3XE Digital Dublin October 2017



On Thursday 19th October we headed to Croke Park for a day filled with excellent speakers, informative workshops and an endless supply of delicious coffee and biscuits.

With 20 speakers and 6 different workshops on the day, we wouldn’t do each one justice by trying to fit them all into one blog post, so we’ll touch on some of our favourites.  

Barry Adams, founder of Polemic Digital spoke of the changing landscape of search and SEO, thanks to the rise of digital assistants and connected devices. With a purported 50% of all searches forecasted to be by voice come 2020, it’s undeniably important for brands to try and tap into this.

According to Barry:

  • Websites must be mobile friendly and built around AI requirements, as machines will be your main audience thanks to voice search
  • Use tools like Search Terms Report on Google Adwords to find out what people are looking for
  • Voice search queries tend to be 5 words and longer, and usually start with why, what, how, when or who
  • Voice searches are more conversational than typed, therefore long tail keywords need to be factored. Brands need to add more conversational words, phrases and questions to website copy, and think about the language that customers will use
  • Use tables and bullet point lists to answer questions as these are very machine readable, and thus easy to supply as an answer


Then there was the fantastic Karen McHugh of Arekibo, with 5 Tips For Your New Website Or Relaunch:

    • Know Your Audience

Will your new website meet your audience’s expectations? What is your audience looking for? First impressions are everything, so ensuring your website is designed well and optimised will result in returning visitors. According to Kissmetrics, 79% of users are less likely to return if load time is slow. 47% expect a load time of less than 2 seconds, and 40% will abandon if load time is greater than 3 seconds.

    • Set Goals

Why – How – What

  • Why are you online?
  • How will you succeed?
  • What will you measure?

Make sure your goals are SMART: Image result for smart goals

    • Plan SEO

Planning your SEO relaunch checklist will ensure minimal drop off from search traffic. Some key things to consider: SEO Audit – What is you highest performing SEO content? These should be top of your list to bring to the new website. Content Optimisation – Take that same list, and ensure that the content pages are thoroughly optimised with strong Meta Data and keyword interlinking.

Inbound Link Analysis – Where are your links coming from? Are they strong links? Remove any links that will weaken your score. Redirects – If there are certain pages that are not being brought over to the new website, make sure to set up redirects to relevant pages to avoid 404’s and a negative user experience. Custom 404’s – Where 404’s are unavoidable, ensure the page is optimised so that the user has clear guidance as to why they are there, and where they can go next.

    • Customise Analytics

Google tag manager is your friend. If you align your business objectives with your analytical goals, using tag manger, your custom tracking will really help you steer your website’s content in the right direction.

    • Conversion Optimisation

Why conversion rate optimisation? It gives you room to improve on all elements of your website. It will make your adverts more competitive, and give you higher quality leads and maximise return on investment.

Jes Scholz of Ringier AG gave a really mesmerising talk on the progression of marketing in the digital world; from reading content, to seeing it via photos, to watching it in a video, to interacting with it, to immersion within it. In a short space of time we’ve moved from watching videos to interacting through 360 photos and videos, to immersing ourselves in the media through VR and AR.

81% of people who engage with VR will share it with their family and friends. By engaging through these methods you are ensuring brand affinity with Gen Z and Millennials. Jen was sure to point out that this does not mean actual content can take a back seat while the format does all the talking. Audiences are far too intelligent to be led by the newest and coolest formats alone. The content still needs to be of value to them.

Jack Murray, creator of PR agency All Good Tales, led one of the fantastic workshops that we attended that day. The topic was using storytelling for search. As Jack put it, storytelling is a universal term, “Great stories get more”.

Through storytelling a brand can get more funding, more attention, more of an emotional reaction, more loyalty and more sales. That’s a lot to have riding on a good story right? So how do you create the perfect story to achieve all of the above?   Turns out this little gem holds all the answers:

Jack explained the rules of a great story, which are as follows:

  • Know your magic slice. This is the overlapping of two areas: what you want to say to consumers, and what consumers want to hear. The area where both of these meet is your magic slice. Only about 20% of this slice will be about your product or service.
  • Get clear in your mind the elements of a good story. These include the hero, the desire of the hero, the antagonist, the inciting incident (the problem to which your brand will be the saviour), the crisis and the resolution.
  • Understand the structure of a story. Your story can follow a 3 or 5 act structure.

Many Irish brands at the moment are really effectively using storytelling in their marketing strategies, including AIB and Lidl. These brands create stories that have viewers hooked, engaged and emotionally invested in the outcome of the story. Then, without shoving their product in your face, the brand exemplifies how their product is an important character in the story, offering a resolution or helping hand to the protagonists we have come to care about.

3XE proved to be a goodie bag of mixed treats and we certainly can’t wait for the next conference in February 2018!


We’ve been putting many aspects of the above to use within our own internal communications and with our clients. To discuss how you can do the same with your brand, we’re happy to talk. Simply drop us a note.
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Photo by Erik Lucatero on Unsplash.

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