Welcome to our interview series, where we introduce you to marketers around the globe. Every few weeks, we’ll dive into best practices and tips from people who live and breathe marketing. To be considered for an upcoming interview, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tell us who you are and what you do.
Hey there! I’m Adam Connell – a marketer from the UK. I come from a digital agency background, where I specialized in SEO and content marketing.
Now, I run several online publications, including:
- Blogging Wizard – Where we help bloggers get started, and grow an audience.
- Funnel Overload – Where we share advice to help small businesses get more customers.
What aspect of marketing do you focus on? What audience?
I’m immersed in digital marketing as a whole, but my main focus at the moment is on content marketing, email marketing, and SEO.
On Blogging Wizard, our audience tends to be a mix of beginner bloggers, and content marketers looking for new audience growth strategies. On Funnel Overload, our focus is on helping small businesses fill their sales funnel – the end result being more customers.
How long have you worked in marketing?
I landed my first marketing “job” in 2012, at a local agency. But I started long before that.
One of my passions is building websites, and marketing them. I built my first website using Dreamweaver when I was 12 years old.
In college, I started my own online record label and eventually racked up close to 3 million downloads on free releases from relatively unknown artists.
After graduating from University, I started building and marketing websites to get experience while working a customer service job. One of which was a video game blog that racked hits of 15,000 unique monthly visitors in the first few months.
When I applied for the digital marketing job, I had no formal qualifications but I did have real world experience building and marketing websites. That’s what landed me the job.
How has your field of marketing changed since you first got started?
There’s more content being produced than ever before. So, it’s more challenging for any piece to get seen. And while there are a lot of brands producing incredibly high quality content, there is still opportunity to publish more valuable content that has a strong focus on readability, and UX.
On a positive note, the technology available to build and market websites is leaps and bounds ahead of where it was just 5 years ago. Back then, I’d never have thought I’d be able to use a WordPress plugin to produce a cutting edge website without having to learn any code.
Then there’s the sort of competitive data that platforms like Ahrefs make available. Simply incredible.
What’s one big mistake you see people make in your area of marketing?
One of the big issues I see is relying too much on external platforms that businesses have no control over.
Investing huge amounts of money into developing a following on a platform like Facebook, or Google+, or Pinterest.
We could call this building on rented land. Because at some point, someone will pull the rug from beneath us.
It happened with Facebook and organic reach. It happened when Pinterest changed its algorithm, and it’s happening with the pending closure of Google+.
Now, let me be clear – I’m not saying you shouldn’t build an audience on these platforms. They are critical for some businesses but if you’re going to do it, you need a plan.
Specifically, one that encourages users to join platforms that you have more control over. Building an email list is a good example here.
If you could give your audience just one piece of advice about marketing, what would it be?
Try and detach yourself from the hype surrounding any marketing channel. And ignore any click-bait article that tells you about the “death” of a specific marketing channel.
For example, mainstream publications have discussed the death of SEO to, well, death.
Here’s the truth:
SEO is still alive and well. It’s just evolving.
And the same goes for other marketing channels those click-bait style articles usually mention.
What you need is a cohesive strategy that connects your business goals with the marketing channels that can help you to achieve those goals (now, and in the future).
The marketing landscape can, and will change so you will need to adapt. But you need a solid strategy as a foundation that can be built on.