TopRank Online Marketing

Archive for February, 2013


Lee Odden

Social Media Predictions for 2013

Lee Odden on Feb 28th, 2013     Online Marketing, Social Media

Social Media Predictions 2013Companies of all sizes are in search of answers towards better social media strategy and at TopRank Marketing we’re helping to make that happen.

This week Jolina Pettice and I completed giving a 2 day social media and content marketing workshop for a $400 million company and a few weeks ago I gave a presentation to executives at a $22 billion company on how social media could advance some of their objectives. The way forward with social media is top of mind for many businesses and organizations.

Miranda Miller

4 Mistakes You’re Making with Online Marketing Software and How to Fix Them

Miranda Miller on Feb 27th, 2013     Online Marketing

Marketing Sales GoalsMarketing software can help companies scale and automate important marketing processes of all kinds, from lead nurturing to data analysis to sales process optimization and beyond. Regardless of the software company behind it, these solutions are typically designed to help companies save time, identify opportunities, and close the gaps internally or externally that keep them from achieving their goals.

The goal in most businesses is pretty straightforward: increase revenue and more importantly, profits. The process to get you there is nowhere near that simple. Marketing software is meant to:

  • make it easier to increase multi-channel visibility,
  • align sales and marketing efforts (often through CRM integration),
  • reach the right people at the right place and time with enhanced targeting, and
  • help nurture and maintain relationships.
Ashley Zeckman

2013 Oscars: The Best & Worst Dressed Social Media Marketing Moments

Ashley Zeckman on Feb 26th, 2013     Online Marketing, Social Media

The red carpetIf you are like most Americans, Sunday night was spent in front of the television watching Seth McFarland sing songs that ran much too long and make awkward jokes.  I was actually one of the few that did not watch the Oscars (I don’t have the attention span) but I did follow the buzz online.

As an online marketer, it’s always interesting to see how companies take advantage of events such as the Super Bowl, Oscars, Grammy’s, etc.  Many viewers are just as interested in seeing the glamorous outfits and train wrecks which can all be found on the red carpet.  Similarly, there were a select number of companies that successfully carried off an integrated Oscars marketing campaign, as well as some that just didn’t hit the mark.  Below you’ll find what I consider to be the best and worst “dressed” social media marketing moments from the Oscars.

Lee Odden

3 Essential Content Curation Best Practices to Boost Content Marketing Performance

Lee Odden on Feb 25th, 2013     Content Marketing, Online Marketing

Keep Calm and CurateCreating original content is resource intensive and while some companies that have all the copywriting resources they need (that’s an exception not the rule) it makes sense to curate content in addition to publishing original articles and media.

Curation is the cornerstone of being useful on the social web by finding, filtering and adding insight to content online and sharing with social networks.

Qualitative curation over time helps associate the topics being curated with the company or person doing the curating. When a company does a good job of defining its unique selling proposition and what it stands for, those key concepts help define editorial themes in everything from a content calendar to topics that drive curated social media content.

Miranda Miller

Online Marketing News: Google’s Look at the Buying Journey, Brand Marketers Failing at Localization

Miranda Miller on Feb 22nd, 2013     Online Marketing News

Google Holiday Infographic Buying Journey

Google Analyzes Consumer Device Preferences: Insight Into Mobile Purchasing Journey

Google has just released a blog post and infographic sharing insights into consumer shopping behavior over the recent 2012 shopping season. In many cases, Google said, consumers discovered a business on one device, for example on their smartphone while in a store, and would then engage further with that business on another device at a later time.

It is critical that companies understand the various entry and touchpoints during their customers’ buying journey, then optimize existing and new content to fulfill needs at each point. Your own data will always be most valuable, though the industry trends companies with access to as much relevant data as Google has can be helpful, as well. For example, they found that smartphones were the preferred device for contacting or navigating to a business with 71% of shoppers using a store locator on their phone, while 82% of shoppers used a larger device like PC or tablet for making online purchases. Is your content, whether written, visual or video, currently optimized for mobile formatting and consumption?

Miranda Miller

Inside #NASASocial: How Real-World Events Build Social Media Advocates

Miranda Miller on Feb 21st, 2013     Online Marketing, Other Events, Social Media
Tom Marshburn, Kevin Ford and Chris Hadfield chat live with #NASASocial participants.

Astronauts Tom Marshburn, Kevin Ford and Chris Hadfield chat live from the International Space Station with #NASASocial participants.

February 20th, NASA hosted a special event at their Washington headquarters in which a group of their social fans attended a day of tours, expert talks and even a livechat with astronauts on the International Space Station. My son and I are fortunate to have participated and on top of the insider look we had at NASA research, we learned a great deal about the power of social media advocacy, as well.

So what happens when an organization puts 150 of their loyal social media fans in one room for a fantastic, exclusive experience? Brand building and social reach magic, judging by the results of yesterday’s #NASASocial.

Lee Odden

5 Content Sourcing Ideas Through Word Visualization

Lee Odden on Feb 20th, 2013     Content Marketing, Online Marketing

content sourcing ideas

One of the most common problems marketers have with content is ideation. This is especially true with companies that have relied on just a few individuals for things like blogging and social promotions. Eventually, people will run out of their own ideas. It is inevitable and a certainty in most cases.

The solution for business content ideation is to be connected to the interests, goals and purchasing journey of the consumer. By knowing the customer lifecycle, content can be planned for each customer segment according the information needs of buyers as they discover, consume and act on content.

Besides that customer centric approach to content planning, there are a variety of opportunities to get ideas in order to be more creative or to surface concepts and stories that are unique. Here are 5 sources that can give marketers useful and practical ideas for serving their customer content marketing needs:

Ashley Zeckman

Social Media Night Out: 8 Tips To Get You Through The Evening

Ashley Zeckman on Feb 19th, 2013     Online Marketing, Social Media

DJ NightclubAfter a long and stressful week at the office it’s time to kick back, relax, and make the most of your weekend.  The easy option might be to stay in, order take-out, or watch Golden Girls reruns.  However, you might also be ready to blow off some steam.  Let’s face it, as attractive as a lazy night on the couch sounds, you know once you put in the extra effort a night out will be much more fun.

Comparatively, there are two ways to plan a social media strategy.

  • Plan 1 consists of a lazy and solo mission where you simply share a few things here and there that are just a regurgitation of social media stories and promotions that your readers have already heard.
Lee Odden

Is Finding Your Business Blog a Mystery? 3 Tips for Blog Promotion & Findability

Lee Odden on Feb 18th, 2013     Blogging, Online Marketing

Sherlock Holmes LondonWith millions of blogs and other social content to compete against, the challenge of standing out can seem overwhelming for business and personal bloggers alike.

But it doesn’t have to be a mystery for customers to find your corporate blog. If you have interesting and useful things to say, there is an audience seeking that very information.

The connection between social media and blog promotion for companies is logical: Publish a blog post and then tweet it out or post a link to Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+.

But there’s more to making your business blog findable than just sharing links through social channels. That’s why focusing solely on the promotion of blog content after it’s published is like a hamster running on an exercise wheel. The ideal is to be intentional and planned yet also opportunistic. And to scale those promotion efforts, it’s essential that two or three times as much time is spent growing social networks than actually promoting content to them.

Miranda Miller

Online Marketing News: Fortune 100 Social B2B Brands, Vine Embeds Coming to Twitter?

Miranda Miller on Feb 15th, 2013     Online Marketing News

B2B Fortune 100s Effective in Social

B2B Fortune 100 Companies Prove Effective in Social Media Marketing

Who ever said only B2C brands get to be popular on social networks? The two companies sitting atop the Social Effectiveness Index just happen to be B2B brands Honeywell International, an aerospace and defense contractor, and financial services company American International Group. MetLife, Aetna, Chevron and Walt Disney all made the top ten.

The presence and effectiveness of Fortune 100 brands were measured across five areas: share of voice, identification of influencers and advocates, engagement rate, touch rate and net sentiment. Goldman Sachs topped the list in the banking sector, while Kraft Foods takes the cake as the most effective Fortune 100 in the food & beverage social space. Researchers from Blue Ocean released their findings in the form of an infographic, as well as a report listing their methodology and the results for all 100 brands evaluated.

Alexis Hall

How to Make Love Stay: 6 Ways B2B Marketing Analytics is Like A Relationship

Alexis Hall on Feb 14th, 2013     Online Marketing

nerd holding heartValentines Day is a holiday that some people look forward to, while others dread it’s very existence.  Let’s face it; no one likes to be alone on Valentine’s Day. Much like personal relationships, business relationships take effort. What are you doing this year to ensure you’re spending time with someone special and keeping your conversion funnel full?

The typical B2B buying cycle is anywhere from 3 to 12 months.  It can be challenging to maintain appropriate touch points throughout a longer sales cycle in a way that will encourage a potential customer to convert, rather than slipping out of the funnel.

Utilizing analytics is a great way for companies to gain insight into customer and prospect behavior and make adjustments to their marketing strategy based on that insight. However, a long sales cycle requires analytics be used beyond simply connecting purchase to channel and adjusting the marketing mix accordingly.

Miranda Miller

Where Does Evergreen Content Fit in Your Company Blog Content Plan?

Miranda Miller on Feb 13th, 2013     Blog Optimization, Content Marketing

How to create evergreen content for your business blogB2B and B2C blogging have their individual intricacies, but a mix of content that addresses the needs of your audience is the core of a great blog plan for both types of businesses. Timely content that capitalizes on search and social trends is certainly helpful for attracting new eyes and expanding your reach. Evergreen content has its place too, and an important one at that.

Both Lee Odden and Mike Yanke have touted the benefits of evergreen content here at Online Marketing Blog. Mike cites the SEO benefits of content that builds links and engages readers over a lengthy period of time. Compelling, engaging, original content satisfies visitors and search engines alike.

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