TopRank Online Marketing
Lee Odden

Riding the Waves of Social Media – 38 Social Media Marketing Tips from #SMMW14

Lee Odden on Mar 6th, 2014     Marketing PR Conferences, Social Media, Social Media Marketing World

Lee Odden SurfingA few years back while vacationing in Oahu, we decided to take surfing lessons. Well, everyone but me.

I made up all kinds of excuses but when I saw my 8 year old daughter pop up like it was nothing, I had to try. The guy running the lessons had really been around and the young men helping him were clearly “all-in” for the surfing life. They were experts. With their help and my daughter’s example, I quickly went from disinterested to being eager to go again.

That story reminds me of how a lot of marketers take a turn with their digital and social media marketing skills. Getting inspired and then connected with people that really know what they’re doing can be a direct line from zero to social media hero.


Emily Bacheller

5 Reasons Why We Can’t Wait for Social Media Marketing World 2014 #SMMW14

Emily Bacheller on Mar 5th, 2014     Marketing & PR Industry, Social Media Marketing World

Social Media Marketing World 2014

Most businesses are aware of the importance of social media marketing, but the number of companies really succeeding at it represent just a drop in the ocean.

When you think about it, the world of social media is a lot like the ocean actually – constantly moving and evolving due to trends and feature updates. Those who really want to to succeed at social media marketing are like expert surfers, continuously swimming in the seas of change, riding the waves of trends, finding the best tools to keep their boards working well and keeping a close eye on the horizon for new best practices.


Lee Odden

5 Ways to Grow Your Blog Community and Readership

Lee Odden on Mar 4th, 2014     Blogging

Grow Blog CommunityThe more relevant readers of your blog content, the more opportunities to attract, engage and convert those readers in your online sales efforts.

Content marketing, brand publishing, media sites that blog, and consumer publishing are all competitors for the time and attention of your target audience.

So how can a company increase the number of readers of its blog content?

Here are 5 tips I’ve implemented with many companies and for ourselves over the years.

1. Facts tell, but stories sell. Tell stories! Whatever it is that you’re trying to communicate – boring, exciting or neither – always think of what “the story” is. You can find good stories in anything.  Use metaphors and analogies as inspiration for stories. Facts and statistics do have their place of course and can provide some very compelling logic behind an interesting story.


Lee Odden

The One Question You Must Ask And Answer to Win With Social Media Marketing

Lee Odden on Mar 3rd, 2014     Blogging, Content Marketing, Online Marketing, Social Media

Understand the Why of Your Social Media Marketing“Can we increase our blog readership by 50% in the next 6 months?”

If you’re a digital marketing or social media professional, questions like this are probably pretty familiar.

For many companies, specific goals are a godsend since social media marketing is still a bit of an uncertainty. It gives those who are responsible for implementation something more tangible to focus their efforts on. I’ve seen it happen many times where an objective like this is communicated by a marketing director or VP and the marketing team jumped all over themselves and each other to provide compelling answers.

But I have to just shake my head when that happens.


Nicolette Beard

Online Marketing News: Facebook Email is Dead, G+ Analytics Live, Best Brand Vines, Pizza Tweets

Nicolette Beard on Feb 28th, 2014     Online Marketing, Online Marketing News

B2B Content Marketing Success on the Rise for Small Businesses – Content Marketing Institute’s newest B2B content marketing research report confirms that small businesses are doing many things well when it comes to content marketing. Download the report here.

Gmail Adding Prominent ‘Unsubscribe’ Option to Marketing Emails – Starting last week, a new, clearly marked “unsubscribe” link will appear at the top of the header field in marketers’ emails. Previously only appearing for a small percentage of users, the feature will now be made available for most promotional messages with unsubscribe options. Email recipients do not need to take action for the links to appear. PC World


Lee Odden

6 Upcoming Marketing and PR Events to Learn About Influencer, Social and Content Marketing

Lee Odden on Feb 27th, 2014     Content Marketing World, Marketing PR Conferences, Online Marketing, PR Conferences, Social Media Marketing World

Marketing & Public Relations I’ve always said, “The best part about Minnesota Winters is leaving for somewhere warm.”

Over the next 2 months or so, that’s exactly what I’ll be doing and I’d like to invite you to join me at one or more of these 6 upcoming events in cities that range from San Francisco to New York to Denver to learn about integrated marketing topics with a particular emphasis on the role of influencers and content.

Beyond content and social media marketing, these events and conferences will cover a wide variety of essential digital marketing knowledge, so there’s plenty to learn, numerous smarties to network with and in some cases, a little warmer weather to be enjoyed.


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.


Lee Odden

Essential Digital Marketing Skills for Content Marketers in 2014

Lee Odden on Feb 24th, 2014     Content Marketing, Integrated Marketing

digital marketing skillsLike many other digital marketing agencies, we’ve been on the hunt for digital and content marketing talent on a continuous basis over the past few years. Increased demand and competition are driving the need to find people with skills that can actually create impact, vs. fuzzy “potential”.

Companies looking for agencies are in the same boat, challenged to find partners that can actually affect business goals. Sadly, there are few knights in shining content marketing armor, like our friend to the right.

In both cases, the ease of publishing online makes it easy for individuals and agencies to present expertise – whether they really have it or not.  There are a few ways to sift through the fluff and puff and one of them is knowing what skills, capabilities and experience your business actually needs.


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)


Lee Odden

Essential Stages of Content Marketing Evolution – If You’re Not Growing, You’re Dying

Lee Odden on Feb 20th, 2014     Content Marketing

content marketing evolutionAn important part of developing skills and expertise is to understand where you fall on a continuum of what’s possible and then take action to evolve and advance accordingly.

With so much digital marketing advice and information on the web, it’s easy to follow along with the latest best practices. But what about 1 or 2 years from now? How valuable would it be to anticipate the challenges and opportunities beyond the current 6 or 12 months of marketing planning?

What is in your future for content marketing?

Along these lines, I’ve been developing a model of content marketing maturity to help companies better understand where they are and where they could be with their own content marketing and as a guide for using outside content marketing services. This is especially relevant as the need to develop more integrated strategies has become the minimum to compete.


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.


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