Over 600 digital marketers gathered in Squamish, BC for the second annual Canadian Internet Marketing Conference (CIMC2016). With a huge line-up of speakers (Google, Ebay, Twitter, Easy just to name a few) and an enthusiastic crowd there was a lot to take in. The speakers covered everything: landing pages and reporting, retail in omni-channel marketplaces, selling to the Chinese market, the enduring importance of direct mail, PR relationships, marketing music in the digital age, content and influencer marketing and using Twitter for business and more. It’s a lot more than we could ever fit into a single blog post. These are the key takeaways that we’re going to implement first.
Create Better Landing Pages
Oli Gardner (@oligardner) from Unbounce claims to have seen more landing pages than anyone else in the world and I believe him. His presentation was chock-full of data and ideas for creating more effective landing pages. These three are a great place to start.
- Be specific in your headline. Often the headline of a landing page is generic and the meat is in the subheading. Flip the headline and subheading and see if it makes more sense that way. If it does, rewrite both so your best, clearest information is right at the top.
- Avoid hyperbole. Don’t tell your customers why you’re unique; show them. Put your best work forward and let your results tell your story.
- Use transformational testimonials. Get testimonials where the customer talks about herself rather than talking about you. When your readers can see how she has changed and grown, they’re more likely to want what she has.
Get Better Reports
Sarah Clark (Jelly Digital Marketing & PR), Nathan Baker (Raven), and Melissa Mewdell (O2E Brands) did a fantastic panel on the importance of not just reporting data, but reporting the right data in the best way. In the digital age you can get a report on any data point you can imagine, but all of that information doesn’t necessarily lead to actionable understanding. So how do you decide which data to collect and what to do with it?
- Know what story you’re trying to tell. Long before you get that first report, have a conversation about what you want to know. Choose your focus and have the report tailored to that.
- Create context. Melissa Mewdell said, “Results never speak for themselves.” The data alone is rarely enough to know if you’ve really succeeded. Give the data context to turn it into information that you can use.
- Keep reports as short as possible. Longer reports can lead to less understanding, not more. The right report will be clear and concise, showing you what was done, what happened and where to go next.
Build Better Websites for Everyone
Tracey Falk (@traceyfalk) and Miriam Thomas (@andmiriam) from Domain7 spoke about the importance of making online designs work for everybody. It’s a side of online design that often gets put on the “if we have time” list at the end of a project. But as Tracey noted, “When we design for accessibility we create better work.” Here are four things you can do today to make your website more accessible.
- Add alt-tags to your images.
- Create closed captions for your videos.
- Use colour names that make sense (What colour is gumdrop?)
- Carefully identify your links.
Be More Authentic
Tyler Douglas (@tylerdouglas) from Vision Critical encouraged us to be authentic and to treat customers like people, not as transactions. Today’s customers, he reminded us, can speak more widely and with more power and influence than ever before — so engaging, listening and learning from customers will be the only way for businesses to succeed in the future.
- Expect real time response
- Expect personalized services
- Expect authenticity
How can businesses be more authentic? They must:
- Speak to human experience
- Share what they believe in
- Be honest
- Engage with their customers
It’s hard to believe this is only the second year for the Canadian Internet Marketing Conference. I can only imagine what the conference will look like five years from now. This year’s event sold out, so it’s not too early to start thinking about CIMC 2017. If you’re involved in selling, marketing, promoting, distributing, or developing things online you need to be here. Huge thanks to Jelly Marketing and Marwick Internet Marketing for a great event – see you next year!