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Of Machines & Flywheels: What I Learned at MozCon 2016

By Leadhub
Posted on October 11th, 2016
woman holding the mozbot stuffed animal
I came, I saw, I think I hugged a robot. What I know for sure after MozCon 2016 is that as a content professional, my trade continues to matter big time. As online marketers continue to jump on the content train, it’s imperative to think bigger. It’s no longer enough to write a pretty blog and push Publish. Or build links one at a time. This was immediately apparent in Rand Fishkin’s opening keynote. More than one presenter hat-tipped Backchannel editor Steven Levy’s analysis of where Google’s algorithms are headed. Levy describes a “bear-hug-level embrace of machine learning” in which “the leading edge of this are ‘deep learning’ algorithms built around sophisticated neural nets inspired by brain architecture.” The cool thing about this? If you’re writing like a human and providing valuable stuff, you’re already on the right track. It was a lot to ingest at 9 a.m., but by the end of our three days in Seattle, it became pretty clear that marketing professionals are getting sharper, more creative and more efficient about content strategy. Dr. Pete dove more into this “deep learning” and challenged us how to start thinking about keyword clusters rather than on-off queries. Justine Jordan of Litmus implored us to question every piece of emarketing we put out there, asking “is this an email they want to receive?” (Answer: If it’s not remarkable, valuable, functional, and respectful, then forget about it.) Joanna Wiebe of Copy Hackers of doubled down on sharpening the emarketing prowess, encouraging extreme personalization, connecting the dots and using specifcs to capture interest. “Storytelling advisor” Kindra Hall reminisced about roller coasters and physics class and captivated the room with the power of storytelling … convincing us we could do this, too. My personal favorite, Kirsty Hulse of Manyminds Digital, gave us a no-nonsense drilldown of PR techniques that absolutely have everything to do with successful linkbuilding. Last but not least, Rand inspired us to build content “flywheels”, producing work that’s so comprehensive and next-level that it can’t help but pick up multiple links with a single push. In short? It’s an exciting time to be a content creator.
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