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Last Build Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2017 13:58:00 +0000

 



Principles and Books for Looking into the Digital Future from Lee Aase

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 10:30:04 +0000

When asked to share digital trends and predictions to kick-off the inaugural Minnesota PRSA Digital Skills Workshop, Lee Aase, Director, Mayo Clinic Social Media Network, took an alternative approach. I’ll share the trends that I’ve observed, and the books that I have read or heard at least two times, but generally more. And link you [...]

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

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 10:30:26 +0000

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” [...]

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6 Quick & Dirty SEO Research Tips for B2B Content Planning

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 10:30:03 +0000

When it comes to crafting compelling content that informs, engages and inspires action, seasoned B2B digital and content marketers know our content needs to captivate both humans and search engines to be effective. After all, 81% of B2B decision makers conduct research before reaching out to a vendor, so we know our content needs to [...]

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Digital Summit Minneapolis: A Look Back at What We Learned

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 16:46:20 +0000

Parting [ways after an amazing conference] is such sweet sorrow. Your energy is high, your brain is full and you feel the love of other like-minded marketers. Sometimes however, it’s hard to keep that drive alive once the closing keynote has commenced and you resume your normal routine. But what if instead of going about [...]

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Elevate your Marketing Career with One Simple Word: Strategy

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 17:00:41 +0000

Not everyone can say that within 4 years, they went from being an individual contributor to the VP of a billion dollar company. McLean Donnelly can. How did he do it? As someone with a design background, you might expect the answer was jaw-dropping designs. But that is only part of the magic. It is [...]

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Using Audio to Engage in a Connected World #DSMPLS

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 10:30:33 +0000

Have you ever heard a song in the morning, only to have it stubbornly stick in your head all day long, even though you don’t care for it? Of course you have. It happens to all of us, and there’s a clear explanation for it. “People remember things via audio signal better, longer, and stronger [...]

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Taming the Wild Wild West of Social Media Digital Reputation #DSMPLS

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 17:00:49 +0000

In the Wild, Wild West of Social Media Digital Reputation, employees create social accounts without governance. But, are they on brand? At the Digital Summit Minneapolis, #DSMPLS, Casey Hall,Thomson Reuters, shared a process for taming the horses and adding governance to the stable. The Audit Start by searching your company name and all variations of [...]

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5 Ingredients to Master the Perfect Content Marketing Recipe #DSMPLS

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 10:30:28 +0000

Creating content day in and day out is exhausting. Constantly coming up with creative ideas and pushing yourself to come up with things you’ve never thought of is incredibly hard. But luckily, TopRank Marketing’s Executive Content Chef, Ashley Zeckman, was in the kitchen to help us cook up strategies for content creation at Digital Summit [...]

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12 Must-See Speakers at Digital Marketing Summit Minneapolis #DSMPLS

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 10:00:02 +0000

As marketers, our jobs require that we prioritize ongoing education and learning in order to remain relevant and competitive. Fortunately for us, there are a plethora of ways to gain this knowledge. One of the most effective (and my personal favorite) ways to keep learning is to attend industry conferences. Not only do these events [...]

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Digital Marketing News: VR is Growing, AI is Watching & 3 Billion are on Social Media

Fri, 11 Aug 2017 10:30:40 +0000

Global Social Media User Base Reaches 3 Billion A new report compiled by HootSuite and We Are Social found that the total number of social media users has now exceeded 3 billion, accounting for about 40 percent of the global population. Truly an incredible number, and one that speaks to the contemporary ubiquity of these [...]

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Behind the Marketing Curtain: An Interview With Comedian, Marketer Tim Washer

Thu, 10 Aug 2017 10:30:57 +0000

As we marketers long to make meaningful connections with our audience, we often look deep into our figurative crystal balls in hopes of finding a way to lay an irresistible field of content that will trap their attention. Unfortunately, we can end up putting our audience to sleep—leaving the door open for more colorful characters to swoop in and carry them away. So, how can we take to the sky and get our audience to surrender to our content? By crafting a  narrative that has empathy, humility and wit. And there’s certainly no better person to look to for inspiration than comedic treasure Tim Washer, Creative Director of Marketing for the Service Provider Division for Cisco. As part of our Wizard of Oz-inspired Behind the Marketing Curtain interview series, today we’ll pull back the fabric and get to know more about how Mr. Washer arrived in the wonderful world of marketing, and share insights that can help you harness the power of comedy to humanize your brand and connect with your audience. Enjoy! The Man Behind the Curtain Tim grew up in Houston, TX and attended college at Texas A&M University, majoring in—you guessed it—marketing. But after graduation he took a sales job at Xerox—which was certainly not in his original plan. “As I was getting close to graduation, there was one thing I knew I didn’t want to do: work in sales,” Tim recalled. “But as I was looking at marketing jobs, most open positions seemed to be promotional jobs—and I wasn’t turned on by that.” “Then a professor of mine mentioned Xerox, and said their sales team was rated No. 1,” he added. “So, then I thought: ‘Why not start there?’ This seemed like the perfect opportunity to get a better idea of how customers think and what their needs are, which is essential in marketing. It was a total one-eighty for me.” After snagging a meeting and shadowing someone for a day, Tim landed the gig at Xerox—laying the foundation for what would be a long career in the software and technology space. A few years later, he went back to school to get his MBA. Then, in the late 1990s, he made his way to New York City and has been there ever since. But shortly after his move, Tim realized he wasn’t exactly working in his calling. “What I really enjoy doing is comedy and improv, and making people laugh,” he said. “That’s where I feel at home. That’s my Kansas.” As it stands today, Tim has been able to merge his practical sales and marketing experience with his true passion. As previously mentioned, he’s currently Cisco’s Creative Director of Marketing for the Service Provider Division, and specializes in corporate humor and video content. Here’s a little taste of his work: [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8MWl9UGwQo[/embed] Prior to Cisco, he spent about six years doing similar work at IBM. In addition, he’s still active in the comedy arena, with writing and acting credits for his work on Saturday Night Live, Conan, The Onion, and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. But how exactly did he get here? We’ll get to that in the next section. Following His Yellow Brick Road Like Dorothy Gale, an unexpected twister hit Tim without warning, sending him on a long and winding path. “I know the exact moment it happened,” Tim remembered. “It was March 3, 1998.” It was the season of Lent, and Tim said he was thumbing through a devotional guide that his church— Fifth Avenue Presbyterian—had created for the season. “In there, I saw a Frederick Buechner quote that said: ‘The place where God calls you is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger coincide,’” he recited. “And there were a series of reflection questions, the first one was: ‘What is your spiritual gift?’” For Tim, that answer was e[...]



15 Ways to Supercharge Your Digital Marketing #DSMPLS

Wed, 09 Aug 2017 10:30:28 +0000

Good marketing programs involve strategy, goals, target audience, tactics and measurement. Great marketing programs often include a special ingredient to really supercharge the engine of leads and sales. To help you supercharge your marketing success, I’ve reached out to some of the most trusted voices in the digital marketing world speaking at the upcoming Digital [...]

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A Marketer’s Guide to Minneapolis: Gearing Up for #DSMPLS + Exclusive Event Invite

Tue, 08 Aug 2017 10:30:05 +0000

Next week, Digital Summit will arrive in Minneapolis, drawing in distinguished speakers and attendees from far and wide while placing our hometown at the center of the marketing world for a few days. Whether you’re coming into town to join the festivities, or simply curious to learn more about the Twin Cities and why TopRank [...]

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How 6 B2B Brands Climbed to New Heights with Content Marketing

Mon, 07 Aug 2017 10:30:55 +0000

Eighty percent of the fastest growing B2B companies employ content marketing, according to data from Mattermark and Drift.com. But not all B2B marketers are seeing fast results. In fact, the Content Marketing Institute surveyed B2B marketers and found that only 34% of them believe their content marketing strategies were effective or extremely effective. The remaining [...]

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Digital Marketing News: Social Video, Google Consumer Confidence & Content’s Influence

Fri, 04 Aug 2017 10:30:20 +0000

Everything You Need to Know About Using Video in Social Marketing [Infographic] We often hear how engaging videos are on social media - but there's certainly a trick to getting it right for your audience. This infographic shows highlights from a recent study from Animoto, where 1,000 consumers sounded off on what they wanted to see. MarketingProfs src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/oXFnH3pS5nM" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> 2017 Google Consumer Confidence Report Digital Examiner recently conducted a survey to determine how much consumers trust the information they are served in Google search results. The trust for Google remains high despite recent commentary surrounding alleged biases, with 72% of consumers saying they trust search results. Digital Examiner How Content Influences the Purchasing Process: Tips for Content Marketers [Research] CMI and SmartBrief teamed up to create new research that reveals how content influences the purchasing process. The research found that 81% of buyers say they conduct their own research before bringing in a vendor, and 62% wanted content that speaks to their needs and pain points. You can read more analysis of the study on the TopRank Marketing blog. Content Marketing Institute The Remarkable Rise of Influencer Marketing [Infographic] In an effort to understand the current state of influencer marketing, Influencer Marketing Hub conducted an online survey. They report: "The results are definitely optimistic, indicating that influencer marketing is truly mainstream, on an upwards trajectory as a preferred method of marketing." Influencer Marketing Hub Coming Soon: Website Demographics LinkedIn has announced that they'll soon release Website Demographics to allow brands to better understand their audience, create tailored content based on resonance, and reach ideal prospects. LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Google Said to Offer Publishers A New YouTube Deal AdAge reports: "[YouTube] is offering major publishers who choose its backend video player the ability to control ad sales both on their sites and on YouTube, according to people familiar with the new offering." AdAge Twitter Is Testing a Feature That Lets Brands Automate Their Promoted Tweets Twitter is beta testing a program for brands that will allow them to automatically promote their Tweets. The targeting options are limited, and the platform will choose which Tweets to sponsor on behalf of the brand. This new program costs $99 per month for those interested. AdWeek Facebook will Rank Links to Slow-loading Pages Lower in People’s News Feeds For brands with a slow website, the past few years have been pretty tough. Now, Facebook joins in on the movement toward better UX by tweaking its news feed algorithm to penalize links to slow-loading websites. Marketing Land What were your top digital marketing news stories this week? We'll be back next week with more top digital marketing news! As always, if you need more in the meantime follow @toprank on Twitter or subscribe to the TopRank Marketing blog for daily insights to your inbox. The post Digital Marketing News: Social Video, Google Consumer Confidence & Content’s Influence appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.[...]



New Report: 5 Statistics You Need to Know on How Content Influences Purchases

Thu, 03 Aug 2017 10:30:00 +0000

These days there’s no question that great content is a foundational element of any marketing strategy—especially in B2B. In fact, according to Content Marketing Institute’s (CMI) 2017 benchmarking report, 89% of B2B marketers use content marketing to “attract and retain a clearly defined audience—and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” And thanks to yet another insightful report from CMI—the latter objective is our focus today. Last week, CMI and SmartBrief released their How Content Influences the Purchasing Process report, featuring data and insights collected from 1,200 SmartBrief subscribers. The aim of the report was to dig into the minds of those who are actually consuming content, and uncover what types of content are most influential, how decision-makers perceive vendor content, and more. From a marketer’s perspective, the findings both reinforce and redefine how marketers should be crafting their B2B content marketing strategies. Below I share five key statistics from the report, and some associated takeaways that can help you both bolster and boost your content efforts to drive action by decision makers. #1 - 81% say they generally conduct research before bringing a vendor in. Marketers know that the modern buyer’s journey is becoming increasingly self-directed. After all, this shift is arguably what drove the emergence of content marketing in the first place. So, it’s no surprise that CMI and SmartBrief’s report revealed that an overwhelming majority of decision-makers are conducting their own research before making contact with a vendor. The big takeaway: Simply put, decision-makers want to be educated. Thanks to the rise of the internet, social media and mobile technologies, buyers are more empowered than ever to take things into their own hands. As a result, marketers need to double-down on their efforts to guide people through the purchasing process by creating content for each stage of the sales funnel. For the TopRank Marketing team, this means leveraging the Attract, Engage, Convert model, as well as an integrated mix of tactics, to craft customer-centric content that’s easy to find, consume and share. [bctt tweet="Simply put, decision-makers want to be educated. #B2B #contentmarketing @cmicontent" username="toprank"] #2 - 40% say credibility trumps the source of information. Since decision-makers are often taking research into their own hands, it stands to reason that they’re consuming information from a variety of sources. According to the report, 66% of respondents admitted to using sources other than vendors to initially collect information. But perhaps one of the most interesting revelations was that 40% say the information source isn’t a big concern. In the end, they just want good, credible information. The big takeaway: As long as the content is credible, the source doesn’t matter. While an organization’s owned channels may never be a one-stop-shop for all prospects’ needs, the report encourages vendors to ensure their websites are up-to-date. In addition, since your prospects will likely come into contact with your brand in a variety of ways, marketers can take the lead on evaluating how their brand is being presented across all channels (i.e. printed materials, social media, third-party review sites, in-person events, etc.) to ensure consistency and build credibility. [bctt tweet="When it comes to gathering info for purchasing decisions, #content credibility > source. @cmicontent" username="toprank"] #3 - 62% say they want content that speaks to their specific needs and pain points. As marketers, it’s our job to dig deep to understand [...]



20 Jokes Only a B2B Marketer Will Get

Wed, 02 Aug 2017 10:30:37 +0000

Lately, there’s been a big push for adding humor and personality into B2B marketing. I’m all for it—not only does it play into my natural strengths, it means that B2B marketers can bring more creativity and fun into their day-to-day. It may be hard to cast off the idea that we on the B2B side [...]

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