Editor’s Note: SEJ is a press partner of Authority Rainmaker 2015, and received press passes in exchange for event coverage.
Day one of the Copyblogger was fantastic, and I was really looking forward to the speaker line up for day two. (If you missed it, you can read my recap of day one here.) I have to say, second day speakers did not disappoint. Here is a recap of all the speakers.
Sally Hogshead: How to Perform Witchcraft: The Art and Science of Fascination in Your Marketing
Sally is a branding expert, professional speaker, and the CEO of Fascinate, Inc. Before the conference began, I took her “How to Fascinate” assessment, which asks a series of questions about your personality to tell you which characteristics make you most engaging to others.
The assessment gives you two advantages, which come together to create a personality Archtype. Mine was “The Trendsetter”, with primary advantage innovation, secondary advantage prestige. Sally stresses this assessment is not how you see the world, but rather how the world sees you.
She starts with an example about Jager, everyone’s least favorite shot. Most of the people in the crowd had tried Jager, but almost everyone admitted to not really liking the taste. Yet, the company has grown its sales nearly 40% year after year. How is it that a company who everyone loves to hate continues to grow?
The answer is fascination.
Sally says people are actually buying the toxic experience. We’re buying that “Oh god, can you believe we just did that?” experience. Which, from a branding perspective, is completely counter intuitive. According to Sally, our personalities have qualities like Jager, which set us apart.
“Different is better than better. It is not enough to be the best if no one cares.”
Brands can either have the biggest marketing budget, or they can be the most fascinating. Sally goes on to give an example of starting her first marketing firm in Venice Beach, California, which was not such a nice area.
Having your office in a bad neighborhood couldn’t possibly be a selling point, right? In fact, they used it to set themselves apart, by passing out parking tags that said “Please don’t slash my tires, I’m visiting Robaire and Hogshead” and Christmas cards featuring picture with their gang member neighbors.
According to Sally, you have nine seconds of interaction in order to fascinate a person. She suggests being completely authentic and focus on being yourself, which makes it is easier to get hired and create the life you want. Instead of trying to outdo someone else, be different.
Customize your message to the people you most want to work with and don’t worry about the rest (those who don’t want what you sell).
Sally stated clients don’t hire you because you are balanced, they hire you because you are extraordinary in some way.
Editor’s Note: Listen to our Marketing Nerd’s podcast with Sally below.
Danny Sullivan: The State of Search Marketing in 2015
Danny Sullivan, the CCO of Third Door Media, and co-founder of Search Engine Land, discussed the future of search and what marketers can expect to see in the next few years.
As the world of search and technology shifts, there is a lot of new things to consider, including the different ways people can discover your business. In order to stay competitive, you need to pay attention and make sure you show up in these locations. It’s no longer just about search.
According to Danny, the future may well be predictive search, where Google gives you answers before you even search. For example, you pull out your phone to search and Google says “Hey, I see you are in Germany, here is the exchange rate, here is how you say thank you in Germany, here’s the time where you are. ”
- Don’t believe any one tactic is magic bullet – beware of shiny objects
- Know fundamentals: this stuff does not change, and will stay the same over time.
- Invest in quality content
- Build an audience, not links
- The more you SEO just for SEO, the less effective it will be.
- All those SEO factors have a human touch at their heart.
- PEO, or people engine optimization: “Does this tactic make sense for a human being?”
Michael King: Perfect Starts: How to Get More of the Right Traffic
Michael gave a high energy presentation about how and why you should perform a site audit. He offered detailed, actionable information you can actually use to get the most out of your content.
According to Michael, content is not king, your customer is, which is why audits are essential. The first thing a site audit will help you discover is holes in your funnel.
If customers aren’t finding the content from you, where are they finding it?
Asking this question will help you discover where you are leaking link equity, what is already performing well, what you should make more of, and what your content strategy is missing.
Factors to consider when doing a content audit:
- Personas: Who is your audience?
- Journey Maps: What are the series of needs users go through?
- Analytics: How are users actively using your content?
Ultimately, Michael says you need to remember that different content serves different needs. For example, it doesn’t make sense to measure an infographic based on sales, But it does make sense to measure a buyers guide on sales.
Example of Filling Content Goals
Michael gives an example of a company called Trip.me, which had plenty of content in the explore/booking phase, but was missing content in areas farther down the funnel like prepare, travel, arrive, stay, depart, problem, and report. Creating content in those areas caused an immediate increase in revenue.
For each piece of content, Michael says you should ask the following questions:
- On a scale of 1-3 how good is this content?
- On a scale of 1-3, how likely is a user to be able to complete a business goal?
- Would someone go out of their way to link to this article?
- What are the obstacles to conversation?
Tools Michael suggests for performing a content audit:
- Screaming Frog
- Social Crawlytics
- Deep Crawl
- URL Profiler
- Auditor by Kapost
- Get Michael’s content audit template.
Additionally, here’s Michael’s slides:
Joe Pulizzi: This Six Steps to Building a Massive Audience with Content
Joe is the founder of Content Marketing Institute, an entrepreneur, speaker, author, and podcaster. In his presentation, Joe studied and reversed engineered some of the most successful blogs in the industry.
Here are the steps he says it takes to build a successful blog:
Find the Sweet Spot
The sweet spot is where your passion and knowledge connect. Take what you know and what you love, then combine them. Joe gives the example of Backyard Poultry – a guy who build a multimillion dollar company based on teaching others how to raise chickens in their back yard. Yeap, there is a market for just about everything.
Start by creating a content marketing mission statement by answering these questions:
- Who is your core target? (if you have multiple personas it can get watered down. Focus)
- What will be delivered?
- What will be the outcome for the audience?
Use the answers to inform each and every piece of content you create.
Building the Base
Joe says building your base is all about keeping it simple:
- One content type
- One main platform
- Consistent Delivery
- Long Period of time
According to Joe, this is all it takes to build a successful blog.
Harvesting the Audience
To harvest your audience you should focus on subscribers, and less on social. Joe says he expects social to become less and less valuable in the coming years.
The next step, Joe says, is diversifying your content. And there are two ways to do it:
- Personal: Blog, book, public speaking
- Business: Digital, in print, in-person
Always look at ways to monetize, but remember it may take a while before you are able to. Joe says you will likely want to monetize quickly, but hold back and build the audience first.
View Joe’s slides here:
Sean D’Souza: How to Sell Less and Make More
The Case for Raising Prices
What do clients want? They want value, they don’t want cheaper prices. Are you considering lowering your prices? The consequences: work twice as hard and experience the loss of expertise. With less money, you can’t go to conferences, can’t buy new software, and you can’t buy training services.
We sell on price, but the customer buys on value, and information increases value.
The Yes-Yes System
Instead of offering a yes-no offer (do you want to buy, or don’t you?), Sean introduces the concept of a yes-yes system. This includes a product, or a product + bonus. People are often willing to pay for an upgrade, and the bonus shifts the focus, becoming more important than the product itself.
Check list of Yes-Yes:
- Core products are exactly the same, no variation.
- Must have bonus: regular coffee, premium: coffee plus muffin.
- Price difference cannot be more than 15%
- MUST HAVE BONUS: Something the person really wants with their heart and soul.
Won’t customers get wise to this strategy? Sean says yes, but the bonus is so strong, they will buy anyways.
My favorite takeaway from Sean’s presentation:
You should raise prices so you can gain experience and give better value. (Better software, more training, etc.)
Note: here’s a list of all the resources Sean mentioned in this presentation.
Joanna Lord: How to Create a Culture of Testing For Maximum Growth
Joanna Lord is marketing leader, tech mentor, and the VP of Marketing at Porch, a start-up. She’s also a Professor of Advanced Digital Marketing University of Washington. And she loves testing – a lot.
61% of companies carry out less than five tests every month. – Bryan Eisenberg
So, knowing that , how do we build a testing culture? Joanna says you have to start with letting employees be wrong – you can’t develop a testing culture without people knowing they can be wrong with out being fired.
Principle 1: You need to invest in a testing culture; you need the buy in.
Success looks different for everybody, but you need everyone to buy in – from hourly employees to the c-suite executives.
Principle 2: Empowerment demands freedom.
Your company must be wiling to give both monetary investment and executive support. Then, stop speaking in abstracts and switch to speaking in next steps.
Principle 3: You need to see it to believe it.
Your company needs to talk about testing and the results often.
What Porch does:
- Weekly test round-up
- Open every update
- Open every meeting
- Fully resourced testing team
Principle #4: Humble trumps hippos
Testing idea’s shouldn’t only come from the highest ranking member in the room (hippos).
Principle #5: Every fire needs a fuel
To build a testing culture, you must allow testing boldly without reservation.
Final takeaway: What you learn about what doesn’t work can save you just as much as what does.
Customer Experience Versus Conversion Optimization: Which Works Better With Scott Stratten & Ryan Deiss, Hosted by Brian Clark
This session was a debate panel between Scott Stratten, President of UnMarketing, and Ryan Diess, Founder of DigitalMarketer.com, which was hosted by Brain Clark, the CEO of Copyblogger.
This was an intense session debating which is more important: customer experience or conversion optimization? It was a fast paced session with more than a few barbs thrown! Here are a few points from both sides of the arguments.
Scott Stratten: Customer Experience
We hate getting cold called, but we want to get better at it. Instead, you should put yourself in front of customers so when they need the product, they buy from you.
Selling doesn’t end with the sale. The best way to get future sales is to make the customer ecstatic about the current sale.
Ryan Diess: Conversion Optimization
This whole idea of content didn’t exist before, instead, marketer’s focus was on the conversion front. While today content comes first, Ryan says if you don’t quickly give an offer, customers lose interest.
Some people might get mad if you send them too many emails, but most people don’t care. They are focusing on their life, and eventually something they like might show up.
Henry Rollins: Final Keynote
I was looking forward to Henry’s presentation above all the other speakers, which is really saying a lot! He is a punk rock legend, epic writer, and a well-known spoken word artist who pioneered DIY marketing. Henry’s presentation was free form, so there wasn’t a specific topic thread to follow. So, here’s a few of his most standout quotes.
On Being Bold
- Dare to step out of the cubicle. You are brave and bold enough to avoid the cubicle at a job you hate that will kill your soul.
- You are just a little person in a sea of the world. Flip that fear, use it as a rocket booster to succeed.
On the Black Flags
- The Black Flags was DIY on growth hormones. We were not only not accepted, we were hated by government and law enforcement. We didn’t see anyone helping us, so we were DIY.
- We were bold to the point of savage.
On Integrity and Owning Your Products
- When you want someone to pay for it, it better be good. You are taking money out of their kid’s mouth. You better deserve it.
- The business end of DIY is a means to protect the integrity of the thing I was producing.
- Stay honest. Make good things for people.
- No one cares, so either you come in guns blazing – here it is, doing it to death – or you don’t do it all.
- You want to do it, just do it. You have to come at it armor plated. Keep your integrity and your honesty at the forefront and you will prevail. It may not be in the exact fiscal quarter that you want, but you will.
- I get up everyday angry – mad at everything I haven’t done yet, every country I haven’t been to yet.
- I’m AARP, right? Shouldn’t I be getting up at 4:30am and getting in line for an early bird breakfast? What is there to do in life but to do one thing, and then another, and then another. Do good things and to add to someone’s life.
Final Thoughts on Copyblogger Authority Rainmaker 2015
A huge shout out to Brian Clark and Jessica Commins of Copyblogger for putting together a fantastic conference. I was really impressed with the quality of speakers, and the friendliness of all attendees.
I’ll leave you with this epic photo SEJ Social Media Manager Debbie Miller and I took with Henry Rollins.