Absolutely worth every dime. What I found most surprising is the size of this industry is still very small. I’d say about 30 percent represented an organization that wanted to learn more about digital marketing and 70 percent were representing an agency. I can honestly say I didn’t attend a bad session. I kept my attention in the advanced sessions where the presenters often spoke about real world case studies and findings. I had 3 great takeaways from SMX West and I have broken them down below:
1. SEO is alive and well. I was beginning to change my perception of the term SEO. We are proponents of using the word ‘search,’ essentially combining SEO and SEM. While there is very much a strong relationship between SEO and SEM, these are still separate practices. While many people are doing very well in non-branded and branded SEO, there are two very large opportunities that many businesses are missing out on.
a. The power of SEM as it relates to real life events, like weather, celebrities, sporting events or games. An example would be purchasing keywords like ‘score of Lions and Packers game’ for a company interested in getting in front of male viewers aged 18-24.
b. Leveraging big advertisers huge TV campaign budgets to purchase keywords about the product or industry they are building. This is also important for the actual companies spending on TV already and where the 1+1=3 comes into play. What a huge opportunity and it requires your organization to be on the constant lookout for new opportunities. The power of listening is extremely valuable today.
2. Visual communication is the future of the web. We are continuing to skim more content and faster, giving ourselves less time to decide if we are going to engage or not. By 2018, 84 percent of the communication done on the web will be visual. This means content must be more creative than just a blog or landing page. Infographics, charts, maps and digital stories with video and audio are becoming more crucial in converting a visitor into a customer. The story your brand tells is continuing to grow in importance. I know, you say that has always mattered, and it has, but not as much as it does today. Now, we have more options. Bottom line, web content is getting better and will allow us to learn and absorb information much faster.
3. Your brand can lead your industry by relying entirely on Google, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. I’m repeating, you can and should build a multimillion dollar business and only market yourself online. I knew this before I went to SMX, but it was confirmed multiple times. For example: There was a mattress company that has established themselves as the top searched branded keyword in their industry and it only took them about one year. How did they do it? They told a great story and leveraged it through the power of social media.
SMX is an absolute grind. The sessions go from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for three days with only two, 15 minute breaks and half an hour for lunch each day. When you throw in networking and a couple cocktails, you don’t have much time to get your actual business work done. However, this is the cost of a really good expo. I would suggest bringing a couple people from your office and split up the events to cover more ground. The perfect combination would be someone from management and a beginner. Both will learn a great deal and at the same time learn a lot that can be shared amongst each other. Thanks to everyone who attended, all the speakers, the sponsors and #SMX.
It was a great first day at SMX West. There are probably only around 1,500 people here, which really surprises me. It also excites me because it puts SSDM in a small group of agencies that are not only attending these, but are able to come back and implement. I attended “Thinking Outside the SEM Box” which had a lot of great case studies about unorthodox campaigns. Like KitKat purchasing football team names in Adwords to attempt to give scoring updates to their every challenging 18-24 male market.
A repeating theme of the day was how social and search need to be connected in strategy and execution. Looking at SEO and Social and PPC separately is not the way to go, we know this, but it’s nice to get the affirmation. Maggie Malek (@MagsMac) was really good. Speaking about the relationship between search and social, Maggie said, “We know everything is changing but everyone is acting like nothing is happening. Brand development happens through social and search.” There is so much education that has to continue to happen in the marketplace.
Bruce Clay is basically the Father of SEO, I’d say Perry Marshall is the Father of PPC. Bruce had a lot of swagger actually. He was kind and humble but didn’t want to take anyones shit. A true sign of a man that’s been around awhile, maybe a little cynical but certainly a master of his craft. The biggest takeaway was Bruce was saying how his agency has to reinvent themselves every 6 months to remain relevant. The ‘not set’ organic change was a big hit, but uses an API from Search Council that allows him to see the actual keywords being used to generate SEO traffic.
Bruce Clay Key Takeaways:
- Pop ups should show up with the follow: average time on site divided by 3.
- Disavowfiles.com – Keep adding websites. Accumulated report over all-time.
- Outbound links are valuable. – Think like bibliography.
- “We’ve increased page ranking by removing bad/old content.”
- “If you’d been using the same website for 8 years, give it up.”
- API from Search Council to see your organic search terms.
Dynamic ads and visual content are the future. 85% of communication will be visual by 2018. I’ll have more on this for my Day 2 recap, stay tuned!
Watch the recap here:
On Feb. 15, our creative director, Michael Taylor, headed downtown to the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Digital Marketing Bootcamp. Here, he and fellow panel members discussed tips and trends for improving your digital marketing strategies. Panelists discussed the evolution of social media and how not to be a robot in your social media communications.
A few key takeaways from the event include:
- Many brands spend too much time crafting their social media posts and lose the human element.
- Spend less time editing social content and more time focusing on what your audience wants.
- Before starting social media efforts, determine which platforms make the most sense for your audience.
- Apps and tools exist to help you with your social media. Some of our favorites are Buffer and Slack.
- Gary Vaynerchuk liked one of our tweets! Thanks Gary!
February has been full of fun opportunities for SS Digital Media. We can’t wait to see what else 2017 has in store for us!
We celebrated Valentine’s Day in the best way: by heading to Google Ann Arbor for an exclusive senior healthcare industry event. SS Digital Media Founder, Nick Skislak was joined by Google representatives Isha Vij and Taylor Kobryn. The discussion included a focus on digital marketing and its benefits for the senior healthcare industry.
Check out some of the key takeaways from the event:
- Social media is more than just creating content. It’s about listening and interacting with your audience.
- Life is made of tiny micro moments — moments when a customer experiences something that requires an immediate answer. Make sure you are there when your customers need you.
- The need for senior healthcare is only going to increase. The projected U.S. population ages 65+ in 2050 is 83.7 million people.
- More than 2 billion people use Google on a daily basis. If you’re not advertising here, you should be.
- In Michigan alone, Google ads for senior health care are receiving more than 1 million impressions a month.
Following the discussion, we took an exclusive tour of the Google Ann Arbor office. Did you know, at Google you’re never more than 150 feet away from a microkitchen? How cool is that!
Join SS Digital Media as we meet to discuss the senior healthcare industry and how digital is impacting marketing. The event will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017 at Google Ann Arbor headquarters. Cost is $25 and will include, refreshments and lunch.
Alongside representatives from Google NYC, Founder of SS Digital Media, Nick Skislak will discuss numerous aspects of digital marketing including:
- The continuous evolution of digital marketing
- How to track online success and failures
- Current and upcoming industry trends
- The best practices for increasing web traffic and conversion rates, and more!
You will even have the chance to tour Google Ann Arbor after the event concludes!
Join SS Digital Media and Google for a Lunch & Learn!
Interested in joining us for our senior healthcare industry event? We’d love to see you at Google! Fill out this form to register. If you have any questions, contact our Project Manager, Tessa Feeley at email@example.com or by phone at 248-629-9594. Space is limited.
Our founder, Nick Skislak recently spoke at Michigan Boating Industries Association on December 7, 2016. SS Digital Media was invited to speak about digital marketing and why it is important for boating companies to implement it in their business marketing strategies.
Nick focused on a few main points, including:
- The importance of being on social media channels
- How to measure your content and its value
- What to look for when monitoring website traffic
- Hot to make Google Adwords and Analytics your best friend when trying to find new leads and show up in search results
- How a lot of boating companies are not using their digital marketing efforts correctly.
Watch the full video here: