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Lee Odden

For Small Businesses: When Is the Best Time to Start Building Your Social Networks?

Lee Odden on Aug 6th, 2013     Content Marketing, Online Marketing, Small Business

social networkingDuring a neighborhood gathering I met a small business owner and after sharing our respective backgrounds, he proceeded to tell me his troubles with not having the time to keep his website current. Competitors were seemingly overwhelming his category online. He also disclosed that his offering requires a bit of an educational sales cycle and the industry category has had some mixed press.

As we talked, I learned that innovations in the product line have advanced the capabilities significantly, but awareness of those advancements were hardly common knowledge within the target audience.  The good news was a significant demand in search volume and conversation on social networks about the problems his product offering solves.

Lee Odden

Essential Q and A on SEO & Content Marketing for Small Businesses

Lee Odden on Jul 17th, 2013     Content Marketing, Online Marketing, Small Business

SEO Content Marketing Small BusinessThe idea of making online content that is useful to people as well as easy to find and share applies to any organization whether it’s a B2B software company, a non-profit association or a government organization. There’s so much information being produced and promoted plus a growing array options for consuming content that standing out can be a real challenge.

I recently did a Google+ Hangout with a group of Chamber of Commerce executives from all over the U.S. talking about the role of content in marketing for small businesses. We dug into the fundamentals of what to talk about and how it can create a mutual benefit for SMBs and their customers. We also discussed the notion of empathy for our audiences and how important it is to invest in quality content as well as efforts to make that content easy to find and share.

Lee Odden

7 Ways Small Businesses Can Integrate SEO, Social Media & Content Marketing

Lee Odden on Jun 24th, 2013     Content Marketing, Online Marketing, Small Business, Social Media

small business online marketingIn today’s age of ubiquitous connectivity, many small businesses have implemented a variety of online marketing efforts to attract new customers and increase overall sales. Unfortunately, results can vary significantly because tools are only as good as the expertise of the person using them.

The lure of the “next big thing” can create online marketing inefficiencies when small business owners try to be a marketing “jack of all trades and master to none”.

For example, the rapid growth and adoption of the social web can be overwhelming for small business marketers. Consider these social network growth statistics:

  • Google sites handle about 100 billion searches each month (SEL)
  • YouTube hosts nearly 14 billion videos (comScore)
  • Facebook is now over 1 billion users (Mark Zuckerberg)
Lee Odden

Small Business Blog, Big Business Results

Lee Odden on Apr 8th, 2013     Blogging, Online Marketing, Small Business

small business bloggingBusinesses of all sizes often struggle to find high impact, low cost methods of attracting and engaging customers.

While some say social media and SEO have leveled the playing field, blogging is by far one of the most effective ways for small businesses to achieve numerous business objectives.

What can you achieve with a blog? As a content management system that can be optimized for search and social shares, blogs with great content can help a company attract new customers, engage existing customers, connect with journalists and connect with potential new hires. There are many business communication goals that can be realized through blogging.

How? The fundamentals that many companies seem to gloss over include:

  • Create a hub and spoke framework for blog publishing and promotion.
Lee Odden

17 Lessons About Content Marketing for Small Business

Lee Odden on Sep 5th, 2012     Content Marketing, Marketing PR Conferences, Online Marketing, Small Business

markettoon

For my first liveblogged session at Content Marketing World, C.C. Chapman opened things up with a warning that this is 101 level content and to leave if you know what you’re doing. I think that’s a bit subjective, because the thing most companies suck at is the basics.

While the official CMI session title is: Transforming Your Small Business Into a Content Powerhouse, I’m going to make up my own for the purposes of this blog post:

17 Lessons About Content Marketing for Small Business

1. Whether you’re a big or small business, content is content. Many of the same rules apply. Content is essential for growing your company whether it’s a big brand or a mom and pop looking to expand.

Ashley Zeckman

It’s Like Deja Vu All Over Again: 4 Tips for Improving Marketing for Small Business

Ashley Zeckman on May 8th, 2012     Online Marketing, Online Marketing Strategy, Small Business

Marketing Deja Vu Getting You Down?

At some time or another we have all experienced that eerie sense of familiarity where we’ve “been there” or “done that” before.  Whether it is an actual memory or simply a “brain fart”, deja vu is an interesting experience.

Let’s assume for a second that deja vu is real.  If you found yourself in a situation you knew for certain you had experienced before that had ended badly would you have the tools necessary to change your course of action?  Many organizations have faced and continue to deal with “marketing deja vu” or ending up in the same situations over and over again.  What can you do to avoid making the same marketing mistakes more than once?

Ashley Zeckman

Want to Have a Larger Impact on Your Organization? 4 Tips for Becoming A Better Influencer

Ashley Zeckman on Apr 24th, 2012     B2B, B2C, Online Marketing, Small Business, Social Business

How Can You Become A Better Influencer? Tip: You'll attract more bees with honey than you will with vinegar!

Last week Lee Odden shared a post  on attracting the attention of influencers online.  Whether we’re talking about influencers with mass appeal, or those that have a closer and more personal relationship with their followers, each person presents an opportunity to learn and grow.

That got me thinking, when it comes to the inner workings of an organization: what makes a good influencer, and would I consider myself an influencer at TopRank Online Marketing?  In my opinion, there are some key factors that make a good influencer.

  • Building a strong relationship and trust with your peers is essential in influencing their decisions.
Ashley Zeckman

Tips & Tools for Organizing, Implementing, & Monitoring Social Content Marketing

Ashley Zeckman on Mar 6th, 2012     Content Marketing, Online Marketing, Small Business, Social Media, Social Media Tool

tips for getting organizedWorking in the marketing department for any sized organization takes organization, dedication, innovation, and standardization.  BIA/Kelsey estimates that digital marketing spending among small and midsize companies will reach $16.6 billion annually by 2015. As online marketing budgets grow there is more room for testing and implementing search and social media tools that will help streamline processes and monitor results.

With all the moving pieces involved in creating a successful online marketing program, it is easy to get caught up in the thrill of testing and purchasing new products and software tools meant to make your life easier. Believe me, I know about this first hand.

Over the past few years I’ve experienced selecting tools the right way, and the wrong way.  I hope that my experience will help you better select your own approach to finding new processes and tools that will make your own social media and content marketing efforts more successful.

Lee Odden

Social Media Helps Small Business Boost Sales, Keep Customers

Lee Odden on Jan 4th, 2012     Online Marketing, SEO, Small Business, Social Media

small business social media marketingThe business press is full of stories about how small companies are using social channels to attract and engage customers. But while there are plenty of individual success stories, the confidence in what to do specifically is not always clear for small business owners that are strapped for time and online marketing resources.

I was talking with a small business owner recently who was lamenting not updating his website and also that his competition was showing up “all over the place” online.  The nature of his product requires some education and an effort to dispell common mis-perceptions. The rapid advancements in technology of his particular product category are not very well known amongst his target consumer market. But there’s a substantial amount of search volume and interest in the solutions his product provides.  He’s also a small business with limited time and budget.

Ashley Zeckman

5 Tips for Content Marketers on Google Places Optimization

Ashley Zeckman on Dec 27th, 2011     B2B, B2C, Local SEO, Mobile, Online Marketing, Small Business

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

7 Ways to Improve Your Online Reputation Management Strategy

Ashley Zeckman on Dec 19th, 2011     Online Marketing, Search Marketing, Small Business, Social Media, Social Networking, User Generated Content
Effectively Manage Your Online Reputation

Is your reputation management strategy a turn off to your customers and critics?

Should we respond, get angry, fire back, ignore the situation, censor comments, or just see what happens?  Those are some of the many questions that marketers are faced with today.  With more and more consumers and customers turning online to share what they think of a particular brand or company it has become increasingly difficult to capture everything that is being shared.

In April of this year Yelp.com reached 50 million users with over 17 million reviews on their database.  If you are a professional responsible for online reputation management it makes you wonder how many other means are there for your customers and critics to share their opinion about your company.

Lee Odden

17 Location-Based Marketing Tips To Drive Word of Mouth & Referrals

Lee Odden on Sep 16th, 2011     Book Reviews, Guest Posts, Online Marketing, Small Business, Social Media

location based marketingNote from Lee: When I heard from Aaron Strout that he and Mike Schneider were writing a book, Location-Based Marketing for Dummies, I knew it would be a great resource. We often do book reviews here on Online Marketing Blog but Aaron and I decided on this format instead, focusing on specific tips and tactics you can use today.

Writing a book takes a lot of work, but with the work is done, it’s satisfying to look back and read all the content that got created. One downside to writing a physical book, however, is trapping all that content between two covers, especially for anyone that decides not to read the book. Rather than let that happen, we are unlocking 17 of the best tips from Location-Based Marketing from Dummies.

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