The Science of Attracting a Digital Audience - Image NB
I attended the Image Magazine Women's Networking Breakfast in the Marker Hotel yesterday on the topic of 'The Science of Attracting a Digital Audience'. For someone who's not a morning person there's something a little terrifying about a networking event at 7.30am, but it was worth the effort. There was a great panel of speakers with lots of insights for bloggers, marketers, PR, or anyone building their business online.
Dave Douglas (@davefromebow) from the Irish agency Ebow kicked off with a presentation on his 'Never Break The Chain' ethos which told the story of his efforts to buy a Sony TV, and illustrated the connections along the online journey from product awareness, research, consideration, purchase and loyalty. His point was that Marketeers tend to focus on the Big Stuff and ignore the small steps that are critical in getting a prospective customer from awareness to purchase online.
If consumers experience a break in the digital chain (a person's online journey), it's lost business. Everyone across the organization, from IT to Marketing, need to be invested in making a customer's digital experience of their brand a positive one. He also stressed the importance of having a brand's social media managed by someone who is passionate about the business and it's success - as so much social media is now outsourced - "you can't replicate the love". On a related note - there's been so many social media gaffe's in recent years by companies (today's controversy from DiGiorno pizza) that they need to be vigilant about who is producing their social media content to ensure it's well-judged and a positive representation of their brand.
In terms of creating an excellent user experience, he covered the following points.. 1) follow conventions 2) respect people's time 3) be helpful 4) minimize distractions and 5) no dead ends or pages with no call to action. It was an entertaining presentation which covered the basics of how businesses can create a strong, responsive digital brand.
Mary Rose Lyons (@maryrose) from Brightwater Consulting spoke about her interests in cyber-psychology and how teens are using social media "how teens use social media today is how we'll use it tomorrow". She also echoed Dave's point of being aware of the realities of your location, we're told that we need to be on YouTube & Pinterest but the reality in Ireland is that Facebook is King. Only 10% of Irish people have a Pinterest account. Google+ is great for search engine purposes. She then ran through the stats of Irish personalities who have prolific social media profiles, SoSueMe, Angela Scanlon. The bloggers who do well on social media are on every platform, accessible and consistent. For a business to keep up with this takes time, dedication and effort.
- Don't use the same content across all platforms
- Understand what works on each platform
- Small businesses should pick one that works for you and do it well
- Examples of businesses who are almost exclusively using social media to grow are Siopaella (Facebook) and Killer Sandwich (Twitter)
- Instagram - for big brands behind-the-scenes and sneak-peek content works really well. It's good for visual products and telling brand stories
- Facebook -shelf life of a post is 1.5 to 3 hours, so need to increase frequency of posts, it's an advertising platform not social media. Without advertising, organic search will likely only reach 6% of your audience
- Twitter is becoming more image-driven, it's the "always-on" platform so scheduling doesn't work so well, great value in Twitter ads right now
- Pinterest - works for home, design, DIY, craft, family content. Location is irrelevant. Martha Stewart was an early adopter but again, remember where you are trying to sell to, it won't get great numbers in Ireland.
- Need to process-ize social media with testing, lots of ideas and integrity.
What Do People Want on Social Media?
1. Money (promotions)
2. Status (shareable content)
3. Fun (join the conversation)
How Do You Create Digital Water-Cooler Content?
1. Know your audience
2. What matters to them
3. Join the conversation
Andrea Horan from Tropical Popical described how she launched and grew her nail business on social media even before they opened. This worked because social media creates relationships with customers for free. If you sell the personality of the brand, people know instantly if they like you or not, you need to funnel things out to see what works, "care about what your audience wants, not what you think they want".
Laura George, group editorial director at Image Publications talked about how Image magazine went online last year, "we had to do it, but didn't have the skill set". Everything they have done to build their site was analytics-based, they attended Google's Analytics workshops. With the analytics, you get enough info to make a gut decision. Traffic to image.ie is heavily driven by Facebook, and creating "digital water-cooler content on steroids", and their own content specifically of interest to Irish women.