I attended the virtual 2020 Digital Summit Conference in mid-July, having paid $275 USD for an Early Bird All-Access Pass. What initially attracted me to it was the prospect of spending three full days attending a variety of marketing workshops.

By itself, the “Advanced Email Marketing” workshop held on Day One was worth the price I paid to attend the conference as a whole. Over the course of four hours, Michael Barber (formerly of Barber & Hewitt and now senior VP and chief creative officer at the B2B agency Godfrey) covered everything from content creation and design to authentication.

The total number of insightful tips he shared was enormous. Barber explained, for instance, which phone, email and browser options it makes the most sense to design emails for. He also cited authentication features necessary for improving email content so that it makes its way into prospects’ inboxes versus spam folders. Questions he answered included:

 What design styles are best to use?

 How should headlines and copy be sized?

 What are the best drip campaign strategies?

I would have gladly paid $275 for that class alone. Other workshops focused solely on SEO. Through those I was able to learn a lot about indexing and ranking factors. I also walked away with extremely helpful rules of thumb worth following on a regular basis. One instructor highly recommended using a single keyword per page when creating content in order to rank higher for that one word, versus less frequent use of multiple words. Heck, I can do that! So can you. It’s an SEO tip I’ll remember moving forward.

Another area that was strongly represented was digital trends and research. John Shehata for Condé Nast literally shared info on every tool he uses to monitor, analyze and utilize search data to stay one step ahead of content trends. Most of them are either inexpensive or free to use. He talked at length about how he uses them to make content decisions and reviewed 16 or so such tools for the benefit of workshop participants. The most recurring theme was: Google Trends.

One brief but especially useful workshop was led by Jerri Helms for HarperCollins Publishers who focused on social media auditing. Helms offered an overview of roughly half a dozen techniques for assessing social media performance. She also provided great tips for setting daily activity and key performance indicator (KPI) targets as they relate to each of today’s most active social media platforms—with a goal of meeting or exceeding known averages and leveraging post frequency to outsmart each site’s algorithms.

Final thoughts? I highly recommend this annual event to digital marketers looking to add breadth to their marketing toolkits. If digging deeper into a specific area of marketing is your goal, pay special attention to the advanced workshops available on Day One. Most last four hours or so but are worth the time investment. For more on this and related events, visit DigitalSummit.com.

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