Online Marketing

Online marketing encompasses a broad range of strategies and tactics, but the overall goal remains the same, attracting new business, engaging with customers and converting more leads to sales. With nearly three billion Internet users, online marketing is the key to attracting new eyes, spreading brand awareness and growing your business online.

 

Named a top Marketing Blog by Advertising Age, the experts at TopRank Marketing are here to teach you how to become an online marketing master!

 

Browse our online marketing news and articles to find, tips, guidelines, and current best practices.

 

Joshua Nite

How to Refocus on Your Audience for Better Content Marketing Results

Joshua Nite on Jul 16th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing, Online Marketing

Clearly focused eyeglasses on a blurry background image.

Is your content audience-centric?

“Of course it is!” Says the hypothetical person I just made up. “We do intensive research for all our content. We look at questions our audience is asking, we hit up SEMrush and BuzzSumo…our content is all about our audience!”

Marvel's Thor sarcastically asks "But is it, though?"

Here’s the big question:

Beyond learning about your brand, which will enrich their lives in many exciting ways, what is your consumer getting out of your content? 

Creating or deepening a brand relationship can’t be the only reason your content exists. Raising brand awareness can’t be the only reason your content exists. That’s not audience-centric content. People will quickly realize that and move on.

Most marketers want to offer a genuine value exchange to our consumers. We’re not shriveled-hearted gargoyles trying to trick people into paying attention to us. 

Caitlin Burgess

Sowing the Seeds of Success: 3 Elements of Strong B2B Influencer Relationships

Caitlin Burgess on May 28th, 2019     Online Marketing

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Effective B2B influencer marketing is rooted in building lasting relationships.

The premise is simple: When brands invest time, effort, care, and money (when it makes sense) to cultivate partnerships rather than one-time or “on-my-terms” engagements, industry influencers and experts are far more apt to do the same. Oh, and the outcomes of influencer/brand engagements (i.e. reach, engagement, thought leadership, increased share of voice, etc.) are more fruitful for all parties, too.

But as we’ve also said before, building the right relationships is critical—and time consuming.

The right relationships aren’t sowed solely based on social network size nor are they grown without proving mutual value. In fact, there are several must-have characteristics of influencer/brand relationships. What are they? Let’s discuss three of them and hear what a few seasoned experts have to say on the subject.

Caitlin Burgess

How to Intertwine Online & Offline Tactics to Cultivate B2B Influencer Relationships

Caitlin Burgess on May 22nd, 2019     B2B Marketing, Influencer Marketing, Online Marketing

Effective B2B influencer marketing is rooted in brands developing and nurturing relationships—relationships with individuals who have the relevant topical expertise, reach, and resonance to align with the goals of the brand.

Of course, those relationships are often cultivated in the digital realm via social media, email, and audio or video conferencing. And that’s OK. We’ve all gone digital.

But there’s simply no replacement for face-to-face communication—and B2B marketers may have more chances than they know to proactively facilitate interactions or take advantage of in-person opportunities as they arise.

It’s time to bridge the digital divide. How? When? Where? Let’s dive in.

Joshua Nite

How to Promote Your B2B Podcast

Joshua Nite on May 8th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing, Online Marketing

How to Promote Your B2B Podcast

Over 1/4th of the entire population of the United States listens to podcasts at least monthly. That’s over 81 million people. What’s more, the most avid listeners log six and a half hours a week of listening time. Eighty percent finish every episode in its entirety.

There’s enormous potential here for engaging an audience. Think about how long someone might stick with a 1,000 word blog post (like this one). Five minutes? Ten? But they might listen to a 25-30 minute podcast on the same topic.

Podcasting holds a lot of promise for marketers, especially in the B2B space. Our agency has helped multiple B2B Fortune 500 companies produce and find an audience for their podcasts. It takes strategy and coordination, but the barrier to entry is relatively low. Of course, “making” the podcast is the easy part. As with any content, the challenge is successfully getting it to your target audience.

Lane Ellis

LinkedIn’s List of 24 B2B Marketers You Need to Know

LinkedIn’s 24 B2B Marketers You Need to Know

In honor of it’s fifth anniversary, LinkedIn has released a revamped edition of The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to LinkedIn. The eBook features a powerful array of digital marketing smarties, each who shared their insights and practical advice on how to get the most out of LinkedIn—from optimizing your profile to expanding your network.  The TopRank Marketing team was privileged to work with LinkedIn team to identify, engage, and gather fresh insights from these brightest marketing minds.

If you’re anywhere near the B2B marketing world, social selling or recruiting, getting to know LinkedIn is more essential today than ever. Why? Check out these statistics:

  • With over 610 million members in over 200 countries and territories, more than 1 out of every 3 professionals worldwide is on LinkedIn.
Ashley Zeckman

5 Essential Questions to Guide Your B2B Influencer Marketing Strategy

Greetings friend! If you’re here, I assume it’s for one of three reasons:

  • You’re interested in the concept of influencer marketing and want to identify if it’s a fit for your B2B brand.
  • You’re dabbling in influencer marketing and are looking for ways to formalize your strategy.
  • You fell down some crazy internet rabbit hole and you aren’t quite sure how you got here.

Regardless of the reason, I’m happy you’re here.

Today, we’re going to dig into five essential questions that many B2B marketers are asking themselves about influencer marketing—everything from what it actually is (very important) to how to gain leadership buy-in and show value.

So dig in, enjoy the ride and be sure to add any of your own questions in the comments!

Anne Leuman

How to Use Customer Service as a Marketing Opportunity With Shep Hyken

“Fine is the F-bomb of customer service.” @hyken Click To Tweet

What an opening.

The customer experience is all the rage right now. We’ve all heard the statistic that it is expected to surpass price and product as the No. 1 brand differentiator by 2020.

But what if we told you that you’re overlooking one of the most important parts of the customer experience?

While you’ve been focusing on your website’s UX or email nurture campaign, you’ve forgotten about your customer service and the impression that leaves on your customer relationships. As the master of customer service and experience, Shep Hyken had some advice on customer service management to share at last week’s Social Media Marketing World. Hear what he had to say below:

Joshua Nite

B2B Brands Go Bold: 7 Great Examples of Interactive B2B Content

Joshua Nite     B2B Marketing, Online Marketing

B2B Interactive Content Examples

If you’re not convinced that interactive content in the B2B space can work: Well, first check out these interactive content stats.

If you’re still on the fence, here’s an object lesson from a master of audience engagement:

Freddie plays that 100,000-person crowd like an instrument. You can feel the energy, even through a tiny YouTube window.

When you invite your audience to be part of the show, the results can be magical.

Now, odds are your brand can’t match the raw charisma of Freddie Mercury in tight jeans. But you can still get your audience cheering with interactive B2B content.

Here are a few great examples to light your creative fires and open your B2B minds to the possibilities of interactive.

Lane Ellis

10 Free Online Courses to Optimize Your Marketing Skills

Lane Ellis     Online Marketing

Silhouettes of men and women on colorful background.

No matter how much you already know, in today’s fast-paced marketing world there’s always plenty more to learn.

Today more than ever options for learning new marketing skills abound, and the sheer number of choices can sometimes be overwhelming.

Online courses can be an excellent way to advance your career through learning, and offer a go-at-your-own-pace cadence along with the ability to fit in as much or as little instruction as you wish, whenever and wherever you want.

With more than 70% of companies seeing online learning as essential to long-term strategy (Digital Marketing Institute), it’s no wonder that online courses are flourishing.

We’ve picked out 10 organizations offering online courses for optimizing your marketing skills, and best of all, each one is either completely free or offers free trials that allow you to try out content before you make a commitment.

Joshua Nite

How Marketers Can Improve the Customer Experience (And Why They Should Want To)

Joshua Nite     Online Marketing

How Marketers Can Improve the Customer Experience

Recent research from Gartner shows that 89% of companies compete primarily on customer experience. The way your brand makes customers feel can mean the difference between advocating for the brand or going with a competitor.

So, who owns customer experience?

It’s not just the customer service team or the Chief Experience Officer or any other dedicated department. Every touch point with a customer or potential customer is an opportunity to enhance the experience. It’s everyone’s responsibility.

As customer experience futurist, keynote speaker, and author Blake Morgan puts it:

“Today, companies are thinking about customer experience in everything they do, from hiring and leadership development to marketing, supply chain, logistics, IT infrastructure, product design and continuous improvement for the entire business.”

Joshua Nite

The Next Level of Influence: 30 Essential Influencer Marketing Statistics

Joshua Nite     Online Marketing

30 Essential Influencer Marketing Statistics

Pop Quiz: When influencer marketing is done right, who wins?

a) Your brand
b) The influencers
c) Your audience
d) All of the above

In case you missed the last few classes, the answer is D. In the ideal influencer marketing engagement, your brand gets a boost in credibility, authority, and exposure to a new audience. The influencer gets a cool content asset to promote, association with other thought leaders, and is able to grow their influence in their niche. And the audience gets awesome content neither the influencer nor the brand could have produced on their own.

Getting to that “everyone wins” stage requires strategic planning and execution, though. You can’t just throw money at someone with a big Instagram following and expect results.

Alexis Hall

Webinars That Wow: 5 Tips for Create Engaging Webinars #MPB2B

Creating Engaging Webinar Experiences

Think about it. Do you enjoy being marketed to?

As marketers, we love our jobs; we love marketing. But like anyone else, it’s safe to say that we don’t enjoy receiving cold pitch emails, or downloading gated white papers, or spotting that “Request a Demo” ad for the 10th time.

As Mark Bornstein, Vice President of Content Marketing at ON24, said during his Keys to Engagement Driven Webinars session at MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum 2018, we’ve a reached a tipping point.

While the channels have changed, marketers are still very much relying on passive tactics that simply don’t engage. Modern audiences want to learn, but they also want to be inspired. And our professional expectations are very much evolving alongside our personal lives. With the Netflix model, we can choose to consume the content we want, when we want to.