Emerson Spartz is the CEO of Dose, one of the world's fastest-growing digital media companies with 50 million unique visitors per month. Dose, the company behind Dose.com and OMGFacts.com, has raised $35 million in funding.
Named 'The Virologist' by The New Yorker, Spartz is one of the world's leading experts on internet virality and has been featured in major media including the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Inc, CBS, CNBC, and CNN. Spartz was named to both Forbes' and Inc Magazine's '30 Under 30' lists.
At the age of 12, Spartz founded Mugglenet, the #1 Harry Potter site and one of the largest websites of the early 2000s, which attracted 50 million page views per month. By the age of 19, Spartz became a New York Times bestselling author after publishing his first book.
Ahead of his presentation at the Digital Marketing Innovation Summit this March 21-22, we sat down with Emerson to discuss his company's use of social and his tips for content marketing.
What social media platforms do you find most useful and how are you measuring your success?
Facebook is the most important social platform because it has the largest active audience. We generally measure our success by views and engagement.
How does your output across the different social media platforms differ and why?
We send out many more tweets than Facebook or Instagram posts because there’s more of an appetite for it.
Why has content marketing seen such growth in recent years? How are you capitalizing on this?
Interruption marketing no longer works as effectively as it used to because there is too much competition. Consumers have learned to tune out ads. Content marketing is permission marketing -- you create value for consumers with good content that cuts through the clutter instead of holding their eyelids open and forcing them to be persuaded by your ad. Our business is exclusively built on content marketing.
What advice would you give to brands just beginning their content marketing journey?
Hire us. Just kidding. Spend at least two hours researching different content marketing tools -- there are tons of great options now. Remember that social ads are market-driven -- if your content is good, your price is lower. So focus on quality content.
What is your SEO strategy and how are you optimizing your websites and eCommerce platforms for search marketing?
We don’t do SEO. Social is the new SEO!
How do you maintain brand loyalty and meaningful engagement in the over-crowded digital space?
Content, as always, is king. The biggest opportunity is to use performance metrics to drive meaningful engagement in ways that weren’t possible before. Brand advertising used to be based on a philosophy of 'create and pray' -- create content and pray that it resonates. Our model is 'create and optimize… and pray' -- still do have to pray ;) We’re enabling better content by helping to take some of the guesswork out of creating better content.
How are you tracking your customer's’ journey and have you seen a change in browsing behaviours? (e.g. move to mobile, two-screens, etc.)
We’re a social media business so 80% of our users consume our content on their mobile devices.
How crucial is the role that data plays in your decision-making?
It’s at the core of our business -- using data to make better content. We primarily use Facebook for testing and iterating on content. Facebook is the most powerful platform ever created for testing content.
Are you personalising your consumer engagement? If so how? If not, why not?
We built a survival of the fittest process called Darwin to effectively match content with the right audience. It uses evolutionary, natural selection strategies to filter content iteratively.
What strategies are you using to increase your customer lifetime values?
Nothing fancy, just underpromise and overdeliver!
What do you foresee to be the biggest marketing trends of 2017?
- Facebook and Google are going to squeeze off traffic to publishers in a big way.
- Facebook will continue to eat the internet, despite the constant declarations of its impending demise from new platforms.
You can hear more from Emerson, along with other leading digital marketing executives, at the Digital Marketing Innovation Summit this March 21-22 in New York. To see the full lineup, click here.