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Lee Odden

What Content Marketers Really Need to Know About SEO – A Twitter Chat With @JoePulizzi #CMWorld

Lee Odden on Jul 15th, 2013     Content Marketing, Online Marketing, SEO, Social Media

Content SEOCompanies large and small are investing in content creation now, more than ever. Whether the investment in content marketing supports branding, sales, customer service, PR or recruiting, there are specific audiences and brand messages involved.

Kudos to companies making the effort to create more useful content to help answer customer questions. But what good is investing in all that content if it’s not easy to find and share?

Search is a direct expression of intent and what better time for your useful content to be available than at your customers’ moment of need? It’s the perfect time of course, so companies pumping out content without amplification are literally throwing money away.

Lee Odden

5 Ways to Optimize Lists for Content Marketing

Lee Odden on Jul 8th, 2013     Content Marketing

List Optimization Content MarketingWhen you spend time creating great content and being useful on the social web (as well as in the real world) it’s inevitable that you’ll be included on a list.  Recognition is a powerful thing and when it comes to lists, the value of inclusion is in direct proportion to how objective and well curated the list is.

A credible list of people, brands or resources will not only attract visitors and shares from the community of the site that published it, but more importantly, inspired sharing by those included in the list itself.

As a public person that creates a lot of content and tries to be useful on the social web, I get included on a good number of lists. On this blog we create quite a few of them too. The fundamental rules for list creation and repurposing with content marketing is to:

Lee Odden

The Power of Influence in Content Marketing

Lee Odden on Jun 27th, 2013     Content Marketing, Online Marketing

influencers content marketingWith 2.5 quintillion bytes of data created every day, marketers are challenged to stand out amongst the sheer volume of information confronting their target audience.

At the same time, information overload drives consumers to filter their choices to those few who are most trusted, credible and meaningful. Becoming known as “the best answer” for your domain of expertise wields incredible influence on the search and social web.

When consumers are empowered to create, consume, publish, interact and transact anytime, anywhere, how do brands break through to create meaningful connections and engagement? How does the dynamic of content and influence help fulfill consumer information discovery, consumption and engagement expectations while delivering on business outcomes for the brand?

Lee Odden

Build Credibility and Trust For Your Business With This Blogging Template

Lee Odden on Jun 25th, 2013     Blogging, Online Marketing

Blog Post Template

Have you planned to start a company blog and aren’t sure where to begin? Maybe you’ve created a business blog and haven’t been able to attract the audience and exposure that you intended?

Companies start blogging for a variety of reasons and things don’t always turn out as hoped. The good news is that when it comes to creating content that builds credibility and confidence, there’s a fundamental format that I’ve used over the years with great results: new business, inbound recruiting, speaking gigs all over the world, a book and credibility across multiple industries.

However, this kind of content template depends on planning, sequence variety. In other words, it’s not a “one off” tactic and not the only format you should use. It’s also not a silver bullet.

Lee Odden

7 Ways Small Businesses Can Integrate SEO, Social Media & Content Marketing

Lee Odden on Jun 24th, 2013     Content Marketing, Online Marketing, Small Business, Social Media

small business online marketingIn today’s age of ubiquitous connectivity, many small businesses have implemented a variety of online marketing efforts to attract new customers and increase overall sales. Unfortunately, results can vary significantly because tools are only as good as the expertise of the person using them.

The lure of the “next big thing” can create online marketing inefficiencies when small business owners try to be a marketing “jack of all trades and master to none”.

For example, the rapid growth and adoption of the social web can be overwhelming for small business marketers. Consider these social network growth statistics:

  • Google sites handle about 100 billion searches each month (SEL)
  • YouTube hosts nearly 14 billion videos (comScore)
  • Facebook is now over 1 billion users (Mark Zuckerberg)
Lee Odden

How Public Relations & Communications Can Win the Content Marketing Race

Lee Odden on Jun 19th, 2013     Content Marketing, Online Marketing, Online PR, PR Conferences, Public Relations

Public Relations Content MarketingIn today’s fast moving search and social web, content flows in every direction throughout a variety of platforms, formats and devices.

With a global population of over 7 billion, there are over 2.3 billion internet users. More importantly, there are 6.7 billion mobile subscribers – 91% market penetration (source). Ubiquitous internet access is enabling consumers and brands alike to create, consume, publish, interact and transact – anytime, anywhere.

At the same time, “newsrooms have 30% fewer reporters than in 2000, which corresponds with 31% of US adults that have stopped turning to a news outlet because it no longer provided them with the news they were accustomed to getting.” (Contently)

Brands are answering the call to create more value for customers by publishing news and content marketing. In fact, 86% of BtoC and 91% of BtoB organizations are now using content marketing tactics.

Lee Odden

Top Content Marketing Posts of 2013

Lee Odden on Jun 18th, 2013     Content Marketing

content marketing 2013I think our team has done a pretty good job on this blog of advocating internet marketing tactics according to their practical use over the years. Our goal: To help marketers put things in perspective and make informed choices. One particular area of focus has been on content marketing.

Rather than just pontificate about the latest trend, our approach is to experiment, optimize and share what we learn. For example, we’ve implemented content marketing projects for organizations that range from several Fortune 50 companies to Content Marketing World, the Mac Daddy of content marketing events. That experience has inspired many popular and useful posts during the first half of 2013.

TopRank Online Marketing

Online Marketing News: Digital Agency of the Future, Facebook Hashtags, Google Gets Waze, Apple Money, Amazon Grocery

TopRank Online Marketing on Jun 14th, 2013     Online Marketing, Online Marketing News
search social media savvy consumer

Image: Detail of Skyword Infographic

The acceleration of social technologies along with continuously evolving consumer behaviors has many agencies in a state of flux and asking: Where to invest resources? Which positions to staff and how to structure the agency to be adaptable and to grow?

For the past few years we’ve been modeling our agency at TopRank Marketing to better adapt and integrate. The holistic approach I talk about here and in Optimize are a reflection of the changes we’ve made to better integrate content, social media and search optimization. With this context, I was happe to see this week Skyword released their Digital Agency of the Future Report. When I shared the accompanying infographic with my business partner, Susan Misukanis, her reply was, “That looks like us!”. Exactly.  

Lee Odden

How Personas Guide Meaningful Content Creation & Optimization

Lee Odden on Jun 6th, 2013     Content Marketing, Online Marketing, SEO

Optimize Content with PersonasAs marketers accumulate information about customers, it is also important to identify common characteristics and patterns to help guide messaging, engagement and offers.

Behaviors that contribute to your business objectives like, sales, advocacy, sharing, referrals and repeat business might contribute to your understanding of an “ideal” customer that can be characterized as a persona:

Admin Bob – Influences the CEO on software purchases and cares about price, service and speed.

Being able to identify your “best” customers also means there’s another end to the spectrum:  patterns that reflect undesirable customer behaviors and an “avoid” persona:

Gatekeeper Jane – Maintains power by filtering information to the CEO about software purchases. Cares about control, recognition and status quo.

Companies that solve different problems in different markets may determine that multiple personas best represent their target audience.

Lee Odden

Content Promotion Tips for Online Community Managers

Lee Odden on Jun 5th, 2013     Content Marketing, Online Marketing

Content Promotion Community ManagersIn a few weeks I’ll be giving a talk at the University of St Thomas in Minneapolis to a class on community management on a topic that I think will interest many of our readers.

Online Community Management is a function that has existed in the digital world for a while now, stretching back to the days of bulletin boards and online forums. Today that role looks a bit different.

Not be confused with a Social Media Manager, a Community Manager is typically the “voice of the brand” on the social web as well as the voice of the community back to the brand. Functionally, this translates to social media listening and engagement but also includes some promotion of brand messaging.

Lee Odden

B2B Content Marketing Tactics: Pros, Cons & Best Practices of Case Studies

Lee Odden on May 29th, 2013     Content Marketing, Online Marketing

Case StudyWithin the realm of B2B marketing, it’s stories, not “features and benefits” that allow brands to create relevant and engaging connections with prospective customers. Successful digital marketers use a variety of content marketing tactics to tell stories according to the goals of both brand and customer.

Even though 71% of B2B content marketers use case studies, they are often an under optimized form of brand storytelling. Case studies provide a structured problem and solution format that provide context, situation and challenges that the reader can empathize with. Case studies also supply insight into how a problem was solved, paving the way for the solution and measures of success.

As part of our ongoing series on content marketing tactics, this post will share some examples and best practices of organizations leveraging case studies as part of their content marketing mix.

Lee Odden

11 Examples of Killer B2B Content Marketing Campaigns Including ROI

Lee Odden on May 16th, 2013     B2B, Content Marketing, Marketing PR Conferences

b2b content marketingAccording to a CMI and MarketingProfs study, 91% of B2B Marketers are using content marketing and that means a few things:

First, it means content marketing has gained critical mass within the popular marketing mix and any company in a competitive industry would be hard pressed to attract business without it.

Second, it means competition to stand out with your brand’s content is only going to get harder as more companies adopt content marketing best practices and mature in their skills.

As companies evolve from simply recognizing the important role of content and experimenting with it, to achieving content creation competency and quality, the need to optimize content marketing skills becomes increasingly important. But where can B2B marketers find new ideas and expand their opportunities to grow content marketing capabilities?

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