Closing a spider trap: fix crawl inefficiencies

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Will More Tweet Space Equal More Value for Your Twitter Audience?

Last month, Twitter made big headlines after announcing it was in the midst of testing 280-character tweets as a way to give users more room to “express” themselves. The announcement came a little more than a year after Twitter stopped including links and photos in character counts.

“We want every person around the world to easily express themselves on Twitter, so we’re doing something new: we’re going to try out a longer limit, 280 characters, in languages impacted by cramming (which is all except Japanese, Chinese, and Korean),” the company said in a press release on its blog. “Although this is only available to a small group right now, we want to be transparent about why we are excited to try this.”

For marketers, many may feel like Christmas has come early. Let’s face it, writing a compelling and comprehensive tweet in just 140 characters is an art — an art that seems almost impossible to master. With double the amount of space, the pressure is off and marketers can unleash their full wordsmithing talent. Um, right?

Not so fast.

Twitter’s 140-character limit has been a defining platform characteristic since its inception — and something many users are extremely partial to.

“Twitter is about brevity. It’s what makes it such a great way to see what’s happening. Tweets get right to the point with the information or thoughts that matter. That is something we will never change,” Twitter said in its release. “We understand since many of you have been Tweeting for years, there may be an emotional attachment to 140 characters — we felt it, too.”

While Twitter is confident that giving users more real estate will make it easier and more fun to tweet, marketers should not look at it as an opportunity to rewrite their tweeting best practices. The real opportunity here is to discover whether or not you can use that extra space to deliver more value and resonance to your audience.


Twitter’s character limit change is an opportunity to learn if you can deliver more value. #marketing
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So, once “super-sized” tweets — as The Verge so eloquently called them — come to your account, don’t throw caution to the wind right away. Start with these actions:

#1 – Audit your existing Twitter initiatives.

Take a deep dive into your analytics dashboard to get a deeper understanding of how your audience is already engaging with your tweets and taking action on them.

Of course, the basic metrics are important because they can serve as your benchmarks. But also go beyond the metrics to start categorizing what content garners the most engagement so you can draw some more meaningful insights. For example, what topics seem to fire your audience up? How long are your most effective tweets? Are images or video a part of your most successful tweets? Which tweets featuring my website content got the most clicks? What really seems to be working? What’s clearly not working?

In addition, it’s worth taking a peek at your website analytics to understand how Twitter is impacting your business. Depending on what you uncover through the Twitter dashboard, you might be able to draw some more conclusions on what tweet content has value beyond awareness and engagement.


Before adding characters, audit your current Twitter efforts. #socialmediamarketing
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#2 – Craft and launch test tweets.

Use the information you uncovered during your audit to build out and launch a test campaign featuring longer tweets. Of course, build these tweets in accordance with what you know is working best with your audience, but also give yourself some space to experiment a bit. We’d suggest running the test for at least a month to get enough data to lead into the next action.


Test longer tweets before throwing out Twitter best practices. #socialmediamarketing
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#3 – Analyze results and tweak your test.

Now it’s time to dive back into your analytics to understand how your test tweets stack up to your legacy efforts. Did you see a measurable rise or decline in engagement? What kind of engagement did you receive (i.e. increase in average comments or decrease in average retweets)? Was there a certain type of content that really benefited from that extra character room?


After you test longer tweets, analyze your results & make tweaks. #socialmediamarketing
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The Bottom Line: Value Trumps Character Count

At the end of the day, character count simply doesn’t matter if what you’re sharing has no value or resonance with your audience. Since Twitter launched, the tight character count has been a creative restraint, challenging us all to say more with less. So, while you should certainly take advantage of the extra room when it makes sense, your primary objective should always be bringing insight and value to your audience. Because when they see the value you bring to the table, they’ll reward you for it.


Your primary objective should always be to bring value to your audience. @CaitlinMBurgess
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What do you think about Twitter’s decision to double its character limit? Tell us in the comments section below.


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Making B2B Marketing Gold: A Look Back at MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum #MPB2B

Image via MarketingProfs

To open up the 2017 MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum, Chief Content Officer Ann Handley shared a challenge for attendees to keep top of mind while at the conference (in addition to tap dancing, but more about that later):

#1 – Find Your Squad

This has been a running theme for the B2B Marketing Forum for as long as I can remember. Because the conference is capped at around 1,000 attendees, you actually have the opportunity to run into some familiar faces during the conference.

Even if you traveled to the event with members of your own team, it’s important to make the effort to meet new people, “your people”. I’ve been lucky to meet some really amazing people at conferences and continue to be in contact with many of them to this day.

We were fortunate to have a team at MPB2B that included myself, Lee Odden, Alexis Hall and Dan Rasmussen. This is a theme that resonates very well with us as we are constantly looking to add new members to our squad at TopRank Marketing in the form of new team members, industry influencers and prospective clients.

#2 – Go Outside Your Comfort Zone

It doesn’t matter if you are an introvert or an extrovert, there will be situations that push you outside of your comfort zone. It could be walking up and starting a conversation with someone you’ve never met, interviewing one of your marketing heros, or for me, speaking on stage at my favorite conference to a room full of smart marketers.

Often, once you do make the effort to step outside of your comfort zone you quickly find that you’re actually having fun and wish you would have taken strides sooner.

These two challenges posed by Ann Handley led our team to push ourselves at this conference and align very well with some of our core values. Below is a recap of how we found our squad, went outside our comfort zones and learned as much as we could in an action packed three days.

Celebrating Squad & Comfort Zone Queen Ann Handley

If you’re like most marketers, Ann Handley’s squad is one that you want to be a part of. Ann is a genuinely kind, warm and incredibly smart individual that I feel lucky to know. But don’t take my word for it, see what some of today’s top B2B marketers had to say:

And if I thought that I stepped out of my comfort zone at MPB2B, it didn’t even come close to Ann taking the stage and tap dancing her little heart out in front of 1,000 marketers:

Spending Time with our Squad

Marketing events present a great opportunity to spend time with the marketers that you love and respect the most. We were fortunate that many of these people were at MPB2B last week.

The first night we were lucky enough to spend some time with our squad from LinkedIn Marketing Solutions (who also happen to be a TopRank Marketing client). This group of marketers are some of the most talented and driven people I know.

Thanks for the memories!

On night two, TopRank Marketing hosted a VIP event that included some of our amazing clients, friends and top influencers at the conference.

Thank you everyone for taking the time out of your slammed schedules to share some drinks, eats and conversation with our team!

Sharing Smarts with Fellow Marketers

Events present the opportunity to learn from some of the top marketing minds in the industry. And since we know not everyone was able to attend MPB2B, we set out to capture some of the top insights from the conference. Below is what we uncovered:

Why to ROI: Proving the Value of B2B Influencer Marketing

Even though B2B marketers have begun to explore influencer marketing further in recent years, they’re still struggling to prove the ROI of these efforts. In his session, TopRank Marketing’s Lee Odden shared 5 essential steps for driving ROI with B2B influencer marketing.


Look to your left and right. Those people are influential about something. @leeodden
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Everything You Need to Build a LinkedIn Marketing Tactical Plan

While the majority of marketers believe that LinkedIn is THE social media channel for business, many are struggling to implement a LinkedIn strategy that garners results. These takeaways from LinkedIn’s Alex Rynne and HubSpot’s Chris Wilson will help you get closer to success.


Don’t DO social campaigns, make every campaign social. @amrynnie
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If You Only Had $1k to Invest in Content Marketing, How Would You Spend it?

Limited budget, time and resources are a struggle that all content marketers face, no matter the size of their organization. In his presentation, GE Digital’s Chris Moody shared quick tips for advancing your content as well as a breakdown for how a limited budget of $1k could be spent for maximum impact.


There is no excuse for us not to be data driven marketers. @cnmoody
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The Netflix Experience: Create Binge-Worthy B2B Content

One of the top objectives for many brands today is to find a way to get audiences to binge on their content. But, creating binge-worthy content takes effort. See Ardath Albee’s top tips for creating content sure to keep your audience coming back for more.


Change the way a buyer thinks about a problem & they’ll look to you for more. @ardath421
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Learn How to Connect Actions to results Using Marketing Attribution

Marketing activities that aren’t tied to results make it difficult to prove value. BrightFunnel’s Dayna Rothman shows how marketers can turn the buyer journey into a science by properly leveraging data and analytics.


Always keep testing and optimizing! @dayroth
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In addition to his session covered above, Lee also participated in a panel about the convergence of ABM and Content Marketing. This panel provided great insights on how brands can reprogram organizational tactics to create a more focused, hyper-personalized approach to ABM.

On the final day of the conference, I took the stage for the first time at MPB2B to discuss scrappy B2B creativity hacks with my panelists Nick Westergaard and Andy Hunt. As this was the last session on the last day of the conference, we decided to make our session interactive and answer the audience’s most burning questions about B2B creativity.

Image via @michaelnob

Who are the 50 Top B2B Marketing Influencers From MPB2B?

B2B Marketing Influencers

As is tradition, TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden gathered the marketers speaking at the B2B Marketing Forum and ran them through Traackr to see which ones ranked highest related to B2B marketing. Want to see who made the cute? Read: 50 Top B2B Marketing Influencers 2017

Coming Soon: Marketing Expert Interview Series

While at the B2B Marketing Forum, Dan Rasmussen and I had the opportunity to interview seven leading marketing experts on everything from their journey into content marketing, to what they predict as the future for content marketers.

Subscribe to our blog today to get first-access to this exciting new interview series!

Thanks for an Action-Packed Event!

Thank you to Ann and the entire team at MarketingProfs for putting on a first-class event. We can’t wait to see what next year’s conference in San Francisco holds!

If you were lucky enough to attend this great event, what was your top takeaway?


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Content Marketing Platform BuzzSumo Acquired by Brandwatch

Brandwatch acquires BuzzSumo

It’s no mystery that I’m a big fan of BuzzSumo. I’ve been a customer since they launched and have advocated for the platform in blog posts, interviews and marketing presentations all over the world – including keynoting at the BuzzSumo ContentSEO conference in New York.

I’ve also been a fan of Brandwatch after my pal Richard Bagnall introduced me to the CEO, Giles Palmer. I’ve had a chance to spend time with Giles as well as members of the Brandwatch team at their user conference and in the Brandwatch New York office.

Today those worlds come together as Brandwatch announces their acquisition of BuzzSumo.

Steve RaysonSteve Rayson from BuzzSumo gave me the heads up earlier today, “BuzzSumo will remain as a separate product but we will leverage Brandwatch’s expertise, data and resources to improve what we do. The team and I will be staying on. I just wanted to say thanks again for all your support over the years and I look forward to working with you in future as part of the Brandwatch team.”

Giles PalmerOf course I reached out to Giles as well to ask, “Why BuzzSumo” and how Steve was persuaded to finally sell? Giles shared, “Steve and I have gotten to know each other over the last few years. I think steve saw our culture was progressive and felt that we would not destroy what he and the team had built. For my part, they’re an extraordinary team and we can help them do even greater things. It feels right.”

I can tell you this partnership feels right too. BuzzSumo is an amazing platform with an impressive user experience and capabilities. Brandwatch is easily one of the most powerful social media listening and analytics platforms around. The combination of expertise is sure to be impressive and I’m very much looking forward to seeing how the two platforms make each other better. Content and Social Media make the digital marketing world go ’round.

Just in case you’re not aware, Brandwatch is an international, tier one social listening and analytics platform in use by major brands like our clients State Farm and 3M as well as Walmart and VICE.

And BuzzSumo is a “walk the talk” Swiss Army Knife of social media, influencer and content insights providing content analysis, social and influencer research. They also have the recently added Question Analyzer. Companies like BuzzFeed, TechTarget, and Rolling Stone as well as many, many agencies and in-house marketers use BuzzSumo on a daily basis, just like we do at TopRank Marketing.

Here are a few more details from the press release:

BuzzSumo will retain its branding as its team continues managing all day-to-day functions of the business. The tool’s highly successful trend identification and content discovery capabilities, along with an expansion of its content measurement offering will be enhanced with a hefty infusion of Brandwatch’s data and analytics expertise, and global business footprint.

The combination of two companies’ complementary technologies represents a formidable force in content marketing, one of the most rapidly growing marketing industries. According to Ryan Skinner, senior analyst at independent research firm Forrester Research, US companies alone spent upwards of $10 billion on content marketing in 2016*.

Brandwatch adds BuzzSumo to its social intelligence offerings alongside Analytics, its core listening product, Vizia, its revolutionary data communication platform and Audiences, the company’s influencer and audience analysis tool. Audiences itself is powered by the data and influence technology integrated as a result of Brandwatch’s successful first acquisition, PeerIndex, in December 2014.

Congratulations to Steve and BuzzSumo team as well as Giles and the Brandwatch team!

And also, three cheers to marketers with beards!

Lee Odden and Giles Palmer Lee Odden and Steve Rayson

Top image credit: Brandwatch


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Learn How to Connect Actions to Results Using Marketing Attribution

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

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

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

Consider the Typical Buyer Journey

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

 

Track Metrics that matter

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

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

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

Set Yourself Up for Success

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

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

4 Key Marketing Attribution Takeaways

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

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

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

Disclosure: BrightFunnel is a TopRank Marketing client.


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