Lessons For The Future From EmMeCon

by Lyena Solomon on January 31, 2012

Last week I attended an unusual Conference – EmMeCon put on by Wappow. It stands for Emerging Media Conference. It covered broad topics – Social, Mobile, and Gaming. EmMeCon’s goal was to inspire people, to give the attendees ideas about their business.

EmMeCon 2012 - Tim Ash Speaking

EmMeCon 2012 - Tim Ash Speaking

Photo Credit: Jenn Matthews, @SEOGoddess

I came with an open mind. My goal was to walk away with ideas that clients can use today to be best prepared for the future. I wanted revelations that would give the companies I work with some advantage when fighting for online audience.

Below are some of the insights I received and trends businesses can invest in now, to be prepared for the future.

Know Your Audience

General content suitable for anyone does not work anymore. You need to understand your audience, and write for THEM. One of the most important questions to answer is,

“What is driving them to buy from you?”

Do not assume you know the answer. Ask your customers instead, and confirm their answer on your website.

Pay attention to user behavior – what happens when… How do people behave on your website? Make sure you deliver what people expect to see that:

  • All underlined text is clickable.
  • You have a way to share and rate your posts.
  • There are interactive elements on your website.

Focus, Customize, Measure

When you figure out your customer buying habits, focus on the ones that buy from you.

  • Look beyond just final purchase.
  • Analyze other ways people interact with your website.
  • Find out what drives your newsletter subscribers to give you money.
  • Investigate those who leave comments on your blog; find out where they are coming from.

Try to create a customized experience for each user.

  • You can show them all their Facebook friends who visited your website.
  • Or you can recommend posts for them based on their ranking.
  • Whatever it is, try to establish a one-on-one relationship with each visitor.
  • Participate in their community – whether it is Facebook, Twitter, Forums, or Google Plus.

Measure the results of your efforts, of course. Your direct and indirect efforts should contribute to higher revenue. People are coming to your website through multiple channels. They use different channels before they finally buy. You need to look at everything together, and then single out the contributions of each effort, of each funnel.

Emerging Technologies

Everything is merging. Web, television, games are accessible from many devices, including mobile. And the whole environment is extremely social.

  • We access Facebook from Xbox and watch television and movies on our mobile phones.
  • We recommend websites to our friends and are extremely chatty on Twitter.
  • We save the day in World Of Warcraft and get married to virtual warrior friends in real life.

Emerging technologies that are here to stay incorporate web, social, and gaming.

  • Giftiki will let you pick items you want but cannot afford and friends will contribute. It is almost like fund raising.
  • Xobni aggregates all social info of your friends and lets you access it from anywhere.
  • Dictionary.com offers interactive games for school kids to test their vocabulary knowledge.

The technology is becoming transparent. It is just a tool to get to the content. It is a way to filter the content you want, in real time, with the ability to share.

Your customers are the people who check in on Foursquare. They are addicted to Facebook and share their opinions on Twitter.

They text, leave comments, blog, slay dragons, save the world – all from their mobile phone.

As a business, you need to stop obsessing about the technology and turn to improving user experience.

  • You need to make interactions with your business engaging, entertaining, and fast.
  • You have to constantly feed your customers interesting content for them to consume.
  • And you must create a community around your brand to encourage comments and sharing.

What Can You Do Now

Mobile

Get your website to work on mobile devices. I do not only mean smart phones and tablets, but gaming devices as well. If applicable, allow development using your APIs, encourage the community to be creative with your content or using your tools.

Create apps and games around your product and your expertise.

Transparency

If your website works “best when viewed in Internet Explorer” or if it requires JavaScript, this is where you start. Your content should be available to your visitors regardless of their computers, browsers, plug-ins, resolution, bandwidth, etc. It should look the same on any device and have the same functionality.

  • You need to merge the real and virtual worlds.
  • Offer something for check-ins.
  • Host real life events for members of your virtual community.

Value

You need to matter. You matter through your content. Know what your value is to your customer and deliver it without fail. Create value not only through your website but through other channels – social, mobile, and gaming.

Get on the same brain wave with your customer and make your company a part of both their real and virtual worlds.

EmMeCon Delivered

I mentioned my goal was to walk away with revelations. EmMeCon provided just that – insights into what businesses need to do now and in the future.

The conference was small and intimate, and my two days in San Francisco with top-notch search and social media marketers was extremely rewarding.

Special thanks to Jen Lopez (aka @jennita) and Keri Morgret (aka @KeriMorgret) for opening the doors to EmMeCon for me. It opened a new mindset for the future.

So what is your business doing to plan for the future? Are you using a combination of social, mobile, and gaming?

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