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October 23, 2015

Becky Rowland concludes her series about this September's brightonSEO conference.

Welcome to my second (and final) review of this September’s brightonSEO conference (you can read about my morning experience here). This blog post is as the title says, all about an afternoon spent gathering top tips from fellow digital marketing professionals on PPC, e-commerce, Facebook, content and idea generation.

After a ponderous walk around the lanes of Brighton, with lunch in hand, I entered the Dome Studio Theatre and found a comfortable place to rest my weary legs. Whilst I hastily ate a carroty prawn salad and sipped on a lovely cup of tea, the seats started filling up and the first speaker took his place on the “paid” session stage to begin.

 

The paid session

The energetic Gianpaolo Lorusso from Italy provided sound advice on how to optimise Google Adwords accounts. Here are Gianpaolo’s slides (with software discount codes) and my key takeaways:

  • For retargeting social and digital ads Gianpaolo recommends Perfect Audience software for remarketing campaigns.
  • When setting up your Adwords campaigns, ensure you have “misspelt” brand and product keywords in the mix.
  • Use bidding strategies to manage budget against competitors.

Next up was the glamorous Samantha Noble, founder of Digital Females and Marketing Director of Koozai whose presentation focused on best practice in Google Shopping

  • Results from a recent survey show that Google Shopping ads perform better (by 49%) than standard text only ads.
  • Using the Google Merchant Center, capitalise and enter as much data and description as possible within your feeds and product listings, especially for new and unknown brands.
  • Keep product images clear with a plain background to make them easy to browse quickly.
  • Campaigns will rank far better if you update the product listing regularly – use automatic item updates tool for daily performance optimisation.
  • If a product ad is not authorised by Google yet it doesn’t go against the policy violation criteria, be sure to ask their team to fix it via manual review process.
  • As with Google Adwords, ensure that you enter negative keywords to enhance ranking position.
  • Don’t forget to encourage feedback and product reviews with an incentive for shoppers to return to you.

The last presenter of this session was the very knowledgeable Tara Dee West with excellent tips on how to generate leads with Facebook Advertising (here’s Tara’s deck)’

  • Be aware that no matter what you spend, Facebooks ads will appear a maximum 2 times to non-followers and 4 times to followers. To avoid all of your budget going quickly, remove the right hand desktop option when setting up an ad as Facebook will advertise via this as much as they like.
  • Targeting is twice as accurate with Custom Audiences as you can also exclude people you have already targeted.
  • Since Facebook partnered with Experian, it is now possible to target new individuals based on the combination of offline purchase data with Facebook users’ set preferences, likes and interests.
  • Ensure that your data usage practices are legal on Facebook, update your pixel to incorporate email and phone numbers.
  • Once you feel comfortable with Facebook advertising options, try targeting via the Lookalike Audiences tool – but only start with 1% of the audience to test relevancy and engagement, then increase as you see fit.

 

The links session

Following these three enlightening presentations, I then faced the conundrum of where to go next as there were three really interesting tracks on at the same time – “forecasting”, “keywords” and “links”.

After a spot of networking in the exhibition area, I decided on the latter session and headed into Paddy Moogan’s presentation which was full of excellent resources and tips about how to create better stories using existing content ideas (view the slides)’

  • Use urlprofiler to identify which of your competitors has successful content and link building campaigns.
  • When using Buzzsumo to find most shared content topics and types, be aware that the system excludes homepage links most of the time.
  • EpicBeat is great resource with which to find trending topics and influencers.

Then onto the stage for his first ever brightonSEO speaker slot came along the very talented Kelvin Newman who shared his thoughts on how to have less rubbish ideas. Declaring his love for what he believes to be the best (and cheapest) SEO tool – the Post-it® note, Kelvin went to onto introduce the audience to the Chindogu theory and Heuristic Ideation Technique (which he admitted to “borrowing” from Gamestorming).

Kelvin’s slides are of the visual sort with useful links, funny quips and intelligent quotes thrown into the mix of which these quote stood out in particular’

  • “An idea is nothing more nor less than a new combination of old elements.”
    From the book titled ‘A Technique for Producing Ideas‘ by James Webb Young, first published in the 1940s which builds upon the work of legendary sociologist Vilfredo Pareto.
  • “I’ve often thought of my experience of adulthood thus far as one of incrementally discovering that there’s no institution, or walk of life, in which everybody isn’t just winging it.”
    Oliver Burkeman in The Guardian

 

“Creativity is the last legal unfair advantage over the competition”

The conference was finished off with a thought provoking reminder from Dave Trott as to what it is, that we as marketers ought to focus on and quoted the likes of Louis Henry Sullivan, Edward de Bono, Bill Bernbach, David Abbott and Rory Sutherland

  • 89 per cent of £83bn advertising spend is not noticed because the most important sentence is never written in the brief – people must remember the ad.
  • If you look at something and you immediately like it, then it’s nothing new. Creativity is the ability to come up with a new solution to a problem.
  • Remember ‘form follows function’ see the principle in action and interact via the fff project.
  • The media is the human – all marketing activities and channels are merely devices for content sharing. Your aim is to attract the opinion formers as they have greater influence over the many opinion sharers and followers.
  • Everything in the universe is matter and void, everything else is opinion.
  • If you understand human behaviour and focus on simple, timeless human truths you have a better chance at triggering word of mouth and becoming viral.
  • Also, understand the human mind hierarchy of communications:
    1. you need to have impact to get noticed (creatives)
    2. you need to communicate effectively (copy writers)
    3. you need to persuade people to get the result you want (planners)
  • Don’t be afraid to be different!
    The human mind is bombarded with thousands of messages every day and to work effectively, it has to sort through and identify the most relevant, important and emotional ones in order to meet needs and desires.
    To survive, the human mind groups items that look/feel/taste/sound the same into one group and anything that has unique aspects separately and deals with each accordingly – whether that be to dismiss, remember or take action.
    Basically, when attempting to enter the mind’s hierarchy of communications you need to focus on gaining a greater percentage of the mind share and reassure your clients that risks can be a good thing. To learn more about this way of thinking, read Design Principles: Visual Perception And The Principles Of Gestalt from Smashing Magazine.

 

Let’s party (a bit)!

After a short but sweet mingle at the after party (usually I would stay and play some games, however September was a no alcohol month for me and so I donated my free beer token to a very grateful Joe Sturgess of TweetRocket), I trundled into the sunny outside world and caught a bus home for some focused thinking time.

Congratulations and thanks again to Rough Agenda for organising yet another excellent SEO event brimming with super speakers (sadly I missed out on some of my favourites Aleyda Solis and Greg Gifford), über useful resources and interactive audiences – I look forward to receiving ticket availability notification in the New Year!

To peruse all of the brightonSEO September 2015 presentation slides that have so far been shared click here.

To learn more about digital marketing and any of the above activities, please contact the PRG team on 01323 411044 or simply email info@prgltd.co.uk.

PRG Marketing Communications
10 Gildredge Road
Eastbourne
East Sussex BN21 4RL

T: + 44 (0) 1323 411044
E: info@prgltd.co.uk

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