Two Minutes With” is Weber Shandwick Seattle’s employee spotlight series that provides professional and personal insight into our rockstar team. Enjoy!

Welcome Dana! Tell us a bit about what you were doing pre-Weber.

Many of my writer colleagues have joked that my autobiography would make a good screenplay. I come from a colorful, audacious and international family, and have worn many interesting hats in the professional world: wordsmith, content SEO guru, photographer and aerial performer (no kidding!). Not to mention, I’m related to the last executed witch from the Salem Witch Trials and heavyweight boxing champion Jack Dempsey. I am a firm believer that “Heinz 57” DNA + Crazy Adventurous Life = Idiosyncratic Smorgasbord of Daily Living.

On a more serious and professional note, my last position was Content Marketing Manager at A Place for Mom (APFM), where I was responsible for writing, editing and strategizing online content for both B2B and B2C audiences, as well as managing and writing copy for the company’s social media channels. My role was to dig deep into the target demographics’ psyches, after diligent analysis and persona research, to create content marketing that spoke to readers—and influencers—in a way that aligned their wants and needs with the company’s goals and branding efforts.  

Prior to APFM, I worked at All Star Directories, where I created online content for multiple audiences, including healthcare, fashion, beauty and business, driving a content increase of over 429 percent across multiple verticals and horizontals by doing in-depth SEO optimization and creative and marketing article expansion for the company’s highest revenue producing sites. My primary responsibility was to speak to consumers at different points of the conversion funnel to help establish thought leadership, repeated visits to the sites, and increased conversion. 

Dana LarsenWhat do you think are the top three challenges for digital marketers in 2014?

1. Consumers are facing information overload and are programmed to tune out digital marketing. In order to reach target demographics, smart digital marketers need to really get into readers’ heads through creative, inventive content marketing stories that resonate on a personal level to attract, acquire and engage a clearly defined target audience. Businesses really need to figure out where their audience is, who their competitors are, and figure out how to dial up content to attract and influence their target demographic.

2. Marketing ROI remains difficult to measure. Regardless of channel, marketers still struggle to measure ROI. You can strategically plan as much as you like, but hours logged and the cost of tools—combined with Web marketing variables—make ROI difficult to measure, which can be costly for companies.

3. Changes in the digital world. The digital world is constantly evolving and it’s hard to keep up. Whether it’s Panda, Hummingbird, personalized search, social, mobile or more, digital marketers need to keep up with an ever-changing industry and opportunities.

What do you see as the biggest opportunity right now for brands around content marketing?

It’s all about relationship building with industry leaders and influencers these days as there’s so much potential to promote your brand directly to your target market across various channels. By leveraging branding with high-quality, targeted content (with focused, expert writers and social authorities), brands can advertise and engage like never before. 

What brought you to Weber world?

I was enticed by the agency energy and culture. I have always been a storyteller and really love creative environments. Working with multiple clients through an integrated marketing approach—from content creation, branding and design to strategic and focused digital content marketing—is exciting. To collaborate, educate and execute with a team to build brand awareness and grow followers is spine-tingling stuff. And the crazy part? The content marketing ingredients and execution is unique for every client, which makes it all the more fun. 

When not creating digital goodness, what’s Dana Larsen up to on a Seattle weekend?

Most likely, my husband and I are spending our weekend keeping up with our mischievous little munchkins. We have soccer every Saturday and try to do something else fun; whether it’s going to the zoo, attending a sporting event, going on a hike, or just taking an afternoon stroll in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. 

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