Digital Summit Denver Recap

  • July 25, 2018
  • Hannah Cole

Last week’s Digital Summit Denver focused on the importance of data, risks and good storytelling. So many brands are dying to be heard via social media, blogs, paid search ads and through every other nook and cranny of the internet. As the world of digital marketing changes daily, it can be hard to break through the noise and tell your brand’s story – unless you know what you’re doing and you’re doing it well.

Below are a few of my favorite takeaways from the event. Check them out and be sure to see when the Digital Summit series is coming to a city near you!


Some people may say, “Content is King,” but Jay Maldonado of MailChimp says “Data is King.” What he means is, your brand should use data to inform its content decisions – especially on social media.

When was the last time you ran a social audit to see who’s following your accounts, what types of posts are engaging your audience, and what content is falling on deaf ears? Maldonado said this is something your brand should be doing at least every six months. You can’t create quality content without knowing who you are talking to or what they are looking for, right? If you are not seeing the engagements you want, maybe it’s time to dig into the data and reevaluate your strategy.


Speaking of quality content, according to Robert Rose of the Content Marketing Institute, one big advantage is understanding the difference between a plot and a story. While both are important, the story is where you get to insert a human element into your branding and truly connect with people.

He used Kraft as an example. The plot is that Kraft offers 15-minute recipes for easy dinners. Simple. But, the story might be: A single mom gets home from a 10-hour workday and needs to cook dinner for her two kids. She turns to Kraft’s 15-minute recipes because they are easy to make, and the food brings her children joy. This quick and delicious recipe allows her to see them smile and that helps her relax after a long day. See the difference?

Before you create more content, ask yourself: Who is using our product or service? What are their stories? How do we help them reach their ultimate truth? Think of them as humans, rather than just customers, and that will help you resonate with them on a deeper level.


This social giant isn’t going anywhere, and the launch of IGTV is a testament to that. While the bugs are still being worked out, it’s already being adopted by content creators around the world, and people are tuning in. But don’t worry! If you aren’t on the IGTV train yet, there are still a lot of ways to keep your audience engaged and growing. Some key insights from Quinn Tempest’s Instagram session include:

  • Create Insta Stories. 400 million people use this feature daily, so if you aren’t yet then you’re missing out.
  • Curate your feed. Sixty-seven percent of accounts who see your content don’t follow you. Draw them in with a beautiful, on-brand and diverse photo feed.
  • Engagement is the currency of Instagram. It isn’t enough for people to like your posts. You, as a business, need to be actively engaging with other accounts from the audience you are seeking.


One of my favorite sessions from Digital Summit Denver came from Scott Dikkers, founder of The He told the history of the satirical newspaper hilariously, but before he left the stage, he provided a golden piece of advice: Be Bold. Whether offensive humor is your game or not, there’s always a way to do something your industry would consider crazy. One example I immediately thought of was REI’s Opt Outside campaign. They did the most insane thing anyone has done in the retail world – closed their stores on Black Friday – and look what happened. They started a movement.

Other major brands now stay closed over Thanksgiving or have cut back hours, and the #OptOutside hashtag has been used on over nine million Instagram posts. Be bold in your marketing pursuits, and it might just pay off.

And if it doesn’t? Then it’s back to the drawing board. Because the biggest risk is not taking any risks at all.

I’ll leave you with that! If you have any questions, feedback or additional suggestions, please feel free to comment below or reach out @heyINKco on Twitter.