Utah digital marketers filed into Club 50 West in droves last Wednesday night excited to hear from Robert Brady, a fixture in the local digital marketing scene, as well as digital marketing legend Larry Kim. Utah digital marketers were not disappointed. Big Leap did its best to pack the house and sent a third of its workforce in search of the latest tips in paid search, paid social, and how to create a synergy using the two together.

To kick things off, former president of SLC|SEM Ryan Nadeau, started the evening with a big announcement about an alliance between SLC|SEM and TechX, a Utah-based business acceleration company. This alliance will give members of SLC|SEM an opportunity to present and teach at TechX trainings as well as greater access to TechX’s services.

After the big announcement, Robert Brady of Clix Marketing kicked the evening off with a fantastic PPC history lesson where he discussed Google’s rise to prominence and some of the current challenges their AdWords platform faces.  Later, Robert discussed the possibility that keywords are dead as the rise of paid social provides the opportunity to target people based upon behaviors, not just intentions. In short, is PPC dead? No. But it will be unless we incorporate paid social on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.

From there things got interesting as Larry Kim hopped on stage and started running through his pop-culture-heavy slides at a frenetic pace. Larry’s presentation focused heavily on how to identify your social media “unicorns,” the top percentage of your social media content that outperforms the rest and how to leverage precise targeting inside of Facebook or Twitter to reach your marketing objective: site visitors, media coverage, brand awareness, etc.

Larry gave a specific example of leveraging a promoted tweet campaign to get his content in front of the most active users on Medium. This campaign was so successful that BusinessInsider.com picked it up and things didn’t stop there. The next day Larry was on Fox Business discussing his article and he even made got to make a visit to Facebook headquarters to talk about his article. Incredibly, Larry did all of this with $150 invested into two or three promoted tweet campaigns. Pretty ironic considering that the title of his content was Hey Twitter, Your Ads Are Even Worse Than Facebook’s — Here’s The Data.

Here are the key takeaways from a few members of Big Leap’s staff:

“Whether you’re an agency or in-house marketer, you’re usually held so accountable for leads that we don’t leave enough room for testing and trying new things. One of my favorite takeaways was Larry mentioning that he spends about 20% of his budget on things that may or may not generate a return. That 20% testing budget can sometimes be a waste but it can also be a major “unicorn” that generates results well beyond your typical lead generation campaigns.” – Bryan Phelps, CEO

“The paid search and paid social worlds are getting ever closer and closer. The paid media space is evolving, having the ability to target potential customers with so many layers of information truly helps paid marketers reach their target audience through multiple platforms. It’s an exciting time to be part of an ever changing digital marketing industry.” – Tim Eyre, COO

“Companies should be diversifying their paid search strategies. Adwords will always be an important part of online advertising, but paid social can have a big impact as well. It also serves a dual purpose of increasing brand awareness while driving traffic.” – Rob Hughes, PPC Analyst


Chad Pearman