Last Friday was the 4th annual eMarketing Techniques Conference in Cleveland, Ohio. This event is held at Corporate College every May. I have been lucky enough to have attended this conference for the last 3 years.

I am not sure if it is the spring weather in Cleveland or the great presentations but everyone at this conference always seems so upbeat, energetic and optimistic about our industry. The attendance is always a good mix of Cleveland web design experts, SEOs and social media marketers that want to know what is new and exciting in the online marketing world. I always look forward to this event and I definitely was not disappointed in this year's conference. The conference was so great that I am going to share some of what I learned with everyone today in this blog post!

Keynote Presentation- Fulter Hong (Google)

The day started off with a presentation by the key note speaker- Fulter Hong of Google. Fulter was extremely energetic and provided some great insight into some new things happening at Google and in the search/web industry as a whole. Below are some of the main points from Fulter's key note presentation:

  1. One of Google's product offerings that was unknown to me, and some others I'd guess, is Google Grants. Google Grants is an advertising platform for nonprofits.
  2. Google's mission statement is "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful." According to Fulter, Google estimates that they are only about 5% of the way to acheiving/fulfilling this mission statement. This shows that Google is far from reaching all its goals and has a strong vision for its future.
  3. Local and mobile are going to be essential moving forward. Companies are going to have to embrace these tactics to succeed. A great spot to start is Google Places.
  4. QR codes are now being used as marketing tools on business cards and other marketing material. Businesses need to understand how to leverage and use this technology.
  5. Microsites have increased in popularity and companies using them have experienced success. Fulter also suggested that before starting any online marketing initiatives to drive traffic to a site, it is extremly important to fix any problems with the site before driving any traffic to it. This can include updating an old site, fixing any bugs, etc.
  6. Fulter also emphasized the power and reach of online video. YouTube is now the #2 search engine.
  7. The key note presentation also included a brief explanation of some "new" Google Products as well as others that are coming soon.  These included Google Goggles, Google Toolbar Translation Tool, Remarketing tools, Rich Snippets, Above the Fold Targeting for the Content Network, Social Search, Google Squared, Promote Your Image (PYI), Google Wave, Advanced Image Search, Click to Call Mobile Ads and Ipad Advertising.
  8. In closing, Fulter outlined Google's "big bets" moving forward. These were: Search & Ads, Mobile, Video & Cloud Computing. And that's straight from the horse's mouth so these four things should definitely be on your radar moving forward.

Breakout Session #1- Jeff Rohrs (ExactTarget)

Jeff Rohr's presentation focused on Subscribers, Fans & Followers in 2010. Of course, in today's terms these would break down as follows: Subscribers- Email, Fans- Facebook and Followers- Twitter. Jeff based his presentation on some important data from his own focus group market research. Below are some of the most interesting parts of this research:

  1. Marketers can't expect the majority of people to be connected all the time. In our industry, we are connected all of the time, but we are the minority, this is not normal for the masses.
  2. 64% of people still check their email first every morning. Followed by 15% checking a news portal (such as Yahoo), 8% logging into Facebook and 5% choosing to visit a news site such as cleveland.com first.
  3. For most people, the internet is a means to connect with friends and family. Others look to the internet mainly for freebies, promos & discounts.
  4. Email: people understand it. They feel in control and are familiar with how it works. There is a comfort level there.
  5. Facebook: main usage is connectivity.
  6. Twitter: is used for immediancy and escalation.
  7. The main problem, over all of these mediums, is still spam. Email spam, wall spam and feed spam. People don't like spam. Period.
  8. In the words of Jeff, "It is an amazing time to be a marketer. It is also a horrible time to be a marketer." 

Lunch Video Presentation- Dan Zarrella (HubSpot)

Dan Zarrella works at HubSpot, a internet marketing company in Boston. Dan, a self proclaimed Social Media Scientist, explained the Science of Social Media Marketing. Below are some main take-aways from his presentation:

  1. Ideas don't spread just because they are "good". 
  2. People have selective attention, they are bombarded by information all of the time. You need to cut through all that noise. It is not an easy task.
  3. It is important to talk to your audience, where they are and in terms they understand.
  4. When using Twitter, it is important when and how you Tweet. Avoid link fatigue and focus on information scarcity and voids.
  5. Inbound marketing is the new way to attract clients/customers- bring them to you!
  6. The main message of this presentation was to: Work smart, not harder.

Breakout Session #2- Pay Per Click & Local Search (David Goebel & Sage Lewis)

This co-presentation was a basic overview of PPC marketing and local search. Below are some quick notes from this presentation:

  1. PPC marketing is still worthwhile, if executed correctly.
  2. Go to Google Places and verify your business today, before someone else does.
  3. Take advantage of Google's website optimizer. It is free and can help you refine your website and marketing campaigns.
  4. Try video extensions and take advantage of Google's new remarketing tool.
  5. The key to success is: TEST, MEASURE, & REFINE!

Breakout Session #3- Advanced Facebook Techniques (Brad Kleinman)

With all of the talk about Facebook these days, it is no surprise that there was a breakout session about Advanced Facebook Techniques. Brad Kleinman's presentaion mainly covered some advanced development options and social plug-ins that are available for customizing your Facebook page. Below are some details from this session:

  1. Social plug-ins can help you with your Facebook marketing strategy. There are a variety to choose from that can be found on Facebook's developers page.
  2. It is a new trend to create a custom landing page to be your Facebook default presence. This is through the use of HTML and FBML.
  3. When working with Facebook, it is imperative to be either educational or entertaining. This is the only way to engage your Fans and keep them interested.
  4. Some of the social plug-ins available for Facebook include: Like Button, Activity Feed, Comments, Facepile and Recommendations. 

Overall, the 2010 eMarketing Techniques was a great experience. It was well organized, full of great presentations and very informative. I think this conference is a must attend for anyone that is part of the web marketing, web design or social media industry in Cleveland. 

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Aztek is a web design, web application development, web marketing, and hosting firm in Cleveland Ohio. We’ve been around for more than 16 years, and we’ve worked with more than 600 clients. Aztek is not affiliated with the unfortunate car of the same name, nor are we descended from a fifteenth century Mesoamerican civilization. At least, not that we know of.