Ashley Zeckman

So Long, San Diego! Top Takeaways From #SMMW19

Have you ever experienced the post-party blues?

You know that feeling you have when the party has died down and everyone has gone home? The good news is, for years you’ll be left with the great memories of the things you learned and time you spent together (even if it was brief) long after the party ends.

While I was sad to leave sunny San Diego and the amazing marketers that I got to see and meet at Social Media Marketing World last week, I’m happy to have walked away with some incredible insights and deeper connections.

For those of you who were watching from afar (or attended but weren’t able to catch every session), I’ve included some top insights from the conference below. So, strap on your marketing (party) hat and join the festivities!

Ashley Zeckman

Dear Friend: Secrets to Creating a Newsletter People Want to Read From Ann Handley

Do me a favor. Go and check your work email inbox.

Then, look to see how many newsletters from individuals or brands you’ve received in the past week (for me it was around 20). After you have that number, look to see how many of those newsletters you’ve actually opened (for me it was 3). Lastly, think about how many of those newsletters you engaged with in some way (replied, shared, etc.), or which ones contained memorable content that you’ve added to your memory bank (for me it was 0).

Yikes! Can you imagine the manpower and dollars that likely went into developing and distributing those email newsletters that are just sitting in your inbox gathering dust? And worse yet, are your subscribers feeling the same way that you do, but about the content that you’re sending out?

Ashley Zeckman

Attribution Analysis: How Marketers Can Stay on the Cutting Edge & Prove Impact

With the amount of data available today, you’d think that marketers would be confident in reporting the impact of their efforts. Unfortunately, a recent study from The CMO Survey found that the #1 C-suite communication challenge for marketers is STILL demonstrating the impact of their work on financial outcomes.

Part of the reason for this struggle is that while data is readily available, we aren’t tracking the right metrics, and may even struggle to understand how to set up proper tracking to access the information we need. And as we know, poor tracking leads to poor performance which leads to unhappy leadership teams.

In his presentation at Social Media Marketing World last week, Chris Penn took a deep dive into a framework for collecting high-quality data and the different options available for properly attributing the results of your marketing efforts.

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:

Anne Leuman

Chris Brogan’s Guide to Building a Fast Blogging Framework

Chris Brogan at Social Media Marketing World 2019

Blogging is a part of our origin story here at TopRank Marketing. In fact, we just celebrated the TopRank Marketing Blog’s 15th birthday this past December. But despite our blogging longevity, we’re always refining and optimizing, too.

That’s why I attended Chris Brogan’s session on creating a fast blogging framework at Social Media Marketing World 2019. While there, I learned this bestselling author’s approach to writing blog content (and had a few laughs along the way).

Be Fast

The key to Chris’ framework? The word “fast.”

Being fast matters to Chris, informing the audience that “the average human only read 19 minutes a day. That includes texts, emails, and BuzzFeed articles. They’re not going to read your 2,000-word missive.”

Anne Leuman

Dropping Digital Distractions With Brian Solis

Brian Solis at Social Media Marketing World 2019

Photos. Texts. Emails. Video. Digital is a pivotal part of our daily lives.

So what if we stopped using it?

Brian Solis, the author of Lifescale: How to live a more creative, productive and happy life, wants us to think hard about our digital distractions and drop them from our habitual behavior. As digital marketers, this notion sounds antithetical to our mission. But Brian promises that disconnecting is beneficial to marketers as well.

Below, I share Brian’s thoughts on digital distraction and business from his session at Social Media Marketing World 2019.

Focus Is Elusive

“My ability to be creative, to dive deep, to focus, to give myself time away from my device, was not only difficult but impossible,” Brian said.

Anne Leuman

Why Marketers Need to Care About Blockchain With Joel Comm and Travis Wright

Everyone has that one family member that invested in Bitcoin (or another cryptocurrency) – without knowing anything about it.

For my family, that person was my brother.

Before he invested in Bitcoin, he probably should have come with me to Joel Comm and Travis Wright’s Social Media Marketing World session on blockchain and cryptocurrency. That way he would understand the real value and potential of this new technology, instead of just blindly jumping on a hot investment trend.

One thing’s for sure after hearing from Joel and Travis – blockchain and cryptocurrency will revolutionize much of the world today, including marketing. Read on to learn why that is.

The World Is Ripe for Disruption

“Everything changes, nothing stays the same,” Joel said, using examples of disruption to prove his statement.

Ashley Zeckman

Robert Rose Shares How to Add Purpose & Focus Back Into Your Content Strategy at SMMW

Over the past few decades, we’ve seen the rise, fall, and rebirth of content marketing. The launch of the internet changed the value of content and at first, companies saw a lot of early success. But then, the web was flooded with a high quantity of low-value content as content creation had become much easier to execute.

What many brands were missing was a true content strategy that had a purpose, focus, and aligned tightly with business goals.

In his session at Social Media Marketing World, Robert Rose helped the audience face the hard facts about why many of today’s content marketing strategies simply aren’t working and what can be done to flip the script on bad content marketing.

Anne Leuman

Augmented Reality: How to Leverage AR in Marketing With Cathy Hackl

What do you think of when you think of augmented reality?

If you’re anything like me, you first thought of Snapchat filters, Pokemon Go, or the useful measuring tape app you have on your phone.

Augmented reality (AR) and applying it to marketing campaigns is still a little bit of a mystery. It’s not as popular as other tactics, but it’s attractive because it creates more immersive experiences for customers. As a marketer, it’s something I need to learn a bit more about.

Because of this, Cathy Hackl’s session at Social Media Marketing World 2019 immediately caught my eye. As an AR technology thought leader and futurist, Cathy was able to give insight into how marketers can weave augmented reality into the marketing mix. Below, I share the top takeaways from her session.

Anne Leuman

Social Media Marketing World 2019: What to Do & Who to See

Social Media Marketing World 2019

The average person has 5.54 social media accounts and spends an average of 116 minutes on social media each day. But social media is changing – especially for marketers.

From data and privacy concerns to new product launches like live video and 3D photos, the social media marketing landscape is in constant flux. And you need to quickly adopt and adapt if you want to effectively raise brand awareness and engage audiences over social.

That’s why you can find us at Social Media Marketing World in San Diego this week. We’re excited to hear where the social media industry is headed, how they’ll adapt to potential data regulations, and expert advice on how to account for these changes in our social media marketing strategies.

Ashley Zeckman

Lee Odden Demystifies the Confluence Equation to Help Marketers Get Better Results

Influencer marketing is not a new concept. Public relations professionals, journalists and forward-thinking marketers have been executing some form of influencer marketing for decades.

While that may be the case, times have changed.

The expectation for influencer content marketing has evolved, which means consumers have higher expectations and the influencers themselves are more particular about who they partner with. However, our Influence 2.0 report with Altimeter Group and Traackr found that 57% of marketers say influencer marketing will be integrated in all marketing activities in the next 3 years.

Last week at Social Media Marketing World, TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden took the stage to help marketers transition influencer marketing from something they’d like to do, to something they can execute strategically.

Ashley Zeckman

7 Down & Dirty Ways Brands Can Collaborate with Fans to Create Amazing Content #SMMW18

“So much time and so little content to create.” – Said no one ever

Let’s face it marketers, creating a quantity of quality content isn’t easy. Even more so, creating a quantity of quality content that your audience cares about is even more difficult.

So, when you don’t have an unlimited budget or execution resources, what can you do?

One way to create more impactful content, is to encourage and support the creation of user generated content (UGC).

But does it really work? According to TapInfluence, 92% of consumers turn to people they know for referrals above any other source. Additionally, 88% of consumers trust online reviews written by other consumers as much as they trust recommendations from their personal contacts.