Caitlin Burgess

Q1’s a Wrap, B2B Marketers: Where We’ve Been & What’s Next in 2019

Caitlin Burgess on Apr 4th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Digital Marketing

Q1 Digital Marketing Recap

We made it, B2B marketers. Spring is finally in the air and Quarter 1 is officially a wrap. Take a moment to bask in your individual, team, and business successes—you earned it.

As is tradition, in just a few short months the digital marketing industry has experienced some newsworthy shifts—from a big Google algorithm update in March to a host of new targeting and advertising features across several platforms.

To build on the Q1 successes we just celebrated—and take full advantage of new opportunities—let’s take a look back at what 2019 has gifted us so far.

What’s new and worth paying attention to? What opportunities and challenges have arisen? And what do we all need to keep in mind as we move into and beyond Q2? Let’s dive in.

Anne Leuman

B2B Marketers, Are Your Content Marketing Efforts Sparking Joy for Your Audience?

Anne Leuman on Apr 3rd, 2019     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

How to Spark Audience Joy with Your Content

Best-selling author, tidying expert, and star of a massively successful Netflix show, Marie Kondo, is really on to something. Her simple yet effective tidying method is brilliant, but what it stands for is what’s truly inspiring.

All over the world, people are asking themselves a simple yet powerful question: Does it spark joy?

via GIPHY

But be honest, B2B marketers: When’s the last time you stopped to consider whether your marketing efforts were sparking joy for your audience? (Was it before, during, or after you dropped your latest white paper?)

Joy is a powerful emotion—it signals happiness, triumph, and exuberance. And in a time where delivering amazing, personalized experiences to our buyers is the new bar, we need to commit to delighting our audience throughout their journey. When we do this, we not only give them what they want and need, but we can also build a stronger connection with our brands.

Alexis Hall

How B2B Marketers Can Strategically Test New Digital Marketing Tactics

Alexis Hall on Apr 2nd, 2019     B2B Marketing, Digital Marketing

How to Strategically Test New B2B Marketing Tactics

When it comes to testing new marketing tactics, B2B marketers often find themselves in one of two camps:

  1. Chasing the new, shiny object. (Their motto: Let’s innovate, innovate, innovate!)
  2. Maintaining the status quo. (Their motto: We don’t mess with what’s working.)

Whichever camp you currently find yourself in, chances are high that you’re intrigued by what the other has to offer. The chasers are fearless innovators who are eager to test any new platform, media type, or strategy—and the keepers of the status quo are methodical budget managers who have proven tactics and processes on lockdown.

However, we’d suggest finding a middle (camp)ground: Testing strategically. (Your motto: I test to add to my success.)

Nick Nelson

Hey Alexa: How Do I Bake Voice Search Into My B2B Marketing Strategy?

Nick Nelson on Apr 1st, 2019     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.

Lane Ellis

Digital Marketing News: LinkedIn’s Lookalike Launch, B2B’s Social Responsibility, & Twitter’s B2B Crackdown

Lane Ellis on Mar 29th, 2019     Online Marketing News

2019 March 29 LinkedIn Chart

LinkedIn Announces New Data Partnership with Adobe to Improve Ad Targeting
LinkedIn announced a new partnership with Adobe that will bring a greater selection of LinkedIn’s (client) account-based marketing features to users of Adobe Experience Cloud, and expand ad targeting with Marketo Engage and Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales. Social Media Today

The Colossal Amount of Time Spent Consuming Media May Finally Be Flatlining, According to Nielsen Report
U.S. adults are still spending an average of 10 and a half hours consuming media — the same as in 2017 and 2018 — a signal that consumption time has plateaued, according to newly-released report data from Nielsen. Adweek

Lee Odden

Inspired Marketing: Interview with Kirsten Allegri Williams, CMO at SAP SuccessFactors

Lee Odden on Mar 28th, 2019     Interviews

Interview Kirsten Allegri Williams CMO SAP SuccessFactors

One of the great things about my job is connecting with inspiring marketers. While attending SAP’s annual SAPPHIRE conference last year, I had the good fortune to meet Kirsten Allegri Williams @kirstenallegriw thanks to Amisha Gandhi @AmishaGandhi. At the time, Kirsten was VP, Corporate Marketing at SAP Ariba.

In our short time meeting, we covered a lot of ground, from the need to elevate trust in marketing within the c-suite and on the street with customers to the role of purpose in marketing. She was highly focused, present and very smart. She made enough of an impression, that I included her in our annual list of Women Who Inspire in Digital Marketing.

Lane Ellis

Unconventional B2B Marketing: 5 Of The Most Woke Marketers

Lane Ellis on Mar 27th, 2019     B2B Marketing

Bearded punk man in glasses with purple hair image.

Five of the most unconventional marketers are infusing a punk rock ethos and energy into their marketing efforts—and B2B marketers and brands should take notice.

The examples we’ve lined up here skirt the marketing norms and represent unconventional marketers who shoot for the moon and win. Using wit, humor, bold actions, and tales of death-defying feats, lessons from these marketers may just inspire you to push beyond boring and into breathtaking territory.

With messaging and tactics that might seem more at home in the mosh pit than the corporate boardroom, these marketing revolutionaries are dead set on breaking free of boring by replacing stodgy campaigns or yawny white papers with marketing messages that would have made Joey Ramone wail a speedy “Hey! Ho! Let’s Go!” and “Gabba Gabba Hey!”

Ashley Zeckman

So Long, San Diego! Top Takeaways From #SMMW19

Ashley Zeckman on Mar 26th, 2019     Digital Marketing, Social Media Marketing World

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

Ashley Zeckman on Mar 26th, 2019     Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing World

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

Ashley Zeckman on Mar 25th, 2019     Digital Marketing, Social Media Marketing World, Web Analytics

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

Anne Leuman on Mar 25th, 2019     Online Marketing, Social Media Marketing World

“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

Anne Leuman on Mar 22nd, 2019     Blogging Strategy, Social Media Marketing World

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.”