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Notes from MozCon 2020

Planted 02020-07-20

My notes from MozCon 2020.

MozCon 2020 was a virtual marketing conference held July 14-15.

On Becoming a Thought Leader

  1. Publish original research with strong opinions
  2. Write a book
  3. Contribute to other sites, request to contribute
  4. Give presentations

On Becoming an Expert

  1. Polish your LinkedIn profile to perfection
  2. Google yourself. What do you see?
  3. Publish comprehensive articles and publish more
  4. Share more
  5. Offer to speak to classes
  6. Start a mastermind group
  7. Write for many sites
  8. Write everyday
  9. Learn something useful,
  10. then teach it

Thought leadership always creates tension. It’s about making assertions. You have to be willing to be wrong. You can be certain that some people will disagree.

What do you believe that most people would disagree with? What do you think will happen in the future that most people think is unlikely?

Clearly communicate challenging new ideas, back them up with data and have a strong point of view.

Clarify your goals and raise your ambitions.

On trying to build brand

  • Great customer experience
    “Beautiful, easy-to-use website”
    ”Amazing support & sales teams”

A good website is now a cheap commodity. Good customer support is table stakes.

  • Blogging
    “Match informational queries”
    “Thought leadership pieces”

It’s incredibly hard to stand out, with 600 million blogs on the web. It’s hard to convey personality with a wall of text.

  • PR Campaigns
    “Stand-out with polarizing behavior”
    “Use research to prove surprising things”

Big PR plays are a risky investment with a very high fail rate.

  • Social Media Marketing
    “Short, snackable & sharable videos”
    “React to current events”

Engagement on social media isn’t necessarily meaningful engagement with your brand.

  • Advertising
    “Push out a key message”
    “Tell stories”

You only have a few seconds to stand out, and it’s very hard to create love at first sight. Interrupting people may do more harm than good.

It’s important to keep consistency and quality in mind over virality.

The New Content Marketing: Measure resonance, not reach

Time spent with brand

Short-form Advertorial

  1. Watch involuntarily
  2. Quick to consume
  3. Simple & easy to understand


Long-form Entertainment

  1. Choose to watch
  2. Requires significant time investment
  3. In-depth & detailed

Create a show. Create content for communities who speak to one another.

The New Content Distribution: Market like a media company.

Use social media to advertise your content, not your business.

“Are you really saying we all need to become Netflix?”

Your new Brand Marketing Strategy:
GOAL: Brand Affinity
SUCCESS METRIC: Time Spent with Brand
CREATIVE: Long-Form Entertainment
AUDIENCE: Subcultures & Communities
DISTRIBUTION: Market Like a Media Company

On Understanding Your Audience

  • Who are they?
  • Why do they buy?
  • What do they need?
  • What queries are they using?
  • What is their journey?
  • What matters to them?


  • What do they want in life?
  • What are some of their
  • motivators in life?
  • What do they value and see as a
  • self-concept?
  • What attitudes do they have?
  • What are their cited interests?

Google Search Console (GSC) and Google My Business (GMB) provide different numbers. GSC doesn’t track impressions from the local pack on mobile devices.

GSC gives tracking on your website, GMB gives tracking for GMB listing.

It never crossed my mind to look at GMB data because I just thought it was a simplified GSC.

GSC impression data includes searches done by rank trackers.

GMB Views should not be a metric you report on. Use search impressions instead.

Impressions in GSC should not be used as a method to pick keywords, use click data instead.

Start monitoring search queries in GMB.