21 May Our Top 5 Action Items from Conductor’s C3 Conference
C3 is an SEO and content marketing focused conference put on by our SEO reporting partner, Conductor. This was my third year attending the conference and I’ve come to rely on it as a critical view into the SEO industry at large. In case you missed it, I’ve put together the top 5 action items I took away from the conference.
- Help Clients Track and Focus on Efficiency Metrics
- Label Content as “Evergreen” or “Not for Reposting”
- Research and Refresh Potential Evergreen Content Pieces
- Advertise to 3rd Party Reviews and Articles
- Assess Channels by Saturation; Find Those Which are Underleveraged
The opening keynote by Conductor CEO, Seth Besmertnick, resulted in one bold line of text on my Evernote pane that read “track efficiency metrics.” This came from something Seth said while discussing the challenge of content creation for businesses. He had a slide about KPIs and in addition to the typical ranking, traffic, engagement, and conversion metrics, he stressed the need to highlight metrics that focus on how quickly content can be conceived, produced, and pushed live.
Most organizations accept their content production speed as a static metric and feel disheartened when SEO metrics like rankings and traffic lag as a result. But no one needs to accept content production speeds as static. Merely considering that metric puts your brain to task figuring out how to improve it. If more content results in better SEO results, then speed of production is the biggest effect on SEO improvement and should be the KPI you look at most often, not rankings, traffic, and conversions from SEO. I love that idea and can’t wait to see how it inspires us and our clients to get scrappy and creative when it comes to content production.
One afternoon breakout session I chose was a presentation from John Shehata of Condé Nast, which covered a case study that involved analyzing thousands of articles to consolidate them for improved SEO results and cleaner site architecture. John mentioned that as they were taking stock of content, they labeled them as either “Evergreen,” meaning not tethered to a specific time or event and thus pertinent over time, or “Not for Reposting,” meaning the opposite. For example, an article instructing readers how to tie a tie is relevant all times of year (evergreen), but an article about 2018 Summer fashion trends for men is going to look stale except during the 2018 Summer season (not evergreen).
The effort to label all articles as one or the other lets other internal teams immediately find content to share via social media, newsletters, or other channels and get more mileage out of the articles that are not time-sensitive. We produce a lot of content for several different clients and I intend to incorporate this tagging protocol so that teams on both sides can easily parse content that can be shared anytime.
Another tactical content action item I heard was the habit of researching and refreshing existing content to be evergreen. It’s tempting to make the solution to SEO problems more new content, but oftentimes there’s plenty of content already written and waiting to be repurposed. Digging through a client’s website to see what they’ve already written and then tweaking it to be either evergreen or using parts of it to create an evergreen piece can be a really effective way to hack the resource problem when 100% new content production isn’t possible.
This one was from the panel on day one, inspired by Rich Fulop, the CEO of Brooklinen. They’re a luxury bedding brand so it’s a relatively high consideration purchase. He mentioned that they had been bold enough to put paid media advertising behind favorable articles and reviews that weren’t on their site. It seems counterintuitive to pay for traffic that doesn’t go to your website, but in their case why not? People aren’t going to pay hundreds of dollars for something so intimate as bedding just because the company’s ad told them to. They’re going to research reviews and 3rd party opinions. You may as well use ad budget to surface the reviews that speak in your favor. This was a refreshingly realistic take on the customer journey and one I intend to keep top of mind.
Gary Vaynerchuk kicked off day two’s keynote with some incendiary commentary on the advertising industry at large along with some refreshing perspectives on digital advertising channels. Having built his empire largely by way of a successful YouTube channel early in the platform’s development, he expounded on channels on the rise like Instagram story ads and stressed the importance to get to these channels quickly before the rest of the pack catches on and ad prices skyrocket.
This is a critical perspective to consider when planning channel strategy and it reminded me that channel audience fit is not the only factor. Maturity, novelty, and costs of advertising channels can also make or break the success (read ROI) of a campaign. How many other hooks are in the pond you’re fishing in? The best ad units in the world can’t outshine the noisiest channels and thus you should be looking for the places no one else has mastered.
Hope one or more of those action items are helpful to you. Were you at C3? What action items did you take away?