Monthly Archives: April 2013

Should I Hire Scott “UnMarketing” Stratten to Speak at My Event?

hire Scott Stratten speaker

Scott Stratten and myself at AmeriRap 2013

When it comes to hiring a speaker for an event, a lot of thought and research goes into it. At least, it should. You’re often paying a substantial amount of money for something that should bring great value to your event. Whether it’s a keynote speech at a conference, or a consulting hour at a private company class, the speaker needs to bring something to the table that leaves you wanting to bring her or him back, or to share their information with others to book. It should also – of course – add to your event something the attendees can walk away saying, “That was a great time.”

My employer – AmeriFirst Home Mortgage – needed a speaker for an internal sales conference event. We considered a few candidates, one of which was Scott Stratten. Scott is an author of 2 books on marketing and customer service. “UnMarketing: Stop Marketing. Start Engaging” and “The Book of Business Awesome” both aim to help businesses not suck at life basically.

I have followed Scott on Twitter – @unmarketing –  for a long time. I’ve read his blog. And I finally had the opportunity to see him speak – and meet him briefly – at a Social Media Club of Detroit event. This all led me to the conclusion that Scott would be a good candidate to suggest to my boss Mark for our event. After watching some YouTube videos of Scott’s talks Mark agreed. He knew that Scott would reach our sales team with his boots on the ground approach and his real estate ideas and outlook.

Our experience with Scott could not have been better. From my first contact with him and his Coordinator of Awesome Karen, to our parting handshake, our expectations were shattered. Any question I had about the event was answered completely and quickly by Karen. I felt like I was bothering her with minutae a few times, but Karen let me know that it was absolutely no problem. She really is a coordinator of awesome.

Scott was completely professional. He arrived early for a mic and equipment check. His speech was energizing, informative and entertaining. Scott took time to answer questions after the presentation, and stuck around for a book signing. His publisher Wiley helped us set up a book table through Barnes & Noble, making sure everything went smoothly there as well. Unfortunately it was too early for a karaoke night.

Definitely consider this marketing guy, published author, Detroit Lions fan and all around good guy for your event if you’re looking to connect with team members or others on marketing in this new world of digital platforms. From Twitter to blogs to websites and Facebook, Scott has a lot to offer.

See Scott’s presentation here (thanks for allowing us to share this, Scott): Scott Stratten Talks at AmeriRap 2013 Kalamazoo Michigan

5 Reasons Analytics are Key to Inbound Marketing

5-Reasons-Analytics-are-Key-to-Inbound-MarketingInbound marketing is many things. Content creation, search engine optimization, digital marketing, social media…the list goes on. But the backbone of inbound marketing could actually be less creative and fun, and more about the numbers. Analytics is key to inbound marketing. Without analytics, you’re just filling the web with junk.

Analyzing your marketing efforts not only helps your business, it helps your potential clients. Without anayltics you’re in the “spray and pray” world of marketing. That’s not a good place to be. You’re essentially throwing money at a problem in hopes that something will payoff someday. With hard numbers – the right analytics – you’re able to see which marketing efforts pay off in views, contacts and sales.

Let’s look at 5 reasons analytics are key to inbound marketing.

1) Analyzing views will help you build an audience. Views are a good metric to start with as you build your inbound marketing strategy. However, they’re a vanity metric (good for the ego) and should be only one of many things you look at in your marketing efforts.

Views – and where they come from – will help you narrow down your focus to relevant sources, and help you begin to figure out the weak spots for your content. If your views are coming from organic search results (where a viewer types in a search term and finds your content) then you know your audience is growing naturally. If you see views coming from social media, you know your content is shareable.

Analyzing your views can help you build an audience because you’ll know what content people are finding and reading and sharing, and you’ll know what content is driving people to give you information like an email address.

2) Without a click-through measurement, you’ll never know what material drives leads. Moving on from views to leads, you need to understand what content resonates with people enough to get them to give you an email or phone number. A good way to turn views into leads is to offer them something of value in return for an email address.

As a business, you have valuable information potential clients could use for their buying decision. For instance, if you’re a lawn care company you may have a dozen tips to share with homeowners to help make their lawn the envy of their neighborhood. Put together a short guide and offer to email it to them. This gets you a lead you can nurture and turn into a possible client. But if you’re not measuring click through rates on links, buttons and other elements, then you’re never sure of what’s effective.

3) Social sharing proves you’re trusted. Retweets, Facebook shares and LinkedIn updates all point to the fact that someone trusts you, and wants to tell their friends, family or networks. Social has become a powerful tool in SEO. Search engines like Google readily admit that social signals like retweets, shares and likes have become a powerful SEO tool. Analyze which tweets are shared and clicked, which Facebook posts are shared or liked and which Pinterest posts are re-pinned. These are the kinds of content you want to use. the posts, tweets or pins that are ignored can go in the “never again” file.

4) A billion views is cool, but if you’re not measuring referral traffic you’re missing out. Links are one of the tried-and-true methods of driving search engine results (getting found in Google or Bing) and building an audience. Guest blogging is one great way to build links, as is creating useful or engaging content on your own website.

Measure which content gets linked to, and create more content like that. If “this versus that” articles garner lots of link love, then find more versus material to create. If infographics are a hot ticket item for links, then make useful infographics for people to share. Analyizing your efforts will help you scale your marketing.

5) Analyitics help in A/B testing. Finally, A/B testing. this is the method of testing this-versus-that in your marketing. It could be testing an email subject line with “Free” in it, and one without. You might test the color of a call to action button, red or blue. What you’re doing is testing the effectiveness of your marketing. Analyzing these efforts will help you become a more efficient marketer.

Because of these 5 reasons, your inbound marketing team or person needs to have analytical skills, either naturally or learned. While you don’t have to track everything you do in marketing, it’s certainly helpful to track as much as you can.

Want to know how I went from a journalism career to a marketing career? Want to find the right inbound marketer for your business? Download the free eBook below. It’s a 30-page guide to help businesses and journalists connect.

Download the book to find out how to go from the T-V newsroom into inbound marketing

(creative commons photo credit)

How Important is it to Find a Digital Native for Inbound Marketing?

How-Important-is-it-to-Find-a-Digital-Native-for-Inbound-Marketing

Startin’ young

Inbound marketing relies on a specific skill set for success. The person or team heading up your inbound marketing efforts needs to inherently understand this marketing revolution. An inbound marketer needs to understand SEO, social media, blogging, multimedia platforms like video & podcasting as well as the analytics that accompany these efforts.

Here’s an excerpt from “How I Turned Journalism into an Inbound Marketing Career” that explains how a person’s digital skills come into play in this new marketing.

Digital skills may be a generational thing, but it’s not just about age. However for argument’s sake, let’s take a look at it from an age point of view. I’m 35 years old. I grew up with computer class and some minor programming education. Remember Apple IIe? I do. Then in high school we got the Internet. Well, we got America Online. AOL changed my life. I could chat with my cousin in California at the same time I chatted with my friend down the street. I could look up these web page things and see the world from my house. For about $2 a minute. But the point is I grew up on the Internet.

Now, I personally avoided the Myspace craze. But as soon as Facebook became a bit popular I grabbed a profile and owned my vanity URL. When Twitter was still young I signed up. My first tweet ( May of 2008) was something like “Trying to figure out another social network.” But I was a fairly early adopter of these things. I get my news first from Twitter (which sends me to the standard news sites typically). I listen to music on Pandora, Slacker Radio and my iTunes & Google Music account. Google is my everything when it comes to finding out answers. I don’t need a map in my hand even though I can read one, I have my phone with GPS. Generation X and Gen Y would be digital natives.

On the other hand, my parents are in their 50’s (I’ll be nice and omit the exact age) so they didn’t grow up on the Internet. To them, the phone book still exists and they miss the days of having a cup of coffee and the newspaper. My dad goes for the atlas before Google Maps. He still buys CD’s. They now partake in the Facebook and have an email, but their generation is one of digital tourists. They’re familiar with the general idea, but they did not grow up online.

Now you know the distinction between a digital native and a digital tourist. Now let’s look at the hybrid: a digital citizen. This person is someone who has made the transition into thinking “online.” Back to my dad: he edits videos from photos now, and can post it on YouTube. Mom has her music on her mp3 player and is making ringtones for her smart phone. They use Google as a verb. My parents are becoming digital citizens.

So your inbound marketer needs to be fluent in digital, and understand all of the jargon that goes with it. To a digital citizen, the cloud is more than something that covers the sun on a summer day. The cloud is a way to share information and do business. A digital citizen will understand that sometimes early adoption of the latest Internet tool can help catapult a business forward – like Twitter. But they will also know when to cut losses when that next shiny object begins to falter and doesn’t pan out – like Google+.

Find yourself a digital citizen. This person doesn’t need to be a 20-something college dropout digital native who doesn’t know anything about the real world. But this person needs to be digitally fluent. You wouldn’t do business in France without having someone fluent in the French language and customs.

Download the book to find out how to go from the T-V newsroom into inbound marketing

(creative commons photo credit)