Well, that was a top day, wasn't it? The 2017 vintage of our Annual Summit for Digital Innovation in Education is in the bag and what a success it was - eight excellent speakers, one glamorous host, a plethora of tweets and a whole load of learning.
Synthesising such a useful event into a single blog post was always going to be a tough task, but that's what I've tried to do below - however, to get the full picture of the day be sure to check out the hashtag #ASDIE17 to see what all our delegates made of it.
Anyway, with that in mind, here are some of our top takeaways from a top day that featured sessions from Google, Amazon, Snapchat, Tinder, Target Internet, Loughborough University and a couple of Natives too!
Russia is starting to take international student recruitment very seriously indeed - they want to have 700,000 of them by 2025. Bear in mind that, in the UK, we're already struggling to convince international students to come here and it becomes very clear that we've now got some serious competition. The struggle is real!
We didn't wait until Google was invented to start expressing our curiosity; look at the questions people used to ask in the New York Public Library and you'll see requests for the weight of Napoleon's brain and a demand to know why there were so many damned squirrels in old English paintings. We're humans and we've always been weird.
We're also still coming up with original questions - 16% of all Google searches are brand new!
On Clearing day, more and more students are reaching for their phone as their main weapon of choice and over half of them are searching before 10am. That means you need all your Clearing stuff online in good time and it needs to be mobile-friendly -we can help with that.
Huge thing to take note of; improving the load time of your mobile site by just one second will result in a 27% increase in conversion . No. Brainer.
Improving mobile site speed by 1 second increases conversion rate by 27%. Great stat from Google's Stephen Power #ASDIE17— Andy Holliday (@andyholliday) 19 July 2017
When it comes to Loughborough University's marketing team and approach, everything is online first - brochures are 'dinosaur land'.
Think about how you can use channels in a way that will resonate with your audiences. Loughborough found Snapchat to be a great place for intimate Q&A sessions because that's the space where prospective students will ask the sort of questions they don't want mum to see.
We're marketing at students, right? So how about getting your currents on board as partners to help test your ideas and check you're not creating something painfully uncool? Do it! And build relationships with your Students' Union too - we hear regularly games nights for the chance to win a trophy can work wonders!
Make sure you've always got ideas and inspiration for your content - map out the entire year so you know what's going on, and try to create plenty of evergreen content too.
Had you ever wondered just how active people are on Snapchat? 'Very' is the scientific answer, apparently; there are 166 million daily active users, 60% of which create at least one Snap every single day. Not only that, the average user opens the Snapchat app 18 times a day !
Don't call Snapchat a social network though - they're a camera communication platform.
The advertising options available to target all those active Snappers look very interesting indeed - swipe up to a pre-populated lead gen form(a form you should probably create in Akero because, you know, Akero is ace)? Yes please. Again, we can help you with this, just shout.
What does a potato, a bunch of GIFs, oat milk and taking a 20 note from an audience member only to tear it up in front of them have in common? They all formed part of a wonderful speech from our own Charlie Penrose. Wonderful, but bloody difficult to sum up in a blog!
The power of perception is huge and can make a massive difference to how your approach your marketing. Be different, be unexpected and don't make it about what your audience wants - it's about what they want to want.
Is this advert for FiberFix tape the greatest infomercial you'll see today. Probably.
In a room full of delegates there was not a single person who hadn't made at least one purchase from Amazon in their life. Not surprising really when you consider that, out of the the UK's 65 million inhabitants, 45 million of them are active Amazon customers.
In fact, in December 2016, 96% of UK adults visited Amazon . Mind. Blown.
These are just a couple of reasons why you should look into advertising within Amazon's network. You can do that with us - get in touch.
Do you know what's even trickier than blogging about Charlie's session? Blogging about your own session! A brief summary; engage with your community, do more student takeovers , maximise any user-generated content from your community, go and start a podcast , optimise your content for each channel you choose to post it on, be confident that your content passes the 'so what?' test and make sure your press releases are fit for the modern age.
Also, look for interesting examples of social media accounts who are just killing it - Orkney Library and Liverpool University Library both have bags of character, while Dennis Mowers are great at telling their own story.
Oh, and focus on quality of content over quantity - fewer, but better posts should be the way forward.
Your content, your social media, your PR and your SEO all overlap online. But, are the people responsible for these elements within your organisation talking to each other?
There are 10 key areas your organisation needs to do digital well - leadership buy-in, team ability, market readiness, resources, strategy, governance, infrastructure, measurement, financial performance and innovation. Go through and rank where you work out of 10 to give you your score out of 100. The average organisation ranks itself as 59?the average University mark is 47.
Did you know Target Internet's Daniel Rowles has written a book about Digital Culture? He has, and you can get it right here (on Amazon, of course).
Want to benchmark your own digital marketing skills and identify any gaps? You can do that too.
As someone who met his wife at school 13 years ago, I've genuinely never used Tinder, so it was fascinating to take in some of their stats. The inventors of the right swipe have 26 million matches a day, the site generates 1 million dates a month and its users login for 235 minutes per month too . Big.
Tinder actually turns down a lot of advertising requests because they're not right for the platform or its audience. One example that did work for them was a NHS campaign where, if you swiped right with a celebrity, you'd get a message encouraging you to register for organ donation. That campaign generated 1.4 million impressions and had a 46% engagement rate .
If you're thinking of Tinder as somewhere to explore creating a campaign, make sure really build something specifically for that platform . Do that, and you'll be rewarded with mega engagement rates - kind of like this Pepsodent campaign, but maybe without the cheesy voiceover.
Staffordshire University's Laura Allen was a very worthy #ASDIE17 hashtag champion for a winning combination of insights, humour and GIFs.
#ASDIE17 was ace all round. see you again next year?