I spoke at PubCon last week -- about How SMBs Can Use PR Campaigns To Grow Traffic and Alternative Discovery and SEO - Feeds, PDFs, and Blog SEO.
But, enough about me. Let's talk about the top trends spotted at last week's search engine and Internet marketing conference and expo in Vegas, baby!
For the record, I not only spoke at PubCon, I also looked at the 88 articles about it in Google News, the 77 articles in Yahoo! News, the 406 posts in Google Blog Search from the past month, and the 799 posts that IceRocket has found from the past month.
Then, I used a new tool called Twist, which lets you see trends in Twitter, to chart the hundreds of Tweets about PubCon over the past 30 days.
But, I could have just as easily looked at the session agenda grid for PubCon. Why? Because Brett Tabke, PubCon's organizer, had set most of the agenda for 2009 when he selected the keynote speakers and creating the conference tracks. That's why.
So, it was dead easy to spot the top trends at the six-track educational conference hosted by SearchEngineWorld and WebmasterWorld. Heck, even the most sleep-deprived attendee would know they were video, blogs and Twitter.
Video is hot -- and YouTube video is red hot. This was reflected in the choice of George Wright, the VP Marketing & Sales at Blendtec, as one of the keynote speakers.
Described as the “The best viral marketing campaign ever,” George's viral marketing campaign, "Will it Blend?," has changed the face and the future of online marketing. Seen by more than 100 million people on the Internet and reported on by traditional media outlets like the Today Show, the Tonight Show, and the History Channel, Will it Blend? continues to deliver unprecedented corporate awareness through social media channels. This new form of marketing has delivered a 700% increase in sales for Blendtec, a small Utah based blender manufacturer, with an initial investment of $50.
Oh, and in case you didn't notice that video is hot, Brett added a Video and Multimedia track with five sessions to drive the point home.
Blogs were big, too. This was reflected in three tracks at PubCon: one on Social Media Marketing, another on Social, Brand, and Reputation Management, and a third on Linking as Social Media Networking.
Now, blogs certainly aren't considered the “newbies” of the social media scene – “granddaddies” is probably a more appropriate name. But that gives them an advantage from a marketing perspective – the medium has matured and moved from early adopter phase to the mainstream. That means more consumers are not only reading blogs; they are being influenced by blog content when it comes to what they decide to buy and who they decide to buy it from.
If you want a second opinion, sign up for tomorrow's free webinar: "Consumers and the Influence of Blogs: What it Means for Your Marketing Mix." It starts at 2:00 P.M. EST/11:00 A.M. PST and will be moderated by Kevin Ryan, SES Advisory Board Chair and CEO of Motivity Marketing. It will feature Barry Parr, Analyst, JupiterResearch, and Rob Crumpler, President and CEO, BuzzLogic. They will be discussion a new BuzzLogic-sponsored research study conducted by JupiterResearch, entitled, “Harnessing the Power of Blogs.”
But, you could also see the power of blogs at virtually ever session at PubCon.
In fact, there were tables in the sessions so the dozens of bloggers who were live blogging the event could blog more comfortably. (I think this is a first: I'm not sure that I've ever put bloggers, blogging and blog in the same sentence before.)
And what about Twitter? No, none of the keynote speakers was from free social networking and micro-blogging service. And, no, there were no Twitter tracks. And I can't even find Twitter mentioned in the title of any of the 85 sessions.
But, trust me, you couldn't miss the Twitter trend if you'd hit every one of the special events -- from the exhibitor cocktail reception sponsored by Bruce Clay and Apogee Search, to the SEOmoz WereWolf Event, to the WebmasterRadio Search Bash, sponsored by Microsoft Live Search.
For example, I was sitting in the session entitled, Five Bloggers and a Microphone - What's The Worst That Can Happen? It was moderated by Ken Jurina, and the speakers included:
• Andy Beal, Internet Marketing Consultant, Marketing Pilgrim LLC,
• Lee Odden, CEO, TopRank Online Marketing,
• Michael McDonald, Managing Editor, iEntry Inc.,
• Barry Schwartz, President, RustyBrick, Inc.,
• Jane Copland, Search Marketing Consultant, SEOMoz.
When it came time for Q&A, one of the first questions came from a woman in the audience, who said, “I asked my circle of friends on Twitter what I should ask you, and I got eight questions. If I eliminate the seven that are inappropriate, here's one that the panel can answer….”
That brought down the house.
Oh, PubCon also had lots of tracks and sessions on SEO, SEM and interactive site reviews. But they've had those for years. The new news is video, blogs and Twitter. These are the top trends that I spotted at this year's PubCon.