Latest Marketing News

5 Awesome Takeaways from HubSpot’s State of Inbound 2016 Report

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 10:30:24 +0000

Today’s consumers are much more self-directed in their buying habits, leveraging the internet and mobile technologies to research, review, interact and buy the products and services they need or want. As a result, many brands and marketers are shifting their marketing tactics to join consumers on their buying journey, rather than interrupting their day with [...]

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Online Marketing News: Emotional Connections, Twitter Goes Long & Better Ad Coalition

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 10:30:25 +0000


How Emotional Connection Increases Customer Satisfaction [Infographic]
Did you know that customers with a higher degree of emotional connection have a higher lifetime value than those that aren't? And 50% of a person's perception of an experience is based on emotions? This infographic and supporting statistics help to illustrate the need for marketing messages that truly resonate with your market. ClickZ

Marketers Rejoice: Twitter No Longer Counts Photos, GIFs, Videos Toward 140-Character Limit
It's official as of Monday, September 19th -- Twitter is no longer counting images, gifs, or videos in their 140 character count. This is a big break for social marketers. What's next for the platform? Eliminating @handles from the character count as well. This change is slowly rolling out to all users but isn't official platform wide. AdWeek

Google, Facebook, IAB & major brands form Coalition for Better Ads
The consumers have spoken via ad blockers -- they don't want to deal with irrelevant content in ads. To create the standards for good advertising, companies like Google, Facebook, Unilever and more joined forces with the IAB, the 4As and others to form The Coalition for Better Ads. Their top tasks are to create data-driven, consumer based ad standards, deploy technology to implement those standards and encourage awareness and adoption. Marketing Land

Email Open Rates on Mobile Devices by Industry, 2Q16
58% of marketing emails were opened on mobile devices (45% smartphones, 13% tablets) in Q2 of 2016. That's a 14% increase from the previous year. However, even though only 42% of emails were opened on desktop, desktop-opened emails accounted for 49% of email-generated revenue. MarketingProfs

Instagram Officially Rolling Out Save Draft Feature
There is more great news this week for social media marketers -- Instagram is now allowing users to save drafts of their posts when they aren't quite ready to click the go button. Users can save drafts by clicking the back arrow at the top left of their screen during the filtering and editing steps and selecting 'save draft' at the bottom of their screen. SocialTimes


YouTube Gets Its Own Social Network with the Launch of YouTube Community
TechCrunch reports: YouTube announced "the launch of YouTube Community, which allows video creators to better engage viewers using text, GIFs, images and more. The goal with the new features is to help keep creators from departing to competing platforms by offering more tools for connecting with their audience, beyond the videos themselves." TechCrunch

Everything you need to know about Google’s ‘Possum’ algorithm update
Google has made recent updates that have the SEO community on high alert. Search Engine Land reports: "All the evidence seems to indicate this particular update only impacted ranking in the 3-pack and Local Finder (AKA the local results or Google Maps results). There is talk of another update that happened right after, which impacted organic results." Search Engine Land

Brands have started using Twitter's latest customer service tools
Many brands are no stranger to using social media, Twitter in particular, for providing customer service. Recently Twitter has released a new feature, already being used by brands like Delta and T-Mobile, that tells users by a showing users a “Provides Support” button that they can click or tap to start a conversation. Digiday

What were your top news stories this week?

I'll be back next week with more online marketing news. Can't wait a whole week? Follow @toprank to get your news fix early.

The post Online Marketing News: Emotional Connections, Twitter Goes Long & Better Ad Coalition appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

Avoid Content Ennui: 10 Creative Blog Types to Serve Your Audience

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 10:30:06 +0000

When it comes to blog content, a lot of us are serving breakfast when we should be serving dinner. Let me explain. Odds are you have a go-to breakfast that you eat nearly every day. A bowl of cereal with a banana, some oatmeal with maple syrup, a haunch of beef seasoned with the tears [...]

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Where to Learn About Influencer Content Marketing in Europe & the U.S.

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 09:49:37 +0000

As a fast growing content marketing agency, especially when it comes to working with influencers, TopRank Marketing has experienced great growth this year working with new clients in the U.S. and abroad. To continue building awareness of the great work my team has been doing and to share the insights I’ve learned as an active [...]

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How Social Do Senior Marketing Executives Need To Be?

Tue, 20 Sep 2016 10:00:09 +0000

Explosive growth of social networks has attracted considerable attention to CEO and executive use of social media. Optimism about executive social media impact has been fueled in part by studies like the BRANDfog survey, which reports executive social participation leads to better leadership, creates more brand transparency and helps build better connections with customers, employees, [...]

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A Fresh Start: Learn How to Put Your Social Media Strategy on A Paleo Diet

Mon, 19 Sep 2016 10:30:59 +0000

From the rise of Snapchat to the debut of Instagram stories to changes in Facebook’s News Feed algorithm, the social media landscape is constantly changing—giving us marketers more than enough “new” to snack on each week. But sometimes we bite off a little more than we can chew, thinking that a healthy social media strategy [...]

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Online Marketing News: Social Changing SEO, Science of Content, Facebook Live on Desktop

Fri, 16 Sep 2016 10:30:45 +0000



How Mobile, Voice & Social Are Changing SEO [Infographic]
With SEO being a growing area of investment and interest for digital marketers, we tend to keep a very close eye on any changes that may affect organic search visibility. So how are mobile, voice and social changing SEO? HubSpot's latest infographic, based on their State of Inbound Marketing report, has the details. HubSpot

The Science of Content: TFM Research Report On Content Across 10 Industries
Technology for Marketing just released a new study of content that resonates across 10 different industries. The report found, among other things, that understanding your specific industry and audience is the key to successful content. This means knowing what type of content they like best, the best time to post, and even what headline words will get their attention. Buzzsumo

Is Facebook Live Coming Soon to Desktop?
What originally rolled out for only mobile may now slowly be rolling out for Desktop -- Facebook Live. Users have reported the added functionality this week, with the biggest reported difference being the addition of a comment bar for the broadcaster. It was also reported that screen sharing wasn't available but the interface resembled a Google Hangout. Search Engine Journal

Twitter's new, longer tweets are coming September 19th
Social media marketers, rejoice! The Verge reports that Twitter's long rumored exclusion of links and images from their character counts is happening on Monday. This will also include videos and user polls along with user names at the beginning of replies. The Verge

A Snapshot of the World's Ad Spend
Direct Marketing News reports: "Global advertising spend is projected to reach $548.2 billion by the end of this year—a 4.4% (or $23 billion) increase compared to 2015, according to a recent report by Carat. The global media network expects this figure to rise to $570.4 billion (a 4% year-on-year increase) in 2017." Direct Marketing News

Which Marketing Channels Have the Best ROI Measurability?
Marketing executives surveyed by Millward Brown are saying that two marketing channels are easiest to measure in terms of ROI -- email and search, with online ads coming in third. MarketingProfs also reports that nearly "74% of executives say they would increase spend on digital channels if it were easier to track ROI; 71% say they would increase cross-channel spend if ROI measurement were easier." MarketingProfs


Ad Tech Companies Are Testing New Formats Like Virtual Reality and 360 Video
Brands like Jack in the Box, AOL, The New York Times and Vice are experimenting with virtual reality, and are reportedly happy with the results they're seeing. With video becoming increasingly effective as a tool for marketers, 360 video and virtual reality are adding a new, immersive dimension that may prove to captivate viewers in new ways. AdWeek

Many Visitors Abandon Mobile Sites If Load Time Tops 3 Seconds
MediaPost reports: "Google's latest study — The Need for Mobile Speed — found 53% of mobile site visits are abandoned if pages take longer than 3 seconds to load. One out of two people expect a page to load in less than 2 seconds. The data is based on analysis of more than 10,000 mobile Web domains." Is your website up to speed? MediaPost

Snapchat Has Nearly All the 18-to-25-Year-Olds It Will Get, but Older Users Still Joining
Smartphone users are spending 87% of their screen time in mobile apps. While there are some apps that are used the most frequently, like Facebook and Pandora, Snapchat has seen the most growth with up to 55% of users app time, beating out Pinterest for the number 13 spot. While the Millennial market may be fully saturated, ComScore indicated they still have a large opportunity with the 35 and older market. Ad Age

What were your top online marketing news stories this week? 

I'll be back with more news next week! Have something to share? Share your thoughts with me in the comments or tweet them to @toprank!

The post Online Marketing News: Social Changing SEO, Science of Content, Facebook Live on Desktop appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

How to Win Social Friends & Influence Your Customers @LeeOdden Keynote

Thu, 15 Sep 2016 10:30:23 +0000

How to Win Social Friends and Influence Your Customers

How to Win Social Friends and Influence Your Customers

In his keynote at the Social Media Rockstar event yesterday, TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden opened with a heartwarming story about building influence.

For anyone who doesn’t think that building influence is something they can do, this story is a must hear (or in this case, read).

The story is about a fifth grader named Sam. Sam is an influencer. An aspiring author, Sam decided to write a book and include some of his classmates as characters. To make editing and collaboration easy, Sam wrote his book on Google Drive and shared it with his classmates, asking them to review and make edits. This small ask quickly became a competition in his classroom to be included in the story and to be involved in the project. Sam become the center of attention. Sam become influential.

What made Sam influential wasn't money or authority. Sam created a space where his classmates could collaborate and be recognized, either as characters or collaborators. By showcasing his classmates and collaborating with them, Sam helped them get attention and a small degree of their own influence. In doing so, it made Sam more influential himself.

This is a case where one of my favorite quotes from Lee rings loud and true:

Everyone is influential about something.

Lee Odden

Lee pointed out that in an an age where marketers are creating more content and consumers are overwhelmed with information, those who build influence will stand out. Social networks enable people to share their interests and passions, create content and connect with like-minded people to form communities. Brands that share values with those communities can tap their collective influence by collaborating with members to co-create content.

Partnering with social influencers, famous and niche, is great exposure opportunity for those participating. There's also a lot of value from a marketing perspective. Here are a few statistics Lee shared in the presentation:

  • $9.60 earned media value for every dollar spent is what a Burst Media study reported about working with influencers.
  • 82% of customers were highly likely to follow recommendations from social influencers about products or services according to a study by the Wharton School.
  • Programs including influencers experienced a 10X increase in conversion rates according to a study reported by Content Marketing Institute.
  • A 37% higher retention rate with customers acquired though social influencer programs was reported in a McKinsey study.

Why Should Brands Include Influencers in Content Marketing?

TopRank Marketing defines influencer marketing with a strong focus on content:

The practice of developing relationships with connected internal and industry experts to co-create content of mutual value to achieve measurable business goals.

Including influencers as collaborators in your content marketing programs has multiple benefits:

  • Authenticity: From “real people”
  • Quality: That taps into expertise of others
  • Variety: More quality content (and often more quantity)
  • Engagement: From both your customers and the influencers
  • Reach: Participation in co-creation inspires action
  • Scale: Content creation is distributed beyond your own team
  • Measurable Results: You can track and measure the impact

Lee shared several useful examples of brands that enable their customers to share their own content on the brand's website including #becharming from Pandora MOA and #MyMinnetonka from Minnetonka Moccasin. By doing so, these brands create an opportunity to involve influential customers to share as well as helping customers grow their own influence through exposure on the brand website.

5 Steps to Social Influence with Content

Successful influencer marketing requires time, and process. Working with brands like LinkedIn, Dell, and recently signed BMC Software, TopRank Marketing has developed some pretty solid processes around influencer content engagement. These five steps can help you develop a content-centric influencer marketing program that is valuable to your brand, the influencers and your customers.

Step 1: Story Planning – Look at your content calendar and determine what topics or themes are a part of your current focus. Then, map topics to your content plan and determine where incorporating influencers could have a positive impact.

Step 2: Activate Content Participants – Identify who you would like to participate by using a combination of tools like BuzzSumo, Onalytica or Traackr. Then, include your identified influencers on a list of top influencers, or simply quote them in an article. Also, make sure that you’re following and engaging with them both online and offline.

Step 3: Co-Create Content – Your options for including influencers in your content are nearly limitless. Below are some options for the type of content that you can create.


Step 4: Amplify Content – Once the content is created then it’s time to promote. Content can be promoted on social media, through email, cross-posting (on your blog), optimized for target keywords and sent to influencers for amplification.

Step 5: Measure & Optimize Performance – For each stage of the sales cycle, it’s important to have a different way of measuring success. Below are the metrics that can be tracked as part of an influencer marketing program:


Are You Prepared to Make Your Brand More Influential?

While there are clearly many benefits to working with influencers as part of your marketing strategy, it doesn’t happen overnight. However, if you work hard to identify the RIGHT influencers, set clear EXPECTATIONS and use the right TOOLS and RESOURCES, you are on the path to success.

If You Want Your Marketing to Be Great, Ask Social Influencers to Participate.

Social Influencer Content Takeaways:

  1. Identify & qualify collaborators: internally, externally. Challenge them with goals & reward with recognition.
  2. Set clear expectations: for your content and for contributors. Identify KPIs to monitor progress towards business outcomes.
  3. Find the right tools & resources: Strategy, influencer discovery & management, analytics, optimization.

Disclosure: Pandora MOA and Traackr are TopRank Marketing clients.

The post How to Win Social Friends & Influence Your Customers @LeeOdden Keynote appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

The 4 Essential Questions Your Content Must Answer in Less than 15 Seconds

Wed, 14 Sep 2016 10:30:12 +0000

A rodeo cowboy gets eight seconds to become a champion. What can content marketers do with nearly twice that time? HubSpot reports it takes less than 15 seconds for a reader to decide whether or not content is worth the effort. Think about that: In half of the Jeopardy theme, your reader’s mind is already made [...]

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Find the Bright Side: 6 Things Brands Should Do in Light of New Facebook Page Layout

Tue, 13 Sep 2016 10:30:17 +0000

The summer of 2016 has been a little rough for businesses, brands and marketers that use Facebook as an important part of their marketing mix. Not only did Facebook implement a new News Feed algorithm that favors content from users’ friends and family, but just over a month ago they rolled out a new desktop [...]

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Top Takeaways & Words of Wisdom From Content Marketing World 2016

Mon, 12 Sep 2016 19:46:20 +0000


Last week, over four thousand marketers gathered together to immerse themselves in the world of content marketing. The 2016 Content Marketing World conference was filled with insights from some of the top content marketers on the globe and offered two days filled with education and networking. In just a few short days, attendees (and even those that weren't able to attend) began sharing their experience on social networks. In fact, last week alone there were 45,000+ posts on social networks by over 10,000 users with estimated impressions of almost 4M.

We were happy to be among those in attendance that buckled up for the ride that is Content Marketing World. Along with myself, TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden and President Susan Misukanis also attended as representatives of TopRank Marketing. We accomplished a lot over those couple of days including two presentations from Lee on how to optimize the ROI of your content agency investment and insights into how B2B executives can strategize in a world of content, publishing session live blogs (included below), meeting with clients, networking and forming partnerships with other like minded marketers.

If you weren’t able to attend this mecca of content marketing, don’t worry! We’ve complied some of the top insights from our favorite sessions as well as some of our favorite quotes and insights from top speakers.

Top Content Marketing World Takeaways

How to Scale Influencer Marketing microsoft-influencer-marketing

Influencer marketing has proven to be a very effective way for brands large and small to build credibility and trust with their audience. However, many influencer marketing programs fail before they even get off the ground.

In their presentation, Traackr CEO Pierre-Loïc Assayag and Microsoft’s Amanda Duncan and Eve Psalti answered some of the most pressing questions many brands have about how to create a scale a successful influencer marketing program. 

For more details on how to make influencer marketing work for you, read: The Microsoft Factor: Scaling Influencer Marketing to Transform a Global Brand

Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Content Marketing Agency?


Working with an agency that specializes in content marketing can provide brands with a more strategic and scalable marketing program that leverages expertise and additional resources that specialize in content. In his presentation at Content Marketing World, TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden shared insights to help brands get a maximum return on their investment with content agencies.

For tips on how to get the most out of your content marketing agency investment, read: Learn How to Optimize Your Content Marketing Agency Investment

How to Provide More Value with Email Marketing mathew-sweezey-salesforce

Today’s customers are busy, savvy and frustrated. But why? They’ve taken on too much and are looking for ways to improve their own efficiency, old email marketing tricks no longer have an impact and they’re tired of receiving pitch after pitch that doesn’t add value. However, email marketing is just as important (and effective) now as it has ever been, especially when it’s integrated with marketing automation. In his session, Mathew Sweezey of Salesforce covered the in’s and out's of the current state of email, and how to be more effective with your email efforts.

To learn more read: 6 Ways to Improve the Value of Your Email

Creating An Integrated & Authentic Influencer Marketing Program


Dell’s Shelley Ryan and Lauren Mauro are no strangers to the world of influencer marketing. In fact, it’s something they were doing long before it had a name. Through their influencer marketing journey they’ve learned how to navigate an often complex strategy in a way that works well for their brand.

In their session, they focused on Dell’s influencer marketing point of view, real examples and their own journey with influencer marketing.

To see how Dell has successfully implemented a robust influencer marketing strategy read: How Dell Approaches Integrated & Authentic Influencer Marketing

Build Momentum with Content Marketing tami-cannizzaro-cmworld-2016

Marketers around the globe are faced with the fact that they simply don’t have a captive audience. Consumers have tuned out advertising and traditional marketing tactics, leaving many marketers searching for a solution. To help marketers make the shift, Tami Cannizzaro of Oracle offered helpful tips to help brands build earned authority with their target audience.

To find out how to build this authority, read: How to Build MOmentum For Your Brands Around the World Through Content Marketing

BONUS: 50 Top Content Marketing Influencers #CMWorld 2016

Content Marketing Influencers 2016

In all, there were over 150 speakers that presented at Content Marketing World. Preparing for an event of that magnitude takes hours of research, planning and practicing to live up to what is expected of speakers of this caliber. To shine a light on those speakers that are not only working hard, but have built credibility with their audience, Lee put together this great list of the top 50 influencers that were speaking at this year's conference.

To see who made the list, read: 50 Top Content Marketing Influencers #CMWorld 2016

Snackable & Inspirational Speaker Quotes From #CMWorld

With all the information presented at conferences like Content Marketing World, it can sometimes be hard to pick out the best nuggets of wisdom to apply to your own marketing. To make that a little easier for you, I've collected some of my favorite speaker quotes from the conference shared by the #CMWorld community on Twitter.

"Mediocre content will hurt your brand more than doing nothing at all." Preach, @JoePulizzi! It's all in or no in. #cmworld — Ann Handley (@MarketingProfs) tweet this

"Don't ask content agencies just for their wins but also their failures. And how they recouped." @leeodden #CMWorld — Guillaume Decugis (@gdecugis) tweet this

Do your research/prep before writing. "The difference between creative and desperate is having an abundance of ideas." @annhandley #CMWorld — Starr Pagharion (@starrrwars) tweet this

"Define influencer relations guidelines first. If it's not in black&white, everything will look like a grey." -@ShelleyCRyan #CMWorld — Andi Enns (@andienns) tweet this

"We are all creative geniuses at age 3. Only 2 percent of adults retain it." @larssilberbauer #CMWorld This is so true! — Ayesha Ambreen (@AyeshaAmbreen) tweet this

"Set up a 1:1 meeting with a colleague. Ask about a pain point. Collaborate on content. Demonstrate its success."— @slosee, #CMWorld — TrackMaven (@TrackMaven) tweet this

"Match content to searchers' INTENT thru related topics, keywords with matching intent, answers/solutions, unique value!" @randfish #CMWorld — Andrea L. Ames (@aames) tweet this

Thank You Content Marketing World!

Wrapping up Content Marketing World last week was bittersweet. I was sad to say goodbye to friends (old and new), but was incredibly excited to begin putting all of that awesome content to good use. Spending time surrounded by smart marketers was an invigorating experience and the insights gained from this conference will help fuel marketing strategies for brands for months and even years to come. If you were able to attend, what was the most important thing that you learned?

Disclosure: Dell and Traackr are TopRank Marketing clients

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Learn How to Optimize Your Content Marketing Agency Investment

Mon, 12 Sep 2016 10:30:02 +0000

How to get the most from your content marketing agency


Each year, brands are investing countless hours and thousands if not millions of dollars in marketing to prospects and current customers with content. Often times, internal marketing teams are finding that they need content marketing agency expertise and support outside of their organization.

Working with an agency that specializes in content marketing can provide brands with a more strategic and scalable marketing program that leverages expertise and additional resources that specialize in content. However, agency retainers can be substantial and there isn't a marketing executive out there that isn't in search of maximum return on that investment.

At last week’s Content Marketing World, TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden took the stage to share insights about how brands can get the most out of their content marketing agency. Whether you’re currently on the hunt for an agency to help with content marketing, or if you are in deep with an existing agency relationship, these tips will help you get the most out of working an outside resource to win the content marketing race.

How to get the most from your content marketing agency

When to Engage A Content Marketing Agency

First, it’s important to determine how engaging a content agency will help your brand achieve your marketing goals. Below are a few examples of signs that you may be in need of an agency partner:

  • Building up a large content marketing team just isn’t practical.
  • There is a need for expertise that currently doesn’t exist within your organization and you need to create efficiencies.
  • You’re looking for an outside perspective that will help challenge your team, evolve your approach and provide validation of the successful ideas the team has implemented.
  • Creating additional connections with partners, platforms and influencers is an objective.
  • Additional training, insight and education are needed for the internal marketing team.

The different types of scenarios in which you will need outside content marketing resources could include:

  • Projects: Short-term, turnkey, campaign, content creation
  • Strategy: Research, workshops, recommendations, strategy report, no execution
  • Partners: Research and strategy implementation, content at scale, integration, Martech, ongoing management and execution, dashboard reporting.

Setting Realistic Expectations

One of the key elements that determines either the success or failure of a brand and agency relationship is the quality of communication. Both parties need to be up-front about expectations, capabilities and goals.

All too often, agencies will agree to or construct ideas that may not necessarily be within their wheelhouse. When that happens, the end result typically does not live up to the expectation set with their client. That is why transparent and honest communication is essential to brand and agency success.

Common Agency Issues

Unfortunately, there are sometimes issues that arise and create a less than stellar experience. Some of the top issues that many brands have experienced include:

  • The agency they’re working with just doesn’t “get” their messaging or understand who they are.
  • While the agency creates great content, they don’t have expertise about content amplification or promotion.
  • The quantity or variety of content that’s needed by the brand can’t be produced by the agency.

The Relationship is A Two-Way Street

The truth of the matter is that both the brand and the agency have certain obligations to fulfill in order for the relationship to run smoothly and successfully.

Sometimes agencies are not provided with the proper guidance needed in order to create a successful content program. Additionally, internal brand processes can create bottlenecks (especially related to content approval) and make it difficult for the agency to execute.

To help alleviate the issue of "approval black holes", TopRank Marketing Co-Founder and President Susan Misukanis recommends:

"Confirm the specific process and people involved with the client side approval requirements in advance and include them in the agreement. Be specific and provide ‘plan B’ options.”

For Content Marketing Performance Measurement, Follow An Attract, Engage & Convert Content Model

Good content marketing will follow an attract, engage, convert model that is aimed to closely align with business goals and marketing KPIs to provide the most value. Below is a model that Lee shared with the audience during his presentation:


6 Ways to Evaluate A content Marketing Agency

  • Be clear on your own goals and resources
  • Ensure that the agency provides their approach to content, specializations and differentiators
  • Understand how they work and who they work with
  • Determine how their team is structure and who leads the relationship from their team
  • Insights into processes including strategy, plan, tactics, measurement and reports should be provided
  • Ask for recent successes, references and their engagement model

Don’t Settle for A Wrong Fit

Ultimately, some agencies are a fit for certain brands and others aren’t. Make sure that you do your homework and determine beforehand what qualities are most important for your brand.

If you’re in need of a new content marketing agency or just want to explore your options, contact TopRank Marketing for a free consultation.

The post Learn How to Optimize Your Content Marketing Agency Investment appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

How to Build Momentum For Your Brands Around The World Through Content Marketing #CMWorld

Fri, 09 Sep 2016 17:49:54 +0000

Marketers are experiencing a major problem. That problem is that there is no longer a captive audience for anything. Consumers have tuned out advertising and traditional marketing tactics, leaving many marketers searching for a solution. In her presentation at Content Marketing World, Tami Cannizzaro from Oracle offered some great insights that she has gathered from [...]

The post How to Build Momentum For Your Brands Around The World Through Content Marketing #CMWorld appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

Online Marketing News: Divine Email Delivery, Mobile Machine Learning & CMO Social Spend

Fri, 09 Sep 2016 10:30:21 +0000

Email Deliverability: Unveiling the Divine Path to Subscribers Inbox Email marketing is one of the most effective digital marketing tactics, and one of the longest standing. But, nothing can be effective if it doesn’t reach your audience. This infographic shows the considerations marketers need to make when sending their emails to ensure the best deliverability [...]

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The Microsoft Factor: Scaling Influencer Marketing to Transform a Global Brand #CMWorld

Thu, 08 Sep 2016 18:33:53 +0000

Influencer marketing has proven to be a very effective way for brands large and small to build credibility and trust with their audience. However, many influencer marketing programs fail before they even get off the ground. But why? There are many reasons that these programs don’t work according to Traackr CEO Pierre-Loïc Assayag in his [...]

The post The Microsoft Factor: Scaling Influencer Marketing to Transform a Global Brand #CMWorld appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

How Dell Approaches Integrated & Authentic Influencer Marketing #CMWorld

Thu, 08 Sep 2016 10:00:01 +0000

Shelley Ryan and Lauren Mauro of Dell kicked off their afternoon session at Content Marketing World with some exciting news. According to the dynamic duo, Dell has purchased EMC, which I believe makes them the largest privately held company in the world! At the beginning of their session, Lauren and Shelley shared what their session would NOT be. [...]

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Mathew Sweezey of Salesforce Shares 6 Ways to Improve the Value of Your Email #CMWorld

Wed, 07 Sep 2016 19:57:13 +0000

Today’s customers are busy, savvy and frustrated. But why? They’ve taken on too much and are looking for ways to improve their own efficiency, old email marketing tricks no longer have an impact and they’re tired of receiving pitch after pitch that doesn’t add value. However, email marketing is just as important (and effective) now [...]

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The Force is Strong with Content Marketing World 2016 #CMWorld

Wed, 07 Sep 2016 10:00:52 +0000

It’s hard to believe it’s already been a year since we traveled to Cleveland for Content Marketing World 2015. These days, it seems that time (and content marketing) travels at the speed of light. For those of you that don’t know, Content Marketing World is the largest content marketing conference in the galaxy (as far [...]

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50 Top Content Marketing Influencers #CMWorld 2016

Tue, 06 Sep 2016 09:56:34 +0000

content marketing influencers

Content Marketing Influencers 2016
Without question, the Content Marketing World conference is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to all things content. This is where I should segue into a Death Star reference and something about a love child between Joe or Robert and Princess Leia. Or was it Chewbacca? I kid.

What I'm not kidding about is that there are over 150 speakers at Content Marketing World that have spent numerous hours researching, planning and crafting presentations as well as practicing and coordinating their travel and stay at the event. When you think about it, the cumulative amount of content created amongst all those speakers isn't just formidable, it's outright impressive.

As you may know, I’m very interested in influence when it comes to marketing and events create an ideal opportunity to identify, qualify and rank the social influence of the speakers that have worked so hard to deliver useful information to attendees. That's exactly what I've done with this post and the 2016 Content Marketing World speakers.

influencer network - content marketing

Keep in mind, this is not a popularity list of marketers or a subjective list of personal favorites. It is a researched group of those who are most influential for “content marketing” based on social media and blog content on the web.

To create this list of 50 content marketing influencers, we used our client, Traackr's, influencer marketing platform and their filtering methodology that combines topical relevance, resonance of that topic amongst the influencer's community and overall reach. Traackr pulls data from crawlable RSS feeds, Twitter, public Facebook and LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram and Google+.

"Content Marketing" is a huge topic and we could have easily added many more than 50, especially people like Stephanie Losee, Joe Chernov, Ahava Leibtag, Rand Fishkin, Ann Marinovich, Justin Levy, Jeannine Rossignol, Todd Wheatland, Kristina Halvorson and keynote speakers John von Brachel and Lars from LEGO. But, ironically, there are only 50 spots in a list of 50!

In the end, this list is a good mix of the smart brand, agency, vendor and industry content marketing talent you can expect to meet this week in Cleveland.  Enjoy!

Michael Brenner @brennermichael
CEO, Marketing Insider Group, Author
Presenting: A Content Formula for Complex B2B Organizations and How B2B Executives Need to Strategize in the World of Content

Juntae DeLane @juntaedelane
Senior Digital Brand Manager, University of Southern California and founder of the Digital Branding Institute
Presenting: Using Content Marketing with No Budget or Resources to Build Your Digital Brand

Joe Pulizzi @joepulizzi
Founder, Content Marketing Institute, Author
Presenting: Welcome to the Content Marketing Revolution and Content Inc: Startups to Small Businesses

Pam Didner @pamdidner
Consultant, Author, Adjunct Instructor, West Virginia University
Presenting: How to Build a Global Content Marketing Team and The Step-by-Step Guide to Create Global Content Marketing Strategy

Ian Cleary @IanCleary
Founder and CEO of RazorSocial
Presenting: Tools and Technology for Building a Content Conversion Funnel

Carla Johnson @carlajohnson
Marketing and Customer Experience Consultant, Type A Communications, Author
Presenting: My Employee Said What?!?! Creating a Content Strategy For Employees, The Most Vital and Ignored Audience and How B2B Executives Need to Strategize in the World of Content

Andy Crestodina @crestodina
Strategic Director, Orbit Media Studios, Inc., Author
Presenting: Keynote: Content's Fortune and Glory: How to Make Friends, Rank High and Get Famous Online and Web Design vs. Analytics Setup: 5 Little Design Decisions That Cause Big Analytics Problems

Lee Odden @leeodden
CEO, TopRank Marketing, Author
Presenting: How to Improve the ROI of Your Content Agency Investment and How B2B Executives Need to Strategize in the World of Content

Jay Baer @jaybaer
President of Convince & Convert, Author
Presenting: How to Use Customer Service and Community to Create Killer Content and Evolution and Opportunities in Business Podcasting - Q&A

Pawan Deshpande @TweetsFromPawan
CEO, Curata
Presenting: Ridiculously Awesome Curation Hacks to Goose Your ROI Like Crazy

Arnie Kuenn @arniek
CEO, Vertical Measures, Author
Presenting: How to Get 77% More Traffic from Your Existing Content

Chad Pollitt @chadpollitt
Adjunct Instructor, Rutgers University, VP of Audience & Co-founder Relevance, Author
Presenting: Paid and Unpaid Content Promotion and Distribution Methods That Actually Work

John Jantsch @ducttape
President, Duct Tape Marketing, Best-Selling Author
Presenting: Workshop: Content Inc.: Startups to Small Businesses

Robert Rose @robert_rose
Chief Strategy Advisor, Content Marketing Institute, Author
Presenting: Opening Keynote Q/A Interview: Content Marketing and Change Management - Making it Real, The Biggest Challenges and Opportunities in Content Marketing: A Q/A with Leading Technology Marketers, and Content Marketing is Broken - Here's How to Fix It and Tie It to Real Business Results

Brian Carter @briancarter
CEO / Digital Marketing Consultant, The Carter Group, Author
Presenting: Facebook Advertising Lead Generation and Content That Sells

Bryan Kramer @bryankramer
President + CEO PureMatter, Author
Presenting: How to Create and Manage an Influencer Marketing Program

Marcus Sheridan @TheSalesLion
President, The Sales Lion
Presenting: The 7 Keys to Owning the Digital Age and Dominating Your Niche: Today, Tomorrow and Beyond and How to Tear Down Sales and Marketing Silos: The Secret to Developing a Culture of Content Across the Entire Organization

Jennifer Goforth Gregory @byjengregory
Freelance Content Marketing Writer and Strategist
Presenting: Hunting the Unicorn: Five Ways to Rope in Highly Qualified Freelancers

Gini Dietrich @ginidietrich
CEO, Arment Dietrich, Inc., Author
Presenting: Email Drop Campaigns That Work and Use PR to Fuel Your Content Marketing Efforts

Matt Heinz @heinzmarketing
President, Heinz Marketing Inc
Presenting: 50 Essential Content Marketing Hacks: New Tools, Tricks, Shortcuts, Best Practices and More to Convert Readers Into Customers

Russell Sparkman @fusionspark
Co-founder, CEO, Fusionspark Media, Inc.
Presenting: First, Find Your Mission: How to Use Brand Purpose to Drive Content Marketing Strategy

Ann Handley @marketingprofs
Chief Content Officer, MarketingProfs, Author
Presenting: Keynote: A Look Back at the Best Marketing of 2017 and How to Level-Up Your Writing and Make it Ludicrously Spectacular

Mari Smith @marismith
Consultant, Facebook Small Business Training, Author
Presenting: Social Video: How Companies Are Succeeding with Videos on Facebook

Jay Acunzo @jayacunzo
VP of Platform, NextView Ventures
Presenting: The Content Talent Crunch: How Marketing Leaders Approach Hiring A New Breed of Marketer, and Unthinkable: How the World’s Most Creative Content Marketers Do What Others Wouldn’t Dare, and This Session Disappears in 10 Seconds: A Fireside Chat and Q/A on Snapchat

Cassio Politi @tractobr
Diretor de content marketing, Tracto
Presenting: How Small Differences in Buyer Personas' Behavior Impact the Global Strategy

AJ Huisman @ajhuisman
Founder, Y Content
Presenting: How to Turn Highly Billable Professionals Into Extremely Productive Content Marketing Rockstars That Get Bottom Line Results

Jonathan Crossfield @kimota
Editorial Director\u2014Telstra Smarter Business Ideas, Bauer Media Australia
Presenting: Social Media and Your Audience: The Proper Approach to Social Communications

Doug Kessler @dougkessler
Creative Director & Co-Founder, Velocity Partners
Presenting: What Great Content Looks Like: The Power of Insight

Jeff Herrmann @jefflherrmann
Chief Strategy Officer, Fathom: A Digital Marketing & Analytics Agency
Presenting: Social Selling 101: 3 Methods to Enable a Social Savvy Sales Force

Ardath Albee @ardath421
CEO & B2B Marketing Strategist, Marketing Interactions, Author
Presenting: How to use Content to Maximize the B2B Buying Process and B2B Demand Generation - It's Bigger Than You Think

Bernie Borges @bernieborges
Executive Producer: Social Business Engine, Find and Convert, Author
Presenting: Opportunities for B2B Brands in Live Video

Andrew Davis @drewdavishere
CEO, Monumental Shift, Author
Presenting: Killer Content: How Brilliant Brands Create Less Content and Deliver Bigger Success and Content Marketing ROI Simplified

Colleen Jones @leenjones
CEO, Content Science
Presenting: Leveraging Content Intelligence: Lessons Learned at American Cancer Society

Tom Webster @webby2001
Vice President, Strategy and Marketing, Edison Research
Presenting: The Forgotten Discipline of (Content) Marketing - What To Do When You've Written All the "Helpful" Content

John Hall @johnhall
CEO, Influence & Co.
Presenting: The New Jedi Mind Trick: How to Dominate Your Industry By Building Your Authority and Leveraging Influencer RelationshipsThe New Jedi Mind Trick: How to Dominate Your Industry By Building Your Authority and Leveraging Influencer Relationships

Buddy Scalera @buddyscalera
Senior Director Content Strategy, Global Health Science, The Medicines Company
Presenting: Creating A Visual Content Strategy that Scales

Deana Goldasich @goldasich
CEO, Well Planned Web, LLC
Presenting: Getting Executive Buy-In For Content Marketing

David Beebe @davidbeebe
Vice President, Global Creative and Content Marketing, Marriott International
Presenting: Between the Sheets of Marriott's M Live

Rebecca Lieb @lieblink
Analyst, Advisor, Principal at Conglomotron, Author
Presenting: Contextual Content From Websites to Wearables to Wherever and Mobile Moments: Where Content Meets People, Places and Things

Jeff Julian @jjulian
Chief Marketing Officer, AJi, Author
Presenting: A Journey Through your First Agile Marketing Effort

Susan Borst @susanborst
Sr. Director of Industry Initiatives, IAB
Presenting: Great Content: Now What Are you Going to Do With It? Let's Talk Native Advertising

Cameron Conaway @cameronconaway
Content Marketing Manager, Flow
Presenting: Journalism, Content Marketing and the Shared Wor(l)ds Between

Ian Altman @ianaltman
CEO, Keynote Speaker, Sales Advisor, Grow My Revenue, Author
Presenting: The Right Content to Accelerate Sales

Travis Wright @teedubya
CMO, CCP.Digital, Author
Presenting: How to Develop and Execute a Social Business Strategy

Paul Roetzer @paulroetzer
CEO PR 20/20, Author
Presenting: Content Marketing in the Machine Age: 25+ Tools and Techniques to Make Your Content More Automate and Intelligent

Mathew Sweezey @msweezey
Principal of Marketing Insights, Salesforce
Presenting: How to Improve the Value of Your Email Through Marketing Automation

Jesper Laursen @jesperlaursen
CEO, Native Advertising Institute
Presenting: Panel: Great Content. Now What Are You Going To Do With It? Let’s Talk Native Advertising

Amanda Todorovich @amandatodo
Content Marketing Director, Cleveland Clinic
Presenting: Team Building: How to Staff, Structure and Budget A Content Marketing Team

Mitch Joel @mitchjoel
President, Mirum Agency, Author
Presenting: Keynote: Content is Dead: Focus on the Network Effect and Evolution and Opportunities in Business Podcasting -A Q/A

Tami Cannizzaro @tamicann
Vice President, Head of North America Marketing, Oracle
Presenting: The New Rules of Global Customer Engagement: How to Build Momentum for Your Brand Around the World Through Content Marketing

I’m pretty sure people that attend conferences don’t realize the aggregate volume of effort that goes into an event like Content Marketing World and the CMI staff do a great job, which is self-evident given their growth and the recent acquisition. Hats off to Joe, Pam, Robert, Cathy and the CMI team for all their hard work in making Content Marketing World the death star of content marketing. See what I did there?

In addition to sharing this list of 50 content marketing influencers, I’ve pulled together the top 10 most popular content marketing articles from this blog from 2016. Enjoy!

  1. 6 Bad Content Marketing Habits
  2. How Social Media & Content Marketing Work Together
  3. SEO Tips and Tactics for Content Marketing
  4. Using Long-Form Content on Social Media as a Content Marketing Tactic
  5. 8 Ways to Build Credibility & Trust with Content Marketing
  6. What is a Content Marketing Strategy?
  7. 4 Elements of Successful Content Marketing on LinkedIn
  8. How to Be the Best Answer: Content Marketing Best Practices
  9. 38 B2B Content Marketing Case Studies for 2016
  10. Content Marketing: Integrity, Storytelling & Creativity

Lee Odden CMWorld 2016
On the topic of Content Marketing World
- I’m presenting on Thursday at 12:05pm in Room 1 on How to Improve the ROI of your content marketing agency investment. Unlike breakout sessions, pre-registration is not required for lunch and learns. It's first-come, first served, so you should get there early if possible to get a seat.

The post 50 Top Content Marketing Influencers #CMWorld 2016 appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

Digital Marketing Spotlight: Josh Mueller, SVP Global Marketing at Dun & Bradstreet

Mon, 05 Sep 2016 11:35:25 +0000

Josh Mueller Interview

Josh Mueller Interview

Meeting and getting to know smart digital marketers is easily one of my favorite things about working in the marketing industry. I first meet Josh Mueller when he was at Director of Digital Marketing at Dell and I was presenting an integrated approach to search, social and content marketing. There was a palpable enthusiasm in the air for inbound marketing and it was exciting to see that kind of reception from a large company.

Fast forward to today and Josh is Senior Vice President Global Marketing at Dun & Bradstreet. He is definitely one of those people you want on your digital marketing team or more specifically, leading your team. He always seems to be two steps ahead, is results-focused and a genuinely nice human being.

In this interview, Josh talks about everything from career advice for fast-tracking digital marketing executives to the impressive digital marketing initiatives he's led at Dun & Bradstreet. He also talks about lessons learned, prioritizing for 2017 and examples of B2B brands doing it right.

Your career from MBA Intern at Dell to SVP at a major B2B brand in under 10 years is truly impressive. What best prepared you for that journey and what advice do you have for talented, aspiring marketing executives with eyes on a similar prize?

Looking back, I’m not sure if I was ever fully prepared, but my journey thus far certainly would not have been possible without focusing on a couple of fundamental things from the beginning.

Invest heavily in building, nurturing and leveraging real relationships. Success is impossible in a vacuum.

First, invest heavily in building, nurturing and leveraging real relationships. Success is impossible in a vacuum. The people you surround yourself with will have a significant impact on the trajectory of your career. You’ll know you’re doing this well when you realize you’re consistently willing to put more into a relationship than what you ask for in return.

Second, never take a break from learning. I read as much as possible and do so on a daily basis. If you can become a little more knowledgeable every single day, you’ll build a huge competitive advantage over time. This simple but powerful habit not only equips you to become a world-class expert within your discipline, but also allows you to see big picture trends, apply your expertise across disciplines, and prepare for the future.

I was really impressed with the Dun & Bradstreet website redesign earlier this year and what went into the real-time personalization experience. Can you share some context for the project and your expectations for such an ambitious undertaking?

This was so much fun and continues to pay dividends. What started as a traditional redesign project quickly transformed into a complete re-imagination of our brand’s digital experience. We wanted to ensure that the site truly represented the overall transformation of Dun & Bradstreet that has been progressing since our CEO, Bob Carrigan, joined the company in 2013.

To accomplish this, we needed to expand our primary online focus on SMB customers to include enterprise customers across five new lines of business, our partners and our worldwide network. From a KPI perspective, we initially wanted to maintain parity at launch and then improve from there. Fortunately, metrics were up from the very first week and continue to climb. (More information can be found here.)

Now that the new website has gone through some iterations, what have been some of your key lessons and best practices? What is on the roadmap for going into 2017 when it comes to personalization?

It’s very typical with a major redesign to initially experience drops in your primary KPIs and that risk was even greater when we set out to completely transform our digital experience. Despite taking a data-driven approach and performing a lot of user testing, we were completely prepared to experience this drop. We formed cross-functional teams to meet daily to review the latest metrics, form hypotheses and quickly deploy tests targeted at getting everything back to parity and beyond. Fortunately, we never experienced this dip. Our metrics were up from the very first day. Because we had prepared ahead of time, we still followed the same approach, but instead of getting back to parity we were able to increase conversion rates to all-time highs.

Personalization is such a powerful customer experience and conversion optimization tool.

Personalization is such a powerful customer experience and conversion optimization tool. Most ecommerce companies have fully adopted it, but very few B2Bs focused on demand generation are doing it well. Currently, we’re personalizing based on company size and persona. Late this year and in 2017, we plan to expand this by personalizing for specific strategic accounts as well as extending and coordinating personalization across other offline and online touchpoints.

What do the lessons you've learned tell you about how other B2B companies should be thinking in terms of digital strategy in 2017? What are some key areas to focus on and things to avoid?

Too many companies still treat their digital strategy as something separate from their overall marketing strategy. I believe Marc Mathieu from Unilever was one of the first to talk about moving away from the mindset of digital marketing as a standalone function to concentrate instead on increasing marketing effectiveness in a digital world. Making this shift is absolutely critical, but it doesn’t mean organizations should move away from hiring and training digital specialists with deep expertise. Those skills are more important than ever.

We’ve succeeded in modernizing our marketing mindset by formalizing cross-functional teams around each of our personas.

At Dun & Bradstreet, we’ve succeeded in modernizing our marketing mindset by formalizing cross-functional teams around each of our personas. Each team has experts across all the core functions such as messaging, content marketing, site strategy, outbound demand gen, SEO, communications, social media, events, etc. Organizationally, this expertise is aligned by function, but the cross-functional team operates as one on behalf of the customer with shared KPIs. This model ensures that digital strategy is always a core component of everything we do.

Today's marketers are faced with a cornucopia of options and challenges from continued emphasis on data and martech to creative opportunities with more visual and interactive content, working with influencers and investing in deeper content. What advice do you have for other senior marketing execs on prioritizing marketing tactics?

It can become overwhelming when the cornucopia of options become the focus without first implementing a framework to properly manage everything. This starts by getting back to the basics – using quality data and analytics to determine which customers or accounts to pursue, which personas to target within these accounts, and which solutions best fulfill their needs. Once these basic building blocks are in place, it’s easy to map out the customer journeys within that universe and set clear KPIs for each stage. The ultimate goal may be conversion and revenue, but the KPIs in the early stages are just as critical and allow marketers to track the progression of individuals and accounts throughout the journey.

KPIs in the early stages are just as critical (as conversion and revenue).

Using this framework as a reference, it becomes easy to see where an organization is having success and where change is needed. Will new marketing technology or a creative strategy overhaul have a bigger impact? The answer comes more easily when you can clearly see which KPI you’re trying to impact with the decision. This guides prioritization, not only for senior executives setting overall strategy and making resource decisions, but also for the teams executing the tactics.

Few marketing departments can execute well on all things they have planned. How do you balance hiring more marketing staff vs. using outside vendors and agencies? What trends do you see in terms of outsourcing vs. insourcing marketing talent?

Capacity is almost always our biggest challenge. The model I prefer – and one that I continue to see gaining traction – is to insource expertise across critical functions without making teams too large. Once you achieve this, you can leverage partnerships with agencies that bring an outside-in approach and act as an extension of your team over time. This hybrid model allows you to maintain a steady state across critical functions while maintaining the ability to dial up or dial down capacity based on current priorities.

As we get closer to 4th quarter and planning for the coming year, what are some of your top digital marketing priorities for 2017?

Our first priority is all about scale. We’ve built an amazing foundation that has enabled us to hit critical KPIs much faster than we anticipated. Now we are very focused on continuing to bend the curve and pushing the limits on how far we can take things.

Our first priority is all about scale.

The second is to continue drinking our own champagne and pushing the envelope in modern B2B marketing. I’m fortunate to work for the company that maintains the world’s largest commercial database that we continue to leverage for new use cases. We often get our hands on the latest and greatest marketing solutions before they’re widely available, which gives us a first mover advantage in predictive targeting, personalization approaches and sales acceleration techniques. Great marketing is always fun. Doing things for the first time can be even more fun.

What B2B brands' marketing do you admire most? Any examples?

Dell is definitely on the list, and I’m excited to see how its marketing team leverages the EMC acquisition. It’s amazing, looking at the amount of marketing talent that has worked at Dell at some point over the last decade, and how many individuals have gone on to become senior marketing executives or CMOs at other big brands. I certainly stay closely connected and follow those brands as well.

There are so many other great B2B brands to admire across industries for different reasons. A few that come to mind immediately are Adobe, LinkedIn, Salesforce, GE, Workday, Cisco, American Express and Accenture.

Now let’s play a little social network word association. After each platform, share the first thing or short reaction that comes to mind.

  • Facebook – changing the open web
  • Vine – initially interesting
  • LinkedIn – making all the right moves
  • Periscope – first mover advantage wasn’t enough
  • Twitter – one of the best, but time to evolve
  • Google+ – will its failures lead to success?
  • Snapchat – raising the bar on growth
  • YouTube – well positioned
  • Instagram – so simple yet so brilliant
  • Flickr – will it survive?

Thanks Josh!

Josh Mueller is Senior Vice President of Global Marketing for Dun & Bradstreet where he has global responsibility for demand generation, digital, operations, marketing technology, creative and content. His organization is pivotal to Dun & Bradstreet’s transformation to a modern company with a focus on providing an amazing customer experience and scaling demand generation.

Prior to Dun & Bradstreet, Josh served as Director of Marketing for Dell, where he led B2B digital marketing teams responsible for demand generation, search, social media and content marketing.

Josh holds an MBA from The University of Texas and a BBA from Texas A&M University.

You can find Josh on the social web at:
LinkedIn: in/joshmueller
Twitter: @jmueller03

The post Digital Marketing Spotlight: Josh Mueller, SVP Global Marketing at Dun & Bradstreet appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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