University of Wisconsin–Madison

Digital Marketing and Social Media Conference

Conference Schedule

In this all-day conference, you will learn how to engage your customers and prospects online through your website and social media and track your activities so that you know what is working and what needs to be adjusted.

8:30 am – 10:00 am Messaging for Target Audiences (Sarah Best)

What makes your audience tick and how can we effectively speak to them? Join digital marketing expert Sarah Best for an interactive workshop on how to write messages that are tailored to your key stakeholders, and how to deploy these messages as part of a communications strategy. We’ll demonstrate the design tools of user personas and value proposition canvases and how we can use them to create foundational messaging.

Key Takeaways

  • Get hands-on experience completing a user persona for one of your top audience segments
  • Complete a value proposition canvas to hone in on your product market fit
  • Develop and workshop key messages for your customers with peer input
  • Learn the many ways that you can leverage key messages across communications platforms

10:00 am – 10:10 am break

10:10 am – 12:10 pm TikTok (Ya Don’t Stop): Building Relationships With A New Audience (Katie Grant)

It’s not just for the kids – more and more “millennial boomers” are spending time on TikTok. In fact, TikTok has over 800 million active users worldwide. But with all the dance trends and shenanigans, is it a platform brands should explore?

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has spent much of the last two years testing ways to make the platform work to engage with a younger audience. Learn how they have built a strong, engaged following, gone viral, and learned a lot of what works (and doesn’t) along the way.

Key Takeaways

  • Why TikTok makes sense for brands
  • What is the TikTok audience?
  • Top tips for creating engaging videos for TikTok
  • How to make your brand stand whether you’re selling a product, service or anything else in betwen
  • Plus, learn how to create a TikTok in the app and get some practice making it happen

12:10 pm – 1:00 pm lunch break

1:00 pm – 2:30 pm 0-5000 in 6 (Months) – A Madison Minutes Case Study (Sam Hoisington)

Madison Minutes, a local audience-first news startup, started publishing in April 2021.

Since the beginning, they’ve been all-in on email newsletters as their primary method of communicating with audiences.

They’ll share their successes (and failures) to date and share why they think you should be investing in newsletters in 2022.

Come with your calculators! The team will share specifics, including their costs of acquiring email subscribers from different sources and the strategies they used to grow their list to 7,000 highly-engaged subscribers in six months.

Key Takeaways

  • Why email is a key area to invest in
  • Cheap, creative ways to grow an email list
  • Where to start and how to grow

2:30 pm – 2:40 pm break

2:40 pm – 4:30 pm Harnessing the Power of Email Marketing to Build a Loyal List of Kindreds (Andrea Hubbert)

Have you ever been so excited about an email from a go-to expert in your industry that you couldn’t wait for it to hit your inbox? I mean, so excited you end up checking your email every 15 minutes to make sure you didn’t miss it?!

Want to know their secret?

It comes down to three things: segmenting their audience, being clear on what each segment wants to hear exclusively from them and understanding how to deliver it in a way that will keep them looking forward to reading everything they write (and buying what they sell).

During this session, I’ll share strategies to help you do the same. You’ll learn how to:

  1. Determine which part of the lead generation funnel you should be focusing on right now, and how to move your audience through it with personality, panache and permission.
  2. Create an email marketing strategy that is attention-getting, creates interest, builds desire with the right peeps, and then calls them to action.
  3. Take advantage of a framework for making sure that you always send emails that tickle the toenails of your kindreds… regardless of what’s happening at the time.

I can’t wait to help you harness the power of email marketing to build a crave-worthy relationship with your audience too!

“I learned so much, even as an intermediate social manager… The variety of topics was so great. I feel better equipped to take next steps across the board.”

Content writer, Naviant (Fall 2021 attendee)

“Every speaker was amazing…..I will be back”

Samantha Burke, Universal Home Protection LLC


Location: Grainger Hall

Schedule: 8:30 am- 4:30 pm

Date: May 24, 2022

Fee: $299

REGISTER HERE for Digital Marketing & Social Media Conference or call 608-262-3909 to register. BONUS: Place 2 or more fall paid SBDC courses in your cart, and use discount code SBDC10 for 10% off. Classes must be purchased in the same transaction.

Registration policy: Payment will be required at time of registration. You must have either a credit card or valid UW-Madison funding string to be able to register.

Cancellation policy: If you cancel before the program begins, there is a $25 cancellation fee. If you cancel after the program begins you will be charged for the full program fee. To cancel, call registration at 608-262-3909.

Disability Statement: Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Contact the UW-Madison SBDC office at to request accommodations.


Andrea Hubbert

Owner, Hub + Company

I am a disruptor… since an early age. So said my middle school teachers who sent me home with daily report cards because I wouldn’t stop talking in class.

My methods may have changed since then, but my spirit remains the same.

Today, I’m a public relations strategist and copywriter who helps creators be intentional in the ways they connect with their audiences.

Yep… I start conversations and pass notes for a living. Take that, Mrs. Dansby!

But seriously, there’s something magical about taking the conversational traits I started honing way back in middle school and skillfully using them to help my clients get clear on their unique messages, amplify their most compelling stories and position themselves for the greatest impact. Probably with cocktails.

Sam Hoisington

Co-Founder & Business Lead, Madison Minutes

Sam Hoisington is the co-founder and business lead of Madison Minutes, a newsletter-first news organization in Madison, Wisconsin that is rethinking how newsrooms approach audience engagement. In the first six months of operations, Madison Minutes was accepted into the prestigious Google News Initiative Startups Lab and named a featured creator on Facebook Bulletin. Sam also works as a strategist at Indiegraf, a Canadian startup supporting independent news organizations.


Katie Grant

Digital Communications Section Chief – Office of Communications, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Katie Grant is the Digital Communications Section Chief for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. As a leader of the department’s Office of Communications, Katie oversees strategy and content creation for all of the department’s social media along with managing the video and web teams. She is also the host and executive producer of the department’s Wild Wisconsin – Off The Record Podcast. Katie got her start in social media through her own business of teaching health coaches how to build their businesses online and has worked in various industries including non-profit events, restaurants and groceries. Katie is fascinated by how digital storytelling is always evolving and making the world a smaller place.

Sarah Best 

CEO/Chief Strategist, Sarah Best Strategy

Sarah Best, along with her team, has won over a dozen awards for her work including best use of a social media platform from Travel + Leisure. ​Her work has been featured in MashableTechCrunchCrain’s Chicago BusinessNational Geographic Traveler, Chicago Tribune, ​and other publications.

She was tapped to speak at Social Media Week for the MacArthur Foundation, and has been selected twice for SXSW. She is an alumna of New York University, and received a certificate in entrepreneurship from the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program at Babson College. She’s on the board of several nonprofits.

An avid traveler and multi-faceted creative, Sarah is also a poet who has been published in The Yale Review and Painted Bride Quarterly. As a visual artist and film curator, she has curated programs at the Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), Hyde Park Arts Center (Chicago), Mana Contemporary (Chicago / Miami / NJ), Links Hall (Chicago), Chicago Cultural Center, and Echo Park Film Center (Los Angeles). (she/her)