Digital Marketing News: Facebook’s User Ratings & Groups Pixel, Google’s Ad Strength Tool, & Surprising Gen Z Survey Findings

2018 August 31 News Google Image

Facebook moves to rate users on trustworthiness: report

Facebook has started assigning users a reputation score. Will the new user trustworthiness rating system, which has been refined over the past year, see eventual digital marketing uses? Reuters

Machine learning reveals crazy advertising ideas that actually work

Artificial intelligence aims to not only create but monitor in real-time which ads are creating the most impact, including some rather unorthodox ideas. VentureBeat

Facebook tests ‘things in common’ label to try to connect non-friends

Facebook has been testing new methods to help bring non-friends who share common interests together, with highlights to appear among user comments. CNET

YouTube ads are about to get a little less skippable

YouTube Partners has announced a potentially risky change that will allow costlier unskippable ads on all the video giant’s channels, expanding on earlier limited-audience tests. Mashable

Google Updates Structured Data Requirements

Google has updated its structured data requirements for advertisers creating responsive search ads, including publication and modification dates and a variety of testing tool changes and additions. MediaPost

Survey shows digital-native Gen Z prefers in-person interaction with brands

Gen Z’s complex relationship with technology and marketing is examined in a new brand interaction survey of college students. Marketing Dive

2018 August 31 Statistics Image

Podcasting continues its meteoric rise, creating more opportunities for marketers

Podcasting has seen widespread growth, with revenues that topped $314 million in 2017, an 86 percent increase from 2016, making the industry ripe for advertiser opportunities. A look at some of the challenges the medium presents. MarTech Today

People Spent 85 Billion Hours In WhatsApp In The Past 3 Months (Versus 31 Billion In Facebook)

WhatsApp users racked up some 85 billion usage hours over the last three months, more than double the time Facebook users spent. Combined with the Facebook-owned messaging and VoIP mobile app’s billion-plus users, the trajectory of WhatsApp appears to be strong. Forbes

Facebook adds pixel to Groups so marketers can track engaged audiences

Facebook has begun offering a tracking pixel features, allowing digital marketers new Group Insights user-behavior tracking options. DigiDay

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

2018 August 31 Marketoonist Tom Fishburne Cartoon

A lighthearted look at how to rebrand by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne – Marketoonist

Gamer Checks Facebook During Cutscene That Took 3,000 Man-Hours to Animate – The Hard Times

TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:

  • TopRank Marketing – No Celebrities Required: How to Create Great Influencer Content – Content Marketing Institute (client)
  • Anne Leuman – Don’t Overlook These Important Pieces of Expert Small Business Advice – Small Business Trends
  • Anne Leuman – What’s Trending: How to Make Your Content Sticky – LinkedIn (client)
  • Lee Odden – How to Create the Best Content Marketing World Experience – Nimble
  • Lee Odden – #CMWorld – It’s time to start packing! – Content Marketing World (client)
  • Lee Odden – 5 Tips for Better Content Marketing in 2019 – Practical Ecommerce
  • Lee Odden – Conference Blog Post Content: 20 Types You Can Steal – Heidi Cohen
  • Lee Odden – Influencers and Media Partners: How to Amplify the Reach of Content [Webinar] – SEMrush
  • Lee Odden – Main Stage Spotlight Speakers at Pubcon Pro Las Vegas – Pubcon
  • Lee Odden – Content Marketing World Authors Will Make You Smarter – Heidi Cohen
  • TopRank Marketing – 2018 Content Planning Report – DivvyHQ (client)

What are some of your top content marketing news items for this week?

Thanks for reading, and we hope you’ll join us next week for the most relevant new digital marketing industry 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.


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The Original List: 50 Content Marketing Influencers and Experts to Follow into 2019

Content Marketing Influencers 2018

Content Marketing World 2018 will be here before you know it. The largest content marketing conference in the world brings together an incredible cornucopia of talent, curiosity, knowledge and aspirations for success. Marketers from all over the world come to Cleveland, Ohio for this event of epic proportions.

Readers of our blog know we have a long history with the conference starting at the beginning with 8 years of speaking and attending plus 6 years of partnering with Content Marketing Institute to develop speaker/influencer content marketing campaigns, aka “conference ebooks”, to help promote the event.

Another tradition that has recently been imitated but hardly duplicated, is something we started several years ago: sort through the 200 or more speakers and publish a ranked list of content marketing experts according to their social influence.

List Methodology: For this list we use the Traackr influencer marketing platform to filter the content marketing experts who are speaking at the current year’s Content Marketing World conference using a number of criteria including the relevance of the individuals to the topic, the degree to which their networks engage, and the size of their networks. Online data is pulled from blogs, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, SlideShare, Flickr and several other platforms.

Of course the topic in question is: “content marketing”. Everyone included on this list is a) a speaker at CMWorld 2018, b) ranked in the top 50 for “content marketing” according to relevance, resonance, reach and audience metrics.

CMWorld 2018 Influencer network

People always thank me for including them in these lists and there’s no thanks to be given other than to the people who worked hard sharing useful content about content marketing to their social channels, in blogs, in videos and online in general.

Thanks goes to ALL of the people who are actively sharing knowledge about content marketing by engaging and helping others with opinions, insights and expertise on the social web. This list is just the beginning of understanding all of the top experts and influencers around the topic of content marketing.

In this year’s list there are many familiar faces and some that are new. I hope you find new and inspiring content marketing experts to follow through the rest of this year and into 2019.

50 Content Marketing Influencers Speaking at CMWorld 2018

Erika Heald

BIG congratulations to Erika Heald for the top spot and to the other 3 women in the top spots: Pam Didner, Carla Johnson and Kelly Hungerford.

Ann Handley

Congrats AGAIN to Ann Handley for being the Most Engaging Content Marketing Influencer out of this year’s group of speakers, based on Traackr’s analysis.

Erika Heald @SFerika

Marketing Consultant, Erika Heald Consulting

Presenting: Your Lack of Social Media Guidelines is Killing Your Employee Brand Advocacy

Pam Didner @PamDidner

B2B Marketing Consultant & Speaker, Relentless Pursuit

Presenting: 5 Creative Ways Marketers Can Enable Their Sales Teams

Presenting: Create A Scalable Global Content Marketing Strategy in 7 Steps

Carla Johnson @CarlaJohnson

Chief Innovator, Type A Communications

Presenting: The Innovation Factory

Kelly Hungerford @KDHungerford

Digital Strategy & Marketing Operations Consultant, Sunstar Europe SA

Presenting: Transforming Teams: How to Transition Traditional Marketers into Content Marketers

Michael Brenner @BrennerMichael

CEO, Marketing Insider Group

Presenting: How to Create a Documented Content Marketing Strategy, Start Showing Your Content Marketing ROI Today

Lee Odden @leeodden

CEO, TopRank Marketing

Presenting: Rocket Science Simplified: How to Optimize, Socialize and Publicize B2B Content

Presenting: The Confluence Equation: How Content and Influencers Drive B2B Marketing Success

Ian Cleary @IanCleary

Founder, OutreachPlus & RazorSocial

Presenting: A Content Promotion Framework with Actionable Tips to Optimize Results from your Content Marketing

Presenting: Content Optimization and Distribution Strategies

Michael Gass @michaelgass

Owner, Fuel Lines Business Development, LLC

Presenting: Agency Workshop: A New Approach to New Business,

Heidi Cohen @heidicohen

Chief Content Officer, Actionable Marketing Guide

Presenting: The Secret 3 Steps For Content Amplification And Distribution Success

Christopher Penn @cspenn

Co-Founder and Chief Innovator, BrainTrust Insights

Presenting: How To Use AI To Boost Your Content Marketing Impact

Presenting: How to Use Artificial Intelligence to Build and Optimize Content

Bernie Borges @bernieborges

Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer, Vengreso

Presenting: 3 LinkedIn Content Marketing Strategies that will Drive Visibility, Credibility and Traffic

Andrew Pickering @AndrewAndPete

Co-Founder, Andrew and Pete

Presenting: The Competitive Edge: How to Create a Unique Content Spin in a World of Copycats

Melanie Deziel @mdeziel

Founder, StoryFuel

Presenting: Think Like A Journalist: The 5 Keys To Compelling Content

John Jantsch @ducttape

President, Duct Tape Marketing

Presenting: How to Grow a Highly Profitable Agency Without Adding Overhead

Robert Rose @Robert_Rose

Chief Troublemaker, The Content Advisory

Presenting: Welcome to Content Marketing World 2018

Andrew Davis @DrewDavisHere

Keynote Speaker & Best-selling Author, Monumental Shift

Presenting: Video Marketing Makeover – Transforming boring case studies and testimonials into stories that inspire action

Presenting: Curiosity Factor: The psychological phenomenon creative content marketers employ to earn and own attention in a noisy world

Viveka Von Rosen @LinkedInExpert

Co-founder & Chief Visibility Officer, Vengreso

Presenting: 3 LinkedIn Content Marketing Strategies that will Drive Visibility, Credibility and Traffic

Douglas Burdett @MarketingBook

Host, The Marketing Book Podcast

Presenting: Industrial Manufacturing Lab: Applying Content Marketing Best Practices to the Challenging Audience of Engineers

Andy Crestodina @crestodina

Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer, Orbit Media Studios

Presenting: Complete Search Optimization: SEO Master Class, Content Strategy and SEO for B2B Lead Generation

Matt Heinz @HeinzMarketing

President, Heinz Marketing Inc

Presenting: Sales Content That Sells: A Proven Approach To Sales Enablement Success

Ann Handley @MarketingProfs

Chief Content Officer, MarketingProfs

Presenting: An Important Keynote by Ann Handley, The Long Tales: How Longform Content Beats Snaps, Tweets & Chatbots All Day Every Day

Jay Baer @jaybaer

Founder, Convince & Convert

Presenting: Talk Triggers: How Killer Content Creates Conversation and Clones Customers

Jesper Laursen @jesperlaursen

Founder and CEO, Native Advertising Institute

Presenting: 5 killer cases: how to grow your audience with native advertising

Cathy McPhillips @cmcphillips

Vice President of Marketing, Content Marketing Institute

Presenting: Getting the Most From CMWorld 2018

Joe Lazauskas @JoeLazauskas

Head of Content Strategy, Executive Editor, Contently

Presenting: Stories for the Win: The Hidden Neuroscience of Content Marketing

Presenting: Why Great Stories Make Our Brains Want to Buy

John Hall @johnhall

Keynote Speaker, http://www.johnhallspeaking.com

Presenting: Influencer Marketing and PR Workshop

Presenting: Relationship Building That’s Vital to Make Your Content Marketing Thrive

Berrak Sarikaya @BerrakBiz

Sr. Social Media Manager, Yesler

Presenting: Lean Content Marketing for Startups

Stephan Spencer @sspencer

Founder, Science of SEO

Presenting: The Most Common SEO Mistakes in Demand Generation Campaigns

Michele Linn @michelelinn

Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Mantis Research

Presenting: The Unsung Hero of Content Marketing: Original Research

Drew McLellan @DrewMcLellan

Top Dog, Agency Management Institute

Presenting: The Agency Edge 2018: When, What – and Why – Clients Outsource to Agencies

Mitch Joel @mitchjoel

Founder, Six Pixels Group

Presenting: The Long Tales: How Longform Content Beats Snaps, Tweets & Chatbots All Day Every Day

Cassio Politi @tractoBR

Consultor de content marketing, Comunique-se Group

Presenting: How to Hold an Online Event that Generates Real Results

Andrea Fryrear @AndreaFryrear

President and Lead Trainer, AgileSherpas

Presenting: Going with the Flow: Adapting Scrum Practices for Marketing

Garrett Moon @garrett_moon

CEO & Co-Founder, CoSchedule

Presenting: Got Leads? How To Find Your Content Core And Actually Drive Revenue From Content

Paul Roetzer @paulroetzer

CEO, PR 20/20

Presenting: How to Get Started with Artificial Intelligence in Content Marketing

Jay Acunzo @jayacunzo

Founder, Unthinkable Media

Presenting: Break the Wheel: Stories and Ideas for Being Better than Best Practices

Juntae DeLane @JuntaeDeLane

Sr. Digital Brand Manager, University of Southern California

Presenting: Digital Brand Building: Optimizing Content for Engagements, Search, and Reviews

Kathy Klotz-Guest @kathyklotzguest

Ms. Chief Officer, Keeping it Human

Presenting: Yes And! Turn Your Culture (OR CONTENT TEAM) into a Fresh-Idea Startup

Peg Sieren Miller @PegMiller

Senior Director, Growth Marketing, Xactly Corp

Presenting: You Did a Content Inventory, Now What? How to Find the Hidden Gems Within Your Content Audit

Albert Jan Huisman @AJHuisman

Founder, Y Content

Presenting: How to Turn Highly Billable Professionals into Extremely Productive Content Marketing Rock Stars that get Bottom-Line Results

Presenting: The Content Marketing Diamond Model for Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs

Maureen Jann @SuperDeluxeMo

Managing Director, SuperDeluxe Marketing

Presenting: Bringing Home the Bacon: Cultivating Thought Leaders to Break Down Trust Barriers with Prospects

Presenting: The Content Marketing Diamond Model for Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs

Stephanie Stahl @EditorStahl

General Manager, Content Marketing Institute, UBM

Presenting: Welcome to Content Marketing World 2018

Ahava Leibtag @ahaval

President, Aha Media Group

Presenting: The Top 7 Writing Secrets of Hit-Making Songwriters”, CMWorld Cleveland Clinic Health Summit

Shafqat Islam @shafqatislam

Cofounder & CEO, NewsCred

Presenting: The other side of performance – operational efficiency: How to build, measure, and optimize high-performing teams that deliver high-performing content

Doug Kessler @dougkessler

Creative Director & Co-Founder, Velocity Partners

Presenting: The elephant in a nutshell: We need to talk about metaphors in marketing.

Zontee Hou @ZonteeHou

President and Founder, Media Volery LLC

Presenting: Let’s Chat: How Messaging Apps, Chatbots, and Voice Assistants Will Impact Your Business in the Next 3-5 Years

Tim Washer @timwasher

Keynote Speaker, Event Emcee, PowerPoint Comedian, Ridiculous Media

Presenting: CMWorld Chatter

Tamsen Webster @tamadear

Founder and Chief Message Strategist, Find The Red Thread

Presenting: How to Make Your Ideas Irresistible

Leslie Carruthers @TheSearchGuru

President and Founder, The Search Guru

Presenting: A-Z Conversion tracking issues for B2B and how to solve them, Retail & eCommerce Lab

Amanda Todorovich @amandatodo

Senior Director, Content & Creative Services, Cleveland Clinic

Presenting: Building a “Media Company” inside a Marketing Department

Presenting: CMWorld Cleveland Clinic Health Summit

Now it’s your turn. As with any lists, there are many people that I would love to see included that were not. I’m sure you’re thinking the same thing (Joe Pulizzi for example). If the person that influences YOU most isn’t on this list, please share their name and Twitter handle in the comments.

In the spirit of content marketing and in sharing our own expertise, I’ve assembled a list of our top 10 posts about content marketing from the past 12 months:

The Ultimate Guide to Conquering Content Marketing that we developed in partnership with CMI and CMWorld is a great example of influencer driven content. This approach has been successful enough for Content Marketing Institute that they’ve run the program over 6 years.

If you would like to learn more about how to create successful influencer content collaborations, you’re in luck! Both Ashley Zeckman and I will be presenting at Content Marketing World on the topic. Here are more details:

September 5th – 1:45pm – 2:30pm

Solo Presentation with Lee Odden

The Confluence Equation: How Content and Influencers Drive B2B Marketing Success

September 6th – 12:05pm – 12:50pm

Solo Presentation with Ashley Zeckman

Influencer Marketing is only for B2C Brands (& Other Lies Your Parents Told You)

Along with our TopRank Marketing teammates Jane, Nick and Annie, we hope to see you at the Content Marketing World conference. Check out what we’re looking forward to most at CMWorld and be sure to follow us on Twitter at @toprank for real time updates during the conference and this blog for liveblogging coverage of select presentations.

 


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Words of Wisdom: Lee Odden’s Top 9 Insights on How to Succeed at Influencer Marketing 2.0

Lee Odden Influencer Marketing 2.0 Insights

Lee Odden Influencer Marketing 2.0 Insights

Today’s content marketing space is a tumultuous one. Content shock, ever-changing search engine algorithms, social media’s midlife crisis, growing consumer distrust in brand messaging-marketers are constantly challenged to adapt and scale their strategies to simply bolster visibility, nevermind reach objectives and prove ROI.

Emerging from the noisy marketing mix is a promising strategic marketing star that can capture the attention of hard to reach buyers, improve audience engagement, bring insightful perspectives to the forefront, and build brand trust and credibility.

Of course, I’m talking about influencer marketing.

Spokespeople, brand advocates, experts-brands have been tapping “influential” people as marketing and advertising partners for a century. And, just as it’s always been, in the modern era of influencer marketing, some love it, some hate it, and plenty of people question whether it “actually works.”

At TopRank Marketing, we see credibility, value, and opportunity in influencer marketing; people crave credible content.

And we also see authenticity, relevancy, and thoughtfulness as defining characteristics of the modern approach to influencer marketing-we call it Influencer Marketing 2.0.

Lee OddenOur own resident marketing influencer and CEO, Lee Odden, has been evangelizing influencer marketing inside and outside company walls since 2012, before the practice in the content marketing realm went boom.

Lee’s been named the No.1 “Influencer Marketing Influencer” by Onalytica, and his expertise on the subject has been featured on top industry publications including CMO.com, Forbes, and Social Media Examiner. Lee was also instrumental in the Influence 2.0 research report in partnership with Traackr and Brian Solis of Altimeter Group.

So, what is the “Influencer Marketing 2.0” approach? Let these words of Lee Odden wisdom-words that have defined how we’ve architected our influencer marketing manifesto-lend some guidance, focus, and inspiration to your influencer marketing efforts.

How to Approach Influencer Marketing 2.0

Co-Create for Greatness

Content is the foundation of marketing. Period. But marketers repeatedly cite that consistent creation of strategic, quality, engaging content is a top marketing challenge.

But as Lee often says:

[bctt tweet=”If you want your content to be great, ask influencers to participate. – @leeodden” username=”toprank”]

When you co-create content with influencers, you not only provide influential experts with a medium to share valuable insights, but can also provide your audience with a mix of perspectives-upping your storytelling capabilities and credibility. In addition, some influencers already have a desire and knack for creating content, so an opportunity to collaborate will be welcomed and beneficial to your business.

[bctt tweet=”For any kind of content a business creates and publishes to the world, there is an opportunity for collaboration with credible voices that have active networks interested in what those voices have to say. – @leeodden” username=”toprank”]

However, it’s also important to note that co-created content isn’t inherently valuable or set up to drive gangbusters marketing success. Value and relevance is certainly in the eye of the beholder-your audience. As a result, you need to stay true to your audience and your influencers, which requires an integrated approach that includes SEO and other proven content marketing tactics.

As Lee has said:

[bctt tweet=”With an understanding of keyword demand, B2B marketers can tap into the opportunity to be the best answer … (adding influencers) to that optimized content will give it the credibility and engagement needed to inspire action. – @leeodden” username=”toprank”]

Influencer Marketing 2.0 In Action

Content planning software company DivvyHQ* took their marketing the “back to the future”, launching a long-running campaign that included a sequence of connected content marketing campaigns featuring relevant influencers.

The SaaS company secured contributions from top content marketers for campaigns that resulted in significant increases in credibility and engagement. Additionally, the campaigns exceeded performance goals and added to DivvyHQ’s bottom line. The end result was this interactive eBook asset.

DivvyHQ Back to the Future eBook

Define Influence for Your Brand & Audience

Influencer marketing is often pegged as a tactic rooted in compensating celebrities or brandividuals with large social followings to push your product or service. But influence isn’t defined by popularity or number of followers:

[bctt tweet=”Influence is the ability to affect action. – @leeodden” username=”toprank”]

There may be no bigger mistake than focusing on “shiny object” individuals; fame by association is more than hard to come by. There is absolutely a place for brandividuals in your influencer mix, but it’s important to remember that:

[bctt tweet=”Everyone is influential about something. – @leeodden” username=”toprank”]

Your brand, industry, product or service, and audience is undeniably unique-and influence varies. Furthermore, it may be easier than ever to give the perception of influence. After all, Twitter’s recent purge of suspicious accounts sent some individuals’ follower count into a landslide.

However, the potential is there to validate and build relationships with relevant, experienced individuals-inside or outside your organization; broad expertise and niche knowledge; large or intimate yet engaged followings-who have the ability and willingness to affect action.

Nurture Relationships Early & Often

At its core, influencer marketing is all about brands engaging and developing relationships with individuals-individuals who have relevant topical expertise, reach, and resonance that aligns with the goals of the brand.

But strong, lasting relationships aren’t built overnight. Some influencers are frequently tapped to participate in various projects. In addition, other more niche experts or rising stars may not be as experienced in content collaboration. So, as Lee says, you need to develop rapport with influencers early:

[bctt tweet=”Grow your influencer network long before you need them. The day to create an army of influential advocates isn’t the first day of the war. Find common interests and develop rapport. – @leeodden” username=”toprank”]

And your work shouldn’t stop after the first collaboration. You need to keep connections hot and mutually beneficial. In addition, for those more niche experts or rising stars, you can help them create more influence for themselves and your brand.

[bctt tweet=”Work with an influencer, you’re friends for a day. Help someone become influential and they’re a friend for life. – @leeodden” username=”toprank”]

Influencer Marketing 2.0 In Action

Prophix*-a leading provider of corporate performance management (CPM) software solutions-combined original research with influencer content to create crush-worthy content marketing force.

With an interactive quiz, with influencer micro-content featured throughout, serving as the anchor asset, additional tactics such as long-form influencer interviews, email marketing, and more, rounded out this campaign.

The results? In the first 45 days, the anchor asset landing page garnered a view rate six-times higher than the benchmark for a similar resource. It was also the fourth most trafficked page-behind the Home, About Us, and Privacy pages.

Prophix Crush It Interactive Quiz

Entice Participation By Showcasing Value

Whether you’ve cultivated warm relationships or you’re hoping to go beyond social engagement with the first collaboration ask, your success in securing their partnership is grounded in showcasing the mutual value proposition.

Some thought leaders want to bolster or grow their influence, while others simply want to create something their proud of (or their bosses can take pride in). Regardless, be transparent, make sure your ask is relevant, and lead with the value.

Invite influencers to make something together that drives the influencer’s objectives, while at the same time, fuels brand objectives. – @leeodden

Specifically, when it comes to colder relationships, don’t ask too much too soon.

[bctt tweet=”Be thoughtful about how you ask and how you reward when working with influencers. – @leeodden” username=”toprank”]

Make Amplification Natural & Easy

There are obvious business benefits to working with influencers. Not only do they lend authority and credibility to your content and brand, but they also hold the power to introduce you and your content to their audiences.

Once your co-created content is ready to be released into the wild, at a minimum, provide influencers with the messaging and visuals they need to easily promote on their channels. In addition, make sure the final product lives up to its full potential. Regardless of their intentions for participating, if they’re going to share content with their followings, they need to be proud of it.

[bctt tweet=”If they care, they’ll share. – @leeodden” username=”toprank”]

Influencer Marketing 2.0 In Action

There are few better examples of this principle in action than SAP’s* interactive microsite designed to help launch their Leonardo platform. Thirty-two influencers were engaged to share their insights on digital innovation topics from blockchain to machine learning.

The content experience was so compelling for the influencers that the share rate was 100%. In fact, several influencers shared multiple times. The content experience was engaging for the audience, too-the microsite had over 21 million social impressions.

SAP Leonardo Interactive Microsite

Put Wisdom Into Action

Whether you love, hate, or question the potential of influencer marketing, it’s undoubtedly on the rise. It’s enjoyed a couple years of big hype, but now is the time to decide if it should be a trusted part of your integrated marketing strategy.

Use these guiding principles and snackable quotes from a pioneer of the craft to help you define what influence means to your brand, and opportunities for collaboration and co-creation.

Speaking of quotes, as the “Prince of Preachers,” Charles Spurgeon said: “Wisdom is the right use of knowledge.”

So, go forth and put your newfound influencer marketing wisdom into action.

Remember how we said that influencers add credibility to your content? Learn how three brands co-created more credible content to drive awareness, engagement, and action.

If you still want more influencer marketing insight, join Lee along with TopRank Marketing Digital Strategy Director, Ashley Zeckman, at their CMWorld sessions to learn how influencer marketing can grow your business. Get the details here.

*Disclaimer: DivvyHQ, Prophix, and SAP are TopRank Marketing clients.

The post Words of Wisdom: Lee Odden’s Top 9 Insights on How to Succeed at Influencer Marketing 2.0 appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

50 Content Promotion Tactics to Help Your Great Content Get Amazing Exposure

Content Promotion Tactics

You’ve just launched a gorgeous campaign with all the design bells and whistles. The copywriting is art and the experience intoxicating-so say your design and content team.

The day of launch has everyone excited. The marketing team smells a win at Cannes Lions and the sales team anticipates Glengarry-level leads. But wait, what’s that? Nothing? Nothing!

It looks like you’ve got a bad case of Invisible Content Syndrome.

Just about every marketer experiences the dichotomy of creation / promotion with an increasing focus on making the best content possible. But then what? Many time-strapped marketers are resolved to hit publish, schedule some social shares on brand profiles and maybe throw a few bucks towards social ads. But is that enough?

Back in 2012 Americans were consuming an average of 63 GB of media on a daily basis. I can only imagine how much it is today. Enough to make last minute social shares and ads a crapshoot in terms of making sure your content is seen by the audience you intend and when it’s actually going to be useful for them.

Invisible Content Syndrome isn’t a new idea, of course. Sonia Simone from Copyblogger wrote about it back in 2010 (which I just discovered this week) offering solid tips on how to beat it. When it comes to solving for invisible content, creating channels of distribution for content marketing is something I’ve been focused on a very long time-here’s a post on the topic from 2007.

Fast forward to 2018 and today’s world of information overload and the multitude of device options for consuming information makes standing out even more challenging. Content promotion can’t be effective if it’s an afterthought. Your best practice would be to make promotion part of content planning.  To provide you with a helpful resource, I’ve compiled a list of content promotion ideas for you to consider during your content planning so you can be the best answer for your customers, when and where it matters most.

50 Content Promotion Tactics to Cure Invisible Content Syndrome

1. Collaborate with influencers. I have to put this one first because it’s become an incredibly effective way of delivering mutual benefit for everyone involved. Brands get exposure to influencer audiences as they promote the result of their collaboration, influencers get exposure by association with the brand and consumers get really useful content from people they trust. There are a multitude of variations on working with influencers for content promotion and you’ll see some of them further on in the list.

2. Create modular content for repurposing. Another highly effective approach is to identify topical segments of your main content and cluster them together for variations on the theme in repurposed content. If your content is about topics X, Y and Z then you can take all the ideas about X and either: publish in a different format like turning a blog post into an ebook as I’ve done down below, or add some new insights about topic X to those from your original content and publish it as a deeper dive on the subject.  Repurposing has many different options and I’ll bring a few more up further in the list.

3. Ping journalists about research content before you publish. This is a great idea I learned from Steve Rayson of BuzzSumo. If you’re doing a research project, identify publications that match editorially and reach out to a relevant journalist in advance to see what questions they would like answered in the research. When the report publishes, share with the Journalists and they’ll inevitably help promote the thing they contributed to. You can sign up for services like HARO and wait for opportunities to find you or seek them out with a service like Muck Rack.

4. Republish / syndicate on a different channel. Publish the original content on your brand site or blog, then the author can republish that same content on LinkedIn Pulse with a citation and link to the original at the end. An alternative would be to republish on Medium following the same citation advice. A different channel will likely have a different audience and when the content you’re working with happens to be mutually relevant to multiple channels where you publish, why not share?

5. Repurpose the original in a different media format. A substantive video could be turned into multiple blog posts with still images used as graphics in the posts. The audio from the video might be useful in a podcast format and further screen grabs from the video could be used for social shares.

6. Deconstruct the original content and personalize for a different audience. In many types of content there are universal truths -things that are true for each audience segment or vertical market a brand is after. Strip away what’s personalized in your content for a specific audience leaving these truths. Then add in content specific to a different vertical or audience and publish appropriately. The additional content that results becomes more content promotion opportunity.

If you want your content to be great, invite your community to participate. @leeodden

7. Survey your social networks with one simple question. Then compile answers into a blog post, citing the contributors. Announce the published content to your network and those that contributed will appreciate the attribution and help promote it.

8. Reassemble modular interviews into new content. Identify a group of 10 industry experts / influencers and interview them. It’s often best to start with just one question as mentioned above, then follow up to ask more. Make 3-4 of the questions very specific and designed to evoke tactical answers. Be sure to use SEO keywords in the questions. Publish each of the 10 interviews a week or month apart. After that, take all the answers to one of the tactical questions and assemble into a new post about that very specific topic. Add a your own insights or capture tips from a few new influencers to spice it up and don’t be afraid to publish as an infographic, motion graphic or eBook. Do the same for the other tactical questions and answers as well. New formats give you new publish and promotion opportunities.

9. Write guest posts for industry blogs. Take the main theme of your content and customize a story for relevant industry blogs. Tools like BlogDash can be helpful for finding the right blogs. The contributed blog posts need to be written in a way that linking to your original content makes sense as a reference. This is most meaningful when your original content is not a blog post itself, like a video, report, ebook, infographic, microsite, interactive experience, motion graphic, etc.

10. Pitch industry publications with exclusive stories. With bigger content assets and especially those involving research or truly newsworthy information, it pays to identify industry publications and pitch story ideas. With enough advance notice, you can see the upcoming themes for a publication in their editorial calendar. If a staff journalist is unresponsive, research contributing authors with story ideas. Your story is the content-but you might also be able to link back to useful resources that support the facts of the story. The more unique, robust and engaging, the more likely a relevant resource on your brand site will be linked to by the publication.

11. Pitch for podcast interviews. Podcasting is growing fast and while I’ve never used a pitching service myself, they do exist. You can also search iTunes and other sources of podasts for relevant shows or use a service like RadioGuestList. Then reach out to the owner with your idea for an interview. As above, the more unique, robust and engaging a relevant resource on your brand site is, the more likely it will be linked to by the podcast.

12. Share with communities. Tap into smaller community websites or forums to share your content. However, don’t just arrive, drop a link and leave, expecting the community to respond. You’ll need to invest time in finding the right communities and then build credibility before sharing links to your content.

13. Make content sharing easy. Nothing scales social sharing like making sharing easy. Use click to tweet links in PDFs, reports and blog posts to make it easy for people to share with a single click (or two). Also format your content with quotes to make it shareable.

14. Add your last article to your email signature and out-of-office messages. I learned this one from Jason Miller at LinkedIn.  Below your contact info in an email signature, include the title and link to your latest blog post or content project. Do the same with one, two or three in your out of office message.

15. Make a video on LinkedIn announcing your content. Ann Handley did this recently when she announced the keynote speakers for B2B Forum and it had tens of thousands of views.

16. Use Facebook Live to announce you’ve published new content. This is a smart tip from David Zheng. When you start Facebook Live, a notification is sent to all your followers and fans. Then you can show a featured image and talk about the key points of the post. You can also ask viewers to head to your site to finish reading it or to implement the tactics you talked about. A related suggestion is to create an Instagram or Snapchat story to announce your new content and why it’s useful.

17. Send an email to your email list. Of course you might already be using an RSS to email service with your blog, so this is not that. But if you have a general email newsletter sent on a regular basis, a dedicated email announcing something new and relevant can be very effective for visibility of the content you want to promote.

18. Monitor social networks for questions and answer them with your content. When a question pops up that could be answered with content you’ve created, you have a legitimate reason to share a link. You can set up notifications with services that scan social channels like Twitter or specific forums.

19. Track competitors for inspiration and opportunities. Services like RivalIQ help identify breakout social posts and content from competitors so you can see what they’re doing that’s working. Social media monitoring tools that track competitors can help you see opportunities to promote your content as an answer when a competitor is involved in the discussion. This can be tricky, so be careful and be relevant.

20. Twitter Chats. You can either create a Twitter Chat yourself or start participating in relevant industry Twitter chats. The question and answer format is ideal for sharing relevant and helpful links to your content. Just don’t overdo it. Also, curation of Twitter chats are a great source of content you can publish on your blog with links to the promotable content you want to share.

If you want to be in the media, become the media. @leeodden

21. Start a podcast. If you’re not having luck getting picked up by other podcasts, maybe you should start one. I’ve been saying for many years, “If you want to be in the media, become the media.” A podcast can become just that: a platform where you can showcase useful insights and content, including your own.

22. Start a blog. Many of the tips already posted here assume you have a blog, but if you don’t, then start one! There are several blog platforms to choose from including WordPress, Tumblr or Medium. On your blog, you can curate other content as news when you’re not publishing yourself. The blog and your useful content can become a hub for your content marketing efforts to create and promote useful information that inspires your audience to do business with you.

23. Tap your community. Active engagement amongst a community means permission to share what’s important to you – including your most recent amazing content. It matters less where the community is-social networks, forums, private groups or a Slack channel and more that you are creating value for the community be sharing relevant and useful content. If they like it, they’ll share it.

24. Activate employees. An email or platform notification sent to your employees about a recently published content masterpiece is a great way to provide them with source material for their own social sharing. Your staff also represent a potentially effective distribution channel for your content as well.

25. Link to new content from content already published. When new content is being created, part of the process should be to research what has already been published on the topic. Redundancy is no good for people or search rankings after all. But complementary content does make sense to link up. Link to your new content (as a related topic) from on-topic content that is still getting traffic from search, social and links to provide a little positive lift.

People will work for a living, but they’ll die for recognition. @leeodden

26. Mention new book authors, analysts, influencers and journalists. People in the game of exposure appreciate being mentioned in relevant ways on other websites. The monitoring/alerts those mentions will create can result in clicks to inspect the source content. Because your content is amazing and you have cited the individuals in the most relevant way, there’s a good chance they will share or even link from their own blogs.

27. Upgrade the competition.Find the most popular online content on your topics of interest and create something even better.  Go deep and invest in the design of the information. Link to the content you want to promote from this robust deep dive on the topic.

28. Paid social promotion. Organic is great, but sometimes paid is better. The audience targeting options with major social networks can help you direct qualified traffic to your content. For that, use Facebook or Instagram Ads, Promoted Tweets, Sponsored LinkedIn Content, Sponsored InMail or Text Ads to promote your content to exactly the audience you want to reach.

29. Retargeting. Use a service like AdRoll to tag your content so when people visit and leave, you can display retargeting ads to them for your content as they visit other websites.

30. Promote with native advertising. Another way to pay your way to exposure is  to use a service like Outbrain Amplify to get your content recommended on premium sites, including CNN, People and ESPN.

31. Paid search. The vast majority of all research online starts with a search engine. Find the right keywords for your content and PPC ads could provide the right amount of lift in visibility.

32. Create or buy a niche site. Returns require an investment and sometimes the long game means investing in a niche microsite or even purchasing an existing niche site that is focused on the topic you’re after. Along with the past content is a community of subscribers that you can tap into for exposure to your content.

33. Update and optimize old content. When we do content audits, one of the things we look for is to identify content that has potential – the right  mix of maintained search popularity and and opportunity to be updated. When you find those candidates for updating, optimize them for search and social shares.

34. Creative interactive experiences. Create a quiz, poll, calculator or similar input/output experience using a platform like SnapApp or Ceros that can create interest and then send visitors to your content to dig in deeper to the topic. We worked with Ceros to create an interactive infographic for a research report and both the referrals and the conversion rate to download the report have been amazing.

35. Tap into event streams. Find relevant conferences and their hashtags to follow. Create, or better yet, repurpose content specifically for the audience attending the event. During the event, share your useful and on-topic content with the the community following the hashtag. Don’t overdo it and your shares must be on-topic and relevant.

36. Optimize for organic search. Of course, this is the slow burn of content amplification tactics, but if you are smart and diligent about making your content both Google and people friendly plus you are publishing regularly, you can increase the frequency Googlebot visits and crawls of your site. That means new content you publish can show up in search results within hours.

37. Partner marketing. Identify other companies that are non-competitive but share similar audience objectives. Incorporate your content with theirs in a joint venture whether it’s a webinar, research study or and online / offline event. Each of you will gain exposure to a new audience in a credible way.

If you want better marketing, be the best answer wherever your customers are looking. @leeodden

38. Create an answer engine. Mine your site search for questions visitors search on and develop content that answers those questions. You can use other sources of customer questions like feedback forms and tools like AnswerThePublic.com, BuzzSumo and StoryBase. Q/A format content that follows a specific topic can be do well in organic search. Link to your new content from those pages where relevant. You can also seek out questions on sites like Quora and answer them citing and linking to your more in depth content on the topic.

39. Affiliate program. Give niche and microinfluencers an incentive to share your content by offering an affiliate program that rewards them for the completion of each goal action, whether it’s a download, subscription, inquiry or transaction.

40. Sponsor blog posts. Find blogs that accept sponsored content or a sponsorship message (properly disclosed of course) and include nofollow links to the content you want to promote.

41. Remarketing for influencer audiences. Target those who visit your website from a tracking link shared by an influencer. Few convert on the first visit, so retargeting those visitors with your relevant content can be an effective way to promote and inspire them to take the next step.

42. Reshare the content that has performed the best. Use social share metrics from BuzzSumo or other data like pageviews, leads or sales attributed to your best content to decide what to re-share days or weeks after it was published. In fact, I’ll often query what the top content of the quarter or month has been and schedule a reshare with modified text.

43. Sponsor an influencer’s channel. Some influencers are publishers and make available their channels for sponsorship. Usually the influencer creates the content and there’s a disclaimer that a brand has sponsored an individual piece of content. But with the right influencer, it could be a full day or even a week.

44. Purchase an ad in an email newsletter. Ads are everywhere and one of the most effective is email. Research ad opportunities within industry email newsletters and buy a placement that directs visitors to your useful content. Ads can be spendy, so it might be worth focusing on niche newsletters.

45. Syndicate to Industry Associations. Acronymed organizations are always looking for useful content to share with their members. Find the right associations for your brand and reach out to see if they would be interested in sharing your relevant content via their email newsletter or posting to the organization blog.

46. Get visual with video. If a picture is worth a thousand words then a video must be worth millions. Spice up your content with a video sidebar or summary and it will increase the likelihood of sharing and receiving links substantially.

47. Comment Marketing. This is an area that must be tread carefully, but if done well, can be very effective. Find content that matches the topic of your content to promote and seek out opportunities to share useful, on-topic comments that include a link to your more in-depth resource. Don’t limit your comments to blogs. Consider mainstream business publications as well – especially those that accept new authors eager to get comments about their contribution.

48. Link building. Find the top ranking content on your topic, then research who is linking to those URLs. Reach out to the link sources and invite them to link to your robust content as well. This approach is too often used and poorly executed, so wins will be few and far between. But it doesn’t take too many links from reputable sources to have a positive impact on the visibility of your content.

49. Sponsor events. Many events will provide opportunities for sponsors to share more than a log0 – content on the conference blog, via attendee newsletter or even in print included in the schwag bag.

50. Make a big ass list like this one! Comprehensive, useful resources often represent content that is worth sharing and linking to. Hopefully readers will feel that way about this post.

Besides this fine list of content amplification tips, I’ve also put together an eBook of recommendations from 10 top marketing influencers and professionals including: Ann Handley, Mike Stelzner, Joe Pulizzi, Mike King, Cathy McPhillips, Sujan Patel, Ursula Ringham, Larry Kim, Carla Johnson, Andrew Davis.  That’s right, walking the talk!

If you’re attending the Content Marketing World conference in Cleveland during the first week of September, you’ll want to see if there are any spaces left for this workshop.

Tuesday, Sept. 4th:

Rocket Science Simplified: How to Optimize, Socialize and Publicize B2B Content

I will be covering:

  • How to use a “Best Answer” strategy to activate content integration
  • How to use keyword & question research to ignite content planning
  • How to use Power Pages and SEO best practices for organic liftoff
  • How to use the magic of repurposing social content for promotion
  • How to use outreach tactics that will fuel blog and media coverage of your campaigns

Basically, much of what you need to know to make sure your content is visible and not just good looking.

Wednesday, September 5th I will be giving a presentation for B2B marketers on influencer marketing:

The Confluence Equation: How Content and Influencers Drive B2B Marketing Success.

What’s the secret formula to scalable, quality content? Find out how B2B brands, big and small like SAP, Dell, Cherwell and DivvyHQ are able to create more awareness, engagement and pipeline with the confluence equation. In this presentation you will:

  • Learn the Influencer Marketing Maturity Model and where your brand fits
  • Explore how a modular approach to influencer content can fuel cross-channel campaigns
  • Learn how to get the best of both worlds: campaigns and always on programs
  • Understand which technologies are available to facilitate influencer identification, engagement and performance reporting

Joining me at Content Marketing World is Ashley Zeckman, Digital Strategy Director at TopRank Marketing. She’s going to be busting some influencer marketing myths in her presentation.

Thursday, September 6th:

Influencer Marketing is only for B2C Brands (& Other Lies Your Parents Told You). Here’s what you can expect from Ashley:

  • A dive into 3 stories of successful content and influencer marketing in action.
  • Steps for creating a stellar experience for your audience and your influencers.
  • Scrappy ideas for collaborating with influencers when you have limited time and resources.
  • Bonus: Formulas for determining content and influencer marketing ROI

But wait, there’s more! We have more TopRank Marketing team members attending the CMWorld conference including Account Manager, Jane Bartel, Senior Content Strategist, Nick Nelson and Content Strategist, Anne Leuman who will be on hand attending sessions and live-blogging. Be sure to follow us on Twitter at @toprank and check out our live conference coverage here on the Online Marketing Blog.


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50 Content Promotion Tactics to Help Your Great Content Get Amazing Exposure | https://www.toprankblog.com

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Digital Marketing News: LinkedIn’s Group Upgrade, Google’s Expanding Snippets & Search Console, & Curiosity In Marketing

Psychology of Advertising Image August 24 2018

The Psychology of Advertising: Thinking vs. Feeling [Infographic]

Each person is exposed to an average of nearly two million television advertisements and commercials each year. To help your ads be seen and recalled, using emotional content often outperforms rational content, according to new infographic data by USC Dornsife College. MarketingProfs

LinkedIn to Integrate Groups into the Mobile App

LinkedIn (client) has announced changes focused on streamlining discussion and comments in LinkedIn Groups, with threaded replies, mobile integration, and other improvements. Search Engine Journal

‘Instagram playgrounds’ for the hashtag obsessed are taking over U.S. cities

Instagram has been creating real-life photo-op playgrounds, but how can marketers and brands utilize interactive pop-ups? NBC News

Google Launches Expandable Featured Snippets

Google has announced more robust search result snippets. With an automatically-generated click-to-expand version now live, digital marketers have new snippet optimization opportunities. SEO Roundtable

As demand for Instagram Stories ads heats up, some early adopters turn to Facebook Stories

Ad rates for many Instagram Stories advertisers have continued to rise, causing some smaller brands to turn back to Facebook Stories. DigiDay

The Flourishing Business of Fake YouTube Views

The challenges of combating purchased fake YouTube video views are examined in a new New York Times piece, but many questions remain. The New York Times

2018 August 24 Statistics Image

Facebook Launches New Process to Convert Still Images to Video, New Ad Creative Guide

Facebook has rolled out a new creative guide for advertisers, and a featuring that turns images into lightweight-motion video, at a lower cost than full video, but will brands see benefits? Social Media Today

Why You Should Put a Little More Thought into Your Out-of-Office Message

The Harvard Business Review takes a close look at the under-utilized marketing opportunities that abound for out-of-office messages. Harvard Business Review

New Google Search Console has added the links reports from the old interface

Google has rolled out new features to its Search Console, including a new links report, mobile usability updates, and other site management additions that should be welcome among digital marketers. Search Engine Land

The Business Case for Curiosity

The Harvard Business Review examines the business benefits, creative solutions, and barriers that come along with curiosity. Harvard Business Review

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

2018 August 24 Marketoonist Tom Fishburne Cartoon

A lighthearted look at fake influence and authenticity by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne – Marketoonist

Atari cofounder’s son Tyler Bushnell brings back retro arcades with Polycade – VentureBeat

Chuck Norris Gets Replaced by Truck Norris – AdWeek

Google created a fake pizza brand to test out creative strategies for YouTube ads – TechCrunch

TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:

  • Lee Odden – What Is B2B Content Marketing and How To Do It Effectively in 2018 – LinkedIn (client)
  • Lee Odden and Lane R. Ellis – 50 #CMW Influencers to Follow in 2018 – Nimble
  • Lee Odden – Review the effectiveness of your Content Marketing Strategy and digital-first culture – Smart Insights

What are some of your top influencer marketing news items for this week?

Thanks for reading, and we hope you’ll return next week for the most relevant new digital marketing industry 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.


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Digital Marketing News: LinkedIn’s Group Upgrade, Google’s Expanding Snippets & Search Console, & Curiosity In Marketing | https://www.toprankblog.com

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Content Marketing World 2018: What We’re Most Excited About

Content Marketing World Sessions to Attend

Content Marketing World Sessions to Attend

Every year, close to 4,000 marketers from across the globe make a pilgrimage to Cleveland, OH for the annual Content Marketing World extravaganza – the largest content marketing conference in the world. And this year will be no different.

We’ve been attending CMWorld since the inaugural event back in 2011 – and we still get butterflies each and every year. The week’s schedule is filled to the brim with sessions and workshops from the industry’s leading marketers and experts, making it impossible not to look forward to what the conference has in store.

But with so many great speakers and a packed schedule, which sessions are a must-see? As CMWorld veterans, we want to help you plan ahead and get a front-row seat to the sessions that help you reach your marketing goals. Check out our list of can’t-miss sessions and things we’re excited for down below.

Helping You Win the Content Marketing Game

Since the original CMWorld, TopRank Marketing and its team members have been presenting at the conference to provide our expertise and help you drive better results for your business. And this year, we have not one, not two, but three crucial sessions and workshops for you to attend.

Lee Odden

CEO, TopRank Marketing

Rocket Science Simplified: How to Optimize, Socialize and Publicize B2B Content

Ninety-one percent of B2B companies use content marketing, but 50% of content gets 8 shares or less. What good is your out-of-this-world content if no one experiences it? In this space-themed workshop, you’ll join our fearless leader and Content Marketing Commander Lee Odden for an interstellar experience on how to effectively build content amplification into the before, during and after of the content creation process (rocket fuel not included). He’ll share the tips, tricks and tactics he’s learned over 17 years of working with content payloads of all shapes and sizes that have rocketed B2B brands to success.

Location: Room 3

Date: Tuesday, Sept. 4

Time: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

The Confluence Equation: How Content and Influencers Drive B2B Marketing Success

What’s the secret formula to scalable, quality content? In this session from Lee, learn about how B2B brands, both big and small like SAP, Dell, Cherwell and DivvyHQ, are able to create more awareness, engagement, and pipeline with the confluence equation. As an influencer marketing pro, Lee offers a framework, formula, and plenty of tools for content and influencer marketing success.

Location: Room 3

Date: Wednesday, Sept. 5

Time: 1:45 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Ashley Zeckman

Digital Strategy Director, TopRank Marketing

Influencer Marketing Is Only for B2C Brands (& Other Lies Your Parents Told You)

When we think of influencer marketing, it’s hard not to think of popular influencers like Selena Gomez, Jake Paul, the Kardashian clan, and others. However, the problem is that those influencers primarily work with B2C brands. But, as Ashley Zeckman will tell you, influencers marketing isn’t only for the B2C marketplace – it also holds enormous opportunity for B2B brands. During Ashley’s session, you can expect real-life B2B influencer marketing case studies, influencer collaboration ideas, formulas for creating influencer content, and more.

Location: Room 3

Date: Wednesday, Sept. 5

Time: 1:45 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

7 More Can’t-Miss #CMWorld Sessions

1. Andrew Davis

Andrew DavisKeynote Speaker & Best-Selling Author, Monumental Shift

Curiosity Factor: The Psychological Phenomenon Creative Content Marketers Employ to Earn and Own Attention in a Noisy World

With the rise of adblocker and dwindling attention spans, it’s harder than ever to capture and hold on to your audience’s attention. But, then again, people also spend hours upon hours binge-watching their favorite TV shows. So, why is our attention captured in one place, but not the other? Andrew Davis is coming to CMWorld with the answer.

Location: Exhibit Hall B

Date: Wednesday, Sept. 5

Time: 8:45 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

2. Dave Charest

Dave CharestDirector of Content Marketing, Constant Contact

Breaking Down Content Silos: How to Create a Unified Customer Experience and Efficiencies in Content Creation

One of the top challenges content marketers face is producing content consistently and efficiently. Luckily, Dave Charest‘s session promises to offer a new content framework that gets buy-in and alignment from the entire organization. As a result, content marketers can expect to create a more unified content experience for their audience and reduce content creation inefficiencies.

Location: Room 1

Date: Wednesday, Sept. 5

Time: 11:20 a.m. – 12:05 p.m.

3. Allen Gannett

Andrew DavisCEO, TrackMaven

How to: 0 to 1 Million LinkedIn Video Views in 6 months

Video marketing represents massive opportunity for content marketers with over one-third of online activity being spent watching video. To help marketers take advantage of this opportunity, LinkedIn launched native video back in 2017 and Allen Gannett was one of its early adopters to much success. Now, Allen is sharing how he reached one million views in just under six months and how you can do it as well.

Location: Room 3

Date: Wednesday, Sept. 5

Time: 11:20 a.m. – 12:05 p.m.

4. Ashley Ward

Ashley WardDigital Marketing Strategist, SEMrush

Does Your Content Work: The Art of Measuring Content Marketing Succes

As the Digital Marketing Strategist for one of our favorite tools SEMrush, Ashley Ward‘s session already got our attention. But the fact that she’s addressing content marketing success and how to measure content ROI, has us hooked. So, if you’re one of the 45% of marketers that are unsuccessful in tracking content marketing ROI, this session is a must-attend.

Location: Room 20

Date: Wednesday, Sept. 5

Time: 12:20 p.m. – 1:05 p.m.

5. Ann Handley

Ann HandleyChief Content Officer, MarketingProfs

What Gives? How a Reader Challenge Kicked Me in the Patootie (and What We Can Learn From It)!

As content marketers, it can be easy to just crank out content and become writing machines. But in focusing on the mechanical production of content, we often forget why we’re creating it in the first place. Ann Handley‘s keynote promises to remind us of that purpose and show us how asking critical questions can lead us in the right direction.

Location: Exhibit Hall B

Date: Wednesday, Sept. 5

Time: 4:35 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

6. Megan Golden

Megan GoldenHead of Global Content Marketing, LinkedIn

The Secret Sauce: How LinkedIn Uses LinkedIn for Content Marketing

Research has found that over 80% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn. Talk about impressive. If you haven’t mastered the lead generating power that LinkedIn can offer, there is no one better to learn from than the platform itself. In this session, Megan Golden shares how LinkedIn uses their own platform for marketing, giving you a behind-the-scenes look at their secrets to success.

Location: Room 26ABC

Date: Thursday, Sept. 6

Time: 11:05 a.m. – 11:50 a.m.

*LinkedIn is a client of TopRank Marketing

7. G David Cunningham

G David CunninghamDirector of Demand Generation, SnapApp

Quality, Not Quantity: Spark a Real-Life Content & Demand Gen Love Story With Content That Converts

Content plays a key role in nurturing leads and turning them into quality prospects or converting them into won opportunities. In order to do that, however, G David Cunningham suggests focusing on quality, not quantity content. If lead generation is your top content marketing goal, he’ll offer solutions to your conversion problems, including a proven approach to creating quality content, examples of high-quality content, and more.

Location: Room 25ABC

Date: Thursday, Sept. 6

Time: 2:35 p.m. – 3:20 p.m.

What We’re Looking Forward to the Most

Lee

Lee OddenThis will be my eighth consecutive year speaking at CMWorld and I’m looking forward to everything, from meeting with other marketing professionals to catching up with friends and influencers that are too numerous to list to connecting with many of our clients, including teams from LinkedIn and DivvyHQ.

I’m also looking forward to seeing Ashley Zeckman give her first solo presentation at the conference and my team from TopRank Marketing having an incredible learning and networking experience.

Last of all, I’m looking forward to connecting with the 50-plus people registered for my B2B Content Promotion workshop and those who will be attending my B2B influencer marketing presentation.

Ashley

Ashley ZeckmanThis is my fourth Content Marketing World and I swear it just keeps getting better! I’m really looking forward to connecting with old friends and making new connections with talented marketers from around the globe. And I’m sure it goes without saying, but the opportunity to see Ann Handley and Tina Fey at the same conference is a dream come true.  

Jane

Jane BartelSince TopRank Marketing clients hail from all over the globe, I’m especially excited for some in-person quality time with our friends at DivvyHQ and LinkedIn.

The Content Marketing World schedule is packed with opportunities to learn from content marketers with fresh perspectives and insights, and I’ll be vying for a front-row seat to as many sessions as I can.  

Nick

Nick NelsonI’ve never been to Content Marketing World, or Cleveland, so I’m just generally looking forward to the experience as a whole. I love video games, so the theme of this year’s conference is particularly appealing to my inner geek.

Tons of sessions on the agenda have caught my eye, and I can’t wait to hear some of the top pros in the industry share their insights. I’m also excited to finally meet a number of our agency’s clients face-to-face after many email exchanges and video conferences. And last but not least: Tina freakin’ Fey. #LizLemon4Life

Anne

Anne LeumanPersonally, I’m most looking forward to Ann Handley’s keynote. I had the chance to see her keynote last year’s Digital Marketing Summit in Minneapolis and was blown away. She made me laugh. She made me cry. She made me feel empowered. Her speech was a great reminder that our marketing needs to tell a story and evoke emotion from our audience. I can’t wait to see what she has in store for CMWorld.

The Countdown Is On

Content Marketing World 2018 is less than two weeks away. And that means it’s crunch time. Make sure you have your schedule all mapped out so you don’t miss out on the speakers you want to see the most. In fact, you might want to download the CMWorld mobile app to start organizing your schedule and save the sessions listed above.

Stay tuned to TopRank blog and follow @TopRank on Twitter for daily updates from the event.

The post Content Marketing World 2018: What We’re Most Excited About appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Will Twitter Succeed in Defeating Trolls? The Stakes for Marketers

“I’m addicted to you, don’t you know that you’re toxic?”

I can guarantee this will be the first and last time I ever open a blog post with lyrics from Britney Spears, but the pop star’s 2003 tribute to perilous romance seems to perfectly encapsulate my relationship with Twitter – and I know I’m not alone.

https://giphy.com/embed/h4Z6RfuQycdiM

via GIPHY

I love Twitter. It’s easily my favorite social network. I’ve been active on it for almost a decade, and during that time I’ve had countless enlightening conversations (mostly about baseball and marketing), become friends with people I never would’ve encountered otherwise, and wasted more time than I’d like to admit scrolling mindlessly through my feed.

Twitter has some great perks – bite-sized content, real-time updates, tailored experiences – and these serve to strengthen its appeal as a marketing channel. But even as an avid fan, I can’t deny that it has also been fraught with negatives. At times, the platform can feel like a cesspool for abusive behavior, fake accounts, and bots deployed with the sole mission of harassing real users.

Recently, the company announced new measures in its continuing effort to improve the civility of discourse on Twitter while cutting down on fraud and abuse. Let’s take a closer look at these ongoing changes, and what they mean for social media marketers.

[bctt tweet=”I love @Twitter. It’s easily my favorite #socialnetwork. But even as an avid fan, I can’t deny that it has also been frought with negatives. – @NickNelsonMN” username=”toprank”]

Teeming with Trolls

In May, Twitter released a statement acknowledging the existence of “troll-like behaviors that distort and detract from the public conversation on Twitter, particularly in communal areas like conversations and search.”

“Fewer than 1% of accounts make up the majority of accounts reported for abuse,” wrote Del Harvey and David Gasca. “While still a small overall number, these accounts have a disproportionately large – and negative – impact on people’s experience.”

The veil of anonymity that Twitter allows can be a good thing: it enables folks with sensitive public images to maintain a discrete social presence, and also facilitates hilarious fictional accounts like @KimKierkegaard, a mashup of reality star Kim Kardashian and 19th-century philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, and @dog_feelings, which lives up to its name.

But of course, there are obvious downsides to this low barrier of entry. It’s all too easy to create a faceless and essentially untraceable account for whatever purpose one desires. Too often those purposes are nefarious. This rose to a head during the 2016 election and has become an increasingly prevalent sore spot for the platform.

As bots and empty handles became more pervasive, certain individuals began developing methods to game the system and inflate follower counts, creating a “fake influencer” epidemic and shaking marketers’ faith in the authenticity of their audiences.

“We aren’t proud of how people have taken advantage of our service,” Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey lamented earlier this year, “or our inability to address it fast enough.”

While the company’s response has not been as rapid or forceful as some would like, Twitter is taking action.

Purging and Learning

Most conspicuous among these initiatives has been “The Great Twitter Purge,” a systematic effort to sweep out fake and suspicious accounts. Data obtained by the Washington Post showed that more than 70 million accounts were suspended in May and June alone, at the expense of the company’s stock.

(Incidentally, the aforementioned Britney Spears was among the hardest-hit by the purge in terms of lost followers, and plenty of high-profile marketers saw their numbers drop as well, though the industry has generally approved of these actions.)

More recently, Twitter announced partnerships on academic projects addressing two primary areas of concern:

  • Echo chambers, and the ramifications of algorithms that filter content representing like-minded perspectives. A group led by Leiden University’s Dr. Rebekah Tromble “will analyze the echo chamber effect, and provide options on how to limit such impacts,” per Social Media Today.
  • The effects of exposure to a diverse array of viewpoints and backgrounds. This can be the natural sacrifice in the “echo chamber” dynamic referenced above – how costly is it?  “Evidence from social psychology has shown how communication between people from different backgrounds is one of the best ways to decrease prejudice and discrimination,” says Oxford’s Miles Hewstone, who will be among those spearheading the study.

It’s interesting to see Twitter taking forthright accountability for its broader implications in society. But what about the marketing implications?

What Twitter’s Moves Mean for Marketers

Twitter has always been a somewhat tough nut to crack for marketers, and the network’s diminishing reputation in the face of these controversial issues appears to be causing some businesses to further back off.

The 2018 Social Media Marketing Industry Report from Social Media Examiner showed Twitter losing ground, with 62% of marketers using it in their strategies compared to 68% in 2017. Meanwhile, the latest Sprout Social Index finds Twitter fourth on the list of most-used channels for ads at just 13%.

While it’s pretty simple to incorporate as a social media marketing tactic – schedule those short-and-sweet messages and fire ’em out – the visible impact isn’t always there. It’s not uncommon to see brands with tens of thousands of followers getting only a handful of likes and responses to most of their updates, and clicks can be hard to come by.

When you’re pumping out tons of content and garnering minimal engagement, while also converting a relatively tiny fraction of users into buyers, it’s easy to see why many marketers haven’t found the juice to be worth the squeeze.

But these latest maneuvers from Twitter seemingly will only help.

If you saw your company’s following on the platform take a hit over the past few months during the purge, you’re not alone. But ultimately, it’s nice to have a little more confidence that you’re actually broadcasting to real people. As we’ve long been saying around here: quality trumps quantity.

Initial data backs up this hypothesis: Twitter reported an 81% increase in ad engagement during Q2 2018 compared to Q1 as it implemented its cleansing procedure.

TopRank Marketing Social Media Strategist Meg McDougall suggests that we’ll likely see a resulting rise in Twitter’s notoriously low CPMs, but advertisers will essentially be paying for the same number of eyeballs because fake accounts and their false impressions are being eliminated.

While it’s not clear what fallout we’ll see as a result of these new exploratory research initiatives, the shift is bound to be positive for marketers. Any reduction in the “echo chamber” algorithm could potentially grow your exposure to wider and more diverse audiences.

[bctt tweet=”While it’s not clear what fallout we’ll see as a result of @Twitter’s new exploratory research initiatives, the shift is bound to be positive for #marketers. – @NickNelson #SocialMediaMarketing” username=”toprank”]

If the net outcome of these efforts is that Twitter users (even if there are less of them) become more engaged and active on the platform, that’s obviously going to help with content traction, both organic and paid.

“Any change that is made on social media in the interest of end users is ultimately valuable for marketers,” says McDougall.

[bctt tweet=”Any change that is made on #socialmedia in the interest of end users is ultimately valuable for marketers. – @megnificent_” username=”toprank”]

For a Twitter fanatic and marketer like myself, these developments are roundly encouraging. What’s your take? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Want to learn more about the present state of Twitter and social media marketing at large? Check out these posts from the TopRank Marketing blog:

The post Will Twitter Succeed in Defeating Trolls? The Stakes for Marketers appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Digital Marketing News: Reddit’s Redesign, Yelp’s Growth, Facebook Pages Admin Changes, & B2B Engagement Stats

2018 August 17 Digital Marketing News

How B2B Audiences Engage With Business Content Online

A new Clutch survey explores how B2B audiences encounter business content online, and their preferences for consuming it, with business content about technology the leading topic. Clutch

Facebook pages with large U.S. following to require more authorization

Facebook is requiring two-factor administrator authentication for large U.S. pages, a move that will also come to Instagram in the coming weeks. Reuters

Reddit’s redesign is driving higher engagement rates, but will it deliver more advertisers?

Along with its first redesign in over a decade, Reddit places its hopes on boosting engagement, and perhaps attracting more advertisers. Marketing Land

How GDPR Is Moving Ad Budgets Toward Private Marketplaces.

A new survey looks at U.S. marketers’ changing attitudes about programmatic ad spending since the European Union’s GDPR regulations took effect. eMarketer

Yelp’s second-quarter profit tops expectations as ad revenue jumps

Surprisingly strong second-quarter profit results for Yelp have fueled a forecast revenue increase, but will advertisers using the crowd-sourced review forum feel the draw? CNBC

The Content Power Play: How Content Can Turn Sales and Marketing into an Unbeatable Team [Infographic]

Bringing marketing and sales units together is the focus of a new global study from Content Marketing Institute and LinkedIn (client). LinkedIn

2018 August 17 Statistics Image

Facebook builds its own AR games for Messenger video chat

Facebook has built in-house augmented-reality games into its Messenger video chat system. Ad-free presently, will sponsored branding arrive in time, bringing new marketing opportunities? TechCrunch

Report Finds U.S. Marketers Shifting From ‘Data’ To ‘Identity’-Based Marketing, Proficiency Mixed

A new Association of National Advertisers study shows a mix of results in identity-based marketing, and a move away from data-based solutions. MediaPost

Snap’s strategy shifts win over advertisers more than users

Snapchat’s first recorded daily-user drop results were tempered by record revenue outside North America. Reuters

Startup Finds Paying Consumers To Look At Ads Is About Value, Not Money

Despite trepidation, rewarded – or opt-in – content is seeing growth, and a beta startup is looking to boost the efficient economics of a pure ROI model. MediaPost

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

Marketoonist Tom Fishburne Watching the Numbers Cartoon

A lighthearted look at watching the numbers by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne – Marketoonist

We Are All Scutoids: A Brand-New Shape, Explained – The New Yorker

Oreo looks out for dexterity diversity in packaging run to support left handers – The Drum

TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:

  • Lee Odden – The Best Marketing Advice You’ve Ever Received – In One Minute or Less – LinkedIn (client)
  • Lee Odden – You’ve Created Great Content, Now What? – LinkedIn (client)
  • Lee Odden – 7 Strategies to Ensure Your Next Collaboration With Influencers Is a Success – The Social Media Hat
  • Lee Odden and Ashley Zeckman – Help! Finding the right business partners to reach your goals – Cathy McPhillips of Content Marketing Institute (client)
  • Lee Odden – Total Annarchy #15: A Daily Journal Is a Game-Changer, Curing Invisible Content, WTH Is Frequency Illusion? – Ann Handley
  • Lee Odden – The Rules of Long Form – Marcia Jedd & Associates

What are some of your top influencer marketing news items for this week?

Thanks for reading, and we hope you’ll join us next week for the most relevant new digital 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.


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The Latest Evolution of Facebook: The Marketing Low-Down on 5 Recent Changes

Latest Facebook Updates 2018

Latest Facebook Updates 2018

From the Russian ad debacle to the Cambridge Analytica scandal to suffering a major stock price blow just a few short weeks ago, Facebook has been making less-than-stellar headlines the past few months. Users are concerned about their privacy and how their data is being used-and brands and marketers are wondering whether the platform will continue to be a viable advertising and engagement platform.

In an attempt to rebuild trust, ensure better data protection and transparency, the social network is doubling down, again, on their commitment to improving the user experience and creating a fun, respectful community.

As all marketers will remember, the quest to improve user experience started way back in 2015, with the announcement it would be making refinements to its News Feed to strike a better balance between friends, public figures, publishers, businesses, and community organizations. That continued in the summer 2016 with more updates favoring friends and family content-and was still on the move when the first scandal broke later that year.

Of course, these changes didn’t do marketers and brands any favors in the organic reach department. Organic reach had already been declining, and these moves have nearly eliminated its potential. And now, more changes have arrived, presenting new challenges as well as some opportunities.

Below we share the low-down on five of such recent or rolling out changes, what they mean for social media marketers, and some potential next steps to take.

1. A New News Feed

Once again, the News Feed is getting a facelift-a big one. While Mark Zuckerberg announced back in January 2018 that changes would be rolling out throughout the year, a “major update” was announced in April, which Director of Product Management, Mark Hull, details in the video below:

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Ffacebook%2Fvideos%2F10156988765141729%2F&show_text=0&width=560

Essentially, meaningful person-to-person interaction is what will carry the News Feed ranking weight, and person-to-page interactions will continue to be second tier. Oh, and Facebook expects people to spend less time on the platform.

This sounds pretty scary for marketers. Most have adapted their strategies to zero-in on fostering engaging discussion, as well as throwing spend behind Facebook’s ad platform (which is also changing and we’ll get to that later).

But before you eliminate Facebook from your marketing mix, there are a few opportunities to consider:

Working with influencers: With Facebook continuing to elevate content from individuals, there may be no better time to start building relationships with industry influencers and thought leaders that you can collaborate with on content.

Read: Death of Organic Reach = New Opportunities for Influencer Marketing

Facebook Groups: As my colleague, Nick Nelson, reported not too long ago, while groups have long been available as a feature on Facebook, the brand-driven “Facebook Groups for Pages” were just rolled out last year. And some brands are seeing traction with them, but this isn’t something you leap into without being thoughtful.

Read: The Question on Many Marketers’ Minds: Should My Brand Start a Facebook Group?

Facebook Stories: Very recently, Facebook insiders asserted that Facebook Stories may very well be the future of connection on Facebook. Once again, as Nick Nelson pointed out: “Facebook Stories are intriguing because they offer a real chance to capture part of a user’s attention – maybe even more than the minimum amount.” And early adopters may secure an advantage.

Read: The Future of Connection on Facebook: How Stories May Change the Marketing Game

2. Stricter Ad Targeting

As of late, most of Facebook’s critiques are a result of their advertising products and practices. By increasing the targeting capabilities of their advertising products, Facebook arguably put users’ privacy at risk. To help correct that perception and protect user privacy, Facebook is making several changes to their advertising platform.

One such update was released in early July, requiring advertisers to state where they acquired people’s information for their custom audiences. Instead of simply uploading a list of emails you want to target as a custom audience, Facebook wants advertisers to take extra steps to ensure those emails came from a reputable source and that the audience has consented to those ads. With this change, Facebook hopes to improve transparency with users about why they see ads from certain brands and how they received their information.

New Facebook Ad Disclaimer

(Credit: Facebook)

In addition, Facebook has also disabled their Partner Categories product, which provided targeting capabilities from third-party data providers to advertisers. This limits advertiser insight into user behavior outside of Facebook (e.g. purchasing activity), making ads appear more natural to users and less “big brother.”

From our perspective, this is good news. Consumers are increasingly wary of marketing and advertising messages and this move can help strengthen the credibility and relevance of your ads and brand. Of course, this is all assuming you can and do confirm your custom audience lists and sources fall within the new guides.

So, if you haven’t already, take the steps to review your custom audience lists and their sources. You need to be able to state if you received the information directly from your audience, a partner, or a combination. If you used a data provider like an advertising or marketing agency, double check that they’ve acquired the data honestly and they agree to Facebook’s Terms of Use.

3. New Data History Tools

Now more than ever, people want control over their data. They want to know what information is stored, who has access to it, and they want to be able to delete it.

Recognizing this need, Facebook announced a new feature called Clear History that will be released “soon.”With this new feature, Facebook is giving users the ability to see the websites and apps that store information with Facebook, and delete that information from their account.

However, Facebook will still retain aggregated analytics, but no personally identifying information will be contained.

“We’ll still provide apps and websites with aggregated analytics – for example, we can build reports when we’re sent this information so we can tell developers if their apps are more popular with men or women in a certain age group,” Facebook says. “We can do this without storing the information in a way that’s associated with your account, and as always, we don’t tell advertisers who you are.

What exactly does this mean for marketers? If you use Facebook plugins on your website (think Facebook Pixel or “Like” buttons on websites), your audience can now see and delete the information that the plugin collects; meaning it won’t be connected to their profile any longer.

Obviously, if users take advantage of this when it rolls out, clearing their history could be problematic for marketers, and maybe even users. For marketers, it will be incredibly difficult to target these folks with ads. For users, that could mean an uptick in irrelevant ads for a time.

However, the eventual upside for advertisers could be the “re-learning” that needs to happen after a history cleanse, which can lead to a more relevant and accurate look of who your audience is.

4. Poor Customer Feedback = Ban

A poor customer experience really sours your impression of a brand. An to ensure that ads on Facebook lead to positive shopping experiences, and not negative ones, Facebook will now ban brands that have low customer satisfaction ratings from advertising on their platform.

For example, if users give you too many frowning faces shown in the rating system below, Facebook will reject your ads.

Facebook Negative Review Example

(Credit: Facebook)

Before you become too concerned, however, Facebook says it will: “Share feedback directly with businesses that receive high volumes of negative feedback and will give them a chance to improve before taking further action. If feedback does not improve over time, we will reduce the amount of ads that particular business can run.”

So, even if you receive negative ratings, you will have an opportunity to make improvements to prevent being banned.

The opportunity here is obvious. The better customer experience you provide, the more successful your marketing efforts will be. For Facebook ads, this is rooted in focusing on clarity and honesty within your ads.

At a minimum, Facebook suggests taking steps to ensure your ads aren’t misleading. In addition, use images or videos to make it very clear what you are selling and what you are selling it for. It’s also a good idea to set clear expectations for how users will receive your product or service. By setting clear guidelines, you’re more likely to meet customer expectations, leading to more positive user ratings. For more insight, read Facebook’s tips on how to improve customer feedback.

5. All of Your Ads, Exposed

Knowing the organization behind an ad is important. Otherwise, users might not trust the content of the ad. So, to increase ad and page transparency, Facebook now allows users to see all of the ads any page is running within their partner network.

This includes ads on Instagram, Messenger, and the rest of the Facebook partner network. In addition, even if pages aren’t advertising, Facebook will provide more information about a page including name history and the date the page was created. Together, these changes aim to give users more information about an organization so they can decide if an ad is credible or not.

Facebook Ad Transparency

(Credit: Facebook)

For marketers, this change isn’t a bad thing – it may even mean more eyeballs on your advertising content. However, marketers should still be thoughtful about how their ads will be perceived by individuals outside of their target audience.

For example, even if an ad isn’t specifically designed for or served to them, users can still review (and report) your ads. As a result, you need to take extra steps to make sure your ads are consistent, clear, and friendly for all.

The Life Force of Facebook

Long before the scandals and latest privacy concerns, Facebook has been rooted in evolution. Just think what the platform started as and has become. So, while the recent and coming changes seem pretty fierce, I think it’s safe to say we were already on that trajectory. And there’s probably more to come.

Since the major changes that impacted advertisers and brands began rolling out in 2015, Facebook has maintained their actions are all in the interest of creating a better user experience. And at the end of the day, that’s what the goal of any marketer is in their quest to nurture their audience and aid them on their customer journey.

So, it’s OK if you’re a panicked, disheartened, or simply irritated. But, at this point, the platform still holds marketing opportunity, marketers just need to adapt their social media marketing strategies, try new features and avenues, and work hard to ensure they’re part of providing that great user experience.

Looking for more social media marketing news, tips, and insights? Check out all of our recent social media-related blog posts.

The post The Latest Evolution of Facebook: The Marketing Low-Down on 5 Recent Changes appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

CMWorld Interview: Eli Schwartz on Curiosity & SEO Around the Globe

Should marketers ignore international and inter-linguistic considerations when it comes to their SEO strategies?

Survey says: BZZZRRRT

In a way, optimizing for search is like participating in the game show Family Feud. To align with searcher behavior and intent, marketers must make educated guesses, and ultimately it is the people who will dictate whether we’re right or wrong.

As we develop content to draw visitors for targeted keywords, search rankings and traffic trends serve as either an affirming “Ding!” or a rejecting “Buzz!” regarding our hypotheses. Web users fulfill the same function as the random samples polled to create Family Feud’s survey response boards.

Eli Schwartz, who leads digital growth initiatives for SurveyMonkey as Director of SEO & Organic Product, spends his days immersed in data, and the actionable insight it can provide. As Google continually evolves its results to be guided less by keyword volume or technical inputs, and more by human behaviors (or machine algorithms designed to mimic them), marketing needs to deeply understand the way customers seek out information.

At Content Marketing World in September, Schwartz will urge us to extend that mindset beyond borders. In his session, “10x Your Content Audience by Going International,” he’ll preach the benefits of building out a global SEO strategy and what it entails.

In advance of his talk, we asked him about the changing search landscape, the importance of thinking internationally, and how smaller brands can gain an edge when competing against the heavy hitters.

What does your role as Director of SEO & Organic Product at SurveyMonkey entail? What are your main areas of focus and key priorities?

In my role, I am responsible for the growth of organic traffic to all SurveyMonkey properties and products. As the architect of our SEO strategies, I have a deep partnership with the product, design and engineering teams to ensure everything works together to achieve the best organic results. In addition to SEO, I also lead the efforts to ensure that traffic to our surveys ultimately leads to wider adoption and engagement by people that are not yet our users.

Our mission at SurveyMonkey is “Power the Curious,” a mission that carries through every aspect of the company from the way we interact with customers to how we innovate new solutions. Grounded in People Powered Data – insights on the people that matter most powered by the latest survey technology such as machine learning – we have been able to gain deeper insights on our users – a diverse set of individuals with equally diverse needs. It’s my job to ensure  that our website offers helpful content that will be visible every time a user seeks out a solution on Google where a survey could help them make better decisions. If someone is curious to learn more about People Powered Data in action, there is exclusive content and articles that we create for pages like Curiosity at Work. Whether it’s an HR rep looking to increase employee retention, a VP of customer service who wants to measure net promoter score, or a marketer who wants to understand their brand penetration, I make sure we have content that will help satiate their curiosity.

Once I tackle this challenge (and it never ends!) from a domestic and English standpoint, I replicate this exact same effort for every country where we have users. While the needs and the search queries differ between users all over the world, it is my mission to empower all curious leaders to discover the information that will help them reach their goals.

You have a great deal of background in search and SEO. What are the most striking changes you’ve seen on this front over the course of your career?

For as long as I have been working in SEO, the ultimate SEO best practice championed by the search engines has been to optimize for users and not search engines. However, the reality was that no one got ahead by following this widely accepted strategy. Content was stuffed with keywords, doorway pages brought users to unintended landing pages, whole websites were built around things like how to tie shoes or pour water, and there was a massive market in websites that sold links specifically for SEO purposes.

As Google’s algorithm advanced, these tactics stopped working and even caused penalty demotions in search. The ranking algorithms can detect whether content is of high quality and if the inbound links are contextually relevant enough to be natural. The net result is that Google’s algorithm uses artificial intelligence to mimic human behavior, and we are closer than ever to the truism of optimization for users and not search engines.

Google is light years ahead of the keyword driven search engine it was a decade ago. In fact, I recently saw an odd insect on the outside of my home,searched on Google by typing a description of the physical features of the insect – “long neck, wide wings” – and Google returned results that all had the word “snakefly” bolded as if that was the term I searched for! Google’s suggested results will change based on the time of day, your physical location, and your most recent searches. There’s no amount of bad SEO tactics that will help you rank when Google is inside the searcher’s head and knows exactly what they want.

Why is it so important for today’s marketers to think globally with their SEO strategies?

As evidenced by the furor around GDPR, which really is only an EU law designed to protect European citizens, we live in a global Internet world where users can come from anywhere. Fear of the penalties for GDPR violations are why the most American of all sites have cookie consent banners on their websites and notices of updated privacy policies.

Yet, most of the websites that were in a midnight panic to comply with GDPR have no European SEO strategy. To me, that’s a paradox that deserves a deeper look.

Serving a global audience begins with understanding them. By gaining insights on your audience through People Powered Data, you can create an SEO strategy that matters to them and reaches them in the vernacular in which they speak. To serve a global audience, your SEO strategy needs to be just as globally informed.  

Depending on the potential value of these global users, it may not be prudent to translate the full site or offer free global shipping, but translating that one page that targets the most important international keywords is not that complicated. Additionally, companies can take the very first step towards global SEO by just having a look at where and how their website ranks on Google internationally. They may very well find some low hanging fruit worth building a strategy around.

For us at SurveyMonkey, international audience is very important. Our new accounts (and traffic) outside of the US, especially on mobile, are growing at accelerating rates. For example, on the product side, we extended our SurveyMonkey Audience panels to 100+ countries in 2017 and those global panels are now accessible to customers in 60+ markets. We want to be able to support curious companies and individuals in all countries who are excited to use our products, and it starts with thinking globally to reach individuals globally.

What are some misconceptions you often encounter about international SEO?

The greatest misconception around international SEO is not believing that there is a global audience looking for your product or website. I spent nearly two years living in Singapore and, while I was there, I was given a glimpse into how much people outside the US seek American content and online shopping. Even more surprising to me was that it was not just name brands like Amazon that people were seeking out, but they were also figuring out how to get products from brands like JC Penney or Shoe Palace shipped to them.

International SEO is at the core of having people outside of the US become customers. A website might not even offer convenient shipping options, but, if users can find the products online, they may be willing to pay extra to get the item to their home country. To this vein, easy international SEO could mean having an option to pay for shipping in a specific country or creating tailored product pages translated into other languages.

 

Where does PPC fit into the global SEO equation?

In English, smart marketers use PPC to inform SEO and vice versa. Globally, companies might not find it worthwhile to conduct PPC campaigns since they don’t know enough about the market or local keywords to run a search campaign. However, if they are generating passive SEO traffic internationally and take the time to analyze the keywords and performance, this could be a great resource for finding low cost PPC ideas to generate conversions.

On another note, if a company is seeing international traffic, it is prudent to ensure that they are bidding on their brand name in the locations where the customer base appears to be growing. If there is enough awareness that customers are bringing themselves to the website via search, there’s a high chance local competitors see this as a great opportunity to bid on your brand. Bidding on your own brand will help protect the loss of those users.

Aside from search, where are some other tactical areas where marketers could stand to think more internationally?

The most critical ingredient of a global marketing campaign is for marketers to put themselves into the target market’s shoes. Making assumptions that global customers are exactly like us or creating hypotheses for why they might act a certain way is absolutely the wrong foundation for an international marketing effort.

From my time living overseas and many customer research meetings, the most interesting customer insight I have learned is around payments. Here in the US, almost everyone has a credit card in their pocket and is very quick to use it for almost anything. Outside the US, fraud protections aren’t as robust as they are here, making people much more judicious about credit card usage. In Asia, customers are liable for all purchases if their credit card is stolen until they put in a stop request. In that environment, people are obviously pretty cautious over who they might disclose their credit card number to. Additionally, outside the US, work expensing policies are a lot more rigorous than what we are used to. Employees have to go through multiple approval hoops even for small purchases and expect to be reimbursed for purchases on their personal cards.

Ultimately, what this translates to is: companies need to adjust how they can complete transactions in foreign countries. In Asia, it might mean making arrangements for cash payments and, in Europe, this often means accepting a bank transfer. Additionally, for B2B products, direct response might be a challenge if the customer base is inhibited from an impulse purchase without getting approval.

What can smaller companies do to gain an edge in visibility when competing against larger and more authoritative brands?

In my experience, there is a very clear advantage in search for bigger brands, and brands can establish a ranking on competitive terms with little to no effort. This might make it seem like smaller brands don’t even have a chance; however, big brands have a huge disadvantage in that they are very slow to react and usually don’t focus on search the way a smaller brand can.

Even with a limited budget, a small brand can practically drown a vertical with content before a big brand can complete their myriad of strategy review meetings. Smaller brands will also have some headroom from their first mover advantage and can remain ahead by of the bigger brands by being more innovative and agile with their content.

Testing concepts before you share your content out to the world can be really effective and help smaller brands get this edge. For example, when you have a big idea that you want to get right, it can save you a lot of time and money to concept test it beforehand – just recently we’ve created a guide for our customers, many of which are smaller brands, to help them start implementing concept testing to refine their ideas, from new logos and campaigns to websites and landing pages by getting feedback directly from your target market. By the way, you’d be shocked to learn how many small companies still don’t even have websites – we conduct this quarterly Small Business Survey with CNBC, and only about a half of business owners have websites they can drive customers to.

Which speaker presentations are you looking forward to most at Content Marketing World 2018?

There are so many presentations that I am excited about at Content Marketing World and I hope I get to all of them! The ones I am really looking forward are Jay Baer’s presentation on Killer Content, John Bucher on Storytelling, Dave Charest on Customer Experience, Dorie Clark on Long Form Content, Joe Pulizzi on the evolution of Content, Scott Monty on Knowing Your Customer, Megan Golden on LinkedIn for LinkedIn.

It’s Time to Play the Content Marketing Game

The game never stops, of course, but action will really fire up on September 4th when CM World gets underway in Cleveland. Will you be on hand for the fun?

To sharpen up ahead of the event, peruse the Ultimate Guide to Conquering Content Marketing by clicking through the slides below:


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