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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CMWorld Interview: Eli Schwartz on Curiosity & SEO Around the Globe | http://www.toprankblog.com

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Digital Marketing News: Facebook’s Playable Ads & Business Pages Update, Gen Z Mom Trends, & B2B’s Video Uptick

Facebook Business Pages

Facebook redesigns biz Pages for utility as feed reach declines

Facebook has released a slew of changes to its popular Business Pages offering, including updates to mobile, recommendations, events, jobs, and Facebook Local. The updates bring marketers new opportunities along with the need to re-think certain strategies that may no longer be relevant. TechCruch

Twitter loses ability to let users auto-post tweets & retweets to Facebook

Facebook changed how its API is utilized by some 60K apps, including Twitter’s, doing away with cross-posted auto-tweets unless going through the more limited posting options of Facebook’s Share feature. Marketing Land

Move Over Millennials: It’s Time To Discuss How To Win With Generation Z Moms

An examination of digital native Gen Z moms and their online brand engagement traits and habits. Forbes

Making B2B video content work: marketers from Linkedln, Dailymotion and The Smalls share best practices

Marketers from LinkedIn (client), The Small, and Dailymotion take a serious look at what’s working in B2B video marketing, what isn’t, and why. The Drum

Facebook launches playable ads, tests retention optimization for app advertising

With Facebook’s recent launch, are playable ads likely to make their way into other, non-gaming areas of digital marketing? Marketing Land

‘Better ROI than influencers’: Meme accounts attract growing interest on Instagram

Brand and publisher partnerships look at engagement via meme, where even small follower counts can produce high engagement rates. DigiDay

2018 August 10 Statistics Image

We Analyzed 43 Million Facebook Posts From the Top 20,000 Brands (New Research)

A new study from Buffer and BuzzSumo examined Facebook posts from some 20,000 top brands, and results show posting volume has been up while page engagement has decreased. Buffer

Snapchat launches ad marketplace for Discover partners & brings Commercials to Ads Manager

Snapchat’s Private Marketplace and non-skippable ad options were among several new beta features recently rolled out to publishers. Marketing Land

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

Marketoonist Tom Fishburne ROI of Marketing Cartoon

A lighthearted look at the ROI of marketing by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne – Marketoonist

Anti-Poser CAPTCHA Asks User to Click ‘Every Real Punk Band’ – The Hard Times

TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:

  • TopRank Marketing – Top 10 Content Marketing Blogs on the Internet Today – Blogging.org
  • Lee Odden – 50 Tips for Ad Agency New Business – Michael Gass
  • Lee Odden – Natural Language Generation Accelerates Content Marketing, But Keep Your Hands on the Wheel

    CMSWire

  • Lee Odden – 9 Expert Guides: How to Win at Influencer Marketing – Marx Communications
  • Lee Odden – Main Stage Spotlight Speakers at Pubcon Pro Las Vegas – Pubcon

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

Thanks for reading, and we hope you’ll join us again next week for the latest 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.


Email Newsletter

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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2018. |

Digital Marketing News: Facebook’s Playable Ads & Business Pages Update, Gen Z Mom Trends, & B2B’s Video Uptick | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post Digital Marketing News: Facebook’s Playable Ads & Business Pages Update, Gen Z Mom Trends, & B2B’s Video Uptick appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

How to Build a Resilient Evergreen Content Marketing Forest

Evergreen Content Marketing

Evergreen Content Marketing

Evergreen trees are a symbol of life and renewal because they never lose their leaves; they stay green year-round.

Tell that to anyone who has dragged a Christmas tree to the garbage on New Year’s Day.

The truth is, evergreen trees are part of an ecosystem. When they’re rooted and cared for, they thrive and the whole forest benefits. Cut one down and take it home, and it won’t be green for long.

Evergreen content is the same way. We tend to think of it as stand-alone pieces of content that bring in traffic without any additional effort. Something isolated, set-it-and-forget-it. But if you treat your content that way, it will start dropping needles on the carpet with a quickness.

Here’s how to create, care for, and bolster a thriving content marketing forest with your evergreen content.

[bctt tweet=”Evergreen trees are part of an ecosystem. When they’re rooted and cared for, they thrive and the whole forest benefits. #EvergreenContent is the same way. – @NiteWrites #ContentMarketing” username=”toprank”]

How to Create Evergreen Content

As a famous content marketer (probably Ann Handley) once said:

Some posts are born to greatness; others have greatness thrust upon them.

Some evergreen posts will naturally arise from your content library. However, unlike a viral post, evergreen is something you can actually do on purpose.

Before you start adding to your content calendar, check out analytics and search data to find existing content that reliably gets traffic. You can promote and refresh these posts (more about that later), and you can use them as springboards to generate new content ideas.

Once you find your old-growth evergreens, put some new ones in your content calendar. The following types of post are good candidates for evergreen status:

Influencer Content

When you co-create content with influencers, you’re providing your audience with content that has authority, credibility, insight, and expertise. And that kind of content tends to have enduring interest for an audience – provided the influencer stays influential. 

Read: What is Influencer Marketing? Definitions, Examples, and Resources

In-depth Guides

It’s hard for short content to get attention now – there’s just too much mediocre, shallow content to compete with. But long-form content is having a renaissance. Give your readers something they can really dig into, something that covers everything they need to know about a specific, relevant topic.

How-To Posts

There’s no simpler value proposition than learning how to do something you need to do. Make sure your how-to is simple, direct, easy to follow, and not overly-promotional, and you can create a resource built to last.

Tool Roundups

These posts are both easy to create and incredibly valuable for the reader when done properly. There are hundreds of software tools available for virtually every industry. People need help navigating the landscape. Publish your comprehensive guide to the tools you and your brand find useful, and update it frequently as the landscape changes. Here’s an example of one of our own (recently refreshed) pieces on social media marketing tools.

Example of Refreshed Tools List

History or Timeline Posts

The internet tends to have a short memory. Content that captures the historical context of your industry, or technology that your audience uses at work, is bound to get attention and stay relevant over the years. Just make sure to update your timeline with the latest developments!

How to Promote Evergreen Content

In theory, evergreen content (when crafted with a best-answer mentality) should bring in search traffic without much extra attention on your part. But you shouldn’t settle for search alone. You know the content is resonating with your desired audience, so give it as much of a chance to be seen as possible.

Influencer Promotion

We always ask influencers to amplify content at least once, when it initially goes live. But it’s also okay to check back with influencers and ask them to promote again. There’s always a reason to reach back out: “Your post is almost to 10,000 views!” “We added some stats to your post!” “People have shared your post almost 5,000 times!”

Organic Social

Don’t make your social promotion a one-and-done proposition. Social feeds move so fast, and organic reach is so limited that posting the same content multiple times is practically required. Establish a cadence with unique messaging to consistently promote your evergreen content long-term.

Paid Social

You want to put your best content forward when investing in paid social, so it makes sense to promote content that has proven to have lasting value for your brand and your audience. Promote your evergreen content with ads and test different audiences with each post.

SEO

All content should be created with SEO in mind. But as algorithms and how people search evolves, make your content even more of a search engine magnet by sprucing up your SEO. Make sure your title and tags are optimized, and that your meta description makes a compelling case for clicking through. You can also take a look at competitor content that’s ranking for similar keywords and fill in gaps in your own content.

Newsletter

Email marketing is still one of the most powerful ways to reach an audience. Use your monthly/weekly newsletter to get your evergreen content in front of your most valuable audience – you already know the content is worth their time, so be bold.

How to Keep Content Fresh

Once your evergreen forest is growing and thriving, make sure to keep it up-to-date and relevant. Here are a few ways to keep your content ecosystem healthy.

Don’t Include Dates in Your URLs

Okay, I admit that we break this rule on the TopRank Marketing Blog from time to time. So do as I say, not as I do: Keep your posts timeless by not embedding the date in your file structure. Your how-to guide may still be relevant, but if the URL says 2010, people will be disinclined to read further.

Refresh on the Regular

When you audit evergreen content, look for elements that are no longer adding value for the reader. Trim irrelevant content, update outdated info, and check for dead links. If you have influencer material, make sure their job title and bio are up-to-date as well.

Trim Invasive Species

Odds are there are a few evergreens in your forest that you don’t want around. For example, you might have a post about services your company no longer offers, or on a topic your brand doesn’t want to be known for. If these evergreens are still pulling in traffic, they can hurt your brand’s reputation. Look for posts with high traffic but high bounce rates as well – rework or remove them to improve your search engine credibility.

O, Contentbaum

Let’s be honest: Most content is temporary. No one is digging deep into a blog’s archives looking for content when there’s plenty of new stuff out there. As the content keeps piling up, it’s more and more important for brands to invest in content meant to provide value for months, even years, to come.

[bctt tweet=”As the content keeps piling up, it’s more and more important for brands to invest in content meant to provide value for months, even years, to come. – @NiteWrites #EvergreenContent #ContentMarketing” username=”toprank”]

Start planting your evergreen saplings now, cultivate your forest, and you can make your site a destination for your audience.

How else can you power your evergreen content and overall content marketing strategy? Earning links. Learn how to create link-worthy content and see examples.

The post How to Build a Resilient Evergreen Content Marketing Forest appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Design for Dummies: 5 Tips to Liven Up Your Written Marketing Content

Design Tips for Non-Designers

Marketing Design Tips for Non-Designers

I’m not a designer. I’m not artsy. I didn’t even stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

I’m a writer to the core. But, as much I love words, I recognize that they don’t jump off the screen and grab people’s attention. Let’s face it: even the most beautiful prose is pretty ugly, from an aesthetic standpoint. You’re not going to find a framed portrait of blocky text hanging at the Guggenheim anytime soon.

As a marketer who is admittedly lacking in design skills, I’ve done an awful lot of reading on the subject, and I do my best to soak up knowledge and advice from the awesome group of visual wizards here in the TopRank Marketing design department.

My belief is that any writer who wants their work to be seen should be seeking to sharpen expertise in this area.

Design is Essential to Content Marketing

A compelling and unique graphic on a social media link can be the deciding factor when it comes to earning a click. Once a visitor arrives at a blog post, they’re liable to quickly move on if there isn’t an eye-catching visual to immediately pull them in.

https://giphy.com/embed/5wWf7GR2nhgamhRnEuA

via GIPHY

These statistics help portray the vital importance of keeping design front-and-center:

“Design is content,” asserts Patrick Pineda, motion designer for TopRank Marketing. And he’s right: treating visual elements as separate add-ons for your content is a mistake. Without the help of integrated imagery, great writing can easily go unnoticed.

[bctt tweet=”Treating visual elements as separate add-ons for your content is a mistake. – @NickNelsonMN #ContentMarketing #Design” username=”toprank”]

The trouble, of course, is that your design department may be stretched thin or you need super quick turnaround. And while this is never an ideal scenario, if the need arises, you can create simple, professional-looking visuals that enhance your content by adhering to a few simple guidelines.

1. Find a Tool You Love

The emergence of user-friendly apps for graphic design has been huge for folks like me. No longer must we stare blankly at a Photoshop interface while trying to figure out the functional differences between three different paint-brush icons.

There are plenty of different options out there for executing simple design tasks. Find one you like and take some time to get comfortable with it. These apps are usually free up to some level, and offer efficiencies like drag-and-drop editing and templates.

Here are a few worth trying:

  • Canva: My personal go-to. Tons of templates, backgrounds, and free illustrations you can use.
  • Desygner: Very similar to Canva, with a focus on straightforward ease of use.
  • Piktochart: An intuitive tool for creating infographics.
  • Pixlr: Super helpful for quick photo editing and resizing.
  • PicMonkey: Paid app with robust feature set

Here’s an example of a recent ad template in Canva. It’s sharp and simple, and if the design and dimensions are what you’re looking for, all you need to do is edit the text.

Canva Web Ad Template Example

2. Think About Design at Every Step

Don’t treat visuals as an afterthought. Instead, build them into your content planning. When developing new concepts, think not only, “How can I write about this in a compelling way?” but also, “How can I illustrate these ideas?”

Just as written content should be strategic and purposeful, so too should visual content.

“I always ask: What’s the story? Who’s the audience? Where will my design reside?” says Pineda.

Here’s an example of a pull-quote design template from Canva. Whether you’re conducting an interview or there’s a specific takeaway you want to call out in your writing, consider turning it into a graphic to add a little pizzazz.

Canva Quote Design Template

3. Simplicity is Golden

Our eyeballs are drawn to striking visuals, but they’ll be quickly repelled by overly busy graphics. Focus on conveying the necessary information as clearly and cleanly as possible. Modern design is often defined by its simplicity (think Apple or Nike).

In the words of Antoine de Saint Exupéry:

It seems that perfection is attained not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to remove.

4. Colors Have Feelings

Be thoughtful in your color choices. Not only is it important to stay on-brand, but colors also encompass their own spectrum of emotions. This awesome Color Emotion Guide infographic from Visually offers a framework:

Color Emotion Guide from Visually

5. Get Creative with Fonts and Layouts

The trouble with using free online design apps is that, well, lots of other people use them, too. And when you’re relying on the same default fonts and templates, your productions will inevitably end up looking like much of what’s already out there.

Whenever possible, add unique touches and flares. Maybe your company’s designers are too busy to create graphics for each blog post you write, but can provide a few customized templates or fonts for you to upload and use.

Make sure you’re balancing creativity with readability. Poppy elements to catch the eye are critical, but you always want viewers to easily find and understand the message.

[bctt tweet=”When it comes to designing visual content elements, balance creativity with readability. – @NickNelsonMN #ContentMarketing #Design” username=”toprank”]

An Eye on Better Marketing Design

When I need a high-quality visual asset for a client, our tremendously talented TopRank Marketing design team is always my first stop. But for quick one-off graphics to promote or accompany a blog post, these practices have proven really critical.

The design below took all of 10 minutes to put together in Canva. Honestly, the majority of the time was spent on finding just the right background photo. But, it looks pretty sharp, if I do say so myself.

Design Tips for Non-Designers

If you can find the time, I recommend taking introductory design classes or working alongside your design team to see what you can pick up. Any skills you’re able develop in this regard as a writer will be helpful as we forge ahead into the era of content saturation and shortening attention spans.

Speaking of captivating visual imagery, there may be no more important platform to add some of that wow-factor than on social media. But you have to select the right visual content for the right platform. Learn best practices for choosing effective social media visuals.

The post Design for Dummies: 5 Tips to Liven Up Your Written Marketing Content appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Digital Marketing News: Rewarded Ads, Google’s Podcast Push, SEO’s B2B Power, & YouTube’s Ratio Refinements

2018August3MMAOpenXStudy

Industry Group Finds Consumers Love ‘Rewarded’ Ads: Marketers, Less So

A new collaborative study by the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), OpenX, and MediaMath looks at view-and-reward advertising, rewarded opt-in ad types, and what they may mean for digital marketers going forward. MediaPost

Google Has A Podcast App, But Does It Have A Podcasting Strategy?

Google is expected to increase the prominence of podcasts in all search results, expanding on limited tests it’s done with Android and Google Assistant SERPs. Forbes

Huge chunk of young people believe advertising does not welcome diversity

New survey data examines inclusion and diversity in advertising, and how far the industry may still have to go. Campaign US

LinkedIn overhauls Campaign Manager for marketers managing high-volume accounts

LinkedIn (client) will soon be rolling out a redesigned user interface allowing custom layouts for the most-used metrics, an interface-wide speed boost, and numerous other new Campaign Manager features. Marketing Land

Snapchat ‘Storytellers’ finally pairs creators with advertisers

A new pilot program from Snapchat is looking to court influencers and bring together creators and brands, the latest in a series of moves aimed at bringing Snap greater mainstream adoption. TechCrunch

SEO Crucial for B2B Content Marketing Success: Survey

Search, social, and websites are all ahead of e-mail for initial B2B discoveries, according to results of new study research. Chief Marketer

2018August3StatisticsImage

Apple Maps takes a step in the right direction

With Apple Maps getting a substantial overhaul, can businesses afford to skip marketing on the expanding map service? Search Engine Land

For Better or Worse, YouTube Now Adapts to Multiple Aspect Ratios

YouTube has changed the way it displays videos shot in formats other than the 16:9 ratio. How will the change affect marketers? Gizmodo

Google Marketing Cloud Gets a New Enriching Destination for Content and Analytics

Google has unveiled Marketing Cloud, as DoubleClick, Google Analytics, partnership programs and more are now combined. MarTech Series

As Facebook user and revenue growth slows in Q2, advertisers are still on board

Unphased by recent struggles, advertisers on Facebook continue to spend more than ever. Marketing Land

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

Marketoonist Tom Fishburne Digital Ads Cartoon

A lighthearted look at the future of digital advertising by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne – Marketoonist

The Commodore 64 Mini review – TechRadar

Can you tell a fake laugh from real? – University of California Newsroom

TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:

  • Lee Odden – Natural Language Generation: The Future of Content Management – Fit Small Business
  • Nicole Blake – Intern Spotlight on Nicole Blake: Who She Is, What She’s Learning, and How She Sees the Marketing Industry – TopRank Marketing
  • Lee Odden – Express Writers: Top 100 Content Marketers (2018 Report) – Express Writers
  • Lee Odden – Shane Barker: 56 Influencers Share Their Biggest Mistakes and How to Avoid Them – Shane Barker
  • Lee Odden – Nimble: The Do’s And Don’ts of Winning Influencer Marketing Campaigns (+Infographic) – Nimble

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 latest 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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Digital Marketing News: Rewarded Ads, Google’s Podcast Push, SEO’s B2B Power, & YouTube’s Ratio Refinements | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post Digital Marketing News: Rewarded Ads, Google’s Podcast Push, SEO’s B2B Power, & YouTube’s Ratio Refinements appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

CMWorld Interview: How Tamsen Webster Drives Irresistible Change in Marketing

Few things are more inspiring than the before-and-after weight loss photo: two drastically different figures juxtaposed against one another, usually connected by an impossibly short span of time.

It’s not just the physical transformation that is striking in these portrayals. Even more so, it’s the mental transformation. Something clicked in that person’s head, causing them to fully commit and make the difficult changes necessary to turn their goals into reality. Then, they did it.

Branding expert Tamsen Webster saw this dynamic play out, in various forms, time and time again during her many years as a leader in the Weight Watchers organization. And it’s a big part of what drove her to create Red Thread, a messaging framework focused on tapping into those deep, uniquely human motivations that spark action (or, as she puts it, make inaction impossible).

At Content Marketing World in September, Tamsen will speak about How to Make Your Ideas Irresistible. In anticipation of her session, we chatted with her about uncovering shared values with your audience, eliminating “one-size-fits-most” messaging, and aiming to change perspectives rather than beliefs.

What does your role as Founder and Chief Messaging Strategist at Find the Red Thread entail? What are your main areas of focus and key priorities?

Well, the nice thing about being a solo practice is that it means what I need it to mean at the time! My days are spent in a mix of work with clients, business development, and product/content development – I go where my energy, inspiration, and needs take me.

How would you succinctly describe the “Red Thread Method” and why it makes sense for today’s content marketers?

We can’t change what people do until we change how they see. The Red Thread Method helps you uncover that link for a particular audience and business goal so you can build content and messaging around it.

What did your experience as a Weight Watchers leader teach you about the fundamentals of creating irresistible messaging?

Pretty much everything. I know that sounds like a joke, but it’s not. Week in, week out at Weight Watchers, I saw what did and didn’t move people to make changes – what kinds of information they needed, and in what combination. When I took those lessons and looked at the marketing around me (including marketing I had helped produce!), I realized how often we focused on what we wanted people to do differently more than what they needed to hear to see the differently. Once I started switching my marketing to match the framework of messaging I built for myself at Weight Watchers, lo and behold, I became a much more effective marketer.

How can marketers stop seeing change as a barrier and start seeing it as an opportunity? What’s required to drive this shift in mindset?

That all depends on why they see change as a barrier in the first place. The only thing that will shift that mindset is understanding how it puts both something marketers want and something they believe is in jeopardy. For example, if a marketer wants to be seen as an expert in social channels, they likely see change in those areas as something to be overcome – the constantly shifting landscape makes it impossible to expert in all things all the time. If they also believe, however, that “the only constant is change,” making inaction impossible: they’ll either need to change their goal, their attitude toward change, or how they go about being seen as an expert. The key is always in finding that combination of wants and beliefs that makes inaction impossible.

Some find it counterintuitive that in order to increase your reach and impact, you need to narrow your message. Why is this important in today’s environment?

It’s all about fit for the message. Think about the last time you bought something that was “one size fits all.” Did it fit? Probably yes – you could get into it. Depending on your size it was cavernous, achingly tight, or in the category of “this’ll do.” But did fit like it was yours? Could you identify it blindfolded? Of course not. Now imagine you’ve had something tailored to fit you – like a jacket or a pair of pants. Done well, it should fit like a glove. If you put it on, you’d know instantly that it belonged to you.

Messages operate the same way. We way we want customers to feel a part of the brand. We want them to feel like the brand belongs to them. But then too often we send out “one size fits most” messages… and wonder why we don’t get that sense of belonging that’s a hallmark of great brands.

Your brand is not for everyone. It isn’t. It’s for the people who want something you can help them get, who value the same things you do, and who see the world the same way you do. And that’s not everyone. Full stop.

How do the tenets of giving great presentations and speaking sessions apply to the bigger picture of content marketing?

Any truly great presentation doesn’t just inform and inspire… it implants a new way of seeing. It gives you something that you can’t unhear. Something that creates a permanent shift in thinking, and thus in behavior. Most content marketing doesn’t need to inspire (at least not in the go-climb-a-mountain or be-your-best-self sense), but it does need to create that same shift.

I’ll say it again: you can’t change what people do until you change how they see. There’s no better example than TED Talks that a very short piece of content can do just that. (The longest TED Talks are only about 2500 words – not long!) The more content marketers can adopt those lessons from great talks, the more powerful their messages will be, no matter the subject.

But hear me on this: those lessons aren’t just the surface things like “give it an SEO-friendly title” or “tell a personal story.” Both of those techniques can be helpful.

But the lessons marketers really need to learn are around where the greatest levers in messaging are. And here’s what’s counterintuitive: the most powerful levers at our disposal are the ones that don’t move – people’s wants and beliefs. Yet so much of marketing focuses on trying to get people to want something they don’t actively want or believe something they don’t currently believe. The only things we’re likely to change in the short term are perspectives. And that’s what great talks – and great content in any form – do.

Looking back, is there a particular moment or juncture in your career that you view as transformative? What takeaways could other marketers learn and apply?

It started with a mystery. See, I spent the first 15 years or so of my marketing career working in and with nonprofits. Here in Boston, where I live, those nonprofits share a lot of donors. What was fascinating to me: why would one donor give to so many different organizations? And what tied those different organizations together in the donor’s mind? Was there a pattern I could see?

I wanted to know the answer to that question because, at the time, I was in charge of the fundraising communication strategy at Harvard Medical School – and convincing people to give one of the world’s richest institutions even more money was a none-too-simple challenge. I’ll spare you the whole story, but what I discovered was this: while there wasn’t a usable pattern for why people gave money at all (that could range from self-serving to altruistic), there was something I discovered I could use.

There was a pattern to what kinds of things they gave money to – even across very different nonprofits. There was a pattern to what they wanted to accomplish through their gifts. So, for instance, if someone tended to give money at one institution to solve a specific problem (say, to a hospital help cure cancer), they tended to always give to solve a problem (to a museum to improve access for underserved youth). If they gave at one institution to expand the scope of impact, they tended to always give to expand the scope of impact, etc.

Once I figured that out, it became simply a matter of putting what we did at the Medical School into terms that matched what they were looking for. I could, for instance, take the same need we had at the medical school (say, to fund a new type of high-powered microscope) and frame it through multiple lenses. It could help solve a specific problem (age-related hearing loss), it could help expand scope (because it could help us understand the mechanisms that caused hearing loss), it could improve training of medical students (because they could better see the mechanisms in questions).

The lesson for all marketers is this: what people want tells you what they’re looking for out in the world. Our job isn’t to shift their attention to something new. It’s to show people how we fit in that existing line of vision.

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

Tina Fey, of course. The panel on longform content with Ann Handley, Mitch Joel, and Dorie Clark looks amazing. I’d love to see Brian Massey and his talk on behavioral science talk, since I’m such a junkie for that stuff. Ahava Leibtag’s session on lessons from songwriters is sure to be great, too. I wish I could see Kathy Klotz-Guest – she has such amazing content and I’ve yet to see her speak in person (but she and I are speaking at the same time!). I’m also excited to Nichole Kelly coming back on the speaking scene, and with an important perspective – something she calls “conscious marketing.”

Follow the Thread

We really appreciate Tamsen sharing these thoughtful and substantive responses. Make sure to catch her live on September 6th in Cleveland; although she writes eloquently, there really is no substitute for the energy and passion she brings onstage.

She’ll be joined at CMWorld by dozens of other speakers. You find thought-provoking nuggets from her and many others by exploring the slides below.

These insights probably won’t change your fundamental beliefs… but they just might change your perspective.


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Best Practices for Choosing Effective and Captivating Social Media Visuals

Best Practices for Selecting Social Media Visuals

Best Practices for Selecting Social Media Visuals

For both B2B and B2C brands, social media marketing has become an age-old tactic by now. And it’s no surprise. Despite working 8 hours a day and sleeping (hopefully) 8 hours, the average person still spends nearly two hours each day on social media, according to a study by Mediakix.

But the social media landscape is changing-alot. Organic reach on Facebook is declining with changes to the Newsfeed, some of which are still rolling out. Twitter is struggling to retain their active users. Instagram is experimenting with long-form video content. LinkedIn is also investing in more video.

Given these changes and regular updates, the best practices for each platform are constantly evolving. But what’s one thing that isn’t poised to change anytime soon? The importance of using eye-catching, compelling visual content to draw people in.

Whether it’s YouTube, Snapchat, LinkedIn, or another social media platform, we know audiences consume content on those channels for a significant amount of time-they crave it. And if you want to make a positive impression, you have to go beyond ensuring proper image dimensions. You need make sure you’re sharing the right visual content on the right platform.

To help you paint your content in the best light on social media and help create a positive experience for your audience, we asked our own Social Strategist, Meg McDougall, to share some best practices for selecting the right social images and video for some of the major platforms. Here’s what she had to say.

LinkedIn Social Image and Video Best Practices

Think About Your Audience

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with over 562 million members and growing. But even though LinkedIn has a large audience of professionals, that doesn’t mean they exclusively want to engage in buttoned-up, stiff content.

To make sure your pages, profiles, and articles are interesting and engaging for your audience, you need to know your audience really well. Do they like it when you show a little personality? Do they like more formal language or slang? Take a look at your LinkedIn Company Page analytics to see what types of content and messages your audience is engaging with to come up with a direction for your page.

Take Advantage of Video

Announced in 2017, LinkedIn added the ability for members and brands to create and share video content. This gives content creators, publishers, and brands more opportunities to engage and connect with their audiences. Plus, LinkedIn video has autoplay enabled, making it easy for your audience to watch your content.

Speaking of video, all of your motion graphics should be published as a video .mp4 file, not a .GIF. Many browsers and social media platforms are disabling autoplay for GIFs and are instead converting them into click-to-play videos. Instead of relying on the social platform to convert the GIF for you, take control of how your motion graphic will appear by creating the graphic as a video file from the start.  

Who’s doing it right? GE. Just take a look at one of their most recent posts (below). Their video on GE turbines has received 1,841 likes and 29 comments in less than 24 hours. As of July 10, just four days after posting, that count was up to 3,656 likes and 58 comments. The video also takes advantage of captioning to ensure that even with the audio off, audiences can still engage with and learn from their video.

LinkedIn Video Example From GE

LinkedIn Image Specifications

  • Company Page Direct Uploads: 552 x 368
  • Image Previews From Link Posts: 436 x 228
  • Personal Page Direct Uploads: 1200 x 627
  • Personal Page Cover Photo: 646 x 220
  • Personal Page Image Previews From Link Posts: 520 x 272
  • Article Featured Image: 520 x 272
  • Article Cover Photo: 744 x 400
  • Video: 16:9 or 1:1

Twitter Social Image and Video Best Practices

Keep Site Traffic in Mind

Eighty percent of Twitter’s traffic comes from mobile devices. However, check your audience data in Google Analytics to see if mobile or desktop is your top traffic source for Twitter. Whichever device comes out on top, you should tailor your social imagery accordingly.

Consider the Number of Images

Depending on how many images you upload and attach to a post and which device its viewed on, Twitter will display them in different sizes and orientations. As a result, it’s important to remember how many images you want to share and how they will be seen on mobile versus desktop as they look very different.

Here’s how multiple images look on mobile from Buffer‘s guide to social media image sizes:

Twitter Multiple Images on Mobile

Image credit: Buffer

And here’s how multiple images look on desktop:

Twitter Multiple Images on Desktop

Image credit: Buffer

Stand Out With Something Creative

A single day’s worth of Tweets could fill a 10 million page book-there are a lot of tweets out there that are saturating feeds. Make sure your content stands out with a creative image, graphic, video, or motion graphic.

For example, try making a custom image to add additional context to the image and capture more attention. Tools like Canva or Venngage make those custom images easy-just remember to make them the correct size or your design may get cropped off.

Who’s doing it right? Wendy’s. Already killing the game with their witty brand voice on Twitter, they also make sure they stand out in news feeds with custom images, memes, video, and other media. For example, in the tweet below, Wendy’s makes a timely reference to Avengers: Infinity War while also taking a fun shot at their competition (McDonald’s). The end result is a tweet with viral potential and over 230,000 likes.

Wendy's Custom Image Example on Twitter

Twitter Image Specifications

Mobile Images: 1200 x 675 (16:9)

Mobile Multiple Image Upload

  • One Image, 2:1
  • Two Images, 7:8
  • Three Images, 7:8 & 4:7
  • Four Images, 2:1

Desktop Images: 506 x 506 (1:1)

Desktop Multiple Image Upload

  • Two Images, 252 x 252 (1:1)
  • Three Images, 337 x 337 (1:1)
  • Four Images, 379 x 379 (1:1)

Video: 16:9 or 1:1

Facebook Social Image and Video Best Practices

Keep Videos Short and Sweet

More and more brands are creating more Facebook video as an average of 100 million hours of video are watched each day on the platform. Browsing through your own Facebook accounts, you’ll likely notice videos have taken over. Your eyes might be drawn to a video recipe from Tasty or a video from TechCrunch on the latest technology news.

To create Facebook videos that drive the best results, create videos that are between 60 and 90 seconds long. In a study that analyzed 100 million Facebook videos, Buzzsumo found that videos between 60 and 90 seconds had the most engagement on Facebook.

BuzzSumo Graph on Facebook Video Interactions

Image credit: Buzzsumo

When it comes to Facebook video, it’s also worth noting that 85% of Facebook users watch videos without sound. Any narration or audio you include in the clip might not make it to a majority of your audience. To ensure that your message is communicated to your viewers who prefer silence, add captions or copy onto your Facebook videos. This way both types of viewers get the full impact of your content.

Support Multiple Traffic Objectives With Carousels

Oftentimes, social messages contain one link or call to action (CTA). However, Facebook is changing that with their new carousel page posts that can showcase multiple images, links, and headlines. As a collection of links and images, your Facebook followers can browse through your post to click on the link that’s most relevant to them. This makes carousels a great tool if you have a campaign with multiple landing pages or traffic objectives.

Who’s doing it right? Skype. While carousels make a natural fit for promoting several or even one product, Skype went in a different direction. Instead of promoting one of their software products, Skype is using carousels to share and generate awareness for their work with The Young Actors Project.

Facebook Carousel Post Example From Skype

Facebook Image Specifications

  • Image Uploads: 476-wide
  • Vertical Uploads: 476 x 714
  • Video: 1:1 or 2:3
  • Image Previews From Link Post: 476 x 249
  • Carousel Images: 300 x 300
  • Cover Photo: 820 x 312
  • Link-less Image Ratio (Paid): 16:9 or 9:16
  • Linked Image Ratio (Paid): 1200 x 628

Instagram Social Image and Video Best Practices

Don’t Be a Square

Instagram used to only allow images with a square, 1:1 aspect ratio. However, they now allow for both horizontal and vertical image content. This can be done in regular image uploads, but also in Instagram Stories. So, don’t feel like you have to keep your images in those tight, perfect boxes. Use whatever orientation and ratio works best for the image you want to share. Here’s a great example courtesy of Buffer:

Example of Vertical Content on Instagram

Image credit: Buffer

Drive Conversions With Stories

Instagram has been known to marketers for making it a little harder to share links. On Instagram, URLs and links don’t work in the description of traditional image uploads. As a result, many brands use their profile bio to add in a URL and update it for each campaign.

This is a good workaround, however, it requires a lot of additional clicks and steps from both audiences and social media marketers.

Instagram Stories, however, offer a better solution. Through stories, accounts with over 10,000 followers can attach a link to your post that audiences can visit by swiping up. This makes it easy to drive traffic to your target pages and drive more conversions. Plus, your audience doesn’t have to leave the Instagram platform to view the link-they can stay directly within the Instagram interface.

Don’t have 10,000 followers on Instagram? Getting your account verified will also do the trick.

Who’s doing it right? Apple. Using Instagram Stories to tease their brand videos are captivating and engaging pieces of content. Taking advantage of both image and video, Apple knows how to pull people in and get them invested in a good story. To drive traffic to their objective pages, they’re also utilizing Instagram’s swipe up feature.

Apple Instagram Stories Example

Instagram Image Specifications

  • Square Image Upload: 1080 x 1080
  • Vertical Image Upload: 1080 x 1350
  • Horizontal Image Upload: 1080 x 566
  • Video: 1:1 or 2:3
  • Instagram Story: 1080 x 192

Size Up Your Social Campaigns

Social media is an important piece of any content distribution or promotion strategy. With each platform having a unique voice, purpose, and target audience for your brand, it’s important that you customize your social images and videos for each one. Whether that means customizing the image size, picking individual images for each platform, or creating a special video, the more you tailor your social imagery, the better.

Need help finding the perfect image for your content? Read our guide on how to find and choose dynamic images.If you’re ready to dive into the world of video, make sure you’re creating the right videos with our guide to the different types video for B2B marketing and when to use them.

The post Best Practices for Choosing Effective and Captivating Social Media Visuals appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Digital Marketing News: Smarty-Pants Speakers Drive Voice Search, YouTube’s Rejiggered Hashtags, & Google’s Word Count Wisdom

July 27 2018 TopRank Marketing News Image

July 27 2018 TopRank Marketing News Image

Report: Smart speaker ownership driving voice adoption on smartphones

The popularity of voice search on smartphones has grown in part due to more Americans owning smart speakers, with a new NPR and Edison Research report revealing 18 percent now own so-called smart audio devices. Marketing Land

Report: Facebook takes a back seat to Instagram as ad spend on the Facebook-owned app grows 177%

New research data shows that Instagram had ad spending four times Facebook’s rate year-over-year during the second quarter of 2018, while YouTube’s ad spend was nearly triple that of last year. Marketing Land

Emojis Score With Mobile Users

New study data shows that the use of emojis has resulted in a sizable boost of mobile e-mail open rates, with open rates boosted over 80 percent resulting in 363 percent revenue gains, but are digital marketers convinced? MediaPost

YouTube Shows Searchable Hashtags Above Video Titles

YouTube has begun showing searchable hashtags above the title of each video. The first three hashtags of a video’s description field have gained prominence with the change, offering new opportunities for YouTube marketers looking to optimize video findability. Search Engine Journal

Google: Word Count Isn’t Indicative Of Quality

Google has indicated that written content isn’t ranked solely by word count numbers. Short or not-so-short, good writing is rarely tied to formulaic word counts, Google has hinted. Search Engine Roundtable

Google releases AMP Stories v1.0 with new features, including an ads beta for DFP users

Google has announced new features for developers using its AMP Stories format, including several monetization features and additional metadata attributes targeting digital marketers. Marketing Land

July 27, 2018 Digital Marketing News Statistics Image

Twitter Releases New ‘Playbook for Agencies’ Which Includes a Heap of Twitter Promotion Tips

Twitter has published a new guide offering ad tips and more, in its agency playbook announced this week. The guide’s insight is applicable to a wide swath of digital marketing professionals. Social Media Today

An update to referral source URLs for Google Images

Google announced recently that it will soon implement a new referrer URL specific to Google Images. Digital marketers working with country-specific search queries also get specific new guidelines from Google. Google Webmaster Central

Snapchat beefs up ad targeting in deal with Nielsen

Segmented audience data is finally coming to Snapchat, as the firm recently announced a new partnership with Nielsen that brings some 30,000 segments to marketers using the firm’s newest addition. AdAge

Inside the Mating Rituals of Brands and Online Stars

The New York Times examines influencer morality clauses and the rise of online stars from YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Twitch, and others, with newfound brand credibility often following. The New York Times

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

Marketoonist Tom Fishburne July 27 Cartoon

A lighthearted look at lifestyle brands by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne – Marketoonist

How Kit Kat managed to turn a viral tweet into a branded proposal – SEO Roundtable

This Man Tried to Break the World Record for Paper Airplane Flight – Wired

TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:

  • Lee Odden – Natural Language Generation: The Future of Content Management – e-Spirit
  • Lee Odden – The Top 13 Content Marketing Influencers to follow in 2018 – JBH

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 latest 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.

The post Digital Marketing News: Smarty-Pants Speakers Drive Voice Search, YouTube’s Rejiggered Hashtags, & Google’s Word Count Wisdom appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.