It’s been just a few days since we left the beautiful venue of The Entrepot with a recharged battery, full brains, fuller stomachs, and tons of ideas we’ve taken back to the workplace (and beyond).
Joined by over 80 people of the world’s biggest brands and agencies we explored topics like influencer-, video-, and growth marketing. We did this through awesome keynotes from some of the planet’s most brain-tickling thinkers.
And what if you weren’t able to make it, I hear you cry? Well, in this recap I’ll share some of the excellent content from the event to make it feel like you were there. But … before you continue reading, make sure you reserve your spot for the next edition. It would be a pity if you would miss out a second time, isn’t it?
Hack Your Growth: what went down?
We kicked off the day bright and early. Our event venue at The Entrepot was designed to be so much more than a platform for knowledge sharing. We had coworking spots on the side, extra space for live VR demos of the immersive media agency Yondr and a tasty buffet offering something for everyone.
After a rousing welcome from Gert Kerkstoel, Managing Partner of OONA, Anne Cornut, Founding & Managing Partner at Maison Slash, opened up the event by sharing her view on community marketing. Her eye opening story was followed by Shanice Engel who talked about all things influencer marketing. Afterwards, Pieter Van Leugenhagen took the stage to take us on a VR journey. After a short break, Peter Van Keer took over to talk about the power of video. And we finished the day with the godfather of Belgian growth marketing, Yannick Khayati.
Let’s have a look at the highlights of the stories our speakers shared.
About 3 years ago, Anne, with her eager eye, saw that the Belgian marketing scene was lacking the right sense of community marketing. This is when and why she founded Maison Slash, in an attempt to lend a hand to the community.
For Anne community marketing is not a buzzword, it’s about understanding the new society. A society where everything moves quickly, where information overload is the new normal, a society where everyone wants attention. According to Anne, people try to pave their way in the information overload by hanging out with like-minded people. People that give them an atmosphere of trust.
The hard reality is that some brands better understand this movement than others. A textbook example of a company that gets the message is the Dollar Shave Club. They make a true experience of buying a man’s favorite weapon. Their subscription model not only withholds a monthly delivery of a razor, you’re also part of something bigger. Of their community, a community where content sharing is key. You don’t have the same feeling when you buy your Gilette in the local store. Isn’t it?
And that is where the power of communities comes in. It’s key to understand your community as they are the people that will brand the DNA of your brand. Communities differ from target groups in the fact that they start from the customer, their vision of life, mentality, daily concerns, humor, … Target groups start from the brand and rather look at social class, sex, age, geographic info, … Another point on which communities differ from target groups is that communities are organic and therefore require a lot of time.
Once you know with which community you want to identify your brand, it’s key to think about the problems you want to solve and start shaping the bigger story. Think about the why. But also think the other way around. Think why the community should be interested in what you as a brand are doing. In fact, it’s about solving relevant & interesting problems.
In a later phase you have to dig a little deeper into the customer journey. You also have to identify the right channels to talk to your community, the right timing, the right tone of voice, the right level of authenticity, … Why? As community marketing is pull marketing. And as there are two ways to influence human behavior, Maison Slash, clearly chose to inspire instead of to manipulate. And they aim to inspire with creative and tailored communication.
Shanice, our second speaker of Hack Your Growth, just came back from the influencer marketing show in London. There she got confronted with so many misperceptions about influencer marketing that she decided to share and deconstruct some of them with us.
Misperception 1: Influencers don’t actually influence people to concrete actions.
Just think of Google search and the Kim Kardashian effect. If you type in a search query, Google gives you suggestions. If you then type in ‘how to make my butt look’ Google automatically adds ’bigger’. Nobody can ignore this probably comes from Kim Kardashian’s ass. And this also perfectly shows that the Kardashians in general have a lot of impact on beauty standards nowadays.
Misperception 2: Influencer marketing is a new trend since the past 5 years.
Influencer marketing is not new. It’s been around for many years. Nowadays it’s a hot topic for marketers, probably because people start to realize how powerful it is, especially as an alternative to traditional advertising that can be expensive and inefficient.
Misperception 3: Data is going to win the influencer game.
According to OONA there are 3 important pillars when working with influencers. Firstly, you have content. Content is the core of everything you do. Secondly, you have community. It’s after all important to find an influencer who is relevant for the community you want to address. Lastly, you have consumer insights. These insights help you to solve a problem that is relevant and really needs solving according to the community in question. And of course, all these 3 can be backed up with data. But don’t only rely on data. Data sometimes fails, so also take into account other factors such as sentiment.
Misperception 4: Influencer marketing is good for awareness, but you can’t go further in the funnel.
Shanice talked us through the awareness – engagement – action funnel, illustrated the importance of KPIs throughout the funnel and proved with the Samsung space selfie campaign in collaboration with i.a. Sean Dhondt, that influencer marketing can bring you way further in the funnel than you might expect.
Misperception 5: To pay or not to pay, that is the question.
This is a tricky one. Oftentimes you pay for the amount of eyeballs. But the payment can also depend on who is responsible for the content creation, the influencers you are working with, who’s in charge of the distribution, if it’s a long- term vs a one off collab, … and many more factors. Because in fact you buy a concept, the time to create a campaign, the distribution channels and the amount of followers the influencer can reach, …
Misperception 6: Disclosure: are we transparent enough?
In Europe we have an advertisement watchdog, the European Advertising Standards Alliance. In Belgium in specific you have the ACC guidelines. These guidelines have been created by different agencies incl. OONA. The main conditions according to these guidelines are the compensation the influencer receives and whether or not the brand has significant control over the message that will be spread.
Misperception 7: Instagram is the ultimate platform for influencer marketing.
Everyone thinks that Instagram is the ultimate platform for influencer marketing. This myth probably originated because Instagram is the platform people know best. But instead of going all in on the so-though most popular platform, it’s important to think where you can find the audience you want to reach? Maybe these people are way more present on Tiktok, Snapchat, Twitter, …
Pieter founded the immersive media agency Yondr in 2014 in Beveren, the Brooklyn of Antwerp. At Yondr they use technology as a medium to tell experiential stories. They even won an award for best VR experience with their immersive port of the future experience at the Supernova event. According to Pieter & Yondr, the future of digital advertising is extended reality. Zuckerberg even claimed that XR could become the most social platform ever.
Extended reality is in fact an umbrella term for AR & VR and is expected to be valued at 209 billion in 2022. Why? As people are in fact not made to multitask, but XR as an extension of the human body allows people to do so.
XR should replace the dead claimed VR. In his keynote, Pieter explained this using the Gartner hype cycle and diverse cases illustrating that an engaging brand experience is the future.
“Why do you have to be ready when the market isn’t?”
– Pieter Van Leugenhagen
Peter his core business is producing videos for clients which bring value, mainly through informational and educational topics. He immediately started his keynote by debunking some myths about video.
1. Video is hard to make.
Video is as hard as you make it. Today you can perfectly make a nice video with the right apps on your smartphone. You just need a good placement and natural light. A good example of creating cheap and easy video’s are the ones of Whiteboard Fridays.
2. You waste a lot of time on 1 video, while you could be creating a whole lot of other content.
Video can give you different pieces of content. For example in a Q&A-video you can create snippets of each question and answer and end up with at least 5 new videos. You can also take screenshots of the video which can be used as picture (with eventually a quote). You can also transcribe the whole video into a blogpost. This can even be done automatically with tools like Rev.
3. Video on LinkedIn is shit.
It’s true, video on LinkedIn is a bit of a hassle but it’s the best performing content on the platform if you upload the video as a platform native piece of content. Create a good copy where you tag the right people and companies mentioned in the video and use the right hashtags to tag the topic you’re talking about.
Lastly, Peter shared 3 take away tips to get the most out of your video content.
- Video is the best performing content on Instagram yet it’s still the least posted content on the platform. Start using video on Instagram, it gives you plenty of opportunities to drive traffic to your brand.
- Turn the audio of your video into a podcast and distribute it among popular audio streaming platforms.
- Create content for months: don’t record 1 video in a day, record in bulk, edit later.
The last speaker of the day was Yannick Khayati, the godfather of Belgian growth marketing. Yannick was clear about the main message of his keynote: experiment more! Yes that’s also the answer to the #1 question about which new tactic you can use to grow your business. If you are not convinced yet, Yannick shared two other important drivers to start experimenting: it helps you to find your most effective marketing mix & it helps to (in)validate new business ideas.
All easier said than done obviously. So, where to start if you want to make your marketing faster, smarter & more innovative? Start by taking these 5 statements into account:
- Start by removing friction points for your customers.
- If you want to create something for everyone, it’s not gonna appeal to anyone.
- Being boring is unacceptable.
- You’re not supposed to be the hero, your customers are.
- Create a multi-touchpoint plan, it’s all about moments.
Later in his keynote, Yannick talked us through the 4-layered growth marketing transformation pyramid. Bottom-up he talked about the importance of a good experimentation toolstack, that you should hire the mindset and train the skills of your people, the importance of experiment processes and lastly the mindset change to a get-shit-done mentality.
That’s all folks! We hope you enjoyed the event if you were able to be there in person. Otherwise we hope you grasped some ideas from the almost real-life and extremely detailed recap above.