Online Marketing News: Unwrapping Shoppers, Growing Ad Revenue & Millennial Loyalty

holiday-shoppers-2016-infographic

holiday-shoppers-2016-infographic

Unwrapping the 2016 Holiday Shopper [Infographic]
The holiday season is undeniably important for eCommerce brands — especially this year with a 17% YOY revenue increase. But how do holiday shoppers go about their research and purchasing? This infographic shows how users are browsing and shopping for their holiday purchases. Signal

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkqhTqfxmSM]

Digital Ad Revenues Grow 19% Year-Over-Year in First Half of 2016, Hitting Landmark High of $32.7 Billion
IAB reports: “digital advertising revenues in the United States for the first half of 2016 have reached an all-time high, scaling to $32.7 billion […] This represents a 19 percent increase over last year’s then record-setting half-year revenues of $27.5 billion.” This and many more insights can be found in their full report. IAB

Facebook Releases New Report on Brand Loyalty and Millennials
A recent Facebook survey of over 14k adults showed that 77% of people are considered brand loyal. 37% of those brand loyal Millennials make repeat purchases and consider themselves brand loyal, while 40% make repeat purchases but don’t necessarily consider themselves brand loyal. Social Media Today

Creative Sparks That Hit the Content Mark: 9 Lessons From 75 Brands
Sometimes, to learn the best kept secrets of expert content marketers, we must study their work. This new eBook from Content Marketing Institute studied content from 75 brands to help identify the path to content marketing success. The kinds of media studied varied from blogs and magazines to social media platforms and multichannel experiences. Content Marketing Institute

Google Webmaster Blog: Mobile-first Indexing
Since so many Google users are using mobile to search, yet Google is still using the desktop version of a site or page’s content to determine search relevance, the folks at Google have begun experimenting with mobile-first indexing to help make mobile results more relevant for searchers. Google Webmaster Blog

facebook-users-net-worth-revenue

The Most Shared Brand Blog Posts: Length, Language, and Title Trends
MarketingProfs reports: “Relatively long and fairly complex—though not overly difficult—blog posts by brands garner the most social shares, according to recent research from TrackMaven […] Blog posts that are fairly long, between 1,200 and 1,400 words, receive the most social shares (428) per post, on average, the analysis found.” MarketingProfs

Facebook Shares Snapchat Attack Plan, Including a New Camera
Facebook is planning to build cameras right into their existing apps, according to a recent statement from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. For example, in messenger, the camera would be more readily available, and include additional filters for users to overlay on their images. Ad Age

Google Says it is Now OK to Put Content Behind Tabs
Google has determined that it will now give content that’s hidden behind tabs — in an effort to improve user experience — full weight in terms of organic search. This means that crawlers are no longer ignoring ‘hidden’ content as they had previously. Search Engine Journal

What were your top online marketing news stories this week?

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

The post Online Marketing News: Unwrapping Shoppers, Growing Ad Revenue & Millennial Loyalty appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

holiday-shoppers-2016-infographic

holiday-shoppers-2016-infographic

Unwrapping the 2016 Holiday Shopper [Infographic]
The holiday season is undeniably important for eCommerce brands — especially this year with a 17% YOY revenue increase. But how do holiday shoppers go about their research and purchasing? This infographic shows how users are browsing and shopping for their holiday purchases. Signal

Digital Ad Revenues Grow 19% Year-Over-Year in First Half of 2016, Hitting Landmark High of $32.7 Billion
IAB reports: “digital advertising revenues in the United States for the first half of 2016 have reached an all-time high, scaling to $32.7 billion […] This represents a 19 percent increase over last year’s then record-setting half-year revenues of $27.5 billion.” This and many more insights can be found in their full report. IAB

Facebook Releases New Report on Brand Loyalty and Millennials
A recent Facebook survey of over 14k adults showed that 77% of people are considered brand loyal. 37% of those brand loyal Millennials make repeat purchases and consider themselves brand loyal, while 40% make repeat purchases but don’t necessarily consider themselves brand loyal. Social Media Today

Creative Sparks That Hit the Content Mark: 9 Lessons From 75 Brands
Sometimes, to learn the best kept secrets of expert content marketers, we must study their work. This new eBook from Content Marketing Institute studied content from 75 brands to help identify the path to content marketing success. The kinds of media studied varied from blogs and magazines to social media platforms and multichannel experiences. Content Marketing Institute

Google Webmaster Blog: Mobile-first Indexing
Since so many Google users are using mobile to search, yet Google is still using the desktop version of a site or page’s content to determine search relevance, the folks at Google have begun experimenting with mobile-first indexing to help make mobile results more relevant for searchers. Google Webmaster Blog

facebook-users-net-worth-revenue

The Most Shared Brand Blog Posts: Length, Language, and Title Trends
MarketingProfs reports: “Relatively long and fairly complex—though not overly difficult—blog posts by brands garner the most social shares, according to recent research from TrackMaven […] Blog posts that are fairly long, between 1,200 and 1,400 words, receive the most social shares (428) per post, on average, the analysis found.” MarketingProfs

Facebook Shares Snapchat Attack Plan, Including a New Camera
Facebook is planning to build cameras right into their existing apps, according to a recent statement from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. For example, in messenger, the camera would be more readily available, and include additional filters for users to overlay on their images. Ad Age

Google Says it is Now OK to Put Content Behind Tabs
Google has determined that it will now give content that’s hidden behind tabs — in an effort to improve user experience — full weight in terms of organic search. This means that crawlers are no longer ignoring ‘hidden’ content as they had previously. Search Engine Journal

What were your top online marketing news stories this week?

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

The post Online Marketing News: Unwrapping Shoppers, Growing Ad Revenue & Millennial Loyalty appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Get the Marketing Budget You Need in 2 Steps

marketing-budget-you-need

It’s November 10th and my Christmas lights are up. To be honest, I hung them November 1st, but don’t tell anyone.

The end of the fiscal year is fast approaching, and for us marketers, it’s more than holiday parties and eggnog; that means it’s time to stake our claim of 2017 budgets.

In the review of any digital marketing budget proposal, executives are going to look for the answer to these two questions:

  1. What did you do drive business this year?
  2. How do you plan to drive business next year?

Your budget proposal presentation should hand these answers on a shiny silver platter to those responsible for approval. I have had the opportunity to work with hundreds of marketing professionals as they prepare for this big moment, and there are two important elements that prove to be most effective at earning budgets year after year: proving your ROI, and mapping potential to dollars.

Prove Your ROI

The first step in creating any marketing budget is to show that your marketing efforts are capable of achieving results – last year, this year, and of course, next year. To effectively be able to reflect how your digital marketing efforts contributed to the growth of the company, there are several metrics that you should keep close tabs on throughout the year.

  • Total website sessions
  • Organic sessions
  • User engagement (time on page, pages per visit, bounce rate)
  • Number of leads/conversions from online marketing activities
  • Conversion rates
  • Cost per lead

The majority of this data should be available within your website analytics platform. If you’re working with an SEO or PPC agency, they can also provide you with useful data that will help to paint a picture of how marketing contributed to sales, leads, visibility, etc.

TIP: There’s a difference between reporting data and insights. Avoid copying and pasting screenshots throughout your EOY report; call out insights and wins in plain English for all to understand quickly.

Run the Numbers to Calculate Monetary Potential

It’s far more effective to present estimated monetary return on investment, than to try to get sign off for 100,000 more impressions.

For E-commerce sites, it’s easier to calculate potential return on investment using website analytics. Say for instance your 2017 goal is to increase online memberships by 20% YOY, which data reflects would be equivalent to 100 additional memberships, at $200 apiece. If you come to your boss and say, “I’d like to make you $20,000 extra, and it’s only going to cost us $1,000 in X channel,” the decision is very clear.

For marketers that aren’t tied to an E-commerce site, there’s hope for you too! Google Analytics offers the ability to assign monetary value to actions taken on your website. Are you taking advantage of this?

What is it worth to your company to have someone fill out the contact form? It may seem like an impossible question to answer, especially if you’re not using a CRM, but it’s simpler than you think.

  1. Figure out the average number of contact form submissions you receive every month.
  2. Speak to your sales team or consult your CRM to see what percentage of these inquiries result in actual sales.
  3. Calculate the average dollar amount of sales (S) that originate from an online form inquiry.

Now you have the data to calculate what each form inquiry is really worth to your company.

TIP: Ask for more than you need. Just like in any negotiation, leave your budget some room for superiors to counter at a lower amount.

Looking for more ways to earn more marketing budget? Read the post 4 Steps Marketers Can Take Towards Increasing Their Digital Marketing Budget.


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

© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2016. |
Get the Marketing Budget You Need in 2 Steps | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post Get the Marketing Budget You Need in 2 Steps appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

marketing-budget-you-need

It’s November 10th and my Christmas lights are up. To be honest, I hung them November 1st, but don’t tell anyone.

The end of the fiscal year is fast approaching, and for us marketers, it’s more than holiday parties and eggnog; that means it’s time to stake our claim of 2017 budgets.

In the review of any digital marketing budget proposal, executives are going to look for the answer to these two questions:

  1. What did you do drive business this year?
  2. How do you plan to drive business next year?

Your budget proposal presentation should hand these answers on a shiny silver platter to those responsible for approval. I have had the opportunity to work with hundreds of marketing professionals as they prepare for this big moment, and there are two important elements that prove to be most effective at earning budgets year after year: proving your ROI, and mapping potential to dollars.

Prove Your ROI

The first step in creating any marketing budget is to show that your marketing efforts are capable of achieving results – last year, this year, and of course, next year. To effectively be able to reflect how your digital marketing efforts contributed to the growth of the company, there are several metrics that you should keep close tabs on throughout the year.

  • Total website sessions
  • Organic sessions
  • User engagement (time on page, pages per visit, bounce rate)
  • Number of leads/conversions from online marketing activities
  • Conversion rates
  • Cost per lead

The majority of this data should be available within your website analytics platform. If you’re working with an SEO or PPC agency, they can also provide you with useful data that will help to paint a picture of how marketing contributed to sales, leads, visibility, etc.

TIP: There’s a difference between reporting data and insights. Avoid copying and pasting screenshots throughout your EOY report; call out insights and wins in plain English for all to understand quickly.

Run the Numbers to Calculate Monetary Potential

It’s far more effective to present estimated monetary return on investment, than to try to get sign off for 100,000 more impressions.

For E-commerce sites, it’s easier to calculate potential return on investment using website analytics. Say for instance your 2017 goal is to increase online memberships by 20% YOY, which data reflects would be equivalent to 100 additional memberships, at $200 apiece. If you come to your boss and say, “I’d like to make you $20,000 extra, and it’s only going to cost us $1,000 in X channel,” the decision is very clear.

For marketers that aren’t tied to an E-commerce site, there’s hope for you too! Google Analytics offers the ability to assign monetary value to actions taken on your website. Are you taking advantage of this?

What is it worth to your company to have someone fill out the contact form? It may seem like an impossible question to answer, especially if you’re not using a CRM, but it’s simpler than you think.

  1. Figure out the average number of contact form submissions you receive every month.
  2. Speak to your sales team or consult your CRM to see what percentage of these inquiries result in actual sales.
  3. Calculate the average dollar amount of sales (S) that originate from an online form inquiry.

Now you have the data to calculate what each form inquiry is really worth to your company.

TIP: Ask for more than you need. Just like in any negotiation, leave your budget some room for superiors to counter at a lower amount.

Looking for more ways to earn more marketing budget? Read the post 4 Steps Marketers Can Take Towards Increasing Their Digital Marketing Budget.


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

© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2016. |
Get the Marketing Budget You Need in 2 Steps | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post Get the Marketing Budget You Need in 2 Steps appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

7 Steps to Documenting Your Content Marketing Strategy

tips-documenting-content-strategy

There is one thing that nearly 2/3rds of top-performing content marketers do, but only 13% of the least successful do. It’s a clear driver of content marketing excellence. Yet only 37% of all B2B content marketers are doing it.

That one thing is to developing a documented content marketing strategy. It’s that simple. Lay out your strategy, write it down, and you’ve drastically increased your odds of running a successful content marketing enterprise.

Documenting your strategy prevents random acts of content. It helps get buy-in from your whole team. Most importantly, it starts your content initiative with measurable goals and a plan to achieve them. It just makes every aspect of creating content and distributing it easier and more effective.

If your team wants to join the top tier of content marketers, it’s time to get that strategy written down. Here’s how to get started.

#1: Start with the Why

Why is content marketing a good fit for your company? Is there an audience hungry for the content you plan on producing? You can answer these questions with customer research—find the unmet needs that your content will meet.

#2: Establish Overall Goals

Once you make the case for your content to exist, get specific on what purpose your content is going to serve. Granted, your content program should serve multiple purposes, everything from attracting attention to securing loyalty. But in the end, it will serve specific business goals: Leads captured, cost per lead, and marketing-assisted sales. Express these goals in quantifiable terms and specify the metrics to measure them.

Don’t worry if these goals shift during the course of your implementation. It’s better to start with a few goals and get moving than to try and painstakingly predict the future. Your strategy can change as it’s implemented, based on response. In fact, it should be evolving constantly for better results.

#3: Document Your Audience

Who are the people in your neighborhood your content must reach? What motivates them? What role do they have in decision-making? Where do they get their content from? What channels are they already active in? All of these questions will help drive your strategy for content creation and amplification. Develop buyer personas based on solid research.

#4: Plan Content for Each Stage of the Buyer Journey

Call it a funnel, call it a spiral, call it late for dinner—there are generally three stages in the buyer journey. At TopRank Marketing, we call them “Attract, Engage, and Convert.” Most organizations without a strategy tend to invest heavily in Convert-level content. But great Attract-level content with clear next steps can be hugely effective. It’s important to have a healthy mix of all three stages.

#5: Draft Specific Goals for Content at Each Stage

These goals are the stepping stones to the big-picture business goals I discussed earlier. As with the big-picture goals, they should be expressed in quantifiable terms and paired with metrics for measurement. Here are a few quick examples of goals and metrics for each stage:

Attract:

  • Goal: Brand Awareness
    • Metrics: Views, Social Shares, Time on Page
  • Goal: Search Visibility
    • Metric: keyword rankings, content rankings

Engage:

  • Goal: Audience Engagement
    • Metrics: Comments, Shares, Clicks-Through
  • Goal: Building a Following
    • Metrics: Subscribers, Followers on Social Media, Gated Downloads

Convert:

  • Goal: MQL Capture
    • Metrics: Gated Downloads, Contact Forms Filled, Leads Converted to SQL
  • Goal: Sales Assist
    • Metrics: Sales Conversion Rate, Sales Cycle Length, Contract Size

#6: Plan Channels for Amplification 

Don’t wait until content is created to figure out amplification. Let your buyer research inform your organic and paid efforts. If you plan on using influencer marketing, this is the time to bake it into the process.

#7: Create an Editorial Calendar 

The editorial calendar pulls everything together into one actionable plan: Your big-picture planning, audience research, content mapping, and goals. It’s the central document your team will use for what content to create, when to create it, and how it will be amplified. The good folks at Curata put together a list of editorial calendar templates – experiment with a few and see which one best suits your needs.

These seven steps are a general guide to help get your content marketing strategy documented and running. It doesn’t have to be perfect—and your first draft likely won’t be. It will, however, be a jumping-off point you can return to and continually improve.

Simply by having a documented content strategy, you’re joining the elite top third of marketers. Stick to that strategy, continue to refine it, and you can rise even higher.

Check out this webinar (and accompanying blog post) to learn more about content marketing strategy.


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

© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2016. |
7 Steps to Documenting Your Content Marketing Strategy | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post 7 Steps to Documenting Your Content Marketing Strategy appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

tips-documenting-content-strategy

There is one thing that nearly 2/3rds of top-performing content marketers do, but only 13% of the least successful do. It’s a clear driver of content marketing excellence. Yet only 37% of all B2B content marketers are doing it.

That one thing is to developing a documented content marketing strategy. It’s that simple. Lay out your strategy, write it down, and you’ve drastically increased your odds of running a successful content marketing enterprise.

Documenting your strategy prevents random acts of content. It helps get buy-in from your whole team. Most importantly, it starts your content initiative with measurable goals and a plan to achieve them. It just makes every aspect of creating content and distributing it easier and more effective.

If your team wants to join the top tier of content marketers, it’s time to get that strategy written down. Here’s how to get started.

#1: Start with the Why

Why is content marketing a good fit for your company? Is there an audience hungry for the content you plan on producing? You can answer these questions with customer research—find the unmet needs that your content will meet.

#2: Establish Overall Goals

Once you make the case for your content to exist, get specific on what purpose your content is going to serve. Granted, your content program should serve multiple purposes, everything from attracting attention to securing loyalty. But in the end, it will serve specific business goals: Leads captured, cost per lead, and marketing-assisted sales. Express these goals in quantifiable terms and specify the metrics to measure them.

Don’t worry if these goals shift during the course of your implementation. It’s better to start with a few goals and get moving than to try and painstakingly predict the future. Your strategy can change as it’s implemented, based on response. In fact, it should be evolving constantly for better results.

#3: Document Your Audience

Who are the people in your neighborhood your content must reach? What motivates them? What role do they have in decision-making? Where do they get their content from? What channels are they already active in? All of these questions will help drive your strategy for content creation and amplification. Develop buyer personas based on solid research.

#4: Plan Content for Each Stage of the Buyer Journey

Call it a funnel, call it a spiral, call it late for dinner—there are generally three stages in the buyer journey. At TopRank Marketing, we call them “Attract, Engage, and Convert.” Most organizations without a strategy tend to invest heavily in Convert-level content. But great Attract-level content with clear next steps can be hugely effective. It’s important to have a healthy mix of all three stages.

#5: Draft Specific Goals for Content at Each Stage

These goals are the stepping stones to the big-picture business goals I discussed earlier. As with the big-picture goals, they should be expressed in quantifiable terms and paired with metrics for measurement. Here are a few quick examples of goals and metrics for each stage:

Attract:

  • Goal: Brand Awareness
    • Metrics: Views, Social Shares, Time on Page
  • Goal: Search Visibility
    • Metric: keyword rankings, content rankings

Engage:

  • Goal: Audience Engagement
    • Metrics: Comments, Shares, Clicks-Through
  • Goal: Building a Following
    • Metrics: Subscribers, Followers on Social Media, Gated Downloads

Convert:

  • Goal: MQL Capture
    • Metrics: Gated Downloads, Contact Forms Filled, Leads Converted to SQL
  • Goal: Sales Assist
    • Metrics: Sales Conversion Rate, Sales Cycle Length, Contract Size

#6: Plan Channels for Amplification 

Don’t wait until content is created to figure out amplification. Let your buyer research inform your organic and paid efforts. If you plan on using influencer marketing, this is the time to bake it into the process.

#7: Create an Editorial Calendar 

The editorial calendar pulls everything together into one actionable plan: Your big-picture planning, audience research, content mapping, and goals. It’s the central document your team will use for what content to create, when to create it, and how it will be amplified. The good folks at Curata put together a list of editorial calendar templates – experiment with a few and see which one best suits your needs.

These seven steps are a general guide to help get your content marketing strategy documented and running. It doesn’t have to be perfect—and your first draft likely won’t be. It will, however, be a jumping-off point you can return to and continually improve.

Simply by having a documented content strategy, you’re joining the elite top third of marketers. Stick to that strategy, continue to refine it, and you can rise even higher.

Check out this webinar (and accompanying blog post) to learn more about content marketing strategy.


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

© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2016. |
7 Steps to Documenting Your Content Marketing Strategy | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post 7 Steps to Documenting Your Content Marketing Strategy appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.