If you haven’t figured it out from the title, we went on a Thrive field trip to the 2012 State of Search Conference in Dallas, TX! We had a few laughs, learned some new stuff and rubbed shoulders with thought leaders in the search marketing community. We also gathered quite a few tips and interesting facts that will help our online marketing services evolve and progress:
1. Old-school marketing methods are still viable in today’s online world. Sending postcards or cupcakes, setting a chalkboard sign on the sidewalk and mailing handwritten notes can make a favorable impression on current and potential customers.
2. Write about people. They like to hear about themselves. Include pictures where possible because attaching faces to names has greater impact.
4. Pay attention to the startups and companies Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other big names are acquiring. Noting what these companies find valuable keeps us informed on where internet trends are heading.
5. Asking blatantly “Link to me!” will send your request and content straight into editor’s delete box. Submit only quality content for guest posts and be subtle when seeking linkbacks.
6. Wil Reynolds suggests: Do not hit enter. Allow Google to suggest a topic. When searching, type in each letter and see what google suggests and then use those search terms to write content people are already looking for. Helpful alternative tool for this: Ubersuggest.
7. If you work in an industry that isn’t very exciting, you can talk about you or your customers. For example: “I’m a ___ who loves ____.” (Because sometimes talking about business really is boring).
8. If you haven’t figured it out yet, smart phones are the wave of the future! Pardon us for stating the obvious, but it’s true, and many people ignore mobile web users. Over 50% of the US population has smart phones. By 2014 mobile devices will overtake desktops. Mobile traffic is already around 13% of traffic on the web.
9. Use social media for communication, even before emailing. Tweet, friend or follow first to get acquainted, then start emailing. Otherwise your email might just get sent straight to junk mail.
11. Build a detailed persona that represents your target market and use it to focus and personalize your marketing efforts. When you find a new potential client/link-source/whatever, use the previously mentioned research tools to tailor your communication to their preferences.
We found the online search marketing community to be willing to share secrets and eager to help fellow marketers. Whether asking Kerry Dean questions about Google Authorship or discussing link building with Wil Reynolds, the response was warm and open. It’s a great community to be a part of and those of us at Thrive greatly appreciated the event. Many thanks to the host of the event, the Dallas/Fort Worth Search Engine Marketing Association.