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Review of Southampton Digital Conference #SotonDigital

Andy Williams

by Andy Williams on 25th May 2012

The second SotonDigital event took place today in Winchester with a change to the format. This year we had the addition of five speakers presenting talks of around 20 minutes a piece.

The sun was out but the air con was on, so the conditions were set fair for a great conference.

Below are some of the key points each speaker put forward during their time at the podium:

Talk 1: Rich Watts | @rich_watts – isn’t Ajax a football team

Rich wanted to spark some thoughts amongst us and get us thinking differently about how we work as an industry and opened with these two facts:

1 in 5 projects are delivered on time and unsatisfactory
4 in 5 off line on time

Rich looked into why this is was the case and where these projects fall apart and how we can push ourselves into a positive direction.

Angle 1
A brief history of projects
Rich looked into how people picked their teams over time and how this has adapted. Putting people with different skill sets into one frame work potentially holds people back.

Angle 2
You and the client
The more people involved in the process can cause negative communication. When it is simply you and the client things are easier. Add project managers and developers etc and that is when things start to get harder – leading to projects not being delivered on time

Angle 3
This angle looked at the type of people involved
The project manager
The developer
The designer

All of these people looking to work together with different skill sets and different motivations and differences

Angle 4
Rich looked at the the issues these people have working together and the different ways they communicate. Different people have different targets and needs during any project.

Angle 5
Rich looked more into the “grumbles” team members have, mainly with each other. It all comes down to better communication. But how do we change this and who’s responsibility is communication?
Basically – its a two way thing. It can’t be the responsibility for one person to handle this.

Change the team format, give everyone a chance to speak, ask different people to lead meetings, give everyone a voice on every aspect of the project

Talk 2: James Perrin | @Koozai_James – How to make the world see your content

Our own James Perrin was next up

James looked into the problem of creating great content, setting it live only to find no one reads or finds it.

James started with the case of Samantha Brick.
Samantha created the article that she is so beautiful that everyone hated her. This is a great example of content that gets people talking and sharing. James believed that this was so well created that it even allowed a follow up piece to continue the discussion. This was also followed up with a huge number of social shares.

Twitter was one of the main forces behind he success of this story. Twitter promoted it and pushed it

James then looked into why this was such a success
She created something that got people talking
They knew their audience
Social media became the key of its success

James then looked at the case of will it blend
Tom Dickson from will it blend didn’t know anything about online marketing until they took on a new marketing company. They created a set of videos which have now gone viral resulting in a huge number of shares as well as an increase in sales

We then looked into the recent Old Spice campaign
This was more related to the social campaign than the TV ads that followed
Old spice aimed to engage with their audience via social

This resulted in a huge number of YouTube views and followers in twitter
As well as a sales increase of 100% in a year

Think about creating something that will attract your target audience
Know your audience
Appeal to the community
Engage with your audience

But how do you use this in the real world?

James looked into some examples of work koozai have used recently using these bullet points

Our infographic on how to learn SEO appealed to the audience the company have.

Think about different areas your audience engage with. Guest blogging is an excellent example of this. By looking into where people are going you can put your content in front of them without having to use your own site.

Engaging with your community – James used one of the koozai posts to highlight on how people started in SEO. This got people answering and engaging with the company.

Create a marketing plan based on these facts and case studies. Create and promote. Give your audience what it wants.

Talk 3: Murray Cowell | @MurrayCo

- Email marketing

Will social media kill email marketing?

Murray started with a video that he felt backed up why this was a valuable question. This contained some interesting facts about how social reaches out to more people quickly compared to older ways of communication. For example radio took 38 years to reach 38 million people – social media 1 year.

Social media isn’t a fad, it’s a fundamental shift in the away we communicate

However Murray was looking to present some facts that could change the view that email was dead.

Murray started by pointing out that the number of email accounts continued to rise and would carry on growing by 40% in the next 4 years.

294 billion emails sent everyday

But how do people react to the emails they receive?
Over the last year Murray has found that in the last year the number of people who find the content of their inboxes interesting is increasing

More people are signing up to receive emails

94% people had signed up to a business email

77% have said their preferred channel of communication is via email
Two thirds of teenagers would also choose email as their preferred channel of promotional messages from businesses

Murray then looked into what email has that social doesn’t
Anyone can use email and no one owns it
Email is very easy to measure
You can direct targeting

But what are the challenges to email marketers today?
Spam – it gives email marketing a bad name
Spam filters are constantly changing
Over crowded inboxes
Marketers need to use better targeting

Overall with these statistics email marketing continues to be a highly relevant factor. Email marketing is booming.

Talk 4: Dave Colgate | @SEODave
Pinterest and SEO

Dave spoke about what Pinterest was and wasn’t pointing out that it wasn’t a direct answer to SEO

3rd most popular social network in the USA
10.4 million registered users as of February
Over 80% of pins are reprints
Approx 70% of the users are female

Pins that include a call to cation have 80% engagement

Dave then gave these reasons why we should be using Pinterest:
10 million people use it
21% of users brought something because of Pinterest
You can link through to a product page
Link building opportunities

What about the links?
All links are now no followed
However – the embed code contains a followed link
Bio links are followed

Pinterest should be used as a catalyst for brand awareness

Dave gave us some examples of brands using Pinterest well
Etsy
General Electric

We were then given these key points to take away and use:

Comment – share other peoples content
Use your profile to tell a story
Add pin buttons
Display coupons
Create a sales pin board
Run competitions
If you are selling a product, include the price in the description and pinterest will add an overlay price to your pin

Some ideas for B2b
Infographics
Instructor aphids
Videos
Brochures
Software screenshots

Google Analytics provides more information about Pinterest than it does for Facebook

Dave summed up by highlighting that you need to be creative, look at how others are doing it and do it better

Talk 5: Ross Chapman | @rosschapman

7 reasons why you can’t ignore video

Ross started with a few statistics about video

4 billion videos are viewed on YouTube each day
YouTube is the second highest search engine
YouTube gets 600 million views a day from a mobile device

Why video?
Videos make people aware of what you do and the value it brings
20% will read your site but 80% will watch your video
It generates good PR
You can show the skills and the personality of your team

Video also builds traffic
Google appear to give priority to sites that host video content
Old school SEO rules still apply to YouTube

Video humanises brands
You can tell a story and you can appear in the video yourself

Video will also build you a fan base
The age demographic for YouTube is 18 – 54 with 27% being female and 72% male

It’s easy to share
68% of viewers will share video links with their friends
500 years worth of video is viewed everyday on Facebook

Conversion
Adding a video makes your site 6 times more likely to convert visitors into paying customers

Competition
If you are a brand you could be leading in your industry. Most dont know where to start

Andy Williams

Andy Williams

Andy Williams, our DADI award winning Digital Marketing Manager will be giving you useful insights into local search and the overall SEO landscape. Andy has over 9 years experience in the SEO industry including 2 years as the in-house SEO consultant with a leading Web Design company.

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