TopRank Online Marketing

Lee Odden

Winning Habits of Successful Social Media Influencers and Brands

Lee Odden on Jan 2nd, 2014     Online Marketing, Social Media
Optimize Social Media Habits

“O” is for “Optimized” Social Media Habits – Lion Door Knocker in Madrid, Spain

To be effective as a modern digital marketer, it’s important to develop certain habits. These are tendencies or even routines that often result in desired and positive outcomes – over and over again.

Information overload and fast changing technology make social media a perfect candidate for developing productive habits. Otherwise it can all become a blur of noise without meaning.  I’m pretty sure everyone reading this has felt overwhelmed at some point or another.

At the same time, structure and routine are good but not too much though, or you won’t be adaptable. Being able to recognize real-time opportunities is equally important as having a plan and optimized social media best practices to follow.

Lee Odden

11 Must Read eBooks to Get Content Marketing Smart for 2014

Lee Odden on Dec 16th, 2013     Content Marketing, Online Marketing

Content Marketing SmartOver the past 12 months there have been a wide variety of eBooks published about every topic in the digital marketing mix from the newest mobile marketing strategies to better use of big data to the standards like content marketing, social media, online advertising, email marketing and digital public relations.

As 2013 winds down, it can be really useful to review some of the better in-depth resources on best practices and thought leadership. This post will highlight 11 of the eBooks and reports that I’ve been involved with that I think you’ll find useful.  As our content marketing business continues to grow, the body of resources and projects we get to work with is growing as well – why not share?

Lee Odden

What Do You Get With A Social Media Audit?

Lee Odden on Dec 4th, 2013     Online Marketing, Social Media

social media audit

In Optimize, I include guidelines for doing a number of different audits to establish a basis for determining the gap between a company’s current situation and where they need to be in order to succeed.

One of those audits is a type that has gained a tremendous amount of popularity given the dramatic increase in attention and budget towards the area. Of course I’m talking about a Social Media Audit.

Why do an audit? If you don’t know where you’re starting from, a lot of time and resources can be wasted improving things that don’t need it and neglecting things that really need your attention.

Lee Odden

12 Killer Social Media & Content Marketing Blog Posts from 2013

Lee Odden on Dec 2nd, 2013     Content Marketing, Integrated Marketing, Online Marketing, Social Media
top content marketing social media posts

Metro statue from a recent trip to Moscow

This post marks number 3,401 on Online Marketing Blog. Did you know? December is our 10 year blog birthday month!

We’ve covered a variety of topics in depth over those thousands of posts, especially the integration of search, social media and content with marketing and public relations.

TopRank’s Online Marketing Blog has been a top ranked marketing blog on AdAge 150 from day one and is the only blog to have been named the #1 content marketing blog 3 times by Junta42 (Content Marketing Institute).

Reflecting back over the past year there have been more changes in the digital marketing industry than seems reasonable to track best practices on. To help with that, I thought it would be handy to have a list of our top social media and content marketing posts based on traffic, shares and engagement.

Lee Odden

It’s Not the Moment, It’s the Story – A Bigger Picture View of Personal Social Media Participation

Lee Odden on Nov 13th, 2013     Social Media
Lee Odden Instagram

My favorite personal socnet: Instagram!

Social media technologies and platforms are now everywhere internet connectivity exists: desktop, tablet, smartphones and even kitchen appliances, cars and wearable devices.

While social technology usage has matured significantly, there are many business professionals who either haven’t started or aren’t comfortable with the behavior of public sharing.

One of the most common criticisms or objections I hear is that an individual Tweet, Facebook post or image on Instagram isn’t going to make a difference amongst the stream of social noise published every second. In fact, it can seem pretty overwhelming to executives my age, because expectations of their position are generally high and so is their own uncertainty about the impact of social media participation.

Eliza Steely

#SMBMSP59: What You Need to Know about Location-Based Social Media for Business

Eliza Steely on Oct 31st, 2013     Marketing PR Conferences, Online Marketing, Social Media

@toprank #smbmsp59On Halloween you expect to see costumes, candy, spooky decorations and….bacon?! Yes you read that correctly. At this morning’s Minneapolis and St. Paul Social Media Breakfast there was bacon. And bacon costumes. Several of the TopRank team opted for their own unique costumes like Gumby, Wayne (from Wayne’s World), a hunter, and Steve Jobs.

With the surge in apps with location-enabled features—Foursquare, Facebook, Yelp, Instagram, and Twitter to name a few—it’s no surprise that this month’s breakfast delved into best practices for incorporating location-based (or location-aware) apps a part of your social media strategy. Presenter Christopher Lower of Sterling Cross Communications used case studies & success stories to offer advice to attendees. Here are 16 key takeaways our team gleaned from the presentation:

Brian Larson:

Lee Odden

Customer Empathy Plus Brand Leadership FTW at Social Brand Forum

Lee Odden on Oct 24th, 2013     Integrated Marketing, Marketing PR Conferences, Social Media

integrated online marketing“Win More, Suck Less – How to Optimize Your Social, Search, & Content Marketing”

That’s the title of a presentation I’ll be giving today in Coralville, Iowa at Social Brand Forum a conference run by Nick Westergaard.

Other speakers include Jay Baer, Gini Dietrich, DJ Waldow, Marcus Sheridan, Laura Fitton and more.

The cool thing about my presentation title is, I didn’t decide what it would be. Our Facebook community did. I’ve also run a survey of our community to share their smarts in other ways. Some of that will end up in the presentation too.

That’s the beauty of social networks:  The ability to connect with a group of like minded people in an ongoing transfer of knowledge, ideas and feedback.

Brian Larson

How to Build a B2B Community in Facebook

Brian Larson on Oct 10th, 2013     B2B, Facebook, Marketing PR Conferences, Social Media

Mike Lewis at MPB2B

Yes, B2B marketers lean towards LinkedIn as the social network of choice…and for good reason. But that doesn’t mean that a very real opportunity doesn’t exist to create a community in the world’s largest social network – Facebook.

Consider this, according to Hubspot’s ”Intro to Facebook for Business”, 41% of B2B companies have acquired a customer through Facebook.

Mike Lewis,VP of Digital Strategy TATA Consultancy Services, kick starts the panel discussion with a challenge to marketers to consider the opportunities they may be missing in Facebook. With his challenge heard, Lewis shares his methodical approach to determining how to best create & nurture a B2B community in Facebook by launching into his ’3 Initial Keys to Standing out on Facebook’.

1) Pay Attention

Before you ‘listen’ for your opportunities, begin with an understanding of:

Nicolette Beard

How Does B2B Marketing Work on Google Plus? 4 Top B2B Tech Company Examples

Nicolette Beard on Sep 24th, 2013     B2B, Online Marketing, Social Media

B2B Technology Google PlusWhile sports teams, news outlets, car companies, universities, non-profits and the entertainment industry dominate the top 200 business pages on Google+, a growing number of B2B technology companies have embraced Google+ as well.

As with any top consumer brand, consistent engagement is crucial to success. B2B technology brands are developing relationships with prospects just like on any other social platform.  In the world of optimizing customer experience across the B2B sales cycle, Google+ for businesses offers B2B marketers  an opportunity to connect with buyers in a meaningful way and provide relevant information.

Thought leaders and subject matter experts increasingly serve as trusted sources to help business buyers determine the best solution to solve a business need. Knowledge and expertise combined with social media have trumped the peer influencers of the traditional buyer, giving rise to the “B2B Social Buyer”. [Source: ITSMA pdf]

Lee Odden

15 Social Media Marketing Tips from the Land of Lakes and Bacon #SMBMSP57

Lee Odden on Sep 5th, 2013     Online Marketing, Social Media

social media tipsMinnesota hosts some of the top consumer brands in the country: Target, Best Buy, General Mills (Betty Crocker, Wheaties, Cheerios, Yoplait) 3M, Toro and many more. Social media is also a hot topic here in the land of the north with a vibrant interactive marketing community and the always awesome Social Media Breakfast, Minneapolis, St, Paul.

SMBMP holds monthly get togethers each month covering a variety of topics (not just marketing) that attract anywhere from 50 to 300 bacon and coffee hungry social media enthusiasts

As a provider of social media marketing services to major B2B brands, TopRank has been a long time supporter of SMBMSP. Recently, several of our team attended  a SMBMSP presentation from local agencies space150, Bolin and Spyder Trap on consumer brand social media case studies: Buffalo Wild Wings, Carmex, and Michelina’s.  The presentations were diverse in style and content, which, like the photo of tasty bacon above, appealed to just about everyone.

Nicolette Beard

How Top Consumer Brands are Successfully Using Google+

Nicolette Beard on Aug 27th, 2013     Online Marketing, Social Media

google-plus More has been written about Google+ over the past 26 months than almost any other social media site.  While Google+ has had its share of press, there are still many skeptics.

In the face of the sheer amount of time consumers spend on Facebook and Twitter, how do brands solve the dilemma of where to spend their time and how to justify their presence on yet another social network?

In the Internet Age, people seem to suffer from short-term memory loss. None of the mainstream social media platforms experienced overnight success. As proof, just watch the movie, The Social Network, about Facebook and its founder, Mark Zuckerberg.

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.

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