The Content Marketing Academy 2015 – COSLA Conference Centre, Edinburgh
The afternoon talks at The Content Marketing Academy 2015 continued when Richard Tubb took to the stage to seamlessly build on Stefan Thomas’ advice, and explain how to turn contacts into customers. Richard spoke of the importance of building quality relationships with your contacts, as opposed to simply having large quantities of them. He explained that making connections with people might not bring you sales directly, but taking an interest in what people do allows you to give others word-of-mouth referrals and recommendations in the future. This aspect of human nature is important, as people remember you for remembering them – and will be more likely to refer you to their contacts who might need your business in the future. Richard had the most memorable line of the day, reminding us all that It’s remarkably easy to be remarkable!
TCMA’s headline act for 2015 was the incredible Marcus Sheridan. For an hour, a captivated audience followed his every word – and there were a lot of them! Marcus delivered a whirlwind speech full of valuable advice, talking us through his philosophy of “They ask – You Answer“. This method of content marketing involves providing answers to every possible question someone might search about your industry online. In becoming the “Wikipedia of your industry”, you can significantly increase your business output and generate a lot more sales. Marcus urged us all to stop underestimating the power of great information, and to use our content to build trust with our potential customers. What was very clear from this talk, was that we can combat our fears of failure by providing knowledge of our industries through a consistent level of quality content. It was a pleasure to hear Marcus Sheridan deliver his speech, and his energy and enthusiasm sent shockwaves through the room. It was a fantastic end to what was a truly memorable day.
What did ACA take away from TCMA?
Those of you who attended TCMA 2015 might be thinking we’ve forgotten to mention one of the keynote speakers, however, we’ve been saving Mike McGrail until last to show what actions we have taken as a direct result of our day at Chris’ amazing conference. Mike was on after Gavin in the morning, and he was raising awareness about the benefits of paid social media advertising.
“Pay to Play or Fade Away” was Mike’s message, and he showed that the likes of Facebook are strangling our organic reach opportunities for delivering content to our audiences… unless we start paying. Nowadays, it doesn’t matter how many followers or likes you have; in order to reach people – you gotta pay!
So with our own Facebook page having just over 3000 likes, we were interested to hear that on average our content would only reach 2.5% of this following. We decided that Mike was right, and with the recent launch of our new website, we should try a paid Facebook ads campaign to drive traffic to our site. So far, after two weeks (16 days), our ad has reached over 14,000 Facebook users and has generated over 500 website clicks.
What’s interesting about Facebook advertising, is that you can really filter your targets down to quite fine details. Your ad will only reach people who meet your criteria, and you can make it as general of specific as you like. By targeting people who might have more of an interest in your business, you can make a telling contribution to your site’s search engine optimisation.
We are still learning the ins and outs of paid social media marketing, but it seems that this ad campaign is contributing to our website bounce-rate plummeting. The more time people spend on your pages, the more the likes of Google trusts the content on your site. Happy days. Our paid exposure is giving our posts an extra 1000 Facebook User reach on average too, so it has been a useful experiment and we are enjoying getting to grips with the analytics.
Overall, what was most powerful about TCMA 2015 was the community spirit, as well as the enthusiasm for helping one another’s businesses grow. There certainly was a lot of love in the room! Much of this we have Chris and his team to thank for – they have done a fantastic job of building the Content Marketing communities online, and a lot of hard work went into bringing in the calibre of keynote speakers we were treated to – so thank you! We’ve all come a long way in a short space of time, and it’s really exciting to see what routes our content takes in the months to come.
TCMA 2016 has been announced for June next year – so don’t miss out! Here’s a link to some information about next year’s keynote speaker – Mark Schaefer. Mark is a world-renowned content marketing expert, and we have no doubt TCMA 2016 is going to be even bigger and better. You can buy your tickets by clicking here!