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Andy Thomson

A Writer’s Guide: Calls to Action – Tips Inspired by Tweets from Content Marketing World

Andy Thomson on Sep 15th, 2014     Content Marketing

Writers Guide Calls to Action CTA

Note from Lee: Please welcome Andy Thomson from TopRank in his first post to Online Marketing Blog:

In managing the content marketing for a brand, you have to focus on the bottom line. You have to push sales to help you reach growth goals for the business. But in reality, most people who encounter your brand (especially in B2B) aren’t going to buy right away. The sales funnel has to attract, engage and convert people in a way that makes sense for them.

As content creators and marketers, knowing how and when to use calls to action to move prospective customers from awareness to purchase can be tricky. Luckily, last week’s Content Marketing World offered a flood of great content advice on the interwebs including insights on follow throughs and calls to action (CTA). Here are a few of those nuggets and some perspective:

Jesse Pickrain

Three Stories That Will Help Content Marketers Win With Storytelling

Jesse Pickrain on Sep 11th, 2014     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World

Shane Snow

Back in August of ’13, Contently co-founder Shane Snow wrote the following in a LinkedIn Influencer post:

“Every few minutes, a new buzzword rips through the business world, skids, gets a few books written on it, and ends up in a pile of tired terms next to ‘synergy.’ Today, one of the biggest corporate buzzwords is ‘storytelling.’ Marketers are obsessed with storytelling and conference panels on the subject have fewer empty seats than a Bieber concert.

Funny thing is, storytelling has been the buzzword off and on since advertising became a thing. It’s always coming out of the buzzword pile because, at the end of the day, storytelling is a skill. Stories have been an essential driver of change throughout human history. For good and for ill.”

Jesse Pickrain

TopRank’s Lee Odden Tackles Influencer Marketing in 5 Simple Steps

Jesse Pickrain on Sep 10th, 2014     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World

Lee Odden

At the largest content marketing conference in the world, over 2,500 attendees from 50+ countries converged on Cleveland, Ohio this week to learn about all things content marketing. Our agency, TopRank Online Marketing, has been involved with CMWorld since day one: presenting every year for the past 4 years as well as helping to market the conference through influencer eBooks. Saying we’re big fans of the event is an understatement.

As it happens, my first session at Content Marketing World was presented by our CEO, Lee Odden on the topic of influencers and content marketing.

What is an influencer? In a recent interview featured in Ann Handley’s Entrepreneur Magazine column, Lee described influencers as having “subject matter authority, credibility amongst a network and most importantly, the ability to affect actions amongst a network.”

Lee Odden

5 Ways to Optimize Your Content Marketing World Experience

Lee Odden on Sep 8th, 2014     Content Marketing World

Joe Pulizzi

Content Marketing World is here! Over 2,500 attendees from over 50 countries have invaded Cleveland for the biggest, baddest and best content marketing conference on the planet. With nearly 200 speakers, including a keynote from famed actor, director and producer Kevin Spacey, there’s a lot to look forward to. Multiple tracks of sessions to attend, networking events and the exhibit hall can all seem a bit overwhelming.

But here’s the thing about events: If you think you’re getting your money’s worth just by sitting in on a few sessions and mingling on the tradeshow floor, you’ve just touched the tip of the iceberg. We’ve been mastering the art of optimizing event attendance for maximum return for many years. Here are 5 ways you can use those insights to optimize your experience at Content Marketing World:

Lee Odden

Content and Influencer Marketing is A Powerful Way to Grow Your Business

Lee Odden on Sep 3rd, 2014     Content Marketing, Influencer Marketing

influencer content marketing

A never ending stream of high quality content simply isn’t sustainable for most organizations. But what if Marketers could tap into a rich source of content optimized for engagement, sharing and action?

This is the promise of co-created content and participation marketing. Not limited to influencers, participation marketing is to partner with others to create content that the community they are a part of would find useful. These co-creation partners might be existing customers, industry influentials, other connected businesses and individuals or even prospective customers.

A brandividual is popular. An influencer is effective at creating popularity.

While many see influencer marketing as a way to simply gain entry to an influencer’s network, there are many more dimensions to it than that. We’ve been experimenting with numerous influencer content projects over the past 3 years and have developed some exciting strategies and processes around influencer engagement and content co-creation.

Lee Odden

Interview with Content Curation and Marketing Software Guru Pawan Deshpande of Curata

Lee Odden on Aug 28th, 2014     Content Marketing, Interviews

pawan deshpande interview

In the world of content marketing, curation plays an instrumental role for companies that want to become a single source destination for industry news and information related to their area of expertise. Interest in curation has grown significantly and to meet demand, a number of software companies have emerged.

Curata is one of the leaders in the content curation and content marketing software space, lead by Pawan Deshpande.

As the founder and CEO of Curata, Pawan is responsible for the company’s vision, management and advanced development initiatives. His work at Curata has been recognized through the 2010 Boston Business Journal’s 40 under 40 Award, and through the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council’s 2012 Sales & Marketing Technology of the Year Award. Before founding Curata, he held software engineering positions at Microsoft, Google.

Lee Odden

Infographic: Achieve Real Content Marketing ROI – 10 Tips from CMI, Dell, Kraft Foods, Curata, NewsCred

Lee Odden on Aug 27th, 2014     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World

Content Marketing ROI

Understand Why Before ROI with Content Marketing

The rush towards the content marketing bandwagon can seem as chaotic and nonsensical as most of the adventures of Alice in Wonderland. There are Cheshire Cats offering ambiguous advice and Red Queen business managers demanding results now or, “off with their heads!”

There is no satisfaction from investing in creating more content if the purpose (or porpoise) is not clear. This is why “the why” of content marketing is so important.  Joe Pulizzi makes this quite clear with his recommendations in the Content Marketing ROI eBook:

To see if you’re on the right path, use the Why? Exercise:

Lee Odden

How to Show Real ROI for Your Content Marketing eBook

Lee Odden on Aug 25th, 2014     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World

Content Marketing ROI

We must hold ourselves accountable to higher level KPIs so we can stop fighting for our discipline and start fighting for more budget. Julie Fleischer @jfly

The most elusive of white rabbits in the content marketing world seems to be the question of how to best measure ROI. According to a study by CMI and MarketingProfs, over 50% of marketers are investing more budget in content marketing and the most effective marketers spend more than double than the least effective marketers. While budgets are moving in the right direction, measuring ROI still has some progress to make. According to HubSpot’s State of Inbound Marketing study, less than 50% of marketers can confirm content marketing’s positive ROI.

Lee Odden

Lessons on Marketing Strategy and Content Marketing ROI – Michael Brenner Interview

Lee Odden on Aug 21st, 2014     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World, Interviews

Michael Brenner interview

One of the key players and innovators in the world of content marketing is Michael Brenner. During his time at SAP as Vice President of Marketing & Content Strategy and the Managing Editor for the SAP Business Innovation site, Michael also co-created one of the most popular B2B marketing websites, Business to Community.

Today, you’ll find him working as Head of Strategy at NewsCred as well as writing for his B2B Marketing Insider blog. We’ve covered Michael’s B2B marketing presentations in the past and it was great to catch up with him for this interview.

In the lead up to Content Marketing World, our discussion with Michael touches on some of the key questions marketers are trying to tackle, from developing a strategy to growing an audience to the importance of measuring content marketing performance. Michael also shares a business lesson from one of his favorite childhood stories.

Lee Odden

Infographic: Create Better Visual Content – 10 Tips from EMC, Cisco, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Tumblr

Lee Odden on Aug 20th, 2014     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World

Visual Content Marketing Infographic

“And what is the use of a book,” thought Alice, “without pictures or conversation?”  Alice in Wonderland

Tell me something. When you look at your email inbox, feed reader or favorite social network, are you underwhelmed with information?

I didn’t think so.

It’s funny to think that way back when, you could get up and grab a cup of coffee while your email downloaded though a dial up connection. Today, it’s all information overload wherever you go: laptop, tablet or smartphone. The Cheshire Cat would probably like being able to blend in with all that information noise but we have businesses to run and customers to attract!

That’s why visual content is so important. Content with images gets noticed, is more interesting and people engage with visual content more. But how?

Lee Odden

Visual Content Marketing Strategy eBook

Lee Odden on Aug 18th, 2014     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World

Visual Content Marketing eBook

If a picture is worth a thousand words, visual content marketing must be worth millions.

As companies mature in their use of content marketing from simply creating “more” content for SEO purposes to creating really useful content designed to reach specific customer segments to influence business outcomes, the importance of content differentiation becomes paramount.

According to the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs’ annual studies, over 90% of B2B and B2C marketers are using content marketing. That’s a tremendous amount of competition and to stand out, successful marketers are elevating their content quality and use of visual elements.

In my opinion, it’s not enough to inform. Content needs to make us feel. Providing buyers with useful and entertaining content that leverages enaging images, video and interactive features creates an infotaining experience that stands head and shoulders above other marketers.

Lee Odden

A Practical Approach to Content Marketing Success – Interview with Mark Schaefer

Lee Odden on Aug 14th, 2014     Content Marketing, Content Marketing World, Interviews

Mark Schaefer interview

Today’s interview is with a guy that I’ve known for several years that brings a practical perspective to the often distracting world of digital marketing. He’s written the world’s #1 best selling book on Twitter, The Tao of Twitter, as well as several other books including Return on Influence. He publishes one of the most popular marketing blogs online, runs a successful consulting business and speaks all over the world on social media and content marketing.

On top of all that he has received seven patents for new product innovations. Who is this marvel of modern marketing?  He’s Mark Schaefer  of course.

In this interview with Mark as part of our series for Content Marketing World, we’ll find out his take on the importance of strategy with content marketing, the role of audience development, visual content and measuring ROI. We’ll also get a lesson in business from one of his favorite childhood stories.

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