Content via Conference
Jason Keath started Social Fresh way back in 2008 when social media was still a bit of an Internet toddler. At the start, Jason was pitching social all of the time, but no one wanted to convert. People were hungry to know about it, but didn’t trust it, so they weren’t willing to invest in it. Since then, adoption has skyrocketed – the average business today is on three social networks.
“Today, it’s more about tactical—how do we actually streamline this process, how do we iterate, how do we improve a base level of social marketing that exists for a lot of people?”
In addition to consulting and training, Jason and his team put together the Social Fresh Conference. While coordinating real live events may seem a little strange for someone who has built his business on digital tools, he explains the importance of in-person events – people love to meet and learn IRL.
He’s learned a lot about event coordination over the years, but he’s learned even more about, “how to craft the story and the experience of a conference and the education that comes along with that.” It’s important to put as much focus as possible on the quality of the presentations, including lighting and audio, but also including the content of the presentations themselves. Jason and his team provide presenter training for the Social Fresh Conference, not because the presenters don’t know what to say about their topics, but because there is a difference between being an expert in the industry and being a phenomenal speaker.
“Even though someone is really super smart in the industry, we can still help them tell a better story onstage.”
Jason also pays attention to the extensive feedback he receives from conference attendees each year, which shapes the way future conferences are put together. They have found an ideal balance between short- and long-form content. Most folks get the most value from two days of 25-minute-or-less TED-style talks that dive into niche areas, and they start to lose interest in talks that go longer than that. But there are those who want to dig deeper. The Social Fresh Conference has an additional day to its show, which is optional for those who want the opportunity for an intensive educational experience.
Keep It Simple
Jason’s philosophy for content marketing is to keep it simple. There are a few key ways he recommends to simplify what you’re doing:
1. “Automation is not a dirty work unless it’s the only thing you’re doing.”
You have to engage on a one-on-one basis to develop relationships with fans and customers. But automation utilized in addition to building those relationships can save you time, allowing you to invest your time in the right direction.
2. You can’t be everywhere.
Don’t try to put content out on all social channels; it won’t do you any good. (highlight to tweet) Look at your community—everyone you do business with in one way or another. Where are they? If they aren’t on a particular social network, don’t spend your time and energy there.
3. Focus on home run content.
While you’re at it, focus on fewer pieces of content. Too many small and medium businesses get content envy for the huge amount of content huge corporations are churning out. Instead of trying to duplicate the quantity, take a step back and focus on one big piece of home run content that you can break apart and redistribute. (highlight to tweet)
4. Audit your tools.
At Social Fresh, they do a tool audit every year. They look at every tool, piece of technology, subscription, etc. on the marketing side and logistical side to determine what needs to be cut, replaced, improved upon, or kept in order to continue forward as a business.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Jason remembers specifically wanting to be a writer when he was younger, which, “I guess technically came to fruition,” he says. (We may disagree on that!)
The other thing he aspired to be was a race car driver. He did technically get a little taste of that one by racing Legends cars at the age of 14.