c3 Conductor Searchlight Conference 2015: Day 2

Glad you’re back for my wrap-up of day 2 of the Conductor C3 conference. Catch up on c3 day 1 to see my face on Will Smith’s body and read lessons from Seer Interactive, eBay, and Tiki Barber.

How to Launch a Content-First Business
Joe Pulizzi – Founder, Content Marketing Institute

Day 2 started off by jumping straight into a keynote by Joe Pulizzi that was focused on content. Essentially, the overall message of this talk was “content marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. We must build relationships with consumers.” Find your niche and drive content home with consistency to create a loyal audience. Below are the key takeaways. To hear more of Joe’s insights, pick up his latest book, Content Inc.

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How to Mine Meaningful Stories
Tara Fuller – Content Strategist, New York Times

I loved Tara’s presentation. At The New York Times, Tara is involved with the T Brand Studio, which creates SERIOUSLY engaging content. She used pivotal examples that showed “branded content doesn’t have to suck.” For example, to promote the second season of Orange Is the New Black, the company created a video that delved into the lives of incarcerated women and explored how they got into jail, their previous lives, their regrets, and lessons learned. This initiative was extremely engaging and emotional and left me wanting more.

21 Success Tactics and Your All-In-One Roadmap for Enterprise SEO and Mega Sites
John Shehata – VP, SEO, Condé Nast

John Shehata has been one of my favorite speakers at the Conductor conferences. He’s insightful, to the point and extremely intelligent. This presentation offered 21 tips to be successful as a search engine marketer. These tips spanned from how and when to include SEO in the roadmap of a project to how to make your lives easier like making other teams the hero as well as “never tell a dev something is easy.”

Lunch Break, OH YEAH
I’m just saying, whoever decided on the catering company this year did a great job. Lunch today was a taco / burrito bowl bar. Conductor loved my picture of my burrito bowl so much, they included it in their blog of top 10 moments of the conference (see #4) AND I got to use the new burrito emoji. Wins all around.

Why Smart Local Search Means Global Brand Power
Sarah Little – Director of Digital Marketing, StorageMart

Sarah gave some great examples on how to further optimize your local strategy. Something as simple as renaming your homepage breadcrumb, the secondary navigation that shows the user’s location on your website, from “home” to your brand name can have a positive effect on your branding and local SEO. Sarah also discussed troubles with Google confusing StorageMart’s office hours with their storage facility hours which caused customers to show up to closed offices. To combat this, the team used schema markup to wrap code around the differing sets of hours and send a signal to search engines differentiating the two. Sarah showed the redesigned site structure that allowed StorageMart to combine their domains for US and Canada as well as bring the important local pages to the forefront of the site.

Closing Keynote
Duane Forrester – Senior Product Manager, Microsoft
Mark McMaster – Global YouTube and Brand Activation, Google
Vikram Bhaskaran – Strategic Partnerships, Pinterest

It was awesome to hear from a panel of influencers in such prestigious companies. The panel covered soup to nuts in digital media. My favorite moments include when Duane Forrester said “you don’t sell products, you sell experiences” and backed it up with GoPro’s exciting lifestyle ads. Vikram Bhaskaran also brought up the term “DEO” which stands for discovery engine optimization in reference to pinterest and channels like youtube, where users’ keyword searches are different than if they were searching the same topic on Google. The panel also discussed that there’s a market need that you might not even know existed, bringing up an unexpected amount of pins of an old car and a surprising social following for a toothpaste brand.

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The key takeaways from the conference:

  1. Content is King, but Context is Queen – not only does the content have to be quality, it also has to be shown to the correct audience
  2. Branded content doesn’t have to suck – go beyond the cut and dry – build content that the audience can connect with
  3. If you can’t feel it, you won’t remember it – content will be much more memorable if it invokes an emotion from the audience
  4. Utilize trending topics for content ideas – marketing “in the moment” materials will generate a lot of buzz and be memorable until the next trending topic arises

Conductor and the presenters have graciously made the slides and keynote videos available for public consumption here. Did you attend this year? We’d love to hear which presentations were your favorites!

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