The start of September saw the return of Europe’s biggest SEO conference, Brighton SEO! A few of the SocialB team once again headed to sunny(ish) Brighton for the jam-packed conference on all things SEO, alongside talks and seminars around PPC, Website Development, AI, Social Media, Influencer Marketing and lots more! We studied our schedules plenty beforehand and on the day we headed off to hear our chosen talks. I’m rounding up a few of my favourite talks from the conference and the themes that they discussed throughout.
First up, we attended talks on the Future Of Search, with Daniel Rowles discussing the essential need for real-time Social Listening when it comes to your SEO research of keywords. He also touched on how our typical keyword monitoring tools need to be slowly phased out as they’re not in real time. By the time you’ve seen that trending topic and keyword pop up, the moment is gone.
We then moved on to an interesting talk from Saeley Johnson of Mindshare Fast on ‘The Rise Of Voice Search’, a topic that has been around for a few years at Brighton SEO but now feels more relevant than ever. We were provided with some staggering stats about the global use of Voice Search, with a staggering 69% of United States users using their Voice Search capabilities at least once a month. Surprisingly, Thailand is next in line on Voice Search usage, at 60%. Even more surprisingly, the UK is hugely lagging behind, with only 37% of us using Voice Search at least once a month. Though we were prepared for the information that most users perform online searches using their Voice Search, the breakdown was even more impressive.
We then explored the connection that people may feel to their Voice Search in both Saeley’s talk and further into Vikas Arora’s talk on the ‘Psychology of Search’. Saeley’s research showed us that the brain responds better to voice emotionally than a general text-based search and that this process, of talking and hearing a voice respond, is more natural to how we communicate in real life. We explored the themes users are exploring when using their voice search and intimacy was a big factor – 79% said: “if voice assistants could understand me properly and speak back to me as well as a human can, I’d use them every day”.
Vikas’ talk focused on considering people’s emotions when performing an activity online and how we should take those emotions and learn from them to understand our own marketing efforts and strategies better when it comes to our consumers.
So, marketers should not just be focusing on Voice Search strategy as a whole – there are multiple factors to how people feel when their voice assistant responds to them, such as tone, gender, and accent of the voice.
My second favourite set of talks, dealt with Influencer Marketing and begged the question – “are we getting this all wrong?”. Allyson Griffiths kicked things off with a statistic that made us all pay attention – “75% of marketers will up their spend on influencer marketing in 2018” – if this is true, we need to make sure we’re getting this approach right and not just picking the most powerful influencers we know of already, especially as one Instagram post from an influencer with over 1 million followers can cost upwards of £75K. ONE POST. We should be tailoring our influencer strategies to who our audiences trust and the key to that is often in micro-influencers (who you’ll be pleased to know only ask for around £1.5K for a post). Aside from the influencers, agencies and marketers have to take a good long look at themselves when it comes to ROI on influencer marketing – currently, 57% of US-based brands said they did not have a way to calculate influencer marketing ROI, which is insane. So how could we make it better? Start with a single objective, instead of trying to pile on loads of meaningless objectives (we’re looking at you, “we want to generate more followers”). Then, adapt your influencer research to that objective and tailor it to your audiences.
When it comes to ROI, go old school and use what you already know from how to track traditional marketing methods. It’s the same game – tracked links, brand sentiment uplift, brand awareness uplift and sales uplift.
A bonus mention goes to the unstoppable Greg Gifford, on his impeccable 80’s movie-themed slide deck around local link building, titled ‘Righteous Tips For Building Totally Excellent Links’ – any presentation that opens with a Bill & Ted themed slide wins in my book. Hands down.
The talk not only reminded me that I have a lot of excellent movies to re-watch and discover, but that there are some pretty impressive tips and tricks to nailing your local link building efforts to provide relevancy and dominate your local market. If you haven’t seen Greg speak before, make sure you get to his talks whenever you can, they are insane!
Once again, for the SocialB team, there was a lot of inspiration taken from the talks at Brighton this year. We’re looking forward to pouncing on the next set of tickets sales when they are released for April 2018’s Brighton SEO.