TopRank Online Marketing
Nicolette Beard

Print Newsletters as Content Marketing Tactic: Pros, Cons, Examples and Best Practices

Nicolette Beard on Feb 11th, 2014     Content Marketing, Integrated Marketing

Print Newsletters Mail DeliveryOne of the oldest forms of content marketing are printed newsletters that arrive by snail mail, providing valuable, information-rich content that your customers and prospects want. They can be an effective compliment to online promotions or serve niche markets where print is a preferred format.

Given the overall decrease in postal mail, a print newsletter can stand out to the recipient, unlike an online newsletter that can get lost in an already too full in-box. Conversely, due to the continuing rise of postal costs, newsletters are more likely to be concise and targeted, providing special appeal.

According to the 2014 B2C & B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends report for North America, B2C marketers use print newsletters with greater frequency at 29% compared to their B2B counterparts at 22%. In addition, customer retention/loyalty is cited as a top marketing goal for B2C compared to lead generation for B2B.


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.


Nicolette Beard

Online Marketing News: Top Vine Brands, Google DeepMind, Pinterest Gives GIFs, Google Dumps Smartphones

Nicolette Beard on Jan 31st, 2014     Online Marketing, Online Marketing News

How do colors affect purchases

How Do Colors Affect Purchases? –  For retailers, shopping is the art of persuasion. Though there are many factors that influence how and what consumers buy, a great deal is decided by visual cues like color. When marketing new products it is crucial to consider that consumers place visual appearance and color above other factors such as sound, smell and texture.  KISSmetrics

Pinterest Gives the Gift of GIFs, Recipe Search – Pinterest news this week includes the launch of a new recipe search feature for special dietary requirements, personalized home pages (still being tested) and functionality for GIF images. ClickZ


Lee Odden

Is Driving Traffic to Your Website Driving Customers Away?

Lee Odden on Jan 30th, 2014     Digital Marketing, Integrated Marketing, Online Marketing
Gourmet Cupcakes by Melanie

Melanie Odden Cupcakes – Optimized for Delicious

The vast majority of digital marketing seems to be focused on creating content and experiences for customers with the ultimate measure of success being increased traffic to the company website, leading to leads and sales.

It’s a reasonable approach, since company websites typically provide the kinds of information that explain what a company does, the products or services they sell and some means for collecting inquiries or conducting transactions.

But here’s the problem with that in 2014 and beyond:  Consumer trends towards content discovery, engagement and interaction have evolved way beyond the common corporate website or online store.

Buyers can get the information they need to decide on a vendor or make a transaction from any combination of devices; smartphone, tablet, computer or web destination; social network, blog, microsite, industry publication, document hosting service.


Lee Odden

What’s the Difference Between Content Marketing and Content for Links? The Wrong Answer Could Cost You

Lee Odden on Jan 29th, 2014     Content Marketing, SEO
Chubby Spiderman

This Spiderman aims to please, but he’s just not the real thing

As someone with roots in the search marketing community it’s been amazing to see how the the phrase “content marketing” has been adopted and redefined.

Whether it’s opportunism or simply being adaptable to the times, the difference in approach to what content marketing is between digital marketing communities like Content Marketing Institute and many in the SEO and social media marketing world is striking.

For brands investing in content marketing, the difference between content for links / SEO and content for customers can be costly in terms of risk, return on investment and performance.

What’s the difference? 


Nicolette Beard

Podcasting: Storytelling for the 21st Century – Pros, Cons, Examples and Best Practices

Nicolette Beard on Jan 28th, 2014     Content Marketing, Online Marketing, Podcasting

Podcasting for Content MarketingThe human voice can convey much more meaning through tone and inflection than the printed word ever can. It’s why millions of Americans sat, fixated, during the Golden Age of Radio – listening to everything from adventure, comedy and drama to classical music concerts, news and farm reports.

As broadcast radio gave way to television, television to cable and cable relinquishing to the internet of everything, it comes as no surprise to content marketers that, spurred by technological advancements, broadcast radio has come full circle with podcasting and represents a new platform for storytelling.

The average podcast listener stays connected for 22 minutes on average (Sticher). This is one of the reasons why including podcasting as part of a long form content marketing strategy is so powerful. You have the opportunity to build a deep, rich relationship with your target audience.


Lee Odden

25 Social Media Marketing Experts You Need to Know According to LinkedIn

Lee Odden on Jan 27th, 2014     B2B, Online Marketing, Social Media
25 Social Media Marketing Experts

25 Social Media Marketing Experts Recommended by LinkedIn

In the recently published eBook, The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to Linkedin, eight digital marketing smarties were tapped for insights and practical advice on how to get the most out of LinkedIn from optimizing your profile to expanding your network.

My team at TopRank did some great work with this eBook, identifying, engaging and interviewing subject matter experts. I think it turned out well. It’s a timely topic for sure.

If you’re anywhere near the B2B marketing world, social selling or recruiting, getting to know LinkedIn is essential. Heck, mastering LinkedIn is essential.

Why? Check out these stats:

  • With over 259 million members in over 200 countries and territories, 1 out of every 3 professionals on the planet Earth is on LinkedIn.

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