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Sourced from BOSS Magazine

Digital marketing enables businesses to extend their reach through a variety of channels 

Before the internet took the corporate world by storm, businesses would buy commercial time on television, place ads in the local newspaper and send information about sales to their customers through snail mail.

Now, thanks to the advent of digital marketing, companies are able to get the word out about their products, services and sales through digital channels such as websites, social media, apps and emails.

In order to help use the power of this effective medium as effectively as possible in your own company, consider the following digital marketing tactics and tips:

Strive for Interactive Digital Content

When it comes to effective digital marketing strategies, strive to create interactive content. Unlike passive digital content (such as a blog post or video) that is merely read or watched, interactive content requires the user to be more actively engaged. In turn, the user will receive extra relevant information he or she can use when making a purchase. This approach should not only help improve a site’s conversion rate but can also lower the bounce rate and lead to more shares and backlinks, which is a key component of SEO.

Speaking of SEO, it Continues to Be Important

Today’s customers frequently use the internet to search for companies and products. To help ensure that your business pops up near the top of these searches, entrepreneurs must pay close attention to search engine optimization, or SEO. Search engines such as Google are constantly making updates and changes to their algorithms; this means that SEO is always evolving and must be updated and reviewed. While you don’t necessarily need to understand the variety of algorithm changes and how they work, it is imperative to have someone on your team who does. Or you could hire a digital marketing company that can help with this crucial task.

Know Your Target Customer

Before spending a lot of time and money on a digital marketing strategy, make an effort to know your company’s target demographic. This includes learning the social media sites your customers are most likely to use and then creating meaningful content on those sites. For example, while Facebook is definitely a useful social media site for business owners to use, younger shoppers may prefer to spend more time on Instagram and they may be more amenable to getting texts with information about sales and new products. As a business owner, you can check your customer data for demographic trends and you can also send surveys to gather specific info on how/where people would like to hear more about your company.

Mobile Optimizations are a Must

To get the most bang for your digital marketing buck, everything you do on social media, your website and on search engines must be easily visible on mobile devices. Mobile-friendly formats are not optional — they are virtually a requirement now for all business owners. Keep in mind that customers who are in a hurry for information will probably not have the patience or time to try to expand the information on their smartphone’s screen to see your site — they will simply click out and go to the next one.

When Done Well, Digital Marketing Can Be Highly Effective

Granted, TV commercials and print ads are still valid ways of advertising. But to really reach as many potential customers as possible, entrepreneurs must embrace digital marketing. From creating interactive content and making sure your website uses keywords that will boost SEO, to knowing your customer base and having optimized for smartphone viewing, your digital marketing strategies should help to grow your customer base and sales.

Sourced from BOSS Magazine

By Shalom Kamau

The increase in social media and digital technologies has led digital marketing to become the most in-demand form of advertising. It is easier to reach a larger audience and have a higher return on investment (ROI) within a short period in the digital marketing field.

For this reason, more people are interested in becoming digital marketers. This guide covers all the necessary steps you need to launch a career in digital marketing as well as similar jobs you can pursue. Read on to discover more and learn how to become a digital marketer in 2021.

What Is a Digital Marketer?

A digital marketer is a marketing expert in charge of using digital technologies to reach customers online. Their primary role is to ensure clients receive widespread recognition on digital channels, which in turn generates higher sales. Digital marketers must be conversant with most, if not all, of the digital marketing tools currently available.

Some of these tools include social media, email marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, and mobile marketing. It is essential to understand these powerful tools as you begin your career path to becoming a digital marketer.

Digital Marketer Job Description

In short, your primary role is to act as a bridge between a company and its customers. Digital marketers perform several duties, from creating and uploading content to strategizing ways of enhancing search engine rankings. You will be in charge of the client’s online platforms, such as the company website, Instagram page, or blog content.

You will plan and strategize ways to engage with customers and keep them interested in your client’s brand or product. You will also likely manage Google Analytics and other SEO tools, enhancing the company’s online presence through posting images, videos, and written content.

Digital Marketer Salary and Job Outlook

The Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS) indicates a six percent job growth for advertising and marketing jobs between 2019 and 2029, which is faster than average. The fast job growth can also be attributed to the lucrative annual salary. The BLS also reports that marketing management professionals earn $141,490 per year.

PayScale offers a more specific salary outlook. According to its official report, digital marketing specialists earn an average salary of $50,380. However, this can go up to $62,767 for experienced digital marketers. If you enter a digital marketing management position, your salary can double. This means you should enter the field as soon as possible.

Top Reasons to Become a Digital Marketer in 2021

Besides the job security and high salaries, there are many different reasons to become a digital marketer. This field is both fulfilling and full of variety. Below are more reasons why pursuing a digital marketing career in 2021 is worth it.

  • Job outlook. Digital marketers have a great projected job outlook for the rest of the decade. The six percent growth rate projected by BLS emphasizes job security in the industry for an extended period.
  • Flexibility. Apart from extensive job opportunities, you also have the freedom to work in any industry. Digital marketing professionals can work in retail, fashion, entertainment, education, technology, or sports.
  •  Lucrative salaries. The digital marketing industry pays its workers well. You can receive a median salary of $50,000 and above, depending on your skill level. In addition, most digital marketers have the freedom to work as freelancers, which is a great way to make extra income.
  • Creative outlet. If you’re a creative person, working as a digital marketer is a dream come true. There are always opportunities for you to think outside the box and develop ways to make a marketing campaign stand out.

Digital Marketer Job Requirements

Although penetrating the digital marketing industry isn’t as challenging, you still need to meet specific criteria as a digital marketer. Employers are open to employing individuals who meet the following requirements.

  • A bachelor’s degree. Employers look for candidates with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing or a related field. However, an Associate Degree in Marketing is still enough to get you a job as a digital marketer.
  • Digital marketing tools. You must be familiar with several digital marketing tools. Tools like social media, email marketing, and search engines play a significant role in the success of digital marketing campaigns. In addition, you need to understand how Google Ads works, perform numbers analysis, and keep up with the current trends.
  • Experience. On average, employers look for candidates who have worked for two or more years in the digital marketing industry. However, this doesn’t mean beginners are out of luck. You can launch your career by applying for entry-level digital marketing jobs to gain more experience.
  • Problem-solving skills. Like every other industry, problems and emergencies occur in digital marketing. Therefore, you need to be a fast thinker and always come up with suitable solutions for any problem.

Types of Digital Marketing Careers

As mentioned above, digital marketers can work in any industry. You can also branch into different career paths under digital marketing. Whether you want to become an SEO expert or a digital marketing manager, your roles contribute to the business’s success. Below are some of the most popular digital marketing careers.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Specialist

An SEO specialist ensures a website ranks highly on several search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. You will delve into keyword research to ensure each article aligns with current common search terms. Your primary role is to increase website traffic by making sure your website activity generates leads.

Social Media Manager

A social media manager oversees a client’s social media platforms. You will be responsible for creating and posting content, responding to customer comments and queries, and monitoring engagement data. Moreover, you need to be up-to-date with current trends to ensure your client’s products align with contemporary markets.

Marketing Coordinator

A marketing coordinator is in charge of content marketing strategy for all marketing channels. You will also lead the marketing team in the day-to-day activities of the marketing department. These activities include tracking product performance, monitoring customer engagement, or drafting performance reports for clients.

Digital Marketer Meaning: What Does a Digital Marketer Do?

As mentioned earlier, a digital marketer acts as a bridge between the company and its customers on all digital platforms. Digital marketers wear many hats and therefore need to have many different skills. Read below to learn more about the responsibilities that digital marketers have.

Conducts Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is one of the best ways to enhance a company’s website traffic. It involves marketing strategies that redirect user attention to your site. You will create and distribute content through link building, content marketing, and search engine optimization.

Tracks Social Media

As a digital marketer, you will manage one or more social media pages. Your role is to enhance the client’s social media presence by posting regular content and engaging with the customers. You will also gather analytics, conduct pay-per-click (PPC) marketing, and write performance reports.

Communicates with Customers

Digital marketers are in charge of developing and maintaining relationships between the company and customers while increasing brand awareness. Digital marketers need to ensure that all content being produced and published online is in line with the brand’s image.

Essential Digital Marketer Skills

Digital marketing can be applied to any industry, meaning professionals need a variety of unique skills. Almost all businesses in 2021 have a digital marketing presence, and there are many jobs out there that require different skills and tools. Most employers look for the following skills in all potential employees.

SEO and SEM

Search engine optimization and management skills help you bring traffic to your client’s website. Therefore, you must know how to research keywords, analyze performances, and keep up with the analytics. This is arguably the most important part of digital marketing because it helps clients or customers find your business or organization.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) and Social Media marketing

You should learn how pay-per-click marketing works and use marketing channels like Google Ads and sponsored posts. Understanding trends will help a brand’s social media stay relevant. You should be familiar with Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and any other relevant platforms to the industry.

Storytelling

Whether visual or written, your posts, blogs, and images must tell a story. You should have the ability to make ideas flow in a way that any reader can understand and that adheres to your company’s brand. Communication is a vital part of digital marketing.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Digital Marketer?

It takes anywhere between six months to four years to become a digital marketer. You have the freedom to pursue various learning paths, including community college, bootcamp, university, or online courses. Therefore, depending on your learning path, the time frame will differ.

Can a Coding Bootcamp Help Me Become a Digital Marketer?

Yes, coding bootcamps offer short-term digital marketing courses for beginners and experienced professionals. You can learn various digital marketing fundamentals, such as advertising, PPC marketing, content strategies, email marketing, SEO, and marketing budgets at one of the best digital marketing bootcamps in 2021.

Can I Become a Digital Marketer from Home?

Yes, thanks to modern technology, it is possible to become a digital marketer from home. You can register for an online course, pursue an online degree, or join an online coding bootcamp remotely. All you need is a reliable Internet connection and a working computer.

How to Become a Digital Marketer: A Step-by-Step Guide

Becoming a digital marketer involves a straightforward process of getting an education, gaining experience, and finding a job in the industry. Below is an overview of how to become a digital marketer in 2021.

Step 1: Get an Education

Like all other careers, it is essential to get an education before launching your career. You can join a digital marketing bootcamp or any other educational institution. If you can, take this time to find a specialty within the industry.

Step 2: Gain Experience

You can gain experience by finding an internship or an entry-level job. You will gain hands-on experience in the field and develop the skills to flourish as a digital marketer. You can also take the initiative to create a personal portfolio of mock marketing or social media campaigns.

Step 3: Find a Job

After you gain enough work experience, find a career in the industry. For example, you can work as an SEO specialist, digital marketing manager, or email marketing manager. There are many different specialties within this field, so find one that works for you and your career goals.

Best Schools and Education for a Digital Marketer Career

There are several learning paths for a digital marketer. Some are long-term, while others only take a few months to complete. Below are the best schools for anyone pursuing a digital marketing career.

Digital Marketing Bootcamps

Digital marketing boot camps are short-term programs with a curriculum that focuses on the fundamentals of the industry. Most boot camps provide career services like resume reviews and mock interviews, and many boot camps partner with companies to ensure you receive job placement upon graduation.

Vocational Schools

Vocational schools focus on the technical aspects of digital marketing. You will receive hands-on training on using analytics tools like Google Adwords, social media networks, affiliate marketing, and other digital marketing concepts.

Community College

You can pursue a two-year associate degree at a community college. The education path is not equivalent to a bachelor’s degree, but most associate degree holders are eligible for entry-level positions. You can also transfer your credits over to a bachelor’s degree if you want.

Digital Marketing Degrees

A bachelor’s degree is enough for you to launch a lucrative career in the industry. However, after the four-year degree program, you have the opportunity to pursue a master’s degree or even a PhD. You should research the best online degrees before you decide which one to pursue.

The Most Important Digital Marketing Certifications

Certifications are essential for any career path. You solidify your authenticity as a digital marketer and gain the upper hand when it comes to attracting clients. Below are three of the best professional certifications for digital marketers.

Google Ads Certification

This is a free certification program that tests your knowledge of Google Ads. You will explore basic and advanced knowledge before completing a Google Ads Fundamentals assessment. You can choose from a few different Google Ads certifications depending on your career goals and where you are in your journey.

Hubspot Inbound Marketing Certification

This program focuses on the fundamentals of inbound marketing. It is a free four-hour Hubspot Academy course that teaches you everything you need to know to become a digital marketer. If you want to learn inbound marketing techniques, this certification program is the perfect choice for you.

Copyblogger Certified Content Marketer

The Copyblogger program is one of the best content marketing certifications courses. It is self-paced coursework that costs $495 on Copyblogger. Once done, you become listed in the Certified Content Marketer directory and have a certification for your resume and LinkedIn profile.

How to Prepare for Your Digital Marketer Job Interview

A job interview is a significant part of the job search process. You should research the company, find out about their products, prepare your cover letter, and practice mock interviews more than once. Remember to stay positive and always exude confidence when responding to questions. Practicing questions is the best way to prepare for your job interview.

Digital Marketer Job Interview Practice Questions

  • Why do you want to pursue a digital marketing career?
  • Which digital marketing tools do you use?
  • How will you enhance our company’s online presence?
  • What strategies would you implement to raise awareness for our company?

Should I Become a Digital Marketer in 2021?

Yes, digital marketing is a fast-growing industry with many opportunities. You get to explore your creativity, work in a fun environment, and network with a diverse team. Furthermore, you can earn a lucrative salary with many opportunities to move up in the field. If you want to work with digital content, social media, and SEO, you should become a digital marketer.

Digital Marketer FAQ

Can You Become a Digital Marketer Without a Degree?

Yes, you can enrol in a digital marketing boot camp or pursue any digital marketing online course on massive open online course (MOOC) platforms.

Is It Hard to Become a Digital Marketer?

No. Digital marketing is a flexible field and accommodates people with little to no experience. However, you need to be motivated and ready to work hard.

Is Digital Marketing Worth It?

Yes, digital marketing is worth it. The industry has an impressive job growth rate of six percent, according to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, which guarantees job security. Even better, it can be an exciting career where no day is the same.

How Many Years Does It Take to Become a Digital Marketer?

A digital marketing career takes a few months to four years to start, depending on your learning path. You can attend a digital marketing boot camp for two to six months, a community college program for two years, or a university degree program for four years.

By Shalom Kamau

Sourced from Career Karma

By Myles Suer

A large part of my career has involved pivoting between product management, product marketing and solution marketing. I spent nearly two years out of work after my second start-up had failed in 2000. During my job search, I kept noticing Silicon Valley organizations cobble together multiple jobs under one title. One that came up frequently was product marketing jobs asking for brand builders.

Now I had hired a branding company to name my largest start-up, but had no idea myself how to build a brand. Desperate for an answer, I bought David Aaker’s 1991 book, “Managing Brand Equity.” It explained the value of a brand, and recommended marketers do five things to help build one:

  1. Treat the customer right.
  2. Stay close to the customer.
  3. Measure and manage customer satisfaction.
  4. Create switching costs.
  5. Provide unexpected extras.

Aaker’s book provided the answer I needed for my next job interview, but I knew there was more to positioning and branding. A new book published this week reminded me of my quest for branding and positioning knowledge all those years ago: Kimberly Whitler’s “Positioning for Advantage: Techniques and Strategies to Grow Brand Value.”

How Marketers Create Competitive Advantage

Whitler is the Frank M. Sands Sr. Associate Profess of Business Administration at University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. She argues marketers should focus on creating sustainable advantage for their businesses. Advantage is created “by combining the firm’s resources with insight-generated marketing intelligence (information on competitors and consumers) and direction from firm level strategic marketing choices about where a brand should play or its desired position.” Effective marketing plans should therefore define how to win, choices and decisions regarding resource allocations, organizational structure design, strategic partners and go-to-market activities.

The outcome from this effort should in theory be superior marketing strategies and plans. These should deliver a perceptual advantage (in the hearts and minds of customers) which translates into a brand equity advantage and ultimately drives business growth. As Whitler sees it, the business outcome is a vision of how to win given an organization’s competitors.

The Positioning Concept

The problem, according to Whitler, is entrepreneurs spend so much time learning how to create new products and not enough learning how to create a brand. I agree. Most start-ups in Silicon Valley focus on selling products and product features prior to their Series C or D funding. This approach puts all the focus on “the development of a new product, fails to connect the value of the benefits that the product creates to the market for the solution. When leaders focus on the developing a product, it’s possible that there won’t be a real consumer (customer) need.”

For these organizations a gap exists in how they create, test and perfect the core positioning of the brand. Whitler argues positioning should be done first. And because this is rarely the case, 90% of new products fail. The “problem is few are taught to understand why it’s important to use a rigorous process to define the strategic positioning and that all decisions — from the product to brand design to the choices of commercialization strategies and tactics” come from a company’s strategic positioning.

Whitler’s proposed solution is for organizations to adopt a positioning concept. Leaders can then create, test and perfect ideas upon which brands and new products are created and then launched.

The positioning concept specifically identifies the customers’ problem, the solution the brand is designed to provide, and the proof that the brand can deliver. It essentially summarizes why a brand exists. To be effective, problem statements should be in the customers words and state the customer problem in simple language. The solutions statements should connect the solution to the customer problem statements. And finally, supporting statements should provide the granularity around how a new product works to solve the customer problem. Whitler argues it is important to create a process deliberately comparing ideas that are generated against established criteria. This ensures a product has the best chance of success.

Related Article: What Brand Marketers Can Learn From Personal Brands

Crafting a Brand Essence Statement

A marketing strategy, Whitler claims, should at its core be about identifying a position in the marketplace that provides the greatest opportunity to create value for a chosen customer target. Over time, successful brands come to stand for something as well — these establish meaning, feeling and emotions that capture the hearts and minds of their customers.

Marketers have had a hard time determining what the brand essence should be, argues Whitler. She calls the process both art and science. A brand is a distinguishing name/symbol intended to identify goods and services and differentiate the company from competitors. Given this, a brand essence statement (BES) is a document, picture, video or other communication vehicle that captures the intrinsic nature and indispensable qualities that make a brand unique, compelling and meaningful to a target.

Whitler stresses a BES is more than a messaging document. It should precede the design of a product, to guide the decision on which product to create. It serves as a beacon that summarizes the brand’s unique positioning in the marketplace. As a goal, the BES serves as the brand image that marketing is working to develop and, therefore, should be used as a filter to think through brand decisions.

In terms of timing, a BES should be created after determining segmentation, target definition and positioning concepts. It should consist of four components:

  1. Foundation (brand values and brand personality).
  2. Impact (the impacts the brand will provide customers rationally and emotionally).
  3. Support (the reasons to believe).
  4. Brand essence (what is the summary statement of what the brand can do for the target customer).

Whitler cautions marketers to watch for gaps where the promise and behaviour do not align in this process. A key idea I really like is a brand must be authentic, and this includes people decisions. “Authenticity and veracity are mechanisms thru which brands create trust.” To make things right, Whitler says marketers need to serve brands and consumers, and not the other way around.

Communicate Your Vision With Strategy Maps

Once an organization has built its BES, the next step is to communicate its desired position to the broader organization in a way that is clear, aligned and committed to delivery. Strategy maps are a great tool to do this. They are a visual, fast and easy way to share an overview of the corporation, its brands and its competition.

Whitler believes CMOs should lead this effort because they sit at the intersection of the external marketplace and the internal functions of the C-Suite. She suggests CMOS create four strategy maps: 1) Brand portfolio and resource management; 2) Consumer perspectives and preferences; 3) Competitive market dynamics; and 4) Strategy maps (the process).

Strategic Marketing Plan

To a large extent, Whitler builds upon the work of Derek Abell’s “Strategic Marketing Planning.” Abell defined a three-cycle enterprise planning approach:

  1. Develop alternative long-range business definitions and missions.
  2. Develop long-range functional strategies.
  3. Develop one-year plans and budgets.

Like Abell, Whitler believes the strategic marketing plan flows from the corporate plan to assure that all departments are aligned with the firm’s overall strategic plan. Whitler is clear that converting marketing strategy into plans that can achieve a vision is more difficult than devising an effective strategy. Without question, a strategic plan represents a set of choices that direct and focus activity to achieve corporate goals.

In terms of structure, Whitler suggests a strategic marketing plan include the following: visions, objectives, strategies, tactics and measures. To be effective, it should be a stand-alone document that reflects ruthless choice making and not be created in isolation.

The Creative Brief: A Blueprint for Marketing Activities

With agreement on the BES and strategic plan, a creative brief aims to strategically communicate key information about a specific project. It provides creatives a guide or blueprint to inform any marketing activity, such as advertisements, store design, brand communications, website, events, logo design and IT projects. As someone who often works with IT organizations, the last point was interesting to me.

Whitler asserts “it is better for clients to write the creative brief because they have more knowledge on the target consumer, the brand, and the business objectives.” In terms of specific writing tasks, they include:

  1. Project assignment.
  2. The situation.
  3. Objectives and success criteria.
  4. Customer insights.
  5. Communications strategy.
  6. Execution guidelines.
  7. Details and approvals.

Marketing Technology Blueprint

CMOs are spending billions in technology to modernize marketing with the aim of discovering, engaging, creating and delighting customers. The question for CMOs and CIOs to answer together is how can they leverage technology to create superior value to customers? A martech blueprint is used to evaluate, inform and support marketing technology investments across an entire organization.

Typically, the blueprint is a diagram or visual, created with an enterprise architect, that illustrates how technologies connect and worked with each other to drive marketing processes. A martech blueprint should answer the following questions: 1) vision for customer experience and journey; 2) desired state of marketing technology guide the buyer journey; 3) What is in place and left to add; 4) Are we using what we have; 5) Have we integrated what we have: 6) Are there duplications and unnecessary capabilities; and 7) The roadmap for data flow, marketing capabilities and customer experiences.

Brand Measurement

Measurements are core elements of how every organization should run itself. In marketing organizations, Whitler says measurement should guide marketing strategy; access in-marketing process; access extendability of a brand; evaluate the effectiveness of decision; track brand strength against competitors; and assign financial value of the brand. Key areas of consistent measurement across brands should include consumer knowledge, consumer perception; consume behaviour; and financial valuation.

Parting Thoughts on the Book

Whether you are a B2C or B2B marketer, the principles of Whitler’s book should be foundational to your marketing plan. Marketing organizations need to do their homework. And while the book does not explicitly consider digital adjuncts to products or the need for digital speed, the same principals apply. I would not have received dollar one of venture capital for my startups if I hadn’t done my homework. And every time I learned something new about a customer and their problems, it would be like entering a room and finding everything changed. Given this, it is smart to follow Whitler’s guidance, regardless of business type.

Feature Image Credit: Brands&People | unsplash

By Myles Suer

Myles Suer, according to LeadTail, is the No. 1 leading influencer of CIOs. Myles is director of solutions marketing at Alation and he’s also the facilitator for the #CIOChat.

Sourced from CMS Wire

 

 

A guide to the skills needed, where to earn certificates and starting pay

Looking for a new job is always a challenge. But digital marketing jobs are on the rise and may be worth considering if you’re looking to switch careers in midlife. Here are seven possibilities:

Social Media Manager

If you know a lot about social media platforms and have spent a good deal of time using them, the job of a social media manager could be for you. It requires building a strategy for social media promotions and engaging users to follow social media accounts.

The average annual salary of a beginner marketing manager is about $40,000

The jobs site Glassdoor says the average annual base pay for a social media manager is about $52,400.

To become a social media manager, you must understand social media algorithms and how to leverage them.

Other skills for this job:

  • Image editing
  • Understanding of the latest market trends
  • Video marketing skills
  • Google Analytics

You might find it useful to take courses or training before applying for this job. The Centro Institute offers a social media advertising certification program.

And Berkeley Institute has one in social media marketing strategies.

Marketing Manager

To become a marketing manager, you’ll need the following skills:

  • The ability to work in what are known as pay-per-click (PPC) platforms; PPC is an online advertising model where an advertiser pays a publisher every time someone clicks on its ad
  • Basic skills in HTML (the basic language of web browsers)
  • The ability to manage email marketing

Knowledge of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a plus and so are skills in Content Management Systems (CMS), the software applications to create, edit, collaborate and publish digital content.

The average annual salary of a beginner marketing manager is about $40,000, according to ReliableSoft. When you gain experience, you may be able to earn $70,000 or more.

There are plenty of online marketing programs for beginners at places like LinkedIn Learning, Google Digital Garage and the American Marketing Association.

Content Marketing Specialist

There are several skills and backgrounds you’ll need before applying for a position as a content marketing strategist:

  • A certificate in content marketing
  • Basic research and writing skills
  • Knowledge of online marketing tools and SEO copywriting

Expect to earn about $35,000 per year as a content marketing specialist newbie, according to the ReliableSoft digital marketing agency.

Here, too, you can earn a certificate to learn the ABCs. The online education programs Coursera and Udemy offer courses to do it.

Digital PR Specialist

If you enjoy speaking with people, resolving minor or major challenges and communicating at a professional level, you might look for a job as a digital public relations specialist.

The job is challenging, but you may perform it well if you are good at the following:

  • Communication with enterprises on a global level
  • Conversations and meetings with partners
  • Managing meetings online for employees

The average salary for beginners in the digital PR field typically ranges from $36,000 to $45,000, according to Glassdoor. Obtaining a digital PR certificate may help you get hired.

Affiliate Marketing Manager

As an affiliate marketing manager, your job will be to promote a company’s affiliate program, which pays bloggers and other people to advertise its products and services as a way of generating sales.

Here, useful skills include:

  • Knowledge of digital marketing and e-commerce marketing
  • Strong communication skills
  • Writing skills

Affiliate marketing managers starting out can earn up to $46,000 per year, according to ReliableSoft. To learn how to do the job, you might enrol in a certificate program through a site like Udemy or Performance Marketing.

Graphics Designer

A graphics designer manages advertising design, infographics, illustrations and web design. Essential skills include:

  • A degree in graphic design, fine arts or marketing
  • Writing and editing abilities
  • Experience using design tools

In addition, knowledge of CMS, HTML and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets — how HTML elements get displayed) is a plus.

Starting salary is often about $38,000.

SEO Specialist

Working as an SEO specialist, your job is to improve the ranking of a website during an online search. Key skills for this job:

  • Copywriting
  • Analytics
  • CMS and HTML knowledge
  • Digital marketing
  • Technical SEO skills

While this job requires more technical knowledge than some of the others here, the remuneration can be great. As a beginner, you can expect to earn $51,000.

Online programs like The Complete CEO Course offer certificates for beginners.

Don’t know where to look for one of those jobs? Try websites such as these:

  • Glassdoor
  • LinkedIn Jobs
  • Indeed.com
  • Upwork
  • FlexiJobs
  • AngelList
Feature Image Credit: Getty

By Rachel Burnham

Rachel Burnham is chief operating officer at the VeePN VPN company. In her free time, she writes articles aimed at helping people with career growth and self-realization. Her articles can be found at Addicted2Success, Blog.Icons8, ELearningIndustry, GoodFirms, Yoh and MailRelay.

Sourced from nextavenue

By Kaya Ismail

Digital marketing has become a necessity for any business attempting to survive in this day and age. It’s been said that the most important thing is not the amount of money you spend on digital marketing but the way you spend it. What does this mean? Well, certain categories within digital marketing will give you more benefits than others, depending on your company’s size and goals.

Digital Marketing is constantly changing, but there are some foundational categories of digital marketing you need to have a strong grasp of to thrive in the digital ecosystem. To learn more about the top digital marketing disciplines and the software tools for digital marketing. we asked the experts and here’s what they shared.

Top Categories for Digital Marketing

If there is a universal truth in digital marketing, every marketing executive has their own ideas of how marketing should be done and even how many marketing categories there are. Working in such a rapidly evolving industry means that new marketing categories can crop up all the time.

Even in the past ten years, there has been a huge jump in how digital marketing is understood. However, like Kate Adams, SVP of Marketing at Boston, MA-based Validity, said, “while marketing categories aid in creating brand awareness, recognition and trust, what a lot of marketers don’t realize is that the success of their digital campaigns is highly contingent on the health of their data.”

To understand more about each category, let’s take a closer look at some of the most popular digital marketing categories.

SEO

For some marketers, SEO is the pillar of their campaigns. This is because SEO is applicable to the other digital marketing categories. For instance, you’d have to use relevant SEO keywords in your drip campaigns and content marketing to make them effective and engaging, which is why SEO and research are fundamental for digital marketing.

SEO Tools

“When it comes to doing SEO, our go-to tools would be SEMrush and Ahrefs. We find using SEMrush helpful as it allows us to quantify our website’s estimated reach and also determine our site’s domain and/or resource authority,” shares Maya Levi, Marketing Manager at Tel Aviv, Israel-based ReturnGO.

SEM

Search engine marketing (SEM) refers to the practice of leveraging paid advertising that appears on the search engine results pages (or SERPs). In search engine marketing, companies place bids on keywords that Google visitors might use when looking for certain products or services, which gives the company the opportunity for their ads to appear alongside results for those search queries.

SEM Tools

According to Christopher Moore Chief Marketing Officer at Mooresville, NC.-based Quiet Light, “The best tool for pay-per-click advertising is Google Ads Editor as it allows you to create and edit different ad campaigns across different Google accounts making it far easier to manage your various campaigns and edit ads as the campaign goes along to make them more SEO friendly.”

Content Marketing

Content can take many forms, from blog posts to voice instructions delivered through IoT devices. Since it can takes many forms, it is often seen as the lifeblood of marketing campaigns. Due to its flexibility, content marketing has a central and all-encompassing role in every marketing strategy and can be tailored to fit customer needs before, during and after the buying process.

Content Marketing Tools

There are many content tools out there to help improve your content marketing. They can help build, grammar, content suggestions and SEO best practices. Examples include Grammarly, Ink and Jarvis.ai. Most of these are artificial intelligence-based apps that helps marketers overcome writer’s block and create content more consistently across niches, and ensure SEO is baked-in to the process.

Email Marketing

Getting into inboxes and engaging recipients through email marketing has become more challenging than ever before, with inbox volume nearly doubling year-over-year. Email marketing tools can help simplify email marketing campaigns and provide crucial insights to help increase engagement and improve execution.

Email Marketing Tools

A good piece of advice is that you should always start with an ESP (email service provider) that fits your budget and your brand. “Flodesk is a great option for paid with no tiered plans, but if you want to start with free, MailerLite is another popular one with a generous amount of free subscribers before you need to upgrade your plan,” shares Abby Sherman, Director of Strategy at Minneapolis, MN.-based Snap Agency.

Data Analytics

Without data, marketing is nothing but guesswork. On the other hand, the inappropriate use of data can definitely cripple even the best-laid plans. “Marketing and sales teams waste up to 50% of their time dealing with data quality issues,” confesses Adams. “From duplicate records to outdated contact information. If companies aren’t reaching the right audience, their marketing efforts (and money) are going to waste,” she continued.

Data Analytics Tools

“To gather data and insights, we supplement our usage of SEMrush with Google Analytics (GA),” said Levi. “Google Analytics is easy to set up, and it allows us to stay on top of our social networking profiles and website’s performances. Through the data that we get from GA, we can resolve marketing roadblocks that we encounter along the way strategically,” she shared.

All in all, to make it easier for you to meet the demands of digital marketing, it’s best if you choose and invest in the right software that will make the research, execution, and optimization of these efforts much easier for you. Some of these helpful apps include CRM tools, automation software, and collaboration tools that, with the help of personalization and a human touch, will help you create relevant and effective marketing campaigns.

Feature Image Credit: Adobe

By Kaya Ismail

Sourced from CMS WiRE

By Matthew Gibbons

Digital marketing fact number one: 63% of all shoppers research products and services online before buying them. For that reason, your business’s online marketing game needs to be top-tier — otherwise, you’ll never persuade anyone to buy from you.

Online marketing includes various strategies and tactics, so it can be challenging to know how you should invest your budget. To help you plan and launch your campaigns, along with the strategies you’ll use, we recommend looking at key marketing statistics.

That’s why we’ve compiled this list of digital marketing facts to give you greater insight into the workings of your campaigns, and help you make decisions for your marketing strategy. Each advertising statistic on this list can help clue you in on the best practices for your online marketing.

Read on to learn some of the most valuable online marketing information available. Then subscribe to Revenue Weekly to receive more digital marketing facts and tips from the agency with over 20 years of experience!

18 insightful marketing statistics

As more and more businesses have picked up digital advertising over the years, they’ve generated a goldmine of online marketing data. For this post, we’ve picked 17 of the most insightful marketing statistics out there and divided them across five strategies:

Keep reading as we walk through each strategy’s most compelling statistics!

Search engine optimization (SEO)

One of the most valuable digital marketing strategies is search engine optimization (SEO), which involves formatting your web content to rank in Google search results. Here are some statistics to help you get off to a strong start with your SEO!

  1. 93% of all online experiences begin with a search engine.

With so many people using search engines, SEO has the potential to reach an enormous audience, making it an exceptionally valuable strategy.

  1. As of May 2021, 69% of all smartphone search traffic is conducted through Google.

While you can market through more than one search engine, Google should be your primary focus.

  1. 95% of all search traffic goes to the first page of Google search results.

Ranking high in search results is critical. If you’re not on page one, you won’t get much traffic!

  1. As of January 2020, 96% of all Google searches are four or more words long.

When you target keywords in your SEO, try to aim for long-tail keywords — that is, keywords that are several words long.

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising

Another way to advertise through Google is to use pay-per-click (PPC) ads, which appear at the top of search results and lead users to landing pages where they can convert.

Here are some informative PPC advertising statistics to know!

  1. 60% of users can’t tell paid search ads apart from organic results.

This statistic makes it clear that the paid search tag doesn’t deter users from clicking on it. PPC has the potential to be just as effective as organic results at driving traffic.

  1. The top three paid ads in search results earn 41% of all clicks.

Like with SEO, you want your PPC ads to rank as high as possible. For that reason, you can benefit from maximizing your Ad Rank.

  1. Paid search ads can increase brand awareness by up to 80%.

PPC ads are excellent at driving conversions. But even when users don’t convert, they still may become more familiar with your brand due to your ads.

Social media marketing

In today’s world, social media is one of the best spots to find new customers online. By posting organic content from your business account and running paid, in-feed ads in the meantime, you can spread awareness of your brand and engage users like nowhere else on the Internet.

Here are four meaningful social media facts to keep in mind as you craft your campaigns!

  1. Seven out of ten Americans use at least one social media platform.

A significant majority of Americans now use social media, meaning you can reach quite a large audience by marketing there.

  1. The average user spends 28% of their Internet time on social media.

Not only are there large numbers of users on social media, but they spend a lot of time there — making it the ideal place for you to advertise.

  1. 77% of users buy from the brands they follow on social media.

When you post engaging content and gain followers on social media, it often results in more conversions and higher revenue.

  1. 32% of teenagers name Instagram as the most significant social network.

You can find people of all ages on social media, but if you’re marketing primarily to a young audience, Instagram might be the best platform for you to use.

Web design

Most of your online marketing ultimately leads users back to your website. That means your site is a critical part of your marketing, and for you to drive any conversions, you must optimize your web design.

Here are a few statistics to give you some web development insights!

  1. 94% of online first impressions stem from web design.

Even if every other aspect of your marketing is excellent, web design is so influential that a poorly-designed page can outweigh everything else — so make sure your web design is top-notch.

  1. 74% of users are more likely to come back to a website that’s mobile-friendly.

Mobile-friendliness is important for many reasons, but one such reason is that a responsive site will generate far more return traffic.

  1. 83% of users expect websites they visit to load in three seconds or less.

Aim to optimize your page load speeds. If they’re too slow, many users will hit the “back” button, and you’ll lose any shot at converting them.

Email marketing

Email marketing is one of the best strategies out there since it allows you to remarket to your audience. You can get users to sign up for your emails on your website and then send them newsletters or special discounts.

Here are some valuable pieces of online marketing info about email marketing!

  1. 58% of all adults check their email first thing in the morning.

Most people keep up with their email regularly, making it an excellent resource for marketing to them.

  1. You can boost your email click-through rates (CTR) by 300% when you use video.

Including video content in your emails makes them more engaging and has the potential to boost your conversions.

  1. Users are 26% more likely to open emails that use personalized subject lines.

Emails are fantastic tools for personalization. If you have people submit their names and their addresses when they sign up for your emails, you can set up your emails to address each subscriber by name.

By Matthew Gibbons

Sourced from Web FX

Sourced from Startup India Magazine

Why is content considered the king?

With the concept of digitalization taking on wings, almost all industries are set on taking the digital route. In their journey to digitization, one of the services that play a key role in the success of a company is how it puts up content on its website and social media platforms. It is rightly said that these days, content has the same status as that of a king. One of the reasons behind it is because informative content can have a great impact on your brand. You can put in the time and effort required to create great content and build a prosperous brand in order to boost SEO rankings, gain traffic that you need for your blog or website.

Role of SEO in content writing

SEO in content plays an important part in improving visibility for your business online. The more content you have on your site, the more pages search engines have to index and show users in their search engine results. SEO-friendly content assists in the marketing of your products, services, and your company. How to do content writing that will make your brand well-known and relatable with the customers is the first thing that usually comes in your mind while creating content. SEO based website content writing can help you get a good rank in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs), provided that your content is authentic, informative, and engaging.

Importance of Content Writing in Digital Marketing

Importance of content writing in digital marketing is profound as it promotes your online business. It helps the browsers to collect more information about you. The key factors of posting content on your website are:
It should help the audience to feel connected with you as the content will let them know about your product details and your strategies to grow your business.
Whatever content you put on social media or on your website should exhibit your strong connection with the visitors and followers who frequently leave their comments to give their feedback. Thus, you will become more visible on search engines and on social media.
The powerful content will have hyperlinks with more organic traffic to your website promoting your business and increasing your brand awareness.

Let us take a look at how good content supported by white hat SEO techniques can help your business:

Helps in conversions

Great content can definitely help you to build trust together with your audiences. Customers start developing an opinion about your content after going through the several forms of content that you post. If the content that they find is engaging, educational, and valuable, they’ll start to think identical things about your business. The more value you’ll provide along with your content, the easier it will be to make trust along with your target audience. Also, content marketing helps you to boost conversions because it allows you to attach with and educate your leads and customers. Good content helps you to win truth and build relationships. After going through the information that you have provided, customers feel that by availing of your product or service, they are making an educated purchasing decision.

Offers value to readers

Every time you publish a new post or content, you are showing leads and customers how much you know about your brands. When customers are either buying a product or availing of any service, they will gravitate towards such a brand that offers them information that they could relate to. If you want to make your content effective, collect data from your audience. Gather data for your customer insight from journey maps, user feedbacks, vanity metrics, and customer persona. This information is vital for your content planning. You can even create custom content that speaks to your target audience and provides value to your customer. It is crystal clear that if you create informative content about your brand, it will create a long-lasting impression in the minds of your audience.

Informative and flawless content is always appreciated and gets connected with SEO to invite more readers. It is important to focus on content writing tools to fulfil the objective of writing the content. The main aim of posting the content on your website or on your blog is to promote digital marketing. There are many content writing tools available to add quality to your content and make it error-free. The tools for writing good content are Canva, Grammarly tool, Hemingway, etc.

5 Key Tips for Every Content Writer

Content writing is in high demand nowadays due to myriads of ventures developing online and providing a vast platform for the aspirants to open new avenues for themselves. Irrespective of whether you are a beginner and wondering how to do content writing, or you are in this industry and looking for ways to improve your writing skills, the following tips will be immensely useful. Following proper content writing strategies will help to enhance your business on a digital platform. To become a successful content writer, it is significant to focus on the key tips of content writing.

Start with a catchy headline: Content writing is important in digital marketing as it can drive more traffic to your website. The appropriate and appealing headlines fascinate the visitors to read the entire information uploaded on the website.
Maximize the use of easy language: Website content writing needs to be done in an easy language so that every interested visitor can collect information about your brand. It should not be very lengthy. The content writer should incessantly focus on how to deliver content that is easily understood by all people.
Stick to the point: Deviating from the subject matter will hamper the objective of writing the content. Include key words to present one single thought in one paragraph. While creating content, it is also important to focus on the quality of the content which will assist you in getting hyperlinks.

Adhere to SEO guidelines: SEO content writing is acceptable when flawless content is created with no grammatical error and free of plagiarism. Also, incorporate the trending keywords in your content such that it has a free flow. The unique and creative content is connected to search engine optimization which drives more traffic to your website. It increases the viewers and your brand awareness.
Proofread before submitting: This is one of the best qualities of an efficient content writer. It is important to go through your content and sentence formation once again after its completion. The little errors like the sentence formation, repetition of words, grammatical errors can be rectified before uploading the content on the website.

These significant points will help the writer to grow and create unique and innovative ideas for the content writing. If you want to avail of such impeccable content writing services, 7 Seas Solutions is just a click away.

Create an Impact in Your Audiences’ Mind with Informative Content

Content writing in digital marketing is an important tool that can accelerate the growth of your business leading to high influence of your brand on the customers and improving its reputation on all platforms. The accurate content writing strategies help the traders to take their digital marketing strategy to the next level.

Address your audience consistently: The visitors on your website play a significant role in increasing your brand awareness. Thus, address them frequently to make them realize that they are important and you give them immense value.
Write regularly: Posting the content at regular intervals will acknowledge your presence on a digital platform. Keep writing about the launching of new products, discounts available for consultants and brand customers, your upcoming strategies to meet the demands of the customers, and add value to their feedback.
Providing value to the audience: They are highly significant for you and offending them will lead to a downfall in your sales. Do listen to their queries and try to solve them as soon as possible. Give a response to their issues.

There is a reason why content is shared on the internet. Whether it is answering questions or providing solutions, content is every form to connect with the readers. If you consider an analogy, it won’t be an exaggeration if we say that digital marketing is the engine for which the content acts as the fuel. By producing quality content, it becomes easier to find an audience who are interested in your brand and will also help you promote your brand. When your content shows up at the right places, it will improve your brand’s reputation, thereby making the audience develop a positive image towards your brand.

FAQs

What are the categories of content writing services?
There are different categories of content writing services which include SEO writing along with technical writing and marketing writing. Press releases, case studies, and white papers are some of the otter forms of writings. Report writing is mainly required by the corporate sector for preparing for meetings.

What are the essential components of a good web content?

Some of the important points of good web content are as follows:
• It should be brief and informative
• Language should be easy to understand
• Font style should be normal so everybody can read it properly.
• Should update all the information, whenever required
• Keywords must be used strategically for better ranking in SERPs.

How can one find out the trending topics to write on?
There are many sources from where writers can find the trending topics. They can take the help from:
1. Feedly is the best tool which helps the writers to write on the trending topics.
2. Quora is also one of the best leading communities that will help the writers to write on the trending topics.
3. Medium is a platform for content publishing from where one can get different topics.

How to write content that adheres to SEO guidelines?
First of all, you should plan your content by keeping in mind the demographics of your target audience. Pick those topics that will provide them with relevant information and use the trending keywords. You should never put excess keywords, also known as keyword stuffing as that is considered as a black-hat SEO technique. Keyword density needs to be maintained. It is important for the writers to put the keywords in the heading and the subheadings of the content.

How to ensure the credibility of the reference?

In order to evaluate credibility you should focus on:
Timeliness feature- Describes your topic within the time frame clearly and shortly.
Authority- It should include the information from recognized authors or organizations.
Audience- Focus on readers who are they and which categories they belong to.

Sourced from Startup India Magazine

Sourced from Forbes

Planning a digital marketing campaign isn’t a simple process. Many factors impact the creation of an effective strategy, and it’s important for everyone involved to be on the same page. However, there are a few aspects of a digital campaign that marketers may not always consider prior to creating a strategy.

As leaders in the communication space, the members of Forbes Communications Council are intimately familiar with what goes into crafting effective digital marketing campaigns. Below, 16 of them share important aspects that marketers should consider before diving into strategizing one.

1. Your Lookalike Audience

Most digital marketing campaigns involve some version of creating a lookalike audience, and most will create a lookalike audience of their entire customer database, but this is a mistake. You don’t want to target all of your customers; you only want to target your “best” customers. When you create these lookalike audiences, only mirror the top 10% to 20% of your customers, not the entire list. – John Huntinghouse, TAB Bank

2. Your Purpose And Success Metrics

Ensure there is a clearly defined purpose with the right success measures in place, then look at it strategically, using data from the entire customer lifecycle. This isn’t just a short-term campaign; it’s about enhancing business performance based on a lifetime of customer experiences that are recorded, analysed and fed back into the brand’s data ecosystem to build personal experiences and lasting relationships. – Azlan Raj, Merkle

3. Alignment With The Overall Marketing Strategy

“How does this campaign align with our overall marketing strategy, and how will it help in delivering the business strategy?” These are two questions I ask my team before starting any campaign, digital included. Another important aspect of digital campaigns includes measurements, and not just the digital metrics, but also how we capture sales metrics aligned with a specific campaign. – Raghunath Koduvayur, IQM Quantum Computers

4. The Customer Journey

What is the customer journey that you want your users to experience? What do you have today? How far is the experience from where you want to be? How do you need to get your experience ready for visitors before investing in inviting people in? – Sarah Falcon, Object Edge

5. Your Customer Profile

Definitely start with your customer profile. Having a really good understanding of the digital habits of your ideal customer is often overlooked, but it’s one of the best ways to influence the content and behaviour of your own digital marketing. – Amanda Davis, Zii Technologies

6. Previous Campaign Performance And Processes

When teams begin planning a digital marketing campaign, they often view the project as a “fresh start” and throw all of the previous campaigns out the window. However, an assessment of previous campaigns in terms of performance and process should be at the heart of planning any new digital marketing campaign. Learn from what you’ve done and keep trying new things. – Alfie Dawson, Datasine

7. Your Target Audiences

It’s important to be aware of and define your target audience for each campaign. In the digital world, one campaign could have multiple audiences, which in turn calls for multiple ads. People are hungry for personalization, so you have to be very diligent and think through all of the different touch points within a campaign to ensure the message is speaking to the proper audience. – Emily Burroughs, BGSF

8. Contextual Targeting Through Other Channels

In light of recent changes to the availability of consumer data, digital marketers need to acknowledge the increasing importance of contextual targeting and consider other channels in the wider mix. Unlike in the online world, out-of-home advertising is one-to-many, and context has always been king. With the advancement of programmatic digital out-of-home (DOOH) media, marketers now have far greater control to deliver contextual messages globally and at scale. – Nikki Hawke, Hivestack

9. Testing Budget

Testing budget isn’t really something that many digital marketers talk about. View it and use it as you would money when you go to a casino: You are taking a risk, but it’s money that you can lose, and it won’t break the bank. Unlike gambling, though, if you have a great creative team you will probably get that ROI back! – Philip Kushmaro, Usercentrics

10. Purchase Behavior

Marketers should consider purchase behaviour targeting. Rather than targeting a campaign at a specific age group, profession or gender, you should aim to reach people who have purchased similar products in the past and are therefore more likely to buy them again. Here, targeting is based on proof, not an assumption. Marketers can expect conversion rates to rise and the bottom line to increase. – Anil Malhotra, Bango

11. How You Can Leverage Chatbots

Digital marketing campaigns have to be omnichannel and provide the right information to customers at their point of interaction. Real-time conversation via chatbots can help turn visitors into prospects and customers. Be sure to add chatbots to the strategy and think through how the campaign message can be personalized and delivered via these intelligent tools. – Parna Sarkar-Basu, Brand and Buzz Marketing, LLC.

12. First-Party Data

Knowing how to use first-party data is a critical first step. In our cookie-less world, it’s increasingly expensive to acquire new customers. To maintain the ROI of digital programs, marketers must focus on creating long-term customer engagements that increase the lifetime value of any customer they do acquire. And the best way to do that is to use first-party data to create unique, engaging experiences. – Christian Selchau-Hansen, Formation

13. Where The Target Is In The Sales Funnel

As marketers, we need to evaluate where the target is in the funnel and align our strategy accordingly. Are you not only looking for buzz and to create amplification for your brand, but also to potentially bring a number of unqualified contacts, leads or visitors to your website? Or is it something more product-focused to engage with people who already know about the brand but are still discovering what you do? – Alison Bringé, Launchmetrics

14. The Follow-Up Communication Plan

Assuming the basics—goal, audiences, content, visuals, channels and measurement—are defined, the digital marketing campaign funnel and follow-up communication plan are critical for monetization purposes. This should be based on a mix of segmentation buckets with clear goals to convert leads, boost activity and build loyalty. Growth acquisition, support and loyalty-team dialogue are key here. – João Mendes-Roter, Itamar-Medical

15. Other Internal Viewpoints And Ideas

As a marketer, you should have multiple brainstorming sessions with your internal teammates. This should include sales and other teams that are impacted by the campaign. Another very important part is to create messaging that embodies your solution. – Alex Cox, Opsani

16. The Cost Of Doing It Right

Many don’t consider what it costs to do it right. As a product-based company, we need multiple studio shots, videos and blackouts to create the right digital imagery. These upfront costs are more expensive to commit to consistently than the fairly transparent ad-buying CPC and ACoS metrics that you will track and optimize to define the winners after the initial investment. – Edwin Bender, Broan-NuTone

Sourced from Forbes

Communications, PR, public affairs & media relations executives from Forbes Communications Council share firsthand insights.

By Laura Perkes

The often overlooked tactic enhances reach, raises brand awareness and drives new customers and clients to your business.

Picture the scene: It’s 2021, and the enormity and popularity of  is providing entrepreneurs with a plethora of opportunities and the ability to tap into an audience of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of potential customers, all at the push of a button.

When Facebook first launched back in 2004, it really was the first of its kind. Before that, we had MySpace and a few other platforms I’ve never heard of (Friendster or Hi5, anyone?), but none of them had managed to make the impact that Facebook did, and still does.

Since Facebook, we’ve seen the launch of Instagram in 2010 and TikTok in 2016, plus the addition of Instagram Reels in 2020. Not to mention other platforms such as Snapchat and Clubhouse, all giving us access to a wider audience.

In the past 19 years, we’ve all had the luxury of being able to communicate directly with our fans, customers and potential customers in a way that has never been possible before. But before the advent of social media, businesses and brands were built the “old fashioned” way, using more traditional marketing techniques, such as advertising and face-to-face networking.

Social media seems like the Holy Grail

When the world became more digitized, tools such as online advertising, pay-per-click and email marketing grew in popularity and gave entrepreneurs and brands alike the chance to reach an even wider audience. Data was easier to track and metrics and insights enabled you to calculate your return on investment.

For many entrepreneurs and startup businesses, social media seems like the Holy Grail. Not only do you get to build an audience and interact and engage with your followers, but it’s also completely free at the point of entry. Of course, you can now invest in adverts across all social-media channels, but for someone completely new to the  world, social media is a sensible place to start.

Yet there’s a missing piece of the puzzle here. A modality that’s as old as time, but a powerful force when it comes to sharing messages, raising brand awareness and building on the know-like-trust factor. And that’s .

Everything you say and do is PR

Public relations exists so that you can communicate with your audience. If you Google “public relations,” you will find Wikipedia’s definition: “Public Relations is the practice of deliberately managing the release and spread of information between an individual or organisation and the public, in order to affect the public perception.”

So, essentially, everything you say and do is PR, but the platform in which you share your message changes. The tools you use to share your message changes. But the message remains the same. Your audience, generally, stays the same, yet where they hang out may change, based on the launch of new platforms, or the increased popularity of existing platforms, such as YouTube and podcasts.

YouTube first launched back in 2005 and podcasts launched a year earlier in 2004, yet they’ve only really exploded as a business tool over the past few years, giving entrepreneurs and startups the chance to create easy-to-share and easy-to-digest content that their ideal clients will love  content that can then be repurposed across social-media channels.

Back in 2004, when I first started my career in PR, there were really only three types of media outlets to pitch to: print titles, TV and radio. Online titles were seen as the poor relation to print, so we rarely bothered pitching to them as clients didn’t see the value in them  oh how times have changed!

However, because there was less choice, it made it easier to build relationships with journalists and work on features and content ideas with them. Over time, the media landscape has changed, and online started to make a huge impact and podcasts and YouTube channels became prime real estate.

Now, there is way more choice when it comes to gaining exposure, so while you may not consider social media, YouTube or podcasts your typical media outlets, they’re still consumed by your ideal clients, still covering topics that complement what you do, and they still have a ready-made audience of loyal fans that you could (and should) be tapping into. How? Quite simply, by pitching.

One piece of content can be shared and shared again

The way you’d pitch yourself to a podcast host is the exact same way that you’d pitch yourself to a journalist. That is a PR tactic and a skill that publicists have been honing for decades. Now, one of the utterly brilliant, yet often overlooked, powers of PR is that you can take one piece of content and deliver it to millions of people in one go. No other form of  enables you to do that.

It may take time to build and execute your PR plan. You may not see anything published or broadcast for three to four months, but when it lands, it’s well worth the wait, as your content has the potential to be seen or heard by hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of potential ideal clients and customers. Just think about the circulation of a print publication, then triple it to get an average reach.

Think about the audience size of a podcast, then think how many extra people you can reach by sharing it across your social-media channels. And then think about how many extra people you will reach when the host shares it across their social-media channels. All of a sudden, one piece of content can be shared and shared again, leaving behind a digital footprint and breadcrumbs that can lead even more people to your business.

This is another reason why PR is such a powerful and influential tool  because what you do now is searchable forever. PR isn’t always easy to measure, which potentially adds to its downfall in the ROI stakes, but it’s still a tactic that should be employed, and a muscle that should be flexed, as part of your communications strategy.

PR is yet another way of transporting your business and your expertise to a wider audience, an audience that has been built up and cultivated for decades, that already knows, likes and trusts the outlet and the content they produce.

So, next time you decide to put all your eggs in one basket and focus all of your attention on one particular marketing tool, or one particular platform, ask if there’s a more efficient, more effective way of sharing your message to drive hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of new customers to your business. The answer, in case you missed it, is PR.

By Laura Perkes

Sourced from Entrepreneur Europe

By

It’s an unpredictable time for us marketers. People are still recovering from a rough year, financially, mentally, or both. The last thing you’d think people want are dozens of telemarketing or cold calls, automated emails and clickbait headlines — and you’re right.

The idea of trustworthy and transparent marketing — or simply, responsible marketing —  isn’t new. Still, it’s taken on more meaning as many companies with initially small online presences finally moved more assets and more effort into digital marketing. The recent increase in digital marketing seems to mean an endless glut of spam from companies indiscriminately marketing to the masses.

So how do we define responsible marketing? For me, it means smarter, targeted marketing with the customer and their pain points always in mind.

Target the Customers Who You Can Benefit

Marketing has a truly awesome ability. It has the power to reach people at a primal level and heavily influence their thoughts and actions. Because our actions as marketers can significantly impact people, it’s our responsibility to promote our product or service in a way that limits the reach only to those whom we believe can benefit from what we are offering.

There is a lot of really great marketing out there, but let’s admit it, a lot of marketing is really spammy. Spam significantly reduces the quality of leads, and more importantly, it’s annoying and gives all marketers a bad name. We need to evolve past the lazy approach of tossing a wide net with the hope of catching the right fish and instead prioritize reaching a smaller, more targeted audience, specifically relating our solutions to the audience’s pain points. Your resulting lead pool may be smaller, but it will also be filled with far higher-quality leads.

How can you tell if you’re in the spammy vs. good marketing camp? First, take a look at who you’re marketing to. Do you know who your ideal customer is? Are you doing your best to reach that customer? Is your content purely promotional, or are you helping that ideal customer understand how your solution will solve their problem?

Your marketing material should first educate. It should demonstrate understanding of a customer’s problem while describing how your offering can help. At Moz, we provide free educational resources on our website because we know that the more we educate people about how to use SEO to increase the visibility of website (for example), the more likely we are to reach the customers who will benefit from our SEO solutions.

It takes patience. You need to respect your audience enough that you allow them the time and space to take the next step and convert or buy at their own pace — not yours.

Build Trust and Connect With Your Customers

I’ve talked before about how storytelling is the best way for marketers to create lasting relationships with customers. People want to experience something human and latch on to a greater narrative. When people feel you’re talking directly to them, it evokes a greater sense of connection and sparks interest in whatever you’re marketing.

Connection creates lifelong customers. Lifers, as we call them, have more value in the long run than higher volumes of entry-level customers. They’ll spend more on premium products, stick with you through rough times and recommend your brand to others. We connect with and retain lifers through a few core values — empathy, transparency and generosity.

Recently, everyone has had a rough time of it. Adjusting to new standards is exhausting, and the last thing a customer wants is to have to wade through clickbait and spam to find the answers to their problems. When I say empathy, I mean taking the time to see the world from your customer’s point of view. It ties back into your responsibility as a marketer to meet the customer where they’re at and guide them through the journey, rather than pushing them towards something they may not yet want or need. When customers see your commitment to allow them to experience the buying process in their own time, they’ll be far more inclined to trust you.

In light of recent data breaches and questionable data collection, transparency is essential right now . Customers and those interacting with your material need to know their data and information are safe with you. It’s also about showing your interest in new prospects and truthfully communicating who your product is right for.

Respect, Responsibility and Success

People get used to the status quo. Right now, the status quo is dozens of robocalls a day, irrelevant emails and other forms of spam. Is this marketing’s future? I would hope not. Imagine what a beautiful world it would be if we all worked hard to truly understand who could benefit from what we’re offering and only reached out to those prospects. Then focused on educating those prospects about how we can help.

The hope is we all use this power we have as marketers to reach targeted audiences, creating lifelong customers and responsibly guiding them along their journey.

Feature Image Credit: ADOBE

By 

Christina Mautz has served as a strategic marketing leader for some of the world’s largest technology companies, including Amazon and Yahoo!, as well as a few Seattle SaaS startups where she earned the nickname “Chief Problem Solver.” She currently serves as the CMO and Head of Sales for Moz, the world’s leading SEO software company. In this role, she brings her passion for strategic problem-solving to the sales and marketing teams, aligning them with creative strategies to drive growth.

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