4 Lessons I Learned At IZEAFest

How to “Be Authentic” as a Brand

“Authentic people are present in their relationships.” – Roy Reid

Be authentic. This is a simple, yet impactful concept and has been shared thousands of times by “experts” on social media. Everyone has his or her own perception of what this means. At IZEAFest, Roy Reid shared this gem: “Authentic people are present in their relationships.” There it is. In a succinct way, he just explained how people and brands could be authentic. As a brand, you have a relationship with your fans and consumers. Be present! Engage your fans on social media, respond to emails and reviews, and be open to a dialogue. Your fans are looking for you to uphold your end of the relationship. Sharpspring is helping marketers do just that with “Hyper-personalization” via marketing automation. It creates conversations with your fans and widens the marketing funnel. Rick Carlson pointed out: “When you give people what they want in THAT MOMENT, they are more likely to buy from you.” A win-win for the consumer and the brand.

Successful Brands Innovate to Create The Future They Seek

“Innovation makes you feel awkward. If not, you’re doing it wrong!” – Duncan Wardle

Successful brands not only look to the future, but they innovate to create the future they seek. Joe DeMike informed IZEAFester’s: “YouTube is already focused on reaching the NEXT billion people.” Duncan Wardle held an insightful and “Get out of your seat” participation panel on creativity and innovation in the workplace. He reminded the audience: “Innovation makes you feel awkward. If not, you’re doing it wrong!” It’s a new take on the old cliché “Think outside the box”.

Know Your Audience

“To be successful, you’ve gotta know your customer!” – Daymond John

Another extremely important axiom in the marketing world is “Know Your Audience”. This was a repetitive theme throughout IZEAFest. Peter Shankman mentioned it as his number one rule in the “10 Rules to Not Suck” presentation. “1. Do your homework! Know your audience!”

Daymond John, founder of FUBU and Shark Tank guru, said: “To be successful, you’ve gotta know your customer!”

Perhaps Paula Rollo best explained WHY this is important: “When I understand my specific audience I can solve problems for them, I can better connect with brands, and I can become a thought leader.” The panel (including Paula) expounded on this point with considerations for creating content marketing: “What do people want to see?” “Is it fun?” “Is it interesting?” Know what your audience wants.

As Michelle Dauchy from Mercury Marine pointed out “When you forget who you are talking to, you can’t tell a great story…you can’t connect to your audience”.

YouTube is even anticipating and learning about their next audience before it exists. Joe DeMike mentioned: “75% of the next billion people to come online will be on mobile devices. They will come from India, Brazil, Indonesia, and China.”

IZEAFest Knows How To Throw A Party

Ok, there were a ton of other wonderful speakers and sessions. They are definitely worth checking out here.

However, the after party was a private affair at Universal Studio’s Islands of Adventure. Partygoers were treated to Marvel characters, awesome rides, delicious food and desserts, open bars, an air guitar contest and of course networking. That was just Friday night! On Saturday night there was a party at the pool again with an open bar, and an amazing atmosphere with floating, glowing balls in the pool.

Well done IZEAFest!

Bonus Insight: Chipotle memes are abundant!

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