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This year, four members of our PMG staff attended Content Israel 2016 in Yaffo. The list of speakers included CEOs, CMOs, Tech Bloggers, and Marketing and Content experts from all types of organizations. We learned a lot from hearing the insights of so many industry leaders, from future trends, unique ways to use data analytics, and ways to connect with your audience. After the event, each of us wrote a brief summary on something we found particularly interesting in the conference. Check out some great tips and insights:

 

How Data Analytics Hinder Kobe Bryant

Ayala Steinhart – Content Marketing Manager

Coming from a digital marketing background, I know that data analytics are a great tool that help companies track their visitors, bloggers know their audience, and sales teams pick out leads, but I had never thought of this same set of data as a tool for basketball strategizing. Yaron Talpaz, CMO of Maccabi Tel Aviv, shared with us the story of how professional basketball player, Shane Battier, used data analytics to block basketball icon, Kobe Bryant. By collecting data on every player of every team, Battier learns the statistics and success of each opposing player’s moves.

“I knew to a T that when Kobe Bryant drives right and gets into the painted area and shoots, he shoots at a 63% clip. If I force him left, and I make him shoot a non-painted area jump shot, he’s only going to shoot 44%. So, duh, what do I choose?”

Battier explains how he no longer needs to rely on what headlines say, but can use actual concrete analytics to make moment-to-moment decisions, pushing opponents, like Kobe Bryant, to their weakest positions. Battier even introduced LeBron James to analytics as basketball strategies. What an unexpected and impressive use of data analytics!

 

Walk a Mile in Your Customers’ Shoes… Even If They’re a Size 35

Si Yahav – Digital Marketing Manager

When you think of interactions with customers, one of the biggest challenges we face is to look at the world from their point of view. At Content Israel, we saw various good examples that emphasized that in order to grab your audience’s attention, you must be creative, innovative, and above all, authentic.

The best way to connect with your audience is to really understand them. The way to understand them is by putting yourself in their shoes. This is an easy concept to understand, but a harder one to accomplish. When communicating with your client, don’t be a salesman with a pitch, be authentic.

To push this point further, Moe Mernick, VP Business Development at Hometalk, shared with us several videos and asked us, an audience of marketers, to pick out which videos performed the best. To our surprise, the majority of the audience got it completely wrong (and I mean, by hundreds of thousands of views). And why is that? We chose the videos that looked the best, where the audience preferred the videos that looked the most authentic. Then, Moe shared with us some revealing information: the videos that performed the best were created by customers themselves. The true target audience was able to see the difference when we were not.

With so much content out there today, viewers and readers are only going to stop for content that strikes a chord — whether it’s relatable, emotional, pinpoints an interest of theirs, or addresses a real problem they have.

 

In 2017, Video is King

Farrah Fidler – Engagement & Outreach Manager

It’s no surprise that it has become more difficult to reach audiences through content marketing. Your customers are engaging less with text, and platforms are focusing on increasing engagement with video. Tal Dagan, COO of Magisto, shared that on Facebook alone images perform better than text 10:1, and video performs better than images 10:1. Video has become the primary media source for getting your message out there.

Echoing that sentiment, Hillel Fuld, Co Founder of ZCast (among many other titles), spoke about Snapchat – a platform that’s not just for teens anymore. Snapchat is seeing video engagement equal to that of Facebook, and what makes Snapchat unique is that it enables audiences to really connect with brands and feel like they are getting an insider’s look. Additionally, because of the short lifespan of content shared, retention is high. Content is only available 24 hours before it disappears, and users want to keep checking in so they don’t miss out.

Hearing several speakers emphasize the point that video is the current media trend, it’s clear that today, you need video in order to have your message seen and heard.

 

Top Trends for 2017

Jen Glazer – Marketing Manager

Throughout the day, many speakers discussed their predictions for where marketing is headed in the coming year. Below are a few of the primary directions discussed:

Snapchat is a relatively new platform for marketers, yet it is the fastest growing social network, with some companies making it their primary social focus.

Several speakers discussed the rise of Virtual Reality and the many possibilities within it. In order for it to truly pick up pace, however, affordability is a must, and is the direction we are hopefully headed in.

Chatbot is a new technology that allows customers to guide the conversation through expanding communication to mobile-friendly messaging, without losing context.

Ample content distribution has been a staple of marketing for years, and it is not going away anytime soon. With an abundance of different platform available such as PlayBuzz, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc., the possibilities are endless. 2017 may see a change in the primary platforms in which content it is distributed.

Customers are more likely to trust a product that has real stories and reviews (both positive and negative), which shows the user experience of people they can relate to. User Generated Content is an excellent method for engaging your customers and making their experience more personal and attainable.

How will we keep up with the changing market and make sure our customers stay engaged? As marketers, we must build a marketing plan for 2017 that keeps our companies ahead of the game; we must become innovators in our fields, looking out for trends and strategies predicted by industry leaders, such as the tips given to us by the professionals at Content Israel 2016.