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Nicolette Beard

Content Marketing With Research and Surveys: Pros, Cons, Examples, Best Practices

Nicolette Beard on Feb 25th, 2014     Content Marketing, Online Marketing

content marketing surveysAll marketers need actionable insight to make important decisions. As the internet reaches a crescendo of voices all vying for their customers’ short attention span, the need for quality citations and third party industry research becomes even more important to stand out.

Therein lies an opportunity: Companies that create credible surveys, reports and playbooks on a regular basis can become known authorities and trusted resources – ahead of the competition. Such authority leads to trust and in the content marketing world those are essential characteristics to attract a target audience whether they are buyers, journalists or investors.

Ironically, it’s this exact labor-intensive exercise that provides some of the most sharable, citable content. The ability to attract substantial citations, social shares and attention is a very powerful capability for agencies and corporate marketing marketing departments to have right now.

Nicolette Beard

Online Marketing News: WhatsApp Facebook? Bots Overtake the Net, Social Wins for SMBs, Twitter Facelift

Nicolette Beard on Feb 21st, 2014     Online Marketing, Online Marketing News

Location-Based Marketing Infographic

How Location-Based Marketing Delivers Ads to In-Store Shoppers [Infographic] – Micro-location and proximity targeting are happening in brick and mortar stores right now. This infographic explains some of the location-based marketing systems out there and how they tap into wifi, GPS, NFC and other technologies to detect location and help deliver ads. Marketing Land

LinkedIn Unlocks Influencer Program – LinkedIn has expanded their influencer blogging program from 500 to 25,000 this week. The blogging function will extend to more members in the future. Enabling LinkedIn members to blog will give LinkedIn substantially more content and engagement opportunities to drive pageviews and website visits. It should also provide more value for members. LinkedIn Blog (client)

Nicolette Beard

Content Marketing With Real-World Events: Pros, Cons, Examples and Best Practices

Nicolette Beard on Feb 18th, 2014     Content Marketing, Online Marketing

Lee OddenConferences, symposiums, summits, trade shows, roundtables and world expos. From intimate, invitation-only events to sprawling Las Vegas-style exhibit halls, most of us have attended at least one industry-specific event.

While the business value has been debated off and on over the years, and it was predicted that webinars and other digital forms of online training would eventually replace live events, there is just no substitute for face time when you want to establish rapport with people who share your interests and business goals.

As content marketing strategy continues to gain momentum, an interesting phenomenon is occurring – real-world, in-person events are starting to edge out trendier content tactics, like video. In fact, according to Content Marketing Institute, in-person events have been ranked as the most effective content marketing tactic over the past four years by B2B marketers.

Lee Odden

New Rules for SEO Mechanics & Link Building – It’s a Race You’re Probably Not Winning

Lee Odden on Feb 17th, 2014     Online Marketing, Search Engine Strategies, SEO

SEO Race to WinLast week I attended and presented at the SES conference in London where online marketers from all over Europe and as far away as Australia converged to learn about integrated marketing and paid, earned, and owned media.

With it’s history in search marketing, the conference complemented presentations on digital marketing with sessions on SEO as well.

Making sure content is easy to find by the right audience in search is an important part of our consulting at TopRank Marketing, so I am acutely aware of the changes in the search optimization world from Panda to Penguin to Hummingbird. Regardless, as a content and social media focused marketer, it was interesting to hear the shift in current SEO and link building best practices.

Nicolette Beard

Online Marketing News: Pinterest Rules, Facebook Hacks, Google Tracker, Twitter Plummets, Yahoo! Yelps

Nicolette Beard on Feb 14th, 2014     Online Marketing, Online Marketing News

Pinterest Infographic

30 Reasons Pinterest Will Rule in 2014 [Infographic] – As much as we would like to think Facebook is the most powerful social media tool, Omnicore has made a good argument that Pinterest has really picked up the pace and is here to rule over all the other social media tools. See why here. Sociable Blog

10 Ingenious Hacks That Helped Facebook Take Over the Internet – Behind the scenes, inside the massive data centers that power this worldwide social network, you’ll find all sorts of other technologies that have changed our world in very different ways. Learn about Zuckerberg’s “Hacker Way” on an epic scale. Wired

The 2014 Google Tracker – This post is a collection of all the hints, announcements, and acquisitions  from Google lately, such as plans for Android, gaming, smart homes, healthcare, robots, and much, much more along with some speculation. Arstechnica

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

Does It Still Make Sense For Companies to Blog?

Lee Odden on Feb 10th, 2014     Blogging, Brand Management, Online Marketing

Grand Central Station NYCOver the past 10 years I’ve had more than enough opportunities to consider whether the investment in time and resources to blog has been worth it.

Blogging for business is a question I think many companies ask themselves as they look at current trends towards time more spent on social networks and changing consumer consumption trends, especially with mobile.

This question came to light recently via Stephen Waddington, Digital and Social Media Director at  Ketchum Europe who pinged me for an opinion on the future of global blogging for a blog post he was researching. And that got me thinking:

Does it still make sense for companies to blog?

One way to answer that question is to take a look at how many blogs there are and whether the number is increasing:

Nicolette Beard

Online Marketing News: Facebook Paper, Super Social Bowl, Vine Rising, Olympic Tweeple

Nicolette Beard on Feb 7th, 2014     Online Marketing, Online Marketing News


9 Principles for Influencer Marketing – Based on the influencer marketing programs their customers have built, this reputation management firm analyzed the drivers behind their success and identified 9 guiding principles to influencer marketing. From “Think beyond demographics” to “Create experiences”, they’re simple tips that will help you find the right influencers and build relationships with them. Traackr

Squandered Bowl? Or Branding First? With precious few interactive call outs and even fewer mobile calls to action in this year’s Super Bowl advertising and programming, many mobile agency executives were left wondering this morning if brands missed a great opportunity to truly engage customers at this year’s big game. MediaPost

Lee Odden

3 Ways to Raise the Bar on Your Social Media and Content Marketing Strategy

Lee Odden on Feb 6th, 2014     Content Marketing, Online Marketing, Social Media

Unlock Social Media SuccessWhen marketers approach Content Marketing and Social Media as a symbiotic relationship, there’s no limit to the business goals you can achieve.

To make that happen, marketers really need to start raising the bar on their approach.

It’s far too easy to get caught up in the distractions of the latest social media and content marketing tactics. Unlocking success with social media and content marketing means developing a solid strategy: A thoughtful, data-informed approach with goals, defined target audience and measurable outcomes that you monitor and optimize for.

This post outlines 3 simple ideas that can help you break free of the crowded marketplace of content and social media du jour to stand out with those that matter most to your business.

Eliza Steely

What Google Hummingbird Really Means and What Marketers Can Do About It

Eliza Steely on Feb 5th, 2014     Google, Online Marketing, Other Events, Search Engines, SEO

Google Hummingbird

Note from Lee: You know the phrase, kill two birds with one stone? That’s what we’re doing with this post format and the topic of Hummingbird.  Our team at TopRank is known for liveblogging conferences, but this co-created blog format is something new. At the same time, we’re covering a topic (Google Hummingbird) and search + social media that I think warrants some clarity and practical advice. In this post, you’ll see insights our team members took from the SMBMSP event followed by “TopRank Tips” from Eliza and myself.

In the digital marketing world, change is inevitable. At some point in life we are all forced to adapt, change paths, learn new skills or face something we definitely weren’t expecting.

Nicolette Beard

Print Magazines for Content Marketing: Pros, Cons, Brand Examples and Best Practices

Nicolette Beard on Feb 4th, 2014     Content Marketing, Online Marketing

Print Magazines for Content MarketingOver 100 years ago, a tractor company set out to get the attention of farmers. They didn’t buy advertising or hire salesmen to go door-to-door. Instead, the John Deere Company created a custom print magazine, called The Furrow, designed to educate farmers on developing technology and trends in agriculture. With over 1.5 million copies currently in print and distribution in over 40 countries, this iconic company based in the heartland of America could be considered the first content marketer.

While John Deere Company was an early, early adopter, for many years, print was the sole purview of magazine publishers.

Lee Odden

Content Strategy Interview with Jonathon Colman of Facebook

Lee Odden on Feb 3rd, 2014     Content Marketing, Interviews, Online Marketing

Jonathon Colman1.3 Billion.

As of February 2014, that’s about how many active monthly users there are of Facebook. Imagine the content that gets created amongst all those connections – updates, photos, videos, blogging and plenty of cats.

But Facebook isn’t what this post is about. Not exactly.

The subject of today’s post is Jonathon Colman, a Content Strategist at Facebook. Jonathon and I first met when I was programming a Search Marketing track for ad:tech. I had known of him through his participation in the search marketing industry and really appreciated his results focused approach to optimizing online marketing performance.

As a SEO at REI, Jonathon could not only show much revenue per keyword the company was making but also how much revenue was being lost because of slow loading web pages.  I noticed he was also very attune to customer experience and content – something many SEOs are just catching on to now.

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