AM Marketing talks to Social Day about digital marketing

Amy McManus owner of Kent Marketing and PR Business of the Year 2015, AM Marketing talks to us about digital marketing: Amy thanks for talking with us, let's start with what got you into digital marketing? I used to work in marketing on the retail / promotions side and did a lot of new product launches for companies such as Holland and Barrett, Amazon and Harrods. Digital was really growing at this stage and I could see huge potential for the future. Digital has amazing targeting options and an incredible ability to measure return on investment. As a marketing professional, making my campaigns financially viable for my clients was key. When I first went solo as a marketing consultant, it was clear that digital marketing was a black art and I met a lot of clients that had been burnt by contracts they didn't understand. I trained and became Google to offer my clients an additional service, but it quickly became the largest part of the business. Today we are a Google Partner agency. :-)

What are the biggest challenges you face at the moment in trying to get value for your clients? As with traditional forms of marketing, it's the ability to get results with smaller budgets. I work with a lot of charities and small local businesses who often don't have any marketing budget. It's our job to make sure that whatever they spend on marketing, they make it back and then some. It is someone's hard-earned money or charity donations from supporters, so it is really important to us. We treat it as though it is coming out of our own pocket. We therefore have to make sure that the marketing activities we recommend are the right option. This is why I introduced our 3 month probation period for all of our clients. If they do not see results after 3 months, they can cancel the contract. No fees or bad blood. It's just to show our clients that we are as serious about helping their business as they are. It has to be financially viable for them and they have to be comfortable; that's what we're here for!

Which of the platforms do you prefer to work with? And why? As a Google Partner, we're specialists in Adwords,YouTube and Google Display Network platforms. My favourite platform is YouTube as you can get really creative with it. I get to use a lot of local freelancers and artists for videos, voice overs, music etc. and the finished result is always really fab to see. We also get great engagement with YouTube and can target advertising really precisely. In terms of the classic social media platforms, I love Instagram. I like the fact that everyone has the same size space to work with so you've got to get creative! Photography is a big hobby of mine, so I love looking at people's work, a lot of which is just on a mobile phone. Amazing what people can create on their phones nowadays.

What opportunities do you see in the emerging networks such as snapchat or the broadcast platforms such as periscope? More brands are coming round to these platforms and realising the power live content has for your marketing. Broadcast platforms such as Periscope and Meerkat etc. allow companies to finally show a side of themselves that pre-produced materials and signed-off content never could. I'm a big believer in the power of 'humanising' your brand and live content allows this to a level never seen before. It gives the customer a reason to engage there and then, 'be there or be square.' It's like having a VIP ticket to access all areas. The brand just has to make sure that it's worth the customers' effort! Snapchat is a great way to target younger individuals (around 50% of users are aged 18-24). Due to the time constraint, again it encourages people to 'be there or be square.' If you're not engaged, you may miss out on a deal, important information or the latest news. We're completely smothered by content and advertising every day, so live and time-restrictive content is going to make a huge impact.

What's the most impressive digital campaign you have seen? (does not need to be one you worked on) Aside for our own stuff... ;-) I like clever campaigns that aren't necessarily massive, but make me sit up and take note. Marmite ran a Christmas campaign on Facebook in November / December 2015 called Naughty or Nice. The idea behind it was to purchase personalised Marmite jars for your friends and family. If they were nice and loved Marmite, you personalised a 'Nice' jar for them. If they were naughty and hated Marmite, you bought the 'Naughty' jar. The advertising and purchase was exclusive to Facebook. It was a really great play on the classic 'Love It or hate It' campaign that we all know and love, but with seasonal focus for Christmas. I bought 5 jars...If you can market to a marketeer then you deserve the sale. :-D

If you were starting out all over again what advice would you give yourself? 1) You'll be fine; it's going to go well. 2) Don't worry so much. 3) Take a step back and remember to enjoy your achievements.

Any pet hates or practices you see which drive you mad? They all rest on the premises of fairness and honesty. 1) When people use confusing jargon as a sales technique. Scaring people into a contract is not on! 2) Promising results that cannot be achieved and a miss-management of expectations. 3) I also have a pet hate for long links left Facebook posts...messy! 4) Finally, when people ask for shares to enter a competition. It's against Facebook terms and conditions, but people do it anyway!

Amy is holding a YouTube marketing workshop at social day on the 23rd March in London.