Lee Odden

Beyond Content for Marketing – Channels of Distribution and Being the Best Answer

Lee Odden on Feb 9th, 2015     Content Marketing

content channels distribution

For businesses that want to differentiate and create a meaningful connection with buyers across the customer lifecycle, content is the answer.

This is especially true with business buyers. According to research from IDC, 56% of the buying cycle is searching for and engaging with content. And according to Forrester, 66% to 90% of the buying cycle is complete before a B2B buyer ever speaks with a sales rep.

How? Through information and media buyers find in their search to become educated about solutions.

By no means is the creation of useful and info-taining content a silver bullet on its own. Competition for time and attention is tough and marketers still need to attract that attention through advertising, social media, email, SEO and other amplification tactics. But all those promotion tactics are of little value without meaningful content to send interested buyers to.

James Anderson

B2B Marketing eBook: Inspiration From 14 Marketing Influencers

James Anderson on Feb 3rd, 2015     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing, Online Marketing

B2B-Marketing-2015

The digital marketing industry is shaped by great minds that, while keeping one eye on the work at hand, are focusing the other on the future. These great minds help us see “what’s next” and inspire us to create the next level of content for marketing.

For inspiration on B2B Marketing in 2015, look no further than the experts in “B2B Marketing 2015: 14 Visions of the Future You Can Use Today“. These B2B savants see a future in which content is co-created with brands, employees, customers and influencers. They see a future in which company data is used to shape conversations in real-time. Their future borrows from B2C marketing by humanizing the B2B journey and creating user experiences for buyers, not just companies.

Lee Odden

What You Need to Know About Content & Influencer Marketing. BONUS: Case Study

Lee Odden on Jan 27th, 2015     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing, Influencer Marketing

influencer co-created content

Influencer Marketing was a hot topic in 2014 and will continue to gain momentum in 2015 for both B2C and B2B marketers, especially when it comes to content co-creation.

Why the warm and fuzzy for influencer content you ask? According to CMI and MarketingProfs, over 90% of B2B marketers are investing in content marketing. Yet, in an age of information overload where 74GB of data are delivered per person, per day (USC), standing out to business buyers can require unreasonable budgets and resources.

Inspired by the need to scale content marketing performance, a growing number of B2B marketers are creating better quality content that gets shared more often, reaches more prospects and grows their influencer network – all at the same time. How so? Through influencer content programs.

James Anderson

4 Ways Marketers Can Learn From a Journalist’s Approach to Content Planning

James Anderson on Jan 22nd, 2015     Blogging, Brand Journalism, Content Marketing, Online Marketing

media-journalist-content-marketing

“Be the media” isn’t just a buzz phrase. It’s a live process and philosophy that brings in leads and moves products and services. It’s the concept of content as sales staff. It’s “write it and they will come.” OK, so I got ahead of myself with that last one. It’s not quite that simple.

As marketers have moved to content to help tell their stories that draw in customers, they have brought journalists in to help with the storytelling.  Now that many marketers and journalists are working side by side, they have developed similar processes and have begun to merge cultures. They are finding common ground, overlapping and crossing career paths.

Here are a few areas in which I think that content marketers can learn from journalists:

Lee Odden

Content Marketing is a Team Effort

Lee Odden on Jan 21st, 2015     Content Marketing

content marketing team

Over the past 14 years we’ve run a very lean marketing department at TopRank Online Marketing.

An example of this is out of the 3,674 blog posts we’ve published, 2,793 were written by one person. TopRank’s blog received around 1.5 million visitors last year and tens of thousands of social shares, mentions in publications like Forbes, Entrepreneur and Adage as well as numerous business inquiries.

Less is not always more. One could easily argue we have one of the most efficient content marketing and blogging efforts of any digital marketing agency. But the reality is that content marketing is a team effort. It has to be.

James Anderson

Traditional Media for Content Marketing: Pros, Cons, Examples and Best Practices

Traditional-Media-content-marketing

How many times has traditional media been pronounced dead in the past decade? We’ve lost count, right? While there is no denying that TV, newspapers and radio have lost a ton of ground to digital, the fact of the matter is traditional media still matters. Even to digital marketers.

In fact, some marketers are finding that traditional media is a becoming a great platform for engaging buyers. Consider brands like Doritos, Coca-Cola and others that are asking for consumers to submit short video clips via their company websites and social media channels. Those clips are curated into commercials that are airing during major events like the SuperBowl and the Academy Awards. In fact, 20% of ads in Super Bowl XLVII in 2013 included some form of crowdsourcing from major brands like Coca-Cola, Audi, Doritos, Pizza Hut and others. The incentive to participate in these contests is big for consumers willing to give up names and multiple forms of contact information just to take part.

James Anderson

Turn It Up! Book Review of ‘Welcome to the Funnel’ by Jason Miller

James Anderson on Jan 7th, 2015     Book Reviews, Content Marketing, Social Media

welcome to the funnel

Some of the greatest rock songs are short. They start with a hard count, move fast and get your blood moving with just the right amount of energy to leave you inspired and set you on a course to create something of your own.

Music can do this for you, and so can a book. So does “Welcome to the Funnel.”

I connected early on with Jason Miller’s “Welcome to the Funnel: Proven Tactics to Turn Your Social And Content Marketing Up To 11” early on. By early on, I mean before I actually knew it was a book.

Disclosure: Jason works for LinkedIn, a TopRank Online Marketing client.

James Anderson

Falling Behind on Content? Catch Up With These Content Repurposing Tips

James Anderson on Jan 5th, 2015     Content Marketing

content marketing repurposing

Remember all that content you were going to have completed before you left for holiday break? Remember the editorial calendar that was going to include all of Q1 2015 that you scaled back to be only January, 2015, that you scaled back to be … well … nothing?

The holidays were great, and you were able to only half occupy your mind with pending work deliverables scheduled for early January. If you are like me, you even planned to use some of your off time to work ahead on a few work tasks, then the holiday events and the family fun got in the way (in a good way, of course).

James Anderson

30 Favorite Quotes From Content Marketing Influencers in 2014

James Anderson on Dec 31st, 2014     Content Marketing

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As a newer member of the TopRank Agency blog team, I spent a good part of my first couple weeks here digging through the past year’s blog posts and getting up to speed with TopRank content and best practices. As I did, I found that I was jotting down quotes and notes that stood out to me — some from industry leaders, and others from up-and-comers I haven’t yet met. In sharing this list with you, I hope that you’ll find the same insight and utility that have discovered.

Here are a just a few (OK, 30) of my favorite quotes from some of the best brains in the business. You may have your own quotes that you remember well from conferences, books or blog posts in 2014. If so, feel free to share!

Lee Odden

Your Content Marketing Silver Bullet: Liveblogging Events

Lee Odden on Dec 30th, 2014     Content Marketing, Marketing PR Conferences

Liveblogging Events

Do you attend industry conferences? Would you like to create a greater diversity of content on a regular basis without a big jump in budget? Imagine these two scenarios:

Dan looks forward to industry conferences because they provide time away from the office and give him a chance to be inspired by industry thought leaders. He also gets to network amongst peers in the industry and depending on the event city and venue, maybe he has a little fun too.

Sandy plans her conference attendance according to topics and speakers. She identifies specific speaker presentations to attend and even liveblogs them for her company blog. Sandy networks with other professionals at the event and virtually through the conference hashtag and smartphone app. She compares each day’s efforts to her plan to ensure she’s effectively learning, getting inspired and networking – all while having fun.

Lee Odden

The Gift of “Give to Get” in Social Media and Content Marketing

Lee Odden on Dec 24th, 2014     Content Marketing, Social Networking
Give to Get

Me, Nazli & Konnie from Dell & Mark Schaefer at Dell World

“Pay it forward”, “Good karma”, “Give to get”.

There are many ways to express the notion of creating value for others before expecting something in return, but in the marketing world, such a perspective is contrary to the norm.

Many marketers still gravitate towards another expression, “What’s in it for me?”, that guides much of their approach to marketing with social networks. The image of a child stomping their feet in an entitled fit of frustration about not getting what they want for Christmas comes to mind.

Whether it’s pressure to revive falling sales or simply viewing social networks as another channel for pushing the brand agenda, the drive to monetize without creating mutual or long term value on social networks is an empty chase.

James Anderson

3 Reasons Why Your Content Marketing May Have Failed In 2014

James Anderson on Dec 22nd, 2014     Content Marketing

content marketing fail

Content marketing is a tactic that requires research, testing and then a strategy on how to proceed. A lot of businesses tried content marketing for the first time in 2014. Those who didn’t see the results they were looking for shouldn’t rush to throw in the towel.

A Google search for the words ‘content marketing’ pulls up some 355 million results. Narrow that search down to just the past year and the results are around 311 million. That’s a lot of new information out there for people who are just getting started in content marketing.

Even if you include the exact phrase “Content Marketing” (not just one word or the other) you’ll find about 4.2 million results over the past year alone.