As a former MIMA board member and enthusiastic extrovert, there have been few MIMA Summits when I’ve been able to actually pay attention (and learn! Imagine that!) in sessions, without having myriad other responsibilities or… you know, people to catch up with in the hallways. This year, I showed up as my fully-focused self (thanks, Headspace), and have distilled some of my favorite tidbits down into this short & sweet list for you:
Video Advertising is in Beta
I say this in jest, but it’s almost true. No one knows what a “view” is in video. Does it mean they watched the whole thing? Does it mean they watched part of it? If part of it, how long did they watch? What platform are we talking about here? Does it count if it’s YouTube but posted on Facebook? How do we combine views for reporting purposes? Video is measured a bunch of different ways by a bunch of different media companies, and anyone who tells you they’ve got it all figured out is full of it.
That being said: video is also a super important, exciting, and accessible playground. For example—no one expects live video to be perfect, so you can test some ideas and see how they do. Plus, aside from staff time, live video is basically free.
Users are spending more time every year watching video—and it’s being said that Facebook (for example) won’t even have conversations with publishers who aren’t putting video at the top of their publishing priority list.
Everyone’s Really Sick of Content (but it’s Still Really Important)
“Content” is basically the other C-word. (Sorry, Mom.) But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. Here’s the thing: You can’t share a banner ad. Thoughtful writing, photos, infographics, video, etc. will always play better than a banner ad, and are easier for your enthusiasts to share with their friends. But as with any marketing or communications tactic or function, to do it right, you’ve got to have an approach and assign success metrics so you know whether or not the investment you’re making in your… ahem… content, is working for your business.
Don’t Tell Influencers What to Do (You’re paying them for a reason!)
This should go without saying, but apparently we’re still talking about it. You hire influencers because of their network and their expertise. They’ve built up a following somehow—and, if you’ve hired them, that means you’ve decided you’re interested in pairing your brand with their community. You know who is the expert at understanding what her or his community wants? Hint: It’s not you.
If you’re not prepared to give influencers the reins, don’t hire them. Or you know, hire them, but then just light some cash on fire while you’re at it.
There are so many really amazing tools that I am not using or completely underusing!! (Yes, two exclamation points!!)
If I can rely on anyone to consistently deliver useful, actionable ideas—it’s Mr. Jeff Sauer. Here are a few of the notes I gleaned from his talk about benchmarking:
- Get Anonymous – Everyone has Google Analytics. But are you using it for anything besides tracking web traffic? GA’s benchmarking tool (found under Audience -> Reporting) is a super useful way to see how you you rate in industry—and help justify budget requests to your boss.
- Get Specific – SimilarWeb shows you traffic, ranking, referrals and more for your own site and your competitors’—competitors you tell it to compare you to. And it’s free, for five results per metric, and three months’ of data. More than that, and you’ve gotta pay up.
- Go Triangulate – None of these services are precise, and your strategy shouldn’t rely 100% on any one tool alone. The best way to get a great picture of where you stand against the industry and competition is by using anonymous industry data, specific competition data, and your own data. Combine those and get to planning!
I feel fortunate to have MIMA and its hardworking board members and committee members in the Twin Cities. The Summit has been a consistently valuable annual event in my life—and I look forward to future years of more hallway catch-ups, happy hours, & session takeaways alike.