Success is often the sum of preparation, hard work and luck – specifically being in the right place at the right time. It’s because of this mantra that I ended up attending Digital Summit Detroit last month.
To be fair, I wasn’t familiar with Digital Summit, but I was interested in attending networking events around Metro Detroit. I certainly wanted to find new clients for my growing podcasting business, but I also wanted to meet people and learn about what they do, and pick up any marketing tips I could.
I found out about a mixer at Hopcat Royal Oak for the Detroit chapter of the American Marketing Association. Admission was $8, or almost a dollar for every minute I spent reading Hopcat’s beer menu at the event. Turns out, AMA Detroit was sponsoring Digital Summit Detroit, and they had a few admission tickets to raffle off – at a value of $500 each. Again, hustle and luck intersected, and I won admission to the event. I rearranged my schedule for the week, and I was off to Cobo Hall.
Opening Keynote: Chelsea Handler
I’ve long been a fan of hers, but the attendees were not pleased when she told a marketing summit that she doesn’t really have a marketing plan; she just kinda wings it. Reactions were mixed:
— Kristi VW (@kveedub) September 12, 2018
I don’t think the #DSDET audience really cares if @chelseahandler talks in our “marketing language.” Her brand is one we all wish we could have: authentic with no filter and an endless supply of amazing stories. It’s great. #DSDET pic.twitter.com/kH4XcryKSE
— Brandon Chesnutt (@bchesnutt) September 12, 2018
Following Ms. Handler, I went to a few afternoon sessions. Digital Summit did a good job of spacing them out well, as there were 30 minutes sessions alternating with 15 minute breaks to avoid burnout.
More Sales From Marketing Leads – SS Digital Founder Nick Skislak
- Social Media is only the awareness piece, and it is the TOP of the funnel.
- Video is key! By 2019, Consumer internet video traffic will account for 80% of all consumer internet traffic.
- Every company needs to be a media company first, and a widget company second.
- Focus not on getting more leads, but eliminating bad leads.
- 5 Questions Buyers want to know:
- What’s the price? (Don’t be shy about this, writes Nick in Forbes.)
- Are there problems associated with it?
- How does my product compare to others?
- What are people saying about it?
- What’s the best about it?
Digital to Physical: Connecting the Dots in an Omni-Channel World – Nicola Smith, Rebel and Reason
- Omni-channel shoppers spend 50% more and are worth 30% more to your company.
- Have a single view of your customer and give them a seamless, personalized consistent experience across all channels.
- Customer Led Marketing: Interact with your customers on their terms, as they don’t care about your internal structure.
- Do a touch point audit and focus on the customer journey.
How You Can Save Up To 50% on Your Digital Media Budgets – Datawrkz’s Senthil Govindan.
- 11% of Marketers will add podcasting (I especially liked that stat – contact me if you want to stay ahead of the curve!)
- Ask for transparency and real time reporting from your partners – 7.6% of total ad spend is lost to fraud.
- Start with search ads, then social, then display.
I headed home for a brain break and some sleep, then it was up early and back to Cobo for Day 2 of Digital Summit, accompanied by this beautiful view across the river of Windsor:
There were many difficult choices to make on Day 2, as was the case on Day 1. So here’s what I learned at Digital Summit Detroit Thursday:
Storytelling as a Selling Point: Amber Lewis, City of Detroit
I love what Detroit is doing with storytelling; they are reshaping the narrative of the city from the inside out. I’ve had the privilege of interviewing Aaron Foley, the city’s Chief Storyteller. It’s a title as unique as he is, and Aaron just published the second edition of his book, How To Live in Detroit Without Being a Jackass.
Amber Lewis is equally impressive; she runs the city’s social media and spent her session sharing success stories. Her big takeaways were creating content that connects, and this:
Know your audience and hire people that are a part of it.
The City of Detroit has gained 50,000 social media followers thanks to Amber and her team. Seems like that number was not lost on the Digital Summit audience.
Four Concrete Steps for a More Perfect SEO + PPC Marriage – OneUpWeb’s David Duran.
Above all, my big takeaway from David’s presentation was that too many companies silo their SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and PPC (Pay Per Click) teams. In radio terms, it’s the old sales/programming divide. Everyone is more successful when they work together. David’s 4 steps are to 1) get buy in 2) run a keyword gap analysis 3) download data and 4) map out a plan.
In more basic terms:
- Connect your Google Ads to Google Search Console so you can look at the data together, and export your PPC and organic results to the same spreadsheet.
- Ads and organic can work together. As a result, click-through-rates for ads can go up 78%, and organic CTR can skyrocket 182%.
- You gain credibility by showing up as an ad and organic result simultaneously – just make sure those positions aren’t back to back.
10 Critical Factors For Success in Content Marketing – Vertical Measures’ Noelle Schuck
This session was fairly straightforward, and dealt primarily with corporate culture.
- Build your owned audience – certainly subscribers who have provided their info are fans of your brand.
- Amplify your content.
- Your executive team must buy in and lead the way.
- Foster a culture of content – above all, marketing is a 24 x 7 x 365 business!
- Set up a strategy, and share it!
- Optimize your content.
- Prioritize your audience over your brand, and think about 80% unbranded content.
- Nurture your leads.
- Trust, learn, and iterate.
How to Hack Facebook’s New Algorithm Changes – Carlos Gil, Gil Media Co.
Mr. Gil’s session was very well attended, for the reason that you might imagine. Brands are always struggling to adapt to Facebook’s frequent changes, and despite newer, “sexier” social media channels, Facebook is still the king of the hill. It’s the biggest sandbox, and you’d better be able to play in it. Here are my takeaways:
- Less than 1% of your Facebook brand’s fans will see your (unpaid) content.
- Your buyers are NOT on one social network. Each one is different, therefore you can’t use the same content for each one.
- Go where your audience is, not everywhere. Certainly not all social channels make sense for everyone.
- Social media marketing is like a rap battle, therefore you’re only as good as your last post.
“You’re only as good as your last post” says Carlos Gil. Says Facebook is like a rap battle. #DSDET (we find this to be true… the algorithm controls all). It’s all about building relationships on social media.
— Daily Detroit (@TheDailyDetroit) September 13, 2018
- Prioritize content from friends, family, and groups.
- Want your ad budget.
- Penalize so-called “engagement bait,” such as using words like “click” or ‘like.
- Don’t like click bait and “fake news.”
- Don’t like long form text content. Hence, use Facebook Notes.
- Hate overly promotional material or excessively tagging others. Above all, avoid these practices.
- If you are sharing a link, drop it in the comments, not the original post.
- Treat comments as leads, so always comment back!
- Facebook likes NATIVE content, not YouTube or links. Therefore, 16 to 23 second videos are ideal, with 1-2 sentence captions.
- Remember that Facebook content usually has a shelf life of about 12-16 hours; as a result, most content doesn’t have much staying power.
Facebook “Growth Hacks:”
- Respond to all comments, likes, and shares.
- Look at old posts with high engagement and repeat some of those processes.
- Spend $10 per native video.
- Use Facebook Pixels – markers on your website, so Facebook will send ads to people who visited you!
- Share Facebook Ads on their partner channels.
- Post short text because it shows up in larger font.
- Consider a weekly Facebook Live Video.
- Invite your “superfans” into a Facebook group because the algorithm likes these in news feeds.
- Add captions to all Facebook videos because this will help your SEO.
- Consider a Messenger reply “bot” for quick responses to customer inquiries
Finally, you can’t build a mansion on rented land, and Facebook certainly owns their own land.
— Bold Media (@boldmediaco) September 13, 2018
I was really disappointed that, due to a prior commitment, I had to leave before Digital Summit’s Day 2’s lunch keynoter – Scott Dikkers, founder of The Onion. The most noteworthy takeaway seemed to be “Don’t be afraid of outrageous marketing. Go for it.”
If anyone has access to the speech, I’d love to see it.
Digital Summit Detroit Takeaways:
- The digital space is changing faster than anyone can keep up. Therefore, those who pay the most attention will rise above the pack.
- Do not silo your digital strategies. Due to the confluence of paid and organic search, everyone must work collaboratively.
- Finally, be a media company first and a widget company second. Due to the ever-increasing personalization of the online experience, you had better be able to reach your customers, wherever they are.