If digital marketers must be anything, it’s students of the industry. As the internet changes, so must we, which is why investing in a marketing education is of the utmost importance.
In late April 2017, our own Brett Snyder was one of 10 experts to educate more than 100 marketers on tools and trends of the industry at LaunchCon, an invitation-only digital marketing conference hosted by Orlando-based agency Launch That.
The speakers shared insights on topics ranging from SEO and content strategy to artificial intelligence and machine learning. In our opinion, the follow five takeaways were the most valuable.
To marketing thought-leader Mike King, humans could learn a thing or two from robots. Artificial intelligence is the future of technology, especially with machine learning, or artificial intelligence that grows without human programming.
King said marketers can learn from this technology, using some of these machines’ computing processes to maximize campaigns and drive results — no math or coding wizardry required. Marketers can use free or inexpensive machine learning tools, King said, such as “api.ai” — a conversational platform for applications and services — and Mechanical Turk — an online marketplace that completes tasks machines cannot do without human intelligence.
This modern version of “work smarter, not harder” can help marketers better target their audience and allow for quick iterations.
Consistent, quality content is the lifeblood of a solid marketing strategy. But, according to digital strategist Ross Simmonds, marketers are spending too much time creating new content, and not enough time promoting what they’ve already written. He proposed marketers dethrone content, and name distribution king.
— Knucklepuck (@KnucklepuckDC) April 21, 2017
According to Simmonds, quality content is nothing without distribution, and in order to bring content to life it must be promoted. This isn’t Field of Dreams — if you write it, they won’t necessarily come.
He urged digital marketers to invest in distribution channels. To target an audience, Simmonds suggested trying emerging platforms such as Quora, Reddit and Slack. Knowing where your audience is and leaving content crumbs behind, he said, is key. If an audience isn’t reading your content, why create it at all?
Forget state-of-the-art services and breakthrough marketing campaigns — according to SEO expert Rhea Drysdale, a company’s credibility and its mission are what keep it afloat.
To her, everything comes back to the mission. She said as marketers, we have to know who our clients are and what they stand for. Attorneys help people in need, janitors keep people healthy, travel companies build relationships. Get the idea?
These simplified missions should be at the core of our marketing strategies, Drysdale said. If you’re not well-versed in your mission, your company’s reputation will suffer. As she defines it, reputation is an expectation of future behaviors based on past experiences. Maintaining a positive brand reputation is just as difficult as building one. Cultivating reputation can be simplified into three components:
— Parker Ross (@RealParkerRoss) April 21, 2017
One question content marketers often ask is how to measure the success of their work. Content wizard Kane Jamison proposed an answer, presenting a methodical approach to qualifying and quantifying a piece of content’s impact.
Jamison’s method addresses two simple questions — how can we track user actions after they view a piece of our content, and how do we value those actions? His examples of possible actions included sharing, returning and reviewing the content, and converting.
His data-first approach to measuring quality content and its success involves establishing tracking methods and monthly dashboards to monitor successes.
— Launch That (@launchthat) April 21, 2017
The importance of measuring achievements is to better understand what does and does not work — better serving audiences, and demonstrating a strong return on investment for clients. Once the tracking reveals what’s working, stick to it.
To clinch the conference, Knucklepuck’s CEO Brett Snyder urged attendees to push beyond “good,” to “great” in his closing keynote speech. No one becomes great by sitting on the sidelines, he said. They get to “great” by making orange juice.
There are two ways to make orange juice — by producing more oranges to squeeze, or squeezing more juice out of the oranges your already have. Translation: in order to exceed “good” you have to keep coming up with more ideas to propel you forward, or maximize the ideas that have already brought you success.
To Snyder, it all comes back to passion. Your work and your company’s vision mean nothing without passion and an intent to inspire. It’s not enough to live to work, he said — you must love what you do, which will push you to greatness and inspire others.
— Launch That (@launchthat) April 21, 2017