With a Commitment to Education First
Strangely, it was a warm wintry December night in Houston. That warmness carried right over into the SearchHOU Meetup. As I walked into the meeting a few minutes behind schedule, I was immediately greeted by a friendly head nod and quick smiles from everyone.
Check the cooler
Mark Traphagen of Stone Temple Consulting had launched into his presentation right at 7:00pm. A few minutes in I got a gesture from Aaron Eaves to grab a drink from the cooler. Christopher Smith had it stocked with high quality craft beers.
After speaking with Aaron, I learned their goal with SearchHOU is their commitment to education. This group is not for sales pitches around SEO. This group is not for directly marketing to clients. That may happen, but this is about the wider end of the funnel. It’s about learning first. That was more refreshing to hear than the fine beer I had picked out.
Hanging out with Mark Traphagen
Mark was very professional and launched into a wellprepared slide deck titled, “Social Media Marketing Is a Waste of Time, Unless…”.
Everyone in the room agreed that Mark knew the material so well, he could probably do this in his sleep. Mark broke a campaign down into three digestible steps.
- Content Marketing
- Social Media
You’ve got to start with branding. Branding starts with a story, and that becomes a driver for the whole campaign.
The content marketing builds on the branding. Depending on the company, the content marketing might choose to take a lifestyle approach with their message, informational approach, etc. I loved the Red Bull Stratos example. Those guys market a lifestyle! This sleep deprived energy drink consumer thinks about that every time I’m at the convenience store searching for energy drinks.
Finally, once the content marketing and branding are in place, it’s time to get social. From the very beginning, it was emphasized that social media reflects how we interact in real life. Do you walk into a room and just start selling to everyone? Are you handing out business cards at the soccer game?
Social media works best with branding, reach and having influence online, where you would have very weak ties in real life. Social Media is a lever that works in conjunction with other marketing initiatives.
Did Red Bull try to sell one can of their energy drink in their space jump? Nope. Did it cement them in my mind as a brand I want to associated with? Oh yes.
You can see Mark’s Google Hangout here.
Mark can be found on Twitter below and LinkedIn.
Since September, SearchHOU has had a commitment to meet every month no matter what. This month proved another no matter what month. There was a last minute issue with White Space. A few phone calls later Aaron and Christopher had moved the event to Culture Pilot down the street. Major props to Culture Pilot for stepping up. Talk about rallying.
I can see this group is about a commitment to the community. It’s about a commitment to teaching one another. It’s about a commitment to raising the bar. I can’t wait to go back in 2015.
Keep up with SearchHOU Meetup here.
Let’s Continue This Conversation
Houston Buffalo Bayou View by Norm Lanier is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.