Last week I attended what I consider to be the best marketing conference I have ever been to, Blueglass LA. Thought leaders galore, a modest but intimate 125 attendee cap, and networking for the ages. It’s a marketing conference put together so well that it’s referred to as THE internet marketing experience. Two days of panels and presentations from the likes of Chris Brogan, Brian Clark, Jessie Steven, Peter Shankman, and some incredibly insightful marketers and SEO gurus from Blueglass just to name a few. There was so much useful information from the little conference that could, and I wanted to pass along my key takeaways for the B2B marketing professional.
1. Yes, There is a Process for Creating Viral Infographics:
BlueGlass follows a five step process for creating viral infographics. It begins with finding partners with the audience you’re trying to reach. The next step is to brainstorm around content that benefits both your business needs and the needs of potential publishers. Step number three is to collaboratively create content. By including the publisher in the creative process, they will be much more likely to publish and promote it. Step four is to enhance the promotion after it’s published by posting supplemental content to your blog. The final step is to add value for the publisher by driving traffic and engagement through social channels. The results from following this process can dramatically increase referral traffic, brand mentions, and quality backlinks for both parties involved.
2. PR Pitches Should Be Three Paragraphs:
When pitching journalists, your best chance for breaking through the noise of all the other pitches is to keep it simple. Peter Shankman, founder of Help a Reporter Out, explains the perfect pitch, “first paragraph, ‘hello, here’s what I’m about’, the second, ‘here’s why it’s specific to your readership’, and the third ‘here’s my contact info’. Anything longer than that…..SQUIRREL!” Copyblogger editor Sonia Simone adds, “I don’t want to know why it’s perfect for me, I want to know why it’s relevant to my readers. Talk to me about stuff my readers want to know about.”
3. The Importance of Writing Great Headlines:
“Become a great headline writer because we’re a country of headline readers,” says Peter Shankman. “You have 2.7 – 3 seconds to gain the attention of a potential customer. You hook them with great headlines, and you keep them with great writing.” Shankman continues, “There are studies that show the people who bounce from your page within 5 seconds do so because the writing sucks. Bad writing is killing America, and it will destroy your company.” So how do you write a good headline? Shankman advises, “the best headlines I’ve ever seen are 7 words that describe exactly what you are pitching. Give me something that makes me want to open an email.”
4. Where do I Get Great Ideas for Content?
Copyblogger’s Sonia Simone recommends you look to your community. “We have a community of customers and that is a great place to start. Declare war on their top 10 problems and you will have content forever.” She also says to look for irritation. “You can look for irritation through social media and go to a competitor’s page and see what’s pissing people off.”
On the other hand, Peter Shankman strongly recommends writing when creativity strikes to capture great ideas. “The best thing I did was get a MacBook Air, it’s light and I can take it anywhere. Carry a wireless 4G card too.” He also recommends writing after exercising. “The best way to generate creativity is to up your exercise, I like sky diving.” Studies have shown that creativity increases when your endorphins are flowing, and although sky diving may not be an option for everyone, something as simple as dropping down for ten push-ups can be effective.
5. Follow the Four Basic Rules of Writing:
Peter Shankman offered up these basic rules: “Be transparent. If you know something about something, say it. If you’re connected in some way, say it. Otherwise you will lose face.” He continues with three additional rules, “Be relevant to your audience, be brief, and learn to be top of mind. Reach out and say hello, don’t pitch, just drop a line. Never underestimate the power of being top of mind. Be a nice person, the world is full of a**holes.”
Stay tuned for part two featuring five more key takeaways from Blueglass. Were you at Blueglass LA? What were your favorite sessions?