Stop Gambling with Your Marketing and Go Pro with Tips from Ten Pubcon Pro Speakers

Pubcon Pro

In the fast paced world of search and digital marketing, what separates amateurs from professionals often comes down one simple distinction: marketing as a gamble or marketing as a planned, measured and iteratively optimized discipline.

There are far too many marketing campaigns being implemented simply because “that’s how we’ve always done it”, as a reaction to the competition and as a limitation of the in-house team tasked with execution. Professional marketers go beyond wishful thinking and hopes of “better luck next time”.

So, what does it mean to be a “professional”?

Being a professional in any industry represents a combination of characteristics including:

  • Specialized knowledge
  • Competency
  • Honesty and Integrity
  • AccountabilitySelf-Regulation

Marketing professionals represent these things and more:

  • Creativity
  • Analytical Skills
  • Social Skills
  • Problem Solving Skills

If you want more marketing success, it takes a shift in perspective, an effort to expand your knowledge and awareness of what’s possible.

There are few “sure things” in marketing, but one thing you can count on is the value of the expertise and advice from the group of 10 expert marketers contributing to the Marketers Go Pro ebook we developed for the Pubcon Pro conference in Las Vegas happening in a few weeks. We polled the keynote and main stage speakers for their best advice based on the presentations they will be giving at the conference. I’m one of those main stage speakers, so I contributed as well.

Here’s a list of the marketing experts who contributed and a taste of the insights you’ll find inside the ebook:

Joe Pulizzi
The formula for building a loyal audience looks like this:
– Identify your sweet spot
– Find your content tilt
– Build your base
– Harvest your audience
– Diversify
– Monetize (Tweet this)
Joe Pulizzi, @JoePulizzi
Founder, Content Marketing Institute, Co-Founder, The Orange Effect Foundation

Debra Jasper
“Today’s clients and colleagues have an eight second attention span. Eight seconds. To break through the noise, you must communicate with more power, clarity and impact.” (Tweet this)
Debra Jasper @DebraJasper
Founder & CEO, Mindset Digital

Aleyda Solis
“Expand your Web reach and diversify your business by targeting an international audience, but avoid launching in too many markets, choosing the wrong web structure or not effectively localizing.”  (Tweet this)
Aleyda Solis
@aleyda
International SEO Consultant & Founder, Orainti

Lee Odden
“By building internal credibility, activating customers, creating a content collaboration ecosystem and working with influencers, Marketing can improve credibility, influence and trust.” (Tweet this)
Lee Odden @leeodden
CEO, TopRank Marketing

Purna Virji
“When it comes to optimizing the customer experience, design for conversation from the start. Remember, the most important thing for the user is convenience.” (Tweet this)
Purna Virji
@purnavirji
Sr. Manager, Global Engagement at Microsoft

Roger Dooley
“Want a higher conversion rate and customer loyalty? Make it easier to do business with you. Reducing friction in every interaction is the path to getting and keeping more customers.” (Tweet this)
Roger Dooley
@rogerdooley
Founder, Dooley Direct

Bill Hunt
“To be successful in SEO we must adapt to and embrace the evolving search engine landscape in both the SERPS and in our organizations.” (Tweet this)
Bill Hunt
@BillHunt
President, Back Azimuth Consulting

Eric Enge
“Is SEO dead? Whole new worlds of challenges and opportunities exist for SEO because of Google’s 2018 algorithm changes, mobile dominance, speed, and voice.” (Tweet this)
Eric Enge
@stonetemple
General Manager, Perficient Digital

Joe Laratro
“To stay at the top of the SERPs you need an SEO diet of analytics for crucial data, structure fixes, content optimization, link building and tools to gauge results.” (Tweet this)
Joe Laratro
@jlaratro
President, Tandem Interactive

Scott Monty
“Customers want experiences that are more about them and their needs. To increase customer retention, marketers can use date to deliver on more personal experiences.”  (Tweet this)
Scott Monty
@scottmonty
Principal, Scott Monty Strategies

To see the full text of our experts’ advice, check out the full ebook below. You’ll also find the details of when, where and what their keynote and main stage presentations will be about.

Besides me, TopRank Marketing will have several team members attending and liveblogging at the Pubcon Pro conference including our agency social content manager, Lane Ellis and senior account manager, Tiffani Allen. You can follow them at @lanerellis and @tiffani_allen as well as our agency tweets during the event at @toprank.

We hope to see you there!


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Stop Gambling with Your Marketing and Go Pro with Tips from Ten Pubcon Pro Speakers | https://www.toprankblog.com

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Digital Marketing News: Adobe’s $4.75B Marketo Buy, Google’s 20th Anniversary Neural Matching, & Facebook Lets Pages Join Groups

2018 September 28 News Word of Mouth Image

Adobe’s $4.75 Billion Purchase of Marketo Will Boost Its Ability to Compete With Salesforce
In its biggest purchase ever, Adobe has acquired Marketo, shoring up its B2B footprint and giving a vote of confidence to the marketing technology industry. AdWeek

Google Begins Using Neural Matching to Understand Synonyms, Impacting 30% of Queries
For its twentieth anniversary, Google has rolled out an array of new features, including neural matching artificial intelligence, mobile updates, and search changes including Activity Cards, announced at the company’s two-decade celebratory event. Search Engine Journal

Facebook Will Now Allow Pages to Join Facebook Groups
Facebook has allowed certain Pages to join, comment on, and otherwise interact with Groups, a new test that could lead to filling a need expressed by some digital marketers. Social Media Today

Report: Digital now makes up 51% of US ad spending
Led by search, video, and social, digital has for the first time topped the overall ad spend market, according to data from a new study by Magna. Marketing Land

5 Key Benefits of Word of Mouth [Infographic]
A look at the staying power of word-of-mouth recommendations in digital advertising, spurred by the release of a new book by noted marketers Jay Baer and Daniel Lemin. Social Media Today

Most B2B Marketers Report Positive ROI… If They Know What It Is.
44 percent of some 400 B2B marketers surveyed for Bizible’s new State of Pipeline Marketing report noted they’re unsure of what their average marketing return on investment (ROI) is, among several other study findings. MarketingCharts

2018 September 28 News Statistics Image

Instagram co-founders resign in latest Facebook executive exit
Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger resigned on Monday, the firm announced. The moves follow other recent big-name departures from Facebook-owned services including WhatsApp. How will the departures of its co-founders change Instagram, and what will the two do next? Reuters

What’s driving B2B buyers to e-commerce
A look at shifting e-commerce patterns in the B2B landscape, and how they are affecting what is a $900 billion market in the U.S. alone, as B2B buyers do more total online purchasing. DigitalCommerce360

Google’s Data Studio is now generally available
Google Data Studio, the firm’s data visualization and reporting tool grouped within its Google Marketing Platform, has graduated from beta status and become available to all. Google Marketing Platform

How Marketers Can Be Strategic Influencers, and Why Their Input Is Key for Companies [Infographic]
An infographic look at some of the benefits of making sure that marketing is included at the highest levels of strategic planning. MarketingProfs

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

2018 September 28 Marketoonist Cartoon

A lighthearted look at 360-Degree Customer View by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist

Here are all of Google’s 20th anniversary Easter eggs — TechCrunch

TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:

  • Lee Odden — Content Marketing World 2018 – Conference Report — Peter Krmpotic
  • Lee Odden — Influencer Marketing: It has changed, have you? — Marcy Massura
  • Lee Odden — Tune in October 3 to catch Lee Odden speaking at the AMA Digital Marketing Virtual Conference — AMA

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

Thanks for joining us, and we hope you’ll check in again next week for a new selection of the most relevant digital marketing industry news, and in the meantime you can follow us at @toprank on Twitter for even more timely daily news. Also, don’t miss the full video summary on our TopRank Marketing TV YouTube Channel.


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Digital Marketing News: Adobe’s $4.75B Marketo Buy, Google’s 20th Anniversary Neural Matching, & Facebook Lets Pages Join Groups | https://www.toprankblog.com

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Power Pages and Best Answer Content: Should You Go Long or Short Form?

Long vs short form content

Buyers have questions and sellers better have answers that are easy to find, informative and inspiring. This is the cornerstone behind “Best Answer” content marketing strategy. But what qualifies as best answer content? How deep or wide do you need to go on a topic?

Is it better to use short form or long form content for content marketing?

From informal observations like ours on video and social media to formal studies in the marketing industry, much has been said about the topic of content length with some pretty compelling arguments in favor of long form content.

For example, BuzzSumo’s 2018 Content Trends Report says long form content consistently gains backlinks which is great for referral traffic and SEO. Another study from BuzzSumo and AppSumo reported in their analysis of 100 million articles that the longer the content, the more shares it gets. In Backlinko’s own research of 1 million Google search results, comprehensive content significantly outperformed shallow content. In that same study, the average word count of a Google first page result was found to be 1,890 words.

Does this mean you should always write 1,890 word blog posts? Do customers always want to binge on content?

Savvy marketers understand that statistical generalizations can be useful for making persuasive arguments but not always so useful in practice. As a long time B2B content marketing practitioner, here’s what I’ve found to be true when it comes to long form content.

Engagement and reach are intertwined when it comes to digital content. Search continues to be an important connector of brand solutions content with buyers at the very moment they need it. A number of analysis identifying the content types that fare best in search have superficially associated length with “better”.

“The idea that long form content is best can be misleading. Content depth and utility trump length for search engines and buyers.” @leeodden

The reality is that depth is better than length. It just happens that much of the content that covers a topic thoroughly also has length. But it is not the number of words that has merit. It’s the words used, structure, usefulness, citations and associated entities that matter most for search engines trying to understand and rank “best answer” content and people looking for solutions.

Google is essentially an answer engine and if companies want to be the “best answer” for what their potential customers are looking for, they’ll want to invest in content that is comprehensive and engaging on the topic.

For powerful content, publish powerful pages. One of the tactics to become the best answer for topics that are and important to customers and that represent the solutions from the brand are what we at TopRank Marketing call, “Power Pages”.

Best Answer Content works in tandem with the idea of Power Pages, which are encyclopedic treatments of a specific topic and will often serve as the hub of an idea with spokes to tangential and related ideas in the form of other pages or posts. Insights about customer interests, goals, pain points and questions about the topic all inform the creation of relevant Power Pages that meet the demands of customer intent.

Power Page Layout

The information architecture with Power Pages is very logical with attention to be both search and buyer friendly. Exploration of an issue from what it is, to how it can be solved, to evidence of credibility and triggers to take action can all be found within a single Power Page and it’s ecosystem of subordinate or related content.

For example, the Power Page below from Click Software on the topic of Field Service Engagement has performed incredibly well in search, on social and with customers.

Field Service Engagement

Powerful content drives search traffic. While Power Pages play an important part of a Best Answer Content Marketing Strategy irregardless of how that content is promoted, successful marketers are paying special attention to their ability to attract customers at the moment of need. Of course I’m talking about Search Engine Optimization.

Optimization should be part of your ongoing content process. There are many ways companies are making it easier and more effective for Google to crawl, index and rank brand content. From ensuring pages are fast and mobile friendly with useful, logical content to optimizing for clickthrough in SERPs and adding signals of credibility / authority to content through attracted links from credible sources, influencer quotes and credible content like statistics and cited excerpts, the list of search performance optimization tactics is always evolving.

Optimize for people and search engines. Here is a list of 9 potential places where you can decide to put your target keyword phrase in your (long or short) power page. as long as it flows well and satisfies your brand standards:

  1. Title tag – this is also what is often used to pre-populate social shares and used for bookmark text
  2. On page title using the H1 tag
  3. Body copy of your page – of course
  4. URL of the page with words separated by hyphens: firstword-secondword-thirdword.html
  5. Image alt attribute – good for usability
  6. Meta description to inspire clicks when displayed in search results
  7. As synonyms or concepts related to the focus phrase (a must if you cover a topic deeply)
  8. In the form of questions that customers might ask – then you can answer them in your content
  9. Anchor text to related pages on your site

Remember, these are just options for optimizing your power page – you don’t need to use them all. The first priority should be to use the target keyword phrase with the frequency that will be useful to the reader.

So, is long form content really better than short form content? The answer is that your content should be whatever length and depth that will satisfy customer efforts to discover resources, understand solutions and to take action towards a solution. As questions these criteria are important to answer with every blog post or article:

  • What is it?
  • How does it work?
  • What do I do next?

For some topics, audiences and situations, the best approach might be content answers that go deep on a topic, but are not necessarily long on words. In other situations a topic might require a lengthy treatment in order to satisfy the buyers need to understand, consider and decide. The key is to create and optimize content that fulfills the customer’s effort at discovering, learning and deciding on a solution.

When it comes to long vs. short form content, the lesson to learn is to avoid just checking off boxes that say you need to write 2,000 (or 1,890) words to satisfy Google. Know your customers well enough through data to create a best answer content strategy and content mix that is relevant, optimized for discovery, useful and actionable. Make the length of your content more about the depth of topic necessary to satisfy customers and their search intent and less about fulfilling a generalization about content that might not even represent what your customers care about.

This post was inspired by an article that I was interviewed for on Marcom Insights


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Is Anybody Out There? How to Get More Eyes On Your Blog Content

Tips for Better Blog Content Promotion

Tips for Better Blog Content Promotion

What’s more important than creating great blog content? What’s more important than writing with empathy, storytelling, and research? What’s more important than even knowing your audience better than they know themselves?

Amplification.

Stay with me. If you’re a content marketing writer like me, amplification is the less sexy part of the job. The rewarding part, the part that matters, is writing that amazing, useful content. I’d much rather build glittering cathedrals of words that compel people to read by the sheer power of my prose.

The trouble is, there are thousands of people out there writing amazing blogs. There is a ton of wonderful, beautiful pieces of content out there. And the only way people will find your blog is if you bring them to it. Without amplification built into your content marketing strategy, your blog is a diamond buried five miles beneath the surface of the earth. It’s pretty! It’s valuable! But it’s not doing anyone any good.

So, how are we content marketers doing with blog amplification? Are we using every channel? Getting the most mileage out of every paid service? Bringing in beaucoup eyeballs for the content we spend so much time creating?

Well, no. According to a recent report from Outreach Plus, we all have some room for improvement. Of the 500 business they surveyed, at least half are leaving money on the table.

Here’s how to amp up your blog amplification.

How to Unleash the Potential of Your Blog Content

#1: Put Your Social Promotion on Repeat. Also, Put Your Social Promotion on Repeat.

Repetition on social media is key, but it looks like the majority of marketers are holding back. Less than half of those surveyed posted the same blog post link more than twice on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, or Pinterest. Most marketers are posting to Twitter more than twice, but that platform is the outlier.

How Often Marketers Promote Blog Content on Social

Photo Credit: Outreach Plus

It’s important to remember two key points about every social media site:

  1. Your post’s organic amplification is heavily throttled.
  2. Your audience’s feeds are full and move fast.

So, don’t be shy about posting your content more than once. You’re not going to overload your audience. Odds are they didn’t see the first one, for either of the reasons mentioned above.

Do some testing to figure out the right cadence for reposting on each channel. In addition, vary your text and creative each time. But definitely start thinking beyond a one-and-done. Repetition on social media is key.

[bctt tweet=”When it comes to promoting your blog content on #socialmedia, repetition is key. Also, repetition is key. – @NiteWrites #ContentPromotion” username=”toprank”]

#2: Explore More Paid Channels

The survey also shows that marketers could stand to explore more paid promotion options. Sixty-three percent said they promote some posts on Facebook, while only 29% said they used Google Ads. Less than 2% said they used promoted tweets or LinkedIn ads.

Our experience as an agency has shown it’s wise to at least test on every channel. The results might surprise you. For B2B, LinkedIn* is one to bring to the top of the testing list, both through paid ads and as a spot for native-published content. The CPC on LinkedIn can be higher than other channels, but the quality of leads tend to be higher. It’s worth experimenting to see if your most valued audience is there; if you’re B2B, they likely are.

But remember, the success of your paid efforts is rooted in your content. The blog content that you promote has to be good, it has to be relevant, and it has to resonate.

[bctt tweet=”Remember, any blog content that you pay to promote has to be good, it has to be relevant, and it has to resonate. #ContentPromotion” username=”toprank”]

#3: Invest in Email

Some 39% of marketers surveyed promote every blog post to their email list. A whopping 22% either don’t have a list or don’t ever use it to promote content, while 39% promote sometimes.

In other words, the majority of marketers are missing out.

Email marketing is the Helen Mirren of marketing tactics. Yes, it’s older than most of our other tactics, but it’s somehow better than it was even a decade ago.

via GIPHY

Every marketer with blog content to promote should be building a subscriber list and serving it great, preferably personalized, content. As social media gets more and more stingy about letting you talk to your audience, that subscriber list is crucial. Focus on converting your traffic to subscribers; get them opted-in, invested, and onto your blog.

#4: Get Proactive with Outreach

Nineteen percent of marketers said they never reach out to people or websites mentioned in a post.

Repetition is key, so let me type that again, bold it, and italicize it. I’m in awe of the fact that one-fifth of marketers are missing so big of an opportunity.

Nineteen percent of marketers said they NEVER reach out to people or websites mentioned in a post.

In addition, 41% said they only outreach sometimes. That leaves only 41% who are doing their due diligence with outreach.

First, you need to mention people and websites in your post. Use them for third-party verification, credibility, and to highlight the contributions they’re making in your industry. Use inspiring quotes you’ve curated from thought leaders. Maybe, I don’t know, write a blog post about an insightful industry report someone did. ?

Once your content goes live, let those people know. You’re paying them a compliment, helping promote their work, and showcasing their expertise. Of course they’ll want to know about your content. Not only might they help promote the post, you might also be starting a relationship that leads to an opportunity to co-create content with an influencer.

#5: Measure & Optimize

Here’s another statistic that should give you a stomachache: 10% of marketers are not tracking their promotion efforts at all. Not even the most cursory glance at Google Analytics. That’s right, one in 10 marketers has no idea how their content is doing.

The majority of marketers are only looking at top-level metrics like traffic and social media shares to determine effectiveness.

How Marketers Track Content

Photo Credit: Outreach Plus

There is some value in these so-called “vanity metrics,” especially compared to not tracking at all. But there’s far more value to be had from measuring against meaningful KPIs and optimizing over time.

Measure your influencer shares. Use tracking URLs to measure how each influencer’s shares perform. Measure shares from different platforms. Compare paid versus organic. Go deeper than traffic and measure the signals that affect your search engine ranking, like time on page and bounce rate.

Measure and report, but don’t stop there. Optimize your blog content that’s not meeting your KPIs. Is the bounce rate high? Adjust your title and meta description to more accurately describe the post. Time on page low? Front-load your content with the good stuff, add a mid-piece CTA, and make sure it’s optimized to pull readers through to the end.

Measurement and optimization are not optional. For our team, they’re one of the most critical parts of the process. We want to continually sharpen our marketing, honing in on the combination of tactics, channels, content and audience that gets the best results. Without measurement — and measuring the right things — that kind of improvement is impossible.

[bctt tweet=”Measure and report, but don’t stop there. Optimize your blog content that’s not meeting your KPIs. – @NiteWrites #ContentPromotion #Blogging” username=”toprank”]

Maximize the Potential of Your Blog Content

Despite the content crunch, your organization’s blog is still a valuable place to engage potential customers. But it’s not enough to write great stuff and call it a day.

If you’re doing it right, you will likely spend more time amplifying a post than you did writing it. That’s as it should be. With the right promotion, one piece of content can do the work of 10 unamplified posts, educating your audience, building thought leadership, and nurturing prospects throughout their buying journey.

Need more ways to make sure your content gets seen? Check out these 50 content promotion tactics from a content marketing master.

*Disclosure: LinkedIn is a TopRank Marketing client.

The post Is Anybody Out There? How to Get More Eyes On Your Blog Content appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

How to Boost Your Content Marketing Efforts By Planning Ahead

Collective Wisdom Series Part 1 Planning Ahead Chess Image

Collective Wisdom Series Part 1 Planning Ahead Chess Image

They say two heads are better than one, but we say the more the merrier — especially when it comes to bringing you actionable tips and insights to fuel your digital marketing efforts.

That’s why we’re proud to announce our “Collective Wisdom” series. Throughout the series, we’ll be bringing you insights, tips, and perspectives from some of the top marketing minds to help guide your content marketing strategy. With each entry, you’ll quickly learn proven methods, taking you from the very beginning of the content planning cycle to post-publication amplification and optimization.

Where should we start? At the beginning, of course.

In this piece, we explore the crucial planning stage that essential for content marketing success.

Planning Your Content — Get A Jump Ahead By Stepping Back

Having a solid plan in place is the foundation of any successful content marketing journey. There are several considerations you’ll want to consider before jumping into creation, helping ensure that you have a well-thought-out and meaningful plan from beginning to end already in place.

via GIPHY

Tactic 1: Commit to Having a Plan

As the old saying goes, “A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step.” For marketers, that single, first step is committing to developing and documenting your content editorial plan, even if it’s not super sophisticated to begin with.

Unfortunately, some digital marketers often skip this step entirely. And with 32% of marketers staying organized is a top content planning challenge. Documenting a content plan that you can consistently refer back to will most certainly help.

If you don’t know where to start, start with reading the DivvyHQ and TopRank Marketing report, which features marketers Michael Brenner, Tamsen Webster, Carla Johnson, Robert Rose, and others sharing methods for creating proper content calendars and involving team members in the content planning process.

DivvyHQ 2018 Content Planning Report Image

Tactic 2: Build and Ask a List of Sharers Before Publication

You know that once you release your content into the wild, you need to promote it. But do you spend time upfront locking down who could help you spread the word? If not, the upfront effort is worth it. You’ll have a key next step built in your process, rather than scrambling last minute.

Building a list of target sharers is a two-step process:

1) Reviewing your known contacts

2) Researching and qualifying others who would find your content relevant and share-worthy.

When it comes to researching newbies to add to your list, EmailField’s Aman Thakur likes to use BuzzSumo to discover people who have a history of sharing content similar to what you plan to publish, by searching for keywords related to your piece.

Thakur then recommends looking for relevant BuzzSumo articles that have over 200 or so Twitter shares, filtering the list by people, and exporting them to your sharer-contact spreadsheet or document, a technique he outlined for CMI.

BuzzSumo Sharer List Image

Moz contributor Isla McKetta is a fan of using Followerwonk to search through Twitter profile biographies to help build a list of influencers in your niche who may be well-suited to sharing your content, as she details in the Moz guide to content marketing.

Followerwork Twitter Bio Search Image

Tactic 3: Plan Post Reuse In Advance

Actionable Marketing Guide’s Chief Content Officer Heidi Cohen takes the time to plan out content reuse and even the creation of ancillary works. She suggests:

When you write your post, craft related, tailored pieces at the same time. Present a different aspect of the same topic with each piece. Write two complete posts rather than having a single post in two parts.

Consider where your content will be most likely to fill the needs of those viewing it, and how that will best work when it comes time to reuse and rework your initial messaging. Doing this in the planning stage can both save time in the long run, and ensure that content reuse is done in a well-thought-out manner, instead of possibly being forgotten altogether.

Cohen and others recommend fashioning a measured pace for doling out new versions of your initial content over time, each incorporating a new element or perspective on your original content, or perhaps using updated statistical data, all the while considering where new audiences for your work may exist.

Our own Caitlin Burgess also explores the advantages of experimentation and the role of creativity when planning content reuse, in her helpful “A Tasty, Strategic Addition to the Content Marketing Table: ‘Repurposed Content Cobbler’.”

“If there’s one thing that every content marketer has in spades, it’s a fully stocked content pantry,” she says. “From white papers and eBooks to blog posts and original or third-party research, all of that robust and niche content has the potential to be sliced, diced, and repurposed into something new and fresh.”

Tactic 4: Use Target Audience Personas to Supercharge Your Content Calendar

Understanding the pain points, needs, and attitudes of your target audience is critical if you want to develop a content strategy that wholly resonates. After all, how can you be the best answer for your audience if you don’t understand what questions they’re asking or what problems they’re trying to solve.

Social Media Today Community Manager Emma Wiltshire knows how important it is to create marketing personas well before launching content. Knowing the search queries you want to show up for and how they align with the needs of your target audience should be fully understood before you begin creating new content.

Audience Personas Image

Tactic 5: Find Your Best Distribution Options

Savvy marketers understand that the job has scarcely begun once they’ve hit publish on a piece of content, and recognize that amplification is crucial. Those who don’t build distribution and sharing into the planning process risk losing out on a key element in the planning cycle.

As Cathy McPhillips, Vice President of Marketing at Content Marketing Institute (CMI), said:

“You spend so much time creating epic content, so why not spend that same amount of time coming up with a plan for distribution and promotion? It can be a down and dirty spreadsheet — fill in dates, audience, messaging, and what you’re trying to achieve.”

But where should you plan to share your content?

Heidi Cohen also recognizes the advantages of finding the best distribution options for your content, and the time to make these decisions is before content has been completed.

Owned, social, and third-party media all have specific uses, and finding out whether your campaign is best suited to using just one or all three is an important step in the content planning process, outlined nicely by Cohen in her “60+ Ways To Maximize Your Content Distribution” guide.

Distribution Network Image

Weigh the value of each publishing platform and channel, and when you’ve chosen those best-suited to your content, it’s helpful to document the plan and share it with all your team-members, so everyone knows what’s expected, including which key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics will be used throughout the lifetime of the campaign to reach your goals.

Don’t Just Wish — Gain A Major Advantage By Planning Ahead

As Eleanor Roosevelt once said: “It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.” Take her famous advice to heart, and focus your wishes and goals into creating an actionable content plan.

By taking the time to follow these steps — documenting your plan, building a sharer list, incorporating reuse ahead of time, using audience personas, and finding your best distribution options — you’ll gain a major advantage over those who skip over some or all of the planning stage.

When you’re confident in your content planning process, you can move on to the crafting and creation portion of your campaign, and we’ll take a closer look at that stage in the next part of our Collective Wisdom series. Stay tuned!

Ready to learn more? See Lee Odden present the latest best-answer marketing strategies at Pubcon Las Vegas 2018 on October 16 – 18, and MarketingProfs’ B2B Marketing Forum in San Francisco on November 13 – 16, where Ashley Zeckman will also be sharing her digital marketing insight.

The post How to Boost Your Content Marketing Efforts By Planning Ahead appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Enterprise B2B Influencer Marketing Interview: Dr Konstanze Alex, Dell

Influencer Marketing Interview with Konstanze Alex

Influencer Marketing Interview with Konstanze Alex

Within the world of B2B influencer marketing, there are a handful of brand experts who have been charting a course within large enterprise organizations for the rest of us to follow. One of those pathfinders is Dr. Konstanze Alex (@konstanze), Head of Corporate Influencer Relations at Dell.

My first experience with Konnie was several years ago when TopRank Marketing was working with Dell to develop relationships with IT influencers as part of an online publication initiative. Since then, we’ve worked with Dell to help develop an influencer marketing playbook, support influencer engagement at events and through content, but her relationship focus on working with influencers has stuck with me through it all.

In this interview, we’ll learn about the uniqueness of B2B influencer marketing, practical tips, a few of Konnie’s favorite influencer programs and where influencer marketing for the enterprise is headed.

What brought you to the world of Influencer Marketing?

Konstanze AlexAbout 5 years ago I stepped into a new role in Social Media Marketing and one of my first projects had me investigate social selling experts for who understood the social media from a social business and sales perspective, specifically for a large global organization like Dell. One important aspect for us at the time was to educate our marketing leadership on social analytics and insights to help build programs for our marketing teams that would in turn lay the foundation for successful social selling programs and campaigns.

How is influencer marketing different for B2B than B2C?

In my experience B2B and B2C influencer marketing are not even siblings in the same family. They might be distant cousins at best.

B2B influencer marketing has a much slower and longer lifecycle. It is truly a long-term relationship business in which trust and mutual value creation are built over a long time via ongoing engagements and constant knowledge sharing.

B2C influencer marketing, in general, is focused on capturing the attention of large online consumer audiences which makes sense given the more transactional nature of the business.

Cutting edge B2B influencer marketing focuses on both, online and offline engagements.

Cutting edge B2B influencer marketing focuses on both, online and offline engagements by the influencers with their highly targeted, smaller business and IT decision maker audiences. The understanding of the off-line aspects of B2B influencer marketing is evolving as long-term relationships mature, trust grows and an alignment of values has been clearly established.

For example, strategic partnerships with influencers can lead to the very natural incorporation of brand content into the influencer’s event and conference keynotes, personal and professional conversations, strategic writings, etc. At that point a B2B influencer relationship resembles traditional relationships with industry analysts.

In B2B influencer marketing it is not the audience size of an influencer but the trust level an influencer has built with his/her audience that matters.

In B2B influencer marketing it is not the audience size of an influencer but the trust level an influencer has built with his/her audience that matters, especially when it comes to high value purchase decisions and long-term commitments a customer makes with a brand. For a brand, the stakes lie in constantly briefing and engaging the influencer on a strategic vision and technical level.

What are 2-3 of the main benefits of collaborating with influencers for B2B companies?

Working with B2B influencers allows our brand to have a constant pulse check with purchase decision makers. Informed influencers who share our vision of the future based on their own experience and expertise provide for independent, third party validation.

Strategic partnerships with influencers provide for an outside in view when creating content for our customers.

Strategic partnerships with influencers provide for an outside in view when creating content for our customers. We need to constantly ensure that, as a brand, we don’t start talking to ourselves, but keep a keen focus on the evolving challenges our customers have and on language they use to express these challenges.

How is influencer marketing positioned within your company? Ex: independent department that serves the brand and departments / business unites or is it more decentralized? What are the advantages of that structure?

At Dell, relationship building and maintenance with influencers, media, press and analysts is housed in corporate communications. We firmly believe that relationships based on trust, aligned values, independence of opinion and mutual value creation are key to successful collaboration between brands and influencers.

What tips can you share about being more effective about influencer identification, qualification and recruitment?

You have to invest time and due diligence to the identification process. A sophisticated influencer program doesn’t rely on a single identification method or one-time vetting process of to start and maintain a relationship with an influencer but rather develops a scorecard that gets constantly reviewed and, most importantly, evolves as this emerging field matures. At this point, we review strategy, methods, tactics and measurement on an ongoing basis.

Are there specific B2B influencers that you keep going back to because they are so amazing?

Yes, of course, we have a number of strategic partners who never stop evolving or expanding their expertise. We value them highly and feel that they represent a reflection of our brand’s values and long term vision.

Do you have a favorite B2B influencer marketing campaign that you can share? What made it successful?

There are numerous, but a couple stand out for me: A year and a half ago we started an influencer hosted business podcast called Luminaries – talking to the brightest minds in tech where we focus on technology visionaries and the very human face of innovation. Our hosts are phenomenal digital storytellers and bring the outside-in view into every episode, every conversation with every guest with a deep commitment to and appreciation of our combined audiences.

We built successful long term influencer engagement around our Realizing 2030 research reports that explore and examine the impact of new technologies on life and work in the year 2030. In strategic partnerships we are able to illuminate the report results from a number of distinct perspectives to make them accessible and relevant to our diverse audiences.

Successful (influencer marketing) programs will continue to lead from a human perspective and understand that technology remains only a tool for humans to achieve progress.

How do you think influencer marketing will have evolved in the next year or two? What will it look like in 2020?

We will leverage new technologies such as AI for increasingly nuanced influencer identification, especially for micro targeting of audiences. We will use intelligent tools to find new ways of measuring results and new roles will have been defined within an influencer marketing team. But successful programs will continue to lead from a human perspective and understand that technology remains only a tool for humans to achieve progress.

B2B Forum 2018

If you would like to learn more about B2B influencer marketing from a panel of brand experts, be sure to check out our sesssion at MarketingProfs B2B Forum November 13-15th featuring Konstanze Brown from Dell, Amisha Gandhi from SAP Ariba and Lucianna Moran from Dun & Bradstreet.

Here are the details:

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

Content and influencer marketing are hot topics for B2B marketers all over the world as two of the most promising strategies for attracting, engaging and converting ideal customers. What many marketers don’t realize is how collaborating with influencers can create even more credible, relevant, and optimized experiences for target accounts. Join moderator Lee Odden and an expert panel of B2B brand influencer marketing executives from SAP, Dell and Dun & Bradstreet to learn how working with influencers and their communities can help scale quality B2B content that gets results.  You’ll learn:

  • The variety of benefits from B2B influencer collaboration
  • How major B2B brands plan, implement and measure influencer content
  • About processes and technologies that support influencer marketing success

We hope to see you there!

The post Enterprise B2B Influencer Marketing Interview: Dr Konstanze Alex, Dell appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Digital Marketing News: Haptic Marketing, Twitter’s Ranked Feeds, B2B’s ABM Challenges, & YouTube’s Vertical Video Ads

2018 September 21 News Image

The Power of Micro-Influencers [Infographic]
A look at the benefits of working with highly-targeted audiences, and how micro-influencers can work to build brand awareness and drive sales. MarketingProfs

Twitter will soon let you switch between chronological and ranked feeds
Twitter announced that it will change how its feed works, with a forthcoming update allowing users to switch between ranked and chronological settings, offering a new layer of control. The Verge

Despite buzz, only one-third of B2B businesses are committed to ABM, report says
A newly-rleased Dun & Bradstreet B2B marketing data report shows limited account-based marketing implementation, and a few other surprises. Marketing Land

Four Effective Techniques for Working With B2B Influencers
Finding the right influencers and getting their attention can be a challenge. MarketingProfs Tom Whatley examines the situation and how to overcome many obstacles. MarketingProfs

Twitter gives video ads a subtle lift, puts livestreams atop the timeline
Twitter has rolled out changes which will boost video ads on the platform, and put live-streaming content in the spotlight, but will marketers benefit from the more prominent app placement? Marketing Land

What the 2018 Forbes Cloud 100 List Has to Say About the Current Trends in B2B Technology
An examination of Forbes recently-published report and list of private cloud companies and what it says about B2B technology trends. G2 Crowd

2018 September 21 Statistics Image

Vertical video ads are coming to YouTube
YouTube announced new vertical video ads in a mobile-friendly format, and ability to tailor ads to its users’ personalized feeds, among several featured rolled out recently. The Drum

Amazon’s B2B Marketplace Could Surpass $10 Billion
Amazon announced that its B2B Marketplace may top the $10 billion mark, and that it is on track for a tenfold sales increase from 2016 when it began. ASICentral

The Next Marketing Skill You Need To Master: Touch
Forbes takes a fascinating look at haptic marketing and why digital marketers are taking notice. Forbes

How marketers are seeing value in a proven standard: The Drum and GumGum release a report on contextual advertising
A new report looks into how marketers are finding benefit in contextual advertising. A semantics analysis and various computer vision findings are among insights the study reveals. The Drum

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

2018 September 21 Marketoonist Cartoon

A lighthearted look at marketing automation by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist

Dos Toros Created a Burrito-Themed Meme Account to Boost Its Own Following – AdWeek

Cash-Strapped Zuckerberg Forced To Sell 11 Million Facebook Users — The Onion

TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:

  • Lee Odden — 5 Actionable Tips from Content Marketing World Speakers to Improve Your Marketing Now — Austin Copywriter
  • Lee Odden — Lend an EAR to understand Lee Odden’s approach to B2B influencer marketing — B2B News Network
  • Jane Bartel and Ashley Zeckman — What’s Trending: Mastering Marketing’s Many Vocations — LinkedIn (client)
  • Lee Odden — 43 Most Influential Social Media Marketers You Should Be Following — Animatron

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

Thanks for joining us, and we hope you’ll check in again next week for a new array of the most relevant digital marketing industry news, and in the meantime you can follow us at @toprank on Twitter for even more timely daily news. Also, don’t miss the full video summary on our TopRank Marketing TV YouTube Channel.


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The post Digital Marketing News: Haptic Marketing, Twitter’s Ranked Feeds, B2B’s ABM Challenges, & YouTube’s Vertical Video Ads appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Interactive Content Marketing: Why B2B Marketers Should Take Their Content from Boring to Bold

Why B2B Marketers Should Consider Interactive Content

Why B2B Marketers Should Consider Interactive Content

Show of hands, B2B marketers: How many of you know which Hogwarts house you belong in? Or which Disney princess best represents your personality and relationship ambitions?

via GIPHY

Don’t be shy. I’m a Gryffindor wizard through and through—and apparently, I’m more of a Jasmine than an Ariel. And I know all this thanks to the rise of interactive content.

From quirky quizzes to ROI calculators to guided eBooks, interactive content is a rising content marketing star. BuzzFeed is perhaps the most prolific example, creating dozens of quizzes each week that are making their way into social feeds and search results. (And almost all users reportedly finish them).

But why should B2B marketers consider adding interactive content to their mix?

Because B2B is often pegged as bland and boring. And in a crowded content market, not to mention the fact that buyers’ content preferences are turning increasingly visual, interactive content is the next evolution.

But if that doesn’t convince you, read on for a few more reasons why its time for B2B to embrace interactive content.

#1 – Interactive content is more engaging than static content—for the long-term.

Interactive content may seem a little gimmicky for some marketers—especially those in the B2B space. But the vast majority of marketers who use interactive content agree that it not only grabs attention, but can also hold that attention beyond that initial view.

In fact, according to the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and Ion Interactive 2017 Interactive Content Study:

  • 87% of marketers agree that interactive content grabs the attention of the reader more effectively than static content
  • 77% of marketers agree that interactive content has reusable value, resulting in repeat visitors and multiple exposures
  • 73% of marketers agree that interactive content, when combined with other more traditional content marketing tactics, enhances message retention among their audiences.

So, if you’re aiming for awareness, engagement, and attention, interactive content holds incredible potential. But I’d also add that this is only true if you deliver quality, relevant content in an interactive format.

As my colleague Josh Nite points out: “[Interactive content is] absolutely designed to grab attention. But if your content provides value—if it’s worth paying attention to—interactive elements can help you bring in an audience.”

[bctt tweet=”#InteractiveContent is absolutely designed to grab attention. But if your content provides value—if it’s worth paying attention to—interactive elements can help you bring in an audience. – @NiteWrites” username=”toprank”]

#2 – Interactive content can differentiate you from your competitors.

Content has always been a foundational element of B2B marketing. Buyers don’t make hard and fast decisions. Instead, they do their research, weigh their options, and have multiple engagements with sales reps before they sign on the dotted line. Interactive content can help you make an impression and stand out in a crowed, competitive content landscape.

In addition, according to the aforementioned report, just 46% of marketers report using interactive content right now—which was flat year-over-year. And if history is any indicator, I’d wager that interactive content adoption among B2B marketers is far lower since the industry is typically slower to adopt new tactics.

But that won’t always be the case. Harnessing the opportunity right now has the potential to differentiate your B2B brand from the competition early on, showcasing your commitment to innovation.

#3 – Interactive tools can provide you with exclusive data and analytics.

Savvy marketers are driven by data insights. And many of the interactive content tools you’d leverage for an asset come with their own analytics dashboards, allowing you to get near real-time data on how your audience is interacting and absorbing your content.

For example, Ceros, an interactive content software that simplifies the creation process, provides all the basic KPIs such as visitors, opens, and pageviews, as well as engagement metrics like time spent and interaction clicks. But they also track inbound referrals, social shares, video plays, and outbound link clicks.

Oh, and that data is viewable in its Analytics Dashboard within second of it happening.

Ceros Interactive Content Tool

While traditional analytics platforms and the data within them is invaluable, from my perspective, this more niche data can help uncover some insights that can help you refine your asset on the fly or consider how to improve other content types moving forward.

#4 – Interactive content can drive results at every stage of the funnel.

From educating buyers to creating customer loyalty, interactive content can serve a purpose (and drive results) at every stage of the funnel. Interactive content users report using the tactic for lead generation, lead nurturing, customer retention, and the list goes on.

And interactive is especially powerful, when combined with other tried-and-true content marketing tactics.

For a top-of-funnel example, Prophix, a leading provider of corporate performance management (CPM) software solutions, wanted to drive awareness around its report on the evolution of financial planning and analysis, as well as its solutions.

By repurposing its original research and adding influencer perspectives, we created an interactive quiz to help empower their audience to crush their jobs now and into the future.

Prophix Crush It Interactive Quiz

This anchor asset, which was promoted using a supporting mix of blog content, social amplification, email, and more, saw a view rate 6-times higher than the benchmark for a similar resource. In addition, the page where it lived garnered 3-times the average share rate.

What Opportunity Does Interactive Content Hold for Your B2B Brand?

Interactive content is here to stay. But the real opportunity doesn’t lay in the interactivity itself. The real value creation is in the excitement or connection that you can make with your audience, as well as the potential to hold their attention for long enough to engrain your message or inspire action.

[bctt tweet=”The real opportunity with #interactivecontent doesn’t lay in the interactivity itself. The real value creation is in the excitement or connection that you can make with your audience. – @CaitlinMBurgess” username=”toprank”]

So, B2B marketers. If you’re ready to break away from boring and drive better engagement, interactive content deserves your consideration.

How can you leverage interactive content? Check out our post featuring five ways of making marketing magic with interactive content.

The post Interactive Content Marketing: Why B2B Marketers Should Take Their Content from Boring to Bold appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Death to SEO: Why Marketers Are Increasingly Disenchanted By The Original Digital Marketing Tactic

Why Marketers Are Turning Away from SEO

Why Marketers Are Turning Away from SEO

Just over two decades ago, search engine optimization (SEO) burst onto the internet scene and kicked the digital marketing doors wide open. Today, marketers consider SEO an effective and required part of their digital marketing mix — well, some of us at least.

Many thought leaders, marketers, and brands have speculated that SEO is dead, but we’d argue that it most certainly isn’t. Rather, it’s being reborn. However, it appears to be fading as a core digital and content marketing strategy.

Why? There’s no one answer. Instead, multiple challenges and frustrations have fused to create disenchantment with the practice.

The Current Sitch

While HubSpot’s State of Inbound 2018 report indicates that 61% of marketers say improving SEO and growing their organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority, a recent survey from Clutch shows that SEO is the least popular digital marketing tactic, with just 44% of marketers leveraging SEO. (And just think of how many articles you’ve seen — including this one — pondering whether SEO is dead or alive.)

Now think about this: 91% of B2B marketers and 86% of B2C marketers use content marketing as part of their marketing strategies, according to Content Marketing Institute’s 2018 benchmarking studies.

Setting aside the different methodologies and sample groups used for these reports, I think we can all agree that many marketers today are struggling to see the value of SEO (and some may even be missing its important connection to content marketing).

[bctt tweet=”I think we can all agree that many marketers today are struggling to see the value of #SEO. – @annieleuman” username=”toprank”]

*Cue the dramatic music.*

But why are marketers shying away from this foundational digital marketing tactic?

At TopRank Marketing, SEO is part of our company fabric, playing a role in nearly everything we do. And while it hurts our emotions to know that many marketers are turning away from the tactic, we aren’t entirely surprised.

The Modern Marketer’s SEO Struggle

It’s a Dog Eat Dog World

We’ve all heard (and maybe said) the top complaint: Thanks to high content marketing adoption, the organic search landscape has become too [expletive] crowded. And as a result, many marketers feel they can’t effectively compete.

“SEO has become way more competitive than it was about five years ago,” Joe Manier, our Digital SEO and Advertising Manager, agrees. “With more content to compete against for rankings every day, I think more and more marketers probably discount SEO as a worthwhile tactic.”

As a result, more marketers are forgoing the long-term play and turning to paid search to get top placement in SERPs. In fact, paid content promotion has increased almost 400% since 2014, according to a survey from Orbit Media.

Furthermore, digital marketing budgets are slowly growing. According to August 2018 CMOsurvey results, in the next five years, digital marketing spending is expected to overtake the majority of marketing budget spend, rising from 44% to 54%.

To us, this not only signals that marketers feel the required SEO effort is too taxing and competitive, but also that they’re under increasing pressure to deliver fast results. And with larger budgets to allocate to digital, marketers may be looking to other options that can show results more quickly.

[bctt tweet=”Why are #marketers turning on #SEO? They feel like the effort isn’t worth the reward, and they’re under pressure to drive results. ” username=”toprank”]

It’s Not Black and White

Since its inception, Google has been constantly leveling up the sophistication of its ranking algorithm — much to the dismay of marketers. In fact, just this summer there were several Google updates such as mobile site speed and HTTPS, all of which had SEO and ranking implications.

Savvy marketers have been paying attention to these updates. They understand that while Google will never divulge its full ranking algorithm, there are key ranking factors such as relevant, user-friendly content and quality backlinks that are important for SEO and user experience. And they know content optimization requires tweaking and testing to see what works for them.

However, with so much on their plates, the fast paced change is hard to keep up with. And couple this with the content saturation mentality, SEO can feel like a losing battle. As our own CEO Lee Odden recently wrote, some marketers simply feel like Google “hates” SEO:

“With Google algorithm and platform updates including Florida, Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, Pigeon, RankBrain, Mobile, Possum, Fred and the thousands of launches, live traffic experiments, side-by-side experiments, and over 130,000 search quality tests, it makes you wonder: is this all for improving the customer experience or is some of it to thwart SEO?”

It’s a Waiting Game

When black-hat tactics went extinct, marketers had to get used to the notion that SEO was the long-play. But that doesn’t mean they’ve been happy with the waiting game, especially if other tactics have the potential to work more quickly.

But marketers aren’t the only ones who want fast results — so does the C-suite. And if marketers don’t deliver, they sow seeds of doubt and stand to disappoint executives, who are likely the ones who approve their budgets.

“If your company stakeholders expect to see an increase in organic traffic or more Page 1 rankings within a couple months of launching an SEO strategy, they’re going to be disappointed,” Joe says. “Therefore, marketers may end up leaving SEO behind as they’re failing to meet stakeholder expectations.”

And, of course, hearing phrases like “Rome wasn’t built in a day” or “It’s a marathon, not a sprint” adds to the frustration — and doesn’t quell pressure from higher-ups.

Our Hot Take: Now Is Not The Time to Quit

The changing and challenging search landscape is frustrating. There are trillions of unique web pages and counting to compete with. Algorithms and search styles are constantly evolving. And, to top it all off, you’re under pressure drive results and meet internal stakeholder expectations. We get it.

But here’s the thing all marketers should remember: Change is inevitable. Our world is increasingly digital, which means the digital marketing landscape will continue to experience rapid shifts.

Also, many of the changes and challenges you’re experiencing now aren’t new. “Easy win” or black-hat SEO tactics have been dead and gone for a while now, and Google has been tweaking algorithms on the daily for a decade or more. Furthermore, content marketing is closing in on a decade of growing use—and shows all the right signs to continue as a staple digital tactic.

So, rather than abandoning a tried-and-true tactic, perhaps it’s time to shift your strategy. As founder of SparkToro and Moz, and one of SEO’s most recognizable experts, Rand Fishkin once said:

“SEO is powerful precisely because it’s hard to predict and hard to measure.”

So, it’s not a matter of “can” you get results with SEO, it’s a matter of “how” you’ll adapt to find success.

We know quality content that matches search intent is a key ranking factor. And we also know quality backlinks are important, too. So, how do you create link-worthy content? Check out our post featuring five types of link-worthy content.

The post Death to SEO: Why Marketers Are Increasingly Disenchanted By The Original Digital Marketing Tactic appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Invisible Content Syndrome and the Content Promotion Tactics to Cure It

Invisible Content Syndrome

Eyes fixed on his computer monitor, Jack felt perspiration form on his forehead as he waited in anticipation for the flood of visitors to the new campaign he and his team just launched.

Anticipation turned to nervousness as he looked around the room and asked, “Who’s promoting this content?”

All Jack got in return were blank stares and a bad case of Invisible Content Syndrome.

According to research by the Content Marketing Institute, 83% of B2B marketers use social networks for traffic, making it the most preferred tactic. At the same time, research from BuzzSumo reports that social sharing has dropped by 50% since 2015. With only 23% of CMOs feeling they are producing the right content and delivering it at the right time and format, lack of visibility is a disease content marketing is suffering across the industry.

The good news is that our client, “Dr. LinkedIn”, offers some cure. According to Digiday, likes and shares on LinkedIn are up more than 60% year-on-year, and LinkedIn tops just about every list including the B2B Content Marketing Report as the most effective social media platform for B2B marketers.

But what more can marketers do to cure Invisible Content Syndrome? While you consider engaging a capable marketing agency like ours for help, I’ve asked some of the top marketers in the industry for their best medicine. Here are their prescriptions:

Ann Handley
Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs (and first inductee into the Content Marketing Hall of Fame!)

Wrap your content in context wrapping paper. Your content marketing is a gift you give your audience. Or it should be. If it’s not, stop reading this article on distribution immediately and go back to create something that people want and value. (You know, like an actual good gift.)

Still here? GOOD! Gold star! You’re awesome!

Anyhoosie… share your content gifts on social channels. You know, like you’ve always done.

But now: make sure you wrap it first, using Context as your gift paper. In other words, share not just what the content is… but why it matters to you and your audience.

Your content marketing is a gift you give your audience. @marketingprofs

Why did you write it/produce it/film it/publish it? What about the topic is particularly relevant to this audience on LinkedIn/Twitter/Facebookstagram? What news item does it relate to? What’s so special about your take on it?

Wrap gifts individually for each distribution channel.

Bonus points if you do this by shooting a quick video, so that people can actually see and feel how excited you are.

I did this on LinkedIn with our announcement about our B2B Marketing Forum keynote speakers. I could have just shared the speakers and told how excited I truly am… but instead I shared why we picked them, and how excited I was about it. My excited face and googly eyes say it all.

People love nicely wrapped gifts. Because getting one is way more fun than getting a gift “wrapped” only in a shopping bag from the airport Hudson’s News, right?

Context = the best kind of content gift wrapping paper.

Andrew Davis
Andrew Davis, Keynote Speaker and Best Selling Author at Monumental Shift

Most of us write a blog post, upload our podcast, or finish editing our video, and as soon as it’s released, we promote it everywhere. We tweet it and summarize it on LinkedIn. We post it on Facebook and email it to everyone. We create an Instagram story and Snap it. In an hour our content is distributed everywhere. We vomit our content on our audience all at once.

Some of the most successful content creators see massive success when they focus less on WHERE they distribute their content and instead focus on WHEN. @DrewDavisHere

It turns out that some of the most successful content creators see massive success over a more extended period when they focus less on WHERE they distribute their content and instead focus on WHEN to distribute their content.

For example, first, send your content to your email subscribers. Now, before you post it anywhere else wait. Wait until your most loyal audience has had time to click and consume your content. (Maybe this takes 24 hours or even a couple of days.) Next, promote your content on one social channel at a time, watching the consumption rise and fall before moving on to the next channel.

The result is a much more successful content distribution and promotion strategy that builds momentum and social proof. Go ahead, give it a shot. You’ll be so glad you did.

Ursula Ringham
Ursula Ringham, Head of Global Influencer Marketing at SAP

Social media influencers are an important ingredient in creating and promoting memorable content. As you’ve seen from industry reports, people are more opt to trust influencers than brands. But you must start by including influencers in the content creation process. Whether it’s a blog, video, podcast, or live-stream, collaborate with the influencer on the story you want to tell and how best it will resonate with their audience.

Whether it’s a blog, video, podcast, or live-stream, collaborate with influencers on the story you want to tell and how best it will resonate with their audiences. @ursularingham

Secret Tip? While the content is being created, have the influencer create anticipation about it before it even comes out, like a teaser of what’s to come. That way, their audience will be hungry for it. And that’s when the value of an influencer kicks in. They can take your promotion strategy for that piece of content to the next level with their reach across multiple social platforms.

Larry Kim
Larry Kim, CEO at MobileMonkey

When we promote MobileMonkey’s great content, we don’t “give away” the ending in its distribution and promotion. We hint at the payoff in a way that leaves the reader shouting, “Tell me more!”.

“Don’t ‘give away’ the ending in your content’s distribution and promotion. Hint at the payoff in a way that leaves the reader shouting, ‘Tell me more!” @larrykim

A secret weapon, a major loss, something personal, a traditional model turned upside down… just a hint can avoid invisible content syndrome. This isn’t revolutionary, but it’s overlooked and a constant in MobileMonkey’s campaigns.

Cathy McPhilips
Cathy McPhillips, Vice President of Marketing at Content Marketing Institute

Have a plan. You spend so much time creating epic content, so why not spend that same amount of time coming up with a plan for distribution and promotion? It can be a down and dirty spreadsheet — fill in dates, audience, messaging, and what you’re trying to achieve.

Marketers spend time creating epic content, so why not spend that same amount of time coming up with a plan for distribution and promotion? @cmcphillips

Mix up the messaging, hashtags, keywords, days, times that best suit your customers, set up UTM parameters to then analyze what’s working. Find ways that your content can help someone solve a problem. Don’t assume they’ll find you or your content without you doing legwork on your end.

Mike King
Michael King, Managing Director at iPullRank

It’s remarkable to me that brands will spend a considerable amount of money on building something, but very little on promoting it. I believe brands should take the same approach that networks do with televised content: Spend 5X what you spent to make something to promote it.

Brands should take the same approach that networks do with televised content: Spend 5X what you spent to make something to promote it. @iPullRank

The tactic that we use to drive a wealth of high value traffic is creating bite-sized relevant content pieces that we can guest post on other high traffic sites and link back to our tent pole content. Effectively, you end up borrowing traffic from sites that already have your audience. We tend to make the content asset freely available in HTML format, but with key capture points such as Wistia’s Turnstile feature, which creates a point in a video where you can’t watch any further without giving your email address.

We’ll also use Pay with a Tweet to offer the audience download versions. So, you end up creating more opportunity to capture leads and drive social sharing without completely gating your content.

Carla Johnson
Carla Johnson, Programme Director, Digital Marketing at HARBOUR.SPACE

Great content brings expertise to the table, but there’s hardly anyone who’s learned all the tough lessons themselves. To help promote content, tap into people who have solved the problem that your content helps your audience with. Get their insights, expertise and, if they’re really honest, epic fails so that your audience can get some leap-frog learning and avoid the same mistakes.

To help promote content, tap into people who have solved the problem that your content helps your audience with. @CarlaJohnson

Doing this helps make invisible content visible in two ways – it’s sure to hit sore spots and pitfalls that your audience deals with, so they’re more likely to share. And when you make it easy for the experts you’ve tapped to share the final content, you’ve added breadth, depth and credibility to it as well. People like to be a part of, and share, great advice.

Mike Stelzner
Mike Stelzner, CEO/Founder of Social Media Examiner

My secret to getting content seen is to focus on the real needs of my audience. If they are social media marketers struggling with exposure in the Facebook News Feed, you can bet I’ll be talking about that. When you hit a real need, people will share your content and talk about it.

The secret to getting content seen is to focus on the real needs of your audience: conducting studies, getting on the phone, or meeting them in person. @Mike_Stelzner

The only way to really understand the pains of your audience is to really know them. That’s where conducting studies, getting on the phone, or meeting them in person can be exceptionally valuable.

Sujan Patel
Sujan Patel, GM and Co-Founder of Web Profits

There’s one thing I do every time to ensure my content gets seen, I create a promotion plan for every content idea that I come up with. This sounds very simple and it is however it’s an extra step rarely taken by content marketers.

If I can’t come up with at least 5 ways to promote the content I want to make, than it shouldn’t be written. @sujanpatel

My rule of thumb is that if I can’t come up with at least 5 ways to promote the content than it shouldn’t be written. When you start with promotion you build content promotion into the article itself which ensures it receives maximum visibility.

It’s also important to note that content promotion takes significant time so you need to carve out time and resources for promotion. I often spend 80% of my time promoting content.

Joe Pulizzi
Joe Pulizzi, Co-Founder and Board Member at The Orange Effect Foundation, Founder at Content Marketing Institute

I call this the “Core 20” rule of promotion. In my experience, there are generally 20 people in your universe that will highly benefit from the content you create. If you do your homework correctly, those 20 individuals have loyal audiences themselves. They don’t have to have large audiences, just loyal ones.

The “Core 20” rule of promotion: Get 20 people with loyal audiences involved BEFORE you create your content. Insert their wisdom and then ask them to promote. @JoePulizzi

Get those 20 people involved BEFORE you create the content. Insert their wisdom into the text, the video, the podcast series, the event. Consider these 20 your executive committee. Keep them updated as to how your content is progressing and when it will be released. Then, ask them to do one thing. Possibly an email to their audience. A few tweets…a FB post. Email is always my favorite. In this way, you have built a content promotion team that does not just rely on your own distribution.

Get Started Promoting Your Content Today

We all know that “Build it and they will come” advice was great for the movies but not so great when it came to Jack and his less than healthy approach to content marketing. Take the advice above to heart and give content promotion some serious consideration during the planning phase of your next content marketing program.

Speaking of content planning, be sure to check out the 2018 Content Planning Report from DivvyHQ and TopRank Marketing.

Whether you partner with influencers who will help promote the content you collaborated on or take full advantage of all the opportunities available, it’s important to make content promotion an essential part of your content marketing regimen.

If you would like even more content promotion tips, here is a list of 50 content promotion tactics. Are you more into more visual content? Here’s an ebook version of this post:

A version of this post was originally published on the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions blog


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2018. |
Invisible Content Syndrome and the Content Promotion Tactics to Cure It | https://www.toprankblog.com

The post Invisible Content Syndrome and the Content Promotion Tactics to Cure It appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.