Archives for June 2014

Where Search Fits in the Digital Marketing Mix – 12 Lessons from Lee Odden Keynote at MnSummit

Be the Best Answer - Lee Odden Keynote

I am one of the last generations that will be able to remember what it’s like to not have technology in school.

We didn’t text. We passed notes. Our really crappy handwriting scrawled across lined paper that was folded so small we were convinced the teacher couldn’t see it as we threw or passed it back and forth. Rumors, quizzes, and small talk would whiz around the room until class was done. Then, the written conversation was over until tomorrow.

If we wanted to research something we did one of three things: asked someone else or begged our parents to tell us so we wouldn’t have to do option number three—look it up in the dictionary or the library.

18 More Amazing Search & Digital Marketing Takeaways from #MNSummit

#mnsummit

Personally, public speaking scares the crap out of me. People staring at me for almost an hour, trying to not stutter or talk too fast, and striving to meet the expectations of a session description would turn me red and shaky for hours.

Apparently, none of the MN Search Summit speakers are subject to those nerves (or if they are, they hid it with the skill of a magician).

Since early this morning our team has been bustling around the University of St. Thomas listening to speakers from brands like TopRank Marketing clients LinkedIn and Dell as well as Moz, Distilled and several others. Each session was full of advice, tips, tools, and laughs—no shaking or red faces.

15 Snippets of Digital Marketing Advice from #MNSummit

#mnsummit @toprank

HOOOOOOOOONK.

That’s how our morning started—honking cars as we inched our way through the rush hour traffic moving towards downtown Minneapolis. The gorgeous peach-colored sunrise coupled with the intoxicating smell of coffee helped us relax despite the stress of a morning commute.

Today’s drive was different than the rest. Instead of driving to our offices with views of Lake Minnetonka and the occasional deer, we headed into the bustle of the University of St. Thomas to attend the inaugural Minnesota Search Summit— an event focused on search, social media and digital marketing.

Fourteen of my TopRank coworkers and I are spending the day hearing advice from local experts, gleaning insights from industry thought leaders, and networking with some of Minneapolis’s savvy online marketers.

Online Marketing News – Goodbye Google Authorship, 1 Minute On Facebook, Videos Dominate

Content Marketing According To Google

The Marketing Industry According to Google Autocomplete – As you can see in the image above, Google has it’s ideas about what content marketing means.  While we obviously have our own ideas on what online marketing, blogging, and other terms mean, here’s a look a what Google Autocomplete thinks of some common marketing words and phrases.  HubSpot

With 1 Billion+ Travel Pins, Pinterest Gives Place Search An Upgrade – Forget the idea that Pinterest is all about fashion photos, cute animals and inspirational messages. The company says it’s now hosting more than a billion Place Pins across four million Place Boards. Together, all this represents more than 300 unique countries and territories. Search Engine Land

How SEO and Inbound Marketing Can Grow Your B2B Marketing Performance

B2B SEO Inbound Marketing

Call it organic marketing, call it inbound marketing or even content marketing – the practice of creating useful information to generate demand and attract an audience of buyers vs. buying ads to push messages out to them is one of the highest impact, low cost approaches to digital marketing a business can take.

The practice of optimizing content for better search visibility goes hand in hand with the broader approach of inbound marketing. SEO best practices can be applied to content across the entire sales cycle to surface brand content during awareness, consideration and purchase behaviors as well as after the transaction to reinforce retention and advocacy goals.

12 B2B Content Marketing Examples and Case Studies for 2014

Killer B2B Content Marketing

Content Marketing has long been a staple for the B2B Marketing world with an increased boost in popularity due to changes in consumer information discovery and consumption. Over 90% of B2B marketers are using content marketing according to CMI and MarketingProfs. Far more research is conducted before sales contacts are made providing B2B companies an opportunity to satisfy buyer information hunger with some killer content.

But what works and what doesn’t? What are B2B brands, big and small, doing to achieve results with content marketing? Those are great questions we’re answering every day through our own work with B2B companies and through industry examples.

For some inspiration for your B2B content marketing programs, check out these mini-case studies from the 2014 C2C Killer Content Awards, which include a mix of brand content marketing program examples and the results they produced. From print to video to coordinated multi-channel content programs, there’s a nice variety here.

Curation and Repurposing to Extend the Life of Your Content Marketing

repurpose curate content

Ever have one of those dreams where you’re running a race and if you don’t win, you’ll turn into a big blue chicken? Hmm, maybe not.

How about running a race only to find you never actually finish because you’re on a treadmill? That’s how a lot of marketers feel about their Sophomore content marketing programs about now. The need for more and better content is never ending. Quarterly editorial plans make it feel like the end is near, but this isn’t a race. It’s a journey full of twists and turns, hits and misses. Maybe even a few blue chickens here and there.

Online Marketing News – Twitter Gets GIFs, Microsoft Makes Promises, No Budget For Mobile

Twitter Brings Tweets To Life Through The New Support Of Animated GIFs – Twitter may start looking a lot more like Tumblr soon thanks to the new support of animated GIF files. Across the web, Android & iOS platforms users will be able to view their favorite GIF images in full motion. Marketing Land

Facebook to Use Web Browsing History For Ad Targeting – Through its ubiquitous “like” buttons on publisher sites across the web, Facebook has long been able to watch the web surfing behavior of its 1.28 billion monthly users. Soon it will begin to use that information for ad targeting on Facebook. AdAge

Essential Q and A on the Value of Content Marketing

Content Marketing Q & A

Content Marketing Sage or Ice Giant?

In advance of the Content Marketing Conference Europe event last week, Maaike Gulden did an interview with me to surface some essential advice about improving content marketing.

Since the interview was published in Dutch, I’m posting portions here for our readers looking for a useful perspective on content marketing that will hopefully bring some clarity to an increasingly misunderstood concept. This Q and A covers everything from a definition to why to why content marketing is valuable, a solid B2B content marketing example and my perspective on the future.

What is your perspective on content marketing?

Content is the reason search engines exist and it’s the cornerstone of what people share on the social web. A quantity of quality content that answers reader’s questions in a useful and entertaining way serves everything from demand generation to lead generation.

From Antwerp to Bucharest – Lessons Learned About Storytelling and Content Marketing

Storytelling Content Marketing

Growing digital marketing skills and knowledge are more important now than ever. I’m sure you can relate to the pressures of having to continuously stay on top of what’s new and most effective.

The good news is that much knowledge can be gained from new experiences and connections. In the past 2 weeks I’ve had the good fortune to attend an Integrated Marketing Communications event at West Virginia University a content marketing conference in Antwerp, Belgium and a digital marketing conference in Bucharest Romania. Plus this week I’m in London for a few meetings where similar topics will be discussed.

Amongst those geographically diverse experiences, each with a focus on some aspect of digital marketing and communications, I have noticed a consistent set of expectations regarding information delivery, content quality and interactions.

Online Marketing News – Twitter’s COO Is Out, Google Shopping Is In, Are We Smarter Than 5th Graders?

COO of Twitter Resigns via Tweet – The COO of Twitter, Ali Rowghani, announced his resignation on the social network yesterday. The announcement comes a day after Re/code reported on internal tension over Rowghani’s role at the company. Charged with overseeing user growth, Rowghani has not been able to stem its decline. SocialTimes

Google Introduces New Content API For Google Shopping – Last week, Google introduced a new version of the API that allows retailers to manage product feed content programmatically, as opposed to through manual updates to Google Merchant Center. It’s the first version update of the API since Google first launched it in 2010, before Google Shopping became a paid platform. Search Engine Land

New LinkedIn Profile Features: 4 Tips to Optimize Your Presence

LinkedIn Profile Optimization

Never one to rest on its laurels, LinkedIn recently announced some interesting new profile features that can help you stand out, be found and measure the impact of your LinkedIn presence (disclosure, LinkedIn is a TopRank client).

Here are 4 ways you can take advantage of the new LinkedIn profile updates: 

Stand out With New Profile Image Options

The trend towards getting more visual has taken hold of all aspects of social media and LinkedIn profiles are about to get the same treatment.

Some new image features to be on the lookout for are:

  • Larger headshot photos
  • Expanded profile headers
  • Free gallery of background images