11 Common (and Avoidable!) Content Marketing Mistakes, As Explained by Memes

Content-marketing-mistakes

Question: How do you get better at content marketing?

Answer: You learn from your mistakes.

Follow-up Question: What’s even better than learning from your mistakes?

Answer: Learning from other people’s mistakes.

If you’re looking for bad content marketing, it’s a buyer’s market. Every brand is a publishing company now. Some are doing amazing work. Most are…not so much.

While bad content may not be of value to its target audience, it definitely is useful for content marketers looking to improve.

I know it’s no fun thinking about the (sometimes costly) mistakes content marketers make. And I definitely don’t want anyone to feel bad who has made these mistakes in the past. We’re not here to shame anyone; we’re here to do better.

So to lessen the negative emotional impact of these harsh lessons, I’m enlisting some of my favorite memes to help teach them.

11 Common Content Marketing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them:

#1: The Random Act of Content

Dog Wearing Glasses at Computer Confused by Lack of Content Marketing Strategy

The Mistake: Content without strategy is like a baby deer on a frozen lake: lots of motion, but no progress. Yet many marketers are still slip-sliding around.

Don’t make me quote the B2B Benchmarks stats again, people. You know it’s true. A majority of marketers are creating and releasing content that serves no immediate purpose, has no measurable goal, and is not part of a larger whole.

How to Avoid It: First, it’s important to recognize that it is possible to directly measure the effectiveness of content marketing. Then, before you create a single new piece of content, create a content strategy that features concrete goals and the metrics you will measure to evaluate progress.

#2: The Lightweight

Milton from Office Space Lamenting Low Value Content Marketing

The Mistake: The old-school content strategy was to go broad and shallow. Copywriters would churn out 250-500 words on any topic their audience conceivably could be searching for. It didn’t matter if the content delivered on the headline’s promise—what mattered was driving traffic.

That’s a tactic that won’t fly anymore. Search engines are evaluating the quality of the copy, and the way readers react to it, to determine rankings.

How to Avoid It: Focus on the few topics that are of greatest interest to your highest-value reader. Don’t worry about attracting the attention of thousands of people who will hit your content and bounce—create something valuable for the dozens who will read it and buy. 

#3: The Island

Austin Powers Lives Dangerously with Poor Content Marketing Strategy

The Mistake: Even the most in-depth piece of content is unlikely to address every aspect of a topic. Yet marketers still publish content without a single link to a related post, or suggestions for further reading. The more time customers spend on site, the more likely they are to take a next step with your company. So it’s worth giving them a reason to stay.

How to Avoid It: As you write, look for opportunities to crosslink the reader to other valuable content. For example, that content strategy link up in the first entry leads to another blog post. It’s relevant, it’s useful, and it entices the reader to stick around.

#4: The Enstuffening
A Squirrel Stuffs a Nut into Its Cheek to Symbolize Keyword Stuffing in Content Marketing

The Mistake: Until recently, SEO was built around keywords. You find the word or phrase your audience might use, then stuff it in as many times as you can make it fit. As with lightweight content, it worked for a while—but no one was really happy with the arrangement. 

How to Avoid It: Search engines are now far more concerned with user behavior than keywords. Bake in your SEO by writing informative content that answers the reader’s question. You can start with a keyword, but use it as a jumping-off point to create content that resonates.

#5: The Sloppy Joe
Boromir from Lord of the Rings Encourages Content Marketing Proofreading

The Mistake: As publishing content gets more and more simple, it’s easy to sidestep the gatekeepers of language, spelling and grammar.

That’s a good thing overall, but can lead to beautifully-designed assets marred by typos, or blog posts with phrases so convoluted they’re impossible to parse. Sloppy copy can damage your brand’s credibility and cause readers to bounce.

How to Avoid It: Treat every bit of content you create, regardless of the channel or format, as though it were a multinational ad with millions of dollars behind it. Even if it’s a post for your personal blog or your LinkedIn Profile. If you don’t have the patience (or a patient friend) to edit, these tools can help.

#6: The Great Wall of Text

A Skeleton Reading Bad Content Marketing Waits for a Paragraph Break

The Mistake: We were trained early on to write in big blocks of text. The problem is, big blocks of text are torturous to read on a screen—especially on a small mobile device.

How to Avoid It: Optimize your text for digital consumption (which sounds like a disease, but means “reading stuff on a screen”). Use paragraph breaks every 2-3 sentences, wherever there would be a logical pause. Like here:

Include headers to provide a skimmable set of highlights for your piece as well. Readers will check out the headers before they decide to commit to reading the whole thing. If you don’t have these signposts, the reader will frequently opt out. 

#7: The Eye Exam

Morpheus from the Matrix on Content Marketing Tactics

The Mistake: Repurposing content is a fantastic habit to get into (more on that later). But sometimes what works in one format doesn’t quite work in another.

The slides from your presentation looked great on a 10-foot screen, but on SlideShare they’re illegible. Or the infographic you made looks awesome—until it’s compressed into a tiny window on your blog.

How to Avoid It: Make sure to adapt content rather than just putting it in a new wrapper. You can use those presentation slides to inform a new SlideShare presentation, for example, with less text, more visual interest, and a firm CTA to your blog.

#8:The Post and Pray
Julie Andrews from Sound of Music Laments her Lack of Content Marketing Success

The Mistake: So you create an amazing content asset that speaks directly to your audience’s needs. You promote it on your social channels and optimize it for search. Then you wait for the likes and shares to come pouring in…and you wait. And wait.

How to Avoid It: It’s no secret that social platforms are increasingly pay-to-play. It’s simply not enough to rely on organic sharing and search—if you believe in the content, it’s worth putting a few dollars behind it. Start with the channel your audience uses the most, make a minimum investment, and optimize from there. 

#9: The Authority Gap
Sarcastic Bear Says Your Content Marketing Lacks Credibility

The Mistake: You know that you’re a reliable resource for your content. So you naturally expect your audience to find you credible, too. Unfortunately, your target audience may not yet know how trustworthy you are.

How to Avoid It: There are plenty of ways to add credibility to content. Cite statistics from a respected industry source. Curate quotes from trusted individuals in your field (and don’t forget to let them know you quoted them). Even better, reach out to influencers to co-create content.

#10: The One and Done
Xzibit Encourages Content Marketing Repurposing

The Mistake: After pouring blood, sweat, tears and coffee into a great piece of content, it’s easy to publish it, forget about it, and move on. You may check to see if it’s gaining traction, but in general, you’re so over it. It’s an understandable attitude that leads to a lot of wasted content potential.

How to Avoid It: Repurpose your content by personalizing it for a different audience, changing the format, refreshing the stats, and more. Roll several pieces into an eBook. Turn the eBook into a SlideShare presentation (with legible text). Your content can find a new audience with every iteration.

#11: The Maze of Gates
Buzz and Woody Lament Gated Content Marketing

The Mistake: A potential customer sees a promising headline for what looks like a fun, entertaining read. They click through—only to see a subscription pop-up before they can start reading. Or a contact form for a download. They’re not ready to make a commitment, so they bounce.

How to Avoid It: Many smart marketers are experimenting with 100% ungated content. Whether that strategy would work for you depends on your audience. Regardless, it’s important to have plenty of top-of-funnel ungated content to pull in casual readers. Entertain them, offer value, then ask for a next step.

Even the Greatest Make Mistakes

If you’re currently making any of these mistakes, good news! That means you have some untapped potential to unleash. Use these as a checklist for making your marketing more effective.

If you have successfully avoided all eleven of these, congratulations! Your next move is harder: You get to go out and make all new mistakes that we all can learn from. I’ll be failing and learning right along with you.

What was your most educational marketing mistake? Tell me your story in the comments.

Speaking of content marketing, if you would like to know more about working with a talented content marketing agency, be sure to see “Optimize the ROI of Your Content Agency InvestmentandHow B2B Executives Need to Strategize in the World of Content featuring our CEO, Lee Odden, at Content Marketing World on Thursday next week.


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11 Common (and Avoidable!) Content Marketing Mistakes, As Explained by Memes | http://www.toprankblog.com

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Source: online marketing

10 Free On-Demand Webinars Every Marketer Should Check Out

On-Demand-webinars

Everything in the digital marketing world seems to move at light speed. And like most things in life, just when you think you have it all figured out, everything changes.

As a result, we marketers need to stay sharp, flexible and inspired. We need to make a concerted effort to stay on top of industry news and trends in order to grow our brands and keep pace with the competition. We need to be lifelong learnersand on-demand webinars can be incredible tools to help us do all this and more.

Not only do on-demand webinars help you learn new things and refine your skill set, but because they’re archived events you can listen and learn at your own pace and on your own schedule.

But with literally thousands of on-demand webinars out there, where do you start?

My best advice would be to target your most immediate learning needs and move on from there. From SEO and content to email and social media, below is a compilation of 10 free on-demand webinars that could be a great starting point.

Content Marketing

#1 – How to Be the Best Answer in Marketing: What We Learned from Analyzing 600K Posts

BuzzSumo

TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden joins BuzzSumo’s Steve Rayson for a webinar to discuss what it takes to be the best answer for your audience—whenever and wherever they’re searching.

You’ll learn:

  • The benefits of answer posts
  • How to identify customer questions
  • What it takes to be the best answer
  • The best answer formats
  • 10 elements of a good answer post

Watch the webinar on YouTube.

#2 – Republishing: How to Earn Greater Value from the Content You Create

Moz

You’re publishing great content. But are you getting all the value you can out of that content? In this hyper-tactical Mozinar, Moz founder Rand Fishkin “will show marketers which channels and processes may be useful depending on the types of content they create and are re-purposing.”

Get more details or register to watch.

Influencer Marketing

#3 – Secrets of B2B Content Marketing Success with Influencers

Uberflip and TopRank Marketing

Influencer marketing is a hot topic in the marketing world these days. TopRank Marketing’s Lee Odden joins Uberflip’s Hana Abaza for this webinar dedicated to helping B2B marketers create better better content that gets shared more often, reaches more prospects and grows their influencer network.

You’ll learn:

  • How to identify, qualify and recruit the right influencers
  • How to use the ‘Attract, Engage, Convert’ model for influencer and content performance optimization
  • Best and worst practices when working with influencers on an ongoing basis

Get more details or register to watch.

#4 – Team Up With Social Media Influencers

Cision

Social media and influencer marketing are two powerful digital marketing tactics. But what happens when they work together? Cision’s Natalia Dykyj and Stacey Miller walk you through how to use social media to build mutually-beneficial relationships with the influencers your audience trusts.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Grow closer to your audience by targeting key influencers
  • Identify relevant contacts using the right tools
  • Build rapport with social media best practices
  • Get on influencers’ radars by engaging across mediums

Get more details or watch.

Email Marketing

#5 – Email Marketing Tips, Tricks and Trends from Brands Winning The Inbox

Content Marketing Institute

While email marketing is one of the oldest digital marketing tactics, it’s still one of the most effective when it’s done right. Content Marketing Strategist Jamie Bradley, of email marketing software company Emma, and CMI’s Joe Pulizzi team up in this webinar to get your creative juices flowing.

You’ll learn:

  • How to craft signup forms, subject lines, and CTAs that actually convert
  • How to combine automation and dynamic content for a more personal content strategy
  • How top brands create a cohesive experience from their website to the inbox—and back again


Get more details or register to watch.

SEO

#6 – The Future of Search Engine Optimization: 5 Ways to Adapt Your Content for 2016

Content Marketing Institute

Evolution in search engines means an evolution in how marketers optimize their content for search. This webinar featuring CMI’s Joe Pulizzi and Co-founder & Strategic Director of Orbit Media Andy Crestodina, will walk you through the five most important actions for aligning your efforts with the future of SEO.

You’ll learn:

  • How to target topics, not just phrases (Semantic Search)
  • How to incorporate natural language into your content (Voice Search)
  • How to make visitors happy in ways that make Google happy (User Interaction Signals)
  • How to build a network that builds your links (Domain Authority)
  • How to adapt to Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines (Content and Design)

Get more details or register to watch.

Social Media Marketing

#7 – 10 Steps to Make Your Social Media Marketing Strategy Rock

Marketo

Two of Marketo’s Social Media rockstars, Lisa Marcyes and Scott Minor, lead learners through the latest advancements in social media and give tips for leveraging each platform in a way that hits the right notes with your audience. The hour-long webinar can be watched with commentary and also has a SlideShare version to make it easy to download and reference in the future.

You’ll get tips for:

  • Leveraging social media to drive engagement with your audience
  • Incorporating social media marketing into every stage of the buyer’s journey
  • Effectively measuring social media marketing to determine real business ROI

Get more details or watch.

#8 – Video Goes Social: Why Video Marketing Matters—and How to Do It Right

Hootsuite

The visual nature of the human species has never been more evident than it is right now. As a result, videos are booming on social media channels right now. This Hootsuite webinar features a great lineup of speakers including: Paul Gillooly, Monster’s Director of Digital Communication and Social Media, social media thought leader Mari Smith, and Hootsuite’s own Senior Director of Growth Marketing & Education Cameron Uganec.

You’ll learn:

  • Why you need to move to a video-centric mindset for your social strategy
  • Effective ways to create (and find) engaging video content to share
  • How other brands are using video successfully—and what you can learn from their results

Get more details or register to watch.

Analytics

#9 – The Future of Marketing ROI—30 Minutes to Understand the Future of Marketing Analytics

Nielsen

If you’re looking to discover the best way to measure the return on your marketing efforts, this webinar from Nielsen is for you. In this webinar, marketing analytics expert Josh Kowal shares findings from the Digital Media Consortium II and Nielsen’s perspective on the present and future of marketing ROI analytics.

Get more details or register to watch.

Digital Advertising 

#10 – How To Qualify Your PPC Traffic & Increase Conversions

Unbounce

In this webinar from Unbounce, PPC leader Brad Geddes explains how to optimize your AdWords campaigns to drive the most qualified leads possible to your landing pages.

You’ll learn:

  • How to optimize your ads by device
  • What ad testing metrics you should use
  • How to test with very little data
  • How to test ads and landing pages at the same time

Get more details or register to watch.

The Takeaway: Choose to Learn

The major takeaway here is that in order to be a successful marketer, ongoing learning is key—and there are thousands of webinars out there that are ready and waiting to be watched. As New York Times best-selling author Brian Herbert wrote: “The capacity to learn is a gift; The ability to learn is a skill; The willingness to learn is a choice.”

Choose to learn, marketers. You’ll feel energized, confident and inspired.

Is there an on-demand webinar that you would recommend to other marketers? Share your suggestions and thoughts in the comments section below.


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2016. |
10 Free On-Demand Webinars Every Marketer Should Check Out | http://www.toprankblog.com

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Source: online marketing

10 Must-Read Content Marketing Interviews with Major Brands and Industry Experts

Content Marketing Interviews

Content Marketing continues to drive marketing strategy for many companies and yet, most companies don’t document that strategy. The result? Marketing departments are challenged to create a variety of compelling content on a consistent basis.

Smart, creative and results-focused advice on content marketing that actually works is in high demand and I’m happy to say that over the past few years we’ve published just under 500 content marketing articles on topics ranging from strategy to measuring ROI. To bring you a balanced view of content marketing, we’ve made sure to publish our own point of view and thought leadership as well as interviews with brand content marketing practitioners and executives.

There’s a lot of insight in those interviews and below is a list of the 10 of the most popular, featuring conversations with brands that include: MarketingProfs, Visa, Facebook, Content Marketing Institute, LinkedIn, 3M, Bank of America, Xerox, and Dun & Bradstreet. Enjoy!

Ann Handley
1. Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs
Interview: “Writing is thinking. And for us as marketers, good writing is good marketing”

In business and in life, writing is an essential part of communications – no matter how digital, virtual and science fiction we get in our communications. That’s why Ann’s most recent book, Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content, is so timely. From Twitter to White Papers to books in print, Ann has smart, actionable advice for us all.

Takeaway: “The best content marketing isn’t about what you do or what you sell – it’s about how what that thing does for others. That’s a subtle shift, but an important one, and a hard one for companies to truly embrace.”

You can find Ann on LinkedIn and on Twitter at: @marketingprofs

Stephanie Losee
2. Stephanie Losee, Head of Content at Visa
Interview: “Brands now have the freedom to speak to their audiences directly.”

In this interview Stephanie discusses the most important changes in content marketing, a content report card for brands, predictions, career advice, and insight into more cross-functional content marketing success. Oh, and she also has thoughts on what will be the ruin of Snapchat.

Takeaway: “Think about what kind of content are external audiences expecting when they visit your owned channels, both content and social? What would benefit them? Ask for data about visitors and use it to inform your first few moves. Use existing staffers and resources and get to an always-on strategy that puts customers’ needs first as fast as you can.”

You can find Stephanie on LinkedIn and on Twitter at: @slosee

Johnathon Colman
3. Jonathon Colman, Product UX + Content Strategy Lead at Facebook
Interview: “Quality isn’t a definition; it’s a conversation.”

An insatiable learner (Masters in Information Science), wicked smart, focused on results, kind and thoughtful, Jonathan is definitely someone you can learn a lot from. In this interview he shares his journey from REI SEO to Content Strategist at Facebook, offering really useful tips, tools and resources along the way.

Takeaway: “Content experiences aren’t a zero-sum game, they’re not binary, and they’re not a competition between silos within an organization. When you look at the organizations who are growing sustainably year after year, most of the time you’ll see quality content and content services are a strong part of their strategy.”

You can find Jonathon on LinkedIn and on Twitter at: @jcolman

Joe Pulizzi
4. Joe Pulizzi, Founder of Content Marketing Institute
Interview: “Build an audience first and define products and services second.”

In this interview, Joe talks about how he found his passion for content marketing, the value and impact of goal setting, and the 6 step Content Inc model.

Takeaway: “I love content marketing because you can increase the bottom line while, at the same time, help your customers live better lives or get better jobs.  Content marketing is the only kind of marketing that provides ongoing value, whether you purchase the product or not.  Isn’t that what all marketers want to do?”

You can find Joe on LinkedIn and on Twitter at: @joepulizzi

Jason Miller
5. Jason Miller, Group Manager, Global Content and Social Media Marketing at LinkedIn
Interview: “You need a plan, and you need to find what works, then scale.”

This interview focuses on Jason’s current work, about LinkedIn and his insights into making social media and content marketing hits. He also shares examples of great B2B social media and content marketing, tools, resources and even a few predictions.

Takeaway: “As a content marketer you really need to ask yourself: ‘Do you want to stand out or do you want to truly connect with your customers and prospects?’ The answer is a balance of the two.”

You can find Jason on LinkedIn and on Twitter at: @JasonMillerCA

Carlos Abler
6. Carlos Abler, Leader – Content Marketing and Strategy :: Global eTransformation at 3M
Interview: “Content culture transformation is an essential pillar of digital transformation.”

This in-depth interview with Carlos covers content marketing in general, content strategy, and how to develop a content marketing culture across a large enterprise.

Takeaway: “Content strategy is a broad concept of organizational practices for effectively managing content lifecycle; content marketing is a specific application of content to add value to an organization’s relationship with people. Content strategy enables content marketing and content marketing defines the requirements that content strategy must serve to enable it.”

You can find Carlos on LinkedIn and on Twitter at: @Carlos_Abler

John von Brachel
7. John von Brachel, SVP, Content Marketing Executive at Bank of America
Interview: “Good content marketers need to have both left-brain and right-brain skills.”

For this post, John talked about his editorial background, how he stays current, motivating executive participation with content and a preview of his keynote and breakout session presentations at Content Marketing World.

Takeaway: “Have a compelling and consistent story to tell, one that allows you to build better relationships with your audiences. Sequence these stories to your audiences in ways that keep them connected to you and your brand over longer periods of time.”

You can find John on LinkedIn and on Twitter at: @vonbrachel

Jeannine Rossignol
8. Jeannine Rossignol, Vice President, Marketing at Xerox
Interview: “Content is an integral component of every aspect of marketing.”

This conversation with Jeannine focused on  content marketing strategy, top challenges facing content marketers, and content marketing lessons to be learned from Charlotte’s Web.

Takeaway: “A clear strategy should include who you target, what their buyer’s journey looks like, and most importantly, what are the questions they need to answer to move from one stage in the journey to the next. Every piece of content should go back to that strategy.”

You can find Jeannine on LinkedIn and on Twitter at: @j9rossignol

Rishi Dave
9. Rishi Dave, CMO at Dun & Bradstreet
Interview: “There may not be a need for more content, but there is a need for higher quality content that delivers new insights.”

Here, Rishi talks about building an inbound approach to marketing with content and the role content plays in an overall demand generation strategy.

Takeaway: “Don’t simply jump into tactics around analytics, technology, and content operations. Make sure you have something unique to say and that the organization understands what that messaging is. Until you have that, and a culture that supports it, great execution of inbound will not break through the noise.”

You can find Rishi on LinkedIn and on Twitter at: @RishiPDave

Michael Brenner
10. Michael Brenner, CEO at Marketing Insider Group
Interview: “The real question behind content ROI is, ‘why should I change what I am doing today?‘”

A first class guy and a pleasure to work with as an influencer, our discussion with Michael touches on some of the key questions marketers are trying to tackle, from developing a strategy to growing an audience to the importance of measuring content marketing performance. Michael also shares a business lesson from one of his favorite childhood stories.

Takeaway: “Content Marketing ROI is no harder than ROI for the rest of marketing. Start with a benchmark, calculate the cost of your content, place a value on the results and from there, ROI is pretty easy.”

You can find Michael on LinkedIn and on Twitter at: @BrennerMichael

There’s a lot of smarts in these content marketing interviews and I hope they have inspired you in ways that will motivate content that is better for your customers and more effective for your marketing.

Content Marketing World
The Content Marketing World conference is coming up fast and on September 8th, I will be presenting solo and participating on a panel that you might be interested in. Here are the details:

Thursday, Sept. 8 – 12:05 – 12:50pm
Optimize the ROI of Your Content Agency Investment
Solo Lunch & Learn Session (Room 1)

Thursday, Sept. 8 – 2:50 – 3:35pm
How B2B Executives Need to Strategize in the World of Content
Panel with Jennifer Harmel, Michael Brenner, Carla Johnson and Kira Modrus (Room 3)

You will also be able to see most of the content marketing smarties interviewed above at Content Marketing World. Ann, Stephanie and John are all giving keynotes and of course, Joe Pulizzi is the man behind it all.

Susan Misukanis Ashley Zeckman
My business partner and our agency president, Susan Misukanis (L) and our agency director of marketing, Ashley Zeckman (R) will be attending Content Marketing World as well.  We hope to see you there!

If you can’t make the conference or even if you are, don’t miss a thing by watching @toprank, @smisukanis and @azeckman for tweets during the conference and Online Marketing Blog for daily liveblogging of presentations.

Disclosure: We are currently providing services to LinkedIn and MarketingProfs. 


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2016. |
10 Must-Read Content Marketing Interviews with Major Brands and Industry Experts | http://www.toprankblog.com

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Source: online marketing

Winfluencer Marketing: How B2B Companies are Winning Hearts & Minds with Influencer Content

Lee-Odden-Uberflip-experience

“Influencer Marketing is the practice of developing relationships with connected internal and industry experts to co-create content of mutual value to achieve measurable business goals.” – TopRank Marketing

Influencer marketing has gained an enormous amount of popularity over the past few years but marketers still have lots of questions. How does influencer marketing work? Is influencer marketing right for my brand? How do I find influencers?

In addition to coming up with a new meaning for B2B (Beards & Bacon) and providing one lucky tweeter a box of bacon covered donuts, TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden answered these questions (and more) as he took the stage at the Uberflip Experience in Toronto.

Why the Need for Content Centric Influencer Marketing?

Let’s face it folks, the buyer journey has changed. What was once a clean funnel that followed a predictable path from awareness to action, is now more like this:

New Funnel

This new (and messier) funnel has become very unpredictable and difficult to manage. By incorporating influencers into content programs, marketers are able to help guide the way that buyers move through the funnel.

Benefits of Influencer Content

Many marketers are being tasked with doing more with less. One way to get more bang for your buck is to incorporate influencers into content programs. There are many benefits to incorporating influencers such as:

  • Adding an authentic voice.
  • Increasing content quantity.
  • Improving content quality.
  • Acting as a catalyst for creating relationships.
  • Increasing reach.
  • Tapping into new subject matter expertise.

3 Types of Influencer Content

According to Lee, there are three types of influencer content programs that marketers should be considering and incorporating today. Each of these program types requires different steps and can reap different benefits.

#1 – Influencer MicroContent

MicroContent can take on many forms. One of the most well known is the creation of lists of top influencers within certain industries or roles. Another option for creating influencer MicroContent is to include quotes, tips and insights from influencers into brand created content. In this scenario, the brand will create about 75% of the content and utilize the other 25% in influencer contributions to add credibility and a unique perspective.

An example of influencer MicroContent done well, is Marketo’s new eBook: The Definitive Guide to Social Media Marketing. As you can see in the screenshot below, Marketo used influencer contributions of varying length and type to add to their brand content.

Marketo Influencer Project

#2 – Influencer Content Campaigns

Influencer driven content campaigns are another type of influencer program that brands can implement. These often take on the form of eBooks (with supporting assets) and the influencer content will typically account for most of what is created.

TopRank Marketing recently collaborated with DivvyHQ to produce the Easy-as-Pie Guide to Content Planning. This campaign incorporated a group of content experts and included everything from an eBook to a motion graphic and supporting blog posts.

TopRank Marketing Influencer Campaign

In addition to the larger content assets created, our team also provided influencers with customized social messaging to help inspire amplification. As a bonus, we asked each influencer for their favorite pie flavor and then mailed them a pie. This small act inspired even more unique influencer content.

Divvy Influencer Contributions

#3 – Influencer Community Programs

Brands looking to build an influencer community MUST take a coordinated effort to be successful. In these types of programs, the influencers are aware of each other being part of a common group. They may be paid for some things like writing blog posts or going to events. In order for an ongoing program to work, there must be established mutual value and benefit for both the brand and the influencers.

IBM has implemented a very successful influencer community program that taps into a select group of experts for a variety of different projects over an extended period of time.

IBM Community Program

Building An Influencer & Content Marketing Framework

To help get brands started with influencer content, Lee shared a framework to help guide them down the path to success. The influencer content framework steps include:

  1. Define Goals
  2. Pick Topics, Content
  3. Identify, Qualify & Recruit Influencers
  4. Collect & Co-Create Content
  5. Inspire Promotion
  6. Performance Feedback
  7. Maintain Relationships

Considerations for a B2B Influencer Content Program

Before embarking on a content-centric influencer program, companies should consider the following:

  • Why: Decide why influencer marketing might make sense for your business.
  • Who: Determine what your staffing needs are and what influencers you might incorporate at the beginning.
  • What: Identify the types of content that you plan to create with influencers
  • Where: Choose which content and social channels you’ll use to publish and promote your co-created content.

For Lee’s full presentation you can view it on SlideShare the embed below:

What are some ways that you can incorporate influencer content creation into your current content program?


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2016. |
Winfluencer Marketing: How B2B Companies are Winning Hearts & Minds with Influencer Content | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post Winfluencer Marketing: How B2B Companies are Winning Hearts & Minds with Influencer Content appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.


Source: online marketing

Online Marketing News: Email Workflow, Google Cracks Down, Influencer Marketing Fails

optimize-your-email-production-workflow-infographic

optimize-your-email-production-workflow-infographic

How to Optimize Your Email Production Workflow [Infographic]
This infographic takes a look at the email marketing production processes of over 900 marketers to help isolate helpful tips and tools to help optimize email marketing workflows. Helpful hints include the optimum production cycle, tips for strategy and goal setting, content creation, design and development. MarketingProfs

Google warns it will crack down on “intrusive interstitials” in January
Google has made another bold move on behalf of user experience — cracking down on intrusive interstitials. The platform says that these ads are problematic on smaller screens, like mobile devices. Sites affected are those that show a pop-up, either immediately or after the user has been browsing content for a while, after the user has arrived from search results and those that show interstitials that users have to dismiss to access content, among others. Search Engine Land

Why Marketers Fail at Influencer Marketing (Report)
According to a recent report, the biggest struggle in measuring influencer marketing efforts is proving value. 28% of marketers say gathering data is a challenge, and 13% of marketers surveyed didn’t know what metrics to track. However, over 60% of influencer marketers are tracking more than five metrics, including traffic to a specific web page and social shares. SocialTimes

Report: Video ads on Instagram are more common and getting longer
Marketing Land reports that a recently released report “presents mobile advertising trends on social media sites, and Instagram in particular. The report finds that one out of every four ads on Instagram is now a video ad. This coincides with Facebook’s effort to make “video ads” more broadly accessible to small businesses and in emerging markets.” Marketing Land

56 PERCENT OF EXECUTIVES SAY THAT HAVING ANALYTIC SKILLS ON THE MARKETING TEAM IS CRITICAL FOR EFFECTIVE MARKETING

Study: Programmatic Ads Lead To 55% Lift In Offline Sales
MediaPost reports findings from a recent Accordant Media study: “Overall, there was a 55% lift in offline sales when serving programmatic ads over a control group not served the ad, with 35% incremental conversions, meaning that over one third of conversions would not have occurred without the programmatic campaign.” MediaPost

Facebook Is Letting Brands Build Slideshow Ads Right From Their Mobile Phones
According to AdAge, on Tuesday, Facebook launched tools for creating Slideshow Ads, “including the ability for marketers to create them right from their mobile Facebook pages. Slideshows are basically video ads, but use still images to string together a story.” Ad Age

Twitter’s New Button Enables People to DM you Direct from your Website
On Wednesday, Twitter announced the latest tool in their arsenal to allow users to more efficiently connect with each other, and with brands — a new button for websites that “enables site visitors to quickly and easily fire off a Twitter DM direct from the page,” according to Social Media Today.

Apple Weighs iPhone Video Editing App in Renewed Push on Social
In an effort to integrate more social networking apps in their mobile products, Bloomberg reports: “Apple Inc., seeking to capitalize on the popularity of social networks, is developing a video sharing and editing application and is testing new related features for its iPhone and iPad operating systems.” Bloomberg

YouTube prepares to expand beyond video with more social features
The video sharing platform YouTube is rumored to be adding new features that are out of the ordinary for the platform — its new suite of features called Backstage that will “give subscribers new ways to interact with content creators, including through “rich replies,” which are comments that feature multimedia content, including photos and videos.” ClickZ

What were your top online marketing news stories this week?

We’ll be back next week with more online marketing news. Have something to share? Tweet us @toprank!

The post Online Marketing News: Email Workflow, Google Cracks Down, Influencer Marketing Fails appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.


Source: online marketing

Supply & Demand: Making the Case for Less Content #UFX2016

Hana-Abaza-Uberflip-Experience

The problem with most marketing teams isn’t a lack of ideas. It’s a lack of clarity and focus.” – Hana Abaza

The meaning of the expression “less is more” is one that many content marketers are still struggling with. In an effort to capture the attention of busy and distracted consumers, they’re creating more content than ever.

But more isn’t always better.

Uberflip’s amazingly talented and entertaining VP of Marketing, Hana Abaza opened up day two of the Uberflip Experience conference to have a frank conversation about content marketing supply and demand.

Marketers Are Focusing on the Wrong Things

Content Impact

Here’s the harsh (and somewhat funny) reality for marketers:

  • 90% of marketers think they’re productive, but they also work on weekends. (Workfront & Harris Poll)
  • 60% of marketers have delayed going to the bathroom to meet a deadline.

These statistics have marketers wondering “How did we find ourselves in this position?”. The answer: We aren’t focusing on impact; we’re focusing on getting things done.

The 2016 Benchmark Report from MarketingProfs and Content Marketing Institute found that 76% of B2B marketers will produce more content this year. But many are still unable to measure the impact.

Hana suggests that maybe creating more content isn’t the best way to make the biggest impact.

How to Define Content Impact

Argument for Better Content

Three questions that all content marketers should ask themselves include:

  • Is my content in front of the right people?
  • Is it driving quantifiable results?
  • Is it the right content to begin with?

We are currently living in a very complex content environment. In fact, Hana’s research found that there are over 600,000 articles about mind-blowing marketing blog posts and almost 500,000 ultimate guides.

In order to be successful, we need to expand the scope of what we think of as content and take into account the content that is being sent to individuals on a one-to-one basis.

Flipping the Perception of Content Creation

Content Creation and Engagement

In addition to marketers creating heaps of content, consumers are creating more content than ever before. And that consumer created content is what is diverting your audience’s attention away from you.

In fact, within the last year alone, Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram have all experienced significant increases in their user base. Consumers are also consuming a crazy amount of video on these and other social platforms.

Because of this, people are engaging less and less with content that is not relevant for them, because they can.

3 Helpful Tips for More Strategic Content Marketing

Content Planning

#1 – Relevance

When we’re looking at content it’s not about quantity, it’s about quality. And it’s not just about quality; it’s also about relevance. Good content is no longer good enough. The content has to be relevant to the person, at the right time, on the right channel. Hana described the following three ways to validate content relevance:

People: The people that you should look at and reach out to include your internal teams, customers, prospects and followers/fans. You can reach them in a variety of ways including surveys or even quick and simple conversations.

Tools: To aid in your content planning, it’s important to use the right set of tools. Tools like BuzzSumo can help you understand what type of content is blowing up and resonating well with your target audience. Other tools like Answer the Public can help take the guesswork out of your content topics by providing insight into the types of questions that people are asking about a particular topic.

#2 – Distribution

Unfortunately, many marketers are focused purely on engagement metrics instead of incorporating important growth metrics as well. When marketers begin tailoring the content experience that will change the strategy for distribution. Here’s how:

Distribution Strategy Example:

  • Our Subscribers
  • Targeted Social (paid & unpaid)
  • Influencers (Advocate Hub)
  • Partners (Co-Marketing)
  • Discoverability (SEO)
  • Content Syndication (lead gen)
  • Other Publishers (lead gen)
  • (Very) Targeted Email

#3 – Experience

Here’s Hana’s dirty little secret. Great content isn’t enough. You need an experience that is optimized for your goals. The example she used was the difference between enjoying a nice frosty pina colada in a dingy basement, or out on a beautiful beach. Which one do you think creates a better experience?

In order to create a great experience, your content needs to be:

Readable: Content should have short paragraphs, great images and be easy to consume on a mobile device.

Actionable: Without setting up an engagement path for your readers, how will you lead them to consume more content or take action?

Tailored: There are a variety of different ways that you can organize content to meet audience needs. A few options for how you might segment it include:

  • By Role
  • By Industry
  • By Audience Segment
  • By Campaign
  • For a Specific Prospect

Before You Write One More Word…

Prioritizing content creation when it seems like there is always so much to create can be stressful. But before you write one more word, Hana suggests answering yourself the following questions: Do you really need another blog post? How can you leverage what you have?

You can find Hana’s full presentation on SlideShare or by viewing the embed below:

How do you define the impact of your content marketing? Are you reaching your goals or missing the mark?


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2016. |
Supply & Demand: Making the Case for Less Content #UFX2016 | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post Supply & Demand: Making the Case for Less Content #UFX2016 appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.


Source: online marketing

When ABM & Content Collide: How to Build an Account-Based Content Strategy #UFX2016

Dayna-Rothman-Everstring

Over the past few years, B2B marketers have been abuzz with the concept of Account-Based Marketing (ABM). It’s like some sort of futuristic concept was finally here and would be the solution that we all needed.

But just like any other marketing tactic, it takes time to figure out how to approach it successfully. In order to win with ABM, marketers need to understand how to effectively incorporate content into the mix.

To help us understand how to do that, Everstring’s Dayna Rothman gave a great, info packed presentation at Uberflip Experience that covered the basics as well as more in-depth strategies for tackling an account-based content strategy effectively.

What is ABM & Why Should You Care?

ABM is the strategic approach marketers use to support a defined universe of strategic and named accounts. – SiriusDecisions

When executing on a demand gen strategy, the goal is to create a very wide top of funnel and drive in as many prospects as possible. With ABM, there is a very narrow focus that specifically targets identified prospects.

Why Do We Need ABM? And Does it Work?

Here are some more important statistics to consider when exploring the notion of ABM:

  • Generating high quality leads is the number one challenge for B2B marketers (IDG)
  • More than 90% of marketers think that ABM is either important or very important (SiriusDecisions)
  • More than 60% of marketers plan on implementing ABM this year (Terminus).

7 Steps for ABM Success

According to Rothman, in order for ABM to work, there needs to be a coordinated effort between sales and marketing. Because ABM is such a high-touch approach, this integration needs to be made a priority.

Additionally, there are seven key steps to follow when implementing ABM:

  1. Target account selection
  2. Goal setting
  3. Sales and marketing alignment
  4. Content creation
  5. Channel and tactic selection
  6. Coordinated play execution
  7. Measurement

How to Choose Target Accounts

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for embarking on an ABM approach. Brands can take a variety of different approaches depending on the teams and technology that are in place. Some options include:

  1. Manual selection between marketing, sales and executives
  2. Manual selection by marketing
  3. Manual selection by sales
  4. Rules-based segmentation in marketing automation
  5. Predictive marketing

Target Account Tiers

Based on Everstring’s process, Rothman recommended developing three different tiers for ABM.

Tier 1: Executive Selection (20 – 50 accounts)

These are your big fish accounts that represent the most ideal customers. Selecting this small number of accounts should represent the internal goals you have as a company.

Tier 2: Representative & Predictive Selection (100 – 200 accounts)

Often times the second tier will be based on a combination of specific accounts reps want to go after as well as predictive analytics.

Tier 3: Predictive Selection (500 – 1000 accounts)

These accounts do not receive the same level of personalization as the first two but they still have some elements, they just aren’t as targeted.

Tier 2 Account-Based Content Example

Below is a model that Rothman provided of how you might market to a tier two account:

  1. Send direct mail door opener .
  2. Once delivered, follow up with an intro email which includes custom content hub (early stage).
  3. Follow email with call from a sales rep offering an eBook.
  4. Add account into dedicated nurture stream segmented by industry.
  5. Target account with ads promoting eBook (mid stage).
  6. Plan field event in territory.
  7. Follow field event with thank you email.
  8. Follow email with call from sales rep offering case study (late stage).

4 Account-Based Content Hacks

It’s at this point that many marketers begin to feel overwhelmed just thinking about the amount of content that needs to be created to support this sort of initiative. To ease the pain, Rothman shared some helpful hacks to help increase your changes for success.

#1 – Do More with Less. Marketers don’t need to create thousands of new pieces of content to be successful. Instead, it’s important to review your current content inventory and find ways to make that content more personalized.

#2 – Personalize Content Based on Tier. One way that you might breakdown content personalization could be:

  • Tier 1: Custom content per account
  • Tier 2: Limited personalization per account
  • Tier 3: Industry/vertical personalization per account

#3 – Use Hubs for Sales & Marketing Outreach. Content hubs (like Uberflip) provide an opportunity to create a custom experience without evoking too much effort. Sales reps can even create custom hubs for their target accounts in a snap.

#4 – Use Partners to Co-Create Content. If you lack expertise or resources in-house then you can work with partners or other vendors to co-brand and co-create helpful content for your target accounts.

Have you begun to dip your toe in the Account-Based Marketing sand? If so, what was the most surprising thing that you learned once you started?

Disclosure: Everstring is a TopRank Marketing client.


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When ABM & Content Collide: How to Build an Account-Based Content Strategy #UFX2016 | http://www.toprankblog.com

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Source: online marketing

Uncovering The Problem with Personalization in B2B Marketing #UFX2016

Pat-Spenner-Uberflip-Experience

B2B marketers around the globe are all experiencing the same pain. That consistent pain is how to reach, engage, qualify and convert audiences into paying customers.

We’ve all become acutely aware that more content isn’t always better. But now, we’re faced with an even harsher reality about B2B marketing which is that we somehow have to find a way to not only reach the right decision makers, but also figure out how to get them all on the same page.

Pat Spenner of CEB provided some amazing insights at the Uberflip Experience conference into the current state of B2B marketing, as well as ways to approach our marketing in a more data driven way.

The Unhappy Reality of B2B Marketing

When you look overall at the conversion rates of marketing qualified leads (MQLs) at mid to large sized B2B organizations, the reality is that the median conversion rate is only 3%. Ouch!

What that means is that roughly 97% of MQLs don’t ultimately convert. What a bummer right?

One of the ways that marketers have begun counter-acting this reality is by investing in technology and process that allows for more content personalization. But what is the impact of personalized content?

Personalization Conventional Wisdom

Part of the work that CEB does is front-end research that consists of talking to heads of marketing to see exactly how they would define personalization of content.
The standard approach to personalization is as follows:

  1. Identify key customer decision makers and stakeholders
  2. Build personas that capture their demographic profile, goals, pain points, fears, etc.
  3. Use the developed personas to guide more relevant content creation and deliver.

One of the things that CEB also asks marketers is how they believe this chain of logic leads to business value. Typically it looks something like the following:

  • Persona-Informed (personalized) Content –> Higher Engagement
  • Higher Customer Engagement –> Better Lead Quality
  • Better Lead Quality –> Higher Conversion Rates & Higher Quality Leads

Understanding the Implications of Multiple Stakeholders

Another important factor in content personalization is understanding the number of, and different types of B2B stakeholders involved in the purchasing decision.

CEB’s research has found that when you add any additional stakeholders over 5, your likelihood of selling drops to 30%. The bad news? The average size of a B2B buying group is currently at 6.8 stakeholders.

So, if you’re wondering why a high number of your MQLs ultimate end up in no decision, you’re not alone.

How to Encourage Collaborative Consensus with Stakeholders

It’s no mystery that buyers typically make it over halfway through the buying cycle before they’re ready to speak with someone. However, CEB found that when a buyer is roughly 37% of the way through the buying cycle is when they hit peak conflict.

If you’re going to be successful, Pat encourages not to just focus on the “corner office” stakeholder, or even every stakeholder individually. What’s important is to find a way to lower that conflict and help the stakeholders come to a mutual consensus.

What this tells us is that personalization alone (by job title or function) is not enough to encourage consensus.

7 Stakeholder Types

In his presentation, Pat uncovered seven key stakeholder types including:

  • The Go-Getter
  • The Skeptic
  • The Friend
  • The Teacher
  • The Guide
  • The Climber
  • The Blocker

It’s important for marketers to neutralize the blocker by focusing on those that “make stuff happen”. These are stakeholders (known as Mobilizers) that will advocate for great ideas that will reframe the way that they think about their business. These people are hungry for new ideas and will implement pressure tests to see how things work before making a move.

Talkers on the other had, may be high engagers with your content and your sales team, but their skillset and ability to drive change is very limited.

The average distribution of these three types as senior decision makers is as follows:

  • 38% Blockers
  • 36% Mobilizers
  • 26% Talkers

Pat suggests cutting back on the energy that is put into Blockers and Talkers and instead focus on empowering the mobilizers.

3 Steps Towards Better B2B Marketing Personalization

Marketers can begin breaking down the roadblocks described in this post by considering the following steps:

#1 – Invest in Interpersonal Personas: Instead of just segmenting personas by job type or function, instead focus on building out profiles that showcase an understanding of who your target (Mobilizers) are and what makes them function.

#2 – Plan Content & Equip Mobilizers: Make sure to build your content playbook in a way that uncovers how your audience profile, insight into how they talk, what objectives you might receive and what messaging will help align stakeholders to make a decision. This approach is what will help get your collective yes and help drive higher quality business and leads

#3 – Create Dog Whistle Content: When developing and executing your content plan, really focus on your Mobilizers and finding a way to create more Commercial Insight focused content. This type of content is a subset of thought leadership and provides insight about a customers business that reframes the way they think about their own company and then leads them to the logical conclusion that your offering is a fit.

How have you approached content personalization in a way that has to account for multiple stakeholders? What was the result?


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2016. |
Uncovering The Problem with Personalization in B2B Marketing #UFX2016 | http://www.toprankblog.com

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Source: online marketing

[eBook] How to Build Your B2B Marketing Empire From the Ground Up

b2bmktgempire

b2bmktgempire

Is your B2B marketing a skyscraper or a sandcastle?

It’s fun to spend a day on the beach creating your dream house, only to have the tide wipe it out.

But If you were planning on moving in with your spouse and kids…well, that would be a problem.

It takes planning and strategy to build something that will stand the test of time. Right now, too many B2B marketers are building their empire–and betting the future of their business–on nothing but sand and water.

If your organization is building without a foundation, you’re not alone. We’ve all seen the stats: Nearly two thirds of B2B marketers have no documented content marketing strategy. So it’s not surprising only 30% say their efforts are effective. It’s time to develop a new blueprint for success.

To help marketers start breaking the sandcastle mindset, the team at TopRank Marketing has partnered with MarketingProfs to produce a new eBook, “How to Build Your B2B Marketing Empire from the Ground Up.”

The eBook is an introduction to the 10th annual MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum. In celebration of the forum’s “Build to Last” theme, it features advice from some Frank-Lloyd-Wright-caliber marketing architects.

In the eBook, you will learn how to build a B2B marketing strategy designed to stand the test of time:

  • The three fundamental questions a good strategy should answer
  • The elements of an unshakeable foundation
  • The ideal characteristics of your marketing team
  • How to build your career to last

And much more.

Take a peek at the eBook’s skyscraping insights with the quotes below, and share them with your own construction crew:

b2b-marketing-architects

Michael Brenner: “Effective marketing programs focus on helping customers first.” tweet this

Andy Crestodina: “Decide what success looks like in Google Analytics and track that goal specifically.” tweet this

Doug Kessler: “Your B2B Marketing ‘rebar’ is a clear, compelling sense of who you are & the unique things you bring to the table.” tweet this

Chris Moody: “If your marketing strategy isn’t on paper (or digital), it isn’t happening.” tweet this

Jay Acunzo: “A willingness to break from ‘best practices’ and go craft on your own is an essential part of building a B2B marketing strategy.” tweet this

Scott Monty: “Without a doubt, one of the most important qualities for anyone in the marketing field is curiosity.” tweet this

Lee Odden: A successful career in B2B marketing requires: understanding what you want to achieve, honest assessment of your skills & a map for closing the gap.” tweet this

Mitch Joel: “Find team members who can make fast decisions, but take the time to nurture the right results.” tweet this

Jason Miller: Take a cue from KISS: Four unique team members sitting together, synced up beautifully to deliver a marketing experience.” tweet this

Jen Slaski: Hire people who are naturally passionate but instill the importance of asking, ‘What’s our goal?’” tweet this

Ann Handley: “Build teams that try to understand what it’s really like in your customer’s world.” tweet this

Ready to break ground on a new B2B marketing empire? Join us at the 10th Annual MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum.

The post [eBook] How to Build Your B2B Marketing Empire From the Ground Up appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.


Source: online marketing

6 Ways Marketers Can Optimize Their LinkedIn Profile

optimize-linkedin-profile

With more than 450 million members worldwide, LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network–and it’s growing every second. In fact, LinkedIn reports that people are signing up for the platform at a rate of two members per second.

For many of us marketers, LinkedIn’s continued growth is no surprise. Not only is LinkedIn the place to showcase your own talents and experience, but it also holds incredible networking and marketing opportunities for promoting our clients and our own brand or agency to the masses. From bolstering professional credibility to building thought leadership to maintaining client and prospect relationships, LinkedIn is an amazing tool.

But are we all using this wonderful tool to its full potential?

It all starts with maximizing and optimizing your profile. Whether you’re reaching out to prospects for your own agency, connecting with industry influencers on behalf of a client or just looking to make some connections, your profile is quite obviously the first thing people will see. And you want it to look gooooood.

Below we dive into some best practices and tips for optimizing your profile so you can use it to build your own professional brand as a marketer and make it a powerful tool to further your marketing objectives.

#1 – Cover the basics.

The very top of your profile page is prime real estate, providing a little snapshot of who you are and what you do. This is where you want to make a good first impression and encourage people to scroll and learn more about you.

LinkedIn - 1

Some best practices and tips for this section include:

  • Upload a professional and high-resolution head shot. Make sure the photo is sized 400 x 400 and it’s in a JPG, GIF or PNG format.
  • Write a catchy headline. Use this space to sell yourself a bit. You can certainly go simple by including your job title and company, but a little creativity and uniqueness can go a long way. But remember you have just 120 characters to work with.
  • Include the industry you work in. Select the industry that best represents the space you’re currently working in.
  • Add experience and education information. Basic information from the Experience and Education sections will be pulled into your top overview, so make sure you have where and what you studied, and current and past job titles and companies at a minimum.

#2 – Get specific.

LinkedIn is not meant to be your online resume, as resumes are often tweaked and tailored to meet the requirements of a specific job. Linkedin is where you can showcase all your past professional and volunteer work history—as well as your interests and a little personality.

Use the Summary, Experience and Education sections, as well as others that you can add onto your profile, to dive deep into your qualifications, experience and accomplishments.

Summary

The Summary section is your elevator pitch. Include relevant information about your current role and company, as well as the experience that got you there and what drives you to do quality work. Consider writing this section in the third-person and include keywords that will help your profile come up in search results.

Again, this is where you make your pitch so don’t be afraid to brag a bit about some of your accomplishments. And if you can, back it up with some examples of your work. Below is a great example from TopRank Marketing’s Ashley Zeckman.

LinkedIn Summary Section

Experience

While you want to be specific and detailed, make sure you’re clear and concise as well. Start out with a brief overview of your role. Then highlight specific responsibilities, accomplishments and the results you’ve gotten in a bulleted list. Below is an example from Kevin Cotch, TopRank Marketing’s awesome SEO Analyst.

LinkedIn Experience Section

Education

Go beyond listing the high school or college you’ve attended to include your areas of study, activities or societies you participated in, and any honors or awards you may have received. Connect it with the institution’s LinkedIn page if you can. This will help you explore profiles of fellow alumni. Here’s a peek at what my own Education section looks like.

LinkedIn Education Section

Adding Other Sections

You can also beef up your profile by adding additional sections such as organization you’re involved with, certifications, volunteer experience and more. Again, the more information and detail you display, the better.

When you’re in edit mode, you’ll find this option directly under the top overview section.

LinkedIn Other Sections

Click on “View More” to see all the options that you haven’t yet utilized on your profile. Here’s what opportunities are available on my own profile.

LinkedIn - 6

#3 – Showcase your top skills.

The Skills & Endorsements section allows you to show off all your areas of expertise. The beauty of this section is that you have the ability to prioritize which skills you want to call attention to in the Top Skills portion of the section.

LinkedIn Top Skills Section

If you’re in edit mode, click on any of the edit icons to get to the editing dashboard. Then click and drag skills into the order you want. Also, make sure to check you’ve opted into serving your skills up as endorsement suggestions for your connections.

LinkedIn Reordering Skills

#4 – Add examples of your work.

Documents, images, presentations, links and videos can all be added to various sections of your profile, allowing tell your story in a visual way and letting people see your work in action. Below is a peek at content featured in TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden’s Summary section.

LinkedIn Publishing

#5 – Make use of LinkedIn’s publishing platform.

Taking advantage of LinkedIn’s publishing platform has a number of benefits. First of all, all your posts become part of your profile, living in a section directly under the top overview section.

In addition, when you publish something new it’s shared with your connections and followers. The content is also searchable on and off LinkedIn, which is huge.

LinkedIn Pulse Content

When it comes to actually writing your posts, choose a topic that you’re experienced with and stick to it. If you try to include too many elements, you’ll lose readers. You could also use the platform to repurpose existing content. Of course, write a click-worthy headline, use keywords and aim for around 300-600 words or so.

Check out LinkedIn’s advice on writing long-form posts.

#6 – Don’t be shy about endorsements and recommendations.

Endorsement and recommendations from those you’ve worked with give your profile the depth it needs to build credibility with connections. After all, who better to describe what you have to offer than the people who’ve actually worked with?

Reach out to former supervisors, co-workers or clients you’re close with and ask them to endorse some of your skills or write a recommendation. To get more endorsements, reach out using In-Mail or email. For recommendations, scroll to the Recommendations section at the bottom of your profile and click “Ask for Recommendations.” This will allow you to select what job you want to be recommended for and the connection you want to reach out to.

LinkedIn will generate a message for you, but personalizing it will make it much more effective.

LinkedIn - 11

The bottom line is you want your profile to be a reflection of who you are as an individual and a marketing professional. The more information you provide, the easier it will be for people to get to virtually know you, allowing you to build connections and credibility, and push your marketing efforts forward.

Do you have a favorite formula for writing a catchy profile headline? Or any other LinkedIn profile tips? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2016. |
6 Ways Marketers Can Optimize Their LinkedIn Profile | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post 6 Ways Marketers Can Optimize Their LinkedIn Profile appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.


Source: online marketing