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Lee Odden

Awareness, Insight & Optimization: How Entrepreneurs Can Use Social Media to Launch New Products

Lee Odden on Nov 21st, 2012     Online Marketing, Social Media

entrepreneur social media marketingThousands of new businesses are started in the U.S. every month. Budding entrepreneurs with minds full of ambition and great ideas turn their understanding of a consumer or business problem within a market into a new product or service solution.

But there’s more to starting a business or launching a new product than a great idea and a market in need of a solution.

Many new businesses score well with the solution they’ve created including the logistics of suppliers, manufacturing, and distribution to bring that product or service to market. However, one of the greatest challenges of starting a new business centers on marketing:

Lee Odden

Is a Rush to Revenue Hurting Your Marketing Innovation & Domination?

Lee Odden on Jun 27th, 2012     Online Marketing

Revenue Marketing InnovationHere’s a familiar scenario with many companies that have tactically approached social media marketing:  “Let’s stop wasting time with this social media mumbo jumbo. We need to increase sales, grow revenue and sign up more customers!”.

On the other end of the spectrum you might hear, “Social media marketing is too difficult to measure, it’s early days. So let’s keep investing and eventually we’ll be able to see our return.”  Neither attitude has the best long term interests of the business in mind.

Clearly there are few businesses that don’t want to increase sales and conversions, but is a singular focus on revenue, especially in today’s world of connected consumers, actually helping bottom line business results or creating a longer term disadvantage?  Alternatively, is the absence of focus on revenue with social media marketing a responsible and accountable approach to the investment?

Lee Odden

The Fallacy of Influence

Lee Odden on Apr 18th, 2012     Online Marketing, Social Media

influenceHow important is influence with online marketing? Most professionals would say influence is pretty important, especially when it comes to social media. The notion is that a few key people can spread an idea to their audiences and networks, causing a brand’s content to “go viral” or at least gain more substantial distribution than if the content were promoted to the every day social media Joe and Jane.

Pursuing the “big influencers” alone, is probably one of the biggest fallacies on the web.

Put aside the challenges how to find influencers and consider what “influencer” means. To me, it’s someone that has earned ongoing attention of an audience or community and the ability to motivate others to action. There’s often a disconnect between the appearance of influence and those in a position to act on it.

Jolina Pettice

BFF’s for Increased Online Marketing Reach? PRSA Digital Impact Conference Keynote

Jolina Pettice on Apr 3rd, 2012     Marketing PR Conferences, Online Marketing, PR Conferences, Social Media

PRSA Digital Impact Conference - KeynoteCan BFF’s lead to more effective marketing?

That’s the topic of discussion for the PRSA Digital Impact Conference opening keynote featuring Caryn Marooney, vice president of technology communications for Facebook.

Before going to Facebook, Caryn explained that she ran an agency, however  she talks about having felt like a mechanical bunny always chasing something and not catching it.

Why? Everything is constantly changing. And we as PR and Marketing Pros have to be ok with that. What’s remains constant is what remains important.

3 important things we need to remember:

1. What audiences are we trying to reach
2. What are our goals
3. What tools can we use to reach our goals

As we think about audience, that of Facebook is expansive and exponential which is why it can be so effective in terms of online marketing.

Lee Odden

2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report

Lee Odden on Apr 3rd, 2012     Book Reviews, Online Marketing, Social Media
Social Media Marketing Industry Report 2012

Click the image above to download your copy of the report.

While the speculation, pontification and monetization of social media is reaching momentum of tsunami proportions, many businesses looking for practical advice are asking, “Exactly how are marketers using social media to grow their businesses?”

Michael Stelzner from Social Media Examiner has posed that same question and others like it to a sample of marketers on the front lines of the social web to help bring some clarity to what works, what doesn’t and where to focus.

When asked about the bearing of the report on the intersection of search and social, Mike said, “With Google integrating results from its Google+ network into search, we’ll begin to see an Amazon type social proofing of search results based on the activity of friends.  This will make search even more important.” We agree!

Ashley Zeckman

Online Marketing News: Facts Tell & Stories Sell, Start-up Tips from Tech Giants, Mobile Skyrockets, Breaking Up With Customers

Ashley Zeckman on Feb 24th, 2012     Content Marketing, Marketing Industry News, Online Marketing

The Content Marketing Institute Presents A Brief History of Content Marketing

The History of Content Marketing

From the dawn of time people with things to sell have been using stories to attract, engage, and retain customers ala #optimize. The infographic above from the Content Marketing Institute takes us all the way through the evolution of content marketing and provides some meaningful insight into what companies have done in the past to generate results. You might learn a thing a two, plus it’s a great read.

 “6 Start-up Tips From the World’s Biggest Tech Companies”  Every company has to start somewhere.  Famous companies such as Google, HP, and Microsoft were built on a set of core principals including creating long term customer relationships and listening to feedback.  This post provides tips from some of the largest companies in world on how to get through the start up phase of your business. Via Inc.

Ashley Zeckman

Optimize Your Social Media Schedule: 4 Tips for Avoiding the Social Media Time Suck

Ashley Zeckman on Jan 24th, 2012     B2B, B2C, Online Marketing, Social Bookmarking, Social Media, Social Media Tool, Social Networking

optimize social media time

Making the time to execute on a social media strategy can rattle even the most experienced marketers.  Unlike traditional marketing, social media marketing can present many different challenges and distractions.  According to a study by eMarketer 73% of marketers say finding the time to create content as their biggest marketing challenge.

I recently ran a poll of @TopRank Twitter followers to get a sense of how they spend their time online.  I asked “If you had only 20 minutes a day to spend on social media what would you focus on?”  Some of the answers we received were:

  • @henryroominates – “I would try to connect with powerful Twitter users and Tweet content from my blog.”
  • @SebastianX – “I’d read my Twitter Followanyday List.”
Lee Odden

Social Media & Blogging Listmania with Curated Resources & Lists

Lee Odden on Jan 16th, 2012     Blogging, Content Marketing, Online Marketing, Social Media

content curation marketing with listsBeing included on a popular list of credible resources like our own BIGLIST of top Marketing Blogs or one of the many other collections of useful resources posted online can feel pretty satisfying, validating the hard work many are putting in to their business blogs. Great lists get socially shared, linked, and emailed, giving those included quite a bit of valuable exposure. By association, the list publisher also gains value in terms of exposure, links, and a connection with list participants.

Curation is essential for sorting through the mass of data published online and with the closer integration of social media and search, each of us is becoming a mini-search engine for the benefit of our networks and for sites like Google and Facebook. Essentially, Google, Bing and even Facebook are just elaborate and massive content curators. The question is, how can we as marketers take advantage of mass curation and crowdsourcing for the benefit of our own online marketing?

Ashley Zeckman

Technology Marketing: Is Your B2B Social Media Strategy Sending Mixed Signals?

Ashley Zeckman on Jan 10th, 2012     B2B, Online Marketing, Social Media, Social Networking
social media marketing

Is your social media strategy sending your customers mixed signals?

As a B2B organization with a focus on technology, you may believe that you are facing additional obstacles that your B2C counterparts are not.

Many of you have tried to implement social media in the past without much success.  However, you may still believe that B2C companies have it easier because they have a direct line to their consumers.  The good news is, you do too!  In fact, 58% of IT buyers use social media to make tech buying decisions.

Getting in front of the proper decision makers and influencers when selling SaaS, IT, or any other technology is not as hard as you may think.  It is imperative that you follow a series of social media best practices directed at finding, engaging, and motivating your social network to take action.

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.

Ashley Zeckman

4 B2C Examples of How Companies are Using Twitter to Attract & Engage Customers

Ashley Zeckman on Jan 3rd, 2012     B2C, Microblogging, Online Marketing, Social Media Smarts

Make Your Tweets Count

If you are a B2C company, interaction on a social platform like Twitter can increase engagement and even sales if executed properly.  Small businesses like Tender boutique in Birmingham, Michigan have promoted special offers on Twitter and sold out in just a few days.

Social interaction via platforms like Twitter allow companies to gain a true understanding of their prospect base and serve as a real-time source of market research.

Customer engagement is a key benefit of executing a B2C Twitter marketing strategy. A recent survey by Chadwick Martin Bailey found 67% of Twitter users are more likely to buy from or recommend a brand they follow.  Twitter is also a great resource for crowdsourcing new ideas, getting feedback on current products or campaigns, and figuring out what it is that your customers really want.

Lee Odden

Social Media ROI as Return on Influence #Optimize

Lee Odden on Dec 14th, 2011     Online Marketing, Optimize Book, Social Media

Optimize Social Media ROIWhile the topic of return on investment with social media participation seems to polarize many marketing, advertising, and public relations pundits, there are a growing number of companies and agencies that are implementing social media marketing and analysis efforts to answer the question firsthand.

We’ve all read about or seen favorite examples going back to Dell Outlet selling a few million dollars worth of discounted computer equipment through Twitter, to Blendtec selling more blenders because of its YouTube videos showing what happens when a Blendtec meets an iPhone, or a rake. Of course, there’s also the famed Old Spice example of selling more body wash because of Isaiah Mustafa on a horse on a beach.

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