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What We Learned From IMSLC

By | Content Marketing, How-To, IMSLC, Inbound Marketing, PPC, Uncategorized, Video | No Comments

We had a crazy-fun time last week, bringing you the first ever IMSLC event, hosted by Stryde! Things started off a little shaky with some technical issues, but our speakers’ on-the-fly skills pulled through to hopefully give you some new insights into this content marketing game.

Many thanks to everyone who kept it lively and held a good sense of humor throughout!

 

In case you missed it…

Or if would just like to revisit the presentations, here is a recap of the event. We want to keep you in the loop on where we are and where we’re going with IMSLC.

Bryan Brandenburg, CMO and Co-founder of Salt Lake Comic Con shared his successes with video marketing and how investments in Facebook marketing have dominated referral traffic for SL Comic Con.

Tyler Whittingham and Michael Query, the brains behind Admind, illustrated the importance of PPC and covered everything from targeting and bid strategy, to optimization and reporting.

Emily Burkhart, our very own Marketing Manager at Stryde, drove home the value of proving content marketing ROI. With a content marketing budget increase across the board, and 79% of B2B firms not tracking ROI or feeling mediocre about their tracking abilities, it could be a perfect time to reassess where your efforts are leading you.

 

The Future of IMSLC

We get a lot of work done in front of a computer screen but that can never surmount the value of face-to-face communication. Offline events allow the marketing community to connect in a more personal learning environment. This was only our first rodeo, and we’re not hopping off yet! Here are some ideas we’ve brainstormed for coming events:

  • Smaller groups or conferences
  • Structured group networking session
  • Single centralized theme
  • Targeted based on audience experience level
  • Single keynote speaker
  • Panel discussion
  • Changeable location

As always, the direction of our next chapter depends on you! Please share with us your feedback from the last IMSLC in this short survey so that we can bring you an even better event!

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ZY5D6WQ

The future of IMSLC may take a new name, structure and venue, but the goal will always remain the same; to bring valuable, actionable insights to our marketing community. We’d like to thank our sponsors once again. And thanks to you for your continued support! What would you like to see at the next free inbound marketing event?

STRYDE | Why Your Content Marketing Isn't Working & How to Fix It 3

Why Your Content Marketing Isn’t Working & How to Fix It

By | Content Marketing, IMSLC | No Comments

The following is information we gleaned from Dan Bischoff’s presentation, 10 Roles Needed for Content Marketing Domination, during January 2015’s IMSLC event.

If you’ve fallen bait to the content marketing cycle-of-no-return, you’re not alone.

Thousands of marketers like you have tried the good ol’ “launch a company blog and start getting tons of traffic” tactic and been disappointed in the results.

To illustrate – the year of 2013 showed a hefty 93% of businesses were using content marketing as a way to expand their audience. This percentage shrunk to 86% in 2014, and is continuing to shrink.

Content marketing, as trendy as blogging and clever infographics have been, is losing steam.

So why the decline?

“It didn’t work. It wasn’t working for people…” is the simple answer provided by Dan Bischoff, founder of Content Hook, during his presentation at last month’s IMSLC. That’s right, Dan founded a company based around content marketing. So if you’re thinking there’s probably more behind the story of content marketing’s failure other than “it doesn’t work”, you’re right.

Let’s start by touching on the main reason people attempt content marketing in the first place…

How It Used to be

Just ten years ago, salespeople held you by the strings. If you wanted to buy a product, you typically had to go through someone to get all the information needed: a sales rep, a travel agent, a receptionist – you name it.

Today we hold personal salesmen in our own pockets. Most of us use online reviews, search engines, social media, and friends’ reviews to make purchasing decisions.

“Before a customer talks to a salesperson, the sales process is already done,” Dan pointed out. According to the Harvard Business Review, at least 57% of the buying process has already occurred before customers pick up the phone.

Content marketing is used for a variety of reasons, the main one being that businesses want to play a role in the 60% of the sales process that occurs before customers contact the company itself.

So Why Are Marketers Failing at Content Marketing?

Dan gave us three reasons:

1

2

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Need we say more?

You simply can’t compete against the elderly, soldier dads, or (especially) mourning dogs. Human stories will always win over advertised content.

On top of that, there are companies like Buzzfeed and Upworthy who do nothing but create content. Most of it is junk, but clickable junk.

And let’s not forget that Facebook likes are becoming less and less meaningful – the total number of pages ‘liked’ by the typical user grew more than 50% last year.

Dipping Your Toes vs. Diving In

This is the key.

The difference between those who find success using content marketing and those who don’t is the difference between simply dipping your toes in the water and diving in full force. You need a plan, a strategy, and a process.

A large part of that plan includes a robust, focused team made up of roles that are designed to drive content marketing from being so-so… to shareable.

Content Marketing

Inbound Marketing SLC & StartSLC Combine Forces for Most Successful IMSLC Yet

By | Creative, IMSLC, Inbound Marketing, Video | No Comments

Utah is swiftly becoming what many are calling a “mini Silicon Valley”. Year by year, venture capitalists have been investing more and more money into Utah-born companies – so much so that the state has become one of the most popular destinations for venture-capital funding.

This is not your typical valley.

saltlakevalley

startslc logoBeehive Startups recognized the need to bring more attention to the growing startup community and recently helped host the largest startup and technology festival to ever be held in Utah. Lucky for us, we were able to witness the great success of StartSLC with our own eyes. Over 4,000 people attended StartSLC, which offered over 66 different events to choose to attend.

Inbound Marketing SLC was just one of the 66 events offered, but for us, was our most successful event yet. In keeping with our themed events, this time we could think of no better topic to focus on than, well… startups.

We invited four speakers with four very different but notable backgrounds to come preach to us about what it takes to find success in small businesses.

danbischoffDan Bischoff, Content Hook,  spoke about finding success from a content marketing perspective. Over the past couple of years, content marketing has grown into somewhat of a necessary evil (everyone’s doing it), and an annoying, overly-used marketing term at the same time. What does content marketing mean, anyway? And why are so many people failing at it?

Bischoff answered these questions, and also the question of why less and less companies are using content marketing, in his informative presentation. View his presentation below for insights into what content marketing roles are necessary for domination.

View Dan Bischoff’s Presentation: 10 Roles You Need for Content Marketing Domination

danrodenDan Roden gave a compelling speech about branding. He pointed out that the actual product or service sold by a startup is, in many cases, secondary to the branding behind it.

“So many people think that their marketing is about their product. No one gives a rip about your product if your product is some product they can buy anywhere else. How does your product make them feel?”

Roden also described the one most important thing you can do for your company to differentiate yourself from others – watch for it in his presentation.

View Dan Roden’s Presentation: StartUp Marketing Tips from the Trenches

williamlamWilliam Lam, founder of Dark Energy, shared his experience and knowledge of how startups can find success on Kickstarter. Building a supportive network and being aware of industry trends were two of the many useful suggestions he had for small businesses wanting to gain support from the community.

“You have to be willing to go out and ask people to pledge for you,” said Lam. Not only that, but you have to put a heck of a lot of thought into what you are trying to accomplish with your project.

View William Lam’s Presentation: The Anatomy of a Successful Kickstarter

belovedLastly, three guys from Beloved Shirts spoke to us about the evolution of their brand voice. From a silly instagram account to a product list of over 22,000 skews, Beloved Shirts came out of nowhere and become a unique voice that resonated with people. College students to celebrities loved seeing a company image that wasn’t afraid to be just straight up strange.

Robbie, the face of the brand, pointed out that “…if you have no voice you have no brand. If you have no brand you’re just a commodity. And it just becomes a price battle at that point.”

View Beloved Shirt’s Presentation: Crafting a Voice for the Company

Inbound Marketing SLC is getting a little bigger with every event. Partnering with Start SLC was definitely a step in the right direction and we look forward to more opportunities to partner with local startup communities.

In the meantime, stay tuned for slide decks and full summaries of what we learned from our IMSLC guest speakers in upcoming blog posts by yours truly.

What topics and/or speakers would you be interested in hearing from at the next IMSLC? Let us know in the comments below!

14 Legit Reasons Utah Marketers Should Attend #IMSLC

By | IMSLC | No Comments

The following was published by our friends over at 24 Salt Lake on January 10th, 2015.

Inbound Marketing Salt Lake City, also known as IMSLC, is an event hosted every quarter by yours truly. This month, IMSLC is teaming up with StartSLC to give you the ultimate event geared towards teaching the secrets of startup success. The event will be held on January 30th at The Gateway. Tickets are going fast, so don’t miss your chance to sign up before seats fill up!

If you’ve never attended an event or you just need a refresher, here are some things you should know about IMSLC.

1. Admission is free!


They say the best things in life are free! Although admission is free, you still need to register here to get into the event.

2. #IMSLC trends on Twitter

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Trending #IMSLC tweets are some of the funniest you’ll ever read. Don’t forget to use #IMSLC or tag @fitinbound when you attend the event!

3. We (attempt) to break world records at IMSLC events

imslcSELFIES
At our October event, we tried to break the world record for the amount of simultaneous selfies taken. Shameless selfies were taken, but unfortunately not quite enough.

4. Each IMSLC has a different theme


No two IMSLCs are ever the same. In October, IMSLC was focused on social media; in December, it was ecommerce; in January, the focus will be towards entrepreneurs and startups.

5. IMSLC has the all-time best marketing analog memes

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“I don’t always attend events, but when I do I attend #IMSLC.”

6. Every IMSLC event has giveaways galore!


If we think your tweets are funny, your instagram pictures are top notch, or you’re paying enough attention to the speakers to answer some questions correctly, we’ll throw you a gift card or some free headphones.

7. IMSLC shines the spotlight on local celebrities

Christian Busath, real-life fruit ninja, spoke at our most recent ecommerce event in December. As seen on ABC’s Shark Tank, Freshly Picked CEO, Susan Peterson, revealed at our IMSLC event that she received her MBA, master in bad assness.

8. IMSLC gives you a good excuse to get out of work

 


How can you get away with not working but still doing something to help your company? Convince your boss to send you to IMSLC. You’ll learn new business strategies, do some netoworking, and won’t have to do paperwork from 9 to 11 on a Friday morning.

9. IMSLC provides an opportunity to network


Don’t be weird about it – just wander in and sit next to someone new. They probably won’t end up being a stalker (Although if they are, we’re not responsible. Just throwing that out there.) and you might just end up meeting someone you can work with, or even your next business partner!

10. January’s IMSLC will get you hooked on Dan Bischoff’s smoulder


Whether or not you’re interested in educating customers or marketing through storytelling,  Dan Bischoff, from Content Hook, will hook you in with that killer smoulder.

11. IMSLC will impress you with Dan Roden’s resume

christian
Another speaker at this month’s IMSLC event includes Dan Roden. If you’ve dreamt it, he’s done it. With over 10 years of analytics experience under his belt, he can help you discover some of the best startup marketing tips from the trenches.

12. You’ll meet the “Dark Lord” of kickstarter campaigns


William Lam is the founder of Dark Energy, a company that sells solar powered batteries for mobile devices. We dare you to try to raise more than he did on Kickstarter. (Hint: that’s around $173k.)

13. You’ll probably leave craving pizza, or at least a pizza hoodie from Beloved.


The guys at Beloved started their company in 2012 and the awesomeness is too much to put into words. Patterned shirts, hoodies, socks, and anything else you can imagine is their specialty, and it’s drawn attention from the likes of Katy Perry and Rob Dyrdek.

14. IMSLC… just makes you happy. And smarter.

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Enough said.

We can’t wait to see all of Utah’s entrepreneurs, hackers, designers, and marketers at the next #IMSLC event. Don’t forget to register for the (free) event here.

IMSLC Recap: When Ecommerce Meets Marketing Part 2

By | eCommerce, IMSLC, SEO, Social Media, Video | No Comments

As a sequel to part one of our December IMSLC review, today we’ll cover the last two presentations given at the event: Turning YouTube into a Revenue Channel and Ecommerce SEO for 2015.

But first let’s talk about how cool Christian Busath is…

Christian has collaborated and performed in videos that have been watched by millions around the world. Notably, he played the Fruit Ninja in Real Life, a video that has been viewed more than 27 million times. Altogether Christian has been viewed over 500 million times on the web. If anyone knows a thing or two about making YouTube a viable channel for revenue, Christian does.

Turning YouTube Into a Revenue Channel

Christian’s Presentation:

Christian’s Slideshow:

Christian opened by sharing  a mind-blowing statistic: 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every single minute of every single day – which means competition in this space is incredibly high and viewer loyalty is quite low. To put it simply, knowing the right techniques for building out your audience before attempting YouTube is absolutely necessary. Otherwise time and money will surely be wasted.

Through all his experience, Christian has been able to pinpoint three common rules of viral videos:

  1. Create Incredible Content
  2. Be Consistent
  3. Collaborate

Sometimes it takes a network of people to put together a video worth going viral. But in the end, users don’t care how or why the video was made… they just care if it’s something worth sharing.

We all can agree that most people do not find commercials very shareable. Commercials are all about a company’s self-promotion. So when sponsoring content on YouTube, Christian has some simple words of advice – don’t make it a commercial! Make it a message that will resonate with people, either through humor or useful advice, and they’ll naturally pass it along.

Christian also shared the following insightful statistic: according to ComScore, 90% of online shoppers found that video featuring products significantly helped in purchasing decisions. Building an audience on YouTube is (obviously) not just about gaining a following – it’s about leading potential customers through the sales funnel.

For more interesting stats and insights from Christian Busath, take a look through his slideshow above. Or if you’re all about learning through entertainment, watch the video of his hilarious presentation.

Get Your Google On: Ecommerce SEO for 2015

Dave’s Presentation:

Dave’s Slideshow:

Our last speaker at December’s IMSLC was none other than our very own Dave Bascom – CEO of Fit Marketing and founder of SEO.com.

Dave pointed out that if you’re like most marketers, you probably hate SEO. What is search engine optimization anyway? Why is it so hard to understand? The truth is SEO is pretty darn important in today’s search engine-driven society, and the only people who disagree will simply fall behind.

The number one reason “good” SEO is so hard to accomplish is due to limited real estate. To rank in the top 10 of a search query can be a wonderful yet terribly challenging thing. So how can you win at the SEO game when it comes to ecommerce?

Dave suggests five major points:

  1. Pick the right targets
  2. Build a strong foundation
  3. Ongoing content strategy
  4. Get the right kind of links
  5. Keep on keepin’ on

Most people assume that successful SEO relies on point #2 – building a strong foundation of content that includes specific keywords and phrases. But SEO is a much more intricate system. Building a strong foundation also relates to things like proper URLs, site architecture, and indexing.

The SEO master closed his presentation by reminding the audience that optimizing your website is simply going to take a while. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Track your progress and keep working on it, and continually work on your strategy for tackling more competitive keyword themes.

For more details on how to become an SEO master like Dave, view his slideshow above for tips such as how to use Google’s own tools against them.

And don’t forget… registration is open for a special session of Inbound Marketing SLC in conjunction with StartSLC on January 30th. This event’s focus is all about startups and their need for digital marketing. Register for your free ticket today!

IMSLC Recap: When Ecommerce Meets Marketing Part 1

By | eCommerce, IMSLC, Inbound Marketing | No Comments

Reddit, eBay, and YouTube lovers alike oohed and aahed during our fifth installment of Inbound Marketing SLC on Thursday, December 4th.

With over 347 billion dollars expected to be spent on online shopping in the year 2015, we figured it was about time we conquered the topic of ecommerce – how to attract, capture, and close sales with your target audience. If you work in ecommerce, you know this is often easier said than done.

Over 120 people attended our event and were enlightened by experts in the field. Mahonri Madrigal kicked us off by talking about how marketplaces are taking the world by storm.

Optimizing Marketplace Listings on Amazon and eBay

Mahonri’s Presentation:

When you look at Amazon, for example, the numbers are pretty incredible. In 2013, the company made over $67.9 billion in sales and claimed 1 out of every 7-8 online transactions that occurred that year. eBay also earned a stunning $16 billion in sales with over 84.5 million monthly unique visits. To put it lightly, marketplaces are kind of a big deal.

So what does that mean for your business?

Optimizing on marketplace channels can be a critical area of your ecommerce business success. Mahonri suggested considering the following when listing your products:

  • Using keywords in your titles
  • High quality/resolution images
  • The more photos, the better
  • Keep the description simple (200-300 words)
  • Use bullet points
  • Practice good customer service by a quick email response time

View Mahonri’s presentation above for more tips and tricks on how to optimize your marketplace listings.

Next up we heard from Kaela Gardner – Reddit’s Brand and Media Relationships Manager. If we had to sum up what we learned from Kaela in one sentence it would be this: any wise ecommerce marketer would be silly not to at least consider reddit. 

Marketing to a Suspicious Audience

Kaela’s Presentation:

Kaela’s Slideshow:

Reddit is an extremely powerful yet underrated way for companies to reach their target market… their very specific target market.

Kaela demonstrated this fact by  showing a list of existing reddit communities. There are the generic “travel”, “backpacking”, and “camping” groups, but there are also communities revolving around extremely specific interests such as “hammock camping”, “wilderness backpacking” and “colorado hikers”. For a marketer who understands their buyer persona, these communities are gold.

Reddit also holds a unique space for text advertising, which is quite a rarity in the ad industry. While most experts would tell you that less is more when it comes to text, Reddit encourages ads with more copy than visuals. In fact, users expect lots of written information with almost no pictures. Not only this, but users can have discussions revolving around specific ads and products. Kaela showed the example of a simple chair ad that generated a discussion of over 400 comments.

In summary? Reddit is a win-win for everyone.

Stay tuned for more ecommerce insights from our last two presentations given by YouTube star Christian Busath (real-life fruit ninja) and SEO.com founder Dave Bascom. In the meantime, visit our #IMSLC December 2014 playlist to check out all the speaker introductions and presentations from this month’s event.