Last week Nicola and Josh popped to Manchester for SAScon 2017.
SAScon (Search Analytics Social Media Conference) is one of the UK’s largest and most anticipated digital marketing conferences. With a lineup of international speakers, the conference attracts professionals from every corner of the country. In the words of the conference “The aim of the event is to educate, share best practice, inspire and enthuse. It showcases the latest thinking and technologies in digital marketing.”
Here’s what we learned:
This was the term used by Jon Burkhart, a digital marketing expert, author and founder of Tad Bit Creative, a content marketing consultancy. The biggest question that he asked was what makes people curious? His talk revolved around the idea of what makes us curious and interested in wanting to be more creative. He referenced the Oreo Super Bowl tweet, and how fast their brand was able to react to a world event. In turn this resulted in nearly all brands jumping on the band wagon and trying to push their brand, which lost its originality very quickly.
Jon believes that we need to rumble with a story or idea and take chances to be creative, the 'we’ve always done it this way’ complacency is the biggest problem with content creation. Attention spans are so short now that we need things to happen, and quickly. This is the reason why emojis are now so popular, and the emoji ‘language’ is now the universal language of the world.
There is a difference between brand loyalty and customer loyalty
Sam Noble, the founder of Biddable Moments, believes that customer loyalty is trying to attract customers to the right place at the right time, whereas brand loyalty is getting people to buy in to your brand initially (which is the hard part) and then keeping them loyal (the easier bit) e.g. someone that buys an Apple iPhone is unlikely to switch to Android.
Sam also talked about some hints and tips that people may already know, but may not always put in place. Using a dedicated landing page for existing customers is effective i.e. an existing customer won’t be interested in seeing a new customer discount code or offer. Also, there are many websites that have dedicated loyalty scheme pages, which aren’t promoted enough, so if this is something that you have on your website, use it in your ad text and promote it. It's also now proven that 88% of people will trust an online review and it's more likely that happy customers will share their experience online.
Renee Mellow, who has the fancy title of Head of Merging Digital Activation at MediaCom, talked about new innovations that are coming, but mostly concentrated on the arrival of home devices and how they are changing our online experience.
Statistics show that people that own an Amazon Echo tend to spend 10% more on Amazon per year, and by the end of 2017/start of 2018, home devices will be a normal household item. Renee talked about how digital marketing and marketing companies need to keep up with these innovations, use them, review them and comment on them because if we don’t, we will quickly become irrelevant.
The main idea with the home devices and other new technology like improved car dashboard systems is that there is a seamless consumer flow. Spotify is currently the best at this, you can listen to one song on one device, and then pick up from where you left off on another. This is something we will see more of in the near future, a seamless user experience.
The need for speed
Get personal faster, get attention quicker, embrace the change. This was the advice from Facebook’s John Carr. Young people now consume 500 words a minute, and images 60,000 times faster than that, which is phenomenal. The mass content consumption is happening and the place it is happening is video.
Facebook has seen in testing that people watch vertical videos longer and with sound on when those videos are actually presented in their mobile feeds. This also moves in line with other rising mobile platforms popularising videos such as Snapchat, Instagram videos - for advertisers this means more advert real estate per video.
If this takes off, the higher engagement is likely to be favoured by Facebook thus getting your videos seen by more people if you choose to go vertical.
Facebook live is also due to get a boost. Sports channels and other users using it to stream essentially ‘episodes’ of their event/blog will have the option for advertising breaks which they will monetise from. The best thing about these breaks are the adverts will be tailored for the viewer which is great news for brands as you can pay to advertise to your most likely to buy audience rather than a slap dash expensive slot such as in TV advertising.
The talk also described hints and tips on how to get the most out of your videos:
- Let people know who you are fairly soon into the video as you only have a very short amount of time to get their attention, don’t leave it until the end to showcase your brand.
- 10 seconds is an average video view (seriously). Have you given the view the quality content to get your message across in the fastest amount of time? But a 15-second video will work across all platforms so if you want to make it easier for yourself stick to that.
- Facebook is doing what they can to make it easier for you to get in front of your customers, trust it and go with it.
Pay to play
“A lot of times people don’t know what they want until you show it to them” - Steve Jobs
Alex Pickering from iProspect echoed John Carr’s sentiments about creative ads needing to capture attention quickly and with movement. Social will continue to be the driver of visual communication, and investment in paid social continues to grow with 46% of all display advertising now being served in a social environment.
Social can often be a longer-tale sale as you are trying to intercept at the beginning of their buying cycle rather than when they are buying with intent (i.e. searching on google for a particular product as they already desire it). However, people might not know they want or need your service until you get in front of them and the best and lowest cost ways are through paid social advertising.
And the fun bits..
The other notable speaker of the day was David Norris of Snapchat who explained in more detail about how unique Snapchat was: a unique audience (46% of Snapchatters are not on Instagram), a close-knit following who are most likely to be your best friend ‘not the bloke you once sat next to on the Wiki-Wiki bus in Honolulu on your Gap Year’. Snaps are playing 60% of the time with the sound on, unlike other social platforms where the sound is automatically off, and over 30 million daily users making it the fastest growing social platform.
So what is the plan for Snapchat? They are finding ways for advertisers to benefit from these USPs and engage with potential customers. Opening up GEOfilters recently to pretty much anyone can allow brands to create a check in for their own property - great for sporting events, bar and clubs.
Other developments coming soon are virtual filters which engage with the environment around us such as the recent hotdog man dance filter - if you can find a way for that to work for you then consider it.
But what does this mean for brands? It means watch this space as Snapchat is getting bigger and better, so keep your eye out for developments and when you can make it work for your business and get there ahead of your competitors, as they anticipate the reaction is going to be good.
All in all, the conference was a great chance to hear the latest and greatest in digital innovation ‘right from the horse’s mouth’ so to speak. Our plan is to analyse what we can use for our clients going forwards.