Huh, no traffic today. For most people, those three words would be absolute heaven. Not you, though. Why? Because you operate in a different world, a world where the heavier the traffic the better, and you want it coming your way.
In this flip-sided, ever-changing world, you need to be on your toes to have all roads leading your way, and that’s why we’ve got to keep our finger on the pulse of things. The Adobe Summit gives us a great annual platform to do just that on a grand scale.
This year’s Summit just came to a successful conclusion. The world’s largest digital marketing conference drew participants and spectators from all over the world, all looking to get an insight into what’s new, what’s working, and what’s not working in the world of digital marketing.
With over 12,000 attendees converging in Las Vegas for the three-day event, there was never a dull moment as people engaged in the hundreds of sessions held or sat in to absorb the marketing industry wisdom being dispensed by the superstar roster of industry captains, thought-leaders, and influencers that they had assembled. A blast of star-power from famous names such Ryan Gosling, SNL’s Kate McKinnon, and Penn & Teller doing their working their magic all went to making sure the messages hit home.
There was a whole lot to learn this year, more than we can cover here, but we couldn’t let this pass without going over some of the points that really stood out…and how they tie in with our quest for bumper traffic.
- Customer Experience
Your audience keeps evolving. It’s like a growing child – you can’t get away with feeding it formula its whole life – it just won’t grow right. You’ve got to supply it with variety, nutrients, and substance to have it grow big and strong. Even your most loyal subscribers demand that you grow your content to match their growing demands.
The way to do this is through personalization. Make the effort to present them with content that’s relevant and specifically designed to be of value to them. Everyone can tell when they are being offered some generic mass-produced material and they won’t stick around long for that.
Pam El, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at the National Basketball Association stressed the importance of keeping your ‘fans’ at the top of your priorities. The NBA is the number one most followed league on social media with a crazy 3.9 Billion Youtube views and 32 million Facebook fans. Yeah that was millions with a B back there. Their secret? She says their brand never forgets who got them where they are, and that keeps them from getting too wrapped up in their own brand.
The message: Keep your content fresh for newbies and veterans alike. As you grow your audience, you might consider categorising your content and classifying your audience segments using such parameters as time and past buy-in patterns to make sure everyone gets the full blast of your charm.
- Connecting with your Audience
This year’s summit really focused on giving your audience all you’ve got as the basic foundation for success. This means keeping connected and communicating with them on their terms.
Ryan Gosling made his appearance on day two of the conference to drop some quick wisdom on attendees about the importance of keeping an ear out for feedback from your consumers. You only get quality, constructive feedback when your audience feels close to you, and that means interacting with them on social media, on forums, on the streets if you have to.
Check out a killer post we featured here to go deeper on this.
- Email never Dies
Email marketing has been getting a lot of negative press lately, for reasons we can’t seem to figure out. It’s as though people think the fact that it’s been around for a while means it can’t be as effective as some of these new methods everyone’s clamouring over. Don’t fall for this thinking. It simply isn’t backed up by the facts.
Email marketing still holds it place at the forefront of effective marketing channels ahead even of social media campaigns. It lets you communicate directly with your audience, which can’t be matched by anything else out there so far. Social media is a window allowing people a peek into your store, while email is a doorway where you can shake your customer’s hand, look them in the eye, and tell them why they should get on board with you.
Like we covered in detail here, email marketing is one of the most solid tools you have in your box, if you’re creative enough to use it better than your competition.
- Rethinking Content Marketing
The statistical success rate for content marketing still stands at a high of 30% across all industries. While this might seem like a discouraging ratio, you have to look at it this way – it might not be that content marketing is a non-starter, but maybe so many people are doing it wrong that the successes are simply buried under the failures.
Chaminda Ranasinghe, who spearheads the digital sales and marketing division at Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ), had some insights into how they managed to get their click-through rate (CTR) to 30% above the banking industry benchmark through a combination of great data and strong content.
Some more killer content marketing wisdom was targeted towards how we set up our campaigns. We sometimes get so caught up in our campaign launch, lifespan, and end dates that we fail to build up truly lasting relationships with our audiences. We run a hundred meter dash instead of buckling down for a marathon. Think in terms of long term publishing of evergreen content with the aim of building up reliable, long lasting consumer bases.
- Adapting to the Times
A good performer is always a step ahead of the audience, and it’s the audience’s job to keep up. A performer who’s behind their audience is just a dude making noise at the back of the room. As an online business operator, you have to be at the absolute cutting edge of your niche in every way you can manage and adapt your operation to suit the climate. If that means an overhaul, then an overhaul it is; no hesitation.
As the Adobe Systems CEO, Shantanu Narayen put it in his Summit keynote address, ‘Preserving the status quo is not a business strategy. Transformation is all or nothing.’ The example of smartphone technology’s disruptive effect on the digital marketplace was given.
Over the past three years, the overall visits to and the time people spend on websites have steadily been decreasing, mostly because of the smartphone revolution, which isn’t showing any signs of slowing down yet. The question you need to ask yourself then becomes: what am I doing to adapt to the new realities?
The Summit had a lot of good information for the marketing world, but the mark of a truly successful industry conference lies in the challenges and motivation it provides to the industry players. It doesn’t really matter what size your operation is. Even the heavyweights started somewhere, and the game stays the same whether you’re in your backyard or at the World Cup.