by: Shelby Elit

The Denver Digital Summit took place July 17-18. I had the opportunity to attend the conference on behalf of Pico Digital Marketing. The conference consisted of two days full of 30 minutes sessions and keynote speakers including: Chelsea Handler; actress, author, producer, Scott Dikkers; Founder of the Onion, Rand Fishkin; Sparktoro, and Dave Itsbitski; Amazon. The conference had sessions ranging from topics such as social media management to best SEO practices and how to create the most relevant content for your brand. The sessions were brief but it was a good way to hear from a lot of people. I’d love to see 45 minute sessions next year and less time for the speakers to talk about their personal experience or brand and move onto what they’re teaching in the session. I think it would be good to lay it out as teaching material versus information.

Here are my 3 biggest digital media takeaways.

  1. Are social media influencers going anywhere?

Chelsea Handler, who at the beginning I felt was a little out of place at a marketing conference, talked about her personal brand and her experience being an “influencer”. To answer my own question, yes, influencers are still in. But celebrity endorsements on social media are becoming more of a thing of the past. Chelsea pointed out that these days it’s so easy to tell when someone is posting something on their Instagram because they’re getting paid to do so. Wow she makes a good point! So many of these “celebrity influencers” will use anything they’re getting paid to use. Chelsea herself, won’t represent anything on her Instagram she doesn’t actually use and has reached out to companies offering to partner with them for things because she likes the product so much. With that being said, from a brand or company side, try to find local influencers. Even if you’re a huge corporation, find influencers with under 1 million followers. Find people that are in your target market and have followers that are in your target market. Not only will they be easier to reach but they provide an authentic approach. A note to potential influencers, keep using the products you love and who knows maybe they will repost on their social media!

This goes into my second takeaway…

  1. Authentic, authentic, authentic!

Most consumers these days look at what products are made of, reviews, and they keep track of what companies do socially. I’m sure you know because you probably do the same! Consumers want authentic brands and products. They also want a real representation of the product and who uses it. This goes back to finding authentic influencers. Find people that actually use the product! This stood out to me in the conference because even companies like the Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met) was talking about their rebranding and how important it is to present themselves as real and something people can’t live without, not just any other museum. They made it fun for all age groups, such as “A Friday out in the City” having later hours for NYC locals to come by and experience the MET. They’re showing that they’re not just a space full of art, but an irresistible brand everyone has to take part in. This was done by being their authentic selves on social media and through their website.They wanted to show that they care about people and that helped them leverage so many different types of consumers. Show people the humans behind the brand.

  1. 2018 is the year of Live

My third and last takeaway goes along with my other points. Bob Gearing from SocialBreakers stated that 2018 is the year of Live. I couldn’t agree more. This means, live Instagram videos and WhatsApp videos. I didn’t know this but WhatsApp videos have actually surpassed Instagram videos in usage. They have a huge international presence and are a great way to reach those customers. Having live videos for brands and companies adds that real and personable feel. It humanizes brands. Using live videos can also work with influencers when they film their own live video using your product. Bob Gearing talked a lot about live videos on Instagram but Facebook live videos are becoming increasingly important. I’ve personally tuned into celebrities live videos promoting a movie or living their daily lives. If your organization has a large Facebook following, this is something to look into. You could do interviews with the CEO or other executives, a “how to use our product video” or videos of your company culture and staff. 


In Conclusion

Overall, engage with your consumers. Be your consumer. Relate to them. Use all of these social media platforms to your advantage and set yourself apart. We have so many ways to do that today, it’s time to take advantage before your competitors beat you to it!

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