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When you think of the word conference, what automatically comes to mind? For me, it’s Dreadful. Boring. Dull. I recently discovered when you’re attending a conference that aligns with what you’re interested in, it can be a colorful and exciting experience.
Continuing education in your field is vital to maintaining a competitive advantage. It pushes you to expand your mind, learn new skills and always humbles you.
This is the kind of education that reignites your passion; fuels the creative juices and pushes you to become a better employee or employer. It gives you the tools to push your organization forward; tools that are relevant that you can actually execute and apply.
Working in the digital space can be daunting at times. It’s ever changing so staying up to date with the latest changes, the newest trends, and the next innovative idea can leave anyone feeling lost.
That’s the cool thing about being in this field. Something is always challenging us, and we get the unique opportunity to learn more about it from our coworkers, leaders, and even strangers. Nerds like me get to go to conferences full of other digital marketing nerds and we can talk about things like SEO, content, UX, and we’re communicating together in a language that really pushes us outside the box.
And that’s exactly what I did at the Digital Summit this year. I was immersed in the banter of the latest Google trends, where Google’s AI is taking us, and how we can design personalized web experiences using the insider knowledge we all know we have on each other, but don’t want to admit.
This year focused on the importance of content; a consistently topical issue in our office. We design around content and try to educate our clients about how important finalized content is to drive our design process.
I spent two days in workshops learning about topics all things digital. My favorite two takeaways being: Google’s AI is going to drastically change how we use Google ads and discovering how to package content as a less daunting task.
We all already know how extensive Google’s technology is. We hear rumblings of people confused about how something they looked up online from their computer at work shows up on their personal Instagram feed on their mobile device. We hear stories that ads are being displayed when the user swears they haven’t even searched for that product before. We understand the concern of how invasive Google really is.
But, to further our goals as marketers, we have to know how to use this to our advantage. We’re going to have to start exploring how Google may one day watch our reactions to PPC advertising and think how colors may begin to change rankings of ads. If Google is watching us and our eyes divert, they could take that reaction and lower the ad rank.
We have to continue to utilize technology advancements to make a bigger impact on our targeted consumer. Designing web experiences that are personally tailored to each individual visiting your site is becoming more and more popular. If you’re located in Malibu and it’s sunny and 75 in November, a fashion retailer could serve up an experience that shows a bright yellow background with a sun and beach wear, compared to a user who is in 24-degree weather in Maine where it’s snowing. Beach wear wouldn’t be top of mind to that consumer, so the retailer could serve up an experience with snowflakes falling while highlighting winter jackets.
These kinds of experiences may seem overbearing and creepy to the user at first, but intuitively we’ll be speaking to the inner voice of what they’re searching for. We’ll be able to deliver the answer to their problem more efficiently and quickly, creating a quicker customer journey with the goal of inspiring brand loyalty.
All of these pieces circle back to one main topic: content. Without it, our sites and brands are lousy and lackluster. We can’t optimize for SEO and we aren’t establishing connections with our consumers. Content is our way to reach consumers and communicate in our brand voice. It’s the only way to distinguish ourselves as brands. We preach content to our clients, and we’re constantly repeating ourselves on the importance of it. Producing content begins to build the bridge with our consumers to choose us over a competitor. Content is our chance to solve a consumer’s problem most effectively; it’s our way of being the best at what we do.
The digital summit covered topics all across the digital realm. It was two days of fast-paced learning and absorbing as much as I possibly could. It’s important to be knowledge hungry for more and to constantly seek the best ways to gain competitive advantage to become the best version of our brand.