Friday 15th September saw the return of every marketer on the South Coasts’ favourite day out, BrightonSEO. Taking place at the Brighton Centre, directly opposite Brighton’s famous seafront, thousands of marketers, SEO experts, social media geeks and content writers descended upon the seaside city to learn from a series of expert speakers from across the globe.
As PRG’s Digital Marketing expert, Jess from the PRG Account Managers team headed off, armed with her marble notebook (in true social media specialist style!) to learn from some of the industry’s best known speakers.
We’ve all heard the phrase ‘content is king’ and popular talks on the day of BrightonSEO were themed around content and getting the most out of your writing. First up in Jess’ talk was Amy Harrison, telling delegates how to write with influence. Amy noted the importance of making sure copy doesn’t just focus on what you want your customers to do, and more why you want them to do it.
She explained the importance of checking your copy for a ‘disconnect’ with your audience and asking yourself if it provides them with what they’re looking for. Amy told BrightonSEO visitors to think of a few key audience points when writing copy, including what is their problem, what solutions might they be looking for elsewhere and how can you help them?
A great campaign mentioned in the talk was that of mouthwash firm Corsodyl. You’d be hard pushed to find anyone who hasn’t seen the ‘for people who spit blood when they brush their teeth’ adverts – Amy noted this campaign is a great example of letting your audience know of a problem they may have, when they may not actually know they have it. For example, many people may recognise this symptom when brushing, but may not actually know they suffer from gum disease.
The second content speaker, Chelsea Blacker discussed ROI measurement in content marketing, something that proves challenging for many writers. Chelsea discussed the importance of identifying which stage in the buying cycle you’re targeting before you can start measuring your return on investment. She noted BrightonSEO marketers need to know if they’re looking at awareness, consideration or conversion.
When it comes to reporting ROI, Chelsea’s advice was to know your audience and present the metrics to them so that they understand. For example, marketing jargon may be widely understood within marketing circles, but company CEOs may not understand certain metrics. She also suggested to the BrightonSEO crowd showing growth year on year for blogs – if you do an annual post on the same topic you can note the keywords and traffic difference. Chelsea also shared thoughts on ‘dark shares’ (anything that’s shared on a closed platform) as 87% of all shares are made via copying and pasting from the address bar.
The final content speaker was Sam Charles. She discussed the best ways to be productive when working as a writer and shared some of her favourite productivity tools for content idea generation, social media, grammar checking and email and content marketing.
After lunch, it was time to get social with the paid social media seminar. Duane Brown discussed the use of video in social media and the wider marketing mix. He spoke about the role video plays in Facebook advertising and the targeting options for video content. He also warned the audience about the perils of using video views as a metric, as the figures can be skewed due to autoplay.
Up next to discuss getting social was Susan Wenograd who focussed on not drowning in a world of social media marketing. Susan noted that Facebook advertising is becoming increasingly more competitive as the site runs out of capacity for adverts. She discussed audience selection and advised marketers to trial different types of adverts and then adjust according to performance if cost per conversion is high but audience targeting is right.
Her advice was to revisit conversions and start with awareness campaigns if costs are higher than advertisers are expecting. Following on from Duane’s discussion about video, Susan noted that video views aren’t supposed to sell, they’re supposed to bring potential customers to a point where they may buy, and work better at the beginning of the customer journey.
Matt Beswick continued the social media experience discussing the ridiculous to the sublime. He told the audience his recommendations for using Google Tag Manager in conjunction with social advertising, and also went into technical detail about Facebook pixel codes and conversion tracking.
He rounded off his talk by showing examples of Facebook advert image and style variables and asked the audience which they thought would be best performing, carousel static adverts or GIF adverts. While most of the audience sided with the interactive GIF, Matt revealed the better performing of the two for one of his client campaigns was the static image carousel style advert. He concluded the importance of trial and error with Facebook advertising.
Want to know what we learnt on the day about keywords, SEO and Google Adwords? Read our second round up of BrightonSEO from Becky Rowland!