The Zenith Digital Marketing Conference is here! Marketers of all stripes are taking over Duluth this Thursday, April 27. Excited? You should be. Between two kickass keynotes — Microsoft’s Christi Olson and iPullRank’s Michael King — is an array of nationally recognized speakers, regional powerhouses and local icons galore. Whether your flavor is search, social, content, creative, martech, measurement or a beautiful amalgamation of all of the above, there’s something for everything in the jam-packed agenda.
Every speaker has a unique story, from political roots to studies in domestic terrorism, and law degrees to wilderness search and rescue heroics. Several speakers are fine arts aficionados who apply their craft to marketing. Among them is Kevin Mullett, director of visibility and social media for MarketSnare, and photography extraordinaire. Kevin will take the stage for a solo session, “Content Tips, Tools, Tactics & Techniques for Winning More Business,” at 11:45 a.m. We caught up with Kevin for the scoop on his session and scored some important life and career lessons along the way.
Aimclear (AC): First off, tell us a bit about yourself — professional, personal, whatever you’d like.
Kevin Mullett (KM): I’m a geek and it says so right on my license plate. I like long click-trails through the interwebz and have an unhealthy infatuation with marketing tools, beta social platforms and what Google did with search 10 minutes ago. Photography has become my creative outlet of choice since, after 300-plus custom websites and untold amounts of marketing material, I rarely get to design anymore.
I can be found partaking in hammock time, be it spring, summer or fall. I loathe sleep and try to do so the bare minimum required to survive. I married my grade-school sweetheart 25 years ago and we have one daughter.
AC: So no sleep is how you do it all! And you’ve done everything from SEO and web dev/design, to social media and content. What have you found most rewarding? What would you recommend to new marketers as a career path?
KM: The introvert in me thinks there is nothing quite like starting the day with tunes blaring in my headphones, a blank Photoshop file, a client brief, and by the end of the day having a completed design. The extrovert side enjoys the less selfish reward of working directly with clients to solve ever-changing marketing needs.
Career paths? I could speculate till the cows come home, but new and upcoming marketers would do well to learn to share freely, because people knowing that you know something is more important than people knowing a piece of something you know. Learn how to provide UNIQUE value in an entertaining and easily consumable way, and that our ever-changing industry is grounded in the general principles of human interaction and needs.
AC: Spoken like a true artist. Speaking of, we aspire to your level of photographic artistry. How has being steeped in fine arts helped you as marketer?
KM: Photography, for me, is like fishing. You won’t catch anything if you don’t go out, and no amount of expensive gear will save you from a lack of practice and experience. Fishing poles don’t catch fish and cameras don’t create images.
As photography is another aesthetic form of art, you can and should look to understand base principles and draw inspiration from various mediums and styles, including fine art. You can learn a lot by paying attention to what the greats, like Ansel Adams, did before you: Where they went, how they composed images, how they used and manipulated light. But don’t forget your contemporaries, as well as those young whippersnappers that have a style you don’t yet understand.
AC: Tell us about your Zenith session. Your contemporaries might say a session on content could be covered by a single directive: write amazing content. So, what will you cover? What will attendees learn? What will blow their minds?
KM: I expect people to leave my session with actionable ideas, tools and tips that they can take back to work and start using to create great content that actually converts into business. And hopefully these tips make that task seem far less daunting and laborious for them. While we are at it, I’ll toss in techniques I know will help them be more efficient and strategic about their content development as well.
If none of that is convincing, take note that all time normally filled with useless stats (not at all related to their success) will be filled with references to how bacon, unicorns, animated .gifs and movies relate to marketing. So, we’ve got that going for us. As for blowing minds, I’d say my proclamation that the parroted trope “just write good content” is a lie might get heads spinning.
AC: What’s the second-coolest actionable tactic you’ll share in your session? (we’ll save the best for attendees)
KM: Hmmm, second and third is a close race between learning how to unlock earned shares and backlinks by creating the right content type, for the right audience, in the right place and at the right time, or how the formula of quality + relevance + context = content visibility.
AC: One last question. Bubblegum or bacon. Which is better?
KM: Phhhh, please. I’ve run a monthly social and marketing breakfast gathering for seven years, and the running joke is that it should be called the Social & Marketing Bacon Fort Wayne event. I’ve tasted bacon soda and bacon hot chocolate and have bacon bandages on my desk right now.
AC: So, bacon then?
Thanks to Kevin Mullett for his time and inspiration. Catch Kevin and the rest of these amazing speakers at #Zenith2017, and WELCOME to Duluth!