Nicolette Beard

Print Newsletters as Content Marketing Tactic: Pros, Cons, Examples and Best Practices

Nicolette Beard     Content Marketing, Integrated Marketing

Print Newsletters Mail DeliveryOne of the oldest forms of content marketing are printed newsletters that arrive by snail mail, providing valuable, information-rich content that your customers and prospects want. They can be an effective compliment to online promotions or serve niche markets where print is a preferred format.

Given the overall decrease in postal mail, a print newsletter can stand out to the recipient, unlike an online newsletter that can get lost in an already too full in-box. Conversely, due to the continuing rise of postal costs, newsletters are more likely to be concise and targeted, providing special appeal.

According to the 2014 B2C & B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends report for North America, B2C marketers use print newsletters with greater frequency at 29% compared to their B2B counterparts at 22%. In addition, customer retention/loyalty is cited as a top marketing goal for B2C compared to lead generation for B2B.

Lee Odden

Is Driving Traffic to Your Website Driving Customers Away?

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.

Lee Odden

5 Most Popular Digital Marketing and Public Relations Presentations of 2013

Lee Odden

Photo Credit: Adamson Studios Photography

In 2013, I had the good fortune to share insights on the integration of digital marketing and PR at over 25 events online and off.

From San Francisco to New York to London, Madrid and Moscow, marketers all over the world are in search of answers on how to plan, integrate, implement and measure coordinated marketing messaging across multiple channels. I’d like to think TopRank Online Marketing helped move some people in the right direction.

Growing tactical expertise is essential, but understanding the customer universe and their buying experience is even more important in today’s always on, always connected, digital world. The power of influence no longer belongs to the few as social technologies and networks have begun to democratize the ability to publish, engage and inspire.

Lee Odden

Where Search Optimization Fits in The Future of Digital Marketing

future of digital marketing

Clever lighting at Google

As long as useful answers can be found on search engines, optimizing content for search discovery will remain a key to online success.

The degree to which marketers must align creative, technical and customer centric resources for content may vary, but optimized content is vital for reaching and engaging customers that are actively looking for solutions.

Buyers are continuously seeking answers from the web, whether it’s via PC, mobile, or tablet, at every stage in the buying cycle. So it’s important that brands ask themselves: Are your digital assets and media properly optimized to capture these visitors at every phase—from discovery to purchase?

Lee Odden

Optimizing Convergence: How to Break Down Silos Between Marketing & PR

Lee Odden     Integrated Marketing

Marketing Public Relations Silos

One of the hot topics amongst the public relations world this year will gain even more momentum into 2014: convergence of digital marketing and PR.  More PR organizations are being held accountable beyond media placements including leads, sales and customer acquisition. At the same time, marketing organizations are starved for creative messaging and amplification with their content.

For some PR agencies and departments within companies, the drive towards marketing and PR integration is a substantial and uncomfortable shift. Marketers often think of PR simply as the people who you call only once you want to promote something to the media. For PR, marketing can seem like a content machine generating a spew of information, often of nominal value or newsworthiness.

Lee Odden

Integrated Marketing Simplified: Be the Best Answer

Integrated marketingMost marketers “get” that services like Facebook, Google and media are where customers can be attracted and engaged. They use email marketing and advertising to promote offers to convert and life is good.

At least that’s how it used to be.

The reality is that customers are becoming more complex, requiring more points of contact and information as they move through the sales cycle. Companies offering up single, direct channel promotions are finding it increasingly difficult to compete.

This is why I’m such a big advocate of taking a customer-centric view and then integrating tactics so brands can become the most logical solution when and where it matters most to buyers.

Lee Odden

12 Killer Social Media & Content Marketing Blog Posts from 2013

top content marketing social media posts

Metro statue from a recent trip to Moscow

This post marks number 3,401 on Online Marketing Blog. Did you know? December is our 10 year blog birthday month!

We’ve covered a variety of topics in depth over those thousands of posts, especially the integration of search, social media and content with marketing and public relations.

TopRank’s Online Marketing Blog has been a top ranked marketing blog on AdAge 150 from day one and is the only blog to have been named the #1 content marketing blog 3 times by Junta42 (Content Marketing Institute).

Reflecting back over the past year there have been more changes in the digital marketing industry than seems reasonable to track best practices on. To help with that, I thought it would be handy to have a list of our top social media and content marketing posts based on traffic, shares and engagement.

Lee Odden

Integrating Public Relations & Content Marketing – It Doesn’t Have to be Scary

HalloweenAt this year’s PRSA International conference in Philadelphia, a few thousand PR professionals from all over the world gathered for the latest trends and insights into the future of PR and communications.

For my part, I presented on the growing role of Content Marketing for Public Relations to a packed room of attentive and inquisitive PR and communications pros.

On top of the networking, awards and education, there was plenty of connecting with old friends. I was happy to see Shonali Burke (who is handling book PR for Robert Scoble and Shel Israel’s new book, Age of Context) as soon as I walked into the venue hotel. Shortly after we connected with Richard Bagnall (founder of Metrica, acquired by Gorkana) who came over from London.

Lee Odden

31 Top Marketers Agree: It’s Time to Rethink Your Content Marketing – Free 214 Page eBook from Linkdex

rethink content marketingPost Sponsored by Linkdex

Starting as a public relations firm with SEO skills in 2001, we’ve always had to create content for clients whether it was press releases, newsletters, case studies or graphics and diagrams for newsrooms and events.

In 2008 we made a major shift to what I call “SEO Plus” and focused a lot more on content. In fact, we were named the #1 content marketing blog that year by Junta42 (now Content Marketing Institute).

Fast forward to 2013 and the momentum of converged search, social media, public relations and content is unmistakable. SEO vendors and agencies are realizing marketing is the business we’re in, not just SEO.

Lee Odden

Customer Empathy Plus Brand Leadership FTW at Social Brand Forum

integrated online marketing“Win More, Suck Less – How to Optimize Your Social, Search, & Content Marketing”

That’s the title of a presentation I’ll be giving today in Coralville, Iowa at Social Brand Forum a conference run by Nick Westergaard.

Other speakers include Jay Baer, Gini Dietrich, DJ Waldow, Marcus Sheridan, Laura Fitton and more.

The cool thing about my presentation title is, I didn’t decide what it would be. Our Facebook community did. I’ve also run a survey of our community to share their smarts in other ways. Some of that will end up in the presentation too.

That’s the beauty of social networks:  The ability to connect with a group of like minded people in an ongoing transfer of knowledge, ideas and feedback.

Lee Odden

Digital Marketing Has Changed. What Are You Doing About It?

Lee Odden     Integrated Marketing

Digital Marketing World NYCUbiquitous internet connectivity and information overload have changed the landscape of brand and customer communications forever.

For stats fans, that translates to 10 billion connected devices and 90% of the world’s data  created in the past 2 years.

How does this change digital marketing in 2014?

First of all, the evolution of social technologies and the impact on consumer behavior has led to different expectations. Consumers expect to find answers to their questions on search engines and social networks alike. They also expect to interact with what they find – commenting, sharing, rating and contributing. And transacting.

Is your brand meeting those expectations? Do you know if they exist for your specific customers? 

Lee Odden

New Mobile Assisted Shopper Study on Showrooming & How Mobile Can Work For Brick and Mortar Retailers

ShowroomingOn the one hand, the speaker lineup and list of brands participating at the Pivot conference in New York this week was one of the most impressive I’ve seen for a niche event.

From our clients LinkedIn and Dell to a cornucopia of brands including Walmart, MTV, Intel, Kraft, Monster, NBC, General Electric, Yahoo, Adobe, Salesforce, SouthWest Airlines, General Motors, IBM, Ben & Jerry’s and many more – there was plenty of brand star power in the room.

On the other hand, the format and venue made this the most difficult liveblogging experience I’ve ever had. I’ll spare you the details, but I suspect things will be changed up for next year.

Of course the networking was excellent as were many of the interviews and presentations that I was able to see and hear.