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OMS 2010: Social Media Heavy Weights, Weigh In

by on 02/23/10 at 10:04 am

We’re live-blogging today from the Online Marketing Summit, just grabbed some coffee and am sitting at a table near the front. Keynote speaker is late, so we’re getting an opening from Aaron Kahlow, CEO, Online Marketing Connect. He’s got a whole slide about himself (I think he might be stalling for the late keynote speaker). Oh and a big thanks to Local Splash for sponsoring my trip; they are a Local SEO Services company based in Fountain Valley, CA. You earned the free link guys.

For those who are interested in OMS and want to keep up with all us Internet Marketers here, you can follow the Twitter hash tag: #oms10.

Aaron just took a show of hands of what people are interested in here. Interesting enough, most were here for Search and Social. Aaron recommended the Advanced track just following the keynote, it’s moderated by Rand Fishkin of SEOMoz.org (so you know I’ll be there).

We’re also getting a few slides about the OMS Institute and Online Marketing Connect. On to the tracks, three to be exact. Fundamentals, Case Studies, and Advanced/Leadership. Hey, nice add-on for link bait, OMS is doing a “live” feature at OnlineMarketingSummit.com/live. I’ll have the give that a look after the show (apparently free tickets to future events are available).

Now taking the stage, John Battelle, CEO & Founder, Federated Media Publishing Inc. and Anne Holland of MarketingSherpa.com who recently launched WhichTestWon.com, a website on A/B and multi-variant testing.

Aaron asked “What are the Pain Points of Success?”

Anne’s answer is was fairly general and involved asking questions and getting creating solutions. John points out the amount of tools that are available now to prevent all the distractions that typically happen day to day. Content syndication seems to be the answer, “starting the conversation” using content via Twitter, Flickr, Facebook and so forth. Anne agreed and mentioned Burby (?), where a community of people who uploaded photos from the 1920’s and how they as a business “join the conversation” without being looked at as spam.

How to Address the Social Media & Advertising Augmentation?

John’s best practice has been to follow where the voices seem to go (such as Twitter, etc). BoingBoing.net was where John started working with advertising within blogging platforms, had to include advertising in the platform as part of his role there. “Do it in a way that respects our community” was the business response. BoingBoing.net made a list of companies that would like to advertise on their website and solicited to those companies only (Apple, and other major brands).

Anne is talking about AngiesList.com, they hit a million members and is 140 cities. If you go to Facebook and lookup AngiesList, they only have 1k members. “I don’t think they’ve figured out how to turn social into their strategy. But their paid ad is all over the place, and plays as an answer to their search”. So AngiesList has a pain point of integrating social and their first answer was simply paid inclusion and CPC.

John says theirs a false dichotomy of internet marketing is that online advertising has the same or better engagement than traditional marketing. The audience and engagement in traditional channels actually dominates, but the online piece should be introduced and start the conversation for online marketing where the conversation should continue in a way that produces a great experience.

Anne says major brands struggle with the online marketing piece (such as “The Economist”) but still do well for their brand and brand searches just by being who they are. Get good brand awareness out there because CTR is higher, conversion is higher, and it makes expanding additional targeting that much easier. “The big brand wins. You’ll never do as good as big brand. Branding matters.”

Is Creative the Entry Point?

John takes a different approach to creative. Beginning conversations with marketers at the early stage is important. “Marketers are publishers”. Think about what creative means and start at a very high level.

Anne advises not to ask the ad sales rep which ad performed best because they are likely to sell you on the biggest spender. Instead, talk to the marketing people and ask them which ad “rocked”. Try test ads across multiple websites instead of spending a large amount of money on one or two ads that have no data. Having your logo on any type of advertising will always increase conversion rate. Make sure that your welcome email is great (it gets the highest open rate), optimize the email to reference the publisher in the first sentence. “Thank you for signup with {company} to get {offers}”. This ties the media with the offer and will increase the probability of the reader opening future emails and not flagging them as spam.

Aaron asked, “when you look at new products, 2 years out, what are the things you’re keeping in your eyes on?” Anne says mobile (iphone, etc). Targeting lawyers, doctors, IT guys, it’s all about mobile/Blackberry. John says interface and platform will be the most important. A platform that is open and allows anyone to benefit from it and develop upon it. Apps are an early declaration of where we are going with interacting with machines and each other.

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