Happy Independence Day 2013

Happy Independence Day 2013Independence Day, aka “4th of July”, is a celebration that for many, marks Summer is in full swing. Millions of Americans enjoy fireworks, parades and hanging out in parks or on lakes with friends and family.

Like many holidays, the celebration aspect overwhelms the source meaning for the special day. Beyond wishing people well during the (hopefully) long weekend, it’s important to remember the reason for the 4th holiday: The original 13 colonies declaring independence from Great Britain and more importantly, all the hard work and sacrifice made for Americans to enjoy the freedom and way of live that is possible here.

PRSA sent out an email this morning as a reminder of the genesis for our reason to celebrate 4th of July. I thought it fitting to share an excerpt here:

Originally signed on July 2, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was revised and signed again two days later resulting in the celebration of our nation’s independence on July 4 each year.

“The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”
– John Adams

As a country we have our faults and surely we don’t all agree, but that’s part of what makes America great.  I’d like to think the American Dream is not an entitlement, but a possibility afforded by the freedoms we enjoy. I am grateful for the opportunity to pursue ambitions here in ways that are simply not possible in many other places.

Please enjoy the holiday, stay safe and remember the cost to keep our freedoms.

New Presentation: Digital Tools and Perspectives for Success #whaticarry

Those who know me online know I’m a big fan of Instagram and Slideshare. So when Marisa Wong of Slideshare emailed me about their #whaticarry project, I jumped at the chance.

The idea is to share tools that you use everyday for success. So far, people have shared objects, devices and personal philosophies. I basically mashed all that up into an Instagram powered Slideshare presentation: Things I Carry: Everyday Tools for Digital Success which is already featured on the home page of Slideshare.

Check it out. If you like, please show some love on Slideshare and the social web.

Lee Odden Speaking Events Early 2013

Lee Odden

Just after speaking at NMX

The new year has kicked off with a bang and it looks like I’ll be doing a bit of speaking early in 2013.

The great thing about it is that the upcoming speaking events are quite a mix. I’ve been doing more solos and keynotes as well as private corporate events and workshops on topics ranging from integrated online marketing and public relations to enabling sales teams through social media and content.

Here’s where I’ll be over the next 3 months or so:

January 6, NMX Las Vegas
War of Words: Myth-Busting Social, SEO & Content

January 30, Charlotte, NC (Private Corporate Event)
Workshop on Building Thought Leadership Through Social Media & Content

February 13 Webinar – Target Marketing Magazine
Social Media 2013: What Sites Are Most Important to Marketers This Year and

February 18-23, SES – London, UK
Present: Creative Content Marketing – Winning Hearts, Minds and Wallets (UK Version)
Mod: Content-Driven SEO on a Shoestring
Mod: Integrated Marketing: What Does That Really Mean?

Feb 21st, Webinar – Marketwire
Optimizing PR for a Content Marketing World

Feb 25-26 Salt Lake City, UT (Private Corporate Event)
Two Day Workshop: Developing Online Marketing Roadmap and Strategy

March 25-28, SES – New York, NY
Creative Content Marketing – Winning Hearts, Minds and Wallets (US Version)

April 7-9, Social Media Marketing World – San Diego, CA
How to Integrate Blogging With Content Marketing that Inspires Action

April 22-23, B2B Content2Conversion – New York, NY
Facts Tell, Stories Sell: Content Marketing Optimized

If you’ll be attending any of these conferences or events, I hope to see you there.

Lee Odden Bio

Lee Odden is the Author of Optimize: How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media and Content Marketing. He is also the CEO of TopRank Online Marketing, a digital marketing agency that specializes in helping companies attract, engage and convert new business. TopRank works with Fortune 1,000 B2B and consumer brands developing and implementing content marketing strategy.

For 9 years Odden has published one of the most popular marketing blogs on the web, Online Marketing Blog, voted the number 1 content marketing blog three times by Junta42. He has been cited by The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Forbes and Entrepreneur Magazine for his expertise with digital marketing and public relations. Odden also writes a column for ClickZ called Social Media Smarts.

Odden speaks internationally on the topics of integrated digital marketing and the intersection of content, search and social media optimization. He serves on the board of advisors for Incisive Media’s SES Conference and is a past board member for MIMA and the DMA Search Marketing Council.

Connect with Lee on Twitter @leeodden or LinkedIn

Search, Social, Content Marketing Reading List March 19, 2012

I consume and share a lot of information every day on digital marketing topics, especially search marketing, social media marketing and content marketing. I’d like to start sharing some of what I’m reading here in no particular order:

    • Stop Talking About Social and Do It. Business models have not kept pace with the “social era” and this series covers 360 degrees of how social affects all aspects of business – a perspective the resonates with  the Optimize approach to online marketing – Yes and Know
    • Matt Cutts: Google To Target Overly SEO’ed Sites Within Weeks. The question is, what does an “over-optimized” page look like to Google? – Search Engine Roundtable
    • The Time For Content Marketing Is Now.  Nice to see more SEOs jumping on the content marketing bandwagon – Distilled
    • Think fast: Is that tweet true or false? How we use credibility cues to make decisions – Interesting assessment of what constitutes credibility within the Twitter expereience.  Nieman Journalism Lab
    • The Psychology of Link Building. The human aspects of link building (including a PPT) which are not unlike what media relations professionals have been practicing in the PR world for  years –  State of Search
    • Publisher Strategy and the Image Explosion: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Luminate. An image is worth a thousand words and then some. The consumer movement towards a more visual online culture means opportunity for brands and marketers to give the people what they want – ChasNote
    • Selling the C-Level: 7 Content Marketing Myths Debunked. The Godfather of modern content marketing, Joe Pulizzi, busts common objections executives have towards content marketing – Content Marketing Institute
    • Using Sociology To Effect Change Within Your Brand’s Social Media Efforts. A social strategist within a company does not scale. Businesses need to become social from within and that means culture and organizational change  – Social Business News
    • 12 Top Community Managers Share Their Tips for Better Engagement. Great mix of advice from brand community managers on how growing communities online – Mashable
    • Visual Liveblogging of SXSW. A great way to view the insights and perspectives provided from a number of selected sessions during SXSW with drawings by @ImageThink- Ogilvy Notes

Lee Odden Speaking Schedule Q1 2012

I experimented with making a short promo video for BlogWorld Expo LA last year and I’m debating whether I should do this for each event. What do you think?

It has been a pleasure not having any speaking gigs during the month of January, while I’ve been finishing off Optimize, but it’s only a delay of the inevitable. Feb  – March are quite busy. Here’s the rundown of Online Marketing conferences I’ll be speaking at in the coming months:

2/7 OMS – San Diego – 1:30pm
Optimize This: Integrating Social, SEO & Content
Where: Hilton San Diego Bayfront

Learn the principles and best practices of optimizing content and social media participation for better marketing performance

2/9 SES Accelerator – San Diego – 10:15am
The Convergence of Search, Social and Content Marketing
Where: Hilton San Diego Bayfront

The Google Panda update just made great content critical. Social media is grabbing all the headlines. Search gets more powerful every year. But how do they all play together? How do you increase your odds of being found both in search and social media? How will you consistently create content your a will enjoy? Join this panel as they provide case studies and walk you through a step-by-step approach that any organization can follow to grow their business online.

2/14 Small Business Success Summit – 1:15pm Pacific
Small Business Blogging Panel: Mike Stelzner, Brian Clark, Joe Pulizzi
Where: Online

Want to know how to create a blog that provides ongoing streams of traffic and fuels the growth of your business? During this session, the founders of four top blogs will share how they’ve built multimillion-dollar empires by producing regular and valuable content for their blogs. You’ll discover how they started, what to avoid, and how they use their blogs to drive sales. You’ll also have an opportunity to ask your questions live to our panel.

2/21 SES London – 3:30pm
Site Redesign? Don’t Forget SEO Migration!
Where: The Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, Broad Sanctuary, London

Companies often implement new content management systems and website redesigns without consideration of the effect on their search engine visibility. Numerous websites have suffered dramatic drops in search engine traffic due to an insufficient SEO migration plan or no plan at all. This session will provide website owners with best practices on mitigating negative SEO effects of a website redesign, new content management system implementation or aggregation of multiple websites. If your business is planning on making website changes that will affect content, URLs or templates, this is a must attend session.

3/22 SES New York – 2:25pm
Content Marketing Optimization
Where: Hilton New York

The core of any search or social media marketing program centers on content. Digital assets, rich media, web pages, MS Office and PDF docs as well as content created and shared by consumers all offer opportunities for optimization. If it can be searched, it can be optimized! Online marketing is increasingly competitive and brand marketers world-wide are seeking real advantages that will improve the efficiency and impact of their Social Media and SEO efforts. This session provides unique insight into content based optimization strategies and processes as well as tactics for sourcing, creation and promotion of optimized content on the social web.

Lee Odden

Lee Odden at Content Marketing World in 2011

A team of highly trained monkeys has been dispatched to deal with this situation

Today I received a 500 Internal Server Error when trying to access a video on YouTube with this awesome message:

A team of highly trained monkeys has been dispatched to deal with this situation.

“A team of highly trained monkeys has been dispatched to deal with this situation. If you see them, show them this information.”

It’s nice to see YouTube has a sense of humor.

BTW, the video I was trying to access was one I shot in Hong Kong about “Content Marketing Optimization Tip: Cycle of Social Media & SEO from @TopRank”

Army Golden Knights Skydiving & My Army Story

Lee Odden Skydiving

Skydiving with the Army Golden Knights

Yesterday I had the chance of a lifetime: To go skydiving for the first time in my life. Not only would I have the opportunity to do jump out of a perfectly good airplane, but I’d get to do it with the best of the best when it comes to skydiving: The Army Golden Knights.

Lee Odden Skydiving

2 1/2 Miles Up & Skydiving with Army Golden Knights

The backstory to this skydiving experience is that I was asked by Greg Swan from Weber Shandwick (who does PR for the Army) if I’d like to go skydiving as part of a pre-conference event outside of Dallas Texas.  After looking deciding there was an interesting social media SEO story to tell and feeling somewhat of a connection to the military because of my previous active duty service in the Army many years ago, I decided to do it.

Here’s a quick video interview in the hangar before getting on the plane:

Here are my last words before the jump. I love you mom!

Video of my actual jump 2 1/2 miles above Dallas with the U.S. Army Golden Knights

Here’s a video with my Army story:

New York Video 050109

View from the 23rd floor balcony in Soho of uptown and downtown Manhattan in New York.

Day Two New York Trip

Dominic Central Park

On the second day of our trip, we slept in a little, having stayed up a bit late after a late dinner. After getting coffee and water, we walked approximately 14 blocks to Central Park and then walked across the park to the (other side) to meet another New Yorker friend of mine, Rebecca, at a restaurant near Lincoln Center that she had picked for us.

Dominic Central Park

We had a very nice lunch and Rebecca made some additional recommendations for things we hadn’t thought of. After lunch Dominic and I went back into Central park, walking by a pond seeing the Hans Christen Anderson and Alice in Wonderland statues.

Dominic Central Park Alice in Wonderland

It was strikingly hot but we continued to walk up the park noticing various musicians playing for tips along the way.

We were looking for the Central Park Zoo but were not paying much attention. Dominic picked up a few sticks which he proceeded to use to “play” an empty water bottle located in his messenger bag.

Dominic at the MET Museum

The heat was intense, so we decided to take a break from it by entering the Metropolitan Museum ??? MET. There was a Superheroes exhibit, although, we were not sure exactly what that would be. Dominic put his sticks in his bag, worried they might not let him have them. They didn’t notice the sticks when the bag was inspected.

The AC in the museum was a welcome relief to the sweltering heat outside. We checked out some Greek artifacts and then a Medieval exhibit before finding the Superheroes exhibit. It was a combination of movie props from Spiderman, Batman and Iron Man plus fashion designer interpretations of various Superhero themes in clothing designs.

After the MET, we wandered outside where the sun dropped enough to be blocked by many of the taller buildings. It was still very hot and humid though and by the time we finally made our way to the Central Park Zoo (which just closed) it had taken it’s toll on Dom. we rested for a while and then made our way back to the hotel.