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Lee Odden

Facts Tell, Stories Sell – The Importance of Story Before Marketing

Lee Odden on Apr 22nd, 2014     B2C, Online Marketing, Small Business

Tootsie Lou Lou Dolls

Recently my sister in-law, Melanie, shared with me the success of her initial ventures into a new business selling a collection of handmade dolls, stuffed animals and blankets. A successful medical career working at a hospital keeps her more than busy, but the side venture is enabling her to make her creative hobby into something more.

Our recent discussion about turning this venture into a business surfaced many questions that a lot of new business owners face: What might be involved with hiring, manufacturing, logistics, taxes, incorporation and of course marketing.

Melanie has a knack for writing about her creations on Facebook and Pinterest in an enthusiastic, helpful way rather than promotional.  But there is something that Melanie, who is a self-proclaimed neophyte to business and marketing, did that the majority of companies do not do that gives her an advantage. This is something many mid-market companies and large enterprises forget.

Lee Odden

For Small Businesses: When Is the Best Time to Start Building Your Social Networks?

Lee Odden on Aug 6th, 2013     Content Marketing, Online Marketing, Small Business

social networkingDuring a neighborhood gathering I met a small business owner and after sharing our respective backgrounds, he proceeded to tell me his troubles with not having the time to keep his website current. Competitors were seemingly overwhelming his category online. He also disclosed that his offering requires a bit of an educational sales cycle and the industry category has had some mixed press.

As we talked, I learned that innovations in the product line have advanced the capabilities significantly, but awareness of those advancements were hardly common knowledge within the target audience.  The good news was a significant demand in search volume and conversation on social networks about the problems his product offering solves.

Lee Odden

Essential Q and A on SEO & Content Marketing for Small Businesses

Lee Odden on Jul 17th, 2013     Content Marketing, Online Marketing, Small Business

SEO Content Marketing Small BusinessThe idea of making online content that is useful to people as well as easy to find and share applies to any organization whether it’s a B2B software company, a non-profit association or a government organization. There’s so much information being produced and promoted plus a growing array options for consuming content that standing out can be a real challenge.

I recently did a Google+ Hangout with a group of Chamber of Commerce executives from all over the U.S. talking about the role of content in marketing for small businesses. We dug into the fundamentals of what to talk about and how it can create a mutual benefit for SMBs and their customers. We also discussed the notion of empathy for our audiences and how important it is to invest in quality content as well as efforts to make that content easy to find and share.

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

5 Online Marketing Essentials for Small Business Marketers

Lee Odden on Mar 26th, 2013     Blogging, Content Marketing, Online Marketing, SEO, Social Media

America the Digital

As new businesses are started every day across the U.S., many of those entrepreneurs are grappling with the realities of how to market their ideas, products and services.

Limited resources and an overabundance of options requires filtering and prioritization when it comes to where marketing investments are made, whether it’s content, blogging, social media, or SEO.

Common questions include: What to measure? What if it fails? What should we outsource?

Here are a few answers to those questions that I was asked as prep for an interview:

What advice do you have for business owners or entrepreneurs who are staying out of blogging and/or social because they don’t feel they can produce enough content on a regular basis to keep things interesting?

Lee Odden

Social Media Helps Small Business Boost Sales, Keep Customers

Lee Odden on Jan 4th, 2012     Online Marketing, SEO, Small Business, Social Media

small business social media marketingThe business press is full of stories about how small companies are using social channels to attract and engage customers. But while there are plenty of individual success stories, the confidence in what to do specifically is not always clear for small business owners that are strapped for time and online marketing resources.

I was talking with a small business owner recently who was lamenting not updating his website and also that his competition was showing up “all over the place” online.  The nature of his product requires some education and an effort to dispell common mis-perceptions. The rapid advancements in technology of his particular product category are not very well known amongst his target consumer market. But there’s a substantial amount of search volume and interest in the solutions his product provides.  He’s also a small business with limited time and budget.

Lee Odden

How Small Business Can Get BIG Online with Content Marketing

Lee Odden on Feb 3rd, 2011     Content Marketing, Online Marketing, Small Business

small business online marketingFor small businesses, looking “big” online isn’t so much about appearing as a large company when they’re not. Its about being a big resource for prospects and customers.  As the popularity of content marketing and brands as publishers heats up with large companies, many small businesses still have the advantage of being nimble and adaptive to new ways of engaging customers.  That ability to experiment and implement quickly as well as creatively can be a big advantage.

Here are a few ways small businesses can use content marketing in combination with some SEO and Social Media Smarts to be a “bigger” resource for their  online customers.

Glen

7 Essential SEO Tips for Small Businesses

Glen on May 21st, 2010     Online Marketing, SEO, SEO Tips, Small Business

search engine optimizationWhen it comes to marketing in the current economy, small businesses need all the help they can get. They don’t have the ad budgets, the personnel or the time that the bigger competition has. But none of those factors really matter to search engines, and SEO is a great way to both level the playing field and steal marketshare.

Here are a few tips that small businesses can use to improve their SEO and user experience.

1. Turn everything into content

Content is still King. Search engines still love unique content, and the more useful content there is on your website, the more opportunities you give searchers to find your products and services. Rob Snell gave a fabulous presentation at PUBCON South, and one of the main takeaways was how to turn everything on an e-commerce site into content. Here are some ways to “free” extra content on your site. Here were some of his tips:

Lee Odden

BIGLIST Update: Local Search Marketing Blogs 010710

Lee Odden on Jan 7th, 2010     BIGLIST SEM Blogs, Local SEO

BIGLIST SEO Blogs

Welcome to the first BIGLIST review of SEM and SEO blogs for 2010!  What a year it will be. We reviewed hundreds of marketing blogs in 2009 and well over a thousand since we started the original list. Today’s BIGLIST update focuses on a few local search marketing blogs we’ve recently discovered.

<a href=”http://www.toprankblog.com/search-marketing-blogs/”><img style=”border: 0px initial initial;” title=”BIGLIST SEO Blogs” src=”http://www.toprankblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/05/biglistseoblogs.gif” alt=”BIGLIST SEO Blogs” /></a>
Absence makes the heart grow fonder and we know online marketers already like the <a href=”http://www.toprankblog.com/search-marketing-blogs/” target=”_blank”>BIGLIST</a> of online marketing blogs reviews.

Expand2Web Blog – The design winner for this BIGLIST Update Local SEM Blog Edition goes to Expand3Web by Don Campbell. This blog offers a rich mix of WordPress and Local search marketing advice as well as how to screencasts & videos as well as a podcast.

Lee Odden

Interview with John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing

Lee Odden on Sep 30th, 2008     Interviews, Online Marketing

john jantsch If you’ve been marketing online for any length of time, you’ve no doubt seen the brand “Duct Tape Marketing“. John Jantsch, the guy behind that brand is a true, “marketer’s marketer” as you’ll see in the interview below. Because of John early in my blogging experience, I was able to pick up a lot of great insights and secured blogging gigs with Business Blog Consulting and AllBusiness.com which lead to a number of media opportunities and consulting engagements.

In this interview, John talks about getting started, branding, blogging, SEO, outsourcing marketing and tips, getting referrals, specialization and a few of his favorite tools and technologies.

You’re well known, heck you’re famous, for many things related to small business marketing. Tell us about yourself. How did you get started blogging and where did the idea for Duct Tape Marketing begin?

Lee Odden

Search Engine Optimization for Small Business

Lee Odden on Dec 21st, 2007     Local SEO, Online Marketing, SEO, SEO Tips

Recently I did a podcast for AllBusiness.com , recently acquired by Dun & Bradstreet, along with their Marketing Director, David Saries. The audience for AllBusiness.com is small businesses, so the questions were flavored toward the perspectives many do it yourself or hands on web site owners and online business owners have.

The podcast discusses a variety of topics ranging from a definition of SEO to common SEO mistakes. We also discuss emerging online marketing channels and whether small businesses can “do SEO in-house” or not. You can listen to the full podcast here: “The Fundamentals of Search Engine Optimization

Most companies are aware there are things they can do to improve their visibility on search engines. Some may have even heard the term, “search engine optimization” (SEO). But how many really know what that means?

Lee Odden

Small Business Marketing Book

Lee Odden on Jan 22nd, 2007     Blog Marketing, Online Marketing


My blogging and marketing friend, John Jantsch has been providing practical marketing advice to businesses large and small long before I ever started blogging. Actually, it was in part because of John that I started contributing to AllBusiness.com and Business Blog Consulting.

John has long been a trailblazer at using blogs as a marketing tool via Duct Tape Marketing blog and I will readily admit, I have watched John for quite a while to learn his methods of blog promotion. A marketer’s marketer, John’s advice has been highly valuable as we’ve grown our small business.

Many small businesses find the task of marketing a difficult one and it’s that challenge that led John to write his new book, “Duct Tape Marketing ‚Äì The World‚Äôs Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide”. John recently sent me a review copy and I thought I’d share a brief description of it.

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