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Author Archive: Lee Odden


Lee Odden

Global Content Marketing – Book Review

One Comment | Posted by Lee Odden on Dec 18th, 2014 in Book Reviews, Content Marketing |

Review - Global Content Marketing

The opportunity to attract, engage and persuade  buyers through useful content extends to markets on a global scale. But the same rules about content that work at home may not work abroad. Nor the processes and team structures that many content marketing departments are used to.

That’s why resources around content marketing from a global perspective are essential for international companies. Luckily, I know of just such a resource to point you in the right direction.

I first met Pam Didner when liveblogging one her presentations at Content Marketing World. She was at Intel and I had just given a presentation at Intel’s first internal Social Media conference.

Lee Odden

25 Women Who Rock Social Media – 2014

16 Comments | Posted by Lee Odden on Dec 15th, 2014 in Social Media |

25 Women Who Rock Social Media 2014

Today we’re celebrating the 5th and final version of the 25 Women Who Rock Social Media – 2014 edition from TopRank Online Marketing.

Nearly 100 women have been recognized over the past 4 years and the feedback I’ve received has been amazing – just like the women featured on the lists. Publishing these posts has also introduced me to some incredible individuals that are accomplishing amazing things – creating impact and making a difference – through social networking and social media content.

women rock social mediaThis year nominations were invited from all past honorees. We used Traackr for some additional discovery and a lot of the sorting and filtering of nominations down to a much smaller group. After considering the nominating source, the nomination itself, social network reach and resonance, we narrowed the list down to this year’s group of 25 social media rockstars.

Lee Odden

Influencer Outreach – 5 Ways to Fail

Comments | Posted by Lee Odden on Dec 11th, 2014 in Influencer Marketing |

influencer outreach fail

Content Marketing has dominated much of the conversation about marketing in the past 2 years and the popularity of influencer marketing is also on the rise. What could be better than a combination of both?

The intersection of influencer marketing and co-creation for content marketing is an area we’ve been testing and implementing thoroughly over the past 5 years. Not only have we implemented these campaigns for ourselves in partnership with marketing kingpins like MarketingProfs, Content Marketing Institute and Social Media Examiner, but also major brands like LinkedIn, Dell and McKesson.

But as the approach to content shifts from marketing departments to crowdsourcing, insourcing and community co-creation, I’ve noticed a sharp increase in sloppy or ineffective tactics like influencer outreach.

Lee Odden

Our Top 10 Social Media Marketing Posts of 2014

8 Comments | Posted by Lee Odden on Dec 9th, 2014 in Social Media |

Top Social Media Marketing Posts 2014

It’s that time of year again – time for a round up of our top social media marketing posts for the year.

2014 was full of social media marketing changes ranging from major news feed visibility drops on Facebook to the sputtering of Google+. While often cited as difficult to measure, marketers are increasingly optimistic about social media. According to a Duke University study, social media represents about 9% of marketing budgets and is expected to increase to 21% in the next 5 years.

Suffice it to say, marketing with social networks is a hot topic! Also, it’s no surprise that blog posts connected to our involvement with Social Media Marketing Examiner dominated this collection. Based almost entirely on overall popularity, these posts include coverage of the 2014 Social Media Marketing Industry report, liveblogging of the Social Media Marketing World conference and posts drawn from the SMMW14 conference eBook we created.

Lee Odden

5 Essential Skills for Digital Marketing Consultants

3 Comments | Posted by Lee Odden on Dec 8th, 2014 in Digital Marketing |

digital marketing skills

Much of today’s digital marketing consulting is about data: goals, KPIs and performance metrics. Processes and technology also play a big part, serving as a point of differentiation for many digital marketing agencies and consultants.

The consulting business can be a tricky one because not all business marketing problems are clearly defined and even fewer require simple cause and effect or linear solutions. There are almost always contextual differences between various stakeholders and multiple dependencies, outside forces and differing agendas to deal with as well. Sounds like a fun career, doesn’t it?

The fast pace and increasing complexity of the digital marketing consulting world requires more than functional expertise, best practices and the ability to analyze and optimize data. All too often, the soft skills of consulting are omitted or inconsistent causing misinterpretation, ineffective insight and unmet expectations.

Lee Odden

6 Steps to an Optimized and Socialized Content Workflow

4 Comments | Posted by Lee Odden on Dec 4th, 2014 in Content Marketing, SEO, Social Media |

optimized integrated content

Digital marketing tactics have changed over the years but one thing has not – Customers are in the driver’s seat when it comes to the insights marketers need to deliver relevant, meaningful and useful content at the right time and the right place.

To realize the benefits of customer insight requires an integrated approach – especially when it comes to content – discovery, consumption and interaction.

Moving from planning to practice, especially within a large organization with regional operations, business units, divisions and departments, processes are essential for adoption, quality and scale. Operationalizing the integration of content, social media and optimization is one of the essential workflows that marketing departments can implement. But what does that look like?

Lee Odden

Content Marketing Best Practices Report: Creating a Culture of Content

One Comment | Posted by Lee Odden on Dec 3rd, 2014 in Content Marketing |

Culture of Content

Content at scale is something many business leaders anticipate, but few know how to implement with any measure of quality.

As companies come to appreciate the role of content as an essential business function, there come a number of opportunities to lead the way towards developing a culture of content. Companies that evangelize and institutionalize the importance of content find success beyond marketing into multiple business areas from customer service to talent acquisition.

This is essentially the research supported point of view that Rebecca Lieb and Jessica Groopman of Altimeter Group have provided in a new best practices report: The Culture of Content.

Lee Odden

Hey, That Online Marketing Word Cloud Looks Really Familiar!

One Comment | Posted by Lee Odden on Dec 2nd, 2014 in Online Marketing |

online marketing word cloud

In 2008 I wrote a blog post listing top search marketing blogs, each with a Wordle visualization image I created that was embedded from Flickr.

In that list was a word cloud for this, TopRank’s Online Marketing Blog. Apparently the image has been pretty popular as seen in gratuitous duplication from a search on Google above.

TopRankBlog word Cloud

Since the original post 6 years ago, the word cloud image has been generously repurposed by hundreds of websites – including Chief Marketer, Orbit Media Studios and even on our own site in 2009 and 2010.

Just check out this Google image SERP to see what I mean.

word cloud twitter

What’s funny is that I’ve noticed the image on other blog posts for years, but I’ve started to notice people using it as their avatar or background image on social media sites as well.

Lee Odden

Superhero or Zero Digital Marketing Agencies – How Can You Tell?

2 Comments | Posted by Lee Odden on Dec 1st, 2014 in Digital Marketing |

digital marketing heroes

Today, everyone is a digital marketing expert online. Or so it seems.

The ease of publishing content on blogs, social media and even mainstream business publications has created a wave of marketing experts, each proclaiming their superhero-ness. As companies need expertise to make sense of planning and implementation of modern digital marketing programs, how can you tell which consultants are actually credible and trustworthy?

Whether you’re a new CMO, VP or Director of marketing at a company looking for consultants for help with strategy or vendors to help with implementation and software, it can be a real challenge finding the right partner – especially if pre-existing relationships don’t already exist.

Lee Odden

Where Brand Journalism and Native Advertising Can Fit Within Content Marketing

3 Comments | Posted by Lee Odden on Nov 26th, 2014 in Content Marketing, Integrated Marketing |

integrated content marketing

Over the past year the discussions about what content marketing is and isn’t as well as the role of content within marketing and PR functions of a business have been interesting to watch. Especially the discussions around whether brand journalism and native advertising fit in the content marketing mix. Here’s my take:

Content Marketing is all about customers and providing them the information they need to inspire action. The themes that align buyer interests and brand goals as part of a content marketing strategy can inspire the focus of any content or media whether it’s part of a brand journalism effort, native advertising or content marketing program –  just in different ways.

Lee Odden

How a Shift from All SEO to Social & Influencer Content Boosted Page Views by 500%

6 Comments | Posted by Lee Odden on Nov 25th, 2014 in Content Marketing, Influencer Marketing, SEO |

social influencer content

A small business technology company was focusing their online marketing efforts on SEO and this approach proved to be effective for several years.

Research revealed relevant keywords in demand from searchers actively looking for solutions in this software category. Existing content was optimized, cross linked and new content was created where needed. Content was promoted to attract links and social shares to ensure a presence on crawlable social media platforms.

But then organic traffic began to slow down in growth and eventually decline, despite following SEO best practices capable of the most specific Google scrutiny.

A decision needed to be made: Will more aggressive SEO tactics be used or was it time to shift perspective?

Lee Odden

20 Magicable Takeaways From 5 Social Media Marketing Case Studies at @smbmsp

One Comment | Posted by Lee Odden on Nov 24th, 2014 in Social Media |

Social Media Gnome

On Friday nearly a dozen members of the TopRank Online Marketing team had the privilege of attending a packed house at 514 Studies downtown Minneapolis for Social Media Breakfast aka #SMBMSP72.

The topic? Social Media Marketing case studies. And gnomes. And bacon. And made-up words like “magicable”.

Featuring case studies about local and national brands including Land O’ Lakes, Thomson Reuters, Axonom and two Fortune 100 technology companies, presentations were given by Jaclyn Grossfield @jaclynanng, Casey Hall @CaseyHall_ and myself.

While the Minneapolis / St. Paul Social Media Breakfast events are always well attended, this one was particularly so because of the insatiable interest in practical social media marketing insights. That and maybe the introduction of the “Social Media Gnome” pictured above. Instead of “Elf on a Shelf” think of him as a “Gnome in Your Zone” watching to make sure you’re following best practices. [Cue laugh track]

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