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How to Prepare for A Job in Digital Marketing and E-commerce [Google Certification]

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How to Prepare for A Job in Digital Marketing and E-commerce [Google Certification]

The line between marketing and digital marketing has blurred. Offline marketing was once considered “traditional” compared to online or digital marketing. However, with many tactics living in the digital sphere, marketing changes as fast as technology does.

Traditional marketing, which ranges from radio ads to billboards and magazine spreads, simply adjusted to the new era. Radio ads became podcast sponsorships, billboards turned into web banners, and magazine spreads changed from ink on paper to pixels on a screen.

The benefits of this digital transformation are countless. The ability to target the right audience and engage them into action – subscribe, consume, or buy, are just a few examples.

Digital Marketing Specialties Are Endless

Inevitably, as with any constantly evolving field, specializations change. Today, being a digital marketer is only the beginning. Once you are familiar with the basics, you can find your specialty and niche.

Based on your interests and strengths, you can develop niche specialties like SEO, content strategy, or performance marketing. Within those specialties, you can become an expert in SEO for real estate platforms, a pharmaceutical content strategist, or an e-commerce performance marketer. Each specialty requires knowledge of different platforms and tools and familiarity with various technologies.

If you’re looking for flexibility, a career in digital marketing is a great choice. LinkedIn’s 2022 Marketing Jobs report shows a 121% YOY increase in a remote marketing job share with the most in-demand occupations in digital marketing and social media.

Where do I start?

With so much information and learning opportunities available online, candidates can gain in-demand skills and gain experience even without a formal education.

Deciding where to start can be difficult. While any updated knowledge that comes from a reliable source is valuable, a helpful rule of thumb is to look for an accredited source. Having a brand name behind the course or certificate not only promises a nice detail to add to your resume but also that the knowledge and skills you learn will be valuable and, hopefully, profitable.

Get A Certificate

A good place to start is the Google Digital Marketing & E-commerce Certificate. This certification does not require any previous experience, and with less than 10 hours of learning a week, you can become job-ready for a role in one of the most in-demand industries. In fact, this certificate is endorsed by the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) and the American Advertising Federation (AAF).

This certificate’s curriculum is extensive and includes everything from digital marketing and e-commerce foundations to marketing analytics and measurement. One of the things that makes this certificate so valuable is that you’re not only learning the theory but also getting the opportunity to practice while following the course. For example, as part of the certificate program, you will set up automated email campaigns on HubSpot, and design a mock e-commerce store using Shopify.

This is also one of the few courses out there that don’t just teach you digital marketing, it also provides you with the tools to specialize in e-commerce marketing management.

Why should you specialize in e-commerce marketing?

According to Fit Small Business, as of 2022 over 263 million American consumers shop online. That’s 80% of the population. It would be safe to assume that some of those shoppers are finding their way to online stores simply because they know what they are looking for, but in most cases, the funnel starts way before.

In 2021 alone, retail e-commerce sales were worth about 4.9 trillion U.S. dollars worldwide and this figure is expected to reach 7.4 trillion dollars by 2025.

E-commerce marketing can be considered a combination of marketing and sales. You’re not only advertising and engaging with potential customers, but you’re also encouraging them to make a purchase. As a digital marketer specializing in e-commerce, you will conduct marketing research, analyze traffic, and set up email marketing campaigns. In addition, you’ll design online stores, write product descriptions, and track store performance, to optimize conversion.

Working in e-commerce means you’ll be doing everything from driving traffic to online stores to converting that traffic into paying customers and retaining them using inbound marketing methodologies – attracting, engaging, and delighting people to grow a business that provides value and builds trust.

One of the distinguishing factors of the Google certificate in digital marketing and e-commerce is that it sets you up for your job search. Once you complete the Google Digital Marketing & E-commerce Certificate, you will have the opportunity to connect with over 150 employers that are currently hiring. More details can be found here.

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The Future of Content Success Is Social

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The Future of Content Success Is Social

Here’s a challenge: search “SEO RFP” on Google. Click on the results, and tell me how similar they are.

We did the same thing every other SEO does: We asked, “What words are thematically relevant?” Which themes have my competitors missed?” How can I put them in?” AND “How can I do everything just slightly better than they can?”

Then they do the same, and it becomes a cycle of beating mediocre content with slightly less mediocre content.

When I looked at our high-ranking content, I felt uncomfortable. Yes, it ranked, but it wasn’t overly helpful compared to everything else that ranked.

Ranking isn’t the job to be done; it is just a proxy.

Why would a high-ranking keyword make me feel uncomfortable? Isn’t that the whole freaking job to be done? Not for me. The job to be done is to help educate people, and ranking is a byproduct of doing that well.

I looked at our own content, and I put myself in the seat of a searcher, not an SEO; I looked at the top four rankings and decided that our content felt easy, almost ChatGPT-ish. It was predictable, it was repeatable, and it lacked hot takes and spicy punches.

So, I removed 80% of the content and replaced it with the 38 questions I would ask if I was hiring an SEO. I’m a 25-year SME, and I know what I would be looking for in these turbulent times. I wanted to write the questions that didn’t exist on anything ranking in the top ten. This was a risk, why? Because, semantically, I was going against what Google was likely expecting to see on this topic. This is when Mike King told me about information gain. Google will give you a boost in ranking signals if you bring it new info. Maybe breaking out of the sea of sameness + some social signals could be a key factor in improving rankings on top of doing the traditional SEO work.

What’s worth more?

Ten visits to my SEO RFP post from people to my content via a private procurement WhatsApp group or LinkedIn group?

One hundred people to the same content from search?

I had to make a call, and I was willing to lose rankings (that were getting low traffic but highly valued traffic) to write something that when people read it, they thought enough about it to share it in emails, groups, etc.

SME as the unlock to standout content?

I literally just asked myself, “Wil, what would you ask yourself if you were hiring an SEO company? Then I riffed for 6—8 hours and had tons of chats with ChatGPT. I was asking ChatGPT to get me thinking differently. Things like, “what would create the most value?” I never constrained myself to “what is the search volume,” I started with the riffs.

If I was going to lose my rankings, I had to socially promote it so people knew it existed. That was an unlock, too, if you go this route. It’s work, you are now going to rely on spikes from social, so having a reason to update it and put it back in social is very important.

Most of my “followers” aren’t looking for SEO services as they are digital marketers themselves. So I didn’t expect this post to take off HUGLEY, but given the content, I was shocked at how well it did and how much engagement it got from real actual people.

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7 Things Creators Should Know About Marketing Their Book

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7 Things Creators Should Know About Marketing Their Book

Writing a book is a gargantuan task, and reaching the finish line is a feat equal to summiting a mountain.

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Being position-less secures a marketer’s position for a lifetime

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Optimove Positionless Marketer Optimove

On March 20, 2024, the Position-less Marketer was introduced on MarTech.org and my keynote address at Optimove’s user conference.

Since that initial announcement, we have introduced the term “Position-less Marketer” to hundreds of leading marketing executives and learned that readers and the audience interpreted it in several ways. This article will document a few of those interpretations and clarify what “position-less” means regarding marketing prowess.

As a reminder, data analytics and AI, integrated marketing platforms, automation and more make the Position-less Marketer possible. Plus, new generative AI tools like ChatGPT, Canna-GPT, Github, Copilot and DALL-E offer human access to powerful new capabilities that generate computer code, images, songs and videos, respectively, with human guidance.

Position-less Marketer does not mean a marketer without a role; quite the opposite

Speaking with a senior-level marketer at a global retailer, their first interpretation may be a marketer without a role/position. This was a first-glance definition from more than 60% of the marketers who first heard the term. But on hearing the story and relating it to “be position-less” in other professions, including music and sports, most understood it as a multidimensional marketer — or, as we noted, realizing your multipotentiality. 

One executive said, phrasing position-less in a way that clarified it for me was “unlocking your multidimensionality.” She said, “I like this phrase immensely.” In reality, the word we used was “multipotentiality,” and the fact that she landed on multidimensionality is correct. As we noted, you can do more than one thing.

The other 40% of marketing executives did think of the “Position-less Marketer” as a marketing professional who is not confined or defined by traditional marketing roles or boundaries. In that sense, they are not focused only on branding or digital marketing; instead, they are versatile and agile enough to adjust to the new conditions created by the tools that new technology has to offer. As a result, the Position-less Marketer should be comfortable working across channels, platforms and strategies, integrating different approaches to achieve marketing goals effectively.

Navigating the spectrum: Balancing specialization and Position-less Marketing

Some of the most in-depth feedback came from data analytic experts from consulting firms and Chief Marketing Officers who took a more holistic view.

Most discussions of the “Position-less Marketer” concept began with a nuanced perspective on the dichotomy between entrepreneurial companies and large enterprises.

They noted that entrepreneurial companies are agile and innovative, but lack scalability and efficiency. Conversely, large enterprises excel at execution but struggle with innovation due to rigid processes.

Drawing parallels, many related this to marketing functionality, with specialists excelling in their domain, but needing a more holistic perspective and Position-less Marketers having a broader understanding but needing deep expertise.

Some argued that neither extreme is ideal and emphasized the importance of balancing specialization and generalization based on the company’s growth stage and competitive landscape.

They highlight the need for leaders to protect processes while fostering innovation, citing Steve Jobs’ approach of creating separate teams to drive innovation within Apple. They stress the significance of breaking down silos and encouraging collaboration across functions, even if it means challenging existing paradigms.

Ultimately, these experts recommended adopting a Position-less Marketing approach as a competitive advantage in today’s landscape, where tight specialization is common. They suggest that by connecting dots across different functions, companies can offer unique value to customers. However, they caution against viewing generalization as an absolute solution, emphasizing the importance of context and competitive positioning.

These marketing leaders advocate for a balanced marketing approach that leverages specialization and generalization to drive innovation and competitive advantage while acknowledging the need to adapt strategies based on industry dynamics and competitive positioning.

Be position-less, but not too position-less — realize your multipotentiality

This supports what was noted in the March 20th article: to be position-less, but not too position-less. When we realize our multipotentiality and multidimensionality, we excel as humans. AI becomes an augmentation.

But just because you can individually execute on all cylinders in marketing and perform data analytics, writing, graphics and more from your desktop does not mean you should.

Learn when being position-less is best for the organization and when it isn’t. Just because you can write copy with ChatGPT does not mean you will write with the same skill and finesse as a professional copywriter. So be position-less, but not too position-less.

Position-less vs. being pigeonholed

At the same time, if you are a manager, do not pigeonhole people. Let them spread their wings using today’s latest AI tools for human augmentation.

For managers, finding the right balance between guiding marketing pros to be position-less and, at other times, holding their position as specialists and bringing in specialists from different marketing disciplines will take a lot of work. We are at the beginning of this new era. However, working toward the right balance is a step forward in a new world where humans and AI work hand-in-hand to optimize marketing teams.

We are at a pivot point for the marketing profession. Those who can be position-less and managers who can optimize teams with flawless position-less execution will secure their position for a lifetime.

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