This week the Digital Summit made its annual stop in Denver, and our Social Media Specialist team was in attendance. In this conference, the agenda covers everything digital – from SEO to design to social media content strategy to mobile optimization.
The speakers are from some of the world’s leading brands, both those that we use in everyday life and programs that help us maximize your marketing dollars at Page 1.
One of the main words that I heard continuously throughout the day was “authenticity”. Now, I’m sure we all know the meaning of the word, but what does it mean when it comes to marketing?
According to the developers of the Perceived Brand Authenticity Scale, the definition is “The extent to which consumers perceive a brand to be faithful toward itself, true to its consumers, motivated by caring and responsibility, and able to support consumers in being true to themselves.” On Tuesday morning, Leigh George of Freedom said: “Message matters more than medium”. Define your mission, and then hone in on a better way to get to your customers.
As marketers we need to find what impact our campaign has on our mission, then create content and strategies from there. The answer is not to send more marketing, it’s to send smarter marketing. “Don’t raise your voice, improve your argument,” George said.
The second big takeaway from the day, though it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, is that video content is still the fastest growing content medium. Afternoon speaker Jason Hsiao of Animoto said it best: “The play button is the most compelling call-to-action on the web.” While he had many personal anecdotes and slides upon slides of statistics, I found this monumental:
Consumers that have watched a video are 6 times more likely to recall the information and 64% more likely to make a purchase.
Hsiao also touched on authenticity. He suggested creating real content, not focusing on doing things for likes or absolute precision. “Authenticity is more important than hilarity [or perfection].”
My fellow Social Media Specialist Shannon Doyle also attended the first day of the Digital Summit. She found that the speakers affirmed both the theory and practice of marketing that she has experienced performing organic and paid social media marketing for our clients.
Shannon identified "Three Genius Ways to Make Your Search and Social Campaigns Work Better Together" by Mark Irvine of WordStream as a session that aligned well with her work:
"Search and social media work effectively together in pushing users down the marketing funnel. Social media marketing helps to raise brand awareness, while search marketing converts users who have gained brand awareness prior to their time of intentional search to satisfy a need, want, or desire."
Senior Social Media Specialist Daniel Brophy attended several sessions on the second day.
Video continued to be a hot topic at the Digital Summit. Many of us use LinkedIn for business purposes, but have you thought about using video on LinkedIn? Sabrina Kizzie, Social Media Glamour, suggests making videos that include company-specific insights/"behind the scenes", industry news, product launches, insider coverage of industry events, etc. The biggest thing to remember when making videos for LinkedIn, however, is to keep it professional.
Instagram continues to remain the visual giant with image and video content. “1 billion users [are] on IG, 500 million using Stories. Now 75% of people spend more time on Stories than the IG feed” states Quinn Tempest, Digital Strategy & Design Consultant. Again, quick videos and quick-to-digest content are becoming paramount as consumers' attention spans decline. The world is now conforming to the concept of creating “insta-worthy” visuals and experiences. Hotels are even making ornate bathrooms to encourage guests to take selfies in there!
“Do it for the gram” is now ingrained in our culture. When creating Stories for your business, make it more a "powerpoint" than a film. What does your brand stand for, what does your audience care about, what makes you unique?
Things to remember when creating content:
An interesting point made by Freedom’s Leigh George was: "Netflix didn't kill Blockbuster, ridiculous late fees did. Uber didn't kill Taxis, inflexible fares and limited access did.”
What sorts of content topics/formats will maximally interest and engage your audience? Find out what the customer wants, how the customer wants to behave, and adapt to that. Give the people what they want, don't force them to do what you want them to do... be customer-centric!
Social Media Specialist Jill Messinger also attended the Denver Digital Summit on Day 2. She found that many of the sessions focused on the importance of creating a community on social media and being authentic with your audience.
One session in particular, titled "What Marketers Can Learn from DJ Khaled and Drake," explained the constantly-shifting Facebook algorithm and how brands can keep up. The speaker, Carlos Gil, described Facebook as a casino in the sense that no matter how skilled a player is, it’s nearly impossible to beat the house at their own game. Instead of focusing your energy on getting your posts higher up in the newsfeed by “cheating the system,” focus on building meaningful relationships with your followers. Facebook will, in turn, reward your community-driven content by magnifying its presence on the newsfeed.
Carlos ended the session with a powerful statement: Community, not content, is king. After all, the entire purpose of creating and sharing content is to cultivate a community through social media.
Scott Cianciosi from WIRED Magazine hosted a session on Day 2 named "The Importance of Authenticity in Social Media Marketing." Scott, who formerly worked at Facebook, explained that nowadays social media users are more skilled at seeing through brands that are not putting on an authentic front. In order to gain user trust, it’s imperative that brands center their efforts on their followers, rather than achieving their own goals. This can be achieved by running polls (he emphasized that social media users like to be heard), highlighting causes or charities your brand supports, and even partnering up with other social media brands that are similar to your own but not a direct competitor.
Additionally, Scott touched on the importance of video in social media marketing. He stated that WIRED videos performed more than 3x better than link posts and 2x better than photos. Towards the end of the session, Scott shared a slide that emphasized how Facebook has changed in regards to how the platform prioritizes content (see image).
In the course of just a year, Facebook moved from prioritizing posts that a user is likely to engage with to prioritizing videos that users repeatedly search for or view. It goes to show that video continues to reign as top-performing content, and shows no signs of slowing down.
Find out how the insights and experience of our Social Media Specialists can enhance the marketing efforts for your law firm, medical practice, or dentist office. Call 800-368-9910 today for a complimentary website and marketing evaluation!