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Lee Odden

Digital Marketing – What Does It Really Mean? Insights from 9 Brand Digital Marketers

Lee Odden on Jul 16th, 2014     B2B, B2C, Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing

Have you noticed the phrase “digital marketing” being bounced around a lot more lately? Me too.

I admit that I’m one of the sources of that bouncing. With the rate of change occurring in the marketing world, I think describing what we do is something that isn’t really satisfied by just one phrase.  Content, Search, Inbound, Multi-Channel, Integrated, all seem to have their place, but “Digital” seems to express what most companies are creating in their marketing right now.

As much as people toss around “digital marketing”, I get the impression that we’re not all on the same page in terms of what it actually means. Just a few weeks ago, we posted a digital marketing predictions post that now has nearly 8,000 social shares. Both the answers and the feedback were quite varied.

Lee Odden

The Importance of Story Before Marketing

Lee Odden on Apr 22nd, 2014     B2C, Online Marketing, Small Business

Tootsie Lou Lou Dolls

Recently my sister in-law, Melanie, shared with me the success of her initial ventures into a new business selling a collection of handmade dolls, stuffed animals and blankets. A successful medical career working at a hospital keeps her more than busy, but the side venture is enabling her to make her creative hobby into something more.

Our recent discussion about turning this venture into a business surfaced many questions that a lot of new business owners face: What might be involved with hiring, manufacturing, logistics, taxes, incorporation and of course marketing.

Melanie has a knack for writing about her creations on Facebook and Pinterest in an enthusiastic, helpful way rather than promotional.  But there is something that Melanie, who is a self-proclaimed neophyte to business and marketing, did that the majority of companies do not do that gives her an advantage. This is something many mid-market companies and large enterprises forget.

Eliza Steely

6 Cleverly Creative Marketing Campaigns of 2013

Eliza Steely on Nov 21st, 2013     B2C, Online Marketing, Visual Marketing

Online MarketingWe all have friends. One thing that makes us friends is that we have things in common, and what we have in common are our personalities and our interests. We interact with others based on those things—and with the social atmosphere so crucial to a brand’s persona, they want to be our “friends” too.

2013 has been a great year for content marketing. Savvy marketers have come up with new, unique ways to create bonds with their audiences, encouraging interaction and ultimately intent to purchase. Viral has become a buzzword that many strive for, yet few achieve. But regardless of how frequently online marketing changes, one thing will remain the same: brands will continue to use stories, interaction, and creativity to attract customers.

Lee Odden

New Mobile Assisted Shopper Study on Showrooming & How Mobile Can Work For Brick and Mortar Retailers

Lee Odden on Oct 17th, 2013     B2C, Integrated Marketing, Marketing PR Conferences

ShowroomingOn the one hand, the speaker lineup and list of brands participating at the Pivot conference in New York this week was one of the most impressive I’ve seen for a niche event.

From our clients LinkedIn and Dell to a cornucopia of brands including Walmart, MTV, Intel, Kraft, Monster, NBC, General Electric, Yahoo, Adobe, Salesforce, SouthWest Airlines, General Motors, IBM, Ben & Jerry’s and many more – there was plenty of brand star power in the room.

On the other hand, the format and venue made this the most difficult liveblogging experience I’ve ever had. I’ll spare you the details, but I suspect things will be changed up for next year.

Of course the networking was excellent as were many of the interviews and presentations that I was able to see and hear.

Lee Odden

5 Social Media Marketing Contests That Boosted Consumer Brands

Lee Odden on Nov 29th, 2012     B2C, Online Marketing

social media contests

The recent Powerball of $550 million has a lot of people excited, fantasizing about what to do with all that money. That excitement also has more people than ever participating. Who doesn’t like to win?

It’s part of the game brands play with consumers to attract, engage and convert new customers, fans and advocates.

Social Media contests in particular have gained in popularity and can be a powerful catalyst for spreading a brand’s message where it matters most. Online marketers are finding that social media is great for holding online contests that boost awareness and engagement for consumer brands.

To help you tap in to some of the opportunity with contests on the social web, here are four examples of B2C social media contests that boosted brand visibility. We’ve also included one example that was popular, but not without risk.

Sara

5 B2C Pinteresting Marketing Lessons From Nordstrom, Williams-Sonoma, Barney’s, Neiman Marcus & Vera Bradley

Sara on Jun 14th, 2012     B2C, Online Marketing, Social Media

With over 100 million monthly visitors, Pinterest is now the 3rd largest social network after Facebook and Twitter (Forbes). For retailers marketing to consumers online, it’s become an essential social marketing and engagement channel.  According to the 2012 Social and Mobile Commerce Study, consumers use Pinterest more than Facebook or Twitter to engage with retailers and follow an average of 9.3 retail companies.

When planning your Pinterest strategy, it is helpful to consider what other successful B2C and retail marketing pros are implementing and how it leads to their success. Fortunately, the leading five of the Top 250 Internet retailers are flush with great big name brand Pinterest marketing examples. There’s plenty that mid-size companies, smaller businesses and start-ups could learn from these long-established brands. Read on to learn 5 lessons from the top 5 retailers on Pinterest.

Ashley Zeckman

Want to Have a Larger Impact on Your Organization? 4 Tips for Becoming A Better Influencer

Ashley Zeckman on Apr 24th, 2012     B2B, B2C, Online Marketing, Small Business, Social Business

How Can You Become A Better Influencer? Tip: You'll attract more bees with honey than you will with vinegar!

Last week Lee Odden shared a post  on attracting the attention of influencers online.  Whether we’re talking about influencers with mass appeal, or those that have a closer and more personal relationship with their followers, each person presents an opportunity to learn and grow.

That got me thinking, when it comes to the inner workings of an organization: what makes a good influencer, and would I consider myself an influencer at TopRank Online Marketing?  In my opinion, there are some key factors that make a good influencer.

  • Building a strong relationship and trust with your peers is essential in influencing their decisions.
Ashley Zeckman

Stuck In A Marketing Rut? 4 Signs That It’s Time To Add Engagement To Your Online Marketing Strategy

Ashley Zeckman on Mar 13th, 2012     B2B, B2C, Blogging, Content Marketing, Google, Online Marketing, Social Media

Turn engagement problems into marketing solutions.When you ask an online marketer what frustrates them the most about reaching customers and prospects online you’re likely to hear the following:

  • Finding a way to connect with their audience
  • Moving prospects through the buying cycle
  • Growing their network and lists

Marketers often talk about their prospects being overloaded with too much information which can lead to an indecisive audience, causing marketers to miss projections and sales goals.  Lets face the facts, consumers are engaging online.  Recent studies show that over 53% of active social networkers follow a brand.  If there are that many people actively interacting and engaging with brands online what changes can be made to reach and engage target audiences?

Sign #1 – The Sounds of Silence – No One is Commenting On Our Blog

Ashley Zeckman

Online Marketing News: Chrome Gets Hacked, Facebook Can Get your Game Noticed, Take an Interest in Pinterest

Ashley Zeckman on Mar 9th, 2012     B2B, B2C, Content Marketing, Online Marketing, Search Engines, Social Media

How to use Google+ for business

Google+ For Business

This infographic was recently shared by Chris Brogan on his website and provides some valuable insight into using Google+ for business.  Highlights include:

  • Why Google+ is the place to be
  • Sharing is the key
  • Taking your business page to the next level

“Introducing Google Play:  All your entertainment, anywhere you go”  Google is looking to eliminate the hassle of syncing across multiple devices and computers.  Google Play is a digital entertainment destination where users can find everything from music, to books and movies.  The best part about Google Play?  It’s entirely cloud based so everything will always be available.  Via Google Blog.

Ashley Zeckman

Online Marketing News: Tips for Going Viral, Socially Optimized via Mobile, Facebook Timelines for Business, LinkedIn Company Follow

Ashley Zeckman on Mar 2nd, 2012     B2B, B2C, Blogging, Content Marketing, Google, Online Marketing, Search Engines

What does it take to go viral?

This recent video from Salesforce.com covers what it takes for your content to spread as well as the formula for success.  The video also includes a checklist marketers can use to increase their likelihood of going viral.

This Week in Online Marketing News

“Getting Socially Optimized with Mobile Marketing” As mobile marketing continues to expand marketers are still searching for the best way to reach their audience through the development of applications for smart phones, ads, and mobile optimized websites.  This article provides some insight into the benefits and challenges of a mobile marketing strategy. Via BtoB Magazine.

Ashley Zeckman

Innovative Search Features Drive Engagement – Paul Vallez #OMS12

Ashley Zeckman on Feb 8th, 2012     Ask, B2C, Content Marketing, Google, Online Marketing, Online Marketing Summit, Search Engines

"Google taught us how to search." - Paul Vallez

Paul Vallez admits that when he started at HP less than a year ago he had just come from Ask.com and was pretty cocky about what he knew.  Vallez also shares that he wasn’t very open to new ideas and wanted to step into his new position at a big brand and immediately demonstrate value. What was his approach?

  • 75% Cocky
  • 25% Open to new ideas

In Vallez’s presentation he identified what he called “3 Key Learnings” that he shared with the audience for improving the way that your search strategy is implemented for improved engagement.

Ashley Zeckman

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

Ashley Zeckman on Jan 24th, 2012     B2B, B2C, Online Marketing, Social Bookmarking, Social Media, Social Media Tool, Social Networking

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.”

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