TopRank Online Marketing

5 Tips for Making a Corporate Blog Stand Out

These days it seems as if every corporation has tried its hand at blogging. The more corporate blogs that exist in the blogosphere, the more difficult it becomes to gain blog subscribers by creating one that’s truly unique. To ensure your corporate blog stands out from the crowd, follow these 5 tips:

1. Talk about something other than yourself. Too many corporate marketers make the mistake of creating blogs as purely another mechanism to talk about their products and services. While increased sales and improved brand visibility may be two fundamental goals of a corporate blog, there are more effective ways for achieving those goals that just pushing product.

The most successful corporate blogs leverage product and service information with relevant industry news, human interest pieces, case studies and other useful information. That balance is what keeps readers coming back time and again.

TopRank Online Marketing

5 Tips for Creating an Effective Content Marketing Strategy

It’s difficult to find much value in content with no strategy behind it. Without a content strategy plan, your intended audience is unlikely to find your copy, let alone read it.

During the MIMA Summit last week, the importance of a content marketing strategy was the topic of a session presented by Rachel Lovinger of Razorfish.

For this week’s 5 Tips post, I’ve translated some of Rachel’s valuable points into actionable steps for creating an effective content marketing strategy.

Content Strategy: Discover1. Discover
In a nutshell, do your homework:

  • Research competitors’ content. Whether you’re launching a blog, website or email campaign, determine what information is already out there and how it’s presented. How can you distinguish yourself?
TopRank Online Marketing

5 Tips for Gaining Subscribers to Your Blog

TopRank Online Marketing     Blog Marketing, Blogging Strategy, Online Marketing, RSS

Gaining Blog Subscribers
Are you ready to celebrate the successful launch of your new company blog? Technically speaking, the launch went off without a hitch. Your content is fresh, informative and even entertaining. And your blog’s design is well-branded and intriguing.

But before you pop open the bottle of champagne, consider one more piece of the puzzle: blog subscribers. You’ve made an RSS feed available, but no one seems to be subscribing.

In order for a blog to generate links and traffic over the long term, you must devise a strategy to acquire an active group of passionate and engaged readers. Use these 5 basic tips as a starting point for gaining blog subscribers:

1. Make it easy and obvious for readers to subscribe to your blog’s RSS feed. You can achieve this by:

Lee Odden

Making the Case for Social Media: A Roadmap

Earlier this summer I gave a presentation in Minneapolis at a ClickZ OMS event on building a social media roadmap with tips on blog marketing and using Twitter. It’s all very introductory if you work in the social media space, but if not, serves as a useful baseline for making a case for corporate social media participation.

Many companies are without confidence in how to use communication tools like blogs or Twitter and this presentation can serve as a good starting point for those tactics as well as for creating a social media strategy. There was good feedback at the event and I’ll do my best to turn it into a slidecast in the future.

TopRank Online Marketing

7 Ways To Develop A Unique Brand For Your Blog

TopRank Online Marketing     Blog Marketing, Blogging Strategy

different-fishWith the blogosphere churning out nearly 1 million posts every 24 hours, an unstoppable river of content flows over the web daily. It’s daunting, especially if you’re new to online publishing.  The good news is it’s still very possible to succeed, even if you’re just starting out today.

Developing affinity with a group of readers who will actually take the time to link, comment and share your material requires a commitment of both resources and creativity – this is common knowledge.

But all other things being equal, you can and should give yourself an extra advantage by developing a unique brand for your blog. This is beyond being organized and having a plan, this is about standing out in a world of infinite choice.

Lee Odden

Poll: How Do You Measure Business Blogging Success?

I recently completed developing and recording 2 modules for a business blogging program with the DMA.  One of the most interesting portions (in my opinion) of the material addressed measuring blog success. There’s no one right answer because the purpose for business blogs can vary from branding to sales.

Since bloggers often read other blogs, I’m counting on Online Marketing Blog readers to take this quick poll to identify what the most common goals for business blogging are. There should be enough options to address whatever purpose you have for your blog. You can pick up to 3 choices.

Pick your top 3 measures of success for business blogging

  • Engagement: comments, links (36%, 65 Votes)
  • Improved brand recognition (31%, 56 Votes)
  • Build thought leadership (31%, 55 Votes)
TopRank Online Marketing

5 Internet Marketing Haikus from TopRank

In an online world that increasingly values the 140 character message, keeping campaigns, strategies and tactics short and sweet is the best approach for engaging audiences. To celebrate the succinct, we’ve created the following search marketing Haikus for your weekend reading pleasure. Enjoy!

[Note from Lee: I edited some of these so any of these that are bad would be my fault. The good Haikus are all Dana and Ashley.]

Search Engine Optimization
sem haiku

Social Media
semhaiku-julianas

Blog Marketing
Post great ideas - Join and share conversations - Be useful get links

Online PR
semhaiku-tahoesunsets2

Email Marketing
Put trust in email - Spam in can, not in inbox - Clean lists convert best

Feel free to share your own Haiku or any other search-inspired poetry, and keep the creative juices flowing!

[Photo credits go to: shapeshift, TahoeSunsets, Juliana S. ]

Lee Odden

The Copyblogger Files – Interview with Brian Clark

brian clark
 After being a fan of Copyblogger and other projects, Brian Clark was kind enough to do a panel on SEO I was moderating at BlogWorld. Then I ran into him again recently at Affiliate Summit thinking each time what a great thing it would be for our readers to do an interview with him for Online Marketing Blog

Brian is a fantastic writer and marketer, recovering attorney and someone that over 50,000 people have decided to subscribe to at copyblogger.com – one of the most popular blogs on the internet.  Brian has a lot of what people want: knowledge, talent and success.  Read on to tap into some of that Copyblogger goodness.

How did you go from being a lawyer to an internet entrepreneur?

Lee Odden

5 Tips for Successful Blog Optimization

Yesterday I posted “3 Reasons Why Blog SEO Fails” to help readers avoid the pitfalls of starting a business or corporate blog purely for SEO reasons  only to end up wasting time and energy. Without proper planning, oversight and passion for the topic, blogs implemented purely for SEO objectives are doomed to fail. Additionally, social media referrals and recommendations are becoming a notable competitor to search traffic which can place SEO as a secondary promotional effort in some situations.

Here are five tips for successful business blog optimization benefits in the long run:

1. Find a practical purpose for starting a blog. There are many reasons why companies would benefit from starting and publishing a blog. Some might use blog software as a content management system for an online newsroom or to archive newsletters to the web.

Lee Odden

Corporate Blogging Trends, Insights and Events

Whether to blog or not and exactly how to do it are big questions for many companies that have not jumped on the business blogging bandwagon yet. For companies that want to learn, there are many channels to choose from ranging from the many articles we’ve written on blog marketing and more recently, this roundup of news stories from the social web:

Blogging Becomes Mainstream – eMarketer article by Senior Analyst Paul Verna, “Blogging has become so pervasive and influential that the lines between blogging and the mainstream media have disappeared.” Data from a survey run by Technorati and Decipher.

Why Pharma Fears Social Networking – Not all indusries are keen on blogging and this article from BrandWeek explains the push behind the Pharmaceutical industry to get on board with social media.

TopRank Online Marketing

Corporate Bloggers: Angels or Demons?

Incorporating a company blog into your social media and marketing mix can be a tug of war, finding both supporters and defeaters within the organization.

At the MIMA Summit (Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association) this afternoon, I attended a session discussing the pros and cons, along with the challenges a corporate blogger must overcome to represent the company and still make a connection with the blogging community.

Valeria Maltoni is a blogger at Conversation Agent and Director of Marketing Communications for SunGard. Valeria kicked off the session with a discussion around how an organization can get started with social media and a company blog.

As a business and marketing professional, we are tasked to find different ways to make a profit, find new customers, and build the company brand.

Lee Odden

Still Trying to Figure Out a Blog for Your Business? Blog World Expo

I wonder how many people reading this blog right now work for a company that:

1) Doesn’t have a blog
2) Has a blog but it’s on life support
3) Is considering blogging but not sure where to start
4) Has been blogging for a while, but wants to make it to the next level

Well, I’ve got some really good news.  On the heels of the OMMA New York conference Sept 18-19 comes Blog World Expo in Las Vegas Sept 20-21. What better place to have the world’s largest conference dedicated to blogging than the city that never sleeps because most of the active bloggers I know don’t sleep either.