Flying is one of the most beautiful things in the world to me.
There’s just something so breathtaking about getting to see cities from above—their lights twinkling brighter than any nightlight—and being surrounded by clouds that look so fluffy cotton candy would be jealous.
Last weekend I got to experience it all while flying to Las Vegas for NMX with my coworkers Ben Brausen and Nick Ehrenberg. Needless to say none of us were sad to watch the cold fall away and land in a balmy 50 degrees.
After being teased by our taxi driver about our short sleeves and catching a few glimpses of The Strip, we arrived at the Rio All Suites Hotel & Casino to learn all we could about new media, blogging, and how people achieve success in both arenas.
Throughout the three day conference there was a wide variety of speakers—some that had the whole room laughing hysterically, some dazzled with statistics, and some that offered tools and techniques to take writing and social media to new heights. We met people from all over the world—Dublin, the Philippines, Boston, LA, and even ran into a few fellow Minnesotans (who were also enjoying the weather in short sleeves).
Between conference sessions, several liveblogs, networking and adjusting to the time change, the three of us were lucky enough to explore the city. We all ordered from the In and Out Burger’s secret menu (which was delicious) and meandered the strip laughing at those bundled in winter clothing while baffled by the ability to have outdoor escalators.
But, one of the highlights of our trip was getting to see the Penn and Teller magic show (Thank you Lee!). Dazzled by the inability to rationally explain their tricks we all laughed and applauded with glee (one of us may or may not have hidden so they wouldn’t be chosen to go on stage…that may or may not have been me).
Our objectives for NMX included: create useful content, increase awareness of our digital marketing agency TopRank, meet potential clients and talent to join our team. Through liveblogging presentations at NMX, Nick, Ben and I did our best to create useful, shareable content for those that were unable to attend NMX while learning a few new things ourselves! We also researched new tools that could benefit our agency and clients, and, of course, networked with some amazing people!
With 18 blog posts attracting a few thousand shares in 3 days, I think we made some great progress with content creation.
TopRank’s Liveblog Coverage of NMX:
- How UFC is Throwing Big Blows on Social Media – Ben
- How to Make the Most of Vine’s 6 Seconds – Nick
- Building Your Blog into a Survivable Source of Income – Ben
- Best Practices: How Your Brand Can Work with Bloggers – Eliza
- How to Build Your Brand’s Voice Through Blogging – Nick
- 5 Ways to Create Great Content without Writing A Lot – Ben
- 12 Easy, Simple Ways to Up Your Blog-Writing Game…From a Fortune Cookie – Eliza
- How to Generate Thousands of Facebook Fans in 6 Months – Nick
- How to Build Your Blog Community with the Right People – Eliza
- Guide to Surviving the Zombie Content Apocalypse – Ben
- How to Craft Jaw-Dropping Content & Become a Better Writer – Eliza
- Unleash Your Inner Influencer with Content Marketing – Nick
- Becoming a Pinterest Power User and Taking Your Pinning to the Next Level – Ben
- The What, How and Why of Schema for Bloggers – Eliza
- How to Create a Mobile Content Marketing Strategy – Nick
- Want to be a More Productive and Effective Blogger? Here are 15 Social Media Tools to Help – Ben – MOST POPULAR POST!
- 5 Tips on Crowdsourcing Your Brand’s Influence – Nick
- 10 Marketing Lessons from 10 Years of Blogging – Eliza
Our CEO Lee Odden gave one of the opening keynotes at NMX covering 10 lessons learned during 10 years of blogging. The room was packed, the audience chuckled, ideas were generated and the co-founder of NMX, Rick Calvert said, “If you didn’t learn something from that you either aren’t alive or weren’t paying attention.”
Apparently, people were paying attention and sharing. According to the site #hashtracking, during Lee’s 30 minute presentation there were over 700 tweets and retweets published!
Some of Our Favorite Quotes From Industry Thought Leaders at NMX:
- “The online to offline connection is where the real magic happens” – @LeeOdden
- “Snarky only gets you so far” – @SpudHilton
- “Influence those who influence others with custom content they expect to see” – @tasalinas & @billdowns
- “When it hits the fan it’s not the time to hide behind the fan, it’s time to do something about it” – @unmarketing
- “When I was doing terribly, I thought I was doing fine. I was getting satisfaction from my job. That’s my definition of success” – @pennjillette
- “If we are so self-monitoring that we only put the beautiful things about ourselves online, we disassociate ourselves from who we are” – @LynetteRadio
- “Your brand is how others see you–not how you see yourself” – @iLuvvit
- “Great content isn’t great until it’s discovered, consumed and acted on” – @LeeOdden
- “The best time to leverage a disaster in your business is never. Shut up or support. You don’t leverage pain and suffering” – @unmarketing
Recurring NMX BlogWorld Themes:
Quality over Quantity: It’s easy to create content for the sake of creating it. Now you have to take that one step further and create high-quality content. Spend time really learning what your audience likes, how they like to consume your content, and what questions are nagging at their minds. Then you’ll be in a position to be their best answer. While creating your amazing new content it’s important to write succinctly, but use a voice. Don’t be afraid to get creative and use unique metaphors and sound effects!
Presentation is (Almost) Everything: I have checked my smartphone more times today than I should in a week–and most other people do the same. Ensuring your data is presented in a way that is friendly to all devices is extremely important. Then you’ll need to add a layer of visuals—whether you paint them with words, include a vibrant image, or a short (yet creative) video. These can help convey your message in a new way, captivate readers, and compel people to read the entire piece.
Data is Important, But So Are It’s Layers: There are tons of statistics out there. There are even statistics about statistics. But, no one call tell you what’s best for your brand or your audience except the people involved. What works for an audience of cat-lovers won’t necessarily work best for an audience of C-suite employees. Take data with a grain of salt. Understand where it comes from, what else there is to the story, and make sure it’s as tailored as possible. Then you’ll be able to monitor how the little tweaks you make really impact your overall reach, impressions, shares, pageviews etc.
Never Stop Evolving: What was big a year ago has now fallen by the wayside. What works today might not work a week from now. It’s important to constantly evolve. Change up your content, constantly flex your creative muscles so your audience never gets bored. Find unique ways to answer questions and represent your brand. Maybe one week you focus on social, the next you focus on your website, and the next you focus on creating a video campaign. Whatever it is, make sure you never give up or get boring.
Overall, NMX was a very well-run and organized event. It is incredible to be a part of an industry that is so dynamic, with people so passionate about finding new, creative ways to stay up-to-date and constantly create value. A big thank you goes out from TopRank Online Marketing to all of the speakers, volunteers, and NMX staff who made the conference such a success. We can’t wait to be involved with NMX next year!
If you attended the NMX, what were some of the most interesting things you learned? What was your biggest takeaway?