The Edinburgh Festival- Digital Marketing Style

Monday 24 Aug 2015


We’re pretty proud of our home city, Glasgow but don’t believe what you’ve heard about the whole Glasgow v Edinburgh beef. There isn’t any as far as we’re concerned, which is why our marketing team were only too happy to hop on through to the capital for Turing Festival 2015 Day 1. 

The day started early for our marketeers but with the help of some caffeine and the promise of a great day out of the office, they managed to schlep themselves and their notebooks to the EICC for a day of digital and content tips, tricks and hacks from the brightest minds in the digital marketing world. 

We've just moved office - yeah, we've been talking about that for a long time now- so the team were multitasking, picking up interior design tips as well as honing their marketing knowledge. It was pretty clear from the get go that this was going to be a conference with a difference and built for 2015. Where else do you recline on deckchairs while networking or swapping twitter handles? Event sponsors Skyscanner and FanDuel were also kind enough to fill our bags with goodies that seemed perfect for the Firefish team... bottle openers? Skittles? Notebooks? Yes, yes and yes again! Thanks, guys.

The speakers line up was first class! We'd absolutely recommend giving them a follow on social as they're an entertaining, engaging bunch! Mark Johnstone (VP of Creative at Distilled) spoke first about content marketing ideas and how some 'imposters' can masquerade as good ideas, a really interesting concept that really made us sit up and take note. Kirsty Hulse (Head of SEO Best Practice at Linkdex) was up next, discussing audience analysis and how it can lead to more powerful content marketing if you know who you're talking to through your blog, social, emails... all great stuff! Phil Nottingham (Director of Product Marketing at Wistia) had us in stitches as he showed us the Wistia brand journey and how technology can help you build a more human brand. Technology helps you be more human? Perhaps the robots aren't coming for us, after all. All the way from NYC was Amber Van Natten (Managing Editor at Newscred) who told us her tips and tricks for retaining customers and making money through creative content with the inclusion of various cat memes. What tech conference would be complete without memes of the cat variety? 

Mike McGrail (Founder of Velocity Digital) was up next, kilt and all to discuss social and paid and promoted posts in an area where organic reach is waning. Stacey McNaught (Search Director at Tecmark) then spoke about mapping content to your conversion funnel and it was really interesting to hear her speak about campaigns she's worked on and how us humans can be funny old things when it comes to booking holidays. With possibly the cutest slide deck in conference history, Lexi Mills (Head of Digital at Dynamo) talked us through her experience in the PR world, campaigns involving working with ducklings and the art and science of PR SEO. 

After lunch, and already feeling thoroughly spoiled rotten with all we'd heard and seen in the morning, Cyrus Shephard (Director of Audience Development at Moz) had us entranced and furiously scribbling notes with his talk on the magic of value-added SEO and optimising for humans. The group then came back together onstage for a panel talk and answered audience questions before Oli Gardner (Co-Founder of Unbounce) -who had juuust made it in time straight off a flight from New Jersey- batted away any impending jet lag and spoke about the four corners of conversion with some help from the cast of Trainspotting. What a way to win over a Scottish audience!

If you were to ask for our favourite quotes or nuggets of wisdom of the day, we'd have a hard time rounding it up. But we're not the type to shy away from a challenge...

Mike (as seen above) had us in stitches at one point during his talk when he asked the audience a maths question about average organic reach on Facebook based on how many fans a page has. One lucky -or unlucky- audience member was asked to give his answer and after lots of 'uhmm-ing' and 'ahh-ing' got it right. His prize? Mike whipped a packet of Tunnock's Wafers from his sporran. A truly Scottish moment if ever we saw one! But even without the biscuits, we were already engrossed in his tips for best practice on social to grow your audience and reach.

When Kirsty was discussing audience analysis she summed up how sometimes marketers can get it so wrong in one meme, it said; "You're female, aged 25-30. YOU MUST LIKE PONIES!". The most perfect way to illustrate assumptions made based on poor research. 

Mark really made us think about where our ideas are coming from and how we can get carried away, tricked by imposter "good ideas" led by a clever headline but which will ultimately lead nowhere. His advice? "Think, what's the one thing this shows? Why will anyone care?" We'll definitely be putting this into practice straight away when it comes to planning our content. 

Just like that, the sun was setting in Edinburgh and it was off to the after party... then the after, after party. Don't ask. We had a great day out and can't wait for 2016 already. Even us Glaswegians love Edinburgh a wee bit. Just look at that view, and they have a castle!  

All day, everyone was using #FullStack15 on social so you can check out the tweets, photos and tidbits from the full weekend in one place -super handy.