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Top three marketing trends for the COVID-19 era

30-second summary:

  • The COVID-19 era dramatically impacted the world, and marketers are scrambling to adjust.
  • If you want to stay on top of whats going on in the marketing industry, you have to meet people where they are.
  • Founder and CEO of  Teknicks, Nick Chasinov, shares three marketing trends that can help businesses meet consumer demand and capitalize on the industry dynamics.

Today, marketing shifts happen without warning and seemingly overnight. The novel coronavirus caused the initial wave, and now the industry is impacted by the surf. People under stay-at-home orders are spending more time online, leading to Facebook traffic spikes, Google search adjustments, and the rise in popularity of social channels like TikTok. The COVID-19 era impacted the world, and marketers are scrambling to adjust.

Before the internet, changes in the marketing space occurred at a glacial pace. Marketers would develop best practices for the rare emergence of a new channel and stick to them for a long time. For example, TV induced the creation of video commercials in the late 1940s, but those advertisements remained mostly unchanged for decades.

However, the most successful marketing campaigns of all time leveraged new innovative marketing strategies. If you want to stay on top of whats going on in the marketing industry, you have to meet people where they are. Here are three marketing trends that apply during the COVID-19 era:

1. Featured snippets

Search evolves quickly, and thats made even more evident by how were searching amid the COVID-19 era. People have specific questions they want answers for, such as Can I freeze milk? or Does X restaurant deliver?”. Because of this, featured snippets — boxed search results that appear at the top of the screen — are extremely coveted.

These spots provide instantaneous answers to user queries, and they provide more than a twofold increase in click-through rate, which means more traffic and potential leads than the piece that ranks in the coveted number-one position on the SERPs. Additionally, in a 2019 search algorithm update, Google announced that it would prioritize high-quality educational, authoritative, and trustworthy content over traditional SEO factors like keyword density. Marketing and advertising professionals need to be aware of how this trend will impact the industry moving forward.

If you want to land a featured snippet, create content that answers very specific questions relevant to your audience (especially questions for which the current featured snippet is held by a low-authority webpage). Definitions, tables, step-by-step types, and lists are the four most common types of featured snippets. If youre wondering what people are looking for right now, check out current coronavirus-related search trends.

2. Mobile optimization

While quarantined, more and more people are turning to home delivery, video games, online shopping, and social media. Despite the economic downturn, retail jumped 34%, and large companies like Amazon are hiring more employees in order to keep up. The coronavirus is having a huge impact on ecommerce.

There are more mobile browsers than ever before, yet desktop conversion rates are almost double what they are on mobile platforms. Current events and Googles 2018 decision to make site speed a factor in page rank underscore the urgency of a lightning-fast browsing experience. A site that takes just one second longer to load can reduce conversions by 7%, while sub-second load times boost conversion by 15% to 30%.

Now is the time to invest in a new mobile website built with user-friendly formats. Progressive web apps, for example, can give your brands website app-like speed, instant logins, and seamless page transitions. PWAs speed up the purchasing process when used in conjunction with accelerated mobile pages and server-side rendering. Not only will your customers have a better mobile experience, but theyll also have a more pleasant time shopping.

2. Shoppable social

Since everyone began practising social distancing, social media has seen a huge uptick in traffic. In particular, Instagram has been buzzing with new trends like Dalgona coffee, house party, fitness videos, and more. If youre a marketer for a small to midsize brand, you should consider creating shoppable posts to meet people where they are.

A few years ago, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms began enabling consumers to make in-app purchases by clicking a call to action in a post. In-app purchases allow social media users to buy products theyre interested in without ever leaving their feeds.

Marketers were initially sceptical about the strategy, but these posts are here to stay. One study showed that 72% of Instagram users have purchased something on the platform. This marketing technology trend is the lifeblood of influencers who monetize their personal styles and promote other brands. Next time you post a flat lay to Instagram, tag products from the share screen. Your customers will appreciate the easy access, and youll be able to collect data on your buyers, which you can use to create other targeted shoppable social posts.

If youre not sure where to focus your marketing efforts amidst the COVID-19 era, start with one of these three trends. Its time to meet consumer demand and capitalize on the growing momentum of these marketing methods.

Nick Chasinov is the founder and CEO of  Teknicks, a research-based internet marketing agency certified by Google in Analytics, Tag Manager, and a Google Premier AdWords partner.

The post Top three marketing trends for the COVID-19 era appeared first on Search Engine Watch.


Break Free B2B Marketing: “Webinerd” Mark Bornstein of ON24 on Dialing In Digital Experiences

Break Free B2B Marketing Mark Bornstein Image

Break Free B2B Marketing Mark Bornstein Image

Like many other digital experiences, the webinar has traditionally been viewed as a means to an end: Create something that seems valuable to your audience, and use it as a vehicle to acquire contact information for lead generation purposes.

But marketers like Mark Bornstein take a different angle: What if we view the webinar itself as an end — an extremely valuable marketing tool on its own? What if we’re just muddying it up with all these mandatory form-fills and sales-y follow-ups?

“You need the name once, you need the demographic information one time,” he observes. “But why do we keep putting forms together again and again? What matters is the experience.”

[bctt tweet=““Why do we keep putting lead gen forms together again and again? What matters is the experience.” — @4markb on #BreakFreeB2B #DigitalExperiences“ username=“toprank“]

Mark elaborates: “It’s the experience you give, it’s the way you’re able to connect and interact with audiences that matters. Because that’s where you’re going to get the real data. That’s where you’re going to learn a lot about them.”

Although he is a proud marketer, and VP of Marketing for the webinar solution provider ON24, this self-professed “webinerd,” Mark urges his fellow practitioners to develop a new mindset by moving away from traditional terminologies: “It’s not about marketing anymore. It’s about connecting people to your brand. It’s relationship-building.”

The days of dry, facelessly narrated slide presentations are gone, he argues. We need to dial in and focus on human connections through authenticity, empathy, and compassion. We need to learn more about our customers than how we can contact them with follow-up promotional materials.

At a time where physical events and meetings are off the table, achieving these connections in the digital space via experiential marketing has never been more vital. In his 25-minute conversation with TopRank Marketing’s Susan Misukanis at B2B Marketing Exchange in February, Mark shared a wealth of insights, which have only become more useful and valuable in the weeks and months since.

Break Free B2B Interview with Mark Bornstein

If you’re interested in checking out a particular portion of the discussion, you can find a quick general outline below, as well as a few excerpts that stood out to us.

  • 0:45 – Mark’s experience making webinars, and his view on lead gen
  • 2:00 – Have we reached the end of MQLs?
  • 3:15 – What is an experience and what makes a good one?
  • 5:00 – Examples of companies that are getting digital experiences right
  • 7:45 – What role will technology play in experiences going forward?
  • 10:00 – Are brands becoming more open to moving outside the box?
  • 12:00 – Finding and positioning your brand’s narrative
  • 13:30 – Getting back to opt-in marketing fundamentals
  • 16:00 – Where Mark sees the industry going in 2-3 years
  • 17:30 – Who is poised to win in the short-term (SMB/verticals vs. enterprise)?
  • 20:15 – The value of compassion, empathy and connection
  • 24:15 – How can B2B marketers break free?

Susan: So you talk about an experience … Can you take it a level deeper? What is an experience?

Mark: Well, let me tell you about my world. So in the world of webinars, if you think about what a webinar was even a few years ago — and maybe in some cases still now — the webinar was a talking PowerPoint. Just a headless voice, you didn’t see anybody. You just heard somebody going through the slides in a droll way and it wasn’t branded and it was just boring. And maybe a lot of webinars still are kind of boring. But the fact of the matter is, what we see companies doing now is they’re creating serialized programming. They’re creating these really cool almost TV-like viewing experiences, where it’s a show and there’s hosts and the formats are changing. There’s panel discussions and coffee talks and chat shows and new style formats. So companies that are trying to own thought leadership, to establish a voice, to be the company that people go to — they’re not going to do that through giving a webinar on, you know, here’s our content. Here’s our slide presentation. They’re doing it by building experiences. And I think a really great experience has a few of the following qualities: It should be completely branded. It should be interactive. I always say give yourself the “what can they do?” test. When somebody is experiencing your content, is this all they can do? They’re reading your ebook or watching your video … is that it? An experience is a place where people can ask questions, or they can chat, or they can tweet, or they can download content. They can click on CTAs. You want to create an environment where people are doing stuff, and it’s a multi-touch content experience. And so it’s a different thing today.

[bctt tweet=““Companies that are trying to own thought leadership, they’re not going to do that through giving a webinar that’s a slide presentation. They’re doing it by building experiences.” — @4markb on #BreakFreeB2B #DigitalExperiences“ username=“toprank“]

Susan: We keep hearing that marketing is moving toward AI and tech — in a few years, it’ll all be bot-driven. How do you reconcile that with your vision?

Mark: One of the things that drives me crazy about marketing in general is that we as marketers are very interesting creatures, in the sense that we’re always willing to try new things. But we also get into habits we can’t break. And a lot of the technologies — whether it’s automation, or artificial intelligence, predictive analytics — all these amazing technologies that have been created to scale our marketing in ways like never before? Well, we are acting like this technology that was created to get people to our marketing has now become our marketing. So you need to look at, you know, artificial intelligence tells us out of this vast infinite number of people who we should be targeting, and maybe some of the topics we should be talking about. We can get a lot of great information. Automation allows us to scale that up in a lot of different ways. But ultimately, there is a moment of engagement. There still is that human engagement. And so all of that technology can inform, but ultimately, what really has to drive that engagement is the conversation that you have with them and the experience that you can deliver.”

[bctt tweet=““We are acting like this technology that was created to get people to our marketing has now become our marketing.” — @4markb on #BreakFreeB2B #DigitalExperiences“ username=“toprank“]

Susan: You tweet a lot about marketers not asking for proper permission to opt in. So maybe our prospective buyer has a need, but getting that opt-in and going about it the right way, that’s a big hurdle.

Mark: It is. I mean, if you’re a marketer in the U.K., you know what this pain feels like. I think especially in the U.S., but really around the globe, marketers are not ready. I don’t think they’re taking this seriously enough. You know, privacy legislation is in the U.S. now, but it’s mostly based on privacy protections. It’s not based on opt-ins and that sort of thing yet. It is coming. It is going to happen very soon, people. And so we need to prepare for this, which means we need to build our marketing around this idea of people opting in. So how do we do this? We have to be able to produce streams of programming that people will want to subscribe to, right? It’s no longer about nurtures, it’s no longer about ‘can you come to my event‘ or ‘will you come to this one-off virtual experience or webinar,‘ whatever it is. We need to find ways to get people who want our marketing to opt into our marketing. At a time when all of this digital noise is scaring them away. We need to bring them back in through more authentic, more human, more experiential marketing. We’re going to get them there.”

Stay tuned to the TopRank Marketing Blog and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more Break Free B2B interviews. Here are a few interviews to whet your appetite:


Hartes Pflaster

Mehr Bilder…

Seit 1993 ist Off Road Kids die einzige Hilfsorganisation für Straßenkinder in Deutschland, die überregional tätig ist. Mit Streetwork-Stationen in Berlin, Dortmund, Frankfurt am Main, Hamburg und Köln, dem Institut für Pädagogikmanagement sowie zahlreichen Beratungsangeboten rückt die die oft vergessenen Straßenkinder und junge Wohnungslose in den Fokus. Im Rahmen der Präventionsarbeit soll nun Aufklärungsarbeit zum Thema Impfen geleistet werden.

Mit einem Mailing, das über Streetworker verteilt wird, soll der Kontakt zu den Jugendlichen hergestellt werden. Mehr als sonst ist es dabei wichtig, die Zielgruppe mit den Materialien direkt anzusprechen und so mit ihr ins Gespräch zu kommen.

Wir haben ein starkes Keyvisual entwickelt, das sich leitmotivisch durch die ganze Kampagne zieht. Jede Krankheit (Keuchhusten, HPV, Masern etc.) wurde zusätzlich illustriert, um für die möglichen Gefahren und Folgeschäden ein Bewusstsein zu schaffen. Mit einer Mischung aus lockerer Ansprache und weiterführenden Informationen wird auf Risiken aufmerksam gemacht und die Relevanz des Impfens betont.

Zusätzliche Streuartikel wie Kondome, Socken oder Pflaster bieten einerseits direkte Hilfe und machen andererseits auf das Thema Impfen aufmerksam. Zusätzlich haben wir Plakate für die Beratungsstellen und Postkarten mit den Motiven erstellt, um so auf hilfreiche Anlaufstellen aufmerksam zu machen.

Stürmer & Dränger

Robert Parnack, Christina Krauß

Marc Lehmann


Ausstellungs­katalog Monde für die Künstlerin Birgit Jensen

Mehr Bilder…

Der Ausstellungskatalog Monde präsentiert die gleichnamige Bilderserie der Düsseldorfer Künstlerin Birgit Jensen und begleitet ihre Einzelausstellung im Kunstverein Leverkusen – Schloss Morsbroich.

In ihren zum Teil großformatigen Werken reflektiert Birgit Jensen die tradierte Funktion von Landschaft als metaphysische Transformation in einer Zeit, in der unser Lebensraum zum Teil dramatischen Veränderungen unterworfen ist und zugleich die fortschreitende Digitalisierung unsere Wahrnehmung stetig verändert. Ihre Arbeiten drehen sich um den Mond und seine Reflexion in einem stillen Gewässer. Sie zeigen lebendige, unerwartete Farbkombinationen, die durch einen akribischen Prozess der Überlagerung von Siebdrucken erzielt werden – inspiriert sowohl vom japanischen Holzdruck als auch von der Pop-Art Andy Warhols.

Aus der Ferne sind die Bilder leicht zu erkennen und wirken, im Ganzen gesehen, durch ihre Atmosphäre und Emotionalität. Bei näherer Betrachtung zerfallen sie jedoch in textilähnliche Muster und werden abstrakter, da sich die grafische Qualität des gerasterten Siebdrucks in den Vordergrund drängt.

Der Katalog greift diese Beziehung zwischen Perspektive und Verständnis auf und macht die konstruierten Bildwelten erfahrbar. Die auf ungestrichenem Papier gesetzten Abbildungen der Kunstwerke stehen ganzseitigen, randabfallenden Detailfotos, die auf gestrichenem Papier gedruckt sind, gegenüber. Beide Papierqualitäten verstärken komplementär die jeweiligen Wiedergabeeigenschaften. Wo das ungestrichene Papier bei den Bildern ein inneres Leuchten zum Vorschein bringt, verbirgt der Glanz des Detail-Bildteils diese Farbkraft. Der Katalog lässt das Erlebnis des Betrachtens der Originalbilder physisch nachempfinden.

Die Ausstellung Monde ist vom 21.06. – 19.07.2020 im Kunstverein Leverkusen – Schloss Morsbroich zu sehen. Kuratiert von Susanne Wedewer-Pampus.

25 Euro

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