Nick Nelson

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.

Nick Nelson

The Future of Connection on Facebook: How Stories May Change the Marketing Game

Nick Nelson on Jul 18th, 2018     Facebook, Social Media

How Facebook Stories Will Change Social Media Marketing

“You have part of my attention – you have the minimum amount.”

This scathing remark, delivered by actor Jesse Eisenberg while portraying Mark Zuckerberg amidst a heated deposition in the 2010 film The Social Network, has a certain pertinence today with regards to the company Zuckerberg founded back in 2004.

As Facebook’s news feed algorithm becomes increasingly restricting for brands and publishers, many of us are finding it difficult to capture even the minimum amount of our audience’s attention on the platform.

The search for elusive reach on the world’s largest social media channel has led some marketers to explore Facebook Groups as a way to stay visible with users. But it appears the more critical frontier may be Facebook Stories, a feature that is rapidly on the rise and — according to the company’s own top execs — represents the future of connection on Facebook.

Nick Nelson

The Power of Social Media Polls: The Drill-Down on 3 Platforms + 5 General Best Practices

Nick Nelson on Jul 9th, 2018     Social Media

The Power of Social Media Polls for Marketing

Let’s take a trip down memory lane, all the way back to 2007.

The world was a different place. Rihanna’s “Umbrella” (ella, ella) dominated the Billboard Charts. Scorsese’s masterpiece The Departed won Best Picture. Facebook was only a year removed from opening its membership to the general public, and Twitter was a fledgling startup, still looking to gain traction.

But even then, online polls were already emerging as an intriguing tool for digital marketers. On this blog, TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden penned a post about the relatively nascent tactic, which could be utilized through a modest WordPress plugin.

“If you want to know what your users are thinking,” Lee wrote. “Just ask them.”

Nick Nelson

Becoming a Better Marketer by Embracing Your Passions Outside the Office

Nick Nelson on Jul 4th, 2018     B2B Marketing, B2C Marketing, Digital Marketing

How Our After-Hours Passions Elevate Us as Marketers

In the first post I ever wrote for the TopRank Marketing Blog, I reflected on the marketing lessons I’d picked up through my baseball blogging hobby. Helping build an online community at Twins Daily has instilled many important fundamentals that, I feel, make me better at my day job.

I’m always fascinated by this interplay. We spend so much of our time each week alongside our coworkers, but are often unaware of the interests and side hustles that drive them outside of the office. Those very passions can be such integral parts of who we are and how we operate.

More recently, this has been a topic of focus for our friends at LinkedIn*. In April, Jason Miller wrote a piece about following your dreams while staying committed to your career, and in June, Sean Callahan profiled a LinkedIn marketer who moonlights as a DJ.