My time at Go Digital LIVE

On behalf of Discovery, our digital marketing apprentice, Chloe Kerfoot, recently attended Go Digital LIVE as part of Leeds Digital Festival, a biannual conference organised by the Digital Knowledge Exchange which includes keynote speakers, digital masterclasses and networking.

This was an ideal event to send our very own Chloe on as she comes to the end of her digital marketing apprenticeship and is interested in all things social media and SEO. This post is all about her take on the conference and what she has taken away from the experience:

 

Welcome and Opening Keynote

The event took place at Elland Road Stadium in Leeds on the fourth floor of the East Stand, it was great to see the stadium up close and in person, instead of driving past on the M621. Once everyone had arrived and was settled, we went over the itinerary for the day with presenter and host Pascal Fintoni.

 

How Small Businesses Can Harness Digital Marketing to Scale Up Fast

To kick off the start of the event, we were privileged to hear from guest speaker Claire Daniels, CEO of award-winning Leeds based digital marketing agency, Trio Media.

It was great to get to know Claire and her background in digital marketing, with 12 years of experience under her belt and recent winner of CEO of the Year 2020, she’s a huge inspiration to all business leaders.

There are many ways you can scale up your small business fast, whether you’re a start-up or looking for growth:

  • Increase revenue
  • Reach new audiences
  • Improve profitability
  • Grow your headcount

To increase your revenue, look at if your sales are online or offline. Digital marketing can result in 100% of offline sales, eCommerce accounts for around 30% of all UK retail sales. Increased revenue doesn’t need to equal more customers - you can set and track measurable goals, provide more value, increase prices to upsell to existing customers.

When reaching out to new audiences, you can find out more about your target demographics through social media, there’s only so much you can look at through Google Analytics. Consider how you can reach new consumers, groups or geographics as digital marketing allows you to grow internationally, not just locally.

Remember that you can launch a new product or service immediately. With help from social media, you can use tools to do your market research. With the help of CMS systems or social media, you can implement the launch of a product/service within minutes. Or if it’s still in the pipeline, you can pre-launch meaning there are no excuses to wait around - get started today!

It’s important to have a great website and online presence, as straightforward as it sounds. Your website is your virtual shopfront. Make sure there are clear calls to action, does it tell people what they want to hear? Think of five reasons why people buy from you, five reasons why people come back and five reasons why people don’t come back.

You can promote your website and its products or services through your social media. Use the statistics provided to give you a better understanding of what you should be sharing. Try, try and try again, use A/B testing to see what works, you won’t know what works without trialling. There isn’t a one size fits all solution, make sure to create value. Nothing is free, to invest in your business it will cost you, paid social is a great way to boost posts and get yourself in front of audiences. Remember to be fun and educational, show what your business is getting up to and the faces of the company - document, don’t create - think social, think video.

Currently working as an apprentice in a start-up agency, I understand how important it is to help small businesses by supporting them. I actively promote and share what my workplace get up to on my personal channels, as well as help people I know with their small businesses.

These are six ways you can help support a small business:

  • Writing a positive review
  • Directly tell friends and family to follow on social media
  • Engage with their posts (like, save, comment and share)
  • Give them a shout out
  • Sign up for newsletters

 

An Introduction to Personalised Video Marketing

The next session I attended was with speaker Dave Holloway of Wonder Leads on video marketing. Dave specialises in lead generation for small businesses and providing coaching for levelling up your video marketing skills.

Dave started his talk by discussing cold calling and email marketing, he explained that without personalisation it will never work effectively, especially in outbound sales. We’ve all had an automated response come through at some point in our careers, whether that’s on email or via messaging platforms. You could have the best business going with a fantastic reputation, but without the right communication, this can be enough to lose a potential customer. It can take five years to build a reputation and five minutes to break it.

When connecting it takes investment and time. It will either end in success or failure. We learnt that email marketing on average has a 21.33% average open rate and a 2.62% click-through rate (CTR). That’s not even 3%! Then when using InMail, which allows you to message other users on LinkedIn, it has a 57.5% average open rate and 3.6% average CTR. Again, not even 4%. That’s why it’s important to connect with them, even if it’s just using their name, it’s a start!

Outbound marketing in a nutshell. Contact with a view to brevity and clarity, people are busy and may not have the time. Add value into your communication, who are you, what do you want and how will it benefit them? Lastly, empathy, walk in their shoes, how would you react to the message you are collating together.

Touching on from Claire’s talk, she referred to video marketing on social media and its growing popularity online. In Dave’s talk, he also discussed how video content is more effective and has proven better engagement statistics over static imagery and graphics.

When uploading a video, whether on social media or as a direct message, instead of uploading to YouTube and Vimeo and copying the link, upload it to an individual landing page instead - it will minimise the noise and distractions of YouTube/Vimeo. By doing this you can create a personalised link, cut out the generic YouTube URL, and better track who’s visiting the landing page of the video. Include text on your videos if you’re not already doing this, as captions and subtitles ensure videos are accessible by all. Accessibility is key. When publishing, make sure to select a suitable preview image, Dave likes to wave in his as this is an emblem gesture that doesn’t require speech to understand. These are just several ways to create more personalised video content, it doesn’t just stop here. We’re already starting to see a lot more of this online with TikTok being YouTube’s biggest competitor to date, so get in front of the camera today!

 

The Social Masterclass: How you can develop a cohesive and effective strategy that cuts above

We had the pleasure of going into the second half of the day with Bradley Jensen, Co-Founder of Jensen & Jensen, a full-service integrated agency that helps brands cut above the noise, not add to it.

Bradley’s talk was very engaging and interactive about all things social media. Interested in social media/content creation myself, I found this session very beneficial. With every marketing strategy, you start with an audit, in this case, a social media audit. Look at what’s working well already and what isn’t, get rid of what’s not doing well - capitalise on what is doing well.

These are just several ideas of posts to make your social media more engaging:

  • Reactive content
  • Giveaways
  • Knowledge sharing
  • Awareness days
  • Helpful content

The mistake that most people make with their social media is trying to sell. Stop selling to your audiences. Use your social media as a way for your audience to connect with your brand. It may ultimately lead to a sale, but don’t force it upon them. You can grow your social following organically by actively sharing posts. As Claire mentioned in her talk earlier on in the day; document, don’t create - think social, think video. Social media shouldn’t feel like a chore.

How to climb the Google ladder with SEO

For the last session of the day, we heard from speaker Jonny Ross of Fleek Marketing.

I most recently attended Jonny’s all-day masterclass on How to climb the Google ladder with SEO before Go Digital LIVE. So I had the joy of hearing Jonny’s expertise on SEO once again, which I didn’t mind at all. I was able to solidify my learning from his session and re-cap on a few things. When you’re as passionate as Jonny is about SEO, trying to fit an eight-hour masterclass in a one-hour session was very impressive.

We were able to cover these topics:

  • Keywords
  • SEO audits
  • SEO tools

When you optimise your digital content for SEO (search engine optimisation), you use keywords and other methods to appear organically when people perform searches on search engines such as Google or Bing. Both SEO and PPC (pay-per-click) can get your brand in front of people and increase your visibility, keywords play a huge part in this as they can be found in the URL, headings, meta titles and descriptions.

We looked at the difference between short-tail keywords, which are more general search queries consisting of one or two words, and long-tail keywords which consist of three to five or even more words. The conversion rate is much higher when you use long-tail keywords as you narrow down search results. You can look at what words are trending through the use of Google Trends, which analyses the popularity of top search queries in Google Search.

 

Closing Keynote: Please Meet the Future Digital You

To end the day, Pascal Fintoni gathered us all back together to reflect on the day and discuss our futures in the world of digital marketing and future technologies that we will most likely come across in years to come.

Overall, the conference was a success and everyone was able to go away with ideas and next steps for their businesses, myself included. I’ve been very fortunate to be able to attend this event learning all about things social media and SEO. It was a very full-on learning experience and I’m very excited to use what I know now to benefit the business.

 

Follow Chloe on LinkedIn @chloe-kerfoot.