All posts by arlicen63494

World First Solar Powered Fashion Show



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Jessica Minh Anh is no stranger to extraordinary catwalk in the best places. The July 17, 2015, the model and the contractor will be history making 10th generation in the middle of the solar power plant Gemasolar win in Seville, Spain. Unlike previous fashions Jessica at the Eiffel Tower, the Tower Bridge in London, Grand Canyon Skywalk, and One World Trade Center, J Summer Fashion Show 2015 not only presented a combination of art, architecture, culture and fashion, but also celebrate the best of advanced technology and environmental preservation. With backdrop of famous film central tower and thousands of advanced mirrors, the gateway to the sun must redefine the standards of modern fashion.

J Summer Fashion Premiere in June 2015 fashion collections and exclusive jewelry in Europe and Asia. Focusing on the art of minimalism, Ekria Turkish jewelry brand presents a collection of highly futuristic gold laser cut and silver. Rather, the Spanish sensation Paloma Sanchez, who has traveled the world in search of the most precious stones, present a luxurious and colorful collection. Heavily influenced by Chinese culture and dedication to perfection, the jeweler combines Eastern European charm and sophistication to make all women feel like kings. Returning to the single gateway Jessica Minh Anh, Pakistani Haute Couture designer Syeda Amera continue their creative approach to training, gold glitter embellishments, bold cuts, and abstract patterns. Adding a Spanish touch to the big window, very clean designer Vera Pilar Sevilla will present some of the most dynamic, dramatic, romantic and especially Flamenco dresses. Youth collection pays homage to the textile crafts, traditional sewing techniques and floral prints with an emphasis on the sensual silhouettes. “Jessica Minh Anh embodies fluid movements, class and elegance that resonate with my collection. I look forward to its main other models on the podium in my multilayer signature red doll dress,” said Pilar Vera.

Online Marketing News: Twitter Gets Googled, Meerkat Makes A Cameo, Facebook Floats

The Science Behind Buyer Personas

How to Create Buyer Personas [Infographic] – Buyer personas give you insight into how to best engage with your various customer types. But before you start creating those personas, take time to do the research. Check out this infographic to find out. MarketingProfs

Twitter Officially Launches Ads Companion For Mobile Campaign Management – New tool, unveiled as a test last week, gives advertisers the ability to monitor and adjust campaigns from Twitter iOS and Android apps. Twitter

Facebook Gives Users More Control Over Their News Feeds – On Thursday, Facebook announced a set of features that will give each person more control over what he or she wants to see. In essence, you get to reprogram the algorithm. Facebook

TV Becomes Major Driver of Social Activity [Study] – A new study from ShareThis shows that traditional TV-watching has evolved to become a multi-screen social experience. How can networks leverage social to stay relevant? ClickZ

STUDY: Facebook Video Ads Thrive; Twitter Advertisers Must Go Mobile – Social advertising and data company Kinetic Social, a Facebook Marketing Partner, offered a look at first-quarter-2015 ad performance on Facebook and Twitter. SocialTimes

Only 20% of Marketers Use Behavioural Triggers In Email Marketing: Report – Behavioural marketing technology allows brands to provide targeted, relevant communications based on a user’s web activity. See why you should be using it. Econsultancy

Twitter Sets Birthday Balloons As Bait To Reel In More Personal Data – Company adds profile design flourish to encourage people to share their birthdates. The information will be used to serve more relevant information, including advertising. Twitter

Facebook Becomes the Fastest Growing Global Media Company – Facebook has long been a dominant social media platform, but now the brand has grown to be one of the most profitable media companies in the world, according to ZenithOptimedia. ClickZ

Meerkat Introduces Cameo, a Way for Viewers to Interact With Stream — and Facebook Integration – Meerkat this week introduced a new feature that allows viewers to take over and contribute to a live feed on the app. Called Cameo, the feature allows the filmer to select a viewer to appear on screen for up to 60 seconds. Meerkat

Facebook Adds ‘Videos’ Tab to Page Insights: Track Metrics Across Custom Date Ranges – Facebook announced a useful new addition today that will help page owners measure the success of their videos across custom date ranges. Facebook

Facebook Changes How It Charges Brands for Clicks on Their Ads – Facebook is changing how it charges advertisers for click-based campaigns to make sure that, in return for their money, marketers are getting more than social currency. Ad Age

Google Now Indexing 466% More Tweets, Still Favoring Higher Authority Users [Study] – Google is now indexing nearly 5x the Tweets as four months ago, yet more than 96% of Tweets still go unindexed. Search Engine Land

Twitter Introduces Video App Ads, Bidding Based On Actions & Installs – A year after launching its app install ad feature, Twitter says advertisers are getting strong ROI from the program. Marketing Land

Facebook Introduces New “Floating” Video Player, Continues Push on Video Content – Facebook’s march towards online video dominance continues, with another new feature added into the mix to get users viewing more video content. This week, Facebook is testing a new video player option where users can detach a video from the News Feed and move it to your preferred viewing location within the browser window. Social Media Today

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

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

Infographic: WSI


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Online Marketing News: Twitter Gets Googled, Meerkat Makes A Cameo, Facebook Floats | http://www.toprankblog.com

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4 Steps Marketers Can Take Towards Increasing Their Digital Marketing Budget

Marketing Budget

Raise your hand if you’ve ever encountered a situation like the one described below:

It’s time again for your annual marketing budget meeting. You’re confident that what you’ve put together is going to knock the leadership team’s socks off.

You begin rocking through your amazing slide deck, chock full of powerful data points such as the number of Facebook Likes and banner ad clicks. Everything seems to be going great, and you know that this is the year you’ve finally proven the value of digital marketing and will win more budget. This means more budget to create additional content, place more ads and maybe even hire a great agency to help augment internal marketing efforts.

“Sure.” your CEO says, “That all looks great, but what are we going to get out of it?”

“Brand awareness, views, clicks, shares” – you say.

“No.” they say pointedly, “What are we really going to get out of it in terms of new customers, revenue and sales?”

A recent study from Econsultancy found that only 44% of marketers surveyed believe that the C-Suite really gets digital marketing and is developing an effective strategy. This can create many challenges for today’s digital marketers.

So how do you convince the C-Suite of the power of digital marketing when it comes to meeting business objectives and win that bigger budget?

Step 1: Become Fluent in CEO Speak

In my day to day, I spend most of time talking with other agency and client side marketers. Fortunately we are all speaking the same marketing lingo of conversions, page views and bounce rates. However, in order to get your CEO on board, you’ll need to step away from the marketing speak and dial into language which resonates with your audience:

For example:

speak CEO language

Step 2: Do a Landscape Audit, Don’t Forget Your Competition

Try to remember that most CEO’s don’t live and breathe digital marketing. They may not be aware that 83% of B2B marketers have a content marketing strategy in place. Or that there are 350 million users on LinkedIn. Set the stage by letting them know what is going on in the industry.

Keep in mind however that all the 3rd party research in the world won’t lead to an increase in budget, but showing a competitor that is applying a similar tactic and doing well will. C-suite is often intrinsically motivated by the idea that their competitors may know something they don’t.

Create a simple matrix of your top competitors and who is using which tactics. Then use a competitive audit tool like SEMrush to find data for PPC ad spend and traffic volume. Pull this data into a PowerPoint deck, and include screen shots of impressive ad campaigns or downloads to show value to your CEO.

Step 3: Show Them What They Stand to Gain (Or Could Lose)

When preparing to present to your leadership team, make sure that you:

Know what your CEO really cares about. Sometimes we assume CEO’s only care about the bottom line, but they may have many other objectives for the upcoming year. Examples could include: increasing brand visibility, attracting new customers from top competitors, or a higher volume of product sold.

Nail down tracking. If you don’t have the tracking in place to tie back each of your marketing tactics to an objective your CEO really cares about, then make sure you laser focus on making that a reality. Leverage custom tracking URLs and some advanced Google Analytics segments to document tracking of visitor flow and conversions from pretty much any digital marketing tactic. If you need more advanced tracking, begin researching marketing automation systems, and plant the seeds for a big investment in 2016.

Perhaps you already have tracking in place. The next step is to show your team what they stand to gain.

For example:

  • 2015: Created 4 gated downloads = 800 leads
  • 2016 (Double the investment): 8 gated download = 1,600 leads

If you can present a case for investing in 4 additional content marketing assets, and the standard cost per lead, then you can show the potential ROI on additional content objects.

Now let’s flip that on its head. By not investing these dollars in 2016, you stand to lose 800 new leads. Psychologically, showing what your boss stands to lose is often more compelling than a potential reward.

Step 4: Start Small to Win Big

When testing a new tactic or platform, like Google AdWords or co-created content, I always advise clients to start small.  You must invest enough to run a true test, but consider it in terms of percentage of available budget.

I recommend that companies invest 70% of available budget in tried and true tactics that you know produce results, 20% on medium risk tactics, and only 10% on those brand new, high-risk tactics. This strategy ensures marketing is creating the results you need, while still making room for testing new tactics that have the potential to drive big results.

If you are asking for a 25% increase in budget, show your CEO the breakdown of how you will be spending that budget. Knowing you are investing the lion share in proven tactics, can help show that you are aiming to make a sound investment.

If you’re looking for more help crafting your pitch, speak with your current agency and have them provide you with more results from the previous year and their recommendations for next steps.

If you’re not working with an agency, reach out to an agency like TopRank Marketing and see what recommendations they have or what they would provide you if you worked with them.

Image: Shutterstock


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4 Steps Marketers Can Take Towards Increasing Their Digital Marketing Budget | http://www.toprankblog.com

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Engage More Customers By Becoming a Content Marketing Sommelier

content marketing sommelia

A sommelier is known for having extensive knowledge about wines, and how to complement the sensory experience of each type with perfect food pairings. Many train for years in hopes of finally becoming a Master Sommelier.

When embarking on a content marketing initiative, it’s important to know how to maximize the sensory experience of your content. A Master Content Marketing Sommelier knows what will best engage their customers, be it a complex, full-bodied blog post or a light, crisp infographic.

Demand Metric found that content marketing generates 3 times as many leads as traditional outbound marketing but costs 62% less. This means marketers have a ripe opportunity to create content that expertly meets the needs of their audience.

Below are 6 tips to help you become a sommelier of content marketing.

#1 – Balance: The level of harmony between acidity, tannins, fruit, oak, and other elements in a wine; a perceived quality that is more individual than scientific.

wine balance

Content marketing can be a great tool for lead nurturing if implemented correctly. Successful content will harmoniously create value for your audience and move them toward a purchasing decision.

First and foremost, it is essential that your content offer useful and relevant information for your audience. If your message doesn’t help them solve their problem or meet a current need, they’ll move on to someone who does.

However, that does not mean there isn’t an opportunity to incorporate a call to action, where it makes sense. In fact, many marketers are leaving leads on the table by offering a piece of content without asking for contact information in exchange for the download.

Another often overlooked opportunity is adding calls to action within your blog post. This can be as simple as asking a question that helps your reader internalize the information and engage with your content by sharing their opinion. As long as you achieve balance between your promotional element and the value you add for the reader, you’ll create a pleasant experience.

#2 – Blend: The process whereby two or more grape varieties are combined after separate fermentation; common blends include Cotes de Rhone and red and white Bordeaux.

wine blend

Content marketing should not be a stand-alone program within digital marketing. In order to truly be masterful, it must be combined with other digital marketing efforts such as:

  • SEO
  • Influencer Marketing
  • Social Media
  • Paid Search & Social Media Advertising
  • Conversion Optimization
  • Website Analytics

Just as a good blended wine combines the strengths of each vintage to enhance the flavor experience, a good marketing blend puts the different elements of marketing to work to amplify your message.

#3 – Legs: A term used to describe how wine sticks to the inside of a wineglass after drinking or swirling.

wine legs

Even if your customers aren’t ready to buy right now, you want to remain top of mind when they are ready to make the leap. So the question is; how can you create stickiness with your content marketing?

One simple way is to create a consistent posting schedule. If you continue to offer relevant information and sound advice on a consistent basis, your customers will come back to you when they have another need.

#4- Table Wine: A term used to describe wines of between 10 and 14 percent alcohol; in Europe, table wines are those that are made outside of regulated regions or by unapproved methods.

Table Wine Image

If you are an avid wine drinker (like myself) then you know that you’re typically better off skipping the table wine or house wine. It’s usually the cheaper option, but it’s definitely made for quantity rather than quality.

When it comes to your content marketing, you’re better off doing a few things very well, than trying to do too much and falling short. Prioritize your content marketing for impact and form an understanding of what you can handle in-house, what may need to be outsourced and what needs cut from your plan. A few high-quality pieces of content are more valuable in the long-run than high-quantity “table wine” content.

# 5 – Yield: The amount of grapes harvested in a particular year.

Yield Vineyard

The vintner who fails to measure their vineyard’s yield and adjust their plans accordingly won’t be in business for long. If you don’t measure the yield of your content marketing, it will be difficult to see how it is performing and what you can do better. As with any sales or marketing program, you must:

  • Determine your critical measurements based on business goals
  • Define both short and long-term goals
  • Tie performance back to leads and sales metrics

There is no replacement for content marketing measurement and it should always remain top of mind when deploying new tactics. For each piece of content you create, make sure to ask yourself: Does this align with my objectives, and what do I hope to achieve?

#6 – Pruning: The annual vineyard chore of trimming back plants from the previous harvest.

pruning vines

Vintners prune their plants to enable them to grow and thrive. Once you’ve given your content marketing time to mature, it’s time to go back and decide where to “prune” your program. You may find that your audience responds really well to long-form blog content but does not care much for video, for example.

Take the time to find which tactics are performing the best and weed out those that are not effective. A little strategic pruning can make sure that you focus on creating the content that resonates most with your audience.

Pour Yourself a Nice Crisp Glass of Content Marketing

Understanding what makes a successful content marketing strategy can be as tricky as mastering the appreciation of fine wine. Both take practice, dedication and attention to detail. What have you found is your biggest challenge in creating successful content marketing that inspires action?

All definitions are courtesy of WineEnthusiast

Photos via Shutterstock: First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2015. |
Engage More Customers By Becoming a Content Marketing Sommelier | http://www.toprankblog.com

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5 Impactful Digital Marketing Takeaways from MNSearch Summit

MNSearch-Summit-2015

In order to be an effective digital marketer, it’s imperative that you understand the role that search plays in all of your marketing initiatives. The search landscape is quickly evolving and sometimes what you need is a helping hand from some industry experts to set you down the path to success.

Amazingly, that is just what we experienced at this years MNSearch Summit. Alexis Hall, Evan Prokop, Joel Carlson, Kat Steiner and I took a leap across the river into St. Paul Minnesota for a day filled with actionable information that can be used to improve any digital marketing program.

If you were not able to attend, or maybe didn’t get to see all of the sessions that you would have liked, we’ve provided a helpful roundup of 5 of the takeaways that we believed were most impactful for digital marketers.

ahall

Team Member: Alexis Hall

Session: The Data-Driven Content Marketer – Sean Callahan, LinkedIn

The statement exemplifies the pain marketers have been feeling for over 75 years. Imaging the glory days of a 1950s Don Draper, when advertising was based on gut feel, seeing into the soul of the customer. Some things worked and some things didn’t.  The problem was – it was very difficult to tell which was which.

As savvy content marketers today, we certainly know more about performance than the 1950s ad man, but many of us still feel a gap when it comes to measuring content. We are ready to move beyond page views and social shares to find out if our content is really working.

Enter – big data. It’s no surprise that the amount of data is ramping up:

  • 5 Quintillion bytes of data created every day across the globe
  • 90% of existing data has been created in the last 2 years
  • 90% of buyer journey completed by the time a prospect reaches out to a salesperson

Throughout his presentation, Sean provided examples of companies like Netflix, Google, Zendesk and many more that are using data to guide their content marketing strategy.

He explained that one approach to creating relevant content is the Big Rock Approach, when one big piece of content in a period feeds other content marketing efforts.

The Big Rock Approach follows these steps:

  1. Start with keyword research: Find out what your customers asking and where that intersects with your business.
  2. Repurpose content like leftover turkey: Use tactics such as slide presentations, blogs, infographics, webinars and videos. Then drive your audience back to a gated piece of content to drive conversions.
  3. Use turkey slides to fuel your content hubs: Examples would include:
    1. Company pages
    2. Sponsored updates
    3. LinkedIn Groups
    4. SlideShare

When you are able to merge a data driven approach with truly relevant content then you can make your marketing really meaningful.

ksteiner

Team Member: Kat Steiner

Session: How to Win with the Unexpected in PPC – John Gagnon, Bing

In his session, Bing Ads Evangelist John Gagnon offered sound advice to help marketers look at solving problems in unique ways.

There were three strategies that John discussed including voice search, brand term bidding and offsite tagging. All of which can be used to help companies stay competitive with their online properties in the current digital landscape.

Voice Search

According to Gagnon, the increase in the use of voice search will alter how marketers strategize on behalf of their clients. Currently, 25% of inquiries come from a voice search. It is essential that steps are taken to target this specific audience segment.

The use of voice search is different from a typed inquiry in the following ways:

  • A searcher is mobile, so the results will change accordingly
  • A searcher is looking for local results
  • The search inquiry is shaped in a more conversational format

Brand Term Bidding

When looking to attract traffic for branded search, companies still need to utilize paid search opportunities in addition to organic strategies. By bidding on the highly visible paid space, companies can ensure less clicks go to their competitors.

Brand term bidding gives marketers control of what landing page a visitor arrives on. By maintaining visibility in the paid space for branded terms, a marketer can influence the first impression a visitor has when they arrive on their website.

Offsite Tagging

When looking for remarketing opportunities, marketers can utilize the websites of relevant business partners to gain insights. Marketers can tag the site of the business partner to see how visitors are interacting, then start collecting information to build out the audience and report on their behavior. Once relevant audience members are identified, these individuals can be retargeted at a later date.

azeckman

Team Member: Ashley Zeckman

Session: Email Marketing Trends, Tactics & Opportunities for Search Marketers – Loren McDonald, Silverpop

Loren McDonald provided some great insight into email marketing trends, as well as the convergence of email marketing and search. What stuck with me the most from his session was the opportunity for email marketing and search teams to work together, and the fact that most simply aren’t.

Below is some of the low hanging fruit that Loren mentioned in his presentation:

  1. Landing Pages: You can build a dynamic email based on the search terms that consumers used to get to your landing page.
  2. Lead Scoring: If marketing automation is being used, begin incorporating keywords into lead scoring. Keywords can be scaled higher or lower based on what was used to drive the consumer to your website.
  3. Keyword Driven Email Content: There is also an opportunity to incorporate the keywords used in search results to drive the content of your email campaigns.

eprokop

Team Member: Evan Prokop

Session: How we Can Tell a Compelling Story with our Google Analytics Data – Jeff Sauer, Jeffalytics

There are many steps involved in collecting, cleaning and categorizing data in a way that makes it prime for storytelling. Jeff Sauer provided many actionable tips in his presentation to help marketers get more from their Google Analytics data. When it comes down to it, how can marketers use data to tell a compelling story?

In order for data to be valuable, it needs to tell a story. “Traffic is up 50% over last month” doesn’t say much, but “referral traffic from the ebook campaign we launched last month helped to drive a 50% increase in total website traffic, 20% increase in soft leads and 10% increase in revenue compared to the previous month” tells a much more compelling story.

A good web analytics story not only summarizes the current situation, it leads to actionable next steps. Taking the example above, a logical and actionable next step would be to allocate additional budget to the content marketing team to concept and launch additional ebook campaigns.

That’s the kind of story that drives business decisions and leads to results, and that’s what all digital marketers should be striving for from their web analytics.

jcarlson

Team Member: Joel Carlson

Session: The Power of Real-Time Content For Any Organization – Bob Stanke, Minnesota Timberwolves

The ability to respond to a story in real-time is an incredibly difficult task. In fact, AdWeek reported that only 4% of marketers are able to create content for breaking news in real-time.

Bob Stanke opened up his session by reminding the crowd of the heart wrenching story of the Chilean miners that were stuck underground for two months in 2010. He also highlighted that Oakley quickly jumped into action and provided the miners with sunglasses to help their eyes adjust once they were finally freed. This seemingly small investment and goodwill move on Oakley’s part led to an approximately $41 million return for the company.

In his position at the Minnesota Timberwolves, Stanke and his team have to be able to respond quickly and effectively to breaking news. Below are some of the ways that they are able to set their team up for success:

Real-Time Content the Timberwolves Way

  • Conduct weekly content meetings
  • Include representatives from over 7 different departments
  • Discuss various what-if scenarios
  • Give attention to crossing storylines (Ex. Does a current player live or did they live in an area that was just hit by a disaster)
  • Focus on human-interest topics as they relate to the organization
  • Discuss ways to use exclusive content and how will it be distributed

A Behind-the-Scenes Snapshot of #MNSummit

MNSearch-Summit-Collage

The speakers at MNSearch Summit covered email marketing, PPC, using data for storytelling and so much more. Which tip above most closely aligned with your current digital marketing needs?

Disclosure: LinkedIn is a TopRank Online Marketing client.

Header Image: Shutterstock


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2015. |
5 Impactful Digital Marketing Takeaways from MNSearch Summit | http://www.toprankblog.com

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9 Step Social Media Audit for Improving LinkedIn Business Page Results

LinkedIn Company Page

It’s undeniable that LinkedIn is leading the pack for professional social networks. In fact, more than half of all of the business in the world have created a business page on LinkedIn. With over 4 million business pages on LinkedIn, the competition for the attention of potential clients and job seekers is at an all-time high.

One way to take a critical look at your LinkedIn business page is to conduct a social media audit and identify areas for improvement. Understanding the elements that will help you build trust with your audience and provide a seamless brand experience for visitors navigating between your website and LinkedIn business page are incredibly important in creating a cohesive strategy.

If you know that your LinkedIn Business Page could be better, but you don’t know where to start, this guide is for you. The social media audit below identifies nine important elements of LinkedIn business profiles that can be improved in order to get more engagement from your audience, and referral traffic back to your website. Ready to see how many of these items you’re executing successfully and how many are an opportunity for improvement?

9 Step LinkedIn Company Page Audit

#1 – Identify the Right Content Mix

“Content mix” refers to the different types of content posted on your LinkedIn Company page. The first step is to analyze what types of content are published to your business page on a regular basis.

Content types can include:

  • Promotional content
  • Industry news
  • Images
  • Videos
  • Links to helpful articles

Ideally, all of these content types should be present in your content mix. Posting only one or two types of content will bore your audience. Engage your audience by posting a variety of content to your LinkedIn business page. Don’t forget to include visual content in your mix: posting images on LinkedIn can increase engagement and comments by as much as  98%!

eb image 1

#2 – Establish a Cadence

How often does your brand post on LinkedIn? Are your updates posted regularly, or do days or weeks pass by with no updates? Aim to post at least one message a day on your LinkedIn business page in order to begin engaging your audience and create the expectation that visitors can discover new content on a daily basis. Posting intermittently can cause visitors to think that your LinkedIn page is unmaintained or out of date.

#3 – Post at Optimal Times of Day

Now that you know how often you’re posting, consider what time of day updates are typically posted. Do you use a social media management tool to schedule updates at specific times, or do you post updates whenever you can find the time? Scheduling your updates to post at a time of day when the majority of your followers are on LinkedIn is a great way to increase engagement with your content.

According to Fannit, the best times to post updates on LinkedIn are between 7-8 am and 5-6 pm. That’s because many LinkedIn users check their profile at the beginning or end of their work day. 

Image courtesy of QuickSprout

Image courtesy of QuickSprout

#4 – Create Consistency with Your Company Name

This seems like an easy one, but it can have a huge impact on how visitors find and perceive your LinkedIn Company page. First, search for your company’s name on LinkedIn. How many results appear? Some brands have multiple pages on LinkedIn, which can make it very difficult for visitors to know which page is the “correct” LinkedIn business page to visit. If your brand has multiple LinkedIn business pages, consider consolidating into one just one page. If your brand has multiple markets, products, or business units, create showcase pages to speak to those different segments.

Finally, ensure that the spelling on your LinkedIn business page matches the branding on your website. This will provide a consistent experience for visitors, and help them understand that this page is the “official” LinkedIn page for your brand.

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#5 – Find the Perfect Profile Picture

Take a critical look at the profile picture on your LinkedIn company page. It should be a clear, well-cropped image that showcases what your brand is all about. What’s most important is to ensure that your audience can easily recognize the profile image. Most companies opt to use the brand logo for their LinkedIn profile. This is a great way to improve brand recognition.

The image should be high resolution, and perfectly cropped. Grainy, off-centered images may give your business page an unprofessional or sloppy appearance. The size of LinkedIn profile pictures is 50×50 pixels.

eb image 4

#6 – Use a Banner Image to Create Continuity

The banner image should in some way indicate what your company does. If you work for a healthcare organization, an image of a hospital may be appropriate. They say that one image is worth 1,000 words, so use an image that speaks to your company’s area of expertise. Create a custom image that overlays text over an image in order to include a message, or information about your brand in the banner image. LinkedIn banner images should be a minimum of 646×220  .

Consider changing the banner image on your LinkedIn business page on a quarterly basis to give your page a fresh, updated appearance. The banner image may correspond to a season, event, or important product offering.

eb image 5

#7 – Provide a Detailed Description

Use the description section of your profile to explain what your company does. Avoid vague, industry jargon in favor of precise language and keywords that explain how your company provides value to your customers. Don’t forget that LinkedIn business page descriptions are crawled by Google, which means that you should include keywords in the description section. You should also fill out the sections provided for specialties, website, industry, type of business, address, and company size.

eb image 6

#8 – Include a URL in the First Sentence of the Description

When you visit LinkedIn company pages, you’ll notice that only the first one or two sentences of the description appear, unless you click “see more.” If you’d like to drive more referral traffic to your website, either include your brand’s URL in the first sentence of the description, or keep the description short enough that visitors won’t have to click “see more” to find your website URL .

#9 – Dive Into LinkedIn Analytics

LinkedIn business page administrators should take advantage of the data collected within LinkedIn analytics. Get insight into which updates are performing best by viewing impression, click, and engagement metrics for each update. You can also see how much reach and engagement your updates receive over time. LinkedIn’s unique demographic data can show you what industries your fans and visitors are from, what their job functions are, what their seniority level is, and what size company they work for. This information can help you understand more about your audience, and their interests.

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Know When to Call in the Professionals

If you’re overwhelmed by how much time and effort it takes to conduct a social media audit, or to optimize your LinkedIn company page, it may be a sign that it’s time to call in the reinforcements. Do you feel that your LinkedIn company page could be better, but don’t have the time it takes to update and maintain it? Do you crave more expert insights and tips for improving your brand’s social media profiles? Contact TopRank Online Marketing to learn more about our social media audit services .

What are some examples of LinkedIn Company Profiles that you think are well optimized and have followed the checklist above?

Disclosure: LinkedIn, Innovatech and Uponor are all TopRank Online Marketing clients.

Header Image: Shutterstock


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How to Create Oscar-Worthy Content Marketing: Ann Handley of MarketingProfs #CMWorld

AHandley---interview-header-

My pal Ann Handley has made it her life’s work to, in her words, “wage war on mediocrity in content.” Her best-selling book, Everybody Writes, is a practical guide to writing the kind of content that truly engages an audience.

As the Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs (the world’s first Chief Content Officer, in fact), Ann advocates quality over quantity in all of her content ventures. She also spreads the gospel of good content at speaking engagements around the world, including the upcoming Content Marketing World conference September 8-11 in Cleveland.

To get a sneak preview of Ann’s Content Marketing World presentation, Good Content Vs. Good Enough Content: A Fight For Sore Eyes, I did my best to catch up with her during some pretty crazy travels. Along the way, she shared her journey on learning to write compelling content, the role of technology in content marketing, and the death of the marketing funnel.

My mission is always to make the complicated way simpler.

As the CCO of MarketingProfs, best-selling author, keynote speaker, lover of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and the most influential woman in Social Media (according to Forbes), when you look back on your journey throughout your career what are three things you never lost focus on that helped you get to where you are today?

  1. When I was in journalism school, my professor Charlie Ball used to tell me, “Remember: No one has to read this.” That perspective changed my writing from self-indulgent (all about me) to reader-centric (all about the audience). It’s been invaluable as a content-centric marketer and blogger and (frankly) as a person.

(Side note to parents — of either a human, dog, cat, ferret, lizard, llama, or otherwise: Parenting reaffirms this idea. Because nothing is about you. Ever again. And I say that in the best possible way.)

  1. Charlie also told me: “No one will complain that you made things too simple to understand.” Life is complicated. Business is messy. “Solutions” are multi-faceted. If I’m being honest, most things in life confuse me. My mission is always to make the complicated way simpler.
  1. Finally: Deliver. Seth Godin calls this: Ship.

When I was in high school, the Pope visited Boston. I went to Catholic high school, where I was the editor of the school paper. I told the school I’d cover it for us. (The nuns were thrilled!)

But then I changed my mind, and I blew off the Pope’s visit to go hang out with my local public school friends. And when I got home that day, my Mom was unusually annoyed at me. I didn’t understand why — who cares? The Pope’s visit was all over the news anyway.

And my mom said, lips pursed and on the verge of losing it, “Because you had a responsibility to your position, and you ignored it for your own pleasure.”

At the time, I thought she was being ridiculously prissy. (I still feel bad to this day about my eye roll in response.)

But now, I get it. I said I’d do something, and then I didn’t. That’s not cool.

How I internalize that now: If you say you’ll do something, do it. Your word is more important than you might imagine it is.

You can’t code creativity. And you can’t program publishing. And quality definitely trumps quantity.

Your session at Content Marketing World will focus on helping marketers nail the basics of creating good content. What do you anticipate are the primary challenges for marketers today in creating quality content versus a quantity of content?

I’ve been thinking lately about technology. Because increasingly it’s heralded as the savior (or legitimizer?) of marketing.

Robots can write your posts. Tools can optimize them. Solutions can amplify them.

Awesome. I heart technology. I built my career on it, too.

But guess what? Technology is only as good as our story.

You can’t code creativity. And you can’t program publishing. And quality definitely trumps quantity. Always has. Always will.

Your story is the thing that sets your apart. So the question is: What’s your story? And how do you tell it?

There’s a growing rumbling in the marketing industry about the death of the funnel. Yea or nay?

The funnel was never a funnel. It’s always been an ecosystem, because the people who buy (the people at the end of the “funnel”) have always had the capacity to influence the decision of others. Social tools and technology make that information way more accessible, is all.

Which makes your sales and marketing efforts like the song that never ends. It just goes on and on, my friend, to quote Lamb Chop. (Is this the first time Shari Lewis has been quoted in a marketing context?)

What are your favorite examples of B2B or B2C brands that are creating great content for marketing?

B2B

B2C

Nonprofit

Government

  • This was a failed attempt, because the candidate didn’t get elected. But I believe it was groundbreaking storytelling in political marketing – The Best Political Ad Ever

What’s ordinary to you isn’t often ordinary to others.

Incorporating storytelling into content marketing has always been a big focus of yours. What advice would you give to marketers to help uncover these stories, even if they think they might not have any worth sharing?

Every company has a story to tell, if you look at the world from your customer’s point of view. The designer Michael Wolff says, “What already exists is an inspiration.”

Train yourself to look at things differently. What’s ordinary to you isn’t often ordinary to others.

What is the best piece of marketing advice that you’ve ever received personally?

“The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing.” — Tom Fishburne (Marketoonist.com)

He didn’t say it to me personally — although he’s a friend, so he probably would if I asked him to. Regardless, I’ve internalized it as if he did. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I think of it every day.

Content Marketing World attendees, you are my people.

What do you like best about attending and speaking at Content Marketing World?

Content Marketing World attendees, you are my people. It’s not quite like being with family — but there’s a similar feel of a kind of posse.

“Community” is one of those words that’s overplayed in marketing. But CMW (and a few other select marketing events throughout the year) embody it for me.

Thanks, Ann!

Ready to Create Oscar-Caliber Content Marketing?

Reserve your space at Content Marketing World 2015 for inspiring and informative presentations from 200 superstars of marketing.

For a sneak preview of Ann and 13 other marketing matinee idols’ presentations, grab your popcorn and settle in with our new eBook, Making Content Marketing the Star of Your Marketing.

Stay Tuned For the Thrilling, Final Chapter in Our Triple Content Marketing Feature!

CMWorld 2015 eBooks

On June 22, we will premiere the final chapter in our content marketing triple feature: Measuring Your Content Marketing Box Office Success. Featuring content marketing stars such as Joe Pulizzi, Andrew Davis, Michael Brenner and many more, you’ll be able to connect the content marketing performance dots with the strategy and tactics shared in the first two eBooks.


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How to Create Oscar-Worthy Content Marketing: Ann Handley of MarketingProfs #CMWorld | http://www.toprankblog.com

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