Ashley Zeckman

The Key to Social Media Success is Understanding Your Audience

What are customers saying about your brand?

I recently attended a great presentation by Taylor Pratt (@taylorpratt) of Raven Tools at OMS in San Diego.  He focused on the importance of using content marketing for improved social engagement.

TopRank has been a long time and well-recognized advocate for the notion of customer centric content marketing.  Over the years we have seen SEO, social media, and content marketing industry change and grow at a rapid rate, so now more than ever marketers must create content to meet customer needs in order to execute a successful online strategy.  The social media game is not only evolving but the way that our audience consumes this information is constantly changing.

Alexis Hall

Top Online Marketing Books for 2012

The New Year will soon be here and we are looking forward to continuing to learn from some of the top marketing minds on the web about the strategies and tactics that will shape  online marketing efforts in 2012 and beyond. To help you get a jump start, I have compiled a list of books coming out in 2012 that cover a range of online marketing topics including:  mobile, social media, content and search engine marketing. Enjoy.

[Note from Lee: We didn’t include second editions, re-releases in paperback or books that didn’t have cover images uploaded yet.]

Mobile, Local, Location Based Marketing

Mobile Marketing Book

Mobilized Marketing: Drive Sales, Engagement, and Loyalty Through Mobile Marketing (Wiley) by Jeff Hasen

Ashley Zeckman

5 Tips for Content Marketers on Google Places Optimization

Google Place Pages OptimizationLocal and mobile search is being used more frequently by customers on their smart phones and other devices now more than ever.  As local search becomes more and more prevalent, marketers must ask themselves what can they do to incorporate this marketing strategy into their arsenal.

According to a recent release by ComScore, nearly 3 billion search queries contain local terms each month.  For companies that have a local presence, top visibility on local search is essential or that traffic will simply go to competitors.  Google Maps is one of the most frequently used local search destinations and even comes standard on many devices including the iPhone.  Google Places provides a great opportunity to begin marketing on a local level to your potential customers.

Ashley Zeckman

#MIMASummit: Avinash Kaushik Keynote on Improving Engagement Through Innovation

Avinash Kaushik

Photo from our interview with Avinash at SES Hong Kong

The morning keynote speaker for the 2011 MIMA Summit was none other than Avinash Kaushik co-Founder of Market Motive Inc and the Digital Marketing Evangelist for Google.  Avinash was a very funny and engaging speaker.  Nothing was off limits during his keynote.  Caught in the crosshairs of Avinash’s presentations were what he called “small” local companies (General Mills, 3M, etc) that dared to provide a “less than ideal” user experience.

Innovation was the topic of the morning’s keynote, ranging from which companies are a good (and bad) example of implementing innovation to proper metrics to show success.

What Are the 3 Definitions of Innovation?

Lee Odden

3 Internet Marketing Trends You Don’t Want to Miss

Internet Marketing Tends

The web is flush with change and innovation. Gone are the days of linear information flow and incremental growth. Content flows in every direction through a variety of platforms, formats and devices.  The mass adoption of the social and mobile web have facilitated a revolution of information access, sharing and publishing at a scale never before experienced.

Access to information for discovery has traditionally been most associated with search. According to comScore, Google handles over 11 billion queries a month. But did you know, Twitter delivers over 350 billion tweets each day? Facebook is now over 800 million users and Google Plus has had a flood of new users as well, with estimates now approaching over 50 million. Social media is ripe for discovery as well as engagement.

Lee Odden

Quick Guide to Smartphone & Mobile SEO

Lee Odden     Mobile, Online Marketing, SEO Tips

mobile SEONeed to learn more about smartphone and mobile SEO best practices? Let’s start with a few statistics:

According to an infographic from Microsoft Tag, 51% of smartphone users are more likely to buy from a retailer with a mobile specific web site, however: only 4.8% of retailers have a mobile web site.

A recent study by Google, “The Mobile Movement: Understanding Smartphone Users” reports 77% of smartphone users visit search engine websites followed by social networks. And nine out of ten smartphone searches results in an action (purchasing, visiting a business, etc.). Mobile use is growing faster than all of Google’s internal predictions, with YouTube seeing 200 million mobile playbacks a day, according to Eric Schmidt.

Brian Larson

SES Toronto: Smart Mobile Marketing

Mobile Marketing Panel at SES TorontoThe “Smart Mobile Marketing” session was a panel discussion, moderated by TopRank CEO Lee Odden. To begin the discussion, Lee opened with a question for the room of 80+, “How many people in the room have developed a mobile version of a site?” 3-4 hands slowly raise. And with that, the stage is set: There is a lot of learning to do surrounding mobile marketing.

The session panel consisted of 2 leaders and veterans of the mobile marketing industry, Deborah Hall and Michael J. O’Farrell.

Deborah Hall

Hall founded web2mobile 3 years ago, frustrated with the user experience when trying to access a site via a smart phone. One of the greatest challenges she noticed was the upload speed, or lack thereof, of sites.

Lee Odden

Will QR Codes Gain Mass Adoption?

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.
QR Code Side of Building

QR Code on Moscone Center San Francisco during SES 2010

QR codes are getting quite a bit of buzz lately and as a self-professed marketing nerd, I find them to be a clever way to connect mobile consumers with online digital content. There have been some pretty creative implementations of QR codes for promotions and mobile marketing too. You can put them anywhere printing is possible and even places it’s not.

A few interesting places I’ve seen them besides normal print advertising include: side of a building, t-shirtstattoos and turning Central Park in NYC into a huge board game.

But as creative and interesting QR codes are, I’m a bit skeptical in terms of mass adoption. For some reason, I can’t imagine consumer behavior changing to start scanning codes for things when they could just search or enter a URL. There’s also the technology that needs to be adopted by more devices.

Lee Odden

Essential Mobile Marketing Resources

Lee Odden     Mobile, Online Marketing

Mobile Marketing TipsIf you’ve read predictions about the future of Online Marketing over the past 3-4 years, you’ll undoubtedly find “mobile” mentioned in each one. For example: Mobile ecommerce is predicted to increase 65% annually through 2015.

With smart phone sales to pass personal computers, the smart phone race between AT&T and Verizon iPhones, Droid powered phones and everyone else, the impact of mobile devices on our daily lives has elevated to unprecedented levels.  2011 may finally prove to be a breakout year for mobile marketing and mobile commerce.

Mobile phone usage goes far beyond making calls and texts. There’s been significant increases in mobile social networking activity, the use of mobile phones to send email and other social/geo apps like Foursquare. It’s a compelling task to stay on top of mobile marketing / advertising opportunities, so here are 5 mobile marketing resources that will help keep you up to speed:

TopRank Online Marketing

Mobile SEO: It’s About The Value, Not The Viral

Mobile SEO At SES San FranciscoTake a deep breath if you feel one step behind in terms of mobile Search Engine Optimization (SEO).  If the crowd size for the session Getting Mobilized! Mobile Marketing Strategies at SES San Francisco is any indication, you are in quite good company.

The session, moderated by Paul Cushman, Senior Director, Mobile Sales Strategy, Yahoo!, featured on its panel:

  • Cindy Krum, Chief Executive Officer, Rank-Mobile, LLC
  • Sandeep Aggarwal, Managing Director, Internet & Software, Caris & Company
  • Michael Martin, Owner, Mobile Martin

“Mobile is a channel, not a strategy,” states Kushman. “Channels may change, but marketing strategy is marketing strategy.”

Creation of a mobile app (whether for iPhone or Android) for no other reason than to launch something ‘really cool’ carries roughly the same weight as creating something viral just to create something viral.  Both are fun, both are consumed, and both are easily forgotten.

TopRank Online Marketing

Is Your Website Ready for the Mobile Web?

TopRank Online Marketing     Mobile, Online Marketing, SEO

As the use of cell phones and smart phones expands, so do the number of options for consumers to discover and interact with brands. From web browsing to email to social networking and even shopping, more people are using their cell phones as portable computers. However, most sites are not optimized for hand-held devices such as cell phones.

There are really two things to consider;  web site design and how customers are going to find the web site through mobile search.