Technology Marketers Hold Steady With Content Marketing [Exclusive Research]


Technology marketers are an interesting group. They report the highest adoption rate of content marketing among all groups of marketers we survey: 95%. However, they face a host of unique content marketing challenges:

  • They are tasked with creating many types of content for numerous points along a complicated, multi-layered buyer’s journey.

  • They operate in an industry where buying cycles often are long.
  • They usually require a lot of time to develop an in-depth understanding of the products and services their company offers to be able to craft content that’s easy for their audiences to grasp.

That’s why I was encouraged to see that our latest research shows technology marketers holding steady with content marketing: They’re allocating more of their total marketing budget to content marketing, and they’re using a good mix of tactics, social media platforms, and paid methods to get their content out there.

You can find the results in B2B Technology Content Marketing 2016: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America sponsored by International Data Group.

Like other groups of marketers we’ve studied over the last six months, technology marketers reported lower overall content marketing effectiveness this year compared with last (more on that soon). On the other hand, technology marketers rated nearly all of the tactics and paid methods they use as more effective this year. This tells me they’re making progress in identifying what works.

Tech marketers rated nearly all tactics & paid methods they use as more effective this year via @cmicontent
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Technology marketers are facing a similar issue we saw when we analyzed how Australian marketers are using content marketing: They are doing it right, and wrong, at the same time. On the positive side, when comparing last year to this year:

  • More technology marketers have a documented content marketing strategy (36% this year vs. 33% last year), which our research consistently shows is a tool that improves effectiveness.


  • Respondents report improved effectiveness for every content tactic they are using (except research reports).


  • Effectiveness of the three primary social media channels they use (LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube) has increased.


  • All of the paid promotion tactics they use have increased in effectiveness (except for native advertising, which stayed the same).


  • There has been an increase in the average percentage of total marketing budget spent on content marketing (29% vs. 25% last year).


16-page guide on documenting your content marketing strategy

On the downside, technology marketers are feeling less effective overall than they were a year ago (30% feel effective compared with 34% last year).


Why is this?

As we detailed for the Australia report, there could be several reasons (of course, there may be additional reasons unique to technology marketers):

  • They aren’t giving themselves enough time.

Seventy-one percent of the most effective technology marketers (those who rated their organizations most highly in terms of content marketing effectiveness) said their organization is in the sophisticated/mature phase of content marketing.

Time to see content marketing effectiveness is especially important in the technology industry as it often has long sales cycles. You not only need to account for the time it takes to get your content marketing off the ground (18 months), but also the time it takes for someone to learn about your brand to purchase your product.

Different people are responsible for making the buying decision – so it might take time for multiple people on the buying team to get up to speed on the offering before a purchase is approved.

You can see the breakdown of which stages technology marketers are in, regardless of effectiveness:


Become a More Effective Marketer in 2016: 5 Questions to Answer
  • They are product-focused, not audience-focused.

In many technology organizations we’ve found that even a robust content marketing strategy often takes orders from product marketing. While this is not necessarily wrong, that relationship often results in a content focus that is more about the products and services, and not necessarily on positive outcomes for the audience.

  • The story is not different.

While any brand can fall into the trap of sounding like every other brand, this issue is particularly rampant in the technology space. What is often missing is the brand’s unique perspective or content tilt.

In the technology space, what is often missing is the brand’s unique perspective, via @cmicontent #research
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Yes, it’s absolutely possible to break through the clutter in the technology space and build a loyal audience … but not if the content is no different than anything else out there. We advise technology marketers to narrow their audience and content focus to find an area where they can be the leading experts and can become thought leaders around a particular issue, instead of just putting lipstick on the same old content pig.

  • Too much organizational change happens.

Consider this response we received from a technology marketer survey respondent when we asked, “In your organization, is it clear what an effective or successful content marketing program looks like?”:

Our efforts have gone backward in the past year because of various organizational issues. So, while we know what ‘success’ looks like from past efforts, we’ve lost some capability as we plow through our merger/reorganization/reset efforts.

In the past, we were able to draw lines from specific content efforts to MQLs/SQLs and then to revenue; we were therefore able to quantify what worked and what needed tuning, both from a content perspective and channel/syndication/SSEO perspective (internal and external). I am hopeful we will regain our ability to do so next year.”

This marketer’s challenge isn’t uncommon. That’s why it’s so important to have designated content marketing champions in place within the enterprise.

For more insights into how technology marketers approach content marketing, download the entire report. You’ll learn about their goals for content marketing over the next 12 months, the metrics they use to measure success, their top priorities for internal content creators, and more.

Technology B2B Content Marketing 2016: Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends – North America from Content Marketing Institute

If you’re a technology marketer, do your experiences align with the research findings? Are you facing organizational issues that are impacting your content marketing? How are you dealing with them?

Join us at Content Marketing World 2016 for a one-day industry lab dedicated to technology marketing.

Cover image by Lisa Lehman/Content Marketing Institute

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Content Marketing Institute

“B2B Marketing Automation Platforms: A Marketer’s Guide” updated for 2016.

The 4th Edition of Marketing Land’s “B2B Marketing Automation Platforms: A Marketer’s Guide” examines the market for B2B marketing automation software platforms and the considerations involved in implementing this software into your business. This 49-page report is your…

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

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

7 Weird Social Media Marketing Habits All Marketers Need to Break NOW


We all have bad habits. Whether it’s biting our nails, constantly driving like we’re on a racetrack or something you’d rather not admit to, we’ve all got them. Some are easy to break while others quickly find their way back into our lives. The same can be said for social media marketing habits. Once you get in a routine, it can be hard to break habits that are helping, but may possibly be hurting your brand.

Within social media marketing there is a lot of opportunity for brands to create great experiences for their communities, create brand affinity and influence purchasing decisions. A recent study found that 84% of CEOs and VPs say that they use social media to make purchasing decisions.

If you want to be one of those companies that has a positive impact on your community and generates tremendous value for your brand, make sure you’re not following ANY of these 7 weird social media marketing habits.

7 Weird Social Media Marketing Habits to Break NOW

#1 – Automating EVERYTHING

When you sit down and look at the mountain of tasks in front of you each day it can be tempting to try and automate as many of your social media marketing tasks as possible. While many social media tools can be a marketer’s best friend, it’s best to use them in moderation.

Depending on the tools that you use to publish on social media platforms, you’ll find that there are often issues with the ways that images or messages post on different platforms. That means you’re not creating the best possible user experience for your followers. Plus, taking a short amount of time to customize your message depending on where you’re publishing can vastly improve the user experience.

#2 – Jumping on the WRONG Bandwagons

The concept of newsjacking is not new to marketing. When done appropriate, it can be an incredibly effective means of extending your reach to an already engaged audience. So, instead of having to create demand and seek out an audience, you have a group of people already discussing the topic at a large scale.

However, we’ve all seen what happens when companies try and jump on the wrong bandwagon. This happens most on Twitter that is constantly trending a series of hashtags about a variety of topics. Before trying to incorporate one of these trending items into your brand social media messaging, make sure that you have done the research to understand the source and meaning behind the topic.

The negative impact that many brands have experienced by not doing their homework has been significant, and easily avoidable.

#3 – Engaging Too INFREQUENTLY

This is another habit that is often the result of little time and attention paid to social media communities. There is simply no replacement for true human interaction on social media platforms. Your followers have the potential to be potential clients, current clients, influencers of decision makers, other savvy and credible professionals and yes, trolls.

If someone takes the time to follow and engage with your brand on social media then it is your responsibility to respond accordingly. Of course not every comment or share requires a response, but if you’re checking in on the heartbeat of your community frequently, then responding to those messages that do stand out can become a much more manageable task.

#4 – Focusing Only On YOURSELF

What do you think the purpose of social media is for brands? Is it solely to provide updates about everything happening at your company? Or, is it to help your followers solve their problems, open the door to conversations and provide helpful resources to begin building credibility?

I hope that the answer is obvious. If a brand is using social media platforms as a means to only push out content about the happenings at their company, they’re doing it wrong. Social media presents a unique and more personal opportunity to interact with your followers. Utilize this opportunity to the fullest by uncovering what your followers care about and providing them with insight on those items, and asking them enticing questions to gain their opinions as well.

#5 – ASSUMING All Audiences Are the Same

Sure, social media marketing would be easier if you could publish the same content on each platform and have it resonate with the audience on that platform. Unfortunately, we don’t have control over why and how people use each platform.

The type of message that resonates with your Facebook audience will likely not have the same impact with your Instagram followers. Take some time to analyze your audience for each platform (built-in social analytics make this very possible) and see what you can uncover about them. Then, create a plan for each individual platform that still maintains a similar message, but presented in a way that the audience for that platform will respond well to.

#6 – Ignoring the Importance of VISUALS

Everyone is busy and are often viewing content on social networks on the go. Additionally, the amount of content that brands are producing has become so overwhelming that it often numbs users. In order to stand out in a sea of content, it’s essential that you add visuals to your social media content.

A great mix of visual campaigns as well as great visuals to accompany links to content can be the difference between a user scrolling past your content entirely, and clicking to engage further. Each social media platform has their own specifications for social images shared in-stream, so make sure that you are optimizing these visuals for a better user experience.

#7 – PRETENDING Advertising Isn’t Important

Let’s face it, the increase in competition for consumer attention, and changes in algorithms on social networks has made social advertising an important part of a social media strategy. If you think that you can still organically reach 100% of your audience on social networks then you likely haven’t been looking at the data.

We are still fortunately in a situation where a little ad spend can still get you pretty good exposure. So don’t go dumping all of your marketing budget into social advertising, but do reserve a portion to boost posts that are important and ads that can have a big impact. Tools like Adsvise provide easy to understand specifications for different ad types (and in-stream visuals) for most social media platforms.

Let’s Face it, Today’s Customers Are SAVVY!

Shortcuts and weird habits that you used to be able to get away with have all gone down the drain as users have become more sophisticated and savvy in how they use social networks. There still exists a lot of opportunity to interact,  you just have to be more sophisticated in how you approach social media marketing for business.

Which of these weird habits have you been guilty of committing?

Looking for EVEN more social media marketing advice? Take a look at our top social media posts for 2015!

Header image via Shutterstock

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7 Weird Social Media Marketing Habits All Marketers Need to Break NOW |

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7 Traffic Sources Overlooked By Many Internet Marketers

It is very hard to get free traffic. But if you can find a reliable traffic source, you might have stepped on gold mine. These 7 traffic sources have sent a lot of traffic to my websites as an internet marketer and I will like to share them with you because there is plenty of traffic to go around. The good part is that they send buyer traffic to your websites in niches such as make money online, internet marketing, weight loss, personal development, gardening, electronic and so on. Read this article and you will learn a great length of traffic corridors as I may call them.
Internet and Businesses Online:Traffic Building Articles from

Lee Odden Educates B2B Marketers on SEO for Content Marketing

As content marketing professionals, most of us would consider SEO a highly technical domain. Best leave that to the real nerds, right? Wrong. Google, Bing and all the other search engines have significantly altered their algorithms in the past few years. And these changes continue to favor the highest quality content, often rewarding smart content marketers with first position rankings.

With a bit of SEO sweet sauce, your content marketing sandwich will taste much better to search engines, and users too. Below, I will explore 4 major themes from TopRank Marketing CEO, Lee Odden’s recent Content2Conversion talk on SEO for Content Marketers, including:

  • The State of SEO in 2016
  • Understanding Self-Directed Buyer Behavior
  • How to, “Be The Best Answer”
  • How to Create Smarter Integrated SEO Content for The Web

First things First: Optimizing for Users

Let’s start by getting one thing straight about “optimization.”  As content marketers, we shouldn’t be optimizing our content for search engines. As Lee often points out, “Google doesn’t pay the bills. Your buyers pay the bills.” Therefore, optimize for users, not search engines.

Old SEO rules would have you stuffing websites with keywords, creating thousands of new pages, tagging YouTube videos with every keyword you can get your hands on, and hoping something sticks. We give you permission to stop doing most, if not all of those things.

Part I: The State of SEO in 2016

So, how are most content marketers utilizing SEO in 2016? And more importantly, does SEO even matter anymore? Yes it matters. But content marketers and even many SEOs are failing to take advantage of recent algorithm changes. So, here’s a snapshot from the front lines of the industry on what most content marketers actually do with SEO:

Content Marketers_SEO Tactics

  • Implement more than 1-2 tactics (10-20%).
  • Perform Tech SEO Audit (Maybe).
  • Make a list of keywords.
  • Use keywords in titles, links, copy etc.
  • Share on social and wish for links.
  • Review monthly rankings reports

The problem with the list above is it looks a lot like 2010. Things have changed, and you should too.

Can Tools Automate your SEO?

At TopRank Marketing, we get asked about tools all the time. With all the tools, plugins and software available, it’s easy to believe that SEO is an automated function. It’s not. In fact, as Google’s algorithms become more complicated, it can be increasingly difficult to optimize your content.

According to the most recent LinkedIn data, SEO and SEM ranks 4th among top skills companies seek (below).

Hottest Skiills LinkedIn

What this research doesn’t uncover is content marketers and SEOs are adopting an increasingly hybrid skillset. This is largely due to the fact that search engines now require higher quality content and a variety of content types, in order for content efforts to be most effective.

Hummingbird’s the Word

Starting in 2013, an algorithm update was rolled out from Google, dubbed “Hummingbird.” This algorithm completely replaced the original Google algorithm, fundamentally changing the nature of how search engines crawl and rank web content. All you need to know is content quality, a variety of content types, and social media are all more important than ever.

Advice From The Front Lines

But don’t take it from us. Here are what some much smarter folks have to say about how SEO fits into their overall marketing in 2016:

Alison Herzog


“SEO is a foundational element of digital marketing” – Alison Herzog, Director – Global Social Business & Digital Strategy, Dell



Barbara Feinberg


“As long as there’s Google, SEO will be a staple in digital marketing.” Barbara Feinberg, Senior Product Marketing, McKesson


Part II: Understanding Buyer-Directed Behavior

The first step to understanding your buyers is to accept that they are self-directed. They’ll go to Google, social media, their LinkedIn network, friends, or pick up the phone and ask for a reference long before they contact you, or consume any of your content. Understanding the nature of B2B self-directed buyers is crucial to the success of any SEO efforts tied to your content marketing.

And in 2016, all of your potential customers are self-directed. According to Pardot, 70% of the buyer’s journey is complete before a buyer ever reaches out to sales. Which is why developing fruitful relationships between your marketing and sales department is fundamental to the success of your content marketing.

A common mistake among B2B marketers is someone from sales will reach out to a self-directed buyer, completely unaware that this buyer may have already started their journey. The sales professional (or targeted content in many cases) often treats them like they know nothing, or misses the delivers the wrong message to the prospect, based on where they are at in their journey. Say goodbye to that lead!

Take a cue from Gartner, who has done some fascinating research on this topic. They uncovered that more than 60% of all buyers indicated they prefer a self-driven informational search at the exploration, evaluation, and engagement phase of their purchase cycle (see below).

Your Buyers Already Know_Gartner

The bottom line is your customer wants to be in the driver’s seat. They don’t want a sales pitch. They want information. They don’t want your opinion. They want a third-party opinion of your product or service. They want information from Google, Bing, YouTube, industry reports, and third-party validations.

Think about things from their point of view. They don’t know who to trust, what to believe, or who is trying to screw them over. So, what are your options?  Be the best answer. Be a conduit for the information. Curate your third-party verifications, peer reviews, social media posts and other relevant content.

So at this point, you might be asking yourself, “What does this have to do with SEO and content?” Fair question. Search engine queries are an explicit indication of intent. And tapping into the needs, intentions, and desires of your search audience will give you a solid map for the length, type, and style of content you must produce to meet your B2B audience’s needs.

Part III: How to Be The Best Answer

So, we’ve covered the state of SEO in 2016, we’ve accepted that our buyers are self-directed, and now we just need to create all that killer content that will make them fall in love with our brand. No pressure, right? Let’s start by examining the following marketing funnel. It’s a solid example of what NOT to do.


Instead of creating more useless content and barraging your leads with information, you should try to be the best answer in search engine results. Why? Because, by 2020 the world will have nearly 50 billion internet-connected devices. In addition, a full 90% of the world’s information has been created in the last 2 years alone. The bottom line is your prospects are overwhelmed.

The B2B Buyer Journey & Search

Before you can create content for your buyers, you’ll need to understand where search engines fit into your buyer’s journey. Start by talking to your customers. Ask them how they found out about you. Ask them what made them want to work with you, or buy your product. If your buyer’s are socially active, run a Twitter poll. If necessary, conduct some research to find out more about your audience. Most importantly, find out what types of content they are looking for via search engines, and where this fits in their journey.

Consider how many steps are on the following sample buyer’s journey, and how search engines and social media feed into nearly every step:

  1. They see your brand or meet a salesperson at an event
  2. They view the brand on Twitter or LinkedIn
  3. They run a Google search for the company
  4. Connect with someone on LinkedIn
  5. Subscribe to company newsletter
  6. Receive e-mail follow up from sales
  7. Google search sales professional
  8. Google search company
  9. Search the solutions and topic
  10. Download a guide via newsletter CTA
  11. Do in-depth topical Google search based on your guide
  12. They search for competitors
  13. They receive nurture messaging and emails
  14. The contact company for a demo
  15. They evaluate options
  16. They search for product or company reviews
  17. They make a decision

Granted, this list is a bit aggressive. Nonetheless, it illustrates the potential complexity of your buyer’s purchase process, and where search engines come in and out of the process.

Your Buyers are Complex, Are You?

Maybe you look at the list above and you think, “Yeah I already know all that.” Great. Maybe you’ve already identified the B2B content marketing tactic necessary to communicate with folks at different stages of their journey. Again, that’s awesome. But, are these tactics integrated?

Lee often emphasizes the fact that content marketing efforts are rarely integrated. We find the most challenging aspect of content marketing is to plan for the ecosystem. Not just an infographic, or a one-off whitepaper, or a blog post. Rather, how do all of these channels and systems integrate? That’s where you really begin to be the best answer for your B2B audience. Consider the following chart, which displays the most common B2B content marketing tactics:

2016 COntent Marketing Trends Tactic Usage

On the surface, it looks like B2B marketers are using a variety of tactics. But when you consider that 65% of B2B buyers think vendors should, “Curb their sales messaging”, you start to wonder if this chart represents an over-usage of a variety of channels to barrage buyers with sales messaging.

How to Become the Best Integrated Search Engine Answer

Are They Integrated & Optimized.

Certain styles, flavors and tactics make sense in each potential customer touch-point. A LinkedIn connection message should not feel like an auto-generated corporate email. Likewise, an infographic shouldn’t contain so much text that your buyers want to barf. Most of all, use common sense. Without further ado, the following is a checklist of tactics that will ensure you are the best, most integrated answer for your buyers in your content marketing and SEO efforts:

  • Create a constellation of ideas that makes you the BEST answer (see above)
  • Write title tags that inspire clicks
  • Go deep: provide comprehensive content on specific topics
  • Engage your networks for social sharing
  • Optimize for Google AND people
  • Mobile SEO is a must
  • Think about attraction AND promotion. Use paid, organic, and media relations to amplify your efforts
  • Always be customer- centric
  • Integrate and optimize
  • Go in-depth (not just length) & be uber-relevant
  • Do your research: if someone else has covered the topic, know about it and raise the bar

If you need TopRank Marketing’s help to become the best answer for your customers, contact us today for a free consultation.



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Lee Odden Educates B2B Marketers on SEO for Content Marketing |

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Where SEO Fits in Digital Marketing Strategy for UK Marketers

On each of my trips to Europe or elsewhere abroad to a marketing conference, it is inevitable that someone will say, “We’re 1-2 years behind digital marketing in the U.S.”.

The reasons for this vary, from the capabilities of agencies to demand amongst business buyers of marketing services. Business culture in the UK drives many companies to react to competitors more than leading their respective market with new marketing tactics.

Budgets are another reason why a lag exists between the U.S. and Europe – there’s simply more money being spent on digital marketing, advertising and PR so there’s more resources, opportunity to experiment and innovate.

In advance of my recent speaking engagements in Amsterdam, London and Copenhagen, I reached out to a few European marketers (mostly from the UK) in my network from companies like Lloyds Banking, Vodafone, MediaCom, Cision, Adobe, Telenet, Traackr, and Brandwatch for their insights about digital marketing in 2016.

On the topic of the importance of SEO to overall digital marketing, opinions focused on the importance of quality, customer-focused content and SEO integration with other marketing tactics to the continued displacement of organic content for paid and the impact of mobile.

If your business expects to attract organic search traffic to content intended for buyers in the UK and broader Europe, here are what the marketing leaders and practitioners I connected with had to say:

Where does SEO fit in the digital marketing mix for 2016?

If you had asked me this question five years ago, I would have given you a very different answer. I’m focused on a very specific audience, and identifying and building a social community has helped me more – and has been more measurable — than SEO.
shannon doubleday
Shannon Doubleday, Content and Social Media Marketing at Bloomberg LP

SEO is still highly important and very much on the agenda for brands, where people are researching more and the touchpoints for someone actually visiting your site are growing, we need to make sure we are as relevant to the consumer searching as possible. SEO should focus on consumer needs and demands and not about the search engine algorithm changes and updates (if you’re doing SEO right, then you don’t need to worry). I also believe that more channels of digital marketing should align and not work in silo. PR, PPC, Display, VOD and SEO can all work together to create a consumer experience that’s seamless…. And make sure you have attribution modeling in place to track each consumer touchpoint, what channel they first came from so you can assign a percentage of that engagement to that channel.
Russell O' Sullivan
Russell O’Sullivan, Senior Digital Performance Marketing Manager at Lloyds Banking Group

The equity a site builds with Google accrues over time, so we tend to think very long-term when it comes to SEO. Increasingly we are looking at onsite navigation and user-experience as a place to spend our time and thinking as we could definitely do more with the traffic that we get. And you know, the knock on effect of that is likely to be better ranking – Google are doing a good job at keeping the interesting stuff towards the top of their SERPs.
Giles Palmer
Giles Palmer, CEO at Brandwatch

In terms of SEO, the latest Google updates, particularly the quality update late last year, appear to confirm that your SEO strategy should be focusing on quality content and user engagement. A short list post may get you shares and initial traffic but well researched, long form, quality content that answers user’s questions is likely to gain more user engagement and achieve more links. Thus I suspect the relationship between SEO and content marketing will be more tightly intertwined this year.
Steve Rayson
Steve Rayson, Director at BuzzSumo

SEO is key. We definitely orient our marketing around what we see as our core asset, It’s one of the world’s most visited websites and pivotal in the entire customer lifecycle. SEO helps us with both awareness building and direct call-to-action activity – and the first port of call is
John Watton
John Watton, EMEA Marketing Director at Adobe

SEO remains a key part of our marketing mix in 2016. As influencer marketing and content provide a strong boost of interest up the funnel, SEO is a key strategy for prospects and to drive traffic to our web site and blog. Since 2009, Traackr has been instrumental in defining the new category that is influencer marketing and our content and influencer activities provide the best foundations for successful SEO.
Nicolas Chabot
Nicolas Chabot, VP EMEA at Traackr

Within the digital marketing mix, SEO plays a useful role in delivering users to the information they need across devices and localities. This year will present opportunities and challenges to enterprise SEOs, who will increasingly be seen as search architects, as they engineer the best journeys for their users. This is especially true within mobile SEO, as Google focuses on improving the mobile experience through deep-linked app content and Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).
Nick Wilsdon
Nick Wilsdon, SEO Lead – Global Channel Optimisation at Vodafone Group

Being found and being ranked properly is the everyday battlefield in the digital space. Therefore SEO strategy is fully part and in the top priorities of our digital strategy and investment.
greg declercq
Greg de Clercq, EMEA Marketing Director at Kodak Alaris

SEO is still a fundamental part of any digital marketing strategy. Whilst I would potentially controversially say that its heyday has come and gone (in terms of what SEO was) , I believe that the channel has evolved and that we are now seeing a more mature channel that allows us to talk as both DR and Brand.

One of the biggest challenges for SEO is accountability. Increasingly we are seeing Google (in particular) take great swathes of real estate from the search results page in favour of paid advertising solutions (for example the four pack of PPC ads now in play). Furthermore the lack of keyword level data means that many frameworks to measure effectiveness are often based on flawed models that do not allow us to accurately understand the impact of our work at channel level. This all provides a challenging landscape for SEO practitioners in the modern landscape.

As a channel therefore, we need to evolve. SEO is increasingly not just about delivering volume – whether that be rankings, traffic or conversions. Increasingly practitioners are becoming more versed on measuring the impact of their work beyond standard SEO metrics. Increasingly we hear about coverage (whether that be value or volume thereof), brand uplift (either on searches or brand tracking) – and this migration towards more traditional brand metrics should allow us to provide clear actionable insight on our campaigns.

SEO will continue to be an important part of the digital marketing mix for the foreseeable future – however we as advertisers need to continue to provide clear value for advertisers – and measure as much as we can – not just in isolation of SEO – but of it’s role in the wider marketing mix.
Peter Young
Pete Young, Head of Digital at MediaCom

SEO is still key to our digital marketing mix. We get a lot of leads from search engines and it remains a key part of our strategy. However, we don’t just rely on SEO; we nurture all our leads with content, invite them along to our events where we can connect with them personally and introduce them to the most influential people in our journalist community.
Jeremy Thompson
Jeremy Thompson, Managing Director EMEA at Cision

When we look at where SEO fits into the wider marketing mix we recognize that SEO is the basis that everything needs to be built upon. SEO is a hygiene factor that should be addressed at the very beginning of all campaign design. We can use the results here to drive different approaches within SEA where previously spend levels on core traffic drivers took a disproportionate level of spend. By migrating the core traffic keywords from SEA and focusing them on SEO it will allow for a wider overall capability for keyword experimentation.
Jeremy Curtin
Jeremy Curtin, Director of Digital Experience at Liberty Global (Previously at Telenet)

I don’t see it fitting anywhere.

Ok, you can put the pitchforks away, what I mean is that SEO as a stand-alone channel or something that fits in a box isn’t something that really exists any more. SEO touches everything from web development, to content, to PR, to PPC, to advertising, to events to … etc. Every single marketing activity you do can benefit from having some form of SEO element, even if it’s just considering what searches people may do after they receive it.

SEO doesn’t so much “fit” ( in so much as putting a square box in a square hole) instead it attaches itself to everything else, improving it and forcing marketing teams to think in new ways. That’s the real power of SEO for me.
Mike Essex
Mike Essex, Marketing & Communications Manager at Petrofac

One bitter pill that many SEO folks had to swallow was that SEO could no longer live in it’s own silo, for it to be successful it now needs to align with marketing plans but it also requires significantly more investment than a few years ago to be done well. It’s no longer good enough to just copy what worked in another market, clone and translate it, great SEO projects have to align with local marketing campaigns and objectives. A big part of SEO’s involvement in the digital marketing mix is how it can be leveraged to drive more organic downloads of your mobile app and increased visibility in the mobile app stores.
David Iwanow
David Iwanow, SEO Product Manager at eBay Classifieds

As you can see, there are a variety of perspectives about SEO for European and UK marketers specifically. The two main schools of thought seem to be:

  • SEO isn’t what it used to be but it’s still important as long as it is quality and customer focused
  • SEO is still important and even key to digital marketing success as part of an integrated marketing strategy

Whether you’re a marketer based in the UK, broader Europe or in the U.S., what’s your take on where SEO fits in the digital marketing mix?

To see U.S. marketing executives’ answers on this very question, be sure to check out this post: 12 Major Brands on Where SEO Fits in the Digital Marketing Mix for 2016


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Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®

The Basics Of Successful Development Process For Internet Marketers

Regardless of what product planning process you utilize, success depends on separating the good ideas from the bad in the development process. Products should not be developed in a vacuum. The main goal is to satisfy an intense need for people who feel that they just cannot do without your solution once they know about it. In order to make that job easier, you should start from the point of view of the consumer who needs the solution. Unfortunately, many marketers fail to do that. Here are six problems that many product developers face when coming up with ideas for their markets
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