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Last Build Date: Wed, 17 Jan 2018 11:30:13 +0000

 



7 Influencer Marketing Trends That Will Rule 2018

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 11:30:13 +0000

While influencer marketing boomed in 2017, it's been on the rise for a full decade. In fact, we first posted about it in 2008 after we attended a session at SES San Jose on social media analysis and tracking. Ten years later and influencer marketing has evolved from a rising trend into a proven marketing strategy, causing more and more B2C and B2B companies to start influencer programs of their own. As influencer marketing has gained steam, it’s earned a more dedicated spot in the digital marketing mix and become more approachable in the eyes of marketers. As our own CEO Lee Odden, a longtime advocate for influencer marketing, regularly says: “Everyone is influential about something.” But as marketers dive deeper into the influencer marketing waters, they wonder how the tide will change and ultimately force them in a different direction. Having executed influencer marketing programs for both B2B and B2C brands for the past several years, we’ve had a front row seat to the evolution of influencer marketing. To give you a glimpse into where influencer marketing is already heading and help you stay on top of your influencer game, here are seven influencer marketing trends that are taking over 2018. #1 - Full steam ahead for influencer marketing programs. We touched on it briefly earlier, but as influencer marketing becomes more approachable with tools like Onalytica, Traackr, BuzzSumo, and others, it will also become more popular. For 2018, this means that more and more brands will come online with influencer marketing programs, including both B2C and B2B brands. But what does this mean for your influencer marketing strategy? It means your competition could soon be doing their own influencer marketing campaigns, making it all the more important that your campaign sets itself apart from the rest. Through unique influencer relationships, helpful insights, and new media types, you could take your influencer campaign from “first” to “best.” Or both. Both is good. Read: 20 Inspiring & Actionable Influencer Marketing Tips for The Modern Marketer #2 - Brands are looking to be bold, loud, and different. With more B2B and B2C brands amping up their influencer marketing, brands are thinking of new and innovative ways to differentiate their campaigns. With great content serving as the foundation for any campaign, brands are hoping to stand out by offering unique, bold, and intuitive user experiences, generating an added level of excitement and further engaging audiences. To level up our own influencer marketing user experience, we created an interactive infographic featuring 15 quotes from digital marketing influencers to generate awareness of our agency prior to the Digital Marketing Summit in Minneapolis this past summer. This not only helped engagement with our audience, but it also helped us create something that our influencers were proud to contribute to and share. #3 - Brand focus on business results. At the beginning of its time, influencer marketing was all about reach and awareness. By tapping into an influencer and leveraging that relationship, you could gain the ear of an entirely new audience. Multiply that affect with the number of influencers you work with, and you have a rapidly growing audience. Influencer marketing is no longer just about audience growth, though. Brands are and will turn to influencer programs to drive conversions and engagement, too. What will that look like? From our vantage point, you’ll see an influx of influencer and brand hosted webinars, live stream Q&A’s, endorsements, and other bottom of funnel influencer content. [bctt tweet="#InfluencerMarketing is no longer just about audience growth - @aleuman4" username="toprank"] #4 - Influencers turned brand ambassadors. What’s one thing brands are missing when it comes to influencers and their relationships? Oftentimes, it’s exclusivity. Having an influential thought leader all to yourself is a promising premise as it means you are their sole partner in your industry. Well, brands are realizing that this opportu[...]



4 Top Trends in Customer Centricity to Drive Digital Marketing Success in 2018

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 11:30:27 +0000

Ask any digital marketer if they’ve been able to set their strategy on autopilot over the past decade, and I bet you’ll get a laugh or two—as well as an emphatic “No.” If we’ve learned anything it’s that the digital landscape is simply too fast-changing to keep the business as usual mindset. But while the [...]

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Digital Marketing News: What Marketers Think about AI, Autonomous Stores & GSC Adds Data

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 11:30:55 +0000

Infographic: What Marketers Really Think About Artificial Intelligence A new infographic shows 47% of marketers consider artificial intelligence (AI) to be over-hyped. In addition, 43% of marketers believe vendors overpromise and underdeliver when it comes to AI. AdWeek src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/NiOjxZcKLBQ" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Can Autonomous Stores Catch On? Brick-and-mortar stores are testing out an automation model, functionally converting their stores to vending machines. These may increase convenience and service levels for some customers, but many remain doubtful that this will take off in a big way. MarTech Today Google Search Console Adds 16 Months of Data Can I get a heck yes?! Google has confirmed that Google Search Console will now be able to show 16 months of data versus the typical 90 days. This is currently available in their beta version for some users, with a larger rollout pending. The SEM Post The State of Video Marketing: Distribution, Topic, and Budget Trends Marketers are saying that social media brings them the highest ROI for digital video distribution, followed by email. In addition, 50% of respondents are transferring budgets from traditional media budgets to finance digital video and 37% are reallocating budgets from digital media. MarketingProfs Hulu Hits $1 Billion Ad Milestone In 2017, Hulu hit a record for video advertising revenue at $1 billion. They also saw a 40% rise in subscribers year-over-year in 2017 for video-on-demand and Live TV products. MediaPost Self-Driving Cars Have Landed at #CES2018, and Marketers Really Need to Pay Attention Self-driving cars are more than just a surreal future world pipe dream — they’re well on their way to becoming a real disruption to our typical interactions with transportation. Aside from the daily interaction, self-driving cars can also serve as a site for real-time marketing communications. HubSpot Forrester: Mobile will drive 69% of search ad growth by 2022 Mobile Marketer reports: “Mobile phones will drive most of the expansion in paid search ad spending, contributing an estimated 69% of the $19 billion in growth by 2022, according to Forrester research.” Mobile Marketer How Marketers Are Turning Your Car Into a Branded Experience Talking to your car isn’t as strange of a thought as it once was. But marketers and tech platforms are toying with the idea of taking this to the next level — providing helpful, timely information to consumers on-the-go. AdWeek Why Brands Will Go To Extremes — Lengthwise — With Digital Video In 2018 Marketing Dive reports: “In 2017, marketers spent 2x as much on online video than they did on TV ads. While standard 30-second ads aren't going away, brands are increasingly experimenting with a wide array of video formats that push extremes length-wise.” Marketing Dive Google Is Sunsetting Adwords Review Extensions Next month, Google will be removing the text ad extensions that allow advertisers to highlight 3rd-party reviews within their ads. If you have used these extensions and want to keep the data, export it in AdWords this month. Search Engine Land New Data Reveals It's Time to Change Your Headline Strategy New research from Buzzsumo revealed some surprising insights about headlines that play best on Facebook — including which word combinations get the most engagement, and which to avoid. Social Media Today On the Lighter Side: M&M's debuts touchdown dance contest for Super Bowl - Mobile Marketer Billy Mann Discusses Video Humor as a Tool for Marketing - Small Biz Trends TopRank Marketing In the News: Debbie Friez - 2018 Digital Marketing Trends From 20+ Marketing Experts - Hot in Social Media Josh Nite - Annual Content Planning: How To Kickstart Filling Your Editorial Calendar - HeidiCohen.com Lee Odden - What’s Trending: Bring It On, 2018 - LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Lee Odden - Social Media Experts and Influencers, to Follow in 2018 - SocialChamp Lee Odden - 5 Expe[...]



How to Become a Better Data-Informed Content Marketer

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 11:30:27 +0000

As a 21st century marketer, you already know that data is an important player in the content marketing game. Data helps us understand who our audience is, what they care about, and how our content impacts their decisions. It helps us connect all the dots — and continue to find new dots as attitudes, needs, and preferences change. But is your content marketing strategy taking advantage of all of the data you have at your disposal? Or is some data left on the cutting room floor? As TopRank Marketing’s own Lee Odden recently wrote on the topic of data-informed content marketing: “When it comes to content, creators are traditionally more art than science, and using data to guide editorial planning is still not an advanced skill for many companies.” Not too long ago, Forrester reported that companies only use 12% of the data they have at their disposal. The remaining 88% of data is wasted and left unused. But imagine how much more effective your content marketing efforts would be if you upped that percentage even a few points — let alone to 100%. With that said, we want to help you up your data gleaning skills and get the most out of your search, social, and behavioral data. Below are our top tips for becoming a better data-informed content marketer and really boost your content performance. #1 - Create a segmented content pipeline. Odds are, you already track your customers, the pages they visit, how long they stay, and the actions they take on your site. After all, it’s Content Marketing 101 to track your audience and their behavior, but this doesn’t paint a complete picture of your content and how it’s performing. To get a complete, 360-degree picture, you need to analyze the types of content you’re creating and draw some conclusions about performance. Start breaking down your content by bucketing your pieces by length, stage of the funnel, topic, keyword, and other categories that could influence audiences. You can typically find this information in your content management system (CMS), content marketing platform (CMP), or your editorial calendar. At TopRank Marketing, we’ve developed our own dashboard that integrates with various data sources such as Google Analytics and Google Search Console, as well as pulls in our own categories and details to help us segment and analyze how our own content, as well as the content within our client programs, is performing. Here’s a little peek at how we segment: Once your content has been segmented, it’s not only easier to see what types of content perform best, but also when they reach their peak performance and with whom. If a pattern starts to emerge, you can then fill up your content pipeline with items that can replicate that same success. [bctt tweet="Use the #data at your fingertips to create a segmented content pipeline. - @aleuman4 #contentmarketing" username="toprank"] #2 - Monitor social activity and engagement. Of the world’s 3.7 billion internet users, 2.7 billion of them are active social media users, according to We Are Social. That’s roughly 35% of the world’s population logging onto social media to discover trending content and share messages with their networks. With that in mind, using social media to distribute your content is a no-brainer. Plus, social networks make it easy for your to track your content’s social engagement through likes, retweets, shares, mentions, replies, etc. But your own social media profiles and posts aren’t the only thing you should be monitoring if you want to create a more data-informed content strategy. Because social is such an important marketing channel, your competition and industry thought leaders will be on social as well. Monitoring their profiles and content, as well as your own, using tools like BuzzSumo or Follwerwonk can help you discover what types of content is really resonating and identify gaps in your own content plan. It’s also a good idea to take a look at your top followers and customers on [...]



Content Marketing Evolution: 5 Major Content Marketing Trends for 2018

Mon, 08 Jan 2018 11:30:14 +0000

Do you remember upgrading from an old square TV to a high-definition model? It was an amazing leap forward in the viewing experience. Then came 3D televisions…and no one really cared. Then even bigger screens, then curved displays, OLED, smart TVs, 3D and 4k. None of these advances have really fired up the imagination of [...]

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Digital Marketing News: The Visual Internet, Influencer Marketing Trends, Sneaky Ads

Fri, 05 Jan 2018 11:30:21 +0000

How to Keep Up With the Rise of the Visual Internet [Infographic] Online media is increasingly visual — from personal photos to branded motion graphics, gif and videos. How can you keep up with the rising need for visual content? This infographic shares tips to help you stay on top of the trend and keep your viewers engaged. MarketingProfs src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/f0gGZPMci_w" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> 10 Million People Used Facebook Live on New Year’s Eve It probably won’t come as a shock that, for most, the tradition of cozying up around an antennaed TV to watch the ball drop on NYE is behind us. Because in front of us — right in front of our faces — is Facebook Live. Ringing in 2018, Facebook Live topped their activity from the previous year’s NYE festivities, with people sharing 47% more live videos than last year.  Facebook Media Google’s Rich Results Tool Allows for Testing of Structured Data Google has a way of defining things (“Conversions” for instance) and now, they’ve defined Rich Results. “Rich Results” has been coined as a phrase to refer to rich snippets, rich cards and other “rich” additions to a website’s content. And Google’s new tool will test for all types of structured data that can be shown as rich results, pulling from sources including JSON-LD, Microdata and RDFa. The tool currently works for recipes, jobs, movies and courses, and Google plans to expand to more data types. Search Engine Journal Top Influencer Marketing Trends & Challenges of 2018 Of the influencer marketers surveyed by Linqia, 76% predict that their top challenge in 2018 will be determining the ROI of their influencer marketing programs. In addition, 52% of those same influencer marketers plan to adopt the trend of running influencer marketing programs that leverage multiple types of influencers, and 44% will use influencer content to improve the performance of other channels. MarketingProfs What Millennials Are Killing Now, And 24 Other Insights We Can Glean by Analyzing Tweets 6,000 tweets are posted every second, and anybody who’s stayed up past bedtime scrolling through the Twitterverse can attest that, yes, it can all add up to a LOT of noise. But each tweet is also a piece of data. Brandwatch has analyzed billions of those tweets, which they refer to as “live human thought,” and answered some of our most burning questions: Who was the most talked about character in Game of Thrones Season 7? Does Starbucks spell my name wrong on purpose? Brandwatch 2018 Will Be the Year Chatbot Conversations Get Real AT&T recently revealed plans to roll out a “mobile 5G” network in a dozen markets by the close of 2018. The company indicated that the network would bring 5G service to everything from mobile and VR to car AI and home TV. Not to be left out, Verizon, Sprint and T-mobile are all working towards 5G as well — all with nuanced approaches.  VentureBeat On Facebook, Viral Reach for Branded-Content Ads Eclipses Standard Ads New research from Shareablee shows that branded-content ads get twice as many organic or earned impressions as they do paid impressions on Facebook. Organic impressions for the average Facebook ad make up less that 10% of impressions from paid promotion. Creating shareable content that performs well organically — with a little help from paid promotion — is proving to be a winning combination. MarketingLand One In Ten Publishers Say They're Not Labeling Native Advertising Two new studies from the Native Advertising Institute show that about 10% of news and magazine publishers aren’t properly labeling their online native advertising. These publishers largely cited "meeting budget demands" as their reason for doing so, even though 25% say this practice is one of the biggest threats they see to native advertising. MediaPost Snapchat May Force Users To Watch Thre[...]



7 Examples of Brands Mastering Twitter for Social Customer Care

Wed, 03 Jan 2018 12:10:36 +0000

These days, there’s little doubt that social media is plays a pivotal role in a brand’s marketing strategy. After all, with roughly 2 billion internet users on social networks and counting, there’s massive reach and resonance potential. But couple widespread adoption with shifting consumer preferences and expectations—and the smell of major change is in the [...]

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Our Top 10 Influencer Marketing Posts of 2017 Plus Thoughts on 2018

Mon, 01 Jan 2018 11:00:14 +0000

This year demonstrated an explosion of interest in influencer marketing bringing with it a sharp increase in attention as well as implementation successes and failures. The mixed bag of advice for any shiny new object of marketing attention like working with influencers brings uncertainties, especially with rapid innovation, increased competition and self serving “influencer marketing [...]

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Digital Marketing News: Teens Over Facebook, Blockchain and Big Blue, MoonPie Roasts You

Fri, 29 Dec 2017 11:04:03 +0000

Social Commerce Takes Hold. A study by PwC reports that 78% of consumers are influenced by social media when shopping online. According to Marketing Week, the “social commerce boom” is being fueled by young mobile consumers. Thirty-three percent of 18- to 24-year-olds say they would purchase items directly on Facebook, 27% on Instagram and 20% [...]

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Happy 14th Birthday to @TopRank Online Marketing Blog

Thu, 28 Dec 2017 14:08:05 +0000

Over the past 14 years this marketing blog has had numerous contributors, thousands of posts, hundreds of thousands of social shares and millions of views. To say blogging has had a positive impact on our business would be a gross understatement. December 28 is our blog birthday and what started simply as an experimental way [...]

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25 Women Who Rock at Digital Marketing

Wed, 27 Dec 2017 11:00:50 +0000

2017 marks the 8th year we’ve published a list featuring “women who rock” in the digital marketing space. I started the list in 2010 with social media specifically and after 5 years handed the reins over to Ashley Zeckman for a few years when the focus has broadened to digital marketing. In the past I [...]

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Our Top 10 Content Marketing Posts of 2017

Tue, 26 Dec 2017 12:32:33 +0000

Content makes the Marketing world go ‘round, especially with our work here at TopRank Marketing. While content has been a steady drumbeat in the marketing mix over the past 7-8 years, marketers are still hungry for best practices, examples and the latest trends. Lucky for our readers, we have excellent content marketers contributing to our [...]

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Happy Holidays from the Team at TopRank Marketing

Mon, 25 Dec 2017 12:54:49 +0000

It’s that time of year again, where here in Minnesota the snow is falling, the temperatures are dropping and hearts are warming with thankfulness and appreciation. 2017 has been a year of change, evolution and innovation for the digital marketing industry and at TopRank Marketing, we are incredibly grateful for the attention and trust that [...]

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Digital Marketing News: Top Ads 2017, Marketing Jobs 2018, Google Mobile First

Fri, 22 Dec 2017 11:00:36 +0000

The 10 Most Watched Ads on YouTube in 2017 – This impressive collection of work includes two video ads that exceeded 100 million views. Which was your favorite? Natalie Portman for Miss Dior or Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson” for Apple?  AdWeek B2B Tech Buyers More Motivated by Reliability & Ease of Use Claims Than Price. [...]

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Connecting the Dots from Data to Better Customer Experience

Thu, 21 Dec 2017 11:01:51 +0000

I love how Tom Fishburne aka marketoonist always does a great job of showcasing marketing truths. While the focus for marketers to deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time is nothing new, it’s also safe to say that we have a lot of work to do. For example, I was recently [...]

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The Content Marketing Juggling Act: How to Consistently Create Quality, Engaging Content

Wed, 20 Dec 2017 11:30:04 +0000

The secret to juggling is to always have one of your chainsaws in the air. Simple, right? You have one more chainsaw than you have hands, so don’t try and hold all three at the same time. Simply, always be throwing and catching at least one. Ready to rev up your chainsaws and try it? [...]

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Year In Review: 6 Platform Changes That Shook Up Social Media Marketing in 2017

Tue, 19 Dec 2017 11:30:53 +0000

With 2018 on the horizon, we’re all in a state of reflection, looking back on all the good, the bad and the ugly 2017 brought us. When it comes to social media, it’s hard not to think about the latter two. With all the political turmoil and uptick in trolling, even Facebook recently admitted that [...]

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Innovative Marketers Must Not Just Face, But Embrace, Their Fears

Mon, 18 Dec 2017 11:30:13 +0000

How can you confidently pour your heart and soul into a non-traditional marketing strategy, knowing it could either take flight or fizzle? It’s a dilemma that outside-the-box marketers must wrestle with if they truly wish to innovate and transform their industry. The idea of experimenting with methods that haven’t been substantiated through successful practice is [...]

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Digital Marketing News: Google Best Answer, Twitter Threads, Most Viral on Facebook

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 11:05:00 +0000

How Predictive Analytics Can Help Your Business See the Future. Now more than ever, predictive analytics are becoming available to small businesses looking to get ahead of the competition by mining their data and generating meaningful intelligence. From mapping customer purchase trends to optimizing product campaigns, predictive analytics can be the digital marketing solution your [...]

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Content Conversations: Content Marketing Predictions for 2018

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 11:30:18 +0000

Last year around this time, we reached out to a series of content experts (many of which are included in this post), to ask them for their top content prediction for 2017. By and large, the explosion of video content was a top prediction and rang true this year. We also received predictions related to [...]

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