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Archive for October, 2013


Lee Odden

Integrating Public Relations & Content Marketing – It Doesn’t Have to be Scary

Lee Odden on Oct 31st, 2013     Content Marketing, Integrated Marketing, Marketing PR Conferences, Online Marketing, Social Media

HalloweenAt this year’s PRSA International conference in Philadelphia, a few thousand PR professionals from all over the world gathered for the latest trends and insights into the future of PR and communications.

For my part, I presented on the growing role of Content Marketing for Public Relations to a packed room of attentive and inquisitive PR and communications pros.

On top of the networking, awards and education, there was plenty of connecting with old friends. I was happy to see Shonali Burke (who is handling book PR for Robert Scoble and Shel Israel’s new book, Age of Context) as soon as I walked into the venue hotel. Shortly after we connected with Richard Bagnall (founder of Metrica, acquired by Gorkana) who came over from London.

Eliza Steely

#SMBMSP59: What You Need to Know about Location-Based Social Media for Business

Eliza Steely on Oct 31st, 2013     Marketing PR Conferences, Online Marketing, Social Media

@toprank #smbmsp59On Halloween you expect to see costumes, candy, spooky decorations and….bacon?! Yes you read that correctly. At this morning’s Minneapolis and St. Paul Social Media Breakfast there was bacon. And bacon costumes. Several of the TopRank team opted for their own unique costumes like Gumby, Wayne (from Wayne’s World), a hunter, and Steve Jobs.

With the surge in apps with location-enabled features—Foursquare, Facebook, Yelp, Instagram, and Twitter to name a few—it’s no surprise that this month’s breakfast delved into best practices for incorporating location-based (or location-aware) apps a part of your social media strategy. Presenter Christopher Lower of Sterling Cross Communications used case studies & success stories to offer advice to attendees. Here are 16 key takeaways our team gleaned from the presentation:

Brian Larson:

Lee Odden

How 5 Large Consumer and B2B Brands Are Using Vine

Lee Odden on Oct 30th, 2013     Online Marketing, Social Media

TopRank on VineThis post is from one of TopRank’s social media strategists, Emily Bacheller. As companies look for examples of using different social media platforms, I asked her to find examples of major brands using Vine. Here’s what she found:

There’s been considerable debate in the marketing community as to whether or not Vine is a valuable social marketing tool for B2B brands.  While the six second video app has proved its worth to B2C organizations, B2B brands have lagged behind in testing this video platform.

In this blog post, I hope to show that Vine videos have a number of useful applications for companies of all sizes that would like to diversify their content mix. The highly consumable and shareable nature of these short videos as well as the ability to embed them on any web page means that you don’t necessarily need a large following on Vine itself to get major exposure.

Nicolette Beard

Gamification as a Content Marketing Tactic – How Brands Are Engaging Consumers

Nicolette Beard on Oct 29th, 2013     Content Marketing, Online Marketing

Game Mechanics as Content Marketing TacticFrom frequent flyer programs to unlocking badges in Foursquare, gamification is permanently embedded in our cultural DNA. Loyalty programs present the simplest examples of companies reinforcing consumer behavior they want repeated. Smart marketers are using the same mechanics that have hooked gamers to generate more business and, with advancements in technology, are doing so with greater creativity and complexity.

For the record, gamification is not new. Charles ‘Chuck’ Coonrandt, identified as the ‘grandfather’ of gamification by Forbes, wrote The Game of Work in 1984, in part, to answer the charge that U.S. productivity was not world class. Fast forward 29 years – we see more and more companies embracing game elements and mechanics not only as a means to identify influencers and advocates internally, but also as a content marketing tactic to attract and engage consumers.

Lee Odden

31 Top Marketers Agree: It’s Time to Rethink Your Content Marketing – Free 214 Page eBook from Linkdex

Lee Odden on Oct 28th, 2013     Content Marketing, Integrated Marketing

rethink content marketingPost Sponsored by Linkdex

Starting as a public relations firm with SEO skills in 2001, we’ve always had to create content for clients whether it was press releases, newsletters, case studies or graphics and diagrams for newsrooms and events.

In 2008 we made a major shift to what I call “SEO Plus” and focused a lot more on content. In fact, we were named the #1 content marketing blog that year by Junta42 (now Content Marketing Institute).

Fast forward to 2013 and the momentum of converged search, social media, public relations and content is unmistakable. SEO vendors and agencies are realizing marketing is the business we’re in, not just SEO.

Nicolette Beard

Online Marketing News: Google Banner Ads, 50 Tech Megatrends, Oracle Buys Compendium, The AP Sells Out

Nicolette Beard on Oct 25th, 2013     Online Marketing, Online Marketing News

50 Powerful Statistics About Tech Mega Trends Affecting Every Business – There are five mega trends impacting the IT departments of every company: Mobile, Social, Cloud, Apps and Big Data. In this presentation, Vala Afshar reveals ten startling stats for each mega trend. @ValaAfshar

Oracle Buys Compendium, A Content Marketing Startup, To Build Up Its Arsenal Against Salesforce - Congratulations to Chris Baggott, founder of Compendium (and Exact Target) on the aquisition by Oracle, which also aquired Eloqua late 2012. The cloud markting space is heating up! TechCrunch

2014 B2C Content Marketing Research – 60% of B2C marketers expect their company’s content marketing budget to increase over the next 12 months. Learn about more trends here. Content Marketing Institute

Lee Odden

Customer Empathy Plus Brand Leadership FTW at Social Brand Forum

Lee Odden on Oct 24th, 2013     Integrated Marketing, Marketing PR Conferences, Social Media

integrated online marketing“Win More, Suck Less – How to Optimize Your Social, Search, & Content Marketing”

That’s the title of a presentation I’ll be giving today in Coralville, Iowa at Social Brand Forum a conference run by Nick Westergaard.

Other speakers include Jay Baer, Gini Dietrich, DJ Waldow, Marcus Sheridan, Laura Fitton and more.

The cool thing about my presentation title is, I didn’t decide what it would be. Our Facebook community did. I’ve also run a survey of our community to share their smarts in other ways. Some of that will end up in the presentation too.

That’s the beauty of social networks:  The ability to connect with a group of like minded people in an ongoing transfer of knowledge, ideas and feedback.

Lee Odden

Harnessing the Power of Social Media at @Dell #SMaC2013 UnConference

Lee Odden on Oct 22nd, 2013     Online Marketing

Dell SMaC 2013 UnConference

Companies large and small continue to evolve and even grapple with how to scale meaningful connections with prospects, customers, the media, potential employees and many other constituents.

One of the most valuable and overlooked resources for social engagement with the public are the people within a company. Looking beyond the corporate communications and marketing department, companies like Dell (a TopRank client) are making major investments in time and resources to recruit, train and support their employees to be brand ambassadors on the social web.

Getting SMaC’d at Dell: So far, 10,000 Dell employees have become social media certified by the Dell SMaC initiative. The goal is much larger than that though – Dell has 100,000 employees world-wide. One way Dell is energizing social media education and communications of the larger vision is through an UnConference, where employees create and deliver the agenda themselves.

Lee Odden

Digital Marketing Has Changed. What Are You Doing About It?

Lee Odden on Oct 21st, 2013     Integrated Marketing

Digital Marketing World NYCUbiquitous internet connectivity and information overload have changed the landscape of brand and customer communications forever.

For stats fans, that translates to 10 billion connected devices and 90% of the world’s data  created in the past 2 years.

How does this change digital marketing in 2014?

First of all, the evolution of social technologies and the impact on consumer behavior has led to different expectations. Consumers expect to find answers to their questions on search engines and social networks alike. They also expect to interact with what they find – commenting, sharing, rating and contributing. And transacting.

Is your brand meeting those expectations? Do you know if they exist for your specific customers? 

Nicolette Beard

Online Marketing News: Forbes Cashing in on Native Ads, Google Ads Starring You, Top Tech Trends for 2014

Nicolette Beard on Oct 18th, 2013     Online Marketing, Online Marketing News

Birthday Emails Infographic

Birthday Emails #Infographic –This email client solution provider conducted research involving more than 180 B2C brands—including retailers, restaurants, manufacturers, travel and hospitality, and nonprofits—shows that there’s plenty of opportunity for brands to delight subscribers with best wishes on their special day. Check out the stats and tactics below to learn the who, what, when, why and how of birthday emails. Exact Target

Can Cameo Make Two-minute Movies as Addictive as Vines? – With Cameo, your movies can be two minutes long, but no shot can last for longer than six seconds. The principle is inspired by Vine, and the lessons it learned early on: that the attention span of the average person is pretty short. The Verge

Lee Odden

New Mobile Assisted Shopper Study on Showrooming & How Mobile Can Work For Brick and Mortar Retailers

Lee Odden on Oct 17th, 2013     B2C, Integrated Marketing, Marketing PR Conferences

ShowroomingOn the one hand, the speaker lineup and list of brands participating at the Pivot conference in New York this week was one of the most impressive I’ve seen for a niche event.

From our clients LinkedIn and Dell to a cornucopia of brands including Walmart, MTV, Intel, Kraft, Monster, NBC, General Electric, Yahoo, Adobe, Salesforce, SouthWest Airlines, General Motors, IBM, Ben & Jerry’s and many more – there was plenty of brand star power in the room.

On the other hand, the format and venue made this the most difficult liveblogging experience I’ve ever had. I’ll spare you the details, but I suspect things will be changed up for next year.

Of course the networking was excellent as were many of the interviews and presentations that I was able to see and hear.

Nicolette Beard

Content Marketing Tactics That Work: eBooks

Nicolette Beard on Oct 16th, 2013     Content Marketing, Online Marketing

eBook Content MarketingAs a content marketing tactic, eBooks fit the bill for those businesses that need to communicate complex information but in a striking, easily digestible way. Infotaining eBooks raise the bar on “interesting” combined with practical, useful and even inspiring messages that align with the brand.

Compared to many other content marketing tactics, eBooks represent a longer form of content that can educate prospective buyers about topics important to buyers and the brand. It’s a great way to demonstrate expertise in a creative way and is much more visually appealing than a white paper, yet more serious than an infographic.

This longer form content marketing tactic is inching its way into popularity, especially among B2B marketers. According to the 2014 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks Report, 34% are using eBooks as a content marketing tactic while 57% of B2B users consider eBooks to be an effective tactic.

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