We sat down with Maryrose Lyons, digital marketer and social media trainer with Brightspark Consulting, to talk about all things digital marketing and discuss what tools you need to survive in the online world.
When did you first start your social media journey?
I started out in digital marketing in 1999, I was in the right place at the right time and I jumped in right at the start. I was working on websites in the financial services sector, and we were, quite literally, making things up, working out how to make people do things on websites. It’s called UX now. I set up my business Brightspark Consulting in 2003 offering search and content. I remember I was advising people to write a blog that encouraged interaction when everyone else was writing white papers. Then Twitter happened (2006). Then Facebook. Instagram. LinkedIn, and Ads. Once again I jumped in at the start and have enjoyed every moment of it since.
Is the marketing world completely shifting to digital?
I only know my world, and that is all digital! But I think there is a shift going on. Many people who’ve taken my online social media course are traditional marketers who know they have to get to grips with social. “I have a 15-year-old daughter who’s brilliant at Instagram” is a comment I get a lot. By the time I’ve finished with them, I want them to be better than their daughter, more confident, more strategic, and better able to continue doing what they do - but with added social media sparkle.
How do you stay on top of the ever-changing digital world?
Podcasts and webinars are my favourite way of keeping up. A couple I really like include Jon Loomer (FB Ads), Rick Mulready (FB Ads), Chalene Johnson (Instagram), Storybrand (business storytelling) and of course my most favourite of all - Mark Schaefer (Marketing Companion) and a most excellent blog. I don’t just consume and listen. As soon as I’ve got something new I need to learn, I try it out. When you do, you learn. And you can quickly decide if something is worth it or not based on the numbers.
What are your top tips for a person or individual looking to improve their digital presence?
1. Schedule a time to update your profiles at least once a quarter. They have got to be fresh.
2. Get good on camera and learn to be comfortable on video because it’s not going away, and once you get the hang of it, video is an incredibly effective way to get your message across on so many levels.
3. Be consistent. Show up. Do your thing. Keep doing it. Measure what works. Tweak. Do it again.
In your opinion, what are the general key stages in a digital marketing strategy?
Research and strategy. Content creation and planning. Execution. Testing and continuous improvement.
Would you always put quality over frequency and quantity when dealing with social media activity?
Totally! And I’m so glad you asked that question. I will be covering that in my talk for IMAGE in January. I want to inspire a mini army of people into creating quality content in 2019. Really focus on making something worthy that solves a problem for your audience. Publish and share and reshare that, knowing that what you’re pushing is good. That’s a far more effective strategy over the alternative of producing average content, that no one reads, wants, likes or trusts.
Do you think video will take over altogether on social?
Well, there were a few stats being bandied about the last few years that haven’t come to fruition. Mary Meeker forecast that by 2017, 74% of online traffic would be social video. 2017 came and went and I didn’t see anyone confirm or dispute that fact. There’s another one by Cisco that says, by 2019, video will account for 80% of global internet traffic and 85% in the US. A couple of years ago, after Facebook declared that video was the new mobile, we were hearing rumours that our entire newsfeed would go video. That hasn’t happened yet, but the current rumours are that the newsfeed will be replaced by Stories, and you know it - they are mostly video. So yes, and no. As with most things you hear in the media about social media, it’s based on truth, but is exaggerated in order to make for a smashing story!
Do you have a mentor?
I have a business coach who’s brilliant and works at more than just the spreadsheets and stats level. He engages with me as a whole person, and my business is a part of that. I have several good friends who I turn to when I need advice. Streetwise savvy ladies who I utterly respect and admire for what they do, and who are generous to share their insights and cunning. I think Ireland is brilliant for that. There is such a lovely level of friendly co-opetition. Plenty to go around, and lots of sharing and support going on.
Date: January 31
Place: The Westbury Hotel
Time: Champagne reception from 6.30pm
*Includes luxury gift bag