Archiv für den Monat: Februar 2020

How to identify and address the four biggest digital growth challenges

SMBs working to accelerate digital growth encounter a variety of challenges across internal operations, marketing platforms, site properties, and competitors. Part of the path to growth is identifying and prioritizing those challenges, which can be tough without looking at the right reports and metrics.

In this post, we’ll dig into four areas that often uncover growth blockers and explain how to assess the opportunities that overcoming them would present.

1. Site issues

Growth, in the advertising budget and in awareness, brings more demand on your site. This means more users, more tracking and tagging, and other factors that can affect site speed, which is a huge factor in user experience. One of the best tools out there to test site speed is Google’s PageSpeed Insight tool, which provides great data and insights on your site speed and user experience on mobile and desktop. In general, Google recommends site speeds between two-to-five seconds, and this is considering the faster end of that range in mind. Anything beyond that, and you’re losing money from users bouncing.

Beyond site speed, the way users digest and navigate your site may not be optimal. Although there’s a lot you can glean from click paths in Google Analytics, heat maps are a relatively tried-and-true way to understand:

  • How users are interacting with your site
  • Where they’re getting stuck
  • Where you should relocate your most valuable CTAs and messaging

We’ve seen numerous clients improve CVR by over 20% with rapid testing cycles on top pages.

2. Internal obstacles

You can promise your users the world in your ad campaigns, but without aligning expectations with current internal challenges, that will only build a base of frustrated customers.

B2B companies may have slower-than-expected turnaround times to contact leads that your ads generate, ecommerce companies may experience inventory issues with best-selling products. If your ads are promising same-day calls that get placed weeks later or if you’re offering fast shipping of out-of-stock products, you’ve used ad spend to create a tide of negative sentiment.

Make sure you’re syncing with internal teams to understand challenges that may require you to adjust messaging, or even slow down/pause ad spend while the issues are being sorted out. Especially considering we’re in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, this is more important than ever for sites selling physical products whose supply chain has been affected.

3. Creative chaos

Images, headlines, descriptions, landing pages, ratios, messaging themes – each element can be a factor in attracting and optimizing user engagement, which makes prioritization of testing complicated. The creation of a testing calendar that aligns with your media plan is incredibly important. If you’re new to testing, start slowly and test one variable at a time to keep results clear. If you’ve got some testing experience under your belt and have the requisite budget and expertise, consider adopting a multivariate testing tool to help you execute a rapid testing schedule that will provide both insights and greater performance.

4. Competitive pressures

The challenge that lurks for companies in every growth stage and vertical is competition. More than simply driving up CPCs on Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn, competition requires marketers to consider things like:

  • Cheaper brand clicks vs net-new non-brand users
  • Acquisition vs less-costly remarketing campaigns

It also requires frequent analysis of how the competitive landscape is changing – new entries, new messaging, new price points and offers. SMBs especially need to clearly articulate their advantages over better-known competitors to give themselves a chance to carve out market share in the face of rising costs.

Of the types of challenges outlined above, only competitive pressures are somewhat beyond your company’s control. Make sure to plan out your cadence of site analysis, internal check-ins, and creative testing roadmaps to keep your own house in order and position yourself to meet competitive challenges that arise.

Lauren Crain is a Client Services Lead in 3Q Digital’s SMB division, 3Q Incubate.

The post How to identify and address the four biggest digital growth challenges appeared first on Search Engine Watch.


Digital Marketing News: B2B Content Lifecycle Study, LinkedIn’s New Featured Section, B2B Millennial Report, & Facebook Adds Story Discovery Feature

2020 February 28 Skyword Chart

2020 February 28 Skyword ChartMillennial buyers want better content from B2B marketers
Better B2B content is a top concern among Millennial buyers, as the demographic accounts for some 33 percent of overall B2B buyers, a portion Forrester’s newly-released report expects to grow to 44 percent by 2025. Digital Commerce 360

LinkedIn Launches New ‚Featured‘ Section on Profiles to Highlight Key Achievements and Links
LinkedIn (client) began a gradual roll-out of a new „Featured“ section, where users‘ key achievements will appear near the top of profiles when starred from updates, the Microsoft-owned platform recently announced. Social Media Today

How the Fastest-Growing US Companies Are Using Social Media
87 percent of Inc. 500 firms used LinkedIn for social media during 2019, topping a list of how the fastest-growing U.S. firms are using social media, outlined in a recently-released UMass Dartmouth report of interest to digital marketers. MarketingProfs

The Best Times to Post on Social Media According to Research [Infographic]
B2B businesses find that the best posting times on LinkedIn are before noon and around 6:00 p.m., one of numerous social media platform most effective posting time statistics outlined in a recently-released infographic. Social Media Today

Gen Z Craves Multifaceted Content, Audio – And Even Likes (Relevant) Long-Form Ads
Digital media consumption habits vary by generation, with members of the Gen Z demographic more often seeking out multifaceted content comprised of interactive elements such as polls and quizzes, according to recently-released content consumption preference data. MediaPost

Are Brands Getting Smarter About Social? New Data Reveals Surprising Trends Across Platforms
2019 saw U.S. brands receiving an average of five percent more social engagement that during 2018, with video engagement achieving an even higher eight percent growth rate — two of numerous statistics of interest to online marketers contained in recent social media activity study data. Forbes

2020 February 28 Statistics ImageHow Businesses Handle Customer Reviews [Infographic]
Over 35 percent of businesses often or always use positive reviews in their marketing efforts, with Google, Facebook, and Yelp being the three platforms most often monitored for online reviews, according to recently-released survey data focusing on how reviews are used by businesses. Social Media Today

IAB: Programmatic Now 85% Of All U.S. Digital Advertising
By 2021 programmatic advertising spending will exceed $91 billion in the U.S. alone, and account for 86 percent of overall digital ad spend — two of several items of interest to digital marketers in newly-released Interactive Advertising Bureau report data. MediaPost

Facebook Tests New Format for Separate Facebook Stories Discovery Page
Facebook has continued to ramp up its support for content shared in the Stories format, announcing recently that certain Stories will receive larger images in a test of a distinct new Facebook Stories discovery page, according to the social media giant. Social Media Today

From Consistent Publishing to Performance Peaks: What You Need to Know About the Life Span of Content
Digital B2B content assets often bring peak value two months after publishing, while going on to achieve steady endurance among consumers, two of many findings of interest to digital marketers contained in new B2B content lifespan report data. Skyword


2020 February 28 Marketoonist Comic

A lighthearted look at what is digital transformation? by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist

Jif Partnered With Giphy to Make a Limited-Edition Peanut Butter No One Can Pronounce — Adweek


  • Lee Odden — Not Another State of Marketing Report — HubSpot
  • Lee Odden — What’s Trending: Aim for Excellence — LinkedIn (client)
  • TopRank Marketing / Prophix — B2B Campaign Spotlight: Prophix Strikes a Chord with Visual Storytelling — LinkedIn (client)
  • Lane R. Ellis — 10 Tips to Help You Better Understand Your Small Business Customers — Small Business Trends
  • Lee Odden — How to Create Trustworthy Content That People Want to Read — Aweber
  • Lee Odden — Speaker Spotlight: Lee Odden — Content Marketing Conference

Do you have your own top B2B content marketing or digital advertising stories from the past week? Please let us know in the comments below.

Thank you for joining us, and please return next week for a new selection of the most relevant B2B and digital marketing industry news. In the meantime, you can follow us at @toprank on Twitter for even more timely daily news. Also, don’t miss the full video summary on our TopRank Marketing TV YouTube Channel.

The post Digital Marketing News: B2B Content Lifecycle Study, LinkedIn’s New Featured Section, B2B Millennial Report, & Facebook Adds Story Discovery Feature appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.


Is SEO dead in 2020?

The death of SEO is a topic that’s been batted around for years but is 2020 the year SEO, an industry with a history dating back more than 25 years, finally kicks the bucket?

TikTok, digital PR, voice search – new terms have been coined and new social networks have popped up in the past few years. As industry experts take a look back over the past year and forecast trends for the coming year, the inevitable question comes up time and time again: “Is SEO dead this year?”

The answer, of course, is no. SEO is not dead.

If you’re a business reading this article because you’re wondering whether to invest your hard-earned cash in SEO, is it still a viable marketing strategy for 2020, or whether to spend it more wisely elsewhere, read on.

Why do people say SEO is dead?

So if SEO is as wildly successful as we’re proclaiming, then why do people claim SEO dead?

Put yourself into the shoes of a site owner whose whole experience of SEO is those shady emails that manage to avoid your inbox’s spam filter: “Dear Sir, you must be curious to know, in spite of having popular keywords and many backlinks why your website is not visible on the first page of major search engines.”

Or think of those in traditional marketing who work outside of SEO. According to a study, 61% of business owners cited that “increasing brand awareness” is important to them – how many of these understand that SEO is one of the most effective ways to organically increase awareness of your brand? While we know that the number one position on Google is reported to capture up to 31.7% of search traffic, according to one study, as compared to around 17% in the number two position, all the way down to just two percent in position 10, they may not.

Let’s consider those stats in real terms, think of a sector with a highly competitive high search volume keyword, for example, “cheap flights”. This has 550,000 average monthly searches. If you’re in position one in Google for that search term, that’s a potential of 176,000 people reaching your site through that search result alone every single month.

But to mix things up, add to this the fact that position number one in Google’s search results doesn’t mean exactly what it says it does all the time nowadays. Users will be first confronted with a (debatably) clearly labeled “Ad”, served by Google Ads based on a combination of what that site has bid for them and their quality score.

So some think that SEO is dead because paid media is the top dog

But we can counter this with the fact that position one in Google isn’t everything it says it is anymore. While there will, of course, be an ad at the top of the search results, this is often also followed up by a “Google Answer Box” and/or a knowledge panel. These are our zero-click searches and these don’t come easily. Google doesn’t just hand them out to anyone. It takes a combination of elements to make sure that you secure those placements:

  • Excellent on-page content
  • High-value links off the page
  • A good dash of the best technical SEO thrown

And a good deal, more hard work ensuring that you keep on top of all of this to remain in that position.

Even within the digital industry, people proclaim SEO is dying. Google’s algorithm gets ever-more vicious with every update. Sites can disappear from search results without a warning, and tactics that worked yesterday can cause penalties the very next. In order to sidestep this risk altogether, some will avoid investing time, effort, and money into SEO, but that means potentially missing out on those hundreds of thousands of Google referrals every single day.

But we also need to consider social media referrals, brand mentions in industry publications, influencer marketing, traditional offline marketing, and even word of mouth.

Let’s delve a little further.

SEO’s past, present, and future

Just imagine a world without SEO, where would we be? That’s something impossible to even consider nowadays, in a time where the term “to Google” has entered the Oxford English Dictionary.

In 1995, the internet had only two billion users, today it is over four billion. To put this better into perspective, Facebook is now 15 times larger than the entire internet was in 1995. And at that time in SEO’s history, search engines such as Archie, VLib, and Veronica were simply virtual libraries with little to no ability to search. They were merely considered indices of web servers. Links didn’t pass any equity as to ranking in these engines simply because they didn’t offer any sort of ranking.

The digital world began to evolve quickly though, search engines started to rank pages based on OPIC (on page importance criteria) scores. And even then, SEO techniques were already evolving – keywords were key but discoveries such as secondary title tag manipulation causing immediate first position rankings were revealed by webmasters like Dave Naylor in forums like WebmasterWorld.

Understanding how the digital world and SEO have evolved is key to understanding how it works today. On the surface, SEO appears to be something simple – search engine optimization – what more could there be than making sure your website works well, looks good, has a few good keywords, and a few good links, right?

In reality, there is far more to consider – RankBrain, E-A-T, and BERT are just a few updates that Google has introduced to their algorithm in the past few years that have changed everything. The world of search engines is ever-evolving, and SEO’s future looks bright.

SEO is just one part of a larger machine at work

While TikTok, digital PR, voice search and others, even traditional marketing, seem to be a threat to SEO as an industry, in reality, they’re all the cogs in one big marketing machine – and SEO is one of the biggest.

The question really should be – “Is SEO really still worth it in 2020?”

As the internet continues to grow at an ever-increasing pace, search engines that work effectively and efficiently become increasingly more important. Users now need search engines more than ever. It’s key to not forget that, at their heart, they’re simply a tool to help users find the best answer to their question as quickly as possible.

Even though at times, it seems like Google is personally victimizing your clients, they’re really refining their algorithms so that spammy sites that have no use to their users are less likely to break through into their search results.

Avoid defunct SEO tactics

Rather than thinking that SEO as a whole is dead in 2020, we need to be reframing it. If it feels like your SEO techniques aren’t working, there’s probably a reason Google just doesn’t have the time to pick out individual websites it takes a dislike to, and stop them from appearing in SERPS for no reason.

In reality, it’s more likely that your techniques are outdated and thus ineffective. In fact, outdated techniques may be harming your brand more than helping it. Think strong, relevant content over keyword-stuffed pages. Aim for naturally earned backlinks rather than paid ones for exact match anchor text links. Spend time on the “behind the scenes” parts of your website – the technical SEO that an everyday user will never notice but will feel the benefits of every time they use your site.

All Google wants when displaying search results is something that genuinely answers users‘ queries and works well – and if your site does that then you’ll reap the rewards.

Is SEO worth the time and effort in 2020?

There’s only one answer to this big question, the stats speak for themselves – with over 40,000 search queries every second and an estimated 62.19 billion visitors annually, Google is the behemoth that rules the internet. Without it, or indeed any other well-functioning search engine, how would we find the content we need?

In addition to this, usability is becoming far more important. With Google’s semantic technology that understands the intent behind longtail searches and allows users to have a “conversation” with technology, and recent reports that over half of Google’s searches result in zero clicks thanks to the Google Answer Boxes, Google Images, Google Maps, and other Google-owned properties. Never before has a search engine ruled so well.

Diversifying and refining SEO techniques is key to getting customers in a world where they don’t even need to leave a search engine to get what they need.

SEO is not dead in 2020, nor will SEO ever be dead, as long as the internet continues to exist.

Sian Thomas is a digital media executive at Bronco, a full-service digital agency based in North Yorkshire.

The post Is SEO dead in 2020? appeared first on Search Engine Watch.


Optimizing ABM with Influencer Marketing at #B2BMX

Lee Odden Speaking at B2BMX 2020Account based marketing (ABM) is the hybrid sales/marketing/revenue discipline that is shaking up the status quo for marketers and sales pros alike. There are as many definitions of ABM as there are accounts to target, but I’m partial to this one from LinkedIn’s Megan Golden:

“ABM is a strategy that directs marketing resources to engaging a specific set of target accounts. Instead of casting a wide net with their lead-generation efforts, marketers using ABM work closely with sales to identify key prospects and then tailor customized programs and messages to the buying team within target accounts.” Megan Golden, Group Manager, Global Content & Social Media Marketing, LinkedIn*

It’s all about earning the trust of — and ultimately influencing — members of specific buying committees. In other words, it’s the distillation of what all B2B marketers should be doing. Or as Sangram Vajre, CEO of Terminus, put it (embroidered on his sneakers, no less):

Sneakers that Read ABM Is B2BMarketers who practice ABM are seeing impressive results. A recent report from ITSMA and the ABM Leadership Alliance found that 73% of marketers plan to increase ABM budgets in the coming year, and 71% saw greater ROI compared to traditional marketing.

Yet as much success as marketers are seeing with ABM, most are missing a crucial part of the strategy: Building trust through external influence.

In his B2BMX presentation, Lee Odden observed that ABM marketers tend to focus on internal influence — which members of the buying committee have a say in the purchase decision. But…

Diagram Asking Who Influences the InfluencersHere’s what is possible when B2B marketers include influencer marketing in their ABM strategy.

Influence in ABM: It’s All About Trust

According to Lee, “Trust is one of the most paramount matters in marketing today.” If buyers don’t trust your brand, it’s hard to even get a message through, let alone close a sale. The problem is, buyers overall don’t trust brands. In the CSO Insights report from Marketing Charts, brands were near the bottom for trust:

Chart Showing Customers Trust Influencers More than BrandsAnd who is at the top of the list? Subject matter experts from the industry or third parties. These are the people your audience wants to hear from…which means they’re the voices you want to highlight in your content.

[bctt tweet=““Trust is one of the most paramount matters in marketing today.” @LeeOdden“ username=“toprank“]

Dell Outlet Builds Trust & Brand Awareness with B2B Influence

For his first example of the power of influence in B2B, Lee shared a success story from Dell Outlet*, a 2020 Killer Content Award Finalist.

Dell Outlet needed to build awareness as an entity distinct from their parent brand. With a focus on refurbished hardware and a commitment to a more sustainable, circular economy, Dell Outlet has a unique personality, purpose and value proposition. But they needed to both establish themselves as their own brand, and educate a small business audience on the value of refurbished equipment.

With targeted research and outreach, Dell Outlet was able to connect and co-create content with small business influencers that had relevance and resonance with the brand’s target audience. The full campaign, featuring videos, a landing page, and social promotion, achieved amazing results that were only possible with influencer marketing:

Results from Dell Influencer Marketing CampaignOf particular interest is that the campaign was 175% over goal for traffic to product pages. Even though this was primarily an awareness campaign, the influencer contributions actually drove conversions. That’s a powerful testament to how successfully the campaign built trust with its target audience.

Cherwell Employs Influence Across the Customer Lifecycle

For his next example, Lee shared a success story from software company Cherwell*. Their story highlights the importance of a diverse influencer mix to appeal to buyers across the lifecycle, from awareness to engagement to decision.

Cherwell needed to create awareness around their brand, build trust with IT executives, and ultimately drive leads and sales. This full-funnel approach required different types of influencers for each stage:

Chart Mapping Influencers to Funnel StageAt the top of the funnel, brandividuals with large networks and enthusiastic audiences help drive awareness. Further down, subject matter experts add even more substance to the conversation, contributing to meatier content. Finally, at the bottom of the funnel, brand advocates help with the final push to conversion.

This type of strategic co-creation, with influencers at every stage of the funnel, generated unbelievable results for Cherwell. The campaign achieved over 400% more social reach than any previous campaign, and influenced 22% of their sales pipeline for the year.

ALE Creates a New Industry Award

Lee’s final example shows just how powerful influencer marketing can be not only for awareness, engagement, and conversion, but also for creating goodwill among influencers, prospects, and customers.

Alcatel Lucent Enterprise (ALE)* wanted to raise awareness and add credibility with prospects to accelerate sales discussions. Their solution: With the help of influencers, create a new award to honor and uplift the IT professionals in their target audience.

The 2020 IT Vanguard Awards started by selecting judges, influencers in the IT space, as well as a subject matter expert from ALE. These judges shared their thoughts on what qualities defined the best IT leaders. Then ALE asked their target audience to nominate their co-workers and peers for the award.

Alcatel Lucent Enterprise Campaign ResultsThe resulting campaign saw unprecedented levels of engagement and influencer promotion for ALE, along with earned media reporting in industry publications. The resultant flood of goodwill from IT professionals firmly established ALE’s credibility and added deals worth millions of dollars to their pipeline. And for a finishing touch, the campaign won ALE an award of its own: A Killer Content Award (“Finny”) for 2020.

Optimizing ABM with Influencer Marketing

Looking to get some of those results for yourself? Lee offered a 5-step plan to integrating influencer marketing into your ABM strategy:

#1: Find Your Ideal Customer Topics. Use tools like SEMrush, Brandwatch and BuzzSumo to identify your customers‘ burning questions — and how they search for answers. Seek out the topics that align with your brand’s expertise and your customers‘ need to know.

#2: Find Your Ideal Customer Influencers. With the help of tools like Traackr, identify the people who are influential about your topics. You’re looking for those who care about these topics, whose audience cares about them too, and who are regularly publishing content.

#3: Identify, Qualify and Recruit. The three key considerations for an influencer are:

  • Popularity: How large of a following does the influencer have?
  • Resonance: How well does the influencer actually move their audience to take action?
  • Relevance: How closely aligned is the influencer’s output with your values, audience, and topics?

For top of funnel influencers, popularity is the #1 consideration. For middle of funnel, it’s relevance, then popularity. For the bottom of the funnel, resonance and relevance rule. And also look for the five key traits of the best B2B influencers: Proficiency, Popularity, Personality, Publishing and Promotion.

#4: Create Content & Activate Influencers. Plan your content types, platforms and media —based on your audience research. Once you co-create content with your influencers, activate them to share the fruits of your collaboration.

#5: Practice Ongoing Engagement. Don’t make your influencer involvement a one-and-done. Keep following and engaging with your influencers, helping promote them and developing a community. Better yet, introduce influencers to each other! They’ll have your brand to thank for meaningful connections they make with their peers.

Lee Odden B2BMX 2020

Understanding Influence, Influencing Understanding

In closing, Lee urged account-based marketers to include influencer marketing in their ABM strategy. In addition to your brandividuals, advocates, and experts, he also recommended adding prospects into your influencer mix. Promote your most valued potential customers right alongside leaders in the industry, help them become influential, and you can begin a mutually profitable relationship.

Is influencer marketing part of your B2B marketing mix? Whether you’re running multiple campaigns, or just thinking about testing the waters, we want to hear from you. Take our quick B2B Influencer Marketing Survey to share your experience, and have a chance to win a $500 Amazon gift card!

* LinkedIn, Dell Outlet, Cherwell, and Alcatel Lucent Enterprise are TopRank Marketing clients.

The post Optimizing ABM with Influencer Marketing at #B2BMX appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.



Mehr Bilder…

Die zweibändige Publikation ist die erste Monografie zum Werk der Künstlerin und besteht aus einem umfangreichen Portfolio und einem Künstlerbuch. In diesen nimmt sie Bezug zu bestehenden Arbeiten, zitiert und interpretiert diese neu. Dabei geht sie in besonderer Form auf das Medium Buch und dessen Fadenbindung ein. Diese kommt durch eine Freirückenbroschur besonders zur Geltung. Der Bund und der Faden bestimmen immer wieder Rhythmus und Dynamik und greifen die Arbeitsweisen der Künstlerin auf. Falzen, schneiden, vervielfältigen und überlagern, aber auch das lineare Lesen oder die Objekthaftigkeit des Buches sind Themen. Hinzu kommt eine händische Bearbeitung mit einem originalen Siebdruck und Stanzungen. Im Satz wird das Thema der Fadenbindung optisch aufgegriffen. Die anschmiegsame »Cira Sans“ irritiert auf den zweiten Blick. Sie überrascht trotz ihrer offenen, weichen und dynamischen Formen, durch starke Kanten und plötzlich abrechende Rundungen. Eine Parallele zu den Arbeiten von Denise Winter.

Judith Anna Rüther

Denise Winter