Stellar Sheffield DM Line-Up Makes for Awesome Latest Event

24 August, 2020
generic image

On 6th August, Sheffield DM went bigger than ever before, as we hosted our very first full-day event. Thanks to the fantastic speakers and the hard work of the Sheffield DM team, it was a resounding success; as we smashed records for sign-ups and attendees. 

The day was split into 4 main segments:

  • SEO Talks and Q&A panel
  • Paid Media and PPC talks 
  • Content and PR talks 
  • Personal branding talks 

Each segment covered important trends affecting these different tracks of marketing, with the stellar line-up of speakers sharing priceless and actionable insights throughout. 

Chief organiser Giorgio Cassella said: 

"I’m overjoyed with the success of our latest Sheffield DM. The scope of the event was magnitudes larger than anything we’ve done before: hosting incredible international speakers, reaching a huge new audience, and transitioning from an hour in the pub every other month to a day-long conference. It’s a testament to the team and I’m hyped about where Sheffield DM can go from here to offer something fresh and new to the conference circuit."

Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, we did have to run the event digitally - but this didn’t detract from the quality one bit. We’d also run our first digital event back in June and this helped us as organisers to understand how to position the latest Sheffield DM too. 

Ash, Managing Director of sponsor Evoluted, added the following thoughts:

“I couldn’t be more delighted with how the latest Sheffield DM went. In what are undoubtedly testing times, it was fantastic to see the Sheffield DM team come together with the wider marketing community to put on a great show.”

What Did I Miss?

For those who didn’t manage to attend the event - or if you enjoyed it so much that you want to recap - we’ve put together a breakdown of all the key points below. You’ll also find videos of the different tracks alongside the summaries. 


The first segment of the day focused on SEO, with Faye Watt of Seeker Digital providing a great start to proceedings. Faye provided fantastic insight into how to go about conducting technical SEO audits, sharing her insight into the core areas you should be focusing on when conducting this work. Faye looked at:

  • What a technical SEO audit is
  • The importance of technical SEO
  • Technical SEO tools 
  • Technical SEO templates 
  • Technical SEO tasks 
  • How long an audit should take  

Highly-respected marketing circuit speaker Izzi Smith then hosted an excellent discussion around what in-house SEO is really like. This saw her discuss a variety of key in-house SEO topics with Areej AbuAli (Zoopla), Alina Ghost (Amara) and Dan Rawley (Twinkl). 


Proceedings kicked back off with the PPC segment, with 3 awesome talks on offer from speakers Azeem Ahmad (Azeem Digital), Arianne Donoghue (Tempest) and Sarah Barker (Sticky Eyes).

Azeem’s talk covered how to achieve PPC success with small budgets, as he looked into areas including:

  • Auditing your bidding, conversion and remarketing strategies 
  • Ad copy structure
  • Search query reports
  • Bonus tips to boost your ROI 

2019 UK Search Personality of the Year Arianne Donoghue then took over to share her talk on ‘PPC to Strategy’. 

As ever, Arianne had lots of interesting insights to share, including why the average PPC professional may soon become an endangered species. This linked to thoughts around:

  • How privacy is changing everything
  • Automation being a game changer 
  • In-housing being a challenge for agencies 
  • Profitability and margin challenges

Sarah then rounded off a superb segment with an excellent talk around PPC automation with data. With search moving increasingly towards automation, Sarah focused on how and why you should trust the computer for certain aspects of your campaigns, so that you can focus on the areas where you can offer the most value as a human.

Optimising shopping feeds, data integration and dynamic search ads were all given great coverage in an insightful and useful talk. 

Content and PR

After a short break for lunch, we moved onto the content and PR segment. 

First up was Abi Bennetts, who took a deep dive into how to use psychology principles to power your digital PR successes. Abi covered 6 primary areas you can use to improve your digital PR tactics:

  • Reciprocity - giving journalists the gift of a great pitch
  • Consistency - tapping into emotional topics in our content
  • Social proof - creating content people want to share, that can target the top-tier nationals
  • Liking - don’t annoy journalists
  • Authority - be confident in your follow-ups and use strong titles
  • Scarcity - offer exclusives and emphasise deadlines

Abi’s great talk was followed by another from Alex Hickson, who dug into utilising social media effectively in digital PR. With the average UK person using social media for 2 hours 24 minutes a day, there’s so much opportunity out there to take advantage of. 

One of Alex’s biggest takeaways was that you should be using your personality, since it’s pretty much your biggest selling point. Alex also dug into the gaps you should be considering when determining your digital PR campaigns:

  • Knowledge - are you answering a question and is there a demand for the story being told through your campaign?
  • Emotional - What emotions are you going to evoke? These will be key to triggering interest
  • Conversational - are you about to enter a conversation? Can you create a campaign based on a hot topic?

Last up was Laura Hampton, whose insightful talk looked at maximising digital PR success through clear KPIs and fair expectations.

Laura covered 3 core topics and we’d highly recommend checking out her talk if you missed it:

  • How to define what success looks like in a meaningful way
  • How to craft strategies that have the best chance of success 
  • How to learn and reflect

Personal Branding

A great day was rounded off nicely with an interesting group discussion around personal branding in digital marketing, preceded by an excellent talk by Impression’s Saffron Shergill. 

Saffron looked into the place of personal branding for digital marketers in the present day, covering topics including imposter syndrome, social media creativity and article writing.

Juntae DeLane (Digital Branding Institute), Ash Young (Evoluted) and Aleyda Solis (Orianti) then discussed a range of different personal branding topics during an interesting panel discussion. If you’re looking to grow your personal brand, it’s well worth checking the discussion out! 

Thanks to All Those Involved!

It was really rewarding to see so many prominent marketing personalities keen to share their expertise with the Sheffield DM audience. The event also wouldn’t have been possible without the drive of Giorgio and the Sheffield DM team. A big congratulations to all those involved on a really successful event. 

The challenge now is to top it! Stay tuned to the Sheffield DM site. and sign up to the newsletter to hear about the next event before anyone else!

Written by Sean

As chief crafter of copy, Sean’s flair for writing engaging content continues to prove integral to our internal and client marketing activity. With more than 5 years' digital experience, he joined Evoluted back in 2015. He spends his days managing SEO strategy, producing content and assisting Evoluted’s clients.

Up next…
Writing Links Like It’s 1999
20 August, 2020


Leave a comment

Replying to: - Cancel