Top 10 Takeaways I Learned From Conferences This Year

Over the past year I’ve had the chance to attend a few digital marketing conferences. In the spring I was at Pubcon Austin, SMX West, and HeroConf. I attended the SLCSEM Digital Marketing Conference in Salt Lake City in the summer and just returned from Pubcon Vegas this fall. I learned A LOT at these conferences and wanted to share some tips with all of you.

My Top 10 Takeaways From Digital Marketing Conferences in 2018

  1. “Alerts should be actionable or they should be eliminated” – Brad Geddes @ SMX WestFor your personal productivity, this is so true. Just think of all the smartphone notifications you get on a regular basis. How many of them are actionable? Now think of your PPC efforts. Get rid of the superfluous and focus on the actionable.
  2. In July of this year, Google gave Google My Business listings access to the search queries that triggered them. This is great data for keyword research – Joy Hawkins @ Pubcon Vegas
  3. Need some ideas for good placements to target with your GDN campaigns? Look in your Google Analytics referrer data to find some – Joe Martinez @ SMX West
  4. “Search doesn’t create demand” – Matt Mason @ HeroConfGoogle Ads & Bing Ads rely heavily on keyword-based search, which is awesome for intent and timing. However, bidding higher or adding more keywords doesn’t magically force people to search for things. To generate demand you need to look at things like GDN, YouTube, Facebook, etc.
  5. Facebook Messenger has 1.3B users and FB Messenger blasts get 70-80% open rates – Larry Kim @ DMC
  6. If you need inspiration for ad copywriting, read “Influence” by Robert Cialdini. It is actually a psychology book and he got a grant to write it. The principles are awesome for marketers – Adam Proehl @ SMX West
  7. Facebook advertising is getting harder. Video viewers are not converting as well. Dynamic product ads aren’t getting the killer returns like they used to either – Susan Wenograd @ Pubcon Vegas
  8. “90% of the PPC tasks you do today will be automated within 3 years” – Dan Gilbert @ HeroConfYou can start to get ahead of this trend with scripts and utilizing automation features inside the platforms (like automated bidding) but remember that anywhere human intuition is needed there will always be a need for smart people.
  9. One danger of AI optimization is that it can optimize out diversity – Merry Morud @ SMX West
  10. Presenters need to be prepared for anything. I had a situation where the conference computer didn’t have my presentation, but I had it on a thumb drive and quickly got it on the machine. Heather Cooan had her slides looking like they were in Klingon at DMC in Salt Lake because they didn’t decrypt properly, but she knew her slides by heart and was able to give a killer presentation (they did get it fixed about halfway through).

What are your biggest takeaways from conferences this year? We’d love to hear about your learnings in the comments!

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