Our Top 10 Blogs of 2016 at a Glance
Every time the new year comes around, I clean. That’s not to say I don’t clean on a regular basis throughout the year, but there’s something about getting a fresh start that makes you want to clean all the nooks and crannies that get ignored on your busiest days (which, let’s face it, is almost every day). Plus, I know future me will appreciate it when those busy days roll around again in the new year.
During my annual deep cleanings, I find tons of “buried treasure” hiding in plain sight, under piles of other stuff. It reminds me a lot of the great content I’ve seen and haven’t seen. With so much information out there, it can be hard to keep tabs on what to keep tabs on throughout the year.
At Marketo, we get the opportunity to work with some of the brightest minds in our industry—both within and outside of our company—and our content team works hard to bring you their insights. We measure each and every one of our assets to continually optimize our editorial calendar and provide you with more of what you want—blogs being one of them. We look at metrics like page views, organic traffic, time-on-page, shares, engagement, and conversions to understand which topics and blogs are the most relevant for our audience. However, because we publish our blogs every weekday, we understand that it can be hard to read every piece we publish.
To make things easier, I’ve compiled a Cliff Notes version of our top performing blogs. Just like Cliff Notes, this is meant to be more of a guide than an in-depth overview, so be sure to click through to read the full blog if you’re interested!
Here’s a list of our top 10 performing blogs for 2016, brought to you by me and unsuspectingly chosen by you:
Measure the ROI of Digital Advertising Beyond Revenue Impact
When it comes to measuring ROI, many of us think about the numbers that impact the bottom line—pipeline, opportunities, and revenue won. However, most sales don’t happen overnight and, as such, late-stage metrics take time to mature. Even if you’re a consumer marketer, people do research on your company and products long before they decide to make a purchase.
For digital marketing especially, your buyers are perusing different channels to make informed decisions on whether they should purchase from you, let alone click on your ad. To understand their buyer’s journey and prove your ROI, it’s important to track early-stage metrics as well—brand impressions, impressions, website visitors, and downloads—to gauge the early impact of your campaigns and course-correct if needed. Read this blog from Mike Tomita, Director of Online Marketing at Marketo, to learn how to track important soft metrics for three popular digital ads: mobile video, native, and programmatic.
You’ve Got Mail: 5 Things Your Subject Lines Are Missing
While it’s true that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, your subscribers are definitely judging your email from its subject line. Finding the perfect subject line to use in your email can seem downright impossible, but luckily, there’s a method to the madness. Mike Madden, Demand Generation Program Manager at Marketo, shares five tried-and-true tips on how to improve your subject lines and ultimately your open rates: front-load the important words, ask a question, use numbers, get personal, or use rhymes, alliteration, and puns. Why? You’ll need to read his blog to find out!
3 Strategies for Maximizing Email Deliverability
Did you know that worldwide, 21% of permission-based emails get sent to a spam folder or go missing? This means that for every five emails you send, one of them never even gets to your subscriber due to spam filtering and low engagement. What’s an email marketer to do against these unfavorable odds? Here’s another great blog from Mike Madden that explains how you can improve your email deliverability. His recommended tactics? Set low bounce thresholds to keep your lists fresh, don’t ever buy lists, and stagger your email sends based on engagement.
10 Ways to Engage Your Audience with Interactive Content
Content is king, but engagement is queen. To reach your audience, you need to provide them with educational, interesting, or entertaining content, which is affected by the format it’s in. Interactive content is a great way to engage your audience, presenting information in an easily digestible way. Katherine McAdoo, Senior Web Designer at Ion Interactive, shares 10 different ways that you can turn your content interactive. These formats include quizzes, rating systems, assessments, incentives, animations, visualizations, sneak peaks, tabs, charts, and carousels. Check out her blog to learn how you can transform your content into these interactive formats.
5 Lifelong Business Lessons I Learned from Nordstrom
If you’ve ever shopped at Nordstrom before, you may have realized how it’s the epitome of world-class customer service. There’s even a book on this, titled The Nordstrom Way to Customer Service Excellence: The Handbook For Becoming the “Nordstrom” of Your Industry. So it’s no surprise that we have a lot to learn from the department store, especially when you consider that marketing is becoming more customer-centric.
In this blog, Alexandra Nation, Solutions Consultant at Marketo, reveals five important business lessons that she learned during her time working for the retailer. These values have stood the test of time and stick with her to this day:
- Praise your employees and colleagues publicly and often
- Focus on the customer and the money will follow
- Balance great products with great people
- Act like it’s your name on the door
- Lead by example
How Brands Can Create Lasting Relationships on Social Media
Connecting with people on social media as a brand is no different than connecting with them as a friend, family member, or colleague. Okay, so maybe it’s a little different (you probably don’t want to see my cat memes every day), but the concept is the same. Marketers, just like people, should use social media to first and foremost build relationships. Marketo’s Senior Social Media Manager, Lisa Marcyes shares four ways to create lasting relationships with your audience on social media: establish your voice; initiate, respond to, and contribute to conversations; share relevant content; and address both positive and negative feedback.
4 Reasons Why Marketing Automation Fails
If the picture above seems all too familiar, you’ve probably experienced an epic fail at least once in your life. Was it a marketing automation fail? Marketing automation empowers marketers to connect with their potential and existing customers on a 1-to-1 basis—at scale. If that sounds too good to be true, consider that there are entire companies that exist solely to provide the most sophisticated marketing automation platform to support this (shameless plug). But even with the right tools, marketers still need to have a sound strategy in place. Jamie Lewis, Principal Solution Consultant at Marketo, reveals four common pitfalls he’s seen when it comes to marketing automation, which include not treating your audience as individuals, not using behaviors to target your audience, not designing your campaigns to meet business objectives, and not being on the right channels (i.e. the ones your buyers are on).
5 Ways to Boost B2B Sales Through LinkedIn Social Selling
With more than 400 million members in over 200 countries and territories, LinkedIn is an effective way to reach an audience with a business mindset. However, this doesn’t only impact B2B social media marketing. LinkedIn is also a great channel for sales teams to drive revenue with.
Russell Banzon, Demand Generation Manager at Inkling, covers five ways that sales can use LinkedIn for social selling. These methods include connecting with prospects and engaging with their content, leveraging shared connections for a warm introduction, using their Sales Navigator tool to build lead lists for your target accounts, creating CRM contacts using a lead’s LinkedIn information, and measuring your success with their Social Selling Index. Interested in putting these strategies to work? Read Russell’s blog for the low-down.
7 Marketing Automation Predictions: A SiriusDecisions Roundup
Our blog provides recaps for some of the biggest industry events to provide you with key takeaways from ones you couldn’t attend or to serve as a refresher for the ones you did. The annual SiriusDecisions Summit was no different, and one particular session that generated a lot of buzz was Marketing Automation: What the Future Holds.
Charm Bianchini, Senior Director of Marketing at Marketo, attended the summit and covered this session in detail, sharing SiriusDecisions’ seven predictions for the future of marketing automation. The common themes? An increased focus on the buyer’s journey, rising expectations for personalization, a shift to data-informed programs and predictive modeling, advanced analytics and attribution, and marketing automation as the foundation of an organization’s tech stack.
Get Scrappy: 7 Tips for Smarter Digital Marketing
I think it’s safe to say that we could all use some tips on how to get things done with resource or budget constraints or, as Nick Westergaard puts it, “get scrappy.” As a strategist, speaker, author, and educator, Nick definitely knows how to do more with less and is well-suited to explain how to create a smarter digital marketing strategy.
In his blog, he answers the most common questions that were asked during his webinar, Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small. Some of his insights? Starting with a strategy is an important first step for all marketers, but the longer the sales cycle, the longer we’re responsible for keeping buyers engaged throughout their customer journey, which is where scrappy marketing comes into play. At the very minimum, scrappy strategies need to answer the why, what, when, where, who, and how for each of your audiences. Additionally, look beyond other industries for inspiration and leverage one of your biggest assets: your people. For the rest of his answers, read his blog to learn how to establish your top digital marketing priorities, his best social media tips, and more.
That wraps up our top 10 blogs for 2016. I hope you enjoyed this list and dive deeper into each of the blogs above. Did we miss any of your favorites? Share them below!