[Recap] The UnWebinar Part III

McKenzie Gregory

We had such an amazing time hosting The UnWebinar Part III with UnMarketing’s Scott Stratten and Alison Kramer on Wednesday!

During the live Q&A, they tackled questions about everything from social media snafus to how marketers can make content both relevant and evergreen. Most importantly, they left us all with interesting, easily applicable tips for becoming better marketers.                                 

In case you missed it or want a recap of what they covered, we pulled together a list of our favorite pieces of advice they shared. Enjoy! 

(You can watch the full recording here.)



When should you defend yourself from social media outrage, and when should you let it slide by? Is it worth the risk stoking flames that might otherwise quietly dissipate if you do nothing? 

It really depends on the extremity of the situation: If this is about something your brand has done that’s become public, it’s true, it will go away eventually. But it will go away in the social media news cycle, not in the memories of the people that are outraged. Are those people your customers, or a market that you care about? Then, you probably need to do something. 
If you don’t address it at all, then you have no ability to shape the narrative that's out there. And if you do address it, but you address it too late, then it never gets heard. 
I think immediacy is a key part of these things. Because if you jump on it right away, the resolution or the explanation can go with the original issue so it’s tied together, and you have a whole lot less explaining to do. 
The key here, though, is not to stoop as low as the things coming at you. Stay calm, cool, and collected in your public response. You can’t say, “That customer is a liar, that never happened” – unless, of course, you have concrete proof. I’ve seen it in the past year where restaurants come out with videotapes of people putting their own hair in food and then complaining about it, sort of catching them in the act.
I like that. I’m not saying we should all be vigilantes when it comes to rogue customers, but I really don’t think burying your head in the sand does anything for you. 

How can we develop an audience in a regional market we’re trying to break into? We want to have an event in Singapore, but we don’t have an audience there.

First of all, absolutely nothing replaces somebody in the actual location that knows what they’re doing – a local contact. Especially when you’re trying to break into somewhere that's so culturally different, you need someone who truly knows the area. I love virtual, I love digital, but humans and their ability to do things on the ground is so much more valuable.
We get this question a lot of time in the broader sense: I want to build an audience in X space. But oftentimes, they haven’t spent any time investing in that community, and that’s where I’d start. I’d read every blog that’s coming out of that community, I’d get to know people online. Help those people, share their content – because a lot of the time we want people to pay attention to us, but we don’t actually want to engage with them or help them out. 

How do you manage higher-ups pulling resources or cutting your budget but still keeping the same goals in place? It’s the age-old problem of stopping spending on the long-term strategies but not changing the long-term goals!

It might help to have a candid discussion with the people in charge because it could just be a communication issue. But sometimes, even that doesn’t work. They want what they want and aren’t going to budge. When that happens, you have a couple of options (beyond quitting, of course): 
1. Focus your efforts where you’re really winning and run with it. We have this fascination in digital marketing that we have to be everywhere all the time, and sometimes, you want to tighten that belt a little bit because it’s more effective than scattering your attention everywhere. 
2. Think about the goals and whether they're the right ones. Sometimes we want things like more likes on Facebook, but they don’t actually mean anything in terms of conversions or sales. If you can eliminate some of those vanity goals by explaining to your boss how they aren’t really contributing to the bottom line, it can help you have more time and resources to dedicate to the goals that truly do matter. 

What do you think will be the next big social media trend?

(Insert sour expression from Scott)
Everyone in marketing likes to say, “We’re going to be smart! We’re going to do AR and VR!” But then their website still doesn’t render properly on a phone, and now we’re talking about putting together a virtual reality experience. 
All this new stuff you’re seeing in social media is just shiny and honestly crappy. Take live video. It may help you in a social media platform’s algorithm, but 99% of the time, the content is horrible. Have you met general humans on this earth? When is the last time you saw content from a brand and said, “I want this to be less good and live "? 80% of the world is un-filmable, but people are doing it anyway, and it’s contributing to the trash pile that is the internet.
Plus, if you're putting too much focus on what you’re going to do next, the things you’re doing NOW are going to suffer. This insatiable appetite and pressure to do the next big, shiny thing is what’s making the majority of content immediately die. It’s an unending, un-winnable race to the bottom. 
So the answer to what’s next in social media? Frustrated 40-year-old men going on rants about how it's all useless. 

When your primary audience falls into the young, teen realm, where do you go? How do you get to them without coming across as disingenuous?

That’s when you go to the influencers. They’ve become the new media channel, and that’s ok. Just work with it. 
It’s not the same as 20 years ago when Cindy Crawford would promote Pepsi, and the marketers dictated how that worked. The influencer has the power to frame the campaign, and you have to trust them to know that audience better than you do. 
You can’t fake it. As soon as you try to, that’s how the biggest train wrecks in branding happen. 

Big thanks to Scott and Alison for joining us! Again, if you’d like to view the full recording of The UnWebinar Part III, you can check that out here.  

About the Author

McKenzie Gregory

McKenzie Gregory is a senior content manager on Emma’s marketing team. A Nashville native, she can be found covering all things email on the Emma blog, debating hyphenation rules, and watching obscene amounts of Netflix without a trace of shame.

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