SES London - Day One

February 11, 2014

SES London – Day One

The first day of SES London has been a good one. The rain outside was light enough not to matter, the London Underground remained in service and before I had even taken ownership of my event pass I had already been given a free satchel.

The conference itself is a three day affair, with each day opening on a keynote before splitting along three ‘paths’. Today’s paths were ‘paid’, ‘owned and earned’ and ‘business intelligence’. The agenda for the ‘owned and earned’ path looked good, so that is where I spent my day. Here are my key takeaways from day one of SES London 2014:

Bruce Daisley – UK Managing Director, Twitter

Key takeaway – Twitter is all about the timing

Daisley opened proceedings by giving a run through of how Twitter can be used to help brands remain current. This talk was chock full of stats, including the fact that 80% of Twitter use is ‘mobile’ and that 70% of that traffic is outside of the home.

Much of the talk focused on the role that Twitter plays in the path to conversion, with data suggesting that 25% of people have purchased something that they have seen on Twitter. It was also suggested that Twitter helps to make other forms of advertising more effective, with the statistic that TV ads are “36% more cost effective” when combined with Twitter. Take from that what you will, but the general message coming from Twitter’s UK Managing Director is that the social network wants to be taken seriously as a tool for growing your business.

Alongside this, Daisley also described the key application of Twitter as “live content discovery”. This ties into my main takeaway from the talk, that Twitter is all about the timing.

Daisley mentioned the idea that a Twitter user could tweet a joke and receive no form of engagement. They could then tweet the same message a few hours later and receive lots of engagement. The key there is that the content (ie. the tweet) has not changed at all but the audience and what interests them absolutely has. The message to take away is that it’s not all about how great your content is, but rather how good the timing of it is.

This inevitably led onto a quick discussion about Oreo’s famous tweet from Superbowl 2013. Surprisingly, Daisley described this as a “slight red herring” in that it taught marketers that if they wanted to succeed in the short term they must be the “quickest and wittiest”.

Overall, it was an insightful talk from a person of real authority and the line about Twitter being all about timing is one that should be remembered by anyone looking to make an impact in social.

Building a B2B Social Media Cohesive Strategy – Judith Lewis & Krista LaRiviere

Key takeaway – Don’t start unless you know how to measure it!

Approaching the topic of B2B social media marketing with a little apprehension, I was pleasantly surprised to come out of this one with such a tangible takeaway: don’t start your marketing efforts until you know how you are going to measure them. Sound advice that can help you ensure that everything you do online has the end goal in mind.

This talk touched upon the idea that keyword research can and should be just as applicable to social media as it is to SEO.

From Strategy to Execution: Creative Content Marketing – Lisa Myers & Matt Roberts

Key takeaway – Unless your content is exceptional, you might as well not bother.

It was tough to choose one takeaway from this talk, but the one I chose echoes my own thoughts on the topic of content; make sure your content is the best it can be.

Lisa Myers spoke first on what she described as a “hot topic” and she mentioned that great content doesn’t need to cost the earth. She made this point by talking through her #skateseeing campaign for her travel client, Hotel Club. The campaign itself revolves around well shot videos such as Skateseeing East London.

The second part of the talk was covered by Linkdex’s Matt Roberts, who somewhat contradicted Myer’s original message by stating that exceptional content “costs more than $20”. Essentially, his message boiled down to the fact that unless you are going to spend the money and time to create something special, you aren’t going to succeed online.

Roberts also discussed the idea of using frameworks on which to build your online content and spent some time talking through Google’s ZMOT research. A fascinating topic area and one that I will be sure to read more about.

Mining Your Search Keywords & Social Data for New Revenue Opportunities – Aleyda Solis & Bastian Grimm

Key takeaway – When there is too much data, rely on your most trusted source

If there was one technical talk for the day, this was it. Both speakers spent time taking the audience through various tools that can be used for keyword research, as well as touching upon the different methods they use to achieve results.

Perhaps the most interesting point of discussion that came from this talk was prompted by an audience member’s question; what to do when there are too many tools and pieces of data.

The question was pounced upon by Solis and Grimm and both agreed that marketers should rely on their ‘favourite’ source of data in order to make key decisions. Interestingly, both mentioned SEMrush when discussing this.

I was lucky enough to bump into Aleyda Solis later in the day and was able to ask her more about this. She mentioned the importance of using APIs to extract data from different sources and then using it in a way that works well for you.

Unlocking the Secrets of Mobile Video – Cheri Percy & Jon Mowat

Key takeaway – Mix emotion and logic within your brand story

The final talk of the day was focused on online video content. Both speakers touched upon the fact that we live in a ‘device agnostic’ world, where content and campaigns live across various different devices and networks.

With this in mind, Mowat’s talk focused on his experience of storytelling through the medium of video. Mentioning his history of working with the BBC, Mowat spoke of the need to tell a story through a linear narrative comprised of an initial ‘deal’, before moving through various ‘beats’ before ending on a ‘conclusion’.

The ‘beat’ was an interesting concept and Mowat told how some beats can be 6 second long Vine videos designed to trigger an emotional response, whilst others can be longer YouTube pieces of content containing a logical subject matter.

Mowat also explained how ‘beats’ need to be able to stand on their own across various devices, yet tie together in a linear narrative alongside the other ‘beats’ of the story. This is true for all types of content, not just video.

The overall takeaway – your audience won’t make a purchase decision without first being given an emotional reason to engage before making their mind up with a logical response.


All in all, a fantastic first day at SES London 2014 with lots more to come tomorrow. I have enough notes to carry various blog posts so watch this space for more coming soon!

Read about SES London 2014 day two here!

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