Lab Notes

24 Useful Takeaways from MN Search Summit 2015

At the MN Search Summit 2015, hundreds of marketers gathered around the state of search and content.

The day included speakers from Moz, LinkedIn, Bing, aimClear, Seer Interactive, Brain Traffic and many other innovators pushing digital marketing boundaries.

We put together our top 24 takeaways (quotes, ideas, tactics, strategies) from the event, and here they are:

  1. If you require all content marketing efforts to return immediate ROI, you will never create awesome content.
  2. Want to do something awesome? Find a provable case for money a company is wasting, then ask for half of it to go do something awesome. – Will Reynolds, Founder of Seer Interactive
  3. Moz allocates 20% of marketing budget for experimentation (not trackable to ROI). At GoKart Labs, we use a 70:20:10 model. 70% = efficiency, 20% = scaling experiments, 10% = pure experimentation.
  4. There’s no such thing as free traffic. There’s no such thing. To produce content people search for, you need to pay for talent and sweat to make it worthwhile.
  5. A common theme from speakers: “The story of mobile is no longer how can we do it, it’s how can we not do it.” – Jeff Sauer of Jeffalytics.com
  6. 53% of emails now opened on mobile devices. Email conversion rates are 3X higher than social.
  7. “In the next 20 years, machine learning will be more important than mobile.” – Duane Forrester, Sr. Product Manager at Bing
  8. Structured data markup (like schema.org) is essential as machine learning evolves, and a no brainer for SEO today—especially as mobile outpaces desktop.
  9. Video = massive paid opportunity.
  10. “Video creates emotional human connections with your brand or product.” Only .25% of paid landing pages include video. Huge opportunity there. – Casey Henry, SEM/Growth Manager at Wistia
  11. Don’t think you can create video? You can. Here’s a ton of video tips (Wistia Video Library) for any business to create great videos without breaking bank.
  12. Want people to watch your videos? Custom thumbnails increase click rate by 35%, custom play buttons 19%, and 400-600 pixels is optimal size for video.
  13. Pre-roll video ads are purely a brand awareness play. Don’t expect conversion. People skip them, or they click and bounce.
  14. Facebook video advertising is incredible value, especially on mobile.
  15. Here’s a great eCommerce Facebook video ad example that a) doesn’t require audio, b) grabs attention visually, c) it’s the right length—short! – Merry Morud, Director of aimClear
  16. Serious about doing content strategy? It gets no better than Brain Traffic’s “A Content Strategy Roadmap” Slideshare.
  17. Want your content to be seen? It’s a paid world now, and retargeting website visitors is the hardest working part of your budget.
  18. It’s old news that we need to create valuable, relevant content. What next? Build retargeting segments of your various audiences.
  19. One example audience: Building retargeting segments for website visitors who take high value actions like add to cart and not buy, or who watch all of a sales video on your site. You’ll get your money back all day long remarketing to those people.
  20. Planning content? Want to know if you should make it? Here’s an open spreadsheet for researching and deciding what content to create– Ross Hudgens, Founder of Siege Media
  21. Stocksy = stock photos that don’t suck.
  22. The @Distilled “S.U.C.C.E.S.S” Framework for creating great content. Simple. Unexpected. Credible. Concrete. Stories. Shareable.
  23. Want your content to organically reach further? Reddit is killer, but takes finesse. Ross Hudgens’ Siege Media blog owns Reddit distribution strategy.
  24. Here’s Moz blog’s take on doing advanced content analytics to actually know if the content you created is working.

Have other great tips from the #MNSummit or your own work? Drop some knowledge in the comments.

GoKart is a digital invention lab. To learn more about our services, contact us here: [email protected]

Paul writes about modern marketing practices for today's fragmented digital world.

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