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Archive for April, 2013


Miranda Miller

Do Advertorials & Native Advertising Fit In Your Content Marketing Strategy?

Miranda Miller on Apr 30th, 2013     Content Marketing, Online Marketing, Online Marketing Strategy

Are advertorials a content marketing tactic?Where do advertorials, also know in politically correct terms as “native advertising”, fit into the content marketing toolkit?  To answer this question, we first have to understand what advertorials are – and also that the definition of content marketing itself is a hotly contested topic.

Adam Stetzer of HubShout, in his recent investigation into the purported Google penalization of Interflora for employing advertorial content, insists advertorials are NOT content marketing.

“Advertorials are advertisements, regardless of how you try to dress them up”, he says, “while content marketing is educational. Advertorials are biased; content marketing is free of any bias. The two may share a commercial motive, but are completely different and should be treated as separate entities”.

Lee Odden

The Best Marketing Investment You’ll Ever Make

Lee Odden on Apr 29th, 2013     Online Marketing

The Best Marketing Investment You Can MakeInbound, content, social, mobile, converged, omni-channel, transmedia. The list of marketing channels and strategies vying for our budgetary attention goes on and on.

Where should companies invest to attract more attention and engage those that would influence or act on buying?

To answer that question, we could consider the promotional advantages of each discipline:

  • Inbound Marketing – Inbound drives 54% more leads than outbound (HubSpot)
  • Content Marketing61% of consumers say they feel better about a company that delivers custom content and they are more likely to buy because of that (Custom Content Council)
  • Social Media –  74% of consumers rely on social networks to guide purchase decisions (Salesforce Marketing Cloud)
  • Mobile41% of smartphone owners have made a purchase from their mobile phones & US m-commerce sales will reach $31 billion by 2015 (Visual.ly infographic)
Miranda Miller

Online Marketing News: Predictive Social Tools, Content Marketing & The Customer Journey

Miranda Miller on Apr 26th, 2013     Online Marketing News

Brands understand the importance of content marketing, yet most have not yet addressed their content needs on either a strategic or tactical level, according to Altimeter’s Rebecca Lieb.

Researchers for the company conducted interviews with executives actively engaged in content strategy or marketing; their findings were the basis of a new report, Organizing for Content: Models to Incorporate Content Strategy and Content Marketing in the Enterprise. Lieb and report co-authors guide brand marketers through a variety of organizational models for content, with recommendations to help companies execute an effective content strategy. Read the full report on SlideShare.

Miranda Miller

Brands Gone Wild: Social Media Marketing Fails & Lessons Learned

Miranda Miller on Apr 25th, 2013     Online Marketing, Online PR, Rant, Social Media

Social media campaigns gone wrong.So you want your campaign to go viral…

Let’s keep in mind your business objectives, shall we? As these social marketing fails will show, campaigns may take off but go seriously sideways if companies place popularity above purpose.

Some companies can afford more risk and racier campaigns than others, yet risk in business must always be mitigated and justifiable based on the potential rewards. You might disagree with my opinion on the campaigns featured in this post, but I believe the risks should have been evident from the start and far outweighed the potential payoff.

These examples may cause you to shake your head, or enjoy a good belly laugh, but each is a fantastic learning opportunity for social media marketers.

Lee Odden

6 Simple Considerations For Boosting the Marketing Performance of Content

Lee Odden on Apr 24th, 2013     B2B, Content Marketing, Online Marketing

Content Marketing AccountabilityWhile I’ve been in New York this week for the B2B Content2Conversion conference, I’ve been reflecting on some of the most common issues I see with companies trying to leverage content for increasing leads and sales.

Many companies new to content marketing miss important steps and without checklists or processes, content marketing contribution to leads and sales can be unimpressive.

Of course, not all content needs to “sell” in terms of inquiries or transactions, but for content designed with lead generation in mind, there should be some accountability or you won’t have anything to count.

While deciding the creative on your next infographic, the viral hook of your next video or which awesome thought leaders will be in your next ebook, step back for a second and consider these basic and often overlooked considerations for aligning content with marketing objectives.

Jolina Pettice

Are Bad Directions Leaving Web Visitors Stranded? Optimize For Outcomes to Improve Experience & Conversions

Jolina Pettice on Apr 23rd, 2013     Conversion Optimization, Online Marketing, Search Engines

At some point, most of us have been lost. We know our ultimate destination, but either through a wrong turn or poor directions we find ourselves in the wrong place and likely very frustrated.

Without landing page optimization, your visitors may have this same lost feeling when they arrive on your website. Whether the content was written 10 days or 10 months ago, it’s easy to make assumptions about your website visitors and assume the directions (read: content and calls to action) you are providing make sense.

If anyone has ever given you directions based on landmarks (turn right at the gas station) you can understand this feeling. And ultimately you are unsure and have questions such as: what gas station, what if there is more than 1 and good grief why didn’t you just give me the street name?

Lee Odden

Drive More Demand for Your B2B Business with Optimized & Socialized Content Marketing

Lee Odden on Apr 22nd, 2013     Content Marketing, Marketing PR Conferences, Online Marketing, SEO, Social Media

Optimize Socialize B2B Content Marketing

With 9 out of 10 B2B marketers using content marketing, competition for attention is more fierce  than ever. The constant battle with Google algorithm and indexing updates and the masking of useful data against which to optimize has caused many ambiguities when it comes to implementing traditional SEO advice.

That doesn’t mean search doesn’t warrant top priority. Search is core to finding answers in daily business life: Google handles 100 billion queries monthly and 16% of those queries have never been seen before. According to a recent DemandGen report, 81% of B2B buyers start their journey to finding solutions through search.

That means there are huge opportunities for continuous optimization of content performance in search to attract, engage and convert. Great SEO strategy also contributes to great user experience, so it should play an essential role in every digital marketing mix.

Miranda Miller

Online Marketing News: Google Cautions, Creepy Social Services & Eric Schmidt’s Crystal Ball

Miranda Miller on Apr 19th, 2013     Online Marketing, Online Marketing News

The Power of SMS Marketing

Text messaging open rates are far superior to those on Facebook, email and even Twitter, according to this latest infographic from SlickText.com. In addition, SMS coupons are ten times more likely to be redeemed and shared than mail or newspaper coupons. Almost all text messages are read within the first five minutes, they claim, which makes sense as the average person checks their phone over 150 times per day. See more insights at SlickText.

Eric Schmidt Predicts “Entire World” Will be Online by 2020

Never mind that just 38% of the world’s population use the Internet today; within a decade, every person on the planet will be connected through the web. So said Google chairman Eric Schmidt recently in a public Google+ status update.

Alexis Hall

An Interactive Marketing Evening on the Future of Content: Tips, Team Building & Upcoming Trends

Alexis Hall on Apr 18th, 2013     Content Marketing, MIMA Seminars, Online Marketing

The Future of Content - Lee Odden, MIMAOn Wednesday evening in downtown Minneapolis, marketers gathered to hear the answer to a burning question: #whatthefoc? (AKA what is the future of content?)

The Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association (MIMA) hosted the sold-out Future of Content event, with speaker Lee Odden, TopRank Online Marketing CEO and the author of Optimize, aiming to point attendees in the right direction.

Marketers know content is important; in fact, 78% of CMOs think custom media represents the future of marketing. How has content changed how we view marketing today and more importantly, how can we prepare for the future? These highlights from The Future of Content with Lee Odden should shed some light on the issue:

Ask yourself 3 questions about your existing content strategy.

Odden instructed the audience to ask themselves three questions about their business:

Miranda Miller

Never Miss an Opportunity to Engage: Social Marketing Tools to Connect with Influencers

Miranda Miller on Apr 17th, 2013     Online Marketing, SEO Tools, Social Media Tool

Engage influencers with social toolsThis month, we learned that although 65% of brands participate in influencer marketing, just 10% of total digital marketing spend goes to social, which includes influencer marketing. Some have cried, don’t people see the opportunity? Why aren’t they spending on influencers!

Technorati Media’s 2013 Digital Influence Report shared the above insight, as well as the fact that a mere 6% of social spend is allotted to marketing to influencers. This doesn’t signal a problem to me at all. In fact, it’s an indication that while influencer marketing is recognized as a valuable piece of the online marketing puzzle and many practice it, it doesn’t require a great deal of budget to accomplish. That, friends, is what we call an opportunity.

Lee Odden

Warning: Do Not Read This If You Want to Give Awesome Presentations

Lee Odden on Apr 16th, 2013     Marketing PR Conferences, Online Marketing
Optimize Presentations

Danger! Don’t Optimize Presentations to Suck. Image via Shutterstock

Over the past 5 years I’ve given a few hundred presentations in front of crowds from 10 to 1,000.

I also make sure to attend other speakers’ presentations, sometimes to delight and sometimes to horror.

Despite that experience, I’m far from a perfect speaker. But I am passionate, knowledgeable and continuously trying to optimize my speaking skills. Part of this comes from feedback but also from watching people give presentations.

There are many mistakes I’ve made that all could have been avoided. I have a feeling this is the case for many. Whether you give presentations at conferences or internally, here are a few tips on what to avoid.

Lee Odden

What is The Future of Content for Marketers?

Lee Odden on Apr 15th, 2013     Content Marketing, MIMA Seminars, Online Marketing
Retro Future of Content

Future of Content – Retro image from Shutterstock

It’s a pretty compelling question: What is the Future of Content? What’s in store for content marketing?

With the growing adoption of brand publishing and convergence of paid, owned, earned and shared media, many companies are looking forward to what’s next. In retail, Multi Channel is now Omni-Channel and single format storytelling has evolved into Transmedia Storytelling. Computers are becoming the fax machines of internet connected devices as smart phones, tablets and laptops become the norm.

To answer the question about the future of content, I think it’s important to think about the relationship of information, technology and the human experience with content.

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