Quora intros bulk ad creation, editing

The bulk ads editor and creator is an important development for advertisers — and Quora.

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The technical SEO hierarchy of needs

Use the hierarchy of your site’s technical SEO needs to understand its technical growth and actualization — and uncover what to do next to improve it.

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Bye-Bye Boring B2B: Lee Odden Shows B2BMX Attendees the Power of Interactive Influencer Content

Interactive Influencer <a href=Content Marketing" />

Interactive Influencer <a href=Content Marketing" width="600" height="350" />

Quick question, B2B marketers: How many of you wake up feeling like this about your B2B content?

via GIPHY

Not so much? Hey, it’s OK. You’re a passionate and proud B2B marketer. But finding a way to create exciting, inspiring, infotaining content that connects with your audience is hard work. After all, B2B isn’t innately sexy—it’s booooooring. Oh, and between content overload, changing consumer preferences for personalization, and diminishing audience trust, it’s increasingly hard to capture and keep attention.

So, here’s another question: Are you ready to say bye-bye to boring content and hello to exciting, inspiring, and infotaining content experiences?

Yes so much? Good. Because, as TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden told a packed room at B2B Marketing Exchange this week, you can.

How? By bringing two incredibly powerful Content Marketing tactics together: interactive content and influencer content.

Why interactive? Why influencers? Why interactive and influencers? Here’s how Lee broke it down.

Why Interactive Content?

The digital content landscape is increasingly competitive. If brands don’t create great content experiences that grab and hold attention, they simply can’t compete. But interactive content can be a B2B game-changer.

Interactive content informs. Interactive content engages and entertains. Interactive content connects. Oh, and interactive content converts. And as Lee pointed out, research shows that 81% of marketers agree that interactive content grabs attention more effectively than static content (CMI) and 70% of marketers say interactive content is effective at converting site visitors (Ion Interactive).

Why Influencer Content?

As Lee said, these days “buyers expect more, but trust less.” In fact, according to a HubSpot report, 65% of buyers don’t trust ads and a whopping 55% of those surveyed said they don’t even trust the companies they’re already doing business with.

The good news? Buyers desperately want to trust.

[bctt tweet=”Buyers desperately want to trust. And we can give them trust with relevant #B2B content that features credible voices. – @leeodden #InfluencerMarketing #ContentMarketing” username=”toprank”]

But who do buyers trust? Simply put, buyers trust people they know—or people they think they know. (Just for fun, take a peek at where marketers rank as compared to baristas. Uh huh.)

HubSpot Research

(Image credit: HubSpot)

Eighty-one percent of HubSpot respondents said they trust friends and family over business. In addition, DemandGen Report’s 2018 Content Preferences Survey showed that 78% of B2B buyers place a higher emphasis on the trustworthiness of the content source, and 65% have a higher preference for credible content from industry influencers.

[bctt tweet=”Co-creating and collaborating with influencers can play a role at every stage of the customer lifecycle. – @leeodden #InfluencerMarketing #ContentMarketing” username=”toprank”]

Why Interactive Influencer Content?

To remain competitive, marketers need to create engaging experiences for their audiences while also building credibility and trust. And that’s precisely where interactive influencer content comes in. To really drive the point home, Lee pointed to a fabulous quote from Amisha Gandhi, Vice President of Influencer Marketing for SAP Ariba:

“Working with influencers to co-create content delivers mutual value. When that content is interactive, it creates an experience that is more engaging and inspires action.”

[bctt tweet=”Working with #influencers to co-create content delivers mutual value. When that #content is interactive, it creates an experience that is more engaging and inspires action. – @AmishaGandhi” username=”toprank”]

What Does Effective B2B Interactive Influencer Content Look Like?

When you put relevant, useful, and credible content in an eye-catching, engaging format, incredible things can happen. Not only are you creating an infotaining experience for your buying audience, but also for influencer partners. You’re creating mutual value.

Examples of Interactive Influencer Content

#1 – Interactive Infographic

Topic: The Future of Influencer Marketing

Objective: Drive leads from original research report while also repurposing influencer tips.

Results: 6,971 pageviews and an impressive 42% conversion rate

Future of Influencer Marketing Interactive Infographic

#2 – Interactive eBook

Topic: Future-Proof Content Marketing

Objective: Leverage an entire year’s worth of content and insights around Content Marketing strategy, planning, and measurement to boost awareness and lead gen (small ask: participate in Content Marketing planning survey; big ask: request a trial).

Results: Exceeded small and big ask benchmark goals four times over.

Back to the Future Interactive eBook

#3 – Interactive Voice Assistant and Microsite + SEO-Driven Content

Topic: AI and the Next Evolution of Finance

Objective: Build industry credibility and engagement on AI and Finance with thought leadership content.

Results: 189% increase over benchmark pageview goals and 642% increase over benchmark engagement goals; 84 net-new keyword rankings

Interactive Influencer Asset with Voice Assistant

Buh-Bye Boring. Hello Infotaining Interactive Influencer Content.

B2B brands need to break free of its boring-to-boring reputations if they want to engage, inspire, and convert modern buyers. Buyers are ready for bigger, better, bolder content experiences—experiences they can trust.

So, B2B marketers, it’s time to ask yourself: Are your ready to create meaningful, trustworthy connects with buyers through your content? If you are, interactive influencer content deserves your consideration. Not sure where to start? Here’s Lee high-level checklist:

  • Identify a customer solution topic that is relevant to your brand’s expertise and your audience’s information needs.
  • Pick an interactive content type, story arch, and call-to-action that makes sense for the topic, audience, and objectives.
  • Identify, qualify, and validate influencers that have the topical expertise and the right audience for the end-product. And map them to your topics and subtopics.
  • Collect influencer tips, work them into the experience, and promote the heck out of the final product.
  • Nurture influencers for future engagement; strong relationships are at the center of successful influencer programs.

In the meantime, here’s a little something to snack on:

For more live updates from the conference, you can follow @TopRank, @leeodden, @azeckman and @CaitlinMBurgess on Twitter. In addition to speaking and tweeting, team members from TopRank Marketing will be live blogging sessions (like this one) throughout the conference so be sure to follow the blog for more.

The post Bye-Bye Boring B2B: Lee Odden Shows B2BMX Attendees the Power of Interactive Influencer Content appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Kelvin Gee Delves Into Key Learnings from Oracle’s Account-Based (Marketing) Initiative

Oracle's Kelvin Gee at B2BMX

Oracle's Kelvin Gee at B2BMX

Account-based marketing (ABM) has been a rising trend for B2B brands for roughly a decade. And it’s appeal (and effectiveness when done right) is rooted in thinking differently—in transforming your traditional approach to targeting, engagement, and nurturing to drive results.

But for Kelvin Gee, Oracle’s Senior Director of Modern Marketing business Transformation, and his team, thinking differently has led to piloting an account-based framework. (Notice, “marketing” is missing.)

“We believe words matter,” he told a packed room at B2B Marketing Exchange in Scottsdale, AZ. “[If we called our initiative ‘account-based marketing’], sales would think it was just another campaign of the month.”

“So, we just call it ‘account-based’ because we’re all in it together,” he said. “It’s not a tactic or event. It’s a go-to-market strategy.”

This all-in-it-together mantra should resonate with B2B marketers. Simply put, if we want to scale our marketing efforts and drive tangible and transformative business results, we need alignment and buy-in across the organization; we need to be a team.

Why Oracle Launched Its Account-Based Initiative

During his session, Kelvin gave us a high-level look at why and how Oracle tackled creating an account-based framework. At the most basic level, the demand waterfall was broken. Kelvin said that a very small percentage of MQLs were converting.

“There were silos; everyone was doing their own thing,” he said. “And we were transitioning to the cloud. We needed to do something.”

From internal myth-busting around what account-based really is to developing highly-personalized content for specific executives within target companies, the ultimate goal was to elevate Oracle’s strengths and mask weaknesses in the eyes of their target market.

Key Insights From Oracle’s Journey Thus Far

While Kelvin said Oracle’s account-based approach is still in “pre-season” mode, he shared a couple key insights and learnings his team has garnered.

#1 – Don’t let perfection be the enemy of good.

Marketers are often perfectionists, which can make embarking on a new initiative scary. But, according to Kelvin, if you’re willing to at least get started—to take that first step—you can get to the other side.

And you want to step together, and that starts with getting the team strategically aligned. To get your people there, here are four key focus areas:

  • Targeting: How do we select the right accounts?
  • Personalization: How do we develop insight and personalize content for our audiences?
  • Orchestration: How do we get everyone to work together?
  • Measurement: How are we going to measure success? (Since this a new initiative, you wouldn’t be able to use the same benchmarks. You need a new yardstick to measure against.)

#2 – Sometimes it takes a while for a team to gel.

Misalignment with sales. Poor execution. Shoddy communications plans. You will inevitably hit some snags throughout your account-based journey. And that’s OK. As you expand collaboration and refine roles, it will take some time for your team to work in harmony.

“You’re never going to get it perfect right out of the gate,” Kelvin said. “The key is to learn from those mistakes and continue to iterate.”

[bctt tweet=”You’re never going to get it perfect right out of the gate. The key is to learn from those mistakes and continue to iterate. – @kgee on #AccountBasedMarketing #ABM” username=”toprank”]

#3 – Remember, teams never give up.

Launching an account-based approach for your organization is a lofty task. And those snags along the way may make you rethink whether or not you should continue. But you should.

“Account-based is a team sport,” Kelvin said. “Sometimes you’ll need to reboot it; rebuild that trust [with the internal team]. And you need to be honest.”

Account-Based (Marketing) is a Long Journey—But It’s the Future

Breaking away from tradition and charting an account-based course is a long, hard journey. As Kelvin mentioned several times, Oracle is just getting started; Oracle is in pilot mode. But it’s a critical step toward the future of marketing and the future of their business.

[bctt tweet=”Account-based is the future of B2B marketing. – @kgee #AccountBasedMarketing #ABM” username=”toprank”]

For more updates from the conference, you can follow @toprank, @leeodden, @azeckman and @CaitlinMBurgess on Twitter. In addition to speaking and tweeting, team members from TopRank Marketing will be live blogging sessions (like this one) throughout the conference so be sure to follow the blog for more.

Disclosure: Oracle is a TopRank Marketing client.

The post Kelvin Gee Delves Into Key Learnings from Oracle’s Account-Based (Marketing) Initiative appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Digital Adoption 101: How To Reach Digital Marketing Nirvana With Your Business

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If your business doesn’t adapt to the changes within its own industry, it’s destined to fail.

This is something we continue to see time and time again with offline businesses, that never fully make the move to online. For both B2B and B2C businesses, it’s important to make sure you aren’t just changing with industry trends and technology, but also making sure these advancements are working for you as well.

One clear observation that businesses of all types should be focusing their efforts on, is the automation of everyday tasks.

When this is done correctly, it’s almost like a ‘nirvana’ feeling for your business. However, there is actually a term for when digital tools are being used as intended and to their fullest extent – which is called ‘digital adoption‘.

Digital adoption - image 1

With more businesses relying on automation and marketing tools to run their day to day operations, isn’t it time you did the same?

Before we get started…

If you want to reach digital nirvana with your business, you need to first know what it is and how to get there. In short, it’s the ability to look at your business and know that everything is running at max optimization and potential. This can be through marketing, lead generation, Email marketing, and/or a conversion basis.

A perfect example of this would be if we were to look at our mobile devices. As bloggers, entrepreneurs and fans of technology, we pretty much use our mobile devices for everything. However, if you were to hand that same mobile device to your grandparents, they would likely just use it to make phone calls – and also probably be quite confused in the process.

From the grandparents perspective, this is the complete option of digital adoption. As a business owner or brand, you want to be using all of your technology and automation for everything it’s been created for.

While this is a very simplistic and minor example, the difference between having complete digital adoption for an enterprise level business could be the difference between several hundreds of millions of dollars.

Examples of how brands are utilizing digital adoption today

Every business wants to have the highest Profit margins, productivity levels, and lowest costs, but it takes a lot of work to get there. Even if you are using the best automation and time-saving tools out there, they might not be getting used to their fullest potential or seamlessly across all platforms.

As reported by Business.com, every business has the potential to improve in all of these areas, as long as they have the following focus points in place.

  1. Digital adoption training is flexible and personalized.
  2. Digital adoption is a clear competitive advantage.
  3. Digital adoption supports a wider audience base.
  4. Digital adoption supports accelerated growth.

With all of these now in mind, we can take a look at some of the many businesses who are winning on a daily basis, thanks to the time, money, and focus they have put into the digital adoption efforts.

Amazon is always evolving

Digital adoption - image 2

Amazon has completely changed the way shopping takes place in the world today. Not only have they knocked out thousands of retail businesses along the way, but they’ve also continued to master their business and learn from the failing competition as well.

What seems like a B2C business to the average person, is actually fully catering to the needs of B2B as well. This is both through their shopping portal at Amazon.com, and through their other wide range of services like Amazon AWS and more. Daily features and data management of Amazon include free shipping, Prime subscriptions, shared payment methods, discounts, tax payments on purchasing and much more.

With hundreds of millions of products being ordered, paid for, and shipped, Amazon must absolutely have digital adoption running through their business at all times. In fact, their business is now more automated and computer/robot driven than ever before.

Without digital adoption in place for a business the size of Amazon, their day-to-day operations and growth would simply not be attainable.

McDonald’s makes winning online/offline formula

Digital adoption - image 3

When you look at a company like Amazon, it’s no surprise that they are using technology and automation to make a big difference. You might not think the same when seeing a localized retail-focused business like McDonald’s, but they most certainly do.

McDonald’s has been one of the most successful businesses in the world over the past century, but if they were to relax and only focus on their ‘offline’ business, they would likely fail like SEARS and Toys ‘R’ Us, who never fully took advantage of what the internet and personalized data had to offer.

A perfect example of this can be seen in consumer behavior. McDonald’s is well-known for its golden arches, drive-throughs, and getting your food pretty fast. Their menu is also small, which makes the decision process easy and fast. To speed this process up even faster, McDonald’s started to implement kiosks into their locations back in 2015.

This ultimately leads to an increase in orders, lowering employee costs and usage, and also provides the company with valuable customer behavior analytics as well.

As noted by Datum Strategy, all of this proved quite useful when McDonald’s ran a Super Bowl commercial in 2015, while also using social media to offer giveaways to their audience of customers. Being able to manage and measure the audience behavior, actions, and orders at stores while all of this was taking place was extremely important.

The effort drew over 1.2 million retweets and was just another proven example of digital adoption at it’s finest.

Under Armour fights for prime position

Digital adoption - image 4

If you are going to jump into a competitive industry and fight for your place alongside the ranks of companies like Nike, Reebok, and Champion – you better be good at whatever it is you have to offer! Of course, it also doesn’t hurt to have Steph Curry as your brand ambassador.

It seems like just a few years ago, not many people were aware of Under Armour and what they had to offer. What’s another ‘fitness’ type of company to offer that hasn’t been done and recycled a million times over? “Connected Fitness” is the answer.

Jump forward to today, and Under Armour is now the world’s largest digital health and fitness company.

How did that happen? Digital adoption of course.

While other brands were selling shirts, shorts, and shoes, Under Armour was working on a platform that allowed them to track, analyze, and share personal health data with their customers right through their mobile devices.

This isn’t just about user stats and offering something new, it also helped Under Armour to discover new industry trends before the competition, and even before they knew what they were looking at! A perfect example of this is how the company is based in Baltimore, yet they were able to recognize a walking trend that started in Australia – all the way across the world.

Through the use of innovative technology and seamlessly integrating digital adoption into their business, Under Armour has been able to beat out the competition and launch localized marketing campaigns based on their customer stats and behaviors.

Look to the leaders of today, for the answers of tomorrow

It’s easy to look at some of the biggest brand names and businesses in the world today for innovation. After all, they seem to have an endless amount of money and resources to advance technology and get work done.

However, these same business trends can be adopted by bloggers, entrepreneurs, and brands of all sizes. You might not be working with customer data at the scale of Under Armour, or have the massive volume of orders that Amazon deals with on an hourly basis, but you are still likely working with both of these components.

Take a moment to pick from any of your favorite entrepreneurs or technology gurus and see how they have transformed the world we live in today. Jeff Bezos changed the way we shop with Amazon. Steve Jobs brought innovation to the world with Apple. And Elon Musk is changing global and outer-space travel and transportation for all of us.

The common theme among all of these entrepreneurs is that they’ve continually pushed the envelope and inspired others to do the same.

Don’t just look at these brands and leaders as mentors and organizations that have changed the world and got rich in the process. Instead, look to them as inspirational examples and for ideas on how you can implement similar methods into your own brand, business, and personal goals.

Guest author: Zac Johnson is a world-renowned blogger and entrepreneur with nearly 20 years of experience in the online marketing space and has helped his readers generate millions of dollars online. He shares his story and guidance at ZacJohnson.com

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