TopRank Online MarketingTopRank Online Marketing Blog

Author Archive: Lee Odden


Lee Odden

Better Business Blogging – 7 Lessons Learned from Writing 1 Million Words

Comments | Posted by Lee Odden on Oct 23rd, 2014 in Blogging, Online Marketing |

blogging tips toprank

Blogging for over 10 years has been quite a journey to say the least. During that time, I’ve had my share of challenges, opportunities, disappointments and surprises.

Back when I started, there’s no way I would have imagined having so many things to say for so long or anticipated what impact ongoing content creation would have on me personally and for our digital marketing agency – TopRank.

It’s true that a blog is not for every business, but every business that blogs, sees numerous advantages. For many, there are roadblocks and unrealized opportunities. Businesses can get caught up in those distractions and let their blogs die. As an example, IBM research shows that 80% of the blogs started there have fewer than 5 posts.

Lee Odden

3 Ways to Optimize Your Brand’s Social Media Marketing Success

Comments | Posted by Lee Odden on Oct 21st, 2014 in Social Media |

Grand Canyon

While nearly 90% of companies are using social media for marketing, the distance between “using” and “succeeding” is of Grand Canyon proportions.

In the early stages of social media marketing maturity, business use of social media tends to go through a series of phases from not doing anything to beginning to monitor social channels to sharing content and building community. Eventually, they find their way to some form of social sales or social commerce.

To jump start the move towards a social media marketing strategy that starts to align with measurable business outcomes, here are 3 ways many companies can optimize their approach to social media.

Lee Odden

New Report: How Content Co-Creation With Influencers Beats Information Overload #MastersofCX

One Comment | Posted by Lee Odden on Oct 16th, 2014 in Content Marketing |

Influencing Influencers Co-Created Content

Creating remarkable marketing isn’t just about the flash and dazzle of big ad spends. It’s about creating great experiences for your customers whether they’re early stage prospects researching solutions or satisfied clients looking for ways to better engage with the brand.

One of the best marketing investments a company can make is in the experiences they create through content. The challenge is, we live in an age of information overload where there’s more information created every 2 days than since the dawn of time to 2013 (Eric Schmidt).  While content plays an increasingly important role for attracting, engaging and converting prospects to buyers, content competition has created challenges few companies are prepared to overcome.

Lee Odden

When do B2B Tech Companies Need Content Marketing? Inspiration for 2015 Marketing Planning

2 Comments | Posted by Lee Odden on Oct 14th, 2014 in B2B, Content Marketing |

B2B technology content marketing

Speaking at both a B2B Marketing and a Public Relations conference in the space of a week has yielded some insightful discussions. Many of those conversations have focused on the transition from where the B2B companies are today – a mix of tactics directed squarely at the C-level customer – and where a content marketing strategy might take them.

With my involvement in the B2B marketing space, I get to talk to a lot of marketing and PR professionals about marketing and communications programs. The desire to “do more” and innovate marketing isn’t unique – it’s pretty common across the board, especially with 2015 planning under way.

Lee Odden

B2B Marketing on Facebook? Yes! So Say IBM, Volvo, Salesforce & Lattice Engines

7 Comments | Posted by Lee Odden on Oct 13th, 2014 in B2B, Facebook, Marketing PR Conferences |

b2b marketing

It goes without saying that Facebook is most commonly associated with consumer marketing since it’s hardly a place for industrial engineers to talk about the latest manufacturing process or for enterprise software companies to promote side by side feature comparisons.

But behind those companies are people – both on the brand and the buyer side of the B’s in B2B. B’s are people too and those people use Facebook to connect with peers socially. They may not look for product spec sheets for manufacturing hardware on Facebook, but they can get an idea of the people behind the companies they buy from as well as a more personal look at companies outside of nuts and bolts, hardware and software.

Lee Odden

What is the Future of Content for B2B Marketing? Find out at #MPB2B

3 Comments | Posted by Lee Odden on Oct 8th, 2014 in B2B, Content Marketing |

B2B Content Marketing

Content makes the B2B marketing world go round in so many ways. But will content of the future be as important as it is today?

According to the “hot of the press” report from Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, 2015 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America, 86% of B2B companies are using content marketing. That’s actually down from 93% last year. The definition of content marketing has evolved as well and I suspect, so will the nature of content in the coming years.

But what do those changes mean for you, business marketers trying to create a variety of engaging content on a regular basis without blowing your budget into space? Luckily we have thoughtful insights from 3 people who know from companies that are growing and selling to business customers. These B2B content marketing insights come from none other than Moz, SnapApp and our very own agency, TopRank Online Marketing.

Lee Odden

The Role of Big Data in the Future of B2B Marketing

Comments | Posted by Lee Odden on Oct 7th, 2014 in B2B |

Big Data B2B Marketing

There’s now more data collected about our every interaction in the digital world than ever before. According to a Washington Post story, “brokers use ‘billions’ of data points to profile Americans”. Marketers with access and an understanding of how to use that data can create a distinct, competitive advantage in their ability to provide relevant offers to the right buyers at the right time.

Dealing with data beyond spreadsheets and reporting to actionable insight about customers that enables everything from predictive analytics to truly automated marketing automation are some of the promises of what’s next in content marketing for B2B companies. What used to seem like science fiction is now becoming a reality (as shown by the Future of B2B Marketing eBook we created for MarketingProfs).

Lee Odden

The Number One Secret to B2B Content Marketing Success Plus 150 B2B Marketing Statistics

12 Comments | Posted by Lee Odden on Oct 6th, 2014 in B2B |

B2B Content Marketing Secret

Who doesn’t like a secret? Especially the single, most important content marketing secret to success for B2B companies.

This year’s Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America report from Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs offers us that one, most important piece of advice and more. So what’s the secret? Simple:

Document your content marketing strategy and follow it closely. 

If you’re feeling a bit underwhelmed, here’s the thing:

  • 35% of B2B marketers in this year’s survey said they have a documented content marketing strategy
  • 48% said they have a content marketing strategy, but it is not documented.

OK fine, most companies have some idea of how their content marketing efforts fit into the marketing plan.  What’s the big deal?

Lee Odden

The B’s in B2B Are People Too – A More Human Approach to Business Marketing

6 Comments | Posted by Lee Odden on Oct 1st, 2014 in B2B |

People focused B2B marketing

Answering any question about what’s next in B2B marketing must involve the increasing attention on buyers as people vs. simply “business to business”. The human element of business marketing has attracted a lot of play in the B2B marketing conversation and rightly so.

While there are many changes and trends to consider to stay ahead in the B2B marketing game (paid, earned, owned and shared media for example) the thing that unites departments, tactics and technologies is common ground and common goals. By viewing B2B marketing from the buyer’s perspective, whether it’s an individual or committee, business marketers can start to break free of the mechanical and start creating more meaningful marketing experiences for buyers.

Lee Odden

B2B Marketing Convergence: Disappearing Silos, B2C to B2B Mind-Meld, Inbound Outbound Mastery

Comments | Posted by Lee Odden on Sep 29th, 2014 in B2B |

convergence b2b marketing boston

My first experience with B2B Marketing in the digital marketing industry started as the worlds of Public Relations and SEO started to collide early in 2001.

Our tiny agency won a media relations account for a $1 billion company in the high tech industry. What set us apart from all the other big PR shops was how we used SEO with PR content to attract incoming media opportunities on top of outbound media pitching and brand content creation. As time went on and content as the key player, other disciplines converged in our B2B marketing practice.

Since then, the coming together of marketing/communications disciplines in the B2B world has accelerated. Why? Changes in technology and buyer behaviors for sure (like prospects pulling themselves through 60-90% of the sales cycle before contacting sales). Other driving forces range from the need to achieve greater impact to delivering a more congruent experience for buyers through the sales cycle.

Lee Odden

31 Predictions on the Future of B2B Marketing

3 Comments | Posted by Lee Odden on Sep 23rd, 2014 in B2B, Marketing & PR Industry |

B2B Marketing Forum eBook

Precognitive Marketing, neural interfaces to marketing dashboards, Google cranial implants – is this science fiction or is it the future of B2B marketing? Maybe a bit of both!

These and many more insights (of the predictive and practical kind) can be found in our latest eBook, The Future of B2B Marketing as part of our promotions for MarketingProfs B2B Forum. With a conference theme of “Marketing for What Comes Next” we’ve connected with 31 of the top B2B marketers from Xerox to LinkedIn to Marketo to get their predictions about the future of marketing to businesses.

The future of B2B marketing is far from boring and now, more than ever, B2B marketers are thinking creatively and dreaming big about new ways to attract, engage and inspire business buyers.

Lee Odden

3 Events on the Future of B2B Marketing, Digital Public Relations & Social Media

Comments | Posted by Lee Odden on Sep 22nd, 2014 in Marketing PR Conferences |

Future Marketing PR Events

As we enter the 4th quarter of 2014, many marketers will be focusing on what’s next for the coming year.

While most marketing planning for 2014 has “officially” occurred by now, let’s face it: things change fast in the digital marketing and PR world. Interest in the topics like the future of B2B marketing, Digital PR and Social Media will only grow as the year finishes out and into the next.

To satisfy that interest, we’ve already started publishing marketing predictions for next year and with over 9,000 social shares, the future is definitely on every marketer’s mind. Besides posting predictions, I’m also going to be giving presentations at 3 different events in the coming months about what’s next in B2B, PR and Social Media. Here are details on each:

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