Lee Odden

Lee Odden

The Difference Between Brandividuals & Influencers – Why You Need Both

Lee Odden on Mar 16th, 2015     Influencer Marketing

influencer brandividual

From creating advocacy programs to the content co-creation we specialize in at our agency, working with influencers presents a number of challenges, especially when it comes to effectively identifying, qualifying and recruiting.

In fact, according to a study by Augure, 61% of companies say finding “true” influencers is a top challenge.

Everyone is influential about something, but the ability to influence varies greatly across individuals, between different audiences and even at different moments in time.

Defining Influence. As Sam Fiorella, Co-Author of Influence Marketing says, “Influence is the swaying of beliefs, behaviors or actions.” Therefore, it stands to reason that identifying influencers must take into account their ability and willingness to affect action – not just achievement of high fan, friend and follower counts.

Lee Odden

BADASS Book Review: The Content Code by Mark Schaefer

Lee Odden on Mar 12th, 2015     Book Reviews, Content Marketing

The Content Code

The Content Code: Six essential strategies to ignite your content, your marketing, and your business is the latest book from Mark Schaefer and like The Tao of Twitter and Social Media Explained, it’s a must read.

I’ve known and admired Mark for several years. He is a very generous person and that generosity extends to the knowledge he shares in the content and conversations he’s a part of.

Mark has a valuable ability to take the complexity out of marketing and draw attention to the things you really need to know – and in a way that just makes sense. Let’s face it: marketers are definitely living in an age of increased complexity and information overload. The sheer volume of content now being produced has no chance of being consumed, ala “Content Shock” and businesses are hard pressed to find ways to stand out.

Lee Odden

Interview: Daniel Pink on Winning with Authority, Influence and Inspiration #authority2015

Lee Odden on Mar 10th, 2015     Interviews, Marketing PR Conferences

Daniel Pink Interview

Creating authority and winning at business are things Daniel Pink knows a lot about. As a TV show host and c0-producer, popular public speaker and bestselling author of 5 books including To Sell is Human, he’s the opening keynote at the Authority Rainmaker conference in Denver May 13-15.

As a preview to his presentation, Dan was kind enough to do an interview with us where he talks about building authority, motivation to achieve success, that one “most important skill”, his own influences and what he really thinks of Facebook, Twitter and social networks that are “too cool”.

You are widely considered to be an authority on many topics, such as sales, marketing and motivation. What do you think are the most important things you’ve done that have contributed to that perception?

Lee Odden

Content Marketing Bundle of Awesome – 12 eBooks for Better Content Performance in 2015

Lee Odden on Mar 9th, 2015     Content Marketing

Content Marketing Bundle of Awesome

The missing piece of the content marketing puzzle for most marketers is a documented strategy according to CMI/MarketingProfs research.

But the problem with most content marketing efforts isn’t just a documented strategy, it’s the lack of thinking strategically about content. The challenge of creating more, engaging content often blurs the importance of answering “why”, “for who” and “to what end”?

Solving the strategic thinking issue is essential for creating a strategy and one way to do that is to tap into industry thought leadership to identify trends, best practices and examples of what content marketing success looks like. Reconciling those observations and insights with your own marketing goals, target audience and expectations for content are the key to making your content marketing investments pay off.

Lee Odden

Interview: Sonia Simone of @Copyblogger Media #authority2015

Lee Odden on Mar 3rd, 2015     Digital Marketing, Interviews, Marketing PR Conferences

Sonia Simone Interview
I am very happy to post the first in our series of interviews with featured speakers at the upcoming Authority Rainmaker conference (May 13-15 in Denver) with none other than Sonia Simone of Copyblogger Media.

Sonia is the co-founder and Chief Content Officer at Copyblogger, where she writes about marketing, entrepreneurship, and how to create better relationships with customers. At the Authority Rainmaker conference, you’ll be able to see her presentation, “Dr. Evil’s Guide to Landing Page Design”.

In this interview, Sonia shares what authority means to her, examples of authoritative brands and advice for marketers and business owners on how to create their own authority.

As Chief Content Officer of Copyblogger Media you are clearly an authority on content and content strategy. Was that a conscious decision or is it a consequence of your professional interests and career?

Lee Odden

Content and SEO Beyond Marketing – Optimized Digital Communications

Lee Odden on Mar 2nd, 2015     Content Marketing, SEO

optimized digital communications

Content is the reason search began in the first place.

In the days before Google, directories, lists and forums were the way to discover new content on the fast-growing world wide web.

During those early days, the web was as much about the experience of discovery, aka “surfing”, as it was about finding specific answers.

Answers to what? Many marketers would have you believe the only content that exists is the information created in support of buyers to discover, consume and transact.

But there’s far more to the web than demand generation and advertising. Content is created by companies to serve a variety of business functions from customer service to corporate social responsibility to talent acquisition.

Lee Odden

B2B Content Marketing and Optimizing the Full Cycle of Buyer Experience

Lee Odden on Feb 26th, 2015     B2B Marketing

B2B Marketing Q and A

What is the biggest mistake B2B marketers make with content?

It’s all about us (the brand). One of the most common and significant mistakes B2B marketers make with content is to create information and media that doesn’t solve a customer information problem. Additionally, content that is presented out of context and unoptimized for customer experience can result in very poor performance.

The reason for this mistake? A brand or marketer’s ego-centric view of the world. Whether it’s writing branded content to editorialize self-promotion or sticking only to topics meant to inspire end of funnel conversions, simply creating more content isn’t the answer. And yet over 90% of B2B marketers are doing exactly that.

Lee Odden

All New Sophisticated B2B Marketing Guide for LinkedIn

Lee Odden on Feb 25th, 2015     B2B Marketing, LinkedIn

B2B Marketing Guide LinkedIn

It wasn’t that long ago that most business marketers thought of LinkedIn purely as a place for online resumes and prospecting future hires. Today, with nearly 350 million members world-wide, LinkedIn has become a formidable marketing and sales resource for B2B marketers across the web.

In fact, LinkedIn is evolving as a full marketing funnel solution through it’s mix of content and advertising solutions. In particular, through the LinkedIn Lead Accelerator that serves as a lead generation and nurturing service.

full funnel marketingWhile new product and service offerings are fine and good, there’s a saying I live by when it comes to tools. “A tool is only as useful as the expertise of the person using it.”

That’s why this updated version of The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to LinkedIn is so timely.

Lee Odden

Beyond Content for Marketing – Channels of Distribution and Being the Best Answer

Lee Odden on Feb 9th, 2015     Content Marketing

content channels distribution

For businesses that want to differentiate and create a meaningful connection with buyers across the customer lifecycle, content is the answer.

This is especially true with business buyers. According to research from IDC, 56% of the buying cycle is searching for and engaging with content. And according to Forrester, 66% to 90% of the buying cycle is complete before a B2B buyer ever speaks with a sales rep.

How? Through information and media buyers find in their search to become educated about solutions.

By no means is the creation of useful and info-taining content a silver bullet on its own. Competition for time and attention is tough and marketers still need to attract that attention through advertising, social media, email, SEO and other amplification tactics. But all those promotion tactics are of little value without meaningful content to send interested buyers to.

Lee Odden

The Super Bowl of Content Marketing Audits – Optimized, Socialized & Integrated

Lee Odden on Feb 2nd, 2015     Optimize Book, Social Media

digital marketing audit

With the Patriots win last night, I can’t help but try and squeeze a football metaphor into this post. See? It got your attention!

Like football of days past, mainstream Digital Marketing has evolved. From a focus on single channels like email or search, to multi-channel programs and even into omni-channel – all are driven by the importance of creating compelling experiences for buyers. Or fans.

While companies with mature, sophisticated and budget rich marketing programs are riding this digital marketing wave, the practical reality is that many companies are in need of a clear plan for expansion. Creating a consistent user experience across channels, online and offline (kind of like winning the Super Bowl) is a lot easier said than done.

Lee Odden

What You Need to Know About Content & Influencer Marketing. BONUS: Case Study

Lee Odden on Jan 27th, 2015     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing, Influencer Marketing

influencer co-created content

Influencer Marketing was a hot topic in 2014 and will continue to gain momentum in 2015 for both B2C and B2B marketers, especially when it comes to content co-creation.

Why the warm and fuzzy for influencer content you ask? According to CMI and MarketingProfs, over 90% of B2B marketers are investing in content marketing. Yet, in an age of information overload where 74GB of data are delivered per person, per day (USC), standing out to business buyers can require unreasonable budgets and resources.

Inspired by the need to scale content marketing performance, a growing number of B2B marketers are creating better quality content that gets shared more often, reaches more prospects and grows their influencer network – all at the same time. How so? Through influencer content programs.

Lee Odden

Content Marketing is a Team Effort

Lee Odden on Jan 21st, 2015     Content Marketing

content marketing team

Over the past 14 years we’ve run a very lean marketing department at TopRank Online Marketing.

An example of this is out of the 3,674 blog posts we’ve published, 2,793 were written by one person. TopRank’s blog received around 1.5 million visitors last year and tens of thousands of social shares, mentions in publications like Forbes, Entrepreneur and Adage as well as numerous business inquiries.

Less is not always more. One could easily argue we have one of the most efficient content marketing and blogging efforts of any digital marketing agency. But the reality is that content marketing is a team effort. It has to be.