TopRank Online MarketingTopRank Online Marketing Blog

Content Marketing


Lee Odden

Visual Content Marketing Strategy eBook

Lee Odden on Aug 18th, 2014     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World

Visual Content Marketing eBook

If a picture is worth a thousand words, visual content marketing must be worth millions.

As companies mature in their use of content marketing from simply creating “more” content for SEO purposes to creating really useful content designed to reach specific customer segments to influence business outcomes, the importance of content differentiation becomes paramount.

According to the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs’ annual studies, over 90% of B2B and B2C marketers are using content marketing. That’s a tremendous amount of competition and to stand out, successful marketers are elevating their content quality and use of visual elements.

In my opinion, it’s not enough to inform. Content needs to make us feel. Providing buyers with useful and entertaining content that leverages enaging images, video and interactive features creates an infotaining experience that stands head and shoulders above other marketers.

Lee Odden

A Practical Approach to Content Marketing Success – Interview with Mark Schaefer

Lee Odden on Aug 14th, 2014     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World, Interviews

Mark Schaefer interview

Today’s interview is with a guy that I’ve known for several years that brings a practical perspective to the often distracting world of digital marketing. He’s written the world’s #1 best selling book on Twitter, The Tao of Twitter, as well as several other books including Return on Influence. He publishes one of the most popular marketing blogs online, runs a successful consulting business and speaks all over the world on social media and content marketing.

On top of all that he has received seven patents for new product innovations. Who is this marvel of modern marketing?  He’s Mark Schaefer  of course.

In this interview with Mark as part of our series for Content Marketing World, we’ll find out his take on the importance of strategy with content marketing, the role of audience development, visual content and measuring ROI. We’ll also get a lesson in business from one of his favorite childhood stories.

Lee Odden

Infographic: How to Grow Your Audience -10 Tips from Facebook, MarketingProfs, ExactTarget, Copyblogger

Lee Odden on Aug 13th, 2014     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World

audience development

How many millions or even billions have been poured into creating content over the past 5 years? Do you think that number will be less in the next 5?

And what percentage of those budgets were spent on audience development?

Making great content is important, but analyzing target audiences for insights and growing communities to receive that content is essential.

Sometimes the world of content marketing can seem as confusing as a Mad Hatter’s tea party. We may never know why a raven is like a writing desk, but we can certainly shed some clarity on the importance of audience development for content marketing.

To do that, I reached out to 10 of the top marketing minds in the content marketing world to get their insights into the importance of considering your audience for content marketing strategy as well as tactics for growing your audience.

Lee Odden

Audience Development for Content Marketing eBook

Lee Odden on Aug 11th, 2014     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World

Audience Development for Content Marketing

“Publication is not distribution and a content marketing strategy without audience development is no strategy at all.” Jeff Rohrs @jkrohrs

Wise words from the guy who literally “wrote the book” on Audience. With all the investment in content creation, curation and repurposing being made, it’s amazing how little is actually invested in growing the audience and community for that content.

If you publish content uninformed by audience insight and without a community to receive it, does anyone care?  Sadly, no.

Nearly everyone in the business of creating content for marketing has made something amazing, a blog post, eBook or infographic, published it and experienced an underwhelming response. The content might have been awesome to you, but did the audience think so? Have you created anticipation amongst your community? And how much of a real audience was there?

Lee Odden

Content Marketing Interview with Brian Kardon CMO of Lattice Engines – Strategy to ROI

Lee Odden on Aug 7th, 2014     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World, Interviews

Brian Kardon interview

What if you could tap the mind of a CMO who’s led marketing organizations at companies like Eloqua and Forrester Research to capture insights about content marketing strategy and ROI? That’s a big “what if”.

Well my marketing friends, today is your content marketing birthday because today we have with us Brian Kardon, CMO at Lattice Engines. Brian was formerly CMO at both Eloqua and Forrester Research as well as SVP of Marketing at Reed Business Information – one heck of a marketing pedigree.

As part of our series of #CMWorld Content Marketing Interviews, we’re talking with a few select speakers from Content Marketing World about content marketing strategy, audience development, the role of visual content, content ROI and of course, marketing lessons learned from favorite childhood stories.

Let’s dig in:

Lee Odden

Content Marketing Strategy Infographic – 12 Tips from SAP, Boeing, CAT, Progressive, John Deere, charity: water

Lee Odden on Aug 6th, 2014     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World, Marketing & PR Industry

Content Marketing Infographic

Status quo is not a strategy.  For example, wandering around the world of content marketing like Alice wandering in Wonderland is hardly the way to succeed. And yet that’s how many marketers are approaching content and that lack of planning and direction brings costs in the form of fewer leads, lower revenue and little market differentiation.

“Only a few find the way, some don’t recognize it when they do – some don’t ever want to.” - The Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland

Content Marketers with a plan are more successful.  According to CMI and MarketingProfs, 66% of the most effective marketers have a documented content marketing strategy. But how do you apply this thinking in a practical way?

Lee Odden

How to Build A Content Marketing Strategy eBook

Lee Odden on Aug 4th, 2014     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World

Content Marketing Strategy eBook

“One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree.
‘Which road do I take?’ she asked.
‘Where do you want to go?’ was his response.
‘I don’t know’, Alice answered.
‘Then’, said the cat, ‘it doesn’t matter.’”
– Alice in Wonderland

Does finding your way with content marketing feel like you’re living a personal version of Content Marketing in Wonderland?

Consider this: Over 90% of B2B and B2C marketers are on the content marketing path in 2014 according to Content Marketing Institute’s annual study. But did you know, only 44% of B2B marketers have a documented content strategy? Less than half have it documented where and how “they want to go”.

Lee Odden

Content Marketing Interview with Jascha Kaykas-Wolff CMO of BitTorrent

Lee Odden on Jul 31st, 2014     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World, Interviews

Jascha Kaykas-Wolff interview

The power of storytelling in content marketing is unmistakable. But what is there beyond storytelling? That’s a key question being asked and answered at the upcoming Content Marketing World conference Sept 8-11th in Cleveland.

To offer insights into the advancing world of Content Marketing, CMI and TopRank Online Marketing have collaborated for the 3rd year in a row on a conference eBook project highlighting strategic and practical content marketing advice from select #CMWorld speakers. As an extension of the conference storytelling theme, this year’s project is a series of eBooks using a theme from one of the most imaginative stories of all time: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. We’re calling this series of eBooks, “Content Marketing in Wonderland”.

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 a very clever post about content marketing on a popular SEO website providing an impressive array of content types, tactics, tips and shortcuts for content to be created and used as a marketing asset. But 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.

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