TopRank Online MarketingTopRank Online Marketing Blog

Author Archive: Lee Odden


Lee Odden

Visual Content Marketing Strategy eBook

Comments | Posted by Lee Odden on Aug 18th, 2014 in Content Marketing, Content Marketing World |

Visual Content Marketing eBook

If a picture is worth a thousand words, visual content marketing must be worth millions.

As companies mature in their use of content marketing from simply creating “more” content for SEO purposes to creating really useful content designed to reach specific customer segments to influence business outcomes, the importance of content differentiation becomes paramount.

According to the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs’ annual studies, over 90% of B2B and B2C marketers are using content marketing. That’s a tremendous amount of competition and to stand out, successful marketers are elevating their content quality and use of visual elements.

In my opinion, it’s not enough to inform. Content needs to make us feel. Providing buyers with useful and entertaining content that leverages enaging images, video and interactive features creates an infotaining experience that stands head and shoulders above other marketers.

Lee Odden

A Practical Approach to Content Marketing Success – Interview with Mark Schaefer

3 Comments | Posted by Lee Odden on Aug 14th, 2014 in Content Marketing, Content Marketing World, Interviews |

Mark Schaefer interview

Today’s interview is with a guy that I’ve known for several years that brings a practical perspective to the often distracting world of digital marketing. He’s written the world’s #1 best selling book on Twitter, The Tao of Twitter, as well as several other books including Return on Influence. He publishes one of the most popular marketing blogs online, runs a successful consulting business and speaks all over the world on social media and content marketing.

On top of all that he has received seven patents for new product innovations. Who is this marvel of modern marketing?  He’s Mark Schaefer  of course.

In this interview with Mark as part of our series for Content Marketing World, we’ll find out his take on the importance of strategy with content marketing, the role of audience development, visual content and measuring ROI. We’ll also get a lesson in business from one of his favorite childhood stories.

Lee Odden

Infographic: How to Grow Your Audience -10 Tips from Facebook, MarketingProfs, ExactTarget, Copyblogger

4 Comments | Posted by Lee Odden on Aug 13th, 2014 in Content Marketing, Content Marketing World |

audience development

How many millions or even billions have been poured into creating content over the past 5 years? Do you think that number will be less in the next 5?

And what percentage of those budgets were spent on audience development?

Making great content is important, but analyzing target audiences for insights and growing communities to receive that content is essential.

Sometimes the world of content marketing can seem as confusing as a Mad Hatter’s tea party. We may never know why a raven is like a writing desk, but we can certainly shed some clarity on the importance of audience development for content marketing.

To do that, I reached out to 10 of the top marketing minds in the content marketing world to get their insights into the importance of considering your audience for content marketing strategy as well as tactics for growing your audience.

Lee Odden

Is Business Blogging Still Worthwhile?

14 Comments | Posted by Lee Odden on Aug 12th, 2014 in Blogging |

Boardwalk

State of Blogging

When I started blogging a little over 10 years ago, there were about 1.5 million blogs (Technorati).  That’s about 1 million other people with no idea what they were doing – just like me.

Today, it’s hard to say how many blogs there are globally, but WordPress.com alone hosts 75.3 million blogs in over 120 different languages world-wide with 100,000 new blogs being created every day. In fact, WordPress.com blogs publish 40.5 million posts and 400 million people view 14.4 billion pages per month. (stats)  That’s a lot of blogging!

Tumblr as a blog platform, has over 170 million blogs and nearly 76 billion posts published.  You can continue this exercise with other blog hosting platforms like Google’s Blogger and Typepad too. And I’m not even mentioning the millions of blogs hosted on their own domains or blogs on platforms like Medium or LinkedIn’s publishing platform.

Lee Odden

Audience Development for Content Marketing eBook

2 Comments | Posted by Lee Odden on Aug 11th, 2014 in Content Marketing, Content Marketing World |

Audience Development for Content Marketing

“Publication is not distribution and a content marketing strategy without audience development is no strategy at all.” Jeff Rohrs @jkrohrs

Wise words from the guy who literally “wrote the book” on Audience. With all the investment in content creation, curation and repurposing being made, it’s amazing how little is actually invested in growing the audience and community for that content.

If you publish content uninformed by audience insight and without a community to receive it, does anyone care?  Sadly, no.

Nearly everyone in the business of creating content for marketing has made something amazing, a blog post, eBook or infographic, published it and experienced an underwhelming response. The content might have been awesome to you, but did the audience think so? Have you created anticipation amongst your community? And how much of a real audience was there?

Lee Odden

Content Marketing Interview with Brian Kardon CMO of Lattice Engines – Strategy to ROI

One Comment | Posted by Lee Odden on Aug 7th, 2014 in Content Marketing, Content Marketing World, Interviews |

Brian Kardon interview

What if you could tap the mind of a CMO who’s led marketing organizations at companies like Eloqua and Forrester Research to capture insights about content marketing strategy and ROI? That’s a big “what if”.

Well my marketing friends, today is your content marketing birthday because today we have with us Brian Kardon, CMO at Lattice Engines. Brian was formerly CMO at both Eloqua and Forrester Research as well as SVP of Marketing at Reed Business Information – one heck of a marketing pedigree.

As part of our series of #CMWorld Content Marketing Interviews, we’re talking with a few select speakers from Content Marketing World about content marketing strategy, audience development, the role of visual content, content ROI and of course, marketing lessons learned from favorite childhood stories.

Let’s dig in:

Lee Odden

Content Marketing Strategy Infographic – 12 Tips from SAP, Boeing, CAT, Progressive, John Deere, charity: water

3 Comments | Posted by Lee Odden on Aug 6th, 2014 in Content Marketing, Content Marketing World, Marketing & PR Industry |

Content Marketing Infographic

Status quo is not a strategy.  For example, wandering around the world of content marketing like Alice wandering in Wonderland is hardly the way to succeed. And yet that’s how many marketers are approaching content and that lack of planning and direction brings costs in the form of fewer leads, lower revenue and little market differentiation.

“Only a few find the way, some don’t recognize it when they do – some don’t ever want to.” – The Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland

Content Marketers with a plan are more successful.  According to CMI and MarketingProfs, 66% of the most effective marketers have a documented content marketing strategy. But how do you apply this thinking in a practical way?

Lee Odden

We’re Hiring! Content Marketing Manager for TopRank® Online Marketing

Comments | Posted by Lee Odden on Aug 5th, 2014 in TopRank Agency News |

TopRank Online Marketing Lake Minnetonka

It’s an exciting time to be in the digital marketing world, especially when there is so much opportunity to learn, be creative and achieve amazing business outcomes.

I’d like to think we’re in the thick of that opportunity at our agency TopRank Online Marketing. Not only have we been advocating the value of editorial marketing aka content marketing for many years, but we practice what we preach.

When it Comes to Content, TopRank is on Top - For example, TopRank’s Online Marketing blog is the only blog that has been rated the #1 content marketing blog three times by Content Marketing Institute.

Experiment, Learn, Optimize – We also get to implement what we learn from our own social media and content marketing “experiments” for clients like Dell, LinkedIn, Concur, Capella University and even industry conferences that teach content marketing like Content Marketing World, MarketingProfs B2B Forum, and Social Media Marketing World.

Lee Odden

How to Build A Content Marketing Strategy eBook

2 Comments | Posted by Lee Odden on Aug 4th, 2014 in Content Marketing, Content Marketing World |

Content Marketing Strategy eBook

“One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree.
‘Which road do I take?’ she asked.
‘Where do you want to go?’ was his response.
‘I don’t know’, Alice answered.
‘Then’, said the cat, ‘it doesn’t matter.’”
— Alice in Wonderland

Does finding your way with content marketing feel like you’re living a personal version of Content Marketing in Wonderland?

Consider this: Over 90% of B2B and B2C marketers are on the content marketing path in 2014 according to Content Marketing Institute’s annual study. But did you know, only 44% of B2B marketers have a documented content strategy? Less than half have it documented where and how “they want to go”.

Lee Odden

Content Marketing Interview with Jascha Kaykas-Wolff CMO of BitTorrent

One Comment | Posted by Lee Odden on Jul 31st, 2014 in Content Marketing, Content Marketing World, Interviews |

Jascha Kaykas-Wolff interview

The power of storytelling in content marketing is unmistakable. But what is there beyond storytelling? That’s a key question being asked and answered at the upcoming Content Marketing World conference Sept 8-11th in Cleveland.

To offer insights into the advancing world of Content Marketing, CMI and TopRank Online Marketing have collaborated for the 3rd year in a row on a conference eBook project highlighting strategic and practical content marketing advice from select #CMWorld speakers. As an extension of the conference storytelling theme, this year’s project is a series of eBooks using a theme from one of the most imaginative stories of all time: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. We’re calling this series of eBooks, “Content Marketing in Wonderland”.

Lee Odden

The Power of Empathy for More Customer Focused Content Marketing

10 Comments | Posted by Lee Odden on Jul 28th, 2014 in Content Marketing |

Customer Empathy

Marketers are really jumping on the content bandwagon while the definition of what “content marketing” really means varies greatly between the SEO, PR, advertising and custom publishing industries.

For example, I recently read a very clever post about content marketing on a popular SEO website providing an impressive array of content types, tactics, tips and shortcuts for content to be created and used as a marketing asset. But not once were “customer journey”, “buying cycle”, “customer insight” or related concepts mentioned.

The focus on tactical execution without insight into a targeted audience that the content is intended to reach, engage and inspire – seems pointless. At best, it’s a speculative exercise in “seeing what sticks”.  The same thing often happens with social media marketers curating content from influential publishers in the hopes of sticky engagement.

Lee Odden

Influencer Marketing and Content FTW! 7 Steps to Co-Created Awesome

5 Comments | Posted by Lee Odden on Jul 24th, 2014 in Influencer Marketing |

Influencer Marketing

What’s a faster way to connect with a target audience than building thought leadership from scratch? Working with influencers that already have authority and credibility with the target audience you want to reach.

Why so many companies focus only on buying their way into new markets and audiences I may never know. Working with industry influencers through networking, interviews co-created content has been an instrumental approach for our boutique and specialized agency. By connecting with influencers and working with them to achieve mutually beneficial goals, we’ve grown our business substantially.

This post is an in-depth look at how your business can tap into the power of influencers and co-created content through 7 steps that go from planning to implementation to measurement.

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