6 Key Insights from Demand Gen’s ABM Benchmark Survey Report 2016

Demand Gen's ABM Report 2016

Account-based marketing.

For many of us in the B2B marketing space, this concept has been buzzing in our ears over the past couple years.

If you’re less familiar, ABM is a highly-strategic marketing approach that uses quality, relevant content to reach and nurture specific strategic accounts or individuals. Essentially, rather than casting a wide net to entangle thousands of prospects or current customers, ABM aims to spear the biggest, easiest or most relevant catches.

But ABM isn’t a new tactic. However, awareness and adoption is on the rise thanks in part to new technology options that help marketers target more accurately and scale ABM, according to Demand Gen Report’s ABM Benchmark Survey Report 2016. In fact, 47% of the marketers surveyed said they have an ABM strategy in place, with 33% reporting they plan to implement ABM in the next 18 months.

The new report, which was sponsored by EverString and DOMO, aimed to uncover insights on ABM adoption, tactics, and the challenges marketers are facing. Below we dive into some of those key insights and offer some advice for improving your ABM efforts or adding it to your marketing mix.

#1 – Sales and marketing alignment is critical to success.

It’s no secret that the relationship between sales and marketing departments can be a little tenuous. But it’s also no secret that when these two teams work together, magic can happen.

As TopRank Marketing’s Josh Nite recently wrote, “Sales and marketing should be BFFs. We might have different focuses and methodology, but the goal is the same for both departments: make sales and drive revenue.”

But where do you start? According to the report, 47% of marketers said one of their greatest challenges was sales and marketing alignment.

“Sales and marketing alignment is the cornerstone of successful, strategic ABM,” Jeffrey Sands, VP and Account-Based Marketing Practice Co-Lead at ITSMA, said in the report. “In order to best achieve this, you have to get the seniormost sales and marketing executives to both agree that ABM is important and that it is an important strategy moving forward.”

The bottom line? Start with getting buy-in from the top of both departments. If the department heads are on-board, it will trickle down to the rest of the team.

#2 – Personalization is key.

The whole point of ABM is to inform, engage and inspire action from a specific group of accounts or individuals, so it’s no wonder that a majority of marketers surveyed said they’re tailoring their content and outreach—just 8% said they use generic messaging. As you can see below, there are several different ways to approach this, but most are targeting by industry.

Account-Based Marketing Messaging & Content

As for delivering that content, marketers said they use a mix of content offers and lead gen formats including: targeted executive events (66%), interactive content tailored by industry or role (62%) and direct mail (60%). Other tactics listed included email, social media, retargeting and account-based ads, webinars and surveys.

Ultimately, the best approach for you will depend on the team and technology you have in place, as well as the goals you’ve set.

#3 – Utilizing tech and tools are a must.

The ability to collect and analyze data has a direct impact on the success of your marketing efforts—and ABM is no different. According to the report, 92% of marketers use analytics and reporting tools to support their ABM strategy, with 59% of them saying these tools are critical.

In addition, 91% said they’re utilizing campaign execution and orchestration tools, with 61% saying these are critical tools. In addition, about two-thirds (64%) said they use account-based advertising tools and 49% are using predictive tools.

There are a number of different platforms and tools you can look into. Some include: Marketo, Engagio, EverString, Demandbase, and LeanData.

#4 – It matters how you measure success.

I think it’s safe to say that proving ROI is a focus and challenge for many marketers, regardless of the tactics you’re using, and it often comes down to making sure you’re tracking and measuring the right things.

Demand Gen Report’s survey found that those adopting ABM are are shifting away from traditional metrics like MQLs to focus on those that are more revenue-focused. For example, 59% of marketers surveyed said they track pipeline velocity.

“A lot of ABM is based on marketing to existing customers, so pipeline contribution and net-new accounts are actually bad measures—but many marketers have been using them all along, so they are probably just legacy metrics,” David Raab, President of Raab Associates, said in the report. “Win rate isn’t used widely because it’s affected by so many factors that are not related to marketing. In general, the right measures for ABM relate to account performance (e.g. revenue growth), regardless of whether the account was ‘sourced’ by marketing.”

So, focusing on engagement and acceleration metrics are probably going to be the most important metrics to measure.

#5 – ABM doesn’t come without challenges.

ABM can seem like it’s the answer to all your marketer prayers. But like any marketing tactic, it has its challenges and it takes time to figure out how to be successful at it—something that is definitely backed up by survey results.

According to the survey, more than any other reason, 45% of marketers said they are simply not clear on how to execute an ABM strategy. Furthermore, 35% cited lack of expertise and resources as a significant challenge.

#6 – ABM is not a replacement for traditional demand gen marketing.

In the report, Adam Needles of Annuitas said it perfectly: “We need to improve demand generation, not abandon it. ABM has a place in the mix—a supporting role to play.”

ABM is a fantastic tool to have in your marketing arsenal for creating an effective, integrated marketing strategy. If you’re wondering how it can fit in your mix, take a look at some of the following resources for some inspiration:

  • When ABM & Content Collide: How to Build an Account-Based Content Strategy
  • Do You Speak Sales? What Sales Can Teach Us About Account Based Marketing
  • Learn How to Launch an Integrated Strategy for Account Based Marketing

Want More ABM Insights?

Read the full report here.

Disclosure: EverString is a TopRank Marketing client.

Are you using account-based marketing? What strategies have been the most effective for you? Tell us in the comments section below.


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2016. | 6 Key Insights from Demand Gen’s ABM Benchmark Survey Report 2016 | http://www.toprankblog.com

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Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®

A Year in Blog Posts: TopRank Marketing’s Most Popular Content Marketing Posts of 2016

content-marketing-posts

Each year, marketers are investing more time, effort and resources into creating content. The good news is that 45% of organizations believe that they have been more successful this year than they were last year.

The key indicators to this success has been largely due to increasing the quality of content, developing a strategy and prioritizing content creation.

As a content marketing centric agency, TopRank Marketing has covered various topics throughout the year that are aimed at helping other content creators find their way in a sometimes tricky industry.

Instead of just selecting our favorite posts of the year, we let our readers decide what was most useful. The 10 posts below represent our most shared content marketing posts of the year.

Top 10 Content Marketing Posts of 2016

#1 – 10 Daily Habits to Create More Powerful Content

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If you’re not steadily improving your writing, you’re actively moving backward. – @NiteWrites
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To truly become a more effective content marketer, it’s important that you make steady, incremental improvements over time. If you try to do too much at once, you may become overwhelmed. By working these ten daily habits into your writing routine over time, you might be impressed to find just how much you can improve in a short amount of time.

#2 – 20 Jokes Only a Marketer Could Love

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It’s well past time for marketers to get serious about comedy. – @NiteWrites
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Did you hear the one about the marketer that got fired as a tap dancer? Unless you’ve read this post, the answer is likely no. TopRank Marketing Content Lead and resident comedian Josh Nite created these jokes just for marketers like you.

#3 – 5 Magical Tactics for Repurposing B2B Marketing Content

Repurpose B2B Content Marketing


Snackable content can be managed & repurposed like ingredients to create a main course. @leeodden
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With the diversity of expressions buyers search for and the demands of producing a variety of engaging content on a consistent basis, one has to wonder why so many B2B marketers insist on publishing content once and with a singular theme. If you truly want to get more value from content investments while providing a greater variety of information to prospective customers, many B2B marketers are repurposing. Find out how in this post.

#4 – 4 Components of a Killer Content Marketing Plan on LinkedIn

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People spend time on other social networks, but they invest time on LinkedIn. – @JasonMillerCA
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If you’re looking for best practices on publishing content on LinkedIn, there is no better source than the team from LinkedIn Marketing. Jason Miller and Alex Rynne shared 4 incredibly insightful and actionable insights in their presentation at Social Media Marketing World. In this post you’ll find samples of common objectives, key metrics and action items for success.

#5 – 7 Ways to Optimize Your Web Content for Humans & Search Engines

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In case you haven’t heard, SEO is not dead. @CaitlinMBurgess
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Gone is the notion of marketers only needing to to focus on optimizing content for search engines. Today’s customers (and search engines) have become much more savvy which means that marketers need to focus on creating a great user experience for their readers. This post provides you actionable tips for optimizing content for both humans and search engines.

#6 –  8 Ways to Build Credibility & Trust with Content Marketing

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Your content can be ignored if you don’t establish credibility and build trust. – @NiteWrites
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If you’re going to invest time and resources into creating content, it MUST create value for your audience. If it doesn’t, the likelihood of it being seen, read or shared is very unlikely. This post offers some insightful tips that marketers can use to begin building credibility with content.

#7 – Long-Form Content on Social Media: Pros, Cons, Examples & Best Practices

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As the digital space gets more cluttered, marketers are embracing new ways to stand out from…
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Long-form content is no longer reserved strictly for blog posts, eBooks or other traditional forms of content. Social media platforms also offer a variety of opportunities to create more in-depth content for your readers, where they’re spending the majority of their time. This post takes a deep dive into the do’s and don’ts of creating long-form content for social media.

#8 – What is a Content Marketing Strategy (And Why Do I Need One)?

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Content marketing allows you to give your audience tailored, relevant and meaningful information. -…
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Even though the vast majority of companies are producing content at an astounding rate, over 50% still aren’t sure what success looks like. Key to developing an impactful content marketing program is developing a content marketing strategy to serve as your roadmap. This post provides insight into 7 elements that every marketer should include in their content strategy.

#9 – 20 Must-Have Content Marketing Tools for Blogging

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Content marketers tend to be the MacGyver of the marketing world. – @NiteWrites
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For many years, content creators have worked to cobble together solutions for concepting, creating and publishing blog content. And that is not always an easy (or fun) process. If you’re tired of the “old” way of doing things, this post provides 20 incredibly helpful tools to make blogging efforts easier, and more effective.

#10 –  The 4 Essential Questions Your Content must Answer

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If someone won’t even take credit for the content, how trustworthy can it be? – @NiteWrites
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As soon as someone hits your content the clock starts counting down. On average, readers will decide in less than 15 seconds whether they want to engage or need to move on. To get more readers to jump for joy (instead of jumping ship) make sure that you quickly answer these four questions to keep them engaged.

Find Your Content Marketing Mix

At the end of the day, the most important indicators of content marketing success are dictated by your readers. If people enjoy your content, they will share. Let 2017 be the year that you focus on creating a substantial impact with your content marketing program.

Disclosure: LinkedIn is a TopRank Marketing client.


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2016. | A Year in Blog Posts: TopRank Marketing’s Most Popular Content Marketing Posts of 2016 | http://www.toprankblog.com

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Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®

27 Big Updates & A Peek at the Future: Moz Pro’s 2016 Retrospective

Posted by adamf

Another year has slipped by, and while we had our ups and downs, returning to our SEO roots has given us greater focus and renewed purpose. We’ve redoubled our efforts with the goal of building the best SEO product in the industry. We know it’s a lofty goal with so many great competitors out there, but this is the target that served as our north star in 2016 and continues to get us out of bed each morning.

Our increased focus on SEO translated to a big increase in the number of new features and improvements we were able to add to Moz Pro in 2016. In fact, we shipped more significant updates in 2016 than 2014 and 2015 combined, and we already have a lot in the works for 2017.

We also collected and surfaced a huge amount of data in 2016. A few notable examples:

  • Customers created 141,000 new campaigns for their websites
  • 4.6 million tracked keywords were added to campaigns
  • 1.8 million keyword queries were run in Keyword Explorer
  • 25 million URLs were researched in Open Site Explorer

Such ever-increasing demand keeps us on our toes and we continue to invest in scaling our infrastructure to keep the data flowing smoothly.

Without further ado, here’s a rundown of some of the noteworthy updates you may have missed in 2016 and a sneak peek at some exciting updates coming in 2017.


Keyword Explorer: Redefining keyword research

Okay, I’m sure you’ve heard us mention Keyword Explorer once or twice. More than twice? Alright, we do like to talk about it. Building Keyword Explorer was a huge effort and our biggest release of the year. Keyword Explorer was a passion project for Moz’s co-founder, Rand, and it shows in the quality of the data and thoughtful workflow. If you do keyword research for SEO or content creation, check out this tool.

1. We launched Keyword Explorer with a rich set of capabilities

Keyword Explorer launched during the first half of the year, and offered some cool benefits right out of the gate:

  • Keyword Explorer takes you all the way through the keyword research process. Save time and simplify your keyword research process, from discovering keyword ideas to getting metrics to building a list. Once you’ve built a list, filter and prioritize which keywords to target based on the numbers that matter.
  • Keyword Explorer features metrics essential to the SEO process: two you’re familiar with — Volume and Difficulty — and three that are less familiar: Opportunity, Importance, and Potential. Use these comprehensive metrics to prioritize more effectively and focus your time on the best opportunities.
  • We built a keyword volume score that goes beyond what AdWords reports with ~95% accuracy. Accurate, trustworthy keyword volume data is getting harder to obtain, but we’re here for you.
  • Keyword Explorer gathers keyword suggestions from a broad variety of sources, so you can gather a greater variety of keyword ideas from one source.
  • We invested in strong import and export capabilities, so it’s easy to incorporate Keyword Explorer into your existing keyword research process.

Rand even created a quick demo video to introduce the new capabilities:

And we didn’t stop there. We collected a whole bunch of feedback after launch and built in a ton of new features to make the tool even better:

2. Automatically group Related Keywords

Rather than wading through large volumes of similar keywords and adding each variation to a list, we’ve added auto-grouping as atop any list of keyword suggestions. This is helpful for discovering and focusing on themes, and adding a whole group of related keywords to your own research lists.

3. Check page-one rankings in Keyword Explorer research lists

See if you already rank on page one for they keywords in your lists. This is a hugely valuable data point for prioritizing which keywords to target.

4. Add keywords from your list to a campaign for rank tracking

This was at the top of the list of feature requests at launch. Now you can take the keywords in your carefully cultivated list and add them directly to a campaign for ongoing rank tracking.

5. View improved and expanded keyword volume data

Clickstream-based search behavior, plus data from other sources, combined with our modeling against AdWords’ impression counts on real campaigns, has given us higher accuracy, more coverage, and faster recognition of volume trends than ever before. It also allowed us to calculate search volume data for more countries, with significant coverage for the UK, Canada, and Australia, more moderate data for other Western languages and countries, and a small amount in regions and languages beyond those.

6. Find questions people are asking in search engines

This is great for content ideas, refining existing content, and finding featured snippets you might want to try and win.

*Further reading: Get even more out of your keyword research

Whether you’re using Keyword Explorer or just doing keyword research in general, we’ve posted a few articles this year that can help you improve your research, especially as Google gets more sophisticated:

  • Keyword Research in 2016: Going Beyond Guesswork
  • Tactical Keyword Research in a RankBrain World
  • Moz Keyword Explorer vs. Keyword Planner

Try Keyword Explorer free now


Huge improvements to Rankings: SERP Features, historical timeframes, algo updates, and more!

7. Discover and track SERP features

Dr. Pete has been pushing the industry (and us internally) to think beyond 10 blue links. While organic rankings remain a core SEO focus, Google has been adding more and more SERP features to a large proportion of search queries, and as an SEO, you just can’t ignore them anymore. To help provide more visibility to the SERP features and related opportunities, we’ve integrated in-depth SERP feature analysis into the rankings section of your campaigns. Highlights include:

  • Track the 16 highest-impact desktop SERP features for each keyword ranking you track in a campaign.

  • View which SERP features show up for the keywords you track, and whether you or your competitors show up in them.

  • See how different SERP features have trended for the keywords you track. You may find that a certain type of search feature is trending up and is worth attention.

  • Discover when we think you have an opportunity to show up in a SERP feature and how best to approach it.

8. Get alerted to featured snippet opportunities

Featured snippets appear above organic position #1 and can improve click-through rates for keywords you already rank in the top 10 for. Find the most lucrative opportunities for them in your Campaign Insights list.

*Further reading: Win those featured snippets

If you are interested in featured snippets, I’d recommend a couple of great posts from Dr. Pete:

  • Ranking #0: SEO for Answers
  • Featured Snippets from Start to Finish

And SERP Features is just the tip of the iceberg. Almost everything else you see in campaign rankings is new or overhauled.

9. See all of your historical rankings data

We started the year with a significant architectural overhaul of our rankings system. Aside from a faster and more streamlined interface, this also allowed us to support one of our biggest customer requests, and present all historical rankings data. Choose any timeframe to see and report on how your rankings have changed within that period.

10. Overlay Google algo updates on your rankings graphs

See a dramatic change in your rankings overnight? We now leverage the great data from MozCast to show any Google algorithm changes that might be affecting your search presence. Just hover over the little Google “G” to see major and minor update details.

11. Get more from your data with advanced filtering and improved sorting

Easily filter down your long list of rankings by keyword, label, location, or brandedness, and sort them accordingly to get a handle on your data.

12. See search volume data alongside your rankings

This had been a frequent request. We baked in the same powerful search volume data from Keyword Explorer alongside your rankings.

13. View detailed keyword analyses in your campaigns

Our keyword analysis page was completely rebuilt, with some great new additions:

  • Flexible timeframes, including the ability to view a keyword’s performance at any time in the history of your campaign
  • Volume and Difficulty scores, powered by Keyword Explorer’s data
  • Four beautiful graphs: Search Visibility, Highest Ranking Position, Keyword Performance, and SERP Features
  • An easy-to-read SERP report with callouts for pages on your domain, and those on your competitors’ domains
  • Faster page loads and improved performance

Intrigued? Take a trial of Moz Pro, free for 30 days


Page Optimization improved again

We made some big upgrades to this section late in 2015, but we weren’t quite done.

14. Discover topics related to your page content

This new tab shown with Page Optimization reports lets you see the topics that your SERP competition is writing about. This can help you understand what kinds of keywords signal topical relevance to Google and provide good ideas for how you can make your content more robust and relevant to searchers. I’m not going to go too deep here, but check out Jon White’s fantastic post for some great tips and examples to get the most from this feature. Rand also shares some great tips in this Whiteboard Friday, Using Related Topics and Semantically Connected Keywords in Your SEO.

15. Dive right into on-page optimization from your rankings

Quickly run page optimization reports and view page optimization scores right from your rankings.


We’ve made Insights better

Our Insights dashboard also underwent some solid improvements in 2016. We continue to surface new insights in this section as we add more capabilities across Moz Pro. Our aim is to make this a powerful section that surfaces new problems and opportunities that we discover as we collect and analyze your data every week.

16. Mark completed insights as “Done”

We heard feedback that many of you were attempting to use Insights as a to-do list, but we didn’t make that very easy. Now you can check off insights from your list once you’ve read or acted upon them. They will then be moved to your Done list, where you can track your completed work.

17. Add tasks to Trello

If you need a more robust workflow, we’ve added a way to quickly add insight tiles to Trello. Trello is a power task management solution, which also happens to be free. I’ve used it quite a bit myself, and happily recommend it.

18. Enjoy a better summary of your weekly rankings

We updated the rankings summary tile to give you a clearer look at your most important ranking changes from week to week.


Reporting got some needed attention

Outside of the more obvious features I’ve shared, we’ve also been working quietly behind the scenes to make our reporting and exports better.

19. Generate “real” PDF reports

Our old PDF export solution was functional, but clunky. It converted page modules into images and then encapsulated them in a PDF. We rebuilt our PDF engine so that PDFs created in Moz Pro include text as text and images as images, offering better editing, copying, and image quality.

20. Customize your rankings CSV exports

We launched updated CSVs for campaign rankings that respect filters as well as time frames. Now you can export just the data you need rather than poring through a massive historical rankings export.

21. Build custom reports more easily with a revamped interface

Adding and managing custom reports is easier to use and easier on the eyes.

22. Get regular insights directly in your inbox

We revamped our weekly email updates, making them cleaner and more informative. They now include both ranking updates and important insights that we discover for you each week. We plan to add more timely information to these as we continue to improve our datasets and refine the logic behind Insights.


The Mozbar got some love

If you can believe it, the Mozbar recently surpassed 400,000 installs. It was due a little bit of attention.

23. Breath easier, we’ve improved Mozbar stability and reliability

Unfortunately, our most beloved tool ran into some stability and login challenges when some unfriendly folks started abusing the service behind it. We invested some quality time to fix up the authentication issues and data inconsistency that were becoming a real frustration for customers.

24. Get On-Page Content Suggestions for any page on the web (brand new!)

We haven’t officially announced this one yet, but if you are a Pro customer and using the Mozbar, you can click on the little analysis icon:

When you enter a keyword, you will now see content suggestions just to the right of the on-page analysis. You can dig in just like in the page analysis section of your Moz Pro campaigns. Use this to beef up your relevance or find new topics to write about.

Start using MozBar for Chrome free today


Even Fresh Web Explorer got an update

Fresh Web Explorer continues to collect syndicated content from across the Web, making it easy to see where and when fresh content has mentioned a specified brand or linked to a domain. On top of that, Fresh Web Explorer’s alerts serve as a great alternative to Google Alerts, sending you an email anytime we see your target brands or keywords mentioned.

25. Show only Google Verified News Sources to reduce noise in your results

Filter your searches and/or alerts to show only those sources/domains we’ve observed in Google News. E.g. here’s a search for Amazon.com with news filtering on (3,067 results in the last 4 weeks) vs. the same search with news filtering off (28,798 results). This can save a lot of time when you’re looking for the most important results.


Beyond these features, there was a lot more going on behind the scenes

26. We made significant performance improvements

Our hard-working engineering team rebuilt a lot of the scaffolding behind campaigns, making them much snappier to load. This work continues into 2017. They also squashed dozens of bugs and made myriad small improvements across out tools and campaigns. If you are interested in keeping tabs on new features, fixes, or updates, you can find them all on our Moz Pro Updates page.

27. We now offer free product demos to customers and trialers

The friendly faces now helping you navigate Moz Pro

Another important addition we’ve made to our product isn’t in the product at all. We’ve quietly built out a Customer Success team. This cadre of product experts provide custom demos for new customers that are looking for an overview of Moz Pro, as well as long-time customers that are interested in learning more about new features. If you are interested in a refresher or a full walkthrough, schedule one here!

Also, if you’re looking to level up your SEO skills or get some deeper support in using Moz tools to tackle your SEO strategy, we’re actively working on more paid training options. Stay tuned!


So, what’s up next?

I hope you’re still with me, because I’ve got a bit more to share. Here are some of the big things to expect in 2017.

A rebuilt and re-imagined Custom Crawl

One of the big projects that our team has been busy with in 2016 is a total rewrite of our custom crawler. This is already being looked at by a few customers in a very limited alpha release. We still have a lot to add to it before it’s ready to go, but here are some of the benefits that we’ve already baked in:

  • A much faster and more resilient crawler. Whether your site is hundreds or millions of pages, expect your crawls much more quickly and reliably.
  • The ability to compare one crawl to the next and see what new issues have cropped up and which were confirmed as fixed.
  • A much simpler interface to access your data quickly and easily.
  • A bunch of other features are in the works to support deeper analysis and customization. More to come soon!

“Keyword Universe”

Cool code name, but what the heck is it?

Do you ever wonder which keywords you already rank for? Which ones your competitors rank for? Who are your SEO competitors? Answer these questions and more with this new data set, which we plan to expose in a number of different ways throughout Moz Pro and in our data products. If you’re curious about accessing this sort of data, please let us know!

What about links?

We’ve got some improvements in the works here too, but we’re keeping this under our hats for now.

And much more…

Beyond these large efforts, we will continue to make updates and improvements large and small throughout the year.


Please let us know what you need most!

We are constantly collecting feedback and looking to solve the most challenging problems that our customers face. Please let us know what’s working for you, what isn’t, and what you need most to be successful with your SEO efforts. You can add your thoughts in the comments here, or message me directly. While we can’t get to everything right away, we are always listening and prioritizing what to work on next.

Thanks for reading. I hope you all have a fantastic 2017!

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A Year in Blog Posts: TopRank Marketing’s Most Popular Influencer Marketing Posts of 2016

top-influencer-marketing-posts-2016

If you’re a marketer and haven’t been living on another planet for the past few years, influencer marketing is a term that you’re familiar with. The increasing popularity of influencer marketing has brought every person out of the woodwork sharing their “expertise” and trying their hand at building a program.

In fact, 84% of marketers plan to run influencer marketing programs within the next year. If you fall into that 84% or have already kicked off your influencer marketing initiative, there are some things you need to know.

First and foremost, you need to have a strategy for your influencer marketing program. That strategy should include building relationships with influencers that have mutual interests, audiences and goals.

At TopRank Marketing we have been developing and implementing influencer driven content programs for our clients for many years. We have used that experience (and the expertise of other influencers) to develop the posts below.

Top Influencer Marketing Posts of 2016

#1 – [eBook] Influencer Engagement: 15 Ways to Fail & 25 Ways to Win

Influencer Engagement - 15 fails and 25 wins


Don’t ask me to promote your product in exchange for affiliate revenue. @CarlosGil83
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The internet is full of fails for almost any topic. Sometimes the misfortune is a funny one, and other times it is not. In today’s world, there is nothing funny about failing at influencer marketing. So many brands have tried (and failed) to implement a successful influencer program. This eBook provides 15 fails, and 25 wins to help your team create a more successful approach to influencer marketing.

#2 – Is Your Influencer Marketing Program Not Effective? Here’s Why

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The core of influencer marketing is building a relationship to ensure mutual value creation. @Konstanze
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If you’re just starting or smack dab in the middle of an influencer marketing initiative, take some time to slow down and find your focus. Ultimately, a successful program will take time, and focus on the relationships and value created with influencers.

#3 – How B2B Companies are Winning Hearts & Minds with Influencer Content

Lee-Odden-Uberflip-experience


Influencer marketing is the practice of developing relationships to create mutual value. @leeodden
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Today’s customer journey isn’t quite as predictable as marketers would like. Because it is unpredictable, marketers need to find a new (and better) way to connect with customers no matter where they are in their journey. This presentation from Lee Odden takes a dive into how to incorporate influencers into your content strategy.

#4 – 5 Dangerous Myths About Influencer Marketing – Busted!

5 Influencer Marketing Myths Busted


Some influencer marketing advice is good, some is suspect and plenty is pure mythology. @leeodden
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When new trends (like influencer marketing) begin to emerge, you’ll find that nearly everyone you know claims to be an expert. To uncover the truth about influencer marketing, TopRank Marketing CEO polled marketing industry leaders and experts from the UK who help bust some dangerous myths.

#5 – 5 Ways Influencer Marketing Can Grow Your B2B Company

B2B Influencer Marketing


Justifying resources to manage influencer relationships starts by fully understanding the value.…
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Influencer marketing can take on many forms, and provide many benefits for brands if implemented correctly. If brands focus on including influencers in their marketing for campaigns only, there is a lot of value left on the table. This post provides 5 helpful influencer marketing tips specifically for B2B marketers.

#6 – Influencer Content Marketing: The Art of Relationships & the Science of Software

Influence Content Marketing


Everyone is influential about something. @leeodden
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There truly is an art to implementing a long-term influencer marketing program. Relationships with influencers must be built over time and special attention spent on creating value for those influencers. TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden has many years of experience working with influencers, and being a marketing influencer himself. In this post you’ll find some powerful insights into what works.

#7 – What is Influencer Marketing? Definitions, Examples, and Resources

influencer-marketing


At its most effective, influencer marketing serves a purpose for everyone involved. @NiteWrites
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Countless complexities exist within the world of influencer marketing. If you’re new to the whole concept or just need a little refresher, this post is a very robust resource filled with examples of influencer marketing done right.

#8 – How Dell Approaches Integrated & Authentic Influencer Marketing

lauren-and-shelley-dell

Each organization experiences a somewhat different journey as they find which approach to influencer marketing works best for them. And that’s exactly what Dell’s Shelley Ryan and Lauren Mauro did at this year’s Content Marketing World conference. We can all learn from the experiences of this dynamic duo.

Take Your Time with Influencer Marketing

It’s important to remember that developing an influencer marketing program is not a race. Brands are better off taking their time and finding the RIGHT influencers to help advance their business goals.

Disclosure: Dell is a TopRank Marketing Client


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2016. | A Year in Blog Posts: TopRank Marketing’s Most Popular Influencer Marketing Posts of 2016 | http://www.toprankblog.com

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Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®

A year in review: Search Engine Land’s top 10 columns of 2016

Which topics drew the most attention within the search industry this year? From infographics to quizzes to advice, our top 10 columns of the year covered all the bases. The post A year in review: Search Engine Land’s top 10 columns of 2016 appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.


Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

Search Engine Land’s most engaging stories of 2016: A whole lotta Google

From AdWords updates to algorithm changes, the arrival of Expanded Text Ads to the sunsetting of PageRank score… there was a lot going on with the Big G this year. The post Search Engine Land’s most engaging stories of 2016: A whole lotta Google appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.


Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

Chart Toppers 2016: Our 25 most popular blog posts of the year

525,600 minutes

As the song from the musical Rent famously asks, “How do you measure a year?” For us here at VerticalResponse, we’re measuring the last 12 months in 109 blogs, 70,256 words, and 7,053 social shares… That’s what we published this year (save for this very post you’re reading now).

Now, we know you don’t have time to read them all, so we crunched the numbers and pulled our top 25 most popular blog posts of 2016. Read them again, discover something new, or just browse the list. We hope you enjoy, and we’ll see you in 2017!

General Email Marketing

General Email Marketing

  • 15 Must-Haves for a Solid Email Marketing Program — How savvy is your email marketing? Incorporate these key initiatives to build a rock-solid email marketing program.  
  • 25 Proven Steps to Achieve Email Marketing Magic — Want to uncover the secret formula to email marketing? Here’s everything (in 25 steps!) you need to know to unlock the rewards of an effective email marketing program.
  • Autoresponders 101 — Learn how you can leverage the power of automation and triggers to increase engagement and connect with your customers.
  • Email Reactivation — No matter the season, rejuvenate your marketing with an email reactivation campaign.
  • Introducing Pro+: What Full Service Email Marketing Can Do For Your Business — Imagine being able to simply click a button and have your email marketing taken care of for you. Get expert email marketing for a fraction of the cost with our do-it-for-me offering.
  • Measuring the Performance of Your Newsletter — Is your company’s newsletter actually winning hearts or simply passing time in the inbox? Use these five metrics to measure the success of your next campaign.

Email Design

Email Design

  • A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words: But What About Emojis? — Emoji use is on the rise — up 777% YOY — so how can you capitalize on this trend to enliven your subject lines and engage customers?
  • Email Design: Let’s Get Typographical — Times New Roman, Helvetica, Courier, Open Sans… You’ve seen these typefaces many times, but do you know what they mean? Learn how typography can affect your brand.
  • Email Design: Our Favorite Newsletters — A great newsletter is hard to achieve, but once you’ve created it, it can be the bread and butter of your email program. We took tips for designing a great newsletter from some of our favorites. 
  • Play Nice in the Inbox: 7 Tips for a Well-Designed Newsletter — Make sure your newsletter gets opens and clicks. With these tips, you’ll increase readability and customer engagement in no time at all.

 Subject Lines and List Building

Subject Lines and List Building

  • The 2016 Complete Guide to List Segmentation — Ready to increase opens and clicks by sending targeted email campaigns? Learn how to get started with complete guide to list segmentation.
  • An Email Feast: 40 Thanksgiving Subject Lines Your Customers Will Gobble Up — Whether you’re ramping up for the retail weekend or just saying “thank you,” Thanksgiving emails are a great opportunity to connect with customers and celebrate the season.
  • From Subject Lines to Email Lists, It’s Time to Spring Clean Your Email Marketing Efforts — It’s never too early (or too late) to jump into the spring season with some fresh email marketing. Check out these digital marketing spring cleaning tips.
  • From Zero to Success: Building an Email List From Scratch — Building an email list takes time, creativity, and patience, but it’s a critical step to ensuring your email marketing is effective. Learn how to go from zero to hero.
  • Increase Your Open Rates with Sizzlin’ Summer Subject Lines — Use these summer subject line ideas to get your emails the attention they deserve.
  • “Open This Email Right Now!” What Makes a Good Subject Line? — No email will reach every prospective reader you send to. But it’s possible to elevate your open rates with subject lines that are short, personable, attention-getting, and meaningful to the reader.

Nonprofit & Event Marketing

Nonprofit and Event Marketing

  • The Do’s and Don’ts of Email Campaigns for Nonprofits | Part 1 of 4 — Whether you’re an established nonprofit organization or just starting up, you need a strong email strategy to engage with your supporters. 
  • The Do’s and Don’ts of Email Campaigns for Nonprofits | Part 2 of 4 — Three emails your should send to new donors before asking for money.
  • Event Marketing 101: Tips for Newbies — Event marketing can be an effective, affordable way to build your brand’s identity and make real-time contact with current and potential customers.

More Marketing Tips

More Marketing Tips

  • Engage Your Employees — A happy employee is a productive employee. Keep your team in the loop about company activities, updated policies, and products and services with a great internal newsletter.
  • Google Analytics 101: What Every Small Business Owner Should Know About the Powerful Website Analysis Tool — New to Google Analytics? Check out the basics of this robust yet easy-to-use website analytics tool.
  • Nominate Your Favorite Small Town to Receive a Main Street Revival Worth $ 500,000 — Check out the buzz on Small Business Revolution on Main Street.
  • Skip Marketing 101 and Read This Instead — We’ve got the top eight strategies to help you create a solid base for your small business marketing efforts.
  • Take Your Website to the Next Level — Messaging [Infographic] — Determine the purpose of your website. Then follow these rules of messaging to take your website to the next level.
  • Wabash, Indiana, or Silverton, Oregon? Cast Your Vote and Send $ 500,000 to the Lucky Town — 10,000 small towns were nominated to receive $ 500,000 in Deluxe marketing services and professional guidance. Meet the two finalists.

The New Year starts in just a couple of days, and we’ve got a fresh lineup of great content prepped to help you grow your business in 2017.

Until then, a very big thank you to our customers, newsletter subscribers, and blog visitors. From all of us at VerticalResponse we wish you a Happy New Year and all the best for 2017!

Start 2017 Right with New Marketing Insights

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© 2016, Tori Tsu. All rights reserved.

The post Chart Toppers 2016: Our 25 most popular blog posts of the year appeared first on Vertical Response Blog.


Vertical Response Blog

Facebook in 2016: Live, fake, and half-baked

Facebook Live advertisement as shown in the Montgomery BART station in San Francisco, Calif.


Facebook didn’t flood 2016 with mind-blowing announcements, let’s be honest. In 2015, the company inched closer to making our world a much smaller place, thanks to the promotion of Free Basics, Oculus virtual reality, and more. But this year Facebook charted a different course, one that enabled its 1.8 billion monthly active users to be more vocal about their lives.

And, well, it hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing.

Instead of giant leaps into extraordinary new categories, Facebook doubled down on existing products, such as Messenger and Instagram. The features Facebook added in 2016 may impress users across these apps, but the company copied a great deal from Snapchat. (Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?)

Facebook also made an aggressive push into live video. Through partnerships, relentless advertising, and a constant stream of new features, Facebook is determined to convince us that livestreaming is great and everyone should do it. (How else will the company increase its original sharing stats?)

On the less-than-stellar side, 2016 was also the year Facebook’s powerhouse advertising program had to recalculate its metrics multiple times. As 2017 approaches, we have to wonder if the controversy over inaccurate reporting will impact brands’ decisions to spend money on the platform. Has Facebook become too big, too fast, and will we now see it begin to slow down?

The dawn of Messenger

For much of 2016, Facebook’s new releases centered not on the social network itself, but on secondary products: building up chatbots, replicating features from Snapchat, and promoting livestreaming. With more than 1 billion people using Facebook Messenger each month, the company moved forward with plans to transform it into a platform. At F8, Facebook introduced a formal way for businesses to interact with customers, with the addition of some artificial intelligence.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on stage at the F8 2015 developer conference talking about the Messenger Platform.

Above: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on stage at the F8 2015 developer conference talking about the Messenger Platform.

Image Credit: Ken Yeung/VentureBeat

The Messenger Platform allows developers to build conversational bots, using its send and receive API. This means the likes of CNN, Salesforce, OwnersListen, Poncho, Expedia, Hipmunk, and Yahoo can build applications to improve customer service and establish more intimate relationships with their customers. Facebook’s entry into the space enjoined it with Slack, Kik, Line, WeChat, and Telegram, each of which had been exploring bots for some time. But having a company with a household name on the scene cast a spotlight on this trend.

Was it worth it? There are now more than 34,000 bots on the platform, but how many provide real value? Facebook’s vice president of messenger David Marcus admitted earlier this year that the space “got really overhyped really, really quickly,” but he stopped short of saying that chatbots are doomed. Marcus explained that Facebook wanted to lay the groundwork for what the company hopes will be a flourishing ecosystem. “It’s not easy, and it takes time,” he noted on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt in September.

PayPal & Facebook Messenger

Above: PayPal & Facebook Messenger

Image Credit: Paul Sawers / VentureBeat

Facebook continued to improve the Messenger platform by introducing new capabilities, such as making it possible for bots to accept payments. While there’s much said about the use of artificial intelligence, the truth is these applications within Messenger are a hybrid of both advanced machine learning and human-powered customer service.

But this was only the beginning of Facebook Messenger’s push this year, as its capabilities expanded to not only enable more people to make Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calls — the app now powers more than 10 percent of all calls globally — but also group video calls. The company also recently added more creative tools designed to personalize conversations. Facebook reports that more than 300 million people are making voice and video calls through Messenger each month.

Facebook vice president of messaging products David Marcus

On the other hand, 2016 saw hardly any public updates to M, Facebook’s pseudo-competitor to Siri, Alexa, and Google Now. Available to a select number of users through Messenger, M launched last year to help users complete tasks, with features like suggested responses, which Facebook is still experimenting with. While Facebook Messenger focused on bots and the platform launch this year, it’s possible that once the right number of partners jump on board, M could become a big part of Messenger in 2017.

Sharing is now in real time

Facebook Live

People have been livestreaming for years, thanks to Ustream, Livestream, Justin.tv, and Twitch, but in 2016 Facebook and Twitter brought livestreaming into the age of mobile. Today, individuals, celebrities, and brands have a more consumer-friendly and commercialized option for sharing what they’re doing in real time.

For Facebook, encouraging people to go live has become a a key strategy. In some cities, subway stations and bus shelters are plastered with advertisements promoting Facebook Live, and commercials have aired in select markets. Whether you’re at a sporting event, political rally, graduation, or anything else you want to share in real time, the social networking company wants to make sure you can do so in an unfiltered way.

One of Facebook’s plans to attract new users is to bring in publishers and content creators — the YouTube stars, as it were. Facebook has signed agreements with 140 media companies and celebrities through which it will pay for content to be created. “The arrangements are a way to encourage publishers to produce a steady stream of high-quality videos, until Facebook figures out a more concrete plan to compensate creators, such as through sharing of ad revenue,” the Wall Street Journal reported.

Facebook’s payouts vary by contract and haven’t been officially disclosed, but reports say at least 17 publishers are receiving more than $ 1 million to go live. These include BuzzFeed ($ 3.05 million), the New York Times ($ 3.03 million), and CNN ($ 2.5 million).

Facebook Live on Android

Above: Facebook Live on Android

And what about Facebook’s competition? Those companies aren’t giving up without a fight. YouTube jumped on the bandwagon this year with the launch of a livestreaming service in its mobile app. And Twitter has certainly not surrendered its position in the space — its Periscope service has broadcast more than 200 million streams in the past year. Twitter is also in pursuit of influencers, with a VIP program and support for including high-quality streams from your Xbox One, virtual reality headsets, computer or web cam, external cameras, and more.

Facebook's creative tools: filters and doodling while livestreaming

Above: Facebook’s creative tools: filters and doodling while livestreaming.

Image Credit: Facebook

Facebook, on the other hand, is rapidly beefing up its infrastructure to support broadcasts of up to four hours. And it’s introducing new tools, such as moderation, audio, and video controls that allow social media managers to manage live videos, scheduling, 360-degree videos, and more interactive livestreams. You can now “drop in” on conversations, and there are tools to help social media teams work more closely together. This month, Facebook also added live audio-only streaming.

Unlike Messenger, Facebook Live isn’t an application you download — it permeates throughout all of the social network’s properties so you can easily livestream within a status update, on the Facebook Mentions app, and through Instagram.

Facebook has seen at least a couple of instances that showcased the impact of live video this year. Viewers watched when Democrats from the U.S. House of Representatives used Facebook Live to broadcast their protest of the opposition’s refusal to vote on gun control legislation and when a person scaled Trump Tower in New York City. However, there were other examples that raised concerns about whether Facebook needs tools to preempt graphic content.

U.S. House Democrats begin their sit-in protest of no gun control measures being voted on in the chamber.

Above: U.S. House Democrats begin their sit-in protest of no gun control measures being voted on in the chamber.

Image Credit: Congressman John Lewis/Twitter

In June, Diamond “Lavish” Reynolds broadcast live from her car while being detained by police. An officer had allegedly shot her boyfriend, Philando Castile, and as she broadcast in the moments following, viewers saw him slumped over and bleeding from his stomach. The video was quickly picked up and a day later had garnered 2.7 million views — but it appears to have been deleted now. It was also unavailable for a short time following the incident, leading to allegations that its brief disappearance was the result of police and Facebook interference. It was restored with a “viewer discretion” warning label, however, and the company attributed its absence to a “technical glitch.”

Still, some questioned why such graphic content hadn’t featured a warning upfront. The company issued a statement explaining how it separates “permissible graphic content” from violent images and banned videos:

The rules for live video are the same for all the rest of our content. A reviewer can interrupt a live stream if there is a violation of our Community Standards. Anyone can report content to us if they think it goes against our standards, and it only takes one report for something to be reviewed.

One of the most sensitive situations involves people sharing violent or graphic images of events taking place in the real world. In those situations, context and degree are everything. For instance, if a person witnessed a shooting, and used Facebook Live to raise awareness or find the shooter, we would allow it. However, if someone shared the same video to mock the victim or celebrate the shooting, we would remove the video.

Others have used Facebook to share equally disturbing things, such as livestreaming their suicide. And people have shown live action in war-torn places such as Mosul, shootings at a Munich shopping center, and more. But Facebook isn’t alone in struggling with the bigger implications of live video, as Twitter has faced criticism for also allowing people to livestream their own suicide or footage of someone being raped.

As the Columbia Journalism Review puts it: “Livestreaming isn’t going anywhere. The technology will continue to host photos and video from family get-togethers, school performances, and sporting achievements, bringing pleasure to millions. But it is how the platforms respond to the challenges posed by serious events that will test how seriously they take their role within the news ecosystem.”

Impact of Snapchat

Examples of Snapchat-like lenses for Halloween that can be affixed to Facebook Live broadcasts.

Above: Examples of Snapchat-like lenses for Halloween that can be affixed to Facebook Live broadcasts.

Image Credit: Facebook

Facebook once made an offer to buy Snapchat for $ 3 billion. The company wanted to dominate all things social and basically gave Snapchat an ultimatum: Sell to us or we’ll crush you. After Snapchat refused to sell, Facebook pushed forward with a series of experiments to figure out the ephemeral network’s secret sauce. After multiple failed attempts, Facebook began weaving Snapchat-inspired features into different products, including Messenger and Instagram.

Some see what Facebook has done with Instagram Stories, geofilters, and stickers in photos and videos as a sign that the social networking company isn’t original anymore. Instagram cofounder and chief executive Kevin Systrom recently heaped praise on the competitor, telling TechCrunch that Snapchat parent company Snap deserved all the credit for pioneering the space of ephemeral messaging and communication.

Facebook Messenger camera

While pundits and analysts may wish for more innovation, you could argue that the features Facebook copied from Snap are not exclusive and were useful additions. Just because one company does something doesn’t prevent others from doing it too, right?

What can you believe anymore?

But 2016 was more than just product updates and copying. It was also the year Facebook became embroiled in one of its biggest controversies since its advertising technology Beacon was revealed to be collecting non-user data. In the aftermath of a divisive U.S. presidential election, Facebook has faced a barrage of criticism for allowing fake news stories to proliferate on the social network, allegedly contributing to Donald Trump’s victory.

Speaking at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation CEO Summit on November 19, 2016, Facebook cofounder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg vowed , "We also need to do our part to stop the spread of hate and violence and misinformation."

Above: Speaking at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation CEO Summit on November 19, 2016, Facebook cofounder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg vowed, “We also need to do our part to stop the spread of hate and violence and misinformation.”

Fake news is not a new problem, but after a hotly contested race, Facebook bore the brunt of the criticism for the phenomenon. At first, company chief executive Mark Zuckerberg downplayed its significance, saying in a post:

Of all the content on Facebook, more than 99% of what people see is authentic. Only a very small amount is fake news and hoaxes. The hoaxes that do exist are not limited to one partisan view, or even to politics. Overall, this makes it extremely unlikely hoaxes changed the outcome of this election in one direction or the other.

Nearly a week later, Zuckerberg clarified his statement: “While the percentage of misinformation is relatively small, we have much more work ahead on our roadmap.” He highlighted efforts Facebook would be making to reduce fake news on the site, including stronger detection technology, easier reporting features, third-party verification, warnings, quality improvements to the related articles feature, “disrupting fake news economics,” and listening to user concerns. Facebook has already put some of these efforts in motion, including partnering with Snopes and other signatories of Poynter’s International Fact Checking Code of Principles to help fact-check articles. But Facebook’s fake news initiative promptly received criticism from those who say it would allow the social network to censor certain sites.

Concerns about bias go back to earlier this year, when Facebook fired all of the human editors who worked on its trending topics feature after reports surfaced that conservative outlets were being censored. Facebook has has refuted these claims, and Zuckerberg wound up meeting with a few publishers to sort through the issue. Enhancements were made to improve the trending algorithm in an attempt to eliminate bias, but then Facebook found itself flat-footed when the iconic Vietnam War image of the “Napalm Girl” was censored.

And let’s not forget the temporary censorship of Shaun King after the Black Lives Matter activist and writer posted racist emails he received — Facebook issued a mea culpa, saying that it was a mistake.

In October, Facebook established a new official policy that no longer places as great an emphasis on censorship of the site. “Observing global standards for our community is complex. Whether an image is newsworthy or historically significant is highly subjective,” wrote Facebook’s vice president for global public policy Joel Kaplan and vice president of global operations and media partnerships Justin Osofsky. “Images of nudity or violence that are acceptable in one part of the world may be offensive — or even illegal — in another. Respecting local norms and upholding global practices often come into conflict. And people often disagree about what standards should be in place to ensure a community that is both safe and open to expression.”

How to report a fake story to Facebook for third-party verification.

Above: How to report a fake story to Facebook for third-party verification.

Image Credit: Facebook

Moving forward, the service promised to show images and stories that are deemed “newsworthy, significant, or important to the public interest — even if they might otherwise violate [Facebook’s] standards.”

Keep in mind that all of this took place while Facebook repeatedly denied that it was a media company, something it has only recently come to terms with. In a Facebook Live video, Zuckerberg acknowledged this reality, but with a caveat: “It’s not a traditional media company. You know, we build technology and we feel responsible for how it’s used. We don’t write the news that people read on the platform. But at the same time we also know that we do a lot more than just distribute news, and we’re an important part of the public discourse.”

Advertising hiccups

For many quarters, Facebook has been an advertising powerhouse, beating all analyst expectations in terms of revenue, marketing potential, and even user numbers. But the company began showing cracks in its facade this year when it had to recalculate advertising metrics not once, but an estimated 10 times.

Marketing Land has chronicled many, if not all, of the known measurement errors in the past year. In 2016, Facebook apologized for incorrectly tabulating the average watch time of Facebook page videos, the organic reach of page posts, the rate at which video ads are completely watched, the average time spent on Instant Articles, and more.

Computer screens display the Facebook sign-in screen in this photo illustration taken in Golden, Colorado, United States July 28, 2015. REUTERS/Rick Wilking/File Photo

Above: Computer screens display the Facebook sign-in screen in this photo illustration taken in Golden, Colorado, United States July 28, 2015. REUTERS/Rick Wilking/File Photo

Facebook isn’t the only social network to experience at least one snafu in calculating advertising metrics, as Twitter has also apologized for a similar glitch. But for a company with more than $ 6 billion in advertising revenue, repeated missteps could cause some brands to move their advertising dollars elsewhere. On the other hand, the reach and the tools Facebook offers across not only its core social network but also Instagram could outweigh these bumps in the road.

That doesn’t mean the company should just brush these errors off. It’s said that more than two-thirds of social media ad spending was done through Facebook in 2016, meaning that the company has quite a bit to lose unless it figures out how to restore confidence in its metrics.

Facebook headquarters.

Above: Facebook headquarters.

Image Credit: Facebook

This year has passed with hardly any truly exciting product advancements from Facebook. The company has progressed naturally, but it has stumbled quite a few times along the way — enough to reveal some chinks in its armor, perhaps giving competitors an opportunity to pick away at its market share and dominance. Financially, Facebook continues to show it’s still able to grow, with its third-quarter numbers for monthly active users up 16 percent annually and revenue in that same time period up nearly 56 percent year over year. Facebook’s stock price has grown about 10 percent this year.

Facebook’s challenges in 2016 have revolved around three things: live video, advertising vulnerabilities, and its content problems. More than a decade on, Facebook has grown tremendously in size, stature, and capabilities, but is it becoming more complicated than it can handle?

For many quarters, the company has seen success both financially and in terms of growth, but that could all change if Facebook continues to allow fake news, incorrect metrics, and mediocre product releases to occur. It will be worth watching in 2017 to see if the ubiquitous social platform still has some magic up its sleeve.

Social – VentureBeat