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Ashley Zeckman

Stand Out Above the Noise – Blogging Tips From Chris Brogan #BWENY

Ashley Zeckman on Jun 7th, 2012     Blog Marketing, Blogging, Online Marketing

"There are plenty of crappy photographers out there, that is why they invented Instagram." - Chris Brogan (touche Mr. Brogan)

I must say the pre-keynote presentation was hilarious.  Tom Webster (@webby2001) from Edison Research shared some “feedback” his company had received from the post-session surveys that were sent out for evaluation of the speakers.  The comments were those that many bloggers experience on a daily basis: Poorly written, irrelevant, spam on your painstakingly written blog post.

Tom’s commentary was the perfect seguay into Chris Brogan’s (@chrisbrogan) keynote presentation.  First off, Chris is hilarious, second of all he is not afraid to poke fun at himself.  This wasn’t the sort of presentation that is easy to live blog (plus there was zero Internet connection) so I decided to share the information like I consumed it.  In bite sized chunks that are easy to consume and easy to share.

Lee Odden

A Recipe for Better Blogging: Optimize & Socialize #bweny

Lee Odden on Jun 4th, 2012     Blog Marketing, Blog Optimization, Blogging, Marketing PR Conferences, Online Marketing, Other Events

better bloggingOn Saturday I participated on a SEO panel at the first Minneapolis TECHmunch food blogger conference put on by Babette Pepaj with the help of local foodies like Stephanie A. Meyer. As prep for the event, I outlined a few things that I thought food bloggers might find useful for helping to improve organic search traffic to their content. Of course these tips aren’t limited in their usefulness to food bloggers, they apply to anyone interested in creating awareness, attention, interest and engagement with themselves or their brand.

I will be giving a track keynote at BlogWorld this week on Thursday morning (9am) covering bigger picture topics and specific tactics to help attendees to better use blogs as content marketing tools. Here’s the presentation info:

Lee Odden

5 of the Most Important Content & Social Media Tips For A Successful Business Blog

Lee Odden on May 28th, 2012     Blogging, Online Marketing

business bloggingThe tendency for corporate marketers and their agencies to chase shiny social objects seems to be manifesting as conflicting trends in the usefulness of social media for business. Companies that execute their social media marketing tactics poorly often conclude the channel doesn’t work. A good example is the “corporate blogging is dying” story which contrasts with a study that shows blogging is the second most effective B2B lead generation tactic.

I’ve always said that tools are only as good as the skills of the people using them and the moving target of social savvy customers along with a rapidly evolving social web make social media marketing skills acquisition a bit tricky. I think part of the answer to the distracted approach to social media marketing efforts like corporate blogging could be arrested by mastering these basics.

Lee Odden

12 Timeless Link Building Tips for Business Blogs

Lee Odden on Apr 30th, 2012     Blogging, Link Building, Online Marketing, SEO
link building

Link Building for Business Blogs Doesn’t Need to Be Risky

As a key component of a hub and spoke online marketing strategy, blogs can be very effective for social media network engagement, online PR, customer service, and as search engine optimization assets. While there are numerous cases studies of business blogs (I like to think Online Marketing Blog is one) providing tremendous value, blogs are simply software tools and what you get out of them is in proportion to how well you know how to use them.  One of the common areas of lost opportunity with business blogs is link building.

Lee Odden

Top UK Internet Marketing Blogs 2012

Lee Odden on Apr 12th, 2012     Blogging, Marketing PR Conferences, Online Marketing

UK Internet Marketing Blogs

Update for 2013: What are your favourite UK based online marketing blogs? We’re taking nominations for our 2013 list to be published in February. Please share in the comments below!

Last year we ran a poll to identify the top Internet Marketing blogs in the UK which ended up getting a little spicy.  There were over 3,000 votes cast (both human and bot) plus a ton of lively discussion (60+ comments). Many long time online marketing folks know of our famous BIGLIST of SEO blogs and so there was a lot of awareness and interest in getting on the UK list.

A lot has changed in the past year so I think it’s worth revisiting that list.

Ashley Zeckman

5 Tips for Taking the “FUD” out of Twitter for Employees

Ashley Zeckman on Apr 10th, 2012     Microblogging, Online Marketing, Social Media

How to Twitter? A common question many businesses ask.

Whether you work for a large or small business, in BtoB or BtoC, or are just interested in growing your marketing and sales network, you may have been faced with a common issue:  You’re fully on board with social media, but your employees may not be.

Many organizations have done their due diligence to put together a policy which includes all the ways that employees may not use social media in connection with their brand.  However, what are some simple steps you can take that will not only take the fear out of social media, but will encourage participation?

Lee Odden

Practical Tips to Make Your Blog More Useful & Interactive

Lee Odden on Mar 29th, 2012     Blogging

blogging tipsIt’s amazing how a meme can turn into a stream of content when it resonates well with a community. Recently I was sent a set of interview questions and one of the questions asked about building blog community. I took my response to that one question and turned it into a blog post, “How to Increase Business Blog Readership, Traffic & Community” that was well received. In fact, that post prompted two different social media chats to ask if I’d be a guest host on the topic: #smchat and #nptalk. Thank you for inviting me!

Now I’m turning the questions from those chats and my answers into yet another (unique) blog post full of practical tips.

Lee Odden

The Value of Small Business Blogging: 3 Key Questions & Answers

Lee Odden on Mar 15th, 2012     Blogging, Online Marketing

small business bloggingEarlier this week Frank J. Kenny did a Skype interview with me about small business blogging and why or why not it makes sense. Frank’s audience is the network of Chambers of Commerce across the U.S..  I think it’s a timely question considering the ongoing “blogging is dead“, “no it’s not“ debate that’s been going on for the past 5 years or so.

As a small business owner myself, I’ve been blogging here at Online Marketing Blog for over 8 years and can testify as to the pros and cons like few others can. In our case, we’ve had great success with our blog as a way to achieve industry awareness and credibility, attract new business, employees, media coverage, speaking opportunities and many other benefits.

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

Lee Odden

How to Increase Business Blog Traffic, Readership, & Community

Lee Odden on Mar 7th, 2012     Blogging, Online Marketing

grow blog readershipOne of the key objectives and performance metrics for business blogging is to grow the network of people that find, interact with and share blog content.  An optimized approach to growing a blog community relies on an understanding of who the audience is and what their information goals are, not just what the brand wants to achieve. Many companies start out blogging about their own products and services, company news and essentially the kinds of things that belong in a corporate newsroom.

An ego-centric approach to business blogging misses the opportunity to create meaningful connections with people empowered to publish, share, refer and buy. Blogging is a publishing platform that allows both one to one and one to many communications so content should take advantage of those engagement opportunities by thinking about content that’s interesting from the reader’s perspective.

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

Online Marketing Best Practices: Software & Technology Marketing

Ashley Zeckman on Feb 28th, 2012     Blogging, Content Marketing, Email Marketing, Online Marketing, Search Marketing, SEO

software marketing best practicesAt TopRank Online Marketing, we work with clients in many different industries each facing a unique set of problems.  One of the industries we provide online consulting for regularly is software.  Be it network monitoring, healthcare system and hospital software, email marketing, project management, or B2C software, promoting technology solutions has been a part of our expertise since TopRank was founded over 10 years ago.

Software development continues to become even more valuable in today’s social, mobile and overall digital world as companies begin to migrate what were once offline industries into SaaS and cloud based services.  It wasn’t too long ago that recruiting, sales, and marketing relied heavily on meeting in person or over the phone. With advancements in software and devices, organizations are now able to accomplish the same if not better results at a drastically reduced cost.

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