- Create quality, unique content that people are interested in
- Interact with your audience and help them, help you!
- Don’t be afraid to take risks and innovate – but be strategic about it
- Encourage engagement through social media
- Converting customers should be a combined approach between digital and offline marketing activities
This year’s Digital Summit rings in seven years since Interactive Minds first hosted the annual conference and what a conference it was! With a strong focus on content, innovation and the big wide world of SEO and social media, this year’s event had lots to offer for all areas of digital marketing.
I went with Sarah, one of our SEO experts, to the conference and we had a few pointers worth noting:
(Good) Content is King
We all know how important content is but this has also led to many people producing work that really doesn’t stand a chance in the universe of the internet where content is everywhere. Instead, there is a push for creating good, unique content that people really want to see.
Good content takes time. It is all about finding a niche and dedicated community to push it out to. (Dan Norris – WP Curve)
Image source: Dan Norris
Successful strategies have great content, a great business, and a monetization strategy. You can’t have one without the other. What you create should relate to the business in some way in order to have brand benefits – content for the sake of content won’t fly in a content saturated market.
Once you find your niche and community, you must work hard to interact and engage your audience, but be careful not to let them create your content. (Rob Hudson – GPY&R)
What Rob meant was that the reader should be the protagonist who helps interact with the content. They are not a passive audience nor are they the creator, but rather an active passenger on the ride. Rob also noted the importance of tension in content. Having two sides or a controversial idea is a great way to get people engaging with your content.
Once you’ve identified and are interacting with your audience, don’t be afraid to step it up a notch by looking at community influencers. (David Smerdon – Clemenger BBDO)
YouTube influencers – the new wave of self-made, online personalities who are often open to endorsement opportunities – are a great source for promotion, linking and brand building. These people often have huge reach and the ability to engage with your target audience in a way that is much more intimate than any brand can achieve. One example is Tyler Oakley, now a YouTube sensation, but started as every other face on the vlogosphere. Now, he is sponsored by lots of big-name companies (Pepsi included!) who get a little bit of advertising whenever Tyler goes out on their behalf (some of which you can see in this video). However, if you want to get on board, do it early while the influencer is still open to your input.
Innovation & Risks Should Underpin Digital Strategy
It’s understandable to play it safe and create something that doesn’t draw outside the lines. But, just like creating content for the sake of it, you are only adding to the pile with little reward. Instead, be willing to innovate and take risks with your digital strategy.
Advertising is tax for not being remarkable. (Sarah Prescott, Thankyou)
In other words, you have to pay to amplify content that isn’t engaging enough for sharing through your audience and influencers. The best content will work without spending money after you have created your piece of content.
There are no wrong answers when it comes to building a brand and reaching out to your target audience, it’s all about innovation and experimentation. (Sam Olstein – General Electric)
Brands today need to take risks, but need to do so in a calculated and strategic way – don’t be reckless, but be out of the box. GE has done this many times and in many ways, including the Mission sneakers, which saw increased interaction and engagement from audiences around the world.
The Mission Sneakers were a special pair of shoes based on the first astronaut boots, which GE helped create. The new sneakers were a modern iteration of this, released on the 45th anniversary of the first manned lunar landing. With only a limited amount made in partnership with JackThreads, the bold strategy that had such a small tie with the electrical giant had a high chance of failure, but resulted in all shoes sold in a matter of hours, with celebrities and respected figures some of the select few to get involved. One pair of shoes even made it into a museum exhibition cataloguing noteworthy sneakers through the years. What can you get from this? It is important to try and think differently with your content and what is at your disposal. High (strategic) risk, high reward!
Foster Engagement Through Social
Social media has become an important part of any good digital marketing mix. One way to interact and engage your audience is through these channels and harnessing them is crucial. By taking the time and effort to connect, share and build relationships, you can gain much for your business.
Connect online with offline by developing content ecosystems to enhance engagement. (Rebecca McSwiney – USQ)
Just like on your blog or web pages, quality content is key in social media as well. Make sure you give your fans a voice so they can also help to push your message out further and look for opportunities online that you can leverage for your business.
An example of this is the recent thankyou campaign which saw thankyou fans ask Woolworths and Coles to stock the water in their stores. The response was huge and saw the water in stores in no time.
Social can influence your business goals – it’s all about how you use it.
Conversion is a Team Sport
In the past, SEO has been all about getting a user to the site. After that, it’s not an SEO issue anymore. These days, converting users is just as important as getting them on site, even more so for industries that have a lot of audience interaction.
Conversion is a team sport. (Nicola Lambie – CUA)
Digital can’t underestimate the role of customer service, and offline platforms can’t underestimate the role of digital. You need an integrated digital and offline approach for maximum audience engagement and capture. It is important to support and deliver on promises through a joint approach.
Cross-channel integration to support the customer journey (Chaminda Ranasighe – ANZ)
For ANZ, digital is now making up 50% of the marketing mix. This shows just how important the digital experience is for a consumer.
It was also found that there was a 50% drop off during application process for ANZ services. ANZ had to think differently to reduce this and went down the route of using different mediums to contact consumers. Half of the drop-off was reclaimed by a combination of finding another way to reach the consumer online, like emails or online chat, and offline tactics, like phone calls and letters. It’s all about persistence!
And that’s the Digital Summit wrap up! Over the next few months we’ll delve deeper into some of these topics, so be sure to subscribe to our blog to learn more.