Last year, Greta attended Digital World Series here in Birmingham, writing a blog about her key takeaways from a day full of talks from big name brands. Having joined the team just after the event last year, I’ve seen how the knowledge Greta gained and shared with the team influences our approach to work and keeping up to date with developments in our industry. This year, keen to get new insights that I could use in my role, I attended this year’s conference – now called the Digital Enterprise festival – to see what trends and tips we should be aware of in 2017.
The event covered a range of topics and industries within the digital world, from the new GDPR data rules, to native advertising, and content marketing, to social selling. But although the talks were varied and everyone covered something different, there were a few common threads which were reoccurring. Here are my top 3!
Everybody learns in different ways, and some people are more engaged by one style of content than another. Recycling your content is a great way to make sure you engage with different people. Claire Trévien, Head of Content at Passle, touched on this explicitly in her talk ‘5 things to do after you hit publish’ by suggesting that when you’re sharing your blog post with your audience, you look at how it can be repurposed. For example, turning your content into graphics with pull quotes on, an infographic, a video, or even a webinar.
While we do this a lot for our clients already, it was still really interesting to get ideas we hadn’t thought of when it came to repurposing content. For example, speaker Robert Farrell talked about how Business Insider have started creating summary videos to go at the top of blog posts so that users can watch a quick video before deciding if the rest of the content will be useful, which we thought was very nifty!
Image by @DigiEntFest
Using the influence of others
This came up in a lot of people’s talks in different ways. For example, the second talk of the day from Paul Lewis at Pitney Bowes was about using LinkedIn for social selling.
According to him, 84 % of B2B buyers start the purchase process with a referral, and peer recommendations influence more than 90% of buying decisions.
Other speakers touched on this in other ways, with speaker Dipti Bhatia speaking on employee advocacy and Heidi Myers, Marketing Director at Meltwater, on how data and social listening can help you manage your reputation by tapping into the power of brand ambassadors. As the day went on and more speakers spoke about the importance of what others (customers and employees alike) are saying about your brand, it seemed more and more obvious that harnessing this influence is going to become a major part of business’s marketing strategies. We work with influencers with a lot of our clients, but it definitely inspired me to think about how else we can use the influence of people – both customers and employees – as opposed to products or services.
Image by @ComtecTranslate
Being where your audience is
We all know that this is important, but in the digital world – where your audience is not only spread across mediums, they’re also spread across devices and different apps/websites – this can be tricky.
During the Digital Enterprise Festival, there was lots of discussion that centered around how you can reach your audience, whether that’s through SEO, posting your blog on social media at many intervals to ensure that it’s seen, creating content specifically for mobile, or dark social (around 84% of shares are through dark social, although there’s lots of debate about how marketers should use it, or if they even should). Dale Lovell, Chief Digital Officer from Ad You Like talked about how native advertising (that is advertising that looks like its surroundings) can bring businesses success, while Heidi Myers from Meltwater talked the crowd through a case study which showed how brands can impact their influence by listening to what their audience is saying on social media and reaching out to them there.
Often, for many businesses the temptation is to create something – be it content, an ad, a social media post, or something else, hit publish and say job done. While it’s great that these businesses are putting things out there, there’s no guarantee that their audience is even seeing it. Are you posting on the right social media platforms, at the right times? Are you listening to what your audience wants? Are you getting hits in the right magazines? Are you just considering the publication’s overall reach, or have you considered niche magazines that are really relevant to your industry?
When I read back Greta’s blog from last year, she concluded that the event confirmed that Digital Glue were “moving in the right direction” in terms of the trends we were engaging with and the services we were offering. What’s great is that this year I could say the exact same, and in some instances, such as recycling content and working with influencers, we were ahead of the curve compared to other attendees! Even better, I think it means we’re really well placed to engage with these things further and be ready to dive right in when the next thing comes along.