Learn How to Connect Actions to Results Using Marketing Attribution

We’ve all been there. The big marketing campaign you spent months on just ended, it was a smashing success! Champagne was popped, there were pats on the back all around, life was good. But when the dust finally settles, you’re left staring a mountain of data square in there eyes, wondering if the marketing attribution you set up tells the real story.

Fortunately for you, during this year’s MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum, Dayna Rothman of BrightFunnel broke down how you as a savvy marketer can orchestrate the buyer journey and turn it into a science by properly leveraging data and analytics.

The “Marketing Holy Grail” is to turn the buyer journey into a science by sending the right message, to the right person, at the right time.

Consider the Typical Buyer Journey

In any well-rounded buyer journey, Dayna explained, there are several marketing touch points that the buyer will likely come in contact with. However, in most cases we track the sale or lead back to just a single touch point, such as a click from an offer email. But this doesn’t generally tell the whole story of the typical buyer journey. In most buyer journeys there are several touch points that contributed to the sale or conversion. Because of this, it is crucial that you are tracking all touch points in the buyer journey and not just one element. Doing this will allow you to truly orchestrate the buyer journey.

 

Track Metrics that matter

So now that you know you need to be tracking all elements in the buyer journey, what should you focus on first? Dayna outlined five key metrics to keep your eye on:

  1. First touch attribution—what brings people into your funnel
  2. Last-touch attribution—what converts people to become customers
  3. Multi-touch attribution—what accelerates people through your funnel
  4. Velocity—how fast a piece of content, a channel, or a campaign moves people through your funnel
  5. Full account analysis—how everything adds up in order to determine the best path to sale

By accurately tracking the above elements, you will be armed with the data that will allow you to begin to orchestrate an optimized buyer journey. Look for trends in how fast campaigns move the buyer through the funnel, the order in which content is downloaded, which channels and campaigns are most effective in each level of the funnel and even how sales activity integrates into the overall buyer journey.  It is important to note here that although elements like first touch and last touch attribution can be relatively easy to identify in programs like Google Analytics and AdWords, professional marketing attribution software, if used properly will make full attribution tracking a much more manageable task.

Set Yourself Up for Success

Mapping the buyer journey and truly measuring attribution can be a time intensive effort. So to get the most out of this initiative, be sure to:

  • Benchmark your current program performance and buyer journey so that you can effectively measure success.
  • Set a series of goals that align to your business objectives.
  • Make sure that your technology stack can account for your attribution needs.
  • Ensure that your tools are syncing properly.
  • Become a change agent within your marketing team.

4 Key Marketing Attribution Takeaways

Dayna’s presentation did a really great job of showing the amazing level of detail and insight a fully attributed marketing program can give you. Although the above recap only scratched the surface on her valuable insights from the day, I will leave you with my four key takeaways:

  1. The holy grail of marketing is turning the buyer journey into a science
  2. Orchestrate your customer journey by leveraging data and analytics
  3. Look at single-touch and multi-touch attribution to know what to say to your customer and when to say it
  4. Constantly keep testing and optimizing for success!

Have you cracked the code on marketing attribution for your organization? If so, how did that change your approach?

Disclosure: BrightFunnel is a TopRank Marketing client.

Everything You Need to Build a LinkedIn Marketing Tactical Plan

Over the last five years, we’ve seen an evolution in the way B2B marketers are talking about and using social media. We’ve evolved from asking “Should we be doing it?” to “Is what we are doing worth it?” to now “How do I make this really effective channel even more effective?”.

According to a recent study from Oktopost, 79% of B2B marketers believe social media is an effective marketing channel (Oktopost). And for many B2B marketers, LinkedIn is THE social media channel. In fact 43% of marketers say they’ve sourced a customer from LinkedIn (Hubspot).

But could we be doing better? Can we use LinkedIn more effectively?

To help answer that question, Alex Rynne, Content Marketing Manager at LinkedIn Marketing Solutions and Chris Wilson, Inbound Consultant from Hubspot, provided B2B marketers with an actionable, detailed plan to drive bigger, better performance from LinkedIn tools at last week’s B2B Marketing Forum in Boston.

Linkedin Company & Showcase Pages

LinkedIn Company and Showcase pages are great opportunities to establish and build your company’s identity. It’s a completely free tool that allows your brand to connect professionals with your employees and your brand to share knowledge with your community.

LinkedIn Showcase pages allow you to create dedicated pages for individual brands and are another opportunity to build individual brand identity.

Objectives:

  • Brand awareness
  • Lead generation
  • Thought leader
  • Event Registrations

KPIs:

  • Page followers
  • Post clicks
  • Engagement
  • Comments
  • Inquiries
  • Event Registrations

What to Share:

  • Showcase your expertise with large assets like webinars and eBooks.
  • Engage with short digestible stats and quotes.
  • Illustrate industry savvy with 3rd party content. Alex shares that no one wants to talk to the person at the party that only talks about themselves. 3rd party content shows you’re on top of trends within the industry, creates opportunities for engagement with your audience and helps build influencer relationships.

LinkedIn Company and Showcase Page Action Items:

  • Post 3-4xs per day.
  • Engage with and respond to followers comments:  Don’t ignore your followers. If they take the time to engage with you, show them your appreciation and build strong engagement by responding.
  • Change your header image every 6 months: Chris compares the header image to the front door of your LinkedIn page. Make it attractive and people will want to come in.  Take advantage of the header real estate and switch it up periodically to promote to campaigns or messaging.

Publishing on LinkedIn

According to Alex, over 1 million  unique  publishers  publish  more than 130,000 posts a week on LinkedIn and 45% of LinkedIn readers are in the upper ranks of their industries (i.e. managers, VPs, CEOs, etc.). So publishing content is a great way to connect with key people in your industry and further establish your professional identity.

Objective:

  • Thought Leadership

Key Metrics:

  • Post reviews & Profile views
  • Demographics of your readers
  • Likes, comments and shares

What to Share:

Although there is no silver bullet for exactly what and how often you should publish. Alex and Chris shares examples of what tends to work best.

  1. Publish when you feel passionate. If you post when you are creatively inspired, about something you care about, this is when your work will be most likely to resonate with your audience and inspire engagement. Content about lessons learned and your professional expertise will be most relevant to your audience.  
  2. Crowdsource content. Look at the questions your audience is asking and identify their pain points. This content will undoubtedly resonate.
  3. Share relevant, timely content about events or industry news. Tap into the conversations that are already happening by posting an opinion or tips related to something current in the news.

Action Items:

  • Publish when you feel passionate (this is listed twice because it is that important).
  • Recommended bi-weekly or once a month.

LinkedIn Sponsored Content

LinkedIn Sponsored content allow you to reach a target audience of people who are not already following you.

Objectives:

  • Brand awareness
  • Lead Generation
  • Thought Leadership

Key Metrics:

  • Engagement Rate
  • Inquires
  • Impressions

Best practices:

  1. Visual is the new headline. There is so much content in the feed, make sure your content is really eye catching. If you can, move beyond stock photos and do your own photoshoot.
  2. Keep it short & sweet. Be mindful of your mobile users and make content easy to consumer.
  3. Snackable stats work wonders. Provide your audience with 3rd party validation to backup your message.
  4. Variety is the spice of life. Variety allows you to avoid creative fatigue but also see what resonates the best with your audience.

What to Share:

  • Webinars
  • Content that asks readers to participate i.e. survey, nominations
  • Statistics
  • Repurposed, straightforward content

Always be Testing:

With the amount of content clutter, testing is a great way to find out what is most likely to work with your audience and make the most out of what you are publishing. Alex and Chris recommend testing anything from word choice (i.e. eBook versus guide), content (inclusion of a stat or benefit), and images (photo or graphic).

Action Items:

  • Select a compelling visual.
  • Run 2-4 posts per week.
  • Run the test for 3 weeks, to ensure you have an actionable result.
  • Add URL tracking codes to measure post click actions (site visits and conversions)
  • Setup campaigns by audience and make sure you tailor the content to the audience (i.e. managers versus c-suite).
  • Shift budget to the audience with the highest engagement rate. Spend your money where you are going to get the most impact.

LinkedIn Sponsored InMail

LinkedIn InMail allows you to send personalized messages to the people who matter most to your business. InMail can work even better than email at reaching certain audiences.

Objectives:

  • Brand awareness
  • Lead Generation
  • Program Certification
  • Enrollment

Key Metrics

  • Open rate
  • Inquiries and leads
  • Event registration
  • Program application and brochure downloads

What to Share:

  • Webinar an industry event invitations
  • eBook launches
  • Product one sheets
  • Program demos
  • Infographics
  • Blog subscription campaigns

Action Items

  • Keep copy under 1000 characters (but AB test).
  • Use a clear CTA in the top right banner.
  • Choose a sender that is credible to your audience. If audiences have never heard of your brand before, your open rates will be lower, than if it’s from a person they know.
  • Leverage personalization. InMail allows you to add the recipient’s name or other customized information.
  • Have a hyperlink early in the body of the message.
  • Select a concise subject link.
  • Set up A/B test to learn what resonates.

Bonus Opportunity: Linkedin Conversion Tracking:

Obviously, tracking is so critical to reporting the results of your campaigns, but also to optimize and iterate for the go forward.

Chris outlines the steps for setting up LinkedIn conversion tracking:

  1. Use a Google Analytics tracking code for easy set up.
  2. Assign a Conversion value: If you don’t know this, create an estimate based on product value and close rate .
  3. Tie it all together: This way you can show clear value, nice argument for executives that you need more value.

Don’t do Social Campaigns, Make Every Campaign Social

Using a tactical plan like the one Alex and Chris shared will allow you to really harness the power of LinkedIn. Once this happen, you can truly integrate social into all of your campaigns in order to engagement with your audience and accelerate the impact of your content.

Interested in other LinkedIn related tactics? Find out everything you need to know about LinkedIn’s new native video feature.

Disclosure: LinkedIn is a TopRank Marketing client.

CBM101017

Here are the notes from the Chris Brogan Media broadcast for 10/10/17. (You can watch this on my Facebook account).

This live video was all shot using Ecamm Live (client), the best way to do Facebook Live for Mac.

Please note that all links may be affiliate links. If someone is a client, I’ll call that out specifically.

Stories Shared

Did you know that the cartoon Rick and Morty is the #1 cartoon with Millenials?

They’re so big they convinced McDonalds to bring back Szechuan sauce last seen around the time of the movie Mulan, based on an episode of the cartoon.

But um, that went poorly. McD’s didn’t anticipate the fandom. So now they’re going to bring it back again this winter so more people can have some.

They could’ve asked a bot for an answer. Evidently that’s a thing now.

Especially if you like the NBA. Now you can ask Alexa all those basketball stats questions.

In other sports news, there’s now a big issue where NFL owners and leadership are asking their team members not to protest the National Anthem.

Let’s talk about the future. Puerto Rico’s future. Here’s a beautiful ‘reimagining’ opportunity that bears thinking about.

Speaking of the future, there will be one fewer mobile OS in it. Windows Phone is no longer.

But in other signs of things to come, Hulu just ordered up 4 new esports shows.

In plant-based news, ever want to get some healthy smoothies mailed to you? You can!

Lastly, some cosplay. You know I love it. This is the Justice League at NYCC. Cool, right?

Hey, if this has been interesting, consider picking up my weekly newsletter. It’s all unique ideas by me about how to improve buyer interactions and grow your business. Give it a peek

What ELSE is News?

You want to get featured on the Chris Brogan Media show? Drop me an email: chris@chrisbrogan.com and let me know what’s news!

Please Get My Newsletter

My newsletter is the best work I do every week. You can get yours here.

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Real Estate Landing Pages (Our Customer Favorites + Why We Think They’re Great)

Whether you’re an independent realtor or work at a real estate agency, you can gain a competitive advantage if you have owned digital properties to drive your paid and social traffic to.

Owned properties — like landing pages — provide you more control in real estate versus relying on popular listing sites where the journey isn’t always clear, you can’t customize your call to action or match your branding.

In short, real estate marketing can really benefit from lead capture landing pages because they allow you to:

  • Establish and grow your mailing list, ensuring you can follow up with and remarket to interested prospects later.
  • Showcase properties especially well, creating urgency and delivering especially compelling offers (like granting early access to listings, for example).
  • Track social and paid campaigns better. With a listing site you don’t have access to metrics and can’t determine ROI as quickly as you can with a landing page.

Ultimately, you can use landing pages to understand exactly who is interested in a property, entice prospects to book appointments (or other offers) and wow new clients with on-brand design.

In this post I’ll break down some of the best ways to start using real estate landing pages with a few examples from Unbounce customers.

1. Showcase your listings (and grow your mailing list)

At minimum, every real estate broker needs a place to share listings online. But ideally, you’ll want to own the experience.

RE/MAX agents Matthew Davidson and Kimbe MacMaster know this first-hand.

These independent agents use Unbounce landing pages to showcase an overview of a property: quick stats, a photo gallery, a video and details on the community. And while a property is available, prospects can book a showing as the call to action:

Featuring trendy parallax scroll, this page converts at 0.38%. Click to view full-length landing page.

Once the listing is sold (nice work Matthew and Kimbe!), the CTA changes to allow interested parties to sign up for early notice for similar listings in the future:

This post-sale CTA swap is a terrific way to build your email list for advertising similar properties in the future.

Having used the Unbounce Loft template, Matthew and Kimbe can simply duplicate this page each time they need a dedicated place to feature a listing. This allows the duo to be listing-specific when they link from a Facebook or search ad, ensuring a seamless ad-to-landing-page experience for potential buyers.

According to the Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report, 41.6% of marketers in real estate have at least one page that converts under 1.3%, so Matthew and Kimbe’s conversion rate above is in line with what we see for many real estate marketers.

See how your conversion rates stack up in real estate (and nine other popular industries)

Download the Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report to see how your landing page performance compares to your competitors.
By entering your email you’ll receive other resources to help you improve your conversion rates.

2. Entice buyers with exclusive pre-sale info, floor plans, price lists and more

Booking viewings of individual properties is great, but what if the real estate you’re selling is still in development?

Working with large and small-scale real estate developers, Rennie helps their developer clients plan and execute all aspects of their marketing and sales strategy, including online advertising. As part of their online strategy, they create project-specific landing pages and direct all paid traffic to those pages to gather leads.

Here’s an example created for The Pacific by Grosvenor:

This real estate landing page currently converts at 7.92%. Click to view full-length page.

Jennie Sebastian, Rennie’s Digital Marketing & CRM Manager, shared that the marketing team typically has a kick-off meeting five to six weeks before a campaign. Once they determine targeting and put together a media schedule, creative — including development of the landing page — can begin.

The campaigns typically employ search ads, display, Facebook, Instagram and WeChat, but the team is always looking for new ways to reach their target audiences.

As many real estate marketers can likely empathize with, Jennie shared:

One of the biggest challenges in online marketing is coming up with a strong call to action that entices users to provide us with their personal information.

Depending on the phase of the project and assets available, CTAs range from, “Sign up now for early access” and “Download all floorplans now,” to “Book a private appointment now.”

Through numerous A/B tests the Rennie team has found that more specific CTAs convert significantly better than more generic ones, as they clearly articulate to a prospect what they are receiving in exchange for their information.

Which brings us to landing page idea number three…

3. Get prospects to picture themselves in their dream home with a virtual tour

Just as Jennie from Rennie told us above, compelling CTAs are very important in real estate marketing, and offering a virtual tour has proven to be very effective for their team:

We recently offered a virtual tour using special 360 degree photography for one of our projects in Calgary. After updating the CTA to “Take a virtual tour now,” we saw a significant increase in the conversion rate.

Here’s an example page of theirs, which converts at 4.15%:

Click to view the full-length landing page.

Clicking the CTA button triggers a form gating the tour:

Even if you can’t wrangle 360 photography, you can still get prospects to picture themselves in their dream home.

Simple videos, photo galleries, or even the hero image on your landing page can do the trick. But be sure to test.

Example test of hero image variants

Here’s an example from Coronation Properties via digital agency Rocket. They test variations of their pages with different key elements of a property featured in the hero image.

Here’s a variant wherein the bedroom is the hero shot:

And another where the kitchen takes the spotlight:

The takeaway here?

Get creative with videos, 360 tours, or even experimenting with your hero shot, to give clients a glimpse into the property that’s right for them.

4. Offer up relevant listings to abandoning visitors

While landing pages clearly offer a competitive advantage in real estate, you also want to ensure you’ve optimized your website for conversions.

As our customers at Brixio know, you can try out an Unbounce overlay to ensure you’re not missing out on conversion opportunities. Overlays allow you to show relevant offers to specific users at the perfect time, making them less likely to leave your website without converting.

Unbounce Convertables

We love their idea for an overlay triggered to appear on exit to those leaving a website, tempting potential real estate buyers with off-market or exclusive listings.

Here’s a preview of what they had in mind:

5. Test a simple value prop to prompt more commitment-heavy offers

For marketers in the business of custom real estate, your offer of a tailor-made home is much more commitment-heavy than simply moving into an existing place.

This poses an interesting challenge: interested prospects likely have many questions, may be exploring many options and need a reason to trust you immediately.

Here’s agency Rocket’s solution: an on-brand, clear landing page (where prospects can “enquire today”):

This page converts at 1.84%. Click to view full-length landing page.

This small offer accompanied by all the fine details serves as a type of micro conversion, ensuring Manor Homes’ prospects have the chance to reach out and get the conversation started about a custom home.

Get creative with your own micro conversion incentives! For example, you may want to consider inviting prospects to download a collection of your custom homes to preview at their leisure.

6. Offer up relevant content marketing (so you can nurture leads later)

Plenty of businesses use content marketing to reach their target audience, and as Edina Realty knows, this applies to the real estate industry too.

As a subsidiary of Home Services of America, Edina Realty’s licensed pros guide customers through home buying and selling. To provide the most value to their clients, they deliver unique and useful content via custom landing pages.

Check out this Unbounce landing page they created to distribute their Ultimate Guide to Selling Your Home – it converts at a whopping 18%:

Click to view full-length landing page.

By combining content strategy with retargeting, Edina Realty is able to reach prospective leads throughout the funnel and deliver quality leads to their agents.

Hannah Kaeter, Digital Marketing Manager at Edina Realty, told us about the importance of educating leads:

One of the key challenges in our market is a low inventory of homes for sale at lower price points. With this challenge comes an opportunity to educate potential sellers — many of them first-time sellers — about the process so they can evaluate and make informed decisions about their own property and situation.

Ready to build your digital property?

Overall, the above examples illustrate the importance of having a dedicated place to send your paid and social traffic, which can make all the difference in whether you can track the ROI of your real estate marketing. This beats relying on common listing sites — especially in the case of condo developments or offers that require sophisticated branding or high commitment, like custom homes.

Replicate the success of these realtors with Unbounce’s real estate templates, and be sure to download our Conversion Benchmark Report for a breakdown of where you stand in this industry.

If You Only Had $1k to Invest in Content Marketing, How Would You Spend it?

Budget is always top of mind for content marketers, but especially this time of year. In order to get even close to the budget that you want or need, you have to justify the spend.

Unfortunately, we’ve been ineffective at content for a while. But the question is, can we change the narrative?

In his presentation last week at the MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum, GE Digital’s Chris Moody gave the audience insights into why we’re ineffective, and what we can do to improve, without having to spend a significant amount of money.

Where Are We Failing?

While approach and hurdles will vary from brand to brand, there are three key reasons that content marketing isn’t working today. Below are three stats that paint a very clear picture of where we’re going wrong:

  • Only 37% of marketers have a documented content strategy. (Content Marketing Institute & MarketingProfs)
  • Unfortunately, 82% of enterprise marketers have no centralized view of the customer. (Forrester)
  • 65% of CMO’s can’t measure ROI for digital marketing. (Forrester)

Why Are We Failing?

The problem with many content marketing teams today is that they are not obsessed with business performance. We’re focusing on KPIs instead of outcomes and often have a hard time tracking and mapping content success.

5 Quick Tips for Advancing Your Content Marketing

Change can be tricky and it’s important to make small incremental changes that set your team up to be successful. Below are a few quick tips that Chris offered in session. Instead of feeling like you need to make all of these changes right away, pick a couple and get started.

#1 – Define your mission. Your mission should be a guiding force for your approach to content and all other facets of your marketing strategy.

#2 – Institute the one word challenge. When you think of companies like Apple and Volvo, you immediately know what they stand for in one single word. Challenge your team to attempt the same with your brand.

#3 – Stop chasing the next big thing. One of marketer’s biggest challenges today is the fact that we are constantly distracted. Instead of focusing on content quantity, direct your attention to content impact.

#4 – Determine your top goal. While there may be a plethora of business objectives you’re trying to achieve through marketing, pick one goal and divert your attention to helping your team achieve whatever that is.

#5 – Use insights to drive approach. Too often, content teams put a significant amount of effort into planning for, creating and launching their content. Then it’s never touched again. Immediately after launching your content, begin monitoring the performance and start talking about what worked, what didn’t and what you’ll change going forward.

How Does GE’s Chris Moody Think You Should Spend Your $1,000?

Finally, for the moment you’ve all been waiting for; how should you spend your $1,000 budget?

While there are literally a thousand ways you could spend your budget, Chris recommended the following:

$300 on Video

It’s no surprise that video content is in high-demand from customers. However, venturing into a new medium can sometimes seem like a very overwhelming undertaking.

While you can invest a lot in equipment, there are some great low-cost options today (including your smartphone). A good place to start is by spending your budget on editing video. You’d be amazed at what some good editing can do to turn a basic video into a masterpiece.

$100 Each on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter

You’ll never know what works until you test it. By investing a small amount in social advertising and boosting posts on top social networks, you’ll be able to identify what does (and does not) resonate with your audience on each platform. When setting up your social advertising, be sure to:

  • Start measuring traffic
  • Narrow your target audience to under 10k (small as possible)
  • Copy your customers
  • Target news feeds
  • Set a low daily budget
  • Use a call to action and social proof
  • Measure and gather insights

$400 Repeating What Works

After you initial investment of $600, you should have a rough idea of what tactics are working. Based on that data, invest your remaining budget into the tactics that performed best.

View Your Constraints as Opportunities

There will always be brands with larger budgets and more resources. Instead of lamenting about what you don’t have, focus on what you do. A great idea doesn’t cost a dime and there is no replacement for testing. If you’re ready to call in the experts, see if our content marketing services might be a fit for your brand.

What do you see as your biggest opportunity for getting more from your content marketing budget?

CBM100817

Here are the notes from the Chris Brogan Media broadcast for 10/08/17. (You can watch this on my Facebook account).

This live video was all shot using Ecamm Live (client), the best way to do Facebook Live for Mac.

Please note that all links may be affiliate links. If someone is a client, I’ll call that out specifically.

Stories Shared

Short form video is all the rage. Well, Giphy is capitalizing on it.

That’s why movie trailers now START with 5 second ads.

Speaking of which, Jeffrey Katzenberg is asking for 2 billion dollars for his new short form video startup.

People have asked why I eat plant-based. It’s more environmentally driven than anything else.

Related, you can make a farm at home with Ikea’s new design.

Evidently cocaine is back in a big way.

Say goodbye to its unicorn status, Jessica Alba’s Honest Company just started raising more money and has lowered its expected valuation of the company.

The trend to work remotely might be on shaky legs. This article about the reversal is a must-read. By the way, I think it’s poop. Remote work is vital. It just requires better leadership and management.

Want to teach yourself to code? Download a robot to play with.

Still on the fence about Bitcoin and other virtual currencies? Christine Lagarde of the IMF says maybe you should start paying more attention.

Hey, if this has been interesting, consider picking up my weekly newsletter. It’s all unique ideas by me about how to improve buyer interactions and grow your business. Give it a peek

What ELSE is News?

You want to get featured on the Chris Brogan Media show? Drop me an email: chris@chrisbrogan.com and let me know what’s news!

Please Get My Newsletter

My newsletter is the best work I do every week. You can get yours here.

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Digital Marketing News: The Perfect Sales Page, YouTube Changes & Instagram Polls

How to Write a Persuasive Sales Page (Even If You Hate Selling) [Infographic]
Selling doesn’t have to be ‘sleazy’ — it can be helpful, timely and informative. This infographic shows exactly how to perfect your website’s sales page to be informative, helpful, and not at all creepy to your intended buyers. MarketingProfs

YouTube Changes Rules Regarding Videos With External Links
YouTube is restricting which accounts are able to add external links at the end of videos. The new requirements are that the user is a member of the YouTube Partner Program and your channel must have 10,000 total public views (or more). Search Engine Journal

Instagram Adds Polls in Stories, New Creative Tools
Instagram is adding a new way for users to conduct polls using a sticker option that allows users to ask a question within their Instagram Stories and see results from followers as they engage with the polls. Social Media Today

Google releases a variety of Accelerated Mobile Pages Project (AMP) updates
This week, Google announced several AMP technical updates. Updates include scrolling animations, responsive sidebar, native video analytics and support, improved client ID information and fluid-ad support for publishers. Search Engine Land

YouTube Advertising: New Research and Insights for Marketers
Considering advertising on YouTube but unsure of best practices and next steps? This roundup of news and insights from Social Media Examiner shows four key insights and takeaways to help you get started or optimize your current program. Social Media Examiner

LinkedIn to launch Talent Insights, a new analytics tool, as it dives deeper into data
TechCrunch reports: “LinkedIn Talent Insights, a self-service, big data analytics product that will let recruiters make deeper queries into statistics for hiring and employment, based on LinkedIn data. Talent Insights is being announced in a closed beta today at the company’s Talent Connect event, with a full launch in 2018.” TechCrunch

Snapchat rolls out Sponsored 3D World Lenses, bringing its AR format to advertisers
Snapchat has released its latest AR ad format. Now advertisers can create their own versions of Snapchat’s 3D World Lenses. This will allow users to augment videos shot with their device’s rear facing cameras with animated 3D objects. Marketing Land

80% of Instagram Users Voluntarily Connect With a Brand on the Platform
According to Instagram’s COO, Marne Levine, 80% of users connect to a business voluntarily. She said: “Shrinking the distance between businesses and customers and bringing you closer to the things that matter to you is really something that we’re focused on.” AdWeek

What were your top digital marketing news stories this week?

We’ll be back next week with more news! Have something to share? Tweet to @toprank or @Tiffani_Allen, or shoot a message over to the newsroom.

The Netflix Experience: Create Binge-Worthy B2B Content with Ardath Albee #MPB2B

73% of Americans have binged on content. If you’re like me, you’re probably thinking of those rainy Sundays spent on a Netflix bender. Netflix, Hulu, HBOGo make it so easy to continue the binge. One more episode, you think, as the next installment automatically queues up. Finished Stranger Things in one weekend? Here are 6 new, easily clickable suggestions to start a new binge.

Now what if that same principle could apply to your content marketing?

In fact, 93% of B2B buyers want bundled, bingeable content (Content Preferences Survey, 2017) , but only 42% say it’s easy to find the next piece of relevant content (Why Your Website Fails Buyers, 2017).

As marketers, we put so much work into attracting the right buyers to our website. We get them there, but then we miss the opportunity to tell them what to do next.

Ardath Albee, in her session How to Create Binge-Worthy Content Experiences that Move Buyers to Buy at Marketing Profs B2B Forum 2017, challenges us to stop talking about our products or brand and start focusing on building meaningful, purposeful experiences. To focus on engagement, rather than attraction. Re-frame those KPIS from people per page to pages per person.

If we do this, we can really use content marketing to drive momentum into our pipeline and move our buyers along their buying journey via content binges.

Three Takeaways to Create Binge Worthy Content

Stop Building Siloed Websites

Traditionally, websites are built using tidy hierarchies based on type of content, i.e. products, blog posts, white papers. This structure puts the work on the visitor after they land to find the next piece of content relevant to them. And they probably won’t do it.

Instead of organizing by content type, consider using a content hub that organizes content by industry, business need or by role. You will orchestrate more engagement by putting all of the related content in one easy to access place. And then crosslinking between related items.

A content hub allows a visitor, no matter where they are in their journey, to find the content most relevant to them with less clicks.

Ardath points out, we also need to be thinking about other people who influence that buyer’s journey. A side bar, for example, can link to executive content, your visitor could leverage to make a case to their boss.

As you consider a content hub, for the most binge worthy experience, you should:

  • Create connected pathways: Answer the “What’s Next?” question to move your buyer through their journey, always point them the next logical piece of content in their journey.
  • Trigger follow up with relevant “see also” content: For example, if a buyer has viewed two pieces of content, automate a message that points them to a third piece or ask them to subscribe.
  • Personalize Content by Role: Instead of only thinking about industry, consider personalizing by role, as it is preferred by 67% of buyers (Content Preferences Survey, 2017).
  • Include Data and Research to back up assertions: Buyers want you to backup your claims with data.
  • Make it Easy  to Access: Think about how you can make it as easy as possible for your buyer to get to the next piece of content, whether it’s an easy cross link or removing a form in front of a eBook

Leverage a Nurturing Approach that Speeds Buying

If you are going to organize content for progression, you need to think through the questions the buyer is asking at each stage of the buying cycle. Use your brand’s expertise in order to answer these questions for them. If you are on point with your content and connected pathways, it will stimulate the buyer to ask “What’s Next”, inspiring a binge.

Here are some questions buyers might be asking at each stage of their journey:

  • Consider Change: Is The Problem Worth Solving (Why should i care? What happens if i do nothing? What are competitors doing? Can we fix it internally?)
  • Prepare for Change: How Should We Solve It (What do I need to know? What are best practices? What are my choices? What could go wrong? What else does it impact?)
  • Embrace Change: Gain Consensus (How do we get everyone to agree? What tradeoffs can we agree to? What will the future look like?)

Use Personas to Inform the Content Journey

A persona helps inform not only the perspective on the job that needs to be done, but also the obstacles that keep them from achieving objectives. Personas should also detail relationships with stakeholders, time in career, and motivations.

Each persona should have a set of nurturing questions specific to them. They will be different based on how they come at a problem, how risk averse they are, how they relate to stakeholders, etc.

Like with your Netflix home screen, the more customized the “What’s Next” recommendations, the more likely you are to press play.

Stop Talking About End Dates

Many of us are still thinking about content marketing as a series of campaigns. The thing about campaigns is they typically have a start date and an end date. In a B2B world, when the sales cycle may be 18 months, how many deals can you close during a 3 month campaign.

So in order to create truly binge worthy content marketing, start thinking always on and interconnected.

Check out our list of other must see sessions at MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum.

Also, follow along on Twitter by following @TopRank

Must-See Sessions & Top Tips for Finding Your Squad at #MPB2B

For some people the happiest place on earth is Disneyland, for me, it’s the annual MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum in Boston.

Last week, I ran a poll on Twitter to see what people were looking forward to most at the B2B Marketing Forum, and while many are interested in learning new B2B tactics and meeting other smart marketers (smarketers?), the vast majority are excited to see what Ann Handley has in store for this year’s conference.

There are two things that make this conference one of my favorites:

  1. The content is amazing.
  2. The people are amazing.

This is my third year attending MPB2B and my first year speaking, so I’d like to think that I’ve gotten the lay of the land by now. So, to help you out, I’ve compiled a list of must-see sessions (so you’re not scrambling for the next three days) and some top tips for finding your squad at this great event.

Must-See Sessions at MPB2B

Ardath Albee
CEO & B2B Marketing Strategist, Marketing Interactions

How to Create Binge-Worthy Content Experiences that Move Buyers to Buy

We all know that more content is being created than ever and many of us struggle to keep our increase our content engagement. Ardath Albee’s session promises to deliver on the secret of getting yours buyers to binge on your content, by connecting the dots and showing them the value of swift immersion.

Jon Miller
CEO & Co-Founder, Engagio

The Secret Sauce for Account Based Marketing

If you’re wondering how industry leaders are practicing ABM, what works and what doesn’t, this is the session for you. Jon Miller’s session will give you the inside scoop of how ABM works at Engagio and how you can orchestrate programs that get results.

Lee Odden
CEO, TopRank Marketing

From Why to ROI: B2B Influencer Marketing Case Studies for Success

How can B2B brands put influence to work in their marketing? Through three case studies, Lee Odden will demonstrate influencer strategy best practices and how to measure performance to satisfy both the why and the ROI of working with B2B influencers.

What You Know About Content Marketing—FoGetAboutIT—This Is ABM

On this panel, Lee Odden, Joe Chernov, Meagan French and Justin Gray will discuss the role of content through the lens of ABM. The conversation will also explore how hyper-personalized, value-driven content and sales offers completely reframe your outbound strategies and tactics.

Chris Moody
Content Marketing Leader, GE Digital

Content Marketing on a Shoestring Budget

You must show the value of your content marketing, in order to gain more budget and grow the success of your program

If you can spare 45 minutes and $1,000 to spend on content marketing, walk away from Chris Moody’s session with documented content strategy and an action plan for content success that you can start today.

Alex Rynne
Content Marketing Manager, LinkedIn

Your LinkedIn Marketing Tactical Plan

If you are looking for an actionable plan for driving brand awareness and revenue on Linkedin, then don’t miss Alex Rynne’s Thursday session.  Based on the results of dozens of A/B tests, find out what type of content performs best across LinkedIn Company Pages, Sponsored Content and InMail and how to run your own A/B tests to ensure your content is as relevant as possible to your target audience.

And walk away with a one-page plan to outline key metrics and determine the success of your LinkedIn plan.

Dayna Rothman
VP Marketing & Sales Development, BrightFunnel

Connecting Your Customer Journey to See More Success

In her session, Dayna Rothman will explain how to use measurement to optimize each stage of the buyer’s journey, make informed marketing decisions, and better understand what’s working—and what’s not. You’ll learn how your marketing team can utilize existing campaign data to dig deeper into performance and make intelligent decisions that will positively impact future pipeline and revenue.

Tim Washer
Creative Director, Cisco

Stop Boring Content with Comedy Writing Secrets

Join Tim Washer Friday morning for a lively session to help you hack the secrets of comedy writers to create content which is never boring. You will learn how to identify the common causes of dull content and tap into tactics for generating tons of creative ideas quickly.

Avoid corporate creativity deathtraps and use this session to spark creativity within your corporate team.

Ashley Zeckman
Director of Agency Marketing, TopRank Marketing

Scrappy B2B Creativity Hacks

What kind of marketer would I be if I didn’t encourage you to attend my own session? I will be taking the stage with Nick Westergaard and Andy Hunt to engage in an eye-opening discussion that will show you how you can leverage the latest content marketing tools to build your brand and grow your business without breaking the bank. In short, you’ll learn how to be scrappy.

Top Tips for Finding Your Squad

MarketingProfs has done an amazing job of connecting attendees to each other. And how could they not with an amazing Chief Content Officer like Ann Handley at the helm?

Getting the most out of a conference isn’t always about the content (although that’s important), it’s about meeting other like-minded marketers that you can connect with and learn from.

Below are three of my tips for finding your squad at an event like MPB2B:

#1 – Attend Social Events

I will be the first to tell you that being super social isn’t always easy. So while it may be tempting to sit in your room and fire of emails, peel yourself away from the comfy bed and make your way to one of the many social events surrounding the conference. These events offer a great opportunity to make new friends in a relaxed setting and learn a little bit more about what they do and why they are here. To help you out, here are a couple ice breakers:

  • What are you looking forward to most at this conference?
  • Have you attended before or is this your first time? (the marketer’s equivalent of “do you come here often?”)

#2 – Make New Friends in Session & at Lunch

While it can be tempting to sit with people you already know during sessions and lunch, don’t.

Instead, sit in a random row or at a random table and start a conversation with someone you don’t know. I have met some great people by plopping myself down at a table where I didn’t know a soul.

#3 – See Who’s Interacting Online

It’s amazing to think about the number of people you meet virtually, but have not met in real life. Events like MPB2B are a great opportunity to take those online conversations offline. See who is interacting on platforms like Twitter (or the event app) and set a designated time and place to meet.

What Are You Looking Forward to Most at MPB2B?

So now that you have some insights into what I’m looking forward to most, I’d like to know: what do you consider must-see sessions at MPB2B?

Faster Deeper

The six second ad is here. Jeffrey Katzenberg is looking to raise $2 billion to “invent” ten minute TV. The notification screen is the new home screen. Google’s pushing their AMP (accelerated mobile page) format harder and harder. The world wants fast. They want brief. Bites. Tapas.

Faster

Look, everyone wants to tell you that this or that is dead. It is. Everything died. And then there are new things. Those are alive. Until they die. Good. That’s out of the way.

The six second ad. You’ve looked at YouTube lately. There are two types of ads. One you can skip and one you can’t. If you can skip, you hover over that box barely watching the ad. If you can’t and the ad is six seconds, you accept it. If you can’t skip and it’s 30 seconds, you think “what a jerk.” Jerk. Your 30 second ad makes you a jerk. (30 used to be a “short” ad.)

Tweets. 140 characters. People used to rail against the format. “Why so few characters?” The truth is that Twitter pushed a really specific reality to bear: everyone’s too wordy and we need to get clear and concise. The form brought forth a lot of new voices and also other versions of the same concept.

Instagram: one picture (eventually short videos). Snapchat: vanishing pics and videos. Emojis and Gifs. Did you know that Giphy serves up 2 billion gifs a day on their platform? Gifs are repeating few-second bits of video.

But if everything’s so fast, where are we going? How do we know we’re in the right place? What can we learn if everything is moving whipsaw like it is?

Deeper

The strange intersecting trend is that it’s become more and more okay to be the real you. At the very same time a raft of tools has arrived to show off idealized versions of our lives, people are seeking out connections to the “real.” As virtual reality tees up, we want to go deeper with others and we want the real world. Or more accurately, we want the world we wish were the real world.

It’s possible to get deep quickly. Part of this is cultural, and in this, I’m deeply biased. You see, the rest of the world calls American culture avocados. We’re super soft and squishy and let you get super close fast, but our REAL selves are hidden in a core that’s hard to breach. By contrast, a lot of the world’s cultures are coconuts. The outside is a lot of work but once you’ve done that work, everything inside is worth it.

I think the avocado in us, the willingness to share a lot of who we are is something we can and should strive to deploy in these new fast methods. But just like there’s a massive difference between really good guacamole and a mushed up avocado, the goal with this new method will be to deliver an actual connection between your buyer and the values and mission of your organization.

Faster Deeper

We have to communicate faster, and deliver a deeper message. Not always and not super deep. But somewhere in how we do what we do, our values and mission have to be accessible.

Chobani didn’t beat Danon on price. They gave people what they wanted (more protein and less sugar), and they made it clear that they were donating some of their profits to causes. CEO Hamdi Ulukaya gave all his employees stock and made everyone in the company a lot better off in the process. None of this shows up on the label or in their ads. But the story spreads in short fast bursts through their media.

Sometimes, we buy something simply for ease of use and/or price. I like how I’m treated at the Cumberland Farms gas station and so I choose to go there for fuel. But if the lines are too long, I’ll go wherever. Sometimes, you just need a slice of pizza and it doesn’t much matter and other times, you want a sustainable farm-to-table dining experience.

But as messaging vectors, we might want to think more about how to make our messages faster and how to get deeper in that short amount of time.

Even this post is too long. Right?

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