Learning From The Best- Amplify Digital Marketing Conference

I love quotes and this is one of my favourites as it’s really applicable to the team I work with and was exemplified at the conference:

“None of us is as smart as all of us” (Blanchard, 2019)

Working at Dmac Media for the last 9 years as an Account Manager I’ve learned a lot about all the disciplines involved in and around Web Design, The actual design process, the User Experience, Post Launch Optimisation, SEO, Content Writing, Digital Marketing, Google Ads, Social Media Marketing etc.

Working with my customers to build their businesses online I have a fairly large range of skill and understanding of the online market place. By attending conferences and going to networking meetings I always find something new to add to my repertoire.

At the recent Amplify Conference I learned a lot of new things and got clarity on some things that aren’t part of my day to day dealings with clients…

Looking at the agenda I noted that there were 10 presentations from a range of speakers. Some were representing international/national companies like Google, LinkedIn and Three Ireland, as well as experts from around the country, including our own Dave McEvoy who spoke at length on “UX” (The User Experience)

 I’ve chosen to highlight a few speakers that I personally found either informative or inspirational.

  • Shane Murphy & Dan Sweeney – Co Founders of Digi-guys
  • Joanne Sweeney – Founder of Digital Training Institute
  • Gearoid Buckley – Senior Demand Generation Manager at LinkedIn

Shane Murphy & Dan Sweeney – Co Founders of Digi-guys


My favourite presentation of the day came from Shane Murphy & Dan Sweeney – Co Founders of Digi-guys, now re-branded as “PLAY Creative Agency” I must take my hat off to the two lads from Cork who are making waves with Marketing Video’s for high profile businesses across Ireland.

They appeared on stage in video, rather than in person. The video introduction was immediately engaging, I was hooked! They added humour, wit and wrapped it up in their personalities. I immediately wanted to see more, then low and behold they appeared in person on the stage with buckets of useful information.

Did you know for example, that 72% of people would rather use video to learn about a product or service? No?  Nor did I, although it’s one of my favourite ways of learning.  I use video tutorials to educate my clients all the time, including everything from, “How to add and set up another email in my Gmail account” right through to “how to index my site with Google”

The boys went on to tell us about Video production, how to get started, what equipment you might need etc. Their answer was music to my ears, “Just get your phone out and start!” They exclaimed, begin at the beginning and develop your skills as you go.

Well,  it was a bit more than that to be fair, but they did say, once you’d got your theme, sketched out a few scenes, decided on the platform you want to launch the video on, get out your phone and start shooting J

A good bit of advice was to shoot a long video and then use parts of the video on different platforms.  Now to be fair, that’s probably beyond most of us, but it resonated with me as we write long blogs (like this one) then take snippets from them for use  on Social Media platforms.

The benefit might not seem obvious to you, but think about all the preparation work you do to shoot a 1 minute video.  A fair bit I’d say. But, if you shoot a 6 minute video and then cut and edit it into 8 more usable pieces it’s much more flexible, keeps the tone and the message the same but is deliverable on just about every social media platform…

In short, their advice was:

  • Be Creative
  • Make sure your video has a Start, Middle and an End
  • Grab Your Audience’s attention
  • Stir Emotion
  • Build in Call to Actions
  • Define what’s different about your business
  • Be honest, tell your story, showcase your Brand
  • Remember you are pitching towards your customers, clients, fans
  • Add Value back to your clientele, offer discounts, special offers etc.

They also talked about creating a hero to solve the problem that exists in your business model. For us at Dmac Media Ltd it might be something like this:

You are a retailer, footfall is decreasing year on year.  As online sales grow and footfall decreases, you need someone to help you begin trading online.  They need to be talking English to you not “Tech Speak”.  The video would identify the problem, introduce the problem solver (Dmac Media Ltd) showcase the solution followed by a call to action “contact Dave O’Brien for a free consultation on:  071 9300 637”

Joanne Sweeney – Founder of Digital Training Institute

Rolling right back to the beginning of the day, the first speaker was Joanne Sweeney Founder of Digital Training Institute and her presentation focused on “How to Create and Effective Digital Strategy”


Joanne gave us plenty of wisdom nuggets, such as:

The average word count for page 1 ranking websites is 1,890 words – So Content is still King!

Mobile first: Page speed loading is probably the Queen to the content King- your website has just 3 seconds to load before the average consumer’s patience is tried and they press the back button!

Irish people are checking their phones up to 57 times a day with short bursts of activity – 74 Seconds – so linking that into videos – they need to be short and snappy and generally speaking, a 5 minute video won’t be watched the whole way through…

Influencer Marketeers are growing in Ireland.  Bloggers and video bloggers are now influencing the publics buying choices.

* Brands are dedicating more resources to influencer marketing because it works. Today, 81% of consumers regularly purchase items having seen them shared on social media first.

According to a study by Collective Bias, 60% of in-store shoppers are influenced by social media and blog posts.

Plus, 70% of millennial consumers make purchasing decisions based on recommendations from peers.

In case you’re not yet convinced, influencer marketing ranked first in a list of fastest online customer-acquisition strategies in this 2017 study by Influencer Marketing Hub.(Cole, 2019)

The day moved on and some of the presentations overlapped with other speakers as you might expect, but the next speaker that caught my attention was, Gearoid Buckley: Senior Demand Generation Manager at LinkedIn.

Gearoid Buckley – Senior Demand Generation Manager at LinkedIn


Gearoid began by talking about his role in LinkedIn.  He is responsible for the online marketing strategy for LinkedIn, and has been for the last five years. I think he knows his stuff!

He’s been engaging with SME’s to demonstrate the values of both Organic and Pay per Click advertising on LinkedIn. Now I must confess I’m not a Digital Marketer, I’m an account manager, so I wasn’t well versed in the benefits of B2B networking and marketing on LinkedIn. But I soon got my education.

Gearoid explained the similarities between Digital Marketing Strategies using Google Adwords, Google Shopping and Social Media PPC campaigns.

Firstly, he defined LinkedIn as a Social Media Platform. Surprised? I was., It is primarily a professional platform or network and I had never really thought of is as a “Social” platform, yet I write, read and share posts on it much like I do on Facebook.

I guess LinkedIn is as much a Social Media platform as any other, just without pictures of your baby, cats falling into toilets and all those infernal videos of people having near misses or painful looking spills from skateboards.

So where is the Marketing opportunity on LinkedIn for SME’s?

First things first, make sure your company profile is whole and complete.  There are lots of blog posts on how best to complete your company profile on LinkedIn – https://buffer.com/resources/linkedin-marketing-strategy – But always do the obvious in making sure it’s up to date, don’t keep old employee profiles active and make sure there are no typo’s! Post something relevant to your industry/business weekly or monthly or whenever possible. Like and follow other people, join groups, follow your peers and in short,  get familiar and present in your larger LinkedIn community – Remember if you’re not in you can’t win!

Back to the basics of Digital Marketing on LinkedIn. I suppose the key difference between LinkedIn and other social media platforms is that everyone on LinkedIn is in business in one way or another.  From Owners, MD’s, Senior Managers, Marketing Managers right through to employees and people seeking employment.

So, if you design the right campaign strategy you are in effect, marketing to a captive audience.  You can customise and segment your campaign adverts and put them in front of the exact person/persona you want to reach. Happy days!

LinkedIn offer some amazing insights into company performance based on their LinkedIn profile and activity:

For example, did you know:

  • Two professionals join LinkedIn every second
  • There are 590 million (and growing every minute by 120 people) users worldwide *Dec 2018
  • 45 percent of LinkedIn users are in upper management
  • 46 percent of LinkedIn users are female
  • 94 percent of B2B marketers on social media use LinkedIn to publish content
  • Posts with images get twice as many comments
  • Video posts are 5 times more likely to get comments
  • 50 percent of B2B web traffic originating from social media comes from LinkedIn
  • 80 percent of B2B leads generated on social media come from LinkedIn

Ref:  https://blog.hootsuite.com/linkedin-statistics-business/

According to LinkedIn:

Businesses that post at least once per month have been shown to gain followers 6X faster than those that don’t.

Company Pages with at least 150 followers typically get 5X more Company Page views than those with fewer followers!

LinkedIn Marketing Ref: LinkedIn Marketing Solutions

Gearoid went on to tell us how easy the Self-Service Advertising platform is to set up, how easy it is to create and manage Campaigns, Ad formats supported in Campaign Manager are Sponsored Content, Sponsored InMail and Text Ads. You can also engage with a LinkedIn marketing expert to produce carousel ads, target marketing campaigns and re-marketing strategies.

Dave McEvoy from Dmac Media speaking at Amplify

Conclusion

Overall, even for people who have been in the industry for a long time, attending the Amplify Digital Marketing Conference is very worthwhile, as it is a unique opportunity to learn from the experts,  to chat with them and more importantly you’ll be networking with potential partners and future business connection.

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