Ashley Zeckman

Optimize Your Social Media Schedule: 4 Tips for Avoiding the Social Media Time Suck

optimize social media time

Making the time to execute on a social media strategy can rattle even the most experienced marketers.  Unlike traditional marketing, social media marketing can present many different challenges and distractions.  According to a study by eMarketer 73% of marketers say finding the time to create content as their biggest marketing challenge.

I recently ran a poll of @TopRank Twitter followers to get a sense of how they spend their time online.  I asked “If you had only 20 minutes a day to spend on social media what would you focus on?”  Some of the answers we received were:

  • @henryroominates – “I would try to connect with powerful Twitter users and Tweet content from my blog.”
  • @SebastianX – “I’d read my Twitter Followanyday List.”
Ashley Zeckman

5 Marketing Tips for Improving Customer Relationships & ROI With Better Communications

If you keep customers happy they will continue to buy

Improved communication turns one time buyers into lifelong customers.

As marketers and sales professionals there is no doubt that we are focused on obtaining new customers and increasing awareness within targeted market segments.  However, we must also consider the lifetime value of our existing customers and how marketing communications can contribute to that relationship.  Taking the time to examine what kind of communications can keep your brand top of mind with customers and inspire continued awareness for repeat sales and referrals is of enormous value.

Do you know how much your current customers are worth to your company?  In recent years research has found that a 5% increase in customer retention can increase profits by 25% to 95%.  Armed with the knowledge that satisfied customers has a direct impact on your bottom line, there is no time like the present to begin targeting your current customers.  Here are 5 tips on better customer communications you can start using right now:

Ashley Zeckman

Technology Marketing: Is Your B2B Social Media Strategy Sending Mixed Signals?

social media marketing

Is your social media strategy sending your customers mixed signals?

As a B2B organization with a focus on technology, you may believe that you are facing additional obstacles that your B2C counterparts are not.

Many of you have tried to implement social media in the past without much success.  However, you may still believe that B2C companies have it easier because they have a direct line to their consumers.  The good news is, you do too!  In fact, 58% of IT buyers use social media to make tech buying decisions.

Getting in front of the proper decision makers and influencers when selling SaaS, IT, or any other technology is not as hard as you may think.  It is imperative that you follow a series of social media best practices directed at finding, engaging, and motivating your social network to take action.

Alexis Hall

Top Online Marketing Books for 2012

The New Year will soon be here and we are looking forward to continuing to learn from some of the top marketing minds on the web about the strategies and tactics that will shape  online marketing efforts in 2012 and beyond. To help you get a jump start, I have compiled a list of books coming out in 2012 that cover a range of online marketing topics including:  mobile, social media, content and search engine marketing. Enjoy.

[Note from Lee: We didn’t include second editions, re-releases in paperback or books that didn’t have cover images uploaded yet.]

Mobile, Local, Location Based Marketing

Mobile Marketing Book

Mobilized Marketing: Drive Sales, Engagement, and Loyalty Through Mobile Marketing (Wiley) by Jeff Hasen

Ashley Zeckman

5 Tips for Google Places Optimization

Google Place Pages OptimizationLocal and mobile search is being used more frequently by customers on their smart phones and other devices now more than ever.  As local search becomes more and more prevalent, marketers must ask themselves what can they do to incorporate this marketing strategy into their arsenal.

According to a recent release by ComScore, nearly 3 billion search queries contain local terms each month.  For companies that have a local presence, top visibility on local search is essential or that traffic will simply go to competitors.  Google Maps is one of the most frequently used local search destinations and even comes standard on many devices including the iPhone.  Google Places provides a great opportunity to begin marketing on a local level to your potential customers.

Ashley Zeckman

A-to-Z Internet Marketing News: Bloggers Beware, Google Trust, Mobile SEO, New Twitter, SMBs Heart SEO

B2B Content Marketing Report

New Report on B2B Content Marketing for 2012:

This week started off right with the new report (pdf) from Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs:  “B2B Content Marketing: 2012 Benchmarks, Budgets & Trends”. The report offers a great mix of insight into most and least effective content marketing tactics, social media tools, measurement, budgets and compelling data points like:

  • 9 in 10 organizations market with content
  • Content marketers use 8 different content marketing tactics (on average) in their mix
  • The most popular content marketing tactics included social media, blogs, newsletters, case studies and events
  • The least effective content marketing tactics: podcasts, mobile content, digital magazines
Ashley Zeckman

5 Essential Tips on Content Marketing & Optimization #SESCHI

Content Marketing OptimizationAs SES Chicago reaches its final sessions the audience is still alert and ready to learn at TopRank CEO Lee Odden’s afternoon presentation on “Content Marketing & Optimization.”  According to Google’s Eric Schmidt, every 2 days we create as much information as we did from the dawn of time to the year 2003.  With so much information being shared what can we do as marketers to make our content easy to spot and easy to consume?

Can Customers Find Your Content?

Content creation is so much more than marketing, it is a way of engaging and enticing potential customers to take action.  Optimized content can make sure that customers interact with your brand.  There are many types of content that companies publish and many different audiences that a company should interact with.  Content creation is one of the most effective form of online marketing, it also happens to be the most difficult.

Ashley Zeckman

Are You A Guilty Marketer? Opening Keynote at #SESCHI by Mikel Chertudi of Adobe

mikel chertudi keynote SES ChicagoMikel Chertudi, Senior Director, Global Media & Demand Marketing at Adobe Systems, presented Tuesday morning’s opening keynote at SES Chicago. The goal of his presentation was to take a deep dive into:

  • How the value of what marketers do is often viewed incorrectly
  • Mistakes that many marketers are guilty of
  • What questions marketers should ask themselves in order to invest marketing dollars appropriately

Changing the Marketing Conversation
Often times, as marketers we talk too tactically

Many marketers today still refer to marketing dollars as “spend”, “budgets”, or “cost centers”. One of the things that Chertudi urges online marketers to do is change the conversation. What does this mean?  Organizations should begin considering marketing costs as an investment and not just a cost. Instead of focusing on the “burn rate” we are urged to focus on determining if our investment is large enough to fuel the growth of the company. This will enable marketing to be properly viewed as a means of growing the organization instead of being perceived as a cost center.

Lee Odden

The Power of Integrated Search Marketing in a Social Media World

search marketing integration social media world

For many years search has been the backbone of internet marketing. While effective on its own for a range of marketing objectives, namely product sales and lead generation, it’s the integration with other digital marketing tactics that can really elevate marketing program effectiveness.

It’s important for marketers to think more holistically about their search marketing programs because with brands and consumers empowered to publish 24/7 via mobile, tablet or computer, we live in an age of information overload. Increased competition for consumer attention, interest and engagement means marketing messages must do more to stand out and focus not only on transactional outcomes, but influence and branding.

For consumers, Google has been an effective filter for the billions of documents in its index handling over 11 billion searches per month on Google.com alone. But search isn’t enough to carry the day in most internet marketing programs.

Ashley Zeckman

6 Tips For More Effective Email Marketing Campaigns

Does Your Inbox Look Like This?

We’ve all received them and we’ve all sent them. They can be given but they can’t be taken back. It’s a single action that can cause people to unfriend, unfollow, or unsubscribe.  What are they?  Emails!  Emails can inspire, engage, or excite your prospects or customers but can have the opposite effect of what you were aiming for if you don’t follow some simple rules.

Creating an effective email marketing campaign is not always an easy task.  However, there are a few things to keep in mind that may help take some of the fear out of launching your own campaign.  Not every campaign will be successful but if you’re good about analyzing results, admitting shortcomings and making changes, who says you can’t learn from your mistakes?

Lee Odden

The Journey to Social Business Marketing

Social Business Marketing[Note from Lee: Social Business is everybody’s business when it comes to modern internet marketing. IBM’s social business efforts are really at the forefront of this trend. Ben Edwards is the VP of Digital Strategy at IBM and leads the strategy, design and development of IBM’s marketing and communications in the digital realm. Ben joins us today to share his insights into the journey of not only embracing the social web for external marketing, but to adapt and adopt social media tools internally to empower socialized marketing.]

Ben Edwards IBMCompanies of all shapes and sizes, in every industry, are increasingly adopting social media strategies and technologies for their marketing efforts, using Facebook to reach out to customers or YouTube to demonstrate new products. These are good first steps, but there is so much more that “social” has to offer. The era of social business is here and it is becoming clear just how transformative it will be for B2B marketers.

Ashley Zeckman

4 B2B Social Media & SEO Blunders to Avoid

B2B Social Media BlundersThere are some things that you can’t take back: including what you release on the Internet.  With over 93% of B2B marketers using social media, online sales has very much become a social business. As marketers we need to do our best to present as well online as we do in person (if not better).  Creating an effective online marketing plan amongst all the changes on the social web isn’t easy, but here are a few things you may want to avoid.

#1: Flying By the Seat of Your Pants

A “lets throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks” approach will only take you so far in social media.  Consider your internet marketing plan to be just as essential as your traditional sales and marketing plans.  Below are some questions you may want to ask yourself when creating your social content marketing strategy: