Martech Interview with Katya Vakulenko, Founder, Soup Agency

Katya Vakulenko, Founder, Soup Agency talks about the top digital marketing metrics to measure this year and what traits every marketer must have in this digital age.

Having a catchy subject line is the first factor that impacts email CTRs as you want viewers to want to open the email in the first place.

1. Could you tell us more about your journey as the founder of Soup Agency?

I have always been passionate about Marketing, I like the fact that the industry doesn’t stay still and the landscape is forever changing. After working for a number of different companies over last 10 years I knew it was time for me to take the next step and branch out on my own. It wasn’t an easy road and at times the challenges hit harder than the wins. For the first 2 years I was a one-woman show and ran the agency myself. I still remember the day I hired my first employee, the significance of that moment meant I have worked hard enough to build it to a point where I needed another set of hands. From then on I haven’t slowed down, I now have 12 employees and contractors working with me and we are growing at a rapid pace. It is nice to look back at the last 3 years and to see how much has been achieved in that time. I now spent the majority of my time expanding and growing the agency.

2. How did you manage to reach 2M new users in the first month?

With a full bespoke digital strategy we have implemented Paid ads across all different social channels on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and Google. We targeted the right audiences that the company hadn’t previously tapped into based on digital customer behaviours.

3. Your entire team had a splendid working holiday in Bali recently. What inspired it?

I think we can all appreciate the feeling of freedom especially after spending the last two years in lockdown. The inspiration behind the trip was to bring my team closer together, get them to really get to know each other, and at the same time challenge the norms of a working environment. I had one team member start mid-last year just as the lockdown started, I didn’t get to see her in person until 4 months later. During the past 12 months, we have also experienced tremendous growth. I quickly knew I wanted to try something different and provide the team with experience with an experience they would truly
appreciate. There is nothing more rewarding than really getting to know the people you work with and in a world of digital, we can really work from anywhere, so why not try it?

4. How can a brand improve the return on ad spend?
Simply put, by decreasing the cost of investment and increasing the value of transactions will ultimately improve ROAS. As a marketer, it is our job to test different ads to ensure which ones are converting. Therefore, having a variation of ad creatives to boost on different audiences groups are essential in understanding what draws the most attention and high/low conversions.

5. Which factors impact email CTRs the most?

Having a catchy subject line is the first factor that impacts email CTRs as you want viewers to want to open the email in the first place.

In terms of content ideas, we recommend using colours that are on brand with your website, or a pop of colour with bold text as the title to keep things interesting for our readers. Keep the texts short and sweet, we all know that people only give emails a quick scan – we do it too, therefore graphics and images are essential in highlighting your product/service offerings or information. We have found that including CTA buttons also increases website traffic as it gives that push for the viewers to take the action.

6. What are the top digital marketing metrics to measure this year?

– CTRs
– Conversion Rate
– Web Traffic
– Open Rates on Emails
– Engagement (like, shares, comments)
– Landing Page Views
– Cost per lead

7. In the digital age, what traits must every marketer have?

Every good marketer can be creative, accountable, and organised. Nowadays, I look for people who are driven to learn and being able to adapt to new changes because marketing is ever-changing. Another trait every marketer must possess are strategic thinking and the ability to problem solve because marketing is a trial and test process to discover the right audiences and how to successfully reach them.

8. What are the key steps that go into writing an attention-grabbing ad copy?

Writing an attention-grabbing ad copy is not an easy job. It must highlight your point of difference or special offering within your headline and have a clear CTA to drive your viewers to take action and convert. Keep it authentic and use the same language your customers use to drive their emotional response as well as this sense of personalization, like you are speaking to them. Engaging visuals are a must, if your ad creatives do not showcase your offering or are in line with your headline then you may as well be putting money down the drain.
Once you have a few creatives ready to go, it is important to create different variations by repurposing the headlines and images in order to truly optimise and allocate budget accordingly to the best performing ads later down the track.

9. How can marketers optimize landing pages for higher conversions?

Landing pages should be simple and straight-forward. We must not overwhelm and confuse the viewers with too much information. Like an email campaign, it is important for the CTA to be attention grabbing and clear, in bold dark colours and focus on one CTA so your viewers are not choosing between different options. Another thing to keep in mind is to ensure that the language is easy to read and create content that speaks to your readers.
Lastly, we need to make sure that the page loads within the first 3 seconds because people don’t like to wait and click out of the tab. Of course, we must remember to make it mobile compatible and optimized since most of us are on our phones rather than our laptops.

10. Soup Agency was recognized as a leading women-owned company by Clutch. What
does the culture at Soup look like?

This is something that I am actually really proud of because building and maintaining a positive working culture goes a long way. From day one I have always wanted my team to be involved in everything that appens in the business and for their opinion to be valued, we have completely flipped the old hierarchy structure on its head. Removing these barriers has allowed us to become better workers, communicators and collaborators. A positive working culture has allowed us to get closer and grow as a team, we often find ourselves organising social events outside of working hours as we genuinely enjoy each other’s company. To me, that is what real success looks like.

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Katya has built a successful career in the Digital Marketing space by devoting her time to helping businesses achieve their marketing goals, whatever they may be.
As an accomplished female founder, businesswoman, mentor, and guru of all things digital, Katya maintains a strong presence and influence in the female entrepreneurship and startup space, as well as Australia’s digital marketing landscape.
Katya continues to work hard to expand Soup Agency’s product offering and expertise, and achieve the best results for her clients.

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