0 Comments | Jun 25, 2014

Digital Marketing Day – June 2014

A beautiful sunny morning meant that cycling over to the Thistle in Brighton for and 8am start was not as gruesome as it could have been. My only complaint is that there should be parking for bicycles, but he quality of the scrambled eggs made up for it.

Digital Marketing Day itinerary

Digital Marketing Day itinerary – June 2014

Paul Yates-Smith split the audience into 3 groups called Stop, Look and Listen. As you can see, I was in Listen, potentially more of a lifelong instruction than a simple group name. This cunning strategy meant that each speaker was addressing a small group – which was fantastic for the audience, and I hope the speakers enjoyed it too. All reputations were thoroughly enhanced, if you ask me.

The content of all the talks reassured me that I know quite a lot already – so I have just written about the things that I needed reminding of.

One of the great things about this perfectly-formed event was that no-one tried to sell you anything. Lovely 🙂

Paul Yates-Smith introducing the 2014 Digital Marketing Day

Paul Yates-Smith introducing the 2014 Digital Marketing Day

Katy Bourne: Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner

Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne gave a very convincing keynote talk on the importance of digital accessibility, and how important it is for those concerned with law enforcement to use digital media as one of their tools to reach out to the community.

Although not entirely convincing, she was extremely eloquent about issues that are very close to her heart. I spoke to her afterwards and she said that she just didn’t have time to address the issues I put to her – namely involving young people themselves in the process of improving their respect for the community.

But the day was more about specific tools and training, which began with …


Louise Hopkins: Developing a Social Strategy & Managing an Online Brand

Louise works at Recenseo and has a history of PR and digital PR. She reminded us all of the importance of Listening, and her preferred listening device is LinkedIn. Top tips from Louise included reading, listening, commenting on blog posts and other discussions – as well as asking the right questions.

Everyone likes to answer questions that make them appear helpful and clever, and there are several places you can go to be helpful. Louise highlighted:

LinkedIn – for connections and reputation management

Twitter – for sharing information

Facebook – for constant updates and personal interaction

Blogging – to engage with an audience in the long term

Wherever you post, you should always use the best quality content you can find or create.

Be honest and helpful throughout your online life and you’ll be fine … remember that it’s difficult to hide something once it’s gone online.

Louise Hopkins from Recenseo: Developing a social strategy

Louise Hopkins from Recenseo: Developing a social strategy

After the session with Louise, I resolved to blog more. So that’s what I’m doing right now …


Karl Stone: Hit the Mark with Email Marketing

Karl is an Email Marketing Consultant at dotMailer, and as such he is clearly evangelical about email marketing. We are more likely to click on the emails that are delivered into our inboxes if  a) the title makes it sound appealing and b) if we are used to getting good content from the sender. So for such a powerful tool, it’s important to get it right!

With email marketing, the devil’s in the detail – remember Dave Brailsford’s changes to British cycling. Think about the emails you receive – what makes you ask to be shown more of the content? Your email will arrive with just the sender’s address and a title – unless you mark your email up so your audience knows what any missing images are, they will not ask for them … ignore alt tags at your peril!

The signup process you choose can make all the difference – have a look at the processes at Marks & Spencer and, with their use of sophisticated pop-overs to ease more information out of you as you join their list. Bear in mind that some of your audience have ad blockers installed, which means that your content will not be seen.

Unsubscribing should be EASY. Think about it … when unsubscribing from an email list is difficult, it makes you dislike the sender and their company. Think about it, it has happened to us all: for example, one day I’ll successfully take myself off HARO’s mailing list – but until then, I’ll just keep on hating them.

One last thought – sign your emails. And not just with a company name, with a REAL PERSON’s name.

Karl Stone: Getting email marketing right

Karl Stone: Getting email marketing right

After Karl’s talk, I’m going to seriously consider setting up a subscription email.


Mark Tillison: Why Google+ Is Important

Mark runs Tillison Consulting, and although he knows about the full gamut of social media tools, he is a bit of a Google+ evangelist. Given the general disdain for G+, they could do with some love …

Mark Tillison speaking on Google Plus and your business

Mark Tillison: Google Plus and your business

After talking to people like Kath DawsonAmmon Johns and Donna Beckett, I am noticing a positive storm of approval for G+ – as we know most searches in our markets happen on Google properties like Google and YouTube, no matter how people – and Facebook – try and pretend otherwise.

The thing about G+ is that you can do pretty much all you can do on Facebook, and it’s searchable. This means that certain aspects of your social presence on G+ can, of course, be seen on a Google search – unlike Facebook. And there are also Hangouts on Air – digital video calls which can be streamed onto YouTube.

So Mark gave us a handy “4-week diet” to follow to get the G+ habit:

  • Follow 5 good people /day
  • +1 5 good posts/day
  • Reshare 5 quality posts/day
  • Comment on 5 posts/day
  • Thank anyone who adds you to a circle.

Then … it’ll be alright to start sharing your own content.

So there is no doubt what I need to do here: get moving on Google+! And plan more Hangouts on Air like this one I did with Kath Dawson: 

A Hangout. On Air! With Kath from Strategy Digital


James Dempster: Successful Facebook Campaigns

Like many of us, James Dempster from Cobb Digital likes Facebook. Unlike some of us, he sees Facebook as a great way of increasing engagement with a brand …

Facebook offers truly unrivaled insights into your audience demographic, and unlike Google you can run an effective advertising campaign to reach new audiences for less than £15 / day. Because Facebook users publish so much content, the platform allows advertisers to reach bizarre segments of the population – from “15 year old boys from Exeter who like playing Minecraft” to “women over 68 from Lancashire who like playing bridge and watching Game of Thrones“.

As with most media, stories form the backbone of a truly successful campaign on Facebook. Tie them in with your page, run competitions for the best story that include your product or service, and you can attract more people to like your page. And if you couple that with information on your existing audience – say, that  most of your fans also like My Little Pony – and you have a potential hit on your hands.

James Dempster: Successful Facebook campaigns

James Dempster: Successful Facebook campaigns

Things I’m gong to do more on Facebook? Probably more investigation into the audience demographics …


Lilach Bullock: How To Have A Powerful Twitter Strategy

I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t looking forward to meeting Lilach more than anyone at the event … especially as I have tried – and failed – to get Twitter. The Dunlop Web twitter account lies sad and unused for months between posts … maybe some inspiration from Lilach at Socialable and CommsAxis will finally get Dunlop Web moving – and maybe providing interesting content to its the at-the-time-of-writing 496 followers.

Lilach has developed a fine pedigree in social media, particularly on Twitter.

She covered a lot of ground about the Twitter universe, including:

  • Customise your Twitter bio and optimise it for Twitsearch
  • Add a link to a tweet early on to make sure it doesn’t get cut off after retweets
  • Ask people to retweet your stuff: apparently this just works 🙂
  • Run competitions to increase your readership – using Rafflecopter
  • Check people’s lists … and ask to be on the one that fits you
  • Use
  • Schedule tweets (using Buffer and Hootsuite), but engage in conversations personally
  • Contacts / Lists / Arrange accordingly.

Interesting accounts to check out include @Oreo and (of course) @Lilach Bullock 🙂

And if you want to know what NOT to do on Twitter, you can #AskJPM.

Lilach Bullock from Socialable & CommsAxis: Twitter Strategy

Lilach Bullock from Socialable & CommsAxis: Twitter Strategy

DunlopWeb needs to stop ignoring Twitter. It has a place … a different place, but a unique one. And to blog more – because I promised!


Ara Martirossian: Utilising YouTube

Ara from Red IT loves YouTube … almost by accident. He does not claim to be an expert, but his company has expanded dramatically through his YouTube channel that offers video tutorials demystifying the Sage accounting package.

Ara Martirossian from Red IT: Using YouTube

Ara Martirossian from Red IT: Using YouTube

The tools to make video range from free to very cheap, and Ara talked us through the setup – from finding a quiet time of day to film to what software to use. It really is very easy to do … and he was one of the ‘early adopters’ in his niche, so he got a head start!

His steps to making a great video are:

1 – Summarise what you’re going to do in your video

2 – Do what you said you were going to do

3 – Say what you just did.

… and make sure you do all of this in less than 2 minutes. If you have more than one thing to say in your video, just make another video. And upload each to your YouTube channel.

So simple. I would add that you can run Hangouts on Air on your channel, and you can also make cartoons like this if you feel shy …

A cartoon explanation of Family Law, made using Powtoon. Made for Cunningtons Solicitors

What I took from Ara’s session is that video is good. Never forget how simple the video process is … and I need to pimp my own channel!


At the end of the day …

… it was a great opportunity to spend time with some very lovely, down-to-earth and friendly people.

From Paul, Jo and the others who spent months planning the event, to all the speakers who shared insights into particular areas and the other participants (particularly the others in team LISTEN!), we made it a worthwhile and strangely cosy event that made us all feel welcome.

And not forgetting Sophie Sheinwald for the photos that I have used here …

What I learnt from the whole day is to embrace social media and spend more time talking to people both on- and off-line. Because, on the whole, people are nice.

See you all again next time!

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