If you’re a digital marketer for a brand and you haven’t checked out a Digital Marketing Masterclass from Masterclassing, I highly recommend them. The folks at Masterclassing get 30-40 brand marketers from a given region in a room for breakfast, and then have 4-5 sponsors who each give a 10-minute pitch of sorts, explaining how they help marketers with a particular digital strategy; everything from website building to leveraging influencers. The presenters then get to sit at each of the tables — sort of like speed dating — and talk to marketers about the major issues they’re facing. The whole thing lasts less than 2 hours and gets you back to work before lunch. It’s the opposite of a big trade show where the conversations are typically about which booth has the best tchotchkes.

As a sponsor at the Atlanta event on October 9th, I was able to chat with some awesome marketers from UPS, Coca-Cola, WebMD, Shake Shack, and many others. Here are the three key things I heard during my conversations:

  1. Video Content Is Still A Challenge: The major message I heard from marketers in Atlanta was “I wish I could do more video marketing, but my content is old and it’s so expensive to create new content.” I totally feel their pain on this one, although I did remind them that much of the most engaging content on YouTube has very low production values. The number one video in the fast food space right now is a homemade how-to video that shows how you can build a vending machine out of cardboard that delivers McDonald’s hamburgers. Many brands are following the lead of UGC players and creating engaging creative without having to break the bank.
  2. YouTube Channel Management Is Also A Challenge: While some brand marketers were heavily focused on making their YouTube channels successful, others were using their channel as a place to simply “store” all their videos. This was where I reminded marketers that YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world, and in the same way that you want to show up high in Google Search, you want to rank high and be optimized on YouTube. We work with a lot of brands like PUMA on just this type of optimization.
  3. Brand Safety And Suitability Are Now Table Stakes: While brand safety was a primary concern a year ago, it’s now moved to the point where it’s an important consideration, but not an all-consuming focus. Marketers I spoke with make sure their partners deliver brand-safe campaigns as table stakes, but are becoming more focused on ways they can increase engagement with their audiences through better content, targeting, and optimization.

While I was there as a sponsor to show attendees how Pixability can help brands succeed on YouTube, the real benefit for me was hearing stories of challenges and seeing the marketers interact (and sometimes disagree) with each other. For marketers interested in going to a Masterclassing event in their region, I recommend looking at who the sponsors are ahead of time to make sure that the topics being covered address your specific pain points.