Insights & Lessons from the Portland Digital Summit 2019 Conference
Last week the Anvil team had the opportunity to visit this year’s DigitalSummit Portland. And here at Anvil Media our mission is to amplify you, and to do just that, we want to impart some of the experiences and lessons that we gained from the Portland Digital Summit 2019 conference in a new series of blog posts that we will share over the next 3 weeks.
If you haven’t already seen them, Anvil CEO Kent Lewis wrote two great blog posts over on SEMpdx, giving in depth recaps of his Day 1 and Day 2 DigitalSummit 2019 workshops. So to kick off the series I will give you a brief summary of some of his key takeaways, and if you like these topics, feel free to go read his articles as well to get the full story.
In a workshop by Matthew Capala, he discussed the key ranking factors for websites and how they have changed from simpler keyword-based metrics to more intuitive performance-based metrics. Things like: direct site traffic, average pages-per-session, time on site, bounce rates, and more.
These changes are due to Google’s new machine learning algorithm, Google RankBrain. With this new AI Google is striving to use data analysis to determine human emotions and because of this, Matthew emphasized the importance of marketers remaining aware of the psychological aspects of marketing. Mainly how human emotions create natural biases, that as marketers, we should anticipate and play off of. Some of these biases include:
Loss Aversion Bias:
The bias that humans care more about a potential loss than a potential gain. Marketers can tap into this bias with messaging that touch on things like: limited time offers, exclusivity, FOMO, etc.
The bias that human perceptions of something will change based on the context it’s given. Marketers can tap into this bias by having a good understanding of who their target audience is and giving their products/services the appropriate context. I.e. Cheap vs. Conservative.
The bias that people feel more comfortable accepting something new if it is they see that other people already like it. Marketers can tap into this bias with things like: influencer marketing, reviews, testimonials, etc.
For the full list of biases and optimization tactics covered in this workshop, be sure to check out Kent’s Day 2 recap article over on SEMpdx.
In his recaps, Kent discusses two different presentations related to voice search and technology at the 2019 Digital Summit Conference. The first one was by Noelle LaCharite, who previously worked on the Amazon Alexa, and now works on Microsoft’s Cortana team. Her talk mainly centered on the fact that voice technology is growing rapidly, with 1.83 billion users expected by 2021, and the fact that voice technology is not limited to search engines or smart speakers but is permeating more and more into other types of smart machines.
The second workshop, by Upasna Gautam, expanded on this topic by discussing voice search metrics and optimization. Overall, she stated that optimizing for voice search is very similar to optimizing for search results, and that for Google’s voice search function, they have developed new quality metrics to drive research and improve the search experience. These metrics are:
Word Error Rate (WER)
Semantic Quality (Webscore)
Out-of-Vocabulary Rate (OOV)
If you want to read the full coverage of one or both of these speeches, then check out Kent’s recaps in the links above.
The theme of Nicola Smith’s presentation was “Rebel Brands”. She discussed her thoughts on rebel brands and success in today’s business landscape. And specifically, she defines a rebel brand as a brand that combines bold ambition with significant constraints.
A few criteria for rebel brands include:
Seeing Things Others Don’t See:
Think differently about the same things
Bravely Leading with Your Beliefs:
Don’t try to please everyone, but instead stand for something
Tackle issues bigger than your brand
Strategically Breaking Conventions:
Think smart and think creative
Make decisions at all costs
Nicola states that the main difference between brands that follow the rules and the brands that are rule breakers, is that they constantly reinvent at all levels; from culture, to products, to marketing. And if you want to read more about how to create a rebel brand, with examples be sure to read the full synopsis found in Kent’s SEMpdx day one recap.
Go Rock It!
So that is just a quick recap of some of the key things from Kent’s time at the Portland Digital Summit 2019 conference. I hope these insights help you to go out there and rock it for your own digital marketing strategies. And I look forward to hearing your thoughts on these insights in the comments below!
Stay tuned for next week’s blog post to get even more key insights from the 2019 Portland DigitalSumit conference.