Duluth Makes a Big Splash with Superior YouTube Marketing Strategies

Duluth Makes a Big Splash with Superior YouTube Marketing Strategies

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Last week, I spoke about making a big splash with superior YouTube marketing strategies at the Zenith Social Media Marketing Conference in Duluth, Minnesota. The conference was organized by the aimClear online marketing agency and the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce.

Situated at the westernmost point of Lake Superior, Duluth had a total population of 86,265 in the 2010 census.

So, you might think that the nationally recognized speakers from big cities like Boston, Denver, Minneapolis, New York, Orlando, and Seattle brought more important tips, best practices, and strategies to the conference than the local speakers from Duluth. But you’d be wrong.

Duluth punches above its weight in social media marketing, including YouTube marketing.

For example, I first wrote about the community back in 2010 when Don Ness, the Mayor of Duluth, leaped into the icy waters of Lake Superior to make his pitch for Google Fiber.  PureDriven, an SEO company in Duluth which provides social media services, documented the campaign on its YouTube channel.

But wait, there’s more!

Duluth forms a metropolitan area with Superior, Wisconsin, called the Twin Ports. And when Topeka, Kansas, unofficially renamed itself “Google” for a month in order to promote their bid for Google Fiber, the ReelTwinports channel on YouTube responded quickly by promising to name every first-born son and daughter Google Fiber and Googlette Fiberette, respectively.

And “normal” citizens participated in the campaign, too.  For example, the Renegade Google Fiber Action News shared this report about a local woman with a new baby:

To show it could do drama as well as comedy, ReelTwinports created a documentary that told Duluth’s incredible story. After weathering a devastating economic downturn in the 1980s, Duluth reinvented itself as an innovator in eco-tourism, general aviation, medical communications, and renewable energy.

Duluth even got Al Franken, the junior United States Senator from Minnesota, to support its bid. Before he got into politics, Franken achieved note as a writer and performer for the television show Saturday Night Live.

So, this “little portage” on the leading edge of the “big water” can teach other cities around the country a lesson or two about how to make a big splash with superior YouTube marketing strategies.

Here are a couple of new examples that I saw last week:

Molly Solberg, the Director of Marketing of Duluth Pack, was one of the speakers on the keynote panel at the conference.

Much of Duluth Pack’s social media success can be attributed to Molly, whose natural style makes the company’s online platforms comfortable and social. Her interactions on Facebook and Twitter are genuine, friendly, and engaging. Her blog posts on river canoe trips, winter camping and the BWCA speak directly to the company’s target audience.

The company’s YouTube channel, DuluthPack1882, was created in April 2009. It currently has more than 254,000 views. The most popular video on the channel is “Duluth Pack Wanderer – Rugged Classic Backpack Daypack.” It shows how Duluth Pack took its immensely popular Rambler Pack and scaled it down. In the process they created a super functional day pack with European flair.

Manny Rivas, an Online Marketing Account Manager at aimClear, was one of the speakers in the YouTube Marketing breakout at the conference.

Known for his YouTube expertise, Manny is a regular speaker on the search and social media marketing conference circuit on all things video, from developing to optimizing to sharing. He also shares his knowledge with the industry as a writer for both Search Engine Watch and aimClear’s own online marketing blog.

Manny has been involved in several notable projects, including YouTube and Facebook ad production for Siemens, and video contest production for the academic sector of The Washington Post Company, among others.

In one such project, Manny assisted a client selling an adult continuing education product beat their cost per acquisition goals using TrueView InSearch and InDisplay ads. The primary KPI was to increase conversion volume and decrease average monthly CPA to $60.00. The outcome knocked this KPI out of the water. The result was a reduced average YouTube CPA by 51% with an increased average monthly conversion of 120%.

Finally, Danyel Piecek of Northland’s NewsCenter interviewed Kellie Cloutier, Director of Fuse Duluth, and Marty Weintraub, CEO of aimClear, about the Zenith Social Media Marketing Conference.

So, if Linda Kratt, the Director of Events & Retention at the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce, invites you to speak at the next Zenith Social Media Marketing Conference, don’t tell her to go jump in the lake. Take the plunge and just say, “Yes.”  Then, paddle your own canoe to the “little portage” on the leading edge of the “big water.”


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