Cork eir Spiders digital workshop speakers

Cork eir Spiders Digital Workshop urges brands to get back to basics on digital

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Paul Mulqueen


The third stop on our eir Spiders Digital Workshop roadshow was the Cork Opera House. Attendees at this event were treated to a stellar line-up of digital experts who offered best practice tips to developing your brand online.

In this historic, city centre building we were joined by Gemma Sugrue of VoiceWorks Studio, Greg Canty of Fuzion Communications, Noreen D’Arcy of D’Arcy Marketing and PR, Susie Horgan of Springboard PR and Marketing and Stephen Ryan of Cork’s Red FM.
We got an insight into developing memorable content, finding your voice on social media, humanising your brand, digitising your PR strategy and the digital trifecta.

Showcasing your personality on social media

Humans are engineered for communication. But a lot of the ways we communicate are visual – facial expressions, hand gestures, smiling and laughing. Gemma Sugrue of VoiceWorks pointed out that video is the ideal medium to showcase your personality and communicate on social media. To be effective on video – whether that’s recorded video for YouTube or Facebook, or live video via Snapchat and Instagram – you need to figure out your performance personality and hone it. She highlighted four very different performance personalities, from Beyonce to Adele , and made the point that though these personalities are very different, in their own way they capture attention because they are real. Video gives brands the opportunity to be authentic and connect with customers in a genuine way.

Be a human, not a robot

Social media and digital marketing? have given brands the tools to communicate with customers on a different level, but Greg Canty advises against digitising the human connection. In an insightful presentation Greg talked about the importance of getting to know people and being a brand your customers like (and not just like through the ‘like’ button). Every social interaction is a breadcrumb that you’re asking people to follow. Greg advises that brands need to make every breadcrumb count. Be conscious of what you’re doing online: be available to your customers, reply to their feedback, personalise, where possible, your communications with them. Again, the theme of being authentic and real online was strong in Greg’s presentation, and in fact, it was a common thread running through the morning event.

Create content people remember

Stephen Ryan of Cork’s Red FM highlighted the type of content that is working so well for the station, showcasing examples that have made an impact for the radio station recently. Ultimately Stephen urges brands to ask themselves “what does our brand stand for and what does our audience care about?” The goal is to create content that is relevant to your customer and reflects your brand values. Without relevancy, content will not be memorable; the connection with the audience needs to be there. And it’s also about being fun and taking risks with content; don’t be afraid to think outside the box and be innovative.

Consider the digital trifecta

Susie Horgan of Springboard PR and Marketing delved into the digital trifecta of paid media, earned media and owned media. Paid media comprises PPC, social media ads, display ads, etc; earned media is all those mentions and shares, while owned media is your website content, blog posts your own social media channels and email marketing. Susie said that often in the rush to get their message out to the world, brands can overlook their owned media. She urged brands to focus on the content they create and how they can use it and, importantly, re-use it. Develop strong content that can be re-purposed for different channels – including online and traditional media.

Marry traditional and digital channels for maximum effect

While brands everywhere are rushing to digital channels, Noreen D’Arcy of D’Arcy Marketing and PR advises them not to abandon traditional media. The most effective campaigns are those that marry both traditional media – newspapers, TV, radio – with online media – blogs, social media, online news sites. Determine where your audience are finding out about you and focus on those channels. Noreen gave us a fascinating example of how tickets for a concert by country signer Nathan Carter weren’t selling well despite a mass of likes and shares across social media about the upcoming gig. A quick re-focus on traditional media, in conjunction with the digital channels, saw ticket sales rocket.

The engaged audience in Cork no doubt picked up several tips and tricks that they can put into practise for their own brands. What was most striking about the presentations was the common link they shared – this notion of getting back to basics and being real. It’s become increasingly important for a brand to show their true personality whatever channel they’re using.

Register now to be in with the chance of winning a prestigious eir Spider Award this November.