Online Marketing News: Facebook Gets Topical, Instagram Gets On The Carousel, AdWords Gets Dynamic

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More Reviews More ROI

Social Media Reviews Drive E-commerce Conversion [Infographic] - E-commerce is a booming market, and its growth is closely tied to social media engagement. This engagement from users is often in the form of posting to their networks about positive or negative experiences, or by posting reviews to ecommerce sites. An infographic from Bazaarvoice highlights how reviews can impact sales and return on social media investment. SocialTimes

Google Webmaster Tools Now Shows When Images, CSS, or JavaScript Are Being Blocked - When Google crawls your site, ideally you want it to be able to see your site as a regular users would. If linked image, CSS, or JavaScript files are being blocked from crawling then Google is not able to properly render your site. Search Engine Journal

Mid-Size B2B Marketers Focusing More on Customer Acquisition Than Retention - B2B marketers from mid-size companies (50-1000 employees) are focusing their attention and budgets more on customer acquisition than retention, and relatively few report having management objectives tied to customer retention, customer satisfaction, and up-sell revenue metrics. That’s according to a new report [download page] from Act-On Software conducted by Gleanster Research, which examined customer relationship management at mid-size firms. MarketingCharts

Facebook Introduces Topic Data - Topic data shows marketers what audiences are saying on Facebook about events, brands, subjects and activities, all in a way that keeps personal information private. Marketers use the information from topic data to make better decisions about how they market on Facebook and other channels, and build product roadmaps. Facebook

Report: Brands May Lose 10K to 60K Visitors Per Month To PPC Trademark Bidding - Monitoring firm BrandVerity has released its fourth-quarter look at how brand terms are targeted in paid search across the major networks.The company monitored the core branded keywords of over 250 well-known B2C brands from 10 different industries during Q4 2014 to evaluate trends in how brands are targeted. As is clear from the chart below, not all paid search networks address trademark usage the same. Search Engine Land

Google Launches First Ever AdWords App on Android - Google announced the launch of its first ever app dedicated to managing AdWords campaigns. The app is now available worldwide on the Android operating system, with an iOS version said to be in the works. Search Engine Journal

Google: 80% Of Eligible HTTPS URLs Aren’t Used In Google’s Search Listings - Gary Illyes, the man to blame at Google for the HTTPS algorithm, shared a “small” analysis Google ran on HTTPS URLs. It showed that 80% of HTTPS URLs that were eligible to be included in the Google search listings, were not because the webmaster canonicalized – on purpose or by accident) – the HTTP version instead. Search Engine Roundtable

Instagram Announces Clickable Carousel for Advertisers and Aims to Prove Platform Value as Marketing Outlet - Up until now, links on Instagram have not been clickable, save for the one on a user or brand’s profile page. This means that while brands could certainly advertise on the platform, the lack of a unique link on individual posts made the effectiveness of a campaign an unattainable data point. This is no longer the case. Social Media Today

B2B and B2C Digital Marketing Tactics, Compared - B2B marketers count lead generation as their top marketing objective, while B2C marketers are most heavily focused on driving sales this year, according to Webmarketing123’s latest annual State of Digital Marketing” report. MarketingCharts

71% Check Facebook, Twitter and Instagram During Office Meetings, Says Study - The survey, which was conducted by LondonOffices.com and polled 1,000 office workers, found that 71 percent of respondents admitted to looking at social media sites on their phones during work meetings. SocialTimes

Online Vs. TV: 72% Of Agencies Say Online Video Ads Are As Effective – Or More Effective – Than TV [Survey] – After surveying 120 U.S. ad agencies, BrightRoll says client interest in video ads has grown 88.6% during the last three years. Marketing Land

Twitter Launches Partner Audience, A New Ad-Targeting Feature For Publishers - Last week, Twitter announced partner audiences, a new way for advertisers to reach new and potential customers from audiences created by our Marketing Platform Partners. Twitter

Google AdWords Introduces Dynamic Structured Snippets - Your paid search listings are about to get a slightly new look and feel with the addition of dynamic structured snippets, the Google AdWords team announced. Search Engine Journal

From our Online Marketing Community:

In response to How to Make Free Stock Images Work for Content Marketing, SB Web Consulting said, “Sourcing great images is very difficult, especially stock images when you can spot them a mile off! Some great resources here, thank you!”

On Interview: Daniel Pink on Winning with Authority, Influence and Inspiration #authority2015, Siva commented, “Awesome Interview, Well sustained answers by Dainel. I loved all the answers especially, Daniel play with #social network word association. That’s superb cool :) . I’ve one question your Book “To sell is Human” .. what came in to your mind to write this book ?”

And Alex Barca responded to Content Marketing Bundle of Awesome – 12 eBooks for Better Content Performance in 2015 by saying, “Thank you for including Curata’s ebook! What a great group of content marketing resources :)

What were the top online and digital marketing news stories for you this week?

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

Infographic: The Conversation Index


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Online Marketing News: Facebook Gets Topical, Instagram Gets On The Carousel, AdWords Gets Dynamic | http://www.toprankblog.com

March 13th 2015 Online Marketing

Online Marketing News: Yahoo! Turns 20, Google+ Splits, Twitter Ads Everywhere

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Most Valuable Search Traffic

Which Sites Have The Most Valuable Search Engine Traffic? [INFOGRAPHIC] - If you’ve ever used the tool SEMRush before, you’ve likely noticed how it assigns a dollar amount to your organic traffic. This value is based on the amount of money people are bidding to rank for the keywords you’re getting traffic from organically. Check about the above infographic to see which site generates the biggest organic bucks. Search Engine Journal

Twitter Is Rolling Out Swipe To Dismiss Images - Twitter appears to be rolling out a big change to how you get get out of viewing images on the service once you’re done. The Next Web

92% of B2B Marketers Use Social Media to Share Content - More than nine in 10 business to business (B2B) marketing executives use social networking sites to distribute content, but just one third rely on mobile, reveals a new study. SocialTimes

Google+ Divided Into Photos and Streams, With New Boss - Google’s social network gets a new leader in Brad Horowitz, and likely will see the Hangouts communication service stand alone, too. Cnet

Google Wants To Rank Websites Based On Facts Not Links - The internet is stuffed with garbage. Anti-vaccination websites make the front page of Google, and fact-free “news” stories spread like wildfire. Google has devised a fix – rank websites according to their truthfulness. NewScientist

Twitter Wants You to See One Ad in Every 20 Tweets - How often do you see a promoted tweet on Twitter? Rarely, right? At least it seems that way. But Twitter has plans to change that, and more ads will be coming your way soon. SocialTimes

Yahoo Celebrates Its 20th Birthday By Setting New World Record For Yodeling - Yahoo turned 20 yesterday, and to celebrate it set a new world record for yodeling. The company pulled together more than 3,400 people to set the Guinness World Record for the largest simultaneous yodel. Search Engine Land

CMOs Plan to Boost Marketing Budgets by 9% This Year - Buoyed by optimism about the U.S. economy, CMOs said they plan to increase marketing budgets by an average of 8.7% this year, according to the semi-annual CMO Survey released Wednesday by Duke University, the American Marketing Association and McKinsey & Co. Ad Age

Twitter Most Effective Social Marketing Platform (But Facebook Most Important), Says Study - Two thirds of marketers in Ireland believe that Twitter is the most effective social platform for business, reveals a new study. SocialTimes

US CMOs Still Report Making Little Use of Marketing Analytics - US CMOs remain bullish about marketing analytics spending but appear to be failing to keep pace with their own projections, according to the latest installment of the CMO Survey [pdf] from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Indeed, while CMOs expect to almost double the share of their budgets spent on marketing analytics over the next 3 years (from 6.4% to 11.7%), current levels of spending are actually down. MarketingCharts

Twitter Launches Official WordPress Plugin - Twitter has released an official Twitter plugin for WordPress that will allow sites powered by the popular publishing platform to easily embed Twitter content and expand their reach on the social platform. WordPress

What were the top online and digital marketing news stories for you this week?

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

Infographic: Search Engine Journal


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Online Marketing News: Yahoo! Turns 20, Google+ Splits, Twitter Ads Everywhere | http://www.toprankblog.com

March 6th 2015 Online Marketing

Online Marketing News: Facebook’s Ad Grade, Google Testing Label For Slow Sites, YouTube Tightens Up

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The Power Of Reviews

New Research Shows 95% Use Customer Reviews - PowerReviews set out to look deeper at how ratings and reviews are impacting decision making. They surveyed 800 Americans to find out what they thought about ratings and reviews. Check out the interesting stats they found in the infographic above. Socialnomics

Pinterest Was the Fastest-Growing Social Network in 2014 - Pinterest recorded the biggest percentage rise in active users of every major social network in 2014, reveals a new study. SocialTimes

Google Testing A Label In Search Results For Slower Sites - Is your site unusually slow? Google is testing a red slow label in the search results that will warn searchers before they click over to your web site. Search Engine Land

Photos No Longer Get More Reach on Facebook - You’ve no doubt heard the advice that posting photos will help you get more reach on Facebook. That advice has been tried and true for years, until now. According to a study by SocialBakers, photos now get less organic reach than videos, links, and even text updates. In fact, videos are now the king of the News Feed! Yahoo! Finance

Facebook Adds Legacy Contact - Facebook is a place to share and connect with friends and family. For many of us, it’s also a place to remember and honor those we’ve lost. When a person passes away, their account can become a memorial of their life, friendships and experiences. Facebook

Pinterest Is Stripping All Affiliate Links From Its Network - Just as reports surface that Pinterest is working on a new way to monetize its network, there is now news from VentureBeat that Pinterest is banning all affiliate links. Pinterest power users are being warned via email that links containing affiliate info, redirects, or pin trackers will be automatically removed. Search Engine Journal

Google AdWords Adds Call-Only Campaigns - Google AdWords announced a new method of targeting click-to-call campaigns named “call-only campaign.” In short, it gives advertisers a much faster way to target mobile devices that have a calling feature only. Search Engine Roundtable

Facebook To Grade The Effectiveness Of Your Ads Before You Run Them - Facebook has taken the guesswork out of wondering whether or not that ad you’re about to run is any good with the introduction of relevance scores. Search Engine Journal

LinkedIn Starts Using Its Data to Sell Ads Across the Web - LinkedIn is beginning to sell ads across the internet, becoming the latest social company to layer its data on top of the web’s ad inventory. Ad Age

YouTube Tightens Rules For Brand-Sponsored Videos - Sponsors’ brand logos and products are prohibited on graphical video overlays unless the sponsor has an ad deal with Google. Marketing Land

Facebook Can Now Track Online Searches Out of App - Facebook has updated its privacy policy to say that it can now track your every move, even when you’re logged out of the app. Facebook’s latest policy change will come as a knife in the heart to the privacy-aware, as the new policy allows the website to gather data about you from across the internet, including online searches and details shared with online retailers. Search Engine Watch

Facebook Launches Product Ads, A Possible Threat To Google? - Facebook announced the launch of a new advertising unit called product ads, which look like they have the potential to be a real threat to Google Shopping ads. Search Engine Journal

From our Online Marketing Community:

In response to Using Emerging Social Networks to Increase B2B Productivityviki sangre said, “Yes, Social media is the backbone of an online marketing, we need to create solid social networks to achieve traffic, customers and sales.”

What were the top online and digital marketing news stories for you this week?

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

Infographic: Power Reviews


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2015. |
Online Marketing News: Facebook’s Ad Grade, Google Testing Label For Slow Sites, YouTube Tightens Up | http://www.toprankblog.com

February 27th 2015 Online Marketing

Online Marketing News: LinkedIn Launches Lead Accelerator, 5 Apps Make Up Most Mobile, Twitter Gets Syndicated

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LinkedIn Marketing Services Funnel

LinkedIn Launches Lead Accelerator, Expands Marketing Solutions Portfolio - Talk to any B2B marketer and you’ll know – the purchase process can be very long and complex. As a marketer and business leader with years of experience in this space, I know that effectively reaching, nurturing and converting prospects has only become harder. That’s why I’m thrilled to introduce LinkedIn’s expanded Marketing Solutions portfolio, featuring the new LinkedIn Lead Accelerator. LinkedIn [Client]

Facebook’s Q4 2014: Mobile is Now 69% Of Ad Revenue - All estimates going into Q4 showed that ad spend on Facebook would rise. Facebook validated this belief Wednesday, showing that the company reaped its all-time high in quarterly ad revenue — $3.59 billion. SocialTimes

Report: Mobile Users Spend 80% of Time in Just Five Apps - According to a recent survey based report from Forrester Research, US and UK smartphone owners “use an average of 24 apps per month but spend more than 80 percent of their time on just five apps.” Whether or not it’s literally five, this is directionally correct; consumer app time is concentrated in just a few popular apps. Marketing Land

Google Revenues: $18 Billion For Q4 ($66 Billion For Year) But CPCs Down Again - Paid clicks grew but slowed; CPCs declined based on apparent mobile pressure. Marketing Land

Twitter Launches ‘Quick Promote’ Feature to Help SMBs Boost Tweets - Twitter has introduced Quick Promote, a faster, easier way to promote tweets on its platform. Aimed at small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), the new feature allows brands to promote tweets directly from the Twitter analytics dashboard. SocialTimes

Google Disabled More Than Half A Billion Ads in 2014 - Google released its annual “Bad Ads” report today, which revealed the search giant had to disable more than 524 million bad ads last year. Search Engine Journal

eMarketer: 1B Users Will Access Facebook via Mobile Phones Monthly in 2015 - Nearly 1 billion Facebook users, or more than 70 percent of the social network’s total, will access Facebook via mobile phones at least once per month in 2015, according to new research from eMarketer. SocialTimes

Twitter Syndicates Promoted Tweets for Broader Reach - Promoted Tweets will now appear as native content on other platforms, such as mobile app Flipboard, that already integrate organic tweets into their applications. ClickZ

Google Confirms Making “Tweaks” To The Search Results But Says No “Update” To Announce - Google says that last update the SEO community noticed was not related to the Penguin or Panda algorithms. Search Engine Land

iOS Continues to Outperform Android in Mobile Ad Monetization - Android is now squarely in the lead when it comes to mobile ad impressions on the Opera Mediaworks network, ending the year with 62.7% share in Q4, a significant hike from 37.7% during the year-earlier period. But iOS continues to punch above its weight class in monetization, garnering 51.7% share of revenues while representing just 27.2% share of traffic. MarketingCharts

Facebook Groups to Improve the Way People Buy and Sell - Facebook’s For Sale Groups will have improved features for buying and selling. For Sale Group members can now choose the Sell feature when creating a post. You can add a description to what you’re selling, include a price and set a pick-up/delivery location. Facebook

STUDY: Facebook Ad Spend Shifts to Video, Mobile in 4Q 2014 - Goodbye, engagement; hello, direct-response ads; and a big hello to video ads and mobile: Those were the major findings by Kinetic Social, a Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer, in an analysis of its clients’ fourth-quarter-2014 advertising campaigns on Facebook and Twitter. SocialTimes

From our Online Marketing Community:

On Lee Odden on How to Co-Create B2B Marketing Content With Influencers at #C2C15, twotrees marketing exclaimed, “21,000% ROI! Holy ebook sales batman!”

In response to Online Marketing News: Twitter Still Bigger, Pinterest’s Intent, Low Trust In Social News, SHIFT Digital Media said, “Wow! Those are some great facts! I’m going to be sharing some of these in an upcoming blog post. I find it interesting that social media is the least popular method of customer service. Social media is always the first place I go when upset about service.”

What were the top online and digital marketing news stories for you this week?

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

Infographic: LinkedIn


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Online Marketing News: LinkedIn Launches Lead Accelerator, 5 Apps Make Up Most Mobile, Twitter Gets Syndicated | http://www.toprankblog.com

February 20th 2015 Online Marketing

Wrap Up: Stories and Influencer Marketing Lead the B2B Content Marketing Bonanza at #C2C15

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C2C15-B2B-Content-Conference

More than 7,000 Twitter posts by 1,600+ different users generated almost 28 million impressions during this week’s Content2Conversion Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona. For three days, the resort at Gainey Ranch became a genuine B2B content marketing bonanza.

From opening night festivities on the Lawn Court, to the closing panel session, B2B content wishes, wisdom and wit was shared among the more than 400 conference attendees and their social media audiences.

Excellent opening night festivities for #C2C15 – Well done @content2convert !

A photo posted by Lee Odden (@leeodden) on

How About That Weather?

For those of us who traveled from the Midwest or the East Coast, weather was a common-ground topic, and probably 90% of the conversation starters. Coming from zero-degree Minnesota, the weather was a good way to break the ice (pun intended.)

Not cold. #C2C15 A photo posted by Lee Odden (@leeodden) on

I spent as much time as I could soaking up sun and conversation outside between sessions in the mid-70 degree weather before returning home to 10-below.

Stories & Influencers Lead

C2C was my first B2B content marketing conference, and I welcomed the opportunity to dive in and get fully immersed in the topic. As a journalist-turned-marketer, it was also refreshing to see some common themes from other areas of writing resonating throughout the conference.

From Michael Brenner‘s talk on content personalization and Laura Ramos‘s insight into B2B storytelling, I brought home a deeper understanding of the emotional connection B2B buyers need to have with the content they consume. From Tim Riesterer and Karen Thomas-Smith, I learned more about how content influences buying decisions and ways to implement content-first marketing programs.

Event keynote speakers included Erin Provey of SiriusDecisions, Brenner from NewsCred, Jim Lenskold from Lenskold Group. While I attended mostly the C2C (content-focused) presentations, our friends at Demand Gen Report have provided this great recap from both the C2C and Demand Gen Summit tracks.

Influencer Marketing

TopRank CEO Lee Odden spoke on influencer marketing, more specifically co-creating content with industry thought leaders in his presentation: Lee Odden on How to Co-Create B2B Marketing Content With Influencers at #C2C15.

Influencer marketing has brought a number of marketing industry leaders together with the audiences they serve through content that is beneficial to both (more about TopRank’s award-winning influencer campaign later).

A number of other sessions were also captured on TopRankBlog.com:

How Optum Transformed Their B2B Marketing to a Content-Led Strategy – #C2C15

Build Your Own Brand Marketing Social Newsroom: Tips From SAP at #C2C15

The Most Important Thing Missing From Your B2B Content: Forrester’s @LauraRamos Tells All #C2C15

Killer Content Awards

Demand Gen Report also announced the fourth-annual Killer Content Awards. TopRank Online Marketing was the recipient of this year’s award in the influencer campaign category for a eBook series produced for Content Marketing World 2014. Congratulations to all award winners!

 Killer-Content-Award-TopRank-Marketing

Pictured here is Alicia Fiorletta, senior editor of Demand Gen Report, with our own Lee Odden accepting the award. 

Frankly, I like this picture even better: 

Congrats as well — and thank you — to the Content2Conversion group for putting on such a fabulous conference. The team at TopRank Online Marketing is looking forward to next year’s event!


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2015. |
Wrap Up: Stories and Influencer Marketing Lead the B2B Content Marketing Bonanza at #C2C15 | http://www.toprankblog.com

February 20th 2015 Online Marketing

Online Marketing News: Twitter Still Bigger, Pinterest’s Intent, Low Trust In Social News

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Time Spent Online

28% of Time Spent Online is Social Networking - How much time do you spend each day on social networks?According to new data, the average user logs 1.72 hours per day on social platforms, which represents about 28% of all online activity. globalwebindex

Facebook: 24.63% of Social Referrals in December (Pinterest: 5.06%, Twitter: 0.82%) - Facebook’s share of social referral traffic rose more than two percentage points in the fourth quarter of last year, and the platform now accounts for almost one in four of every social website visit, reports Shareaholic. SocialtTimes

Social Media Is The Least Popular Channel For Customer Service [Survey] - While customer service complaints on social media may be the most public, they aren’t the most popular (by a wide margin) according to a new study. Marketing Social Media Is The Least Popular Channel For Customer Service [Survey]" href="http://marketingland.com/social-media-least-popular-channel-customer-service-survey-114984" >Marketing Land

Social Media Makes Up Nearly A Third Of All Referral Traffic - Social software company Shareaholic argues that the shift from search to social is here with the release of a new set of data that reveals social media referral traffic is up 22.71% from this time last year. Search Engine Journal

Study: 80% of Companies Will Increase Digital Marketing Budgets - As digital marketing becomes increasingly important to business strategies, 80% of companies plan to increase their digital marketing budgets over the next 12 to 18 months, according to a study released Tuesday by Mondo. Ad Age

Pinterest to Focus on “Intent” Data - Pinterest is enhancing its Promoted Pins offering by broadening its data pool. The move is hoped to provide better targeting options for advertisers. Pinterest plans to unlock some of its user data to help advertisers produce more targeted ads. Clickz

Twitter is Still Bigger Than Instagram, Says Study - Last December Instagram reached 300 million monthly active users (MAUs) on the platform, making it bigger than Twitter, which had just 284 million MAUs. Then the spam accounts were deleted. SocialTimes

Facebook Reaches 1.39B Monthly Active Users, Half A Billion Are Mobile-Only - Facebook announced its Q4 2014 earnings today, revealing that 1.39 billion users now use the social network every month, which marks a 13% year over year growth. Monthly active users on mobile grew even more at 26% year over year, now sitting at 1.19 billion in total. Search Engine Journal

Pinterest Is Now Pushing Promoted Pins Into Users’ Home Feeds - The social bookmarking site is accelerating its advertising efforts in the U.S.; it previously only served paid ads in category and search results. Marketing Land

Quickly See AdWords Performance By Search Query Length In Google Analytics - A new Word Count Query dimension in Analytics lets advertisers quickly compare head terms and long-tail queries. Search Engine Land

LinkedIn Sells Nearly Half a Bill Dollars in Ads Last Year - LinkedIn’s advertising revenue reached $153 million in the fourth quarter, a 56% increase over the same time the year prior, the company said Thursday. Ad Age

Fewer Than Half Trust Social Media for News, Says Study - More and more people are turning to social media to obtain their daily news fix, but fewer than half trust platforms such as Facebook and Twitter as a source of this news, reveals a new study. SocialTimes

From our Online Marketing Community:

On Is Your Business Blog Running on Empty? Here Are 4 Ways To Fill the Tank, Nataliya K. said, “Absolutely loved it! I appreciate you mentioning that someone will eventually ask the right questions with regards to quality and strategy of their blog. On the other hand, because great content is so precious, it is very expensive for companies to invest into in-house power writer (because they are rare!)”

What were the top online and digital marketing news stories for you this week?

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

Infographic: GlobalWebIndex


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2015. |
Online Marketing News: Twitter Still Bigger, Pinterest’s Intent, Low Trust In Social News | http://www.toprankblog.com

February 13th 2015 Online Marketing

Online Marketing News: Tweets in Google Searches, Content Out Of Focus, Facebook Domination

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Marketing Trends Road Map

Marketing Trends Road Map for 2015 [INFOGRAPHIC] - Feeling a little lost? Does your marketing plan for 2015 look like it was drawn on a napkin? Uberflip, a content publishing platform, has an infographic that may help guide you through the year. Uberflip

Facebook Introduces Place Tips in News Feed – Starting last week on Facebook for iPhone, place tips may show up at the top of your News Feed when you’re out and about. Facebook

Tumblr Launches In-House Ad Agency - Tumblr is joining the ranks with YouTube in using its social network to leverage creators and make them money, and maybe even Michelle Phan famous. Today it launched the Creatrs Network, an agency that will select Tumblr users that are onto something and help them connect with brands. SocialTimes

Google’s Knowledge Graph May Show For 25% Of All Search Queries - Google’s Knowledge Graph shows for about 25% of all Google queries, which can pose a threat to the publishers who are the source of much of that data. Search Engine Land

Facebook Dominates Social Sharing While Twitter Sees a Decline - ShareThis’s new report shows that Facebook overtook Pinterest, Twitter, and Reddit in terms of sharing activity during the fourth quarter of last year, garnering a whopping 81% of shares. ClickZ

Twitter Cuts Deal With Google To Let Tweets Appear In Searches - Twitter has struck a deal with Google to make its 140-character updates more searchable online. Ad Age

Pinterest Search Is Now Customized By Gender - Aiming to attract more men to its social bookmarking network, the company is serving different search results for males and females. Search Engine Land

70% of Consumers Buy CPG Products After Seeing Mobile Ads - Digital targeting becomes a must for mass marketers. More than 50% of consumers make shopping lists and download coupons to their mobile devices. Digital Marketing News

New Twitter “Quick Promote” Targets SMBs - Twitter’s new ad product allows small businesses to promote their highest-performing tweets straight from their analytics dashboards to drive engagement from lookalike users. ClickZ

Almost 1 in 3 B2B Marketers Say Their Content Is Company-Focused, Not Customer-Centric - The biggest way in which B2B content fails to change business executives’ perceptions is by too closely resembling a sales pitch, according to a study released last year by the Economist Group and Peppercomm. Yet, a sizable portion of B2B marketers might be falling into that trap, per new survey results from Corporate Visions. MarketingCharts

Facebook Drives Nearly One-Fourth Of All Referral Traffic - Shareaholic report shows Facebook with a 10% increase in share of visits in Q4; Social media continues to drive more referrals than organic search. Marketing Land

LinkedIn Beats Twitter for Content Marketing, Says Study - LinkedIn has leap-frogged Twitter as the No. 1 social network for content marketing, reveals a new study. SocialTimes

 

What were the top online and digital marketing news stories for you this week?

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

Infographic: Uberflip


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Online Marketing News: Tweets in Google Searches, Content Out Of Focus, Facebook Domination | http://www.toprankblog.com

February 6th 2015 Online Marketing

Is Your Business Blog Running on Empty? Here Are 4 Ways To Fill the Tank

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Blog-Out-Of-Gas

I’m a bit of a risk-taker when it comes to my gas tank. If you cared to check, most days you will find me driving around with the gas light on.

In fact, I’ve done this so long that I have it down to an art. I know how many miles I can go, and even how the car starts to drive when I’m operating on fumes.

Why, why on earth would anyone do this, you might ask. The answer is simple … because so far it’s worked. I haven’t found myself on the side of the road unable to keep going.

With a quick fill-up, I’m back on my way. The problem is, you know that eventually my pit-stop strategy is going to fail. When I pull into a parking lot for one more stop, I’m not immune to worrying about my glowing orange gas light, and the big ‘Check Gages’ that’s projected onto my windshield. ‘What ifs’ ranging from a new meeting to a call from daycare run through my head, and I know I would be slow to get there because I would have to stop for gas.

 So… why the admission regarding my poor approach to fueling my vehicle? Because, the same pit-stop strategy is what I often see when evaluating a company’s blogging efforts.

Gas Up Your Blog Posts

Blog posts, the staple of many organizations’ content plans, are an easy to ignore fuel light. As long as they keep coming, no one is forced to stop and evaluate the performance. The measurement of success becomes whether or not a post was published that day, versus how the blog post is going to help achieve a stated content marketing objective. gas-fill-up

But eventually, this too will fail. Someone will start asking the right questions and you will be left holding the keys to a content marketing strategy that’s built on blog posts that have run dry.

To avoid stalling out on the side of the content road, and make sure that your blog posts are strategically aligned with your overall content marketing efforts, it’s important to follow best practices. Here are 4 considerations to help your business blogging go the distance and reach your content marketing destination.

1. Objective

Seems silly, right? Of course the objective of the content marketing strategy, and the blog posts that live within it, are likely one or more of the following; increasing brand awareness, audience engagement, traffic, and ultimately business-level metrics like MQL’s or sales.

What I’m talking about is the objective of a particular blog post. It happens too often that the content plan as a whole has an objective, but the individual pieces of content do not.

For example, it’s easy to create a concept about ‘14 Reasons to Love Content Marketing’ and tie it up with a nice Valentine’s Day image. Mwah!

Take a closer look, though. Is that post going to directly help you reach any of your stated marketing objectives?

At the post level, be sure to identify the intended outcome of each piece of content. For example, will the post support:

  • Thought Leadership with strategic ideas and the inclusion of industry influencers
  • Engagement metrics with an action for the audience to participate
  • Leads with a call-to-action leading to a gated piece of content

Identifying the objective of each post at the outset is important to make sure that the content you create is going to contribute towards the desired results. A statement of objectives upfront also makes measuring success much easier.

2. Audience

Producing results is directly tied to being able to create the right content for the right audience, at the right time.

It’s likely that you have a few target audiences, and subsets of those audiences. You may be trying to reach marketers, but within that group, you have: executives, directors, and those executing.

While there is overlap in what those three groups care about, they also have distinct needs, interests, and pain points. For this reason, target audience should also be identified at the post level and content should be crafted accordingly.

3. Content Type & Buying Cycle

Long-form, short-form, interview, Q&A; there are several different formats you can leverage to create blog content. You’ll run into problems if you don’t decide which type you are going to create beforehand.

Before you decide which type to create, you first need to consider:

  •    What you hope to accomplish (see number 1)
  •    Who it’s for (see number 2)
  •    Where in the buying cycle are you focusing

Certain types of content may perform better in different stages of the buying cycle. For example, your audience may engage better with short-form content in the attract stage, and long-form content during the engage stage.

In addition, mapping to the buying cycle also allows you to be more effective in funneling visitors from your blog post to your desired next step. It happens too often, where companies draft a very high-level blog post and then want to encourage the reader to take a very strong call to action. i.e. a demo request.

If the ‘offer’ (your content) and the ‘ask’ (the call to action) don’t add up for the visitor, it’s never a good thing.

4. Accompanying Digital Assets

Digital assets are an under-utilized part of planning and drafting blog content. They are often not considered, or are added so late in the content production that at least some value is lost.

When you are creating your blog concept, be sure to identify what additional assets you have that can help extend amplification.

Digital Assets can include slide decks, original imagery, videos, case studies, and other modular content snippets. Leveraging these assets, you can prime the audience ahead of time, round out the blog post you are publishing, and follow-up with additional resources.

No one wants their company’s blogging efforts to be running on empty. If the measurement of success is simply the creation of content, then it’s time for a tune-up.

Take the time to plan ahead, and really work through what types of blog posts are going to help you reach your content marketing and business objectives. Doing this now will make sure you don’t end up stranded, and help you arrive safely wherever you want to go.

For more information on blogging for content marketing and being the best answer for your customers, be sure to check out this presentation.

Top image: Shutterstock
inside image: Shutterstock


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2015. |
Is Your Business Blog Running on Empty? Here Are 4 Ways To Fill the Tank | http://www.toprankblog.com

February 5th 2015 blogging, Online Marketing

B2B Marketing eBook: Inspiration From 14 Marketing Influencers

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B2B-Marketing-2015

The digital marketing industry is shaped by great minds that, while keeping one eye on the work at hand, are focusing the other on the future. These great minds help us see “what’s next” and inspire us to create the next level of content for marketing.

For inspiration on B2B Marketing in 2015, look no further than the experts in “B2B Marketing 2015: 14 Visions of the Future You Can Use Today“. These B2B savants see a future in which content is co-created with brands, employees, customers and influencers. They see a future in which company data is used to shape conversations in real-time. Their future borrows from B2C marketing by humanizing the B2B journey and creating user experiences for buyers, not just companies.

Today’s release of TopRank Marketing’s latest visual eBook features quotes from 14 forward-looking B2B marketing professionals from top marketing brands that include: MarketingProfs, Salesforce ExactTarget, LinkedIn and more. Here’s the full list:

Ann Handley, @AnnHandley
Joel Book, @joelbook
Tom Webster, @webby2001
Steve Garfield, @stevengarfield
Kerry O’Shea Gorgone, @KerryGorgone
Jim Greenway, @wowjim
Jon Miller, @jonmiller
Jeannine Rossignol, @j9rossignol
Seth Lieberman, @sethwlieberman
Susan Emerick, @sfemerick
Jennifer Sable Lopez, @jennita
Jason Miller, @JasonMillerCA
Lee Odden, @leeodden
Brian Massey, @bmassey

Feeling inspired about B2B marketing in 2015?  To help your fellow marketers share some of this insight with their audiences on Twitter, we have created tweet-able quotes below:

Tweet This: TL;DR (Too Long; Didn’t Read) will be replaced with GR;LI (Great Read; Loved It). @AnnHandley

Tweet This: CMOs will be charged with creating customer service communications, becoming the Chief Journey Officer. @joelbook http://ctt.ec/uz0dW+

Tweet This: B2B marketers should know as much about their buyers as B2C marketers know about theirs. — @webby2001

Tweet This: B2B buyers will expect salespeople to be more like consultants that inform and guide them to a purchase decision. — @stevengarfield

Tweet This: Mobile commerce will overtake traditional payment methods in the consumer space. B2B is next. @KerryGorgone

Tweet This: B2B marketing winners will be the ones with the stronger social connections to the market. @wowjim

Tweet This: Evolved marketing automation will use predictive analytics to deliver personalized interactions. @jonmiller

Tweet This: There will be no distinction between B2B or B2C. Everything is marketed to the individual. @j9rossignol

Tweet This: CMOs will take the lead for promotions to CEO positions, thus elevating everyone in marketing. @sethwlieberman

Tweet This: Employee advocacy is picking up steam and will become the next big social media mega trend. @sfemerick

Tweet This: Companies will quickly turn customer data into real-time, relevant content for their communities. @jennita

Tweet This: B2B companies will hire B2C agencies for fresh perspectives and new ideas. @JasonMillerCA

Tweet This: By co-creating content, marketers will increase quality and effectiveness while elevating relationships. @leeodden

Tweet This: Marketers who realize B2B buyers are ‘human’ and not companies will create engaging, effective content. @bmassey

Savvy marketers will do well to latch on to what these visionaries have to say, because the future is being shaped one editorial calendar, one blog post and one tweet at a time. To learn more from these and other content marketing visionaries, check out these events coming up this year:

Social Media Marketing World
March 25-27, San Diego

Content Marketing World
Sept. 8-11, Cleveland

MarketingProfs’ B2B Forum 2015
Oct. 20 – 23, Boston


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2015. |
B2B Marketing eBook: Inspiration From 14 Marketing Influencers | http://www.toprankblog.com

February 3rd 2015 Online Marketing

Online Marketing News: Mobile Drives Digital, Search is Number One, Twitter Digits

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Mobile Driving Digital Growth

Mobile is Driving Digital Growth Worldwide [INFOGRAPHICS] - How is mobile driving digital growth? The annual report from digital agency We Are Social provides statistics of worldwide social, mobile and digital penetration, demonstrating just how far social has come — with indicators for the future. Check it out. SocialTimes

Smartphones Account For 40% of US Search Ad Spend In Q4 [Marin] - In Q4, smartphones continued to chip away at desktop paid search contribution in the US. The share of ad spend that went to smartphones rose nearly 5% from Q4 2013 to account for more than 40% of total search spend. That comes from Marin Software’s Benchmark Report for Q4 2014. Search Engine Land

REPORT: Most Questions Posted to Facebook Pages Remain Unanswered - Facebook pages are answering more questions posted by users, but more than one-half of those queries are still left hanging, according to the latest research from social analytics provider Quintly. SocialTimes

B2B Marketing Budgets to Increase an Average 6% - More than half of B2B marketers plan to increase their marketing budgets this year, with the average budget increasing by 6%, according to a new report by Forrester Research. AdAge

Study: Search is Number One Content Discovery Tool For Mobile Users - Yesterday, the IAB released a report that seeks to “rehabilitate” the mobile web. Based on a Harris survey of 2,000 US mobile internet users, it argues that despite the gap in time spent, mobile users value and heavily utilize the mobile web. Search Engine Land

82% of Sites Use Responsive Web Design in 2015? Try 11.8% - Contributor Bryson Meunier suggests the percentage of sites you believe are adopting responsive design may be greatly exaggerated. Marketing Land

Twitter Warns Users to Stop Sharing Instagram Links - The social platform is urging its high-profile users to ditch the Facebook-owned app and instead use its own photo service. ClickZ

Yahoo Sees Big 1.6% Monthly Search Share Gain At Google’s Expense in New comScore Data - Measurement firm comScore just released its December search market share report for the US. Last week the firm mistakenly posted the data early and quickly withdraw the page from publication. Search Engine Land

Twitter Teams Up With Bing to Offer Translated Tweets - Twitter announced it is bringing back a project it terminated in 2013, which is the ability for users to view tweets in multiple languages. Now the company is teaming up with Bing and its translation engine to make translated tweets a reality once again. Search Engine Journal

Twitter Launches “Digits” Login For Web - Twitter has added one more way to access your account without a password. Called Digits, the new feature was announced Wednesday by the microblogging company. It is a feature that will let Twitter users login to the account with just their phone and a one-off password. SocialBarrel

Average User Has 5.54 Social Media Accounts, Says Study - How many social media accounts do you have? Facebook, almost certainly. Probably Twitter and Instagram. LinkedIn for work, of course. Maybe you tried Google+. What about Snapchat, Tumblr, Vine and Pinterest? You probably use more platforms that you think. SocialTimes

PLAs Drove 56% of Non-Brand Google AdWords Clicks In Q4 [RKG] - Google product listing ads continue to drive more and more traffic for retailers. In Q4, product listing ads (PLAs) drove 56% of non-brand clicks and 30% of overall Google search ad clicks, according to RKG‘s latest report, which encompasses primarily large-volume retailers. Search Engine Land

From our Online Marketing Community:

From How Locally Laid Got Paid by Turning Customer Feedback into Brand Storytelling, Ken McGaffin said, “”Many companies would have simply ignored the letter…” is oh so true. The result would have been another missed media opportunity. This is a great little story that should have us all thinking “what possible stories have we missed in the past – and how do we make sure we do our best to spot them in the future?” Like you James, I’ll keep an eye on how this story develops. Thanks”

What were the top online and digital marketing news stories for you this week?

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

Infographic: SocialTimes


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Gain a competitive advantage by subscribing to the
TopRank® Online Marketing Newsletter.

© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2015. |
Online Marketing News: Mobile Drives Digital, Search is Number One, Twitter Digits | http://www.toprankblog.com

January 30th 2015 Online Marketing