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Archive for January, 2012


Ashley Zeckman

Getting Your Internet Marketing Dream Job: How to Interview & Succeed at a Top Agency

Ashley Zeckman on Jan 31st, 2012     Content Marketing, Interactive Marketing, Online Marketing, Social Media
TopRank Online Marketing Shoreline Drive Spring Park, MN

Picturesque view of Lake Minnetonka from the TopRank Online Marketing office

Today marks my 4 month anniversary at TopRank Online Marketing and almost 5 years in the online marketing industry.  It has been a goal of mine to learn as much as I possibly can from those who know the industry best.  In this seemingly short amount of time I have received, and continue to receive a top notch education at an unbeatable price.

I would like to share some of my experience to give other marketers interested in breaking into Internet marketing or continuing their online marketing education an idea of what it looks like from one person’s perspective.

Lee Odden

Google+ Optimization vs. Community Building: Pros & Cons of Google SPYW

Lee Odden on Jan 30th, 2012     Google, Online Marketing, Search Engines, Social Media
Google+ Optimization

Google+ Optimization or Community Building?

Initially I looked at Google+ the same as other Google social projects like Wave and Orkut. But the more I use Google+ the more I like it. Maybe it’s the network effect because others are using it more too. I often find content and insights shared on G+ that I don’t find elsewhere.

While the addition of Google Search Plus Your World (SPYW) has made a big splash in the digital community, I actually think G+ is far more useful (from a personal perspective) as a social network than it is as an augmentation of search on Google.com. When I put my Marketer’s hat on, of course it doesn’t matter what I think of G+ – the task is to figure out how to optimize opportunities to gain an advantage.

Ashley Zeckman

Online Marketing News: Women Dominate Community Management, Google Privacy, FBI Social, Twitter Censorship, McD Hashtag Gone Wrong

Ashley Zeckman on Jan 27th, 2012     Content Marketing, Google, Online Marketing, Press Release Optimization, Search Marketing, Social Media

Social Media Community Managers

The 2012 Community Manager Report

Community Manager is an essential, yet still uncharted territory for many companies that are expanding their presence on the social web.  What should you know about the current state of this position?

  • 67% of Community Managers work for a brand
  • The most popular city for Community Managers is New York
  • 65% of Community Managers are Female

Be sure to check out the rest of this report presented by Social Fresh.

Google & FBI: All Your Social Data Are Belong to Us

For non-geeks, here’s the reference (Zero Wing video)

Lee Odden

5 Basic SEO Troubleshooting Tips for Content Marketers

Lee Odden on Jan 26th, 2012     Content Marketing, Online Marketing, SEO
troubleshoot SEO basics for content marketers

Content Marketing Not Performing? Troubleshoot SEO Basics.

This post is a preview of a new downloadable guide I will be offering for those who pre-order Optimize by March 13, 2012. The full guide will have screenshots, examples and more “SEO Deep Dive” advice. If you want the full, illustrated Content Marketing SEO Troubleshooting Guide, visit OptimizeBook.com to pre-order and subscribe to our mailing list for more details.

Content Marketing at its core is about planning information that is thoughtful about the needs and interests of target customer groups as they take the journey through the buying cycle, interacting with content and pulling themselves towards purchase. The role of search engines in making ebooks, white papers, case studies, newsletters, webinars, reports, video, images and many other content marketing tactics is often underestimated or overlooked.

Ashley Zeckman

Optimize Your Social Media Schedule: 4 Tips for Avoiding the Social Media Time Suck

Ashley Zeckman on Jan 24th, 2012     B2B, B2C, Online Marketing, Social Bookmarking, Social Media, Social Media Tool, Social Networking

optimize social media time

Making the time to execute on a social media strategy can rattle even the most experienced marketers.  Unlike traditional marketing, social media marketing can present many different challenges and distractions.  According to a study by eMarketer 73% of marketers say finding the time to create content as their biggest marketing challenge.

I recently ran a poll of @TopRank Twitter followers to get a sense of how they spend their time online.  I asked “If you had only 20 minutes a day to spend on social media what would you focus on?”  Some of the answers we received were:

  • @henryroominates – “I would try to connect with powerful Twitter users and Tweet content from my blog.”
  • @SebastianX – “I’d read my Twitter Followanyday List.”
Lee Odden

11 Ways to Get Smarter & Stay Current in a World of Social Information Overload

Lee Odden on Jan 23rd, 2012     Online Marketing

online marketingOnline Marketing is all about information. And people. Making connections that solve marketing problems in today’s environment of social and technological innovation can be challenging. Like many readers of this blog, a big part of what I do as an Internet Marketer centers around being able to consume large amounts of information or better, the right information, synthesizing it and using insights to help others make sense of the challenges and opportunities they face with marketing on the web.

As an author, frequent speaker at industry conferences, advisor to clients and the people who serve our clients, there’s a sense of urgency for me to stay current and to understand what current events in the digital marketing world mean in the context of individual situations. It’s not enough to observe that news events and trends are happening, but to understand what those observations mean as it relates to impact on business, on customers and how to continue the pursuit of successful online marketing.

Ashley Zeckman

Online Marketing News: Say NOPA to SOPA, Google+ Strikes Again, Coca Cola “Gets It”, Twitter Gobbles Up Summify

Ashley Zeckman on Jan 20th, 2012     Blog Marketing, Marketing Industry News, Online Marketing

Using Social Media to Find a New Job

The Social Job Seekers

The social media job market is hot! This infographic visualizes the 2011 Social Job Seeker Survey that was conducted by Jobvite.  It examines who the job seekers are and how they are utilizing social media to find jobs.  Some interesting statistics you may not be aware of:

  • 61% of all employed Americans are open to a new job or actively looking for a new one.
  • 4 out of 10 job seekers are “Super Social” and have 150+ contacts on Facebook, Twitter, or Linkedin.
  • 1 in 6 job seekers found their last job through an online social network.
Ashley Zeckman

4 Things Lady Gaga Can Teach Us About Social Media PR & Online Influence

Ashley Zeckman on Jan 19th, 2012     Online Marketing, Online PR, Public Relations, Social Media, Social Networking
Lady Gaga with one of her Little Monsters

Photo Credit: Flickr gjkooijman

Lady Gaga is the definition of an influencer offline and online; her music, fashion sense, and passion for social causes have spread around the world in only a few short years.  Love her, like her or hate her, you know who she is and you’ve probably heard more than one of her songs.

When searching for a way to improve your online PR strategy or increase your social reach, who better to learn from than one of the most influential celebrities in the world and on the web?

Social Media is Going Gaga

  • Lady Gaga Facebook Fan Page Followers – 46,608,220
  • @LadyGaga Twitter Followers – 18,198,577
  • Lady Gaga Google+ Followers – 20,852 (only 4 days after signing up)
Ashley Zeckman

Google+ for Business: 5 Things Marketing Professionals Should Know About Google+

Ashley Zeckman on Jan 17th, 2012     Content Marketing, Google, Online Marketing, Search Marketing, Social Media

Chris Brogan Google+ for BusinessGoogle+ has been on the lips of every online marketing professional since early 2011.  With a base that has now passed 62 million users and the integration of Google+ into Google search, it has become clear that Google+ is here to stay.

As this new social platform continues to evolve it may be difficult to keep up with the latest trends, changes, and tactics for creating an optimized and influential Google+ profile for you and your business.  With recent events and the release of Chris Brogan’s new book “Google+ for Business: How Google’s Social Network Changes Everything” Lee and I thought it seemed a good time to compile some helpful tips of our own and some from Chris’s new book to help professionals take some of the fear and uncertainty out of using Google+.

Lee Odden

Social Media & Blogging Listmania with Curated Resources & Lists

Lee Odden on Jan 16th, 2012     Blogging, Content Marketing, Online Marketing, Social Media

content curation marketing with listsBeing included on a popular list of credible resources like our own BIGLIST of top Marketing Blogs or one of the many other collections of useful resources posted online can feel pretty satisfying, validating the hard work many are putting in to their business blogs. Great lists get socially shared, linked, and emailed, giving those included quite a bit of valuable exposure. By association, the list publisher also gains value in terms of exposure, links, and a connection with list participants.

Curation is essential for sorting through the mass of data published online and with the closer integration of social media and search, each of us is becoming a mini-search engine for the benefit of our networks and for sites like Google and Facebook. Essentially, Google, Bing and even Facebook are just elaborate and massive content curators. The question is, how can we as marketers take advantage of mass curation and crowdsourcing for the benefit of our own online marketing?

Ashley Zeckman

Online Marketing News: Google+ Search, $10 per Twitter Follower, Facebook 1 Billion Users, Foursquare Search Engine, Social ROI: No, Really!

Ashley Zeckman on Jan 13th, 2012     Google, Online Marketing, Search Engines, Search Marketing, Social Media

Search, plus Your World

The big news this week centers around the changes that Google has rolled out related to Google+ integration with search, which as the tech press buzzing.  Google is aiming to bring users additional search functionality that is incorporated with their Google+ profiles.   The official Google blog states that “you should be able to find your own stuff on the web, the people you know and things they’ve shared with you, as well as the people you don’t know but might want to… all from one search box.” Industry observers are saying it’s too much Google+, all the time.

Regardless, it’s a new dimension on the face of search and that spells opportunity (for those optimists among us) to Optimize. Here are a few tips on Google+ optimization. Be sure to add TopRank to your Google+ circles!

Ashley Zeckman

5 Marketing Tips for Improving Customer Relationships & ROI With Better Communications

Ashley Zeckman on Jan 12th, 2012     B2B, B2C, Content Marketing, Email Marketing, Online Marketing
If you keep customers happy they will continue to buy

Improved communication turns one time buyers into lifelong customers.

As marketers and sales professionals there is no doubt that we are focused on obtaining new customers and increasing awareness within targeted market segments.  However, we must also consider the lifetime value of our existing customers and how marketing communications can contribute to that relationship.  Taking the time to examine what kind of communications can keep your brand top of mind with customers and inspire continued awareness for repeat sales and referrals is of enormous value.

Do you know how much your current customers are worth to your company?  In recent years research has found that a 5% increase in customer retention can increase profits by 25% to 95%.  Armed with the knowledge that satisfied customers has a direct impact on your bottom line, there is no time like the present to begin targeting your current customers.  Here are 5 tips on better customer communications you can start using right now:

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