Joining the digital marketing conversation
By Megan Davies - Digital Marketing Executive.
In the four months I've been with Orantec, I can say one thing with absolute certainty: when it comes to digital marketing, I've barely scratched the surface of everything that the sector has to offer. Digital marketing really is a vast and varied field, and being a part of the Orantec team means I get to experience many of its different aspects, almost on a daily basis, but mostly it just constantly surprises me. Just when I think I've gotten to grips with one area, a new one is introduced, we start posting on a new social media platform or Google rolls out a new algorithm and we have to make sure what we’re doing is still as relevant and efficient as it was before, or adapt our practices accordingly. I’ll be honest, sometimes I sit in the weekly team meetings in awe of the technical jargon going on around me but it truly is an incredible experience to work alongside such dedicated and knowledgeable people, if not a little intimidating at times!
The work of a digital marketer is never done
One thing I’ve learned is that no strategy can ever be implemented and forgotten about, and you have to keep working and re-evaluating the data you have to make it work for you (and your client). The Internet has steadfastly been established as an invaluable marketing tool, and the beauty of this medium (from a consumer point of view) is that it is immediate. In digital marketing, this translates to everything happening now, and if you miss that, you miss out – on opportunities, on potential customers, on increased engagement, on everything. You have to join conversations, start conversations, share conversations and generally talk to your customers in any and every way you can think of.
This is both the joy and the challenge of working in a digital marketing agency; you’re interacting with a wealth of clients, businesses and consumers, but trying to balance your time between upwards of ten clients in technical fields that you have no expert knowledge of is like trying to speak another language. Of course, when it comes to marketing (digital or otherwise), language is one of the most important things to consider, so you do what any good polylinguist would do and adapt your speech to fit your environment.
What’s in a word?
If you’ve read some of our previous Orantec blogs, my story will probably sound familiar to you. I joined the company as part of a Go Wales placement and was asked to stay on at the end, much like others before me, but I suppose the main factor that really sets me apart from my colleagues is that I come from a literary background. What this boils down to is that I like language; I like how it works, I like how it can be interpreted, and I like that it can be adapted to suit any purpose. I spent three years of my life immersed in books, textbooks, articles, poems and plays all created over the last millennium (I’m not even exaggerating – learning how to read Old and Middle English was an interesting venture!); I've read them, analysed them and basically questioned the use of every word in them when necessary in order to extract its meaning – why is it there? What is it doing? What effect does this achieve? This is exactly how I approach digital marketing.
Everything you write has a meaning and a purpose, whether it’s a Facebook update, a blog post or the content of a landing page, and everything is open to interpretation the second you hit send. As digital marketers, we are in charge of controlling that message – we are the ones that have to craft an update to do what we want it to do, and our words are the tools we use to do that.
Of course, I don’t get to live inside my language bubble for too long each day – I enjoy the writing and I’m even beginning to appreciate the joy of a nice proof-reading exercise every now and again, but as an agency, our services cover a variety of interrelated areas and allow me to go far beyond my comfort zone. The day after I graduated, I found myself sat at a desk and implementing ideas that were alien to me, namely SEO and HTML. It took a little time, and I’m still muddling my way through it, but ultimately I’m understanding that this too is a bit like learning another language. You have to learn to talk to Google, to tell your websites what you want them to do and how you want them to look, but most importantly, you need to be able to talk a language that your websites will understand, without forgetting that you also need to create a seamless experience for the website user as well as valuable content that represents both your client's brand and its target audience. Conversations are rarely a one-way street – unless you’re me and decide that attempting to speak to your boss in her native language would be a good idea.
Compared to four months ago, the knowledge I’ve learned in a relatively short period of time is astounding (and I frequently tell myself how lucky I am to have been hired despite being the person who turned up 40 minutes early to the interview) but, like I said, I’ve barely scratched the surface. There are still several areas of the business that I’ve yet to explore in great detail and some that remain a bit of a mystery to me but that is definitely a discussion for another day!