TopRank Online MarketingTopRank Online Marketing Blog

Digital Marketing


James Anderson

Content is not just a platform: Why I left journalism and joined TopRank Marketing

James Anderson on Dec 10th, 2014     Content Marketing, Digital Marketing

stack-of-newspapers

[Note from Lee: TopRank has made many advancements in the content marketing space over the past 5-6 years and that leadership has resulted in growth – including the addition of 15 new people to our team in the past 7 months.  Among those new faces is content marketing smartie, James Anderson, our new agency Director of Content Marketing.  

James spent over 9 years as a journalist and editor before moving into the brand publisher space. And now he’s made the full move over to the marketing realm.  You’ll be seeing a lot of James here in the coming days and weeks as he helps me advance the TopRank content marketing machine even further – please make him feel welcome!]

Lee Odden

5 Essential Skills for Digital Marketing Consultants

Lee Odden on Dec 8th, 2014     Digital Marketing

digital marketing skills

Much of today’s digital marketing consulting is about data: goals, KPIs and performance metrics. Processes and technology also play a big part, serving as a point of differentiation for many digital marketing agencies and consultants.

The consulting business can be a tricky one because not all business marketing problems are clearly defined and even fewer require simple cause and effect or linear solutions. There are almost always contextual differences between various stakeholders and multiple dependencies, outside forces and differing agendas to deal with as well. Sounds like a fun career, doesn’t it?

The fast pace and increasing complexity of the digital marketing consulting world requires more than functional expertise, best practices and the ability to analyze and optimize data. All too often, the soft skills of consulting are omitted or inconsistent causing misinterpretation, ineffective insight and unmet expectations.

Lee Odden

Superhero or Zero Digital Marketing Agencies – How Can You Tell?

Lee Odden on Dec 1st, 2014     Digital Marketing

digital marketing heroes

Today, everyone is a digital marketing expert online. Or so it seems.

The ease of publishing content on blogs, social media and even mainstream business publications has created a wave of marketing experts, each proclaiming their superhero-ness. As companies need expertise to make sense of planning and implementation of modern digital marketing programs, how can you tell which consultants are actually credible and trustworthy?

Whether you’re a new CMO, VP or Director of marketing at a company looking for consultants for help with strategy or vendors to help with implementation and software, it can be a real challenge finding the right partner – especially if pre-existing relationships don’t already exist.

Brooke Furry

Burn Out or Burn Bright? 3 Essential Tips for Digital Marketers

Brooke Furry on Sep 30th, 2014     Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing Burnout

Come Autumn, there’s nothing better than a good ‘ol campfire. It’s the season for crackly leaves, chilly Fall air, and marshmallows on a stick.

A hot, well-tended fire during the chill is a joy indeed – and if you’ve ever sat around a bonfire, you probably know that it takes some skill to keep a good fire going. Fires don’t tend themselves. They need oxygen and fuel to survive. Someone has to actively feed the flames with new wood and stoke the embers when the flames start to die out.

In other words, fire isn’t self-sustaining.

As digital marketers, our “fire” is the passion and energy that keeps us going. Just like physical fires, our inner flame takes some tending to keep it bright and strong.

Lee Odden

What Marketers at Dell, IBM, Optum, General Mills and Bank of America Think About the Future of Search Marketing

Lee Odden on Jul 23rd, 2014     Digital Marketing, Search Marketing

Future of Search Marketing in Digital

As the search marketing industry continues to feel the sting of Google narrowing down what passes as acceptable search marketing practices, more practitioners find themselves having to defend the channel. This is more true with SEO than Search Advertising, but for many, search marketing isn’t exactly the poster child it once was.

But that’s not how the panel of digital marketers we polled from major corporations including Optum, General Mills, Bank of America, Carlson, Dell, IBM and AOL see it. Their view is far more optimistic.

As companies begin to plan their strategic marketing initiatives, it can be tough sorting through the “propaganda” from search engines and search marketers alike. I’m a fan of going to the source whenever possible for clarity on marketing trends and besides your own data, what better source than companies making choices about marketing budgets, developing strategy, implementing tactics and defending marketing performance on a daily basis?

Lee Odden

Digital Marketing – What Does It Really Mean? Insights from 9 Brand Digital Marketers

Lee Odden on Jul 16th, 2014     B2B, B2C, Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing

Have you noticed the phrase “digital marketing” being bounced around a lot more lately? Me too.

I admit that I’m one of the sources of that bouncing. With the rate of change occurring in the marketing world, I think describing what we do is something that isn’t really satisfied by just one phrase.  Content, Search, Inbound, Multi-Channel, Integrated, all seem to have their place, but “Digital” seems to express what most companies are creating in their marketing right now.

As much as people toss around “digital marketing”, I get the impression that we’re not all on the same page in terms of what it actually means. Just a few weeks ago, we posted a digital marketing predictions post that now has nearly 8,000 social shares. Both the answers and the feedback were quite varied.

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

Top 50 People Most ReTweeted by Digital Marketers – What Does It Mean?

Lee Odden on Jun 2nd, 2014     Digital Marketing, Influencer Marketing

digital marketer topics

When identifying influencers as part of your social media and content marketing program, topic match and popularity are not enough to qualify an influencer as “effective”.

By effective, I mean the ability and likelihood that a person can actually inspire action amongst a community.

To determine the effectiveness dimension, it’s important to use tools that look at other criteria such as the extent to which people respond and take action in response to a person. When it comes to Twitter, things like ReTweets and sharing of links are signals worth looking at.

To shine a light on the digital marketing category, Leadtail and Punchtab have published a new report (h/t SocialFresh) “How Digital Marketers Engage on Twitter” that includes a list of publishers and people that are the most often mentioned and ReTweeted by digital marketers.

Lee Odden

3 Advantages Public Relations Brings to Digital Marketing

Lee Odden on May 12th, 2014     Digital Marketing, Public Relations

digital PR marketing

Numerous journalists are jumping the newsroom ship to “brand storytelling” as content marketers and an increasing number of public relations firms are evolving as integrated marketing communications agencies.

As more companies adopt content marketing and integrate their marketing activities across owned, earned, shared and paid media, there’s an opportunity for marketers to tap into the expertise of the PR world.  PR is a grossly underutilized strategy for marketers and presents a unique means to evolve from Stasis to Storytelling on the Content Marketing Continuum.

According to a content marketing study by Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, the top challenges for content marketers include: Not producing enough content, not creating content that engages, not producing a variety of content, lack of integration across marketing channels.

Lee Odden

21 Digital Marketing Trends & Predictions for 2015

Lee Odden on May 1st, 2014     Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing Trends

The only constant is change.

From technology trends to changing business models to evolving consumer behaviors, there’s a lot to consider in order for today’s marketers to really have a handle on what’s important about what’s next.

Old digital tactics and mastering individual channels are being overcome by the need to create a common brand experience across the digital experience on and offline. Customers expect to access and consume information across platforms, apps and devices and in order for brands to “be the best answer” wherever buyers are looking, they’ll need to figure out what’s next and where to focus.

Lee Odden

What is Creativity? The Answer Could Grow Your Business

Lee Odden on Apr 29th, 2014     Digital Marketing, Online Marketing

What is Creativity
A big part of our identity and the nature of our work at TopRank Online Marketing is focused around creativity. In fact, the tagline on our company website is: “Smart, Creative, Focused On Results”, three key principles that drive a lot of what we do and what we stand for.

Of course creativity comes in many forms – not just the aesthetic, but with problem solving and lateral thinking to innovate and succeed despite obstacles, limited resources and competition.

This is why I think the new eBook that my friend Shelli Walsh (@shelliwalsh – formerly @shellshock) that asks and attempts to answer a really important question for marketers: What is creativity?  is so timely and relevant.

Lee Odden

10 New Media Trends Shaping the Lives of Modern Consumers – Keynote with Randi Zuckerberg #CZLNY

Lee Odden on Apr 1st, 2014     Digital Marketing, Marketing PR Conferences

Randi Zuckerberg

The opening keynote at ClickZ Live New York started off with an introduction from John Barnes, Managing Director, Digital & Tech at Incisive Media.

The featured speaker, Randi Zuckerberg (sister to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in case you’ve been off the grid for a few years) provided an overview of her experience at Facebook during the early days and highlighted what made the initial DNA of the company work to help it grow. She also shared some good humor and a list of 10 new media trends that are posed to impact consumers and the way we market to them.

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