PubCon 2014 Recap Day 2: Agency and Enterprise Day

Tuesday marked the first day of the official PubCon conference. While Monday was dedicated for intensive SEO, social media and content marketing master sessions only, Tuesday presented eight different topic tracks to choose from, with an almost exhausting choice of 47 seminars running on the day.

PubCon 2014 Las Vegas Day 2 Recap

Like a kid in a candy store, it was a bit difficult to pick and choose the seminars to attend, due to the overlapping times. After a lot of deliberation, I decided to go for a nice, balanced mix of topics; a bit of sales and retention, content marketing, social media and, of course, an obligatory SEO seminar thrown in there too.

The buzz word of the day was definitely ‘storytelling’. Out of the seven seminars I had the pleasure of attending on the day, four made a big deal about this particular marketing strategy. Like the word suggests, storytelling is a marketing technique that makes a conscious move away from the hard sell and, instead, takes a long-term approach for generating revenue for a business.

PubCon 2014 Las Vegas day 2

The main aim for a business engaging in storytelling is to connect with their audiences by humanising their brand, while also cutting through the advertising clutter. It is believed by marketers that the sales will follow once storytelling has been employed effectively. Indeed, storytelling, although having existed for a while now, is now considered as one of the best ways to secure those sales in today’s marketing landscape.

A second big overarching theme across most of the seminars was the importance of relying on psychological influence principles when engaging in marketing activities and building relationship with stakeholders. Be it servicing and retaining clients, content marketing or creating brand advocates, the speakers always emphasised how supremely important relationships were for a business.

The techniques to building these relationships may differ widely from a technological standpoint, but the influence tactics are the same. If you happen to be familiar with Robert Cialdini’s work on psychological influencing techniques, who, incidentally, spoke at PubCon in 2012, you might have already heard of the six principles of influence; reciprocation, scarcity, authority, consistency, liking and consensus.

Many of the speakers, particularly in content marketing, social media, branding as well as customer service and retention fields, were mentioning these principles quite often, although not explicitly mentioning Cialdini’s name. However, thanks to the frequency some of the principles were mentioned, it became quite apparent that relying on them is an effective way to engage and build trust with stakeholders.

The third interesting marketing technique that was mentioned quite often was the repurposing of content. Particularly important for content marketers, social media pros and search engine optimisers, repurposing existing content is a valuable way to save time while reaching new audiences.

Jennifer Slegg, the President of JenSense, showed us a great example of a successful repurposing strategy employed by an outdoor apparel company REI. The business had written a blog post on how to survive should a zombie apocalypse hit the earth, and did enjoy modest success with the post.

However, when most businesses would stop there, REI took it further. They proceeded by producing a well-designed infographic that illustrated the necessary (REI) apparel to make it through the invasion of the undead alive, which was then followed by tiny bits of the infographic shared on their Twitter account.

REI Zombie Apocalypse infographic

But this was not all; next REI began to roll out instructional images on critical zombie survival skills that everyone should have, which were styled after airline safety cards. The final pieces of repurposed content were the actual real-life zombie apocalypse survival classes organised by REI.

REI zombie comic

During REI’s journey of illustrating the intricacies involved in zombie apocalypse survival, the business managed to attract an impressive amount of attention, ranging from tweets from social media influencers to major news channels covering the story. REI’s strategy of repurposing their successful content further and further highlights just how many potential wins there may be if a business commits to redeveloping their best content for new audiences.

In summary, even though Tuesday’s PubCon seminars were each concentrating on their specific marketing fields, the overarching themes among most speakers were quite noticeable. When it comes to social media, content marketing, branding and customer care, storytelling and psychological influence principles are currently a few of the big things in marketing, particularly digital marketing.

Talks attended today:
• Creative Techniques for Selling Your Services and Retaining Your Clients with Jabez Lebret, David Vogelpohl and Dennis Yu
• Content Marketing Strategy with Dave Roth, Chris Bennett
• Keyword Research with Craig Paddock and Bill Hunt
• Brand Journalism and Creating Brand Advocates with Rob Fuggetta and Mel Carson
• Social Media Content Creation with Jennifer Slegg
• Facebook: In-hand Marketing with the Head of Facebook’s Ad Tech Group David Jakubowski

Wednesday will be all about content marketing, with seminars in such topics as; content creation strategy, integrated digital marketing campaigns and infographics. Stay tuned for the recap and the latest trends in content marketing!