Jumping straight in – what’s your key role and responsibilities?
I look after the coveted realm of digital marketing, for our clients and ourselves. That means I’m putting together marketing strategies, setting up PPC campaigns, writing blogs & web content, updating social channels, producing e-newsletters, reporting back on what works and what doesn’t.
But the world of digital marketing is a varied one; I could be thinking up campaign slogans & hashtags one hour, and providing CMS training the next.
I’m also the unofficial authority on grammar and spelling checks for the office (and still waiting on my badge).
What do you most enjoy about the work you do?
Being such a creative role throws all manner of possibilities at you, and you never know what kind of client will walk through the door next. I’m lucky in that I get to work on projects in areas like science, food, retail, charity and more.
Working in a creative agency also means you can mull over ideas as part of a team. Delivering projects with with designers, illustrators, video-makers, photographers and web developers means work is never boring, and no two outputs are ever the same.
I become protective over clients, like their own brand ambassador in the office, so I love being able to communicate their good work through their marketing. Our clients make such a positive impact to communities and, in some cases, to the world – telling those stories and feeling part of the progress is great.
Which project elements do you particularly enjoy?
Not to sound like a sap, but I feel pangs of joy when I get a client ranking #1 in Google (or maybe it’s hunger…). So, working hard on SEO and seeing visible results is always great.
I’m a creative writer at heart, so any opportunity to write is good with me! Blogs, poster taglines, e-newsletters, you name it.
There’s a pleasing sense of completion to be found in taking a campaign all the way through from the creative conception stage to the reporting and analysis near the end, so actively producing great content and seeing the results shows just how worth it marketing is.
I also (weirdly) love checking grammar, spelling and punctuation in marketing collateral before it goes live or gets sent to print. Spotting and correcting errors soothes me – try it, it’s fun!
What have you learned most since working in digital marketing?
I’ve got a lot of technical experience under my belt now – pay-per-click campaigns and identifying audiences are a new fave, but even just knowing the basics of things like design and print really helps you in the marketing process.
Having morphed into a loyal fan / brand ambassador of our own clients, I’ve become adept at representing them in the office for all their marketing outputs. When they can’t speak for their brand, I can.
Content for the sake of content – what do you think about its merits?
As the guardian of our clients’ digital channels, there’s nothing worse than knowing a lack of content is hurting engagement and growth, and the subsequent desperation that makes you wonder whether you could just write a little listicle or two…
No! Pointless content is for Buzzfeed and Breitbart. At the beginning of projects, it’s worth writing up key aims for client content. Does it show them as experts in their field? Does it add something of value to a bigger conversation? Could it bring in new customers? Unless the content can hit these markers, it shouldn’t exist.
Where is content and digital marketing going, and what excites you about it?
I read an interesting article recently about brands using ‘social purpose’ to make more sales with their advertising and marketing. Corporations honing in on the social issues people care about is manipulative and callous, but I don’t see it disappearing anytime soon.
I think we may reach a point (in the distant future) where marketers don’t bother catering for desktop users at all, targeting all their messaging and digital outputs at mobile users. As more apps and services pop up in our phones, exclusively for phones, I think this will become a goldmine for marketing.
I’m also curious about the next social channel that’ll come along. It’s a sad truth that businesses tend to kill social media with their lack of coolness, and I think there’ll be a platform out there that’ll manage to mix ‘corporates with civilians’ for mutual benefit. If only I could dream it up and collect my millions…
Why is what we do at burningred unique?
It’s hard to find an agency that can do everything in-house. We’ve got the space, the skills, the people and the equipment all ready to go, which makes it a lot more streamlined.
Having a such a range of skills between people, mini-teams spring up all over the place to grab hold of projects and get them rolling – it’s fast-paced and collaborative, which is all you want in your 9 to 5.
What 3 things would you recommend to clients before undertaking any digital marketing strategy and campaign?
#1 Get your manor in order. We’ve been saying it a lot recently, but I think it’s really important to make sure you’re slick and appearing professional on all your channels before you begin drawing in the crowds. Being consistent and unified in the way you present yourself is key, from how you answer to the phone to how you sign off on emails.
#2 Identify your key brand guardians. You’ll have team members who’ll be great at shouting about your work, and team members who won’t. Encouraging the right people to join in on the marketing efforts – e.g. from personal accounts – helps to humanise your brand and reach a wider audience.
#3 Understand what your social channels can do. You won’t get customers blowing up your Twitter or Facebook with huge product orders, and you’ll go through periods of low engagement. These things are there to connect you with your customers – give them great content, and they’ll show up.
What makes you tick outside of work? I hear you like board games 😉
You say the word ‘board games’ one time…
I’m currently in the process of writing a novel, which helps to keep my creativity sharp and my social life empty. I’m usually writing something or other – flash fiction (25 or 100 word stories) is great training for writing succinct marketing messages.
If I’m not writing, I’m reading. If I’m not reading, I’m walking – sometimes I go crazy and do all three! I like lurking on the outskirts of the Cardiff literary scene, going to events when I can.
What digital campaigns or advertising have really caught your eye this year?
Something I find really interesting is the way entertainment marketing has waded into politics this past year or two. Most companies (understandably) stay away from this arena, but the political Netflix show House of Cards used social media marketing to interject itself in the British election news cycle, which only made me love it more.
Staying on the theme of social media marketing, American fast food restaurants have been killing it. I’m an unashamed fan of ‘millennial marketing’ – abstract, nihilist memes make me laugh (I don’t question it).
From the Denny’s Tumblr page to Wendy’s #nuggsforcarter campaign, they’ve become the pinnacle of making their marketing look spontaneous and fun, like it’s a bored 19-year-old intern messing around (pro tip: it’s always a marketing agency).
The online engagement they drum up with customers is incredible, and they manage to transform themselves into cult icons in the social media world.
Also, not technically 2017, but I can’t ignore Spotify’s ‘Thanks 2016, It’s Been Weird’ marketing campaign. Even with access to so many public playlists, Spotify is still an insulated app. Their campaign brought users together to laugh and explore other people’s weirdness.