Sept 2013 Event Recap – Email in an Increasingly Mobile and Social World

DSC_6429 DSC_6391 DSC_6384 DSC_6379More than 70 guests attended the Sept. 19 Arizona Interactive Marketing Association (AZIMA) event, “Email in an Increasingly Mobile and Social World,” presented by Chris Sietsema, owner of Teach to Fish Digital, at the Hilton Scottsdale Resort & Villas.

Chris delved right into real-life examples of email campaigns, critiquing well-known brands and pointing out how images loaded differently on computers and mobile devices. We especially liked how he sprinkled in his great sense of humor as he critiqued each brand.

It was clear that email marketers need to “adapt or die” and consider this sobering stat:

  •  80 percent of people delete emails that do not “look good” on mobile.

Chris continued his presentation, focusing on examples of how Mobile email should be Skinny, Scalable and Responsive. A few tools that can help with this process:

  • Jpegmini.com
  • Mailup.com
  • ThemeForest.com
  • LiveClicker.com
  • Email on Acid and Litmus (Design previews)

He also discussed Social in Email; Email in Social and offered more tips regarding tools that digital marketers can utilize.

Chris’ full presentation can be accessed at: www.slideshare.net/sietsema, and a recap of each slide with some of the best Tweets from the event can be found here: http://teachtofishdigital.com/email-mobile-social/ However, after it was all said and done, a number of good points really stood out from Chris’ presentations:

 

  • Email messages must be developed and delivered in a manner that fits each audience member’s interests, reading habits, and device usage.  It’s truly a ‘right message, right time, right place’ mandate.
  • You can learn a lot with email testing.
  • Don’t lust after your competitor’s metrics. Concentrate on the unique concerns your customers have.
  • If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not trying – Chris quoted Bob Ross, “We don’t make mistakes. We make happy little accidents.”

We thank Chris for his terrific presentation, and we were especially pleased to meet so many new attendees. We encourage you to learn more about AZIMA and contact one of our board members with any questions!

The Mobile Singularity: New Rules For Marketing To Smart Networks?

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Email in an Increasingly Mobile and Social World

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How Website Development is Like My Wife’s Shoes


Post by Roger Hurni – My director of interactive, Anthony Helmstetter, just came out of a meeting with a potential client who is having some website development issues. When I asked him what they were experiencing, he described a situation many of us are familiar with. The project started off with no budget, but they didn’t want to spend a lot of money even though they couldn’t define a specific budget. They wanted “off-the-shelf” technology that is easy to use and proven. This included a CMS that would allow them to make changes, but admitted they would rarely use. They hired another company that made promises, blew their budget, then tried free web software to get the site back on track, only for the client to find themselves six months behind schedule and trying to polish a turd of a website.

It dawned on me how many companies we come across that are in some stage of this kind of fiasco. And the answer to avoiding this situation came to me in the from of the shoes my wife Joanne buys. Or used to buy, to be specific. You see, like most women, Joanne loves to buy shoes. The problem is she always tries to choose the most practical path to purchasing them. Then, she rationalizes the purchase of an inexpensive pair of shoes by saying to herself,“these are only for special situations and I won’t be wearing them much,” or, “they were on sale at 60% off and I saved us money.” Sometimes, she reasons, “I don’t want to spend a lot of money on something that will mostly just sit on a shelf.” You get the idea –she’s buying cheap to get more. Or so she thinks. Inevitably, when she finally wears a pair, she complains about her feet hurting 20 minutes later, followed by a comment like, “these are the worst shoes, and I won’t wear them again. I’m going back to the store to buy the other pair I saw that was $75 more.”

Here’s my point: instead of trying to save money by buying pair of shoes for $60 only to go back later to purchase a better pair for $150, I always tell her to just buy the pair for $150 from the start and save us $60 and a headache. Many website projects I see take the exact same approach. So if you want to really save money, try starting with a realistic budget that isn’t necessarily the cheapest option, knowing it brings quality people and technology appropriate for your goals. It’s your business for Pete’s sake, so make it an investment in it. You’ll be far better off in the end, and your feet won’t have to suffer through another bad pair of shoes. 

If you provide something interesting for people to read, they will come

If you provide something interesting for people to read, they will come.

That’s a two-part process, said Arnie Kuenn, keynote speaker at AZIMA on April 18. The first step is creating a process for regular, quality content. The second step is optimizing that content so people can find it more easily.

“Please optimize your darn content,” was his stark and only statement on optimization.

Arnie Kuenn, AZIMA founding member and President of Vertical Measures, provided meeting attendees with insight into, “How to Win at Search, Social and Content Marketing” based on his award-winning content marketing book, Accelerate.

That two-step process is fundamental to success. “Think like a publisher!” was the key message Kuenn wanted the audience to embrace during his presentation. The focus was on creating compelling content for customer engagement, understanding the latest research and trends and learning best practices for content planning.

Content Marketing Results

Eighteen months ago, audiences he spoke to mostly gave blank looks when he mentioned “content marketing.” Kuenn led off with a look at how content has come into play as a powerful internet marketing tool and why it is important from a search perspective. Some of the favorite stats tweeted by attendees included:

  • Companies that blog 15X per month, get 5X more traffic
  • Content Marketing is the top priority for businesses in 2013
  • Companies with 100-200 content pages generated 2.5X more leads than those with under 50

Compelling content is vital to turning visitors into buyers. 93% use search engines before deciding on a purchase.

Another topic that hit home with the audience of internet marketers, was Kuenn’s suggestions on how to conduct research for generating content ideas:

  • Start by finding out what your audience is searching for by using Google keyword tools
  • Businesses can get ideas for 60-100+ more content pages on their site, just by answering questions from customers. (This received a few nods of recognition from the crowd.)
  • Focus on quality – the best performing posts were over 2,000 words! (This received a few groans from the crowd)
  • It takes time – about 180 days rather than 30 days. Once you get to about 200 posts on your blog, traffic starts to take off

Other than the obvious benefits of coming up with useful, rather than gimmicky content ideas, Kuenn said costs can be reduced by as much as 2/3rds with this way of generation. This figure needs further research, he said. When it starts with a group of people talking and coming up with ideas quickly, though, it stands to reason the expense is less.

Following this often overlooked process for gathering ideas, Kuenn impressed the importance of mapping generated topics on a content strategy calendar – like a publisher – and provided this free editorial template.

The State of Relationships

When you’re dealing with an internet presence, Kuenn suggested, a two-way personal relationship is not needed for success. Especially for people getting first impressions of your company as they search for what they need.

“Now relationships are being formed with information, not people,” Keunn said.

Webinars and Google Hangouts are obvious examples of a hybrid of the two. They both bring people into direct interaction. Keep them, post later and transcribe what’s being said and you will also have searchable, evergreen content to put on your blog. The extra multimedia content is also looked upon favorably. That’s SEO.

“Do you view content generation as primarily getting your brand out there,” someone asked.

That’s exactly what it’s not. Being trusted as a place to get good information in your company’s field of interest, is what it’s about, Kuenn said.

“A lot of people think that, but people are tired of being targeted and being ‘sold’ to,” he added.

With a focus on both quality and quantity in his talk, someone in the audience asked which was more important. “Quality,” Kuenn said, adding that in-depth pieces of about 2,000 words are now shown to be more and more popular. The ability to read longer pieces on larger-screened tablets is one factor toward this. Quality also means variety of content, he said, which is another reason people stay on a site.

For businesses seeking growth and performance over competitors, Kuenn’s advice is simple – harness the power of search and social marketing, and consistently create content your target audience will enjoy. Ultimately, you will be rewarded with their business and loyalty.

AZIMA Presentation on Mobile First for 2013: Advertise, Monetize, and Maximize 2-28-13

AZIMA Presentation on Mobile First for 2013: Advertise, Monetize, and Maximize 2-28-13 by Matthew O’Brien

Kim Carlson, Strategic Sales for http://www.InMobi.com, a global mobile ad network. This slide deck from the February 28th AZIMA event provides some industry insights and commentary on the state of mobile advertising. Including InMobi’s recent Mobile Consumption research, learn why use mobile in your strategy, how is mobile different, mobile marketing insights on a couple of key verticals, best practices for successful mobile marketing and finally some creative examples of recent award winning campaigns. Kim has worked in digital media for the last 10+ years addressing many aspects of mobile marketing. In Mobile, most people believe this is an opportunity to find the holy grail of marketing- touching the consumer across the marketing funnel from awareness to purchase, to loyalty. Every year that we take a look at this we seem to make progress- and that’s exciting for marketers, users, and enablers alike.

Next AZIMA event is on March 28th will feature digital marketing pioneer, Jay Baer, as host and MC and he promises to share some of his top ideas on the digital marketing world as we know it. This is the first Annual TIM Awards is your chance to mingle with some of the best and brightest marketers in Phoenix. If you are in digital marketing field, this is an event you don’t want to miss!

1st Annual AZIMA TIM Awards: Call for entries.

AZIMA 1st Annual Tim Awards
You can be the toast of your digital domain if you win one of the coveted TIMs—the Arizona Interactive Marketing Association’s award for excellence. Named after Sir Timothy Berners-Lee, acknowledged father of the World Wide Web, the TIMs showcase Arizona talent and work in the interactive realm for calendar year 2012.

Interactive luminary Jay Baer, author of The Now Revolution, will offer a keynote and MC the awards ceremony.

Categories:Enter in any of our 12 categories—a first place and runner up will be awarded in each. This competition is open to any Arizona-based agency or firm doing work on behalf of local, national or international companies. Please note that qualifying work must have been produced in the calendar year 2012; speculative work or personal projects are not eligible.

  • Best Website
  • Best Social Media Campaign
  • Best Integrated Interactive Campaign
  • Best Email Marketing Campaign
  • Best Display Ad (Single or Campaign)
  • Best Rich Media Execution
  • Best Mobile Marketing Campaign
  • Best App
  • Best Blog
  • Best Online Video
  • Brand of the Year
  • Interactive Person of the Year

Mark your calendars. The deadline for entries is March 7TH, 2013, with the awards presented during a ceremony on March 28TH.

Entry Fee
Each entry costs $50; you can enter one campaign multiple times (for example, you can enter your brilliant blog as part of the “Best Social Media Campaign” and under “Best Blog.” Please note that each entry requires a separate $50 fee.

Register Now! (Deadline is March 7)

Presentation by Rami Kalla on Converting Video to Sales on YouTube

Guest post by: Shauna Stacy, Hummingbird Media, LLC

The latest AZIMA meeting featured a presentation titled “Lights, Camera, YouTube: Converting Video to Sales.”  Presenter Rami Kalla, the owner of Tempe-based Point in Time Studios, offered an overview of the opportunities of using online video, shared a number of success stories from businesses who have chosen to capitalize on them, and spoke on the basics of the popular site YouTube.

To start, Rami shared a number of statistics regarding online video. One of the most impressive: Customers are 64 to 85% more likely to purchase a product or service after watching a video. Previous speaker, Jon Wolske of Zappos, indicated the same affect in March 2012 when he discussed the positive impact of adding videos of products on Zappos.com.

Video also appears in 70% of top online search returns. This means that creating video content for your product or service, and making it easy for prospects to find, could dramatically boost your online visibility and conversion if done well. Rami continued with a brief history of online video, emphasizing top video site YouTube. In addition to being the top video site, with 800 million unique monthly visitors, YouTube is a critical piece of the Google suite, and – ultimately – a big piece of the SEO puzzle.

Those planning to jump into online video were urged to do the following:

  • Focus less on the elusive viral video and more on your audience. Where are they searching? What do they want to know?
  • Focus on quality over quantity.
  • Realize that quality does not always mean exorbitant cost, and vice versa.
  • Start small and build from there.

The presentation also included a demonstration of the Will It Blend? and Swagger Wagon videos. They make for fun research, if you have a few minutes to spare. Finally, he dove more deeply into YouTube specifics, including earned versus paid media, keyword and SEO basics, Adwords for Video, and conversion analytics. Like other forms of online content, there is no magic, single step to creating success in online video. Once you build a baseline, and take the first step, you can continuously improve with evaluation and persistence. You just have to take the first step.

Next AZIMA with Tim Moore Sneak Peek

Last Friday afternoon, Tim Moore of CrushIQ sat down with the past president of the Arizona Interactive Marketing Association, Arnie Kuenn to discuss some of the topics he’ll be covering at the upcoming AZIMA event. Tim has been engaging in technology consulting for nearly 20 years, and provides counsel, marketing guidance, and digital relationship best practices. He has a wide field of rich experience from working at The New York Times Company in digital business solutions leadership role, to the founder of numerous technology start ups. He’ll be braving Arizona’s summer heat, making the trip all the way Willmington, North Carolina, on Thursday August 16th, 2012 to present at the “Google Plus for Business” Scottsdale Hilton. Watch the video interview to get a sneak peek at what Tim plans to present at the next AZIMA.

Tickets are available to see “Google Plus for Business with CrushIQ CEO Tim Moore”. Register now!

Catapult Your Business’s Google Rankings With Inbound and Content Marketing

Guest Post By: Dave Murrow, Content Marketer, Mint Social

Last week, AZIMA members learned about ways to rapidly grow their companies’ blog and brand presence from speaker Marcus Sheridan aka @TheSalesLion in his presentation “7 Ways to Explode Your Company’s Brand through Content Marketing.”

From the start, Sheridan was a ball of energy, moving about the room with effortless charm and sass, engaging AZIMA members by name and seeking insights into how they use blogging, content and social media to make a difference in their business.

Sheridan spoke on his experience as a business owner on how to use content marketing and blogging to catapult a business to greater sales heights. One of Sheridan’s main tips that he shared with the AZIMA audience is to create blog posts based on every question a sales person might get from prospects and customers. As an example, he told of how he started blogging as owner of River Pools & Spas, writing about such subjects like the benefits of fiberglass pools over concrete pools, simply because prospects were asking him this in real life.

When his blog posts on these common question topics started to help his pool company soar to the top of Google rankings for these topics, he knew he was onto something. It’s this kind of content that works, Sheridan told AZIMA members.  Be honest, be transparent, compare products and services in your industry, write about your product’s prices, and most importantly, be a teacher and share your knowledge with people. Good content will just come from that.

Knowing the ‘why’ for companies to create social content for the web is the beginning, Sheridan offered. When your company knows ‘why’ content marketing works, then it’s easy to convince your employees to blog on the company’s behalf. Having them share their own individual knowledge for company blogs adds loads of great content to the company mix.

Sheridan notes at his blog that he’s being asked by people he’s never met for his suggestions on which pool brand they should buy, or which contractor they should work with. That’s content marketing success. Because his pool company blog “talks about subjects that no one else talks about”, like comparing pool brands, comparing companies and talking about pool builder’s best and worst practices, the blog gains traction, link sharing and more.  Once your company is on the track with content marketing, it becomes second nature to become the voice of your industry, and that can only lead to greater success.

Download Marcus Sheridan’s free e-book “Inbound and Content Marketing Made Easy” at this link.