Lessons from Training 50 Content Marketers
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Lessons from Training 50 Content Marketers



Siege Media’s Content Marketing Director, Caroline Gilbert, discusses her tips and lessons after training over 50 content marketing specialists.

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Marketers' playbook for recovering from COVID-19
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Marketers’ playbook for recovering from COVID-19


30-second summary:

  • Rather than waiting until the dust completely settles, the savviest brands are looking ahead to what comes next and how to get there, much like the government plans.
  • Every brand will need to send the message: We’re open for business. But waiting until we’re fully back to normal before reaching out to your target audiences is a mistake. Instead, stimulating demand during the reopening process is the key.
  • The reality is, now is a perfect time to connect with your audience. More people than ever are still largely at home, and as a result, they’re consuming more content than usual.
  • While creating demand is the goal, “buy now” messages probably aren’t the best way to connect with audiences. Be optimistic in your approach as we all long to get back out there – join the conversation and be part of the solution.

President Donald Trump recently announced new guidelines for reopening parts of the country, one of a number of positive signs that we’re getting a handle on how to manage the COVID-19 crisis and can begin to safely forge a pathway toward normalcy. For marketers, that means the time is now to be doing the same.

Rather than waiting until the dust completely settles, the savviest brands and marketers are looking ahead to what comes next and how to get there, much like the government plans.

While many brands are doing well to survive this pandemic, the key is to figure out how to return to thriving as the country begins to reopen – and the work toward doing so must happen now.

Even though it isn’t the case for all industry verticals (it will take more time for airlines, hotels, and cruise lines to rebound, for instance), most brands that embrace a forward-looking strategy will be in a much stronger position once we return to a robust business environment that we all long for.

Demand generation is key

The No. 1 priority for marketers as the country reopens is going to be generating demand for their products and services.

Every brand will need to send the message: We’re open for business. But waiting until we’re fully back to normal before reaching out to your target audiences is a mistake. Instead, stimulating demand during the reopening process is the key.

Think about it this way: When an automaker launches an all-new vehicle, they don’t wait until dealers’ lots are fully stocked before revealing the vehicle.

They build anticipation and demand by previewing new models at auto shows or via online reveals well before they ever start producing them en masse – so as soon as those vehicles are built, customers are clamoring to drive one home.

This strategy will serve marketers well as they navigate the pandemic and their response. Even if you don’t know exactly when you’ll be able to fully reopen your businesses or start welcoming customers back in large numbers, you know that you will, and that creating demand is a big part of getting back to work.

It’s about time

The reality is, now is a perfect time to connect with your audience. More people than ever are still largely at home, and as a result, they’re consuming more content than usual. In fact, Nielsen estimates that sheltering at home could lead to a 60% increase in viewership.

What that means is that it’s now a buyers’ market for advertisers. Inventory is more affordable than ever, and noise level from competitors has decreased, creating a strong opportunity for brands to increase their share of voice.

In addition, brands that project an image of stability during an unstable time will surely reap bigger benefits as the economy recovers.

Of course, it’s important to make sure your messaging matches the current environment.

While creating demand is the goal, “buy now” messages probably aren’t the best way to connect with audiences. Be optimistic in your approach as we all long to get back out there – join the conversation and be part of the solution.

Being a good sport

One large part of our culture that will be slower to return to normal is professional sports. The 2020 Olympics are postponed to 2021, and it’s anyone’s guess when or if we’ll see football, baseball, basketball, or hockey again this year.

Even golf, one sport that’s beginning to plan for its return, will be played at gallery-free courses, as viewers will only be able to watch from the safety of their homes.

But while sports are off the air temporarily, all is not lost. Brands that covet live sports audiences can still reach them.

Viewers who would normally be watching the NHL or NBA playoffs aren’t turning off their TVs. Instead, research shows they’re watching other programming like SportsCenter, American Idol and ABC World News Tonight at high rates.

The takeaway here is that the brands that emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic in the best shape will be the ones that will successfully let people know that they’re open for business.

The way to do that is through planning ahead, taking advantage of inventory deals when they can be had, and gaining in share of voice when possible – making advertising a key part of the recovery process.

Jon Schulz is the CMO of  Viant and a recognized industry thought leader in automotive marketing, digital advertising and advanced analytics. As the lead marketer within a company focused on leveraging big data and analytics to drive efficient media spend, Jon oversees numerous research initiatives designed to provide actionable data to brand marketers using Viant’s people-based insights.



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The role of marketers in a post-COVID-19 world
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The role of marketers in a post-COVID-19 world


30-second summary:

  • Tamara Charm is a senior expert at McKinsey & Company and the co-lead for its Global Consumer Sentiment Survey.
  • McKinsey launched the Global Consumer Sentiment Survey in mid-March across 40 countries to better understand how consumer sentiment and behavior were shifting, overall.
  • The survey explores consumer sentiments in the age of COVID-19 including level of optimism, expected spend, expected income, new behaviors, and what consumers plan to do moving forward.
  • Preliminary findings reveal that, as the progression of the pandemic moves through the globe, consumer sentiment is starting to waver.
  • Nearly half of US respondents indicated they plan to cut back on spending and are being careful about how they spend their money.
  • Globally, McKinsey’s research reveals consumers are cutting back on discretionary spending across all consumer categories, except for groceries and in-home entertainment.
  • The hardest hit industries — based on intent to spend — were travel and entertainment (except for in-home entertainment).
  • McKinsey found that nearly every work and leisure-related activity will see increased digital activity. 
  • Depending on the category, 40 to 60% of consumers indicated that they intend to stick to new digital products and services adopted during COVID.

Tamara Charm is a Senior Expert at McKinsey & Company and the co-lead for its Global Consumer Sentiment Survey. She recently gave a Peer Network briefing, in collaboration with ClickZ and Search Engine Watch, to share the emerging trends from McKinsey’s global B2B consumer sentiment survey.

Charm speaks with consumers through qualitative or quantitative primary research in the service of growth and innovation for McKinsey’s clients. Much of her work is focused in the consumer and research sector.

This post will provide an overview of the Global Consumer Sentiment Survey and include some findings from the most recent McKinsey consumer research. You can view the briefing-on-demand, in its entirety from here.

The Global Consumer Sentiment Survey

In mid-March, McKinsey launched a series of surveys across 40 countries to understand what consumer sentiment was, overall.

Source: McKinsey & Company

The surveys explore the following consumer sentiments in the age of COVID-19:

  • Their overall sentiment 
  • The level of consumer optimism
  • How much consumers expect to spend
  • What consumer income expectations look like
  • How they’re directing their spending and in what categories 
  • What new things consumers doing now, and what they expect to continue doing
  • What will happen as the economies start to open back up (upcoming)

Consumer sentiment varies depending on the country

McKinsey’s research shows that as the progression of the pandemic moves through the globe, consumer sentiment among different countries is starting to waver.

For example, US optimism over recovery went from 39% of respondents on March 22, to 35% on April 19. This pattern of dwindling optimism is similar in many European countries, except for Germany whose optimism continues to be stable. Research shows that optimism in China is also starting to return.

Source: McKinsey & Company

Charm reviewed some findings from a US-focused survey about overall sentiment in the general US population. Here are a few key results based on that survey:

  • 27% of respondents feel their ability to make financial ends meet has been negatively impacted by coronavirus or COVID-19.
  • 31% of respondents said their income has been negatively impacted by coronavirus or COVID-19.
  • 47% of respondents indicated they are cutting back on spending.
  • 49% of respondents said they must be very careful about how they spend their money.

Consumers are reducing discretionary spending

McKinsey’s research reveals that global consumers are cutting back on discretionary spending across all consumer categories, except for groceries and home entertainment.

“Reductions in spend have impacted almost all categories that we measured,” explains Charm. “The two consistent categories that people expect to spend more on are groceries and home entertainment, with pockets of optimism across other categories such as snacks (in the US and Japan) and household supplies across many of the countries.”

The hardest hit industries — based on consumers’ intent to spend — were travel (gasoline, vehicle purchases, cruises, etc.) and entertainment (except for home entertainment).

Consumers intensify digital behaviors

McKinsey asked consumers how much time they expect to spend on a variety of work and leisure-related digital activities over the next two weeks, compared with time they normally spend on them.

Findings revealed that nearly every digital leisure category will see increased activity, and this was true for most countries, excluding China, whose projected time spent on leisure activities is lower while time spent on work-related digital activities will be higher.

Here is a breakdown of the activities included in the survey:

  • News: Live news, reading news online, reading print news
  • Content: Movies/shows, live TV, video, reading/personal interest
  • Social: Texting/chatting, messaging, social media, video games
  • Personal: Cooking, home improvement, exercising
  • Work: Learning/remote learning, working

The survey clearly demonstrates that consumers are spending their time differently due to coronavirus-related shutdowns and precautions, with digital consumption of content such as news and live TV increasing and digital-related activities such as gaming and social media usage also increasing for most countries.

Time spent on work has decreased across most countries, with the exception of China.

Source: McKinsey & Company

Digital and low-touch activities are growing

Consumers across countries are intensifying time spent on a wide variety of digital activities from online grocery shopping to videoconferencing to telemedicine.

“Some categories are seeing an influx of new customers who haven’t started that activity before,” says Charm. McKinsey’s research reveals many categories that show a marked number of new users. Here are some examples:

  • TikTok usage is markedly increased in France and Spain
  • Restaurant and store curbside pickup has dramatically increased in the US, UK, Spain, and Italy
  • Remote learning has increased significantly in the US, France, Italy, and China
  • Telemedicine has increased across nearly all countries surveyed

“40 to 60% of consumers indicated that they intend to stick with these behaviors going forward, depending on the category,” says Charm.

What growth leaders need to consider moving forward

Charm advises marketing leaders to think about taking a three-horizon approach as they move forward in the midst of this pandemic:

  • Resolve & Resilience: Navigate the now
  • Return: Plan the recovery
  • Reimagination: Lead the next normal

“As marketing leaders, managing the human element is critical  – and that is taking care of our people, customers, and communities. At the same time, we need to must think about the three horizons to shape the way forward: navigate the now, plan for recovery, and lead the next normal,” explains Charm.

“It’s important to address what’s happening now, then how do you approach recovery and planning, and, finally, as we think about shifts in behavior, we expect there will be a ‘next normal’ where not everything will go back to the way it was pre-COVID. Many of these intensified consumer behaviors will continue.”

Watch Tarama’s Peer Network briefing: Leading with Purpose: How Marketers Can Manage the Coronavirus and Plan for Recovery, to get a more in depth view on McKinsey’s findings.



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What Do Marketers Need To Know Before Investing in TikTok?
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What Do Marketers Need To Know Before Investing in TikTok?


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TikTok vs. Snapchat: A guide for marketers
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TikTok vs. Snapchat: A guide for marketers







TikTok vs. Snapchat: A guide for marketers – Search Engine Land


















































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What Is Quora? A Marketer's Guide to the Most Underrated Platform of 2020
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What Is Quora? A Marketer’s Guide to the Most Underrated Platform of 2020


Part of a social media manager’s job is to filter through which platforms are or aren’t relevant to their industry — or, more importantly, their audience. But there’s more to choose from than Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and Instagram.

Believe it or not, Quora is one such platform you might want to add to your marketing portfolio.

Download Now: State of Social Media Marketing in 2020

Quora entered the social marketplace about eight years ago, and it has since become a website worthy of a marketer’s attention. Before we get into why, let’s talk about what exactly Quora is. 

So, why is this website compelling to marketers? A handful of unique features, including: 

  • Follow users — and be followed.
  • Answer questions relevant to your industry.
  • Display personal and professional titles above your answers.
  • Reap SEO benefits for your business over the long term.
  • Access new audiences via Quora emails.
  • Use links in your answers to bring traffic to your website.

If all that sounds good, and you’re ready to dive in, let’s get straight to how to use Quora’s tools to enhance your marketing efforts, next.

How to Use Quora for Marketing

Use Quora to follow users.

Quora emulates a feature of Twitter and LinkedIn in that it has a follow feature. This follow feature allows users to connect with readers, colleagues, and other businesses so that they can associate with people who contribute to similar conversations. Users on Quora can ask or answer questions while following questions and people to create a stream of information aligned with their audience’s interests.

When first signing up for Quora, you can start by following your connections from Facebook and Twitter. This allows you to connect and nurture your relationship with those you already know you’ll want to answer questions for. It also helps you understand what your core customers and readers are most interested in learning about.

Answer questions around your industry.

Quora shares features with other popular social applications, so what makes Quora unique? Two main elements: design and community. Quora’s forum-like design makes for a positive user experience in that it focuses its users entirely on specific questions and answers, rather than broad trending topics that brands can’t easily participate in.

In other words, whereas social networks like Twitter and Facebook focus primarily on the user, Quora is designed to focus on the question. In doing so, all Quora users “play by the same rules,” so to speak. This ultimately helps business users carry over their subject-matter expertise and extend that expertise to more audiences.

Display professional titles to establish authority.

In addition to design, Quora’s community provides rich and relevant answers to the things people are searching for and talking about. This ensures that the focus of the website will always depend on and cater to the interests of each user and their followers.

Opposite what you might think, this open-dialogue community doesn’t produce as much subjective or inaccurate information as you’d think. Each user’s answer competes with the answers other users post under the same question. The answer’s relevance therefore depends on how many views and upvotes it receives by the Quora community.

This competition among answers encourages only the most knowledgeable users to participate. For this reason, many of them display their professional titles and business affiliations as an added sign of trust in their response. Quora also allows you to publish photo headshots, reinforcing its commitment to real, human answers — with a hint of networking potential for the employee answering the question. See how this looks in the Quora question below.

Question on Quora asking What virtual reality is, answered by man with professional title

The expertise of the people who are answering questions on Quora is truly impressive and only adds to the value of using the platform.

Use Quora as an SEO boost.

You’d think because Quora answers can be posted for free by anyone, Google wouldn’t rank these answers all that highly. On the contrary, Quora answers do quite well in search engine rankings because Quora is designed to rank its best answers by how much its users trust them.

In other words, Quora has done all the work for Google already — all you have to do is write an answer that users view and trust the most, and you can give your business some great exposure on Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs).

Keep in mind that Quora answers are automatically given “nofollow” tags, which prevent search engines like Google from ranking website links inside your Quora answer any differently just because the Quora post itself might appear high up in a search result. For this reason, you should still invest plenty of time into your website’s on-page SEO — the search engine optimization given to your own webpages, as opposed to the tactics used elsewhere, like Quora.

Access new audiences via Quora emails.

Just because you have a limited amount of email subscribers to your emails doesn’t mean you can’t get some brand recognition in Quora Digest …

Quora Digest emails typically consist of 10 answers to questions the recipient would likely want to see. Recipients can receive these emails as often as multiple times per week or as infrequently as once a month. It all depends on how much time the user spends on Quora.

Although the content of Quora Digest emails is generated automatically by Quora, marketers can still win a spot in these emails by answering questions that rank highly on Quora. The more questions you answer, the more authority you’ll build. This increases your answers’ rankings and, ultimately, puts you in a Quora Digest.

The best part? These Quora emails go right to users who are interested in the topics you’re answering questions on. You get direct exposure to the people who fit your buyer persona without any of the heavy lifting involved in adding them to an email list.

Use links in your answers to bring traffic to your website.

Many businesses use Quora not just to connect with potential customers and build authority on a subject, but to gain website traffic, too.

When looking for questions to answer on Quora, consider if you already have webpages or blog posts that answer the question a user is asking. If so, take an excerpt from your blog post and use it to build your answer in Quora. When you’re done, link out to your blog or website content as an invitation for users to learn more about the subject. See what this looks like in the Quora question below.

Answer to Quora question with a link to author's website for more info

It’s unclear how effective this tactic is when done at length, so be careful how much you rely on Quora for blog or website traffic. Ultimately, you want most of your information to live in one place, that place should be your website.

As you can see, there are several clear benefits to Quora. For one, it caters to specific subject matters. You can pick your own expertise areas and then stay there as your chief engagement. If your business or expertise is in foreign currency exchange, for example, you can write for a dedicated category of questions where you can relay your leadership and help answer questions for your followers.

And yes, that very field has its own category of questions on Quora where people want to learn more about currency exchange. Check it out below.

Group of Quora questions about foreign currency exchange

Then, as a marketer, you can consider the people who are asking questions or engaging in discussion with you as your potential leads.

If you see someone is asking for help picking a good foreign exchange broker, or how to know if someone is a good adviser, don’t be afraid to mention your services and include the URL to your website when answering their question.

You can also use Quora to do research on what you should blog about. Any good answer is going to be more than a paragraph, and could be used as the basis for your newest blog post. This is a great way to do keyword research and get a sense of what the keyword phrases and description that your potential leads really use, and see what they don’t understand or should know about your business.

If someone is asking a fundamental question about your industry, think about writing a blog post to reply and then linking them in your answer to the blog post. You can bring them to your website, show them your calls-to-action, and present them with an offer all while answering their question.

Have you started using Quora yet for your business?

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New Facebook Group Tools: What Group Admins Need to Know : Social Media Examiner
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Social Media Use Surges: How Marketers Should Respond : Social Media Examiner



Social Media Marketing


Industry Report


In our 11th annual social media study (46 pages, 60+ charts) of 4800+ marketers, you’ll discover which social networks marketers most plan on using, organic social activities, paid social media plans, and much more! Get this free report and never miss another great article from Social Media Examiner.





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Why marketers should avoid discounting (and what you can do instead) [OC} : marketing
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Why marketers should avoid discounting (and what you can do instead) [OC} : marketing


Source (with images): https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/you-cannot-buy-customers-why-marketers-should-avoid-grolleman/

~ I can count on one hand the times I’ve cooked the last year, living in Shanghai. Thanks to coupons on food delivery APP’s, not only is it often cheaper to have food delivered than to eat it at a restaurant, it’s difficult to make dishes yourself in your own kitchen and compete on price with the raw ingredients you have to buy (and cooking skills, but that is not the point here). 

There was a time though, that this was even more extreme. A few years ago you could basically eat for free if you’d just change APP every day, each platform offering weekly coupons you could use. Now only Ele.ma and Meituan remain.

We saw a similar price war in 2018 and 2019 with sharing bicycles; Ofo versus Mobike. Ofo was the worst of them, the company mainly aiming to be the cheapest and growing through deposits from users. I never found an Ofo bike that was in decent shape. It always had at least one wheel bent, a handgrip missing, or worse, you’d scan the QR code and then discover that the bike had no chain. 

In a rush, Ofo and Mobike also tried to expand overseas in Southeast Asia, Japan, the US, and Europe. Both brands burned through their cash. Ofo went up in smoke and Mobike had to retreat to just serve China, before being bought by Meituan.

But there is a winner here. HelloBike, a third competitor, focussed on lower-tier cities (getting 95% of its users from tier 2 & tier 3 cities), and now they’ve made their way to Shanghai, quickly replacing the Mobikes on the sidewalk. HelloBike doesn’t rely on a low price (although they’re still cheap). Rather, they’re embedded into Alipay, so you can quickly scan it and you don’t need to register a new APP. And they’re in good shape. And they’re everywhere.

Sadly for marketers, discounting is such a drug.

The IRI states that in the UK supermarkets, more than 50% of food & non-food products are now sold on discount, and that discount is now one of the most significant marketing expenses, usually costing more than TV advertising.

The main misconception about discounting is how much it eats into your profit. Let’s do a simple calculation. If your profit margin is 20% and you give a 10% discount, that means you cut your profits by 50%. In this scenario, you need to double your sales to break even, something a 10% discount is unlikely to do.

Besides this, there are more reasons to avoid discounts:

  • You turn your product into a commodity.

  • It signals low quality and low confidence, which erodes brand value. You’re saying to your customers “Yeah, we’re not really worth that much”.

  • Discounting mainly benefits the people who already buy your product. If your product is non-perishable, they might bulk-buy or learn to buy on discount. 

  • There is no evidence that discounting increases loyalty. As soon as discounts stop, customers go back to their normal purchase patterns.

  • In fact, the opposite may be true; customers who paid the full price before will be annoyed and reluctant to pay the full price again in the future.

  • Rather than discounting, investing in a brand has much higher returns, especially in the long term.

Would you still buy Ferrero Rocher if it was much cheaper? Apple smartphones? Gilette razers? Nike sneakers? Nintendo is known for rarely lowering prices on their consoles for years after its release, and the same for any premium fashion brand.

These brands gain credibility from their pricing power. McKinsey states that 80 to 90% of incorrect pricing decisions are made by marketers who simply charge too little, not too much.

Discounting is an addictive habit that is hard to stop, because it contributes directly to short-term sales numbers, even if it comes at the expense of future profits, brand image and customer relationships. Customers, now with their closets full of your product, can sit out a few months to buy again, creating a vicious cycle: you need more discount to keep up sales levels. 

It’s very hard for marketers to hold their ground when it comes to discounting, but here are some things that help:

  • Use the Westendorp pricing model, helping you hit the range between too cheap and too expensive.

  • Introduce different pricing models. Mercedes-Benz has the affordable A-class as well as the CLK. For GoEast Mandarin we offer private & group classes.

  • If you must have an incentive, you can also operate from a strength, e.g. “Only 5 places left for this course”. If you must give away something, give away something else than your core product. This can actually improve the brand, rather than erode it (see figure 14 from ’The Long & Short of it’).

  • If you must discount, offer it to groups that need it and can grow into full-paying customers, such as students (such as Apple is doing).

The reason why brands fail is rarely about lack of discounting. Mobike, Ofo, Toys R Us, Borders, Blockbuster, Thomas Cook, and Hummer didn’t fail because they weren’t cheap enough, but rather that they didn’t offer anymore what the customers wanted, and somebody else offered it better. Discounting wouldn’t have saved them, and to have relied on it instead of saving their business is just lazy.

Brands may succeed on low pricing, but it’s very rare. When brands fail, when customers don’t want to buy your product, it’s rarely because of pricing alone. The advice on discounting is: Set your normal pricing right, and just don’t discount.



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Top 5 Video Marketers on YouTube - BuzzSumo Influencers
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Top 5 Video Marketers on YouTube – BuzzSumo Influencers


5. Neil Patel

It’s hardly surprising that this marketing mogul clocked up 547K subscribers, considering he’s a New York Times best selling author, the WSJ named him a top influencer on the web, Forbes named him in a top 10 marketers, and Entrepreneur Magazine said he created one of the 100 most brilliant companies.

If that’s not enough, he was recognized as a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30 by President Obama and a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 35 by the United Nations.

The hustle – and passion – with Patel is real. Which is probably why 547K people subscribe to his channel and an impressive 22.1M people have viewed his uploaded videos.

He does this with an intense publication rate, which keeps his audience coming back for more and sharing with their friends. He also keeps to a short and sweet runtime so you can get your knowledge fast.



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