Live from ClickZ Live San Francisco

Hello from ClickZ Live San Francisco! This event brings together an incredible lineup of digital marketing experts and professionals. And we’re live blogging it so you can get a sneak peek at some of the insights and online marketing best practices being shared. Read on for a roundup of tips, best practices, and takeaways from some of the conference’s panels and presentations, and make sure to check out the conference hashtag on Twitter at #CZLSF to see what people are saying now!

Panel: Collaborate, Engage, Share: The Heart & Soul of Social Media

  • Moderator: Aaron Kahlow, CEO & Founder, Online Marketing Institute
  • Panelist: Shannon Sullivan Duffy, Head of Marketing, Direct Response Products, Facebook
  • Panelist: Jeanette Gibson, VP, Community & Customer Experience, Hootsuite
  • Panelist: Chris Pemberton, Digital Brand Manager, Ghiradelli Chocolate Company
  • Panelist: Jim HabigYouTube

Question: How do you look at social media in the greater ecosystem of marketing?

Shannon: There’s no exclusive “social” advertising. It’s all just advertising now.  You need to focus on what’s the best message and how to use it across all channels.
Chris: We define what are core marketing goals are then decide the right channels to accomplish each of these goals.
Jeanette: We engage with audiences based on what platform they are on. Like all other types of advertising, you have to do what works best for each set of users.

Question: How important is data to advertising and social media? How do you think about or use it to drive the needle forward?

Chris: Smaller data offers bigger insights. Segmented data is often more telling and we are able to use it to define and drive actions.
Shannon: The amount of data marketers have access to is remarkable. At Facebook, we use all of our data to improve the experience for our consumers.
Jeannette: Data is great and important, but you have to make it visible to your entire company. That way everyone can see what works and can rally around the same goals.

Question: What are your suggestions for people trying to set budgets for social media?

Shannon: Be flexible. Whether you start big or start small, measure what you’re doing and then scale up or down.
Jim: It’s ok to start small. Then you can see what works with a small budget and scale it from there.

Question: What makes a great influencer for a brand?

Jeanette: Creating an influencer program all about being authentic. Hootsuite created a program of ambassadors, sending them swag saying thanks for the love and encouraging them to set up their own “Hoot-Ups.” Influencers are also a great group to give access to beta testings or new products or ask for positive reviews. No matter what, it’s important for you to listen to them. That’s why you asked them to be an influencer in the first place.
Shannon: Influencers are critical because it’s more powerful when a customer or community member can tell your brand’s story than when you tell it yourself.
Chris: At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that everyone is an influencer. Even those not in your program may be the biggest influencer you have. Your messages should engage all your consumers.

Question: How important is mobile to social media?

Shannon: Mobile is no longer just a technology. It’s a behavior. If you want to reach your consumer during the day, it’s important to make everything optimized for mobile. Also, lots of consumers view on mobile then go to desktop to convert. You can lose customers this way, so make sure it’s easy to convert then and there across all devices.
Chris: Mobile is definitely a behavior; it’s a lifestyle. Ghiradelli is redesigning our site to be mobile first. Our data is saying that mobile visits (tablet and smartphone) are increasing faster than visits on desktop, and soon it will overtake it. So from website to advertising to marketing, we’re thinking mobile first.
Jeanette: The mobile screen is important. Think about what your content looks like on a small screen. Also, people share on mobile phones, so it needs to not only look good but be sharable and function well.
Jim: Nearly 40% of YouTube traffic is via mobile devices. It’s how people consume content, so must be a great experience across all devices. That means subscriptions, downloads, and any other actions should be easy to do across all devices.

Presentation: Scaling Engagement: How to Drive Results with an Efficient Content & Social Strategy

Lots of people talk about the Oreo Super Bowl tweet as a great example of social media engagement. It was, but not all brands have the team, time, existing fans, or money to achieve the same engagement. You need to find what drives engagement and what people want to hear. To do this, it’s important to understand why people engage with brands on social media. The first reason is for promotions and discounts and the second is to get useful engaging content. So how do you use this to create and promote your own content?

1) Know Your Audience
The key to reaching your audience is to listen, not shout. Your approach to reaching your goal may not be the same language that inspires your audience to engage with your brand. Find what your target audience, who already like your brand, also like and figure out how to associate with it. It shouldn’t be completely disconnected, because that can ruin authenticity, but by creating a common ground between you and your audiences’ interested, you can create meaningful dialogue and engagement and also gain new customers.

2) Know the Digital Landscape
The average company uses on average six social networks to advertise brand. They don’t know which ones actually work. Understanding your audience on each platform, and measuring how well your content works on each of them, can help you define what type of content should be published where. This saves you time and effort while creating more valuable content for your audience.

3) Build a Strategy that Engages
One of the big challenges marketers and business owners face is finding the time to produce content for all the different avenues of digital marketing. There’s just not enough time in the day. If you build a strategy that allows you to take one piece of content and repurpose it across multiple areas, you can create more touchpoints out of one piece of content. For example, one video interview can create sharable quote images, tweets, a blog post, or an infographic.

Presentation: Unlocking the Secrets to Mobile Video: From YouTube to Instagram to Vine

  • Presenter: Greg Jarboe, President & Co-Founder, SEO-PR

There’s no real secret or way to game the system. As soon as we think we know the secrets, someone goes and changes the combination. So:

1) Create Great Content The video content you create should be:
Exhilarating – It doesn’t need to be a cat or a baby. These things don’t always matter. What matters is that at the end of watching the video, your audience has an experience of exhilaration. It doesn’t have to e a full-length video either. Platforms like vine and Instagram are giving brands and people the ability to create exhilarating content within seconds.
Example: GoPro has created an audience, and sold units, by encouraging their current fans and users to create content for them of the “everyday.” It doesn’t have to be the dangerous, high-energy sky dive. It can be the toddler learning how to ride a bike.

Hilarious – “I love to share ads with all of my friends.” Nobody says this. It happens, but what’s really shared is the creative or funny content within the ad. Brands today can create videos that encourage shares while selling a product.

Discoverable – Social platforms like Instagram are the quickest and easiest way for real-time marketers to stay ahead of the game. For example, news outlets use video snippets on Instagram as teasers for the full story later on. Brands can use this same practice to share teasers on new products, services, or content.

Shareable – Social shares drive video views. Make sure your videos are on places that viewers can easily access and share. Sites like Instagram, Facebook, and Vine are already optimized for sharing (and mobile), but make sure videos on YouTube that you want your audience to share are public and visible on mobile devices.

2) Use the Right Platforms

Looking at the number of users each of these platforms isn’t the most important way to decide where you will publish and promote your content. Just because Instagram has 200 million monthly users, doesn’t mean that all of them will see or share your content. Instead, make sure to understand where your videos are being shared.

3) Optimize Your Videos for Search
Since YouTube is the second largest search engine behind Google, optimizing your videos to rank well on YouTube is critical. To do this, you should make sure they are relevant to the user’s search by including target keywords in the title, description, and tags.

Also, since the amount of time people view videos is now a ranking factor in YouTube, you need to have engaging content that keeps their attention and their eyes. On platforms like Twitter, Vine, and Instagram, you should use relevant hashtags that promote your videos.

4) Go for Quality Over Quantity There are many people now who share content in order to create a community or to build their authority on certain subjects. These are the people you want to reach. Creating great quality content that they will value is an excellent way to boost your video views while promoting your brand as an expert in your industry.

 5) Measure Results & Success of Campaigns
“Am I getting new fans?” “How many video shares do I have?” “Are people watching the full video?” are all important questions to answer. But the real questions that business owners, CEOs, and CMOs care about are: “Did the viewers visit the website?” “Did they convert?” “Were there sales?”

Tracking if your views and conversions came from videos via unique URLs and through analytics can help you prove that your video is working to not only engage viewers but also to increase sales.

Panel: Local Digital Marketing Techniques for Multi-Location Businesses

  • Moderator: Andrew Beckman, CEO Location3 Media
  • Panelist: Cecelia Choi, Strategic Parnter Manager, Channel Sales, Google
  • Panelist: Renae Fogarty, Director of Internet Marketing Fastsigns

Today, nearly four out of five online searches have local intent. Digital marketing has allowed local businesses to target these consumers who are searching for their products and services. But how does this work for businesses with multiple locations?

Question: How do local businesses use offline and online to drive business to multiple locations?

Renae: Fastsigns uses a variety of digital and offline marketing strategies to reach audiences in all of our location areas. One thing we find very important is identifying what works in one area and scaling it across others. For example, our television commercials feature a request for consultation at the end. When this generated a good amount of calls, we decided to use it in the rest of our marketing. We added the callout for a free consultation on our website, we optimized our SEO for it, too. We added it to our paid search ads and ran YouTube ads for it. Our main goal was to maintain consistency across all of the channels.

Cecelia: Getting businesses online is our primary goal for businesses. We also believe that it’s important to build a digital strategy with a consistent message and voice. Make sure sales, messaging, product messaging, etc. should be the same across desktop, mobile, social, and video campaigns. Take advantage of the fact that digital lets you target audiences. Set up targeting based on the time you offer your services or products and for the location radius for your different stores.

Question: How can businesses with multiple locations use mobile?

Cecelia: 45% of franchises don’t have mobile-optimized website. So first, develop a responsive website. Next, create content that speaks to the audience. For example, a person searching for pizza on their mobile phone during lunch are typically going to look for a place to eat. The same person searching for pizza on desktop in the evening are probably looking for a delivery service. Understand the experience of your searchers and optimize your content (organic and paid) according to those experiences.

Question: How do you balance what you do on both SEO and paid advertising?

Renae: Our challenge for all locations is to be a triple threat: rank well in organic, paid, and maps. Want each location to show up in all three, but it’s hard to make that happen because franchisees who might be doing well in organic decide they don’t want to do paid. We encourage them to stick with it and build a presence on all areas.

Question: What’s the best way to measure success?

Cecelia: Track where your visitors come from across all places and all platforms for each of your locations, or at least your largest. Knowing this helps you understand your local consumers better and can also help you identify where best to promote content per location area.

Renae: We build metro campaigns, where we include multiple locations in one ad with a landing page that includes all of the locations within this metro. For example, an area in Dallas has many locations. Instead of trying to run campaigns for each one, we run one campaign that can target the larger area. Individual locations split the cost and make up one large budget, but they all benefit from the results.

Presentation: Four Quick Tips for Creating Scalable Content

Traditional marketing – think Mad Man days – was gut-driven, relied on art not science, only occasionally looked at ROI, and included only one message broadcasted through many channels.

It’s changed a bit today. Audiences on the many different platforms require different messages. Smart marketing relies on data to prove what works. And ROI is looked at constantly. So what can marketers do to make sure they get the right message in front of the right consumers, at the right time?

1) Be Channel Specific 
By tailoring messages to specific channel you promote your content on, you can more effectively reach your target audience on each platform. It helps you become a part of that specific community, which makes you more relevant.

2) Always Be On
Be consistent; algorithms reward it. Create a calendar for editorial or social that allows you to post a steady stream of content that your followers see as beneficial and that keeps them looking for future content. Also, be opportunistic. You might not be able to be Oreo, but pay attention to topics relevant to you and join conversations when appropriate.

3) Think of Marketing as a Science
Track clicks, likes, follows, shares, etc. to identify where your content is getting the most love. It can help you decide what type of content to produce. Also, it’s not just about ROI; it’s about all the conversions your content produces.

4) Get People’s Attention
In order to get attention, give attention. Recognize people for sharing your content, give credit to those who provide usable content for you, and build a network of fans and advocates.

Have any comments or thoughts you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments! To stay up to date with the latest conversation from this conference, follow #CZLSF on Twitter!

Tara Banda

Tara Banda is a digital marketer in Dallas, TX and a Content Marketing Manager for ReachLocal. She focuses on helping businesses develop their voice in order to connect and engage with the right audiences. Tara has worked on campaigns and promotions – including social media, email marketing, video, advertising, guerrilla marketing, and event marketing – for both small businesses and globally recognized brands. In her spare time, she likes to cook.

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