The 2018 Yearly Carnage, a day-long marketing conference in Pittsburg, P.A., featured a home run line up of marketing Pros from all verticals, including companies like eBay and Bumble.
Each speaker at the conference deconstructed proven tactics, which could be easily applied regardless of business size, niche, or focus. Their recommendations are GOLD! I’ve outlined them below for your reading pleasure.
In case you don’t read any further (which you totally should), here’s the most important theme that carried throughout the day: There’s always going to be a “next best thing” or tactic. What won’t change? People. And their natural desire to connect with one another.
Know your story. Learn to tell it in such a way that people care and can somehow relate to. Find the sweet spot for them to be part of your story.
Community Building that Finally Delivers
Key Point: Build Intentional Communities: Create Community and get the hell out of the way. It’s not about you, it’s about them.
Create a space to foster community for your tribe of brand advocates followers, customers, advocates, etc.
- People like working with other people, we’re just the connectors.
- Set the tone of the community by planting seeds of your values and culture. But then get out of the way for the group members to engage with one another and you.
- To grow a community:
- Seed it with the right people. The first 25, 50, and 500 people are going to be key for helping build the community and culture, so invite those initial people wisely.
- Create it and get the hell out of the way. Instead of you directing the type of communication you’d like to foster, designate key people within the group to do so, such as requesting victories to be shared on Wednesdays, pose questions on Thursdays, etc.
- Be transparent + honest (as a brand)
- This isn’t the place for the insta-worthy mentality; what’s shared here isn’t filtered. Let them see the dirt!
Slow is Fast – Leveraging your Story
Key Point: Have a unique story and get good at telling it in a way that makes people care and listen.
- Light a fire with your story. Learn how to tell it as well as you can, to anyone who listens. Then keep it burning; every season they think of a new product or something to get people talking about the brand.
- Reflect the brand you want to be. Studebaker Metals had no money starting out, so the co-owners maintained their FT jobs to pay for professional photography and content that offered a glimpse into the process of metal making. These efforts made the brand seem bigger than it was, which was key to getting off the ground.
- Find people who need content to talk about! Seek out relative journalists, bloggers, tourism agencies, etc.
Social Media is Not the End Goal. Good Work is the End Goal.
Key Point: TRUST YOUR WEIRD, everything already looks and sounds the same.
- Likes and comments are a way of helping you reach your goal, but shouldn’t ever be the goal.
- How to maintain your integrity while building an audience:
- Tip 1: Pull yourself away from the screen and go somewhere personal. Conduct research outside of social media to avoid having your thoughts or ideas be determined or influenced by someone else. BE INTENTIONAL.
- Tip 2: Remain critical of yourself, especially when your social audience is not. Followers are inclined to like everything you post, but remember why someone may like something, there are so many reasons such as the colors in the photo, your caption, etc.
- Tip 3: Be honest and embrace your perspective. Social media can be a trap because we can get more traction and likes by sharing something that is widely liked, but that is not necessarily innovative or unique.
How to use FB Ads to Increase Your Sales
Key Point: FB ads aren’t dead.
- It takes an average of 7 points before a customer is ready to buy.
- Try 3 different types of ads in conjunction with one another:
- 1. Social Proof: Testimonial from customers
- 2. Education Ad: You should know the reasons why your leads don’t convert, so address that upfront. Ex: A professional photographer gets consistent feedback that their prices are too high so they could run an ad with content that addresses “5 reasons to pay more for your wedding photographer”
- 3. Reminder Ad: Still have questions? Sign up for a time to chat.
How to Build an Engaged Following on Instagram
Key Point: Don’t set it and forget it. Engage and be intentional!
John built a network of near 1m global partners without paying a dime in advertising or SEO.
- Instagram Growth Tips:
- Bio: keep it clean, clear, relevant and easily consumable
- Use a call to action with a link
- Bullet points for clarity
- Delete old, irrelevant, or poor performing posts
- Post Frequency- minimum of once a day. 2-4 per day is ideal.
- Use anchor content such as #TBT, #MotivationalMonday then infuse other personal and engaging content such as a Q&A with the audience.
- Jump onto other accounts that might be relative to your industry and comment/talk to their followers. Go outside your realm too. Answer questions or just interact.
- Repost relevant + relatable content
- Use 8-10 hashtags, more than that seems spammy according to IG’s algorithm. Use 1-2 large tags such as #TBT, middle-sized tags (those that may be known but are not completely viral), and a few ones that are hyper-personal to your brand.
- Use other accounts content without properly tagging
- Tag + spam other accounts to get their attention
- Bio: keep it clean, clear, relevant and easily consumable
Creating a Growth Stack
Key Point: Be curious.
- Look for comment threads of knowledge on posts on all platforms, those who comment are typically very passionate about the subject matter who you can engage with or learn from.
- For brand awareness, $1/day FB ads can go a far way
- Quick win: use Google PageSpeed insights to see if your page speed could use improvement which will result in better SEO results
- Cross post – ex; if you’re hosting a contest on Instagram, promote it on your other channels.
- Put the pieces of YOUR sales funnel together, and don’t skip a step.
Scale the Unscalable: Content x Creators
Key Point: How do you scale an editorial and multimedia brand, while maintaining quality and budget? Micro-Influencers.
- Building a Micro-Influencer community can be more involved than booking fewer bigger influencers, but this is where quality over quantity comes into play. Influencers from 1-20k have an active group of engaged followers but they aren’t oversaturated.
- When you engage Micro-Influencers, provide them with specific info, details, and assets because they need it. What makes these influencers great is that they are an untapped source, so you can’t expect them to have experience or insight on what tags to include, how to report back on insights, etc. Be clear with expectations and deliverables from both parties.
The Art of Unpaid Traffic
Key Point: Do you on social media. Consistently. Deliberately. Unapologetically.
- Create a brand identity
- Be consistent with your brand, pay attention to what look and feel of posts followers respond best to
- From a loyal following without paid ads
- Engage with your followers because it provides a sense of inclusion. Ask for opinions, create dialogue – REPLY TO EVERY COMMENT. Followers you get through ads don’t have the same level of loyalty to you or the brand.
- Common mistakes:
- No CTA
- Random #’s
- Lame Filters
[GOOD] Email is Not Dead.
Key Points: Get obsessed with the process. Stop focusing on numbers. Listen and serve your true fans.
- Creativity before Technology
- The Carnage crew chose email for the daily carnage intentionally because it forces and challenges creative writers and design.
- If it’s easy to do, it’s easy for others to replicate or outdo you.
- Conversation over Automation: Obsess over the process because that’s what fosters creativity (don’t try to skip the process). Talk in a conversational manner and write to your core audience.
- Provide real value for free! Doing so helps build trust, which is at the foundation of all decision making. Your subject line is the secondary reason people open your emails, the primary reason is that they see your name and want to know what you have to say.
That’s it for the 2018 Yearly Carnage! (For now, at least.) Below, let us know what you think. Have you had success with any of these or other tactics? If so, share the wealth.
As a bonus for making it this far, here are some pics from my trip to Pittsburg, which is a surprisingly awesome city.