Online Marketing Summit explores social media, search and content marketing

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San Diego—Search, social media and content marketing were among the hot topics at the 2010 Online Marketing Summit, which kicked off Tuesday.

In an opening keynote speech about how social media is changing branding and advertising, John Battelle, CEO of Federated Media Publishing, said, “A brand is what one of you says to another one of you about a company. The general rule to follow is to go where human passion is, always with the same approach: Listen, understand the social mores of the conversation, and figure out how to add value.”

Thomas Hoehn, director of brand communications and new media at Eastman Kodak Co., said the worst thing anyone can say about your company is “nothing.”

“If they are saying nothing about you, you are not even in the game. If people say you stink, at least you are in the conversation and you can turn it around,” he said.

Hoehn presented a case study of how Kodak is using social media to promote its pocket video cameras, using an approach it calls “ripcurl,” based on proactive and reactive communications in social media.

“You can't control the energy of social media,” Hoehn said, likening it to a wave, with proactive communications at the top and reactive communications at the bottom. “You do not have control over your brand and what people say about it. The sooner you get over that, the sooner you can use the energy of social media to your advantage.”

Also during the conference, panels of experts provided hands-on advice for how to use social media, search and content marketing more effectively.

“All the other stuff you're doing doesn't work without a content strategy,” said Joe Pulizzi, chief content officer at Junta42, during a session on content marketing.

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