8 Valuable Takeaways from Mozcon 2013

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Every year, Moz brings together some of the most innovative and forward-thinking online marketers for three full days of presentations that are overflowing with insights and tips. Here are some of my key insights from Mozcon 2013.

moz-1Become an Early Adopter to Get Disproportionate Rewards

Darmesh Shah talked about how he was one of the first people invited to publish articles on the new LinkedIn Today publishing platform and already has over a million views. He suggests that in order to get leverage in marketing you can’t do what everyone else is doing. First movers who can take advantage of new opportunities have an advantage in inbound marketing.

Like Engineers, Marketers Can Make a Huge Impact by Using Leverage

Darmesh Shah observed that engineers and marketers both make an impact by using leverage. For engineers the leverage is the code for software that is used by the masses while for marketers a piece of content can also be leveraged to impact large audiences.

There’s No Excuse for Not Producing High Quality Videos

Phil Nottingham gave a compelling argument for producing high quality video and explained how it is fairly inexpensive to produce “White Board Friday” quality video content. He showed how using a $100 lapel microphone and a $500 lighting rig makes a tremendous difference and looks highly professional. He gave an example of Zillow’s smart strategy to interview local realtors which naturally led to the realtors embedding the video on their own site. Interviews of customers or tutorials also make great content which can be transcribed to produce unique text content for product pages.

Changing Copy or Images Can Make a Huge Impact on Conversion

Kyle Rush, who worked on the Obama Campaign, suggested focusing on changing the copy or the image on landing pages to make the biggest impact on conversion. Changing the headline on a page to be more direct: “Now, save your payment information”, led to a 21% increase in conversion. Also, changing the image for the contest to win dinner with the President from a first person view to an image of two people having dinner with the President led to a 19% increase in conversion. Conversely, focusing on colors or shapes of buttons was largely a waste of time.

Be Prepared When Google Eats Your Lunch with New Search Results

Dr. Pete’s presentation showed numerous variations of search results that can make your top ranking irrelevant. In many cases they are providing answers and information in the search results so that you don’t have to leave Google. This is frightening because Google can intercept a lot of your traffic overnight if it targets your vertical. Some examples provided include auto insurance comparisons, flight information, and sports scores. Dr. Pete recommends focusing on selling before ranking so you are less dependent on Google.

Google +1’s Have a Surprisingly High Correlation to Rankings

According to Moz’s 2013 Ranking Factors study, Google +1’s are highly correlated to rankings. The .3 correlation that was calculated was the second highest correlation found and higher than the number of linking root domains (.29). Facebook shares (.26) and Tweets (.21) also had relatively high correlations. Are social signals catching up to links? It looks like social signals have become more of a factor in the algorithm.

Email Communication Hacks to Be More Effective

Carin Overturf from Moz shared some valuable tips for being more effective with email communication. She suggests to use your subject line as a headline that sets expectations for the recipient. Using bold and underline can make your email easier to skim and make your team’s communication more efficient.

Internet Traffic Will Shift to Smart Phones

Karen McGrane discussed the digital divide that many people don’t realize still exists in the United States. 20% of Americans have no Internet access and 35% don’t have broadband Internet access at home. However, almost everyone has a phone and most will eventually have a smart phone. Will Critchlow shared the fact that 77% of mobile searches are done at a location where a PC is available. Matthew Brown stated that 30% of Internet traffic will be mobile by the end of 2013 if the trend line continues. As most of the population shifts their Internet time to mobile, marketers will need to provide a great experience for smaller devices.

More Mozcon Coverage

MozCon 2013 Highlights & Quotes Content Harmony

The SEO State of the Union – Mozcon 2013 Ghergich & Co

Mozcon Day Two: Live Blogging! Search Engine Journal

MozCon 2013 Takeaways & Insights Kern Media

Insights and Tips from Mozcon 2013 – Liveblog Marketing Degree Today

101 SEO Tips from MozCon 2013 Day 1 Blast Analytics & Marketing

Presentation Slides from Mozcon:

Charles Sipe is an online marketing specialist from Seattle. He shares interesting marketing links on Google+ and Twitter (@charlessipe).

How to Target Different Audiences with Content Marketing

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Determining a well-defined target market is the first step towards a successful marketing strategy. Ask yourself who is already interested in your product or service – as well as who might be – and you can attempt to address their needs (as well as reach your clearly defined marketing objectives) with specific content marketing.

For instance, this article’s target audiences are:

1. Marketing Enthusiasts
2. Content Providers
3. Web Developers

Each of these audiences will be looking for a different thing from this piece. A marketing enthusiast might have searched ‘effectively targeting different audiences’, content providers might have tried ‘how to use content marketing’ and web developers/tech experts perhaps went looking for some combination of the two, such as ‘different types of content marketing.’

The point is, each of these groups is looking for, or drawn to, something different. Whether actual content or simply the way in which that content is presented – different things appeal to different audiences, so it’s essential to understand and cater to these preferences.

Using the above mentioned target audiences as examples, here’s a quick guide on how to use differentiated content (and content forms) to raise awareness, build trust and make sales.

Marketing Enthusiasts
A marketer’s main objectives are making a product known, understood and desired by its target market. They are likely to search for resources and tools that can help them do this. Examples of content that will cater to this need include:

1. ‘How-to’ guides and useful articles or blog posts
2. Webinars, podcasts, tutorials and demo videos
3. Marketing trend reports and whitepapers
4. Features guides (that show them how your product or service can help them achieve their goals)

Content Providers
A content provider’s goal is to create (and sell) high quality web content. This content could be written, visual or audio. As creatives they are likely to be looking for inspiration and ideas, mental stimulation that could serve as a springboard towards developing their own unique content (especially when suffering from a creative block). Examples of content that will be useful to them are:

1. Collations of inspirational examples (top ten lists, showcases and picture galleries etc.)
2. Interviews with industry pioneers
3. Viral videos, images or infographics
4. Relevant industry blogs, news and critiques

Web Developers / Tech Experts
Tech devotees can be subdivided into further target audiences, but for the purpose of this article, some technical goals might be creating custom websites; sourcing useful hardware, software and apps; as well as searching for a little inspiration. They might be looking for data-driven content that is direct and to the point. Examples of content that would be useful to them are:

1. Webinars, tutorials or demo videos
2. Reviews of useful tools, products or services
3. Case studies and customer testimonials
4. Pricing guides

All of these forms of content resonate particularly with certain kinds of target audience, and each can be adapted to enhance your business’ online presence. They are by no means exclusively suited to the specified audience types, but based on their mindset (discoverable with market research) they may prove more valuable, which is what creating good, sharable content is all about.

Targeting content is just one element of a comprehensive content marketing strategy, which you should develop in order to start seeing measurable benefits for your business.

Content marketing is already huge, and it’s growing. It can be an inexpensive way to generate sales, leads, and customers and help you beat your competitors.

If you’ve not jumped on the bandwagon yet, now is the time to do so.

Julianne Staino writes about marketing trends, technology, and Nuxeo– a company specializing in helping you manage your content and digital assets.

Hit Your Target Market in the Bull's Eye

In a competitive economy, learning and knowing your target market like the back of your hand is essential to succeeding and differentiating yourself from competitors. The advantages of understanding how to learn about your target market and capitalize on it are many:

  • Ability to relate with your customers and thus improve your marketing message
  • Improved conversion rates and closed sales by targeting highly qualified potential customers
  • Improved customer loyalty as you continually improve based on research
  • Efficiently budget for marketing costs to maximize return on investment

Marketing research and learning about your customers used to cost a fortune and be available only to companies with large marketing budgets. However, with the rise of the internet, customer surveys and market intelligence are in the reach of businesses of all sizes and budgets. Learn how to best utilize online marketing surveys and focus on your market with these actionable tips.

Include chance to participate in survey after customer action

The beauty of a website is that you can code feedback on the design, functionality, and user-friendliness right at the point of question. For example, at the end of purchase you can have an optional feedback box asking customers how their eCommerce experience was. Another example would be to include a place on product pages that customers could let you know what kind of products and varieties the customer would like to see that are not currently offered.

Offer an incentive to customers to encourage participation

Many customers, especially if upset, will give you feedback on your business without any type of incentive. However, you cannot depend on the good will of others to give you enough information to learn about your areas of improvement. Offer some type of incentive for the customer’s valuable time, whether that is a gift, a chance to win a drawing, or even just a discount on future purchases.

Keep time required to a minimum

If you find that there are 50 questions you would like to ask to gain insight into your market, that can be a challenge with the amount of time it would take to answer. There is an alternative with online surveys, especially if your website already has high traffic volume. If you keep the questions down to a minimum, you are more likely to receive participation because you require less of the customer’s time. If you program your surveys to ask random questions, over time you are going to get the sample size you need for enough information to take action.

Include a permanent virtual “suggestion box” on your website

Adding a suggestion box to your website will not only give you valuable customer feedback and market research, it will also create a sense of loyalty in your customers as they see you are open and willing to change to meet their needs. This suggestion box also will give the customer a chance to direct the conversation versus normal survey questions with only a few choices. You can learn a lot from a customer with open-ended questions.

Send an email blast asking for participation

As you grow your email list (you do collect email addresses, right?), you will gain a valuable source of participation from customers who have willingly opted in to receiving emails. Take advantage of this and send out an email blast to your existing customers asking for a few minutes of their time with an incentive of course.

James Daugherty created this post on behalf of Ask Your Target Market – Market Research has never been this easy.

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