Digital Marketing News: LinkedIn Top Content, Twitter Gets Character & Apple Goes Google

The Content Preferences of LinkedIn Members [Infographic]

What kinds of content do LinkedIn users prefer? A new infographic shows that LinkedIn users prefer content that’s informative, educational and relevant. MarketingProfs

Giving you more characters to express yourself

Twitter recently announced they’re giving us an additional 140 characters with which to convey our deepest, Tweetiest thoughts by upping their character count to 280. They believe this will encourage more active posting on their platform. Twitter

Apple switches from Bing to Google for Siri web search results on iOS and Spotlight on Mac

Apple has finally made the plunge with Google – when you search with Siri on your iOS device or Mac, you’ll be shown search results from Google. In other news, none of that would have made any sense 20 years ago (according to Josh Nite). TechCrunch

Adding LinkedIn’s Profile Card on Office 365 Offers a Simple Way to Build a Professional Relationship

LinkedIn and Microsoft have made it official recently with the anticipated rollout of the ability to integrate your personal LinkedIn profile card with your Office 365 profile. Full details and how-to’s are available, and the release will happen over the next couple of weeks. LinkedIn

Know Their Intention, Get Their Attention: New Ways to Connect and Measure on YouTube

Google has announced four new tools to help brands and users “capture the attention of your audience on YouTube.” These tools include Custom Affinity Audiences, Video Ad Sequencing and more. Inside AdWords

Instagram Hits 800 Million Monthly Users, Adding 100 Million in Just 5 Months

AdWeek reports: “After announcing this morning that Instagram has 2 million advertisers, the Facebook-owned app also says that it has 800 million monthly users, up from 700 million in April.” AdWeek

Report: The future of paid-search marketing is machine learning and AI

“Machine learning-optimized campaigns saw 71 percent better conversion rates and lower CPCs than those not using it.” At least, that’s what Search Engine Land makes of the recent report from Acquisio. Search Engine Land

Only A Third Of Ad Execs Trust Their Audience Data, Measurements

According to a recent survey, only 33% of advertising executives consider their data to be completely trustworthy. Only 29% said they felt their audience analytics/measurement was completely accurate. MediaPost

What were your top digital marketing news stories this week?

We’ll be back next week with more digital marketing news! If you have something to share, pass it along to the newsroom or Tweet me @Tiffani_Allen or @toprank.

The post Digital Marketing News: LinkedIn Top Content, Twitter Gets Character & Apple Goes Google appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank.

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Funny Content, Serious Business: How to Use Humor in Content Marketing

Everyone likes a good joke. Everyone wants to be entertained. But when it comes to using humor in content marketing, people still hesitate. We are, after all, not here purely to entertain. Our content needs to serve a business purpose, inspire action, and rack up the sweet, sweet conversions.

Can potential buyers really take your brand seriously if you make them laugh?

I call this the Roger Rabbit/Goodfellas conundrum, best expressed by these two quotes:

How do you get the Roger Rabbit benefits of making people laugh, without becoming a Joe Pesci-esque laughingstock?

It can be done. You can still be funny and do serious business. The question is not whether to use humor in your content, but how you use it.

I believe humor serves a different purpose throughout the three loosely-defined stages of a buyer’s journey. Call them top, middle, and bottom of funnel. Or call them Attract, Engage, and Convert, as our team does. The idea is the same: How you use humor should change depending on your context.

Top of Funnel: Pure Comedy Gold

Top of Funnel content can be mostly comedy designed exclusively to entertain people. This is what we call a chocolate cake or dessert post. The key difference between, say, a Buzzfeed post about funny tweets and your top-of-funnel content is that yours will be focused on a very specific audience.

Use humor as a way of showing your audience that you understand them. That you’re one of them. Make jokes only they will get, and you will invite them into your tribe.

That’s what I did with my 20 Jokes Only a B2B Marketer Will Get. I called out the audience in the title, and made sure each joke used vocabulary and common experiences that only the intended audience would share. The result: One of the most-shared posts on the TopRank Marketing Blog this year.

Middle of Funnel: Humor + Value

In the middle of the funnel-what we call the Engage stage-comedy is still a welcome component of your content. But unlike, top of funnel, the comedy can’t be the main attraction. You’ve already brought your audience in. Now you have to provide value beyond a chuckle or two.

Start with a legitimately useful premise, and use humor to demonstrate personality and keep your content readable. For example, the introduction to this post on video content marketing on a budget starts with a funny intro and a truly hilarious image. Images are a great way to introduce a little humor, by the way-especially if you’re on a WordPress blog and the image can show up in the excerpt.

You don’t have to confine humor to the introduction; just don’t forget the value. This post from Jason Miller at LinkedIn is a good example of a funny post that still has plenty to offer the audience. It uses the silly names and weird visuals of a BBC kids show to teach some solid content marketing lessons. And it gave Jason the excuse to make a personalized kid’s book cover:

Bottom of Funnel: Keep It Consistent

By the time your customer is almost ready to make a purchase decision, you don’t need to keep throwing out the punchlines. They’re already sold on your brand’s personality; now they need to make sure your solution is the perfect fit.

Bottom-of-funnel content is by necessity more utilitarian, more focused on your offering. But you shouldn’t suddenly become all business all the time. Aim for a consistent brand voice throughout the buyer’s journey. You can still be lighthearted and informal on a landing page or a contact form.

This Content Marketing Kitchen post, for example, is an announcement post that serves chiefly to drive traffic to a landing page. I dialed back the jokes but kept the tone light and personal. The result: A bottom-of-funnel piece that still kept people entertained, as the comments show:

Good Humor Isn’t Just an Ice Cream Brand

The same comedic approach won’t work for every brand or every audience. People who love zany one-liners from a fast-food company likely don’t want the same from their bank. It’s important to find the degree of comedy that puts you firmly on the Roger Rabbit side of the equation.

That said, if you keep your level of humor appropriate for the stage of the buyer’s journey, you can attract your audience, engage them with entertaining but valuable content, then convert with the same sense of personality and fun that attracted them to begin with.

Learn more about humor in content marketing from a master of the form in this interview with Tim Washer.

LinkedIn Marketing is a TopRank Marketing client.


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Beyond Google Keyword Planner: 7 Easy-to-Use SEO Research Tools for Generating Content Ideas

As a content marketer, you know that your target audience needs to be at the center of your content strategy. After all, modern content marketing was born to help you create valuable content that satisfies your audience’s quest for answers throughout their customer journey.

However, as the digital landscape becomes increasingly crowded with content – and you feel more and more pressure to create content in less time – you’re likely looking for quick and dirty ways to create SEO-friendly, best-answer content that doesn’t require loads of your precious time. As a result, your first stop on the research train is likely Google’s Keyword Planner tool. But, let’s face it, while it’s an excellent tool, it can only get you so far.

The good news? There are several helpful research tools that can help you uncover real questions your audience is asking around the web – allowing you to gain new audience insights and fill your content plan with relevant, SEO-infused topics. Below we dive into some of those research tools that can help you do just that.

#1 Answer the Public

Answer the Public brings Google’s auto suggest feature to visual life. Type in any keyword or phrase, and the almost immediately you’ll be served up a visual representation of queries that are organized by specific question modifiers such as who, what, where, when, why, how, will, are and can.

What makes this tool so fantastic is that it not only helps you identify topics, but potentially some of the nuances of intent behind those questions. The best part? It’s completely free and you can sign up for a short email course to help you use the tool like a pro.

Answer the Public for Content Planning

#2 BuzzSumo’s Question Analyzer

BuzzSumo‘s recently launched Question Analyzer feature is incredible, allowing you to find the most popular questions being asked from across the web. How? Essentially, BuzzSumo has created a database of real questions from thousands of platforms, including forums, Amazon, Reddit, Quora and other Q&A sites. Just type in a keyword and get a list of related questions sorted by topic, as well as details on volume.

BuzzSumo Question Analyzer

Total access to this tool does require a BuzzSumo Plus subscription; however, you can sign up for a free trial for this feature and try before you buy.

#3 bersuggest

Like Answer the Public, bersuggest pulls in various Google’s auto suggest keyword queries. And while the tool doesn’t create the same kind of visual representation of questions, the Word Cloud feature does help you connect the dots in a more visual way. In addition, each keyword query allows you to select Google Trends so you can get a closer look at seasonality – which is great for future planning. Finally, bersuggest prides itself on being a tool that can help you uncover new keywords that aren’t available in Google’s Keyword Planner tool.

#4 KewordTool.io

Of course, we can’t mention Answer the Public or bersuggest without mentioning KeywordTool.io. Like the former two tools, KeywordTool.io also uses Google’s auto suggest queries as its data source. In addition, like bersuggest, KeywordTool.io allows you to tap into Google Trends and find keywords that aren’t readily displayed in Google Keyword Planner. So, on the surface, the main differentiator between these tools is user experience.

However, from what I can tell, KeywordTool.io’s paid version, Keyword Tool Pro, offers a little something different than the others. According to the website, Keyword Tool Pro will not only give you keywords that are hidden from everyone else but will also provide you with necessary data to sort and rank the newly discovered keywords. You will be able to see how often people search for a keyword on Google (Search Volume), how competitive (AdWords Competition), and lucrative (CPC) the keywords are.

KewordTool.io for Content Marketing

For many marketers, the final benefit may be the most intriguing, as we’re always looking to connect business value to our efforts.

#5 Google Search Console

Google Search Console, formerly Google Webmaster Tools, is one of the most helpful SEO and content planning tools out there. From a technical standpoint, Google Search Console enables you to monitor and maintain your entire website’s presence in Google search results. But from a content planning perspective, Google Search Console allows you to see which queries actually caused your site’s content to appear in search results.

The best part? You can filter by page, allowing you to see how a specific piece of content is drawing visibility. This means you can not only find opportunities to optimize existing content with other related keywords it’s coming up for, but also identify gaps and related topics that can spawn additional content.

Google Search Console for Content Research

#6 Ahrefs

Back in 2011, Ahrefs launched as an backlinks analysis tool. Since then, the tool has grown into a helpful competitive analysis tool, allowing users to get a deeper understanding of how and why their competitors are ranking – and how they may be able to leapfrog them in the SERPs.

When it comes to generating SEO-infused content ideas, there are a few features that are useful. For starters, the Keywords Explorer allows you to find keywords, analyze their ranking difficulty and calculate the potential traffic you could achieve. Then you have the Content Explorer, which helps you find the most popular content for any topics based on backlinks, organic traffic and social shares. Finally, the Content Gap feature allows you to explore the keywords that your competitors are ranking for, but you don’t.

Ahrefs for Content Marketing Research

While this tool isn’t free, you can sign up for a free trial. If you like it, there are a handful of monthly subscription options at different price points.

#7 SEMrush

Generally speaking, SEMrush offers a lot of the same benefits as Ahrefs – from discovering and analyzing keywords to conducting competitive analysis. But one feature that is particularly interesting and helpful is the Social Media Tracker.

These days, social media marketing is an important and necessary part of any digital marketing strategy, serving as an engagement and content dissemination platform. With the Social Media Tracker, you’re able to compare your engagement trends to that of your competitors, as well as see the best-performing posts in terms of engagement. You can then use these insights to craft better, more relevant content that will get more traction on your social pages.

SEMrush Social Media Tracker

How Do You Choose Which Tools Are Right for You?

Your industry, budget, internal resources and unique business objectives are all deserving of consideration when selecting research tools that will be a good fit. But, with nearly all of these tools offering free usage or free trials, you certainly have nothing to lose by carving out a little time to test them out. So, choose one to start with and go from there.

What are some of your go-to research tools for generating interesting and relevant content ideas? Tell us in the comments section below.


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Funny Content, Serious Business: How to Use Humor in Content Marketing

[Image:https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/girl-clown-colorful-costumes-wig-sunny-446922970?src=pvZU0GbttO00FT7_LamxrQ-1-3%5D

Everyone likes a good joke. Everyone wants to be entertained. But when it comes to using humor in content marketing, people still hesitate. We are, after all, not here purely to entertain. Our content needs to serve a business purpose, inspire action, and rack up the sweet, sweet conversions.

Can potential buyers really take your brand seriously if you make them laugh?

I call this the Roger Rabbit/Goodfellas conundrum, best expressed by these two quotes:

How do you get the Roger Rabbit benefits of making people laugh, without becoming a Joe Pesci-esque laughingstock?

It can be done. You can still be funny and do serious business. The question is not whether to use humor in your content, but how you use it.

I believe humor serves a different purpose throughout the three loosely-defined stages of a buyer’s journey. Call them top, middle, and bottom of funnel. Or call them Attract, Engage, and Convert, as our team does. The idea is the same: How you use humor should change depending on your context.

Top of Funnel: Pure Comedy Gold

Top of Funnel content can be mostly comedy designed exclusively to entertain people. This is what we call a chocolate cake or dessert post. The key difference between, say, a Buzzfeed post about funny tweets and your top-of-funnel content is that yours will be focused on a very specific audience.

Use humor as a way of showing your audience that you understand them. That you’re one of them. Make jokes only they will get, and you will invite them into your tribe.

That’s what I did with my 20 Jokes Only a B2B Marketer Will Get. I called out the audience in the title, and made sure each joke used vocabulary and common experiences that only the intended audience would share. The result: One of the most-shared posts on the TopRank Marketing Blog this year.

Middle of Funnel: Humor + Value

In the middle of the funnel-what we call the Engage stage-comedy is still a welcome component of your content. But unlike, top of funnel, the comedy can’t be the main attraction. You’ve already brought your audience in. Now you have to provide value beyond a chuckle or two.

Start with a legitimately useful premise, and use humor to demonstrate personality and keep your content readable. For example, the introduction to this post on video content marketing on a budget starts with a funny intro and a truly hilarious image. Images are a great way to introduce a little humor, by the way-especially if you’re on a WordPress blog and the image can show up in the excerpt.

You don’t have to confine humor to the introduction; just don’t forget the value. This post from Jason Miller at LinkedIn is a good example of a funny post that still has plenty to offer the audience. It uses the silly names and weird visuals of a BBC kids show to teach some solid content marketing lessons. And it gave Jason the excuse to make a personalized kid’s book cover:

Bottom of Funnel: Keep It Consistent

By the time your customer is almost ready to make a purchase decision, you don’t need to keep throwing out the punchlines. They’re already sold on your brand’s personality; now they need to make sure your solution is the perfect fit.

Bottom-of-funnel content is by necessity more utilitarian, more focused on your offering. But you shouldn’t suddenly become all business all the time. Aim for a consistent brand voice throughout the buyer’s journey. You can still be lighthearted and informal on a landing page or a contact form.

This Content Marketing Kitchen post, for example, is an announcement post that serves chiefly to drive traffic to a landing page. I dialed back the jokes but kept the tone light and personal. The result: A bottom-of-funnel piece that still kept people entertained, as the comments show:

[henslee]

Good Humor Isn’t Just an Ice Cream Brand

The same comedic approach won’t work for every brand or every audience. People who love zany one-liners from a fast-food company likely don’t want the same from their bank. It’s important to find the degree of comedy that puts you firmly on the Roger Rabbit side of the equation.

That said, if you keep your level of humor appropriate for the stage of the buyer’s journey, you can attract your audience, engage them with entertaining but valuable content, then convert with the same sense of personality and fun that attracted them to begin with.

Learn more about humor in content marketing from a master of the form in this interview with Tim Washer.

LinkedIn Marketing is a TopRank Marketing client.


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Online Marketing Blog – TopRank, 2017. |

Funny Content, Serious Business: How to Use Humor in Content Marketing | http://www.toprankblog.com

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Learn Influencer Marketing 5 Ways

Learn Influencer Marketing 5 Ways

A quick look at Google Trends comparing Influencer Marketing to other marketing disciplines shows a near hockey stick growth trend. Since my team consults and I advocate, write and speak about influencer marketing so often, people often ask me: Is influencer marketing a real trend?.

Google Trends Influencer Marketing

Looking back on my experience in digital marketing over the past 20 years with the advent of disciplines like SEO, social media and content marketing, I’d say the momentum around influencer marketing has many of the same characteristics. It’s here, it’s still early and will continue to grow.

While working with influencers isn’t all that new, my experience talking about influencer marketing with B2B brands (and many agencies) has taught me that many B2B marketers are not fully aware or confident about where working with influencers fits in their marketing mix.

The good news is that we’ve been in the thick of B2B influencer marketing and content marketing for the last 6-7 years. Starting with experiments, we evolved our offering by practicing what we preach and introducing best practices and process to our clients. Today we’re delivering influencer content marketing services to major B2B and B2C brands including SAP, LinkedIn, State Farm and 3M.

To learn what we’ve learned, I invite you to check out the following 5 events where I will be talking about influencer marketing from essentially 5 different perspectives. From New York to San Francisco to Milan, there’s something for everyone.

Learn Influencer Marketing for Influencer Marketers

Sept 26: New York

Influencer Marketing Days #InfluencerDays

Keynote: B2B Influencer Marketing: Top Trends, Examples & Opportunities

The irony of this presentation is that I will be in New York as an influencer for IBM and while there, giving a presentation on influencer marketing at an influencer marketing conference! It’s like influencer marketing inception!

Learn B2B Influencer Marketing

Oct 4: Boston

MarketingProfs B2B Forum #MPB2B

Solo: From Why to ROI: B2B Influencer Marketing Case Studies for Success

One of my all-time favorite conferences of the year, B2B Forum is where I get to truly geek out on B2B influencer marketing with some of the smartest B2B marketers in the world. And there’s Ann Handley too who would want to miss hanging out with her? No one!

Learn About ABM & Influencer Marketing

Nov 7: San Francisco

Dreamforce #Dreamforce17

Solo: The ABCs of Influencer Content for ABM

Salesforce event staff have told me I will have a room that can seat 800, which might not seem like much for a conference with 90,000+ attendees, but I’ll take it. Companies that use marketing software are definitely great potential clients for TopRank Marketing.

Learn About SEO & Influencer Marketing

Nov 9: Las Vegas

Pubcon #pubcon

Keynote: In Search of Influence

Brett Tabke gave me a shot at speaking early on in my career and because of a longstanding client conference date that conflicted with Pubcon, I haven’t been able to attend in many years. Now I’ll be giving a keynote to the community where I got my start in marketing and I can’t tell you how much that means to me. My hope is that the presentation will mean something to the amazing search community.

Learn About Content & Influencer Marketing

Nov 15: Milan

SMXL #smxlmilan

Masterclass: Content Marketing & Influence Integration

I will be back in Milan to talk about content marketing with an influencer marketing flavor to the hungry Italian marketers converging on Milan. This event will also give me the opportunity to connect with my European search marketing pals.

5 Steps to Influencer Marketing Awesome

I know it’s possible you might not be able to attend the conferences listed above. So I’ll share a few tips to provide some direction for those just getting started with the idea of incorporating influencer collaboration with their marketing. Broadly, there are some universal truths to influencer marketing where content is the marketable asset produced. Here are 5 worth paying attention to:

1. Be specific. When setting goals for what’s possible, define your topic of influence specifically. Focus topics drive influencer identification as well as influencer content, SEO and social media themes.

2. Be the best answer. Map focus topics to your normal content, SEO, advertising and media relations plans.To be the best answer wherever customers are looking and influenced, it’s more effective if there is continuity of message across channels where buyers discover and consume solutions content.

3. Give to get. Brandividuals that play the game of influence will respond to compensation early, but most niche and brand influencers require romance. Start recruiting through social engagement long before you ask influencers to collaborate.

4. Collaborate to create. Invite influencers to make something together that drives the influencer’s objectives while at the same time, fuels brand objectives. At a minimum, influencer engagement results in content co-creation that can be repurposed by the brand for demand gen programs. Also consider the power of pride. When influencers invest in creating something that makes them look good, they will be inspired to share and help your brand reach new audiences.

5. Measure smart. Inputs, outputs and outcomes of influencers and their communities relative to your content collaboration is essential. When content is part of your influencer collaboration, then you’ll have all the measurement opportunities with any other content marketing program as well. The key is to map KPIs of working with influencers to business goals for your brand.

Whether you are in New York for Advertising Week, Boston for Marketing Profs B2B Forum, San Francisco for Dreamforce, Las Vegas for Pubcon or Milan for SMXL, I hope to see you so we can connect and learn from each other about the amazing world of influencer marketing.

Tim Washer Interview

Do you have proven community management, content and influencer engagement skills? Work with TopRank Marketing! If you are an experienced influencer marketing professional and would like to join a team that is fast tracking growth and working with some amazing brands, then be sure to check out our careers page or contact me directly: lodden at toprankmarketing .dot com.


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Digital Marketing News: Predictive Analytics, Blockchain and Email Marketing Industry Report

Predictive Analytics: Predicting Customer Behavior to Improve ROI

As marketers, we’re always trying to stay ahead of the curve. But, does that curve factor in what customers or clients are looking for? This infographic shows us how predictive analytics can help do just that. Business 2 Community

IAB sets up Blockchain Working Group for advertising

Does blockchain have a place in marketing? According to recent reports, blockchain is no longer only for those trading bitcoin, it can provide a highly secure and transparent way to manage funds. MarketingLand

2017 Email Marketing Industry Report

Marketers are feeling overwhelmed. They don’t have the resources needed to do the marketing they’d like to do. This is evident in email marketing particularly because many marketers surveyed say email marketing drives ROI but it’s not integrated with their marketing strategy overall. Digital Marketing Depot

[REPORT] The State of Social Video 2017: Marketing in a Video-First World

According to Cisco, video will make up 80% of consumer online traffic by 2020, and Mark Zuckerberg said he sees video ‘as a mega trend on the same order as mobile.’ Animoto set out to shed light on the video-first landscape. Animoto

Apple’s New Animojis Are the Latest Sign That Brands Need to Embrace Augmented Reality

Tailing on the news of the release of Apple’s new iPhones, there is an exciting new development. What happens when you mix artificial intelligence and a leading technology company? You get, animojis! Apple’s version of the Snapchat’s Lens, this feature enables brands to connect with younger audiences in a meaningful way. AdWeek

Email Marketing To Total $22.2 Billion In 2025: Study

MediaPost reports: The total dollar volume of email marketing will hit roughly $22.2 billion by the end of 2025, for a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.60%, according to a study by Transparency Market Research. Last year, the annual total was U.S. $4.5 billion. MediaPost

Google Offers Olive Branch to Publishers by Relaxing Policy on Subscription Sites

According to The Wall Street Journal – but not yet confirmed by Google – Google is ending their ‘First Click Free’ policy on paywall gated articles through SERPs. This could reportedly help publishers boost subscriptions. The Wall Street Journal

Google Search App to Suggest Related Content

Content creators rejoice! Google is reportedly now showing related content in Google searches based on what content other searchers have viewed based on their related searches. Search Engine Journal

What were your top digital marketing news stories this week?

We’ll be back next week with more top news! Need more in the meantime? Follow @toprank for daily updates.

The post Digital Marketing News: Predictive Analytics, Blockchain and Email Marketing Industry Report appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank.

LinkedIn Native Video: What Works, What Doesn’t, What Marketers Need to Know

Video content is eating the internet. It started with video-specific platforms like YouTube and Vimeo. Then Twitter and Facebook added support for live and pre-recorded video. Now these insatiable moving pictures are becoming serious business: LinkedIn now supports native video.

What would compel a buttoned-down, professional networking site like LinkedIn to embrace video? Simply put, people-even businesspeople-want to watch. Fifty-nine percent of executives say that if text and video are available on the same topic, they’re more likely to choose video.

There’s no denying that marketers should embrace video content as a general rule. If your audience wants video, it’s wise for your brand to be the one supplying it. But why publish natively on LinkedIn?

Here are the upsides, downsides, and what-you-need-to-know-sides.

How to Create a LinkedIn Video

LinkedIn has been slowly rolling out its video capabilities, starting with a few influencers and expanding out from there. Most members who have the most recent version of the mobile app should have the capability now.

If your account has video enabled, you will see a camera icon available where you normally post to your feed. On mobile, you can create a video (not a live streamyet) or upload from your photo gallery. On desktop, you can only upload a pre-recorded video. Nearly every common form of video file is supported.

To record a video, just tap the camera icon, give the app permission to access your camera, and go. To upload video, just navigate to the file you want to add and select it-there’s no learning curve there.

Your file must be at least three seconds long and no longer than 10 minutes, but LinkedIn suggests between 30 seconds and 5 minutes for better engagement. The maximum file size is five gigabytes, which should be plenty of space.

Your post will lookwell, a lot like a post with an embedded video, just without the link out at the bottom:

Why Marketers Should Care about LinkedIn Video

You can already embed YouTube video in your LinkedIn feed posts, of course. But posting native video may get you more engagement. On Facebook, native videos typically get 10x more shares than embedded videos. If that trend holds for LinkedIn, you could be missing out on a substantial chunk of potential audience by linking to a YouTube video.

So native video matters-and for virtually all B2B marketers, LinkedIn matters. While Facebook videos can be dominated by memes and entertainment, the LinkedIn audience is specifically there for business. They’re browsing their feeds looking for something that can help advance their career, give them a competitive edge, or just do their jobs better. Useful, professional video content is likely to fare better on LinkedIn than on Twitter or Facebook.

The other reason to go native on LinkedIn video is LinkedIn’s analytical capability. Their demographic data is likely to be more useful to B2B marketers than Facebook’s data is. You can zero in on job function, job title, and seniority of the people who view your video. That data will help you adjust your strategy to hit and engage the right audience.

As native video is more widely adopted by its userbase, LinkedIn is likely to give it preferential treatment over embedded video. LinkedIn has already switched from a pure timeline feed to an algorithm-based feed. Just as Facebook currently gives pride of place to native videos, LinkedIn is likely to prioritize it in their feeds, too.

Downsides to LinkedIn Video

Since this is a new feature, there are some still some quirks to be ironed out, and a few features that are missing. These negatives won’t keep your video from being seen and appreciated, but they’re worth noting:

  1. No playback speed or picture quality settings. Users can’t customize the viewing experience the way they can on YouTube.
  2. It’s hard to link out. the URLs for a video-embedded post are unwieldy: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6316276929771245568/, for example.
  3. The video isn’t embeddable on other sites. It’s definitely intended for consumption on LinkedIn.
  4. Only members can post, not companies.
  5. There’s no dedicated video tab, which can make video content hard to find. I’m willing to bet some kind of tab or filter is in the works, but we don’t have it yet.

What to Use LinkedIn Video For:

Given the limitations of the format, it’s best to think of video on LinkedIn as an add-on to your current marketing strategy. Use it to build your personal brand, or go behind-the-scenes at your company, or interview co-workers and executives.

Many users are already using the format to do quick tips, like this video from Viveka Von Rosen. That kind of informal, live-shot video is an easy way to get started.

There are a few people attempting to create series on the platform, too. Building an audience for a series could be tricky without a dedicated video tab, but Mike Morgan’s Humans of LinkedIn series is making a go of it. If more people start serializing their videos, LinkedIn is likely to add tools that support the practice.

LinkedIn to the Future

If you’re marketing to a B2B audience, native video on LinkedIn is well worth a try. Instead of linking out to YouTube, upload the video natively to LinkedIn and keep an eye on how it performs. Make sure to include keywords and relevant hashtags in the post so your video is easier to find, keep an eye on your analytics, and let the data guide your next steps.

Need more help? Check out these easy ways to get started with video content marketing.

Disclosure: LinkedIn Marketing is a TopRank Marketing client.


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Top Insights, Takeaways & Favorite Moments from #SocialBrand17

For the past six years Nick Westergaard has brought speakers from around the United States to the good people of Iowa for his annual Social Brand Forum.

This event has drawn speakers like Lee Odden, Ann Handley, Joe Pulizzi, Jay Baer, Tim Washer, Scott Monty, Mitch Joel, Chris Brogan and many more!

This year, I was lucky to join some amazing speakers including Robert Rose, Melissa Agnes, Jason Falls and Marcus Sheridan as one of the speakers at this premiere Midwest event.

Since I know that many of you weren’t able to attend this awesome event, I’ve taken the liberty of pulling some of my favorite takeaways and moments from #SocialBrand17.

Nick Westergaard The Man Who Made it All Happen

If you haven’t met Nick before, you should. He made every part of this experience amazing for speakers and attendees alike.

In addition to serving as a Chief Brand Strategist, Nick is also an author, professional speaker and an Associate Director, MBA Business Communication at the University of Iowa.

Nick believes that a scrappy approach to B2B marketing can help teams large and small get smarter with their digital marketing. His book, Get Scrappy is filled with great ideas and examples for brands looking to do just that.

Robert Rose Reinventing Trust: The New Value of Brand Audiences & Owned Media

One of the key points of Robert’s presentation that stood out to me, was his thoughts on how technology has impacted the way we work (both positively and negatively).


Technology has enabled us to do so much that it has become a weakness. @Robert_Rose

Click To Tweet


As we start each year, we plan to accomplish great things with our content but quickly realize we need more content, more technology and more people to get it done. But the honest truth is, more isn’t always better.

Content teams should not become asset generators that simply pump out content, the focus should be on becoming more strategic and purposeful with content planning, creation, promotion and measurement.

Yesterday also marks the release of Robert Rose and Joe Pulizzi’s new book, Killing Marketing. Keep your eye out for a review of this new book on our blog in coming weeks.

Melissa Agnes Crisis Ready: Essential Strategies for Every Business

For most of us, the thought of a crisis doesn’t even cross our minds until we’re in the midst of experiencing one. And that is something Melissa Agnes set out to change in her presentation.

Key to successfully managing a crisis is having a crisis ready culture. A crisis ready culture is one that has developed a plan, shared the plan with the team and keeps the plan closeby in case it is needed.


Issues can escalate to a crisis but they can also present us with an opportunity. @Melissa_Agnes

Click To Tweet


One of the biggest takeaways for the audience was the fact that an issue and a crisis are not the same and how to deal with each scenario effectively.

Jason Falls Hacking the Conversation

True to form, Jason started off his presentation telling jokes, stories and commenting on how hot it was on stage (I can attest, it was). I have seen Jason present a few times and each time is a great experience, but there was something extra special about this presentation.

In order to participate in or hack conversations your customers are having, you first need to know what they are. Unfortunately a lot of these conversations happen on more closed networks like Facebook which can make it difficult to uncover what is being said.


A true understanding of your customers will make your marketing much more impactful. @JasonFalls

Click To Tweet


Ultimately, marketers need to understand that keywords do not equal themes and raw data is not the same as actual insights.

Marcus Sheridan We’re All Media Companies

Marcus is a strong proponent of truly integrated sales and marketing teams. And he’s right, he’s proven how effective this approach can be. In today’s digital landscape, media is no longer reserved for publications.

Brands have become publishers and let’s be honest, are publishing content at an alarming rate. Unfortunately, Marcus has found that most content starts as fluff when it should always start at the buyer.


More often than not, digital marketing is a program. It starts and then it ends. @TheSalesLion

Click To Tweet


Teams must begin thinking more strategically and utilizing content intentionally in the sales process and beyond to better meet the needs of today’s savvy buyers.

Ashley Zeckman Your Marketing Golden Ticket

When I was creating my presentation for the Social Brand Forum, I began building out some tactics that I thought the audience would find interesting, then as I thought about it further, I decided that instead of tactics, we should focus on the common hurdles that content marketers face.

As a special treat, I’ve included a copy of my deck below so that you can experiencethe world of Wonka on your own time (if only I could get the GIFs to work in SlideShare!).

Additional Insights From the Attendees

Below are a few of my favorite tweets shared by the conference attendees:

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

What Did You Learn?

Whether you were able to attend in-person, or followed along online, I’m curious to know what you found to be the most interesting tidbits of information offered at the annual Social Brand Forum.


Email Newsletter

Gain a competitive advantage by subscribing to the

TopRank Online Marketing Newsletter.

Online Marketing Blog – TopRank, 2017. |

Top Insights, Takeaways & Favorite Moments from #SocialBrand17 | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post Top Insights, Takeaways & Favorite Moments from #SocialBrand17 appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank.

The Mighty Cheeseburger: How to Construct Your Content for the Perfect Bite

You might not know this but today, Sept. 18, is a national holiday to remember: National Cheeseburger Day. We know, we know, everyday now has an arbitrary national holiday that has little to offer outside of free food or funny tweets. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth celebrating.

For our own National Cheeseburger Day celebration, we took a look at what makes a great burger. From a perfectly toasted bun to secret sauces, there is a lot that goes into creating the perfect staple of American food. And as content marketers, we could relate to trying to find the perfect mixture of ingredients and techniques to create something that people love.

In content marketing, much like cooking, there is an overwhelming amount of options for composing content or content strategies. It can feel like there are too many cooks in the kitchen, countless ingredients to choose from, or numerous recipes to follow that it becomes impossible to form a cohesive content plan.

So to help you break down the necessities and create captivating content, we gathered four tips for constructing delicious content inspired by-you guessed it-cheeseburgers.

Toasted to Perfection

Similar to the bun on a burger, the introduction and conclusion to your content supports the meat of your message. Set yourself up for success with attention grabbing, empathetic introductions and conclusions to drive your point home. While supporting the content on the page, the introduction and conclusion sections are also great opportunities to support your business as a whole. Mentioning your experience, products, or services help highlight your expertise and reinforce your credibility.

Even more important, no one likes a soggy bun! That’s why the best chef’s place the lettuce directly underneath the patty-it keeps the juices from seeping into the bun. Keep your content clean and clear and by writing distinct section headers. This will help structure your content in an easily digestible way and make sure your thoughts are well-organized.

Grade-A Beef

Just like a burger, content without meat (or protein for our vegetarian and vegan readers) just doesn’t cut it. Your content needs to be worth your audience’s time or else it won’t produce results. The secret to noteworthy, memorable content is offering hearty advice to your readers in the form of listicles, steps, tips, or guides.

One of the best ways to create valuable content is to answer common questions your audience might have and pack your answers with statistics, quotes, and anecdotes that validate your point of view. This ensures that your audience can find a solution to their problems with your content. And because you’re answering a specific, commonly asked question, this strategy could also help improve your ranking in voice search results.

The Right Amount of Crunch

Burgers are commonly found in grills and restaurants across the country, so to keep surprising guests with new inventions, Chef’s often experiment with different food textures. The same should be done with your content marketing. As content marketers ourselves, we know that reading several blog posts each day can get boring, so why should we put our audiences through that? We need to surprise them with something different.

Create crunchy content moments of your own by producing a mix of blog posts, podcasts, videos, case studies, and more. The variety helps break up any monotony in your current content strategy and entices audiences with new formats. In fact, four times as many customers would rather watch a product video than read about it, according to Animoto. And in addition, your mix of content creates cross-linking opportunities that will potentially boost your search rankings or traffic.

Secret Sauce

A good sauce is the difference between a great burger and an excellent one. It is one of the only burger ingredients that can completely change the flavor of each bite. In terms of content, we believe that the difference between great and excellent content is an oft-talked about, yet little utilized tactic: SEO.

Add search engine flavor to your content with SEO strategies like internal linking and optimized meta descriptions, tags, and headers. But before you start jam packing your content with keywords and links, make sure your internal linking fits naturally and has keyword optimized anchor text. And because engagement and external linking is an increasingly large factor in search rankings, add click to tweets and other easy-to-share links that make it simple for readers to circulate your content.

Need More Ingredients for Your Content Marketing Recipe?

If you’re starving for more content marketing tips, learn how to master the perfect content marketing recipe with these 30 savory and sweet content ingredients.


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Online Marketing Blog – TopRank, 2017. |

The Mighty Cheeseburger: How to Construct Your Content for the Perfect Bite | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post The Mighty Cheeseburger: How to Construct Your Content for the Perfect Bite appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank.

Top Insights, Takeaways & Favorite Moments from #SocialBrand17

For the past six years Nick Westergaard has brought speakers from around the United States to the good people of Iowa for his annual Social Brand Forum.

This event has drawn speakers like Lee Odden, Ann Handley, Joe Pulizzi, Jay Baer, Tim Washer, Scott Monty, Mitch Joel, Chris Brogan and many more!

This year, I was lucky to join some amazing speakers including Robert Rose, Melissa Agnes, Jason Falls and Marcus Sheridan as one of the speakers at this premiere Midwest event.

Since I know that many of you weren’t able to attend this awesome event, I’ve taken the liberty of pulling some of my favorite takeaways and moments from #SocialBrand17.

Nick Westergaard The Man Who Made it All Happen

If you haven’t met Nick before, you should. He made every part of this experience amazing for speakers and attendees alike.

In addition to serving as a Chief Brand Strategist, Nick is also an author, professional speaker and an Associate Director, MBA Business Communication at the University of Iowa.

Nick believes that a scrappy approach to B2B marketing can help teams large and small get smarter with their digital marketing. His book, Get Scrappy is filled with great ideas and examples for brands looking to do just that.

Robert Rose Reinventing Trust: The New Value of Brand Audiences & Owned Media

One of the key points of Robert’s presentation that stood out to me, was his thoughts on how technology has impacted the way we work (both positively and negatively).


Technology has enabled us to do so much that it has become a weakness. @Robert_Rose

Click To Tweet


As we start each year, we plan to accomplish great things with our content but quickly realize we need more content, more technology and more people to get it done. But the honest truth is, more isn’t always better.

Content teams should not become asset generators that simply pump out content, the focus should be on becoming more strategic and purposeful with content planning, creation, promotion and measurement.

Yesterday also marks the release of Robert Rose and Joe Pulizzi’s new book, Killing Marketing. Keep your eye out for a review of this new book on our blog in coming weeks.

Melissa Agnes Crisis Ready: Essential Strategies for Every Business

For most of us, the thought of a crisis doesn’t even cross our minds until we’re in the midst of experiencing one. And that is something Melissa Agnes set out to change in her presentation.

Key to successfully managing a crisis is having a crisis ready culture. A crisis ready culture is one that has developed a plan, shared the plan with the team and keeps the plan closeby in case it is needed.


Issues can escalate to a crisis but they can also present us with an opportunity. @Melissa_Agnes

Click To Tweet


One of the biggest takeaways for the audience was the fact that an issue and a crisis are not the same and how to deal with each scenario effectively.

Jason Falls Hacking the Conversation

True to form, Jason started off his presentation telling jokes, stories and commenting on how hot it was on stage (I can attest, it was). I have seen Jason present a few times and each time is a great experience, but there was something extra special about this presentation.

In order to participate in or hack conversations your customers are having, you first need to know what they are. Unfortunately a lot of these conversations happen on more closed networks like Facebook which can make it difficult to uncover what is being said.


A true understanding of your customers will make your marketing much more impactful. @JasonFalls

Click To Tweet


Ultimately, marketers need to understand that keywords do not equal themes and raw data is not the same as actual insights.

Marcus Sheridan We’re All Media Companies

Marcus is a strong proponent of truly integrated sales and marketing teams. And he’s right, he’s proven how effective this approach can be. In today’s digital landscape, media is no longer reserved for publications.

Brands have become publishers and let’s be honest, are publishing content at an alarming rate. Unfortunately, Marcus has found that most content starts as fluff when it should always start at the buyer.


More often than not, digital marketing is a program. It starts and then it ends. @TheSalesLion

Click To Tweet


Teams must begin thinking more strategically and utilizing content intentionally in the sales process and beyond to better meet the needs of today’s savvy buyers.

Ashley Zeckman Your Marketing Golden Ticket

When I was creating my presentation for the Social Brand Forum, I began building out some tactics that I thought the audience would find interesting, then as I thought about it further, I decided that instead of tactics, we should focus on the common hurdles that content marketers face.

As a special treat, I’ve included a copy of my deck below so that you can experiencethe world of Wonka on your own time (if only I could get the GIFs to work in SlideShare!).

Additional Insights From the Attendees

Below are a few of my favorite tweets shared by the conference attendees:

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

What Did You Learn?

Whether you were able to attend in-person, or followed along online, I’m curious to know what you found to be the most interesting tidbits of information offered at the annual Social Brand Forum.


Email Newsletter

Gain a competitive advantage by subscribing to the

TopRank Online Marketing Newsletter.

Online Marketing Blog – TopRank, 2017. |

Top Insights, Takeaways & Favorite Moments from #SocialBrand17 | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post Top Insights, Takeaways & Favorite Moments from #SocialBrand17 appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank.