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The EMarketing Techniques Conference was held at Corporate College East in Cleveland last Friday, May 8th. This was the 2nd year that I attended this event and I must say it was well worth the trip. Not only did I network with some great people, the speakers were engaging & informative and I left the event with new ideas and strategies. There were numerous Break Out Sessions during the day and 2 main speakers. Rick Burnes, the keynote speaker, opened the event with a great presentation about Online Marketing. Matt Dickman gave his presentation about Social Media during lunch (which was very delicious by the way- a welcomed change from many conferences I've been to). Below are the main take aways from each of these presentations.
Keynote Speaker- Rick Burnes, Hubspot
How Your Business Can Use Google, Social Media & Blogs to Be Found
The new marketing is "inbound" marketing.
Inbound marketing is much cheaper than outbound marketing. Inbound marketing includes content management, blogging, using social media, etc.
SEO should be one of the major pillars of online marketing.
Choose keyword battles wisely and create great content to get links from trusted sites.
Your site content is imperative to online success.
More content=more visitors. Create content that your users/buyers naturally gravitate to. Content includes text, videos, audio, etc. Running out of content ideas? Try interviewing your customers, share lessons you have learned, etc. More brain/creativity, less money.
Social media is becoming an online marketing essential more and more each day.
Use Social Media to listen, connect & broadcast- but do it correctly. Use tools such as Technorati and Google blog search to find areas where your customers are spending time online. Find existing blogs & industry Twitterers. Participate in Yahoo! Answers, Facebook discussions and LinkedIn Q&A's.
Measuring the success of your online marketing tactics.
It is important to keep track of visitors, leads and customers. SEO, Social Media & content management all contribute to bringing qualified visitors to your site. Then it is the site's job to convert these visitors into leads then hopefully customers (in a perfect world- repeat customers).
Have a blog? A couple of quick things.
Blogs should be on your main domain. Different voices and writers on a blog is OK- keep it real. There should always be an email subscription and a RSS feed on your blog.
Plenary Speaker- Matt Dickman, Fleishman-Hillard
Using Social Media in the Right Way
The time is now and change is necessary.
If you don't change how you market to your customers, you are missing out. You must evolve. No Change=Irrelevance.
Marketing is more social than ever.
Reach 100 people, who then reach 1,000 who then reach 10,000. People are talking about products/services constantly. Word of mouth works online too.
Social media gets us closer to the dream of 1 to 1 marketing.
Create fans, develop a real connection & conversation with your customers and target market.
David (small businesses) have an advantage over Goliath (large companies) when it comes to participation in Social Media.
It is easier for smaller businesses to actively participate in social media. Large companies and corporations have the burden of a legal department and other roadblocks that hinder the use of social media. It is essential that small businesses take advantage of this opportunity.
Be authentic and don't be afraid to unmask your brand.
Don't hide behind your brand. People want to connect to a person- be yourself and represent your company well.
Don't think that social media can't work for you.
It doesn't matter what industry or niche you are in. There is a social media platform that can work for you. Not ready to "Tweet" on Twitter- try YouTube or Yahoo! Answers instead. Just give it a try.
Keep your eye on the prize.
It is imporant to put a sound strategy in place before jumping into social media. Listen, prepare, engage and adapt. Adding value should always be the goal.
Overall, the conference was one that I would recommend to others. The event was very organized and the speakers provided great information & real life examples. I look forward to attending the conference next year... and enjoying the delicious lunch!