Distilled Live – 19th Feb 2014

Last night, myself, James Bavington, Kieran Headley and Jen Allen hopped in the car and went down to London to check out the first Distilled Live Event of 2014.

What promised to be a good evening certainly didn’t disappoint – despite a couple of the original billed speakers pulling out due to illness.

Distilled Live getting pretty busy.

The evening kicked off with Hannah Smith revisiting a talk delivered at The Content Marketing Show that centred around “Presenting Ideas and Testing Reactions”, or more directly “Throwing Shit at a Wall and Seeing What Sticks”!

The key message was all about creating marketing that people love – and the importance of writing content to entertain and educate. The best thing for me was the number of handy examples that Distilled have achieved some tangible results with – the highlights of which are below:

For lots more case studies for content marketing by Distilled – check out this blog post.

We all know how important it is in a post Penguin world to create content that is worthy of ‘earning’ links, rather than going out and ‘building’ (buying) links if we want to do things properly – so it was great to see some insights into the sort of creative thinking that generates likeable, shareable, link worthy content.

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Lots of tasty nibbles were available

Also a couple of book recommendations which I’m keen to check out –
The Filter Bubble – a book on what the internet is hiding from you and the effects of personalisation, which can be a barrier to getting your content seem
Made to Stick – material on how to make ‘sticky’ content by appropriately framing your content, using great headlines etc.

Hannah was followed by James Porter, a relatively new recruit for Distilled and a new speaker for me – who was talking about Viral Marketing, and more specifically ‘The Viral Coefficient’.

According to James’s research, the Viral Coefficient is as follows:

  • K = I*P*C
  • I = Shares per Viewer
  • P = Shared Audience

C = Conversion Rate (% of People who see the content that click on it).

With the fact in mind that typically 90% of people who see viral content don’t bother to share it – the talk looked at how to target, develop & distribute content to maximise the changes of going viral.

The process of targeting was particularly interesting – is it better to choose a niche audience or a broad audience given the unique benefits of targeting each one? Or in fact, perhaps targeting a broad niche is even more effective – given that these types of audiences are both likely to share content that appeals to a shared interest and will not be too niche to make much impact.

The example given was a piece of content created for Thomson on The History of Dance Music, and specifically how it travels. This targeted passionate dance lovers (niche audience) – who would share the content and give it a good chance of being picked up by dance lovers (broad niche) – before finally infiltrating just plain music lovers (broad audience).

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Note-taking was a must!

James also made the point that outreach is key – with 25% of shared occurring within the first 3 days of launch, making the most of the opportunity available at launch is a key part of viral success.

Finally, affecting shares per viewer is another important part of the process – and can be influenced by ensuring people will want to share your content. This works on the thought process that people are essentially selfish when sharing content – they want to share things that make them look good.

Typically, these are things that are either useful or emotionally provocative in some way – but all viral content tends to include an element of social value. How will your audience be reflected if they share the material you have published?

The evening was wrapped up with a really inspiring talk from Danny Richman at The Princes Trust. The Trust is looking for people with experience in SEO, social media, website design, planning & usability to step in as digital mentors and work with the young people who are part of the scheme and setting up online businesses. It only takes an hour a month as a minimum and is incredibly rewarding from Danny’s feedback – so if you’re interested find out more here.