Ashley Zeckman

7 Tools to Uncover Customer Needs & Map the Customer Journey to Create Better Experiences

Ashley Zeckman on Apr 4th, 2016     Integrated Marketing, Online Marketing

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Marketers have become increasingly focused on the importance of understanding the customer journey and using data to lead their marketing strategies. Salesforce recently reported that 86% of senior-level marketers say that creating a cohesive customer journey is absolutely critical.

However, knowing where to start can be a daunting endeavour. But not taking action has the potential to put companies at serious risk as Gartner estimated that nearly 90% of companies expect to compete mostly on the basis of customer experience starting this year.

Tiffani Allen

Online Marketing News: MarTec Supergraphic, YouTube goes Live and AdWords’ New Look

Tiffani Allen on Apr 1st, 2016     Online Marketing, Online Marketing News

martec super graphic

Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic
In one huge supergraphic, cheifmartec.com lays out key players in advertising and promotion, content and experience, social and relationships, commerce and sales, data, and management. As you can see from the image above, there are a huge amount of service providers in the industry, more than we may have even anticipated as few as five years ago. How will this landscape continue to change? Cheifmartec.com

Report: Google Building YouTube Connect to Compete With Periscope
Streaming live video is not a new concept in the marketing sphere, especially since Periscope hit the scene in 2014. But Video mega-star YouTube is jumping into the realm with both feet, launching their new live streaming app ‘YouTube Connect’ to compete with the success of Periscope and services like it. Interestingly enough, users will reportedly be able to watch live streaming video in the app itself, or on YouTube.com. SocialTimes

Ashley Zeckman

[eBook] Influencer Engagement: 15 Ways to Fail & 25 Ways to WIN

Ashley Zeckman on Mar 31st, 2016     Influencer Marketing, Online Marketing

Influencer Engagement - 15 fails and 25 wins

Schadenfreude (n.): Pleasure derived by someone from another person’s misfortune.

Who doesn’t like watching a good fail? As long as the subject isn’t seriously injured, we can all enjoy a hearty laugh at the guy who slips on the banana peel, the woman who gets her shoe caught in a grate, or the kid getting bopped by the family cat. Even if you’re the one who fails, you know eventually it will be a funny story you can tell at parties.

While these minor pratfalls are all in good fun, failing at influencer engagement isn’t as entertaining. Instead of a few bruises and an amusing anecdote, an influencer outreach fail can end your campaign before it starts. And there are far more ways to fail than you might imagine.

Caitlin Burgess

Learn How to Create a Better Customer Experience with Omni-Channel Marketing

Caitlin Burgess on Mar 30th, 2016     Content Marketing, Digital Marketing

omni-channel-marketing

In today’s world, the customer experience extends beyond the walls of a brick and mortar store. Customers engage with your brand through content that’s spread across multiple channels and accessed by multiple devices. And with so many possible touch points, it’s becoming increasingly important for brands to ensure consistency throughout–especially for their millennial audience.

A survey by SLD, a customer experience software and services provider, revealed that 44% of millennials surveyed expect their experience to be consistent across all devices. In addition, 60% said that they expect the same experience across all customer touch points–from phone service to in-store and digital interactions.

So how do you create that consistent customer experience? Through omni-channel marketing.

Caitlin Burgess

What is a Content Marketing Strategy (And Why Do I Need One?)

Caitlin Burgess on Mar 29th, 2016     Content Marketing, Digital Marketing

what-is-a-content-marketing-strategy

With traditional marketing tactics becoming less effective as the Internet breeds more self-guided buyers, content marketing has risen up to provide marketers with another way to engage with their target audience.

Rather than pushing out a one-size-fits-all message, content marketing allows you to give your audience tailored, relevant and meaningful information. It helps you build a trusting relationship with your audience–often times before they even become a customer.

But just because you do content marketing, doesn’t mean you’re doing it effectively. According to the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs annual research report, 55% of marketers said they didn’t know what content marketing success or effectiveness looked like. This is where a content marketing strategy can help you define a path to successful content creation.

Ashley Zeckman

Learn Where Influencer Marketing Fits in the B2B Customer Journey

Ashley Zeckman on Mar 28th, 2016     Content Marketing, Influencer Marketing

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When you lose a potential customer to a competitor it can leave you reeling with questions and wondering what they did to set themselves apart and how they did it. Companies that work hard to be the best answer wherever their customers are looking and build trust and credibility early in the sales cycle are typically those that win new business when it comes time for customers to make a decision.

One way that brands can begin building trust and credibility early on with prospects is to incorporate influencers into content meant to represent different stages of the buying cycle. In fact, recent research has found that 51% of marketers believe that incorporating influencers into their marketing helps them get better customers.

Tiffani Allen

Online Marketing News: Content Cocktails, Old School Email and 3D Printing in Space

Tiffani Allen on Mar 25th, 2016     Online Marketing, Online Marketing News

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The Mixology of Content Marketing [INFOGRAPHIC]
Content marketing is an art and a science, just like mixing a good cocktail. In this infographic, different types of content ‘cocktails’ are broken down into clear recipes for the marketing mixologist to follow. Each recipe also contains a measuring guide and a stat or helpful tip. My personal favorite is the White Paper Old Fashioned. Unbounce

This Study Shows Why Retailers Should Ramp Up Their Email Game for Millennials
Whether or not you agree that email is ‘old school’ aside, it is still one of the most effective digital marketing tactics in our collective tool kits. A new study from Epsilon shows that email is effective for Millennial shoppers in particular, with 43% saying they’ve been checking out retailers’ emails in the last 6 months. Millennial shoppers aren’t solely using social media to find what they’re looking for, this new research tells us that email needs to be in the mix. AdWeek

Caitlin Burgess

What is Content Marketing? Definition, Examples & Resources for Learning More

Caitlin Burgess on Mar 24th, 2016     Content Marketing

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Thanks to the rise of the Internet, today’s consumers are much more self-directed in their buying journey. With so much information at their fingertips, they’re taking the research reigns and using the information they discover to make their purchasing decisions. In fact, research shows that B2B buyers conduct an average of 12 searches before ever going to a brand’s site.

Of course, this means that traditional advertising and marketing techniques are becoming less effective, and many marketers are looking for another way to successfully reach their audiences. And that way is through content marketing.

What is content marketing?

Let’s dive in.

Kevin Cotch

How to Address Technical SEO Issues to Increase Content Visibility

Kevin Cotch on Mar 23rd, 2016     SEO

technical-seo-issues

[Note From Ashley: Kevin is an SEO Analyst on the team at TopRank Marketing and has done an exceptional job uncovering and fixing technical issues for our clients. This is Kevin’s first post on TopRankBlog.com and we look forward to him sharing his technical expertise on an ongoing basis with our readers.]

Websites that don’t work and are hard to navigate can be an incredibly frustrating experience for any user. If they load slowly, have broken pages, or duplicate content it can deter visitors from coming back and make it less likely that the content that you’ve worked so hard on shows up in search results.

Joshua Nite

Embody the Form: How to Master SEO & Influencer Marketing

Joshua Nite on Mar 22nd, 2016     Content Marketing, Influencer Marketing

mastering-SEO-and-Influencer-Marketing

Here’s a parable about SEO and influencer marketing mastery:

I can play the guitar. If there’s no one else in the room who knows anything about guitar, I can pass for a guitarist. Give me a chord sheet for your song of choice, and I can lead a sing-along like nobody’s business. Unless there are weird chords like C#m7, of course.

Stevie Ray Vaughan could also play guitar. In his hands, the guitar seemed like a living creature. It moaned; it wailed; it could sound happy or sad or righteously ticked off. Give him a backbeat and a bass line, and his fingers could fly up and down the fretboard, no chord sheet required.

So what’s the difference between my clumsy strumming and Stevie’s divine riffing? Mastery.

Ashley Zeckman

7 Weird Social Media Marketing Habits All Marketers Need to Break NOW

Ashley Zeckman on Mar 21st, 2016     Social Media, Social Media Advertising

7-weird-social-media-marketing-habits

We all have bad habits. Whether it’s biting our nails, constantly driving like we’re on a racetrack or something you’d rather not admit to, we’ve all got them. Some are easy to break while others quickly find their way back into our lives. The same can be said for social media marketing habits. Once you get in a routine, it can be hard to break habits that are helping, but may possibly be hurting your brand.

Within social media marketing there is a lot of opportunity for brands to create great experiences for their communities, create brand affinity and influence purchasing decisions. A recent study found that 84% of CEOs and VPs say that they use social media to make purchasing decisions.

Tiffani Allen

Online Marketing News: Jaw-Dropping Stats, Instagram’s New Algorithm and Google Boosts Mobile

Tiffani Allen on Mar 18th, 2016     Online Marketing, Online Marketing News

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5 Jaw-Dropping Social Media Stats (in Infographics)
In 5 small infographics, author Justin Kerby summarizes facebook’s gigantic user base, the prevalence of employee advocacy programs, how auto-posting on Facebook leads to increased engagement, social media ad spend and how long we really spend watching videos online. I’ll give you a hint, it’s more than an hour. Social Media Today

Instagram Is Adding an Algorithm to Reorder Feeds Based on the Posts Users Like
Instagram announced this week that they are adding an algorithm that will reorder the photos users see in their feed. According to Instagram, the plans are “based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post.” As expected, this change will roll out to a small group of users first and scale up, though the platform hasn’t confirmed a roll-out date. AdWeek