Zenith 2019 x Out There Advertising

Yesterday, Thursday, May 25, the Zenith Digital Marketing Conference was held in Duluth. With so many great minds and innovative ideas in one place, Out There Advertising couldn’t miss it! We sent four members of our team to absorb what industry experts across the country are doing.

So, what were the three biggest takeaways each of our attendees brought back from the conference? Learn more…

Sean Morgan‘s three takeaways:

Akvile DeFazio spoke about social pay-per-click within the marketing mix. It was interesting to hear about the latest additions to social platforms that are planned for the coming months. I had come across the latest Instagram feature recently which allows users to purchase items directly through the platform instead of being re-directed to an external website. This advancement is still in beta, but it is something to look forward to especially for businesses actively selling their products – as the ease of use for the consumer is excellent!

The breakout session centered on search marketing presented by Microsoft’s very own John Lee was insightful. The use of layered targeting options through tagging users as they browse a website before adding them to a list and remarketing through search modifiers was impressive. John also made an interesting point that a majority of advertisers are not utilizing ad extensions and are missing out on a huge amount of traffic. Thankfully we are not in the majority bracket on that one.

Cindy Krum of Mobile Moxie presented her keynote speech, focusing on Mobile-First Indexing. Having watched a Google seminar several months ago which detailed upcoming changes to the platform based on how users are searching, we now see those changes in full effect. Click throughs to websites are beginning to decline as Google prioritizes its structured snippets feature. Users are finding an answer to their query within Google results pages. There is much more emphasis on maintaining your site with relevant content, with the aim of appearing in a structured snippet, as well as maintaining the site through SEO techniques to achieve a high rank. With the shift from desktop to mobile search, we should be focusing on a clean mobile experience alongside desktop as well as recognizing that both desktop and mobile search are different in the results they deliver.

Abby Miller‘s three takeaways:

1 of every 5 minutes people spend on mobile phones are on Facebook or Instagram. These are powerful channels that should be utilized to their fullest potential. If you have a strong email list, match your email list to Facebook. Figure out those audiences you can remarket in different ways. Segmenting your email list will take you to the next level.

“Consumers expect brands to have values, not just value propositions.” Consumers want to see that a brand’s values align with their own. Brands can quickly diminish when their authenticity and values are crushed by being associated with anything that goes against their beliefs. Whether that be a digital ad on a website placed next to something they don’t believe in, or part of a thread on a fake news post. In a world with Internet bots, it’s important to generate first party data to have a strong base and foundation so you don’t have all your eggs in one basket.

Influencer marketing has been around for hundreds and hundreds of years – it’s nothing new. Sure, the landscape has obviously changed and evolved over the years but the concept is the same. Take the time to find your people. The people that believe in your values and beliefs. The people that will truly love or appreciate your product or service. But find them slowly. Start by showing them that you believe in them. That you appreciate what they do. Engage with them socially and get involved. Once that relationship is built, create a foundation of deliverables and expectations and make sure you help shape their experience.

Andy Schwantes‘ three takeaways:

Per Akvile Defazio, of Akvertise, Inc., in the “Social PPC in the Marketing Mix #Realistic” session, as much as 85 percent of Facebook video views happen with sound turned off. That makes it imperative that your visual elements are engaging, and your logo and product/service are incorporated early on and throughout your video ads on Facebook. Also, consider using captions or short snippets of text onscreen.

In his session, “Focus on Search Marketing: Intelligently Layer Targeting & the Latest Ad Features,” Microsoft’s John Lee noted a simple but important reminder, that not using the ad extensions in Google’s extended search ads can actually decrease your quality score. So, it’s important to utilize the ad features provided for optimal performance – both for your customers and for Google.

In Cindy Krum’s afternoon keynote “Mobile-First Indexing & What the Documentation Doesn’t Tell You,” she re-enforced the sentiment that when it comes to search, “Google is not a search engine, it’s an answer engine.” This can be seen by a number of different results that Google’s Knowledge Graph delivers above standard organic rankings in SERPs, including knowledge panels, carousels, answer boxes, Google posts, featured snippets and more.

Bailey Sutherland‘s three takeaways:

97% of consumers look at online reviews when making a buying decision and 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendations. When it comes to reputation management, it is important to know what people are saying, and to be a part of the conversation for your brand.

Most consumers don’t even go to the homepage of a company’s website – search and intelligent services take them to a direct page, or consumers take direct action at the first touch point.

In order to create an intimate audience experience you MUST show that “we get you, we are with you, and we are one of you”.

Well, that puts a wrap on #Zenith2019. Our team very much enjoyed ourselves and left with some actionable insights, as well as several good reminders. The digital landscape continues to evolve rapidly and we are excited to have had the opportunity to immerse ourselves in what’s new and exciting. Until next year, Zenith.