My Key Takeaways From Hero Conf Los Angeles 2017

Last week I had the opportunity to attend my first ever Hero Conf in sunny Los Angeles, California. It was a jam-packed couple of days full of learning, networking and fun. The folks at Hero Conf do a great job of keeping everyone busy but still making it fun (which is great when there’s a three hour time difference and you realize you’ve been up for 22 hours for travel). In addition to meeting a lot of folks whose blogs I’ve read over my years in PPC, I learned a lot. I wanted to recap a couple of my biggest takeaways.

Best Practices are Often for B2C, not B2B

I’m knee-deep in B2B right now, so Julie Friedman Bacchini and AJ Wilcox‘s session on B2B and LinkedIn was my favorite. Julie said at the very beginning of her presentation that “nearly all of the PPC platforms are skewed for B2C” which suddenly clicked in my brain – I had never thought of it that way before but that’s absolutely right! She went on to share the three major audience types – C-Suites, Managers and End Users. Often times in B2B, you leave out the End Users but Julie pointed out that you have a unique opportunity to turn these users into “brand champions” – or people who are a fan of your brand and still have a say in the decision making process. Audience members who fall into the Manager and C-Suite buckets are often already inundated with information about different products and services, so you should take your advertising a step further and find people who will actually be using your product or service. If you want to see Julie’s presentation from Hero Conf, head over to her blog! If you’re in B2B at all, you’ll want to take a look at her presentation.

AJ gave a lot of great stats that are really helpful for all that I’m currently doing on LinkedIn. Here’s a few:

  • A good clickthrough rate on right rail ads in LinkedIn is 0.03%.
  • A good clickthrough rate on Sponsored Posts in LinkedIn is 0.4%
  • 65%+ of the traffic on Sponsored Posts is from mobile.
  • 72% of Fortune 1000 companies are B2B.

I realized that there is obviously a lot of mobile traffic across all channels, but hearing that more than half of the traffic from Sponsored Posts is mobile made me realize how important mobile landing pages are in LinkedIn. He also pointed out that Job Title targeting is the most expensive, which is why it’s important to have campaigns with other types of targeting (groups, job function, skills/seniority) when you’re able. Since LinkedIn can be one of the most expensive channels, he recommends bidding low and continuing to lower your bids little by little until you’re at the lowest bid you can have without interrupting traffic levels. Since LinkedIn is a little behind the times when it comes to user interface and reporting capabilities, all of this was extremely useful. If you’re in LinkedIn at all, you’ll want to take a look at AJ’s slide deck. I’ve already implemented some of the tips I learned from this session.

Finding the Right Focus in Ad Copy

One of the keynote speakers, Amy Harrison from Write With Influence, talked about several different approaches to writing copy that really resonated with me. One way that she urged PPC-ers to approach writing ads was the Feature/Results/Impact idea. She hit on the point that many times in advertising and marketing, we’re offering a solution to a problem that the consumer or market don’t know they yet have. She said often we write copy with the three following steps:

  • Feature: What our product/service can do for the customer.
  • Results: Which means… Fill in the blank.
  • Impact: Why it’s important.

Often times as marketers, we understand the product or service we’re marketing as well as why it’s important but we often write copy that’s focused on the “feature” instead of focusing on the results or the impact that it could have. Some clients and accounts are harder than others when it comes to writing new ad copy so making bulleted lists of each of these steps will definitely help me to write better ad copy.

Pinterest is Where Ecomm Should be in 2017

Pinterest has always been my personal favorite social media platform. I’ll admit that I’m one of those people who can get sucked into the blackhole of DIY project pins for hours and I have thousands of pins saved. I knew Pinterest was booming, especially now that they’ve entered the PPC market and are actively making updates to their platform. I attended the session on Pinterest that was presented by Michael Akkerman, the Head of Marketing Partners at Pinterest. If you are in ecomm and haven’t ventured into Pinterest yet, here’s why I think it would be worth your while in 2017:

  • Pinterest is a personal channel, as opposed to a social channel. It’s not necessarily about impressing people on Pinterest as much as it is finding what you’re looking for or discovering new ideas.
  • An overwhelming amount of Pins on Pinterest come from brands. At some point as marketers we’ve all heard “do you really think my target audience is on “insert channel here”? Because I don’t.” However, even Pins created by brands can have a long lifespan as long as they solve a problem, give an answer or offer something useful. This is very different when compared to channels like Twitter where content and ads have a relatively short lifespan.
  • Nearly all of the searches conducted on Pinterest are unbranded, meaning advertisers have a huge opportunity to influence potential customers when they’re still in the planning stages of their buying journey.

There was so much more that I learned at Hero Conf, but these are some of my biggest takeaways. I already can’t wait to attend my next conference.

What did you learn at Hero Conf Los Angeles? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!