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Author Archive: Evan Prokop


Evan Prokop

Wrap Up: Waves to Remember from Social Media Marketing World 2014

4 Comments | Posted by Evan Prokop on Mar 31st, 2014 in Marketing PR Conferences, Online Marketing, Social Media Marketing World |

Social Media Waves

Social Media Marketing World (SMMW14) was quite a ride for over 2,000 people from 40 different countries that attended, especially the team at TopRank Online Marketing.

From an opening night reception on an aircraft carrier (The USS Midway) to surfing lessons to over 120 different speakers presenting across 5 to 6 different tracks, this event was one of the biggest mackers of social media conferences. (macker is surfer for “big wave”).

I’m happy to share that TopRank was actually the first and sole media sponsor for SMMW14 and our CEO Lee Odden gave a captivating presentation to a packed room as you can see below. Lee’s talk focused on how content plus an influencer network can help grow your business using the SMMW14 conference eBook he co-created with other speakers as a practical example. Both the eBook and the presentation were mentioned throughout the conference by other speakers, attendees and of course the lightning-paced conference Twitter stream.

Evan Prokop

4 Essential Trends in Social Media Marketing in 2014

9 Comments | Posted by Evan Prokop on Mar 30th, 2014 in Online Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Marketing World |

michael stelzner

The energy was sky high at Social Media Marketing World this year.

Marketers, brands, consultants and business owners from over 40 different countries gathered together to learn about the latest innovations in social media marketing, rub shoulders with social media rockstars, and enjoy unprecedented networking opportunities. Having the event in beautiful San Diego CA didn’t hurt either.

I had the pleasure of sitting in the opening keynote speech from the conference organizer Michael Stelzner, and he did not disappoint. Setting the tone for the days to come, Michael discussed the trends that he thinks will be making the biggest impact in social media marketing in 2014. Smart marketers should take note, because his presentation was chock full of excellent opportunities for businesses to increase the value they are getting from social throughout the coming year and beyond. Below are four key takeaways:

Evan Prokop

5 LinkedIn Marketing Tips That Rock from Jason Miller of LinkedIn #SMMW14

4 Comments | Posted by Evan Prokop on Mar 29th, 2014 in LinkedIn, Online Marketing, Social Media |

Jason Miller LinkedIn Marketing #SMMW14

Once called the “ugly duckling of social media”, rising stock prices, an active community, a lucrative advertising platform and a heavy focus on content have made LinkedIn into one of the most attractive platforms for b2b marketers today. (Disclosure: LinkedIn is a TopRank Content Marketing client)

In a fast paced, entertaining and metal-infused presentation (the Kiss army appeared on several slides), Jason Miller of LinkedIn Marketing Solutions showed off the compelling opportunities which LinkedIn offers to marketers and businesses at Social Media Marketing World 2014.

If you haven’t taken advantage of the awesome marketing power of LinkedIn for your business, there has never been a better time to start. Here’s how:

Evan Prokop

SlideShare for Business: Tips and Tricks for Success from #SMMW14

5 Comments | Posted by Evan Prokop on Mar 29th, 2014 in Content Marketing, Online Marketing |

Todd Wheatland SlideShare Presentation #SMMW14

If you’re not using SlideShare in your digital marketing tactical mix, you are missing out. As Todd Wheatland said in his session at #SMMW14, ‘whatever you’re selling, there’s a business case here.’

SlideShare is a fantastic opportunity for marketers and businesses for many reasons, including:

  • Huge visibility: over 60 million unique views / month
  • Relevant audience: heavily business focused
  • Improved search visibility: presentations posted on SlideShare tend to rank high in organic search

Below are 3 tips to help you achieve success in SlideShare:

Optimize Your Content Within SlideShare

Similar to search, great content is a prerequisite, but optimization techniques provide the extra secret sauce that result in improved visibility and views within SlideShare. Because SlideShare content also ranks well in organic search, optimizing is a no brainer. Some key things to think about:

Evan Prokop

5 Content Marketing Best Practices Most Businesses Aren’t Doing, but Should! #SMMW14

4 Comments | Posted by Evan Prokop on Mar 28th, 2014 in Content Marketing, Online Marketing |

Content Marketing Best Practices from Joe Pulizzi #SMMW14 v4

(Image credit: @aaronnak)

George Carlin famously said, the goal of human beings is to acquire stuff, then to store it somewhere.

Unfortunately, many businesses have treated their corporate content the same way, as stuff to be acquired, and used their websites, blogs, and social channels as the places to store it.

‘If we only talk about ourselves, we’ll never reach customers’ says the always entertaining Joe Pulizzi in his packed-room presentation at Social Media Marketing World 2014.

The answer to this pathological content hoarding problem is content marketing, or at least it was supposed to be. Unfortunately, many businesses are not following important content marketing best practices and are seeing disappointing results because of it. According to research from Content Marketing Institute, 90% of businesses today are engaging in content marketing, but only 45% report it to be effective.

Evan Prokop

Does SEO Still Matter?

28 Comments | Posted by Evan Prokop on Jul 24th, 2013 in Online Marketing, SEO |

SEOWe’ve all heard “SEO is Dead” from alarmists, the uninformed, and in countless link bait articles (irony?). But is there any truth to it?

While Search Engine Optimization may look completely different than it did even a year ago, I firmly believe that SEO is not only alive, but thriving. Here’s why:

Some of SEO is Dead

Many tactics that have fallen under the SEO umbrella can safely be considered dead, either because they don’t work anymore, never worked, or still work but are in violation of Google’s guidelines. I’m not going to spend time discussing why they don’t work or are risky, because that’s not what this article is about, and there has been plenty written about the topic.

Evan Prokop

Marketing Automation Software: Tips for Choosing the Right Solution

7 Comments | Posted by Evan Prokop on Apr 9th, 2013 in Online Marketing, SEO Tools |

How to choose the right marketing automation software solutionMarketing software must be powerful and versatile enough to accomplish specific tasks and automate processes, yet also user-friendly and scalable. The purpose of automation is to help you save time, increase revenue, improve communication and better measure the return on your investment in all marketing activities. However, the right solution for your company must also integrate with your existing solutions and be manageable by the people expected to input data or make sense of the output.

All of these considerations make choosing the right marketing automation software a serious task and not one to be decided on a whim. As an account manager at TopRank, I am often asked to recommend, set up, and manage marketing automation software for our clients. One of the major lessons I’ve learned is that it’s important to choose a platform that is not only within your budget now, but will continue to meet your company’s needs down the road.

Evan Prokop

SEO for Ecommerce Websites – Managing the Duplicate Content Beast

21 Comments | Posted by Evan Prokop on Jan 16th, 2013 in Online Marketing, SEO |

Man in 3D GlassesThe rise of ecommerce websites has heralded a new era of convenience for consumers, as well as the most powerful tool for retailers since electricity. However, ecommerce sites bring with them a host of SEO challenges that can quash any hopes of being found in organic search.

Fortunately, with a little foresight and a bit of technical knowledge, ecommerce retailers can maximize their SEO potential and literally rise above the competition (in the search results), resulting in more customers and increased sales.

Duplicate Content

The single biggest SEO challenge for ecommerce sites is duplicate content. While nearly every modern website can be subject to this issue, the characteristics of most ecommerce websites tend to have every attribute that typically results in duplicate content.

Evan Prokop

Guest Blogging: Stop Thinking Link Building, Start Thinking Relationship Building – #SESCHI

12 Comments | Posted by Evan Prokop on Nov 15th, 2012 in Online Marketing |

Guest BloggingAnother update live from SES Chicago.  Erin Everhart and Katherine Watier  gave a highly entertaining and informative presentation about link building through guest blogging.

Guest Blogging Works, But You Have to do it Right

It’s a scenario that’s far too typical in the SEO world.  An awesome new tactic is discovered, word gets out, and it gets done to death, resulting in it not working anymore (sorry, but it’s true).

Link building through guest blogging has definitely suffered this fate.  Starting out as an incredibly effective means of generating high quality white hat links, over-use and poor implementation have resulted in bloggers cringing at inboxes full of poorly written, self-serving pitch requests, and ultimately ignoring the vast majority of would be guest posts.

Evan Prokop

SES Chicago: Building the B2B Social Media Machine – 6 Steps for Success

7 Comments | Posted by Evan Prokop on Nov 15th, 2012 in B2B, Online Marketing, Search Engine Strategies, Social Media |

B2B Social Media: 6 Steps to SuccessIt’s day 2 of SES Chicago, and the online marketing education is flowing full force.  I saw an excellent presentation about building a killer B2B social media strategy with Adriel Sanchez (@Adriel_S) of SAP.  With the sea of platforms, tactics, and schools of thought around B2B social media, it can be difficult to put together an actionable strategy that gets real results.

Follow the steps below to get your B2B social media strategy working for your business.

1. Forget Social Media, Think Content Marketing

Social media works best as a component of an overall content strategy.  The key is to think like a publisher, not a marketer.  This means avoiding the common pitfalls of being overly self-promotional or too sales oriented.

Evan Prokop

Remarketing & Retargeting Done Right and Wrong – 6 Do’s and Don’ts From SES Chicago

9 Comments | Posted by Evan Prokop on Nov 14th, 2012 in Online Marketing, Online Marketing Strategy |

SES Tips for RetargetingLive from SES Chicago, I had a fantastic opportunity to learn about the ultra-hot online marketing area of remarketing / retargeting from Christopher Hansen and Marty Weintraub.  Remarketing can be extremely powerful, but is easy to get wrong, and the consequences can be costly both in terms of budget and brand image.

Below are 3 tips to make retargeting campaigns work for you, and 3 potential mistakes.

Retargeting Done Right

#1:  Identify Your Best Content

The key to effective retargeting is finding what is already working in your marketing strategy. Retargeting can be very effective at increasing the success of your content, but the content must be effective on its own in order to see a benefit from retargeting.

Evan Prokop

Google Analytics Guide: 4 Easy Tips For Getting Started With Analytics & Website Goal Setting

8 Comments | Posted by Evan Prokop on Oct 3rd, 2012 in Google, Online Marketing |

So, you’ve taken the important step of setting up a Google Analytics on your company’s website.  Implementing Google Analytics is an essential part of gaining insight for improving the customer experience, and improving profitability for your organization.  As they say, what gets measured gets managed.

However, when you log in, you are met with a sea of data covering nearly every conceivable web metric, a lot of them which you’ve never even heard of.  You may be able to find the information you want, but it most likely involves a lot more time and frustration than it needs to.

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