Ashley Zeckman

7 Principles for User Generated Content: Michael DeHaven SES Chicago 2011

SES-Chicago-Michael-DeHavenMichael DeHaven’s presentation at SES Chicago on “User Generated SEO” started with some actual user generated content from the audience. Before the session DeHaven gave 5 volunteers a bite sized Ghirardelli chocolate bar. In exchange for the treat he asked that each of the volunteers write a review of the chocolate and then share it with the rest of the audience.

What Was the Response?
The chocolate was called everything from waxy, to too sweet, messy, and melt in your mouth goodness. In contrast the packaging created by the Ghirardelli marketers was quite different, “take time to slow down and feel yourself melt with each bite.” As you can see the professional marketers took a much different approach than the consumers.

Lee Odden

ad:tech New York Search Marketing Masters

New YorkAs part of my November cross country efforts to share search, social media and content marketing insights, I’ve switched from BlogWorld Los Angeles last week to ad:tech New York this week. I’m really looking forward to a great group of Search Marketing sessions at one of the the largest Interactive Marketing conferences in the world. In the past year I’ve been to London, San Francisco, Barcelona and many other great cities (even Cleveland!) but New York is by far one of my favorite places for a conference.

Earlier this year the amazing Melanie Mitchell, SVP of Search at Digitas, was serving as a conference Marketing Master for the Search Engine Marketing track and she asked me to speak at my first ad:tech in San Francisco.  When I was asked to perform those same SEM track programming duties for the ad:tech New York show, I had to say yes!

Lee Odden

Social Media 101 For Business – WCCO & MIMA

Social Media Panel WCCO MIMAA social media panel at a bowling alley? Yes, that’s how I started my Thursday morning this week, thanks to WCCO Radio (Minneapolis/St, Paul) which was host to a panel on Social Media for Business at Pinstripes in Edina.

Esteemed panelists included several familiar faces and brands including MIMA Board members: Brent Shiely (@brentshiely), Technology Director at General Mills; Ryan Arnholt (@arbenangstrom), Director of Interactive Marketing at OptumHealth; Jill Gutterman (@gigutterman), Director of Interactive Marketing at Rasmussen College; Tim Brunelle (@tbrunelle), CEO of Hello Viking. Bryan C. Del Monte of the Del Monte Agency (a sponsor) was also on the panel.

An informal poll of the audience revealed that just about everyone in the audience of 250 or so was on Facebook and LinkedIn had even better participation. There were far fewer people on Twitter and only a handful had “checked in” on Foursquare.

Lee Odden

SES San Francisco Keynote Interview: Susan Bratton on Persuasion Marketing

susan bratton SES San Francisco is coming up fast and when I discovered that Susan Bratton was giving the opening keynote presentation and on a topic that I have been interested in for years, I wanted to make sure we did a pre-conference interview. For backstory, I met Susan the first time at an ad:tech conference in Chicago while she was the conference chair. That was the same conference where I first met Frank Gruber and David Berkowitz so it was a great networking experience. Since then Susan and I have crossed paths a number of times at events like SXSW and online.

Lee Odden

Will QR Codes Gain Mass Adoption?

QR Code Side of Building

QR Code on Moscone Center San Francisco during SES 2010

QR codes are getting quite a bit of buzz lately and as a self-professed marketing nerd, I find them to be a clever way to connect mobile consumers with online digital content. There have been some pretty creative implementations of QR codes for promotions and mobile marketing too. You can put them anywhere printing is possible and even places it’s not.

A few interesting places I’ve seen them besides normal print advertising include: side of a building, t-shirtstattoos and turning Central Park in NYC into a huge board game.

But as creative and interesting QR codes are, I’m a bit skeptical in terms of mass adoption. For some reason, I can’t imagine consumer behavior changing to start scanning codes for things when they could just search or enter a URL. There’s also the technology that needs to be adopted by more devices.

TopRank Marketing Editor

Thinking Critically About Web Video

TopRank Marketing Editor     Interactive Marketing, Online Marketing, Social Media

web videoWeb video is hot. Some say your chance to be a pioneer.

How hot, and how much of an opportunity? Recent reports from comScore, consistently say more than 80% of the total U.S. Internet audience views online video in a given month. YouTube’s fact sheet states every minute, 24 hours of video is uploaded to the network and 2 billion videos are being watched per day.

All this popularity has of course been driving a trend with marketers: the desire to create video as part of their digital marketing mix. Except sadly, it’s almost never approached strategically.

Agency-side marketing/PR/digital pros: how many times have you had a client approach you after creating a web video and said “hey, we made this video, now make it go viral!”

TopRank Marketing Editor

5 Tips for Better B2B Branding

Think branding only falls in the B2C court? Think again.

In fact, three of the top 10 brands in 2009, as ranked by Interbrand, generate a sizable amount of revenue from their B2B customers: IBM, Microsoft and GE.

As a B2B marketer your brand is your most valuable asset.

B2B branding is less about cool, hip monikers (the Apples and Starbucks of the world) – and more about thought leadership.

Particularly in down economies, B2B prospects and customers conduct significant research leading up to purchases. That means you as a marketer have to educate them early on, and establish your brand as a trusted resource that gets their problems and has the solution.

To help your organization be seen as the thought leader it is, we’ve identified five B2B branding tips:

Lee Odden

Upcoming TopRank Social SEO & PR Events

Blinded at PubconOur team works hard to stay on top of current best practices and as a result, we’re asked to speak at a variety of conferences, workshops and webinars. One of the goals at TopRank Online Marketing is to help companies better understand the current landscape of the digital marketing & PR environment. That includes strategies that can be executed more efficiently and marketing programs that can adjust to persistent change. Hopefully you’ll find an event below that fits your needs.


Feb 9, 2010
Webinar: Secrets to B2B Marketing Success

TopRank, along with our client Marketo and Ion Interactive will be collaborating to educate B2B marketers on best practices before and after lead generation with an upcoming webinar focused on pre-click, post-click, and post-conversion optimization.

Lee Odden

eMarketer: 12 Digital Marketing Predictions for 2010

eMarketer is one of the most cited resources for internet marketing trends, so when I received some tasty predictions for 2010, I thought they were too useful to keep to myself. These insights include future monetization models, the effect of transparency on advertising, social and search, mobile, social commerce, public relations, social advertising, Twitter, video and mom/pop internet usage. Enjoy!

Hybrid Plans that Combine Subscription Fees with Advertising
More marketers will increasingly embrace online video advertising, supported by the twin boom of video streams and video ad networks.

emarketer-video-ads

Further support for video ad growth will come from sites that offer a deeper catalog of professional video content—such as whole seasons of TV shows (both present and past), exclusives of entire sports events and other premium content. Such offerings will attract larger audiences. But in order to maintain the costs of deep-catalog video, the sites and their studio and TV network partners will need to introduce hybrid plans that combine subscription fees with advertising.

Lee Odden

Storytelling: Actionable Insight from Analytics

Storytelling: Actionable Insight from AnalyticsThere’s a certain sentiment amongst many marketers that, “If you can’t measure it, it’s not worth doing.” While that perspective may not be entirely applicable to all online marketing, it certainly draws attention to the need for insight from measuring what we do to market, communicate, promote and influence on the web.  The need to better understand the value and application of web analytics data as well as social media measurement is critical for companies that want to compete online.

The MIMA Summit breakout session “Storytelling: Actionable Insight from Analytics” was jam packed with collective analytics wisdom shared by panelists Jason Rapps, Joel Wright, Marshall Sponder, and moderator Jennifer Veesenmeyer to help organizations overcome 3 key web analytics obstacles:

  1. Getting traction – getting from stage 1 to stage 2
Lee Odden

10 SEO & Social Media Posts To Read Before MIMA Summit

mima summit 2009

Great Hall at MIMA Summit

2008 MIMA Summit at The Depot

UPDATE: We have a winner! Liz Giel was selected by a mysterious voting process contrived within the ranks of the TopRank staff and involving various secretive and hurried Account Managers. Suffice it to say, we appreciate all who ReTweeted, linked and commented.  Don’t worry, there will be liveblogging of the event here on Online Marketing Blog and live streaming of several sessions at MIMASummit.org. Congratulations Liz!

In just under a week the annual Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association Summit will be held downtown Minneapolis at the Hilton. With keynotes from Seth Godin and Jackie Huba as well as a collection of local and national subject matter experts ranging from Greg Swan of Weber Shandwick to Scott Monty of Ford, it should be a veritable vortex of interactive velocity.  I apologize, that alliteration was so bad.

Lee Odden

Intersection of Search and Social Media AdWeekMedia Connect

This afternoon I did a live chat with AdWeekMedia Connect, a social network for the ad agency set on the intersection of search and social media. Embedded below is the recorded chat stream:

Here are a few resources on the topic: