My Takeaways from Traffic & Conversions Summit 2018

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traffic and conversions summit 2018 digital marketerI am sitting in this Southwest airplane flying home from my first Traffic & Conversions Summit in sunny (and COLD) San Diego. I would love to say that I am presently excited and inspired from the massive amounts of information downloaded into my brain, but I’m slightly perturbed that Southwest’s WiFi isn’t working at the moment. And that I also have picked up a cold of some sort and am wallowing in my congested state.

Regardless of my zombie-like brain and internet-less current situation, I do have to say that the Traffic & Conversions Summit completely exceeded my expectations. The amount of content on Facebook Messenger bots, funnel building, video tactics, online advertising strategy, digital agency growth, technology stacks, customer value journey, sales tips, branding, and messaging strategy (just to name a few) was so impactful that I’m literally out of memory. Brain memory.

Since launching Chelsea & Rachel, Co in 2016, I have not had the opportunity to take a few days and sit at the feet of the digital marketing gurus and just absorb their intense level of knowledge. And not just for my sake, but for the advancement and growth of the many businesses we serve on a daily basis.

With the constant updates and changes to all the platforms and technology, it is our duty as marketers to be fully equipped. We need to know the most recent stats and trends to be able to apply them into the various industries and fields the clients we serve operate within.

Here are a few insane stats I learned at the conference.

  • In 2017, the average Cost Per Click rose 29% from 2016 – we definitely witnessed this one first hand
  • 3.32% is the average conversion rate of top 500 merchants yet Amazon Prime members convert at 74%
  • 66% of consumers prefer to be reached by or reach out to brands via a chat app or messenger – the average Facebook messages our clients receive on a daily basis continues to trend upward monthly
  • Open rates for FB Messenger are significantly higher than email marketing, even at the fourth touch averaging 70% with the right strategy
  • 60% of social media users find out about new products on Instagram
  • 80% of sales are made between the 5th and 12th customer contact – how many businesses are willing to go that far for a transaction?
  • People gaze 5x longer at video ads than static ads

There is much within these statistics and trends that can be applied into nearly any marketing strategy.

But here is what really stuck out the most to me.

1. Facebook Messenger Chat Bots Can Revolutionize Your Customer Success … With the Right Implementation.

It is no joke that Facebook Messenger Chat Bots were the number one talked about feature of digital marketing at this conference. Bots like ManyChat have been making big waves in 2017 amongst marketers who have strived to find applications for them. The content of many recent podcasts from Perpetual Traffic have focused solely on the implementation strategies of using bots like ManyChat in both ad sequences and the customer journey sequences.

In 2018, many chat bot options are on the market besides ManyChat. Drift, ChatKit, Chatbots for Marketers, as well as (female company bot name here). Some are strictly to launch Facebook Messenger while others integrate within your site.

The biggest key I learned this week about the bots is this: the bot is just the entry point to begin the conversation and move the customer down the path of least resistance to a real human. The bot begins the conversation and a human jumps in at the right time. Think of it as a qualification process of sorts, where a series of questions are asked in order to understand the customer’s need more clearly.

Some great implementation ideas for a bot include:

… troubleshooting a hangup or concern in the ordering process

… qualifying the needs of a new lead

… relaying important and time sensitive information

… adding people to a waitlist or VIP list

… promoting an event with latest news and updates

Most importantly, do not replicate your email strategy within Facebook Messenger. Email comes across as a one way conversation. Create your bot sequences like your own personal messenger conversation with a friend. Emojis and all (insert heart eyes emoji)

2. Sequence Your Funnel Correctly

Developing the marketing funnel you decide to put your customers through can be very complex. Especially if you are an eCommerce business offering a giant product catalog or a consultant with many services. Developing what we think the customer wants many times can lead to a bad strategy, or simply a plan put in the wrong order.

Ever been guilty of fast forwarding to the end of a book when the middle gets a little dry? Unfortunately, you just don’t quite get the ending, because you skipped the most important plot building part. Or have you tried to force a puzzle piece that looks so close to the one you need to finish a section but it clearly isn’t the right shape? (but you want it to be anyways and push it down real hard just to have it pop out?) What about long division? You will certainly fail your test if you divide the numbers in the wrong order.

Many times we ask for the transaction too early on in the sales process. We lead ourselves to believe that people with little exposure to us absolutely know without a shadow of doubt that they want to buy from us. The first time. Maybe even after the third visit to our website, content, or social profile.

Ryan Diess, Co-Founder and CEO of DigitalMarketer stated that there are certain questions you shouldn’t ask unless you are 99% sure the answer will be “yes”. Such as a marriage proposal. Or in our case, a transaction.  More content needs to be delivered at the top of the funnel – blog posts, social posts, emails, videos, etc. – so that when the opportunity comes to them to make a first transaction the answer is more likely “yes”.

What are some things that are beneficial to do out of order that do not mess up the ending? Cookies. It doesn’t matter which order you put the ingredients into the mixing the bowl. The end product remains the same. What about crossword puzzles? Well, unless you can’t spell and screw up 24 down which is 17 letters long.

3. Data Creates Trust

I am very comfortable looking and analyzing data. It gives me facts and paints a picture. Data tells me when trends are occurring within the website traffic flow. Numbers show a historical and unbiased view of the reality of an online business.

Since marketers must be very good at switching their hats at any given moment, understanding the value of data and analytical reporting and how it applies to the “feel good” side of creative marketing is crucial. A well crafted story and beautiful graphics may appeal to the one who created it, however if it does not translate to the customer, the data will tell the story of a lack of engagement and failure to convert.

With many access points to data through Google Analytics, Facebook Analytics and other platforms’ data centers, us marketers can produce beautiful reports with charts and graphs and percentages and numbers. However, we must learn to create the type of data and report that means the most to our clients.

We may be blown away by the steady increase in organic traffic over the past 45 days. However, the client only cares about the revenue generated off that traffic. Delivering data which showcases the main drivers of success for a business is the type of data to be reporting on.

Pie charts and all if it floats your boat.

In summarizing, as I continue to sit in this seat in mild turbulence over Louisiana, I can only do a meager job at translating a fraction of the information from Traffic & Conversions Summit. It was an education boost and know-how shot in the arm. I believe all marketing college students should attend to skyrocket their experience lightyears beyond what the schools are teaching.

I love this pillar of knowledge from Ryan Diess as it is a similar saying I have used my entire career. “Tactics come and tactics go, but digital marketing will always come down to two things: traffic and conversions.”

That’s how you know the good marketing to follow. The paths which principles stand the test of time, technology, trends, and statistics.

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