A conference to remember
Digital Summit Dallas has just wrapped up its fifth year delivering Texas-sized digital marketing wisdom and strategies to the masses. Brands, agencies and tech companies alike assembled to learn from industry leaders like Seth Godin, Ann Handley, Michael King and more. A few popular topics included content marketing strategies, tools & new industry research at the digital forefront and consumer journeys.
If you’ve ever been to a conference like MozCon or Hero Conf, the structure is nearly identical to those events — excluding the deafening acoustics. There are five stages spread out across the venue with various speakers simultaneously presenting their lectures. Of course, the only problem with this format is that one person cannot be in multiple places at once. Luckily, since our marketing department at the Dallas office attended, we were able to catch most of the speakers.
It was two days of enlightening, pertinent information regarding the future of this ever-changing industry.. Here are just a few nuggets our team took away:
1. Blog away, no matter what
"Everyone should blog every day, even if no one reads it." - Seth Godin’s opening keynote engulfed the recent paradigm shift in marketing where marketers are humanizing their brand’s messaging.
- Companies are in a bit of a crisis in the modern era. Even though consumer-brand trust is as important as ever, the sad fact is, people don’t really trust brands. They see corporations as faceless profiteers. Your brand needs a human voice, a personality, but that’s not always easy to achieve.
- Sarah-Jane’s tweet summed it all up quite nicely: “Speak like a human being. Email is on-the-go... People read in the bedroom and bathroom. Don't talk like a marketer. Be real.”
2. Futureproof your SEO
Michael King, founder of iPullRank got everyone up to speed on the upcoming trends in SEO.
With Google’s assistant and Amazon’s Alexa trending on the market, voice search is a trend that marketers need to already be preparing for.
In-car search with Tesla’s new functionality is the next big thing in digital.
SERPs are going to use machine algorithms for content and authority links, and when it comes to impact on rankings, they’ll show the top ranked answer first in the customer’s search.
Don’t even dare think about black-hat tactics, or the Penguin shall devour you for dinner.
3. Video isn’t a maybe. It’s a must.
Website content with visuals gets 94% more page views compared to website content without it. But like Ann Handley pointed out during her lunch keynote, don't try to slice and dice a commercial and call it content. It's not content. It's an ad.
- If you want people to follow you on digital, you need to give them a good reason. A coffee company called Blue Bottle Coffee launched a video series that teaches you how to make great coffee. For starters, you might think there’s nothing to learn about making good coffee, but the devil is in the details. Their videos will make you realize ‘you know nothing’ and could use some tips to improve. It worked on Ann!
4. Millennials aren’t your target market... Think again!
As Anne Gherini from Node.io put it out there for us; Millennials aren’t college grads anymore, they’re making their way up to C-level executives. They are the market! They know you have their data, but they want you to use it wisely - they respond only if the content makes sense to them. It is the micro-moments indeed that matter since whatever pops up first is what we buy.
To sum it up, Digital Summit Dallas was filled with mind-blowing technical tips, SEO theory and ways to improve content creation. But the most impactful part of the event for me was the reminder that our goal should not be to tell users about ourselves; our goal should be to learn what users want and respond accordingly.