by Carissa Siddell

July 31, 2023

Last month, I had the opportunity to attend the Meltwater Summit 2023 in New York City. Meltwater was the first tool to offer comprehensive media monitoring and analysis across online news, social media, print, broadcast and podcasts. It’s a helpful tool for building reports with your media and social insights. It was nice to be able to connect with like-minded marketers from across the country and have conversations learning how everyone uses the Meltwater tool differently. Besides learning all about Meltwater’s new products and offerings, there was a lineup of speakers discussing a variety of topics regarding online engagement, viral content creation on TikTok and other social platforms and, of course, what AI means for the future of content creation.

Here are my three main takeaways from the conference:

1. Taking risks on social media takes trust and patience before you see a payoff

I was fortunate enough to sit in on a presentation from Zaria Parvez, the mastermind behind language learning software company Duolingo’s TikTok strategy. Parvez is the social content manager as well as the Duolingo owl – the quirky and irreverent mascot that has helped propel the brand to more than 7 million TikTok followers. For those that have seen Duolingo’s TikTok page, you may have some mixed feelings of it being off-brand, hilarious or even inappropriate. According to Parvez, the idea around the company’s unconventional social strategy was to take risks by hopping on trends because its core Gen Z audience wants to be entertained, not sold to. As a marketer, I respect this new era of thinking where marketing doesn’t have to mean shoving product in your audience’s face.

Duolingo is a prime example of that. Their unique mascot-led social presence has people talking about their brand despite little-to-no reference of their language learning software to be found in their posts. Parvez discussed how Duolingo’s executive team wasn’t originally sure about her new-era marketing plan, especially with their very limited budget. However, by taking the unconventional approach to engaging their audience, they are now one of the most talked about and recognized accounts on TikTok. The takeaway: Sometimes taking a risk and giving creative freedom to try something new or different can pay off with significant results.

2. Attention to detail in your AI prompts can help you get the most from your output

Unsurprisingly, a good portion of the conference was dedicated to the emergence of AI, with many discussions centering on how to get the most out of your AI prompts. It was interesting to see how effective inputting a quality AI prompt was when searching for specific outputs. Speakers underscored how important it was to be as descriptive as possible in terms of direction, tone, emotion and length of prompts. Additionally, speakers relayed how AI users should be prepared to make a few rounds of corrections or clarifications when engaging with AI in order to get a desired end product since platforms like ChatGPT learn through your corrections.

The potential capabilities of AI when it comes to content creation are immense, and it seems like we’re just scratching the surface. For instance, I sat through a Meltwater demo of one of their new products that has ChatGPT built into it to assist users with writing press releases. I also sat through a workshop where the speaker demonstrated how they use AI within their marketing efforts at Coca-Cola to create effective user-generated content. This included using their AI-based platform “CreateRealMagic” to have users create their own AI-generated images with Coca-Cola products. Coca-Cola in turn plugged these images into digital ad campaigns and organic posts. This was extremely interesting to me as the average person couldn’t differentiate between the AI-generated content and campaigns that were created with images captured by a photographer. It’s crazy to think that now is the future, and we have endless possibilities right at our fingertips. AI certainly isn’t going anywhere, so get in there and play around with the multiple tools on the market that are reshaping what is possible in the world of marketing and communications (just remember to clear your history before closing out if you have any proprietary information to keep yourself protected.)

3. Influencer marketing is here to stay because content is king, but paid is queen

Influencer marketing continues to grow in importance in 2023. Over 66% of Millennials and 63% of Gen Z are more likely to trust a brand if an influencer they trust reviews that brand’s product. Consumer trust overall has declined in recent years, but 61% of customers still trust influencer recommendations, while only 38% trust branded content.

If you’re interested in influencer marketing, some common themes shared throughout the conference included recognizing that authenticity is key – let influencers leave honest reviews about your organization or products so that your target audience can build trust in your brand. Treat influencers like partners, not promoters – treating your influencer like they are a partner in the campaign makes them feel valued and not just a tool to get your product visibility. Let go of the “creative control” leash and trust your influencer partner during the content creation process – let them be their authentic selves and give them freedom in posting by not giving orders on how it needs to be executed. Trusting your influencer partner with creative control and encouraging authenticity will help your brand in the long run by providing the exposure you’re looking for in a unique way.

Meltwater Summit Slide from Presentation

If you have any questions on how to get started with your social media journey or want to learn more about how you can start to incorporate AI into your everyday marketing tasks, drop me a line to start the conversation!