Last week, on a cloudy morning, we went back to school. There were hard questions, notes were kept and prizes were offered - this was surely a unique Skype Workshop and these were the main highlights.

By Anastasia Alexopoulou, Business Development Executive, ThinkDigital

From the opening slide, it became clear that this workshop was going to be about stories. Chris James, Skype’s Strategy and Sales Lead for CEEMEA, thanked the audience of media specialists for being there and, shortly after, he asked them if they could recognize the country.

In case you are wondering, this is Estonia. What does it have to do with Skype & Digital Marketing? To quote Toomas Ilves, the President of Estonia, “not many know where Estonia is, but everyone knows Skype. So now I say I’m the president of the country where Skype is.“ Why? Because the 1.3m population Baltic country is the motherland of Skype.

Data, Data, Data

As C. James pointed out, “Skype’s vision is to bring humanity back to communication, giving people the intimacy they are craving in their lives.” And judging from Skype’s popularity – 340million users worldwide- it certainly does something right. That is why…

… over 1/3 of all international calls are made on Skype &

2.8 billion minutes of calls are made in a single day.

Millions of people rely on Skype every day for sharing experiences. It’s an environment they trust. And it’s that trust in Skype that gives users the confidence to use the platform for their most personal and meaningful human connections. According to research, 77% of Skype users are using Skype to connect to family and friends who feel like family. Moreover, 43% of users say they choose Skype first-and-foremost because it’s the most personal way to connect, whereas 53% of people say that Birthdays are the occasion when they use Skype the most.

The Multi-Screen Effect

Multi-screening is one of the key trends for 2015. Research has showed that, by 2017, there will be 5 connected devices for every internet user worldwide. It seems we are just at the brink of the multi-screen evolution now with brands looking for innovative ways of engaging the increasingly fragmented and distracted multi-screen consumer.

Skype is not the exception. In fact, its mobile audience is highly unduplicated – only 16% of Skype’s total users (54MM) are duplicated between mobile and desktop. What does this mean for you, dear marketer?

a)      Start adding Skype Mobile to your Skype Desktop campaign and not only will your campaign achieve greater reach and better performance, but will also connect with users during different emotional states throughout the day.

b)      If you don’t buy Skype Mobile, you’re missing out on easy reach because you’re not buying 36% of Skype’s users.

The Buzzwords

What would a 2014 Digital Marketing workshop be without the “Millennials” and, of course, “Native Advertising”? Worry not! We had them both!

Millennials, those tech advanced 18-28 years old, communicate a lot with each other. This is why they value sharing information in a trusted environment, such as Skype. You will find them here talking about friends & family, entertainment, food, hobbies, reviews, traveling & relationships, even about the weather. For, in general, users spend a lot of time on Skype - 2.8 billion minutes of Skype calls in one, single day, remember?

On the other hand, Native, at its core, is all about offering an experience to users, in a specific environment, that feels natural to what they are used to experiencing in this environment.

So, what do Skype users do on Skype? They communicate; they use the video capabilities, the camera, the mic…

Use these capabilities to communicate your brand to users. They will respond! They will engage when you entail clear and strong calls to action to a creative that invites them to take a photo, record a video or play with the camera with motion detection technology. And, most likely, they will even share the experience with other friends & loved ones, as it was the case with this Specsavers campaign.

The New Release: "Conversation Corridors"

One of the highlights during the workshop was without a doubt the Conversation Corridors release. This is a new targeting capability exclusive to Skype that allows advertisers to deliver unique offers to Skype users, who have historically and habitually communicated with specific geographic regions.

Let’s say you are an Airline. Wouldn’t it be great to target people who have meaningful connections with people at your traveling destinations? If you had that information and targeting opportunity, you could then contact those users with a special offering campaign for that specific destination. Well, now you can do that.

& the futuristic "Skype Translator"

Chris James, walked his students through some really interesting case studies, and at the end, we all came to agree that “advertising in Skype really does work. It shifts perceptions and buying intentions.

What else did we learn? Among other launches, the very promising 728x90 expandable, in-chat ad placement that is already available. And, last but definitely not least, the highly innovative Skype Translatior, which lets users talk via voice and video in real-time even if they don't speak the same language, and now it's ready for a limited public roll-out.

Do you want to find out more about how Skype can help you maximize the ROI of your ad spend? Contact us at sales-net@thinkdigital.net.