5 Ways SEO Can Shine a Light on Your Unseen B2B Content

“Look, marketers. Everywhere the light touches is content beloved by customers.” “But what about that shadowy place over there?” “That’s our unseen content. We worked hard to create it, but nobody ever visits it.” “That’s really depressing.” “That’s life.” Okay, sorry to bring the room down. And I’m also sorry to say that it gets worse. A recent study found that 69% of all web content is not seen by consumers. The remaining 31% is our kingdom. Fortunately, there are many ways to create content that beats the odds. For example, you can co-create with influencers, or experiment with interactive content that inspires social media sharing. But what about the content you have already created? The really good stuff that never caught on with an audience? With the right search engine optimization, you can shine a light on that content and help it earn organic traffic. Here’s how we do it. Ungate the Good Stuff Five years ago, the best practice for marketers was to gate your most valuable conte..

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Pro Tip: It’s time to evaluate your martech budget

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Pro Tip: It’s time to evaluate your martech budget During the coronavirus crisis, it's important to make the hard decisions about what tools are essential and what are not. Delaney Kline on April 2, 2020 at 7:55 am More With the introduction of state-mandated quarantines and non-essential business shutdowns, technology for marketing and communication are more important than ever.
As businesses begin revisiting their budget and reassessing the ROI of SaaS technology, it’s important to keep productivity as a top priority.
Start by assessing what tools are essential to your team, which ones are “luxuries,” and ultimately, which platforms are expendable.
Examples of essential tech:
Platforms that house historical metricsTools your team uses every dayCom..

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Pro Tip: It’s time to evaluate your martech budget

During the coronavirus crisis, it's important to make the hard decisions about what tools are essential and what are not.

Delaney Kline on April 2, 2020 at 7:55 am

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With the introduction of state-mandated quarantines and non-essential business shutdowns, technology for marketing and communication are more important than ever.

As businesses begin revisiting their budget and reassessing the ROI of SaaS technology, it’s important to keep productivity as a top priority.

Start by assessing what tools are essential to your team, which ones are “luxuries,” and ultimately, which platforms are expendable.

Examples of essential tech:

  • Platforms that house historical metrics
  • Tools your team uses every day
  • Communication tools such as instant messengers and video conferencing
  • Organizational tools

Examples of non-essential tech:

  • Premium tools (consider reverting subscriptions back to basic enrollment)
  • Tools with a low ROI
  • Platforms utilized by only a few team members

For companies that are new to a remote setup, employees will be relying on familiarity to continue production, meaning it’s crucial that you remain subscribed to the tools that are seen as essential for your team’s day-to-day tasks.

On the bright side, this may be a great opportunity to reconnect with your team and decide which platforms aren’t meeting your expectations. Perhaps these cuts will act as a way to simplify your processes.

Pro Tip is a special feature for marketers in our community to share a specific tactic others can use to elevate their performance. You can submit your own here.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

About The Author

Delaney Kline Delaney Kline is a growth specialist at Fractl, a creative digital marketing agency specializing in the creation and promotion of branded content. When she’s not 12 pages deep in industry news, you can find her on a trail in Colorado with her dog or watching true crime documentaries (again, with her dog).

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5 Stars: 20+ Tips to Invigorate Your B2B Marketing Using Testimonials & Reviews

What’s in a review? With the right client testimonials and customer reviews, B2B brands can increase trust and loyalty in uncertain times while strengthening existing connections and fostering new ones. Your brand may even be sitting on a goldmine of evergreen trust-building user-generated content. Let’s take a look at 20+ tips to invigorate and expand your B2B marketing toolkit with a smart customer review and testimonial strategy. Making The Statistical Case For Testimonials & Reviews With some surveys showing that 90 percent of adult Internet users rely on reviews before making purchases, and others placing the figure even higher at nearly 99 percent, it’s important for B2B brands to make sure they feature the reviews and testimonials their customers have taken the time to write and share online. Despite their unique power to build brand trust, just 43 percent of B2B businesses use reviews in their marketing toolkit. Conversion rates can skyrocket by as much as 270 percent when onli..

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How local businesses should be communicating with customers during COVID-19

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How local businesses should be communicating with customers during COVID-19 Hear how local search veterans are using every channel available to help their clients stay relevant and keep customers informed. George Nguyen on April 1, 2020 at 10:15 am More “The question should be, ‘How do I get proper COVID messaging to my communities or my customers, wherever they may be?’” says Adam Dorfman, director of product management at Reputation.com, highlighting the need for effective communication between businesses and customers during the coronavirus outbreak.
Social distancing and other safety measures have severely impacted day-to-day operations for local businesses, and these changes can be jarring for customers caught unaware. During our local search edition of Live with Searc..

Local

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How local businesses should be communicating with customers during COVID-19

Hear how local search veterans are using every channel available to help their clients stay relevant and keep customers informed.

George Nguyen on April 1, 2020 at 10:15 am

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“The question should be, ‘How do I get proper COVID messaging to my communities or my customers, wherever they may be?’” says Adam Dorfman, director of product management at Reputation.com, highlighting the need for effective communication between businesses and customers during the coronavirus outbreak.

Social distancing and other safety measures have severely impacted day-to-day operations for local businesses, and these changes can be jarring for customers caught unaware. During our local search edition of Live with Search Engine Land Friday, Dorfman and other members of the local search community shared communication strategies and tips agencies and business owners can use to keep customers informed.

Use your site to inform customers. “It should be front and center, because everybody wants to know, are you at the very least keeping your own employees protected — all that sort of information,” Dorfman said, recommending that local businesses make their COVID-19-related announcements and information prominent and easily accessible on their sites.

Google recommends displaying a banner or popup informing visitors of your business’ status, delays, pick-up or delivery options, etc. so that your customers can proceed with appropriate expectations.

Business owners can also add pertinent updates to their FAQ pages, as well as markup their FAQ sections, product availability, event status and special announcements with structured data to keep users informed right from the search results page.

Be creative with email. Consumers received an initial wave of coronavirus-related emails from businesses explaining how they were responding to the then-epidemic. Resist messaging your customers again with bland, or worse, irrelevant response updates.

“People are looking for things to kill time,” said Krystal Taing, listings management product specialist for RIO SEO. She recommends marketers get creative “to break up the dry email that doesn’t really make sense right now.” Taing cited a local restaurant promoting a DIY pizza kit, which included a pack of toilet paper, as an example. “Anything you can do to humanize [your communications] — if you can make it funny, that’s great as well,” Taing said.

Update your Google My Business profile. “You can update the name, the description and Posts are going to be really helpful,” said Taing, pointing to a few ways local businesses can use Google My Business to relay information.

Google has even created a special COVID-19 Post category that enables businesses to include changes to how they are operating, special hours and temporary closures, requests for support and safety and hygiene-related updates.

Be aware of Google’s local review embargo. Google has temporarily disabled new local reviews as well as the ability to reply to reviews, with no announcements on what will happen to reviews left during this period.

“Right away I told clients to stop asking for reviews on Google,” said local business consultant Tom Waddington, adding that, for some customers, reviews are the only means of communication with a business. “[The review] is not going to get posted; they don’t realize it; the business has no idea that the customer has a complaint . . . I didn’t want my clients asking for reviews on Google because they could be potentially missing out on a customer that they need to respond to immediately.” Finding alternative ways to engage with customers can enable you to better serve them during this period; however, not asking for reviews may be a risky decision with unintended consequences.

“Review signals are certainly prominent in rankings for Google Maps and local search results,” said Dorfman, “so, while you may not want to heavily push Google review requesting right now, to shut it off entirely might have long-term effects.” If competitors are still asking for reviews and the review ban lifts, competitors’ review counts may outpace yours, which could affect your organic visibility. The right strategy will vary from business to business, Dorfman said.

Seek deeper engagement via social media. “If you want to talk about clever COVID messaging . . . Instagram is where I see the best of the best,” said Dorfman, referencing his own local gym’s social media campaign in which members take videos of themselves performing an exercise at home and tagging others to do the same. “I wouldn’t be surprised if the follower counts are growing because of this . . . they don’t have a business to run necessarily day-to-day, so they have all of this time and resources to put into social media,” Dorfman said.

“I saw a local school on Facebook the other day that was having teachers do Facebook Live storytime for the kids,” said Niki Mosier, senior account manager at Two Octobers. Encouraging direct engagement between your staff and your audience via social media can help you humanize your business, continue to serve your customers and keep you relevant while social distancing is in effect.

Incorporate offline messaging. “I was walking around downtown and just about every business that’s closed has some kind of notice from the owner on its door with their phone number on it saying ‘if you need something, call me,’ and to me, that’s a really good way to deal with it,” said Mary Bowling, co-founder of Ignitor Digital, emphasizing the value of a back-to-basics approach.

Putting up a storefront notice with contact info can show customers you’re still within reach. However, if you typically receive high call volume, keeping customers on hold for a long time can backfire, Taing pointed out. Consider directing customers to your website (perhaps by including it on your storefront notice), where you can publish complete details and address their concerns without keeping them on hold.

More about marketing in the time of the coronavirus

  • Amazon FBA challenges highlight broader vulnerability in e-commerce ecosystem
  • Will Facebook's massive usage increases (eventually) turn into revenue?
  • Tell us: How are you pivoting during the COVID-19 crisis?
  • Canceling the MarTech Conference scheduled for next month and sharing our updated plans ahead

This story first appeared on Search Engine Land. For more on search marketing and SEO, click here.

About The Author

George Nguyen George Nguyen is an Associate Editor at Third Door Media. His background is in content marketing, journalism, and storytelling.

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Google adds ‘public health emergency’ to inappropriate content ads policy

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Google adds ‘public health emergency’ to inappropriate content ads policy The change to the sensitive events section of the policy is effective immediately. Ginny Marvin on April 1, 2020 at 10:08 am More Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Google Ads has updated its Inappropriate content policy. The updates take aim at keywords around sensitive events, price gouging and more.
The update, released Tuesday and effective immediately, does not specifically mention coronavirus, but the change is clearly aimed at preventing advertisers from trying to capitalize on the outbreak. Google banned ads for face masks earlier this month.
Why we care. Digital platforms have struggled to stay ahead of misinformation and fraudulent claims as well as price gauging by advertisers trying to take adva..

SEM

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Google adds ‘public health emergency’ to inappropriate content ads policy

The change to the sensitive events section of the policy is effective immediately.

Ginny Marvin on April 1, 2020 at 10:08 am

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Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Google Ads has updated its Inappropriate content policy. The updates take aim at keywords around sensitive events, price gouging and more.

The update, released Tuesday and effective immediately, does not specifically mention coronavirus, but the change is clearly aimed at preventing advertisers from trying to capitalize on the outbreak. Google banned ads for face masks earlier this month.

Why we care. Digital platforms have struggled to stay ahead of misinformation and fraudulent claims as well as price gauging by advertisers trying to take advantage of the coronavirus crisis. This policy update may appear subtle, but it gives Google a clearer path to take action against bad actors and prevent advertisers from advertising on coronavirus-related keywords during this pandemic.

The update. The new language adds the mention of “public health emergency”: “Content that potentially capitalizes on or lacks reasonable sensitivity towards a natural disaster, conflict, death, public health emergency, or other tragic event.”

The new sensitive events policy.

The examples have also been expanded to include price gouging, the sale of products or services in high demand during a sensitive event and the use of “keywords related to a sensitive event to attempt to gain additional traffic.”

The old policy. The sensitive events section simply read, “Content that may be deemed as capitalizing on or lacking reasonable sensitivity towards a natural disaster, conflict, death, or other tragic event,” according to a December snapshot.

The examples were much simpler in December.

This story first appeared on Search Engine Land.

About The Author

Ginny Marvin Ginny Marvin is Third Door Media’s Editor-in-Chief, running the day to day editorial operations across all publications and overseeing paid media coverage. Ginny Marvin writes about paid digital advertising and analytics news and trends for Search Engine Land, Marketing Land and MarTech Today. With more than 15 years of marketing experience, Ginny has held both in-house and agency management positions. She can be found on Twitter as @ginnymarvin.

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Announcing Discover MarTech: A Virtual Event For Strategies & Solutions

CMO Zone Get the most important digital marketing news each day. See terms.

Announcing Discover MarTech: A Virtual Event For Strategies & Solutions Continue your learning initiatives, engage with solution providers, and connect with the MarTech community — all from the comfort and safety of your very own desk. Scott Brinker on April 1, 2020 at 9:42 am More COVID-19 is impacting almost every aspect of day-to-day life. But for many organizations, while it may not be “business as usual” — business must go on.
If your professional priorities include…
Preparing your organization for what comes next in a post-coronavirus world Staying up-to-speed on the latest developments in modern marketing Identify, evaluating, and implementing time-saving, profit-generating martech Feeling connected to the martech community (despite social distancing) … join us f..

CMO Zone

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Announcing Discover MarTech: A Virtual Event For Strategies & Solutions

Continue your learning initiatives, engage with solution providers, and connect with the MarTech community — all from the comfort and safety of your very own desk.

Scott Brinker on April 1, 2020 at 9:42 am

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COVID-19 is impacting almost every aspect of day-to-day life. But for many organizations, while it may not be “business as usual” — business must go on.

If your professional priorities include…

  • Preparing your organization for what comes next in a post-coronavirus world
  • Staying up-to-speed on the latest developments in modern marketing
  • Identify, evaluating, and implementing time-saving, profit-generating martech
  • Feeling connected to the martech community (despite social distancing)

… join us for free this April 21-23 for Discover MarTech: A Virtual Event For Strategies & Solutions.

This free online training experience features exclusive keynote presentations from myself and Real Story Group’s Tony Byrne, followed by in-depth educational sessions from many of the market-defining solution providers who were set to speak at MarTech West 2020.

Don’t miss this exciting, FREE opportunity to continue your learning initiatives, engage with solution providers, and connect with the MarTech community — all from the comfort and safety of your very own desk.

Register now for free!

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

About The Author

Scott Brinker Scott Brinker is the conference chair of the MarTech® Conference, a vendor-agnostic marketing technology conference and trade show series produced by MarTech Today's parent company, Third Door Media. The MarTech event grew out of Brinker's blog, chiefmartec.com, which has chronicled the rise of marketing technology and its changing marketing strategy, management and culture since 2008. In addition to his work on MarTech, Scott serves as the VP platform ecosystem at HubSpot. Previously, he was the co-founder and CTO of ion interactive.

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Martech platforms reduce costs as CMOs face budget cuts

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Martech platforms reduce costs as CMOs face budget cuts Many platforms are already making concessions to help marketers by reducing costs and, in some cases, even suspending billing. Amy Gesenhues on March 31, 2020 at 5:25 pm More Just this week, Gartner reported 65% of 176 marketing leaders said they are bracing for moderate to significant budget cuts as a result of coronavirus-related disruptions. Fortunately for our marketing operations community, many platforms are already making concessions to help marketers by reducing costs and, in some cases, even suspending billing.
Adobe is offering Magento Commerce and Marketo Engage free of charge for three months, and has put together a “Launch Package” for SMBs needing to take their business online as quickly as possible. ..

CMO Zone

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Martech platforms reduce costs as CMOs face budget cuts

Many platforms are already making concessions to help marketers by reducing costs and, in some cases, even suspending billing.

Amy Gesenhues on March 31, 2020 at 5:25 pm

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Just this week, Gartner reported 65% of 176 marketing leaders said they are bracing for moderate to significant budget cuts as a result of coronavirus-related disruptions. Fortunately for our marketing operations community, many platforms are already making concessions to help marketers by reducing costs and, in some cases, even suspending billing.

Adobe is offering Magento Commerce and Marketo Engage free of charge for three months, and has put together a “Launch Package” for SMBs needing to take their business online as quickly as possible. Salesforce says it has expanded its Salesforce Care services and support solutions, making it available for free to customers and non-customers for 90-days.

Related: Compare marketing automation platforms

Adzooma, a digital ad platform for brands advertising via Google, Facebook and Microsoft, is not only offering free access to its platform until, at least, the start of June, 2020, it also is suspending billing for all existing agency and SME clients, “To help ease the load in these difficult times.”

The online video platform Loom announced earlier in March that it was cutting monthly fees from $10 a month to $5 a month through July 1, 2020. It also has removed recording limits on the free version of its plan and is extending free trials of Loom Pro from 14 days to 15 days. The company also made Loom Pro free for students and teachers at educational institutions.

“Our hope is that by stepping up, we’re making a dent in the global impact this pandemic is causing, not just by making our product more accessible, but by helping set the kind of example we hope more businesses will follow,” wrote the company’s CEO Joe Thomas.

TalentDesk.io, a freelance management system, has removed licensing fees for its platform through July 1 as well.

“We saw an increase in interest for our software as organizations have rushed to adapt to working from home during the COVID-19 crisis and decided to waive all software licensing fees until July 1, 2020,” said TalentDesk.io Founder and CEO Xenios Thrasyvoulou, “By enabling businesses — large or small — to remotely collaborate with their freelancers and employees, we’d like to help them continue their work seamlessly and use resources efficiently.”

The CEO says his company has seen an overwhelming response from clients, “They appreciate us being proactive and agile in the current environment.”

Zapier is another platform that has removed costs for any groups that are working on the front lines of COVID-19 relief efforts. The company is offering a free “starter plan” that would normally cost $19.99 per month if billed annually, or $24.99 if paying month-to-month. (Companies must submit an application to determine eligibility.)

Taking an opportunity to connect more deeply with clients

Jessica Breslav, executive managing director for Criteo, said the ad tech company is taking this opportunity to strengthen client relationships.

“What we’ve found at Criteo is that most of our clients are looking for a forum to ask questions and understand the impact that the pandemic is having on their business and the ecosystem as a whole,” said Breslav. One step the company is taking involves working with clients to think beyond today’s current challenges — solving for problems Criteo may not have dug into as readily in the past, “For example, we are connecting clients with our data science team to explore ways in which we can build deeper insights together.”

As far as financial concessions, the company is making decisions on a client-by-client basis and addressing needs accordingly. “Criteo doesn’t have a blanket policy because every client situation is unique and we’re working closely with our partners to foster a best plan of action moving forward,” said Breslav.

As managing director, Breslav said she is now speaking to clients much more often, sitting in on virtual round tables and taking calls over Zoom. According to Breslav, these online meetings are her new normal and that it has been going really well.

Short-term concessions could deliver long-term relationships

“I think concessions that are made with the genuine intent to help customers will be appreciated and repaid with increased loyalty and customer advocacy on the other side of this crisis,” said Chiefmartech.com Editor and MarTech Conference Chair Scott Brinker, “First of all, some of these products can really help people through their current circumstances, such as tools for remote work and video conferences. Second, even for martech products that don’t directly relate to current circumstances, offering benefits such as more free features or discounted pricing helps win or keep prospects and customers who have been forced to tighten their belts given economic uncertainty.”

Brinker notes that, with so many marketing operations and martech professionals stuck at home and working remotely, it may be a good time for them to experiment with new products, “Especially if it doesn’t cost anything.”

Just remember: Now may be a good opportunity to try out tools you’ve had an eye on — but don’t become reliant on a platform that won’t fit into your martech budget once the free-trial ends.

About The Author

Amy Gesenhues Amy Gesenhues is a senior editor for Third Door Media, covering the latest news and updates for Marketing Land, Search Engine Land and MarTech Today. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including MarketingProfs, SoftwareCEO, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy's articles.

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COVID-19 stories: Marketers, martech firms pivot as world goes online

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COVID-19 stories: Marketers, martech firms pivot as world goes online Here are some encouraging stories from marketers who made quick changes to adapt. Wendy Almeida on March 31, 2020 at 1:05 pm More The massive disruption of COVID-19 is forcing many of us to rethink everything we do. And right now, our community needs fresh ideas on how to manage the overwhelming situation.
Here are some encouraging stories from marketers who made quick changes to adapt.
Digital to digital The Challenge: In January 2020, cookies were crumbling and brand activations were thriving. We had finally found the sweet spot for our mobile tech: first-party data gathering at live events. A few weeks later, the ground began to shift under our feet.
I started to get nervous when my son..

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COVID-19 stories: Marketers, martech firms pivot as world goes online

Here are some encouraging stories from marketers who made quick changes to adapt.

Wendy Almeida on March 31, 2020 at 1:05 pm

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The massive disruption of COVID-19 is forcing many of us to rethink everything we do. And right now, our community needs fresh ideas on how to manage the overwhelming situation.

Here are some encouraging stories from marketers who made quick changes to adapt.

Digital to digital

The Challenge: In January 2020, cookies were crumbling and brand activations were thriving. We had finally found the sweet spot for our mobile tech: first-party data gathering at live events. A few weeks later, the ground began to shift under our feet.

I started to get nervous when my son wound up in the ER for neck pain on March 1 and was asked to wear a mask.

By March 7, the NBA had been advised to prepare to play without fans.

On March 11, COVID-19 was declared a pandemic.

It became clear that live events would be eliminated for the foreseeable future. Our funding would not survive this timeline.

The Solution: So, where were all our clients going? Online.

We had a small but real window to reassess the strengths and weaknesses of what we’d built, and decide if it could migrate it’s capabilities from the physical world to the virtual world.

On Friday, March 13, I sat down and rewrote our positioning statement. I only changed one word, but that one word changed everything.

Psychologically, this was not an easy shift for our team. It was radically changing our co-founders’ vision for the company and the product. After a few days of conversations and careful thought, we had made a decision.

We would move from physical to digital, to digital to digital.

On March 23, we launched a pro account giveaway through a video on LinkedIn, where I spitballed about our theory that this could work as a virtual activation tool. The platform was integrated in the video as the point of entry for the giveaway. To activate the entry form, viewers needed to scan a QR code on their mobile device, which would launch our micro experience. Would people do it? We rolled the dice.

The Impact: Not only did it fill our pipeline with leads, but it elicited a meeting with a multi-billion dollar non-profit organization. We established our first affiliate partnership. And on March 26th, I was given the opportunity to be a live webinar panelist where we leveraged the platform to gather psychographic, demographic and geographic information about the attendees: data for our first virtual case study.

We’ve never been busier with demos and onboarding than we are at this minute. What could have cut off our blood supply as a company enabled us to discover untapped opportunities with the product, build a stronger executive team relationship, and generate urgent interest in the solution.

– Karen Kelly is the Chief Marketing Officer of Tapple, Inc.

When everyone is looking for gold, sell pickaxes

The Challenge: As a social intranet provider, our product is built around facilitating better internal communications and employee engagement. Part of our vision already involves connecting international teams, but none of our content every truly expressed that. So the challenge was how do we steer the conversation so that we make it clear that our platform is not just a tool that enables international teams to communicate better, but a platform that enables remote workers of every kind?

The Solution: First, we had to differentiate between companies looking for processes to help them manage remote teams and companies looking for a software/tool to help them facilitate those processes (very different audiences in terms of intent). Then we catered our message towards the latter. Instead of focusing on how our software is the best thing for managing remote workers, we decided to highlight the solutions that support remote work (chat tool integrations, file sharing, knowledge management, employee directories, etc…)

The Impact: Rather than have another bland conversation about how “blah blah blah company is doing all it can to support you during COVID-19,” our prospects were able to make the logical conclusion that our platform supports remote work by seeing what our solutions are meant to address, while the market as a whole is starting to tighten the purse strings, we’re actually seeing an increase in traffic, engagement and ultimately conversions as prospects see a need for our product.

– Richard Castello is the PPC/Growth Marketer for Happeo

Live events to online series

The Challenge: Event and offline heavy calendar in the wake of COVID-19 needed a full pivot as all owned and sponsored events were canceled.

The Solution: Shifting the Yotpo offline flagship conference (Destination:D2C) to early 2021 and positioning the Destination:D2C brand as an online series held monthly featuring the top brands in the Direct-to-Consumer industry. Launch a weekly AMA series (IG Live + Zoom + LinkedIn Live) with industry and e-commerce experts to satiate the need for immediate tactical tips and tricks. For our Amazing Women in e-commerce series, we pivoted all offline events online, like a workout from home series every week. Lean on our partner ecosystem to join on events and combine forces with each event.

The Impact: Effectively replacing our entire marketing calendar and influence with a series of online engagements to continue and hit key pillars like engagement, brand awareness, education and lead generation.

– Raj Nijjer is the VP of Brand Marketing at Yotpo

Games at staff meetings build camaraderie, keep us connected

The Challenge: My company sent people home to work for the foreseeable future. For those who mainly work in office positions, it easy for us to feel a disconnect with our colleagues and the greater mission of our organization.

The Solution: During a recent team meeting, we played a game. We all downloaded the same game to our phones — Psych! The game randomly selects one of our names and asks silly questions — like “If Steve was the star of an action movie, which one would it be?” or “Where would Steve bury his treasure?” Each player suggests an answer (the sillier, the better), and then everyone selects their favorite one.

The Impact: The entire team had fun, and we felt more connected as well as distracted from the craziness of today. It sparked a fun conversation and helped us maintain our bonds formed around inside jokes and friendly banter.

– Steve Petersen is the marketing technology manager at Western Governors University.

Share your own story

Share your creative thinking around how you’re pivoting and managing your work right now. It can be client-facing or something you’ve tried with your staff. We’ll round up some of the best and share them. Submit here >>

About The Author

Wendy Almeida Wendy Almeida is Third Door Media's Community Editor, working with contributors for Search Engine Land, Marketing Land and MarTech Today. She has held content management roles in a range of organizations from daily newspapers and magazines to global nonprofits.

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6 Tips to Keep B2B Marketing Teams in Rhythm While Working Remotely

In these unconventional times, many work teams are grappling with an unconventional dynamic: fully distributed personnel and remote collaboration. This setup presents a number of challenges, but thankfully we live in a time where technology makes it easier than ever to stay connected and tightly aligned on our work. For B2B agencies like TopRank Marketing, this has always been a point of emphasis. In servicing clients from around the globe, we’re accustomed to communicating across distances, borders, and time zones. We occasionally have our own team members work from home, and in fact, we have a few who do so full-time. While having everyone in the organization work remotely is uncharted territory for us, our built-in comfort with digital collaboration gives us a head-start, and has allowed us to hit the ground running with minimal disruption to our programs and workflows. To help other remote teams that might be trying to find the right rhythm and maximize their collective productivit..

Continue reading “6 Tips to Keep B2B Marketing Teams in Rhythm While Working Remotely”

What are the differences between B2B marketing automation platforms?

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What are the differences between B2B marketing automation platforms? Here's what you should look for when making comparisons between marketing automation solutions. Pamela Parker on March 30, 2020 at 3:35 pm More Marketing automation platforms form the backbone of many B2B marketing operations, increasingly serving as sophisticated marketing orchestration platforms. A range of platforms is available to marketers depending on their firm’s size, budget and level of digital marketing sophistication.
The more basic functions of marketing automation have become somewhat commoditized, so platform vendors mostly look to differentiate their platforms based on the ability to scale, as well as usability, ease of implementation and customer experience.
MA platforms ..

Martech: Marketing

Get the most important digital marketing news each day. See terms.

What are the differences between B2B marketing automation platforms?

Here's what you should look for when making comparisons between marketing automation solutions.

Pamela Parker on March 30, 2020 at 3:35 pm

  • More

Marketing automation platforms form the backbone of many B2B marketing operations, increasingly serving as sophisticated marketing orchestration platforms. A range of platforms is available to marketers depending on their firm’s size, budget and level of digital marketing sophistication.

The more basic functions of marketing automation have become somewhat commoditized, so platform vendors mostly look to differentiate their platforms based on the ability to scale, as well as usability, ease of implementation and customer experience.

MA platforms prioritize user experience

Platform vendors are also looking to differentiate themselves by offering more support for increasingly sophisticated customers who have adopted the software and who are looking to justify the investment by proving ROI.

Vendors continue to expand training programs, as well as add-on professional services available to customers, to improve platform use. Online communities – for both customers and developers – have also become increasingly important to strengthen platform support, advocacy and market penetration.

Many marketing automation platform vendors have roots in email marketing, which continues to be a core function and is often the only function that customers use. However, the platforms offer an evolving range of features, including advanced lead management, account-based marketing (ABM) tools, predictive analytics and open architectures to support the growing martech ecosystem.

Marketing automation platform users have become more tech-savvy, as marketing skill sets have evolved significantly in recent years. As marketing becomes ever more tech- and data-centric, this has led to the rise in the prevalence of the Marketing Operations specialist, combining business operations and IT skills to clean, harness and democratize data.

Account-based marketing (ABM) is increasingly replacing persona-based marketing, leading the way for greater demand of ABM capabilities among marketing technology platforms, and driving a convergence of marketing and sales. Sales and customer service professionals frequently use marketing automation platforms to better understand how customers are reacting to products and services.

The important role of third-party integrations

Most marketing automation platforms now have native integrations with CRM platforms, which is essential for ABM, as these three departments (sales, marketing, customer service) work together more to look at the entire customer experience. At the same time, with marketing automation platforms in general prioritizing user experience and scalability, there has been less of a focus on building out new technology than previously predicted.

For example, personalization is one of the biggest trends driving marketing today. But while some marketing automation platforms do provide personalization capabilities, this is not an essential feature, and can be achieved using point solutions. B2B marketers should therefore not necessarily be put off if a marketing automation platform does not provide personalization as part of the platform.

Similarly, despite a lot of hype over the last few years, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) have not (yet) emerged as a significant trend in the B2B marketing automation space, although some platforms do include it.

dMany marketing automation vendors offer “app marketplaces” that provide
information and support for integrating with third-party software partners. This can be an important area of differentiation for vendors, because cultivating relationships with developers who create add-ons and integration tools adds to the overall utility of the software without requiring the vendor to develop such integrations themselves. If you’re considering licensing a marketing automation platform, be sure to assess potential vendors’ efforts in this arena.

Download our martech intelligence report, a buyer’s guide that tells you everything you need to know about B2B Marketing Automation Platforms!

About The Author

Pamela Parker Pamela Parker is Senior Editor and Projects Manager at Third Door Media's Content Studio, where she produces Martech Intelligence Reports and other in-depth content for digital marketers in conjunction with Search Engine Land, Marketing Land, MarTech Today and Digital Marketing Depot. Prior to taking on this role at TDM, she served as Content Manager and Executive Features Editor. Parker is a well-respected authority on digital marketing, having reported and written on the subject since its beginning. She's a former managing editor of ClickZ and has also worked on the business side helping independent publishers monetize their sites at Federated Media Publishing. Parker earned a masters degree in journalism from Columbia University.

Related Topics

ABM: Account-Based MarketingChannel: Martech: MarketingEmail MarketingMarketing AutomationMarketing ToolsMartech Intelligence Reports

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