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Archive for July, 2012


Ashley Zeckman

6 Ways to Best Utilize Different Personality Types Within Your Organization & Consider A Career At TopRank Online Marketing

Ashley Zeckman on Jul 31st, 2012     Online Marketing, TopRank Agency News
Work with TopRank Online Marketing

A few TopRank team members at the #OptimizeBook Minneapolis Launch

The team at TopRank Online Marketing recently took a Disc assessment which is a tool used to improve employee teamwork and communication by identifying behavioral differences and assigning a profile type to each individual.  If you’ve ever taken an assessment like the one that we did, you may find that the description of your traits and learning style are eerily accurate.

A Disc assessment is a tool used to improve employee teamwork and communication by identifying behavioral differences and learning styles within an organization.

Employees will score a little bit differently depending on company culture and industry type but on average these are the following percentages for each profile type:

  • 22% Dominance – values results action and challenge
Lee Odden

Content Marketing 101 – Essential Questions & Answers

Lee Odden on Jul 30th, 2012     Content Marketing

content marketing 101

Who hasn’t wrapped their arms around content marketing yet? Believe me, plenty of companies are still navigating the pros and cons, ins and outs of how to better implement content in their digital marketing mix.  In a recent interview I was asked about content marketing basics and what companies should consider. I thought it would be useful to share some of those insights here as well.

If you’re new to implementing content marketing as a productive complement to your paid, earned and shared media efforts, check out the basics below on starting out, measuring success and where content marketing may be headed.

What is the one key thing that marketers need to know to kick-start a successful content marketing program?

Most importantly, to realize that it’s not about you, it’s about the customer.

Ashley Zeckman

Online Marketing News: What Drives Consumer Shopping Habits, Cathryn Sloane vs. Mark Story, Chick-Fil-A Gets Weird, Google Anti-Web Spamming Efforts

Ashley Zeckman on Jul 27th, 2012     Online Marketing

U.S. Consumer Usage of Social Media to Make Shopping Decisions

The Empathica Consumer Insights Panel recently ran a survey of more than 6,500 U.S. consumers and found that mobile and social experiences are more important than ever for brands.  Survey highlights include:

  • 23% scanned a QR
  • 27% checked into a location using a mobile location
  • 10% followed a brand on Twitter
  • 37% visited a brand’s website on a mobile phone

Controversy Takes Center Stage This Week

Foursquare Pulls A Twitter With Promoted Updates For Select Merchants
It looks like Foursquare’s long-term business model has finally become a lot more clear.  Foursquare introduced “Local Updates” for merchants last week so that they could push updates to local customers.  Via Fast Company.

Ashley Zeckman

That’s a Wrap! Official Optimize Minneapolis Book Launch – Aria at the Jeune Lune

Ashley Zeckman on Jul 26th, 2012     Online Marketing, TopRank Agency News

The Optimize Minneapolis Book Launch last night was a great success!  I would like to personally thank everyone in attendance for coming, interacting, and sharing your feedback about our event online.

I had an opportunity to speak with most of the people in attendance and based on their stellar feedback it sounded like the #OptimizeBook event was just what they needed. A  healthy dose of laughs, refreshments, and learning compliments of Lee Odden (@LeeOdden).

For those of you who were not able to attend we look forward to seeing you at our next Optimize event.  If you’re looking for highlights from the Optimize Minneapolis Book Launch, look no further.  Below you will find Instagram photos, snapshots, and Twitter buzz from the event.

Lee Odden

Introduction: 6 Steps to Customer Life Cycle Optimization with Content

Lee Odden on Jul 25th, 2012     Content Marketing, Online Marketing

customer lifecycle optimizationAs an active observer and participant in the digital marketing world, I see a spectrum of attitudes and perspectives towards attracting and engaging customers online. There are a growing number of great examples and case studies within the world of content marketing in particular, but it’s really only a fraction of the digital marketing spend overall. Despite well promoted studies, statistics, trends and tactics, many companies don’t come close to realizing their potential when it comes to customer acquisition and community building online.

Why do companies continue to invest in content creation without specifying its purpose, the intended audience or outcome? Why do so many business marketers continue to think their existing distribution channels are all that’s needed to gain the full value of exposure to the content they’re publishing?

Ashley Zeckman

#OptimizeBook – An Evening of Laughs, Learning, and Networking with The Top Marketers & PR Professionals In the Twin Cities

Ashley Zeckman on Jul 24th, 2012     Online Marketing, TopRank Agency News

The official Optimize Minneapolis book launch is finally upon us.  Tomorrow from 5:30pm-7:30pm over 200 of the Twin Cities top Marketers and PR professionals will gather at Aria in Minneapolis to mix, mingle, and learn a little bit about optimization from Lee Odden.

With the SEO is dead stories coming from traditional media, Google making major changes and consumer shifts towards social media consumption and sharing, the notion of what optimization is has really changed. The good news is that Optimize gives readers a roadmap and specific tactics on how to integrate the best of search, social and content into an “optimized state of mind”.  The Optimize Minneapolis book launch will give our friends in the Minneapple a taste of why some of the top marketers in the world are saying such great things about Optimize.

Lee Odden

10 Tips: Pre-Hire Checklist for Digital Marketing Agencies

Lee Odden on Jul 23rd, 2012     Business of SEO, Online Marketing

brand agency checklist

A lot of agency blogs don’t talk about the diversity of client experience because they think it may reflect poorly, but it’s simply a reality of varying personalities, a dynamic market and changing organizations. Clearly the goal is retention and our online marketing agency has had clients for over 10 years!

When agencies don’t over-promise and under-deliver, manage expectations properly and actually get great results, you’d think the company and agency relationship would be unstoppable.

With the dynamic nature of digital and online marketing as well as the normal changes in business from new and discontinued products to staff changes to mergers and acquisitions, the assumed success formula for an effective agency and client relationship isn’t always so simple.

Ashley Zeckman

Online Marketing News: Marissa Mayer Says Yahoo!, Shell Media Disaster, General Mills on Pinterest, Semantic Search A Reality

Ashley Zeckman on Jul 20th, 2012     Online Marketing

Is Bigger Always Better?

This recent infographic from Mogreet weighs the effectiveness of “Narrowcast” vs. “Broadcast” as it relates to social and mobile marketing.  In a sea of noise marketers need to know how to get through to their customers.  Highlights include:

  • 98% of all text messages are opened
  • 84% of Facebook news feed stories are not viewed
  • 174 million Americans text daily

Google’s Marissa Mayer Says Yahoo!
One of the biggest and most shocking news items this week was Google executive Marissa Mayer transitioning to the new CEO of Yahoo!.  Mayer has been an employee of Google for 14 years and was one of the most public figures for the search engine giant.  I for one am curious to see if she can turn Yahoo’s sinking ship around!  Via CNN.

Lee Odden

Take the #OptimizeBook Integrated Online Marketing Survey

Lee Odden on Jul 18th, 2012     Online Marketing, Optimize Book

integrated online marketing surveyThe convergence of digital media and disciplines has driven tremendous demand for best practices integrated marketing and strategy. Fortunately, that’s exactly what Optimize provides – a launching point for how to develop a roadmap and tactics that bring search, social media, content and online PR together to reach business goals.

In concert with book promotions like the sold out Optimize Minneapolis event next week, we’re conducting a survey of business, marketing and communications professionals to gain insights on how organizations are using internet marketing tactics like search, social media, online PR and content marketing together.

The Optimize Book Integrated Marketing Survey covers some really important questions that will get you thinking about integrating digital marketing and communications tactics. How effective are these tactics, what’s the organization’s expertise and future investment intentions? What role does customer data play for integrated strategy and execution?

Ashley Zeckman

5 Tips For Marketing Yourself & Your Team At A Networking Event

Ashley Zeckman on Jul 17th, 2012     Online Marketing, Other Events, Social Networking

Grow your professional network both online and offline.

During the summer months it seems that there is always so much to do.  By the time the work day is done, meeting strangers and discussing what you do may be the farthest thing from your mind.  However, local networking events present a plethora of opportunities for individuals and organizations as a whole.

As of May 2012 Facebook had approximately 901 million active users on a monthly basis.  Think of your own Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn connections.  Of those connections how many of them are local?  On my own personal LinkedIn network for example roughly 65% of my contacts are local connections.  Many of which I hadn’t met in person until I started attending more local marketing events.

Lee Odden

Growing Social Networks for Business: 3 Essential Lessons

Lee Odden on Jul 16th, 2012     Online Marketing, Social Media, Social Networking

grow business social networksA lot of businesses, large and small, consumer and B2B focused, are grappling with how the social web will be a tool for their business. Research is actually showing asocial media CEOs are bad for business. I’ve even heard from executives at digital marketing agencies, “I really need to learn this stuff myself” about social media applications and networks. So they start.

The first phase seems to focus on getting to know social applications as a user and the “rules” both explicit and implicit within social communities.  When to use @ and when to use RT for example. Or that you don’t mass follow/friend people you don’t know or make explicit sales pitches to people who you’ve not developed a connection with.

Ashley Zeckman

Online Marketing News: Avoid A Social Crisis, Facebook Job Board, Yahoo! Hack Attack, Kick the Content Slump, Get Creative With Twitter

Ashley Zeckman on Jul 13th, 2012     Online Marketing

How to Avoid a Social Media Crisis

This recent infographic from WordViewEditing sums up the best ways to protect your marketing investment via social media.  When a company begins to receive negative backlash on social media it can be a mere matter of minutes before the negative information spreads like wildfire.  Often these crises occur due to a lack of planning when companies haven’t done their due diligence to determine if a social media platform is the best fit for their company, and if they can keep up with the volume of feedback that it generates.

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