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Biggest Takeaways from Digital Summit Atlanta 2017


I was lucky enough to attend Digital Summit Atlanta this year, and while I’ve never attended in the past, I’ve heard nothing but great reviews from last year’s participants. With keynote speakers such as best-selling author Seth Godin and Edwin Wong from BuzzFeed, I knew there was going to be plenty of insight into the future of digital marketing.

In case you didn’t get a chance to make it out to Digital Summit, I got you covered with my four biggest takeaways from the conference.

Somewhat of a disclaimer: Since I am a content marketer and SEO specialist, the sessions I attended were more tailored to my specialties. That being said, these four themes were repeated across all the sessions I attended and were more than likely amplified throughout the rest of the sessions.

Mobile Before Everything

I sat through 15 sessions total and took notes within one Google Doc. I thought it would be fun to search and find how many times the term “mobile” appeared in my notes. The total number: 33 times. While I didn’t need to attend a digital marketing conference to know that mobile is an integral part of everyday life, I did learn some impressive stats:

  • 75% of all mobile data will be video by 2020
  • 60% of consumers would rather lose their wallet than their phone
  • We check devices more than 50 times a day
  • People are more in tuned and react more confident with content on mobile devices than television

These were only the handful that stuck out to me, but every session I attended touch on mobile at least once. It’s something that should not be ignored anymore, and it needs to be the driver behind your digital marketing efforts.

Knowing Your Audience is More Important than Ever

Understanding your target audience’s attributes have always been vital to ensure your efforts are effective, but the digital marketing landscape is becoming so vast that it’s easy to get your messaging lost.

One of my favorite sessions from the entire conference was lead by Brendan Walsh of Mole Street, an experiential and digital marketing agency in Philadelphia. He talked about how the best brands find ways to get their consumers engaged with a brand. According to his presentation, 98% of consumers say they will purchase a brand after an experience, but those experiences need to be tailored to your audience’s characteristics.

Creating a memorable brand experience is especially important for social media. The average click-through-rate (CTR) for Facebook posts is one percent, and the organic reach is only one to three percent….that’s it. Tina Shakour from Cisco talked about how knowing your audience has become drastically important for social due to this low CTR and reach. By boosting organic posts for your audience to see, you will have a better outcome in engagement with your audience.

While the fact of knowing your audience is not something new, it’s only going to become harder from here on out. Therefore, you need to know your audience better than the back of your hand.

Semantic SEO Will Dominate

If you don’t know what semantic SEO means, this will not be the last time you hear it. Semantic SEO is optimizing for conversational terms people use when searching through search engines either through typing or voice search, and this term was ringing throughout the conference the entire time.

So, why is semantic SEO so important? Quinn Tempest from Vertical Measures stated that over 70% of the website traffic you earn for any given page would come from keywords you didn’t try to optimize for. Since people will continue to search for terms and questions the same way they speak, it’s something we need to prepare for in our digital marketing and SEO efforts.

Concept is King, Not Content

So, I know throughout other blogs I’ve written for GreenMellen that I sound like a broken record by saying content is king over and over. I have a confession to make: I had NO CLUE where this phrase came from until I attended Brad Perry’s session. The Director of Strategy for Authentic told us that this was originally said by Bill Gates back in 1996, but he wasn’t referring to words. In fact, he was talking about hardware. I found it funny that we use this phrase in a way that it wasn’t intended to, but Brad said that “concept is king” is a much better phrase to use.

People are looking for content that will pay off their attention, so the concept behind the stuff you’re putting out there needs to be your content’s driver. By defining what your brand is trying to tell your audience versus the competition, learning what your audience likes about your brand and getting consumer insights straight from the source, you’ll be able to define better concepts that will resonate with your audience.

I learned a lot from Digital Summit that couldn’t be summarized into just one blog post, but I look forward to using what I’ve learned for our clients at GreenMellen.

If you have any questions regarding your digital marketing and would like to speak to us about what to expect for the future, contact us today!

About the Author

Brooke Desmond

Communications Manager
With a passion for all things digital marketing, Brooke aims to give a unique perspective on the latest trends and ideas in this ever-changing space.

View Brooke's Profile

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