SAScon day 1 round-up

The 5th annual SAScon conference took place on the 5th and 6th June 2014 at the Manchester Metropolitan University campus; I was lucky enough to attend and it didn’t disappoint!

Here’s my round-up of day 1’s highlights:

Day one kicked off with pastries and Brett Tabke discussing the Current Hot Trends and The Next Big Thing for the coming year. Some of the trends have been around for a while and are continuing hot topics such as; mobile, content marketing, social before search, the changing landscape of SEO, niche marketing and big data. For example, Brett explained that by the end of 2014, Yahoo will receive more traffic from mobile than desktop; further highlighting the importance of a mobile first approach.

There are a number of new trends too including the rise of digital currencies such as BitCoin, wearables like Google Glass and Oculus VR (more on this later), drones, 3D printing and neuro marketing (the science of understanding what gets people to buy).

Up next was a talk on creating persona (human success) content by Danny Ashton. According to Danny, we need to look to neuroscience and the triune brain theory to get to the heart of a content marketing strategy. To accurately engage with an audience, content must appeal to one of three types of brain; reptilian (instinctual), limbic (emotional) and neocortex (perceptional). If the planned content is to appeal to a general audience, and the goal is to achieve the widest reach, then the content would appeal to a reptilian brain. The types of content that this audience would respond to are video content or celebrity gossip, e.g. the Daily Mail. Limbic content has an emotional hook to underpin it, using positive or negative emotions and addresses a need.

Danny provided his top tips for content:

– Test multiple title variants

– Use ‘How to guides’

– Look at what’s been shared well in your industry

– Which publishers care about the issue, who’s talking about it? This is where you should outreach your content

– Brainstorm the emotional issues to find a concept and solution for the need

– Use images, not text. The evolutionary brain has the capacity to quickly understand images

– Make images linkable to your sources

– Add icons for social media to make the content easily shareable

Next came the keynote speech, delivered by Jeff Coglan, on The Human Interface. The undercurrent of the presentation was the past, present and future of technology. Jeff explained that for him it all started with the PONG tennis sports game; one of the earliest arcade video games with two-dimensional graphics, originally manufactured by Atari.

In the present technology has progressed into a new era, one where innovators are trying to make it human. One example of this is Oculus VR.

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Oculus VR may look ridiculous but various speakers suggested that virtual reality (VR) merged with social media is the next big thing, and VR merged with gaming will follow. The technology is still in its infancy, with the picture motion not always keeping up with the user’s vision. Jeff therefore described the headpiece as a £300 headache. Despite its glitches, VR is immersive and addictive, says Brett Tabke, and we should look to Sci-fi to offer a glimpse into what we can expect next.

Jeff concluded with an example of how content should correlate with user interaction, experience and feedback by providing the Pepsi unbelievable bus shelter campaign as an example. This campaign puts people at the heart of the action by providing inspirational content that is memorable and shareable.

The final session, you are what Google says you are, was delivered by Nick Garner and Jackie Hole. The topic covered online reputation, specifically that Google is seen as an authority and therefore the contents of search are seen as a trusted source. However, if an individual has information published that tarnishes their reputation, privacy is infringed and removing the content, once its been indexed, isn’t an easy task. The most valuable takeaway was that Google gets 10,000 requests a day for ‘the right to be forgotten’ and has to wade through all of the requests to substantiate which ones have genuine grounds for link removal.

Look out for day two’s round-up from Nik Patel…

by Gemma Tomlinson on 10/06/2014