As the new intern, it is essential to gather certain pieces of information quickly. Who takes sugar in their tea? Who knows where the biscuit stash is? How do you fix the wifi? And what happens on a typical day in digital marketing?
In order to find out more, I’ll interview my colleagues and explore the challenges and perks of working in digital marketing.
Plus, it gives me the chance to ask my brand new co-workers anything without getting in trouble (under the pretence of ‘research’, of course).
If you fancy finding out what our Head of Digital, Ross Dempsey, gets up to in the office when he thinks no one is looking, read on!
What does your commute to work look like on a typical day?
Very weather-dependent. I’ll either walk if it’s dry or get the subway. I don’t like being tied into the train.
Who on earth is tying you into the train?
It’s a metaphorical tie: If I have a return train ticket then I feel like I should use it, but if I take the subway then I still have the option to walk home.
Okay, let’s forget about the trains debate for now. What would your dream method of travel be?
Maybe teleportation or flying. I suppose flying would be better because then you’re at least getting some fresh air.
Good choice. The first few hours of the day are scientifically claimed to be the most productive. How do you make the most of this time?
My mornings are mainly about directing tasks. I have to meet up with different colleagues to sort out their schedules. So it’s probably not that productive for me, personally, as I don’t get started on my own work until about half ten. Until that point, I have to go through all the emails, organise all the tasks and make sure everyone is on track.
So even if you aren’t that productive with your own tasks first thing, you’re helping everyone else to be. Once you do get on to your own tasks, what does that consist of?
I work across all departments so every day really is different to the next. I could be working with developers and designers on new website projects in the morning and then working with the marketing team on ongoing projects in the afternoon.
OK, so starting with web projects, how do you prepare to initiate a new project with a client?
All projects use the PRINCE2 method so we follow a very strict process. We schedule our first meeting with the client and prepare by getting the designers to put forward some ideas.
I am responsible for covering all the little details and making sure we are producing exactly what the client wants.
At the meeting, I’ll get to know the client well, and produce a strategy to decide whether we’ll need designers, developers, content marketers, or all of the above.
Does this process ever throw up challenges?
Nine out of ten times, the client isn’t exactly sure what they want. But that’s a good thing as it allows us to find a nice balance between our recommendations and their expert knowledge.
We build websites so we have to adapt to any industry according to the insights brought forward by the clients. That’s why it’s so important to be structured and organised at this stage.
What’s your favourite lunch option?
At the moment it’s chicken, rice, and fruit, but not all at the same time. I’m quite weird though, I’ll have the same thing for months and then suddenly go off it and have to change it up.
Sidse and David bring in the things that I’d most like to eat. It had never occurred to me to put a bagel in the toastie maker but Sidse was doing that the other day and I thought, “That’s brilliant!”
Kevin eats the weirdest things because he is a gym monkey. You’ll come in and decide to have your cereal at half ten and he’s on Mexican rice with chicken because he was up at 6 to commute and get an hour in the gym.
So back to marketing. What can Digital Impact offer to companies who want to develop their digital marketing strategy?
We focus on a few specific services, like PPC (pay per click), SEO (search engine optimisation) and other research-based approaches.
We talk to the client, figure out what their USP is and derive target keywords from that, then narrow those down to the ones people are actually searching for.
Say they go with PPC, we need to identify all the right search terms in order to bring the relevant traffic to the site.
So now, customers can find the website easily. What next?
Once you have the customers on your website, the next most-important part is to make the landing page as great as it can possibly be.
If they arrive at the site and it isn’t obvious how to find what they are looking for, customers can give up very quickly and search again.
What about SEO? How can that be good for a business?
That is more to do with rankings for the website. Keywords are super important as you are targeting specific words and phrases to get the traffic up.
SEO is more of a grand plan for marketing strategy. It will change the state of the profile of the website in relation to its competitors and help it to appear higher in the search results, which makes it more visible to potential customers.
Doing that research and figuring out what people are actually searching for is one thing, but the fun part is then thinking about those results in terms of content and coming up with creative and interesting ways to use them to market the website.
What kind of things do you need to do to optimise a website?
Basically, when you start a website, Google gives you an importance rating. The ultimate goal is to improve your importance rating so it’s higher than your competitors. Once it’s higher than your competitors, you’ll appear higher than them in the search engine results page.
Your website can improve its rating in loads of different ways, for example, structuring your website the right way, having lots of reviews and so on. One of the most important ways is to increase the number of backlinks pointing from other websites to yours.
However, always remember that the quality of the link is way more important than the quantity. Spammy or low-quality links actually damage your ranking on Google and should be removed.
And how can you market your site to Google in a profitable way?
A lot of people understand PPC and see it as a way to get to the top of Google quickly. However, you are only at the top as long as you keep paying AdWords.
Content marketing is something that we are using more and more as it’s a lot more effective at delivering long-term growth.
Google reads websites differently than people do, but it ultimately wants to present results based on how user-friendly they are and be able to offer users the best experience possible.
Our aim is not only to get the client’s website as high as possible for their relevant search terms, but also to continue improving the site according to the ever-changing algorithms that search engines are using in order to keep it there.
How do you measure the success of a client’s website or campaign in a tangible way?
Ours is a very results-driven business. As long as the rankings and leads are going up, and sales, if applicable, are going up, then our clients are happy and we are, too. The longer we have a client, the closer we get to that point where results naturally plateau and at that point it is our job to keep them at the top of their field.
What about success for Digital Impact itself? How is that measured?
Our results are gained by our people, and they are the biggest investment that the company makes. Our success relies on the people who work here and making sure that they are providing everything the client has asked for, and more.