On May 17 and 18, I took a deep dive into professional development and industry insights at DigiMarCon Canada – the Digital Marketing Conference in Toronto. While the convenient location and the dinner at the top of the CN Tower were major draws, I was genuinely excited to immerse myself in 48 hours of learning and networking. Here are my top five takeaways from the event:
1. Video Marketing IS the future
Video Marketing Master Class: Andrea Corson, Video Pop
According to Digital Video Strategy Producer Andrea Corson, by the end of the 2018 video will account for 79% of ALL online traffic. Video can skyrocket site traffic and audiences are 10x more likely to engage with, embed, and share video content. This is why it is more important than ever to get comfortable with how to share video content, and if possible, how to create it!
2. Gauge the temperature of your Facebook audience
Facebook Advertising Master Class: Amanda Bond, The Ad Strategist
Amanda Bond, The Ad Strategist, broke down Facebook audiences and explained it to me in my favourite way – as though I was an 8-year-old (I’m not kidding!) By using emojis, she segmented the three stages of preparing an audience for advertising. A cold audience needs to be introduced to the brand, a warm audience has dipped their toe into commitment by engaging with a brand’s content, and a hot audience is ready to convert. Of course, there was more to it, but this simple breakdown is what stuck with me and is what will fuel my strategies moving forward.
3. Share your success stories!
How Social Selling Can Help to Align Sales and Marketing: Anita Windisman, Digital Marketing Manager
Much of this session was on aligning marketing and sales strategies, which is definitely important. But one thing Anita Windisman (who spent much of her career working for LinkedIn) reiterated for both parties, which makes way too much sense to ignore, is share your success stories! And not just for bragging rights! Her recommendation was to track your success stories and (1) use them as leverage for future business, (2) use them to instill confidence with your current clients, and (3) use them to encourage your peers. So get those blogs up and those case studies developed!
4. Be human
Human responses to customers on social media: Andrew Jenkins, Volterra Consulting
This was one of my favourite sessions – I laughed almost all the way through it. Andrew Jenkins, Principal at Volterra Consulting, walked through epic brand fails including the United Airlines passenger fiasco in April 2017and the story of Boeing dismissing an 8-year-old’s crayon drawing of a plane because they “don’t accept unsolicited ideas” in March 2010. (Don’t worry – Boeing made it right in the end!) The idea here is that even though we’re working in an increasingly digital age and we’re usually hiding behind a device of some sort, don’t lose sight that in the end we are humans talking to other humans. The Golden Rule continues to hold true – if you wouldn’t joke about a healthy breakfast being the only thing needed to get over the Boston Marathon bombing, then Epicurious should have known better as well.
5. There is a science behind creativity
Creativity in Marketing: Allen Gannett, TrackMaven
My second favourite session was “Creativity in Marketing” by Allen Gannett, which explored the idea of unlocking one’s own creative potential and dove into Allen’s research behind what sets creative geniuses like Taylor Swift, JK Rowling, and Ted Sarandos (the chief content officer for Netflix) apart from the rest of us mortals. I highly recommend watching the express version of his TedTALK at Georgia Tech, and purchasing his new book “The Creative Curve”.
I guess I should add a 6th key takeaway – attending conferences for professional development is a worthwhile experience! I harvested a LOT of knowledge in 48 hours, most of which I’ve already applied to my work here at Flying Camel. As networking is generally out of my comfort zone, getting in some low-stakes practice was reason alone to attend. I met some very cool ladies – two from Toronto and one from Nashville in particular – who were all in very different roles under the marketing umbrella.
I’m already considering returning for the 2019 DigiMarCon series – but this time I have my eye on the Orlando cruise!