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Becky Shindell

Event Recap: What We Learned at Digital Summit Philadelphia 2016

Becky Shindell
Event Recap: What We Learned at Digital Summit Philadelphia 2016

Over 685 digital marketing leaders from regional and national brands came together in Philadelphia for two days of discussion, education, and networking. This event gave us the opportunity to connect with some of the best and brightest in the industry and we couldn’t wait to come back and share with you some of our key takeaways from Digital Summit Philadelphia.


Beverly Jackson, VP of Social Media and Content Strategy at MGM Resorts opened up the event discussing “The Challenge of Content at Scale.” She stressed that we always need to be true to the brand promise. She wasn't afraid to try new ideas and she wasn't afraid to say no if those ideas didn't correctly relate to the audience they were trying to reach.

Facebook Continues to Dominate in 2016

Facebook's Chris Sanders who is their Industry Manager of Global Marketing solutions told us how important is is to tell great stories. Marketing is still about connecting with people and that we should focus on that connection with the customers. Key information included:

  • Facebook Live is a great way to get organic attention; it is immersive and personal.

  • 45% of online video consumption is now on mobile; 616% growth from 2012-2015.


Movement Strategy's VP of Strategic Marketing Nick Hoppe gave us an in-depth understanding of Facebook video and how we can incorporate it into our marketing strategy. Some of the key takeaways included:

  • Content that is targeted to specific audiences far outperforms broad content.

  • Native Facebook video continues to dominate organic reach.

  • If your first few frames on your video aren’t attention grabbing, don’t even bother posting.

Google is Just a Machine

Jordan Koene, Chief Evangelist of  Searchmetrics, gave us insight on how to survive the search plateau. He gave us tactics on how to bring our website’s SEO visibility to new heights. Key takeaways:

  • We should decommission or consolidate low value content. Remove “dead” content or pages.

  • Google is prioritizing long form content.


"Content is NOT the future. Content distribution is." - Scott Bryer of Adidas

Mitch Joel, President of Mirum gave us some food for thought at his lunchtime keynote about the future of brands. He reminded us that someday we’ll have to answer to our refrigerators and thermostats and that we need to prioritize making real impressions on our customers instead of just counting impressions. Some key takeaways included:

  • The only screen that matters to our customers is the screen that is right in front of them.

  • Getting our clients and customers to sign up for email is considered a transaction.

  • Impermanence, access and sharing is where value is today in the age of efficiency

LINKS: The Most Important SEO Factor: How to Get and Measure Them

Jim Boykin, Founder and CEO of Internet Ninjas told us that when it comes to SEO, we should be focusing on the right links; not just getting every link driven into your site. Some key takeaways included:

  • 87% of sites that ranked 7 years ago are not ranking today.

  • When checking backlinks in Google, also check non-www, and https versions of your site, if applicable.

  • Split testing, UX, and keyword research are worthless if you don't get traffic.

Your Digital Marketing is Failing You

Janet Driscoll Miller, President and CEO of Marketing Mojo taught us how to fix our digital marketing attribution model. Here was our key takeaway:


Breakthrough Storytelling with Analytics

Michael Brito, Head of U.S Digital Marketing taught us the four barriers to reaching customers. He taught us that we should NOT be putting the same content on each channel. Here are the key takeaways we got from his keynote:

  • There’s a content and media surplus
  • Humans have an attention deficit
  • Tunnel vision is a requirement
  • Customer journey is unpredictable

Using Creative Storytelling:

  • Brand is the hero of the story

  • Brand is a character in the story

  • Brand is the observer of a story

Last, but not least, Our very own Martin Weinberg discussed "How To Expand Your Marketing with Creative Keyword Research."  

We used Facebook live to get the whole thing on video:

Do you have any of your own key takeaways from Digital Summit Philadelphia? Let us know in the comments.

Becky Shindell is Social Media Manager, US at SEMrush. You can connect with her on LinkedIn and follow her on Twitter to find the latest on anything from fashion to SEO and everything in between.

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