It’s one of our favorite weeks of the year: South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) week! We’re very excited to be sending Jon Woods and Adrienne Schafer down to Austin to check out and report back on the latest and greatest in digital marketing from the festival. Be sure to check in with our blog Friday March 9 through Tuesday March 13 for a daily update from Austin, and follow along with @WoodrowWilson and the aptly handle’d @recap for real-time recaps of the various sessions and experiences they collect at SXSWi over the next five days. In the meantime, it seems everyone is wondering about Facebook’s algorithm changes, and many of us have questions about navigating the influencer relations space. Below are a couple of great articles to hopefully tide you over.
Some pretty ground-shifting changes were expected from Facebook’s recent algorithm/news feed updates. With the shift from a focus on publisher and brand content to more person-to-person interactions, the initial thinking was that brands would likely have to pay more to reach their audiences. And while it may be early, it doesn’t sound like there have been systematic shifts just yet. Read more after the jump…
Capitalizing on in-person opportunities as well as digital opportunities brings us Back to the Future.
Last week we hosted our sixth South by Southwest Interactive “Denver Download” – a chance for our clients and partners who attended the SXSWi conference in March to share the knowledge they gained with other clients, partners and colleagues back here in Denver. This year’s panel consisted of Comcast’s Cindy Parsons (who hosted one of the festival’s on-site social media lounges), Sukle’s Dan Schultz, Children Hospital Colorado’s Elizabeth Whitehead and yours truly. Below is a recap of common themes that were discussed during the event – all relevant concepts to look to as evolving trends in digital marketing in 2017.
Knowing your audience (and segmenting your messaging and marketing plan accordingly) is more important than ever.
Gone are the days of distributing one message to as many people as possible through digital channels. With so many social media and digital marketing platforms, combined with the fact that it’s not “solely Millennials” using Instagram or “only older people” using Facebook, it’s more important than ever to create specific audience personas and speak directly to each one of them with tailored content and messaging. Read more after the jump…
Some of the world’s biggest advertisers have created public relations disasters for themselves by entrusting the wrong people with their social media accounts, not thinking critically about what they were posting or tackling issues they shouldn’t. Treat this as a reminder to mitigate backlash on social media by solidifying your voice and keeping content consistent with your brand. Always do research when you are unsure about what you’re addressing, or don’t address it at all. Finally, don’t mix up Oprah Winfrey and Whoopi Goldberg. C’mon man!
Social Media Fails
Entrepreneur: The 12 Worst Social Media Fails of 2016 Entrepreneur offers a reminder of what big brands did wrong last year, and the fallout that ensued. Although many of the examples seem unbelievable, they could easily happen to any brand that doesn’t take the necessary steps to fortify their messaging.
The Verge: Twitter Might Build a Paid Subscription Service for Power Users
Brands and news organizations will likely be able to pay for an optimized version of Tweetdeck that will allow them to more easily access analytics and alerts. The company is currently conducting a survey with select users to see what new features would be most welcome.
Center for Out-Of-Court Divorce | Website Design & Development
Our team brought COCD’s brand guidelines to life by incorporating photography that exemplifies their mission and advances their message to key audiences. And, as a new organization, our team continues to work with COCD to optimize and update the website to suit their needs as they grow.
It’s been just over a week since I returned from South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) where – in addition to learning about the latest in social media strategies – I had the opportunity to attend dozens of presentations in a variety of formats. I learned a few new presentation tips and enjoyed some effective presentations that inspired me to share some helpful pointers.
Stories Beat PowerPoints Every Time
The Science of Storytelling | Leo Widrich via Flickr
In a panel focused on the power of storytelling, neuroscientist Shonté Taylor noted that storytelling engages the right side (aka, the more creative side) of the brain. Specifically, she described how the body releases reward hormones such as dopamine when the right side of the brain is positively engaged, as can happen when a person is enjoying a great story. She went on to describe those reward hormones as “lighting up” the brain in a positive way, and left me with the point that if you light up the brains of your colleagues and customers, they’re going to remember you.
Reflecting on the various presentations I attended during SXSWi, the most memorable really did include great storytelling elements. Speakers from National Geographic and Outdoor Afro shared compelling stories and – often – images that took me beyond bullets on the screen. One week later and I can describe in detail the stories they told and the lessons they shared in a way that I cannot for other speakers who didn’t weave personal stories, images or testimonials into their presentations. Read more after the jump…
Believe it or not – we’ve reached the end of another amazing SXSW! We had a busy day of packing, automobiles and planes to begin our journey back home – but couldn’t help but squeeze in a few more sessions to take with us on the road.
SXSW may be over – but we worked hard on squeezing in a few more sessions and a final blog post!
I tried to work some variety into my schedule on the final day of SXSW, and in the session titled “Investing to Change the World,” a panel of bankers, investors and financial planners talked about how many individuals today are working to align their investments with their values. There are several individual stocks and mutual funds that fit the bill (humanitarian companies, environmental-friendly companies, etc.), and surprisingly, many are outperforming the market itself. The key is just like any other investment – look for companies who are investing in their own long-term success and are inherently resilient. Who wouldn’t want to invest in companies that produce returns AND are making a difference in our world?
The fourth day of South by: When sleep deprivation and too many creative thoughts in your head from the previous three days starts to cloud everything. But the sun came out today and we had an impressive lineup of speakers. Here are our top takeaways from Monday at SXSW 2017:
I attended a wide variety of sessions today, the first being “Blending Leadership: Online and Offline,” where presenter Reshan Richards reviewed six pillars of leadership traits from his book. From a professional development standpoint, the main takeaway for me was, “Once you’ve become more efficient and find yourself with an extra 30 minutes or hour in your day, be intentional about how you fill that time. Don’t cram it with busy work. Rather, spend it on something you’d hoped to do from an aspirational standpoint.”
Tons of great info on Saturday – including some audience targeting from Antiques Roadshow
It was a rainy day in Austin, but that didn’t slow the super strong lineup of speakers and events on a Saturday. Here are the most memorable takeaways from Day 2 of SXSW 2017:
My first session of the day included representatives from Major League Baseball and the WWE discussing the future of providing content direct to consumers. It was interesting to hear how large brands are constantly working to push streaming/live content to their audiences, and how the target is constantly evolving based on audience needs. The most interesting comment was how consumers have built-in expectations about pricing and flexibility of the packages based on how they currently pay for Netflix or Hulu. The takeaway is knowing your audience and what their expectations are before working on a model that doesn’t meet their needs and, one that ultimately will fail because your customer’s expectations don’t align.