Digital events are increasingly becoming popular due to COVID-19 and travel restrictions. Sprout Social hosted its Sprout Sessions Digital event May 13th and 14th. The live event had a collection of speakers spanning across B2B and B2C platforms. The event sought out to engage with attendees seeking new ways to connect with their audiences. Below are three lessons I took away from this event:
1. With a new world, comes a new strategy
Sprout’s CMO, Jamie Gilpin, kicked off with an overview of the marketing world today. Gilpin spoke on the rise of social distancing and how that alone has created multiple hurdles for marketers. Yet despite this, one opportunity has remained open: social media.
It is important to think of our new “normal” being centered around digital marketing. And if there was one key message throughout the conference, it was that there are no “pandemic guidelines.” Plans have been scrapped and we have to use our instincts to plan new content. A staggering 91% of users believe in social media’s power to connect people.
With that in mind, how are you going to adjust your strategy? As I write this blog, the one word that keeps popping up into my head is time. Are you sharing your content on the right days and at the right moments? And are you responding to inquiries as fast as you are able? Sprout Social has seen a shift in the best performance times for posts due to COVID-19.
At one point, the best time and day to share on Facebook was Wednesday between 10 and 11 a.m. Now, although the time has remained the same, Wednesday is now accompanied by Mondays and Fridays, too. And with that increased engagement, comes a new statistic of 40% of users expecting brands to respond within the first hour of reaching out via social media. Now, more than ever, is the time for brands to practice social listening and respond to inquiries as soon as possible.
Another word that seems to be on repeat in my mind after this event is testing. It was unanimous among all the speakers that now is the time to experiment with new ways to interact with your audience. And social media does just that – an immediate opportunity.
A big theme among speakers was showcasing innovation with raw content. Due to editing restrictions, some brands have seen a drive to just get something out there. Speakers Carly Hill and Cristina Roti shared that although it is ideal to create content in a fast manner, be sure it all aligns with your strategy. Quick videos and photos can be looked at as an educational resource and easily repurposed later on. Think of it this way, taking a shot with your phone of your product’s showroom, conveyor belts, donations to your community, etc., can be used to beef up your strategy and show personality behind your brand. Your content does not need to be a huge production. Consumers want real content in real time.
In Sprout’s 2020 Index, released just this month, the data supports these trends. Images came in at 68% and photos at 50% for the types of content consumers want to engage with.
3. Attract, connect and convert
And last, but definitely not least, using paid and organic social together. Or as Sprout Social experts Rachael Samuels and Shelby Cunningham called it, “attract, connect and convert.”
Although paid and organic social are often pitted against one other in the marketing world,
Samuels and Cunningham spoke about pointing your audience in the right direction, using these three points:
- Social selling
- Share intentionally
- Reinforce the brand
By keeping these three points in mind, you will get your content to the right audiences, and as the speakers said, “extend the funnel.” An example of this could be pairing a paid lead generation form on LinkedIn to download a white paper and sharing a video on the same topic on YouTube. You are connecting with prospects via social media (social selling), your content is connecting back to your strategy (sharing intentionally) and you are able to reinforce your brand.
Did you happen to attend Sprout Social’s Digital 2020 event? Comment below with a lesson you learned!