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Become a Mobile Marketing Master

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of presenting to a group of business owners and marketing professionals at Greater Spokane Incorporated’s Executive Connect Breakfast at The Spokane Club. Jim Swoboda from ILF Media was kind enough to film my 20-minute presentation about how businesses can take advantage of the huge increase in mobile traffic to their websites.

Ed Reese - GSI Mobile Marketing Presentation

Here are a few key takeaway’s from the presentation:

Measure Mobile

The biggest mistake we see is that (for the most part) businesses have no idea how much traffic is coming to their websites via mobile. And those that do, really don’t know how mobile traffic is impacting their business. Here’s a mobile dashboard you can add to your Google Analytics profile to get started.

Mobile Ecommerce Dashboard (click on the link to import)

Have a Mobile First Strategy (if it makes sense)

I’ve never heard a client mention a “mobile first” strategy. We typically hear how the website will be built and then there is a followup discussion about what needs to be removed / customized to fit for mobile. And for the most part, it’s usually an afterthought. If your business is getting over 50% (the highest percentage in our sample was 63%) of its traffic from mobile devices, doesn’t it make sense to prioritize mobile?

Think Like a Mobile User

We all know what it’s like to try to find information on our phones. It can be pretty rugged. I’m still a bit surprised when I’m able to easily find what I’m looking for via mobile. Think about what your users need to find and where they’ll be when they’re searching. What is their level of urgency at that time? What would make their mobile experience less painful? What would happen if they had actually had a good (maybe even great) experience from their phone?

Keep Learning

We live in an ever-changing world. It’s important for your business to stay updated and adapt to whatever comes next. While that can be difficult, there are organizations that help. I’d like to give a shout-out to Ryan Arnold and the entrepreneurial efforts of Greater Spokane Incorporated for expanding the number of technical presentations they’ve been providing at GSI, Share Space Spokane, and The Spokane Club.

I’d also like to mention that I’ll be hosting a free LocalU Hangout focused on best practices and tracking solutions for mobile on June 19th at 8am PST. It’s free to attend and we’ve got some amazing panelists lined up! Just click on the YouTube link to attend and ask questions of our mobile and analytics experts Aaron Weiche, Cindy Krum, Jeff Sauer, and Annie Cushing.

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Our live hangout will be at 8am PST on Friday, June 19th at this URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3d6fI5_dvws. You can ask questions in advance by using the chat feature. You’ll also be able to ask questions during the event.

MozCon Recap and Test Driving a Starship

MozCon 2014The past week, I had the joy of spending the week in Seattle to experience not only my first MozCon, but my first marketing conference. Having spent the majority of my workforce life in hospitality, most conferences were sponsored by food and beverage vendors and were dedicated to eating and drinking the latest and greatest while wandering booths pretending that you hadn’t already tried the meatballs, similar to Costco’s sample day.

Moz went above and beyond anything I could have expected.

There are so many things to mention about the conference, but I’ll recap the top five that really stood out to me.

5. Mike King – API Killah. 
This guy blew the crowd away entirely. If you were following the Twitter feed for #mozcon you would have witnessed a plethora of “I’m officially freaked out.”, “Mike King just blew my mind”, and “WTF?” tweets. He kicked things off by describing a user’s unique fingerprint they leave on each website which was interesting in itself. He then threw us down the rabbit hole of linking APIs to take that fingerprint to find out EXACTLY who each user was, their demographic, their location, their habits, etc. It was insane. Unfortunately, he didn’t also blow us away with his rap skills this year, but I’m told they’re pretty epic. You can download his slide deck from the conference here and follow him on Twitter under the handle @iPullRank.

Mike Ramsey Shuffleboard4. Mike Ramsey – Small Town Man, Doing Big Things
I had the awesome opportunity to meet Mike Ramsey before his presentation and watch him and Ed Reese clean the shuffleboard house at the Unbounce MozCrawl afterparty. The following day he gave his local search presentation and was nothing short of incredible. He creatively and seamlessly incorporated his hometown of Burley, Idaho into every aspect of his slide deck and polished it with gorgeous photography, strategic humor and even pictures of his kids (who may kick you in the face). His firm, Nifty Marketing, focuses on “making local search sexy” and they do a damn good job. Check out his slide deck here and follow the genuinely nice guy on Twitter at @MikeRamsey. He also loves Weezer. Just saying.

Tesla S3. Test Driving A Starship
I have the pleasure of living a short drive (read: long, but worth it) away from Seattle, but it is usually the best idea to cram as many things into the trip as possible. We decided to take a quick break from the conference to walk over to a little car company named Tesla to take one out for a spin. We fully warned our co-pilot that we weren’t planning on buying one for a while and she reassured us that no one is, because you simply can’t; they’re booked out on production for the next year and a half. That being said, we hopped in, played with every option on the 17″ display and took off into the streets of Seattle. With 100% of the torque going straight to the wheels, my face hurt afterwards from smiling too much.
Note: I did not get paid for this shameless plug.

MozCon At The Garage2. MozCon’s Partner Hub
Moz did a great job in picking several partners for the event who hung out outside and gave demos and information on their products. I had the opportunity to meet a lot of fun people and learn more about some of the partners that we use, or are definitely using in the future. Never once did I feel pressured to purchase anything, they simply wanted to share what they were up to and get to know their potential clients. Had great conversations and a fantastic time hanging out with Paul from Buzzstream, Oli and the Unbounce team, and Taylor from Optimizely! Look forward to seeing all of them at future events!

1. Content
I’m not sure the best way to really title this concept that was generated throughout the conference but it is a breath of fresh air. Sure, we can’t game Google search like we used to be able to, but they’re forcing to provide something the internet truly needs: Good Content. We can hate on Google and their 1000s of employed PhDs who tweak and twist their algorithm without anyone knowing the better, skewing our client’s search rankings we’ve pushed so hard to produce. We can get mad every time they name an update after an animal we will soon despise when we see at the zoo, but they’re pushing us to make a better internet. Nearly every presentation held an underlying tone that we can be as technical as we want, but in the end, just make your site better, publish something people will share, write articles readers will love and want to come back to read again. Stop worrying about the little wins and focus on the big picture. The saying I have been throwing around the office lately can sum up the greatest idea from MozCon, “Do the thing”. Time after time, we get caught in the weeds focusing on unimportant projects, or financials, or who knows what, the problem is that we ignore the main idea. #DoTheThing

0. MOZ
So I am probably breaking some sort of countdown rule by going all the way to zero, but I owe the biggest shout out to Moz for putting on a seamless conference. The production value was outstanding with incredible and entertaining videos, great music, food, shirts, and even stuffed Roger dolls. We’ll be back next year, Moz. See you all then.

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Startup Weekend Spokane: Bootcamp

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This past weekend Sixth Man Marketing was proud to host Spokane’s Start-up Weekend Bootcamp. This in-the-trenches preparation for Start-up Weekend Spokane brought a passionate and inspirational group looking to flesh-out their business ideas before the upcoming Startup Weekend competition.

Startup Weekend is a national event hosted in cities throughout the year that encourages entrepreneurship and innovation jam-packed into one long weekend. In a mere 54 hours, teams are formed to take ideas as far as possible to be judged and critiqued by a panel of business owners and successful entrepreneurs. Startup Weekend has spawned collaborations that have gone on to form local companies that have raised capital, produced products, and launched companies.  A few recent successes from Startup Weekend Spokane are Beardbrand,  iCpooch, Barters Closet and SavorX. We can’t wait to see what this year’s event produces!

Dan Gayle kicks off the Startup Weekend Bootcamp session

Past winner Dan Gayle kicks off Startup Weekend: Bootcamp with Conner Simpson and two other entrepreneurs

So what is Startup Weekend: Bootcamp? It’s a three-hour training session that provides an experienced peer group to help fine-tune pitches and provide valuable critiques and coaching for participants of the event. Everything was covered; from the 60-second initial pitch that kicks off the weekend to the final 5-minute presentation that seals your fate with the judges. Delicious food and drink was provided by the Stork Market Cafe to lighten the mood and get the ideas flowing.

pitching_250“The attendees will have a huge advantage over their competition at Startup Weekend because they now understand the format and have the insiders tricks and tips provided by previous winners.”  – Dan Gayle, Spokesman Tech Deck

Mock companies were created to get participants thinking about the importance of key elements like finding team members and how to work efficiently at the event. Connor Simpson, another organizer of the event and previous winner from Barters Closet, added, “We had a great time preparing for Startup Weekend by honing our 60 second elevator pitches”, a key part in surviving Startup Weekend.

For more details on Startup Weekend Spokane, check out the site here or click the image below.

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Analytics Class – Thursday, April 25th @ 11:30am

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We’re excited to be offering our Google Analytics class this Thursday, April 25th at 11:30am at The Nectar Tasting Room (corner of Main & Stevens). I get pretty fired up when it comes to teaching people how to utilize the power of data and am excited to be teaching my first analytics class of 2013. Understanding analytics is a game-changer for businesses and we love getting people headed down the path of analytics awesomeness!

This year we’ve changed the format of our classes so the lessons really sink in. We want you to be able to immediately apply what you’ve learned in class to help your business. Take a look at the educational support we’re providing as part of this analytics class offering. You’ll be an analytics ninja before you know it!

  • 90 minute class on Thursday, April 25th
  • 90 minute small group hands-on analytics lab session (dates TBD)
  • Unlimited analytics questions for 30 days in our new analytics forum

Measure & Maximize Your Marketing Efforts with Google Analytics!

Date: Thursday, April 25th
Location: Nectar Tasting Room, 120 North Stevens (corner of Main & Stevens)
Cost: $40
Limit: 25 attendees
Seats Available: 0 (Thanks again for another full class :)

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Here’s what you’ll learn in our 90 minute class:

Goals & KPI’s. What do you want your website to accomplish? We’ll start by showing how to create goals and KPI’s (key performance indicators) for your website. Always start with the end-goal in mind. We’ll measure everything against these business goals. (10 minutes)

The Install. It’s easy to get started with Google Analytics (GA). But there are a few things you’ll need to know to make sure you’re getting started on the right foot. We’ll show you how to install Google Analytics and configure it to your business’s needs. (5 minutes)

A Guided Tour. There have been A LOT of changes in GA recently. We’ll provided a guided tour that shows the wide variety of ways you can  look at your data to fully understand how to use Google Analytics to its fullest potential. (15 minutes)

Understanding Traffic Sources. It’s imperative to understand not just where your traffic is coming from but that traffic is causing. Are your marketing campaigns performing? Should you renew your advertising contract with XYZ company? We’ll show you how to use your Google Analytics data to make more educated decisions about your marketing and advertising efforts. (15 minutes)

Measurement = More Powerful Pages. You’ll learn how to use measurement to improve to your homepage, landing pages, interior pages and blog posts. Content is king. You’ll learn how to identify pages that are under-performing and make them better. (15 minutes)

Conversions. There are many ways to measure conversions on a website. We’ll show several ways to create and track that final step of the conversion (the sale, registration, download, etc.) We’ll also show how to create micro-conversions to create multiple smaller steps to purchase. (10 minutes)

Advanced Awesomeness. We’ll end by showing how to take advantage of advanced segments within Google Analytics. Using segments effectively is one of the most valuable ways GA can help your business. I use advanced segments about 20 times a day for my clients (and you should too). Take advantage of the power. (10 minutes)

Questions. We have ten minutes “officially” set aside for questions. That said, I’ve set aside an hour after our class is over to answer questions for anyone that would like to stay after the class. We realize many of you are coming to the class on your lunch break so we’ll be adhering to our 90 minute schedule. That said, if you can stay after class I’ll be there to answer questions for an extra hour :)

Here’s what you’ll get as a bonus:

This year we’ll be providing 90 minute follow-up lab sessions so you can reinforce your classroom learning experience with hands-on training. What does that mean? I’m glad you asked! We’ll be providing several small group lab sessions where I’ll work with you set up goals, create advanced segments, create dashboards, and much more.

But I want a super-bonus!

You drive a hard bargain, but OK. Here’s your super-bonus. Anyone registered for the class is invited into our new analytics forum for 30 days for free! Ask UNLIMITED QUESTIONS about Google Analytics for a month absolutely free! I’ll even throw in some foosball tips for those interested.

But wait, there’s more!

We’ll also provide an adequate, somewhat nutritious box lunch during your first class session with the choice of a few inexpensive beverages and/or water. Hey, it’s not exactly date-night food. But becoming an analytics ninja for $40 will make you both thrifty and dang sexy!

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      Our goal is make this most valuable
             class you’ve ever attended!

 

Why Get Listed University Works for Business Owners

The Get Listed Faculty at O'Doherty's the night before the 1st Get Listed University event.

Get Listed University has presented to nearly 2,000 business owners and marketing professionals since our innagural event in Spokane in February of 2010. It’s been amazing to be part of such an A-List team. It’s a priveledge (and absolute blast) to get to spend time with these wonderful people five or six times a year at these events. But what’s been even more incredible is talking with business owners over the years and being in a position to help. I’ve been thinking about Get Listed University a lot recently and wanted to put together a quick summary of why I think Get Listed University is so valued by business owners.

1) No Pitches. Ever.
I go to a lot of conferences. Nothing makes mad like traveling to a conference, paying the price of admission, and then getting pitched by a presenter. At Get Listed there are no “back of the room” sales, no pitching of our services in any way, and no uttering the cardinal sin of the conference upsell world,… “We’ll be covering that at the follow-up conference for just X dollars. Register today!” Nope. That just ain’t our style.

2) We Don’t Hold Back Any Content.
Not only do we not hold back content, we continue to find ways to provide even more content for business owners to use to their advantage. For example, this year we have created a more formal structure for our site clinics to really maximize it so you’ll have more time to ask any of our experts 1-on-1 questions about YOUR website.

3) We Provide Actionable Information & Real Case Studies
This information is not collegiate theory. You will literally be able to take these insights and apply them immediatelly to your business the following day. We use examples highlighting how real businesses use these strategies to improve their business. In fact, David is unveiling a new presentation in Spokane called “Prioritizing Your S*!t” that provides a roadmap of actions that will guide you along your way to online greatness.

4) The Faculty are Amazing!
I’m not kidding when I say how fortunate I feel to be part of this team. At times I feel like snuck in the back of the pickup when they left for town – and now they’re stuck with me :) These folks are the best in the business! We are so fortunate to have them back in Spokane again.

5) We Know & Respect Business.
We know running a business is hard. I believe all us have either owned a business in the past or are current business owners. We know it’s tough to committ a day to learn about online marketing and we work very hard to make every second count. We keep finding new ways to improve the events for our attendees. For example, for the Spokane event this year we added social media and paid search as well as expanded our site clinics.

Bonus) We Do Our Best to Make it a Dang Good Time!
We know your brains will be full by the end of the day. But we balance your efforts with a good dose of humor, enough food and snacks to keep you fueled up, personalized Q&A, and an awesome networking happy hour to close the event out right! It’s also important to note that our speakers don’t take themselves too seriously and are approachable the entire day with any questions you have for them.

What t-shirt will Mike Blumenthal be wearing this year? Oh, the suspense!

We look forward to seeing you at Get Listed this year! If you have any questions about the event please feel free to call the Sixth Man Marketing office at 509-624-5580 or going directly to the Get Listed University website.

Get Listed University – Spokane Agenda Video Preview

Get Listed University – April 27th, 2012

Location: Northern Quest Resort & Casino
Time: Friday, April 27th from 8am to 5pm
Cost: $199 (Save $50 by entering “SIXTHMAN” as your discount code at checkout.)
Agenda: Complete Get Listed Spokane Agenda
Capacity: The event is limited to 100 people and will likely sell-out. Register now!
Registration: Call (509) 624-5580 with any questions about registration or register on the Get Listed Website today!

We’re really looking to this year’s Get Listed Event. I’m excited knowing that I’ll get to hang out with the Get Listed Crew again soon. And so can you! These are some really amazing people, folks.

Sixth Man Marketing Open Gym

It’s no surprise that we’re pretty big basketball fans. In addition to loving to watch basketball, we love to play as well. Growing up we’d seek out the best open gym games in town and try to learn from the best players around. It was usually pretty loose. But sometimes a coach would be there, sometimes former players, other times mentors just a few years older from our own school. It was a great opportunity to play, learn, and have some fun.

Sixth Man Marketing is starting our own version of open gym focused on online marketing. Come on down and talk shop with other business owners and hear the latest online marketing strategies, tactics, and tips. This isn’t just one-way instruction. While we’ll have a formal topic each week, we’re encouraging input from other online marketing folks and business owners in our community.

Open Gym Logistics & Details

Location: Sixth Man Marketing Office
Time: Friday’s from 3pm to 4pm
Cost: Free
Capacity: First five people to register. Only one person / industry / week
Registration: Call (509) 624-5580, fill out our contact form, or email jessie (at) sixthmanmarketing.com

Topics / Calendar:
11/18/11 – Google Analytics New Version Awesomeness Tour (Yeah, it’s good)
11/25/11 – Off for Thanksgiving break (Turkey Time!)
12/02/11 – Usability Best Practices (What’s working & what isn’t on your website)
12/09/11 – The Latest in Local Search (How to rank in Google Maps & blended searches)
12/16/11 – Conversion, Conversion, Conversion (How to make them click!)

These open gym session are meant to be part training, part analysis of your website, and a whole lotta fun talking shop about your online marketing strategies. They are going to be very interactive sessions with a ton of real-world advice. We’ll provide some light snacks and drinks as well.

Who’s got next?

How to Dominate with Data – A Spokane Ad Federation Presentation

Last week I spoke at the Spokane Ad Federation luncheon about how to dominate with website data. It was their Fall 2011 kickoff luncheon and I had a blast! We had a full room ready to gain analytics insight. It was great!

Spokane Ad Federation October Luncheon Attendees

We even had a dozen attendees from the University of Idaho Ad Club. It was really cool that they made the two hour drive from Moscow, Idaho for the presentation. OK, they also had a visit with advertising agency Magner / Sandborn. But I still appreciated their attendance and participation. They must’ve stayed a good 45 minutes after things winded down. They asked some great questions and are really fired up about getting started in the industry.

Ed takes a moment to go over a few questions

We went through a lot of real-world examples and talked in detail about ways to gain actionable insight to make website improvements. We looked at ways to measure the effectiveness of blogging, branding, campaigns, and social media.

Here’s the full presentation for those that attended and others that might find if helpful.

Dominate with Data
View more presentations from Sixth Man Marketing

For additional questions about topics from this presentation I’d like to recommend:

Best Social Media Metrics – Avinash Kaushik

Google Analytics Training Videos

Awesome Analytics, Local Search, SEO, Social Media, & Converstion Rate Optimization Info

A big thank you to The Spokane Club and everyone that attended my presentation earlier this week at their Networking Breakfast! I really appreciated your questions, engagement, and enthusiasm. As I mentioned during our session, I want to provide additional resources for you to continue your education in the ways of analytics, SEO, local search, social media, and conversion rate testing. We covered a lot of topics in a short period of time and as a follow-up I wanted to create an awesome resource library for you. Now it’s time for you to choose your own Internet marketing adventure and learn from the best and brightest in the industry.

ANALYTICS, ANALYTICS, ANALYTICS
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As I’m sure you recall from my presentation, I hammered home the importance of understanding analytics. I’m not talking about “reporting” or “monthly reports” for your boss. I’m talkin’ about kick-butt, actionable analytics that teach, provide valuable insight, and inspire action. What’s workin,’ baby? What does the data tell us today? This higher level of attention to your data is not optional… if you want your business to succeed. You must “know thy data.” Here’s how:

Occam’s Razor – Awesome analyics blog from Avinash Kaushik
Web Analytics an Hour a Day – Great introduction to actionable analytics (also from Avinash)
Google Analytics Blog – Resource for understanding Google Analytics (beginner & advanced)
Google Analytics Videos – Educational videos that show how to use Google Analytics
Conversion University – A curriculum of analytics video tutorals
Analytics 2.0 [The Art of Online Accountability & Science of Customer Centricity] (Thanks Avinash!)

MAKE SURE YOUR WEB SITE CONVERTS TRAFFIC

I think it’s great when companies embrace new technologies and ways of thinking. Social media has taken the Internet marketing world by storm and generated all kinds of buzz (much of it well deserved) this year. However, I’m always wary of what I call the “Shiny Penny Syndrome.” It’s a condition where companies throw resources at the latest and greatest marketing techniques without testing and tracking what the shiny penny actually does. I’ve also seen companies completely stop doing what works (like email marketing) just because it doesn’t have that new marketing smell.

Don’t Make Me Think – Great read (really fast, too) about web site usability
Conversion Rate Experts – UK company focused solely on conversion rate optimization
108 Ways to Improve Conversion Rates (from Conversion Rate Experts)
Google Web Site Optimizer Blog (The Official Optimizer Blog)
Always Be Testing – Great book for learning A/B & Multivariate testing
Marketing Experiments – I love these guys. Their webcasts rock!

LOCAL SEARCH = LOW HANGING FRUIT

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As an Internet marketer I’m always looking for the low-hanging fruit–”the best bang-for-the-buck in the shortest period of time. And for most small and medium businesses that’s Local Search. Like I mentioned before, this doesn’t mean you stop doing everything else and go local only. It means that it’s time for a dedicated local search strategy to compliment your existing marketing efforts. Learn more from these experts:

David Mihm – Portland, OR Local Search expert & designer
2009 Local Search Ranking Factors – I’m proud to be a contributor to this research project :)
Mary Bowling – Denver, CO Local Search expert
Understanding Google Maps & Local Search – For those that want details, details, details.
Small Business SEM – Local Search + SMB Advice = Awesome!
Miriam Ellis – San Francisco, CA Local Search expert & designer
Chris Silver Smith – Cartographer & Local Search expert. Again, for folks that want the technical details.

ORGANIC SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO)

There is a lot of information out there about SEO. In fact, there is so much information that it’s tough to know where you should even begin. These folks provide the best information and their content is always up to date.

SEOmoz – Free and premium levels of membership – Both are great!
SEO Book – Again, free and premium levels of membership – Great as well
Search Engine Journal – Free SEO content from a variety of SEO experts – including me starting next month
Search Engine Land – Center of the universe for all things search – Look through the categories
Vanessa Fox – She has an uncanny ability to explain complex details in very simple terms
Rand Fishkin’s HostingCon Preso – Awesome SEO explanation (and motivation for my art project)

BUT WHAT ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA?

Don’t worry, I didn’t forget about social media. Remember, this socia media stuff is new for everybody so the importance of testing and learning from data is paramount. I think this bit of reading will provide good insight for you.

Outspoken Media – More than social media, but they cover it very well. Many good social media posts here.
Copyblogger – Read Copyblogger now! Writing is so freakin’ important. This is one of my favorite blogs!
7 Harsh Realities of Social Media Marketing – Great new post from Copyblogger
Trackur – Cool way to track social media mentions & reputation
Samepoint – See all mentions of your name or company online. A very cool social media monitoring tool.
5 Facebook Case Studies – Yes, 5 real case studies about marketing with FB.
Twitter, Tacos, & Trucks – The Story of Kogi Bar-B-Que

LIKE I SAID,… WHAT MATTERS IS HOW IT HELPS YOUR BUSINESS
Here’s an example from the presentation. I know it’s hard to believe,… but I didn’t even go to art school!
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WANT MORE INFORMATION? HAVE QUESTIONS? COMMENTS? JUST LET ME KNOW.

Please feel from to leave a comment below, send an email, or contact me at my office (509-456-4350).