As marketers, we’re both busy and bombarded by lots of content. Every day. To the point that it is overwhelming and hard to tell the difference between blog posts that are truly helpful and those that are mere fluff. That’s why I’ve created the Dijital Farm Marketing Roundup. I like to read marketing content. And each week, I identify the five posts that are helpful to me. The purpose of this post is to share those marketing blog posts I believe marketers need to read. Consider this a “Cliff Notes” look at the world of marketing content. I hope you find this roundup helpful. And, if you have a suggestion of something you think I should consider, tweet it to me and perhaps I’ll drop it in as part of a future post!

With that said, enjoy the reading and happy marketing!

1. 10 Killer Social Media Advertising Hacks for Content Marketers by Larry Kim of WordStream

Categories: social media, content marketing, lead generation

The mantra of digital marketing for the past few years has been content marketing. Create great content— so the thinking goes— and you’ll connect with your audience. Well, not exactly. In this post, Larry Kim reminds us that distribution is the key that makes content marketing work (assuming you have good to great content already). Larry walks marketers through 10 “hacks” he uses in the social media advertising space to generate traffic and drive engagement. Among the hacks he discusses in the post are improving the social equivalent of quality score, making use of audience targeting and remarking, and promoting “unicorn” content.

Key takeaway: Many marketers will find some of the hacks to be practices they already have in place, but Larry provides examples from his own work to back them up. 

2. Six Ways to Reduce Bot Influence on Your Marketing Analytics by Deren Baker of Jumpshot

Categories: analytics

Do you know how much traffic to your website comes from “non-human” sources? Deren Baker cites a study that says about 48% of all traffic to websites in the first quarter of 2016 came from non-human (bot) sources. And, as Deren reminds us, bot traffic not only skews your data, it can also bog down your site by chewing up bandwidth and causing pages to load slowly, which, in turn, causes visitors to abandon your site. So, what can marketers do about this problem? Deren cites six tactics you can employ within your analytics operations such as limiting the ability of bots to get in/move around your site, being able to identify bot traffic and block/filter it from your analytics solutions, shifting away from reliance on 3rd party data as part of any paid advertising campaigns and making use of human data sets.

Key takeaway: At a minimum, this post exposes marketers to the idea that their data may not be as pure and clean as they believe it to be and provides some direction on what they can do about it.

3. When Agile Marketing Goes Overboard – and How to Reel it In by Lauren Socio of Skyword

Categories: Agile Marketing

Agile Marketing is a very popular and hot concept among marketers today. (Side note: I teach a class on Agile Marketing to help marketing teams get up and running with the Agile framework). In this post, Lauren Socio takes us inside her personal journey to implement Agile at her company, Skyward. One of the best things about this post is that she is refreshingly honest about her experience. While the promise of Agile is alluring, she found that she quickly got caught up in the search for the perfect tools that would allow her team to work in an Agile way. And as a result, they got bogged down. Common complaints were that not everyone was on the same platform, some didn’t want to adopt the selected platform and they simple weren’t as flexible as she had hoped they would be. In the end, Lauren took her journey in a different direction: she tried to simplify the process and merely focus on the objectives they were after in their work.

Key takeaway: Agile Marketing is not about the tools. It’s about the mindset. Don’t let the tools get in the way of the work.

4. Seven eCommerce SEO Trends We’re Seeing in 2016 by Jayson DeMers of Audience Bloom

Categories: SEO, eCommerce

In his post, Jayson DeMers notes that eCommerce is one of the sectors that can benefit the most from SEO. But SEO for eCommerce has a few specific concerns that make it different from traditional SEO for a standard website. Jayson points out 7 trends he’s observed this year that are impacting SEO for eCommerce, including the importance of long-form content, making sure your products are sharable on social media as part of the checkout process, including video content with your products and recognizing the critical role that digital assistants and voice search are playing in how people find the products they are looking for today. One interesting item he advocates for is to encourage eCommerce companies, even if they focus on a global scale, to incorporate local SEO as a part of their strategy.

Key takeaway: the world of SEO is ever evolving and it can quickly impact the organic performance of your eCommerce website. You must adapt your SEO strategy to incorporate these trends or risk being left behind.

5. What You Should Expect From Expanded Text Ads by Diane Anselmo of Hanapin Marketing

Categories: PPC

The world of paid-search has undergone a bit of transformation since the beginning of 2016. Starting with the removal of right-rail ads in Google search in February, Google set in motion a chain of events that is providing more control to paid-search marketers. In this post, Diane Anselmo focuses on one of the most recent changes Google announced for the AdWords platform: expanded text ads. As Diane outlines, marketers will now have expanded real estate to work with in both the headline and body copy sections. But what does this really mean for marketers? As Diane notes, Google’s own data from the testing of the new ad format has shown a 20% increase in the click-thru rate (CTR). Additionally, she expects it to be easier for marketers to create compelling copy since they no longer have to squeeze copy into such a small area.

Key takeaway: be on the lookout for the introduction of the expanded text ads within AdWords and monitor the impact the new format has on CTR.

* photo courtesy of Jeremy Brooks on Flickr. This photo used with permission under the Creative Commons license. This photo has not been modified or adapted for this publication.

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