This was Obergine’s first trip to the Buckinghamshire Digital Summit, brought to us by Bucks Business First.

Its aim was to inform and educate local businesses about how they can take advantage of the digital revolution, with a stellar cast of highly experienced and knowledge speakers explaining how.

In this post, I’ll give you a taster of just some of the many things that some of our favourite speakers taught us at this year’s Digital Summit.

The Snaffling Pig Company – Building your business online

Andy Allen – Co Founder of The Snaffling Pig Co, produced a highly-enjoyable presentation explaining what they have learnt whilst building their business online. Here are just a couple of the things we discovered from his enlightening talk.

Know your place

Andy explained the importance of knowing your place in the market when building a business online. There are 3 key routes in the market:

  1. On-trade
  2. Grocery
  3. Gifting

They identified that gifting had the potential to be most profitable and created a big jar of pork crackling, which could be bought as gifts for Christmas, birthdays and other occasions.

He also explained how vital it is to work out which social media platform works best for you. Andy told us that Snaffling Pig had the most success by advertising on Facebook. There is a certain amount of trial and error involved in the early stages and you should use analytics to identify which one works best for you and then focus on getting the best from that platform.

The devil is in the detail

An interesting aspect of Andy’s talk was when he explained how incredibly detailed they were in every aspect of their business. An example he provided was how they attempted to prevent shopping cart abandonment. Andy explained how they hold onto customers’ orders even if they left the site and displayed this message (pictured) when they returned. They’ve included their typical pig puns and make it humorous and enjoyable to read, even though it’s just a message that’s saying ‘we’ve saved your order’. These kind of personal touches give them the edge over competitors and contribute to their successful online marketing strategies.

Google Digital Garage – Tell your story online

Abbey Oladapo, Trainer & Partnership Consultant at Google Digital Garage, spoke about how to tell your story online.

Build a consumer-friendly website and make it shine across all devices

One thing that Abbey stressed in this department is that when building a website is to make sure that it shines across all devices. It is crucial that your website is responsive – meaning that the size of the website can change appropriately, depending on what device you’re viewing it on.

Abbey then claimed that the best practices for mobile design are clear calls to action, short and sweet menus, clear navigation links, streamlined forms and to avoid making users pinch and zoom, something that we definitely agree with.

Learn how to gain consumer insights and measure success

Abbey explained the key steps in being able to tap into consumer insight and measuring to succeed:

  • Track your site
  • Define goals
  • Measure success
  • Improve usability

Your website is a goldmine - use statistics and analytics to gain customer insights. The goal of web analytics is to understand which traffic sources are driving which visitors to what, so you can make sure they are achieving your goals.

Boost your social presence and tell your story through content

The majority of social media platforms include a feature called a ‘bio’, which is a small section on your profile which allows you to talk a little bit about yourself or your business. Abbey explained how to write an effective bio for your business.

  • Keep it short – Limited number of characters. Short and straight to the point
  • Talk about your business – Talking about what your business does. Use some of your keywords around your business
  • Be real – Be honest and make sure everything in your bio is true
  • Show off your personality – Creating an online alter ego allows consumers to connect with a brand on a more personal level which can help you build more online authority.
  • Spelling & punctuation – Mistakes will not look professional and will not help build online brand authority.

Abbey also went on to state that video is now a huge player in online marketing and companies should definitely be utilising it. He said that if you create shareable content, you can build an audience will pull in more business for your company. 87% of online marketers use video content, so it’s important to not get left behind and utilise this tool by creating content on video-sharing sites such as Vimeo and YouTube. You can read more about video marketing in our blog post at 6 Tips and Tricks for Successful Video Marketing.

Hootsuite – Using social media for business

Bucks Business First tried something different with the final presentation of the day, with a chat-show styled interview of Hootsuite’s Elizabeth Knight-Ward by TEEG Digital’s CEO Carly Ward. A concept that I felt worked very well. 

Advocacy marketing is the future of online marketing

“Advocacy marketing is the future of online marketing” boldly claimed Elizabeth Knight-Ward. Advocacy marketing is a type of marketing that is focussed on getting existing customers to talk about the company and what it does.

Customers generally like to do some research into the product they’re purchasing before clicking ‘buy’, and according to Business Wire, more than 80% of users research online before buying.  Brand supporters, and existing customers are a key part of this research, whether it’s via product reviews, or brand mentions, and businesses should utilise these to help drive new sales.

A great day of inspiration, learning and networking – looking forward to what next year’s event will reveal already!