Seun Obatuyi

I'm Seun Obatuyi. You may know me as a Search & Analytics professional. But, where's the best place to find my thoughts on life, startups, digital advertising and business? Here.

10 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Digital Marketer in Nigeria, and an SEO too!

10 questions to ask when hiring digital marketing manager in nigeria and seo

A smiling black human resource manager interviewed the applicant with his curriculum vitae for the job vacancy. 

This piece originally appeared on LinkedIn Pulse as 10 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Digital Marketer in Nigeria, and an SEO too!

As an employer, no doubt you want to hire the right digital marketer. Caroline Wabara wrote an extremely helpful piece on 10 Digital Marketing Job Interview Questions Nigerian Employers Ask.

You’re probably wondering next why you should be asking these questions, and what kind of answers you should be expecting in return.

Here are those 10 questions again, why you should be asking them and a rough idea of answers you might want to look out for.

1. What is your digital marketing framework or strategy for our organization?

This question lets you understand how the interviewee thinks: holistic or meager; long-term or short-term; sustained approach or quick-wins oriented. You get to know whether they fit your goal of eventual world dominance or not.

Just as there’s no point hiring a digital marketer who has goals way beneath your acceptance, it’s also futile interviewing a digital marketer whose level of achievement and remuneration are seventeen leagues ahead of your organisation’s. You both need to be right for each other.

You both need to be right for each other.

2. What made you choose digital marketing as a career?

If the interviewee is honest, this lets you understand their motive for being in the business. It’s not supposed to be a criteria to judge them, but it just helps you see with clearer eyes the person you’re dealing with. And if they give you template answers that they got from a Google search, it’s a no no.

3. How well do you handle digital media crisis? Give us an example of a crisis you managed successfully?

I reached out to people who are better at social media on this. Princewill advises that you watch out for the interviewee’s understanding of the crisis scope and how they approach the situation.

Adeniyi says you shouldn’t expect that everyone has handled a crisis in the past and that you should watch out for honesty. And lastly, Joe reminds us to look out for choice of words and attitude.

4. What is SEO?

If you’re going to ask someone what SEO is, you need to know it yourself. Quit the over-rambling about “keywords” and forget about reading that Wikipedia article on SEO. The first two paragraphs of this Moz article should give you a functional idea enough.

Once you’ve read up, sit back and listen to your interviewee. If they talk too much about keywords, that’s a red flag. You want to hear a few more advanced stuff like user search behavior, recent user search history, and site architecture (especially if you’re hiring for an SEO).

5. Give us 3 best SEO practices that help a company’s website rank from nothing to front page of Google?

If you focus on the phrase best practice, then you easily see why this is a trick question. Keyword stuffing, suspicious link sourcing such as building links from blog comments and automating linkbuilding with software, are not just Google-unfriendly but can easily get you demotion in search rankings.

It’s also a good idea to ask the interviewee what their view of “curated” content is.

6. If your company website’s SEO rankings suddenly went from 1st position to 3rd page on Google search and your boss is screaming, what would you do?

One of the first things to do would be to find out if there was a recent Google update. Did the website make any big changes, like moving over to a new domain? Was there any change made to the robots.txt page? Sitemap? Or better still, run an SEO audit to find out. Google’s Page Speed Insight and  Mobile-Friendly Test are good places to start. In any case, be very wary of overly short answers.

Really it’s pretty much like checking a car for mechanical fault. Look for the Roll-your-sleeves-to-work-and-find-out-what-the-heck’s-wrong Mechanic mentality in the interviewee.

Really it’s pretty much like checking a car for mechanical fault. Look for the Roll-your-sleeves-to-work-and-find-out-what-the-heck’s-wrong Mechanic mentality in the interviewee.

7. What major successful digital marketing campaigns have you handled in the past?

Success is relative. So, depending on what level of professionalism you’re hiring for, avoid putting the interviewee on the spot, else you force them to lie or claim a team member’s success that doesn’t belong to them.

Instead, ask if they have been involved in digital marketing campaigns in the past. What specific things did they do to help the campaign? How did they determine what success meant? How did they measure those?

8. What ideas do you have in order to reduce your company’s Pay Per Click ads budget spending from $3,000 dollars a month to $2,500?

Usually, answers will revolve around looking deeper into ad data for opportunities to better target the right customers  in areas including interests, geo-location, device, timing of day, demographics, and optimising to avoid bidding for non-converting over-competitive search terms.

But anyone can easily learn all of those by reading a few blog posts before coming to your interview; so you can’t feel too smart yet. What you’re looking for areideas; they don’t have to be 100% actionable. Look for the reasoning behind the answers.

Ask further “How did you arrive at that answer?” “Why do you think it’s better to do it that way?” How does that method compare to this other method?” Then you can be sure that your prospective digital marketer’s answers are original and they have what they need to push on for your business.

9. What are your strengths and weaknesses? What area of digital marketing are you really good or weak at?

If your dude says something like, “Nah, I’m equally great in all aspects of digital marketing”, and you go along with him, it’s really your risk to take such dishonesty lightly.

Digital marketing involves social media, SEM, SEO, display advertising, email marketing, content creation, content marketing, analytics, design and more. For your candidate to say that they are evenly rounded in all aspects of digital marketing would make even Superman scared of them. And so should you too.

For your candidate to say that they are evenly rounded in all aspects of digital marketing would make even Superman scared of them. And so should you too.

10. Where do you see yourself 3 years from now?

Career question. You don’t need my help figuring what the right answers might sound like. You’re the CEO; you’re the Boss. Hiring and keeping staff will remain your toughest job but you can succeed.

To be honest, many factors contribute towards nailing a successful digital marketing campaign.. Find 7 of them here. That your digital marketer interviewee was successful with their past employer don’t mean they will automatically be for you. Asking the right questions means you can get an accurate picture of the person before both of you commit into a long-term relationship.

Happy Hiring!

Seun is great at Search Marketing and Web Analytics. He’s mostly working on digital marketing, SEO training, product management and humor with startup businesses that have Africa close at heart.

Complete Digital Marketing Strategy: 7 Key Elements

7 elements to build the complete digital marketing strategy Pepsi long throat bottle

This piece originally appeared on LinkedIn Pulse as 7 Key Elements You Need to Build a Complete Digital Marketing Strategy in 2016

My friend AdeJoke Adekunle did a fine piece on What Social Media Trends Would Shape Nigerian Businesses in 2016. This is my response.

Note: This is about a 1000-worder. You don’t have to read all the 7 elements. Whatever point you’re able to read up to, you would have learnt or (have been reminded of) at least one thing.

In my comment, I wrote:

The faster any traditional model starts to realise the need for it to pivot along with the “next in-thing”, the better for the traditional model. If you can’t be the one to change the world, at least, be aware when it’s happening.

 The new level of consciousness now assures that the real problem for brands isn’t a lack of ideas. The real problem for major brands in 2016 will be building strategy- conscious teams with the right attitude to consistently align the voice and efforts of the brand across the multiple channels you’ve mentioned (Social, Content, Search, Video, Mobile) at an attractive customer acquisition cost. This takes time, is hard, but can be done. Naturally, this gets us asking:

What are the Key Elements You Need to Build a Complete Digital Marketing Strategy in 2016? Here are 7 of them.

1. First, an Idea

For a successful multi-channel campaign, you at least need something that connects you and your audience, a common ground; something you know your audience wants and for the purpose of a brand campaign, you’re willing to give to your audience, something that permissively steals your audience’s attention. Catch up on Permission Marketing on Seth’s Blog.

If you had a good idea of what your audience wanted, it could drive your arrival at an idea for your marketing campaign, right? We already know your audience doesn’t want more interruptive ads; you can be certain they also don’t want more contrasting colors on your banners.

Your audience wants a bigger bottle of Pepsi. They want you thinking ahead about their travel needs for Valentine’s Day. They’d like 10% off first-time purchases on your app. Oh yes, how about a free professional CV review? Or some recognition from your CMO on Twitter?

Don’t fret it; idea is the cheapest part of this. Everyone has an idea, including the cockroaches in your room, as Emmanuel Okeleji would say.

2. You Always Need the Right Team

You need a team to handle the different channels of your campaign. Some companies like to hire one digital marketing “strategist” who they want to handle everything, from answering queries on Facebook to engaging industry leaders on Twitter to optimising landing pages for SEO to managing their Google Ads account. If the dude will be doing all of those, please tell me, who then will be sitting down to do the actual strategising?

Don’t just go with hunch-feelings ideas. Let your team criticise your idea in-house carefully and test it with a sample subset of your market, or else we’ll do that for you publicly on Medium.

Your team should be balanced in 3 key areas:


Written, Photo, Video.


They must have a fairly good understanding of the factors that affect your brand’s reach on major platforms, how to influence those factors and adjust your campaign.


Understanding of what to measure, how to interpret key metrics form gathered data, report to management and connect the dots with company goals.

3. Leader of the Pack: A Strategist

The idea comes from your team but you need a strategist who can connect your chosen idea with business requirement. He refines it, breaks it down into a business goal, major objectives, actionable steps, measurable performance indicators, what to do when things go wrong and what to do to ride on the heels of a successful campaign.

He leads brainstorming sessions for your team to decide what is done by who, when and how and makes sure tasks get done. A planned pattern of How’s forms the Strategy. The Doing part is Implementation.

4. Need Money? Gotta Spend Money (Ok let’s Call This One “Investment”)

Many web entrepreneurs approach me and ask me questions like what can they do on their website to drive more leads. Usually, they’re hoping for something magical; something out of space; something they’ve not heard before; a secret keyword that doesn’t require effort. Just as you also thought, there’s no shortcut.

You want downloads, leads, conversions, right? You’ll need to be honest with yourself: How much do you want back from a campaign and how much are you willing to give? You will either be giving up some of your profit for the bigger gain or committing a budget to spend on Ads, or offering something completely free. And your online marketing team needs tools and training too; spend money on them,  and stop filtering their internet access, please. They are your future.

5. You Need an Audience, a Platform & a Voice

You need an audience on the right platforms. Find which of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn works best for your customer-product mix. Needless to say, you need this audience for your campaign to actually happen.

Whether individual or brand, you’ll need a voice; one that is interactive, as if people were hearing you speak, to the extent, if possible that when people see your blog post –  even if it were copied on another website –  they should be able to say, “That reads like what was written by Seun.”

6. There’s No Rush, You Have Time

The more patient you are with developing, tracking and refining your marketing strategy, the less money you should have to spend than if you weren’t. Simple math.

Yes,you need time. But you won’t just publish a blog post that has an average 1,300 searches-a-month, and say, “Oh Seun said I need time for these things.” Then you go to sleep and return in 3 months hoping that your page has now somehow found a way to beat Neil Patel’s post to number 1 position on Google.

7. Activity & Consistency are Extremely Important

Once you’ve decided you’re on the path of getting it right with your online marketing strategy, then comes sustaining the activity and consistently so over time. If you’re any fortunate, this is where you start to get the benefit of your hard work.

We’ve just summarised 7 key elements you’ll need for a successful digital marketing campaign. This is by no means all of them. Tomorrow I’m going to find out by another failure of mine that there’s another key element I should be adding to my mix.

You can’t have it all figured out from the beginning; that’s why we have Time on this list. It’s very normal to get confused at times but it’s always fun each time I work with clients on a digital marketing campaign.

You also probably have other methods that you want to share with me in the comments below. We keep learning. And that’s how it’s supposed to be. Please feel free to say something.

Seun is great at Search Marketing and Web Analytics. He’s mostly working on digital marketing, SEO training, product management and humor with startup businesses that have Africa close at heart.

How 41% Rise in Ad block Use Affects Your CMO’s Advertising Strategy for 2016

Rethinking Digital Advertising

Just recently, PageFair noticed that:

The way the public has taken to [ad blocking] technology suggests users aren’t happy with Internet advertising. And if ads are annoying potential customers more than enticing them to buy your product, you’re spending a lot of counterproductive money.

(In another post, I’ll talk about why ad blocking software is more of a win solution for ad buyers than it is for any other group: ad sellers or ad consumers.)

As a digital marketer, you’ve had clients come to you say excitedly, “We want our ads appearing everywhere. We want to show up everywhere.” Then they add: “Like Jumia. Like Konga.”

Paint Facebook red with ads. Bid off all of the competition on PPC. Take up all the spots on Mobile. Leave none for competition. Remarketing used to be cool. We remember we once thought, “Oh wow! These Jumia and Konga guys follow me everywhere I go!”

Then the habit turned annoying. We began to ignore the ads.

Big brands over-kill interruptive marketing to the point that ad consumers began to sort of protest. They began installing ad blocking software.

Our dear friends who used to be our loyal ad consumers now block us vehemently.

If your CMO’s 2016 strategy for marketing online is to “throw ads in their faces; make them buy”, then you and your team will need to be a bit smarter this time around. Ad consumers are smarter already.

Interruptive advertising is dying.

We’re in a different disposition now. What disposition, then? Some say we’re in the Content Marketing disposition.

Content Marketing is Great. But Keep Your Consent Marketing Game Stronger

In 2014, $145 billion was spent around the world on Content Marketing and that figure is expected to double next year. Content marketing is one of the most successful media for lead generation. We’re getting deeper and deeper into the Content Marketing Dispensation. But relax your oars not, as content marketing is not the Promised Land. It too will fade out. Here’s why:

What we call Content Marketing changes over time. It started with simply blogging.

Then some brands over-killed it.

Then the focus moved to delivering content into the email of our buyers. Overkill follows.

Then Infographics came.

If there’s anything we’ve learnt, it’s that how the consumer wants to be marketed to changes over time. Sometimes very fast. Those changes are heavily influenced by her experience with both you and other marketers. At a time, she begins to look away. Then we have to figure out another way to get her attention.

To get your customer’s attention in a way that contributes positively to ROI, you need to find a way to seek her consent first. If she doesn’t want to hear from you, she’ll ignore your banters. No matter how much you spend, you’ll lose most of it. Make sure she wants to be spoken to when you speak. Let her feel that she’s truly in control. Isn’t she?

“Install our app to get 5% off”
*gets her attention*
*Installs app*
“Ah so you do want us. Great”

Your buyer should be glad that you’re showing up, not sighing that you’re there.

Let your buyer say exactly how she wants to be marketed to. Respect her.

Here’s more on how to do this:

Give away something first

Find a common ground between you and her. Draw her in. Blog about things your audience cares about. Don’t sell when you’re connecting. Don’t sell. Don’t put unhelpful links in your content.

Let her realise that it’s not like she’s here, and you’re there. She’s here and you’re here.

Build Trust

If money can’t buy your love, why would it buy your customer’s? Your Director doesn’t have a chill. The board has targets on your neck, and to make matters worse your company’s stock prices are falling. But guess what – your buyer doesn’t give a H.O.O.T about all those. (Why would she? She doesn’t even read the stock market report.) And if one person’s opinions should matter now, it should be her’s. Building trust takes sincerity on your part, a willingness to give more to the customer than you may ever get back. Most of all, building trust takes time  years.

PS: One day I got an email from a brand I cared about. They said to me in the email: “Hi Customer” Please, don’t be like them.

Social Media is an Institution. Use it with Sense

Would you want to interact with a brand whose social media only tweeted about sales? I wouldn’t. You don’t have to be fantastic with social media to be profitable. But don’t be a jerk either.

Reward for Sharing your Business

Hint your customer about the possibility of sharing your business to friends and family. It’s great if you can give a reward for that. It’s these little things that matter to her.

Invest in Search Optimization & Search Marketing

*Types “I need tornadoes” into Google*
* shows up*
“Aha there you are! Been looking for you”

You want your ecommerce product pages to lead to 500 more product sales, don’t you? Spend time and money on search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM). Do the work once; make sales over and over again. Your average net profit per product sold should determine how much you budget for SEM. Find someone who can help you determine the right point for your business.

Search optimization pays good dividends. Good enough for you, if a customer has spent considerable time interacting with your website recently, your website has a better chance of showing up slightly higher in the natural search results the next time she searches on Google.

In conclusion, don’t get me wrong. Traditional “pushy”, interruptive marketing methods do work. They work for big brands who have deep pockets. They’re only more expensive and with generally lower conversion rates. It doesn’t have to be same with your business, does it?

I’ve seen businesses record a 0.50% CTR after a “pushy” ad campaign – and that was considered success! A successful search engine CTR on another hand, depending on competition or industry, would usually start from about 9% – at least!

Truth is in the end, no one can guarantee you 100% results even if you do all that’s needed to do. Besides a lot of factors affect what happens in the end other than your digital marketing efforts. Will you go bankrupt? No one knows. You don’t, either. Kodak did. Delta Airlines once did. And $690-billion company Lehman Brothers did, too.

But what we do know is, if you make the decision to respect your customer while planning your 2016 advertising campaign, you’ll be ahead of most in your industry.

The smaller your company is, the swifter you’ll move with these principles.

Find this post on LinkedIn Pulse.

Seun is an SEO professional who has worked with 13+ businesses on their digital advertising: search engine optimisation, PPC, ecommerce content development & marketing, SEO training for teams, and SEO hiring. He’s worked with teams in 16 countries and has written more than 1 million words for the web.