5 things I’ve learned at SMXL 2017

SMXL 2017

First, I’ve learned that the Italian SEO community is small circle of badass experts, has a huge reputation and is super respected internationally. I’ve met lots of incredible SEO folks and I’ve attended so many great sessions. The level of SEO knowledge here is just impressive. I’ve learned a lot, and I invite all of you (the 5 readers of this blog) to get to the SMXL site and to look for the presentation decks once they will be made available. Some were really remarkable. Hat tip to the Italian SEO community.

Second, I’ve learned that the folks who have organised this event are a small team of professionals who have put a lot of passion with the event organisation and have made something special with a very personal touch. Yes, there might be some space for improvement, but what on earth hasn’t things to be improved? Well done, Sante and team. And thanks again for having me as part of SMXL speakers lineup.

Third, I have learned that most of the Italians attending were super-fluent in English and the simultaneous translation was used mainly by non-Italians to understand local speakers. And I was very proud of it.

Fourth, I’ve learned that very few speakers have addressed content marketing or content strategy as a topic; and that there is still a lot of confusion about content and social media. Social media are a content distribution channel. One of the many. Without a solid content strategy you won’t go anywhere. But still many presenters addressed social media as they were the atomic particles of their strategy. That should be content, instead.

Fifth, I’ve learned that there are still social media stars in Italy. They talk about stuff like hashtag, impressions and viral things. One session was even called “meet the media stars”… And the worst thing was that I saw many youngsters taking selfies with them (while they’d have spent a much better time attending SEO sessions).

Finally, my session. I’ve learned that after presenting so many times in English, I need to make a much better job whenever I switch to Italian, which ironically is my mother language. Also, I’ve learned that the topic (how to apply principles of psychology to design, content and social media) has generated lot of interest, questions and contacts. The deck is here (http://bit.ly/psychologysmxl) just in case you want to have a look.

Introducing my session at SMXL 2017

Yeah, true. I had no clue about how to film a short introduction to SXML until this morning. No idea about how to use iMovie too. Spent 3 hours filming like an idiot, downloading and editing stuff. Well, this is the result. It will be published on SMXL’s site.

Meeting old and new friends in Milan

Just posted this short note on LinkedIn and now using my blog to let all of you (the few readers) know that I will be in Milan on 13/15 of November as a speaker of SMXL Search and Social Media Conference Milan! Specifically I will talk about how to use psychology of design to attract new audience, transforming good into epic content marketing & social media.  If you are in town that week and want to have a chat, just let me know!  : )

B2B Marketing Challenges (notes from the CMA’s Digital Breakfast)

From the B2B Digital Breakfast, hosted by CMA (Content Marketing Association). The full post is here.

August’s Digital Breakfast took a well-established format into largely uncharted territory. For the first time, it focused exclusively on B2B content – a move that clearly struck a chord with a large and engaged audience.

The last person to present was Giuseppe Caltabiano, Head of Content Marketing Advisory Services, NewsCred

He began his presentation by asking ‘Is B2B still boring to Boring?’ He said that when it comes to data Vs emotions the perception is that B2B is more boring. This however doesn’t have to be the case with Giuseppe citing LinkedIn’s Dinner for Five series.

Giuseppe added that historically B2B requires a more rational approach, but that new technologies, new communications channels (social media) are changing the way B2B companies approach clients. And in some ways the new methods of communication, which includes content marketing, have been adopted by B2B companies at faster speed than B2C.

In terms of messaging Giuseppe pointed out that was a real difference between the content marketing approaches. He said that B2B content should inform and educate, while B2C content should inspire.

Another important point that Guiseppe made was that multiple influencers are involved in a B2B decision – something that is not always the case in B2C. There maybe as many four different departments involved in a  decision making process and one of the complexities of B2B marketing is that content needs to address all these individuals and sectors effectively.

Yet one advantage B2B has over B2C is that there is a more limited number of platforms to use. As Giuseppe explained, the distribution channels are not endless. In reality there is really only three or four that are efficient.

Giuseppe then unpacked the B2B content distribution plan citing the importance of, and difference between, owned, paid and earned media.

He also advised caution in companies selecting the right KPIs as these are different along the different points of the sales process.

He also discussed how companies shouldn’t write off different platforms – perceiving them as being just B2B or B2C. For example, there is now a number of B2B companies that use tactics like Facebook Live to illustrate the human side of their business.

Finally Giuseppe went onto nail what he sees as the two most prevalent myths about B2B content.

Firstly that the ‘humans have lesser attention span than that a goldish,’ he argued that this isn’t the case and anyhow should not be used as an argument to dumb down content.

Secondly “buyers are 67% (or 57%, or 90%) of the way through the purchase journey before they want to talk to a supplier (or to sales)”

If you work in B2B marketing, you’ll have been told that buyers are either 57%, 67% or (more recently) 90% of the way through the purchase journey before they want to talk to a supplier. Giuseppe argued that the basis for at least two of these stats is actually very thin and has been so widely misrepresented.