5 Takeaways From #MozCon That Will Change The Way I Do My Job

MozConLast week I was in Seattle to attend my first ever MozCon. I arrived at the Washington State Convention Center not knowing what to expect but it certainly wasn’t the nearly forty pages worth of notes I took across the three days of speakers. Unlike any other conference I have been too MozCon seemed to have no bad speakers. Usually you’ll get some that are covering rudimentary stuff and things not pertinent to your business but every lecture had me riveted. In short – MozCon rocked my world.

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The Lame Truth About LinkedIn

linkedin is lameSo my month of using LinkedIn more often has mercifully come to an end. I did everything LinkedIn’s savvy marketers guide told me to do but I didn’t enter into their promised marketer’s utopia of discourse and idea sharing. In fact I think I came to the exact opposite conclusion regarding LinkedIn’s professional sharing. I had always seen LinkedIn as only a tool for recruiters to use to find new employees and I found nothing counter to that opinion after my month of LinkedIn usage. Not only that but LinkedIn in practice turns out to be pretty lame.

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Google’s Biggest Flaw With Shopping Campaigns

This week Google released their new Guide to Shopping Campaigns which outlined their recommended best practices for the “new” campaign type. All of it was pretty basic stuff that any AdWords user worth their salt already was practicing but it did lead me to discover what I believe could be a huge flaw in their system that is going to frustrate advertisers to no end – shared listing information.

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LinkedIn Week 3…*sigh*

Week 3 of my pledge to use LinkedIn more is drawing to a close and I have yet to discover the professional knowledge sharing utopia I was led to believe LinkedIn was. Instead I’m starting to realize that in practice LinkedIn is nothing more than a bulletin board people slap up whatever their latest article is in a vain attempt to get readers and establish themselves as some sort of thought leader in the industry.

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Week 1 Done of LinkedIn Month

So I finished my first week of increasing my LinkedIn use and I can’t say much has changed in my life. I’m up to 233 connections but I think all those gains were low hanging fruit – people I knew but just hadn’t connected with. The real proof of growth will be how many connections I can add who are completely new to me who I meet via LinkedIn.

I participated in several discussions across a couple groups and found I was the only one replying to the posts. If I got a “like” it was from the originator of the post – probably as a thank you for commenting. I posted my own content on my profile and in a couple of relevant groups but didn’t really see any traction. Didn’t the populace of LinkedIn want to read about Bing’s hypocrisy!?

So with week 1 in the books so far I have to say I’m not that impressed. It seems to me that most people just use LinkedIn for self promotion. There is no actual discourse happening. Maybe I’m looking in the wrong places? The adventure continues this week as I try to join some new groups, comment more, and see if I can actually participate in a discussion between more than one person!

The Hypocrisy of Bing Ads

Bing AdsThis week Bing announced that they would be discontinuing mobile only campaigns starting in September and starting the Google-style mobile bid modifiers. Not only this but they are also merging desktop and tablet into one modifying option, citing similar performance, and mobile into another – an exact copy of Google’s Enhanced Campaigns in all but name. They claim that the mobile only campaigns added too much “complexity” to managing campaigns in Bing Ads. Rarely have I heard a paid search manager complain about complexity within paid search – we are driven by it. Nor do I recall any rejoicing when Google forced their Enhanced Campaigns on us. Granted Enhanced Campaigns didn’t turn out to be as bad as all the complaining seemed to make them out to be but if you ask any one running a Google campaign if they’d like to have their mobile only campaigns back I bet they’d say yes.

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Growing Your Connections in LinkedIn

LinkedIn Connections
So my first action for LinkedIn month was to start growing my connection base. LinkedIn makes it extremely easy for you to people to your network primarily through your email inbox. It’ll grab the email addresses in your inbox and run it against their database of profiles and let you connect to them. I gave LinkedIn access to my Yahoo account and they came back with 144 possible connections. A lot of these folks I wasn’t interested in connecting with but there were about 20 I felt would be good business contacts. One click of the mouse and their invites were sent. By the morning I had 14 new connections upping my total from 210 to 224.

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June is LinkedIn Month!

LinkedIn Logo
LinkedIn – The Facebook of the B2B world. I’ll be honest, I don’t use it nearly as much as I use Facebook. The majority of of the time I login to LinkedIn it is to accept a new contact or do some kharmatic skill recommending for colleagues who’ve done the same for me. Well not this month! This month I am going to make a concerted effort to use LinkedIn almost every day. I’m going to be actively attempting to grow my Connections, participate in discussions, join relevant groups, and post (what I hope is) quality content on my page. I’ll keep those cat memes to my Facebook page.

Why am I doing this? Well I was reading LinkedIn’s guide for the sophisticated marketer and with every page I found myself learning something I never knew about them. I had always dismissed them as glorified job board but there is a whole content aspect I haven’t explored. This month I plan to explore those roads less traveled and see how that affects my LinkedIn footprint.

In the words of Tobias Funke, “Let the great experiment begin!”.

Key Takeaways From HeroConf 2014

HeroConf may not be one of the bigger PPC conferences but it is still one of the more enjoyable ones. Two days of sessions and key notes combined with three nights worth of bar tabs picked up by kind folks like Bing. This was my second year attending and it was as enjoyable as it was in 2013. It also suffered from the same issues it had last year – namely many sessions that were more of a how to guide than an unique spin on things. Am I being a PPC elitist thinking that most attendees should know how to set up Shopping campaigns? Thankfully there weren’t too many of what I’d consider “how to” sessions and we had 4 sessions per time slot to select from so I was able to attend some interesting classes. From those sessions here are the key takeaways I came out of the room with: Read More →

What Small Businesses Need To Know About The #stepinsideadwords Announcements

The big 4/22 Google AdWords announcement was met by a collective “meh” from the advertising community this week. While a handful of new features and tools were discussed there were no game changing bombs dropped. By now you’ve probably read about the presentation so I’m not going to waste your time going over it but you haven’t you can read summaries of the announcements here, here, or here. Instead I want to talk about how these new features are going to affect small businesses and their online advertising plans. Read More →