SocialMediaTalks Interview with Lorcan Kinsella – What is Digital Marketing?
Alan: Today, I’m going to be joined by Lorcan Kinsella. And Lorcan is one of the most sought after digital marketing strategists in both Ireland and internationally, having worked with some of the biggest names in information marketing while working with the Launchmen.
Over the past 3 years, he’s trained over 3,500 professionals through custom training for 12-week digital marketing programs and a 2-day intensive lead generation sales funnel architecture workshop for leading brands and agencies. He is well-known for his innovative and passionate approach to digital marketing. And he lectures in Digital Marketing with several institutes including the Dublin Business School, Griffith College, and Digital Marketing Institute and other corporate training organizations.
He is also the founder of Brand Nova Digital, a digital marketing agency which provides all aspects of marketing to support an organization’s online sales funnel by always reflecting credibility, trust, or authority in the marketplace.
And today, we are going to be talking to Lorcan all about digital strategies. So, without further ado, I think we will transition straight over to the interview.
Hi, Lorcan. How are you today? Thanks for joining us today on the Social Media Talks Podcast. It’s great to have your company. How are you?
Lorcan: I’m great. Yeah. I’m feeling good. I’m feeling good.
Alan: Good stuff. So, before we get into our chosen subjects which we’re gonna be talking about digital strategies, which I’m quite looking forward to, you might give us a little brief background on yourself just before we start. I’ve already given you a little intro at the start of the show, but you might expand on that.
Lorcan: Yeah. Sure. Name is Lorcan Kinsella. I’m CEO and founder of a company called Brand Nova Digital. We’re a digital marketing agency based in New Ross, County Wexford. And what we do is we actually could have— and we are I suppose primarily kind of based in the brand web design build, and search optimization, pay per click, and social media management with the emphasis on graphics and copywriting in terms of actually really converting traffic.
I started in this space I suppose 2009-2010, which I worked with a company in San Diego called the Launchmen. And we were successful for launching some of the biggest information products kind of in the world at that time where we had a USP of doing a million dollars per launch. And it was actually kind of launching products for the likes of Tony Robbins, xxxx, Dan Kennedy. You know, product launch formula like across the board like they were some of the biggest and best names. And we went on to turn 30-31 million dollars like in a 9-month period, very exhausting stuff, and dibs 9.2 million in a 48-hour period. But again, what we did was and how we went about it was we leveraged— you know, digital marketing actually had to do that— so, through search engine optimization, e-mail marketing, social media, and affiliate marketing to kind of I suppose turn a sales page on a site and actually kind of bring people to a payment cart and system.
I kind of have my roots in there with that in around 2012. And in that time as well, I started to lecture in Dublin and with the Digital Marketing Institute. I am on their diploma and postgraduate program. Built out the program then for Griffith College, their digital marketing diploma, and worked with the Dublin Business School.
So, unfortunately, the lecturing and training is not as much as I’d like it to be or as what I can do with myself. I do one or two kind of clients which I provide training, but it was most of the time— and from a day-to-day operation’s point of view is spent in the office meeting clients and looking at campaigns whether it be actually kind of building new platforms, websites, brands, logos right down to actually kind of leveraging digital marketing strategies for them.
Alan: Brilliant. A busy man. A busy man. And yes, I’ve actually done my postgrad in the DMI. So, I know all about their courses. They’re really strong as well.
So, today, we’re gonna be talking all about digital strategies. And you know, I think a lot of businesses don’t understand it. I think what they think is when a digital strategy comes by, it’s just “Oh, yeah. Get a website and put some posts up on social media.” But there’s so much more to it I think. Well, I don’t think I know. I know from a marketer’s point of view that there is, but you might explain exactly what it is as a digital strategy and how we should go about starting it if we are building one out.
Lorcan: For many of business students, which I’ve met over the years, I start with the introduction of if we never meet each other again, there’s 2 words which are extremely important in this whole overwhelming space, which we call digital marketing or social media, and that is traffic and conversion. To simply it, or to filter it, or to scale it back. And the reason why these 2 words are actually so important to me is because they’re the focus of your digital marketing real estate, which is your website. And our job as business owners is looking to actually kind of drive traffic to your platform, your website, your brand, your legacy with the focus, the objective with the conversion.
There’s no doubt there has been a paradigm shift in terms of business, which has taken place over the last 10 years where we have some very, very successful businesses, bricks and mortar, across every village, town, city in Ireland, Europe, the globe where they’re closing down. There’s dereliction because we’re now competing with an online marketplace and that marketplace is extremely aggressive because it requires a knowledge and a passion around like a particular product or service and being able to deliver that not only where we might see it within the boundary of Ireland, but it’s boundary-less like where we can sell to every country in the world.
So, there is that competition where we’re not paying, you know, for the rates as a bricks or mortar. We’re not paying for the light and heat, the staff, you know, the big fit of costs. So, there has been this big massive shift in terms of actually how we see business.
And when we look ask that digital marketing real estate, I always kind of make an analogy or provide an analogy that if you and I could have then went or looked to setup a business and it was a clothes shop and we did maybe kind of, you know, xxxx and we had maybe 300 to 400 people come into that shop like, you know— At the end of day, I went to the till and you’ve arrived kind of over at the till and we wonder like, you know, how much money we made. And if we found that at the end of that day at 6 o’clock when we opened that till that there was no money in the till, I would look at you and say, “Where’s the money?” You sort of look back at me and say, “Where’s the money?” And you said, “Where the fuck— Who’s out there robbing the money?” Okay?
But imagine if the realization was there was no sale. There’s be so much shock and the real sort of sense of hysteria of, well, what are we gonna do, we have to pay bills because remember fundamentally this is business. This is the requirement of actually kind of paying mortgages, paying bills, and bits and pieces. So, business for me has not changed. Business still requires hard work, discipline, and consistency.
And with that in mind, when you have those kind of anchors that this is business, it is so important that if we are going to have traffic to our website, we need to have conversion. And that’s where, I suppose, I focus on the conversion part. It’s not just about traffic.
For money websites and over the last 10 years, websites have been built like by the thousands. Handed over to the client after an exhaustive process of kind of e-mails back and forward, the frustration, kind of I want this Facebook page here, I want this here, I want that there. To find out that your website is built, but you’re getting no traffic, that point then is where we look to market the platform. And when I look at platform, my digital marketing real estate where I’m looking to get traffic, I first start— My #1 place where why I start is search engine optimization. And the reason why I start with search engine optimization because I would see search engine optimization as the foundation of my digital marketing real estate. And the reason why I see it as the foundation, it is there where I would carry out that very necessary digital marketing out of your website SEO to find out, well, what’s broken and what’s not. It’s something akin to kind of the Irish water system.
Initially, like in the Irish water system, we have a lot of broken pipes up and down the country. And you have all of this water flowing into one spot around the country and we’ve got this broken pipes. It’s just leaking out.
So, I see your website, and our website, and the company’s website as that kind of dam. And if we are going to send to send traffic whether it be from search engine optimization— And for anybody who doesn’t know what I’m getting at, there is simply— that means for me that when I go searching for a product or a service on Google, I want to come up at #1. Okay? There’s a particular system and process of actually how that’s achieved. And we’ve actually somewhat perfected that over in many years, which we do really, really well. And we can guarantee without a doubt in any kind of industry, we can get any business and which, I suppose, understanding the competitiveness of the business up within the top within 6 months. But it’s important that we meet through the audit process to find out what’s broken and what’s not.
So, if we’re going to send 100 people to that website, we want to make sure that we’re converting up to 100 people, not that we’re sending 100 people, but maybe 20% of them are being lost because the website is not loading fast enough or there is another maybe kind of like 10% lost because you’re not indexed and you can’t— You know, there’s so many reasons why we can’t be found. So, we basically just kind of maybe— I suppose it’s like an NCT for a car. We fix all of those elements to make sure that we’re getting the absolute maximum traffic with the maximum or the optimum amount of possible conversion once we get the traffic.
For me, the conversion is make a phone call to the person so they can close the sale because the sale is business. The sale is going to pay the bills. Okay? The bigger companies, it might be they kind of opt in to e-mail. If it’s an e-Commerce website, it might be just that I want to actually kind of buy a pair of cycling shorts and I found them. It’s in size 34 and I made the purchase and that’s it. It’s done.
The second part and I don’t want to maybe kind of talk too long— But the second part of it was the digital marketing strategy for me then thereafter would be pay per click and that’s again additional traffic to the digital marketing real state. From there then, I actually look to social media.
And within all of that process, I understand that I have carried out my market research of understanding like my situation analysis, looking at the audience, looking at persona framework to find out exactly who and where I need to market to my audience.
So, for example, if I’m actually kind of in the hill walking kind of space, okay, and I’m looking to actually kind of market to an audience, I’m first going to look at like who am I looking to actually kind of sell to.
So, if I have maybe Samantha here on my left and I have Barry here on my right and both of those people are actually kind of— they love hill walking— Samantha is actually 24 years of age. She lives in Ranelagh. She is going out with Greg. She absolutely loves Facebook and she adores Instagram because of actually what she can do with her imagery and whatnot when she’s out walking. That’s where now I know I need to actually kind of find Samantha.
Barry here on the other side is actually kind of— Unfortunately, Barry’s gone through a very, very messy separation. He is 52 years of age. He lives in Foxrock. He is an accountant. He absolutely hates Facebook. He has no time for it. But once place that he does like because through his job and connections is LinkedIn, so now I know that for me as a marketer to these 2 people that I need to pay my bills, I need to actually have a presence on Facebook.
Well, first of all, the common denominator there is search engine optimization because I know that Samantha is gonna search for me, Barry is gonna search, but I also need to have a presence on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Okay? You know, you hear people in the digital marketing space, you have to be everywhere. You have to be. You do not.
Lorcan: I don’t agree with that at all.
Alan: I would be the same. I would be the same. I’d be thinking of the same way. You don’t have to be, but you need to be where your customers are and that’s really it. It’s as simple as that.
Lorcan: That is it. That is it. I would prefer to spend like 24 hours of my day just kind of— If they’re on Facebook, that’s it. Or Instagram. And absolutely crush that particular market, but not to kind of spend kind of—
As you know, Alan, like time is precious and we can get buried and just lost in so many different social media platforms. But I think if we actually do the initial and kind of market research to find out like, you know, the persona, the audience, do your SWOT analysis, the very, very fundamentals of marketing, you know, finding out the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats, that so much then crystallizes exactly where we need to be.
Now, to finish a longwinded answer around how I go back to— is mobile. As for everybody, desktop had a child 4-5 years ago. It’s called mobile. And mobile has now become a monster and it is now actually kind of much more flexible, much more innovative, much more creative. And really, that’s where the audience is now as opposed to what we call I suppose a desktop— how I look at strategy.
Alan: I agree totally with what you’re saying. At the end of the day, your website is the key. You know, it’s your shop online. As you say, bricks and mortar. You know, if it’s not right, people are just not gonna go to it. They’re just gonna say, “Ah, you know what? This is taking too long to load. I’ll go to the next one.” And they’re gone. And you’ve lost that sale.
And as you say, fundamentally, you know, you are looking at a business here and you’re looking at making money. You’re looking at creating a value of whatever it may be to that person. And I think that’s where people— They don’t think— You know, they say, “Oh, I have a website, but I have to have everything on it.” And I go “No. You actually don’t have to have everything on it. Who are you selling to? Who is your market? And then that’s what you put on your website. The fact that you do size 26 in shorts or you do running shoes, if that’s not the market that you’re trying to sell to, well, okay, you maybe have it, but don’t be focusing on that one. Where you wanna focus is is where your money is gonna come in at the end of the day.” And I think that’s the big mistake a lot of people make with websites. And then they put up a website and they say, “Oh, yeah, that’s great.”
And we know that you can buy your WordPress sites or whatever it is and you can do them up yourself, or Wix, or whatever. As much as some of them look great, if they’re not done correctly by a web designer or a web developer, they’re just not going to work. And I often say with businesses, they come to me and say, “I don’t need a website. I’ll never get any business from my website.” And you’ve won and you look at the website and you say, “Well, because you’re not getting any businesses because this, this, and this…” And they go “Oh, well…” Well, I think it’s great.
Like I know we’ve dealt with one company not so long ago. The website, it must have been made in 1980 for want for a better word. And it was still in 1980. And I’m going “You’ve nothing.” And they go “But look, it looks great.” And I’m going “But have you ever got a sale from it?” “Well, not really.” “Well, you need to rework that.” And they did and it started to show a lot of results for them, you know. So, I agree. And then search engine optimization is key to it. It can be a minefield, but I think if you’re gonna do it on your focus about your business, you need to go and hire a professional. I always say it like, you know, if I have a problem with the bath leak or the shower leak in here, I don’t go and try to fix it myself. I get that plumber to come in and do it because I know that’s what he does and I don’t have to worry. I know it will be done right.
Lorcan: Yeah. It’s a funny one. I know that it’s a similar kind of analogy which I make and kind of where if you went— you know, I do ‘cause of a friend who’s a dentist. But if you went to the dentist and while lying on the chair and you have your root canal just to be kind of performed or whatever and you say, “Here, look, I’ll take it from here. I’ll sort this one out.” It is and it’s absolutely you’re dead right in situations whether it be a plumber. I get the plumber and I don’t know what and where.
And I do have an idea of actually where this has come from. It has come from YouTube. It has come from that whole sort of revolution of actually kind of how to and being explained and some of those are really, really good information. But where you have specialization and where people are— like that’s their job. That’s actually kind of what they’re skilled in whether it be—
For example, search engine optimization. Even to kind of go through being a pay-per-click practitioner, I mean it’s quite a while, quite a lot of exams and through Google. It doesn’t happen that easy. So, to kind of pick it up in 1 or 2 steps off of YouTube isn’t going to really cut it. And I think it all goes back to if you want to kind of get it done right, if you want to kind of— like you’ll know that it is done right, I think it’s always important to go to a practitioner who is actually kind of doing it every day.
Alan: Like I will often get request and people would say to me, “Oh, do you do pay per click?” And I say, “No, I don’t.” I could probably muddle my way through it, but I actually say to people “no, I don’t” because I know how big of a task it is and I know how complex it can be.
Alan: If you’re dealing with a client’s money and whatever and they’re saying “well, I give you X amount, I give you 5 grand for this” and you go off and you spend the 5 grand and nothing happens of it, they’re gonna come back to you and say, “Well, hold on, Alan. You know, we gave you all this money and we haven’t seen any return.” And I say, “Yeah.”
So, instead of putting that out there, I would say, “No. I don’t know. I don’t know how. I wouldn’t be up to speed on it, but I know, for instance, Lorcan will be up to speed on it. He will be able to do it.” And I would direct them on to you because I think that’s the way, you know, you need to be doing business because, again, that’s that know you can trust scenario that if I can go to Alan and he doesn’t know, he’ll direct me to someone who will know. Especially when it comes to pay per click, it can be very, very daunting. Very, very daunting if you don’t know much about it, you know.
Lorcan: Even within kind of our own agency, like we have people kind of in brand, we have people kind of in search engine optimization. We don’t crosspollinate. They’ve all got their own specialist kind of space of actually kind of where they kind of operate within. And yeah, I think you can’t dilute this stuff. Because when you look at marketing whether it be, for example, brand, and PR, and even traditional and digital, I mean there’s quite a lot in it.
I mean we’re challenged quite a bit like even in-house because we’re actually kind of carrying out a particular— I suppose where we’ve had to kind of grow into different areas and kind of get people in is because we just didn’t have that expertise.
And even within say for example graphics or PR, so it’s a case of where they could have organically grow rather than we give it a shot ourselves. You know, it is actually a client at the end of the day. They’re paying money. It’s their reputation. And so, it’s important that they get exactly what they’re paying for, you know.
Alan: Oh, I agree totally. It’s the same with social. I think we’ve both seen over the last I suppose year or 2 years, you’ll see now, you know, if there’s people sitting in— Like if you use Facebook, suddenly they’re an expert in Facebook, you know.
All right. You may have put up a few posts on Facebook and you might be getting a bit of traction on Facebook, but it’s the marketing behind it. It’s the understanding behind it. It’s the measurement behind it. It’s all of these other bits and pieces that they don’t do.
And I think that’s what it is as well. It has killed certain amounts of social media marketing in over a period of time where people they just think that they can do it because they’re sitting there on Facebook every night of the week. Oh, I can do that for you.
Lorcan: I’ll give it a shot.
Alan: “Oh, well, I can get Mary or John to do it for 40 quid for the week and you’re charging me X.” And I go “Yeah. But you’re gonna get something behind that. You’re gonna get all of the measurement, the analytics, and all that. We know what we’re doing. We know how to market to your customer. That’s what we do on a daily basis, you know.”
Lorcan: Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. Absolutely.
Alan: Yeah. And I think that’s, you know, where brands, if they’re serious about their business, they will invest the time and energy. And they will say, “Wait. Okay. Let’s get these people.” Like we do it with everything else in business. You won’t get someone just to come in and do your books. You go to an accountant to get your tax returns done properly or your exempts done properly. So, you know, why would you do it with this party or this business?
I think where you’re coming when you were saying “with YouTube now, everyone can do it” and they say “oh, well, it’s—” And that’s well good. Maybe for the small stuff, I would say, “Yes. Go and look at YouTube. Or if you wanna do it, go and look at whatever— do an online course, but get some sort of qualification or get some sort of person that is reputable that could teach you this, that’s going to learn how to use this properly if you’re gonna go down that road just yourself, which is fine.”
I didn’t wake up one morning and say “Oh, I’m a social manager” or “I’m do digital marketer.” I went and I trained how to do this. So, if that’s the case of what you wanna do with your business, I would say, “Yes. Definitely go and get whether it be a degree or do a training course, but do a proper training course.” One that’s recognized so you know that you’re getting the right—
I think that’s one of the reasons why I went to the DMI (the Digital Marketing Institute) is because they were practitioners that were actually giving these courses. So, they were in the business. They were in it every day of the week instead of reading it just off a book. They were actually doing these courses. They were working in the business. And you know, when things were breaking, we were being told this on the diploma.
Lorcan: Yeah. It makes all the difference. Absolutely.
Alan: Hugely. Hugely. You know, I appreciate you coming on and giving us a lot of advice here on the podcast and for our listeners, you know—
Lorcan: No. I appreciate the invitation on this. It is good to kind of spend time. Absolutely, Alan. No, thank you very much for the invitation. Yeah.
Alan: Yeah. So, Lorcan, we have one question we ask our guests every week on this show. It’s nothing to do with digital marketing. The question is—
Lorcan: Don’t worry about it.
Alan: If you had the chance to invite someone to dinner whether it be past or present, who will it be and why? And that can be a number of people if you want.
Lorcan: God, you put me on the spot. I think my grandparents I suppose on my mother’s side and father’s side. I would have known my grandmother very, very well and my grandfather on my father’s side will have passed away when I was very, very young. And I never got to know my grandparents on my mother’s side. I suppose just in terms of— Yeah. It would be probably my grandparents.
Alan: Brilliant. Brilliant stuff. I’m sure that will be an interesting conversation. Definitely fantastic.
Lorcan: Not Mick Jagger.
Alan: On here, I’ve had some people that have said other things and I’ve gone “Right. Okay. That’s—” I would have never thought it, you know. But anyway, it is what it is. And I think, as I said, it’s a bitter form, but it also gives you an insight as well into the way we actually react and so yeah. So, thanks for that.[Talk Out of Context]
Alan: So, before we go, how can people reach out to you, Lorcan, if they wanna get in contact with you?
Lorcan: Yeah. Sure. If people would like to contact me, I’m on LinkedIn. Lorcan Kinsella on LinkedIn. You can get me at @LorcanKinsella on Twitter. Company wise, it’s brandnovadigital.com and my website. Yeah, that’s it. On Facebook as well. But again, the best place really I like to hang out is LinkedIn. You’ll get me there, Lorcan Kinsella. Yeah. You’ll find me and Connect. Don’t be afraid to reach out. You never know what’s around the corner or what comes up. And if you’re in the space, you’re looking to connect, or do a business, or actually kind of experience, whatever it may be, partnerships, you know, I’m kind of always open to that as well.