Latest Marketing News

Three Crucial Truths for Engaging Your Audience on Mobile

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 11:30:34 +0000

My eight-year-old son recently asked me why the icons for “phone” look so weird. None of these images look like a phone to him:           Smartphones have already killed payphones and landlines. Now they’re poised to do the same to desktops and laptops. Google is already reporting more mobile searches than [...]

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5 Ways to Level Up Your Content Marketing Maturity

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 11:30:00 +0000

Large or small. Growing or dwindling resources. New or experienced in the content marketing realm. Every organization is at a different stage in their content marketing maturity, looking for innovative and even practical ways to bring their efforts to the next level. But as the old adage goes, you have to walk before you run—and [...]

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How to Get Started with Instagram Ads

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 11:30:18 +0000

Imagine trying to sell Instagram to a venture capitalist back in 2010. “You see, the biggest problem with Facebook and MySpace is that there are too many words. Our social network will be almost entirely pictures. I know, I know, but get this: People will be able to make their pictures look like crappy Polaroids [...]

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Online Marketing News: Generational Video, Facebook Ups the Volume and Hiring an SEO

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 11:30:46 +0000

Infographic: How Gens X, Y and Z Consume Video Content
A new infographic shows how content consumers across generations interact with video content -- unsurprisingly, Gen Z consumes video at a higher frequency than their Gen Y and Gen X counterparts, but the platform and preferred format data may surprise you. AdWeek

Facebook Videos Will Now Play With the Sound on by Default
In contrast with a decision made last year to keep the sound from auto-playing on videos in the News Feed, Facebook has opted to turn the automatic sound back on for videos after rumored pressure from advertisers. User groups have reviewed this favorably, but there is also the option to disable auto-play with sound in your individual settings. AdAge

How to Hire an SEO [Video]
Hiring a good SEO is a daunting task for many -- but Google's Maile Ohye is here to help with some useful tips. First and foremost, SEO isn't black magic. She also points out that an SEO is only as good as the site they have to work with in terms of credibility and content. Google Webmasters

The Impact of Email List Segmentation on Engagement
Personalizing content in your emails by segmentation works, according to a new study from MailChimp. The study saw open rates increase by 14% where segmentation was used, and a whopping 101% increase in click through rate. MarketingProfs

Google Asked to Remove Over a Million Websites for Copyright Infringement
Google's Transparency Report showed that the search engine recently hit a major milestone - they've been asked to remove one million domains from their search results and two billion individual URLs. Some of these are due to copyright infringement or illegal content, but others are due to personal preference of the reporting user. For the latter, Google has the option to deny the request. Search Engine Journal

Get Ready for Pinners to Search Outside the Box
On February 8th, Pinterest announced Pinterest Lens (in Beta): "Pinterest Lens uses people’s mobile cameras to search for ideas using objects they see out in the real world. Just point Lens at a pair of shoes, and tap to see related styles." Pinterest

Facebook’s Rolling Out a New Job Posting Option for Pages
Social Media Today reports: "This week, Facebook has confirmed that this new functionality is being rolled out to all business Pages, starting with North American-based organizations [...] the workflow is fairly straightforward – when you want to advertise an open position, you click on the ‘Create Job’ option, which will be added to the new Page post options buttons." Social Media Today

Mobile makes up 21 pct. of online spending in Q4, as digital commerce reaches $109 billion
ComScore released their 2016 eCommerce spending figures, and the results are in - consumers spent 21% ($22.7 Billion) of total online revenue (109.3 Billion) on mobile. Online revenue still didn't overtake retail during the holiday season, but there's always next year. Marketing Land

What were your top online marketing news stories this week?

We'll be back next week with more online marketing news! In the meantime, keep the conversation going on Twitter @toprank or drop a note in the comments.

The post Online Marketing News: Generational Video, Facebook Ups the Volume and Hiring an SEO appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

Does Your Website Pass the Mobile Test?

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 11:30:07 +0000

It is hard to argue that the adoption of mobile devices hasn’t exploded with popularity. Most searches are being performed on mobile devices, with more searches expected to continue on mobile. Mobile is not only important for organic performance but for conversions from all types of traffic including email and paid channels. It is important [...]

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Influence and The Mighty Impact of Chocolate Chip Cookies

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 11:15:58 +0000

Everyone is influential about something and if you want to be the “best answer” for that thing, then you should really read Mark Schaefer’s new book, Known. Today I’m sharing a very rare thing: a guest post. To celebrate the recent launch of Known, Mark has put together this preview for you. For the past two [...]

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Showing Some Love: 7 Sweet B2C Valentine’s Day Marketing Examples

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 11:30:25 +0000

While Valentine’s Day has been traditionally known as the day couples honor their love and affection for one another, it’s turned into the fourth-largest shopping day of the year with attached and unattached consumers making holiday purchases for the special people in their lives. As a result, smart B2C brands and marketers are upping their [...]

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The Key To Unlocking the ROI of Enterprise Influencer Marketing

Mon, 13 Feb 2017 11:10:27 +0000

Influencer marketing gained substantial attention and momentum amongst marketers in 2016. Judging by the start of this year, it will be an even hotter topic in 2017. But for all the potential of adding influence to the marketing mix, there are also significant challenges. With pure pay-to-play and one-off campaign practices distracting marketers from finding the [...]

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Online Marketing News: Browsers to Buyers, Snapchat’s IPO and Data Studio Connector

Fri, 10 Feb 2017 12:14:38 +0000

How to Convert Mobile Browsers to Buyers [Infographic]
Even though mobile is booming -- creating 60% of online traffic -- we're still only seeing 16% of conversions coming from mobile. Conversions from desktop are typically 50% greater than the few mobile conversions we do see. This infographic shows how to improve mobile conversions through data. MarketingProfs

8 Things Marketers Need to Know About Snapchat's IPO
Last week, Snapchat filed their IPO, releasing more details about their business than ever before. For example, we now know that Snapchat has 158 million daily users, but growth is slowing and the majority of users are 18-34 years old, with use tapering after 25. Ad Age

Data Studio: Search Console Connector
Google announced Wednesday: "Search Console users can now build Data Studio reports to understand how their search traffic changes over time, where traffic is coming from, and what search queries are most likely to drive traffic to their sites. Users can also filter reports for mobile traffic to improve mobile targeting, and to analyze clickthrough rates for various organic search terms." Google

Facebook Now Makes 84% of Its Advertising Revenue From Mobile
Facebook now makes 84% of their ad revenue from Mobile, which is a huge contrast from the 0% they reported in their initial IPO back in 2012. Facebook's YOY revenue in the fourth quarter also grew by 53% -- $8.63 billion -- reporting $26.9 billion in revenue in 2016. AdWeek

Google AMP Adds Source Links, Ups Search
Google is now allowing publishers to share source links in their AMP service (accelerated mobile pages). Alex Fischer, a Google software engineer recently noted: “This feature allows users to use their browser’s native share functionality by long-tapping on the link that is displayed.” MediaPost

51% Haven’t Felt the Effects of Google’s Mobile Interstitials Penalty [POLL]
According to a recent poll from Search Engine Journal, 51% of marketers surveyed hadn't felt the effects of Google's intrusive interstitial penalty -- yet. 6% said they had, and 43% said they weren't sure. These numbers are bound to change shortly as Google conducts a fresh crawl. Search Engine Journal

Instagram’s web footprint surpassed Twitter’s in 2016
Last week, we learned that Twitter finally made an Instagram account. This week, we're learning that Instagram's web footprint -- the number of site's featuring Instagram's posts or widgets -- has surpassed Twitter. Instagram's footprint expanded by 308% in 2016, compared to Twitter's 36%. Marketing Land

Facebook Makes Several Silent Changes To Its Ads Manager
You may not have noticed, as Facebook hasn't officially announced the changes, but they've made several quiet, rather large changes to their advertising platform. For example, they've tweaked their campaign objectives, allowed the use of animated GIFs in video ads, and allowed for date comparison. We are Social Media

What were your top online marketing news stories this week?

We will return next week with more online marketing news! If you have something to share or add, Tweet us at @toprank or leave a comment.

The post Online Marketing News: Browsers to Buyers, Snapchat’s IPO and Data Studio Connector appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

Hot Content Marketing Topics From Top B2B Brands at #B2BMX

Thu, 09 Feb 2017 11:30:16 +0000

B2B Content 2 Conversion 2017

B2B Content 2 Conversion 2017

What makes B2B content marketing hotter than having a conference at a Scottsdale, Arizona resort in February?

How about tips from 10 top B2B brands and industry experts including senior executives from Forrester, Microsoft, Aptos, Lenovo, BrightFunnel, Oracle and Marketo.

In advance of the upcoming B2B Marketing Exchange conference coming up later this month, I reached out to other speakers for practical tips as a preview to their presentations. For fun, I also asked them what their favorite thing is about a February event in Arizona. I know, that's kind of obvious but this willing group shared some interesting answers.

Real Marketing ROI:
"Sales are wonderful. Sales are important. Sales are the lifeblood of any business. But. Really, but. Sales are NOT the alpha and omega of how you demonstrate your worth as a marketer. Really. I can prove it. Please join me Tuesday morning as I walk you through six KPIs you probably haven't thought of that can prove your dollars-and-cents, ROI worth to the CEO. The CFO, even. We're not talking volume metrics like "likes," but real, bottom line marketing value unrelated to selling more stuff (even if you still need to sell stuff)."

Presentation: B2B Content Metrics & KPIs You Can Take To The C-Suite

Best thing about a Winter conference in Arizona:
"I'm not the biggest hot weather fan, so you won't get the expected response. It's picking the brains of all the attendees, of course. I'm an analyst, so always researching. That, and the opportunity to grab a phosphate at my favorite soda fountain in the world, MacAlpines. After all the disruptive tech, it's a visit to the 1940s!"
Rebecca Lieb
Rebecca Lieb, Principal at Conglomotron
@lieblink

Busting ABM Myths:
"ABM. Account. Based. Marketing. It's everywhere, everything, and totally awesome. At least that's what several dozen vendors and agencies would have you think. However, 73% of B2B marketers we surveyed wouldn't agree -- they find ABM "confusing and applied too broadly". And only 1 in 5 believe ABM actually aligns their marketing and sales better.  Join me Wednesday afternoon as I bust a few more ABM myths and talk about one of the biggest overlooked opportunities - using ABM to turn your existing customers into an authentic, active voice for your brand."

Presentation: Customer Advocacy & Account-Based Strategies

Best thing about a Winter conference in Arizona:
"The Wurtz Farm Gourd Festival ...because when I'm out of my gourd, I can always get a new one there."
Laura Ramos
Laura Ramos, Vice President at Forrester
@lauraramos

Analytics into Insight:
"Through tracking the influence of all your marketing and sales touches using a tool that enables multiple attribution models and looking at how each activity moves a segment of buyers through the funnel, you can have a more systematic approach to planning out the ideal customer journey. Basing all of your program decisions on analytics enables you to send the right message, to the right person, at the right time."

Presentation: What To Say Next: How B2B Marketers Can Turn Analytics Into Actionable Buyer Insight

Favorite thing about a Winter conference in Arizona:
"My favorite thing about AZ during any time of year are the cacti! Cactus is my favorite plant and marketing is my favorite thing--so the B2B event is a win-win for me."
Dayna Rothman
Dayna Rothman, VP of Marketing & Sales Development at BrightFunnel
@dayroth

Transformation to Customer Centric Marketing:
"In order to successfully implement new marketing tools and best practices, organizations need to win internal buy-in and drive adoption. Attend this session to learn how Oracle transformed its traditional marketing organization to Modern Marketing to coincide with the company’s shift to the cloud. During the session, you'll discover how this enterprise software company changed its strategy, technology, training and processes that underpinned its transformation. You will also hear how marketing realigned itself with sales and changed its culture from product- to customer-centric."

Presentation: New Approaches To Buyer Centric Marketing

Favorite thing about a Winter conference in Arizona:
"Conference in Arizona in February? Two words: #dryheat : )"
Kelvin Gee
Kelvin Gee, Senior Director of Modern Marketing Business Transformation at Oracle
@kgee

No B.S. Marketing Truth:
"Not only is Jeff going to go into the neuroscience and psychology of how people make decisions and how you can influence them but also some cutting edge research on the customer journey every person is constantly on. He will cut the BS and marketing fluff we so often hear and give you practical ways to get started today.  Not every technology is right for your business and not every marketing team is mature enough to chase the next big thing. So come and get a dose of marketing truth, a better understanding of how important marketing really is, and leave a bit more customer centered than when you walked in."

Presentation: Building A Customer-Centered Content Strategy

Best thing about a Winter conference in Arizona:
"- I might come back to Seattle a darker shade of off-white
- I get to have authentic horchata and tamales
- The incredible smell of creosote in the air, even better if it rains"
Jeff Marcoux
Jeff Marcoux, CMO Leader for Worldwide Enterprise Marketing at Microsoft
@jeffmarcoux

Scalable Deal Enablement:
"When was the last time you sat in on a sales meeting as an observer, as a…fly on the wall? If it’s been more than a couple months, it’s probably been too long. Because odds are, you won’t like what you see when salespeople take control of your message. Too often, they take liberties with your message, butcher your brand and punish prospects with pitiful PowerPoint slides. Eighteen months ago, we decided to take tight control of our message throughout the evaluation stage, and the difference was remarkable. More deals moved more quickly, win rates increased and average selling prices spiked. Join me on Tuesday for an inside look at how we averted “Deal Death by PowerPoint” by designing –and refining – a repeatable, scalable deal enablement process."

Presentation: How Deal Enablement Can Avert Messaging Breakdowns

Best thing about a Winter conference in Arizona:
"The best part about hosting a conference in Scottsdale in February? Driving past all the MLB Spring Training complexes on the way from the airport. Nothing says hope and renewal are around the corner like Spring Training (especially when the weather is 80 degrees and sunny every day!)."
Dave Bruno
Dave Bruno, Marketing Director at Aptos
@davethewavesd

Predictive Lead Gen + Intent Marketing:
"We need to leave our egos at the door. Our customers don't care about us until they are ready. We need to stop pushing what we 'think' they want and wait for them to tell us what they care about."

Presentation: Case Study: How Lenovo Delivers Results Through Predictive-Powered Lead Generation
Presentation: Get Over It…Your Customers Don’t Care About You: Lenovo’s Intent-Driven Digital Marketing

Best thing about a Winter conference in Arizona:
"The chance of snow being 0%."
Michael Ballard
Mike Ballard Senior Manager, Digital Marketing at Lenovo
@mballard5574

Make the Buyer the Hero:
"There’s always a story behind how your buyers get from problem to solution. The trick is in how you make the buyer the hero of the story and empower them to embrace change with your help. Personas can source the narrative that helps you do this really well."

Presentation: How Buyer Personas Power Sustainable Stories That Turn Prospects Into Customers

Favorite thing about a Winter conference in Arizona:
"A short flight to a rockin party to kick off the year seeing old friends and new. And, of course, Mexican food!"
Ardath Albee
Ardath Albee, Principal Analyst at Marketing Interactions
@ardath421

Actionable ABM:
"Attend this fast-paced session to learn how to introduce and implement ABM into your overall marketing strategy. ABM can play nice with inbound and this session will illustrate how to create an actionable plan with scalable programs that drive real results."

Presentation: Secret Sauce For Integrating ABM Into Your Full Marketing Plans

Favorite thing about a Winter conference in Arizona:
"My favorite thing about a February conference in Scottsdale is the chance to wear my cactus shirt."
Heidi Bullock
Heidi Bullock, Group Vice President of Global Marketing at Marketo
@HeidiBullock

Influence Trends & Tactics:
"We live in an age when there is too much content being published and most consumers don't pay attention to the content that actually reaches them. Enter the role of influence in marketing: credible experts that have active networks paying attention. Brands that develop influencer relationships increase trust, content quality, reach and engagement. But how? That's exactly what my presentation, "Influencing the Influencers: Top Trends & Best Practices for B2B Marketers" will provide."

Presentation: Influencing The Influencers: Top Trends & Best Practices For B2B Marketers

Favorite thing about a Winter conference in Arizona:
"The best part of Minnesota Winters is leaving for somewhere warm, so the bar is not too high to be happy at a resort during February in Scottsdale."
Lee Odden
Lee Odden, CEO at TopRank Marketing
@leeodden (hey, that's me!)

If you're wondering how you might learn from this group of marketers and escape whatever the Winter weather is in your area, then be sure to look up the B2B Content2Conversion Conference happening February 20-22 at the Fairmont Princess in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The post Hot Content Marketing Topics From Top B2B Brands at #B2BMX appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

In a Content Marketing Slump? Spice up Your Program with These Tips

Wed, 08 Feb 2017 11:30:32 +0000

How can you turn out haute cuisine content on a fast food production schedule? Your content team—especially if it’s a team of one—can be on the hook for creating a vast quantity of content. Between sales enablement, eBooks, white papers, and blog posts, it can be overwhelming. The temptation to churn out uncreative but passable [...]

The post In a Content Marketing Slump? Spice up Your Program with These Tips appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

SEO Checklist for Content Marketers: 21 Common Mistakes to Avoid

Tue, 07 Feb 2017 11:30:06 +0000

With so much content being created, published and promoted online every second—as well as consumers becoming increasingly self-directed in their quest for answers—competition to capture your audience’s attention has never been more fierce. As a result, quality and strategic SEO has probably never been more important for helping you be the best answer whenever and [...]

The post SEO Checklist for Content Marketers: 21 Common Mistakes to Avoid appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

Social Media Touchdown: How 20 Smart Brands Won the Biggest Content Game of the Year

Mon, 06 Feb 2017 11:30:38 +0000

Yesterday was a huge day for sports fans and brands across the nation. Diehard football fans wait all year for this special game and hope that their team (or at least a team they support) hits the turf for the big game. Let me preface my next statement by saying I mean absolutely no offense [...]

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Online Marketing News: Visual Content Trends, Snapchat QR Codes & LinkedIn Buzzwords

Fri, 03 Feb 2017 11:30:28 +0000

10 Trends Driving Visual Content Marketing in 2017 (Infographic)
AdWeek reports: "53 percent of survey participants said that between 91 and 100 percent of their published content contained visual material, and more than 90 percent are using visual content in at least one-half of their posts." AdWeek

Snapchat QR Codes Can Now Deep Link to Websites
Yes, you read that right -- QR codes are back! Snapchat is now allowing users to send 'Snapcodes' to other users, and outside of the Snapchat network, that lead to whichever web page they'd like. With Instagram overtaking some of Snapchat's user base with their live stories, this is definitely a level up move for the media platform. Snapchat

LinkedIn Reveals the 10 Most Overused Marketing Buzzwords on CVs and Profiles
Are you a guru? Maybe a Ninja? Strategic leader? You may be guilty of overusing buzzwords in your LinkedIn profile. Recently, the platform revealed the 10 most frequently used buzzwords on the platform, including words like strategic, creative, specialised and passionate. The Drum

New Benchmarks from Marketo: How Does Your Organization Measure Up?
Marketo released their 2017 Marketing Benchmark Report for North America, which was a survey of over 1,300 marketers, B2B and B2C. Key takeaways include that 60% of marketers have six or more technologies in their tech stacks, 80% of marketers have nurture campaigns in place and 34% of marketers surveyed are using account based marketing. TopRank Marketing

Why There’s No Perfect Time to Post on Facebook
Studies have shown us one thing in terms of finding the best time to post on Facebook - there is no best time. The time you should post depends on your audience, your message, whether or not your post is paid or organic and frankly, competition in terms of other available content. Buffer

After Five Years of Fighting, Twitter Makes an Instagram Account
Twitter has stopped fighting that loving feeling with Instagram and created their very own account. The Verge reports: "Twitter quietly started an Instagram account this week, using the photo-sharing service to promote itself as a destination for breaking news and important conversations." The Verge

Pinterest Adds Search Ads With Keywords For Shopping Campaigns, Partners With Kenshoo
According to MediaPost: "Pinterest is opening up its search advertising services through partnerships with brands that advertise through Kenshoo's marketing platform. The features are being tested with brands such as Barilla, eBay, Garnier, Target, The Home Depot, and Walgreens." MediaPost

Google Data Studio Removes 5 Free Reports Limitation
Data-loving marketers rejoice! Google has recently opened up the amount of reports a user can generate within its Data Studio. The library of free reporting templates was released last year in conjunction with Google Analytics 360 Suite. Marketing Land

What were your top online marketing news stories this week?

I'll be back next week with more online marketing news. Have something to share? Leave a note in the comments or Tweet to @toprank.

The post Online Marketing News: Visual Content Trends, Snapchat QR Codes & LinkedIn Buzzwords appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

Digital Summit Phoenix – Supercharge Your Content with Influencer Marketing

Thu, 02 Feb 2017 11:00:20 +0000

Let’s just get this first bit out there: Later this month I will be the closing keynote at a conference where Beverly Jackson from MGM is the opening keynote. BAM! Seriously, Beverly is the epitome of “supercharged” and is a can’t miss speaker. On top of that, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak will be keynoting as [...]

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New Benchmarks from Marketo: How Does Your Organization Measure Up?

Wed, 01 Feb 2017 11:30:40 +0000

Digital Marketing Benchmark ReportIf digital marketing were a competitive sport, it would be freestyle swimming. We’re all in our respective lanes, each with different audiences to reach. We all have our own unique set of strategies, and our own budget limitations to work with. We’re all trying to get to our finish line as fast as we can. And we all could benefit from the occasional glance sideways to see what everyone else is doing.

This half-competitive, half-isolated feeling is why marketing benchmarks are so valuable. Benchmarks help us determine if our strategies, investments and results are comparable to our peers. They can reinforce what we’re already doing and provide a road map for the future.

This year, there’s a new player in the benchmark reporting game: The brilliant minds at Marketo. They just released their 2017 Marketing Benchmark Report for North America, and it’s a doozy.

Marketo surveyed over 1,300 marketers, B2B and B2C, to track progress across five different categories.

Here are just a few key takeaways. How does your marketing measure up?

#1: Marketing Organization and Technology

In the 60’s, all you needed for marketing was a drafting table, some guys in suits, and a swimming pool full of martinis. Now marketing is a high-tech venture. At last count, there are nearly 4,000 different martech solutions out there.

How are marketers coping? According to the report, 60% of marketers have six or more technologies in their tech stacks. The top 3% have over 21. Despite the growing size of the stack, 68% of marketers feel the technology in their tech stack integrates well.

It does appear, though, that we need to start thinking more strategically about building out tech stacks. Only 37% say they have a short-term and long-term plan for tech. Nearly as many, 32%, said they had no strategic plan at all. If we want to keep the tech working for us without getting buried by it, we need to use technology strategically.

#2: Implementing Nurture Strategies

Nurturing is the process of building relationships with buyers across multiple channels, guiding them along the buyer’s journey with customized content with a consistent message. According to the report, the vast majority of marketers are running nurture campaigns—80% have campaigns in place.

The biggest challenge for nurturing appears to be content, with 44% citing a difficulty creating enough relevant content. Another content challenge is filling gaps in content. Part of a mature nurturing strategy should be allocating time and resources to finding and filling gaps in your content coverage.

#3: Account-Based Marketing

Strategic account-based marketing (ABM) at scale is a relatively new practice. While businesses have always had a few key accounts they pursued with extra attention and personalized content, new technology makes it easier to personalize and distribute content. There are a few different flavors of ABM, from full personalization aimed at specific accounts and individuals to more generalized efforts aimed at specific segments.

Overall, Marketo reports that 34% of marketers surveyed currently practice ABM. 35% of mid-market businesses have a plan in place, compared to just 29% of enterprise-level businesses.

The top challenge holding back ABM adoption seems to be sales and marketing alignment, with 24% of marketers citing it as a chief concern. To fully reap the benefits of ABM, marketers will have to become more invested in the entire sales cycle, partnering with the sales team through the purchase and beyond.

#4: Social Media Ads

The conversion of social media from an organic to a paid strategy has been rocky for many marketers. Many of us are still holding out hope that we can reach our Facebook audience without investing in ads. After all, they opted in to follow your page, right? Why shouldn’t they see your messages?

Sadly, social media is largely pay-to-play now, and marketers are lagging a bit in adjusting to the new scheme. Only 26% of respondents said they spend more than 25% of their budget on social media. But that number is bound to increase as social media sites offer more options and more robust measurement and targeting tools.

#5: Measurement

One of the biggest challenges of modern marketing is proving ROI. As channels proliferate and the buyer’s journey gets ever more tangled, proper attribution gets tricky.

That explains why less than half of the marketers surveyed said they were currently measuring revenue (44%), as opposed to 55% measuring “opportunities created.” ROI ranked #7 on the list of marketers’ priorities, trailing CTR and number of clicks.

To reach marketing maturity, we have to solve the ROI conundrum—we need to know exactly how much our efforts are worth to the company and be ready to prove it.

Just Keep Swimming, Just Keep Swimming

If you have had your head in the water for a while, it's worth taking a breath and having a look at your colleagues in the pool. The stats in this article are a good start, but they're just a small sampling of what you’ll find in the full report.

Check out the full 2017 Marketing Benchmark Report from Marketo.

Learn how TopRank Marketing can help track and improve your results with analytics & conversion optimization services.

The post New Benchmarks from Marketo: How Does Your Organization Measure Up? appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

The New Face of LinkedIn: What You Need to Know About the Redesign

Tue, 31 Jan 2017 11:30:34 +0000

 Even the most starched-shirt professional can use a new look every now and then. Skinny and wide neckties go in and out of fashion. Hemlines trend up and down. You can be fashionable and professional at the same time. All of which to say, LinkedIn has started to roll out a substantial redesign. Not everyone [...]

The post The New Face of LinkedIn: What You Need to Know About the Redesign appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

5 Common Challenges All Digital Marketers Face & How to Own Them

Mon, 30 Jan 2017 11:30:04 +0000

Big or small, B2B or B2C there are a core set of challenges that all marketers face. The extremity of these challenges will vary from brand to brand and person to person but undoubtedly exist within every organization. Within the last few years alone, it now takes 52% more touches to close a deal than [...]

The post 5 Common Challenges All Digital Marketers Face & How to Own Them appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

Online Marketing News: The New Influence, Facebook Trend Overhaul, Snapchat TV Style

Fri, 27 Jan 2017 11:30:34 +0000

The Future of Influencer Marketing Research Report 2017
TopRank Marketing and Traackr, in partnership with Altimeter, released a brand new report this week. The goal of this report was to clarify the definition and meaning of influencer marketing and provide solid future direction to influencer marketing programs through research. For example, 71% of marketers said their influencer marketing programs are strategic or highly strategic, but account for less than 10% of total marketing budget. As Lee said in his blog post: "Clearly, enterprise companies need to put their money where their strategy is." Online Marketing Blog.

Facebook Overhauls Trending and Will Now Show the Same Topics to Everyone
Facebook announced on Wednesday that it won't be personalizing their list of trending topics going forward, meaning that everybody will see the same stories in Facebook's Trending section without consideration given to location. This is done in an effort to help users avoid missing important news. Entrepreneur

Snapchat Offers to Bill Brands for Ads Based on TV-Style Ratings From Nielsen
Ad Age reports: "On Tuesday, [Snapchat] confirmed it would let brands plan and pay for ad campaigns using Nielsen's digital ratings. It's a small tweak to the ad offering, but comes as Snapchat looks to show that its ads are on par with its digital rivals and traditional television." Ad Age

Google Developing Robust Mobile Analytics for YouTube
Google is developing a cloud-based measurement solution for YouTube, emphasizing more detailed, cross-device analytics. This means advertisers will now have more detailed insights across devices. Additionally, YouTube will be able to use Google account activity data to influence which users see which ads, and will be enabling YouTube customer match. SocialTimes

Instagram Confirms Live-Streaming Coming to All Users This Week
On Tuesday, Instagram confirmed that their new live-streaming option will roll out this week. According to Instagram, they're "excited to share that live video on Instagram Stories — a new way to connect with your friends and followers right now — will be rolling out to our entire global community over the next week." Social Media Today

Who Searches on Bing, and Why They're Important for Marketers [Infographic]
Bing has grown a great deal since their debut in 2009 -- the Bing Network powers searches on Yahoo, Amazon and others. But who is using the Bing network, and why should Marketers care? This infographic gives more details. MarketingProfs

Publishers Made Only 14 Percent of Revenue from Distributed Content
A new report from Digital Content Next, the premium publishers’ trade group, shows that publishers are only making 14 percent of their revenue from distributing their content on third party platforms like Facebook, Snapchat, Google AMP and more. Digiday

Google’s 2016 Bad Ads Report: 1.7 Billion Ads Removed, Including Fake News Ads
Search Engine Land reports: "In its annual Bad Ads report, Google says it took down more than double the number of ads in 2016 that it did in 2015 by removing 1.7 billion ads, compared to the 780 million removed in 2015." Search Engine Land

What were your top online marketing news stories this week?

We'll be back next week with more marketing news. If you have something to share, please do so in the comments or Tweet to @toprank.

The post Online Marketing News: The New Influence, Facebook Trend Overhaul, Snapchat TV Style appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

Influence 2.0 – The Future of Influencer Marketing Research Report 2017

Thu, 26 Jan 2017 14:00:59 +0000

Future of Influencer Marketing

influencer marketing 2.0
What does “influencer marketing” mean to you?

Are you thinking of celebrities posting product photos to Instagram? Or having a famous YouTuber run a contest for a meet and greet at an event? Why not send products to bloggers in the hopes that they’ll do a review and say nice things?

Surely that’s not all enterprise marketers think of when it comes to the possible outcomes with influencer relationships.

The promise of brands collaborating or outright paying influential individuals to create content that lifts the brand’s credibility and reach to sell more products is something that companies of all sizes have been hot on - especially in the past 12 months.

With a groundswell of interest, there are many divergent interpretations of what influencer marketing really means.

With so many different opinions, best practices and even definitions, my agency TopRank Marketing, set out with influencer marketing platform Traackr to bring clarity and future direction by conducting research into the practice for large, enterprise organizations.

We also engaged my pal and respected futurist, author and analyst, Brian Solis of Altimeter Group to conduct an analysis of that research and write a report outlining what is working, what isn’t and future trends.

Download the Influencer Marketing Report
The result is something I am very proud to be a part of.  Influence 2.0: The Future of Influencer Marketing.

In this elegantly designed report, Brian outlines an argument for evolving influencer marketing to influencer relations, or Influence 2.0.  Brands need to evolve their view of influencer marketing from short term transactional engagements to a more strategic and holistic view that emphasizes long term influencer relationships.

He also discusses the digital transformation of marketing, the importance for brands to humanize their marketing and the role of influence with customer experience. Of course he covers the role of content within influencer marketing and makes predictions for the future too.

While this report is geared towards senior enterprise level marketers, it also includes 10 steps for setting the foundation of an Influence 2.0 approach that I think practitioners at companies of all sizes will find valuable.

The icing on the cake to this report are the quotes and case studies from marketing influencers, many of which are clients of our agency, that I respect greatly including: Ted Rubin, Amanda Duncan (Microsoft), Dr. Konstanze Brown (Dell), Amisha Gandhi (SAP), Ann Handley (MarketingProfs), Jon Miller (Engagio), Jason Miller (LinkedIn) and more.

Working on this project with the teams at Traackr and Altimeter has been an incredibly satisfying journey as we surveyed over 100 enterprise level marketers and brand strategists from companies including Microsoft, American Express and 3M.

What we found is compelling and cause for even more optimism around influencer marketing - especially for those brands that approach the practice strategically, holistically and with the right resources.

Here are 7 of the key trends in the report that will help point marketers in the right direction for realizing true ROI and business impact in 2017

1. 71% of marketers say their influencer marketing programs are strategic or highly strategic. 

At the same time, on average, enterprise companies are allocating only a 10% share of marketing budget to influencer marketing. In fact, 50% of the CMOs we surveyed allocate less than $100,000 annually.

Clearly, enterprise companies need to put their money where their strategy is.

The good news is that 55% of marketers surveyed plan to spend more on influencer marketing in the coming year and for those that spend more than $250,000 annually, that number jumps to 67% and even higher to 77% for those brands using influencer marketing technology.

2. 67% of marketers want to drive lead generation through the use of influencer marketing. 

Beyond improving brand advocacy, awareness and reaching new audiences, the majority of marketers are also focused on improving leads and sales conversion (74%) as a result of working with industry influencers. Thinking holistically, influence plays a role throughout the customer lifecycle and in all relationship-drive brand communications. The movement towards brands incorporating influencers in content beyond marketing to sales, customer service, recruiting and PR is gaining momentum.

Influencer Marketing Goals

3. 80% of marketers rate content marketing as most impacted by influencer marketing. 

In discussions about the ROI of brand relationships with influencers, there's simply no better match than content collaboration for creating measurable, impactful business outcomes. The research supports this with content being rated highest in impact from influencer marketing along with social media marketing and media relations.

4. 43% of marketers are experimenting with influencer marketing. 

It is still early days for influencer marketing within companies with such a large number still experimenting. 28% of marketers rate the maturity of their influencer marketing program as campaign driven and 24% are implementing ongoing programs. As brands mature their ability and relationships with influencer marketing, I think the trend will change significantly towards the majority of companies implementing always on, ongoing programs.

5. 48% of B2C influencer marketing programs are ongoing. 

This is in contrast to only 11% of B2B companies running ongoing influencer marketing programs. With 80% of marketers rating content so important in terms of influencer marketing impact and the importance of content for longer B2B sales journeys, I think we'll see explosive growth of ongoing programs in the B2B space.

6. Marketing owns influencer marketing (70%) but PR engages with influencers most often (70%). 

There is, what seems, an eternal battle between who owns influencer marketing and rather than a turf war, I think what we'll see more of is convergence between marketing and PR. The same influencers could be engaged by multiple departments within an organization beyond marketing and PR, so a more holistic and strategic view along with the right technology for management of those influencer relationships will be essential.

7. 57% of marketers say influencer marketing will be integrated in all marketing activities in the next 3 years. 

Currently, only 5% of marketers rate the maturity of their influencer marketing program as integrated, so the forward looking optimism for the next 3 years towards integration should be a strong signal for the direction influencer marketing is going.

In the Influence 2.0 model, influencers can play a role in each moment of truth during the customer journey through content, engagement and community. A strategic and always on approach to influence enables true customer centricity by placing customer experience at the center of an enterprise business strategy. It is by engaging influencers in authentic, long-term relationships and creating value within the relationships between influencers and their communities, that CMOs can impact sales, satisfaction, retention and overall customer experience. This report dives deep into each of these areas and represents a real evolution of the influencer marketing practice. 

A big thanks to Delphine Reynaud and the team at Traackr for all their hard work on this research project and report from the planning to the initial analysis to the beautiful design. Also, a big thanks goes to Brian Solis for his insight and intelligence around the future of influencer relations - Influence 2.0.

You can download the full Influence 2.0: The Future of Influencer Marketing report here.

If you need help developing your influencer marketing strategy, finding the right influencers and integrating influencers with your digital marketing mix, check out TopRank Marketing influencer and content marketing services here.

The post Influence 2.0 – The Future of Influencer Marketing Research Report 2017 appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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