Digital Summit Conference: Day One

(Written by Marketing Director Amanda Betts)

Where to begin to recap the first day of the 2016 Digital Summit Minneapolis! For starters, the conference is held in the beautiful and mysterious Guthrie Theater, which stands as a piece of living art in 5 stories. Located on the downtown east side, I truly feel that by the end of this conference, I’ll have the building figured out.

The overall, unidentified, theme would be how to speak to our consumers and the value of strong content within the digital space. Seems fitting that I would represent Stellar Blue at such an event where the topics hit right at home. The following are just snippets of my notes taken from the keynote and subsequent breakout presenters.

Keynote: Matt Wallaert, Microsoft

Matt, a behavioral scientist, really spoke to how do we identify our targets and provide them their own individual “snowflake moments” when we are in a constant blizzard of messaging and marketing. That as marketers, we have to realize and accept that there are four types of consumers: the unstable disliker, unstable liker, stable disliker, and stable liker. Let me elaborate on two of these:

  • Unstable liker – Not all entirely bad, but these people are your fly-by-the-night recruiters. They like you today, who knows about tomorrow. That associate themselves with your brand giving them a momentary feeling of belonging and identity. These are surface level likers and only require short length content from your brand.
  • Stable Liker – Here’s where we find our long-term brand adopters. Your brand has become part of their own special “snowflakeness”. You are part of their identify and these individuals will absorb your long-term, deep content.

Matt was a great keynote, kept things lively but still questioned the crowd on our strengths and weaknesses in communicating. He ended with noting that there is no substitute for one-on-one personal connection and promotion of a product. That “there’s no excuse to not get out in the world and talk to people.”

Breakout 1: Beyond Recruiting. Grow Your Company Sales and Presence on LinkedIn like a Beast! | Eve Mayer

Using LinkedIn is a lot like online dating. We present our best selves to a demographic of our liking. Eve highly recommends that based off the recent Microsoft acquisition that LinkedIn will get more savvy with video. So marketing needs to start strategizing around LinkedIn video. She also made comments that companies think the most important part of LinkedIn is their business page but that’s not accurate. The most important part is your people, their connections and talents.

Breakout 2: The Art + Science of Content Strategy

Presenter Brad Spychalski of Pinterest, started off by saying that our product is second and “story is first.” That your content should be a way to provide a visual storytelling of how your brand is set apart from others. His presentation walked us through how he would manage this strategy development with a cosmetic company, for example. And through recognizing the values, user interests and monitoring insights, we can deliver a successful campaign.

Breakout 3: LINKS

As a professional marketer who has been monitoring Google’s love/hate relationship with past and new linking initiatives, I was intrigued by what Jim Boykin of Internet Marketing Ninjas had to say on the subject. He strongly states that backlinks are still a measure in quality for search results but if one is paying for links, they need to stop. Google does penalize for low quality or unnatural patterns in backlinks.

Breakout 4: Alchemy of Connection

Matthew Sharp of AOL went through the challenges that marketers face with content marketing and strategy. That we should focus our energy towards the eight types of content moments that help identify optimal content environments for a brand: inspire, be in the know, comfort, feel good, find, connect, entertain, and update socially (trendy info).

I had so much fun that I put together a quick video that walks you through parts of my day!

For more information on the event itself, check out http://digitalsummitmpls.com/

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