B2B Content Marketing Success on the Rise for Small Businesses – Content Marketing Institute’s newest B2B content marketing research report confirms that small businesses are doing many things well when it comes to content marketing. Download the report here.
Gmail Adding Prominent ‘Unsubscribe’ Option to Marketing Emails – Starting last week, a new, clearly marked “unsubscribe” link will appear at the top of the header field in marketers’ emails. Previously only appearing for a small percentage of users, the feature will now be made available for most promotional messages with unsubscribe options. Email recipients do not need to take action for the links to appear. PC World
Coke to Increase Media Spend By Up to $1 Billion – Coke chairman and CEO Muhtar said, “When we invest in marketing, our global partners invest in feet on the street, more coolers, more trucks … that’s what will be happening and that’s what we will see happening in our business as we restore steady momentum in 2014 and beyond.” This move is in response to the continuing decline in soda sales in North America and slowing growth in markets, such as Brazil and China. Media Post
Study: Only 52% of Facebook Ad Spend is Outside the U.S. – A new report by Marin Software says that 85 percent of Facebook users reside outside North America, but only 52 percent of ad spend targets regions outside of it. The potential for Facebook ads is strongest in Asia-Pacific and Latin America regions. Search Engine Watch
How a Pizza Brand Found Its Voice on Twitter – DiGiorno Pizza brand execs were initially dubious about Twitter. The brand wanted to challenge the big boys of pizza, Domino’s, Pizza Hut and Papa John’s. Promoting their brand 140 characters at a time didn’t seem like it was worth it. They and their agency embarked on a one year experiment to figure out how DiGiorno could find its niche on Twitter. Enter the wise-cracking couch potato. Digiday
14 Best Branded Vines of February 2014 – Here are February’s very best branded Vines, including efforts celebrating the month’s biggest events: Valentine’s Day, the Winter Olympics, Super Bowl – eConsultancy
Study: Marketers Allow Social and Analytics to Tell Their Fortunes [Infographic] – According to The CMO Survey, 74.7% of marketers foresee an increased ability to acquire new customers within the next 12 months. Likewise, 69.3% of marketers surveyed expect increases in customer purchase volume and 49% predict increases in customer retention. Currently, marketers devote 7.4% of their marketing budgets to social which is expected to increase to 10.1% over the next 12 months and 18.1% in the next five years. Direct Marketing News
15 Google+ Tricks You Might Not Know About – Google is slowly but surely improving Google+ and trying to bring the social network to the masses. Yet some of Google+’s best features are less than obvious for both avid Google Plussers and those who are still wondering what the point of it is. Here are some of the more interesting or at least useful tips for getting the most out of Google+. Lifehacker
Growth Hacking for Content Marketing [Infographic] – If you want your blog to grow, learn the characteristics of a content hacker. He or she is traffic-obsessed and focused on nothing but growth. Here’s a fantastic infographic that will give you a peek inside their inner psyche and help you become your own content hacker. Marketing Tech Blog
Facebook to Abandon Its Email Service in March – Instead, it will reroute Facebook emails to a user’s primary email address. Whether or not the change will be of benefit marketers in any way farther down the line remains to be seen, but retiring the current email system seems to be a necessary move for Facebook to update its marketing arsenal. ClickZ
Facebook Memorial Accounts: Privacy Settings Will Be Left As-Is – Previously, when an account was being memorialized, the privacy setting of the account was set to friends-only, regardless of how the person had their profile viewable in the past. Now, the privacy settings on memorialized Facebook accounts will be left as-is, reflecting the person’s comfort with privacy. Additionally, those with loved ones who have passed away can request that a Look Back video can be made from their Facebook profile. Inside Facebook
Survey: How SMBs Use Social Media – More and more companies are turning to social media networks to market their product, learn about new trends and interact with customers. Learn how small and midsize businesses are using social media to drive growth in 2014. Hubspot
Study: Original Content Reaches More People on Facebook – Facebook decreased organic reach of status updates by ~40% on Jan. 21. For most brands, this doesn’t have a large impact on their strategy, as they are mostly using links and photos to further increase their brand. Using a concept called Content Originator might help craft a content strategy that stays ahead of news feed changes. Facebook may be placing additional value on content originators in the news feed, and is surely valuing brands with strong engagement—especially ones with high share levels. Moz
Google Analytics Now Showing Up On Google+ Page Dashboard – According to a Google+ post from Daniel Waisberg, Google+ Page dashboards now include Google Analytics monthly metrics. If your page is linked to a website that has Google Analytics, you can now view your monthly metrics (and comparison to last month) from your Google+ dashboard. Marketing Land
Lync and Skype Together – Microsoft announced at the Lync Conference in Las Vegas that Lync and Skype would soon be able to share video, as well as voice and IM. Lync is a secure, managed communication tool that’s designed for enterprise desktops, the other a widely available consumer app that can be installed on any desktop, laptop, phone, and tablet. Making it easy for one to connect to the other means that 300 million plus Skype users are now able to talk directly to the person they need to talk to, without paying a penny — and with video and HD audio. Here’s how it will work. ZDnet
The Super-Secure Blackphone is Here, But Not NSA-Proof – The producers of the new phone, which will be revealed next week at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, promise that it’s the most secure smartphone on the market. But even they admit there are some enemies you just can’t protect from. Blackphone’s main privacy feature will be its custom version of Android called PrivatOS, which, according to co-founder Mike Janke, will allow users to “to control every part of what data their phone is leaking, their calls, their contacts, their web browsing and what any app put on their phone can do.” Mashable
New Google Maps Comes Out of Preview – Since its introduction, Google has been adding features, tweaking and adjusting the new Maps. Overall, it’s a more visually-compelling product than the old Maps with a wide array of enhanced features. You can see why here. Search Engine Land
Facebook To Begin Rolling Out New Ad Campaign Structure March 4th – Major changes to Facebook’s ad campaigns are coming next week. The new structure will add a new level called ad sets, which will be placed between the existing layers, campaigns and ads. Facebook will incorporate is new structure into all ad interfaces. AllFacebook
Twitter Launches Marketing Platform Program – The Twitter Marketing Platform Program is the new name for Twitter’s suite of partners. This includes Twitter’s Ads API partners, along with its measurement and targeting partners. This change is meant to help businesses better meet their marketing goals and offers features beyond what Twitter Ads provides. ClickZ
Google Click-To-Call Used By More Than 40% Of Mobile Searchers – A new study, published by Google and Ipsos, showed that almost half (42%) of those surveyed had used the “Click-to-Call” feature on the Google search results page. 94% of smartphone users have needed to call a business directly, so making sure that Google has your business phone number can mean a great increase in calls from mobile users. Econsultancy
From our Online Marketing Community:
On Essential Digital Marketing Skills for Content Marketers in 2014 Laura (Bell) Greeno said, “Wow, excellent post Lee! You did mention planning, coordinating and prioritizing multi-media and multi-channel efforts based on resources, time-frame and goals. I might add the pure ongoing development and prioritization of a customized distribution effort based on goals, influencers and relationships as well. This would connect the editorial planning with the amplification resourcing. At the end of the day, you want your own, prioritized list of people and places who care about what you’re doing in some way. Gosh, this will be so critically valuable over time.”
Doris Edwards said, “Hence being a good communicator and animator of workshops and other events, speaking the (non techy) language senior decision makers can assimilate. Here in Europe (and specifically in Switzerland where I live) many companies just “don’t get Content Marketing” – and yes, the term is not ideal. Content Marketing only works if addressed holistically, i.e. across functions and departments; as you so rightly outlined in your Optimize book, Lee.”
On Content Marketing With Research and Surveys: Pros, Cons, Examples, Best Practices Ryan Biddulph said, “Feedback through any form Nicolette has built the foundation for my online businesses. How can you know what works unless you ask the people you are serving?
“Ask, through online surveys, polls, or direct email….or social network contacts, and you will receive a goldmine of information for your blog, business, etc.
“I feared asking for feedback because I feared criticism for many years. Now I know that criticism, or opinions, can provide me with the information I need to grow. Makes perfect sense once you take ego out of the picture 😉 Thanks for the great share!”
On 6 Upcoming Marketing and PR Events to Learn About Influencer, Social and Content Marketing Henley Wing said, “Awesome list of conferences. I’ve always been looking for lists like these. It seems most people know about the big ones like SMMW, SMX, and PubCon, but not the little known ones like Content2Conversion.”
What were the top online and digital marketing news stories for you this week?
Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!