This summer I attended Moz Con, an SEO-centric digital marketing conference in Seattle, WA, and it was a truly great experience from beginning to end. I met interesting people, heard interesting talks, and learned interesting things. Three Deep has sent a representative from our SEO team to Moz Con each year for the past several years because it is so consistently excellent.

This year, the top themes were:

  1. Concentrate on finding more ways to understand and cater to your customer
  2. Use chatbots to engage real-time and collect interaction data from customers
  3. Find better ways to serve content fast on any device, such as by creating a Progressive Web App
  4. Test and track performance of content in a results-focused campaign format, while measuring with advanced SERP feature tracking such as Moz Keyword Explorer or STAT

As you might know, however, not all conferences are so great.  Many conferences are expensive and grandiose and in-turn have a hard time delivering on the hype. In addition, it can be a struggle for companies to determine which staff members to send to conferences, which conferences are truly worth it, and what are they really going to get out of it. In summary, conferences can be a controversial topic.

No matter the size or scope of a conference, the important thing is that attendees work to find those golden nuggets of insight and opportunity which they can carry with them back to their day-to-day.

Besides myself, Three Deep sent a number of our team members to conferences this summer, and we have collected many precious golden nuggets from those digital marketing hypefests. Take a look below to see the best shiny gleaming bits of knowledge that we found.

General Marketing Strategy

  • Your marketing strategies should be built around the smallest group possible – your BEST potential consumers. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes through empathy, and they will enroll, giving you permission to talk with them because they trust you. – Seth Godin, Digital Summit Minneapolis
  • Consumers need 28 brand impressions interactions to trust your brand. In a consumer = goldfish world, this requires multi-screen/multi-digital media campaigns to achieve. – Jeremy Hudgens, Genius Monkey, Digital Summit Minneapolis
  • There are three steps necessary to break through in a fragmented world: 1) act in a profoundly customer-centric way, 2) act from the belief that brands matter, and 3) act with purpose and innovation. – Alberto Brea, Ogilvy, Digital Summit Minneapolis

Operations

  • When it comes to presenting information, you have to focus on the right details. Questions to ask yourself: Who are the decision makers? What do they care about? What’s the bigger picture? What would make this meeting successful? What will make me look good? – Eileen Webb, Webmeadow, Confab Intensive Denver
  • When building a team, look past the resume to learn what a employee’s mindset is. Digital marketers need grit – or passion + perseverance – to be successful. That grit allows staff to use their own strengths to get things done well, and not just follow a mold from someone else. This strategy creates a team with a commitment to quality and ingenuity. – Lisa Myers, Verve Search, Moz Con

SEO

  • A major site migration can make organic search rankings fluctuate for 3 months until they stabilize, and even then you will have work to do. – Jayna Grassel, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Moz Con
  • Start optimizing websites for topics and terms that are more likely to answer a customer’s question instead of just generate the most traffic. In other words, your goal should be getting thanked, not just ranked. – Wil Reynolds, Seer Interactive, Moz Con
  • Analyzing Share of Voice metrics will help you find content development and optimization opportunities to target organic searchers at different phases of your funnel. – Rob Bucci, STAT, MNSearch Summit
  • Using intent helps develop an SEO campaign framework for any business. Key parts are High-Level Business Goal, Mid-Level “Department” Goal, and SEO Goal – i.e. improve one page’s rankings for a particular keyword. Mapping this to customer journey and creating a measurement plan can create a repeatable model to drive SEO as a marketing channel in ways that are actionable and translatable to upper management. – Katie Cunningham, Adept Marketing, Moz Con
  • Mobile-first Google Index is almost here, and it might time to think beyond URLs, with a priority on Schema (JSON-LD), XML feeds, and site speed (Progressive Web Apps). Search features make it easier for good, contextual content to be found without making unique pages. – Cindy Krum, MobileMoxie, Moz Con
  • Cut down on content bloat and improve personalization to improve SEO results, even at a digitally savvy company. A Lean approach to SEO enables a testing mindset, which increases capacity for risk, and increases reward. – Britney Muller, Moz, Moz Con

Content Strategy

  • A lot of people are still figuring out how content strategy fits at their organization. The average marketer’s view of content strategy is shifting and folks are realizing that meeting user needs is pretty darn important. Regarding governance, Ahava Leibtag of Aha Media Group says, “Content Strategy takes the guesswork out of execution so creativity around content will flourish.” – A general takeaway, Confab Intensive Denver
  • By aligning with stakeholders on the strategy and message prior to execution, you will avoid derailment down the road. Early alignment allows us to point back to previously made decisions rather than swirling. – A general takeaway, Confab Intensive Denver
  • B2B companies face significant challenges in trying to determine what to include in their thought leadership pieces. B2B consumers want true, hard, independently gathered data, layered with your company’s point of view. – Mina Seeth, The Economist, Digital Summit Minneapolis

Content Development & Optimization

  • Use this Data-Driven Design Playbook to guide content production, testing, and ongoing optimization of any type of content with a mindset of continuous improvement. – Oli Gardner
  • Don’t be deterred from content development because of a lack of resources. Even as a team of 1 you can divide up content into intensities and categories that accommodate time and budgets. The keys are to give yourself a schedule, don’t be afraid to hit publish (the worst trap of all), and take pride in your work. – Ian Lurie, Portent, Moz Con
  • Video doesn’t have to be intimidating to produce and promote, and should be maximized to assist content and SEO efforts. Using small profile cameras, surprising content, and a commitment to authenticity, you can use video as a unique marketing channel for more than just the customer facing part of your business, and take a position at the leading creative edge of your industry. – Phil Nottingham, Wistia, Moz Con
  • Content investments can be tough for stakeholders to believe in. Use data to show ROI, risk of no change, and to create diversified content distribution and creation strategies. Thinking of content investments as a continuous effort, but with a campaign mindset, makes it easier to understand the benefits when compared to other online and offline channels. – Heather Physioc, VML, Moz Con

New Technology

  • Using a chat bot on your website gives you access to logs of real-time questions which your customers are trying to answer through your website. Even using one for a short time can give you insights into the mindsets of your web visitors much better than standard Google Analytics setups can. – Joel Klettke, Business Casual Copywriting, Moz Con
  • In the world of Siri, Alexa, and other voice search devices, we need to be able to capture attention in a screenless world. Brands should be considering their sonic identity to connect with target audiences in streaming audio and additional other mediums. – Gabe Tartaglia, Pandora, Digital Summit Minneapolis
  • Voice search is a continuation of the shift to situational relevancy for searchers. It is essentially interacting with a chat bot, and you can build a bot with a little tech savvy. Building a bot enables new conversion possibilities, such as “chat with a specialist now”, where you can enhance an experience and further qualify prospects by altering the response in real time. – Purna Virji, Microsoft, Moz Con

Campaign Management

  • In email, being exceptional and consistent is what really wins. Little details (as little as customizing the “From” address on a campaign from “noreply@”) make the biggest difference in making your brand stand out in a good way in the inbox. – Justine Jordan, Litmus, Moz Con

 

So what did we learn? Be open minded about conferences, talk to people, and listen for the golden nuggets.

Oh, and there is a lack of insight from marketing automation experts. With all of this talk in the industry about automation, AI, and personalization, there is surprisingly little emphasis in these (admittedly not-email focused) conferences on how these strategies inform email and other nurturing activities which become part of a content strategy.

If you missed out on conferences this summer or are simply in search of some golden nuggets on content strategy, sign up for our upcoming webinar – 4 Ways to Elevate Your Content Strategy.

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