I had the opportunity to attend the SEJ Summit Dallas recently. The Summit is a digital marketing event held at the Hotel Intercontinental.
This invitation only event was sponsored by Search Metrics and Search Engine Journal. It featured 13 laser focused presentations on Content Marketing, SEO, and Social Media. The day ended with an AMA (ask me anything) Q&A panel with Bernadette Coleman, Steve Floyd, Warren Lee and Tony Wright.
A few highlights from SEJ Summit Dallas
The Content Brand Pyramid
Dennis Goedegebuure, VP of SEO and growth at Fanatics Inc.
Introduced as ‘Dennis G’ (because Goedegebuure is not an easy name to pronounce), Dennis discussed how content marketing campaigns can boost search optimization goals. An example of a content brand pyramid in action is the Airbnb viral video created for the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Watch the video: Wall and Chain: a story of breaking down walls
- Lumps for SEO: Links, URLs, meta tags, content and Sitemaps
- Content Brand Pyramid for Brand SEO: The brand pyramid is built with evangelism, thought leadership and by creating a presence in the marketplace with content.
- Paid media amplification for ultimate results: Increase awareness with online and offline advertising. In the case of AirBnB’s video, they were able to take advantage of stories in the news media, as well as thousands of social media shares.
Creating a Winning Brand Content Strategy
Michelle Lowry, Co-founder of Passion Fruit Creative Group
Michelle explained how copywriting for content marketing and content strategy can be an effective way to create a brand’s marketing plan. A famous example is the chocolate chip cookie recipe on the back of the Nestle’s chocolate chips bag.
Stop treating content as an afterthought and give it the time, attentions and yes, the budget commensurate with the results you want to achieve.”
- Content created without specific goals is a waste of time, money and resources. Consider what you want the content to accomplish.
- Content strategy begins before the first word is written. Who are your ideal audience and what will your content do. Inform? Educate? Entertain? Convert? You can’t create content until you know your audience.
- Think like a publisher. Brands like Oreo and Coca-Cola are on the forefront of the rise of the brand newsroom. Oreo’s Superbowl tweet was not an accident. They were prepared with a “war room” full of creatives, strategists, and even a legal team, waiting for the right moment.
Why Brands Should Bet Big on Podcasting
Jerod Morris, VP of Marketing, Copyblogger Media
With the recent launch of Copyblogger Media’s podcasting network, Rainmaker.FM, Jerod’s presentation on podcasting was a timely topic. As the host of three podcasts, Jerod discussed the future of this form of content strategy and why your brand should give podcasting a try.
- On demand audio content is a rising power. More than 33% of people have listened to a podcast, and 18% of Americans have listened to a podcaster in the past month.
- The big opportunity is a land-grab. This is an opportunity for big brands to get involved before there is content overload. As with all content, podcasts will eventually reach the saturation point. Start now to build your audience.
- You can either create, leverage or do both. You can create your own podcast, advertise on a popular podcast or do both. Companies like MailChimp, Freshbooks and Subway, are using popular podcasts like Serial and This American Life to promote their brands.
For instance, Medieval Times could advertise on a history podcast.
Is Your Brand Missing Out on Reddit?
Brent Csutoras, Chief Social Media Strategist at Search Engine Journal
Have you ever thought about using Reddit as a marketing tool? Many brands are afraid of Reddit, but the platform is growing by leaps and bounds. Brands such as Nissan, Amazon, and Intel are successfully using Reddit.
- Reddit is valuable. It is an excellent marketing opportunity to connect with your target audience.
- Cater to Reddit. Brands who want engagement must gain it on Reddit’s terms. I loved the way Nissan partnered with Amazon to create brand awareness when they had a new Nissan delivered in the largest Amazon box I have ever seen.
- Stay engaged. You need to identify the right sub Reddits and stay engaged.
Three Common Mistakes in Branded Local Search (and How to Fix Them)
Greg Gifford, Director of Search & Social at AutoRevo
DFWSEM member, Greg Gifford’s presentation was filled with wonderful movie references (105 to be exact) along with great tips for improving local SEO. Small businesses and enterprise level businesses do things differently,and many enterprise businesses don’t understand local SEO. The goal is to get your site to rank in a specific geographic area, especially if you have a business with different locations.
- Content: Optimized and local
- Links: Relevant and Local
- Citations: Consistent and Local
What You Did Not Plan for in 2015
Jordan Koene, Chief Evangelist at Searchmetrics
At the beginning of the year you probably sat down and prepared a list of goals, strategies and plans for your business. Now things have changed and the plan is not perfect. Jordan Koene’s presentation discussed three areas you may have missed.
- Content security. What is Google indexing? Is there sensitive content on your site that shouldn’t be indexed, such as customer or employee private information? Conduct a content audit for risk, asking yourself “is this necessary in Google”?
- Doomsday plan. What if the worst should happen and you get a penalty from Google? Your SEO plummets. Be prepared to repair your rankings and understand that it will take time to recover.
- Non-Google search. Google may be the big fish in the pond, but it is not the only fish. Yahoo, Youtube, social search and other types of content and local search are still valuable.
Facebook for Brands
Kate Buck Jr., Director at Social Media Manager Pro
Kate Buck Jr. took the stage with her pink-streaked hair, a cool attitude and a bit of hilarity (even though she said she wasn’t funny).
With all the changes to Facebook, brands who want to use it to reach their customers beyond organic reach will need to deploy strategic marketing campaigns. One challenge you may have is lack of support from executive level and lack of budget. Kate gave the example of a successful Facebook campaign through a case study of a sports clothing chain.
- Deploy a strategic reengagement campaign to activate existing fans, and increase organic reach.
- Leverage lookalike audience functionality to find and connect with new, highly- targeted fans.
- Use transaction-based, direct response invitations to create meaningful connections between your fans and your brand beyond social.
Social Media Brand Management
Lissa Duty, VP of Community Management at Advice Interactive
It is always fun to see a Lissa Duty presentation. She is so full of enthusiasm and energy. Lissa’s SEJ Summit presentation focused on reasons to monitor your social media engaging both satisfied and unhappy customers. It only takes one unhappy customer to create a viral media crisis.
- Real-time brand management. Don’t ignore a customer problem. i.e. the Play-Doh extruder that had a phallic-like appearance. Be proactive.
- The social process. You should have a social media policy and a consistent message that represents your brand.
- Reputation monitoring and responses.
After a long afternoon, I was glad to take a short break and enjoy the soft drinks and snacks sponsored by Beth Kahlich, SEOTrainingDallas.com.
The final presentation of the day was an “Ask me anything” Q&A panel with Warren Lee, VP of Marketing at Nationstar Mortgage; Bernadette Coleman, CEO of Advice Interactive; Tony Wright, CEO of WrightIMC and Steve Floyd, Creative Director at AXZM. Search Engine Journal’s Kelsey Jones moderated questions from the attendees. Many of the questions were related to the upcoming change in Google search for mobile.
Is your site ready for ‘Mobilegeddon’?
- Google mobile friendly test
- Check for 404 errors
- Use Google Webmaster Tools
The day ended with a cocktail reception where we had a chance to mingle with the speakers and other attendees.
Upcoming SEJ Summits
Don’t miss the SEJ Summit if it comes to your area. The day is filled with interesting presentations and incredibly useful information. I highly recommend it!
April 15, 2015 — Chicago, IL
May 12, 2015 — London, UK
The event is also scheduled for New York City, Miami, and Silicon Valley. Sign up for any of these at www.searchenginejournal.com/sejsummit2015/ Admission is FREE, but the event is invitation only. Request an invite