TopRank Online MarketingTopRank Online Marketing Blog

Author Archive: Eliza Steely


Eliza Steely

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

3 Comments | Posted by Eliza Steely on Jun 30th, 2014 in Marketing PR Conferences, Online Marketing |

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.

Eliza Steely

18 More Amazing Search & Digital Marketing Takeaways from #MNSummit

2 Comments | Posted by Eliza Steely on Jun 27th, 2014 in Online Marketing, Other Events |

#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.

Eliza Steely

15 Snippets of Digital Marketing Advice from #MNSummit

5 Comments | Posted by Eliza Steely on Jun 27th, 2014 in Online Marketing, Other Events |

#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.

Eliza Steely

Social Media Marketing Lessons From the Movies: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Pretty Woman, Spaceballs & The Blues Brothers

2 Comments | Posted by Eliza Steely on Apr 30th, 2014 in Online Marketing, Social Media |

Social Media Lessons from Movies

Chances are you’ve seen at least one of these movies:  Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Pretty Woman, Spaceballs or The Blues Brothers. Chances are even stronger that you’ve quoted one of them at least once or could describe a scene in one.

I grew up with a Blues Brothers poster on my wall, had memorized the songs from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off by the time I was five, have a weird habit of watching Pretty Woman almost monthly, and know every line of Spaceballs. Needless to say, I like classic (and funny) movies.

The cool thing about classic movies like these is that they can teach us lessons and inspire us to think about things in new ways.  I had a that kind of experience after attending a recent Minneapolis/St. Paul Social Media Breakfast where I was inspired by Tony Saucier, George Fiddler and Sarah Panus’s insights into social media marketing.

Eliza Steely

What Google Hummingbird Really Means and What Marketers Can Do About It

6 Comments | Posted by Eliza Steely on Feb 5th, 2014 in Google, Online Marketing, Other Events, Search Engines, SEO |

Google Hummingbird

Note from Lee: You know the phrase, kill two birds with one stone? That’s what we’re doing with this post format and the topic of Hummingbird.  Our team at TopRank is known for liveblogging conferences, but this co-created blog format is something new. At the same time, we’re covering a topic (Google Hummingbird) and search + social media that I think warrants some clarity and practical advice. In this post, you’ll see insights our team members took from the SMBMSP event followed by “TopRank Tips” from Eliza and myself.

In the digital marketing world, change is inevitable. At some point in life we are all forced to adapt, change paths, learn new skills or face something we definitely weren’t expecting.

Eliza Steely

#NMX 2014 Wrap Up: Top Tips, How To’s and Lessons Learned

2 Comments | Posted by Eliza Steely on Jan 9th, 2014 in BlogWorld NMX, Marketing PR Conferences, Online Marketing |

NMX 2014 Wrap UpFlying is one of the most beautiful things in the world to me.

There’s just something so breathtaking about getting to see cities from above—their lights twinkling brighter than any nightlight—and being surrounded by clouds that look so fluffy cotton candy would be jealous.

Last weekend I got to experience it all while flying to Las Vegas for NMX with my coworkers Ben Brausen and Nick Ehrenberg. Needless to say none of us were sad to watch the cold fall away and land in a balmy 50 degrees.

After being teased by our taxi driver about our short sleeves and catching a few glimpses of The Strip, we arrived at the Rio All Suites Hotel & Casino to learn all we could about new media, blogging, and how people achieve success in both arenas.

Eliza Steely

Best Practices: How Your Brand Can Work With Bloggers #NMX

7 Comments | Posted by Eliza Steely on Jan 8th, 2014 in BlogWorld NMX, Marketing PR Conferences, Online Marketing |

salinas and downs #nmxTraditional advertising is expensive, and sometimes not effective for your brand. Some have found podcasts to be incredibly lucrative, while others have found that promoting their message through blog posts works best.

The latter is becoming increasingly popular. Engaging bloggers has relatively low cost (compared to other forms of promotion), a high return on investment, and gives readers a sense of honesty and transparency that they wouldn’t necessary feel from brand-generated content.

But finding a blogger who can speak to your audience and appeal to the customers you want can be extremely difficult. Tara Salinas and Bill Downs have figured out how to make it much easier through their blogging program for Global Resort Homes. Their NMX session reviewed how they were able to find the right bloggers for their brand.

Eliza Steely

12 Easy, Simple Ways to Up Your Blog-Writing Game… From a Fortune Cookie

3 Comments | Posted by Eliza Steely on Jan 7th, 2014 in Blogging, BlogWorld NMX, Marketing PR Conferences, Online Marketing |

spud hilton #nmxFortune cookies are notoriously cheesy. They tend to be something that could happen to anyone (e.g. you’ll meet someone special today) or something extremely vague (e.g. there is a big success in your future). But what if they could teach you how to become a better blogger and a better writer?

Spud Hilton made it so they could. While in San Francisco, he had tips printed and folded inside the sugary cookie to pass out to random strangers. He dedicated his NMX session to teaching those 12 tips, and elements of good writing to help bloggers up their writing game.

Why Quality Matters:
People will tire of you before they tire of the topic. Your topic is always going to have more longevity than you do. You need to make sure you’re presenting that topic in a straightforward way that’s unique.

Eliza Steely

How to Build Your Blog Community with the Right People #NMX

2 Comments | Posted by Eliza Steely on Jan 6th, 2014 in Blogging, BlogWorld NMX, Marketing PR Conferences, Online Marketing |

Blog communityThe internet has redefined communities. My grandparents, who are in their 80s and 90s, still consider a community the people they see pulling out of their driveway, or those they run into at the grocery store on a weekly basis. To them, a community is the physical people around them that share a similar lifestyle to their own. They also don’t own a computer.

For those of us that do, we know that a community doesn’t have to be made up of those in close proximity to us, and often times aren’t.

Take the TopRank blog for instance. We have loyal readers from Minnesota, Texas and Illinois. Then we have international readers from India, Australia, the Netherlands and France. They’re all joined by east and west coast readers from California and New York. Regardless of where they’re from or how far away they are, they make up our community.

Eliza Steely

How to Craft Jaw-Dropping Content & Become a Better Writer #NMX

7 Comments | Posted by Eliza Steely on Jan 6th, 2014 in BlogWorld NMX, Marketing PR Conferences, Online Marketing |

Crafting Jaw-Dropping Content #NMXGrowing up, there was always a battle in my life: school vs. cartoons. School taught me to be structured—the elements of good writing, the processes to follow, the fundamentals. Cartoons taught me to be creative—to think outside the box (thank you Wile E. Coyote), to be creative, and to strive for the eye-bulging, jaw-dropping outcome.

On weekends, cartoons always won out. But Paula Pant, a blogger, journalist and entrepreneur, believes the lessons of cartoons should always triumph. The title of her NMX session, The Art of Crafting Jaw-Dropping Content: Why You Should Forget Everything You Learned in School proves that.

Crafting creative, memorable content that motivates readers to share is the goal of almost every digital marketing agency. Each has it’s own approaches, methods, and beliefs. Regardless, Pant believes that you should “kill your darlings, murder your adverbs, and embrace active tense” through stories, the power of thirds, and your own natural pacing.

Eliza Steely

The What, How and Why of Schema for Bloggers #NMX

3 Comments | Posted by Eliza Steely on Jan 5th, 2014 in Blogging, BlogWorld NMX, Marketing PR Conferences, Online Marketing, Search Engines |

Mitch Canter #NMXI use Google more times a day than I should ever admit. I look for restaurants, gas stations, and other businesses around me. I use it for directions, looking up people or places, and occasionally for spelling if I just can’t seem to get that word right. My point is: I expect Google to have the information I want and present it in a way that I can consume at a glance or on-the-go.

Google must think there are others like me because the way they display their results is constantly and dynamically changing to provide more relevant, meaningful information in SERPs. Things like carousels for local results, image and video results, and authorship markup are helping searches find what they wanted, even if they didn’t know it.

Eliza Steely

10 Marketing Lessons from 10 Years of Blogging @LeeOdden Keynote at #NMX 2014

11 Comments | Posted by Eliza Steely on Jan 4th, 2014 in Blogging, BlogWorld NMX, Marketing PR Conferences, Online Marketing |

Lee Odden Keynote NMX

Over the past 10 years of blogging, TopRank Online Marketing’s Lee Odden has learned a lot. In his New Media Expo 2014 keynote address to full room with standing room only, Lee talked about the 10 lessons he learned in 10 years and over 3,500 blog posts.

1. Stand For Something Specific

If you’re trying to be all things to all people, you’re competing with all companies in all spaces and yourself. That’s a lot to try to outrank! Ask yourself: what is the one thing I want to be known for? Be specific and make it easy for others to understand what you’re all about.

Each of the things you want to be known for can have it’s own spoke, own content plans, and each their own channels for distribution. After all, specificity rules when it comes to search and social!

To optimize your online marketing performance, contact us at TopRank | ©2014 TopRank® Online Marketing | Top