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Archive for June, 2012


Ashley Zeckman

Online Marketing News: Content Marketing for B2B, Engage Your Audience, Twitter Bot Seems Human, Facebook Knows What’s Best, Watch The Sarcasm

Ashley Zeckman on Jun 29th, 2012     Online Marketing

Content Marketing in B2B

exploreB2B recently partnered with Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs to creat this infographic which covers elements of why, what, where, and how of B2B Content Marketing that are necessary to execute on a successful campaign.

Featured TopRank Team Story

Shawna Kenyon – How to Build – and Keep – an Engaged Audience
For those of us creating content on a regular basis it is important to understand how best to build and keep and audience.  Many companies find themselves asking: with so much content online how do we fit in, and how do we differentiate ourselves from the competition? Gripping headlines, to the point copy, and promotion are just a few of the tips included in this article.  Via Mashable.

Weekly Online Marketing News

Lee Odden

Break Free of Bad SEO Advice – Optimize for Customers

Lee Odden on Jun 28th, 2012     Online Marketing, Online Marketing Strategy, SEO

break free bad seo adviceDespite years of warnings from Google and especially from search quality guy, Matt Cutts, there’s a certain segment of internet marketing consultants that continue to give out bad advice:  SEO shortcuts, tricks and loopholes with manufactured content and buying links to gain an artificial advantage that runs contrary to Google’s Guidelines.  Complicating matters is the fact that large numbers of companies are taking that advice in their rush to win traffic and sales.

The result? Getting penalized, removed from the index or other consequences affecting visibility of their content in search. From the Florida update almost 10 years ago to the Panda and recent Penguin updates, it’s clear Google is committed to narrowing down what kinds of SEO tactics can have an explicit impact on search visibility in their quest for quality.

Lee Odden

Is a Rush to Revenue Hurting Your Marketing Innovation & Domination?

Lee Odden on Jun 27th, 2012     Online Marketing

Revenue Marketing InnovationHere’s a familiar scenario with many companies that have tactically approached social media marketing:  “Let’s stop wasting time with this social media mumbo jumbo. We need to increase sales, grow revenue and sign up more customers!”.

On the other end of the spectrum you might hear, “Social media marketing is too difficult to measure, it’s early days. So let’s keep investing and eventually we’ll be able to see our return.”  Neither attitude has the best long term interests of the business in mind.

Clearly there are few businesses that don’t want to increase sales and conversions, but is a singular focus on revenue, especially in today’s world of connected consumers, actually helping bottom line business results or creating a longer term disadvantage?  Alternatively, is the absence of focus on revenue with social media marketing a responsible and accountable approach to the investment?

Ashley Zeckman

6 Things Andrew Zimmern Taught Me About Working Hard to Reach Your Goals

Ashley Zeckman on Jun 26th, 2012     Content Marketing, Online Marketing

I recently attended the #TechMunch food bloggers conference in Minneapolis which had everything from a gourmet lunch to a buffet of knowledge shared from experts within the field.  The headline discussion for this conference took place between Bizzarre Foods Andrew Zimmern (@andrewzimmern) and WCCO’s Jason Derusha (@derushaeats).

While Zimmern is not travelling the world sampling exotic eats he resides in Minnesota with his family.  Or as he calls it, lives out of a suitcase when he’s home.  Zimmern had a wealth of knowledge about the food industry and working his way up the food chain in the restaurant business.

While Zimmern’s advice was mostly related to his experience within the food industry, much of the advice he bestowed upon the audience also applies to other lines of work.  In this post I have included ten of the lessons that I learned from Andrew Zimmern’s life experience, and how it can be applied to myself and others like me.

Lee Odden

GeekBeat.TV Interview: Optimizing the Customer to Content Connection

Lee Odden on Jun 25th, 2012     Blogging, Marketing PR Conferences, Online Marketing, Video Interviews

At BlogWorld New Media Expo in New York, John P. and Cali Lewis had me on their GeekBeat.tv show where we talked about a mix of digital marketing topics including “walk the talk” marketing consulting, the power of word of mouth, the value of influence, common marketing challenges for companies, ROI vs. the promise of ROI, budget limitations vs. culture, the “must do” of getting started with social media.

Those companies that take the time to understand who their audiences and influencers are can dig into optimal means of information discovery, what target audience preferences are for media type and format, and how to inspire action whether it’s a referral or a sale.  With that insight, marketers can work to develop a plan to continuously optimize the brand’s effectivenss at connecting content with customers all across the lifecycle: awareness, interest, consideration, purchase, retention, advocacy.

Ashley Zeckman

Online Marketing News: Who is Matt? Yammer Runs The Numbers, Marketing Infographics 101, Setting Goals = Success

Ashley Zeckman on Jun 22nd, 2012     Online Marketing

Where the Hell is Matt?
If you haven’t heard of Matt before, you are in for a treat.  In 2003 Matt decided to leave his job and travel around Asia until he ran out of money.  Matt began making videos of himself  dancing, very badly.  His videos caught the attention of Stride gum who asked Matt if he would like to take another trip around the world, on their dime.  Suddenly Matt’s videos went viral.  Matt now travels all over the world dancing and interacting with people from all walks of life.

Facebook to Debut Real-Time Bidding on Advertising Prices
Facebook is following in the footsteps of companies like Google and will begin rolling out real-time bidding for advertising on their site.  Apparently this new technology will help companies more effectively target their ads to consumers.  With the staggering drop in Facebook’s worth over the past few weeks, do you think this will turn their ship around?  Via Bloomberg Businessweek.

TopRank Online Marketing

Square Zero: 5 Survival Tips for Better Keyword Research

TopRank Online Marketing on Jun 21st, 2012     Keyword Research, Online Marketing, SEO

It’s a situation you have never before found yourself in.  It is fraught with anticipation – and potentially –danger.  And oftentimes – it can be the difference between success or failure.

It is the square zero experience – and if you find yourself developing a keyword glossary that will drive your online marketing campaigns for an indefinite amount of time – you might be in one.

For a good primer on keyword research, check out chapter 7 of Optimize, of which I am a contributor.  But showing you the implementation steps for keyword research alone isn’t enough to prepare you for the reality of creating the topical framework that will define your entire online marketing strategy – and could help shape the life of your online business.

Lee Odden

The One Thing Killing Your Blogger Outreach

Lee Odden on Jun 20th, 2012     Online Marketing, Online PR

blogger outreachLike many other marketing and PR blogs, we get a lot of inquiries from PR agencies and reps to write about their clients. I ignore about 80% of them.

Why? It’s mostly due to the pitch not being relevant. OMB is an agency blog with the purpose of promoting thought leadership for TopRank Online Marketing. It’s not a news site, it’s not a blog starved for ideas or in need to cover the latest software launch.

With blogger outreach, a lot of focus gets put on the hook or the angle of a pitch. Even if the message is relevant and compelling, I find a lot of those pitches still fail by leaving out one really important thing. Even if the pitch is only 90% relevant or if the hook wasn’t entirely compelling, including that one thing means there’s a good chance I’d act on it. What’s the one thing?

Ashley Zeckman

Tips For Humanizing Your Business from Jamie Notter & Maddie Grant

Ashley Zeckman on Jun 19th, 2012     Book Reviews, Online Marketing

Our Online Marketing Agency has long been an advocate of taking a customer-centric approach to creating and optimizing content for customers.  It is only natural that companies should be taking that same approach with their employees.

I had the pleasure of attending a session at BlogWorld New York which featured authors Jamie Notter (@jamienotter) and Maddie Grant (@maddiegrant).  The subject of their session as well as their new book “humanize: how people-centric organizations succeed in a social world” intrigued me.

After attending their presentation I was quick to place my order for their book so that I could follow up on some of the key points that I found to be most interesting.  I also had an opportunity to speak with Jamie & Maddie to gain some additional insight into their background, and take on why human-centric businesses succeed.

Lee Odden

Top Marketing & Public Relations Blogs Are Influential, But Are They Optimized?

Lee Odden on Jun 18th, 2012     Blogging, Online Marketing

PR BlogsCision recently published a list of top PR & Marketing blogs which is timely, because having worked in both worlds for 11 years plus, I’ve seen the convergence accelerated by shifts in technology and consumer behaviors. In the list, Cision published an influence score to sort the blogs (TopRank’s Online Marketing Blog is sandwiched at #2 between Chris Brogan and Jason Falls) and it made me wonder about their influence when it comes to search.

Most bloggers say they know what SEO is and some even profess to engage in SEO best practices, but I thought it would be interesting to do a simple analysis of the top 10 on the list to see what their referring organic keyword and inbound link profiles looked like. Arguably, if a blog is optimized, it will attract traffic through search with phrases that represent the topics the blogger wants to be known for.

Ashley Zeckman

Online Marketing News: How Are We Influenced? Reddit Cracks Down, 11 Surprising Social Stats, Google is SO Hot Right Now

Ashley Zeckman on Jun 15th, 2012     Online Marketing

How Are We Influenced?

This recent infographic from CrowdTap focuses on that very subject.  Beginning with the history of influence we are taken on a journey which includes:

  • How content spreads
  • Where influence comes from
  • Peer Recommendations

Why Reddit is Cracking Down on Your Favorite Sites
Reddit claims that many popular news sites are guilty of artificially promoting their content to make it appear more popular.  Long story short, they are cheating.  Via Venture Beat.

comScore US Internet  Report
Latest figures from comScore’s show an increase in unique visits to social media sites of over 6%.  The company re-confirmed that Pinterest remains the fastest-growing social network as of Q1 in 2012.  Via TechCrunch.

Sara

5 B2C Pinteresting Marketing Lessons From Nordstrom, Williams-Sonoma, Barney’s, Neiman Marcus & Vera Bradley

Sara on Jun 14th, 2012     B2C, Online Marketing, Social Media

With over 100 million monthly visitors, Pinterest is now the 3rd largest social network after Facebook and Twitter (Forbes). For retailers marketing to consumers online, it’s become an essential social marketing and engagement channel.  According to the 2012 Social and Mobile Commerce Study, consumers use Pinterest more than Facebook or Twitter to engage with retailers and follow an average of 9.3 retail companies.

When planning your Pinterest strategy, it is helpful to consider what other successful B2C and retail marketing pros are implementing and how it leads to their success. Fortunately, the leading five of the Top 250 Internet retailers are flush with great big name brand Pinterest marketing examples. There’s plenty that mid-size companies, smaller businesses and start-ups could learn from these long-established brands. Read on to learn 5 lessons from the top 5 retailers on Pinterest.

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