How to get a job in Marketing?

marketing job skillsLike for any other job you need to sit down, research and set goals. There are many forms of marketing and sometimes marketing jobs have a title that might not say they are marketing roles. They may have some of the following keywords in the title of description such as program or account coordinator, product development, branding, advertising, customer experience, loyalty, strategic, online, digital media, SEO, social media and communications. Some of these are forms of marketing or have a marketing component in them. People who are looking for jobs in marketing are mainly applying for the traditional roles or the online marketing positions. It is difficult to get your foot in the door, but it’s not impossible. The following are things that might help land a job in marketing if you are successful in implementing them.

Decide what type of marketing interests you?

If you are just starting out and are looking for an entry-level position, the first thing you need to do is asses your skills. Pick out couple of job ads and see what they are looking for in a candidate. Nowadays, I stumble upon roles that have the following description: copywriting, HTML, CSS, Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, all social media platforms and so on. Let’s translate this in your words: “They want a candidate with background in Journalism, Website Design, Graphic Design and Marketing and on top of that they say it’s an entry-level or a junior role”. Now that’s crazy right? Those are four different degrees. Well, that is one way to see it. Don’t get discouraged. If there is a person you can contact regarding that job ad, call or email them, do that first. Check if it is an entry-level position. Don’t waste your time writing a cover letter and adapting your resume. If you couldn’t find someone you can speak with regarding that role and you really want that job then apply for it. What are the chances that there will be many applicants who have all of those skills? They are not very high.

Do you have experience?

This is a trick question and it also is not a question. You gain experience with everything you do in life. The mastery of this question is how you manage to translate your experience into what they are looking for. This is easier said than done, but if you succeed in showing how your experience relates to that role, you will get that job. You need to know how to sell the experience you have. Think about the role responsibilities and if you didn’t previously work in a similar role, find other experiences that will relate to those responsibilities.

How to get experience?

Apply for internships. If you are unable to do an internship, because you need a full-time job, then try to find courses online. There are so many free online courses you can do to learn some of the skills that are required and that will set you aside from other applicants. Many universities offer classes that are in the evening, after work, for professionals that want to learn new skills and stay current.

Networking

LinkedIn is a great tool not just for finding job ads but also to network. With LinkedIn you can find executives whose role you would like to have one day and contact them. Ask them if you can do job shadowing for a day or two. Contact someone who already has a role at the level you are applying and ask them if you can meet them one day over a coffee. Prepare questions and see what they will say regarding experience. There might be a specific course that hiring managers are looking for or a seminar that is short, but will give you an idea of what you can learn on your own time.

Blogging

When you don’t have a portfolio or work experience in marketing, a good way to show your writing, design, promotion and communication skills is by writing a blog. By having your own blog you are able to practice your writing, learn how to design your own graphics or create videos, promote your blog posts online and with that learn online promotion. You also can open a Facebook brand page about your blog and teach yourself how to do Facebook marketing. These are all skills you can add to your resume and show to your potential employer.

I will post in the next few weeks another post on what are hiring managers looking to find in job applicants. Let me know if you have any questions that you would like to ask a marketing hiring manager.

  1. What is your experience on this topic?
  2. How did you find your job?
  3. How did you start your career?
  4. What do you find difficult when you are looking for a marketing job?

Please feel free to leave me a comment below.

SEO vs. SEM: FAQ’s

SEO vs SEM

What is SEO and SEM?

Most people define SEO as the process of earning traffic through ‘unpaid efforts’, while SEM is the process of gaining traffic through paid advertisement. However, this is not the most accurate definition knowing that search engine optimization is a tool or component that is used in search engine marketing. SEM is a form of online marketing that is realized through paid promotion, as well as the use of optimization.

What is the difference between them?

Its simple, as I just mentioned SEO is a tool that we use in SEM, while SEM is one type of internet or online marketing. There are various other types that you probably heard of such as email, content, mobile and social media marketing. The reason why people confuse these two terms is because companies nowadays misuse the term SEM. They divide their teams into SEO and SEM, instead of e.g. the optimization team and the paid search team, that together make the search engine marketing team.

Why do we use them?

We use both SEO and SEM to increase the visibility of a website, but ultimately bring more people to our website, increase awareness about our organization and achieve higher business growth.

Which one of them will get the best results?

This is a difficult question to answer without me knowing in what type of business you are working. However, it is important that you evaluate your business needs and do the research before you decide what form of marketing you will use. In general, I believe that it is essential to start optimizing as you are building your website. Firstly, because SEO takes time to have results and secondly, research shows that people still click first on the unpaid results they get when they are searching on an engine, as it shows credibility and not that you just paid to put your business on the first page of Google or Bing. Pay per click (aka cost per click) or cost per impression campaigns will help you to get immediate visibility e.g. when you are first launching a site, service or a product and will take less time than SEO. In my opinion, a combination of both will achieve the bet results.

Do you think they compliment each other?

They use different techniques to achieve the same goal that is to increase the visibility of your website and refer traffic. I do think they compliment each other. However, I believe social media goes hand in hand with SEM, but more on that in my next post.

search engine marketing

 I would really like to know which one does your business use as part of your marketing strategy and why?

Here are some links that might be interesting to read on this topic:

1. How to unify your SEO and SEM strategies?

2. 4 reasons why SEM is better than SEO.

3. The SEO Guide for beginners.

How to develop a social media marketing campaign?

develop a marketing campaign

I can only hope that by now you already understand why you need a social media marketing strategy and you are researching how to develop your first campaign. In this post, I will point out some of the crucial steps you need to take when you are developing a social media campaign.

What do you need to do before you start planning your campaign?

In my previous posts, I spoke about some of the common issues that arise when you are building your strategy, as well as how to choose the right social media platform for which you will be developing a marketing strategy. Having this in mind, before you begin to draft the strategy, you need to know who your audience is, where are they online and accordingly which platforms will bring you to successful campaigns, that will help you achieve your goals and ultimately grow your business.

1. Create a custom campaign for each platform you chose

Each social media platform functions differently. You have to know what type of message will get through which platform. Then you can plan how to act, track, optimize and improve your campaign.

2. Set clear goals

Set the goals you want to achieve before you start a campaign. An example is: “Increase engagement by 80% in the lifetime of the campaign”. You need to decide exactly what you want to accomplish and by when. At the beginning, give yourself time, adjust goals on a quarterly level, after reviewing the outcomes of the campaign that was realized in the previous quarter. Social media marketing takes time and you will need to be patient to see results.

3. Develop a content/editorial calendar

Plan your posts in advance. Develop a schedule, because your audience, especially your fans, will expect your posts. You can adapt your content along the way with events that are happening at the moment. Businesses that can respond quickly to things going viral and use it as part of their campaign are very successful. However, if you follow businesses who are successful with their social media campaigns, you will notice that they also have a calendar that they follow and is constant. If you are only a beginner, it is important to plan and schedule your posts, stay engaged, so that you don’t lose your fans to your competitor, who is online and is responsive. Facebook allows you to schedule your posts directly, but you can also use various online tools such as Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule posts and monitor all your accounts from one place.

4. Measurement

Once you set goals for your campaign and strategy in general, you have to know which tools to use to measure the response from your campaign.

  • Facebook Insights – shows you details about the gender and age of your audience, when are they online, allows you to track post engagement, where your page likes came from, post reach (organic vs. paid), total reach etc.

→   Ad Metrics – page likes, actions, Click-Through-Rate, ad spend, CPC, CPM, Cost-Per-Acquisition.

  • Google Analytics – you can track referral traffic, where people are clicking when they come to your site, how long they stay. It gives detailed statistics of website’s traffic and traffic sources, .
  • EdgeRank Checker – track rank of your page, how high and what is displayed from your posts, to determine optimal times and frequency to post.
  • Click2promote.me – another overview of incoming traffic and how are your marketing and SEO efforts progressing, shows how much traffic is coming from social media platforms.

These are only a few basic examples. There are so many online free tools you can use.

5. Have a team dedicated to social media and optimize campaigns

Social media requires skills that are not difficult to learn, but take time to master, especially with platforms being constantly updated, new features being added, more efficient tools being launched every day. You need someone who can write, edit, create videos and graphics, as well as adopt new tools and platforms as they come. The strategy needs to monitored and performance should be tracked daily. Campaigns that are not doing great need to be optimized or dropped. Planning a campaign is not easy. Apart from the things I mentioned, there are other things you need to pay attention to like your company voice, what you post, building relationships and networking and so on.

These links I found interesting to read on this topic:

1. Case Study about a small company that grew their business with social media almost solely on organic reach.
2. Case Study about a winery who used social media to increase sales and brand loyalty.
3. Top 10 Influential Social Media Marketing Campaigns for 2013.
4. Guide to using Social Media.
5.More tips for creating a campaign.
 

5 tips to improve your SEO ranking and bring your website on the first page of Google search

factors that influence SEO

People rarely go past page one on Google when they search for something. Google, Bing, Yahoo, Facebook and other search engines have an algorithm that they created to help them rank your website and ultimately get the best results to the individual that is performing the search.

If your goal is to improve your website’s ranking and have your business show up on the first page of Google without paying for it, you need to optimize your website’s visibility.

What is Search Engine Optimization or SEO? This following video explains SEO in simple terms.

There are many techniques and tools you can use to improve your ranking on Google, so that people can find you easily and that you don’t lose customers to your competitor who has their website showing up higher than yours.

What are some of the most important factors that matter when a search engine is ranking your website? These following five things you can influence when you are first building your site and improve them along the way.

1. Quality content and keywords

The words you choose when you are writing and creating content on your website are very important to have a good ranking. You have to use words that people use frequently to find what they are looking for. You also need to make sure your site stays relevant by updating your page content regularly and making sure you write about trending topics.

2. Titles and HTML coding

Titles that have keywords and phrases that are relevant to the page topic and are being searched on Google, rank better than websites that don’t have good titles and URLs.

3. Site architecture

If search engines can easily scan or crawl through the entire content on your website without interruptions, such as flash menus or JavaScript navigation, you will drive more organic traffic to your website. There are also other factors that affect your ranking that are important when building your website, for instance how fast is your website loading or if your site is optimized for mobile devices.

4. Links

The links you include on your page and the links that refer to your page will also increase your ranking. If you link to a page use keywords in the hyperlink instead of “click here”.

e.g. Read more about search engine optimization and all factors that influence your website’s ranking.

5. Social Media

Develop a social media strategy to promote and share your site. Make your content to be easily shared on social media by including share buttons for the most popular social media platforms, as well as create content that is ‘shareable’, such as images and videos. Encourage people to leave reviews on your social media platforms and you will have traffic referred back to your site.

There are also tools you can use to track and improve your website’s ranking.

1. Google Webmaster Tool – to check if the page you are creating will rank well with search engines.

2. Google Analytics or a very simple tool such as click2promote.me – to have an overview of incoming traffic, how much traffic is coming to your web site and from where, how long they stay on a page, which page they stay on the longest etc.

3. Google Adwords – to check how often is a keyword used and where.

Feel free to leave me a comment or let me know if you would like to add something that I didn’t cover and you believe is important.

The links below will give you more in depth understanding of SEO:

1. How to improve your site’s ranking?

2. YouTube seminar on how to improve your SEO efforts.

3. More SEO tips.

4. Checklist for new websites.

What is best social media platform for your business?

social media networks

Which social media platform do I use as a marketing tool for my business?” This is one of the most important questions you should ask yourself as a business, when you plan to launch a social media marketing campaign. There are couple of questions you can ask, to help you get to the answer of this question. Which social media marketing platform makes sense for your business? Where does your audience spend most of their time online? Where does you audience network and communicate with like minded individuals? I already mentioned the importance of deciding which tool is appropriate for your business in one of my previous blog posts, however I wanted to summarize the most popular platforms that marketers use and the appropriate use for them. While we cannot strictly classify one platform as B2C and B2B only, we can notice certain advantages and disadvantages for each platform that ties back to the type of business or industry we are in. The easiest way for me to describe what a social media platform is, it is a place online where you create, interact, communicate and exchange information with friends. Social media platforms can have different forms and the picture below depicts the different types. social media platforms As a business you do not need to be present at all social media platforms. Not every business needs to have a Facebook page, nor it is necessary to be present at more than one or two platforms. The following six platforms, I believe are the most widely visited and used social media platforms.

1. Facebook

Even though this is a widely used platform in B2C and B2B, the way Facebook sets up the targeting options for the ads used by brand pages, it is easier to market if your business targets consumers or B2C. If you have a restaurant or offer a product that consumers need and buy everyday, then this is a great platform to connect and engage with your audience, to get greater exposure, create awareness, do contests and promotions, share information and for storytelling. Facebook brand pages have access directly from the Facebook insights page to in depth information about their audience, such as when is their audience online, who is their audience, what engages their audience and much more.

2. LinkedIn

Opposite to Facebook, LinkedIn is perhaps the best social media platform for businesses that target other businesses or B2B. Through LinkedIn, you will find direct leads, from companies to their CEO’s and you will be able to reach out and connect with them directly through this platform. You might not be able to launch a large campaign  through LinkedIn as you can on Facebook, but you can network and connect on a more personal level, as well as exchange knowledge and expertise in the different LinkedIn groups.

3. Blogging

There are many blogging platforms such as Blogger or WordPress that you can use if you decide that this is a platform that is beneficial to use for your business. This is a platform that can be used for companies that are B2C and B2B. However, the way brands should use blogging is miles apart compared to the way they use Facebook. Blogging should not be used to directly promote your product. If your audience visits your blogging site, they probably are interested in learning something more than just the launch of your new product. If you are skillful you will be able to communicate your brand messaging through this platform. When you blog, you have the opportunity to show your expertise through the content you create, connect with some of your biggest fans and even find advocates for your brand. This is also a great networking tool to connect with “influencers” and industry professionals that can bring value to your business.

4. Twitter

Twitter is another platform that can be used across industries, as well as both B2C and B2B. When it comes to Twitter, as a business user you can get the latest news from your competitors, network with other businesses, but also hear your customers and respond instantaneously. The hash tag will keep you in the conversations that are important to you. By using this platform you gather large amount of customer intelligence,  are able to show your brand personality and it gives you an opportunity to engage directly with customers, clients and other businesses.

5. Youtube

This platform can be beneficial for many businesses as long as they know how to utilize it. It does require skills, as well as devoting time and funds. There are many sites where you can create videos for free, or simple use your smartphone camera. You can always upload your TV ads on YouTube, but users are nowadays interested in more than just an ad for your products and services. Use YouTube to answer questions regarding your business, give your audience a look “behind the scene”, connect, communicate and invite them to engage. Network with reviewers and invite them to review your products and services. The word of mouth is the best marketing you can get, especially when your customers and clients can connect with this person or yourself directly with transparency. By having an active channel on YouTube and being able to optimize your video content, you will also improve your SEO ranking  and ultimately increase your visibility on Google.

6. Pintrest

Businesses that can be presented visually will have a great response with Pintrest. Retailers, hospitality, some services, artists, graphic designers, decorators, benefit from Pintrest as a platform they use to market their products, services or showcase their work. This doesn’t mean no one else can join and have success with Pintrest. However, it is a platform for sharing visual content and if you are able to present your business in a visually appealing  way, then you will be able to successfully promote your business and have the desired results, as well as build an engaged community. There are many other platforms that are still quite popular between communities, such as Instagram, Vine, Tumblr, Myspace, etc. Once you do the research and find out where most of your audience is, you can start to develop your social media marketing strategy. Have in mind that in order to have results from your social media efforts you do need to invest time in researching and creating a strategy prior to becoming active. There are things you need to decide before starting a blog or creating a brand page on Facebook, such as what you will post, how often you will post, who do you target and so on. Either way, choosing the right platform for your business is already a good start. popular social media platform summary According to Mashable’s post and the 2013 report from the Social Media Examiner, the picture below presents the percentage of marketers that use each platform in B2C and B2B business. Social Media B2B vs B2C   If you want to read more regarding this, here are some links I liked:

  1. Social networks to promote your business.
  2. Which social media channels should I use for my business?
  3. Social Media FAQ.
  4. Which social media sites should I be using and why?

Employee engagement: what, why and how?

employee engagement

Engagement drives performance.

What is employee engagement?

“a workplace approach, designed to ensure that employees are committed to their organisation’s goals and values, motivated to contribute to organisational success, and are able at the same time to enhance their own sense of well-being.” (MacLeod and Clarke, 2009, p.9).

More simply, “employee engagement is the emotional commitment an employee has to the organization and its goals.” (Kevin Kruse, author and speaker)

Why is it important? 

Companies are beginning to understand the importance of engaging with their employees more than ever and are actively implementing employee engagement programs. They are realizing that it is directly tied to achieving success and competitive advantage. Respectively, they are devoting more time and funds to hire employees that will only be responsible for engaging their employees, as well as separating their communications department to internal and external communication teams. They are starting to implement simple employee referral programs, organize employee only events, prepare activities that increase engagement, such as team building trips and volunteering programs. Some companies even have internal social platforms that help their employees engage with each other by sharing their knowledge and expertise. By doing so, they help their coworkers overcome challenges in their work and save the company resources for training.

Studies show that companies who invest in employee engagement achieved the following:

  • Increased performance
  • Increased productivity, efficiency and innovation
  • Higher customer satisfaction/customer advocacy
  • Revenue growth
  • Increased profit
  • Decreased employee turnover

Employees that work for organizations who are engaging and supporting are happier to come to work, work harder and better, stay longer with the organization, provide better customer service, as well as become advocates for thier company.

How to engage your employees?

There are five things that employees want:

  • To be able to speak
  • To be heard
  • To be recognized
  • To be provided with growth opportunities
  • To be a part of a positive corporate culture

As a manager, you engage your employees by:

  • Listening  and understanding them
  • Speaking with them
  • Giving regular feedback to motivate them
  • Setting clear job expectations
  • Providing them with the tools to do their job effectively
  • Keeping them focused on their goals
  • Providing them with new opportunities for learning and development
  • Recognizing their accomplishments and rewarding them

What is your experience with employee engagement? How does your organization engage with employees?

If you want to read and learn more about employee engagement here are some useful links:

1. 3 ways to re-engage you employees.
2. 11 tips for making your office ‘fun’ again.
3. How to engage staff?
4. How to drive a positive corporate culture?
5. How and why you need to engage your employees?
6. AON Hewitt case study

10 Steps to a more successful blog

tips for writing a blog

I have been meaning to start a blog for the past ten years and finally I started one. While doing so, I realized the complexity of the process for achieving a successful blog. There are many blog posts and articles that explain how to start a blog, what you should include in your posts, the frequency and time you should post, how and why you need to promote it. After reading so many of them, I decided to write a post with a quick summary of what I’ve just learned.

1. What is your goal?

Think about your reasons of staring the blog. Why have a blog? What do you want to achieve by having the blog? What do you need to do to achieve your goal with the blog? What do you want your readers to do after reading your blog?

2. Decide what will be the main topic for your blog.

Focus on an area and try to become an expert in it. This will be closely tied to your goal. For example, if you are interested in creative writing and you always wanted to write a book, start posting your stories. Connect with readers that are interested in your writing and professionals in the publishing industry.

3. Find your niche.

Who are you trying to reach? Who is your audience? Define your audience. The narrower it is the better results you will have when you start to actively promote your blog.

4. Quality content is ‘king’.

Have a clear voice, use concise and focused writing. Write about things that are of interest to your audience and are closely related to your goal.

5. Promote your blog.

If content is king, promotion is the king’s knight. They don’t function without one another. You may have great content, but if you don’t promote your blog through the relevant channels, not many readers will find it. Find out where is your audience online and use those channels to distribute and promote your blog. There are many channels you can use. Some of the more popular are twitter, your personal LinkedIn, LinkedIn groups that are relevant to the topic you are writing about, forums, Pintrest, reddit, StumbleUpon and many others. Open a Facebook page for your blog and use Facebook ads.

6. SEO.

To use the right keywords throughout your post, as well as tagging your post, is crucial when it comes to your blog being found on Google search or any other search tool. You can monitor your SEO efforts directly on the WordPress stats page or use free online tools such as click2promote.me, or more sophisticated ones as Google Analytics. With these tools you will see where and how are people finding your blog online.

7. Start to network.

Find experts in the field, other bloggers, professionals that might be interested in your blog. Follow them, connect and communicate with them.

8. Frequency.

It’s very important that you blog often and regularly. This is something I still haven’t implemented. However, to be consistent is very important. Decide what the right frequency is for you, whether it’s every second or third day, twice per week or once per week and stick to it. Your followers will look out for your new posts. If you don’t post regularly you might lose them. There are many blogs out there and they can find what they are looking for elsewhere.

9. Curate content.

In order to always have something to write about develop a content calendar with 10-15 headlines that you can write about. However, you don’t always have to be the creator, the most successful bloggers curate content. The web is flooded with great content that you can use to curate for your blog.

 10. Guest Posting.

Once you start to network, you will find other bloggers or industry professionals who will be interested in writing a post or two about related topics on your blog. Many professionals or students don’t have time or skills to maintain their own blog, but have things to say and are looking to write. On the other hand, this is a great opportunity for other bloggers to get exposed to a different audience. This will benefit you as well, as it will help you post regularly and also give you another channel to promote your blog. People who are guest posting on your blog will share their posts with their friends and the online communities in which they are members.

If you have tips or other things that are important to mention and would like to share them, let me know in the comments bellow.

Here are some useful posts to read related to blogging:

  1. 16 Tips from Blogging Experts
  2. How to avoid common blogging mistakes
  3. More tips on Blogging
  4. 7 Ways to get your blog posts shared on Facebook
  5. 8 Simple copy-writing tips
  6. 5 Secrets for a well balanced content