Here’s a good example that happened to me recently, that illustrates how social media is good for outreach* and broadcasting an event or offer or news (*to only the socially networked class of web users) but needs effective search engine marketing to effectively reap the reward of word of mouth marketing*. (*Word of mouth marketing is what happens when the socially networked discuss their plans either offline with others, say at the next event they attend and they say “Have you heard about ______? You should check it out!” It’s what every marketer wants to happen. Word of mouth marketing can be measured in some respects with search engine behavior and the conversions generated.)
An event called Analytics Camp is coming to the Triangle soon. I read about it on Twitter almost immediately after it was announced by the event organizer, Nathan Gilliatt because I’m an active, socially networked web user. I read about it, I clicked a shortened URL that was offered to RSVP* (*shortened URLs offer zero, zilch, nada in terms of branding or brand recall for the end user), and I went to a third party ticketing and invitation site to register for the event. I knew I wanted to go – I checked the date and said yes. Easy peazy.
A week later, our team is talking about ideas to present at Analytics Camp. I want to find the website for the event, check out speakers and read about their presentations. I type “analytics camp raleigh” into my Google search bar —– no relevant links appear* for the event. (*Like most search engine users, I typically only look on page 1 of the search results.) I type just “analytics camp” as I’m not sure where it’s being held, actually… and again there are no links for the event but I do find a tweet from Brian McDonald but it offers no link to the event details.
Someone on my team says, “I think it’s in Chapel Hill – try that” and I so I type “analytics camp chapel hill” but again – nothing. Finally, I delete the space between the words “analytics” and “camp” figuring it may be like “barcamp” and voila! I find a link related to the event that is indeed to be held in Chapel Hill. Google asks however, “Did you mean analytics(space)camp?” No Google, apparently I did not.
The moral of the story is marketers must understand typical web user behavior in order to best serve, and capitalize on, their consumer and prospective consumers. A properly architected search engine marketing campaign must be integrated into every marketer’s mix. Social media did very well for these event organizers to get the word out but I am confident that a number of attendees and potential attendees suffered the same search experience that I did. One could argue that I could have used search.twitter.com* (*but I didn’t so do you get the point?) or even that it’s not that big of a deal – I did find it eventually. I would argue that person shouldn’t be directing my clients’ marketing campaigns.
For those of you who are also searching for the details on AnalyticsCamp in Chapel Hill in February – here are the details that you’ve been searching for.
AnalyticsCamp Chapel Hill
- Saturday, February 6, 2010
- UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, Chapel Hill, NC. Directions
- AnalyticsCamp Wiki
- Registration is Sold Out but you can find a list of attendees here.
- Twitter: @AnalyticsCamp
- Hashtag: #acampnc
- Network at CrowdVine – event-centric social networking for participants