The Big Takeaway from Utah DMC 2018: RIP Status Quo

The time has come, the marketing experts said, to bid the status quo adieu—it’s time to welcome in a new era of digital marketing. As most marketers have discovered with recent shifts and new changes or restrictions courtesy of Google and Facebook, strategies that were once dependably accurate are now riddled with inconsistencies and unreliable data. However, all hope is not lost! New opportunities are on the horizon, bringing ripe capabilities and ingenuity.

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On August 24, 2018, multiple Clearlink teams attended the Utah Digital Marketing Conference hosted by Utah’s own Digital Marketing Collective. We accumulated a bevy of insights, growing trends, and best-practice methodologies to hone our skills as well-rounded marketers and ensure the long-term success of our brand partners. We compiled five noteworthy opportunities we’ll be embracing this year.

Here are our favorite DMC conference takeaways.

Write for Voice Search

TLDR: Optimize your content for voice search and implement easy-to-read snippets for both digital assistants and users.

Kellie Gibson pointed out that voice search is gaining popularity and, as a result, content creators need to approach projects with a more conversational tone. Think less formal and stiff conversation, more light and genuine chitchat. Device owners are employing voice search using their natural cadence and colloquialisms, thus allowing a level of granularity and flow that former SEO constraints couldn’t permit. Additionally, if your content is identified in a Google Snippet, the chances of it being read aloud by a digital assistant are high, so you’ll want to ensure that the piece is readable and digestible on the whole. This also means that the competition for securing snippets is even tighter and more important. Better get optimizing!

Abide by the 3-1 Content Creation Rule

TLDR: Work smarter, not harder, and create multi-use content.

As marketers, we know that customers demand multiple channels for consuming content. It’s time to put that knowledge to the test and begin utilizing the 3-1 creation rule as Sam Hirbod recommended. To do so, start by making a video. You’ll want to ensure the video has grade A sound quality, because the next step is stripping the video and keeping the audio file for a podcast. Then, for the last step, you’ll need to transcribe the experience and video into a short, concise blog post. Utilizing these three options as usable content means that you can appeal to a wider range of audiences with minimal project interruptions.

To learn more about Sam’s presentation, view the slides here.

Forget Ads—Use Facebook Messenger

TLDR: Facebook Messenger provides access to untapped demographics that might otherwise shun your content.

Email marketing is a tough bid with user-control challenges and minimal open rates. Meanwhile, Facebook ads only go so far. Facebook Messenger, on the other hand, has a 70% to 80% open rate according to Larry Kim and is the platform marketers should be using to access customers. You’re bound to have some obstacles pop up along the way thanks to Facebook’s privacy protections, but it’s a space yet to be optimized and has a great deal of potential for brands looking to access a multitude of customers.

If you’re curious about Larry’s other tips and tricks for Facebook Messenger, check out his presentation here.

Know Your Brand’s “So What” and Establish Your Value

TLDR: Tell your audience why you’re valuable right off the bat. Skip the lengthy intro and get to the point.

There are myriad traps for copywriters to fall into. Herman Melville levels of overly descriptive prose, for example, or failing to establish the “so what” in your copy. Joel Klettke’s presentation on conversion-killing copy mistakes offered up the reminder to always include an obvious benefit for the consumer—as in, why should they care?—or you risk losing the customer and any connection you’ve made. The slide deck is a valuable resource for any copywriter looking to break bad habits, start good ones, and keep conversion at the forefront of their copy.

Read about Joel’s other copywriting tips in this slide deck.

Adapt to the Google Machine

TLDR: Stay up to date with Google trends and incorporate voice search or ad campaigns into your SEO strategy.

SEO expert Rand Fishkin wrapped up the conference on a promising yet sobering note about Google. The search giant recently reformatted its front page, which impacted click-through rates for ads and snippets. Bummer. Google is clearly willing to trade short-term revenue gain for long-term benefits of getting people addicted to the immediate gratification of its updated format. This impacts the way users interact with your content and makes the climate even more competitive than it was previously—now you’re not only competing with other brands and companies, but you’re also competing with Google itself. To combat the issue, features like voice search are offering a new level of potential for featured snippets, and Google ads can provide relevant information and answers as well. So, search isn’t dead, it’s just different. As marketers, we simply need to stay up to date on all changes and do what we do best: pivot, adapt, and continue innovating.

If Rand’s presentation on the future of search is of interest to you, check out the full presentation here.

Attending a conference awash with influential speakers like Rand Fishkin and Larry Kim is ceaselessly inspiring and invigorates us with renewed energy that can be applied to new and bookmarked projects alike. So while history (at large) has iterated “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” we counter that age-old theme with one of constant innovation and a desire to create tailored-to-fit strategies for our brand partners.

Did you attend the Utah DMC conference? Let’s talk about our favorite takeaways.

If you attended, we’d love to hear what your favorite DMC conference takeaways were—retweet or share our post along with a note about your choice takeaway!

Monique Seitz-Davis

With ten years of professional marketing experience, Monique brings a passion for telling brand stories to her writing for Clearlink. Prior work includes collaborative projects with companies like Merrell, Backcountry, Cotopaxi, and Wit and Delight. When she’s not copywriting, you can find Monique trail running, rabble-rousing with her pups, or practicing her bird calls.

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