This year PRG sent Sales Executive Yasmin – who regularly assists Digital Marketing Manager Jess – off on her first experience of the much loved conference, she was not disappointed!
The keywords that jumped out across all conferences for Yasmin were ‘creativity’ and ‘originality’, with lots of tips on the new digital era, what all Markers should be focusing on and how to get the most out of your content by ‘thinking outside of the box’, instead of just ‘jumping on the bandwagon’.
First up was Peter Watson-Wailes and ‘New era for the digital agency’ – with mobile traffic dropping and desktop traffic falling even further below this, Peter explained how this can be improved by using some imagination, generating new ideas and catching the eye of your audience.
A great case study mentioned was Nestle and their ‘new’ diamond shaped Shreddies, they hadn’t actually changed the cereal in any way shape or form (they could be square or diamond), Nestle just simply changed the packaging. But this campaign worked and boxes flew off the shelves, by using their imagination they managed to increase sales on the same product by claiming it was ‘brand new’ – genius!
Peter also mentioned how the use of video is still increasingly popular and generates the most interest, so a creative video campaign can be very beneficial to almost any sector, regardless of who you’re trying to target. Lastly, ensure you’re not working with small budgets, there are so many companies all fighting to get in front of the same people and with a small budget you’re just going to get lost in the crowd, especially on Google and Facebook – so make sure you’re bidding above the rest.
Next Yasmin went to see Steve Rayson & Giles Palmer, who spoke about ‘how metrics and data drive content effectiveness’. They focused on how to get the most referrals and shares when posting content, and how social media’s importance may be decreasing but that the importance of SEO and PPC is rising.
The pair explained the amount of posts being published on wordpress is increasing, which means we’re competing against each other more than ever. For example there were 400,000 articles posted in one week regarding Bitcoin, most of which wouldn’t have any shares at all! Because the more posts there are on one subject, the less shares you’re likely to get – the best way to get around this is to be original. Write about something niche, or if you’re writing about a hot topic make sure you’re one of the first, rather than a follower and build authority, so people come to you for the best news and tips above everyone else. They found content that contains, tips, facts and data gains the most shares.
They were also big believers of ‘less is more’ so it’s best to create good quality content less often, rather than weekly content that has no value to your audience. For some this may mean writing one good quality blog per month, but it could potentially gain you more shares than those weekly blogs put together!
Next, Steve and Giles explained where you should be sharing your content and focusing your efforts. Don’t just post on all social platforms, find out which platform attracts your target audience and regularly post on there. For example Instagram generally attracts women age 18-29 so if this is your target audience make sure your main focus is on Instagram. However if you’re a B2B business you need to be focusing on LinkedIn – this way you’re sharing your content with the relevant people meaning they’re more likely to share to their friends/followers. Don’t forget, if your colleagues are on the social platform you choose, make sure they’re sharing it too!
Lastly, they mentioned how in the past referrals from Facebook would tower above Google, but due to the new algorithm, Facebook is decreasing and has now fallen below Google – so although social media does generate shares, the future is SEO and PPC.
After this Yasmin listened to Arianne Donoghue from Bing talking about how ‘The PPC automation revolution is coming’ Arianne showed the room various platforms designed to make things a lot easier for digital marketers, from bidding to reporting, these automated options aim to free up valuable work time meaning efforts can be focused on other areas of the budget.
Last but not least, Corinne Card spoke about ‘Digital PR on a budget: how to get awesome press links for SMEs’. Corrine was another believer of ‘creativity is key’ and explained that you must include good quality, colourful and lively images with all press releases that you send out – stating the image must help tell the story. Just like Peter Watson-Wailes she mentioned video is still rising in popularity, so create a good quality video to capture your audience if you can.