Ashley Zeckman

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

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

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

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

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

"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

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

4 B2C Examples of How Companies are Using Twitter to Attract & Engage Customers

Make Your Tweets Count

If you are a B2C company, interaction on a social platform like Twitter can increase engagement and even sales if executed properly.  Small businesses like Tender boutique in Birmingham, Michigan have promoted special offers on Twitter and sold out in just a few days.

Social interaction via platforms like Twitter allow companies to gain a true understanding of their prospect base and serve as a real-time source of market research.

Customer engagement is a key benefit of executing a B2C Twitter marketing strategy. A recent survey by Chadwick Martin Bailey found 67% of Twitter users are more likely to buy from or recommend a brand they follow.  Twitter is also a great resource for crowdsourcing new ideas, getting feedback on current products or campaigns, and figuring out what it is that your customers really want.

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

5 Tips For More Effective B2C Internet Marketing

Internet Marketing

Is your internet marketing strategy putting customers to sleep?

Compared to B2B companies, businesses that serve consumer audiences are typically focused on a much shorter sales cycle due to the cost and nature of the purchase.  They are searching for a one stop sale.  B2C companies typically target a single decision maker or customer segment instead of multiple decision makers and influencers.  As a result, the approach and internet marketing tactics mix needs to be more relevant to the consumer vs. the business buying experience.

The Holiday season gives B2C marketers plenty of reasons to improve their focus on best practices in internet marketing. Competition is tough for online buyers, so what should B2C marketers keep in mind with their Internet marketing strategy? Here are 5 essential tips for B2C marketers to get more sales online:

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.

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?