Be proactive and eager to create new things. There’s always room for more in marketing. The learning curve is not the same for all of us so keep exploring new ways of doing things. If you are an SEO professional, why not create a new tool that disrupts the market? For PPC, is there a better way to reach your audience?
Marketing a product or service today is easier than ever before in history. Using platforms like Facebook ads or Google ads, a company can market their product directly to people who perfectly fit the ideal client demographic, at a very low cost. Digital Marketing tools, Pay per Click ads, and email marketing can help a company dramatically increase sales. At the same time, many companies that just start exploring with digital marketing tools often see disappointing results.
In this interview series called “How to Effectively Leverage The Power of Digital Marketing, PPC, & Email to Dramatically Increase Sales”, we are talking to marketers, advertisers, brand consultants, & digital marketing gurus who can share practical ideas from their experience about how to effectively leverage the power of digital marketing, PPC, & email.
As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Pablo López.
Pablo is the Head of Search and Founder at topflight Agency, an SEO-specialised agency based in the North of England. He’s been working in digital marketing since 2014 and now leads the Organic Search team at topflight for the British and Spanish markets.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
I always considered myself a creative person so, when I was deciding what path to take in my career, marketing was my first choice. In 2016, and after a couple of years working for agencies in Spain, I decided to start a new challenge and moved to the UK, pursuing better opportunities. It was a really tough decision at that time, but proved extremely successful.
Since then, I had the chance to work for excellent companies surrounded by skilled professionals that helped me grow as a digital marketer.
In 2018 I joined forces with two other marketers to create topflight, a specialised SEO agency designed to help SMEs to reach their full potential within the online scope.
Can you share a story about the funniest marketing mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?
I have plenty to choose from! Probably the time when I was designing a customer persona for a PPC campaign assuming that every audience is different, which is a huge mistake considering the big cultural gap there is from country to country. I had to redo the entire report but definitely learned to pay more attention to small details that can ruin a whole working day if they’re approached in the wrong way.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
Besides family, which I guess is the easy answer, I was really fortunate to work with excellent managers along my professional journey. Sarah-Louise Brown was my former digital marketing manager at VetPartners. She is one of those managers that really cares for their team, helping them to grow and learn, personally and professionally.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
All the founders that created topflight came from agency background, so we all knew how cold and impersonal some agencies can be, when dealing with clients. Our goal was — and still is — to provide highly specialised digital marketing services to businesses that need to stand out from the crowd. We also want to generate personal relationships with our clients, so they don’t feel disconnected from their own project, which is something that usually happens with big agencies.
You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?
I love what I do, that’s the most important trait you should have in order to succeed. You also need to be patient, especially if you’re starting a new business from scratch. Good things don’t happen overnight, so there’s some level of resilience you have to have as an entrepreneur.
I’d also add loyalty. To your team, to your clients and to yourself. That will keep you surrounded by great people.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
We are! We’re building a couple of awesome websites that will establish the foundation of great success for their respective clients. Web design is probably our most challenging service, as it involves creating a brand-new platform based on very specific needs. The best part is when we deploy the website and show it to the client, which puts the icing on the cake after months of hard work.
Ok super. Now let’s jump to the main questions of our interview. As we mentioned in the beginning, sometimes companies that just start exploring with digital marketing tools like PPC campaigns often see disappointing results. In your opinion, what are a few of the biggest mistakes companies make when they first start out with digital marketing? If you can, please share an example for each.
It seems obvious but understanding your ideal audience is one of the most critical factors of PPC success, yet one of the most undervalued. I’ve seen lots of campaigns fail just because they were not targeting the right audience. For almost every digital channel, evaluating and segmenting your ideal public will define the end result of the whole campaign.
One example in particular that pops into my mind relates to one of our former clients, who came to us as they were struggling to convert from their PPC campaign. One of the first things we did was auditing their campaign status, trying to find the issue(s) that were preventing them from converting. Once the audit was completed, we realised that they were not using segmented audiences. To put that into context, not using segmented audiences in SEM would be like trying to sell winter coats in the desert. You can invest in a fortune but no one will buy from you, as there’s no interest in your product.
We redesigned the entire campaign and targeted the ads so they were showing to the right people. The Conversion Rates increased by more than 300%.
If you could break down a very successful digital marketing campaign into a “blueprint”, what would that blueprint look like? Please share some stories or examples of your ideas.
[Just did in my last response]
Let’s talk about Pay Per Click Marketing (PPC) for a bit. In your opinion which PPC platform produces the best results to increase sales?
That would depend on the business and objective.For branding purposes — which usually generates returning sales — we’ve seen a huge success using Instagram, Youtube (Google Video Ads) and Tik Tok.
If you’re looking to generate pure sales, Search and Shopping are the best options depending on the type of business (i.e. e-commerce, corporate, SaaS, etc.).
Can you please share 3 things that you need to know to run a highly successful PPC campaign?
Going back to my previous point, you need to know your audience and your competitors. Setting the right budget from the very beginning will be also critical to avoid wasting resources.
Let’s now talk about email marketing for a bit. In your opinion, what are the 3 things that you need to know to run a highly successful email marketing campaign that increases sales?
Building a targeted email list must be one of the key priorities, so you can convert your website visitors into subscribers. As it happens for PPC, setting the right budget is also very important to establish what you want to achieve.
Designing responsive and user-friendly emails will also improve your conversion rates so make sure you treat your email templates as if they were a website.
What are the other digital marketing tools that you are passionate about? If you can, can you share with our readers what they are and how to best leverage them?
One tool that every digital marketing agency or professional must use is Screaming Frog. We use it all the time in our team and for so many different tasks. As an SEO-specialised agency we need to run technical website audits and identify issues that could impact the visibility and ranking. Screaming Frog provides tons of valuable data that make our jobs so much easier. It also has a very reasonable price compared with other SEO tools in the market.
Hotjar is another excellent tool to analyse user patterns and improve the UX (User Experience) of your website. This tool uses heatmaps and conversion funnels to identify key areas to improve by analysing the behavior of your web visitors once they land on your website. At topflight, we’ve been using Hotjar for years now and it has helped us to increase conversion rates and elevate the number of sales for our clients exponentially.
Here is the main question of our series. Can you please tell us the 5 things you need to create a highly successful career as a digital marketer? Can you please share a story or example for each?
1- You need to enjoy it. The digital world can be overwhelming and, in most cases, requires a certain level of creativity and technical skill. This could represent a problem if you feel frustrated with your job. The good thing is that you have a broad range of areas to work in, all within digital marketing. So, choose wisely and have fun.
2- Surround yourself with talented people. There’s always something new to learn in digital marketing, and that’s the beauty of it. If you have the opportunity of working with skilled professionals, learn from them.
3- Stay on top of the news. This is especially important if you work in SEO. There’s always changes that will challenge your work. Make sure you stay in the loop!
4- Be proactive and eager to create new things. There’s always room for more in marketing. The learning curve is not the same for all of us so keep exploring new ways of doing things. If you are an SEO professional, why not create a new tool that disrupts the market? For PPC, is there a better way to reach your audience?
5- You need to be prepared to say NO. If you work with clients, sooner or later you’ll find yourself in front of clients that are not a fit to your business. I appreciate that saying no can be difficult sometimes, but it will save you time and mental health.
What books, podcasts, videos or other resources do you use to sharpen your marketing skills?
I’ve read a lot of books and articles in my career but one of the most interesting reads I had recently is “Brainfluence” by Roger Dooley. It’s an awesome book that explains how the mind works when selecting products or services and how you can adapt your approach to increase your sales.
Thank you for all of that. We are nearly done. Here is our final ‘meaty’ question. You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I’m a bit into “saving the planet”, so I would try to initiate a movement to reduce the use of plastic worldwide. Some countries are already imposing restrictions on that matter but there’s still a lot of work to do. We tend to think that, as we’re not seeing the problem it’s not there, but I used to spend some time off in the SouthEast of Asia and I’ve seen beaches completely covered by plastic… It’s a hard thing to fix but I’d be thrilled to collaborate in a project like that.
How can our readers further follow your work?
You can contact us through our website (topflight) or drop us an email at [email protected]. We’re offering a free 30-minute digital marketing consultation for SEMs that want to know how they can improve their online visibility so… get in touch!
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this!