Nick Nelson

Design for Dummies: 5 Tips to Liven Up Your Written Marketing Content

Nick Nelson on Aug 6th, 2018     Content Marketing, Visual Marketing

Marketing Design Tips for Non-Designers

I’m not a designer. I’m not artsy. I didn’t even stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

I’m a writer to the core. But, as much I love words, I recognize that they don’t jump off the screen and grab people’s attention. Let’s face it: even the most beautiful prose is pretty ugly, from an aesthetic standpoint. You’re not going to find a framed portrait of blocky text hanging at the Guggenheim anytime soon.

As a marketer who is admittedly lacking in design skills, I’ve done an awful lot of reading on the subject, and I do my best to soak up knowledge and advice from the awesome group of visual wizards here in the TopRank Marketing design department.

Anne Leuman

Camera Shy: 7 Tips for First-Time Video Marketers

Video Marketing Tips for First-Timers

Video isn’t for the faint of heart. You need to feel confident enough to put yourself, and your brand, out there. But it’s a medium that a lot of marketers are exploring as it holds a lot of potential.

In fact, Cisco’s Visual Networking Index predicts that 82% of all internet traffic will be video by 2021. Video is a main source of content consumption, including everything from the news to YouTube tutorials. And as marketers looking to demonstrate thought leadership and credibility, video presents a unique opportunity to get in front of and educate your target audience. However, 64% of marketers agree that video is the hardest type of content to produce, turning many people away from embracing video.  

Joshua Nite

How to Get Started with Video Content Marketing (Without a Blockbuster Budget)

Joshua Nite     Content Marketing, Visual Marketing

Back in my day, all online content was text-based. If you had two animated .GIFs on a website, you had to wait 30 seconds for the site to load. Four .jpgs on a site would crash your browser. We were grateful when posts were just words! We didn’t whine about “visual stimulation” or “content variety” back then, let me tell you.

Of course, we also dressed like this:

So maybe we didn’t get everything right. For better or for worse, the early days of the Internet are long gone, and modern consumers want video content. Over half of all people online watch videos daily. And they’re not just watching cat videos and Jimmy Fallon clips: 59% of executives say if text and video are available on the same topic, they prefer the video. And 54% of senior executives share work-related videos with colleagues weekly.

Joshua Nite

10 Infographics to Guide Your Content Marketing Strategy

Your brain can identify and retain details of an image in 13 milliseconds. That’s less than a 20th of the time it takes to blink your eyes. So it’s no surprise that visual content is on the rise as attention spans shrink. If you could choose between a consumer spending 20 seconds with a wall of text or 20 seconds with an image, it makes sense to go with the latter.

In other words, people like looking at stuff. As such, infographics are rapidly becoming an essential component of a solid content marketing strategy. Free tools like Canva and Pixlr make it easier than ever to turn your data into compelling visual content.

Joshua Nite

7 Interactive Content Tools to Delight Your Audience

Joshua Nite     Content Marketing, Visual Marketing

Your audience is reading your content on a device that is capable of wonders. Whether they’re using a smartphone, tablet, or laptop, it can do much more than display text. What’s more, they’re connected to the internet, with limitless potential for communication and conversation.

In this context, interactive content makes a whole lot of sense. Why serve up nothing but plain text if, with just a little more effort, you can offer engaging experiences?

Interactive content might seem gimmicky, especially to B2B marketers. And I’ll be the first to admit: It is gimmicky. It’s absolutely designed to grab attention. But if your content provides value—if it’s worth paying attention to—interactive elements can help you bring in an audience. Interactivity isn’t a substitute for quality, just a supplement.

Caitlin Burgess

Life After Vine: 5 Tips to Help Brands Move on With Video

life-after-vine

Vine, the social media app known for 6-second video loops, is shutting down. Twitter announced its decision to discontinue the video service in a press release last week.

According to Marketing Land, Vine debuted in 2013 when mobile video wasn’t really a thing. But the rise of Snapchat, and the addition of live video capabilities on Facebook and Instagram, has drawn Vine’s top stars, audiences and advertising dollars away from Vine. In addition, rolled out its own native video platform in January 2015, serving as yet another Vine rival, the publication noted.

For some, the loss of Vine seems to be part of the natural evolutionary cycle of the digital world. But others are saddened and even angry at the loss of the platform. Shortly after the announcement, in a The Verge article by Casey Newton, one of Vine’s co-founder Dom Hofmann reportedly said:

Joel Carlson

Social Media Images Part 1: Sizes, Best Practices and Tools

images-social-media

When battling other businesses for your customers attention on social media, you have to stand out in order to get noticed. That can mean being disruptive, going against standard marketing practices, or doing something unique that draws the attention of your customers away from the “noise” of social media. One way to accomplish that goal is to harness the power and creativity of images.

Images can make a big impact on getting noticed in a customer’s social media feed. Research has found that 90% of the information that the brain processes is visual, and the brain processes images 60,000 times faster than anything that’s read. What that means to marketers using social media is when someone is looking at their feed and scrolling through all of the posts, they are processing the images faster than the text.

Emily Bacheller

Best Practices for Video Marketing on Social Networks from Cisco, SAP & Bally Switzerland

Emily Bacheller     Social Media, Visual Marketing

video marketing social networks

Driven by consumers’ insatiable appetite for video content, video marketing has become an important part of social media marketing. With platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram launching their own video applications, videos can be optimized for success beyond web pages and YouTube to where customers are actively seeking, consuming and sharing video content: social networks.

Whether you’re a video marketing pro, or unsure of where to begin, here are several useful tips for launching video marketing campaigns on multiple social networks.

But first…

Is Video Marketing Really Worth It?

Internet users have been watching videos to entertain or inform themselves for decades, but most marketers are only now beginning to take advantage of the power of video marketing. Video is becoming increasingly democratic, with self-service video editing programs making it so that you don’t have to have deep pockets or a degree in cinematography to create an effective marketing video.

Nick Ehrenberg

How to Make Free Stock Images Work for Content Marketing

Nick Ehrenberg     Content Marketing, Visual Marketing

stock images, success, content marketing

Visual content is king, but what happens if you don’t have a massive library of brand images to use for your online content? Do you try a simple Google image search and grab something that might be approved for commercial use? Or, do you simply go image-less and rely on your copy to carry the weight?

If you’re pillaging images from Google’s regular search, stop right now. Google might tell you that it’s approved for commercial use, but there are other resources that provide greater assurances (and more relief for your legal team).

In this post I’ll show you where to find (truly) free stock images, and how to use those images for the best visual impact on your content marketing.

James Anderson

Social Media Video – Essential Tips and Takeaways from #SMBMSP74

James Anderson     Social Media, Visual Marketing
SMBMSP-Video-Social-Media

Panelists including, from left, Jeff Achen, David Krejci, Farrington Starnes and Chuck Olsen address the audience at the January 23 SMBMSP event.

Digital marketers have known for some time that video is an essential part of the marketing mix: 76% of B2B companies use video as a content marketing tactic. Video is also an important part of a social media content strategy. After all, YouTube is the second most popular search engine after Google and Facebook has more than 1 billion daily video views.

Great examples of companies using video to enhance both B2C and B2B marketing are in high demand whether from major brands, agencies and small DIY businesses. At TopRank Online Marketing we’re always on the lookout for social media video trends and new examples to share with our community and clients. That’s why seven members of our team attended a recent Social Media Breakfast at 514 studios in Minneapolis – to learn how other companies are implementing video as part of a social media strategy.

Nicolette Beard

Online Magazines & Apps for Content Marketing: Brand Examples and Best Practices

Online Magazines and Apps

“Think like a publisher” has become the mantra for many marketers over the past 2 years.

While experienced marketers already recognize the value of great content, the lines are blurring between traditional publishers and brand publishers as more companies adopt more sophisticated content marketing practices.

Just as publishers are creating digital magazines and apps to better engage audiences, so too are brands who want to engage directly with target audiences as part of their owned media demand generation programs.

But what kind of content makes sense in a digital magazine? What effect does interactive digital content have on creating compelling customer experiences? And how do online magazines fit with other digital marketing efforts like social media and online advertising?

Eliza Steely

6 Cleverly Creative Marketing Campaigns of 2013

Online MarketingWe all have friends. One thing that makes us friends is that we have things in common, and what we have in common are our personalities and our interests. We interact with others based on those things—and with the social atmosphere so crucial to a brand’s persona, they want to be our “friends” too.

2013 has been a great year for content marketing. Savvy marketers have come up with new, unique ways to create bonds with their audiences, encouraging interaction and ultimately intent to purchase. Viral has become a buzzword that many strive for, yet few achieve. But regardless of how frequently online marketing changes, one thing will remain the same: brands will continue to use stories, interaction, and creativity to attract customers.