Digital Marketing News: Facebook’s User Ratings & Groups Pixel, Google’s Ad Strength Tool, & Surprising Gen Z Survey Findings

2018 August 31 News Google Image

Facebook moves to rate users on trustworthiness: report
Facebook has started assigning users a reputation score. Will the new user trustworthiness rating system, which has been refined over the past year, see eventual digital marketing uses? Reuters

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Machine learning reveals crazy advertising ideas that actually work
Artificial intelligence aims to not only create but monitor in real-time which ads are creating the most impact, including some rather unorthodox ideas. VentureBeat

Facebook tests ‘things in common’ label to try to connect non-friends
Facebook has been testing new methods to help bring non-friends who share common interests together, with highlights to appear among user comments. CNET

YouTube ads are about to get a little less skippable
YouTube Partners has announced a potentially risky change that will allow costlier unskippable ads on all the video giant’s channels, expanding on earlier limited-audience tests. Mashable

Google Updates Structured Data Requirements
Google has updated its structured data requirements for advertisers creating responsive search ads, including publication and modification dates and a variety of testing tool changes and additions. MediaPost

Survey shows digital-native Gen Z prefers in-person interaction with brands
Gen Z’s complex relationship with technology and marketing is examined in a new brand interaction survey of college students. Marketing Dive

2018 August 31 Statistics Image

Podcasting continues its meteoric rise, creating more opportunities for marketers
Podcasting has seen widespread growth, with revenues that topped $314 million in 2017, an 86 percent increase from 2016, making the industry ripe for advertiser opportunities. A look at some of the challenges the medium presents. MarTech Today

People Spent 85 Billion Hours In WhatsApp In The Past 3 Months (Versus 31 Billion In Facebook)
WhatsApp users racked up some 85 billion usage hours over the last three months, more than double the time Facebook users spent. Combined with the Facebook-owned messaging and VoIP mobile app’s billion-plus users, the trajectory of WhatsApp appears to be strong. Forbes

Facebook adds pixel to Groups so marketers can track engaged audiences
Facebook has begun offering a tracking pixel features, allowing digital marketers new Group Insights user-behavior tracking options. DigiDay

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

2018 August 31 Marketoonist Tom Fishburne Cartoon

A lighthearted look at how to rebrand by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist

Gamer Checks Facebook During Cutscene That Took 3,000 Man-Hours to Animate — The Hard Times

TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:

  • TopRank Marketing — No Celebrities Required: How to Create Great Influencer Content — Content Marketing Institute (client)
  • Anne Leuman — Don’t Overlook These Important Pieces of Expert Small Business Advice — Small Business Trends
  • Anne Leuman — What’s Trending: How to Make Your Content Sticky — LinkedIn (client)
  • Lee Odden — How to Create the Best Content Marketing World Experience — Nimble
  • Lee Odden — #CMWorld – It’s time to start packing! — Content Marketing World (client)
  • Lee Odden — 5 Tips for Better Content Marketing in 2019 — Practical Ecommerce
  • Lee Odden — Conference Blog Post Content: 20 Types You Can Steal — Heidi Cohen
  • Lee Odden — Influencers and Media Partners: How to Amplify the Reach of Content [Webinar] — SEMrush
  • Lee Odden — Main Stage Spotlight Speakers at Pubcon Pro Las Vegas — Pubcon
  • Lee Odden — Content Marketing World Authors Will Make You Smarter — Heidi Cohen
  • TopRank Marketing — 2018 Content Planning Report — DivvyHQ (client)

What are some of your top content marketing news items for this week?

Thanks for reading, and we hope you’ll join us next week for the most relevant new digital marketing industry news, and 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.

Building Better Customer Experiences – Whiteboard Friday

Are you mindful of your customer’s experience after they become a lead? It’s easy to fall in the same old rut of newsletters, invoices, and sales emails, but for a truly exceptional customer experience that improves their retention and love for your brand, you need to go above and beyond. In this week’s episode of Whiteboard Friday, the ever-insightful Dana DiTomaso shares three big things you can start doing today that will immensely better your customer experience and make earning those leads worthwhile.

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab!

Video Transcription

Hi, Moz fans. My name is Dana DiTomaso. I’m the President and partner of Kick Point, and today I’m going to talk to you about building better customer experiences. I know that in marketing a lot of our jobs revolve around getting leads and more leads and why can’t we have all of the leads.

The typical customer experience:

But in reality, the other half of our job should be making sure that those leads are taken care of when they become customers. This is especially important if you don’t have, say, a customer care department. If you do have a customer care department, really you should be interlocking with what they do, because typically what happens, when you’re working with a customer, is that after the sale, they usually get surveys.

– Surveys

“How did we do? Please rate us on a scale of 1 to 10,” which is an enormous scale and kind of useless. You’re a 4, or you’re an 8, or you’re a 6. Like what actually differentiates that, and how are people choosing that?

– Invoices

Then invoices, like obviously important because you have to bill people, particularly if you have a big, expensive product or you’re a SaaS business. But those invoices are sometimes kind of impersonal, weird, and maybe not great.

– Newsletters

Maybe you have a newsletter. That’s awesome. But is the newsletter focused on sales? One of the things that we see a lot is, for example, if somebody clicks a link in the newsletter to get to your website, maybe you’ve written a blog post, and then they see a great big popup to sign up for our product. Well, you’re already a customer, so you shouldn’t be seeing that popup anymore.

What we’ve seen on other sites, like Help Scout actually does a great job of this, is that they have a parameter of newsletter at the end of any URLs they put in their newsletter, and then the popups are suppressed because you’re already in the newsletter so you shouldn’t see a popup encouraging you to sign up or join the newsletter, which is kind of a crappy experience.

– Sales emails

Then the last thing are sales emails. This is my personal favorite, and this can really be avoided if you go into account-based marketing automation instead of personal-based marketing automation.

We had a situation where I was a customer of the hosting company. It was in my name that we’ve signed up for all of our clients, and then one of our developers created a new account because she needed to access something. Then immediately the sales emails started, not realizing we’re at the same domain. We’re already a customer. They probably shouldn’t have been doing the hard sale on her. We’ve had this happen again and again.

So just really make sure that you’re not sending your customers or people who work at the same company as your customers sales emails. That’s a really cruddy customer experience. It makes it look like you don’t know what’s going on. It really can destroy trust.

Tips for an improved customer experience

So instead, here are some extra things that you can do. I mean fix some of these things if maybe they’re not working well. But here are some other things you can do to really make sure your customers know that you love them and you would like them to keep paying you money forever.

1. Follow them on social media

So the first thing is following them on social. So what I really like to do is use a tool such as FullContact. You can take everyone’s email addresses, run them through FullContact, and it will come back to you and say, “Here are the social accounts that this person has.” Then you go on Twitter and you follow all of these people for example. Or if you don’t want to follow them, you can make a list, a hidden list with all of their social accounts in there.

Then you can see what they share. A tool like Nuzzel, N-U-Z-Z for Americans, zed zed for Canadians, N-U-Z-Z-E-L is a great tool where you can say, “Tell me all the things that the people I follow on social or the things that this particular list of people on social what they share and what they’re engaged in.” Then you can see what your customers are really interested in, which can give you a good sense of what kinds things should we be talking about.

A company that does this really well is InVision, which is the app that allows you to share prototypes with clients, particularly design prototypes. So they have a blog, and a lot of that blog content is incredibly useful. They’re clearly paying attention to their customers and the kinds of things they’re sharing based on how they build their blog content. So then find out if you can help and really think about how I can help these customers through the things that they share, through the questions that they’re asking.

Then make sure to watch unbranded mentions too. It’s not particularly hard to monitor a specific list of people and see if they tweet things like, “I really hate my (insert what you are)right now,” for example. Then you can head that off at the pass maybe because you know that this was this customer. “Oh, they just had a bad experience. Let’s see what we can do to fix it,”without being like, “Hey, we were watching your every move on Twitter.Here’s something we can do to fix it.”

Maybe not quite that creepy, but the idea is trying to follow these people and watch for those unbranded mentions so you can head off a potential angry customer or a customer who is about to leave off at the pass. Way cheaper to keep an existing customer than get a new one.

2. Post-sale monitoring

So the next thing is post-sale monitoring. So what I would like you to do is create a fake customer. If you have lots of sales personas, create a fake customer that is each of those personas, and then that customer should get all the emails, invoices, everything else that a regular customer that fits that persona group should get.

Then take a look at those accounts. Are you awesome, or are you super annoying? Do you hear nothing for a year, except for invoices, and then, “Hey, do you want to renew?” How is that conversation going between you and that customer? So really try to pay attention to that. It depends on your organization if you want to tell people that this is what’s happening, but you really want to make sure that that customer isn’t receiving preferential treatment.

So you want to make sure that it’s kind of not obvious to people that this is the fake customer so they’re like, “Oh, well, we’re going to be extra nice to the fake customer.” They should be getting exactly the same stuff that any of your other customers get. This is extremely useful for you.

3. Better content

Then the third thing is better content. I think, in general, any organization should reward content differently than we do currently.

Right now, we have a huge focus on new content, new content, new content all the time, when in reality, some of your best-performing posts might be old content and maybe you should go back and update them. So what we like to tell people about is the Microsoft model of rewarding. They’ve used this to reward their employees, and part of it isn’t just new stuff. It’s old stuff too. So the way that it works is 33% is what they personally have produced.

So this would be new content, for example. Then 33% is what they’ve shared. So think about for example on Slack if somebody shares something really useful, that’s great. They would be rewarded for that. But think about, for example, what you can share with your customers and how that can be rewarding, even if you didn’t write it, or you can create a roundup, or you can put it in your newsletter.

Like what can you do to bring value to those customers? Then the last 33% is what they shared that others produced. So is there a way that you can amplify other voices in your organization and make sure that that content is getting out there? Certainly in marketing, and especially if you’re in a large organization, maybe you’re really siloed, maybe you’re an SEO and you don’t even talk to the paid people, there’s cool stuff happening across the entire organization.

A lot of what you can bring is taking that stuff that others have produced, maybe you need to turn it into something that is easy to share on social media, or you need to turn it into a blog post or a video, like Whiteboard Friday, whatever is going to work for you, and think about how you can amplify that and get it out to your customers, because it isn’t just marketing messages that customers should be seeing.

They should be seeing all kinds of messages across your organization, because when a customer gives you money, it isn’t just because your marketing message was great. It’s because they believe in the thing that you are giving them. So by reinforcing that belief through the types of content that you create, that you share, that you find that other people share, that you shared out to your customers, a lot of sharing, you can certainly improve that relationship with your customers and really turn just your average, run-of-the-mill customer into an actual raving fan, because not only will they stay longer, it’s so much cheaper to keep an existing customer than get a new one, but they’ll refer people to you, which is also a lot easier than buying a lot of ads or spending a ton of money and effort on SEO.

Thanks!

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

New Research: 2018 Content Planning Report from DivvyHQ & TopRank Marketing

2018 Content Planning Report

Whenever failure strikes in content marketing and the post mortem is reviewed, there is almost always the same missing component: adequate planning.

The expression “a failure to plan is a plan to fail” is as true for content marketing as it is for navigating any aspect of business life. Why do so many marketers fail at content planning? Do they not have the skills or information? Maybe they don’t have the right tools or a fleshed out, documented strategy.

I’m pretty sure just about every marketer from early stage to advanced could do with some content planning optimization.

Lucky for you, we’ve partnered with our client, content planning software platform, DivvyHQ to find out where content planning stands today. We’ve also collaborated with top content marketing leaders including Michael Brenner, Carla Johnson, Robert Rose and Tamsen Webster for their strategic guidance.

Besides the fact that my team at TopRank Marketing helped conduct the research, analyze the data and compile it into a handsome-looking report, what I like most is that the information is broken down into actionable advice that ranges from top challenges to operations to the data that drives strategic content marketing success.

Here are a few highlights:

Top Content Planning Challenges

Content Planning Challenges

As Carla Johnson shared with us: “Great planning has more than one perspective. And that means you have to include people outside your normal circle. Instead of planning content for sales teams and then turning it over, have someone from sales in the meeting to share their perspective from the get-go.”

Include people outside your normal circle. Instead of planning content for sales teams and then turning it over, have someone from sales in the meeting to share their perspective from the get-go. – @CarlaJohnson Click To Tweet

Top Content Planning Successes

Content Planning Successes

We simply have to stop measuring content and start measuring its impact on the audience. – @Robert_Rose Click To Tweet

There’s a lot to be said for the maturity of outputs versus outcomes when it comes to measuring success, as Robert indicates. While 78% of the survey respondents measure content planning effectiveness though consumption and 73% do so with content engagement, 27% of marketers have taken those insights to heart and changed their content planning significantly as a result.

Top Content Marketing Tactics

For the respondents of this report, blog content takes the top spot (83%) followed closely by social media content (81%) and emails (80%). These are the bread and butter content types for most content marketers. There’s also appetite for visual content with video (74%) and infographics (63%) scoring well in their own right.

Content Planning Maturity Opportunities

Many marketing maturity models use levels of sophistication as a way to measure where the user base falls to determine the levels of maturity. In this report, 80% of survey respondents stated they use a content calendar in some way, which represents an early stage. 42% use calendars to track publish dates which is slightly ahead and 22% manage all milestones related to campaigns, production and publish dates which would represent more advanced use.

With marketers in this survey not showing signs of advancing maturity over 2017, there are many content planning maturity opportunities in the form of awareness, education, adoption and process/skills optimization. This is a challenge that TopRank Marketing consulting and DivvyHQ software eagerly accept!

Content Planning Report 2018

Take action towards advancing your own level of content planning and marketing maturity by downloading the 2018 Content Planning Report  here.

The Original List: 50 Content Marketing Influencers and Experts to Follow into 2019

Content Marketing Influencers 2018

Content Marketing World 2018 will be here before you know it. The largest content marketing conference in the world brings together an incredible cornucopia of talent, curiosity, knowledge and aspirations for success. Marketers from all over the world come to Cleveland, Ohio for this event of epic proportions.

Readers of our blog know we have a long history with the conference starting at the beginning with 8 years of speaking and attending plus 6 years of partnering with Content Marketing Institute to develop speaker/influencer content marketing campaigns, aka “conference ebooks”, to help promote the event.

Another tradition that has recently been imitated but hardly duplicated, is something we started several years ago: sort through the 200 or more speakers and publish a ranked list of content marketing experts according to their social influence.

List Methodology: For this list we use the Traackr influencer marketing platform to filter the content marketing experts who are speaking at the current year’s Content Marketing World conference using a number of criteria including the relevance of the individuals to the topic, the degree to which their networks engage, and the size of their networks. Online data is pulled from blogs, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, SlideShare, Flickr and several other platforms.

Of course the topic in question is: “content marketing”. Everyone included on this list is a) a speaker at CMWorld 2018, b) ranked in the top 50 for “content marketing” according to relevance, resonance, reach and audience metrics.

CMWorld 2018 Influencer network

People always thank me for including them in these lists and there’s no thanks to be given other than to the people who worked hard sharing useful content about content marketing to their social channels, in blogs, in videos and online in general.

Thanks goes to ALL of the people who are actively sharing knowledge about content marketing by engaging and helping others with opinions, insights and expertise on the social web. This list is just the beginning of understanding all of the top experts and influencers around the topic of content marketing.

In this year’s list there are many familiar faces and some that are new. I hope you find new and inspiring content marketing experts to follow through the rest of this year and into 2019.

50 Content Marketing Influencers Speaking at CMWorld 2018

Erika Heald
BIG congratulations to Erika Heald for the top spot and to the other 3 women in the top spots: Pam Didner, Carla Johnson and Kelly Hungerford.

Ann Handley
Congrats AGAIN to Ann Handley for being the Most Engaging Content Marketing Influencer out of this year’s group of speakers, based on Traackr’s analysis.

Erika Heald @SFerika
Marketing Consultant, Erika Heald Consulting
Presenting: Your Lack of Social Media Guidelines is Killing Your Employee Brand Advocacy

Pam Didner @PamDidner
B2B Marketing Consultant & Speaker, Relentless Pursuit
Presenting: 5 Creative Ways Marketers Can Enable Their Sales Teams
Presenting: Create A Scalable Global Content Marketing Strategy in 7 Steps

Carla Johnson @CarlaJohnson
Chief Innovator, Type A Communications
Presenting: The Innovation Factory

Kelly Hungerford @KDHungerford
Digital Strategy & Marketing Operations Consultant, Sunstar Europe SA
Presenting: Transforming Teams: How to Transition Traditional Marketers into Content Marketers

Michael Brenner @BrennerMichael
CEO, Marketing Insider Group
Presenting: How to Create a Documented Content Marketing Strategy, Start Showing Your Content Marketing ROI Today

Lee Odden @leeodden
CEO, TopRank Marketing
Presenting: Rocket Science Simplified: How to Optimize, Socialize and Publicize B2B Content
Presenting: The Confluence Equation: How Content and Influencers Drive B2B Marketing Success

Ian Cleary @IanCleary
Founder, OutreachPlus & RazorSocial
Presenting: A Content Promotion Framework with Actionable Tips to Optimize Results from your Content Marketing
Presenting: Content Optimization and Distribution Strategies

Michael Gass @michaelgass
Owner, Fuel Lines Business Development, LLC
Presenting: Agency Workshop: A New Approach to New Business,

Heidi Cohen @heidicohen
Chief Content Officer, Actionable Marketing Guide
Presenting: The Secret 3 Steps For Content Amplification And Distribution Success

Christopher Penn @cspenn
Co-Founder and Chief Innovator, BrainTrust Insights
Presenting: How To Use AI To Boost Your Content Marketing Impact
Presenting: How to Use Artificial Intelligence to Build and Optimize Content

Bernie Borges @bernieborges
Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer, Vengreso
Presenting: 3 LinkedIn Content Marketing Strategies that will Drive Visibility, Credibility and Traffic

Andrew Pickering @AndrewAndPete
Co-Founder, Andrew and Pete
Presenting: The Competitive Edge: How to Create a Unique Content Spin in a World of Copycats

Melanie Deziel @mdeziel
Founder, StoryFuel
Presenting: Think Like A Journalist: The 5 Keys To Compelling Content

John Jantsch @ducttape
President, Duct Tape Marketing
Presenting: How to Grow a Highly Profitable Agency Without Adding Overhead

Robert Rose @Robert_Rose
Chief Troublemaker, The Content Advisory
Presenting: Welcome to Content Marketing World 2018

Andrew Davis @DrewDavisHere
Keynote Speaker & Best-selling Author, Monumental Shift
Presenting: Video Marketing Makeover – Transforming boring case studies and testimonials into stories that inspire action
Presenting: Curiosity Factor: The psychological phenomenon creative content marketers employ to earn and own attention in a noisy world

Viveka Von Rosen @LinkedInExpert
Co-founder & Chief Visibility Officer, Vengreso
Presenting: 3 LinkedIn Content Marketing Strategies that will Drive Visibility, Credibility and Traffic

Douglas Burdett @MarketingBook
Host, The Marketing Book Podcast
Presenting: Industrial Manufacturing Lab: Applying Content Marketing Best Practices to the Challenging Audience of Engineers

Andy Crestodina @crestodina
Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer, Orbit Media Studios
Presenting: Complete Search Optimization: SEO Master Class, Content Strategy and SEO for B2B Lead Generation

Matt Heinz @HeinzMarketing
President, Heinz Marketing Inc
Presenting: Sales Content That Sells: A Proven Approach To Sales Enablement Success

Ann Handley @MarketingProfs
Chief Content Officer, MarketingProfs
Presenting: An Important Keynote by Ann Handley, The Long Tales: How Longform Content Beats Snaps, Tweets & Chatbots All Day Every Day

Jay Baer @jaybaer
Founder, Convince & Convert
Presenting: Talk Triggers: How Killer Content Creates Conversation and Clones Customers

Jesper Laursen @jesperlaursen
Founder and CEO, Native Advertising Institute
Presenting: 5 killer cases: how to grow your audience with native advertising

Cathy McPhillips @cmcphillips
Vice President of Marketing, Content Marketing Institute
Presenting: Getting the Most From CMWorld 2018

Joe Lazauskas @JoeLazauskas
Head of Content Strategy, Executive Editor, Contently
Presenting: Stories for the Win: The Hidden Neuroscience of Content Marketing
Presenting: Why Great Stories Make Our Brains Want to Buy

John Hall @johnhall
Keynote Speaker, www.johnhallspeaking.com
Presenting: Influencer Marketing and PR Workshop
Presenting: Relationship Building That’s Vital to Make Your Content Marketing Thrive

Berrak Sarikaya @BerrakBiz
Sr. Social Media Manager, Yesler
Presenting: Lean Content Marketing for Startups

Stephan Spencer @sspencer
Founder, Science of SEO
Presenting: The Most Common SEO Mistakes in Demand Generation Campaigns

Michele Linn @michelelinn
Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Mantis Research
Presenting: The Unsung Hero of Content Marketing: Original Research

Drew McLellan @DrewMcLellan
Top Dog, Agency Management Institute
Presenting: The Agency Edge 2018: When, What — and Why — Clients Outsource to Agencies

Mitch Joel @mitchjoel
Founder, Six Pixels Group
Presenting: The Long Tales: How Longform Content Beats Snaps, Tweets & Chatbots All Day Every Day

Cassio Politi @tractoBR
Consultor de content marketing, Comunique-se Group
Presenting: How to Hold an Online Event that Generates Real Results

Andrea Fryrear @AndreaFryrear
President and Lead Trainer, AgileSherpas
Presenting: Going with the Flow: Adapting Scrum Practices for Marketing

Garrett Moon @garrett_moon
CEO & Co-Founder, CoSchedule
Presenting: Got Leads? How To Find Your Content Core And Actually Drive Revenue From Content

Paul Roetzer @paulroetzer
CEO, PR 20/20
Presenting: How to Get Started with Artificial Intelligence in Content Marketing

Jay Acunzo @jayacunzo
Founder, Unthinkable Media
Presenting: Break the Wheel: Stories and Ideas for Being Better than Best Practices

Juntae DeLane @JuntaeDeLane
Sr. Digital Brand Manager, University of Southern California
Presenting: Digital Brand Building: Optimizing Content for Engagements, Search, and Reviews

Kathy Klotz-Guest @kathyklotzguest
Ms. Chief Officer, Keeping it Human
Presenting: Yes And! Turn Your Culture (OR CONTENT TEAM) into a Fresh-Idea Startup

Peg Sieren Miller @PegMiller
Senior Director, Growth Marketing, Xactly Corp
Presenting: You Did a Content Inventory, Now What? How to Find the Hidden Gems Within Your Content Audit

Albert Jan Huisman @AJHuisman
Founder, Y Content
Presenting: How to Turn Highly Billable Professionals into Extremely Productive Content Marketing Rock Stars that get Bottom-Line Results
Presenting: The Content Marketing Diamond Model for Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs

Maureen Jann @SuperDeluxeMo
Managing Director, SuperDeluxe Marketing
Presenting: Bringing Home the Bacon: Cultivating Thought Leaders to Break Down Trust Barriers with Prospects
Presenting: The Content Marketing Diamond Model for Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs

Stephanie Stahl @EditorStahl
General Manager, Content Marketing Institute, UBM
Presenting: Welcome to Content Marketing World 2018

Ahava Leibtag @ahaval
President, Aha Media Group
Presenting: The Top 7 Writing Secrets of Hit-Making Songwriters”, CMWorld Cleveland Clinic Health Summit

Shafqat Islam @shafqatislam
Cofounder & CEO, NewsCred
Presenting: The other side of performance – operational efficiency: How to build, measure, and optimize high-performing teams that deliver high-performing content

Doug Kessler @dougkessler
Creative Director & Co-Founder, Velocity Partners
Presenting: The elephant in a nutshell: We need to talk about metaphors in marketing.

Zontee Hou @ZonteeHou
President and Founder, Media Volery LLC
Presenting: Let’s Chat: How Messaging Apps, Chatbots, and Voice Assistants Will Impact Your Business in the Next 3-5 Years

Tim Washer @timwasher
Keynote Speaker, Event Emcee, PowerPoint Comedian, Ridiculous Media
Presenting: CMWorld Chatter

Tamsen Webster @tamadear
Founder and Chief Message Strategist, Find The Red Thread
Presenting: How to Make Your Ideas Irresistible

Leslie Carruthers @TheSearchGuru
President and Founder, The Search Guru
Presenting: A-Z Conversion tracking issues for B2B and how to solve them, Retail & eCommerce Lab

Amanda Todorovich @amandatodo
Senior Director, Content & Creative Services, Cleveland Clinic
Presenting: Building a “Media Company” inside a Marketing Department
Presenting: CMWorld Cleveland Clinic Health Summit

Now it’s your turn. As with any lists, there are many people that I would love to see included that were not. I’m sure you’re thinking the same thing (Joe Pulizzi for example). If the person that influences YOU most isn’t on this list, please share their name and Twitter handle in the comments.

In the spirit of content marketing and in sharing our own expertise, I’ve assembled a list of our top 10 posts about content marketing from the past 12 months:


The Ultimate Guide to Conquering Content Marketing that we developed in partnership with CMI and CMWorld is a great example of influencer driven content. This approach has been successful enough for Content Marketing Institute that they’ve run the program over 6 years.

If you would like to learn more about how to create successful influencer content collaborations, you’re in luck! Both Ashley Zeckman and I will be presenting at Content Marketing World on the topic. Here are more details:

September 5th – 1:45pm – 2:30pm
Solo Presentation with Lee Odden
The Confluence Equation: How Content and Influencers Drive B2B Marketing Success

September 6th – 12:05pm – 12:50pm
Solo Presentation with Ashley Zeckman
Influencer Marketing is only for B2C Brands (& Other Lies Your Parents Told You)

Along with our TopRank Marketing teammates Jane, Nick and Annie, we hope to see you at the Content Marketing World conference. Check out what we’re looking forward to most at CMWorld and be sure to follow us on Twitter at @toprank for real time updates during the conference and this blog for liveblogging coverage of select presentations.

The Long-Term Link Acquisition Value of Content Marketing

Recently, new internal analysis of our work here at Fractl has yielded a fascinating finding:

I’ll caveat that by saying this applies only to content that can generate mainstream press attention. At Fractl, this is our primary focus as a content marketing agency. Our team, our process, and our research are all structured around figuring out ways to maximize the newsworthiness and promotional success of the content we create on behalf of our clients.

Though data-driven content marketing paired with digital PR is on the rise, there is still a general lack of understanding around the long-term value of any individual content execution. In this exploration, we sought to answer the question: What link value does a successful campaign drive over the long term? What we found was surprising and strongly reiterated our conviction that this style of data-driven content and digital PR yields some of the highest possible ROI for link building and SEO.

To better understand this full value, we wanted to look at the long-term accumulation of the two types of links on which we report:

  1. Direct links from publishers to our client’s content on their domain
  2. Secondary links that link to the story the publisher wrote about our client’s content

While direct links are most important, secondary links often provide significant additional pass-through authority and can often be reclaimed through additional outreach and converted into direct do-follow links (something we have a team dedicated to doing at Fractl).

Below is a visualization of the way our content promotion process works:

So how exactly do direct links and secondary links accumulate over time?

To understand this, we did a full audit of four successful campaigns from 2015 and 2016 through today. Having a few years of aggregation gave us an initial benchmark for how links accumulate over time for general interest content that is relatively evergreen.

We profiled four campaigns:

The first view we looked at was direct links, or links pointing directly to the client blog posts hosting the content we’ve created on their behalf.

There is a good deal of variability between campaigns, but we see a few interesting general trends that show up in all of the examples in the rest of this article:

  1. Both direct and secondary links will accumulate in a few predictable ways:
    1. A large initial spike with a smooth decline
    2. A buildup to a large spike with a smooth decline
    3. Multiple spikes of varying size
  2. Roughly 50% of the total volume of links that will be built will accumulate in the first 30 days. The other 50% will accumulate over the following two years and beyond.
  3. A small subset of direct links will generate their own large spikes of secondary links.

We’ll now take a look at some specific results. Let’s start by looking at direct links (pickups that link directly back to our client’s site or landing page).

The typical result: A large initial spike with consistent accumulation over time

This campaign, featuring artistic imaginings of what bodies in video games might look like with normal BMI/body sizes, shows the most typical pattern we witnessed, with a very large initial spike and a relatively smooth decline in link acquisition over the first month.

After the first month, long-term new direct link acquisition continued for more than two years (and is still going today!).

The less common result: Slow draw up to a major spike

In this example, you can see that sometimes it takes a few days or even weeks to see the initial pickup spike and subsequent primary syndication. In the case of this campaign, we saw a slow buildup to the pinnacle at about a week from the first pickup (exclusive), with a gradual decline over the following two weeks.

Zooming out to a month-over-month view, we can see resurgences in pickups happening at unpredictable intervals every few months or so. These spikes continued up until today with relative consistency. This happened as some of the stories written during the initial spike began to rank well in Google. These initial stories were then used as fodder or inspiration for stories written months later by other publications. For evergreen topics such as body image (as was the case in this campaign), you will also see writers and editors cycle in and out of writing about these topics as they trend in the public zeitgeist, leading to these unpredictable yet very welcomed resurgences in new links.

Least common result: Multiple spikes in the first few weeks

The third pattern we observed was seen on a campaign we executed examining hate speech on Twitter. In this case, we saw multiple spikes during this early period, corresponding to syndications on other mainstream publications that then sparked their own downstream syndications and individual virality.

Zooming out, we saw a similar result as the other examples, with multiple smaller spikes more within the first year and less frequently in the following two years. Each of these bumps is associated with the story resurfacing organically on new publications (usually a writer stumbling on coverage of the content during the initial phase of popularity).

Long-term resurgences

Finally, in our fourth example that looked at germs on water bottles, we saw a fascinating phenomenon happen beyond the first month where there was a very significant secondary spike.

This spike represents syndication across (all or most) of the iHeartRadio network. As this example demonstrates, it isn’t wholly unusual to see large-scale networks pick up content even a year or later that rival or even exceed the initial month’s result.

Aggregate trends

When we looked at direct links back to all four campaigns together, we saw the common progression of link acquisition over time. The chart below shows the distribution of new links acquired over two years. We saw a pretty classic long tail distribution here, where 50% of the total links acquired happened in the first month, and the other 50% were acquired in the following two to three years.

Links generated directly to the blog posts/landing pages of the content we’ve created on our clients’ behalf are only really a part of the story. When a campaign garners mainstream press attention, the press stories can often go mildly viral, generating large numbers of syndications and links to these stories themselves. We track these secondary links and reach out to the writers of these stories to try and get link attributions to the primary source (our clients’ blog posts or landing pages where the story/study/content lives).

These types of links also follow a similar pattern over time to direct links. Below are the publishing dates of these secondary links as they were found over time. Their over-time distribution follows the same pattern, with 50% of results being realized within the first month and the following 50% of the value coming over the next two to three years.

The value in the long tail

By looking at multi-year direct and secondary links built to successful content marketing campaigns, it becomes apparent that the total number of links acquired during the first month is really only about half the story.

For campaigns that garner initial mainstream pickups, there is often a multi-year long tail of links that are built organically without any additional or future promotions work beyond the first month. While this long-term value is not something we report on or charge our clients for explicitly, it is extremely important to understand as a part of a larger calculus when trying to decide if doing content marketing with the goal of press acquisition is right for your needs.

Cost-per-link (a typical way to measure ROI of such campaigns) will halve if links built are measured over these longer periods — moving a project you perhaps considered a marginal success at one month to a major success at one year.

A Quarter-Million Reasons to Use Moz’s Link Intersect Tool

Let me tell you a story.

It begins with me in a hotel room halfway across the country, trying to figure out how I’m going to land a contract from a fantastic new lead, worth annually $250,000. We weren’t in over our heads by any measure, but the potential client was definitely looking at what most would call “enterprise” solutions and we weren’t exactly “enterprise.”

Could we meet their needs? Hell yes we could — better than our enterprise competitors — but there’s a saying that “no one ever got fired for hiring IBM”; in other words, it’s always safe to go with the big guys. We weren’t an IBM, so I knew that by reputation alone we were in trouble. The RFP was dense, but like most SEO gigs, there wasn’t much in the way of opportunity to really differentiate ourselves from our competitors. It would be another “anything they can do, we can do better” meeting where we grasp for reasons why we were better. In an industry where so many of our best clients require NDAs that prevent us from producing really good case studies, how could I prove we were up to the task?

In less than 12 hours we would be meeting with the potential client and I needed to prove to them that we could do something that our competitors couldn’t. In the world of SEO, link building is street cred. Nothing gets the attention of a client faster than a great link. I knew what I needed to do. I needed to land a killer backlink, completely white-hat, with no new content strategy, no budget, and no time. I needed to walk in the door with more than just a proposal — I needed to walk in the door with proof.

I’ve been around the block a few times when it comes to link building, so I wasn’t at a loss when it came to ideas or strategies we could pitch, but what strategy might actually land a link in the next few hours? I started running prospecting software left and right — all the tools of the trade I had at my disposal — but imagine my surprise when the perfect opportunity popped up right in little old Moz’s Open Site Explorer Link Intersect tool. To be honest, I hadn’t used the tool in ages. We had built our own prospecting software on APIs, but the perfect link just popped up after adding in a few of their competitors on the off chance that there might be an opportunity or two.

There it was:

  1. 3,800 root linking domains to the page itself
  2. The page was soliciting submissions
  3. Took pull requests for submissions on GitHub!

I immediately submitted a request and began the refresh game, hoping the repo was being actively monitored. By the next morning, we had ourselves a link! Not just any link, but despite the client having over 50,000 root linking domains, this was now the 15th best link to their site. You can imagine me anxiously awaiting the part of the meeting where we discussed the various reasons why our services were superior to that of our competitors, and then proceeded to demonstrate that superiority with an amazing white-hat backlink acquired just hours before.

The quarter-million-dollar contract was ours.

Link Intersect: An undervalued link building technique

Backlink intersect is one of the oldest link building techniques in our industry. The methodology is simple. Take a list of your competitors and identify the backlinks pointing to their sites. Compare those lists to find pages that overlap. Pages which link to two or more of your competitors are potentially resource pages that would be interested in linking to your site as well. You then examine these sites and do outreach to determine which ones are worth contacting to try and get a backlink.

Let’s walk through a simple example using Moz’s Link Intersect tool.

Getting started

We start on the Link Intersect page of Moz’s new Link Explorer. While we had Link Intersect in the old Open Site Explorer, you’re going to to want to use our new Link Intersect, which is built from our giant index of 30 trillion links and is far more powerful.

For our example here, I’ve chosen a random gardening company in Durham, North Carolina called Garden Environments. The website has a Domain Authority of 17 with 38 root linking domains.

We can go ahead and copy-paste the domain into “Discover Link Opportunities for this URL” at the top of the Link Intersect page. If you notice, we have the choice of “Root Domain, Subdomain, or Exact Page”:

Choose between domain, subdomain or page

I almost always choose “root domain” because I tend to be promoting a site as a whole and am not interested in acquiring links to pages on the site from other sites that already link somewhere else on the site. That is to say, by choosing “root domain,” any site that links to any page on your site will be excluded from the prospecting list. Of course, this might not be right for your situation. If you have a hosted blog on a subdomain or a hosted page on a site, you will want to choose subdomain or exact page to make sure you rule out the right backlinks.

You also have the ability to choose whether we report back to you root linking domains or Backlinks. This is really important and I’ll explain why.

choose between page or domain

Depending on your link building campaign, you’ll want to vary your choice here. Let’s say you’re looking for resource pages that you can list your website on. If that’s the case, you will want to choose “pages.” The Link Intersect tool will then prioritize pages that have links to multiple competitors on them, which are likely to be resource pages you can target for your campaign. Now, let’s say you would rather find publishers that talk about your competitors and are less concerned about them linking from the same page. You want to find sites that have linked to multiple competitors, not pages. In that case, you would choose “domains.” The system will then return the domains that have links to multiple competitors and give you example pages, but you wont be limited only to pages with multiple competitors on them.

In this example, I’m looking for resource pages, so I chose “pages” rather than domains.

Choosing your competitor sites

A common mistake made at this point is to choose exact competitors. Link builders will often copy and paste a list of their biggest competitors and cross their fingers for decent results. What you really want are the best link pages and domains in your industry — not necessarily your competitors.

In this example I chose the gardening page on a local university, a few North Carolina gardening and wildflower associations, and a popular page that lists nurseries. Notice that you can choose subdomain, domain, or exact page as well for each of these competitor URLs. I recommend choosing the broadest category (domain being broadest, exact page being narrowest) that is relevant to your industry. If the whole site is relevant, go ahead and choose “domain.”

Analyzing your results

The results returned will prioritize pages that link to multiple competitors and have a high Domain Authority. Unlike some of our competitors’ tools, if you put in a competitor that doesn’t have many backlinks, it won’t cause the whole report to fail. We list all the intersections of links, starting with the most and narrowing down to the fewest. Even though the nurseries website doesn’t provide any intersections, we still get back great results!

analyze link results

Now we have some really great opportunities, but at this point you have two choices. If you really prefer, you can just export the opportunities to CSV like any other tool on the market, but I prefer to go ahead and move everything over into a Link Tracking List.

add to link list

By moving everything into a link list, we’re going to be able to track link acquisition over time (once we begin reaching out to these sites for backlinks) and we can also sort by other metrics, leave notes, and easily remove opportunities that don’t look fruitful.

What did we find?

Remember, we started off with a site that has barely any links, but we turned up dozens of easy opportunities for link acquisition. We turned up a simple resources page on forest resources, a potential backlink which could easily be earned via a piece of content on forest stewardship.

example opportunity

We turned up a great resource page on how to maintain healthy soil and yards on a town government website. A simple guide covering the same topics here could easily earn a link from this resource page on an important website.

example opportunity 2

These were just two examples of easy link targets. From community gardening pages, websites dedicated to local creek, pond, and stream restoration, and general enthusiast sites, the Link Intersect tool turned up simple backlink gold. What is most interesting to me, though, was that these resource pages never included the words “resources” or “links” in the URLs. Common prospecting techniques would have just missed these opportunities altogether.

While it wasn’t the focus of this particular campaign, I did choose the alternate of “show domains” rather than “pages” that link to the competitors. We found similarly useful results using this methodology.

example list of domains opportunity

For example, we found CarolinaCountry.com had linked to multiple of the competitor sites and, as it turns out, would be a perfect publication to pitch for a story as part of of a PR campaign for promoting the gardening site.

Takeaways

The new Link Intersect tool in Moz’s Link Explorer combines the power of our new incredible link index with the complete features of a link prospecting tool. Competitor link intersect remains one of the most straightforward methods for finding link opportunities and landing great backlinks, and Moz’s new tool coupled with Link Lists makes it easier than ever. Go ahead and give it a run yourself — you might just find the exact link you need right when you need it.

Find link opportunities now!

Words of Wisdom: Lee Odden’s Top 9 Insights on How to Succeed at Influencer Marketing 2.0

Lee Odden Influencer Marketing 2.0 Insights

Today’s content marketing space is a tumultuous one. Content shock, ever-changing search engine algorithms, social media’s midlife crisis, growing consumer distrust in brand messaging—marketers are constantly challenged to adapt and scale their strategies to simply bolster visibility, nevermind reach objectives and prove ROI.

Emerging from the noisy marketing mix is a promising strategic marketing star that can capture the attention of hard to reach buyers, improve audience engagement, bring insightful perspectives to the forefront, and build brand trust and credibility.

Of course, I’m talking about influencer marketing.

Spokespeople, brand advocates, experts—brands have been tapping “influential” people as marketing and advertising partners for a century. And, just as it’s always been, in the modern era of influencer marketing, some love it, some hate it, and plenty of people question whether it “actually works.”

At TopRank Marketing, we see credibility, value, and opportunity in influencer marketing; people crave credible content.

And we also see authenticity, relevancy, and thoughtfulness as defining characteristics of the modern approach to influencer marketing—we call it Influencer Marketing 2.0.

Lee OddenOur own resident marketing influencer and CEO, Lee Odden, has been evangelizing influencer marketing inside and outside company walls since 2012, before the practice in the content marketing realm went boom.

Lee’s been named the No.1 “Influencer Marketing Influencer” by Onalytica, and his expertise on the subject has been featured on top industry publications including CMO.com, Forbes, and Social Media Examiner. Lee was also instrumental in the Influence 2.0 research report in partnership with Traackr and Brian Solis of Altimeter Group.

So, what is the “Influencer Marketing 2.0” approach? Let these words of Lee Odden wisdom—words that have defined how we’ve architected our influencer marketing manifesto—lend some guidance, focus, and inspiration to your influencer marketing efforts.

How to Approach Influencer Marketing 2.0

Co-Create for Greatness

Content is the foundation of marketing. Period. But marketers repeatedly cite that consistent creation of strategic, quality, engaging content is a top marketing challenge.

But as Lee often says:

If you want your content to be great, ask influencers to participate. – @leeodden Click To Tweet

When you co-create content with influencers, you not only provide influential experts with a medium to share valuable insights, but can also provide your audience with a mix of perspectives—upping your storytelling capabilities and credibility. In addition, some influencers already have a desire and knack for creating content, so an opportunity to collaborate will be welcomed and beneficial to your business.

For any kind of content a business creates and publishes to the world, there is an opportunity for collaboration with credible voices that have active networks interested in what those voices have to say. – @leeodden Click To Tweet

However, it’s also important to note that co-created content isn’t inherently valuable or set up to drive gangbusters marketing success. Value and relevance is certainly in the eye of the beholder—your audience. As a result, you need to stay true to your audience and your influencers, which requires an integrated approach that includes SEO and other proven content marketing tactics.

As Lee has said:

With an understanding of keyword demand, B2B marketers can tap into the opportunity to be the best answer … (adding influencers) to that optimized content will give it the credibility and engagement needed to inspire action. – @leeodden Click To Tweet

Influencer Marketing 2.0 In Action

Content planning software company DivvyHQ* took their marketing the “back to the future”, launching a long-running campaign that included a sequence of connected content marketing campaigns featuring relevant influencers.

The SaaS company secured contributions from top content marketers for campaigns that resulted in significant increases in credibility and engagement. Additionally, the campaigns exceeded performance goals and added to DivvyHQ’s bottom line. The end result was this interactive eBook asset.

DivvyHQ Back to the Future eBook

Define Influence for Your Brand & Audience

Influencer marketing is often pegged as a tactic rooted in compensating celebrities or brandividuals with large social followings to push your product or service. But influence isn’t defined by popularity or number of followers:

Influence is the ability to affect action. – @leeodden Click To Tweet

There may be no bigger mistake than focusing on “shiny object” individuals; fame by association is more than hard to come by. There is absolutely a place for brandividuals in your influencer mix, but it’s important to remember that:

Everyone is influential about something. – @leeodden Click To Tweet

Your brand, industry, product or service, and audience is undeniably unique—and influence varies. Furthermore, it may be easier than ever to give the perception of influence. After all, Twitter’s recent purge of suspicious accounts sent some individuals’ follower count into a landslide.

However, the potential is there to validate and build relationships with relevant, experienced individuals—inside or outside your organization; broad expertise and niche knowledge; large or intimate yet engaged followings—who have the ability and willingness to affect action.

Nurture Relationships Early & Often

At its core, influencer marketing is all about brands engaging and developing relationships with individuals—individuals who have relevant topical expertise, reach, and resonance that aligns with the goals of the brand.

But strong, lasting relationships aren’t built overnight. Some influencers are frequently tapped to participate in various projects. In addition, other more niche experts or rising stars may not be as experienced in content collaboration. So, as Lee says, you need to develop rapport with influencers early:

Grow your influencer network long before you need them. The day to create an army of influential advocates isn’t the first day of the war. Find common interests and develop rapport. – @leeodden Click To Tweet

And your work shouldn’t stop after the first collaboration. You need to keep connections hot and mutually beneficial. In addition, for those more niche experts or rising stars, you can help them create more influence for themselves and your brand.

Work with an influencer, you’re friends for a day. Help someone become influential and they’re a friend for life. – @leeodden Click To Tweet

Influencer Marketing 2.0 In Action

Prophix*—a leading provider of corporate performance management (CPM) software solutions—combined original research with influencer content to create crush-worthy content marketing force.

With an interactive quiz, with influencer micro-content featured throughout, serving as the anchor asset, additional tactics such as long-form influencer interviews, email marketing, and more, rounded out this campaign.

The results? In the first 45 days, the anchor asset landing page garnered a view rate six-times higher than the benchmark for a similar resource. It was also the fourth most trafficked page—behind the Home, About Us, and Privacy pages.

Prophix Crush It Interactive Quiz

Entice Participation By Showcasing Value

Whether you’ve cultivated warm relationships or you’re hoping to go beyond social engagement with the first collaboration ask, your success in securing their partnership is grounded in showcasing the mutual value proposition.

Some thought leaders want to bolster or grow their influence, while others simply want to create something their proud of (or their bosses can take pride in). Regardless, be transparent, make sure your ask is relevant, and lead with the value.

Invite influencers to make something together that drives the influencer’s objectives, while at the same time, fuels brand objectives. – @leeodden

Specifically, when it comes to colder relationships, don’t ask too much too soon.

Be thoughtful about how you ask and how you reward when working with influencers. – @leeodden Click To Tweet

Make Amplification Natural & Easy

There are obvious business benefits to working with influencers. Not only do they lend authority and credibility to your content and brand, but they also hold the power to introduce you and your content to their audiences.

Once your co-created content is ready to be released into the wild, at a minimum, provide influencers with the messaging and visuals they need to easily promote on their channels. In addition, make sure the final product lives up to its full potential. Regardless of their intentions for participating, if they’re going to share content with their followings, they need to be proud of it.

If they care, they’ll share. – @leeodden Click To Tweet

Influencer Marketing 2.0 In Action

There are few better examples of this principle in action than SAP’s* interactive microsite designed to help launch their Leonardo platform. Thirty-two influencers were engaged to share their insights on digital innovation topics from blockchain to machine learning.

The content experience was so compelling for the influencers that the share rate was 100%. In fact, several influencers shared multiple times. The content experience was engaging for the audience, too—the microsite had over 21 million social impressions.

SAP Leonardo Interactive Microsite

Put Wisdom Into Action

Whether you love, hate, or question the potential of influencer marketing, it’s undoubtedly on the rise. It’s enjoyed a couple years of big hype, but now is the time to decide if it should be a trusted part of your integrated marketing strategy.

Use these guiding principles and snackable quotes from a pioneer of the craft to help you define what influence means to your brand, and opportunities for collaboration and co-creation.

Speaking of quotes, as the “Prince of Preachers,” Charles Spurgeon said: “Wisdom is the right use of knowledge.”

So, go forth and put your newfound influencer marketing wisdom into action.

Remember how we said that influencers add credibility to your content? Learn how three brands co-created more credible content to drive awareness, engagement, and action.

If you still want more influencer marketing insight, join Lee along with TopRank Marketing Digital Strategy Director, Ashley Zeckman, at their CMWorld sessions to learn how influencer marketing can grow your business. Get the details here.

*Disclaimer: DivvyHQ, Prophix, and SAP are TopRank Marketing clients.

50 Content Promotion Tactics to Help Your Great Content Get Amazing Exposure

Content Promotion Tactics

You’ve just launched a gorgeous campaign with all the design bells and whistles. The copywriting is art and the experience intoxicating—so say your design and content team.

The day of launch has everyone excited. The marketing team smells a win at Cannes Lions and the sales team anticipates Glengarry-level leads. But wait, what’s that? Nothing? Nothing!

It looks like you’ve got a bad case of Invisible Content Syndrome.

Just about every marketer experiences the dichotomy of creation / promotion with an increasing focus on making the best content possible. But then what? Many time-strapped marketers are resolved to hit publish, schedule some social shares on brand profiles and maybe throw a few bucks towards social ads. But is that enough?

Back in 2012 Americans were consuming an average of 63 GB of media on a daily basis. I can only imagine how much it is today. Enough to make last minute social shares and ads a crapshoot in terms of making sure your content is seen by the audience you intend and when it’s actually going to be useful for them.

Invisible Content Syndrome isn’t a new idea, of course. Sonia Simone from Copyblogger wrote about it back in 2010 (which I just discovered this week) offering solid tips on how to beat it. When it comes to solving for invisible content, creating channels of distribution for content marketing is something I’ve been focused on a very long time—here’s a post on the topic from 2007.

Fast forward to 2018 and today’s world of information overload and the multitude of device options for consuming information makes standing out even more challenging. Content promotion can’t be effective if it’s an afterthought. Your best practice would be to make promotion part of content planning.  To provide you with a helpful resource, I’ve compiled a list of content promotion ideas for you to consider during your content planning so you can be the best answer for your customers, when and where it matters most.

50 Content Promotion Tactics to Cure Invisible Content Syndrome

1. Collaborate with influencers. I have to put this one first because it’s become an incredibly effective way of delivering mutual benefit for everyone involved. Brands get exposure to influencer audiences as they promote the result of their collaboration, influencers get exposure by association with the brand and consumers get really useful content from people they trust. There are a multitude of variations on working with influencers for content promotion and you’ll see some of them further on in the list.

2. Create modular content for repurposing. Another highly effective approach is to identify topical segments of your main content and cluster them together for variations on the theme in repurposed content. If your content is about topics X, Y and Z then you can take all the ideas about X and either: publish in a different format like turning a blog post into an ebook as I’ve done down below, or add some new insights about topic X to those from your original content and publish it as a deeper dive on the subject.  Repurposing has many different options and I’ll bring a few more up further in the list.

3. Ping journalists about research content before you publish. This is a great idea I learned from Steve Rayson of BuzzSumo. If you’re doing a research project, identify publications that match editorially and reach out to a relevant journalist in advance to see what questions they would like answered in the research. When the report publishes, share with the Journalists and they’ll inevitably help promote the thing they contributed to. You can sign up for services like HARO and wait for opportunities to find you or seek them out with a service like Muck Rack.

4. Republish / syndicate on a different channel. Publish the original content on your brand site or blog, then the author can republish that same content on LinkedIn Pulse with a citation and link to the original at the end. An alternative would be to republish on Medium following the same citation advice. A different channel will likely have a different audience and when the content you’re working with happens to be mutually relevant to multiple channels where you publish, why not share?

5. Repurpose the original in a different media format. A substantive video could be turned into multiple blog posts with still images used as graphics in the posts. The audio from the video might be useful in a podcast format and further screen grabs from the video could be used for social shares.

6. Deconstruct the original content and personalize for a different audience. In many types of content there are universal truths —things that are true for each audience segment or vertical market a brand is after. Strip away what’s personalized in your content for a specific audience leaving these truths. Then add in content specific to a different vertical or audience and publish appropriately. The additional content that results becomes more content promotion opportunity.

If you want your content to be great, invite your community to participate. @leeodden

7. Survey your social networks with one simple question. Then compile answers into a blog post, citing the contributors. Announce the published content to your network and those that contributed will appreciate the attribution and help promote it.

8. Reassemble modular interviews into new content. Identify a group of 10 industry experts / influencers and interview them. It’s often best to start with just one question as mentioned above, then follow up to ask more. Make 3-4 of the questions very specific and designed to evoke tactical answers. Be sure to use SEO keywords in the questions. Publish each of the 10 interviews a week or month apart. After that, take all the answers to one of the tactical questions and assemble into a new post about that very specific topic. Add a your own insights or capture tips from a few new influencers to spice it up and don’t be afraid to publish as an infographic, motion graphic or eBook. Do the same for the other tactical questions and answers as well. New formats give you new publish and promotion opportunities.

9. Write guest posts for industry blogs. Take the main theme of your content and customize a story for relevant industry blogs. Tools like BlogDash can be helpful for finding the right blogs. The contributed blog posts need to be written in a way that linking to your original content makes sense as a reference. This is most meaningful when your original content is not a blog post itself, like a video, report, ebook, infographic, microsite, interactive experience, motion graphic, etc.

10. Pitch industry publications with exclusive stories. With bigger content assets and especially those involving research or truly newsworthy information, it pays to identify industry publications and pitch story ideas. With enough advance notice, you can see the upcoming themes for a publication in their editorial calendar. If a staff journalist is unresponsive, research contributing authors with story ideas. Your story is the content—but you might also be able to link back to useful resources that support the facts of the story. The more unique, robust and engaging, the more likely a relevant resource on your brand site will be linked to by the publication.

11. Pitch for podcast interviews. Podcasting is growing fast and while I’ve never used a pitching service myself, they do exist. You can also search iTunes and other sources of podasts for relevant shows or use a service like RadioGuestList. Then reach out to the owner with your idea for an interview. As above, the more unique, robust and engaging a relevant resource on your brand site is, the more likely it will be linked to by the podcast.

12. Share with communities. Tap into smaller community websites or forums to share your content. However, don’t just arrive, drop a link and leave, expecting the community to respond. You’ll need to invest time in finding the right communities and then build credibility before sharing links to your content.

13. Make content sharing easy. Nothing scales social sharing like making sharing easy. Use click to tweet links in PDFs, reports and blog posts to make it easy for people to share with a single click (or two). Also format your content with quotes to make it shareable.

14. Add your last article to your email signature and out-of-office messages. I learned this one from Jason Miller at LinkedIn.  Below your contact info in an email signature, include the title and link to your latest blog post or content project. Do the same with one, two or three in your out of office message.

15. Make a video on LinkedIn announcing your content. Ann Handley did this recently when she announced the keynote speakers for B2B Forum and it had tens of thousands of views.

16. Use Facebook Live to announce you’ve published new content. This is a smart tip from David Zheng. When you start Facebook Live, a notification is sent to all your followers and fans. Then you can show a featured image and talk about the key points of the post. You can also ask viewers to head to your site to finish reading it or to implement the tactics you talked about. A related suggestion is to create an Instagram or Snapchat story to announce your new content and why it’s useful.

17. Send an email to your email list. Of course you might already be using an RSS to email service with your blog, so this is not that. But if you have a general email newsletter sent on a regular basis, a dedicated email announcing something new and relevant can be very effective for visibility of the content you want to promote.

18. Monitor social networks for questions and answer them with your content. When a question pops up that could be answered with content you’ve created, you have a legitimate reason to share a link. You can set up notifications with services that scan social channels like Twitter or specific forums.

19. Track competitors for inspiration and opportunities. Services like RivalIQ help identify breakout social posts and content from competitors so you can see what they’re doing that’s working. Social media monitoring tools that track competitors can help you see opportunities to promote your content as an answer when a competitor is involved in the discussion. This can be tricky, so be careful and be relevant.

20. Twitter Chats. You can either create a Twitter Chat yourself or start participating in relevant industry Twitter chats. The question and answer format is ideal for sharing relevant and helpful links to your content. Just don’t overdo it. Also, curation of Twitter chats are a great source of content you can publish on your blog with links to the promotable content you want to share.

If you want to be in the media, become the media. @leeodden

21. Start a podcast. If you’re not having luck getting picked up by other podcasts, maybe you should start one. I’ve been saying for many years, “If you want to be in the media, become the media.” A podcast can become just that: a platform where you can showcase useful insights and content, including your own.

22. Start a blog. Many of the tips already posted here assume you have a blog, but if you don’t, then start one! There are several blog platforms to choose from including WordPress, Tumblr or Medium. On your blog, you can curate other content as news when you’re not publishing yourself. The blog and your useful content can become a hub for your content marketing efforts to create and promote useful information that inspires your audience to do business with you.

23. Tap your community. Active engagement amongst a community means permission to share what’s important to you – including your most recent amazing content. It matters less where the community is—social networks, forums, private groups or a Slack channel and more that you are creating value for the community be sharing relevant and useful content. If they like it, they’ll share it.

24. Activate employees. An email or platform notification sent to your employees about a recently published content masterpiece is a great way to provide them with source material for their own social sharing. Your staff also represent a potentially effective distribution channel for your content as well.

25. Link to new content from content already published. When new content is being created, part of the process should be to research what has already been published on the topic. Redundancy is no good for people or search rankings after all. But complementary content does make sense to link up. Link to your new content (as a related topic) from on-topic content that is still getting traffic from search, social and links to provide a little positive lift.

People will work for a living, but they’ll die for recognition. @leeodden

26. Mention new book authors, analysts, influencers and journalists. People in the game of exposure appreciate being mentioned in relevant ways on other websites. The monitoring/alerts those mentions will create can result in clicks to inspect the source content. Because your content is amazing and you have cited the individuals in the most relevant way, there’s a good chance they will share or even link from their own blogs.

27. Upgrade the competition.Find the most popular online content on your topics of interest and create something even better.  Go deep and invest in the design of the information. Link to the content you want to promote from this robust deep dive on the topic.

28. Paid social promotion. Organic is great, but sometimes paid is better. The audience targeting options with major social networks can help you direct qualified traffic to your content. For that, use Facebook or Instagram Ads, Promoted Tweets, Sponsored LinkedIn Content, Sponsored InMail or Text Ads to promote your content to exactly the audience you want to reach.

29. Retargeting. Use a service like AdRoll to tag your content so when people visit and leave, you can display retargeting ads to them for your content as they visit other websites.

30. Promote with native advertising. Another way to pay your way to exposure is  to use a service like Outbrain Amplify to get your content recommended on premium sites, including CNN, People and ESPN.

31. Paid search. The vast majority of all research online starts with a search engine. Find the right keywords for your content and PPC ads could provide the right amount of lift in visibility.

32. Create or buy a niche site. Returns require an investment and sometimes the long game means investing in a niche microsite or even purchasing an existing niche site that is focused on the topic you’re after. Along with the past content is a community of subscribers that you can tap into for exposure to your content.

33. Update and optimize old content. When we do content audits, one of the things we look for is to identify content that has potential – the right  mix of maintained search popularity and and opportunity to be updated. When you find those candidates for updating, optimize them for search and social shares.

34. Creative interactive experiences. Create a quiz, poll, calculator or similar input/output experience using a platform like SnapApp or Ceros that can create interest and then send visitors to your content to dig in deeper to the topic. We worked with Ceros to create an interactive infographic for a research report and both the referrals and the conversion rate to download the report have been amazing.

35. Tap into event streams. Find relevant conferences and their hashtags to follow. Create, or better yet, repurpose content specifically for the audience attending the event. During the event, share your useful and on-topic content with the the community following the hashtag. Don’t overdo it and your shares must be on-topic and relevant.

36. Optimize for organic search. Of course, this is the slow burn of content amplification tactics, but if you are smart and diligent about making your content both Google and people friendly plus you are publishing regularly, you can increase the frequency Googlebot visits and crawls of your site. That means new content you publish can show up in search results within hours.

37. Partner marketing. Identify other companies that are non-competitive but share similar audience objectives. Incorporate your content with theirs in a joint venture whether it’s a webinar, research study or and online / offline event. Each of you will gain exposure to a new audience in a credible way.

If you want better marketing, be the best answer wherever your customers are looking. @leeodden

38. Create an answer engine. Mine your site search for questions visitors search on and develop content that answers those questions. You can use other sources of customer questions like feedback forms and tools like AnswerThePublic.com, BuzzSumo and StoryBase. Q/A format content that follows a specific topic can be do well in organic search. Link to your new content from those pages where relevant. You can also seek out questions on sites like Quora and answer them citing and linking to your more in depth content on the topic.

39. Affiliate program. Give niche and microinfluencers an incentive to share your content by offering an affiliate program that rewards them for the completion of each goal action, whether it’s a download, subscription, inquiry or transaction.

40. Sponsor blog posts. Find blogs that accept sponsored content or a sponsorship message (properly disclosed of course) and include nofollow links to the content you want to promote.

41. Remarketing for influencer audiences. Target those who visit your website from a tracking link shared by an influencer. Few convert on the first visit, so retargeting those visitors with your relevant content can be an effective way to promote and inspire them to take the next step.

42. Reshare the content that has performed the best. Use social share metrics from BuzzSumo or other data like pageviews, leads or sales attributed to your best content to decide what to re-share days or weeks after it was published. In fact, I’ll often query what the top content of the quarter or month has been and schedule a reshare with modified text.

43. Sponsor an influencer’s channel. Some influencers are publishers and make available their channels for sponsorship. Usually the influencer creates the content and there’s a disclaimer that a brand has sponsored an individual piece of content. But with the right influencer, it could be a full day or even a week.

44. Purchase an ad in an email newsletter. Ads are everywhere and one of the most effective is email. Research ad opportunities within industry email newsletters and buy a placement that directs visitors to your useful content. Ads can be spendy, so it might be worth focusing on niche newsletters.

45. Syndicate to Industry Associations. Acronymed organizations are always looking for useful content to share with their members. Find the right associations for your brand and reach out to see if they would be interested in sharing your relevant content via their email newsletter or posting to the organization blog.

46. Get visual with video. If a picture is worth a thousand words then a video must be worth millions. Spice up your content with a video sidebar or summary and it will increase the likelihood of sharing and receiving links substantially.

47. Comment Marketing. This is an area that must be tread carefully, but if done well, can be very effective. Find content that matches the topic of your content to promote and seek out opportunities to share useful, on-topic comments that include a link to your more in-depth resource. Don’t limit your comments to blogs. Consider mainstream business publications as well – especially those that accept new authors eager to get comments about their contribution.

48. Link building. Find the top ranking content on your topic, then research who is linking to those URLs. Reach out to the link sources and invite them to link to your robust content as well. This approach is too often used and poorly executed, so wins will be few and far between. But it doesn’t take too many links from reputable sources to have a positive impact on the visibility of your content.

49. Sponsor events. Many events will provide opportunities for sponsors to share more than a log0 – content on the conference blog, via attendee newsletter or even in print included in the schwag bag.

50. Make a big ass list like this one! Comprehensive, useful resources often represent content that is worth sharing and linking to. Hopefully readers will feel that way about this post.

Besides this fine list of content amplification tips, I’ve also put together an eBook of recommendations from 10 top marketing influencers and professionals including: Ann Handley, Mike Stelzner, Joe Pulizzi, Mike King, Cathy McPhillips, Sujan Patel, Ursula Ringham, Larry Kim, Carla Johnson, Andrew Davis.  That’s right, walking the talk!

If you’re attending the Content Marketing World conference in Cleveland during the first week of September, you’ll want to see if there are any spaces left for this workshop.

Tuesday, Sept. 4th:
Rocket Science Simplified: How to Optimize, Socialize and Publicize B2B Content

I will be covering:

  • How to use a “Best Answer” strategy to activate content integration
  • How to use keyword & question research to ignite content planning
  • How to use Power Pages and SEO best practices for organic liftoff
  • How to use the magic of repurposing social content for promotion
  • How to use outreach tactics that will fuel blog and media coverage of your campaigns

Basically, much of what you need to know to make sure your content is visible and not just good looking.

Wednesday, September 5th I will be giving a presentation for B2B marketers on influencer marketing:
The Confluence Equation: How Content and Influencers Drive B2B Marketing Success.

What’s the secret formula to scalable, quality content? Find out how B2B brands, big and small like SAP, Dell, Cherwell and DivvyHQ are able to create more awareness, engagement and pipeline with the confluence equation. In this presentation you will:

  • Learn the Influencer Marketing Maturity Model and where your brand fits
  • Explore how a modular approach to influencer content can fuel cross-channel campaigns
  • Learn how to get the best of both worlds: campaigns and always on programs
  • Understand which technologies are available to facilitate influencer identification, engagement and performance reporting

Joining me at Content Marketing World is Ashley Zeckman, Digital Strategy Director at TopRank Marketing. She’s going to be busting some influencer marketing myths in her presentation.

Thursday, September 6th:
Influencer Marketing is only for B2C Brands (& Other Lies Your Parents Told You). Here’s what you can expect from Ashley:

  • A dive into 3 stories of successful content and influencer marketing in action.
  • Steps for creating a stellar experience for your audience and your influencers.
  • Scrappy ideas for collaborating with influencers when you have limited time and resources.
  • Bonus: Formulas for determining content and influencer marketing ROI

But wait, there’s more! We have more TopRank Marketing team members attending the CMWorld conference including Account Manager, Jane Bartel, Senior Content Strategist, Nick Nelson and Content Strategist, Anne Leuman who will be on hand attending sessions and live-blogging. Be sure to follow us on Twitter at @toprank and check out our live conference coverage here on the Online Marketing Blog.

Digital Marketing News: LinkedIn’s Group Upgrade, Google’s Expanding Snippets & Search Console, & Curiosity In Marketing

Psychology of Advertising Image August 24 2018

The Psychology of Advertising: Thinking vs. Feeling [Infographic]
Each person is exposed to an average of nearly two million television advertisements and commercials each year. To help your ads be seen and recalled, using emotional content often outperforms rational content, according to new infographic data by USC Dornsife College. MarketingProfs

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LinkedIn to Integrate Groups into the Mobile App
LinkedIn (client) has announced changes focused on streamlining discussion and comments in LinkedIn Groups, with threaded replies, mobile integration, and other improvements. Search Engine Journal

‘Instagram playgrounds’ for the hashtag obsessed are taking over U.S. cities
Instagram has been creating real-life photo-op playgrounds, but how can marketers and brands utilize interactive pop-ups? NBC News

Google Launches Expandable Featured Snippets
Google has announced more robust search result snippets. With an automatically-generated click-to-expand version now live, digital marketers have new snippet optimization opportunities. SEO Roundtable

As demand for Instagram Stories ads heats up, some early adopters turn to Facebook Stories
Ad rates for many Instagram Stories advertisers have continued to rise, causing some smaller brands to turn back to Facebook Stories. DigiDay

The Flourishing Business of Fake YouTube Views
The challenges of combating purchased fake YouTube video views are examined in a new New York Times piece, but many questions remain. The New York Times

2018 August 24 Statistics Image

Facebook Launches New Process to Convert Still Images to Video, New Ad Creative Guide
Facebook has rolled out a new creative guide for advertisers, and a featuring that turns images into lightweight-motion video, at a lower cost than full video, but will brands see benefits? Social Media Today

Why You Should Put a Little More Thought into Your Out-of-Office Message
The Harvard Business Review takes a close look at the under-utilized marketing opportunities that abound for out-of-office messages. Harvard Business Review

New Google Search Console has added the links reports from the old interface
Google has rolled out new features to its Search Console, including a new links report, mobile usability updates, and other site management additions that should be welcome among digital marketers. Search Engine Land

The Business Case for Curiosity
The Harvard Business Review examines the business benefits, creative solutions, and barriers that come along with curiosity. Harvard Business Review

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

2018 August 24 Marketoonist Tom Fishburne Cartoon
A lighthearted look at fake influence and authenticity by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist

Atari cofounder’s son Tyler Bushnell brings back retro arcades with Polycade — VentureBeat

Chuck Norris Gets Replaced by Truck Norris — AdWeek

Google created a fake pizza brand to test out creative strategies for YouTube ads — TechCrunch

TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:

  • Lee Odden — What Is B2B Content Marketing and How To Do It Effectively in 2018 — LinkedIn (client)
  • Lee Odden and Lane R. Ellis — 50 #CMW Influencers to Follow in 2018 — Nimble
  • Lee Odden — Review the effectiveness of your Content Marketing Strategy and digital-first culture — Smart Insights

What are some of your top influencer marketing news items for this week?

Thanks for reading, and we hope you’ll return next week for the most relevant new digital marketing industry news, and 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.