Absolutely worth every dime. What I found most surprising is the size of this industry is still very small. I’d say about 30 percent represented an organization that wanted to learn more about digital marketing and 70 percent were representing an agency. I can honestly say I didn’t attend a bad session. I kept my attention in the advanced sessions where the presenters often spoke about real world case studies and findings. I had 3 great takeaways from SMX West and I have broken them down below:
1. SEO is alive and well. I was beginning to change my perception of the term SEO. We are proponents of using the word ‘search,’ essentially combining SEO and SEM. While there is very much a strong relationship between SEO and SEM, these are still separate practices. While many people are doing very well in non-branded and branded SEO, there are two very large opportunities that many businesses are missing out on.
a. The power of SEM as it relates to real life events, like weather, celebrities, sporting events or games. An example would be purchasing keywords like ‘score of Lions and Packers game’ for a company interested in getting in front of male viewers aged 18-24.
b. Leveraging big advertisers huge TV campaign budgets to purchase keywords about the product or industry they are building. This is also important for the actual companies spending on TV already and where the 1+1=3 comes into play. What a huge opportunity and it requires your organization to be on the constant lookout for new opportunities. The power of listening is extremely valuable today.
2. Visual communication is the future of the web. We are continuing to skim more content and faster, giving ourselves less time to decide if we are going to engage or not. By 2018, 84 percent of the communication done on the web will be visual. This means content must be more creative than just a blog or landing page. Infographics, charts, maps and digital stories with video and audio are becoming more crucial in converting a visitor into a customer. The story your brand tells is continuing to grow in importance. I know, you say that has always mattered, and it has, but not as much as it does today. Now, we have more options. Bottom line, web content is getting better and will allow us to learn and absorb information much faster.
3. Your brand can lead your industry by relying entirely on Google, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. I’m repeating, you can and should build a multimillion dollar business and only market yourself online. I knew this before I went to SMX, but it was confirmed multiple times. For example: There was a mattress company that has established themselves as the top searched branded keyword in their industry and it only took them about one year. How did they do it? They told a great story and leveraged it through the power of social media.
SMX is an absolute grind. The sessions go from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for three days with only two, 15 minute breaks and half an hour for lunch each day. When you throw in networking and a couple cocktails, you don’t have much time to get your actual business work done. However, this is the cost of a really good expo. I would suggest bringing a couple people from your office and split up the events to cover more ground. The perfect combination would be someone from management and a beginner. Both will learn a great deal and at the same time learn a lot that can be shared amongst each other. Thanks to everyone who attended, all the speakers, the sponsors and #SMX.
It was a great first day at SMX West. There are probably only around 1,500 people here, which really surprises me. It also excites me because it puts SSDM in a small group of agencies that are not only attending these, but are able to come back and implement. I attended “Thinking Outside the SEM Box” which had a lot of great case studies about unorthodox campaigns. Like KitKat purchasing football team names in Adwords to attempt to give scoring updates to their every challenging 18-24 male market.
A repeating theme of the day was how social and search need to be connected in strategy and execution. Looking at SEO and Social and PPC separately is not the way to go, we know this, but it’s nice to get the affirmation. Maggie Malek (@MagsMac) was really good. Speaking about the relationship between search and social, Maggie said, “We know everything is changing but everyone is acting like nothing is happening. Brand development happens through social and search.” There is so much education that has to continue to happen in the marketplace.
Bruce Clay is basically the Father of SEO, I’d say Perry Marshall is the Father of PPC. Bruce had a lot of swagger actually. He was kind and humble but didn’t want to take anyones shit. A true sign of a man that’s been around awhile, maybe a little cynical but certainly a master of his craft. The biggest takeaway was Bruce was saying how his agency has to reinvent themselves every 6 months to remain relevant. The ‘not set’ organic change was a big hit, but uses an API from Search Council that allows him to see the actual keywords being used to generate SEO traffic.
Bruce Clay Key Takeaways:
- Pop ups should show up with the follow: average time on site divided by 3.
- Disavowfiles.com – Keep adding websites. Accumulated report over all-time.
- Outbound links are valuable. – Think like bibliography.
- “We’ve increased page ranking by removing bad/old content.”
- “If you’d been using the same website for 8 years, give it up.”
- API from Search Council to see your organic search terms.
Dynamic ads and visual content are the future. 85% of communication will be visual by 2018. I’ll have more on this for my Day 2 recap, stay tuned!
Watch the recap here:
This session was so amazing. It demanded its own blog. Here’s our recap:
The New Era of Contextual Marketing
Mathew Sweezey, Author, Principal of Marketing Insights, Salesforce @msweezey
New technology killed the former king, and in today’s age we have seen this play out in our sale and marketing roles. The former king of revenue generation for any business is now only 20% of their former glory. In our modern world of limitless information, easy access, and instant feedback 80% of the buying cycle will be in the hands of marketers by 2020. Learning how to deal with the shifts from the 10/90 sales and marketing mix to the new 80/20 marketing and sales mix takes a new set of foundations, fresh approaches to selling, and deeper understanding of the new consumer.
In this session, we learned the new tenets of sales and marketing, the new roles we must fill and better practices for converting your department into the revenue machine of the future.
When thinking about where we are going, we must think about where we came from. There were only 5 media channels in the golden era, now there are over 200+ media channels. Marketing was originally founded on the following concepts:
- Breaking though was about hype, sex and flash
- Be top of mind
- Minimize waste
- Sell the feeling
- Convert, sell and sell
In our modern environment, top of mind doesn’t even exist anymore, humans have offloaded memory to devices. Our media is not longer limited. By 2020, connected devices outnumber humans 7 to 1. When thinking of context, you need to think of it in terms of is it available, personal, authentic and purposeful. Good context does the following:
- Context builds on itself.
- Context is to the moment, and changes by the moment.
- Only the most contextual message will be engaged with.
Things to consider:
- If your message is not available, you have no shot.
- We looked at 1 million visitor sessions across hundreds of sites, the average pageviews per session – 1.7, which means we must provide the user exactly what they’re searching for the moment they are searching for it.
When we speak about context needing to be authentic, it means more than just being genuine, it means helping people have the experience they believe they should be having.
Our now infinite media environment requires us to think and act fast, our model of research is now in batch mode. We find, save and then decide if we’ll read later. Our content must address the question the user is having, not just the answer.
In order to keep up with the new media environment, we must do stage based marketing and be purposeful. Purposeful is helping people fulfill the desire/reason they are there in the first place. Purpose is the moment. Purpose can be found by interviews. Ask 9 people via phone these few questions and you’ll get it. What were you for? Did it meet your expectations? Have you seen better? As a communication professional, you have to communicate with people.
Key moments to consider:
- They land on your site – What was the purpose of the landing?
- The average micro journey lasts 70 seconds across 4 websites.
In conclusion: We live in a totally new media environment, everything we were taught is no longer true. We are competing against infinite media. We are in a limitless world. Context is to the moments, moments matter more than ever.
Some fun facts:
- 51% of the time a CEO’s picks up their mobile device is because they are bored.
- Social media is the modern day smoke break.
Click the link below to see Mathew’s presentation:
New Era of Context – Digital Summit
After a great first day, we hit the ground running on so much great information. Here are the recaps from our morning sessions:
Snapchat for Business
By Carlos Gil, Head of Global Social Media, BMC Software
With more than 60% of smartphone users between the ages of 13-34 on Snapchat and over 8 billion daily video views, it’s safe to say that the platform is here to stay. If you haven’t jumped on board yet, we’ll get you up to speed on how to use Snapchat for your business.
Snapchat has become a big business, it’s a legitimate marketing channel. If you’re still thinking it might not be, just ask Gatorade. Gatorade spent $500,000 on a one day ad during the Super Bowl for animated lenses. They saw more engagements and impressions than the amount of people who watched the Super Bowl.
Demographics Rule – When it comes to choosing which social media channels are right for you, you should be where your customers are. And if your customers are between 18-35, Snapchat could be great for you. On that same topic, if your audiences are old, it might not be for you. Snapchat reaches 41% of millennials!
Why Snapchat matters?
- 200 million users and 10 billion video views daily
- Most active social network behind Facebook
- Brand adoption exceeding Twitter and LinkedIn
Understanding the Basics
- Mobile app for micro-content storytelling
- Photo and video is 1 to 10 seconds long
- Content posted disappears within 24 hours
Snapchat is Twitter meets Youtube
Creating Content as a brand, it must be:
Geofilters & Business: You don’t have to be on Snapchat with Geofilters as a business. This is a great tool for event marketing.
Converting and measurement
- Great for flash sales
- Make sure you implement Bitly URLs for proper tracking
The future of Snapchat:
- It’s definitely growing
- It’s working on better ad platforms
- Looking to go public in the next year
- Looking to sell more than a billion dollars in ad revenue
Using Intent Signals to Understand, Develop and Measure Audiences
By Mike Clarke, Head of Brand Measurement, Google
In this session, attendees will learn about some of the ways we can use search data to accomplish all of this.
Google emphasizes the meaning of moments, and how can you be there during these moments. Here is the breakout of these moments:
- I-Want-To-Know Moments = Two thirds of question-related searched “what, when, where, how, why, who” are happening on mobile.
- I-Want-To-Go Moments – 90% of searches for “what time does ____ open/close” are happening on mobile.
- I-Want-To-Do – Two thirds of “how-to” searches on YouTube are on mobile devices.
- I-Want-To-Buy – Mobile phones saw 115% year over year in shopping ads.
- I-Want-To-Watch-What-I’m-Into – The number of hours people spent watching videos on mobiles is up 100% year over year.
Intentions help unlock insights
- What types of insights can Google help you with?
- Zeitgeist – Culture
- Google Predict – Google searches are getting intimate and a lot of it is happening on a mobile device.
- Google Trends & Google Correlate – Search terms over time and in relation to one another.
- Google Consumer Surveys
Make sure you are testing out the free tools that Google offers to help increase performance and tracking.
Death to Boring B2B Marketing: How Design Thinking Drives Success
By Cliff Seal, Lead UX Engineer, Salesforce
- The issue
- The solution
- The plan of action
B2B Marketing is hard. Why?
- You’re selling to opaque audiences
- You get complacent or end up doing what works, or what everyone is saying what works.
“What is the biggest problem marketers face?”
“How to keep up with trends to drive higher quality leads.”
Keeping up with Twitter is not following the trends. Maybe you’re bored. Trends aren’t challenging. Vendor balancing isn’t interesting. Ridgid tools aren’t supportive.
#B2BProblems – Just own it
- Grow into its own creative potential
- Put data in its place
- Compete in relevancy not volume
Teach the business owner something new about their needs and challenges.
Design thinking lets the best ideas float to the top. Your ideas don’t necessarily mean your own, but helping facilitate good ideas. Think past the obvious and start asking the right questions is the first step.
Here’s how to start:
- Redefining goals – What is it that I am trying to enable my customer?
- Knowing and embracing your constraints – Frame your creativity by defining what the boundaries are.
- Identify the contexts that can accept failure.
- Start talking to actual people to get insights.
Click the link below to see Cliff’s presentation:
Death to Boring B2B Marketing: How Applying Design Thinking Drives Success
As the morning comes to a close we are extremely excited for the last half of the day, and definitely ready for some lunch!
It has been an exciting afternoon here at Digital Summit Detroit! We started out the afternoon with Michael King, Founder & Digital Marketing Consultant for iPullRank, then a roundtable discussion on social media and ended Day 1 learning about landing pages with Oli Gardner, Co-Founder at Unbounce.
Futureproofing your SEO by Michael King, Founder & Digital Marketing Consultant, iPullRank
It takes a content effort to do effective white hat link building. Most of the time, client’s don’t want to do that, until Google holds an algorithmic gun to your head. There’s a lot of misinformation about SEO like:
- SEO is just make up
- SEO is not technical
@audette “SEO should be invisible”
- Accelerated mobile pages (AMP)
- Mobile-friendly updates
- Feature snippets
- Structured markup for voice search
What’s the future?
- Local, quick, fast and when you need it.
Rankings are not the right measure, it does not show how SEO impacts your business. Success metrics: Leads and conversions.
For those who are even measuring rankings, how are you even reporting on actual rankings? It’s not really possible.
The big shops, just source out the SEO to small shops.
Find the right SEO partner:
- Make effective business cases – Speak in terms of money based on recommendations.
Roundtable: Key 2016 Trends in Search and Social
- Matthew Capala – Founder & Managing Director, Alphametic, Author
- John Colucci – Director of Social Media, Sinclair Broadcast Group
- Leslie Drate – US Consumer Print Social Media Marketing, HP
- Jason Drove – Senior VP of Sales, SocialCentiv
Programmatic: Testing different segments against the creative for ultimate results.
Social Media: Facebook has shown the best results for HP.
Instagram: Not as much CTR because of the medium.
Facebook: At work messenger.
Twitter: Has seen better days…everyone agrees.
Discussion about Salesforce acquiring Twitter and how that may affect marketing on Twitter: If you’re looking at acquisition, might not be good for marketers. They are putting more focus on live and on sports.
- Twitter needs to figure out a way for your to find what you’re looking for easier. Feed curation may negatively affect the engagement, and be more pay-to-play.
- Salesforce and Twitter may be a good match when considering customer satisfaction and customer care. It could turn Twitter into a different tool.
- Currently debates are the largest thing on Twitter. It is also the current police scanner. It’s the most real-time, up-to-date information. Facebook is not as current, not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s just a different medium.
- Instagram algorithms are amazing, crazy accurate and personalized.
- Google + does not correlate to rankings, but it does rank by itself.
- Google indexes Twitter.
- Put copy over your videos on Instagram and Facebook – Not a lot of people are viewing the content with sound.
- People view videos for :30 or longer with no sound
- Snapchat has officially transformed into the Instagram for Stories.
- Snapchat is winning with millennials and geofencing.
- Experts say: not the best results with LinkedIn campaigns.
Frankenpage: Using A Million Little Pieces of Data to Reverse Engineer the Perfect Landing Page by Oli Gardner, Co-Founder, Unbounce
If you’re going to do ads, you better have specific pages for them on your website.
- Links that are ok:
- Anchor Navigation
- Terms & Conditions
- Just make sure everything keeps you on the same page.
- Can people understand your value proposition within 5 seconds? – IF the answer is no you’re failing.
- Visual Identification:
- Can people figure out what you offer right away? Do they understand what the page is about?
- Take away the copy, can you get it the point of the page? If the answer is no, you’re failing.
- Running experiments with limited creative resources?
- Discussion on designing forms:
- But how many form fields? 4 and 7 have over 7% conversion rates so you might as well get more information!
- Top performing forms are in zone 3 – top fold.
- Encourage hunting by moving call to action lower on the page as well.
- What’s the most persuasive word in the english language? It’s because
- Conversion rates increase 25% when you add it to your landing page!
- Free vs. non free verbiage on a landing page – Word free decreases conversions— say what?!?
In closing, there were some excellent speakers today, Seth Godin was absolutely fantastic. We may have to go and read all of his books, after today. Meeting Siri, was amazing and we had a blast seeing lots of familiar faces. We look forward to another day of digital marketing tomorrow!
What an amazing few days and the Landy Awards last night were nothing short of amazing. This morning we kicked off with some mobile tips. Here’s the recap:
Session #1 – Your Mobile PPC Sucks But It Doesn’t Have to
More activity is happening on mobile than ever before.
- Mobile e-commerce is growing 300% faster than non-mobile e-commerce.
- 42% of searchers have started using voice search in the last 6 months.
- Voice search is more conversational so your keywords need to leverage that.
- Leverage third-party bidding tools for optimum performance.
- Try out price extensions (only available on mobile).
- Searches containing “near me” have doubled in the last year.
Session #1.1 – Your Retargeting Sucks (But It Doesn’t Have To!)
Remarketing is not a new concept. It really has been around since 1885, when advertisers figured out the number of touchpoints they needed before their consumers would make a purchase. Here are a few things to consider with a remarketing strategy:
- Pick the right network (there is more than one!)
- PLAs, GDN, Facebook, etc.
- Use smart lists – There are studies showing smart lists out performing cart abandoners in remarketing
- Use frequency capping
- Use separate campaigns for text and images
- Test multiple ad layouts
- Watch for defaults
Click the link below to see Maddie Cary’s presentation:
Your Mobile PPC Sucks (But It Doesn’t Have To!) By Maddie Cary
Session #1.2 – Location Targeting: The Benefits Of Thoughtful Segmentation
This session focused on setting up geographical structure based on business KPIs.
- Google can track over 70% of impressions to the zip code level.
- On Mobile 66% of impressions can be traced to the zip code level.
- Advanced location options – Don’t forget about this option on your PPC account, and make sure you don’t leave it on default.
- Over 4% of spend could be wasted on searches outside your target locations.
- Increase conversion rates by location bidding.
- Increase lift to ad and landing page on geo (skyline) and call outs. Look at your most important geographics for this.
- Review requests by location and cater ad copy to that.
Click the link below to see Kevin Fleming’s presentation:
Location Targeting: The Benefits of Thoughtful Segmentation By Kevin Fleming Jr
Session #2 – Optimizing Content For Voice Search & Virtual Assistants
In the age of mobile devices and personal online assistants, the future of SEO lies in optimizing content for the spoken word. Even today, 20% of queries on Google’s mobile app and Android devices are voice searches. Marketers and merchants should prepare now for a future in which voice search and virtual assistants play a much larger role in content discovery and conversions. This session explores how to optimize your content for voice and the coming wave of “hearing enabled” virtual assistants.
Discovering the love for voice search:
- By 2020, 50% of search will come from voice. comScore.
- 22% of people use voice search in the bathroom.
- Most used voice search is when you experience typing challenges, quick answers or are on-the-go.
- Faster compared to typing 30 vs. 150 words per minute.
How to start optimizing for voice search:
- Rethinking intent
- Review the why, when, who, are, where, etc.
- Think of questions like:
- Where should I go for…?
- What time does my flight land?
Some Fun Stats:
- 76% of smartphone searches have used a store location or location extension to help them find and visit a local store.
- 77% of searches mentioning “coupon” are on a smartphone.
- 20% of all mobile queries are voice and it is growing! Last year, the numbers have doubled.
- Over half of US teens & 41% are using it daily.
- 30X more action queries with voice search – Google stat.
Quick Voice Search Checklist
- Analyze search term reports to check for question/long-tail phrases.
- Start to think about intent and action in response to Voice Search.
- Re-visit your keyword, creating and targeting strategy.
RankBrain & Voice Search – What You Need to Know:
- Stronger influence on 15% search queries Google.
- It’s conversational, the queries are much longer.
- Less competitive queries.
- Although long tail keywords are searched for less they have a higher intent.
- Add landmarks to your strategy.
- Need to find more keywords? Try SEMRush and Moz tools.
- Use Wikidata profile to help feed Google’s knowledge graph.
Content ideation – Start data mining by commonly asked questions from customer via call centers, email and live chat. This includes brand and generic questions. Use suggested ideas, or other third-party tools to find the best questions for your brand or industry.
Click the links below to see their presentations:
The Evolution of Voice Search By Purna Virji
Content Optimization For The Voice Search Generation By Jennifer Slegg
Optimizing Content For Voice Search & Virtual Assistants By Tony Edward