This ‘day in the life’ of Paul Lawrence interview delves behind the scenes into the ever-changing world of digital marketing.
Paul Lawrence is a Senior Consultant within our Marketing Optimisation team. We caught up with him to find out what he does, why digital marketing can be so darn tricky, and what advice he has for those looking to improve their online marketing.
Can you describe your job and how you help your clients?
PL: No day is ever exactly the same! My job is always based around the individual needs of the business, their priorities and ambitions.
I work broadly across all digital channels. So I help clients with a variety of activities – from email campaigns, paid social campaigns across their different channels and how to target the end audience, through to SEO, organic search and keyword research to help them get found online.
With marketing, one thing very often leads to another! It’s my job to ‘read between the lines’ and understand what the client’s end goal is and then work back over a plan.
With any campaign, you have to have the right content and planning behind it for success. The creation of compelling material and the overall creative is key. Ideally, you should have different content for each channel – whether that be LinkedIn compared to your Facebook or Instagram channel – so often I will be working on elements such as the landing page design.
What type of clients have you worked with in the past?
I have helped businesses across a variety of industries – healthcare, fintech, charity & not-for-profit, travel, insurance and many more. I have also worked agency side as well.
In your experience, what are clients struggling with most when it comes to digital marketing?
The online world changes rapidly. It’s really hard to keep on top of it all. So, just when you think you have got it covered, something shifts.
It’s my job to stay up-to-date and help the client navigate the world of things like Facebook algorithms!
It’s confusing for people to know where to start. There are also many channels and ways to reach people. Do we just need to do PPC? Do we just need to do SEO? Should we just do Facebook? Or should we just do Instagram? The answer is you really need a mix. But critically, you need to understand your target audience and where they’re going to be. I help them dial things back and get the basics right, so they can understand how each of the channels works, and the data behind them.
Many businesses don’t have the time to plug into content planning and research or understand what people are searching for. There can be a misconception that being found happens ‘instantly’ when it comes to SEO – sadly, it doesn’t. You need a plan to help you get to where you want to be and then learn and optimise as you go.
Running paid ads can also be tricky and time-consuming. You need to know what you are doing.
Are there any popular misconceptions about being found online, whether that is SEO or PPC?
Paul Lawrence: Whether it’s a PPC ad or paid social campaign, there is sometimes an expectation that results happen straight away. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work like that. You need to build your campaigns up.
There are so many ways to see your brand online and complex user journeys – for example, they might see a PPC ad, and they may then go and check out the product or service, but they’re not necessarily ready to make a decision there and then. It may take another six months before your customer is ready to make a decision. So it’s always about having your content consistent across the channels.
A good example of this was when I worked for a private hospital. We were doing a lot of PPC ads for operations. These are high-cost services in the £thousands, so you can’t expect people just to see your PPC ad and be ready to make their decision. People want to research and perhaps look at several different suppliers. They need social proof and testimonials. They may then be ready to come back to you in six months and say I’ve made my decision and I’m ready to buy. So, things can take time – especially with SEO when you’re talking about algorithms and backlinks.
How should you measure success?
Paul Lawrence: There are many standard KPIs for measuring success. The most important thing as a business is to sit down and decide what ‘success’ looks like for you. Have a vision and be programmatic in your approach. Ask what are we trying to do? Rather than we’re going to ‘throw some budget’ at a PPC campaign and hope for the best.
It could be that all you are looking at is awareness and increasing web traffic. Or it may be about looking at conversions so you can see how many people buy/sign up at the end of their journey, or you could be measuring success by actual revenue that comes in from your website. Fundamentally you need to look at all channels to see which are improving, what’s working and what isn’t.
When I was working with a charity one of our obvious goals was increasing donations from the website, but part of this was also about raising awareness and increasing web traffic – getting more people reading the case studies so we could build trust and increase their knowledge of what we did.
How do you keep ahead of the curve when it comes to things like Google and social media?
Paul Lawrence: Things do evolve all the time, so it’s a really important part of my job. I make sure I follow the relevant industry blogs and websites. So destinations such as Search Engine Land and Econsultancy, as well as Google blogs and following industry people on platforms such as Twitter – because they will generally be posting about the changes as they are announced. LinkedIn also provides a good platform to connect and learn from other professionally.
What are your favourite tools to help your day-to-day?
Paul Lawrence: Google has a lot of free tools instantly available. Google Search Console, Google Analytics and Google AdWords are the main ones where you can evaluate your campaigns for free. I also like to use tools such as SEMRush or Moz, which give you other insights. There’s also Screaming Frog for SEO work.
What are your top pieces of advice for people looking to improve their digital marketing?
Paul Lawrence: You need to think about your value proposition and what you hope to achieve; what’s your campaign about? What are you looking to accomplish? Because that affects how you set the campaign up and spend your budget.
Secondly, learn how to use your data. Often clients are grappling with using their data in Google Analytics. If you can take the time to understand this data, then you can work out what is affecting your bottom line. You can usually find ‘quick wins’ straight away. Just by going into Google Search Console, you can discover if people have been searching on a particular phrase, or keyword, which has bought traffic to your website. This can give you an opportunity to create content based on what people are actually looking for.
Think about people going through a funnel journey and get that valued content out to them. So you take them on the right journey, and they get the sales message at the right point – not too early – but when they’re ready to sign up or buy your product or your service.
For example – if you just launched a Twitter channel and immediately just start posting out links to the landing pages asking for money for products or services, you’re not always going to get great results! People do their own research. They need time to be to go through an authentic journey and be convinced that your product or service is the right one for them.
If you add the right content, user journey and sign up process, you could find a piece of gold in Search Console – which could well lead to a significant increase without you needing to look at a PPC or a paid social campaign.
On a practical level, if you want to brush up your own skills, I would say, first of all, make use of the free online courses and tutorials that Google will offer you. There is also Google Garage, that’s great, gives you a great overview.
What is the most satisfying part of your job?
Paul Lawrence: The simple answer to this is when you see the positive results coming in!
Going back to the KPIs, you can see that you’re hitting your website traffic KPI or generating conversions with a low cost per acquisition or a low cost per click, or basically that the website is working well and it’s resulting in a direct increase in revenue. It’s ultimately about hitting those goals!
Need some help with your digital Marketing?
If you want to improve the impact of your digital marketing, and would like a chat with Paul to see if he can help, you can contact him:
Latest posts by Sophie Fraser (see all)
- The Future of Retail Part 1: Retail Reinvented - July 4, 2019
- Day in the life of… Paul Lawrence - June 5, 2019
- Digital business education: do you or your team need some proven advice? - May 9, 2019