrown since the conference’s inaugural event in 2013.

Three of TopRank Online Marketing’s team members – Debbie Friez, Brooke Furry, and of course Lee Odden – flew out to this year’s event in gorgeous San Diego. Hanging out in SoCal definitely makes you want to wear sandals and sit in the sun – which made us ecstatic, coming from still-snowy Minnesota.

But we didn’t completely enter vacation mode. Our goal was to make friends, increase our social know-how, and mingle with fellow marketers. Lee gave a presentation Friday afternoon entitled “Repurpose on Purpose: Personalized Content for your Target Audience,” while Debbie and Brooke live blogged and tweeted the event’s top takeaways.

Here are our best memories and top takeaways from the event.

Takeaways: Debbie Friez

Thursday night’s (indoor) beach party included options for everyone: play carnival games, sing karaoke, sit around an indoor bonfire, nibble on desserts, or dance to live music. Throughout the conference, this kind of variety continued – chances for learning, sharing, and networking were huge, and we were able to find new opportunities in every room.

Networking

Brooke and I power networked at the power station (literally, a station where you could charge your electronics). We made great connections and brainstormed on new marketing ideas. Each break and daytime meal provided roundtable conversation opportunities on different marketing topics or verticals. The conference was truly international, and we met marketers from Australia, Iceland, Switzerland, Ireland, England, Dubai, New Zealand and many other countries.

Keynote Highlights

Social Media Examiner’s Mike Stelzner kicked off the conference with compelling statistics on the state of social media and insights into getting the most out of the conference.

Social Media Marketing World Tweet "Don't underestimate the power of YouTube."

John DiJulius completed Thursday’s sessions with customer service insights that could apply to your social media strategy. His main message to marketers? Always be positive. This includes never saying, “No problem,” but instead, saying, “Certainly, my pleasure.”

Is content killing social? I thought the Friday morning panel, including Mari Smith, Guy Kawasaki, Christopher Penn and Mark Schaefer killed it! They found a way to keep us awake with funny and interesting stories and insights.

The conference ended with Jay Baer telling us to hug our haters. As social media marketers, we need to remember a good response can gain a fan, but not responding can go viral.

Key takeaways

  • Go visual. Don’t forget to add a photo or video your posts to gain maximum exposure.
  • It’s OK to repost. Your audience isn’t on Twitter 24/7. Repost the content that is bringing in the highest engagement and conversions.
  • Service is the new social. Don’t be the brand that everybody hates. As marketers, we are in the business of building trust. Your job is to be the brand your customers can’t live without.

Takeaways: Brooke Furry

This was my first conference representing TopRank. I found the experience to be professionally inspiring, personally rewarding… and incredibly tweet-able. Can a marketing professional tweet too much? My poor husband didn’t know what to do with my deluge of #SMMW15-themed tweets.

But hey – every session provided little jewels that were too good not to format into 140-character takeaways.

Brooke Furry tweet from Social Media Marketing World

Speaking of takeaways, here are some of the biggest for me:

  • Facebook may be pay to play, but it’s still big for marketers. According to Mike Stelzner’s survey of over 3700 marketers, 93% of marketers use Facebook and over half said Facebook is their most important channel. For marketers struggling to measure ROI from Facebook, check out how well your Facebook posts are converting in Google Analytics in order to back your efforts with numbers.
  • Content is more prolific than ever, but awesome content still has the power to captivate and capture viral attention. This theme came up again and again, but particularly from  Jason Miller and Lee Odden. Are you sharing content your audience wants? Are you answering their top questions? Are you slicing and dicing your best, most authoritative assets to be re-used? As Lee points out, “Content isn’t King – it’s the Kingdom!”
  • Figure out your social media process and strategy so you can tweak and replicate. In his session on social media strategy, Neal Schaffer pointed out that if you can’t describe what you’re doing, you don’t know what you’re doing – and you can’t tweak what you don’t know. Laura Fitton similarly challenged marketers to define their Twitter missions and execute to get real results you can measure and improve.

On a side note, Debbie and I made the most of our three days in San Diego, partaking in the city’s delicious Mexican food, visiting the barbecue joint where Top Gun was filmed, and shaking hands with a lot of talented professionals from all over the world. We had a blast!

To see snapshots from the event, check out our SMMW15 album on Flickr.

For all of our #SMMW15 coverage, check out the blog posts below:

Social Media Marketing World 2015 – What We’re Looking Forward To Most #SMMW15 – Pre-conference anticipation and expectations. (Debbie & Brooke)

How To Get Results You Can Measure With Influencer Marketing – Coverage of Douglas Karr’s session on how to measure influence and attract the right influencers. (Brooke)

Twitter Marketing – How Brands Rise to the Top of the Stream: Microsoft, BMC Software, Renaissance Hotels – Panel discussion from big brands on top Twitter tips. (Debbie)

How To Encourage Employee Advocacy on Social Media: Citrix, Adobe, Cox – Panel discussion on guidelines and best practices for employee social media activity. (Brooke)

Facebook Marketing: Hidden Tactics and Tricks from Leading Brands at #SMMW15 – Insight on how Century 21, Western Union, Roadtrip Nation and the San Diego Chargers nurture their Facebook communities. (Debbie)

How Content Marketers Can Tell Better, More Strategic Stories – Tips from LinkedIn’s Jason Miller on how to tell awesome, relevant, visual narratives in your content. (Brooke)

How Big Brands Measure and Communicate Social Media Success – Social media experts at Discover Financial Services, Tyson Foods and Intel Corporation talk about measuring your efforts and using data to share success. (Debbie)

How To Create and Repurpose Content That Customers Really Want – Coverage of Lee Odden’s presentation on ways to curate, co-create, and repurpose your content. (Brooke)

12 Tools To Help You Optimize Your Social Media Marketing Results – These tools will help you save time and provide value, from Ian Cleary’s SMMW15 session. (Debbie)

What was your favorite part of Social Media Marketing World 2015?

 


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12 Tools to Help You Optimize Your Social Media Marketing Results http://www.toprankblog.com/2015/03/12-social-media-tools/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2015/03/12-social-media-tools/#comments Tue, 31 Mar 2015 11:00:14 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=18267 Strategy gives you direction, but tools help you get there quicker, says Ian Cleary, founder, RazorSocial at Social Media Marketing World. Once you have a strategy, then you need tools to help you save time and provide value. Twenty-six percent of marketers spend 6-10 hours a week on social media. Let’s explore twelve possible problems [...]

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Friez and Cleary at #SMMW15

Strategy gives you direction, but tools help you get there quicker, says Ian Cleary, founder, RazorSocial at Social Media Marketing World. Once you have a strategy, then you need tools to help you save time and provide value.

Twenty-six percent of marketers spend 6-10 hours a week on social media. Let’s explore twelve possible problems and the tools that can help solve those problems and make you more productive.

12 problems and the tools to solve them

1. People not seeing your content? Consider using PostPlanner, which was just a Facebook planner up until it recently added Twitter. You can –

  • Schedule content
  • Decide what type of content to share
  • Discover new content
  • Allows you to create a queue of content
  • Reschedule each post

2.  Not sure which posts will rank? Consider InboundWriter, which helps you determine the success of your topics before you put pen to paper. It will tell you what words in your title are important and suggest additional terms.

3.  Are you Twitter followers not growing quickly enough? ManageFlitter will help you manage your Twitter account. It can help you make it tidy, find relevant people to follow, do a super advanced search, save the search and then have it gradually follow people over a period of time. Cleary reminds us not to be creepy and follow hundreds of people at a time.

4.  Not enough followers on Google+? Consider Circloscope, which will provide a list of people in different communities. Cleary says, despite recent rumors, Google+ is going to be around for a long time.

5.  Video is becoming more and more important, and difficult to produce. You can easily create videos with Directr, which also includes tons of storyboards to help you organize your video.

6.  Having problems selling on social media? Use Cart from Heyo, an app that automatically responds to a comment within a link to help people buy products on Facebook. It works great for low-cost products. People will buy if it’s a good product and you have a good relationship with your followers says Cleary.

7.  Blogging takes too much time. You need to have an organized process. Plan your content ahead of time with Coschedule. It allows you to schedule social media outposts within WordPress. And, don’t just share once, but multiple times so people will see your content. The app will show you your top posts from older content, so you can re-share them over again.

8. and 9.  You can’t find great content to share.

ContentGems will dig through the dirt and find great content for you to share. It also –

  • Integrates with Buffer
  • Expands your interest groups as defined by keywords and other search tools
  • Allows you to set criteria for each interest
  • Allows for added preferred and trusted sources you want to add

Nuzzle, for Facebook and Twitter, tells you when your friends are sharing a piece of content and emails you with the details of the latest posts.

10. Do you find it difficult to reach your Twitter Audience?

SocialBro will show how your followers online are interacting. Cleary is using it for direct message campaigns to let his followers know about webinars and other opportunities. He encourages setting up really good filters and finding the best people, because no one wants to be a spammer.

11.  Need help managing Pinterest? Tailwindapp.com integrates with Canva, a graphics app. You can then schedule your post. It also includes very useful analytics.

12.  Not tracking your competitors? Check-out Uprise.io, where you can enter keywords or choose a category to see a list of popular articles in your area. It’s great for researching competitors and find out what’s popular. Once you find an idea from your competitors, you can write a better story on the same subject!

Buzzsumo is very similar and will also let you research your competitors, top subjects and compare your posts to those of your competitors.

Invest the time to find the right tools to help you get to where you need to help you optimize your strategy. And then, promote it correctly.

What tools help you meet your goals? Please share, so we can expand the list.


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How to Create and Repurpose Content That Customers Really Want http://www.toprankblog.com/2015/03/repurposing-content/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2015/03/repurposing-content/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 21:50:53 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=18248 According to Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs, 50% of marketers say that producing content consistently is a top challenge. Our clients at TopRank Online Marketing verify this statistic every day – as does our own team. Substantial content that answers audience questions in an authoritative way doesn’t grow on trees. Good content takes precious [...]

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Lee Odden, TopRank Online Marketing CEO

According to Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs, 50% of marketers say that producing content consistently is a top challenge. Our clients at TopRank Online Marketing verify this statistic every day – as does our own team. Substantial content that answers audience questions in an authoritative way doesn’t grow on trees. Good content takes precious time and energy to create!

You’ll be happy to hear that marketers don’t need to create more content – they just need to create smarter content. This is where the idea of repurposing comes in – and Lee Odden is a big fan.

If you’ve never abided by the three “R’s” – “reduce, reuse, recycle,” then you might be wondering why would I want to repurpose my content? What good will that do me?

Lee Odden is CEO here at TopRank, author of the book Optimize and founder of this blog, where he’s been actively sharing insights for over 10 years. At one of the final sessions of Social Media Marketing World 2015, Lee gave insights to an audience of how to go about this repurposing business to get the most out of the content you’ve already created.

Content is the kingdom

Small Business, Big Footprint

If you think you’re too small to benefit from content repurposing, know that even little businesses can have a big impact through content creation and reuse.

Take the TopRank Blog for an example. After 11 years, the blog has brought in over 2 million visitors per year to read over 3,700 blog posts. Across our various social channels, we reach over 300,000 fans. We’re not a huge corporation – we’re a normal-sized agency.

You’ve Don’t Have To Create Content Alone

Are we writing and designing content 24/7? No way! The team writes and creates original content, but we employ a variety of content creation timesavers to extend the reach, visibility, and impact of the blog as a whole.

Three excellent ways to divy up your content that we use at TopRank include:

  1. Co-creation
  2. Curation
  3. Repurposing

Lee gives specific how-to’s and examples later on – but he notes that before you even begin, you need to answer this question…

What Kind of Content Are You Creating? 

Your target audience has faces. They are real, unique human beings with likes, dislikes, hobbies, preferences, and questions.

Do they like your content? Are you thinking of them when you create it?

Whose problems are you solving?

Whose Problems are you Solving? 

Let’s be honest: as marketers, don’t we sometimes get caught up in our own KPIs? As we develop content we start to think more about checking off a box on our content spreadsheet than catering something special to our customers.

“People are making a lot of poop that isn’t aligning with solving problems for a particular customer,” Lee says.

Here’s how you combat this…

Create Customer-Centric Content 

Be  empathetic and curious – care about your readers’ preferences and activities! What are they searching for? Do they really like the content they’re consuming? What devices are they searching on?

Ask these three essential questions:

  1. How will this content attract the right audience, at the right time, in the right place?
  2. How will this content really them on the right channel, right type of media, on the right channels and devices?
  3. How will this content convert them to the next stage in the buying cycle, to a lead, a customer, an advocate?

Your customers are going through different processes through their buyer journey, and you need to:

Be The Best Answer

How to Scale Your Content Creation 

Kapost is an excellent example for repurposing content. In what they called a “content pillar,” they created 122 assets from a single eBook.

If that kind of repurposing blows your mind, don’t fear. Lee has concrete ideas and examples for how you can re-see your current content in various fashions and use it to your advantage. You’ll find something below that you can try.

   1. Big to small. Take a piece that you’ve co-created and break it up into tweets, visual quotes, and social messages.

   2. Small to big: news curation. Create curated lists of top content from sites like Viral News Chart or BuzzSumo.

   3. Small to big: nuggets. Take stats, quotes, tips, or other separate elements and assemble them into something larger – for instance, a blog post, fact sheet, or even microsite meant to give a customer a certain type of content all in one spot.

   4. Explode interviews. Host a series of interviews that ask the same questions – then compile them into an eBook and share them socially.

   5. Repurpose as a theme. One large eBook can be broken up into a webinar, infographic, blog content, etc. – and updated every year or refreshed to be more current.

Customize the Content Burger

Burger is repurposed content

Sometimes a plain old cheeseburger hits the spot – but a burger can be so much more when you add toppings like barbecue sauce, fried onions, or avocado. Adding toppings to a burger customizes it to what you like and want.

In the same way, repurposed content is so much better when it’s tweaked to fit whatever audience it’s meant to reach. This doesn’t mean rewriting or new content creation necessarily – it’s packaging your existing content in a way in which your audience wants to consume it.

Customize your content “burger” with the toppings your customers want, and prove that you know them by doing it without them asking, leveraging the insights you have into their likes and preferences.

See Lee’s whole presentation from Social Media Marketing World below:

Do you repurpose content? Do you customize repurposed content for specific target audiences and stages of the buying cycle?


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How Big Brands Measure and Communicate Social Media Success http://www.toprankblog.com/2015/03/how-big-brands-measure/ Mon, 30 Mar 2015 18:00:48 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=18260 We have all struggled with what to measure to show how our social media program is performing. Additionally, how do you best communicate the results to executives, managers and other stakeholders? At the Social Media Marketing World conference, experts from Discover Financial Services, Tyson Foods and Intel Corporation reviewed tactics for showcasing their successes. Steps [...]

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L-R: Susan Beebe, Chuck Hemann, Christopher Penn and Dan Gingiss

L-R: Susan Beebe, Chuck Hemann, Christopher Penn and Dan Gingiss

We have all struggled with what to measure to show how our social media program is performing. Additionally, how do you best communicate the results to executives, managers and other stakeholders? At the Social Media Marketing World conference, experts from Discover Financial Services, Tyson Foods and Intel Corporation reviewed tactics for showcasing their successes.

Steps to Measurement Success
The first step is to find the stakeholders across the organization, which might be an internal audience of executives or managers or an external audience of consultants, partners and customers. Susan Beebe, Manger, social media & online communities, Tyson Foods says to then find out what matters to them.

Things to consider when measuring:

  • Reputation metrics
  • Competitive landscape
  • R&D/innovation/product quality
  • Customer insights, sales and loyalty social media management

Dan Gingiss, head of digital customer experience and social media, Discover Financial Services, looks at measurement next to the marketing funnel in order to lead him to the right metrics. During the awareness stage of the funnel, he says it’s OK to look at the number of impressions. When moving to the consideration stage, more engagement is needed, which can include likes or favorites. Conversion is the holy grail for his team, and it is where he looks to see if those who interact with their social channels become card members.

The next stage of the marketing funnel is loyalty. Discover has had success with “off-line” hashtags. They send Starbucks cards to cardholders on their three-month anniversary of being a card holder. In the with the card is a piece of paper with #DiscoverJoy. They were delighted to see that many cardholders shared pictures and other notes online using the hashtag.

Along that line, when it comes to advocacy, customers are sharing online their interactions with their cards, including redeeming rewards. At this stage, Discover is focused on service. They are finding that people continue to interact with them even after they’ve helped them.

Data
Beebe suggested comparing your brand to your competitors. She also places importance at tracking tweets all the way to check-out (revenue) and interpreting the data you can get from various places like retail, eCommerce, social data and suppliers.

It’s important to remember that many social media metrics are “vanity” metrics and only a part of the overall story. It’s very important connect to actual business results. Using links with trackable tags will help you see the progression of a sale says Beebe.

Speak the same language
Early in the social media lifecycle, Beebe realized not everyone understands social media terminology. She advises using more common terms like impressions instead of reach. Chuck Hemann, Manager, Analytics, Intel Corporation, recently touted the performance of their native video on Facebook, but not everyone in the organization understood what he mean by “native video”.

Know your audience
Think about how you are sharing your reports and to what stakeholder says Hemann. Also, think about how the information will be shared. It’s important to consider the vehicle, frequency, distribution and support.

Executives want a report with the big picture on how social is contributing to the bottom line. Gingiss says they want to understand if there has been improvement over time and where the organization stands in the marketplace. He shared an example report highlighting overall campaigns, the voice of the customer (sentiment) and key highlights they can easily share.

When it comes to managers, they want the details, like knowing who’s being targeted by paid media over the past month. Some managers may want to know what tactics improved response time or what content contributed to the best performing creative. Reports should still include key highlights relevant to their area of the business.

Response rate and voice of the customer are important metrics on Discover’s customer service report. This helps them understand how they are doing on the advocacy and loyalty stages of the funnel.

Customer service is the new marketing says Gingiss. If you do good customer service, you can drive business.

Key Takeaways

  • Know your audience
  • Know your data
  • Know your customer

How is your team tying social media results to business results? What measurement mix is resonating with your internal audiences?


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How Content Marketers Can Tell Better, More Strategic Stories http://www.toprankblog.com/2015/03/content-stories/ Mon, 30 Mar 2015 11:00:16 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=18243 As a marketer, are you a good storyteller? Do you have a content marketing strategy that guides your storytelling? Maybe you already know how to build a content marketing strategy, but you’re curious to know how to improve it. Jason Miller, senior manager of content marketing for LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, is a natural storyteller – and he [...]

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Storytelling around a campfire

As a marketer, are you a good storyteller? Do you have a content marketing strategy that guides your storytelling?

Maybe you already know how to build a content marketing strategy, but you’re curious to know how to improve it.

Jason Miller, senior manager of content marketing for LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, is a natural storyteller – and he has awesome storytelling tips for marketers. (Disclosure: LinkedIn is a TopRank Marketing client)

In his session at Social Media Marketing World 2015 in San Diego, Jason kept the audience captive, sharing what seemed like a million excellent insights on storytelling to inspire and motivate marketers.

In addition, he gave key insights on how to better use LinkedIn (his area of expertise) for more effective content publishing and promotion.

Tell stories in your voice.

John Travolta’s Saturday Night Fever is the best-selling album ever. At the time when disco was becoming a phenomenon, punk rock bands like the Sex Pistols and The Ramones were buried underneath disco fever. They had to drum up their own excitement. During this time Dead Kennedys’ lead singer and songwriter  Jello Biafra said, “Don’t have the media, become the media.”

It’s the digital age, and we are the media. Content marketing allows us to tell our own branded stories in our own voices. Are you telling your brand’s story?

Tell relevant stories.

Your number one job is to answer the top questions your customers have. With today’s ease of content creation, we don’t need more content – we need more relevant content.

In a survey Miller cites, 44% of respondents say they would consider ending a brand relationship because of irrelevant promotions, and an additional 22% say they would definitely defect from a brand. Why would marketers want to lose these people?

It’s a marketer’s job to get into the head of a prospect, empathize with their pain points, and speak to them in a relevant way.

Tell the story you own. 

After coming to LinkedIn several years ago, Miller realized there was a big problem: people were asking “How do I market on LinkedIn?” but LinkedIn wasn’t answering. Everyone else was telling their story for them – the search results were full of answers from other publications.

To win back the conversation, Miller’s team created The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to LinkedIn – “A beautiful piece of content.” It’s 65 pages giving a robust answer to the question. Now LinkedIn has taken back the conversation they know intimately.

Tell a re-purposed story (it’s allowed!)

Miller is a proponent of the “big rock” – a substantial ebook, video, etc. (like The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide) that will fuel your demand generation and fill your various content hubs for several months. Repurposed content isn’t cheating – it’s incredibly smart – and not only that, but it can increase the profitability of your content campaigns tremendously.

For example, The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide generated 18,000% ROI and $4.6 million in revenue in one quarter alone, largely due to all the ways they could slide and dice it – into:

  • Blogs
  • Infographics
  • Webinars
  • Videos
  • Slide presentations

What do you have that you can republish? Marketers continually struggle to create enough content. If you don’t have a “big rock” or time to start something new, Miller advises that you look around.  Fuel your content hubs with smaller subsets of a larger piece.

Bonus Tip: A “big rock” on LinkedIn can become organic updates for your company page, sponsored updates, content for a LinkedIn group, and a Slideshare presentation.

Tell a continuous story using your blog. 

Your blog is not your resource center. Your resource center is an indexed directory of content for visitors browsing for a certain topic. It’s a necessary place to store all your assets, but “the blog is so much better,” Miller says.

The blog is the social media rug that ties the room together. It provides a running narrative of your story. It goes in one direction.

How do you keep the variety fresh and fun on your blog? Miller recommends the blogging food groups.

A few examples:

  • Healthy content (i.e. Raisin Bran, spinach – the stuff that’s good for you)
  • Spicy content (Kick things up a notch with some Tabasco! Get some blood boiling!)
  • Sweet content (i.e. Chocolate Cake – something fun and totally unnecessary, something that will just make your audience smile. Everyone likes to smile!)

Tell a visual story.

One Chinese Proverb has said that “A picture is worth ten thousand words” but a study showed that really, it’s really only worth 8.4, Miller says.

Either way, the visual is the new headline. Compelling, provocative visuals are the way of the future.

Bonus Tip: Slideshare is the most underutilized platform for B2B marketers, in Miller’s opinion. It’s a great place to test visual content in an easy-to-consume manner for your prospects.

Just tell a story. 

You may have noticed the proliferation of content on LinkedIn these days. With the expansion of LinkedIn Publishing in early 2014, anybody can write and publish long-form content – which has led to over 1 million articles as of early 2015. Miller notes that content on LinkedIn receives seven times the pageviews of profiles.

What should you write about? Write what you’re thinking. Got a thought? Write about it. Miller calls these “punch-in-the-face-blog posts.” An example of this is Seth Godin, who writes 250 words a day with admirable discipline.

If you’re not telling your stories, your ideas are trapped and sitting. Why not tell them?

Bonus Tip: LinkedIn’s feed is a real-time personalized newspaper. Experiencing writer’s block? What are your peers publishing and sharing? 

What’s your best storytelling tip? I’d love to hear it in the comments below.


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© Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®, 2015. | How Content Marketers Can Tell Better, More Strategic Stories | http://www.toprankblog.com

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Facebook Marketing: Hidden Tactics and Tricks from Leading Brands http://www.toprankblog.com/2015/03/facebook-marketing-smmw15/ Fri, 27 Mar 2015 18:00:50 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=18240 How are successful brands like Century 21, Western Union, Roadtrip Nation and the San Diego Chargers building and sustaining their Facebook communities? This Social Media Marketing World panel touted engagement as a key to a great community. Facebook Marketing Planning One key to great content goes back to planning. Joel Price, manager of new media, [...]

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L-R Michael Frenech, Cameron Partridge, Matt Gentile and Joel Price

Michael Frenech, Cameron Partridge, Joel Price and Matt Gentile

How are successful brands like Century 21, Western Union, Roadtrip Nation and the San Diego Chargers building and sustaining their Facebook communities? This Social Media Marketing World panel touted engagement as a key to a great community.

Facebook Marketing Planning

One key to great content goes back to planning. Joel Price, manager of new media, San Diego Chargers, says they review the week’s Facebook performance each Monday and plan posts for the weekend (and the week ahead) each Friday. In addition to engagement, the team is looking to drive traffic to their online assets.

Century 21 does bi-weekly planning of content. Matt Gentile, global director, social media, says they follow the 80/20 rule, looking for 80% of content to be about engagement and 20% targeted to drive people back to century21.com. Because of the nature of their business, some content needs to have legal review, so planning ahead is key.

Cameron Partridge, senior social media strategist, Roadtrip Nation, works off a quarterly brief that rolls into a monthly content calendar. They also go by the 80/20 rule.

Western Union built their own master content calendar to fit their needs, says Michael Frenech, global social strategy. He says some content needs to be approved by the brand group and possibly legal counsel.

The three pillars for content in regards to Western Union’s audience:
1. Food
2. Family
3. Culture

Western Union piloted a Facebook page for their Filipino customers, Facebook.com/wupinoy. The audience for the page grew to 180,000 in 3 months with 230,000 people engaged. Their fans shared the content with their family and friends.

Roadtrip Nation’s three principles of content:
1. What value to the user?
2. Does it strike emotion from the user?
3. Does it ladder up to their brand?

The panelists were asked about learning from their past mistakes. Gentile had a situation when a California congressman said Century 21 was advertising on Rush Limbaugh’s show right after Limbaugh made disparaging comments about Sandra Fluke. Gentile responded before he confirmed the sponsorship. Century 21 was not a sponsor, so his takeaway is to have all the facts before you respond.

Partridge says they used to focus too much on the product and not the user. They now often let their super fans answer questions of other fans.

Frenech said Western Union took some flack for focusing too much on their Indian consumers. He learned they need to show all countries/areas the social love.

What makes your brand successful on Facebook? Can you share some of your best tactics?

Are you enjoying the live coverage of #SMMW15? There is more to come in the next few days from myself and TopRank’s @writerbrooke.


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How To Encourage Employee Advocacy on Social Media: Citrix, Adobe, Cox http://www.toprankblog.com/2015/03/social-employee-advocacy/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2015/03/social-employee-advocacy/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 15:07:18 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=18233 It’s a seemingly small ask to get your employees moving and grooving on social media. Yet many marketers have experienced the pain of creating social activity from within. While it might seem like a no-brainer for employees to get socially involved, many obstacles can prevent them – whether a lack of time, lack of know-how, [...]

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Justin Levy, Maria Poveromo, Martin Jones

It’s a seemingly small ask to get your employees moving and grooving on social media. Yet many marketers have experienced the pain of creating social activity from within. While it might seem like a no-brainer for employees to get socially involved, many obstacles can prevent them – whether a lack of time, lack of know-how, or even fear of doing something wrong.

If you want to raise a workforce of social media champions, you can – with some strategic effort. Sure, you might be able to bribe your employees with doughnuts, send “please share this” emails high importance, or write social media activity into their performance reviews, but there are more positive, powerful ways to solicit social sharing.

I covered a panel of experts at Social Media Marketing World (#SMMW15) who shared really practical and helpful ideas on how to plow through the obstacles and help employees not only be socially active, but also act as brand advocates.

Guest stars on the panel included:

  • Maria Poveromo, Senior Director, AR, PR and Social Media at Adobe
  • Martin Jones, Senior Social Media and Content Marketing Manager at Cox Communications
  • Justin Levy, Global Social Media at Citrix

One year ago at #SMMW14, Jay Baer gave a similar presentation on the value of creating employee social media advocates. That the topic comes back this year only proves its importance to marketers.

The discussion highlighted the importance of helping employees grow their personal brand. Employee advocacy should never be just about the corporate brand. It should seek to move employees closer to meeting their own social goals while giving them a voice to engage with your brand’s messaging.

All three of the panel participants also emphasized the idea of the safety net. Participating in social media can feel scary to employees who might be afraid of accidentally stepping over the boundaries. Companies need to provide training, best practices docs, or even coaches to mitigate risk and give employees confidence.

What are the fundamentals for creating employee advocacy on social media?

According to both Poveromo, Adobe’s social training program helps employees understand how they can accelerate their career through reaching social goals and developing their own personal social brand. Jones said that Cox Communications similarly strives to get employees talking about what they’re passionate about on social media.

Adobe also gives very simple guidelines on “dos” and “don’ts” that make the boundaries clear so employees know where the line stands. This kind of training ensures employees know how they can help the brand on social media – and also hurt it. “Imagine your tweet becomes the Wall Street Journal headline of the day – do you really want that?” says Poveromo.

At Citrix, Levy said they’ve seen success with sending a weekly newsletter to get non-active employees used to sharing content across social platforms. “We all live in our inbox. If you can give them an email, that’s where they live.” Levy says brands can begin with these weekly emails. Once employees start engaging, share metrics behind the success of the social activity – so employees start to understand their impact.

What are best practices for training employees on social media?

“It’s hard to get excited about (social media) when you don’t have much of a following,” Jones said. To combat potential nonchalance about social media, Cox Communications gives employees incentives for reaching certain social media goals – like accumulating 1,000 followers or reaching a Klout score of 55.

“Your goal is not to have employees become robots of the company,” Levy said. He cited an example from Sony, where the company was charged with false advertising claims over its Playstation Vita handheld device. The Federal Trade Commission called out Sony for misleading Twitter posts published by employees, who promoted the item via request from Sony and their ad agency.

The example is a warning to brands to ask employees to share carefully and think through what could happen if a product doesn’t live up to expectations.

Do you have examples of social media disasters including employees?

When Steve Jobs criticized Adobe’s Flash Player, calling Adobe lazy, “Imagine the flurry of media coverage,” says Poveromo. “We were shocked, recoiling – how do we respond to that?” While the communications team crafted a response, one employee wrote a blog post entitled “Screw You, Apple.” The major news outlets said that was Adobe’s response to Apple.

Adobe learned an important lesson: when a crisis hits, bring in your most passionate employees, let them know you’re working on it, and give rules and guidelines on how to respond in the meantime.

Levy said at one point, a competitor made false claims about Citrix – and although employees were told to keep the information private, an employee published a blog post revealing the criticism. Some very vocal executives from both companies started to fight on social media and justified their involvement because they used personal Twitter accounts.

What do you recommend in terms of measurement and reporting back to your executives?

Levy said to look at the metrics associated with your funnel: the number of employees that are involved, emails opened, social shares, and traffic back to the website.

Poveromo said it’s important to take a step back and consider your objectives: are you hoping employees will drive awareness, conversions, traffic, or lifetime value? At Adobe, they specifically track employees involved in certain campaigns and what percentage of deals were closed because of their promotion.

What are your biggest challenges with creating employee advocacy on social media? How have you solved them?

Like today’s live coverage of #SMMW15? There’s more to come! Watch for my next post and blog posts by TopRank’s @dfriez in the next few days.


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