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Ashley Zeckman

How 4 Consumer Brands Are Using Visual Content To Tell Stories & Engage Customers

Ashley Zeckman on Jan 31st, 2013     Content Marketing, Online Marketing

Las Vegas Palm TreesAs the online landscape becomes increasingly more competitive, marketers are finding that great content isn’t just about what you say, but how content is presented as well.  Content marketing that is injected with visually appealing images not only attracts readers to your message, but it helps to tell the story you’re trying to convey.

Visually pleasing content, videos, eBooks, or graphics (to name a few) can make your customers feel a connection to your brand that they might otherwise not.  This post shares examples from  four consumer brands that have integrated visual content to help tell their stories, and engage customers.

#1 – Kraft Foods: Recipes For the Modern At-Home Cook

When many of us think of Kraft Foods a nostoligic picture of childhood favorites comes to mind.  Whether it be Mac-n-cheese, Jello, or Kool-Aid we have all craved their products at one time or another.

Lee Odden

The Art of Getting Comments – 6 Tips for Getting Comments

Lee Odden on Mar 4th, 2008     Blogging

Blog CommentsEvery blog comes with comments and pretty much every blogger is basing their success on comments. Sure, they may say they don’t, but when you have no comments you feel like you’re just talking to yourself. So how do you get comments?

1 – Write posts that are conversational and something that people can relate to. If you write posts in a way that there feels like there is no room for discussion, then comments will be harder to get.

My wife is great at making posts people can relate to. She put out a post two years ago when she broke her leg and is closing in on 1000 comments from others that have broken theirs. She’s not a marketer, or a PR person, just an average blogger who happened to write in a way that people felt compelled to comment.

Lee Odden

The 13th – Blog Backup Day

Lee Odden on Oct 13th, 2006     Blogging

Blog Backup DayI’m declaring the 13th of each month as the unofficial blog backup day. Meaning that you should login to your blog software and download a backup of all posts. Also, if you have access to the template files, back those up too.

Avoiding issues are much easier than trying to fix them once they happen. I’ve never seen a blog just delete itself, but I have heard of people’s hosting accounts suddenly having a hardware failure and are non-recoverable. If you don’t have a backup of your files, who does?

Yes, a good host will make backups, but that’s placing your trust fully in a third party. What if their backups are in the same office as your website and they have a fire? All is lost. If you do have a good host, then a secondary set of backups never hurt and you’ll have them at your fingertips at all times.

Lee Odden

How do you backup a blog?

Lee Odden on Oct 13th, 2006     Blogging

How do you backup a blog?

For WordPress blogs, use the the WordPress Database Backup plugin. This plugin is included with all installs of WordPress starting with version 2 I believe. Once enabled, you just go tot he backups section of the manage screen, make a few selections and it’ll backup your blog posts to your desktop or email. I wouldn’t suggest backing up to the server as that won’t do you any good if your web server goes down.

For WordPress.com blogs, click on Manage and then Export.

With TypePad just got to the Import/Export area on the Manage tab of your admin area. Here you’ll be able to export all posts to your desktop. [backup support page]

Lee Odden

MIMA Interactive Marketing Blog

Lee Odden on Oct 6th, 2006     Interactive Marketing, MIMA Summit, Online Marketing

MIMA Blog

The local interactive marketing association I’m involved with here in Minneapolis, MIMA, has launched a new interactive marketing blog that covers some industry news and particularly the good things happening in the midwest interactive marketing space.

Yesterday we had the annual MIMA Summit which went off very well. There were great speakers, a sold out venue, great networking, the best bag of schwag I’ve seen at any conference-anywhere, super food, tons of giveaways from companies like Target and of course some drinking, a bit of electronic-performance art from Popular Front, more networking and libations. A good time was had by all and the feedback has been excellent.

Next year it may need to be a two day event and will certainly need to move to a larger venue. If you’re a marketer working in the midwest, I highly recommend checking out MIMA.

Lee Odden

Post Summaries vs Full Posts on the Homepage

Lee Odden on Aug 22nd, 2006     Blogging

I have just activated the Post Teaser plugin. It cuts off each post around 100 words and ends up shortening up the homepage.

I seem to go back and forth on the idea of post summaries vs full posts on a blog homepage. I’d like to get your input, what do you feel is better.

Putting post summaries shortens up your homepage; without removing any posts. It gives users a certain number of words and then cuts the post off. This leaves the visitor having to click thru the posts individual page to finish reading.

Lee Odden

Online Marketing Blog Re-Design

Lee Odden on Aug 18th, 2006     Blogging

The Online Marketing Blog got a face lift today as the new design was made public. I’ve spent quite a few hours on it the past couple of weeks and I’m very pleased with the outcome.

The new design cleans up the look and feel quite a bit. The header area has been condensed a little and the menu has been re-worked stand out a bit more. The design also removes the left column and gives more room for posts. This is a big feature as it gives the ability to post bigger pictures and long posts don’t look quite so long.

Other features include:

  • More prominent RSS icon with a drop down menu that includes the feed buttons.
  • No tables, all cascading style sheets (CSS).
Lee Odden

7 Usability WordPress Plugins

Lee Odden on Aug 17th, 2006     Blogging

Blogs sure are great, and owners are doing everything they can to optimize them for search engines, but what about people? There are a few usability plugins that make it easier for visitors to interact with your site.

Optimal Title / SEO Title : Good title tags are not just for search engines. They also appear in the users history and possibly bookmarks. Title tags should be specific -> generic. So, don’t start all your tittle tags with your blog name please.

Subscribe to Comments : Getting comments is one trick, keeping the people up to date on the comment discussion is important. I can’t think of how many times I’ve posted and then I couldn’t remember where I made my comments. Email notifications is a great way to get updates on comments and keep your visitors connected.

Lee Odden

Why pay for blog hosting or software?

Lee Odden on Jul 19th, 2006     Blogging

I’m not quite sure why people would opt to pay for blog software like MovableType or TypePad. My guess is that paid blogging companies have a hook into their current user base and people continue to pay each month. But why?

Lets start with TypePad. TypePad starts at $4.95 a month and increases to 14.95 a month. For the basic package, you get one user, one blog, no access to the blog template, no money making ads (for you), no domain name, no real ownership. You’re just renting so you just get the basics. 100Mb of space 2GB of bandwidth is pretty good for a blog but not worth paying for. The Pro account gets more features, transfer and space, but is it worth the price?

TopRank Online Marketing

Keep Your Comment Conversation Alive

TopRank Online Marketing on Mar 23rd, 2006     Blog Marketing, Blogging, Online Marketing

There have been plenty of times I’ve commented on other blogs, only to forget where I was. Days later I think to myself ‘I wonder if anyone commented on my comment’. To bad I don’t remember where I was so I can’t go back and check.

There is also times where someone asks a question in the comments, we answer it and never know if the user actually saw that we answered their question.

Granted, every post has a comment RSS feed but you then end up with a cluttered feed reader. So there has to be an easier way to keep your comment conversation alive by notifying previous comment authors. Well there is.

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