8 Upcoming Events to Learn All About Content and Influencer Marketing

Learn Content Influencer marketing

According to a new study from eMarketer, in 2018 nearly nine in 10 business-to-business (B2B) companies in the US will use digital content marketing. At the same time, influencer marketing has become one of the hottest topics in the marketing world: The L2 from Gartner reports that over 70% of brands used influencers in their 2017 marketing plans and 95% found them to be effective.

We know how this goes in marketing: a strategy or tactic becomes popular with every opportunist repeating the echo chamber of best practices until it’s unclear what’s really relevant for your business.

We’re seeing firsthand, the impact content and influence is having on marketing and have been working with many of the top B2B brands in the world to plan, implement and optimize content marketing programs with highly credible and connected influencers.

That expertise didn’t happen overnight. We’ve been working hard on B2B influencer marketing strategies, process and workflow, measurement and reporting for the past 6 years. In addition to helping clients develop and implement influencer content programs, we’re also teaching our community about this impactful intersection of disciplines.

In fact, over the next 2 1/2 months there are at least 8 events happening online and in cities including Scottsdale, Boston, San Francisco, Ft Lauderdale and Minneapolis where you can learn the strategies and tactics of influencer and content marketing, presented by team members from TopRank Marketing. Find one that works with your schedule.

B2B Marketing Exchange
Feb 19-21: B2B Marketing Exchange – Scottsdale, AZ

Millennials & Influencer Marketing: How to Organize & Optimize for B2B
Not only are Millennial aged professionals more trusting of social influencers when making purchase decisions, they’re also more likely to participate as influential content creators. B2B brands that can master working with internal and external Millennial talent to co-create content and engage on social channels will reap rewards now and into the future.

This presentation by Lee Odden of TopRank Marketing and Alexandra Rynne of LinkedIn Marketing Solutions will help B2B marketers understand the influencer marketing opportunity with Millennials in multiple ways:

– Understand influencer engagement models from seasoned brandividuals to rising star Millennials

– Bust myths about working with Millennials and how B2B brands can create win/win relationships
– Learn from examples of B2B influencer content in action

Demand Gen Strategies Summit
Demand Gen Summit BrighTalk
Feb 22: Demand Generation Strategies Summit (BrightTalk) – Onlin
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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.

Digital Transformation Days - SEMRusn
SEMRush
Feb 22: Digital Transformation Day (SEMRush) – Online
Barry Schwartz and Lee Odden interview each other
Barry Schwartz, President of Rusty Brick, News Editor of Search Engine Land and Executive Editor of Search Engine Roundtable will interview me, Lee Odden, and I will interview Barry about trends in the search and digital marketing world.

SMMW
Feb 28 – Mar 2: Social Media Marketing World – San Diego, CA
How Content Plus Influence Equals Results: The Confluence Equation
Content marketing and influencer marketing are hot topics for marketers all over the world as two of the most promising strategies for attracting, engaging and converting ideal customers. But how do you find the right influencers? What kind of content should you collaborate on? How do you best measure influencer and content success? Join Lee Odden to learn from his experience working with brands big and small to develop efficient and effective formulas for influencer content success.

 

AMA Iowa
Apr 4, American Marketing Association Iowa Event – Des Moines

Influencer Marketing is only for B2C Brands (And Other Lies Your Parents Told You)
For years celebrities have been gracing the covers of magazines, acting in commercials and pimping out their social media profiles for pay. But should that really be considered influencer marketing?

While it may seem like B2C brands have influencer marketing all figured out, there is even more opportunity for B2B brands to begin building meaningful influencer relationships.

One way to do that is by developing influencer driven content programs. These programs provide a unique opportunity reach and build credibility your audience by working with experts that they can relate to and trust. In this presentation, Ashley Zeckman will share:
– A dive into 3 stories of successful content and influencer marketing in action.
– Steps for creating a stellar experience for your audience and your influencers.
– Scrappy ideas for collaborating with influencers when you have limited time and resources.
– Bonus: Formulas for determining content and influencer marketing ROI.

Pubcon
Apr 11-12: Pubcon Florida – Ft Laudedrale, FL

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. Some of the key learnings include:
– Content marketing and what it really means for earned, owned and shared media.
– How content co-creation enables content quality at scale.
– Redefining what influence and working with influencers mean for content.
– Key opportunities to integrate the best of PR and marketing for meaningful digital communications that deliver an impact

Marketo Marketing Nation Summit
Apr 29-30: Marketo Marketing Nation Summit – San Francisco, CA

Content Marketing 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. This presentation from Lee Odden 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. 🙂

Content Marketing Conference
May 2-4: Content Marketing Conference – Boston, MA
The Keys to Successful B2B Content and Influencer Programs
While only 11% of B2B companies were implementing ongoing influencer marketing programs in 2017, brands with mature influencer marketing programs like SAP are elevating the practice. In this presentation with Lee Odden, CEO of TopRank Marketing and Amisha Ghandi, Head of Influencer Marketing at SAP, you will learn through several examples about the strategies and best practices that make an Enterprise B2B influencer marketing program successful.

Whether you would like to learn most about Millennials and influencer marketing or content integrated with influence, SEO and social media, there’s a topic for you in the schedule above. Not only can you learn from Ashley Zeckman and myself, but our clients from LinkedIn and SAP are presenting as well.

If you are already attending one of the events above, please do be sure to let us know!


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2018. | 8 Upcoming Events to Learn All About Content and Influencer Marketing | http://www.toprankblog.com

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What you learn from talking with Google’s largest advertisers all day, every day

The world’s largest advertisers routinely visit the Google campus to talk strategy. Columnist Matt Lawson sits down with Google’s Chief Search Evangelist for some top insights from those meetings. The post What you learn from talking with Google’s largest advertisers all day, every day appeared…

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.


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

What All Marketers Can Learn from Fast Food Giants Crushing Twitter

There’s little doubt among marketers that social media is an important part of their strategic digital marketing mix. After all, social media is part of the fabric of our daily lives—and arguably our identities. In fact, it’s estimated that there are 1.96 billion social media users worldwide—with that number expected to grow to 2.5 billion by 2018.

But increasing adoption and content saturation, as well as changing algorithms and the rising tide of paid social advertising, means all brands are facing stiff competition for audience attention and engagement. So, what’s a marketer or brand to do?

The answers don’t lie in posting more frequently, adding more visuals or adding more channels to your mix. From my perspective, it’s all about developing your brand’s identity in a way that not only provides a real-time glimpse into what your company is all about, but also gives your audience a unique and tasty experience. And that’s where some of our favorite fast food brands such as Wendy’s, KFC and McDonald’s can provide us a little food for thought.

How? Read on to get a taste of what we can all learn from three recognizable fast food brands.

#1 – Acknowledging and engaging your competitors can actually help you stand out.

For some time now, Wendy’s—known for their motto of “fresh never frozen beef”—has been heralded as a leader in, well, roasting anybody and everyone on Twitter—including the trolling of its competition.

Most recently, Wendy’s was challenged to a duel with Wingstop, a chicken wing restaurant chain that grown to more than 1,000 locations around the world.

Wingstop put out a poetic, rap-style tweet in early October. Another user, @Fatlaz901, brought Wendy’s into the mix by challenging them to “step up” their game.

Wendy's Trolling on Twitter

And then the rap battle ensued over who had the better product ensued. Here’s one of my favorite excerpts—and the engagement metrics speak for themselves:

Wendy's & Wingstop Twitter Battle

The takeaway here is not to simply start trolling your competition. The point is that a little friendly competition can go a long way—and I think that can extend beyond your social channels, too.

#2 – Social customer care is an opportunity ripe for the taking.

Currently, McDonald’s is the world’s second largest restaurant chain, coming in behind Subway and boasting more than 36,000 outlets in 119 countries. For years, McDonald’s trademark “I’m lovin’ it” slogan has helped convey its desire to make quality food and deliver quality service that their customers will love—and that commitment is an intrinsic part of their social media strategy.

In addition to its official Twitter page for the USA, McDonald’s actually has another handle, @Reachout_mcd, dedicated to fielding customer gripes and answer questions. Most recently, McDonald’s announced that it would be bringing back its Szechuan Sauce in a “super-limited” fashion—aka releasing the sauce for just one day at select stores. Well, Szechuan Sauce lovers everywhere were not only miffed about the limited release, but also how quickly it “sold out” of participating locations.

Not only did McDonald’s openly address many of its customers public dismay on Twitter, it got to work to fix the problem.

McDonald's & Szechuan Sauce

What can marketers learn from this example? Marketers, particularly those managing social media, have to stop thinking customer service is not “someone else’s problem.” As social customer care expert and McDonald’s Senior Director of Global Social Media, Dan Gingiss, told me in his Behind the Marketing Curtain interview earlier this year:

“When we interrupt people’s social media feeds with marketing messages, we hope that they will engage with our fun and interesting marketing content. But sometimes, all we do is remind them that they had some other problem with our brand. Since social media is the first and only channel where customers can talk back, marketers need to listen and engage.”

#3 – Social media can be a vivid extension of your brand.

Finally, last month, the internet went bonkers after Twitter user Mike Edgette discovered that KFC’s official Twitter account followed just 11 people: All five members of 90s pop group the Spice Girls, as well as six random guys named Herb. Of course, this cleverness pays homage to the secret blend of 11 herbs and spices used in the making of KFC’s chicken. On the off chance you didn’t see this, here’s how Edgette broke the news to the world.

KFC 11 Twitter Followers

But, as you may already know, the story doesn’t stop there. KFC reportedly went above and beyond to recognize Edgette’s discovery, tracking him down and sending him an unbelievably awesome and hilarious gift:  A personalized letter from Colonel Sanders “himself,” a boat load of gift cards, and perhaps the most amazing of all, a painting featuring Edgette triumphantly receiving a piggy back ride from the Colonel.

Colonel Sanders & Mike Edgette Painting Tweet

For me—and I’m sure you may agree—this serves as an ultimate example of thinking outside the box, and intertwining your brand’s core messaging and mission across channels to bring it to life.

Find Your Unique Flavor

Every brand has a story to tell—and social media platforms can help you bring that story to life and season it with the voices of your community. If you’re looking to craft your recipe for success, check out our post 8 Important Questions Your Social Media Marketing Strategy Must Answer.

What other fast food restaurants have you grown to admire on social media? Tell us in the comments section below.


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2017. | What All Marketers Can Learn from Fast Food Giants Crushing Twitter | http://www.toprankblog.com

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Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®

Learn How to Connect Actions to Results Using Marketing Attribution

We’ve all been there. The big marketing campaign you spent months on just ended, it was a smashing success! Champagne was popped, there were pats on the back all around, life was good. But when the dust finally settles, you’re left staring a mountain of data square in there eyes, wondering if the marketing attribution you set up tells the real story.

Fortunately for you, during this year’s MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum, Dayna Rothman of BrightFunnel broke down how you as a savvy marketer can orchestrate the buyer journey and turn it into a science by properly leveraging data and analytics.

The “Marketing Holy Grail” is to turn the buyer journey into a science by sending the right message, to the right person, at the right time.

Consider the Typical Buyer Journey

In any well-rounded buyer journey, Dayna explained, there are several marketing touch points that the buyer will likely come in contact with. However, in most cases we track the sale or lead back to just a single touch point, such as a click from an offer email. But this doesn’t generally tell the whole story of the typical buyer journey. In most buyer journeys there are several touch points that contributed to the sale or conversion. Because of this, it is crucial that you are tracking all touch points in the buyer journey and not just one element. Doing this will allow you to truly orchestrate the buyer journey.

 

Track Metrics that matter

So now that you know you need to be tracking all elements in the buyer journey, what should you focus on first? Dayna outlined five key metrics to keep your eye on:

  1. First touch attribution—what brings people into your funnel
  2. Last-touch attribution—what converts people to become customers
  3. Multi-touch attribution—what accelerates people through your funnel
  4. Velocity—how fast a piece of content, a channel, or a campaign moves people through your funnel
  5. Full account analysis—how everything adds up in order to determine the best path to sale

By accurately tracking the above elements, you will be armed with the data that will allow you to begin to orchestrate an optimized buyer journey. Look for trends in how fast campaigns move the buyer through the funnel, the order in which content is downloaded, which channels and campaigns are most effective in each level of the funnel and even how sales activity integrates into the overall buyer journey.  It is important to note here that although elements like first touch and last touch attribution can be relatively easy to identify in programs like Google Analytics and AdWords, professional marketing attribution software, if used properly will make full attribution tracking a much more manageable task.

Set Yourself Up for Success

Mapping the buyer journey and truly measuring attribution can be a time intensive effort. So to get the most out of this initiative, be sure to:

  • Benchmark your current program performance and buyer journey so that you can effectively measure success.
  • Set a series of goals that align to your business objectives.
  • Make sure that your technology stack can account for your attribution needs.
  • Ensure that your tools are syncing properly.
  • Become a change agent within your marketing team.

4 Key Marketing Attribution Takeaways

Dayna’s presentation did a really great job of showing the amazing level of detail and insight a fully attributed marketing program can give you. Although the above recap only scratched the surface on her valuable insights from the day, I will leave you with my four key takeaways:

  1. The holy grail of marketing is turning the buyer journey into a science
  2. Orchestrate your customer journey by leveraging data and analytics
  3. Look at single-touch and multi-touch attribution to know what to say to your customer and when to say it
  4. Constantly keep testing and optimizing for success!

Have you cracked the code on marketing attribution for your organization? If so, how did that change your approach?

Disclosure: BrightFunnel is a TopRank Marketing client.


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2017. | Learn How to Connect Actions to Results Using Marketing Attribution | http://www.toprankblog.com

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Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®

Learn Influencer Marketing 5 Ways

Learn Influencer Marketing 5 Ways

A quick look at Google Trends comparing Influencer Marketing to other marketing disciplines shows a near hockey stick growth trend. Since my team consults and I advocate, write and speak about influencer marketing so often, people often ask me: “Is influencer marketing a real trend?”.

Google Trends Influencer Marketing

Looking back on my experience in digital marketing over the past 20 years with the advent of disciplines like SEO, social media and content marketing, I’d say the momentum around influencer marketing has many of the same characteristics. It’s here, it’s still early and will continue to grow.

While working with influencers isn’t all that new, my experience talking about influencer marketing with B2B brands (and many agencies) has taught me that many B2B marketers are not fully aware or confident about where working with influencers fits in their marketing mix.

The good news is that we’ve been in the thick of B2B influencer marketing and content marketing for the last 6-7 years. Starting with experiments, we evolved our offering by practicing what we preach and introducing best practices and process to our clients. Today we’re delivering influencer content marketing services to major B2B and B2C brands including SAP, LinkedIn, State Farm and 3M.

To learn what we’ve learned, I invite you to check out the following 5 events where I will be talking about influencer marketing from essentially 5 different perspectives. From New York to San Francisco to Milan, there’s something for everyone.

Learn Influencer Marketing for Influencer Marketers

Sept 26: New York
Influencer Marketing Days #InfluencerDays
Keynote: B2B Influencer Marketing: Top Trends, Examples & Opportunities
The irony of this presentation is that I will be in New York as an influencer for IBM and while there, giving a presentation on influencer marketing at an influencer marketing conference! It’s like influencer marketing inception!

Learn B2B Influencer Marketing

Oct 4: Boston
MarketingProfs B2B Forum #MPB2B
Solo: From Why to ROI: B2B Influencer Marketing Case Studies for Success
One of my all-time favorite conferences of the year, B2B Forum is where I get to truly geek out on B2B influencer marketing with some of the smartest B2B marketers in the world. And there’s Ann Handley too – who would want to miss hanging out with her? No one!

Learn About ABM & Influencer Marketing

Nov 7: San Francisco
Dreamforce #Dreamforce17
Solo: The ABCs of Influencer Content for ABM
Salesforce event staff have told me I will have a room that can seat 800, which might not seem like much for a conference with 90,000+ attendees, but I’ll take it. Companies that use marketing software are definitely great potential clients for TopRank Marketing.

Learn About SEO & Influencer Marketing

Nov 9: Las Vegas
Pubcon #pubcon
Keynote: In Search of Influence
Brett Tabke gave me a shot at speaking early on in my career and because of a longstanding client conference date that conflicted with Pubcon, I haven’t been able to attend in many years. Now I’ll be giving a keynote to the community where I got my start in marketing and I can’t tell you how much that means to me. My hope is that the presentation will mean something to the amazing search community.

Learn About Content & Influencer Marketing

Nov 15: Milan
SMXL #smxlmilan
Masterclass: Content Marketing & Influence Integration
I will be back in Milan to talk about content marketing with an influencer marketing flavor to the hungry Italian marketers converging on Milan. This event will also give me the opportunity to connect with my European search marketing pals.

5 Steps to Influencer Marketing Awesome

I know it’s possible you might not be able to attend the conferences listed above. So I’ll share a few tips to provide some direction for those just getting started with the idea of incorporating influencer collaboration with their marketing. Broadly, there are some universal truths to influencer marketing where content is the marketable asset produced. Here are 5 worth paying attention to:

1. Be specific. When setting goals for what’s possible, define your topic of influence specifically. Focus topics drive influencer identification as well as influencer content, SEO and social media themes.

2. Be the best answer. Map focus topics to your normal content, SEO, advertising and media relations plans.To be the best answer wherever customers are looking and influenced, it’s more effective if there is continuity of message across channels where buyers discover and consume solutions content.

3. Give to get. Brandividuals that play the game of influence will respond to compensation early, but most niche and brand influencers require romance. Start recruiting through social engagement long before you ask influencers to collaborate.

4. Collaborate to create. Invite influencers to make something together that drives the influencer’s objectives while at the same time, fuels brand objectives. At a minimum, influencer engagement results in content co-creation that can be repurposed by the brand for demand gen programs. Also consider the power of pride. When influencers invest in creating something that makes them look good, they will be inspired to share and help your brand reach new audiences.

5. Measure smart. Inputs, outputs and outcomes of influencers and their communities relative to your content collaboration is essential. When content is part of your influencer collaboration, then you’ll have all the measurement opportunities with any other content marketing program as well. The key is to map KPIs of working with influencers to business goals for your brand.

Whether you are in New York for Advertising Week, Boston for Marketing Profs B2B Forum, San Francisco for Dreamforce, Las Vegas for Pubcon or Milan for SMXL, I hope to see you so we can connect and learn from each other about the amazing world of influencer marketing.

Tim Washer Interview

Do you have proven community management, content and influencer engagement skills? Work with TopRank Marketing! If you are an experienced influencer marketing professional and would like to join a team that is fast tracking growth and working with some amazing brands, then be sure to check out our careers page or contact me directly: lodden at toprankmarketing .dot com.


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2017. | Learn Influencer Marketing 5 Ways | http://www.toprankblog.com

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Learn how to Become a Better Storyteller with Insights from GoDaddy’s Shawn Pfunder

Storytelling is a buzzword that has made it’s way around the marketing block several times. And as GoDaddy’s Editor in Chief, Shawn Pfunder, shared, storytelling continues to be relevant because our brains are insatiable for stories.

Through stories of his own ranging from Christian Slater impersonations to a death-defying Grandfather, Shawn showed attendees at Digital Summit Minneapolis how to become more compelling storytellers.

Stories Are What Make Us Who We Are

The stories we’re told affect our actions. As Shawn pointed out, after we watch an action movie like Fast and Furious, we might drive a little faster and pretend we have a stick shift once we leave the movie theater. But it can go beyond that.

As an example, Shawn shared the remarkable story he grew up hearing about his grandfather. The man wasn’t supposed to be alive after suffering a heart attack, becoming the first guinea pig for defibrillation, and surviving 12 hours of CPR. His grandfather was told by his doctor, “You must be alive for a reason.” Well, after hearing the story, Shawn and every one of his relatives were convinced they were the reason Grandpa lived. That one story became a part of their DNA and became a driving force in their lives.

Those are the kinds of stories that make us who we are. Our dreams, nightmares, wishes, regrets, goals, desires, and more are stories that propel us forward and make us act. And we all have them.

The Power of a Template #HaikuChallenge

If we love stories so much and stories make us who we are, why don’t marketers use them for everything?

To solve this question, Shawn actually asked the audience to create a Haiku about Wonder Woman. As you may or may not know, Haiku’s have a finite structure. They’re just three lines, each with a set of syllables. And the audience created some killer poems, including these favorites:

The fact was, that once Shawn gave us a template—a Haiku—it was easy for us to start writing and get our creative juices flowing.

Three Story Templates to Live By

To help us marketers easily create stories, Shawn introduced three story templates we can use without fail.

1. The Quest

Probably the most classic of all stories is the quest. Quests start and end in the same place, there are travel companions that help the hero, and the end result is often not what the hero expected. To give us an example of a quest story, Shawn used the iconic film “The Wizard of Oz.” Dorothy’s story starts and ends in Kansas, she has three loyal friends who help her on her journey, and in the end she finds she had the ability to go home all along.  

Hollywood Example: “The Wizard of Oz”

2. Underdog

Shawn reminds us that the key to a good underdog story is an unmatched rivalry. Think of Globo Gym and Average Joe’s of Dodgeball”. Globo gym is better in athleticism, finances, and every other way that matters. Average Joe’s doesn’t stand a chance. But luckily for Joe’s, underdog stories also require a “wizard” that help give them the tools to succeed. With the help of dodgeball legend Patches, Average Joe’s had the dodge, dip, duck, dive, and dodge skills to get them through the tournament and defeat Globo Gym.

Hollywood Example: “Cinderella”

3. Transformation

Stories of transformation focus more on the origin than the destination. In fact, Shawn says transformation stories spend more time on the disgusting and miserable parts of normal life. But then something happens and the hero’s life becomes better. Like a weight loss before and after photo, the difference is dramatic and significant.

Hollywood Example: “Wild”

Ready to Start Telling Stories of Your Own?

Ask yourself:

  • Whos the hero?
    • Psst… it’s never you!
  • What’s normal life?
  • Why change?
  • What will be different?
  • Whats next?

Shawn’s last piece of advice? Watch a movie, read a book, or find a story and try to recognize the thing about it that makes it special.

So we want to hear from you in the comments below. What do you plan on watching or reading next and why are you excited about it? Personally, I’ll be starting the new Netflix series “Ozark” because of its complex plot and leading man, Jason Bateman.


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2017. | Learn how to Become a Better Storyteller with Insights from GoDaddy’s Shawn Pfunder | http://www.toprankblog.com

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Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®

Learn 3 proven methods for winning additional PPC budget from your clients

Looking to grow your PPC accounts? Columnist Jeff Baum explains that doing so means selling clients on the notion that your approach is the best way forward — and that more budget is required to execute the plan. The post Learn 3 proven methods for winning additional PPC budget from your clients…

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.


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

Learn best practices for mobile search and in-store sales

Today’s consumers research products on the go, using their smartphones to find and choose at which nearby business to make a purchase or eat a meal. Most visit the store they select on the same day. Yet most marketers can’t – or don’t – optimize their digital presence or measure the impact of their…

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.


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

10 Excellent Niche Business Examples to Learn From (FS209)

Listen, there is a TON of competition in business today. The internet, which enables all of our personal businesses like never before, also makes it so now you compete with the entire world.

But, we have a powerful tool at our disposal: specialization, focus, narrowing our target market, aiming at a smaller business niche.

Now, if you’re already selling a bunch of product successfully — if your storehouse and bank account is full! — well then, you probably don’t need to specialize any more… it’s working, you’ve got it, well done.

But, for many of us — especially those of us who are still getting our businesses off the ground — specialization, aiming at a smaller niche, focusing on a more precise target market, can make all the difference in getting your business flying, getting found, producing revenue.

A great niche can help you:

  • get that difficult and necessary initial traction because your business is more remarkable to specific group of people.
  • resonate powerfully with visitors when they land on your website, blog, podcast, workshop, etc., because you’re “speaking their language.”
  • resonate, again! It can’t be overstated how important it is to be able to connect deeply with your target customers through your marketing materials; focusing on a more specific niche can make all the difference here.
  • come up with easy and effective marketing ideas because you know exactly who you’re making things for. This is another big one! Especially if you, like most modern businesses, will rely on internet content for finding new customers.

Basically, defining a target market and niche that’s both “specific enough” AND currently underserve in the world will help you with everything… literally.

But it’s a hard thing to get, so we need examples

We teach this process through the following methods:

  • We have a guided roadmap that takes people through every stage of small business. We start it off with a few powerful exercises in finding a topic that won’t burn you out. Then we guide you through more and more exercises to learn exactly who your customer is, what they want, how they struggle, how you can resonate with them.
  • We have an entire course on this topic called Define Your Target Market with excellent training from Chase’s many years working in agencies making websites and sales videos for high paying customers. Tons of great insights in this course.
  • As you continue through the roadmap, the concepts about audience, target market, ideal customer and niche are reinforced throughout, making the learning more and more “second nature” to you.

… and yet questions about niche, target market and ideal customers are among our most popular.

Why? Because this really and truly is a difficult thing to nail down. There’s as much art as there is science here… with a fair amount of luck necessary as well.

And that’s why we need to familiarize ourselves with examples, so we can see how others have done it and learn some things about why those niches worked.

(In case you don’t know it, we teach tens of thousands of entrepreneurs how to get their idea off the ground with a simple, guided roadmap of training alongside community and group coaching. To find out more about Fizzle Membership click here. Please note, this is not for douchebags and assholes — this is for folks who want to earn an independent living doing something they care about.)

So, let’s talk about some examples

When you’re ready, listen to this podcast episode because we share and explain several examples of niche businesses, why they work, and what you can learn from their example.

It’s better to listen on the go!    Subscribe on iTunes 

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10 Niche Business Examples:

DESIGN CUTS — TOPIC: Web design resources. AUDIENCE: Professional web/visual designers. PROBLEM: Designers want great resources and tools, but don't want to pay full price for them.

MINIMALIST BAKER — TOPIC: simple cooking. AUDIENCE: vegan and gluten free people. PROBLEM: people think it's hard to make delicious, simple vegan and gluten free foods. MB creates a lifestyle image and then provides recipes so you can live this way too. So maybe the problem REALLY is "I want to live like that, how do I do it?"

THE TINY CANAL COTTAGE — TOPIC: living well in a tiny space. AUDIENCE: modern folks interested in living more inspired lives no matter the size of our homes. PROBLEM: Living well in a tiny space! As she says: “you don’t have to live large to live beautifully.”

NERD FITNESS — TOPIC: fitness, workout, exercise, body image. AUDIENCE: nerds, gamers, people who dress up as gandalf for halloween. PROBLEM: Nerds and gamers don't think like jocks and yoga babes about fitness. They need their own way of talking about and pursuing fitness and exercise. So, this business translates fitness best practices into nerd speak. "I'm a nerd and I want to be fit, i want to touch my toes, I want to enjoy my body."

SHARED PRACTICES — TOPIC: Dental practice ownership. AUDIENCE: Recent dental school graduates. PROBLEM: New dentists want to own their own practice, but don't know how the business side of things work.

ZEN COURSES —  TOPIC: Building online courses. AUDIENCE: Entrepreneurs who want to build an online course. PROBLEM: Planning, organizing, and launching an online course that gets results is difficult and there aren't many good step-by-step guides that show you how to do it.

SISTER MOUNTAIN — TOPIC: knitting patterns, making your own clothes. AUDIENCE: people who knit, people who want to make their own clothes. PROBLEM: It would be cool to knit, but I don’t want to knit just some weird looking stuff I’ll never wear. I love the idea of making my own clothes, the pride of that. How do I make stuff I’ll actually wear?

ILLUSTRATED CHILDREN’S MINISTRY — TOPIC: “Illustrated resources for the church and the home, encouraging creativity and active engagement with faith.” AUDIENCE: people in the Christian church with kids. PROBLEM: it can be challenging to talk to your kids in ways they understand about stories of faith. Help me find activities to do with my kids that are both fun and spiritually educational.

COZY CAMA —  TOPIC: pet beds (pet happiness). AUDIENCE: Dog owners. PROBLEM: Dogs need to feel loved like part of the family. As a dog owner I want my dog to sleep in a place that comforts them by smell, makes them feel at home, and also is sustainable, eco-friendly and easy.

MOTHERBIRTH —  TOPIC: Motherhood. AUDIENCE: Women becoming mothers. PROBLEM: “Not just babies are born” is the tag line of this podcast. This speaks to the fact that you don’t become a mother in an instant, it takes time and transformation. What’s more, this has always been a thing women were assumed to do effortlessly and, hey, guess what, it’s fucking tough! That’s the problem.


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6 Influencer Marketing Lessons Marketers Can Learn from Journalists

As some of you regular TopRank Marketing Blog readers may know, before making my way into the world of digital marketing, I was a journalist covering the wild news happenings in a handful of Twin Cities metro towns.

While I wore many hats during those days—from reporter to managing editor to social media maven—building strong community connections was probably the most important hat of all.

Truly, the people I engaged with were more than connections. They were lifelines. They represented untold stories, interesting perspectives, inside scoops and friendly gateways to new sources, allowing me to craft quality news pieces that people actually wanted to read, share and talk about.

Now as a digital marketer, my community connections and sources often go by a new name: influencers.

Influencer marketing is booming—and it’s not hard to see why. Influencers lend authority and credibility to your content, and connect you with new audiences. In addition, influencer marketing content delivers 11 times the ROI than traditional forms of digital marketing, according to a 2016 study by TapInfluence and Nielsen Catalina Solutions.

But the secret in the sauce here is that your strategy, content and the influencers you choose have to be quality and relevant to your audience.

Thankfully, there’s a few pointers marketers can take from journalists to ensure that quality and relevance is there.

Let’s dive in.

#1 – Vet your sources.

As the old journalism adage goes, you’re only as good as your sources. Before reaching out to any potential influencer, you have to do your homework. This will ensure that you’re presenting them with a relevant ask, as well as help you personalize your message when reaching out.

Use journalism’s “5Ws and H” model (Who, What, Where, When, Why and How) to answer essential questions for each influencer:

  • Who are they? (i.e. company, title, mutual connections, personal interests, etc.)
  • What expertise do they bring to the table?
  • Where are they on social? (i.e. networks, number of followers, level of engagement and consistency of engagement, etc.)
  • When would they be a good fit for my content? (Are they a good fit for a current project? Something down the road? Both?)
  • Why would they want to participate? (What’s in it for them?)
  • How relevant are they to my audience, brand and objectives?

“Before reaching out to any potential influencer, you have to do your homework.”
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#2 – Make influencers feel like an essential part of the story.

The most compelling stories feature unique voices that add insight, inspiration and a little entertainment. But in order to draw out those voices, you need to show them they play an important role in your narrative.

When reaching out to influencers, lead with the value proposition to show them what’s in it for them and that you see the value in what they can contribute.


When reaching out to influencers, lead with the value proposition
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#3 – Be present.

For nearly three years, every Tuesday evening you could find me at a local city council meeting, taking feverish notes on what was going down. I got to be a familiar face, which helped me further the phone and email relationships I had with many city officials. I also got to schmooze with concerned citizens and pick up new story ideas.

To get the most out of your influencer marketing efforts, you have to be present and engaged with your influencers. Follow, monitor and engage your influencers on social media. In addition, listen for opportunities to be thoughtful, send them referrals if you can and reach out with them with new opportunities for collaboration. The regular interaction will keep you or your brand top-of-mind, as well as maintain and grow your relationships.


To get the most out of your influencer marketing efforts, you have to be present and engaged.
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#4 – Be quick, but not aggressive or insensitive.

For a journalist, there’s nothing worse than losing out on an exclusive interview because you weren’t quick enough. For marketers, there’s nothing worse than reaching out to an influencer and hearing nothing but crickets.

As mentioned above, lead with what’s in it for them in your initial outreach, and keep your message clear and short, but compelling. In addition, if this is your first connection, don’t ask for too much right away and risk scaring them off.


“There’s nothing worse than reaching out to an influencer and hearing nothing but crickets.”
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#5 – Don’t misrepresent.

From clickbait headlines to misrepresenting facts and quotes, journalists sometimes find themselves in hot water with readers and their on-the-record sources.

When it comes to influencer marketing, be honest with your influencers about how their insights will be used and give them the appropriate credit, and don’t use their contributions to mislead your audience. If you fail at any of these, you could not only ruin your relationship with an influencer, but also damage your credibility in your audience’s eyes.


“Be honest with your influencers about how their insights will be used.”
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#6 – Never be content with the network you have.

Journalists can never have too many insightful and credible sources—and the same goes for marketers when it comes to influencers.

Below are some tips to help you grow your network of influencers:

  • Keep business cards handy. This may seem like a no-brainer or even unnecessary in our digital world, but you never know when you’ll meet someone new. In addition, a business card is something tangible, which can send a more personal signal.
  • Peruse your social channels on a regular basis. Again, this may seem obvious, but it’s something that can easily get away from marketers as we juggle all our other responsibilities. Make it easy by scheduling time for this in your calendar so you don’t forget or double-book yourself.
  • Attend industry events. While we’re living in a digital world, nothing replaces face-to-face communication—and industry events are huge networking opportunities.

Journalists can never have too many insightful and credible sources—and the same goes for marketers.
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When it comes to your influencer marketing efforts, where do you look to for inspiration? Tell us in the comments section below.


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2017. | 6 Influencer Marketing Lessons Marketers Can Learn from Journalists | http://www.toprankblog.com

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Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®