Lessons Learned At The EMCDigital FORUM & Masterclasses 2017

3 Things We Learned At EMCDigital (Or… ‘Don’t Listen To The Hippo’!)

In sunny September 2017 we attended the second annual EMCDigital FORUM and Masterclasses in Brighton.

The speakers included a Film Director, an Analytics & User Experience Consultant and Email Marketing, Social Media, Personalisation, Conversion and Online Advertising experts from various Schools, Colleges & Universities and specialist agencies.

With so many experts in the same place, there was certainly a lot to take in. As well as providing lots of inspiration and networking contacts, the FORUM & Masterclasses were designed to ensure that delegates got to take away actionable ideas that they could use to improve their everyday work and marketing techniques.

We heard presentations about developing email campaigns, tips for implementing GDPR, ideas for creating content that has been optimised for Search Engines, the future of Social Media, benefits and techniques for Online Advertising and more. All designed to ensure that Nurseries, Schools and colleges are keeping up with today’s digital marketing trends.

“Fantastic, well worth attending and something that I would recommend to every digital marketer in Education”
(EMCdigital Masterclass & FORUM delegate)

Here are just a few of the many things we took away from attending the Masterclasses and FORUM in Brighton:

1) Video: Cameras to the ready

Speaking about the use of multi-media in Social Media, Alistair Beech and Matt Horne explained how the Internet is increasingly video based.

Mark Zuckerberg has reportedly said that by 2021 Facebook will be all video, and the buzz phrase within Facebook offices at the moment is “the camera is in keyboard”.

Users are effectively sick of typing and are turning to their cameras to communicate instead.

Your video communications don’t always have to be slick and edited but do need to be authentic and can be instantaneous.

Today in social marketing, audience reach is in decline and brands are battling for the news feed.

Metrics are confusing, content consumption isn’t guaranteed and… with trends for a more personal, story-driven experience… customers will want high-quality images, videos and audio files stored for posterity.

What’s more, the trend for personalised videos is set to rise and rise.

If you haven’t got your camera out, now’s the time to sit up and take notice.

Not only will a user want to see your brand event, they’ll want to see it on a 360 video, experience it on a Snapchat lens or indulge in virtual reality on a mobile phone.

Nurseries, Schools, Colleges & Universities need to up their game when it comes to mobile optimised campaigns.

2) CRO: The HIPPO in the room

Pete Taylor, talking about ‘Conversion Rate Optimisation’, explained how the ‘Highest Paid Person’s Opinion’ (HIPPO) is often carried out without question.

The HIPPO may have valid opinions but they are not the most important opinion when thinking of optimising your website… the opinion that counts belongs to your users and target audiences!

Conversion Rate Optimisation (or ‘CRO’ for those in the know) doesn’t propose to know the answer, but puts opinion to one side in order to discover the answer.

So what is CRO? Pete explained that in digital marketing, Conversion Rate Optimisation is a system for increasing the number of visitors to a website that then convert into customers or (more generally) take the desired action on the webpage.

Whereas the HIPPO is focussed on what they or the organisation wants and needs, CRO process looks at a wide range of key data, including:

  • Web analytics and analysis,
  • User testing,
  • User surveys,
  • Competitor analysis,
  • Recommendations from industry experts, and
  • Past experiments.

This research, testing, review and analysis helps us develop an accurate picture of what our users and target audiences really want.

One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions… so educational establishments need to spend a bit of time and effort looking into optimising their conversion rates using real data rather than the opinion of just one person.

3) GDPR: Yes, I want to receive your information!

Kristine Scott (Harrison Clark Rickerbys Ltd’s) spoke about the impending changes that will impact on every Education institution as a result of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).

If you haven’t yet heard of GDPR, you may as well have been living on Mars!

If you’ve not already done so, download Harrison Clark Rickerbys Ltd’s advisory notes giving GDPR guidance and check out the handy 12-step guide from the Information Commissioner’s Office which all institutions, big or small, should be starting to implement now.

Also watch Kristine Scott’s presentation at the EMCdigital FORUM 2017… see the FORUM Presentations 2017 web page in the Resources area.

With the deadline of 25 May 2018 approaching fast and the threat of hefty fines to be levied on organisations who are not compliant, Kristine reminded us that no School, College or University should email anyone (including applicants and parents) without their consent.

And remember folks – consent needs to be fully informed, freely given and capable of being withdrawn at any time.

What’s more, it needs to be specific, unambiguous and demonstrated by a clear affirmative action.

Blogs & Masterclass Workshops 2018

For more insights, top tips and ideas please see the Resources area of the EMCdigital website and don’t miss the half-day Masterclass workshops… see the Masterclass programme and book your place(s) soon.

See you there.

Sanoobar Patel
(Marketing and Enrichment Team Leader, Leyton College)

Do join us for our expanded Masterclass programme and book soon (places are limited to small groups for the benefit of all participants).

Talking about EMCdigital LIVE & ONLINE? Please remember to use the hashtag: #EMCdigital

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