Nick Nelson

Nick Nelson

A Journey Through Always-On Influencer Marketing with Ashley Zeckman #MPB2B

Nick Nelson on Oct 16th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Influencer Marketing, MarketingProfs B2B Forum

Ashley Zeckman Presenting at MPB2B 2019

What is that makes Alice in Wonderland so powerful and resonant? It’s a tale that’s been retold – through books, movies, TV, video games, and various other content formats – time and time again. Terms like “down the rabbit hole” and “through the looking glass” are now fixtures in our collective lexicon. Almost everyone is familiar with Lewis Carroll’s whimsical world of fantasy.

Why?

There are many reasonable answers, but for me, it comes down to the characters. From Alice to the Mad Hatter to the Cheshire Cat to Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, the denizens of Wonderland are deeply memorable, and – in their own ways – relatable. As humans, we connect with people on a level that transcends things or places. 

Nick Nelson

12 Must-See Sessions at MarketingProfs B2B Forum #MPB2B

Nick Nelson on Oct 10th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Marketing PR Conferences, MarketingProfs B2B Forum

MarketingProfs operates on the belief that learning changes lives. And from that perspective, it might be fair to suggest next week’s B2B Forum will be a life-changing experience for those in attendance, because there is a whole lot of learning in store.

Dubbed by MarketingProfs as the “most let’s get down to business but not take ourselves too seriously while doing it marketing conference on the planet,” B2B Forum brings together many of the brightest minds in the industry around a singular focus: improving. The well-rounded agenda on tap will run the gamut of vital topics in the modern B2B marketing environment, offering opportunities to improve by learning from foremost experts and leaders in the field.

These 12 sessions, in particular, stand out to us as must-see attractions amidst a schedule brimming with brilliant business minds. 

Nick Nelson

Content Marketing Lessons from Music Icon Lizzo

Nick Nelson on Oct 7th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

Content Marketing Lessons from Lizzo

Here in Minnesota, home of TopRank Marketing and birthplace of yours truly, we tend to take great (excessive?) pride in famous figures who carry the “one of us” label. When you encounter a Minnesotan in the wild, you’re very likely to overhear some level of boasting about Prince, or Bob Dylan, or F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Why is this? Maybe it’s driven by an inferiority complex, stemming from our reputation as “flyover country.” Or maybe it’s just a natural extension of the “Minnesota nice” disposition. Whatever the case, we love to brag about our locally-sourced successes, and lately, that means showing lots of love for Lizzo.

Nick Nelson

Return to Sender: Email Marketing Is NOT Dead, But It Needs Rejuvenation

Nick Nelson on Oct 1st, 2019     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing, Email Marketing

Email Marketing Is Not Dead

Oh, look. Another death of email marketing headline. All too often, we see posts that lead with this provocative clickbait proclamation, while keeping the contradicting nuances under the surface.

Ironically, this kind of practice is exactly WHY email marketing has seen its reputation tarnished. The focus has shifted too far toward style at the expense of substance. Marketers became so singularly obsessed with compelling opens and clicks, through irresistible subject lines and poppy CTAs, that many of us lost touch with the core value of this digital channel: direct, one-on-one engagement.

I’m here to tell you that this value still exists, and might be more essential today than ever, in spite of (maybe even because of) the waters becoming so muddied. Recipients will welcome a little freshness and clarity in their inbox, from those brands and influencers that are willing to buck the trend.

Nick Nelson

What’s Missing In Your B2B Marketing Strategy? 5 Key Elements You Don’t Want to Overlook

Nick Nelson on Sep 23rd, 2019     B2B Marketing

A car engine without a water pump. A baseball team without a shortstop. A guitar without a D string.

All it takes is one missing piece to prevent something from working as it should. Your B2B marketing strategy might excel in certain areas, but a single overlooked element can cause results to stall out. 

I’m not talking about tactics here, because those can vary on a case-by-case basis. But there are specific considerations and focal points that ought to exist in pretty much every marketing strategy, and if we fail to account for them we are doing ourselves a disservice.

This isn’t a matter of covering bases or checking boxes. This is about thinking through your marketing approach holistically to set it up for sustainable growth. If any of the following aspects are amiss for your team at a strategic level, I highly recommend addressing them.

Nick Nelson

Trust Factors: Why Your Brand Should Take a Stand with Its Marketing Strategy

Nick Nelson on Sep 16th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Digital Marketing

Earlier this year, Salesforce made waves by announcing a policy that compelled retailers to either stop selling military-style rifles and certain accessories, or stop using its popular e-commerce software. 

For a massive brand like this to take such an emphatic stand on a divisive social issue would’ve been unthinkable not so long ago. But in today’s world at large, and consequently in the business and marketing environments, it’s becoming more common. This owes to a variety of factors, ranging from generational changes among consumers to a growing need to differentiate. 

But, like so many other trends and strategies we see emerging in digital marketing, I think it mostly comes back to one overarching thing: the trust factor.

Nick Nelson

Ghosted: What’s a Content Marketer to Do When Your Audience Goes Silent?

Nick Nelson on Sep 4th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

How Content Marketers Can Deal with Audience Abandonment

The all-encompassing digital takeover has completely changed the way we communicate and interact as people. Naturally, in our professional realm we tend to tie this back to marketing, but the reality applies to just about every aspect of human relations. 

This includes dating and courtship, of course. The terms of engagement (so to speak) have transformed wildly. Whereas romance still can and does sprout through chance meetings, or encounters at the bar, or mutual college friend circles, it’s increasingly common for these fated connections to take place through online matchmaking sites and dating apps. (I would know — I’m marrying an amazing gal this weekend who I originally met on such an app!)

Nick Nelson

Wow Your Crowd: The Recipe for Creating Exceptional Content Experiences

Expert Tips for Creating Memorable Experiences Through Content Marketing

Have you been to a stadium concert lately? The big ones touring the country tend to pull out all the stops. It’s not just a singer on stage — they are usually supported by a giant jumbotron as backdrop providing flashy visuals, along with fog machines, laser lights, platforms rising out of the ground, special guest cameos… the works. 

Why is this? Because the bar has been raised. When fans plunk down the big bucks for tickets to see Drake or Carrie Underwood or The Rolling Stones, they expect more than seeing their favorite artists performing on stage. They expect an unforgettable experience that stirs all the senses.

via GIPHY

Nick Nelson

Content Marketing Interview: Annie Granatstein on Creating Emotionally Engaging Content Experiences #CMWorld

Nick Nelson on Aug 26th, 2019     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World, Interviews

Interview with Annie Granasteing of The Washington Post

We are all products of our environments, and the experiences we carry are invariably influential to the way we approach and think about our jobs. 

Recently we shared an interview with Margaret Magnarelli, who spent nearly a decade as a magazine editor before moving into a content marketing leadership role. With her background in journalism, she offers important perspective for marketers everywhere.

The same is true for Annie Granatstein, who lives at the center of the convergence between investigative journalism and brand marketing. Annie runs The Washington Post’s BrandStudio unit, which takes The Post’s award-winning proclivity for immersive digital storytelling and leverages it on behalf of brands and advertisers.

Nick Nelson

Wow Your Crowd: How Influencers and Media Integrations Can Add Pizzazz to Your Content Act

Nick Nelson on Aug 22nd, 2019     Content Marketing

3 Pointers for Adding Pizzazz to Your Content Marketing Act

Some performers take the stage all by themselves, with no props or partners to lend support, and capture their audience with a riveting solo act. Hilarious standup comedy routines and enlightening TED Talks exemplify this ability in action. 

As a content marketer, there are occasions where a well written piece will take off on its own, with no help required beyond a powerful message presented clearly. But more often, spicing things up with added elements of interactivity or visual pizzazz provides a necessary added boost in today’s busy digital environment. And incorporating the right strategic partners is a reliable way to increase your program’s reach and impact.

Nick Nelson

Content Marketing Interview: Margaret Magnarelli on Applying Journalistic Integrity to Content Strategy #CMWorld

Nick Nelson on Aug 20th, 2019     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World

Margaret Magnarelli Interview

Content marketers come from all sorts of different backgrounds, with each bringing its own distinct and valuable perspective. Recently we shared our chat with Andrew Davis, whose history in television inspires him to think like a TV executive when strategizing his content. Today we’re highlighting the insights of Margaret Magnarelli, whose ingrained journalistic mindset fuels a commitment to putting her audience — and their trust — above all else. 

Prior to joining Morgan Stanley as Executive Director for Audience Acquisition and Growth Marketing, Margaret served as Vice President of Marketing for Monster, and before that she spent nearly a decade on the editorial staff at Money Magazine, rising from Senior Editor to Assistant Managing Editor to Executive Editor.

Nick Nelson

The 10 Commandments of Modern B2B Marketing – Dave Gerhardt, Drift #B2BSMX

Nick Nelson on Aug 14th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Marketing PR Conferences

Drift is widely regarded as a pioneer in modern marketing, and their Vice President of Marketing Dave Gerhardt has been instrumental in establishing this reputation. 

Taking on his first role as a marketing leader, he helped grow the chatbot platform from a startup with no market recognition to a $10 million company in less than two years. He also co-authored the book Conversational Marketing along with Drift’s founder David Cancel

While his company has experienced powerful growth and attained status as a leading innovator, the journey hasn’t always been smooth and seamless. Dave says there are a number of things he wishes he would’ve known before getting started, and he shared them on Tuesday at B2B Sales and Marketing Exchange in Boston, dubbing them his “10 Commandments for Modern Marketing” (with a stated emphasis on the word modern).