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For this episode of E-coffee with Experts, Matt Fraser interviewed a very special guest, Ryan Foizey, Director of Strategic Consulting at Seafoam Media.
Diving deep into the world of digital marketing, Ryan shared his wealth of knowledge and expertise, accumulated through years of experience in optimizing websites for search engines, boosting their rankings, and attracting significant traffic. As the discussion progressed, Ryan provided a plethora of effective tactics that can be seamlessly integrated into one’s search engine marketing strategy.
Watch the episode now!
Evolving and Changing is something that you need to be representative of your most relevant services at any given point in time for any reason.
Hello everyone, and welcome to this episode of E Coffee with Experts. I am your host, Matt Fraser, and on today’s show, I have with me a very special guest, Ryan Foizey. Ryan is an experienced SEO specialist with a strong background in digital marketing. He has a proven track record of optimizing websites for search engines, improving search engine ranking, and driving traffic to websites. His expertise in SEO is complemented by his proficiency in WordPress, creative concept design, art direction, and search engine ranking. He is a creative professional with a keen eye for design and an ability to translate strategic objectives and individual solutions that engage audiences and drive results. Ryan is currently the director of Strategic Consulting at Seafoam Marketing Consultancy, an agency where he leads the development and implementation of digital marketing strategies for a range of clients. Ryan, thank you so much for being here. Welcome to the show.
Thanks for having me.
Hey, no problem. Ryan, how would your university professors describe you as a student?
I think they probably describe me as and again, these aren’t my words, but probably bright but distracted.
Yeah, I think they’d say that, he’s got the goods, we just can’t get him to focus.
Okay. What did you major in in university?
Music with jazz emphasis and theater directing emphasis. yeah. So, I actually am a very creative individual and kind of backed my way into digital marketing.
That’s fascinating. Can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you got started in digital marketing?
Yeah, absolutely. So, I’m in Saint Louis, Missouri, and I grew up in Cedar Rapids, and I got out of Cedar Rapids after school. I wanted to get into a little bit larger market. This was back when, in my younger days, when I had ambitious ideas of becoming a successful artist and I still have eyes for it. As you can see in the background, it never left me. It’s part of me and always will be. Then coming down to Saint Louis, I got little odds and ends jobs here and there. While I was picking gigs and acting, singing, and directing live musicals. So, I played that circuit for a while and I was making sub sandwiches at a shop in the loop, and became the assistant manager there. Then by way of connections with people, friends, knowing people who know, people who know people. I ended up interviewing for the digital marketing assistant job for a small growing agency in Saint Louis by the name of Clicks. So, during my tenure there, I applied for that job and was awarded it, I think in large part because I had started my own theater company and when I started my own live theater production company, I sort of had to learn how to navigate marketing as an accidental artist administrator. That marketing hat fell on me, I was a one-man shop, and so I just kind of had to learn my way through things by practical application. I think that awarded me this digital marketing assistant job where I was literally claiming SEO listings and optimizing GMBs. I was doing manual backlink outreach and talking to webmasters about providing my attorney-client with a backlink for the quote. It’s very very in the weeds manually, kind of grunt working through that SEO journey and the foundational stuff. I feel like it came at a perfect time for me because it gave me guidance, it gave me direction, it gave me structure and that sort of 9 to 5 atmosphere but I also enjoyed it a great deal. I celebrated my wins, my backlinks, and formats and I just kept going and I kept getting curious and more curious and more curious. So, I would subscribe to Backlink Go and Matthew Barbee was somebody that I aspired to quite a bit and somebody that I learned from. So, I just kind of kept working my way through the ranks, as it were, and found myself with an emphasis more than in the media. So, you can interrupt me at any point in time.
No, no keep going, this is fascinating.
The full breadth of my experience, because it’s been a journey. And then I got an emphasis in media, and by media, I mean video production and photography and motion graphics, things like that. Because my CEO at the time, then Jason Hyland, loved that dude. He had a Sony 4K in his cabin and he said, hey guys, we really need to be getting into some media stuff. So, who’s got the creativity and who’s got the gumption? And I said, all right, let’s have at it. So, it started with a Sony 4K and I had to do some internal culture videos. And so, I flexed my muscles with Adobe there and did some post-production, kind of became the ad hoc internal video producer, and then grew that media department into a Full-fledged department with tens of thousands of dollars of equipment. We were doing probably tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of business on a monthly basis and diving into our full-service digital marketing offering. Grew it into two videographers and then of all that time, also acting as the digital marketing strategist for my breadth of clients. So, then I got out of the media department and hired a very intelligent, very smart producer Matt Zonway. If you get an opportunity, you might want to bend his ear if you’re looking for somebody with media emphasis.
Yeah, I would love to.
He came in and took my place in the media department and then I started the analyst department. And so that’s when I really started to get into data analysis and really talking about building a story with the numbers that we’re seeing. That really got me a very profound understanding of all of the different channels that contribute to a healthy digital marketing strategy, a more holistic thing. That sort of elevated me into it. I don’t want to just be proficient in SEO. I don’t just want to be proficient in paid or social media. Then I became a sort of Swiss Army knife and I was like, all right, what if I were to lean into this and say, I can help you in your business outside of just your digital footprint, I can help your business find efficiencies. I can help it find automatic streets and help you help your business grow by way of more than just more traffic. That found me in an area where I was like I had this business model and this concept of starting this consultancy that would allow me to do good work for good people and not really be motivated by anything other than trying to level the playing field for some of these smaller businesses to have a shot at success in this thing called commerce. That sort of theory and that concept in theme and drive seemed to align really, really well with Nikki Bisel, who is quite literally one of my favorite people on the planet and she is the owner, founder, and CEO of Seafoam Media, we are working together to develop this consultancy division and we are we’re doing quite well. Things are going really well and I have never been happier in my career, and I think I owe a lot of that to Nikki and the team at Seafoam there. They’re really good people.
So that’s my journey and that’s how I got here. It’s been about ten years.
That’s amazing and you’ve learned a lot. How have you seen digital marketing change over the years between then and now?
I’ve seen it go from, you know, back when you used to highlight and change the color of the font to match the background on the page. Hiding links and keyword stuffing like that. That was a real thing and we were generating Black Hat SEO videos as a part of our journey in the media department to warn people of this sort of stuff. My very first experience in digital media, I’d say profound experience in digital marketing was actually in and disavowing an entire backlink profile for one of our clients, and keep in mind that I had just come from making sub sandwiches. So, I didn’t know anything and they put me on this sort of data entry project which was to manually go through this backlink profile because this client had been manually penalized by Google.
So that was my very first project.
The first project to disavow.
Yeah. And I didn’t know what I was doing. It was ultimately data entry, but it was my curiosity and understanding of what it was that I was doing and trying to accomplish through this process that really led me to understand what I was doing that was pretty cool. This was the goal for sure, of my job. That was my first project and talking about how it has evolved. You know, I feel like the spammy backlink profile and the link farming and all that stuff where I feel like it still exists.
Yeah, PBNs. Privatize blog networks, absolutely. Whether by accident or by design because I have seen it happen by accident quite a bit too. But that’s not really so much a player in the game anymore. I’m not saying that it’s not something that you need to look out for, but I feel like seeing the evolution of Google’s algorithm, not just in the way that it positively services the end user, but in the way that it has developed in an effort to find altruistically the most honest options. And seeing that journey over the course of the last six or so years has always been a part of who Google is. But I think in the updates and the Panda update, the semantic indexing updates and trying to understand how humans think.
On page became so much more important, didn’t it?
All that stuff really has gone from such a robotic and transactional sort of system to being gained and developed to become more human and to become more understanding. So, it’s not to say that I feel as though SEO is dying. It’s not at all. It is becoming something completely different to appease search engines and to optimize search for users. It has become less quantifiable and requires more attention to the human experience. There’s this methodology that Nikki has turned me on to that I think is quite right in her philosophy and approaching marketing, which is that she believes that the market has evolved beyond where SEO and robotics and all of that can take us and we’re really in a day and age where we’re going back to the fundamentals of good commerce and good business, which is that people want honesty, people want quality, people want to know they’re not being scammed. It all goes back to sort of that same mentality of like the seventies and just creating a good wholesome experience. And so, I think that SEO and optimizing for search engines, the technical aspects will always be there. They’re always good. You’re always going to need a healthy, positive backlink profile. You’re always going to be really good influential content. You’re always going to need a good UX, the schema markup, all of that is important but that’s like setting the stage and I really feel this is where you hear what a lot of people will say in conversations with clients, is that like organic takes time? It’s like farming versus hunting. You got to be picky and I think that a lot of people think that you have to be patient because you plug in your optimization, so to speak, and then you sit and you wait for Google to index these changes. Right? And it’s like, oh, in six months’ time and that’s not what it means. SEO takes time because it’s more than just content on your website. It’s understanding intent. It’s anticipating. The reason why it’s such a long-term game is that the meat and potatoes of a solid SEO strategy are in understanding the user experience. And I think that that’s something that gets lost a lot is like CRO and industry optimization and how profoundly important that’s become and will continue to be.
I’m laughing because well everybody knows that I used to work in the car industry for like seven or eight years. When I got there, they were driving traffic and we call them the vehicle detail pages. So, in e-commerce, it would be a single product page. The final page that you want the person to reach. In the car industry, there are vehicle results, or search pages like either the search results listings. In e-commerce, we have product listings. There we had new vehicle search listings, used vehicle search listings, and we had VDP and BRP vehicle results from pages and even used VDPs. Can you understand the context of what I’m saying? So, it’s funny that you bring that up because when I got there. No word of a lie, Ryan. They were driving traffic from PPC to vehicle detail pages that had no pictures, no video, no descriptions, and blowing thousands of dollars on a stupid Google ads campaign that wasn’t going to do anything? And wondering why they’re not getting any leads. You talk about CROs, so I had to pause everything.
You talked about developing strategies for the business. It was more than just marketing. We need to get down to the foundational and I had to implement the G suite at the time into the entire business before we did any marketing. So, we can have a foundation to be able to do that.
You needed an infrastructure.
I needed an Infrastructure to get it done. Yeah, exactly. There was no infrastructure.
And it’s free.
Well, we were paying for the paid version.
Well, sure. I’m just saying to get started.
Yes, and I even negotiated for a 30% discount based on the volume of counts that we were buying. But anyway, the point is that you talked about all these things that just triggered this story in me, that I created a Google group because the churn rate in the automotive industry is so high and there were like 13, 14, 15 forms on this on a car dealer website because of all the different conversion points. Can you imagine every time a sales manager gets fired, which is very often, is it such a cutthroat? I have to go in and change the names of notifications on every one of those forms. It’s crazy, man. So, I created a Google group. A Google group called firstname.lastname@example.org. And then they added that address to all of the forms and then all they had to do was change one thing instead of 16. So yeah, we had to set the foundation and I had to implement it because they were wondering, why isn’t he doing any marketing? Well, dude, I’m laying the foundation for marketing. I need to implement the inventory management process and create the entire thing from the beginning of how to inventory vehicles. When I see inventory, take pictures, write the scripts, make the video, create an inventory management platform, select one and not read it, and select the proper one to use, the easiest one with the most value. When I did all that, that’s when the big magic happened. Now we can start to do marketing. Now we can do dynamic inventory marketing.
And you mentioned that I mean, you hit the nail on the head and I feel like that’s oftentimes a misconception about marketing and oftentimes when there need to be budget cuts and things like that, marketing is the first on the chopping block because of this misconception. And the misconception is that marketing is money in, money out.
That’s not what it is. There’s so much about investing in your brand and its omnipresence. What space do you occupy and what your personality is? It’s commerce online and it’s like having a forever billboard.
That is for sure.
Evolving and changing and something that you need to always be representative of your most relevant services at any given point in time for any reason. And so, to think that marketing should be the first thing on the chopping block when you need new business, it’s not. It is something you need to pour into because marketing isn’t what occurs outside of your business. It’s what happens inside of your business and its how other people interpret your business. That’s a very, very important investment and a very important distinction. I think that understanding that you’re only as good as the systems that you occupy, then you’re only as good as the systems that you use is very, very important and that sometimes will necessitate a foundational shift in the systems and software that you’re using. You can’t properly and adequately market a business without having some sort of a pulse on the infrastructure and some sort of influence on the business as a whole because they need to be what the business is and what the businesses that you’re marketing need to be the same.
Yeah, you’re so right, man. So, what role does creative design play? I mean, you’re a very creative person. You play all those instruments behind you. You’re learning how to play drums, also. So, according to you, how does creative design play a role in your work or your consulting work even? And how do you integrate that design with optimization? As for your experience in being a musician and a creative person and how that has impacted you in order to do those things. I’d love to hear your thoughts on that.
Yeah, absolutely. So, there’s this right brain, left brain, right. I think some of what I find so appealing and why this job or this career really has resonated for me and why I enjoy it so much is because it allows me to flex both of those muscles.
And I’m a very analytical and very technical person. I thank my dad for that. He was a news broadcaster.
So he’s a journalistic and very regimented person. I get a lot of my analysis and my logical thinking and critical thinking skills from him. And so, there’s that part of my brain that I utilize to understand it and recognize patterns. That’s where I feel that’s really advantageous and leveraging data and being able to discern trends and be able to look into the weeds and be able to cross-reference different data sources to be able to tell the story. So, there’s that part that I enjoy in that part that is very academic. The creative part of it is where you see my musical instruments in the background and whatnot but by my nature, a very emotional person and have always been and fostered a very creative mindset also through my father, who also is a drummer and I grew up as a musician. We had a little family band. I started playing guitar when I was nine years old. So, from a very, very young age, creativity, music, art, and emotional expression have always been a large part of me, almost all of me. And so, I have always had this affinity for creativity and expression, being able to distill down what creatively makes me connect and what makes me feel and what makes me emote and connect to a brand. It’s being able to distill that creatively down into something digestible and then being able to, on the other side of it, try to measure its success. That is such a rewarding, and all-encompassing, I should say, experience because the marketing strategy then becomes something that you can fully realize from ideation to analysis and being able to be a part of that journey at every step of the way, being able to influence creatively what I feel a user will identify with and how a brand should be represented. I think being able to distill that down into technical know-how so that the robots of the world can see it as valuable as we humans do. Being that translator as I see it, is tough, but it’s a lot of fun.
I don’t know if I answered your question.
I think coming up with the creative side of things, may I give a for instance, like when I was at the dealership, I had to create creative stuff all the time, the manufacturer always came up with new campaigns every two months and I had to create creative based off those campaigns and couldn’t carry my own campaigns. So, one of the things I did was I went into Photoshop and I created eight different layers if you will, and eight or nine different layers, maybe ten whatever, but a different layer for like one layer would be 0% financing but instead of calling a layer, I call it a frame. And it was a nice graphic and then I created all these different layers. 90 days, no payments, no debt, and so on and so forth. I created the colors based on the brand. I created the initial graphic based on the creative that was provided by the OEM. Then I took that and I had it made into a video, paid somebody on Fiverr to make that into a video, and used music. It became an animated 30-second video that I use for a bumper video on Facebook, on YouTube, as a pre-roll video, retargeting video, and so on and so forth. And I used it to create display ads, my own display ads, every two months. I only used the top popular four dimensions for display ads and then I was doing retargeting on the retargeting platform.
That’s a minimum effort. Maximum impact, right?
Exactly. Because the website was leaking traffic. So, the point being I was using the creative side in the technical things like for instance, you know, the creative side of, hey, why don’t we use dynamic inventory retargeting? Facebook has this product shopping tool, it’s very technical. Well, from a creative point of view, we took the inventory feed. We fed the inventory feed from the immense inventory management system. We fed it to a Google sheet and then we remapped the columns, technical to be creative. So, what Facebook wanted and Facebook didn’t have an inventory vehicle or inventory product at the time? I believe they created it as a result of what we did because we did this back in 2013 before they even had it and we blew the dealership up. And so, then the inventory feeds and when people would hit when people would go from an ad on Google that we were doing dynamic inventory ads on Google. So, they were long tail, low cost, low competition, high converting words, and people who were searching for a 2018 Ford F-150, if we had it in stock, the ad came up. If they hit the VP and they didn’t convert, we retarget them on Facebook with carousel ads, product ads, leveraging before Facebook even had the inventory product and we were everywhere all the time. My thing was I thought that everybody knew how to do what I was doing. I eventually discovered that was not the case. I was just sharing my story a little bit because you triggered me to talk. I don’t mean to take over the interview. I don’t like to do that.
No, please. Carry on
So, I matched creative with technical by doing all of those things and we were everywhere all the time. I’ll never forget two things. I went into a local mastermind meeting with some other dealers that were put on by these agents. These are people who are in the car industry. One of them was actually the founder of the IMS that I was using, the inventory management system. I won’t name-drop or say the name of the company for privacy. The other person was a guy who owned an actual car dealer marketing agency and started a car dealer marketing podcast. I tip my hat to him and they said, well, you know, there’s all these people in this room, but we don’t really have anybody who’s in direct competition. And then he looked a second time, all except for two people, Matt and Mitch. And Mitch says, well, there actually isn’t really any competition because I don’t know what Matt is doing, but he’s everywhere all the time and I had no idea. I thought, Man, I’m just doing this. To me, it was just normal. I used to just normally do this stuff, but I quickly came to realize this because I then brought in some of my friends who started a back-end consulting agency for car dealers doing back-end marketing, after the conversion happens. The SOPs are to get the client into the dealership for a test drive and then the nurturing. He took a dealership in Miami where he’s from in the Miami area, from a Toyota dealership from less than 200 cars a month to over 400. And he was on the cover of NADA magazine, which is one of the top two Internet sales professionals in the entire country. I don’t want to say his name.
I mean, there is a good portion of that, that for sure is due to skill and knowhow and there’s also a part of it to that and this is, I think an important part of understanding marketing and also mitigating expectations. That is there is a portion of it, too, that is the right place, right time and I don’t just mean in a sense of making a video go viral right on Twitter or something like that. When I say right place, right time, I mean, where are you at in deploying your strategy and does where you’re at and deploying that strategy necessitate you looking somewhere to find a solution where maybe a software’s offering something that’s in beta and then you have access all of the sudden to information that you didn’t have access to before. And you’re partnering with a startup company that has developed the software that does this thing and then all of a sudden, you’re first to the punch when Google released this new feature, right? I’m not saying there wasn’t a skill involved in what you were doing because there is, but there is a portion of it, too, that’s just like anticipating the market and anticipating the shifts in technology and tools available to us like ChatGPT and AI. I am not going to go there.
Why not, because I was going to bring it up.
But, I think we have to anticipate these sorts of things in order to adequately integrate it into our industry because if we look at it as an opposition it’s going to take us out. In my methodology and my feeling if you can’t beat them, join them.
There’s this thought process and this philosophical debate is a very polarizing conversation and I love it. But you have one side of the coin, the individuals, and rightfully so. I’m not trying to take anything away from their intimidation and or their fear or both, because it’s a very real thing. And I think that we all share it. I think it’d be foolish to try and say that there’s not anything to be scared of here, especially in terms of job security. Ultimately, that’s the concern, which I understand for the individuals who have been on the receiving end of downsizing and things like that because of tragedy. My heart goes out to you and I’m not trying to diminish any of that impact that it has made because it will absolutely do that impact. And for that, I’m so sorry, but it’s also just a necessary step in evolution and in technology, and it’s a necessary evil. We see it differently now than we will ten years from now, just as we have.
Five years from now or three years from now.
Exactly. Even six months from now. So, I say all this to say that that is one side of the coin. The other side of the coin is very fervently I fall on this side, is integrating this technology into our capacity and understanding how to leverage it not as an answer, but as a part of a solution.
Assistant. Right to assist and if I can have a piece of technology, do what it does in terms of developing code for a plug-in and or analyzing data or writing creative copy, not to say that they’re going to nail it, but to say that this is a good starting point. It’s not in the copywriter’s best interest to be afraid of AI and how it’s going to replace them. It’s within the copywriter’s best interests to understand it.
How to leverage it for their own efficiencies, because then they can make their service offering and their value scalable, and that to me is the exciting part. So, while absolutely there’s a lot to be afraid of, that begets another point in the discussion, which is part of evolution and technology and anticipating the market and trying to think ahead and being at the right place at the right time. Bringing full circle, that’s part of it.
Absolutely. I know of a guy who’s making millions of dollars a month right now writing sales letters, and direct response sales letters for businesses using AI. He taught seven other people who don’t even know how to write direct response copy. They use the tools to write the copy, hired them as employees, and scale and now he’s making $1,000,000 a month leveraging AI. So, for people out there, copywriters who think it’s going to replace you don’t let it replace you.
Don’t let it. Yeah, that’s really what happens.
Don’t live in fear that it’s going to replace you, instead leverage it.
So, there is this part of it, too, though. And this is the part that I think arguably is more important in the art and I say more substantial of a case. On the other side of the coin, short is not for fear of losing their job or the value that they provide in the market, but is concerned about how brands are represented online by way of this artificial intelligence in the fear that is in an already technological world, especially online and in digital, in e-commerce. Creating more separation between the user and the brand by removing the human from the marketing and being fearful that this sort of synthetic brand, this synthetic experience with brands online and how a transaction can become that, you know, if you overuse or misuse AI in your marketing strategies or you don’t do enough to Q and A into cross-check and do checks and balances and make sure that that your messaging is present and honest. If you’re not doing those things, there is a fear that that ingenuity in the space will start to crack and shatter and the world as we know it, and connecting humans with brands will be gone and it will be this thing of the past. It’ll be this thing that you have a bunch of robots writing text in and we’re on the outside going, I just want to buy a pair of jeans from somebody, you know, who’s going to own them themselves? You know.
It’s going to be amazing, the metaverse and the shopping experience will be like you’ll put on some goggles and go into a virtual mall and find your jeans and buy those jeans. It’s unbelievable what’s actually going on but incredible at the same time.
But again, it’s like the people, you know, I’m trying to think to equate it to some sort of evolution in technology, but make it music. Some segment music. It’s like for instance, people were nostalgic for vinyl records.
Which I grew up listening to.
Now it’s not just enough to I mean, I’ve got vinyl after vinyl, after vinyl, but it’s not to me and this is the emotional part of me. This is the human part of me that I leverage in my marketing strategies and connection. I’m not super excited about shopping for that vinyl because I’m excited to take it home so that I can hear it. Yes, to all of that obviously, that’s why I’m in the sport. I want the tactile experience.
I want to see all the posters and the joy of flipping through the vinyl and doing that. You know, that experience is what I want. I’ll call out my buddy Brett, who also works at Seafoam because he and I got into a very philosophical discussion about pro-con ChatGPT and the contributions it can make. That’s one point that he made that I just can’t shake, which is fast forward ten years from now if we continue to leverage AI and if it gets out of hand and cannibalizes marketing and the human aspect of marketing becomes removed, how much further away are we going to get from being able to show up at a shop and thumb through some records and that breaks my heart.
Yeah, I think there’s always going to need to be a human operator. Maybe not so many people to execute, but a human operator to bring the human touch so that it will improve.
I hope and that’s what I said to Brett, as I think you mitigate that risk is ensuring that you have very smart individuals who understand your brand inside and out cross-checking and making sure that these things are not synthesized, that they have heart, that they have a soul. So, it’s just kind of molding the strategist’s role into being a little bit different, into occupying a different part of your brain and I think that’s kind of cool.
Yeah. And maybe pivoting too. For instance, I pivoted into starting a business that uses marketing to assist the marketing of the business, not necessarily providing services direct to another business, but services that are direct to a consumer that will not be replaceable by AI, not at all. But yet I can use all the tools to assist me to market this specific service offering to reach consumers, to be able to provide value to them and to be able to make money. So, there’s that sort of thing. Like that guy who is making $1,000,000 a month writing direct response copy, right? You still have to know the facets of the ingredients to make that successful. For instance, anybody out there, you know, Dan Kennedy is the ultimate sales letter. It’s a framework for writing sales letters. His business partner at one time, Bill Glazer, said that the number one skill that every single entrepreneur and small business owner should learn is copywriting. That’s the most expensive thing and it’s the most effective thing and that’s the reason it’s the most expensive. Whether you’re going to write a copy or not, even if you don’t want to become a copywriter, you should still learn copy so that you can identify good copy from bad copy.
He said that and it’s like, you still have to know how to implement and know the difference between crap copy and good copy, whether using A.I. or not, and because it can spit out some garbage. You should be able to differentiate what is good and what is not a good copy. Someone who actually knows what they’re doing and knows what they’re talking about knows how to make this little switch. Just improve that a little bit because I know what the qualities are of a good headline and I know what are the purposes of good headlines, leading to a subheadline in the subject line. It leads to the first paragraph, the first paragraph leads to the second paragraph, and what are the elements of all of those things and using those.
The copywriter will tell you that they want to write a copy. They don’t want to be an editor.
Yeah, well, they need to pivot.
I understand, but there’s a difference between creative writing and writing for marketing purposes and that’s why it’s such a polarizing conversation because what I just touched on is very much dear to me, like music is very near and dear to me. Copyright by way of trade in terms of marketing is that we see it as a part of the service that we provide, but we forget the emotional attachment to being able to express yourself via the written word. Whether you’re doing that on behalf of a brand or whether you’re writing your memoirs, it’s a very expressive art, it’s an art form, and whether it is marketing or not. So, I think that in this selfish aspect of getting to enjoy your job and not being required to show up every day and just try and, you know, sift through the matrix to find errors from a robot. That’s a very different thing from copywriting. And I can understand that fear as an emotional and creative person myself. Yeah, I get it.
Yeah, I get it too.
Here’s the other side of it too. That’s just the copywriting side. We haven’t talked anything about how profound the Journeyman is. Do you know Journeyman?
This is just one example of creative AI, it’s a discord. So. And I can share my screen if you want me to, but.
Are you talking about Midjourney?
Yes, Midjourney. Sorry, it’s Midjourney.
That’s okay, I got a little confused there.
It’s open on my computer right now, actually. Let’s talk about that and how the threat of AI just equated to copywriting.
The graphical elemental logos.
So, I’ve had multiple conversations with my design team about this and I think it’s exciting but it’s also scary that it in itself is going to become its own type of art. It’s going to be its own type. Say if you were a brand right now you could lean into this image AI thing as a part of your marketing strategy and it would probably go like gangbusters. So, here’s one for free for whoever is watching this video. For instance, your coffee company. You’re selling coffee online. You’re selling powdered coffee, cold coffee, or whatever. Go to an AI image generator and upload an image. So, you have product photography of your product, upload the image, and then you can scale it. You can say, I want you to use my image as a reference on a scale of 1 to 5, meaning that I want you to really try to replicate versus I want you to just have a version of this so then you can rinse and repeat this piece of art giving very specific feedback in your prompt saying, tweak this, tweak that. So, even if it’s not within 15 seconds, within 5 to 10 minutes, you can have a very profound creative 3D image. Then you can put it in space, you can put it underwater, it knows no bounds. So, you can do this and you can replicate this process and you can scale it, because the more imagery you make, the more defined the brand becomes.
Yeah. It’s so exciting.
So, then your brand is AI and it’s like, holy smokes and it can learn in real-time. Then applying it to the creative design aspect of it and this is where I get so excited is that, if one is so defiant to absorb and learn how to leverage AI, one’s going to miss the boat because what’s going to happen is inevitably six months from now, while you’re over here concerned about holding on to your artistic integrity, all of the business is going to be flowing through the agency that is able to spit out this stuff and leverage it. And in the skill or the value that I provide as a strategist is now in my foundational understanding of AI because I can go and tell you right now that you can create a very specific piece of social media creative with a very specific set of dimensions for a very specific purpose, and I can give that to you within the next 15 minutes. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
That’s a small part.
Yeah, that’s a very, very small part.
Because you need to know the customer journey to know what kind of content to create. What is your target persona? What is your market?
Yeah. And you don’t need to be on to that. I think it’s exciting and I think it’s scary, but I also think that it’s a very exciting time for people in marketing because right now the playing field is level.
Oh, yeah. True.
In terms of AI, the playing field level, everything’s equal, which means that I can spit out the same level of work, not to call them out but Gary Vee, right? Yeah.
But if I wanted to really invest the time into developing an infrastructure, to develop a tool, to do whatever it would take.
While the playing field has been leveled.
The playing field has been leveled.
What an amazing story he has.
And so if you can muster the gumption, which to be honest with you, is how I’ve made my career via gumption, I’m going to lean into this thing. Then when AI is going to become so developed, I will have been able to say that I’ve understood it on a fundamental level and have been applying it to my marketing strategies and
I’ve been doing it for a year.
I started using Jasper last May and it’s amazing.
I love it too.
Just wrapping things up, what advice would you give to businesses struggling to succeed in their digital marketing efforts? What’s one first thing you would tell them to do?
Listen to your customers.
Right on. Absolutely.
Yeah, know who they are. If you don’t even know who your customers are. So, many businesses don’t even know who their customers are.
It’s a persona. More and more users appreciate and understand empathy and vulnerability. There’s nothing wrong with sending out an email asking, how are we doing? And listening to your audience and pivoting.
Getting the feedback.
And to be more specific to your question. Learning how to apply what feedback you’ve received from your user base to your marketing strategies is very, very important. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable with your brand. Let your audience feel like they’re a part of something and if you can do that then you’ll always have a good foundation. You’ll have that brand loyalty.
Right on. Hey, what are your future goals and aspirations for your digital marketing career?
It’s a good question. I would like to continue on this path that I’m on with receiving media and continuing to develop this consultancy division. There’s such a wide array of business types and business sizes with varying levels of understanding and proficiency in marketing and specifically in digital. I just want to make my services available to these small business owners because as I said, I’m all about leveling the playing field.
So, where I see myself and what I hope for myself in the next five years is to be at a point where the consultancy arm of Seafoam is self-sustaining and growing and I spend my time maybe traveling around and doing some keynote speaking. That sort of thing.
That’s awesome. It’s been an absolute total 100% blast having you here today. It’s been so much fun talking to you. How can our listeners connect with you online, if they choose to do so?
Yeah, sure they can go to seafoammedia.com, that’s the agency website. We’re currently going through a rebrand. So, if you were to go there now, you’re going to see our old brand and our new brand is slowly rolling out right now.
Yes, Seafoam media.
Also, you can find me on LinkedIn. Reach out to me on LinkedIn. I’m very responsive there.
We will make sure to put that info in the show notes.
Also, real quick. My colleague and I, Jared Lender, who is the client success manager, and account manager. He and I have been working together throughout my entire journey. He and I are going to be starting a podcast, actually.
Oh, that’s so cool.
Yeah, it’s called Above the Fold.
Above the Fold. What a cool name for a podcast.
Thank you very much. So, keep your eyes peeled and I’ll be sure to shoot out.
That is such a cool name for a podcast. Hey, again, it’s been a pleasure. I would love to have you back again, it’s been awesome talking to you today.
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