“Digital Marketing Strategies for the Busy “Web Master”” by Sarah Parmenter—An Event Apart video


[APPLAUSE] Good morning, everyone. So we are in the happiest place
on earth, as I’ve been told. I like to think of these
conferences as happy places for us, actually. I think that it’s
really important that because we are paid to
be creative every single day, no matter whether you’re
a coder or a designer, we are paid to be
creative when we turn up to work in the morning. And I think that
conferences like this are a time to fill up that
metaphorical creativity cup, so to speak. So it’s lovely when
you have that energy of learning new things and
learning the quick wins, where you’re really eager to
get back to work and implement these small bits and pieces
that you’re going to learn over the next couple of days. So it really is a pleasure to
speak for you all this morning. So as Jeffrey just
said, at the moment I am one of the Adobe Insiders. It’s part of a small team
of people across the world. We are given a part
of the Creative Suite to evangelize for the year. And XD is what I’m
currently working on. And we recently had a meeting
in New York at the headquarters. And it was one of the meetings
that as a British person we don’t do something very well,
which is sit around a table and introduce yourself. British people are
a bit more reserved. And I felt like I
was getting really nervous as all the Insiders
stood up and talked about these amazing projects
that they’d been part of. But they led with what
their job titles were. Hi, I’m so-and-so. And I’m a photographer. I’m so-and-so, and
I’m a designer. And I was thinking– oh, no. I know what I’m going to say. But I don’t know what
my job title is anymore. Maybe I’ll say I’m
an art director, and then realized I absolutely
hate that title because it just seems a bit above my
station, sort of thing. Maybe I’m a UI/UX designer. But I feel like I do
so much more nowadays. I’m definitely a web
designer of some kind. Maybe I should just go
with the word “designer.” But really what I
am is this title– social media expert. But I hate that title. And the reason I know that
I’m not a social media expert is words like
“reach” and “clout” make me feel a bit nauseous. I also think that the
term “social media expert” is a strange one,
because I don’t think that anyone in this
room would call themselves an expert of the web. We know that we are
constantly learning. There’s always new things
for us to add to our toolkit. I feel like “social media
expert” does not fit. I feel like we are
actually experts. You are the coders. You are the people who
helped build the internet, and make the internet a
better place every single day. You’re also the expert of
your respective businesses. You know where
the customers are. You know where they’re spending
the most amount of time. So this is the one title that
I absolutely refuse to take. And I find it quite
brazen, to be honest. And it’s mainly because
it’s self-appointed by people like this. Now, let’s call this guy Bob. I’m not hating on Bob, here. I’m hating on the fact that Bob
calls himself a social media expert. And he gets that title by
following 50,000 people to get back 57,800 people. Fake it till you make it, Bob. I feel like we had to work
really hard to get our titles. And the title of web designer
nowadays encompasses so much throughout the years. Our learning has never
ever slowed down. And it angers me that people who
have never been in our industry call themselves social media
experts, when many of us– loads of us who have
been working in the web a long time– would never
dream of telling anyone that we were experts at anything. A more fitting
job title for some of the work that I do
nowadays would probably be social media designer. But that’s not really
a thing, either. And ironically, the
term “webmaster,” from the dot-com era, is
probably more fitting today than it was back then. I certainly prefer it to ninjas
and full-stack developers. Full-stack developers always
makes me think of pancakes. Anyone else? Who remembers when we had a
very limited color palette and the colors actually
had names on the web? Anyone old enough, been
in here for a long time? Wasn’t that simpler,
more wonderful times than we have nowadays? But they were kind of insistent
on burning your retinas, as well. I don’t know why we had to
have such insipid colors. So there is kind of
a defeatist attitude to social media at the moment. And we have this
attitude of thinking that everything has
already been done, that there’s no
point in starting. We’re looking at
some of the accounts where they have 20, 30, 40– thousands and
thousands of followers. And we have a tendency to
think, I’m already behind. I’m not going to start
because that company’s already got all the followers. We’re not going to make
any impact by starting now. I think it’s really
important for us to take a step back and
remember where we are in this industry at the moment. We’re still in the first
10,000 days of the web. And if you want
to break that down to how long social media
has actually been a thing, it’s just 3,000 days. Social media as we know it
is just getting started. And I feel like there’s
exciting times ahead. 33% of jobs don’t exist
right now that will in 2020. And we have a tendency right
now to think of social media as a collective of
apps and services that need to be used together
to get maximum benefit. There is not enough
strategic thinking surrounding why
businesses choose one platform over another. Gary Vee says, “There
is no social media. Social media is a slang
term for a collection of apps and websites that now
dominate the end consumers’ attention in our society.” I think that we’re stuck
in something– in a pattern that we have got stuck
in before, something that Jeremy Keith, one of
the speakers here at An Event Apart has coined
before, saying, we’re a bit stuck in what is known
as a consensual hallucination. We were back here many
years ago when we all believed that the 960
grid was exactly how we needed to build websites. We’re kind of here
again with social media. We’ve got out of the habit
of thinking that social media isn’t just a bunch of websites. And websites are kind of
our thing, aren’t they? Let’s remember what is actually
under the hood of social media. It’s not a special,
magical type of code. This is our thing. And no matter where you’re
at in this industry, whether you’re just starting
out or you’re a seasoned pro, the fact that you’re able to
read something on that page really excites me. So we need to bring
the whole thing back to being a bit more human. Once upon a time, we had to
sell the benefits of being on the web to our clients. Who remembers those good
old days, when you actually had to go to a meeting to sell
the benefits of being online? That sounds crazy
now, doesn’t it, that we would ever have
to actually have meetings to sell the benefits
of websites to clients? That was what I remember
doing back in 2001, 2002. We’re back to those
conversations almost all over again. But we need to get into the
mindset of asking our clients and asking the businesses
that we work for, how can we help you? What can I do for you, instead
of, look at what I’ve got. Too many businesses right now
are fighting for attention. They’re putting products
in the front and center of every single
social media post, rather than asking
themselves how they can bring long-term
value to their customers through the medium
that is social media. They’re instead
shouting, trying to grab a millisecond of the
user’s attention, instead of playing a long game. And if you’re still not
convinced that this talk is for you because
you make websites– we’ve already established
that social media is a bunch of websites– this is the average time spent
on social media every day on any device– one hour and 48 minutes. Compared to a
meager 55% of people who are spending 15 seconds
on the types of websites you and I have been
building for years. As Jeffrey just
said in his talk, this isn’t always a bad thing. It can show amazing
efficiency in your websites. But for the most part, we
have an attention problem on the web right now. So quarterly design reviews are
a great idea for many reasons. I’m not talking about changing
up branding or typefaces every quarter. I’m talking about strategically
designing social campaigns, collecting the data and
reviewing the wins and failures quarterly. So everything I’m going
to talk about in this talk should form part of your
quarterly design review. And the first thing I’d like to
start with is vanity metrics. So the first thing I’d like
you to do when you go back to the businesses and the places
that you work at on Thursday is sit down and figure out
where the businesses are chasing vanity metrics. We’ve all been part
of the conversations. Probably many of us have sat
in boardrooms tearing our hair out, where all the
bosses and managers are interested in is getting
the follower account up, ways to increase the
number of followers instead of increasing
conversions. Now, we went through
this stage once before. Who remembers these? [APPLAUSE] Hit counters– do
we all remember when that was the measure
of a successful website? We would proudly display these
at the bottom of our GeoCities home pages. And we would say, my
website is super successful because I have had 10,000
hits on my website. We were throwing
around hit counters and using it as a measure
of the website’s success. So recently, Google
came to town. So where I live is pretty
much a small village, just outside London. We’re about 40 miles
outside London. And tech events don’t
really come to where I live. So when Google came into
town, I was really excited. What they were actually
coming into town to do wasn’t really
aimed at me at all. But I was so excited that
there was a tech event that I thought, do you know what? I’m going to go along. And it was about social media. So I was actually interested
to see how newbies in my town were approaching social media. So I thought, I’ll go along. It will be really interesting. And I’ll get to speak to
some interesting people, or maybe even help some
people along the way. So in amongst the crowd there
were a lot of hands going up. They were all newbies
to the tech industry. They were all learning
things for the first time that you and I would probably
do with our eyes shut. But it was really,
really interesting. And amongst the
crowd, there were three specific industries– three people working
in different industries that stuck out to me. There was a guy who
sold paisley ties. There was a mortgage broker. And there was a guy who
repaired washing machines. And they all had exactly the
same question, which was– how do I get my followers up? And how do I become
popular and get more likes? Now when the Google
guy was speaking, there was a chap in the
corner who, I must say, was kind of irritating
me because he was one of these
people who audibly needed to agree with the
speaker as they were speaking. Like he knew everything–
he was that kind of guy. And when it came to
answering the question, he kind of put himself forward
with an amount of bravado that I found quite interesting. And I thought, this
is the sort of guy who has the title of social
media expert, no doubt. So he put himself forward. And they all had the question,
how do I get my followers up? How do I become more popular? And he said, what you need to
be doing is posting three times a day, for starters,
to every social network that you’re part of. It’s not terrible
advice, per se. But there isn’t
one-size-fits-all for social media. Let’s have a think about that. What would someone who sells
paisley ties, a mortgage broker, and a guy who
repairs washing machines be posting three times a day? And then he said, what
you need to do is then go into your competitors’ follows
and use what us pros call the follow-unfollow
method with a bot. At which point my face
looked a bit like this. For me, that is right
up there with people who beg for likes and
shares on Facebook, only to have their page liked by
their family and friends out of loyalty and then skew
their metrics forevermore with non-engagement. So what many of these
experts fail to ever uncover is where the client
can bring the most value to their customers. Where are the
customers hanging out? And how to come up with a
deliverable schedule that would make sense for that audience? One of the other
questions someone had was, what about this Snapchat thing? Bravado guy put
himself forward again. And he said, oh, you don’t
need to worry about that. It’s youngsters. They’re just using it to send
nudie pictures to one another. And I was like– oh,
this guy is killing me. It was a really frustrating
afternoon in many ways. But I wasn’t their
target audience. I especially realized this
when the Google guy asked– so, what have you all learned
from today that you didn’t know existed before? And another chap put his hand
up and said, the Twitter! And I thought, OK, that’s
the level that it’s at. It was more suited to
someone like my dad, who this week rang Amazon
to complain about his Google account. So we do need to check
our personal bias. What this guy actually
had was a personal bias to some social networks. I’ve had my own personal
bias in the past. And my personal bias, I’ll
be honest, was with LinkedIn. And actually, I realized that
it’s an exceptional platform for many, many things. And I had to get over that
and realize that I definitely had a personal bias that was
swaying some of the advice that I was giving to clients. So checking your personal
bias and making sure that you’re not not putting
forward social media networks that might make
sense for your clients, because you personally
don’t like it. Another quote from Gary Vee– I’m stunned at the lack
of practitionership in this space– people who claim to have strong
opinions on one social channel over another, but have
yet to execute a single ad on any of these platforms. We have a tendency
right now to think of social media and
successful social networks as something that is coming. It’s already here. And sadly, we as an industry–
maybe because we’ve been doing other things with mobile-first
design and all the other things that we’ve had to add
to our jobs recently– it’s already here. And we’re, sadly,
already behind. I had to recently, at the
beginning of the year, do quite a few job interviews
for social media managers. And I was amazed at how many
people put themselves forward for the roles. And when I said so, what
are your skill sets? How have you been implementing
ad campaigns online? And they said, oh
well, actually, I haven’t done any of that. But I use social media. And I’m good at it, sooo– not realizing that there’s a
practitionership side to this, as much as what we
do with web design. So a really good
thing to do is look for emerging social networks. So Gary Vee, who I’ve used as
an example a couple of times– back in 2007 he had 100,000
followers on Twitter. And his engagement
was through the roof. Look for social networks
that are not as clogged in order to gain
engaged followings before that market
gets saturated. People are so worried about the
displayed numbers, rather than building engaged
followings right now. And you can do that by actually
just going into the app store and looking under the
section of social media. You’ll find a whole plethora
of new places to explore. And personally, I don’t think
that any of it is ever lost. Some of these networks
come and go quite quickly. But the knowledge that you can
apply to other social networks, it’s all one big
pool of knowledge. You’re never, never going
to be behind by getting on a network then
actually fails. So perhaps the most
confusing platform to outsiders at the
moment is Snapchat. It’s the one that I hear the
most misinformation about. And it is doing really, really
well with a certain demographic of people. And that demographic might
not be who you think. So there are more videos
viewed per day on Snapchat than on Facebook. Snapchat has one of the lowest
daily user, active user rates and is one of the least
popular social networks, with 9,000 images being shared
against Facebook’s 4,500. It’s a highly engaged network to
tap into that many, many people discount in their
marketing initiatives. 85% of Snapchat’s 158
million daily active users are between the
ages of 18 and 34. If you speak to
most people, they think that the age
range of Snapchat is significantly
lower, when actually, I believe, over the
last couple of months they’re saying some of
the most engaged bracket is actually the upper
25 bracket right now. But Snapchat’s
weakness is the olds. I’m sorry to anyone who
is over 35, like me, and is considered the olds. But it’s non-intuitive
interface makes it cool among young people,
who have enough free time or friends on the network
to make the steep learning curve worth their time. The app’s novelty, however,
is also its paradox, making it super sticky for youth
while keeping their parents away. It’s funny, because Facebook
now has the same reputation, doesn’t it? They say whenever grandma
gets on a social network, the kids leave in droves. For any of you who
haven’t actually executed any ads on Snapchat,
the back-end interface is absolutely beautiful. It’s very intuitive. And even if you don’t plan on
executing anything on there at all, it’s worth just
going in and having a look. Because if you’ve been
bamboozled by the way Facebook works with
advertising, this is a really, really
simple, beautiful way of learning how
this platform works. So 2018– we’re now
going to be starting to think about campaigns
for holiday seasons. It’s a great time
to reassess what you might be doing
in-house and where you’re focusing your efforts
on social media, and do some webmaster digital
housekeeping, so to speak. So some stats to take
back to wherever you work, or boardroom meetings. By 2019, video will account for
80% of all consumer internet traffic. So if you’re not designing
campaigns that feature video, or planning how to get live
video into your marketing efforts, you’re missing
out on the fastest way to build engagement
and really high ROI. So this isn’t new. One of the biggest
things that we can do to improve our client’s
organic SEO and rankings is to give our websites
a security certificate. Yet many people,
many of the places I go in to consult
for still have not made this very simple switch. We already know this one. I probably shouldn’t
have to point it out at a web conference, but making
improvements to load times, making websites mobile-ready. So we’re the people who make
the websites mobile-ready. But obviously,
it’s worth looking at the load times
and compatibility, as it’s not only
what makes a better experience for your
users, but it also affects your organic SEO. So if there’s one
badge I would like to own right now,
if we were to have– I sometimes wish that we
had badges like the scouts, that we were awarded
when we learned different things throughout
our web designer journeys. Like “yes, I don’t use
Bootstrap” as a badge– I’d like that. I’m sorry, I hate Bootstrap. I would like the enamel pin
badge of “ban the pop-up.” Now, I’m pretty sure
that actually it’s not us in this room
who are doing this. But does anyone actually
click Allow on these things when they come up? I know that I certainly don’t. And I don’t know anyone
else who is using them. But this is a great buzz phrase
to take back to the office. Google has started to
lower the rank of websites where content is not
easily accessible. Fullscreen takeovers and
pop-ups come into that bracket. So if you are in a
meeting with someone, or a manager, who is
desperate to put a pop-over or something that gathers email
addresses on the home page, pull out this stat. And let’s all take a stand
to ban the pop-up, please. We can’t seem to get
them right, can we? And I say we, as
again, I don’t believe that it’s anyone in this
room who voluntarily decides to put these on their sites. These are right up there
with image carousels for me. I think that they are a lazy
fix to a complex engagement problem that collectively– that is us– we need to find
a better way to fix and solve. So I didn’t actually have to
go digging for these at all. It was practically
nearly every website that I went on at the moment
had a pop-up of some sort. And now they’re getting
even more elaborate and trying to send you
into different places, depending on what it is
that you’re looking for. What pop-ups also
inadvertently do is they alert users
to discount codes. Now, this is another problem. You can play along this
game if you would like. Type your favorite
brand into Google and see how far down
that list it pops up saying, discount code, coupon
code, or something similar. People are leaving websites to
go and search for coupon codes. Now personally, I think that
when we’re using pop-ups and we’re saying,
hey, in order for you to get a 15% discount all we
need is your email address, even if someone clicks
off of that pop-up, we’ve inadvertently
told them that there are discount codes floating about. So when it comes
to checking out, they’re going to hover
on that buy button because they’re
thinking, I know that you were going to give me 15% off. So I’m now going to go searching
for where another coupon code might live. And it is an epidemic
problem that we actually do need to sit down and
think about how to solve. There’s a company in
England called Bloom & Wild. And I think that they have
solved this quite neatly, to be honest. What they have done
is they have said, OK, we know that people
disappear off of our website to try and find coupon codes. What we actually would like to
do is keep them on the site. So what we’re going to do is
when someone uses a coupon code that is invalid, we are
going to put a valid coupon code at the top. It might not be as much as they
were going off to search for. We’re going to give them 10%. Someone might know that
there’s a 15%, or a 20%. But the ease of a
coupon code popping up at the top instead of
sending the user off to try and find one– most people take it. And they pop it in. And they’re satisfied
with that interaction. In many ways– for
traffic, for less friction, a better user experience,
lower remarketing costs, and higher conversions– we would all be better by
being open and creating this page of our websites
to stop people heading off to search. Since they’re going to type your
name plus discount code, coupon code into Google anyway, and
find what they want anyway, it’s not a true measure
of where your marketing efforts are working. It’s a measure of how good
coupon holders’ googling skills are. So the power of
remarketing, it’s really important that we
get our heads around this. Jeffrey touched on
this this morning. And I believe that it’s
going to be a really big part of our jobs going forward. It’s why there is an
entire audience dedicated to remarketing on
Facebook, which is called the lookalike audience. And I think the one thing that
is really hard in our jobs to predict– that actually we haven’t managed
to solve yet because it’s a really complex problem– is when a user enters
our website, where are they in the buying cycle? Are they ready to purchase? Are they just browsing? Are they looking,
but they’re easily convertible to an impulse buy? Have they got loads
of disposable income? Or are they waiting for their
next paycheck to purchase? It is impossible for us to tell. But what we do know is that
the cost of remarketing to that person is high. So if we can convert
them early, that customer costs significantly
less to acquire. So companies are trying to
put in all kinds of things in place, some of which
even cost them money, in order to acquire you
earlier in the buying cycle than you were
perhaps ready to do. So there’s a couple
of examples of this. It’s almost easier to show
examples than to explain it. Jeffrey spoke about
it this morning– designing for
long-tail conversions. For considered
purchases, designers are trying to find a way
to increase conversions by getting users to make
a really small commitment. Obviously, deposits are
not a new thing at all. But us as web
designers now having to think about how we can
secure considered purchases quickly with a longer road
to completion of the cost– that is quite a new thing for
us to have to think about. Now this is the Virgin
Holidays website, back at home. And what they’re saying is,
this is the cost of the holiday. However, we know that
that’s a large amount. In order to acquire you
as a customer today, we’re just going to ask
you for a fraction of that to secure your holiday. They know that most people
can get hold of that amount, whether they put it
on a credit card, whether they borrow
it from someone. The problem then
becomes our problem, as to how to get that customer
to complete the entire journey. And this is really interesting,
because of course the back-end has to be intuitive,
really easy for someone to know where they are
in the payment cycle. They’ve got this
pretty much spot on. And this is something I’m
seeing again and again and again in web design at the
moment, especially with very large purchases. I know Jeffrey was talking
about a jewelry store. Anything where a customer
is spending a lot of money on a website,
we’re going to have to start thinking about
how we secure them quickly so that we’re not
having the cost of remarketing, and then designing a much
broader experience for them so that they can complete
the purchase later. They also know that
if they can just get products into your hands– this doesn’t just apply
to large value items. Some of the clothing
stores back at home are starting to
realize that if they can get the items into
your home, into your hands, the chances are you’re going
to end up keeping more than you perhaps thought you might. So they are putting systems in
place– this is called Klarna. You can buy whatever
you want and then basically, it only
charges you when you keep the items at the end. So I think that this is
going to be something that us as web designers
are going to have to start thinking about– long-tail conversion. OK, let’s talk some
social network specifics, and bring you up to
speed on what is new and what you can
implement right now. We’re not going to talk about
every social network, just the big players, and
just the people who have new things going on. So if you haven’t already
installed a Facebook pixel to your site, make this
amongst one of the first things that you do. Yes, I know Facebook is evil. Yes, I know Facebook data
gathers, and everything else. But in terms of actually what
it could do for your company– not just if you’re
running Facebook ads. There’s some really
interesting data that can be gathered
from a Facebook pixel. Marketers who use video
grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users. It comes back to the stat
that we learned earlier about how much video is gaining
traction on social media. So I have a store back home. I had a mad moment in 2013
where I bought a building. And I didn’t know
what to do with it. And I ended up putting
a hair salon in there. And it’s become basically my
playground for UI/UX projects. But it’s great, because
it means that when I come to places like this I
can share real data with you. It’s not skewed. It’s not obscured. It’s real data to
do with the salon that I don’t mind
sharing with you guys. So you can see the
incredibly low CPM rate on each of these videos. CPM is one of those
marketing words that managers love to use. If you’re not familiar
with the term CPM, it just means cost
per 1,000 eyeballs. That’s the way I
always think of it. So you can see the
incredibly low CPM rate on each of the videos– just a few cents. If you compare this to the
cost of the images that are running on a
similar campaign, it’s significantly higher
on image-led posts. Now I know that you can download
the slide deck for this. So this might be one for you to
actually pull down on the PDF and compare the
two side by side, because there’s a lot of
data on both of those slides. But you’ll see that there
is a much, much higher cost associated with images
than there are with videos. So they say that organic
Facebook engagement is highest on posts with
video, which is 13.9%, and photos at 13.7. Now personally, I’ve found
the engagement on photos to be considerably lower
than the stats seen there. Over half of the video
content is viewed on mobile. 85% of videos on Facebook are
actually watched without sound. So if you haven’t
worked out a way to get the subtitles
working, it really, really makes a difference
to get someone in your team to get the
subtitles onto Facebook as well. I use something
called SRT Edit Pro. It’s available in
the Mac App Store. There’s lots of other
alternatives available for a PC as well. If someone is not doing
this for your videos they are absolutely missing a
trick, because it’s not just for accessibility issues. It’s for people who
are sitting on trains and don’t want the sound on. You are much better to actually
put subtitles on a video, irrespective of what
you’re trying to achieve. And this is one of
the few solid examples that we know to
consistently perform well under the new
Facebook algorithms. So Facebook Live video–
six times the engagement of regular videos right now. And if you haven’t actually
gone into Facebook– irrespective of whether you are
running Facebook ad campaigns– there is this tool called
the Facebook Audience Insights, which is free to use. And it can give you
an incredible amount of data about your users. It can pull all sorts
of different things in. It can say OK, this is the
industry that you’re in. People who like this thing also
like this, that you might not have realized. For example, this is what web
designers in the United States all have in common
with one another. Now, my very favorite is
hidden right at the bottom under the wine and
spirits section. It’s listed as Patron Tequila. Apparently that’s what all
web designers have in common with one another. I like to think
that we frantically got there by trying to learn
view React and Angular. That’s how I think that we got
to be drinking lots of tequila, personally. So Mark Zuckerberg
has said, you’ll see less public content like
posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public
content that you see will be held to
the same standard. It should encourage meaningful
interactions between people. That means that engagement
bait is recognized and demoted. So if your boss or manager
is saying to you, let’s just put out a post that says
what’s your favorite Starbucks coffee? And you have nothing to do
with coffee and it’s just an engagement bait– hardly anyone is
going to see it. They’re going to
demote that content. And the thing I hear a lot
is that Facebook advertising simply isn’t working
for any given company. And it is not that Facebook
advertising doesn’t work. It’s not that your customers
are not on Facebook. If it’s not working
for you, you’ve not found the right images. You’ve not created the right
descriptions, captions, or you’re not targeting
the right demographics. It is certainly not that your
customers are not on Facebook. An update to
Facebook for business means that it’s easier than
ever to run multiple creative under the same campaign. I’m always really surprised
at how many people don’t run multiple ads testing
copy and different imagery under the same campaign. It costs the same
amount of money. The Facebook algorithm actually
chooses the one that’s getting the most engagement and
demotes the ones that aren’t. And it costs no additional money
to run them at the same time. It simply just
serves the ads that have a lot higher engagement. Moving on to Google AdWords. I personally am using
this less and less because the cost for conversion
is significantly higher than any other
network that I can run ad campaigns on right now. But this was a metric
that I discovered hiding in an AdWords account. Now, this is a little trick that
I would like to share with you. Because I don’t
know about you guys, but social media experts and
SEO experts are kind of one and the same thing for me. They sit in the same pool
of most-hated job titles. So recently, I went into one of
my clients AdWords campaigns. And I was looking at
some of the metrics. And on the surface, a lot
of metrics in Google Ads can seem really
quite impressive. Conversions are generally
turned off, however. So what you can do is
turn on conversions. And then you get a
much truer picture of what is actually happening
in any given AdWords account. So this little stat that
you’re seeing on this screen was hidden in one of my
client’s AdWords accounts. And they thought that it
was actually running OK. They were quite happy with the
stats that it was throwing. What this actually showed was
that they had paid 372 pounds and 39 pence– which
is what, $450-odd, with the exchange rate
the way it is right now? $450 for three people to
fill in an enquiry form on their website. And they hadn’t been
shown this stat before. So it’s really easy for
people to bamboozle you with really great metrics
about all sorts of things in Google Ads. However, the minute you
turn conversions on, it can be a very,
very different story. I once took great delight,
a couple of months ago, with an SEO expert who came
into one of the companies that I was working for. Had a significant
spend in the account. It was 350,000 pounds
across the year. And some of the
figures, on the surface, looked really,
really impressive. And I just put my hand up. I said, could you just
turn conversions on for me? And this guy– you’ve
never seen someone try and backtrack so
much in your life. He blamed bad cookie
tracking and flat out refused to turn it on. So that went
really, really well. Display ads are an
issue right now. There’s a larger problem at
play with client display ads. In that particular account
where the cost was really high, they hadn’t changed the
creative in eight months. And there were only four
pitches being shown. However, there is a general
problem with display ads right now. The moment something
works, we kind of ruin it and put it everywhere. Many people don’t know that
trends.google.com exists. And this is a way of identifying
long-tail keywords that can have much lower cost
and higher conversion. It’s a really fascinating thing
to just go on and play with, to be honest. So if you haven’t
actually looked at it– trends.google.com. Have a look at it. And see where you
can identify keywords that will cost you a lot
less to run campaigns on. Just going to skip
through Google My Business very quickly again. It’s something
that is not really thought about by many people. But it’s one of the first things
seen when you Google a company. That’s my business back at home. And we make sure we
keep it up to date because we get quite a
lot of business off of it, to be honest. You would think that when we
post up the individual posts that you can do on Google
My Business, sometimes they’re only seen
by a 220-odd people. However, we get a significant
amount of business off it. That’s a small store in a
very small town in England. For larger businesses, if you’re
not using Google My Business, you’re absolutely
missing a trick. The big one– Instagram. How many people are as addicted
to Instagram as I am right now? Is it an industry thing,
or is it just me being– OK, quite a few. So it has 800 million
monthly active users. And to put that
into perspective, that’s double the amount of
daily active users of Twitter and three times the amount
of monthly active users for WhatsApp and
Facebook Messenger. Now, the algorithm has changed. You’ve probably heard a lot of
people moaning about the fact that the Instagram
algorithm has changed. And they’re now pushing up to
the top people whose content you like, people who
you direct message, and people who you search for
because it signals that you’re interested in the account
but not seeing their content. It also pushes people who
you know in real life, because it’s gathering
this data from Facebook. Instagram did their own
research into the way that everyone was using
Instagram at the time, because a lot of people were
using the search functionality. And they realized
that people weren’t seeing 70% of the content. So they had to do
something about it. Social networks change
their algorithms to deal with the
problem of success. Now, what this means
is that if Instagram wanted to create a better
user experience for everyone, to make sure that you saw all
the content that you wanted they would actually
have to say, we’re going to limit you
to maybe 50 people. You can follow 50 people. Or they can make a smart
decision with their network and say, I’m going
to use an algorithm to predict who you’re
most interested in so that I don’t have to put
a limit on how many people you’re seeing. But we’re just going to gently
push the content up higher that we think you’re most
interested in, because you can’t possibly see 400,
500, 600 people’s content in chronological order. You’re still going
to miss something. So when people start complaining
about algorithms changing, Facebook’s algorithm
changing, it’s to deal with the
problem of success– too many people on the social
network, too hard to search, easier to use an algorithm to
push the relevant content up. So the onus is still on you
to create compelling content to inspire engagement and
rank higher in people’s feeds. And hashtags– they’re the
plumbing of the Instagram ecosystem in general. Now, I use this really
cringely named website called Hashtagify, because it’s
one of my most hated tasks, if I’m doing an
Instagram post, is to find the relevant hashtags. I don’t think that they’re
there for people to read. It’s a bit like how we
separate style from markup. They’re there for
discoverability, and should ideally be
commented separately to the text that
accompanies the post. Engagement is higher– 12.6% higher on posts that
have hashtags than those without And 11
hashtags are apparently optimal for engagement. I think that’s kind of high. I normally use 6 or 7. But apparently 11 is
where the sweet spot is. You might see people
doing this at the moment. They’re using Instagram
stories to send traffic in a round-robin
fashion to try and defeat the algorithm. There’s 250 million daily active
users on Instagram stories. So because their
content isn’t naturally being seen in the feed, they are
using their Instagram stories to say, hey, I’m just
alerting you to the fact that there’s a new post. And they’re then sending the
traffic back on themselves there. A lot of people don’t realize
that this functionality exists in Instagram. And you might want to do this
for a variety of reasons. Instagram is an aspirational,
inspirational platform. So back home with my
salon, we had an incident earlier in the year where
there was a lot of snow. We had to put out a topical
post to say, there’s snow. We’re going to be closed for
today, along with everyone else who’s in this parade of shops. However, the minute
the snow had melted, that post had served
its purpose and was getting in the way
of the feed that had been beautifully curated. So in that instance,
it makes the most sense to archive a post. You can use Instagram
in that way as well. But many people don’t realize
that that actually exists. A lot of people ask
about screen recording after this presentation. And it’s actually in iOS. It’s in your control center. But you can switch it on
really easily and actually just take screen grabs
of whatever you want. Something else that I use
is something called Planoly. And this is really good for
putting together campaigns. And it allows auto-posting
on Instagram, but only in the square format right
now, for some reason. That is an odd caveat. However, it’s really great
for planning out content. It flags certain days,
special calendar dates. And it says, hey, you might not
realize that it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month. So you might want
to put together something that highlights this. It’s a really, really
great platform. It’s not very expensive. I think it’s about $6
per user per month. But if you’re
planning big campaigns and Instagram is one of your
targeted social networks, it is a really, really
great little platform to organize your posts on. Something that I want to
breeze through, but important, is influencer marketing,
because they’re underpriced right
now and creating incredible value for brands. Bloggers with excellent
engagement levels are actually quite rare. When you look at
engagement rates of people, especially– this is a blogger
called Lydia Elise Millen. And she’s converting
an incredible amount of her half a million followers
to her stories every day. This then translates
for brands, as you can see on the right-hand side. She is one of the top
bloggers for beauty and all kinds of other bits–
fashion, high fashion, luxury fashion. And she is converting people to
actual sales in their droves. And that is what influencers
are there for right now. A survey by Nielsen showed
that only 33% of people trust advertisements,
while 90% of people put their faith in
peer recommendations. And the US influencer
marketing industry is estimated to grow from $500
million to a $5 to $10 billion industry in 2020. So getting influencers
to persuade customers can drastically
work in your favor when it’s correctly executed. There’s also what are called
micro-influencers, people who have maybe
followings under 35,000, where their engagement is
still really, really high. In general,
influencers as a whole are grossly
underpriced right now. And they’re used to creating
really high quality content. So if your business company,
whoever you work for is not actually
trying to work out how they can harness
influencers right now you should be,
because they’re not going to get any cheaper
than they are right now. And Instagram stories
perfectly services the needs of influencers. Because of the high
daily active user rate and because of its
natural product placement, these influencers can get
product placement really, really easily, and very
naturally, into a story amongst their day. If you want to check out
what influencers might work for your industry–
you might not be in the makeup or high
fashion or anything else. It might be tricky for you to
work out who influencers are in your particular industry. I use something called Lefty.io. This is a screen grab of Lefty. The big question– how
much do influencers cost? The answer is, probably
not as much as you think. This is the average
of people who have roughly 25,000 followers. So the average sponsored
post rate is $180. And the engagement rate is 5.3. As you get higher, as you
climb into influencers who have 100,000, 200,000,
300,000 followers, the engagement rate
actually starts to diminish. That isn’t a sign of the
influencer not being very good. It’s a sign of the Instagram
algorithm working correctly, of it’s not necessarily pushing
that influencer up to the top. So a normal engagement
rate of people who have 100, 200,
300,000 followers can sometimes sit around 2.5%. And that is still good. So design once, use everywhere. This mantra should be
something that we always think about at the
beginning of the year. How can we design these
campaigns once and then reuse the content
across the year? This is why a lot of people
like using influencers, because they will actually gift
you a stack of photography. And it’s very high quality. It’s very well art directed. And you can then use that
across maybe a month, two month, three month’s
worth of campaigns dotted amongst your
social campaigns. If you do that with three
or four influencers, and they’ve all gifted
you a bunch of photos, you’ve suddenly got some
really compelling visuals to work with. So what can we learn from people
doing social media the best? I would like to highlight Away. How many people have heard of
Away, just as a show of hands right now? Not too many people– great. OK. So I think that Away are
doing an incredible job at social media right now. And I love to feature case
studies where on the surface, there doesn’t seem
to be much to it. On the surface, it’s
a plastic suitcase . That is it. It’s a plastic suitcase
with a USB charger in it. However, what they’ve done
in terms of marketing, branding, and social media is,
to me, nothing short of genius. So best friends Jen
Rubio and Steph Korey launched Away in February,
2016, and have been featured on the Forbes 30 under 30 list. They’re former Warby Parker
and Casper, the mattress. They were both involved in
both of those companies. They raised 20 million
in Series B funding. And they’ve sold
100,000 suitcases since founding in February 2016. And the reason I think
that they’re successful is that the brands that are
dominating social media right now are those with the
most agile teams, who have exceptional storytelling
capabilities while they’re bringing value to their users. It goes back to the whole
thing of bringing it back to something else
other than putting a product front and center. And what they do,
what they have done, seems so simple once
it’s been pointed out. They’ve been exceptionally
brave with their marketing by identifying the one thing
that everyone has in common when they’re using this case. And that is travel. You can imagine the
discussions around a boardroom in some companies– I don’t understand how
creating multiple travel guides on Pinterest is going
to directly increase our sales and conversions. What they’re doing is
playing the long game. They’re bringing value
back to the user. It comes back to this
whole “how can I help you,” over “look at what I’ve got.” The best example of
“look at what I’ve got” from a competitor
luggage company is this. This is a description of
one of their suitcases. “From the smallest,
case-hardened solid steel machine screw to our exclusive,
virtually abrasion-proof FXT ballistic nylon fabric.” I mean, most people
don’t even care that much about suitcases,
let alone the type of screws that they’re made with. This is entirely out of touch
with what people are expecting to see on social nowadays. So what Away have done is
created compelling creative that is really quirky and fun. They’re using stopgap animations
that perfectly illustrate the product, without it
being too engineered. They’re working with
influencers, again, who are known to create
beautiful imagery. This is some
influencer’s imagery, where they’ve gifted
them a suitcase and then they have taken loads
of beautiful imagery for them. As someone who
owns one of these, because I got completely
sucked in by the marketing, the funniest thing is seeing the
sheer delight on people’s faces when you plug your phone into
a suitcase at an airport. It is really funny,
how many people then want to come
up and speak to you and ask you where you
got your suitcase from. It’s just one of those
funny things that happens when you’re traveling. So around the summer of this
year, I know a lot of people were contacted and
gifted these suitcases. Celebrities were gifted them. They were not paid to promote. They were simply just
gifted the suitcases. And then they’re seen
walking through airports, getting taken pictures
of by the paparazzi. And guess what’s on
the end of their arm? An Away suitcase. The suitcase probably
costs them 80 dollars to produce and gift them. But compared to
traditional marketing, or how much it
would traditionally have cost to get a celebrity
on board with your brand, they are gifting these
things left, right, and center at the moment. So this was their Thanksgiving
campaign last year. You can see that the product
is not always front and center. It has a very organic,
very real feel to it, all while promoting their brand. They’re looking at
what the people who would buy their product
are interested in. And everything
hinges around travel. They’ve looked for
the common denominator and given value to the
user around the product. They always have
something to talk about, because they’re building
a brand around a larger story of travel. But they’re also mixing
it up every few months with collaborations. So they recently just did– I believe this color
is now being called millennial pink, of all things. They recently just did a
millennial pink campaign. They’ve done some
stuff with Minions. They’re constantly coming
up with new collaborations so they also have something
fresh to talk about. In general, their
campaigns are beautiful. They’re very simple. And they’re very beautiful. And they’re very
considered and specific. Their offline print
marketing in airport trays and physical banners was
nothing short of genius. This was at Chicago
airport last year. And it was pretty amazing
to see all the luggage bins all branded up with Away. And you think, yeah,
that’s so simple. Of course, you’re connecting
with exactly where the travelers are. Such a simple idea, but
it was very compelling. They do everything
very, very well. And again, if you
want to go back to that whole problem
about discount codes, they are not without problems
on this front as well. Type it into anything– Away luggage promo code. It goes back to the whole thing
about putting your discount codes maybe on a website. They are highly curated. And they have a large amount
of high-quality imagery. If you actually take a look at
their tagged Instagram posts, as a brand or as
someone who’s trying to work with brands to
get content constantly through the door, it is
amazing, the amount of content that they have coming
in on a daily basis from influencers, from people
who have bought the suitcases and simply want to be shown
on the Away Instagram page. The flood of content that is
being created by the users is high quality, and is
constantly coming in. So they’ve become a real
aspirational, inspirational brand. I also wanted to take a look at
what they were doing in terms of keyword bidding on Google. Now, you can use this
thing called SpyFu– S-p-y-F-u. And you can check out
competitor keyword bidding. So I was interested to know what
keywords they were targeting and how they were building that. At the time, they
were mostly bidding against competitor brands. Again, it comes back to
interspersing relevant stories. It always means that they have
something fresh to talk about. So when you’re
thinking about what you can do in terms
of your businesses, start to think about what is
that layer of interest that can sit above your
product or service. For Away, it’s the generic
category of travel. If you can find yours
and find your narrative, you’ve got a really compelling
social story that can be told. Again, they have just
created a really beautiful end-to-end experience. No matter where
the touchpoint is, you’ll find that they
have branded it well. It’s a great UX, great UI. And the whole thing
encompasses travel. They’re a great case
study to feature, someone who’s doing social
media really, really well. So just to finish up, what
I would like to talk about is when things go bad. It’s just a little story,
a little social media case study for you about
when things go bad. And ironically, it is
a Disney collaboration. I knew that this kind of
might have the potential to go wrong when I was looking
at the strategy behind it. And maybe I was a bit mean. But I got myself poised with a
cup of tea, plenty of biscuits, and this screen-grabber
software, ready to go on this campaign. So on paper, their
social campaigns were ticking absolutely
all the boxes. They had designed
these beautiful mail shots, teaser shots,
and were building excitement for the big day. So I do commend them
for trying to think outside the box on this,
because what they were doing was actually– they were
going to let you into a kind of presale that
was password protected. So they seeded the Instagram
with images days before. And they had these beautiful
animated imagery things going on. And then the night before,
they sent out a further teaser email. And they were really,
really building excitement for the big day. There was a certain buzz
around the whole thing. Then in the morning you
got this email that said, your password is star. And it allowed you
onto the website. Now, what that then
did was threw you into the following experience. Do not refresh your page. You are in a queue. You’re in a queue
of nearly 20 minutes to wait to get on a website,
which to me seems absolutely bonkers nowadays. However, I was ready for it. I wanted to see what
was on the other side. So I waited for that 18 minutes. And then this is what
I was faced with. Now, we are web designers. If you wanted to buy
something on this website, how would one go about it? So I did what any
self-respecting web designer would do. And I headed into
the dev tools, as I bet that the button was
there but hidden somehow. And I thought that I’ll unhide
it, using all my CSS prowess, and buy some of
these coveted items. But then what started
to happen was actually something quite funny. And I went to Twitter. And I started to
watch the fallout of what then started to happen. Why can’t I buy these items from
the website on the early access for Peter Pan? I’ve managed to
get early access, but I have no option to
add products to my basket. And it went on and on and on. While still no add to bag? Why no buy button? Help! Now, this is really interesting,
because if you actually look at the language
that they’re using, these customers think
that it’s only them that don’t have a buy button. They think the
problem is with them. And this is a really interesting
misconception about users. We always think that our
users are super impatient and they’re going to just
click off the website if something doesn’t
work immediately. What I’ve actually found
through experience is, they’re really patient. And they believe that
the problem is them. And they start to try and
work around and figure out what’s going on with their
particular computer, browser. They’ll switch things
off and on again. They’re actually
really, really patient. So these people all thought
that this problem was only them. Anyway, Cath Kidston came back– we’re currently
fixing this issue. You should be able
to buy shortly. I would have loved to have been
a fly on the wall in that web team at that point. I can’t believe we left
the buy button off– quick, quick, quick! So it threw everyone back
into this experience– don’t refresh your page. You’ve got 20 minutes to wait. So I thought, do you know what? The old English expression–
in for a penny, in for a pound. I’m all in at this point. I’m going to wait that
20 minutes and then see what happens. 20 minutes passed,
we’re back to this. Yay, we have an add to bag! We can finally buy products. So I thought, do you know what? I wasn’t bothered about
this damn sweatshirt. I’m going to buy
the damn thing now. I am in. So I pressed add to
bag, and this happened. And at that point– [LAUGHTER] At that point I was
like, you know what? I’m completely over this. But it just goes to show
that your social media can be absolutely spot on. But you need to check that that
overall end-to-end experience matches up. Funnily enough, I did try and
reach out to the Cath Kidston web team, just to
see whether anyone could tell me what had gone on. And funnily enough, it was a
bit of a tumbleweed moment. No one came back to me, sadly. No one wanted to talk to me
about whether it was just a web designer leaving
off an add-to-cart button. So just to wrap up, design
once, use everywhere. Design your campaigns for
the beginning of the year. Shoot the imagery. Then use them everywhere. Repurpose the content
as much as possible. Ensure the networks that you
are strategically pursuing make sense for your business. And find your story for
social media longevity. Thank you very, very much. I look forward to
seeing you all around. [APPLAUSE]

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