Zenith Social Media Conference! Sneak Peek With Industry BFF Mr. Will Scott

It’s here, it’s here! It’s finally here! Well… almost. This is the week when Duluth will host the Zenith Social Media Marketing Conference, and boy, things are really getting exciting around here. Illustrious guest speakers from around the country will be arriving any minute now to share their top-shelf knowledge, expert advice, hand tips, tactics, and takeaways on all things social media marketing. The date is Thursday, May 30th. The place is Downtown Duluth. If you’re a professional or prospective marketer in this city, people, this is must-attend GOLD.

Among those aforementioned esteemed thought leaders will be Mr. Will Scott, who graced the Twin Ports with his presence at last year’s Zenith Event. This go-round, Will Scott (he’s just got one of those names you always want to say fully – first and last, ya dig?) will be dishing up some top-shelf tips and tactics specific to the fabulous world of social media. Read on for the goods reaped from our pre-Zenith interview, as well as a sneak peek at his upcoming preso!

| AIMCLEAR: Will Scott! So, you return to AIMCLEAR blog as a worthy interviewee. Let’s refresh the readers at home – tell us a bit about yourself. Where do you hail from? What do you do? And how did you wind up doing it? 

will-scottWill Scott: Lauren, it’s so nice to be back on the AIMCLEAR blog.
I think we ought to link your readers to my previous interview for a little bit more background.
Great, for those of you that didn’t go read the longer interview I’ll give it to you in a nutshell. I was born in New York City in the latter 3rd of the last century to an opera singer and aspiring actress. Through my youth I paid my keep with the voiceovers and the occasional choral singing gig. Just kidding, I only got paid for the voiceovers.
After high school I headed down south, to the home of my ancestors, to Tulane University where I studied Architecture. I took a break in the middle of college to go run around the hills of Southern California and blow things up. Again, more detail provided in prior interview.
Since 1994 I have been working on the interwebs trying to help businesses be successful.
My current passion is our company, Search Influence which has grown from me and my dear wife Angie to more than 50 folks in our New Orleans office. It blows people away when I tell them that the third-largest marketing agency in New Orleans is all Online.
Really, go read the other interview please.
| aC: Nicely done 🙂 Now, don’t let me go on too long without thanking you for coming to Zenith as an ambassador of New Orleans 🙂 . Tell us – what’s the draw? Why come to Zenith? Why come to Duluth?
WS: This will be my second Zenith, and second trip to Duluth and I am so happy to be coming. As lovely as Duluth is and as much as I might love to visit for the culture and the outdoors and all of the wonder that Minnesota has to offer, I come for AIMCLEAR.
When Marty Weintraub told me he was starting a social media conference in Duluth and he’d like me to come, I had no choice. Marty and his team at AIMCLEAR, including you Lauren, are some of the smartest marketers on the planet. I relish every opportunity to bask in their (your) glow.
| aC: You are too kind. Thrilled to have you back on our turf! Now, onto some more fashionable topics… you looked great in orange in SearchFest – SEMpdx, and again when we spotted you at SMX West. Does this signal a fundamental shift in your conference warder pantomwheel?
(Photo snapped at #SMX West 2013)
WS: Thank you, Lauren. I do love the sweater in question, and it affords some really amusing color coordination options. Sadly, as a person who lives in the deep South and travels to sometimes warmer climes it is unlikely I will be able to pull off the orange sweater year-round.
That said, I’m getting much more comfortable with color in my wardrobe. For years, and save a few very small exceptions, all of my shirts were in some shade of blue and my socks were either blue or black.
I’ll share a little bit of the secret with if you promise not to tell anybody. I’m at in the category of colorblindness that they call “color weak”. This is a real problem when all of your socks are either blue or black. You know, when black fades it’s nearly indiscernible from blue.
So, in addition to giving the appearance of being a little more funky, a more colorful palette in my wardrobe decreases the likelihood of mismatched socks.
| aC: No way! “Color weak,” I’ve never heard of that. I hear ya on the whole blue / black sock deal – or should I say… ordeal *sigh*. Anywho, moving on… in many ways, your agency is a traditional search marketing agency. Over the last few years, you’ve gotten deep into social as well. Why? How do you recommend more traditional search agencies migrate to offering social media services?
WS: I would take issue with the description “traditional”. We are anything but! A challenge of the agency world is that it only scales by throwing more bodies at the problem. We’ve come to realize  that at our core, we are builders of scalable products and processes whose primary product is marketing.
Are we creative, yes, you bet. But what differentiates us is that when we come across techniques and processes that work our next question is “how do I scale that”.
Our biggest product, by volume, is content. Content marketing has been a buzz-phrase for the last couple of years. Inbound marketing, the replacement for SEO in our lexicon, leverages content extensively. And, it just so happens that social media is very much about content.
I do not discriminate on the basis of content type. Certainly graphic designers are better at visual content and writers are better at the written word, and creativity is critical across the spectrum.
Content is, without a doubt, the engine of both search and social and our team in New Orleans, produces more than 10,000 pieces of content in various forms each month.
We freaking rock!
So, when you take the discipline of content creation, the knowledge of what moves buyers in the direction of sellers, and systems that scale, it’s not hard to see the value to both search and social. Throw in a little AdWords, Display and Facebook ads knowledge and it gets even better
| aC: Noted, and how! Alright – now the moment some of us have all been waiting for… can the readers at home get a sneak peek as to what you may be discussing during your Zenith presentation? What knowledge pearls and gems you’ll drop down from the podium? 
WS: You might want to keep the kids home for this one, because I’m going deck free.
At the request of Mr. Weintraub I will have on my screen a selection of the best of social media. I will be focusing on those implementations which appear intended to drive a buying response. It is my hope that this will spark a discussion with the audience allowing us to dive deeper into their needs.
I will also spend a little bit of time talking about, on an industry by industry basis, what is the minimum credible density for a social media implementation to have the right impact on one’s customers.
| aC: Booyah! Can’t wait 🙂 Last up… lightning round! Favorite ethnic cuisine, cinematic movie, and wild animal, GO!
WS: Middle Eastern, Raiders of The Lost Ark, and the North American badger.
Lauren, I am so excited to see you and your team and to return to Duluth to work with all the great folks at Zenith.
| aC: Right back to you, good sir. We’ll be seeing ya real soon! Safe travels, and try to bring some nice weather with you, eh? :) 
© Brooke Becker – Fotolia dot com

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