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For this episode of Ecoffee with Experts, Matt Fraser interviewed Harry Dance, the Digital Marketing Director at Kayo Digital. Harry discusses several useful tips and suggestions for boosting the business revenue by getting the most out of digital technology. Watch now for some profound insights.
Humans and AI work perfectly when it comes to content writing, because even though the content produced by AI isn’t always good but what’s great is how quickly AI generates content framework.
Thanks for having me, Matt.
Probably I didn’t expect this conversation, I’ll be honest. So, I did, like any digital marketing person I finished university in psychology that you kind of mentioned. My ex-girlfriend lived in the Midlands which is from Kent about 4 or 5 hours away. So, I decided to get a job close to my girlfriend. That was the plan because I was in love. So, I started applying for jobs all around the Midlands. Anyone from England appreciates the Midlands, it’s quite a large area anyway. It is not a small portion of the world. So, I just saw jobs in SEO, in a way it was cool and I applied for that because it’s closer to my ex. Applied for the job and it was the worst interview that I had. They asked me, what does an SEO person do? I had been reading a bit too much information that was wrong and I went, Oh really? That’s just people that don’t go to websites on Google, but they want to be found at the same time, and that’s where I start it. And somehow, they were kind enough to say, Yeah, I got the job. My ex-girlfriend broke up with me after and then you’ll find me here 15 years later because I actually enjoyed it. So, traditionally let’s be honest here.
Oh, no, no. Let’s be honest. Most digital marketing people fake it. So, it was a company that trained. It was one of the biggest SEO agencies in the country. And I’ll be honest, at first, I got three weeks of training. That’s it, and it was the days before Penguin and Pans had really kicked in. If I needed niche SEO references here for people. So, I did the training, taught given 20 clients, and said go away, you start working on it. And then from that in three or four months, it’s a bit like a trial by fire. Like you make a lot of mistakes very quickly, but you learn a lot. I don’t think it’s right to treat clients like that but that was the approach then. And actually, you become more and more well-rounded, respected, I think SEO person at the time then that’s the way. The point I am trying to make is I’ve been working with multinationals. I’ve worked with John Smith’s Sausage Brands down the road, I had a variety of clients there and everyone has got their own problems. Everyone’s got their own issues with that website, with what they’re looking to achieve. And if they take a step back and say, how can I help you? And then you work from there.
And I think actually and this is very simplistic the way I think, this is the nature of things. But Google’s a product and we provide a service to a product, and that product changes. So, the service has to evolve with the products actually. Why do they produce that product and still earn money? People click on Google ads. So actually, realistically, what you’re doing is you are making sure that company, that product is providing the information that users want to have. And they want that because they want people coming to Google. They want to use and effectively and they want them to click on their ads if they’re not clicking on your search results. So, as to simplify it really is, the evolving product nature of it that you have to kind of go, oh, cool, this has changed now. Why? Why has it changed? Oh, because that is not giving their customers the right journey or what however you look at. But yeah, and it’s exciting, talk to your family about what you do when you tell them about it. they’ll say ya it’s nice, It’s cool.
Probably I’ll give you two answers. The first answer is what people expect. Sorry, I’m just going to extend it. I’ll just give you three answers and you can choose which one to add. If you want to edit them up.
The number one is properly coded. Obviously kicked in using a dirty word. And we helped a client who had a plus £30 million company who supplied food to schools and restaurants. In a week we helped produce and create the software system as well as the marketing for B2C companies so they could sell to the public because people can get the supermarkets as well in the UK, because of Russia’s food shortages. They sold 200 grands in a week.
Yeah, they were going to lose all their stuff and stuff like that. So, we took a week to build the website, and the software, did the marketing and in the first week it sold 200 Grand worth of food and it was in that kind of storage area that was meant to go to the restaurants. So, that was huge. And I’ll be honest, it’s like everything lines up some days and there were days where everything lined up perfectly, and that sort of impact and you’re like, Cool, that’s cool, says number one. And number two, I think is a soppy one. I think it seems some of my colleagues asked to help them, like in a sense getting people’s confidence up. I think the one thing that I kind of like in my career is that, if you ever read The Seven Habits of Successful People, everyone read it.
Yes, that one.
Yeah. If you know how you want your colleagues to talk about you and mine was just that I want them to talk about that. I helped support, develop, and grow. Every time I see that that’s the best thing I can see in a day, and I love it. So, that is a huge thing for me. I’ve seen a couple of people, I won’t mention their names because I don’t want them to listen to the podcast and get embarrassed. But yeah, I’ve seen a couple of my colleagues grow, and develop that’s been incredible. And the third one, to be honest. I’ve got the code of support and it is evolving. I think the highlight realistically is being able to sit in situations like this and actually know what you’re talking about, but then also know that there’s so much more to go and that’s why I like improving. It’s the same thing, none of us are good enough and I didn’t say that in a rude way because now the Dunning Kruger effect, whatever it’s called, we know a little of what you think you think. I know average, which means I know there’s a lot more to learn. That’s huge for me because every time you learn something, every time I sell something different or whatever it is, we’ll do something for a client that’s exciting. You’re like, cool, that’s something I enjoy and they let the little highlight throughout. They’re the ones. Three, you can cut them out.
Yes, I still do. I think everyone does it. Well, maybe not everyone, but I think we’re English, so we’ve got a nature of that. Marketing is a stressful job and this isn’t to play the violin because every job is stressful. I talked to my nurse and she would say something she’s done that day and I will completely look at my life and go, okay, my life is alright, not that stressful. The nature of marketing is like even when you do a good job, someone wants more because that’s what it is, it’s a growth of mindset, and that’s what you need in the company. You always have imposter syndrome because you have to be good at it because that is the next layer to your journey. That’s how I see it.
You need a lot of cogs to make something work and I think you made one big cog, but they need to team around it and say for a client as well that I think when you work with clients, sometimes you can do the best job you’ve ever done and you’re like, oh, here we go. This is going to be incredible. And sometimes you can do the worst job as the client only doesn’t know the difference. Success is based on that perception as well. So, that’s where people count managers and staff come in because actually, they’re the ones that go, that’s good or that’s bad or you’d have to because actually, you’re very good versus you’re very bad to somebody. I don’t know what to expect that kind of thing too. They don’t know the industry that is there, that aspect all the time.
Very good question, so long story short, I work for a big accounting and business advisors’ company and I had 600 accountants to deal with. So, that brings up design issues and I kind of got my way of dealing with clients from dealing with them, because actually, those 600 people were my clients. Even though it was a company and ended up moving to digital and we were pretty much a startup when I joined. So, eight of us and I’ve since grown, but that was about eight for us at the time, and scale was the key concept point. I think I found that tough part of my job, but also the most essential part of my job because communications are huge. I hated it in the sense of when you put your neck on the line by putting yourself out there, that’s the tough thing. But, actually, it’s the most essential part of any agency or any business because if you don’t communicate what you’ve done, and what’s gone wrong, how would we improve it and then hide stuff. I think I was always focused on and maybe that’s because of my nature. This has been really good, this has been bad. Let’s focus on the bad here, we’ve done X, Y, and Z to try to resolve it the way you want it. I think we’re going to solve it all. Let’s look at so many different positives and then keep going. We can talk about them, but let’s not face it’s not happy. Customer service is probably the most essential part of our industry, similar to what you talked about when you worked in the car industry.
No one cares, I’m being rude, how a car mate.
They’ve got some very expensive people making it, they’ve got some of the top brains in the engine. So, what you care about is the end product and who’s selling it, at some point to sales. And that’s the one thing that.
Yeah. And so it’s the same with our industry. The marketing can be done in the name, from South Africa to the UK, to anywhere you want to.
Yeah, yeah. And, but now they’ve got a relationship with a customer service person that they care about some points. So, I think it’s a nice essential part of this industry and again, I’m not a customer service person. I’m probably the anti-one because I’m a bit like AO and I can see the value of that relationship.
I am going to use buzzwords for a couple of minutes now.
Yeah. So, obviously, AI and I think there are two types of allies, that are broad and narrow. Broad is something that can think, and narrow is something led to do something. If it does echo, you have to do that. And I think that’s huge but let’s focus on content actually because I think this is a really interesting proposition in marketing at the moment. People have created content-producing tools. That means muggings over here, Harry Dunn doesn’t have to write something, but the problem is getting that idea that Google was a product and it gives the best information, SEO people or content writers may not be able to provide the best information, but they need a framework to do that. I think this is where A.I. and humans will work perfectly because AI produces content that is good, maybe not, and best or what you want, and there are a lot of examples of that. But what it can do very quickly is create a framework. Give it to a content writer to finish off and this is where it works well together. AI in that aspect it’s huge, it’s almost like creating that process for some writer to expand and develop it. Something like Google Search Engine, whatever it can say is brilliant. It’s got great structure and also, it’s got the information I need because it’s had a human to develop and describe that story. The thing is that AI is huge, using another big buzzword, big data but I think big data is what we all know as data as a whole and that is the data…
Yeah, yeah. It’s more like this is the time with data. But the thing with data is that it’s great for what, where, and when, but never the why. Sometimes that’s the real struggle to find, so using simple versions, and like your website, go on your website, someone goes to the contact form at 2:00 in the afternoon, they take the contact form and then they submit it. So, you know, the what, where, and when. Why is the answer, why did they do that? Why did they do it at that time? Why did they only do four characters, all these things? So, I think using data to puzzle those pieces together is huge. And using big data, you can become more personalized, and a little bit more sophisticated, especially when it comes to keyword research or whatever that is, or targeting what people are searching to develop your own strategy. But the “why” is always where you always need achievement at the moment anyway. So, that’s a huge aspect of it. But I’d love that, you’ve heard that some of my favorite days are kind of what, where, and when, and then understanding the why is and why that puzzle becomes beautiful.
I think it’ll get better.
I think probably there are two sides to AI here. There’s AI used by the search engines and there is AI used by us.
So, I think the search engine one, will be better for the world, in the sense of actually you’re making them like Google’s products. We will save the best results for the consumer. People don’t use it, people don’t use their adverts. We’ve got their incentive, they’ve got it, so chase it now and AI for the marketing individuals, the individuals of the world. You’re right and perfect in the sense of saying it will help produce content. Is that a good or bad thing? This is it, this is the question because potentially it can produce crappy content as you touched on, and so can humans. So that’s where you hope Google sets up. I think it’s good because it helps develop stories for people who may be, as you touched upon English, the second or first language or they’re not linguistically, we are focusing on that because I’m dyslexic. As I told you earlier, I am words blind. So, actually, my writing is pretty poor. However, you get me writing on certain topics I can write about for days. It may not be good, but something like AI can help structure it a little bit more, create a little bit more of a process for myself that I can say, oh, these are the headings I go to and then hopefully you bring value to the content and the aspects that, more is better. I wouldn’t buy into the sense of it, if we’ve got AI, everyone can produce content that’s a good thing. But I think actually that maybe unfortunately that’s Google’s carrot to work and how to cliff, you may not have had just the helpful content update. Basically, they’re starting towards saying, if you’ve got rubbish content, we’re not interested and that kind of thing is huge and essential because if it is rubbish, then why are we giving it the time of day just because it’s got some links as an example?
I think, but that’s not always been the case.
Those were Grim days. We were to have a large car manufacturer and we knew that if we write down what is basically a car for sale for 7% of the content on that page, it would be on page opposition month. So, keyword stuffing is the best they can care about. You’re right but then the helpful content update, the difference is that now evaluating the website as a whole other than the page. That’s the big thing because actually, you don’t want to give love to a website that just has one good page. You want to give it to a website that is constantly churning out the good stuff for people.
Yeah, and I think everyone talks about the expertise authority trust kind of like aspect in algorithms and you’ve got all these things going, okay, I can see where you’re trying to get to. Mr. Google. Mr. Bing. Bings Algorithm I’m sure this is correct, has grammar in it. Google doesn’t. But things on grammar say you like you know what you’re aiming for. How quickly we get there is a question mark, but you can see it building in and unfolding. Because I’ll be honest, I’ve got a little baby out there, and at nighttime when you’ve got worried about anything related to the baby, you google what potential symptom, and what comes up is like the worst thing you’ve ever read up. No one likes that, and then you go to these authority sites like the NHS or else and you’re like, okay, it’s not that bad. And that’s just because things aren’t being ranked, sometimes they’re being ranked in priority. That isn’t actually the credibility that’s needed.
Yeah. Well, and I say this because sometimes like, for example, in a news website when I don’t like personalizing the news because I’m like, oh, but I may be interested in something that I’ve never heard of, that may not be the case always but yeah, that’s what I like. And I do think the more intense the AI gets. Obviously, Ranked Brain was launched about three years ago or whenever it was, probably longer. But they’ve always or they’ve started incorporating AI more significantly and I think it will be a personalized experience I think actually that means SEO job, digital marketing person’s job changes because actually what is the job? You’re now focusing on paying off page one position. What you’re focusing on is getting your content in front of the most people. Because you can’t define it on page one to set. No, you can define it by, I’m getting clicks because of the value of my content or I’m getting the website structured in a way that allows people to use it. And I think SEO will slowly move towards that sort of search manipulator to deny more of a content creator and architect of a website user journey sort of individual. Were you helping create the websites, helping create the user journey that reflects your audience in a personalized way? And it’s exciting, but yeah, it’s intimidating.
I don’t think it will, but I think the nature of it is that a good thing or a bad thing in that and that’s a different question because I think some of the stuff they can replace, they probably should. I had the most insane talk with a client once. This is genuine, a real conversation. A client with this, with me and this was only two years ago. He went, I want to appear in search results, Harry, how do I do it? And I was like, well, x, y, z. And he went, Well, can I just like in my code might make it Britney Spears and I went, Pardon? He goes, well, I don’t really care who gets onto our site, but if they search in naked Britney Spears, maybe one of them is a businessman. And I don’t understand how to process this information, the answer is no and the answer will be never. But why I bring that example up is because.
Obviously, people think like that. I didn’t expect it but people say you want to give the best user journey to someone. That’s when I say an SEO job isn’t realistic. It used to be appearing in searches. Now it’s giving the best journey and by that, I mean, are you looking for some hand tonight to get a hand page from a website in front of you that reflects what you want you wanted tonight? Cool. That’s got a delivery slot tonight. Brilliant. As an SEO, you guys’ match that. I got this individual. He bought it tonight for a 52 coup at my job. And that’s your job. Running a service to the consumers. Now, you’re not providing it to Google, so it’s a good thing. yeah. Making it Britney Spears isn’t my job.
This could be cropped very poorly.
Yes, this is perfect that you just said because this is where digital marketing becomes more marketing. Because historically marketing people with digital marketing, I see it like when I started out, it was like we had a direct tree service line where we had six people that would crawl directories and had little clients. Yeah, it would just go and then we had people like myself who would do method descriptions, method titles, a bit of structured data, whatever it was. But we didn’t think about marketers. We felt like people that could change something to appear in Google, kind of a thing. And actually, it’s called digital marketing, we should be doing marketing, I don’t know why we’re not. There are still not some of us.
Yeah, exactly. Speaking early in my career because of my age, I was destroyed. I was just like I was doing really well. My career, my chest was up and we had a meeting talking about the marketing team and a team of 18 individuals. And I put on the board, Mike, who’s going to be managing who in the team, the staff structure. I was like why is a non-digital marketer managing me? Why is the director of an online entity? Surely on this board on the flowchart, Harry Dance over there with his assistant and then I kind of went to my director, can you explain that you do realize digital marketing is marketing? Well, yeah, marketing is for a company and there are lots of angles to that and my feathers disappeared. I went, yeah, you’re correct, and as soon as you say that you like and I do the marketing for digital as a whole. And you realize actually when you look at the bigger picture it’s offline online wherever it is. Offline experience, online convenience. I don’t care how you put it. It’s all marketing.
I think the nature of university in the UK anyway, can use it enough that it doesn’t stick. I do use bits and bobs but like it’d be so much hyperbole if I went. Every day I gave it to my psychology degree where I learned the foot in the door concept and stuff like that. But yeah, you do but I think marketing is an experience, isn’t it? I think it’s one of those careers. You can do it and the more expensive you’ve got and the more people you listen to, you get different opinions. And that’s fine, it’s opinions actually, it’s not just your own experience. It’s not the bell curve. You have the framework, so, you’ve got like the marketing funnel, you’ve got the pestle analysis suspect, whatever it is, all these really good things that actually benefit you, that actually is how you use them and how people think about stuff. And that’s what I find valuable, that is what people think.
I should have had some tools attached to it, but let’s say this is my 30 seconds of doing that. So, I think that the huge thing that we’ve brought in and what’s making us different in our market, in the sense of the fish pull, we’re finding a lot of you define it and is its consumer first. Like, I don’t care what your business owner says, I don’t care about your ego. I want to talk to the people we’re building it for within marketing, for whoever isn’t using that data, what, where, and when as a context and also understanding why, because there’s been a really good study that shows let’s say you’re talking to one persona, the John Smith. He always buys Mercedes Benz and I don’t even need to talk to five John Smith’s websites and you get enough data; all you need is five. And that’s why it doesn’t realize that you paid such a little amount but five John Smith, talk to them, ask the right questions, the open-ended ones. Why do you want a Mercedes Benz? How did you find us? How will you find out? And you start building up these consumer profiles and then you do the consumer journey and four steps back to control everyone. And then who cares if you do SEO? Who cares how the substance of what I do? Do you know who he is? Cool, Do you know how to get the website? Cool. You’ve already put that and some data around it. What would he search for? And then actually you’re doing SEO before, I built and then I do method descriptions for months and you page your website when you realize only 10% of it gets is cool. Yeah, we now prioritize exactly how we work and this is the thing that any competitor can look at on one of my websites and go, X, Y, or Z is wrong and I can do it to that. But where the knowledge comes from and why we’re successful is because you can prioritize judging on the persona. I can leave stuff that’s wrong because at the end of the day if they have a website fact, they wouldn’t need to be like, that’s the things that are prioritized in the persona. Don’t worry about the tool in front of you, but who you’re talking to is huge and people forget and it blows my mind.
Cool. I’ve got an easy name, Harry Dance is more of an act but I’m on LinkedIn and Harry Dance and I’m on Twitter as HD online. HD_ Online maybe and if they want to drop me an email at Harry@K.digital.
Thanks so much, Matt. I really do appreciate that.
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