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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 | Adaptive Content-  The Latest Adaptation of Content Marketing?

Adaptive Content- The Latest Adaptation of Content Marketing?

By | Content Marketing, Digital Marketing, Food for thought, Our Process, Strategy, Uncategorized | No Comments

While the technology support can be a little slow to evolve, content marketing strategies and techniques are taking new shapes to identify the ideal target audience and to guide customers through a shortened sales cycle.

Adaptive content offers an edge to the creation and distribution parts of the process. This content strategy is designed to support meaningful, personalized interactions across all channels. Moreover, it’s not a strategy that is built only around the characteristics, goals, and challenges of buyer personas, but also around the mood of the buyer – Noz Urbina.

We know that personalization is key to reaching the ideal buyer. In fact, 94% of businesses say that it’s critical to their success. Here, we begin to merge a closer union between the buyer persona and sales cycle, in an attempt to reach a target so narrow, that we can understand how it feels.

The Matrix

If you already have a few content marketing campaigns under your belt, you’re probably all too familiar with creating and marketing to buyer personas. With adaptive content, there are a few more variables to consider in the Content Mix Matrix:

Content Mix Matrix
Personas Buying Stage Format Channel
Billy Awareness Text Social
Willey Attraction Video Mobile
Nilly Close Podcast Websites
Tilly Retain Infographic Email
Advocate Images Print
Presentation In-person
Kiosk

In this model, the content catered to the buyer persona is strategically created in the most sensible format, at the most relevant stage of the buying cycle, and distributed through the most appropriate channel.

In the content creation process, you might consider:

  • Is it better to start with a general piece of content and to later personalize it to each persona at every stage?
  • Should I start with a fleshed out piece of content and then notate which segments will be adapted to fit the next format?

This is the manual part of the equation that requires more in-depth research into, not only the buyer personas’ characteristics, but also, their personal journey and it’s up for you, the marketer, to decide what works best for your audience.

Going Green

Putting an adaptive content process into place can take a substantial amount of time but the beauty of it is that, when planned properly, adaptive content has the means to be evergreen. We have to remember to apply the R’s and when it comes to content, we do it in a most creative and practical way.

Reduce

The amount of time spent on content creation can be greatly reduced when you already have a hearty piece to edit and adjust. Slim down the content that you have and focus it on just one phase of the buying cycle. The load will feel a lot lighter.

Reuse

The content topics you already have are completely reusable when you promote them through a variety of channels. Social media, for instance, can serve as a great outlet for reshares; especially Twitter, where posts tend to be pushed out more regularly.

Repurpose

You can further stretch the reach of your content by repurposing it in various forms. Try going for something more visual by converting a whitepaper into an eye-catching infographic.

Recycle

Once you have a good grasp on where your buyer personas are in the buying stage and the best channels by which to to reach them, be sure to record and recycle the process. It will always be in motion, so be flexible and make the necessary adjustments as you go along.

Adaptive Content implicates techniques that are too smart and too personalized for any tool to master alone. It is a practice that will take time to put into place, but with a clearly defined strategy and a good grasp of its fundamentals, it has the potential to be one of the most personal and powerful marketing practices yet.

Online marketing practices are always evolving. What are you seeing for the future of content marketing and how will you adapt for what’s to come?
We’d love to hear your thoughts!

Vanity Social Metrics Are Pointless Without Context

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tom brady patriots

During the 2010 NFL regular season, Tom Brady threw the ball 492 times.

In the 2012 election, 822,544 Iowans cast their votes for Barack Obama.

And last night, my daughter drank 6.5 ounces of milk before bed.

How pointless are these numbers without context? Sure, now you know how many times Brady threw the ball in 2010, but how many of those pass attempts ended in completions or touchdowns? Were those 822,544 votes in Iowa enough for Obama to carry the state, and if so, how many electoral votes did he gain? And unless you know how old my daughter is or what her eating habits are like, what does that 6.5 ounces of milk even mean?

Numbers without context end up leaving people with more questions than answers. Yet all too often, we have to listen to people brag about how many Facebook likes their page has or how they were able to grow their social media following by 17%.

Alison Herzog, Social Media Director for FamilySearch, spoke about this concept at Inbound Marketing SLC last week. She explained that if you can’t tie your social media metrics to your business initiatives, there’s really no point to reporting them. She advised those who were in attendance to use data to understand expectations and to evaluate what content is successful to your business strategy.

Chasing vanity metrics, such as Twitter followers or Facebook comments, can be a waste of time and resources. It can also lead you to a false sense of confidence that you’re getting the job done if you’re able to grow these numbers. Keep in mind that numbers can lie, and they might not tell you the whole story about customer engagement.

Jesse Stay, our Senior Advisor over Social Strategy, provided some more insights into how you can build your following without succumbing to an ill-advised chase for vanity metrics. He explained how you can do research to create heavily targeted Facebook ads that will attract the right type of visitors for your brand.

One method he suggested was Facebook’s graph search. It allows you to research the connections between different groups of people based on their interests. For instance, here is a screenshot that shows the favorite interests of people who like Fit Marketing:

If you wanted to target the types of people who might like a Utah marketing agency, a graph search like this will give you some insight into what kind of interests these people have. Then, you can incorporate what you learn into a targeted ad that is more likely to resonate with them.

Both Jesse and Alison have made their slides available. You can view them here:

Alison Herzog: Stop the Vanity Metric Madness

Jesse Stay: Creating, Converting, and Killing it With Mad Facebook Ads

Social and Selfies at #IMSLC

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More than 275 people came out to our fourth installment of Inbound Marketing SLC on Thursday to hear from some of the top social media marketers in the world. With so many people in attendance, we couldn’t help but try to break the world record for the most simultaneous selfies…

#IMSLC SELFIES

…we didn’t quite get there.

But it was a valiant effort, and we’ve got our sights set on other world records at our next #IMSLC in December. In the meantime, we will have to settle for being the third trending topic on Twitter:#IMSLC trending on twitter

We heard from some fantastic speakers at the event. Alison Herzog, Social Media Director and Strategist at FamilySearch, implored attendees to stop reporting vanity metrics without proper context. Joseph Allen, co-founder at Lava Surf, pointed out that social media marketing used to be referred to as social media influence. Susan Petersen, CEO and founder of Freshly Picked, explained how she has harnessed the power of Instagram to create a highly successful business. And our own Jesse Stay, Senior Advisor over Social Strategy for Fit Marketing, explained the techniques you can use for a successful Facebook ads strategy.

In the coming weeks, we will add more posts to this blog that cover each presentation in more detail. In the meantime, Alison and Jesse have made their slides available for you to look through:

Alison Herzog: Stop the Vanity Metric Madness

Jesse Stay: Creating, Converting, and Killing it With Mad Facebook Ads

UVEF 25 Under 5: Moving Into the Top 10

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UVEF-photo

David Letterman isn’t the only one with top 10 lists on the mind right now.

At an awards banquet in Provo on Thursday, Fit Marketing was named the 10th fastest growing Utah company under 5 years old by the Utah Valley Entrepreneurial Forum at their annual Top 25 Under 5 event. We jumped up 9 spots from last year’s number 19 ranking.

The event showcased the diversity of young businesses in the area, with companies from various industries making the list . FiberFix, the number 5 company on the list, noted on its Twitter account that the UVEF 25 Under 5 event was the only place on earth “where manure, SEO, website, space and tech companies meet together”.

The event was emceed by David Bradford, executive chairman for HireVue and former CEO of Fusion-io. He noted that he has been doing business all over the world for decades, and the entrepreneurial spirit in Utah is unlike anything he has seen anywhere.

“Every one of us believes we can build the next great company,” Bradford said. “We are so blessed here.”

Bradford counted down the top 25 companies in reverse order. Here is the full list of the 2014 UVEF Top 25 Under 5:

  1. Disruptive Advertising
  2. 3DPlusMe
  3. SquareHook
  4. Black Dirt Organics
  5. Discovery Simulations
  6. Quick Request
  7. ForeUp Golf
  8. Pop Art Snacks
  9. Moki
  10. SpinGo
  11. Red Star Transportation
  12. HIPPA One
  13. CruxCase
  14. Launch Leads
  15. Lancera
  16. Fit Marketing
  17. Sunlight Solar Systems
  18. Wise Flooring & Design
  19. Zylun
  20. iQue Repair
  21. FiberFix
  22. PcCareSupport
  23. BambooHR
  24. Lucid Software
  25. Boostability

Our congratulations to each of the 25 companies on the list, and we want to thank the UVEF for the honor. It’s always good to have more awards to crowd the desk of our CEO, Dave Basom.

#IMSLC Lessons Learned: Undiscovered Marketing Strategies of 2014

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#IMSLC Lessons Learned: Content Amplification and the Quizzing Phenomenon

What’s with all of the quizzes you’re seeing on your social media feeds? How can you get your content in front of the right audience? Is Google+ worth spending any time on? And what exactly should you do when you get a new lead?

We got answers to all of those questions and more at the most recent Inbound Marketing SLC event on Thursday, May 29. Here are the slides and summaries of the presentations given by the four speakers at #IMSLC:

Josh Little: The Quizzing Phenomenon

Josh Little and his talented friends at Movement Ventures created Qzzr, a tool to create those viral quizzes you’re seeing all over the place. He explained the quizzing phenomenon, and he pointed out that quizzes can do more for than just tell people what Disney princess they are; quizzes can be an incredibly valuable marketing tool.

For example, Crosswalk.com recently launched a quiz titled What Bible Character Are You? In just a few weeks, it was taken nearly 100,000 times and generated just under 2,000 leads.

Josh pointed out that marketers can use quizzes for three things:

  1. Drive traffic
  2. Capture leads
  3. Present offers

Josh will be talking more about using quizzes to capture leads and win new customers at an upcoming webinar. It will be on Thursday, June 5, from noon-1:00pm MDT. He will be joined by Zach Mangum, co-founder of GroSocial and VP of Social Products at Infusionsoft. If that’s not a convenient time for you, register anyway and they’ll send you the recording afterwards.

Greg Shuey: Content Amplification – Building Quick Visibility, Leads & Links

Greg Shuey, co-founder of Stryde, pointed out that changes in Google’s algorithm caused online marketers to focus on pushing out massive amounts of content. This created a few problems, because people were so bombarded with content that they didn’t know where to go. Content marketers had a difficult time standing out in the crowded field.

So Greg said it’s content amplification to the rescue. Content amplification is a paid media tactic that allows marketers to get their content in front of targeted audiences on media sites, social media platforms and other valuable outlets.

It’s a strategy that only works for companies with large marketing budgets, and there are a few crucial things to keep in mind to have success in the content amplification world. You need to know your audience, know what content connects with your audience, and know what your goals are so you can optimize for an end goal.

Chris Linford: Google Reviews – Powerful #SocialSEO

Chris Linford, CEO of Oozle Media, drove the point home that many small and medium sized businesses are leaving money on the table by not utilizing a simple Google+ strategy.

He talked about how important it is for businesses to get people to review them on Google+. After all, most people read online reviews before deciding to make a purchase.

Chris brought up an example of a client that his company worked with. They were able to help the client get 535 authentic online reviews. The next closest competitor had four. People were much more likely to click on the company with 535 reviews, and it helped them rank for more search terms and in a broader geographic range.

And it’s not just all about positive reviews. Chris said he gets excited when he sees negative reviews – it gives him the chance to provide a measured and sympathetic response to the review. It’s an opportunity to create a brand advocate.

Cheyenne Carroll: The Art & Science of the Perfect Offer

Cheyenne Carroll, Inbound Marketing Maestro at Fit Marketing, talked about what she’s learned from helping dozens of companies implement inbound marketing strategies. Many of them forget to provide value to those who aren’t ready to buy. She said it’s important to create clear paths for all buyers, whether they’re ready to buy or not.

Cheyenne laid out four steps that companies need to take to create the perfect offer:

Step 1: Know your buyers. Try to find out everything you can about the people who are most likely to spend money on your products or services. Create a “buyer persona” – give him or her a name, demographic details and job title.

Step 2: Understand the buying cycle. The buying cycle doesn’t start when customers enter their credit card information. They start in the Awareness stage, then they proceed to the Consideration stage, and finally they move on to the Decision stage.

Step 3: Match offers to buying cycles. Someone in the Awareness stage would benefit from a different type of offer than a person in the Consideration stage. Keep these stages in mind as you develop targeted offers.

Step 4: Capture leads. Make sure you have a system in place that allows you to gather contact information for potential buyers.

Thanks so much for all who participated in #IMSLC. It was another fantastic event, and we are planning on running it back again in September. Stay tuned for more details, and we look forward to seeing you there.

Using Quizzes to Generate Leads

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Unless you only get on the web to read our blog, you’ve probably noticed the flurry of quizzes appearing all over your social media.

If you do only get on the web to read our blog, you get to hear about quizzes now anyway. That’s because we’ve noticed quizzes too. We also noticed something else about quizzes – they’re a great way to generate quality leads.

In fact, we’ve been so impressed by the power of using quizzes for inbound marketing that our very own Owen Fuller recently participated as a guest presenter in a webinar entitled, “How to make one of those insanely viral quizzes that you are seeing everywhere” (found below).

You can make quizzes for free using an awesome tool called Qzzr. And if you want to learn how to blow them up, you can watch the webinar below. Beware, it is overflowing with secret sauce.

For more information about the webinar, check out the Qzzr blog.

In Case You Haven’t Noticed, Analytics Changes Have Been Made

By | Industry News, Uncategorized | No Comments

Business Analytics

Yesterday we were putting together our mid-month reports and saw our “Visits” numbers on Google Analytics, and then by 4 p.m. we noticed that section’s wording had changed to “Sessions”. Since we weren’t expecting that, the switch piqued our interest.

But the Visits section changing to Sessions wasn’t the only noticeable change. What we once knew as “Unique Visitors” was now reading as “Users”.

Luckily Google Analytics knew all of us businesses with one of their accounts would be confused and like to be enlightened on what these changes are and why they’re happening.

Google Analytics’ thinking behind these changes is that businesses need to better understand and analyze their user behavior as users interact with businesses through several digital touchpoints, like websites, mobile apps and a few other digital devices, in today’s world. With these very recent changes, which will be rolling out to all accounts over the next week, businesses will now view their web and app data from the same reporting view.

If your business sends web and app hits to one property in your Google Analytics account, you’ll now see all your hits in all your reporting views. You can choose to add in a filter to your reporting views if you want to keep this data separate though. If you don’t send the two sets of data to the same property in your account you don’t need to worry because your data is staying the same.

But it doesn’t matter how businesses send their data because everyone is going to see the unified dimension, metric and segment names in their reports. With the names being the same in each view, businesses now have a clear-cut and uniform way to analyze and discuss their Google Analytics data.

Changes always take a little time to get used to, but changes also usually happen for the better. So bring on the changes Google Analytics. We’re ready to adapt.

How to Solve Marketer’s Lovability Problem (Cool Things We Learned at IMSLC)

By | Content Marketing, Inbound Marketing, Search Marketing, SEO, Uncategorized, Video | No Comments

Marketers have a lovability problem.

At least that’s what Nick Salvatoriello, an Inbound Marketing Professor for HubSpot, told the 250 people who attended Inbound Marketing SLC on Thursday. He cited a study that showed marketers to be behind lawyers and stockbrokers on the likability scale (although they were slightly ahead of car salespeople and lobbyists).

Nick, who flew in from HubSpot’s Boston headquarters for the event, suggested that marketers combat their image problem by providing marketing that customers love.  This is the driving force behind inbound marketing, he said, because inbound marketing aims to treat each precious contact as an actual human with needs that need to be addressed.

Next on the mic was our very own Owen Fuller, president and founder of Fit Marketing. Owen explained how important it is for marketers to harness the power of good storytelling. Stories can produce visceral responses from your customers, and the experiences they have with you will be much more memorable.

To create stories, think of the problems that your customers are facing and identify the possible solutions. If you don’t know what their problems are, then you must not be listening.

We then got to hear from Abe Niederhauser, marketing manager at Orabrush. Abe explained how his company takes a data driven approach to its video marketing efforts. When they launched an oral care product for dogs, for example, they went through 55 variations of the conversion video, 245 variations of the landing page and 46 different price points.

Orabrush’s strategy has been highly effective. The company has over 42 million YouTube views, which Abe noted is roughly 1/5 of the views of giants like Old Spice and Pepsi but at 1/100 of the budget.

The last speaker at IMSLC was Dave Bascom, CEO of Fit Marketing. Although Dave is the founder and former CEO of SEO.com, his presentation was titled “Fire Your SEO Agency and Grow Your Search Traffic”.

Dave advised companies to think of SEO as a mindset, not a department. Three “non-SEO” tactics he suggested are 1) juicy content creation, 2) influencer outreach and 3) social media engagement. All of these tactics would be good ideas even if Google didn’t exist because they would increase direct traffic, exposure, leads and sales.

The event was sponsored by Utah Business Games and Signs.com. A big thanks goes out to them for helping to make IMSLC happen.

If you weren’t able to attend IMSLC, you’re in luck. We’re doing it again on May 22. We’ve already received a lot of great feedback from you and look forward to making the next one bigger and better.

LIVE EVENT: Inbound Marketing SLC on Feb. 27th

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IMSLC logo

Inbound Marketing SLC is less than a week away, and I wanted to remind you that there’s still time to get your free tickets. All you have to do is go to http://inboundmarketingslc.eventbrite.com.

Get them while you still can, though. The event is fast approaching and there are just a few tickets left.

The program will include these speakers:

  • Nick Salvatoriello is flying in from HubSpot’s Boston headquarters to talk about how to get started with Inbound Marketing.
  • Abe Niederhauser from Orabrush will explain how his company takes a data driven approach to video marketing that has produced over 40 million YouTube views and millions in sales.
  • Owen Fuller, founder and president of Fit Marketing, will speak about how to grow your business by telling an authentic and consistent brand story.
  • Dave Bascom, founder of SEO.com and CEO at Fit Marketing, will tell you why you should fire your SEO agency and increase your traffic.

Huge thanks to our sponsors, Utah Business Games and Signs.com.

The Utah Business Games take advantage of the competitive nature of Utah’s business people, pitting them against each other in popular office games and sporting events. Their first event is the March Madness Corporate Ping Pong tournament, which begins on March 21st.

Signs.com aims to provide customers with the best sign buying experience out there. You can go to Signs.com to get banners, yard signs, vehicles and many other visual communication devices.

More than 200 people came out to our last event, and I hope to see all of you there to help make this one bigger and better.

Event Details

Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014
9 a.m.–11 a.m.
Salt Lake Community College Miller Campus
9750 S 300 W., Sandy
Miller Free Enterprise Center, Room 101

More Info and Registration: http://inboundmarketingslc.eventbrite.com