digital marketing

Rejoining TopRank Marketing: 5 Career Lessons That Brought Me Back

Team TopRank Marketing

One of the most exciting parts of life is uncertainty. You never really know where the decisions that you make will lead you. Sure, you have a rough idea of where you may end up but there are always unforeseen factors outside your control.

In my first stint at TopRank Marketing, I was the agency Marketing Manager. This was a unique and very creative position that allowed me to work closely with our CEO Lee Odden. In that time, In that time I focused on being a sponge and soaking up as much as I could from the years of digital marketing knowledge contained within the walls of the TopRank office.

5 Tips for Digital Marketing Newbies to Survive and Thrive

Digital_Marketing_Newbie_Tips

Nearly 5 years ago, I walked into the TopRank Online Marketing offices eager to start my first day. To say I was nervous would be an understatement. I was sure that the team could all tell that I was a total digital marketing newbie.

Those first 8 hours were both exhilarating and overwhelming. Lingo that I had never heard of was flying fast around me (what did a Panda have to do with marketing and what was a MQL?). I felt both intimidated and impressed by the smarts, expertise and experience of those around me. And I remember thinking, would this ever be me?

Since then, TopRank Marketing has changed and grown in many ways, just like I have. In fact, TopRank has doubled in size in the past year and will soon be moving to a larger office space.

5 Ways to Build Digital Marketing Expertise

Build-Marketing-Expertise

You know all those articles about secrets of successful people? About how entrepreneurs sleep 4 hours a night and don’t eat solid food? They feed into all of our desires to be successful overnight. But success in life or your career is less dependent on luck or tricks as it is a product of practice and hard work.

Whether you’re a client-side marketing coordinator, an advertising agency VP, or a freelance SEO contractor, you need to constantly work on your skills to maintain value as an employee. In marketing especially, there are new technologies, tools, and industries popping up each year, so it’s extra important to be vigilant about your abilities.

5 Essential Skills for Digital Marketing Consultants

digital marketing skills

Much of today’s digital marketing consulting is about data: goals, KPIs and performance metrics. Processes and technology also play a big part, serving as a point of differentiation for many digital marketing agencies and consultants.

The consulting business can be a tricky one because not all business marketing problems are clearly defined and even fewer require simple cause and effect or linear solutions. There are almost always contextual differences between various stakeholders and multiple dependencies, outside forces and differing agendas to deal with as well. Sounds like a fun career, doesn’t it?

The fast pace and increasing complexity of the digital marketing consulting world requires more than functional expertise, best practices and the ability to analyze and optimize data. All too often, the soft skills of consulting are omitted or inconsistent causing misinterpretation, ineffective insight and unmet expectations.

Burn Out or Burn Bright? 3 Essential Tips for Digital Marketers

Digital Marketing Burnout

Come Autumn, there’s nothing better than a good ‘ol campfire. It’s the season for crackly leaves, chilly Fall air, and marshmallows on a stick.

A hot, well-tended fire during the chill is a joy indeed – and if you’ve ever sat around a bonfire, you probably know that it takes some skill to keep a good fire going. Fires don’t tend themselves. They need oxygen and fuel to survive. Someone has to actively feed the flames with new wood and stoke the embers when the flames start to die out.

In other words, fire isn’t self-sustaining.

As digital marketers, our “fire” is the passion and energy that keeps us going. Just like physical fires, our inner flame takes some tending to keep it bright and strong.

Digital Marketing – What Does It Really Mean? Insights from 9 Brand Digital Marketers

Digital Marketing

Need help with Digital Marketing? Check out the services at TopRank Online Marketing

Have you noticed the phrase “digital marketing” being bounced around a lot more lately? Me too.

I admit that I’m one of the sources of that bouncing. With the rate of change occurring in the marketing world, I think describing what we do is something that isn’t really satisfied by just one phrase.  Content, Search, Inbound, Multi-Channel, Integrated, all seem to have their place, but “Digital” seems to express what most companies are creating in their marketing right now.

As much as people toss around “digital marketing”, I get the impression that we’re not all on the same page in terms of what it actually means. Just a few weeks ago, we posted a digital marketing predictions post that now has nearly 8,000 social shares. Both the answers and the feedback were quite varied.

Where Search Fits in the Digital Marketing Mix – 12 Lessons from Lee Odden Keynote at MnSummit

Be the Best Answer - Lee Odden Keynote

I am one of the last generations that will be able to remember what it’s like to not have technology in school.

We didn’t text. We passed notes. Our really crappy handwriting scrawled across lined paper that was folded so small we were convinced the teacher couldn’t see it as we threw or passed it back and forth. Rumors, quizzes, and small talk would whiz around the room until class was done. Then, the written conversation was over until tomorrow.

If we wanted to research something we did one of three things: asked someone else or begged our parents to tell us so we wouldn’t have to do option number three—look it up in the dictionary or the library.

Disruption in Digital Marketing and Communications – Insights from 19 Major B2C and B2B Brands

Digital Convergence Marketing PR

I recently had the pleasure of presenting at an Integrated Marketing Communications conference called INTEGRATE with an audience of Master’s Degree students and faculty at West Virginia University.

It was an impressive conference because of the passionate and talented faculty presenting but especially the students – most of whom work full time jobs as they earn their Master’s Degree in IMC.

Here is the presentation I gave: Digital Convergence: The Integrated Marketing and Public Relations Imperative – Disruption in the digital media world has reached every aspect of marketing and communications. Brands compete with publishers and consumers are empowered to publish and influence like never before. The convergence of marketing and PR creates all new opportunities for brands to build authority and grow business while competitors continue to work in silos.

Top 50 People Most ReTweeted by Digital Marketers – What Does It Mean?

digital marketer topics

When identifying influencers as part of your social media and content marketing program, topic match and popularity are not enough to qualify an influencer as “effective”.

By effective, I mean the ability and likelihood that a person can actually inspire action amongst a community.

To determine the effectiveness dimension, it’s important to use tools that look at other criteria such as the extent to which people respond and take action in response to a person. When it comes to Twitter, things like ReTweets and sharing of links are signals worth looking at.

To shine a light on the digital marketing category, Leadtail and Punchtab have published a new report (h/t SocialFresh) “How Digital Marketers Engage on Twitter” that includes a list of publishers and people that are the most often mentioned and ReTweeted by digital marketers.

Overview of Today’s Digital Marketing Landscape – Lauren Vaccarello #czlny

Lauren Vaccarello

It’s April Fools day today but there was no fooling attendees of the first ClickZ Live conference in New York who attended the pre-keynote presentation offering an overview of the current digital marketing landscape given by Lauren Vaccarello, VP of Marketing of AdRoll.

A surprising number of attendees showed up at 8am for this preview of digital marketing and Lauren did a great job giving introductory information on everything from Paid Search to Email to Retargeting. If you’re not sure whether mobile makes sense or what retargeting is, read on.

Looking back on the history of digital marketing from the first clickable ad in 1993 to the founding of Google in 1998 to the start of Facebook in 2004, few people could have guessed how big and influential they would turn out to be. And who would have predicted the popularity of  Snapchat or What’sApp being purchased for $19 billion?

5 Most Popular Digital Marketing and Public Relations Presentations of 2013

Lee Odden

Photo Credit: Adamson Studios Photography

In 2013, I had the good fortune to share insights on the integration of digital marketing and PR at over 25 events online and off.

From San Francisco to New York to London, Madrid and Moscow, marketers all over the world are in search of answers on how to plan, integrate, implement and measure coordinated marketing messaging across multiple channels. I’d like to think TopRank Online Marketing helped move some people in the right direction.

Growing tactical expertise is essential, but understanding the customer universe and their buying experience is even more important in today’s always on, always connected, digital world. The power of influence no longer belongs to the few as social technologies and networks have begun to democratize the ability to publish, engage and inspire.

Beyond Content Marketing Basics: Optimize & Socialize Your Digital Marketing for 2014

optimize socialize integrateFigure out what your customers want, and give it to them. Monitor what works and what doesn’t. Adapt and optimize performance.

This would appear to be common sense marketing and yet, when you examine a lot of what gets published in the name of content marketing, social media and SEO, the “makes sense” doesn’t seem so common.

Over the past 3 weeks I’ve given presentations to audiences in the U.S., Spain, Russia and the UK.  For just about every audience, there is a common language everyone seems to understand and if you can connect with that, it’s amazing what progress you can make.