Thoughts, Notes and Rants from Unbounce’s CTAConf – Day 2 *Live Updates*
As a marketing/tech/digital community in Vancouver, our opportunity is to create more of these types of spaces to connect and share ideas. It’s one of the reasons that I’m obsessed with Brainstation, and it’s what I believe the key to the next phase of our development as a leader in business.
I say “business” intentionally, and not tech, or startups, or digital, because we’re very quickly closing in on a world where there isn’t a distinction between the two. Conferences like these are no longer for the nerds who play internet for money, spaces to share learn and develop digital communications is now for every business everywhere.
Overwhelmingly, our community is becoming less focused on scarcity (as in: battling each other for clients) and more focused on abundance (as in: helping each other prosper because a rising tide floats all ships).
With the scope and scale of what we’re all up to, why not approach our business relationships with an attitude of abundance?
That’s my wish for the Vancouver business market, and it’s one that I’ve been very much encouraged is possible based on these past two days.
Thanks for following along.
The general sentiment that I’m hearing from the crowd is not as high as it was on Day 1, and there’s one thing that I have heard come up a few times: When speakers spend most of their times talking about big brands that they haven’t had anything to do with, the talk can feel less impactful than when the speaker is presenting from personal experience.
As a speaker myself, I get it. I understand why speakers call out big, well known brands or campaigns to help to illustrate a major point that we’re trying to make, so it got me thinking: The reason that we like going to talks & conferences is because we feel like we’re getting real, expert information that’s contextual, that we couldn’t easily get elsewhere.
In short: We want to hear a real story. When we hear good news, best practices stories, they’re so much more impactful when place inside the context of trials, failures, un-publicized background info and maybe a bit of self deprecation. We need to be able to relate to the story, and that’s not possible when the speaker is using a big, faceless brand to communicate their points (however brilliant they may be).
Coincidentally, as I’m writing this update, the speaker on the stage is using a personal story to deliver the point that the best sales content exposes negatives. He used Dominos and Bing to drive his point home, but used his own personal story to give a look behind the scenes at how that type of content actually works.
I think that what the people this morning were missing out on is the same thing that a lot of us are missing in our social content: Real, inside, behind-the-scenes personality. Most importantly, if we’re being “real”, we’re not always going to be perfect – imperfection and exposing our own wrinkles can be the difference between content that no one believes and stuff that people love and share with their friends.
We kicked off today with one of my geek-spirit animals: Rand Fishkin. He started Moz.com + Inbound.org and a bunch of other stuff. He’s an SEO guy who actually seems to get the way that people really use the internet (I say that with love for my SEO’ing friends).
He dropped a few pieces that we can all use right now:
- Some of the old-school tactics still work. Specifically, internal linking has a significant, measurable impact on your pages’ ranking. And the best part is: We own our own sites, so we get to create those links for free.
- More social sharing = more good stuff. This can be taken in a lot of different ways, but he was able to empirically demonstrate that simply by posting links to evergreen content more frequently on more channels, traffic, sharing and, ultimately, search rankings will benefit.
- Related topics. We all know that we should have our target keywords in our headlines, in our urls and in our body content, but search engines have gotten smarter and that’s great news. Rather than focusing exclusively on the keyword that we’re targeting, we win by talking about related terms that Google will expect to see around that search term. The example that he used was: If you’re optimizing for New York Neighborhoods, Google will expect to see Brooklyn, The Bronx and Manhattan.
Hey guys, Conner here for Day 2 of Unbounce’s big annual digital marketing conference.
If you’re a business owner like I am you know the impossibility of blocking off two entire days to focus exclusively on anything, but I’m doing my best. Despite having to duck out here and there, I’ve done a pretty good job so far of taking in the full conference experience from the talks to pub crawls and everything in between.
I did a pretty good job yesterday (read the CTAConf notes from Day 1 here).
My intention in this space is to share my thoughts, opinions, maybe a rant here and there. Along the way, Unbounce is collecting and sharing notes from every one of the talks. Link to CTAConf notes here.
It’s an annual get together put on by local tech startup Unbounce. They host events, talks and workshops all around the practice of getting people to go somewhere online, and then getting them to do something. Sounds simple, right? It is, and that’s the beauty of it all. There are a million little variables that go into a fantastic experience for the user, and more importantly, one that makes the users glad that they went through the process with you and feeling even better about your company than they did when they first saw the ad/tweet/post/etc.
Where else can I follow along?
I’ll be posting stuff on our Twitter account @JunctionYVR, and there’s a ton of other good stuff going up by the minute at #CTAConf
Banner image photo cred: @RandFishfrom Moz.com