What Does Conference Season Mean For Your Marketing? - Heidi Cohen

What Does Conference Season Mean For Your Marketing? - Heidi Cohen

While temperatures remain in the 80s, signs that fall has arrived appear around New York City. On Saturday, we joined the Union Square Farmers’ Market crowds to buy farm fresh food. Clustered in bunches, fall flowers showed their bright fuschia and yellow heads. Small tables of the end of season peaches and plums made way for the fresh varieties of local apples and pears. From them, I selected a dozen small, olive-colored Seckel pears. After buying five ears of sweet late season corn and a bunch of arugula, I searched for an ugly, ill-formed heirloom tomato. Since heirloom tomatoes are true bred, their seeds are saved to grow the next crop. Often, farmers pass them down to the next generation. Like farmers whose work yields bountiful harvests, as marketers, we nurture prospects into customers and first-time buyers into loyal multi-purchase customers.  Marketing Lesson of The Week – Marketing Embraces Community For Growth Why Is Community Important To Your Business Now? Brand Beats – Do You Showcase Your Brand Wherever Possible? Social Scene – YouTubers Feel The Need For Speed

Post-pandemic, people crave real life interactions, both business and personal. In part this drives our need to participate in and belong to different communities. Community is created by building connections with individuals who want to feel a bond with something that’s bigger than they are. For marketers, the process of building community allows you to deepen relationships with your prospects, customers, influencers, end-users, employees and others. InConversations that Connect, Brooke Sellas points out that marketers need to be customer-centric. She recommends using your brand character and beliefs to create meaningful conversations directly with your audience on social media. Over time these conversations become connections that build trust. Here’s how Sellas defines the difference between audience and community (Conversations That Connect,pages 62,63): Audience is the “people who are listening to you …These people aren’t (generally) interacting with each other.” Community “‘is a group of people with a common interest, mission, or situation coming together to interact with each other and creating more value (for themselves and for your business) through these interactions.’” (Note: Sellas references Evan Hamilton, Director of Community at Reddit) Personally, I’ve discovered the importance of community building through the conferences and other events I’ve attended. Before the pandemic, I hosted a set of Marketing Salons to encourage networking among marketers in the metro-New York City area. The results of these face-to-face connections get shared on social media and extend beyond the actual events. Can Social Media Build Real Life Relationships That Will Make You Happy? Based on the Twitter stream from last week’s #Inbound22, it was hard to miss Hubspot’s emphasis on community building. (Note: Dharmesh Shah’s comments were courtesy of Jen Bergen’s Twitter Thread.) Hubspot’s Dharmesh Shah articulated the difference between audience and community as follows: Audience value is transferred from one to one. The potential value is a function of the number of people in the audience. For example, if there are 1,000 people, then 1,000 points of value could be created. Community value is transferred from many to many. So, its potential value is a function of the number of people in the community squared. If there are 1,000 people, then there are a million points of value. “[T]o build a community, you have to actually do the work, not just host the space.Like throwing a party, a host doesn’t just provide the space. It’s your job to maximize connections.” Why Is Community Important To Your Business Now? Increased content saturation makes it difficult to break through and attract attention for your content marketing. Expect this problem to increase with AI-generated content. Third-party cookie phase out and increased privacy concerns make it harder to target key segments. Also according to Zoom Info at Inbound22, over 30% of your data decays each year. The universe of platforms and devices continues to expand and change. 27% of marketers across industries expect generating traffic and leads will be their top challenge in 2022. (Hubspot 2022 State of Inbound Marketing Trends) Engage with customers and others on social media to build deeper connections. Offer a place where your community can engage with you and other members. Create an owned community or use a social media option such as Facebook, Slack or Discord. How To Build Your Network: The One Easy Thing You Need To Do

Do You Showcase Your Brand Wherever Possible? Brand value is created through consistent and frequent use over time. To create awareness, a person must see your brand at least 5 to 7 times to remember it. When small businesses have a brand strategy that they integrate and use across their organization, they cast a bigger shadow. The bottom line: Integrate your brand wherever it makes sense for your offering and for your budget. Branding on a Budget Checklist: How To Do Branding On The Cheap Do Your Packages Promote Your Brand? To support their brand, many retailers have provided eye-catching branded shopping bags so customers become walking advertisements whenever they carry these bags. For example, my grandmother always reused upscale shopping bags. Now, to reduce waste and be more eco-friendly, many retailers sell reusable, environmentally-friendly bags. When these reusable bags are attractive and/or high quality, customers use them regularly. For example, my husband loves his bright orange Home Depot shopping bags since they hold a lot of heavy groceries. Despite using branded shopping bags, many online merchants do little to distinguish their packaging. Companies that ship a lot of packages may add their logo to their packaging. While many default to that of their shipping provider. For years, Amazon boxes came with just a logo. Recently, I received a bubble wrapped envelope promoting Amazon Prime in light blue on its white exterior. To stand out, your package needs to attract attention while promoting your brand. One of the best examples I’ve seen came from B Squared Media’s Brooke Sellas. To promote her new book, Conversations That Connect, she created a special bubble wrap mailer with an image of the book on the non-address size. How Book Marketing Can Actually Improve Your Content Marketing Results This weekend, I received a package from Amazon. At first I didn’t realize that it was from Amazon since the box was covered in an ad to promote Prime’s latest television series, The Rings Of Power. It combined Amazon branding with otherwise non-advertising space. Expand use of your brand wherever it makes sense. Document your brand guidelines and make them easily available to all of your employees and agencies. The Ultimate Branding Checklist: How To Create Your Branding Strategy

As an immersive experience, major conferences are one of the best forms of content marketing. When they are live, they bring their community together to engage and interact in one place. Further, attendees get to learn from top professionals in the field as well as from each other. Whether you attend in-person or not, the major conferences in your industry are attention magnets. They laser-focus on the key topics your target audience wants to know about. So use this opportunity to distribute your related content marketing when people you want to reach are paying attention. You can create content before, during and after the event. Also, you can choose from a variety of content marketing types including blog posts, presentations, behind-the-scenes reporting, interviews, product demonstrations and social media shares. A conference blog favorite: The curated list of the top conferences sessions to attend. I’ve created posts like this in the past. They’re effective since the people mentioned are thrilled and share it with their followers. Top Rank Marketing’s Lee Odden is the master of this format. Using Traackr’s influencer marketing platform, Odden selects the Top 25 Influencers based on an analysis of social media activity. Further, his team creates an image featuring the Top 25 Influencers to use on their blog and social media. Here’s what Top Rank Marketing’s content marketing analysis looks like: Here’s what the final article looks like in Odden’s tweet (and here’s the article link): Take advantage of conferences to create content. You’ve got lots of options to choose from. So figure out an angle that your audience will relate to. Conference Blog Posts: 20+ Ideas To Steal That Will Make You Shine

YouTubers Feel The Need For Speed Since video still tops social media content, know how your audience consumes it. Based on how and when they watch YouTube, viewers change the video playing speed. Since 2010, users can adjust their viewing speed. They range from 0.25x, 0.50x, 0.75x, normal (default setting), 1.25x, 1.50x, 1.75x, through 2.00x. (YouTube – August 2022) 85% of the time users speed up YouTube content. 1.50x gets used most often, 2.00x is chosen second most frequently, and 1.25x comes in third in terms of speed selection. “YouTube users saved an average of over 900 years of video time per day when watching at faster speeds.” Smart TV and gaming console users watch YouTube at normal speed the longest. Mobile users most frequently chose to watch videos at 1.50 speed. On average viewers watch 700+ million hours of YouTube content on TV daily as of January 2022. At the same time, over 80% of people used another digital device, usually their YouTube mobile app. (YouTube-June 2022) Video playback speed changes during the day. Playback speed increases during the day dipping during dinner time. Users watching videos at 1.50 speed spikes between 9pm and 1am in respective time zones. Actionable Social Media Marketing Lesson: Understand how your audience finds videos they need or want most by: Skipping to the sections they want to view, Content Consumption: How We Consume Content Now (and What It Means For Your Marketing!)

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