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Author Archive: Brian Larson


Brian Larson

Tips for Pictures That Generate Breakthrough Results in Social #SESCHI

Comments | Posted by Brian Larson on Nov 7th, 2013 in Facebook, Marketing PR Conferences, Online Marketing, Search Engine Strategies, Social Media, Social Media Smarts, Social Networking, User Generated Content |

Visuals in Social #SECHI

What picture of your brand are you painting in social? I don’t mean metaphorically, I mean what visuals are you using to represent what you do and what your audience cares about? Study and after study indicates that visual content is far more impactful in social than its text-only counterpart, and yet a majority of brands interacting in social aren’t adjusting their content mix accordingly.

Cliches are Cliches Cause They Work

“A picture is worth a thousand words.” We’ve all heard the phrase, and for good reason. Especially when it comes to engaging your audience in social. Laura Roth, of Incisive Media, moderates today’s session focused on ‘harnessing the power of visuals’ in social.

Brian Larson

Linkbuilding the Right Way #SESCHI

8 Comments | Posted by Brian Larson on Nov 6th, 2013 in Link Building, Marketing PR Conferences, Online Marketing, Search Engine Strategies, SEO, SEO Tips, SEO Tools |

Linkbuilding Panel at #SESCHI

In late July, Google updated it’s stated policy on what ‘linkbuilding’ activities now constitute link schemes. While the update was clear  - heavy hyperlinking in press releases, advertorials and large scale guest-blogging are now considered link schemes – the repercussions of the update and it’s lasting impact on SEO have been far more murky.

Nobody likes murky. Not in a drink and especially not when real business outcomes are associated with search visibility and the traffic it generates.

With the session promise of sharing how to linkuild the right way, Jennifer Slegg introduces Chuck Price, Founder of Measurable SEO. Jumping off the stage to begin his presentation, Price’s goal is clearly to dispel the notions that links ‘no longer matter.’ He starts with humor and honesty, “[l]inkbuilding is NOT sexy! Nor is it fun.” But, Price asserts, links are still the number 1 factor influencing search ranking. Two thing are certain, Matt Cutts has said as recently as July in an interview with Eric Enge, that links still matter and not all linkbuilding is bad.

Brian Larson

New SEO Best Practices with Schema Markup #SESCHI

One Comment | Posted by Brian Larson on Nov 5th, 2013 in Marketing PR Conferences, Online Marketing, Search Engine Strategies, SEO |

SEO Schema Markup

Web Developers often faint at the mere mention of ‘schema’. The mysterious term conjures up thoughts of impossible code to implement with benefits that seem difficult to pinpoint. At least, those were some of the perceptions surrounding schema markup.

Anne F. Kennedy, the sessions first speaker and member of the SES Advisory Board, wants to reduce that fear among the SEO community surrounding schema markup and explain the benefits derived from their usage. Kennedy polls the office and asks ‘how many currently use schema markup?’ With what appears to be a little over half raising their hands, a little step back is needed.

So Kennedy starts us with the basics: What is a ‘schema’ anyways?

Brian Larson

Marketing Automation Essentials for Small Businesses

9 Comments | Posted by Brian Larson on Oct 11th, 2013 in B2B, Marketing PR Conferences |

#mpb2b Marketing Automation Panel

Do you know which companies are visiting your site right now? Are you able to automate your marketing messages to reach different audiences based on their behavior on your site? How about scoring leads to ensure your sales team knows who should make it to the top of their calling list?

If you find yourself answering no to some or all of these questions, you’re not alone. The scenarios above can be a reality for marketers, but this reality often requires an investment in marketing automation. While large corporations were predominantly the earlier adopters of this technology several years ago, small businesses are learning that the technology synchs with their business needs as well. And marketing automation providers are taking notice, offering solutions now geared to SMBs as well.

Brian Larson

8 Things You Need to Know About Influencer Marketing

3 Comments | Posted by Brian Larson on Oct 10th, 2013 in B2B, Content Marketing, Marketing PR Conferences, Online Marketing |

Influencer Marketing Panel at #mpb2b

What is influencer marketing, how do you measure it and where it does fit into a marketing strategy? These questions, along with many more, were put on the table in this afternoon’s session at the MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum. Led by Amanda Maksymiw of Lattice Engines, the panel under her control is the savvy tandem of Sam Fiorella & Kevin Cain.

Makysmiw starts the session by instating one of the cruelest rules a moderator can impose on a panel (and most enjoyable for the audience): all questions must be answered as posed. No hybrid answers and no middle of the road positions. Actual answers with a definitive stamp.

Thanks to Maksymiw’s rule, the session proves to be a fun, lively discussion that helped demystify the ever growing practice of influencer marketing.

Brian Larson

How to Build a B2B Community in Facebook

3 Comments | Posted by Brian Larson on Oct 10th, 2013 in B2B, Facebook, Marketing PR Conferences, Social Media |

Mike Lewis at MPB2B

Yes, B2B marketers lean towards LinkedIn as the social network of choice…and for good reason. But that doesn’t mean that a very real opportunity doesn’t exist to create a community in the world’s largest social network – Facebook.

Consider this, according to Hubspot’s “Intro to Facebook for Business”, 41% of B2B companies have acquired a customer through Facebook.

Mike Lewis,VP of Digital Strategy TATA Consultancy Services, kick starts the panel discussion with a challenge to marketers to consider the opportunities they may be missing in Facebook. With his challenge heard, Lewis shares his methodical approach to determining how to best create & nurture a B2B community in Facebook by launching into his ’3 Initial Keys to Standing out on Facebook’.

1) Pay Attention

Before you ‘listen’ for your opportunities, begin with an understanding of:

Brian Larson

2013 MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum Preview – And a ‘Cheers’ Plug

One Comment | Posted by Brian Larson on Oct 10th, 2013 in B2B, Content Marketing, Marketing PR Conferences, Other Events |

Cheers to B2B Marketing Forum

Let me start by saying that any trip to Boston has high expectations. Just a few months ago I, along with our Executive Director of Operations Jolina Pettice, traveled to Boston to meet with one of our favorite clients.

During our stay we dined at the ‘Cheers’ bar and later ‘ran into’ NBC’s Lester Holt (ran into = sat in the same hotel lobby). In regards to the latter, one of us may have gone a little fan crazy. I won’t say who, but their name rhymes with ‘Molina’.

Suffice it to say that while attending MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum in Boston I fully expect to run into more celebrities while carving out time to revisit America’s favorite bar to perform my best ‘Naarm!’ call (to this day I don’t change the channel when it comes on).

Brian Larson

Use Content Curation to Grow Your Company Beyond Being a Me-Me-Me Brand

4 Comments | Posted by Brian Larson on Mar 21st, 2013 in Content Marketing, Online Marketing |

Don't be that guy who talks only about his brand or sells, sells, sells. Most children are taught at an early age to share and that everything is NOT all about them. It can be a painful life lesson for some to grasp – especially if they don’t pick it up until later in life – but it’s an important one nonetheless.

This particular life lesson also applies to how brands approach content marketing. In the age of brands-as-publishers and empowered consumers, companies need to understand that what they publish cannot only be about themselves.

Why Drop the Me Me Me Act?

Because you don’t want to be “that guy.” You’re so much better than this.

Brian Larson

The Importance of Ongoing Optimization – Tips Included

13 Comments | Posted by Brian Larson on Sep 13th, 2012 in Content Marketing, Keyword Research, Online Marketing, SEO, SEO Tips |

Ongoing Optimization Are we there yet?

Those four words likely conjure up the thought of a seemingly endless road trip of days past. Luckily for you, I’m not going to be talking about road travels in today’s post. No. I have a very different thought in mind, and that is the notion of ongoing optimization.

Brian Larson

3 Ways Customer Optimization is a lot Like Fishing (and vice-versa)

7 Comments | Posted by Brian Larson on May 30th, 2012 in Content Marketing, Online Marketing, Online Marketing Strategy |

customer optimizationSavvy internet marketers work hard to uncover and understand the common characteristics of their buying audiences, segmenting them into groups and even going so far as to develop personas. They do this for a very good reason, how can you optimize your content for an audience if you don’t know who they are or what they want? This customer-centric approach to marketing is one that Lee has been advocating for years (see Chapter 6 of Optimize for some good nuggets).

With the sun starting to warm-up Lake Minnetonka where the TopRank Online Marketing HQ is located, it got me thinking about how the disciplines of customer optimization and fishing are similar. You may laugh at that idea, but given my tendency to leave each fishing trip with 5-7 less lures, an impressive sunburn and zero fish, I have spent a lot time reflecting on how to elevate my fishing ‘game’.

Brian Larson

Marketo Summit Session: Engaging with Cross Channel Marketing

One Comment | Posted by Brian Larson on May 24th, 2012 in B2B, Content Marketing, Email Marketing, Marketing PR Conferences, Online Marketing, Online Marketing Strategy |

[Note from Brian: Please note that Marketo is a client of TopRank Online Marketing]

When was the last time you heard of a really successful email campaign? Or TV ad campaign? Or a campaign on any channel for that matter? It’s likely been awhile.

The reason that isolated, channel-specific campaigns are rarely discussed these days is simple: they rarely work. That by no means is saying that email, or TV, or social, can’t be incredibly effective platforms to market your messages. Cross channel (see multiple channel) marketing is effective because each of these platforms can have an impact, when integrated into a holistic campaign.

It’s with this in mind that Maria Pergolino, Marketo’s Senior Director of Marketing, led the Marketo Summit panel discussion ‘Engaging with Cross Channel Marketing’.

Brian Larson

Marketo Summit Session: Destroying the 7 Myths of B2B Social Media by Jay Baer

10 Comments | Posted by Brian Larson on May 24th, 2012 in B2B, Online Marketing, Social Media, Social Networking |
Jay Baer's Session at 2012 Marketo Summit

Jay Baer Keynotes Wednesday Lunch Session at 2012 Marketo Summit

There has long been a widely held (and incorrect) belief that social media is a B2C sandbox. ‘Stay out B2B marketers, this social thing has nothing to do with you.’ Of course, there have been countless studies that have documented B2B marketers successes in driving results in social.

With the notion that social is only for B2C debunked, in its place now are new myths. Each chalked-full of misinformation and hyperbole regarding B2B’s ability to implement, engage and monitor social. Jay Baer, President of Convince & Convert, lead a high-impact and high-energy presentation at the Marketo Summit aimed to call-out and ‘destroy’ some of the more prevalent myths.

The session was titled ‘Destroying the 7 Myths of B2B Social Media‘, and here are the 7 myths Jay shared.

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