What Spiral Media Took Away from SearchLove 2014
Myself, Adam and Rupert made the trip to London last week to, arguably, the biggest and most powerful search engine marketing conference in the UK; SearchLove.
We’re in an industry that moves and develops at an alarming pace, so we have to always keep an eye out on the trends and what others are doing to develop our skills and our business.
Events like SearchLove give us the opportunity to network with like-minded professionals, hear from some of the largest digital agencies across the world as well as bouncing around new ideas and opinions.
If we were to summarise the biggest message from this year, it would have to be;
- Be Original
- Be Relevant
- Be Useful
This in fact isn’t too dissimilar to that of last year, however it’s still a statement that quite a lot of businesses still miss and tend to forget. We have to ask ourselves; “what value does my content give the web, and would anyone miss it if it wasn’t there?” That’s a very high bar and expectation to measure against, but it simply represents the level of effort and attention we need to be putting into our content in order to get it noticed.
Following on from Phil’s article last year, the three of us have picked a handful of messages that we’d like to put across and give you a quick run-down of what was covered.
Content is Growing
Content is not only growing in terms of scope and variety on the web, it is also growing within marketing strategies themselves. More and more companies are starting to see content building as an integral part of their business goals, instead of simply sending out a press release once in a blue moon.
Content is also growing as a medium within itself – it is not just about putting words onto the page – you have to make your content the one thing people need to see. Will Reynolds, Founder of SEER Interactive, probably said it best by asking; “If your content was removed from the web, would anyone miss it?”
Survival of the Fittest
Social media is no longer the realm of students and people with too much time on their hands – it is an organic, living, breathing entity that can help shape your brand identity and give your brand a stronger voice across the internet and beyond.
If there’s a message we want to reinforce as a result of SearchLove, it is that social is ever-changing and if you want to keep up, you must learn to adapt.
Build Your Brand
“A consistent style that leaves a lasting impression.” – Phil Nottingham, Video Strategist at Distilled, said this while presenting his talk on video marketing and how companies that create a particular style of communication have a far stronger brand identity.
When it comes to building your brand online, this is the essential point to remember, because that is what drives your brand to the public – memory, recognition, familiarity. How many of us can see the Nike tick without the name and still know instantly which company it is?
When it comes to consumers and brands, only 8% of brands are meaningful to consumers, so you should aim to be in that 8% that people actually love.
You Know Your Stuff – And So Do Your Users
The internet is no longer a territory for solely for the tech-savvy, your users are starting to learn more about what they want and how they want it. The key is to listen and respond.
You can monitor, track and gauge almost every aspect of your website and you can use this knowledge to adapt successfully. Want the inside scoop? Try out a few of these helpful tips;
- Check your Attention Ratio
The attention ratio refers to each page and things you can do/click on vs. what you should be clicking/doing. Too much happening on one page bombards the user with dozens of options, making the ratio as high as 1:100. Ideally, bring your ratio down to 1:1, even if it means creating more pages
- The ‘Shiny New Thing’ Check
This simple rule will help to you filter out the relevant from the unnecessary. Whenever you come up with a new idea, double check your marketing goals first (you should have these in place from day one). If your Shiny New Thing does not fit in with your goals, then get it out! Users can spot a forced piece of content a mile off.
- Call to Action Actions
Designers can spend hours working on the perfect call to action button but sometimes it is the words themselves that are ignored. When creating a CTA, remember this simple rule; call to action buttons should complete this sentence – “I want to______”. If it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t work.
Overall, we feel that the knowledge Spiral Media has gained over the years as a company has been reinforced once again, but also added to with the new case studies and data on show. With new tools, software and apps at our disposal, we’re eager to put more of the practices detailed above into action for our clients.