Q&A: Julian Janik; The Man Who Wants to Make You Famous
FORT COLLINS-Popular may seem like a strange word to use when describing a business but that is exactly the goal of Madwire Marketing Executive, Julian Janik; to make your business so popular it becomes famous.
Though he’s not a largest of men in stature, Janik has a certain presence about him that commands a room making it easy to see that Janik is a confident man.
The guy has a certain aura about him that has little hesitation and a huge sense of confidence in everything he does, all without a hint of arrogance.
You instantly see that he has an anomaly of a mind that is capable of using logic, scientific fact, and numbers while understanding human emotion and connection at the same time.
It is for these altruistic reasons, combined with his work ethic and skill behind a computer, that Madwire in Loveland, Co. chose Janik to be a Marketing Executive on their “Alpha Team.”
After sitting down with Mr. Janik, the importance of a good digital/online presence for small businesses has never been more clear to me:
Q. What does a digital marketing/design company such as Madwire do?
A. We design and publish websites for small to medium sized companies. We then offer several digital marketing services to increase lead generation and brand awareness. I.E. Website design, Facebook ads, search ads, e-mail marketing, video and print media, SEO Optimization
Q. How long have you worked for Madwire, and how long have you been involved with online marketing altogether?
A. I’ve worked in web marketing for 7 years. I have been at Madwire for a little under a year now.
Q. What were some of your previous occupations that involved digital marketing, design, SEO, etc?
A. I was the global Web Publishing Engagement Lead for Agilent Technologies for 5 years as my first professional job out of college. I would help scientists of several different bio-medical product lines write for the web and also align with the rest of the content/design standards of other product lines.
I was also the SEO Specialist at Sierra Trading Post for about a year and a half. I would assign content writers to particular products / categories. Since it was a retailer of high profile brands, a lot of times, we would have to hide the products from search if they didn’t want to compete with STP. So I would have to author the robot tags to tell Google what to, and what not to, index for search.
Q. Madwire is a very successful and young company, and correct me if I’m wrong, but the company has grown over 5000% in their 5 year life span. What do you attribute this success to?
A. Diverse talents and full marketing spectrum services. Madwire has done a great job of being able to do complete digital marketing. Several companies can publish websites, or design photoshop marketing material, or videos. But we literally do it all. We also built a system that can be as complex as the real engaged business owners want to be, or as self-sufficient as the business who don’t care about the digital marketing activities want.
Also, Speed! What you’ll find is that most business owners who know little about digital marketing have sensational expectations about what web marketing can do for them. But we really do work at break-neck speeds. We are publishing a complete marketable website in 15 business days and can be marketing your website within 2 business days after that. It truly is amazing if you consider all the pieces.
Q. Along that same line, there seems to be more digital marketing companies every year, what sets Madwire apart from the rest?
A. I’ve worked for some business conglomerates on their web teams. The thing that really impresses me is that Madwire will train and certify their Marketing Execs in all the important marketing tools. Honestly, companies with much bigger budgets and teams yet they are not as as close to the skill sets of Madwire.
Lastly, is our culture. We are a really close team. I can walk into any department at any time and get their immediate attention. Unlike the corporate atmospheres I was used to, where I always had to request an appointment or get certain approval from other managers. You’ll notice after a company gets too big, processes get convoluted or even asinine. Madwire does a great job of streamlining the process.
Q. A website is a crucial piece of any business however it seems in today’s world a website is simply not enough. GoDigitalMarketing reports that as of May 2014, “91% of small business websites were not mobile responsive” which can tremendously hurt a site’s traffic. Can you expand on what mobile responsiveness is? Would you estimate that “91%” number has gone up or down in the last year?
A. Well, Mobile responsiveness is vague concept that your website will have good design and usability on mobile devices. Anyone who surfs web on their smartphone will notice, some websites have very poor usability on their mobile device. And some do. You gotta consider less square pixel realestate, finger navigation, mobile app integration, and other mobile functionality like GPS or phone calling.
Yes, Mobile Responsiveness is a rank signal that is growing in importance — which Google is very transparent about. Because generally speaking, mobile web surfing has been climbing exponentially since mobile internet capabilities were introduced. Luckily, Google offers a free easy tool that will test if your website is by their definition, mobile responsive. So, its no longer that vague. Its pretty strait forward, either your website is mobile responsive or not. There are no varying degrees.
Q. What are some other things that a website should be?(i.e. being mobile responsive, easy site navigation, etc.)
A. Good site hierarchy/directories, intuitive navigation and product mapping, updated content and GOOD, convincing, and important content. This is king. Your website is as important as your content.
SEO Optimized — make sure you’re taking advantage of every opportunity to raise your findability and multiple citations. Have a G+, Facebook, and every social media channel that makes sense for your company. Also, have citational websites like Yellow Pages, Yelp, Yext and Better Business Bureau.
Q. What do you see being the biggest mistake on companies websites?
A. Bad content. It’s frustrating admittedly. Content takes work. I make the analogy: that a website is your salesman working 24/7. So would you hire or have patience for a salesman who doesn’t know how to sell, isn’t convincing, or can’t describe your product?! And it still happens! I constantly have to explain business owners out of the ideology that you can just “optimize” a website to show up on the first page and generate leads. Good, solid, content matters.
We’ve all been there before from a consumer’s perspective, visiting a restaurant website and can’t find the menu. Or frustrated because you finally call a business, only to find out that the content on the site is no longer valid. “What do you mean that you don’t service my area?”
All potential questions must be answered. Every amenity of your products/services should be listed. Actually, every service should have a landing page.
Q. Forbes.com recently said that one digital marketing mistake to avoid in 2015 is having unrealistic expectations “The idea that digital equals instant results is one of the biggest misconceptions, especially for companies newer to this practice.” Would you agree with this quote? Does it seem that people tend to want instant success with digital marketing?
A. Haha, yes! People have completely sensational expectations going into it. Its a bit of our fault too at Madwire. We have a sales team, responsible for bringing in new accounts. Half their job is selling businesses the dream or idea that they’ll eventually be profitable. Its a fine balance of making sales with setting expectations. I’m constantly frustrated with our sales teams who make really outlandish promises but I have to understand, that without sales, there is no Madwire or my job title, so its not a fixable issue.
Having said that, I think what really hurts is the demographic of business owners who want absolutely NOTHING to do with the web marketing efforts. I do best with clients who are engaged and actually put in a lot of work in parallel with my efforts. Sometimes, I will need them to categorize their products or write content about their services.
Back to the instant success expectation, to conclude: it’s a process. More business owners need to grasp the concept that an important rank signal for search engines is longevity and engagement. Google is fair, which means that they don’t owe any new website any favors over established business. Google is free, but they offer instant visibility for a fee — Ads. To really optimize the cost per visitor, cost per conversion, it takes a long time to do so.
Q. Can you briefly explain what SEO is and the importance of it?
A. Very simply: Organic clicks are free. It’s the holy grail of marketing — leads constantly being generated and pointed to your business for free.
Q. Would you agree that SEO is one of the most important pieces of a company’s digital presence?
A. Yes and no. A lot of web developers actually consider “SEO” a pseudoscience. They believe that if you just market well and work really hard on your content, SEO naturally happens. I disagree to an extent that there are important SEO activities you need to take, but I also agree with the core argument of the skeptics: Just focus on your content and having a good website first. But at the end of the day, YES, if you’re a good business owner, you should care about SEO. You should consider if your website is optimized and has a good foundation of SEO groundwork.
Q. Social media has become an easy and cheap way for companies to advertise and the CMO Council reports that “95% of brands tweet”. What are your thoughts on social media and businesses? Do you believe that there can be pros and cons to having a presence in social media?
A. Social media verticals are different among all business industries. I have a baby bedding client that absolutely kills it on Pinterest. I have a body building supplements retailer that does much better on Facebook ads than we ever did on search shopping ads. But I’ve also had to have heart-to-hearts with clients who started posting things with bad grammar or non contextual confusing cryptic posts.
First, you need to find out what social media channels are right for your company. For instance, plumbers don’t need twitter accounts. Or at least, there are better things to focus on. Then, you need to have a business voice. Make sure your business brand and your social media presence is aligned with their voice.
Some people think engagement is the most important. But some companies get exhausted with social media. Its a content eating machine. You always need content. So, some companies go hard at first then realize they don’t have things to post every day that matter.
Google plus doesn’t have much engagement, but it’s a hybrid of a social media and SEO marketing vertical.
Q. If you could give one piece of digital marketing advice to a new company, what would it be?
A. Focus on content and a good website before you market. This is the most important. Who wants to spend money sending traffic to a site that will never convert?! I see this all too often. I wish my clients cared more about their content than 90% do. But content is hard.