As I walked into the conference room, in front of me were rows of long white tables facing toward the center stage and large projection screen. It all seemed too good to be true – every table had a power strip or two underneath it (yes!). There were laptops, i-phones, blackberries, smart phones, i-pads, and probably a bunch of other cool gadgets that I don’t even know about, everywhere. Almost every laptop screen had Hootsuite or Tweetdeck up on it. I was in a room surrounded by social media enthusiasts, technology fanatics, and real-time marketing connoisseurs. Welcome to the Inbound Marketing Summit 2010.
Thanks to Patti Fousek (Chief CreativeMind), I got to attend the Inbound Marketing Summit for my first time. As an IMS newbie, there was a lot to take in. From the engaging speakers and thought-provoking presentations, to the online #IMS10 chats and offline networking opportunities- the Inbound Marketing Summit rocked. After the two days, my brain was filled to max with a lot of great information that I haven’t even finished sorting through yet. But, I’ll share a few top key messages:
Send human emails. I enjoyed listening to Chris Brogan, President of New Marketing Labs talk about the importance of adding human into the marketing mix. Seriously though, Chris gave some great advice: send human emails, don’t sell every time you send an email. I may have even laughed a couple of times, thinking about all of the automated emails impersonal emails I receive daily. It makes the personal e-mails I rarely receive from companies so much more appreciated.
Social media is only a tool, real-time is a mindset: David Meerman Scott, author of “Real-Time Marketing & PR,” explained the importance of engaging in real-time. Businesses communicating in real-time are at an advantage over their competition. As an example, used the blog TMZ.com. TMZ was the first to report the news of Michael Jackson’s death to the world, not the well known media outlets CNN, LA Times, NY Times or Fox News. TMZ was prepared to engage in real-time while others were thinking on a print schedule. “The media is not dead. The media is alive and well if they understand the concept of real-time.”
SEO isn’t quite rocket science… but it’s pretty close: Wow what a presentation. Rand Fishkin, CEO of SEOmoz, took us into the real down and dirty of SEO, showing us formulas and explaining the science behind the way search engines crawl and rank content, keywords and tags. One major takeaway from Rand’s presentation was his expert opinion on Google Instant – Data shows that Google Instant has had very little to no affect on search rankings. I’d really like to learn more about the scientific formulas of SEO sometime in the near future.
Companies are the best at telling their story: Who can tell your story better than you? Hopefully no one can. I agree with the suggestion made by C.C. Chapman, that an agency should educate clients about inbound marketing and give them the tools and knowledge they need so they can use social media to tell their story themselves. Of course not every client has the time or resources available to do it themselves. They’re still the best tellers of their story, so find a way to include them in the messaging as often as possible. Even it’s just having them read and approve messages before they go out each week. (Pretty good compromise, right?)
Online to Offline (O2O): The concept of O2O makes a lot of sense. As explained to us by John Jantsch, the brains of Ductape Marketing, “There’s no more B2B or B2C, it’s now O2O: Fusing Online to Offline.” Tim Hayden, of Blue Clover, also talked about the importance of fusing those online to offline relationships with the 3 social touch points- live, mobile, and online. One thing Tim said that immediately grabbed my attention and stayed with me was a fascinating statistic, “90% of word-of-mouth marketing takes place offline.”
Social media- it’s called “talking”: I have to include this as a major take-away for a couple different reasons. Scott Stratten, the author of “Un-Marketing,” is hilarious and did a phenomenal job closing the first day of the Inbound Marketing Summit. His presentation has inspired me to go out and buy his book, “Un-Marketing.” Aside from being funny, Scott explained social media networking in understandable terms while also demonstrating both sides of the spectrum, those who get all this social media stuff and those who don’t. Here are some memorable quotes I found to be most entertaining:
If you’d like to watch the video of Scott Stratten speaking at the Inbound Marketing Summit for yourself, click on the link.
What was your favorite part of the Inbound Marketing Summit? Did anyone else become slightly addicted to adding #IMS10 to the end of almost every tweet? Clearly I had a lot of fun. Thank you to the New Marketing Labs team for putting on such a great event.
Post Revised 3/8/10, 2:19pm.
Dear readers, I have revised this post from it’s original format and removed a paragraph that may have sounded patronizing. The rest of the post has remained the same.
Today it seems that everyone is claiming to be a social media “expert”. The amount of companies making this claim is getting to be a bit ridiculous. Even folks like Chris Brogan, Gary Vee and Jason Falls don’t claim to be experts – and they know what their doing.
The reason I bring this up is because I’ve witnessed many businesses jump on the social media bandwagon simply because they see dollar signs. They see social media as an easy way to make money. They think by saying they offer social media services, clients will just flock to their door and flood their voice mail and in-boxes with consultation requests.
Social media today reminds me of SEO in the late 90’s, early 2000’s. Everyone and their grandmother made claims that they could “get your website on the front page of Google.” Jump ahead 10 years and how many of those companies still exist? Not many.
We can even compare social media to real estate. Remember when the real estate market was doing really well? How many people did you know suddenly decide they wanted to sell real estate? How many of those people still sell real estate? Need I say more?
I really don’t mean to get so angry about this, but when I see random companies suddenly offering social media services, I do get angry. Companies like that make us, the ones that truly get what social media is all about, feel not only angry, but dirty. I just don’t want to see an industry that I fell in love with, one that I built my business on (legitimately), get a bad name, or even worse, bust.
What do you think? Do you think social media will bust just like the dot com’s?
I’m very happy to announce the launch of April’s London Invitation, a blog by April Frost. April attended one of my blogging workshops, Become a Blogging Rock Star, in September, 2009. Soon after the workshop, she began work on her blog.
I also love how April waited to launch her blog until she had enough content to keep the visitor interested. I typically advice my clients to write at least ten or more posts before announcing their blog to the public.
Congratulations April! Keep on blogging.
If your struggling with how to start a blog, CreativeMind Search Marketing can help. Contact us for a no-obligation blog consultation.
Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of speaking at a One More Referral “Brown Bag Lunch and Learn” on the topic of social media and blogging. After attending that seminar, Diane DeVries of Digrafika, a graphic design studio in Dover, NH, started the digrafika blog.
Diane blogs about graphic design, printing, advertising, marketing, and photography. What I like most are the cool marketing ideas Diane comes up with for inexpensive printing items like business cards and bookmarks. If you’re looking for new, creative marketing ideas, you must read her latest post, The Bookmark: More Than Just A Place Holder.
Another new blogger I admire is Joanne McDonough owner of Joya beauty, a makeup and esthetics studio in Dover, NH. Joanne hired me to give the Joya beauty blog new life and to show her how to make her blog successful.
Generating topics for the blog and finding the time to write about them were Joanne’s biggest challenges. Not only did we give the Joya beauty blog a more custom look with social media sharing features, but we also created a blogging editorial calendar for Joanne. Taking into account Joanne’s busy schedule, the calendar lists blogging ideas as well as and the dates she should blog for the next few months.
What I admire most about Joanne is her excitement and positive attitude towards blogging. Once she had the editorial calendar in hand, she immediately started blogging, and kept to her schedule.
Joanne recently designed bridal makeup looks for a photo shoot at her studio. Read her blog about the shoot: Bridal Photo Shoot hosted at Joya beauty Studio.
You’ve taken our introductory social media workshop; you’ve been using social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter; you really, really want to know how to become more effective with these tools.
Join us on Friday, July 10th, 9am – 12pm, at the Three Chimneys Inn in Durham, NH, where you will learn:
Who should attend?
Does this sound like you? Register today!
About Your Instructor:
Patti Fousek is the proud owner of CreativeMind Search Marketing, LLC, a business which helps other businesses get found online through search engine optimization and social media strategies, consulting and training services.
Patti is a marketer & trainer by trade. She has over 15 years experience in marketing and training for such companies as Interim Technology, Bernard Hodes Advertising, HMG Search Marketing, and WGBH (the PBS station in Boston). In 2002, Patti discovered the world of SEO (and later Social Media) and hasn’t looked back .
As organizations realize the true value of Search Engine Marketing they struggle with the idea of outsourcing SEM (paid search and organic) or bringing it in-house. The decision is a difficult one since every organization has different online goals. While there are pros and cons to each scenario, before making this vital decision, ask yourself these important questions.
Does your organization have the staff to cover search engine marketing?
Search Engine Marketing consists of many categories including paid search advertising, organic search, and link building. Each of these categories can (and sometimes are) full-time jobs in themselves depending on the size of your website(s) and your online goals. If you will rely on your Marketing and IT departments in fulfilling each SEM role, it is wise to first be sure they can handle the extra responsibilities.
A professional SEM firm has trained staff that is ready to tackle your projects. Also, by taking you on as a client, they are prepared to spend the time necessary on your campaigns.
Is your staff trained in Search Engine Marketing?
Let’s say your organization does have the staff to handle all aspects of SEM. The next step is to determine the depth of knowledge each individual has in SEM. Do you have an in-house marketer whom is versed in AdWords? Are they familiar with Search Engine Optimization and the correct way to optimize a website? Is your staff skilled in keyword research and copywriting? If not, is your company prepared to train these individuals? SEM, unfortunately, is not something you can just sit down and do. The learning curve may be extensive depending on the individual’s current knowledge of the industry.
While you have control over an SEM strategy with an in-house team, a professional agency has well-trained staff and resources at their fingertips. However, you will need to get the agency up to speed in your industry.
How will SEM success be tracked?
A whole other area to a successful search engine marketing campaign is ROI tracking and web analytics. After all, how will you know that your SEM campaigns are successful if you don’t track the results? First question to ask is what analytics package is right for you? Google Analytics is free, but may not be the best package if your company manages 40 websites. Omniture is a great web analytics package for larger websites, but is also costly. Before deciding which package to go with, you must first determine if you have the budget.
Once you determine which web analytics package will suite your needs, you must then determine which staff member will take on this responsibility. Web analytics and measuring ROI take a skill set that your current staff may not have. Again, will training be necessary? What costs are involved with training? Are you willing to wait the time necessary to get your staff up to speed?
Take your time to determine whether taking SEM in-house is the right decision for your organization. Consider your in-house resources and online goals and weigh the pros and cons. If your decision is to outsource, stay-tuned for a post which outlines the questions a potential Search Marketing agency should be asked.