8 Virtual SEO Conferences for B2B Marketers

8 Virtual SEO Conferences for B2B Marketers

8 Virtual SEO Conferences for B2B Marketers

It’s the beginning of our second week of social distancing here in Minnesota. I’ve already cleaned my house no fewer than 10 times, cleaned and organized closets, and gone on approximately 100 walks. I’m about 24 hours away from dressing my cats in costumes and putting on a (very sharp, bitey) show. But if that’s what it takes to keep spirits up and minds occupied at home, that’s what we will do.

Among the uncertainty and boredom we all face in these unprecedented times, we tend to take solace in the familiar. Keeping ourselves busy with ideas, concepts and work that nourish our minds is one thing we can do to stay sane and focus on the things we can impact.

While many of our favorite search conferences are being postponed to later dates, there are still plenty of excellent virtual conferences to attend in the meantime. If you, like me, are looking for something tangible and productive to put your mind to, this list of 8 virtual search engine optimization (SEO) conferences may be just the ticket for you.

[bctt tweet=”“While many of our favorite search conferences are being postponed to later dates, there are still plenty of excellent virtual conferences to attend in the meantime.” @Tiffani_Allen” username=”toprank”]


The CMC 2020 Digital Experience: The 2020 Content Marketing Conference has been relocated to their online CMC Academy this year. Conference sessions will be available beginning April 21st including session recordings and workshops from speakers like:

They are also offering a free ticket to next year’s CMC 2021 LIVE for CMC 2020 ticket holders so you can make connections and meet in person next year!


Midwest Digital Marketing Conference: This popular conference has moved online this year. Join the live, two-day virtual marketing summit on Wednesday, May 20th and Thursday, May 21st to hear from speakers like:

If you aren’t able to make those days work, the on-demand experience will be available online for a year following the event.


Adobe Summit: Get the latest insights into customer experience, which is an important factor for every SEO, at the first-ever digital Adobe Summit. The full lineup has yet to be announced, but you can register here for updates about the March 31 event.


Atomicon: This year’s Atomicon conference has gone fully virtual this year to bring insights from the world of content marketing, social media and search engine optimization. The conference takes place on April 28, 2020 featuring sessions from speakers like:

Not all the sessions are SEO specific, but every session touches on a digital marketing tactic that’s integral to making the whole digital mix successful.


SMX Munich: The first of the SMX series to move online, coming at you from Munich with everything you need to know about trends in PPC, SEO and search marketing overall. Speakers include:


Confab: This content strategy conference is a must-see for search marketers, and the virtual experience will be live on May 17-May 20. Search absolutely needs (and deserves) a seat at the content strategy table, and vice versa. The details are not yet finalized for the online version of this conference, but they should be coming soon! Some speakers to note:


SEMRush Live Webinars: SEMRush has compiled live webinars from some heavy hitters in the SEO and content marketing industry to provide advice, tips and other educational nuggets for marketers. Some webinars that look promising include:

Of course, there are many other past events to view on-demand as well.


Search Engine Journal Webinars: Browse on-demand and upcoming live webinars on topics ranking from BERT to boosting lead volume. A few that I found exciting were:

Stay Connected and Learn at Virtual Conferences

Attending conferences – even in a virtual setting – is a great way to stay connected to the marketing and SEO community. And, we could all use some human connection right now. Take some time to build your skills, renew your passion for search marketing, and avoid skin and eyeball risking activities like cat costume parties.

Did I miss an event you’re looking forward to? Leave me a note in the comments or tweet us @toprank.

The post 8 Virtual SEO Conferences for B2B Marketers appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

8 Virtual SEO Conferences for B2B Marketers

8 Virtual SEO Conferences for B2B Marketers

It’s the beginning of our second week of social distancing here in Minnesota. I’ve already cleaned my house no fewer than 10 times, cleaned and organized closets, and gone on approximately 100 walks. I’m about 24 hours away from dressing my cats in costumes and putting on a (very sharp, bitey) show. But if that’s what it takes to keep spirits up and minds occupied at home, that’s what we will do.

Among the uncertainty and boredom we all face in these unprecedented times, we tend to take solace in the familiar. Keeping ourselves busy with ideas, concepts and work that nourish our minds is one thing we can do to stay sane and focus on the things we can impact.

While many of our favorite search conferences are being postponed to later dates, there are still plenty of excellent virtual conferences to attend in the meantime. If you, like me, are looking for something tangible and productive to put your mind to, this list of 8 virtual search engine optimization (SEO) conferences may be just the ticket for you.

[bctt tweet=”“While many of our favorite search conferences are being postponed to later dates, there are still plenty of excellent virtual conferences to attend in the meantime.” @Tiffani_Allen” username=”toprank”]

The CMC 2020 Digital Experience: The 2020 Content Marketing Conference has been relocated to their online CMC Academy this year. Conference sessions will be available beginning April 21st including session recordings and workshops from speakers like:

They are also offering a free ticket to next year’s CMC 2021 LIVE for CMC 2020 ticket holders so you can make connections and meet in person next year!


Midwest Digital Marketing Conference: This popular conference has moved online this year. Join the live, two-day virtual marketing summit on Wednesday, May 20th and Thursday, May 21st to hear from speakers like:

If you aren’t able to make those days work, the on-demand experience will be available online for a year following the event.


Adobe Summit: Get the latest insights into customer experience, which is an important factor for every SEO, at the first-ever digital Adobe Summit. The full lineup has yet to be announced, but you can register here for updates about the March 31 event.


Atomicon: This year’s Atomicon conference has gone fully virtual this year to bring insights from the world of content marketing, social media and search engine optimization. The conference takes place on April 28, 2020 featuring sessions from speakers like:

Not all the sessions are SEO specific, but every session touches on a digital marketing tactic that’s integral to making the whole digital mix successful.


SMX Munich: The first of the SMX series to move online, coming at you from Munich with everything you need to know about trends in PPC, SEO and search marketing overall. Speakers include:


Confab: This content strategy conference is a must-see for search marketers, and the virtual experience will be live on May 17-May 20. Search absolutely needs (and deserves) a seat at the content strategy table, and vice versa. The details are not yet finalized for the online version of this conference, but they should be coming soon! Some speakers to note:


SEMRush Live Webinars: SEMRush has compiled live webinars from some heavy hitters in the SEO and content marketing industry to provide advice, tips and other educational nuggets for marketers. Some webinars that look promising include:

Of course, there are many other past events to view on-demand as well.


Search Engine Journal Webinars: Browse on-demand and upcoming live webinars on topics ranking from BERT to boosting lead volume. A few that I found exciting were:

Stay Connected and Learn at Virtual Conferences

Attending conferences – even in a virtual setting – is a great way to stay connected to the marketing and SEO community. And, we could all use some human connection right now. Take some time to build your skills, renew your passion for search marketing, and avoid skin and eyeball risking activities like cat costume parties.

Did I miss an event you’re looking forward to? Leave me a note in the comments or tweet us @toprank.

The post 8 Virtual SEO Conferences for B2B Marketers appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Marketing During a Pandemnic: Stop Pushing and Start Pulling with SEO

Top 10 SEO Trends 2020

Top 10 SEO Trends 2020
Customer empathy is at the forefront of the best marketing and tone deaf promotions as if things were normal during the COVID-19 pandemic are probably some of the worst.

When it comes to understanding the customer state of mind right now, I think Dean Shaw from SAS summed it up well on Twitter:

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

And while we know many of these personal concerns are top of mind, we also know that in many ways, the work continues.

So how can marketers meet the information needs of customers in an environment where push advertising and marketing seems so out of place?

The customer empathy model I’ve always used to keep content and context relevant is Discover, Engage, Action.

Where are buyers finding their information? What formats create the best experience and which triggers inspire action? Answer these questions and you’ll be on the road to providing the kind of authentic content that customers want, where they want it and in a way that drives satisfaction for all.

Right now one channel for information discovery that is firing hot are search engines. Instead of being tone deaf or completely opportunistic about marketing, companies can double down on their SEO efforts to become the best answer for customers at the very moment they need a solution. Whether you do fresh technical SEO, or content SEO or link audits – companies would do well to make sure that it’s as easy and relevant as possible for customers to pull themselves to brand content through search. SEO helps customers solve information problems on their terms, instead of alienating people with opportunism or status quo marketing.

SEO helps customers surface information on their terms, instead of alienating people with opportunism or tone deaf marketing.

To point marketers in the right direction for SEO, here is a new infographic featuring 10 SEO best practices from some of the top SEO minds in the industry including:

  • Barry Schwartz – President of Rusty Brick, Executive Editor at Search Engine Roundtable, News Editor at Search Engine Land
  • Jono Alderson – Digital Marketing Strategist and Special Ops at Yoast
  • Aleyda Solis – SEO Consultant and Founder at Orainti
  • Jesse McDonald – Global SEO Strategist at IBM
  • Britney Muller – Senior SEO Scientist at Moz
  • Ayat Shukairy – Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Invest
  • Dixon Jones – CEO at inLinks.net
  • Hamlet Batista – CEO at RankSense
  • Tiffany Allen – Associate Director of Search and Analytics at TopRank Marketing

SEO Trends 2020

You can download a full size PDF of the SEO trends 2020 infographic here.

As you consider how to be more empathetic about what’s really on your customers’ minds right now, hopefully these SEO trends will give you some direction in terms of how to optimize content to attract, engage and inspire action with more of a pull approach than push.

The post Marketing During a Pandemnic: Stop Pushing and Start Pulling with SEO appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Top 10 SEO Trends 2020

Top 10 SEO Trends 2020
Customer empathy is at the forefront of the best marketing and tone deaf promotions as if things were normal during the COVID-19 pandemic are probably some of the worst.

When it comes to understanding the customer state of mind right now, I think Dean Shaw from SAS summed it up well on Twitter:

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

And while we know many of these personal concerns are top of mind, we also know that in many ways, the work continues.

So how can marketers meet the information needs of customers in an environment where push advertising and marketing seems so out of place?

The customer empathy model I’ve always used to keep content and context relevant is Discover, Engage, Action.

Where are buyers finding their information? What formats create the best experience and which triggers inspire action? Answer these questions and you’ll be on the road to providing the kind of authentic content that customers want, where they want it and in a way that drives satisfaction for all.

Right now one channel for information discovery that is firing hot are search engines. Instead of being tone deaf or completely opportunistic about marketing, companies can double down on their SEO efforts to become the best answer for customers at the very moment they need a solution. Whether you do fresh technical SEO, or content SEO or link audits – companies would do well to make sure that it’s as easy and relevant as possible for customers to pull themselves to brand content through search. SEO helps customers solve information problems on their terms, instead of alienating people with opportunism or status quo marketing.

SEO helps customers surface information on their terms, instead of alienating people with opportunism or tone deaf marketing.

To point marketers in the right direction for SEO, here is a new infographic featuring 10 SEO best practices from some of the top SEO minds in the industry including:

  • Barry Schwartz – President of Rusty Brick, Executive Editor at Search Engine Roundtable, News Editor at Search Engine Land
  • Jono Alderson – Digital Marketing Strategist and Special Ops at Yoast
  • Aleyda Solis – SEO Consultant and Founder at Orainti
  • Jesse McDonald – Global SEO Strategist at IBM
  • Britney Muller – Senior SEO Scientist at Moz
  • Ayat Shukairy – Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Invest
  • Dixon Jones – CEO at inLinks.net
  • Hamlet Batista – CEO at RankSense
  • Tiffany Allen – Associate Director of Search and Analytics at TopRank Marketing

SEO Trends 2020

You can download a full size PDF of the SEO trends 2020 infographic here.

As you consider how to be more empathetic about what’s really on your customers’ minds right now, hopefully these SEO trends will give you some direction in terms of how to optimize content to attract, engage and inspire action with more of a pull approach than push.

The post Marketing During a Pandemnic: Stop Pushing and Start Pulling with SEO appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Digital Marketing News: B2B Brand Personalization & Revenue Alignment Studies, Coronavirus Ad Spend Impact, & Facebook’s New Horizon VR

2020 March 20 MarketingCharts Chart

2020 March 20 MarketingCharts Chart

Some B2B Brands Are Falling Short On Personalization: Study
Some 42 percent of B2B marketers see their marketing efforts as not being fully personalized, despite 77 percent seeing personalized marketing as delivering better customer relationships — two of several insights relevant to digital marketers contained in recently-released study data. MediaPost

YouTube to automate more video reviews in light of staffing challenges caused by coronavirus
Caronavirus concerns have led YouTube and other social media platforms to turn partially to artificial intelligence (AI) for flagging troublesome content, as temporary in-house human staff shortages have arisen. The temporary measures include possible delays in appeals processes, and increased instances of falsely-flagged content, YouTube and other social networking firms have announced this week. Marketing Land

Facebook’s Testing a New Option to Cross-Post Facebook Stories to Instagram
Digital marketers may eventually be able to enjoy the type of easy brand message cross-posting from Facebook to Instagram that they have been able to do for some time in the opposite direction, as Facebook has begun testing the new cross-posting functionality, the social media giant recently announced. Social Media Today

2020 Budget Reductions Driven By Coronavirus Concerns Could Cost Media Around $3B In Ad Spend
As much as $3.1 billion in lost advertising media revenue could accumulate due to coronavirus concerns, with a minimum of around $1 billion in losses, according to newly-released forecast report data from Myers. MediaPost

New Report Looks at Social Platform Performance Benchmarks by Industry
Overall brand engagement rates on Instagram fell by 23 percent in 2019, according to recently-released RivalIQ report data of interest to digital marketers. The firm’s annual Social Media Industry Benchmark Report also showed that the median posting frequency across Instagram, Facebook and Twitter dropped for all industries by some five percent during 2019. Social Media Today


.

2020 March 20 Statistics Image

Most site content (69%) not seen by customers and prospects, study finds
Nearly 70 percent of the web’s content is not seen by consumers, according to recently-released report data examining nine verticals. The 2020 Digital Experience Benchmark report also shows that while organic activity accounts for the most traffic, a large majority of online content has remained unseen. Marketing Land

The Top Challenges Facing Creative Teams That Develop Content
Unhealthy working pace and too many work expectations top the list of challenges confronting creative marketing teams, according to recently-released content creation report data. The report also shows that 65 percent of creative projects are approved within three to five rounds of review.MarketingProfs

Facebook Begins User Testing of New ‘Horizon’ VR Social Platform
Facebook has been testing a virtual reality (VR) social networking app called Horizon, the social media giant has noted, with a recent beta test offering a glimpse of a future advertising platform that some marketers will eventually to target. Social Media Today

Can Revenue Operations Align B2B Professionals?
84 percent of B2B professionals see shared revenue responsibility resting with marketing and sales, and most want to boost interactivity between sales, marketing, and customer success teams, according to recently-released B2B revenue operations study data of interest to online marketers. MarketingCharts

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

2020 March 20 Marketoonist Comic

A lighthearted look at virtual collaboration by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist

Employee Working From Home Frantically Trying To Finish Report By End Of Days — The Onion

TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:

  • Lee Odden — Round-up: CoronaVirus and Email Marketing — Only Influencers
  • Lee Odden — Bra att veta om B2B influencer marketing 2020 (infograf) [In Swedish] — Pontus Staunstrup

Do you have your own top B2B content marketing or digital advertising stories from the past week? Please let us know in the comments below.

Thanks for taking the time to join us, and we hope you’ll come back again next Friday for a new array of the most relevant B2B and digital marketing industry news. In the meantime, you can follow us at @toprank on Twitter for even more timely daily news. Also, don’t miss the full video summary on our TopRank Marketing TV YouTube Channel.

The post Digital Marketing News: B2B Brand Personalization & Revenue Alignment Studies, Coronavirus Ad Spend Impact, & Facebook’s New Horizon VR appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

2020 March 20 MarketingCharts Chart

2020 March 20 MarketingCharts Chart

Some B2B Brands Are Falling Short On Personalization: Study
Some 42 percent of B2B marketers see their marketing efforts as not being fully personalized, despite 77 percent seeing personalized marketing as delivering better customer relationships — two of several insights relevant to digital marketers contained in recently-released study data. MediaPost

YouTube to automate more video reviews in light of staffing challenges caused by coronavirus
Caronavirus concerns have led YouTube and other social media platforms to turn partially to artificial intelligence (AI) for flagging troublesome content, as temporary in-house human staff shortages have arisen. The temporary measures include possible delays in appeals processes, and increased instances of falsely-flagged content, YouTube and other social networking firms have announced this week. Marketing Land

Facebook’s Testing a New Option to Cross-Post Facebook Stories to Instagram
Digital marketers may eventually be able to enjoy the type of easy brand message cross-posting from Facebook to Instagram that they have been able to do for some time in the opposite direction, as Facebook has begun testing the new cross-posting functionality, the social media giant recently announced. Social Media Today

2020 Budget Reductions Driven By Coronavirus Concerns Could Cost Media Around $3B In Ad Spend
As much as $3.1 billion in lost advertising media revenue could accumulate due to coronavirus concerns, with a minimum of around $1 billion in losses, according to newly-released forecast report data from Myers. MediaPost

New Report Looks at Social Platform Performance Benchmarks by Industry
Overall brand engagement rates on Instagram fell by 23 percent in 2019, according to recently-released RivalIQ report data of interest to digital marketers. The firm’s annual Social Media Industry Benchmark Report also showed that the median posting frequency across Instagram, Facebook and Twitter dropped for all industries by some five percent during 2019. Social Media Today


.

2020 March 20 Statistics Image

Most site content (69%) not seen by customers and prospects, study finds
Nearly 70 percent of the web’s content is not seen by consumers, according to recently-released report data examining nine verticals. The 2020 Digital Experience Benchmark report also shows that while organic activity accounts for the most traffic, a large majority of online content has remained unseen. Marketing Land

The Top Challenges Facing Creative Teams That Develop Content
Unhealthy working pace and too many work expectations top the list of challenges confronting creative marketing teams, according to recently-released content creation report data. The report also shows that 65 percent of creative projects are approved within three to five rounds of review.MarketingProfs

Facebook Begins User Testing of New ‘Horizon’ VR Social Platform
Facebook has been testing a virtual reality (VR) social networking app called Horizon, the social media giant has noted, with a recent beta test offering a glimpse of a future advertising platform that some marketers will eventually to target. Social Media Today

Can Revenue Operations Align B2B Professionals?
84 percent of B2B professionals see shared revenue responsibility resting with marketing and sales, and most want to boost interactivity between sales, marketing, and customer success teams, according to recently-released B2B revenue operations study data of interest to online marketers. MarketingCharts

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

2020 March 20 Marketoonist Comic

A lighthearted look at virtual collaboration by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist

Employee Working From Home Frantically Trying To Finish Report By End Of Days — The Onion

TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:

  • Lee Odden — Round-up: CoronaVirus and Email Marketing — Only Influencers
  • Lee Odden — Bra att veta om B2B influencer marketing 2020 (infograf) [In Swedish] — Pontus Staunstrup

Do you have your own top B2B content marketing or digital advertising stories from the past week? Please let us know in the comments below.

Thanks for taking the time to join us, and we hope you’ll come back again next Friday for a new array of the most relevant B2B and digital marketing industry news. In the meantime, you can follow us at @toprank on Twitter for even more timely daily news. Also, don’t miss the full video summary on our TopRank Marketing TV YouTube Channel.

The post Digital Marketing News: B2B Brand Personalization & Revenue Alignment Studies, Coronavirus Ad Spend Impact, & Facebook’s New Horizon VR appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Remote Communication Opportunities For B2B Marketers

Woman at desk with multiple monitors working remotely image.

Woman at desk with multiple monitors working remotely image.

The challenges brought about by COVID-19 are multi-faceted and permeate the lives of B2B marketers on many levels, yet they also thankfully present new opportunities.

Remote work and online business communications are two of the major benefits modern B2B marketers can take advantage of now thanks to the technological advances the Internet and its 50-plus year history has made possible.

As a remote worker for the past 13 of my 36 years working in online communications, I’ll offer up a selection of tips to keep in mind as we all adjust to the numerous business changes brought about by COVID-19.

We’ll also look at how the present situation affects the issues of brand purpose and trust, resources and tools for newly-minted remote workers, social media best-practices during challenging times, and how we can learn from the challenges.

Our CEO Lee Odden recently asked “Should COVID-19 Stop B2B Marketers From Marketing?” — looking at new challenges and opportunities to be even more relevant and useful for clients, while also being responsible to the health and safety of employees, customers and community.

Let’s dig in and look at five ways B2B marketers can embrace remote communication opportunities to reach new heights.

1 — Cultivate Greater Brand Purpose & Build More Trust

Survey data has over the past several years increasingly shown that consumers in both B2B and B2C are placing more importance than ever on brand purpose and the trust that successful businesses cultivate.

A recent Association of National Advertisers (ANA) survey showed that 82 percent of B2B executives see companies with purpose having more success than those without.

Taking A Stand Image

Brand purpose and trust are both simultaneously in play for B2B marketers during this time of COVID-19 changes, and a number of publications have recently released helpful guides to brand social media activity for sensitive times.

RivalIQ’s “The Impact of Coronavirus on Social Media Engagement for Brands” provides information on how the COVID-19 situation has affected social media engagement rates, and Social Fresh’s “How To Adjust Your Social Media Marketing During Coronavirus, “ explores the delicate balance brands need to keep with their social media campaigns during the present health concerns.

Building brand trust for B2B marketers is a subject we’ve explored in several articles, including:

[bctt tweet=”“The best thing marketers can do is be as sensitive as possible to the current health crisis when creating any social media posts or strategy.” @BlairFeehan” username=”toprank”]

2 — Use Powerful & Abundant Remote Collaboration Tools

Powerful online collaboration platforms such as those offered by our clients Slack and Monday.com provide the type of robust remote communication that has seen dramatically-increased use since the rise in awareness brought about by COVID-19.

Slack has put together a collection of resources for people using its online collaboration platform for remote work, including “The Manager’s Manual for Remote Work,” “Distance Learning Thrives in Slack,” and “Slack on Slack: Adapting the Way we Work When Offices Need to Close,” each offering helpful insight both for the Slack community and anyone looking to do the best work they can remotely.

Monday.com has used the present COVID-19 situation to increase its integration with the popular Zoom online meeting service, and has also brought together its own selection of helpful remote work tools in “5 Tools You Need to Become Remote-Work-Ready.” As we have also done at TopRank Marketing, Monday.com has its team now temporarily working remotely.

Our client Adobe has made some of its online collaboration tools available free to students, and our client Arm Treasure Data has also put together a compendium of remote work tips, in its “Lessons Learned WFH—5 Tips to Make It Work for You.”

[bctt tweet=”“During this time of transition, it’s also important that marketers review their planned advertising, social and marketing messages to be appropriate to what customers are dealing with right now. ” @LeeOdden” username=”toprank”]

3 — Reflect, Regroup & Refocus With a New Perspective

Tying The Strings Together Image

Seeing things from a new perspective  — whether it’s from a temporary new remote working environment or from in-person meetings moved online — provides a fine opportunity to reflect, regroup, and refocus on existing and upcoming projects.

Working in a new environment can give you a fresh look at your next marketing campaign or influencer marketing project, and also provides a great opportunity to reassess currently-running projects with a new remote-oriented eye.

Once you’re settled into a different work location it’s not unusual to find new energy that naturally will go into your current projects if you let it, so don’t be afraid to tap into that energy and use it as a launching point for creating powerful new work. The Harvard Business Review has taken a look at the role of reassurance and being proactive with communications, in “Communicating Through the Coronavirus Crisis.”

[bctt tweet=”“Brand purpose and trust are both simultaneously in play for B2B marketers during this time of COVID-19 changes.” @lanerellis” username=”toprank”]

4 — Take The Opportunity To Tackle Learning New Things

With more at-home time available even after the workday has finished, now can be a great time to expand your knowledge in new areas.

Our client LinkedIn has made some of its premium LinkedIn Learning courses available free, with “Remote Working: Setting Yourself and Your Teams Up for Success,” and the professional social network has also put together its own collection of helpful remote work resources, in both “In This Together: Sharing Our COVID-19 Learnings,” and “Staying Informed and Connected: Resources to Help Navigate Work and Coronavirus.”

Many experienced remote workers have used the recent COVID-19 situation to share their advice for productive online work, including my pal and fellow former computer bulletin board system SysOp Meryl Evans, offering up “38 Awesome Things About Remote Working.”

5 — Learn With Remote Working Tips

Finally, here are five additional remote working tips I’d like to share with you — items that have helped me during my 13-plus year stint of remote work:

  1. Create your own physical workspace. Whether it’s a dedicated room in your home where you’ll be doing the bulk of your work, a co-working space in another location, or a full-on private spot in an office building as I’ve chosen, having a physical place that you can leave at the end of the workday is an ideal way to separate your personal and professional life.
  2. Build a regular schedule into your remote workday — one that pulls some of the best elements from your previous office location — in order to bring a similar sense of organization to your remote work.
  3. Learn to savor the advantages of working remotely, especially those from working at home. Especially if your remote work situation isn’t a permanent one, take time to appreciate the little things that working remotely provides, whether it’s eating lunch with your partner or children, listening to music as loud as you want to, taking a lunchtime walk in a new area, or enjoying extra time saved from not having a lengthy work commute.
  4. Minimize distractions as much as possible, so that you can use remote work to find newfound focus on your projects. If working from home, let the people in your home know when you’ll be working, and encourage them to connect with you only during set times such as over lunch or breaks.
  5. If your remote work situation is more long-term, learn to make your laptop your office. If you have freedom in the locations you work from, expand your work world to include working in different spots in your city, state, country, or even internationally. A second external monitor can also be very helpful for many remote marketers, and some also will use high-definition TVs as a second or third laptop monitor.

Embrace Remote Work & Reach New Heights

Communicating with your associates and clients online using collaboration tools such as Zoom and Slack is a fairly straightforward task in 2020, and with the COVID-19 situation that has brought more people than ever to remote work, we hope the tactics and insight we’ve shared will help you adjust and thrive.

The post Remote Communication Opportunities For B2B Marketers appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Woman at desk with multiple monitors working remotely image.

Woman at desk with multiple monitors working remotely image.

The challenges brought about by COVID-19 are multi-faceted and permeate the lives of B2B marketers on many levels, yet they also thankfully present new opportunities.

Remote work and online business communications are two of the major benefits modern B2B marketers can take advantage of now thanks to the technological advances the Internet and its 50-plus year history has made possible.

As a remote worker for the past 13 of my 36 years working in online communications, I’ll offer up a selection of tips to keep in mind as we all adjust to the numerous business changes brought about by COVID-19.

We’ll also look at how the present situation affects the issues of brand purpose and trust, resources and tools for newly-minted remote workers, social media best-practices during challenging times, and how we can learn from the challenges.

Our CEO Lee Odden recently asked “Should COVID-19 Stop B2B Marketers From Marketing?” — looking at new challenges and opportunities to be even more relevant and useful for clients, while also being responsible to the health and safety of employees, customers and community.

Let’s dig in and look at five ways B2B marketers can embrace remote communication opportunities to reach new heights.

1 — Cultivate Greater Brand Purpose & Build More Trust

Survey data has over the past several years increasingly shown that consumers in both B2B and B2C are placing more importance than ever on brand purpose and the trust that successful businesses cultivate.

A recent Association of National Advertisers (ANA) survey showed that 82 percent of B2B executives see companies with purpose having more success than those without.

Taking A Stand Image

Brand purpose and trust are both simultaneously in play for B2B marketers during this time of COVID-19 changes, and a number of publications have recently released helpful guides to brand social media activity for sensitive times.

RivalIQ’s “The Impact of Coronavirus on Social Media Engagement for Brands” provides information on how the COVID-19 situation has affected social media engagement rates, and Social Fresh’s “How To Adjust Your Social Media Marketing During Coronavirus, “ explores the delicate balance brands need to keep with their social media campaigns during the present health concerns.

Building brand trust for B2B marketers is a subject we’ve explored in several articles, including:

[bctt tweet=”“The best thing marketers can do is be as sensitive as possible to the current health crisis when creating any social media posts or strategy.” @BlairFeehan” username=”toprank”]

2 — Use Powerful & Abundant Remote Collaboration Tools

Powerful online collaboration platforms such as those offered by our clients Slack and Monday.com provide the type of robust remote communication that has seen dramatically-increased use since the rise in awareness brought about by COVID-19.

Slack has put together a collection of resources for people using its online collaboration platform for remote work, including “The Manager’s Manual for Remote Work,” “Distance Learning Thrives in Slack,” and “Slack on Slack: Adapting the Way we Work When Offices Need to Close,” each offering helpful insight both for the Slack community and anyone looking to do the best work they can remotely.

Monday.com has used the present COVID-19 situation to increase its integration with the popular Zoom online meeting service, and has also brought together its own selection of helpful remote work tools in “5 Tools You Need to Become Remote-Work-Ready.” As we have also done at TopRank Marketing, Monday.com has its team now temporarily working remotely.

Our client Adobe has made some of its online collaboration tools available free to students, and our client Arm Treasure Data has also put together a compendium of remote work tips, in its “Lessons Learned WFH—5 Tips to Make It Work for You.”

[bctt tweet=”“During this time of transition, it’s also important that marketers review their planned advertising, social and marketing messages to be appropriate to what customers are dealing with right now. ” @LeeOdden” username=”toprank”]

3 — Reflect, Regroup & Refocus With a New Perspective

Tying The Strings Together Image

Seeing things from a new perspective  — whether it’s from a temporary new remote working environment or from in-person meetings moved online — provides a fine opportunity to reflect, regroup, and refocus on existing and upcoming projects.

Working in a new environment can give you a fresh look at your next marketing campaign or influencer marketing project, and also provides a great opportunity to reassess currently-running projects with a new remote-oriented eye.

Once you’re settled into a different work location it’s not unusual to find new energy that naturally will go into your current projects if you let it, so don’t be afraid to tap into that energy and use it as a launching point for creating powerful new work. The Harvard Business Review has taken a look at the role of reassurance and being proactive with communications, in “Communicating Through the Coronavirus Crisis.”

[bctt tweet=”“Brand purpose and trust are both simultaneously in play for B2B marketers during this time of COVID-19 changes.” @lanerellis” username=”toprank”]

4 — Take The Opportunity To Tackle Learning New Things

With more at-home time available even after the workday has finished, now can be a great time to expand your knowledge in new areas.

Our client LinkedIn has made some of its premium LinkedIn Learning courses available free, with “Remote Working: Setting Yourself and Your Teams Up for Success,” and the professional social network has also put together its own collection of helpful remote work resources, in both “In This Together: Sharing Our COVID-19 Learnings,” and “Staying Informed and Connected: Resources to Help Navigate Work and Coronavirus.”

Many experienced remote workers have used the recent COVID-19 situation to share their advice for productive online work, including my pal and fellow former computer bulletin board system SysOp Meryl Evans, offering up “38 Awesome Things About Remote Working.”

5 — Learn With Remote Working Tips

Finally, here are five additional remote working tips I’d like to share with you — items that have helped me during my 13-plus year stint of remote work:

  1. Create your own physical workspace. Whether it’s a dedicated room in your home where you’ll be doing the bulk of your work, a co-working space in another location, or a full-on private spot in an office building as I’ve chosen, having a physical place that you can leave at the end of the workday is an ideal way to separate your personal and professional life.
  2. Build a regular schedule into your remote workday — one that pulls some of the best elements from your previous office location — in order to bring a similar sense of organization to your remote work.
  3. Learn to savor the advantages of working remotely, especially those from working at home. Especially if your remote work situation isn’t a permanent one, take time to appreciate the little things that working remotely provides, whether it’s eating lunch with your partner or children, listening to music as loud as you want to, taking a lunchtime walk in a new area, or enjoying extra time saved from not having a lengthy work commute.
  4. Minimize distractions as much as possible, so that you can use remote work to find newfound focus on your projects. If working from home, let the people in your home know when you’ll be working, and encourage them to connect with you only during set times such as over lunch or breaks.
  5. If your remote work situation is more long-term, learn to make your laptop your office. If you have freedom in the locations you work from, expand your work world to include working in different spots in your city, state, country, or even internationally. A second external monitor can also be very helpful for many remote marketers, and some also will use high-definition TVs as a second or third laptop monitor.

Embrace Remote Work & Reach New Heights

Communicating with your associates and clients online using collaboration tools such as Zoom and Slack is a fairly straightforward task in 2020, and with the COVID-19 situation that has brought more people than ever to remote work, we hope the tactics and insight we’ve shared will help you adjust and thrive.

The post Remote Communication Opportunities For B2B Marketers appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Smooth Sailing: Our Guide to Effective Project Management for B2B Marketers

Man standing in front of blackboard with a grid of choices image.

Man standing in front of blackboard with a grid of choices image.

What does the word “work” mean to you?

A dictionary would tell you that work is, “activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result,” or maybe, “a task or tasks to be undertaken; something a person or thing has to do.”

But how do we know which tasks to tackle first? Or what specifically needs to happen in order to achieve our purpose?

That’s where project management comes in.

And for B2B marketing agencies or teams, there are a lot of nuances when it comes to project management. Launching several campaigns at once. Racing to meet tight deadlines. Ensuring important milestones are met and in the right order. These are not your typical projects. And the typical approach to project management just won’t cut it.

What are our secrets to project management for B2B marketers? I share our top project management tips that boost marketing productivity with you below.

Tip #1: Adopt Big-Picture Thinking

Project management can either be granular or broad. Small picture, or big picture.

With a granular approach, you’re at the front lines of work on a daily basis. You’re communicating with the team several times a day to ensure due dates are being met, roadblocks are cleared, and information is shared. However, this approach eats up a lot of time. Especially when you’re juggling several projects at once — a common occurrence for B2B marketing teams.

Looking at the big picture is a much more efficient approach. Instead of digging into the details and micro-managing every task or piece of work, this approach takes a step back and instead takes a look at your projects as a whole. You’re reviewing projects for common pain points like overlapping timelines, double-booked resources, and client approvals to see where you can proactively remove obstacles and schedule work.

With a big-picture approach to project management, you’ll spend less time reacting to team needs and more time proactively mitigating bumps in the road. It’s more planning and less managing.

[bctt tweet=”“With a big-picture approach to project management, you’ll spend less time reacting to team needs and more time proactively mitigating bumps in the road. It’s more planning and less managing.” @annieleuman” username=”toprank”]

Tip #2: Implement the Right Tools

As a project manager myself, it seems as though the words “project management” and “software” are almost always mentioned in the same breath. They’re conjoined at the hip. And there’s a good reason for that.

Project management software has immeasurably helped organizations improve the way they work. Take Google Drive or Dropbox for instance. Every document your marketing team needs can be uploaded, shared, edited, and collaborated upon in a single, easy-to-access place. That is an incredible benefit to B2B marketing teams where you can work on anything from a calendar to a spreadsheet to an interactive asset at any given time.

Some of our favorite work-accelerating tools are:

  • Google Drive: file sharing and collaboration.
  • Dropbox: design file sharing and proofing.
  • Slack*: quick communication that’s organized by project, subject, or team.
  • Mavenlink: structuring projects, assigning tasks, and tracking efficiency.
  • Zoom: hosting team and client meetings.
  • LastPass: sharing access to important tools.

But before you go and install all of them, there’s an important consideration you need to make: process. Every tool needs its own set of processes to go with it telling your team when to use it, why you need it, and how to best utilize the tool. With processes in place, there is no confusion among your team as to where critical information lives. And speaking of processes…

[bctt tweet=”“Every tool needs its own set of processes to go with it telling your team when to use it, why you need it, and how to best utilize the tool.” @annieleuman” username=”toprank”]

Tip #3: Prioritize Process

Process is a love/hate relationship for many B2B marketing teams. Too much process, and creativity is stifled. Not enough process, and progress is halted.

Process is a balance.

Take a look at your own documented processes and ask yourself:

  • Which processes are necessary to complete the work?
  • Are there any processes that are no longer followed?
  • How many processes do you have for the same task?

Based on your answers, you should consolidate your processes where able, kill and reimagine the processes that are already dead, and promote the processes that are essential to survival. Good project managers will create processes with ease, but only the great ones are able to remove and improve the processes that are more of a hindrance than a help.

[bctt tweet=”“Good project managers will create processes with ease, but only the great ones are able to remove and improve the processes that are more of a hindrance than a help.” @annieleuman” username=”toprank”]

Tip #4: Be Flexible

We live in a world of constant change. Recent events have highlighted this even more so. It’s the nature of life, and it is certainly the nature of marketing.

Adapting to change requires flexibility. Project management for B2B marketing needs to be able to handle an accelerated — or decelerated — timeline, a drop in resources, or a sudden, unexpected ask from a client. While project managers will do their best to try and predict the future with grade-A planning — it is impossible to do so with 100% accuracy.

How do we handle the constant change in B2B marketing? We prioritize one week at a time. By prioritizing one week — or even one day — at a time we’re able to be much more agile and fit in the urgent requests as they come in. If we prioritized further out, we would lose the ability to change course quickly. We also have a large, varied pool of resources to ensure nothing is siloed or breaks if someone needs to take unexpected time off or is over capacity.

Let’s Get Down to Business

To focus your B2B marketing team on the work that matters, project management needs to be a priority. But in our experience, the most effective project management follows the above guidelines. It’s flexible, rooted in process, sees the big picture, and is assisted by the right tools. That’s not to say that your B2B marketing team won’t need to be managed a little bit differently, but the above tips should get you started on the right path.

Want to further optimize how your team works? View these tips for managing content marketing teams.

* Disclosure: Slack is a TopRank Marketing client.

The post Smooth Sailing: Our Guide to Effective Project Management for B2B Marketers appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Man standing in front of blackboard with a grid of choices image.

Man standing in front of blackboard with a grid of choices image.

What does the word “work” mean to you?

A dictionary would tell you that work is, “activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result,” or maybe, “a task or tasks to be undertaken; something a person or thing has to do.”

But how do we know which tasks to tackle first? Or what specifically needs to happen in order to achieve our purpose?

That’s where project management comes in.

And for B2B marketing agencies or teams, there are a lot of nuances when it comes to project management. Launching several campaigns at once. Racing to meet tight deadlines. Ensuring important milestones are met and in the right order. These are not your typical projects. And the typical approach to project management just won’t cut it.

What are our secrets to project management for B2B marketers? I share our top project management tips that boost marketing productivity with you below.

Tip #1: Adopt Big-Picture Thinking

Project management can either be granular or broad. Small picture, or big picture.

With a granular approach, you’re at the front lines of work on a daily basis. You’re communicating with the team several times a day to ensure due dates are being met, roadblocks are cleared, and information is shared. However, this approach eats up a lot of time. Especially when you’re juggling several projects at once — a common occurrence for B2B marketing teams.

Looking at the big picture is a much more efficient approach. Instead of digging into the details and micro-managing every task or piece of work, this approach takes a step back and instead takes a look at your projects as a whole. You’re reviewing projects for common pain points like overlapping timelines, double-booked resources, and client approvals to see where you can proactively remove obstacles and schedule work.

With a big-picture approach to project management, you’ll spend less time reacting to team needs and more time proactively mitigating bumps in the road. It’s more planning and less managing.

[bctt tweet=”“With a big-picture approach to project management, you’ll spend less time reacting to team needs and more time proactively mitigating bumps in the road. It’s more planning and less managing.” @annieleuman” username=”toprank”]

Tip #2: Implement the Right Tools

As a project manager myself, it seems as though the words “project management” and “software” are almost always mentioned in the same breath. They’re conjoined at the hip. And there’s a good reason for that.

Project management software has immeasurably helped organizations improve the way they work. Take Google Drive or Dropbox for instance. Every document your marketing team needs can be uploaded, shared, edited, and collaborated upon in a single, easy-to-access place. That is an incredible benefit to B2B marketing teams where you can work on anything from a calendar to a spreadsheet to an interactive asset at any given time.

Some of our favorite work-accelerating tools are:

  • Google Drive: file sharing and collaboration.
  • Dropbox: design file sharing and proofing.
  • Slack*: quick communication that’s organized by project, subject, or team.
  • Mavenlink: structuring projects, assigning tasks, and tracking efficiency.
  • Zoom: hosting team and client meetings.
  • LastPass: sharing access to important tools.

But before you go and install all of them, there’s an important consideration you need to make: process. Every tool needs its own set of processes to go with it telling your team when to use it, why you need it, and how to best utilize the tool. With processes in place, there is no confusion among your team as to where critical information lives. And speaking of processes…

[bctt tweet=”“Every tool needs its own set of processes to go with it telling your team when to use it, why you need it, and how to best utilize the tool.” @annieleuman” username=”toprank”]

Tip #3: Prioritize Process

Process is a love/hate relationship for many B2B marketing teams. Too much process, and creativity is stifled. Not enough process, and progress is halted.

Process is a balance.

Take a look at your own documented processes and ask yourself:

  • Which processes are necessary to complete the work?
  • Are there any processes that are no longer followed?
  • How many processes do you have for the same task?

Based on your answers, you should consolidate your processes where able, kill and reimagine the processes that are already dead, and promote the processes that are essential to survival. Good project managers will create processes with ease, but only the great ones are able to remove and improve the processes that are more of a hindrance than a help.

[bctt tweet=”“Good project managers will create processes with ease, but only the great ones are able to remove and improve the processes that are more of a hindrance than a help.” @annieleuman” username=”toprank”]

Tip #4: Be Flexible

We live in a world of constant change. Recent events have highlighted this even more so. It’s the nature of life, and it is certainly the nature of marketing.

Adapting to change requires flexibility. Project management for B2B marketing needs to be able to handle an accelerated — or decelerated — timeline, a drop in resources, or a sudden, unexpected ask from a client. While project managers will do their best to try and predict the future with grade-A planning — it is impossible to do so with 100% accuracy.

How do we handle the constant change in B2B marketing? We prioritize one week at a time. By prioritizing one week — or even one day — at a time we’re able to be much more agile and fit in the urgent requests as they come in. If we prioritized further out, we would lose the ability to change course quickly. We also have a large, varied pool of resources to ensure nothing is siloed or breaks if someone needs to take unexpected time off or is over capacity.

Let’s Get Down to Business

To focus your B2B marketing team on the work that matters, project management needs to be a priority. But in our experience, the most effective project management follows the above guidelines. It’s flexible, rooted in process, sees the big picture, and is assisted by the right tools. That’s not to say that your B2B marketing team won’t need to be managed a little bit differently, but the above tips should get you started on the right path.

Want to further optimize how your team works? View these tips for managing content marketing teams.

* Disclosure: Slack is a TopRank Marketing client.

The post Smooth Sailing: Our Guide to Effective Project Management for B2B Marketers appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Should COVID-19 Stop B2B Marketers From Marketing?

COVID-19 B2B Marketing

COVID-19 B2B Marketing

You’ve read the news, seen the reports, remarkable real-time graphs and updates from the CDC. Virtually all industry conferences are cancelled or postponed, major sporting events are postponed, most schools and many stores are closed and just about any venue for large crowds from malls to theatres are as empty as the toilet paper aisle at Target.

COVID-19 is serious business and is undoubtedly having an impact on business. Should it stop companies from marketing to other businesses?

We all have an obligation to make the changes necessary to minimize COVID-19 transmission through closures, postponements and having employees work from home like we just implemented at TopRank Marketing this week along with many other companies.

While there will be a period of adjustment, these changes do not mean the work stops. It doesn’t mean companies don’t need information, solutions, support, products and services. The evolving environment we find ourselves in presents new challenges and opportunities to be even more relevant and useful for clients.

While some companies may be distracted or paused in some of their efforts to find solutions, that only means marketing needs to do a better job of providing best answer content in formats that are relevant in the new environment: virtual events, video conferencing, podcasts, webinars, interactive content, recorded video, live streaming and other forms of online engagement. Virtual reality or direct mail are considerations as well.

During this time of transition, it’s also important that marketers review their planned advertising, social and marketing messages to be appropriate to what customers are dealing with right now. Publishing marketing messages as if everything is normal will not resonate or be useful.

Additionally, opportunities may reveal themselves either through data or consumer behavior, like the efforts to encourage gift card purchases from local businesses that will lose foot traffic. A few additional tips for B2B marketers include:

  • Stay in close contact with your customers. Learn what you can do to better support them, anticipate changes and offer resources.
  • Make sure your brand digital channels are up to date including website, blog, social network profiles, and Google My Business listings.
  • Commit to video – convert marketing message activities to video and if you have live video access on LinkedIn for execs or your brand – start using it now.
  • Optimize your digital channels: Refresh SEO, social, online advertising and influencer efforts. Identify what is working and reallocate resources and budget as appropriate.
  • Reinforce efforts and communications to support community, employees and customers affected through supply of resources, technology or expertise.

Marketers focused on being the best answer for their customers are agile and understand the importance of being responsive to changes, even as large as the Coronavirus pandemic. Being responsible to the health and safety of employees, customers and community should be the top priority while also understanding that the need for information and solutions might slow or change but not stop. We still need to do our jobs and provide useful information, we just need to do it differently.

 

The post Should COVID-19 Stop B2B Marketers From Marketing? appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

COVID-19 B2B Marketing

COVID-19 B2B Marketing

You’ve read the news, seen the reports, remarkable real-time graphs and updates from the CDC. Virtually all industry conferences are cancelled or postponed, major sporting events are postponed, most schools and many stores are closed and just about any venue for large crowds from malls to theatres are as empty as the toilet paper aisle at Target.

COVID-19 is serious business and is undoubtedly having an impact on business. Should it stop companies from marketing to other businesses?

We all have an obligation to make the changes necessary to minimize COVID-19 transmission through closures, postponements and having employees work from home like we just implemented at TopRank Marketing this week along with many other companies.

While there will be a period of adjustment, these changes do not mean the work stops. It doesn’t mean companies don’t need information, solutions, support, products and services. The evolving environment we find ourselves in presents new challenges and opportunities to be even more relevant and useful for clients.

While some companies may be distracted or paused in some of their efforts to find solutions, that only means marketing needs to do a better job of providing best answer content in formats that are relevant in the new environment: virtual events, video conferencing, podcasts, webinars, interactive content, recorded video, live streaming and other forms of online engagement. Virtual reality or direct mail are considerations as well.

During this time of transition, it’s also important that marketers review their planned advertising, social and marketing messages to be appropriate to what customers are dealing with right now. Publishing marketing messages as if everything is normal will not resonate or be useful.

Additionally, opportunities may reveal themselves either through data or consumer behavior, like the efforts to encourage gift card purchases from local businesses that will lose foot traffic. A few additional tips for B2B marketers include:

  • Stay in close contact with your customers. Learn what you can do to better support them, anticipate changes and offer resources.
  • Make sure your brand digital channels are up to date including website, blog, social network profiles, and Google My Business listings.
  • Commit to video – convert marketing message activities to video and if you have live video access on LinkedIn for execs or your brand – start using it now.
  • Optimize your digital channels: Refresh SEO, social, online advertising and influencer efforts. Identify what is working and reallocate resources and budget as appropriate.
  • Reinforce efforts and communications to support community, employees and customers affected through supply of resources, technology or expertise.

Marketers focused on being the best answer for their customers are agile and understand the importance of being responsive to changes, even as large as the Coronavirus pandemic. Being responsible to the health and safety of employees, customers and community should be the top priority while also understanding that the need for information and solutions might slow or change but not stop. We still need to do our jobs and provide useful information, we just need to do it differently.

 

The post Should COVID-19 Stop B2B Marketers From Marketing? appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Digital Marketing News: B2B Purpose & Brand Awareness Studies, Twitter Tests Fleets, Gen Z Turns to Influencers, & Apple’s New Push Ads

2020 March 13 MarketingCharts Chart

2020 March 13 MarketingCharts Chart

B2B Companies See Purpose As A Path to Success
Some 82 percent of B2B executives see companies with purpose having more success than those without, with 86 percent saying that purpose is important to their business — two of the insights contained in a recently-released B2B brand purpose survey. MarketingCharts

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wdZG8qJE5A&w=560&h=315]

Content Consumption and Production Trends for B2B Marketers
Creating brand awareness, educating audiences, and building credibility and trust are the three top B2B content marketing goals, according to a new report on content consumption and production trends. Blog posts, customer testimonials and reviews, and whitepapers were the most effective methods for moving prospects along the sales funnel, the report revealed. Chief Marketer

Twitter starts testing its own version of Stories, called ‘Fleets,’ which disappear after 24 hours
Twitter has begun testing its take on Story-format tweets, which it has dubbed “fleets” for the fleeting ephemeral element. If rolled out to the platform’s full user-base, fleets could provide new options for marketers. TechCrunch

Gen Z relies on influencers for purchase decisions, Kantar says
People in the Gen Z demographic place the most weight on influencers when it comes to making purchasing decisions, with 44 percent buying based on a social influencer’s recommendation — notably higher than the 26 percent of the general population, according to a recently-released consumer study. Mobile Marketer

Reddit Launches Prominent New ‘Trending Takeover’ Ad Units
Social news aggregator and discussion platform Reddit has rolled out its most visible advertising format to date, with “Trending Takeover” 24-hour campaigns that offer prime exposure, offering a new option for marketers, while some of the firm’s users predict a Redditor backlash. Social Media Today

Gen Z’s Favorite Social-Media Platform? None Of The Above
Despite using social media more than any other demographic, Gen Z is most at home not on traditional mainstream platforms but on gaming platforms. With 90 percent of the demographic being gamers, gaming platforms serve roles similar to those social media does for the general population, according to a newly-released Kantar study of interest to digital marketers. MediaPost

2020 March 13 Statistics Image

Apple now allows push notification advertising, updates dating app review guidelines and more
Apple has made changes that allow app publishers to send push notification ads and promotional content to users who choose to opt-in, a move that has given marketers their first opportunity to utilize push-based ads to users of Apple’s iPhone and iPad devices, the firm recently announced. 9 to 5 Mac

Majority of consumers want standards and tougher action against review fraud
Most consumers say that they would like to see more done to combat fake reviews, including new industry standards to fight online review fraud, according to newly-released survey data which also shows that 82 percent won’t buy from a brand they’ve lost trust in. Marketing Land

YouTube Analytics Now Lets Creators Compare Metrics Side-by-Side
Google’s YouTube has unveiled a slew of new analytics features aimed at providing easier side-by-side metrics comparisons, including timelines that can show views alongside comments and other details, the search and video giant recently announced. Search Engine Journal

ANA Finds Serious Problem: Marketing Students Just Wanna Have Fun
New entrants into the advertising industry are less likely to lean towards the quantitative and analytical side of marketing and more likely to embrace its creative and fun areas, according to newly-released survey data from the Association of National Advertisers ANA Education Foundation (AEF). MediaPost

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

2020 March 13 Marketoonist Comic

A lighthearted look at managing uncertainty by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist

Twitch streamers make thousands by literally just sleeping — Ars Technica

TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:

  • Lee Odden — Building trust with influencers and buyers: Influencer marketing in 2020 with Lee Odden — Ai Addyson-Zhang
  • Lee Odden — Bra att veta om B2B influencer marketing 2020 (infograf) [In Swedish] — Pontus Staunstrup

Do you have your own top B2B content marketing or digital advertising stories from the past week? Please let us know in the comments below.

Thank you for joining us, and we hope that you’ll come back again next Friday for a new array of the most relevant B2B and digital marketing industry news. In the meantime, you can follow us at @toprank on Twitter for even more timely daily news. Also, don’t miss the full video summary on our TopRank Marketing TV YouTube Channel.

The post Digital Marketing News: B2B Purpose & Brand Awareness Studies, Twitter Tests Fleets, Gen Z Turns to Influencers, & Apple’s New Push Ads appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

2020 March 13 MarketingCharts Chart

2020 March 13 MarketingCharts Chart

B2B Companies See Purpose As A Path to Success
Some 82 percent of B2B executives see companies with purpose having more success than those without, with 86 percent saying that purpose is important to their business — two of the insights contained in a recently-released B2B brand purpose survey. MarketingCharts

Content Consumption and Production Trends for B2B Marketers
Creating brand awareness, educating audiences, and building credibility and trust are the three top B2B content marketing goals, according to a new report on content consumption and production trends. Blog posts, customer testimonials and reviews, and whitepapers were the most effective methods for moving prospects along the sales funnel, the report revealed. Chief Marketer

Twitter starts testing its own version of Stories, called ‘Fleets,’ which disappear after 24 hours
Twitter has begun testing its take on Story-format tweets, which it has dubbed “fleets” for the fleeting ephemeral element. If rolled out to the platform’s full user-base, fleets could provide new options for marketers. TechCrunch

Gen Z relies on influencers for purchase decisions, Kantar says
People in the Gen Z demographic place the most weight on influencers when it comes to making purchasing decisions, with 44 percent buying based on a social influencer’s recommendation — notably higher than the 26 percent of the general population, according to a recently-released consumer study. Mobile Marketer

Reddit Launches Prominent New ‘Trending Takeover’ Ad Units
Social news aggregator and discussion platform Reddit has rolled out its most visible advertising format to date, with “Trending Takeover” 24-hour campaigns that offer prime exposure, offering a new option for marketers, while some of the firm’s users predict a Redditor backlash. Social Media Today

Gen Z’s Favorite Social-Media Platform? None Of The Above
Despite using social media more than any other demographic, Gen Z is most at home not on traditional mainstream platforms but on gaming platforms. With 90 percent of the demographic being gamers, gaming platforms serve roles similar to those social media does for the general population, according to a newly-released Kantar study of interest to digital marketers. MediaPost

2020 March 13 Statistics Image

Apple now allows push notification advertising, updates dating app review guidelines and more
Apple has made changes that allow app publishers to send push notification ads and promotional content to users who choose to opt-in, a move that has given marketers their first opportunity to utilize push-based ads to users of Apple’s iPhone and iPad devices, the firm recently announced. 9 to 5 Mac

Majority of consumers want standards and tougher action against review fraud
Most consumers say that they would like to see more done to combat fake reviews, including new industry standards to fight online review fraud, according to newly-released survey data which also shows that 82 percent won’t buy from a brand they’ve lost trust in. Marketing Land

YouTube Analytics Now Lets Creators Compare Metrics Side-by-Side
Google’s YouTube has unveiled a slew of new analytics features aimed at providing easier side-by-side metrics comparisons, including timelines that can show views alongside comments and other details, the search and video giant recently announced. Search Engine Journal

ANA Finds Serious Problem: Marketing Students Just Wanna Have Fun
New entrants into the advertising industry are less likely to lean towards the quantitative and analytical side of marketing and more likely to embrace its creative and fun areas, according to newly-released survey data from the Association of National Advertisers ANA Education Foundation (AEF). MediaPost

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

2020 March 13 Marketoonist Comic

A lighthearted look at managing uncertainty by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist

Twitch streamers make thousands by literally just sleeping — Ars Technica

TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:

  • Lee Odden — Building trust with influencers and buyers: Influencer marketing in 2020 with Lee Odden — Ai Addyson-Zhang
  • Lee Odden — Bra att veta om B2B influencer marketing 2020 (infograf) [In Swedish] — Pontus Staunstrup

Do you have your own top B2B content marketing or digital advertising stories from the past week? Please let us know in the comments below.

Thank you for joining us, and we hope that you’ll come back again next Friday for a new array of the most relevant B2B and digital marketing industry news. In the meantime, you can follow us at @toprank on Twitter for even more timely daily news. Also, don’t miss the full video summary on our TopRank Marketing TV YouTube Channel.

The post Digital Marketing News: B2B Purpose & Brand Awareness Studies, Twitter Tests Fleets, Gen Z Turns to Influencers, & Apple’s New Push Ads appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Jumpstarting a Pilot B2B Influencer Marketing Program in 5 Steps

Fist Bump Representing Influencer Marketing Partnership

Fist Bump Representing Influencer Marketing Partnership

The hardest part is getting started.

Has there ever been a more relatable expression? I know we can all think of a task or obligation that we put off endlessly out of some perceived dread, only to find that once we actually buckled down and got to it, the act was rather quick and painless.

The spectre of starting from scratch can also stall a lot of decisions in the business world. Take B2B influencer marketing as an example. You might’ve seen the stats showing how effective it is, or how it drives shocking ROI. Maybe you’ve even seen TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden out on the speaking circuit, articulating the approach and sharing some of our success stories.

But if you have no semblance of an influencer marketing strategy or infrastructure in place at the moment, hesitance is understandable. So to ease the friction and uncertainty, here’s a simple five-step plan to get a pilot program up and running.

Launching a Pilot B2B Influencer Marketing Program in 5 Steps

By no means will this simplified blueprint bring you to a point of sophistication, but it will help you get a feel for B2B influencer marketing, how it works, and why it’s powerful for growing your business.

1: Get Buy-In Throughout the Organization

Even for a pilot program, it’s critical to get stakeholders on board and involved. Before getting started, create visibility around the initiative. Clarify why it’s happening, and who can play a role.

There are a number of different functions and specialists that play a role in executing influencer strategies — social media managers, strategists, SEOs, designers — but engaging the content team will be most vital for any co-creation efforts, since the planning process changes significantly.

2: Compile a List of Influencers who Align with Your Brand

You likely already have a solid understanding of the “who’s who” in your industry. Who are the authoritative voices and thought leaders? Which individuals do your customers listen to and respect? Where are fresh ideas and innovation coming from?

This knowledge provides a good starting point. But the exercise of building an influencer list will help you and your team grasp some of the nuances involved with B2B influencer selection, such as:

  • Prioritizing relevance over reach
  • Assessing topical alignment
  • Discovering micro-influencers
  • Analyzing channels and platforms
  • Developing focused audience research

Here’s a visualization of the type of topical alignment chart we like to generate at TopRank (themed in this case around Stranger Things, via a recent Ashley Zeckman presentation):

Pilot B2B Program Image

3: Start Priming Influencer Relationships

As we’ve written in the past: “Strong relationships are at the root of influencer marketing success — and relationships aren’t built in a day.” This is a long-term process and the initial steps should be entirely focused on building familiarity and connection to the influencer. It’s all about getting your brand on their radar, creating credibility, and letting them know they’re someone your company holds in high regard.

A few do’s and don’ts when it comes to priming influencer relationships in this initial stage:

DO: Post a link to their latest article on your social media channels and add a message about why you liked it.

DON’T: Message them and ask out of nowhere for them to share your latest content piece.

DO: Quote one of their insights in a blog post, and tag them in the social promotions for visibility.

DON’T: Solicit them to write a guest post on your blog.

DO: Approach influencers as partners.

DON’T: Approach influencers as assets.

[bctt tweet=”“Competition for influencers is growing fast and there are only so many top influencers in each industry. It’s essential to create relationships now, long before you need to activate them.” @LeeOdden #InfluencerMarketing” username=”toprank”]

4: Integrate B2B Influencer Marketing into Your Strategy 

Now that you’ve laid some initial groundwork, it’s time to start thinking about how B2B influencer marketing will fit into your holistic integrated strategy. Chart out the goals of the program, tactics and channels you’ll use, metrics you’ll measure against, and various departments and functions that will be involved.

This helps you gain a practical sense of what the influencer program will look like in action, and what steps are necessarily to operationalize it.

During this stage, we recommend asking and answering these five essential questions.

[bctt tweet=”“The nature of influencer-content programs is that they can support multiple objectives from awareness to engagement to conversion.” @azeckman #InfluencerMarketing” username=”toprank”]

5: Co-Create a Piece of Content with One or More Influencers

Assuming you’ve developed at least one influencer relationship to a point where it makes sense, partner with them in the creation of a piece of content — blog post, infographic, ebook, etc.

These types of projects should always offer mutual benefits, and the influencer’s lift should correspond to the value they figure to get out of it. If it’s simply a piece of marketing content for your brand, with the expertise and thought leadership being highlighted in front of new audiences, you might just ask for a few insights to include here and there. If the content can serve as more of a marketing tool for both parties, they might be more inclined to co-author or contribute in other significant ways.

Going through the process of co-creating with influencers will give your team a feel for how it works, and publishing your content into the wild will give you a glimpse of the impact. To be clear, without a more comprehensive strategy and long-term infrastructure built out, you likely won’t come close to the potential of what these programs can achieve results-wise, but we’ll bet the level of reach and number of new eyeballs compares favorably to a standard piece of non-influencer content.

Get Your Influencer Marketing Pilot Up in the Air

Yeah, some say the hardest part is getting started. But the late, great Tom Petty offers another point of view: waiting is the hardest part. So why not stop waiting, and get your B2B influencer marketing pilot program in motion?

If you have any questions along the way, we’re happy to offer guidance. Get in touch and we can discuss your influencer marketing goals, and how to get there.

The post Jumpstarting a Pilot B2B Influencer Marketing Program in 5 Steps appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Fist Bump Representing Influencer Marketing Partnership

Fist Bump Representing Influencer Marketing Partnership

The hardest part is getting started.

Has there ever been a more relatable expression? I know we can all think of a task or obligation that we put off endlessly out of some perceived dread, only to find that once we actually buckled down and got to it, the act was rather quick and painless.

The spectre of starting from scratch can also stall a lot of decisions in the business world. Take B2B influencer marketing as an example. You might’ve seen the stats showing how effective it is, or how it drives shocking ROI. Maybe you’ve even seen TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden out on the speaking circuit, articulating the approach and sharing some of our success stories.

But if you have no semblance of an influencer marketing strategy or infrastructure in place at the moment, hesitance is understandable. So to ease the friction and uncertainty, here’s a simple five-step plan to get a pilot program up and running.

Launching a Pilot B2B Influencer Marketing Program in 5 Steps

By no means will this simplified blueprint bring you to a point of sophistication, but it will help you get a feel for B2B influencer marketing, how it works, and why it’s powerful for growing your business.

1: Get Buy-In Throughout the Organization

Even for a pilot program, it’s critical to get stakeholders on board and involved. Before getting started, create visibility around the initiative. Clarify why it’s happening, and who can play a role.

There are a number of different functions and specialists that play a role in executing influencer strategies — social media managers, strategists, SEOs, designers — but engaging the content team will be most vital for any co-creation efforts, since the planning process changes significantly.

2: Compile a List of Influencers who Align with Your Brand

You likely already have a solid understanding of the “who’s who” in your industry. Who are the authoritative voices and thought leaders? Which individuals do your customers listen to and respect? Where are fresh ideas and innovation coming from?

This knowledge provides a good starting point. But the exercise of building an influencer list will help you and your team grasp some of the nuances involved with B2B influencer selection, such as:

  • Prioritizing relevance over reach
  • Assessing topical alignment
  • Discovering micro-influencers
  • Analyzing channels and platforms
  • Developing focused audience research

Here’s a visualization of the type of topical alignment chart we like to generate at TopRank (themed in this case around Stranger Things, via a recent Ashley Zeckman presentation):

Pilot B2B Program Image

3: Start Priming Influencer Relationships

As we’ve written in the past: “Strong relationships are at the root of influencer marketing success — and relationships aren’t built in a day.” This is a long-term process and the initial steps should be entirely focused on building familiarity and connection to the influencer. It’s all about getting your brand on their radar, creating credibility, and letting them know they’re someone your company holds in high regard.

A few do’s and don’ts when it comes to priming influencer relationships in this initial stage:

DO: Post a link to their latest article on your social media channels and add a message about why you liked it.

DON’T: Message them and ask out of nowhere for them to share your latest content piece.

DO: Quote one of their insights in a blog post, and tag them in the social promotions for visibility.

DON’T: Solicit them to write a guest post on your blog.

DO: Approach influencers as partners.

DON’T: Approach influencers as assets.

[bctt tweet=”“Competition for influencers is growing fast and there are only so many top influencers in each industry. It’s essential to create relationships now, long before you need to activate them.” @LeeOdden #InfluencerMarketing” username=”toprank”]

4: Integrate B2B Influencer Marketing into Your Strategy 

Now that you’ve laid some initial groundwork, it’s time to start thinking about how B2B influencer marketing will fit into your holistic integrated strategy. Chart out the goals of the program, tactics and channels you’ll use, metrics you’ll measure against, and various departments and functions that will be involved.

This helps you gain a practical sense of what the influencer program will look like in action, and what steps are necessarily to operationalize it.

During this stage, we recommend asking and answering these five essential questions.

[bctt tweet=”“The nature of influencer-content programs is that they can support multiple objectives from awareness to engagement to conversion.” @azeckman #InfluencerMarketing” username=”toprank”]

5: Co-Create a Piece of Content with One or More Influencers

Assuming you’ve developed at least one influencer relationship to a point where it makes sense, partner with them in the creation of a piece of content — blog post, infographic, ebook, etc.

These types of projects should always offer mutual benefits, and the influencer’s lift should correspond to the value they figure to get out of it. If it’s simply a piece of marketing content for your brand, with the expertise and thought leadership being highlighted in front of new audiences, you might just ask for a few insights to include here and there. If the content can serve as more of a marketing tool for both parties, they might be more inclined to co-author or contribute in other significant ways.

Going through the process of co-creating with influencers will give your team a feel for how it works, and publishing your content into the wild will give you a glimpse of the impact. To be clear, without a more comprehensive strategy and long-term infrastructure built out, you likely won’t come close to the potential of what these programs can achieve results-wise, but we’ll bet the level of reach and number of new eyeballs compares favorably to a standard piece of non-influencer content.

Get Your Influencer Marketing Pilot Up in the Air

Yeah, some say the hardest part is getting started. But the late, great Tom Petty offers another point of view: waiting is the hardest part. So why not stop waiting, and get your B2B influencer marketing pilot program in motion?

If you have any questions along the way, we’re happy to offer guidance. Get in touch and we can discuss your influencer marketing goals, and how to get there.

The post Jumpstarting a Pilot B2B Influencer Marketing Program in 5 Steps appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

14 Search Influencers at Top B2B Brands

Skyscrapers towering overhead image.

Skyscrapers towering overhead image.

Search strategy is undoubtedly vital for most B2B brands today, yet there are several elements that play important roles in its ultimate success that may surprise you.

Leading the search engine optimization (SEO) program for a major brand is a vital role that’s only taken on greater importance over the years, as even the rise of social media marketing hasn’t eliminated the need for B2B marketers to have a strong search marketing strategy.

With search influencers at top brands facing a nearly constant barrage of new SEO challenges, how do smart search industry leaders build successful campaigns?

Non-paid organic search efforts have some of the lowest website visitor traffic bounce rates for B2B and B2C campaigns alike, which is why SEO practitioners at major firms continue to play such an important role in successful marketing efforts.

Organic Search Traffic Chart

Having a sound search strategy comes not only from long-standing traditional on-page technical elements, but more than ever before three additional tactics working together help to build a new type of cohesive SEO success:

  • Building a Best-Answer Content Strategy
  • Utilizing Knowledgeable Industry Experts for Influencer Marketing
  • Tracking & Adjusting to Search Industry Changes

Let’s take a look at each of these three key areas that combine to form the type of strong search strategy that top B2B marketing leaders rely on, and then we’ll look at 14 search innovators working at major brands.

Building a Best-Answer Content Strategy

Part of building a successful best-answer content strategy is learning the questions that your audience is asking:

  • What is your audience looking for?
  • How is your audience searching for answers?
  • Where are they looking?

Getting to the heart of the questions that are most important to your audience is a powerful way to provide what we like to call best-answer solutions.

Learning what your audience is searching for, where they’re looking, and how they are going about their searches is an entire branch of search marketing, and a number of dedicated tools exist to help in this area, as I cover in “10 Smart Question Research Tools for B2B Marketers,” including offerings such as SEMrush’s helpful empathy map.

SEMrush empathy map image.

[bctt tweet=”“How can you be the best answer for your audience if you don’t understand what questions they’re asking or what problems they’re trying to solve?” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis” username=”toprank”]

To help you create or expand you own best-answer content strategy, we’ve gathered together four resource articles our team has written about the various aspects of building great content that instills trust:

Utilizing Knowledgeable Industry Experts for Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing may not initially spring to mind when looking for areas important to search efforts, yet it can have tremendous impact on both paid and organic efforts. Brands that haven’t yet utilized B2B influencer marketing have the most to gain.

B2B influencer marketing is at the core of the services we’re known for at TopRank Marketing, providing successful programs and campaigns to major firms from LinkedIn and Adobe to Dell and 3M. Such successes led Forrester to list us as the only B2B marketing agency offering influencer marketing as a top capability in its “B2B Marketing Agencies, North America, Q1 2019” report.”

Successful B2B influencer marketing uses knowledgeable industry experts to increase trust, create best-answer content, and offer customer experiences that are tailor-made for increasing search findability.

You can dig in and explore some of our top recent influencer marketing articles, including the factors that go into making a great B2B influencer, here:

[bctt tweet=”“Influencer marketing may not initially spring to mind when looking for areas important to search efforts, yet it can have tremendous impact on both paid and organic efforts.” @lanerellis” username=”toprank”]

Tracking & Adjusting to Search Industry Changes

The search industry has been one of rapid changes since the days of Alta Vista, and keeping up-to-date with the ever-shifting machinations and technical intricacies can be a full-time job for top B2B SEO leaders.

I remember in the late 1990s when my old friend Brett Tabke — who used to call my 300-baud computer bulletin board system back in the 1980s — first started holding informal gatherings of webmasters and search industry professionals, a move that led to forming Pubcon, now one of the longest-running search-related conferences.

In-person networking events are hard to beat for not only search but whatever your particular area of marketing, as they offer the ability to form lasting relationships, build new client connections, and learn the latest from presenting keynote speakers, as we explore in “Content Marketing Gold Rush: How to Unearth Content Gold at Marketing Industry Events.”

There have never been more conferences, including those tailored for B2B marketers, and recently I compiled a list of 50, in “The BIGLIST of 50 Top B2B Marketing Conferences in 2020.”

Search industry online news publications are also abundant as sources for staying abreast of the rapidly-changing world of SEO, including SEO Roundtable with industry veteran Barry Schwartz, and many others.

[bctt tweet=”Tip for creating #ContentGold around industry events: Reach out to organizers, sponsors, or speakers that represent topics and brands of interest to your community to do pre-conference interviews. @LeeOdden” username=”toprank”]

Search Influencers From Major Brands to Follow & Learn From

Learning from some of the savviest search marketers is a great way to expand your own SEO repertoire, and we’ve compiled a list of 14 to get you started, listed in random order.

Jesse McDonald @jesseseogeek
Global SEO Strategist, IBM

Carolyn Shelby @cshel
SEO Manager, ESPN/The Walt Disney Company

Melanie Mitchell @MelanieMitchell
Head of SEO, Chewy

Derrick Wheeler @DerrickWheeler
Senior SEO Marketing Manager, SAP Concur

Keith Goode @keithgoode
Senior SEO Strategist, IBM

Aaron Chronister @TheMadHat
Senior Director of SEO, CBS Interactive

Brian LaFrance @blafrance
Director of SEO, CBS Interactive

Milosz Pekala @mnbuzz
SEO Manager,  Mayo Clinic

Adam Audette @audette
Senior Vice President and Head of Global SEO, Merkle

Ash Buckles @ashbuckles
Global SEO Manager, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG)

Jim Huang @_jimhuang
Organic Search SEO Manager, AARP

Dan Perry @danperry
SEO Director, Turner Broadcasting

Dennis Goedegebuure @TheNextCorner
Head of Global Consumer Growth Marketing, PayPal

Gary Illyes @methode
Webmaster Trends Analyst, Google

This is just the tip of the iceberg however, and you can find many more top industry marketers in the following additional lists we’ve assembled:

Educate Your Team To Deliver Knockout B2B Search Performance

via GIPHY

We hope that our look at how search benefits from building a best-answer content strategy, using industry experts for influencer marketing, and keeping up-to-date with SEO industry news has given you plenty of ideas for taking your own search marketing to new heights.

You can learn even more about being the best answer for your customers and the importance of SEO and influence in a presentation TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden will be delivering in April:

April 22-23, 2020 – Content Marketing Conference — Boston, MA.
Be Best Answer for Your Customers with SEO and Influence

The post 14 Search Influencers at Top B2B Brands appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Skyscrapers towering overhead image.

Skyscrapers towering overhead image.

Search strategy is undoubtedly vital for most B2B brands today, yet there are several elements that play important roles in its ultimate success that may surprise you.

Leading the search engine optimization (SEO) program for a major brand is a vital role that’s only taken on greater importance over the years, as even the rise of social media marketing hasn’t eliminated the need for B2B marketers to have a strong search marketing strategy.

With search influencers at top brands facing a nearly constant barrage of new SEO challenges, how do smart search industry leaders build successful campaigns?

Non-paid organic search efforts have some of the lowest website visitor traffic bounce rates for B2B and B2C campaigns alike, which is why SEO practitioners at major firms continue to play such an important role in successful marketing efforts.

Organic Search Traffic Chart

Having a sound search strategy comes not only from long-standing traditional on-page technical elements, but more than ever before three additional tactics working together help to build a new type of cohesive SEO success:

  • Building a Best-Answer Content Strategy
  • Utilizing Knowledgeable Industry Experts for Influencer Marketing
  • Tracking & Adjusting to Search Industry Changes

Let’s take a look at each of these three key areas that combine to form the type of strong search strategy that top B2B marketing leaders rely on, and then we’ll look at 14 search innovators working at major brands.

Building a Best-Answer Content Strategy

Part of building a successful best-answer content strategy is learning the questions that your audience is asking:

  • What is your audience looking for?
  • How is your audience searching for answers?
  • Where are they looking?

Getting to the heart of the questions that are most important to your audience is a powerful way to provide what we like to call best-answer solutions.

Learning what your audience is searching for, where they’re looking, and how they are going about their searches is an entire branch of search marketing, and a number of dedicated tools exist to help in this area, as I cover in “10 Smart Question Research Tools for B2B Marketers,” including offerings such as SEMrush’s helpful empathy map.

SEMrush empathy map image.

[bctt tweet=”“How can you be the best answer for your audience if you don’t understand what questions they’re asking or what problems they’re trying to solve?” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis” username=”toprank”]

To help you create or expand you own best-answer content strategy, we’ve gathered together four resource articles our team has written about the various aspects of building great content that instills trust:

Utilizing Knowledgeable Industry Experts for Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing may not initially spring to mind when looking for areas important to search efforts, yet it can have tremendous impact on both paid and organic efforts. Brands that haven’t yet utilized B2B influencer marketing have the most to gain.

B2B influencer marketing is at the core of the services we’re known for at TopRank Marketing, providing successful programs and campaigns to major firms from LinkedIn and Adobe to Dell and 3M. Such successes led Forrester to list us as the only B2B marketing agency offering influencer marketing as a top capability in its “B2B Marketing Agencies, North America, Q1 2019” report.”

Successful B2B influencer marketing uses knowledgeable industry experts to increase trust, create best-answer content, and offer customer experiences that are tailor-made for increasing search findability.

You can dig in and explore some of our top recent influencer marketing articles, including the factors that go into making a great B2B influencer, here:

[bctt tweet=”“Influencer marketing may not initially spring to mind when looking for areas important to search efforts, yet it can have tremendous impact on both paid and organic efforts.” @lanerellis” username=”toprank”]

Tracking & Adjusting to Search Industry Changes

The search industry has been one of rapid changes since the days of Alta Vista, and keeping up-to-date with the ever-shifting machinations and technical intricacies can be a full-time job for top B2B SEO leaders.

I remember in the late 1990s when my old friend Brett Tabke — who used to call my 300-baud computer bulletin board system back in the 1980s — first started holding informal gatherings of webmasters and search industry professionals, a move that led to forming Pubcon, now one of the longest-running search-related conferences.

In-person networking events are hard to beat for not only search but whatever your particular area of marketing, as they offer the ability to form lasting relationships, build new client connections, and learn the latest from presenting keynote speakers, as we explore in “Content Marketing Gold Rush: How to Unearth Content Gold at Marketing Industry Events.”

There have never been more conferences, including those tailored for B2B marketers, and recently I compiled a list of 50, in “The BIGLIST of 50 Top B2B Marketing Conferences in 2020.”

Search industry online news publications are also abundant as sources for staying abreast of the rapidly-changing world of SEO, including SEO Roundtable with industry veteran Barry Schwartz, and many others.

[bctt tweet=”Tip for creating #ContentGold around industry events: Reach out to organizers, sponsors, or speakers that represent topics and brands of interest to your community to do pre-conference interviews. @LeeOdden” username=”toprank”]

Search Influencers From Major Brands to Follow & Learn From

Learning from some of the savviest search marketers is a great way to expand your own SEO repertoire, and we’ve compiled a list of 14 to get you started, listed in random order.

Jesse McDonald @jesseseogeek
Global SEO Strategist, IBM

Carolyn Shelby @cshel
SEO Manager, ESPN/The Walt Disney Company

Melanie Mitchell @MelanieMitchell
Head of SEO, Chewy

Derrick Wheeler @DerrickWheeler
Senior SEO Marketing Manager, SAP Concur

Keith Goode @keithgoode
Senior SEO Strategist, IBM

Aaron Chronister @TheMadHat
Senior Director of SEO, CBS Interactive

Brian LaFrance @blafrance
Director of SEO, CBS Interactive

Milosz Pekala @mnbuzz
SEO Manager,  Mayo Clinic

Adam Audette @audette
Senior Vice President and Head of Global SEO, Merkle

Ash Buckles @ashbuckles
Global SEO Manager, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG)

Jim Huang @_jimhuang
Organic Search SEO Manager, AARP

Dan Perry @danperry
SEO Director, Turner Broadcasting

Dennis Goedegebuure @TheNextCorner
Head of Global Consumer Growth Marketing, PayPal

Gary Illyes @methode
Webmaster Trends Analyst, Google

This is just the tip of the iceberg however, and you can find many more top industry marketers in the following additional lists we’ve assembled:

Educate Your Team To Deliver Knockout B2B Search Performance

via GIPHY

We hope that our look at how search benefits from building a best-answer content strategy, using industry experts for influencer marketing, and keeping up-to-date with SEO industry news has given you plenty of ideas for taking your own search marketing to new heights.

You can learn even more about being the best answer for your customers and the importance of SEO and influence in a presentation TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden will be delivering in April:

April 22-23, 2020 – Content Marketing Conference — Boston, MA.
Be Best Answer for Your Customers with SEO and Influence

The post 14 Search Influencers at Top B2B Brands appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.