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6 New Rules for B2B Marketing in the COVID-19 Era

This may be of some interest.

B2B Marketing Rules Covid-19

B2B Marketing Rules Covid-19
I was supposed to go to an Alanis Morissette concert this July. When the pandemic hit hard in March, I wasn’t ready to cancel my ticket yet. Surely,
surely we would have it sorted in time for an outdoor concert four months from now. I held out hope. Then, in June, she rescheduled for July, 2021. And now I’m wondering if that will be enough time.

Isn’t it ironic? 

Don’t you think?

All of which to say: This pandemic has been around for longer than we thought it would, and is looking to linger far longer than we would like. What seemed like a brief, surreal interlude to be gotten through has now become a reality to live with, at least for the time being.

As B2B marketers, we need to reassess how we are adapting our marketing to our buyers’ current situation. We’re no longer scrambling to cobble together short-term fixes — we need to be out of reaction mode and into strategic planning mode.

Our marketing agency has been helping clients revise their marketing plans for months now, from messaging and audience to tactics and measurement. Here are a few rules we’ve picked up that other marketers should follow:

6 New Rules for B2B Marketing in the COVID-19 Era

Rule #1: Always Be Relevant

Okay, this is less a NEW rule than a timely reminder. I’m sure most marketers who read our blog (as smart, skilled and beautiful as you are) don’t need to hear it. But just in case: You should never come to an audience without something of value.

Corollary: “Something of value” can not equal “Knowledge of how our product/solution can improve your life.”

People are distracted and stressed. They’re dealing with a new crisis every day. They’re spending way more time with their children than is psychologically healthy. And they have more content than ever before to occupy their free time. If you’re asking for their attention, you must reward it. Be entertaining, be useful, be both if you can. [bctt tweet=”‘Be entertaining, be useful, be both if you can’ in your #B2B content marketing, says @nitewrites.” username=”toprank”]

After you deliver, then you can ask for a next step. But make sure your content is intrinsically valuable.

Rule #2: Encourage Interaction

The pandemic lifestyle is, to put it lightly, isolating. Who would have thought you could miss hearing co-workers rock in their chairs, play music a little too loud, or bump into you in the hallway? Most of us are craving social interaction.

If you’re used to broadcasting with your content, it’s time to consider how you can start conversations. How can you interact with your audience on a human level? How can you encourage them to interact with each other, too? Think how much your audience would value a lively, thought-provoking conversation with their colleagues and peers.

You can encourage interaction with content in a few easy ways:

  • Host a LinkedIn Live chat
  • Run a Twitter chat
  • Sponsor a topic-themed chat in a video conferencing app
  • Run an interactive webinar

In general, look for ways you can call out a subset of your audience and get them talking, both to each other and to your brand representatives. We can all use a little more social interaction right now.

Rule #3: Keep Messaging Empathetic

I don’t know about you, but I cringe every time I see an ad about something “going viral.” We are 6 months into a viral pandemic and marketers are still running ads about going viral! How can this be? 

This is just one example of how completely innocuous messaging pre-COVID can seem tone-deaf now. Does your content have an anecdote about a dinner party with 15 people? Does your header image feature a crowd of people? Are you talking about “going into the office” or “thinking about this on your commute?” If so, you’re alienating your audience.

Not every piece of content has to be about the pandemic, or being nostalgic for the world that once was. But there needs to be a baseline of empathy: Working from home, social distancing, and mask-wearing are all facts of everyday life.

Rule #4: Experiment with Formats

In the time before the pandemic, we all spent hours looking at screens every day. It’s just there were different screens, in different environments. It was easier to differentiate between the office and home, work and play. Now, our surroundings are homogenous throughout the day — and the content we consume feels same-y, too.

Think about content fatigue as you plan your calendar. Is your audience looking for another wall of text? Do they want to look at another grid of talking heads? 

Our agency is finding more success right now with multimedia, interactive content. Our B2B Influencer Marketing report is an example. The content includes case studies, influencer participation, and original research, presented in an animated, dynamic way.

Essentially, keep in mind that idea of efficiently delivering value. Can your blog post be a quick video or audio interview instead? And can that video be five minutes long instead of 10?  [bctt tweet=”Can your blog post be a quick video or audio interview instead? And can that video be five minutes long instead of 10? says @nitewrites.” username=”toprank”]

Rule #5: Collaborate on Content

For me, one of the stranger elements of pandemic life is learning how similar I am to everyone else. I had an urge to do puzzles in March — all the stores were sold out. I wanted to make bread in April — the stores ran out of flour. In May, everyone bought bikes. 

Right now, every B2B business is missing their trade shows and in-person demos. So most of them are doubling down on content. The best way to differentiate your content is to bring your audience voices they can’t hear anywhere else.

Co-create content with influencers. Feature subject matter experts in your organization. Tap your current and prospective customers to get their take. The more voices you can bring to your content, the more it will stand out to your audience.

Rule #6: Re-Align Measurement with Current Goals

Per rule #1, people are less interested in promotional content right now. Businesses may have put their purchasing plans on hold, or at least tightened budgets. Marketing’s chief goal right now is likely to be establishing brand credibility, creating thought leadership content, and building relationships for the future.

As your goals change, your measurement must change as well. You can’t measure an awareness campaign in SQLs, or relationship-building in number of demo requests received. That doesn’t mean giving up on measurement or accountability — it just means making the metrics match your goals. For example, you could measure:

  • Brand share of voice
  • Email/Blog subscribers
  • Social media audience/interactions
  • Content consumption metrics (time on page, scroll depth, links clicked)
  • Content resonance (backlinks and social shares)

How New Are These Rules?

So here’s the $100,000 (adjusted for inflation) question: At what point should you stop producing relevant, interactive, empathetic, dynamic and collaborative content? When can you heave a sigh of relief, stop listening to your audience, and start broadcasting promotional messages?

When you put it that way, it’s obvious: These rules are best practices for content no matter what’s going on in the world. The pandemic didn’t create the need for these rules; it just amplified how crucial they are. Back in January, we might have had the luxury of ignoring one or more of them. Now we have the joyous necessity of being forced to do better.

And that’s the good news: Making your marketing better for the pandemic will make you a better marketer now and for whatever comes next.

Need help creating content? We’re here for you.

The post 6 New Rules for B2B Marketing in the COVID-19 Era appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Thank you for reading.

20 B2B Influencer Marketing Pros to Follow from Top Brands

This may be of some interest.

B2B influencer marketing pros from top brands

B2B influencer marketing pros from top brands

Recently we published the 2020 State of B2B Influencer Marketing report after surveying hundreds of B2B marketers about their experiences, best practices, tools, budgets and plans for the future.

In an environment where B2B marketing is decidedly digital and marketers are hard pressed to squeeze more productivity out of fewer resources, credible information about marketing best practices, operations and trends for the future are in high demand. Judging by the response we’ve had to The State of B2B Influencer Marketing Report so far, we’re definitely meeting a need.

There is both optimism and an unrealized opportunity with influencer marketing for B2B companies. For evidence, check out these stats from the report:

  • 78% of B2B marketers believe prospects rely on advice from influencers
  • 74% believe that Influencer Marketing improves customer and prospect experiences
  • 63% agree that marketing would have better results if it included an Influencer Marketing program
  • 60% of marketers who use always on Influencer Marketing programs are very successful vs. 5% who do periodic campaigns

And yet:

  • Only 19% of B2B marketers are running ongoing influencer marketing programs
  • Only half include a plan for influencer activation in their influencer marketing strategy
  • Only 35% of marketers use software to identify potential influencers
  • 60% say they don’t have the knowledge to execute or have the right skills in house to implement ongoing Influencer Marketing programs

Influencer Marketing is a significant opportunity for B2B Marketers to connect with trusted and credible experts that have the attention of audiences that are probably overwhelmed with information and ignoring most of the ads that do get to them. At the same time B2B brands that build relationships to co-create content with these industry voices can integrate influence with thought leadership to build the authority and influence of brand employees.

It is very satisfying to have spent the past 8 years focusing on such a niche aspect of B2B marketing to see it now start to grow in acceptance, adoption and maturity amongst some of the top B2B brands in the world.  Where there were previously no positions outside of PR with “influencer” in the title, now it is much more common to find marketers with titles like, Head of Global Influencer Marketing, VP Influencer Marketing and Communications, or B2B Influencer Engagement Strategist.

Many B2B marketing professionals with these titles have earned hard won insights into what makes influencer marketing truly work for B2B, especially during a time when brand marketers are highly motivated to focus on strategies and tactics that will help them survive and thrive during the pandemic.

To help you connect with the collective wisdom of the B2B influencer marketing crowd, here are 20 B2B Influencer Marketing Professionals to follow (in no particular order):

Ursula Ringham
Ursula Ringham
@ursularingham
Head of Global Influencer Marketing at SAP

Rani Mani
Rani Mani
@ranimani0707
Head of Social Influencer Enablement at Adobe

Jen Holtvluwer
Jen Holtvluwer
@JenHoltvluwer
CMO at Spirion

Garnor Morantes
Garnor Morantes
/in/garnormorantes/
Group Marketing Manager at LinkedIn

Martin Hanna
Martin Hanna
@martyhanna
VP, Analyst and Influencer Relations at Schneider Electric

Amisha Gandhi
Amisha Gandhi
@AmishaGandhi
VP Influencer Marketing and Communications at SAP Ariba

Chris Purcell
Chris Purcell
@chrispman01
Manager, Influencer Marketing at Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Janine Wegner
Janine Wegner
@JanineWegner
Global Thought Leadership Program & Activation Manager at Dell

Marshall Kirkpatrick
Marshall Kirkpatrick
@marshallk
VP, Influencer Relations, Analyst Relations, and Competitive Intelligence at Sprinklr

Angela Lipscomb
Angela Lipscomb
@AngelaLipscomb
Influencer Relations Manager at SAS

Srijana Angdembey
Srijana Angdembey
@srijanaa
Director Social Media Marketing at Oracle

Ann Boyd
Ann Boyd
@annb
VP Corporate Communications at Cherwell Software

Tom Treanor
Tom Treanor
@RtMixMktg
Global Head of Marketing at Arm Treasure Data

Sarah Groves
Sarah Groves
@sstoesser
Director, Communications, AT&T Business Marketing at AT&T Business

Alyssa Samuelson
Alyssa Samuelson
@alyssamuelson
Commercial Influencer Relations at Microsoft

Lucinda Henry
Lucinda Henry
@lucindarhenry1
B2B Influencer Engagement Strategist at Intel

Barbara French
Barbara French
@bfr3nch
Sr Director, Content and Influencer Marketing at Juniper Networks

Paul Dobson
Paul Dobson
@svengelsk
Sr. Director, Social and Influencer Marketing at Citrix

Meg Crawford
Meg Crawford
@Postgrad
Sr. Influencer/Social Media Marketing Manager at Splunk

Brandi Boatner
Brandi Boatner @ThinkBluePR
Social and Influencer Communications Lead Global Markets at IBM

Of course there are many B2B influencer marketing practitioners from the consulting and agency world that could be on a list like this, including some of my team at TopRank Marketing. Maybe we’ll publish such a list in the future, but for now this resource is focused on people working at B2B brands.

If you know of other B2B brand influencer marketing practitioners, who would you add to this list?

To tap into the collective wisdom of these and more B2B influencer marketing experts, be sure to check out the full report here.

B2B Influencer Marketing Report 2020

*SAP, LinkedIn, SAP Ariba, Dell, Cherwell and Treasure Data are TopRank Marketing clients. 

The post 20 B2B Influencer Marketing Pros to Follow from Top Brands appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Thank you for reading.

17+ Top Virtual Marketing Conferences for Summer 2020 & Beyond

This may be of some interest.

Smiling Woman at Computer Image

Smiling Woman at Computer Image

Virtual marketing conferences offer a wealth of benefits to marketers looking to learn and increase brand awareness, and in the current crisis they represent the only event opportunities for marketers.

How do you go about finding events that match your business and B2B marketing needs, however?

With in-person marketing events not likely until well into 2021, more virtual events than ever taking place, making it harder than ever to find the ones that can best help build your business, expand your communication opportunities, and offer the most relevant new industry education from top marketing industry experts.

MarTech Today Chart

Marketers are getting more out of virtual events, too — with 75 percent in a recent survey saying they were satisfied with their virtual event experiences. Online events also hold their own unique advantages.

“Bringing events online has its downsides, naturally — there’s no substitute for personally meeting and interacting with all the valuable contacts attending a conference — but there are some key advantages,” Amanda Bulat, senior content marketing manager at LinkedIn Sales & Marketing Solutions recently observed.

“Virtual events are easier for people to attend (with no geographic restrictions), less resource-intensive to host, and can make it easier to capture lead gen info,” she added.

Expanding on our previous listing of “8 Virtual SEO Conferences for B2B Marketers,” for summer 2020 and beyond we’ve gathered together a collection of some of the top virtual marketing events, and we’re happy to present the list here, in chronological order.

Virtual Marketing Conferences For Summer 2020 & Beyond

Adobe Experience Makers Live — #ExperienceMakersLive
When: July 22-23, 2020
Theme: Digital Experiences
About: Adobe* Experience Makers Live is focused on creating long-term business success through inclusive digital experiences, featuring speakers including author Dr. Brené Brown, Microsoft’s Shelley Bransten, Forrester’s Joana de Quintanilha, and Adobe’s Marissa Dacay.

ContentTECH Summit — #ContentTECH
When: August 10-12, 2020
Theme: Content Marketing
About: ContentTECH Summit explores the ever-increasing importance of content marketing to create, manage, deliver and scale enterprise content and provide customers with better digital experiences, and features top speakers such as Mastercard Worldwide’s Wendy Richardson, author Alan Zweibel, and our own CEO Lee Odden.

Digital Summit At Home — #DSatHome
When: August 11-13, 2020
Theme: Digital Marketing
About: Digital Summit At Home examines digital marketing in over 30 virtual sessions, and features top speakers such as author Seth Godin, LinkedIn’s* Ty Heath, and our own senior director of digital strategy Ashley Zeckman.

IABC MN Convergence Summit — #IABCMN
When: August 12-13, 2020
Theme: Business Communications
About: IABC MN Convergence Summit weaves together business and academic experts to learn how to overcome today’s business communication challenges and explore how to build reputation, connect with audiences, and influence stakeholders, and features speakers such as Best Buy’s Andy Gorski, Deluxe Corporation’s Devon Block, along with our CEO Lee Odden who will present “In Search of Trust: How Authentic Content Drives Customer Experience.”

INBOUND 2020 — #INBOUND2020
When: September 22-23, 2020
Theme: Marketing & Sales
About: INBOUND 2020 presents some of the biggest names and brightest minds in sales and marketing and other industries, and offers speakers from firms including Intuit, HubSpot and others.

AI Summit Silicon Valley — #AISummit
When: September 30-October 1, 2020
Theme: Artificial Intelligence (AI)
About: The Virtual AI Summit Silicon Valley 2020 presents all things artificial intelligence for business marketers, and includes leading speakers from Google, Lyft, Boeing, Lenovo and more.

2020 B2B Next Conference & Exhibition — #B2BNext
When: September 29-30, 2020
Theme: Marketing & Sales
About: The 2020 B2B Next Conference & Exhibition explores the digital-first B2B economy with a focus on collaboration in eCommerce, and features top speakers including Grainger CEO D.G. Macpherson, Graybar CEO Kathy Mazzarella, RBC Capital Markets’ Marketing Manager Mark Mahaney and others.

Advertising Week Virtual — #AW2020
When: September 29-October 8, 2020
Theme: Marketing & Sales
About: Advertising Week Virtual serves as a worldwide gathering of marketing, advertising, technology and brand professionals, offering major speakers including Google VP of Marketing, EMEA Yonca Dervisoglu, SNAP VP of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Baroness Oona King, Interpublic Group CEO Michael Roth and others, for eight days and six global markets filled with unlimited ideas.

Fast Co. Innovation Festival — #FCFestival
When: October 5-9, 2020
Theme: Innovation
About: The Fast Co. Innovation Festival offers business inspiration by leaders making a difference through technology and creativity, with a powerful slate of global speakers to be announced.

MarTech — #MarTechConf
When: October 6-8, 2020
Theme: MarTech
About: Martech Conference focuses on actionable tactics in marketing technology for solving marketing problems, with top speakers to be announced.

Content Marketing World — #CMWorld
When: October 13-16, 2020
Theme: Content Marketing
About: Content Marketing World conference and expo explores the best in content marketing to grow your business and inspire your audience, featuring top speakers including Beverly Jackson of Activision Blizzard, Jay Baer of Convince & Convert, MJ DePalma of Microsoft Advertising, and others.

ANA 2020 Masters of Marketing Conference — #ANA
When: October 21-23, 2020
Theme: B2B Marketing
The Association of National Advertisers’s 2020 ANA Masters of Marketing Conference is set to examine brand marketing practices related to digital and social, and to help brands and businesses navigate these difficult times and drive sustained success, with a lineup of speakers to be announced.

B2B Sales and Marketing Exchange — #B2BSMX
When: October 26-28, 2020
Theme: Marketing & Sales
About: B2B Sales and Marketing Exchange Online Experience brings together thought leaders in ABM, revenue marketing and demand generation, including top speakers to be announced.

Sitecore Symposium 2020 — #SitecoreSYM
When: October 26-28, 2020
Theme: Marketing Automation
About: B2B marketers looking to explore the marketing automation landscape can attend Sitecore Symposium 2020 and learn the next generation of strategies and tactics, with a lineup of major speakers to be announced.

Brand ManageCamp — #BMC2020
When: October 27-29, 2020
Theme: Brand Management
About: Brand ManageCamp’s conference explores the insights, tools, strategy and leadership inspiration to drive new brand growth, featuring a lineup a speakers including Joe Pulizzi of the Content Marketing Institute, author Shep Hyken, author Carla Johnson, and others.

MarketingProfs B2B Forum — #MPB2B
When:November 3-6, 2020
Theme: B2B Marketing
About: At MarketingProfs B2B Forum top leaders, innovators, and people who make things happen gather to share their secrets to success, with a stellar lineup of speakers to be including keynotes by author David Meerman Scott, author April Dunford, and writer and comedian Sarah Cooper.

Dreamforce 2020 — #DF20
When: November 9-12, 2020
Theme: Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
About: Dreamforce brings together the Salesforce community of thought leaders and industry pioneers for education and inspiration, and with over 2,700 sessions its one of the latest business conferences. Look for speakers to be announced in the lead-up to the event, and also check out Dreamforce’s virtual Leading Through Change series.

Gear Up Your 2020 Virtual Marketing Events

via GIPHY

We hope you’ve found a number of new and exciting virtual events to attend on our list to make the most of the rest of 2020, and that the learning you’ll experience from either these virtual conferences or the many others available will help you achieve new levels of B2B marketing success this year and beyond.

If you’re also considering hosting a virtual event of your own, check out “Boost Your Virtual Event By Taking These Actions Before, During, and After,” by Kylee Lessard, associate product marketing manager of LinkedIn Pages & Elevate at LinkedIn.

At TopRank Marketing we’ve explored the power of events both virtual and in-person for B2B marketers, especially those who incorporate influencer marketing, in a number of articles, and here are five to help you get the most from your virtual 2020 marketing events:

* Adobe and LinkedIn are TopRank Marketing clients.

The post 17+ Top Virtual Marketing Conferences for Summer 2020 & Beyond appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Thank you for reading.

Three B2B Marketing Tactics That Will Outlast the COVID19 Pandemic

This may be of some interest.

B2B Marketing Pandemic

B2B Marketing Pandemic

Without question, the COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on the B2B world with companies generally reducing marketing budgets. At the same time, many B2B companies are maintaining or increasing marketing spend as we’ve seen with most of our clients at TopRank Marketing.

While there has generally been a shift from explicit sales/push marketing content to brand messaging that is more aligned with the times and empathetic to customers, sales expectations still exist for B2B brands during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The challenge many B2B marketers are facing is to understand how to navigate both the short term changes in what works for customers in the current environment as as well as in the long term, post-crisis.

According to research from McKinsey, one of the biggest changes that has happened is the boost in importance of B2B digital over traditional means of engaging customers – 200% more than before COVID-19. This move to digital means higher expectations by B2B customers of self service as well as B2B ecommerce experiences. With those changes in expectations come changes in marketing, short and long term.

Not only do B2B companies need to mitigate sales losses because of the uncertainty during the pandemic but those who want to continue being the best solution and top of mind for customers when purchasing behavior comes back need to look at what pandemic-era tactics will stick after the crisis has subsided.

For a great overview of how to measure marketing goals in a crisis, be sure to check out Birdie’s post here. 

How buyers feel about B2B brands short and long term will directly contribute to which brands are the most relevant as budgets open up and business solutions investments experience substantial growth. Some of the long term metrics include branding goals measured by share of voice for social, share of search and earned media.

So, can B2B marketers do to optimize and measure their pandemic era marketing?

Content is the kingdom. Providing customers with information and resources for surviving and thriving during the pandemic that are useful from the customer’s perspective is a good starting point. Demonstrating how the B2B brand’s solution provides value in the current environment is also essential for creating relevance and utility with customers. Of course, useful information isn’t all there is. The shift towards digital, B2B brands need to make sure the digital experiences they provide are 100%: Information is easy to find, the inquiry or ordering process is easy and fast, there are zero glitches in using online systems.

Search is even more relevant. As mentioned in the research from McKinsey, self service is an increasing expectations amongst B2B buyers. One way buyers are performing self serve marketing  is through the use of search engines.

An emphasis on search also helps B2B brands reach sales goals without being “salesly”.  This trend has been picked up on by savvy B2B marketers with 63% of marketers saying it will be most important during the pandemic according to a survey by Conductor. This confidence is also exemplified from data reported by G2 Crowd showing B2B tech categories having a 200-600% increase in organic search traffic during the pandemic.

Of course to make search work, B2B brands need content and SEO best practices in place to ensure optimized visibility for what customers are looking for. We’ve seen many B2B brands emphasize SEO during the pandemic which enables buyers who are no longer attending trade shows and engaging in experiential or field marketing activities to use search engines for finding useful information and solutions on their own terms.

Findability works best with credibility.  Customers are as skeptical of brand marketing as ever and are tiring of the “in these uncertain times, we’re here for you” ads and messaging. While bypassing that with search engine optimization and advertising works well for connecting with customers, optimized content that has added 3rd party credibility can work even better.

In our own research in the 2020 State of B2B Influencer Marketing Report, 77% of B2B marketers say their prospects rely on influencers for information. Confidence in influencer marketing is on the rise for B2B marketers. 63% of survey respondents believe they would have better marketing results with an influencer marketing program.

So, crisis era marketing that emphasizes SEO to help buyers pull themselves to brand content that also includes credibility inspiring content from industry experts is what can really create trust and the confidence for buyers to make the connection. This is why SEO and influence are essential partners for any B2B marketing effort during and after the pandemic.

Measuring the impact of B2B content marketing that is optimized and influencer activated means understanding the search phrases and topics of influence that are most relevant for customers and then tracking the brand’s relevance, engagement and conversion for those topics.

For  search marketing, key measures include:

  • Topic visibility reporting & share of search for those topics
  • Referred traffic to content optimized for the target topics
  • Conversions from target topic content

Influencer marketing, metrics to track include:

  • Share of voice on topics of include
  • Growth of brand affinity with influencers
  • Reach of topic content amongst influencer networks
  • Engagement and conversion performance of topic content shared by influencers
  • Growth in affinity of topics and brand in social
  • Growth of organic brand advocacy by influencers and their networks

Uncertainty is a dangerous state for businesses and making no decision is often worse than making the wrong decision or failing fast. Understanding the shifts in buyer behavior can help B2B brands gain confidence in the role content marketing will play in the short and long term. Relevant content that is both findable for increasingly self-serve buyers and credible through industry expert contributions can give the competitive advantage needed to perform both short term and post-pandemic.

The post Three B2B Marketing Tactics That Will Outlast the COVID19 Pandemic appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Thank you for reading.

Welcome to Ecommerce Unlocked: Your Free Ecommerce Marketing Course

This may be of some interest.

E-commerce is booming.

There are currently 24 million e-commerce sites and counting. And with only 12% of sales taking place online, you can expect there to be massive growth in the years to come.

So if you want to create an online business, one of the best ones to create is an e-commerce store.

But how do you market it? How do you grow your traffic? And, most importantly, how do you get sales?

Sure you can use tools like Ubersuggest to help you out, but what do you do if you need step-by-step instructions from the very beginning… especially if you have little-to-no marketing experience?

Introducing E-Commerce Unlocked

Over the next 4 weeks, I am going to teach you how to market an e-commerce website. From SEO to paid ads to even CRO… I am going to cover all aspects of e-commerce marketing.

And of course, all for free. 😉

E-Commerce Unlocked is similar to my free SEO training course, SEO Unlocked.

But unlike SEO Unlocked, which is a 7-week course, I thought it would be more efficient to get you the training you need in just 4 weeks.

So, every Monday, Thursday, and Saturday, I will release new videos to teach you how to get more traffic and sales to an e-commerce site.

And just like SEO Unlocked, E-Commerce Unlocked will contain worksheets, cheat sheets, PDFs, spreadsheets, and everything else you need.

Here’s the first lesson, which you can watch below:

Make sure you go here to download the worksheets that go along with it.

So what exactly will I learn?

As I mentioned above, it is a 4-week course. Here is an overview of what will be broken down in each week and in each lesson:

Week #1

Lesson #1: Getting Started

  • Foundation methodology
  • Strategies you’re going to learn
  • Strategies & mindset

Lesson #2: Sales Channels

  • History of e-commerce the timeline
  • What is working in the e-commerce space
  • Introduction to sales channels
  • Understanding sales channels

Lesson #3: Marketing Channels

  • Multi-channel marketing
  • Which market and sales channels work
  • Building visibility and brand
  • Current & future movers and shakers in the e-commerce industry

Week #2

Lesson #1: Conversion Rate Optimization

  • Introduction
  • Product pages made to convert buyers
  • Experience
  • Using reviews
  • Urgency and scarcity
  • Abandoned carts and follow up
  • Increase your AOV (Average Order Value)
  • Exit intent – capture lost traffic
  • Split testing with Crazy Egg
  • Increasing conversions on your e-commerce store
  • Email marketing campaigns for your site
  • Action tasks for optimizing your website for conversions

Lesson #2: SEO & Content Production

  • Setting up your Google organic feed
  • Rank your product listing pages
  • E-commerce content marketing workflow
  • Technical SEO for e-commerce
  • Making your content & transaction pages
  • E-commerce topical clusters
  • Content examples to look at

Lesson #3: Content Promotion

  • Link building for e-commerce
  • Building links to content, PDPs, & PLPs
  • Social media and social proof leveraging
  • Social media platforms in the long-term
  • Strategy for content promotion

Week #3

Lesson #1: Amazon

  • Keyword research for Google & Amazon rankings (and the differences)
  • Data sources
  • How to write good copy, product descriptions, ads, and come up with different marketing “angles” for Amazon
  • Amazon promotions & lightning
  • Optimize your listings
  • Using Facebook Messenger & Manychat
  • Amazon PPC
  • Sell more to your existing customers

Lesson #2: Sales Channels

  • Getting higher rankings on marketplaces
  • Walmart – how to get set up and what to expect
  • eBay – how to get set up and what to expect
  • Etsy – how to get set up and what to expect
  • Wish – how to get set up and what to expect
  • Facebook Commerce – how to win
  • Getting traction on each platform & what to do to win in each platform

Lesson #3: Marketing Types

  • E-commerce Marketing for (B2B) vs (B2C)
  • Sales process for B2B e-commerce vs B2C
  • Picking the one that’s right for you – do both or pick one?

Week #4

Lesson #1: PLA Campaigns

  • Setting everything up
  • Google dynamic remarketing
  • Google product listing ads (Google Shopping Ads) introduction + setting up
  • Your PLA campaigns
  • Bing product listing ads + setting up
  • Facebook dynamic product ads + setting up DPA’s correctly
  • PLA + DPA summary

Lesson #2: Additional Marketing Channels

  • Instagram ads
  • YouTube PPC – world’s 2nd largest search engine work to get you sales
  • Etsy PPC – what’s working on Etsy
  • Email marketing campaigns must have campaigns for e-commerce
  • Automate your customer emails and gather reviews much faster

Lesson #3: Additional Channels

  • Working with influencers
  • Push notification – lists & messaging
  • Understanding your metrics (COGS, ROAS, ROI to see what SKUs to scale with)
  • Case studies
  • Summary

How can I follow along during the 4 weeks?

You’ll see videos released every Monday, Thursday, and Saturday.

The videos are roughly 10 to 15 minutes in length on average so it shouldn’t take you more than an hour per week to follow along, including the completion of the homework assignments and worksheets.

To make things easier, the worksheets and homework assignments will be somewhat pre-filled so you will know what to do every step of the way.

No matter what, make sure you complete each assignment. Watching the videos is not enough.

Sure, the videos will teach you theories and strategies, but you also need to learn how to execute and implement. That’s why I want you to complete the worksheet and homework assignments.

In total, I’m asking you to commit an hour each week. If you are new to marketing, maybe an hour and a half, which should be doable. 🙂

Once you complete the 4 weeks (12 videos), you’ll know how to market any e-commerce website and even how to sell products online on sites like Amazon.

If you want to make sure you don’t miss a lesson (because I won’t be blogging about each lesson), make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel as I will be uploading the lessons there.

Once you click the link above, you’ll see a subscription box popup on YouTube. All you have to do is click the “SUBSCRIBE” button.

Once you click “Subscribe,” you’ll notice a bell image next to the subscribe button, make sure you click on that as well.

When you click on the bell, you’ll be given a few options.

Click on the “All” option. Next to the “subscribed” button, you should see a new bell notification :

This makes it so YouTube notifies you when I release a new E-commerce Unlocked lesson.

Conclusion

E-commerce is a booming field. Just look at Amazon, they are bigger than any traditional retailer.

Having the skillset of knowing how to market an e-commerce site can never be a bad thing.

And who knows, maybe you’ll do it full time as either a consultant or through running your own e-commerce site.

If you are new to marketing, don’t worry about being overwhelemed. I am going to teach you the main tactics that drive the majority of the results. And I will break them down in a simple step-by-step formula.

You’ll also be provided with the worksheets and tools you need, so you all you have to do is bring yourself and be willing to commit an hour to an hour and a half each week.

So, are you ready to learn e-commerce marketing?

PS: Leave a comment below letting me know what course you would like me to create next. I already did one on SEO, and now I am doing one on e-commerce marketing. Would you like one on content marketing, paid ads, Instagram…? It can be anything, just let me know in the comments.

The post Welcome to Ecommerce Unlocked: Your Free Ecommerce Marketing Course appeared first on Neil Patel.

Thank you for reading.

B2B Marketing News: Top B2B Strategies, 2021 Ad Market Recovery Forecast, Brands Spending More on Social, Facebook’s Giphy Buy Under Review

This may be of some interest.

2020 June 19 MarketingCharts Chart

2020 June 19 MarketingCharts Chart

B2B Wannabes: Most Brands Have A Customer-Centricity Gap, Study Finds
71 percent of B2B brands have digital experiences that don’t meet customer expectations and needs, while 82 percent have implemented a digital transformation project — two of several statistics of interest to digital marketers contained in recently-released study data. MediaPost

Global Advertising Market Expected to Recover in 2021
2021 will see global advertising recovering from losses brought about due to the ongoing pandemic, with 2 percent overall digital advertising growth forecast, and video growth predicted at 10 percent and social at 7 percent, according to newly-released report data from Magna Global. Adweek

AppsFlyer: App Retargeting Conversions Jumped During Coronavirus Lockdowns
Owned and paid re-targeting conversions rose by 31 percent and 35 percent respectively between February and April, illustrating how app installations climbed during the initial periods of the global health crisis, according to recently-released app re-targeting report data. Adweek

Businesses See Online Growth During Pandemic: Study
46 percent of businesses selling online have seen growth during the pandemic, with some 52 percent planning to spend more on social media and 64 percent expecting to increase speaking on their websites, according to recently-released survey data on interest to digital marketers. MediaPost

Facebook’s Acquisition of Giphy Is Under New Review
Facebook’s $400 million acquisition of animated GIF platform Giphy is under review by the U.K.’s antitrust authority, causing the social media giant to temporarily halt integration with Instagram during the antitrust inquiry. Adweek

Twitter’s Adding a New Prompt on Retweets When Users Haven’t Opened the Link
Twitter has begun efforts to make it more difficult for users to share links to content they haven’t read, implementing a test that prompts users when they retweet links they haven’t opened via Twitter — a shift that could impact how marketers use and measure campaigns on the platform. Social Media Today

2020 June 19 Statistics Image

Mobile game ad revenue jumps 59% during pandemic
Digital marketers have observed mobile game advertising revenue increases of 59 percent during the ongoing pandemic, accompanied by click-through rates (CTR) for mobile gaming ads that climbed by 34 percent during the period, according to recently-released report data. Mobile Marketer

Pinterest has begun testing a new version of stories, called Story Pins, with US creators
Pinterest has given some users a trial version of a new variety of story-format pins aimed at sharing ideas, with the Story Pin test also adding new editing, publishing, and video features,  the social platform recently announced. TechCrunch

Google’s New Head of Search – Prabhakar Raghavan
Recent Google head of search addition Prabhakar Raghavan is a long-time search industry professional, and Search Engine Journal takes a look at the new Google search lead and what he brings to the role. Search Engine Journal

What’s in B2B Marketers’ Strategic Plans This Year?
78 percent of B2B marketing professionals plan to use content marketing in their overall strategy for 2020, topping a list of recently-released survey data, followed by 77 percent who expect to use digital ads, PPC or re-targeting, 75 percent who plan to use email, and 71 percent to expect to use video. MarketingCharts

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

2020 June 19 Marketoonist Comic Image

A lighthearted look at “zoom fatigue” by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist

Millennial Excited to Return to Pokémon Snap With Photography Degree Under His Belt — The Hard Times

TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:

  • Lee Odden — How YouTube Can Make Video Builder a More Useful Tool — Search Engine Journal
  • Lee Odden — Authors in Quarantine Getting Cocktails [Libsyn Podcast] — Libsyn

Do you have your own top B2B content marketing or digital advertising stories from the past week of news? Please let us know in the comments below.

Thanks for joining us, and we hope you’ll return again next Friday for more of the most relevant B2B and digital marketing industry news. In the meantime, you can follow us at @toprank on Twitter for even more timely daily news. Also, don’t miss the full video summary on our TopRank Marketing TV YouTube Channel.

The post B2B Marketing News: Top B2B Strategies, 2021 Ad Market Recovery Forecast, Brands Spending More on Social, Facebook’s Giphy Buy Under Review appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Thank you for reading.

B2B Marketing News: Most Valued B2B Buyer Traits, Top B2B Content Types, LinkedIn Updates Retargeting Tools, & Mobile Ad Engagement Climbs

This may be of some interest.

2020 June 12 MarketingCharts Chart

2020 June 12 MarketingCharts Chart

Key Insights: B2B content marketing decoded, top marketing technologies, and AI spotlight
Demand for webinars has increased among B2B marketers during the global health crisis, with 76 percent of marketers seeing webinars as an increasingly successful method of driving leads, while the top B2B content types are eBooks, white papers and guides — two of numerous statistics of interest to digital marketers in recently-released B2B marketing survey data. ClickZ

LinkedIn introduces new retargeting tools
LinkedIn has expanded its retargeting feature set, with new tools for video advertising and lead generation among the latest virtual engagement additions at LinkedIn (client), the Microsoft-owned firm recently announced. TechCrunch

PR Industry Survey: The Tactics and Skills Rising in Importance
50 percent of public relations and communications professionals find measuring impact the leading communications challenge, followed by 45 percent who face executive teams without sufficient understanding of communications, and 40 percent who say that cutting through clutter and noise is a primary concern, according to newly-released survey data. MarketingProfs

YouTube Adds New Analytics Report, Alerts for Merchandise Sales Within Live-Streams
Google-owned YouTube has rolled out new features for marketers, including an updated monthly insight report that adds a number of additional data views, while also implementing new live-stream sales alert functionality, the firm recently announced. Social Media Today

Two-Thirds Of Brands Plan To Increase Their Programmatic Ad Spending, Study Finds
Some 66 percent of marketers plan to boost their programmatic ad spending during the months ahead, with their leading objectives including 53 percent looking to drive sales, 47 percent to both generate leads and build awareness, and 36 percent to bolster customer retention, some of numerous statistics of interest to digital marketers contained in recently-released study data. MediaPost

Facebook Looks to Prompt More Comments with New Comment Engagement Stats
Insights on Facebook page comments will offer marketers a range of new engagement metrics, as the social media giant has been rolling out comment insights, which show how posts that pages have commented on compare with those they have not commented on. Social Media Today

2020 June 12 Statistics Image

Mobile ad engagement rises 15% during pandemic, study says
Engagement among mobile ads has climbed by some 15 percent during the global health crisis, with the greatest increase among women, according to recently-released report data from MobileFuse. Mobile Marketer

Publishers see video ad revenue begin to rebound on Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube
Some publishers have seen revenue from video ads start to turn around from pandemic-related declines, especially for social media platforms Facebook, Snapchat, and YouTube, where cost per thousand rates have also begun to stabilize, and DigiDay takes a look at the rebound. DigiDay

51% of marketing professionals expect virtual events to stick around, survey finds
Most media and advertising executives see virtual elements becoming an ongoing part of post-pandemic in-person events, while 27 percent don’t see attendance at in-person events ever returning to levels seen before the global health crisis — two of several statistics of note for digital marketers contained in recently-released survey data. Marketing Dive

B2B Buyers Value These Traits in Salespeople
Active listening, problem solving, confidence and relationship-building top the list of traits B2B buyers value the most in salespeople, while top-performing salespeople report getting better leads from marketing, according to recently-released business decision-maker survey data. MarketingCharts

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

2020 June 12 Marketoonist Comic Image

A lighthearted look at “Brands, Hashtag Activism, and a Time for Real Reflection” by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist

Tired Of FaceTime? Good News, Rotary Cell Phones Are Here — Cracked

TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:

  • SAP (client) — What SAP did digitally to address the COVID-19 climate — CMOAustralia
  • Lee Odden — 5 Hours of Content Marketing [Video Archive] — SEMrush
  • LinkedIn (client) — LinkedIn has a new CEO. Here are 30 power players and rising stars helping him lead the company — Business Insider
  • Lee Odden — The Keys to Successful B2B Influencer Programs [Register For Free Webinar Replay] — MarketingProfs
  • Lee Odden — Working Like a Blog: Why B2B blogging needs to be about more than just writing — MD Consulting
  • Lee Odden — Why Your Blog Gets No Traffic — SME Pals

Have you found your own top B2B content marketing or digital advertising stories from the past week of news? Please let us know in the comments below.

Thank you for spending time with us, and please return again next Friday for more of the most relevant B2B and digital marketing industry news. In the meantime, you can follow us at @toprank on Twitter for even more timely daily news. Also, don’t miss the full video summary on our TopRank Marketing TV YouTube Channel.

The post B2B Marketing News: Most Valued B2B Buyer Traits, Top B2B Content Types, LinkedIn Updates Retargeting Tools, & Mobile Ad Engagement Climbs appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Thank you for reading.

B2B Marketing News: Most Valued B2B Buyer Traits, Top B2B Content Types, LinkedIn Updates Retargeting Tools, & Mobile Ad Engagement Climbs

This may be of some interest.

2020 June 12 MarketingCharts Chart

2020 June 12 MarketingCharts Chart

Key Insights: B2B content marketing decoded, top marketing technologies, and AI spotlight
Demand for webinars has increased among B2B marketers during the global health crisis, with 76 percent of marketers seeing webinars as an increasingly successful method of driving leads, while the top B2B content types are eBooks, white papers and guides — two of numerous statistics of interest to digital marketers in recently-released B2B marketing survey data. ClickZ

LinkedIn introduces new retargeting tools
LinkedIn has expanded its retargeting feature set, with new tools for video advertising and lead generation among the latest virtual engagement additions at LinkedIn (client), the Microsoft-owned firm recently announced. TechCrunch

PR Industry Survey: The Tactics and Skills Rising in Importance
50 percent of public relations and communications professionals find measuring impact the leading communications challenge, followed by 45 percent who face executive teams without sufficient understanding of communications, and 40 percent who say that cutting through clutter and noise is a primary concern, according to newly-released survey data. MarketingProfs

YouTube Adds New Analytics Report, Alerts for Merchandise Sales Within Live-Streams
Google-owned YouTube has rolled out new features for marketers, including an updated monthly insight report that adds a number of additional data views, while also implementing new live-stream sales alert functionality, the firm recently announced. Social Media Today

Two-Thirds Of Brands Plan To Increase Their Programmatic Ad Spending, Study Finds
Some 66 percent of marketers plan to boost their programmatic ad spending during the months ahead, with their leading objectives including 53 percent looking to drive sales, 47 percent to both generate leads and build awareness, and 36 percent to bolster customer retention, some of numerous statistics of interest to digital marketers contained in recently-released study data. MediaPost

Facebook Looks to Prompt More Comments with New Comment Engagement Stats
Insights on Facebook page comments will offer marketers a range of new engagement metrics, as the social media giant has been rolling out comment insights, which show how posts that pages have commented on compare with those they have not commented on. Social Media Today

2020 June 12 Statistics Image

Mobile ad engagement rises 15% during pandemic, study says
Engagement among mobile ads has climbed by some 15 percent during the global health crisis, with the greatest increase among women, according to recently-released report data from MobileFuse. Mobile Marketer

Publishers see video ad revenue begin to rebound on Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube
Some publishers have seen revenue from video ads start to turn around from pandemic-related declines, especially for social media platforms Facebook, Snapchat, and YouTube, where cost per thousand rates have also begun to stabilize, and DigiDay takes a look at the rebound. DigiDay

51% of marketing professionals expect virtual events to stick around, survey finds
Most media and advertising executives see virtual elements becoming an ongoing part of post-pandemic in-person events, while 27 percent don’t see attendance at in-person events ever returning to levels seen before the global health crisis — two of several statistics of note for digital marketers contained in recently-released survey data. Marketing Dive

B2B Buyers Value These Traits in Salespeople
Active listening, problem solving, confidence and relationship-building top the list of traits B2B buyers value the most in salespeople, while top-performing salespeople report getting better leads from marketing, according to recently-released business decision-maker survey data. MarketingCharts

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

2020 June 12 Marketoonist Comic Image

A lighthearted look at “Brands, Hashtag Activism, and a Time for Real Reflection” by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist

Tired Of FaceTime? Good News, Rotary Cell Phones Are Here — Cracked

TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:

  • SAP (client) — What SAP did digitally to address the COVID-19 climate — CMOAustralia
  • Lee Odden — 5 Hours of Content Marketing [Video Archive] — SEMrush
  • LinkedIn (client) — LinkedIn has a new CEO. Here are 30 power players and rising stars helping him lead the company — Business Insider
  • Lee Odden — The Keys to Successful B2B Influencer Programs [Register For Free Webinar Replay] — MarketingProfs
  • Lee Odden — Working Like a Blog: Why B2B blogging needs to be about more than just writing — MD Consulting
  • Lee Odden — Why Your Blog Gets No Traffic — SME Pals

Have you found your own top B2B content marketing or digital advertising stories from the past week of news? Please let us know in the comments below.

Thank you for spending time with us, and please return again next Friday for more of the most relevant B2B and digital marketing industry news. In the meantime, you can follow us at @toprank on Twitter for even more timely daily news. Also, don’t miss the full video summary on our TopRank Marketing TV YouTube Channel.

The post B2B Marketing News: Most Valued B2B Buyer Traits, Top B2B Content Types, LinkedIn Updates Retargeting Tools, & Mobile Ad Engagement Climbs appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Thank you for reading.

B2B Marketing News: Most Valued B2B Buyer Traits, Top B2B Content Types, LinkedIn Updates Retargeting Tools, & Mobile Ad Engagement Climbs

This may be of some interest.

2020 June 12 MarketingCharts Chart

2020 June 12 MarketingCharts Chart

Key Insights: B2B content marketing decoded, top marketing technologies, and AI spotlight
Demand for webinars has increased among B2B marketers during the global health crisis, with 76 percent of marketers seeing webinars as an increasingly successful method of driving leads, while the top B2B content types are eBooks, white papers and guides — two of numerous statistics of interest to digital marketers in recently-released B2B marketing survey data. ClickZ

LinkedIn introduces new retargeting tools
LinkedIn has expanded its retargeting feature set, with new tools for video advertising and lead generation among the latest virtual engagement additions at LinkedIn (client), the Microsoft-owned firm recently announced. TechCrunch

PR Industry Survey: The Tactics and Skills Rising in Importance
50 percent of public relations and communications professionals find measuring impact the leading communications challenge, followed by 45 percent who face executive teams without sufficient understanding of communications, and 40 percent who say that cutting through clutter and noise is a primary concern, according to newly-released survey data. MarketingProfs

YouTube Adds New Analytics Report, Alerts for Merchandise Sales Within Live-Streams
Google-owned YouTube has rolled out new features for marketers, including an updated monthly insight report that adds a number of additional data views, while also implementing new live-stream sales alert functionality, the firm recently announced. Social Media Today

Two-Thirds Of Brands Plan To Increase Their Programmatic Ad Spending, Study Finds
Some 66 percent of marketers plan to boost their programmatic ad spending during the months ahead, with their leading objectives including 53 percent looking to drive sales, 47 percent to both generate leads and build awareness, and 36 percent to bolster customer retention, some of numerous statistics of interest to digital marketers contained in recently-released study data. MediaPost

Facebook Looks to Prompt More Comments with New Comment Engagement Stats
Insights on Facebook page comments will offer marketers a range of new engagement metrics, as the social media giant has been rolling out comment insights, which show how posts that pages have commented on compare with those they have not commented on. Social Media Today

2020 June 12 Statistics Image

Mobile ad engagement rises 15% during pandemic, study says
Engagement among mobile ads has climbed by some 15 percent during the global health crisis, with the greatest increase among women, according to recently-released report data from MobileFuse. Mobile Marketer

Publishers see video ad revenue begin to rebound on Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube
Some publishers have seen revenue from video ads start to turn around from pandemic-related declines, especially for social media platforms Facebook, Snapchat, and YouTube, where cost per thousand rates have also begun to stabilize, and DigiDay takes a look at the rebound. DigiDay

51% of marketing professionals expect virtual events to stick around, survey finds
Most media and advertising executives see virtual elements becoming an ongoing part of post-pandemic in-person events, while 27 percent don’t see attendance at in-person events ever returning to levels seen before the global health crisis — two of several statistics of note for digital marketers contained in recently-released survey data. Marketing Dive

B2B Buyers Value These Traits in Salespeople
Active listening, problem solving, confidence and relationship-building top the list of traits B2B buyers value the most in salespeople, while top-performing salespeople report getting better leads from marketing, according to recently-released business decision-maker survey data. MarketingCharts

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

2020 June 12 Marketoonist Comic Image

A lighthearted look at “Brands, Hashtag Activism, and a Time for Real Reflection” by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist

Tired Of FaceTime? Good News, Rotary Cell Phones Are Here — Cracked

TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:

  • SAP (client) — What SAP did digitally to address the COVID-19 climate — CMOAustralia
  • Lee Odden — 5 Hours of Content Marketing [Video Archive] — SEMrush
  • LinkedIn (client) — LinkedIn has a new CEO. Here are 30 power players and rising stars helping him lead the company — Business Insider
  • Lee Odden — The Keys to Successful B2B Influencer Programs [Register For Free Webinar Replay] — MarketingProfs
  • Lee Odden — Working Like a Blog: Why B2B blogging needs to be about more than just writing — MD Consulting
  • Lee Odden — Why Your Blog Gets No Traffic — SME Pals

Have you found your own top B2B content marketing or digital advertising stories from the past week of news? Please let us know in the comments below.

Thank you for spending time with us, and please return again next Friday for more of the most relevant B2B and digital marketing industry news. In the meantime, you can follow us at @toprank on Twitter for even more timely daily news. Also, don’t miss the full video summary on our TopRank Marketing TV YouTube Channel.

The post B2B Marketing News: Most Valued B2B Buyer Traits, Top B2B Content Types, LinkedIn Updates Retargeting Tools, & Mobile Ad Engagement Climbs appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Thank you for reading.

5 Areas of Marketing You Should Practice the "Less is More" Approach

This may be of some interest.

This crisis has created a need to do a lot more with less resources.

Marketers, in particular, are under a lot of pressure to pivot their strategy and ensure their brand stays relevant during difficult times.

But, although quality does make a difference, marketing right now is a game of strategy and scale. At the end of the day, only a small fraction of the people reached by a brand will actually convert.

Which means the more people marketers reach — and the more touchpoints involved — the better. If you’re already feeling stretched thin, don’t worry. Reaching more people doesn’t necessarily mean doing more. In fact, there are a few circumstances where it’s actually better to do less.

Here, let’s dive into five areas of marketing you can practice the “less is more” approach to ensure higher efficiency, and less time wasted.

Less Stress, More Productivity

When you take a hard look at marketing tactics, you’ll see there are actually a lot of opportunities to generate and convert more leads with less work. Let’s dive into five areas of marketing where you might be wasting your time — and how to create more efficient processes instead.

1. Management

Management has two meanings in marketing: the management of employees, and the management of campaigns. Both contain plenty of chances to do more with less work.

Campaigns

Every tool in your marketing stack claims to make your life easier. In most cases, though, they’re just one more window or tool to keep tabs on. Despite the fact that the typical martech stack contains dozens of tools, Gartner research suggests marketers use barely half of them to their fullest potential. That’s the thinking behind HubSpot’s “hub” approach: All-in-one tools are a better investment because they’re more efficient. Not only do employees actually use them, but they spend a lot less time doing things like switching windows and exporting data.

People

If I’ve learned anything about management, it’s that trust and autonomy are key. Nothing creates disengagement quite like micromanagement.

Micromanagement is a double-whammy to productivity because it takes more of managers’ time while reducing employees’ performance. And as someone who co-founded a content marketing company, trust me when I say micromanagement also cuts into content quality.

The best managers aren’t hands-off, but they’re far from hands-on. Instead of worrying about nitty-gritty details, good managers focus on creating the right work environment. Your direct reports should feel safe making their own decisions, but also comfortable coming to you with questions.

2. Scheduling Your Calendar

A “less is more” mentality works both with how you schedule your time, and how other people schedule meetings with you. At a past company, we used what I call the “big rocks” system. Each morning, members of the team would share the top three or four things they expected to accomplish that day.

Although they did all sorts of smaller tasks in between, nobody ever listed “answering emails” or “creating Facebook posts.”

Why not? Because trying to schedule every single chore every day is a waste of time. Appointments fall through. Things come up. Being flexible and squeezing in extra work whenever it makes sense is more efficient than having to rearrange your calendar every hour.

Think, too, about how you schedule things. I spend a lot of my days in meetings, so I could easily spend hours going back and forth in email to set them all up. Instead, I use workflow automation to let people pick a time that works for both of us.

3. Content Creation

I may not be a professional novelist, but one thing I do know is short, snappy writing tends to perform better than long, complex copy.Search engines favor shorter sentences and paragraphs. And more anecdotally, Stephen King, one of my favorite authors, warns writers against overusing adjectives and adverbs.

The point is this: Concise writing tends to be strong writing. Rather than trying to sound like the next Shakespeare in your blog content, be natural. A down-to-earth style is both easier on you and easier on your reader.

4. Conducting Meetings

There are only a few select situations where I would ever hold a hour-long meeting. Not only are they expensive — a hour-long meeting with a dozen employees costs 12 hours of company time — but they simply don’t make sense from a productivity standpoint.

Don’t get me wrong: Meetings can be valuable opportunities to get on the same page. But they can also be enormous time-sucks. In fact, Research published in Harvard Business Review found 71% of executives think meetings tend to be unproductive and inefficient; and 65% of those surveyed said meetings keep them from completing their own work.

Take an “only when necessary and only as long as necessary” approach to meetings. If a message can be conveyed just as well in an email, don’t drag people away from their desks for it. If a meeting is required, send out the agenda beforehand, and explain how long you expect it to take. If it’s done after five minutes, great — let people get back to work.

5. Team Brainstorming Sessions

Marketing is an industry of ideas. Every strategy, campaign, and piece of content begins with ideation. Although I like the cerebral side of marketing, I can’t get on board with how many teams brainstorm.

Nearly 60 years ago, a Yale study showed individuals come up with twice as many solutions to creative puzzles as those working in groups. Yet the team brainstorm remains a staple at most agencies I know.

Just as much time is wasted in post-brainstorm winnowing. Marketing runs on experimentation. The only way to truly tell how a campaign, title, or image will perform is to test it. In the time some teams spend debating different ideas, they could’ve collected real-world data and pivoted if the initial idea didn’t work.

Practice Pulling Back

Doing less might not sound like something that takes practice to get right. But I’ve found marketing is full of Type A personalities: People who hold themselves to high standards, and as a result, tend to give their all to every task they tackle.

When I see members of my team overdoing it, I tell them this: Perfection does not equal performance. I understand the urge to get it right, but remember, marketing is a matter of scale. Doing less is the smartest way to squeeze more in.

Thank you for reading.