While most of us in the digital marketing world associate Pubcon with a raucous good time in Vegas every Fall, the Pubcon team recently partnered with the South Florida Interactive Marketers Association to host a smaller spin off of the main event.
Last week I was fortunate enough to not only attend the conference but to speak on behalf of Go Fish Digital and our recent creative wins. This event felt smaller and more manageable than the annual Fall conference — having slightly fewer options to choose from each hour actually made it easier to get educated about some of the SEO concepts that I typically don’t have time to sink my teeth into — and there were lots of opportunities to network with other industry professionals.
Over the course of the conference, I attended sessions that focused on everything from social media, to content marketing, to technical SEO, to, more broadly, storytelling.
Here are a handful of takeaways from the Pubcon SFIMA 2017 speaking line-up.
1. Make Everything SOS
That stands for: short, organized, and skimmable. This applies to EVERYTHING — emails, website copy, your LinkedIn bio, your next blog post. As someone who spends most of the day writing copy, drafting content strategy, and building creative campaigns, it’s important to remember to take a step back and get back to basics. Good writing is clear, to-the-point, and avoids redundancy. Why complicate things?
While keynote speaker Debra Jasper really hammered this point home, several of the Pubcon presentations touched on the fact that web users spend more time engaging with content that’s short, organized, and skimmable.
2. Don’t Neglect your LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn is a powerful version of your online professional self.
Sure, we all have FB pages and twitter accounts. Maybe a few of us have lingering G+ pages we update from time to time and an Instagram profile we use to browse photos of national parks and haute couture, but LinkedIn is a way for others to find you. You legitimize yourself and your business and establish yourself in the professional space. The data is compelling: leaders with fully optimized LinkedIn profiles get 40 times more opportunities than those with less robust accounts. Most importantly, you can control the words used to describe you and your work.
Don’t brush off the opportunity to craft your digital persona on this platform. Think of your LinkedIn summary—the first paragraph and most valuable real estate in your profile—as a first-person, mini-magazine bio, and hook readers with that first line.
3. Improve your Site’s IA by Building the Mobile Version First
For an optimized website, Ryan Jones of Sapient Nitro recommended re-working the IA to make it as simple and user friendly as possible. Often, this is best done by essentially working backwards; start with mobile and expand to desktop (this helps you figure out what’s most important).
Even though I’m not personally involved in the technical adjustments to a website, it’s good to have a sense of best practices. This tip intuitively made sense and is something to keep in mind when I make updates to my personal website as well as when we make recommendations to potential and existing clients.
4. Select your Influencer Network Carefully
You don’t need Queen Bey hocking your goods and services. Celebrity influencers are expensive and the ROI is hard to track. A reliable collection of small local figures or industry bloggers however can help amplify your reach and get your product in front of the right audience.
Be careful with your research here though and make sure you’re not making any assumptions. Kate Upton, for example, might seem like the type of celebrity who could market makeup or lingerie to women, but in fact, most of her followers are men between the ages of 18-35. She’s better at selling video games and beer than female-focused products. This was a good reminder from Michelle Held, social media expert and founder of MetroNY.
The takeaway here? Make sure you have a good understanding of an influencer’s target demographic and recognize who is already engaging with them online, before you proceed with this type of marketing push.
5. Visualize All Sorts of Data
Leverage Google Fusion Tables. This program is excellent for visualizing large chunks of information. We learned that this tool can be used to crunch internal data, understand your client’s business better, or illustrate your website on a deeper level by adding a visual basis to an otherwise convoluted display of information. We know that humans are better at absorbing information that is visual, so when it comes to building out a seamless website, Google Fusion Tables can help you map out the flow of information on an entirely new level. Thanks to Ryan Jones for another great tip!
At Go Fish Digital, we’ve used this tool once or twice to plot simple data points for creative campaigns, but it can also be used for mapping geographic boundaries, gathering data in real time, and collaborating on quantitative projects with large groups.
6. Change your FB location to New Zealand
For anyone who regularly works within the Facebook platform, either tracking engagement, crafting ads, boosting posts, or managing client posts, you’re probably familiar with the fact that Zuckerberg’s creation is frequently rolling out updates and making tweaks to the algorithm.
A little known secret is, Facebook typically unveils the majority of their platform updates to New Zealand users first. If you change your location within the app, you can be on the cutting edge of this social platform and be exposed to algo changes ahead of the rest of the user base. Thanks to Dennis Yu for this awesome tip!
7. More Slides, Less Text
Keynote speaker Debra Jasper spoke to the conference attendees for 60 minutes, and had over 425 slides in her deck — that’s 7 slides per minute!
We consume content visually, so, as she put it, it makes sense to use a photo that lets us feel something instantly rather than text we must read to understand. Take advantage of this human instinct and capitalize on it. Use our flawed brains to your advantage when presenting to others.
As you can see from this random array of lessons learned, there are tons of takeaways from various aspects of the conference. If you attend, you may find that you learn more about concepts that only tangentially relate to your day-to-day tasks, or you may discover a whole new way of doing something that is critical to your daily duties. Regardless, it’s nearly impossible to walk out of a Pubcon without learning something new and actionable.
With that in mind, I’m looking forward to the can’t-miss event in Vegas this Fall. Hope to see ya there!