Lee Odden

Corporate Blogging Trends, Insights and Events

Whether to blog or not and exactly how to do it are big questions for many companies that have not jumped on the business blogging bandwagon yet. For companies that want to learn, there are many channels to choose from ranging from the many articles we’ve written on blog marketing and more recently, this roundup of news stories from the social web:

Blogging Becomes Mainstream – eMarketer article by Senior Analyst Paul Verna, “Blogging has become so pervasive and influential that the lines between blogging and the mainstream media have disappeared.” Data from a survey run by Technorati and Decipher.

Why Pharma Fears Social Networking – Not all indusries are keen on blogging and this article from BrandWeek explains the push behind the Pharmaceutical industry to get on board with social media.

TopRank Marketing Editor

Corporate Bloggers: Angels or Demons?

Incorporating a company blog into your social media and marketing mix can be a tug of war, finding both supporters and defeaters within the organization.

At the MIMA Summit (Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association) this afternoon, I attended a session discussing the pros and cons, along with the challenges a corporate blogger must overcome to represent the company and still make a connection with the blogging community.

Valeria Maltoni is a blogger at Conversation Agent and Director of Marketing Communications for SunGard. Valeria kicked off the session with a discussion around how an organization can get started with social media and a company blog.

As a business and marketing professional, we are tasked to find different ways to make a profit, find new customers, and build the company brand.

Lee Odden

Still Trying to Figure Out a Blog for Your Business? Blog World Expo

I wonder how many people reading this blog right now work for a company that:

1) Doesn’t have a blog
2) Has a blog but it’s on life support
3) Is considering blogging but not sure where to start
4) Has been blogging for a while, but wants to make it to the next level

Well, I’ve got some really good news.  On the heels of the OMMA New York conference Sept 18-19 comes Blog World Expo in Las Vegas Sept 20-21. What better place to have the world’s largest conference dedicated to blogging than the city that never sleeps because most of the active bloggers I know don’t sleep either.

Lee Odden

Blog SEO Tips from SES San Jose

Blogs have been abuzz for at least 4 years in the tech space and in the past 2-3 years in the business marketing world. Like many new marketing/communication channels, there continues to be a need to demystify shiny new objects and what they mean for businesses. Blogs and search engine optimization are no different.

One point I would make is that companies are wasting their long term time when setting up blogs purely for SEO purposes. It’s short term thinking and over time, results in difficulties with keeping momentum, new ideas and content. How do I know? Been there and done that, many times.

It’s far more realistic to implement blogs for specific purposes such as product communications, online newsroom, thought leader/strategy, customer support/communications, news, branding, advice/tips, aggregation of content in specific topics and many more. Regardless of the purpose, each blog implementation and ongoing management should have an intentional SEO effort.

TopRank Marketing Editor

Reader Poll: How Do You Interact With Social Boomarks?

You don’t have to look too far online to see more and more people using social bookmarking services and news sites. Content publishers from blogs to mainstream publications like Minneapolis Star Tribune are looking for ways to make it easier for readers to save and share content.

There are a variety of tactics including social bookmark links, icons, multi-purpose buttons, browser add-ons, bookmarklets, other tools and scripts that can used to encourage visitors to promote content. The question is, how are people using them?

When bookmarking or submitting a page to a social media site, do you most often:

  • Use a browser add-on. (34%, 31 Votes)
  • Click on social icons on the page. (18%, 16 Votes)
  • I don't use any of those. (15%, 14 Votes)

Jolina Pettice

SMX Sesion: 8 Tips to More Effective Blogging

dsc00450.JPGThe Wonder Twins Track at SMX West: SEO and Blogging, provided the audience with information on how to best launch and promote a blog.

Here are 8 tips, from Aaron Wall of SEOBook, on how to gain traction for your blog.

Own a Niche

  • Owning a smaller niche is an easy way to starting building personal brand
  • #1 player gets more play in the media

Make Formatting a Priority

  • Ensure you have a clean appealing design
  • Highlight best practices
  • Include an “About Us” page
  • Make it easy for press to contact
  • Leverage pictures/video/sketchcasting

Write clearly

  • Write headlines like a wire service writer
  • Use simple words and short sentences
  • Use bulleted lists/headers/sub-headers

Filter

  • Create Google news alerts
Lee Odden

Recession Proof Search Engine Optimization Tips

vault-seo.jpg

In this month’s Target Marketing Magazine, a TopRank authored article on how small businesses can gain a competitive marketing advantage by leveraging content promotion, blogs, social media and universal search was featured. Recently there has been some dialog and commentary on certain SEM channels about upcoming harder economic times calling for SEO to be taken back to the basics: “Textbook SEO” as Mike Grehan would put it. I disagree with the premise that companies should stop experimenting with new tactics and stick with the fundamentals. Effective SEO in any economic environment means getting more creative, not mundane.

“As search engines evolve with features such as personalized, social and unified search, so must marketers evolve — especially those on a budget.”

Lee Odden

New Media and Blogging for Influence with Journalists

In a recent study by Omnicom Group’s Brodeur and Marketwire about how journalists use blogs, it was found that blogs are a regular source for journalists for improving the speed of reporting news as well as guiding tone, but not for improving quality:

  • Over three quarters of reporters see blogs as helpful in giving them story ideas, story angles and insight into the tone of an issue
  • Nearly 70 percent of all reporters check a blog list on a regular basis
  • One in four reporters (27.7%) have their own blogs
  • About one in five (16.3%) have their own social networking page
  • Almost half of reporters (47.5%) say they are “lurkers”
  • Over half said that blogs were having a significant impact on the “tone” (61.8%) and “editorial direction” (51.1%) of news reporting
Lee Odden

Social Bookmarking Submission Tools

TopRank started using social bookmarking as an active/passive content promotion method several years ago. In fact, here is a podcast interview I did with Rok Hrastnik in March 2005 discussing SEO, tagging and bookmarking. We’ve also been fairly successful at promoting a social bookmarking tool for blogs over the past 18 months or so, gathering 50,000+ links.

Leveraging the social behaviors and technology of social news and bookmarking sites can be very effective as an active content promotion strategy.

For web sites with abundant content, adding such bookmark invitations to web pages and other media can form a productive passive bookmarking strategy by leveraging the volume of traffic and points of contact. The momentum of thousands of web pages on the web, each with an invitation to save and share, can drive traffic and links 24/7.

Lee Odden

Pubcon Session: Blogger Reporter Panel

Blogger Reporter Panel
If someone has a better photo, please link in the comments

On day three, the last day of sessions at WebmasterWorld Pubcon here in Vegas, I participated on a panel called, “Search and Blogging Reporters Forum” with Rand Fishkin and Andy Beal.

Mike McDonald
Moderation duties handled by Mike McDonald. Basically, it was a round table-style discussion about blogging in the SEO industry as well as blogging as a marketing tool. There were some good points about using blogs as a public relations tool as well as some debate about hosting team blogs separately or all under the company domain name.

Rand Fishkin
There was some nice back and forth with Andy and Rand plus great questions from Mike and the audience.

Celebrity Audience: Bill, Lisa, Jane, Tamar

Lee Odden

Defining Business Blogging Success

rss-success1.jpg

When talking with TopRank or M&O Account Teams about new clients, it is inevitable that I will ask if there is a blog involved. There are simply too many advantages to enabling a web site with fresh, themed content that is well structured for SEO benefits and that also offers a great platform for creative promotion, not to consider it in the online marketing mix. However, the mis-perceptions about what a blog is and is not abound, even with self-described “blogging experts”.

Despite that, I think it’s a perfectly reasonable question for a company to ask: “Why should we have a blog and what will it do for us?” Answering that question in the most effective way possible starts with understanding the business and marketing goals of the company. Too many SEOs and blogging consultants focus on the mechanical capabilities of a blog and not on the business goals that can be met.

Lee Odden

How NOT to pitch a blog

In the past I’ve written about blogger relations offering tips on how marketers or PR professionals ought to present their story ideas to bloggers. Pitching bloggers and print journalists are somewhat similar, but in the end, they can be very different things.

Here are a few “what you should not do” tips based on the 3-5 pitches per day we get at Online Marketing Blog:

  • It should go without saying not to pitch irrelevant stories, but all those PR interns out there hacking away make it so. Please don’t.
  • Don’t send a copy and paste email with salutations like, “Dear Nameoftheblog” or some other equivalent to “Hey you” or “Hey Guy”. If you can’t bother to find out the name of the blogger, then your message isn’t really that important.