Online Marketing Summit Visits Phoenix in June

Did you know that the Online Marketing Summit is coming to Phoenix June 15-17! This annual event features a flexible Super Regional three-day format jam packed with actionable learning where you can choose the day(s), sessions and workshops that best meet your needs. This expanded format contains the great education you’ve come to expect from OMS plus additional learning opportunities like:

  • Online Marketing Boot Camp: Choose from 12 intensive, interactive workshops offered the day before the main OMS conference. Each workshop earns credit towards certification from the Online Marketing Institute.
  • Social Media Masters Workshops: For the experienced PR and Social Media professional that’s ready to take social media marketing to next level. Offered the day after the main conference.
  • Integrated Marketing Content: New workshops and an entire conference track are dedicated to help you learn how to bring it all together.  Learn how to integrate the various online marketing components into your overall marketing mix and form a cohesive strategy.
  • One-on-One Expert Labs: Receive a one-on-one consultation with experts in analytics, search, usability and email. Don’t miss this opportunity to ask the questions that will directly benefit your website’s and marketing performance.

As always, OMS covers key topics critical to your success as a marketer – social media, search, email, demand generation, analytics, usability and integrated marketing, brought to you by industry-leading authors, academics, brand marketers and online innovators.

Register with promo code IMA15AZ, as a friend of AZIMA and  save 15 {2bbd478b6aadf2a9bb5e10dcf35d17c0d0772390afbaf5ac8145fb1096668903}.

A Blueprint for Search by Vanessa Fox

Vanessa Fox with Book Winners at AZIMAGuest Post Courtesy of Adrian Vender, Senior SEO & Technical Implementation Specialist for Cardinal Path. Native Arizonan with a passion for drumming and Internet marketing.

Vanessa Fox of Nine By Blue visited the monthly Arizona Interactive Marketing Association social event a few nights ago.  As a previous employee of Google she was a driving force behind the development of their Webmaster Central and she continues to spread her search marketing knowledge through many speaking engagements and her writing. Though a search marketing strategy can be daunting to some people, Vanessa offered a refreshingly simple approach in her “Blueprint for Search” presentation and gives us the following key points.

Why care about search?

Vanessa mentions that she could have shown some slides highlighting many stats about how much people are using search engines, but instead asks the audience “Who uses a search engine?” All hands in the room go up.  Generally speaking, we should care about search because virtually everybody is using it. Especially your audience.

Your audience searches

Search engine usage is becoming more a part of our day-to-day habits.  Vanessa talks about how people are drawn to use a search engine after they see something interesting on TV.  Using Google Trends she presents data during the 2011 Super Bowl that showed people searching for “Chrysler”-related terms immediately after the airing of the Chrysler Super Bowl commercial. Another interesting stat was that after the announcement of the death of Osama Bin Laden earlier this week, searches related to ‘Osama’ increased 98,000{2bbd478b6aadf2a9bb5e10dcf35d17c0d0772390afbaf5ac8145fb1096668903}!

A quote that Vanessa shows from Slate Magazine sums up this search-response mechanism very well:

“For humans, this desire to search is not just about fulfilling our physical needs. When we get thrilled about the world of ideas, about making intellectual connections, about driving meaning, it is the seeking circuits that are firing.”

In a very real psychological sense, people are eagerly using search engines to find more information about a subject that is currently interesting to them and we need to make sure that we understand how to provide them that information.

The workflow starts at the search bar

Before your audience finds your website, they will type in a search query and see a set of results. Vanessa shows a slide with Google and Bing search results overlaid by eye-tracking heat maps. We see the typical F-shaped pattern in the eye movement but Vanessa how points out how the eyes weren’t drawn to contrasting details like the local map image.

One explanation for this is that when we type in a search phrase then are minds are fixated on that phrase. That is why we easily focus on iterations of that text phrase vs. other elements on the page.  This is the reason why search engines typically boldface the search query words in the results. We should be mindful of this and make sure we include these search terms within the title tags and descriptions of our pages. (This includes you, news websites!)

Solve the searcher’s problem

Using the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) website as example, Vanessa points out that although their site has a lot of rich content related to ‘global warming’ but the site was getting very little search traffic for that section. It turns out that very little of this content was optimized for the search phrases discovered in the Google Trends data, making it difficult for Google to determine relevance between what the audience is searching for and your content.

Other takeaways from the presentation

  • Use Google Trends data in context. If you see trends that suggest that more searchers are interested in ‘march madness’ vs. the alarming ‘government shutdown’, you should step back and realize that the intense basketball interest is primarily coming from states with college hoops teams represented in the NCAA tournament
  • Every page on your site is a landing page. With organic search, every page is a potential entry point for your customers. Make sure your pages are optimized for user experience.
  • Don’t use bad metrics. Would you be willing to take a higher bounce rate on a landing page if in actually resulted in more phone leads to your business? The answer should be ‘yes!’ Remember to focus on key performance metrics when evaluating your search traffic performance and not to get lost in the not-so-important metrics.
  • Don’t be like Richard Branson. Even multi-billionaires can get things wrong. Vanessa shows an example of one his vacation retreat websites where there is hardly any readable HTML text (not search friendly) and has a nearly impossible method of navigation (not conversion friendly). Make sure your website is easy for the search engines and your audience to understand.

Mission to Meet AZIMA Members: 30

Wow, I can’t believe it’s already the 30th edition of the Mission to Meet AZIMA Members segment. I’ve had so much fun meeting you all!

This week, I’d like to introduce long-time AZIMA attendee Steve Bitter of Bulwark Pest Control. Steve has been attending AZIMA events for the past seven months, and doesn’t plan on stopping!  He credits his loyalty to AZIMA to the quality of speakers featured at each event.

Thanks for attending, Steve!  And if you haven’t yet registered for next week’s event, Register today! The event (on the FIRST Tuesday of May, rather than the second) will feature Vanessa Fox and will be focused on search engine marketing.

Visit the AZIMA Job Board

Finding a job or seeking out a new employer can be equally frustrating, stressful, and time consuming, especially if you don’t know where to turn. Thankfully, members of The Arizona Interactive Association (AZIMA) have access to our job board. The AZIMA job board was constructed to help our members with new employment opportunities. It also helps cut corners by solely trafficking job seekers and employers of a specialized niche.

Jobseekers are invited to create their own personal jobseeker account where they will be able to manage their resume, set up job alerts, and search for the newest jobs in the market. Likewise, employers and recruiters will be able to create an employee account, where they can post job opportunities and manage their online recruiting efforts. With the help of the AZIMA job board you will be on your way to finding your next career path or hiring your next star employee. Check out the AZIMA Job Board today!

Mission to Meet AZIMA Members: 29

After a bit of a hiatus, the Mission to Meet AZIMA members segment of the blog is back in action!

This week, I’d like you to meet Jason Miller of P.F. Chang’s and Pei Wei. He attended April’s AZIMA event to learn more about the industry he lives and breathes every day! He also loves to meet new, like-minded people.

Nice to meet you, Jason. Hope to see you next month, too! And don’t forget, May’s event is the first Tuesday of the month, May 3rd, featuring Vanessa Fox. Register today!

Interested in Guest Blogging for AZIMA?

Whether you are trying to gain exposure, build links, or increase traffic to yourself or your business, guest blogging is a great opportunity to take advantage of. Guest blogging allows you to branch out to a new fresh audience other than your own. It can help build your reputation as a real expert in your niche and increase brand awareness.

Fortunately for you, The Arizona Interactive Marketing Association (AZIMA) is on the hunt for guest bloggers! Members of AZIMA are invited to submit guest blog posts for the remainder of 2011 to [email protected]. Guest blog post submissions should target interactive marketers whether it is through sharing real world experiences, giving actionable advice, or sharing a new concept or development. We look forward to reading your submissions and to the further ability to provide engaging interactive marketing reading for our community!

Real Projections, Real Measurements, and Real-life Case Studies.

Over the years I’ve been attending internet marketing events and whenever the subject of ROI and Social Media came up… the answer seemed to be…” There’s no silver bullet”. Why? Because social media is so new and every company has different goals and therefore are measuring different things. Well… fast forward to 2011 and now people, well actually Scott McAndrew from Terralever, are talking “real-life” ROI.  Yes, now we’re getting down to the nitty gritty. Real projections, real measurements, and real-life case studies.

Scott McAndrew is the Vice President of Strategy at Terralever and on April 12th shared his expertise with the attendees at AZIMA. I was one of those attendees and here’s what I soaked up from Scott’s presentation.

It’s 2011 and real-life social media ROI is happening now….
Research is indicating that companies are adding social media to their line-item budgets and as that budget increases, companies want to see measurements beyond the intrinsic values. The intrinsic values, or soft measurements, such as community relationship building, direct access to customers, number of followers or likes, re-tweets and comments are still important in the mix of social media, but now CEOs  are interested in conversion, increased channel sales, and revenue.

Tracking “real-life” ROI is possible, but it’s still a big challenge in the world of social media.  Several complicating factors such as imperfect data or no pre-existing data, no direct access to stakeholders, unreliable data with channels such as Twitter and Facebook, and lack of measurement consensus make it tough to create and deliver a strategy for “real-life” ROI.  However, in the midst of all these challenges Scott and Terralever have found a way to track it and have been successful in their endeavors. Per Scott, here are some of the common social media ROI measurements… direct revenue, earned media, cost-savings or cost avoidance for customer service, research and development, and recruitment.

Real-life case study…
In the case study of eHarmony, one of the social media channels used was Facebook. Scott and Terralever were able to experiment with eHarmony’s postings on Facebook to find the right voice and questions for the brand. Once they found the right mixture they saw a growth in interactions and thus an increase in impressions, which is an increase in touch points for potential customers.  Terralever also experimented with Facebook ads; tracking conversions and cost per ‘Like’. They were able to decrease eHarmony’s cost per ‘Like’ from $10 per ‘Like’ to a couple of dollars per ‘Like’. That’s a cost-savings and tangible element of measurement. As a result of the success, eHarmony cut their TV budget to increase their social media budget. Again, another tangible item of measurement; earned media.

Tips for success…
It’s important to look at the intrinsic value and “real-life” ROI of social media. Align your strategy with goals, strategies, tactics, and measurements; then look for improvements. Put the tools in place to measure KPI’s and be open about the calculations. Check out Scott’s Presentation to learn more.

In conclusion…
Social media is fairly new and takes some experimenting, acceptance, and reliance. As you perfect these elements, you’ll reach the point of increased reliance, increased budgets, and increased accountability and, with increased accountability comes the importance of tracking real-life ROI to prove success to your clients.

Guest Post By: Lori Santa Maria
New Mom! | Internet Marketing Manager for 3TV |,
love coffee, love wine, love to learn, love to laugh.
Twitter: @Losama @azfamily

AZIMA Extends a Warm Welcome to New President, Roger Hurni and Several New Board of Directors

The Arizona Interactive Marketing Association is pleased to announce the election of a new President and a number of new Board of Directors. We are enormously impressed and grateful to all of the candidates who dedicated their time and were courageous enough to run. It is most certainly a demonstration of their commitment to the success of the local Arizona Interactive Marketing Community.

Roger Hurni, the Co-founder of Phoenix advertising agency Off Madison Ave., in Tempe, who has served on the Board of Directors as an Advisor for several months has been elected as the new president. Arnie Kuenn, the preceding President will now serve as an Advisor to the Board.  The Board of Directors also welcomes several new additions to their team!

Each year, AZIMA Board members vote to elect new members to the AZIMA Board of Directors for staggered one and two year terms. The new terms began March 17th, 2011. We couldn’t be more excited!

The new Board will have a very full agenda for the first few months of its existence, taking on a number of important strategic and governance issues. We will be keeping our membership informed of the pending issues, and of course will continue to welcome your input and guidance. We look forward to a year of exciting educational programming and big things to come!

Does Proving Social Media ROI Have You Stumped?

Although social media has undoubtedly become an integral part of a holistic online marketing strategy, establishing its value hasn’t been particularly easy for even those employing the tactics. Quantifying the return on effort/ investment from social media marketing has escaped both brands and practitioners alike. Scott McAndrew will cite real world examples and approaches being used by local interactive marketing agency, Terralever and the household names that they work for to demonstrate it’s worth.

Register now to hear from Scott McAndrew, the VP of Strategy at Terralever, who’s Scott’s years of dedicated experience in interactive marketing helps define the focus and methodology for client initiatives. With a career encompassing the fundamentals of design, marketing and technology, Scott works to ensure Terralever’s approach is aligned with each client’s overall business goals before tapping into a wide range of both tried, tested and leading edge interactive marketing techniques. He and his team also oversee all ongoing marketing and strategy retainers in order to provide performance-based reporting, analysis and prescriptive direction to guarantee sustainable, progressive results.

Attend this enlightening presentation on Social Media ROI, Tuesday April 12th, 2011 while seizing the opportunity to rub elbows with some of the brightest minds in the industry at the Scottsdale Hilton located at 6333 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, Arizona with networking and cocktails starting at 6:00PM and light dinner being served around 7:00PM. This light meal and one drink is included in the cost of the event which is only $25 for students, $35 for members, and a discounted rate for pre-registration of $45 for non-members. Otherwise, you’ll pay $55 at the door so don’t wait. And, on top of all of that two lucky attendees will win tickets to the next SEMPO AZ meeting on Wednesday, April 27 to discuss Local Search with Google’s Frederick Vallaeys.  Only those attendees present at the Arizona Interactive Marketing social event will be eligible to win! We’ll see you on Tuesday the 12th of April to tackle social media ROI! Get your tickets now!