James Anderson

Social Media Advertising for Content Marketers: Insight from Salesforce’s ‘2015 State of Marketing’ report

James Anderson on Jan 19th, 2015     Digital Marketing, Facebook, LinkedIn, Social Media, Social Media Advertising

Social Media Advertising

Salesforce recently released its annual “State of Marketing” report, in which the company surveyed 5,000 marketers worldwide. Results of the survey point toward a significant investment in social media advertising in 2015.

According to the CRM company’s report (gated download), 70% of marketers will spend more budget on social media advertising this year. As numbers of customers on social channels increases, it is increasingly imperative, as the survey results show, to have a social media marketing strategy in place.

It is clear that digital marketers are increasingly valuing social media advertising to help promote their content marketing efforts. In 2014, 25% of marketers saw social as a critical enabler of products and services. The number leaps to 64% in 2015.

Nick Ehrenberg

How to Be Creative AND Brand Compliant in Social Media Marketing

Nick Ehrenberg on Jan 15th, 2015     Social Business, Social Media, Social Media Smarts

Social Media Marketing

Ask social media managers about “brand standards” and you might elicit some uncomfortable expressions. Brand standards, created to ensure uniformity with brand messaging and imagery, can sometimes feel like restrictions for creative social development.

“Do I really need to include all these brand logos and elements in every social message?”

The answer (most often) is yes, but don’t let this dampen your spirits. Maintaining a consistent brand identity is vital for long-term business growth, and you can still flex your creative social muscle within brand guidelines. Here are some tips that can help you stretch your brand’s identity to its creative peaks:

James Anderson

Turn It Up! Book Review of ‘Welcome to the Funnel’ by Jason Miller

James Anderson on Jan 7th, 2015     Book Reviews, Content Marketing, Social Media

welcome to the funnel

Some of the greatest rock songs are short. They start with a hard count, move fast and get your blood moving with just the right amount of energy to leave you inspired and set you on a course to create something of your own.

Music can do this for you, and so can a book. So does “Welcome to the Funnel.”

I connected early on with Jason Miller’s “Welcome to the Funnel: Proven Tactics to Turn Your Social And Content Marketing Up To 11” early on. By early on, I mean before I actually knew it was a book.

Disclosure: Jason works for LinkedIn, a TopRank Online Marketing client.

James Anderson

5 Lessons From Our Top Social Media Marketing Posts of 2014

James Anderson     Social Media

social_media_marketing

Wherever your specialty lies in the the digital marketing world, social media will continue to grow in importance in 2015. In fact, 92% of content marketers use social networks for content publishing. (CMI/MarketingProfs)

Earlier this month, Lee Odden put together a list of our most popular blog posts on social media marketing throughout 2014. From that list, we see contributions from a mix of TopRank Marketing team members, each with a unique perspective.

To provide some context behind these social media marketing posts that have attracted tens of thousands of page views and social shares, I’ve reached out to our team members to understand the lessons learned.

nick-e

Nick Ehrenberg @NickEhrenberg

Lee Odden

The Gift of “Give to Get” in Social Media and Content Marketing

Give to Get

Me, Nazli & Konnie from Dell & Mark Schaefer at Dell World

“Pay it forward”, “Good karma”, “Give to get”.

There are many ways to express the notion of creating value for others before expecting something in return, but in the marketing world, such a perspective is contrary to the norm.

Many marketers still gravitate towards another expression, “What’s in it for me?”, that guides much of their approach to marketing with social networks. The image of a child stomping their feet in an entitled fit of frustration about not getting what they want for Christmas comes to mind.

Whether it’s pressure to revive falling sales or simply viewing social networks as another channel for pushing the brand agenda, the drive to monetize without creating mutual or long term value on social networks is an empty chase.

James Anderson

Social Media Content: Pros, Cons, Examples and Best Practices

James Anderson     Content Marketing, Social Media

social-content-pro-con

Aside from your company website, social media content may be one of the most visible forms of content marketing that a brand can produce. When potential customers are seeking out information about your industry and your brand, they are most likely first visiting your website, then checking out your social channels.

Content on social media allows you to open up a direct line of communication with customers, prospects and industry leaders in way that traditional media placements simply do not. Carefully crafted and curated social content can tell a customer what your brand is about, what kind of services you offer and even what kind of people work for your company.

Lee Odden

25 Women Who Rock Social Media – 2014

Lee Odden     Social Media

25 Women Who Rock Social Media 2014

Today we’re celebrating the 5th and final version of the 25 Women Who Rock Social Media – 2014 edition from TopRank Online Marketing.

Nearly 100 women have been recognized over the past 4 years and the feedback I’ve received has been amazing – just like the women featured on the lists. Publishing these posts has also introduced me to some incredible individuals that are accomplishing amazing things – creating impact and making a difference – through social networking and social media content.

women rock social mediaThis year nominations were invited from all past honorees. We used Traackr for some additional discovery and a lot of the sorting and filtering of nominations down to a much smaller group. After considering the nominating source, the nomination itself, social network reach and resonance, we narrowed the list down to this year’s group of 25 social media rockstars.

Lee Odden

Our Top 10 Social Media Marketing Posts of 2014

Lee Odden     Social Media

Top Social Media Marketing Posts 2014

It’s that time of year again – time for a round up of our top social media marketing posts for the year.

2014 was full of social media marketing changes ranging from major news feed visibility drops on Facebook to the sputtering of Google+. While often cited as difficult to measure, marketers are increasingly optimistic about social media. According to a Duke University study, social media represents about 9% of marketing budgets and is expected to increase to 21% in the next 5 years.

Suffice it to say, marketing with social networks is a hot topic! Also, it’s no surprise that blog posts connected to our involvement with Social Media Marketing Examiner dominated this collection. Based almost entirely on overall popularity, these posts include coverage of the 2014 Social Media Marketing Industry report, liveblogging of the Social Media Marketing World conference and posts drawn from the SMMW14 conference eBook we created.

Lee Odden

6 Steps to an Optimized and Socialized Content Workflow

Lee Odden     Content Marketing, SEO, Social Media

optimized integrated content

Digital marketing tactics have changed over the years but one thing has not – Customers are in the driver’s seat when it comes to the insights marketers need to deliver relevant, meaningful and useful content at the right time and the right place.

To realize the benefits of customer insight requires an integrated approach – especially when it comes to content – discovery, consumption and interaction.

Moving from planning to practice, especially within a large organization with regional operations, business units, divisions and departments, processes are essential for adoption, quality and scale. Operationalizing the integration of content, social media and optimization is one of the essential workflows that marketing departments can implement. But what does that look like?

Lee Odden

20 Magicable Takeaways From 5 Social Media Marketing Case Studies at @smbmsp

Lee Odden     Social Media

Social Media Gnome

On Friday nearly a dozen members of the TopRank Online Marketing team had the privilege of attending a packed house at 514 Studies downtown Minneapolis for Social Media Breakfast aka #SMBMSP72.

The topic? Social Media Marketing case studies. And gnomes. And bacon. And made-up words like “magicable”.

Featuring case studies about local and national brands including Land O’ Lakes, Thomson Reuters, Axonom and two Fortune 100 technology companies, presentations were given by Jaclyn Grossfield @jaclynanng, Casey Hall @CaseyHall_ and myself.

While the Minneapolis / St. Paul Social Media Breakfast events are always well attended, this one was particularly so because of the insatiable interest in practical social media marketing insights. That and maybe the introduction of the “Social Media Gnome” pictured above. Instead of “Elf on a Shelf” think of him as a “Gnome in Your Zone” watching to make sure you’re following best practices. [Cue laugh track]

Lee Odden

15 Women Who Rock Social Media at Top Tech Companies – Career Advice & Insights

Lee Odden     Social Media

Women in Tech Social Media

To honor women who “rock” the social web, we’ve been publishing a list for the past 4 years and  2014 marks the 5th. That’s about 100 social media pros we’ve featured ranging from marketers to business owners to those using social media to advance a cause. Many of those honorees have reached out to share they’ve benefitted in many ways from those lists ranging from general notoriety to career advancement.

During research within my own personal network for the 2014 list, I noticed an impressive group of social media marketing pros in the tech space that represent some of the top brands from IBM to Adobe to Intel. This group of 15 women represents some of the talented executives and practitioner social media smarties that me or my team at TopRank Online Marketing have had the good fortune to work with, collaborate with on projects or meet (IRL or virtually).

Lee Odden

3 Ways to Optimize Your Brand’s Social Media Marketing Success

Lee Odden     Social Media

Grand Canyon

While nearly 90% of companies are using social media for marketing, the distance between “using” and “succeeding” is of Grand Canyon proportions.

In the early stages of social media marketing maturity, business use of social media tends to go through a series of phases from not doing anything to beginning to monitor social channels to sharing content and building community. Eventually, they find their way to some form of social sales or social commerce.

To jump start the move towards a social media marketing strategy that starts to align with measurable business outcomes, here are 3 ways many companies can optimize their approach to social media.