I’ve just got back from another interesting Brighton SEO conference. I started going to these twice yearly (April and September) events a few years ago when there were only a couple of hundred people attending. At today’s event there were about 3,500 attendees, 9 different streams and over 90 speakers all packed into the Brighton Centre. It’s a great way to find out the latest thinking in the digital marketing world and chat to practitioners from across the industry. I usually bump into current and former students and today was no exception. In terms of content, the conference has moved on from focusing on what marketers need to do to rank more highly in search results to include social media marketing, pay per click (PPC), AI and machine learning marketing applications, ecommerce and regulatory matters. I always recommend my students attend the event as tickets are free if you are quick off the mark (the free tickets normally all go in a few minutes!).
I could only stay until the lunch break but I’ve come away with some exciting ideas for updating my undergraduate and postgraduate digital marketing modules at the University of Brighton for the 2017/18 academic year. These include:
- running workshops on implementing structured data to improve search rankings and results listings;
- running some in-class demos of voice search using the Amazon Echo and Google Home devices and exploring what the implications of voice search are for marketers;
- helping students understand the importance of the Google Knowledge Graph and what it means for search, particularly voice search;
- running some demonstrations of the application of AI to search using services such as Pinterest’s “Shop the Look” and “Lens” and Google’s Translate service for images;
- helping students understand the range of data sources which marketers can use to improve the application of analytics to market research and targeting. I think there will be some overlap here with my interest in the Internet of Things (IoT).
So, plenty of ideas to keep me busy over the next few months.