Lee Odden

About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on integrated content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely on a beach somewhere doing absolutely nothing.

Lee Odden

38 B2B Content Marketing Case Studies for 2016

Lee Odden on Apr 26th, 2016     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

B2B Content MarketingThere was a popular article on TechCrunch recently claiming marketers in the inbound and content marketing space have no idea what they are doing and don’t know marketing. For some, that might be true.

When you’re not viewing the world through the lens of a cynic, it’s amazing what you see. Marketers at companies all over the world are planning, implementing and optimizing customer and content centric marketing programs that are achieving results.

For example, each year at the Content 2 Conversion conference, the Killer Content Awards recognize B2B marketers implementing effective content marketing campaigns. And each year, we highlight many of those examples here.

Lee Odden

50 Social Media Marketing Influencers to Follow

SMMW16 Influencers Social Media Marketing Speakers

One of the largest and most influential social media conferences, Social Media Marketing World, starts this week in San Diego.

Bringing together a mix of industry experts, influencers, brands, practitioners and social media enthusiasts, #SMMW16 represents a confluence of interests about all things social media that is virtually unmatched.

At the center of the conference is the program featuring big name speakers like Gary Vaynerchuck, Guy Kawasaki and Mari Smith. There are over 100 speakers in all that will be giving presentations and imparting their knowledge.

With such a concentration of authority, expertise and industry influence, I wanted to see who the most influential speakers are, relative to “social media”. The influence of a speaker affects who follows who and can guide which presentations to attend.

Lee Odden

Book Review X: The Experience When Business Meets Design by @briansolis

Lee Odden on Mar 10th, 2016     Book Reviews

X: The Experience When Business Meets Design

In the digital marketing world a lot of effort has been invested in the making and promoting of content with a singular emphasis on marketing ROI. But customers don’t care about your “great content”, your “clever marketing” or how much money you make from trying to sell them something.

What do customers care about?

Experiences.

Much has been said recently about consumers and experiences vs. things. According to a Harris Poll/Eventbrite study, 78% of Millenials would choose to spend money on a desirable experience or event over buying something desirable, and 55% of millennials say they’re spending more on events and live experiences than ever before.

The value for experiences over things isn’t necessarily new and certainly applies to all generations. It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes that has an important lesson for brands:

Lee Odden

LinkedIn: 31 Sophisticated Content Marketing Thought Leaders to Follow

Lee Odden on Mar 7th, 2016     Content Marketing

31 Sophisticated Content Marketers - LinkedIn

The team at LinkedIn Marketing Solutions (client) recently published a fantastic resource for content marketing called The Sophisticated Marketers Guide to Content Marketing for 2016.

At Content Marketing World 2014, LinkedIn’s Jonathan Lister proclaimed that LinkedIn was “All in with content marketing”. While that reference was mostly about the ability for users to publish content on LinkedIn, the content marketing efforts from the team at LinkedIn over the past 2 years has been nothing short of impressive.

This most recent eBook is a great example of depth, design, and utility that also serves as a case study for “big rock” content. Along with smart advice from marketing rock stars Jason Miller and his team (Sean, Alex, and Megan pictured on the cover below), industry thought leaders and influencers are included as well. Bringing in outside expertise to co-create content adds credibility, subject matter expertise and balance to what would otherwise be “brand content” – a smart move.

Lee Odden

Where SEO Fits in Digital Marketing Strategy for UK Marketers

Lee Odden on Mar 3rd, 2016     SEO

UK SEO
On each of my trips to Europe or elsewhere abroad to a marketing conference, it is inevitable that someone will say, “We’re 1-2 years behind digital marketing in the U.S.”.

The reasons for this vary, from the capabilities of agencies to demand amongst business buyers of marketing services. Business culture in the UK drives many companies to react to competitors more than leading their respective market with new marketing tactics.

Budgets are another reason why a lag exists between the U.S. and Europe – there’s simply more money being spent on digital marketing, advertising and PR so there’s more resources, opportunity to experiment and innovate.

Lee Odden

Influencer Content Marketing: The Art of Relationships and the Science of Software

Lee Odden on Feb 3rd, 2016     Influencer Marketing

Influence Content Marketing

Much of influencer marketing is about advocacy and as the industry matures and includes more digital marketing intentions than PR, I believe influencers will be viewed more as partners than simple proxies for message distribution.

Or at least as chatty dinner guests like the motley crew pictured above from a NewsCred influencer dinner (LtoR: Rohun, Bryan, Joe C., Alicianne, Joe P., Chad, Jon, Drew, Ann, Sheryl, Michael, Rebecca, Moi and Michael.)

It’s a very surreal experience sometimes being treated as an industry influencer one moment and then working on influencer marketing programs the next. But hey, I’m not complaining. Seeing both sides helps me empathize and pass those insights on to our consultants and clients.

Lee Odden

8 Digital Marketing Events Where You Can Learn, Connect and Grow in 2016

Lee Odden on Jan 25th, 2016     Digital Marketing, Marketing PR Conferences

Digital Marketing Events

Smart, Creative and Focused on Results.

That expression is central to our approach as an agency business and in our continuous pursuit to improve as marketers. Ubiquitous information access and increasing complexity and competition means the need to advance knowledge and creativity with digital marketing strategy, tactics and performance is greater than ever.

There are many sources marketers can choose from to learn, grow and collaborate. Over the next few months there are multiple learning and peer networking opportunities to satisfy just about anyone’s need for marketing smarts, whether it’s content marketing, social media marketing, B2B or B2C marketing, SEO and more.

To do my part, I’ll be drawing on my experiences, best practices and strategies developed during my time with TopRank Marketing to deliver presentations at 89 upcoming events ranging from webinars to events in Amsterdam, Scottsdale, London, Copenhagen and San Diego.  I hope to see you at one or more!

Lee Odden

5 Ways Influencer Marketing Can Grow Your B2B Company in 2016

Lee Odden on Jan 11th, 2016     B2B Marketing, Influencer Marketing

B2B Influencer MarketingInfluencer Marketing programs for B2B companies tend to focus on a handful of marketing objectives. The thing is, like many marketing focused investments, influencer marketing can yield many more benefits than the simple act of a famous person in your industry saying nice things about your product or brand.

When B2B companies focus on influencer marketing solely from a campaign perspective, they miss out on the need to maintain relationships. There’s a lot of competition for well known influencers and relationships can keep the connection strong in your brand’s favor.

The future of influencer marketing is bright and with business to business marketers, it’s even more important to include influencers in ongoing marketing because buyers are so self directed in the sales process and they trust experts more than brands (Nielsen).

Lee Odden

12 Content Marketing Lessons Learned in 12 Years of Blogging

Lee Odden on Dec 28th, 2015     Blogging, Content Marketing

Content Marketing Lessons LearnedHappy 12th Birthday to TopRank Marketing’s Online Marketing Blog!

In Malcom Gladwell’s book, Outliers: The Story of Success, he mentions the “10,000-Hour Rule”, which describes the key to achieving world class expertise in any skill as a matter of practicing for a total of 10,000 hours or so.

By many definitions, this humble marketing blog has involved many more than 10,000 hours of practice. While we’ve achieved many milestones from being the only blog ranked the #1 content marketing blog three times by CMI to helping our boutique digital marketing agency reach a worldwide audience, it continues to be a work in progress.

There are multiple dimensions for evaluating a blog’s impact. Here is some statistical trivia about TopRank’s Marketing Blog (thanks to BuzzSumo) representing some of this “practice makes expert” effort.

Lee Odden

A Visual Guide to Influencer Marketing

Lee Odden on Dec 2nd, 2015     Influencer Marketing

Influencer Marketing

In 2016 there will be a significant push towards influencer marketing from all areas of digital marketing: from content marketers to public relations to SEOs.

Companies considering the role of influencers in their marketing efforts will come at it from as many different perspectives as there are benefits. Luckily, there are a growing number of useful resources on the topic, including this blog.

But there’s more to the topic than what we’ve covered here, so I’ve curated a collection of influencer marketing infographics that present a mix of statistics, best practices, research and models for planning, implementing and measuring the performance of influencer marketing. Take a look, click, download and enjoy!

Traackr Infographic
Traackr: The Many Faces of Influence also Content and Influence Framework.

Lee Odden

Digital Marketing Spotlight: John Bell, VP Enterprise Digital Marketing at Travelers

Lee Odden on Nov 25th, 2015     Digital Marketing, Interviews

Digital Marketing Spotlight

Star light, star bright, which digital marketer is next in our spotlight? Well, it’s John Bell of course, Vice President of Enterprise Digital Marketing at Travelers.

John joined Travelers after 13 years at Ogilvy & Mather where he founded [email protected], a global social and digital marketing practice. There, John drove digital and social strategy and programs for major brands including Ford, Nestlé, IBM, DuPont and more.

In this interview, John talks about his transition from the big agency world to a big brand, lessons learned, innovation, data, martech, content, hiring and digital marketing priorities for 2016. So put on your shades, no not really, and dig in:

John H Bell, TravelersYou made a pretty big change from Managing Director at [email protected] to VP Enterprise Marketing at Travelers. What are some of the most transferable lessons you’ve learned moving from agency head to a senior marketing executive for a brand?

Lee Odden

12 Major Brands on Where SEO Fits in the Digital Marketing Mix for 2016

Lee Odden on Nov 24th, 2015     SEO

SEO digital marketing

Did you know? Google handles 100 billion searches per month and more than half of those are on mobile devices.

Did you also know? 15% of Google’s 3.5 billion daily searches have never been seen before.

I remember when you couldn’t search for anything on a smart phone and now people are searching for just about anything and everything, mostly on mobile devices. It’s an understatement to say search engines, consumer searching behaviors and search engine optimization have all changed.

As much as social media, content marketing and other marketing channels emerge, there is no mistaking the value of being the best answer for buyers at the moment of need. So how valuable is SEO going into 2016? More specifically…