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This article was written on 24 May 2011, and is filled under PR Inspiration.

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SaScon 2011 Roundup

Well it looks like we survived the end of the world…  Time to continue looking forward to the progression of digital marketing and the social media phenomenon then.

I attended the SaScon conference in Manchester this year and learnt some pretty cool things;  I have outlined a few of my favourites below:

Qype

Keynote speaker: Richard Dennys, Chief Marketing Officer

Qype is a social media platform, mainly based in London, that enables people to share their recommendations about hotels, restaurants and places they have visited.  As social media grows rapidly social lead reviews are going to become bigger and as such, will have a strong effect on consumer online behaviour.

Qype has 1.3 million registered users and 3000 new businesses join each week;  it is also easily accessed from smart phones via its own mobile app.  As mobile usage grows rapidly, nearly doubling in the UK, Qype have realised the importance of being accessable from this platform.

Social commerce is really important.  Statistics tell us that 90% of people trust friends,75% of people don’t believe that companies tell the truth in adverts and 63% of people read reviews before making a decision.

When summarising Richard Dennys said that in the near future, technology will be so advanced that:

  • You will never forget anything,
  • You will never be lost
  • You won’t ever be on your own

Link building Secret’s

Link building is something that is often talked about by geeks, such as myself, working in the SEO field.  It is a big part of SEO campaigns and without it results would not be achievable.

So how is it all working?

The presentation, lead by Dixon Jones from Majestic SEO, confirmed my thoughts and got me thinking about the value of PR.  After listening to three earlier presentations it all came back to the common term ‘relationships’ and how they are just as valuable online as they are offline.  Like most people out there, webmasters do not want to be pestered on a regular basis with the same emails from people requesting to buy a links?  It becomes repetitive and monotonous for both receiver and sender.  If you take the approach that you can do something for them if they do something for you and with a little persuasion over time (in a friendly manner), you will convince them to give you a vote (link.)

Approach people with a genuine tone and send follow up emails ensure you strike whilst the iron is hot.  It is a common habit to forget who we have contacted and how long ago that maybe.

A few useful (free tools) to help you link build

Taforum.org:  find trade associations and sign your clients up to achieve a credible link.

Crowd Flower:  identifies influencers and opinion leaders

Toluna:  the survey and opinion poll website where you can set your own surveys and receive results within a very short time span.  Very handy if you want to create an infographic for your client using specific data.

SEO ‘VS’ PR

There was a lot of debate at this conference about PR and SEO in terms of the quality of content.  It appears that PR agencies are somewhat rattled by the content that is pinged out over the internet without any thought about its purpose.  What good does it do in terms of brand reputation for the client?  Whereas SEO link grabbers just think – as long as it claims a link then who cares?  I actually agree that there should be a balance here and if a PRESS RELEASE is worth writing then the correct approach should be applied.  It may cost more to use a PR agency but just think – if it really is kick ass then you may get natural links from it anyway.  This could be worth thinking about as a long term plan rather than a short and quick fix.

If you are going to put a piece of PR out in front of the world then make sure you get your client to sign it off.  Not only is this good practice but it also covers your bum should anything go wrong.

One last thing – if you want to stand out in the world of marketing take inspiration from this video

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