Nick Nelson

Nick Nelson

The Community Imperative: Engaging in Conversations Rather Than Disseminating Information

Nick Nelson     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

Building Online Communities in B2B

What does effective marketing engagement look like?

In the common model we see today, it’s something like this: Brands push out relevant messaging, hoping to compel a response or interaction that leads to a conversation (and maybe ultimately a conversion). This can be anything from a comment on a social media post to a chat window initiation.

Nothing wrong with that. These back-and-forths between brands and individuals are important ingredients toward building trust and loyalty. The problem is that, as a sole method for driving engagement, the cast-and-wait approach is too dependent on explicit triggers to spark these interactions.  

Devising and creating content that drives targeted engagement is hard work. It’s worthwhile, but hard, and sometimes even well conceived plans miss the mark. What if you were able to develop a self-driven engagement engine, which fostered strategic conversations built awareness among your most valuable customers and prospects?

Nick Nelson

Trust Factors: The (In)Credible Impact of B2B Influencer Marketing

Nick Nelson     B2B Marketing, Influencer Marketing

How Influencer Marketing Can Help B2B Brands Build Trust

Trust is a currency. It’s arguably the most valuable currency in today’s B2B marketing environment. And much like real money, it needs to be earned; the risks of attempting to counterfeit trust are grave.

In the first installment of our Trust Factor series, we discussed how creating best-answer content serves a long-term trust-building strategy. Today we’ll examine the ways in which partnering with influencers can provide a dramatic boost to your brand’s credibility and authority in the eyes of your audience. We’ll also share some examples of companies that are already doing this effectively, and the lessons we can draw from them.

There are no shortcuts when it comes to developing genuine trust with your customers. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take the shortest possible path, so long as you know where you’re going. Walking this road with the right influencers at your side can expedite the journey.

Nick Nelson

Less Is More: Time to Cut Content Bloat & Create Content Connections

Nick Nelson     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

When it comes to the craft of writing, my favorite luminary is the late William Zinsser. His book, On Writing Well, is — in my opinion — the definitive work covering its stated subject.

On Writing Well is an essential read for anyone who wants to elevate their prose. Zinsser’s primary focal area is word economy. “Look for the clutter in your writing and prune it ruthlessly,” he implores. “Be grateful for everything you can throw away. Reexamine each sentence you put on paper. Is every word doing new work?”

That last question is especially pertinent to B2B marketing writers. The reader should always be our top concern when penning copy, but in this case, the stakes are even higher. Attention is at a premium with business professionals, so wasted words are especially costly. Content bloat leads to audience abandonment.

Nick Nelson

The Impact of Twitter’s Proposed Shakeup on Marketers and Influencers

Nick Nelson     B2B Marketing, Social Media, Twitter

The Potential Impact of Twitter's Proposed Changes

Twitter needs to change. This truth is acknowledged by everyone affiliated with the social media network, including its co-founder and CEO.

Jack Dorsey sat with Chris Anderson and Whitney Pennington Rodgers of TED last month for a roundtable discussion about the state of his company, and the path ahead. Specifically, their chat centered on Twitter’s conversation health, and how to improve it.

During the talk, Dorsey laid out some interesting ideas. Today we’ll touch on several of them — including one proposed shift that could fundamentally alter the platform’s very fabric — with an eye on the potential impact for B2B marketers and influencers.

Nick Nelson

Top Takeaways from LinkedIn’s New ‘Enlightened Tech Buyer’ Report

Nick Nelson     B2B Marketing, LinkedIn

Key Takewaways from LinkedIn's Enlightened Tech Buyer Report

Technology is one of the fastest-growing B2B sectors, for reasons that are self-evident. As new solutions and innovations continue to enhance the way businesses operate across every industry, every key department has increasing tech needs and buying power these days.

The folks at LinkedIn* recently released a 2019 global report, The Enlightened Tech Buyer: Powering Customer Decisions from Acquisition to Renewal, and it merits attention from marketers of all stripes. As the “enlightened” descriptor implies, tech buyers (for reasons that are also self-evident) tend to be ahead of the curve when it comes to research, consumption, and purchase behaviors.

Today we’ll take a deeper look at LinkedIn’s new data around this trendsetting cohort, breaking down five key revelations within.

Nick Nelson

Trust Factors: How Best Answer Content Fuels Brand Credibility

Nick Nelson     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     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     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     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     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     B2B Marketing, Search Marketing, SEO

level up your b2b seo strategy 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     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.