OMS 2011 - What I learned at the Online Marketing Summit, Denver

I am a little bit smarter after the Online Marketing Summit, aka OMS. The day was informative and relaxing. Here are four essential lessons I walked away with. Read em', learn em', know em'. Enjoy!

OMS 2011 - Online Marketing Summit Denver

It takes every employee to be Epic

Mike Slone, the Interactive Director at Vail Resorts, began my day at the Denver Online Marketing Summit with his keynote presentation that highlighted the success of Vail Resort's Epic Mix. Mike reiterated something many marketers already know, the importance of social media. However, he brought the general understanding of its clout to a new level. Epic Mix's global recognition owes its popularity to social networking. After activating your Epic Mix, the application automatically updates your Facebook with your winter weather accomplishments. As Mike points out, skiing in itself is a social activity and what is a better coupling than Facebook and Skiing? 100,000 Epic Mix activations in the first ski season, says nothing beats it. Okay, so we can't all create a relevant application based on user generated content that converts our customers into advocates, but we can take the magnitude of social media seriously. One of the reasons Eric Mix is so viral is because of employee participation. By enouraging social media activity within the office, it promotes a following outside the office. Mike closed his presentation with a simple fact, “If every employee at Vail takes one picture of themselves at a Vail Resort per year, that's 16,000 posts for Vail and countless impressions on Facebook.” That's impressive.

Unlock the Value Vault

Matt Dombrow from Clixo shared his secrets for conversion success. It's all about demonstrating your value and understanding how potential customers perceive this value. Customers have four conversion options.

  1. Your site

  2. Competitor's site

  3. Alternate action

  4. No action

For those four reasons, it is critical to exhibit value immediately. So, where do we find this value? First, a company needs to figure out what the mass desire is and how their product or service can appeal to it. Once the mass desire is understood, search for relevant values that your company can offer. Value may come from, but is not limited to; geographical location, association, people, and AdWords. With your value identified, it's important to remember to showcase this value in a relevant, unique, and specific way. The more specific the better! Lastly, make content easy to digest.

Don't miss a beat, just Tweet

No, I don't wanna Tweet. Too bad. Twitter is a must. Heather Lutz, CEO and Co-Founder of the Findability Group, could not of made this more apparent. Heather provided convincing evidence and great pointers that make the art of Tweeting simple and effective.

  • Use 4 keyword phrases – 4 keyword phrases yield the highest conversation rate
  • Use terms your customers are using to describe your business, not the terms you would use to describe yourself
  • Use your company's AdWords in your Tweets
  • Research your competitor's activity – What are they doing differently, is it working?
  • Write your Tweets in advance – Write and schedule your Tweets in advance, to ensure consistent content
  • Make sure to convert any URLs you want to use in Tweets to Tiny URLs – Google it
  • Utilize Twitter to lift thought leadership

Networking, Socializing, Link Building Oh My!

Marketers, sales people, and pretty much anyone that's in business all know there is one lesson that is more significant than any other - networking. This doesn't mean having an alternative motive with everyone you meet. Networking is easier than that. It's about being genuine, receptive, and accountable to people you meet. Much like a a good friendship, reward comes as a result of good intentions and kindness. So, this in mind, I set out to make friends at OMS. Making friends paid off, no pun intended. I met a someone who owns a wake-boarding company and offered free lessons if I ever make it to Texas. I also ate lunch with the owner of one of the biggest interactive agencies in New York. I told him about our work at Elevated Third and he gave me great industry advice. I was a little late getting to class because I was talking with my new friends, but I walked away a little smarter and a few Linkedin connections heavier. Wasn't that the point?