Last week we hosted our second Digital Bites event in Manchester, and we were joined by 100 marketers for an evening of 10-minute talks, delicious food, friendly networking and some drinks too. Check out our recap video to see what happened on the night:
WHY DIGITAL BITES?
We opened our Manchester office back in July 2021 and quickly realised there weren’t many other marketing specific events happening in the region and we wanted to change that. The aim of the event has always been to provide a safe and welcoming space for marketers in the north west to get together, share knowledge and network. We want all Digital Bites events to be friendly, relaxed and inclusive for everyone, with a supportive audience cheering our speakers along.
THANKS TO OUR ATTENDEES & SPEAKERS
We wanted to say a huge thanks to everyone who attended and supported the event, we really do have the best event attendees.
Another huge thank you goes out to our speakers, it’s not easy getting on stage to a room of over 100 people, especially for the first time. Every one did an amazing job and we all learnt something new during the night.
You can find all important information about upcoming Digital Bites events here. We currently don’t have a date for the next event, but we will be back in early 2023. We are accepting speaker pitches, so if you’d like to take to the stage for the first time we’d love to hear from you.
EVENT RECAP & SLIDES
Here’s a recap of all seven talks with links to their slides:
Creative Data Sourcing for Successful Digital PR Campaigns
Eirini Theodoridou – Digital PR Strategist, connective3
Eirini started her talk by stating that when you work in Digital PR failure is very real, you can be as creative as you want but sometimes campaigns can flop. Eirini has researched and outreached over 200 campaigns and built over 2,000 links and brand mentions. Eirini loves researching and finding new data sources and methodology, she emphasised how important data is, explaining that we need data-led campaigns to cut through the online noise. Eirini highlighted how important it is to know all the data sources out there and to always keep an eye on where the data is being sourced from your favourite campaigns.
Eirini included loads of examples of free data sources that you can use as a starting point including ONS, government sites, Google Finance and more. She went on to highlight where you can find creative data sources with Reddit being her holy grail. Other examples included everyday niche datasets and website analytics data and Eirini gave some campaign examples to further emphasise her point.
To sum it up, data is important and you should be using it and there are a whole host of creative data sources out there just waiting for you to use them.
You can download Eirini’s slides here.
Hit by a Google Algorithm update? Don’t panic!
Martin Williams – SEO Manager, AO.COM
Martin starts a new journey as a freelance SEO this week but as of last week he was still AO.com’s SEO Manager and drew on his experience at AO during his talk.
Martin started off with some pretty impressive facts including:
- Google has 86% share of all searches in 2022 (Statista)
- In 2020, Google made 4,500 changes to search and ran more than 600,000 experiments. This means Google search is changing, on average, 12 times per day.
Google does between 3-4 broad core algorithm updates per year. We’ve had two so far in 2022, plus six more yet to happen.
Generally speaking when there’s an update announced, Martin said he feels a sense of fear. Nothing is certain in SEO, but you do have options, and Martin gave us five steps to follow when you hear an update will be happening, these are:
- Decide how you’re going to measure the update
This includes looking at metrics such as visibility, average position, CTR, organic traffic and visits.
- Tell people about it
The update is likely to affect your website traffic which will in turn affect revenue so it’s important to make sure your colleagues and business stakeholders are aware of what’s happening in good time.
- Does the previous trend give you a hint?
Can you look at what has happened previously to help inform what will happen this time?
- Your tracking is likely to be behind what is happening
Martin explained that tracking is usually two weeks behind what’s actually happening and it’s important to remember this during a core update.
- Don’t wait until the end to investigate but wait until the end to publish next steps
Don’t wait till after the update has finished rolling out, be reactive and monitor daily so you can start to understand what is happening and plan your next steps for after the update has finished rolling out.
Martin gave us an example of when he’s been both positively and negatively affected by a core update, explaining that this can mean a huge difference in revenue. Martin also included a great decision tree to help inform your actions.
You can find that in his slides which can be downloaded here.
The misconceptions of TikTok and how to place your brand in the conversation
Lauren Hughes – Client Development Manager, Social Trinity
Lauren started her talk by busting some TikTok myths that include:
- TikTok is just videos
- It’s only teenagers who are on TikTok
- People use other platforms more
- TikTok doesn’t make a difference to brand revenue
In fact, all of these points aren’t true! Lauren explained how TikTok has an insanely wide range of content and communities with the demographic filtering out to all age groups and with usage skyrocketing.
To back her points up, Lauren included a case study from Duolingo, highlighting that their revenue grew by 55% in the fourth quarter of 2021 and this is partly down to TikTok.
Lauren then explained how you can place your brand in the TikTok conversation by following these three key points:
- Create TikTok first content
TikTok’s algorithm is interest driven only and not based on your connections, meaning you can jump on trends and sounds and use these as inspiration for your content. You should also be finding inspiration by acting like your user and getting an understanding of what they’d like to see.
Hack: Content recycling
- Leverage creators
Make sure your leveraging creators, be carefully with who you select, give them creative freedom and make sure you’re utilising TikTok shop.
- Utilise paid social
Set out clear objectives, have good creatives and leverage spark ads.
Hack: Align with PPC ads
Lauren ended her talk by running us through a case study from Social Trinity’s client, Slater Menswear, with some pretty impressive stats.
You can download her slides here.
How to create the perfect SEO roadmap & dominate the SERPs
Charlie Whitworth – SEO Consultant, Whitworth SEO
Charlie started off his talk emphasising how important SEO roadmaps are, if you’re in-house, they may not be as important as you can liaise directly with stakeholders and developers. But generally speaking, these documents are intended to maintain momentum with technical and creative recommendations
Used properly, SEO roadmaps can be the key to executing a killer organic strategy but it’s important to remember that not everyone will care about an SEO roadmap, especially if you’re creating extra work for other people and sometimes it’s just simply seen as a spreadsheet.
Charlie went on to explain how you can secure output from your roadmaps:
- You need to ensure there are clear outcomes
- Understand what the business can achieve if they were to implement your recommendations. As an SEO, additional things to understand are business objectives, wider business goals, personas and website plans. This will help you to make recommendations that are likely to see swift execution.
- Make the roadmap achievable and break it down so it’s manageable
When putting the roadmap together Charlie listed key things to consider including prioritisation, avoiding terminology such as ‘low priority’, great dev tickets, liaising with developers and working with external content teams.
To sum it up, ultimately, your SEO roadmap is just an Excel or Google Sheet, but it’s the detail and planning behind this that will determine success. Plan accordingly and you should be able to create a roadmap that is easy to execute, hit deadlines and drive organic growth.
You can view Charlie’s slides here.
Top tips for SEO content ideas that work
Hannah Brady – Senior Content Strategist, connective3
Next up we had Hannah Brady who took us through some great tips for thinking up new SEO content ideas. Hannah’s talk focussed around SEO content ideas, but her tips can be a be applied to PR, Social or other broader digital marketing disciplines.
Hannah’s key points include:
- Take it back to basics
Before you start ideation, look at your customer journey and ask yourself some simple question regarding what you’d want to know from the site, what kind of user are we talking to, what would you like to read and more. Also look at seasonal content, are there any key seasonal dates that can be added to your roadmap? Seasonal content will have peaks through the year but can provide powerful performing content. For inspiration, you can check out c3’s content calendar.
- Use your team
Hannah emphasised how you should be using the people around you for content ideas and she also gave some great tips for team ideation sessions.
- Use your client
Hannah explained how ideation sessions with her clients are one of her favourite ways to get new ideas and again gave some tips for how to run these sessions.
- Use the competition
This one speaks for itself, check out what your competitors are doing and always check the SERP and to see the top ranking result.
- Say no to SEO… sometimes
Sometimes you’re just going to have to write for people and not SERPS and that’s ok.
Hannah’s talk had a wealth of information and tips, check her slides out here.
How to drive sales with UGC in 2022
Reece Douglas – Founder & Director, Social Plug
Our penultimate talk came from Reece Douglas who explained how you can be using UGC to drive sales
UGC is a way to get thumb-stopping content at scale and speed it wasn’t surprising to hear how UGC builds trust with your brand and in turn increases sales. Reece explained how consumers are now turning to social media for all kinds of recommendations, including food. In fact, 92% of consumers turn to people they know for referrals above any other source.
TikTok is becoming the leading social commerce platform and is coming for Google’s throne. Reece gave us some statistics for how UGC is driving purchasing decisions:
- UGC increases conversations by 10% in an online buying process
- Roughly 30% of the time millennials spend consuming all media is spent on UGC
Reece then went on to explain the benefits of using UGC and gave us some great examples of how it’s generated sales and influenced consumer’s purchases.
You can view his slides here.
How to pitch when you’re not a pitcher
Luke Cope – Co-founder & Strategy Director, Bottled Imagination
Last but not least, we had a great talk from Luke Cope on how to pitch when you’re not a pitcher. Luke started off by giving some pretty impressive credentials regarding how many pitches he’s been involved with which has amassed over £3m of sales. Luke didn’t shy away from the fact that pitching and public speaking isn’t something that necessarily comes naturally to him but he had to learn how to speak in public and he reassuringly said, if he can do it, then anyone can.
Luke gave some incredible advice and tips for pitching and sales and also for pitching ideas.
Some of his tips include:
- Practice by recording yourself
- Be a boxer
What he meant by this was make sure you give yourself enough time to prep and also time to build your personal brand.
- Go on the introduction calls
This helps you build a strong rapport.
- Understand who you’re pitching to
- Get used to talking about money
- Have a strong close
And if in doubt, make sure your campaign ideas include dogs or bumble bees, two things sure for success.
View Luke’s slides here.