Global Pet Expo 2017: Emerging media and technology trends and your customers

GPEAcademyLogo_FinalCallahan’s Director of Social and Emerging Media, Ben Smith, will be one of the speakers at the upcoming Global Pet Expo in Orlando, Florida, March 22-24. Here, he offers a preview of the sessions he will present, and invites you to join him at the Global Pet Expo Academy.

The speed at which technology evolves can easily feel overwhelming. Not just technology, but the digital and social channels we engage in too. We are bombarded with headlines about the “next big thing” in marketing, about a new social network that’s sure to be the new Facebook or Twitter. In reality, it can be hard enough keeping up with changes the current Facebook keeps making, let alone trying to predict who’s going to replace it—if anything will.

A much-touted headline from 2014 read, “Facebook has peaked, will lose 80% of its users by 2017.” That headline was published by both national and international news media, and in respected publications such as Time and Information Week – all of them quick to jump on a then newly-released Princeton study. Businesses were encouraged by some to abandon Facebook before it was too late. When that study was published, Facebook had approximately 1.2 billion monthly active users. Today, it has more than 1.8 billion.

Three months into 2017, key marketing and consumer engagement discussion trends include live video, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, chatbots and much more. Quickly overwhelming, right?

Ultimately, not all of these headlines, trends and buzzwords will be relevant to us, but some absolutely will be. Whether a small, locally-owned business or a large national brand, it’s critical that we stay relevant to our audience—our customers, prospects and community. Sometimes that means we simply get better at using the digital and social tools we already have. That we invest a little more time to create better content, or learn how to optimize our Facebook ads more effectively. Other times, it means we adapt and evolve in more significant ways – we engage with customers in a social network we’ve never used before, we step outside our comfort zone and learn to use live video broadcasts, or even embrace an entirely new and somewhat intimidating technology. If we do these things well and with the right balance, we don’t just stay relevant, we gain competitive edge. We stay connected with our audience in more meaningful ways. We spend less while reaching more relevant people. We build loyalty and empower advocates. We outsmart when we can’t outspend.

During my Global Pet Expo Academy Seminars this year, I’ll split my focus on two distinct topics.

Get the Most from Facebook Advertising

Thursday at 12:30 p.m., I’ll build on interest I’ve seen from attendees during my last two years at Global Pet. Facebook Advertising is powerful, affordable and effective. Whether you have $100 or $1M to spend, Facebook is a simple and tremendously effective marketing tool, with a potential to connect you to a very highly targeted audience. During this year’s Facebook session, I’ll focus on practical and strategic techniques to optimize and evolve Facebook campaigns for more effective results.

Emerging Media and Technology Trends and Your Customers

Then, on Thursday at 3:30 p.m., we’ll take a look at some of the latest trends, such as 360-degree video, chatbots and virtual reality. We’ll break them down in easy-to-digest ways, look at potential opportunities for businesses—both small and large and we’ll give you a chance to try out some of the technology for yourself, including a virtual reality headset. Even if you don’t feel these trends are something your business needs to embrace today, you’ll leave with a good understanding of the reality behind the headlines.

I hope you’ll be able to join me for one of these sessions, along with an additional mini session, “Rethinking Social Media to Achieve More Meaningful Results,” all taking place on Thursday, March 23:

9:15 a.m. – Mini session: Rethinking social media to achieve more meaningful results

12:30 p.m. – Get the Most from Facebook Advertising

3:30 p.m. – Emerging Media and Technology Trends and Your Customers

Guarantee your seat and register in advance for individual sessions by visiting the show website.

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