Ever wondered what secrets marketing experts have when it comes to marketing their own company? If only you could tap into that secret sauce and use it for your own business marketing!
Well, wonder no more! This week, Katie talks to Nikki and Tony from Digital Glue – a digital marketing agency based in Birmingham. Jump in the episode for some great insight, advice and ideas to attracting new customers using PR, social media and website strategies.
From the bedroom to the boardroom…
Set up in 2013, the company began in the spare bedroom of Digital Glue’s MD Javan Bramhall. He had always dreamt of running his own business in PR and marketing and steadily grew his services.
As he grew more successful the business moved into a garden office before setting up in an official office in Digbeth which has now been expanded 3 times over the years.
In this episode we meet Tony Ilias and Nikki Goh. Tony’s the agency’s digital marketing specialist and has worked for the company for 2 years. Nikki is the PR account director and has worked almost exclusively remotely, starting 8 months ago, a few weeks before lockdown.
The puzzles and challenges of working for a marketing agency
If you’re a regular listening to the podcast, you will be no stranger to the fact that Katie loves everything relating to business marketing. She knows there are positives as well as challenges to working in this field and was keen to hear what Tony and Katie loved about working for a marketing agency
For Tony, he loves the challenges and diversity that comes from the fact that no two clients are the same. This keeps him motivated, energized and is sure to keep boredom at bay.
Nikki enjoys the challenge of finding the knowledge gap between what the client wants to say and what the customer needs to hear.
“If you are an expert in your field, you have an understanding that the general public doesn’t have so bridging that knowledge gap is a fun little puzzle that I get a lot out of.” – Nikki
Adding value for small businesses
Digital Glue covers a wide range of services for the small business owner including:
- Advertising on Google and social media networks
- SEO and local SEO
- Messaging, copywriting, website copy
Underlying all of the agency services is the notion of building trust – growing strong relationships with Digital Glue’s own clients, but reinforcing the message so their clients go on and strengthen trust with their own customer base.
For Nikki it’s vital her clients recognise that people no longer buy a product simply for the functionality. People now want to believe in something more, and for customers to do that they have to trust the company they buy from.
“You’re helping your clients to understand more about the relationship between them and their customers. So it’s important to use that messaging to help customers see the whole of the business, not just the product they’re thinking of buying.” – Katie
The power of messaging through learning
A great example of this system in action is the development of a series of Digital Glue webinars launching this month called The Power of Messaging. The three webinars will look at how impactful messaging can attract new, engaged customers through websites and branding.
Katie loves the marketing tool of reaching new clients by offering free learning opportunities in the shape of webinars.
Marketing the marketing
As much as the webinars are a tool to attract new customers, Digital Glue has to find a way to promote the webinars to a wide audience.
They plan to use a combination of:
- Organic and paid promotions on LinkedIn
- Posts on Digital Glue’s own profiles
- Using personal profiles on LinkedIn
- Email marketing to mailing list database
Before covid-19, the agency would host regular face-to-face events. Post lockdown, this has now moved online to webinar events.
To expand their reach, they looked for new ways to introduce their work to a wider audience by rating guest blogs and appearing as guests on brilliant, industry-specific webinars (like this one!)
Digital Glue Webinar topics
The webinar event starts on 3 September, so you can already listen to the replay. You can register for the next two epic webinars and find the replays on the Digital Glue website.
3 September – How PR can attract new business
This webinar is set to give a broad overview of what PR is and how it can be used in your marketing strategy. There will also be a focus on nailing internal communications as a way to strengthen engagement with a wide audience.
10 September – How your website can attract new business
This webinar will focus on how to reach your target audience, using SEO, usability and messaging. There will also be tips and ideas on how to capture leads, how to engage with your audience and the act of selling if you have physical products.
17 September – How your brand can attract new business
The last webinar of the series will look at the importance of brand consistency, establishing your brand on social media, and creating video content to support your brand.
How to improve your website’s usability when you’ve built it yourself…
It wouldn’t be the Whin big podcast if we didn’t squeeze some juicy insight out of the experts, and this week’s episode is no different!
Katie asked the Digital Glue duo for insider marketing secrets they can share with you, our listeners right now.
- Get into your customers mind when you build any sections or pages.
- Work out what your priorities are, e.g. capturing leads, and make the functionality (sign up forms) more visible and easy for visitors to complete.
- If you don’t have the budget to pay for a designer to improve usability, ask a friend or colleague. Ask them to navigate the website with the specific action in mind and get feedback on the user experience as they go.
“Sending someone to your homepage and asking them to find information on certain topics is a great way to flag up areas that you thought were obvious and easy to navigate, but aren’t in the eye of a website user.” – Katie
Quick PR tips to get started on your small business
The most important lesson 2020 has taught us, is that you have to be relevant to your audience.
The key is to work out what your products or services can do for your audience, and how they are relevant to their lives.
- Take part in honest, detailed conversations with your customers and the people who work with you to really dig deep into what is relevant
- The findings from these conversations form the basis of your messaging to ensure you are meeting the very real needs of your very real customers
Speaking up and speaking proud
Katie asked Nikki and Tony for examples of messaging they’ve been part of that has worked well, been well received and most importantly they’ve enjoyed working on.
For Nikki, it was having the freedom to write about a topic close to her heart. For her, 2020 was the year where the power of messaging has never been so important.
She wanted to talk directly to the widening gap of opinion on whether a business should stay quiet or speak up in times of social sensitivity.
Nikki saw that business owners wanted to speak up but didn’t know how to. They didn’t want to divide or upset their strong customer base and had genuine fears they might come under attack.
In response to this, Nikki wrote a blog called “What to say when you can’t say anything at all.“
The purpose of the article was to empower clients and small business owners to stand up and speak out with confidence and pride. Nikki had wanted to write something of this nature for a long time and knew this was the time.
Even marketers have bad marketing habits!
So many Whin Big podcast guests hate being reminded of their bad marketing habits, so of course Katie asks every guest to share some insight on the marketing habits they’d love to shake off once and for all!
Overthinking is Nikki’s vice. She’s tasked with writing content for a range of clients and often ties herself up, worrying about how the different audiences might perceive the message.
Using marketing speak on non-marketers is the habit Tony would most like to step away from. Using words like ‘data’, ‘insights’, ‘analytics’ with clients who don’t understand.
He is on a mission to use simpler language and avoid overcomplicating his communications with his clients.
“I find it hard to remember that people don’t need to know the 17 million reasons I came to a decision. They just want to know what the end result was.” – Katie
The best marketing advice I was ever given…
A fellow marketer told Tony:
“Marketing is always evolving. You have to stay relevant even though it’s always changing.”
Tony keep this in mind to adapt his approach to everything in his business and non-business life. He loves the idea of always being open to new things, to learning and growing and ultimately, making life easier.
The CEO of the PR company Nikki first worked at told her
“Don’t just think, do!”
This advice has been consistently relevant for Nikki and has seen her through 12 years of working in PR and communications. It’s advice she will share time and again.
Books that influenced me…
Tony used the time during lockdown to deal with his habit of procrastination. To do this he read:
Nikki is interested in how leaders of industry make decisions around marketing add business strategy using forecasting and predictions.