Three Crucial Truths for Engaging Your Audience on Mobile

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My eight-year-old son recently asked me why the icons for “phone” look so weird. None of these images look like a phone to him:

 

 

 

 

 

Smartphones have already killed payphones and landlines. Now they’re poised to do the same to desktops and laptops. Google is already reporting more mobile searches than desktop searches. Desktop internet use has stagnated while mobile eats up an ever bigger share of our internet time.

It’s clear that the future of content consumption will increasingly be on mobile devices. There’s definitely still value in long-form content for users to settle in with on desktops. But your content strategy should include a healthy dose of mobile optimized content.

To fully take advantage of the opportunity, we need to understand how people use their mobile screens and alter our content accordingly.

Here are three big truths you need to know to create compelling mobile content.

#1: Your Audience Is in between Activities

People reach for their phones to fill a quick moment in time. They’re in the doctor’s office waiting room, or boiling water for pasta, or (let’s be honest) in the bathroom. Most people don’t pull out the phone thinking, “I’m going to settle in and read for an hour.” They’re planning on being interrupted.

Plan your content for someone who could put away their device at any time:

  • Frontload the value. Don’t be coy or mysterious. Now is not the time to build tension for a big reveal later. The first few paragraphs should let the reader know what’s in it for them.
  • Keep It Short. Jacob Baadsgaard at Disruptive Advertising did a fascinating experiment on content length. They found while mid-length content performed best on desktop, the shortest version of the same content performed best on mobile.
  • Don’t be shy with the CTA. More likely than not, your mobile reader isn’t going to reach the end of your content. Embed your CTA early on in the text.

#2: Your Audience Is Extremely Restless

People on mobile phones are not renowned for their patience. Google reports that although the average mobile site loads in seven seconds, most users are ready to bolt after just two.

Even if your page loads in quickly, you have a drastically-reduced window of time to capture reader attention.

Show them your content is worth the investment:

  • Include optimized, eye-catching images. Librestock is a good source for unique, royalty-free photos.
  • Make your headline tweetable. Your headline should be as sharp and efficient as a well-crafted tweet. Give readers a what and why before they get to your copy.
  • Avoid backscrolling. Give each section a header, and make sure each stands alone—your reader should be able to stop and come back hours later without having to reread.

#3: Your Audience Wants to Be Entertained

Even with the sum of human knowledge at our fingertips, mobile audiences are starved for entertainment. It’s what keeps us scrolling through Reddit or Buzzfeed, looking for a worthy distraction.

Multimedia can be a great way to differentiate your content and grab attention. There are plenty of ways to provide a more compelling experience on a limited budget.

Try these tools and techniques for engaging multimedia on mobile:

  • Animated video. Turn your images into a slideshow with animated text. Programs like Ripl can create nifty video for free, with advanced options for a premium.
  • Interactive Quizzes. Sites like Qzzr make it easy to create quizzes that are naturally optimized to look great on mobile. Qzzr also provides stats for the quiz’s creator, including number of times taken, time spent, completion rate, and more.
  • Infographics. No discussion of compelling visuals would be complete without Canva. Their templates make it possible to make a scrollworthy infographic without having to get a design degree first.

Don’t Be a Payphone in a Smartphone World

The majority of your audience is looking for content on mobile. Serve them content that suits the medium: Lead with the value, don’t give them a reason to bounce, and try some engaging multimedia content.

Most of all, make sure your content leads to the next step. Because while mobile may account for 60% of online traffic, it contributes only 16% of purchases. A solid content marketing strategy can span devices and help guide your customer to a conversion.


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February 22nd 2017 Online Marketing

Does Your Website Pass the Mobile Test?

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It is hard to argue that the adoption of mobile devices hasn’t exploded with popularity. Most searches are being performed on mobile devices, with more searches expected to continue on mobile.

Mobile is not only important for organic performance but for conversions from all types of traffic including email and paid channels. It is important to understand your mobile traffic to focus on the channels that convert the most on those devices. For some websites, mobile devices might bring in the majority of your traffic but the conversions might not be as high as desktop searches, because of less focus on the mobile experience.

Today, most websites are built with a responsive design to help make it mobile friendly, but that doesn’t mean marketers should stop there. Instead, marketers should optimize the entire mobile experience to enhance conversions and overall performance. To help you out, we built a list of actionable tips to make sure your site is mobile friendly from three categories: SEO for mobile devices, mobile content, and mobile conversions.

Mobile SEO Tactics

#1 – Choosing the right mobile website setup

When choosing your website setup, make sure you understand what mobile design you want. There are three main types of mobile sites including:

  • Responsive design
  • Dynamic site
  • Mobile only site (m.example.com)

Google recommends using a responsive design for your website to help make sure it is mobile friendly, but any option works when done correctly.

TopRank Marketing tip: Analyze your audience to understand what the best option is for your site. Not all sites need to have a responsive design, considering a mobile only site can be tailored to your mobile audience easier in some cases.

 

#2 – Test your site for mobile friendliness

There are multiple ways to test if your site is mobile friendly including the Google Usability Test, Google Search Console report, and Chrome Developer tools. Use multiple tools to be sure that your mobile site is rendering correctly instead of assuming that your site is mobile friendly.

TopRank Marketing tip: Use the Chrome Developer Tools to get a better idea of how your website looks like on certain devices by selecting the “inspect” element. Then in the bottom left-hand corner, select the button that looks like a mobile device (see below).

The screenshot below shows the look on a mobile device. You can choose between a responsive site by pixel size or actual mobile phones by selecting the drop down at the top of the screen.

 

#3 – Optimize your metadata

Mobile SERPs (search engine results page) have less real estate for organic listings than desktop SERPs. It is important to understand the search landscape and SERP space available to market yourself over your competitors.

TopRank Marketing tip: Keep your title tags shorter and more concise to avoid your title tags being cut off in the SERP. It is best practice to keep your title tags under, at least, 70 characters for your title tags.

 

#4 – Optimize for mobile keywords

Have you ever conducted a search with a “near me” signifier attached to it? Near me searches are increasing and doubled in 2015 for all types of users, but especially for mobile users. Mobile keywords can also include more voice queries that people conduct with their phones.

TopRank Marketing tip: Make sure you conduct keyword research for mobile users and target mobile keywords. The search intent of a keyword query can vary based on the device people use so optimizing for all types of keywords will help increase your visibility.

 

#5 – Content for mobile devices

There are multiple types of content that should be considered when creating content for mobile users and your audience. Most marketers are already considering the type of content to write for their website on the attract, engage, convert model, but there sometimes is a lack of focus on mobile consumption habits. Mobile consumption habits can change depending on the industry, so it is important to consider how your audience interacts with your website.

TopRank Marketing tip: If you are are sending email campaigns, consider your audience’s mobile consumption habits. Most emails are consumed on mobile devices (see below). Create all your content that you are promoting via your email or social media channels to be mobile friendly.

 

Image via: cdn.emailtoday.com

 

#6 – Geotargeting on your mobile app

If you have a larger audience that uses your mobile app, you might want to consider geotargeting the users when they are close to a storefront, event, or at a specific location. Geotargeting is a great way to encourage action from your audience when they are located in the right areas at the right time.

TopRank Marketing tip: Consider using different imagery and messaging for users in different locations when they are using your app or website. Also, consider sending notifications to mobile app users to entice action when they are at a physical location.

 

Mobile Content Creation

#1 – Consider the content length and types

Consider the length and type of content you are creating for your audience, both on mobile and desktop. As we already covered, there typically is a difference in search intent for users on mobile devices compared to desktop computers. With that in mind, you need to be customer-focused and analyze where your audience is within the funnel for your content assets.

TopRank Marketing tip: Develop audience personas to understand the way your audience searches online. Personas can be a powerful tool when creating content for your website.

 

#2 – Make sure to communicate the value quickly

It is important to communicate your value clearly and quickly to mobile users. Often, banners sometimes push the value proportion below the fold, which may increase the amount of bounces on the page and confuse users where they are on your website.

TopRank Marketing tip: Reduce the amount of unnecessary space or elements on your mobile device to only include what is needed. Less is often more when you are dealing with the limited amount of space on a mobile device.

 

#3 – App optimization

Mobile websites are a must for your online strategy, but apps can provide even a better user experience. Not all companies need to develop and create a mobile app, but for the ones that do, you need to optimize those experiences. Apps should be tailored to solving the user’s problem or creating an unique experience.

TopRank Marketing tip: Optimize your app for the user experience to solve your audience’s problem. After you create your app, make sure you optimize your App store listing to increase your visibility on other channels.

 

#4 – QR codes

QR codes are another solid tactic to add to the dedicated mobile experience. When used correctly, you can push users directly to a location easily with QR codes on psychical flyers or other traditional marketing materials.

TopRank Marketing tip: Test using QR codes on physical marketing materials to push people to a section online with their mobile phones that offers an experience dedicated to them.

 

#5 – SMS messaging

SMS messaging is a way to help you get in front of more of your audience via messaging apps. SMS messaging can be a powerful tool to send notifications to your audience that opted in to encourage specific actions or enhance customer experience.

TopRank Marketing tip: Make your messages personal to help encourage action. Also, make sure to include a clear CTA within the message to see the most value out of your campaign.

 

Mobile Conversions

#1 – Manually audit your layout on your responsive design

Your site might not be mobile friendly even though it might have a responsive design. A responsive site is typically better than a non-mobile site but sometimes issues can still arise. Some issues we typically see are videos not formatted to the correct screen size, the layout pushes the content below the fold, or the font size is too small.

There could be a vast majority of other issues with a responsive design, so make sure you optimize the layout of each page type.

TopRank Marketing tip: Look at what screen size is being utilized the most on your website within Google Analytics. Navigate in your Google Analytics dashboard to go to Audience ? Mobile ? Overview ? Screen Size to quickly analyze what screen size to optimize for first.

 

#2 – Consider your thumb reach

Make sure you consider the thumb reach to encourage action on your mobile design. Making your users reach and work out their thumb can create friction and a low-quality user experience.

TopRank Marketing tip: Make your CTAs within a thumbs reach to improve conversions. Also, consider using sticky headers to help mobile users navigate quickly through your site.

 

#3 – Site speed

Site speed has become more important as a ranking factor for search engines, and rightly so. A fast loading site helps provide a solid user experience and can help increase the crawl rate of the site by search engines. All marketers should be focusing on site speed as a priority item. Below are some tools to test your site speed:

TopRank Marketing tip: Test your mobile site with multiple different tools to get a holistic view on site speed aspects. Prioritize the site speed items to get the most ROI from the work instead of optimizing for every site speed item.

 

#4 – Image optimization

Similarly to site speed, optimizing images will help site speed and user experience. A responsive site often uses the same image that is not probably sized for each device screen.

TopRank Marketing tip: Use different image sizes that can be used at different viewports to pull in images that are the correct size for the device.

 

#5 – Form Optimization

Congratulations! Someone has decided to start filling out a form on your site. That is a great goal to accomplish, but nothing is more disappointing than losing that user after they choose to abandon the form. Optimizing your forms for mobile users is a great way to increase conversions.

TopRank Marketing tip: Adjust the type of the keyboard for mobile users to use the right one for the form fields. For example, use the keyword field to show numbers for phone number fields and a different keyboard for email fields.

 

Your Optimized Mobile Experience

Above are some actionable tactics that you might want to optimize for your mobile website. There are even more areas and opportunities to optimize on your mobile website than listed above. If you’d like to find out if your website passes the mobile test, contact us today to receive a mobile optimization audit.


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2017. |
Does Your Website Pass the Mobile Test? | http://www.toprankblog.com

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February 16th 2017 Online Marketing, SEO

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What were your top online marketing news stories this week?

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

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

February 10th 2017 Online Marketing

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

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Yesterday was a huge day for sports fans and brands across the nation. Diehard football fans wait all year for this special game and hope that their team (or at least a team they support) hits the turf for the big game.

Let me preface my next statement by saying I mean absolutely no offense to the amazing athletes that played their hearts out yesterday. But if you’re like me, the day is really about the cheesy/gooey/delicious food, the Puppy Bowl and of course, the ads.

On this day, brands hope that their creative and entertaining ads will reach an engaged and attentive audience as they’re glued to the television. In fact, the average commercial costs approximately $5 Million for a mere 30 seconds of airtime during the Super Bowl. That is some serious cheddar!

While some companies choose to invest in airtime, others choose to spend efforts on another channel with an engaged audience, social media. Some great brand creative, an attentive community manager and some budget to boost posts is a great way to catch the attention of consumers glued to a 2nd and 3rd screen.

Below are examples of brands that capitalized on a great opportunity to be social and share some great content during the 2017 Super Bowl.

Heartwarming & Inspired

Each year during the Super Bowl there are a handful of brands whose message gives you all the feels and this year was no exception.

Coca-Cola

Honda

Budweiser

This is the story of our founder, and his pursuit of the American Dream. #ThisBudsForYou

A video posted by Budweiser (@budweiser) on

Clever & Creative

On a day where an enormous amount of social content is being created by brands and consumers alike, these companies stood out by taking a clever and creative approach to their message.

NASA & NFL

Snapchat

PetSmart

Bite Squad

General Mills

Food is the most important part of today. Don’t fumble. Get the recipe, on our blog (link in bio). #biggame #food

A photo posted by General Mills (@generalmills) on

Quick to Respond

Kudos to the content teams, social teams and community managers for the following brands. Events like the Super Bowl create the perfect opportunity to respond quickly.

Buffalo Wild Wings

Grumpy Cat

Febreeze

GNC

Social Contests

Although I didn’t see as many social contests today as I had expected, these two brands garnered a lot of engagement from their various posts promoting live social contests during the Super Bowl.

T-Mobile

Pepsi

Just Plain Entertaining

The brands in this category had some of the most entertaining and funny content during Super Bowl Sunday.

Skittles

Bai

Doritos

Buick

Frozen

turbotax

BONUS: Teams with Low Rankings

The opening video featuring Rob Riggle and other celebrity guests was probably one of the funniest moments of the Super Bowl. If you didn’t get a chance to see it live, I’ve included the video below.

Create Your Game Winning Social Content

While it’s clear that some of these brands invested big bucks in content for Super Bowl 51, others simply jumped on the opportunity to showcase some clever content. A special thank you to members of the Social Media Masterminds group on Facebook for helping me uncover some great Super Bowl content!

These 20 examples showcase only a fraction of the brands that created and promoted great content during Sunday’s game. Please share your favorites below!


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Social Media Touchdown: How 20 Smart Brands Won the Biggest Content Game of the Year | http://www.toprankblog.com

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February 6th 2017 Online Marketing, Social Media

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What were your top online marketing news stories this week?

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

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

February 3rd 2017 Online Marketing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What were your top online marketing news stories this week?

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

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

January 27th 2017 Online Marketing

How to Create Best Answer Content: 6 Inspiring Examples

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Undoubtedly you’ve heard the expression “content shock,” coined by marketing expert Mark Schaefer.

With immense respect, I have to admit: I don’t believe in it.

The idea that there’s so much content out there, people are tired of content altogether? That no one’s giving new content a chance? That it’s too hard to get new content seen?

Not buying it.

I think what’s happening is simply this: People don’t want “content.”

They want answers to questions. They want a few minutes of entertainment. They want to learn something new. They want what they were searching for in the first place.

To reach our audience, we need to stop creating content and start producing the best answer to their queries.  Companies that adopt this content marketing strategy tend to top search engine rankings (Top…rankings…there’s an agency name in there somewhere, I can feel it).

It’s easy to find examples of what Lee Odden refers to as “best answer content.” Just go to your friendly neighborhood search engine, enter a query, and browse the first few results. With few exceptions, you will see content that is:

  1. Addressed to a Specific Audience
  2. Addressed to a Specific Query
  3. Substantial
  4. Comprehensive, Addressing Complimentary Queries and Crosslinking
  5. Not Blatantly Promotional

At TopRank Marketing, we call this type of content a “Power Page.” It’s designed to not only top the rankings, but inspire longer time-on-page, lower bounce rates, and direct readers deeper into the site with solid next steps.

Here are a few of my favorite Power Pages. Some are from our clients, some I found at the top of my search results.

#1: A Beginner’s Guide to Email Marketing

Graph of Email Opens Over Time

Nobody beats Neil Patel and his crew at KISSmetrics for sheer volume of best-answer content. This 2,000+ word monster is ranked in the top three on Google for “How to Do Email Marketing.”

It’s easy to see why. Author Nathan Hangen walks the reader through every aspect of creating an email marketing campaign, including tangential topics like how to put together a newsletter and how to write a compelling CTA.

This piece’s search engine ranking is a clear indication that great content is its own SEO. There’s no keyword stuffing in the first paragraph, no awkwardly-shoehorned-in links. It’s just great, valuable, thorough content.

To my eye, the only thing lacking here is a navigational element. A sidebar with links to the headers would make it even easier for people to find what they’re looking for.

#2: 7 Questions Every B2B Content Marketing Strategy Should Answer

B2B Marketing Questions

This page from client LinkedIn Marketing Solutions looks like a mild-mannered blog post, but it’s secretly an organic search powerhouse. Most blog content has a limited life span for search potential. Blog posts generally get shared in the first 2-3 days, then the Internet’s collective consciousness moves on to the next new thing.

By contrast, this post was designed to be evergreen. It addresses crucial concerns marketers have about B2B content marketing strategy, thoroughly answering each and including links to further reading. Many of these links are next-steps to gated content, which add value while also capturing leads.

#3: 100 Best Paleo Diet Recipes of All Time

100 Best Paleo Recipes Graphic

Not every Power Page has to be a 2,000 word original piece of content created from scratch. This page from Paleo Grubs ranks highly for “best paleo recipes,” and is at heart, a roundup of the site’s previously-published recipes, with a few external links for good measure. A little repurposing, a little curation, a little new content for the blurb on each recipe, and voila: An evergreen resource.

This page not only has immediate value for a reader, it has lasting value. They’re bound to spend several minutes browsing, then bookmark the page for future reference.

Notice the CTA at the top left, and the continued offers throughout as you scroll. They’re never intrusive, but they’re highly visible just the same.

#4: The Future of Diagnostic Imaging

This Power Page from McKesson’s Medical Imaging Talk Blog is another permutation of what best-answer content can be. It serves as a topics page, rounding up blogs on medical imaging in several different categories. But it also features commentary on each of the categories, a live Twitter feed, polls and links to gated content.

The result is a dynamic page worth bookmarking, where content is continually refreshed while the anchor page remains the same. A Power Page like this can be a portal to the rest of your blog, selecting out a sub-audience by topic and showing them only your most relevant content.

#5: The Best Hiking Boots for Men

 Row of Hiking Boots in the Snow

Everything about this page from Outdoor Gear Lab is above and beyond the call of duty. There’s no wonder it ranks consistently at the top for “Best hiking boots.” Notice how it starts with “What is the best men’s hiking boot?” What a great way to pull in a likely keyword query. That little SEO flourish is genius, but it’s this page’s comprehensive content that makes it unbeatable.

Note the navigational tabs on the top—you can immediately see there’s a great deal of content here and that it’s well-organized. That kind of information right up front is likely to keep readers on the page exploring. Not only that, the ability to jump right into the information they’re looking for will keep bounce rates low.

This page is packed with valuable information for a prospective hiker, presented in a simple but attractive format. Bonus points for the extensive use of home-grown visuals—there’s not a stock photo in sight.

6. Account Based Marketing Resources: Definitions, Tactics, Tips & Strategy

Archer Taking Aim

Predictive marketing platform Everstring sought to create a one-stop shop for account based marketing with this Power Page. They began with one of the most-searched queries for this relatively new term: “What Is Account-Based Marketing (ABM)?” That query is the start of a deep dive into every relevant aspect of ABM, from getting started to refining tactics.

The organization of this page is exceptional; it’s definitely optimized for ease of reading. Big, bold headers lead to short paragraphs with bulleted points of interest. And it includes rich media in the form of embedded SlideShares, which add value, visual interest, and can increase time on page.

Don’t Be The Ocean. Be the Lighthouse.

Nobody wants more “content.” Your audience is looking for a guiding light, not another drop in the bucket. Create best answer content—data-based, comprehensive, valuable—and let it be a beacon to lead weary sailors to your shore.

To learn more about how TopRank Marketing creates exceptional content, check out our content marketing service page.

Disclosure: LinkedIn, Everstring and McKesson are TopRank Marketing clients. 

The post How to Create Best Answer Content: 6 Inspiring Examples appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

January 25th 2017 Online Marketing, SEO

10 B2C Brands Crushing it with Instagram Video Content in 2017

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The writing on the wall became very apparent last year: 2017 would be the year of video. In almost every marketing predictions post for 2017, video was highlighted as an area that marketers need to incorporate in order to remain competitive.

Video offers a great format for telling your story (or more importantly, the story of your customers) and connecting with your target audience. In 2016, eMarketer found that over 60% of brands planned on investing more in video in the next 12 months.

That means, competition for audience eyes will only get more competitive as brands begin to figure out what video mix works best for their marketing. Unfortunately, finding the right style and type of video for your brand can often be the toughest step.

2017 has just begun and there are already brands that are crushing it with video content and Instagram is one place to start. Below we’re going to dive into how 10 B2C brands are winning with 30-60 second video content on Instagram.

Oreo

Total Followers: 2.1 Million

Oreo has made strides in real-time marketing starting with their infamous approach to the Super Bowl power outage. On their Instagram, you’ll find a delightful mix of Oreos “in the wild” and content focused on classic favorites, as well as new products. In the video below, Oreo asks viewers to “slip into something more elegant” with their new thin cookies.

Introducing new Chocolate ?#?OreoThins. Slip into something a little more elegant.

A video posted by OREO (@oreo) on

RedBull

Total Followers: 6.4 Million

RedBull is a brand that is all about adventure and the lives of their super fans. Much of their content is regrams from other profiles as a way to showcase and feature other Instagram’ers. One of my favorite videos that they have published this year is of an adventure loving influencer that takes an exhilarating (albeit short) ride on a rollercoaster down a mountain.

Nutella

Total Followers: 1.2 Million

Nutella has a very fun and delicious Instagram profile. On it you’ll find different ways to spread Nutella on all of your favorite foods. I particularly enjoy their breakfast videos that showcase different ideas for making Nutella part of a balanced breakfast. They also encourage UGC by using the hashtag #SpreadYourHappy.

Stack breakfast with something the whole family will love. #SpreadTheHappy

A video posted by Nutella (@nutella) on

Stitch Fix

Total Followers: 472,000

Stitch Fix is hands down one of my favorite finds within the past two years. Their approach to styling encourages you to step outside of your normal style and experiment with new looks. As part of a style challenge that they’re running on social channels, Stitch Fix is encouraging their customers to upload their favorite looks with videos like the one below to win a $1,000 prize!

Nike

Total Followers: 68.7 Million

Nike is one of those iconic brands that seems to create powerful campaigns, no matter what channel they’re on. This video in particular features professional runners and an olympian in a way that showcases the product, without making it seem like Nike is trying to sell you something (other than an awesome experience).

Jimmy Choo

Total Followers: 5.7 Million

Jimmy Choo is known for their decade spanning high-fashion. What is great about the videos on their Instagram channel is that the products truly look like a piece of art. Their approach makes it easy to consider their fashion an investment versus a splurge and after just one video, I was searching to see how I too could own some Jimmy Choo.

Discover the exclusive film that brings the #Women’s #SS17 collection to life on our YouTube channel.

A video posted by Jimmy Choo (@jimmychoo) on

Apple Music

Total Followers: 1.8 Million

Apple Music has a great mix of everything from up-and-coming artists to new tracks from your favorite bands. In particular, their exclusive interview snippets from some of today’s top musicians is a great way to generate excitement and keep people coming back for more.

Talking new album, touring and more. Check @teddysphotos & @zanelowe only on @beats1official.

A video posted by Apple Music (@applemusic) on

Amazon

Total Followers: 782,000

Amazon’s Instagram profile is funny, clever and delightful. Each time I visit there is something that warms my heart or makes me giggle. This video in particular gives viewers all the feels. It’s a throwback to the millionth (yes you read that right) banana that they gave away free of charge.

#TBT to when we gave out our 1 millionth banana! ???

A video posted by Amazon (@amazon) on

Life Time Fitness

Total Followers: 48,200

Life Time Fitness offers a serene and spa like atmosphere in their gyms located throughout the United States. As a long-time member, I have found their social media content to be incredibly motivating. Sort of like that workout pal that keeps you motivated and offers support, even when you’re ready to throw those resolutions out the window.

Gerber

Total Followers: 167,000

Gerber’s Instagram is exactly what you might expect, pictures and videos of beautiful babies. Gerber is currently on the hunt for their 2017 Spokesbaby and shared video snippets from their 2016 winner which are almost too cute to stand.

Go On, Give Video A Try

As these examples show, there are a multitude of options for incorporating video into your content marketing strategy. Everything from motion graphic videos, to stills or interaction with customers all present a great opportunity to begin testing video for your brand.
If you’re interested in learning more about TopRank Marketing’s motion graphic video capabilities and how they can help level up your video marketing, contact us today!


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2017. |
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January 23rd 2017 Online Marketing, Social Media, video

Online Marketing News: Millennials Love UGC, Voice Search and Goodbye Vine

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How Millennials and Baby Boomers Consume User-Generated Content [Infographic]
47% of millennials trust user-generated content, vs. 36% of their baby boomer counterparts. However, each generation shared a relative distrust of content created by brands. This infographic shows the generation gap of UGC. HubSpot

Survey: 60 percent of voice users want more answers and fewer search results
People who use voice search — the majority of whom prefer to do so in private vs. public — use it because it’s fast, doesn’t require reading, and gives you fewer answers to sort through. What does voice search mean for the future of search marketing? Search Engine Land

What Content Creators Need to Know About Twitter Relaunching Vine as Vine Camera
On January 18th, Twitter officially shut down Vine. In its place, Twitter launched Vine Camera, an app that can be used in place of Vine with similar features that works with Twitter. Good news — Vine users can still access their videos from Vine, but the comments and likes will be gone. AdWeek

Facebook Continues to Evolve Facebook Live, Announces New Tools
Facebook live has announced the release of several new tools for the video streaming service: Permissions to go live as a page, video insights for profiles, video permalinks for pages and cross promotion opportunities for previously recorded live videos. Social Media Today

86% of U.S. Adults Aged 18-29 Are Social Media Users (Report)
69% of adults in the US use social media. 86% of adults between 18 and 29 use social media, 80% of adults aged 30-49 use social media, and that number falls for 64% for adults aged 50-64. The lowest rate of adoption, perhaps unsurprisingly, belongs to the 65+ crowd, with only 34% using social media. SocialTimes

Introducing ad groups for more control over your Pinterest campaigns
Pinterest reports: Starting this month, we’re rolling out an update to the way your Pinterest ad campaigns are structured. Previously, Pinterest ad campaigns had two elements: the campaign itself and the Promoted Pins within it. We’re upgrading this structure to include ad groups.” Pinterest

Will Artificial Intelligence Have a Major Impact on B2B Marketing?
Some 80% of B2B marketing executives say AI will have a significant impact on their marketing efforts in the next five years, but most admit that they do not have a firm understanding of artificial intelligence technology. MarketingProfs

Publishers see short-form video views on Facebook cut in half
Digiday reports: Publishers are finding short-form video viewing figures on Facebook have plummeted as more content creators battle for space in the news feed. Over six months ago a well-performing video from The Sun would fetch 250,000 views; now it’s lucky to get over 100,000.” Digiday

What were your top online marketing news stories this week?

We’ll be back next week with more online marketing news. Have something to share? Sound off in the comments or Tweet to @toprank.

The post Online Marketing News: Millennials Love UGC, Voice Search and Goodbye Vine appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

January 20th 2017 Online Marketing

Would You Rather: 6 Ways to Tell if Your Digital Marketing Agency is the Right Fit

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Today’s increasingly competitive landscape requires that marketers focus on activities that will have the biggest impact in order to capture and keep the attention of potential customers. With over 200 million people utilizing ad blocking technology, it’s clear that an integrated digital marketing strategy has to be implemented in order to reach target customers.

To develop and execute a successful marketing program, many brands large and small  look to digital marketing agencies to help guide their strategy and execution to maximize the impact of their efforts. However, as most of you have discovered at some point, those agency relationships don’t always work out as you anticipate. Once the wooing stage has passed, you may find that you have more work and results aren’t meeting expectations.

Part of the issue is that you may not be exactly sure what you’re looking for in an agency partner. To help you on this journey, we’ve outlined some key characteristics that you should look for in an agency partner, as well as a way for you to select what preferences are most important to you. We all know the “Would you Rather” game where as hard as it may be, you have to pick one option that stands out to you the most. There are no right or wrong answers, simply your preferences that can be used to determine if your agency is meeting your needs.

#1 – Integrity

An essential part of any business (or personal) relationship is that it is built on a foundation of trust. A lack of trust makes for a shaky foundation that lead to miscommunication and ultimately end the relationship.

You have to expect that your agency will share the good news, and the tough news with you in a way that helps you make decisions to evolve your approach to digital marketing. As it relates to your agency relationship, which situation would you prefer?

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s poll.

#2 – Stellar Communication

Good communication isn’t just based on frequency, it’s also the type of communication that can have an impact (positively or negatively) on your relationship.

We have found that each of our clients will have a slightly different preference for how, when and what we communicate but at the core it’s all the same: make sure that all essential information is shared in a timely manner. What is your communication preference?

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s poll.

#3 – Understanding

Time needs to be invested by your agency  in order to understand your marketing needs, preferences, brand voice and more. Additionally, there will be times that you’re working under a series of tight deadlines, spending time in meetings or are otherwise preoccupied. And it’s important that your agency be understanding of these different factors and work with you to help make sure things stay on track.

In working with different agencies, you may find that some strictly stay on course with the  timeline while others want to experiment based on the overall performance of the program. Which is more important to you?

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s poll.

#4 – Creativity

There are so many opportunities to be creative with your marketing, no matter what industry you’re in. Everything from marketing strategy to content direction and asset design all play a part in the creativity of a program.

Because of the sheer amount of competition for the attention of your customers, finding creative ways to stand-out in a sea of brands is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity. When it comes to creativity, what is your preference?

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s poll.

#5 – Focus on Results

This one might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised! In the same way that you as marketers are held to a series of goals and business objectives to show success, your agency should be held at the same (or a higher) standard.

While it’s true that many factors will impact the success of your marketing and there will be times where results ebb and flow, a steady focus on results and the ability to correct the course when needed is incredibly important. When you look at the nature of your business and how you’d like to see your marketing perform, which situation below is more attractive?

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s poll.

#6 – Striving for Excellence

Working with an agency that constantly strives to innovate and get you the most bang for your marketing buck might not be a fit for everyone. What? How could that be?

When you work with an agency partner that strives for excellence, that means that they will likely push boundaries and the status quo which is sometimes out of your comfort zone. While these partners should absolutely maintain professionalism at all times, there may be some difficult conversations that you need to have. In the grand scheme of things, what does excellence mean to you?

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s poll.

Would You Rather…

My hope is that you may have learned something about your marketing preferences that you didn’t know before. The next step in your journey is to assess your current solution and see if your agency is helping you reach your goals, or not hitting the mark.

If you find that your current digital marketing agency is not aligned with your needs, we’d love to chat! Contact TopRank Marketing today for a consultation about your marketing priorities.

 


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2017. |
Would You Rather: 6 Ways to Tell if Your Digital Marketing Agency is the Right Fit | http://www.toprankblog.com

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January 19th 2017 Online Marketing