Data and Content Marketing at September’s brightonSEO 2015

We are a dynamic and creative full-service marketing communications agency, based in the south of England.

As usual, I prepared myself for the bi-annual gathering of digital marketing geeks at the city’s huge search marketing event #brightonSEO at the Brighton Dome, with a fresh cup of tea (thank you sponsors) and browsed through the conference’s four track schedule of high quality presentations that I’d signed up for.

The data session

As one of the first people to enter the events’ Moz-sponsored stage in the Corn Exchange area, I settled into a front row seat and got ready to take notes’

Introduced by Nichola Stott, the session’s moderator, Anna Lewis (and the youngest co-presenter aka 8-month old baby bump) took to the stage and began the first data session of the day with a focus on ROI through Google Analytics.

Here’s what I gleaned from Anna’

As more of us are using mobile devices for online transactions, social engagement and research, of course mobile optimisation is of very great importance. As such, Anna advised that we ought to ensure that tracking links are doing the same for desktop as they are for mobile.
To make reporting easier to work through, Anna suggested that each report should have a key with descriptions and commentary.
Anna’s final piece of sound advice was to fully understand your clients’ KPIs so that you can be sure you report what is important to them.
Anna’s deck is yet to be made available, however in the meantime do have a play with the Google Analytics plugin tools she recommended Google Analytics Debugger, Tag Assistant and Event Tracking Tracker.

Nikki Rae (aka @AnalyticsGirl) then demonstrated a plethora of fresh and creative data visualisation tools including a digitally printed 3D graph and mouth-watering images of the ‘Dip ‘n’ Plug’ campaign by Data Cuisine who demonstrated statistics of mobile phone contracts through the medium of meat skewers and dips. Nikki finished her presentation with a recommendation to peruse the 37 best tools for data visualisation.

Teradata’s Kristina Baus was the third and final lady to present. Kristina provided best practice tips for data driven strategic marketing and here are some key points that I picked up:

  • There are 10.4 different media touch points in a customer journey before a purchasing decision is made.
  • Marketing performance will improve whilst data driven spends increase.
  • Qualitative data is better than quantitative. Read more about research methods here.
  • Run surveys after a customer purchase for feedback on experience and testimonials.
  • Always be targeted, personal and relevant.
  • Follow people through their life cycle to understand when to pre-empt their needs.
  • Use average order values (AOV) from sales data to create geographic maps and gain insights as to online propensity to buy.
  • Although Kristina’s presentation is not yet available, I have it on good authority that a whitepaper will be made available and shared soon. I’ll include a link here to the whitepaper once it’s live.

From the Q&A session at the end, the main thought was how to identify, track and understand the point between online and offline customer journeys.

The content marketing session

Fortunately, I didn’t have to go far for this session as it too was held on the same stage, however with new moderator Laura Crimmons who very brightly introduced Emily Hill, the first speaker of the session’

Emily provided super advice about how to generate content with the power of Google Analytics (by not focusing too much on traffic) and shared results from a recent survey amongst fellow marketers about their use of Google’s analytics platform.

Here are a few highlights from Emily’s presentation:

The ‘Frequency & Recency’ section of Google Analytics (GA) Audience Behaviour data area will help you to realise how often you need to produce content.
Know which geographic area to target with local content by viewing the average time on a page by city data. This data set can also help you to understand which cities you need to be more relevant to and visible in.
Then the very knowledgeable Ann Stanley presented on the benefits of using marketing automation software (MAS) for content marketing (view Ann’s deck here).

Ann advised that the integration of MAS can take a few days at least, depending on the number of users within the sales and marketing team and level of functionality required, however that MAS will enable you to guide customers through a better experience.
the pipeline journey starts with convincing a prospect that they can trust you (top of the funnel = TOFU), through to nurturing them into buying from you (middle of the funnel = MOFU) and finally to converting them into a customer (bottom of the funnel = BOFU).
The second to last speaker in this session was Chelsea Blacker, a very bright and enthusiastic lady who presented 12 tips to content success, which entailed:

Have a purpose statement for each piece of content that reflects value for the target market – and stick to it!
Chelsea’s second tip for content research tools included Trend Hunter which is useful to find future content ideas with for forward planning.
In addition to including industry specific and national dates of importance, a monthly editorial calendar plan ought to consider how the target market will be thinking and what they’ll be thinking about.
The seventh tip was to use data from fun quizzes to create sharable content, e.g. what type of ‘ are you. Then repurpose the content into an article, ebook, infographic, video, blog, etc.
The final speaker in this all-female content marketing focused session was Beverley Brown (aka @GlobalWordSmith) whose presentation focused on global content quality and also provided a number of useful resources for further reading.

For other great content marketing resources, check out the Content Marketing Institute and for example one of their most recent articles “How to get more mileage out of your visual content” by Matt Cooper, CEO of Visually.

Lunch time!

After the morning sessions I went for a wander around the buzzing streets of Brighton and enjoyed the sunny atmosphere with my head full of ideas and time to kill.

I hope you enjoyed reading this first part of my experience at brightonSEO. If you’d like to find out about paid online marketing campaigns and Dave Trott’s highly anticipated presentation, you can read about my afternoon experience here.

Want to know more?

To learn more about how search engine optimisation (SEO) can raise your brand’s profile then get in touch with the PRG team on 01323 411044 or simply email info@prgltd.co.uk.

P.S. Rough Agenda,which is headed by Kelvin Newman – co-creator of brightonSEO, managed another impressive free ticket allocation time this year with all of them going in under four minutes of being live! So avoid missing out for the next event and be sure to subscribe to the mailing list (via the brightonSEO homepage) so you too can join the SEO masses.

P.S.S. If you simply can’t wait until the next brightonSEO conference, then book yourself in for Rough Agenda’s next final event this year – MeasureFest on 25th November at Brighton’s Corn Exchange for training and talks dedicated to conversion rate optimisation (CRO), web analytics and business intelligence.

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