Digital Marketing News: F500 Are Visual, LinkedIn on Top, Business of Color

The Business of Color
From golden arches to red bulls, color is fundamental to our recognition of familiar brands and color affects the way people react when they first encounter a company. Vistaprint worked with Dr. Sally Augustin of Design With Color to develop recommendations for the design of places, objects, and services that support desired cognitive, emotional, and physical experiences. Vistaprint

Study: Social Media and Blog Usage by Fortune 500 Companies in 2017. Fortune 500 companies are increasingly using visual social networks such as Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat, according to recent research conducted by Nora Ganim Barnes and Shannen Pavao at The Center for Marketing Research, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. MarketingProfs

Snapchat seeks salvation in long-form and “hands-on” AR ads. Snapchat has introduced two new forms of ads: Promoted Stories which string together multiple Snaps into a longer-form slideshows openable from a tile on the Stories page that’s shown to everyone in a given country, and Augmented Reality Trial ads that let people play with an AR version of a product overlaid on the world around them. TechCrunch

On-Page Content Continues to be Considered the Most Effective SEO Tactic. On-page content is considered to be effective by more marketers than any of the other SEO tactics outlined, whereas off-page content development and optimization is perceived to be effective by the fewest respondents (57% and 10%, respectively). Ascend2 Study via MarketingCharts

Announcing New Facebook Tools for the Creator Community. The new Facebook Creator app is a one stop shop for creators of all kinds, to help take their passions to the next level. With the app, creators can easily create original video, go live with exclusive features, and connect with their community on Facebook. Facebook Newsroom

LinkedIn continues to be the most popular social platform for Fortune 500 companies. 98% of Fortune 500 companies have set up shop on LinkedIn to tell their story, network, stimulate word of mouth and recruit. Four hundred and eighty-eight companies on the F500 list are using LinkedIn in 2017. UMass / Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research (LinkedIn is a TopRank Marketing client)

93% read reviews

Report: By 2019 Two-Thirds Of Global Display Ads Will Be Traded Programmatically. Programmatic ad sales are growing at an annual average rate of 21% per year, according to Publicis Groupe Zenith’s latest report, Programmatic Marketing Forecasts. This year’s estimate is $ 57.5 billion. MediaPost

Study: B2B Marketers Find Content Downloads Drive Conversions. Two-thirds of those polled said content downloads generated leads with the best conversion rates, more than webinar registration (45%), demo requests (37%), surveys and polls (26%) and even free trials. eMarketer

Fake-Ad Operation Used to Steal From Publishers Is Uncovered. Adform says ‘Hyphbot’ scheme created fake websites, nonhuman traffic to scam advertisers of more than $ 500,000 a day. Wall Street Journal

The Impact of 17 Factors on Google Search Rank. Direct website traffic is the factor that most influences how well pages rank on Google’s search engine result pages (SERPs), according to recent research from SEMRush. What were the other top factors? Find out on MarketingProfs

Facebook Will Show Americans What Russian Propaganda Posts They Read. Now you can find out which Russian propaganda pages or accounts you’ve followed and liked on Facebook, due to a request from Congress to address manipulation and meddling during the 2016 presidential election. AdAge

TopRank Marketing in the News

  • Amy Higgins – Content Marketing Conversations: Marketer Amy Higgins Demystifies Buzzwords – Flipboard
  • Debbie Friez – Facebook Hacks by Top 13 Industry Experts to Increase Fans Engagement and Activity – M&M blog
  • Steve Slater – 150 Years of the Best Holiday Campaigns: M&M’s Stumble Upon Santa – Big Commerce
  • Amy Higgins & Lee Odden – A Few ‘Kick-Start Your Career’ Tips From Top 6 Most Influential Women (Plus One Man) in Content Marketing – Prowly Magazine
  • @LeeOdden – 12 Best Twitter Accounts to Learn About Marketing – Xpand Blog
  • @LeeOdden – Top 100 Social Media People to Follow on Twitter – Revive Social

Jake Murphy
Welcome to our newest team member Jake Murphy as Graphic Designer!

Elizabeth Williams
Congratulations to Account Manager, Elizabeth Williams, on her first year anniversary with TopRank Marketing!

What was the top digital marketing news story for you this week?

Be sure to stay tuned until next week when we’ll be sharing all new marketing news stories. Also check out the full video summary with Tiffani and Josh on YouTube.


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2017. | Digital Marketing News: F500 Are Visual, LinkedIn on Top, Business of Color | http://www.toprankblog.com

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Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®

Digital Marketing News: Tech & ABM, Top Search Ranking Factors and 2017 Consumer Trends

How New Tech Trends Can Amplify Your Marketing Strategy [Animated Infographic] How can technology help your account based marketing be more efficient and more personal? This infographic answers that question and more about marketing technology trends, AI and machine learning. MarketingProfs Top 17 Organic Search Ranking Factors [STUDY] A new study from SEMRush shows the top search ranking factors for 2017. These factors heavily favor engagement and quality of content – with factors like bounce rate, time on page and direct visits dominating the top of the list. Having the appropriate keywords in the title, meta description and page content were near the bottom. Search Engine Journal No One Trusts Social Media, but They’ll Keep Using It Anyway [New Data] Distrust for social media is on the rise, with close to half of survey respondents saying that Google, Facebook and Twitter are ‘untrustworthy.’ However, despite the distrust, few plan to stop using social networks and Google. HubSpot Study Finds Sharp Drop in Time Spent on Facebook eMarketer reports: “Facebook users in the US spent more time with the platform than users of any other social network, 18 hours, 24 minutes. But that was a significant drop from the 32 hours, 43 minutes recorded by Verto Analytics a year ago.” eMarketer 2017 Consumer Trends Report What do US consumers care about in 2017? In this new study, social media data shines some light onto what topics of conversation are most prevalent and what conversations are emerging. Crimson Hexagon The State of E-Commerce in Fast-Moving Consumer Goods [Infographic] According to MarketingProfs, this infographic “offers insights into the current state of e-commerce in FMCG, also known as CPG (consumer packaged goods), as well as why e-commerce is no longer just an option for FMCG (it’s a must-have) and which verticals have seen the most growth.”  MarketingProfs Facebook debuts web-based VR experiences within standard News Feed Facebook has recently released examples of brands who have developed VR apps with which users can interact in the Facebook News Feed and mobile app. Facebook is calling them “360 experiences”. MarketingLand Google AdWords Editor updates to support budget type option for video ads & more Google has announced even more updates to their AdWords Editor program. These updates will support new features like Gmail asset-based ads, video extensions and a new budget type option for video ads. Search Engine Land What were your top digital marketing news stories this week? We’ll be back next week with more digital marketing news. Have something to share? Tweet to @toprank!

The post Digital Marketing News: Tech & ABM, Top Search Ranking Factors and 2017 Consumer Trends appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.


Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®

AMP-lify Your Digital Marketing in 2018

Posted by EricEnge

Should you AMP-lify your site in 2018?

This is a question on the mind of many publishers. To help answer it, this post is going to dive into case studies and examples showing results different companies had with AMP.

If you’re not familiar with Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), it’s an open-source project aimed at allowing mobile website content to render nearly instantly. This initiative that has Google as a sponsor, but it is not a program owned by Google, and it’s also supported by Bing, Baidu, Twitter, Pinterest, and many other parties.


Some initial background

Since its inception in 2015, AMP has come a long way. When it first hit the scene, AMP was laser-focused on media sites. The reason those types of publishers wanted to participate in AMP was clear: It would make their mobile sites much faster, AND Google was offering a great deal of incremental exposure in Google Search through the “Top Stories news carousel.”

Basically, you can only get in the Top Stories carousel on a mobile device if your page is implemented in AMP, and that made AMP a big deal for news sites. But if you’re not a news site, what’s in it for you? Simple: providing a better user experience online can lead to more positive website metrics and revenue.

We know that fast-loading websites are better for the user. But what you may not be aware of is how speed can impact the bottom line. Google-sponsored research shows that AMP leads to an average of a 2X increase in time spent on page (details can be seen here). The data also shows e-commerce sites experience an average 20 percent increase in sales conversions compared to non-AMP web pages.

Stepping outside the world of AMP for a moment, data from Amazon, Walmart, and Yahoo show a compelling impact of page load time on metrics like traffic, conversion and sales:

You can see that for Amazon, a mere one-tenth of a second increase in page load time (so one-tenth of a second slower) would drive a $ 1.3 billion drop in sales. So, page speed can have a direct impact on revenue. That should count for something.

What do users say about AMP? 9to5Google.com recently conducted a poll where they asked users: “Are you more inclined to click on an AMP link than a regular one?” The majority of people (51.14 percent) said yes to that question. Here are the detailed results:

This poll suggests that even for non-news sites, there is a very compelling reason to do AMP for SEO. Not because it increases your rankings, per se, but because you may get more click-throughs (more traffic) from the organic search results. Getting more traffic from organic search, after all, is the goal of SEO. In addition, you’re likely to get more time on site and more conversions.


How the actual implementation of AMP impacts your results

Before adopting any new technology, you need understand what you’re getting into.

At Stone Temple Consulting, we performed a research study that included 10 different types of websites that adopted AMP to see what results they had and what challenges they ran into. (Go here to see more details from the study.)

Let’s get right to the results. One site, Thrillist, converted 90 percent of their web pages over a four-week period of time. They saw a 70 percent lift in organic search traffic to their site — 50 percent of that growth came from AMP.

One anonymous participant in the study, another large media publisher, converted 95 percent of their web pages to AMP, and once again the development effort as approximately four weeks long. They saw a 67 percent lift in organic search traffic on one of their sites, and a 30% lift on another site.

So, media sites do well, but we knew that would be the case. What about e-commerce sites? Consider the case of Myntra, a company that is the largest fashion retailer in India. Their implementation took about 11 days of effort.

This implementation covered all of their main landing pages from Google, covering between 85% and 90% of their organic search traffic. For their remaining pages (such as the individual product pages) they implemented a Progressive Web App, which helps those pages perform better as well. They saw a 40% reduction in bounce rate on their pages, as well as a lift in their overall e-commerce results. You can see detailed results here.

Then there is the case of Event Tickets Center. They implemented 99.9% of their pages in AMP, and opted to create an AMP-immersive experience. Page load times on their site dropped from five to six seconds to one second.

They saw improvements in user engagement metrics, with a drop in bounce rate of 10%, an increase in pages per session of 6%, and session duration of 13%. But, the stunning stat is that they report a whopping 100% increase in e-commerce conversions. You can see the full case study here.

But it’s not always the case that AMP adopters will see a huge lift in results. When that’s not the case, there’s likely one culprit: not taking the time to implement AMP thoroughly. A big key to AMP is not to simply use a plugin, set it, and forget it.

To get good results, you’ll need to invest the time to make the AMP version of your pages substantially similar (if not identical) to your normal responsive mobile pages, and with today’s AMP, for the majority of publishers, that is absolutely possible to do. In addition to this being critical to the performance of AMP pages, on November 16, 2017, Google announced that they will exclude pages from the AMP carousel if the content on your AMP page is not substantially similar to that of your mobile responsive page.

This typically means creating brand-new templates for the major landing pages of your site, or if you are using a plugin, using their custom styling options (most of them allow this). If you’re going to take on AMP, it’s imperative that you take the time to get this right.

From our research, you can see in the slide below the results from the 10 sites that adopted AMP. Eight of those sites are colored in green, and those are the sites that saw strong results from their AMP implementation.

Then there are two listed in yellow. Those are the sites that have not yet seen good results. In both of those cases, there were implementation problems. One of the sites (the Lead Gen site above) launched pages with a broken hamburger menu, and a UI that was not up to par with the responsive mobile pages, and their metrics are weak.

We’ve been working with them to fix that and their metrics are steadily improving. The first round of fixes brought the user engagement metrics much closer to that of the mobile responsive pages, but there is still more work to do.

The other site (the retail site in yellow above) launched AMP pages without their normal faceted navigation, and also without a main menu, saw really bad results, and pulled it back down. They’re working on a better AMP implementation now, and hope to relaunch soon.

So, when you think about implementing AMP, you have to go all the way with it and invest the time to do a complete job. That will make it harder, for sure, but that’s OK — you’ll be far better off in the end.


How we did it at Stone Temple (and what we found)

Here at Stone Temple Consulting, we experimented with AMP ourselves, using an AMP plugin versus a hand-coded AMP web page. I’ll share the results of that next.

Experiment No. 1: WordPress AMP plugin

Our site is on WordPress, and there are plugins that make the task of doing AMP easier if you have a WordPress site — however, that doesn’t mean install the plugin, turn it on, and you’re done.

Below you can see a comparison of the standard StoneTemple.com mobile page on the left contrasted with the default StoneTemple.com page that comes out of the AMP plugin that we used on the site called AMP by Automatic.

You’ll see that the look and feel is dramatically different between the two, but to be fair to the plugin, we did what I just said you shouldn’t do. We turned it on, did no customization, and thought we were done.

As a result, there’s no hamburger menu. The logo is gone. It turns out that by default, the link at the top (“Stone Temple”) goes to StoneTemple.com/amp, but there’s no page for that, so it returns a 404 error, and the list of problems goes on. As noted, we had not used the customization options available in the plugin, which can be used to rectify most (if not all) of these problems, and the pages can be customized to look a lot better. As part of an ongoing project, we’re working on that.

It’s a lot faster, yes… but is it a better user experience? Looking at the data, we can see the impact of this broken implementation of AMP. The metrics are not good.

Looking at the middle line highlighted in orange, you’ll see the standard mobile page metrics. On the top line, you’ll see the AMP page metrics — and they’re all worse: higher bounce rate, fewer pages per session, and lower average session time.

Looking back to the image of the two web pages, you can see why. We were offering an inferior user interface because we weren’t giving the user any opportunities to interact. Therefore, we got predictable results.

Experiment No. 2: Hand-coded AMP web page

One of the common myths about AMP is that an AMP page needs to be a stripped-down version of your site to succeed. To explore whether or not that was true, we took the time at Stone Temple Consulting to hand-code a version of one of our article pages for AMP. Here is a look at how that came out:

As you can see from the screenshots above, we created a version of the page that looked nearly identical to the original. We also added a bit of extra functionality with a toggle sidebar feature. With that, we felt we made something that had even better usability than the original page.

The result of these changes? The engagement metrics for the AMP pages on StoneTemple.com went up dramatically. For the record, here are our metrics including the handcrafted AMP pages:

As you can see, the metrics have improved dramatically. We still have more that we can do with the handcrafted page as well, and we believe we can get these metrics to be better than that of the standard mobile responsive page. At this point in time, total effort on the handcrafted page template was about 40 hours.

Note: We do believe that we can get engagement on the AMP by Automatic plugin version to go way up, too. One of the reasons we did the hand-coded version was to get hands-on experience with AMP coding. We’re working on a better custom implementation of the AMP by Automatic pages in parallel.


Bonus challenge: AMP analytics

Aside from the actual implementation of AMP, there is a second major issue to be concerned about if you want to be successful: the tracking. The default tracking in Google Analytics for AMP pages is broken, and you’ll need to patch it.

Just to explain what the issue is, let’s look at the following illustration:

The way AMP works (and one of the things that helps with speeding up your web pages) is that your content is served out of a cache on Google. When a user clicks on the AMP link in the search results, that page lives in Google’s cache (on Google.com). That’s the web page that gets sent to the user.

The problem occurs when a user is viewing your web page on Google’s cache, and then clicks on a link within that page (say, to the home page of your site). This action means they leave the Google.com page and get the next page delivered from your server (in the example above, I’m using the StoneTemple.com server.)

From a web analytics point of view, those are two different websites. The analytics for StoneTemple.com is going to view that person who clicked on the AMP page in the Google cache as a visitor from a third-party website, and not a visitor from search. In other words, the analytics for StoneTemple.com won’t record it as a continuation of the same session; it’ll be tracked as a new session.

You can (and should) set up analytics for your AMP pages (the ones running on Google.com), but those are normally going to run as a separate set of analytics. Nearly every action on your pages in the Google cache will result in the user leaving the Google cache, and that will be seen as leaving the site that the AMP analytics is tracking. The result is that in the analytics for your AMP pages running on Google.com:

  • Your pages per session will be about one
  • Bounce rate will be very high (greater than 90 percent)
  • Session times will be very short

Then, for the AMP analytics on your domain, your number of visitors will not reflect any of the people who arrive on an AMP page first, and will only include those who view a second page on the site (on your main domain). If you try fixing this by adding your AMP analytics visit count to your main site analytics count, you’ll be double counting people that click through from one to the other.

There is a fix for this, and it’s referred to as “session stitching.” This is a really important fix to implement, and Google has provided it by creating an API that allows you to share the client ID information from AMP analytics with your regular website analytics. As a result, the analytics can piece together that it’s a continuation of the same session.

For more, you can see how to implement the fix to remedy both basic and advanced metrics tracking in my article on session stitching here.


Wrapping up

AMP can offer some really powerful benefits — improved site speed, better user experience and more revenue — but only for those publishers that take the time to implement the AMP version of their AMP site thoroughly, and also address the tracking issue in analytics so they can see the true results.

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Google’s new #SmallThanks Hub automatically creates digital & printed marketing assets for SMBs

Using content pulled from Google reviews, businesses with verified Google listings can create posters, social media posts, window clings, stickers and more. The post Google’s new #SmallThanks Hub automatically creates digital & printed marketing assets for SMBs appeared first on Search…

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.


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

Digital Marketing News: Social Storefront, The Trust Project and Facebook’s New App

Social Content is the New Storefront [Infographic] Regardless what others might say, social content is here to stay. Instead of heading to local storefronts, consumers are now heading to social media platforms to find what they need in the in and off-season. Social Media Today Google tries to bring more transparency to news content with help from The Trust Project Google has teamed up with The Trust Project that works with over 75 news organizations to determine the difference between quality and promotional content that may be plagued with misinformation. Search Engine Land Facebook’s New App Connects Creators With Video, Fans And Watch Shows Facebook is on the hunt for new influencers and wants to see how these experts interact with their networks. Their new app will give “internet stars” a chance to publish, edit and film live video with their audiences. AdAge Google’s Big Daddy Update: Big Changes to Google’s Infrastructure & the SERPs Big Daddy has been on the scene since 2005 as part of infrastructure changes. And while it hasn’t always been a fan favorite, it has impacted the approach to SEO. Search Engine Journal The State Of Subscription Video, In 5 Charts With more and more content publishers and brands looking to video as the new frontier, many are also looking to monetize their offerings. But how well does subscription video perform in our current content landscape? Digiday Google aims to make apps for Google Assistant more functional and discoverable Are homes getting smarter with the help of Google? According to Google, they are making a number of updates to make it easier for third party apps to integrate and develop specific items for key users. Search Engine Land The Huge Impact of Amazon This Holiday Season (And How Retailers Can Compete) It’s getting even harder to compete with larger retailers during the holiday season. In fact, a new report found that shoppers expect to make at least one purchase for Amazon. Where does that leave other retailers during the holiday season? MarketingProfs LinkedIn lets advertisers generate leads from Sponsored InMail, Dynamic Ad campaigns As of April (no fools) LinkedIn launched their lead gen forms which let advertisers collect information through Sponsored Content Ads.Now, these options are available to members using the Sponsored InMail ad format which has enabled brands to add their own questions to the forms. MarketingLand What were your top digital marketing news stories this week? We’ll be back next week with more digital marketing news! If you need more in the meantime, follow @toprank on Twitter or leave your thoughts in the comments.

The post Digital Marketing News: Social Storefront, The Trust Project and Facebook’s New App appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.


Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®

How We’re Building a Digital Advertising & SEO Dream Team

In today’s competitive and content-saturated digital landscape, SEO is no longer a stand-alone, sure-fire way to grab audience attention in the search results. As a result, the role of a search marketer is transforming beyond the traditional walls of organic SEO and merging with the world of digital advertising — and the hunt for skilled marketers with the right mix of both skillsets is heating up.

At TopRank Marketing, we’re taking part in that hunt.

After more than 15 years as a digital marketing agency, if there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that the collective talent of our team members is what drives our clients’ success and our company’s success. And we have our sights set on building a dream team.

As a member of the digital advertising and SEO teams, I was recently asked what great search marketing talent looks like. While I’m certainly not the ultimate judge of talent and skill, I will say that I’ve been in this industry since 2013, and I’ve seen many people come and many people go. I’ve seen careers fade out quickly, and I’ve seen other seemingly “overnight success stories” that take off like a rocket.

In my time in the industry, I have tried my hardest to learn from all of those people; learn why some people have fizzled out quickly and why others seem to hit the ground running. With that experience, as well as some of the core building blocks TopRank Marketing has outlined, below I share some of those skills and characteristics that we’re looking for and, really, every company should be looking for in SEO and digital advertising talent.

The Foundation

Like any other profession, there are must-have skills every SEO and/or digital advertising candidate must have. Simply put, I’ve had conversations with some people in hiring positions who simply won’t look at a resume unless it includes these foundational elements:

#1 – Google Certifications

There are numerous industry certifications out there. Honestly, it seems like every tool has their own set of certifications and badges, which may make some candidates think any certification can get your foot in the door. But don’t fall into that false sense of security. At the very least, it’s important to show up for the interview with these two certifications up to date:

  • Google AdWords
  • Google Analytics

#2 – Other Reputable Industry Certifications

Again, there are a ton of these to chose from. But having well-known and reputable certifications on your resume will show that you have the curiosity and the drive to learn and innovate. Some of those include:

  • Google Digital Garage
  • HubSpot Academy
  • Facebook Blueprint
  • Twitter Flight School
  • Additional Google AdWords Certifications for Display, Shopping, and Video

The Structure

So you’ve passed the tests, updated your LinkedIn profile and printed the certificates. Now what? Well, now it’s all about you. Do you have the soft skills and personality traits it takes find fulfillment and do the work well? Here are some of the important qualities we look for in someone who’s interested in coming to TopRank Marketing.

#1 – The curiosity of a cat.

Whether it’s SEO, PPC, social media or any other niche in the world of digital marketing, the best in the industry always have a deep sense of curiosity. They want to understand how things work, and once they understand those innerworkings, they want dig deeper and find out why it works that way.

#2 – An analytical mind.

Being comfortable with analytics tools is more than being able to pass a Google Analytics exam. Now, nobody out there needs to be Avinash Kaushik, but the best in the business know how to go beyond the data and pull insights; they’re looking for ways to make that data actionable. They’re running A/B tests (and they want to run more of them) and experiments, and they work hard trying to communicate data in a way that would make Lea Pica proud.

#3 – Creativity in mind, body and spirit.

This might seem obvious, but great digital marketing professionals are really creative. Creativity doesn’t just mean that they are coming up with new and unique marketing ideas, creativity is who they are. They might spend time digging into art or music. Maybe they spend their time tinkering with things and refinishing old furniture (there’s that curiosity again). I follow quite a few digital marketers who exercise their creative muscle in the kitchen experimenting with new recipes. Being comfortable with thinking outside the box and coming up with something new is a skill that you will use often in your digital marketing career.

#4 – A strong business sense.

This doesn’t mean that the best SEOs and digital advertisers need MBAs. It means they understand why they’re doing what they do. It means they understand the impact that their activity has on the business. And it means they can tie KPIs to what matters most to the client/company.

The Spire

The final touch on any magnificent structure is the spire that sits atop. The spire is what stands out across the city skyline. For us, that defining characteristic is simple: An undeniable passion for what you do and who you do it with.

Our company culture is built on the passion our employees have for their work and their respective co-workers. After all, think about how much time you spend at the office. Without some love for the tasks and people who occupy that time, personal satisfaction and excellence can’t be found.

Interested in Joining the TopRank Marketing Dream Team?

That’s fantastic news. We happen to be hiring! Check out our Careers page to see a full list of open positions ranging from digital advertising and SEO to content and design.


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2017. | How We’re Building a Digital Advertising & SEO Dream Team | http://www.toprankblog.com

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Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®

Digital Marketing News: Email vs. SMS, Twitter Trolls Itself and Google’s AI Wizard

Email vs. SMS: Battle of the Heavyweights [Infographic] In a battle of email vs. SMS, who is the winner? This infographic shows the differences between the two tactics in terms of volume, engagement, preferences and effectiveness by medium. MarketingProfs Twitter trolls itself on new 280 character limit As you may have heard via everyone’s favorite venting platform, Twitter has increased their allotted character count to 280. While many are happy with this change, some are disappointed or even concerned that it will ruin the value of the platform. CNN Tech Google’s AI Wizard Unveils A New Twist on Neural Networks This is a story 40 years in the making. Geoff Hinton (the man behind AI) published two new papers that offers a new twist on neural networks that enable machines to better understand the world via images and video. Wired Study: Longer Videos Mean Higher Engagement Even in the age of decreased attention spans, it seems that audiences prefer long-form video over short-form video. In fact, videos over 90 seconds receive 78% more shares and 74% more views. MediaPost Instagram Stories and WhatsApp Status hit 300M users, nearly 2X Snapchat When it comes to features, it’s hard to tell the difference between Instagram Stories and Snapchat these days. Now that Instagram Stories has a solid user base, it’s time for Facebook to innovate and move away from copycatting Snapchat. TechCrunch Facebook Registers Soaring Ad Revenues, Mobile Dominates. Facebook experienced amazing third-quarter results with almost a 50% increase in advertising revenue. Additionally, 88% of that revenue is represented by mobile advertising. MediaPost New Salesforce And Google Partnership Shakes Up The Cloud Race The chocolate and peanut butter of marketing and sales analytics are finally coming together, as Google and Salesforce announce a new joint venture. Salesforce is committing to using Google’s G Suite, while Google Analytics will be fully integrated with Salesforce’s core platform. Salesforce has committed to using Google’s cloud storage as well, but will maintain multiple cloud vendors for the time being. Forbes Older Photos and Videos Can Now Be Added to Instagram Stories Instagram is now allowing users to add older photos from their camera rolls into their Instagram Stories. According to AdWeek, “Instagram said it will automatically suggest a new sticker to add context on when older photos or videos were taken, and users can choose to rotate, resize or remove the new sticker altogether before sharing their Stories.” AdWeek What were your top digital marketing news stories this week? We’ll be back next week with more digital marketing news! In the meantime, if you have something to share Tweet us @toprank or @Tiffani_Allen.

The post Digital Marketing News: Email vs. SMS, Twitter Trolls Itself and Google’s AI Wizard appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.


Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®

Digital Marketing News: Clowns for Whoppers, Facebook Dynamic, Automatic Messages

Persado
Persado now generates emotionally-targeted marketing messages for individuals. Copywriters, prepare to start feeling nervous: Persado uses machine learning and people’s reactions to previous campaigns to determine users’ emotional profiles and is now launching Persado One, which allows the text to be generated for individual users. MarTech Today

How many people see your content on each digital channel? This is a handy collection of benchmarks covering email, SMS, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Apps and Snapchat.   The Drum

B2B Marketers Shift Priorities From Generating Leads to Converting Them. B2B marketers’ top priority for generating more leads has dropped from 46% to 35%. The focus on converting leads to customers has increased from 34% to 42%. MarketingCharts

32% Of Marketers To Bring Programmatic Media Buying In-House. 50% of marketers and agencies believe Programmatic will ultimately become the responsibility of the brand. MediaPost

Burger King Gave Free Whoppers to People Dressed as Clowns on Halloween. BK is taking aim at McDonald’s with a stunt called #ScaryClownNight in which it will welcome people dressed as clowns (as Ronald McDonald himself, or Pennywise from It, or any clown really) by giving them a free Whopper. AdWeek

Facebook’s dynamic creative can generate up to 6,250 versions of an ad. Facebook is rolling out a way for brands to automatically create thousands of different versions of an ad that will vary in content based on who they are shown to and where they appear. MarketingLand

Average Blog Post Length

Personalization Continues to Provide Uplift in Conversion Rates for Online and Offline Channels. In fact, 39% of company marketers report a major uplift in search engine marketing conversion rates as a result of implementing personalization. Econsultancy via MarketingCharts

Twitter Debates Product, Brand-Focused Campaigns To Achieve Best ROI.  Over the short-term, product-focused campaigns on Twitter deliver a greater return on investment than those focused on brands, new research suggests.  MediaPost

iPhone X first impressions: The highs, lows and quirks. The notch on top is annoying, face detection will take some getting used to but you can animate emoji poop with facial expressions. Apparently the selfie portrait mode is the most redeeming feature. If you’ve grabbed an early release iPhone X, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.   CNNtech

Russian Influence Reached 126 Million Through Facebook Alone. Russian agents intending to sow discord among American citizens disseminated inflammatory posts that reached 126 million users on Facebook, published more than 131,000 messages on Twitter and uploaded over 1,000 videos to Google’s YouTube service, according to copies of prepared remarks from the companies that were obtained by The New York Times.  NYTimes

How is this news? People are furiously debating the correct placement of cheese in the burger emoji. Apple puts it above the burger patty — but Google has gone rogue and put it below. Even Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, has chimed in on the issue. Business Insider

Upcoming  TopRank Marketing Speaking Events:

Nov 7: Dreamforce, San Francisco
The Confluence Equation: How Content & Influencers Drive B2B Marketing Success – Content and influencer marketing are hot topics for B2B marketers all over the world as two of the most promising strategies for attracting, engaging and converting ideal customers. What many marketers don’t realize is how collaborating with influencers can create even more credible, relevant, and optimized experiences for target accounts. Join Lee Odden to learn how working with influencers and their communities can help scale quality B2B content that gets results.

Nov 9: Pubcon, Las Vegas
Participation Marketing: The New World of Content Co-Creation, Influencers and Integration for PR – The converging roles of PR and communications with content and marketing is creating rapid demand for new strategies, skills and expectations. As earned and owned media intertwine, communications professionals who fast track their ability to adapt and evolve will gain a competitive advantage in their roles in the new world of PR. In this session, you’ll learn tested and proven models, strategies and tactics for content marketing based on an integrated and cooperative approach.

Nov 15: SMXL, Milan
Content Marketing & Influence Integration – Without content, there wouldn’t be any search engines and yet most marketers treat content as if it were simply a tactic for SEO. Content is the fuel that powers all forms of media on all digital channels where customers engage. The most successful marketers approach digital marketing with a customer and content-centric approach that integrates with SEO, social media, influencers and advertising in a way that helps the brand become “the best answer” wherever customers are looking. When content is optimized, socialized, publicized, advertised and influencer-activated, everybody wins! This presentation focuses on how to plan, produce, promote and optimize content as a marketing approach that works with or without search engines. But definitely better with search engines. 🙂

What was the top digital marketing news story for you this week?

Be sure to stay tuned until next week when we’ll be sharing all new marketing news stories. Also check out the full video summary with Tiffani and Josh on YouTube.


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TopRank® Online Marketing Newsletter.

© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2017. | Digital Marketing News: Clowns for Whoppers, Facebook Dynamic, Automatic Messages | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post Digital Marketing News: Clowns for Whoppers, Facebook Dynamic, Automatic Messages appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.


Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®

Should I Hire an In-House Digital Marketing Specialist or Tap an Agency for Help?

The digital marketing landscape is changing at a rapid pace, with many organizations planning to up their budgets and diversify their tactics in the coming years. In fact, according to Forrester research, CMOs will spend nearly $ 119 billion on search marketing, display advertising, online video and email marketing by 2021.

“Over the next five years, search will lose share to display and social advertising while video will scale,” Forrester said. “These changes reflect a new emphasis on quality over quantity, a dynamic that will reintroduce human intervention into programmatic ad buying, turn marketers into growth hackers, and put long-tail publishers out of business.”

To keep pace with these trends and take advantage of growth opportunities, many marketers are wondering how they can best leverage their resources, tools and budgets. As a result, a question that has likely come up is: Should we make a new in-house hire to achieve our goals or is an agency partnership a better fit?

As we close in on two decades of work in the digital marketing realm, our experience tells us there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Every organization is at a different digital marketing maturity level, which requires a tailored approach in order to scale their initiatives and drive results.

So, before your post a job req or sign an agreement with an agency, ask yourself the following questions:

#1 – What are my marketing objectives?

Your goals are the foundation of your marketing strategy, guiding every decision and tactic that comes next. As a result, evaluating your goals is a critical first step in weighing your hiring options. Essentially, you need to consider whether an agency or new in-house talent can put you in the best position to reach your goals.

#2 – What kind of expertise am I looking to add to the team?

Generally speaking, most digital marketers have highly-specific skill sets. So, if your strategy calls for adding or expanding a specific area of expertise such as video production or graphic design, hiring in-house may be a great option.

However, if you’re looking for a jack of all trades, an agency will definitely be better equipped. Why? Because you’ll be able to leverage a team of highly-specialized experts at once.

#3 – How niche is my industry?

This one can cut both ways. If your organization is part of a highly-niche industry, you can certainly bring someone in who already has related experience or can be nurtured as an internal subject matter expert. That said, agencies are staffed with fast-learning individuals who can fill the SME role, too. So, this one may come down to preference and bandwidth.

#4 – What’s the bandwidth of my current in-house team?

Your current in-house team likely has a big workload and/or lacks the specific expertise needed to achieve specific goals. So, if you’re looking to ease their burden or diversify a specific area of talent, hiring in-house talent is a great option — as long as you can commit the training, nurturing and management resources.

If you’re looking for a more hands-off option or can’t commit resources to managing an in-house hire, an agency will likely be a better fit. Hiring in-house typically requires more time and resources to make them successful (i.e. onboarding and ongoing training), whereas hiring an agency could give you more flexibility. In addition, agencies can often take on short-term projects with tight deadlines.

#5 – What’s my budget?

Your budget likely has the final say in your decision-making process. So, using your answers to the previous questions, think about how you can best stretch that budget. Does it make financial sense to add new team members or to outsource to an agency?

Get A Little Help in Answering These Questions

You know you need to make a hire to achieve your goals. And it’s a big decision. If you’re wondering what an agency can bring to the table, we’d love to chat with you. You tell us your hopes, wishes, dreams, goals and needs, and we’ll give you options and honesty.


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TopRank® Online Marketing Newsletter.

© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2017. | Should I Hire an In-House Digital Marketing Specialist or Tap an Agency for Help? | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post Should I Hire an In-House Digital Marketing Specialist or Tap an Agency for Help? appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.


Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®

Digital Marketing News: Pinterest PPC, Facebook Sets, Online Beats Offline Shopping

Understanding Machine Learning Infographic

Need help understanding Machine Learning? We now live in an age where machines can teach themselves without human intervention. Sound scary? It should. Scary amazing that is. Applications for machine learning extend from marketing to medicine to interstellar space travel. Find out what Machine Learning is, how it works, and how it will change the world.  Infographic.

Google’s New AI Is Better at Creating AI Than the Company’s Engineers. Google CEO Sundar Pichai says his team has achieved “AI inception” with AutoML. AutoML is an artificial intelligence that can assist in the creation of other AIs. By automating some of the complicated process, AutoML could make machine learning more accessible to non-experts. Futurism

Survey: 37% of online retailers started holiday preparations earlier this year. How early you ask? 1 to 4 months earlier than 2016 according to a survey by BigCommerce. Along with early, retailers are optimistic. 88% expect an increase in holiday revenue.  Marketing Land

Oh joy (sarcasm) Facebook is bringing paywalls to Instant Articles in your mobile feed. Since more people than ever before are getting their news from social media, it makes sense that Facebook wants to help publishers by introducing subscriptions for content on its platform. And it’s starting on mobile.  The Next Web

Digital Video Marketing Is A $ 135 Billion Industry In The U.S. Alone, Study Finds. Video capturing, creation, hosting, distribution, analytics and staffing is big business! In contrast, advertisers are expected to spend $ 83 billion on digital ads and $ 71 billion on TV commercials (a total of $ 154 billion) in the U.S. this year. Forbes

Businesses can now sign up to add booking buttons to their Google local results. Google has finally added a feature to let you easily add a ‘book online’ button to your local business on Google Maps or Google Search. Soon, some businesses might not even need a website. Search Engine Land

Snap is turning to programmatic ads for Snapchat shows. Advertisers can make programmatic buys on Snap Ads — 10-second vertical video units — across the app’s public user stories, Snapchat-curated live stories and Discover publisher channels and Snapchat shows. Digiday

News Banner

As Amazon Prime Hits 90 Million, Online Holiday Spending To Surpass Brick-And-Mortar. Deloitte predicts people will do 51% of their holiday spending online, making it the first time it may surpass in-store spending. Among high-income families that number jumps to 57%. Headed to the mall anyone? Pass. MediaPost

Facebook officially rolls out its discovery-focused ‘Explore Feed’. The Explore Feed is now fully rolled out on mobile and beginning to show for desktop users. In case you didn’t know, the Explore Feed is to help Facebook users discover more content across the social network, beyond posts from friends and Pages you already follow.  TechCrunch

Google Attribution Rolls Out To Thousands Of Marketers. Google is rolling out an attribution model it introduced in May, powering the platform with machine learning. Google Attribution is to help marketers analyze how top and middle funnel clicks and interactions impact conversions across channels. MediaPost

Facebook Is Testing a Pinterest-Like Feature Called Sets. Oh look, Facebook has taken a break from imitating Snapchat and LinkedIn to imitate Pinterest. Facebook is now testing Sets, Pinterest-like themed collections that include status updates, photos, videos and links, and that can be shared with all friends or specific friends. AdWeek

Snapchat dangles referral traffic with link sharing from other apps. This is such foreign territory for me, but go ahead, read on anyway: You now can share links from other apps via the iOS share sheet, allowing you to send a private message with the link to one or several people. And rather than just turning live location sharing on or off permanently, you now can opt to hide in “Ghost Mode” for 3 or 24 hours. TechCrunch

Pinterest moves into paid search: What you need to know.  Pinterest Ads Manager is now open to all businesses who have opened an account and uploaded at least one Pin. It’s time to fire up those experimental paid search budgets.  Search Engine Watch

The B2B CMO’s Growth Strategy Turns Audience-Centric Over Product-Centric. B2B CMOs around the world are focusing on new buyers and new markets over new offerings when it comes to their growth strategies, a new study from SiriusDecisions has found. An enhanced customer experience is seen to have the biggest influence on growth strategies in the next 2 years.  MarketingCharts

SMBMSP100
This morning I will be joining a sold out crowd to celebrate the 100th Social Media Breakfast Minneapolis St. Paul (SMBMSP #100) event. The plan is a panel with Greg Swan and Jennifer Kane moderated by Mykl Roventine. We’ll be talking about what has changed since the event started in 2008 (founded by Rick Mahn) and what lessons we’ve learned as well as thoughts looking forward. I have a feeling it will be a great collection of stories about successes, failures and the crazy world that social media has become.  If you’re reading this post early on Friday, you can follow the event from 8-10am CT on Twitter with the hashtag #smbmsp100

What was the top digital marketing news story for you this week?

Be sure to stay tuned until next week when we’ll be sharing all new marketing news stories. Also check out the full video summary with Tiffani and Josh on YouTube.


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

© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2017. | Digital Marketing News: Pinterest PPC, Facebook Sets, Online Beats Offline Shopping | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post Digital Marketing News: Pinterest PPC, Facebook Sets, Online Beats Offline Shopping appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.


Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®