So you want to work in marketing? Well, to be hired as a marketer you need to start acting like one. And not just any marketer, an inbound marketer.
Way back in early 2009 I wrote a post about how to get a job in advertising, design or media and it went nuts. Its one of the most popular posts I’ve ever published and still gets a lot of traffic today. A lot of that advice still rings true today, but a lot has also changed in the marketing world in the last 3 or 4 years, so I felt it was time to refresh the topic.
I interview dozens of marketing graduates each year and the first thing that strikes me is that very few have much experience of any kind. Universities are pumping out thousands of cardboard cutout graduates annually to compete for a small number of quality positions.
If you want to be hired as a marketer you need an edge. Here is what I advise them to do:
1. Create Content
This is the single best thing you can do. Start publishing great content. Show the world what you can do. Ideally focus on your interests or desired career niche if you really want to attract the attention of the right people. Two young guys come to mind who blogged their way into great careers; Julian Cole and Zac Martin. These guys began publishing excellent, confronting, interesting content on their respective blogs before they even graduated. It got them on the marketing radar early and saw them stroll into excellent jobs quickly.
Here’s a test: do a Google search for your name and see what comes up. Personal blog? Content you’ve written for other people’s blogs? News content you’ve authored? Infographics you’ve designed? Videos you’ve recorded? Whitepapers you’ve put together? If not much shows up then you’re not a good content creator and that’s going to keep you off the radar. I suspect HR will be much more impressed with the candidate who shows up for pages and pages of content (appropriate content) than someone with a degree and no content.
These days marketing, especially inbound marketing, relies heavily on great content. Being able to produce it, being able to recognise what drives traffic, clicks and responses is key.
The good news is that you can set up a blog, YouTube channel, Tumblr or Instagram account for free. All you need is time and some great ideas to fill them with content.
2. Be social
If you haven’t heard, social networks are kinda big these days. Having an account isn’t enough (although I’m surprised how many marketing wannabes don’t have one). You need to be savvy enough to be active with these accounts. Strategically, I would recommend having a Twitter account that follows the players in your desired industry and begin sharing your great content via that account.
You also MUST have a LinkedIn profile and should be looking to join some relevant LinkedIn groups for your chosen niche.
Companies are trying to work out how to leverage social networks, be the one who knows the answers and prove it in your own networks.
3. Learn some basic SEO
Here’s a secret…we all Google ourselves, our competitors and our industry. Learn some basic search engine optimisation and push your great content to the first page of search results. You’ll be in the radar faster and prospective employers will be wondering why and how you did it. Another skill most of your fellow graduates won’t have.
You can check out our NLYZR site. It has tons of great SEO information and you can set up an account for free to learn even more.
4. Study stats
Modern marketers are statistics nerds. Online marketing is amazingly measurable and there are dozens of great analytics tools to measure and test performance. Start using them and getting to know how they work. Practice with your own blog and social networks.
Make sure your resume reflects experience with different analytics platforms and that you understand how to make data-backed marketing decisions. This will put you ahead of most of the pack.
5. Become an all-rounder
I really feel its important these days to be well-versed in technology and be a bit of an all-rounder. Knowing some basic coding and editing allows you to understand what other suppliers or employees do and to be able to speak with some authority to them. I know of several senior marketers in large organisations who have no idea at all what their IT department or web developer is saying to them. As a result they make poor decisions. It’s only a matter of time before they’re found out and replaced by savvy young marketers with more all-round experience and knowledge.
The all-rounder can often get their foot in the door with companies and move towards their desired area of specialty later. But to be honest I believe that in most organisations the all-rounder is going to the future.
6. Keep reading and learning
This industry is dynamic and changing daily. Your Uni curriculum was out of date before you started. Subscribe to industry sites and blogs and devour as much information as you can. Learn about the latest technology and trends. Know what’s going on. Attend industry events, some are free, and listen to what people are talking about. Don’t stop reading and learning.
7. Market your way to employment
Know who you want to work for? Think you’re their next star recruit? Be brassy enough to create an inbound marketing campaign about hiring you or examining an aspect of their industry. Set up a site or blog, optimise it for search and fill it with great content directed at your desired employer. Use social networks to spread the word. Before you know it you could be on their radar via search or social.
The smart marketers are jumping to the front of the jobs queue by using modern inbound marketing strategies. It is much more effective than sending standard resumes and responding to employment ads.
Have you noticed how many image-based sites and apps are taking off lately? Instagram, Pinterest and Tumbler have really caught fire, and for good reason; we all love great images. As they say, a picture says a thousand words, and that’s why visual storytelling is so effective.
According to this new infographic from communications company M Booth and media measurement and analytics company Simply Measured, visual content is not only popular, it’s also driving engagement. Consider these stats:
- Videos on Facebook are shared 12X more than links and text posts combined.
- Photos on Facebook are liked 2X more than text updates.
- 42% of all Tumblr posts are photos.
- 100 million Youtube users are taking a social action on videos every week.
- Photo and video posts on Pinterest are referring more traffic than Twitter, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn, and Google+.
I know from personal experience that using great images can be very effective. This year I have seen traffic to this blog explode largely due to publishing and sharing more infographics and helpful images. My company’s GetSticky site began using a really nice, clear diagram to display our services and its led to more inquiries than ever. Meanwhile our NLYZR site uses video and bold graphics to get quickly to the point. We keep testing and refining along the way, but these tactics have really helped.
What are you doing to tell your story visually?
Since the down of the commercial internet in the early 1990′s banner ads have been the default form of advertising. Google shook things up massively with their Adwords program but most media sites still rely heavily on banner ads for revenue.
Banner ads have always stuck me as old media imposing their old models on new technology. However, measurement is different as advertisers were encouraged to look at clicks rather than exposure, as they would have done with press display ads. Branding became less important and click-through became the goal.
The question is do banner ads really work? Are they effective? This nice infographic from the team at Prestige Marketing explains who’s clicking, who’s not clicking and why.
The price of bad advice11Apr12
I came across three pieces of mind-numbingly bad advice today, all from experts in their respective fields, all to prominent organizations. Each of them have caused me to question:
A) the quality of expert advice
B) the lack of digital knowledge in the business world
C) how organizations can determine which advice they can trust.
But let’s start with the bad advice. These are clangers.
The first company, a prominent industry leader, wants to get more search traffic for a new service they offer. Whilst weighing up an organic search engine optimisation strategy they’ve received advice from an Adwords specialist. The response: spend the budget on an Adwords campaign because the clicks from the traffic will increase your organic search results.
WRONG. There is no relationship between paid results and organic search results. Organic search results come from a combination of inbound links (indicator of popularity) and on-page optimisation for targeted terms.
We are experiencing a permanent shift in shopping habits from which many brick and mortar retailers will never recover.
After the initial hysteria and over-hyped promise of online shopping in the late ’90s dot-com boom, most retailers shrugged off the threat of online and continued with their traditional business models. The prosperity of the new millennium in Australia meant that retailers were profitable and the apparent need for change was unnecessary.
But as the decade continued online was becoming much more sophisticated. Social networks sprang up to increase connectivity and word-of-mouth, and e-commerce became an easier function to execute. Online giants like Amazon, e-Bay and Apple introduced millions of consumers to simple electronic transactions, steadily decreasing the fear of credit card fraud.
The storm clouds for retailers were on the horizon but only a few paid them any attention.
Let’s face it, the face of marketing has totally changed over the last decade. We have moved on from an era when broadcast media ruled the marketing world and all you had to do to reach potential customers was run a TV schedule or place some ads in the paper or on the radio or perhaps whack a big message up on a billboard. Now your customers are in charge of the media they consume and prefer to find what they need through online search and social endorsement or recommendation than be advertised to.
We are now in the era of inbound marketing where providing solutions and relevant information is a more effective way to attract potential customers. It is now incumbent upon us to build relationships and trust first.
The new marketing paradigm is tricky but it can also be extremely rewarding for organisations that get it right. I’ve seen dozens of companies totally transform their marketing and results over the last few years by adopting a holistic marketing strategy. They’ve combined intelligent web design with clever search engine optimisation, mixed in social media and tweaked conversion funnels to achieve exceptional results.
Its the whole theory behind my agency’s new 360 Degree Digital Marketing Strategy.(<- click on the link for more information)
Yep, the world of marketing has changed. Here are another 27 reasons why you need a professional digital marketing strategy:
Andrew and Elise had a dream to launch a business that provided people with the mind-blowing experience of swimming with dolphins in the wild. They now receive bookings online every day and meet their (pre-paid) customers dockside just prior to the swim. They did it with a kickass online marketing strategy.
Don decided it was time for his innovative Australian-based software solutions company to launch in the most competitive market in the world, the USA, and compete against the might of software giants Oracle and SAP. Two years later they’ve not only launched in the USA, they’re winning a significant share of the market and exceeding all sales projections. They did it with the help of a kickass online marketing strategy.
I’m proud to say that my team at Sticky were involved in creating these and many other successful strategies for clients over the last 6 years. Now we have distilled that thinking into an e-book that provides you with the information you need to create your own kickass plan – The Sticky Guide to Online Marketing.
If you have been thinking about launching a new business, growing your current business online, or have been frustrated with your results online then this e-book is your guide to successful online marketing and sales. Its an actual step-by-step plan that you can begin following from day one to improve your online marketing and results
The Sticky Guide to Online Marketing will be released in late February but you can find out more and get your own free copy via NLYZR.
US market research firm AYTM have just published an excellent infographic, Branding and how it works in the social media age, which has some handy statistics for modern marketers.
I have paraphrased a few of the best stats here or you can look through the entire infographic by clicking on “read rest of this entry”.
1. 85% of internet users have Facebook accounts; 49% are on Twitter
2. 74% of internet users use Facebook daily; 35% use Twitter daily
Almost six out of ten consumers (59 per cent) have stopped engaging with four or more brands as a result of poorly targeted communications, according to research released today by Experian. The report, titled ‘The future of multichannel marketing: marketer and consumer perspectives,’ shines a spotlight on disconnects that exist between marketers and consumers and highlights the opportunities available to marketers to minimise the impact of poorly targeted communications.
The Experian figures show that, as a result of poorly-targeted communications, eight per cent of consumers have stopped engaging with 20 or more brands. A further 27 per cent of Australians have gone as far as creating a separate email address to receive this information to avoid other email accounts from being inundated.
However, marketers are also making strides to change traditional marketing practices demonstrated by a significant 89 per cent of marketers now using a customer segmentation strategy. In addition, 69 per cent are becoming more selective about the channels they use to engage with customers. A key challenge identified by half (50 per cent) of Australian marketers lies in cutting through the white-noise to get messages through to the consumer.
It’s clear that many marketers are investing in tools to get the right message to the right audiences at the right time, yet the findings suggest that they may not be applying this strategic segmentation across all marketing disciplines, particularly among newer channels such as social media.
The evolution of social media
The findings show that consumers are least trusting of newer marketing channels such as social media, SMS and LinkedIn for direct communication with brands. Almost three in 10 (29 per cent) consumers ranked social media as among the three marketing channels they trusted least when receiving information about a brand. While just four per cent said it was the channel they trusted most.
The great thing about inbound marketing is that there is no shortage of excellent tools to help you go about your job of attracting qualified traffic and converting it into something more meaningful like leads, inquiries or sales.
Here are the 16 top tools I use regularly for inbound marketing;
WordPress website. Sure there are other excellent open source content management systems available but for inbound marketing its hard to go past WordPress. Its easy to use, very search engine friendly, extremely optimisable and has thousands of great plugins to address just about any requirement. There’s a reason over 60 million people have chosen WordPress for their websites.
WordPress mobile app. Inbound marketers like to post content. Lots of content. From almost anywhere. That’s where the WordPress mobile apps come in. You can create and publish content directly from your iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry or Nokia to your website.