Think Tank Interview Series: Debi & Eren #RockYourOnlineWorld I01

 Think Tank Interview Series: Debi & Eren #RockYourOnlineWorld I01

After the social team here at The Think Tank harvested a great relationship with Twitter superstar Debi Norton, we contacted her about some collaboration and like any wise-minded social quru, she was just as excited as we were! With the additional collaboration of Eren McKay, they were kind enough to take the time to answer a few questions about the industry and their thoughts on the matter. In this interview we cover SEO, Social Media, Content Marketing, Rhianna, and more! Packed with great information and helpful takeaways, this interview is sure to be one for the books! Enjoy!

Deborah Norton, Digital Marketing Consultant, SEO & PPC
Eren McKay, Social Media Strategist
Q1: Just to break the ice a bit, let’s get a couple non-niche specific questions       going to help our audience get to know the real you a little better! What are your favorites?

These are a Few of Our Favorite Things:

First here’s we have Debi!:

Chocolate Cake!
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Mozart to BB King
Vacation Destination?
Europe & Caribbean
Orsay, Paris & Fresh Produce, USA
Lewis Carroll
Bond No.9 NYC

Next up to bat is Eren!
The El Rancho salad from Outback.
The Heat with Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock – hilarious.
Although they’re not bands, I would have to say Rihanna and Sia are my favorite musicians.
Vacation Destination?
Australia- not just vacation. It’s my dream place to live.
Anywhere where they sell ELIE SAAB or Zuhair Murad
Jane Austen
Gabriela Sabatini perfume

Q2: I see you are very active in Twitter chats. For readers unfamiliar with these chats, care to explain what they are? What draws you to them? What do you like and dislike about them? Any you’d recommend to new users?

Twitter chats are an opportunity to connect with those who have similar interests from all over the world. By simply using hashtags in the chat, people can read your answer, reply or retweet you. It’s a great way to not only get visible, but also to get known, liked, and trusted within an online community.

Most of the time, Twitter chats are scheduled and anyone can jump in and share their expertise or ask a question.  It’s also way to express your opinions and share resources on digital marketing & organic SEO.

What draws us to them, is the fact that we truly enjoy connecting with other industry experts and listening to their thoughts and ideas. Collaboration is a great way to grow and learn in our ever changing online world.  After all “Sharing is Caring”!

We don’t dislike too much about Twitter chats. One concern is when you are a guest, you end up tweeting a lot and it fills up your stream which may annoy your followers –  
but only when you’re a guest.

If you’re simply replying inside a Twitter chat, it’s not going to annoy your followers because most of them can’t see all of the replies. As a guest however, it may be a bit stressful because there are so many tweets flying by that it’s hard to follow what everyone is saying and you don’t want anyone to feel ignored. 

We would suggest using certain tools to visualize the tweets in an easier way such as:

If the new users are webmasters, SEOs, website owners, or digital marketers these are the best Twitter chats out there:

Q3: The big buzz in marketing is content marketing. What is content marketing to you?


Content marketing is the creation of quality content, whether it is video, text, images, PPC, blogs, social media etc. that stimulates your audience to achieve a desired effect.

There’s a lot that goes on before your target market actually decides to buy. They need to be inspired, informed or entertained by the content you put out there. Consequently, that can lead to their engagement with your brand through commenting, liking or even sharing with their network the GREAT content you have created.

 A lot of people only measure sales as a success. What they don’t understand is that social media and content marketing is about building a rapport with your target audience. This will not only result in them becoming familiar with your products or services themselves, but also facilitates their friends and family knowing about the brand too.

The first piece of the puzzle is understanding what your company’s mission statement and core values are.  Then creating a consistent message, that should be conveyed
holistically and flow throughout the online ecosystem i.e. social channels and website properties in synchronicity.

There are many writers who are simply writing without thinking about the target audience and much less what the company’s end goals. Before creating any content, whether it be on the website or on the social platforms, you have to think about how it will help your company reach the ultimate objectives and if it fits the brand’s core values.

Q4: You’re always updating your personal website with new information. What resources do you follow to keep your ideas fresh and interesting?

Listen to your audience and you can find out what questions they’re asking in relation to your business. I like using the Google Search Console and delving into the actual search queries to find out what questions are being asked.

After that, turning those questions into answers for social and content creation. Especially now with voice search being on the rise, people are searching more in a question format.  The best thing for a site is to answer as many questions as possible.
So that the target audience has an immediate understanding and gets the answers they need around the products or services that being offered

As for freshness, you can create Google alerts around each topic of interest.  This will help you to be “in the know” of new information surrounding your niche that’s being published. You can also use filter the results by time frame to only get the most recent articles of interest, that have already received traction on the social platforms.

We also highly suggest creating a private Twitter lists of people who curate content in your market the best. Don’t fill it up your list with too many or else you’ll lose the gems in the midst of the noise. Use discretion about who you decide to put on this list. That way, if you take a look at these highly curated list every day, you’ll find the best content being shared in one place.

 Q5: Do you remember where you were at and what you were doing when the Google Panda update occurred? How did it affect your content marketing efforts?

Panda didn’t affect any of our clients. The Panda updates hit thin and low quality content and also websites that haven’t fixed basic SEO issues such as duplicate content within the site.

If an SEO is any good, they won’t allow their client to make such a basic mistakes on the site.  Unless the client won’t listen to their SEO, in which case we wouldn’t work with them.

Google is constantly making adjustments to the algorithm.  So an important aspect is to stay as close as possible to the Google’s Webmaster, Content and Quality Guidelines with great content and White Hat SEO.
Q6: How long have you worked at BRAVO! Interactive Media tell us about that experience. What do you do as a website design and development consultant? Any fun stories worth sharing? Where can people find more info on Bravo!

I am the founder of BRAVO! Interactive Media. As a digital marketing consultant, I access my client’s online presence and work to create an online experience that is consistent and clear so that it reaches the targeted audience and converts. 

Facilitating my client’s message to be consistent on the website, search engine properties ie., Google+ My business, social media channels, etc. So that emulates their mission and goals – while creating an awesome user experience that converts.

My passion is in Organic SEO and thrill of PPC Advertising.
The BRAVO! team is comprised of a consortium of Internet technology professionals. This creative talent has come together to create compelling, optimized, websites that convert for our clients. All members of our team are web enthusiasts and are experts in their fields of technology.
There are so many aspects to website creation, digital and social media marketing, that one person cannot know it all.  Collaborating with people who have expertise in different technological areas makes a big difference, to achieve the client’s goals. 

Eren Mckay, founder of Mckay Social, was inspired to help businesses thrive, which lead her to become a Social Media Strategist.  Her knowledge in social has led us to collaborate with clients.

Q7: Do you think link building belongs in content marketing? Why or why not?

Since Google has updated their guidelines about links, and classified many things as “link schemes”, obtaining quality links has changed.

We believe the term ‘link building’ is not as relevant as in years past.

It’s better to focus efforts on creating truly excellent content that caters to your target audience. This will allow you to naturally gain traction in the Internet community, consequently people will naturally want to link back to your content, so you’re actually attracting quality links instead of building them manually.

This process is also about building relationships with others in your niche in that they find your content noteworthy enough to share or link to it.  

Q8: Also, with social media’s growth, what kinds of impacts have you seen in your content campaigns?

Social media is a great opportunity for businesses of all sizes to connect on a more personal level with their ideal customers. Much like organic SEO, social media is a process and not a tactic.

Visibility is the first step. But once you’ve become visible to the right people, they still have to get to know you, like your great content and ultimately trust you.  It is about establishing your online reputation – showcasing your Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness (E.A.T.).  So E.A.T. a lot!

There’s so much noise in social; so many voices trying to be heard, that you have to get super creative in order to stand out from the crowd. 

A content piece that garners popularity to the target audience, many times, takes weeks to research, plan, and test before actually being launched.  Most people have no idea of the amount of work that it takes for a social media campaign, or SEO for that matter, to get results. If the market research is done correctly, a content piece may go viral and not only get that initial spike in traffic but also attract links which will help the website’s organic search results too! Content, social and SEO are all interconnected.

Q9: What do you feel are the strongest and weakest social media platforms for millennials? Why?

The strongest platforms for millennials are where they hang out the most. YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.

These platforms have the highest level of mobile app usage and allow millennials to be entertained, consume news, and send instant messages – mostly on mobile devices at a fast pace. 

Some key findings for millennials are that they’re trend setters, tech obsessed and they’re living the future today. Technology defines their lives.

Q10: Do you feel like there’s a later adoption of new social media platforms for brands using it for business purposes vs personal purposes? 

It really depends on the brand.

Companies who “get it” understand the value are using social media for the long term benefits and brand building value.  As they recognize it is online public relations.

Not all companies belong on all social channels.  They choose the social platforms where their targeted audience hangs out.

Mostly these brands that have savvy and bold social media marketers. These companies have the upper hand because they’ll be early adopters, learning and testing what works in order to be ahead of the game and reaching the target audience before the market is saturated.

Companies that are progressive understand this concept and an example of this is that 15% of brands on Twitter are on Periscope already.
 To learn more about how to grow your business online reach out to us – we’ll #RockYourOnlineWorld.


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