Welcome to Marketer Interview, where we bring insights from some of the most exciting and successful marketers.
Gabriela is an expert in SEO, content, PR, and women in business, and we’re excited to have her here to share her knowledge and experience with us.
- 1 Can you tell us about your journey into the marketing world and how you found Bright Valley Marketing?
- 2 What do you believe are the most critical skills for a marketer to possess?
- 3 How do you approach developing a content marketing strategy for a new client?
- 4 How do you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and changes in SEO, and what resources do you rely on?
- 5 Can you share an example of a successful PR campaign you’ve worked on and what made it effective?
- 6 How do you measure the success of a PR or content marketing campaign?
- 7 How do you balance your client’s needs with the constraints of working within various niches?
- 8 Can you speak to the challenges and opportunities you’ve faced as a woman in the business world?
- 9 What tools and software are most valuable for your marketing work and why?
- 10 What advice would you give someone just starting in marketing and wanting to build a successful career in the field?
Can you tell us about your journey into the marketing world and how you found Bright Valley Marketing?
I didn’t realize it then, but I launched my career by helping my mom launch her business in 2009. Her start-up was an in-home daycare service, something she was committed to.
She asked me to help her build a website promoting her new business. I had a college degree but no computer programming or web design background.
I dug in. It was a big learning curve, but I enjoyed the process.
Mom and I brainstormed on how to generate more business through her site.
The answer was SEO.
I drilled down, taught myself the basics, and figured out what would and wouldn’t work.
When we put it to the test, everything came together.
My mom’s business was at the top of the Google search for “home daycare Sacramento.”
What seemed almost mysterious back then continued to fascinate me.
I figured out how to market my newfound talents, and I’ve been building on that initial success ever since.
You have to be resilient.
Only some projects will be successful, but you have to be able to move on. Over the years, I’ve appreciated how the highs and the lows keep everything in perspective.
Both success and failure teach us invaluable lessons.
Adaptability is essential, too, because technical evolution is a given in our industry. We have to stay in front of it.
For example, some people feel challenged by AI. I see its positive potential. We can adapt it to fit our workflow and use it as a powerful tool or assistant.
Finally, you need to be a visionary.
As I began building Bright Valley Marketing, I knew I could put together a great team, but I wasn’t interested in a corporate business model.
My vision of a small company focused on individual client needs is working very well today.
The process always starts with getting to know the client’s core business.
What do they offer? Who are their target customers? What are those customers’ pain points? How does the client’s product or services help address those pain points?
Understanding the client’s core services and their audience positions us to research and pinpoint keywords that target their audience.
We focus on how those keywords are used.
An informational keyword might be generated by someone looking for basic information or an answer to a specific question.
Often, a search relies on a commercial keyword that results in specific services or brands.
When someone searches for a particular type of website, they use navigational keywords.
Transactional keywords come into play when the search is meant to complete a purchase or action.
Based on our research, we create a topical map that serves as a blueprint to organize our ideas and fine-tune our content topic ideas for individual clients.
The result is a solid content marketing strategy customized for each client.
We produce content that delivers action-packed value and offers the client’s product or services in a non-sales way.
How do you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and changes in SEO, and what resources do you rely on?
I’m a member of several SEO industry groups. We share insights, tips, questions, and advice on everything related to SEO and digital marketing in general.
I also receive newsletters from sites like Search Engine Land.
I stay in the know about everything that’s changing in this industry.
But most importantly, I track how these trends impact my clients’ websites. We manage multiple sites, so we can easily spot what is working and what isn’t.
We recently developed a PR campaign for a travel client.
It went completely viral.
Over 250 media outlets picked it up, resulting in 295+ backlinks to the client’s site.
These high-quality links came from authoritative media sites, such as CBS News, The Hill, and NBC New York.
And the campaign is still attracting media coverage! Some key highlights:
- Our campaign has been featured in five prime-time TV segments.
- It’s been shared on the social media accounts of 11 influential publications, including a government site!
- Our client’s linkable asset page (designed for this campaign) ranks for 219 keywords.
The campaign was effective because we made it highly relevant to summertime and created a sense of curiosity in the pitch.
That captured the media’s attention.
We also asked ourselves, as we do with every campaign idea we come up with, is this a campaign that people will want to share with their friends?
A great PR campaign does more than get the client’s website and brand mentioned in highly authoritative media outlets. It drives significantly increased traffic directly to the client’s website.
When you’re writing content, your content should rank well in Google, so your target audience can find it.
The result should be a visible increase in lead flow.
If your content isn’t generating leads, it’s not working!
We’re very selective about the niches that we work with. We ensure we have a solid understanding of our client’s products or services.
That’s how we develop great PR and content marketing strategies specific to each client. Doing it successfully requires a real depth of experience working in those niches.
Esoteric or hard-to-understand niches are challenging, especially when there’s very little information available online or through other media.
We also don’t take on gambling or other questionable niches.
My industry is relatively male-dominated, so I usually work with developers or other technical people who are men.
My experiences have been positive, but I’ve faced some challenging situations too.
My expertise was questioned a few times by technical people who refused to acknowledge their mistakes.
They tried to put it all on me.
On another occasion, I was yelled at and belittled over the phone by associates with whom I promptly cut off contact.
When something like this happens, it’s usually over a situation regarding knowledge.
Some men have a hard time accepting women in this industry.
They have trouble accepting that we know what we’re doing and are very good at it.
They could learn a thing or two from us.
Ahrefs is one tool that our agency can’t function without. It contains everything we need to maximize our process, from keyword research and ranking trackers to site audits.
Google Analytics and Search Console are, of course, a wealth of data right from Google.
They provide reliable information about what works or not for our client’s websites.
What advice would you give someone just starting in marketing and wanting to build a successful career in the field?
Join industry groups, and offer your services.
Learn as you go, and learn from the real pros!
Go out there and start networking. Sometimes, who you know can be as valuable as what you know.
Be transparent about your skills, and sell your personality.
People want to work with other people who are hungry and eager to learn. They enjoy connecting with others who are puzzle solvers, analytical, and friendly.
In this industry, it’s all about diving into the digital world and getting your feet wet.
Don’t waste time taking courses. You must learn the basics but can dive in and learn as you go.
I don’t say this just because it worked for me.
It did, but I say it because everything is constantly changing in this industry.
What worked yesterday won’t work today. You just have to get started.
Believe in yourself, and hold on to your vision.