Insights from SMX London 2017
On Wednesday (24th May) our search marketing veterans at Montage headed to SMX London, part of the biggest search conference series worldwide. Bursting with ideas, new technologies and industry news the three days of SEO, SEM and Online Marketing seminars and talks were awesome! So, we wanted to share three of our favourite talks from the conference, to inform and inspire!
Sequential Facebook advertising
Tara Dee West’s (@tara_dee_west) talk was all about Facebook advertising and how to harness the power of sequential ads. Sequential ads can be used to help move an audience gradually from an awareness stage to a final purchase and ensure that end traffic is more qualified and more likely to convert given that they have already been ‘primed’ and are not ‘cold’.
There are a couple of different approaches to sequential ads, these being the ‘funnel approach’ and ‘driving/reminding approach’, each can be used just as effectively depending on the initial audience.
The funnel approach is based on three stages, firstly an introduction to the brand, then a teaser of what is actually on offer and then finally the hook with a clear call-to-action. This approach is best used for generating conversions.
- Introduction to the brand – using video ads, slideshow ads or canvas ads
- Teaser of what the brand has to offer – using canvas ads or carousel ads
- The hook – using single image website click ads or carousel ads of products& prices
The driving/reminding approach removes a stage from the funnel approach, with the first step setting the scene and the second and final step being a reminder of the key messages and a call-to-action. This approach is best used for generating awareness.
- Setting the stage – using video ads, slideshow ads or canvas ads
- The synopsis/reminder – using carousel ads or single image ads
Of course, neither of these approaches are set in stone and can and should be adjusted depending on how well the consumer knows the brand.
There are two methods for setting up sequential ads on Facebook, either True Sequencing where all of the ads are run in the same ad set and is bought up-front with a fixed price Facebook Reach & Frequency buy or manually delivering the sequential ads where you set out the objectives and times of each ad yourself. The manual option can be less precise than True Sequencing, however, you can optimise it for conversions & clicks etc. plus you have more control over your CPCs.
There was a lot more fascinating insight from Tara’s presentation, which you can view for yourself, here.
Integrating search and social
Kenia Gonzalez (@keniamex) and Roisin Linnie (@RoisinThora) from Wolfgang Digital did a talk all about ‘Integrating search into cross-channel marketing campaigns’ which focused on their successful campaign for Littlewoods Ireland. In their presentation, they outlined the different stages of a cross-channel campaign and some of the possible options available at each stage. We have summarised these stages and options below:
The awareness stage is all about getting the brand or concept known, so techniques like teaser videos on YouTube or Facebook and Google AdWords work well for driving this initial awareness.
Once people are aware of the concept, the next step is to increase interest in it. This can be achieved through adding full-length videos to YouTube or Facebook, whilst also retargeting to those who engaged with the first teaser video.
The consideration stage once again provides a good opportunity to retarget to people who may have already engaged in the previous steps. This time with further info or imagery such as a Facebook Canvas to show a full-screen image of a product.
Hopefully, by now the audience is engaged with the concept and fully behind it, so the next step is to get them to take the desired action such as making a purchase. Retargeting again on Facebook is an option with Display Product Ads, as well as other sales driven methods such as Google Shopping and not forgetting traditional SEO (adding sitelinks to dominate the SERPs).
The final stage in the whole process is to encourage user-generated content and brand advocacy. Getting your customers to tell other people all about your product is a great way to encourage others. People are more likely to believe other customers than branded product descriptions.
You can view all of Kenia & Roisin’s slides, here.
Optimising content for voice search
The third talk which really caught our attention was by Pete Campbell (@petecampbell) of Kaizen. Pete spoke about optimising content for voice search and where the focus should be.
One of the major problems with voice search (apart from the fact that it doesn’t pick up what you are saying half the time!) is that it doesn’t actually make the process that much shorter for users. In essence, voice search works as follows: a user provides a query, a voice API converts this into text, AI performs the query and then you receive the search results whereas a traditional search the user types a query and receives the search results. As you can see, there are a couple of additional steps in the process for voice search. That doesn’t mean voice search is irrelevant, in fact, you can tailor your content to take advantage of these searches. Creating unbiased, question-based content can help you win featured snippets sections in SERPs.
The area in which voice can provide real value, however, is with voice actions. Pete’s talk highlighted the importance that APIs will play in future visibility as well as app indexing and deep linking. Smartphone voice actions will be huge, with people asking questions such “Search for [Keyword] on [App Name]” which provides an intent, an action and a context. Voice actions are already a part of some people’s lives with smart devices such as Google Home and Amazon Echo allowing people to request actions such as ordering pizza!
You can see Pete’s full presentation, here.
Did you attend SMX 2017? If so, what were your key takeaways from the conference? We’d love to hear them!