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Archive for February, 2014


Nicolette Beard

Online Marketing News: Facebook Email is Dead, G+ Analytics Live, Best Brand Vines, Pizza Tweets

Nicolette Beard on Feb 28th, 2014     Online Marketing, Online Marketing News

B2B Content Marketing Success on the Rise for Small Businesses – Content Marketing Institute’s newest B2B content marketing research report confirms that small businesses are doing many things well when it comes to content marketing. Download the report here.

Gmail Adding Prominent ‘Unsubscribe’ Option to Marketing Emails – Starting last week, a new, clearly marked “unsubscribe” link will appear at the top of the header field in marketers’ emails. Previously only appearing for a small percentage of users, the feature will now be made available for most promotional messages with unsubscribe options. Email recipients do not need to take action for the links to appear. PC World

Lee Odden

6 Upcoming Marketing and PR Events to Learn About Influencer, Social and Content Marketing

Lee Odden on Feb 27th, 2014     Content Marketing World, Marketing PR Conferences, Online Marketing, PR Conferences, Social Media Marketing World

Marketing & Public Relations I’ve always said, “The best part about Minnesota Winters is leaving for somewhere warm.”

Over the next 2 months or so, that’s exactly what I’ll be doing and I’d like to invite you to join me at one or more of these 6 upcoming events in cities that range from San Francisco to New York to Denver to learn about integrated marketing topics with a particular emphasis on the role of influencers and content.

Beyond content and social media marketing, these events and conferences will cover a wide variety of essential digital marketing knowledge, so there’s plenty to learn, numerous smarties to network with and in some cases, a little warmer weather to be enjoyed.

Nicolette Beard

Content Marketing With Research and Surveys: Pros, Cons, Examples, Best Practices

Nicolette Beard on Feb 25th, 2014     Content Marketing, Online Marketing

content marketing surveysAll marketers need actionable insight to make important decisions. As the internet reaches a crescendo of voices all vying for their customers’ short attention span, the need for quality citations and third party industry research becomes even more important to stand out.

Therein lies an opportunity: Companies that create credible surveys, reports and playbooks on a regular basis can become known authorities and trusted resources – ahead of the competition. Such authority leads to trust and in the content marketing world those are essential characteristics to attract a target audience whether they are buyers, journalists or investors.

Ironically, it’s this exact labor-intensive exercise that provides some of the most sharable, citable content. The ability to attract substantial citations, social shares and attention is a very powerful capability for agencies and corporate marketing marketing departments to have right now.

Lee Odden

Essential Digital Marketing Skills for Content Marketers in 2014

Lee Odden on Feb 24th, 2014     Content Marketing, Integrated Marketing

digital marketing skillsLike many other digital marketing agencies, we’ve been on the hunt for digital and content marketing talent on a continuous basis over the past few years. Increased demand and competition are driving the need to find people with skills that can actually create impact, vs. fuzzy “potential”.

Companies looking for agencies are in the same boat, challenged to find partners that can actually affect business goals. Sadly, there are few knights in shining content marketing armor, like our friend to the right.

In both cases, the ease of publishing online makes it easy for individuals and agencies to present expertise – whether they really have it or not.  There are a few ways to sift through the fluff and puff and one of them is knowing what skills, capabilities and experience your business actually needs.

Nicolette Beard

Online Marketing News: WhatsApp Facebook? Bots Overtake the Net, Social Wins for SMBs, Twitter Facelift

Nicolette Beard on Feb 21st, 2014     Online Marketing, Online Marketing News

Location-Based Marketing Infographic

How Location-Based Marketing Delivers Ads to In-Store Shoppers [Infographic] – Micro-location and proximity targeting are happening in brick and mortar stores right now. This infographic explains some of the location-based marketing systems out there and how they tap into wifi, GPS, NFC and other technologies to detect location and help deliver ads. Marketing Land

LinkedIn Unlocks Influencer Program – LinkedIn has expanded their influencer blogging program from 500 to 25,000 this week. The blogging function will extend to more members in the future. Enabling LinkedIn members to blog will give LinkedIn substantially more content and engagement opportunities to drive pageviews and website visits. It should also provide more value for members. LinkedIn Blog (client)

Lee Odden

Essential Stages of Content Marketing Evolution – If You’re Not Growing, You’re Dying

Lee Odden on Feb 20th, 2014     Content Marketing

content marketing evolutionAn important part of developing skills and expertise is to understand where you fall on a continuum of what’s possible and then take action to evolve and advance accordingly.

With so much digital marketing advice and information on the web, it’s easy to follow along with the latest best practices. But what about 1 or 2 years from now? How valuable would it be to anticipate the challenges and opportunities beyond the current 6 or 12 months of marketing planning?

What is in your future for content marketing?

Along these lines, I’ve been developing a model of content marketing maturity to help companies better understand where they are and where they could be with their own content marketing and as a guide for using outside content marketing services. This is especially relevant as the need to develop more integrated strategies has become the minimum to compete.

Nicolette Beard

Content Marketing With Real-World Events: Pros, Cons, Examples and Best Practices

Nicolette Beard on Feb 18th, 2014     Content Marketing, Online Marketing

Lee OddenConferences, symposiums, summits, trade shows, roundtables and world expos. From intimate, invitation-only events to sprawling Las Vegas-style exhibit halls, most of us have attended at least one industry-specific event.

While the business value has been debated off and on over the years, and it was predicted that webinars and other digital forms of online training would eventually replace live events, there is just no substitute for face time when you want to establish rapport with people who share your interests and business goals.

As content marketing strategy continues to gain momentum, an interesting phenomenon is occurring – real-world, in-person events are starting to edge out trendier content tactics, like video. In fact, according to Content Marketing Institute, in-person events have been ranked as the most effective content marketing tactic over the past four years by B2B marketers.

Lee Odden

New Rules for SEO Mechanics & Link Building – It’s a Race You’re Probably Not Winning

Lee Odden on Feb 17th, 2014     Online Marketing, Search Engine Strategies, SEO

SEO Race to WinLast week I attended and presented at the SES conference in London where online marketers from all over Europe and as far away as Australia converged to learn about integrated marketing and paid, earned, and owned media.

With it’s history in search marketing, the conference complemented presentations on digital marketing with sessions on SEO as well.

Making sure content is easy to find by the right audience in search is an important part of our consulting at TopRank Marketing, so I am acutely aware of the changes in the search optimization world from Panda to Penguin to Hummingbird. Regardless, as a content and social media focused marketer, it was interesting to hear the shift in current SEO and link building best practices.

Nicolette Beard

Online Marketing News: Pinterest Rules, Facebook Hacks, Google Tracker, Twitter Plummets, Yahoo! Yelps

Nicolette Beard on Feb 14th, 2014     Online Marketing, Online Marketing News

Pinterest Infographic

30 Reasons Pinterest Will Rule in 2014 [Infographic] – As much as we would like to think Facebook is the most powerful social media tool, Omnicore has made a good argument that Pinterest has really picked up the pace and is here to rule over all the other social media tools. See why here. Sociable Blog

10 Ingenious Hacks That Helped Facebook Take Over the Internet – Behind the scenes, inside the massive data centers that power this worldwide social network, you’ll find all sorts of other technologies that have changed our world in very different ways. Learn about Zuckerberg’s “Hacker Way” on an epic scale. Wired

The 2014 Google Tracker – This post is a collection of all the hints, announcements, and acquisitions  from Google lately, such as plans for Android, gaming, smart homes, healthcare, robots, and much, much more along with some speculation. Arstechnica

Lee Odden

9 Tools to Discover Influencers in Your Industry

Lee Odden on Feb 12th, 2014     Digital Marketing, Online Marketing

Influencer Discovery Tools

The tide of influence hunting on the web is rising beyond public relations and social media to digital marketing at large.  In particular, there’s growing attention being directed towards influencers as gateways to new audiences.

Influence as the ability for a person to inspire action amongst a community is a very powerful thing and therefore, increasingly appreciated by digital marketing and PR pros alike. An influencer program that identifies, qualifies, engages and maintains relationships with industry influencers can serve as a formidable “force multiplier” for everything from content amplification to product feedback to content co-creation

Beyond the “brandividual endorsement”, people with a strong center of influence can provide valuable context and credibility to a company seeking to connect with an audience of buyers. But in an age of information overload and the ability for anyone, anywhere to publish, finding those influential connections in your industry can prove to be a challenge.

Nicolette Beard

Print Newsletters as Content Marketing Tactic: Pros, Cons, Examples and Best Practices

Nicolette Beard on Feb 11th, 2014     Content Marketing, Integrated Marketing

Print Newsletters Mail DeliveryOne of the oldest forms of content marketing are printed newsletters that arrive by snail mail, providing valuable, information-rich content that your customers and prospects want. They can be an effective compliment to online promotions or serve niche markets where print is a preferred format.

Given the overall decrease in postal mail, a print newsletter can stand out to the recipient, unlike an online newsletter that can get lost in an already too full in-box. Conversely, due to the continuing rise of postal costs, newsletters are more likely to be concise and targeted, providing special appeal.

According to the 2014 B2C & B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends report for North America, B2C marketers use print newsletters with greater frequency at 29% compared to their B2B counterparts at 22%. In addition, customer retention/loyalty is cited as a top marketing goal for B2C compared to lead generation for B2B.

Lee Odden

Does It Still Make Sense For Companies to Blog?

Lee Odden on Feb 10th, 2014     Blogging, Brand Management, Online Marketing

Grand Central Station NYCOver the past 10 years I’ve had more than enough opportunities to consider whether the investment in time and resources to blog has been worth it.

Blogging for business is a question I think many companies ask themselves as they look at current trends towards time more spent on social networks and changing consumer consumption trends, especially with mobile.

This question came to light recently via Stephen Waddington, Digital and Social Media Director at  Ketchum Europe who pinged me for an opinion on the future of global blogging for a blog post he was researching. And that got me thinking:

Does it still make sense for companies to blog?

One way to answer that question is to take a look at how many blogs there are and whether the number is increasing:

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