Social Media Marketing World 2020: Top Three Takeaways

On March 19, 2020, Californians received shelter-in-place orders.

For most, it felt like the world turned sideways in what seemed like a day. Only a week and half prior to the isolation requests, we were attending one of the world’s largest marketing conferences: Social Media Marketing World 2020.

During the conference, there was that impending elephant-in-the-room vibe...

A buzz about some crazy coronavirus: handwashing signs were displayed in restrooms, hand sanitizing stations were around every corner, and the looming scent of Clorox wipes was evident both at the conference center and on the airplane. There was a general unease as we packed like sardines into rooms to hear some of the biggest names in content share their presentations and lead workshops.

Yet, all (but one) of the speakers kept their commitment and the conference was pretty standard--thousands of professionals flocked to the San Diego Gaslamp District.

No face masks, no virtual meetings, handshakes (and hugs) were still in order, and the phrase “social distancing” was unbeknownst to most people. Workshops were packed and standing room only. Lines were long. Flights were full.

Nearly two weeks later: BAM! Businesses are closed, Zoom is suddenly a commonly used verb, and a new trending tag #WFHLIFE is born.

Just a week after the conference ended, all events scheduled at the San Diego Convention Center were called off.

In fact, SMMW 2020 was the last event held at the SD Convention Center before isolation began.

With all the chaos and confusion of Covid-19 that followed in the days, weeks and months after our trip to San Diego, SMMW 2020 soon became a distant memory, and we never truly had the opportunity to reflect on and share the takeaways and top tips we learned. But here we are today 6 months later, slowly reopening and trying to get back to our “normal” lives. A weird, uncertain hibernation period is hopefully coming to some sort of end soon. There is a tiny light at the end of the tunnel, and we are all emerging (hopefully) with a new sense of gratitude for things that we most likely always took for granted.

Here are our top three (and favorite) takeaways from our time spent at Social Media Marketing World 2020:

#1: Video, Video, Video

I want to spend a lot of time with this one. Michael Stelzner--founder and CEO of Social Media Examiner--was one of four conference keynote speakers. His presentation was one of the most informative as he presented slide after slide of data-driven research. Using specific examples and supported findings, Stelzner answered the question: Where and how should you focus your marketing efforts in 2020?

The fact of the matter is consumer behavior is shifting. When it comes to social media, marketers are becoming less and less trusted by users. Organic reach is down (and almost dead). And--to top it all off--ad costs are rising with nearly 7 million active advertisers on Facebook. To paint a more clear picture of just how video is taking over: Disney+, TikTok, Netflix, and Youtube were four of the most downloaded apps of Q4 in 2019. As sad as it may sound, leisure reading is at an all-time low and people are watching more video content than ever. Additionally, there is data that shows a high demand for documentary storytelling. So what does this mean for marketers? We need to learn to create video stories that are entertaining and educational.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Build trust by showing up and letting people see you.
  • Pass through the algorithm with great video leading to better engagement and longer viewing sessions.
  • Tell a good story because when people get to know the people behind your product/service and how it’s made/done, they talk about you more! At the end of the day, you must pivot or perish when it comes to creating video content: Generate video that is both useful and entertaining to viewers. Just do it. Otherwise, you will fail on social media. Video is where it’s at in 2020 and the coming years.

#2: Authenticity with Purpose 

In the words of marketing guru, Seth Godin: “Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell.” And as SMMW 2020 keynote speaker Jasmine Star reiterated, “Your goal with social media is to offer value to your followers.” Be authentic. Show up. Let people see you. But do so with purpose, reciprocity, and usefulness for your followers. An Instagram story with a picture of what you are eating for lunch with the caption “Yummy!” does nothing for followers except make them feel hungry. Aka no one cares. As an example, part of the problem with a boring post of your lunch (besides being boring) is that your followers don’t know how to engage with that. First of all, it’s not engaging. Second, it’s not requiring any sort of engagement--a question, a poll, a prompt. Nothing. 

Here were a few great quotes from Jasmine Star’s keynote on the topic of meaningful content:

  • Social media takes less effort when you are focused on helping your followers; when you care more about creating value for your followers, you stop making excuses. 
  • Add engagement tools to your Instagram stories to learn what your followers want to engage with
  • Show up as YOU; authenticity will resonate with your audience

#3: Repurpose Content  

Don’t reinvent the wheel. Every. Single. Time. There’s no reason why you can’t repurpose content. Be strategic with your content. Work smarter, not harder. 
Several of the speakers at SMMW 2020 shared tips, tricks, and tools for repurposing content in the most strategic way. One of the most insightful talks on the topic of repurposing, however, was from author and marketer, Melanie Deziel. She said it perfectly: “You don’t need to create more content. Do more with the content you create.” 
Diezel is all about strategy and systems. As someone who identifies as an Enneagram 8 and considers myself Type A, I appreciate systems and strategy. 
Diezel shared her Six Part Content Repurposing Cycle. It was awesome.

And it goes a little something like this (below is a condensed, summarized version, of course--be sure to buy her book HERE): 

  • Copying: The Marketing 101 of repurposing content! Example: Write a blog. Copy and paste it to Linked In as an article. Easy. 
  • Excerpting: Take parts of your content and break it down into smaller parts. Example: Write a blog. Take excerpts from the blog and turn into much smaller social media posts. 
  • Updating: Take the original and make a 2.0 of it. Extend the life of your content, ensure accuracy, and address open questions with an updated and refreshed version. Example: Add new information, revise old information, refresh headlines/titles, update/change imagery.
  • Reformatting: Take the content and remix it in an entirely new medium.  If it’s working and it’s good content, repackage it into a different form. Everyone consumes content in a different way. Example: Write a blog post. Turn it into an infographic, audio, timeline, quiz, tool, etc. Perhaps turn it into a carousel of images of just the highlights of that blog, or turn it into a quick video using relevant B-roll and captions.
  • Curating: Write a blog. But then package it up with a bunch of other great blog posts you’ve written on the same topic. Or, collect other great content and include yours with that, or simply share with others the resources you spent the time collecting related to a specific topic.
  • Multiply: Take something that worked (like that blog post you wrote), and remix it into a second, third, fourth form. Example: Write a blog that speaks to entrepreneurs. Rewrite that blog for mompreneurs. 

Again, there is no need to feel the stress and pressure of creating incredible content every day, all the time. Get creative and make a system that will allow you to repurpose the same content strategically over and over.  

Schedule a Meeting

Let's grow your business.

Fill out my online form.