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Book Reviews


Lee Odden

5 Social Media ROI & Measurement Books to Grow Your Social Business

Lee Odden on May 5th, 2011     Book Reviews, Online Marketing, Social Media, Web Analytics

Books Social Media MeasurementOne of the most compelling challenges for companies entering the world of social business is measurement. The ability to attribute cause and effect directly can be elusive when it comes to measuring business outcomes like increased sales, improved customer retention and lowered support costs. But that’s only because this is new territory.  Business participation with social media on the web at large and internally has absolutely made measurable progress for numerous companies and organizations. The trick is to learn how, create a model that works for you and to sell it internally for testing, implementation and adoption.

One way to facilitate learning about Social Media ROI, Measurement and Analytics is through books from subject matter experts. Here are 5 that I’ve found useful and hopefully, you will too.

Lee Odden

Review: Rock Your Marketing with Content Rules

Lee Odden on Feb 7th, 2011     Book Reviews, Online Marketing

Book Review: Content RulesIf I were to write a tactical “how to” book on Content Marketing, I’d like to think it would be a lot like “Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars and More that Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business”.

After knowing Ann Handley online for several years, I finally met her in person at a B2B MarketingProfs event in Boston last year. I met C.C. during a GM sponsored blogger dinner during SXSW. Both are “walk the talk” people when it comes to content marketing, so it’s more than fitting that they should join forces to write a “put it all into action” book.

Lee Odden

MarketingSherpa 2011 SEO & Social Media Benchmark Report

Lee Odden on Nov 2nd, 2010     Book Reviews, Business of SEO, Online Marketing, SEO, Social Media

marketingsherpa sem report 2011MarketingSherpa has done it again with their SEM report for 2011. With the help of Lead Author, Research Analyst Jen Doyle, they’ve put together an excellent resource for marketers looking for strategic guidance as well as real data about search engine marketing.

This particular report focuses on Search Engine Optimization with an emphasis on the interplay of search and social media, two topics that are very near and dear to the consulting practice at TopRank Online Marketing.

According to the MarketingSherpa report, 64% of marketers surveyed are integrating social media into their search marketing plans which syncs well with the soon to be released SEOmoz SEO Industry Report, which cites 71% of the 10k plus search marketers that responded as leveraging social tools such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Lee Odden

Content Marketing Book Review: Audience, Relevance and Search

Lee Odden on Oct 13th, 2010     Book Reviews, Content Marketing, Online Marketing

audience relevance searchA few months ago, the PR folks working with IBM Press sent me a copy of “Audience, Relevance and Search: Targeting Web Audiences with Relevant Content” by a trio of authors: James Mathewson, Frank Donatone and Cynthia Fishel. I have somewhat of a connection with IBM Press because of editing the Social Media Marketing chapter of Mike Moran and Bill Hunt’s Search Engine Marketing Inc., 2nd Edition. (Interview)

Funny Story: Fast forward to Oct 13th and I’m on my way through the MSP airport to catch a plane to Las Vegas where I’m speaking at Blog World New Media Expo. I complain on Twitter about $36/day parking (highway robbery in my book) and James Mathewson chimed in with advice on parking at Terminal 2. Ironically, the book I picked out to read on the plan was Mathewson’s “Audience Relevance and Search”. On top of that, James is a fellow Minnesotan and we’ve never met or had any kind of correspondence before. Writing this review was simply meant to be :)

Lee Odden

10 Social Media Marketing Questions Answered by Engage!

Lee Odden on Jul 27th, 2010     Book Reviews, Online Marketing, Social Media

I’ve been familiar with Brian Solis as many have, for several years. We’ve done a few video interviews with Brian and he’s contributed to popular posts here like this one on social media marketing and this one on content curation.

I have to admit that based on his early writing, I thought Brian was overly confident about the opportunities with social media. When I finally met him in person at a Media Relations conference we were both speaking at, I gained a much better understanding and appreciation for the talents and insight behind the evangelism for what has become the most significant change to the web since the introduction of search engines.

Lee Odden

Open Leadership: How Social Technology Can Transform the Way You Lead

Lee Odden on May 4th, 2010     Book Reviews, Online Marketing, Social Media

The book, “Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies” by Forrester’s Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff offered companies a much-needed framework for companies to understand social technologies and consumer behaviors. It also  introduced the now popular four-step process for developing a social media strategy.

A lot has changed since we first interviewed Charlene Li about the Groundswell, including her move to begin the Altimeter Group. Other changes include blogging having met its match as a popular social technology with the exploding popularity of tools like Facebook and Twitter.

Charlene’s new book, “Open Leadership: How Social Technology Can Transform the Way You Lead”, is essentially about how leaders can tap into the power of the social technology revolution and how to be “open” while still maintaining control.

Lee Odden

2010 MarketingSherpa Social Media Marketing Guide

Lee Odden on Feb 3rd, 2010     Book Reviews, Online Marketing, Social Media

One of the most trusted sources of marketing research and information is MarketingSherpa. I’ve been a subscriber for many years and always look forward to the reports on Search Marketing, Email Marketing and B2B Marketing. Last year MarketingSherpa started conducting research and publishing a Benchmark Report on social media marketing.

The new Social Media Marketing Benchmark Report (affiliate link) was recently released and I’ve had a few days to take a look and will provide a review for our readers.

As you can expect, this guide is a “meaty” 250 plus pages of research, charts & tables, examples and well written advice. Over 2,000 marketers participated in the survey covering a myriad of topics ranging from strategy to forecasting & budgeting to integration with other marketing channels to specific research on social applications such as Twitter, Facebook and blogs.

Lee Odden

Art of SEO: Best Search Engine Optimization Book in 2009

Lee Odden on Dec 30th, 2009     Book Reviews, Online Marketing, Reader Polls, SEO

Our recent reader poll of 14 books either focused on, or with significant content dedicated to, Search Engine Optimization has concluded with 174 votes. And the winner by one vote and 27% of the total votes is….

Art of SEO (Theory in Practice) by Eric Enge, Stephan Spencer, Rand Fishkin and Jessie C. Stricchiola.

.Art of SEO

Published by O’Reilly, this phone book sized bundle of SEO wisdom is chock-full of advice for marketers that want to leverage search engine optimization as a marketing channel. Congratulations on winning our Reader Poll!

Here are several reviews of Art of SEO to consider or you can take up O’Reilly’s offer to write one yourself.

Runners up for Best SEO book of 2009 were:

Lee Odden

Book Review: Socialnomics by Erik Qualman

Lee Odden on Nov 17th, 2009     Book Reviews, Social Media

socialnomics “It’s a people driven economy stupid” and “Online word of mouth has made many traditional marketing strategies obsolete”. Those are powerful words and central to the theme in “Socialnomics” by Erik Qualman, Global VP for Online Marketing for EF Educatio, the world’s largest private educator.

I appreciate Erik’s characterization because it’s how I’ve viewed social media since our digital marketing & PR agency started blogging and using social news/bookmarking sites in 2004: as technology that facilitates word of mouth. At conferences, I often say to audiences that if a company has strong word of mouth in the offline world, then Social Media may be a powerful option for them. If not, perhaps social media can help them get word of mouth started.

Lee Odden

Book Review: Putting the Public Back in Public Relations

Lee Odden on Oct 21st, 2009     Book Reviews, Online Marketing, Online PR, Public Relations

Putting the Public Back in Public RelationsWhen Brian Solis asked me to do a review of Putting the Public Back in Public Relations, the book he and Deidre Breakenridge published earlier this year,  it didn’t take a second to say yes. Putting that decision into action took a little longer and it finally took some time on a plane to get it done.

I’ve known Brian Solis through our common industry involvement with social media and the Public Relations world for several years.  Brian is a thought leader not because he’s popular on the social web or because he’s the cool-guy host of the Tech Set parties, or even because of his successful PR business, board memberships with up and coming companies, keynote presentations or the popular blogs he publishes at briansolis.com and bub.blicio.us.

Lee Odden

Book Review: Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuk

Lee Odden on Oct 18th, 2009     Book Reviews, Online Marketing, Social Media

crush itI picked up a copy of Gary Vaynerchuk’s book “Crush It” to read on my way to DMA in San Diego. Get the book from Amazon (link above) not at the airport unless you’re funding your own stimulus package for airport book stores.

For readers that are not familiar with @garyvee and Wine Library TV, like I wasn’t when first  meeting Gary at Blog World Expo a year ago, Vaynerchuck is a poster boy for a small business that has leveraged passion, product and social media to stimulate incredible business growth and community around his brand.

After BWE, the next time I saw Gary was when he keynoted at Affiliate Summit early in 2009. That was an experience. His “tell it like it is” style isn’t for everyone, but personally, I like it.

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