SMX Toronto featured the best and brightest search and social thinkers currently operating in Canada in an intimate and approachable environment. Following are some of the highlights and takeaways from the two day conference experience.
Jon Sinden, Manager of Digital Content & Social Media for Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment, opened the event with tips on how to personalize the relationships between brands and fans.
Key Takeaways: Fans are FRIENDS, treat them as such.
- Friends follow each other
- Friends don’t ignore each other
- Friends talk to each other
- Friends reward each other
- Friends ask for opinions
- Friends make plans and share fun
- Friends turn negatives into positives
All too often marketers get so caught up in the numbers, that they can lose sight of the human factor. The Golden Rule applies to internet and particularly social marketing. Treat your fans as you would want to be treated and the love will flow.
Representing the local Toronto market, Dave Weber of Page Zero Media highlighted many of the new features of the upgraded Google AdWords in his session.
Key Takeaways: Google has provided lots of great new tools to add value to your PPC campaigns.
- New call tracking tools enable brilliant mobile click-to-call as well as dynamic phone numbers for dial in tracking.
- Smart Surveys will help you keep track of what happens to the clicks that didn’t “convert”
- Surveys can uncover issues preventing conversions, qualify buyers, provide customer service, segment users, and determine user intent.
- AdWords upgrades give you powerful segmenting options including by day of week, device, and network search partners.
- AdWords upgrades include better geographic bidding, analysis, and reports.
- Scripts better enable you to perform advanced and complex tasks, including custom reports, automation, and external referencing.
Alan K’necht of Digital Always Media continued the Canadian goodness on the SEO Metrics Panel.
Key Takeaways: The ultimate KPIs/Metrics are the ones that put your business on the track to lower costs and raise revenues.
- It’s not only knowing what to measure, but how to measure.
- Organic traffic growth should be measured in 30, 60, & 120 day increments not month to month.
- Always ask if sales are growing at the same rate to traffic
- Data sampling is powerful, if you have a good sample (25% is a great sample)
- Take the time and dig into your data by segmenting … branded vs non-branded, primary vs secondary phrases, keyword phrase length
- It’s not just about change over time but ACTION
- investigate the why of changes for good or bad
Debbie Horovitch brought Canadian Social Sparkle and Shine to the podium when she gave the crowd the run-down on how to maximize the use of Google+ Hangouts on Air.
Key Takeaways: You can draw a crowd of influencers to your brand with Hangouts
- Dream big, but start small. Consider the groups you want to help most and prioritize
- Expect to iterate. You will have to refine your process as you go, so expect crappy results at first. Work your way through it.
- Promote what you’re doing on Twitter and Facebook. Leverage the “newness” of G+ and Hangouts on Air
- Creating audience. Like TV, most of your audience comes AFTER the live taping so optimize the YouTube video with keywords and good SEO savvy.
- Share the video content you’ve created with all kinds of groups and communities.
- Leverage your hangout to draw in other guest experts.
- That video is gold in email, embedded on your website, and posted to your guests’ blogs and communities.
There are several more opportunities to experience all that Search Marketing Expo has to offer. Do yourself a favor and register for an event near you.