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Online Marketing


Lee Odden

The Importance of Story Before Marketing

Lee Odden on Apr 22nd, 2014     B2C, Online Marketing, Small Business

Tootsie Lou Lou Dolls

Recently my sister in-law, Melanie, shared with me the success of her initial ventures into a new business selling a collection of handmade dolls, stuffed animals and blankets. A successful medical career working at a hospital keeps her more than busy, but the side venture is enabling her to make her creative hobby into something more.

Our recent discussion about turning this venture into a business surfaced many questions that a lot of new business owners face: What might be involved with hiring, manufacturing, logistics, taxes, incorporation and of course marketing.

Melanie has a knack for writing about her creations on Facebook and Pinterest in an enthusiastic, helpful way rather than promotional.  But there is something that Melanie, who is a self-proclaimed neophyte to business and marketing, did that the majority of companies do not do that gives her an advantage. This is something many mid-market companies and large enterprises forget.

Ben Brausen

Online Marketing News: Photos > *, Twitter Has A Problem, Mobile Makes A Big PPC Impression

Ben Brausen on Apr 18th, 2014     Online Marketing, Online Marketing News

KFC Chicken Corsage

#PutAWingOnIt KFC’s Chicken Corsage Just Went Viral - Prom season is in full swing, and KFC wants to add a little something to the big night: a chicken snack on your date’s wrist. USA Today

Study: Brands still overwhelmingly prefer photos on Facebook - Though Facebook has tried to make its link share post format more visual, with bigger images, many marketers still prefer to simply post photos (usually with a link) to their Facebook pages. Inside Facebook

Twitter Faces User Interaction and Retention Problems - New research shows that Twitter is facing user interaction and user retention problems, with news that 44 percent of users have never sent a single tweet. ClickZ

Lee Odden

Social Media Smarts Interview: Justin Levy, Global Social Media at Citrix

Lee Odden on Apr 14th, 2014     Interviews, Online Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Smarts

Justin Levy

When I first met Justin Levy a number of years ago, he gave me a business card for a Brazilian steakhouse and I didn’t quite make the connection with the social media conference we were at. Following him online and running into each other at numerous conferences since, I’ve learned three things about Justin:  1. He’s incredibly fit.  2. He’s an amazing cook.  3. He’s equally intelligent and passionate when it comes to social media.

In this Social Media Smarts interview, Justin covers everything from how he came in to the social media world to how marketing and PR work together with social media programs to what he really thinks of Facebook. He also offers practical tips, insights, tools and resources that he uses to stay social media fit in his role in charge of Global Social Media at Citrix.

Ben Brausen

Online Marketing News: IRS Trusted More Than Facebook, Up & Down of Social Service, Analytics Out of Beta

Ben Brausen on Apr 11th, 2014     Online Marketing, Online Marketing News

6 Types Social Sharer

Customer Service Inquiries Up 44 Percent on Twitter — But Response Times Are Down - While many brands are getting better at engaging audiences on social media, customer service still presents a challenge. According to a Simply Measured Analytics about how top brands use Twitter for customer service, mentions of dedicated customer service accounts on are up 44 percent but the average response time is down 10 percent. SocialTimes

6 Types Of Social Sharer [Infographic] - According to a NY Times study, we all fall into 6 broad categories of online sharer. The following infographic by StatPro explains these in greater detail and is a precursor to an interactive quiz which asks “What kind of sharer are you?” Infographic Journal

Nick Ehrenberg

Beyond Newsjacking: Pop Culture in Content Marketing with Movies, TV and Memes

Nick Ehrenberg on Apr 10th, 2014     Content Marketing, Online Marketing, Social Media

Content Marketing, Real-Time Marketing

The expression “newsjacking” has been popularized by David Meerman Scott and the available material on the topic is near limitless from case studies of Oreo’s Dunk in the Dark Twitter ad to missed opportunities by Poland Spring.

Related to newsjacking is the practice of leveraging popular culture references in brand messaging. Movies, music, memes and more can be deftly integrated into your social media and content marketing programs to provide an entertaining context to otherwise boring business information. Beyond attaching to something that’s popular on TV, the best applications of popular culture references find creative ways to make a connection back to the brand’s products or services.

Nick Ehrenberg

The Hashtag Test: Best and Worst Practices for Social Media Marketers

Nick Ehrenberg on Apr 8th, 2014     Online Marketing, Social Media

Hashtags

Hashtags are wonderful social media marketing tools. They can highlight trends, tie campaigns to chosen keywords, and isolate conversations. The allure of the hashtag is strong, especially for brands that desire a customized platform for their content. Twitter (and, to a lesser extent, Facebook, Instagram and Google+) thrives on hashtags for everything from primetime TV shows to organic political movements.

However, like all good things in life, the hashtag should be used in moderation. The pound sign carries great power, but only if deployed responsibly. TechCrunch’s Jordan Crook bluntly referred to users who abuse the hashtag as “hash-holes.” Avoiding that label requires an understanding of where the hashtag is most beneficial in messaging – and where it should never be deployed.

Ben Brausen

Online Marketing News: Mobile Dominates Search, Google+ Popularity Contest, The Most Engaging Social Network

Ben Brausen on Apr 4th, 2014     Online Marketing, Online Marketing News

YouTube, Google+, LinkedIn Drive More Engaged Referrals Than Facebook, Twitter [STUDY] - Shareaholic looked a six months of data from more than 200,000 websites between September 2013 and February 2014 and discovered that the most engaged referral traffic comes from YouTube, which delivered 3 minutes 47 seconds and 2.99 page views per visitor. AllTwitter

Google Tests Product Images Within Organic Listings - It seems Google is testing showing product images in the organic, free search result listings, for certain e-commerce sites. This was first spotted in a Moz thread for a site that sells ski equipment named evo.com. Search Engine Land

Twitter Ad Revenue Forecast To Exceed $1 Billion In 2014 [Stats] - Twitter’s advertising revenue is on track to exceed $1 billion in 2014, up from $594.9 million last year, with further accelerated income from ads envisaged through 2016, reports eMarketer. AllTwitter

Lee Odden

Social Media Smarts Interview: Charlie Kautz of TaylorMade Golf

Lee Odden on Apr 2nd, 2014     Online Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Advertising, Social Media Smarts

Charles Kautz

Social Media at a major brand – I think many people in the social media marketing industry would consider such a position a dream job. Or in the case of Charlie Kautz from TaylorMade Golf, the best job in social media (according to Jay Baer).

While Charlie provided a very useful tip for the recent Social Media Marketing eBook we created for SMMW14, I reached out to him after the conference to get more of a deep dive into his role at TaylorMade Golf, lessons he’s learned, how marketing and PR work together, the importance of SEO and what he really thinks about Facebook.

What makes your job at TaylorMade-adidas “The Best Job in Social Media”? 

Evan Prokop

Wrap Up: Waves to Remember from Social Media Marketing World 2014

Evan Prokop on Mar 31st, 2014     Marketing PR Conferences, Online Marketing, Social Media Marketing World

Social Media Waves

Social Media Marketing World (SMMW14) was quite a ride for over 2,000 people from 40 different countries that attended, especially the team at TopRank Online Marketing.

From an opening night reception on an aircraft carrier (The USS Midway) to surfing lessons to over 120 different speakers presenting across 5 to 6 different tracks, this event was one of the biggest mackers of social media conferences. (macker is surfer for “big wave”).

I’m happy to share that TopRank was actually the first and sole media sponsor for SMMW14 and our CEO Lee Odden gave a captivating presentation to a packed room as you can see below. Lee’s talk focused on how content plus an influencer network can help grow your business using the SMMW14 conference eBook he co-created with other speakers as a practical example. Both the eBook and the presentation were mentioned throughout the conference by other speakers, attendees and of course the lightning-paced conference Twitter stream.

Evan Prokop

4 Essential Trends in Social Media Marketing in 2014

Evan Prokop on Mar 30th, 2014     Online Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Marketing World

michael stelzner

The energy was sky high at Social Media Marketing World this year.

Marketers, brands, consultants and business owners from over 40 different countries gathered together to learn about the latest innovations in social media marketing, rub shoulders with social media rockstars, and enjoy unprecedented networking opportunities. Having the event in beautiful San Diego CA didn’t hurt either.

I had the pleasure of sitting in the opening keynote speech from the conference organizer Michael Stelzner, and he did not disappoint. Setting the tone for the days to come, Michael discussed the trends that he thinks will be making the biggest impact in social media marketing in 2014. Smart marketers should take note, because his presentation was chock full of excellent opportunities for businesses to increase the value they are getting from social throughout the coming year and beyond. Below are four key takeaways:

Evan Prokop

5 LinkedIn Marketing Tips That Rock from Jason Miller of LinkedIn #SMMW14

Evan Prokop on Mar 29th, 2014     LinkedIn, Online Marketing, Social Media

Jason Miller LinkedIn Marketing #SMMW14

Once called the “ugly duckling of social media”, rising stock prices, an active community, a lucrative advertising platform and a heavy focus on content have made LinkedIn into one of the most attractive platforms for b2b marketers today. (Disclosure: LinkedIn is a TopRank Content Marketing client)

In a fast paced, entertaining and metal-infused presentation (the Kiss army appeared on several slides), Jason Miller of LinkedIn Marketing Solutions showed off the compelling opportunities which LinkedIn offers to marketers and businesses at Social Media Marketing World 2014.

If you haven’t taken advantage of the awesome marketing power of LinkedIn for your business, there has never been a better time to start. Here’s how:

Evan Prokop

SlideShare for Business: Tips and Tricks for Success from #SMMW14

Evan Prokop on Mar 29th, 2014     Content Marketing, Online Marketing

Todd Wheatland SlideShare Presentation #SMMW14

If you’re not using SlideShare in your digital marketing tactical mix, you are missing out. As Todd Wheatland said in his session at #SMMW14, ‘whatever you’re selling, there’s a business case here.’

SlideShare is a fantastic opportunity for marketers and businesses for many reasons, including:

  • Huge visibility: over 60 million unique views / month
  • Relevant audience: heavily business focused
  • Improved search visibility: presentations posted on SlideShare tend to rank high in organic search

Below are 3 tips to help you achieve success in SlideShare:

Optimize Your Content Within SlideShare

Similar to search, great content is a prerequisite, but optimization techniques provide the extra secret sauce that result in improved visibility and views within SlideShare. Because SlideShare content also ranks well in organic search, optimizing is a no brainer. Some key things to think about:

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