5 Tips for Better B2B Branding

Think branding only falls in the B2C court? Think again.

In fact, three of the top 10 brands in 2009, as ranked by Interbrand, generate a sizable amount of revenue from their B2B customers: IBM, Microsoft and GE.

As a B2B marketer your brand is your most valuable asset.

B2B branding is less about cool, hip monikers (the Apples and Starbucks of the world) – and more about thought leadership.

Particularly in down economies, B2B prospects and customers conduct significant research leading up to purchases. That means you as a marketer have to educate them early on, and establish your brand as a trusted resource that gets their problems and has the solution.

To help your organization be seen as the thought leader it is, we’ve identified five B2B branding tips:

Learning to blog is like learning to drive; just take it slow and steady.

TrafficGetting started with a blog can be exciting and nerve racking for some; just like learning to drive. You really want to get started, you really want to do it, but once you are behind the wheel, you start worry about everything. You want to do everything right, but there are so many unknowns. What if… How do I… Umm…

Like driving, you need to start somewhere and take it slow. Sure, you want to take on the world and just go, but there is no way to know everything right away; even if you did read all the books and how-to’s. Instead, take it one step at a time and focus on the basics first. Then, as you get those down, learn new things.

Ten Must Read Tips to Start a Small Business Blog

A friend of mine who is an experienced corporate marketer started a new business. The store just opened and being the good pal that I am, I was able to provide some advice regarding marketing on the web – specifically regarding blog marketing.

This is a new small business, so considerations for what to do about a web site included: cost, functionality, flexibility, ease of maintenance and marketability. The web site needed to serve as both an online representation of the business, but without transactional functionality, as well as a host for landing pages used with email and PPC campaigns.

My recommendation for a low cost, easy to use and search engine friendly content mangagement system? Blog software.

5 B2B Social Media Winners

B2B Social MediaTake a moment to think about, and count, the number of B2C social media success stories that pop into your head.

I’ll venture to guess that you could immediately name five to 10, if not many more. From Ford to Dell to Zappos to Best Buy, B2C social media winners – those organizations that caught on early and created a cult following of brand cheerleaders via the social web – are hard to miss.

But how about the B2B social media winners? I’m guessing these weren’t as easy to name.

And yet, there are just as many B2B organizations successfully conquering social media. While their stories might not be as well-known, we think these 5 B2B social media winners are doing a pretty doggone good job. Tell us if you agree.

10 Tips For Content Marketing Success

As more companies, marketers and industry professionals flood the web with content, the value of those with a true understanding of content marketing keeps going up. More noise increases the value of signal. If your content marketing defines you as that source of signal, you’ll consistently be found, referenced and chosen ahead of competitors. With 6 in 10 marketers spending more on content marketing in 2010, now, more than ever, is the time to find where content fits within your marketing strategy.

Some statistics from Technorati’s 2009 state of the blogosphere back up the efficacy of content marketing:

  • 15% of bloggers say they are paid to give speeches on the topics they blog about

Survey Results: Impact of Blogging on Search Engine Optimization

Recently I posted a series of informal poll questions about blog SEO on Twitter to gain insights and feedback which were leveraged to construct a more in-depth survey.  I used the longer survey to collect information on how companies are using blogs for search engine optimization purposes and what kind of impact those efforts have. Essentially, I wanted to get opinions on and answers to: “Are blogs still important for SEO and why?”.

The topic of business blogging and search engine optimization as distinct and synergistic tactics have been explored here many times. A large number of companies are familiar with the process of starting a blog, but few have experienced the challenges of maintaining and growing a blog for more than a year.

Understanding long term benefits is key to sustainable business blogging.

MacGyver Guide To Blogging – 13 Free Tools


If MacGyver has taught us anything, it’s that you don’t need big expensive tools to get the job done. The same goes for blogging.

There are plenty of free blogging tools and resources to do everything from creating SEO friendly sites to keyword research and analytics. Why spend the money on a tool when you could use that money on internet marketing services or to grow your company?

Here are 13 free blogging tools and resources that MacGyver would be proud of.

WordPress Logo


MacGyver would surly use the most popular, customizable, powerful, and completely free, blogging software on the internet. WordPress offers a large number of feature and hundreds of plugins that will make any blog successful. From newbies to web design professionals, WordPress is a great choice for ease of use, search engine optimization and price.

7 Ways To Develop A Unique Brand For Your Blog

different-fishWith the blogosphere churning out nearly 1 million posts every 24 hours, an unstoppable river of content flows over the web daily. It’s daunting, especially if you’re new to online publishing.  The good news is it’s still very possible to succeed, even if you’re just starting out today.

Developing affinity with a group of readers who will actually take the time to link, comment and share your material requires a commitment of both resources and creativity – this is common knowledge.

But all other things being equal, you can and should give yourself an extra advantage by developing a unique brand for your blog. This is beyond being organized and having a plan, this is about standing out in a world of infinite choice.

5 Internet Marketing Haikus from TopRank

In an online world that increasingly values the 140 character message, keeping campaigns, strategies and tactics short and sweet is the best approach for engaging audiences. To celebrate the succinct, we’ve created the following search marketing Haikus for your weekend reading pleasure. Enjoy!

[Note from Lee: I edited some of these so any of these that are bad would be my fault. The good Haikus are all Dana and Ashley.]

Search Engine Optimization
sem haiku

Social Media

Blog Marketing
Post great ideas - Join and share conversations - Be useful get links

Online PR

Email Marketing
Put trust in email - Spam in can, not in inbox - Clean lists convert best

Feel free to share your own Haiku or any other search-inspired poetry, and keep the creative juices flowing!

[Photo credits go to: shapeshift, TahoeSunsets, Juliana S. ]

The Copyblogger Files – Interview with Brian Clark

brian clark
 After being a fan of Copyblogger and other projects, Brian Clark was kind enough to do a panel on SEO I was moderating at BlogWorld. Then I ran into him again recently at Affiliate Summit thinking each time what a great thing it would be for our readers to do an interview with him for Online Marketing Blog

Brian is a fantastic writer and marketer, recovering attorney and someone that over 50,000 people have decided to subscribe to at – one of the most popular blogs on the internet.  Brian has a lot of what people want: knowledge, talent and success.  Read on to tap into some of that Copyblogger goodness.

How did you go from being a lawyer to an internet entrepreneur?

6 Types of Bloggers as Evangelists

Build a strong following and community and you have an army of brand advocates, especially when those advocates have a voice and a following of their own. As companies and agencies become more savvy about monitoring the social web, it’s important to understand what stage each voice is coming from and where they might go.

Here are my suggestions for 6 stages or types of blogger brand involvement:

1. Blogger mentions a brand – Sentiment could be anything: agnostic, positive, critical feedback, negative/dissenter. But it is hopeful and not cynical.  Of course this is not an evangelistic activity, but it is often the starting point.

2. Blogger reviews product/service associated with topic, interviews topic author, reaches out and create dialogue.

3 Reasons Why Blogs for SEO Fail

There are many benefits to publishing a business blog and improved search engine visibility is one of the most popular.  It’s pretty common advice to hear: start a blog and the fresh content will attract links, improving your search results.  Such tactical advice can be very effective.

Unfortunately, the advice gets filtered and distorted, not unlike what happens in the game “telephone” kids play. Pretty soon one or more blogs are implemented for the sole purpose and expectation of improving search engine visibility and nothing else. At least nothing else that’s accountable.

What’s wrong with this picture?   Blogs started solely for SEO objectives will inevitably fail.

Here are a few reasons why: