Q&A with Caleb Clark of OnlinePresentz
As part of my mission to educate clients on best practices and various marketing opportunities, I sat down with Caleb Clark and his team earlier this year to learn the differences between google ads/words, search engines, and social media - basically how anyone finds a business online…and then I left my notes in a file never to be read again :(
So, Caleb was an obvious choice to corner for one of my Q&A sessions, ensuring this information is available for everyone.
Q&A with Caleb Clark, Principle and Co-Founder of OnlinePresentz
What does OnlinePresentz do?
Before describing what we do, I’m a big Simon Sinek Fanboy so let’s start with the Why..
Why we get out of bed: To enrich the lives of our team and our clients by creating within them an intense pride of accomplishment and a vehicle for personal and professional greatness.
How we do it: We relentlessly pursue deep understanding of our client’s business objectives, challenges and market opportunities. From there, we architect digital customer journeys that generate attention and then lead to measured conversion(s) and brand advocacy.
What we do: Web analytics, digital UX optimization, content creation, social media marketing, digital advertising and SEO
How did you get into Digital Marketing?
Back when I was enrolled in the MBA program at Simon Fraser University, Jim Pattison presented our cohort with an opportunity in which the class was challenged to pitch a social media campaign for one of their new Toyota models entering the Canadian market (Scion). My current business partner and I entered the contest, won it and then realized very quickly that social media not rooted in an integrated marketing strategy would never work long term. We also learned Scions are awful vehicles with terrible market positioning and penetration.
We started off as a social media company exclusively but because social media is just one distribution channel of many, we wanted to add more impact. So, we expanded our service offering to include more digital disciplines.
What is the meaning behind the name OnlinePresentz?
It was supposed to be OnlinePresence but that was taken – so I got rid of the space and added a ‘Z’ to be super hip and cool, hey it was a long time ago! At the time, the name didn’t matter as we were getting all of our work from referrals. But what we unknowingly did was create a problem for scalability. People were calling our business “Caleb” because it was all coming from personal referrals but now the team has grown, each member brings a unique skill set and deals directly with the client playing their own equally important role. In the future, we want people to find out about us through the great job we did, know us as a team and because we are leaders in our field. We’re actually just about to initiate a rebrand, with you leading the way Shannon!
What services do you provide?
Digital marketing strategy
Content (written, photo, graphics, animations, video)
Social media marketing (organic and paid)
Programmatic digital advertising (google ads)
What is your process?
Whether a brand-new lead or a new project/campaign for an existing client, the first step is to resist the urge to jump into ideas and tactics. Instead, we ask questions, shut up and listen.
What are the objectives and related challenges to achieving them?
Why do you want to pursue this?
What have you done before? Did it work or not and why?
Who’s on the team, what are their skills?
What resources do we have on hand, what needs to be developed?
We synthesize the findings and identify business value and how it will be achieved
Align with client on service scope and investment required
Get Started: Immersive strategy session between OnlinePresentz and client
If you want to know the rest of the process, hire them or buy Caleb coffee! (he likes Pike Place Roast - black) LOL .
What qualities do you value most in your clients/vendors/partners?
A strong understanding of and adherence to some form of Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle. If you’re a client, an established brand guideline pack is great too! Prescribed reading for any entrepreneur – Simon Senik.
Where should a new business start online? How do businesses get seen online?
Ensure you have online real estate that you own because social channels are simply rented space (i.e blog, website, landing page).
On the channels you own, before you try to promote them make sure they are set up to be understood and the actions you want users to take are clear. Work back from your desired actions on your site and find all of the entrance points to these actions. Ask yourself, if I didn’t know this was here, would I be able to find it?
Make the Google Gods happy (SEO, Google My Business, etc.)
Put yourself in target audiences’ shoes and trace their steps back to your conversion goals. If you find any clunky hiccups, fix them!
Build and distribute great content (quality over quantity)
Amplify your best content
Commit to human response and proactive engagement
What are the key areas a company needs to have an online profile? i.e. Website, Social Media, Google My Business, Trip Advisor?
Really depends on the client/industry but more or less the following…
Google (Business listing and other foundational SEO efforts)
Social media channels relevant to your target market
What’s the key for effective social media marketing:
Let Data guide the way
○ Right channels (basically wherever your target audience is hanging out)
○ What content resonates best
Curiosity for testing and optimizing
Human correspondence with customers
Give, give, give then provide options for purchase aka “prime the pump”
What’s the difference between Google and SEO? On page and off page SEO?
Google is THE search engine.
But what’s SEO? First let me provide this key context… Google’s primary goal is to provide a seamless, unbelievable user experience so that they can maintain a monopoly on the search engine game. The only way to do that is to consistently deliver speed of light, non-negotiable relevant results for whatever is typed into the search bar.
How do they achieve that? By rewarding online destinations (i.e. websites, social channels etc.) with higher page ranks earned by their relative relevance for each specific user query at any moment of time.
Think of SEO as the ongoing effort to court Google and convince them that you are the authority on “X” topic.
SEO is typically broken down into two categories; “On-Site SEO” and “Off-Site SEO” or “Link Building.”
On-site is the technical construction of your site (tags, meta info, image titles, keyword placement/density etc.) where off-site SEO is an ongoing effort to earn signals from external, authoritative sources.
Here’s a scenario…
Google says: “Hey, check this out… 10 influential Canadian camping/travel bloggers keep sending traffic to www.wheelestate.ca (shameless Online Presentz client plug). We know these bloggers, they have a ton of subscribers and lots of direct traffic and comments, they must know what they’re talking about on this topic. Let’s give this “Wheel Estate” website some preferential ranking so that travel enthusiasts can find what they’re looking for faster next time.” Boom!
Off-site SEO largely consists of the brokering of deals for relevant online sources to send links back to your website… There is so much more to this so get in touch with Caleb if you want to learn more.
What do tags do? And why do blog posts need them?
If you are writing a lot of blogs, tags simply categorize your content. Tags on social do the same thing – it’s content related to your search. All comes back to the user experience. Categorization of content so that the user experience is better - people can find what they are looking for. There are more than 200 signals that Google looks for. Tags, don’t matter as much.
What are the newest trends that clients should be aware of?
Using artificial intelligence (AI) for customer service. So, chat bots to help answer questions and streamline the sales process.
Live video is key and few people are utilizing it right, there is huge opportunity in this realm.
Personalization or personalized content has become important. Getting away from one-size fits all approach with smart retargeting to create a more personalized digital experience.
What is the future of influencer advertising?
Micro over macro. Micro is getting people with a smaller following but is more targeted. Micro is smaller and more trusted, as it is more likely we know these influencers personally. Macro is similar to large advertising campaigns as they have more reach but can be less relevant to their target market.
Future of digital advertising?
Continued exploration of ways to make it more personalized and cater to a memorable user journey. I’d say super strategic and creative retargeting techniques that don’t come across as “creepy” but instead, very relevant and timely.
How do you define content and how can clients create their own? Or should they?
Content is written, photo, graphic, video or animations. It’s the fuel required for your digital marketing engine. You can also think of content assets as fishing lures placed out there in the open waters, ready for target customers to take a bite.
Content needs to engage, educate, inform or inspire first… Then sell.
This stuff becomes your bank of assets to distribute. People engage with and digest information differently - so the goal is to put your own biases aside and test what resonates best, then test again, and again.
I believe you should work with your agency or digital marketing provider to understand what content you can build internally for free vs. what requires their perspective and execution support.
I could talk about digital content for hours, message me if you want to dive deeper!
What industries do you like to work with? Why?
Meh, we’re industry agnostic. We’re into working with anyone who starts with Why, has a defined brand identity and products and services that don’t suck. Also looking for clients that dig our core values:
Clarity through action
Pride of work
Attention to detail
Love and empathy
How do you measure your success?
By defining how we are going to keep score right from the beginning. Everything in our reporting should tie back to the original objectives and set KPIs. This includes direct and implied conversions.
Most memorable campaign you’ve worked on?
Getting Jimmy Kimmel to drink a Caesar on Canada Day and having him to admit it was better than a Bloody Mary.
What is the best part of running your own business?
Opportunity to create something from nothing every day.
What is your biggest challenge of being a business owner?
Self-doubt. The only thing in your way is you.
Want to learn more? Visit onlinepresentz.com