Vladimir Yordanov Of Presitely On How to Effectively Leverage The Power of Digital Marketing, PPC, & Email to Dramatically Increase Sales

An Interview With Fotis Georgiadis

Fotis Georgiadis
Authority Magazine

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You also need to have analytical thinking. As a digital marketer you need to be able to measure the success of your campaigns. Your decisions should be based on data and not just your hunch. That’s one of the great things about digital marketing, we now can have all the data we need to be successful. We just need to know how to use it.

Marketing a product or service today is easier than ever before in history. Using platforms like Facebook ads or Google ads, a company can market their product directly to people who perfectly fit the ideal client demographic, at a very low cost. Digital Marketing tools, Pay per Click ads, and email marketing can help a company dramatically increase sales. At the same time, many companies that just start exploring with digital marketing tools often see disappointing results.

In this interview series called “How to Effectively Leverage The Power of Digital Marketing, PPC, & Email to Dramatically Increase Sales”, we are talking to marketers, advertisers, brand consultants, & digital marketing gurus who can share practical ideas from their experience about how to effectively leverage the power of digital marketing, PPC, & email.

As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Vladimir Yordanov of Presitely.

Vladimir is the founder and CEO at Presitely, a full-service digital marketing agency that has helped many B2B companies worldwide grow their revenue online. They have been featured in Forbes, Inc., Entrepreneur, The Washington Post, and many other online publishers. Presitely is a Google Partner and a Founding Member at Hotjar.

Their clients are from different industries including fintech, SaaS, insurance, and blockchain. The agency is a one-stop shop for all their digital marketing needs.

Aside from juggling all kinds of responsibilities at the agency, Vladimir likes to spend his time exploring the great outdoors doing irresponsible things like paragliding, climbing, diving, skiing, and traveling a lot.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

Starting my own agency had been my dream ever since I got introduced to the digital marketing world back in 2008. That’s when I joined the online marketing team at Philips in Amsterdam.

Then, in 2014, I founded Presitely. Initially, we were only 3 full-time employees working from the living room of my mom’s apartment. I had nothing to lose and so much to gain. Since then we’ve changed 3 office spaces and the team has grown a lot. And after the pandemic hit, we went fully remote and we’ve mostly kept it that way.

Nowadays, we work with some really awesome companies, both big and small. Most of them have been with us for years. This brings the best results for them and helps us establish a strong long-term digital marketing strategy.

Can you share a story about the funniest marketing mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?

I was presenting a technical SEO audit to a client. The slides were prepared by the dedicated project manager but I was the one presenting. We were in one of the meeting rooms in their office. I was presenting the slides on the big screen in front of their CEO and marketing team. The presentation was full of useful recommendations and everyone seemed really focused.

On one of the slides, there was a link that was supposed to take me to our spreadsheet containing our audit data. When I clicked on it, I immediately knew there was something wrong because a video started loading on the screen. And before I could react, the video had already loaded and was playing. It was a live performance of “La Marseillaise” by an Egyption orchestra and it was horrible. The title of the video literally was “Egyptian Orchestra BUTCHERS French Anthem! Cringe”.

Everyone in the room was puzzled at first, they didn’t know what was happening. But I knew exactly what was going on. My colleague had been watching this video while preparing the presentation, and had pasted the wrong link. I knew it because it wasn’t his first time doing this.

I managed to explain and everyone in the room started laughing. This actually helped break the ice and the presentation was much more relaxed after that. People felt comfortable joining the discussion and asking questions. As for my colleague, we still laugh about it to this day.

If you’re curious — here’s how the Egyptian orchestra butchers the French anthem.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

I’m definitely grateful to the few people who believed in me from the very start even when I wasn’t sure if I would be able to make it work. As they say, do it even if you’re afraid and confidence will follow.

I’m also grateful to our first client. He knew me from my previous job as a digital marketing project manager. I remember when I told him I was going to start my own agency, he replied without hesitation “Count me in!”. He’s now probably one of our biggest brand advocates. Over the years we managed to do so many great things for his company. We did all the content, SEO, PPC, website redesigns, CRO, and everything in between. His business skyrocketed and recently he managed to sell his company and retire at an early age. True story. Of course he also helped us a lot. We managed to become the agency we are because of great partners like him. And it all started with that initial leap of faith.

Speaking of leap of faith, I owe a lot to Milena and Rosen who were the first to join Presitely back in 2014. They quit their full-time jobs to join me on this adventure, not knowing if we would make it for more than a month.

Of course, I’m grateful to everyone in our current team, who are so amazing, and who are pouring their hearts and minds into every project we do. We wouldn’t be where we are today without them.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

There are a few important things that set our company apart from many other agencies.

As a full service digital marketing agency, we provide holistic solutions that can include the full spectrum of digital marketing services. However, we don’t enjoy providing services that bring in little to no results. What we focus on is resolving our clients’ problems and growing their revenue.

We also have a very transparent and coherent approach. This reduces the stress and hassle for our clients because they have one point of contact, backed by a full team of digital marketing experts.

Finally, we speak to our clients in “human”. This means that we first try to understand what they need and then we offer solutions.

Recently we had a client whose website was in a really bad condition. It was deindexed, it had malware, and it had hardly any traffic and leads. They also had a limited budget because they were going through very difficult times recovering from the pandemic.

Their high season was about to start but most probably they weren’t going to get any traffic or leads because of the fundamental issues their website had. It was clear that if they didn’t fix their website, they would probably go bankrupt soon.

We knew what had to be done to get the website back in Google’s good graces. So we told the client that we can fix the high priority issues now and they can pay us later after their high season is over and they’re financially more stable. And that’s exactly what happened. We managed to fix the malware and all major SEO issues in time. Eventually, the client saw a noticeable increase in traffic and leads and we got paid for our work.

In our place, many agencies wouldn’t even consider starting such a project. Some agencies don’t even want to start their research unless they are paid in advance. We believe that if we focus on delivering the promised results, profits will follow.

You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

If you don’t mind, I would like to share with you 4 habits instrumental to being successful.

  1. Stay focused and prioritize. Make sure to get the 20% highest priority items for the day done and consider everything else a bonus. This will give you a sense of achievement and will help keep your happiness and motivation at a healthy level. If you don’t set priorities you can easily get scattered and at the end of the day you won’t feel happy with what you’ve done.
  2. Learn to delegate. You don’t know everything and you can’t do everything on your own. You have limited skills, knowledge, and time. And that’s fine. Outsource and delegate the tasks that shouldn’t be performed by you and that distract you from achieving your goals.
  3. Stay humble and treat people with respect. Even if you know more than someone else about a certain topic this doesn’t make you a better person. Being loud and arrogant means you’re focused on yourself and this prevents you from hearing others and learning from them. Everyone has their own way of doing things, and even though their approach might not be perfectly aligned with yours, it might still get you to the same outcome. Be open and try to understand others and you might even learn something new along the way.
  4. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Know what you can bring to the table and know your price. If you are good and passionate about something, people will want to work with you. If you fail at something as a marketer, chances are your f*ckups aren’t as bad as you might think. Just pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and move on.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

In the last couple of years we started creating explanatory motion graphic videos. This was new territory for us and initially we did it by using software with existing template libraries (e.g. vyond.com). Now we do everything in-house from scratch and I must say that with every new video we make, the results are getting better and better. The explanatory videos we create help our clients promote their businesses better. They give life to their brand and convey their message more effectively.

Ok super. Now let’s jump to the main questions of our interview. As we mentioned in the beginning, sometimes companies that just start exploring with digital marketing tools like PPC campaigns often see disappointing results. In your opinion, what are a few of the biggest mistakes companies make when they first start out with digital marketing? If you can, please share an example for each.

Lack of focus and targeting. Sometimes, business owners are afraid of narrowing down their focus, as if they’ll miss an opportunity. In reality, you will never win 100% of your potential customers. That’s why you need to focus 80% of your efforts on the top 20% of clients that matter the most to your business.

Lack of a dedicated marketing team. I’ve seen business owners underestimate the importance of working with a professional digital marketer. So they’ll delegate this responsibility to inexperienced internal team members to do it as a side job. I see this especially with social media marketing. But in reality, just because you have a personal social media account doesn’t mean you know how to advertise on this channel.

Focusing on the wrong channels. We had a client who was developing a fitness app. They were about to launch a fundraising campaign and were convinced that Google search was the right channel to advertise their app on, despite the fact that there was no actual product ready for the market yet.

As a result, they spent thousands of dollars on ads, depleting their advertising budget, trying to generate early subscribers who might eventually purchase the app. But they generated very few leads because of the poor content on their website. The concept of the app wasn’t really clear. What they had to do was simply create more content describing their concept so they would have a successful fundraising campaign.

If you could break down a very successful digital marketing campaign into a “blueprint”, what would that blueprint look like? Please share some stories or examples of your ideas.

The blueprint of a successful digital marketing campaign looks something like this:

  1. Understand. Always start by researching and auditing. You need to understand the nature of your client’s business, their industry, and competitors. Audit their existing campaigns. See what’s worked so far and what hasn’t, and try to understand why. These are the fundamentals based on which you will plan your campaign.
  2. Plan. Now that you know how your client’s industry and their business work, and you are aware of the performance of their previous campaigns, you can plan your course of action.
  3. Execute. You execute your campaign based on your initial plan. Focus on the low hanging fruits first. This is how you show great results fast.
  4. Analyze. Understand what worked and what didn’t. Make sure to spend enough time on this step and analyze your data.
  5. Optimize. Fix the things that didn’t work based on your analysis. Repeat steps 4 and 5.

Let’s talk about Pay Per Click Marketing (PPC) for a bit. In your opinion which PPC platform produces the best results to increase sales?

The best advertising platform depends on the nature of your business and where your target audience is most active online.

Having said that, the majority of our B2B clients see the best results in Google Search. Our Google Ads campaigns have shown great ROI with the highest number of leads.

Before you jump on any of the advertising platforms, make sure to get to know your target audience first.

Can you please share 3 things that you need to know to run a highly successful PPC campaign?

  1. Know your audience. Do your research in advance. You need to know the industry, the competitors, your target audience and their behavior online. If you’re running a search campaign, you need to know the search intent of every search query and what type of content visitors would expect to see once they land on your website. This really sets apart mediocre campaigns from the highly successful ones.
  2. Know your tools. You need to have mastered the tools and advertising platform you’ll be using. While knowing your audience is vital, using the full potential of your advertising platform and tools is equally important for the success of your campaigns.
  3. Experiment. Don’t be afraid to try new things. This could mean looking beyond Google Ads as an advertising platform, or simply experimenting with your ad copy and landing pages. Always try new things because this will eventually set you apart from the rest.

Let’s now talk about email marketing for a bit. In your opinion, what are the 3 things that you need to know to run a highly successful email marketing campaign that increases sales?

  1. Know your audience. Here it’s important to know things about your audience like how you got your audience list, what they already know about your brand, what content they have already consumed, what they would be interested in reading next, and so on. Create different segments to help you better target your message. And always make sure you have permission to contact your audience.
  2. Timing is key. You should send your emails when you most expect your audience to engage with them. Research what day of the week and what time of the day might make the most sense for your emails to be sent. Depending on your campaign, take into account any seasonalities as well.
  3. Add value. The emails you send out should provide valuable information. Make sure the content you send to your audience is the type of content they have subscribed for. Don’t just send out emails to everyone in your list. Segment your list and send out your newsletter, available discounts, or new product releases to those who care to engage with them.

What are the other digital marketing tools that you are passionate about? If you can, can you share with our readers what they are and how to best leverage them?

I really enjoy trying out new tools. Usually each has its own unique features that could potentially make it the perfect fit for an existing or potential client.

Here are just a few of the tools I use on a daily basis:

SEMrush. This is my go-to tool for keyword research and tracking, competitors analysis, backlink research, and much more. They’re really trying to fit all digital marketing tools out there into one universal tool. I’m interested to see how this will pan out in the near future.

Screamingfrog. So far nothing beats Screamingfrog when it comes to technical SEO audits. I simply love this tool and the insights you can get with it.

Asana. This is our project management tool. It has everything we need to efficiently plan, and manage our tasks, keep track of the progress, coordinate with the team and our clients, and lot more.

Majestic. A great tool for in-depth backlink analysis. It provides much more data than SEMrush and many other SEO tools.

Hotjar. We’re one of the official founding members of Hotjar. We still use it a lot, recommend it to our clients, and they love it.

There are a lot more tools that I’m using, but I’ll need a separate post for this.

Here is the main question of our series. Can you please tell us the 5 things you need to create a highly successful career as a digital marketer? Can you please share a story or example for each?

To create a highly successful career as a digital marketer, the most important thing is that you need to live and breathe digital marketing. You truly need to be passionate about it.

When I first started, there was no one to help me and I was learning things on my own, the hard way. I tried reading every ebook I could find on the topic, I took all available certificates in Google Ads (Adwords back then), Google Analytics, Hubspot, and whatnot. My point is, if you expect someone to be showing you the way all the time without you taking the initiative, then maybe this isn’t your thing. It’s a very dynamic field where things change from one day to the next. For example, new tools pop up all the time, platforms such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter constantly make updates to their algorithms, which means you need to update the way you use them. To be successful, you need to stay on top of your game and this is what sets apart the great marketers from the rest, in my opinion.

You also need to have analytical thinking. As a digital marketer you need to be able to measure the success of your campaigns. Your decisions should be based on data and not just your hunch. That’s one of the great things about digital marketing, we now can have all the data we need to be successful. We just need to know how to use it.

What books, podcasts, videos or other resources do you use to sharpen your marketing skills?

Nowadays there are a lot of sources of information on the topic of digital marketing — so much so that one can easily get overwhelmed. Here are just a few of the ones that I follow in no particular order.

Google Search Documentation and Guidelines. If you’re new to SEO, you start here. Then you can move on and read the interpretations of SEO experts and gurus out there.

Moz. Even now that Rand Fishkin isn’t there, Moz is still a great and reliable source of information about SEO.

Annie Cushing. She has some great tutorials about all things data.

SearchMetrics. A great source of information about web analytics, dashboards, and reporting.

Aleyda Solis. A really good SEO expert with tons of guides and cheat sheets.

Backlinko. Very interesting articles on the topic of SEO. Recently Brian Dean sold the company to SEMrush.

SearchEngineJournal. SEJ keeps me updated on a daily basis with all kinds of news from the digital marketing realm.

Thank you for all of that. We are nearly done. Here is our final ‘meaty’ question. You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

Education. In any shape or size, education and access to information is what the world needs.

How can our readers further follow your work?

You welcome you to connect with me on LinkedIn.

You can follow Presitely’s profiles on Linkedin, Twitter, and Facebook.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this!

Thank you for this opportunity!

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Fotis Georgiadis
Authority Magazine

Passionate about bringing emerging technologies to the market