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January 2021 | by Megan Holcombe
A few weeks ago, three members of our team attended Digital Summit Atlanta to learn from industry influencers and gain insight into what’s next in digital. We heard from thought leaders, startup owners, and chief executives from some of the most prominent companies across the country. With topics ranging from email marketing to SEO to social strategy, we left the summit with even more tips in our back pocket to produce better results for our clients.
We wanted to share some of those tips with you, so we outlined key takeaways from the summit that you can use to up your digital game.
Megan Holcombe, Content Strategist
Content marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. This is something we as content marketers often forget. One record-breaking mile will not get you to the finish line of a marathon, and the same can be said for content creation. We become laser-focused on making every single piece of content a knockout, when instead we should be focused on the long term – churning out tons of content that will keep the audience engaged and prevent content fatigue.
One amazing piece of content is great, but 15 really good pieces of content will ultimately acquire more emails, generate more sales, and produce more conversions. Why? Because content has a short shelf life and people will quickly grow tired of seeing or reading it. This is true of even the highest quality content.
So instead of sinking precious hours into one piece of content you think will catapult your campaign to success, use that time to produce five or ten fresh iterations of content.
Test everything. Content marketers love tests, and for good reason. Testing can improve your marketing metrics by honing in on what practices or tactics work best for your brand and audience. A/B testing variables such as email subject lines, send times, and email layout can help refine your strategy and boost performance, just make sure to test only one variable at a time.
Testing can also pinpoint evolution over time as the digital industry changes. Take subject line personalization, for instance. For years, subject lines that included first name personalization have outperformed those without personalization. Due to the rise of personalization and the immense amount of content we receive every day, marketers are noticing that first name personalization may no longer be enough to make an email stand out in a crowded inbox.
In short, if you want to fine-tune your content marketing, test everything and test often.
Write mobile-first. Because the vast majority of content is consumed on mobile devices, you have probably heard a lot about transitioning your marketing to a mobile-first approach. You’ve already started making vertical videos and designed a mobile version of your website, faithfully checking off all the action items to optimize your marketing strategy for mobile.
The one aspect of a marketing strategy that often gets overlooked is content. Marketers should write with a mobile-first mentality. Since a single paragraph of text could fill the entire screen, or an email subject line could be cut in half, writing mobile-first means making things shorter and easier to digest.
Learning how to convey a message in fewer words will make you a better marketer, and it’s the only way you will effectively reach your mobile audience.
Madison Morris, Operations Manager
There are trillions of searches every year, but according to Google, at least 15% of the queries they see are brand new. There are emerging trends and niches in every industry that marketers should consider in their keyword research and selection process. Here’s what we can do as marketers to stay on top of our SEO game.
Find the right keywords. Keywords are the foundation of SEO, so it’s well worth the time and investment to ensure your selections are highly relevant to the people who are looking for your products, services, and information. The more relevant your keywords are to your audience, the easier it will be for them to find you. We have outlined a few steps you can take to find the right keywords for your target audience.
First, pull your client or customer list; look at their age, title, company size, industry, and location, and identify patterns for what kind of audience is viewing your content and how you can find similar audiences. Second, create personas for new clients and consumers that you want to target. Create a descriptive profile for these people, and brainstorm keywords for every step of their buyer journey. You should re-evaluate these every year, as consumer trends change frequently. Third, consider using a tool like Google AdWords Keyword Planner to research keyword relevance. The more strategic you are about how you describe your business or product to the Keyword Planner, the more you will get from it because value is largely dependent on the quality of information you enter.
Incorporate long-tail keywords. In tandem with re-evaluating your keywords every year, start using more long-tail keywords. In the buyer journey, when someone is at the point of purchase, they are more likely to search for “Men’s Nike Dri-FIT Basketball Shorts” than “workout shorts.” Unless your brand has the same name recognition as Nike, your content or product will not show up on the first page of search results because there is too much competition for organic search on the keyword “workout shorts.”
Boost site speed. In 2017, Google released a statement claiming that it took sites approximately 22 seconds to fully load a mobile landing page. To combat this and improve user experience, Google announced in January that they would start using page speed as a ranking factor for mobile searches. Although the average load time has since dropped to 15 seconds, that is still too long. Your site visitors will have a better user experience and stay longer if the page loads significantly faster. As Google puts it, “In short, speed equals revenue.”
It all goes back to content. You can do everything above and still not make it to the coveted first page of search results. Why? SEO cannot help you if you do not have good content; content is still one of the most important ranking factors, so your content strategy and SEO strategy need to come together at the very start.
Sarah Heidlberg, Director of Operations
The digital industry is constantly evolving, and hearing from industry leaders at conferences like this one help marketers stay up-to-date on the latest trends. We were offered tons of fantastic resources throughout the Digital Summit, and we wanted to share them with you. Reading through dozens of e-books and trying out new tools or platforms can be a bit overwhelming, so I rounded up five helpful resources from the conference to up your digital marketing game.
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