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Interview with Fernando Angulo, SEMrush, Corporate Speaker and Evangelist

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5 (100%) 2 votes

Pradeep Chopra – CEO at Digital Vidya

Over the last few years, smart Marketers have started paying more attention to building relationships than Marketing in the face of their prospects. Ads are seen pretty negatively by a large population nowadays. A common man in any major city of the world comes across 3000+ brand messages a day, you can well imagine the impact that this form of intruding messaging would make. What really has been of interest among buyers is learning about products and services from fellow humans. In such a scenario, storytelling and influencer marketing have really taken a leap. They provide two major benefits, firstly, they humanise marketing, and secondly, they are interesting.

I had a chance to interact with Fernando Angulo from SEMrush – one of our privileged partners. Fernando is one of the early adopters of Influencer Marketing. In this interview, he shares his views as he goes on to educate us about his daily responsibilities & learnings. He has also shared the challenges he has faced and predicts the path ahead. 

Fernando Angulo is a corporate speaker and brand evangelist for SEMrush. He is based in Prague. Fernando specializes in Search Engine Optimization, E-commerce Content Optimization and Influencer Marketing. He was previously running different projects of his own related to tourism, dating and eLearning with good results, but when he started using tools like SEMrush five years ago, he saw incredible improvements in terms of traffic! Fernando fell in love with SEMrush so he joined the team. He founded the first influencer marketing team at SEMrush with a list of more than 500 influencers from all over the world.

Fernando has helped different companies with their SEO strategies, brand management and content optimization with amazing results that he shows in workshops and at numerous industry conferences representing SEMrush like, SaScon UK, Search Camp UK, SMX Paris, Prestashop Day Spain, PPC Masters Germany, and Baltic E-commerce Poland – plus he’s an official influencer marketing trainer at the prestigious Brighton SEO.

He also introduced early adopters and influencer marketing as the key element of SEMrush‘s global marketing strategy in 2013, and built from scratch and maintained a network of strategic partnerships on key markets, from concept to execution. Let’s get started and learn about Fernando from the man himself.

How did you get into Digital Marketing? What interested you in learning Digital Marketing?

Fernando Angulo: Approximately 10 years ago, I worked as a travel agent for an American company that took the whole process of sales of tours with digitized systems. Most travel agencies at that time, took a lot to create a roadmap to make the entire sales process faster, and travel agents were responsible for finding customers, promoting tours, making offers to customers ,creating the programs, negotiating prices with local services and many other tasks that made it very difficult to close a sale without working 12 to 14 hours a day. Without the help of a relationship management system, agencies that continue to work this way are lost. We, however, dedicated ourselves to selling tours exclusively, and with the help of detailed online information about clients, we could create personalized offers for each visitor to our website. The implementation of technology, automation and customization in classic business models, were essential to bring a new company of about 10 people to be leaders in an established industry. That was my start.

Why do you think it’s important for entrepreneurs, marketing professionals and students to learn Digital Marketing today?

Fernando Angulo:

For Entrepreneurs: It is very important to learn how large organizations work, to try different types of workflows and adapt the best one to your own project, and of course, in online marketing it is very important to learn to delegate tasks to others. It’s the key to growth, and the most important goal of any entrepreneur is to grow.

For Professionals: One should not be afraid to learn, practice and try different online marketing processes, to try to understand the fundamentals and not be afraid to fail. The problem for many professionals is specialization, knowing only how one single process works makes you lose the global vision, and once you know how the online marketing gears work, you can create global tactics and strategies.

For Students: As a student I must admit, I did not learn anything useful in university about digital marketing. Well, actually I did not learn anything in fact. What I would have liked to learn is the fundamentals of Inbound Marketing, Digital Analytics and how to use online competitor analysis tools like SEMrush.

How do you stay updated on the latest trends in digital marketing? Which digital marketing resources (i.e., blogs, websites, apps) do you visit regularly?

Fernando Angulo: Keeping updated is now easier than ever. It is so simple to connect the online resources that you like Feedly more than is an aggregator of feeds, and it allows you to organize the information you want to receive from sites you want to learn more about. I learn a lot from websites like Entrepeneur.com, The Drum, the Hubspot blog, the SEMrush blog, Search Engine Journal, and other similar ones. My list is very long.

Share the names of 3 people you respect when it comes to digital marketing.

Fernando Angulo: Without a doubt, Avinash Kaushik, Scott Sttraten and Aleyda Solis. They are excellent professionals and speakers.

Undoubtedly, Avinash Kaushik always inspires me to learn more and teach more. Scott Sttraten has shown me that marketing is more experiential, and that it has nothing to do with logos, colors or slogans, Aleyda Solis inspires me with the results of his experiments with a lot of energy and passion.

You’ve been a speaker at some eminent conferences. How would you define the experience of being a speaker at a world-renowned conference?

Fernando Angulo: Speaking from a stage is an act of much responsibility and even more so when the stage is prestigious, but any scenario has its own prestige, because the public always has a hunger for knowledge and is the same anywhere in the world.

What are your top three key performance metrics in Google AdWords?

Fernando Angulo:

Cost Per Conversion

Because Adwords is all about getting new customers or registrations, you need to know the value of this metric in order to understand what size budget you need to get more users.

Conversion Rate

Knowing and understanding the conversion rates of your campaigns reduces your cost per conversion, which enables you to bid higher and reach a wider audience. It’s just commen sense.

 Cost Per Click

Tracking this metric daily gives you deeper insights into your campaign’s performance.

Digital Marketing Course by Digital Vidya

Free Digital Marketing Webinar

Date: 24th Oct, 2018 (Wed)
Time: 3 PM to 4:30 PM (IST/GMT +5:30)

Team, Skills and Tools

Share about your three favorite digital marketing case studies. What did you like most about them?

Fernando Angulo:

This was a real example of how a B2B company like SEMrush could create  conversations a large community of professionals around the globe.

This is an amazing example of how offline relationships are way more important than online branding.

Online Marketing is not only about brands and products, it’s about large-scale public opinion as well, and this video from a well-known marketing agency is an excellent example of sharing what’s happening in our society to create a social discussion.

Between agency and in-house, which approach would you recommend for maximizing the value of digital marketing? Why?

Fernando Angulo: The difference here depends on the company’s actual situation and its goals. I definitely recommend both, but just keeping in mind that usually the most focused group of people are those who have experience in different areas, as an agency you can work for so many different industries at the same time.

How do you ensure increasing Digital Marketing’s relevance and influence in the organization?

Fernando Angulo: The natural growth of relevancy in the reorganization is provided by the employees. So the secret to having real brand ambassadors begins with the hiring. Hire passionate people and you will have all the influence you need.

Besides SEMrush, what are your other favorite digital marketing tools?

Fernando Angulo: It’s really surprising how when you are using different tools for digital marketing,there are more than one that allows you to create, track and measure relationships, I’m more for that type of tools. On my list are: Twitonomy, Nimble and Hotjar.

Digital Marketing Course by Digital Vidya

Free Digital Marketing Webinar

Date: 24th Oct, 2018 (Wed)
Time: 3 PM to 4:30 PM (IST/GMT +5:30)

What are the top three to five skills you look for when hiring a candidate for digital marketing profile?

Fernando Angulo: The five most important things for me are curiosity, a digital presence on social media, passion for a sport, understanding of analytics and good communications skills.

How can we integrate SEO with marketing factors like social media marketing, email marketing, content marketing, etc.?

Fernando Angulo: SEO is about making your website more visible to your relevant audience. Once you’ve defined that audience, you should personalize the content you create for them, matching their needs with the products or services you are offering.

Is there anything a website can do to keep the cost of clicks down?

Fernando Angulo: Yes, there is always a way, and the best one is to increase the CTR of your campaigns, test and change the texts of your ads.

What are some of the most common mistakes you see sites making when it comes to their AdWords campaigns?

Fernando Angulo: They are a lot of them, but, for example, one of the most critical is not using negative words. That’s a big mistake

When we select negative keywords, we cannot forget to use search terms that are similar to our keywords.

For example, if you have an optometrist shop that sells glasses, it would be advisable to also add negative keywords for searches, such as “diving glasses.”

Are there any lesser-known factors that contribute to a low quality score? Any tips other than the obvious “be more relevant” cliché for increasing quality scores?

Fernando Angulo: Use dynamic tables to identify keywords that are less relevant and remove them from your company’s website, create ads that are consistent with your ads and always segment those campaigns by keyword or by intention.

Advice to Aspiring Digital Marketers

What is your advice for newbies who are looking to build a career in the digital marketing industry?

Fernando Angulo: For newcomers in this world of digital marketing, I recommend starting with inbound marketing courses by going directly to Hubspot Academy, which is the best place to get a certification,and it’s also free. Then I would take the Google Analytics and Adwords online courses to get certified. They are also free. If you need a tool that covers marketing processes, the SEMrush Academy courses are also free, and of course for professional development, there are the Digital Vidya courses in which real experts teach you. That’s mentoring and it’s priceless.

What is your big PPC secret? Can you offer any AdWords advice for marketers who didn’t score so well on the Grader?

Fernando Angulo: My big secret is my experience. I always take screenshots of ads that attract my attention and keep them in different folders on my computer: ones that are really great and ones that are a real failure. Why do I save these ads? It’s simple: because most of the companies are delivering just good ads, and all of them are just good, but there are only a few great ads, and I keep them to remind myself that I want to be great, not just good enough.

How do you see digital media evolving in the future? What are the top three trends that you foresee for 2018?

Fernando Angulo: The future of digital media is personalization. Right now, for me is chaotic, but with the implementation of new technologies, such as machine learning and AI, this will be improved in the next couple of years.Trends for 2018 are well known, I can add nothing new here because we are all waiting for the Mobile First algorithm, the ultimate voice search device for personal use, and the implementation of AI in search engines for a better user experience. What’s coming next will amazing!

Would you like to share a few words about the work we are doing at Digital Vidya?

Fernando Angulo: 

As an international training organization, the work of Digital Vidya is vital for the online development of any kind of organization that is willing to get great results in the digital marketing world.

As a marketer, the concept of a community means a lot, and if you start or improve your marketing qualification in companies like these, you will automatically become part of the largest online marketing community in the world.

To know more about Fernando Angulo, you can check out his LinkedIn profile.

Are you inspired by the opportunity of Digital Marketing? Start your journey by attending our upcoming orientation session on Digital Marketing for Career & Business Growth. It’s online and Free :).

[CEO, Digital Vidya]
Among the pioneers of Digital Marketing, Pradeep has been part of the Internet Industry since 2000. He has been a serial entrepreneur for last 17 years and is currently a Co-founder & CEO of Digital Vidya, a leading Digital Marketing, and Big Data & Data Analytics training company.

A graduate of IIT Delhi and a recipient of Adobe Content100, Pradeep is one of the most sought-after international speakers in Digital Marketing and Entrepreneurship.

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