Jan 30 2011

Could Not Open Socket reCAPTCHA Error

Posted by A R Chalmers in Computers

After months of receiving spam through my contact forms I decided it was time to add reCAPTCHA to them in the hope of stemming the tide of garbage.  This now under the control of Google I thought there wasn’t going to be an issue with this. Having just installed reCAPTCHA on my works websites I knew what to do and all went well on those sites. On the Friday I did 3 forms on my own sites and all worked as expected, on the Saturday I did the last form I had, but that one didn’t work. All I kept getting was a ‘could not open socket’ error.

Initially I thought I must have made some error in the code but after checking the code against that which I had done the day before I could see no error. And more over the 3 forms I did the day before that worked, now no longer worked and displayed the same error message, what the hell?? Most frustrating was the fact that this was all the message said and gave no clue as to what was causing it. I made a number of attempts to find which section of code that was at fault by adding echo’s throughout the php code but none of them showed, only that damned error message. I thought there must be something wrong with the server.

Someone must have had this issue before so I turned my attention to Google for an answer. As I started to type ‘could not open socket’ the autocomplete came up with ‘could not open socket recaptcha’, ah ha! But I couldn’t think why it could have worked yesterday and not today? After reading many unhelpful posts’ I found this: http://code.google.com/p/recaptcha/issues/detail?id=26 which although didn’t have the exact answer it did help me to realise the answers to my own issues.

After reading through this thread I came to the conclusion that my problem was 2 fold and explained why it had worked yesterday and not today. The main problem was my web host, in their attempt to be helpful they introduced (a long time back) blocking of outgoing connections to remote IPs from within my sites. This is one to be aware of if you are auto blogging using wp-o-matic, any feed you add will most likely be blocked by this until you add the IP to the allowed list from within your control panel.

I assume there is a good reason for them doing this but it can imagine it has caused nightmares for the inexperienced. Obviously it had worked yesterday because it was new, once the server knew the connection was being made it blocked it. It was probably the number of tests I did that made the connection get noticed and was possibly a good job it was noticed so quickly or I might not have noticed it for some time.

So which IP was I to add to the allowed list? The line of code in recaptchalib.php identified as the problem in the above thread was:

define(“RECAPTCHA_VERIFY_SERVER”, www.google.com);

So what I needed was the IP of google.com. http://www.mxtoolbox.com/SuperTool.aspx is a very useful tool I have been using for a long time. A DNS lookup for google.com gave me 5 options for an IP, to, so now I have:


Adding this IP to the allowed remote IP list from within my control panel sorted the problem on all my forms. Score!

Jul 26 2013

Online Marketing News Vacation Edition: Icky Gmail Ads, Twitter Oops!, LinkedIn Bandwagon, Google Dominates the Web

Posted by admin in SEO

2013 Ogilvy Brand Advocacy Report

I’m on vacation this week, so today’s news post is light and fresh for your reading pleasure.  Enjoy!

From the Social@Ogilvy Slideshare post: Every day people have millions of conversations about brands around the world. Many of these are advocacy mentions that help brands significantly amplify their marketing.

Research suggests that up to 80% of reach from marketing campaigns now comes from network amplification through advocacy. This means brands that can’t generate substantial advocacy will simply pay more to market less efficiently than those who make advocacy a brand priority.

Social@Ogilvy analyzed 7 million brand social mentions across 4 countries (Brazil, China, UK, US) and 22 brands (with data from partners CIC, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, and Visible Technologies) to analyze the key drivers of advocacy.

In Other Online Marketing News…

Along with the auto-organizing inbox, Google starts placing ads that look like emails in Gmail – Time. This news is quickly followed by advice on how to opt-out – Information Week

Slideshare now offers an infographics player along with reporting on views and embeds. Pro users get all new enhanced analytics options including graphs and the ability to drill down into more specific data – Slideshare

Google Announces The New Nexus 7, Android 4.3 And Chromecast – trendblog

Twitter fakes real users’ tweets to promote ad platform – SF Gate

Report: Web site advertising is a buzz kill. Satisfaction rankings for search engines, social networks, and news sites drop almost 4 percent from last year according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index – CNET

LinkedIn Introduces Sponsored Updates for Companies. The new change follows in the footsteps of Facebook and Twitter to enable the 3 million plus companies on LinkedIn to run paid promotion of their updates to the broader network beyond those that follow the company page – Mashable

Facebook sales of ads on wireless devices now on track to surpass revenue from desktop computers – Bloomberg

Foursquare Opens Self-Service Advertising to Small Businesses – Search Engine Watch

Flipboard Brings Its Mobile Magazines To The Web – TechCrunch

Google sets Internet record with 25 percent of U.S. traffic – CNET

From The Online Marketing Blog Community:

On the post, “Does SEO Still Matter?”, Patrick McFadden says:
The struggle many face with marketing online is a misguided impulse to put various tactics into separate boxes, instead of seeing each as an aspect of one strategic process. People still refer to content marketing, social media marketing, and search engine optimization (SEO) as three different things — as if each is a tactic that can get you there alone.

On the guest post by Brian Sheehan, “How the World’s Top Marketers Make Emotional Connections to win in the Marketplace” Brent White says:
A loved company has longevity because with emotion as the driving force boredom seldom will be a concern or an issue.

What’s Your Take?

Do you think email-like ads in GMail are the right move for Google? Will you try to opt-out? What about the growth in social advertising? Will you try the new options from LinkedIn to promote your company posts?

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© Online Marketing Blog, 2013. |
Online Marketing News Vacation Edition: Icky Gmail Ads, Twitter Oops!, LinkedIn Bandwagon, Google Dominates the Web | http://www.toprankblog.com

This article was originally posted on the Online Marketing Blog

Jul 23 2013

Social Media Strategy: Where to Start & Why

Posted by admin in SEO

social media strategy start

Where to Start Your Social Media Strategy

Whether you’re a bricks and mortar mom and pop business or a 100% online digital enterprise, NOT participating in social media is no longer an option. In many ways today’s social networks represent the new discovery engine. Consumers and business decision makers are sending their friends and colleagues to websites they like through their browsers and desktops and, increasingly, their mobile devices.

According to eMarketer, more than 1.4 billion people worldwide will use social networks in 2012. Although the global audience is massive, it is by no means unified, they caution. It’s clear that companies of all sizes need to embrace a social media strategy because what our connections are doing online will drive your customers’ behavior more and more. What still appears murky for many, however, is exactly where to start.

Begin With Social Media Monitoring

I recommend casting your net wide, beginning with social media monitoring. Why? Because basic business intelligence will provide a framework and may also reveal gaps in your competitor’s digital footprint – knowledge you can take advantage of. For example, Google+ is still an underutilized platform for many companies, even with 343 million users. If your competitor isn’t using a specific top-tier social media platform, your business can become an influencer with little effort.

However, there are hundreds of social media sites and apps that may fit your target audience perfectly and some your competitors may not have discovered.

The Core of Your Social Media Strategy: Goals & Measurement

Just as every website serves a purpose, so too should your social media strategy. A social media presence without a business objective is like having a website without a Contact page. Business goals involving social media will vary depending on your unique product or service; just be sure to identify them. For example, one objective of social media might be to support sales by answering questions or publishing how-to videos. Another may be to augment customer service.

By establishing specific goals, you can measure results and calibrate your efforts accordingly. The one thing I’ve learned about social media is that it’s a fast-moving ecosystem. If you know what you want to achieve, and you aren’t hitting your numbers, you can always optimize tactics for better performance. Or, if your metrics are anemic, this may be the signal to refine your strategy.

Google recently made it even easier to measure referring traffic with their new Social reports. Since they scour the web looking for new content via links, it was only a matter of time before they released this layer of data. By providing a holistic social media report through your existing Google Analytics account, it will be much easier to replicate success when you know which pages, posts or social links are garnering the most engagement.

Integrate with Search

As Lee likes to say, “SEO is the peanut butter, social media is the jelly and content holds it all together”. The dynamic between social media content and shared links with visibility on search engines is undeniable.  When planning out social media content, make sure you tap into keyword glossaries researched by the SEO team or agency. Creating keyword optimized content that is prone to be shared will extend the reach of your social media messaging and attract even more participants to your networks on sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

Social Goes Mobile

Lastly, no social media strategy would be complete without discussing mobile. It can be argued that the rise in smartphone technology correlates directly to the explosion of social media usage.  Keeping pace are technology platforms that can track conversions from social media and email to real-world foot traffic.

Whether you’re a local business who wants to tie Facebook “likes” to in-store purchases with performance monitoring from startup Circl or a cross-channel marketer wanting a 360 degree view of your customer using an enterprise-level solution, like Strongview (formerly StrongMail), gaining insights into customer behavior has never been easier. (Disclosure: Strongview is a client of TopRank Online Marketing.)

Your goal as business owner or marketing department then becomes creating the right offer tailored to the right person at exactly the moment they’re ready to buy, elevating the term “digital handshake” to a whole new level!

Image source: Shutterstock

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© Online Marketing Blog, 2013. |
Social Media Strategy: Where to Start & Why | http://www.toprankblog.com

This article was originally posted on the Online Marketing Blog

Jul 19 2013

Online Marketing News: Fortune 500 Social Media Pops, Sharknado!. Boomers Online Not TV, Ecomm & Tech Boost Spending

Posted by admin in SEO

Fortune 500 Social Media Report

The annual study of Fortune 500 company blogs and social media use by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth has been published for 2013 indicating the largest increase in corporate blogs since 2008. Other statistics from the report:

  • 77% of Fortune 500 companies have at least one Twitter account
  • Consumer Food Products and Specialty Retailers lead with Twitter adoption
  • Facebook, Google and Starbucks have the largest Twitter following with a combined 20,000,000 Twitter followers
  • 69% of Fortune 500 companies have a Facebook fan page
  • Facebook, Coca Cola and Walt Disney have the largest Facebook following with a combined 300 million fans
  • 69% of Fortune 500 companies have a YouTube account
  • 9% of Fortune 500 companies have a Pinterest account
  • 35% of Fortune 500 companies have an active Google+ account. 19% have Google+ accounts but are not active
  • 9% of Fortune 500 companies have an Instagram account
  • 9% of Fortune 500 companies have a FourSquare account and only 1 (Walmart) in the top 10
  • 59% of Fortune 500 companies link to their social media accounts from the home page

Here is the full infographic and report.

In Other Online Marketing News…

How Marketers Are Approaching Mobile in 2013: A new study from Chief Marketer reports that most marketers are integrating mobile in their marketing efforts including 76% that optimize email for mobile. However, only 40% are optimizing email landing pages for mobile. Source: MarketingProfs 

TV + Twitter = Sharknado. SyFy ran a TV movie about a tornado of sharks pummeling Los Angeles that attracted over 300,000 tweets during the broadcast. An additional 400,000 plus tweets went out leading up to the show and afterwards. Wil Wheaton live tweeted the show and it was retweeted over 10,000 times. Source: AllTwitter

Baby Boomers and seniors now spend more time online than watching television, according to a report by Ipsos and Google. Source: MarketingProfs

Buyers prefer B2B vendors with better site search & easier purchase processes. (that’s why you optimize!)   Sourcs: BtoB Magazine

Yahoo buys Admovate to ramp up its mobile advertising Source: Network World

B2B Email Marketing Study: What is the biggest challenge with email marketing for B2B marketers? Content & measuring ROI.  BtoB Magazine

Search Rules in Ecommerce: Online retailers are putting most of their marketing budget into search. Source: VentureBeat

Smartphone Marketing Opportunities Abound: Google study reports that 56% of U.S. consumers own smartphones, 61% search daily, 77% research product or services. Mobile ad spend is $7.7B in 2013, $28B by 2017. Source MediaPost

Where are B2B Multi-Channel Marketers Investing Most? A new study from Silverpop and Forrester reveals that B2B Marketers are invested more heavily than B2C in only one area of multi-channel marketing. Guess what it is? Source: MarketingProfs

Advertising Investments Rose 30% During Q1 2013 At Tech Companies While Overall Ad Spend Dropped 1% Source: Mediapost 

From The Online Marketing Blog Community

Here’s our favorite comment from this week’s posts:

How to Rock Content Marketing World 2013 – Six Ways
John Ellis says: Fantastic post Lee. “Most people drift from session to session like sheep and sit passively hoping something the speaker says will wake them from the fog of last night’s networking.”

This is one of the biggest issues and I think it has a lot to do with the presenters as much as the attendees. Listening to someone drone on over a PPT can be horribly boring. Many presenters are simply regurgitating the same message wherever they go.

Research your presenters and watch clips of them in action. Find the ones that excite you, that speak to you. Stay away from the drones. ;)

What’s Your Take?

Should all Fortune 500 companies have social profile links on their home pages? Did you Tweet while watching Sharknado? What, you didn’t watch Sharknado? That’s OK, neither did we :)

Have a great weekend!

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Gain a competitive advantage by subscribing to the
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© Online Marketing Blog, 2013. |
Online Marketing News: Fortune 500 Social Media Pops, Sharknado!. Boomers Online Not TV, Ecomm & Tech Boost Spending | http://www.toprankblog.com

This article was originally posted on the Online Marketing Blog

Jul 18 2013

How to Rock Content Marketing World 2013 – Six Ways

Posted by admin in SEO
Joe Pulizzi Rocks Content Marketing World

Joe Pulizzi rocking his talk at Content Marketing World 2012

There’s some serious momentum growing in the digital marketing world and companies world-wide are scrambling to figure out one of the most important pieces for success: content.

What better way to close the gap between early maturity model stages and a path to greater profitability than learning from top experts who have already “been there, done that”? Content Marketing World coming up Sept 9-11 will provide the answers many digital marketers are looking for.

Like anything of value, attending conferences is an investment and #CMWorld is no different. If you’ve been thinking about how to advance your organization’s ability to plan, create, market, measure and govern content in your organization, then I can’t think of a better event.

While Joe Pulizzi and his team do everything they can to make the event an incredible experience, here are 6 tips for you to boost the ROI of your conference investment even further, whether you are attending, speaking or sponsoring.

1. Rock The Mic Before, During & After – Optimize Your Presentation Experience

Failure to plan is a plan to fail. This is easily one of the most basic, yet impactful things you can do to get more value out of a conference. While Content Marketing World is one of the best organized events I’ve ever been to, it’s important to understand you are in control of your experience. Especially if you plan things out ahead of time. Allow for adaptation of course, but setting goals and outlining steps beforehand will make speaking at an event an entirely new marketing experience.

Before the event:

  • Write headlines, descriptions, tags and make trackable short URLs
  • Pre-write tweets, updates and decide on a hashtag
  • Submit your session to event listing sites, create events on Facebook and LinkedIn
  • Create a contest or buzz around your presentation to inspire others to tell their networks
  • Issue an optimized press release
  • Schedule interviews with media attending the event and/or local media
  • Connect with other speakers in advance
  • Create a teaser for your presentation
  • Announce your event attendance through email and your social channels
  • When you meet people before your presentation, don’t be shy about sharing when you are speaking
  • Create a check-in notice on Foursquare inviting people to attend your session

During the event:

  • Create content the audience can participate with. I like to take photos of the audience and post to our Facebook page so they can tag themselves.
  • Use tweetable, shareable content in your presentation
  • Give something away to motivate desired behaviors like asking questions
  • Always include a report or fulfillment piece in your thank you page
  • Have someone on your team monitoring tweets and buzz during your presentation. Interact as appropriate

After the event:

  • Curate buzz about the presentation into a blog post and/or newsroom post
  • Follow up on questions asked and fulfillment deliverables
  • Connect with new contacts through appropriate social channels
  • Thank the conference for having you
  • If you were on a panel, thank the panelists and moderator
  • Thank any livebloggers that covered your session
  • Use media coverage from the event in your newsroom, corporate email and other communications

2. Sing for More Than One Audience  - Identify Networking Targets

Most people I talk to evaluate conference attendance purely by how many leads they went home with.  The frequent disappointment based on that one dimension is a result of a copious amounts of short term thinking and overconfidence. It’s a competitive world out there and if you want to make it to the big stage, you’ll need to hustle.  

I always like to say that I can make money 5 ways when I attend conferences and that starts by identifying your networking targets. What business goals can you achieve from connecting at an event where so many likeminded, interested and capable people are present?  Set goals for those targets: How many qualified prospects, marketing partners, vendors to outsource to and job candidates will you meeting? Each day, tally them up and plan how you will follow up.

Common event networking targets and objectives:

  • Recruiting
  • Collecting competitive intelligence
  • Vendor and consultant sourcing
  • Partner sourcing
  • Prospecting for new customers

3. Become a Better Marketing Musician By Learning From Others – Plan to Get Smarter

Before you ever attend a conference, think about which sessions will you attend and how will you capture information? Notes, photos, video (where allowed) When meeting new people, discuss the sessions with them. Compare notes – it’s a great way to network and to get other opinions. Before the conference, make a grid or a plan for which specific sessions you’ll be attending. Often times, there is not much time between sessions and the difference between getting a good seat and standing room only can be a matter of minutes.

  • You can benefit from understanding how the information is presented as much as from the actual tips. The format, sequence, design and presentation of information that connects is a model you can leverage for your own purposes: whether it’s speaking at a conference or event yourself or communicating and persuading people internally.
  • Planning your conference session attendance is essential. Think of how many sessions will you attend and how will you capture the information presented. Will you take notes on an iPad, laptop or (gasp) on paper? Will you take photos or video (where allowed)? Do you know where to get a copy of the speakers’ presentations? Introduce yourself to speakers and ask them a key question on video so you can review later and share with your team.
  • When meeting new people, discuss the sessions with them. Compare notes – it’s a great way to network and to get other opinions. Before the conference, make a grid or a plan for which specific sessions you’ll be attending. Often times, there is not much time between sessions and the difference between getting a good seat and standing room only can be a matter of minutes and you might miss out on the session entirely because rooms can fill up.

Most people drift from session to session like sheep and sit passively hoping something the speaker says will wake them from the fog of last night’s networking. Other people set goals, and proactively seek sessions, speakers and vendors that will help them fill gaps and expand their knowledge. It’s an intentional effort, not a passive approach that wins when it comes to gaining new knowledge at a conference. Be a rock star attendee and be intentional about how you’ll get smarter.

4. Bootleg the Music – Create, Curate and Amplify Content 

When you attend an event like Content Marketing World, you’ll be one of thousands and thousands of marketers who are not able to go. It’s like being able to go to a concert with the best bands. You don’t want to keep all that musical goodness to yourself, do you? While bootlegging performances is usually prohibited at a concert, creating content at a conference is one of the best things you could do for the benefit of your colleagues and customers.  

Think about how will you leverage your conference experience to create new content for your company blog, articles, or process documentation? Set goals for how many you’ll create each day. The content you capture and create can supply a company blog with numerous posts and show clients, staff and prospective clients that you are on top of what’s happening in the industry.

If you have staff attending an event, make it part of their requirements to create content while they are there. At Content Marketing World, you’ll see TopRank’s Alexis Hall, Katie Bresnahan  and Susan Misukanis live-blogging away and posting their observations here. This tip alone will turn up the volume on your conference ROI. 

Set goals for how many blog posts, articles or other types of content will be created each day of the conference. It doesn’t have to be all text – take photos of people, and presentation slides. Take videos where allowed.

  • Liveblogging – You can transcribe what the speakers say word for word or just listen for key quotes or pieces of information and make a “list post” around a specific topic. Pre-write an article about the session topic and fill in stats and quotes from the speakers.
  • Interviews – Reach out to speakers in advance and collect tips from their presentations as a way to help boost attendance to their session. Shoot video interviews of speakers or other smarties at the conference. Record podcast interviews with the same people. Capture single tips on video from a large number of people and compile into one video. Go to exhibitor booths and ask them for a 30 second pitch on video and compile them. Survey attendees on what they like best, tips they’ve heard, etc into a compilation video. With video, you might want to get sign-offs. Also, non-speakers may be reluctant.
  • Journal – Keep notes and write a summary of key points from the day and publish like a journal entry. Link to other bloggers that are publishing liveblog posts at the same event.
  • Curate – Use a tool like storify to curate the buzz of the conference. You don’t even need to be at the event to do this if a conference hashtag is used consistently.
  • Track Your Own Buzz – If you are speaking, make sure someone from your team is tracking mentions of you, your company and topic on social streams like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+. Monitor any liveblogging of your presentations as well. Give people an incentive to liveblog your sessions too. If anyone liveblogs or livetweets one of my presentations, I will often send them a copy of Optimize. Curate those mentions into a roundup post on your company newsroom.

5. Get Your Demo Tape to the Right People – Amplify the Transfer of Knowledge

When you do make a commitment to capturing content at an event, it’s equally important to consider how those tips, tactics and actionable insights will get out of your head and computer and into the hands of people in your organization that can put them into action. 

Think about how will you pass on the information you’ve acquired to the rest of the team? At TopRank Online Marketing, our staff take the highlights and any specific tactics of use and create presentations which they share with the rest of the team. Knowing you will be required to present the information you are gaining with the team back at the office helps focus on takeaways and practical interpretations of the new information. Here are some handy tips for knowledge transfer:

  • Capture: Target specific speakers and sessions. Write questions you want answered and if the presentations do not contain those answers then pursue subject matter expert speakers to ask them directly. Capture information in text, audio, video and image. No one ever comes back from an event thinking they took too many photos. Maybe the wrong photos, but not to many. Also, be aware of conference policies on video and image capture.
  • Synthesis: When you formulate questions, have specific applications for your business in mind. When you get the answers, filter the information in a way that will be practical and useful when it is shared – vs. all theoretical. Discuss the information and tips collected with fellow attendees to filter out what’s most useful.
  • Distribution: Have a plan for how you will present the useful tactics, insights, statistics and case studies with your co-workers, clients and other interested parties.  You could write a report, you could create a presentation to give live or via webinar, you could compile video clips and images to narration. Individual tips could be saved on an internal knowledge base blog according to category. You could have a post-conference brown bag lunch discussion or a more formal presentation. There are many different options, but have them in mind before the conference to increase the likelihood they will actually happen and in an effective way.

6. After The Concert, The Real Party Begins – Optimize Your Socializing

Where there’s a conference, there’s a party. Content Marketing World will be no different. Especially when you consider that Cleveland hosts the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

After hours events are exceptional opportunities for conference attendees to relax, network and share information. Make no mistake, post session networking can be an art form. Make a point to relax and have fun, but be clear about objectives and make a goal of attending a dinner each night of the event if possible. Some dinners are a tradition amongst long time friends, some are sponsored by vendors and some are ad hoc events that occur as a result of likeminded individuals wanting to continue the day’s discussion.

The formal connections you make during the day can be extended with social conversation after the event. These connections can become some of the most valuable because no matter how smart you are, people want to work with other people they like. After conference networking is a chance to connect with other professionals on a more personal or at least relaxed level.

Just remember, what happens in Cleveland, will absolutely be broadcast on Twitter, Vine, Instagram, Facebook and maybe even Google+ :)

Are You Ready to Rock?

Even if you do 2 or 3 of these things, you’ll be able to multiple the value from attending a conference like Content Marketing World. These tips are applicable to any event and as the demand for more content grows, why not take advantage of the opportunities right in front of us? Here are details on the event.

If you have any questions about Content Marketing World, or are interested in more tips, please be sure to ask in the comments or email me directly at lee at toprankblog dot com. I hope to see you in September!

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© Online Marketing Blog, 2013. |
How to Rock Content Marketing World 2013 – Six Ways | http://www.toprankblog.com

This article was originally posted on the Online Marketing Blog

Jul 15 2013

What Content Marketers Really Need to Know About SEO – A Twitter Chat With @JoePulizzi #CMWorld

Posted by admin in SEO

Content SEOCompanies large and small are investing in content creation now, more than ever. Whether the investment in content marketing supports branding, sales, customer service, PR or recruiting, there are specific audiences and brand messages involved.

Kudos to companies making the effort to create more useful content to help answer customer questions. But what good is investing in all that content if it’s not easy to find and share?

Search is a direct expression of intent and what better time for your useful content to be available than at your customers’ moment of need? It’s the perfect time of course, so companies pumping out content without amplification are literally throwing money away.

To help content marketers get a better handle on how SEO fits with content marketing, Joe Pulizzi and the folks at Content Marketing World hosted a Twitter Chat with me on the topic. In case you missed it, here are my self-curated tips:

Q1: Let’s get started! In the ever-changing world of search, what are basics content marketers should keep in mind? 

A1: Search is instrumental for discovery so content marketers need to know how their customers search, what & why

A1: Search insights inspire content topics customers are actively looking for. What better way to connect?

A1: Google Keyword Tool will soon require an AdWords acct, but ubersuggest.org & wordpot.com are handy (free)

A1: Distill customer interest along buy cycle into keywords/topics that inspire content & optimization. Refine, repeat.

A1: Continuous optimization of search performance enables content to keep pace with changes in the search world.

Q2: How does #contentmarketing create synergy between search and social?

A2: Social is jelly, SEO is peanut butter, & content marketing is the bread that holds it all together :)

A2: Content that is easy to find in search & easy to share on social networks is a good customer experience.

A2: Useful content shared on social networks helps people & provides a signal for search engines. Win Win Win

Q3: How do you balance #SEO keywords (search) & keywords consumers use (social)? 

A3: Search phrases express specific intent to find. Social topics expect interaction or reaction

A3: Keyword tool for search:  Topic tool for social: social monitoring tools Sysomos Heartbeat

A3: Tools like the new FB Graph Search show that searching is an essential function for consumers

A3: Search keywords & social topics can inspire a content plan that is optimized & socialized for visibility

Q4: What tools should content marketers use when it comes to #SEO? 

A4: Keyword research tools: Google Keyword Planner, Wordstream, Wordtracker, Keyword Discovery

A4: Competitive research tools: SEMRush, SpyFu

A4: Onpage Optimization Tech Audits: Screaming Frog, Xenu LinkSleuth

A4: Link tracking tools: Arel=”nofollow” hrefs, MajesticSEO, Moz

A4: Content optimization guides like Inbound Writer, ScribeContent

A4: SEO management tools like RavenTools, Optify, BrightEdge

Q5: Is there one kind of content – video, text, images, mobile – that is prime for search? What’s the hot trend? 

A5: It’s possible to say images & video are “hot” but not necessarily relevant for all experiences

A5: Create the content mix most meaningful for your customers, then optimize for fundability

A5: Picking the most popular content solely by the format prime for search, can create a disconnect

Q6: What process does your organization use to optimize its content? 

A6: That’s the question everyone wants to know :) It’s outlined in detail within OptimizeBook.com

A6: Buyer Goals > Keywords > Content Plan > Optimize > Socialize > Publicize > Convert

Q7: How do you change your search strategy based on how Google changes its algorithm? 

A7: A search strategy that has to change significantly due to an algorithm update is a failed strategy to start with

A7: The focus should be on customers, conversions and optimizing against that. Defensible content that adds value

Q8: Do you optimize your content for both your audience and search? Which is more important?

A8: Optimizing for customers is first & foremost important. What does that mean? Be meaningful to customers.

A8: Content easily found but confusing is of no value. Neither is excellent content no one can find.

A8: Meaningful content for customers that is also optimized for discovery – search or social is the WIN

Q9: Last question: What do you think is the future of SEO/search? Will it become more or less important? 

A9: A10: As long as content can be found through the act of searching, there will be an opportunity for optimization.

A9: When marketers are focused on the customer journey, the most important content discovery channels are always clear.

To connect with some of the smartest and possibly, good looking, content marketers in the world, be sure to check out the Content Marketing World conference coming up in September. I’ll be there with three of my team connecting, networking, speaking and definitely learning. We hope to see you there.

Update! Here’s a SlideShare deck from Content Marketing Institute of the #CMWorld Tweet Chat:


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© Online Marketing Blog, 2013. |
What Content Marketers Really Need to Know About SEO – A Twitter Chat With @JoePulizzi #CMWorld | http://www.toprankblog.com

This article was originally posted on the Online Marketing Blog

Jul 11 2013

Should Your CEO Actively Use Social Media? Here’s How from Chris Brogan

Posted by admin in SEO
Chris Brogan - Lee Odden

Marketers With Beards!

Social Media for Executives – Interview with Chris Brogan originally published on Tech Page One.

With 27% of total U.S. internet time spent on social networking sites (Experian) and 55% of marketers spending more marketing budget on social media in 2013 (eMarketer), the momentum of the social web has clearly gained mass appeal.

Yet many executives I’ve talked to feel as if they are watching from afar versus playing in the game. Social participation, let alone integration, with current marketing and sales activities is unfamiliar and uncomfortable.

How can business executives gain confidence in deciding on the right social channels, platforms and tools? How can social technologies support and advance current marketing, communications and business goals?

As the first in a series of “Social Media Spotlight” interviews to answer those questions and many more, I reached out to a friend whom I have been learning from for several years.

Chris BroganFew voices carry as much weight in the social media world as Chris Brogan, best selling author of multiple books on the topic and subject of numerous conversations amongst the hundreds of thousands of social contacts he’s made. Chris is also the CEO of Human Business Works and took some time to answer a few questions about where and how social media can fit. We also discussed tools, platforms and closing the mental gap between social participation and commerce.

Social CEO

A recent study by Weber Shandwick cites numerous benefits for C-Suite executives getting more involved with social networking. For business owners and executives that are hesitant about their own social media involvement, what advice can you share on deciding if social web participation makes sense and where to start?

The digital channel is a place where communication is the core ingredient. People like me advocate content creation and marketing with content, but ultimately, without a commitment to engagement and communication, the channel doesn’t produce the best possible results.

A senior executive or business owner needs an analogy to see this better. If you ran a restaurant and I came in to eat, how would I feel if no one greeted me? How would I feel if I was never seated? How will you even get my money? As the executive, your role is the table visiting chef. “How did you like your meal? What can we do better?” Have you ever had that treatment yourself? You immediately want to have another experience like it. It’s the best of all worlds when you feel that level of care and attention.

Where does one start? Start where you feel most capable and confident of connecting. Don’t worry if you can’t answer every question and comment that floods in. Just dip in the waters. If you mean which platform specifically, I prefer Twitter, but some would use Facebook. LinkedIn might work, but you’ll likely talk to fewer end customers.

In your recent post on shifting social media usage to fabric mode, you give really useful advice on do’s and don’ts. Can you share some of those here?

I simply tell professionals that you have to get over thinking about social media as either shiny or foreign to other parts of the business. It’s part of the business. If you’ve not implemented it, you’re now about 5 years behind the curve. Would you allow yourself to get five years behind in any other aspect of your business?

As for do’s, do thread social tools into your marketing and sales and support practices, so that you can talk with buyers where they exist. Do task whoever must use these channels with understanding that they may have to field marketing, sales, or service issues. All three should be handled and none treated as “not my job.”

Don’t chase the various social platforms that come and go. If a place has traction, consider putting together an outpost there. But more importantly, go somewhere that lets you tell your story your way. For instance, if you’ve got a very visual product, use YouTube more. If you’ve got something very photogenic, consider Pinterest. It’s your call.

What are some of your favorite tools for social content curation, creation, publishing and measurement?

I am very bullish on audio podcasts. People are looking for better entertainment options for their commutes and it’s a great opportunity to deliver content in a very intimate way.

Email marketing done personably and with a lot of focus on relationship-building has changed my own business magically. My email marketing list is 10x smaller than my social media presence, and yet it performs 10x more sales conversions, meaning that I get 100x more success from my email marketing list than any other effort.

I publish a blog using the WordPress platform and that’s critical to my success because it brings people in via Google search terms, who might not normally find me. They interact with my content in some way, and if I’m lucky, they take the next step (which in my business, is getting onto my email list).

So many companies go to extremes with social messaging, from being “too salesy” to enforcing rules about never, ever including an “ask” of any kind. How can companies find the happy medium and confidence that creating value first brings the rewards we’re all after? 

Use the magazine model. It’s so easy. Buy any commercial magazine of value and relative success and look through the pages. Count up how many features versus ads, how many tidbits versus asks, and see what you find. It’s usually a blend somewhere around 60/40 or 65/35 content to ads. Consumer markets don’t mind ads. They mind too many ads. And of course they love ad-free, but unless you are just providing the social channel as some kind of philanthropic effort with no value or return intended, that’s not useful to you.

My personal experience has been that I can advertise as much as I’d like provided that I’m very clear and crisp in declaring what’s an ad and what’s useful content, and provided that both ads and content are relevant to the community I serve.

Social Networks Word Cloud

Let’s play word association. I’ll mention a social network, and you reply with the first word or idea that pops in your mind:

  • Facebook – Pictures of family
  • Google+ – Great potential, but mostly still nerd
  • Vine – Misunderstood the way twitter was for years. I think it’s brilliant.
  • LinkedIn – Suffers from too many people using it poorly.
  • Twitter – A bit harder to sift great information these days, but still a personal Bloomberg for your pursuits.
  • Snapchat – Too soon to tell, but the kids sure like it.
  • YouTube – A must to any business marketing and sales efforts. The world’s #2 search engine
  • Instagram – I love this more than Facebook. A bit harder to make the business case, but personally, I love it.
  • Pinterest – Huge potential here, especially if selling to women is important.
  • MySpace – Will fall back under the waves, never to be heard from. Turned into “their space” to hock musicians’ materials. Blech.

One thing you can count on with Chris is practical, tell it like it is advice.  You can connect with Chris on Twitter and his blog.

The bottom line with business and social media is that it will continue to grow as an essential part of doing business. Executives that are uncomfortable with making social media commitments with their companies need to see the inevitability of how people connecting through technology will help the company provide better service and better products. Brand and individual social media participation is becoming as normal and comfortable as using the telephone or email. There may be more moving parts and changes, but the end result is communications between people.

Be sure to follow the “Spotlight on Social” series of interviews over at Tech Page One. Next up? The always awesome Mari Smith.

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© Online Marketing Blog, 2013. |
Should Your CEO Actively Use Social Media? Here’s How from Chris Brogan | http://www.toprankblog.com

This article was originally posted on the Online Marketing Blog

Jul 10 2013

Optimizing With Youtility – Free Tools to Better Understand Your Customers and Create Marketing That Matters

Posted by admin in SEO

Youtility for Better MarketingAs you know, we rarely run guest posts but today I’d like to welcome best selling author Jay Baer to TopRank’s Online Marketing Blog.  Jay’s new book, Youtility, is lighting the bookseller charts on fire and has offered an excerpt for your reading pleasure. 

After meeting Jay about 5 years ago at SXSWi, it’s been a pleasure to see his rise as a digital marketing powerhouse keynote speaker, consultant and all around great guy. Jay is a veteran agency owner going back to the very early days of the internet and an entrepreneur. He’s worked with numerous Fortune 500 brands and is one of the few marketing “celebrities” that walks the talks he’s giving. Enjoy!

Jay BaerFor your marketing to be so useful that people would gladly pay for it – which I call “Youtility” marketing – you have to fully understand what your prospective customers need to make better decisions, and how you can improve their lives by providing it. There was a time when trying to reach “25 to 44 year-old housewives in the Midwestern United States” qualified as a highly segmented effort. Today, in the age of self-serve information, the demographics of prospective customers are simply the starting point, not the end.

You must align what you provide your customers and prospects with what they actually need.

Lee Odden, CEO of TopRank, and author of the excellent book Optimize describes this need to better understand the customer exceptionally well:

“You have to empathize with your target audience in three ways,” says Odden. “One, ‘how is it that they discover information?’ Two, ‘What are their preferences for consumption?’ which drills down into channels, and devices and content types. Then the third thing is what motivates them to take action?”

Fortunately, as knowing more about your customers has increased in importance, so have the tools available to gain that understanding. There are a variety of free (or nearly so) approaches that you can use to better understand customer needs on the way to creating Youtility.

Search Engine Data is the Atlas for Consumer Understanding

While the number of places consumers go to seek information has grown exponentially, weakening somewhat the role of search engines in the process, search engines (especially Google) stand alone in giving us the ability to mine and analyze consumer inquiry data.

Google Trends

A variety of free tools from Google can help you understand customer needs, based on what people are looking for, and when. Google Trends enables you to compare search volume patterns across location and time frame, and provides related search terms and comparative volume for them.

For example, if you owned a barbeque supply e-commerce site and were thinking about starting a new, online forum dedicated to a method of outdoor cooking growing in popularity, an analysis of “pellet smokers” on Google Trends shows a sharp spike in searches for that term in the United States from 2008 onward. Digging deeper, Google Trends shows that Texas and California have disproportionate high incidences of search volume for “pellet smokers,” and that “pellet grills smokers” and “traeger smokers” (a popular brand) are related queries used by searchers.

An even simpler tool is to use Google Suggest to better understand how consumers see your products and services. Type a company or product name into Google and see what Google “suggests” as possible searches. Typing in “Charmin” for example, finds these suggestions: “charmin coupons,” “charmin mega roll,” and “charmin toilet paper” as well as something called “charming charlie.”

This information is updated instantly and is useful for understanding who consumers think your competitors are, and how you stack up.

A longstanding favorite of the inbound marketing community, Google’s Keyword Tool is often used to determine which search terms to include in a paid, search engine advertising campaign. Unfortunately, this tool will soon go offline, so it’s time to start looking at alternatives. They all pretty much work like this: starting with one, a handful or hundreds of seed terms, the keyword tool will then recommend a swath of alternatives and display comparative search volume and level of competition (number of existing advertisers per term). Using the Keyword Tool with a seed term of “Facebook advertising,” for example, finds that Google recommends “facebook advertising cost,” “free facebook advertising,” “facebook advertisement,” “facebook advertising statistics,” and “facebook and advertising” as the top five alternatives based on relevance, and “facebook advertising costs” is shown with 8,100 monthly searches on average by consumers, with a high level of competition.

Google Correlate is the newest of the free Google tools, and it is essentially Google Trends in reverse. The tool allows you to research a term and see what other searches were being performed with similar volume at a similar point in time, or in the same regions. It’s outstanding when used to uncover seasonal and location-specific inquiry patterns. For example, Google Correlate shows that the search term “pellet smokers” has a .8947 correlation with the search term “big 12 basketball standings” across the entire country, but the correlation in Kansas (where two of the Big 12 members’ universities are located) has a correlation of 4.814. If you – in your barbeque equipment business – want to find a way to provide exceptionally useful marketing for customers in Kansas (and throughout the Big 12 region), a program that sends text messages with instant basketball score updates might make for a successful implementation.

Excerpted from the New York Times best seller Youtility: Why Smart Marketing is About Help not Hype by Jay Baer. See YoutilityBook.com  for other resources.

For your further reading pleasure, take a look at an exceprt from Youtility below:

Youtility: Why Smart Marketing is About Help not Hype – Exclusive Free Excerpt  

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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© Online Marketing Blog, 2013. |
Optimizing With Youtility – Free Tools to Better Understand Your Customers and Create Marketing That Matters | http://www.toprankblog.com

This article was originally posted on the Online Marketing Blog

Jul 05 2013

Online Marketing News: Tailored Twitter Ads, $630k for Likes? Yahoo Pulls a Qwiki, Email Crushes Social, B2B Trends

Posted by admin in SEO

B2B Content Marketing Trends 2013 is a new report from Holger Schulze of the B2B Technology Marketing Forum on LinkedIn.  According to this survey, what are the  top 5 Content Marketing trends for B2B marketers in 2013? Here you go:

  1. Content marketing is going mainstream and is becoming more sophisticated to help marketers generate more leads and enable thought leadership.
  2. The popularity of white papers as a content marketing format is declining relative to interactive, easily digestible formats such as video.
  3. More than 82 percent of B2B marketers are increasing their content production over the next 12 months.
  4. YouTube is gaining popularity as a social media platform to reach and engage B2B audiences – Facebook is losing ground.
  5. Marketing automation is on the rise. 61 percent of marketers use marketing automation platforms, up from 43 percent last year.

In Other Online Marketing News…

“Tailored Ads” Will Make Twitter Advertising More Personal, Enable Retargeting. By default, all Twitter users have been opted-in to this new targeting feature which is being tested with a small number of companies – Marketing Land

State Department bureau shelled out $630K for Facebook ‘likes’. “Many in the bureau criticize the advertising campaigns as ‘buying fans’ who may have once clicked on an ad or ‘liked’ a photo but have no real interest in the topic and have never engaged further.” - CNET

Watch what you say on the social web: Teen could face years in prison for Facebook comment. This also falls under the common sense category, although a $500k bond and jail time seems awfully harsh just for posting something stupid on Facebook.  - USA Today

Study: 62% plan to reduce their tech socializing time next year & instead focus on face-to-face interaction. What? You mean actually get off the smartphone and infront of a human being? Amazing. Pro tip: Next time you feel like Tweeting, Instagramming or updating your Facebook status, stop.  Dial your best friend or loved one and say hello. Better yet, go visit them. In person FTW – eMarketer

Fire up PhotoShop! Facebook Removes Text Restrictions on Page Cover. Strange but true, there’s this rule too: You also can’t encourage people to upload your cover to their personal timeline.  – Marketing Pilgrim

Yahoo Sign Times Square

Yahoo Buys Qwiki (app that automatically turns photos, music & videos into short movies) for $50 Million. Marissa Meyer and Yahoo are on a tear and promise not to absorb or kill off the Qwiki app. Instead, the acquisition is tasked with helping reimagine Yahoo!’s storytelling experience - All Things Digital

Study: Brand Interactions on Social Media Equally Likely to Lead to In-Store as Online Purchases. Facebook leads the pack for inspiring in-store and online purchases, followed by Pinterest and Twitter – Marketing Charts

Email Is Crushing Twitter, Facebook for Selling Stuff Online. – Wired

Google News OneBox With Bigger Photos –  Google Operating System

Adobe acquires marketing technology company, Neolane for $600 million. Here’s what that means – ZDNet

Looks like simplification is the word for search engines. Yahoo to shut down AltaVista – The Next Web

New tools added to optimize LinkedIn: “Who’s Viewed Your Updates” & “You Recently Visited” – LinkedIn

Google adds consumer surveys service – Google Analytics Blog

From The Online Marketing Blog Community

Here’s our favorite comments from this week’s posts:

Ray Petrucci says this about “7 Steps for Creating an Optimized Content Publishing Schedule
Thank you for writing this excellent post! I have been struggling to find an article that clearly and simply defined the process of an effective content marketing strategy.

Working with an early stage startup presents many challenges due to limited resources; however, after reading your post, I can clearly understand what it takes to begin and execute a content marketing strategy while not ‘breaking the bank,’

Julia Serafina says this about “RIP Google Reader, External Keyword Tool is Next
I also loved Google Reader, but I accepted the change and have moved to Feedly. Every time Google retires a product/service it only makes me realise how much I use (and like) Google. I think it also makes sense to “gate” the Google Keyword Tool…whether it is for data capture or enticing users to become an Advertiser… I don’t think Blogger will be retired….It has one of the largest blogging communities in the world.. The Blogger profile page feature may be discontinued in favor of using the Google+ profile feature on a blog….but I don’t see Blogger being discontinued.

What’s Your Take?

Was the State Dept out of line spending so much money, just for “likes”? What are your thoughts on all the changes Yahoo! is making? Is email marketing outperforming other digital marketing tactics in your marketing mix? What else would you like to see in our weekly news roundup?

Be sure to follow @TopRank for daily news updates.

Have a great weekend! From the team at TopRank Online Marketing.

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© Online Marketing Blog, 2013. |
Online Marketing News: Tailored Twitter Ads, $630k for Likes? Yahoo Pulls a Qwiki, Email Crushes Social, B2B Trends | http://www.toprankblog.com

This article was originally posted on the Online Marketing Blog

Jul 02 2013

7 Steps for Creating an Optimized Content Publishing Schedule

Posted by admin in SEO

Optimized Content PlanningCompanies eager to meet the digital information needs of customers are faced with the challenge of creating content on a regular basis and with few additional resources. Customers expect useful information that is easy to find, consume and share, but how can resource strapped marketers meet those expectations?

On the content marketing maturity journey, the transition from creating very little content makes way for the practice of “more” content, followed by more + meaningful content. Making that transition and scaling meaningful content is impractical without a plan and processes.

Never fear, here’s advice in the form of 7 steps to get you from zero to hero with an optimized content publishing schedule:

Determine topics of interest. Topical relevance is essential for meeting customers’ needs, answering questions and motivating return visits, whether topics are directly about your brand or related information that customers can benefit from. Research into customer segments, persona development and keyword research will reveal a goldmine of such topics. Typically, we work with primary topics and supporting or secondary topics.

For example, Widgets might be a primary topic but color variations, sizes, applications, end benefits, specifications and other value attributes defined by customer research would represent secondary topics.

Additionally, mapping customer interests, needs and goals to stages of the buying cycle will help you identify topics or groups of related concepts. Those groupings can be distilled into themes with associated keywords.

Optimized Content Grid

Create content categories. Your topics of interest will be divided into the categories you choose to provide some continuity and organization to your published content. Typical categories for an owned media editorial calendar include breaking headlines, industry news, ongoing series, feature stories, in-depth product or service reports, polls, special promotions, events, tips, lists and social content.

Content categories, themes and the narrative that brings a congruent message across channels can be extended to earned media efforts via public and media relations (contributed articles, bylines, guest blog posts, op eds, media placements) and paid media (native ads, sponsored content, advertorial and other types of non-content ads).

Assign content types. Editorial Plans are typically developed for a primary publishing platform like a website, special resources section, blog, YouTube channel or micro-site. Content types within the publishing platform that represent topics of interest will vary according to:

  • Target audience segment
  • Stage of the buying cycle
  • Specific interests, goals, buying triggers

Articles, videos, images, long form content, short form and many more formats are possible. I’ve listed 30 different content marketing tactics here to give you some ideas. The important thing is to be relevant: to your customers, your brand, to search engines and social communities with the content types, formats and topics you choose.

While it will improve the performance of your content marketing investment to research and anticipate your customer’s journey, the path through the buying cycle is rarely linear. Any content object or media that you create or influence, can be an entry point for a customer at any stage from awareness to purchase to advocacy. By using themes, common stories and the keywords that support their discovery, content can perform its duty to attract, engage and hopefully convert customers wherever it is that they enter.

Establish a timeline. A regular publishing schedule according to your resources and expectations of the customers you’re after makes sense. At the same time, business often fluctuates or possesses varied time-lines due to the seasons, sales cycles, and changes in the industry or company.

Allow in your content calendar and timeline for wild cards and to account for modifications. Things simply “come up” that you’ll want to define within days or weeks beforehand vs. 3 or six months in advance.

Regarding seasonality, ask yourself: Is there a product or service you offer that is particularly popular at a certain time of the year? Is a holiday approaching that might influence your target customer? Consider the overarching theme of your content structure as it pertains to the calendar and cyclicality of your business as well as a consistent and regular publishing schedule.

content plan

Chart a publishing schedule. Take all of the information from the previous steps and organize it into a plan for creating your content. Whatever your publishing method, whether you want to create videos, blogs, articles or other media, design a schedule that allows you to keep up to a certain regularity and that allows you to cross promote your content between media and publishing channels.

Some useful content calendar tools include:

For example, a blog post, press release and video on a very similar topic could all cross-link or make reference to an authoritative report or eBook. If you have dedicated copywriting resources, assign topics or “beats” to cover so they can build up some consistency and expertise in those areas of focus.

Incorporate other marketing plans. As with any marketing effort, content marketing practices should integrate with other aspects of your efforts. That could include online and offline communication tools and media. It’s not just about marketing either. The content published by Customer Service, Human Resources, Public Relations and other departments may offer opportunities to cross promote.

Create informal Content Council to meet at least quarterly to talk about how you can work together to leverage resources and cross-promote.

Continue the process. After you’ve designed your content marketing plan and have started creating, optimizing and promoting, it is time to head back to the beginning. Evaluate the content effectiveness to determine the topics that most interest your customers. Expand on categories that are popular, pull back on those with less traffic and fill in the gaps where your content might be incomplete. Create a cycle of creation, publishing, interaction, analysis and refinement.

Cycle of Social Media & SEO

A well-planned, thoughtful and adaptable content plan can be instrumental for online marketing performance, making an editorial calendar essential. You might not consider yourself company a publisher, but that’s exactly what you become when you embark on an organized and optimized content marketing effort.

OptimizeModified excerpt with permission from Optimize: How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media and Content Marketing, published by Wiley.  I hope you don’t mind me using an affiliate link for my book – those pennies help keep me caffeinated to write more blog posts!

Diagram/Woman image source: Shutterstock

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© Online Marketing Blog, 2013. |
7 Steps for Creating an Optimized Content Publishing Schedule | http://www.toprankblog.com

This article was originally posted on the Online Marketing Blog

Jun 28 2013

Online Marketing News: Facebook Exposed, Google Mine, Twitter Geo, Vine Boom!, Organic Spanks Paid

Posted by admin in SEO

BtoB Content Influence on Buyers

The CMO Council and NetLine have conducted a study (Better Lead Yield in the Content Marketing Field) that reports 87% of B2B buyers saying online content has a moderate or major impact on vendor selection. The most trusted BtoB content comes from professional associations, not vendors. The most trusted and valued types of content include:

  • Papers from industry organizations – 50% 
  • Customer Case Studies – 48%
  • Analyst Reports – 44%
  • Independent product reviews – 41%

Even though BtoB marketers spend about 25% of their marketing budgets (and $16.6 billion overall on content marketing) on content creation, most companies lack effective content marketing skills. “And very few have content performance measures and metrics in place to scorecard effectiveness and calculate ROI.” Story: CMO Council. Image: Demand Gen Report

In Other Online Marketing News…

Facebook Says Technical Flaw Exposed 6 Million Users.  Facebook has inadvertently exposed six million users’ phone numbers and e-mail addresses to unauthorized viewers over the last year, blaming the leaks on a technical flaw. Story: NY Times

All new Yahoo! News. After substantial jumps in usage after redesigns on other web properties, Yahoo News Revamps: “Today, Yahoo! News is unveiling a more personal, intuitive and modern design, and it may look familiar – this new design is one step towards creating a more consistent feel across Yahoo!.” Story: Yahoo! Blog

FTC Updates Search Engine Ad Disclosure Guidelines. Search engines are advised to make ad disclosures more prominent. Story: ClickZ

Organic tops paid search and social. A study by predictive analytics platform, Custora, finds that organic search performs one and a half times better than PPC for ecommerce customer acquisition & customer lifetime value. Story: MarketingCharts

Now You Can Check Your Friends In On Foursquare.  Apparently the most requested feature for FourSquare is to be able to check in your friends – with their permission. Story: FastCompany

Vine use on Twitter up almost 100% in last two months. A study by video tech company, Unruly, shows a boost in the Twitter video service Vine. The addition of video to Facebook owned Instagram must be a matter of “a rising tide lifts all ships” since most short form video formats are gaining popularity. Story: paidContent

Multitasking College Students Keep Multiple Screens on Hand. The most popular activity students engaged in while watching TV was using Facebook or Twitter (63%) surfing the web (58%) or playing games (50%) . Story: eMarketer

List all your belongings and share your hoarding habits on Google+ with Google Mine. Apparently letting Google have access to every other aspect of your digital life is not enough. Google is testing internally a service that enables users to inventory the things they own as well as create a wish list – for your friends to see. Story: Digital Trends

Twitter is Developing Geo-Targeted Ads for Retailers. Twitter is planning to let brands show promoted tweets to people who open its mobile apps within close range of their stores. Story: AdAge 

From The Online Marketing Blog Community

Here’s our favorite comments from this week’s posts:

Build Credibility and Trust For Your Business With This Blogging Template
Cat Fyson
Great article Lee. The problem sometimes with having a template is that your content can become quite restrictive and not particularly inspiring. I think you can overcome this by carefully considering some of the points you raise (for example how they will resonate with the target audience), but also think about shaking up your intros/conclusions to your content to capture the reader’s imagination. It can be tough to engage someone in your content, but the pay off is great when it gets shared and commented on.

Madison Woods
I find myself naturally following this sort of template, but I don’t pay enough attention to the closing paragraph and forget to invite interaction. I also forget to include keywords when I can. These are things I want to try to remember regularly. I do have an editorial calendar plugin for my WP blog and I love it but have fallen behind in posts. I’ve noticed my readership has fallen along with my increased irregularity, too. Thanks for these good reminders.

7 Ways Small Businesses Can Integrate SEO, Social Media & Content Marketing
Patrick McFadden
These are some great tactics when paired with the right strategy. And thanks for covering newsletters and whether a small business should be on all social platforms. I personally have a newsletter and also think it’s a great way to connect directly with prospective customers offering tips and other content.

What’s Your Take?

When Google Mine is launched, will you be listing everything you own for your friends to see? What about Facebook – did they get off too easy in the press for their data oops? How about Vine or Instagram Video – are you a fan?

Have a great weekend! From the team at TopRank Online Marketing.

Email Newsletter
Gain a competitive advantage by subscribing to the
TopRank® Online Marketing Newsletter.

© Online Marketing Blog, 2013. |
Online Marketing News: Facebook Exposed, Google Mine, Twitter Geo, Vine Boom!, Organic Spanks Paid | http://www.toprankblog.com

This article was originally posted on the Online Marketing Blog