Archives for April 2013

Online Marketing News: Where Brands Are Social, Google Places Updates & the Big Data Disconnect

Where Brands Are Social - Technorati Media

Technorati Media Shares: Where Brands Are Social

Over 90% of brands recently shared with Technorati Media that they have a presence on Facebook, with Twitter and YouTube comig in second and third with 85% and 73%, respectively. Just 26 percent of brand managers report a presence on Google+, lower even than Pinterest at 41%. According to their 2013 Digital Influence Report, Technorati also found that “brands are spending the largest parts (nearly 75 percent) of their digital budget on display advertising, search and producing video. Spending on social, including influencer outreach, makes up only 10 percent of brands’ digital marketing spend.”

Social Media Marketing World 2013 Wrap-Up #SMMW13

Social Media Marketing World Audience

Audience for “Integrating Blogging with Content Marketing to Inspire Action”

This week was the start of a 6 speaking event extravaganza over the next 30 days or so and what a kickoff. The inaugural Social Media Marketing World in San Diego put on by Mike Stelzner and the team at Social Media Examiner was nothing less than impressive.

When Mike told me about the event last year, I had no hesitation about saying yes. What I didn’t know was what kind of experience it would be.

With a very California warm and fuzzy feel, the practical SMMW13 conference sessions were sandwiched with inspirational and engaging keynotes from:

  • Larry Benet “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”
  • Sally Hogshead “How to Fascinate With Your Social Media Messages”

Online PR for Brands: How to Make Company News, Real News

Online PRMost companies understand the benefits of a well-executed online PR strategy: improved brand visibility and industry reputation, increased traffic to the company website and even sales. It’s no wonder that companies trip over themselves to come up with a regular stream of PR related content.

Unfortunately, lower barriers to entry for publishing and distributing information have resulted in a plethora of non-news littering the web.

Is there any harm in “putting it all out there,” as in writing and distributing a press release for every event, newsworthy or not? I’d argue that yes, there is potential harm. As an industry journalist, I’ve personally become annoyed with companies or PR people sending me twice-weekly emails about everything under the sun. Whether someone has moved up internally or a company is seeking another round of funding, isn’t exactly compelling news.

Marketing Automation Software: Tips for Choosing the Right Solution

How to choose the right marketing automation software solutionMarketing software must be powerful and versatile enough to accomplish specific tasks and automate processes, yet also user-friendly and scalable. The purpose of automation is to help you save time, increase revenue, improve communication and better measure the return on your investment in all marketing activities. However, the right solution for your company must also integrate with your existing solutions and be manageable by the people expected to input data or make sense of the output.

All of these considerations make choosing the right marketing automation software a serious task and not one to be decided on a whim. As an account manager at TopRank, I am often asked to recommend, set up, and manage marketing automation software for our clients. One of the major lessons I’ve learned is that it’s important to choose a platform that is not only within your budget now, but will continue to meet your company’s needs down the road.

Small Business Blog, Big Business Results

small business bloggingBusinesses of all sizes often struggle to find high impact, low cost methods of attracting and engaging customers.

While some say social media and SEO have leveled the playing field, blogging is by far one of the most effective ways for small businesses to achieve numerous business objectives.

What can you achieve with a blog? As a content management system that can be optimized for search and social shares, blogs with great content can help a company attract new customers, engage existing customers, connect with journalists and connect with potential new hires. There are many business communication goals that can be realized through blogging.

How? The fundamentals that many companies seem to gloss over include:

  • Create a hub and spoke framework for blog publishing and promotion.

Online Marketing News: Google Updates, Email Marketing Insights & Content Marketing Success

 

CMI Content Marketing Framework

7 Step Framework Demonstrates Core Elements of Successful Content Marketing Strategies

There is no silver bullet in content marketing, yet there are core, common elements to successful content marketing strategies, says Content Marketing Institute. They’ve shared their content marketing framework to help marketers increase their own chances of success, along with a whitepaper expanding upon each of their seven identified elements. See The CMI Content Marketing Framework: 7 Building Blocks to Success for more.

Businesses Plan to Spend More on Email Marketing in 2013

A new report from iContact found that 56% of businesses surveyed plan to increase their email marketing in 2013. Just 1% said they plan on cutting back. Other key findings from their survey of SMBs with revenue between $1 million and $50 million include:

11 Blog & Social Content Marketing Tools I Use (Almost) Every Day

Tools for social and blog content creationContent creation isn’t easy and I, for one, am very glad. I’ve been writing online content for almost a decade now and have truly enjoyed the increased emphasis on quality over quantity and targeted messaging we’ve seen over the past few years.

Companies are now fully aware that simply distributing information on a regular basis is not enough. As Lee pointed out in a recent article on the reasons companies are challenged by content creation, “Anyone with half a brain can create information, but ‘content’ implies usefulness or utility.”

At TopRank, part of my job is the creation of content for our own channels – this blog, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. I also assist clients in planning and developing engaging, interesting content for their unique audiences and business needs. As a result, my day typically goes something like this:

Real-Time Marketing Smarts: Companies Killing It with Off-the-Cuff Content

Real-time marketing examples for brandsReal-time social engagement is a great way for brands to stay top of mind, build their social audience and even influence the buying decisions of consumers. On-the-fly upsets to content plans and rapid response content creation are counterintuitive for most brands, though.

At TopRank, we coach brands on careful planning, implementation, measurement and ongoing improvement based on insights. But how can brands maintain quality and ensure thoughtful content if they’re expected to produce and launch it in minutes?

Perhaps the best known example of this strategy recently was Oreo’s infamous Superbowl tweet. They showed just how effective social listening is, when their “You can still dunk in the dark” branded image was retweeted over 16,000 times.

Content Marketing & Optimization 6 Ways – Upcoming @TopRank Speaking Events

content optimizationWhen there’s a good story to tell, it doesn’t matter what else is going on. You have to tell it. That’s where I’m at with the intersection of search, social and content marketing.

For the past few years I’ve been giving presentations all over the world to educate marketers on the importance of an attract, engage and convert approach to content marketing. During an upcoming stretch of 30 days or so, it turns out that I’ll be giving 6 different presentations on the topic from 6 different angles.

This content marketing and optimization “6 Ways” tour starts out in San Diego next week with a presentation on how to use blogging to inspire action at the inaugural Social Media Marketing World conference.

No April Fool’s – Raising the Bar on Content Marketing Should Be Your Imperative in 2013

content marketingApril 1st is prime time for jokes from brands seeking to capitalize on the holiday. One trend that is no joke involves the importance of content in the digital marketing mix.

According to a study from Econsultancy and Adobe, content ties as the number one digital marketing priority along with conversion rate optimization for 2013.  That confidence and focus on content has companies responding with investments. A study from MarketingProfs and Content Marketing Institute reports that 86% of BtoC companies will keep or increase their investments in content marketing spending in 2013. Additionally, 54% of BtoB companies will increase content marketing spending.

Along with an increased digital marketing focus on content are the major changes with search engines and the practice of SEO. Now more than ever, the importance of on and off domain content is as important or more than the technical aspects of optimization.