Know Your Market
You'd think it go without saying - identify and know your market before you begin any form of paid advertising, but a lively and somewhat enigmatic keynote from Marty Weintraub from AimClear, had us really, REALLY looking at the individual characteristics of our individual audiences, right down to what they had for breakfast! Well.. not quite.. but the insight was fantastic and we shall certainly be keeping in touch with him.
Social Media isn't so Social
Unless you have been completely ignoring everything online and social media related, it is widely known
that without a relevant presence on social media you could be missing out on a huge amount of opportunities, from business, through networking and simple customer service. But people don't necessarily want to be sold to while they are browsing on their lunch, or having a nose at their mates' holiday pics. Instead, we should become more clever about the messages that we position on social media, and allow users' previous search behaviour to educate us further: What pages on your website did they look at? Where in the 'buying' cycle are they? Did they make it to your checkout, or are they looking for a discount?
So step back from social media just being about your brand, and embrace the cliche of putting yourself in the shoes of your different audience types, because, as we should know, each business has more than one buying persona (even if you aren't commerce!) and we have the ability to send out different marketing messages depending on who and what our audience is susceptible to.
Beacon technology is coming
We have already posted about Google's Beacon technology coming to certain public transport routes in Manchester but the point was raised that Beacon technology is becoming more and more powerful. So whereas once we considered the impact that a Beacon would have at a store entrance, alerting the company that you have entered and then sending them relevant information about you, we have started to push this even further, and see examples of Beacon technology in real time performance where it has a massive impact, just take a look at this advert from Battersea Dogs Home, it can't help but have the desired emotional impact.
The Battersea advert actually came out last year, in 2015, so what will we see over the next couple of years as technology keeps advancing and the communication of data between devices increases?!
Never focus on Last Click Attribution
A personal bugbear of mine. Yes that final conversion data is crucial, but what is even more critical, is the marketing efforts that helped that person make the decision to finally complete whatever it is that you wanted them to do. Whether it be to download a form, interact with some content, fill in an enquiry form, or buy that stainless steel hand rail. It is now more important than ever to start analysing the impact that all marketing channels have in the journey toward a conversion.
"Marketing is list building" said Marty Weintraub early in the day, and never have we, as businesses with an online presence, had so much information at our fingertips.
And, if you still aren't convinced that conversion attribution has as much value as we like to shout about, then ask yourself this; how many time does an average customer touch your brand before you see them make an enquiry? Exactly.
Quest for Creativity - Make it Simple but Significant
Our friends over at Mediacom then provided an inspiring discussion about the use of creativity, and left us with the powerful phrase "Make it simple, but significant".
Throughout the points and insights they gave there was a strong focus on the use of video, with some killer stats such as there being 8 billion video views on Facebook every single day, and 75% of these are watched from a mobile device. So, you have created a video for your brand, your company love it, it evokes all of the right messages and speaks to your audience in the right tone of voice, but how do you then get it infront of your target market? Look to the social platforms of course!
And for those times when you know you can't win in a battle amongst your competitors, in a space that outprices any opportunity of ROI, then it doesn't hurt to try a totally different approach, just like Volvo at the Superbowl. Volvo dominated Twitter with their #VolvoContest campaign, which asked people to tweet and use their hashtag whenever they saw an advert for a rival car manufacturer. The Volvo competition became a worldwide trend instantly, and Volvo have apparently reported that they have seen a 70% sales increase in the following quarter just showing how a little ingenuity can have a massive impact.
Creative Campaigns for SEO
"Brands that don't speak to their audiences sincerely will disappear quickly."
Then, on that sunny Friday afternoon, we were treated to search engine optimisation insights from none other than Lisa Meyers from Verve Search. Lisa held strong beliefs, that mirror many of our own here at Ultimate, that your brand creative can be your own search engine optimisation. Verve are passionate that data and emotion can be stronger factors of harnessing your audience's interest, and are more likely to gain you the SEO technical elements that will help to raise your visibility both for potential referral traffic and/or with those key metrics to help your website rise in Google (we're talking links here in case that wasn't clear).
"People don't buy what, they buy why". Lisa Meyers, SASCon 2016
PR - "It ain't the meat, it's the motion"
Then came an endearing presentation from the guys at Smoking Gun PR about the rise and change of PR as a new service to help and aid search engine optimisation and digital marketing as a whole.
With our SEO cap on, it was quite refreshing to hear such an established PR company mention that content is only half of the battle, and then reinforce that we should look beyond the Likes and Shares, and toward the end results - are people interacting with your brand, and is your business seeing a real difference - "Measure the smoke".
Then, once your audience is on your site, how are you encouraging them to be on the best pages for their search query, or have they already landed on it?
How are you providing them with the best content, the quickest route, and the best USPs for what they are looking for. I make this a rhetorical question, because website personalisation is big news, and should be even bigger, with sites adopting it without your knowledge, yet we see so many sites reluctant to embrace its power to get your searchers to the best page on your site, and give them the best opportunity to do exactly what you want them to do.
Identifying the Best Channels and why Content is More Important than Ever
So we know that any digital marketing strategy worth its salt identifies the best marketing channels for the industry. Taking this further, we can then make this an advanced strategy by layering audience "pyschographs" on top and then tailoring the content on top to make sure that what is showing is only the most relevant and effective as it can be.
A theme throughout every session that we attended, whether it be keynote or from the Q&A, was the importance of cracking the value of good quality, purposeful content. We don't seem to stop talking about how creative we are as an agency here at Ultimate, but one thing is for sure, you can guarantee that we won't stop thinking about how we can push your brand and online presence to make the absolute very best of it. Whether that be repositioning your marketing messaging; a complete redesign; or raising your visibility in the search engines to gain more traffic. Our highly experienced and dedicated teams work tirelessly to get the absolute most out of each campaign and project that we undertake.
So what do you think, is content the be all and end all that some of the industry's leading experts focus their keynote speeches around? Do you think there is a place for paid advertising or are you all about the Organic? And what do you think about the different verticals of marketing coming together with the same end goal, have you had success in doing so, or are there still pain points?
Get in touch, and tell us what you think!