The latest instalment of 3XE – Dublin’s Data, Mobile and Social Media conference – took place last Thursday at Croke Park. Eager to soak up the latest Search and Social insights, a group of Huskies headed along to hear from 20 speakers at 16 talks and four workshops.
Here’s some of our key takeaways from an information-packed day.
Find the right 'bubble'!
During a compelling talk – ‘The Nature of our Digital Data Cells’ – Lexi Mills of Manyminds Digital highlighted the many (positive and negative) ways that data is shaping the way marketers think.
According to Lexi, we all navigate in and around certain digital ‘bubbles’; these are themed trends informed by what users click, where they are, their beliefs, interests, as well as many other factors.
Lexi spoke about these digital 'bubbles' at TEDxDanubia
Marketers can hijack these themes in clever ways...
Lexi detailed the innovative 3Doodler, a pen that wasn’t selling particularly well until its marketing team identified the 3D printing ‘bubble’. A quick rebrand to ‘the world’s first 3D Printing Pen’ saw a massive spike of interest in the product.
However, Lexi also stressed the dangers of not looking beyond our own bubbles. It’s important (now more than ever) to explore and seek out different collections of information; from reading articles we don’t necessarily agree with – and of course, clicking past page two of Google’s search results! Those initial page one findings are most likely to represent the status quo, or ‘flavour of the month’. Dig a little deeper and you’ll not only expand your own depth of knowledge, you may also pick up some interesting insights about your target demographic.
Optimisation is not enough
Aleyda Solis of Orainti spoke about ‘SEO in a Mobile-First Index Era’, and mentioned how almost 60% of Search is now driven from mobile.
As Google will soon be changing their index model to a mobile-first driven experience, websites that don’t improve their approach towards mobile optimisation are likely to see their traffic plummet even further than it did after 2015’s ‘Mobilegeddon’.
Three approaches to having a mobile alternative to a desktop site are: 1) Responsive design, 2) Dynamic serving and 3) An independent mobile site
However, Aleyda highlighted that simply having an alternative mobile version of a website isn’t always sufficient, due to the possible UX and SEO issues that can greatly hinder performance.
Mobile performance can also be enhanced by including structured data. This is to create rich snippets, so the URL presented in the search results can take up a larger portion of the allotted page space. These rich snippet opportunities can be identified using software like SEMRush, which uncovers the keywords that can trigger these snippets.
Such insights can help marketers optimise websites in order to attain these structured data and rich snippets benefits.
Finally, Aledya repeated what has previously been stated by Google; that 20% of mobile searches in the USA originate from voice queries. It’s essential for modern marketers to plan and prepare for voice searches in our quest for placement above the fold.
Google revealed in 2016 that 20% of queries on Android devices are now done through Voice Search. Baidu predicts that in 2020, this figure will rise to roughly 50%. Source: KPCB, 2016
Keep it funny!
‘Infotainment’, or the presentation of information in an entertaining way, was the buzzword during David Nihill’s energetic talk. He claimed that even the most ‘boring’ and serious of brands should, above all else, keep their content funny.
According to Nihill, too many brands get bogged down in a linear tone of voice when approaching how they share information online. Subsequently, people will follow a brand on social media, but may not necessarily like them.
Nihill said the goal is not to seem like a company, but to talk to your audience like a friend or colleague, and in turn, increase your brand’s ‘likeability’ and engagement.
In a country that’s known for its humour, this should – in theory – be easy for brands. However, there’s always going to be a fear factor when creating ‘infotainment’.
So, how do we do this?
Nihill relayed a quote from acclaimed business author, Jeffrey Gitomer – “The end of laughter is followed by the height of listening”. By using humour, not only are we in a position to entertain our audience, we’re also able to convey our message in a more likeable way.
He suggests adopting stand-up comedy tactics when writing copy: a) Being fun over funny, b) Delaying impact words to emphasise their importance, and c) Always considering the ‘Rule of Three’ and its importance within pattern recognition.
Keep these three at the top of your mind next time you write copy, and see if you get a laugh.