The Art of Conversation Conversions and Principles of Viral Content #ConvCon

The Art of Conversation Conversions and Principles of Viral Content #ConvCon

28th November 2012

This talk was entitled ‘The Art of Conversation Conversions & 5 Top Principles of Viral Content’. It was positioned to take a look at a number of questions surrounding why people join social networks, what makes conversation into conversions that are aligned with genuine business objectives. By developing relationships online you can capitalise on a huge opportunity to engage quickly and effectively with many target audiences, Brian and Rob will in this session look into the various ways you can create these ‘conversation conversions’.

There are two speakers for this session:

Stephen Pavlovich, Director of the Conversion Factory was moderating the session. Let’s get started.

The Art of Conversation Conversions

Take a step back from your marketing landscape and ask yourself ‘is it a level playing field?’, it used to be, however nowadays it isn’t; many changes in Google and Facebook and other major sites have favoured big brands (many of these changes are mainly orientated around the monetisation of their platforms).

Marketers Ruin Everything

Marketers Ruin Everything by Brian Adams Conversion Conference

  • Email used to work before we ruined it
  • Letters used to work, before we ruined it and created junk mail
  • Even social media was great before the brands waded in

“All warfare is based on deception” (Sun Tzu The Art of War) – marketers use this by convincing people (mainly their clients) that what they’re doing is the very best out there, often the client will fail to question this.

“Take more time to out-think your competition, not necessarily out-spend.”

  • Care more for your audience – some of the biggest and best examples of engaged communities online care for their audience and nurture it.

Create Contagious Content

Content that is compelling enough to consume, and to share. The number one challenge that clients will highlight here is ‘what if I’ve got nothing to say’. Go back to basics, develop a strategic approach to understand your audience, there are 3 options here:

  1. Join a conversation (least amount of effort)
  2. Change a conversation (little harder, you need to have developed trust and authority to influence others)
  3. Start a conversation (difficult, especially so in saturated markets)
Brian referred to SmartInsights Content Marketing Matrix as a great way of understanding what different types of content can be used for different means:

Content Marketing Matrix martinsights

The concept of influencers was a big feature of Brian’s talk, he recommended interviewing particular influencers in a clients’ area and piggy-backing off their reach and influence as a great way of creating conversation conversions.

“Mail is the new email”

Some of the best agencies at the moment are stepping out of their comfort zones to get attention of their target audience. Consider sending something physical rather than an email…

Case studying things that go wrong is more interesting. When you identify with things that didn’t go well, people are likely to resonate with you more.

  • Create some interesting challenges or competitions with relevant prizes
  • Develop your authority by providing good quality reviews
  • Tell interesting relevant personal stories that have a good lesson attached

“Campaigns and conversations are no longer enough”

Consider using the word ’cause’ to replace ‘campaign’. Brian used Red Bull as an example of this. They stand for a 5 year cause ‘to own the space of extreme sports’, this is an overarching strategy that isn’t hung up by individual campaigns; they didn’t attach any KPIs on selling energy drinks as part of this! They very much went above and beyond this with Stratos.

  • Ask yourself ‘what is your story? Right now’ (not in 5 years time)

Prince Harry being caught naked was seen as an opportunity by the hotel in happened in. They decided to waive the $30,000 bill for the Prince, they did this publicly and this generated huge amounts of media coverage from it, they got 3,657 mainstream media stories (including links and referral traffic).

Brian recommended reading News Jacking by David Meerman Scott. This book communicates being dynamic in your approach, through ‘doing the right thing at the right time’ you can capitalise on activity and open it up to main stream.

There’s a reason why we skip the adverts when we’re watching pre-recorded TV, or is there? It’s not that we don’t like advertising, we just like good advertising.

The 5 Principles of Viral Content on B3ta – Rob Manuel

Rob Manuel at the Conversion Conference 2012

  1. [I missed the first point]
  2. Safe Versions of Rude
  3. Tools Let Audience Show Off – Give them the tools to do so themselves.
  4. Water the Weeds – People happily consume bad content online, play up to this – pay attention to the content that works and provide them with it… Sickipedia was a brainchild of Rob’s after he saw how popular the content was.
  5. “It’s the fish that John West reject …” that make John West’s fish the best – what this means is ‘throw down everything’, all of your ideas, try them all but then be ruthless about throwing some away.
Rob Manuel co-found B3ta at the Conversion Conference 2012

Speaker Bios

If you want to find out more about the speaker, check out the below or follow them on Twitter:

Bryan Adams Speaker Profile Conversion Conference London

Rob Manuel Conversion Conference London Speaker Profile


Written By
Ned Poulter is CEO & Founder of Pole Star Digital, a Digital Marketing Consultancy he runs alongside a number of entrepreneurial ventures. He spends his time developing and overseeing digital strategy for a number of well reputed international clients, developing creative approaches to achieving organic search results, increasing inbound traffic,...
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