5 minutes with… Liberty Marketing

This is the third time that Liberty Marketing will take to the stage at OiConf. Cardiff – Tick. Bristol – Tick. And now onto our biggest show to date. Here we sit down with two of the team to hear a little about what they do and what we should expect from the latest in their hat-trick of OiConf outings.

Paul Hunter, Marketing Manager

Gareth Morgan, MD

This isn’t your first OiConf. What did you make of the last show?

We’ve really enjoyed the last two OiConf events that we’ve been involved in. There’s expertise and experience on display from such a breadth of industries and sectors, which is great to see for brands and agencies alike. The delegates are really engaged throughout the whole day and you can see that people are learning new things to take away and make their digital marketing more successful. We’ve also had lots of good conversations with people who watched our talks. We spend a lot of our time speaking and presenting at events in London, so it’s really positive to see this calibre of event in Wales and the South West.

For those who don’t know, who is Liberty Marketing?

We’re a 30-strong digital marketing agency based in Cardiff that specialises in SEO, PPC and Content Marketing.  We’re different to most agencies due to the way we partner with clients. This sees us working with brands in a training and consultancy approach, as well as delivering services. We mix bespoke training, in-depth consultancy, creative campaigns and properly-managed accounts to make ourselves a true digital marketing partner. This year we celebrated our 9th birthday and have been involved in some really exciting projects over the last couple of years. We have worked with Not On The High Street, Benefit Cosmetics, Pizza Express and Universal Music Group to help them make their digital marketing budgets go further. However, we’re equally proud of the work we do for challenger brands like Happy Beds and Pure Commercial Finance, as well as successful, ambitious local companies like Monmouthshire Building Society and Admiral.

What is SEO in three words?

Making yourself relevant.

Retargeting. How do you get it right?

The trick to retargeting and remarketing (Google’s name for it) is to breakdown your lists into as granular a fashion as possible. Think about all the actions that people can perform on your website and then put them into groups or lists. Also, think about the things they aren’t doing that you want them to and create lists for them. Lastly, think about what you’d want to say differently to each of those groups now that you know what they have or haven’t done. If someone has bought your most expensive product, you’d want to show them something different to someone who has bought your cheapest one. The first group you’d possibly invite into your VIP club, encourage them to invite a friend and also show them more expensive products. The other, you’d target with up-sell opportunities. Whereas, anyone who abandons your shopping cart should see different advertising altogether. When you think about it in this way, it can work really well. Google remarketing list visitors tend to convert at twice the rate of fresh-faced visitors who don’t already have some kind of relationship with your brand or experience of your site, so it’s definitely worth exploring.

Benefit Cosmetics. A big American brand. What did you do for them?

We’re lucky to have worked with Benefit Cosmetics for over 4 years and have helped them with a number of campaigns and projects. We could be here all day talking about the various projects, but there are two areas of work that we’re really proud of. We first started working with Benefit to improve their PPC performance. The previous agency wasn’t getting the desired results, so we took it over and overhauled the entire AdWords account to improve keyword targeting and tracking across all products. We then analysed sales data to target shoppers in a smarter way, based on things such as time of day, proximity to stores that were open and what device was being used.

In just the first year of working with Benefit, we managed to increase sales of beauty products by 33% and revenue by 24%, which gave them an above target return on investment, something which has continued to grow and now provides over 500% ROI. We were also asked to help increase the foot-fall into their brow bars and stores across the country. We saw this as a local SEO project, so we optimised and now manage over 450 store listings in the Google My Business map listings. Our improvements saw views to those listings increase by 462% and a marked increase of visitors was noticed by store managers. Our work with that project was nominated for a number of awards as it resulted in millions of extra people seeing the listings each quarter.

Tell us about an AdWords campaign that really took off.

We’ve had a lot of AdWords campaigns that have secured great results for our clients. Unfortunately, they often don’t let us talk about how we got them the results as they don’t want competitors knowing! But, a successful and memorable campaign for us was working alongside Not On The High Street for the extremely busy Black Friday period. We were brought in with only a few weeks’ notice before this period, so had to work extremely hard to understand what work had already been carried out by a previous agency and how we would go about restructuring, fixing and optimising the AdWords account and shopping feed to immediately improve performance. We worked tirelessly to get this done, which included having a team travel to London and work alongside the NOTHS team in their offices over the weekend. Between 6AM on Black Friday and midnight on Cyber Monday, there wasn’t an hour when a member of the Liberty team wasn’t trawling through Google AdWords, diligently searching for opportunities to enhance traffic and improve total transactional value. Our hard work paid off and over the weekend we managed to increase transactions by over 20% and revenue by over 35%.

Is content marketing now a larger part of what you do for your clients?

That’s an interesting question, because this is one of the (many) ways that the industry is changing. Content is obviously incredibly important in any marketing strategy and there’s a plethora of stats that will back that up. Because of this, we’re seeing a lot more internal content teams within companies. However, it’s also an area that brands still struggle to fully-maximise potential with. Common questions we’re asked are:

  • How do you get content to the right audience?
  • How do we measure/track the ROI of content?
  • How can content help our SEO?
  • What content is best for each channel?

So, with our partner approach to work, more and more of our content team and strategists are working closely with internal teams to help answer these questions and create content strategies, develop content ideas and help track and measure campaigns. But, having said all of that, the simple answer is yes – we’re creating more campaign-based content for our clients. We’re currently working on big data content campaigns for a few clients which we’re very excited to get launched and we’ll be shouting about as soon as we are allowed to!

How effective is paid social?

If used correctly, paid social can be a great tool. Due to the nature of information that people put on social networks, the targeting can be incredibly granular. Some targeting examples from Facebook are:

  • What trimester of pregnancy someone is in
  • By salary
  • Likely current vehicle age
  • Close friends of men who have a birthday within 0-7 days

I’m aware this sounds all a bit like Big Brother! We can’t actually look at specific people that match any of those parameters, but it will display ads to a group of people that they believe match those defined parameters.  Some of this is based off pure Facebook data (the birthday for example), whereas salary targeting is based off third party data. So, if you have a good understanding of your demographic, then you can show ads to an incredibly relevant audience. This minimises wasted spend and increases the likelihood of conversion which makes it a very effective tool. But, if used incorrectly, then it can be an easy place to waste money. Michelin were recently showing me ads for buying tyres for aircraft. Someone really got their targeting wrong and it took over a week for them to notice!

What should we expect from your keynote in March?

That’s a very good question. I have an existing talk but, based on the rate of change within Google advertising products right now, plus the European Commission meddling in Google’s business, I may have to completely re-write what I’m going to do! The main theme of my talk is audiences in paid advertising. I’ll talk through how to identify audiences and use this information to create some really-specific and very interesting targeting within PPC advertising accounts. The most powerful targeting tools marketers have ever had are available within Google AdWords accounts, for all of us to use, yet most marketers have never heard of them – I plan on changing that.

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