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Cory Beevers: From SEO Apprentice to Performance Marketing Director

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Cory Beevers

Cory Beevers, Performance Marketing Director at The UGC Agency

Cory Beevers is not merely a name in the performance marketing landscape; he is a vibrant testament to tenacity, innovation, and the transformative power of digital mastery. Embarking on his digital odyssey at the tender age of 15 as an apprentice in a Liverpool-based digital marketing agency, Cory's journey has been nothing short of extraordinary. His early foray into the realm of digital marketing laid a robust foundation that would see him ascend through the ranks of the industry with remarkable speed and finesse.

With over a decade of experience under his belt, Cory has become a linchpin in the SEO domain, having honed his craft and contributed to the digital footprint of hundreds of brands. His acumen extends beyond mere search engine optimisation; Cory is a maestro of e-commerce scaling, adept at weaving the intricate tapestries of paid advertising strategies, search marketing, email marketing, and conversion rate optimisation to create symphonies of success.

At the heart of Cory's expertise lies a profound understanding of the digital tools that shape the online experience. From Google Analytics to Ahrefs, and from Adobe Photoshop to Klaviyo Email Marketing, his proficiency spans a wide array of platforms, enabling him to navigate and solve the complex challenges that come with scaling digital brands with the precision of a seasoned conductor.

The narrative of Cory's career is peppered with entrepreneurial spirit and a penchant for innovation. After a transformative stint at a burgeoning digital agency in Manchester, where he was part of the pioneering duo that laid the foundation for what would become a 70-strong team, Cory ventured into the entrepreneurial realm. He established his first SEO agency, which he later sold, and successfully ventured into e-commerce, further solidifying his reputation as a digital savant.

The serendipitous reconnection with a former colleague set the stage for what would become one of Cory's most ambitious undertakings yet—the co-founding of The UGC Agency. This venture is not just a business; it is a testament to Cory's vision of harnessing the power of user-generated content to redefine brand storytelling and engagement. Today, as the Performance Marketing Director, Cory continues to push the boundaries, working alongside a team of like-minded innovators and a roster of exceptional clients.

Cory Beevers' journey is a beacon for aspiring digital marketers—a narrative of growth, innovation, and the relentless pursuit of excellence. In his role at The UGC Agency, he remains at the forefront of the industry, shaping the future of digital marketing with every campaign, every strategy, and every success story.

The Unscripted SEO Interview Podcast with Cory Beevers

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Listen to the podcast

(57 minutes long)

Unscripted SEO Performance Marketing Q&As with Mark A Preston and Cory Beevers

How did you embark on your SEO career, Cory, and what has the journey been like so far?

I commenced my career at 15 as an apprentice at a Liverpool-based digital marketing agency, as you mentioned. After several years, I transitioned to another digital agency in Manchester, which has grown to over 70 staff members. Initially, it was just another colleague and me; we were the pioneering team. After nine months, I departed to establish my first SEO agency, which I later sold. I ventured into e-commerce, successfully selling another venture in that space. Subsequently, I undertook contract work for an influencer marketing agency in Manchester. It was there I met my current business partner. After a hiatus of a year and a half during which he worked elsewhere, we reconnected, leading to the foundation of our UGC agency, which now boasts an impressive client roster.

Do you believe starting early in the SEO industry offered you an advantage?

Undoubtedly, my age and accumulated experience now serve as a testament to my capabilities. However, the challenge often lies in overcoming the scepticism of the older generation towards young professionals, perceived as lacking in experience. The necessity to prove oneself from a young age, sacrificing weekends and time with friends and family, has been pivotal in reaching my current position. It's not merely the early start but the dedication and overwork it instilled that provided me with an edge.

Being a Director at 25, do clients perceive you differently?

Presently, no. The industry has grown accustomed to young achievers. Unlike a decade ago, when young success stories were rare, today, the rise of young professionals is commonplace. The industry's evolution over the last decade has fostered a greater acceptance and respect for younger talents.

Could you share some business lessons and setbacks you've encountered?

A significant challenge has been the allure of the "next big thing" on the internet, leading to a scattered focus. The key lesson is to maintain focus and resist the temptation to chase every new trend. This focus is particularly challenging for me, given my ADHD, which can lead to hyper-fixation on new ideas to the detriment of ongoing projects.

How crucial is focus to achieving positive outcomes?

Focus is paramount. For instance, during the pandemic, we capitalised on the hand sanitizer trend by focusing on a single product variant, which led to significant business growth. This focus on a core strategy, rather than diversifying prematurely, has been instrumental in our success.

What strategies have enabled you to work with renowned brands?

Specialising in a unique service has distinguished us from larger, more generalist agencies. Many big brands prefer the expertise and dedication of smaller, specialised teams. Our focus on a singular service has attracted clients through SEO, word of mouth, and referrals.

Is specialisation crucial for an agency's identity?

Absolutely. Specialisation sets us apart and enables us to excel in a growing niche within the marketing industry. This focus on being the best at what we do has resonated well with clients.

Can you explain Conversion Focused User Generated Content?

It involves sourcing content from creators that align with a brand's demographic, creating a variety of content for different stages of the marketing funnel, and distributing this content through targeted ad campaigns across various platforms.

Isn't marketing essentially about presenting the right content to the right audience?

Precisely. The versatility of UGC extends beyond ads to other marketing channels. Innovative applications, such as integrating UGC with emerging technologies like AR and VR, are expanding its utility and relevance.

How does UGC advertising differ from traditional influencer marketing?

UGC advertising offers a more transparent and targeted approach, focusing on content creation rather than leveraging an influencer's reach, allowing for more precise audience targeting and potentially higher ROI.

What is the size and structure of The UGC Agency?

Our team fluctuates, relying on freelancers rather than full-time staff to maintain flexibility and minimise liabilities. This approach allows us to engage the best talent on a project basis.

How has SEO contributed to your achievements?

SEO has offered me the freedom to work independently and innovate in the digital space, transitioning from early black-hat techniques to more sustainable, white-hat strategies over the years.

Does your approach to SEO differ for client sites compared to your own?

While there is a difference, the underlying principle remains the same: ensuring the integrity of the SEO work. With client sites, there's less room for experimentation, but it's essential to maintain a balance between innovation and reliability.

How do you balance testing new SEO strategies without risking negative impacts?

The key is to carefully evaluate the potential risks and benefits of a new strategy. If there's a significant risk, it's better to test it on a different, less critical site and monitor the impact over a more extended period to ensure its safety and effectiveness.

Are SEO professionals becoming complacent due to AI tools?

There's a tendency for some in the SEO field to rely too heavily on AI, overlooking fundamental SEO practices. It's crucial to remember basic tasks and maintain diligence in executing them.

Is there a risk of overlooking SEO fundamentals?

Yes, there's a risk that the fundamental building blocks of SEO are being neglected by some. Like the foundations of a building, these basics are essential for long-term stability and success.

What advice would you offer to aspiring SEO professionals?

Dedication and a willingness to outwork competition are key. Consider the global competition and the drive of individuals from diverse backgrounds. Success in SEO, as in any field, often requires more than just a standard workday commitment.

Do some individuals in the SEO industry lack the commitment to achieve success?

Indeed, not everyone is willing to put in the necessary effort to realise positive outcomes. The industry has a spectrum of dedication levels, with some individuals achieving great success through hard work, while others may not fully seize opportunities.

What are your future aspirations in the business world, Cory?

My focus is on nurturing our thriving business, exploring my passion for technology and innovation, and maintaining a balance that keeps me motivated. The future is open-ended, with continued growth and potential opportunities on the horizon.

Are there emerging trends that SEO and marketing professionals should be aware of?

Attention should be given to the evolving landscape of Web3 and blockchain technologies. Despite the volatility in the crypto space, there are foundational shifts occurring that could significantly impact digital marketing and SEO strategies in the future.

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