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Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®

Online Marketing Blog
  • Winfluencer Marketing: How B2B Companies are Winning Hearts & Minds with Influencer Content

    “Influencer Marketing is the practice of developing relationships with connected internal and industry experts to co-create content of mutual value to achieve measurable business goals.” – TopRank Marketing Influencer marketing has gained an enormous amount of popularity over the past few years but marketers still have lots of questions. How does influencer marketing work? Is [...]

    The post Winfluencer Marketing: How B2B Companies are Winning Hearts & Minds with Influencer Content appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

  • Online Marketing News: Email Workflow, Google Cracks Down, Influencer Marketing Fails



    How to Optimize Your Email Production Workflow [Infographic]
    This infographic takes a look at the email marketing production processes of over 900 marketers to help isolate helpful tips and tools to help optimize email marketing workflows. Helpful hints include the optimum production cycle, tips for strategy and goal setting, content creation, design and development. MarketingProfs

    Google warns it will crack down on “intrusive interstitials” in January
    Google has made another bold move on behalf of user experience -- cracking down on intrusive interstitials. The platform says that these ads are problematic on smaller screens, like mobile devices. Sites affected are those that show a pop-up, either immediately or after the user has been browsing content for a while, after the user has arrived from search results and those that show interstitials that users have to dismiss to access content, among others. Search Engine Land

    Why Marketers Fail at Influencer Marketing (Report)
    According to a recent report, the biggest struggle in measuring influencer marketing efforts is proving value. 28% of marketers say gathering data is a challenge, and 13% of marketers surveyed didn't know what metrics to track. However, over 60% of influencer marketers are tracking more than five metrics, including traffic to a specific web page and social shares. SocialTimes

    Report: Video ads on Instagram are more common and getting longer
    Marketing Land reports that a recently released report "presents mobile advertising trends on social media sites, and Instagram in particular. The report finds that one out of every four ads on Instagram is now a video ad. This coincides with Facebook’s effort to make “video ads” more broadly accessible to small businesses and in emerging markets." Marketing Land


    Study: Programmatic Ads Lead To 55% Lift In Offline Sales
    MediaPost reports findings from a recent Accordant Media study: "Overall, there was a 55% lift in offline sales when serving programmatic ads over a control group not served the ad, with 35% incremental conversions, meaning that over one third of conversions would not have occurred without the programmatic campaign." MediaPost

    Facebook Is Letting Brands Build Slideshow Ads Right From Their Mobile Phones
    According to AdAge, on Tuesday, Facebook launched tools for creating Slideshow Ads, "including the ability for marketers to create them right from their mobile Facebook pages. Slideshows are basically video ads, but use still images to string together a story." Ad Age

    Twitter’s New Button Enables People to DM you Direct from your Website
    On Wednesday, Twitter announced the latest tool in their arsenal to allow users to more efficiently connect with each other, and with brands -- a new button for websites that "enables site visitors to quickly and easily fire off a Twitter DM direct from the page," according to Social Media Today.

    Apple Weighs iPhone Video Editing App in Renewed Push on Social
    In an effort to integrate more social networking apps in their mobile products, Bloomberg reports: "Apple Inc., seeking to capitalize on the popularity of social networks, is developing a video sharing and editing application and is testing new related features for its iPhone and iPad operating systems." Bloomberg

    YouTube prepares to expand beyond video with more social features
    The video sharing platform YouTube is rumored to be adding new features that are out of the ordinary for the platform -- its new suite of features called Backstage that will "give subscribers new ways to interact with content creators, including through “rich replies,” which are comments that feature multimedia content, including photos and videos." ClickZ

    What were your top online marketing news stories this week?

    We'll be back next week with more online marketing news. Have something to share? Tweet us @toprank!

    The post Online Marketing News: Email Workflow, Google Cracks Down, Influencer Marketing Fails appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

  • Supply & Demand: Making the Case for Less Content #UFX2016

    The problem with most marketing teams isn’t a lack of ideas. It’s a lack of clarity and focus.” – Hana Abaza The meaning of the expression “less is more” is one that many content marketers are still struggling with. In an effort to capture the attention of busy and distracted consumers, they’re creating more content [...]

    The post Supply & Demand: Making the Case for Less Content #UFX2016 appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

  • When ABM & Content Collide: How to Build an Account-Based Content Strategy #UFX2016

    Over the past few years, B2B marketers have been abuzz with the concept of Account-Based Marketing (ABM). It’s like some sort of futuristic concept was finally here and would be the solution that we all needed. But just like any other marketing tactic, it takes time to figure out how to approach it successfully. In [...]

    The post When ABM & Content Collide: How to Build an Account-Based Content Strategy #UFX2016 appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

  • Uncovering The Problem with Personalization in B2B Marketing #UFX2016

    B2B marketers around the globe are all experiencing the same pain. That consistent pain is how to reach, engage, qualify and convert audiences into paying customers. We’ve all become acutely aware that more content isn’t always better. But now, we’re faced with an even harsher reality about B2B marketing which is that we somehow have [...]

    The post Uncovering The Problem with Personalization in B2B Marketing #UFX2016 appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

  • [eBook] How to Build Your B2B Marketing Empire From the Ground Up



    Is your B2B marketing a skyscraper or a sandcastle?

    It’s no fun to spend a day on the beach creating your dream house, only to have the tide wipe it out.

    But if you were planning on moving in with your spouse and kids...well, that would be a problem.

    It takes planning and strategy to build something that will stand the test of time. Right now, too many B2B marketers are building their empire--and betting the future of their business--on nothing but sand and water.

    If your organization is building without a foundation, you’re not alone. We’ve all seen the stats: Nearly two thirds of B2B marketers have no documented content marketing strategy. So it’s not surprising only 30% say their efforts are effective. It’s time to develop a new blueprint for success.

    To help marketers start breaking the sandcastle mindset, the team at TopRank Marketing has partnered with MarketingProfs to produce a new eBook, “How to Build Your B2B Marketing Empire from the Ground Up.”

    The eBook is an introduction to the 10th annual MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum. In celebration of the forum’s “Build to Last” theme, it features advice from some Frank-Lloyd-Wright-caliber marketing architects.

    In the eBook, you will learn how to build a B2B marketing strategy designed to stand the test of time:

    • The three fundamental questions a good strategy should answer
    • The elements of an unshakeable foundation
    • The ideal characteristics of your marketing team
    • How to build your career to last

    And much more.

    Take a peek at the eBook’s skyscraping insights with the quotes below, and share them with your own construction crew:


    Michael Brenner: “Effective marketing programs focus on helping customers first.” tweet this

    Andy Crestodina: “Decide what success looks like in Google Analytics and track that goal specifically.” tweet this

    Doug Kessler: “Your B2B Marketing 'rebar' is a clear, compelling sense of who you are & the unique things you bring to the table.” tweet this

    Chris Moody: “If your marketing strategy isn’t on paper (or digital), it isn’t happening.” tweet this

    Jay Acunzo: “A willingness to break from ‘best practices’ and go craft on your own is an essential part of building a B2B marketing strategy.” tweet this

    Scott Monty: “Without a doubt, one of the most important qualities for anyone in the marketing field is curiosity.” tweet this

    Lee Odden: A successful career in B2B marketing requires: understanding what you want to achieve, honest assessment of your skills & a map for closing the gap.” tweet this

    Mitch Joel: “Find team members who can make fast decisions, but take the time to nurture the right results.” tweet this

    Jason Miller: Take a cue from KISS: Four unique team members sitting together, synced up beautifully to deliver a marketing experience.” tweet this

    Jen Slaski: Hire people who are naturally passionate but instill the importance of asking, ‘What's our goal?’” tweet this

    Ann Handley: “Build teams that try to understand what it’s really like in your customer’s world.” tweet this

    Ready to break ground on a new B2B marketing empire? Join us at the 10th Annual MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum.

    The post [eBook] How to Build Your B2B Marketing Empire From the Ground Up appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

  • 6 Ways Marketers Can Optimize Their LinkedIn Profile

    With more than 450 million members worldwide, LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network–and it’s growing every second. In fact, LinkedIn reports that people are signing up for the platform at a rate of two members per second. For many of us marketers, LinkedIn’s continued growth is no surprise. Not only is LinkedIn the place [...]

    The post 6 Ways Marketers Can Optimize Their LinkedIn Profile appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

  • Digital Marketing Spotlight: Amy Lamparske, Head of Social Media at 3M

    Amy Lamparske

    Amy Lamparske

    One of the great benefits of social media is the dual effect of creating access to people of influence while helping individuals with expertise and points of view become influential themselves. One of my connections that serves as a great example of this is Amy Lamparske, Head of Global Social Media at 3M.

    Local events and blogging undoubtedly created mutual awareness, but I didn't meet Amy in person until she was Director, Digital Marketing at Walmart and then again when she was Director, Digital and Social Media at General Mills. In her current role at 3M, I've been able to see Amy's thought leadership in action in situations ranging from being a keynote speaker at the first Brandwatch user conference to host of a Conference Board event on Social Media. Each time was a learning opportunity because Amy provides a view into enterprise social media marketing and advertising that is deep, insightful and fast moving. I'm not alone in this sentiment:

    "Amy is a world class expert in social media strategy. She understands how to reach, influence and transform minds in the corporate setting and beyond. Genius and a fantastic execution partner!"
    Kamal Manglani, currently Director at eBay

    Amy has plenty of experience with large brand social media advertising, operations and governance, but I've chosen to focus on the topic of social media influencers. In this interview, Amy talks about how influencer marketing has had an impact on social social media marketing, how to activate influencers, scale influencer marketing in the enterprise and measures of success.

    I believe in empowering small autonomous teams to plow through roadblocks and old school thinking.

    You've worked for multiple global brands throughout your career, tell us what you’ve learned through your experiences?

    Every company has so much potential in digital and social – it seems every executive leadership team sees the dollars and wants to embrace the opportunity. Change management and organizational readiness are the keys to driving transformation and enabling digital to thrive within large complex organizations. I’ve had some amazing sponsors throughout my career; a huge blessing that allowed me to have fun being a change agent - disrupting from the inside out. I’ve learned to be more patient and persistent while recognizing how best to influence, inspire and motivate others. I believe in empowering small autonomous teams to plow through roadblocks and old school thinking.

    Brands don’t talk…People talk.

    How are influencers, or how is influencer marketing changing your industry?

    Early in my career, a close friend shared “brands don’t talk…people talk.” This remains true today – this space is about relationships not simply clicks. Plus, brands aren’t able to get as far as they once did with organic social. In terms of content creation, brands don’t need to be the experts anymore. What is shifting is we’re giving online influencers the ability, power and control to develop content on our behalf. Some large companies struggle with content creation while simply trying to remain relevant. It can be far more efficient and effective to go with a third party and look at their expertise, credibility and authority online.

    Brands are partnering more and more with influencers to insert themselves, provide value or utility and share their stories. There’s tremendous value in speed to market activating the crowd. Buying behavior is shifting dramatically – we see an influencer publish content one day and the next thing we know, we are buying it. Influencers are growing trust, people relate to people like themselves, not always executives or celebrities.

    How can brands best activate influencers to help share and promote brand content?

    There are a lot of options for brands to partner and activate these days – technologies and solutions continue to sprout ongoing. I view partnerships both from a media standpoint as well as with customers to be a simple way to improve content performance. Demonstrate offline relationships online for transparency and reach purposes. Some brands still try to control the message and the way content is developed via influencers – the best approach is to provide appropriate direction from the start, and allow them to run with it. External ideas can be fresh and drive business growth in new ways. If you crowdsource content, embrace it and promote it even if it’s not 100% on brand.

    You’ll want real friends online that have your back when negative sentiment comes knocking.

    How can you scale influencer marketing at an organization?

    Build an influencer or blogger network internally so the organization has a clear understanding and can tap their relationships on an ongoing basis. Ensure this isn’t simply paid influencer efforts – you’ll want real friends online that have your back when negative sentiment comes knocking.

    With anything in social media, if you can’t scale it, don’t bother.

    How do you know when its time to scale up with influencers?

    We continue to grow within the B2B side of our organization. Some areas of the organization are new to working with influencers while other businesses have already built up relationships and programs. With anything in social media, if you can’t scale it, don’t bother. The idea is to provide something that is of huge value to be leveraged ongoing across the organization. Scale it yet be smart about how you make it relevant and customized for each individual influencer involved.

    What are some of the most important measures of success for social influencer marketing?

    Measures that drive business outcomes including: sales, stock performance, lead/demand generation, share of voice, enhanced sentiment breakdown and volume or mentions to influence the crowd.

    I’ve seen brands invest too heavy on the paid side where it backfires eventually – brands need to balance.

    Do you have any advice to share with other brand marketing executives when it comes to paid vs. relationship based influencer engagements? How do you decide?

    It varies – if it’s something that simply makes sense for the brand and company to be involved with ongoing, true relationship based influencer engagements are the way to go. If you are looking to activate a chapter in your always-on book or align with a major tent pole event, product launch or seasonality; a blended approach is fine. I’ve seen brands invest too heavy on the paid side where it backfires eventually – brands need to balance this.

    Now let’s play a little social network word association. After each platform, share the first thing or short reaction that comes to mind.

    • Facebook – Oldest yet most robust targeting
    • Vine – Short & sweet video
    • LinkedIn – B2B, requires real content marketing not simply snackable pieces
    • Periscope – Was pretty cool for six months
    • Twitter – When will you be bought? Partnership w/Google is good for SEO. Love you yet need you to be respected.
    • Google+ – Enhances SEO, good for brands w/reputation management issues, product could offer the world so much more coming from Google
    • Snapchat – Where everything is headed, wish I could just play here all day
    • YouTube – Oldie but goodie, will love you forever
    • Instagram – Requires high design, starting to provide analytics and better ads
    • Flickr –Old school photo sharing still kickin’

    Thank you Amy!

    You can find Amy on the social web at:
    Twitter (@amylamparske)
    LinkedIn (in/amylamparske)

    The post Digital Marketing Spotlight: Amy Lamparske, Head of Social Media at 3M appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

  • Online Marketing News: CEO Social Success, Influencers Love Instagram & Pinterest Video

    content marketing and email marketing for lead generation


    3 Things Every CEO Should Do to Succeed on Social Media [Infographic]
    This new infographic from MDG Advertising illustrates three simple rules for CEOs on social media: Start with LinkedIn, pick a few networks outside of LinkedIn and stick with them, and avoid being boring. Why should CEOs be on social media in the first place? It gives the organization a human face, and it's a great way to positively impact a company's reputation. MDG Blog

    Influencers: Instagram Is the Most Engaging Platform (Report)
    A new report shows that 60% of influencers consider Instagram to be the most effective platform for engaging with their audiences, while only 18% said Facebook was the most engaging. The same study showed that 34% of influencers didn't think that brands had a realistic understanding of the costs of influencer marketing. SocialTimes

    Pinterest Says It's Making a 'Bigger Bet on Video,' Debuts Promoted Videos
    According to Ad Age, Pinterest "on Wednesday introduced Promoted Video ads, allowing users to expand its existing, animated Cinematic Pins to access a full auto-play video with sound. Brands can display six Buyable Pins beneath each video as it plays." Ad Age

    How to Outperform Fortune 500 Brands on Instagram [Research]
    Content Marketing Institute analyzed a year of Instagram content from Fortune 500 companies and found four key takeaways: The most engagement is between 10pm-3am Eastern for F500 brands, F500 companies are posting mainly on weekdays but Sundays see the most engagement, pre-editing photos to post on Instagram isn't a good idea and use hashtags and question marks rather than exclamation points. Content Marketing Institute

    Marketers have high hopes for automated content
    "In a poll conducted to accompany the ClickZ Intelligence Digital Trends 2016 report, nearly a quarter of respondents identified content marketing as the key trend for their company this year." However popular, ClickZ also found that the majority of companies surveyed didn't have a dedicated content marketing team. ClickZ

    content marketing and email marketing for lead generation

    3 Billion Shares: What We Learned from Analyzing the 1 Million Most Shared Articles from December 2015 to June 2016
    Fractl and BuzzSumo paired up to analyze the 1 million most shared articles in the first six months of this year, and the results are enlightening. For example, Facebook accounts for 90.2% of social shares, and only 14 publishers averaged 5,000 or more shares per article. Fractl

    Enterprise Marketing in 2016: Channel and Priority Trends
    "Enterprise marketers say television advertising and social media are two of their top channel priorities this year, according to recent research from Clutch and R2i," Marketing Profs reports. 34% of marketers say increasing brand awareness is their top priority this year, and 32% cite building customer loyalty as their top priority. MarketingProfs

    Blab shuts down its live video platform
    Blab co-founder Shaan Puri announced late last week that they've closed the platform, citing "user churn was a problem because live video streams require a user’s complete attention. Puri says only about 10 percent of Blab’s userbase visited regularly." Marketing Land

    Twitter Is Now Letting Brands Sponsor Its Emoji-Like Stickers
    According to AdWeek, "In June, Twitter launched stickers that let users overlay searchable emojis and graphics on top of their photos. Now Pepsi is the first to launch a paid ad campaign using the visuals." However, it's not immediately clear how promoted stickers are sold. AdWeek

    After redesigning Discover, Snapchat finds viewers grow but engagement drops
    About two weeks after Snapchat launched their new Discover section, publishers are seeing an increase in overall viewers, but a drop in total views, completion rates and time spent per user. Publishers are also noticing that viewers are opening editions and only viewing the cover article, resulting in a 28% drop-off after the first snap vs. 13% prior to the redesign. Digiday

    What were your top news stories this week?

    I'll be back with my lovely co-host, Josh Nite, next week with more online marketing news. Have something to share? Tweet me @Tiffani_Allen or @toprank.

    The post Online Marketing News: CEO Social Success, Influencers Love Instagram & Pinterest Video appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

  • [eBook] Welcome to The 2016 Content Marketing Summer Games

    Every year, thousands of high school students head to the track, pool, or stadium dreaming of greatness. Hundreds make it to college-level competition. A handful become pros. But when all’s said and done, just one athlete takes the gold. Likewise, content marketing has become a highly competitive landscape. Thousands of writers, brands, marketers and entrepreneurs [...]

    The post [eBook] Welcome to The 2016 Content Marketing Summer Games appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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