Joshua Nite

11 Brain-Training Exercises for Your Content Marketing Team

Joshua Nite on Nov 16th, 2016     Online Marketing

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Eventually, even the most creative content marketer feels drained. We start thinking of content in commodity terms: If I fill this many buckets full of words, I will have justified my paycheck for today. We churn out content that adds to the mountain of commodity content, instead of writing engaging copy that flies above it. 

If your content marketing team is exhibiting signs of burnout, it’s time to break out of the routine. Time for exercises that will bump everyone’s brain out of well-traveled grooves, while allowing for some fun as well.

Twice a month at TopRank Marketing, we have company-wide meetings where we learn new things, lift each other up, and play games that spark creative thinking.

(It’s pretty great. Did I mention we’re hiring?)

Caitlin Burgess

5 Interesting Insights from Buffer’s The State of Social 2016 Report

Caitlin Burgess on Nov 15th, 2016     Marketing & PR Industry, Online Marketing, Social Media

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What does the social media landscape look like in 2017? What networks are going to help me drive awareness, conversation and conversions? What types of content will have the most impact on my audience? Is Snapchat a good investment?

As we near the end of 2016, these are likely just a few of the questions being asked by marketers everywhere. While I’d love to say there’s a magical crystal ball with all the answers out there, we all know that nothing is permanent or sure-fire when it comes to social media. But we do have some data and insights that can help.

In it’s The State of Social 2016 report, Buffer surveyed more than 1,200 B2B and B2C marketers to better understand how they’re currently using social media and where they plan to go in 2017. Those who participated work for companies of all sizes and across a variety of industries.

Ashley Zeckman

50 Influential Women in Digital Marketing: North Stars & Rising Stars

Ashley Zeckman on Nov 14th, 2016     Digital Marketing, Online Marketing

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Having people that we can look to for guidance and inspiration is an incredibly important part of our professional development. In this post, I would like to shine a light on some incredibly talented and inspirational women that are making moves and serving as a shining examples for other digital marketers.

To create this list of inspirational women in digital marketing, we pulled 25 of the top brand marketers from our list last year (our North Stars), and asked each of them to nominate someone (our Rising Stars) that they thought were deserving of having a light shone on their awesome work.

In addition to featuring insights about these savvy digital marketers, we asked each of our North Stars to share their inspiration for their own work, and asked what inspired them about their Rising Star nominations.

Tiffani Allen

Online Marketing News: Unwrapping Shoppers, Growing Ad Revenue & Millennial Loyalty

Tiffani Allen on Nov 11th, 2016     Online Marketing, Online Marketing News

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Unwrapping the 2016 Holiday Shopper [Infographic]
The holiday season is undeniably important for eCommerce brands — especially this year with a 17% YOY revenue increase. But how do holiday shoppers go about their research and purchasing? This infographic shows how users are browsing and shopping for their holiday purchases. Signal

Digital Ad Revenues Grow 19% Year-Over-Year in First Half of 2016, Hitting Landmark High of $32.7 Billion
IAB reports: “digital advertising revenues in the United States for the first half of 2016 have reached an all-time high, scaling to $32.7 billion […] This represents a 19 percent increase over last year’s then record-setting half-year revenues of $27.5 billion.” This and many more insights can be found in their full report. IAB

Leila De La Fuente

Get the Marketing Budget You Need in 2 Steps

Leila De La Fuente on Nov 10th, 2016     B2B Marketing, B2C Marketing

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It’s November 10th and my Christmas lights are up. To be honest, I hung them November 1st, but don’t tell anyone.

The end of the fiscal year is fast approaching, and for us marketers, it’s more than holiday parties and eggnog; that means it’s time to stake our claim of 2017 budgets.

In the review of any digital marketing budget proposal, executives are going to look for the answer to these two questions:

  1. What did you do drive business this year?
  2. How do you plan to drive business next year?

Your budget proposal presentation should hand these answers on a shiny silver platter to those responsible for approval. I have had the opportunity to work with hundreds of marketing professionals as they prepare for this big moment, and there are two important elements that prove to be most effective at earning budgets year after year: proving your ROI, and mapping potential to dollars.

Joshua Nite

7 Steps to Documenting Your Content Marketing Strategy

Joshua Nite on Nov 9th, 2016     Content Marketing, Online Marketing

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There is one thing that nearly 2/3rds of top-performing content marketers do, but only 13% of the least successful do. It’s a clear driver of content marketing excellence. Yet only 37% of all B2B content marketers are doing it.

That one thing is to developing a documented content marketing strategy. It’s that simple. Lay out your strategy, write it down, and you’ve drastically increased your odds of running a successful content marketing enterprise.

Documenting your strategy prevents random acts of content. It helps get buy-in from your whole team. Most importantly, it starts your content initiative with measurable goals and a plan to achieve them. It just makes every aspect of creating content and distributing it easier and more effective.

Lee Odden

The One Thing You Must Have for B2B Marketing Success: Be the Best Answer

Lee Odden on Nov 8th, 2016     B2B Marketing

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While B2B companies are investing in content for marketing, making more content is not creating the windfall of leads that many senior business marketing executives had hoped for. The problem? A lack of insight about what makes better content.

I believe that finding a solution to the “more” vs. “better” challenge starts with customer empathy.

Steve RaysonAs an example, Steve Rayson, director at BuzzSumo and Anders Pink, explained: “The primary motivation of B2B customers is to do their jobs better. Thus, at BuzzSumo we spend a lot of time trying to understand the questions our customers are asking and the issues they are struggling with. We then try to produce helpful content which addresses these concerns.”

Caitlin Burgess

Social Media Cheat Sheet: Tools & Tips for Perfectly Sized Social Media Images

Caitlin Burgess on Nov 7th, 2016     Social Media, Social Media Tool

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These days, it’s no secret that high-quality images are important for any marketing strategy, particularly when it comes to social media. Images not only help brands stand out in busy social news feeds, but they also boost engagement and build brand awareness—and their importance is growing.

According to a WebDAM infographic, 84% of all communication will be visual by 2018. So, there’s no better time than the present to ensure you’re creating and sharing top-notch imagery. And that starts with following sizing best practices for each channel.

To help you do just that, below is a quick cheat sheet for sizing your images for optimal impact, complete with dimensions and some examples. In addition, you’ll also find some helpful tools that can help your resize, edit or create images.

Tiffani Allen

Online Marketing News: Shareable Infographics, Instagram Buyable Tags & YouTube End Screens

Tiffani Allen on Nov 4th, 2016     Online Marketing, Online Marketing News

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The Ultimate Guide to Creating Shareable Infographics Using PowerPoint or Keynote
Infographics work to capture the attention of your audience and convey information in a digestible way. It can be tough to find the resources to creat them. But, what if creating infographics yourself was suddenly easier? This infographic will show you how. HubSpot

Instagram Is Letting Brands Test Taggable, Buyable Products in Photos
Instagram is letting select brands — like Kate Spade — test organic posts with taggable, buyable products in their photos. Brands can tag products for sale within their organic posts that will link interested viewers directly to their website to purchase. This, according to Instagram, is a play to make the user’s purchase experience frictionless. AdWeek

Ashley Zeckman

“Make Good Choices!” And Other Reasons Why We Celebrate Ann Handley

Ashley Zeckman on Nov 3rd, 2016     B2B Marketing, Online Marketing

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Ever so often, you come across someone that inspires and motivates you to be better, to reach for more. Sometimes this will be someone that you know, but often, it’s someone that you admire from afar. For me (and many other marketers), that person is MarketingProfs’ Chief Content Officer, Ann Handley.

In addition to being an incredibly talented and brilliant B2B marketer, Ann is a wonderful person. Her wit, charm and friendly demeanor will wrap you up in a ball of marketing love and make you feel like you’ve known her your whole life.

Our team has had the distinct pleasure of partnering with with Ann on several projects. As busy as Ann is making B2B marketing magic, she is a fantastic collaborator and co-creator. I have been given the opportunity to work with her on several ocassions and have reveled in every minute of it.

Caitlin Burgess

Life After Vine: 5 Tips to Help Brands Move on With Video

Caitlin Burgess on Nov 2nd, 2016     Marketing Industry News, Social Media, Visual Marketing

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Vine, the social media app known for 6-second video loops, is shutting down. Twitter announced its decision to discontinue the video service in a press release last week.

According to Marketing Land, Vine debuted in 2013 when mobile video wasn’t really a thing. But the rise of Snapchat, and the addition of live video capabilities on Facebook and Instagram, has drawn Vine’s top stars, audiences and advertising dollars away from Vine. In addition, rolled out its own native video platform in January 2015, serving as yet another Vine rival, the publication noted.

For some, the loss of Vine seems to be part of the natural evolutionary cycle of the digital world. But others are saddened and even angry at the loss of the platform. Shortly after the announcement, in a The Verge article by Casey Newton, one of Vine’s co-founder Dom Hofmann reportedly said:

Joshua Nite

Content Marketing: 10 Daily Habits to Create More Powerful Content

Joshua Nite on Nov 1st, 2016     B2B Marketing, B2C Marketing, Content Marketing

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Marketing is a game of inches. We tweak a headline to get fifty more clicks. Add visual interest for ten more subscriptions. Change the button on the landing page to get five more conversions. All the little gains add up over time to generate real results.

Writing more effective copy is a game of inches, too. You don’t write Twilight one week and Moby Dick the next. Instead, every day you can work to be a little bit better than the day before.

The tricky part is if you’re not steadily improving your writing, you’re actively moving backward. There’s no such thing as maintaining the status quo—it’s self-improvement or bust.

The following ten daily habits can help you make steady incremental improvement. Try as many as you can for 28 days, and be amazed at how those daily inches add up.