How Marketers Work: Brian Jackson on PPC, Content Marketing, and Testing New Tools

How Marketers Work: Brian Jackson on PPC, Content Marketing, and Testing New Tools

Welcome to the very first interview in my brand new series called “How Marketers Work.” The goal of this interview series is to showcase how marketers get inspired, stay productive, and generate results, and how you can do the same!

First up, we have Brian Jackson. Since discovering eBay in the 6th grade and making his first sale online, Brian knew he wanted to spend the rest of his life as an internet marketer.

Brian is now an SEO and PPC Specialist in the medical field by day and a blogger and affiliate marketer by night. Brian just launched his new project “Growth Miner” where he writes tutorials on SEO, Inbound Marketing, WordPress, and Social Media Strategies.

So, without delay, let’s get to the interview!

How would you explain specifically what you do as a marketer?

As a marketer I do a little bit of everything. For the last 2 years I have been working for a pain management company doing their in-house SEO and PPC as well as managing marketing for their clients. My job is to generate leads and new patients. Whether this is from AdWords, Bing Ads, Facebook Ads, Retargeting, or organic leads from SEO. My primary goal and focus is to increase the number of web referrals we receive while also decreasing our cost per acquisition costs. Within the first 6 months I helped increase the company’s total web referrals by 346% and decreased the CPA by 334%.

Which new skills are most important for marketers to learn in the next six months?

I think marketers should be focusing heavily on their content marketing strategy. The SEO game is always changing and the companies that have a strong content strategy are going to be the ones that come out on top. No matter what niche you are in, the more content you have the more long-tail keywords you are going to rank for. Plain and simple. Also the content strategy goes hand in hand with social media promotion. You must have an outlined plan for getting your content to your audience.

What do you find most rewarding about marketing?

I love marketing and always have. Taking something from nothing and building it into an empire is always a challenge, but very rewarding. I also love that marketing is never stale. You have to stay on top of changes with PPC, SEO, Social, etc. Those who don’t invest time in learning and reading are those who will fail.

How do you stay updated with the latest marketing industry news?

I have a whole system in place for keeping up with the latest marketing news. I have spent months building out my feedly profile and collections. I do a lot of reading and feedly allows me to organize everything by topic and read only those who I have deemed as the best of the best in their fields. Feel free to subscribe to my feedly collections!

As a marketer, what is your favorite productivity hack?

My favorite productivity hack is using IFTTT. I love playing with new recipes and saving myself time. I’m not a big fan of automating social media, but sometimes it pays off. For example, for one of my clients I have grown their companies’ LinkedIn page from 0 followers to over 600 followers within 6 months, simply from automating their Facebook to post to their LinkedIn page. I have never touched the company page and it is now starting to generate actual leads. All it took was one simple recipe! Feel free to try it out. That is just one of many recipes I use.

Are there any particular marketing trends on the horizon that really excite you?

For almost every client I work with, mobile traffic has now surpassed 50%. I am very excited to see how far this goes over in the future. In another year or so, we could be looking at over 70% of traffic from mobile devices. This really changes how a marketer must think. From generating ads customized for mobile devices to making sure every web property is responsive.

What are some of the top tools and apps in your marketing stack?

I am always testing new tools and comparing them to my current stack. Here is a list of my current favorite ones:

CallRail – If you are tracking calls for your client (which you should be), CallRail is by far the best company in the market.

Web CEO – I use this tool every single day. It allows me to track keyword rankings at a local city level as well as monitor backlink profiles (it is powered by Ahrefs).

Buffer + Feedly – This is a combination everyone should be using. Find the content you love, and automate the sharing of it with your audience.

Glip – My team uses Glip on a daily basis to communicate with each other. A lot of our team works remotely and this allows us to keep the emails to a minimum while keep track of our tasks.

TenScores – This is a tool I just started using recently. It monitors your AdWords quality scores and tells you where you need to be improving. Things such as your ad group containing too many broad terms, or the ad group needs better performing ads due to low CTR. If you monitor a lot of campaigns and clients, this is a must have tool! You can instantly see where your campaigns are hurting and how you can fix it.

How is your typical work day structured?

My typical day:

Early Morning: I open up my PPC campaigns to monitor conversions from the previous days. If any of them are off budget or hurting I investigate to see what I need to spend more time on. This includes AdWords, Bing Ads, Facebook Ads, and Retargeting Ads. I build new ads, pause non-performers, add new keywords, setup new A/B tests, etc.

Late Morning: I then usually focus on local citations. I always have new clients needing local listings setup, Google+ Business pages, Bing listings, Dex, YellowPages, etc. Since I work a lot in the medical niche this also includes making sure Healthgrades and Vitals profiles are up to date.

Early Afternoon: Right after lunch I shift over to my keyword rankings to make sure every client and property is seeing organic growth. I will usually spot check the keywords that are just at the top of the 2nd page in SERPs with a high search volume. What this means is that they only need a little work to get them on the 1st page. I do some keyword research with Google Keyword Planner, auto suggest, and KWFinder. Then I usually go back to existing content and will reword it to include some additional long-tail keywords. After a few weeks that is usually all it takes to hit the 1st page. Note: For this strategy to work you need to make sure your content is already top notch. Again like I mentioned earlier, invest in good content.

Late Afternoon: I spend time doing the grunt work. This includes commenting on blogs in the same niche, fixing broken links and errors in Google Webmaster Tools, scheduling out things in Buffer, etc. And if I have any time left over I head back into AdWords.

Which one book would you recommend every marketer should read?

Books? What are books? Sorry, I don’t read books. I read blogs.

What advice would you share with other marketers who want to become more productive?

For a marketer who wants to be more productive I highly recommend finding the right tools. One tool can make all the difference in the world. Also scheduling and organization is key. Use a task management system and itemize things by importance and ROI. If something is not going to help increase your client’s ROI, then put it lower on your priority list.

Connect with Brian

You can find Brian on Twitter, FacebookGoogle+.

Also, be sure to check out (and subscribe to) his personal website and Growth Miner.

The How Marketers Work series asks marketers from around the world to share their greatest productivity tips, tricks, and tools. Do you know someone who should be interviewed, or do you have specific questions you’d like to see answered? Let’s chat.

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Want to steal our marketing process?

Discover exactly which steps we take with each new project, and how you can systematize your marketing efforts.