BrightonSEO underlines the importance of planning in digital marketing

By Chris Lee

Planning for digital was a key theme at the latest BrightonSEO, a leading UK digital marketing conference. Keynotes from the likes of Twitter, Moz and Distilled left delegates with a strengthened understanding of the importance of high quality planning in digital marketing campaigns in order to deliver value and return on investment.

Planning for Twitter marketing

First up was Oli Snoddy, head of planning at Twitter UK, talking about planning for the moment. For Snoddy, Twitter is very much thought of as “the pulse of the planet”, but is a very democratic platform and good content rises to the top, regardless of where it comes from.

Snoddy told delegates that “open platforms can be used to organise people in difference ways”, citing the example of the Spanish town of Jun, near Granada, which has come up with ingenious ways to use Twitter for municipal matters.

According to Snoddy, to resonate on Twitter with other users, brands need to build themselves relevant to other things and that this can be planned for.

“Wisdom of crowds important to social,” said Snoddy, using the example of Stanley Milgram’s famous “look-up” experiment to influence herd behaviour. “Attention is steered by the visible crowd and you can encourage people to do things.”

Snoddy said that, when it comes to Twitter, there are three different type of “moment”: live moments – where users experience a collective single moment, such as the final of Wimbledon; connected moments – such as television shows; and everyday moments, such as shopping. Marketers can plan for these moments, as was demonstrated by Morrison’s changing its name to Murriwins to celebrate Andrew Murray’s 2013 men’s Wimbledon championship victory.

“Brands can realise those opportunities to create moments,” Snoddy concluded.

How to test social media marketing

Also presenting at BrightonSEO was Jen Sable-Lopez, director of community at digital marketing tools and insight company Moz, on the subject of testing social media marketing activities.

“Testing social is hard: it’s not something like with CRO (conversion rate optimisation) you can do easy AB tests. What’s the right kind of content, when to tweet, best engagement, why do you gain or lose followers? Everyone wants the easy answer,” she said. “You see all these studies they tell you Tues/Weds are the best time to tweet etc. but really the best way to do that is with your own data.”

Testing enabled Moz to decide when it was most effective to post blogs and push via social – from 2-3am Pacific Standard Time (PST) to midnight PST to make sure content is ready for European audiences.

Planning for video

Phil Nottingham from digital agency Distilled gave his advice on planning for video marketing.

“Video is not content, it’s a form and form must follow function. Take a goal-driven strategy. Let the business goals drive the creative,” he told delegates.

Businesses should decide what goals they want video to help fulfil, Nottingham said, which will typically include driving conversions and traffic, brand awareness, and attracting links and social shares.

Nottingham said therefore that it was crucial that brands understand their customer conversion funnel, particularly by looking at what’s working from their Google Analytics data, using Google’s Keyword Planner and also via competitive analysis.

Good quality camera, lighting and sound equipment is essential for enjoyable video, he added.

Nottingham urged marketers to measure user engagement and not views as consistent engagement and people not dropping off are what YouTube uses to rank, not views. Marketers should also be aware that YouTube does not drive much traffic to websites – often averaging just 0.72 per cent click-through rate (CTR).

YouTube should be used predominantly for brand awareness, he concluded.

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