Rand Fishkin at CTA Conference 2016 Vancouver

4 Takeaways from CTA Conference 2016 Day 2

Our second day at Unbounce’s CTA Conference 2016 in Vancouver. For Day 1, click here.

In a hurry? You can read this post’s quick actionable takeaways from CTA Conference 2016 by clicking here (30 second read).

Otherwise, let’s get the full, juicy knowledge (9 minute read).

Rand at CTA Conference 2016: Don’t Get Stuck in Busy-Work

Mr. Fishkin, exemplar of digital marketing and co-founder of Moz, asked us to look inwards. He told us about his journey with FitBit and we weren’t sure if he’d taken up a new career in fitness technologies.

However, his point was that with a FitBit he was able to measure the impact of his walking, running, and jumping. Rand found that sometimes his perception of a fitness-heavy day turned out to be numerically insignificant.

Fishkin's FitBit Foil at CTA Conference 2016

His message being that marketers often think they’re doing a lot when, with proper measurement, they’re actually doing very little or the work is inefficient.

The crux of Rand’s argument was doing things that are worthwhile and contribute to growth. If you’re doing a million small tweaks that take up a million hours for a few more dollars, you’re doing it wrong.

Measure the work that actually produces results and allows growth and focus on it.

Too often (and we’re guilty of this) marketers get into busy-work. This kind of work becomes habitual and well-refined, but loses strategic, bigger picture consciousness.

Mr. Fishkin even managed to fit in Ikaria, “The Island Where People Forget to Die,” to remind us that health and longevity come hand-in-hand with simplified, focused lives.

Ikaria at CTA Conference 2016

The people of Icaria eat well, exercise often, and socialize endlessly (the climate and aquamarine water probably help).

Rand then brought us behind the marketing and life philosophy to his area of expertise: SEO. His SEO teachings, evergreen as always, included:

  • Internal linking: making your pages and blog posts link to one another, relevantly.
  • Find your content on the internet and demand a rightful backlink to your website
  • Long tail keywords are still good
  • Implement questions for people who don’t convert on your site for valuable feedback

Rand’s Call to Action conference presentation inspired. From general strategy to particular techniques, he offered essential marketing advice.

Mackenzie Fogelson: Authentic Brands Last Longer

Mackenzie, founder and CEO of Genuinely, said that people care more about a company being authentic than it being super at what it does.

She pointed out that even though Chipotle made people sick at one point, that it only spent 1/80 of what McDonalds does on advertising, people still support the company and its revenue skyrockets.

The authenticity of what Chipotle stands for isn’t just its marketing message, it’s what the brand embodies.

purpose-driven companies CTA Conference 2016

Mackenzie referred everyone to “The Big Ideal,” which studies some of the latest successful brands.

The philosophy strives to understand and promote brands’ higher ideals, or “how the world should be coupled with a resolve to work for it.”

Mackenzie’s advice for brands looking to become more authentic was to:

Find out what people are thinking, feeling, and doing in each stage of the sales funnel.

Basically, find out what people want from your brand—and this is different from what they want from your product or service. However you find this out, content strategy should then cater to what people want from your brand.

Brian Davidson: Facebook + Mobile Landing Pages = Conversions

Brian, co-founder of Matchnode, switched things up, bringing us into the nitty-gritty of Facebook Ads.

This PPC stuff was right up our alley, or funnel? Anyways, Brian offered an intriguing strategy for Facebook advertising.

The strategy involved playing to Facebook’s strengths: mobile users. The first step is advertising to mobile users and optimizing for clicks not conversions. You’ll be able to bring in much more traffic (your landing page better be mobile-optimized).

Instead of focusing on the sale or lead, Brian suggests that we should get people onto our mobile-optimized landing pages so that we can build intelligent audiences and event histories from their interactions with our landing pages.

Once you have these intelligent audiences and event histories, you can create targeted remarketing ads that revolve around users’ actions on your landing page and website. These ads are much more likely to get a lead or sale, and now you optimize these ads for conversions.

PPC Strategy CTA Conference 2016

We hope this strategy will yield our clients some excellent results.

Mathew Sweezey: Being an Authentic Automator

Mathew, principle of marketing insights at Salesforce, criticized, like Mackenzie Fogelson, inauthentic brands. Mathew’s beat was authenticity vs. automation.

As we mentioned earlier in this series, the over-personalized, automation-stinking, marketing material that many of us are on the receiving end of, for lack of a better word, sucks.

Mathew cites 2007 as year when consumer “noise” overtook business “noise” on media, meaning that businesses going forward with artificial messages will be uncompetitive in a sea of personalized, “authentic” individuals.

Mathew then delved into B2B. He told us that research has found that B2B prospects that are considering a $1000+ purchase do at least 3 question searches before deciding.

Besides informative answers, Mathew also offered the metaphor of social media being a B2B smoke break:

smoke break CTA Conference 2016

Perhaps you don’t have the budget or time to create purely entertaining content. Mathew urges you to consider injecting dynamic content onto your website as Room&Board does:

CTA Conference 2016 dynamic website

Authentic content marketing wasn’t all Mathew had for us. Additionally, Mathew offered a plethora of tips for helping people move through your funnel like:

  • On a whitepaper thank you page you can give them additional resources to move them further down the stage
  • If you can get them to say yes once you can get them to say yes again
  • When emailing with prospects give them links to additional resources with UTMs, so that you can track their engagement
  • Break a whitepaper into stages by giving them options so that you can test which stages work best for getting the conversion

And finally, Mathew stressed the inauthenticity of html emails. Plain text is the way to go, anything else begins to smell impersonal and obviously automated. Obvious automation ruins relationships.

Quick Actionable Takeaways: CTA Conference 2016 Recap Day 2

1. Rand Fishkin: Measure the value of the work you do and reduce the busy work that doesn’t produce substantial results. Used FitBit as an example of measuring work that actually improves health vs. ambiguous work.

2. Mackenzie Fogelson: Find out what people want from a relationship with your brand by tracking, surveying, and analyzing visitor behavior on your site. Be authentic.

3. Brian Davidson: Start your Facebook Ads campaign with a mobile-oriented wide-reaching click-focused strategy—bring in as many people as you can. Then create conversion optimized remarketing lists with highly targeted, sales/leads focused copy.

4. Mathew Sweezey: Give your website visitors a next step on all of your resources, coax them through your funnel and gauge their actions.

Keep your emails in rich text; html format stinks of automation.

For the next actionable takeaways go here: CTA Conference 2016 Recap: 7 CRO Tips