Technology and social media professionals from all over the world attended this year’s South-by-Southwest conference. A collection of experts attended and spoke at the various SXSW sessions. The following insider tips for brand marketers were concluded from the various sessions:
Focus on Advocates
On more than one occasion, various panelists spoke about focusing on identifying brand advocates instead of only worrying about growing the number of fans. They expressed that a brand gets more value out of interacting and building relationships with a thousand or even a hundred real advocates. According to these panelists, the value you get out of followers is substantially less.
Ekaterina Walter with Intel advised that brand marketers shouldn’t focus on engaging only people with a massive footprint on social platforms because the long-term volume and quality of content produced for an individual brand by those type of people is very limited.
Stay Up-to-Date with Macro-Trends in Media
According to the journalists, technologists, and marketers at SXSW this year, media is continuously evolving and at a rapid page. This includes focusing on visual content, using data to tell fascinating stories, and optimizing for mobile consumption. .
Jonah Peretti, BuzzFeed founder, compared a Paris café, where people sit, read, pet dogs, socialize, laugh, and consume content as equivalent to social media today. Short-form content is more useful to that type of environment in lieu of lengthy, text-based updates. To stay on top of the game, marketers need to pay attention to how media is consumed and shared.
Emotion Matters Significantly
Marketers need to recognize that emotion matters when trying to influence people to pass along a story, photo, video, or app to their friends and families. Paretti advised that to achieve “going viral”, the emotional quotient (EQ) is a significantly more important factor than having smart and insightful content. Brands need to connect with their audience in a human manner by finding ways to inspire them, make them laugh, and connect with them.
Analyze & Adjust Accordingly
The most successful media and digital brands are using insights from complex analytics to educate them about their audience and how to strategize. Professionals from Major League Baseball to BuzzFeed advised that they are able to identify how content is performing with data from algorithms and adjust accordingly in real-time. It’s imperative that brands pay attention to if and how audiences react to the content they produce, if they can’t afford the algorithm programs and in-house data analysts.
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