Content Marketing at Brighton SEO 2017
I love to learn. And Brighton is a great place for both expanding your mind – and a hub for digital marketeers. Brighton SEO ‘started in the upstairs room in a pub’ and is now one of the most popular and respected natural search conferences in the UK. This year was my third time at the show, and my focus was Content and Influencer Marketing. Here are some of my ‘takeaways’…
Content Marketing Basics
As someone who’s communicated via the written word for my entire career, I get that content still remains ‘king’. The pillars of good writing and story-telling haven’t changed and I don’t need to outline them here. But it’s important for creatives to remember that strategy still is number one when it comes to effective content marketing campaigns.
On Thursday I attended the pre-conference Content Marketing Course with Tim Tucker, an experienced journalist, now content marketeer. As well as the reminders we all need, Tim shared some nuggets for anyone writing and planning content in the digital age. The importance of knowing your reader/user/audience remains paramount. And Tim, like many of the speakers the next day, stressed the importance of clearly defining who it is you want to reach. Do this by developing personas using tools such as Gov.uk’s segmentation tool, https://today.yougov.com/profileslite.
The importance of Strategy
In a noisy age, being strategic is more important than ever, and in all the sessions I attended, good strategy was a focal point. At the last session on Friday Chris Simmance, from Opus Digital, reminded us that strategy is not goal setting. Strategy is not about having ideas, or planning. Strategy is about having an end result in mind. Be prepared for the worst and create a clearly defined set of measurable actions to deal with your challenges.
Changing Face of Influencer Marketing
As well as strategy, return on investment (ROI) in SEO, influencer and content marketing was a hot topic. Interestingly, Allyson Griffiths talk on Influencer Marketing pointed out that $570 million has been spent on influencer marketing, but yet, only 57% of brands knew how to measure their ROI. It seemed clear that there’s a gap here. Influencer marketing is essentially PR and in the digital age it seems to face the same issue of proving its worth as in the old school way. However, now it really should be easier to quantify things and Allyson explained that the first thing that needs to be done is to start with a single-minded objective (is it data, revenue, following, or brand awareness?) and then of course define your strategy.
Similarly, Tim Tucker started off by reminding us that as content marketeers we need to know what the objective is: are you creating awareness, promoting thought leadership, telling brand stories, or something else?
Griffiths also suggested when it came to influencer marketing we should think beyond the status quo measure of influencer marketing success, engagement and reach, and amongst other things, consider the importance of data gathering, tracking links and offering discount codes.
Affiliate Marketing: metrics matter
Perhaps that’s where affiliate marketing can step up. Helen Southgate of Acceleration Partners presented, Affiliate Marketing – what’s it all about?. She reminded us that affiliate marketing, (now 25 years old), is alive and kicking and adopted by many brands, including, price comparison website, compare the market and leading content provider, the telegraph. Incentivising micro influencers with vouchers and link backs to your content is a great way to grow your business. What skills do you need to set up an affiliate programme? Southgate suggests being an all-rounder, good at PR, Content, SEO, traditional marketing.
Check out Brighton SEO at https://www.brightonseo.com/.