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Digital Marketing


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.

Lee Odden

Overview of Today’s Digital Marketing Landscape – Lauren Vaccarello #czlny

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

Lauren Vaccarello

It’s April Fools day today but there was no fooling attendees of the first ClickZ Live conference in New York who attended the pre-keynote presentation offering an overview of the current digital marketing landscape given by Lauren Vaccarello, VP of Marketing of AdRoll.

A surprising number of attendees showed up at 8am for this preview of digital marketing and Lauren did a great job giving introductory information on everything from Paid Search to Email to Retargeting. If you’re not sure whether mobile makes sense or what retargeting is, read on.

Looking back on the history of digital marketing from the first clickable ad in 1993 to the founding of Google in 1998 to the start of Facebook in 2004, few people could have guessed how big and influential they would turn out to be. And who would have predicted the popularity of  Snapchat or What’sApp being purchased for $19 billion?

Lee Odden

9 Tools to Discover Influencers in Your Industry

Lee Odden on Feb 12th, 2014     Digital Marketing, Online Marketing

Influencer Discovery Tools

The tide of influence hunting on the web is rising beyond public relations and social media to digital marketing at large.  In particular, there’s growing attention being directed towards influencers as gateways to new audiences.

Influence as the ability for a person to inspire action amongst a community is a very powerful thing and therefore, increasingly appreciated by digital marketing and PR pros alike. An influencer program that identifies, qualifies, engages and maintains relationships with industry influencers can serve as a formidable “force multiplier” for everything from content amplification to product feedback to content co-creation

Beyond the “brandividual endorsement”, people with a strong center of influence can provide valuable context and credibility to a company seeking to connect with an audience of buyers. But in an age of information overload and the ability for anyone, anywhere to publish, finding those influential connections in your industry can prove to be a challenge.

Lee Odden

Is Driving Traffic to Your Website Driving Customers Away?

Lee Odden on Jan 30th, 2014     Digital Marketing, Integrated Marketing, Online Marketing
Gourmet Cupcakes by Melanie

Melanie Odden Cupcakes – Optimized for Delicious

The vast majority of digital marketing seems to be focused on creating content and experiences for customers with the ultimate measure of success being increased traffic to the company website, leading to leads and sales.

It’s a reasonable approach, since company websites typically provide the kinds of information that explain what a company does, the products or services they sell and some means for collecting inquiries or conducting transactions.

But here’s the problem with that in 2014 and beyond:  Consumer trends towards content discovery, engagement and interaction have evolved way beyond the common corporate website or online store.

Buyers can get the information they need to decide on a vendor or make a transaction from any combination of devices; smartphone, tablet, computer or web destination; social network, blog, microsite, industry publication, document hosting service.

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