VentureFest: Staying ahead in a heady world

You may have seen a few little references to VentureFest on our Twitter feed last Thursday. We spent an enjoyable spring day at York Racecourse writing with 3D doodlers, learning more about equity crowdfunding (shoutout to our friends at SyndicateRoom!) and trying out new apps. Of course, it wasn’t all fun, games and playing with remotely controlled kettles (checking out @appkettlevision is a must for anyone who likes a cuppa). It was also a great opportunity to learn more about upcoming technology trends and meet some new faces; Yorkshire is buzzing with innovative people!

Meanwhile our Marketing Executive Amy was busy gleaning as much digital knowhow as possible. In this post she shares the top tips she picked up on the day.

These days, you can’t help but understand what this does: #

As a technology company, it makes sense that our marketing strategy is based mostly online, and VentureFest York provided an ideal opportunity to check out what others are up to on the World Wide Web.

In David Norris’ talk on Strategic Digital Marketing, he revealed that only 20% of companies think that digital marketing won’t make a difference to their business. That means, whether they measure it or not, 80% of businesses believe that their digital strategy helps them towards their goals. On the consumer side, 90% of people will believe a peer review over anything else.

2015 is the year of connecting with people on a personal level, and it has never been more important.

Here are my key takeaways:

  1. Strategise. So you know what’s round the corner. And you’re already there, looking it right back in the face.
  2. Know your market. Focus only on the areas that are important to you and your business.
  3. Keep up the good work. Set a level you want to work at and keep it consistent, but set realistic goals.
  4. Always look for new ways to put yourself out there.

Of course, like everything, strategy is absolutely key. Ask yourself some simple questions — what do you want to do with your digital marketing? What is the main aim? Who do you need to talk to? For Control F1, it’s about engaging, sharing and learning from others in our lovely techie community and contributing to this. There are many different ways to achieve this; social media, SEO, and email marketing to name but a few! Investing in every single one may not help. To quote David Norris:

“A client I was working with was spending £84,000 a year on Pay Per Click. We had a look at the click rate on these sponsored links and how many leads it generated. Over the several years they had been paying this amount, Pay Per Click generated three leads.”

Three Leads. Now of course if these three leads were each for £2M worth of work and one of them came to fruition, then that would be a different story. But the company in question clearly hadn’t even been taking the time to evaluate their ROI.

In terms of social media, one of David Norris’ key points was never to let you social media accounts go to waste — keep on posting or shut them down!

Luckily, with analytics tools, it’s easy to understand and quantify the effects of digital marketing — especially with social media — accounts now come with an impressive array of free analytics software — Twitter Analytics is a personal favourite!

For us, tweeting isn’t simply about letting our followers know what is happening at Control F1. Instead, we tweet what we are interested in and what our audience will be interested in too; we love technology, so we tweet tech news! We want to engage people, but we don’t want to force ourselves to be engaging.

Blogging is also a great way to increase engagement, helping you to build a following and carve out a place for your company within your chosen verticals. We get different members of our team engaged by writing for our blog, which helps to build their profile and also ensures we have a variety of different voices reflecting the diversity of our business as a whole. Blogging lets people know who you are in more depth, helping to build more meaningful relationships.

Relationships should be reciprocal and as the natural next step for this relationship is listening, please let me know what you think!