BrightonSEO September 2023


BrightonSEO has long been helping search marketers meet, learn, and do their jobs a little better. And the September 2023 conference was no different.

This is the first year that I have been to BrightonSEO and I have to say, I’m really impressed. And this is coming from a marketer who doesn’t specialise in SEO, don’t get me wrong SEO is very much a part of my role. However, as a digital marketer my responsibilities cover a very broad range of specialisms.

What really impressed me about BrightonSEO is that I have taken away learnings that will help me with all aspects of my role. While every talk brought its own insights to the table, there were two in particular that I feel will make me (and you) a better marketer.

SEO: Story Effect Optimisation - Pascalle Bergmans
Pascalle Bergmans painted a picture of how storytelling can improve our content. Her talk wasn't just about injecting tales into your content; it was about elevating your brand message, making it relatable, and forging a connection with your audience. Bergmans introduced a framework for "Story Effect Optimisation" that, in my view, can be applied across industries to enhance content engagement. As marketers, we know that stories captivate, inspire, and connect. With Bergmans' approach, we have a structured way to harness this power, seamlessly integrating it into our work. I am looking forward to implementing her strategies in upcoming campaigns, and I believe many of you will find her insights beneficial.

Story Effect Optimisation Framework

“We need to build 'emotional urgency' in order for the brain to start flooding with all the right hormones and neurotransmitters to aid in our decision-making. This framework, called StorySelling will help you speed up this process for your audience:

- Build the world – create a narrative about the world the audience lives in. Set the scene.

- The problem – people don't care unless you give them a problem to care about (even if it's their own problem). Address the problems and pain points of the audience.

- The challenge – explain HOW hard this problem is to solve. Make sure they understand that there is no easy fix and that they are right to look for help. No pain, no gain.

- The solution – introduce your solution to solving these problems

- The new world – inform the audience of how your solutions will create a better world for them and how it will improve their day-to-day.

- The results – give the audience a reason to believe, and show them your past work. Show benefits over features.

- The call to action – spark more than just a connection. You've told the audience why to buy your product, now tell them how to buy it. They are now at their height of emotional decision making so make use of that and make it easy for them to take the next step. Tell them what action you want them to take and what they will get in return (preferably immediately).”

- Pascalle Bergmans

Pirates should use maps: Building a User Journey Map for Search - Grace Frohlich
Every marketer understands the importance of mapping the user journey. However, Grace Frohlich's talk took this concept and innovatively applied it to search. Frohlich's step-by-step guide on creating an actionable custom journey map was not just theoretical; it was a practical tool that businesses can immediately integrate into their strategies. She beautifully illustrated how these maps can help understand user intent, guide content creation, and optimise the entire search experience. The framework can be tailored to any industry, and it is again something that I’m really looking forward to exploring further.

Instead of summarising the process I will share a link to Frohlich’s blog which explains the concept in detail 5 steps to building a user journey map for your SEO strategy.

BrightonSEO September 2023 was a treasure trove of actionable insights and strategies. The two talks highlighted above are just a glimpse of what the conference offered. If you’re unsure whether to go or not, my recommendation would be to go. The world of marketing is ever changing, and you don’t want to be left behind.

About the Author

Jack Hardy is a results-driven chartered marketer with over 10 years of experience creating marketing strategies that help drive business growth.

A vast amount of my experience lies within B2B SaaS, however, as I now wish to use my skill set to help better the world. I am currently working with Sygnature Discovery, a world-leading Drug Discovery CRO. 

By working with them I hope to play a small part in the Drug Discovery process that will make a huge difference to many people’s lives. Whether that’s my own family or a complete stranger “One day, everyone will be a patient”. 

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