INside Performance Marketing
Top 50 Industry Players from 2017
Coffee Qs: Tom Hillman, Audience Development Manager, Level Up Media

Coffee Qs: Tom Hillman, Audience Development Manager, Level Up Media

In our new series of question and answer features, Coffee Qs, we put a spotlight on the industry's rising stars and talented performance marketers.

How long have you been in your current role?

I've been at Level Up Media for just over nine months now - it feels like time has really flown by. I’ve worked in startups before but it’s amazing to see how much the company has grown and changed in just nine months. DingIt.tv is going from strength to strength, and TheGamer.tv’s launch this September was received really well by the gaming community; it’s also made a really positive impact on the business as a whole.

In one sentence, describe your role…

It’s my job to grow, and ultimately convert, audiences on all of our owned and third-party platforms.

How did you get into performance marketing?

I’ve been working in the media and publishing industry for around ten years and I think where I am today is a natural culmination of working in editorial, commercial, social media, and traditional marketing. For me, performance marketing and audience development bring together the best parts of these areas.

What excites you about performance marketing?

It’s the challenge. Performance marketing can sometimes feel a bit like trying to solve a puzzle with your eyes shut and hands tied behind your back. It’s especially true when you’re trying to leverage third-party platforms such as Facebook where they set the rules. Everything is firing on all cylinders, you think you’ve got your strategy sorted, and then a platform tweaks their algorithm which throws everything up in the air until you can ascertain what’s happened. It can be incredibly frustrating but there’s nothing like figuring out what you need to do and then seeing the positive metrics off the back of it.

What’s your biggest career milestone?

I feel incredibly fortunate to have worked in radio, media, and publishing as they’re competitive industries to get into. I’m also really proud of some of the audiences I’ve grown over the years from taking multiple brands to over 1.5M+ on Facebook and transforming a publisher that historically received very little organic search traffic into becoming a major player in the search space. I’m also pretty happy with the +33393% engagement increase achieved on DingIt’s social accounts too.

Do you have a professional role model?

That’s a really tough one, I don’t have just one but I do try and follow a decent slice of the industry flagbearers, business owners and entrepreneurs. I also follow people who I profoundly disagree with professionally, and in some cases personally, echo chambers are limiting in all areas of life.

What would be your top tip for newcomers to the industry?

Make sure you’ve got a thirst for learning and an appetite for discovery. If you stand still and close off your mind it’s easy to get left behind and lose your competitive edge. For example, it’s well known that audiences are more likely to convert if they trust the brand they’re dealing with. One of the ways in which we foster trust in our community is through our highlight clip competition. Each week our audience can submit clips and the best is crowned the weekly winner. We came to notice that we’d keep seeing the same faces coming back time and time again. Members of our community who win multiple times often go on to become one of our licensed content creators and then end up getting a regular income. By raising people through the community we generate social proof and this helps us get that competitive edge on many different levels, from mindshare to increased click-through-rate on social newsfeeds.

The favourite Twitter account you follow?

I love long-form writing and @Longreads does a brilliant job of showcasing all the amazing writing that’s being done around the world. There’s always something fascinating to read and whilst it sounds cheesy it really does expand my mind. I also believe that understanding other people’s motivations helps me become more effective in my day job. Now, I know I’m obviously biased, but I also think George does a fantastic job on DingIt’s Twitter account...

If you won the lottery tomorrow, you would…

Close up shop and move abroad. I’d try and find a modest sized house at the foot of a mountain and by the side of a lake; preferably with a forest surrounding it all. Then I’d do a lot of writing. Either that or set up an otter sanctuary...

If you could meet one famous person, dead or alive, who would it be?

In a personal capacity, it would have to be my dad or grandmother, there’s always things you wish you’d had the chance to ask but never did. In a professional capacity, I’d love to meet Bill Gates. Between what he’s done for the tech industry, and the philanthropic work the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation does, I think he’d be a fascinating person to spend a little time with.

Continue the conversation

Got a question or comment – tweet Mustafa @Mos210890 ‏ or comment on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIN.

Mustafa Mirreh

Mustafa Mirreh

Supporting the editorial team in PerformanceIN, Mustafa brings you the latest day-to-day news updates from the world of digital marketing, while also doing social media promotion, live reporting, blogging and interviewing with key industry players and stakeholders.

Based in Bristol, Mustafa graduate with a marketing degree before delving into the world of music journalism through self-starting an online blog and collaborating with other publications. Now he has joined the PI team and has set his sights on succeeding in Digital Marketing.

Read more from Mustafa

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