Croud hosted an event at Google this week, Content Manager Iain tells us what went down.
Inform, inspire and entertain
On Tuesday this week, Croud Inc took over the business at the ivory towers of Google’s colourful London HQ. In a joint event with Google themselves, Croud invited over 100 people along to listen to various speeches from the Croud and Google team. Hosted by Croud’s ever-amusing talisman, Neil Stephens, the event aimed to inform, inspire and with the help of a few of Neil’s best jokes, entertain the large audience.
Gathered into Google’s state of the art, Town Hall facility on the ninth floor, a large number of invitees settled in to listen to the words of a range of speakers including a keynote speech by Made With author, John Grant.
The idea behind the event was to inform clients and professionals alike about Croud’s existing products and practises while showing how the combination between Google and Croud is helping customers get all that they can from search and social. It was also a great chance to showcase how new areas in mobile, social and tech will produce even greater performance while sinking down the first of many Christmas drinks.
After a brief intro from Croud founder, Luke Smith, in which we alarmingly found out how many pieces of connected devices we all own, Google’s Product Manager, Scott Elben, opened up with the first speech of the afternoon. To see all the slides from the event click here.
Future Gazing. Scott Elben, Google.
Scott kicked off proceedings with a great speech about the cool innovations we can expect from Google in the future. Semantic or conversational search was one of the first points Scott touched on. Changes to Google’s algorithm will give users associated results to each search. For instance, a simple search for ‘how long is the drive to Brighton?’ can be followed up with ‘what’s the weather like there?’ Google recognises you are still talking about the original search and will produce related results.
Scott went on to show off some of Google’s newest products which aim to ‘get the tech out of the way.’ A demonstration of the new Google Beam showed off how we can instantly share content simply by placing one device on top of another, while Face Unlock displayed how a phone will recognise your face and unlock to just you. Lastly, Scott gave us a great insight into the groundbreaking, self-drive Google car.
Amplifying Your Brand with G+. Beth Foster, Google.
Beth’s speech highlighted the need to be aware that the way we socialise is changing. The use of new technologies and the ability to connect over multiple devices means brands must react and adjust their digital strategies. 54% of consumers now use search to find a brand, meaning it’s important to encourage consumer loyalty to your brand. Through the use of Google Hang Out, brands can publicly engage with their consumers and drive social endorsements. Beth said that free and easy to use platform is now the “most social thing you can do online”. Look out for Beth’s guest post on the Croud blog coming very soon.
Trends for Performance in 2014. Caz Davies, Google
Caz was on stage next and gave a great speech from what we can expend from 2014. Caz explained that collecting signals through audience targeting is vital to allowing brands to have a better understanding of a user beyond their search query and will allow you to adapt campaigns. The increase of smartphone and tablets has resulted in the demise of the PC, meaning next year it will be more important than ever for brands to target mobile platforms. Consumers make more than 40 million calls to businesses each month directly from Google ads and are often looking for physical store locations when they search on Google, particularly on the go.
A Case Study on PPC. Sam Green, Croud & Ed Schofield, Marshalls Seeds.
Croud’s Sam Green introduced a case study which demonstrated Croud’s approach to PPC account management through best practice and the results it can bring. Joined on stage by Croud client Ed Scofield from Marshalls Seeds, the audience were given an insight into how the evolution of best practice through the inclusion of technology has helped Marshalls Seeds increase performance. Some of their key points were;
- Account restructuring, mirroring site layout and content to allow for flexibility of management and robust coverage
- Creative Audits ensuring tailored user journeys and ongoing creative testing platform for incremental improvements to performance
- Overlay of audience data for targeted optimisation, specifically location, device, and remarketing elements alongside Google beta exploration
- Fundamentally, Croud’s approach is to ensure all areas of activity adopt best practices across all areas of the account, to deliver improved performance as quickly as possible
Why Can’t Data Be Simple? Matt Bush, Google
Google’s Matt Bush’s speech was all about Big ‘Sexy’ Data. Looking into consumer behaviour and how far more data is now being produced online, that we as marketers need to make sense off. Drawing on how 1 in 4 now has 3 screen devices ranging from tablets to wearables, there is a much greater need for heightened security around the data that is being produced. Matt introduced the Narrative Clip which is worn and takes a photo every few seconds, capturing every moment of a person’s day; how can this kind of data be used by marketers?
Smarter, Faster & Better Search with DoubleClick. Nathan Tait-Hill, DoubleClick
Next up was Search Sales Leader, Nathan Tait-Hill from Google’s DoubleClick search service. More than just a bid management service, Nathan introduced how the service helps brands become more transparent in creating, transacting and managing to advertise. DoubleClick can provide real-time instant conversions, in both online and offline modes and create tailored reporting platforms showing headline stats and metrics.
- Use DoubleClick to get all of your searches in one place and gain the benefits of better:
- Campaign Management
- Fresher data is the key to effective bid management, 4 times daily bidding is far more effective
- Robust reporting means tailoring your data so it is visible and useful across Croud and your business
- Leverage DoubleClick to truly bring together your campaigns with Search to Display remarketing
The changing face of SEO
Kris and Sophie from Croud went into detail on the ever-changing face of SEO; everything from Panda to Hummingbird. The importance and relevance of structured data, the ‘not provided’ announcement and what it means for search, Google’s clever Knowledge Graph and the future of search including a demonstration into voice search on Google Now. Click here to see the slides
- Structured Data – How can you use this to ensure Google understands your content better and make your listing stand out.
- Not Provided – Embrace change and analyse your data better. i.e page-level analysis.
- Knowledge Graph – building the next generation of search, tapping the collective intelligence of the web. SERPS displaying entities.
- Hummingbird – Allows Google to understand user intent more closely, what does it mean for SEO?
- Future of Search – voice search, Google now, advanced queries, augmented reality
Making the most of multi-screen
Google’s Harry Davies took the stage to explain the benefits and importance of implementing multi-screen platforms into your branding. 65% of us searching for something online will begin our quest on a smartphone and then continue on a desktop or tablet. Providing a few laughs on the way, Harry explained the value that mobile can add to many brands in today’s age where on average, users can have four connected devices at any one time.
- 75% of people in the UK now have smartphones
- People use smartphones to research, but do not necessarily convert on them (Example: 45% of people research in-store on their smartphone, and 20% change their mind as a result)
- It is important to assess how many of your consumers are using smartphones using your own site analytics or tools like ourmobileplanet.com
Keynote: John Grant
The last speech of the day was from renowned author and founder of Made With. Having worked with clients like the BBC, Shell, Nokia, HSBC and the UK and Swedish governments, John to publish a number of books, including his New Marketing Manifesto which was named one of the top 10 best business books of 1999.
John’s talk went into detail of how we have changed our idea of what a brand is and how to effectively market in the digital age whilst keeping up with the constant changes and updates. John also gave some great insights into drawing ideas upon big data, involving people and creating content or gamified schemes to share and have a positive, sustainable impact upon the user’s lives. See John’s slides here.
All in all, the Croud event at Google was a fantastic success. After the talks were finished, the audience made their way through to Google’s Café Royal bar for food and a well-deserved beer. We would like to thank everyone for coming along, we had a great time and we hope you did too and hope you picked up some ideas and inspiration along the way. Until our next Croud event, we wish you all the best…..search on!
Quotes from guests
“Just wanted to say a big thanks and well done again for yesterday, a fantastic day and from my perspective a great success.”
“To be honest I was shattered having flown in from Lapland the night before, so the fact that you not only kept my attention but enthused me to the degree you did is a measure of the quality of the day.”
“On behalf of us all here I would like to thank you and your team for an excellent series of thought-provoking presentations yesterday. It really was a brilliant meeting.”
“We left feeling that Croud were both impressive and the right business for us to be working with, not to mention fun to work with!”
Words of the day