Content is king at iLive Conference in Riga

Pubblicato il 04 Nov 2014

Performance enhancement in web marketing is a broad science and as such involves experts from different fields. From psychology to technical elements, it is a world that few people have studied in depth and 8 of them were on the same stage to present their findings at the iLive2014 conference in Riga, Latvia.

Compared to many conferences in the web and startup sector it was quite small, but rightly so. With just over 200 participants it is positioned to have direct interaction amongst members of the audience and the speakers during the breaks.

It was the fourth edition of the event, with a change in venue for this year. The characteristic location of an old factory and ambience created, no seating space other than the main conference hall, and branded beer labeled “networking booster”, definitely gave it a modern approach compared to the monotonous conference set up we are acquainted with.

Instead of booths and sponsor packages we see every time at this type of event, a series of “Expert hubs” was present behind the scenes. These were one-on-one consulting tents designed to gather prospects as well as to give precious advice by the industry professionals to attendees who had specific questions.

It is hard to keep everyone interested in every single talk. At iLive, probably thanks to the variety of speakers and to the layout of the room itself, all presentations had a full attentive audience.

From big data to email marketing, at least three speakers are worth mentioning:

Julian Stubbs (pic at the top), UK marketing strategist, spoke about branding and the buying impulse. Practical, emotional, and expressing one’s self turn out to be the top three reasons to buy a product. Stubbs explained the importance of having customers find you, rather than finding them, or at least making them believe they found you through carefully crafted social media campaigns.

Up to 90% of costs for web related agencies, from digital marketing to website creation, come from employee and office expenses. Why pay rent when people are happier working at home? Investing on e-collaborators or virtual assistants as some call them, has become more mainstream as bringing talent into an office has become harder and harder. Cloud based tools with “E-ployment” will define the future of scalability amongst web companies.

Dela Quist, CEO of AlchemyWorx, presented the old business of email marketing as still the top source of users for websites. Even emails that don’t get opened are a great driving factor, with the so-called “nudge effect” in the subject line. Well crafted subject lines in fact, convert users and offer the companies a touch-point. The action of “click and delete” is a conscious one that reminds the user of the brand. Facebook is leader in these reminders, sending 6% of global email traffic alone.

“The inconvenient truth about email is nothing is likely to make you more money than sending another email”

Dela Quist underlined that one of the biggest fears of email marketers, unsubscribes are actually a great benefit for lists and future campaigns as they automatically filter out all the people that don’t want to hear from you, leaving only a receptive audience on board.

Netherlands based psychologist and scientist Bart Shutz spoke about istinctive versus conscious brain reactions applied to website performance optimization. Examples included AB testing for large clients where click rates, time spent on page, and other vanity metrics along with tangible conversions were increased greatly by small modifications. One of them included a 30% increase in scroll-downs on a web page just by adding a small dent between page sections, creating an arrow towards the bottom of the page. Shutz’s company is able to run more than 100 AB tests like this per client per week.

Overall iLive was a good networking opportunity and the insight from the presentations can be easily applied to real world scenarios. We hope the organizers will keep the number of participants limited as the growing attention to these topics and the success of this year’s event might induce the conference to grow and lose this family-like feeling that makes it special.

“Big data is like teenage sex: everyone talks about it, nobody really knows how to do it, everyone thinks everyone else is doing it, so everyone claims they are doing it.” – Quote of the day from the stage of iLive 2014.

carlo de micheli 

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