Good morning marketers, can virtual events ever recreate the social aspects of in-person shows?
We are social beings. That’s even more evident now that we have been confined to our homes for so long. Nothing can really replace the social aspect of in-person events—the camaraderie, developing business relationships, networking and being able to interact with speakers and sponsors one-on-one in a learning environment. Putting aside airline delays, many people will be excited to get back to in-person events as soon as it’s safe to do so. In fact, they’ve already told us they prefer in-person to virtual.
However, there will continue to be a place for virtual and hybrid events and we still need to find ways to provide more interactivity and networking for attendees that goes beyond a chat Q&A. We’ve seen great success with “community meetups” in our shows, where an industry expert moderates a conversation with attendees. And 1:1 networking still has a place in virtual shows. Sure it feels like digital speed dating, but there’s just enough time to trade a few ideas and contact details.
If you’ve seen other innovative ways to create connected, social moments at virtual events send me a note at [email protected].
Director, Events Content
Trends in PPC, reporting and analytics in 2021 and beyond from SMX Report
With ad revenues through the roof in 2020, there’s no question that companies across the globe rely on digital advertising to help keep their businesses afloat. This is even more true in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic as consumers are more online than ever before.
As we venture toward a vaccine, there’s still an indication that trends begat by COVID won’t go away anytime soon and may even become our “new normal.” For PPC marketers, that means a focus on these top 5 trends:
- Proactive over reactive analysis: After COVID shook up marketing, we’ve reached a “new normal” which means we can be more proactive in our analysis and testing strategies in 2021.
- Privacy and attribution: Google’s FLoC and Apple’s IDFA changes mean that privacy is the standard now. What does that mean for attribution? Google Analytics 4 can help with its event-based data model and KPIs bound in conversion modeling.
- Stakeholder communication: As the landscape continues to change, being proactive in stakeholder communication ensures that our clients and bosses know what’s on the horizon and understand how we’re preparing their accounts and campaigns.
- Automation: Automation is upon us whether we like it or not. BMM is migrating to phrase-match, GPT-3 is coming, and AI and ML testing tools are giving a competitive advantage. We need to harness the inevitable to work in our favor.
- Digital commerce flywheel: COVID forcing more buyers to move toward e-commerce means the user journey is less linear than ever. Reporting is nuanced and gives you a better understanding of how to serve your customers online as you cater to each persona’s journey.
If you want to stay up to date on these trends, see the full sessions, and learn more about the latest in reporting and analytics in search marketing, check out the on-demand sessions from SMX Report.
Partnering with speakers for successful events and webinars
The important word here is “partner”. Speakers can make a big difference in the success of your event or webinar so whether you are working with internal or external speakers, it’s important to choose someone with the right expertise and coach them through the speaking process. Here are a few tips for a smooth experience.
- Know your goals and communicate them to potential speakers. Is this speaking role purely educational, for lead generation, for branding or thought leadership, or something else?
- Write down your expectations. What topic do you want the speaker to cover? What type of presentation are you planning, are they expected to work with other speakers as you would with a panel, or is it a solo talk? Will there be slides? If so, who will design them? Do you want the presentation to include a case study, be actionable or is it more of a strategic presentation?
- If you’re producing this presentation virtually, be sure to communicate what technology, background and lighting the speaker will need to have in order to look and sound good in the recording or during the live broadcast.
- Educate your speaker on the audience demographics, experience level, and needs. The more information you can provide them, the more customized they can make the presentation.
- Lastly, layout the logistics, timelines and deadlines. Check in with your speakers before each deadline to make sure they have everything they need to be successful.
Twitter is slow in Russia, indexing old content, and PPC automation tips.
SOCIAL: Russia puts the brakes on Twitter. Russia said yesterday that they’re slowing down the upload speed of photos and videos on Twitter after the social media company failed to remove banned content that was highlighting dissent in the country. Russia is threatening to block the site entirely if Twitter doesn’t comply with the content laws in the country.
SEO: Technically vs. practically indexed. Google’s John Mueller said they use the term technically indexed and practically indexed, so Barry asked what the difference was. John said “Indexed and practically seen in normal search results vs. not seen. It comes up often with old/removed content, site-moves, robotted URLs, etc. Technically it might be indexed, but is it worth the time to fix something nobody sees & which doesn’t cause issues?”
PPC: The benefits of PPC automation. In an episode of The Azeem Digital Asks Podcast, Sarah Scarfe talks about her PPC automation tips and favorite scripts plus why more people should be automating PPC tasks: “You can spend more time… optimizing your creatives, looking at landing pages, going into the analytics data.”