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For this episode of E Coffee with Experts we have Jade Arnell, Founder and Marketing Director of Rebellion Marketing. Jade shares several useful suggestions and tips for creating a powerful content marketing strategy to get your business on top of the google search results. Watch now for some profound insights.
There are various technical aspects of SEO, but a huge, huge piece of SEO is just your content production.
Thank you for having me.
Not a very good one, I was terrible and I think you call me the class clown. Probably is the best way to describe me. I just missed it a lot and I wasn’t really too fussed about doing much in the way of work.
Probably performing arts. So, dance, drama and music. I used to like it a lot.
Oh, good question. Well, my dad was an entrepreneur, and anyone in his family pretty much owned their own businesses over the years. So, my dad’s big glazing firm, my aunty on accountancy firm, my granddad makes fire alarms and my uncle’s got a website development company, so all of them have kind of been entrepreneurs at some point. So, owning a business probably had something to do with my upbringing. But probably not specifically what I do. That was mainly because I got drunk one night and decided that it would be a good idea.
Yeah, well. That’s kind of where the business came from. So, I’ve always done sort of sales, marketing type roles, but never really had that as an official job title. Always had very different titles, things like operations, sales, sometimes that kind of stuff. But the real crux of what I did was always sales and marketing, looking to increase the revenue of a business, grow it, looking at new marketing channels, new revenue streams, all of that kind of stuff. And I kind of realized after a long time of starting businesses, closing businesses, working for other people, etc., etc., the marketing aspect was something I enjoyed and was a bit good at. So, it took me quite a long time to get to that conclusion. But I did and then one day with my business partner, who is not my business partner anymore, and we kind of just sat out one night because we were friends. She was working somewhere else, I was working internally for somebody else and we were just bitching and moaning basically about some other marketing agencies and how the service was lacking and stuff. So, after quite a few vodkas, we just decided that we were going to start a marketing agency.
And then the rest is history.
I think the biggest thing is the bullshit. Like there’s a lot of people that they fall into marketing or think that they can do marketing because you know, it’s just coloring in or whatever. And then they kind of take on these clients and they manage to get to a point where they’ve got some clients and then they’re actually delivering. They just chat nonsense and they’re like, oh, you because it’ll increase traffic, all the reason your traffic jobs because of x, y, z and it’s always crap and you’re really just talking to somebody that knows what they’re talking about marketing and you’re just talking rubbish. And I think that’s what used to warn me up. So, I think that is the thing that hit the nail on the head. One of them told me, oh, you don’t need to do SEO, it’s a dead thing now you don’t need to do any SEO. Well, how do you expect people to kind of find our site and increase web traffic if you’re not working on the site and doing an SEO and you know, that kind of thing? He’s like, oh, everything’s about Twitter now, you just need to focus on Twitter. I was like, Right, sure.
Yes, it’s a lot of it.
I do. I think they had a piece that said about T-level marketers and actually, I think that’s true. So, I call it the T-level marketing approach. So, you kind of have a really broad knowledge and understanding of every aspect of marketing, but you have a really solid kind of in-depth knowledge of one particular area. And I think that’s what makes a good marketer. It’s not just kind of sitting there going, oh, I could do really great graphic design and come up with great ideas so therefore I’m a great marketer. Most of what they kind of mix is that background, understanding, and knowledge of why you are taking a certain action, that strategic approach, and linking everything else together. So, you know, if you are going to write a blog piece, great. Write a blog piece but we’re not just writing this blog piece for fun. What are we looking to achieve from this? So, understanding SEO from that perspective is absolutely key. Are we going to feed that into our social media? Yeah, absolutely. So, understanding how social media works and what’s going to garner a good level of engagement is key as well. There are lots of different areas I think that people should be looking at, not just going up and coming up with ideas. It’s like, okay, brilliant. Now you need to underpin those ideas with some real-life data, that shows you that the idea is going to work and then if it doesn’t work, you don’t just go, oh well, never mind. You learn from why it didn’t work and you try again later. The analysis is the biggest thing, learning from mistakes, and understanding when things are going stale and when things are working.
Yeah, I think, for me I started off with social media, so at a very first I started getting into marketing and kind of understood what it was and how it works on a real surface level. I think the social media aspect was my kind thing I wanted a deep dive into. So, I did and then specifically within social media and LinkedIn, it was kind of B2B clients, a lot of linked in and kind of got into really understanding how that works, how to make sure they drive engagement and not just engagement, but how you get leads from that platform that turn into paying clients, right? Because that’s what we all want at the end of the day, you know?
Since I started with social media and these days, I’ve kind of grown from that. I still do lots on LinkedIn, still, kind of learn that platform, understand it, keep up to date and all the changes, etc., as much as possible. But I think for me, an alpha, a lead generation, style marketing, PPC, particularly Google, paid Ads, and SEO, it’s kind of becoming less of a T-shirt market is not following my own advice and I like to go deep down in every area.
Yeah. I was going to say, I don’t know how to answer that. I’d have to think about kind of where I started, where the best place to start. But I think you’re probably right. I think understanding how that all hangs together because ultimately, especially if we’re talking digital marketing, which I guess in the sense we are, everything that we’re doing is going to be driving traffic to that website. That’s generally around the point of sale is a website, where you’re going to garner conversions, whether that be phone calls, direct sales, whatever it might be. So, understanding how that happens together in the first place and how that works, and technically what you need to do to make sure you’re giving yourself a good base point is where I would be looking.
You need to have that at a real basic level. Lots of people come to us and they’re like, oh, well, we want to use your services for social media management. Okay, great. So, why do you want to use us? Well, we just want to grow up on social media. But that’s not actually it, what do you actually want to achieve? And it goes for everything. Like, as you rightly say on your website, if you don’t know what your goal is for your website, how are you going to build the best possible use? It’s only how are you going to guide your users to where you want them to go and what you want them to do and then when you’ve done that even, how are you going to know if you’ve not set it up correctly in the back end to see where they’re going? So, then you can better serve them later on. There’s so much to it. I think most people just don’t see and they don’t get it. They don’t understand it and that’s what we’re here to educate specifically.
Yeah, loads of people think that it’s just a website you can just spin up. I could just go on, as you said, I just got two weeks and spin it up but is not going to achieve the goals that you’re looking to achieve. I think if you’re a proper, bonafide business star that wants to increase all of that kind of stuff. You can’t be building stuff in Wix and also the background, just from an SEO perspective, trying to get a Wix site to rank is not even possible. It just doesn’t happen. So, if you want to kind of have this wider marketing strategy and grow as a business. I think you kind of need to have better systems in place that can do it. But traffic increases and if it was me and I think the biggest mistake a lot of people make is they don’t invest in their marketing early on enough in their business journeys, and they wait, and then they’ve got a crappy website or they’re not doing any sort of formal digital marketing whatsoever. And then everything just tanked. So, they get to a point just on their own, and then they can’t go any further because they haven’t got any of this stuff in place. And then to get to that point, when you’re starting from absolutely nothing costs quite a lot of money, especially when you think, I want to get in when I need to be getting more leads. And so, my team and I actually want a really good website and why are people coming to me but then they’re not signing up for the final product or those people are hating on the website or they’re not buying etc., so at that point, there’s a lot to unravel to kind of work out where the pain points are for the users, what the objectives really need to be, and then everything back in place. So yeah, we get that a lot like, I can just pay, you know, £2.50 for a website job done and I can. Promise that’s going to cause you later, it is just like, insane. So please just don’t mind.
Yeah. In lots of areas, we are just fine and I think because unfortunately, it does make me a little bit sad, that marketing is painted as an easy job. You can go and just post a few posts on social media or pretty graphics and it’s all great and a paint-by-numbers situation. When I kind of get into that, that’s not really how it works. We build marketing strategies along with business plans. You don’t have a digital marketing strategy these days. You pretty much don’t have a business plan. Most of them are based on how you want to grow that business and most of that is sales and marketing. Like you can’t grow business about it. So, when we get into that kind of thing and then we talk about how are we going to drive traffic to the website, oh, we’ll just do a post on social media. Like, you know, that’s not how it works.
Exactly. And you know, it’s a consistent thing and then we go into kind of how SEO works, and that just generally blows people’s minds. So yeah, there’s always a massive education piece because most people just go, oh, surely you just create some use for us, and then we’ll get loads of business.
Facebook is pretty dog shit to be fair, at the moment.
So, I think generally speaking, when we kind of take on a website build, the first thing that we always ask is, what are the objectives? Why are you building your website in the first place? Do you need one, if you are a plumber and you’re getting all of your stuff out of the local yellow pages, which are not that in Canada but anyway.
Yes, you know, word of mouth is a referral issue on your own. You’re not looking to grow your businesses, do you need a website? I mean, that’s the first and foremost thing. Then when we establish that you do, most people do to be fair, especially if they’re looking for growth. And the kind of key then is what are the objectives of this website? What do we want to achieve? Where do we want to go with it? Is it going to be a kind of direct sales? Is it like an e-commerce style site? Is it kind of driving phone calls, and inquiries for the B2B market? What type of audience are we looking to attract as well? And then we normally will focus on SEO from the get-go. Now, who is it that we’re going to try and attract? Who is our audience and then we create the content on the page that is structured around that audience? So, that’s kind of where we would go and I think not doing that again makes life a lot more difficult later on down the line. So, if we’re creating content for SEO strategy, most of that is going back to our cornerstone service pages because they’re the ones that ultimately generally want to write it for. So, building is that kind of pyramid that flows down to that kind of easier to get traffic with the more niche terms. As content that backs up the cornerstone content, it’s nice and easy for us to do that. So, focusing on SEO is kind of a key driver plus user journey, and also what do we want them to do, when they get to the point or ultimately where we start from?
Well, I love all of this stuff. The user journey aspect, I think a lot of people and actually, even some of the big brands don’t think about it enough. They just watch stuff out there and they’re just like, oh, well, we’ve got a bit about us and we’ve got a bunch to buy something and we’ve got an inquiry form. What more do you want? And actually, when you know you’ve got a great piece of software like Hot Job, for example, that kind of show you where those users are going, where they’re interacting, all of that kind of stuff. And when you start looking at some of this, you think actually the number of conversions that people are missing out on simply because they’ve got a button in the wrong place. The contact details on and off like, the path to guiding that user through that user journey and taking them from that initial point of landing on that home page or where they land through making a purchase or an inquiry, is something I haven’t thought about. Kind of holding that user’s hand and guiding them when they go. Most people are lazy and they are a little bit stupid, so you have to kind of tell them what you want them to do.
I get on a website and things aren’t immediately where I want them to be. I’ll just go on to something else.
If there are any plumbers out there, I think just another plumber.com, if it is not taken out. It’s not out.
Now, I think I would potentially work quite well.
It must be gone out. So, you’re going to do it. That’s your next venture.
Then do it.
I think it would be good to see.
So, we started out kind of and this is like a personal journey kind of growing the marketing agency and all of that kind of jazz. And there are lots of different opinions on USP and creating a niche and all of that kind of jazz. I was a little bit skeptical at first about really niching down, but actually, when we’ve done it for ourselves and clients, it just didn’t say the amount of lead generation you then get by becoming an expert in a particular field so, yeah, with the education sector, that was part of my background prior to the agency. So once, as soon as we kind of said like, we want to specialize in the education sector, independent private schools, universities, colleges, etc. in the UK, we immediately kind of grew that sector.
Pretty much. You know, in the three or four-month period, we were kind of gaining lots and lots of interest from those types of clients. So, I think having a niche almost gives you your USP as well. So, as a plumber, I might be slightly different but you might be kind of specializing in high net-worth individuals, for example. And then you could brand everything up around the fact that you are kind of working on it with individuals, you’re very safe, secure, etc. And I do think there is something in that, that then kind of drives additional traffic and makes you stay within that niche because I think people get concerned that they’ll lose clients or lose potential because of it. But actually, I found the opposite to be true. I tracked the ones that we actually won, i.e., the education sector, and the schools, but also around that we still get every other type of client coming to us off the back of the content that we produce. Personally, I’m for the clients that we’ve done it for. I have always seen an increase. They’ve never kind of gone, oh, we’ve lost all our clients or we’re not getting any inquiries. It’s always been the complete opposite.
Huge, most of what we do is content marketing and content production. So, that is quite a massive part. And that is again one thing where I guess people don’t necessarily follow a clear enough strategy. So, think again about the audience that you want to align with, the people that you want to attract, and then produce the content that is for them. A lot of people, I think when they’re writing kind of pieces or that post on social media, I think they often kind of forget about that audience and they’re posting stuff that they like. So, for us, as we approach things, because well, first off, normally, I swear like an absolute trooper. So, that is problematic when you’re trying to cater to guys. And so, for us, the content we’ve produced has slowly become a little bit less in-your-face than it used to be. We used to be very active. Now, but sweary, very opinionated. I’m going to say I’m still all of those things and I still show a personality. I have toned it down slightly too much, the audience that I want to address. I mean, it plays a huge part. I had conversations and I heard people talking about getting off the content production well and all of that kind of stuff, which I find a little bit frustrating because actually anything in marketing really is content production. Content is getting kind of full start really slow.
Yeah. We generally do big strategy pieces for our education clients. So, part of that is kind of understanding who those people are. And I mean, you’re never going to stick to it rigidly, but being able to visualize the type of person that you’re talking to when you’re creating content just, I think helps align that content with the reader and the user and this person that’s going to be kind of taking that content, reading it, using it, whatever it might be. And I think yeah, a lot of you do say I think they’re a little bit wonky. What’s the word I use quite a lot, which you probably don’t use in Canada, and I won’t tell you what it means.
You can Google it out later.
I do think people are going, oh, yeah, you’re going to do a little persona or whatever. But they do really help, especially when you said, multiple, you can’t just have one, one is never going to be one type of person that follows from you is always going to be multiple people. And again, if you are going to produce them needs to be based on real-life data, right? Which I know is hard if you’re a small business because you don’t have any. But if your business has been kind of stunning for a while and use your real data. People don’t collect enough data, in my opinion, even though the world seems to think we do. Most businesses don’t collect enough data, even on their own existing clients. They just don’t have an answer. Okay. Well, who are your clients? Have you seen any patterns in who buys from you? No. Well, you are asking the right questions. What do you hold on those people?
I think that’s where Businesses come from.
Think about it.
No, I don’t know. I think maybe partially it’s some fear of how to use it. We’ve always done things like this. So, why do people change? And I think, It’s always the same mantra, right? I mean, that is true. We have some businesses, often recruitment companies, weirdly, we get quite a few recruitment companies that enquire with us and then eventually like, oh, we won’t bother, because everything we do is like, we get lots of stuff anyway. So, we’ve got this possible sales force and I’m like, That’s great. I said, But just because you’re getting business now, do you want more business? Would you like that to be easy to achieve? Would you like those leads to come in qualified, if that is the case, you are marketing like if you just want to stay exactly as you are, great, stay as you are? But if you want to build efficiencies, have a better understanding of your audience. Take the net business to the next level. Kind of get warm, juicy leads coming to you as well as having to do the outbound stuff, then get your marketing sorted out. And you know for most people, it’s like, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.
I don’t understand it and that baffles me why people are like, well, we don’t need to do that. It’s like, I get what you’re saying, but like stuff’s coming in or you’re making sales, the business is doing well, but surely, you’d want to be more efficient in the way you process things and even if that was the one day, think of how much long hours which equates to bottom line profit that you would save.
Absolutely. It makes forecasting easier, it makes hiring easy, and it just makes everything so much easier and more efficient.
Kind of. So, we wanted to name the client who really knows about us, I guess said who we were as people and what we wanted to achieve, which was shake things up, no bullshit and people like that stuff, come up with cool ideas, be a bit silly, be a bit different. We went through quite a few different ones, but we landed on that one, that says who we are and who we want to be, and mainly based on the honesty thing, which I don’t think should be particularly rebellious. But there are so many people that just aren’t honest in business, that just chat absolute shit. It shouldn’t be rebellious and that shouldn’t be our USP. But I think it is because a lot of marketing agencies do try and pull the wool over people’s eyes, to try and fun fluff stuff up. You can’t stand it. So, that’s kind of where we come from, we’re rebelling against the nonsense, basically.
Literally, everyone who comes to us, I think.
I think SEO is the easiest one to fool people with because most people don’t understand it. They don’t really know what it entails. And a lot of people kind of make out it’s big, loaded, technical, really difficult stuff that they’re working on in the background. And actually, that is bullshit. There are technical aspects of SEO, but a huge piece of it is your content production. So, that is where it is, they’re not producing decent content. It’s all about what your kind of creating to drive that traffic to that website. That’s what it’s about. So, if you’re sitting there now as a business and you go, Yeah, my SEO company’s great because they send me a report every month that tells you what they’ve done. Actually, have a look into that and think about the results that you’re looking to achieve from that. Because if that is that you want more traffic to your website in particular areas, you’ve got specific goals. Most of the time they are not doing what they say they’re going to do. And if they’re not producing any content, they’ve only got they’re only doing like a quarter of a job of what you should do.
Absolutely. It is absolutely key.
Sure. Well, the best place is probably on my LinkedIn account, which is Jade Arnell. So, if you just search me, might still be under my maiden name, which is Jade Scotney. But on my LinkedIn account, that’s where I post most of my content, and that’s where I kind of talk to most of my clients. People kind of get in touch with us all on the website, of course, which is rebellionmarketing.co.uk
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