TopRank Online MarketingTopRank Online Marketing Blog

Content Marketing


Lee Odden

The Power of Empathy for More Customer Focused Content Marketing

Lee Odden on Jul 28th, 2014     Content Marketing

Customer Empathy

Marketers are really jumping on the content bandwagon while the definition of what “content marketing” really means varies greatly between the SEO, PR, advertising and custom publishing industries.

For example, I recently read very clever post about content marketing on a SEO website providing an impressive array of content types, tactics, tips and shortcuts for content to be created and used as a marketing asset. Not once were “customer journey”, “buying cycle”, “customer insight” or related concepts mentioned.

The focus on tactical execution without insight into a targeted audience that the content is intended to reach, engage and inspire – seems pointless. At best, it’s a speculative exercise in “seeing what sticks”.  The same thing often happens with social media marketers curating content from influential publishers in the hopes of sticky engagement.

Lee Odden

Two Marketing Tips for Creating More Meaningful and Profitable Content

Lee Odden on Jul 14th, 2014     Blogging, Content Marketing

Content Tips

Understand Globally, Communicate Locally

Literally and figuratively.

While at networking event in Bucharest I met the head of global business development and partnerships for a well known video hosting platform. Working with professionals from so many different countries, cultures and customs requires careful attention to communications and behavior – not entirely unlike how marketers who create content need to flavor their message according to the unique needs of each target audience.

He shared with me how things like accepting a business card from someone in China and then writing on it or not greeting the most senior person first in a Middle Eastern country, can kill a deal. He also talked about the importance of structuring engagements in a way that not only empathizes with the business customs of the region, but also makes money for all involved.

Lee Odden

10 Real Time Content Discovery Tools for Curation, Engagement and Sharing

Lee Odden on Jul 10th, 2014     Content Marketing

Real Time Content Discovery

The influence of search on content beyond Google, Bing and Yahoo is pretty amazing. Just think of all the social media monitoring platforms that have launched – they’re all essentially search engines.

Another category of online tool that relies on search are content discovery tools (just like Google is a content discovery tool).  Except this category of content discovery weights content shared on social media channels more heavily and often provides the ability to organize and flavor search results based on an analysis of what your own social networks are posting and sharing links to.

Lee Odden

Attract, Engage, Convert – How to Better Measure and Optimize Content Marketing Performance

Lee Odden on Jul 9th, 2014     Content Marketing

Safe is Risky - Tom Fishburne Cartoon

The obstacle in front of most large, or mature companies of any size when it comes to digital and content marketing, is the battle with status quo. From strategy to tactics and especially measurement, change is often seen as interruptive and risky vs. adaptive. But without adaptation, we can hardly evolve, can we?

As Tom Fishburne implies in the cartoon above, change isn’t risky, safe is risky.

Companies evolving from Stasis to Production and into Utility and Storytelling modes of content marketing maturity begin to broaden the scope of what business goals content can deliver for a company.

Lee Odden

A SEO Guru, Social Media Expert & PR Pro Walk Into a Bar… A Smarter Content Marketing Mixology

Lee Odden on Jul 3rd, 2014     Content Marketing, Online Marketing

Content Marketing Mixology

So, a SEO guru, a social media expert and a public relations pro walk into a content marketing bar.

The search marketer says to the bartender, “I’d like 35 shots of of the same tequila, but each needs to be in a slightly different glass, in different amounts and chilled at slightly different temperatures.”

The social media marketer says, “I’ll buy a round for all my friends and get one for yourself too. Oh, and let’s take a selfie while we drink. #socialdrinking”

The public relations pro joins in the fun too and winks at the bartender saying, “I’ve heard you have some really good microbrews here. If I could try a few, I’lll text all my friends this is the place to be.”

Nick Ehrenberg

Welcome to the Funnel, We Have Leads & Names – Jason Miller of LinkedIn at MnSummit

Nick Ehrenberg on Jul 1st, 2014     Content Marketing, Digital Marketing, Marketing PR Conferences, Online Marketing
GnR Jason Miller MnSummit

Photo credit: Jason Miller

If there is anyone that can leverage a rock and roll metaphor for content marketing, it’s Jason Miller @JasonMillerCA, Senior Manager, Content Marketing at LinkedIn (LinkedIn is a TopRank client).

And at the first ever Minnesota Search Marketing Association Summit, he did not disappoint.

Content marketing can often seem like a never ending sea of songs, and only the best tunes emerge as a hit. To separate the harmony from the noise, companies need to start with a content strategy that begins at the top of the funnel. With high-level and in-demand concepts, marketers can attract customers in droves, like fans to GnR show. Attracting attention and creating demand at the top of the funnel will keep your content tour rich with new fans. But how?

Lee Odden

12 B2B Content Marketing Examples and Case Studies for 2014

Lee Odden on Jun 25th, 2014     B2B, Content Marketing

Killer B2B Content Marketing

Content Marketing has long been a staple for the B2B Marketing world with an increased boost in popularity due to changes in consumer information discovery and consumption. Over 90% of B2B marketers are using content marketing according to CMI and MarketingProfs. Far more research is conducted before sales contacts are made providing B2B companies an opportunity to satisfy buyer information hunger with some killer content.

But what works and what doesn’t? What are B2B brands, big and small, doing to achieve results with content marketing? Those are great questions we’re answering every day through our own work with B2B companies and through industry examples.

For some inspiration for your B2B content marketing programs, check out these mini-case studies from the 2014 C2C Killer Content Awards, which include a mix of brand content marketing program examples and the results they produced. From print to video to coordinated multi-channel content programs, there’s a nice variety here.

Lee Odden

Curation and Repurposing to Extend the Life of Your Content Marketing

Lee Odden on Jun 23rd, 2014     Content Marketing

repurpose curate content

Ever have one of those dreams where you’re running a race and if you don’t win, you’ll turn into a big blue chicken? Hmm, maybe not.

How about running a race only to find you never actually finish because you’re on a treadmill? That’s how a lot of marketers feel about their Sophomore content marketing programs about now. The need for more and better content is never ending. Quarterly editorial plans make it feel like the end is near, but this isn’t a race. It’s a journey full of twists and turns, hits and misses. Maybe even a few blue chickens here and there.

Lee Odden

Essential Q and A on the Value of Content Marketing

Lee Odden on Jun 17th, 2014     Content Marketing
Content Marketing Q & A

Content Marketing Sage or Ice Giant?

In advance of the Content Marketing Conference Europe event last week, Maaike Gulden did an interview with me to surface some essential advice about improving content marketing.

Since the interview was published in Dutch, I’m posting portions here for our readers looking for a useful perspective on content marketing that will hopefully bring some clarity to an increasingly misunderstood concept. This Q and A covers everything from a definition to why to why content marketing is valuable, a solid B2B content marketing example and my perspective on the future.

What is your perspective on content marketing?

Content is the reason search engines exist and it’s the cornerstone of what people share on the social web. A quantity of quality content that answers reader’s questions in a useful and entertaining way serves everything from demand generation to lead generation.

Lee Odden

From Antwerp to Bucharest – Lessons Learned About Storytelling and Content Marketing

Lee Odden on Jun 16th, 2014     Content Marketing

Storytelling Content Marketing

Growing digital marketing skills and knowledge are more important now than ever. I’m sure you can relate to the pressures of having to continuously stay on top of what’s new and most effective.

The good news is that much knowledge can be gained from new experiences and connections. In the past 2 weeks I’ve had the good fortune to attend an Integrated Marketing Communications event at West Virginia University a content marketing conference in Antwerp, Belgium and a digital marketing conference in Bucharest Romania. Plus this week I’m in London for a few meetings where similar topics will be discussed.

Amongst those geographically diverse experiences, each with a focus on some aspect of digital marketing and communications, I have noticed a consistent set of expectations regarding information delivery, content quality and interactions.

Lee Odden

140+ Statistics on Content Marketing in Europe

Lee Odden on Jun 9th, 2014     Content Marketing

content-marketing-statistics-europe

While close in proximity, the dynamics involved with characterizing a topic like content marketing for a large group of countries like Europe is more than ambitious.

However, the demand and interest for information about content marketing in Europe is high and there are a small number of studies available to better understand how European businesses currently view content marketing as part of the digital marketing mix.

Tapping into reports from CMI/DMA UK, Adobe/Econsultancy and HubSpot/SmartInsights as part of my research for a keynote presentation at Content Marketing Conference Europe this week, I’ve pulled together these statistics (Handy for presentations, tweets and blog posts):

Top 5 Priorities for Global and European Marketers in 2014 - Adobe/Econsultancy

  • 36% content marketing
  • 36% social media engagement
  • 32% Targeting and personalization
Lee Odden

Disruption in Digital Marketing and Communications – Insights from 19 Major B2C and B2B Brands

Lee Odden on Jun 5th, 2014     Content Marketing, Integrated Marketing, Online Marketing, Social Media

Digital Convergence Marketing PR

I recently had the pleasure of presenting at an Integrated Marketing Communications conference called INTEGRATE with an audience of Master’s Degree students and faculty at West Virginia University.

It was an impressive conference because of the passionate and talented faculty presenting but especially the students – most of whom work full time jobs as they earn their Master’s Degree in IMC.

Here is the presentation I gave: Digital Convergence: The Integrated Marketing and Public Relations Imperative - Disruption in the digital media world has reached every aspect of marketing and communications. Brands compete with publishers and consumers are empowered to publish and influence like never before. The convergence of marketing and PR creates all new opportunities for brands to build authority and grow business while competitors continue to work in silos.

To optimize your online marketing performance, contact us at TopRank | ©2014 TopRank® Online Marketing | Top