Lee Odden

Lee Odden

About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.

Lee Odden

Infographic: 5 Must Have Ingredients for a Great Content Marketing Strategy

Lee Odden on Jun 14th, 2019     Content Marketing

ingredients content marketing strategy

If you’re still struggling with establishing your content marketing strategy for 2019, you’re not alone. Only 12% of respondents to a recent survey by the Content Marketing Institute felt successful at their current efforts to strategically manage content. What’s particularly striking about this is that the vast majority of organizations surveyed – 91% – used content marketing to sell their products. Where’s the disconnect?

To help answer that question, I’ve collaborated with the folks at Oracle Marketing Cloud to create an infographic featuring 5 must-have ingredients for a great content marketing strategy. You can download the full infographic here.

We could talk about the talent gap or the technology gap, but I believe that content marketing success really comes down to five basic ingredients:

  1. Goals
  2. Operations
  3. Insights
Lee Odden

7 Top B2B Influencer Marketing Trends for 2020

Lee Odden on May 20th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Influencer Marketing

B2B influencer marketing trends 2020

While there are some who think the expression “influencer” is an expired term, the role of influence on B2B buying decisions is irrefutable.

According to the World Federation of Advertisers, 65% of multinational brands will increase influencer marketing spending in the next 12 months and there’s good reason for increased confidence: The 2019 Content Preferences Survey from DGR reports 95% of respondents favor credible content from industry influencers as a top preference, a 30% increase compared year over  year.

Earlier this year in a post about The Business of Influence for 2019, I shared 5 influencer marketing trends including:

  • Micro AND Macro influencers
  • Centralizing Influencer Operations
  • Always On Influencer Engagement
  • Focus on Quality vs. Quantity Metrics
  • Influencer Marketing Software Investment
Lee Odden

Content Marketing Fitness: Are You Ready to Integrate, Optimize and Activate?

Lee Odden on May 6th, 2019     Content Marketing

Content Marketing Fitness

I’ve always thought of content marketing as a fast paced, agile and high energy approach to engaging the modern buyer.

So why does so much of the B2B content marketing that’s out there feel sluggish, low energy and bloated?

eMarketer recently reported that B2B decision makers’ top issues with marketing content reveal that marketers are clearly “out of shape” when it comes to a focus on what’s most important. The top issues shared by B2B decision makers were that content is too fluffy, not relevant, not personalized, misleading, behind a form or hard to find.

For the marketers behind these issues, a quick look in the mirror makes it easy to see why: Bad habit strategy, low metabolism execution, overly processed tactics and sugar high shiny object software that doesn’t get used properly if at all.

Lee Odden

Over 50 Top Social Media Marketing Blogs

Lee Odden on Apr 29th, 2019     BIGLIST Marketing Blogs, Social Media

Social Media Marketing Blogs

The world of Social Media is probably responsible for more innovation in digital marketing over the past 5 to 10 years than nearly any other discipline. From ephemeral story based content to live video to all the things being done with data for more personalized marketing, staying in top of what’s real vs. the hype in marketing is increasingly difficult.

Top help marketers find great sources of marketing advice, we’ve curated the BIGLIST of marketing blogs and more recently a marketing blogs from martech companies. Adding to that curation effort and our own solid social media marketing advice is today’s list of social media marketing blogs.

Lee Odden

Inspiring Examples of B2B Influencer Marketing in Action

Lee Odden on Apr 22nd, 2019     B2B Marketing, Influencer Marketing

B2B Influencer Marketing Examples

While Instagram influencer marketing is expected to hit $8 billion in spend by 2020, the growth trajectory of influencer marketing is not limited to consumer brands.

B2B companies are also realizing the value of collaborating with influential experts for marketing purposes and count the practice as one of the top 4 tactics planned for 2019, according to a study by Spiceworks of B2B tech marketers in North America and Europe.

Many B2B brands are considering engaging influencers for marketing but are not clear on exactly how or what the best practices are. Having worked with B2B brands that range from Dell to SAP to LinkedIn on influencer marketing programs over the past 6 years, I’ve had a chance to dig deep into exactly what makes influencer marketing work for B2B.

Lee Odden

The Future of B2B Content: Data-Informed, Interactive, and Influential

Lee Odden on Apr 8th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing, Influencer Marketing

Future of B2B Content

Before starting on any new marketing initiative or trying a new tactic, B2B marketers need to answer and essential question: Why?

While most B2B marketers won’t admit it, many still practice some “spaghetti/wall marketing” wherein each year they throw new digital tactics “against the wall” to see what sticks without really knowing why a tactic would work for their audience over another.

This is not to say that you should slow down on innovating and trying new things. But it’s important for success to be strategic and test. I challenge marketers to do more research around customer insights and preferences so that any changes they make are driven by data and informed hypothesis—rather than simply trying new things just to see if they will work.

Lee Odden

Inspired Marketing: Interview with Kirsten Allegri Williams, CMO at SAP SuccessFactors

Lee Odden on Mar 28th, 2019     Interviews

Interview Kirsten Allegri Williams CMO SAP SuccessFactors

One of the great things about my job is connecting with inspiring marketers. While attending SAP’s annual SAPPHIRE conference last year, I had the good fortune to meet Kirsten Allegri Williams @kirstenallegriw thanks to Amisha Gandhi @AmishaGandhi. At the time, Kirsten was VP, Corporate Marketing at SAP Ariba.

In our short time meeting, we covered a lot of ground, from the need to elevate trust in marketing within the c-suite and on the street with customers to the role of purpose in marketing. She was highly focused, present and very smart. She made enough of an impression, that I included her in our annual list of Women Who Inspire in Digital Marketing.

Lee Odden

5 Key Trends in B2B Influencer Marketing Plus Critical Do’s and Don’ts

Lee Odden on Mar 13th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Influencer Marketing

B2B Influencer Marketing Trends

Overall Influencer Marketing attracted a lot of attention in 2018 for some good and not so good reasons. Luckily, most of those unfavorable reasons were in the B2C space. Within the B2B marketing world, influencer marketing has made many advancements and more organizations are evolving their testing, use and sophistication of the practice.

There are many trends happening with influencer marketing right now, but here are 5 relative to B2B marketing that are worth paying attention to:

1. Micro AND Macro influencers. A lot of marketing press has emphasized micro and even “nano” influencers over celebrities. There’s merit to that but in B2B, the tier one influencers are still important. Successful programs incorporate top influencers that have large, relevant networks with more niche influencers with high engagement. When mapped to the right kind of content in the buying journey, a mix of influencer types is very powerful for B2B marketing.

Lee Odden

Brian Solis on Lifescale – How to Live a More Creative, Productive and Happy Life Plus Improve Your Marketing

Lee Odden on Mar 7th, 2019     Book Reviews, Interviews

Brian Solis Lifescale

Brian Solis is an award-winning author of 8 books and an internationally known keynote speaker. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Brian for many years and he has consistently been one of the most thoughtful, inspiring and intelligent people I know.

Not long ago Brian and I had a chance to catch up and he shared with me the news of his new book Lifescale – How to live a more creative, productive and happy life. That’s a pretty compelling title and being up to my neck in digital distractions, multi-tasking and a need to break free out of that chaos, the notion of Lifescale was immediately interesting to me both personally and as a way to better empathize with customers as a marketer.

Lee Odden

Break Free of Boring B2B with Interactive Influencer Content

Lee Odden on Feb 18th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Influencer Marketing




Click Here to see the Break Free from Boring B2B Guide in Full Screen Mode

B2B doesn’t need to mean “boring to boring” and yet much of business marketing has earned its reputation. In a world of information overload, buyers expect engaging content from sources they can trust.

So what’s the solution for marketers that want to break free of boring B2B marketing?

Since 81% of marketers agree that interactive content grabs attention more effectively than static content (CMI) and 70% say interactive content is effective at converting site visitors (ion interactive), B2B marketers need move away from simply educating and to start creating content experiences that allow customers to engage.

Lee Odden

Great B2B Content Isn’t Great if No One Sees It: Here’s a Solution

Lee Odden on Feb 6th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

B2B integrated content marketing

If you want B2B content to be great, across channels you must integrate.

In B2B marketing, the expression “great content” should mean relevant, useful and maybe even inspiring information that connects with the intended reader. The problem is, even when business content fires on all of those cylinders it falls flat if few people ever see it.

That’s why business content promotion must go hand in hand with content creation.

While the previous sentence makes sense to just about everyone reading it, we also know that in practice, content promotion is more often an afterthought than a key part of content planning. It shouldn’t be a special case to improve organic search visibility, social engagement, industry media pickups and influencer shares of your content for all the (relevant) world to see, but the standard when it comes to B2B content marketing.

Lee Odden

Examples of B2B Influencer Marketing to Inspire You in 2019

Lee Odden on Jan 29th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Influencer Marketing

B2B Influencer Marketing Examples 2019

B2B brands don’t have it easy when trying to attract, engage and persuade today’s increasingly distracted and distrustful buyers. Many are experimenting with influencer marketing but results without an informed plan can be a mixed bag. Trust me, I know.

We’ve been experimenting heavily with B2B influencer marketing for over 6 years, partnering with hundreds of B2B influencers and B2B brands of all sizes while also learning a lesson or two.

Fast forward to today and we understand that for successful influencer marketing in the B2B world. Relationships are key, right along with shared values and some robust validation when it comes to topical relevance, ability to create and engage on-topic with an interested community.