By: Vince Kattoula

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the inaugural Digital Marketing Boot Camp hosted by the Detroit Regional Chamber. The event took place at the College for Creative Studies (CCS) in the A. Alfred F. Taubman Center for Design Education. It was a crowded room filled with much energy and inspiration. Here are some key takeaways.

Sola Obayan, Founder and former President of the Social Media Association of Michigan, had this to say about running a successful marketing campaign: “Start with WHY, then HOW, then WHAT.” Currently, she leads 360+ strategic marketing programs as the Principal Consultant at BTO Solutions. Throughout her presentation, she stressed that one thing to focus on in 2017 is your brand’s website, as well as optimizing messaging. Before she left the stage, Sola challenged each one of us to find out our purpose, cause, or belief that inspires us to do what we do. Do you know your WHY?

Sarah Grajewski, Director of Search at MLive Media Group, says “If a business doesn’t show up on the first page of Google, they don’t exist.” Search advertising is the low-hanging fruit of digital marketing. We all know how important it is for our brand to show up in organic search results. Michael Taylor II, Partner and Creative Director at SS Digital Media, reiterated this point at DMBC 17. Improving your website’s search engine ranking help customers find you. In fact, it drives more traffic to sites than paid searches, social media outreach, email marketing, and referrals combined.

What stood out to me the most was Marcus Burrell and Eric Thomas’ presentation about taking a human approach to social media. Both Marcus and Eric are Senior Partners at Saga MKTG and their goal is to help organizations tell their story to bridge gaps and inspire people to action. They mentioned that instead of talking to their audience only when they need to, brands should be talking to their audience on a regular basis – just as you would with your friends and family. Thomas went on to say, “People don’t care about your brand. They care about humans. Humanize your brand and people will care about it.”

I left CCS feeling engaged and inspired. It’s safe to say that I’m looking forward to the next digital marketing event hosted by the Detroit Regional Chamber.

Special thanks to Brenda Meller from Walsh College for the invite!

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