By Bob Speyer and Janette Speyer, Web Success Team
The BlogWorld and New Media Expo took place in Los Angeles on November 3-5. With more than 300 speakers, it was three days filled with non-stop workshops and presentations from online marketing experts on a variety of topics ranging from blogging, New Relationship Marketing, search marketing, social media strategy, SEO and ROI. Here are some of the highlights:
Blogging – Blogging has become one of the most important components of online marketing strategy. It drives quality traffic to your website, positions you as a credible authority and helps generate leads for your company. It was found that except for news and information, blogs win out over traditional media. People are starting to trust bloggers more for recommendations, reviews and unadulterated information. That’s why it’s so important to take blogging seriously if you are trying to grow your business.
In addition, it was found that 40% of companies syndicate their blogs through Twitter and Google+ to promote their business. Another interesting fact that was discussed was that bloggers want to make sure the content they are sharing is relevant and well articulated. Without that, not many people will want to read what they have to say.
New Relationship Marketing
Mari Smith specializes in New Relationship Marketing, which focuses on cultivating personal relationships. She explained that relationship marketing is about everything that you do that personalizes the connection. People respond well to person-to-person marketing, as opposed to generalized ads that focus on thousands of people. She also talked a lot about how relationship marketing is about nurturing the relationship with your clients and adding a more personal touch. The more personal and unique you make the client feel, the more receptive they will be to your efforts. She also discussed the impact of influencers and how they can help promote your brand and help you to target a specific audience.
Social Media Marketing
Branding through social media was another topic that was heavily discussed. The relevance of data in which QR codes and Klout provide were questioned, but it was determined that the importance of social media data isn’t to provide answers, but learn to ask better questions. Founder of the Social Media Examiner, Mike Stelzner, talked about the importance of social media and how it will probably grow to replace standard marketing practices in years to come. He stated that, “business may change, but people are constant,” which toys at the idea that even though social media may become the front runner in the marketing world, the way that you need to connect with people will still be the same. And of course, to “give people what they want” — good useful content.
Stelzner gave an important tip about writing reports based on surveys that can easily go viral, thus driving more traffic to your blog and your website. He said that if you give people what they want and try to help them, then they would evangelize you in return. You need to give them content that resonates with their needs, otherwise they will have no need to listen to what you have to say.
People are constantly overloaded with marketing ads so they tune them out, which is bad for ROI. He explained that what’s wrong with marketing today is the expectation that we all “exchange ideas,” where in reality we live in a world where people do not share a lot of substance, it’s mostly chatter. He is a big proponent of pushing quality content that can be shared and promoting marketers who will in turn promote you.
Keynote speakers Guy Kawasaki and Chris Brogan discussed the differences between Facebook and Google+ and how Google+ is geared towards information sharing and cultivating relationships with people who share your passions, whereas Facebook is more for sharing with friends and family and is less focused on business relationships.
One of Guy’s more memorable quotes that explains the difference: “Google+ is to Facebook what Macintosh is to Windows.” Guy believes now is the time to really get involved and integrate it into your social media strategy if you want to stay ahead of the curve.
Amy Porterfield spoke about how to create a successful Facebook page to increase your authority, collect hot leads and drive quality traffic to your blog. Some of her tips included setting up a Welcome Tab and offer them something if they like your page (like giving them a download: 4 Ways to Better Engage with Your Customers – then have them fill out a name and email so you can send them the 4 Tips); using Facebook ads to send them to your Facebook page to grow you likes (never send them to your Wall); also for more fan engagement, ask smart questions; make your posts fun; ask for feedback and let them promote themselves on your page.
And of Course… The Napkin Dad!
One of the most engaging and heartfelt speakers was Marty Coleman, “The Napkin Dad” — who is part artist, philosopher and passionate father of 4 girls. His story was inspiring. He was an out-of-work artist who drew napkin art with life lessons and put it in his daughters’ lunch boxes each day. Examples: “Be yourself, everyone else is taken.” “Unless you change direction, you will get where you are headed.” “Risk-taking is inherently failure-prone, otherwise it would be called sure-thing taking.” One of his napkin art was featured in Time Magazine in reference to Obama’s election (“America the beautiful is beautiful today”) and because of the publicity, he has now made a successful career using napkins!
Want More Tips?
The BlogWorld Expo is one of the best events to attend for those who want to learn more about the online marketing industry. If you want to learn more, check out our blog. There’s also a live stream where you can watch some of the speakers online for free.
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