I'm currently attending Digital Summit Atlanta 2016 and thought I'd share some of the energy and ideas that bubbled up during Day 1.
I don't attend near as many summits and conferences as I did even five years ago, much less the large number when I was an AOL'er. In fact, in 2016 I will only attend three, and this week's venture up the road to Atlanta marks two of the three as complete.
As an Inbound Marketer, there's something old school about conferences, even one popularly attended and labeled as a "Digital Summit." My attendance is about validating I've got Verge Pipe Media executing and deploying against what the big dogs are doing as well as ensuring that we're in the places those group think organizations aren't. That's important to me because I believe our clients are partnered with us for our intellectual capital and to lead them from being digital naive into digital native.
We're marketing change agents and business problem solvers.
Today started with an in-depth, and as thorough a lesson in modern Search Engine Optimization as I've seen in a very long time. Even if the day had ended with Michael King's (@iPullRank), "Comprehensive Search & SEO Strategies," I would have packed up and returned to Auburn satisfied that we're leading clients with not only top level SEO recommendations, but also in-the-trenches tactics to help them get found by the correct people.
My two favorites out of many from his morning-long workshop were:
- Content isn't King, the Customer Is. In other words, buyer personas matter as much in your content strategy and inbound marketing as they do in search. All have to be mapped properly and solve a problem for your customers.
After the obligatory box lunch, the main stage seating was packed for Gary Vaynerchuk (@GaryVee). If you haven't heard of him by now, or haven't read his books, listened to his podcast, bought wine from him, or followed him on a social network, I encourage you to do so. I was skeptical the first time I saw him on YouTube and it took me years before I picked up, read and started recommending, "Crush It!" to anyone who would listen.
He got really wound up about mid-way through his keynote and I was glad. At this point, I've heard his spiel multiple times, and his Q&A has become my favorite part of his talks.
The big surprise (in a great way) for me today was Kristen Craft (@TheCrafty) of Wistia delivering 30 minutes of fantastic storytelling around, "Building a Brand and Driving Conversions with Video."
She introduced me to some new and some old thoughts, presented in video form. Here are a couple of the best examples she shared:
And this nugget about putting people on camera who aren't accustomed to being on camera. It's solid gold, and something we do frequently here whether it's our Super Bowl spots, team meetings, or just office life in general.
From top to bottom on Day 1, I'd say I've gotten some good to great tips as well as some new folks to follow on Twitter. Oh yeah, the swag was pretty good as summits go.
Side note, why must every t-shirt today be "athletic fit?"
Millennials dominated the talks today, as they do at most events these days. I'd like to think we've learned a lot over the past six years working with, selling to, and generally being surrounded by them.
We put most of that info into our latest FREE eBook, Marketing to Millennials (original title, huh?), which you can snag by clicking the button below and completing a brief form.