The SXSW conference can be a lesson for brands in how to blend a face-to-face event with social, music, and film. The organizers, panelists, and attendees create an experience, lots of content, encourage ongoing social participation and promotion, which all leads to it being an entertaining and educational experience for attendees.
You have to understand, however, SXSW is huge. To get the most out of it, you have to go with a plan.
Then, you have to come back and organize your notes and mine slideshare for the panels you missed in order to get real value from it.
Here are the 5 Big Ideas I (re)learned and want to share from SXSW Interactive 2011.
1. It’s critical to uplevel focus on content and content marketing
- People try to fix a web presence in one or two ways: add new technology or redesign; no focus on content.
From panel: Not My Job: The Ultimate Content Strategy Smackdown (click through for audio)
- A discussion about content strategy should come around to how you leverage the content you have. The content is raw material, some of it good or great, some of it perhaps less so. But how you use it, package it, distribute it … can all add value and ensure a valuable asset, a value to both the audience and to the company.
- By giving content away, you enable the ability to dramatically increase your global reach, ability to inspire, spread ideas, and engage a passionate user base.
From: TED: Radical Openness (click through for audio) http://www.slideshare.net/jessedee/south-by-southwest-2011-recap-3-7309997
2. It’s critical to create many different types of content.
- It’s not just text. It’s convergence. Think apps, games, infographics, PPTs, PDFs, video, FAQs, etc.
3. Learn how to create great content for the right context: Or, Say it short and make it a story.
- The less you say, the more they’ll remember.
- Our brains are wired for stories. Make it a short story (even though it takes longer to create because it’s more difficult).
- Data isn’t a story. Data: the king died. Then, the queen died. Story: The king died. Then, the queen died of grief.
- Successful communication is not about technology. It’s about story.
From: Saying It Short Writing Workshop with Betty Draper (click through for audio)
4. What are the necessary elements of a content strategy? OR, Cultivating relationships and building trust matter.
- Creation: the trick to marketing is having something so cool that you want to talk about it even if you weren’t in the business. (Hugh MacLeod)
- Curation: Brands have the expertise, the time, and the money to be great editors and curators of digital content. It seems reasonable to conclude that one part of being a great brand is now also being a great curator. (Steven Rosenbaum)
- Cultivation: We have entered a new era in which developing strong consumer relationships is pivotal to a brand or company’s success.(Gary Vaynerchuk)
- The creation and curation of relevant content, coupled with the cultivation of a relationship, leads to trust.
Ok, so this panel wasn’t at SXSW 2011, but it’s a preso entitled Creating, curating, and Cultivating the Social Web, by Esteban Contreras, Social Media Manager at Samsung for the Marketing 2.0 and Social Media Conference 2011 in Paris on 3/28/2011, and it’s based on SXSWi 2011 so I’m including it here.
See slide 9 for tips on how to create.
See slide 26 for tips on how to curate.
See page 40 for tips on cultivation.
5. Rest/renewal breaks, game play, and doing social good can make us better more engaged people.
- We’re more productive when we build in intermittent renewal along the way
- We’re not meant to operate the way computers do – at high speeds, continuously, for long periods of time
- Your sense of purpose–to serve something greater than yourself–is a source of great energy
- 4 nights in a row of 5 or fewer hours of sleep = functionally intoxicated.
- The critical issue is the value you create, not the hours you work.
- Myth: One hour less of sleep will add one hour of productivity to your day.
From panel: The 90 Minute Solution: Live Like a Sprinter (click through for audio)
- Gaming unleashes our natural ability to be the best version of ourselves.
- Our generation will achieve 10,000 hrs of gaming by the age of 21. We can harness that for good instead of escapism.
- The opposite of play isn’t work – it’s depression.
- 3-4 hours of Call of Duty decreases PTSD response in veterans. vs. 6 hrs of gym time for the same response.
From panel: Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How they can change the world (click through for audio)
- For every pair of shoes that are bought, Tom’s Shoes gives one pair away.
- The best thing you can give your employees is the opportunity to be part of something bigger than themselves.
- You don’t need advertising: just focus on giving and that story will be told by your raving fans.