SAScon is one of the leading Search, Social and Analytics conferences in the UK. The conference has taken place for the 4th time this year and given some useful insights into current news, trends and developments in the digital marketing industry. Besides keynote speeches the conference also featured expert interviews, panel debates and breakout sessions.
Located at the Manchester Metropolitan University Business School, the conference welcomed a range of well-known industry experts from across the globe over the period of two days. Speakers were, for example Mike Little, the founder of WordPress, Clancy Childs who is Product Manager at Google Analytics, Nick Garner from SearchWorks, David Naylor, Managing Director of Bronco and Dixon Jones from MajesticSEO to mention only a few. In my opinion it was a great opportunity to get the chance to listen to some of the most influential and best-known people from the industry. Topics that were covered included amongst others consumer trends in online retailing, analytics, the recent Penguin update and the life after, online brand management and reputation, the integration of SEO, social media and PR, international search, content outreach strategies, as well as integrated and multi-channel marketing.
The network party on Thursday evening was the perfect opportunity to get in touch, network and share ideas with other professionals from the digital marketing industry. It took place in a nearby bowling bar and it was great meeting the people on an informal basis.
When summarising the key themes touched upon by the speakers, it became clear that everyone stressed the importance of creative content and how to get it out there. Whereas only a few years ago the focus was on link building, we have now seen a shift towards content, as acknowledged by Kevin Gibbons who is Managing Director at BlueGlass. It has become crucial that people working in SEO do not only have the technical skill set but are also able to create great content that people want to share. And by “creating great content” I mean not just write content but also come up with newsworthy ideas that people are actually interested in.
A particular focus was also kept on the integration of SEO, social and PR. According to Judith Lewis, Director of Seshet Consulting “SEO HAS TO BE PR”. She also highlighted the importance of a flexible and integrated approach towards successful online marketing campaigns. SEO, social and PR are no longer separate practices but need to interact with each other.
The establishment of fruitful relationships with relevant bloggers these days is as important as never before. In this context, it was also highlighted that it is crucial how you plan your outreach strategy and depending on which market you target, you need to adapt it in order to be successful.
Overall, it was a great experience; I particularly liked the fact that the conference featured some famous experts of the industry who really know what they talk about. In my opinion, the conference was highly informative and I have taken home some really useful tips I shall definitely put into practice and apply to my future campaigns.