ICS Podcast Round-Up: Experts Champion Content and Collaboration

ICS Podcast

The ICS Podcast: Everything Digital has provided insights from SEO, branding and marketing experts across some of the most competitive markets in the world. We’ve discussed and learned a lot!

Two of the most important lessons we’ve learned from these three episodes are based on the two Cs. Yes, that’s right, even in a world full of fancy new ideas, those in the know still value content and collaboration above almost everything else. Let’s find out why…

Massi di Giovanni: FanDuel

Massi di Giovanni understands the power of content better than most. He’s head of SEO at FanDuel and regularly battles for rankings with some of the biggest gambling companies in the world. During his chat with Martin Calvert, Marketing Director at ICS-digital and ICS-translate, di Giovanni stressed the need to develop an SEO strategy that connects the product to marketing and content.

Those three areas can’t exist in isolation. Ultimately, there needs to be a balance between the product and SEO content. The product does most of the conversion, so you can’t sacrifice one for the other. However, without the right marketing and SEO, no one is knocking on the door ready to be converted.

Taking this a step further, di Giovanni explained that products need to convey a certain passion. Audiences need to see ideals they can connect with. In his view, “the best way to do this is through content.” Commercial content serves a purpose, but it “needs to stay within boundaries” when it comes to SEO.

For di Giovanni, blogs allow you to be more creative as an SEO manager and uncover new opportunities. Again, this content can’t be at the expense of everything else. But, with the right editorial strategy, it’s possible to optimise for more keywords and have a more liberal SEO strategy.

How do you achieve this symbiosis between product, marketing and SEO strategy? Collaborations. He left us with one simple but significant parting shot: “you can’t do SEO by yourself”. Follow the link below for more SEO insights from Massi di Giovanni.

Aiza Cheung: Studio Coya

It was almost as if brand strategy expert Aiza Cheung chatted with Massi di Giovanni before her appearance on the ICS Podcast. Although she came at the topic of creating desire from the angle of branding, rather than pure SEO, she echoed a lot of di Giovanni’s sentiments.

As Cheung told Martin Calvert, too many companies focus on their product first and ignore branding until it’s too late. In her view, they have to work in unison. Or, to put it more metaphorically, product and branding are ingredients.

“I describe branding as a pie. The crust is the strategy, the filling is the product, and the toppings are your identity and how you deliver. Everything is a mess on the table without the crust”.

Put simply, a brand strategy holds everything together and informs all decisions from the very start. Inherent within this analogy is the need for communication between departments. That’s why Cheung always involves as many heads of departments as possible in her strategy meetings.

Her aim with any business she works with is to create a brand culture. This can only be achieved through collaboration. Getting heads of different departments to contribute ideas fosters a greater understanding of the brand. This creates a culture through which all marketing efforts, from commercial and editorial content to the product and HR, are fully aligned.  

See what other tasty treats Aiza Cheung serves up during her chat with Martin Calvert by tapping the link below:

Dimitris Drakatos: Paired

The final expert to champion the two Cs during his time on the ICS Podcast was head of SEO at Paired, Dimitris Drakatos. He understands the value of collaboration because he’s worked across a number of departments at multiple startups, including Revolut.

Drakatos has a holistic approach to content. His goal isn’t to optimise a single page for SEO. He believes pages should be lures that attract users, but they shouldn’t be hooks. Drakatos doesn’t want people to stay on a single page. They need to explore the entire website.

You can’t ignore the technical side of SEO, but it needs to mesh with the user experience. Drakatos told us that UX considerations, such as page loading times and layout, need to connect with SEO. When these two things work in harmony, you get a website that attracts and converts.

Naturally, in order for the content to fulfil these two goals, you need departments to cooperate and collaborate. As Drakatos said, the SEO team “can’t take responsibility for all of the branding”. Every department has a role to play. Moreover, Drakatos believes the SEO team should always be involved in business discussions.

Collaborations lead to content that can create new opportunities, not just for SEO but the business in general. In parting, Drakatos emphasised the importance of not settling. Don’t push too hard too fast but, by the same token, don’t be afraid to experiment. The more departments work together, the more ideas can flourish and the better online visibility a company can achieve.

Click the link below to hear the full 49-minute discussion with Dimitris Drakatos: