There are quite a few world-renowned digital marketing conferences: PubCon, SMX, MozCon and SASCon, to name a few. They all have an impressive history and gather dozens of speakers per event. Yet there's another worthwhile event you might not know about.
Have you heard of The Marketing Festival in Brno? The event is stationed in the Czech Republic, a country that lies in the heart of Europe: a land of mesmerizing castles, the birthplace of Antonín Dvorák and Franz Kafka, and an area known for its high quality beer and huge number of both local and national breweries. But, the magnetic landscape isn't the only thing that should draw your attention to this European conference. While the Czech digital marketing festival is only in its second year, it could put a number of its industry contenders to shame.
The Marketing Festival was held from October 31 to November 2, and it offered a whole day of workshops and two days full of amazing content. The organizers shared they have been preparing the event for a whole year now, and it really shows.
But let’s cut to the chase: here's a recap of my favorite speakers and the subjects they covered.
The Top 4 Speakers & Key Takeaways
(If you wish to read about the rest of the Marketing Festival Sessions and speakers you can skim through the Day 1 overview of the event).
"Goodbye Faith, Hello Data Driven Agile Marketing"
Web analytics is Avinash’s vocation, and everyone at the festival was eager to listen to his words of wisdom. There is always the risk of getting too into the technical stuff when talking about data analysis, but Avinash knew better. His message and advice were easy to grasp and apply. He discussed the following concept:
The Four Audience Clusters
According to Avinash, each company should be aware of the existence of the four major audience groups:
- The people who SEE (those who are not ready to purchase yet and are simply observing and gathering info)
- The people who THINK (those who are considering their options — comparing pros and cons before actually making a purchase)
- The people who DO (those who actually buy)
- The people who CARE (the existing customers)
Avinash warned that marketers should not focus only on traffic and demographics when building up their strategies, but instead take into account people’s past experiences, and thus try to understand their audience's intent.
Business owners usually fall for a common misconception — they only focus on the DO audiences and pursue the immediate gain. The masterful technique of audience engagement, however, hides in knowing your audience types, and creating content for each one of them.
Avinash explained that every marketing channel is suitable for outreaching to specific audience cluster. Thus, for instance, Facebook and Twitter are usually best for addressing the SEE and THINK cluster, sometimes even CARE, while paid search is good for the THINK and DO cluster.
Learning which channel addresses which cluster of your audience will help you optimize your content for the given channel. You do not wish to waste time conveying DO messages to SEE audience (e.g. commercial message to Facebook audience).
Avinash was pretty explicit in his presentation; he offered actionable guidance with a firm grip of reality. His final tip was priceless:
"Optimize for the journey, not the one night stand" - Avinash Kaushik
"How We’ve Built almost 20K Links by Hand"
A constructive link building strategy is a priceless thing in the present days of algo chaos and reigning Google penalties. Julie is a seasoned link builder and she did not hesitate to share her know-how with the festival attendees.
She has been working in the SEO field for quite a while now and she knows how risky of a service link building can be. Reinventing the service and keeping on track with the latest search engine requirements is a must if you are to safeguard a given domain from manual or algorithmic penalties. One thing she never compromises with, though? Her link building service remains 100 percent manual.
Here are some interesting tips Julie shared at the festival:
- PR is not a reliable metric to assess website authority
- When assessing a website prospect check if there is fresh content on the site
- Use special search operators to narrow down your search (e.g. inurl:blog)
- Use long-tail key phrases to narrow down your search
- Look way back in Google SERPs for valuable prospects
- Usually it takes up to six-to-10 emails to get a live backlink (and some can take as few as three and some could take forever — above 15)
- Outreach strategy and efforts put can go to waste if you do not have link-worthy content
- Use images as linking resources to your website — webmasters are more inclined to link to you via image than via text
- Crowdsourcing and interviews make up for great linkable content
- Consider the lost link opportunities
- Create a database for webmaster you no longer wish to contact (such that have already rejected you, or that you have already used on a number of occasions, or such that have requested not to be contacted anymore)
- Mention your client only when you have attracted the interest of the given webmaster, don’t rush into disclosing his business beforehand
- Be careful when using paid links and use a nofollow tag if you feel a given prospect is too risky.
“In the end it’s all about common sense, proper targeting and great content” - Julie Joyce
Dr. Peter Meyers
"The World of Google: US vs. Europe"
Dr. Pete’s presentation was actually an amazing gesture to the local audience. He has created a unique research of the prominence of the key SERP elements in the Czech Republic as compared to those in USA, UK and Poland. It is remarkable how he had took time and efforts to create such a unique project that will appeal to this specific audience - a beautiful compliment that I believe everyone appreciated greatly.
The key takeaways from his research were:
- In-depth Articles haven’t shown in CZ yet while they show for 16.6 percent of the US based searches
- Answer Boxes are way behind in CZ (0.24 percent) as compared to US (3.54 percent)
- The Knowledge Graph Carousel is still lagging behind: CZ (0.03 percent) vs US (0.59 percent)
- Local Carousel is yet to appear in CZ (0 percent) vs. US (1 percent)
- Local Packs are a bit behind in CZ (6.2 percent) vs. US (8.9 percent)
The brilliant idea of comparing US and CZ SERPs was not the only compliment that Dr. Pete made to the audience. He even had thought of a way to justify the lag in Czech SERPs: he said that Czech webmasters should only see this lag as an advantage and while US sites get hit and penalized due to new algo updates, Czechs have the chance to quickly regroup and come up with a backup plan.
“Time is your advantage" - Dr. Pete
"Analysis of Market Opportunities and Identifying Web Influencers"
By far, this was among the most entertaining talks at The Marketing Festival.
Filip came up with the great idea of creating a persona, Fidel Prdstavec, whom he used as a main character in his examples on how not to mess up your link building project. That was a unique approach.
Filip discussed the two major steps of any link building project: Opportunity Analysis and Influencer Identification. He pointed out the importance of using social media as a valid resource of LB opportunities. He also discussed the useful tool he created to fight the painstaking contact-gathering stage of the outreach process. His tool offers a much more comprehensive assistance to the sworn link builder: you can obtain info about the other websites (if any) of the given webmaster, website visits, backlinks, website type and social signals about its content. The evaluation of a prospect and the time for outreach would be reduced, and then you could scale your LB efforts.
“Never speak with websites, but with the people behind them" - Filip Podstavec
The Marketing Festival in Brno was an amazing experience. It is an event that offers great value in terms of actionable tips and know-how, plus the speaker selection was absolutely amazing.
In 2015, make sure to check out the event in its third year instead of just reading about it online!