Wind. That’s the first thing that comes to mind when I think of Chicago. Well, that and food because let’s face it—Chicago has some pretty incredible food. But to be completely honest, big shoulders never would’ve popped into my head when thinking of the city. Yes you read that right—apparently Chicago is also known as “the City of Big Shoulders”.
The city also happens to be known as “The City that Works”. Suffice it to say, SES Chicago will fit right in. Full of search and social marketers filling their heads (and potentially big shoulders) with information about paid, earned and owned search, the conference has several promising speakers that I can’t wait to learn from.
For those who are unable to attend or for attendees just looking for some advice on which sessions to attend, here is a preview of 5 sessions that any search or social marketer would be crazy to miss:
1). SEO in the Boardroom: Leveraging Relevant Metrics
This session was designed by Ryan Jones of Sapient and Alan K’necht of Digital Always Media, Inc. to help address the ranking challenges and revenue opportunities of the constantly evolving world of search. Highlighting the importance of earned media and integrated/holistic marketing strategies that are search and content centric a few key, actionable takeaways from this session are:
• Knowing how to forecast revenue and convince on resources, budget and overall ROI
• Reporting metrics that matter at the c-level
2). How to Craft Killer Content Strategy to Earn Links and Visibility
A successful content strategy has become the fulcrum of many businesses. But how can creative, diverse content be created that resonates with target audiences while touching on hot topics? What does it take to cultivate and curate fresh, useful, shareable content? How can businesses generate audience engagement? Alok Jain, SEO Senior Manager at Walmart and TopRank’s own Account Manager Brian Larson, plan to address those questions and provide attendees with ways to identify, manage and amplify the reach of their content strategies.
3). Mobile Targeting: Using the Right Aggregate Data to Reach Your Target Audience
Let’s face it—most of us have smart phones, and love them. It’s no surprise that with all the advances in technology, and the desire to stay up-to-date with technology, that over a billion smartphones enter the market every year. People have become much more dependent on their devices—using them to shop, research, and ask for advice. Businesses are now faced with an opportunity to reach this audience in a unique way. Lauren Moores of Dstillery and Ambrish Verma of Microsoft designed their session to teach attendees how to:
• Utilize location to target the right audience at the right time
• Pull data from hyperlocal segmentation to create unique messages, as well as how to effectively use that data
4). How to Turn B2B Social into a Lead Gen Machine
It’s no secret that social media is taking the marketing world by storm. Despite the surge in usage and ways consumers and businesses are using social media sites, only 15% of CMOs say they can quantify the ROI of their social efforts. This session from Michelle Killibrew, Program Director, Strategy & Solutions, Social Business at IBM and John Lee Manager of Brand & Social Marketing at Webtrends, plans to highlight how IBM integrated and applied smarter marketing best practices to launch a successful campaign, as well as a few key takeaways:
• Learning when to use paid vs. organic social tactics in a B2B environment
• How and when to tie in marketing automation, analytics and email marketing to make social lead gen stronger and integrated with the rest of B2B marketing
5). B2B is Different-Brand Marketers Share Data-Driven Strategies That Get Results
This discussion session leverages a power panel of savvy B2B marketers—Stephan Brisard of Mitchell International, Kevin Espinosa of Caterpillar Inc, and Stephanie Gassen of TDS Telecommunications Corp—to share examples of how they have leveraged digital data to overcome common B2B challenges, build customer relations and prove marketing ROI.
As with any great conference, these sessions represent a tiny fraction of the great sessions scheduled throughout the three-day conference. Check out the conference program for the full lineup of presenters.
If you can’t attend SES this year, don’t worry TopRank’s got you covered. I, and my colleague Brian Larson will be live-blogging the sessions above, and a few more, to share key nuggets and conference updates. You can always stay up-to-date on the conference via Twitter by following @bslarsonmn, @elizalynnsteely or by tracking the hashtag #SESCHI