Duluth’s Zenith Social Media Marketing Confab Preview! 8 Speakers, 5 Questions

With over 25 speakers heading to Duluth, the countdown is on! The 4th annual Zenith Social Media Marketing Conference is coming up quickly and we can hardly wait! If you haven’t yet registered to attend the conference, don’t worry there’s still room for YOU! You will leave feeling inspired, armed with a powder keg of strategies, tactics, tools and tips that are sure to boost your online engagement, increase social market share and avoid wasteful social media campaigns. We will see you there!

Recently, we had the pleasure of interviewing eight awesome speakers. Read on to get a little taste of what they’ll be presenting!

What will you be speaking about and what are the key takeaways?

[Mark Traphagen] My session title is “Google+? Social SEO? SRSLY? Hell Ymark-t-headshotES & Here’s Why.” I’ll be taking you on a deep dive into how social and search can work together to give brands tremendous reach. You’ll learn how social REALLY affects SEO, how to create a strategy that gains a relevant audience while earning valuable search signals and how to build content that takes advantage of both social and search.

matts-headshot[Matt Siltala] I will be speaking on the power of visual content & what it can do for brand building, link building and social. Key takeaways are going to focus on creating sharable visual content and help the audience understand why they need to be looking into (and having a business presence) on the more visual social networks out there like Pinterest & Instagram.

[Simon Heseltine] I will be speaking about how what to do when sometsimonh-headshothing goes wrong online.  Whether it’s something your employee did, something a customer’s upset with, a poorly worded Facebook post, or an ill-timed Tweet, I’ll cover them all (as time allows), and we’ll go through both preventative and reactive ways to deal with such situations. As for the key takeaways… They’re on slide 112, and you’ll have to be there to the very end to see them.

[Kimkimberley Le Sueur] Twitter from A-Z. Key takeaways will encompass most up to date best practices on how to leverage all Twitter tools and products to create successful campaigns – including, but not limited to, targeting, ad types, and creative.

[Dana Haesemeyer] I will be talking about social media analytics, and how we takeDana them from engagement to business goals. Key takeaways are that social media is not just all fun and games – there is a true business need for activity on social media, and we can tie those to business goals such as acquisition, conversion and retention. We’ll share some tips for uncovering the right metrics to highlight your success, how to build a cohesive dashboard and tools to get you there.

[Marty Weintraub] Most business marketers realize that social media is somehow an essential sales tool. Still, realizing tangible return on investment from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and marty-headshotother social communities can be daunting for many. I’ll share tips and actionable tactics to help marketers separate commercial social media reality from myth. We’ll discuss how to navigate the blurred lines between organic (free) and paid social media distribution for cost effective lead generation and sales.

We’ll also delve into social psychographic targeting to flesh out customers, hungry to buy and drive them to your website on a budget. Expect to leave with a greater toolbox to use socially amplified content in your marketing programs for SEO (Links, Buzz, Citations, PR). I’ll also teach attendees how to merge search and social media marketing to build a truly integrated marketing program using remarketing and retargeting.

[Megan Rivas] I’ll be speaking about Pinterest and Instagram. We will discuss must-megan-headshotdos in each channel such as optimizations to the account profile, tips on how to get more traffic to your website with your Pinterest and Instagram accounts & how you can leverage these channels from an SEO perspective to increase visibility.

[rachel-maloneRachel Malone-Olson] Snapchat, Vine, & Meerkat: Be Brave- these platforms are the ugly stepchildren of Instagram’s filters and YouTube’s production capabilities. They grew because they weren’t perfect.

In your opinion, what will be the biggest game changer in 2015 in your area of expertise?

[Mark Traphagen] Brands that wake up to the fact that encouraging the growth of the personal brands of their employees will discover what I already know: THIS is the way to make connections with your audience that stick and create action.

[Matt Siltala] So far the biggest game changer is making sure your website and content is mobile ready. Google will continue to tweak their algo in the favor of those who are doing all they can to make the mobile experience better for their users.

[Simon Heseltine] Most years we have to guess what the game changers will be, as prognosticating 9 months in advance is nigh on impossible, but this year we do know that Google’s pushing their mobile update out 9 days before Zenith (presumably to give the speakers time to collect a week’s data, so they can talk about it at the show). This update has the propensity to be a game changer, especially for those that haven’t got their mobile ‘house’ in order. With some sites getting the majority of their traffic on mobile devices, there stand to be some winners and some potentially big losers.

As far as Online Reputation Management goes, we’ve seen Europe enact the “right to be forgotten” laws (which people do use), which remove ‘undesirable results’ from local versions of Google, while leaving them in the dot com version. Would similar laws ever be enacted here in the US? It’s doubtful, as there’s 1st amendment protections, but it’s also possible that a powerful lobby group could change the opinions of those that make the laws.

[Kimberley Le Sueur] Video

[Dana Haesemeyer] I think the biggest game changer is just awareness of the value of social media. More and more people/brands are getting on board – and that is changing the game for all of us. We have to be leaner, smarter and more innovative. It’s becoming harder to be the “first in the game” of new platforms – so we have to think creatively. How do we maintain value and engagement when there is so much for the consumer to see? It’s going to change how marketers approach their campaigns.

[Marty Weintraub] Social marketers will be held more accountable for keeping track of their audiences. Historically, social media marketing KPIs were somewhat ambiguous, centered visibility, engagement, community, content distribution, measurable loyalty, retention and providing support. Of course these are valuable goals. All still apply. All are crucial. They’re not nearly enough anymore.

Over the last few years and with the growth of deeper attribution analytics, social marketing KPIs have become more commercial, tangible, steeped in verifiable pathway-to-purchase and revenue. Now, even these KPIs are not enough either. The new expectation for social marketers is that they will provide team curated, owned-audience cookie pools for performance marketers to exploit. I’ll explain more in the next answer.

[Megan Rivas] I’m very excited to see how Pinterest promoted pins will expand their capabilities in 2015. There will be more precise targeting available. Interested to see how they keep promoted pins relevant in feeds so people don’t get pissed off.

[Rachel Malone-Olson] Snapchat will make it or break it this year. Excited to see how they develop their ads platform and how they stay fresh in the Millennial/Generation Z space.

Last year we asked, “What tool can you not live without?” What tools are you excited about that are either available or coming?

[Mark Traphagen] Mention.com is totally indispensable. Sure there are a lot fancier and more expensive social monitoring tools, but this one is within the reach and grasp of any small business. Responding quickly to brand mentions helps build your loyal audience, and helps you to “hug your haters” as Jay Baer says, converting many of them to fans.

[Matt Siltala] I cannot live without scheduling tools, for example Hootsuite and Buffer, but I also cannot live without social monitoring tools like Trackkur & even the more drilled down specific network tools like Pin Alerts.

[Simon Heseltine]  As I wasn’t at the show last year, I’m going to answer last year’s question. My vital tools include Screaming Frog, Google and Bing Webmaster Tools, Majestic and Rex Swain’s HTTP viewer.

[Kimberley Le Sueur] (I wouldn’t call it a tool cause these are more features) Can’t live without retargeting pixels and look-a-likes. I think video ads and their development is the most exciting.

[Dana Haesemeyer] I’m a huge fan of Hootsuite – it helps me organize and pull metrics for social media. I’m excited about further integrations with Instagram and Pinterest to help streamline analytics and social media management.

[Marty Weintraub] Google remarketing lists for search ads make it possible to run special AdWords search PPC campaigns to social visitors, curated by audience. Simply put, this is the hottest tactic on earth because we put the credentials (who audiences are) behind the request (search).

[Megan Rivas] Pocket is pretty cool, and I use Pin Alerts all the time.

Dogs or Cats?

[Mark Traphagen] Dogs….as long as they belong to my grandkids so we don’t have to clean up the hair!

[Matt Siltala] Cats … c’mon I mean have you seen our now very famous graphic with cats explaining Social Media; titled “Social MeOWdia“??

[Simon Heseltine]  As a pescetarian, I hope there’s another option on the lunch menu than those two…

[Kimberley Le Sueur] Dogs

[Dana Haesemeyer] Both – but, I love my dog Skywalker. He’s the bright spot on my day. Just don’t tell my cat.

[Marty Weintraub] That’s easy…cats. My black cat is named Rita and I’ll just say she’s a kick ass cat. SRSLY. 🙂

[Megan Rivas] I LOVE both! I have a cat named Mika who is pretty cool. Someday we will get a cat and dog at the same time who will be best friends, I hope. 🙂

[Rachel Malone-Olson] Dogs. Cats are as useless as the LinkedIn Ads Platform.

If you have attended Zenith in the past, what is your favorite Zenith Memory?

[Mark Traphagen] Since this is my first time, I promise to come with an empty head and heart to be filled with great memories of Duluth and Zenith. Some would say I have the first of those already in place.

[Matt Siltala] I am looking forward to making new memories so I can answer this better next year, but from the looks of the lineup and the quality sessions that are going to be presented; I know I will have some amazing stories to tell.

[Simon Heseltine]  As this is my first year there, and my first visit to Minnesota, I’m a blank slate, but I’ll do my best to generate some memories on this trip.

[Dana Haesemeyer] I’ve attended Zenith for the past two years. Since I am from Florida, my favorite memory was just experiencing a new town in Duluth! I’m a sunshine-seeker, so hopefully this year it warms up for me!

[Marty Weintraub] This is the 4th annual Zenith conference. The first year, when we had Rand Fishkin speak to our community was a thrill…to see Rand in Duluth.  The next year Danny Sullivan came and it was wonderful to share him as a resource with our local community. The third year as we packed the hall beyond capacity is a terrific memory.

That said, it’s the good friends that come to speak over and over that matter to me the most. I have so many memories of sharing AIMCLEAR‘s international thought leadership resources with our home base in Minnesota.  Zenith is an incredible resource, comparable to industry experiences in much larger metropolitan areas.

[Megan Rivas] For me every year is such a whirlwind. It’s really neat to see the conference rooms packed with people excited and eager to learn. I’ve learned a lot from all the talented speakers in the past and I am very excited to be a speaker this year!

[Rachel Malone-Olson] Any time Joanna Lord opens her mouth and delivers perfectly thoughtful & meaningful knowledge-nuggets.

There you have it! We can’t wait for the conference and we hope you are as excited as we are. We will see you there!

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