Archives for October 2019

Trick or Treat: The Spellbinding Marketing Sweets the TopRank Team Can’t Resist

Spellbinding Marketing Sweets the TopRank Team Can’t Resist

Admit it. On Halloween night, the fierce competitor within you sprinted from home to home to claim as much sugary bounty as your pillowcase could carry. But the loyalist and purist in you was on the hunt for a specific candy treat. A treat that put all the rest to shame; a treat that always hit the sweet spot.

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For me, that coveted treat was: the Almond Joy. Sweetened coconut. Crunchy almonds. Smooth milk chocolate. Devilishly delicious, but ghoulishly elusive amongst a sea of KitKat- and Snickers-purchasing households. (Here’s to you, organic reach on Facebook.)

As marketers, we all have our favorites. From tactical techniques that sweeten our marketing mix to the integration of marketing elements to tantalize our audience’s taste buds, the TopRank Marketing team weighs in on both fun- and king-size marketing treats they can’t resist.

5 Top B2B Brands Mastering Facebook Engagement

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With more than 2.4 billion users worldwide, Facebook has long been a popular platform for brands both B2B and direct-to-consumer looking to creatively and effectively showcase their products and services.

Facebook has released scores of new features over the past several years that have not only helped it remain among the most-used social media platforms — despite facing well-publicized challenges over the past several years — but also increasingly to become a destination for professional business users, and users looking for a social experience markedly different from LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.

With Facebook having launched so many new tools for brands to maximize their engagement on the platform, let’s take a look at how five large primarily B2B companies are creatively  connecting with audiences through pages, groups, communities, and several other methods Facebook provides.

Creating B2B Content With Impact: Pearls of Wisdom from Marketing Leaders

Back in 2017, Dr. Rick Rigsby delivered an impassioned commencement speech at California State University Maritime Academy, sending the internet into a motivational frenzy. The minister, speaker, and former college professor regaled the audience with key learnings from the “wisest person” he’d ever met—a third-grade dropout, who also happened to be his father.

Despite his lack of formal education, Dr. Rigsby’s father rigorously pursued learning and growth, instilling a drive for excellence within his children and providing a light in the darkest of times. But perhaps the biggest takeaway from Dr. Rigsby’s speech would eventually become his motivational catchphrase:

“Make an impact, not just an impression.”

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Trust Begins Within: The Vital Importance of Building Internal Trust in Marketing

Building Internal Trust in Marketing

Let’s cut to the chase: If brands and marketers can’t build trust internally at their organizations, they’ll never be able to develop it outwardly in an authentic way. Plain and simple.

When marketers broadcast trustworthiness as a virtue through content and messaging, while their company visibly deals with discord and misalignment in its own ranks, the sentiment rings about as hollow as a sinister-looking Disney villain telling the protagonist through a wicked grin that of course they can be trusted. (Except that today’s customers are more savvy and adept than those necessarily naive fictional film heroes.)

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Digital Marketing News: Snapchat Growth Booms, Facebook Usage Falls, B2B Buyers Seek Greater Loyalty, Podcast Ads Succeed

2019 October 25 MarketingCharts Chart

Report: Facebook usage drops a stunning 26% since 2017
Facebook usage has dropped 26 percent since 2017, according to newly-released report data, also showing that the social media giant’s monthly usage average fell from 14 hours to 9 among U.S. users. Fast Company

IAB: First-half 2019 online ad spending reaches $58 billion, but growth is slowing
During the first half of 2019 digital advertising spending climbed to $58 billion according to new data from IAB, also showing 16.9% year-over-year growth, down from last year’s 23.1%, while mobile ad revenue led the way with the strongest growth. Marketing Land

B2B Online Shoppers Want Loyalty and Simplicity: Report
B2B online shoppers are increasingly seeking more loyalty and ease-of-use in the buying process, new survey data reveals. Some 56% use loyalty programs, as B2B buyers look for greater B2C-like streamlining. Chief Marketer

10 Tips From Influencer Marketing’s Hidden 1,000-Year History

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When it comes to influencer marketing, we usually think of it as a fairly recent or even cutting-edge innovation. However, when you consider what’s at its heart, influencer marketing’s roots date back well over 1,000 years.

The way successful professionals practice influencer marketing is undoubtedly innovative and thoroughly modern, yet for more than a millennia we’ve had the trust, expertise, and wisdom that meld together to allow one person to hold influence over another.

There’s a reason influencer marketing has become one of the most powerful methods to build trust, create strong communications, and lasting professional relationships that it’s becoming more renowned for every day. That reason centers on fundamental human emotions and our innate desire to gain wisdom from people we trust — primal elements that apply equally to life and marketing that date from our earliest written history.

Class Is In Session: 8 Opportunities From the 2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks Report

Anyone who went to public school as a kid remembers Report Card Day. Sometimes, it was a day to celebrate — to see the results of our efforts written down in black and white, suitable for framing. Sometimes it was a sobering reminder of a misspent semester cutting class to browse the local CD shop (or was that just me?). 

I get the same vibe from the annual B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends – North America Report from Content Marking Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs. We can rejoice in big improvements and gains. (More of us are documenting our content marketing strategy! Good for us!) And, of course, we can also see where we could benefit from study hall.

Imagine What’s Possible: Top Insights & Favorite Marketing Moments From #MPB2B 2019

If we had to describe the experience at this year’s MarketingProfs B2B Forum in one word, we would probably have to go with “neighborly.”

Yes, this vibe was intentionally embedded by the event organizers, who constructed the main stage and supporting elements at MPB2B around a “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” theme. But the speakers and attendees at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center all did their parts to foster a helpful, friendly, and kind environment. 

As a result, we’ve returned home with our mental batteries recharged, full of inspiration and motivation to help our clients, partners, audience, and coworkers achieve new heights with B2B marketing strategy.

How Intuit Surmounted Stagnating Lead Gen with Customer Insight

Here’s something you might already know about Intuit: The leading financial software company has been around for 35 years, buoyed by its primary software offerings, TurboTax and QuickBooks.

Here’s something you might not know (at least it was news to me): While Intuit does market to consumers, B2B customers comprise a large portion of the company’s base – its ProConnect division sells products to tax and accounting professionals, while Intuit, in general, is reliant on such pros to recommend TurboTax and QuickBooks to their own clients.

And on this B2B front, Intuit was facing a challenge: Leads had been flat for five years. Despite extremely high product awareness (I doubt anyone reading this hasn’t heard of those two main products) and strong tax firm industry retention rates around 90%, Intuit simply wasn’t bringing in new business at the desired rate.

Tales from the B2B Influencer Marketing Trenches with Leaders from Dell & SAP #MPB2B

When was the last time you made a purchase without reading multiple reviews, asking your friends for recommendations or relying on an endorsement from someone that you know and trust? The likely response is: “I can’t even remember that far back.”

While trusting the insights of others to inform our purchasing decisions has become second-nature for both personal and business purchases, influencer marketing for B2B organizations is still fairly new. In fact, only 24% of marketers are currently partnering with influencers to expand their reach (CMI & MarketingProfs). 

Last week at MarketingProfs B2B Forum, seasoned influencer marketing leaders Konstanze Alex and Janine Wegner from Dell* and Amisha Gandhi from SAP* teamed up to share tales from the trenches of influencer marketing at their respective organizations. Below is just a sampling of the insights they shared that can help guide your approach for your brand. 

Breaking Down Barriers for Healthy B2B Marketing with Lee Odden #MPB2B

On Thursday morning at MarketingProfs B2B Forum, TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden asked a room full of marketers, “Who here has tried starting a diet or exercise program before?” Pretty much every hand in the room shot up.

The percentage of those individuals who would rate their efforts as a satisfying success? Not quite so high.

Falling short of aspirations with fitness endeavors is an almost universally relatable experience. We embark on a diet plan, but we slip. We go all-in on a workout regimen, but we stop. Life gets in the way, and other priorities demand our attention. Alas, any temporary progress we make ultimately proves to be only that.

Many marketers are familiar with this pattern in their jobs: Campaigns yielding strong results, which quickly fade and leave us unfulfilled.

Digital Marketing News: Google Ads Targeting Options, Templates Come to Facebook & Instagram Stories Ads, LinkedIn Adds Events Features & More

2019 October 18 MarketingCharts Chart

Social media ad spend to surpass print for first time
Ad spending in 2019 will for the first time see social media topping print, with global spending growth up 20 percent increasing to $84 billion, according to recently-released forecast data from Zenith. Marketing Land

LinkedIn Launches Events to Facilitate Professional Meet-Ups
LinkedIn (client) has released a robust new tool allowing users to create and manage events pages, the culmination of a program first announced late last year, the professional social networking firm revealed this week. Social Media Today

Facebook testing ads in Groups tab
Facebook has begun allowing certain advertisers to utilize new mobile Facebook Groups ads, as part of an Ads Manager test, the social giant recently announced. Should the option eventually be rolling out to all advertisers, digital marketers will be able to target new audiences with mobile group ads. Marketing Land