Archiv für den Autor: Andreas

8 Fundamental Elements of a Successful Social Media Marketing Strategy

Social media is a staple marketing tactic for nearly every business, helping brands build awareness, share and interact with customers and prospects, and create important touch points in the changing customer journey.

However, both green and seasoned marketers are still trying to nail down what a successful social media marketing strategy looks like. According to Social Media Examiner’s 2016 industry report, 90% of marketers say social media is important to their business. However, just 41% say they’re able to measure the ROI of their social activities.

As any successful marketer will tell you, the road to success begins by physically documenting your strategy. As for what needs to be included, below you’ll find some essential elements to consider.

#1 – Your brand’s value proposition.

The first step in building a successful social media marketing strategy is defining the value your brand brings to your social media audiences. Why? Because if you can’t define the value, you certainly won’t be able to show any value.

Ask yourself: Why would someone follow or engage with me on social? What do I want my followers to know about my brand? What value can I bring to my audience through content and engagement on social? Then craft a simple mission statement of sorts, and use that to help guide the rest of your strategy development.


If you can’t define the value, you certainly won’t be able to show any value. #socialmediamarketing
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#2 – Your objectives.

Simply put, there can be no strategy if there’s no end goal. Your objectives are the foundation of your strategy, guiding every decision and tactic that comes next.

Use the goals outlined in your overall digital marketing strategy as a starting point. This will allow you create social-specific goals that help contribute to the larger marketing mission. Whether you want to increase your number of followers, boost referral traffic to your website, foster engagement or drive more conversions, set goals that can be measured. In addition, consider setting benchmark goals so you can gauge the success of your efforts as you go and make improvements as needed.

#3 – Your defined audience.

The success of your social media marketing efforts hinges on your ability to empathize and connect with your target audience. As a result, you need to understand their motivations, pain points, and content interests and needs.

Dig into website and social platform analytics, and talk with your sales team to uncover key customer insights and characteristics. Then use what you find to develop a customer persona—which is a general representation of who your target customer/follower is.


Your success hinges on your ability to empathize & connect w/ your audience. #socialmedia
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#4 – Your channel mix.

Each social media platform offers a little something unique. As a result, many marketers may be tempted to design strategy that includes a presence on every platform. But—as with most things in the digital marketing world—quality over quantity is definitely a good rule of thumb.

While you’re compiling audience research to create your personas, find out what channels are driving the most website traffic and on-page engagement (i.e. time on page or pages per visit), and inciting the most engagement on the platform itself (i.e. comments, likes and shares). In addition, do some competitive research to learn where your fiercest competitors are spending their time on social media and the type of engagement they’re getting. This research will allow you get a look at your internal and competitive landscape, and help you prioritize and triage your efforts.

Finally, look back at the objectives you outlined to determine which platforms are best suited for helping you reach those goals. For example, if one of your social media marketing goals is to attract or recruit new talent, a visual platform like Instagram is the perfect place to show off your company’s amazing workplace culture. On the other hand, if your goal is fostering engagement through discussion, Facebook may be a must-have platform within your mix.

#5 – Your content mix.

In today’s social media landscape, simply sharing links to your company website or blog with a bit of text will not drive your objectives. Your followers want and expect more from you.

Use all the aforementioned elements to guide the creation of a content plan that includes the appropriate mix of images, videos, links and discussion starters tailored to each platform.

#6 – Your posting and engagement schedule.

Maintaining a consistent presence on your social channels is vital to the success of your marketing efforts. If you disappear for long periods of time, it’s easy for your audience to forget about you—and can prove more difficult to build engagement back up. Similarly, over-posting can be an annoyance, and cause your audience to turn away. So, your ultimate goal is to be a regular fixture in news feeds, but not overwhelm your audience.

Develop a daily, weekly or monthly plan or schedule that details:

  • Who is responsible for posting or monitoring your social media feeds
  • When the content is being shared (i.e. dates and times)
  • Where the content is being shared (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.)
  • What content is being shared (i.e. website link, curated content, image, video, etc.)
  • How you’ll be sharing content (i.e. live tweeting at an event; native vs. using a social media management tool to schedule in advance)

Maintaining a consistent presence on your channels is vital to success. #socialmediamarketing
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#7 – Your method of measurement and data analysis.

Measurement and data analysis are vital to any strategic initiative, providing you with the insights you need to continually refine your approach and ultimately prove ROI.

Outline the specific analytics tools and metrics you’ll use to gauge success—both on (native engagement) and off (your website) social platforms. For example, if one of your goals is to drive more website traffic through social channels, Google Analytics or your preferred analytics platform will be a critical tool to include. As for measurement, some of the metrics you’ll want to look at include time on page, number of pages per visit and assisted conversions.

#8 – Authenticity.

If you want to achieve social media success, the importance of authenticity cannot be overstated. The beauty of social media is that you have the opportunity to show your audience who you are, not just what you sell.

Develop a brand voice that brings a human element and some personality to your social media pages. Lose the jargon or sales pitch, and talk to people on their level.


The importance of authenticity cannot be overstated. #socialmediamarketing
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Resources to Jumpstart Your Social Media Marketing Success

If you’re looking for a few more resources to get your social media marketing strategy on-track, take a gander at some of these other helpful posts:

What is your biggest social media challenge? Tell us in the comments section below.


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2017. |
8 Fundamental Elements of a Successful Social Media Marketing Strategy | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post 8 Fundamental Elements of a Successful Social Media Marketing Strategy appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Source:: toprankblog.com

A visual guide to Pinterest advertising

Pinterest has slowly been building itself up as an advertising alternative to Google and Facebook over the past 12 months.

The company’s focus has historically been on building an engaged user base through its intuitive, visual interface.

As a social network, it has always offered something a little different.

However, advertisers have been skeptical about whether Pinterest could ‘monetize‘ this model, due to the nature of engagements users have and also the demographics that typically spend time on the site.

Those concerns have not been allayed altogether, but Pinterest has made some fascinating moves of late. They have launched a paid search partnership with Kenshoo, completely upgraded their visual search capabilities, and expanded their reach by adding a new Google Chrome extension.

By combining an engaged user base with advertising that doesn’t disrupt their experience, Pinterest may have a formula that works in an age of ad blockers and decreased consumer attention spans. Their stated aim has been to own the ‘discovery‘ phase of the purchase journey, suggesting products to users before they know exactly what they are looking for.

Google has clearly taken notice, too. The search giant’s recent product launches, such as its ‘similar items‚ feature and the recent announcement of Google Lens, demonstrate Google’s strategy to stymie Pinterest’s growth. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, after all.

That said, Pinterest remains a relative unknown in the advertising space. Many advertisers would no doubt welcome a third, genuine alternative for their digital ad dollars, a fact that will likely benefit Amazon as well as Pinterest. But before taking the plunge and launching a paid campaign, there are some things we need to know.

As such, it seems timely to take a step back and assess what really differentiates Pinterest from the competition, what options are open to marketers, and what you need to know before getting started with Pinterest advertising.

Since this is Pinterest we’re talking about, we thought a visual guide would be most fitting.

Enjoyed this? Check out some of our other recent visual guides and infographics:

Infographic created by Clark Boyd, VP Strategy at Croud, and graphic designer Chelsea Herbert.

Source:: searchenginewatch.com

The Secret to Creating Scalable, Quality Content and Better CX – Infographic

A woman walks into a retail store and looks around, not finding what she’s there for. She approaches a sales associate and asks, “Excuse me, can you show me where the top of the funnel is? I need to be confronted by every touchpoint of your predetermined sales process before I can purchase something”.

Not one of your customers is doing this.

So why do brands continue to drive content marketing programs based on a linear, sequential buying journey? With so many consumers numb to brand messaging and increasingly blocking advertising, how can marketers do a better job of connecting with and engaging customers with content?

One of the first admissions recovering funnel marketers need to make is that the funnel is dead. The customer buying experience is more like a tangled mix of omnidirectional customer journeys driven by myriad factors, many of which brands no longer have control over. Considering all of those possible influences can be overwhelming, especially when expectations of content performance are higher than ever.

The good news is that content marketers can achieve quality content at scale while creating much better experiences for customers with that content by making influencer collaboration part of the strategy.

Content drives all aspects of the customer journey from discovering content to education and inspiration to taking action. There are many influences when it comes to customers and content including other people who are influential.

In fact, there are some very important trends happening in the influencer marketing world that were surfaced in our research with influencer relationship platform, Traackr. What is working, what is not? What are the differences between B2B and B2C? How are companies budgeting and what are the best practices and case studies to learn from?

For a preview of these top Influencer Marketing trends and more, be sure to see this excellent interactive infographic created by our friends at the interactive content marketing platform Ceros of the Influence 2.0 Report by Brian Solis (in partnership with Traackr and my agency, TopRank Marketing).

Lucky 13 considerations for an integrated approach to influencer generated content:

1. Thinking about customer insight as it relates to information discovery, consumption and acton through the lens of influence opens up some very interesting doors of opportunity. In fact, when marketers integrate influencer marketing at the content marketing strategy level, it becomes a compelling and long term opportunity that most overlook.

2. For example, consider content discovery: A study by Augure reports that 93% of marketers implementing influencer marketing say it is effective to build brand awareness. And Burst Media reports that marketers are getting nearly a 10 to 1 return on earned media value from working with influencers on content.

3. Why hire a PR firm for media relations when you could work with influencers to create editorial placements that get ten times the reach? Actually, I think “working with PR” should be an “also” not an “instead of”. Media Relations and advertising investments with influencer content is a winning combination, not an either/or.

4. Content is King and customers are everything else. When it comes to content engagement, you have to decide what kind of content your customers prefer with considerations for topics, format, length, media type and even what devices they use.

5. Influencers lead and buyers follow. In his research, Dr. Jonah Berger of the Wharton School, reports that 82% of consumers follow expert recommendations. Twitter reports that 49% of consumers rely on influencers for product suggestions. Those are compelling stats relevant to how brands can work with influencers that can guide the kind of content to engage your customers in more effective ways.

6. Build it and they will come doesn’t work and neither does build and promoted the heck out of it and they will buy. It might, but there are no guarantees. According to research by Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, marketers are not overwhelmingly confident about the effectiveness of their content.

7. Content effectiveness goes up with influencer collaboration. Content Marketing Institute has reported a 10X boost in conversion rates when influencers are involved. Even more compelling is that influencer marketing was found to have 11X better annual ROI over traditional marketing, according to a study by Tapinfluence, White Wave and Nielsen.

8. What good is acquiring customers if they don’t stay customers? A study from McKinsey reports a 37% higher retention rate with customers acquired through influencer content.

9. The solution to better content discovery, engagement and action is the integration of content and working with influencers. The study that we partnered with Traackr and Brian Solis of Altimeter on agrees: 80% of marketers surveyed reported the area of business most impacted by working with influencers was content marketing.

10. This is why my definition of influencer marketing is focused on content:

“Influencer Marketing develops relationships with internal and industry experts with active networks to co-create content that helps drive measurable business goals.“

11. Funnel myth and the influencer warm up. With a relationship and content-focused approach to influencer marketing, customers aren’t looking for a mythical funnel as they visit their favorite online or neighborhood store. Instead, the business warms the buying journey with product recommendations from people that buyers already trust to make recommendations.

12. Pick and choose your influencers wisely. For some customers that might be a famous actor, athlete or champion of business. For other customers it might be a famous or niche social influencer. Discounting either famous or micro-influencers is to discount sources your customers actually trust.

13. It pays to dig in to better understand customers in terms of their content preferences including who influences them and about what, relative to your brand’s products and services. Instead of speculating about topics, keywords and stories, why not actually talk to your customers and find out: What triggers them to look for solutions? What is their pain? What questions do they have that your brand and influencer content can answer? Creating utility for buyers through brand and influencer generated content can be instrumental for creating more findable and meaningful content experiences.

How to jumpstart an influencer generated content program:

1 – Get expert help. Do you know who the top influencers are for your customers relevant to your industry? Do you already have relationships with those influencers? Does your competition?

Research the market, find out who your customers influencers are, big and small. Then make a plan that identifies how collaborating with those influencers on content can be tied to business goals..

2 – Invest in technology. Sure, you could use Twitter search or Followerwonk and a spreadsheet to create a list of influencers, but you could also bring a spatula to a gun fight – if you get what I mean.

Influencer marketing technology will help you intelligently identify, qualify, and engage with influencers as well as to manage communications and measure performance of your work together. There are highly useful, fundamental tools like BuzzSumo or specialty platforms like GroupHigh or Upfluence for bloggers, LittleBird for Twitter or more enterprise focused solutions like Traackr and Onalytica. There are also marketplaces like TapInfluence, Collective Bias or Linqia where you can “shop” for influencers to engage like advertising.

3 – Activate customers. Advocacy is powerful so you should start by activating those who are already expressing positive sentiment towards your brand and the things your brand and customers care about.

Benchmark the metrics you plan on affecting with influencer collaboration and start with those who are already advocate. That might mean people who follow your brand on social networks, employees and especially current customers. Invite advocate customers with reach, relevance and resonance amongst their communities to collaborate on content. Build out the processes that will make your content marketing more successful when you collaborate with trusted experts and people who have earned the trust of your potential customers.

If you would like to learn more about influencer generated content, best practices and how it can be integrated with your marketing strategy, be sure to check out our agency site, TopRank Marketing.

I’m also going to be speaking on content and influencer marketing topics at several upcoming conferences:

May 16, New York: ContentSEO
Content Marketing (R)evolution

June 2, Chicago: 2017 Masters of B2B Marketing
Influencer Marketing: Hype or Hope for B2B

June 19 London: Digital Marketing World Forum
Influence + Content = Digital Marketing Success in 2017

June 22 London: B2B Ignite
Influence: Mighty Hype or Great Hope for B2B

I hope to see you there!


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2017. |
The Secret to Creating Scalable, Quality Content and Better CX – Infographic | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post The Secret to Creating Scalable, Quality Content and Better CX – Infographic appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Source:: toprankblog.com

David McCandless, the restless graphic artist

David McCandless is a writer, creative director and artist based in London. He is the founder of Information is Beautiful, where, together with a small team, he works to convert data and information into comprehensible graphics and diagrams that are both useful and visually compelling.

David has worked as a journalist, a creative director, an editor and a scriptwriter for video games. Among his business clients are standout names like Google, GE, SAP, Kantar and Facebook. He is also the author of two successful infographic books. Information is Beautiful (2009), edited by HarperCollins in the US and in the UK, has been published in ten languages. In 2014, the same publishing house put out the sequel, Knowledge is Beautiful. Both books use the visualization of data and the design information to tell stories in a new way, transmitting interesting ideas and awakening the mind to how it sees graphics and information. His infographics have also been published in The Guardian and Wired, among other outlets. He is also the creator of the video game The Helicopter Game, one of the most addictive games that has circulated online of late.

Currently working as an information designer and a data journalist, his true passion, David McCandless enjoys the entire process connected to his work; the visualization of information – facts, data, ideas, problems, statistics, questions – searching for a way to transform information through graphics into something that anyone can understand.

For David, the design of information can help us to understand the world, to reveal hidden connections, patterns and history that live below the surface and that have as yet gone undetected. Anything strange can be interesting. The ideas that inspire him and that help him understand the world are love, beauty and truth. From these, all things are represented; from elements in nature, science, thought, food, pop and dogs.

Together with his Information is Beautiful team, they reveal data, information and knowledge of the world through beautiful and useful graphics and diagrams.

All graphics and images are based on facts and data. The mission is to illustrate them from multiple perspectives (even when not in agreement with the information). The ever-evolving knowledge and data is constantly being updated, then revised, and revised again then adapted.

What is clear from all of this is that this restless vocational infographic artist is always working on something, and count on it being strange and interesting.

Source:: blog.fotolia.com

How video impacts mobile web performance and UX, part 2: autoplay and audio

Image shows two charts 1. Content breakdown for homepages of the top 100 sites 2. Content breakdown for the homepage of YouTube. Source: HTTP Archive April 2017

Mobile video is a major up-and-coming trend in content, with brands everywhere converging on the new and lucrative mobile video market.

Mark Zuckerberg said on a recent shareholder conference call that he sees video as “a megatrend on the same order as mobile” – which makes mobile video, the intersection between the two, the ultimate sweet spot of engaging content to draw in new consumer eyeballs.

But sadly, there are still some technical hurdles to overcome before the mobile video experience is as smooth as companies would like it to be. In our previous installment we looked at how video can be a massive mobile data hog, and why it shouldn’t (but still does) have an impact on download speed.

In this part we’ll look at the contentious subject of autoplaying videos and their impact on mobile webpage performance, as well as how audio can delay page speed, and what kind of conditions make for a poor viewer experience (VX).

Our third and final part will consider some solutions that webmasters can enact to counter the issues with mobile video.

Video autoplay and page performance

Comparing the data on HTTP Archive for average content for the top 100 most popular sites (according to Alexa) with the top 1 million (shown above) reveals some interesting stats.

On average, video content is just 17kB (rather than 128kB) which is 2.1% of total page size, which, is a (comparatively) slender 828kB.

There are three reasons why this might be:

  1. Top sites avoid using video. (Considering these include video specialist like YouTube, BBC and CNN, this is the least likely of the three reasons).
  2. Top sites avoid using video on the (mobile) homepage. (The homepage of YouTube, for example, is made up of image links to videos, rather than videos themselves. Each video has its own webpage).
  3. Top sites use video more efficiently (as Dutton suggests).

Querying this apparent anomaly of video usage between all sites and the top 100 with the web performance experts at HTTP Archive, we received the following answer from Rick Viscomi, a leader of the HTTP Archive project and Developer Advocate at Google:

“I think the answer is: efficiency. To be more specific, I think it comes down to autoplay. HTTP Archive just visits a page and records the page load without clicking around. Autoplay videos would be captured on those visits, while click-to-play would not.

“Autoplaying is wasteful for everyone involved because a page visit does not always demonstrate intent to watch. One notable exception is YouTube, where visiting a watch page is definitely intent to watch. Keep in mind that only home pages are crawled by HTTP Archive. So my theory is the top sites choose not to autoplay in order to keep bounce rates low and conversions high.”

Notably, autoplay video and audio is also frowned on from an accessibility perspective. See these BBC guidelines for example. The reason for this is that people with visual impairments rely on screen readers to read aloud a webpage. Clearly if audio or video media starts to play (including advertisements) it will interfere with the screen reader and will make tricky for the user to find out how to make it stop.

The impact of audio on page performance

One of the most useful features of HTTP Archive or WebPageTest (from where it is captured) is the filmstrip which shows how a website loads on a mobile device second by second.

The loading process for New York Times mobile site on May 1, 2017 is captured by HTTP Archive in the image below. The audio story The Daily is at the top of the mobile page, above the fold, allowing us to see clearly how audio may delay page speed.

The audio does not finish loading until 22 seconds, when the play button finally appears and the site is visibly complete.

Poor viewer experience (VX)

Assuming there is no autoplay, a correctly coded website should not require the video to be downloaded until the user requests it by clicking on the play button.

However as soon as the mobile user clicks on that play button, the level of expectation changes…

There are three potential VX problems with video:

  1. The video is too slow to start.
  2. It fails to start.
  3. It stalls during play back – this is due to (re) buffering or a dropping connection, typically shown by the spinning wheel.
  4. Poor video quality – or quality that is less an optimal for the connection.

Research by Conviva and nScreenMedia (November 2016) illustrates the difference in VX quality when a viewer is indoors (WIFI) or outdoors (cellular) failures for videos to start increases from 1.5% to 2.9% and buffering issues rises from 7.9% to 14.3% of views.

This has a noticeable impact on user satisfaction out of home 11.8% exit before the video starts versus 9.0% in home.Graph shows difference in video quality when a viewer is indoors or outdoors (as explained in the text). Source: Conviva and nScreenMedia (November 2016).

Research carried out by University of Massachusetts and Akamai, of 6.7 million video viewers, in 2012, also shows a growing intolerance to slow, stalling video.

Ramesh Sitaraman, Professor of Computer Science, UMass, Amherst tells ClickZ:

“Mobile users are impatient and abandon videos that do not start up quickly. However, they are more patient than users who have high-speed Internet access (say, Fiber), since their expectations of speed are lower in comparison.

“Mobile users start to abandon a video after waiting for about 2 seconds. By the 10 second mark, if the video has not started, roughly a fifth have abandoned.”

And on stalling:

“We don’t have data split out just for mobile. But, we studied a cross-section of users that included mobile. Overall, people watch videos for a shorter period of time when the video stalls than they would have otherwise.

“Roughly, a 1% increase in stalls leads to 5% decrease in the minutes watched.”

This is Part 2 of a series looking at how video impacts mobile web performance and UX. Read the previous installment: How video impacts mobile web performance and UX, part 1: data and download speed.

Source:: searchenginewatch.com