Nick Nelson

Nick Nelson

Trust Factors: How Best Answer Content Fuels Brand Credibility

Nick Nelson on Apr 16th, 2019     B2B Marketing

How Best Answer Content Builds Trust

Page one. Answer box. The top result. In the minds of marketers, these prime destinations have largely been associated with SEO success.

From the days of keyword-stuffing and algorithmic alignment to more nuanced modern approaches accounting for semantic voice commands, influencer integration, and search intent, edging competitors on that SERP has been a key source of aspiration. As it should be: heightened visibility on Google makes a big difference in terms of driving traffic.

But it’s a little short-sighted to think only about that first, fleeting interaction — the search, the discovery, the click. What about the deeper impact? As customer experience becomes a central focus for brands everywhere, we should be more considerate of what happens after a user clicks through that search result, and how it affects your brand.

Nick Nelson

How to Get It Done: Project Management Tips for Content Marketing Managers

Nick Nelson on Apr 9th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

When I was in high school, we had a science class project in which we were grouped into teams, and tasked with building a catapult. Whichever contraption could launch a tennis ball the farthest would win the contest.

We quickly learned that the hardest part wasn’t constructing the actual catapult. It was wrangling all the team members, divvying up assignments, and keeping a collective group of energetic teenagers on track. In hindsight, maybe that was the point.

Managing Content Marketing Projects and People

Content marketing managers deal with these types of responsibilities on a daily basis. There are so many roles and functions typically involved with a time bound content initiative that we often must act as project managers, facilitating collaboration and ensuring that everyone is in a position to succeed.

Nick Nelson

Hey Alexa: How Do I Bake Voice Search Into My B2B Marketing Strategy?

Nick Nelson on Apr 1st, 2019     B2B Marketing, SEO

Voice Search & B2B Marketing Strategy

Can you imagine if we actually talked to one another the same way we’ve historically talked to search engines? It would make for some awkward interactions.

“Minneapolis movie showtimes.”

“Um… come again?”

“Showtimes Captain Marvel 55441.”

“Are you –”

“Movie showtimes cheapest theater arcade games. I’m feeling lucky.”

“Sir, this is a Wendy’s.”

It’s only fitting I suppose that our adherence to Google’s robotic algorithms has, in turn, made us more robotic. Searchers became trained to speak in the engine’s keyword-driven language. Marketers crafted SEO strategies accordingly.

Today, the advent of voice search is making our conversations with search engines more… conversational. It’s not incidental that we activate this feature on our smartphones or voice assistants by addressing “Alexa” or “Siri” — this dynamic is very much intended to humanize the devices, which is a little creepy and dystopian if you think about it, but it’s best not to think about it.

Nick Nelson

Where Do Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn Stand With B2B Video?

Nick Nelson on Mar 14th, 2019     Social Media, Video

Social Media Video Trends for B2B

Modern B2B marketers understand that the key to an effective digital content strategy is meeting customers where they’re at, and giving them what they want.

With this in mind, the appeal of social media videos only makes sense. We know that billions of people are on social networks, and we know (or at least research leads us to believe) they want video.

Then again, certain developments may cause us to question what we think we know. How meaningful is it, really, if X% of users are watching X% of a video while scrolling through their feeds? And how can we be confident this data is even accurate, after the whole inflated metrics fiasco?

Nick Nelson

What B2B Marketers Need to Know About Data Privacy Today

Nick Nelson on Mar 6th, 2019     B2B Marketing

Data Privacy in B2B Marketing

You enter a dim and shadowy room. Sitting before you is a wizened fortune teller, staring deeply into the mysterious glowing orb before her.

As her hands hover over the crystal ball, she notices your skeptical frown. So, in order to validate her mystical powers, the stranger begins reciting facts about you: your name, where you’re from, where you went to college, which restaurant you ate at last week.

“What is this sorcery?” you cry, your face growing pale.

She pauses, smirks, and turns around her orb for you to see within. Turns out it’s merely a computer display, with your personal online data aggregated and readily available. The fortune teller reaches up and pulls off her mask to reveal… she’s an advertiser! And suddenly she’s pitching you on accounting software!

Nick Nelson

How B2B Marketers Can Win at Search with Best Answer Content

Nick Nelson on Feb 21st, 2019     B2B Marketing, Search Marketing, SEO

Winning Search with Best Answer Content

Marketers are engaged in a continuous battle to gain an edge when it comes to SEO, seeking those crucial advantages provided by top visibility where customers are looking. Multiple disciplines from technical SEO to creative content can be leveraged to win the search marketing game. At TopRank Marketing, we believe the best answer to this quandary is… well, to be the Best Answer.

To simplify and clarify, it might be helpful to take a step back.

In October of 2000, Larry Page laid out his ambitious vision for Google, a company he’d founded along with Sergey Brin just two years earlier.

Page foresaw his creation as “the ultimate search engine that would understand everything on the Web. It would understand exactly what you wanted, and it would give you the right thing.”

Nick Nelson

Tip of the Iceberg: A Story of Trust in Marketing as Told by Statistics

Nick Nelson on Feb 12th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

The State of Trust in Marketing

“Step up on the railing. Hold on, hold on. Keep your eyes closed.”

Jack is holding Rose around her waist, cautiously lifting her up to the Titanic’s bow.

“Do you trust me?”

He was a stranger up until days earlier, but still, her response is almost instantaneous.

“I trust you.”

Moments later, Rose opens her eyes and she’s flying, arms outstretched as the mighty liner propels her forward. She and Jack hold hands; they kiss. Celine Dion’s music wafts in the background. Teenage boys in the theater start gagging, while romantic types swoon.

There’s a good chance you lived through this very experience. James Cameron’s 1997 cinematic landmark Titanic was an unprecedented hit, holding the title as highest-grossing film of all time for 14 years. The scene described above is perhaps its most famous — the linchpin in a love story sparked by deep, genuine trust that materialized almost out nowhere.

Nick Nelson

A Simple Three-Point Checklist for Documenting Your B2B Content Strategy Right Now

Nick Nelson on Jan 28th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

On the first day of 2019, I laid out a series of New Year’s resolutions for content marketers. At the top of the list was creating a documented content strategy.

Maybe you came across the post. Maybe you nodded your head while reading that particular item and said, “Yup, I’m gonna do that.” But most likely, you still haven’t yet. I’m not trying to be presumptive, just speaking in probabilities: research tells us that documenting a content strategy has been the subject of pervasive and perpetual procrastination across our field for some time.

What gives? Why do we keep putting it off?

“Usually procrastination happens because the task seems too difficult,” according to psychiatrist A. Chris Heath, MD (via PsyCom). Makes sense, based on my personal experience.

Nick Nelson

Two Key Marketing Opportunities Amid Stories of Fake Traffic and Fraudulent Metrics

Nick Nelson on Jan 14th, 2019     Content Marketing

Why Transparency & Organic Content Are Important for Marketers

“What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world. You don’t know what it is, but it’s there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad.” — Morpheus, The Matrix

~~~~~

“How much of the internet is fake?” pondered the headline of a late-December New York Magazine feature, before answering its own question: “A lot actually.”

What followed was a systematic unpacking of that premise, via author Max Read. Though somewhat cynical and harsh, his argument was backed by facts and evidence at every turn.

He documented case after case of fake traffic and fraudulent metrics.

He shared videos of phony engagement factories known as click farms.

Nick Nelson

B2B Content Marketers, Here Are Your New Year’s Resolutions for 2019

Nick Nelson on Jan 1st, 2019     Content Marketing

Content Marketing New Year's Resolutions

If you break down the word “resolution” phonically, you get “resolute” and “shun.” Kind of ironic, since we all seem more likely to shun (persistently avoid, ignore, or reject through antipathy or caution) these self-assigned goals than be resolute (admirably purposeful, determined, and unwavering) in achieving them.

Too often with New Year’s resolutions, we set ourselves up to fail. We lay out ambitious mandates and drastic behavioral changes that sound great in theory, but almost invariably fall by the wayside amidst our busy lives.

B2B content marketers are plenty familiar with ambitious goal-setting. We’re optimistic. We’re driven. But perhaps we’re not always realistic.

The whole point of setting goals is to achieve them. If you’re always setting stretch goals, you’ll never know what success looks like.

Nick Nelson

Flipping the B2B Marketing Script: 7 Brands That Talk to Consumers, Not Companies

Nick Nelson on Dec 4th, 2018     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

Examples of B2B Brands Marketing to People

“It feels like I’m talking to a wall.”

This is the utterance you might hear from a person whose counterpart in a conversation is not particularly engaged. If you’ve been there, then you know it’s not a great feeling.

But one of the biggest issues in B2B content marketing is actually the reverse: people tend to feel like the brands marketing to them are the ones talking to walls – as in, speaking to them as if they were an intangible corporate entity rather than a human being.

For this reason, “business to business” can be a troubling misnomer. In this discipline, we’re not really marketing to businesses – buildings with walls and stairs and desks and chairs – but the people who inhabit those buildings.

Nick Nelson

Tapping Key Takeaways from Recent Research on Fortune 500 Social Media Usage

Nick Nelson on Nov 20th, 2018     Content Marketing, Social Media

The State of Social Media Marketing for Fortune 500 Companies

Blogs are booming. Instagram interest is on the rise. Facebook is forever fashionable. And LinkedIn continues to lead the pack.

These all reflect trends found among Fortune 500 companies on social media, according to recent research from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s Center for Marketing Research.

We scoured UMass Dartmouth’s research in search of key takeaways and surprising tidbits that would intrigue and inspire B2B and B2C brands large and small. Here’s what you need to know about how the world’s largest corporations are tackling social media, plus some helpful resources to help give your social media marketing efforts a boost.