The Best of Traffic & Conversion 2017: 59 Insights, Marketing Content, and Actionable Strategies

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March 13,2017 by
Matt Douglas

This may shock you…

Ryan Deiss hasn’t run Facebook ads in years.

And the reason why he hasn’t was one of the biggest takeaways from his opening keynote at Traffic & Conversion Summit 2017.

Read on to learn Ryan’s words of wisdom from his Day 1 keynote along with the highlights, insights, and strategies from the 3-day Traffic & Conversion Summit Days 2017.

Traffic & Conversion Summit Day 1:

What’s Your Story?

Day 1 kicked off with an opening video that asked the audience what their story was.

Everyone has a story, the video reminded the crowd.

Every customer, every business, and every marketer.

Like many before you, this is where your story begins… at Traffic & Conversion Summit 2017.

Watch the full opening video below:

Exclusive Interview with Ryan

Before DigtialMarketer’s co-founder and CEO, Ryan Deiss, delivered his opening keynote presentation, Christine Haas, DigitalMarketer’s Director of Communications, exclusively interviewed him backstage.

Watch the video below to get a look behind the curtain and to learn Ryan’s thoughts just before he goes before the crowd at the largest conversion conference in North America:

Are You Focusing on Your Job?

The reason Ryan hasn’t run Facebook ads in years is because he’s focusing on his job – running DigitalMarketer as CEO.

His team is busy running Facebook ads and focusing on THEIR jobs. 3.13_Quotebox1

In his Day 1 keynote, Ryan told the audience that the digital marketing profession is constantly changing and that can be distracting and overwhelming.

Many marketers may find themselves with “shiny object syndrome” as they try to do all things.

But those who allow themselves to get distracted aren’t focusing on their job.

To get ahead, you need to spend the bulk of your time focusing on your job, not on all the distractions that pull you into many, many different directions.

Ryan also shared what the goal of your business should be… no matter your industry:

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Because…

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Ryan reminded attendees that all businesses are made up of people.

Your business is more than B2B or B2C – it’s H2H (Human to Human).

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Remembering that is what will set your business apart.

After Ryan’s keynote, people set off to explore the rest of Traffic & Conversion Summit…

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(Photo by Steve Hall Photography)

What else happened during Day 1 of #TCS2017? Let’s see…

(NOTE: Can’t get enough of Traffic & Conversion Summit? Join the waitlist for Traffic & Conversion Summit 2018 and be among the first to receive details about next year’s event, including specials on tickets. Sign up here.)

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Why Do People Buy Things?

There are two things that are happening at Traffic & Conversion Summit that cannot be debated: lots of hand sanitizer is being used and people are LOVING Perry Belcher’s presentations.

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Here, our attendee, Mav Barrena, shares one of her biggest takeaways from Perry’s talk on The $500 BILLION Dollar “Madmen” Marketing Method That Creates Perfect Marketing Campaigns in 4 Easy Steps.

And this from Michael King at Perry’s Master the MAGIC Headline Formula that ALWAYS Works and Geta KILLER Hook for Your Product or Service in the Process:

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What a Children’s Book Can Teach You About Your YouTube Ads Campaign

When figuring out how to get people to engage with YouTube ads AND have an amazing experience, Tom Breeze drew inspiration from books he read as a kid: the Choose Your Own Adventure series.

In the books, the reader assumes the role of the protagonist and is offered choices that determine the outcome of the story. So, if you wanted to fight the dragon you’d turn to Page 6, or if you wanted to run away you’d turn to Page 38.

And Tom thought this format could be applied to YouTube ads.

In his presentation, The YouTube Ads Framework: How to Find Your Customers, Know What They’re Thinking, and Get Them to Buy, Tom explained how he tested the “Choose Your Own Adventure” campaign with a client who offers guitar lessons.

In the YouTube ad they ran, viewers were offered a choice: to click the video for those new to playing the guitar or to click the video for those in a “guitar rut” and were looking to take their guitar playing to the next level:

Tom Breeze Choose Your Own Adventure Campaign

The choice between the two was the YouTube ad’s call-to-action (CTA).

This campaign style resulted in 1.5 million views, and when compared to the previous campaigns they had been running for this client, the Choose Your Own Adventure campaign generated:

  • 33% more registrants
  • 52% more sales
  • 39.3% increase in view rate

For Tom and his team, the Choose Your Own Adventure campaign will be a big focus for them in 2017.

I Will Walk 500 Miles…

We held a contest as we geared up for the big event centered around how far Traffic & Conversion Summit attendees were traveling and we’re FINALLY able to announce the winner!

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The winner was announced The Price is Right style during Ryan’s keynote…

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Pedro Vieira (right) flew all the way from Lisbon to attend Traffic & Conversion Summit 2017. Check out Pedro posing with DigitalMarketer’s Director of Sales and Monetization, Marcus Murphy (left), and the Amazon Echo Dot he won.

Minds Were Blown

Can you blame them?

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Connections Were Made

This is the spirit of Traffic & Conversion Summit. Yes, we’re sharing content and, yes, we want you to go execute so you can grow your business. HOWEVER, the networking and relationship-growth possibilities here are endless and we love when we see our guests taking advantage of them!

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Evening Party: Maropost Reception

Day 1 culminated in a networking party on the pool deck with a spectacular view…

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Guests enjoyed the live band, the taco buffet, and the opportunity to network with old and new friends!

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(Photo by Steve Hall Photography)

(NOTE: Can’t get enough of Traffic & Conversion Summit? Join the waitlist for Traffic & Conversion Summit 2018 and be among the first to receive details about next year’s event, including specials on tickets. Sign up here.)

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Traffic & Conversion Summit Day 2:

We started off Day 2 with asking attendees what their biggest takeaways from the previous day were…

I Learned Something Today

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And it wasn’t long before people were sharing their biggest takeaways from Day 2:

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After people shared their biggest takeaways, Ryan Deiss took the stage to deliver the second day’s keynote called…

Don’t Call Me a “Marketer”

Do you know why members of the sales team and the marketing team so often disagree?

It’s because they don’t know each other’s respective vocabulary or have a true understanding of what each team does. RyanTCS2017

Because of this misunderstanding, there’s often miscommunication and a lack of empathy between the sales and marketing teams (or other teams like content and customer care).

Ryan recognized this issue within DigitalMarketer, and in his Day 2 keynote, he spoke on how he and the DigitalMarketer crew have addressed this issue to make a more cohesive, and lucrative, company.

Four main teams make up DigitalMarketer:

  1. Acquisition (the marketing team)
  2. Monetization (the sales team)
  3. Content (the editorial team)
  4. Success (the customer care/service team)

But Ryan noted, they aren’t different teams – they all make up the same team: the Growth Team

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They’re different positions, but the same team. 

And when this idea was put into action, DigitalMarketer saw miscommunication between the respective positions fall.

The Growth Team isn’t just in charge of growing revenue, they own the entire Customer Journey

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Swipe your own Value Journey Worksheet here and fill it out for your company.

And when Ryan’s mic kept going out, he took it in stride…  :)

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Let’s see what else happened on Day 2…

How to Get Traffic the Right Way

“Don’t fight againt this. Just do it the right way and you’ll get traffic.”

That’s what DigitalMarketer’s Director of Editorial, Russ Henneberry, told the audience during his Search Marketing in a NutshellRussQuoteTCS2017

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) isn’t dead, not by a long shot. But it certainly has changed.

In the past, black hat SEO tactics like keyword stacking and stuffing were at war with search engines like Google.

But the war is over – the algorithm WON.

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Search marketing is now white hat only.

The only way to win with Google is to do things the right way. And that’s white hat SEO tactics.

(Related: How to Do On-Page SEO in WordPress)

Russ also went on to explain that what you should be thinking about right now is, “What are the intents of my customers?”

  • What are your customers thinking as they search?
  • What keywords are they typing in?
  • What’s their goal they’re hoping to accomplish by completing this search?

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By anticipating intent, you’ll better be able to create the necessary content that your customers are searching for.

He also advised to place a CTA on all of your pages, where appropriate, as it will generate leads, like the example page below has done in two instances.

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“It’s free money,” Russ said of including CTAs.

(NOTE: Can’t get enough of Traffic & Conversion Summit? Join the waitlist for Traffic & Conversion Summit 2018 and be among the first to receive details about next year’s event, including specials on tickets. Sign up here.)

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The Future of Ecommerce

In his Facebook Messenger Bots: Leveraging Artificial Intelligence for Profit presentation, Ezra Firestone shared that the future of ecommerce is bright.

And this bright future can help you reach your customers in a whole new way!

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According to Ezra, bots are the future of the way we communicate, shop, travel, book things, and use other services.

Bots you can use with Facebook Messenger.

(Related: Facebook Messenger Ads: How to Use Them in Your Business)

Through the use of bots, you can better serve your customers and reach new leads. And this is important because…

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And Ezra says to keep this in mind with your ecommerce business…

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The Perfect Pitch

When Kevin Harrington took the stage, he had everyone on high alert.

DigitalMarketer’s Russ Henneberry and the AV team backstage were no exception as Kevin delivered the 10 Steps to the Perfect Pitch:

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The original shark on ABC’s Shark Tank had many great insights, including:

  • One of the most powerful ways to sell is by showing a “Before” and an “After” picture.
  • When you’re pitching, you need to talk about the competition and what else is out there.

Kevin also went on to explain the five types of testimonials for a powerful pitch…

  1. Consumer
  2. Professional
  3. Celebrity
  4. Editorial
  5. Clinical

It’s Not About You…

DigitalMarketer’s community manager, Suzi Nelson, caught us up on how to have the best community online in her presentation, How DigitalMarketer Uses Facebook Communities to Increase Conversions, Reduce Churn, and Change People’s Lives.

She spoke about the difference between an audience and a community.

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Her biggest takeaway to remember?

It’s not about you. It’s about your members. 

And speaking about community… check out how ours (DigitalMarketer Engage) is working to keep each other included and network while Traffic & Conversion Summit 2017 is going on!

(NOTE: Not a DigtialMarketer Lab Member? You’ll need to be one to access the DM Engage community. Don’t worry, you can give it a shot for just a $1! Find out more here.)

Killer Traffic Campaigns

Molly Pittman, Ralph Burns, Keith Krance, Tom Breeze, and Mike Rhodes helped bring Day 2 to a close with 5 Killer Traffic Campaigns to Swipe and Deploy in Your Business.

One of the things Ralph Burns shared was a strategy on video ads he uses:

“Get attention through motion. Educate, entertain, and inform. Then close the deal!”

Keith spoke on the hook and ad copy he used to generate 217 shares and reach 200,668 people on Facebook. And shared this slide with the audience…

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Molly Pittman closed the presentation with the content first video campaign that was able to acquire 12,006 leads at $4.49/lead.

See the original Facebook ad and the video below:

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And its video:

We Could Get Used to This…

And how about that San Diego view?

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Evening Party: VIP Reception

The final networking party of Traffic & Conversion Summit was the VIP Reception, and, like the previous night’s party, was hosted on the pool deck.

At the center of the party was the T&C ice sculpture…

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A fun evening ensued filled with live music, great food (salmon, steak, and dessert!), and bonfires (to offset the chilly, spring night)!

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(NOTE: Can’t get enough of Traffic & Conversion Summit? Join the waitlist for Traffic & Conversion Summit 2018 and be among the first to receive details about next year’s event, including specials on tickets. Sign up here.)

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Traffic & Conversion Summit Day 3:

Fog rolled in on the third morning of Traffic & Conversion Summit 2017, but by the time of the opening keynote, the sun was up and the knowledge bombs were being dropped by DigitalMarketer’s Co-Founder, Roland Frasier, because…

It’s tool time!

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In Tool Time: The Hottest, Most Effective Marketing Tools & How to Use Them, Roland gave an overview of the many, many tools digital marketers can use to gain insight on their customers and make their jobs easier.

He shared digital marketing tools on…

…and many more – including some of his favorites.

Here are several of the essential tools he spoke of and included in his opening keynote:

Competitive Intelligence Tools

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Content Marketing Tools

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Social Media Tools

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Let’s check out what else happened on the final day of the Summit…

Have You Heard of Conversational Selling?

DigitalMarketer’s Molly Pittman and Marcus Murphy presented on what they’ve done to increase communication between their respective teams: the Marketing Team and the Sales Team… and DigitalMarketer as a whole.

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In their Conversational Selling: How to Use Facebook Messenger, SMS & “Personal Emails” to Close More Sales (Without Being Salesy), the duo spoke about a new concept they’ve implemented at DigitalMarketer. They call it, the Growth Committee.

Molly and Marcus were proactive in ensuring communication ties between the Sales and the Marketing teams at DigitalMarketer were strong. Marcus said he and Molly are always talking and always working together.

But they realized, it wasn’t just the Sales and Marketing teams that needed to communicate more. It was ALL the departments. 3.13_Quotebox3

And thus, the Growth Committee was born.

The Growth Committee consists of an “ambassador” from each team within DigitalMarketer. That ambassador is responsible for representing their team during the weekly Growth Committee meetings.

During Growth Committee meetings, ambassadors…

  • Address miscommunication that may have arisen and offer clarification
  • Speak to product launches and new initiatives a team is taken on
  • Give status updates of ongoing projects and how other teams can help

Then, ambassadors report back to their team what was discussed in the meeting – and it has significantly reduced miscommunication between departments.

3.13_Quotebox2“We created the Growth Committee and it’s changing everything,” Marcus said to the crowd.

Molly added, “[The Growth Committee] is giving everyone ownership on the products we launch.”

Inner-department communication wasn’t all they talked about in their info-packed speech.

To start a conversation, DigitalMarketer is using Facebook Messenger.

This Facebook Messenger conversation is generating subscribers, engaging customers, and helping DigitalMarketer follow-up with leads.

You can learn more about that strategy in Episode 80: Facebook Messenger Ads: Everything You Need to Know.

(NOTE: Can’t get enough of Traffic & Conversion Summit? Join the waitlist for Traffic & Conversion Summit 2018 and be among the first to receive details about next year’s event, including specials on tickets. Sign up here.)

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Ask Me Anything with Mari Smith

During her ask me anything, social media thought leader, Mari Smith, talked about emotional intelligence and customer care.

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(Photo by Steve Hall Photography)

On emotional intelligence, Mari shared:

  • Emotional intelligence is about having true acceptance of yourself and your life.
  • When emotions go up, intelligence goes down. So, make sure you’re training your staff to be emotionally intelligent.

Mari went on to ask, “When was the last time you surprised and delighted your top ten customers?”

She said that…

“The main element missing from most customer care is emotion.”

Emotion is what your customer care team needs to introduce when messaging your customers because the goal for messenger customer care is to get that word of mouth.

Less Content, More Traffic

Towards the end of the final day, Russ Henneberry and Lindsay Marder presented on the third installment of Content Engine: How to Quickly Crank Out High Quality Blog Content.

In 2016, traffic to the DigitalMarketer blog increased, Russ and Lindsay reported. The blog saw:

  • 4.2 million sessions – a 44% increase over 2015
  • 1,287,674 organic SEO sessions – 117% increase over 2015

And yet… the blog shrank…

At the end of 2015, there were a total of 1,189 posts on the blog. By the end of 2016, that number had been reduced to 312 published posts. A 74% decrease.

And only 58 new posts were published in 2016, a 39% decrease from 2015.

How was blog traffic increasing while there were FAR fewer posts on the DM blog?

Russ and Lindsay went over the strategy they implemented in 2016 to increase blog traffic with less content.

First, they did spring cleaning on the blog.

Using Google Analytics, the blog was accessed to see which posts were getting traffic and which posts weren’t.

3.13_Quotebox5Posts that continued to strongly perform became known as pillar posts and posts that were receiving little to no traffic were examined…

Posts with little to no traffic were often older. These posts had become outdated or no longer met DigitalMaketer’s quality standards. Therefore, a 301 redirect was applied to them.

These old posts were redirected to the most relevant new post. This strategy helps to focus users and search engines on the good content that deserves traffic.

Next, instead of only focusing on creating new blog posts, Russ and Lindsay worked on the pillar posts.

They decided to update the pillar posts that continued to perform well in order to strengthen these posts overall. Updates included:

  • New videos were added to the article
  • Outdated sections of the article were deleted or updated
  • Additional copy was added to the article
  • New images were added to the article

One or all of these updates were applied to pillar posts, and the results speak for themselves…

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Remember those numbers from earlier?

  • 4.2 million sessions – a 44% increase over 2015
  • 1,287,674 organic SEO sessions – 117% increase over 2015

This has led us at DigitalMarketer to believe that…

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Our Favorites of #TCS2017

Throughout the course of Traffic & Conversion Summit 2017, people took to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, the Traffic & Conversion app, and more to share their Traffic & Conversion experience.

These are some of our favorite social shares:

We love hearing how much you learned and what you learned!

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And we love it even more when you share what you learned with others because it’s one of our core values…

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At DigitalMarketer, we all get a little starstruck when we see Russ Henneberry…

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And of course, we love the fun and the silly…

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Closing Ceremonies

Traffic & Conversion Summit is a special place where many attendees can exclusively focus on digital marketing strategies and not worry about the distractions of the outside world.

But when you leave the breakout sessions, the outside world is waiting for you. 3.13_Quotebox4

What will you do to keep the same focus you may have found or experienced here at Traffic & Conversion Summit 2017?

Write it down.

That’s what Ryan advised in his closing keynote.

Before you leave the conference, write down what you’re going to do:

  • What’s the main thing you want to accomplish?
  • What are you going to start on first?

Ryan said, writing down what you plan to accomplish before you leave and get back to the “real world” is the difference between leaving with great memories and leaving with results.

And during the closing ceremonies, the video below, produced by DigitalMarketer’s Christine Haas and her team, played. We feel that this video perfectly sums up the Traffic & Conversion Summit 2017 experience:

To everyone who attended or watched on Livestream, thank you all! Thank you for spending time with us. We hope what you learned at Traffic & Conversion Summit will help you double the size of your business and help others do the same!

See you next year!

(NOTE: Can’t get enough of Traffic & Conversion Summit? Join the waitlist for Traffic & Conversion Summit 2018 and be among the first to receive details about next year’s event, including specials on tickets. Sign up here.)

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Matt Douglas

About Matt Douglas

Matt Douglas is the Copy Editor at DigitalMarketer. Growing up in Pennsylvania, he traded in Northeast winters for Texas sun. He is a graduate of Ithaca College, earning a degree in Integrated Marketing Communications. Connect with Matt on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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