TopRank Online Marketing

Online Marketing Strategy


Nicolette Beard

Content Marketing with Interactive Tools: Pros, Cons, Examples & Best Practices

Nicolette Beard on Nov 12th, 2013     Content Marketing, Interactive Marketing, Online Marketing, Online Marketing Strategy, Visual Marketing

Interactive Tool as Content Marketing TacticAt first glance, interactive online tools may not seem like a content marketing tactic. But, when you consider their educational and entertainment value, interactive tools offer exactly the kind of ‘stickiness’ marketers and brands are looking for.

From the early days of collaborative online learning to sophisticated interactive tools that allow consumers to keep track of their calorie count and fitness level, today, numerous institutions, governments, news organizations and brands have incorporated interactive tools on their websites to further educate and engage their customers and constituents.

Why incorporate interactive tools as part of your content marketing mix? Because education is such a powerful and important fundamental to improving the customer experience. The ability to invest in effort and receive output contributes to a customer experience that can differentiate your brand. At the same time, useful interactive tools satisfy a need for your target audience. Ultimately, tools that enable user interaction and feedback can drive sales, increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Eliza Steely

Maximizing Usability & Findability Among Multiscreen Users #SESCHI

Eliza Steely on Nov 5th, 2013     Marketing PR Conferences, Mobile, Online Marketing, Online Marketing Strategy, Search Engine Strategies

Web ArchitectureRemember the days of just watching TV? Or just working on your computer? How about finding what you needed from one source—like a book, phonebook, or one website? Those days are over. Completely.

Google released a study earlier this year that revealed 90% of people use multiple screens sequentially to accomplish their goals, using up to an average of 3 different screen combinations each day. The key takeaway from their study? Content needs to be optimized for all channels so brands don’t run the risk of losing conversions from any one channel.

This new initiative has posed several challenges to marketers on how to make their site findable, and usable, to multiscreen users in order to retain conversions. Bryson Meunier of Resolution Media and Shari Thurow of Omni Marketing Interactive shared a few best practices and tips on how to create the best website architecture to achieve excellent multiscreen experience.

Miranda Miller

Do Advertorials & Native Advertising Fit In Your Content Marketing Strategy?

Miranda Miller on Apr 30th, 2013     Content Marketing, Online Marketing, Online Marketing Strategy

Are advertorials a content marketing tactic?Where do advertorials, also know in politically correct terms as “native advertising”, fit into the content marketing toolkit?  To answer this question, we first have to understand what advertorials are – and also that the definition of content marketing itself is a hotly contested topic.

Adam Stetzer of HubShout, in his recent investigation into the purported Google penalization of Interflora for employing advertorial content, insists advertorials are NOT content marketing.

“Advertorials are advertisements, regardless of how you try to dress them up”, he says, “while content marketing is educational. Advertorials are biased; content marketing is free of any bias. The two may share a commercial motive, but are completely different and should be treated as separate entities”.

Miranda Miller

Real-Time Marketing Smarts: Companies Killing It with Off-the-Cuff Content

Miranda Miller on Apr 3rd, 2013     Online Marketing, Online Marketing Strategy, Social Media

Real-time marketing examples for brandsReal-time social engagement is a great way for brands to stay top of mind, build their social audience and even influence the buying decisions of consumers. On-the-fly upsets to content plans and rapid response content creation are counterintuitive for most brands, though.

At TopRank, we coach brands on careful planning, implementation, measurement and ongoing improvement based on insights. But how can brands maintain quality and ensure thoughtful content if they’re expected to produce and launch it in minutes?

Perhaps the best known example of this strategy recently was Oreo’s infamous Superbowl tweet. They showed just how effective social listening is, when their “You can still dunk in the dark” branded image was retweeted over 16,000 times.

Miranda Miller

Social Content Relevance on Holidays: Baileys, Brennans & Tourism Ireland St Patrick’s Day Wins

Miranda Miller on Mar 19th, 2013     Online Marketing Strategy, Social Media

Social media marketing wins  holidays and special occasions.Brands often struggle to hit that elusive mix of creative, timely content relevant to their audience that still directly aligns with their brand. If you have something of a sense of humor, entertaining your audience isn’t that hard. Yet for your social content to be effective in marketing, at least a good portion must be relevant to your brand, as well. You know the deal, though; if you’re only talking about your brand or products, fans get bored with your self-promotion.

Special occasions and holidays offer marketers a great chance to get creative with their social content, to capture the attention of an increasingly attention-deficit audience.  Yet simply being an Irish company doesn’t make your product or service relevant on an Irish holiday. Being a Canadian, or American, company doesn’t guarantee relevance on holidays specific to North America, either.

Evan Prokop

Remarketing & Retargeting Done Right and Wrong – 6 Do’s and Don’ts From SES Chicago

Evan Prokop on Nov 14th, 2012     Online Marketing, Online Marketing Strategy

SES Tips for RetargetingLive from SES Chicago, I had a fantastic opportunity to learn about the ultra-hot online marketing area of remarketing / retargeting from Christopher Hansen and Marty Weintraub.  Remarketing can be extremely powerful, but is easy to get wrong, and the consequences can be costly both in terms of budget and brand image.

Below are 3 tips to make retargeting campaigns work for you, and 3 potential mistakes.

Retargeting Done Right

#1:  Identify Your Best Content

The key to effective retargeting is finding what is already working in your marketing strategy. Retargeting can be very effective at increasing the success of your content, but the content must be effective on its own in order to see a benefit from retargeting.

Lee Odden

Integrated Marketing: What Does It Really Mean?

Lee Odden on Nov 12th, 2012     Marketing PR Conferences, Online Marketing, Online Marketing Strategy, Search Engine Strategies

integrated marketingWe’ve always considered our online marketing agency “search plus” and by that I mean search is central and important, but accomplishing client marketing objectives requires a broader view than just optimizing web pages and digital assets. Of course if you follow us here or you’ve read Optimize, you know that.

As social and search technologies evolve along with changes in consumer behaviors, there’s a trend towards a convergence of disciplines. Mature, data driven digital marketers see where search fits in the scheme of things but many brand marketers and traditional search agencies are still a bit lost. I’ve seen brands view SEO solely as an afterthought and SEO agencies think search is the only way to market online.  These polarized perspectives are often driven more by self interest or limits in capabilities than knowing what will make the most impact for a business.

Ashley Zeckman

4 Ways Marketers Can Improve Customer Retention By Going the Extra Mile

Ashley Zeckman on Oct 30th, 2012     Online Marketing, Online Marketing Strategy

Two people running to help clientsOne of the reasons I enjoy working for a company like TopRank Online Marketing is our dedication to the clients have been with us on our journey, and the way in which we are able to work side by side as a team.

In fact, our agency mantra is simple: Client, Company, Community, Self.  What does that mean?  In every situation that we are faced with we must ask ourselves:

  • Is the decision I’m making good for the client?
  • How will it benefit the company?
  • Will it impact the community?
  • Is it good for me?
Ashley Zeckman

Evaluate & Energize Your Social Content Marketing Strategy #SMBMSP48

Ashley Zeckman on Aug 24th, 2012     Online Marketing, Online Marketing Strategy, Social Media

#SMPMSP48 Crowd

Note from Ashley: Please welcome this guest post from Shawna Kenyon, an Associate Account Manager with TopRank Online Marketing.

As I settle in for my first Social Media Breakfast #SMBMSP48 at 514 Studios, I survey the area and see some familiar faces and others less familiar. As the caffeine starts to kick in, the stage is set and the crowd welcomes presenter Lee Odden. As an Associate Account Manager at TopRank Online Marketing, this isn’t the first time I have heard Lee speak about social media as it relates to content strategy, but I always learn something new each time.

Ashley Zeckman

Create An Online Marketing Bucket List – What Would You Do If Your Marketing Plan Options Were Limitless?

Ashley Zeckman on Aug 7th, 2012     Online Marketing, Online Marketing Strategy

When it comes to your marketing, the options are limitless.

Have you ever caught yourself saying, “If only we’d had more time/money/resources we could have knocked that project out of the park!”?

Some marketers are great at brainstorming great ideas and have trouble implementing, while others are more task oriented and have a hard time seeing the big picture.  Whether you relate to one of the two types mentioned above or fall somewhere in the middle there is always an opportunity for growth and discovery.

Often we can find ourselves getting caught up in the day-to-day minutiae of completing tasks related to our structured marketing programs. While creating an executable and realistic content plan is an essential part of implementing a successful marketing strategy, I think there is another very important and often overlooked option as well.

Lee Odden

Break Free of Bad SEO Advice – Optimize for Customers

Lee Odden on Jun 28th, 2012     Online Marketing, Online Marketing Strategy, SEO

break free bad seo adviceDespite years of warnings from Google and especially from search quality guy, Matt Cutts, there’s a certain segment of internet marketing consultants that continue to give out bad advice:  SEO shortcuts, tricks and loopholes with manufactured content and buying links to gain an artificial advantage that runs contrary to Google’s Guidelines.  Complicating matters is the fact that large numbers of companies are taking that advice in their rush to win traffic and sales.

The result? Getting penalized, removed from the index or other consequences affecting visibility of their content in search. From the Florida update almost 10 years ago to the Panda and recent Penguin updates, it’s clear Google is committed to narrowing down what kinds of SEO tactics can have an explicit impact on search visibility in their quest for quality.

Brian Larson

3 Ways Customer Optimization is a lot Like Fishing (and vice-versa)

Brian Larson on May 30th, 2012     Content Marketing, Online Marketing, Online Marketing Strategy

customer optimizationSavvy internet marketers work hard to uncover and understand the common characteristics of their buying audiences, segmenting them into groups and even going so far as to develop personas. They do this for a very good reason, how can you optimize your content for an audience if you don’t know who they are or what they want? This customer-centric approach to marketing is one that Lee has been advocating for years (see Chapter 6 of Optimize for some good nuggets).

With the sun starting to warm-up Lake Minnetonka where the TopRank Online Marketing HQ is located, it got me thinking about how the disciplines of customer optimization and fishing are similar. You may laugh at that idea, but given my tendency to leave each fishing trip with 5-7 less lures, an impressive sunburn and zero fish, I have spent a lot time reflecting on how to elevate my fishing ‘game’.

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