In a rather unsuccessful attempt at escaping the bitter Chicago cold, I traveled to Texas for Digital Summit Dallas, a marketing conference focused on content, SEO, UX, strategy, and design. There were tons of great speakers from a wide variety of companies like Google, Cisco and Starcom. I was amazed at how much information they packed into two short days. Here are three quick insights, pulled straight from my 25 pages of type-written notes!
- Marketing is a massive fight for attention and we are rarely given permission. Keynote speaker and bestselling author Seth Gogin [google “Seth” to find his blog] explained how we are constantly vying for the attention of people online. The internet is the first form of mass media not intended for marketers but indefinitely abused by them. We demand a lot of our audience, with very little pay-off for them. Wouldn’t we be more effective if we talked to people who want to be talked to? Permission is letting your audience decide what is valuable to them and what is not. If you have the permission of people who a truly interested in what you’re selling, you can build a real and lasting relationship.
- Leverage your existing content to increase organic search traffic. 71% of B2B researchers start their research with a generic search. Marketers can improve their organic search results by keyword-optimizing content already on their site. Vertical Measures Director of Marketing, Quinn Whissen, advises that you look at pages that are performing poorly and revitalize the content with 1-2 target keywords and a couple of synonyms (semantic keywords). Republishing pages is a great way to get a lot out of your marketing efforts, and timely content does better in search engines. Quinn astutely quoted John F. Kennedy’s “a rising tide lifts all boats” to illustrate the SEO benefit to your website from refreshing its content. Increasing the search value of your pages will go a long way towards generating more traffic and leads site-wide.
- The website should be the focal point of the marketing mix. A common goal of PR, email, social and SEO/PPC campaigns is to drive traffic to the website. If the onsite user experience is horrible, all your marketing efforts are essentially nullified. No amount of traffic is going to capture qualified leads when your users can’t figure out what your services are. Why spend time and money on a PPC campaign that directs users to an overwhelming landing page with outdated messaging? Make your website worth your users’ time. If conversions are low and exit rates are very high site-wide, it might be time to revisit your website strategy and UX.
Overall, the conference focused on improving the experience of users across all marketing channels and provided a good combination of tactical and aspirational insights. Anyone who is involved in marketing would benefit from this conference series; there are multiple U.S. events throughout the year. I am thankful for the opportunity to experience a new city and receive some great takeaways for the new year in digital marketing.
We’re pleased to announce that Clutch, a DC-based research firm, has named Walker Sands Digital among the leading San Francisco Digital Marketing Agencies and the leading San Francisco SEO services firms.
Clutch reviews hundreds of agencies in the digital marketing space and selects those to profile on its web site based on their ability to meet client needs. Their selections are driven not only by companies’ past experience and market presence but, most importantly, by what these companies’ customers have to say about them!
We’re thrilled to be recognized as a Top Chicago Digital Marketing Agency by Clutch, a research firm that identifies leading software and professional services. Walker Sands Digital is also listed among the leading Chicago SEO firms.
Clutch examined the selected companies based on several criteria such as services provided, portfolio items, key clients and industry awards and recognition. Clutch analysts then conducted case study-like interviews with some of our valued clients. The positive feedback we received from them was incredible.
As PR professionals focused on media relations, we often think of brand awareness, positive perception and increased credibility as the main benefits of earned coverage. But what about search engine optimization (SEO)? For a client whose goal is to boost SEO through media relations strategies, building links through earned placements is a great strategy to help your client meet their goal of increased search engine visibility.
As marketing manager for Walker Sands, I’m constantly looking for opportunities to expand our in house knowledge with the latest in B2B marketing and technology. Marketing has evolved into a full digital offering and Walker Sands offers an integrated, full house –in house solution. I’m a firm believer in practicing what we preach. So, from SEO to data studies, we’re running campaigns to continually develop our own brand awareness and test new concepts before introducing them to clients.
It’s with this mentality that I’m excited to attend the annual digital marketing conference C3 on October 28th – 29th in New York where 1250+ marketing executives, online marketers, content marketers and search specialists will gather to share their companies’ most successful earned media strategies.
The agenda is jam packed with sessions focused on trending topics including “The Power of Video in Building Brands” from Mark McMaster of Google and “Creating Content, Conversations and Community on a National Scale” from Teach for America. A final panel, “The Fab Four: Google, Pinterest, Microsoft and Facebook,” will conclude the two day conference.
As a marketer, I love to test new concepts as they emerge, but I don’t think you have to reinvent the wheel each time you do. With that, I’m looking forward to learning how our challenges align with those discussed by presenters and attendees, and the tactics they’ve implemented to overcome them. Additionally, I’ll be using the conference to kickstart our own strategy and planning for 2016 – so I look forward to fresh, creative ideas to enhance those discussions.
Check back here in the next few weeks for my takeaways and learnings from C3!