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A Common Theme at BlogWorld: Conversational Marketing

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This was the first annual BlogWorld conference held in Las Vegas on Nov. 8th and 9th.  It was a two day conference and was filled with marketers, bloggers, PR professionals, etc.  I attended the following sessions:

·    Tracking Reputation in the Blogosphere

·    Picking a Blogging Platform and How to Leverage Blogs, Podcasts, Video, Social Media, and Other Channels for Traffic Conversions and Profits

·    How Online Conversations Change Markets

·    The Future of New Media Publishing Tools

·    Social Media versus Pay Per Click

·    Creating a Coherent Social Media Strategy

·    Building Relationships with Bloggers

One of the common themes of this conference was that of conversational marketing; and how important it is for marketers and/or corporate executives to embrace conversations with their customers.  It really doesn’t surprise me that this topic came up so frequently.  A study published a few weeks ago about the growth projections of social media and conversational marketing stated that over the next 5 years, 81% of marketers will be spending as much or more on conversational marketing vs. traditional marketing initiatives. The trickle effect was apparent at the conference. 

A few sessions stood out for me. The first was “Creating a Coherent Social Media Strategy” facilitated by Jeremiah Owyang and Chris Brogan; where they spent about an hour educating the audience about various aspects of social media marketing from a tactical perspective.  They posed the question of whether of not marketers are “listening” to who is talking about them online; and shared several tools that will help get this information.  And, we all know that “listening” is just one element of a conversation – probably the most important.  I would also add that marketers must not only listen, but also engage and act on those conversations if it makes wise business sense. A great example of this is what Dell is doing with Ideastorm; whereby they are having real conversations with their users, asking for product recommendations, interacting with them, and listening.

I also attended, “Building Relationships with Bloggers” facilitated by Brian Solis and Marc Harty; and one point that hit home for me was when they talked about the “The 6 C’s of Blogger Relations”.  The last two C’s were community and conversation. From a conversational marketing point of view, it makes perfect sense to first think about your community and participate with them in the form of conversations; and as Brian stated, “you are not invited to the conversation as a marketer but as a real person”.  In other words, it’s important to be honest, open and authentic.  Monetization is important but should not be at the forefront of the conversation.

The last session I attended was “How Online Conversations Change Markets” facilitated by Paul Gillin; where he compared old marketing activities to the new marketing landscape. He basically said that conversations are key when dealing with consumers; and that these online conversations are going to take place whether marketers want to participate or not.
 He also said that marketers must seek and act upon feedback from these conversations.  Great point.

In summary, it was nice to see that conversational marketing is now being discussed amongst the marketing community. Now, let’s not only write about it and discuss it amongst ourselves, but let’s join the conversation and participate with our communities.

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A Common Theme at BlogWorld: Conversational Marketing
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About Michael Brito
Michael Brito is a Sr. Manager of Community Marketing at Yahoo! Inc. He has over 10 years of direct marketing experience in driving customer acquisition, retention and engagement through social media and other online media channels to include search engine optimization, paid search, display advertising, word of mouth and generating buzz. He also writes about social media marketing in his marketing blog in his free time. WebProNews Writer
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