An Interview with Mel, Founder of Digitally Ahead Marketing
An Interview with Mel, Founder of Digitally Ahead Marketing
Digitally Ahead Marketing is a local Bournemouth based digital marketing company. They help all types of businesses find digital marketing solutions to help their business thrive and reach their audience. Here is an interview with Digitally Ahead Marketing’s founder, Melanie Gray.
So, Mel, tell me about Digitally Ahead Marketing
I decided to set-up Digitally Ahead Marketing as I felt there was a demand for digital marketing services at affordable prices. This is especially true for SME’s or Start-ups who understand the benefits digital marketing can offer their business but cannot afford Digital Marketing Agency prices.
How did you get into digital marketing? What did you study beforehand?
I graduated from Bournemouth University with a BA (Hons) in Public Relations more years than I care to remember ago! My first position after university was at the RNLI as a PR Assistant. Although I loved working in PR, I quickly realised that I wanted to work in marketing instead as it covered a much broader area.
After leaving the RNLI, I secured a marketing position at Liverpool Victoria where I stayed until having my first child. Whilst on maternity leave, I decided to set-up a business from scratch selling christening gifts, aptly named Christening Stuff! I tried traditional marketing techniques such as press adverts in relevant publications and PR, even securing some coverage in Woman Magazine. Unfortunately, none of this led to a surge in sales for my ecommerce store.
This is when I discovered the importance of Google Ads and SEO. I quickly learnt how to use Google Ads to promote my products and as they say the rest is history.
Basically, as soon as I started using Google Ads and latterly, SEO, to promote my products the business grew hugely year on year. Before I knew it, I was employing staff to help me. After running the business successfully for 10 years my kids were older, and I fancied another challenge. So, I secured employed positions at local technical companies helping them with their digital marketing.
I soon decided that I would like to be self-employed again as a Digital Marketing Consultant, helping businesses, especially SME’s and Start-up’s grow their business with digital marketing. That was when Digitally Ahead Marketing evolved.
Fast forward three and a half years and I’ve had the pleasure of working with small and medium businesses in many different industries from Travel and Printing to Magazines and an eco-friendly online store. What I really love is knowing that I’ve helped businesses grow by increasing sales and leads for them, I love getting great results for my clients, that is what drives me most.
Why did you start your business?
Because I absolutely love digital marketing and I know from experience what a difference it can make to generating more sales and leads for businesses if done correctly. I can quite happily be found nerding over some new tech to do with digital marketing. I wanted to offer a more personal service to clients than Marketing Agencies can. Also, I wanted a better work/life balance so I can spend more time with my family and doing the things I love.
Describe a case study which showcases how your talents have helped other businesses grow & thrive?
Green Bear UK started selling online in 2008 a range of organic, eco-friendly products b2b and b2c. Their most popular range of products are their eco-friendly, non-toxic cleaning products. Mike had worked with other Marketing Agencies in the past but had been disappointed with the lack of tangible results they achieved. Green Bear UK wanted to increase brand awareness and increase sales and revenue.
I set up social media accounts on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest, coming up with a schedule for them that was informative and engaging. I grew their Instagram by researching and connecting with the relevant businesses, then grew their LinkedIn by searching and connecting with the relevant businesses on there. Facebook was grown through joining the right Facebook public groups and sharing social media posts on these.
In terms of SEO, a full audit of the website was done, where issues were then fixed to improve its overall SEO ranking. We also conducted a keyword analysis to determine what keywords the website was optimised for, then improved or changed them. Metadata was also added to any pages that it was missing from. I added external links on website pages to high-ranking sites, such as Wikipedia and increased the number of external links.
Blog posts were created to optimise identified keywords, so that higher traffic would go to the website. I conducted a full audit of the existing Google Ads account, then fixed existing broken links to website in Ads. Ad titles were then changed or amended.
I had to unlink Google Ads from an old Google Analytics account, then create a new one so that transactions could be measured from the exact source. I created conversion goals, re-marketing audiences and new Ads. Plus, I added new extensions and set-up transaction conversion goals so ROI could be measured. I then changed the bid strategy in order to maximise conversions and updated bid adjustments.
All this resulted in Green Bear UK gaining more traction across their social media platforms and website. Their organic monthly traffic was up 267% in 12 months, with the organic keywords optimised rising from 2,165 to 5,850 after 12 months. The results saw a positive improvement across all areas, including social media. Their Facebook followers went up by 26% over 18 months, with their reach of post increasing to 84% and engagement increasing up to 296%.
What’s your favourite part of the business?
The doing, i.e., the setting up of Facebook or Google Ads campaigns or being creative with social media posts and videos.
What sets you aside from your competitors?
I have a maximum number of clients who I will work for at one time, so clients know they are receiving a one-to-one premium service at an affordable price.
Where do you see your business going in the future?
To be honest, I’ve got no plans to be rich and successful. I’m just happy helping a select few businesses grow their businesses with digital marketing.
Tell us some fun facts about yourself?
- I was once sat on a hopper plane with Harry Potter star, Robbie Coltrane.
- I moved down south with my parents when I was 12 from the Midlands and have lived here ever since.
- I once won a school prize for achieving the best results in a year.
- I absolutely adore dogs and have just got a gorgeous chocolate and white cocker spaniel puppy.
If you are interested in Mel’s services, her Social Media packages start from £175 per month, Google & Facebook Ads packages start from £210 per month and her SEO packages start from just £180 per month. Get in touch with Digitally Ahead Marketing today.