Is going to a conference a waste of time? It’s not just the price of the ticket. You have to find somewhere to stay, you have to travel there and back and you have to take time out from work to attend.
That’s massive. How can you know if it’s worth your time?
I have travelled to Social Media Marketing World in San Diego, California with my friend Kate McQuillan from Pet Sitters Ireland for the last two years.
To ensure we get value from the event, we sit down each day and discuss the talks we’ve attended, we make notes and highlight things we will action as a result.
This week I met up with Kate again and we went over our Social Media Marketing World 2018 notes in full. Here are just some of the takeaways we thought would interest you.
Listen to our discussion here
Nicholas Kusmich – The 4 Minute Lead Magnet
Nicholas talked Facebook ads but not just Facebook ads. As part of the ads funnel he outlined the full lead generation process.
What grabbed my attention was his advice on lead incentives. The bribe we give our audience in return for their email address. eBooks are popular and are often the first thing we think of when we want to create a lead incentive. Nicholas pointed out that this might not be the smartest move. He showed us a grid that would rank our lead incentives.
- Were they high desire or low desire
- Were they hard to consume or easy to consume
An eBook ranked as Low desire but easy to consume, the top hook was a short PDF download that was high on the desire stakes and easy to consume.
That lead incentive should be:
S – Short to consume – people should be able to read it in less than 4 minutes
A – Actionable – people should be able to take action on it immediately
G – Goal orientated – for the reader not for you
E – Easy to read – avoid complicated language and make it easy to action. A complicated system could just end in confusion
Jasmine Star – How to Create 30 Days of Instagram Content in a Single Day
When you look at your Instagram grid, the photos that show on the screen when you visit a profile there are 9 – 12 images visible.
It’s these 9 to 12 images that form the basis of Justine’s strategy. If you can define 9 elements of your business these can be the basis of your Instagram feed. Each element of your business becomes a category that you create imagery around.
That might sound hard, how can you have 9-12 categories in your business. Start with the obvious, for Kate from Pet Sitters Ireland that would be cats and dogs. How do you fill the rest of your categories?
Jasmine suggests thinking about the problems you solve, the benefits that you sell. That could be trust, time-saving, peace of mind, more income etc. If you can define those themes they can become your additional elements.
The next step is to create 3 – 4 pieces of content a month for each category.
It’s very easy to look at our feeds and the imagery we see and try to replicate it. But can we put our own twist on it. Jasmine shares quotes but avoids text overlay tools like Canva or WordSwagg. Instead she focuses on real quotes photographed in an environment. She uses Scrabble tiles and printouts that she incorporates into the photograph.
Ben Blakesley – How to create a recognisable visual identity on Instagram.
When someone sees a photo you have shared on Instagram, is it obvious that it’s from your business, even if you don’t include the logo?
Ben Blakesley showed us the basics of putting together a visual style guide that ensures this will happen.
It’s not as easy as choosing the same filter every time, instead get into the nitty-gritty of editing your Instagram photos either on Instagram or using another tool.
Ben gave us a list of visual elements we should consider for our visual style. Many of these fit on a sliding scale. Just work out where on that scale your business fits.
1. Tonality – Mostly cold colours, blues etc <—————> mostly warm colours, oranges etc
2. Dark<—————> Light
3. Saturation – Desaturated<—————> Saturated
4. Colour scheme – What colours do you own?
By incorporating a specific brand colour into your images you begin to own it. When people see The Dry Bar pop up in their feed it’s instantly recognisable because of the yellow colour they use.
5. Perspective- From your perspective, your hands and feet<—————> from someone else’s perspective looking at you
6. Contrast – Low contrast<—————> High contrast
7. Composition – Symmetry<—————> A-Symmetry
8. Focus – Everything in focus<—————> Fore, mid or background blurry
9. Hidden gems
Can you incorporate an item into every shot? I love the example Ben showed us of the RoamingGnome. The Gnome features in every image on this Instagram account for Travelocity.
10. Humanity – Include people, whole people, hands and feet<—————> no humans at all?
11. Organisation<—————> chaos?
Will you create perfect flat lays or ones that look thrown together?
12. Dirty<—————> clean
13. Aspirational<—————> relatable
14. Candid<—————> posed
15. Amateur<—————> pro
Will you take photos on a smartphone or with more professional equipment?
16. Text – Text<—————> no text
If you choose text will you use an overlay via an app or create something like Jasmine recommended?
17. Photo<—————> graphic
Map out where your brand fits in each of these elements and you have a solid brand guide. Implement it when you create images for Instagram and your business brand will shine through.
Interesting fact of the event goes to…
1/3 of the most viewed stories on Instagram are from businesses
Other enjoyable and insightful talks (worth a watch if you have the virtual ticket):
- Marcus Sheridan
- Mark Schaefer
- Ian Cleary
- Ian Anderson Gray
- Andrew & Pete
Is it worth going to conferences?
Yes, I think it is. I have pages of notes and takeaways and things to do but I could have got that from the virtual ticket. What you get from attending in real life is better. You get to network, ask questions, geek out about social media and you get time out of the office to clear your head.