TopRank Online Marketing

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:

Eliza Steely

TopRank Liveblogging Schedule for NMX BlogWorld 2014

Eliza Steely on Dec 17th, 2013     BlogWorld NMX, Marketing PR Conferences, Online Marketing

Conference AudienceIt’s official—we’re breaking one of the cardinal rules of Las Vegas. You know the one, “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”. But at TopRank Online Marketing,  just can’t bring ourselves to do that.

This year’s NMX conference is taking the city (and the New Year) by storm. Full of bloggers, digital marketers, and industry experts this new media conference promises to deliver so much information we just won’t be able to keep it to ourselves! Which is why I’m joining Nick Ehrenberg and Ben Brausen to jet off to soak up as much as we can, and share it with our readers (even if it means breaking the rules).

Along with liveblogging, our own Lee Odden will also be at NMX giving one of the keynote presentations along with Scott Stratten, Amy Porterfield and several other top blogging pros.

Lee Odden

Business Blogging in a Content Marketing World – 5 Steps to Success

Lee Odden on Aug 26th, 2013     Blogging, Online Marketing

Business Blogging SuccessAre Business Blogs Dead?

I know it’s a tired, over used concept, but that’s the question I was asked recently for an interview. It’s been asked on and off over the past 10 years or so.

Ironically, we’ll be celebrating 10 years of blogging for our business in just a few months and we continue to add new blogs for clients on a regular basis.

With the combined challenge of creating high quality content over a long period of time with increased competition from overall content marketing efforts, it’s no wonder the question of whether business blogging is sustainable keeps coming up.

Lee Odden

Business Blogging Ideas – What to Blog About When You Don’t Know What to Blog About

Lee Odden on Aug 5th, 2013     Blogging, Online Marketing

Ideas for BloggingBusiness blogging with minimal resources over a long period of time can be a challenge. Heck, for SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) blogging without the experience of writing on a regular basis can be a barrier to even start.

No matter how talented a writer your business blogger or contributors might be, it is inevitable that situations will occur where there is either uncertainty or a gap in what to write about.

To avoid those gaps, the most important thing to do is follow an editorial plan where topics are researched and planned out in accordance to marketing objectives  AND that serve the information needs of your target audience. That’s just good content marketing.

Miranda Miller

Content Marketing Tactics: Business Blogging Pros, Cons, Best Practices & Brands Doing It Right

Miranda Miller on May 14th, 2013     Blogging, Content Marketing, Online Marketing

Blogging for content marketersAs part of our continuing series on content marketing tactics, I’ll be covering a topic that is absolutely near and dear to every content marketer’s heart: business blogging.

According to a recent NM Incite report, there are over 181 million blogs around the world. The way many companies treat blogs in their content marketing mix is to incorporate blogs into their website as a section or subdomain, or host them on their own domain name as we do.

With that kind of popularity, you would think everyone in business would know what a blog is and would be using them to their maximum advantage. Trust me, I’m in the content business and they don’t.  In fact, brands split just 11% of their total social media budget between blogging and influencer outreach. So just to clear up any ambiguity and to follow the format for this series, here goes:

Miranda Miller

11 Blog & Social Content Marketing Tools I Use (Almost) Every Day

Miranda Miller on Apr 4th, 2013     Blogging, Content Marketing

Tools for social and blog content creationContent creation isn’t easy and I, for one, am very glad. I’ve been writing online content for almost a decade now and have truly enjoyed the increased emphasis on quality over quantity and targeted messaging we’ve seen over the past few years.

Companies are now fully aware that simply distributing information on a regular basis is not enough. As Lee pointed out in a recent article on the reasons companies are challenged by content creation, “Anyone with half a brain can create information, but ‘content’ implies usefulness or utility.”

At TopRank, part of my job is the creation of content for our own channels – this blog, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. I also assist clients in planning and developing engaging, interesting content for their unique audiences and business needs. As a result, my day typically goes something like this:

Lee Odden

Is Finding Your Business Blog a Mystery? 3 Tips for Blog Promotion & Findability

Lee Odden on Feb 18th, 2013     Blogging, Online Marketing

Sherlock Holmes LondonWith millions of blogs and other social content to compete against, the challenge of standing out can seem overwhelming for business and personal bloggers alike.

But it doesn’t have to be a mystery for customers to find your corporate blog. If you have interesting and useful things to say, there is an audience seeking that very information.

The connection between social media and blog promotion for companies is logical: Publish a blog post and then tweet it out or post a link to Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+.

But there’s more to making your business blog findable than just sharing links through social channels. That’s why focusing solely on the promotion of blog content after it’s published is like a hamster running on an exercise wheel. The ideal is to be intentional and planned yet also opportunistic. And to scale those promotion efforts, it’s essential that two or three times as much time is spent growing social networks than actually promoting content to them.

Miranda Miller

Where Does Evergreen Content Fit in Your Company Blog Content Plan?

Miranda Miller on Feb 13th, 2013     Blog Optimization, Content Marketing

How to create evergreen content for your business blogB2B and B2C blogging have their individual intricacies, but a mix of content that addresses the needs of your audience is the core of a great blog plan for both types of businesses. Timely content that capitalizes on search and social trends is certainly helpful for attracting new eyes and expanding your reach. Evergreen content has its place too, and an important one at that.

Both Lee Odden and Mike Yanke have touted the benefits of evergreen content here at Online Marketing Blog. Mike cites the SEO benefits of content that builds links and engages readers over a lengthy period of time. Compelling, engaging, original content satisfies visitors and search engines alike.

Lee Odden

What’s the ROI of Corporate Blogging?

Lee Odden on Dec 3rd, 2012     Blogging, Content Marketing, Online Marketing

business blogging ROIIn a few weeks this business blog will be 9 years old.  That’s 3,145 posts overall, of which I have written 2,537 myself.

If someone would have suggested to me 9 years ago that I should write 1.2 million words as a key component of my agency’s online marketing strategy, I would have dismissed them as crazy. And yet here we are.

I know a lot of companies have dabbled in blogging with mixed results and many are considering either starting a blog or scaling their blogging efforts. There are reasonable questions about how a business blog will add value to the bottom line. How will a corporate blog contribute to leads and sales? What is the ROI of blogging for each quater, month, week, day, hour and dollar invested? Those are great questions.

Lee Odden

5 of the Most Important Content & Social Media Tips For A Successful Business Blog

Lee Odden on May 28th, 2012     Blogging, Online Marketing

business bloggingThe tendency for corporate marketers and their agencies to chase shiny social objects seems to be manifesting as conflicting trends in the usefulness of social media for business. Companies that execute their social media marketing tactics poorly often conclude the channel doesn’t work. A good example is the “corporate blogging is dying” story which contrasts with a study that shows blogging is the second most effective B2B lead generation tactic.

I’ve always said that tools are only as good as the skills of the people using them and the moving target of social savvy customers along with a rapidly evolving social web make social media marketing skills acquisition a bit tricky. I think part of the answer to the distracted approach to social media marketing efforts like corporate blogging could be arrested by mastering these basics.

Lee Odden

The Value of Small Business Blogging: 3 Key Questions & Answers

Lee Odden on Mar 15th, 2012     Blogging, Online Marketing

small business bloggingEarlier this week Frank J. Kenny did a Skype interview with me about small business blogging and why or why not it makes sense. Frank’s audience is the network of Chambers of Commerce across the U.S..  I think it’s a timely question considering the ongoing “blogging is dead“, “no it’s not” debate that’s been going on for the past 5 years or so.

As a small business owner myself, I’ve been blogging here at Online Marketing Blog for over 8 years and can testify as to the pros and cons like few others can. In our case, we’ve had great success with our blog as a way to achieve industry awareness and credibility, attract new business, employees, media coverage, speaking opportunities and many other benefits.

Lee Odden

How to Increase Business Blog Traffic, Readership, & Community

Lee Odden on Mar 7th, 2012     Blogging, Online Marketing

grow blog readershipOne of the key objectives and performance metrics for business blogging is to grow the network of people that find, interact with and share blog content.  An optimized approach to growing a blog community relies on an understanding of who the audience is and what their information goals are, not just what the brand wants to achieve. Many companies start out blogging about their own products and services, company news and essentially the kinds of things that belong in a corporate newsroom.

An ego-centric approach to business blogging misses the opportunity to create meaningful connections with people empowered to publish, share, refer and buy. Blogging is a publishing platform that allows both one to one and one to many communications so content should take advantage of those engagement opportunities by thinking about content that’s interesting from the reader’s perspective.

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