Speaker Spotlight: Stacey MacNaught

When we started planning Full Stack MarketingTecmark search director Stacey MacNaught was high on our list of speakers we'd love to bring to Edinburgh. The guys at Stipso first saw her present at BrightonSEO last year, and she wowed them. When it comes to crafting successful, content-driven SEO campaigns, she knows what she's talking about, so we're really excited to hear her speak at Turing. She's going to be talking about content's place in the conversion funnel — a hugely important topic that's often overlooked or underestimated. 

The guys at Stipso quiz her about her work, how she got to where she is and what advice she has for marketers navigating the industry's shifting tides...

What does Tecmark do?

We specialise in digital content led SEO campaigns. We started as an out and out SEO agency back in 2008 and have developed over time. We're now running full content marketing campaigns, SEO campaigns and also providing content support and training for in house teams.

What's your role there? What does a typical day look like for you?

As Search Director, my job is to ensure that our Search and Content Teams are running smoothly and delivering results. On a typical day I could be in brainstorming sessions, preparing a sales pitch with one of our sales team, experimenting and running tests on a bank of test sites or reviewing campaigns with our clients. It's hugely varied and that is what I love.

Tell us a little about your professional background.

My background is in copywriting. I was a freelance copywriter back in 2008 when my clients were talking SEO more and more. I figured I needed to get to grips with it, so I took a trainee role at Tecmark. If I'm being completely honest, I probably thought I'd learn a lot and then go freelance again. But 6 years and a number of role progressions later, I'm now Tecmark's Search Director and can't imagine ever being at another agency.

What are you going to talk about at Turing Festival? Why do you think it's so important?

I am talking about mapping content marketing efforts to the conversion funnel. There is a whole lot of creative content out there at the moment and the goals typically include traffic generation, link-building or social share building. But for me, the true value of content comes in knowing that, at some point, you have a shout at turning someone who found you through content into a customer. And my talk is about achieving that — generating awareness of your existence through content, and then using content to turn that awareness of your existence into purchase.

For companies that are getting serious about marketing for the first time, where do you think they can get some quick wins?

I think it is content and in particular, content aimed at winning traffic in the form of people researching products, rather than ready-to-buy products or services. When you enter a new marketplace, you are up against established brands with established audiences and big online profiles. So generating awareness is the first job and that can absolutely be achieved with some quicker, content-led SEO wins.

What common mistake do you see marketers making that drives you nuts?

Format-first content: "I want to create an infographic." If you decide you're creating an infographic before you've decided what your story is or who your audience is, it's really setting yourself up to fail. I think people often decide on a content's format before really deciding what story the content will tell and then deciding on the best format for it.

And finally, a quick-fire round, just to give the audience some more context about you...

  • Tea or coffee? Tea!
  • Wine or beer? Wine — specifically prosecco!
  • Twitter or Facebook? Twitter
  • iPhone or Android? iPhone
  • Favourite city? Munich
  • Last book you read? Brian W. Mattimore's Idea Stormers.
  • Last gig you went to? Belle & Sebastian at Newcastle City Hall.