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Archive for May, 2013


Lee Odden

Online Marketing News: Google Blimps, Social CEOs, WordPress Turns 10, Future of Internet 2.4 Billion Strong

Lee Odden on May 31st, 2013     Online Marketing, Online Marketing News

With over 850,000 views on Slideshare in just 2 days, this 2013 Internet Trends report from Mary Meeker & Liang Wu from KPCB is a must read. There are over 2.4 billion internet users world-wide and huge opportunities in store. This report speaks to the state of content (including photos, video and audio) and how it is increasingly findable, shared and tagged. Digital content is created and shared 9 times more now than 5 years ago. Mobile use is expanding at a dramatic rate and implications for smartphones, tablets and even wearable devices are explored.

In Other Online Marketing News…

Google blimps will bring the web to Africa. Search giant Google is intending to build huge wireless networks across Africa and Asia, using high-altitude balloons and blimps. The company is intending to finance, build and help operate networks from sub-Saharan Africa to Southeast Asia, with the aim of connecting around a billion people to the web. Wired UK.

Lee Odden

The Truth About Content Marketing & SEO

Lee Odden on May 30th, 2013     Content Marketing, Online Marketing, SEO

SEO tunnel visionOver the past few years, there’s been a tremendous focus on content creation in the search and overall digital marketing world. Once you get past the hype, there are plenty of well documented case studies showing the ROI of a content marketing approach.

Unfortunately, content marketing campaigns are often guilty of paying little more than cursory attention to the optimization of digital assets for search. There might be a “keywords” or “SEO” check box on a task list, but it’s not anything that takes full advantage of search based discovery. The content might be engaging and inspire action, but good luck finding it on a search engine.

Why is this? It can be a mix of factors ranging from the ambiguity of SEO cause and effect to prioritizing tactics according to the ability to implement and understand how to measure their impact.

Lee Odden

B2B Content Marketing Tactics: Pros, Cons & Best Practices of Case Studies

Lee Odden on May 29th, 2013     Content Marketing, Online Marketing

Case StudyWithin the realm of B2B marketing, it’s stories, not “features and benefits” that allow brands to create relevant and engaging connections with prospective customers. Successful digital marketers use a variety of content marketing tactics to tell stories according to the goals of both brand and customer.

Even though 71% of B2B content marketers use case studies, they are often an under optimized form of brand storytelling. Case studies provide a structured problem and solution format that provide context, situation and challenges that the reader can empathize with. Case studies also supply insight into how a problem was solved, paving the way for the solution and measures of success.

As part of our ongoing series on content marketing tactics, this post will share some examples and best practices of organizations leveraging case studies as part of their content marketing mix.

Lee Odden

Social Media and The U.S. Military – 3 Lessons for Business

Lee Odden on May 27th, 2013     Online Marketing, Social Media
U. S. Army Social Media Handbook

U. S. Army Social Media Handbook

Today is Memorial Day in the U.S., a day to remember all the men and women who died serving in the U.S. Armed Forces: Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and Marines. While much of the workforce in the U.S. takes today as a holiday and marks it as the start of Summer, it’s important to honor the sacrifices made by these brave individuals in service of our country.

Stories of remembrance during Memorial Day are often told through traditional news media covering parades or honoring the heroic actions of individuals and units. Social Media also plays a big role in military communications.

Lee Odden

Online Marketing News: Biggr Flickr, Kmart Strikes Again, Yahoo Takes A Tumblr, Twitter Cards, Penguin 2 & SEO FUD

Lee Odden on May 24th, 2013     Online Marketing, Online Marketing News

Kmart is at it again with a clever follow up to their highly popular video “Ship My Pants” that has had over 17 million views. The play on words this time is “Big Gas Savings” with over 1 million views in 2 days. Like the Old Spice videos that went ballistic, the question remains: They’re very creative and popular, but will these videos get shoppers in stores and buying at Kmart?

New Flickr

Flickr is Biggr. Users now get 1 terabyte of storage. I’ve been a pro Flickr user for many years and during Yahoo’s pre Marissa Mayer days, it had an uncertain future. Now Flickr is adding 1,000 x more storage for users and some new features including full resolution of images and new sharing functionality: “Upload once, send to any device, any screen, any friend, and any follower.”

Lee Odden

In Search of Voodoo: Empathize to Optimize Your Customer’s Journey on the Search & Social Web

Lee Odden on May 23rd, 2013     Content Marketing, Online Marketing, Social Media

optimize customer journeyI get to meet a lot of professionals in the marketing, advertising, communications and public relations industries where topics of conversation often revolve around content. Concerns about where to start, what tactics work best, how to plan, produce and promote all come into play right along with staffing, integration with other channels and measurement.

Of course, if you try hard enough you can worry yourself out of a job when it comes to developing a solid approach with content marketing.

On the one hand, there’s a temptation to spend a lot of time and resources developing “the perfect” strategy. On the other hand, you could also just start cranking out content and see what sticks.

Miranda Miller

7 Steps to SEO at Scale: How to Ramp Up Your Search Engine Optimization Strategy

Miranda Miller on May 22nd, 2013     Online Marketing, SEO

Scalable SEO in brands and organizationscomScore reports that in April 2013 there were over 20 billion search queries and of the 13 billion+ handled by Google, 16% of daily searches have never been seen before.  Each of those attempts represents buyers looking for solutions at the moment of need. Online marketers that take advantage of modern, scalable search engine optimization best practices as part of their overall digital marketing mix can gain a significant advantage over competitors to become “the best answer” when it matters most.

Understanding the basics of search engine optimization can be challenging given how often major search engines update and change the rules. However, buyers’ overwhelming use of search to find solutions is too great to ignore its influence on the buying cycle and achieving sales growth goals.

Lee Odden

Top 5 Social Media Questions Marketers Want Answered

Lee Odden on May 21st, 2013     Online Marketing, Social Media

2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report SME

What if you could tap into the minds of 3,000 marketers to find out where they stand when it comes to social media marketing? How valuable would it be to know how your peers are handing the time commitments, social media platforms and measurement?

Lucky you and lucky me, the answers to those questions are found in today’s 2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report from Michael Stelzner and Social Media Examiner.

A few of this year’s social media statistics:

  • 86% of marketers say social media is important for their business
  • 69% plan to increase their use of YouTube
  • 58% of marketers are blogging and 62% will increase blogging in 2013
  • 49% picked Facebook as the single most important social network
Lee Odden

Integrating Digital Marketing & PR – Breaking Down Silos Through Content

Lee Odden on May 20th, 2013     Integrated Marketing, Online Marketing, Public Relations

digital marketing PRFor a recent presentation at a corporate communications and PR conference, I polled my network of digital marketing and PR pros working client-side about the most pressing questions they’re dealing with when it comes to integrating Marketing and Public Relations.

Since we’ve been working in the digital marketing and PR space at TopRank Marketing for well over 10 years, it was interesting to see  the diverse feedback from companies of various sizes and industries. But several themes revealed themselves that I think our readers will relate to.

Thanks to feedback from Digital and Integrated Marketing Communications professionals like Corinne Kovalsky of Ratheon, Susan Beatty of Bremer Financial Corporation, Frank Strong of LexisNexis, Lesly Cardec from Randstad US, Sarah Skerik from PRNewswire and Pam Didner of Intel, it became clear that one of the key questions organizations are facing is the need to break down silos between marketing and PR.

Miranda Miller

Online Marketing News: Video Trends Map, Content Recommendation Engine & New Google+ Layout

Miranda Miller on May 17th, 2013     Online Marketing, Online Marketing News

New Google+ Stream, Hangouts, and Photos

New Google+ Layout: Hangouts, Photos and Stream Reminiscent of Pinterest

Google announced a major update to their social network this week that changes the way Hangouts, photos and the Google+ stream are viewed by users. The decidedly Pinterest-esque layout was just one of many announcements this week out of Google I/O, the totality of which Jeremiah Owyang and Chris Silva dubbed a “wreck.”

“The end result, we hope, is an app that looks and feels great across a family of devices,” Senior VP Vic Gundotra wrote of the Google+ changes. This is in line with Google’s mantra of late: Technology works best when it gets out of the way, and lets people do what makes them happiest: living, learning and loving.

Lee Odden

11 Examples of Killer B2B Content Marketing Campaigns Including ROI

Lee Odden on May 16th, 2013     B2B, Content Marketing, Marketing PR Conferences

b2b content marketingAccording to a CMI and MarketingProfs study, 91% of B2B Marketers are using content marketing and that means a few things:

First, it means content marketing has gained critical mass within the popular marketing mix and any company in a competitive industry would be hard pressed to attract business without it.

Second, it means competition to stand out with your brand’s content is only going to get harder as more companies adopt content marketing best practices and mature in their skills.

As companies evolve from simply recognizing the important role of content and experimenting with it, to achieving content creation competency and quality, the need to optimize content marketing skills becomes increasingly important. But where can B2B marketers find new ideas and expand their opportunities to grow content marketing capabilities?

Miranda Miller

The Power of Visual Content Marketing and Brand Visuals in Action

Miranda Miller on May 15th, 2013     Content Marketing, Online Marketing, Social Media

Visual content marketingVisual content is certainly trendy – see the meteoric rise in infographics and social engagement with images as proof. Yet the need for content that appeals on a visual level and presents information in a more engaging format than text goes far beyond what is cool or fun to create.

In creating curriculum and learning materials for students (child to adult) and their teachers, I learned just how important visuals are in meeting the needs of different types of learners. This is too often a missing piece in the marketing mindset; we focus on what we want people to do, the action we want them to take. We think of learning styles in terms of learning disabilities, yet the ways in which every person on the planet takes in information should be a major concern for marketers, whose express purpose is to get people to take in information.

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