With the likes of BBC Three, Holosphere and Google Digital Garage, #DigbethDigital had some of the biggest names bring us up to date with the latest in the digital world. With a growth potential of 67% for digital industries in the Midlands alone, here are five key points to keep in mind.
**VR is the future**
Virtual reality may seem like a gimmick that’ll never catch on, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Now more technology is available at lower prices than ever, VR can be a core element for the future. Not just for gaming, but for training, therapy and promotional content too. In fact, VR can mould and influence a consumer’s behaviour and wants, providing exceptional opportunities for a wide range of sectors to change their perception of what their business limits are. For example, Holosphere discussed how trialling a shop floor through VR with potential customers helped a company to decide on the best layout to influence buyer decision.
And because half of all online content is viewed on a mobile, there’s a further opportunity for VR in platform games, promotional videos and immersive content on the go.
Social media is your not-so-secret weapon**
Cue eye-roll. We’ve all heard that social media can be a valuable tool for brands and businesses because it creates connections and builds relationships. But only a small percentage realise the real worth of social media.
For example, Google Digital Garage reminded us that YouTube is the second-largest search engine, meaning there is a huge opportunity to talk to your potential customers on this social platform alone. When you skip social media, you could be skipping the chance to reach out to pockets of potential customers, who on average, spend an hour and 48 minutes of their day on social media.
When you look into using social media for your business, you need to define your social media goals and how these support your business goals. For example, if your business goals are to increase branding and awareness, your social media goals might be to increase total followers and impressions. This is the sort of exercise we help lots of our clients do before they work out their social media strategy.
**Content is key**
Creating and curating digital content is becoming a huge consideration for businesses, but there is a danger of getting lost in the white noise online if your business fails to stand out. Your content needs to be specifically relevant to your audience to set it apart from the competition, and what you share digitally will directly impact how your customers view you.
When you consider your content, think about the story you’re telling, who your audience is and what platform you’re telling it on. Make it interesting, current and relatable – not just to your audience, but to your business as well.
There are lots of tools out there to help. So, it’s never been easier to create content quickly. (youtube: https://director.youtube.com/onsite/ text: Youtube Director) lets you create quick, professional videos at an event, then edit, upload and promote it in minutes. Creating key content has never been quicker or easier.
**Innovation in context**
‘Innovation’ is a real buzzword at the moment and when everyone claims to be innovative, it can be tempting to strive for it without considering the bigger picture. When choosing what technology you use, it’s crucial to consider your audience. Innovation for the sake of innovation isn’t worth a thing. You might have had a stroke of genius, but what if your audience doesn’t own the technology they need to access your idea? Or if you’ve planned an award-winning Snapchat campaign, but your regular customers are all over 75 and still use a landline?
There are many ways to innovate digitally and give your business a wealth of exciting opportunities that complement your business goals and customers. Take inspiration from the constantly evolving digital world and events to find new ways to keep your business relevant. For example, we recently executed a snapchat campaign for West Mercia Police’s ‘Stop Rape Now’ campaign. We used geo filters in key physical areas to communicate a difficult message to a hard to reach audience using this unusual marketing channel. And, with over 25,000 views of this filter at 0.11p per view, we are confident that innovation was key is communicating this message.
**Your website is a vital ingredient**
Your customers are online and that’s where they want to find you. Make it easy for them with an easy-to-find website and a simple navigation once they get there. First impressions count and your website is often your introduction. A user-friendly site can help people trust you.
And remember that although flashy websites can look impressive, they often take longer to load. When the average person has an attention span of just 2.7 seconds when using their mobile, you could be losing customers if your site takes too long to load. Check how fast your website loads with (link: https://testmysite.withgoogle.com/intl/en-gb/ text: Google’s site speed test).
Embracing new digital technology can make for some exciting new marketing campaigns, but it’s also imperative to get the basics right first. It can be tempting to be taken in by the constantly evolving digital landscape, but there’s no point using technology just for the sake it. Our view is to always pair digital innovation with what’s best for your users, as well as your business goals.
*Want to talk about how you digital innovation could help with your business goals? Email *(link: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org text: *email@example.com*)* or call 01527 573 770.*