Another day of orange. Another day lost in the hallways between sessions, like a scared freshman. And another day learning from some very smart people. Let’s get into the highlights.
Email marketing is still piping hot
We unfairly hold a grudge against “old tools” in marketing. We cast them out to pasture in favor of the new kid in town.
And like a bunch of children, we gawk over flashy new toys.
Jessica Best explained that the old tools still have plenty of gas left in the tank. As a matter of fact, they’re probably better than the new tools, we just aren’t using them properly.
For example: Are you still sending batch emails (massive shotgun blasts) to your database one at a time in lieu or do you have a sophisticated nurture drip? If you have the latter, you’re enjoying 60% better open rates and two times higher click-through rates.
Garbage in, garbage out
Your prospect database that you treasure so dearly? It turns over by 1/4 to 1/3 every year. In other words, every year 25-33% of your prospect data becomes outdated and worthless.
Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome!
Are you sending an automated welcome email to new subscribers?
You should be, because this is the most important email in your arsenal; it’s your first quasi-interaction with your prospect and sets the tone for the rest of your relationship. Here’s a few examples Jessica shared:
Granted, you have a lot more latitude for creativity in the B2C space, but many of the same rules apply in B2B. We’re still talking to humans, after all.
Longform content is good, and we don’t understand humans
We marketers make dangerous and costly assumptions, and we regurgitate them with arrogance. Mitch Joel, Dorie Clark and Ann Handley discussed the state of longform content, and dispelled some of the garbage rhetoric that spreads around our community.
“Snackable content” shows a lack of understanding of people
That damned goldfish statistic probably ruined everything.
Here’s the thing: humans do have long attention spans, but only for great content. Case in point, Joe Rogan hosts three hour podcasts that thousands of people listen to on a monthly basis.
Another example: Waitbutwhy.com is an extreme case of longform content, in some cases taking over an hour to read an entire post! Last month the site received 2.86 million visitors.
If you hand someone a snack, they will eat it and move on. If you hand someone a meal they will never forget, you will have them for life.
“We have this perception that nobody slows down to pay attention to longform content, but it’s just not true!” – Mitch Joel
Longform content works at the top of the funnel
Somewhere along the lines we decided shortform content, like news, Tweets, and short videos, were the Holy Grail of top-of-funnel content. But after everything we just talked about, that doesn’t seem to be true, does it?
“More bloggers are going deep into the subject matter, answering questions from every angle, and making a sincere effort at producing the best page for the topic” – Either Ann or Dorie (sorry!!)
Sure, there is some truth to GIFS and Tweets grabbing people’s attention and pulling them into the top of the funnel. But if you want to make a lasting impression, and differentiate yourself from the every other content creator, you need to challenge your readers with better content.
“The only defense in the content marketing marketplace is to be the premium offering. Longform safeguards against commoditization.” – Dorie Clark
If you aren’t podcasting, you’re a fracking moron
But the truth of the matter is that >26% of Americans listen to a podcast every month. And for some, it’s become the preferable way to consume content. Check out the search trends over the past five years for “podcast” versus “blog.”
It’s a conversation inside someone’s head
Reading a blog is a very private affair. You read at your own pace, with your own voice in your head. When you listen to a podcast, you are immersed in a conversation. The host’s voice is literally going into your brain. Not to mention, you can listen to a podcast anywhere.
- On your commute
- On your bicycle
- Cleaning the house
- Taking a walk
You can’t read a blog post anywhere you want, whenever you want. This freedom to consume at your convenience makes podcasting increasingly appealing. Check out this yearly growth rate:
— Jeff Baker (@baker_rithms) September 6, 2018
Busting the 22 minute myth
There has been a myth floating around that 22 minutes is the ideal length of a podcast. It’s even in Google’s rich snippet, how could it be wrong?!
Don’t believe everything you read. In reality, 62% of all podcasts are 44 minutes or longer. Again referencing Joe Rogan’s podcast, or Sam Harris’ podcast, listeners are willing to hang around for hours, if the content is good.
And marketers still aren’t onboard
Blogs outnumber podcasts by a factor of 1,150:1.
For every podcast, which is searched more regularly than “blog”, there are 1,150 blog posts. Wow. Talk about opportunity.
- Email marketing might be the old kid on the block, but it’s still the most badass kid on the block.
- Forget about snackable content, you can drive visitors who become loyal readers with awesome longform content.
- There were 40 sessions on video at CMWorld, and 2 on audio. Marketers are ignoring a channel that increasingly more people are asking for.