Grant Crowell, video analyst and founder of Grantastic Designs, reports on SMX's recent decision to add video solutions providers as speakers for its upcoming Local-Mobile Conference for July 24-25 in San Francisco.
Reversing a 3-conference drought of no panels or professional speakers on video, The Search Marketing Expo (SMX) recently revised their agenda for their upcoming Local-Mobile Conference for July 24-25 in San Francisco, to include 2 speakers with strong professional expertise in the online video space.
The added video speakers to SMX Local & Mobile 2008 are:
- Brad Inman, Founder and CEO, TurnHere – Local Search 3.0
- Anupam Gupta, President and CEO, Mixpo – Targeting Locals in a Blended Search World
Both speakers are scheduled for the final two panels on the first day of the event, July 24.
SMX's reversal on video – a positive for conference attendees
SMX's addition of reverses a drought at its previous 3 conferences which did not featured dedicated video professionals – SMX Advanced, SMX Social, and SMX West.
Earlier, I had reported that the SMX conferences did not have any of its sessions dedicated to video, or even supplemented with real video professionals – either with video on the agenda or featuring bona fide video professionals as panelists. To me this was bizarre, considering that SMX regularly advertises itself to be the conference of choice for 'new media' professionals, and promotes its conferences with titles such as "SMX Social" and "SMX Advanced" – two adjectives that would beg for the inclusion of video.
The Search Engine Land backlash
Search Engine Land's (SEL) Editor-in-Chief Danny Sullivan had e-mailed me with some comments on my original article, said he viewed it as an unfair attack. He explained his choice to not feature any panels or discussion around video was based on his "talking with about 10 other search marketers for advice." Not seeing my article as fair criticism, he went on to inform me that I was to no longer be asked to write a column on Video Search for Search Engine Land.
However, Search Engine Land recently published an article on the SEMPO Annual State of Search Survey 2007 Report, concluding that most search engine marketers do have an interest in video. Now that we're over halfway into 2008, the interest in video is likely to be even greater now.
Perhaps without the outside reporting of SEMPO and video marketing professionals, SMX Local-Mobile would have continued its trend of feature anything on video. The source of the reversal? Inside sources have informed me that the panelist additions are the doings of Chris Sherman, Executive Editor over at SEL.
SMX's reversal of its earlier decision to avoid video-related content is a positive step. To have continued its trend of not featuring video content, especially for a vertical (local) that is perfectly suited to video would have been most peculiar, considering that SMX is promoting the conference as "The Only Conference 100% Dedicated to Local and Mobile Internet Marketing.”
Video professionals set to educate search marketers
"Everything is going hyper-local, and now you got this new platform for the local market called video," Says Glenn Pingul, VP of Marketing for Mixpo in an interview with me yesterday. "Video is an emerging focus for search marketers; it's already pretty huge for online marketing in general. What we've seen is that video is, between the local space, social networking and video – you probably have the hottest categories in the online space today.”
"So many small-to-medium businesses (smbs) have a mysticism around search; they don't 'get it' since they can't see it. At least now with video, it gives the SMBS a sense of branding that they can see and wrap their imagination around." added Glenn. That's one reason why we thing video online and video SEO is going to be so hot for the local space and SMBs.”
Still poor promotion of video and video professionals by SMX
While I'm pleased that SMX is now following my earlier advice to feature video professionals, its disappointing that there is still no actual mention of "video" is anywhere on the actual agenda. This poses two potential problems:
- Current registrants for the conference interested in video may be likely to overlook the sessions because of it, resulting in lower levels of attendance and not a real measure of audience interest
- People interested in a conference featuring video will still not be very likely to determine by the session agenda if the conference will accommodate their needs. The only exception is if these people are already familiar with the brand names of the video solutions providers, and can search them out in the small print at the bottom of the agenda page.
SMX has gone a step in the right direction with video, but they clearly have a ways to go just to catch up to the other search marketing conferences – OMMA, Online Marketing Summit (OMS), Search Engine Strategies and even ad:tech – that have better and more consistently dedicated themselves to the online video space.
For starters, SMX would be well inclined to at least optimize some video content for the upcoming conference. That would certainly seem to be logical for any event that is going to be instructing people on best practices with video.
Regardless of any backlash, including my now being barred from SMX events, I will continue to provide video-related coverage of the Local-Mobile conference, including unfettered reporting and commentary. Search marketers and all online marketers interested in the video space deserve no less.
Grant Crowell will be providing video-related coverage in July of the Online Marketing Summit and ad:tech conferences in Chicago.
The views expressed above do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff of ReelSEO.com. To be SUPER clear, ReelSEO loves Grant, Danny, SMX, and your mom! ;-)