How did we spend our weekend you ask? Well, it turns out that this weekend, we feel particularly educated and virtuous since we spent our Saturday deep-diving into all kinds of media inspiration at the OnlyJustMedia Summit at Belfast’s Odyssey. And what a way to spend a Saturday it was.
The Summit was at core. The sharing of ideas. The power of connecting with influencers, bloggers, and media agencies to hothouse trends and topics that are relevant to each and every one of us in our daily media lives. With the guest list comprising of 65% influencers and 35% local businesses, the summit easily traversed subjects such as LinkedIn Video Marketing (Niamh MacAuley), Storytelling, Community & Culture (Tyler Babin) and Trick-Talk for TikTok (Joel M). A powerful representation of how thriving and inspiring the world of media in Northern Ireland is, it was a hugely valuable insight into what we should all be aware of regardless of what area of the media we exist in.
Bringing together key speakers from around the world including Cody Wanner, Adrian Vasquez, Creative Director for the infamous real estate broker, Ryan Serhant, Joel M, Mentalist and TikTok Influencer and Gabriel DeSanti, Content Creator and Influencer, the event was beautifully organised by Lucy McMullan and Alan Wallace and benefited from some of the finest local businesses in sponsorship.
So, in between rubbing shoulders with international influencers and refueling with delicious local treats from Happy Dog and Glenisk, what notes did we take? Who were the standout speakers for us? And what takeaways are top of our action list? The foundations of the Summit were to Learn, Connect, and Create so here’s our top three in those categories.
A common theme throughout the day was the importance of branding. And consider that Branding+. Branding is fundamental to everything we do. Branding ourselves and not just our products. Putting ourselves out there. Branding a company or product and building that brand through everything we do. All the content we create, and every customer interaction. In OnlyJustLucy’s words, “If you build your brand, you will be in demand”. Whether this comes across through video posting on LinkedIn, through community building on Instagram, or how you position your products and performances online, it was clear that paying attention to each part of your brand personality is vital to your success.
You might think of a successful social media presence as one that has a big ‘following’. In the past influencers have been accused of buying followers or building that following via inauthentic means but the word at the summit was that it’s all about ‘community’ now. Don’t think about your ‘followers’ as ‘followers’, consider them part of your brand community and treat them as such. Interact, talk, take on board feedback, include them in how you grow and shape your brand and before you know it, you’ll have a wholly invested, engaged, and vocal tribe to spread the word. It’s far more impactful to have a community of individuals who care about and believe in what you’re doing, than a vast following who don’t engage in any of your content.
Whether you are a traditional or digital media advocate, whether you extol the virtues of Instagram or TikTok, whatever your media poison, the key across the board is content creation. And Content 2.0. That means, get thinking about audio via Podcasting, get focused on video for Instagram, YouTube, and now Linked In. Think content and think it all the time. The barriers to entry are low. Look out for free podcast apps like Anchor opening up the market to anyone who wants to put a podcast out there. And with any decent phone offering a good quality video, you can record and post your thought leadership, uploading directly to LinkedIn and keeping your content fresh that way.
Don’t forget that we should all see ourselves as storytellers in this. Stop seeing content as an opportunity and start seeing it as a way to story tell. Your content is the Show, not the Advert. (loved this one!). Bear that in mind and consider all content opportunities. What is the Insta-moment and how can you leverage that? How can you share your expertise with your target connections via your professional networks? Where does your audience live online and what is the content they want to see and engage with? It’s all about planning, creating high-level storytelling content, and disseminating to the right people.
Easy right? Well, consider us inspired and motivated. And possibly, even maybe a tiny bit tempted to dip a TikTok toe in as our next media challenge (blame Joel M for that one). Why not? If you can carve yourself a niche and stand out from the crowd there, the opportunities are huge for any brand. So, OnlyJustMedia Summit? Consider us signed up for next year.