#BlueGlassFL In Review: Hot Conference Takeaways

From the moment the first attendees arrived at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, it was plain to see that #BlueGlassFL was a different kind of industry event. The atmosphere was more reminiscent of an ultra-hip class reunion than a button-down business conference… and the distinct sense of an open & welcoming community permeated every session, making the jam-packed two day conference as rewarding  as it was memorable.

For the AIMCLEAR crew, it was two days of learning, live-tweeting, blogging, presenting & hanging out with industry friends, new and old, under the southern sun of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Our synopsis of #BlueGlassFL, key session takeaways and links to comprehensive coverage can be found below the fold… read on the a glimpse at a variety of top-notch sessions.Day 1: November 2nd, 2010

Online PR – The Art of Getting Your Business Talked About
The conference took off at full throttle with a panel discussion of outstanding Public Relations tactics with Peter Shankman, Brian Clark, Lisa Buyer, and moderated by Loren Baker. Practical pearls of PR wisdom ranging from what online PR actually is to how to pitch to bloggers & journalists were dispensed in an electrifying rapid-fire fashion. If you missed out on the deets, be sure to check out Revv Up Online PR & Give ‘Em Something to Talk About for some of the most notable quotables.

How to Buy & Sell Web Companies (The Right Way)
John Ferber, Jon Kelly, Kris Jones, and moderator Neil Patel stormed the stage with some rock solid insight on when, why, and how to buy and sell a hot Internet business.

Top advice on selling companies:

  • “If I knew then, what I know now, timing is really important.” -Kris Jones
  • “When considering selling, consider: Is the partner right, timing right, market right?” -John Ferber
  • “If you’re thinking about selling, think really hard. Ask all the ‘what ifs’.” -Jon Kelly

Domaining – The Evolving World of Domains
Continuing with the panel discussion format after lunch, Chad Folkening, Andrew Beckman, John Andrews, and moderator Monte Cahn brought their Domain “A” game.

Hot topics discussed by the panel:

  • Trends in domain buying/selling
  • Power of exact match domain
  • Best methods for finding domains
  • Getting the most out of domains you own

To dig deeper into the domain name game, check out AIMCLEAR‘s coverage in Claim Your Domain: Protecting Your Brand Online.

SEO for Enterprise Level Businesses
This session took a more tag-team approach with three very rich mini-presentations on scaling up your SEO plays for enterprise level businesses from Dennis Goedegebuure, Katy McDougall-Collins, and Annie Cushing.

  • Technology, analytics, and politics are the three biggest challenges in doing SEO in big companies, according to Goedegebuure.
  • Annie Cushing laid out a fantastic path for developing SEO strategies from the ground up. Everything from digging deep into a client’s current SEO rankings to optimizing the best SEO plays for those huge companies.
  • Katy McDougall-Collins focused on the issue of resistance to SEO strategies and how to turn your team in to champions of SEO.

Online Reputation Management – Tactics on Running an ORM Campaign and Defending Your Brand in Search Results
This hot topic as discussed by Bob Rains and Rhea Drysdale really had the Twitter crowd chattering, and produced some of the best quotes from the conference. Some highlights included:

  • Protect your neck. Your reputation is you– own it, keep it and monitor it.
  • Rule of thumb: Haters are gonna hate. It’s natural.
  • Find those who say positive things about you, contact them & make them advocates. It’s always better to convert an advocate than hide a dead body.

Day 2: November 3rd, 2010

Viral Marketing
Brian Chappell, Chris Bennett, Amy Vernon and moderator Brent Csutoras opened the second morning with a massive information overload. It seemed everyone in the room was scrambling to capture all the tactics & tidbits on viral content these panelists had to offer.  Here’s a peek at the goods:

Viral content is…

  • Simple
  • Clear
  • Concise
  • Informative

Seeding Success Factors :

  • Make your content easy to transmit… the easier your content is to share the more likely it will go viral.
  • Remind users to keep coming back… offer them some kind of incentive to return to your website or social pages.
  • Develop a formula and stick with it.

For a closer look at how graphics & social media outlets also play a role in Viral Marketing, read on with Creating & Seeding Viral Content: Pro Tips & Success Stories.

The Power of the Community – Leveraging and Mobilizing Organic Online Communities
Moderator Chris Winfield led a great nuts ‘n’ bolts panel discussion with Drew Curtis, Tamar Weinberg and Cameron Olthuis on building, growing, and utilizing online social communities.

Key topics covered:

  • What is community?
  • Generating passion for brand/business
  • Identifying and encouraging brand evangelists
  • When and why to make changes
  • Investment of time, effort, and cash into building your community

In-depth coverage of this session is available in Organic Online Community: If You Build It, Will They Come?

Advanced PPC Tactics : Styling & Profiling!
Following a fabulous day 2 lunch were the high octane presentations on Pay Per Click by Joanna Lord, Geordie Carswell, & Marty Weintraub.

Here’s a look at Joanna’s 10 Key Features You Should Know, AdWords edition:

  1. Leverage Advertiser goals in the Opportunities tab – enable & play with options, tinker with maintaining or deceasing costs.
  2. Use day-parting with AdWords based on conversion data by way of Analytics.
  3. Use search funnel reporting to get some keyword attribution data & assisted clicks.
  4. Broad match modifier – more expansive than phrase but still broad.
  5. Enhanced CPC Bidding – auto adjust based on conversion historical data.
  6. Ad Sitelinks – many know about it, but not everyone uses it… leverage it to drive traffic to sub-sections of the site.
  7. Local extensions update – show multiple address for physical locations.
  8. Remarketing – show a follow-up ad after they visit your site and go to a site with Ad sense.
  9. Campaign experiments -A/B test management tactics have control & experiment code for pages.
  10. Potential placement reporting – this will be rolling out to everyone in 3 weeks. Use for ads running on display network.
Marty discussed Radical Intelligence & Targeting Hacks a.k.a… how to mine Facebook for GOLD, baby!

Guerrilla Up-Front Takeaways

  • DO! Deconstruct Planet Earth Socially
  • Paid Social Inventory = Organic Analogy
  • Method More Important Than Facebook
  • Subtle & Obvious Intent Matters
  • Get Ready For The Future of Demographics
  • Stunning Micro-Demographic Diversity
  • Don’t Rule Out B2B, Tons of FB Social Segments
  • (Search) = Focus but (Search) ≠ Biggest Pie Piece

As much as we would have loved to stick it out and cover the last two sessions, Link Building : The Key Differentiation Point of Search Rankings & Local Search: The Future of Search is Now and Its in the Local Box, airlines don’t really recognize SEM rockstar status (…yet…), & AIMCLEAR had a plane to catch. So that about does ‘er! Big shout out & thank you to the #BlueGlass crew & crowd for a sensational couple of days filled with some serious brain-chow. See you on the next leg of AIMCLEAR‘s 2010 speaking tour… we’re headed to PubCon in Vegas, baby!

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