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Content Marveling: Wonder and Astonishment in Marketing

Northern lights over mountains with astounded person below.

Northern lights over mountains with astounded person below.

Two little letters. On the surface that’s all separating your standard issue “marketing” from the extraordinary and entirely different practice of “marveling.”

Marvel Word Definition Image

At TopRank Marketing, “Content Marveling“ is the practice of bringing greater wonder and astonishment to traditional content marketing, and can be applied in both the worlds of direct-to-consumer and enterprise business-to-business, to engage and delight your audience.

Marketing efforts spending huge amounts of paid placement advertising, ever-more-ludicrous click-bait headlines and tactics, and even illicit black-hat methods are all used to simply get us to pay attention to marketing messages.

Among senior B2B marketers, a sizable 82 percent view content as important for achieving marketing goals, however only 48 percent believe their content is somewhat effective — or even ineffective, according to recent study data.

Uberflip / Heinz Chart Image

In the U.S. alone digital ad spending grew to $28.4 billion for the first quarter of 2019, up 18 percent from the same quarter a year ago.

IAB 2019 Q1 Ad Spend Chart Image

Thankfully there are still many genuine people and professional organizations delivering truly helpful content in beautifully-delivered formats — the type of material that builds long-term fans and keeps audiences subscribing, liking, and coming back for more.

We’ve explored a variety of B2B brands delivering great content recently, including Cannes Lions award winners, which are some of the best examples to learn from:

They say the more things change the more they remain the same, and people have known the power of all things marvelous for thousands of years, as Aristotle himself observed.

[bctt tweet=““In all things of nature there is something marvelous.” — Aristotle “ username=“toprank“]


Content Marveling: A Marvelous Peak With No Summit

Infinity Symbol Image

Content marveling sets the bar higher. It aims to inspire us to use marketing to deliver a sense of awe, gives us cause to stop and reflect, and can become a profound example we’ll refer back to throughout the rest of our career.

At first glance this may seem nearly unattainable. Thankfully, another tenet of content marveling is to simply think of marketing as a peak with no physical summit, offering an ever-evolving and infinite pinnacle of the very best marketing.


Our greatest emotional reactions know no bounds, and similarly, no matter how much a superb marketing effort has succeeded, by its very nature there is always the opportunity to do better the next time out, and push to newfound levels of marketing achievements.

[bctt tweet=““‘Content Marveling‘ is the practice of bringing greater wonder and astonishment to traditional content marketing.” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis“ username=“toprank“]

Finding a Quark or Neutrino In a Sea of Marketing Messages

Colorful element particle image.

It’s no secret that online interactions today see us inundated with vast numbers of efforts to catch our attention, coming at us a mile a minute from seemingly every possible digital direction.

Today’s professional has just an eight-second attention span, according to Debra Jasper, and working within this speedy framework of micro-moments is harder than ever.

Finding great authentic marketing examples that inspire a sense of wonder these days can be difficult — not quite like detecting a quark or a neutrino wave — yet surprisingly challenging.

Striving to incorporate the wonder and astonishment of content marveling can go far in taking your own campaigns to a level of content marketing greatest, and we’ll look at examples from several marketing superheroes who are doing this today.

Taking a cue once again from the distant past, however, we can learn the importance of wonder in marketing and elsewhere from Socrates.

[bctt tweet=““Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.” — Socrates “ username=“toprank“]


The Longstanding Successes of Ann Handley

Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs, is an outstanding content marketing practitioner who has been at the forefront of crafting innovative and memorable marketing wisdom for years.Ann Handley

Ann produces one of the content marketing industry’s most popular newsletters — Total Annarchy — offering up a deftly-curated collection of inspiring and hyper-relevant digital marketing news, on display most recently in the newsletter’s forty-third edition, “TA #43: ? Mindy Kaling’s Marketing Tips, What’s Wrong with Newsletters, B2B Influencers Done Right.”

In it, Ann shared writing and marketing advice from comedian, actress and writer Mindy Kaling, who was the closing keynote speaker during the most recent Content Marketing World conference.

Fear of the unknown is common in marketing, and Mindy revealed how it can be used to create the kind of memorable content and messaging that content marveling encourages.

[bctt tweet=““When you’re scared, that’s when the most memorable things happen.” — Mindy Kaling @mindykaling“ username=“toprank“]

At the event Ann delivered a much-anticipated presentation on using a strategic approach for achieving marketing success that’s both sane and sustainable, and our own Senior Digital Strategy Director Ashley Zeckman was there to cover it in the following article:

50 More Content Marvelers To Follow & Learn From

50 Content Marvelers Image

At TopRank Marketing we strive to highlight top marketers in a variety of marketing niches, and our most recent is a list of 50 of the world’s best content marketers who presented at Content Marketing World — a handy resource for easily following great marketers and learning how to create your own marvelous campaigns by watching their fine examples.

You can find it here:

During the event, our CEO Lee Odden and Ashley Zeckman each presented insightful sessions, and a team of our staff was also on hand to provide in-depth coverage of many of the top speakers delivering presentations throughout the week, culminating in a complete wrap-up with top take-aways and insights.

To help drive your content marveling efforts, here are some of our live-blogging articles from the event:

I hope that you’ll use the information and examples we’ve explored here as you strive to be your own content marveler, and that you’ll work to infuse your marketing campaigns with a new level of wonder and delight.

The post Content Marveling: Wonder and Astonishment in Marketing appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Source:: toprankblog.com

#CMWorld 2019 Recap: Top Insights & TopRank Marketing’s Favorite Moments

Content Marketing World 2019 Recap

Content Marketing World 2019 RecapIt’s always fascinating when thousands of marketers, many of whom are competitors, can come together for a week to share ideas, innovations, and advice with one another to grow their business and push the boundaries of their industry. Content Marketing World 2019 was no exception to this act of selfless sharing. It was my first time attending and between the thought-provoking content, industry-leading speakers, and generously engaging attendees, I certainly hope it’s not my last.

At TopRank Marketing, we made it our mission to ensure our readers would share in the benefit of our attendance. Below are the ideas, people, and moments that we were grateful to experience last week, all of which are summarized for your consuming pleasure below. We hope that similar to our conference experience, you walk away with a notebook chock-full of ideas to grow your content marketing programs. Enjoy!

Big Ideas Beget Big Ideas

At CMWorld 2019, every speakers‘ session seemed to build from one another, making for a cohesive and comprehensive learning experience. Common themes included:

  • Using data to tell stories
  • Creating content that feels personal
  • Creatively amplifying your message
  • Leveraging teams and technology to scale

Our live coverage of several sessions delved into all of these themes.

Using Data to Tell Stories

Lee Odden Shares His Secret to Content Marketing Fitness #CMWorld

CEO of TopRank Marketing Lee Odden took the stage on Wednesday afternoon to draw parallels between his physical fitness journey and that of creating an always-on content marketing program. The underlying message throughout his presentation was that you should always be leveraging your data to iterate, optimize and push the boundaries of what you thought was possible.

Read the entire blog here.

April Henderson on Data-Driven, Empathetic B2B Content #CMWorld

Forrester’s April Henderson followed up the next day to talk about data-driven, empathetic B2B content. And no – that’s not an oxymoron. She pushed her audience to think past traditional B2B content to build stories that don’t stray from statistics but instead, leverage them to resonate with your audience’s emotional side.

Read the entire post here.

Creating Personal Content

Create a Stellar Audience Experience By Slowing Down with These Tips from Ann Handley #CMWorld

MarketingProfs Chief Content Officer Ann Handley provided her audience with a powerful session that urged marketers to slow down and take the time to get to know their audience. She stresses that relationships, especially between buyer and seller, take time to build. Marketers who not only understand this but covet it as their guide to building great content, are going to be leaps and bounds ahead of the rest.

Read the entire blog post here.

Carlos Abler Details How Content Marketing Can Contribute to the Greater Good #CMWorld

3M’s Carlos Abler spoke to an audience of marketers about expanding the idea of personal content to include social value. Although brands have been notoriously known for sticking to objectives that only benefit themselves, Carlos ensures us that by building a strategy that provides our audiences an aspect of social value, we will be helping our bottom-line as well.

from his session here.

Creatively Amplifying Content

Get Heroic Results from B2B Influencer Marketing with Advice from Ashley Zeckman #CMWorld

Ashley Zeckman Presents at CMWorld 2019Despite an 8 a.m. start time on the last day of CMWorld, the room for Ashley Zeckman’s presentation on B2B Influencer Marketing was packed, a good indication of the thirst for this topic. Using Guardians of the Galaxy to help explain her approach to building successful influencer programs, she laid forward essential do’s and don’ts, wrapping it all up in real-world examples for her audience to take away.

Read our entire recap from Ashley’s presentation here.

Leveraging Teams and Tech to Scale

Zari Venhaus’s Framework for Gaining Executive Buy-In for Marketing Technology #CMWorld

Eaton’s Director of Corporate Marketing Communications Zari Venhaus knows better than most that the best content marketing strategies will have an uphill battle gaining traction if the proper tools are not in place to scale efforts. That’s why she gave a thorough presentation on her tried and true framework for getting martech approval from senior executives.

Read the full post here.

How to Drive Better Content Marketing Results with Integrated Marketing Teams: Top Tips from NewsCred’s Shafqat Islam #CMWorld

NewsCred Co-Founder and CEO Shafqat Islam hit on a point that many of us marketers already know to be true: consumers demand a consistent, omnichannel experience from brands. However, knowing and doing are two very different things. Shafqat laid out his process for building teams that not only understand this key truth, but can also implement it at scale.

Read the entire live blog here.

Off-Stage Insights

To make this conference experience extra special, the TopRank Marketing team sat down with some of the brightest minds in B2B, interviewing them one-on-one to get their unique perspective on the state of our industry. We sat down with the majority of these experts moments after they exited the stage, speaking on their respective topics of expertise. We will be releasing the full interviews from these industry leaders in the weeks to follow. But here are a few profound snippets to hold you over:

Amanda Todorovich

Senior Director of Health Content, Cleveland Clinic

[bctt tweet=“Health is so personal and so sacred that building that trust is so important. – Amanda Todorovich @amandatodo“ username=“toprank“]

Amisha Gandhi

Vice President of Influencer Marketing & Communications, SAP Ariba and SAP Fieldglass

[bctt tweet=“Focus on creating engaging content, not lead gen content, to align with the expectations of today’s B2B buyer. – Amisha Gandhi @AmishaGandhi“ username=“toprank“]

Brody Dorland

Co-Founder, DivvyHQ

[bctt tweet=“I feel strongly that companies need to get out of the campaign mentality and leverage their channels for ongoing content that is going to serve their audience. – Brody Dorland @brodydorland“ username=“toprank“]

Clare Carr

Vice President of Marketing, Parse.ly

[bctt tweet=“Remember that your B2B audience is human and treat them that way. – Clare Carr @clareondrey“ username=“toprank“]

Jeff Pugel

Founder & Chief Growth Officer, Ignition

[bctt tweet=“Figure out who you are, as a business, and everything else will start to figure itself out. – Jeff Pugel @jeffpugel“ username=“toprank“]

John Joyce

Global Marketing Director, Brennan Industries

[bctt tweet=“That’s why we do content marketing – to start communicating and providing value to our audience. – John Joyce @mrjohnjoyce“ username=“toprank“]

Maliha Aqeel

Assistant Director of Brand, Marketing & Communications, Ernst and Young

[bctt tweet=“By and large society is forcing companies to change. They are saying it is no longer acceptable to operate the way you’ve always operated – you’ve got to put society first. – Maliha Aqeel @MalihaQ“ username=“toprank“]

Margaret Magnarelli

Executive Director for Growth Marketing & Audience Acquisition, Morgan Stanley

[bctt tweet=“The more you can get to know your customer and develop a care and empathy for them, the more you are going to do what is right for that person – not just because it is a marketing trend you can follow. – Margaret Magnarelli @mmagnarelli“ username=“toprank“]

Stephanie Stahl

General Manager, Content Marketing Institute

[bctt tweet=“We keep the conversation and the community going 365 days a year. – Stephanie Stahl of @CMIContent“ username=“toprank“]

Zari Venhaus

Director of Corporate Marketing Communications, Eaton

[bctt tweet=“Marketers need to take a step back and think about the larger ecosystem in which they operate. – Zari Venhaus @zvenhaus“ username=“toprank“]

Connecting with the Content Community

Oftentimes conferences give us the opportunity to check in with friends in our industry, grab a bite together and share a laugh. The team at TopRank Marketing used our spare moments to do just that, connecting with old friends as well as new.

We captured a few of our favorite moments with these folks below.

TopRank Marketing team members Josh Nite, Ashley Zeckman, and Lee Odden with Robert Rose.

An annual tradition, TopRank Marketing had a lovely dinner with old and new friends.

TopRank Marketing President Susan Misukanis interview Amanda Todorovich of Cleveland Clinic, while TopRank Marketing’s Director of Demand Gen Kelly Hogan runs the camera.

Lee Odden with two amazing friends and marketers Ann Handley and Joe Pulizzi.

Wrapping it Up

To summarize our experience: we came, we saw, we conquered, all in hopes of bringing back the thought-leadership that transpired to our clients and our communities. As much as we enjoy being at the event, we enjoy, even more so, sharing those learnings with you. There is a balance in our community of giving and receiving, and we like to err on the side of giving.

Did you attend Content Marketing World 2019? What were some of your top takeaways or favorite moments? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

The post #CMWorld 2019 Recap: Top Insights & TopRank Marketing’s Favorite Moments appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Source:: toprankblog.com

Seven SEO tips for image link building to generate more traffic

Shares by content type

A picture is worth a thousand words. If we talk about digital marketing, a strategically used picture could be worth a thousand links. Links play a pivotal role in the success of your digital marketing and eventually, your brand’s growth strategy and that’s why image-based link building is a key factor for your search engine ranking.

Put simply, link building is getting your website including your blog, articles, and resources linked by other websites. Your images, infographics, and memes, too, can be used for link building and turn your page into a link magnet.

Readers pay close attention to information-carrying images. According to research by Brain, three days after reading or hearing a piece of information, people can remember only 10% of it. However, if the information is presented in an easy to grasp graphic, that percentage goes up to 65%.

And for that reason, 32% of marketers insist that images are the most important type of content in their digital marketing strategy.

Images can increase your website traffic by 12%. Social media updates with images get 150% more shares than those without any image.

Want to see your images generating backlinks and generating traffic? Check out the following:

1. Create images that others want to engage with

If you are a digital marketer, you cannot avoid using images. But, creating images that encourage people to take some kind of action – such as to share or to fill up the contact form – requires strategic efforts.

The best way to do that is to create something that your users might be interested in. Share something that revolves around and resolves their pain points.

Keep your images simple and the information in it easy to digest. Some of the most engaged-with images are those that have facts, how-to guides, tips, and quotes.

Source: Buzzsumo

Be regular with your posting and keep monitoring the behavior of your audience on each of your updates. The ones that get most shares, likes, comments, and downloads are the ones your audience likes to see and the ones you should center on.

2. Use image resources and creation tools

First, you need images to support your articles, blogs, web content, and social media updates. Then, you will need to fine-tune those images to fit into your requirements.

ShutterStock, iStockPhoto, and AdobeStock are some of the top platforms to get high-quality graphics for your updates and articles. If you are looking for high-quality images without stressing your marketing budget, Pexels, Pixabay, StockSnap, and Unsplash are a few places to visit.

For editing and creation, you could use Canva, the best online platform for creating compelling graphics for your texts and social media updates. With their sea of pre-loaded templates, this task becomes a cakewalk. Some other image editing tools are AdobeSpark, Fotor, and Pixlr.

3. Use infographics to make your content easy to digest

Although there is a mention of infographic in the article earlier, the point is vast and important that it gets a separate cover.

In modern digital marketing, the use of infographics allows marketers to increase their text’s readability and drive engagement. Infographics grab more attention. In fact, an infographic is 30 times more likely to be read than a purely textual article.

About 65% of B2B marketers use infographics for their marketing emails, presentations, and blogs. And 30% of them create infographics on their own.

Creating engaging infographics requires hours and days of research, along with a creative mindset to come up with an interactive, interesting, and unique layout.

You could use tools like Piktochart, Venngage, Visme, and Easel.ly to create infographics like a pro. You can also create infographics with Microsoft PowerPoint.

4. Make your images discoverable

So, now you know how to create graphics for your website and social media. What if people can’t find your image?

No matter how impressive your images are, if no one can find them when they need it most or if no one seeing it, it is of no worth.

To be found on search engines, your images will need to be crawled by crawlers or robots sent by search engines to your website. Since these robots cannot decipher images, you will need to make some alternative arrangements so search engine robots can understand and index your images.

On social media, you will need to follow a completely different strategy in order to make your graphics easy to find by users. On Twitter and LinkedIn, there is an option to add a short description for your images. Pinterest too asks you to add a description to each of your posts.

On Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms including Twitter and LinkedIn, you can increase the visibility of your posts by using the right and trending hashtags.

The easier it is to find your images, the higher is its visibility and engagement.

5. Find out who is using your image

As a marketer, you should know how many websites link to your images and how many are using them without your permission. It is an important metric for your business and digital marketing strategy building.

If you have uploaded an image on the Internet, you cannot actually control it or stop people from using it. But, there are ways to find out who all are using your graphics.

There is no harm if you are given credit or backlink. But if someone unauthorized or without allowance is using your image, it could have an impact on your search engine ranking.

Open Google Image Search, and upload or paste the link of your picture. You shall see a list of similar images being used by others.

A couple of similar tools to locate your images on the World Wide Web are TinEye and ImageRaider. Using both these tools, you can also figure out if your images have been cropped, reversed or flipped.

Once you have found unauthorized use of your images, ask the webmaster or admin of the page to give you credit or remove it from their database.

6. Instagram and Pinterest paid marketing

Social media is an unavoidable practice for a digital marketer. It is an immense boost to your SEO efforts.

To make the most of your high-quality images, you could turn to Instagram and Pinterest – the most happening image sharing platforms – that are also in the list of top 10 most used social networks.

That makes Instagram a very popular and super-active marketing platform. With Instagram marketing, you can connect with your audience across multiple channels. You can also create eye-attracting ads that have high engagement rate and improved ROI.

86% of brands use Instagram and at an average 72% of these brands post at least 1 picture every week. Engagement on Instagram graphics is growing with every passing year and Pinterest is 80% more viral and 3x more effective at generating leads than Twitter. In fact, Pinterest Marketing converts more and faster than any other social media platform. Another plus side about Pinterest is that it has fewer steps from discovery to conversion and it saves marketers a lot of time.

Posting and tracking Instagram and Pinterest activities on a day-to-day basis could be is challenging. So, you could consider using social media management tools. which can ease your day by allowing you to check analytics and schedule your updates.

7. Analyze your competitor’s images

Checking out the activities of competitors has always been a part of traditional marketing strategies. Even in the era of digital and social, you should always be aware of what your competitors are doing.

Follow their feeds anonymously and check out their social media updates and website more often.

Doing so, you can keep yourself updated with the latest marketing trends. This also helps find out the type of content they are leveraging to draw traffic and engagement.

With that, you can take inspiration for your content strategy and gain customer attention through your marketing campaigns. You can even engage with your competitors, sometimes, to draw engagement and attention.

Take an exchange of Tweets between Audi and BMW from last year. BMW tweeted a marketing material using the logo of Audi.

 Image link building example BMW and Audi

Taking a note of it, Audi commented with the following:

Image link building example Audi

That simply shows that Audi not only follows BMW but doesn’t hesitate in engaging with their update. BMW, too, didn’t ignore their mention. They came quickly with a hilariously mouth-shutting reply.

It is both an example of keeping an eye on competitor’s activities as well as never letting a chance of engagement slip. Both BMW and Audi are competitors both follow each other on all social networks.

PostPlanner has compiled a list of top brands to follow to take inspiration from for your social media graphics. This list compilation includes brands from different industries. So, no matter what industry you belong to, this list is going to be a great help for you.

There is another way, you can perform competitor analysis. Find free and paid productivity tools based on your budget and requirement. One such tool is a must-have resource for your SEO and SMO teams these days.

I hope these tips help you create outstanding visual graphics for your brand, boost your social and on-site engagement, and generate more traffic to your website. The focus should be on creating pictures that offer users some information they can use. And that is the most important point here.

Moving forward, prepare a list of your on-site images that Google and other search engines have indexed. Make another list pointing out the images that have been used legally by others. They are an authentic backlink for your image and site. Make efforts for the ones used illegally and turn them into an official backlink.

The post Seven SEO tips for image link building to generate more traffic appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Source:: searchenginewatch.com

Create Integrated Marketing Teams to Drive Better Results with Tips from Shafqat Islam #CMWorld

Here’s a wild new idea: Consumers expect immediate, consistent, on-brand experiences across channels.

Just kidding about the „wild“ and „new“ parts. Most marketers likely have the phrase embroidered on a pillowcase by now. It’s fundamental.

But if we know that consumers demand an omnichannel experience… Why are so many marketing teams stuck in silos?

NewsCred Co-Founder and CEO Shafqat Islam believes this siloed structure is what’s holding marketers back from their omnichannel dreams. Integrated marketing requires integrated teams. During his Content Marketing World 2019 session, Shafqat shared how NewsCred reorganized to deliver better results.

The Dangers of Hyper-Specialized Marketing Teams

As marketing continues to grow more complex, says Shafqat, marketers have had to specialize. A modern marketing team might handle content, social media, paid advertising, internal communications, events and more. In larger organizations, each of these specialties might have its own sub-team. And each operates more or less independently of the others.

The result? The majority of marketers (89%) think they’re doing great with integrated, omnichannel marketing… while only 58% of consumers agree. According to Shafqat, hyper-specialized, siloed teams can lead to:

  • Redundant or broken tech stacks that cause inefficiencies
  • Disconnected content efforts that produce ineffective content
  • Missed opportunities to find synergies across the teams
  • Sub-optimal campaign results

The Solution: Integrated Marketing Teams

Of course, specialization can be a good thing. Marketers should have an area of expertise, but they should also have enough general knowledge to work with teams in other areas.

Shafqat proposes a “team of teams” structure to help marketers work together towards a cohesive plan while empowering each silo to do what it does best. “Keep the expertise in each team, but do all the planning together,” he says.

When the whole marketing department is working with a singular vision, each team (or person) can put their specialized knowledge to use towards a larger goal. For example, content can support the next event, with paid ads promoting them both. Most importantly, messaging and branding is consistent across every area of specialization. With integrated planning, teams can avoid duplicating work, streamline their processes, and end up with a better end product as well.

The Five Traits of Modern, Integrated Marketing

According to Shafqat, these are the attributes an integrated marketing initiative should strive for:

#1: They’re Collaborative

Teams are able to communicate with each other across the marketing department, form ad hoc “tiger teams” across specialties, and share data and processes.

#2: They’re Transparent

According to Shafqat, teams should aim for an “uncomfortable level of transparency.” That means shared visibility across all teams and programs – no hoarding knowledge or covering up mistakes.

#3: They’re Aligned

Teams work together to develop strategies. They use centralized campaign briefs to bring teams together on shared objectives and KPIs. Shafqat recommends starting with a single line campaign brief: One sentence that brings the project into sharp focus for everyone.

#4: They’re Agile

Marketing teams should adopt Agile processes that they find useful and necessary. Shafqat recommends not doing everything strictly by the Agile book – only keep what works for the team. In general, it’s a focus on continual iteration and optimization for content and campaigns, developing a minimum viable product and refining it through sprints.

#5: They’re Scalable

Think about scale in everything you do, says Shafqat. Look to create processes that boost efficiency, that are repeatable, and that make sense as your team continues to grow. For example, develop a tagging system for content on your content management platform. Tags are something everyone can use to find and repurpose content quickly.

Shafqat highlighted the Mayo Clinic as an example of what happens when teams are integrated, while still preserving their specialized knowledge. The Mayo treats an entire patient, not just a problem or symptom. Everyone who treats the patient shares a common goal. Every doctor has access to the other specialists‘ information and expertise. They all share knowledge and work together on a single shared KPI: the patient’s health.

Silos Are for Grain, Not Marketers

Creating an integrated marketing “team of teams” will lead to more efficient marketing and better results, says Shafqat. But the benefits don’t stop there. Shafqat believes marketing can help drive change throughout the organization, first by modeling integration, then by expanding it to other departments. The sales, customer experience, and HR teams all could benefit from sharing information with each other and with marketing.

Customers expect a unified, consistent experience; as Shafqat points out, it’s time that marketers demanded the same from their teams.

Looking for more insights out of CMWorld 2019? Check out these other posts featuring several of this year’s speakers:

The post Create Integrated Marketing Teams to Drive Better Results with Tips from Shafqat Islam #CMWorld appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Source:: toprankblog.com

Get Heroic Results from B2B Influencer Marketing with Advice from Ashley Zeckman #CMWorld

Ashley Zeckman Presents at CMWorld 2019

Ashley Zeckman Presents at CMWorld 2019

B2B content marketers have faced many epic foes over the last few years. There’s the nefarious Content Shock, the demoralizing Facebook Algorithm, and the destructive Google Search Update. We have battled them all and continued to thrive.

But now we face our most fearsome foe: The Dreaded Trust Gap.

Less than half of consumers trust brands. Seventy-one percent of buyers are turned off by overly sales-y content. Buyers increasingly prefer content from industry influencers rather than brands.

It’s a daunting problem that needs a bold solution: The Guardians of Content!

In her Content Marketing World 2019 presentation, our very own Director of Digital Strategy Ashley Zeckman explained how B2B content marketers can initiate and scale up a heroic influencer content program of their own. Here are a few key takeaways.

Three Common B2B Influncer Pitfalls

If you’re just getting started with B2B influencer marketing, there are easy mistakes to make. Most of them come from trying to emulate the B2C model: Transactional, glorified sponsorship rather than content co-creation. Here are Ashley’s three most common pitfalls and how to avoid them:

#1: A Disconnected Approach

Say you have a hole in your editorial calendar, so you ask an influencer for an interview. Then you need some quotes for an infographic, so you ask a few others for a nugget of wisdom. Then you reach out on social media to a couple of folks you admire. Then you ask a different set of influencers for quotes for an eBook…

You get the picture. Instead of a strategic campaign that can build into something bigger, you have a ton of one-offs. It’s inefficient. It’s inconsistent for your audience and for the influencers you’re courting.

Instead, Ashley says, aim for a strategic, connected approach. Plan in advance which topics you’re covering, which influencers you want to include, how you’ll use the content, and your plans for repurposing.

#2: Transactional Relationships

There are two ways that influencer relationships can get too transactional. The first is asking too much too quickly, while offering nothing of value in return. Imagine you got an email from a stranger asking you to help them move. Would you do it?

Now imagine an email from a friend asking for that help, and promising pizza and beer? Relationships matter. Take time to honor your influencers, follow them on social media, promote them and their work. Help them succeed, then start with a small ask, like a sound bite for a blog post.

The second way relationships can be too transactional is more literal. If you only work with paid influencers who promote content you wrote… well, that’s more endorsement than influencer content, and it can be less likely to find an enthusiastic audience.

While you may financially compensate some influencers, Ashley says, the emphasis should always be on content co-creation. You want influencers to feel ownership of the finished product – they’ll be much more likely to promote something they’re excited to have made.

#3: Lack of Measurement

Like any other marketing tactic, influencer marketing should be able to prove its worth. Many marketers fail to build in measurement at the beginning, and end up with nothing but vanity metrics to show.

It’s important to plan for measurement before you start. Lay the groundwork for the KPIs you plan to meet, and the metrics you’ll use to show progress. And don’t forget to set benchmarks!

Here are a few of Ashley’s sample KPIs:

Planning Content and Assembling Your Heroes

Keeping those pitfalls in mind, here’s how Ashley recommends designing and implementing an influencer program.

First, determine your topical focus. The topics you plan to cover should hit the intersection of your business priorities, search demand, and influencer expertise. It shouldn’t be too tied to your products and solutions. Think more about what you want your brand to be known for.

Use the same tools you use for content research to find the key terms where there is audience demand and competitor whitespace as well.

With topics in hand, you can start identifying your influencer mix:

You’re not looking for just the people with the largest audience. Instead, focus on people who are respected in their fields, shared interest in your topics, and the ability to actually move people to engage.

It’s also important, says Ashley, to find influencers who fit your content type. If it’s an audio or video asset, look for folks who have demonstrated a willingness an ability to provide that type of content. Beyond that, influencers should be reputable, practical, with real-life experience to draw from.

When you reach out to these influencers, remember to give before you ask:

The nurturing process helps prove your own credibility to influencers, showing you’re a trustworthy partner, and hopefully sparking interest in co-creating awesome content.

The Adventure Continues (and Continues, and Continues)

The ultimate goal of your influencer outreach and nurturing should be a connected universe of content (much like Marvel’s cinematic universe). Who would assemble a hero team and disband them after one adventure? Continue nurturing relationships with your influencers and encourage them to acknowledge and support each other, too. The goal is to develop a community of folks who are always up for another mission to save the world from boring B2B content.

Ready for a heroic influencer marketing success story? See how Alcatel-Lucent drove 6-figure leads with their campaign. Looking for more insights out of CMWorld 2019? Check out these other posts featuring several of this year’s speakers:

The post Get Heroic Results from B2B Influencer Marketing with Advice from Ashley Zeckman #CMWorld appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Source:: toprankblog.com