digital marketing search and social influence

Digital Marketing: The Search and Social Influence

Last week I had the pleasure of attending Eastern Michigan University, Center for Digital Engagement’s Search Marketing Workshop. The theme of this year’s event was, “The Fusion of Everything”. While Digital has shifted from web only to many things: web, mobile, car, home entertainment system, etc;. search and social media remain the constant in this fusion. As a result, digital marketing is becoming more and more personal. [clickToTweet tweet=”With digital, you can be marketed to at any time and messaging is tailored to your preferences.” quote=”With digital, you can be marketed to at any time and messaging is tailored to your preferences.” theme=”style4″]

I’d like to share some of my favorite highlights, tips, quotes and “snackable chunks” from the workshop.

The day started with a Morning Keynote from Jon Beebe, Director of Digital Advertising and Analytics at General Motors discussing “Advanced Audience Marketing: Using Big Data to Understand, Recognize and Engage Customers.”  Big Data for Marketing has big opportunities. Every engagement as the opportunity to create different sets and types of data. Here are some highlights:

  • Throughout all interactions, customers move from one state to another. All data can be anonymously matched back to a “Universal ID.”
  • Outside-In Approach to Data:Leverages external data partnerships, and may include or exclude customer data, depending on objectives and the target customer. “Universal ID” enables cross-interaction recognition, integrated messaging and media efficiencies.
  • Integration provides greater customer insights but a one size fits all approach is suboptimal because the path to purchase is complex.
  • 3 integration barriers: poor data quality, siloed departments and inability to link different marketing technologies.
  • Stream together behavioral data with your customer data. Engagement from your audience can help optimize your content.

At the Integrated Digital Marketing Track: Search and Social, Making It All Work Together included presentations from Susan Emerick, Principal of Brands Rising, Jeff Alderman, VP, Partner of Performance Digital-Search, Universal McCann and Sean Hickey, COO of PWB.

Highlights on General Search and Social Integration:

  • Create a vision of the integrated world within your company and have a shared plan to get there.
  • Play to their strengths: search is a demand/pull tactic, social is an engagement/push tactic.
  • Encourage bi-directional learnings.
  • Be a testing fanatic.
  • Use a centralized measurement system.
  • Avoid waiting until it’s perfect.

Brands are looking to engage people that are seeking information and express intent to purchase. The real time bidding ecosystem including SEM and social enables brands to identify, engage and acquire audiences throughout their decision journey.

In the Effective Social Campaigns breakout, we heard fronm Kelly LaVaute, Editor in Chief, Chevy Social, FleishmanHillard, David Murray, Manager of Social Media, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Taylor Hulyk, Social Media Director, re:group.

All three speakers shared real campaigns, what their goals were, what the results were and what they learned. My favorite takeaways from this breakout were:

“Branded hashtags don’t really insert you into a conversation. Broad ones help you to be a part of a broader conversation.” – Kelly LaVaute

“I believe that creating an emotional connection with social communication is the most important thing.” – Dave Murray

“When faced without assets, advertisers can use social to run photo contests that drive engagement and assets.” – Taylor Hulyk

Following the workshop, re:group posted a blog on how to execute social media contests for the purpose of crowdsourcing customer multimedia assets based on Taylor Hulyk’s talk at the workshop. Make sure you bookmark it!

We wrapped up the day with a lunch panel that included Bob Chunn, Co Founder and CEO, ContentOro, Shamir Ozery, Director of Marketing, Message Blocks, Matt Laurin, Web Marketing Analyst, General RV and moderator Grace Hsia, Co-Founder and CEO, Warmilu.

We discussed in general, how do you make digital work without blowing the bank?

Here are some tips:

  • Business owners should learn how to do as much as they can on their own. Use videos and blogs to teach yourself how to do a lot of your own work, and outsource what’s left.
  • Use marketing channels for what they’re intended for.
  • Creating content! Content creation is not paying for search but get the benefit of people searching.
  • Content marketing is a solution to the need to communicate with customers.
  • Creating content and curating will help you avoid spending a lot of money and getting nothing back.
  • Figure out what your goals are FIRST. Figure out what you’re trying to accomplish, THEN look at the data according to that.
  • Focus your efforts on the outreach and use free tools to analyze data.
  • In order to grow you need to look at unbranded traffic/keywords.

The workshop resulted in plenty of valuable information and takeaways that were very applicable to marketers and their everyday use of digital marketing. I am looking forward to 2016!

You can catch more highlights from myself and all the attendees who were tweeting out information and quotes with the #EMUDigital hashtag with my storify story: