TopRank Online Marketing

Archive for May, 2012


Lee Odden

5 Tips For More Impact From Social Media Participation

Lee Odden on May 31st, 2012     Online Marketing, Social Media

overcome social media introversionWhen Twitter launched and started to get a lot of buzz, I was skeptical. I didn’t get it at first. Like many others, I signed up and started to experiment to see what all the noise was about. After a little while it clicked for me and Twitter (@leeodden@toprank) has been an instrumental communications channel ever since.

But Twitter is just one social platform of many. Tweets are just individual messages out of many. When it comes to evaluating the effectiveness of your social media participation, are you evaluating individual tweets, status updates, and comments or the overall experience others have by consuming your content?

Brian Larson

3 Ways Customer Optimization is a lot Like Fishing (and vice-versa)

Brian Larson on May 30th, 2012     Content Marketing, Online Marketing, Online Marketing Strategy

customer optimizationSavvy internet marketers work hard to uncover and understand the common characteristics of their buying audiences, segmenting them into groups and even going so far as to develop personas. They do this for a very good reason, how can you optimize your content for an audience if you don’t know who they are or what they want? This customer-centric approach to marketing is one that Lee has been advocating for years (see Chapter 6 of Optimize for some good nuggets).

With the sun starting to warm-up Lake Minnetonka where the TopRank Online Marketing HQ is located, it got me thinking about how the disciplines of customer optimization and fishing are similar. You may laugh at that idea, but given my tendency to leave each fishing trip with 5-7 less lures, an impressive sunburn and zero fish, I have spent a lot time reflecting on how to elevate my fishing ‘game’.

Ashley Zeckman

Facebook Timeline: How Target, Ford & Best Buy Embraced Change & Won

Ashley Zeckman on May 29th, 2012     Facebook, Online Marketing, Social Media

It has been nearly 2 months since the official launch of Facebook’s Timeline for Pages.  In that short amount of time Facebook has seen a lot of changes ranging from Facebook’s IPO, to the Pages Manager and new camera applications for mobile.

One of the most important factors when running an online marketing program is adaptability.  Sometimes we’re given a significant warning of a social media platform’s change or the changes have little impact on the marketing value of the platform.  But other times we may not be so fortunate.  With Facebook in particular, the landing pages and sub-pages that many companies were relying on were no longer available as a means of marketing to customers once the new timeline was implemented.

Lee Odden

5 of the Most Important Content & Social Media Tips For A Successful Business Blog

Lee Odden on May 28th, 2012     Blogging, Online Marketing

business bloggingThe tendency for corporate marketers and their agencies to chase shiny social objects seems to be manifesting as conflicting trends in the usefulness of social media for business. Companies that execute their social media marketing tactics poorly often conclude the channel doesn’t work. A good example is the “corporate blogging is dying” story which contrasts with a study that shows blogging is the second most effective B2B lead generation tactic.

I’ve always said that tools are only as good as the skills of the people using them and the moving target of social savvy customers along with a rapidly evolving social web make social media marketing skills acquisition a bit tricky. I think part of the answer to the distracted approach to social media marketing efforts like corporate blogging could be arrested by mastering these basics.

Ashley Zeckman

Online Marketing News: Local Optimization Opportunity, Facebook Advertising Issues, Google Knowledge Graph Takes Over

Ashley Zeckman on May 25th, 2012     Online Marketing

The Local Web – The Single Largest Opportunity For National Brands

This infographic by Balihoo shares the significance of marketing locally to your potential customers.  According to this infographic:

  • 73% of online search activity is related to local content
  • 82% of local Internet searches follow-up offline
  • 23.6%  the percentage that digital media is expected to represent of advertising by 2015

Featured Team Member Story

Sara Duane-Gladden – Is Facebook Advertising the Problem?  Or Are Brands Expectations the Culprit?

GM made waves last week when it pulled $10 million in annual spending from Facebook, but are the ads really at issue or are marketing expectations? According to a recent poll, 61% of US Facebook advertisers used ads for awareness purposes, yet a hefty 44% expected them to generate conversions. So… which is it? Engagement doesn’t necessarily mean sales, and sales don’t necessarily mean engagement.  Via eMarketer.

Brian Larson

Marketo Summit Session: Engaging with Cross Channel Marketing

Brian Larson on May 24th, 2012     B2B, Content Marketing, Email Marketing, Marketing PR Conferences, Online Marketing, Online Marketing Strategy

[Note from Brian: Please note that Marketo is a client of TopRank Online Marketing]

When was the last time you heard of a really successful email campaign? Or TV ad campaign? Or a campaign on any channel for that matter? It’s likely been awhile.

The reason that isolated, channel-specific campaigns are rarely discussed these days is simple: they rarely work. That by no means is saying that email, or TV, or social, can’t be incredibly effective platforms to market your messages. Cross channel (see multiple channel) marketing is effective because each of these platforms can have an impact, when integrated into a holistic campaign.

It’s with this in mind that Maria Pergolino, Marketo’s Senior Director of Marketing, led the Marketo Summit panel discussion ‘Engaging with Cross Channel Marketing’.

Brian Larson

Marketo Summit Session: Destroying the 7 Myths of B2B Social Media by Jay Baer

Brian Larson on May 24th, 2012     B2B, Online Marketing, Social Media, Social Networking
Jay Baer's Session at 2012 Marketo Summit

Jay Baer Keynotes Wednesday Lunch Session at 2012 Marketo Summit

There has long been a widely held (and incorrect) belief that social media is a B2C sandbox. ’Stay out B2B marketers, this social thing has nothing to do with you.’ Of course, there have been countless studies that have documented B2B marketers successes in driving results in social.

With the notion that social is only for B2C debunked, in its place now are new myths. Each chalked-full of misinformation and hyperbole regarding B2B’s ability to implement, engage and monitor social. Jay Baer, President of Convince & Convert, lead a high-impact and high-energy presentation at the Marketo Summit aimed to call-out and ‘destroy’ some of the more prevalent myths.

The session was titled ‘Destroying the 7 Myths of B2B Social Media‘, and here are the 7 myths Jay shared.

Ashley Zeckman

Infographic Feeding Frenzy: 4 Tips for Wading the Waters of Data Visualization

Ashley Zeckman on May 23rd, 2012     Online Marketing

Note from Ashley: Please welcome this guest post from Shawna Kenyon, an Associate Account Manager with TopRank Online Marketing.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, if that’s true then how many is an Infographic worth? Infographics are all the rage right now, and it’s not surprising B2B marketers are paying attention. When people talk about infographics we often hear the phrase ‘data visualization’. That’s because we have the means to transform information that could otherwise be deemed bland or boring, into something creative and compelling.

There is a method to the madness.  According to studies, 83% of learning occurs visually whereas people only remember 20% of what they read.  In a world of information overload it is essential that we present our customers with information that is easy to read, digest, and share.  Below I have included 4 Tips that will keep you from going off of the data visualization deep end.

Ashley Zeckman

7 Exercises to Revitalize Your Marketing Approach

Ashley Zeckman on May 22nd, 2012     Content Marketing, Online Marketing, Social Media

Have you ever felt that your marketing strategy was beginning to take on some unhealthy habits or perhaps fattening up in all the wrong places? Perhaps it’s been awhile since you took a long hard look at your strategy and looked at it for what it should be, an ever evolving and improving means of communicating with your customers.

Keeping pace with quickly changing Internet marketing trends can be exhausting, and frankly overwhelming. However, it is essential that your team offers new and inspired ideas to your prospects and customers. Why? Because if you don’t, someone else will.

2012 has many changes in store including: Over ¾ of the population will be online, smartphone shoppers will reach 68.6 million, and more than 90% of social networkers will be on Facebook. What should that tell you? It’s time to get off the couch and start strengthening your marketing strategy to better target your customers.

Lee Odden

Classic Marketing Consulting Fail: “What We Got Here is a Failure to Implement”

Lee Odden on May 21st, 2012     Business of SEO, Content Marketing, Online Marketing

implementation failIf you’re old enough to remember the classic movie, Cool Hand Luke, there’s a moment when a rebellious prisoner played by a young Paul Newman refuses to “go along” with prison rules despite some grueling punishment. The warden, played by Strother Martin, made the famous observation about a lack of communication.

The failure to communicate is probably the most important cause of failure with client and internet marketing consultant relationships. Everything from managing expectations to performance reporting are affected. One of the most common outcomes from a lack of communication in a consulting engagement is the failure to implement.

Ashley Zeckman

Online Marketing News: Facebook IPO: Worth $104 Billion, Google Penguin & Panda Party Crash, G+ Ghost Town

Ashley Zeckman on May 18th, 2012     Marketing Industry News, Online Marketing

Top 250 Internet Retailers

Social networking for retailers makes sense right? Make your brand visible where your consumers are spending the most time. This infographic from Campalyst shares information on one of the things that helps makes retailers successful online, a social presence. Key findings include:

  • Number of followers by social platform
  • How success on social networks is distributed
  • The most followed industries on specific social channels

Featured Team Member Story

Mike Yanke – Who Will Win the War of the Sidebars?

Lee Odden

All Marketing Should Be Optimized – Geoff Livingston & Gini Dietrich

Lee Odden on May 17th, 2012     Guest Posts, Online Marketing
Marketing in the Round

Photo Credit: Geoff Livingston - Flickr

[Note from Lee: The growing trend towards integration of marketing and communications disciplines has brought a tremendous demand for guidance and insight. I'm happy to say that my friends Geoff Livingston and Gini Dietrich have published a new book about just that. We rarely publish guest posts but the message of integration and optimization in this book blend perfectly with our core messages here.]

One of our favorite books to come out in a long while is Lee’s Optimize. We love the three discipline approach — content, search and social — to online marketing. Without integration across all marketing disciplines we fail to understand the customer experience.

We just published Marketing in the Round on a overarching integrated communications, traditional and new, and see online as the backbone for all marketing today, on or offline.

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