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The Digital Marketer’s Mobile Optimization Checklist

mobile-checklist

Every good marketer knows that one of the key elements to success is making it as easy as possible for your audience to consume and share information. Part of creating ease of use is keeping in mind where and how your audience is spending their time.

What degree of success do you think a marketer would have if they were to plaster flyers at every Red Robin around the country, when the vast majority of their customers eat at In-N-Out in California?

So now we’re all hungry, but what does this have to do with mobile optimization? I hate to be the one to tell you, but mobile internet usage is something we need to be strategizing for now, not in the future.

According to comScore, 60% of all internet usage is made up by smartphones and tablets. Additionally, over 20% of millennials no longer even use a desktop to access information online. You read that right, they are 100% mobile.

Mobile optimization affects everything from creating a responsive website to making tweaks to your content marketing program to serve mobile users. The checklist below provides some helpful tips for staying on top of the mechanics and engagement strategies necessary for mobile optimization.

SEO

Responsive Design: Most savvy web developers and many new website templates are now including responsive website design as a standard offering. If you’ve recently updated your website and don’t want to invest in a complete overhaul to create a responsive website, you can setup a separate mobile site. However, always keep in mind that there are benefits and drawbacks to taking this path.

PageSpeed: Mobile users are searching for content on-the-go. There are some fairly simple best practices that you can implement to improve page load speed including:

  • Optimize your images so that they are smaller, and therefore load faster
  • Implement caching plugins
  • Use JavaScript sparingly

Use the PageSpeed Insights tool to test your website’s current performance.

Local Optimization: To ensure that your business surfaces in local results, be diligent about making sure that all of your contact information is consistent across the web.

Title Tags & Meta Descriptions: Your mobile audience is working with a lot less screen than desktop users. Try to be as concise as possible when drafting title tags and meta descriptions.

Content Marketing

Think Concise, Not Shorter: Mobile users need content that is scanable and impactful. Remove the clutter and format your content in a way that makes sense for your audience. This doesn’t mean that marketers need to cut down on the length of the content that is being published, but content should be presented in bite-sized chunks that are easy to consume.

Provide Great Imagery: Visual content performs very well on mobile devices. While you may not have given much consideration to blog or long-form content images in the past, here is your opportunity. A well selected image can be the difference between a consumer engaging with your content, or quickly moving on.

Incorporate Videos: Forrester found that when marketers included a video in an email, the click-through rate increased by 200% – 300%. Additionally, eMarketer uncovered that consumers are actually spending more time watching video on mobile devices than on desktops.

Social Media

Mobile Usage: In 2015, there are approximately 1.69 billion social media accounts that are accessed via mobile. When creating and publishing social media content keep your mobile audience in mind.

Mobile Friendly Apps: Many social media platforms offer mobile friendly applications and add-ons that can be easily integrated into brand profiles.

Get Visual: Incorporate visual elements as much as possible into social media campaigns across all platforms. Also, if it makes sense, utilize platforms like Instagram which present a great opportunity to incorporate images and videos into social media content.

Put Your Website to the Test!

Google provides a couple different tools that can help you determine if your website is mobile friendly, and provide access to some  applications that can help you become mobile if you aren’t currently.

The opportunities above only scratch the surface of mobile optimization. If you can currently check five or more of the items above off your list, you’re on the right track. If not, consider it an opportunity to increase your reach and better serve your mobile audience.

What do you find most difficult about implementing digital marketing programs that are mobile friendly?


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2015. |
The Digital Marketer’s Mobile Optimization Checklist | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post The Digital Marketer’s Mobile Optimization Checklist appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

5 Ways to Woo Your B2B Social Media Audience & 3 Brands That Are Doing it Well

WOO-SOCIAL-MEDIA-AUDIENCE

Have you ever been in a relationship where one partner wanted more, and the other was hesitant to take the next step?

Many B2B marketers are facing a similar roadblock. They’re ready to ask social media followers to “marry” them, but some of those followers are beginning to question why they liked the brand in the first place.

A recent study found that only 20% of CMOs are using social media for engagement. Two thirds of CMOs also report that they’re not ready to cope with social media.

Even though B2B marketers typically have a more difficult time forming a loyal fan base on social media than their B2C counterparts, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a substantial opportunity to create connections. It is essential that all B2B marketers keep in mind that the goal isn’t to form a relationship with companies on social media, it’s to form a bond with the individuals that work within the companies that you are targeting.

If you really want to create a lasting relationship with your audience that is mutually beneficial, consider the following recommendations to begin taking the next steps towards engagement.

5 Tips for Wooing Your Social Media Audience

#1 – Understand Audience Habits

What is one of the best ways to get to know someone? By asking them questions about themselves. The same logic applies to your online audience.

One of the first steps B2B marketers can take is to gain a true understanding of prospects social media habits and needs. This insight can be compiled in a few ways including”

  • Talking to your existing customer contacts. Never take your current customers for granted. They not only have similar pain points of your potential customers, but you also have a direct line of communication with them.
  • Using social media listening tools to help determine when your audience is spending time on specific social networks.
  • Gaining insight into what they care about. Platforms such as Twitter and Facebook provide insight into what your audience interacts with the most.

#2 – Be a Good Storyteller

Another great way to relate to your partner is to share stories that they can relate to. Unfortunately, B2B customers have often gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to well-developed storytelling.

Remember that the point of social networks is to create a social interaction, not to boast about product or service benefits. Put marketing effort toward developing engaging questions, creating case studies and user scenarios.

#3 – Offer Variety in Social Media Publishing

Dating someone can quickly become boring and routine if you always take them on the same date, order the same meal and have the same conversation.

Similarly, your social media audience looks forward to interacting with brands that offer a variety of content types and visuals. Examples of content types that can be shared on social media include:

  • Moving Imagery
  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • News Articles
  • Influencer Content
  • Crowdsourced Information

The list of types of information that can be shared on social media is nearly limitless.

#4 – Introduce Fans & Followers to Their Favorite “Celebrities”

How awesome would your significant other think it was if you took them to a concert to see their favorite band and got backstage passes so that they could meet the band members in-person.

Within each industry there are “celebrities” or influencers that are known as being authoritative on a particular subject. Promoting content that is co-created with industry influencers can be an excellent way to build credibility with your B2B social media audience.

#5 – Next Steps Sometimes Require an Investment

Once you’ve solidified the relationship with your partner, you may want to invest in purchasing a token to signify the commitment. Often, that  investment can be in the form of an engagement ring. The ring can signify your readiness to take the next step and their acceptance symbolizes their commitment to join you.

Social media advertising can both generate interest and be the tipping point for your social media audience to take the next step. Before making the leap into social media advertising it is essential that B2B marketers ask:

  1. What do we want to accomplish with a paid advertising campaign?
  2. How much are we comfortable investing?
  3. What will we be promoting with our advertisements?

3 B2B Companies Engaging Audiences on Social Media 

HP: Facebook

HP Facebook

You may not think that the top beaches, or asking followers to share what is on their summer reading lists will help sell electronics. However, HP is sharing content that their consumers care about and can connect with. HP has a business model that appeals to both B2C and B2B consumers alike.

FedEx: Twitter

FedEx Twitter

Not only did FedEx host the #FedEx400 to raise awareness for autism, but they provided an excellent play-by-play of the event for their online audience to consume. Their social media team also does a fantastic job of humanizing the brand by sharing images and tweets about national BBQ month near their headquarters and stories that feature their customers.

GE: LinkedIn

GE LinkedIn

GE has so many products that their social media strategy could quickly become scattered and overwhelming. However, they’ve done a fantastic job of providing a glimpse into information that matters most to their customers.

Are You Ready to Begin Wooing Your Social Media Audience?

Just like any relationship, it takes time to build trust, authority and loyalty with your social media audience. Also, it’s a relationship that must be nurtured consistently in order to grow and evolve.

What do you believe is your biggest opportunity for connecting with your social media audience?

Image: Shutterstock


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5 Ways to Woo Your B2B Social Media Audience & 3 Brands That Are Doing it Well | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post 5 Ways to Woo Your B2B Social Media Audience & 3 Brands That Are Doing it Well appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

5 Easy A/B Test Ideas To Get You Started on Conversion Rate Optimization

(This is a guest post authored by Philip Ryan from Toonimo.com)

Most websites don’t have a massive traffic problem, however every website in the world has a conversion problem. – Bryan Eisenberg

So you’ve just stepped into the world of Conversion Rate Optimization. Everyone seems to be advocating A/B testing. But you are still a little disoriented and would appreciate some direction to get started.

You are in the right place.

Internet is littered with posts that simply ask you to go ahead and test this CTA or that headline. It’s important to bear in mind that the best performing A/B tests are ones that are planned and executed well — using the scientific method.

Scientific Method

Source

A/B testing comes at the experiment stage of the scientific method. Without such a process, testing becomes a spray-and-pray tactic that yields little dividend.

If you have ever burned your hands doing random tests, you should be reading this –The Complete Guide to A/B Testing.

Without further ado, here are 5 easy A/B test ideas to give you direction and a glimpse of the many possibilities.

Test #1: A/B Test Headline Copy

Let’s start off with this element (some say the most important) that you should consider testing. This should be your launching pad in the A/B testing realm, as headlines act as a doorway, a welcome mat, that all visitors must cross.

Only 2 out of 10 readers ever make it past the headline, on average. This means that 80% of readers never make it past the headline. If you suffer from lack of conversions on your homepage, it should be an indicator to test your headline. As the first message displayed to visitors, the headline holds the greatest (and easiest) opportunity to optimize your landing pages. The saying “you only have one chance to make a first impression” looms large over grabbing that first time visitor, and you only have a few milliseconds according to Carleton University, Canada, before the visitor moves on or bails.

For instance, a company called Monthly 1K wanted to increase the amount of visitors purchasing their online courses. They decided to test if they simply changed how the headline was presented, it would lead to better conversions. The original headline they presented was “How to Make a $1000 a Month Business”. The second headline excluded the dollar sign. The results were crystal clear, providing an actual dollar amount resulted in a higher conversion rate. Visitors were able to visualize themselves making a dollar amount rather than just the number value. Showcase the value of your products, that’s the only thing visitors will every pay for.

Here’s how VWO tested their homepage headline to increase click-throughs to the pricing page by 9.6%.

Test #2: A/B Test Your Colors

The color of your words, calls to action and the purchase buttons are examples of how simple changes can have a huge effect on conversion rates. Say, you have a scenario where your call to action prompts visitors to click through to a “make an appointment” form. You test your calls to actions with a red button in the control version and a green button in the variation. You discover that more visitors were clicking through to the appointment form with the green CTA. By changing your CTA to green your appointment bookings surge. Changing your CTA to a different color won’t work in every situation, but since you’re testing it with your live visitors, you can see firsthand what makes them click.

Take a look at the case study below on how a color change can have a positive effect on conversion rate. Here the color change was done in conjunction with a button design change. The combination of the two led to a nice conversion increase. This particular online seller realized a gain of over 35% in cart additions.

Color Test Image

Source

Test #3: A/B Test Call to Action

This is where all the magic happens. You’ve gotten visitors to this point. You want them to click and your team have come up with 12 different CTA buttons with different combinations of wording, colors and fonts.

Sometimes, all those things do not play much of a role. Often, it’s just the wording on a call to action, not a time-consuming redesign or color change. A key takeaway from the example below is offering the user value. You are offering them something in return for a click on the button.

Call To Action Test

Source

Your landing pages should inspire users to take action, whether it be signing up for your blog, booking an appointment, downloading content or buying a product. There are a number of sub-elements you should take into consideration when testing variations of your CTA.

  • Switch the wording on your CTA button to one that you feel would grab your target. Just one phrase often does the trick and translates to higher conversion. Buy, Click to Purchase, Checkout are just a few.
  • Test a page with a few CTAs against a variation with a single button.
  • Consider switching the location of the CTA on your landing page.

One of VWO’s clients A/B tested the copy on their CTA button from “Go Further” to “More Information” and obtained a 14.41% increase in click-throughs to the sign-up page. Read about it here.

Test #4: A/B Test The Form

Your website might be a five pager or it could be 20 plus. The more entry points your website has the more chance for friction with the visitor. Forms are just such examples for potential friction. Anytime you request visitor-information, just know that the lesser amount you request the better, the simpler the content and image the better.  How you ask it can also make a huge difference.

A site called Huffduffer tested our two different types of form styles. They defeated conventional wisdom and found out that a paragraph-styled form with inline input fields worked much better than a traditional form layout. This type of form style is called “Mad Libs“, and it ultimately increased their conversion rate by 25-40%. This may not work for everyone, so before adopting this or any other fad (or good suggestion, for that matter): do your own form A/B tests.

Form A/B Test

There are plenty of variables to try out. Here are some format ideas to get you started:

  • Test forms with images/video on them versus none.
  • Test 5 field forms against 3 field forms
  • Test a form that includes a special offer or discount to one that does not
  • Test a form with an assurance that the signer will not receive spam or other messages unless they opt in
  • Test a form with larger fields rather than letter sized fields

Test #5: Social Widgets A/B Testing

While Social proof is a big part of increasing user confidence, it can also have a negative effect. Let’s take a look at why:

  • Social sharing buttons are a distraction as they take away from the true call to action
  • Many times, the social numbers are so minute that it actually diminishes social proof

For example, did you know that the addition of social sharing buttons can even actually lead to a decrease in conversions. There are a number of reasons for this. To highlight this fact, I suggest reading this great post highlighting a case study on how one eCommerce site increased their conversions by removing social sharing buttons.

However, each case differs and sometimes social widgets will increase the conversions on your page. Marcus Taylor of Venture Harbour, found that a floating sidebar outperforms share buttons located above or below a blog post. He ran this experiment on this blog post and found that using a floating sidebar with sharing buttons increased the rate of sharing by 52%. The moral of the story is not to follow random suggestions on the best placement for your social sharing buttons. By adding and removing the widgets and testing those versions you’ll be able to decide the better option always.

Social Widget A/B Test

Source

Testing all these elements to determine which one converts better on your landing page is a learning experience. Tracking email click-through rates may prove to show you which headlines work better. Twitter is also a great way to gauge headline effectiveness.

Go ahead and do your first A/B test. Conduct tests with your users in mind and with a definite idea of what you are trying to accomplish.

Let us know how it goes. We are always here to help :)

The post 5 Easy A/B Test Ideas To Get You Started on Conversion Rate Optimization appeared first on VWO Blog.

Online Marketing News: Search Shake-up, Mobile Reps Revenue, SERP Food

Social Media Adoption Top Brands

Why Do We Follow Brands on Social Media? [Infographic] – Did you know that social networking is the top online activity in the US, with the average American spending 37 minutes per day on social media sites? It’s also a fact that around 46% of web users look towards social media when making a purchase. Find out more about Why we follow brands on social. GO-Gulf

Google Confirms Changing How Quality Is Assessed, Resulting In Rankings Shake-Up – Earlier this month, many webmasters noticed significant Google ranking changes. Google has finally confirmed those ranking changes with us. Search Engine Land

STUDY: The Impact of Age Range on Facebook Ad Auction Price Tags – What effect does the age range selected during ad targeting on Facebook have on pricing in the social network’s ads auction market? SocialCode, a Facebook Marketing Partner, sought an answer to that question. SocialTimes

Bitly Introduces New Tool To Understand How People Share – Today, we’re thrilled to introduce Audience Intel, the new way for marketers to understand how customers interact with their content – whether created by you or by the Bitly Network. Bitly

Google Partners With Delivery Companies, Now You Can Order Food Right From the SERPs – Google has announced a partnership with six delivery providers across the United States, which will help facilitate a new service Google is offering within its search results. Search Engine Journal

STUDY: Global Social Media Ad Spend to Reach Nearly $36B in 2017 – Global ad spending on social media will total $23.68 billion this year and reach $35.98 billion by 2017, accounting for 16 percent of all digital ad spending worldwide, according to the latest projections from digital consultancy eMarketer. SocialTimes

Senior Digital Marketers’ Top Priorities and Challenges – Storytelling is both a top priority and a top challenge for senior marketers, finds Experian Marketing Services in its latest annual Digital Marketer Report [download page]. The survey results also suggest that profiling customers remains a challenge, although overcoming organizational silos is surprisingly not viewed as much of a priority. MarketingCharts

Digital Ad Spend Hits New $49.5 Billion High In 2014; Mobile & Social See Greatest Growth – Search remains the biggest spend overall, with desktop search as the biggest single channel at 38% of spend. Marketing Land

STUDY: Facebook Is the Dominant Social Network for Marketing by SMBs – Small and midsized businesses: Ignore Facebook at your own peril, according to new research from Gannett digital marketing company G/O Digital. SocialTimes

IAB: Search Was 50% Of US Digital Ad Spend In 2014, Desktop Still Bigger Than Mobile – Search was $24.6 billion of digital ad spend last year. Desktop outpaced mobile search spend nearly 4-to-1. Search Engine Land

Mobile to Represent More Than 11% of U.S. Local Media Revenue by 2019 – A new study from BIA/Kelsey shows that local media spend is steadily shifting toward digital, with mobile representing 11.5 percent of overall ad revenue by 2019. ClickZ

STUDY: How the NSA’s Prism Initiative Affected Americans’ Social Media Use – How have U.S. Internet users changed the way they view and manage privacy on their social media accounts since the National Security Agency’s Prism initiative came to light nearly two years ago? The latest study from Pew Research Center examines the changes in Americans’ perceptions and behavior since the news of Prism broke. SocialTimes

What were the top online and digital marketing news stories for you this week?

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

Infographic: GO-Gulf


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Online Marketing News: Search Shake-up, Mobile Reps Revenue, SERP Food | http://www.toprankblog.com

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New Report Reveals the True Impact of Social Media Marketing for Business

IMPACT-SOCIAL-MEDIA-052715

The way social networks have impacted our personal and professional lives is far greater than most of us could have anticipated. While we were battling with our friends over getting cut from their top friends list on their Myspace profile, we couldn’t have imagined the impact of social media today. The evolution of social networks in the past 10 or even 5 years has been truly remarkable.

Social Media Examiner’s 2015 Social Media Marketing Industry Report holds valuable insight into how marketers are incorporating social media, how much time they’re spending and what is on the horizon.

With  92% of marketers reporting that social media is important to their business, it’s clear that marketers believe social media holds weight, but what is the true impact on their business?

Top 5 Benefits of Social Media Marketing

The 3,700 marketers surveyed as part of this report had a wide range of experience and goals for social media. However, the actual impact that social media had on their business can be broken down into 5 easy to understand benefits.

#1 – Increased Exposure

With a whopping 91%, increased exposure was the top benefit that marketers participating in this report have seen from deploying social media marketing efforts. Many of the respondents stated that as little as 6 hours per week invested in social media created an increase in exposure.

Social media marketing presents a unique opportunity for companies to stay top of mind with current customers and get on the radar of new customers on their preferred platforms.

#2 – Increased Traffic

70% of marketers found that social media activities increased traffic to their website while 75% of businesses engaging in social media activities for a year or more reported an even bigger increase in traffic.

Encouraging social media users to leave a social media platform and visit your website is no easy undertaking. A solid mix of engaging content and well formulated ads with a compelling call to action can help encourage consumers to visit your web properties.

#3 – Developed Loyal Fans

Not surprisingly, B2C marketers (73%) were more likely to develop a loyal fan base than B2B marketers (63%).

It is no mystery that most social media users engage on social platforms for personal needs first. B2B marketing often involves multiple decision makers at different stages in the purchasing journey. Fortunately, social platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook are beginning to make it easier for marketers to target audiences based on interests, job titles and demographics. This opens the door for B2B marketers to segment individual messages based on need.

#4 – Provided Marketplace Insight

68% of marketers felt that social media provided market insight that they did not previously have or reaffirmed what they already knew.

Social media enables you to see your consumers in their true habitat. It is easy to uncover who else they interact with, what their favorite movies or tv shows are, where they work, the list goes on and on.

#5 – Generated Leads

Over 50% of marketers who have been utilizing social media for over a year were generating leads through social media.

Of all the benefits in the top five list, this one has the largest impact on the bottom line. In order to generate qualified leads through social media, your community has to trust you, be engaged and have a need for what it is that you offer.

What other benefits made the top ten list?

  • Improved Search Rankings – 58%
  • Grown Business Partnerships – 55%
  • Established Thought Leadership – 55%
  • Improved Sales – 51%
  • Reduced Marketing Expenses – 50%

Additional Report Must-Knows

Top 3 Most Important Social Platforms For Marketers

  • Facebook – 52%
  • LinkedIn – 21%
  • Twitter – 12%

B2C Vs B2B: Platform Breakdown

B2C and B2B marketers may be using the same social media platforms, but their efforts differ between platforms and which they consider to be the most important.

b2b versus b2c

Investing in Paid Social

The vast majority of marketers surveyed (84%) said that they use Facebook Ads , with Google ads in at a cool 41% and LinkedIn ads at 14%.

paid social

Looking for More Social Media Insights?

To learn more about how your marketing peers are performing on the top social platforms and what is on the horizon for 2015, download the full report from Social Media Examiner.

A primary takeaway from this report is that many marketers are finally beginning to justify time and resources invested on social media marketing because they’re finally able to quantify a return based on objectives.

What results from this survey surprised you the most?

Top Image: Shutterstock


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If You Want Your Content Marketing to be Great, Ask Influencers to Participate

participation marketing with influencers

With ubiquitous internet connectivity and billions of people empowered to create and publish online, digital marketing competition is greater than ever. Companies are increasingly challenged to create quality content that can stand out to attract and engage new customers.

How can businesses grow their reach and improve content quality in such a market?

Through participation marketing with industry influencers.

Over the past year, the expression “influencer marketing” has exploded in popularity and many marketing communications professionals are continuing to see influencers in the light of “celebrity endorsements”.

There’s more to influencer marketing than advocacy.

But there’s more to influencer marketing than advocacy and all influencers are not created equal. With participation marketing, companies can take a view of working with influencers of different types to produce a variety of benefits – all through content.

What kind of benefits? The investment in co-creation of content between brands and influencers enables quality content at scale. With brands and influencers working together, co-created content can reinforce mutual authority for all involved. In such a cooperative scenario, influencers can gain exposure, brands can reach new audiences, and customers are “info-tained” and inspired to engage. Everybody wins.

At TopRank Online Marketing, we’ve worked with over 200 influencers in the past 5 years to create numerous content assets ranging from our famous conference eBooks to videos to blog posts to infographics. These assets have driven over 800,000 views and well over 1,000 leads. Content co-created with influencers also continues to serve attract and engage objectives as long as they are live online.

Establishing a successful influencer content program requires a framework for identifying, engaging, and managing relationships. Here’s a 5 step approach to do just that.

influencer content goals

1. Set Goals for Marketing and Influencers

In order for co-created content to be successful for marketing, specific audiences and goals should be identified.

Think about: What do you hope to achieve with an influencer content program? How will influencers benefit? More importantly, how will your customers benefit?

Think about the distinct audience that you’re after with the content being co-created and set goals specific to what your idea of success looks like. Quantify those goals as well, whether it’s to increase the reach and engagement of your brand to the influencer’s community or to inspire more leads and sales by a certain percent.

Also, set goals for the influencers. For short term projects, focus on participation quality. With longer term programs, focus on participation, marketing outcomes and the relationship.

influencer content focus

2. Pick Your Theme and Focus Topic

You can start by asking, “What does your brand want to be known for?”

Themes facilitate planning content and also serve to focus the sourcing of the right influencers. Themes that are meaningful to all parties involved: brand, influencer and target audience will be far more successful.

In addition to branding goals, themes in co-created content programs are often driven by key customer questions that can be answered by brand marketing. Looking at distinct customer segments and the buying experience at each stage should reveal the themes and triggers that your content program will focus on. What is the solution? How will it work for me? What do I do next?

Consider what questions your customers are asking at awareness, consideration and purchase stages. Then think about the themes that will drive asking and answering those questions through influencer content.

identify recruit influencers

3. Find, Qualify and Recruit Influencers

Beyond the famous “brandividual” influencers in your industry, consider niche experts that have an active and passionate following. Also consider subject matter experts within your own company.

To start, talk to executives, marketing, PR and sales to identify a seed list of influencers. Then use an influencer discovery tool like Traackr or BuzzSumo to filter them out and add new influencers your team didn’t know about. Results are better when influencers matches are found on more than one tool.

When reaching out to influencers, be sure to accentuate the positive and the mutual value. Focus first on what’s in it for the influencer. If possible, find out what their goals are and see how working together can move them towards reaching those goals whether it’s overall exposure and being associated publicly with your brand or early and unique access to information.

Influencer participation pitches should be credible, succinct and offer a clear description of what is being asked.

Once a topical list of influencers is identified, they can be engaged in a variety of ways including:

  • Share their status updates on social networks
  • Comment on their blog posts or industry articles
  • Follow on social networks
  • Write about them
  • Interview them

Influencer participation pitches should be credible, succinct and offer a clear description of what is being asked. Pitches should also be very easy to act on. In other words, make it really easy to participate. For example, writing takes time, so offer to do a phone interview instead.

Other tactics that work include: humor, high degree of personalization, incentives and association with other influencers already on board.

CoCreate Influencer Content

4. Content Co-Creation is Participation Marketing

Influencer content co-creation might best begin with small, easy projects that advance the relationship to more robust and substantial time commitments.

Any content type you can create in a content marketing program can be co-created with influencers.

After content is collected from influencers, assemble, edit and package in a promotable format. Then share a preview to inspire their continued participation to promote. Be sure to set expectations by sharing your timeline for production, publishing and promotion.

Any content type you can create in a content marketing program can be co-created with influencers, from eBooks to videos to articles to social microcontent.

Measure Influencer Content

5. Promote and Measure

Provide influencers with tools such as sharing images, pre-written tweets, embed codes and short URLs. Making it easy to participate and promote can substantially increase the success of your influencer content program.

Offer influencers feedback on what’s working and what is not. Since they’ve invested in the creation of the content, it’s in their interest to see the promotion succeed.

You’ve Got This!

By partnering with influencers, marketers can tap into a wealth of knowledge and a breadth of exposure for brand messages. These are not self-promotional messages though, they are the things that the brands’ customers care about.

The mutual investment in creating useful and engaging content can pay dividends for all involved. This is especially true for the resource-strapped marketer looking to scale content quantity, while not sacrificing quality. The icing on the cake are the relationships built that can fuel content collaboration, partnerships and even new business in the future.

A version of this post originally appeared at Brand Quarterly

Watch for our latest influencer content project featuring speakers from the 2015 Content Marketing World conference publishing throughout the month of June.

Photos Shutterstock: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6


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Thanks for helping VWO bootstrap its way into the survived-5-year club

Great news! Visual Website Optimizer completed five years today, and oh, we crossed 4k active paying customers, too! We’ve made a special page to share our birthday party with you. Take a look: https://vwo.com/we-are-five/

I wanted to thank you for sharing this A/B testing industry with us. A big thanks for being a customer, a user, and a well-wisher. As a bootstrapped company commencing with the initial investment of a $20 server and a $10 domain name, I couldn’t have done it without your support and encouragement.

Survival rates for funded tech startups are terrifying. Some estimates put it at a 90% failure rate within the first 18 months! Survival rates for bootstrapped companies must be even worse. I think we survived (and grew!) because we were lucky to be in an industry (A/B testing) that’s growing at a tremendous pace, and even more so when it welcomed us with such open arms.

Most people are smart. Few are lucky.

However, now that we’re into the survived-5-year club, I want to reiterate our commitment and our philosophy. Wait, hang on. The words sound academic and hearty, but it’s actually quite simple.

Why we exist?

For us, the primary driver isn’t making money. Yes, money is a good outcome and it gives us freedom to plan long term. But, money for money’s sake can make individuals and companies short-sighted. We’re driven to make a long-term impact. Our aim is to build a company that delivers exceptional software products and fanatical customer support. We want to work hard enough to make you say – “These guys at VWO, they’re amazing at software!”

In retrospect, it’s the customer-centric approach that has lead us to grow our business into 4000+ paying clients, 90+ people and 2 locations. And our commitment to you is that we’ll continue on this path – putting the users first, and delivering software that amazes and thrills them.

Thanks once again for being a part of our journey. Hope to continue seeing you every now and then for the next 5X years :)

PS: If you want to learn more about our journey, following sources are most useful:

  1. My interview with Sramana Mitra interview: Solo Founder, Bootstrapping to $7 Million in India: Wingify CEO Paras Chopra
  2. How to bootstrap a tech startup: Youtube video of a talk I did last year
  3. How hating my first two jobs helped me create the perfect corporate culture

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