Last week I attended the BlueGlassX conference in Tampa, FL. This intimate, 125 person conference was jam packed with 2 days of sessions run by the best and brightest thought leaders in the internet marketing industry. The execution was flawless, and not only did I get to see some killer sessions, but I also got to spend time networking with fellow marketing enthusiasts.
In part 1 of this blog series, I present 5 key takeaways from the minds of online marketing experts such as Brian Clark, Greg Boser, Dr. Peter J Meyers, and Derek Halpern, just to name a few.
1) It’s not just content, it is content marketing.
Content marketing was king at BlueGlassX Tampa, and this piece of advice came from Copyblogger’s Brian Clark. The buying process has changed, and content is becoming a key way to lead a buyer down the funnel to making a purchase. Companies are beginning to dabble in content, but many are not quite hitting the mark. Instead of treating the creation of a content piece as one-off campaign, companies must embrace it as a key cornerstone in their marketing strategy. They must hire a dedicated team, stretch the life of each content piece, and include content as part of every marketing campaign. By creating a highly integrated content strategy, you can make it a core competency and really start to reap the benefits. You can’t just create a piece of content and expect it to generate leads on it’s own, you have to create processes around how you are marketing your content to your audience.
2) The worst thing is to do the “marketing du jour” and then decide in 2 months to go to something else since it isn’t working.
So many trends are hitting the marketing world today–content, social, agile marketing. If you decide to try one of these trends, it is important to stick with it to begin seeing benefits. If you decide to create an infographic and it doesn’t quite get the pickup that you were hoping for, don’t just stop doing infographics. You need to look at marketing metrics and meet with your team to decide why that infographic didn’t work and then alter your strategy so you can hit it out of the park for next time. You generally won’t start seeing amazing benefits immediately when you employ a new marketing tactic, so you need to continually iterate until you get it right.
3) Create Do-Know-Go content.
Straight from Kevin Gibbons’ content marketing session–give your audience what they want. Why do people use a search engine? They want to DO something, they want to KNOW something, or they want to GO somewhere. So keep it simple and make sure that your content applies to these basic needs.
- DO content–this is transactional content. Use transactional content as a quick win to show a reader how to get something done quickly. Maybe it is a template or a checklist. These should be both quick and easy to absorb, while serving a specific purpose.
- KNOW content–this is informational content. Probably most of your content fits in the Know category. Build content that answers questions and addresses pain points. These content pieces will likely be your meaty ones.
- GO content–this is navigational/brand content. These are useful when someone is searching for something that directly relates to your brand. Take your top keywords, prioritize them, and create great content that addresses these needs. If your product or service helps with lead management, create a piece of content that ranks for that keyword, and drive your readers back to your website.
4) “Draft” behind hot topics to get links and traffic.
The concept of drafting in car racing is following another car closely to gain speed using their trailing wind. This technique was brought up by socialtriggers.com’s Derek Halpern and can be applied to your entire marketing strategy. Whether creating your next email program, writing a blog post, or coming up with a relevant tweet, drafting behind hot topics will get you traffic. Search what people are writing about and write about something related to that topic. The trick is to be bold and controversial to get the conversation going. Then reach out to other people writing about the same topic to continue the conversation.
5) Little stuff counts! Pay attention to what your customers are doing and respond.
Customers always appreciate small touches. Whether it is remembering their birthday, or responding directly to a negative tweet, paying attention to the little things brings an authenticity to your marketing. Jennifer Sable Lopez from SEOmoz brought up an example where she mentioned she was sick in a customer community, and the community manager sent her a get well soon card. It’s the small touches that stick out in a customer’s mind.
Photo credits Michael Dorausch, Steve Boymel, William Sears.