Last month, you may have heard of a tiny little event called SXSW which took place in Austin, Texas. Well, that statement may have been true ten years ago but not today. Everyone on the planet has heard of, if not been to, SXSW.
It's no surprise that brands, beginning in 2010 or so, took note of the event's popularity and began their ever-expanding presence at the event. Some took a distaste to this expansion into a territory deemed by some as sacred and only worthy of attendance by geeks, coders, bloggers and the like. Others embraced the inevitable change and rolled with it.
This year, as with recent prior years, brands had a large presence at SXSW. But it's not just presence we see anymore. It's active participation social media to extend the brand's presence beyond attendees to the greater world at large. In addition to organic and paid efforts, many brands employ the proverbial social media influencer to aid in that effort.
Anyone in marketing knows that authenticity is the name of the game if you want powerful campaigns. Well, there is nothing more authentic than real "uber fans" who promote your brand to their community simply because they love it. What could be better?
The only problem is brands often have difficulty finding those super fans, and identifying those with real reach. Crowdly, a Boston-based advocacy marketing platform, has figured out how to connect brands with their biggest advocates, and in stoking that relationship create potent advertising: according to Neilsen, 92% of consumers will believe their friends and family's recommendations over any others.
On my recent trip to SXSW, I was able to speak with Doris Shu, Crowdly's business development expert. She gave me the low-down on how advocacy marketing has worked for Crowdly, and how other brands can follow suit.
It's sort of passe to talk about how much SXSW has changed over the years because, well, it has and there's no going back. If you feel the need to reminisce or wallow in the past, you can read this, this, this, this and this.
Or you can put you mind in a more upbeat mode and read 6 Reasons Why SXSW is Still Awesome, written after last year's SXSW.
In any case, let's move on. Did you go to SXSW this year? What did you think? Did you get out of it what you expected? More? Less?
Let's take a look at some of what transpired during this year's SXSW Interactive.
Just when you thought SXSW couldn't possibly get any bigger. Expanding upon the success of past programming on this topic, SXSW Interactive is adding the SX Health and MedTech Expo to the slate of activities for March 2015 in Austin. The brand new JW Marriott Hotel will serve as home for this first-year exhibit space.