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Over the past few years, Danny Brown has become one of the leading social media experts and someone who delivers great insight on a regular basis on his blog.
An area that Danny tackled recently was the role and power of influencers through a book, Influence Marketing, he co-authored with Sam Fiorella.
Danny and Sam will be doing a session at meshmarketing about influencer marketing, and how brands can effectively identify and engage with influencers. We caught up with him to do a mini-Q&A about what he’s seen on the social media and influencer landscape.
What do you see as some of the more interesting trends within social media? What should brands be focused on?
Authority content is becoming even more important to brands, as Google looks to clean up the web and place import on social content and authority articles over SEO and keywords. While a good content marketing strategy may have complemented a good SEO strategy before, now it seems to be much more emphasis on the content versus SEO. This is a huge game-changer, especially given the recent Hummingbird announcement from Google.
Real-time advertising based on behavioural data is also making a big play, with companies like eyeReturn here in Toronto leading the way. If you can impact an ad whilst your target audience is consuming the content where that ad is displayed, the potential for sales increases exponentially. It’s native advertising taken to the next level.
Where do most companies fall short when it comes to social media?
Short term vision over long term strategy, and lack of success metrics. Why is your brand using social media? Who’s leading the charge internally? How does it complement your other business tactics across the company (versus just being tacked onto the marketing department). How have you broken down what success metrics will look like over a period of time (months, quarters, years, as well as share of voice over financial return and vice versa)?
Too many companies are looking to social media as a golden bullet for their business, when they need to sort out their business first and then see how social can help them meet their goals, internally as well as externally.
How is influencer marketing changing? What’s the low-hanging fruit when it comes to approaching influencers (a loaded question!)
We’re finally moving into utilizing influence marketing as an important part of a business strategy, versus seeing it as a way to get quick buzz from purported influencers because of their Klout score. Brands are looking at multiple ways to use influence – marketing is still very much a natural fit, but now we understand that influencers can be a third-party and neutral communicator in disputes; influencers can sway career decisions; influencers can truly impact purchase decisions and help advertising or marketing campaigns get back on track after a negative hit.
Brands are also looking for real influencers – not those with a high score, but those that people turn to at a given time. I may turn to my friend for advice on buying a car, but I won’t listen to him when looking to buy a great book, I’ll turn to my wife for that. Brands are finally beginning to realize this level of complex understanding is where true influence comes into play. The low-hanging fruit is still the scoring platforms, since they can provide a huge amount of data, but to get to the really tasty fruit, you need to really dig into the orchard!
Any new or favourite digital tools these days?
I’m enjoying playing with Atomic Reach, which looks to score content before it’s published, to help you create the right level of content (language, complexity, etc.) for the type of audience you’re after (say, B2B decision-makers, or educated students, as two examples). I also like the way Medium is approaching comments - they’re more like sticky notes versus actual comments, and they can turn a piece of content into a living, evergreen entity.
Until Oct. 30, tickets for meshmarketing are $199, while full-time students can pick up tickets for $49.
In putting together this year’s speaker lineup for meshmarketing, we wanted to focus on people who help brands do better at digital marketing to drive their businesses forward.
A critical part of the digital marketing mix is conversion optimization, which is all about having a Website that turns visitors in customers.
The reality is while social media and content marketing are great ways to attract the attention of existing and potential customers, it doesn’t matter if these people don’t do something (e.g. make a purchase, read a white paper, attend a conference) after they arrive at a Website.
This is why we’re excited about having Peep Laja as one of our keynote speakers. A conversion optimization expert, Peep heads up Austin-based Conversion XL, which uses a straightforward tagline: “We make Websites sell”.
For any business looking to drive digital marketing ROI, conversion optimization should be a huge focus. On Conversion XL’s Website, the math behind better conversion optimization is simple: improve your results just 1% a day, and you’ve doubled it in three months
In many ways, conversion optimization is not sexy and it involves a lot of grunt work, tweaking and testing. At the same time, it has to be an important pillar of a brand’s digital marketing activities. If your Website doesn’t deliver measurable results, your business is in trouble.
To get a taste of what Peep will be talking about during his keynote, here are some of his recent blog posts:
Tickets for meshmarketing are $199 until Oct. 30 ($299 afterward), while there a handful of tickets for full-time students for $49.
We’re now officially a month before meshmarketing on Nov. 7 at the Toronto Reference Library.
With our programming locked down, it has been great to see an enthusiastic response from attendees and sponsors. And while I’m biased, it’s shaping up to be the best meshmarketing since we started in 2010.
Perhaps the biggest reason why meshmarketing feels so right this year is the focus on digital marketing tactical execution.
Our speakers are focused on delivering insight to help digital marketers do their jobs better or different – whether it’s the best approach to content marketing or social media, the tools to drive productivity and results, real-world insight into how a large brand (Yellow Pages Group) embraced digital, or a tasty case study about how Oreo successfully leveraged social media.
If you’re a brand or organization that wants to get into digital marketing, needs to be better at digital marketing, or looking for new digital marketing ideas, meshmarketing offers incredible ROI at $199 (until Oct. 30.).
For us, success is having an attendee leave meshmarketing with a long list of to-do’s: tools to check out, blog posts to read, ideas to share and tactics to implement, as well as number of new business connections.
Sure, there are other digital marketing conferences but we think digital marketing is the best option for anyone looking to hear from people in the digital marketing trenches who will help you learn, get inspired and, in time, implement.
Until Oct. 30, tickets for meshmarketing are $199, while tickets for full-time students are $49. To learn more about what’s happening, check out the “magazine” below that provides information about the speakers (including books they have written), the schedule, campaigns and videos.
Within Toronto’s startup community, Uberflip has established itself as one of the leading content marketing players.
Randy Frisch, Uberflip’s chief operating officer, will bring his insight to meshmarketing as a panelist on the digital tools panel with David Singh and Karen Schulman Dupuis. (Note: Pre-registration tickets are $199 until Oct. 30).
We did a mini-Q&A with Randy to get his thoughts on where content marketing is going and how brands can effectively leverage content.
What do you see as some of the more interesting trends within content marketing? What should brands be focused on?
Video and image-based content is definitely one of the biggest trends in content marketing right now. Audiences find these content formats extremely engaging and it’s easier to digest visual content quickly. For visual content to be most effective, it should also be mobile friendly. This leads to another trend in content marketing right now, which is making content mobile-friendly and responsive.
Brands should focus on understanding which social channels their audience spends time on and deliver visual content across these social channels. Marketers should also ensure they have a mobile strategy in place to capitalize on the massive trend toward mobile content consumption.
What the keys to success when it comes to doing content marketing well?
One of the most important components of a successful content marketing strategy is to know your audience – who are they, what do they like/dislike, which social channels do they spend their time on…once content marketers understand exactly who they’re speaking to, they can create targeted and effective content that resonates with these people.
Savvy content marketers are also constantly measuring the effectiveness of their content strategy. They’re aware of key content marketing metrics and are optimizing their content based on how it’s performing against their pre-defined goals.
Successful content marketers are also good at creating effective long-term strategies – they plan ahead and have a roadmap for their content creation, but they’re also flexible in reacting to industry news and trends.
Any tips on how brands can sustain their content marketing activity, and how they can drive distribution?
We’re seeing a massive rise in content clutter these days and marketers need to find ways to break through the noise and capture their audience’s attention. Savvy content marketers find ways to make all their content discoverable without creating extra work for themselves by going through the IT department – and to be frank, this is exactly the problem that Uberflip’s latest product, Hubs, solves.
Brands can also sustain their content marketing activity by monitoring what their audience is interested in. They’re talking to customers and getting their feedback; they’re monitoring social media networks and listening to the pain points and conversations being expressed online. They’re then always refining their content marketing such that it caters to their audience’s wants and desires.
Any new or favourite digital tools these days?
Canva is a new tool that’s definitely on my radar. It’s basically an online software that allows non-designers to create and collaborate on design. Especially with content marketing trending towards visual content, the ability to create great design is an important asset to have. I’ll be sure to check out Canva when it comes out of beta.
The idea for a digital toolbox panel at meshmarketing came from David Singh, VP strategy and operations with Kira Talent. Over coffee, he talked about the different digital marketing tools he was using.
I did a quick Q&A with David about his thoughts about content marketing, social media and connecting with digital audiences.
What do you see as some of the more interesting trends within content marketing social media? What should brands be focused on?
I don’t think it’s necessarily new, but I’m always struck by content that is beautifully packaged and designed. Well thought out info-graphics are great ways to show a great story and support your visual brand. I’m also loving how companies are using short video more and more. It’s easier to produce more than ever and all of our devices are ready to help is digest it voraciously.
Where do most companies fall short when it comes to social media and content marketing?
Failing to connect with / listen to their audience. If you were speaking at an event, you would quickly see that everyone has their back to you and earphones in. With digital content, it’s more important than ever to build truly personal relationships online. In the early stages, this can’t and doesn’t really need to scale. I believe authenticity will scale far faster than volumes of content.
What do you see as the biggest marketing challenge for a startup given the limited people and resources?
Mixed messages. I think back to my day as a consultant advising senior executives. If we were lucky we had 30-minutes to pitch them weeks of analysis. We had to synthesize our message to be crystal clear and compelling. In the advisory case, we had an established relationship and dedicated time. As a start-up, you are disrupting a space so any dilution of your message will only weaken your results and waste the precious resource of your and your targets time.
Any new or favourite digital tools these days?
Mouseflow – this is a quick and cheap tool that allows you to track everyone’s interaction on your site by hover time, clicks, and visitor flow. You can analyze by co-horts, batches, and specific pages. A very insightful tool if you have low volume traffic.
Woopra – this allows you to see visitor actions/behaviours over time in real-time. You can tag specific users (if you know who they are) and you can see their longitudinal relationship with your site. It’s like Hubspot lite.
Yesware – a fantastic Google plugin that allows you to track open rates and send personalize mass email.
To access the Websites mentioned by David, as well as meshmarketing pages, click on the tile below. Tickets for meshmarketing are $199 until Oct. 30.