The Raleigh Convention Center was filled with Founders, Marketers, SEO specialists, content creators, and PR strategists gathered for the Digital Summit Series. Featured speakers brought us the latest on what’s working in digital strategy, busted common myths and uncovered new trends in search, social and content.
Here are some of our top takeaways from the Summit.
“Brand voice is the new logo”
Keynote speaker Ann Handley of Marketing Profs entertained a packed room with a keynote saturated with references to Stranger Things (the Netflix show) and one of the most hated words in the English language*. The key of the keynote? Every company needs a recognizable and relatable brand voice.
Your style guide is a starting point, says Handley. Yet every marketer needs to evolve their style to meet changing audiences and markets. Readers should have an “it’s me” moment — one that speaks to what they’re experiencing and feeling now.
So how can you develop your brand voice so readers know it’s you — even if they can’t see your logo?
Here’s our quick breakdown of the steps:
- Find the writing that inspires you
- Study the evolution of great writers
- Mimic what’s working now and find the principles behind the success
- “Optimize for crush and crickets.” What resonates with your readers and why?
- Find out what “aligns and defines” your audience. Let them know “you get it.”
If you’re still struggling to stand out, be encouraged. The author of Everybody Writes: Your New and Improved Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content says each of us is capable of developing a memorable, relatable voice (Get the new edition for the full framework and more).
In the end, your success depends on getting close to your customers, which is something we at tawk.to are honored to help businesses do every day.
It’s time to future-proof your brand
Juntae DeLane, Founder and Chief Strategist for Digital DeLane, outlined ways to future-proof our brands for post-pandemic marketing, the Metaverse, and Web 3.0.
The pandemic of 2020 sparked trends consumers expect to see over the long term:
- Customers are consuming more online content, demanding transparency and valuing entertainment over education.
- More people are working remotely and outside traditional business hours.
- The B2B buyer’s journey has become even longer.
Marketers will need strategies for reaching customers during new “daytiming” patterns and filling emerging gaps in the buyer’s journey.
The Metaverse offers opportunities for increased revenue and product placement in e-commerce.
For example, instead of driving across town to your local Walmart, you can now put on a headset and boom! You’re in a virtual mall. There, your avatar can handle products, read labels, and fill a cart for checkout.
And thanks to cryptocurrencies, a customer can now buy a new Rolex and also purchase an authentic NFT version for their avatar. The takeaway? If you want to be future-proof, DeLane says, “get comfortable with crypto now.”
Web 1.0 gave us online text and images. Web 2.0 was community-focused, bringing us Facebook, Instagram, Uber, and Airbnb. Web 3.0 turns the community inside out by eliminating central authority. Instead, the winners will use technology driven by blockchain to “showcase beliefs around transparency.”
Organic content is only mostly dead
Jim Tobin of Ignite Social Media walked attendees through fifteen social media lessons that took him fifteen years to learn — including several that countered common assumptions and recommendations.
Here are five that stood out:
“Fan and follower counts are increasingly irrelevant” and “numbers are not enough,” says Tobin. Meta is moving away from follower counts. TikTok doesn’t care who you follow.
“Organic content is not dead. It’s only mostly dead.” Emphasize quality over quantity. Posting fewer, higher-quality posts leads to better performance in the long run. Tobin’s advice? “Do less but do better.”
“Your Ad/Studio/Menu/Catalog Content Will Underperform.” A social shot on your iPhone performs better than something that looks like an ad. “It needs to look like a friend made it,” says Tobin, “and your friend is not an ad director.”
“Being first only rarely pays dividends.” Instead of being first to the platform, find out what works for you. Tobin recalled Jaiku, Plurk, and Clubhouse. All now defunct, their first influencers may have seen temporary gains but without the sticking power.
Finally, “there are no social media experts.” Social media includes photography, writing, data analytics, videography, graphic design, strategy and more. Which do you do well? Where are the gaps? Everyone has a different answer.
There’s also no such thing as a team of one. If you need to fill gaps in your business, consider hiring one or more of our tawk.to Digital Marketing Virtual Assistants to put your strategies into practice.
* According to Business Insider, “Moist” is one of the most hated words in the English language.