Ben Brausen

Online Marketing News: Death Of A Directory, Are Social Ads As Effective?, Search Getting Smarter

Ben Brausen on Nov 27th, 2015     Online Marketing, Online Marketing News

Google Reveals Black Friday In-Store Traffic Data to Help Improve Focus of Online Ads

Google Reveals Black Friday In-Store Traffic Data to Help Improve Focus of Online Ads [Infographic] – Google has created a new infographic which looks at in-store traffic patterns over the holiday season, using anonymized Location History records. The stats offer some great insight and highlight where offline metrics are headed – and how they can be used to better target and focus online marketing content. Google

Snapchat Launches Story Explorer, A Swipeable Way To Get Different Visual Perspectives – With a quick swipe up, Snapchat users can now view a different angle on specific stories for a more robust story experience. Marketing Land

Study: Brands Finding Social Ads as Effective as Traditional Advertising – It appears the tide is changing. According to a recent study by IZEA, 52 percent of companies surveyed have a sponsored social budget and they find social ads to be in the top three most effective marketing investments they’ve made. SocialTimes

Ashley Zeckman

The TopRank Marketing Team Gives Thanks

Ashley Zeckman on Nov 26th, 2015     Online Marketing, TopRank Agency News


Before you dig into the turkey, mashed potatoes and my personal favorite, stuffing, the team at TopRank Marketing would like to take a moment to give thanks.

In the word cloud above, you get a glimpse into what many of our team members are thankful for. We would also like to thank you our readers for consuming and sharing the content that we work hard to create. Also, a huge thanks to our awesome clients for entrusting us with their digital marketing strategy.

In addition to asking our team members what they are thankful for personally, I also wanted to shine a light on who has inspired them or they are thankful for on our own team, below are some of their responses:

Lee Odden

Digital Marketing Spotlight: John Bell, VP Enterprise Digital Marketing at Travelers

Lee Odden on Nov 25th, 2015     Digital Marketing, Interviews

Digital Marketing Spotlight

Star light, star bright, which digital marketer is next in our spotlight? Well, it’s John Bell of course, Vice President of Enterprise Digital Marketing at Travelers.

John joined Travelers after 13 years at Ogilvy & Mather where he founded Social@Ogilvy, a global social and digital marketing practice. There, John drove digital and social strategy and programs for major brands including Ford, Nestlé, IBM, DuPont and more.

In this interview, John talks about his transition from the big agency world to a big brand, lessons learned, innovation, data, martech, content, hiring and digital marketing priorities for 2016. So put on your shades, no not really, and dig in:

John H Bell, TravelersYou made a pretty big change from Managing Director at Social@Ogilvy to VP Enterprise Marketing at Travelers. What are some of the most transferable lessons you’ve learned moving from agency head to a senior marketing executive for a brand?

Lee Odden

12 Major Brands on Where SEO Fits in the Digital Marketing Mix for 2016

Lee Odden on Nov 24th, 2015     SEO

SEO digital marketing

Did you know? Google handles 100 billion searches per month and more than half of those are on mobile devices.

Did you also know? 15% of Google’s 3.5 billion daily searches have never been seen before.

I remember when you couldn’t search for anything on a smart phone and now people are searching for just about anything and everything, mostly on mobile devices. It’s an understatement to say search engines, consumer searching behaviors and search engine optimization have all changed.

As much as social media, content marketing and other marketing channels emerge, there is no mistaking the value of being the best answer for buyers at the moment of need. So how valuable is SEO going into 2016? More specifically…

Ashley Zeckman

Want to Add More Participation to You Content? Follow These 5 Keys to Success [Guide]

Ashley Zeckman on Nov 23rd, 2015     Content Marketing, Influencer Marketing


By this point, there is no denying that content marketing should be an essential part of every brand’s integrated digital marketing strategy. Content enables brands to create a connection with current and potential customers that can also support many other digital marketing initiatives if optimized correctly.

Since we’re all on the same page about content, the question many marketers are wondering is: what does the next iteration of content marketing look like? Try this on for size: 84% of worldwide consumers will take action based on the reviews and recommendations of trusted sources above all other forms of advertising (Nielsen).

Based on that statistic alone, everyone reading this should have just had an “aha moment”. If consumers trust reviews and recommendations from sources that they trust, that means that you should be adding additional trusted sources outside of your brand to build credibility within your content marketing.

Ben Brausen

Online Marketing News: WordPress Powers The Web, Google Goes Live, Snapchat Through A New Lens

Ben Brausen on Nov 20th, 2015     Online Marketing, Online Marketing News

Advertising To Millennials

How Much are Marketers Spending on Millennials? A Lot! [INFOGRAPHIC] – According to the infographic, created by and based on data gathered from Turn, an advertising technology company, marketers are spending 500% more on millennials than every other group combined. As Swant puts it, “there are 75 million millennials in the U.S., and everyone knows advertisers are infatuated with the idea of winning over the biggest buying bloc.” Turn

Report: National Geographic Is the No. 1 Brand on Social Media – New data from Shareablee, shows which publishers fared best on social during Q3, and the impact of wider video adoption. SocialTimes

Study: Retailers Are Ignoring More Than 80% Of Customers’ Social Media Requests – Sprout Social finds most merchants fail to respond to consumer questions on Facebook and Twitter, a problem compounded during the holiday shopping season when the volume of requests increases. Marketing Land

Michael Bak

Remarketing 101: The No-Brainer Paid Search Tactic

Michael Bak on Nov 19th, 2015     Online Marketing, Online Marketing Strategy


As competition becomes increasingly fierce, B2B and B2C companies are all fighting for customers to read their content, and purchase their products or services. With so many options available to today’s consumers, many brands are searching for a way to stay top of mind with potential customers.

Ready for a staggering piece of information? According to Business Insider, there is over $4 trillion of merchandise that will be abandon in online carts this year, 63% of which is potentially recoverable.

One method of recovering the attention of potential customers that have left is to deploy a remarketing program. But what is remarketing really? This post is designed for someone who’s either in the dark when it comes to remarketing (sometimes referred to as retargeting) or is in the early stages of starting a program.

Ashley Zeckman

Need Help With Content Topics? 5 Places To Find Inspiration For Blog Posts

Ashley Zeckman on Nov 18th, 2015     Blogging, Content Marketing


Blogging is a low to no-cost way for marketers to create owned content on a consistent basis. A consistent blogging schedule of high quality information creates a great way for your customers and prospects to gain a better understanding of how you can help them and the smarts that exist within your organization.

In fact, B2B marketers that incorporate blogging as part of their content strategy generate 67% more leads than those that do not. So if you aren’t blogging, it’s time to start.

Joshua Nite

How to Create Content that Abides, Dude: Content Marketing Lessons from the Big Lebowski at #MNBlogCon

Joshua Nite on Nov 17th, 2015     Blogging, Content Marketing, Marketing PR Conferences


Does pondering content marketing strategy make you feel a little out of your element? Are you missing the key components that really tie a strategy together? Do you sometimes feel like stepping away from the laptop, pouring a White Russian, and zoning out to Creedence Clearwater Revival?

You’re not alone. Only 30% of B2B marketers believe they are effective at content marketing, and more than half don’t know how to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns. And as buyers are inundated with more and more content, it can be difficult to get your message out there.

Fortunately, when it comes to content marketing success, there are rules. And at the 2015 Minnesota Blogger Conference, TopRank Marketing’s Directory of Agency Marketing Ashley Zeckman laid down the law, Big Lebowski-style. Here are the key takeaways:

Ashley Zeckman

How Collaborating With Influencers Generated Over 110k Views on SlideShare

Ashley Zeckman on Nov 16th, 2015     Content Marketing, Influencer Marketing


Brands large and small are searching for ways to separate themselves from the pack. At the same time, most marketers are struggling with everything from producing enough content, to measuring content effectiveness. As more and more brands become publishers, it has become increasingly difficult for brands to create a variety of engaging content on a consistent basis.

To stay relevant and continue learning, many marketers attend workshops, trainings and industry events. Unfortunately, there are so many to choose from it can be difficult to weed out those that may not be worth the investment.

Therein lies the challenge:

  • Quality conferences need to build awareness of their events
  • Influential speakers need to drive people to their presentations
  • Marketers need useful information presented in an engaging way
Ben Brausen

Online Marketing News: Facebook Gives Notice, Tumblr Gets The Message, Instagram Partners Up

Ben Brausen on Nov 13th, 2015     Online Marketing, Online Marketing News

How Social Media Impacts Communication at Work

How Social Media Impacts Communication at Work [INFOGRAPHIC] – Workplace technology is important to internal collaboration. This infographic from looks at why many companies see the need for internal social media. It also goes through some of the challenges to the adoption of internal social. Blogging4Jobs

Twitter’s Organic Search Traffic up 20% Since Being Reindexed in Google – Twitter’s organic search traffic on desktop is up 20% in the six months since Google started reindexing tweets in real-time. According to the SimilarWeb study, that equates to an extra 35 million monthly visits. Search Engine Journal

Introducing Notify, a Notifications App from Facebook – Notifications are becoming one of the primary ways people first learn about things wherever they are. Today we are introducing Notify, a new app from Facebook that delivers timely notifications about the things that matter to you, from the sources you love, all in one place. Facebook

Joel Carlson

6 of The Top B2C Brands That Are Rocking Instagram

Joel Carlson on Nov 12th, 2015     Online Marketing, Social Business, Social Media


What were you doing 5 years ago? In October of 2010, the mobile app Instagram launched onto the scene, and the mobile marketing world hasn’t been the same since. Sure Facebook has over 1 Billion users and Instagram has 400 Million active users, but its engagement is deafening, and unlike Pinterest, the ratio for men to women users is fairly balanced, with men at 51% and women at 49%, another win!

So who’s creating power ballads with their Instagram accounts in the B2C world? Let’s take a look at brands that are not only well known and easily recognized, but that are also able to successfully convey their strength and reputation in a photographic way.

#1 – Nike

Followers: 28.2 million

Nike Instagram