Nick Nelson

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     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     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     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     Social Media

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

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

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

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: