Digital Marketing News: Record Influencer Spending, Google’s Gmail Shopping Ads, Pinterest’s Verified Merchant Program, & Twitter Engagement Stats

2020 February 14 MarketingCharts Chart

Facebook Adds ‘One-Time Notification’ API to Messenger for Business
Facebook has given marketers new options for contacting consumers who have agreed to notifications, with the release of an API token system that will enable expanded brand-to-customer contact choices, the social media giant recently announced. Social Media Today

Twitter says ad tech and product updates will improve direct response advertising
Twitter saw fourth quarter advertising revenues climb by some 12 percent to $885 million, with monetizable daily active users (mDAUs) up 21 percent to 152 million, and pointed to several updates that it expects to continue bringing better direct-response ad revenue, the firm recently reported. Marketing Land

Top Twitter Stats for 2020 [Infographic]
Twitter’s ad engagement rates rose by 23 percent, with video ads on the platform coming in some 50 percent cheaper in cost-per-engagement, two of many statistics of interest to digital marketers contained in recent Hootsuite infographic data. Social Media Today

Facebook Is Killing Off Its Web Supply In Audience Network – And Don’t Be Surprised If It All Shuts Down
Facebook has announced that it is phasing out mobile web publishers in its Audience Network. Shuttering one of its low-performing formats may have been driven by the shift away from browser cookies, as Facebook and other social platforms look to alternate forms of ad tracking. AdExchanger

Pinterest shares surge as revenue, user adds beat estimates
Pinterest announced fourth-quarter revenue increases up 46 percent to $400 million and an accompanying 26 percent increase in monthly active users, as the image-focused platform also announced plans to launch its own Verified Merchant Program. Reuters

New Research Shows Facebook Still Holds Sway With Millennials and Gen Z [Infographic]
Facebook has remained the most popular social platform among Millennials, with some 77 percent using it daily, while 64 percent of the demographic have their purchasing behavior influencer by the YouTube influencers they follow — two of several statistics of interest to digital marketers in newly-released survey data. Social Media Today

 February 14 Statistics Image

Google is Expanding Shopping Ads to Gmail
Google announced that it plans to offer a new variety of ads targeting Gmail users. Beginning March 4, Google’s Product and Showcase Shopping ads will get the ability to run on Gmail, the search giant recently revealed. Search Engine Journal

56% of marketers think AI will negatively impact branding in 2020, study says
The effect artificial intelligence (AI) has on branding is largely seen in a negative light, with 56 percent of marketers expressing fear that the technology could lead to the loss of jobs and lower creativity, while an even higher number — 77 percent — also expressed at least some level of concern over the use of AI with branding efforts. Marketing Dive

Instagram Adds New Listings of ‘Least Interacted With’ and ‘Most Shown in Feed’ in Following Tab
Instagram’s “following” section received a new listing that shows those accounts a user interacts with the least, the Facebook-owned platform recently announced. The new interaction data could help digital marketers discover those users prime for increased engagement efforts. Social Media Today

US Online Media Spend in 2019 and the Outlook for 2020
Continuing on from a strong 2019 online media spend of $145.3 billion in the U.S., 2020 is expected to top $166 billion, an increase of more than 14 percent, along with a record $3.4 billion for influencer spending, according to new forecast report data from MarketingCharts. MarketingCharts


2020 February 14 Marketoonist Comic

A lighthearted look at 7 types of LinkedIn requests by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist

The 10 Best Super Bowl Ads of 2020 — Adweek


  • Nick Nelson — What’s Trending: It’s the Thought that Counts — LinkedIn (client)
  • Lee Odden — How To Curate Social Media Content Like A Professional — Three Girls Media
  • Lee Odden — Best Practices for Buyer Personas, Influencer Marketing, and Demand Generation in 2020: Key Takeaways from the Digital Branding Summit — Webbiquity
  • TopRank Marketing — 30 B2B Content Marketing Statistics Everyone Needs to Know — Trade Press Services

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

Thank you for taking the time to join us, and we hope you will return again next week for another selection of the most relevant B2B and digital marketing industry news. In the meantime, you can follow us at @toprank on Twitter for even more timely daily news. Also, don’t miss the full video summary on our TopRank Marketing TV YouTube Channel.

5 Ways to Humanize B2B Content Marketing

Humanizing B2B Content Father and Son Cooking Together Image

“You’ve really got to put yourself out there. Don’t be too stiff.”

“Be honest and sincere!”

“Be vulnerable and relatable… and it doesn’t hurt if you can make ‘em laugh.”

Is this advice for a middle-aged man trying online dating for the first time? Or is it advice for B2B marketers?

Given the proximity to Valentine’s Day, can’t it be both?

The point is, as good as this advice may be for marketers, it’s as vague as it is omnipresent. We talk about “person-to-person” marketing and “humanizing the brand.” But what does it really mean to humanize a brand? 

Michelin Men Original Costumes

Yes, these were the original Michelin Tire mascots.

In some cases, apparently, it means high-octane nightmare fuel. So, maybe don’t try and make an adorable mascot for your software-as-a-service solution.

Here are some better ways to “humanize” your B2B content.

5 Ways to Humanize B2B Content Marketing

It can be hard to bring out the humanity in B2B content, especially when your product is intangible. Not many folks feel a warm sense of empathy with a cloud-based data solution. You can’t take adorable Instagram photos of happy customers cuddling with your supply chain logistics platform. That just means that B2B content marketers have to be more creative than even our B2C counterparts. 

Get Real about Personalization

We all know there’s a fine line between being personal and being overly familiar. But we have to find that sweet spot between, “Hi, [firstname]” and “Hey Bob Johnson, 42, who ate a hamburger for lunch, how was your recent prostate exam?”

For B2B marketers, think more about smarter segmentation and less about personalizing on the individual level. As Ardath Albee (persona expert extraordinaire) puts it, “In B2B, we don’t need to know their shoe size and we don’t need to talk about their gender. We don’t need to know they live in the suburbs and have a wife, two kids, and a dog, and they drive a red Corvette.”

What we do need to know are the general challenges and aspirations people with a specific job title in a specific industry might have in common. Then we can customize content to suit their job-related needs — even the ones that don’t relate directly to the product. 

Find the Emotional Core

It’s hard to imagine someone getting emotional about a B2B product — jumping up and down with excitement, wiping away tears, or eagerly unboxing the latest model. For B2C, the product itself might inspire these emotions. For B2B, the emotion comes in at a different angle.

It’s not about the solution itself — the emotion comes from what the solution can do. For example, the product may be a software solution that enables automation. The emotion comes from an employee who is able to finally leave work on time to be at home with their family. 

Or it’s the thrill of earning a promotion with the help of a new analytics tool. Or the intertwined hope and anxiety of starting your own business, using a web hosting platform to launch your first site. 

“Find the emotional stories that your solution makes possible, and make them the star of your content.” @Nitewrites Click To Tweet

Design a Content Experience

We know that valuable, best-answer content is the minimum for reaching an audience. That’s the new table stakes. 

But B2B marketers are frequently accustomed to no-frills, straightforward presentation for all that thoughtful content. It’s called a white paper, after all, not a plaid paper. But when we’re thoughtful about the content experience, we can show off the brand’s creativity and personality, while at the same time showing respect for the audience.

Think about turning a long-scrolling asset into a beautiful and unique interactive experience. Or that series of interview posts into a long-form video series. Content experience is all about telling your audience, “Hey, we know that people need to be entertained. We’re people, too! So we made this not only useful, but also beautiful to look at and fun to play around with.” 

Earn Trust By Asking for Help

I know, it’s tempting to present your brand as the alpha and omega, be-all and end-all source of all knowledge. If your wisdom isn’t absolute, why would people trust you as an authority? But the truth is, humility builds credibility more than the most dazzling display of knowledge does. 

It’s called the Ben Franklin effect: When you help someone, you tend to like them — even more than if they helped you. So, give your audience an opportunity to help you out.

 Ask questions that you genuinely want to hear answers to. Engage with their responses, ask more, let their expertise drive an ongoing conversation. This type of engagement accomplishes multiple goals:

  • Your audience gets to show off their expertise
  • Even those who don’t participate can now see themselves in your content
  • Your brand becomes relatable and interactive
  • You might actually learn something that can drive your next big idea

Involve More Actual Humans in Content

Brands don’t create content; people do. But frequently we hide the human content creators behind the monolith of the brand. If we’re trying to connect with people on a personal level, we’ve got to let the people shine through.

That means giving employees and executives alike a voice in your content. But don’t stop there: Feature your customers and prospects, too. 

Think about including influencers in your content as well, and not just as a one-off. Yet another of the endless perks of influencer marketing is that humanization of your brand. Influencers add credibility and prestige to content, but don’t overlook how they add personality, humor, and humanity, too.

Embrace Your Human Side

As a creative writer with a weird sense of humor, I’m incredibly lucky to be in marketing right now. Just a decade ago, B2B marketing would have driven me insane by my third dry-as-dust eBook. There’s only so many times you can write about “utilizing and leveraging synergy” in third-person passive voice before the gears start to slip.

Fortunately, B2B content marketing has finally caught up with B2C in terms of creativity, emotional import, and essential humanity. We have “permission” to do it right — so what are we waiting for?

Humanize your brand with some great influencer content this year: Here are 25 ideas to get you started.

Employers want Cisco-certified pros. You can get that training for only $27

TLDR: The Ultimate Cisco Networking Expert Certification Training Bundle can teach you everything to know about running complex networks with the world’s most popular Cisco tech.

If you had any doubt about the position Cisco holds as the worldwide leader in networking hardware and technology, consider this stat from Global Knowledge’s 2019 IT Skills and Salary Report: one-third of North American IT professionals said they expect Cisco — not networking in general, but Cisco tech specifically — to be an emphasis for their organization in the next year.

And with salary figures of over $100,000 a year for Cisco-certified security, routing and switching, and design associates, employers also recognize the importance of Cisco-trained personnel in their organizations. Right now, you can get that elite-level instruction with The Ultimate Cisco Networking Expert Certification Training Bundle, just $26.35, over 90 percent off, from TNW Deals with promo code “PRESIDENT15” during this weekend. 

The package includes eight courses that can help you get ready to take and pass some of Cisco’s most important certification exams and add that powerful resume point to your next job interview.

Three courses — Cisco New CCNA CCENT / ICND1 Complete Course, Cisco CCNA IPv4 Course, and Cisco New CCNA R/S Complete Course — get students up to speed on all the basics, from TCP/IP networking to managing and securing a Cisco network, as well as integrating outside devices into that network. Armed with this knowledge, students can take Cisco’s new CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) exam, completely overhauled and streamlining several topics into one comprehensive and powerful new certification.

Meanwhile, the CCNP ROUTE, Cisco CCNP T-Shoot Complete Course and MPLS Fundamentals: Cisco CCNP & Real World help learners tackling the more advanced CCNP (Cisco Certified Network Professional) qualifications, like having a deeper understanding of high level routing WANs and LANs, security configurations, filter routes and more.

You’ll also get the Cisco EIGRP Comprehensive Labs Course, an introduction to Cisco’s proprietary routing protocol; and the Convert Hex to Decimal in Under 30 Seconds training.

A $1,405 value, the entire collection is available now for only $27, less than $4 per course with limited time promo code “PRESIDENT15.”

Prices are subject to change.

Save big on these online courses during President’s Day weekend

TLDR: From Python to project management, from SEO to the cloud, check out these four Presidents’ Day course packages that can change your career trajectory.

Mattress sales. Auto sales. And every big retailer from Walmart, Costco and Target are selling like crazy too. Presidents’ Day brings out all the consumer heavy hitters to try and entice you to purchase with big percentages off any item you want.

But rather than stocking up on stuff over the holiday weekend, how about this for an idea? Use this opportunity to invest in you. 

Right now, check out these four online training packages that’ll expand your skill sets, make you a more marketable professional and even just a more well-rounded person. The fact that they’re at least $1,800 off their regular price is just a fantastic side-benefit.  

Go forth…and do you.

The Complete 2020 Python Programming Certification Bundle – $42.49 (Orig. $2,385) with promo code: PRESIDENT15

With deep ties in data analysis and machine learning, Python programming has almost become the coder’s premier entryway to coding in recent years — so this 12-course package can get you entirely up to speed on all the advantages of this user-friendly language. From the basic operations of Python through to advanced training, from 100 different Python tasks to boost your skills to 10 real-world Python apps that actually work, you’ll go from fresh newbie to battle-hardened vet at light speed. 

If you want a programming job, this is fundamental training. If not, it’s still amazingly useful.

The Premium 2020 Project & Quality Management Certification Bundle – $39.09 (Orig. $2,699) with promo code: PRESIDENT15

120-plus hours. That’s a daunting number, but if you commit to all the secrets at the heart of this massive 11-course collection, there won’t be an approach to effective project management that will be beyond you. These courses take students through the basic tenets of all the major methodologies — including, Agile, PMP, Scrum, Six Sigma and more — and introduce you to the pluses and minuses of applying each to your big-picture projects. Experienced project managers can reach six-figure salaries quickly — and this training can put you on the fast track.

The Pro Google SEO & SERP Certification Bundle – $24.65 (Orig. $2,000) with promo code: PRESIDENT15

If you want to be the person who doesn’t ask how to attract online audiences, but actually knows the answer, this 10-course package can show you the way. Covering search engine optimization (SEO), backlinking, Amazon sales tactics and the even the foundations of all effective digital marketing, this collection holds the key to the proven steps for reaching people online, then turning those contacts into customers. Even if you aren’t a marketing or sales professional, this is fundamental digital knowledge that can help elevate anyone’s skill set.

The Complete 2020 Microsoft Azure Certification Prep Bundle – $33.15 (Orig. $1,839.99) with promo code: PRESIDENT15

Microsoft Azure is one of the biggest online cloud services platform in the world — and with this 10-course collection, you’ll know how to implement, manage and grow an Azure-based network from all sides. In addition to training that can help you earn major Azure certifications, this coursework also takes students through critical data analysis and analytics work that any IT pro needs to know.  The future is the cloud. And with training like this, that’ll be where your skills live.

Prices are subject to change.

AUTOCONTROL – Cómo Tener FUERZA de VOLUNTAD y Controlar tus EMOCIONES con PACIENCIA en 3 Pasos

AUTOCONTROL - Cómo Tener FUERZA de VOLUNTAD y Controlar tus EMOCIONES con PACIENCIA en 3 Pasos

El autocontrol (la fuerza de voluntad) es una habilidad esencial en distintas áreas de nuestra vida. ¿Te gustaría mantener la atención, la claridad y la tranquilidad en una tarea a pesar de la presencia de estímulos complejos que tengan el potencial de perturbar tu estabilidad mental? En este corto-documental, hallarás la respuesta a esas preguntas y a muchas más. ¡Espero que lo disfrutes mucho!
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🔎 Artículos utilizados.

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