June 20, 2021
  • by

How easy is it to market online?

2021 June 18 MediaPost IPG Chart

2021 June 18 MediaPost IPG Chart

Almost 90% of B2B Content Consumption Said to Take Place Outside the C-Suite
Nearly 90 percent of B2B content consumption involves those outside corporate executive-level management, with some 21 percent being consumer by individual contributors, according to recently-released B2B buyer breakdown by job titles survey data. MarketingCharts

Podcasts start coming to Facebook next week
Facebook will begin rolling out a new podcast feature on June 22, offering podcast creators a new distribution channel, with features such as one minute promotional clips — to appear in a forthcoming podcasts tab — the social media giant recently announced. The Verge

TikTok Owner ByteDance’s Annual Revenue Jumps to $34.3 Billion
TikTok parent ByteDance saw a 93 percent jump in gross profit during 2020, with revenue more than doubling to $30 billion, the popular short-form social video platform that has seen increasing business interest recently announced in annual employee financial performance data. Wall Street Journal

Google Launches Search Console Insights
Google has launched a new feature to its Search Console product that presents audience data from Google Analytics combined with Search Console insights, to offer an expanded look at customer audiences, the search giant recently announced. Search Engine Journal

YouTube Will Now Enable Creators To Add Midrolls, End Screens and Captions While Their Video Is Processing
Google-owned YouTube has released a new time-saving feature in its YouTube Studio that will smooth workflow for marketers by allowing users to perform more tasks while the initial video uploading process is underway, the firm recently reported. Social Media Today

More Advertisers Envision Return to In-Person Events
17 percent of advertisers plan to resume sponsoring in-person events in the final quarter of 2021, while 16 percent say they plan to do so in the first quarter of 2022, according to newly-released survey data. The survey also showed that some 10 percent of advertisers say that they have no plans to resume sponsoring in-person event. MarketingCharts

2021 June 18 Statistics Image

Augmented Reality Market to Hit $175B by 2026: ABI Research
The global augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) market will top $175 billion by 2026, with almost 28 million smart glasses expected to ship by then, according to recently-released forecast data of interest to digital marketers. AV Network

Spotify launches its live audio app and Clubhouse rival, Spotify Greenroom
Spotify has begun launching Greenhouse, its Clubhouse-life mobile app offering with features that can also turn live audio conversations into podcasts on the Spotify platform, the firm recently disclosed. Spotify also plans to eventually infuse targeting recommendations and additional Spotify-specific functionality into Greenhouse. TechCrunch

LinkedIn bets on remote events, investing in $5 billion-plus virtual platform company Hopin
Microsoft-owned LinkedIn (client) has invested in virtual conference technology firm Hopin, in a push to allow customers to extend the reach of their live events onto LinkedIn with new immersive experiences, Hopin recently announced. CNBC

Global Ad Growth Consensus Lifted To 10.6% In 2021, 8.2% In 2022
Advertising spending worldwide in 2021 is expected to jump by 10.6 percent, with an 8.2 percent increase forecast for 2022, according to recently-released global ad spend forecast data of interest to online marketers. The figures represent a strong rebound from the 5.2 percent decrease seen in 2020. MediaPost

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

2021 June 18 Marketoonist Comic

A lighthearted look at the “the next big thing in marketing” by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist

Microsoft’s best Cannes Lions-winning ads and campaigns — AdAge

TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:

  • Lee Odden — B2B Influencer Marketing with Lee Odden [Podcast] — Pam Didner
  • Lee Odden — What’s Trending: Innovations in B2B Marketing — LinkedIn (client)

Have you found your own top B2B marketing article from the past week of industry news? Please drop us a line in the comments below.

Thanks for taking the time to join us for the TopRank Marketing B2B marketing news, and we hope that you’ll come back again next Friday for more of the week’s most relevant B2B and digital marketing industry news. In the meantime, you can follow us at @toprank on Twitter for even more timely daily news.

The post B2B Marketing News: B2B Content Consumption Data, Digital Ad Revenue Sizzles, In-Person Events & Advertisers, & YouTube’s New Time-Savers appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

June 19, 2021
  • by

Do you know anyone that likes to shop online?

2021 June 18 MediaPost IPG Chart

2021 June 18 MediaPost IPG Chart

Almost 90% of B2B Content Consumption Said to Take Place Outside the C-Suite
Nearly 90 percent of B2B content consumption involves those outside corporate executive-level management, with some 21 percent being consumer by individual contributors, according to recently-released B2B buyer breakdown by job titles survey data. MarketingCharts

Podcasts start coming to Facebook next week
Facebook will begin rolling out a new podcast feature on June 22, offering podcast creators a new distribution channel, with features such as one minute promotional clips — to appear in a forthcoming podcasts tab — the social media giant recently announced. The Verge

TikTok Owner ByteDance’s Annual Revenue Jumps to $34.3 Billion
TikTok parent ByteDance saw a 93 percent jump in gross profit during 2020, with revenue more than doubling to $30 billion, the popular short-form social video platform that has seen increasing business interest recently announced in annual employee financial performance data. Wall Street Journal

Google Launches Search Console Insights
Google has launched a new feature to its Search Console product that presents audience data from Google Analytics combined with Search Console insights, to offer an expanded look at customer audiences, the search giant recently announced. Search Engine Journal

YouTube Will Now Enable Creators To Add Midrolls, End Screens and Captions While Their Video Is Processing
Google-owned YouTube has released a new time-saving feature in its YouTube Studio that will smooth workflow for marketers by allowing users to perform more tasks while the initial video uploading process is underway, the firm recently reported. Social Media Today

More Advertisers Envision Return to In-Person Events
17 percent of advertisers plan to resume sponsoring in-person events in the final quarter of 2021, while 16 percent say they plan to do so in the first quarter of 2022, according to newly-released survey data. The survey also showed that some 10 percent of advertisers say that they have no plans to resume sponsoring in-person event. MarketingCharts

2021 June 18 Statistics Image

Augmented Reality Market to Hit $175B by 2026: ABI Research
The global augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) market will top $175 billion by 2026, with almost 28 million smart glasses expected to ship by then, according to recently-released forecast data of interest to digital marketers. AV Network

Spotify launches its live audio app and Clubhouse rival, Spotify Greenroom
Spotify has begun launching Greenhouse, its Clubhouse-life mobile app offering with features that can also turn live audio conversations into podcasts on the Spotify platform, the firm recently disclosed. Spotify also plans to eventually infuse targeting recommendations and additional Spotify-specific functionality into Greenhouse. TechCrunch

LinkedIn bets on remote events, investing in $5 billion-plus virtual platform company Hopin
Microsoft-owned LinkedIn (client) has invested in virtual conference technology firm Hopin, in a push to allow customers to extend the reach of their live events onto LinkedIn with new immersive experiences, Hopin recently announced. CNBC

Global Ad Growth Consensus Lifted To 10.6% In 2021, 8.2% In 2022
Advertising spending worldwide in 2021 is expected to jump by 10.6 percent, with an 8.2 percent increase forecast for 2022, according to recently-released global ad spend forecast data of interest to online marketers. The figures represent a strong rebound from the 5.2 percent decrease seen in 2020. MediaPost

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

2021 June 18 Marketoonist Comic

A lighthearted look at the “the next big thing in marketing” by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist

Microsoft’s best Cannes Lions-winning ads and campaigns — AdAge

TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:

  • Lee Odden — B2B Influencer Marketing with Lee Odden [Podcast] — Pam Didner
  • Lee Odden — What’s Trending: Innovations in B2B Marketing — LinkedIn (client)

Have you found your own top B2B marketing article from the past week of industry news? Please drop us a line in the comments below.

Thanks for taking the time to join us for the TopRank Marketing B2B marketing news, and we hope that you’ll come back again next Friday for more of the week’s most relevant B2B and digital marketing industry news. In the meantime, you can follow us at @toprank on Twitter for even more timely daily news.

The post B2B Marketing News: B2B Content Consumption Data, Digital Ad Revenue Sizzles, In-Person Events & Advertisers, & YouTube’s New Time-Savers appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

June 18, 2021
  • by

How easy is it to market online?

Happy business people image.

Happy business people image.

Forever altered by the pandemic, which new directions is B2B marketing going, and what’s in store for marketers in 2022 and beyond?

To help answer these questions and others, we’ve tapped into our poll data to see how the pandemic has affected how B2B marketers work, their outlook for the future, and what we’ve collectively lost and gained over the past year and a half.

Audience poll data offers a valuable gauge on the pulse of B2B marketers, and for over two years we’ve run weekly social media polls on our Twitter and LinkedIn* pages.

The insight you’ve shared with us during the pandemic gives us insight into what’s changed, what’s gone for good, and what may come back stronger than ever in B2B marketing.

We’ll use our own poll data to take a look at the B2B marketing trends that have emerged during this unprecedented year and a half.

Building on the insights we shared in “B2B Marketing Poll Sentiment: 15+ Eye-Opening Insights To Fuel Summer Success,” our most recent poll numbers paint a sometimes-surprising picture of B2B marketing sentiment in 2021.

Let’s jump right in and take a look.

Pandemic Poll #1 — Work Volume

The first pandemic related poll we conducted was on April 14, 2020, when we asked B2B marketers how the volume of work they’ve done with influencers had changed during the first few months of the global health crisis.

2020April14TwitterPoll

At that point relatively early in the pandemic, 36 percent of our respondents noted an increase in their use of influencers in marketing efforts.

Pandemic Poll #2 — Learning New Skills

A month later on May 12, 2020, our second pandemic-related poll asked B2B marketers whether they had used their time during quarantine to learn new marketing skills online.

A sizable 63 percent of respondents said that they had indeed learned new skills online while isolating.

2020May12TwitterPoll

Pandemic Poll #3 — Pain Points

As the pandemic moved into summer, on July 7, 2020 we were curious about the pain points B2B marketers were being faced with.

2020July7LIPoll

2020July7TwitterPoll

Decreasing business or budgets was the top concern, with 64 percent of our Twitter poll respondents saying that was their biggest pandemic pain point, a sentiment shared by 46.2 percent of our LinkedIn respondents.

Pandemic Poll #4 — The Rise of Virtual Events

As the summer wore on, virtual marketing event options began to appear as alternatives to long-standing in-person events, and on July 20 we wondered how many such events B2B marketers were planning to attend during the second half of 2020.

2020July21LIPoll

Most B2B marketers planned to attend between one and five virtual events before the end of 2020, with 11 percent noting they would attend between six and ten online events.

Pandemic Poll #5 — Long-Term Remote Work Feasibility

On August 18, 2020 we wanted to learn more about how B2B marketers were feeling about the long-term feasibility of remote work.

2020August18LIPoll

2020August18Poll

By this time, most B2B marketers had much greater acceptance when it came to the long-term feasibility of remote work than they did before the pandemic.

This poll backed this notion, with over three quarters of respondents on both our LinkedIn and Twitter polls saying that they had either more acceptance or much greater acceptance of remote work as a long-term practice.

Hybrid work scenarios are also very much a part of continuing conversations about the future of work, as I recently explored in “Hybrid & Remote Work Trends That Will Alter The Future Of B2B Marketing.”

Pandemic Poll #6 — Post-Pandemic Marketing Predictions

When autumn rolled around, on September 2, 2020 we asked B2B marketers which category of marketing they believed would be the most important in post-pandemic business marketing.

2020September2Polls

2020September2LIPoll

39 percent of our LinkedIn poll takers said that always-on marketing would be the most important type of post-pandemic marketing, followed by 26 percent who said search and social, 19 percent who picked marketing technology, and 16 percent who picked influencer marketing.

40 percent of our Twitter poll respondents said that search and social will be most important, 30 percent said marketing technology, 16.7 percent picking influencer marketing, and 13.3 percent for always-on marketing.

The results point to the mixed viewpoints and uncertainly surrounding just what will be the most important when the dust from the pandemic fully settles.

Our own Nick Nelson explored the topic, in “Brave New World: The Model for B2B Marketing Success, Post-Pandemic.” Optimizing our B2B marketing strategy for a post-pandemic world requires understanding where the key shifts have occurred, and how to adapt. From executive thought leadership to rethinking marketing experiences, Nick’s article explores five ways that B2B marketers can smartly adapt and thrive in our reshaped environment.

Pandemic Poll #7 — Where Influence Has Helped The Most

On October 13, 2020 we asked marketers which facet of their B2B influencer marketing program had seen the greatest success during the pandemic.

2020October13LIPoll

2020October13Polls

42 percent of our LinkedIn poll-takers said that inspiring trust was the area of their B2B influencer marketing program that had seen the greatest success during the pandemic, followed by thought leadership growth, raising brand awareness, and attracting customers.

Among our Twitter poll-takers thought leadership growth was the top choice, followed by inspiring trust and attracting customers.

Pandemic Poll #8 — Top Marketing Fears

As a pandemic Halloween approached, on October 29, 2020 we wanted to know what B2B marketers saw as their biggest fears in marketing.

2020October29Polls

On both LinkedIn and Twitter the biggest fear was the uncertainty of the pandemic, with some also choosing the powerful fear of failure.

I expanded on turning fear into success in a full article to accompany our poll, in “10 Horrifying Marketing Fears & How To Turn Them Into 2021 Successes.”

Pandemic Poll #9 — Success Stories

On November 17, 2020 we asked marketers which areas had benefited the most from the increased use of digital tools the pandemic had brought about.

2020November17Polls

2020November17TWPoll

Influencer marketing was seen by both our LinkedIn and Twitter poll-takers as the greatest beneficiary when it came to areas that grew during the pandemic. Content marketing was the second choice, followed by always-on and then values-driven marketing.

Pandemic Poll #10 — What Marketers Look Forward To

As 2020 wound to a close, with glimmers of post-pandemic hope starting to form, we wondered what B2B marketers were most looking forward to in 2021.

2020December29LIPoll

2020December29Polls

What were B2B marketers most looking forward to in 2021?

Post-pandemic life was by far the top choice of both our Twitter and LinkedIn poll-takers, followed by in-person events and physical meetings.

Pandemic Poll #11 — Top Tactics For 2021

Our first poll of 2021 on January 5 asked B2B marketers which business marketing tactic they were the most optimistic about for the year ahead.

2021January5LIPoll

2021January5Polls

When we asked which business marketing tactic poll-takers were most optimistic about, on LinkedIn 36 percent chose content marketing, 29 percent search and social, 21 percent influencer marketing, and 14 percent who selected always-on marketing.

Among our Twitter poll-takers some 50 percent chose content marketing, 25 percent search and social, followed by 16.7 percent who picked influencer marketing, and 8.3 percent who chose always-on marketing.

Pandemic Poll #12 — Permanent Remote & Hybrid Work

Our latest completed pandemic-related poll, on June 8 asked simply how do B2B marketers want to work during post-pandemic life.

2021June8LIPoll

2021June8TWPoll

Among 88 poll takers on LinkedIn, 52 percent said that wanted a hybrid mix of remote and office work types, 43 percent wanted fully remote work, and just 3 percent a full return to office work.

On Twitter, 75 percent of B2B marketers preferred a hybrid scenario, 15 percent fully remote, and 10 percent a full return to the office.

Pandemic Poll #13 — Returning To In-Person Marketing Events

Our newest poll asks, “B2B marketers, do you plan to attend an in-person marketing event during the second half of 2021?”

You can share your input by voting on either our TopRank Marketing LinkedIn or Twitter pages — or on both.

A Bright Future For B2B Marketers

via GIPHY

Keeping your eyes open to the pulse of your audience — whether it’s from poll results, questionnaires, surveys or other types of feedback — can go a long way indeed when it comes to making your B2B marketing efforts more grounded and authentic. It can also help make your communication more of a two-way street, and not only a publish-and-forget effort.

We hope you’ve found this peek into some of our own poll results eye-opening as you navigate the uncertain marketing landscape 2021 has given us, as we forge ahead towards a post-pandemic world.

To learn more from poll data insight, not limited solely to the pandemic, check out our “B2B Marketing Poll Sentiment: 15+ Eye-Opening Insights To Fuel Summer Success,” and “Show Me The Numbers: 20 B2B Marketing Insights From Audience Poll Data.

Creating award-winning B2B marketing with an artful mixture of influence takes considerable time and effort, which is why many firms choose to work with a top digital marketing agency such as TopRank Marketing. Contact us today and let us know how we can help, as we’ve done for businesses ranging from LinkedIn, Dell and 3M to Adobe, Oracle, monday.com and others.

* LinkedIn is a TopRank Marketing client.

 

The post What Pandemic Poll Data Reveals About The Future of B2B Marketing appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

June 16, 2021
  • by

How easy is it to market online?

Happy business people image.

Happy business people image.

Forever altered by the pandemic, which new directions is B2B marketing going, and what’s in store for marketers in 2022 and beyond?

To help answer these questions and others, we’ve tapped into our poll data to see how the pandemic has affected how B2B marketers work, their outlook for the future, and what we’ve collectively lost and gained over the past year and a half.

Audience poll data offers a valuable gauge on the pulse of B2B marketers, and for over two years we’ve run weekly social media polls on our Twitter and LinkedIn* pages.

The insight you’ve shared with us during the pandemic gives us insight into what’s changed, what’s gone for good, and what may come back stronger than ever in B2B marketing.

We’ll use our own poll data to take a look at the B2B marketing trends that have emerged during this unprecedented year and a half.

Building on the insights we shared in “B2B Marketing Poll Sentiment: 15+ Eye-Opening Insights To Fuel Summer Success,” our most recent poll numbers paint a sometimes-surprising picture of B2B marketing sentiment in 2021.

Let’s jump right in and take a look.

Pandemic Poll #1 — Work Volume

The first pandemic related poll we conducted was on April 14, 2020, when we asked B2B marketers how the volume of work they’ve done with influencers had changed during the first few months of the global health crisis.

2020April14TwitterPoll

At that point relatively early in the pandemic, 36 percent of our respondents noted an increase in their use of influencers in marketing efforts.

Pandemic Poll #2 — Learning New Skills

A month later on May 12, 2020, our second pandemic-related poll asked B2B marketers whether they had used their time during quarantine to learn new marketing skills online.

A sizable 63 percent of respondents said that they had indeed learned new skills online while isolating.

2020May12TwitterPoll

Pandemic Poll #3 — Pain Points

As the pandemic moved into summer, on July 7, 2020 we were curious about the pain points B2B marketers were being faced with.

2020July7LIPoll

2020July7TwitterPoll

Decreasing business or budgets was the top concern, with 64 percent of our Twitter poll respondents saying that was their biggest pandemic pain point, a sentiment shared by 46.2 percent of our LinkedIn respondents.

Pandemic Poll #4 — The Rise of Virtual Events

As the summer wore on, virtual marketing event options began to appear as alternatives to long-standing in-person events, and on July 20 we wondered how many such events B2B marketers were planning to attend during the second half of 2020.

2020July21LIPoll

Most B2B marketers planned to attend between one and five virtual events before the end of 2020, with 11 percent noting they would attend between six and ten online events.

Pandemic Poll #5 — Long-Term Remote Work Feasibility

On August 18, 2020 we wanted to learn more about how B2B marketers were feeling about the long-term feasibility of remote work.

2020August18LIPoll

2020August18Poll

By this time, most B2B marketers had much greater acceptance when it came to the long-term feasibility of remote work than they did before the pandemic.

This poll backed this notion, with over three quarters of respondents on both our LinkedIn and Twitter polls saying that they had either more acceptance or much greater acceptance of remote work as a long-term practice.

Hybrid work scenarios are also very much a part of continuing conversations about the future of work, as I recently explored in “Hybrid & Remote Work Trends That Will Alter The Future Of B2B Marketing.”

Pandemic Poll #6 — Post-Pandemic Marketing Predictions

When autumn rolled around, on September 2, 2020 we asked B2B marketers which category of marketing they believed would be the most important in post-pandemic business marketing.

2020September2Polls

2020September2LIPoll

39 percent of our LinkedIn poll takers said that always-on marketing would be the most important type of post-pandemic marketing, followed by 26 percent who said search and social, 19 percent who picked marketing technology, and 16 percent who picked influencer marketing.

40 percent of our Twitter poll respondents said that search and social will be most important, 30 percent said marketing technology, 16.7 percent picking influencer marketing, and 13.3 percent for always-on marketing.

The results point to the mixed viewpoints and uncertainly surrounding just what will be the most important when the dust from the pandemic fully settles.

Our own Nick Nelson explored the topic, in “Brave New World: The Model for B2B Marketing Success, Post-Pandemic.” Optimizing our B2B marketing strategy for a post-pandemic world requires understanding where the key shifts have occurred, and how to adapt. From executive thought leadership to rethinking marketing experiences, Nick’s article explores five ways that B2B marketers can smartly adapt and thrive in our reshaped environment.

Pandemic Poll #7 — Where Influence Has Helped The Most

On October 13, 2020 we asked marketers which facet of their B2B influencer marketing program had seen the greatest success during the pandemic.

2020October13LIPoll

2020October13Polls

42 percent of our LinkedIn poll-takers said that inspiring trust was the area of their B2B influencer marketing program that had seen the greatest success during the pandemic, followed by thought leadership growth, raising brand awareness, and attracting customers.

Among our Twitter poll-takers thought leadership growth was the top choice, followed by inspiring trust and attracting customers.

Pandemic Poll #8 — Top Marketing Fears

As a pandemic Halloween approached, on October 29, 2020 we wanted to know what B2B marketers saw as their biggest fears in marketing.

2020October29Polls

On both LinkedIn and Twitter the biggest fear was the uncertainty of the pandemic, with some also choosing the powerful fear of failure.

I expanded on turning fear into success in a full article to accompany our poll, in “10 Horrifying Marketing Fears & How To Turn Them Into 2021 Successes.”

Pandemic Poll #9 — Success Stories

On November 17, 2020 we asked marketers which areas had benefited the most from the increased use of digital tools the pandemic had brought about.

2020November17Polls

2020November17TWPoll

Influencer marketing was seen by both our LinkedIn and Twitter poll-takers as the greatest beneficiary when it came to areas that grew during the pandemic. Content marketing was the second choice, followed by always-on and then values-driven marketing.

Pandemic Poll #10 — What Marketers Look Forward To

As 2020 wound to a close, with glimmers of post-pandemic hope starting to form, we wondered what B2B marketers were most looking forward to in 2021.

2020December29LIPoll

2020December29Polls

What were B2B marketers most looking forward to in 2021?

Post-pandemic life was by far the top choice of both our Twitter and LinkedIn poll-takers, followed by in-person events and physical meetings.

Pandemic Poll #11 — Top Tactics For 2021

Our first poll of 2021 on January 5 asked B2B marketers which business marketing tactic they were the most optimistic about for the year ahead.

2021January5LIPoll

2021January5Polls

When we asked which business marketing tactic poll-takers were most optimistic about, on LinkedIn 36 percent chose content marketing, 29 percent search and social, 21 percent influencer marketing, and 14 percent who selected always-on marketing.

Among our Twitter poll-takers some 50 percent chose content marketing, 25 percent search and social, followed by 16.7 percent who picked influencer marketing, and 8.3 percent who chose always-on marketing.

Pandemic Poll #12 — Permanent Remote & Hybrid Work

Our latest completed pandemic-related poll, on June 8 asked simply how do B2B marketers want to work during post-pandemic life.

2021June8LIPoll

2021June8TWPoll

Among 88 poll takers on LinkedIn, 52 percent said that wanted a hybrid mix of remote and office work types, 43 percent wanted fully remote work, and just 3 percent a full return to office work.

On Twitter, 75 percent of B2B marketers preferred a hybrid scenario, 15 percent fully remote, and 10 percent a full return to the office.

Pandemic Poll #13 — Returning To In-Person Marketing Events

Our newest poll asks, “B2B marketers, do you plan to attend an in-person marketing event during the second half of 2021?”

You can share your input by voting on either our TopRank Marketing LinkedIn or Twitter pages — or on both.

A Bright Future For B2B Marketers

via GIPHY

Keeping your eyes open to the pulse of your audience — whether it’s from poll results, questionnaires, surveys or other types of feedback — can go a long way indeed when it comes to making your B2B marketing efforts more grounded and authentic. It can also help make your communication more of a two-way street, and not only a publish-and-forget effort.

We hope you’ve found this peek into some of our own poll results eye-opening as you navigate the uncertain marketing landscape 2021 has given us, as we forge ahead towards a post-pandemic world.

To learn more from poll data insight, not limited solely to the pandemic, check out our “B2B Marketing Poll Sentiment: 15+ Eye-Opening Insights To Fuel Summer Success,” and “Show Me The Numbers: 20 B2B Marketing Insights From Audience Poll Data.

Creating award-winning B2B marketing with an artful mixture of influence takes considerable time and effort, which is why many firms choose to work with a top digital marketing agency such as TopRank Marketing. Contact us today and let us know how we can help, as we’ve done for businesses ranging from LinkedIn, Dell and 3M to Adobe, Oracle, monday.com and others.

* LinkedIn is a TopRank Marketing client.

 

The post What Pandemic Poll Data Reveals About The Future of B2B Marketing appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

June 15, 2021
  • by

How easy is it to market online?

Freeway seen through a fence barrier image.

Freeway seen through a fence barrier image.

As a marketer, you know how important projects are.

They’re your course to success. Your path to excellence. A plan of action.

You also know just how out of sorts projects can get. Without successful marketing project management, timelines may slide, quality may slip, standards may be missed, and the work experience may suffer.

So what causes marketing projects to stray off course?

Having managed many marketing projects for TopRank Marketing, I’ve come across my fair share of barriers and challenges and learned from my experience with them. Below, I’m sharing the most common barriers to marketing project management success and how to overcome them so you can, too. And to help illustrate my points, I tapped the help of Schitt’s Creek — a show I only just started and can’t get enough of. I hope you’ll excuse how late to the party I am on that show, it’s a gem.

Barrier #1 – Lack of Clarity

Clarity is easily the number one barrier to marketing project management success. Whether it’s unclear goals, responsibilities, direction, deadlines, standards, etc. a lack of clarity permeates even the best planned marketing projects. It breeds chaos, frustration, confusion, and disorganization, all problems or barriers in their own right.

So how does it happen?

Most often, a lack of clarity comes from a lack of communication. From being vague to contradictions to outright withholding information, communication blunders lead to unclear directives and actions. And when the team is unclear, the work often stops until more clarity is added.

via GIPHY

How to Overcome: Over communicate with your team. If it seems like a needless detail, include it anyways. Always include links to resources. Have regular briefings.

[bctt tweet=”“Over communicate with your team. If it seems like a needless detail, include it anyways. Always include links to resources. Have regular briefings.” — Anne Leuman @annieleuman” username=”toprank”]

Barrier #2 – Lack of Resources

Project resources are anything required to get the work done — they could be anything from people to tools to materials to equipment. As requirements for work, they’re a pivotal piece of any marketing project and you need an ample supply of both to keep projects on track and lead to a successful result.

For marketing projects, resources are most often tools and people. Your digital advertising strategist doesn’t have access to the right Google Analytics account? That’s a problem. One of your marketing copywriters is taking a two-week vacation right before a campaign launches? That’s a problem, too. Both examples are a lack of resources, and both examples require foresight to catch those instances before they happen so the project doesn’t suffer.

via GIPHY

How to Overcome: Plan ahead. Evaluate resources (people, tools, materials, time, etc.) for the entire project’s lifecycle. Look for gaps. Fill them proactively.

[bctt tweet=”“Plan ahead. Evaluate resources (people, tools, materials, time, etc.) for the entire project’s lifecycle. Look for gaps. Fill them proactively.” — Anne Leuman @annieleuman” username=”toprank”]

Barrier #3 – Lack of Time

There is another type of resource for a project — time. Projects require time to finish. And when you and your team are juggling several marketing projects at once, it becomes clear that time isn’t infinite.

Marketing projects also have deadlines, making time management crucial for any marketing project manager. Fast approaching deadlines reduce the maximum available time we have to complete a task or project. Overlapping projects with conflicting deadlines slash the amount of available time even greater. Keeping a close eye on your team’s available time, the time investment required, and time remaining on a project or task are all critical for success.

via GIPHY

How to Overcome: Assess the time investment for every task of your projects. Ensure your resources can match that time investment. Check for overlapping projects and deadlines. Pad your deadlines just in case.

[bctt tweet=”“Assess the time investment for every task of your projects. Ensure your resources can match that time investment. Check for overlapping projects and deadlines. Pad your deadlines just in case.” — Anne Leuman @annieleuman” username=”toprank”]

Barrier #4 – Lack of Change

Throughout a marketing project’s lifecycle, you’re learning what works and doesn’t work. From kick off to completion, you’re identifying the processes and workflows that need to change or stay for the next project to be a success. For example, you might find that your workflow for launching a new marketing campaign only has a one-step approval process — a two-step approval process would help ensure quality across each of the campaign’s components. To help initiate that change, you document the new process and role it out to the team. But that’s easier said than done.

Enter: resistance to change, our fourth barrier to marketing project management. As projects progress, whether they were a success, a failure, or a neutral result, it’s common for potential improvements for how we work to surface. The team, however, isn’t always receptive to that change. Behavior change is difficult, habits are hard to break. For your improvements to really stick and make a positive impact on your projects, you need your team’s buy-in and commitment to change.

via GIPHY

How to Overcome: Carefully document new workflows and processes. Earn team buy-in and commitment early. Review work for process adherence. Remind team members of their commitment when process adherence slips to encourage accountability.

[bctt tweet=”“Carefully document new workflows and processes. Earn team buy-in and commitment early. Review work for process adherence. Remind team members of their commitment when process adherence slips to encourage accountability.” — @annieleuman” username=”toprank”]

Barrier #5 – Lack of Planning

Our fifth and last barrier may very well be the most important to overcome since a lack of planning can easily lead to lack of clarity, resources, time, and change. As the saying goes, “A failure to plan is planning to fail.”

It does happen, though. Sometimes marketing project managers aren’t afforded all of the information they need to thoroughly plan a project. Or, they plan for a best-case scenario and forget to cover their bases and create back-up plans. Be clear on your project requirements, plan around potential roadblocks, involve other stakeholders, and ensure your planning happens pre-kickoff.

via GIPHY

How to Overcome: Don’t kick off a project until you are fully informed and planned. Request information that may be lacking. Create a back-up plan, and a back-up plan for your back-up plan.

[bctt tweet=”“Don’t kick off a project until you are fully informed and planned. Request information that may be lacking. Create a back-up plan, and a back-up plan for your back-up plan.” — Anne Leuman @annieleuman” username=”toprank”]

The Bigger the Barrier, the Greater the Glory

“The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.” – Jean-Baptiste Poquelin (AKA Molière)

Obstacles. Barriers. Challenges. Hangups. Whatever you want to call them, they’re a fact of life and of work. No matter the path you’re on, you’re going to come up against them. Managing marketing projects nearly guarantees you’ll come across the five barriers above, and possibly others, too. But while they may seem like impossible mountains to climb, the tips above should help you find a hidden bypass or shortcut to the peak, where the view is well worth the work. As Molière said, it’s glorious.

In need of more tips on how to create effective processes and juggle several marketing projects? Read our guide on effective project management for marketers.

The post 5 Common Barriers to Marketing Project Management & How to Overcome Them appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

June 15, 2021
  • by

Do you know anyone that likes to shop online?

Freeway seen through a fence barrier image.

Freeway seen through a fence barrier image.

As a marketer, you know how important projects are.

They’re your course to success. Your path to excellence. A plan of action.

You also know just how out of sorts projects can get. Without successful marketing project management, timelines may slide, quality may slip, standards may be missed, and the work experience may suffer.

So what causes marketing projects to stray off course?

Having managed many marketing projects for TopRank Marketing, I’ve come across my fair share of barriers and challenges and learned from my experience with them. Below, I’m sharing the most common barriers to marketing project management success and how to overcome them so you can, too. And to help illustrate my points, I tapped the help of Schitt’s Creek — a show I only just started and can’t get enough of. I hope you’ll excuse how late to the party I am on that show, it’s a gem.

Barrier #1 – Lack of Clarity

Clarity is easily the number one barrier to marketing project management success. Whether it’s unclear goals, responsibilities, direction, deadlines, standards, etc. a lack of clarity permeates even the best planned marketing projects. It breeds chaos, frustration, confusion, and disorganization, all problems or barriers in their own right.

So how does it happen?

Most often, a lack of clarity comes from a lack of communication. From being vague to contradictions to outright withholding information, communication blunders lead to unclear directives and actions. And when the team is unclear, the work often stops until more clarity is added.

via GIPHY

How to Overcome: Over communicate with your team. If it seems like a needless detail, include it anyways. Always include links to resources. Have regular briefings.

[bctt tweet=”“Over communicate with your team. If it seems like a needless detail, include it anyways. Always include links to resources. Have regular briefings.” — Anne Leuman @annieleuman” username=”toprank”]

Barrier #2 – Lack of Resources

Project resources are anything required to get the work done — they could be anything from people to tools to materials to equipment. As requirements for work, they’re a pivotal piece of any marketing project and you need an ample supply of both to keep projects on track and lead to a successful result.

For marketing projects, resources are most often tools and people. Your digital advertising strategist doesn’t have access to the right Google Analytics account? That’s a problem. One of your marketing copywriters is taking a two-week vacation right before a campaign launches? That’s a problem, too. Both examples are a lack of resources, and both examples require foresight to catch those instances before they happen so the project doesn’t suffer.

via GIPHY

How to Overcome: Plan ahead. Evaluate resources (people, tools, materials, time, etc.) for the entire project’s lifecycle. Look for gaps. Fill them proactively.

[bctt tweet=”“Plan ahead. Evaluate resources (people, tools, materials, time, etc.) for the entire project’s lifecycle. Look for gaps. Fill them proactively.” — Anne Leuman @annieleuman” username=”toprank”]

Barrier #3 – Lack of Time

There is another type of resource for a project — time. Projects require time to finish. And when you and your team are juggling several marketing projects at once, it becomes clear that time isn’t infinite.

Marketing projects also have deadlines, making time management crucial for any marketing project manager. Fast approaching deadlines reduce the maximum available time we have to complete a task or project. Overlapping projects with conflicting deadlines slash the amount of available time even greater. Keeping a close eye on your team’s available time, the time investment required, and time remaining on a project or task are all critical for success.

via GIPHY

How to Overcome: Assess the time investment for every task of your projects. Ensure your resources can match that time investment. Check for overlapping projects and deadlines. Pad your deadlines just in case.

[bctt tweet=”“Assess the time investment for every task of your projects. Ensure your resources can match that time investment. Check for overlapping projects and deadlines. Pad your deadlines just in case.” — Anne Leuman @annieleuman” username=”toprank”]

Barrier #4 – Lack of Change

Throughout a marketing project’s lifecycle, you’re learning what works and doesn’t work. From kick off to completion, you’re identifying the processes and workflows that need to change or stay for the next project to be a success. For example, you might find that your workflow for launching a new marketing campaign only has a one-step approval process — a two-step approval process would help ensure quality across each of the campaign’s components. To help initiate that change, you document the new process and role it out to the team. But that’s easier said than done.

Enter: resistance to change, our fourth barrier to marketing project management. As projects progress, whether they were a success, a failure, or a neutral result, it’s common for potential improvements for how we work to surface. The team, however, isn’t always receptive to that change. Behavior change is difficult, habits are hard to break. For your improvements to really stick and make a positive impact on your projects, you need your team’s buy-in and commitment to change.

via GIPHY

How to Overcome: Carefully document new workflows and processes. Earn team buy-in and commitment early. Review work for process adherence. Remind team members of their commitment when process adherence slips to encourage accountability.

[bctt tweet=”“Carefully document new workflows and processes. Earn team buy-in and commitment early. Review work for process adherence. Remind team members of their commitment when process adherence slips to encourage accountability.” — @annieleuman” username=”toprank”]

Barrier #5 – Lack of Planning

Our fifth and last barrier may very well be the most important to overcome since a lack of planning can easily lead to lack of clarity, resources, time, and change. As the saying goes, “A failure to plan is planning to fail.”

It does happen, though. Sometimes marketing project managers aren’t afforded all of the information they need to thoroughly plan a project. Or, they plan for a best-case scenario and forget to cover their bases and create back-up plans. Be clear on your project requirements, plan around potential roadblocks, involve other stakeholders, and ensure your planning happens pre-kickoff.

via GIPHY

How to Overcome: Don’t kick off a project until you are fully informed and planned. Request information that may be lacking. Create a back-up plan, and a back-up plan for your back-up plan.

[bctt tweet=”“Don’t kick off a project until you are fully informed and planned. Request information that may be lacking. Create a back-up plan, and a back-up plan for your back-up plan.” — Anne Leuman @annieleuman” username=”toprank”]

The Bigger the Barrier, the Greater the Glory

“The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.” – Jean-Baptiste Poquelin (AKA Molière)

Obstacles. Barriers. Challenges. Hangups. Whatever you want to call them, they’re a fact of life and of work. No matter the path you’re on, you’re going to come up against them. Managing marketing projects nearly guarantees you’ll come across the five barriers above, and possibly others, too. But while they may seem like impossible mountains to climb, the tips above should help you find a hidden bypass or shortcut to the peak, where the view is well worth the work. As Molière said, it’s glorious.

In need of more tips on how to create effective processes and juggle several marketing projects? Read our guide on effective project management for marketers.

The post 5 Common Barriers to Marketing Project Management & How to Overcome Them appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

June 15, 2021
  • by

Did you know you could market your business online at a very low cost?

Freeway seen through a fence barrier image.

Freeway seen through a fence barrier image.

As a marketer, you know how important projects are.

They’re your course to success. Your path to excellence. A plan of action.

You also know just how out of sorts projects can get. Without successful marketing project management, timelines may slide, quality may slip, standards may be missed, and the work experience may suffer.

So what causes marketing projects to stray off course?

Having managed many marketing projects for TopRank Marketing, I’ve come across my fair share of barriers and challenges and learned from my experience with them. Below, I’m sharing the most common barriers to marketing project management success and how to overcome them so you can, too. And to help illustrate my points, I tapped the help of Schitt’s Creek — a show I only just started and can’t get enough of. I hope you’ll excuse how late to the party I am on that show, it’s a gem.

Barrier #1 – Lack of Clarity

Clarity is easily the number one barrier to marketing project management success. Whether it’s unclear goals, responsibilities, direction, deadlines, standards, etc. a lack of clarity permeates even the best planned marketing projects. It breeds chaos, frustration, confusion, and disorganization, all problems or barriers in their own right.

So how does it happen?

Most often, a lack of clarity comes from a lack of communication. From being vague to contradictions to outright withholding information, communication blunders lead to unclear directives and actions. And when the team is unclear, the work often stops until more clarity is added.

via GIPHY

How to Overcome: Over communicate with your team. If it seems like a needless detail, include it anyways. Always include links to resources. Have regular briefings.

[bctt tweet=”“Over communicate with your team. If it seems like a needless detail, include it anyways. Always include links to resources. Have regular briefings.” — Anne Leuman @annieleuman” username=”toprank”]

Barrier #2 – Lack of Resources

Project resources are anything required to get the work done — they could be anything from people to tools to materials to equipment. As requirements for work, they’re a pivotal piece of any marketing project and you need an ample supply of both to keep projects on track and lead to a successful result.

For marketing projects, resources are most often tools and people. Your digital advertising strategist doesn’t have access to the right Google Analytics account? That’s a problem. One of your marketing copywriters is taking a two-week vacation right before a campaign launches? That’s a problem, too. Both examples are a lack of resources, and both examples require foresight to catch those instances before they happen so the project doesn’t suffer.

via GIPHY

How to Overcome: Plan ahead. Evaluate resources (people, tools, materials, time, etc.) for the entire project’s lifecycle. Look for gaps. Fill them proactively.

[bctt tweet=”“Plan ahead. Evaluate resources (people, tools, materials, time, etc.) for the entire project’s lifecycle. Look for gaps. Fill them proactively.” — Anne Leuman @annieleuman” username=”toprank”]

Barrier #3 – Lack of Time

There is another type of resource for a project — time. Projects require time to finish. And when you and your team are juggling several marketing projects at once, it becomes clear that time isn’t infinite.

Marketing projects also have deadlines, making time management crucial for any marketing project manager. Fast approaching deadlines reduce the maximum available time we have to complete a task or project. Overlapping projects with conflicting deadlines slash the amount of available time even greater. Keeping a close eye on your team’s available time, the time investment required, and time remaining on a project or task are all critical for success.

via GIPHY

How to Overcome: Assess the time investment for every task of your projects. Ensure your resources can match that time investment. Check for overlapping projects and deadlines. Pad your deadlines just in case.

[bctt tweet=”“Assess the time investment for every task of your projects. Ensure your resources can match that time investment. Check for overlapping projects and deadlines. Pad your deadlines just in case.” — Anne Leuman @annieleuman” username=”toprank”]

Barrier #4 – Lack of Change

Throughout a marketing project’s lifecycle, you’re learning what works and doesn’t work. From kick off to completion, you’re identifying the processes and workflows that need to change or stay for the next project to be a success. For example, you might find that your workflow for launching a new marketing campaign only has a one-step approval process — a two-step approval process would help ensure quality across each of the campaign’s components. To help initiate that change, you document the new process and role it out to the team. But that’s easier said than done.

Enter: resistance to change, our fourth barrier to marketing project management. As projects progress, whether they were a success, a failure, or a neutral result, it’s common for potential improvements for how we work to surface. The team, however, isn’t always receptive to that change. Behavior change is difficult, habits are hard to break. For your improvements to really stick and make a positive impact on your projects, you need your team’s buy-in and commitment to change.

via GIPHY

How to Overcome: Carefully document new workflows and processes. Earn team buy-in and commitment early. Review work for process adherence. Remind team members of their commitment when process adherence slips to encourage accountability.

[bctt tweet=”“Carefully document new workflows and processes. Earn team buy-in and commitment early. Review work for process adherence. Remind team members of their commitment when process adherence slips to encourage accountability.” — @annieleuman” username=”toprank”]

Barrier #5 – Lack of Planning

Our fifth and last barrier may very well be the most important to overcome since a lack of planning can easily lead to lack of clarity, resources, time, and change. As the saying goes, “A failure to plan is planning to fail.”

It does happen, though. Sometimes marketing project managers aren’t afforded all of the information they need to thoroughly plan a project. Or, they plan for a best-case scenario and forget to cover their bases and create back-up plans. Be clear on your project requirements, plan around potential roadblocks, involve other stakeholders, and ensure your planning happens pre-kickoff.

via GIPHY

How to Overcome: Don’t kick off a project until you are fully informed and planned. Request information that may be lacking. Create a back-up plan, and a back-up plan for your back-up plan.

[bctt tweet=”“Don’t kick off a project until you are fully informed and planned. Request information that may be lacking. Create a back-up plan, and a back-up plan for your back-up plan.” — Anne Leuman @annieleuman” username=”toprank”]

The Bigger the Barrier, the Greater the Glory

“The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.” – Jean-Baptiste Poquelin (AKA Molière)

Obstacles. Barriers. Challenges. Hangups. Whatever you want to call them, they’re a fact of life and of work. No matter the path you’re on, you’re going to come up against them. Managing marketing projects nearly guarantees you’ll come across the five barriers above, and possibly others, too. But while they may seem like impossible mountains to climb, the tips above should help you find a hidden bypass or shortcut to the peak, where the view is well worth the work. As Molière said, it’s glorious.

In need of more tips on how to create effective processes and juggle several marketing projects? Read our guide on effective project management for marketers.

The post 5 Common Barriers to Marketing Project Management & How to Overcome Them appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

June 15, 2021
  • by

Are you ready to start your online business now?

effective-traffic-and-sales.png

Content marketing is part of a broader digital marketing strategy which means it should be helping your site gain targeted traffic and conversions. Sadly, lots of businesses out there either neglect content strategy completely (and simply don’t create content) or, which is arguably worse, create content just for the sake of creating content: There’s no well-planned traffic or conversion generation plan behind publishing new content. This article will help you fix both: Here’s an overview of ways to use content to drive traffic and sales:

Traffic Driving Channels

When it comes to content, there are three main traffic-generating channels:

  • Organic search
  • Social media
  • Referral (other sites linking to you)

Let’s take a look at each of these channels in a bit more detail:

Driving traffic from organic search

Organic search remains the “best” source of traffic for several important reasons:

  • It can be a fairly steady source of traffic (build once, see it coming for several months without additional effort)
  • It is highly targeted: People were actually searching for the information you are covering

Google remains the primary traffic driver in the world:Google as traffic driver Source: sparktoro.com

No other traffic source is so effective. And no other traffic source is so challenging. Building traffic from Google basically comes down to two main tactics:

  • Increasing your positions for your relevant search queries
  • Ensuring your search listing gets clicked

To quickly cover each one: Increasing your positions for your relevant search queries This is the major goal of search engine optimization: Identifying relevant keywords (which also serve as content ideas) and coming up with ways to get your content ranked for those search queries. Two tools I am mostly using to research keywords and create high-ranking content are:

  • Ahrefs: I love their Keyword Explorer feature that offers lots of filters allowing you to find relevant questions and related queries that are in high demand, yet have a doable organic competition.
  • Text Optimizer: Once I know my target keyword, I run this tool to find more concepts and questions to cover in my content. This semantic-analysis-based tool allows you to create more in depth content including a wider range of related topics:

Text Optimizer Ensuring your search listing gets clicked Organic search results have become so diverse and visual that it is not easy to get clicks, unless you rank #1 (which, as you can imagine, is quite a crowded position). Thankfully, we do have some impact on organic listings and what they look like:

  • Obviously, focus on your content headline: It should stand out, possibly include numbers and/or a CTA
  • Consider using FAQ Schema to get Google to show a rich snippet including questions – answers. In some cases, you will be able to use other types of schema like Recipes and Event Schema
  • Pay attention to your branding: Google shows your domain (brand name) and your logo (favicon) in mobile search results making your brand identity part of your CTR strategy.

Mobile SERPs Namify is a nice tool to help you with that if you’re struggling. It will find you a great clickable brand name and create your visual identity. It is a cool tool if you are starting a site or looking to better define your brand identity: Namify

Driving traffic from social media

Generating social media traffic is somewhat easier than building traffic from Google but chances are those clicks won’t be so effective in terms of on-page engagement and conversions. Social media marketing is often interruptive. People seldom use social media to click links. They are there to chat with friends, see one another’s updates and catch up with family members. Yes, they may find your links interesting and click them but they will still be in a hurry to return to their feeds. Yet, social media traffic remains a valid additional traffic driver. To give you a quick overview of platforms and tactics, here’s a quick chart:

Platform How to build traffic What to expect
Facebook Post linked updates from time to time inviting friends to read and spread the word. It is usually a friendly environment for sharing your work. Sharing a link on a personal page is usually pretty effective but cannot be overdone. If you use a business page, your only bet is to pay for views or clicks.
Twitter Tweeting links may be effective if you have engaged following. In some niches there are active Twitter chats where you can share a link if it adds value to a discussion. Tweets are short-lives, so schedule several to go live in the future at different times. There are also a few ways to recycle tweets for more exposure.
Instagram You cannot post links in updates but if your profile has enough followers (at least 10,000), you can post links in stories which is quite effective for traffic. Instagram is not the best traffic generation channel but it is great for finding partners. Spend your time there to find people who you can build mutually beneficial relationships
Pinterest Integrate your CTA (e.g. “Click the image to read more”, “Click to download”, etc.) to drive people to your site Pinterest has a very specific image format that works. Tools like Venngage will help!
Linkedin Post links in your updates and tag mentioned people and companies. Linkedin won’t send a ton of traffic but those few clicks you’ll get are likely to engage better than those from Facebook. The Linkedin crowd is there for business, so they are likely to take interest in what it is you are doing. This platform will mostly only work in a B2B niche but if you are looking for leads, it can work very well!

The nice thing about this type of traffic is that you get to achieve other (possibly more important goals) when building it. You get to know your audience better, find partners and influencers, meet your potential content promoters, discover cool opportunities (like new groups and contests), find great content ideas, etc. Besides, by being on social media and meeting other bloggers, I increase my odds that my content will generate some natural backlinks which are key to increasing my organic rankings and consequently traffic.

Driving referral traffic

Finally, getting traffic from links on other sites is often part of a link building strategy. In fact, if you need a definition of a valuable backlink: It is the one that gets traffic. Traffic driving links are hard to come by but a few ways that may work include:

  • Regularly contributing to other (preferably popular) blogs
  • Reaching out to other bloggers inviting them to fix outdated or broken links with your resource.

Both of these methods include a powerful relationship building component, so it is a good idea to look out for bloggers to reach out to (or contribute for) when being on social media building your following and interacting with peers. There are, of course, other ways content can drive clicks but they are not relevant in the small business context. For example, creating viral content can send thousands of clicks but it is too time consuming (and often useless) for a small business to try.

How to Make Content Part of Your Sales Funnel

Getting traffic is only half of the battle. For your content to drive sales, you need to adjust your content strategy to your product and sales funnel:

  • Match content topics to your value proposition. When doing your keyword research and topic brainstorming, keep your product in mind. Which problems is your product solving? Focus on creating content that addresses those products and possibly offers your product as a solution.
  • Integrate your CTAs into content. These can be anything from a soft call-to-action inviting readers to check out your product (as an answer to a described question) to a two-step opt in that offers them to download a full report or a more detailed instruction.

To give you a good idea of both in action, here’s an article over at Hubspot integrating all kinds of contextual CTAs in a most fitting way: Contextual CTAs

Keep an eye on your content-driven conversion funnels

Finally, monitoring your conversions is key to creating a more effective content-driven sales funnel. Setting up Google Analytics goals is a must. Another idea is to use more conversion-oriented platforms like Finteza which allows to slice and dice your analytics data to get specific insights into which content-driven page does a better way driving sales from a particular traffic source: Finteza

Conclusion

Creating an effective traffic- and sales-driving content strategy takes time and effort but it is a very rewarding undertaking that will establish your brand as a knowledge hub, build brand loyalty and trust and help your business understand your niche and target audience. Good luck!

Image: Depositphotos

This article, “How Content Can Drive Traffic and Sales” was first published on Small Business Trends

June 14, 2021
  • by

Did you lose your job or business in this pandemic?

effective-traffic-and-sales.png

Content marketing is part of a broader digital marketing strategy which means it should be helping your site gain targeted traffic and conversions. Sadly, lots of businesses out there either neglect content strategy completely (and simply don’t create content) or, which is arguably worse, create content just for the sake of creating content: There’s no well-planned traffic or conversion generation plan behind publishing new content. This article will help you fix both: Here’s an overview of ways to use content to drive traffic and sales:

Traffic Driving Channels

When it comes to content, there are three main traffic-generating channels:

  • Organic search
  • Social media
  • Referral (other sites linking to you)

Let’s take a look at each of these channels in a bit more detail:

Driving traffic from organic search

Organic search remains the “best” source of traffic for several important reasons:

  • It can be a fairly steady source of traffic (build once, see it coming for several months without additional effort)
  • It is highly targeted: People were actually searching for the information you are covering

Google remains the primary traffic driver in the world:Google as traffic driver Source: sparktoro.com

No other traffic source is so effective. And no other traffic source is so challenging. Building traffic from Google basically comes down to two main tactics:

  • Increasing your positions for your relevant search queries
  • Ensuring your search listing gets clicked

To quickly cover each one: Increasing your positions for your relevant search queries This is the major goal of search engine optimization: Identifying relevant keywords (which also serve as content ideas) and coming up with ways to get your content ranked for those search queries. Two tools I am mostly using to research keywords and create high-ranking content are:

  • Ahrefs: I love their Keyword Explorer feature that offers lots of filters allowing you to find relevant questions and related queries that are in high demand, yet have a doable organic competition.
  • Text Optimizer: Once I know my target keyword, I run this tool to find more concepts and questions to cover in my content. This semantic-analysis-based tool allows you to create more in depth content including a wider range of related topics:

Text Optimizer Ensuring your search listing gets clicked Organic search results have become so diverse and visual that it is not easy to get clicks, unless you rank #1 (which, as you can imagine, is quite a crowded position). Thankfully, we do have some impact on organic listings and what they look like:

  • Obviously, focus on your content headline: It should stand out, possibly include numbers and/or a CTA
  • Consider using FAQ Schema to get Google to show a rich snippet including questions – answers. In some cases, you will be able to use other types of schema like Recipes and Event Schema
  • Pay attention to your branding: Google shows your domain (brand name) and your logo (favicon) in mobile search results making your brand identity part of your CTR strategy.

Mobile SERPs Namify is a nice tool to help you with that if you’re struggling. It will find you a great clickable brand name and create your visual identity. It is a cool tool if you are starting a site or looking to better define your brand identity: Namify

Driving traffic from social media

Generating social media traffic is somewhat easier than building traffic from Google but chances are those clicks won’t be so effective in terms of on-page engagement and conversions. Social media marketing is often interruptive. People seldom use social media to click links. They are there to chat with friends, see one another’s updates and catch up with family members. Yes, they may find your links interesting and click them but they will still be in a hurry to return to their feeds. Yet, social media traffic remains a valid additional traffic driver. To give you a quick overview of platforms and tactics, here’s a quick chart:

Platform How to build traffic What to expect
Facebook Post linked updates from time to time inviting friends to read and spread the word. It is usually a friendly environment for sharing your work. Sharing a link on a personal page is usually pretty effective but cannot be overdone. If you use a business page, your only bet is to pay for views or clicks.
Twitter Tweeting links may be effective if you have engaged following. In some niches there are active Twitter chats where you can share a link if it adds value to a discussion. Tweets are short-lives, so schedule several to go live in the future at different times. There are also a few ways to recycle tweets for more exposure.
Instagram You cannot post links in updates but if your profile has enough followers (at least 10,000), you can post links in stories which is quite effective for traffic. Instagram is not the best traffic generation channel but it is great for finding partners. Spend your time there to find people who you can build mutually beneficial relationships
Pinterest Integrate your CTA (e.g. “Click the image to read more”, “Click to download”, etc.) to drive people to your site Pinterest has a very specific image format that works. Tools like Venngage will help!
Linkedin Post links in your updates and tag mentioned people and companies. Linkedin won’t send a ton of traffic but those few clicks you’ll get are likely to engage better than those from Facebook. The Linkedin crowd is there for business, so they are likely to take interest in what it is you are doing. This platform will mostly only work in a B2B niche but if you are looking for leads, it can work very well!

The nice thing about this type of traffic is that you get to achieve other (possibly more important goals) when building it. You get to know your audience better, find partners and influencers, meet your potential content promoters, discover cool opportunities (like new groups and contests), find great content ideas, etc. Besides, by being on social media and meeting other bloggers, I increase my odds that my content will generate some natural backlinks which are key to increasing my organic rankings and consequently traffic.

Driving referral traffic

Finally, getting traffic from links on other sites is often part of a link building strategy. In fact, if you need a definition of a valuable backlink: It is the one that gets traffic. Traffic driving links are hard to come by but a few ways that may work include:

  • Regularly contributing to other (preferably popular) blogs
  • Reaching out to other bloggers inviting them to fix outdated or broken links with your resource.

Both of these methods include a powerful relationship building component, so it is a good idea to look out for bloggers to reach out to (or contribute for) when being on social media building your following and interacting with peers. There are, of course, other ways content can drive clicks but they are not relevant in the small business context. For example, creating viral content can send thousands of clicks but it is too time consuming (and often useless) for a small business to try.

How to Make Content Part of Your Sales Funnel

Getting traffic is only half of the battle. For your content to drive sales, you need to adjust your content strategy to your product and sales funnel:

  • Match content topics to your value proposition. When doing your keyword research and topic brainstorming, keep your product in mind. Which problems is your product solving? Focus on creating content that addresses those products and possibly offers your product as a solution.
  • Integrate your CTAs into content. These can be anything from a soft call-to-action inviting readers to check out your product (as an answer to a described question) to a two-step opt in that offers them to download a full report or a more detailed instruction.

To give you a good idea of both in action, here’s an article over at Hubspot integrating all kinds of contextual CTAs in a most fitting way: Contextual CTAs

Keep an eye on your content-driven conversion funnels

Finally, monitoring your conversions is key to creating a more effective content-driven sales funnel. Setting up Google Analytics goals is a must. Another idea is to use more conversion-oriented platforms like Finteza which allows to slice and dice your analytics data to get specific insights into which content-driven page does a better way driving sales from a particular traffic source: Finteza

Conclusion

Creating an effective traffic- and sales-driving content strategy takes time and effort but it is a very rewarding undertaking that will establish your brand as a knowledge hub, build brand loyalty and trust and help your business understand your niche and target audience. Good luck!

Image: Depositphotos

This article, “How Content Can Drive Traffic and Sales” was first published on Small Business Trends

1 2 3 63