Search engine optimisation, social media and content marketing is slowly becoming the most popular digital marketing tool for brands.
With a huge focus on these platforms, media agencies are looking to build and grow their digital teams rapidly and as effectively as possible. However, this sudden increase in employing SEO’s and content marketers has left the recruitment market constantly on the outlook for potential candidates. On the one hand, we have agencies naturally aspiring to employ the best in the market and on the other hand we have a huge gap in the market that has inevitably made recruiters job harder by the day.
As a result of this, I wanted to ask an experienced team leader from a leading media agency to give us and our candidates some insight into what it is that they are looking for, and what the future of SEO and content entails.
This led me to get in touch with one of our favourite clients, Mindshare, and I was lucky enough to speak to Bertie Miller, the Head of SEO and Content Marketing there, who helped to answer some key questions for our candidates.
1. Why should brands consider SEO in their marketing activities? It’s a big investment and results aren’t always guaranteed…
SEO and Content Marketing ties into everything a brand does both online and offline. All marketing and media activity relates back to a brand’s website, social channels or apps in some shape or form and our job is to make sure all that content gets as much visibility in search as possible. It is true SEO is not a quick fix and developing good content has its challenges but that creates an opportunity too and if it’s done well it can be hugely effective. It’s human nature to avoid risk so our job is to make sure clients understand the benefits as well and the risk of doing nothing in a fast changing internet world.
2. What do you anticipate will happen to SEOs in five years’ time?
SEO is always changing but there are constants which will still be here in 5 years’ time; search engines will still want to deliver the most useful content to users as quickly as possible. App and mobile search are the big things at the moment. I expect these to become the bread and butter of SEO in 5 years. Personalised content accessed across multiple devices will be competing with a much more developed world of paid content coming from programmatic and real time bidding meaning that the world of content is only going to become faster, more competitive, complex and sophisticated. Our challenge is to analyse all the search and online behavioural data around us, but more importantly make sense of it so we can cut through to the right users with the right content at the right time.
3. A graduate pursuing a career in SEO has asked you for advice. What would you tell them?
SEO offers a career for all sorts of skill sets whether it be analytical, creative, or project management focussed. It requires brainpower to understand complex situations out of which you need to provide simple but effective strategies. It’s challenging and constantly reinventing itself – in that sense it feels like you are at the forefront of digital media. Because it links into all media and marketing activities it hugely varied and interesting. It’s also fun and I have met many interesting and great people along the way.
4. Recent developments mean Google is now favouring quality content over anything else. How has this affected your team and what has/is Mindshare doing to respond to this change?
For many years Google’s best practise guidelines have been to create quality content so this is not a recent change. The change is that you cannot get away with providing poor quality content because users won’t engage with it and as a result Google will not position you well in the results. Everyone in our department understands content strategy and that we need to address consumer needs. This is something that would not have been the case three or four years ago.
5. If a candidate were to be joining your team from a client-side role, what are the key points they need to consider when joining a media agency?
Agency life is no doubt different from a client-side role. In an agency there is a greater variety of brands and you will need to juggle different clients at the same time. This makes work fast and pressured but also fun and varied and you can learn an enormous amount from the diversity of clever and skilled people around you.
6. What do you look for in a candidate and what challenges have you faced when hiring?
I look for candidates who will fit in well with the team as the team as a whole is stronger than the sum of all its’ parts. We all have different skillsets and our team is about helping each other and having fun at the same time. The biggest challenge is finding the person with that particular skillset that we need. New starters in our team come from many different working backgrounds but if they are committed, passionate about the internet, a good team player, can explain their thinking clearly and are not scared to speak up and try new things then they are sure to do well.
7. Last but not least: Mindshare is renowned for being a great place to work. How do you guys get it so right?
Mindshare puts a lot of time and effort into creating a positive, relaxed and creative working environment but which is professional at the same time. It’s all about collaboration and innovation from the top to bottom and we are actively supported in trying new things and reinventing the future of media, in our world that’s the future of SEO and Content Marketing.
I would like to say a massive thanks to Bertie for helping explain the SEO and Content space in further detail and for all the useful tips. If you are looking to get into, or develop your career within SEO, Content Marketing or Social Media please feel free to get in touch at Berivan@zulubravomedia.com for more information.