16 . 6 . 15

twentysix do #SAScon

In case you haven’t heard of SAScon (Search Analytics Social Media conference) before, here’s what you need to know –

#SAScon is one of the UK’s finest Search, Analytics and Social Conferences and takes place each May / June in Manchester. Now in its sixth year, this two day not for profit event organised by the digital community for the digital community, features some of Europe’s leading search and social speakers.

In addition to this, 2015 saw the introduction of SASschool, a MMU led initiative launched with the soul aim to find the brightest and best in young talent who want to work in the digital industries.

As one of the founders, our head of social, Kristal Ireland, invited me to come along for day 1 and what a great day it was!

Arriving to fresh pastries and coffee we settled down into our first session with none other than our Head of CRO Trent Yunus and his session ‘Taking Conversion Optimisation to the Next level’ which you can find here. The fascinating talk discussed 3 scenarios: a qual exercise, form progression visualization and targeting & personalization with an emphasis around Javascript, Tagmanager and Universal Analytics including how to use them for those scenarios. The crowd were keen to know more and asked some brilliant questions, all handled beautifully by Trent!

After Trent’s session we moved back into the foyer for our first coffee break, where conversations were buzzing between attendees, discussing what they had picked up in the first session of the day. Needless to say our Trent’s session went down a storm!

For the second session of the day it was time to get down to some nitty gritty, with the provocatively titled workshop ‘Social Media – is it worth it?’ Chaired by Kristal, the session had its very own social media ‘expert’ panel, consisting of Anna Wilson, Tangerine PR; Andy Barr, 10 Yetis Digital and Bryan Adams, PH Creative. The debate centred on the real ROI of social Media and the latest ways brands are viewing the discipline in light of the rise of paid social media bias.

The lively session ignited the audience’s interest and together we were able to pinpoint where we believed social media should exist in a brand’s digital strategy. Some key outtakes can be seen on our twitter page @26digital, *SPOILER* social media is most definitely worth it!

After a brief lunch it was time for Paddy Moogan, co-founder or Aira to talk all things futuristic, or the future for digital marketers anyhow. Paddy outlined some key trends he is seeing in the current market and what they mean for us all. Particularly interesting was the section on how desktop is NOT dead no matter how many people tell you that it is, and just how irrelevant Facebook is to the millennials.

To end the day it was time to talk SEO and as a social media account manager it was time to switch my head to talk Technical vs Content lead SEO strategy, not an easy task for my last session of the conference. Chaired by Rob Weatherhead the panel consisted of Radek Kowalski, iProspect Manchester; James English, BBC and Edward (Teddie) Cowell, MediaCom. The insightful session discussed what had the biggest impact on organic performance, the technical architecture of your website, or the content you are producing and promoting. And it became clear that content may not always be king when it comes to your SEO strategy!

The day was packed full of great insights and it was great to see into the world of competing agency life yet at the same time all join together at this conference for the betterment of the industry. Swapping tips, tricks and interesting anecdotes the day was a huge success and one I will be certainly attending in year 7!

Keep up to date or register for the next #SAScon here.

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