This week I was really excited to be able to join a free in person digital marketing meet up hosted by fellow local Digital Marketing Agency in Cornwall Peaky Digital.
I love going to events, meeting people, networking, learning and being inspired. However, being tucked away in Cornwall it is not very often we have Digital Events in the Duchy. I’m often found enduring a 5 hour drive for BrightonSEO or even further for SearchLove in London. It’s very rare that there is a digital marketing event less than ten minutes from my home.
I did wonder if I should be going to an event hosted by another agency in the same field. However, I feel it is nice to have a wide network of like minded people and work together and support each other, especially when we work within the same industry.
On arrival I entered the conference room to an amazing spread of Breakfast. Grabbed a drink and found myself sitting next to an ex colleague that I had worked with over ten years ago. I chatted to the people around me and we were all eager to get started with the event.
The morning started with Jamie Mackenzie Smith from Peaky Digital opening the morning with a talk around SEO.
Jamie’s talk was not only a great reminder on best practice SEO. It was also funny and had the audience laughing out loud. Not something people often think about when talking about SEO.
Jamie Mackenzie Smith – The people behind the numbers: Understanding your users.
- Know your audience
- Know what you are writing about and who your are writing for?
- What does your audience want to know?
- How are they likely to find you?
- What is their next step likely to be?
Making sure that you are keeping your user at the front of your SEO strategy is more important than ever. No one likes to see copy that is written for search robots. It used to work, but it doesn’t anymore. Knowing who you audience is, what their problem is, and how your product tries to solve that problem. Is always going to be a better way to answer users queries. Search engines will reward you for this. I couldn’t agree more with what Jamie was saying and even wrote a blog post about writing for customers not robots here.
- Build the brand and awareness before driving conversions.
One of the traps I often see people fall into, is that they write content for the bottom of the funnel for the conversion stage only. But unless you build the brand awareness from the top, how will users know to come to you at the bottom of the journey? It was really great to listen to Jamie reiterating the same message that I am so passionate about.
- Google is not a person – However, it has an average reading age of 14!
- It skim reads
- The search bot checks it sources via EAT
- It reads pages recommended by sites it trusts
Although I have worked within the SEO industry for over a decade. I have never thought of Google as a person. Thinking of Google as a skim reading, fact checking, link following 14 year is a great way of describing how the search bot behaves in terms of SEO.
- John mueller was cited for not putting too much content on the category page. With a reminder to write for your users not search engines.
We’ve all seen those pages with category descriptions on landing pages that repeat the keyword over and over again. They are barely readable and offer nothing to the end user. This method is outdated. As long as you focus on the user first and robots second you’ll write great category page content.
- Give searchers what they want.
You might be asking how do we know what people want? Jamie answered this by talking about performing Keyword Research – Sanity check your keywords are relevant to what you are offering.
- Solve the issue that your customer has.
A really interesting fact shared by Jamie. The Warner Brothers movie Harley Quinn changed it’s name from ‘Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) to ‘Harley Quinn Birds of Prey to move the most important keyword ‘Harley Quinn’ closer to the start of the title, all for SEO after a poor opening weekend! YUP you read that correctly! After the film was released and printed material and promotion finalised. Warner brothers changed the name of a film to be better found online.
Lastly, Jamie shared that you don’t need 1000 of backlinks to outrank other people if the content on your site is strong enough. Proving this point with his own personal side hustle wins.
Joe Turnbull Bull and Wolf Film Co – The power of social video to drive sales in the holiday period.
I’m really good at telling clients that they need to be using more video content. I’m fully aware of the benefits and yet here I am personally failing to ever use it for my own marketing. It was a really great reminder from Joe that I should probably engage in his services and start utilising more video content!
- The power of video
94% of people watch explainer videos. These are things like how to’s, under the hoods and demos. By utilising video you can open up to new audiences and drive conversion by offering more information to customers.
Ads Top Tips
- Use short and snappy video. You have less than 5 seconds to grab attention.
- Have a goal – Use a call to action. Joe explained that many ads end on a still image of the brands logo. This doesn’t gently nudge users into what to do next. He suggested using Calls to Action to tells users what to do at the end of watching your video.
- Another great tip from Joe is to tailor each video to where it is being published. Sizing to the platform it is being shared on. If you create a video story that’s a tall portrait image. Sharing the same video to a platform with a square format will likely see undesired cropping and a reduction in its success.
- Silent success – video don’t have to have sound. Viewers might be on the tube watching and don’t want the sound to suddenly start blasting out. Equally many people consume video content whilst at work when perhaps they shouldn’t. Therefore they won’t have sound on. Create videos that use on screen text and subtitles to make videos work without the volume on. Make videos useable without sound, 80% of people on Facebook watch with the sound off!
- Include offers. Including offers is great for bottom of the funnel conversion driven results and works really well for remarketing ads
Content Top Tips
- Create monthly highlight reels of what you have been up to.
- Reveal your secrets. Share behind the scenes content. Share things that are authentic and real.
- Utilise the power of user generated and free content. Share reviews, unboxing videos, and offer incentives through competitions and discounts to build the quantity of user generated content that you can work with.
- Create a video series – For example a series of recipe videos? A series of how to topics etc releasing new content weekly or monthly etc.
- It doesn’t have to be professional – it doesn’t have to be polished. People buy from real people and often like a slightly more realistic video approach rather than a highly polished PR video.
- Not all socials are equal, produce for the right channel, tiktok is not youtube. Always think about what type of content and audience are you targeting.
- Piggyback on trends – as FAST as possible
Francesca Hampshaw Peaky Digital –5 pro tips for creating a standout Christmas marketing campaign
- Build a solid strategy ahead of time – plan ahead – this helps save time and money.
- Be unique, what is important to your brand and business,
- Pick a promotion that works for your audience. This doesn’t always have to be a money off offer. Think about referral schemes, or incentives to come back and use after Christmas. Or offer free gifts or training around the purchased product after the event.
- Find ways to personalise your interactions – Don’t just offer a blanket 10% off everything. It won’t stand out from your competitors. Outline ways to support your community – all about giving, being generous, can you offer something to your community. Many businesses are now offering to plant trees in return for purchases. Think about more than just the immediate purchase.
- It’s not all about Black Friday and Cyber Monday for the big brands. Leverage small business Saturday for smaller brands too.
- PR doesn’t have to be boring and sell sell sell. Create gift guides that shout about your best products, newest products, hero products etc – share these to bloggers, share on your own wesbiste, socials and to news publications to make the most from your assets
- Bundle up your best bits as a PR package – B2C – unboxing videos, include a branded card in the box with your social details on them.
- Boost your deals with social media ads, reach more people and re-engage existing audiences. Black Friday traffic and sales won’t magically come in without building up your re-engaging and retargeting audience in advance.
- Start early and use money wisely. It will be cheaper to advertise now than in November. The CPC will go up over Black Friday weekend. Build your audience early whilst the cost is cheaper. Then target a smaller audience during the main event based on your warm audience using remarketing to those that visit your product pages or engage with your socials.
- Clean up your e-mail marketing list. Segment your marketing lists and personalise the content. 52% of people cited receiving irrelevant information as one of the main reasons why users unsubscribe
- 73% of milllenials prefer business correspondence through e-mail.
Tailering your e-mails to each individual segment will improve open rate and increase conversion and can save you money.
Use automations, flows, journeys and a welcome series to engage when a new person signs up.
- Seal the deal with PPC
Pitch a cold audience with Facebook ads. Close the deal with PPC. This is such a reassuring tip. Use Facebook to blanket market to a wide audience with a low cost to reach more people. Then use PPC to complete the conversion. The PPC costs will be higher but you should get a higher conversion rate if you are targeting those that have already engaged someway with your offering.
Matt Ville – Hiyield
Matt was up next to talk about digital assets. When I worked for larger agencies with large marketing budgets we worked with quite a few interactive ideas. However, it’s not something I had really given much more thought since working with smaller businesses and smaller budgets. Matt discussed Interactive tools. How these are designed to help a user through a digital journey. Using a part of a website or a mobile APP or using a VR experience. Digital assets are a great way to simplify information and a great way to engage your audience
Matt discusses whether you should think about investing in an interactive tool. He highlights that they’re great for high value, highly complex products to sell products. They are configurable to the customer and helps the customer understand something that’s often very complex. These assets can be used to visualise the product on offer and explain option based pricing.
Think mortgage calculators or mobile phone contracts. If you were to lay all of the information out to the customer with all of the options and scenarios. The customer will likely struggle to understand the products on offer and lose interest. However, add a simple tool with some basic sliders. For monthly costs, duration, and a few other details. You can then give the user the exact information relevant to them and gain a stronger chance of conversion.
Tips for building an interactive tool – Know your audiences, keep it simple, functional, and avoid complicated jargon. Start small, potentially put tools on a subdomain if you don’t build on the site. ‘email my results’ works really well. Create future opportunity for future engagement with personalised content.
Ben Clements – Digital Marketing Exec at Peaky Digital– PPC The latest trends, changes and tips
Last up was Ben Clements another team Peaky member of staff to talk about PPC. Now PPC has been changing a lot this year so this was a talk I was really interested in listening to. When you are a solo entrepreneur you don’t have a team of people to work with. You don’t have an office full of people to bounce ideas off. Therefore to keep myself up to speed I try to attend industry events to hear other peoples opinions and ideas around a topic. It was reassuringly positive that I found myself nodding along to everything Ben was talking about.
Ben discussed Strategy, structure and research – With his research starting with possibly the most obvious and using Google itself. Then using Google keyword planning and Google trends data and combining sources to get accurate information before planning a ppc ad campaign.
Ben discussed keywords and match types and the changes recently of Broad Match Modifier being retired.
He discussed split testing of advert variations and experiments with alternate CTAs
Another topic covered was the retirement of expanded text ads and how these are going to be a thing of the past next summer and his recommendations to start using responsive search ads now.
Lastly Ben talked about a few new ads extensions including image and lead gen form extensions.
A free event just ten minutes from my house, with an awesome goody bag, a delicious breakfast and confidence boosting talks. Highlighted that my thoughts are very much aligned with that of one of Cornwalls biggest full service digital marketing agencies. It was a pleasure to be in a room with other fellow digital geeks.
Thank you Peaky Digital for sharing your morning and knowledge and putting on an amazing local event.