Nick Nelson

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.

Nick Nelson

Twitter Has Renewed its Live Video Push & Here’s What You Need to Know

Nick Nelson on Oct 17th, 2018     Social Media, Twitter, Video

Once a pioneer in bringing live video to the social media world, Twitter fell behind the likes of Facebook, LinkedIn, and others as this format rose to mainstream prominence. However, the platform’s recent move to make live video more easily discoverable shows Twitter is recommitting to video.

But the question is: Can Twitter recapture the magnetic energy of live video?

When I attended Jane Weedon’s keynote speech at Content Marketing World last month, I was deeply struck by this remark from Twitch’s Director of Business Development:

“Authentic and real-time video can be better than immaculately produced when it comes to engaging an audience.”

Her company’s model serves as proof of this assertion. Twitch welcomed more than 15 million daily visitors last year, and continues to see explosive growth, largely because of this dynamic.

Nick Nelson

What You Need to Know About Instagram Stories for B2B Marketing

Nick Nelson on Oct 9th, 2018     Social Media

Instagram Stories for B2B Marketing

Why would B2B brands be interested in using Instagram Stories as a marketing channel?

It starts with a very simple premise: B2B customers are people, and people use Instagram, which eclipsed 1 billion active monthly users over the summer. And when it comes to the platform’s “Stories” format, it surpassed the similarly oriented Snapchat in users within a year of its 2016 launch.

Instagram Active Users

Of course, the issue here is more one of context. Can business-focused content really succeed on a social network that slants so strongly toward casual, leisure surfing?

As we’ll see, B2B companies are showing that yes, it can. And there’s plenty of opportunity to take it a step further.

Nick Nelson

How Brands Can Avoid the Dreaded Fauxthenticity Pitfall

Nick Nelson on Oct 2nd, 2018     Content Marketing, Digital Marketing

Avoiding the Pitfalls of Fauxthenticity

Let’s be real for a second here.

Today’s marketers and brands are collectively recognizing the need to strike a note of authenticity with their audiences. That’s excellent.

But in the quest to get real, it’s all too easy to wind up making the exact opposite impression by trying too hard, especially on social media channels.

When I think about this subject I’m always reminded of Steve Buscemi’s attempt to conform with school kids on the TV show 30 Rock:

via GIPHY

So, we should ask ourselves: How can we, as businesses, avoid this “fauxthenticity” pitfall? How can we overcome the inherent barriers that inhibit genuine connections between brand and customer? How can we speak the language of our audience without looking like we’re trying really hard to speak their language?

Nick Nelson

LinkedIn’s Megan Golden on Building a Blockbuster Content Marketing Strategy

Nick Nelson on Sep 11th, 2018     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World

LinkedIn's Megan Golden at Content Marketing World

“The good news about being a marketer in 2018 is that we have dozens and dozens of channels to share our marketing story,” Megan Golden, group manager of LinkedIn’s* global content and social media marketing, said in the opening of her session at Content Marketing World last Thursday.

“The bad news about being a marketer in 2018 is that we have dozens and dozens of channels to share our marketing story,” she added.

It’s true. We’re inundated with options for trying to reach our audiences these days, making it a challenge to narrow focus and find the right mix. But it’s safe to say that if you work in B2B, LinkedIn has to be in that mix. Hosting more than half a billion professionals, and boasting unparalleled targeting capabilities, the platform is tremendously powerful for those who know how to use it.

Nick Nelson

Influencer & Content Marketing: Solving the Confluence Equation with Lee Odden

Nick Nelson on Sep 10th, 2018     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World, Influencer Marketing

Due to my lifelong contempt for math, I’ve been known to struggle with equations – especially complicated ones.

Luckily, understanding the “Confluence Equation,” as broken down by TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden at Content Marketing World, is quite straightforward. For modern marketers, it’s also absolutely critical.

Content + Influence = Confluence

Given the setting where Lee’s session was delivered – a massive conference with thousands in attendance – it goes without saying that there’s plenty of interest in content marketing right now.

But you might be surprised to learn that, at least through the lens of Google search trends, interest in influencer marketing has actually surpassed it, and continues to rise rapidly:

Nick Nelson

How Twitch is Breaking New Ground In Audience Engagement #CMWorld

Nick Nelson on Sep 7th, 2018     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World

Last month, rapper Danny Brown made waves by unveiling his latest project on the live-streaming platform Twitch, dubbing it “the first-ever Twitch album.”

It was yet another step toward widespread cultural takeover for this burgeoning content hub, which is rapidly expanding beyond its distinction as strictly a host for video game communities. Twitch’s usage numbers, and creative new applications, demand the attention of marketers everywhere seeking to up the ante for audience engagement.

In her Thursday morning Content Marketing World keynote, Twitch’s Director of Business Development Jane Weedon shared some eye-opening stats and laid out an ambitious go-forward vision for the platform’s active audience participation model.

Nick Nelson

Allen Gannett Shares His Secrets to Racking Up Millions of LinkedIn Video Views #CMWorld

Nick Nelson on Sep 6th, 2018     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World

This statistic, via HubSpot, conveys all you need to know about the opportunity that LinkedIn video presents: Only 38% of marketers are sharing video content on the platform, even though three-quarters rate it as a successful tactic.

TrackMaven CEO Allen Gannett is a prime example of what success looks like with this relatively nascent feature. The name of his session at Content Marketing World, “How To: 0 To 1 Million LinkedIn Video Views in 6 Months,” understates achievement, as his videos have now amassed around 3.5 million views – all organic.

Fortunately, Allen delivered on the “How To” part, serving up a bounty of practical tips that marketers can apply right now.

Nick Nelson

Why Content Marketers Everywhere Need to Get Down with User-Generated Content

Nick Nelson on Sep 3rd, 2018     Content Marketing

Why UGC Needs to Be Part of Content Marketing Strategy

Authenticity: it’s treasured, but in short supply.

TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden had it right when he wrote recently that trust in marketing is at risk. The statistics speak for themselves: Edelman’s 2018 Trust Barometer reflects a general lack of credibility for businesses, and one poll from HubSpot found “marketer” to be among the least trustworthy professions.

The commonality among occupations ranking at the bottom of that HubSpot list (marketer, car salesman, politician, lobbyist) is that they all have perceived agendas and motives.

This is where the unique value in adding user-generated content (UGC) to your content marketing strategy lies.

Not convinced? Let’s explore.

Nick Nelson

Will Twitter Succeed in Defeating Trolls? The Stakes for Marketers

Nick Nelson on Aug 20th, 2018     Social Media, Twitter

“I’m addicted to you, don’t you know that you’re toxic?”

I can guarantee this will be the first and last time I ever open a blog post with lyrics from Britney Spears, but the pop star’s 2003 tribute to perilous romance seems to perfectly encapsulate my relationship with Twitter — and I know I’m not alone.

via GIPHY

I love Twitter. It’s easily my favorite social network. I’ve been active on it for almost a decade, and during that time I’ve had countless enlightening conversations (mostly about baseball and marketing), become friends with people I never would’ve encountered otherwise, and wasted more time than I’d like to admit scrolling mindlessly through my feed.

Nick Nelson

Design for Dummies: 5 Tips to Liven Up Your Written Marketing Content

Nick Nelson on Aug 6th, 2018     Content Marketing, Visual Marketing

Marketing Design Tips for Non-Designers

I’m not a designer. I’m not artsy. I didn’t even stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

I’m a writer to the core. But, as much I love words, I recognize that they don’t jump off the screen and grab people’s attention. Let’s face it: even the most beautiful prose is pretty ugly, from an aesthetic standpoint. You’re not going to find a framed portrait of blocky text hanging at the Guggenheim anytime soon.

As a marketer who is admittedly lacking in design skills, I’ve done an awful lot of reading on the subject, and I do my best to soak up knowledge and advice from the awesome group of visual wizards here in the TopRank Marketing design department.