“Silence is better than bullshit”
– Oli Gardner
If hreflang is your thing, Google Analytics brings you out in an excited sweat, or, like me, you just want to know how to make some really creative, engaging, sexy content, Searchlove is the stuff all your content marketing dreams are made of!
As this was my first content marketing conference, I arrived in plenty of time to collect my shiny name badge and lanyard. For a first timer, there’s nothing like being thrown in at the deep end; I wasn’t just a newbie, oh no, I was also riding solo. With this in mind I tried to look like my most approachable self (no time for resting bitch face here!), luckily my tactics paid off & within a few minutes I had a friend *winning!*
The two day conference kicked off with content marketing goddess, Hannah Smith, talking through the ins-and-outs of what being a ´meaningful brand´ actually stands for. This actually comes down to three key points: delighting your customers, allowing people to define themselves through your content, and standing for something ´more´; don’t be the brand that pushes corporate, commercial tosh down their customers throats, we’re all better than that. As Oli Gardner (founder of Un-Bounce) reiterated in his talk: silence is always better than bullshit.
One of the conference’s most surprising speakers was Jo Kerr, Head of Digital Communications at Girlguiding. The organisation has very successfully tapped into their target audience and remained true to their key values, something many others have failed to do. Jo’s main takeaways were to be playful with your content, use personas to check that you’re really reaching your target audience, and try to implement user-generated content–this doesn’t need to be a macaroni collage by Lily, aged 7, but can be a range of exciting opportunities to explore your users’ creative sides via social media.
Content marketing is a constantly evolving landscape; the visible growth and change of the speakers at conferences, such as Search Love, the way they make fun of themselves and “best practises”, is both refreshing and enlightening. For a newcomer to the scene, it was a pleasure to be around the experts who shape our industry. My personal highlights include gaining the confidence to ask a question in front of a room full of hundreds of industry professionals and, of course, meeting SEO idol & dreamboat Rand Fishkin *girlish scream*.
Attending Search Love was a bit like my first day at school: nerve-wracking at first, but incredibly exciting when you realise you’ve got a timetable full of the coolest teachers (who sometimes swear a bit).