12 Jun 2013

8 Can’t Miss Sessions at SES Toronto 2013

Today the Ninjas head up and over to beautiful Toronto, Canada to participate at SES Toronto.  (For full transparency, I should mention that I serve on the North American SES Advisory Board.) I will be moderating a couple panels Thursday June 13, and on Friday Ninjas founder and CEO Jim Boykin will be presenting a deep dive into Google’s Penguin algorithm and the way they are treating Authorship. As I prepare for the conference, I always like to review the schedule. As always, there are a number of excellent speakers, including a strong contingent of Canadians that will be showcasing their knowledge on home turf.

Lyndsay Walker

Following are eight sessions that I feel merit strong consideration, and a brief introduction to each. These are in order of the schedule, and by no means do I mean to slight those that I don’t mention.

Day 1:

Keynote: “Driving Change and Growth for Marketers” presented by Jeffrey Hazlett.  Mr. Hazlett has been delivering well-received keynote presentations for the SES Conference for a few years, including in San Francisco (YouTube Link) and London since 2010. I like this Eastman Kodak veteran CMO’s style, and was particularly influenced by the previously-linked keynote in which he described that elevator pitches should be 118 seconds or less.  Sounds familiar to the currently accepted optimal video length…

Developing an Integrated Social Search Strategy” is Thursday afternoon, and I believe Anne Kennedy will lead an important panel which will explore the relationship between search and social. This is something we have been talking about as digital marketers for some time now, and in 2013 we are really beginning to see synergies with properly integrated campaigns.

Paid Search Strategy Deep Dive” looks to be a very promising panel – led by Crispin Sheridan and with Canadian marketing legend Andrew Goodman flanked by Kyle from Marin. I like this panel set up because it consists of one of the best PPC strategists out there in Andrew, the highly important technical/tool side from Marin, and the years of in-house experience that Crispin brings to the table.

Meet the Experts” isn’t really a panel session but I find it to be one of the most rewarding opportunities for delegates to dive into a particular topic and get specific answers and recommendations. {Personally, I feel that “Meet the Experts” should probably just be called “free consulting.”

Meet the Experts with Terry and Ezra at SES Toronto 2012

Day 2:

Sponsored Session Internet Marketing Ninjas: “Jim Boykin talks about Link Building, Authors, Panda, Penguin, Tools and More.” Yes of course it seems pretty self-serving that I would list this. The fact is that I work with Jim on a daily basis and I can’t wait to see this session! He spends a lot of hours with his sleeves up in Penguin, Author, Panda and more data and research, and the nuggets he shares are consistently some of the best free consulting you can get out there. If I was to ever sell my domain searchevangelist.com, it would be to Jim since he is one of the strongest ones we have.

Mobile Content Marketing: Connecting with Your Audience on the Move” is an afternoon session that is high on my list. This topic is becoming increasingly important, as we all know. Thom Craver will lead a panel including Jeff Brenner, whose company Pressly is focused on technology to assist with making content more device-friendly while still driving ROI; and Marcia Kadanoff, whose San Francisco-based agency specializes in content marketing. Again, the mix of speakers should help to provide some well-rounded ideas and opinions.

SEO and Website Migrations: Ensuring a Smooth Transition” is one of my personal favorite topics to present on. Whether you plan to migrate a site soon or aren’t even thinking about it yet, understanding the concepts presented during this panel will help to save a ton of marketing headaches when you do eventually change sites or even just URL structures. Simon will do his usual excellent job of moderating, and is supported by Cory from Page Zero Media, (Goodman’s company) as well as in-houser (pronounced in-hoos-er in Canada) and Cong Lu from large utility Bell Canada.

Beyond Engagement: Harnessing the Power of B2B Video Marketing” is perhaps the most interesting panel to me this week, as it deals with two specific  areas that never seem to get enough love: B2B and Video.  I recently heard a client prospect claim that B2B didn’t need SEO. Obviously I strongly disagree with that, but one thing I think B2B fully underleverages is video. Greg Jarboe is one of world’s leading authorities on video marketing as it relates to search and digital, and his presentations always give me great ideas.  He will also be joined by Jeff Sauer to provide agency experience and point of view.

The great thing about conferences with multiple tracks is that there is no all-ruling schedule, and every individual can tailor the experience to their needs. As always, organizations and agencies that bring multiple delegates will be able to “divide and conquer” and hit these as well as the number of other great sessions on the docket. I hope to see many of you in Toronto! Otherwise make sure to keep an eye out for the #sesto hashtag on Twitter over the next couple days.

Photo Credits to SESConferenceSeries