Digital Marketing Takeaways from Social Brand Forum 2014

POSTED BY Andy Sulhoff - 09.29.14 - Digital marketing

Well, another year, another Social Brand Forum in the books. Now in its third year, Social Brand Forum has lived up to its reputation by bringing top digital marketing minds to the podium. There were many memorable moments and quotable quotes from some of the top digital marketing influencers in the industry. I always feel grateful to have the opportunity to learn the latest strategies without having to travel to across the country.

Social Brand Forum Review

Without further ado, my key takeaways from Social Brand Forum 2014 and some digital marketing strategy tips you can start using for your business today.

Steps you can take today:
1. Organize your digital marketing
2. Create better content
3. Utilize Social Media and PR to promote your content
4. Track ROI

1. Organize your digital marketing - Chris Brogan – Owner Magazine

Chris Brogan broke down digital marketing into 3 portions:
  1. Home base – your website
  2. Media Empire – email, blog, YouTube, Video & Podcast
  3. Outpost – Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram

The quotable quote from Chris’ presentation is: “We date at the Outpost, get to know one another at the Media Empire and convert on the Website.”

Use your Outpost to engage with people. Talk with them and see if there’s a mutual interest to continue the conversation. If there’s a mutual interest, your media empire will help you to continue to grow the relationship with your community. When the community visits your website you should have conversion as the top priority. Help your website visitor to easily find what they’re looking for and convert.
Finally, he recommends taking on a service mentality. If you live your life in the service of the community, everyone gets better. Focus your content and business on the service of your community and you’ll be successful.

2. Create Better Content - Ann Handley - MarketingProfs

The theme of Ann Handley's presentation was "the future of content is writing." All businesses need to become better at creating content. The words we use in our content; be it a blog, print collateral, tv commercial or something else, are a proxy for the things we as people want to convey to the world.

The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing, it feels like the things people want. As it relates to your business, think about the things people want and give it to them.

Three things to guide your content:

  1. Focus on empathy and what your audience experiences
  2. Focus on relevant and inspired stories
  3. Focus on useful – think, what can I do to be helpful to my customer

3. Utilize Social Media and PR to promote your content - Jason Falls - Elasticity

Jason Falls points out that without content your business does not exist. The way for your business to be successful online is to create awesome content and lots of it. Learn about the ways your business can partner with an agency to create content in Joe's blog post. As you’re creating content you can use social media and public relations to elevate the impact of that content. By posting links to your website content on social media, you’re creating valuable links to your website. By utilizing public relations methods, you are helping spread the message about your awesome content.

As you’re creating content, think about how you’re going to measure success. Jason points out that measurement should be about informing future decisions not dwelling on the past decisions. So take the information about past performance and use it to optimize your future decisions.

He closed with this inspirational message: no one is qualified to create and optimize content for your business like you. You have the skills. You have the knowledge. And, although there is no easy button, you can do it, so start today.

4. Track ROI - Joe Chernov - HubSpot

Joe’s presentation was based around the information in Hubspot’s The State of Inbound 2014. The State of Inbound is a report based on a survey of 3,500 marketing and sales professionals. You can go to right now to download the full report.

One of the top challenges for businesses is proving ROI of their marketing investments, however, improving ROI is not a focus for most businesses. As a business, being able to prove your investment is tremendously valuable but most don’t know what the return is on their spend.

I’d urge you to examine your current marketing budget and strategies and start thinking about how some of these digital marketing strategies could impact your business.

A huge thanks to Nick Westergard and the Brand Driven Digital team for another excellent Social Brand Forum. Can’t wait to hear the lineup for next year.

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