SASCON (or the Search, Analytics and Search Convention to give it its full name) is an annual event where experts in digital marketing from across the country gather to learn about the latest industry trends and insights.
As a digital marketing agency, we like to have our finger on the pulse of what’s going on in SEO, analytics and social media marketing, so we couldn’t miss the opportunity to attend what is one of the biggest and most well respected events in Manchester’s digital marketing calendar.
As such, we sent our Head of Digital Aleks, our SEO/SEM specialist Mark and our Marketing and Social Media Apprentice Sam down to Manchester Metropolitan Business School to check out what was going down at the two-day event.
After a morning coffee and a bit of networking with other attendees, Aleks and Mark listened to talks delivered by international SEO consultant, Aleyda Solis and creator of leading search marketing software WordStream, Larry Kim. Aleyda gave a presentation on how SMBs (small and midsize businesses) can increase their influence and compete with their larger rivals in SEO sectors. She iterated that SMBs could adapt to trends more quickly than larger businesses and that they should invest in robust and low-cost CMS (content management systems) like WordPress or Magento.
Larry appeared twice, giving his opinion on the future of PPC (Pay Per Click) marketing and showing his obsession for Game Of Thrones memes in his ‘The Top 5 Mobile Advertising Hacks of All Time’ talk. The presentation dealt with increasing mobile traffic for a business and in his words “calls to businesses are worth three times more than clicks to a website.”
On day two, Sam checked out a presentation by Yossi Erdman, Head of Brand and Social Media at appliance based business ao.com. ao.com have become renowned for their clever use of social media and unsurprisingly, Yossi’s advice was funny and insightful, mentioning how you shouldn’t be afraid to experiment and have fun with social media campaigns. According to him ducks have replaced cats as the new internet meme, and from someone who runs a Facebook page with 1.6 million followers we’re inclined to believe him!
Up next was a seminar entitled ‘Where Next For Google?’, delivered by a number of Google staff and other experts in Search Engine Optimisation, which predicted that the future is uncertain for Google, due to the rise of new screenless technology. It also highlighted that curation is the future, with an amusing anecdote about mid-70s reggae and how Apple’s operating system Siri doesn’t know that most fans of reggae don’t like music from that era, and therefore will still put it in search results, despite the fact that most fans don’t recognise it, hence the need for curation.
Day two was rounded off with a talk from Angelique Millar of Expedia Media entitled ‘The Power of Social Media and Creative Partnerships’. She talked about how when creating social media posts and campaigns, it was important to consider what platform they may be viewed on, thanks to the increase of mobile and tablet over desktop viewing. She also stressed that companies should do all they can to make their posts creative and visually engaging, highlighting a campaign whereby Expedia took “boring” tweets and “travelled them interesting” by recreating them with evocative imagery from around the world.