What’s it really like to work in the world of digital marketing?
This series of blog posts will show the variation of roles we have at iCrossing and will give an insight into what happens on a daily basis including commuting journeys, social activities, lunch time food spots as well as the best and most challenging aspects of the job. This post introduces Triston from the Design team based in Brighton.
What’s your role at iCrossing?
I work in the Design team located at the far corner of the 3rd floor. It’s cosy, a little messy but it’s our mess – we’re creatives, right? I’ve worked in this team for 2 years now and before this I worked for 2 years in the Natural Search department.
Background- what did you do before iCrossing?
I didn’t really take a conventional route to working in digital marketing. I spent around 12 years in the engineering industry and, after a redundancy and half decent pay off, decided to change careers and pursue a career in the creative industry. To do this involved going back into full time education whilst continuing to support my growing family. iCrossing enabled me to do that.
We’re thrilled to announce that leading department store and online retailer, Debenhams, has appointed us to manage its SEO strategy – or natural search as we call it here at iCrossing. The win follows a multi-agency competitive pitch process.
So what we will we be doing with them? As Debenhams operates in an extremely competitive market where natural search plays a huge part in ecommerce growth, we have been brought in to help Debenhams’ internal marketing and SEO teams capitalise on natural search to hit the company’s aggressive growth targets for 2014. We will be introducing a fully integrated search strategy, a key focus of which will be creating compelling content for their target audience.
Debenhams has also just undergone a complex site migration and will therefore be looking to tap into our experience of other large scale, complex websites and site migrations in the retail industry.
Ross Clemmow, E-Commerce Director at Debenhams had this to say: “We are delighted to be working with iCrossing as we continue to drive our online growth plans – their track record and obvious expertise in the natural search space will be a valuable complement to our team.”
Meanwhile, our very own Chief Client Officer, Tom Jones said: “Debenhams is such a well-recognised and well-loved brand both on our high street and online. And we’re absolutely thrilled to be working with them. Search lies at the heart of what we do here at iCrossing so we’re really excited about using our experience to support such an iconic British brand.”
In our fast-moving world of digital, it’s important to communicate in a fast and efficient manner. So, is that why we use so many acronyms? I’d like to think so…
I started working at iCrossing a month ago and was getting slightly confused by all the acronyms so I decided to keep note. To my surprise at the end of month one I had recorded 116!
What’s more, the digital community creates new ones at such a rate, keeping up can be difficult. Whether you’re new to digital or not it can feel like people are speaking a different language.
But as far as digital is concerned, acronyms are undoubtedly becoming part of the spoken language – think SEO and PPC just for an obvious starting point – and they are now continually used in our day-to-day communications with colleagues and clients alike. Whether we like it or not, it looks like they’re here to stay, so let’s embrace them…
Here is the list I compiled in the space of a month which I hope will help you to navigate the sea of acronyms and abbreviations used in the world of digital. This is a work in progress so let me know if you have any more…
Of all the weird and wonderful business diagrams out there, the classic sales funnel is one of the most versatile and immediately understandable, even to a novice eye. We all intrinsically ‘get’ that if you create awareness about something, there are various steps you need to get through before you get someone to part with their PayPal details.
You’ve seen the diagram, studied the data and tracked the ROI, but how much do you know about what’s going through the mind of your audience at each stage?
We wouldn’t want to spy on our potential customers, however we can keep an eye and an ear on what they’re saying on their social networks.
Social listening is an activity that can achieve many things such as identifying trends and brand sentiment – when applied to the stages of your business funnel, it can be a valuable and insightful way of providing validation for activity, as well as indicating key areas of leakage.
So what should you be listening out for along the journey?
Many agencies around the country took part in the initiative, and iCrossing was paired with local Brighton secondary school Patcham High, which is known as a specialist school for media and arts with over 1000 students between years 7 and 11. 5 iCrossers from various teams volunteered under our charity day scheme to work with 36 Year 10 students (14-15 year olds) for the day.
With a wide range of collective skills in different disciplines, we presented case studies and typical day-to-day activities of our individual positions. This section was labelled as ‘meet the digital professionals’ and we wanted to give an overview of what it is really like to work in digital media, and the different types of roles available. BIMA also provided some materials around this, including an introductory video that was shown at the start of the day for everyone taking part. This included interviews and opinions from a number of industry leaders and people who are new to the sector and their experiences so far.
The main portion of the day was dedicated to the digital challenge, where groups of five or six pupils chose a challenge to complete in the following areas:
- Digital design – design something digital for your community
- Social media – plan a social media campaign for a fashion store
- Mobile app – plan and design a mobile app
We had stiff competition among the groups and were competing with other schools around the country it, was obvious everyone had their best creative hats on! There were some brilliant ideas and here are some of my favourites:
Instagram has announced that they will be starting to roll out the launch of advertising across the channel, initially starting in the United States.
Their post claims that their aim is to make the adverts, ‘feel as natural to Instagram as the photos and videos many of you already enjoy from your favourite brands’, but what does this mean? Will they be the same style of filtered photos or 15 second videos, or will the quality of the content be compromised to deliver the marketing message?
We’ll know more in the coming months as Instagram starts to implement the new updates but a few things come to mind which would ensure the integrity of the channel whilst advertising messaging is incorporated.
1. Currently you cannot include links in images and videos. Instagram could enrich the experience by allowing users to click on images to access further content in situ, or on other sites. Squeezing in the advertising functionality here could be a good option because providing the user with the option to click or not makes the experience less intrusive. Making it too easy to click when you meant to scroll down the feed would be a quick way to alienate users so the design & usability of this would be key.
All Google algorithm updates continue to reward content that engages users, gets linked to and builds relevance around the brand and their products. Content audits are becoming a necessity in order to take stock of what content you have, and plan for what content you need.
Nailing your onsite content has a number of benefits for SEO including increased search engine saturation as more web pages become indexed, improved brand awareness, widening the sales funnel and increasing referrals from long-tail keywords that often drive conversions a lot more effectively.
I’ve carried out content audits for a number of clients and here are my top five considerations when putting together this sort of document:
1. What have you already got?
It’s important to be aware of what content you’ve already got. Focusing your effort on areas you haven’t already covered will have a better return and provide quick wins. Start by listing out categories of products and see what content you have in these areas. For example, if you have a television category, a mobile phone category and a Hi-Fi category, then have you got content around these areas in the form of buying guides, testimonials, FAQs, glossaries of terms and reviews?
Use a simple spread sheet and list out your categories and what extra content sits around them:
Creativity and multi-channel distribution matter more than ever so keep an eye on the expanding mobile networks
If you are an exhibitor digital marketing events are great for lead generation, brand exposure and connecting with clients because they are attended by many brands, agencies and media owners eager to soak up the latest trends. I personally like going to digital marketing seminars in my field so I can gain new perspectives from the fast changing digital landscape. Some events are better than others but Adtech has always been one of my favourites because it touches everything digital. I am interested in inbound search marketing in general and especially in content marketing and although we hear a lot of the same old at each event I’m still able to walk away with a few interesting takeaways I didn’t know about before. Besides SEO seminars and casual networking I get the chance to explore the stands and ask questions to learn about different aspects in marketing disciplines which feed my creativity so I can deliver better content for my clients.
I’ve heard some people say the show has been shrinking over the years but that was not my impression. In fact the seminars are always packed and difficult to get into and this year has seen an increase in attendees compared to last year. The first thing I noticed walking in this year’s was that the event seemed to be much more in touch with pop culture, music and art. This year’s event at Kensington Olympia was definitely not going to be boring. Some stands like Jemm a global digital entertainment advertising network had DJs blaring house music on one side of the hall while in the middle of the space Buddy Media teamed up with Graffiti Life to create murals during the event.
Since late 2011 Google has been encrypting organic search query data in order to protect users’ privacy. When it was announced, SEOs over the world were understandably concerned. In the last few weeks many sites have seen an increase in their (not provided) ratio. Some sites have even reported a 100% loss of keyword level data.
Over the next couple of weeks, even months, you can expect hundreds of blog posts and thousands of tweets announcing the death of SEO. I don’t think SEO will ever die, it will just change. Today we are seeing a pretty big change that will revolutionise the industry and similar to Charles Darwin’s theory, only those that evolve will survive.
It is important to remember that while Google is making an abrupt change, user search behaviour will likely remain unchanged – for now. This just changes the data that we have, not what people are doing. SEO remains a valuable marketing channel, it will just mean drawing upon new data sources to provide you with the insights.
There are plenty of alternatives to Google’s Keyword data and in this post I will go through some of the most popular options available today.
Landing Page Analysis
Since Google started hiding keyword data when logged in, many sites have started looking at landing page data rather than keyword level data. It’s very simple, if your “holidays to Tenerife” page is getting 80% more traffic than your “holidays to Mallorca” page, then it’s quite possible that the Tenerife page is doing quite well in Google while the Mallorca page may need a bit of work.
Affiliate Marketing, or Performance Marketing as it is more frequently referred to, is going through a very exciting phase of growth and maturity as the downturn in the economy has prompted clients to allocate their budget spend on reduced risk activity for assured return on investment.
Where there has been the most improvement is in the maturity of the channel in terms of regulation and best practice.
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- The Content Lab
Other Blogs We Recommend
- Core Audience
- Forrester Blogs
- Google Plus Blog
- iMedia Connection
- Media Monkey
- Mobile, Social, Ambient by Rachel Pasqua
- Online Marketing Blog by Tristán Elósegui
- Search Engine Land
- The Content Lab
- The Facebook Blog
- The Official Google Blog
- Twitter Blog
- Wired Sussex
- WSJ Digits