Camera Shy: 7 Tips for First-Time Video Marketers

Video Marketing Tips for First-Timers

Video Marketing Tips for First-Timers

Video isn’t for the faint of heart. You need to feel confident enough to put yourself, and your brand, out there. But it’s a medium that a lot of marketers are exploring as it holds a lot of potential.

In fact, Cisco’s Visual Networking Index predicts that 82% of all internet traffic will be video by 2021. Video is a main source of content consumption, including everything from the news to YouTube tutorials. And as marketers looking to demonstrate thought leadership and credibility, video presents a unique opportunity to get in front of and educate your target audience. However, 64% of marketers agree that video is the hardest type of content to produce, turning many people away from embracing video.  

Never one to shy away from a challenge, we’ve been diving in head-first here at TopRank Marketing. We’ve been doing video for a while through our Digital Marketing News casts, but we recently started expanding to include a video series (Crush-It!) that inspires the next generation of curious, courageous, and clever digital marketers. Each video features one of our internal experts, which brought both seasoned and green video personalities to the stage.

If you’re thinking that you want to enter the world of video marketing, check out our team’s video marketing tips from their own experiences in front of the camera, as well as behind the scenes.

Our Video Marketing Experts

Tiffani Allen TopRank MarketingTiffani Allen

Senior Account Manager

One of the anchors for our Digital Marketing News YouTube series, Tiffani is a veteran in front of the camera. Having starred in over 100 videos, as well as directed videos for a few of our clients, Tiffani knows how to organize and shoot effective videos.

Follow Tiffani on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Josh NiteJoshua Nite

Senior Content Marketing Manager

As Tiffani’s Digital Marketing News co-anchor, Josh also has plenty of advice for marketers going in front of or behind the camera. With over 100 videos under his belt as well, Josh is no stranger to video marketing.

Follow Josh on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Nick Nelson

Content Strategist

Recently appearing in one of our latest Crush-It! episodes, Nick has useful tips for first-timers. Having covered video marketing strategies and tips in the past for our own blog content, Nick’s also picked up some advice from leading brands and video experts.

Follow Nick on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Steve SlaterSteve Slater

Senior SEO and Digital Advertising Manager

Video isn’t widely known for being SEO-friendly. But as a dedicated SEO expert, Steve provides great insight into how you can still take advantage of video for search marketing. Steve has also appeared in our Crush-It series, becoming a breakout star with some helpful tips.

Follow Steve on Twitter and Linkedin.

7 Video Marketing Tips for First-Timers

#1 – Get ready for your close-up.

Video is all about “looks,” but looks don’t just boil down to your hair or makeup. It’s more so about making sure that your talented cast comes prepared and well-versed on the subject they’re going to be talking about. This will allow them to appear more comfortable, relaxed, and confident on camera. Afterall, everyone appearing in the video will be an extension of your brand. To help you get ready for your close up and put your best self forward, here are some tips from our team on your appearance and demeanor.

“If you appear nervous or lacking in confidence, it’ll probably be visible to viewers. This is no easy task, especially for the camera-shy, but be mindful of the vibe you’re giving off. Try as hard as you can to relax and have fun. It’ll show.”Nick Nelson

“Relax! It can be uncomfortable to be on camera, but the more you do it, the easier it gets. Think of it as a conversation with your audience versus a video – it takes some of the pressure off. Also, avoid super busy patterns or lines when you’re picking out what to wear. It can make some really crazy things happen visually.”Tiffani Allen

In addition to keeping your appearance in check, you also can’t stop once you start. This lesson can be applied to plenty of things you’ll try throughout your marketing career. But if you want to experience success with your videos, it will take a lot grit, determination, and outside-the-box thinking. Even if you aren’t getting the views or subscriptions you want, you have to keep at it, optimizing your approach along the way.

“You have to commit. The first video probably won’t be great. It might not even be good. Keep going and it will get better.”Steve Slater

We’ve been iterating on our approach to video since 2016, starting with the basics, learning as we go, and striving to make each take better than the next.

Here’s an early example from us from a couple years back.

And here’s a video from last week. We’ve been working on finding the perfect lighting scenario, experimenting with different cuts, angles, and interstitials, and other refinements.

#2 – You don’t need a blockbuster budget.

Video is an expensive endeavor. Or, it can be. Between lighting, audio, video, and editing equipment, it can quickly become a costly investment. But just because you have all of the bells and whistles, doesn’t mean your video will be a success. Instead, focus on the content of your videos to ensure that your video will be watched and appreciated.

“You don’t have to have a huge budget. You can work with what you have to create a great video, you just have to get creative.”Tiffani Allen

Our own videos don’t have a huge budget. For example, we shot the below video in one of our offices and used the creative theme of meditation to engage our audience. It was an out-of-the-box idea, but it currently holds the title for longest watch time.

Read: How to Get Started with Video Content Marketing (Without a Blockbuster Budget)

#3 – Practice your narrative, not your lines.

When it comes to film, there’s usually a script that’s followed. When it comes to your video marketing, you’ll also want a script that helps you stay on track and express all of your talking points. However, while it’s tempting to document everything you want to say, word for word, avoid that urge as best as you can. Having a script is helpful, but it can also cause your video to feel less organic or authentic. Check out our team’s tips below for practicing ahead of filming.

“I would recommend carefully planning out your talking points ahead of time and rehearsing them so they don’t escape your mind on the spot. You don’t need to memorize a script – in fact, you might not want to, as you’ll likely come off as robotic and not very conversational – but memorize the things you’d generally like to say. This will help prevent the “ums” and “uhs” that can become stressful when the camera is rolling.”Nick Nelson

“I would recommend going over your talking points to have a good understanding of what you want to say, but NOT scripting it out verbatim. You want to keep it sounding natural and human.”Joshua Nite

“Practice your narrative, not your lines. If you try to remember what you’re going to say verbatim, you’ll likely need to do multiple takes and it may come off as rehearsed or inauthentic. Know what message you’re trying to deliver and you’ll have much more fun!”Tiffani Allen

#4 – Nail down your intention.

If you’re writing a blog post, putting together an eBook, or drafting an email, there’s typically a call to action (CTA) with a link. When it comes to video, however, that type of call to action becomes harder to include. While links are important and can be included as bumpers or within the video description, we would challenge you to think more critically about the action you want to inspire from your audience.

Video offers a vastly different experience for your audience than physical text. This means your CTA can offer a different experience as well. Do you want viewers to subscribe? Like the video? Share it? Comment? All of those CTAs now become options. You need to decide what you want your audience to do before you think about a measurable CTA.

“This comes down to being creative. What are you really trying to accomplish? Know that first, then figure out what tools you have at your disposal to get there. Can’t embed CTAs in your YouTube videos? Use bumpers with short links and add them to the description.”Tiffani Allen

For our own Crush-It videos, we added clickable CTAs at the end of our videos to subscribe to our channel or watch another episode.

Crush-It Video Calls to Action

#5 – Put someone in the director’s chair.

If you have a low-budget for your video marketing projects, odds are you don’t have a director or cameraman to back you up. While we don’t expect you to go out and hire someone to fill that void, simply enlisting a coworker or friend to press record has immense value. Even if they don’t have video experience, if they can help you start and stop your video clips, you can save hours in the editing chair.

“I think my biggest piece of advice is to have someone behind the camera. It really helps if it’s someone who knows what they’re doing (like our own video mastermind, Adam Dunn), but even just having someone to push the button and stand there made a drastic difference in how quick and easy it was to record.”Joshua Nite

https://giphy.com/embed/3o6nV5DX6bY6GEma3e

via GIPHY

#6 – Video transcriptions aren’t just for closed captioning.

Video has a reputation for not being SEO-friendly. Because video by nature has minimal crawlable text, the SEO value is perceived to be low. However, there’s a workaround we’ve discovered that can more than make up for a video’s lack of text. What’s that secret? Transcriptions that allow for supportive, repurposed blog content and increased search visibility.

“Transcribe those videos when you embed them on your website. Don’t miss out on giving Google all that great content to index.”Steve Slater

“If your video focuses on keywords and topics that are important to your audience, it might be worth creating a written transcript and having it accompany the embedded video in a blog post. This will enable you to gain SEO traction and draw more inbound traffic for the vid. Include optimized headers and everything for maximum impact. Moz sets a good example of this with their Whiteboard Friday sessions.”Nick Nelson

Moz Whiteboard Friday Video Transcription

#7 – Be your biggest critic.

If you’re anything like me, you do not like the sound of your own voice or watching yourself on screen. But if you want to improve your videos, it’s something that you have to do to measure your own performance. Skipping out on watching yourself can lead to you repeating past mistakes.

“To quote the great LIttle Walter, ‘you better watch yourself.’ I know it isn’t fun but watch your own videos. See how you look and act on camera.” Steve Slater

https://giphy.com/embed/10QnBCa9QbQHiE

via GIPHY

Lights. Camera. Action.

Video marketing is a large undertaking for any brand as it involves looping in your brand’s internal thought leaders, investing in new equipment, and putting your brand into uncharted territory. But if you let the fear of budget, failure, or judgement hold you back, you’ll never reach the results you’re looking for.

For your best chance at creating video that’s award-worthy, it’s important that you stay organized, authentic, and determined. And we speak from experience when we say that it can be challenging at times, but the payoff is video content that educates and inspires – a common goal for many marketers.

Not sure what your first video should cover or aim to do? Struggling to come up with a starting point? Check out our other video marketing resources for inspiration and guidance:

The post Camera Shy: 7 Tips for First-Time Video Marketers appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Advertisements

Digital Marketing News: 3.3B Global Social Users, Facebook’s Loyalty Prediction AI, & More

Digital Around The World Q2 2018 Chart

Report: Social media use is increasing despite privacy fears

3.3 billion people worldwide use social media, an increase of some 100 million over the first three months of 2018, according to new report data from Hootsuite and We Are Social, despite a spate of recent privacy fears surrounding Facebook and other social companies. The Next Web

Google posts $31.1B in total revenue, beats top- and bottom-line expectations

Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent firm, posted better than expected revenue results, with almost $27 billion in advertising revenue for the first quarter of 2018, beating both Wall Street and analyst predictions and continuing year-over-year increases. MarTech Today

Facebook’s secret ‘Loyalty Prediction’ ad tool anticipates future user behavior & purchases

Advertisers using Facebook will be able to utilize an artificial intelligence (AI) service tool to anticipate user behaviors and likely purchases, according to reports citing leaked information about the firm’s loyalty prediction ad utility. Marketing Land

Study: Majority reject ads on smart speakers

Most people don’t want advertising delivered through virtual assistants, smart speakers, or voice search results, according to new survey data examining screenless searching, however nearly 40 percent of respondents were open to receiving only relevant ads. Search Engine Land

Reddit to grow its 75-person brand partnerships team by 50 percent to woo advertisers

Reddit plans to increase its brand partnership team by 50 percent in an effort to boost its brand-friendliness and attract more ad spend to the sixth most visited site globally. DigiDay

Google Confirms Algorithm Update Released on April 16th

Google has confirmed the latest of its now-routine broad core search algorithm updates designed to boost SERP quality and relevance. Search Engine Journal

Pinterest redesigns business profile pages with monthly viewer counts

Pinterest’s one million businesses will have access to monthly viewer pin counts after rolling out a revised and updated business profile page that also includes several display enhancements. Marketing Land

Ads.txt has gained adoption, but 19 percent of advertisers still haven’t heard of it

Robot.txt-like Ads.txt server-side whitelist from the Interactive Advertising Bureau Tech Lab has made gains in recognition and implementation, yet adoption hurdles remain. DigiDay

‘You’re seeing the lightbulb go off’: Amazon’s ad business is appealing to more buyers

As marketers have shown increased interest in advertising with Amazon, the company’s ad products have become pricier, according to report data from Merkle. DigiDay

Facebook gives creators new ways to monetize videos, while pushing more users to Watch

Facebook’s Watch tab has played an increasing role in the company’s video advertising strategy, along with several recent enhancements for video creators. Marketing Land

73 percent of Internet users purchased a product or service online in the past month.

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

Marketoonist 5 stages of data privacy grief

A lighthearted look at the five stages of data privacy grief, by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne – Marketoonist

Google Maps is Now Using Fast Food Locations as Reference Points – Search Engine Journal

Iconic ‘MAD’ Magazine Relaunches, ‘DCist’ Plans Return – MediaPost

Why So Many People Make Their Password ‘Dragon’ – Wired

TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:

  • Lee Odden – Interview: Lee Odden on the Rise and Success of Influencer Marketing – Brand24
  • Lee Odden – Video Interview: AQ’s Blog & Grill – AQ’s Blog & Grill YouTube
  • Lee Odden and LinkedIn (client) – Making the Case for Employee Advocacy: A Pocket Guide – LinkedIn Marketing Solutions
  • TopRank Marketing & Cherwell (client) – How to Guarantee Content Shares from Influencers – Onalytica
  • Ashley Zeckman – 82 Experts Share Their Favorite Influencer Marketing Tips to Increase Exposure – ShaneBarker.com
  • Lee Odden – Connecting in meaningful ways: What nonprofits and small businesses can learn from the YouToo Social Media Conference – DotOrgSolutions

Please join us once more next week, when we’ll share an exciting new array of the latest marketing news, and in the meantime you can follow us at @toprank on Twitter for even more timely daily news. Also, don’t miss the full video summary on our TopRank Marketing TV YouTube Channel.


Email Newsletter

Gain a competitive advantage by subscribing to the

TopRank® Online Marketing Newsletter.

© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2018. |

Digital Marketing News: 3.3B Global Social Users, Facebook’s Loyalty Prediction AI, & More | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post Digital Marketing News: 3.3B Global Social Users, Facebook’s Loyalty Prediction AI, & More appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Marketers, Assemble! The Super-Powered Team-Up of Content Marketing Confluence

Content Marketing Super Team

Content Marketing Super Team

It’s been a spectacular decade to be a nerd. The superheroes we love leaped from the page to the multiplex, each movie connected to the rest with the kind of complex storytelling we love in comic books.

It started with Iron Man in 2008. This weekend, “Avengers: Infinity War” hits theaters, with over two dozen heroes throwing down against a celestial being with godlike powers (who, for some reason, has a chin that looks like a raisin).

The Avengers and Content Marketing
The California Raisins reboot looks really dark.

I’m pretty stoked.

Team-up events like this are great because a superhero team is always more powerful than the sum of its parts. They can use their powers to complement each other in unexpected ways:

  • Spider-Man uses webbing to make a slingshot for Captain America’s shield
  • Thor throws his hammer through portals that Doctor Strange makes
  • The Hulk throws Hawkeye to safety

You get the idea. When a team is really working together, all of them do better.

Which, of course, makes me think all about content marketing. At TopRank Marketing, we believe the present and future of reaching an audience depends on confluence, a superhero team-up of all our content marketing tactics and channels working together.

Here’s a quick guide to the members of our superhero “team,” and how they assemble to amplify each other’s superpowers.

The Content Marketing Super Team

Content: Captain America

Captain America is the heart and soul of the Avengers team. He’s not the most powerful guy on the team, though he does pack a mean punch. His primary value lies in bringing humanity to a team of gods, aliens, and androids. He unites the team and gives everyone their marching orders, leading the charge on the ground.

Your content should be at the heart of your marketing super team, too. It should speak directly to your target audience on a human-to-human level. Your content can emotionally engage, deliver value, and ultimately persuade people to take action.

SEO: Spider-Man

Spider-Man is the lone “street level” hero on the Avengers team. He started out doing solo work cleaning up the streets of Queens. As part of the team, his main role is to assist the heavy hitters, tying their attacks together with his web-slinging, wall-crawling acrobatics.

SEO used to be the biggest deal in marketing, a strategy and tactic all unto itself. Now SEO works best as part of a team. Great content (preferably co-created with influencers) can benefit from a light dusting of SEO. Just remember that with SEO power comes responsibility: Use SEO to boost great content, not to trick search engines into ranking mediocre content higher.

Influencers: The Incredible Hulk

There’s one thing for sure about the Hulk: He’s a hard guy to ignore. Not only is he capable of punching an airplane out of the sky, he’s 10 feet tall and green. He’s not great on stealth missions, is what I’m saying, but if you want to make a splash, he’s your man.

Influencers share some of the Hulk’s properties (hopefully not the “giant rage monster” part). Some influencers make their living off of being seen, which means they have a built-in audience you can reach with their help. Some are more on the Bruce Banner side, with smaller followings that are still valuable if they’re your target audience.

Organic Social: Hawkeye

Hawkeye is one of two Avengers with no super powers, but he proves his value to the team with his technological savvy and arsenal of specialized arrows. He excels at precision strikes that hit valuable targets.

Organic social used to be a more high-powered team member, but the rise of the algorithm in social media feeds have reduced its reach and power. Still, it’s good for getting the word out to a select audience – you just have to be more strategic on your social channels to compensate for the lack of power.

Digital Advertising: Iron Man

Iron Man takes Hawkeye’s precision strike capability and adds extra maneuverability and power. He can swoop in and blast a target with an arsenal of rockets and pulse rays, all while delivering devastatingly sarcastic quips.

Digital advertising gives you the ability to hit precise audiences at scale. There’s more of a cost associated with it than with organic tactics, but it’s an investment that can get substantial returns.

The Content Marketing Super Team at Work

As you can see, each member of our super squad is powerful on its own. But the magic really happens when all these tactics work together. And you can’t plan that kind of teamwork in the heat of the battle, either. It has to start before a single word of content is drafted.

When we’re creating content, first we determine search demand. Looking at what people are searching for helps us narrow down our topics and makes sure the content will have SEO built in.

Then we search for influencers who are experts on the topic and have a sizable, relevant following. We invite influencers to co-create the content with us. True collaboration with influencers makes them far more likely to be    excited about the resulting assets, which means they’re more motivated to share.

Part of our content creation process is designing images and messages for organic social amplification. We provide influencers with everything they need to share the asset on social media. Influencer shares are crucial for reaching the target audience, so we make it as easy for influencers to share as possible.

Finally, we use paid social to amplify the content directly to our clients’ most valuable audience. We create unique social images and messages to compel people to take action.

It’s easy to see how the super-team approach makes each tactic work better. Each of the tactics is working toward the same unified goal: reaching an audience and persuading them to take action.

Content Marketers, Assemble!

What turns a ragtag group of marketing tactics into an elite audience-persuasion force? Strategy and communication. In our agency, we have a content team, an SEO team, a social media team, etc. But we make sure the teams are working together by design. We regularly meet together to make sure we’re all sharing the same vision. And we also share best practices with each other. The more each of us knows about everyone else’s area of expertise, the stronger we all are.

Want more insight into how content marketing tactics can be brought together for maximum impact? Here’s some more light reading:

The post Marketers, Assemble! The Super-Powered Team-Up of Content Marketing Confluence appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

A Non-Agency Guy Reflects on His First Year at TopRank Marketing

TopRank Marketing Team

TopRank Marketing Team

Liking where you work is not an optional luxury. At least it sure shouldn’t be.

Spending 40 hours of every week at a place you dread is a tough way to go through any stretch of life. I’ve been there and I’m sure many of you have as well – especially if you work in digital marketing, which can often be a fast-paced, demanding, and stressful field.

So last year, when I decided to pursue a new professional venture, finding the right culture fit was a huge priority for me. As I started exploring the possibility of joining the TopRank Marketing team, I had some reservations; not because of anything specific to the company, but because it’s an agency.

I hadn’t work at agencies much in the past. I was familiar with the stereotypes, the paradigms, the lamentations. While confident in my skill set being very applicable in this world, I couldn’t help but wonder if it was the right world for me.

Would the constant reality of client demands stifle my creativity? Would the permeating structure of workflow management systems prove suffocating? Would I be intimidated as a newbie working alongside people who’ve been in such a setting forever?

Well, as you can tell, I took the plunge. And I’m very glad I did. I’m coming up on my one-year anniversary here at TopRank Marketing and can happily say that up to this point, it has been an extremely rewarding experience, unhindered by those negative agency archetypes mentioned above.

If you’re a talented writer, strategist, SEO or analyst considering a career move, I highly recommend checking out TopRank Marketing – even if you’ve never worked in an agency. Here are five reasons I’ve felt right at home.

#1 – Business Casual

I’m not just talking about dress code. The environment here here strikes the right balance between business and casual. In the years prior to coming aboard, I’d spent time working downtown at a big corporate bank as well as at an ultra-leisurely tech startup, so I’ve experienced both ends of the spectrum and didn’t love either extreme.

I know from speaking to others that certain agencies can veer a little too far in the direction of informality, with flip-flops and Monday morning mimosas and lax attendance standards. From my view, these kinds of things can quickly become distractions, preventing people from being seriously focused on their work. At TopRank Marketing, the vibe is laid back enough that it’s always comfortable and easygoing, but not so much that anyone is apt to lose sight of their duties or commitments.

#2 – Cool Clients

Working with big-league clients also helps us keep our eyes on the prize. One thing that has become quite clear to me in my time at TopRank Marketing is that we are very deliberate about the businesses we engage as an agency. There’s a strong emphasis on finding the right fits and aiming high.

Partnering with recognizable and respected enterprise companies such as Dell, LinkedIn, and SAP keeps us on our toes and challenges us to raise the bar. I’m continually impressed by the innovation and big thinking on display in these organizations.

During client meetings, I get to interact with sharp people and I find there’s a high degree of mutual respect. I haven’t personally encountered exasperations with companies that just don’t “get it,” which I hear a lot about from friends and peers working at other agencies.

#3 – Awesome Team

Not only do our clients keep me on my toes – so do my coworkers. To me, this is probably the most invigorating aspect of working at TopRank Marketing. Each day I get the chance to absorb knowledge from tremendously adept and skilled pros in various disciplines. This is by design; attracting and retaining high-caliber talent is central to our operation.

The collaborative culture enables our team to collectively reach new heights. I’m fortunate to build out my own expertise by learning from our specialists in search, SEO, strategy, analytics, design, content and more. Hopefully I’m able to impart some of my own knowledge as well. 

#4 – Growth Opportunities

Just a few months after starting here at TopRank Marketing, I was able to attend Digital Summit Minneapolis and rub shoulders with some of the industry’s biggest names as a representative of our agency. It was a cool opportunity right out of the gates, and speaks to the windows that are opened for anyone with such aspirations. I’ve also gotten to write several times for the renowned TopRank blog, providing me with a platform for visibility and brand-building in the marketing community.  

As employees we are adamantly encouraged to branch out, gain new competencies, take on speaking engagements, and become public faces for the agency if they show that initiative. There’s a very legitimate and earnest focus on personal development that I believe to be rare.

#5 – Taking Pride

It’s honestly cool to tell people where I work.

I’ve quickly learned that TopRank Marketing has a stellar rep, fueled in large part by our CEO Lee Odden, who regularly appears as a keynote speaker all around the world promoting our brand and extolling our talent. Being able to work with prestigious international clients gives me a daily feeling of impact and accomplishment. There’s also a certain thrill inherent to being on the cutting edge with so many tactics and frontiers – most notably B2B influencer marketing at the moment.

I Guess I’m an Agency Guy Now

I’m not going to say it’s easy, nor that every day is free of stress or struggle. But I’m not sure I would even want that. I will say that on those more difficult days, I always have the support and structure necessary to overcome.

I had no idea what to expect with my first real venture into the agency world, but what I’ve found at TopRank Marketing is an accommodating environment, meaningful work, amazing colleagues, clear avenues for growth, and a real sense of pride.

That pretty much covers the checklist I had coming in. If yours looks similar, and you think you’ve got a professional skill set befitting one of our openings, you should get in touch and see if TopRank Marketing might be a match for you. Even if the word “agency” makes you bristle a little bit.

I might be biased, but not without good reason.

The post A Non-Agency Guy Reflects on His First Year at TopRank Marketing appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Digital Marketing News: Gen Z’s Snapchat Love, LinkedIn’s GIFs, & Google Gets More Time

Digital Marketing News: Gen Z's Snapchat Love, LinkedIn's GIFs, & Google Gets More Time

Snapchat Remains Teens’ Favorite Social Platform, Instagram Their Top Marketing Channel

Snapchat has remained the top social platform among teens, who also see Instagram as the best way for brands to communication with them, according to Piper Jaffray’s latest semi-annual “Talking Stock with Teens” survey. MarketingCharts

LinkedIn Teamed Up With Tenor to Add GIFs to Its Messaging

A feature allowing the use of animated GIF images has begun rolling out to LinkedIn users, the latest in a series of changes to add more fun to the business-oriented social platform. AdWeek

Google, Others Cut Into Facebook Share Of Consumer Time

Google’s properties including YouTube have grown more popular among U.S. adults than Facebook, with both taking up a greater share of consumer time than the properties of Verizon, Amazon, Snapchat, and Twitter, according to recently-released January 2018 Nielsen ratings data. MediaPost

Native Advertising Growth Projected to Slow

Native advertising spending growth among U.S. marketers will continue at a slower rate, less than half of the 64 percent figure seen in 2016, according to new eMarketer report data on the ads, which imitate the look of surrounding content. Wall Street Journal

Only 3% Of Marketers Deem MRC Video ‘Viewability” A Reasonable Standard

Just three percent of brand marketers see the current Media Rating Council’s (MRC) video viewability standard – which determines what is counted as a viewable impression – to be reasonable, according to recently-released survey information. MediaPost

62% of B2B marketers see video as priority format, finds LinkedIn study

62 percent of B2B marketers polled by LinkedIn feel that content creators should favor video among all platforms, ahead of email, infographics, and traditional social media creative material. The Drum

PiperJaffray Spring 2018 Taking Stock With Teens Statistics Image

What marketers need to know about Facebook’s updated Business Tools Terms

Facebook’s decision to apply the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) standards worldwide means an update to a number of the firm’s business tool definitions and accompanying terminology for marketers. Marketing Land

Google launches Enterprise Dialogflow chatbot platform out of beta

Google has launched its smart chatbot platform for businesses – Dialogflow Enterprise Edition – offering the ability to build artificial intelligence-based processing systems for customer service agents, virtual assistants, and other AI-infused support capabilities. VentureBeat

Ad tech streams into audio

Streaming audio providers are increasingly turning to new marketing methods for audio advertising technology that take advantage of smart speakers and voice search, and with digital audio ad revenue topping $1.1 billion in 2016 and growing 42 percent during the first half of 2017, creative targeting is abundant. AdAge

AR Drawings Can Now Be Added to Videos in Facebook Stories

Facebook will roll out augmented reality (AR) drawing features for videos within its Facebook Camera offering, the company announced, a potential new promotional tool for marketers. AdWeek

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

The New Yorker Daily Cartoon: Thursday, April 5th, 2018

A lighthearted look at Facebook’s recent travails by Jeremy Nguyen – The New Yorker

Researchers Find New Malware Designed To Make ATMs Spit Out Cash – The Onion

Facebook Adds Ability to Tip Live Streamers to Mobile Apps – Variety

TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:

  • Lee Odden – Pubcon Florida 2018: Chatbots Are Cool, But We Gotta Keep Marketing Human – Search Influence – Search Influence
  • Lee Odden – 6 Keys to a Blissful Marriage between PR & Marketing (including insights from @leeodden & @mattschlossberg ) – Glean.info
  • LinkedIn (client) – Serving it Hot: Pro Tips to Make Marketing on LinkedIn Easy – MarTechSeries
  • Lee Odden – 3 Reasons You Need to Attend Content Marketing Conference 2018 – WriterAccess

Stay tuned for next week, when we’ll be sharing all new marketing news stories, and in the meantime you can follow us at @toprank on Twitter for even more timely daily news. Also, don’t miss the full video summary on our TopRank Marketing TV YouTube Channel.


Email Newsletter

Gain a competitive advantage by subscribing to the

TopRank® Online Marketing Newsletter.

© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2018. |

Digital Marketing News: Gen Z’s Snapchat Love, LinkedIn’s GIFs, & Google Gets More Time | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post Digital Marketing News: Gen Z’s Snapchat Love, LinkedIn’s GIFs, & Google Gets More Time appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

What Content Marketers Can Learn From an Adept Dungeon Master

Content Marketing Lessons from Dungeons & Dragons

Content Marketing Lessons from Dungeons & Dragons

It’s probably not news to you that 91% of B2B brands use content marketing to attract, engage, nurture, and convert their audience. However, it might be surprising to learn that only 9% of those brands rate their content marketing as “sophisticated.” Sophisticated meaning that their content marketing is successful, scales across the organization, and provides accurate measurement to the business. This puts a lot of pressure on content marketers to elevate their game and provide more worthwhile and valuable content experiences.

Patrick PinedaAs an adept Dungeon Master (DM) of Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) games, TopRank Marketing’s Motion Graphic Designer, Patrick Pineda, can relate.

It might sound a little odd at first, but Dungeon Masters and content marketers are more alike than you think. Responsible for creating meaningful and memorable experiences through content that takes people on a journey, you can see the similarities arise. Just like content marketers need to help guide people through the buyer journey, the Dungeon Master needs to guide players through a journey of their own.

After serving his friends as the go-to Dungeon Master, Patrick has learned a thing or two from creating lengthy campaigns-some successful, some not-that are both engaging and challenging. Discover Patrick’s lessons from the dungeon and how you can apply them to your content marketing campaigns and programs down below.

What Is a Dungeon Master?

For the unfamiliar, a Dungeon Master is the organizer for the wildly popular, 40-year-old tabletop role-playing game, “Dungeons & Dragons.” Not only do DMs organize the game, but they are also responsible for the game rules, details, and challenges. According to Patrick, the player experience hinges on a DM’s ability to create meaningful content that’s fun to explore.

One thing Dungeon Masters are not responsible for, however, are the players’ actions.

Like the self-directed buyers of today, D&D players are able to choose their own paths. As a result, DMs are challenged to make sure players finish the game. And just like your audience won’t read every piece of content you put in front of them, the same happens in a D&D game. Certain story elements DMs put together will never see the light of day because every player has a different play style, completes tasks in different orders, and takes different actions.

“The best Dungeon Master doesn’t just create a good story, but they also help players reach their goals,” Patrick claims.

Does any of this sound familiar? It certainly resonated for me.

5 Content Marketing Lessons From the Dungeon

Having created D&D campaigns that ruled and bombed, here are Patricks top five tips for developing content that resonate with your audience.

#1 – Your audience values originality.

If Patrick creates a campaign that plays to common tropes like a damsel in distress or small town disappearances, the story becomes predictable. But worse than that, the players feel condescended to as the game starts to feel dumbed down.

“Cliches and stereotypes will make players groan. It’s important when creating a campaign that I shake it up and play against common conventions,” Patrick says.

When examining your content and the story you’re trying to tell, it’s just as important to stay original and play with your audience’s expectations. For example, listicles with social media tips are a dime a dozen. Your audience might be more interested if you flip the idea on its head with social media mistakes. In changing it up, you’re giving your audience something new that they haven’t read before, capturing their interest.

[bctt tweet=”When examining your content & the story you’re trying to tell, it’s just as important to stay original & play with your audience’s expectations. – @aleuman4 #ContentMarketing” username=”toprank”]

#2 – Appeal to curiosity.

When it comes to creating an adventure for players to navigate, the DM has a seemingly impossible job. They need to create a unique and compelling world that is able to hold players’ attention-something not easily done. In fact, campaigns have taken Patrick days to put together. But that doesn’t come without its drawbacks.

“I’ve spent hours upon hours creating content for a campaign. But 80% of what I create may never see any playtime. It’s ultimately the players’ choice as to what tasks they want to complete and what quests they want to go on,” Patrick points out.

While the D&D world needs to have a unique and compelling narrative, it also needs to appeal to a player’s curiosity to ensure they keep playing the game and play the parts of the game that you want them to.

How does this apply to content marketing? Well, as you know, just because you’re producing content, doesn’t mean that your audience will find it. To find the answers they’re looking for, they might scour the internet, social media, and trusted experts for more information. Having an integrated content strategy that has multiple touch points throughout the buyer journey and an omni-channel approach, helps ensure you’re reaching your target audience whenever and wherever they may be searching.

Weaving SEO, social media, and influencer marketing into your content marketing strategy helps improve the reach and engagement of the content you’re producing. Through SEO, your organic rankings and click-through-rates will start to rise, improving your organic traffic. Social media messages that are well written and value-based help attract larger audiences from their social feeds. And, finally, tapping into industry influencers exposes your content to a wider network of like-minded individuals, as well as adding authority and credibility.

#3 – Avoid corraling your audience.

Nobody likes to be told what to do, including D&D players. While the DM writes the game and serves as a referee, they cannot influence a player’s actions. And if a DM attempts to, they could quickly lose a player’s interest.

“As a DM, it can be tempting to intervene and make sure that your players are playing the game the way you intended. But this is the one thing you cannot do.” Patrick emphasizes.

This is true in content marketing, too, as making calls to action (CTAs) with zero context can be a turn-off for your audience. If you insert a CTA before your audience can learn what’s in it for them, whether it’s downloading an eBook, listening to a podcast, or subscribing to your blog, they’re less likely to do it. In fact, QuickSprout found that placing a CTA above the fold on a page decreased their conversion rate by 17% and attributed it to their audience not fully understanding why they should complete the action.

Instead, make sure that your CTAs have plenty of context and explain what the audience will gain by filling out your form, reading another blog post, etc. This helps ensure that your content satisfies your audience’s quest for knowledge.

#4 – Customize content for your audience, not the other way around.

As we mentioned previously, the players are in charge of their actions and how they choose to play the game, making it impossible for DMs to have control over the game experience. This makes it important for DMs to know their audience ahead of time, so they can include important sought-after details into different game components.

“I’ll ask players before we start what they hope to get out of the game, whether it’s take down an enemy or just to have fun. Knowing this ahead of time, I can tailor the game to what each player wants to have happen,” Patrick says.

For content marketers, this lesson should hit close to home. You need to know your audience well in advance in order to deliver personalized content. If you create content and worry about your audience later, chances are you aren’t engaging the right people.

After taking a look at your own audience’s characteristics and interests in Google Analytics, create unique personas for each of your audience members. This allows you to create content that is tailored for each person you hope to attract and engage. For example, if one of your target personas is a Director of Business Development, creating custom content that addresses a unique pain points like identifying new business opportunities or tips from the experts on how to strengthen their existing client relationships.

[bctt tweet=”If you create content and worry about your audience later, chances are you aren’t engaging the right people. – @aleuman4 #ContentMarketing” username=”toprank”]

#5 – Chart your course.

There is a lot going on in a D&D game. And for the DM, that number is amplified as you have to remember every detail about your players, what’s been completed, and what could come next.

“To make sure I’m on top of the game and can portray characters well, I chart the game’s relationships instead of story elements. If I focus on the story, it could quickly become useless as players might do things out of order or in a non-linear fashion. By focusing on the relationships and where they fit in the narrative, the game becomes more fluid and flexible for the players and I can keep track of their journey,” Patrick says.

Tracking the journey isn’t the only thing Patrick notes, however. He also documents player strengths, weaknesses, and stats as the game progresses.

“I keep a character sheet that details each player’s play style. For example, if a player is investing their skill points in intelligence, I can tailor future encounters in the game to focus on problem-solving instead of combat. The opposite is true for a player who invests in raw strength,” Patrick notes.

Through detailed charts, maps, and grids, Patrick is able to make sure that his players have a personalized, seamless experience for every campaign they play, regardless of how they play it.

Customer Journey & Dungeons and Dragons Journey

By taking the same approach with your content marketing, you can identify opportunities for customization and develop a strategy for weaving your content into the buyer’s journey. For example, by knowing which pieces of content attract a larger audience or drive more conversions, you can use that information to inform your content development and map your content to different stages of the funnel (see below).

Grid Assigning Content to Buyer Stages

To collect this data on your content and audience, review your Google Analytics behavior and conversion dashboards to find our which pieces of content excel at attracting, engaging, or converting your audience. Metrics like page views and entrances are good indicators for attraction, whereas time on page or number of pages per session can help you understand engagement. And, finally, the number of conversions through conversion tracking is the best way to find your top converting content. Armed with this knowledge you can create content plans that are tailored for your audience’s unique buyer journey.

Your Audience Is the Hero

A good Dungeon Master enables players to become the hero of the story through a personalized game with a compelling, original narrative. As a content marketer, it’s your responsibility to create content that transforms your audience into heroes as well, helping them solve seemingly impossible problems with your expert, best-answer advice.

Through an integrated content strategy with originality, personalization, and “best answer” content that’s mapped to the buyer journey, you can become the perfect Content Master for your audience.

For more ideas on how to become a masterful content marketer, check out these 25 content marketing tips, including how to tackle writer’s block, repurpose content, utilize storytelling, and more.

The post What Content Marketers Can Learn From an Adept Dungeon Master appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

6 Top Marketing Challenges Solved by Influencer Content

Marketing Challenges Solved by Influencer Content

Whether you’re a new Marketing leader at a company in need of establishing wins quickly or part of a growing organization with ambitious revenue goals, the challenges within marketing today are greater than ever.

To help make sense out of these challenges, I’ve listed 6 of the top obstacles to brands achieving effectiveness out of their marketing and how collaborating with influencers on content help solve each problem.

1. Challenge: Ad Blocking

600 million devices are using ad blocking leading to a loss of $22 billion in ad revenue for publishers (PageFair). If buyers don’t ever see your ads, what chance do you have?

Challenge solved: Contrary to ads, influencers are liked and because people pay attention to the influencers they follow, shared brand messages are far more likely to attract and engage buyers.

When you subscribe to the idea that everyone is influential about something, especially with their friends, co-workers and social connections, this statistic from Nielsen (83% of consumers trust recommendations from their peers over advertising) becomes very powerful.

Collaborating with influencers on content that the influencers then promote to their subscribing community can become a powerful differentiator for any marketing program.

Of course not all customers use ad blocking and there are incredible opportunities to be realized with sophisticated ad targeting. That’s why when properly executed, influencer content can be leveraged for both organic and paid promotions.

2. Challenge: Information Overload

Consider this: 90% of the world’s data has been created in the last 2 years. That’s 2.5 quintillion bytes of data a day (IBM). In fact, 74gb of media are sent to the average consumer on an average day (USC/ICTM).

The sheer number of choices faced by consumers and general distrust has turned brand marketing into noise for many customers.

Challenge solved: Influencers are Focused. One of the most compelling reasons a person is influential is because of the specificity in the topics they cover. Because of that specialization, buyers anticipate rather than ignore or feel overwhelmed by what their trusted influencers share.

While some influencers distribute their content on multiple channels, their personal brand focus plus consistency and trust equals a signal that buyers pay attention to.

3. Challenge: Google “Hates” SEO

Search Engine Optimization bloggers have been positing this question for 10+ years. With Google algorithm and platform updates including Florida, Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, Pigeon, RankBrain, Mobile, Possum, Fred and the thousands of launches, live traffic experiments, side-by-side experiments and over 130,000 search quality tests, it makes you wonder: is this all for improving the customer experience or is some of it to thwart SEO?

Challenge solved: Google actually likes influencer content. Another key ingredient to why someone is influential is their credibility and authority. An influencer’s specific expertise and their ability to provide insights, answers and even research based perspectives all deliver on the Google’s expectation that content be useful.

Beyond influencer content being useful, there’s the practice of making content worth linking to. Influencers typically have a subscribed audience, many of which publish themselves. When influencers publish and promote content, it naturally attracts links.

By optimizing content for search and activating influencers, brands can create opportunities to help customers find trusted content and everybody wins.

4. Challenge: Buyers Don’t Trust Brands

Or ads. This is a hard pill to swallow: 42% of consumers distrust brands and 69% distrust advertising according to a study by (Ipsos Connect).

Challenge solved: Influencers are trusted.  A recent study by Fullscreen and Shareblee via MarketingCharts found that nearly 40% of 18-34-year-olds are more likely to trust what an influencer says about a brand than what the brand says about itself. Additionally, Twitter reports that users trust influencers nearly as much as their friends.

Collaborating with influencers on content can bring authenticity, credibility and trust to that content. When influencers share that content, the effect of their audiences’s trust goes even further.

5. Challenge: Content Doesn’t Scale

According to the annual study by Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, some of the top content challenges marketers included: 60% producing engaging content, 57% producing content consistently.

Challenge solved: Creator Influencers are experts at creating content. Influencer content creation and storytelling skills come in many forms: blogging, podcasting, video, images, and sometimes interactive.

Brands can extend the media creation skills of their marketing departments by partnering with creators with specialized skills. In addition to skill, creator influencers have an audience to promote the content to.

6. Challenge: Organic Social is Dead

Not only is Facebook organic reach down 52% (MarketingLand) but declarations that organic reach on Facebook is outright dead for brands are being stated by many credible industry publications, including Digiday.

Challenge (partly) solved: Influencers have optimized social popularity. Influencers create the kinds of signals that social network algorithms reward with higher visibility. Influencers understand what resonates with their audience in terms of topic, content type and promotion. Those same influencers also have an active audience that engages with their shared content. This is a powerful combination for triggering social network algorithms to prioritize influencer content in the feed.

Influencer Marketing is no silver bullet. Neither is content marketing or any kind of marketing approach.

But when influencers are intelligently researched, qualified and engaged during the planning phases of a content marketing program, the benefits of the collaboration can include improved content in a variety of ways:

  • Authenticity – Choose influencers that represent your customers and the resulting message will be a lot more genuine to what buyers actually care about.
  • Variety – Including experts beyond your marketing department can generate a greater span of content ideas.
  • Quality – Tapping expertise can boost the quality beyond what marketing department copywriters might be able to produce.
  • Quantity – Engaging a group of influencers on an ongoing basis can boost the volume of content. Factor in repurposing and you’ll create even more content options without increasing spend.
  • Reach – Trusted, credible experts promoting content can reach audiences that are very difficult to connect with through any other way.
  • Trust – The credibility, expertise and authority of influencers that collaborate with a brand over time can grow trust for the brand.

On top of that, there are efficiency benefits. We have implemented influencer content campaigns where influencers have contributed anywhere from 20% to 80% of the content for the entire campaign.

Then there are the effectiveness benefits. For an organic influencer content campaign, achieving a 50% share rate amongst influencers is impressive. We’ve had many programs with over 100% share rate. Why? By communicating effectively, setting expectations and making content that contributors are proud to be a part of.

The reality is that influencer content programs can deliver value across the entire customer lifecycle, not just awareness. That means improved engagement and conversions.

There are many more challenges for marketing than the six above. I didn’t get into martech shock (too much tech), difficulty in finding qualified marketing candidates, measurement challenges or the implications of the lockdown on data represented by GDPR in the EU and recent attention being given Facebook by lawmakers. But addressing the six above should give the vast majority of marketers reading this an advantage.

Establishing relationships with qualified, capable influencers can bring a tremendous amount of value to a company’s content marketing effectiveness. When influencer marketing is thoughtful, ongoing and properly managed, it becomes a force multiplier that is difficult to duplicate.

Are you planning a content marketing program right now? Who are your best influencers? Who are your best employee advocates? Which industry media do you have the attention of? Which of your customers are most likely to advocate for your brand? Do you know if they are influential? Do you know which of your prospective customers are influential?

Answering these questions can open the door to content marketing success for your brand and mutually valuable relationships with the people that actually influence your customers.

 


Email Newsletter

Gain a competitive advantage by subscribing to the

TopRank® Online Marketing Newsletter.

© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2018. |

6 Top Marketing Challenges Solved by Influencer Content | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post 6 Top Marketing Challenges Solved by Influencer Content appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Digital Marketing News: Cryptofluencers, Google’s Infinite Scrolling, Influencer Trust Grows

Digital Marketing News: Cryptofluencers, Google's Infinite Scrolling, Influencer Trust Grows

Influencer Marketing Has Hit Cryptoworld

The proliferation of cryptocurrencies over the past several years has led to a sharp recent increase in the number of paid influencers hired to help promote and legitimize both small and large players in the cryptoworld. Digiday

Google launches Reach Planner for YouTube & video ad forecasting in AdWords

Google is offering a more powerful video campaign reach estimate tool called Reach Planner, aimed at YouTube and Google Display Network advertisers, and featuring reach data to help find the best video product mixes. Marketing Land

80% Lose Trust in Local Businesses if Online Information is Incorrect

Businesses that have incorrect or inconsistent information online lose trust among 80 percent of consumers, while even out-of-date or poor quality photos cause 50 percent of consumers to have diminished trust, according to a recent report. Small Business Trends

Google Switches to Infinite Scrolling Mobile Search Results

Mobile Google search users will see infinitely-scrolling SERP entries in a test the Internet giant recently began rolling out, replacing multi-page results with a seemingly endless number of clickable “more results” offerings. Search Engine Journal

Facebook Discusses How Feed Algorithm Works

Facebook’s news-feed program leader has outlined portions of the company’s latest algorithm for determining what is shown, including a patented system of predictive modeling. Search Engine Journal

One in three trust an influencer’s words over what a brand says

Influencers are trusted more than brands, especially digital creators with over a million followers, according to new report data that also sees diminishing trust for micro-influencers. ZDNet

In a recent survey conducted by DemandWave, 70% of B2B marketers said their No. 1 digital marketing objective is to generate more or higher quality leads.

Pinterest reports 50% gain YoY in SMB advertisers

Pinterest’s SMB advertiser numbers have increased by 50 percent, with 1.5 million businesses using the platform to reach customers. The company has also announced the international expansion of its brand and agency-targeted Promoted Pins “Promote” button. Marketing Land

How Brands Are Getting More Sophisticated at Using Location Data

More sophisticated use of location data will drive related ad spending to $38.7 billion by 2022 according to recent research, and AdWeek explores how location data can best be harnessed and how it has evolved over time. AdWeek

First look at Instagram Nametags, its clone of Snapchat QR codes

More details and the first screenshots of Instagram’s forthcoming Nametags feature – similar to Snapchat’s Snapcodes offering – are now available, giving additional insight into how Instagram’s implementation of a special image scanning system will work. TechCrunch

ANA finds only 36% of marketers say their influencer marketing is effective

Just 36 percent of marketers consider their influencer marketing efforts to be effective, according to a recent Association of National Advertisers (ANA) report, however even more – some 44 percent – believe the jury may still be out on influencer effectiveness. The Drum

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

Marketoonist Cartoon: marketing at the point of sale

A lighthearted look at the point of sale from Tom Fishburne – Marketoonist

Here’s why Sesame Street is turning to Kickstarter for the first time – Fast Company

Q&A: How an Artist Turned a Lifetime of E-Waste Into a Stunning Celebration of Recycling – AdWeek

Enter the Intense World of Competitive Yo-Yoing – Wired

Impressive! Man Doubles Podcast Audience Overnight By Convincing Coworker to Listen – The Hard Times

TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:

  • Lee Odden – 46 Speakers to See at Pubcon Florida 2018 – Bill Hartzer
  • Lee Odden – I asked the world’s Top 100 digital marketers for advice. Here’s how they responded. – Medium
  • Lee Odden – [Interactive Guide] Take Your Content Marketing Program Back to the Future with DivvyHQ – DivvyHQ (client)

Don’t miss next week, when we’ll be sharing all new marketing news stories, and in the meantime you can follow us at @toprank on Twitter for even more timely daily news. Also, don’t miss the full video summary on our TopRank Marketing TV YouTube Channel.


Email Newsletter

Gain a competitive advantage by subscribing to the

TopRank® Online Marketing Newsletter.

© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2018. |

Digital Marketing News: Cryptofluencers, Google’s Infinite Scrolling, Influencer Trust Grows | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post Digital Marketing News: Cryptofluencers, Google’s Infinite Scrolling, Influencer Trust Grows appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Relationship Powered Link Building #Pubcon Florida

Relationship Powered Link Building Pubcon

Keywords, content and links. This is the currency of the Search Engine Optimization world and the rules for spending that currency seem to be in a constant state of flux.

At TopRank Marketing, we take a conservative approach to attracting links through purely organic means. Our focus is on creating content that’s actually worth being linked to with an emphasis on customer engagement and share optimization over pure SEO value.

The irony of this approach is that while we don’t “build links” directly for SEO, the attraction based approach we take typically results in links that are very high value and sustainable that many overt link building tactics.

In this session at Pubcon Florida, Ann Smarty @seosmarty from Internet Marketing Ninjas broke her multi-year silence on link building to share her current insights on the topic of link building through relationships.

To understand link building for SEO, you must first understand what NOT to do.

One important lesson is not to scale link building. Scale risks not being useful to consumers and Google responds to that with penalties.

Early on, Ann recognized the value of guest blogging and started a community. In 2012 Matt Cutts from Google shared that guest posts were ok as long as bloggers simply didn’t duplicate the same post over and over.

However, once SEOs recognized the value of link building, they exploited it. In 2014 Google penalized Ann”s community and guest blogging has been deemed a risky tactic ever since.

Controlled link building of the past:

* Paid links

* Directory links

* Press releases

* Site networks

The effect of Google’s penalties on link building tactics like those listed above has been significant. 89% of sites that ranked 7 years ago are not ranking today. Marcus Tober, SearchMetrics

The rub: You cannot scale link building, but you can’t really get anywhere in SEO without it.

The adjusted approach suggested by Ann is “link earning” vs. “link building” with a focus on building relationships

1. Relationship powered link building. The most important rule is that you do not “ask” for links. Be authentic. Genuinely and openly do your best for each opportunity you come across.

  • SEMRush does a great job at this – they have multiple active community managers, they create free and useful content that attracts links organically.
  • “The best way to ensure that lucky things happen is to make sure a lot of things happen.”
  • Spend at least 20% of your time genuinely helping people without asking for anything back.
  • Make sure your brand identity is consistent across all your web networking channels.
  • Create relationships of mutual value and the relationships will grow. This is true with people who are not yet influencers – they may be more willing to collaborate. But when they do become influencers, the relationship will be far more valuable.

2. Resource Building + Outreach (Trust bait)

  • Brainstorm educational resources and types. What can you contribute to the community in terms of educational content?
  • Research niche quotes (answerthepublic.com). Research niche questions. (serpstat.com and buzzsumo.com/research/questions
  • Research broken links in your industry and related industries: Take a trusted resource in your industry and use Majestic Site Explorer to identify broken links. Find all pages linking to that deleted resource. Then reach out to with a fix using your resource.
  • Research broken links in your industry and build a powerful connection. Work with industry experts (scientists, teachers, writes) to create a better resource than the original. Enhance your outreach by mentioning a notable industry expert who has been working with you on the new resource (that had been involved with the deleted resource).

Why use research-powered trust bait linking:

1. You create a better guide, it improves content quality

2. You can refer to a well known expert in your outreach

3. You’ll receive links from your experts / contributors

3. Viral Marketing and relationships.

Create a variety of formats of content, aka digital assets. Use viral content + social media promotion + smart email outreach. Get exposure on popular destination or community sites. For example, find moderators or sub-reddit influencers to seed your content on Reddit.

Content that gets featured on Reddit’s front page can attract many links. If you seed your content the right way, it can get noticed by many media properties which can mean a quantity of high value and organically sourced links.

Tools for seeding content assets:

  • LaterForReddit allows you to discover relevant subreddits and analyze what time slots and days of week are best for discovering content. Also helps identify active Reddit users and moderators.
  • Twiangulate  can be used to discover influential media contacts (journalists or bloggers) in your niche / location. Search using the specific publication name to find employees.
  • BuzzSumo to discover more influential media contacts in your niche. Search content to find interviews that have already been done and who did the interviews. Also who was the interviewee so you can interview them as well.
  • Twitter Lists & TweetDeck to manage influential media and engage with them.

To EARN links:

  1. Engage in relationship building 24/7 with influencers, bloggers, and journalists.
  2. Create a LOT of good content, both educational and viral / entertaining + identify people who can help you get the word out.
  3. Invest in community management and brand ambassadors.

Email Newsletter

Gain a competitive advantage by subscribing to the

TopRank® Online Marketing Newsletter.

© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2018. |

Relationship Powered Link Building #Pubcon Florida | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post Relationship Powered Link Building #Pubcon Florida appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

How to Leverage Influencer Marketing for Improved SEO #Pubcon Florida

How to Leverage Influencer Marketing for Improved SEO

This session on influencer marketing and SEO is the first up for me on day one of Pubcon Florida, which has grown from a one day to a two day event. It’s easy to see why: The speaker line up is chock full of current smart search marketing advice from a great collection of expert practitioners.

With moderation duties handled by Susan Wenograd @SusanEDub the speakers for this session included the dynamic duo of:

Marcela De Vivo @marceladevivo from SEMRush

Dixon Jones @Dixon_Jones from Majestic

First up is birthday woman Marcela De Vivo. Happy Birthday Marcela!

Influencer Marketing is hot right now for a variety of reasons: consumers increased use of ad blocking, increased competition and working with the right influencers can make your marketing more effective, especially with SEO.

But working with influencers and getting them to pay attention to your brand can be hard.

There are many examples of big brands leveraging influencer marketing including Pedigree, Hulu and Bob’s Red Mill. But there are also small brands like YogaClub that have had great results too. “Working with influencers revolutionized our brand.”

Impressions are nice, but how do you get influencers to truly impact your ROI?

One of the best ways to get ROI out of influencer marketing is to bring it into your SEO strategy.

To do that, understanding the top SEO ranking factors will help you understand opportunities to incorporate influence with SEO.

  1. Site traffic – Number of direct visits for high volume keywords. Influencers can be a great source for direct traffic. Influencers can generate demand for your brand which also creates visits to your site.
  2. User engagement signals – Visitors coming to your website from search – pages viewed per session and bounce rate. Influencers that have a trusted niche of followers that trust them to recommend sites to visit. That trust should result in an audience that delivers stronger user engagement signals.
  3. Links – Total backlinks to a domain, referring IPs, and total follow backlinks. With influencers you get links they share to your site but ideally, their followers may also link to you. One way to work with influencers this way is through giveaways where content is part of the contest.
  4. Natural organic content – Longer content tends to perform better than shorter content. Things like keywords in the title and H1 tags. Influencers can contribute content to your site that your brand owns. Then you can encourage influencers to share that content that they created hosted on your site. You can also use Facebook ads to promote that content. Alternatively, you can sponsor the influencer to create content on their own site and encourage them to promote.

Steps to build an effective influencer marketing campaign:

  1. Start by picking the social media channels you want to target.
  2. Create a list of potential influencers using Google, social networks or specialty tools / networks of influencers.
  3. Shortlist your influencers.
  4. Contact the influencers via email, phone and/or social media. Get creative.
  5. Get pricing information from the influencer.
  6. Negotiate a detailed agreement with deliverables. Focus on long term partnerships.
  7. Send the influencer a descriptive campaign brief.
  8. Track, monitor and amplify their posts.
  9. Measure performance.

Hacks for working with influencers:

Measure influencers against each other with an assessment tool. Gather all the data about influencer activity and estimate the CPM value. Include data like: followers, blog traffic, demographic data, engagement per post.

Calculate total relevant audience. Then figure out the engagement to audience ratio. Add total cost and divide by total relevant audience divided by 1000. With this data you can identify which influencers are the best to work with.

Combine Facebook live videos with influencer amplification. Live videos often have good organic reach. Run ads against the influencers own audience. Be sure to use the same post ID when you promote content to build social proof.

After the live video on Facebook, upload them to YouTube, creata a bog post with them, get the influencer to share your video blog post and use Facebook ads to amplify the posts.

Following these guidelines will result in links, traffic and engagement – all signals that are good for SEO.

Next up is Dixon Jones who is retiring after 20 years in the industry at the end of this year. Congratulations Dixon!

Dixon asks, to leverage influencer marketing to improve SEO what are we trying to do? Get them to write about you and to get them to like and share your content.

Likes and shares are nice, but they’re just not as impactful to SEO as links.

BuzzSumo did some research on why people share and link to content which is useful when planning how to get influencers to link to your content.

Why might influencers link to your content?

  1. Original insights research
  2. As reference to support an article
  3. To share authoritative content including research and facts
  4. To cite dynamic data that changes

But do links still matter? “Yes” says Andrey Lipattsev from Google. Also Google’s Gary Illes, “Ranking without links is really, really hard. Not impossible, but very hard.”

Takeaway – An influencer can amplify a link for you very effectively.

How many links is enough? Dixon says “one” if they’re from the right source. It’s not about the quantity, it’s about the quality. That means being careful about which influencers you work with.

Steps to engaging influencers:

  1. Identify the right influencers. Use Majestic’s search engine to find relevant content with desirable inbound co-linking ratios. Also, BuzzSumo’s tool for finding top content and authors for a keyword. Review where they publish. Use whatever communication tool that the influencer prefers – not what is most convenient to you.
  2. Engage the influencers. Doing this right is hard. Networking is priceless. It’s your chemistry not the tools that matter. Use tools like Influsionsoft, Sendible, Outlook, Rapportive. Build trust, be honest and be sincere. Ultimately, its about the beer (for Dixon). Build genuine relationships that can be leveraged when you have something valuable to share with them.
  3. Define the digital asset. Content isn’t necessarily king. The best thing might be an idea, a produce, or a process. It doesn’t have to be a URL.
  4. Prepare the launch. When you have something good to say and great relationships with relevant influencers, send them a preview of what you’re going to announce. Tell them the link URL and the exact time of launch. Then remind them it is live.
  5. Monitor results. Choose a KPI and stick to it, Is it a digital asset? Traffic from the influencer’s content? Search traffic? Citation flow or Trust flow? Just be sure to look at impact over time, not just in the short term. Compare similar campaign metrics with each other vs. mis-matched metrics.

Finally, Dixon asks and answers: How can you get influencers’ attention? By sharing something new, authoritative, referenceable, or unique.

And that’s a wrap. Great job Marcela and Dixon!

If you’re interested in influencer marketing tools to use or other content about influencer marketing, be sure to check out our past posts on the topic.


Email Newsletter

Gain a competitive advantage by subscribing to the

TopRank® Online Marketing Newsletter.

© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2018. |

How to Leverage Influencer Marketing for Improved SEO #Pubcon Florida | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post How to Leverage Influencer Marketing for Improved SEO #Pubcon Florida appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.