Digital Shoreditch 2015 was like no other creative festival in the UK, which saw a cool vibe ride its way into East London and London Tech City, known as the digital ecosystem. Bringing together renowned leaders to celebrate innovation within the creative tech and converging digital industries. The festival programme was organised with over 600 speakers and over 300 sessions and numerous Open Houses. Around daily themes – Make, Grow, Next, Connect and Live, promoting an interdisciplinary approach to the festival to celebrate the outstanding creativity.
1. Content Strategies for Uncool Clients
Content specialists Sticky Content – Catherine Toole, Managing Director, strongly believes that organisations need to be more imaginative about content strategies for uncool clients. Creative content has to be engaging and imaginative, regardless of the market place a brand operates within. All brand need to be noticed and talked about, to create a valued sustained customer relationship.
“If the marketplace isn’t talking about you, the reason is that you’re boring.” Seth Godin
Whether your client is cool or uncool, Toole believes when it comes to publishing content, whether in digital or print, all agencies will be faced with the monster. That isn’t content but the people behind the content known as ‘frakencontent’. Individuals within organisations, who are responsible for producing content, often do not possess the expertise or have the same creative vision as the creative agency. Therefore it is vital to try to avoid your clients becoming bigger than the actual brand publishing project. Therefore the agency must manage their client as well as the content that they produce.
Take Away Point
- Agencies should make a habit of crafting a ‘content approval email’ where you don’t ask your client for feedback on the final draft but manage your client. By communicating you are happy with the content and ask them to approve the content for publication. This will see a dramatic reduction in the amount of amends you receive from your client. If you have difficult clients, manage them by enforcing the working practice of the Content Quad, by Kristina Halvorson.
2. The fast paced world of Branded Content Coca-Cola
Stanislas Magniant, Coca-Cola’s Communications Director, Northern Europe presented on Content Day,Coca-Cola’s approach to liquid content, which was part of the Content 2020 Vision creating a co-owned space for fans and customers to share both brand content and their own brand stories. Placing the customers at the heart of the brand, which has proven very successful with the ‘your name on a bottle’ of Coca-Cola’s marketing campaign. Which made customers feel part of the brand journey. Driving customer engagement, increasing website traffic and sales.
Jonathan Mildenhall, created Coca-Cola’s Content 2020 vision. The brand success has been built upon customer loyalty but Coca-Cola needed a content strategy to turn their customers into brand guardians, due to other brands like Apple doing it so effectively. By placing the customer at the heart of the brand, Coca-Cola’s customers have become storytellers of the content of the Coca-Cola European sites. Creating ideas so contagious they cannot be controlled Coca- Cola, this is known as liquid. Through customer storytelling, which evokes conversations with brand and their customers. Beginning with brand stories, creating liquid and linked ideas, creating engagement, which requires Coca- Cola to react and respond to those conversations instantly through real time interaction.
Mildenhall’s, vision was to create an online magazine that combined both their customer stories and business objectives. This was a key driver of technological advancement, which provided a greater connectivity with consumers and their brands.
Take Away Point
- Content is King and is becoming a major game changer, regardless of the size of your brand or your market share, it cannot be ignored by anyone.
3. The internet of things (IoT)
A panel debate on Next day, discussed the Internet of things (IoT), providing a great insight to the changing environment, which is already evident in our everyday lives. Brands are only at the beginning of discovering what technology is capable of and the impact upon our behaviour and lifestyles. It’s all about connected devices and the IoT initial focus has been centered upon wearable’s, examples being the Nike Fuel Band, Apple Watch and Google Glass and not forgetting the smart fridge.
The ultimate purpose of IoT, will certainly go beyond a fridge informing you via a notification you are out of wine. It will have far greater impact than creating disruptive industries. Both the health and the environmental industries will witness the greatest impact. People living with Dementia would see major improvements in their quality of life, due to technological advancements,organising their daily routine by devices that communicate notifications. There may even be the power to save our planet by consumers controlling the heating in their properties by an app on their phone.
PwC presented the idea of how individuals could vote on specific algorithms relating to government policies that affected their daily lives. Like the NHS or Transport for London based on these results would represent the party you would vote for which would replace the traditional voting system. This seemed to be very favourable with the audience and caused much discussion, allowing retail brands like Tesco to automatically order food without the customer involvement.
Take Away Point
- If you haven’t brought a wearable device take a trip to the Apple or Nike Store and just have a look at the devices to understand the direction of IoT is taking as its very exciting.
4. Secret speakers at the ACE Hotel
Perhaps one of the best-kept secrets of the festival was the series of secret speaking sessions that took place at the Ace Hotel, a very trendy hot spot in Shoreditch for business meetings or meeting with friends socially. One of the best talks for creative’s was on Monday, Make Day, Alex Bec MD of ‘It’s Nice That’ presented a talk through a live stream in the rooftop bar of the ace hotel.
The rest of the week, hosted speakers from a range of industries, from filmmakers, developers and product developers. Check out the secret talks round up.
Take Away Point
- If you can’t afford a membership at Shoreditch House, head to the ace hotel, as its full of creative’s, a great place for a professional meeting and to impress a client.
5. Open Houses
The festival brought 15,000 people to participants’ studios, co-working spaces, galleries, restaurants, cinemas and roof tops. Creating networking opportunities that allowed the participants of the festival to showcase extraordinary work. &&& Creative hosted an Open House which continued their DS15 Lightning Talk ‘Content is King, Design is it’s Queen’ Since hosting an Open House at Digital Shoreditch 2015, &&& Creative have been inspired to create ‘Creative Corner’, a free monthly meetup to inspire your creativity. The idea is simple, we invite a Creative to share their knowledge with you.
Take Away Point
- Get involved with Digital Shoreditch for Future Events.
- Or start your own meet up.
6. Publish Content First
WP Engine presented on the Live Day, cited as the most exciting day of the festival on the main stage declaring,
WP Engine firmly believes now is the time for the content specialist.
“Every day we see our customers moving toward becoming publishers–we’re more sophisticated now, so brands and websites are more reflective of this shift. It’s an exciting time for our industry!” WP Engine
All organisations need to consider a ‘publish first’ approach for their content. This is vital for audience engagement and SEO. Brands will be investing more capital for their online presence, planning content and understanding the purpose of their content. There will be a greater need to reduce duplication of content and produce content that is customer persona specific. All brands and organisation now have an online presence through a website or a blog. Brands have to publish breaking developments in their industry or organisation. By hosting their content on a robust CMS platform to execute messages for the audience.
Take Away Point
- The current digital landscape is showing, ‘Content is King’ and all brands need to carefully consider the best hosting platform for their Content Management Systems.
- Websites need 24/7 support provided by an expert organisation.
Throughout the whole festival many speakers and experts communicated great Apps they would recommend for people working within the digital space for organising your everyday work lives, i.e. Wunderlist and Evernote for your creative ideas, Box or Dropbox for your workflow, Eventbrite for organising your events and MeetUp to become involved in the business community. However the best app that I discovered whilst being involved in a panel debate at the festival was Sli.do. It an interactive app to be used at events. Organisations can create a hashtag that attendees can use to join in on the discussions. Anyone can ask a question, incoming questions can be moderated before appearing live. The questions can be displayed live via a presentation view. Participants can vote on questions and the most popular questions are displayed.
Take Away Point
- If your organisation hosts events regularly, this is a very cost effective platform to provide real time involvement with your audience. On a monthly basis find out what Apps your industry is recommending.
Bring on DS16.