IIN: How is your structure set up?
CAROLA: We have three main business units—Jellyfish UK and Jellyfish US, plus Jellyfish Publishing which works specifically with publishers. We took on our first publishing client in 2002 and now work with a range of consumer and B2B publishers in the UK, US, Australia and South Africa, running both domestic and international campaigns for them. Across the business we have more than 180 staff in four offices: Reigate and Brighton in the UK, Baltimore in the US, and Durban in South Africa.
What kind of work does Jellyfish Publishing do?
Jellyfish Publishing is a digital marketing agency which primarily works with publishers to acquire qualified leads and paid subscriptions using a variety of digital channels. We create a dedicated microsite for each brand we work with, and then drive traffic to the site using a wide range of marketing channels—PPC search, display, email, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube etc. There are other digital marketing agencies out there, but it’s our specific publishing knowledge and expertise that sets us apart. And we offer a full digital marketing service covering SEO, social, creative (including video) and development as well as PPC search and digital display advertising, all of which supports our lead and subscription generation offering.
Why do you create microsites?
Typically, if you go to a publisher’s own website, you’ll see banner ads, free editorial content, promotions for events/awards etc., all of which can distract a prospective customer from the reason they might have initially landed on the site—ordering a subscription. So using a dedicated environment, with every page on the microsite focused on selling a subscription or encouraging the visitor to sign up as a lead, we get higher conversion rates—which generates both a higher volume and a better ROI for our clients.
How do you optimize your digital marketing campaigns?
We write new content and create specific landing pages for specific keywords. For example, for a boating publication, if we spot that there are a lot of searches around keywords such as “boat design” and “latest innovations in boat design”, we will create a landing page featuring specific content all around boat design and also explain how the publication covers this in its regular content. So we offer quite a bit of free “editorial”, but it’s designed as a teaser to encourage sign up.
And you mentioned that testing is big at Jellyfish.
Testing is fundamental to what we do. Our mantra is test, analyze and refine. We test every element involved in a campaign—different keywords, different landing pages, wording on the call to actions, colors on buttons etc. Once we have attracted a potential customer [to a site], we want them to stay and then sign up. And we’ve learnt that beautiful doesn’t always work. A designer might say that the creative needs a full overhaul, but in reality, the existing creative can work better, with just a minor tweak. What’s key is to split test and look at the results. The numbers ultimately tell.
Doesn’t it take time to do that much testing?
That’s what we get paid for. We monitor all the key statistics every single day. The closer and better you manage a campaign, the more you get out of it.
What are some reactions?
That acquisition cost is too high. How do we bring it down? Or that was a fantastic response—what can we do elsewhere like that? We’re constantly looking at how we can optimize campaigns to get the best results.
I see that you do some blogging.
We try to do a few a month, and it’s the members of our team who are hands-on running the digital campaigns who write the blogs. We don’t have a dedicated person blogging. But unless we have something worthwhile to share—new initiatives from Google, a new area we’ve tested and want to let publishers know about—we don’t blog for the sake of it. We’re not a publisher but an agency wanting to share best practices, good ideas, case studies and things we’ve tested.
How do you view the Information Industry Network?
It’s been good so far. It’s trying to be different. SIPA has some history here, but we’re in the early days of create the brand, understand what it is we’re trying to do, and how we can help and support publishers. The emphasis is on learning, connecting and sharing.