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My First Pubcon on Nov. 26, 2013

I’ve wanted to attend PubCon for a number of years.  Perennially, it was on my personal growth wish list because so much insightful information is gleaned over just a few jam-packed days.  It’s hung out there like an impossible to reach oasis in the desert until the stars aligned for the 2013 edition in Las Vegas.  As the plane touched down in Las Vegas, the years of waiting now seemed like ancient past. Before I knew it, I was perusing the PubCon program to map out the sessions that appealed most, which, incidentally, was very tough to do.  Arriving on Day One reminded me a bit of college, with people congregating out front of the convention before shuffling between sessions with backpacks and laptops in tow.  While it felt a little like college, this is pretty much where the similarities ended.  Web and digital marketing change near daily and these topics, trends, and innovations can simply not wait to be published in a traditional textbook.  The reality is we’re living through some major shifts in the marketing/communications universe.  A lot has already been flipped on its head and we’ve seen how businesses can die off when they don’t take notice (e.g. Blockbuster vs. Netflix).  Small businesses today have more low cost/free tools at their disposal than ever before to help them compete against larger rivals.  Small is the new big.  Conversation is the new advertising.  Social is the online equivalent of word of mouth.  All of this is going on against the backdrop of some innovative startups and established players.

PubCon was equal parts inspirational, informative, and tactical.  And a broad array of topics discussed centered on innovation, interesting startups with a better mousetrap and new tools to track metrics.  Beyond the obvious technical slant, however, I got a real sense that tried and true marketing principles also resurfaced by necessity.  Much of the discussion around SEO was not about buying or getting links but rather crafting badass content to get links.  The idea of great storytelling, particularly against the backdrop of social media, was relayed as mission critical in more than one session I attended.  The notion of being authentic and transparent signified the end of outsourcing content or putting select marketing tactics on autopilot.

While I could wax poetic for hours about the treasure trove of information I absorbed, for the purposes of this post, I’ve narrowed down a few things for your edification.  Without further a due – on with the PubCon Knowledge Party!

Content Is King…but You Need a Strategy.

  • Your customers need to be the first thought when developing your content strategy
  • Consistency is more important than volume
  • Dedicate the time to make it good – if no one shares, no one cares
  • Become a problem solver for your audience and remember – what matters is how they refer to their problems
  • Plan – create an editorial calendar
  • Create content that educates, informs and entertains
  • DON’T FORGET – you need to have a consistent message

SEO Has Changed.

Own Your Real Estate, Give Some Love to Your Website.

  • Your website is the only domain you actually own; social companies can yank your page at any time (make sure you read the terms of service)
  • Hence, all social media signals should point back to your site

Google+ is not trying to compete with Facebook + behavior on Facebook is non sustainable; stay tuned.

Mobile is a must.

Check ins are worth more than Fans on Facebook.

Social Media Rule of 3

  • Push your brand
  • Be yourself = your brand
  • Share interests (that have to do with stuff you sell)

Social interaction is a new form of publishing

Google Glass will soon shape and lead real time content marketing.

Google cares about what’s trending – give it the signals that it needs.

And thanks to the following presenters who doled out all this delicious knowledge that inspired this post both directly and indirectly.

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