TopRank Online MarketingTopRank Online Marketing Blog

Nicolette Beard

Social Media Strategy: Where to Start & Why

Nicolette Beard on Jul 23rd, 2013     Online Marketing, Social Media

social media strategy start

Where to Start Your Social Media Strategy

Whether you’re a bricks and mortar mom and pop business or a 100% online digital enterprise, NOT participating in social media is no longer an option. In many ways today’s social networks represent the new discovery engine. Consumers and business decision makers are sending their friends and colleagues to websites they like through their browsers and desktops and, increasingly, their mobile devices.

According to eMarketer, more than 1.4 billion people worldwide will use social networks in 2012. Although the global audience is massive, it is by no means unified, they caution. It’s clear that companies of all sizes need to embrace a social media strategy because what our connections are doing online will drive your customers’ behavior more and more. What still appears murky for many, however, is exactly where to start.

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

Top 5 Social Media Questions Marketers Want Answered

Lee Odden on May 21st, 2013     Online Marketing, Social Media

2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report SME

What if you could tap into the minds of 3,000 marketers to find out where they stand when it comes to social media marketing? How valuable would it be to know how your peers are handing the time commitments, social media platforms and measurement?

Lucky you and lucky me, the answers to those questions are found in today’s 2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report from Michael Stelzner and Social Media Examiner.

A few of this year’s social media statistics:

  • 86% of marketers say social media is important for their business
  • 69% plan to increase their use of YouTube
  • 58% of marketers are blogging and 62% will increase blogging in 2013
  • 49% picked Facebook as the single most important social network
Miranda Miller

Content Marketing Tactics: Business Blogging Pros, Cons, Best Practices & Brands Doing It Right

Miranda Miller on May 14th, 2013     Blogging, Content Marketing, Online Marketing

Blogging for content marketersAs part of our continuing series on content marketing tactics, I’ll be covering a topic that is absolutely near and dear to every content marketer’s heart: business blogging.

According to a recent NM Incite report, there are over 181 million blogs around the world. The way many companies treat blogs in their content marketing mix is to incorporate blogs into their website as a section or subdomain, or host them on their own domain name as we do.

With that kind of popularity, you would think everyone in business would know what a blog is and would be using them to their maximum advantage. Trust me, I’m in the content business and they don’t.  In fact, brands split just 11% of their total social media budget between blogging and influencer outreach. So just to clear up any ambiguity and to follow the format for this series, here goes:

Miranda Miller

Online Marketing News: Predictive Social Tools, Content Marketing & The Customer Journey

Miranda Miller on Apr 26th, 2013     Online Marketing News

Brands understand the importance of content marketing, yet most have not yet addressed their content needs on either a strategic or tactical level, according to Altimeter’s Rebecca Lieb.

Researchers for the company conducted interviews with executives actively engaged in content strategy or marketing; their findings were the basis of a new report, Organizing for Content: Models to Incorporate Content Strategy and Content Marketing in the Enterprise. Lieb and report co-authors guide brand marketers through a variety of organizational models for content, with recommendations to help companies execute an effective content strategy. Read the full report on SlideShare.

Miranda Miller

The Secrets to Driving Social Commerce: Google & Mel Carson on Social ROI at #SESNY

Miranda Miller on Mar 28th, 2013     Search Engine Strategies, Social Media

Secrets to Driving Social CommerceIn advance of their SES New York session on social commerce, I wanted to see what tips and tricks moderator Mel Carson and speaker Deitra Mara could share with our readers. At 9:30 am March 28th, the two will join Tami Dalley from Salesforce to present Social Media Meet ROI: The Secrets to Driving Social Commerce.

Carson and Mara graciously participated in interviews prior to their session, to share their experience and advice with marketers looking to improve their social media channel awareness, content creation and social ROI.

Carson, formerly of Microsoft, is the founder of social, PR and personal branding consultancy Delightful Communications. As moderator, he’ll have his hands full with the two powerhouse speakers.  Carson told us, “I’d encourage anyone to come to see two very powerful women in the industry speak. Deitra and Tami bring a lot of insight into different tools and products, best practices and disciplines on how to prove the ROI in social media commerce exists and how to get more of it.”

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

How to Integrate Blogging With Content Marketing that Inspires Action

Lee Odden on Mar 20th, 2013     Blogging, Marketing PR Conferences, Online Marketing

blogging inspires actionCompanies all over the social web are confronted with the need for  ROI in corporate blogging.

Despite blogs being named as more influential than social networks in shaping consumers’ opinions and purchase decisions, many marketers and communicators  are falling short.

Why? A focus on self-promotion has many brands running out of content  ideas and time to show a return on their blog content investment. Tolerance for quantity of content and superficial social engagement metrics as a basis for results is diminishing.

Despite these challenges, blogs provide an incredible content marketing platform for connecting directly with prospects, the media, customers, new employees, investors and the industry at large.

To offer companies a roadmap to realizing these business blogging and content marketing benefits, I will be giving a presentation at the inaugural Social Media Marketing World conference in San Diego on Tuesday, April 9th.

Miranda Miller

Social Content Relevance on Holidays: Baileys, Brennans & Tourism Ireland St Patrick’s Day Wins

Miranda Miller on Mar 19th, 2013     Online Marketing Strategy, Social Media

Social media marketing wins  holidays and special occasions.Brands often struggle to hit that elusive mix of creative, timely content relevant to their audience that still directly aligns with their brand. If you have something of a sense of humor, entertaining your audience isn’t that hard. Yet for your social content to be effective in marketing, at least a good portion must be relevant to your brand, as well. You know the deal, though; if you’re only talking about your brand or products, fans get bored with your self-promotion.

Special occasions and holidays offer marketers a great chance to get creative with their social content, to capture the attention of an increasingly attention-deficit audience.  Yet simply being an Irish company doesn’t make your product or service relevant on an Irish holiday. Being a Canadian, or American, company doesn’t guarantee relevance on holidays specific to North America, either.

Miranda Miller

Online Marketing News: Facebook’s Redesigned Newsfeed, Google Attacked Over Elephant Ivory Ads

Miranda Miller on Mar 8th, 2013     Online Marketing, Online Marketing News

2013 Social Media Roadmap

Intuit Shares a Social Media Marketing Roadmap for Brands in 2013

Intuit shared an incredibly helpful infographic on their Small Business Blog to guide marketers in their social strategy this year. Path to Social Success in 2013 assigns a theme for each quarter; we begin the year by taking a social media inventory. As we enter the second quarter next month, it’s time to focus on working on relationships. The third quarter is all about integrating everything, while at the end of the year it’s time to take stock and look forward.

Of course, these are all important aspects of social media management throughout the year. Intuit’s guide is a good reminder to help marketers remember to revisit each area and concentrate on it at some point in 2013.

Miranda Miller

Online Marketing News: More Men Managing Communities, Video in Content Marketing Grows, HMV: How Do We Shut Down the Twitter?

Miranda Miller on Feb 1st, 2013     Online Marketing, Online Marketing News

 Trends Emerge in 2013 Community Manager Report - Business 2 Community

Community Manager Appreciation Day Infographic Offers Insight to CM Platforms, Roles & Traits

Women still hold the majority of Community Manager positions, although men are making gains, accounting for 39% across the U.S. This is a marked move towards gender neutrality compared to 2010, when just 31% of Community Managers were male, according to the annual Community Manager Report from Social Fresh. Their data shows that CMs might be more mature, or at least a bit older, than the stereotype indicates: the average age of a CM was 29 in 2011, but expected to reach 32 in 2013.

Miranda Miller

3 Video Marketing Gifts: Content Repurposing Tools & Inspiration for 2013

Miranda Miller on Dec 26th, 2012     Content Marketing

Content Marketing - repurposing written blog posts to video Repeat after me: This holiday season, I resolve to take into consideration the increasingly mobile and visual preferences of my customers or readers, and to create and repurpose content to meet their needs, on whichever platform they use to connect with my business.

Recently, TopRank’s Alexis Hall and Lee Odden have each shared with us a few figures that underscore the importance of video in a modern day marketing strategy:

  • Sixty percent of executives will watch a video before reading a word of text on their screen.
  • Forty-two percent of executives have made a purchasing decision based on an online video.
  • 500 years worth of YouTube videos are shared each day on Facebook.
  • Over 3 billion hours of video is consumed monthly on YouTube.

To optimize your online marketing performance, contact us at TopRank | ©2014 TopRank® Online Marketing | Top