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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

Happy New Year! 11 Lessons Learned After 9 Years of Business Blogging

Lee Odden on Jan 1st, 2013     Blogging

blogging lessons learnedHappy New Year and Welcome 2013!

Also, Happy Birthday to TopRank’s Online Marketing Blog!

A little over 9 years ago I started this blog as a way to save and share links to industry news. Over the years it has evolved in many ways thanks to our community and our team at TopRank.

Since 2003 Online Marketing Blog has generously shared thousands of posts, reaching millions of online marketers all over the world. Every time I speak at a conference, whether it’s in New York or Sydney or London, multiple people approach me with thanks for our blog’s contribution of insight, tips and useful information. That feedback is priceless and very much appreciated.

Now for some thanks back:

Lee Odden

Practical Tips to Make Your Blog More Useful & Interactive

Lee Odden on Mar 29th, 2012     Blogging

blogging tipsIt’s amazing how a meme can turn into a stream of content when it resonates well with a community. Recently I was sent a set of interview questions and one of the questions asked about building blog community. I took my response to that one question and turned it into a blog post, “How to Increase Business Blog Readership, Traffic & Community” that was well received. In fact, that post prompted two different social media chats to ask if I’d be a guest host on the topic: #smchat and #nptalk. Thank you for inviting me!

Now I’m turning the questions from those chats and my answers into yet another (unique) blog post full of practical tips.

Ashley Zeckman

6 Tips For More Effective Email Marketing Campaigns

Ashley Zeckman on Oct 25th, 2011     B2B, B2C, Email Marketing, Online Marketing

Does Your Inbox Look Like This?

We’ve all received them and we’ve all sent them. They can be given but they can’t be taken back. It’s a single action that can cause people to unfriend, unfollow, or unsubscribe.  What are they?  Emails!  Emails can inspire, engage, or excite your prospects or customers but can have the opposite effect of what you were aiming for if you don’t follow some simple rules.

Creating an effective email marketing campaign is not always an easy task.  However, there are a few things to keep in mind that may help take some of the fear out of launching your own campaign.  Not every campaign will be successful but if you’re good about analyzing results, admitting shortcomings and making changes, who says you can’t learn from your mistakes?

Lee Odden

Making the Leap: Egocentric to Empathy in Content Marketing

Lee Odden on Apr 26th, 2011     Content Marketing, Online Marketing

Egocentric to Empathy in Online MarketingImagine this scenario:  Company XYZ has developed a great business creating products and services, developing marketing programs that explain the features and benefits of those offerings and making sales.  The mix of SEO, advertising and newsletter is focused on explaining the solutions offered with the intention of educating and persuading prospects to buy. This is the way it’s been done in the past and it’s what current marketing programs are based on. Pretty common right?

But let’s also imagine in our hypothetical situation that sales growth has started to slow down or even slumped. Competitors are starting to eclipse Company XYZ in search results, the blog doesn’t really get many shares, likes, links or comments and it’s nothing but crickets chipring on the Facebook Fan page, on Twitter and the YouTube channel.  The staff responsible for creating content are running out of ideas. Seem familiar?

Lee Odden

10 Tips on Adding Content Marketing to Your Mix

Lee Odden on Mar 3rd, 2011     Content Marketing, Online Marketing

Content MarketingGoogle Farmer update paranoia aside, there are plenty of reasons to make content marketing a more prominent piece of your online marketing mix.  Content fuels search visibility, social sharing and consumer interaction. Great content aligns customer goals with those of the brand. Ultimately, useful content helps win and keep customers.

Because we promote editorial marketing here and with clients so much, there are many questions from companies that want more tactical steps they can take. Whether it’s a retailer with an online catalog of products that wants to increase repeat business or a technology company full of tech specifications that wants to increase new leads, there are a number of straightforward ways to make useful content a marketing asset.

After an assessment that warrants a more intensive content marketing approach, here are a few tactical tips:

Lee Odden

Don’t Let Your Content Marketing Fail Because of This One Thing

Lee Odden on Feb 21st, 2011     Content Marketing, Online Marketing

Content MarketingOnline Marketers world-wide are looking towards content marketing as a way to educate, connect with and influence prospects to become customers. Content can also play a big part in lead nurturing and engagement with existing customers.

With 9 out of 10 B2B marketers using content in their mix and predictions from the likes of Geoff Ramsey of eMarketer, “Content Marketing is Critical in 2011” and Ashley Friedlein of Econsultancy, “Content strategy & content marketing: the King is back” there’s much cause for optimism.

But like many increasingly trendy marketing topics, marketers often rush in without experience, expertise or realistic expectations.  Marketing with content has been the core of our own strategy at TopRank Online Marketing for many years. I personally read and research the topic daily and our team implements content marketing strategies and tactics with just about all of our clients, many of which are formidable content marketers themselves.

Lee Odden

6 Tips For Making Content Pop on the Social Web

Lee Odden on Sep 17th, 2010     Content Marketing, Online Marketing, Social Media

content marketing social webWith the growing momentum of content marketing, a lot of companies get hung up on making investments in quality articles, white papers, videos and other media only to find they’re not getting much traction. I’ve heard it time and time again at conferences in discussions with brand marketers where they’ve invested in creating great content and digital assets but are frustrated at the lack of reach.

Over the past 6 1/2 years of blogging, followed by contributing articles, posting videos, photos, PowerPoint slides, reports in PDF format and other types of content publishing for our own agency and for clients, here are a few guidelines that stand out for helping content get better reach.

Lee Odden

6 Tools For Better Blogging With An iPad

Lee Odden on Jul 13th, 2010     Blogging, Online Marketing

iPad blogging Like many others, I recently purchased an iPad out of curiosity. While my intentions were of discovery, I quickly found some productivity gains with blogging.

The upside to blogging with an iPad is that it’s portable and you can easily log your thoughts on a screen that is a lot more convenient than typing into an iPhone or other smartphone. Also, there are a number of apps to make it fairly easy.

The downside is that even though typing is easier on a much larger screen, typing on a screen vs. a tactile keyboard still takes some getting used to, even if you’re an iPhone owner. I also found some issues with copy/paste and for web based tools, anything that uses Flash is a no-go.

Lee Odden

Moving from Fragmented to Segmented Online Marketing

Lee Odden on Jul 1st, 2010     Online Marketing, Search Marketing, SEO

Companies today have a virtual smörgåsbord of options when it comes to marketing their products and services online. Lack of expertise, numerous tactical options, pressure for sales in a down economy and the tendency to chase shiny objects cause many online marketing efforts to be fragmented. I really doubt that a significant waste of effort and disconnect with customers is part of any company’s online marketing strategy. But it’s happening. A lot.

Marketers must prioritize what will work best and in the mix of online marketing tactics. According to eMarketer, SEO and PPC have been rated the most effective for conversions and ROI and while some companies are using software like PPC management tools to make things easier, there’s a lot more to consider for better segmentation.

Glen

9 Essential Social Media Tips for Beginners

Glen on Jun 4th, 2010     Online Marketing, Social Media

social mediaPlunging into social media for the first time can be a bit daunting for individuals or businesses. There is a learning curve when it comes to becoming more social online, and it can take a while to learn what works and what doesn’t.  Here are a few of the best Do’s and Don’ts that can save you time and help grow your social media authority more quickly.

1. Start small

You’ll want to start small and try a couple services out at a time. Oftentimes newbies sign up for every social network under the sun and try to grow each of them. Guess how long they last? Building profiles for multiple social sites is hard work, so it’s best to start by only tackling a couple at first.

Glen

10 Essential Social Media Tips for Ecommerce Sites

Glen on May 14th, 2010     Online Marketing, Social Media

Social media is impacting how we do business online in new and exciting ways. Customers are sharing more and more data about what they’re doing online and the things they like. Getting people to share your products on social networks is a great way to bring in traffic and find new customers.

But ecommerce sites are stuck in a hard place because the number one goal of an ecommerce site isn’t sharing, it’s selling.

Take the “King” of ecommerce sites, Amazon.com, as an example. They have sharing tools on their product pages, but it’s not quite what you’d think:

sample amazon product page with share tools

While the sharing links are above the fold, they’re in the bottom-right corner of the screen. And you can bet that Amazon has tested that spot and found that it’s the best place for those links.

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