Janie and Kara had the opportunity to attend the SEJ Summit in Dallas recently. The SEJ Summit, sponsored by Search Engine Journal, is a boutique marketing conference geared towards big brand marketers. It is invite only and takes place in Dallas, Chicago, Miami, Santa Monica, Silicon Valley, London, New York, and Chicago.
This years theme was “3 Takeaways”. It featured 10 speakers who had 20 minutes to deliver their presentation, 4 panelists, 2 emcees, and that one guy in the crowd who constantly feels the need to give his two cents. And to that we say:
Ten speakers multiplied by 3 takeaways equals a grand total of 30 takeaways. That’s a lot of knowledge. Topics covered during the conference included content strategy, SEO, Reddit, podcasting, and social media strategy. Since all these topics can’t be discussed (well, they could, but ain’t nobody got time for that) we are going to share our 3 favorite takeaways.
Kara’s Top 3 Takeaways
1. Content Production and Strategy Takes Planning! An ill-thought out content strategy is a waste of time, money, and resources. Content planning should take place way before the first word is written or typed. Once you have established the goal of the content and have a dedicated team to tackle it, you should refer to a brand content pyramid when building your content strategy.
Evangelism Content: Very powerful stories that are likely to be shared both online and offline.
Thought Leadership Content: High-quality content typically meant to give your brand or site authority on a topic or subject.
Presence Content: Frequently produced content that aims to increase site traffic, get discovered, and build an audience.
The higher up on the pyramid you go, the more time and resources that should be allocated to the content. However, the higher up the content is on the pyramid the frequently it is produce.
2. Content isn’t just text! Most people think of content as just words on the page in the form of articles or blog posts. But really, content is anything of value that you give your audience. Content can images, infographics, podcasts, videos, calculators, e-books, whitepapers, and even social media posts. Having a variety of content in different mediums tends to lead to a better site.
3. Non-Google Search. Although Google is undeniably the largest player in the world of search, it isn’t the only place where people are performing searches. Looking for arts and crafts ideas? Pinterest. Looking for inspiring fitness images? Instagram. Looking for a nice restaurant for dinner? Yelp. Wanting to learn about salt water crocodiles? Wikipedia. The point is that you need to make information related to your brand available on relevant sites besides Google.
Janie’s Top 3 Takeaways
1. If you have a big idea, start small and work with a great team. If you want to get approval from upper management on a project idea you have, start small. If your idea is a full content strategy, start by completing one blog post, tracking its results, and getting those results in front of your management team. If you can show your leaders strong results on a smaller scale, you may win over their trust and buy in to expand your project to a larger scale. Keep in mind that big projects take time, experience and a strong team.
2. Be real and authentic. During the conference sessions, we talked about podcasting and Reddit as areas where brands can build unique connections with niche audiences. Like SEO, podcasting and Reddit can have great results for your brand if done authentically. Cloaking techniques, fakeness, and not understanding the target audience will not work.
3. Integrate SEO company-wide. Build an understanding of SEO into other departments of your organization. Work together with other teams (development, UX, copywriting, merchandising) and create a mutually beneficial relationship, where they see how their work collaborates with SEO and benefits the company. Building that inter-departmental teamwork can cause a strong positive shift for the company.
Also, there was a lunch buffet and it was fantastic. We took FULL advantage of it.