Digital Summit – What we’re learning

As part of our commitment to education, the Spry team attended Digital Summit Portland together! During this whirlwind trip, we attended over 30 seminars on an array of topics like market research, AI trends, team scaling, SEO, website design, social media, and more! We’ve compiled our notes for you, dear readers, and here we present our favorite tips, tricks, and strategies! When all was said and done, we discovered four main themes from the conference:

Tools for Days

The secret sauce for many a digital marketer is to figure out how to optimize, batch, plan, and¬†A group of photos from Digital Summitanalyze¬†using automation tools. We could do a content audit by hand, or schedule a calendar on paper – but can you imagine how many hours and interns that would take? Finding the right tool for your system is the key to efficiency. From utilizing Facebook Messenger auto-reply, to doing keyword research with Answer The Public, we came back from Digital Summit with a mountain of tips on tools. However – don’t fall into thinking robots and machines will take over all of our tasks completely – there’s still an element of creativity and strategy that only us humans can fulfill! To integrate AI as a tool for work and life, it’s important to remember: a tool is only as good as the mind who wields it.
Here are some awesome tools that we found useful:
  • To explore blogging topics around your keywords use Answer The Public.
  • To build out basic marketing personas you can use this persona building tool.
  • You can use this tool to analyze your website’s page speed and figure out ways to make it faster.

Context is King

A few years ago the phrase ‘Content is King’ was ubiquitous at digital conferences and networks. While content is still central to a web presence, we are now at the point where we must go deeper to understand our content in context. We must understand why our audience is seeking out our content, how they expect to see it, where they expect to find it, and how it makes them feel. The relationships and connections we build between content are just as important as the single pieces that we create. That’s why content must be created with intention and for a specific audience. Here is a great example:
  • REI’s commitment to getting more people outdoors means they want to be the go-to place for information – and not just gear! Their Intro To Camping series – a series of blog posts that answer specific questions like “How Do I Build A Fire?” gives their audience answers to questions that they already have in a relatable way, while boosting their SEO.

Tell Me a Story

While we are on the subject of content, storytelling popped up again and again as an effective way of building an emotional relationship between users and content. Storytelling helps illustrate Digital Summit Group Pictureproduct features, attracts your target audience, and can communicate who you are and why you do what you do. In many ways, storytelling surrounds us and you should seek out any opportunity to tell yours! If you are having trouble coming up with a compelling story, here are some examples of story types that you can adapt to fit your needs:
  • Tell a story of love or partnership.
  • A hero saves the day! How did you or your team swoop to the rescue?
  • Share stories of overcoming adversity and incredible odds (a Cinderella story).
  • Share your success story – how did you build something great?
  • Tell a story of a stranger in a strange land – perhaps you moved to a new region for a new job or jumped into an entirely new industry!
  • Audiences love a transformation story – this is a moment to share before and after pictures!
  • Share a story of service – where do you spend your time, and what are the causes you care about?
  • Redemption stories – how has failure played a role in your growth?

If Context is King, Google is God

SEO is always changing, that is its nature! At Digital Summit, we got the scoop from cutting-edge SEO experts on the latest changes from Google. As a rule, Google places the highest importance on user experience. Google wants users to find what they are looking for quickly, with the least amount of navigating possible, and on their mobile devices. This is why Google Business Listings are becoming so important. Think about it – how many times have you looked up a restaurant to find their phone number, hours, and location right from the business listing?
Google also uses intent to organize SEO results. For instance, when you search for something, you will also get a list of questions that people have already asked about the topic of what you are searching for. Google wants you to be able to find your answer quickly – so they serve you questions and answers around your topic. The answers come from SEO results – so it is in your best interest to optimize your blog to answer questions that your audience will be asking – that way you are of service to them, and it is an opportunity to establish a relationship.
The top three things you can check on your SEO right now are:
  • Look to see if your site has a penalty, and fix
  • Look to see if your site has crawl issues
  • Find out if your site is indexing properly

So, there you have it! We learned so much during our jam-packed two days and we look forward to sharing more in-depth insights with you in the future!

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