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James Anderson

How Locally Laid Got Paid by Turning Customer Feedback into Brand Storytelling

James Anderson on Jan 28th, 2015     Online Marketing, Online PR

Locally-Laid-Brand-Storytelling

Here in Minnesota, a small egg company is getting big press after ruffling the feathers of a concerned shopper.

When Locally Laid Eggs received a letter from a grocery store shopper, saying that the company’s name is “offensive” and its advertising “vulgar,” the company took to its own blog to offer up a rebuttal. In doing so, they enlightened readers about locally-sourced food and responsible farming and revealed some key marketing lessons in the process.

Most companies would have tossed the letter and missed out on the opportunity to use this kind of storytelling to pick up on the interest that Locally Laid had generated. But Locally Laid understood the importance of story before marketing. From the tiny Wrenschall, Minnesota town (population 399) the small company had the foresight to not only address — respectfully — the letter writer’s concerns, but to point out the reason why their product stands out from competitor options on the shelves.


Lee Odden

What You Need to Know About Content & Influencer Marketing. BONUS: Case Study

Lee Odden on Jan 27th, 2015     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing, Influencer Marketing

influencer co-created content

Influencer Marketing was a hot topic in 2014 and will continue to gain momentum in 2015 for both B2C and B2B marketers, especially when it comes to content co-creation.

Why the warm and fuzzy for influencer content you ask? According to CMI and MarketingProfs, over 90% of B2B marketers are investing in content marketing. Yet, in an age of information overload where 74GB of data are delivered per person, per day (USC), standing out to business buyers can require unreasonable budgets and resources.

Inspired by the need to scale content marketing performance, a growing number of B2B marketers are creating better quality content that gets shared more often, reaches more prospects and grows their influencer network – all at the same time. How so? Through influencer content programs.


James Anderson

Social Media Video – Essential Tips and Takeaways from #SMBMSP74

James Anderson on Jan 26th, 2015     Social Media, Visual Marketing
SMBMSP-Video-Social-Media

Panelists including, from left, Jeff Achen, David Krejci, Farrington Starnes and Chuck Olsen address the audience at the January 23 SMBMSP event.

Digital marketers have known for some time that video is an essential part of the marketing mix: 76% of B2B companies use video as a content marketing tactic. Video is also an important part of a social media content strategy. After all, YouTube is the second most popular search engine after Google and Facebook has more than 1 billion daily video views.

Great examples of companies using video to enhance both B2C and B2B marketing are in high demand whether from major brands, agencies and small DIY businesses. At TopRank Online Marketing we’re always on the lookout for social media video trends and new examples to share with our community and clients. That’s why seven members of our team attended a recent Social Media Breakfast at 514 studios in Minneapolis – to learn how other companies are implementing video as part of a social media strategy.


Ben Brausen

Online Marketing News: Psycho Selfies, Twitter Beefs Up, Google Still Searchin’

Ben Brausen on Jan 23rd, 2015     Online Marketing, Online Marketing News

Content And Influence Infographic

How To Add Influencer Marketing To Your Content Strategy - Content Marketing and Influencer Strategy must work together for either to be successful. To find out how you can add influencer marketing to your mix, check out the infographic above and this article. Scoop.it

STUDY: Men Who Take Excessive Selfies Show Psychopathic Traits - Uh, oh. Not only are we all addicts, we’re also displaying psychopathic traits all over Instagram. A study released by Ohio State this week found that men who post selfies — not the ladies, mind you — tend to show more psychopathic traits than those who don’t. SocialTimes

Survey: Mobile Integration Makes Other Digital Marketing More Effective - Social and mobile marketing are seeing significant momentum and uptake by marketers according to the Salesforce Marketing Cloud 2015 State of Marketing report released earlier this week. And mobile is increasingly seen as the keystone that holds everything together. Marketing Land


James Anderson

4 Ways Marketers Can Learn From a Journalist’s Approach to Content Planning

James Anderson on Jan 22nd, 2015     Blogging, Brand Journalism, Content Marketing, Online Marketing

media-journalist-content-marketing

“Be the media” isn’t just a buzz phrase. It’s a live process and philosophy that brings in leads and moves products and services. It’s the concept of content as sales staff. It’s “write it and they will come.” OK, so I got ahead of myself with that last one. It’s not quite that simple.

As marketers have moved to content to help tell their stories that draw in customers, they have brought journalists in to help with the storytelling.  Now that many marketers and journalists are working side by side, they have developed similar processes and have begun to merge cultures. They are finding common ground, overlapping and crossing career paths.

Here are a few areas in which I think that content marketers can learn from journalists:


Lee Odden

Content Marketing is a Team Effort

Lee Odden on Jan 21st, 2015     Content Marketing

content marketing team

Over the past 14 years we’ve run a very lean marketing department at TopRank Online Marketing.

An example of this is out of the 3,674 blog posts we’ve published, 2,793 were written by one person. TopRank’s blog received around 1.5 million visitors last year and tens of thousands of social shares, mentions in publications like Forbes, Entrepreneur and Adage as well as numerous business inquiries.

Less is not always more. One could easily argue we have one of the most efficient content marketing and blogging efforts of any digital marketing agency. But the reality is that content marketing is a team effort. It has to be.


James Anderson

Traditional Media for Content Marketing: Pros, Cons, Examples and Best Practices

James Anderson on Jan 20th, 2015     Content Marketing, Integrated Marketing, Online Marketing, User Generated Content

Traditional-Media-content-marketing

How many times has traditional media been pronounced dead in the past decade? We’ve lost count, right? While there is no denying that TV, newspapers and radio have lost a ton of ground to digital, the fact of the matter is traditional media still matters. Even to digital marketers.

In fact, some marketers are finding that traditional media is a becoming a great platform for engaging buyers. Consider brands like Doritos, Coca-Cola and others that are asking for consumers to submit short video clips via their company websites and social media channels. Those clips are curated into commercials that are airing during major events like the SuperBowl and the Academy Awards. In fact, 20% of ads in Super Bowl XLVII in 2013 included some form of crowdsourcing from major brands like Coca-Cola, Audi, Doritos, Pizza Hut and others. The incentive to participate in these contests is big for consumers willing to give up names and multiple forms of contact information just to take part.


James Anderson

Social Media Advertising for Content Marketers: Insight from Salesforce’s ‘2015 State of Marketing’ report

James Anderson on Jan 19th, 2015     Digital Marketing, Facebook, LinkedIn, Social Media, Social Media Advertising

Social Media Advertising

Salesforce recently released its annual “State of Marketing” report, in which the company surveyed 5,000 marketers worldwide. Results of the survey point toward a significant investment in social media advertising in 2015.

According to the CRM company’s report (gated download), 70% of marketers will spend more budget on social media advertising this year. As numbers of customers on social channels increases, it is increasingly imperative, as the survey results show, to have a social media marketing strategy in place.

It is clear that digital marketers are increasingly valuing social media advertising to help promote their content marketing efforts. In 2014, 25% of marketers saw social as a critical enabler of products and services. The number leaps to 64% in 2015.


Ben Brausen

Online Marketing News: Facebook Gets To Work, Left-Handed E-Commerce, No Facebook-Exclusive

Ben Brausen on Jan 16th, 2015     Online Marketing, Online Marketing News

Marketing Technology Landscape 2015

Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic (2015) - The 2015 edition of the marketing technology landscape supergraphic has been released, now with 1,876 vendors represented across 43 categories. Check click here to see a much larger, readable version. ChiefMartec

Facebook Introduces ‘Work’, A Social Tool For Businessess and Employees - Though we may try to hide it, it’s no secret that we browse Facebook at work. Now the social network wants to make it so we no longer have to hide it with a new product its working on to make social media more work-friendly. Search Engine Journal

Study: How to Find the Best Social Media Content for Your Audience - As a brand, what’s the best way to determine which social media content most interests your audience? Answer: study past campaigns, and current user behaviour. A new survey from Percolate found that 31 percent of U.S. marketers tracked performance data of past content/campaigns to help plan future content. AllTwitter


Nick Ehrenberg

How to Be Creative AND Brand Compliant in Social Media Marketing

Nick Ehrenberg on Jan 15th, 2015     Social Business, Social Media, Social Media Smarts

Social Media Marketing

Ask social media managers about “brand standards” and you might elicit some uncomfortable expressions. Brand standards, created to ensure uniformity with brand messaging and imagery, can sometimes feel like restrictions for creative social development.

“Do I really need to include all these brand logos and elements in every social message?”

The answer (most often) is yes, but don’t let this dampen your spirits. Maintaining a consistent brand identity is vital for long-term business growth, and you can still flex your creative social muscle within brand guidelines. Here are some tips that can help you stretch your brand’s identity to its creative peaks:


James Anderson

Worst. Marketing. Advice. Ever. Top Brands Share All

James Anderson on Jan 14th, 2015     Online Marketing

worst marketing advice

Someone once said, “The best advice is this: Don’t take advice and don’t give advice.”

While that statement isn’t true for the most part, there are a few times in a marketer’s career in which it might be best to just ignore the advice.

As all of the 2015 predictions and advice blog posts came rolling in, we thought it would be fun to ask just the opposite. So we reached out to some marketers and asked, “what is the worst marketing advice you have received or witnessed?”

We think you’ll find a whole lot of “what not to do” in what follows.

LaSandra BrillLaSandra Brill
Sr. Director, Paid & Earned Media, Symantec
@LaSandraBrill


James Anderson

White Papers: Pros, Cons, Examples and Best Practices

James Anderson on Jan 13th, 2015     B2B Marketing, Marketing & PR Industry, Online Marketing

White  Papers.jpg

Not every piece of content we produce resides at the top of the sales funnel spinning up awareness. If that were the case, our jobs as marketers would be much easier.

When digital marketers roll up their sleeves and generate leads, many have found that white papers provide a utility for which potential customers are willing to give up a name and email address. White papers are more substantial pieces of content that allow customers to solve an information problem that represents the solutions your company can offer.

Do marketers still use white papers?


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