1. Articles from toprank

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    1. Is a Video Content Strategy Right for You?

      Is a Video Content Strategy Right for You?

      Whether it's live video, Instagram stories, a vlog, or virtual reality, the options and opportunities for video marketing are expanding. This expansion in choices has made many marketers feel they need a video content strategy. 

      If you're one who feels your organization needs a content marketing strategy, don't get ahead of yourself. TopRank Marketing's Caitlin Burgess believes video marketing can be successful with or without a documented strategy to back it.

      For me, this comes down to storytelling. You need a compelling narrative that’s hyper-focused on why your organization does what it does.

      One thing to bear in mind when determining whether to implement a video marketing strategy is the amount of involvement and buy-in you need from other departments. Customer Success has to help you secure video case studies, subject-matter experts need to be comfortable in front of the camera, and upper management should support your video initiative. 

      To help prove your case, consider these stats:

      If you're not ready for a comprehensive video marketing strategy, it's okay to start small. Try creating a couple of low-budget videos. Use the results to get more support from your peers. 

      For more on video content marketing, check out Burgess's complete article below.

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    2. SEO Can Be Easier Than It Looks

      SEO Can Be Easier Than It Looks

      Search engine optimization is important for creating a successful blog post. Without ranking on Google, you're unlikely to generate a steady stream of traffic to your content. According to Imforza, 93 percent of online experiences start with a search engine, and 75 percent of searchers never scroll past the first page. 

      Unfortunately, many writers see SEO as confusing, or a hindrance to their writing. Caitlin Burgess at the TopRank Marketing Blog explains why this doesn't need to be the case:

      You don’t need to (sic) fanciest tools or a dedicated background in SEO to craft great SEO-driven content. Below are a handful of helpful research tactics you can use to make the most of your time and create a content plan that’s flush with solid topics.

      These tactics include:

      • Search incognito for your target keywords. Google personalizes search results based on geography and search history. This will give you a clearer idea of what you're actually ranking for.
      • Use the Google Adwords Keyword planner tool. This provides volume estimates, competitiveness, and relevancy to help you decide where to focus.
      • Study your evergreen content. Look at high-performing content you've already created to help determine which keywords are working, as well as ideal style and length. 

      For more on making your writing SEO friendly, check out Burgess's complete article below.

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    3. You Have a Marketing Qualified Lead: What Do You Do Next?

      You Have a Marketing Qualified Lead: What Do You Do Next?

      You've worked to increase traffic to your website. Your target audience has interacted with and enjoyed your content. Now you have marketing qualified leads. Once leads are in this stage, it's crucial that you engage them to help them through the sales funnel.

      Caitlin Burgess at TopRank Marketing blog weighs in on why lead nurturing is so important:

      Simply put, MQLs are warm prospects who are not ready to make a purchasing decision yet—and lead nurturing can help you turn up the heat. And most of you are probably doing some form of lead nurturing already. According to DemandGen Report’s 2016 Lead Nurturing Benchmark Study, 89 percent of marketers use lead nurturing programs as part of their demand generation strategy.

      Here's how to maximize your lead nurturing activities:

      • All Marketing Qualified Leads Are Not Created Equal: Understand where your MQLs are in the sales funnel and if they're part of your target audience. Develop a plan for each type of lead.
      • Start Small: Don't get caught up in giving each lead and persona a custom experience. Start by testing small lead nurture campaigns and fine tune from there.

      For more on improving your lead nurturing activities, read Burgess's complete article below.

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    4. Building Long Term Influence on Influencers

      Building Long Term Influence on Influencers

      Influencer marketing is a staple practice for marketing teams of all shapes and sizes. Marketing teams that achieve the best results from these programs have an ongoing process to keep their influencers involved. Ask yourself, “How can I regularly leverage the benefits of borrowed influencer stardom?” Consider these best practices when launching or fortifying an influencer marketing program.

      Look Beyond the Most Prolific Social Media Mavens

      Writing for a niche audience is an effective strategy for growing a loyal audience. To that end, influencers with large social followings typically appeal to a more general audience. Working with them may yield quality, short-term traffic results, but may not help significantly increase your targeted following.

      Mo’ Money, Same Problems

      As with most paid efforts, when the cash flow stops, so do the returns. A pay-to-play influencer strategy can be circumvented in a few ways. Ultimately, the key is to avoid ad-hoc “Can you help me?” interactions with influencers. (More on this in the next tip.)

      Think of an Influencer as a High-Value Sales Prospect

      Working with influencers should never be a “flash in the pan experience.” To build a more fluid relationship, consider this advice from Emily Hinderaker of Top Rank Marketing:

      “Keep the communication channel open and use an ongoing approach to your influencer marketing program. Share the co-created content and send pre-written messages to your influencer so they can share it with their networks on various platforms including social media. Thank your influencer for their contribution and continue to nurture the relationship, even after the campaign is over.”

      To learn more best practices for an ongoing influencer marketing strategy, check out Hinderaker’s original piece below.

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    5. How to Create A Written Strategy to Succeed in Social

      How to Create A Written Strategy to Succeed in Social

      Social media is, undoubtedly, and important part of most marketer's digital strategy. According to Social Media Examiner, 91 percent of marketers believe social media is important to their strategies

      There are, however, some road blocks. Most marketers (59 percent) don't know how to measure social media ROI. Social media is changing rapidly and consequently, creating a succinct, written strategy is difficult.

      Caitlin Burgess, contributor to TopRank Marketing Blog, believes creating this written strategy is the first place to start in creating a successful social media marketing program.

      As any successful marketer will tell you, the road to success begins by physically documenting your strategy. As for what needs to be included, below you’ll find some essential elements to consider.

      The first few steps in creating a successful social media marketing strategy are very similar to creating a successful content marketing strategy. Look at your brand's value proposition, define your goals and analyze your audience. Having a clear vision and understanding of who your marketing to is the key to successful social media marketing.

      From there, you can develop a clear strategy including your posting frequency, channel mix, content variety and more.

      For more details on how to figure out your posting frequency, channel mix and other details behind your social media strategy, check out Caitlin Burgess's complete article in the link below. 

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    6. Digital Advertising: Good or Bad For Your Content?

      Digital Advertising: Good or Bad For Your Content?

      Content marketing works. Unfortunately, as more content is created, it's more difficult to cut through the noise.

      Caitlin Burgess, contributor to the TopRank Marketing Blog gives her opinion on cutting through the crowded content landscape:

      With so many marketers in the content marketing game—many of them creating and publishing new content daily—competition is stiff. In addition, evolving algorithms for social media news feeds and search engine results make it even more difficult to get the right eyeballs on your content.

      So, what’s the solution? How can you get that great content you’re creating in front of your target audience?

      One solution is leveraging digital advertising to support your content marketing efforts. Here are some quick tips on using digital advertising can impact your content:

      • Get your content in front of more people: Pick one or two target audiences to focus on
      • Target a specific audience: Use tools to analyze what your competitors are doing
      • Drive content strategy with new insights: Have proper tracking set up so you can accurately collect data
      • Enhance brand awareness: Test different messaging styles and tones
      • Keep your brand top of mind: Spread and target over multiple channels

      Read Caitlin Burgess's full article on the TopRank Blog in the link below.


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    7. Is Your Content Marketing Designed for the New Customer Journey?

      Is Your Content Marketing Designed for the New Customer Journey?

      Content marketing is an effective way to give consumers the information they need to make a purchasing decision. However, as the volume of online content increases, the complexity and  breadth of options for content is increasing. Paths to purchase are becoming less linear, less defined and harder for marketers to track. With this understanding, marketers must create content with the new customer journey in mind. 

      Caitlin Burgess, contributor to the TopRank Marketing blog suggests constantly reassessing to find ways to improve your journey. Here’s what she has to say:

      You’ve done your audience research. You’ve created and executed an amazing, integrated content marketing strategy and content plan. Now is not the time to set things on autopilot. Now is the time to take a look at results and determine areas of opportunity for improving your content and therefore your customer’s journey.

       Dig into your website and social analytics on a regular basis to see what’s working and what isn’t, and then adjust your content plan and marketing tactics to bolster the good, cut out the bad and perhaps try a little something new.

      Here are some tactics you can take to make sure you’re content marketing will work for the new customer journey:

      • Know where your audience looks for information and how they learn
      • Integrate a variety of content types and channels to  optimize your impact
      • Create content that your audience cares about by being relevant and timely
      • Create a seamless use experience between content at different stages

      Click the link below to read Caitlin Burgess's full article on the TopRank Marketing blog.

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    8. Engage Influencers on Social with Content Curation

      Engage Influencers on Social with Content Curation

      TopRank's Caitlin Burgess shares best practices for identifying, managing, engaging, and activating your social media community. Of the seven tips, one is particularly meaningful:

      Do some research and create a list of 10-20 people to start with. Connect with them on all of their social channels and subscribe to their blog feeds. From there, spend a few minutes each day interacting with them through sharing your own thoughts on their posts or sharing their posts with your audience. The caveat here is to make sure your interaction makes sense. Don’t force it. Look for an opportunity to add some value.

      This hack includes a few core steps in the process of content curation excellence. 

      Once you have a list of core people you want to get involved with, start engaging with them as Burgess suggests. But don't be afraid to go above and beyond with curation. Take some of their original ideas and go further: agree with them, disagree with themor maybe just elaborate on their ideas.

      By curating your influencers' content, it can take less time to achieve your goals; such as developing a working relationship with them and borrowing their audience. You can also promote this curated content to other channels to reap even further benefits from content curation.

      Read Caitlin's original article below for more ways to boost your social media community management.

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    9. Is Pinterest Still Alive & How Are Brands Using It?

      Is Pinterest Still Alive & How Are Brands Using It?

      Is Pinterest still alive?

      With the rise of Instagram, Snapchat, Blab, and other visual social media networks and apps this is a question many marketers and brands may be asking.

      The answer? Pinterest is most certainly alive. And, actually, it’s growing—even it’s not getting as much press as it was getting a couple years ago.

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    10. 7 Content Marketing Lessons Brands Can Learn from Journalists

      7 Content Marketing Lessons Brands Can Learn from Journalists

      Before making my debut in the content marketing world, I was a journalist living out her days at coffee shops, city council meetings, ribbon cuttings and community gatherings. The daily grind was grueling at times, but it was also exciting. The prospect of breaking news always kept me on my toes and every day I worked to give my readers the latest and greatest news and information. And of course, I aimed to deliver that news and information before the competition.

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    11. What Twitter’s Change in Character Count Could Mean for Social Media Marketers

      What Twitter’s Change in Character Count Could Mean for Social Media Marketers

      Last week, Bloomberg gave digital marketers everywhere a reason to celebrate. Citing a source close to the matter, Bloomberg reported that Twitter will soon stop including photos and links as part of their 140-character limit—giving users the ability to craft longer messages. While Twitter Inc. declined to comment, Bloomberg’s source reportedly said the change would be taking place in as soon as two weeks.

      Cue the music!

      Launch the confetti!

      Let the chanting of “Hooray!” begin!

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    12. 6 Ways to Use Video to Add More Value to Your Digital Marketing Strategy

      6 Ways to Use Video to Add More Value to Your Digital Marketing Strategy

      Humans are highly visual beings, so it’s certainly no surprise that online video content is becoming a favorite source of information and entertainment across the digital landscape—and it shows no signs of slowing down.

      According to a HighQ infographic, experts believe that 69% of consumer Internet traffic will be from video by 2017—and that number will rise to 79% by 2018.

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    13. Sales & Marketing Rules & Realities are Changing

      Sales & Marketing Rules & Realities are Changing

      David Meerman Scott was the opening keynote at the recent Content2Conversion event in Scottsdale, AZ. Knut Sands of TopRank Marketing did a nice job of reviewing his 4 new rules and realities of sales and marketing: 

      Understand That the Way People are Buying Has Changed

      Educate and Inform

      Embrace Real-time Engagement

      Give It Away

      The one that stands out most for me is "Give It Away".  This is good advice for content marketers looking to grow leads and revenue with their content. However, I wouldn't give it away entirely.  

      Create a large piece of content such as an eBook or white paper. This is your gated asset. Then reuse and repurpose this content across many different formats and channels, providing it for free to your audience. Include calls to action within each free piece of content that lead to the gated eBook. For example, Curata created a gated asset entitled The Ultimate Guide to Content Curation. This eBook was then repurposed into a "free" long-form blog post with a call to action leading to the original gated asset.

      The process used by Curata is based upon The Content Marketing Pyramid.  Learn how to create a content strategy and replicate this process in this 70+ page guide: The Content Marketing Pyramid. (or get the content "free" here)

      And certainly check out the full post about David Meerman Scott's presentation at the TopRank Blog through the link below.

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    1-13 of 13
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    Sales & Marketing Rules & Realities are Changing 6 Ways to Use Video to Add More Value to Your Digital Marketing Strategy What Twitter’s Change in Character Count Could Mean for Social Media Marketers 7 Content Marketing Lessons Brands Can Learn from Journalists Is Pinterest Still Alive & How Are Brands Using It? Engage Influencers on Social with Content Curation Is Your Content Marketing Designed for the New Customer Journey? Digital Advertising: Good or Bad For Your Content? How to Create A Written Strategy to Succeed in Social Building Long Term Influence on Influencers Why Are Smart Brands Investing in Content Curation? Here's the Secret to Employee Advocacy