digital marketing

Get Hired With These 5 Marketing Certifications

Simply put, digital marketing has changed the face of modern business across the globe. Most degrees are no longer the only deciding factors when hiring. In fact, sometimes they aren’t even prerequisites.

Today, employers are less focused on where you went to school and more interested in your experience and demonstrated ability.

So if you never graduated B-school, don’t be too worried. Marketing positions are constantly opening and the freelance opportunities are endless.

Certifications are an effective way to stay up to speed with your digital skills, make a great addition to your Linkedin profile, and each serves as experience and talking points for your resume. 

Whether you’re looking for a new gig, developing your own business, or on the search for a digital side hustle, here are five certifications to help you get hired and to sharpen your skills.

Google Ads

According to SEO Tribunal, Google is responsible for 96 percent of all smartphone search traffic and 94 percent of total organic traffic. 

Google Academy for Ads offers a free certification course, and will guide you step by step on how to implement successful campaigns for your business or for your clients. This platform is king considering most online purchases are still made in search before they’re made in social.

Hootsuite Social Marketing

Though Hootsuite has had some competition over the last few years as more social scheduling platforms have come on the market, they are still the first platform with the most credibility when it comes to scheduling social media.

Hootsuite’s certification exams do start at $200, but their social media certification is arguably the most well-rounded. Their course focuses on core strategies to develop your social media presence as a brand and will give you the foundational principles you need. 

Hubspot Inbound

Inbound marketing is an excellent strategy in the digital marketing world, and is essential to understand and implement – especially as a small business. Hubspot’s inbound certificate is free and focuses on fundamental marketing concepts that many of us tend to skip right through. This course builds an excellent foundation on how to engage your audience, target prospects, maintain a pipeline of leads, understand the buyer journey, and really know your audience.

Google Digital Marketing

Google’s Fundamentals of Digital Marketing Certificate is yet another free certification that lays a strong framework for almost every area within digital marketing. If you don’t have a marketing degree, this course covers just about everything you need to know in terms of building a digital marketing foundation. This course covers multiple platforms and strategies from email marketing to social media.

Facebook Blueprint

Social media has shifted more into a “pay-to-play” model, so unless you’ve got a strong personal brand and/or became an “influencer” before the market became saturated, you’ll want to consider Facebook advertising. Facebook’s certification is $150 and will get you up to speed to ensure you get the most value for your dollar. 

4 Marketing Musts to Keep Your Strategy on Point

When it comes to marketing, there’s always something else you could be doing. Another platform to be on, another software to utilize…the list goes on and on.

But when it comes to your strategy, there are four significant components that can and should be considered in every decision you make.

Establish your target audience

If you shoot for nothing you’ll miss every time, and by trying to reach everyone you’ll end up helping no one. You must have a target audience and it has to be specific.

For instance, by simply establishing your target audience as WOMEN, you are targeting 3.8 billion people. That’s essentially half of the world’s population. On your first ad campaign, you’re probably not going hit them all.

A buyer persona is a helpful exercise to establish who your ideal client is, but again, you must have a target audience. It will significantly narrow down the platforms you invest time on and the kinds of content you need to create.

Establish a marketing strategy

A marketing strategy is a must (hence the name of this blog). And mentally knowing your objectives simply isn’t enough. So plan, plan, and plan.

It doesn’t mean every decision you make has to be by the book, but you should have a plan in place as a framework and foundation to guide your brand. It may not include your daily workflows or the most minute decisions on your agenda, but your strategy is your foundation for every marketing decision you make.

If you’ve never formulated a marketing strategy, now’s your chance to start. Open your favorite bottle of wine and check out these quick and easy to use templates to inspire you. Your plan will develop and grow over time, but putting a strategy in place will help when you’re caught in a rut.

Be consistent

Consistency is key, and before you take on anything else, make sure you are consistently executing the marketing practices you have in place now.

Automate as much as you can with platforms like Later, and wait until you’ve done something consistently before you analyze the results for at least a month (preferably a quarter) before you drop it or change it substantially. Sometimes, you just have to show up, rain or shine. (And until you show up consistently, you won’t know what to fix or improve.)

If you loathe a particular strategy you know is effective for your target audience, hire someone.

Websites like Upwork can help you find talent so you can delegate the tactics you don’t necessarily enjoy.

Whatever you’re doing, do it well, and just do it consistently.

Follow through your objectives

Finish what you start, and take action. Telling someone else about your idea or writing about it in your journal isn’t going to wish it into existence. You have to do. So take action.

If you’re overwhelmed with being consistent with everything you’re implementing already, schedule what you plan to do. Create an annual calendar with benchmarks of the goals you would like to accomplish this year. And if not this year, the next one.

Need to ramp up your understanding of SEO? Put it on your calendar. Set alarms.

Along with that calendar, keep a running tab of all of the ideas you’d like to implement. Instead of becoming distracted, keep your list in a document close by where you can quickly jot down your objective. When you have time, revert back to the list…and schedule it! To be successful over time, you have to follow through.

You are important, and your goals and aspirations are a priority. Implement these marketing musts to ensure you are being proactive in investing in the one thing you have got to stop brushing off: yourself.

5 Marketing Trends to Implement in 2019

Digital marketing is constantly evolving. There is no “secret sauce” to an awesome digital strategy – it’s about constantly learning, tinkering, and innovating as technology changes.

As social media algorithms change and clients want more, it’s important to be even more creative in order to help brands grow.

Chatbots are the future.

As society becomes more and more instantly gratified, chatbots are a must in your strategy. Chatbots make customer gratification instantaneous and offer real-time chatting options. That way your clients are never left wondering about your products or services.

In fact, Facebook has integrated a chat feature that automatically loads recent chat history between the person and your business. It enables you to continue the conversation even after customers have left your webpage.

If you’re not great at video, hire someone.

Seventy-two percent of businesses say that video has improved their online conversion rates, so there’s no reason to leave out video content in your marketing strategy. Take advantage of live video platforms on Facebook and Instagram to show behind the scenes glimpses of your business to build trust and engagement with your brand.

USG is your friend.  

USG, or user-generated content, can and should be your best friend. It’s a win for your ideal audience to have their content featured by your company, and it’s a win for YOU to utilize content generated by your target audience. Think of it as an instant referral that builds community and trust within your ideal client. If you don’t have user-generated content flooding in already, consider reaching out to your clients to feature them for photo credit.

Be authentic.

Audiences are desperate for brands to keep it real and they want to be communicated with directly. The days of overly curated content are over and transparency is at the forefront of modern marketing strategies. Find ways to ensure you’re not over-filtering every piece of content you pump out and leave room for the imperfections.

Engage with your audience.  

High follower counts on vanity platforms like Instagram and Twitter don’t neccessarily help potential customers trust your brand. In fact, a high follower count on a platform with a low engagement rate can be a red flag that brands are buying followers just to boost their egos – which is a huge marketing no-no.

Try to respond to as many comments and direct messages as possible on these platforms to engage with your audience and build trust.

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