It was my first OiConf (that’s online influence to you and me). I’m trepidatious writing this blog, as one of the things that raised a chuckle from me was in fact this cartoon.

Thanks to Ian McKee of Agency UK for bringing that in to my life (via Marketoonist) and affirming that I may well be a walking, talking (eating) marketing cliché.

I could write a really long waffly blog on my views on the state of digital, what’s next for mobile or whether I think social media is in fact dead but I feel like that would just be adding to the ‘content soup’ (credit to Hurricane Media for this excellent new vocab). No, instead I am going to summarise three of my favourite points from the conference. These are the things I will be reminding myself of as I go about developing social strategies, running clients’ channels and sharing with the team what several well-spent hours in Cardiff taught me.

(Apologies in advance if you’re of a sensitive disposition, I blame Michael Scantlebury of Impero for the swearing.)

  1. ‘The internet is full of shit’ (Michael Scantlebury, Impero) Not only that but we (marketers, brands, social media pros) are clogging it up with said shit. This is what I took away from Michael’s talk, one of the best of the day. Brands have been making and posting content to say they are…making and posting content. They are posting X many times a week because someone told them that was the right amount. We need to stop and reconsider what works now. We didn’t used to have as much competition, but now, now we’ve reached ‘peak content’. 5% of all content creates 95% of all engagement, so Impero focuses on making content that ticks one of three boxes:
  2. Does it allow people to talk about themselves?
  3. Does it make people feel part of something bigger?
  4. Is it new/ will it surprise people?

As content creators we are competing with this, every minute of every day:

  • 204,000,000 emails
  • 216,000 new photos on Instagram
  • 277,000 tweets
  • 420,000 tinder swipes
  • 1,400 new blog posts
  • 72 hours of new video uploaded to YouTube
  • 2,460,000 pieces of content shared on Facebook

So make what you’re creating count…

  1. ‘There’s a new sales funnel’ (Jon Mowat, Hurricane) If you’re aiming to increase sales through content, you’re going to want to consider the new sales funnel (below).

This means careful targeting of more niche audiences. Jon highlighted that that bulge in the middle is the point at which people have become aware of your brand/product and they hang out there for a while. Gathering information, asking peers, checking you out on Instagram for up to six months. This is when you want to hit them with content that makes them feel something. Video, well made video, is perfect. It’s not about simply listing your brand’s attributes, it’s about generating an emotional response. Making your target audience feel they can relate to you. Once you’ve created you video you have to pay for it to go somewhere. Inspiring/clever/funny [insert any other adjective here] content isn’t necessarily going to go anywhere without money behind it. Jon recommended a 50/50 or 60/40 approach to video marketing 50% or 60% to go on creation, 50% or 40% to go on activation.

  1. ‘Size doesn’t matter (sort of) when it comes to influencers’ (Ian McKee, Agency UK) N.B I have paraphrased. When delving into the world of influencer marketing don’t get fixated on audience figures. It’s easy to get sucked in by the ‘k’ at the end of an Instagram following, monthly page views on a blog, YouTube subscribers or other metrics. We love to measure but you want to be looking at how engaged their audience is, and what their audience is engaging with. If you imagine your brand/ product on their page, how does it fit in? Consider taking your influencer marketing budget and splitting it between bloggers/vloggers/ social stars whose audiences buy into the products they recommend because they’ve positioned themselves as a trustworthy authority on a relevant topic.

Over and out for now, I’m off to whip up a bowl of content ramen and then practice escaping it…