2021 December 31 McKinsey Chart

2021 December 31 McKinsey Chart

Fiddling With First-Party: B2B Firms Face Corporate And Data Integration Hurdles
41 percent of B2B brands have said they use first-party data for marketing segmentation, while 37 percent use it for sales outreach, and 36 percent for advertising and analytics — one of several findings of interest to B2B marketers contained in recently-released Dun & Bradstreet study data. MediaPost

Oracle to Buy Cerner in $28B Health Care Play
Oracle has announced that it will acquire medical records firm Cerner for some $28.3 billion, a move that will bring a vast expansion to Oracle’s health care segment and bolster the reach of both firms, following a similar move by Microsoft earlier this year, Oracle recently announced. CFO

B2B Tech Sector Will Decline In 2022, But Rebound In 2023: Study
The B2B technology category is forecast to see a two percent decrease in 2022 in the U.S., while accompanied by a three percent increase in overall sales placing the annual figure at some $106 billion, according to newly-released report data from the NPD Group. MediaPost

YouTube Adds New Updates to YouTube Studio App, Bringing it More Into Line with the Desktop Version
Google’s YouTube has rolled out new features to its mobile YouTube Studio app, which will bring B2B marketers the ability to perform more complex community comment filtering, along with several new analytics upgrades, YouTube recently announced. Social Media Today

Study: Brands Are Making Personalization A New Priority
During 2021 some 31 percent of brands said that they were able to personalize the majority of digital interactions, a figure that was up from 10 percent in 2020 — one of several statistics of interest to online marketers in recently-released survey data. MediaPost

[bctt tweet=”“You can’t solve personalization before you solve customer understanding.” — Tom Treanor @RtMixMktg” username=”toprank”]

PR Pros to Turn More to Social Engagement to Measure Efforts
60 percent of communications professionals have said that they plan to use social media engagement as a public relations (PR) metric in 2022, with 28 percent noting that they expect to report on consumer sentiment, according to newly-released survey data. MarketingCharts

2021 December 31 Statistics Image

Meta Unveils Future Ad Manager Updates Focusing On Outcomes
Facebook parent firm Meta has launched a new Outcome-Driven Ad Experiences (ODAX) feature, offering advertisers six primary objectives including awareness, traffic, engagement, app promotion, leads, and sales, in a program that could make its way to Facebook and Instagram in time, Meta recently announced. MediaPost

LinkedIn Launches New Campaign to Highlight the Importance of Representation in the Workplace
Microsoft-owned LinkedIn (client) has rolled out a new campaign focusing on efforts that highlight how professionals are shifting to expressing more of their authentic selves in today’s new hybrid and remote workplace environments, LinkedIn recently announced. Social Media Today

Brands That Make Life Simpler Score With Global Consumers
76 percent of global consumers have said that they’re more likely to recommend brands that deliver simple experiences, up from some 64 percent in 2018, according to newly-released survey data of interest to digital marketers. MediaPost

B2B buyers and sellers put digital commerce on a faster track
It’s not unusual for B2B customers to use 10 or more channels for interactions with suppliers, up from just five in 2016, while some two-thirds of B2B buyers are choosing either remote human interactions or digital self-service methods — two of numerous findings of interest to marketers contained in newly-released survey data of U.S. B2B decision makers. Digital Commerce 360

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

2021 December 31 Marketoonist Comic Image

A lighthearted look at the “definition of insanity” by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist

Ugly Sweater Party Winner Didn’t Realize That Was The Theme — The Hard Times

TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:

  • Lee Odden — Optimize for Search and for Trust [Video] — Oracle CX
  • Lee Odden — The Age of Authenticity — Arshiya Kapadia
  • Lee Odden — Ask the Experts: Trends to Grow Your Business [Podcast] — Pam Didner
  • Lee Odden — 12 Social Media Marketing Experts Share Their Best Advice — CocoFax
  • TopRank Marketing — How To Value Your Working Experience As A Freelance Event Planner — Event Planner News

Have you come across your own favorite B2B marketing news for the week? Please drop us a line in the comments below.

Thank you for taking the time to join us for this week’s TopRank Marketing B2B marketing news, and we hope you’ll come back again next Friday for another selection of the most relevant B2B and digital marketing industry news. In the meantime, you can follow us on our LinkedIn page, or at @toprank on Twitter for even more timely daily news.

The post B2B Marketing News: B2B Buyers Using More Channels, Brands Embrace Digital Personalization, & LinkedIn’s New Workplace Representation Efforts appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Want to jump straight to the answer? The best employee engagement software for most people is 15Five or Culture Amp.

Employee engagement software helps businesses measure employee satisfaction and gives employees a voice through a dedicated platform. This results in boosted productivity and improved retention rates.

Read on to discover the best employee engagement software for your business.

The Top 5 Best Employee Engagement Software

  • 15Five — The Best for Quick Check-Ins
  • Culture Amp — The Best for Managers
  • Kudos — The Best for Employee Recognition
  • Trakstar — The Best for Customization
  • Fortay — The Best for Analytics
How to choose the best employee engagement software. Quicksprout.com's methodology for reviewing employee engagement software.

Those are our top picks, so let’s get started.

15Five — The Best for Quick Check-Ins

  • Real-time feedback requests
  • Integrates with Jira, Slack, and MS Teams
  • Quick performance reviews
  • Free iOS/Android mobile app

Try for 14 days free

Sometimes long performance reviews aren’t the best choice for either managers or employees. After all, time is precious, and often quick check-ins are as good as getting the job done as anything else. 15Five is aware of this and offers short performance reviews that keep your employees happy and engaged. 

The software encourages frequent and fast check-ins of fifteen minutes that keep things rolling without the fuss you find on some other platforms.

15Five employee engagement software homepage.

You’ll find a range of tools that allow your team to achieve more, from real-time feedback requests to hashtags and high fives that you can give out on the platform to team members. You can set up 1-on-1s that detail objectives for the review and show employees their hard work isn’t going unnoticed. Check-ins are as straightforward as you need, with the ability to schedule or reschedule an event in mere seconds.

It’s worth mentioning the wealth of impressive integrations here, with the option to connect to Jira, Slack, BambooHR, Namely, Microsoft Teams, SCIM, SSO, and Workday without jumping through multiple hoops to do so. On top of that is a free mobile app with the same features as the desktop version—a welcome bonus.

Pricing is also available and comes in four main tiers:

15Five pricing page.

The main difference between these tiers is the available features. For example, you’ll have access to naming customization, Jira, and Salesforce integration on the Focus tier. That said, the first tier does give you enough to work with, and you’ll be able to upgrade the service as you go.

Even better, you can try out the software for free. A 14-day trial account is available with 15Five by simply filling in a quick form. 

Culture Amp — The Best for Managers

  • Ready-to-use surveys included
  • Turnover prediction reports
  • Powerful analytics
  • 30+ customizable templates

Request a free demo

Culture Amp lets managers conduct performance reviews and regularly keep up to date with how their employees feel.

The software offers a range of tools, from ready-to-use surveys to turnover prediction reports. The aim is to ensure that retention rates remain high, and ultimately, that employees remain happy to work for a company.

Culture Amp employee engagement software homepage.

A survey template library featuring over 30 customizable templates is available, allowing you to understand engagement, onboarding, and inclusion. The best bit is that you’ll be able to customize the surveys based on your needs. Want to find out how employees view the current leadership of the company? You can, and managers can quickly access the information when they need it.

You’ll be able to highlight people’s expertise in your company with badges that make them feel valued, and there’s powerful analytics available that predict turnover rates. On the latter, the software will let managers know who is at risk of leaving, why, and how you can work on winning them back. 

You can customize your reports how you wish, and the analytics feature intuitive heatmaps, trend lines, and more. It’s the complete solution.

Unfortunately, Culture Amp doesn’t list its prices, but you can reach out for a free demo today.

Kudos — The Best for Employee Recognition

  • Badges and certificates included
  • Customizable reward capabilities
  • Automatic emails for special events
  • Printable certificates available

Request a free demo

It’s critical for employees to feel recognized and respected at the company they work for—no matter the industry. Kudos solves this by allowing you to reward the best workers through a series of robust tools.

The software encourages peer-to-peer connection and reinforces positive behaviors through awards, badges, and certificates—these act as types of gamification features that recognize top talent at every stage.

For instance, each badge includes a printable certificate and publicity on the team’s wall for everyone to see, encouraging hard work and fostering a sense of ownership.

Kudos employee engagement software homepage.

We’re fans of the customizable emails that Kudos sends out to your employees on special occasions, such as birthdays and work anniversaries. These events get posted on the team wall allowing everyone to join in and wish their colleagues well—it’s a great little feature.

You can also record personal videos for your employees that celebrate their hard work and encourage the team to do the same. Customizable rewards are part of this, and you can send your best workers everything from digital gift cards to loyalty program rewards.

Kudos doesn’t provide its prices publicly, but you can get in touch to request a quote. A free demo is also available.

Trakstar — The Best for Customization

  • Personalized performance reviews
  • Automated email reminders
  • Simple and custom reports
  • Flexible workflows

Request a free demo

Great employee engagement software often features customization across its features, but Trakstar is the top choice for custom engagement and rewards. It lets you do what’s best for you and your team without being complicated.

Look at the performance reviews you can conduct through the platform, and you’ll find a world of customization awaits.

Trakstar employee engagement software homepage.

Every business will have different internal goals it wants to reach, and you can make these an integral part of the experience. You can add in goals and competencies related to a team member’s specific role and let them know when they achieved something directly on the platform.

You’ll be able to see outstanding review action items and send out handy automated email reminders to raters so that every employee gets the detailed evaluation and recognition they deserve. Custom reports allow you to make decisions based on your employees’ accomplishments, and you’ll be able to rate how well they’re doing quickly and easily.

You can tailor flexible workflows to fit your organization, giving you choices on how you want to review and reward performance.

Trakstar doesn’t list its prices, but you can sign up for a free live demo to see everything the software has to offer.

Fortay — The Best for Analytics

  • Detailed and attractive analytics
  • Fast real-time polls
  • Custom and simple questionnaires
  • Integrates with Slack

Request a free demo

A good set of data can be the difference between success and failure, so employee engagement software that offers detailed insights is a win for your company. Fortay provides attractive data in almost everything it does and encourages managers and employees to up their game.

For instance, with the software, you can hire employees based on their core values and measure this over time. You’ll be able to see what employees think about their daily work activities, the organizational structure they prefer, and what values they want to see be a crucial part of your company.

Fortay employee engagement software homepage.

Fortay displays the results to these questions with big and bold scores that let you know how compatible employees are with your company culture. A 96% match on values will be a good fit for your company, but the best thing is, you can see how this changes and adapt your strategy to keep your workers happy. Perhaps your employees want to see more recognition; if so, you’ll be able to get direct answers to this.

The software showcases how passionate employees are and lets them detail how valued they feel. These results are then displayed through the dashboard, boosting productivity and enabling you to keep your best workers satisfied and committed to the company. 

Other notable features of the software include Slack integration for central communications, custom questionnaires, and real-time polls.

Fortay comes in three distinct tiers:

Fortay pricing page.

None of the tiers offer prices, and you’ll have to request a quote for details. The main difference is the number of users, ranging from the first tier for small businesses to the enterprise-grade level for much larger ones.

A free demo of the software is also available, and you can sign up for it here.

How To Find the Best Employee Engagement Software

Deciding on the best employee engagement software isn’t always the easiest of processes. With such a variety of tools available, it can be hard to pick the right one for you.

The good news is the core features in most employee engagement software are broadly similar. Where they differ is in the tools and some of the engagement features they offer.

For instance, some software will intensely focus on the employee recognition side of things, while others will be more about feedback and how you can receive that. What this comes down to, in the end, will largely depend on your company’s area of focus. 

To make the process easier, we’ve detailed some of the critical areas to think about below.

Training Tools

Not all employee engagement software offers a comprehensive set of training tools, but we think it’s an important part of the package.

For larger organizations, certainly, knowledge retention is vital, so strong employee training tools are a must to keep things on track.

Great employee training tools will provide easily digestible information, segmented learning content, and gamification features to encourage participation.

Smaller businesses may need these tools less, but we still think they’re necessary for most companies.

Employee Recognition

One of the central elements of employee engagement software is the tools they offer for employee recognition.

Recognizing hard work and rewarding employees is a smart way to keep them happy and motivated. As you will have seen from our list, there are some compelling options here, from achievements to badges and video recognition itself.

How much you need these tools depends on personal preference, but smaller companies benefit from them the most.

Scalability

If your company has plans for the future, then the scalability of employee engagement software is an essential consideration.

When choosing a tool, it’s a good idea to check how easily the software would scale with your business plans and the extra costs involved to do so.

The ability to support secondary considerations, such as integrations and an increased number of users over time, are the areas you should look out for first and foremost.

Survey and Feedback Capability

It’s no good if you don’t know what your employees feel about their role in your company, and the best software will offer various feedback capabilities to find this out.

The ability to conduct surveys and collect feedback automatically is a real bonus and allows you to set goals, objectives and monitor the mood of your team over time.

We think most good software should have some form of feedback functionality, which will benefit companies of all shapes and sizes.

The Top Employee Engagement Software Summary

Employee engagement tools are more important than ever before. Today, if your employees aren’t happy, they won’t stick around. So retaining them and recognizing their work is essential.

The easiest way to measure engagement and monitor employee satisfaction is with employee engagement software. These tools help managers focus on employee recognition while giving their staff a voice to keep morale high.

Facebook Lead Ads: What They Are and How to Use Them

It has 2.89 billion monthly active users, a global presence, and a massive influence on consumer buying decisions.

What am I talking about? Facebook, of course!

Given its broad audience, marketers and businesses can’t afford to ignore Facebook if they want a fresh pool of prospects to target.

However, there’s another reason why you should use Facebook: they provide many innovative tools to help anyone drive more attention to their products and services by targeting specific audiences.

One of those tools is Facebook lead ads.

What Are Facebook Lead Ads?

Facebook lead ads allow marketers to generate leads on Facebook among users who might be looking to buy your product or services.

Rather than the traditional landing page, these ads keep users on social media while the prospect fills out a simple lead form with basic details such as their name, email address, and other contact information.

When a prospect completes an “Instant Form”, they get added to the company’s email list where they receive updates and offers (if you have an active mailing list).

Alternatively, you can customize Facebook Instant Forms—making it easier to target your audience (and filter out non-relevant customers).

With Facebook lead ads, you can choose from several campaign types, including:

  • demos
  • downloads, like PDFs
  • discounts
  • event advertising

Facebook users will then see lead ads in different site areas, including news feeds, Messenger, and even articles.

facebook-lead-ads-facebook-business-center

How Facebook Lead Ads Work

Facebook lead ads work in much the same way as other advertising. You can create your adverts by going to Facebook’s Ads Manager.

Once there, you establish your budget while adding your descriptions, images/videos, and other design elements for a successful ad. You can also customize your ad by using specified interests or demographics to target your ideal audience.

Ads then get shown in users’ feeds, where they can respond to your offer, helping your ability to generate more leads.

From a user’s perspective, Facebook Lead Ads don’t look different from other link ads. Once clicked, they take the Facebook user to a form rather than a website, like in the example below.

facebook-lead-ads-form-example

When creating the Facebook lead ad form, you get to decide what information you’d like to ask for. Aside from the pre-filled data, you can also select from a list of custom questions types such as:

  • multiple choice
  • short answer
  • store locator
  • conditional
  • appointment request

Benefits of Facebook Lead Ads

The most obvious benefit of Facebook lead ads is that they give prospects an easy way to provide their information—especially if you choose the pre-fill option—allowing you to collect leads in a more efficient and straightforward way.

As for marketer and small business owner benefits, you can customize questions for your forms, have a better chance at increasing conversions, and access a mix of new lead generation campaigns.

Some other significant benefits of Facebook lead ads are:

  1. targeted audience segmentation
  2. easy data collection
  3. mobile responsiveness
  4. a better understanding of your customers

As you can see, you’ve got plenty of reasons to explore these ads and get to know how they may work for you in your business.

Why Should Marketers and Small Businesses Use Facebook Lead Ads?

The reality is marketers and small business owners are busy and can’t be everywhere at once, even if you might want to be.

That means you need to focus your marketing efforts on maximizing success.

That’s why it makes sense to use tools like form-driven ads to capture leads efficiently and dynamically (without too much effort and time commitment on your part).

You can use Facebook lead ads in any number of ways, including:

  1. finding prospects for your products/services
  2. gathering subscriber details for newsletters
  3. gaining insights into consumers behaviors
  4. encouraging people to sign up for courses and events

Facebook Lead Ads Best Practices

There are plenty of ways to make the most of your Facebook lead ads. Let’s start with the basics.

A few best practices include:

  • ensure your ads are in line with your business goals
  • make sure your ad messaging is consistent with your brand
  • create a clear and effective call to action (CTA)
  • use CTAs that speak to your specific audience
  • keep the ads simple
  • spell out the benefits

Facebook has a heap of helpful suggestions too. These include:

  1. Decide on the right budget and use ad scheduling.
  2. Create lookalike audiences to help find your ideal customers.
  3. Reach previous prospects with the Engagement Custom Audience feature.
  4. Run ads on both Facebook and Instagram.
  5. Add an engaging image/video.

Just a quick note: it’s definitely worth reading up on Facebook-published articles for a wealth of tips on increasing conversions from Instant Forms.

Before moving on, here are a few more things to consider:

  • Find the right leads: By pairing Facebook lead ads with the platform’s audience selection and optimization tools, you can reach the right audience at the right time every time.
  • Ask the right questions: Only you know what information you’re looking for from your audience. Ask the most important questions up top to ensure that you get the information you’re angling for.
  • Integrate your CRM: Rather than losing your leads, you can integrate Facebook lead ads directly with your CRM, allowing your system to immediately reach out to interested parties.

Now you know what makes a great ad, let us look at some examples.

Examples of Great Facebook Lead Ads

Many brands in different niches are using Facebook lead ads to their advantage and, as you can see from the following examples, there’s a ton you can learn from them.

Let’s start with the Wealth Factory.

The Wealth Factory

Let’s face it. If someone is going to click on a link, they want to know what’s in it for them. When the benefits are clear, and they can see what they gain from clicking through, they are more likely to take that extra step.

facebook-lead-ads-Wealth-Factory

That’s what The Wealth Factory does so well with its Facebook lead ads. The free PDF details the IRS’s tax benefits and lists 32 jobs that your child can do to help you in your business.

As you can see from the ad, the benefits include a sizable tax-free income for your child and a tax deduction for you as a business owner.

To find out more, Facebook users complete the super-short form and click send. It doesn’t get much easier than that.

This is an approach you can adapt for your campaigns.

Make the benefits clear and bullet point them, so people see at a glance what they’re set to gain, and you can encourage Facebook users to click through with a clear CTA.

Boux Avenue

Another proven technique guaranteed to inspire consumers to spring into action is offering a discount. After all, who doesn’t love a bargain?

facebook-lead-ads-Boux-Avenue

That’s what Boux Avenue does with its Facebook lead ads form. Like the Wealth Factory, it’s very clear about the benefits of signing up (a 20 percent discount and a regular newsletter).

To make the decision even easier, Boux Avenue makes signing up a snap with pre-filled information and a CTA button.

Offering a discount is something most businesses can do, and by simplifying form completion, you’re increasing the chances of prospects clicking. Bear that in mind with your ads, and add a time limitation to discounts to create urgency.

How to Set Up Facebook Lead Ads

Creating Facebook lead ads involves some basic preparation.

First, Facebook advises businesses to familiarize themselves with the terms of service and its advertising policies. If you want to list some questions on your form, Facebook suggests you ask your legal team to look them over first.

Then there’s just one more bit of prep: you need the link for your privacy policy as it will appear on the form.

With all that done, you’re ready to start creating your first ad. It’s simple to do. Just follow these steps:

Creating a Successful Facebook Lead Ad

  1. Log into your Facebook business account and click on “Publishing Tools.”
  2. Go to the “Forms Library” on the left-hand side of the page and click.
  3. Next, click “+Create”.
  4. Select “New Form” or “Duplicate” if you already have a form.
  5. Go to the “Create Form” window and fill out the “Form Name” box.
  6. Now, go to the “Form Type” field and select which form you’d like. There are two choices: Selecting “More Volume” lets you make accessible fillable forms suitable for mobile users. While setting “Higher Intent” allows users to review and confirm their details first.
  7. Next, go to the “Intro” section and create an introduction screen. Facebook has details on how to complete this stage. Here, you can add your images, headlines, and descriptions about your products/services.
  8. Go to “Questions” and choose + “Add Question.” Facebook lets you list up to 15.
  9. Next, move to the “Prefill Questions Section.” Fill out the description and explain how you intend to use or share the information people give you. Remember, you can’t use the info you gather for any other purpose other than the one you state.
  10. Select any pre-filled information you want for your form. Select categories by clicking “+ Add Category.”
  11. Go to “Privacy” and include your link text and the URL to the “Privacy Policy” box. You can also add a custom disclaimer by clicking “+Add Custom Disclaimer.”
  12. Move to “Completion.” Put in your headline, descriptions, CTA button, and add a link. You can include up to 60 characters for Headlines and CTAs.
  13. Click on the arrows on the top of “Form Preview.”
  14. Select “Publish” or “Save Draft” if you want to edit later. Ensure all your details are as you want them because you cannot edit your Instant Form once you’ve published it.
  15. Choose “Boost” to send out your form as an ad. Select your image/video, text, audience, length of publication, and budget.
  16. Click “Promote.”
  17. Congratulations! You’ve just created your first Facebook lead ad.

Frequently Asked Questions About Facebook Lead Ads

How much do Facebook lead ads cost?

Compared to other platforms, Facebook ads are not wildly expensive. On average, Facebook advertising costs $0.97 per click and $7.19 per 1000 impressions. These low numbers make advertising on Facebook extremely attractive to marketers across industries, with over seven million advertisers actively trying to engage consumers on the platform.

What are dynamic Facebook lead ads?

Dynamic Facebook lead ads are a cost-effective way to create and test ad variations and choose which one performs best. They allow advertisers to show different offers, images, and CTAs to each individual. Dynamic Facebook lead ads offer greater personalization and let you create locally relevant ads to enhance lead quality and increase sales.

What is the format of Facebook lead ads?

Ads come in-text links and carousels, and appear on different areas of the site, like feeds. Users see them labeled as “sponsored.”

Are there any tools for testing Facebook lead ads?

Marketo has a Facebook lead ads testing tool for checking functionality and Hevo Data has a similar tool. You can also measure parameters by adding them to your lead form.

Don’t forget to do some A/B testing as well to see which ads work best for your ideal audience.

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Conclusion: Facebook Lead Ads

Facebook has a massive reach, which is why it makes sense for marketers and business owners to explore the available tools to get your products and services in front of a considerable audience. One of those tools is Facebook lead ads.

With the ability to create custom leads, Facebook lead ads provide significant advantages to advertisers.

Marketers can customize form fields, capture more prospect information, and target more relevant audiences while making the experience as simple as possible for users.

Aside from customization, Facebook lead ads offer many other advantages including increased conversions and getting a better understanding of your customers—making them an important part of any lead generation strategy.

Do you use Facebook lead ads? How are they working for you?

2022 will be another year of growth for streaming services, Smart TV adoption and ad-supported video on demand (AVOD). The CTV landscape will continue to mature with more advertisers, more viewers and more robust programmatic offerings and data partnerships.

More streaming

While growth for some subscription services slow down, like for Disney+, old standbys like Netflix see another surge. That’s because viewers bounce around to watch the latest hits, like Squid Game. And when streaming services land another hit, viewers are more likely to cut the cord from linear TV, and replace live TV content they used to watch on cable with OTT services like YouTube TV, fuboTV or Sling. And those are ad-supported, with ads frequently sold programmatically.

When ads are bought and sold programmatically, campaigns can be planned across other digital channels, and this is why programmatic buys are gaining a bigger slice of overall ad sales. In 2022, U.S. digital display ad spending through programmatic is projected to climb to $115 billion, or over 90% of digital display ad spending.

CTV and cross channel ad surge

“In addition to further adoption of CTV, we will see an uptick in cross channel media investments as consumer confidence grows along with CTV,” said Jon Schulz, CMO of advertising software company Viant Technology Inc.

In 2022, marketers will reach audiences who cut the cord by placing more ads through programmatic CTV. But they will also have to maintain some presence on linear, because the transition to digital TV isn’t complete. Instead, it’s a fragmented landscape that will influence how advertisers buy TV ads at this year’s Upfronts.

“TV viewership continues to skyrocket, with CTV at the forefront of that growth and consumer engagement,” said Iván Markman, Yahoo’s Chief Business Officer. “In 2022, brands will refine their strategies and unlock incremental linear reach with CTV spend. But with fragmentation across linear and CTV viewing, robust frequency management across both will be critical to the effective use of ad dollars.”

Activating more ads programmatically

Markman added, “The Upfronts have become more CTV-centric. And when it makes up a third of Upfront spend, it’s no longer experimental – it’s a mainstay. At the same time, the important task of eliminating overlap and excess household frequency will require advertisers to increase the sophistication of their CTV buys.”

This nuanced approach includes buying a higher percentage of CTV buys at Upfronts, but then activating more of the ads programmatically, he said. It will also lead to less programmatic guaranteed ad buys, and more bidding in private or open marketplaces.

“These changes will allow advertisers to more dynamically and granularly manage reach and frequency for their campaigns,” Markman stated. “As consumer behavior continues to shift at what seems to be an unattainable pace, marketers seek more agility and optimization.”

More real-time bidding

As things stand now, the majority of CTV ads are served through VAST, the standard developed by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) to show ads on a video player on laptop and desktop computers, as well as on mobile devices.

In the upcoming year, Open Real Time Bidding (oRTB) will gain momentum, as advertisers will be triggering more automatic bids to get even more relevant audiences for ads.

“By the end of 2022, I expect most programmatic bids to arrive at the ad server through oRTB and other advanced integrations,” said Matt McLeggon, Senior Vice President, Advanced Solutions for SSP Magnite. “This transformative development will unify decisioning across programmatic and traditional direct, unlocking increased efficiency and revenue, easing competitive separation and programmatic guaranteed execution, and accelerating the overall migration of CTV to programmatic.”

Live sports

It’s not just scripted TV hits that are attracting viewers to streaming services. More live sports will be headed to streaming as well. In 2022, for instance, Amazon Prime will be broadcasting Thursday Night Football exclusively. NBC, in turn, renewed its deal with the English Premier League, and will show many of those games on Peacock streaming.

These are “watershed” deals that will impact the entire TV landscape, according to Kevin Krim, CEO of ad measurement and analytics company EDO.

“Here’s what it means for advertisers: First, making increasingly complex investment decisions with confidence requires measuring across platforms consistently,” he said. “Second, since similar types of programming will be on myriad platforms, ‘linear vs. streaming’ will be a concept of the past. Investment choices will be between the immediate reach and impact of live event advertising versus the longer tail and finer targeting of ‘watch when you want’ programming.”

CTV has brought a lot of disruption to traditional TV viewing behavior, especially with hit shows being watched on-demand. Now the migration of live sports to streaming will create another wave of disruption. The viewers will still be viewing this popular content, but it will be up to advertisers and their adtech partners to determine where they’re watching it.

Read next: 2022 Predictions: Data strategy and privacy

The post 2022 Predictions: CTV and cross-channel advertising appeared first on MarTech.

Compare The Best Business Brokers

POSTED BY December 30, 2021

Want to jump straight to the answer? The best business broker for most people is Digital Exits or Woodbridge International.

Whether you’re an existing business owner that wants to sell your company or a savvy entrepreneur seeking the next investment opportunity, business brokers ensure you have the best possible experience throughout the transaction.

The best business brokers manage all the details, including business valuations, negotiations, ensuring confidentiality, and guaranteeing that all regulations are followed during the sale.

The Top 7 Best Business Brokers

How to choose the best business broker. Quicksprout.com's methodology for reviewing business brokers.

After extensive research, we’ve narrowed down the best seven business brokers on the market today. The in-depth reviews below will help you find the best business broker for your unique situation.

Digital Exits — Best For Buying and Selling Online Businesses

  • Over $35M sold last year
  • 94% closing rate
  • DFY marketing plans included
  • Over $600M buyer network

Request a free valuation

Founded in 2013, Digital Exits is a bit newer compared to some of the other business brokers on our list. 

But this brokerage is specifically designed for people interested in buying or selling an online business.

The firm boasts an impressive 94% closing rate. In the past twelve months, they’ve sold over $35 million in online businesses with an average deal price of $3.1 million. 

Digital Exits homepage.

I like Digital Exits because they go above and beyond brokering the deal. Once you come to them with an interest in selling your online business, they do everything in their power to ensure you get maximum value.

They prepare a marketing plan, executive summary for buyers, manage the deal flow, and line up multiple qualified buyers. 

The brokerage has a relationship with exclusive and private buyers with $668.27 million in cash ready for business acquisitions. Just fill out a quick form online to get a valuation for your website and online business. 

For those of you who are interested in buying an internet-based business, you can browse for listings on Digital Exits as well. You can even register for updates to get notified via email whenever a new business gets listed through this platform. 

Woodbridge International — Best For Creating High Demand and Multiple Bids

  • Over 25 years M&A experience
  • Proprietary time-sensitive auction process
  • DFY marketing video included
  • Network of 415,000+ buyers

Request a quote

Woodbridge International has been a leading firm in the mergers and acquisitions space since 1993. They have 19 global offices throughout the US, Canada, Mexico, India, Japan, Germany, Hong Kong, South Africa, and more.

This broker is made for people that want to sell their business for the highest possible value. 

Woodbridge International accomplishes this with a unique auction that establishes a closing date from the beginning. The way the auction gets run is designed to attract multiple buyers and create a bidding war for your business.

Woodbridge International homepage.

The entire process includes an underwriting period and a bid acceptance period as well. So not only can you sell your business for a high price, but you can close the deal quickly too. 

Woodbridge International helps you create a powerful marketing video that highlights your company to prospective buyers in the auction. They also have a proprietary network of 6,600+ private equity groups and 410,000+ strategic companies. This allows them to easily identify the greatest number of possible buyers for your company. 

If your company generates anywhere from $5 million to $200+ million in annual revenue, Woodbridge International can help you sell it for a high value. 

Peterson Acquisitions — Best For Fast Business Valuations

  • One-click 24-hour business valuations
  • 90% success rate
  • Works with any industry
  • Ranked #1 US Business Broker

Book a free discovery call

One of the hardest parts of selling a business is determining the value of your company. Underestimating and overestimating your company can equally lead to poor results during the selling process. 

Peterson Acquisitions simplifies things with its one-click business valuation form.

Peterson Acquisitions homepage.

Just head to the website and answer a handful of questions about your business, including:

  • Business type
  • When you want to sell
  • Sales
  • Cost of sales
  • Operating expenses
  • Amortization
  • Interest on loans
  • Current state of the business

It only takes a few minutes to fill out the form. Peterson Acquisitions will get back to you within 24 hours with a fair and accurate valuation. 

The firm boasts a 90% success rate, compared to the national average falling somewhere in the 11% to 25% range. This high success all starts with a fair valuation. 

If you spend some time on the Peterson Acquisitions website, you’ll see that they help businesses of all shapes and sizes across every possible industry. Here are a few recent sales to showcase the firm’s versatility:

  • Restaurant Chain — $6.8 million
  • Roofing & Siding Supply Business — $6.2 million
  • Utility Drilling & Boring Business — $3.8 million
  • Digital Marketing Agency — $1.8 million
  • HVAC Business — $420,000
  • Foundation Repair Contractor — $225,000 

Head to Peterson Acquisitions now to get an accurate valuation for your business in 24 hours.

Synergy Business Brokers — Best For Buying Industry-Specific Companies

  • Industry-specific search functions
  • Smart filters for custom searches
  • Complete prospect overviews included
  • Robust library of resources

Request a free consultation

Lots of business brokers are geared towards sellers. But Synergy Business Brokers puts equal emphasis on brokerage services for buyers.

While the company brokers business sales throughout the US, the majority of the deals come from businesses in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, South, and Midwest. 

As a prospective buyer, Synergy Business Brokers has everything you need to help narrow down your search. The website has a smart filter that allows you to search for businesses based on asking price, revenue, and net cash flow.

Synergy Business Brokers homepage.

You can search businesses for sale by industry as well, including:

  • Construction
  • Distribution
  • Engineering
  • Healthcare
  • Manufacturing
  • Services
  • Technology
  • Transportation

Narrow the search even more by inputting specific keywords or searching businesses for sale by location. 

Once you find a business that fits your search criteria and piques your interest, Synergy Business Brokers provides you with a complete overview of the company. You’ll learn more about the company’s history, operations, employees, customers, and the reason why it’s listed for sale.

Details of the business even include lease options, monthly rent, office or warehouse square footage, and much more. 

Synergy Business Brokers provides additional resources, help articles, and other tools to help buyers succeed with the search and purchase of another business. 

Transworld Business Advisors — Best For Buying a Franchise

  • 10,000+ businesses sold since 1980
  • Over 200 franchise opportunities
  • Custom franchising advice included
  • Over 600 brokers around the globe

Request a free franchise consultation

Transworld Business Advisors is one of the most reputable business brokers on the market. They’ve sold 10,000+ businesses over the past 40+ years. The firm has more than 600+ qualified brokers working from 250+ offices located throughout the globe. 

What really makes Transworld Business Advisors stand out compared to other business brokers is its franchise services.

The idea of buying a franchise is an appealing investment for many entrepreneurs. If you find yourself in this position but don’t know where to start your search, Transworld Business Advisors is perfect for your situation.

Transworld Business Advisors homepage.

They represent roughly 200 franchise opportunities across different industries and investment levels. 

To get started, they offer a free franchise consultation. During this process, they get to learn a bit more about you, your business background, hobbies, interests, and more. Using that background information, you’ll be presented with potential franchise opportunities that fit your criteria. 

Transworld Business Advisors does more than just broker the deal. They also offer continued consulting and due diligence. You’ll even have the opportunity to speak with the franchisors directly and ask them more questions about the business. 

Sunbelt Business Brokers — Best For Selling Companies With Low Annual Revenue

  • Will work with any size business
  • $50,000 minimum revenue
  • $50M+ maximum revenue
  • Experts since 1978

Schedule a consultation

Founded back in 1978, Sunbelt Business Brokers claims to have sold more businesses than anyone else in the world. They have solutions for buyers, sellers and work with companies across a wide range of industries. 

What makes Sunbelt Business Brokers unique compared to alternatives on the market is their willingness to work with businesses of all sizes.

Lots of brokers won’t work with companies unless the business does $1 million or $5 million, at minimum, in annual revenue. But Sunbelt will broker your deal as long as the business generates annual revenue of $50,000.

Sunbelt Business Brokers homepage.

This is an appealing option for smaller businesses and startups that want to exit early without having to put in more years until reaching a seven-figure revenue stream. 

Compared to other business brokers, Sunbelt probably has the most extensive list of industry expertise that we’ve seen. They facilitate business transitions in industries like:

  • Automotive
  • Communication and Media
  • Technology
  • Professional Services
  • Restaurants
  • Transportation
  • Convenience Stores
  • Entertainment and Leisure
  • Home and Garden
  • Pharmacy
  • Hotels
  • Retail
  • Day Care Services
  • Education
  • Real Estate

The list goes on and on. 

Sunbelt Business Brokers doesn’t just help small businesses either. They work with companies generating an annual revenue of $50+ million as well. So whether you’re small or large, Sunbelt will help get your business sold. 

Calhoun Companies — Best Business Broker For Commercial Real Estate

  • Over 100 years selling businesses
  • Massive individual attention from brokers
  • Commercial real estate specialties
  • No upfront seller fees

Schedule a consultation

Calhoun Companies is a pioneer in the business brokerage world. Founded in 1908, this firm has over 100 years of experience selling businesses.

Even with such a long history, the brokerage is relatively small. They only have 23 brokers on staff, and they close an average of 63 deals per year. So you know that you’ll be getting lots of attention from your broker throughout the process.

Calhoun Companies homepage.

In addition to traditional business brokerage services for buying and selling a business, Calhoun Companies stands out from the crowd with its experience in the commercial real estate space.

They provide an extensive range of services for buying, selling, and leasing commercial real estate through a vast professional network. Calhoun Companies helps sell retail space, commercial offices, and industrial properties.

Sales prices on the commercial real estate transactions brokered by Calhoun Companies fall in the $1 million to $50+ million range. 

Best of all, Calhoun Companies has zero upfront seller fees. So you can contact them today to get started without worrying about dipping into your wallet.

How to Find the Best Business Brokers For You

Business brokers assist in the purchase and sale of businesses. They typically work on commission, and lots of the firms you’ll find on the market will offer similar services. 

With that said, there are certain factors that should be taken into consideration as you’re comparing brokers side by side. This ensures that you’re working with a broker that can accommodate your specific needs.

Annual Revenue

If you’re selling a business, your company’s annual revenue will be one of the first questions on any valuation form. 

Some brokers impose minimum annual revenue streams for sellers. On the higher end, these can start around $1 million, $5 million, or even $10 million. So you’ll need to make sure your revenue qualifies for certain brokers to consider the deal. 

There are some business brokers out there that are willing to work with smaller companies generating less annual revenue. The lowest we’ve seen starts at $50,000 per year. You might have fewer options if your revenue is in this range, but the options still exist. 

Buying vs. Selling

Both buyers and sellers go through business brokers to facilitate big transactions. However, some brokerages tend to favor one group over another.

It should be fairly obvious when you land on a brokerage website to figure out if they’re trying to appeal more towards buyers or sellers. 

As a seller, you want to look for services that will help you get competing bids and maximize the sale value. Buyers should look for brokers with lots of businesses for sale at a fair price, with tools for narrowing the search. 

You can find some brokerage services with an even split between buyers and sellers, but most of them will lean one way over the other. 

Industry Expertise

Look for a business broker that has experience selling companies in your industry. They’ll have existing relationships with buyers and private equity groups that want to invest in specific spaces. 

If you can’t find some success stories and recent sales of businesses in your niche from a broker, then you should probably keep shopping around.

Examples of industries with specific needs include technology, online businesses, commercial real estate, restaurants, franchises, manufacturing, and more. 

The Top Business Brokers in Summary

Whether you’re looking to retire or start your next venture, it all begins with finding the right business broker. Digital Exits and Woodbridge International are our top recommendations. With potentially millions of dollars on the line, they’ll make sure to have your back during each step of the process.

In the year ahead, successful marketers will be using data to initiate more communications while respecting consumers’ privacy. In many cases, one of the most important messages the brand will be communicating is how they are honoring a commitment to privacy.

If a message is of real value to a consumer, however, it will be easy to tell based on the actions that follow from it. In 2022, the deep analytical dive will occur before those messages go out. These data insights will embolden the marketers who wield them, fueling a larger number of precise communications, many of them automated.

Proactive approach

In the new year, it won’t be a question of whether to communicate manually with customers one at a time, or to put your marketing efforts on autopilot. Instead, automation will be a must, and it will be driven by data analytics and AI.

“2022 will require brands to use AI and analytics to acquire insights and learn more about their customers before they even reach out,” said Andy Traba, Director of Product Marketing for cloud-based experience platform NICE CXone. 

Marketers will have to do their homework ahead of time (because, of course, if they don’t, their competitors will). They should be analyzing the data points that tell them what service or product their customer might be looking for and what the preferred channel is to reach out to them.

“[This] will be the driving force for brands to better control the conversation – and have more meaningful interactions outright,” said Traba. “And, in order to build trust, appreciation and loyalty, brands must move away from ‘spamming’ and use more proactive communication to add value. This will mean using automated systems like smart, proactive AI-driven conversational chatbots to guide users through searches and early troubleshooting.”

Team adjustments

This doesn’t mean that communications with customers will be completely automated. Instead, it will be more important than ever to have service reps and other brand personnel at the ready and skilled in using new CX software.

“Businesses understand the value of a positive customer experience in order to maintain brand loyalty,” said Traba. “Brands will tap into AI and analytics to guide employees during interactions and recommend next-best actions, as well as to automate the more basic tasks so agents can focus on providing better, more empathetic experiences. Brands will invest more in training for front line employees, using AI and analytics to ensure they are well-prepared to resolve even the most complex queries.”

Just as the pandemic became a global force fundamentally changing how customers interact digitally with brands, global forces are also affecting workers at all levels in the org.

“With the pandemic upending labor market dynamics leading Americans to early retirements, career changes and what’s currently known as ‘The Great Resignation,’ brands must evolve in order to hold onto workers in the face of an acute labor shortage,” said Traba.

Using data in real time

In assembling a team of front line customer service professionals and sales staff, brands don’t have to be flying blind. Data on staff interactions with customers, online or in-store, is an important layer that helps deliver better CX and customer messaging. 

And it’ll be in real-time, according to George Shaw, CEO and Founder of Pathr.ai, an AI-powered platform that provides insights into human behavior in physical spaces.

“Real-time human behavior analytics will help retailers achieve higher in-store sales through improved employee training,” Shaw said. “Real-time human behavior analytics in physical locations allows companies to address if staff is interacting effectively with customers. This could include anything from ensuring customers are being helped in a timely manner to making sure the proper number of cash registers are open and employees are focusing their efforts on high-margin items.”

Prioritizing first-party data

Google’s announced deprecation of third-party cookies rocked the boat enough in 2021 that marketers were left scrambling for alternative data sources to keep their future campaigns afloat.

“In 2022, the marketers who depend on third-party data, from cookies and other sources, will need to consider and prepare for the inevitable ‘death of the cookie,’” said Tracey Ryan O’Connor, Group Vice President at personalization technology company Qubit, which was recently acquired by AI-powered experience platform Coveo. “The retailers who prioritize first-party data sources from customer journey data, CRM platforms, POS systems, retail apps, affiliate marketing programs, etc. will be well-positioned. For the brands that use a mix of first-party and third-party data, they will face a myriad of challenges as they lose access to cookie data.”

Marketers will also find that “renting” data in expensive advertising environments like Facebook is more costly than building your own first-party customer data resources, according to Michael Osborne, President of messaging and notification engine Wunderkind.

“Take advantage of your brand’s own consumer data before turning to rented data (Google, FB Ads, etc), as this can be a more cost-effective and bespoke solution,” said Osborne. “Analyzing your own customers’ shopping habits and implementing it towards a greater purpose is the solution.”

More loyalty

One benefit of a more regulated exchange of data between consumers and marketers is that consumers feel like they will be in more control of their data. This, in turn, might lead to more confidence in sharing data with trusted brands. 2022 will be a pivotal year in this evolution.

“Loyalty programs will be in the 2022 spotlight,” said Nikki Baird, Vice President of Retail Innovation at retail technology provider Aptos. “This new take on loyalty won’t be the pay-for-data schemes of old. A term that we’ll hear more and more is ‘zero-party data.’ This is the information that consumers intentionally share with a retailer.” 

She added, “Armed with this insight into shoppers’ preferences, purchase intentions, and context, optimally, a retailer can deliver a better and more personalized experience. But retailers need to be mindful – when a shopper freely gives you their information, they expect you to put it to good use and provide value in return. 

‘Clean rooms’ and publisher data

Robust loyalty programs of the future will help marketers grow value from existing customers. To acquire new customers, the advertising ecosphere will have to be more data-driven than ever because of rising consumer expectations for relevant ads.

So, in 2022 this balancing act between harder-to-come-by data and relevant ad experiences will become more challenging, and the full value of data collaborations will manifest.

“As we face a cookie-less future, clean rooms will emerge as the answer to providing more advanced analysis around attribution and measurement,” said Libby Morgan, Senior Vice President, Chief Strategy Officer for IAB. “Clean rooms are where the walled gardens are able to share aggregated data with advertisers while still adhering to privacy laws and data restrictions. Whether used for transactional audience matching and segment building or for advancements in how data is shared, clean room solutions will continue to grow and mature as true cross-platform opportunities associated with the promise of ‘right ad at the right time’ continue to evolve.”

“One of the most promising solutions for a cookie-less future lies in publisher first-party data, and in 2022 I believe we will see an increase in its value to buyers,” said Ashley Wheeler, Vice President, Seller Accounts for independent SSP Magnite. “While the true value in publisher first-party data as a replacement to the third-party cookie lies in its ability to scale to the open marketplace, in the near term, I think buyers will start to increase their reliance on publisher first-party data and publishers will lean into first-party data as a key point of differentiation to drive revenue from the open marketplace into private marketplaces.”

“The future of data collaboration will rely on secure, data matching services that can allow agnostic collaboration and not require data to be moved,” said Kristen Williams, Magnite’s Senior Vice President, Strategy Partnerships. “There won’t be one solution that will provide the answers to all of the industry’s identity needs, so tools will need to be able to reach across service providers.”

Proactive accountability

The confidence that successful marketers take into their new data-backed communications with customers in 2022 will give them an edge against competitors. Being proactive about consumer privacy and data transparency will also help establish a trusting relationship that can only add to the marketers’ swagger.

“With all the news about protecting, and being transparent about consumer privacy, it only makes sense for consumers to want more clarity on how their data is being used,” said Shubham A. Mishra, CEO and Co-Founder of Pyxis One, a codeless AI infrastructure company. “More information on what consumers are saying ‘Yes’ to when they click on the ‘I Agree’ button of privacy policies is a huge potential story.”

Just as marketers bring more data into the fold for consumer messaging and staff support, they should expand the conversation around privacy. The more they know about how the customer feels on these issues, the more trust and loyalty they can earn in the coming year.

Read next: 2022 Predictions: Customer Experience & Digital Experience

The post 2022 Predictions: Data strategy and privacy appeared first on MarTech.

Multiracial professional B2B marketers faces collage image.

Multiracial professional B2B marketers faces collage image.

Search marketing has morphed and grown in numerous ways throughout 2021. At each of the shifts and changes in the search marketing landscape along the way, we’ve done our best to not only cover each twist and turn thoroughly, but to also offer insight and research-based strategy that will help B2B marketers meet the increasing challenges placed in front of us.

We’re fortunate to have a wealth of talented B2B marketing professionals contributing to the TopRank Marketing blog covering the state of search marketing — which will celebrate its 19th year in 2022.

To help our blog community grow its search marketing knowledge, we’re happy to offer our annual list of the most popular search marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) posts of 2021 we’ve published throughout the year.

Our Most Popular Search Marketing Posts in 2021:

1. 6 Timeless SEO Tips Content Marketers Can Do Now — Lee Odden

Timeless SEO Tips

How can content marketers improve their search visibility? The best SEO advice isn’t worth much if it’s never implemented.

In our most popular search marketing post of 2021, our CEO Lee Odden shared six timeless SEO tips that you can implement right now, including:

  • Avoid overuse of pronouns
  • Facts tell, stories sell
  • Links are like electricity
  • Be the best answer
  • Close the gap with an SEO audit
  • Always be optimizing

Check out all of Lee’s 2,600+ posts here, and follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

[bctt tweet=”“Strive to ‘be the best answer’ for what customers are looking for by creating content that is in-depth, engaging, and inspires deeper click-throughs into your site.” — Lee Odden @LeeOdden” username=”toprank”]

2. SEO Harmony: Why B2B Marketers Need To Integrate Search With Content Strategy — Lane R. Ellis

People pushing giant puzzle pieces together at sunset.

Why should B2B marketers should turn segmented SEO and content marketing efforts into an integrated strategy?

In the second most popular search marketing post of the year, I shared why uniting the two forms a more powerful and harmonious B2B marketing union, examining:

  • SEO Specialists Gain By Reaching Out To Content Teams
  • Audience Insights Benefit Both SEO & Content Marketing
  • Content Teams Thrive By Making SEO A Fundamental Concern
  • United SEO & Content Form A Powerful B2B Marketing Union

You can check out all of my posts here, and follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn.

[bctt tweet=”Marketers need to break free over the next 10 years by radically changing how they work with sales, stopping the baton hand-off model and moving much more of an integrated team. ” — Jon Miller @jonmiller” username=”toprank”]

3. Trust and the Search for Answers: How Influence Optimizes SEO Performance — Lee Odden

influence search optimization

How can B2B marketers optimize content for trust?

In the number three spot on our top search marketing posts of 2021 list, Lee shared how trusted content elevates the strength of brand search visibility, and why taking optimization to the next level creates even better customer experiences.

Lee shared fascinating and powerful ways to align your content, SEO and influencer engagement opportunities, including:

  • Identify experts creating on-topic content with great search visibility
  • Seek influencers with Knowledge Panels in Google
  • Evaluate influencer’s link attraction rates when they publish or contribute content
  • Provide influencers with SEO audits of their blogs so they can improve their search visibility

[bctt tweet=”“Creating best answer content means an approach to content marketing that involves aligning the best practices of SEO and content strategy with influencer marketing and employee advocacy.” — Lee Odden @LeeOdden” username=”toprank”]

4. What 5 Recent Search Marketing Changes Mean For B2B Marketers — Lane R. Ellis

Black woman marketer deep in thought image.

How can B2B marketers adapt to new changes in search engine marketing?

From Google’s “About This Result” and feedback features to its new Display & Video 360 data insights, Google Discover, TensorFlow ranking updates, and Bing search engine result page (SERP) chatbot and related-image features, in our fourth most popular search marketing post of 2021 I shared five recent changes, including:

  • Learning More With Google Discover
  • Google’s “About This Result” & Feedback Features
  • Display & Video 360 Bring New Google Data Insights
  • Google TensorFlow Ranking Updates
  • Bing’s New Chat & Related Image Features

[bctt tweet=”The biggest overarching trend in SEO in recent years which will undoubtedly continue in 2021 is the focus on E-A-T: expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. — Lily Ray @lilyraynyc” username=”toprank”]

5. Beyond SEO: B2B Content Optimization for Trust and Customer Experience — Lee Odden

B2B marketing optimization

How does B2B content optimization work to build greater trust and better customer experiences?

In the fifth most popular search marketing post of 2021, Lee shared how to take optimization beyond search and into customer experience with a more holistic B2B content strategy, including:

  • What Can Be Searched Can Be Optimized
  • Optimize For Customers
  • Optimize For Experiences
  • Great Content isn’t Great Unless it’s Findable and Credible
  • Go Holistic with B2B Content or Go Home

[bctt tweet=”“B2B marketers that do not consider creating credible content experiences after the sale are missing out on substantial opportunities to serve customers and subsequently, generate increased revenue.” — Lee Odden @LeeOdden” username=”toprank”]

6. Content Marketing Optimization Audits – Find Where SEO Can Boost Content Marketing Success — Lee Odden

Content Marketing Optimization Audits

How do SEO and content marketing strategy interact with one another in a cohesive way?

In our sixth most popular search marketing post of 2021, Lee walked us through the five fundamentals of SEO and audit reports to help you boost your content marketing success, including:

  • Keyword Research
  • Content Audits
  • Technical SEO Audits
  • Inbound and Internal Linking Audits
  • Social Media Audits

[bctt tweet=”“To understand where SEO can create performance optimization opportunities, it’s important to evaluate the current situation and uncover the gaps that represent opportunities for improvement through a series of audits.” @LeeOdden” username=”toprank”]

7. 5 Tips for Empowering Enterprise SEO Success — Lee Odden

Enterprise SEO

How can B2B marketers empower enterprise SEO?

From ongoing education and energizing advocates to marketing results and customizing communications, in our seventh most-read search marketing article of the year, Lee shares how, and why even the best SEO advice isn’t so great if it’s never implemented. Learn all five ways to empower SEO at enterprise companies, including:

  • Ongoing Education
  • Energize Advocates
  • Market Results
  • Be Available
  • Customize Communications for the Enterprise

[bctt tweet=”“Successful enterprise SEO projects require a unique combination of creative and mechanical SEO expertise as well as large company political savvy.” — Lee Odden @LeeOdden” username=”toprank”]

8. Optimizing Digital Assets: How B2B Marketers Can Combine the Best of External & Internal Search Findability — Lane R. Ellis

Professional black woman with digital assets collage image.

How can B2B marketers optimize a digital asset workflow that combines best practices for search findability both externally and within your business?

In our eighth most popular search marketing post of 2021, I shared how to bring it all together with a digital asset management (DAM) solution, including a look at the following key areas:

  • What Are Digital Assets In B2B Marketing
  • Better Search Findability Externally
  • Better Findability For Your Organization
  • Bringing It All Together With A Digital Asset Management Solution

[bctt tweet=”“The more complex your marketing strategies and organization are, the greater the benefits of digital asset management (DAM) will be, especially over time.” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis” username=”toprank”]

9. Autumn of Search: In-Person & Virtual SEO Events for B2B Marketers — Lane R. Ellis

B2B marketing conference attendees and speakers on stage image.

What are the top conferences and events B2B marketers should be considering for hybrid of in-person learning?

In the last decade alone the number of conferences has risen drastically, making it harder than ever to hone in on the ones that can best help build your business, boost your networking opportunities, and offer the most relevant new industry education from top speakers, especially in world of B2B search marketing.

These 19 hybrid and in-person B2B marketing conferences and events will help elevate and inform your search strategy. From #Pubcon & #SearchLove to #MozCon & more, in our ninth most popular search marketing article of 2021, I share them all.

[bctt tweet=”“We’re all the same size rectangle on the Zoom screen.” — Vanessa Colella of @Citi” username=”toprank”]

10. How Influencers & Best Answer Content Help B2B Marketers Dominate in Search — Lee Odden

Be the Best Answer with B2B Content

How can optimized best-answer content help B2B marketers dominate in search?

Rounding out our top ten list of search marketing posts for the year, Lee has shared the SEO value that influencers can bring to content marketing through expertise, authority and trust, including a helpful look at the following advantages B2B influencer marketing offers:

  • Industry experts can add credibility to brand content
  • Influencers can help lesser known B2B brands build their exposure and credibility in the marketplace more quickly
  • Trusted influencers can help B2B brands c0-create more authentic content that resonates with buyers
  • Influencer partners can help B2B brands create more content than they could on their own
  • Key opinion leaders can drive conversations about topics important to brands and their customers through content
  • Influencers can help create and promote brand content to new audiences that ignore traditional tactics like ads
  • B2B brands that develop relationships with the experts in the industry that customers listen to can realize important marketing objectives like increased advocacy for the brand and its solutions

[bctt tweet=”“Content is the reason search engines began and yet many B2B content marketers are not taking full advantage of opportunities to attract customers that are actively looking.” — Lee Odden @LeeOdden” username=”toprank”]

Thanks TopRank Marketing Readers

Thanks to each of you, our TopRank Marketing blog readers, for continuing to read and learn from us, including these top 10 search marketing posts of 2021.

We published dozens of posts this year specifically about search marketing, and plan to bring you even more in 2022, so stay tuned for a new year of the latest helpful search industry research and insight.

Please let us know which SEO-related topics and ideas you’d like to see us focus on for 2022 — we’d love to hear your suggestions. Feel free to leave those thoughts in the comments section below.

Many thanks to each of you who read our blog regularly, and to all of you who comment on and share our posts on the TopRank Marketing social media channels at Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

To learn more about the rising power of influence in B2B, watch our CEO Lee Odden in the comprehensive new webinar “How to Accelerate B2B Marketing Results by Working With Influencers,” and learn how to create greater content marketing impact with influence.

The post Best Of B2B Search Marketing: Optimize Your 2022 With Our Top 10 SEO Posts appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

4 Useful Google Podcasts Manager Features

What’s the hottest piece of content right now? Podcasts.

Currently, there are over two million podcasts and more than 48 million episodes waiting for your ears to devour. It’s incredible growth considering there were only 500,000 podcasts in 2018.

That’s not all.

There’s considerable brand awareness and buying power on podcasts. Fifty-four percent of podcast listeners are more likely to make a purchase after hearing an ad on a podcast.

With the number of listeners (and their money) on the table, it’s not surprising that Google has entered the chat. The search engine giant recently unveiled its Google Podcasts Manager platform.

If you’re a publisher, you definitely want to check it out.

What Is Google Podcasts Manager?

Google Podcasts Manager is a free tool for monitoring your podcasts on Google. All you need to sign up is a Google account and a podcast feed.

Once your profile is set up, you’ll have access to a publisher dashboard. Here, you can see valuable insights on how well your show is performing, including hard-to-find data like when listeners start and stop listening, the exact types of devices they use (e.g., mobile vs. speakers) and how listeners found your show.

Besides the dashboard, Google launched a Podcasts Manager forum for publishers. Here, you can connect with other podcasters to learn tips and tricks for optimizing your podcast for Google.

What Is Google Podcasts Manager

What Google Podcasts Manager Is Not

Google Podcasts Manager is not a podcast host, meaning you can’t record or post your podcast directly through this program. Instead, the Manager focuses on monitoring the success of your existing show.

Yes, most hosts monitor your analytics as well. However, Google Podcasts Manager gives a different, perhaps more in-depth view.

Many hosts allow you to submit your podcast to Google Podcasts directly, meaning it should still appear on Google searches. However, the Google Podcast Manager makes sure this happens and gives you details you wouldn’t otherwise see. 

Why Should You Use Google Podcasts Manager?

Not sure if this latest Google product is worth your time? Here are some of the top benefits of the Google Podcasts Manager that’ll change your mind:

The Potential Reach

Without a doubt, one of the top reasons to use Google Podcasts Manager is the potential reach and discoverability. As the largest search engine globally, there’s a good chance your ideal listener is only a search term away from finding your podcast.

While using your host to submit to Google should make you findable on Google search results already, using Google Podcasts Manager gives you details that could help you extend your reach on the search engine. The Manager can also give you an idea of how people find your podcast. 

(Note: This podcast has only recently been added to Google Podcast Manager, so things are still in flux. If you’ve been around for a while and see low numbers here, it may simply have not caught up with your history.)

The Analytical Data

No matter what type of business you’re running, analytics play a big part in your success. By scrutinizing your data, you can get a clear idea of what works.

When you sync your show to the Google Podcasts Manager, you’ll get insights on:

  • Audience retention: What percentage of your show is listened to?
  • Total listens: How many listens each show and segment receives?

While most podcast hosts give information on the number of downloads or retention, you may not be able to get more detailed information. For instance, “retention” often means how many people downloaded your podcast each week; the data doesn’t mean they listened.

What percentage of your show was listened to? Forget about it! That’s a rare insight.

You can see this show below has between 34 percent and 100 percent of its tracked episodes listened to.  

Why Should You Use Google Podcasts Manager - The Analytic Data

That’s only scratching the surface of what the tool offers to help you create a successful podcast.

It’s Free to Use

Google Podcasts Manager isn’t the first podcast analytics tool to hit the market, but it’s free, unlike some competitors. 

To be honest, podcasts can be expensive to run. This is true whether you run your own personal podcast or a show on behalf of a brand. We’ve talked about Come Alive Creative before, and we’re bringing them back to show how expensive this can be.

If you’re doing everything yourself, you lose a lot of time, even if you don’t use a lot of money. Nothing is $0 except for a few hosts—and their free tiers often don’t give a ton of data. For a personal podcast (prices go way up for professional ones), you may look at:

  • equipment cost: $2,000 (for high-quality equipment)
  • production and editing: Up to $799 between software and time
  • hosting: Free to over $100; free usually has few helpful details
  • marketing: Varies but can be extremely expensive
  • third-party assistance: Varies; may include other analytics sites, outsourced help, and more

You could spend thousands even if you do this entirely on your own!

This makes Google Podcasts Manager the perfect solution for publishers who want to cut down on some costs.

4 Google Podcasts Manager Features

Let’s take a deep dive into Google Podcasts Manager features and what makes this tool incredibly valuable for publishers.

Google Tweet About Google Podcasts Manager

1. Audience Insights 

Are you not seeing results with your podcast? Curious about how to replicate your one-hit-episode-wonder? The audience insights feature is where you’ll find all the juicy data.

You can see exactly which episode attracted someone from search and when they dropped off with a glance. 

That’s not all.

You can also see the exact search terms someone used to find your podcast. 

Talk about powerful stuff.

Podcast SEO is more important than ever before, and with Google rolling out this tool, it amplifies why you need to have control of what terms your content ranks for on the Internet.

Back to the analytics dashboard, you can jump between the different page views to see analytics on a show or episode level and gleam device breakdowns, play counts, retention by segment, and more.

Google Podcasts Manager Features - Audience Insights

Here’s a quick overview of the different page levels on Google Podcasts Manager:

  • show-level page: landing page for show-level analytics
  • show-level charts: charts for the number of times a user listens for at least five seconds each day and the total number of daily listens
  • episodes table: total number of meaningful plays per episode, total number of plays within the first 30 days, average percentage of the episode listened to, and average length of the episode streamed or downloaded

2. Update Podcast Information

Whether you’re a brand running a podcast or a solo creator, you may need to update your podcast down the line. 

While your podcast host can often update this automatically, this isn’t always the case, and some podcast apps and managers make you jump through a billion hoops to update your information. Google Podcasts Manager makes this process straightforward.

For example, you may need to change your RSS feed if you switch hosts, like this podcaster who went from Anchor to Podbean.

Google Podcasts Manager Features - Update Podcast Information

You can also request a recrawl of your feed to make sure all information is quickly updated after changing a logo or description.

Google Podcasts Manager Features - Update Podcast Information (request confirmation)

3. Get Your Podcast Indexed on Google 

If you want to get your podcast in search results, your podcast RSS feed and homepage need to be indexed by Google.

What does “indexed” mean?

It’s when the Google spiders have discovered your podcast show and episodes, processed the information, and stored it. Then, when someone searches for something related to your podcast topics, your episodes (if relevant) will appear in the search results.

The Google Podcasts Manager makes this whole process a breeze.

To check if your show is indexed, open Google Podcasts and search for your show.

Not there?

You can fix that with one of these methods:

  1. Check your show is published with your hosting service.
  2. Verify ownership with Google Podcasts Manager.
  3. Request indexing of your homepage and RSS feed via the Google Search Console.

Keep in mind, after submitting a successful indexing request, it can take up to one week for a podcast to be entirely manageable.

4. Manage Your Feeds With Google Podcasts Manager

Not every podcast has one RSS feed.

You might have feeds for different topics like personal development, true crime, or veganism.

You could have a second containing all your episodes or one with your latest episodes.

If you have multiple RSS feeds, you want Google Podcasts Manager to choose the best one to serve. By using the podcasting tool, you can let Google know which feed is the most representative of your show.

Alternatives to Google Podcasts Manager

Want some more options to play around with? Here are some of the best alternatives to Google Podcasts Manager.

Chartable

Chartable can find a lot of analytics for you, including the expected things like the number of downloads and how things have changed over time.

Alternatives to Google Podcasts Manager - Chartable
Alternatives to Google Podcasts Manager - Chartable Analytics

It can also show you how your show compares globally or locally compared to other podcasts attached to Chartable.

Alternatives to Google Podcasts Manager - Chartable is not free like google podcasts manager

However, you can also see that some of the valuable data isn’t available for free.  The level above is the free one; other options are Indie for $20 per month, which gives more detailed information but only holds data for up to a year, and Pro for $100 per month, which is comprehensive. They also offer an Enterprise level, which varies in cost.

Podtrac

Podtrac offers both analytics and advertising services. You can find a variety of analytics for free. Though their services appear to be pretty thorough, they work with a limited number of podcast hosting services. Podtrac’s analytics services are free.

Alternatives to Google Podcasts Manager - Podtrac

Backtracks

Backtracks offers many of the same features as Google Podcasts Manager, but it starts at $39 per month. 

Alternatives to Google Podcasts Manager - Backtracks

Your Podcast Host

Podcast hosts—where you upload and distribute your podcast—almost always include some kind of analytics. How much it costs and what type of analytics you get depends on your unique host and their pricing levels. 

A few of the most popular podcast hosts include Captivate, Buzzsprout, and Podbean.

How to Set Up a Google Podcasts Manager Account

Ready to set up your Google Podcasts Manager Account? Follow these steps, and you’ll have your show connected in a couple of minutes.

Step 1: Log into your Google account and go to the Add Feed homepage.

Step 2: Enter the RSS feed for your podcast. (Note: Your RSS feed may look different than this one.)

How to Set Up a Google Podcasts Manager Account - Enter RSS Feed

Step 3: Click on “Next Step” and confirm you’ve selected the right podcast.

How to Set Up a Google Podcasts Manager Account - Confirm Podcast

Step 4: Click on “Next Step” and request a verification code.

Step 5: Enter the code and verify your ownership. (This one already was registered with Google Podcasts Manager, which may be the case even if you don’t realize it!)

How to Set Up a Google Podcasts Manager Account - Verify Ownership

Once Google is sure you’re the podcast owner, you’ll have access to your dashboard and all the above features.

Where is your RSS feed? Unless you entirely run things by yourself, it’s somewhere on your podcast host. If you can’t find it, contact them to ask. Google Podcasts Manager does not create your RSS feed. 

Google Podcasts Manager Frequently Asked Questions

Is Google Podcasts Manager free to use?

Yes, Google Podcasts Manager is free to use. All you need is a Google account to sign up.

What kind of data can you get from Google Podcasts Manager?

You can get insights on audience retention, the total number of plays, segment retention, top Google search terms, and more.

Is Google Podcasts Manager hard to use?

No, Google Podcasts Manager is easy and straightforward to set up and use.

Is Google Podcasts Manager helpful?

Yes! It can give you valuable insights into what your audience likes and how you can create a better podcast.

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Conclusion: Google Podcasts Manager

There’s no denying Google’s relevance in the online space. It’s the biggest search engine globally, owns YouTube, and is now dipping its toes into the highly lucrative world of podcasting.

For publishers, this is good news. It allows you to monitor critical analytics and potentially improve your search engine rankings to grow your podcast.

With its in-depth insights and publishing tools, Google Podcasts Manager will help you understand what works, what has to go, and how to deliver the kind of content your audience wants to hear.

Are you using podcasts to reach a new audience for your business?

Compare The Best Training Software

POSTED BY December 29, 2021

Want to jump straight to the answer? The best training software for most people is Litmos or iSpring Learn.

Employee training software lets you monitor your employees as they progress through lessons. You can assign learning content on-demand and upload custom courses as well. All of this helps ensure your workers know exactly how to do their jobs.

The Top 5 Best Training Software

  • Litmos — The Best for Employee Accessibility
  • iSpring Learn — The Best for Developing Courses
  • TalentLMS — The Best for Gamified Learning
  • Raptivity — The Best for Interactive Training
  • LearnUpon — The Best for Customer Support
How to choose the best training software. Quicksprout.com's methodology for reviewing training software.

Now you know my top picks, let’s get started.

Litmos — The Best for Employee Accessibility

  • Built-in content authoring
  • Support for over 35 languages
  • User-friendly design
  • Automated course assignments

Try for 14 days free

SAP Litmos is the best training software for employee accessibility.

From motor dealers such as Arnold Clark to the leading dementia charity Alzheimer’s Society, SAP Litmos trains employees—of all skill levels—in customer-focused businesses day in, day out.

SAP Litmos homepage.

Litmos is a cloud-based learning management system (LMS) that lets you launch and track on-demand training sessions whenever you wish.

What stands out is the accessibility on offer with easy and automated user onboarding, the support for over 35 languages, and its suitability for learners of all different abilities and roles.

Its user-friendly nature backs this up, with a clear and simple visual design created for maximum use for as many different users as possible.

When you need to train up employees, the Litmos platform allows you to fully automate specific course assignments and quizzes to make sure learners receive their training and retain it.

You can even offer this training from another integrated environment like a CRM—a place they may well spend a great deal of time anyway.

That’s without mentioning customizable UI branding and dashboards, the built-in content authoring for bespoke courses, and the analytics that allow you to view exactly how each employee is doing with their training. There’s a lot on offer here.

Two key pricing packages are available for SAP Litmos: LMS Only and LMS + Courses. The first package includes the online course builder and content management system, including reporting and tracking, custom branding, and instructor-led training modules.

The second package includes all of that plus access to more than 2500 courses, videos, supplemental learning materials like infographics, and new courses added every month.

No prices are listed, and you’ll have to request a quote directly. A 14-day free trial helps to make up for this.

iSpring Learn — The Best for Developing Courses

  • Develop courses and quizzes
  • 14 question templates
  • Built-in video studio
  • 24/7 technical support

Try for 14 days free

iSpring Learn is the best training software for developing courses.

Specifically, it features a powerful course editor that allows you to create custom courses however you desire.

While other training software tools do allow you to create bespoke courses, iSpring Learn goes much further with its dedicated iSpring Suite.

iSpring Learn homepage.

iSpring Suite works within PowerPoint, and with it, you can quickly develop courses, quizzes, interactions, and even dialogue simulations for training. You can also add video narration to your courses and can shoot a screencast if required.

You’ll be able to publish your training from PowerPoint to your portal in a single click.

On top of that, iSpring Suite features 14 ready-to-go question templates, branching scenarios, feedback slides, and you can easily record video lectures and tutorials.

If you need to edit videos, you can do so with a built-in video studio, enhancing videos with music, effects, and text. You don’t need additional software to use any of these features.

The software enables a course developer with little to no experience to build high-end interactive eLearning, making it a great choice for all sorts of businesses.

iSpring offers its course developer via two main plans: iSpring Suite and the upgraded iSpring Suite Max. iSpring Suite costs $770 per author per year and includes the whole eLearning authoring experience but with no additional extras.

iSpring Suite Max costs $970 per author per year and includes the entire suite, along with 68,000 content templates, online space for teamwork, and 24/7 technical support.

Volume pricing exists for multiple authors:

iSpring Learn pricing page.

If you need a custom number of authors, you can contact iSpring for a personalized quote. A 14-day free trial is also available.

The top-notch iSpring Learn LMS itself includes at least one license for the iSpring Suite and prices itself based on an active-user pricing model:

iSpring Learn pricing page 2.

It costs $3.66 per active user per month for 100 users and costs $2.82 per user per month for 500 users. If you need more users, you can contact iSpring for a custom plan.

TalentLMS — The Best for Gamified Learning

  • Robust, customizable gamification settings
  • Intuitive content builder
  • Free plan available
  • Automate grading tasks

Try for free

Gamification is a popular part of training software as it encourages users to progress with their learning in a fun, game-like environment.

TalentLMS goes further than others in the market as it allows users to adjust and tweak the gamification settings directly.

TalentLMS homepage.

With the platform’s gamification engine, you can add gaming and other competition elements and configure them for specific scenarios.

For example, you may want to create hidden bonus content that only learners who have reached a certain level can access. It’s about providing additional content and rewards for those that have worked hard during their training.

You can take this further in the form of achievable points and badges to keep employees on track. Employees can view their achievements at any time to see how far they’ve progressed. There are even leaderboards to encourage some healthy and friendly competition among your trainees.

Outside of the gamification features is an intuitive content-builder that allows you to create courses in a few clicks, a dedicated certification management tool to provide accreditation as part of online training, and you can automate tasks such as grading tests and assignments.

TalentLMS gives you a choice when it comes to pricing. You’ll be able to choose between paying for the total number of registered users or active users per month instead.

It costs $59 per month for 40 registered learners and goes up to $429 per month for 1000.

If you want to pay by active users, 40 active users cost $129 a month, and a thousand active users come in at $479 per month.

TalentLMS also offers a free plan for five registered users and 10 courses on the learning portal—a great way to try before you buy.

Raptivity — The Best for Interactive Training

  • Visual microlearning activities
  • Compatible learning content
  • Advanced online training
  • Premium customer support

Try for 14 days free

Raptivity is the best training software for interactive learning.

It’s software designed for today’s learning preferences with visual interactions the core focus.

While TalentLMS boasts great gamification features, Raptivity is far more about making exercises as responsive as possible. There’s a keen emphasis on visual flair.

Raptivity homepage.

Microlearning experiences are the aim of the day that help train up employees in specific areas over short bursts.

For instance, users will find themselves playing a game of darts while being asked questions on a particular topic. Alternatively, they may be climbing a mountain as they answer questions. Each correct answer allows them to progress further.

Unlike TalentLMS, there’s far less focus on things like acquiring badges, achievements, and leaderboards—the core gamification experience. Ideally, then, this is software aimed at highly visual learners that enjoy minigame scenarios.

The learning content itself is accessible on desktops, mobiles, and tablets—you won’t have to worry about making it compatible across devices.

On top of that, Raptivity offers advanced online training, access to the Raptivity community, and premium phone and email support on the higher plans.

In terms of prices, there are four main subscription plans. The first is the free plan available for 14 days with access to almost everything other than premium support, offline access, and advanced online training.

After that, there are three plans based on subscription length: monthly, quarterly, and annual. Monthly costs $30 per month, quarterly costs $60 per quarter, and annual costs $149 per year.

The critical difference between the plans is the amount of storage space you receive for interactions and media assets—it’s 2GB on the free plan, 10GB on the monthly plan, 50GB on the quarterly plan, and 200GB on the annual plan.

Sign up for the free plan today.

LearnUpon — The Best for Customer Support

  • 24/7 customer support
  • Customer success team
  • Full training videos
  • Dedicated knowledge base

Try for free

LearnUpon is the best training software for customer support.

While LearnUpon is a great LMS all around, it’s the customer service that shines the most.

LearnUpon’s customer support is available on a global basis 24/7, no questions asked. The support consists of expert and friendly “Technical Support Reps” for various needs, from solving technical issues to knowledge-based requests.

LearnUpon homepage.

The “Customer Success” team is available to help with anything from implementation to enhancing training itself.

Indeed, the customer support is so good the software has become known through it alone. It’s a recognized leader in the area, so if that’s a key consideration of yours, don’t hesitate. 

Moving away from customer support, this is an LMS that’s beautifully presented and easy to use. It’s a customer-focused piece of software from start to finish, with complete employee onboarding, leading sales training, and automated workflows.

You’ll be able to build attractive courses without the need for technical expertise and can access reports to track employee training at each step.

That’s without mentioning the excellent training videos and knowledge base to improve your training even further.

The pricing is available through three plans which all start with a free trial.

The basic plan costs $663 per month for up to 50 active users, and you can upgrade this to the second plan providing 250 active users and two learning portals for $1106 per month. The final plan offers 500 active users and three learning portals for $1873 per month.

The Enterprise plan is also available if you need more active users, but you’ll need to request a quote.

How To Find the Best Training Software for You

Finding the best training software options, known as learning management systems (LMS), can be challenging.

Not only is there a wide range of software available, but each tends to offer something a little bit different from the rest.

To understand the software as a whole, think of it as a group of similar services that ultimately specialize in different areas.

For instance, my list features LMSs that are stronger in critical areas. When it comes to course creation, iSpring Learn provides a comprehensive suite. LearnUpon is an LMS that delivers top customer service, while Litmos is great for employee accessibility.

These specialist areas are a good starting point. Think about what area you need an LMS to concentrate on and go from there.

After you’ve thought about that, here are some other key criteria to consider:

Learning Content Compatibility

Everyone learns differently and has particular preferences. The LMS you pick will provide learning materials and courses in a variety of different ways.

Naturally, you need to think about which content will be a better fit for your employees.

For instance, do you need to use PowerPoint presentations or PDFs for your learning materials? If so, does the LMS allow you to use these materials in the way you want?

Maybe you’re a business that prefers using videos or webinars for staff training. In that case, focus on an LMS that can provide that.

Content compatibility is an important area to think about because your training will be more successful overall.

LMS Pricing Structure

While price is a consideration for everything you buy, the pricing structure for each LMS can vary significantly and is, therefore, an important point of consideration.

The main LMS pricing models are pay-per-learner, pay-per-active-user, pay-as-you-go, lifetime licensing, and annual or monthly subscription plans. Sometimes there’s a mix of models, which can get confusing and trip you up.

It may be cheaper for a large business, for example, to opt for an annual subscription rather than choose an LMS with a per-learner pricing model. This scenario, of course, depends on the number of employees you need to train.

You also need to identify the hidden costs and extra charges that LMSs come with, so take your time to research and try and go for a straightforward pricing model.

Mobile-Friendly Learning Content

Mobile usage is more popular than ever. You need to ensure your LMS offers mobile-friendly learning content consistently.

Some LMSs will have a more substantial offering here than others, but it’s fair to say neglecting mobile learning formats isn’t an approach I’d recommend in this day and age.

After all, your employees don’t just learn on desktops all the time. Nowadays, they’ll need to view the content out and about or when they don’t have access to a computer. Some even prefer learning away from the computer via mobile formats.

Ideally, opt for an LMS with mobile-friendly content designs. Those in which the content is viewable across multiple devices. It’s a move that will pay off in the long run for both you and your employees.

The Top Training Software in Summary

Employee training software helps take your training to the next level with a host of great features. Litmos, iSpring Learn, and Talent LMS are the best employee training solutions on the market today.

If you deliver employee training without monitoring the outcome, you can end up with employees who only know half of what you think they do. This ends up costing your company twice as much time and money to retrain your staff.

Want to jump straight to the answer? The best video surveillance system for most people is Arlo Pro 4 or Deep Sentinel Wireless DIY Camera.

Video surveillance systems help protect personnel and assets by providing you with advanced alerts of security breaches. You can install video surveillance systems on the interior and exterior of your home or office for complete protection. 

The Top 5 Best Video Surveillance Systems 

How to choose the best video surveillance system. Quicksprout.com's methodology for reviewing video surveillance systems.

Continue reading for our in-depth reviews on the top five best video surveillance systems on the market today. 

Arlo Pro 4 – Best For High-Resolution Observation 

  • 2K HDR video resolution
  • 160-degree viewing angle
  • Built-in spotlight for night vision
  • One-click emergency response

Get it for only $199.99

The Arlo Pro 4 camera by Arlo is one of the best video surveillance systems on the market today, as it has one of the highest quality video resolutions. 

You can use the Arlo Pro 4 either indoors or outdoors, as it’s weather-resistant and offers crystal clear details and colors in a 2K HDR video.

Arlo Pro 4 homepage.

With a 2K surveillance camera, Arlo Pro 4 will protect your household by letting you stay better informed with zoom-in features that you can use on all moving objects. Object detection knows the difference between a person, animal, vehicle, and package, so you can receive smarter alerts that won’t send you into a panic. 

You also get a wider 160-degree viewing angle, ensuring you have the best view of your property, no matter where you place the surveillance system or how big or small your space is. 

When it comes to nighttime, the Arlo Pro 4 excels at night surveillance by allowing you to see what’s happening as clearly as possible. Its system offers a built-in spotlight that illuminates your property, so you have a higher chance of identifying unique details in the darkness. 

Not only does the Arlo Pro 4 offer high-quality video resolution, but it’s also simple to set up, easy to recharge, and sends you instant alerts for you to take action right away. 

The Arlo Pro 4 comes with a sleek and convenient magnetic mount that you can place anywhere in your household. You can also install the camera in just a few minutes by connecting directly to WiFi.

Its magnetic charging cable makes for easy charging for continuous power that lasts up to six months after one charge.

You receive instant alerts on your mobile device when the Arlo Pro 4 detects any motion. Its Activity Zones feature also helps you eliminate unnecessary notifications by only sending alerts that matter. 

If the Arlo Pro 4 detects motion that may concern you, the system lets you quickly respond with the Intelligent Alerts feature. You can get emergency help from fire, police, or medical responders with just one click of a button. 

In terms of pricing, Arlo offers three different camera kit prices for the Arlo Pro 4. 

  • One Camera Kit: $199.99 
  • Two Camera Kit: $379.99 
  • Three Camera Kit: $549.99 

The Arlo Pro 4 comes in either white or black. Arlo also offers a product installation service through OnTech, which will install your surveillance system for just $99. 

Deep Sentinel Wireless DIY Camera – Best For Surveillance By Real People 

  • Live guard surveillance
  • Two-way speaker and mic
  • Advanced AI threat assessment
  • 64GB hard drive

Try for 30 days risk-free

If you’re looking for an advanced system for outdoor surveillance, any of the Wireless DIY Cameras by Deep Sentinel are an excellent option. 

Deep Sentinel helps prevent home intrusion, auto tampering, trespassing, vandalism, package thefts, and loitering by utilizing human guards to watch your security feed in real-time. 

Deep Sentinel Wireless DIY Camera homepage.

With the Wireless DIY Cameras, any motion will wake up the system and immediately start recording video to send to the hub over a secure wireless connection. Deep Sentinel’s advanced AI separates potential threats from normal activities, and when it detects a threat, the camera’s bright red LED light will start spinning. 

Once the Wireless DIY Cameras detect a threat, a guard at the LiveSentinal service center will further assess your situation through the real-time feed and decide if intervention is necessary. 

What makes Deep Sentinel’s surveillance systems so significant is that guards can directly engage with potential threats through the two-way 104db speaker and microphone. The guard can also contact authorities within seconds or choose to sound the built-in siren. 

With Deep Sentinel’s mobile app, you have full access to your security feed, too—but the live guards give you an added peace of mind, knowing you are protected even when you don’t have access to alerts. 

Not only is Deep Sentinel the only surveillance system that offers live guard protection, but it also offers standard security capabilities, such as a 1080p camera, 130-degree viewing angle, 40ft night vision, and water resistance. 

The Wireless DIY Cameras offer lightning-fast AI and a 64GB hard drive, with four months worth of cloud storage. Its AI supports up to six wireless cameras, giving you quick access to all locations in one view. 

Deep Sentinel offers a variety of different pricing packages for its camera kits. 

  • Deep Sentinel Starter 3-Cam Kit: $699 

With the Deep Sentinel Starter 3-Cam Kit, you receive three Wireless DIY Cameras, one smart hub, four rechargeable batteries, three screw mounts, one yard sign, and a self-install kit. 

Some other popular Deep Sentinel kits include: 

  • Front Door 1-Cam Kit: $399 plus $60 per month LiveSentinal subscription 
  • 6-Camera Kit: $1,149 plus $160 per month LiveSentinal subscription 
  • Build Your Own: Custom pricing, but choose from between one to six cameras 

You can also purchase a separate LiveSentinel subscription for $100 per month. 

Deep Sentinel offers a 30-day risk-free money-back guarantee. 

Wyze Cam v3 – Best For Nighttime Surveillance 

  • Sees in 25 times darker areas
  • IP65 weather and dust-resistant
  • Free cloud storage
  • 24/7 recording

Only $35.98

Surveillance is critical during the night, and Wyze Cam v3 by Wyze is one of the best video surveillance systems on the market for its night vision capabilities. 

With its all-new Starlight sensors, the Wyze Cam v3 is brighter, bolder, and more affordable than it has ever been before. 

Wyze Cam 3 homepage.

Recent Wyze Cam v3 performance upgrades paired with the new Starlight CMOS sensor captures both your outdoor and indoor environments up to 25 times darker than usual. The low-light amplifier enhances dark areas in impressive detail, catching motion that you can’t even see with the human eye. 

The Wyze Cam v3 offers a 1.6 aperture, which is how it reveals such great detail during the night, as it captures two times more light than most video surveillance systems. 

With the Starlight CMOS sensor running 24/7, the Starlight ISP improves the sensor by reducing noise from low light and sharpens the overall footage for significant clarity. As the Wyze Cam v3 is best for nighttime surveillance, it also offers a bold design with IP65 weather and dust resistance, so you never miss a thing due to damage. 

Not only does Wyze Cam v3 offer excellent nighttime surveillance, but it also offers invisible IR LEDs, versatile mounting, and a mini siren to startle potential threats. The new upgrade has a two times faster processor for images and streams, 20 FPS for smoother video playback, and a 130-degree field of view. 

The best part about the Wyze Cam v3 is that you receive free cloud storage without a subscription, with 12-second sound and motion videos saved for 14 days at a time. 

When it comes to alerts and notifications, Wyze Cam v3 is not lacking. It sends your phone alerts from each specific location and instantly begins recording when it detects any sound or motion. 

You also get the option for 24/7 continuous recording and time-lapse features that you can save to a 32GB microSD card. However, the SD card is sold separately and is an optional purchase. 

Wyze offers the cheapest pricing on the market today. 

  • Wyze Cam v3: $35.98 
  • Wyze Cam v3 + One Month of Cam Plus: $37.97 

You read that correctly, the Wyze Cam v3 is only $35.98 with free shipping. You can also buy up to three years of accident protection separately from $15.99. 

You can purchase up to 10 Wyze Cam v3s for just $359.80, with 30-day hassle-free returns. 

Maximus Answer – Best Video Doorbell 

  • Dual cam doorbell
  • Customizable pre-recorded messages
  • Extremely advanced mobile app
  • Free essential features

Purchase on Amazon

If you’re looking for a more subtle but effective way to monitor your front yard, the Maximus Answer—a dual cam video doorbell—by Kuna is an excellent option. 

As the first-ever doorbell with dual cameras, the Maximus Answer is the perfect option for anyone looking for remote surveillance, as Kuna offers such an advanced mobile app that pairs with all of its products. 

Maximus Answer by Kuna homepage.

With Kuna surveillance systems, there’s no need to worry about batteries, timer switches, or extension cords, as your home security is completely centralized right in the palm of your hand. 

From the mobile app, you can view the live feed from your front door, and when alerted, can react with one-click buttons. You can also review recordings, so you don’t miss a single thing in case of an emergency. 

The app also offers customizable pre-recorded messages. If you are waiting for a package but need to rush out, the Kuna app syncs with the Maximus Answer, and it will play the message to the delivery driver. 

With a 180-degree field of view, a 1080p top camera, and a 720p bottom camera, you receive wide-angle HD video that you can view straight from the mobile app. You can even share devices and engage in the two-way talk system for additional security and protection if you don’t want to open your door or aren’t able to. 

The Kuna app offers some other helpful features for free, including: 

  • Smart detection
  • Two-hour event look back
  • Three downloads per month 
  • In-app sound alarm 
  • Light controls 
  • Manual recording
  • Automated greetings 

As mentioned earlier, the Maximus Answer has a 720p bottom camera, which is currently the first of its kind. The bottom camera is a significant aspect of the Maximus Answer, as it helps eliminate blind spots for packages. 

Maximus Answer also comes with IR night vision capabilities for the top camera and a package light for the bottom camera that you can activate from the mobile app. 

It’s also IPX4 weatherproof for added protection from rain, wind, dust, hail, and any other storm damage. 

Kuna offers one easy pricing package for the Maximus Answer.

  • DualCam Video Doorbell: $180 with free shipping 

When purchasing the Maximus Answer through Kuna, you receive one year of warranty and a 60-day returns policy. 

However, you can purchase it on Amazon for just $130.

Argus 3 Pro – Best Battery Life 

  • Solar-powered battery
  • Dual-band WiFi
  • 2K HD video resolution
  • Eco-friendly

Get it now

The Argus 3 Pro by Reolink is one of the more eco-friendly video surveillance systems on the market today. 

It’s the perfect system for anyone looking for long-life batteries for improved effectiveness—because the last thing you want is your surveillance battery to die during an emergency. 

Argus 3 Pro by Reolink homepage.

The Argus 3 Pro offers a rechargeable battery that can work without any cables. Its wireless potential paired with its long-life battery means that it can even run during a blackout. 

A unique aspect of the Argus 3 Pro is its solar power capability. Although the Reolink solar power panel is sold separately from the Argus 3 Pro, we think it’s completely worth it, as you are free from charging or replacing the battery for good. 

Normally, the rechargeable battery lasts between one to four weeks, but with the solar-powered panel, you have the advantage of your surveillance system receiving non-stop power. 

Not only does the Argus 3 Pro have exceptional battery life, but it also offers 2K 4MP super HD day and night footage. The camera records in full color for the sharpest and clearest details. 

The Argus 3 Pro works through dual-band WiFi and switches between 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz frequency bands for improved performance for camera networking. 

When it comes to alerts, the Argus 3 Pro can send you notifications via its mobile app, email, siren, or custom voice alerts. You can also configure how often you want to receive notifications. 

Reolink offers affordable pricing packages for the Argus 3 Pro and its accessories. 

  • Argus 3 Pro: $119.99 
  • Reolink Solar Panel: $24.99 

Reolink offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, a two-year limited warranty, and 24/6 online support. 

How to Find The Best Video Surveillance Systems For You 

There are a few factors that go into finding the best video surveillance system for you. Sometimes it can be difficult to choose the right product, so we put together this methodology of the three most essential elements to consider before purchasing a video surveillance system for your household.

Surveillance Location 

The first thing you should consider before purchasing a video surveillance system is the location. Where are you going to place the camera? The location is crucial because external influences, like weather, can impact the effectiveness of a security system. 

Most video surveillance systems are both outdoor and indoor compatible, with weather and dust-resistant capabilities. For example, the Maximus Answer by Kuna is perfect for front yard surveillance, with IPX4 weatherproof protection. 

If you specifically want outdoor surveillance, make sure to find a weather-resistant system, but you can always place it in an area with extra protection. 

Video Quality 

High video resolution is another crucial aspect of a video surveillance system. High video quality ensures that you can see everything that the system captures during a recording. 

Most video surveillance systems usually work in 1080p resolution, which is still clear and recognizable. However, systems like Arlo Pro 4 and Argus 3 Pro use 2K HDR video, which is a total game-changer. 

2K video is an excellent resolution for security purposes, and paired with zoom-in features, you’re sure to know what you’re looking at on every piece of footage.  

Storage Space 

When it comes to video surveillance systems, a lot of people forget about storage space. Finding a system with enough storage space for your needs is crucial to retrieve footage that you may need in an emergency. 

Deep Sentinel is an excellent video surveillance option for storage space, as it comes with a 64GB hard drive and four months of free cloud storage for backup. However, if you find a system that offers a high enough storage space but is too pricey, finding a flexible product will work just as well. 

Wyze Cam v3 offers flexible storage options, giving you a choice to purchase a 32GB SD card for an affordable price. 

The Top Video Surveillance Systems in Summary 

Overall, Arlo Pro 4 and Deep Sentinel are our top two recommendations for the best video surveillance systems on the market today for most homes and offices. 

Video surveillance systems make it easy to protect your personal belongings with immediate alerts, HD video resolution, impeccable night vision, and long battery life. You can stop crime right in its tracks by alerting authorities or sounding off a siren to startle any potential threats.

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