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On Friday 26 July 2019 I attended Digital Adelaide, an evolution of the successful Social Media Day conference that has been held in Adelaide since 2015, which was championed by our own Jen Evison!

Social Media Day was launched by Mashable on 30 June 2010. It is a day where we “recognise and celebrate social media’s impact on global communication”.

Adelaide’s Social Media Day events provide the opportunity to share social media knowledge on this day, with the aim of making it accessible to everyone – no matter what stage of your career you’re at.

Following requests over the years to include more digital marketing content, this year the organisers (Refuel Creative) decided to make this shift, offering a wider range of digital and social media topics, with the goal of upskilling marketing professionals across South Australia.

Scout Digital Training were proud to support the event as a bronze sponsor, as well as donate three places to our upcoming digital marketing and analytics workshops for the social sharing competition.

There was a lot of great information shared throughout the day, both by speakers and on the #DigitalADL hashtags across platforms, including Twitter where it became a trending hashtag in Adelaide.

Here is my summary from the event.


For those wanting a shorter summary, here is the too long; didn’t read version.

Seemingly with no planned coordination, there were three main themes that emerged through all of the presentations:

1. Goals:

Know what you want to achieve from the start of your campaign, website, general activity etc.

2. People:

People are paramount for success in your digital marketing. Specifically:

  • Know who you’re trying to reach and connect with.
  • Know what THEY want and are interested in.
  • Talk to them IN PERSON wherever possible.
  • And maintain those REAL personal relationships throughout your marketing.

3. Digital:

And once you have nutted out the above, THEN look at how you can use digital to implement, integrate and automate where relevant (and keep it personal where possible!)

Basically, use people for what people do best: strategic thinking and planning and personal relationships, interaction and engagement, and use digital for what digital does best: as a tool for interacting, integration, automation, scaling etc.

Sessions summary

Before we get into it, a quick shout out again to the team at Refuel Creative for organising and putting on the Digital Adelaide event, and University of South Australia’s School of Creative Industries for sponsoring and supporting it.

Digital Marketing Landscape Overview

Simone Douglas from Social Media AOK kicked off the presentations, sharing highlights of the state of social media based on the We Are Social 2018 Digital Report, with helpful commentary and insights from her personal and professional experience.

Simone also shared a lot of examples of the content that has performed well for her other business, the Duke of Brunswick Hotel, and why.

This is where we started our day’s focus on the importance of real people, as she credits her organisation’s focus, commitment and involvement in sharing real photos of real people and what’s really going on, for the immense organic social media success the Duke of Brunswick has enjoyed.

“If you’re not prepared to be uncomfortable in front of the camera, you can’t expect your team to do the same. We need to put real faces to brand stories.” Simone Douglas

Simone also shared a great tip for what she does with her clients: create a six word story.

The idea is to get really specific and sum up who you are, what you do and why you’re the best at it in only six words. And she gave us some great examples.

Have a go at it yourself!

Hunt a Killer Facebook Ads Case Study

New up we heard from Eric Carlson and David Tendrich from SweatPants Agency, who generously shared their activities involved in the incredibly growth of their client, Hunt a Killer, through Facebook Ads.

Hunt a Killer is a subscription service where a box of clues to a murder is delivered to your home for you to solve.

Eric and David shared a number of tactical tips and tricks (including their success with “open” targeting on Facebook, i.e. defining geographic location and age only, no interests etc), but their big insight to the success of this ad campaign was based on personal interactions.

They shared that their initial ad campaigns had focused on people who showed an interest in serial killer related content. However through the real life interviews they regularly conduct with customers and potential customers, they discovered that the subscription box was being used as a date night activity, and was giving couples together time.

“Marketing is like a test. But you are ALLOWED to go up to your customers and ask them the answers.” David Tendrich

This helped them change their focus and significantly widened their target audience, leading to the huge success.

Take away: Take the time to talk to your target audiences, not just about your product or service, but about them, their lives, their needs, their interests etc.

“You need to do the work no one else is interested to do.” Eric Carlson.

Understanding Audiences

Many digital and social media examples tend to focus on easily accessible retail and hospitality type examples, so it was refreshing to hear from a different approach to using digital, courtesy of Paul McFarlane from Trader Electrical.

Electrical components manufacturer, Trader Electrical are focused on “digital domination” in their sector, which involves a huge amount of education to a slowly evolving, traditional audience.

Paul shared an incredibly detailed profile of their target audience, that proved not only they know exactly who they are, but the benefits of knowing your audience so well, i.e. it makes planning your marketing activities much easier.

Paul also shared that while there is huge opportunity for digital in their sector, it’s not a case of ending all of their traditional marketing and ONLY doing digital. It’s an evolution, and both traditional, non digital and digital techniques are required, as well as the essential personal relationships.

“No matter how much digital we do, it’s still all about personal relationships with our customers.” Paul McFarlane, Trader Electrical.

The Changing Face of Customer Experience: Creating a Conversational Strategy

After lunch Elliot Chapman and Nick Dzienny from Hubspot took the stage to share their 10 tips for creating a conversational strategy, exploring how live chat and chat bots can be integrated into websites.

They identified the opportunity for customer conversation across the business:

  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Customer service

And they shared a number of great examples of brands using live chat to add value to their audience, addressing an immediate need before trying to extract something from them.

They also shared this slide which controversially is my favourite of the day.

Technology has made it incredibly easy to start a business, but we need to manage our expectations, as it has also created a noisy, busy world, full of choice.

It is essential to go into business with your eyes wide open, a very clear goal about what you want to achieve, and a solid understanding of who your audience/s are.

Podcasting: The Time is Now

Our own podcasting and video trainer Amelia Veale from Narrative Marketing then soldiered on with a very sore throat and almost no voice to share her insights, experience and advice for individuals and organisations keen to get into podcasting.

“As marketers we make noise. But we need to make the noise less annoying.” Amelia Veale

Amelia also stressed the importance of understanding the technical aspects of podcasting, particularly podcast directory distribution, to ensure your content can get to as many people as possible.

Read: Three ways to include podcasting in your marketing mix

Q&A: Social Media and The Law

And finally, everyone’s favourite lawyer, Paul Gordon from Wallmans Lawyers. This is the third time Paul has spoken at Digital Adelaide/Social Media Day Adelaide, and his sessions are always a stand out.

His passion for both digital and the law is obvious, and he took the time to consider and answer the audience’s curly questions.

“People don’t like companies who are creepy, and it’s the creepy companies that get sued.” Paul Gordon.

If you would like to hear Paul’s answers to the three questions he is asked most often about digital and the law, and the one topic he wishes people would ask about more, check out our podcast interview with Paul Gordon here.

That wraps up the day!

Thanks again to Refuel Creative and all the speakers involved. We look forward to Digital Adelaide 2020!

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