By: Kathrin Hanke
Together with over 1300 other people I attended the Midwest’s largest digital and social media marketing event – #MDMC16! It was held on April 21st at historic St. Louis Union Station.
After picking up my badge and swag bag I made my way through the exhibitor booths and tech alley to Dan the Pancake Man. Being amazed by his skills and creativity I wandered off to meet some of the startups and sponsors, and it was then when I saw all these tiny gold fish in their bowl. What great branding!? #MDMC16 could not have made it better – and the best part, you were able to adopt Louie, Ted and all the other little fish.
The day was kicked off by keynote speaker Travis Sheridan and then followed by the first round of breakout sessions. In addition to the three keynotes, there were 40 different sessions throughout the day, split up in seven rounds, each having five to six sessions running concurrently. The big question was: Which sessions do I attend? Making a decision was definitely not easy since there were so many great speakers and topics! Eventually I attended seven breakout sessions and made some notes for everybody who was not able to attend them. Check out my three biggest takeaways below:
#1: “Livestreaming grows at the know- like- trust factor exponentially faster than any other social media platform out there.” – Bonnie Frank, Live Stream Broadcaster
Bonnie Frank believes that Livestreaming absolutely changed the Face of Communication, especially the conversation on Social Media. As a matter of fact, if you are broadcasting with Periscope it will appear in your Twitter – Twitter bought Periscope about five days after launch. Frank also mentions Facebook Live, which allows you to directly live stream to Facebook. FYI: #MDMC16 live streamed parts of the conference on both of these channels. What a great way to engage with the audience outside Union Station, which for whatever reason could not make it to #MDMC16! Frank then shared some advice with her audience: “You gotta know what you are saying you know!” and explains that you have to gain you audience’s trust. She herself just talks about four things on a daily basis and is able to answer every question the audience might have – the key to gain an incredibly exposure without paying a penny.
#2: Creating relevant content is key to success.
We all have heard it a hundred times: You have to create content that is relevant to your audience. Once you have your content you have to make sure that you push it out on the right channels at the right time. But how? Todd Budin from Nielsen shared some tips on how to create memorable ads and how to be successful with your digital advertising.
1. Tell as simple story
2. Use relatable characters and contexts
3. Show identifiable situations with a unique twist
4. Utilize strong imagery
5. Engage emotions
Digital Best Practices:
1. Maintain campaign/brand consistency
2. Align metrics across channels
3. Understand optimal frequency
#3: “Pinterest is not a social network, it’s a catalog of ideas.” – Raashi Bhalla, Pinterest
Raashi Bhalla introduced her audience to the “Art and Science of Using Pinterest” by explaining that Pinterest is THE place to go to when looking for ideas, inspirations and solutions. Pins showcase products with additional advice on how to use or make them. A detailed description or instruction would complete a Pin. She also advises to use text overlays in order to make the picture identifiable. Users are able to create lists and pin their favorites for later use – this allows Pinterest to target at key moments, regarding to life stage, interests and search inquiries. She also says that you don’t need to use Hashtags in your Pins because Pinterest’s “discovery engine” is already so advanced that it will identify and then categorize, as well as associate the Pin with related terms. Nor should you use Hashtags in your Pins because Pinterest might identify Pins with too many Hashtags as spam!
The Midwest Digital Marketing Conference was a great event that had a lot to offer. Besides all the amazing speakers, 12 Arch Grants startups showcased their innovations and business ideas and competed for a $1,000 prize. At the end of the day Swizzle was the winner – a tech startup that does everything from influencer marketing research to app development. Congratulations!
Make sure to sign up for updates all things #MDMC so you won’t miss the even bigger #MDMC17!