Raleigh's Digital Marketing Conference 

Last week we had the pleasure of attending the Internet Summit in Raleigh. It’s no secret that Raleigh is growing by leaps and bounds, and the startup world is a great contributor to that. Co-working and collaborative spaces such as Loading Dock Raleigh and HQ Raleigh continue to foster the growth of such businesses while the overall city is becoming one of the most desirable places to live in the Southeast. All of that combined and more has made us lucky enough to be able to host such an inspiring event like the Internet Summit.

Before the tryptophan wears in this Thanksgiving, it’s time to talk about my Top 3 Takeaways from Internet Summit 2016.

1. Mobile First 

We all know that mobile use keeps growing. When your 95 year old grandma can text and surf the web it means 1 or 2 things: She’s either incredibly hip or that’s just a sign of the times. Mobile has finally hit the tipping point, as shown in the graph below. Time spent on mobile devices accounts for 51% of internet usage vs its counterpart the good ol’ fashioned desktop. This number will continue to grow, and as marketers it’s our job to build campaigns that hit just as hard on mobile as they do on desktop.

Websites, email marketing, and social media campaigns should all be designed thinking mobile first. What design will provide the user with the most enjoyable experience while browsing your site on mobile? Which email template is best suited for mobile that will drive opens and clicks? (Luckily, MailChimp has an incredibly useful feature that allows you to preview what your campaign looks like across all devices.)  Which images should I use that are optimized for Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, that will best convey the message and yield the lowest cpc for our clients? These are all questions that we have to ask ourselves as part of the strategy when thinking Mobile First. Source 

 

2. Video

What do Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook have in common? Video! Instagram has extended the length of video posts by 45 seconds and taken note of the “stories” trend started by Snapchat. They've added their own version of video storytelling in Instagram Stories. Furthermore, Snapchat video advertising is becoming a wildly popular means of affordable advertising for brands with use of Geofilters. Why is this important? The amount of time people spent watching video on their mobile devices increased by 616% over the past 3 years. 

Facebook has made a considerable effort to make video viewing easy and fun in the newsfeed. There also seems to be priority in Facebook video ads versus traditional carousel or hero image ads. This is a key factor in determining what type of marketing campaign you want to run for your business. Telling your brand’s story through video content is just as important as any press release, web page, or article written about your company. If you haven’t at least thought about adding video storytelling to your company profile you’re already behind.  

Our latest video piece for YMCA Camp Sea Gull and YMCA Camp Seafarer had over 25K views and 400+ Shares in less than 24 hours because it pulled at the heartstrings of its target market.

3. Content

Content…Content……did I mention Content? This seems to be one of the most popular words in digital marketing. It definitely was at Internet Summit. As a business, you could be asking yourself, what IS content marketing? I think Arnie Kuenn summed it up best “Content Marketing is the art of providing relevant, useful content to your customers without selling or interrupting them. Instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your customers more informed before they buy."  The buyers, quite simply want to make an informed decision.

Build your content editorial calendar and create an email address titled content@[yourcompanyhere.com].  Encourage employees to email any content rich/relevant articles and thoughts to the address so you can publish them down the line.  Blogs, podcasts, interviews, webcasts/webinars, online quizzes, eNewsletters, infographics, contests, and videos are all examples of useful content. Are you selling a condo in Durham, North Carolina on your website? How can you provide content that’s not just about a condo, but about Durham and it’s local happenings? A page with offering the "Top 5 Things To Do in Durham"  will not only increase the duration someone stays on your site but it also provides useful information and keywords.  

Content Marketing is the art of providing relevant, useful content to your customers without selling or interrupting them. Instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your customers more informed before they buy.
Arnie Kuenn