TopRank Online MarketingTopRank Online Marketing Blog
Lee Odden

Influencer Outreach – 5 Ways to Fail

Lee Odden on Dec 11th, 2014     Influencer Marketing

influencer outreach fail

Content Marketing has dominated much of the conversation about marketing in the past 2 years and the popularity of influencer marketing is also on the rise. What could be better than a combination of both?

The intersection of influencer marketing and co-creation for content marketing is an area we’ve been testing and implementing thoroughly over the past 5 years. Not only have we implemented these campaigns for ourselves in partnership with marketing kingpins like MarketingProfs, Content Marketing Institute and Social Media Examiner, but also major brands like LinkedIn, Dell and McKesson.

But as the approach to content shifts from marketing departments to crowdsourcing, insourcing and community co-creation, I’ve noticed a sharp increase in sloppy or ineffective tactics like influencer outreach.


James Anderson

Content is not just a platform: Why I left journalism and joined TopRank Marketing

James Anderson on Dec 10th, 2014     Content Marketing, Digital Marketing

stack-of-newspapers

[Note from Lee: TopRank has made many advancements in the content marketing space over the past 5-6 years and that leadership has resulted in growth – including the addition of 15 new people to our team in the past 7 months.  Among those new faces is content marketing smartie, James Anderson, our new agency Director of Content Marketing.  

James spent over 9 years as a journalist and editor before moving into the brand publisher space. And now he’s made the full move over to the marketing realm.  You’ll be seeing a lot of James here in the coming days and weeks as he helps me advance the TopRank content marketing machine even further – please make him feel welcome!]


Lee Odden

Our Top 10 Social Media Marketing Posts of 2014

Lee Odden on Dec 9th, 2014     Social Media

Top Social Media Marketing Posts 2014

It’s that time of year again – time for a round up of our top social media marketing posts for the year.

2014 was full of social media marketing changes ranging from major news feed visibility drops on Facebook to the sputtering of Google+. While often cited as difficult to measure, marketers are increasingly optimistic about social media. According to a Duke University study, social media represents about 9% of marketing budgets and is expected to increase to 21% in the next 5 years.

Suffice it to say, marketing with social networks is a hot topic! Also, it’s no surprise that blog posts connected to our involvement with Social Media Marketing Examiner dominated this collection. Based almost entirely on overall popularity, these posts include coverage of the 2014 Social Media Marketing Industry report, liveblogging of the Social Media Marketing World conference and posts drawn from the SMMW14 conference eBook we created.


Lee Odden

5 Essential Skills for Digital Marketing Consultants

Lee Odden on Dec 8th, 2014     Digital Marketing

digital marketing skills

Much of today’s digital marketing consulting is about data: goals, KPIs and performance metrics. Processes and technology also play a big part, serving as a point of differentiation for many digital marketing agencies and consultants.

The consulting business can be a tricky one because not all business marketing problems are clearly defined and even fewer require simple cause and effect or linear solutions. There are almost always contextual differences between various stakeholders and multiple dependencies, outside forces and differing agendas to deal with as well. Sounds like a fun career, doesn’t it?

The fast pace and increasing complexity of the digital marketing consulting world requires more than functional expertise, best practices and the ability to analyze and optimize data. All too often, the soft skills of consulting are omitted or inconsistent causing misinterpretation, ineffective insight and unmet expectations.


Ben Brausen

Online Marketing News: Mobile Ranking Signals, CEOs Wasting Money, Social Customer Service

Ben Brausen on Dec 5th, 2014     Online Marketing, Online Marketing News

Global Social Platform Visits

54% of Facebook Users Login Multiple Times Per Day (Twitter: 34%) - More than half of Facebook active users (54 percent) log into the social network more than once per day, compared to just over one third (34 percent) who do so on Twitter. AllTwitter

Report: 66 Percent Of Email Opens On Mobile, Mostly iOS Devices - Email marketing platform Movable Ink has released its Q3 “Consumer Device Preferences Report.” The report is focused on email engagement and based on statistics captured from across the company’s client base. Marketing Land

Three-Quarters Of Millennials Expect Brands To Be Entertaining - In Facebook’s “Coming of Age on Screens” study, 72% of young millennials from all over the world said that’s what they expect from brands – entertaining content. That’s a lot to live up to. It’s a lot harder to be entertaining on command than it is to be informative but when you hit that sweet spot the returns are insane. Marketing Pilgrim


Lee Odden

6 Steps to an Optimized and Socialized Content Workflow

Lee Odden on Dec 4th, 2014     Content Marketing, SEO, Social Media

optimized integrated content

Digital marketing tactics have changed over the years but one thing has not – Customers are in the driver’s seat when it comes to the insights marketers need to deliver relevant, meaningful and useful content at the right time and the right place.

To realize the benefits of customer insight requires an integrated approach – especially when it comes to content – discovery, consumption and interaction.

Moving from planning to practice, especially within a large organization with regional operations, business units, divisions and departments, processes are essential for adoption, quality and scale. Operationalizing the integration of content, social media and optimization is one of the essential workflows that marketing departments can implement. But what does that look like?


Lee Odden

Content Marketing Best Practices Report: Creating a Culture of Content

Lee Odden on Dec 3rd, 2014     Content Marketing

Culture of Content

Content at scale is something many business leaders anticipate, but few know how to implement with any measure of quality.

As companies come to appreciate the role of content as an essential business function, there come a number of opportunities to lead the way towards developing a culture of content. Companies that evangelize and institutionalize the importance of content find success beyond marketing into multiple business areas from customer service to talent acquisition.

This is essentially the research supported point of view that Rebecca Lieb and Jessica Groopman of Altimeter Group have provided in a new best practices report: The Culture of Content.


Lee Odden

Hey, That Online Marketing Word Cloud Looks Really Familiar!

Lee Odden on Dec 2nd, 2014     Online Marketing

online marketing word cloud

In 2008 I wrote a blog post listing top search marketing blogs, each with a Wordle visualization image I created that was embedded from Flickr.

In that list was a word cloud for this, TopRank’s Online Marketing Blog. Apparently the image has been pretty popular as seen in gratuitous duplication from a search on Google above.

TopRankBlog word Cloud

Since the original post 6 years ago, the word cloud image has been generously repurposed by hundreds of websites – including Chief Marketer, Orbit Media Studios and even on our own site in 2009 and 2010.

Just check out this Google image SERP to see what I mean.

word cloud twitter

What’s funny is that I’ve noticed the image on other blog posts for years, but I’ve started to notice people using it as their avatar or background image on social media sites as well.


Lee Odden

Superhero or Zero Digital Marketing Agencies – How Can You Tell?

Lee Odden on Dec 1st, 2014     Digital Marketing

digital marketing heroes

Today, everyone is a digital marketing expert online. Or so it seems.

The ease of publishing content on blogs, social media and even mainstream business publications has created a wave of marketing experts, each proclaiming their superhero-ness. As companies need expertise to make sense of planning and implementation of modern digital marketing programs, how can you tell which consultants are actually credible and trustworthy?

Whether you’re a new CMO, VP or Director of marketing at a company looking for consultants for help with strategy or vendors to help with implementation and software, it can be a real challenge finding the right partner – especially if pre-existing relationships don’t already exist.


Ben Brausen

Online Marketing News: PageRank Is Dead, Google Gets Anti-Ads, Every Tweet Ever

Ben Brausen on Nov 28th, 2014     Online Marketing, Online Marketing News

10 Marketing Predictions For 2015

10 Marketing Predictions for 2015 [INFOGRAPHIC] - There have been many changes in the digital marketing space over 2014, and that has marketers preparing to revise their strategies as we approach 2015. So what is the future of SEO, social media, content marketing, and mobile marketing?  Find out. Social Media Today

Survey: The 10 Biggest Challenges Facing Social Media Marketers - Assessing the effectiveness of their social media activities is the number one challenge facing social media professionals worldwide, reveals a new study. AllTwitter

Google: Stop Using PageRank As A Metric, We Won’t Be Updating It In The Future - The last Google Toolbar PageRank update was 11 months and 18 days ago, almost a year ago, on December 6, 2013. Google’s John Mueller has told in a video hangout that there probably won’t be PageRank updates in the future. Search Engine Roundtable


Lee Odden

Where Brand Journalism and Native Advertising Can Fit Within Content Marketing

Lee Odden on Nov 26th, 2014     Content Marketing, Integrated Marketing

integrated content marketing

Over the past year the discussions about what content marketing is and isn’t as well as the role of content within marketing and PR functions of a business have been interesting to watch. Especially the discussions around whether brand journalism and native advertising fit in the content marketing mix. Here’s my take:

Content Marketing is all about customers and providing them the information they need to inspire action. The themes that align buyer interests and brand goals as part of a content marketing strategy can inspire the focus of any content or media whether it’s part of a brand journalism effort, native advertising or content marketing program –  just in different ways.


Lee Odden

How a Shift from All SEO to Social & Influencer Content Boosted Page Views by 500%

Lee Odden on Nov 25th, 2014     Content Marketing, Influencer Marketing, SEO

social influencer content

A small business technology company was focusing their online marketing efforts on SEO and this approach proved to be effective for several years.

Research revealed relevant keywords in demand from searchers actively looking for solutions in this software category. Existing content was optimized, cross linked and new content was created where needed. Content was promoted to attract links and social shares to ensure a presence on crawlable social media platforms.

But then organic traffic began to slow down in growth and eventually decline, despite following SEO best practices capable of the most specific Google scrutiny.

A decision needed to be made: Will more aggressive SEO tactics be used or was it time to shift perspective?


To optimize your online marketing performance, contact us at TopRank | ©2014 TopRank® Online Marketing | Top