- White-Label Solutions
- Who We Are
We achieved a 200% increase in our client’s website traffic in 16 months. Learn Morex
Welcome to E-Coffee with Experts, an interview series where we discuss all things online marketing with the best minds in the business.
In this episode, Dawood chats with Matthew Salvica, founder Digital Stand.
Matthew shares with us his thoughts on the changing marketing landscape, building a brand strategy and conversion funnels, identifying the right target audience for your business and more.
Read this insightful conversation and stay tuned for the next steaming cup of E-coffee.
Data sits at the core of everything you do when it comes to a brand strategy and executing that effectively.
The only way I can have a conversion orientation to a doubt, is if I’m solving your problem.
We have an emotional reaction to advertising and under 800 milliseconds, and then intellectually, we start to think about it from the one second point onwards.
We buy emotionally and then rationalize intellectually.
Pillar page is very important from an inbound marketing SEO point of view.
HubSpot says a website with a blog attracts 67% more traffic as compared to a website without blogs.
Podcasts are the new radio.
Yes, I’m really excited to be here. Thank you for the invite. And hopefully I can add some value to the show.
My name is Matthew Salvica. I started my company or founded my company back in 2013. Digital Stand. I started originally downward as a pure place for the social media agency. Because back at that time, I saw, I guess, the rise of social media and what that could mean to business. And most might remember this dial up, but even back in 2013, a lot of people still felt like social media was just a fad or a thing. You know, we come forward to 2021. And it’s kind of one of “the” things at the moment, if that makes sense. So I started back in 2013, we started as a pure play social media agency. But then we evolved. Because we saw that a lot of companies back then didn’t understand social media as social media right now. But we also saw that they didn’t actually understand the full customer journey from a digital point of view. So we became a HubSpot partner, if you’re familiar with their platform from an inbound marketing point of view. And I guess, as I was saying a little bit earlier, or we started to look at clients for digital strategies and how the customer journey works, you know, from the beginning, all the way through to conversion. Because when I first started the agency, one of my early clients use that for social media. And he said, Listen, based on all the advertising that you’re doing for us, all the metrics are fantastic. But he said, Matthew, we’re not getting any leads. Okay, so I had a look at his landing page, and I realized that it wasn’t responsive or mobile friendly. So there was a big issue, given that I was running ads on Facebook. And I guess, the second thing was that he put 15 pages in place, so the friction, as you would call it, was very high for someone to actually sign up. I can tell you that story a little bit later, if need be, but that drove my desire to make sure that whatever we do for clients ends up in a positive ROI. And, we’ve continued to evolve working with some of the largest brands, both locally and, one of one or two of the largest in the world.
Correct, some people will tell you brand awareness downward, but brand awareness doesn’t really grow the bottom line, right? So it does if it’s part of a funnel, if that makes sense. But if it’s not connected to anything, and we’re just doing brand advertising, then, again, how do you measure the return and justify the expense?
That’s a really interesting question. I think that let me take a perspective, from a social point of view, to answer that question. And then I can sort of overlay my general thinking on a brand strategy. But brand strategy from a digital and execution social media point of view. For me, it looks like really identifying your audience at the outset, exactly who that is, the number of personas that exist within that audience. And the pain points you’re actually solving for those people. Once upon a time, personas were built on fictional concepts. This is my ideal audience, and this is who I believe it is. Whereas now we have data to actually build out true audiences, which is a fundamental shift, because we don’t we no longer need to guess what their pain points are, we can actually do the research and discover the issues that they’re having. And by just starting out, really right at the beginning there and saying, What’s our solution? And how does that marry up against our personas needs? For me, that’s really the right place to start. And I guess in terms of having a brand strategy in relation to that you really have to overlay? Firstly, is your brand known? Or is it an unknown entity in the target market that you’re going for. And if you’re an unknown entity, well, then you probably have to play it a little bit differently than if you’re IBM, or Coca Cola, for argument’s sake. But, for me, data sits at the core of everything you do when it comes to a brand strategy and executing that effectively. And let’s say you’re an unknown entity, for argument’s sake, and you decide you want to use the social platforms, and you’ve clearly mapped out your personas and your identities. I think what happens now is, or I don’t know if this is widely understood, perhaps it is. But you can run advertising, that obviously is brand based advertising to build up your awareness against that target audience. But then you can also run sequential advertising against those audiences. And what I mean is, if you want to brand campaign, and you get a good engagement on their campaign, and then you petition the audiences engaged with that campaign, you can then run a series of second ads against that audience, then you can pull out the engaged audience from that campaign and run a third sequence. So you can really run your advertising in sequences. And that accelerates going from not being known to being our absolute, if that makes sense — which is a fundamental shift from traditional media, if you like, because, if I use traditional media, and I run a television ad, some people may see it, some people might not, but for me to capture who’s actually seen it or not, and then run a second ad, it’s impossible, I can’t do that. I can’t do that with radio, I can’t do that with any other outdoor media, I can only do that with a digital media platform, or social platform that I can actually track. So for me — from a brand strategy point of view, there are a couple of tenants that are very important. I think the creative as well, is critical. I think talking about your product is great, provided it’s solving a pain point and a solution. Because if it’s not, then I’m not going to connect the need. And I see a lot of advertising, generally that talks about the brand, but doesn’t solve the pain points. Now, there’s also very clever advertising out there that does exactly that. And that’s where I sit because for me, it needs to have a conversion orientation to it. And the only way I can have a conversion orientation to a doubt, is if I’m solving your problem.
Yeah, for sure. I do a lot of or have done, obviously, and still do always a lot of reading and advertising. But I remember reading this one line in a particular book out Wood said, no one’s excited about your ad, and the launch of it, except for you. Okay? So the challenge is to make someone excited, and to get them the expression you’ve probably heard is to stop this, right, thumb stopping ads are something that makes them stop as they’re looking through the feed, and then take action. And, from the research in neuroscience that I’ve looked at it says, we have an emotional reaction to advertising and under 800 milliseconds, and then intellectually, we start to think about it from the one second point onwards. And I think the attention span we now have as humans is around eight seconds. So not very long to grab someone’s full attention. And, there’s quite a strong theory that we buy emotionally and then rationalize intellectually. And I probably I’m of that school, as well doubt where I think we do buy emotionally and then we justify it with logical reasons that we buy. So, I guess that’s just a bit of an overview. But in terms of a true brand strategy, I think one of the things that I’m going to be talking about in something else coming up is we need to divorce ourselves from the idea that social media or digital media and platforms for one thing and not the other and let me put that in context. So if I’m being told that LinkedIn is for b2b marketing, I’m being told at Facebook for b2c marketing, and I have that happen. I’m missing a whole line of revenue that I could possibly be achieving. We’re marketing to people, we’re not marketing to platforms. And the reality is, if I use LinkedIn, I probably use Instagram. And I probably use YouTube — as an example. But the reality is, I’m going to be on more than one platform, typically, okay, I think it shows that the average person is on about 2.3 platforms, if you were to average that out. What that means is, from a strategy point of view, I should be tracking my audiences on all of the platforms that I can track them on. And where I can put advertising in front of the right audience, I should be doing that. I should be very agnostic about the platforms because the platforms are there to serve their purpose. And as a brand, my purpose is to make sure that I can make those platforms work for my brand. And I guess, as a brand strategy, per se, then I should be making sure that even if I’m not advertising on these platforms, that I’m trying to track them in some way. So that if I do want to launch campaigns and test that I’ve got that enabled and in place, if that makes sense. That would make sense.
So again, that depends on the offer. Okay. So if you’re taking out piece of content fragments sake, which I think you’re referring to, in terms of lead gen for someone to download and take action on, again, if their content is good, and that fits into that personas need, and it’s something that they don’t know about, then you’re going to have success, if their content is something that you don’t know that they need, and you’re just trying to use it as a fishing exercise for argument’s sake, then your chances of success is actually quite slim. Okay? That’s the reality. They’ll say to you that, you know, 3% of the market is always ready to buy for argument’s sake, as a generalization. That’s potentially true, but that also has a lot to do with what it is that you’re offering. And to put this in context one of the early companies we worked with was a financial services business, which we ended up expanding into that area quite a bit. But initially, all of their campaigns look like everyone else’s campaigns. Okay, so the happy family with the keys or the person with the car and all the rest of it, there’s no differential if I clicked on x banks ad versus y bank said it didn’t really matter there might be point 01 percent difference in interest rates, which the other bank would if you’re with someone else, they just match it before you left them anyway. So you also need to be different, you need to be offering the market something different if you want them to take action and the only way you can offer them something different is going to work is by going back to that earlier comment of solving a problem that they’ve already got what are they complaining about online? What are the things they are unhappy about with their existing companies or providers? And can you solve for that in some respect?
so best practice really is to make sure that you’ve got all the pixels in place for all of the platforms Okay, to monitor that you can also obviously as you probably would know, use your existing database to actually upload that into the social forms to drive out match audiences from there. You can also do interest based targeting. So targeting for argument’s sake parents on Facebook who have kids to zero to one for argument’s sake or people who work at National Australia Bank on Facebook employees of the bank if you say, you want to head down that path. So best practice is really going okay, what is the business that we’re in making? Sure. point one that you’ve got all the tracking in place. I see lots of companies who believe their LinkedIn companies as in that’s where their audience is, but they don’t set up the Facebook tracking pixel for argument’s sake. And as a consequence, they’re not tracking any audience on those platforms and Facebook and Instagram as you probably know, and especially I guess, Instagram as well when we look at that as as the platform aren’t, by itself is a fantastic place to be actually tracking your audience. So best practice really is my To show that you have those tracking pixels in place, you identify the different audiences, what they’re potentially interested in subject matter what skills they potentially have all of those things and putting those in place, and then building out those audience, we typically put out 20 audiences, on some platforms just for one client. And, the reality is that you don’t need to spend a lot to test each of those audiences in terms of performance. And as you test those audiences, and as the algorithm starts to see what you’re going for, and who’s responding to those advertising campaigns, then you’re actually going to start to get some data feedback, and actually identify who the right audience is based on your targeting options. And of course, there’s a whole range of capabilities now where the platforms are looking to integrate CRMs and feed that information two ways from a conversion point of view. And that’s going to increase but there’s a lot of companies that still have no idea that these things are out there and possible. And, that’s where you need to start to make sure that you either inform yourself very effectively, okay, about what’s possible, or you work with an agency who knows what’s possible, and can actually bring that information to you?
Yeah, that’s a good question. Because there are so many channels and the reality is that the way to tackle that is very simple and complex in some respects. But it is quite simple because let’s say, for argument’s sake, I’m a services business, okay? And let’s say I’m not sure where my audiences, well, then I just look at the data and I say, Okay, well, let’s just look at the data theoretically, for a moment and just say, you and ask yourself some questions. We go, Okay, well, there’s approximately 300 million 330 million people on LinkedIn, for argument’s sake. So over 2 billion something 2.4, or whatever it is on Facebook, and there’s 2 billion people using YouTube. Let’s start there. Let’s just make sure we’re tracking those audiences initially. Because, if I’ve got seven, 8 million for argument’s sake, Australians using Facebook, and I’ve got 11 million Australians using LinkedIn, I’ve got 16 million Australians using YouTube. Pretty sure I’m gonna find some audiences there that actually along with my business, because two of those platforms, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, if you like, I mean, there’s only 25 million Australians right inside. Okay, so yeah, I’m pretty sure that on both of those platforms, I’m going to find an audience. And then on LinkedIn, I’m pretty sure if I’m b2b, I’m going to find an audience as well. And then once I found those audiences on those platforms, and I’ve got a formula that actually works, I can start to experiment with some of the smaller platforms, and say whether or not I can resonate there. Now, of course, if you’re a b2c business that has some new, fantastic teeth whitening solution, if I put it that way down, then maybe TikTok’s your game initially. Okay. But, that would be a smaller exception, then the rule if that makes sense.
Pillar pages in terms of the content that you’re putting on your website? Is that what you’re referring to? I actually think they’re very important. was something I learned about a couple of years ago, but I’ve probably started to accelerate our own efforts in respects more recently. And to be honest, I wish I had a standard earlier, to be candid. I think they’re very important. I think that if you look at the premise of what Google, Facebook’s desire is to serve the best content to the right person at the right time. And if you are a thought leader, or not even a thought leader, but know your subject intimately well, and you can actually talk to your subject, then creating pillar pages that answer the questions that your potential leads, or customers are looking for, I think are critical. And, let’s be transparent here and say that Google increasing the time on site and your information, answering that on their environment, lists how much they can charge for advertising, but it also works for you. Because, if you’re producing the best possible content that you can, and it’s helping them solve a problem Then it’s also helping your business as well, because they are actually going to drive more traffic to your site. So I think pillar page is very important from an inbound marketing SEO point of view, if you like, I think they’re almost critical down. But I also think that it helps you establish some thought leadership and knowledge about your capabilities and skills, because if you do have the skills and capabilities, you can write content that resonates with your audience. Now, if you don’t, then obviously, you can’t, unless you outsource it to someone else.
The most common mistakes they make is not actually having a strategy down. Okay. So they look at it as advertising, rather than looking at it as a strategic pursuit. They don’t understand their industry benchmarks they don’t understand if I’m in manufacturing, what is a good click through rate for that sector? And am I achieving a good click through rate for that sector? And the reason that’s relevant is probably there’s probably a number of reasons that it’s relevant, maybe two or three, but the ones that come to mind is, if I’m not achieving the industry baseline from a click through point of view, that means my targeting is wrong. And it means I’m underperforming in my industry. So there are two main things that are made, or my advertising is completely missing the mark altogether. The other thing that they miss is measuring it from the beginning to win. Now, as you would probably know, you can serve an ad, but that doesn’t mean someone buys from that ad, how many touchpoints? Is someone actually going through before a conversion happens? And where are you waiting? those touch points? Is it the first touch? Is it all of the touches? Is it the last touch? And as a consequence, where are you going to put your investment? Right? So not having a strategy is typically the biggest strategic problem I see. You can’t just look at it as advertising, you have to say, what are these platforms enabling me to do? How can I overlay that with my business? And how can I be strategic and smart about my pursuit?
On influencer marketing? I think it can be very effective. I think if you’re using the right types of influences for your brand, and there has to be an alignment, I think there also has to be an authenticity toward I mean, campaigns for what I mean by an authenticity to it, I mean, that if you use an influencer for your brand, I think it helps a lot if they actually like your brand. There’s a genuine connection that lasts well beyond the campaign itself. Because, if you have an influencer come out, and they’re popular in the moment, and then they do something later, that really is disingenuous to your brand and what they did earlier, I think that can be quite damaging. So I think choosing the right influencer, both, at a large scale, and micro scale is very important. But if you do choose them correctly, I think they can have a wonderful impact on your brand, because they have a trusted audience. They have established thought leadership that we were talking about before. And their audiences going to listen to the things that they recommend, because they’ve probably done it in a very authentic way. All the way through, if that makes sense.
I think micro influencers can be a lot more effective because typically, they have a very engaged audience around that subject matter. And as a consequence, they will listen to that influencer. So I think yeah, I think micro influencers in fact, if you ask me which way I would lean, typically I would lean that way.
So we started using Pinterest for a brand here recently. Maybe you knew that would, I don’t know. I’m only joking, but perhaps you didn’t. Anyway, it’s still early days for us to experiment with Pinterest. I used to think early on when they first come out of the blocks. It had very high potential. And I’ve been in the space for a while now. And I think Instagram for a little bit stole their Thunder to be candid, they sort of raced ahead of it quite strongly. It looks like from all the data I’ve read about what happens in the US, it looks like buyer intent is very high on Pinterest, and then makes sense because people are saving things to boards that they’d like to buy or aspiration or things etc. So, I think based on the data out of the US, and based on I guess the behavior on the platform, you would say that buyer intent is quite high, I still think on Pinterest out, you have to be the right sort of brand. Okay. And you have to be a brand that sort of blends in. So if your arts and crafts and in that environment, or perhaps you something with parenting or your something with holidays or weddings or a whole range of things. I think it lends us quite as well. I’m not yet convinced of the b2b announcement. I think having the tracking in place don’t make sense. Now, I know that I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. But yes, I think it potentially if you’re in the b2c space, it could have strong potential for you, especially potentially, also moving offshore to other markets.
I’d certainly think the potential is there. And I like the visual nature of Pinterest. I like the visual nature of platforms, per se, because I think if you’re creating the right content, then you have a wonderful opportunity to stand out visually,
The reality is that you need to do your research upfront in terms of the blog, and everything falls back to what problem you’re solving, who you’re solving it for? And are they actually interested in it at this point in time, he is using things like Google Trends, so you’re using think tools like sem rush that we spoke about potentially earlier? And actually identifying keywords and themes that people are actually interested in? And then you have to ask yourself, is it something that I can compete in? Or is Wikipedia always going to have the number one spot for? Absolutely, yeah, I think people also get very confused around this area, in some respects, in terms of understanding that someone sending you an email telling you they can rank you on the first page is highly unlikely, just straight off the bat. Okay, now, there’s certainly firms that can do that work. But it’s an ongoing process of creating the right content and creating consistent content. I think the other thing is there is a misconception, then build it, and they will come whether it’s a website or a blog, I think build it, and then take it out there, okay? share it with the world, right? Because they’re not necessarily just gonna count, okay. But I think if you take that content that you’re producing on your blog, and you’re distributing it on the social platforms, and you’re getting good engagements, then that’s going to benefit you from a Google point of view, because they’re also going to pick up that signal and realize and there is a social signal gets picked up from Google and realize that content might be of value, and you obviously might see a lift in Google if that is the case. So I think best practice is making sure that you’re writing content that people are actually searching for and publishing high quality content, okay? So rather than trying to put keywords in it, for argument’s sake, making sure it’s semantically written in some respects, but high quality content, and then distributing it out to the audiences that you’ve been tracking, because they’re the only instance that you’re most likely going to be interested in the content that you’re creating.
I think I understand why people would say that and I think In some respects is promo as close to true. But in some respects, it isn’t as well. It’s really about what investment do you want to make in organic, social? And what platforms are you interested in using for organic, so I’d say, organic reach is still pretty good on Instagram as it’s not great, but you can still make content work on that platform organically. I think the other thing that shouldn’t brands shouldn’t necessarily lose sight of is this, if I see your ads in LinkedIn, or see your ad in Facebook, and then I go to your timeline just to have a look at your business, and it’s a wasteland, as in, there’s, there’s nothing there at all. And then that just takes a little bit away for my perception. I’m like, wow, okay, they’re active in their advertising, but I can’t really see anything else. And I can go to their website, and I can try and find some blogs that I might be interested in. If we go back to that eight second comment earlier that I made, it’s kind of like any business now that I think that you want to make sure that you have everything in place, in a reasonable sense, okay. If the signs are crooked, you make sure that it’s a little bit straight, doesn’t mean you need to publish organic content every single day. But if you publish something on LinkedIn once a week, and maybe Instagram you do something, if you’re interested in that platform, maybe three or four times or a couple of times a week, some sort of activity, I think, is beneficial. We’ve even fallen victim to that ourselves at times publishing a lot and not, but if I was to give you the perfect answer that would be the perfect answer would be on the platforms that you’re interested in acquiring leads have some activity there. And I mean, the right piece of content can still go viral organically, if the right person clicks on it and shares it around,
I think you have to plan it in alignment with Okay, I think there’s two things one, you should always know what the looks like in terms of if you’re a b2c or b2b business, what are the relevant dates in your industry? So what are the times that you should be publishing content, and actually making sure that you’re aligned with that, so I think today or tomorrow, the International Women’s Day for argument’s sake, if you’re a brand that’s that’s a big advocate of that, then you should be publishing content that supports that, I think that you should align your brand, with your brand beliefs. And the only way to do that is to actually understand what 12 months of a calendar looks like the important dates for you and your brand and making sure that you’ve got content that reflects that. You should also be aligning your organic content with any potential marketing campaigns that you’re planning to do throughout the year. So that your organic content supports that, but also potentially supports the content on your website. I think just,I need to put a post out today is not the answer. The answer is you need to have a plan. There’s plenty of content planning tools out there that you can use, you can just use an Excel spreadsheet, but I think whatever you do, you need to have some sort of plan for your content. Because if you have a plan in place, you’ll actually put together better content, because you won’t be rushed in terms of the content you want to produce. And you can actually think about it a little bit more and then put together a better content strategy.
To be honest, I think podcasts are the new radio. I think the big difference is that the big differences, again, in my opinion, traditionally we listened to the radio as we’re driving along and all the rest of it people typically will listen to podcasts off their phone. So that means the call to action on a podcast about actually looking at a website and taking some actions, pretty frictionless. Okay, it’s pretty easy to do. I think, testing it against the right Podcast, where your audience’s listening is certainly worthwhile. I was going on about a podcast I would have five years ago because for me, it was going to grow exponentially in my opinion. That’s probably because I was listening to a lot of things that I had that view. So I think it makes sense. I think just choosing again, the right audience in every respect is the right strategy. But I think there’s still plenty of room for growth there for brands who want to advertise using podcasts.
Yeah, probably just have a strategy in place down to think about all of the different components where you can play where you can leverage your business. And actually make sure that before you do any execution of that, that you have a strategy in place. I think the other thing is, don’t be afraid to test. Just because you think something isn’t going to work, maybe just test it and actually find out if it works. And when you find something that’s working, don’t just go well, that’s working, iterate upon that, keep testing that and see if you can make it work even better. You can do that, why the targeting that you’re doing, the creative that you’re doing, or the friction or making it less friction in place. So my overarching comment would be, spend the time upfront, have a strategy, and then look to execute on that strategy. But be prepared to iterate and change as you go.
Well, your audience is mostly agency owners. The piece of advice that I would give them is to leverage content marketing. I think too many agency owners rely on referrals for business. Referrals are not scalable. You can’t predict any sort of certainty when they’re going to come in. I think it’s a poor way to build an agency. However, content can be a phenomenal way to grow your business. It just has a focus on making sure that you’re targeting stuff that’s on your buyer’s journey that actually targets a keyword. Writing good stuff. Think of it like this if your dream prospect were to read this article, how would you feel about that? Publish it, and then a week later, look at it. If your dream client were reading this, do you think the person would feel inclined to contact you or not?
Thank you, Dawood, I really appreciate the opportunity to talk to you buddy.
Buy 1, Get 1 Premium Backlink FREE!