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The Ultimate Guide to Marketing Campaigns

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The Ultimate Guide to Marketing Campaigns


From P&G’s “Thank You, Mom” to American Express’s “Small Business Saturday” to Dos Equis’s “Most Interesting Man in the World,” marketing campaigns have a way of sticking with us long after an impression or purchase. Why is that? Well, campaigns make companies memorable. They promote a focused effort that guides consumers towards the desired action. They also give brands an identity, personality, and emotion.

Marketing campaigns can do the same for your business. That’s why we’ve compiled this guide — to provide a clear, concise approach to your next marketing campaign.

Keep reading to get started or use the links below to jump ahead.

Marketing Campaigns vs. Advertising Campaigns

Marketing is how a company raises awareness of its brand and convinces customers to make a purchase, while advertising is the process of creating persuasive messages around these broad goals.

In terms of campaigns, an advertising campaign might be one facet of a larger marketing campaign strategy.

Say shoe brand Nike launched a campaign surrounding the release of a new product. Its advertising would only reflect one facet of its marketing strategy.

The brand might also leverage email newsletters, social media, and paid search to meet its goal.

Now that we understand the difference between advertising and marketing campaigns, here’s a list of a few more types of marketing campaigns you might run.

Marketing Campaign Components

Multiple components go into the planning, execution, and results of a stellar marketing campaign.

How to Create a Successful Marketing Campaign

Creating an entire campaign is a big task, but the process is pretty straightforward.

Before you create what your audience will see, you must consider your end goal and the action you want them to take

I’ve organized this section as a marketing campaign template. All you need to do is answer the questions — as accurately and in-depth as possible — to ensure a thorough, successful approach to your next marketing campaign.

Planning Your Marketing Campaign

This step is crucial to the effectiveness of your marketing campaign. The planning stage will determine how you measure success and will guide your team when things go awry.

Featured Resource: Free Marketing Plan Generator

1. Set a purpose and goal for your campaign.

Let’s start simple. Why are you running this campaign? What would you like your campaign to accomplish for your business?

If you’re having trouble defining your campaign purpose, start broad. Take a look at the goals below. Which one is most aligned with your own?

This is hardly a definitive list, but it gives you an idea of general business goals that a campaign could help reach.

Let’s take this broad campaign purpose and turn it into a S.M.A.R.T. goal. We’ll use the third option as an example: Gather customer feedback or content.

The goal of my marketing campaign is to gather user-generated content from 100 customers via a branded hashtag on Instagram featuring our new product line by December 31.

The goal is specific (user-generated content), measurable (100 customers), attainable (via a branded Instagram hashtag), relevant (featuring the new product line), and timely (by December 31).

See how this broad campaign purpose instantly transforms into an actionable, attainable goal?

Pro Tip: Setting SMART Goals is simple when you have the right tools. Check out the free SMART Goal-Setting template below to get started on this critical piece of your marketing campaign.

Featured Resource: Free SMART Goal-Setting Template

2. Establish how you’ll measure your campaign.

This will look different for everyone depending on the channels you’re leveraging and your end goal. You might measure email open rates, new Facebook Page likes, product pre-orders, or a combination.

These answers will depend on your overarching campaign goal. Here are a few examples of metrics based on the campaign goals I mentioned above.

  • For promoting a new product or service: Pre-orders, sales, upsells
  • For increasing brand awareness: Sentiment, social mentions, press mentions
  • For gathering customer feedback or content: Social mentions, engagement
  • For generating revenue: Leads, sales, upsells
  • For boosting user engagement: Blog shares, social shares, email interactions
  • For advertising an upcoming event: Ticket sales, vendor or entertainment bookings, social mentions

If your campaign involves multiple marketing channels, it’s wise to define how you’ll measure your campaign on each medium.

For example, say I was running my user-generated content (UGC) campaign on social media, email, and on our blog. First, I’d define my key performance indicators (KPIs) for each medium, which may look like:

  • Instagram engagements (likes and comments) and profile tags
  • Email open rates and click-through rates
  • Blog views, click-throughs, and social shares

Then, I’d define my primary campaign KPI: Instagram branded hashtag mentions.

While the above KPIs indicate how well my campaign is reaching and engaging my audience, my primary KPI tells me how close I am to reaching my SMART goal.

Lastly, let’s think about another question: What does “success” look like for your company? Sure, it’s exciting to reach a predetermined goal, but that’s not always possible. What (outside of your goal) would constitute success for you (or serve as a milestone)?

Pro Tip: When determining how you’ll measure your campaign, consider setting up some checkpoints along the way. If your campaign involves boosting brand awareness and your goal is to reach 50 PR mentions by the end of the year, set up some benchmark notifications at 10, 25, and 40 mentions.

Not only will it remind you to keep pushing toward your ultimate goal, but it’ll boost morale within your team and remind you that your hard work is paying off.

3. Define your target audience.

Imagine constructing a bulletproof marketing campaign only to be met with crickets.

In that case, you might think you chose the wrong marketing medium or that your creative wasn’t witty enough. However, the culprit may be your audience.

The first step to resolving this problem is figuring out what stage of the buyer’s journey your campaign is targeting. Are you trying to bring in new customers, or attempting to gather feedback from existing clients?

Marketing your brand to those who recognize it, or are you introducing a new brand identity altogether?

Your marketing message will vary depending on whether your campaign audience is in the awareness, consideration, or decision stage. Even though your campaign may reach those outside of your target audience, it’s vital that you design your campaign with a specific target in min you know who it’s meant for.

Next, identify your audience’s interests and pain points. Here are some questions to ask yourself and your team to better understand your audience.

  • What are my audience’s general interests? What magazines do they read? What TV shows do they watch? How do they spend their free time?
  • Where does my audience hang out online? For what purpose do they use Instagram, Facebook, and other networks? Do they engage or merely browse?
  • What kind of content gets my audience’s attention? Do they respond to straightforward sales messages, or would they rather consume witty, humorous content? What cultural references would they understand?
  • What kind of problems do they have that my product, service, or brand could solve?

Becoming well-acquainted with your campaign audience will help you confidently answer these questions and any others that may arise during the campaign.

Pro Tip: To uncover more about your target audience, survey your existing customers as well as potential customers in your market. Then, use this data to create your buyer personas — you can even enter that data into a free buyer persona generator like the one below.

Featured Resource: Buyer Persona Generator

4. Set a concept for your campaign and get in contact with the right team.

Marketing campaigns require a mission, vision, and visual identity. Great campaigns are an offshoot of their parent brand, both visually and creatively — they stay consistent with the business brand but maintain their own identity.

When creating their campaign assets, some businesses use an in-house team while others opt for an agency. Another alternative is hiring a freelancer or contractor to complete a specific portion of the project, such as the copy or design.

Pro Tip: Depending on your specific campaign goals, I’d recommend starting with your in-house team and moving forward from there. They are the experts of your business and can speak to what your campaign needs to succeed.

This step will likely take the longest since you’ll be creating your campaign concept from scratch. Next, we’ll dive into how you’ll distribute your campaign assets and connect with your audience.

Featured Resource: Market Research Kit

Distributing Your Marketing Campaign

This stage is all about the public-facing part of your campaign, including what your audience will see and when. If you’ve combed through the previous section, you should have all the answers you need to guide you through this step.

5. Choose the channels on which you’ll run your campaign.

This choice depends on your audience preference, budget, and brand engagement levels, among other factors.

Take a look at the current media channels you use to promote your company. Which ones perform the best? Which ones allow you to pay for advertisements? Which ones have the best engagement? Most importantly, where are your customers hanging out?

Need a few ideas? Take a look at the PESO model, which breaks up distribution channels into Paid, Earned, Shared, and Owned.

marketing campaigns: choosing your channel using the PESO marketing model

Image Source

6. Set a timeline for your campaign.

Establishing a deadline for your campaign gives you a much better idea of when, how, and how often you’ll promote it. Here’s how to do this:

  • Build a general campaign timeline, then mark your campaign start date and deadline on a calendar.
  • Take a look at your marketing assets and chosen promotional marketing channels and work backward from the campaign launch date. Based on your resources, how often can you afford to post and promote your campaign content? With this information, create a promotional calendar for each marketing channel.
  • Decide on a cadence for each channel and map out your scheduled posts, emails, etc. on your calendar.

Visually mapping your marketing campaign will help you evenly disperse your campaign promotions and publish equally on each medium. It’ll also give you an idea of where your time and energy are going so that you can look back when assessing the effectiveness of your campaign.

Pro Tip: If your promotional calendar seems full, don’t fret. Social media and email scheduling tools can alleviate the pressure of posting daily. Check out tools like HubSpot and Buffer to help you schedule and manage your campaign promotions.

Converting Customers Through Your Marketing Campaign

This stage — the conversion stage — is all about how your campaign can lead to a specific result.

7. Ensure your campaign is driving users toward a desired action.

Even if your campaign is effective and drives a ton of traffic, it still needs to complete its desired action. By “the desired action,” I’m talking about that SMART goal you initially defined. Let’s take a moment and reiterate that goal.

For my sample campaign, my SMART goal was “to gather user-generated content from 100 customers via a branded hashtag on Instagram featuring our new product line by December 31.”

This step is all about calibrating your marketing efforts and channels to lead your customers to complete your desired goal. This is done through conversion assets like calls-to-action, landing pages, and lead forms.

Pro Tip: Lead conversion assets can be used separately or in conjunction with one another, such as featuring a lead form on a landing page, or creating a call-to-action asking your audience to fill out a form.

8. Monitor the right metrics.

The campaign effectiveness metrics you’ll monitor will depend on what type of marketing campaign you’re running and what channels you’ve chosen. This section merely serves as a baseline list to give you an idea of what to watch.

Also, it’s tempting to focus on vanity metrics like generated traffic, click-through rate, and impressions. A bump in these areas is definitely a good thing, but since they don’t necessarily indicate a bump in revenue, they can’t be the only metrics used to measure the effectiveness of your campaign.

Pro Tip: Bookmark this link to all the marketing metrics to watch. It’s organized by marketing channel so you can quickly scan the list for new metrics to track for your campaigns.

Assessing Your Marketing Campaign

The post-campaign stage determines your success just as much as the planning stage. Measuring and analyzing your campaign data can provide unique insight into your audience, marketing channels, and budget. It will also inform future campaigns.

9. Establish success numbers and metrics.

The easy way to figure this out is to understand whether or not your campaign met the initial SMART goal outlined in step one. If it did, great! If it didn’t, you can dive into the data to assess why.

For example, if your goal was to increase organic blog views by 100K, any bump in views would be considered successful. But there’s a difference between a campaign that works and a campaign that’s worthwhile.

A worthwhile campaign gives you an ROI that’s proportionate to the time and energy you put into it.

Pro Tip: While it’s OK to celebrate any bump in pre-orders, leads, views, or engagements, don’t assume that’s enough. There’s a reason the very first thing to do is set a campaign goal. Sticking to that goal and calibrating your investment will ensure your campaign is worthwhile.

10. What will you do with the campaign data?

This step helps maximize your campaign’s business impact.

When you analyze and apply your data, its value increases tenfold — not only did it help you measure and assess your campaign results, but it’ll also give you direction and clarity on your audience, marketing methods, creative prowess, and more.

Let’s return to my UGC Instagram campaign.

In addition to meeting my goal of 100 posts with UGC, the data I collect in the process also offers insights into who my audience is, when and how often they post on Instagram, what language they use, and how they use my product.

Whether you collect lead information, pre-orders, social engagements, or offer downloads, your data can equip you to not only meet your campaign goal but also expand your marketing efforts as a whole.

Pro Tip: The campaign isn’t over once you’ve pulled that final report. Spend time with your team in a retrospective meeting. Ask yourselves questions like:

  • What could’ve been done differently?
  • How could we have saved money?
  • For anything that went wrong, why do we think it went wrong?
  • What did we learn about our audience or marketing channels?
  • What kind of feedback could we gather from participants or customers?

Great Marketing Campaign Examples (and Why They’re So Great)

This wouldn’t be a HubSpot Ultimate Guide if we didn’t share some examples from the pros.

1. The Lip Bar‘s “Something BAWSE is coming”

In 2022, The Lip Bar celebrated its 10-year anniversary. It also release a new product called “The Bawse Bundle.”

In early February, the brand launched a multi-channel campaign, from website and social media to billboards.

marketing campaign example: homepage of the lip bar websiteImage Source

The campaign is built around a story of resilience and perseverance, focusing on the CEO’s negative experience on the show Shark Tank.

Why The Lip Bar’s “Something BAWSE is coming” campaign is so great:

It accomplishes multiple things through a single campaign: It gives the audience a peek into the brand’s journey. It builds on that journey and beautifully connects it to a product.

So, not only can current customers share in this excitement because of the 10-year anniversary, new customers will be drawn in by the personal story shared by the CEO.

2. Meta (Formerly Facebook): “The Metaverse”

In Q4 2021, Facebook announced the rebranding of its parent company. The new name, Meta, comes with its own marketing campaign that introduces the world to a new concept called the “metaverse.”

marketing campaign example by meta

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The campaign is still in its infancy stages, but it has taken over social media networks, including the Facebook app itself.

The video posted to the new @meta Instagram account showcases an alternate reality in which people can interact in 3D.

Why Meta’s “The Metaverse” campaign is so great:

Reception of the campaign is still developing, but so far, it’s successfully stopped the world in its tracks — and that’s a recipe for success with just about any marketing campaign.

The idea of a Facebook rebrand had been speculated prior to the launch of the campaign which piqued the public’s interest. That meant even if they didn’t like the change, they would still be interested in seeing what happens next.

3. Popeyes: “Megan Thee Stallion Hottie Sauce”

If Popeye’s wasn’t sure that it hit the ball out of the park with the chicken sandwich marketing campaign, then it nailed it for sure with the Megan Thee Stallion Hottie Sauce collaboration.

marketing campaign from popeyes

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Arguably, Popeyes created one of the best chicken sandwiches on the fast-food market in 2019. At the same time, artist Megan Thee Stallion was becoming the hottest rapper in the industry.

So, it made sense that in 2021, the two would join forces to debut a remix of the successful chicken sandwich.

Why Popeyes’ “Megan Thee Stallion Hottie Sauce” campaign is so great:

This marketing campaign was intentional about targeting the younger crowd with not just chicken sandwiches, but merchandise, too.

Popeyes was able to tap into this segment of the market and increase sales while continuing to capitalize on its success without the campaign coming across as stale.

4. Cheerios: #GoodGoesRound

marketing campaign example from cheerios

Image Source

General Mills ran a non-profit campaign called Good Goes Round via its Cheerios brand, lobbying to raise enough money to fund one million meals.

Why Cheerios’ “Good Goes Round” campaign is so great:

The campaign featured its own landing page, video marketing assets, and hashtag (#GoodGoesRound), separating it from its parent brand and making it shareable among its audience.

It also paid to promote the “Good Goes Round” URL on Google, giving the campaign even more visibility.

5. Apple: “Shot on iPhone”

marketing campaign example from apple

Image Source

Apple’s “Shot on iPhone” series highlights the high-quality videography and photography that customers can capture on the iPhone X.

It’s a product launch campaign that focused on one specific feature of the new Apple smartphone.

Why Apple’s “Shot on iPhone” campaign is so great:

This campaign was unique, because it’s similar to a user-generated campaign but was also promoted heavily by the brand itself.

Apple launched its own Instagram account to share the #ShotoniPhone content, collaborated with professional photographers and videographers, and ran official TV advertisements.

6. The General: “Re-brand”

When it comes to cheesy commercials, The General’s old marketing strategy fits the bill.

The brand became synonymous with pixelated animations and low-quality production which inevitably had a negative effect on the way potential customers perceived the quality of service.

In 2020, the company changed its marketing campaign to target a more rational customer who appreciates a little humor.

Shaquille O’Neal became the face of the brand, appearing in commercials alongside other notable celebrities like Montell Jordan and Ernie Johnson.

Why The General’s “Re-brand” campaign is so great:

The General listened to its customers’ opinions of the brand before moving forward with the new campaign and saw great success as a result.

The tone of the marketing campaign remained light-hearted but took a more mature approach to the humor — toning it down and letting the key selling points of The General shine through.

7. Airbnb: “Made Possible by Hosts”

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, travel companies such as Airbnb saw unprecedented losses in profit.

How did the company respond? It created a series of videos called “Made Possible by Hosts” that shows appreciation for the hosts who have continued to accept guests on the platform.

What’s most curious about the campaign is that it doesn’t put Airbnb customers at the center.

Instead, it spotlights the hosts who accept customers in the first place. In doing so, Airbnb focuses on the human aspect of its platform: You’re not renting an Airbnb property, you’re renting someone’s home.

Over to You

Marketing campaigns aren’t easy, but they’re valuable and integral to growing a successful brand and business. Campaigns set apart certain deliverables from general promotional efforts and touch your audience in creative and exciting ways.

If you’re not sure where to start, consider what would be valuable to your audience, and go from there. Your audience is, after all, the lifeblood of your campaigns and company.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in August 2017 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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MarTech’s marketing operations experts to follow

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MarTech's marketing operations experts to follow

Marketing operations is what makes the magic happen. These are the folks who see that your martech stack doesn’t get stuck. They are the maestros, modelers and makers who make sure the trains run, the data is digestible and that you have the programs you need. Where would we be without them? That’s too scary to think about. Here’s our list of MOps experts who have the ear of the profession.

Darrell Alfonso

Darrell is director of marketing strategy & operations at Indeed and the former global marketing ops leader for AWS. He’s the author of “The Martech Handbook: Build a Technology Stack to Acquire and Retain Customers.” In addition to speaking at many conferences, Darrell was named one of the Top Marketers in the US by Propolis 2022 and among the “Top Martech Marketers to Follow” in 2020 by Martech Alliance. He’s a regular and popular contributor both to MarTech and the MarTech conference; you can find all of his articles at this link.


Eddie Reynolds

Eddie has been in business a long time, starting his first company when he was 14. “A pretty minimal enterprise,” he told one interviewer. “I had a tax ID number, a legal entity, and a company name. I even had the IRS coming after my dad for sales tax that I failed to report properly.” Today he is CEO and revenue operations strategy consultant of Union Square Consulting. He publishes The RevOps Weekly Newsletter and the podcast RevOps Corner. Eddie’s large LinkedIn following attests to the quality of the insights he shares there on  sales, marketing, service, and admin roles. 


Sara McNamara

Sara is an award-winning marketing and sales operations professional whose work has been recognized by awards from the likes of Salesforce (Pardot), Adobe (Marketo), Drift, and LeanData. She is a Senior Manager, Marketing Operations at Slack and a martech stack (+ strategy) solution architect. That and her passion for leveraging technology and processes to improve the experiences of marketers, sales professionals, and prospects, explains why she’s a regular guest on MOps podcasts.


Ali Schwanke

Ali is the CEO and founder of Simple Strat. The firm specializes in helping companies get the most out of HubSpot — from CRM strategy and setup to marketing automation and content creation. She is also host of HubSpot Hacks, “the #1 Unofficial YouTube show for HubSpot Tutorials” and has been a guest speaker at the MarTech conference.


Mike Rizzo

Mike’s career in marketing operations showed him that there is a real and significant MOps community. That’s why he founded MO Pros/MarketingOps.com, the fast-growing online community for people in marketing operations. He is also co-host of Ops Cast, a weekly podcast. 


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About the author

Constantine von Hoffman

Constantine von Hoffman is managing editor of MarTech. A veteran journalist, Con has covered business, finance, marketing and tech for CBSNews.com, Brandweek, CMO, and Inc. He has been city editor of the Boston Herald, news producer at NPR, and has written for Harvard Business Review, Boston Magazine, Sierra, and many other publications. He has also been a professional stand-up comedian, given talks at anime and gaming conventions on everything from My Neighbor Totoro to the history of dice and boardgames, and is author of the magical realist novel John Henry the Revelator. He lives in Boston with his wife, Jennifer, and either too many or too few dogs.

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Is a Marketing Degree Worth it in 2023?

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Is a Marketing Degree Worth it in 2023?

If you’re thinking about getting a degree at any age, it makes sense to think about the value of that degree. Is the qualification needed for the career you want? Are there alternative paths to that career? Can you develop better skills by gaining experience in work? 

All of these are perfectly valid questions. After all, getting a degree requires a pretty large investment of both time and money. You want to know that you’ll get enough return on that investment to make it worthwhile.

Why marketing?

When it comes to marketing, a lot of entry-level jobs list a bachelor’s degree as a requirement. That doesn’t mean there aren’t alternate ways to get into marketing but having a relevant degree certainly makes your resume more competitive. 

Growth industry

Marketing skills are in demand in the current jobs market. According to a recent report from LinkedIn, marketing job posts grew 63% in just six months last year. Half of those jobs were in the digital and media sectors, meaning digital and content marketing skills are highly valued

Personal Development & Career Path

The reason for this increased demand for marketers is tied to the rise in digital marketing. New methods of marketing have continued to develop out of the digital sector. This means that marketers capable of creating engaging content or managing social media accounts are needed.

This leaves a lot of room for personal development. Young graduates who are well-versed in social media and community management can hit the ground running in digital marketing. Getting on this path early can lead to content strategist and marketing management positions.    

What are the Types of Marketing Degrees?

When we say marketing degree, the term is a bit too general. There are a lot of degree paths that focus on marketing in major or minor ways. The level of degree available will depend on your current education history, but the specific course will be down to your personal choice. 

Associate, Bachelor’s, or Master’s?

Recent statistics suggest that 74% of US marketing professionals hold a bachelor’s degree. 9% have an associate degree and 8% have a master’s degree. Here’s a quick overview of the differences. 

Associate degrees – 2-year courses that cover marketing and business in a more basic way than bachelor’s qualifications. They’re designed to give students the basic skills needed to apply for entry-level marketing jobs.   

Bachelor’s degrees – 3/4-year courses that cover business and economics. There is a range of bachelor’s courses with marketing at their core, but you’ll also cover wider business topics like management, communication, and administration. 

Master’s degrees – 2-year courses, usually only available if you’ve already completed a bachelor’s degree. MA or MBA courses are designed to develop a deep understanding of complex business topics. They are highly specific, covering areas like strategic marketing or marketing analytics. 

Free to use image from Pixabay

Marketing Specific or Business General? 

This is down to personal choice. There are general business degrees that will cover marketing as a module as well as marketing-specific degrees. There are also multiple universities and colleges, both offline and online, offering different course platforms

If you’re looking at a specific job role or career path, then research which type of degree is most relevant. Remember that you will need to add to your marketing skills if you intend to progress to management roles in the future. 

Check the Modules & Curriculum

This is important, and not only because it lets you see which courses align with your career goals. Marketing has changed significantly over the last decade, even more so if you go back to before the digital age. Many business courses are still behind on current marketing trends. 

What Jobs Look for a Marketing Degree?

Once you’ve got your marketing qualification, what jobs should you be looking for? Here are some job titles and areas you should watch out for, and what qualifications you’ll need for them.

Entry level

If you’re starting with a degree and no experience, or work experience but no degree, take a look at these roles. 

  • Sales/customer service roles – These are adjacent roles to marketing where most companies do not ask for prior qualifications. If you don’t have a degree, this is a good place to start.
  • Marketing or public relations intern – Another possibility if you don’t have a degree, or you’re still in education. 
  • Digital/content marketing associate – These roles will almost always require an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. A good grasp of new digital and social marketing techniques will be required to succeed. 
  • Copywriter/Bid writer – This is a good route into marketing for those with journalism or literature qualifications. These roles combine aspects of marketing, creative writing, and persuasive writing. 
  • SEO specialist – A more focused form of marketing centered on SEO content optimization. If you know how to optimize a blog post for search engine rankings, this role is for you. Bachelor’s or associate qualifications will be a minimum requirement. 
  • Social media/community manager – Since these are relatively new roles, we tend to see a mix of degree-qualified marketers and people who’ve had success fostering communities or online brands but don’t have on-paper credentials.  

Free to use image from Unsplash

Career Progression

If you have an MA or MBA, or significant experience in one of the above roles, then you can look at these more advanced roles for your career progression.

  • Digital Marketing Manager – A role for experienced marketers that involves running campaigns and coordinating marketing associates. 
  • Senior Marketing Coordinator – A department management level role. Responsible for overall marketing strategy and departmental performance.  
  • Content Strategist – A specialist role that focuses on content strategy. Designing content plans based on demographic and keyword research are a core aspect of this role. 
  • Marketing Analyst – This role involves analyzing customer behaviors and market trends. If you want to move into analysis from a more direct marketing role, you’ll likely need specific data analysis qualifications. 
  • Public Relations Specialist – The public voice of a large organization’s PR team. Managing a brand’s public perception and setting brand-level communication policies like tone of voice.   
  • Experiential Marketing Specialist – This area of marketing is focused on optimizing the customer experience. Experiential specialists have a deep understanding of customer psychology and behaviors. 
  • Corporate Communications Manager – Communications managers are responsible for company-wide communications policies. This is an executive-level role that a marketing coordinator or public relations manager might move up to. 

Average marketing salaries

Across all the roles we’ve discussed above, salaries vary widely. For those entry-level roles, you could be looking at anything from $25 – $40K depending on the role and your experience. 

When it comes to median earnings for marketers with a bachelor’s or master’s degree, we can get a bit more specific. Recent statistics from Zippia show us that $69,993 p/a is the average for bachelor’s degree holders and $80,365 p/a for master’s degree marketers. 

Image sourced from Zippia.com

Marketing Degree Pros and Cons

So, the question we asked above was “Is a marketing degree worth it?” Yet, in truth, it’s not a simple yes or no answer. The question you need to ask is “Is a marketing degree right for me?” Here’s a summary of the pros and cons that might give you some answers.  

Pros

  • Degree holders have better job prospects and higher earnings potential in marketing
  • You can study highly specific skills with the right courses
  • Gain soft skills like communication and collaboration

Cons

  • High time and money investment required 
  • Diminishing salary returns at higher levels
  • Can be a restrictive environment for self-starters and entrepreneurs

What are Marketing Degree Alternatives?

If you want to stick with education but don’t want to invest four years into a degree, then accredited online courses can provide an alternative. This can be your best choice if you wish to upskill in a specific area like running conference calls from Canada

If higher education really isn’t your thing, the other option is gaining experience. Some businesses prefer internships and training programs for entry-level roles. This allows them to train marketers “their way” rather than re-training someone with more experience.  

Free to use image from Unsplash

How to Decide if a Marketing Degree is Right for You

Ultimately, choosing to do a marketing degree depends on your goals, your preferences, and your talents. Consider all three factors before making your choice. 

Career Goals

Do you want a management position that needs marketing knowledge? What areas of marketing interest you? What skills do you already possess? Answering these three questions will help you define your career path. That will narrow down your course choices. 

If you want to get better at selling small business phone systems in Vancouver, you don’t need a four-year course for that. If you want to develop into high-level marketing roles, then you want that degree. 

Personality

You don’t need a specific personality type to work in marketing. Your personality and interests might determine what area of marketing would suit you best though. For example, if you’re outgoing and creative then public relations or social media management might be for you.    

Investment & Return

Money isn’t everything. But, if you’re going to put the resources into getting a degree, you want to know that you’ll get some return on your investment. From the figures we quoted above, it seems the “optimal” qualification in terms of salary return vs. time and money investment is a bachelor’s degree. 

Average earnings for marketers with a master’s qualification were only $10k higher. This suggests that you’re not really getting a significant financial return for the additional investment. Of course, if that master’s leads to your dream job, you might see it differently.  

Final Thoughts: Forge Your Own Path

Is a marketing degree worth it in 2023? The short answer is yes. Whether that means a marketing degree is right for you, we can’t tell you. Hopefully, though, this guide has given you the information you need to make that choice. 



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How the LinkedIn Algorithm Works in 2023 [Updated]

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How the LinkedIn Algorithm Works in 2023 [Updated]

LinkedIn bills itself as “the world’s largest professional network” — and they have the numbers to prove it. With over 875 million members in more than 200 countries and regions, LinkedIn is immensely popular and well-used. On top of the sheer size of the platform, nearly 25% of users are senior-level influencers; about 10 million are categorized as C-level executives, and LinkedIn classifies 63 million as “decision makers.”

If you’re a B2B marketer or brand, you probably already know this social media platform offers you an excellent opportunity to reach your target demographic. However, seizing that opportunity is easier said than done since LinkedIn uses a unique algorithm to serve content to users.

In this article, we will walk through how the LinkedIn algorithm works in 2023, best practices for beating the algorithm with organic content, and how brands can elevate their presence on the platform.
 

What is the LinkedIn Algorithm?

 
The LinkedIn algorithm is a formula that determines which content gets seen by certain users on the platform. It’s designed to make each user’s newsfeed as relevant and interesting to them as possible to increase engagement and time spent on the platform. In this way, the LinkedIn algorithm is similar to the Facebook or TikTok algorithm, though LinkedIn’s is slightly more transparent (which is good news!). 

In fact, LinkedIn itself is a good source for demystifying the algorithm and understanding what content is prioritized for members. But the general function of the LinkedIn algorithm is to review and assess billions of posts every day and position those that are most authentic, substantive and relevant to each user at the top of their feeds.  

How the algorithm achieves that function is a little more complex.
 

How the LinkedIn Algorithm Works in 2023

 
 
LinkedIn users’ feeds don’t show posts in chronological order. Instead, the LinkedIn algorithm determines which posts show up at the top of users’ feeds, meaning that sometimes users see older or more popular posts before they see more recent ones.

Several factors influence the LinkedIn algorithm, and the factors change relatively often. Let’s take a closer look.
 

1. Assess and Filter Content by Quality

 
When someone posts on LinkedIn, the algorithm determines whether it’s spam, low-quality, or high-quality content. High-quality content is cleared, low-quality content undergoes additional screening, and spam content is eliminated. 

 

  • Spam – Content flagged as spam can have poor grammar, contain multiple links within the post, tag more than five people, use more than ten hashtags (or use expressly prescriptive hashtags like #follow, #like, and #comment) or be one of multiple postings from the same user within three hours. 
  • Low-quality – Content categorized as low quality isn’t spam but is judged as not particularly relevant to the audience. These posts can be hard to read, tag people who are unlikely to respond or interact, or deal with topics too broad to be interesting to users.  
  • High-quality – “Clear” content is easy to read, encourages engagement, incorporates strong keywords, uses three or fewer hashtags, and reserves outbound links to the comments. In other words, it’s something your audience will want to read or see and react to in a substantive way.

 

2. Test Post Engagement with a Small Follower Group

 
Once a post has made it through the spam filter, the algorithm distributes it to a small subset of your followers for a short time (about an hour) to test its ability to generate engagement. If this group of followers likes, comments or shares the post within this “golden hour,” the LinkedIn algorithm will push it to more people. 

If, on the other hand, the post is ignored, or your followers choose to hide it from their feeds (or, worst of all, mark it as spam), the algorithm will not share it further.  
 

3. Expand the Audience Based on Ranking Signals

 
If the algorithm decides your post is worthy of being sent to a broader audience, it will use a series of three ranking signals to determine exactly who sees it: personal connection, interest relevance and engagement probability. 

These signals boil down to the level of connection between you and the user who potentially sees the post, that user’s interest in the content’s topic and the likelihood of that user interacting with the content. We’ll break down exactly what these ranking signals are further in the post.
 

4. Additional Spam Checks and Continued Engagement Monitoring

 
Even after a post is pushed to a broader audience, the LinkedIn algorithm continues monitoring how users perceive it in terms of quality. If your content is marked as spam or entirely ignored by the new audience group, LinkedIn will stop showing it to those audiences. On the other hand, if your post resonates with new audiences, LinkedIn will keep the post in rotation. So long as the post gets a steady stream of engagement, posts can stay in circulation for months.
 

8 Best Practices to Make the LinkedIn Algorithm Work for You

 
 Understanding how the LinkedIn algorithm works is the first step to reaching more people on LinkedIn and ensuring your content is well-received and engaging. The next step is optimizing your content based on the factors the algorithm prioritizes to maximize its effect. This is where mastering the ranking signals comes into play.

Here are eight tips for crafting high-performing LinkedIn content:
 

1. Know What’s Relevant to Your Audience

 
Relevance is what the algorithm prizes above all other content qualities. For LinkedIn, relevance translates to engagement, which leads to more time spent on the platform, which results in more ad revenue and continued growth. Following this tip will win you points in the “interest relevance” and “engagement probability” ranking categories. 

The entire LinkedIn ecosystem is set up to prioritize highly relevant content. To ensure your posts are relevant, create content focused on your niche and your audience’s specific needs and interests. As LinkedIn’s then-Director of Product Management Linda Leung explained in 2022, “we are continuously investing in the teams, tools, and technology to ensure that the content that you see on your feed adds value to your professional journey.” 

Use customer research and analytics from other social media platforms to learn more about what your audience wants to know. Focus on creating high-quality, valuable content that helps professionals succeed in formats they prefer (for example, videos, which get three times the average engagement of text-only posts). But above all, posting content that is personal and has industry relevance is vital. 
 

2. Post at the Right Time

 
As with most things, timing is crucial for successful LinkedIn posts. It’s even more critical when considering the “golden hour” testing process integral to the algorithm’s rankings. Remember, how much interaction a post gets within the first hour after it’s published determines whether it gets pushed to a broader audience. That means posting at the optimal time when your followers are online and primed to respond is a central factor to success.

You are the best judge of when your top LinkedIn followers and people in your network are most likely to be on the platform and engaging with content. But for the general public, data suggests the best time to post is at 9:00 a.m. EST on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Cross-reference these times with your own analytics and knowledge about your audience — like a common time zone, for example — to find the best time for your posts.
 

3. Encourage Engagement

 
Your post format can play a significant role in user engagement. The LinkedIn algorithm doesn’t explicitly prioritize videos over photo and text posts, but LinkedIn’s internal research has found video ads are five times more likely to start conversations compared to other types of promoted content. 

Asking a question is another great way to encourage interaction with your post. If you’re sharing industry insights, open the conversation to commenters by asking them to share their opinions or experiences on the topic. 

Additionally, tagging someone in your LinkedIn post can expand its reach, but only tag relevant users and people likely to engage with the post. You don’t automatically get in front of a celebrity’s entire following just because you tagged them. In fact, the algorithm’s spam filter can penalize your post for that. But when you tag someone relevant, the tagged person’s connections and followers will also see your post in their feeds. 
 

4. … But don’t beg users to engage

 
The LinkedIn algorithm penalizes posts and hashtags that expressly ask for an engagement action like a follow or a comment. In an official blog post from May 2022, LinkedIn said that it “won’t be promoting” posts that “ask or encourage the community to engage with content via likes or reactions posted with the exclusive intent of boosting reach on the platform.” Essentially, content that begs for engagement is now considered low-quality and should be avoided.
 

5. Promote new posts on non-LinkedIn channels

 
LinkedIn doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and neither do its users. Content that gains traction in other channels can help boost LinkedIn posts and vice versa. Sharing posts on your website, other social media platforms, or with coworkers can spark the initial engagement required for a viral LinkedIn post. Promoting content on other channels can also encourage inactive LinkedIn users to re-engage with the platform, and that interaction will be interpreted as net new engagement for your post.
 

6. Keep Your Posts Professional

 
As the “professional social networking site,” LinkedIn has a well-honed identity that extends to the type of content it favors. Specifically, business-related content that users will find relevant and helpful to their careers or within their industry. 

This might seem common sense, but it can be tempting to think that content that earns lots of clicks or likes on other social media platforms will perform similarly when cross-posted on LinkedIn. Unfortunately (or fortunately), hilarious memes, TikTok dance clips and personal videos don’t resonate with the LinkedIn algorithm. 
 

7. Avoid Outbound Links
 
 

The urge to include an outbound link in a LinkedIn post is real, especially for B2B marketers using LinkedIn to generate leads and traffic to their websites. But this is universally regarded as a tactic to avoid. LinkedIn wants to keep users on the platform and engaging; link-outs defeat that purpose. Therefore, the algorithm tends to downgrade content that includes an outbound link. 

Posts without outbound links enjoyed six times more reach than posts containing links. Does that mean there’s no room for a link to your brand’s website or blog with additional resources? No. But the best practice is creating content that encourages a conversation and letting the audience request an outbound link. If you feel compelled to link to something off-platform, include that link in the comments. 
 

8. Keep an Eye on SSI

 
LinkedIn has a proprietary metric called the Social Selling Index, which measures “how effective you are at establishing your professional brand, finding the right people, engaging with insights, and building relationships.” Per LinkedIn, social selling leaders create 45% more opportunities than those users with lower SSI scores.

A higher SSI boosts users’ posts closer to the top of their audience’s feeds. While this impacts post visibility for individual posters rather than brands and companies, it remains a significant influence on LinkedIn’s algorithm and is worth noting. 

Source: Business 2 Community
 

An Overview of Ranking Signals on LinkedIn’s Algorithm

 
 
As mentioned earlier, there are three ranking signals the LinkedIn algorithm uses to rank posts in a user’s feed:
 

  1. Personal connections
  2. Interest relevance
  3. Engagement probability

 
And here’s how each signal impacts a post’s ranking:
 

Personal Connections

 
In 2019, LinkedIn began deprioritizing content from mega influencers (think Oprah and Richard Brandon) and instead began highlighting content from users’ personal connections. To determine a user’s connections, LinkedIn considers these two things:
 

  1. Who a user works with or has previously worked with
  2. Who a user has interacted with before on the platform

 
At the top of the feed, users now see posts by people they engage with often and by anyone who posts consistently. Users also see more posts from connections with whom they share interests and skills (according to their LinkedIn profiles). 

That said, as of 2022, LinkedIn is also “creating more ways to follow people throughout the feed experience,” including thought leaders, industry experts, and creators that may be outside of a user’s network. So it’s important to remember that personal connection is just one factor influencing post ranking.
 

Interest relevance

 
Relevance is another of the three ranking signals – and in many ways, the most important one. LinkedIn explains on its engineering blog: “We already have a strong set of explicit and implicit signals that provide context on what content a member may find interesting based on their social connections and the Knowledge Graph (e.g., a company that they follow, or news widely shared within their company).”

LinkedIn also uses what they call an “interest graph” that represents the relationships between users and a variety of topics. This lets the LinkedIn algorithm measure the following:
 

  • How interested users are in certain topics
  • How related are different topics to one another
  • Which connections share a user’s interests

 
The algorithm also considers the companies, people, hashtags, and topics mentioned in a post to predict interest. To maximize the interest relevance ranking, you have to understand your target audience and craft content that they’ll find relevant.
 

Engagement Probability

 
Interaction plays a significant role in a post’s ranking on LinkedIn. The platform uses machine learning to rank interaction in two ways:
 

  1. How likely a user is to comment on, share, or react to a post based on the content and people they have interacted with
  2. How quickly a post starts receiving engagement after it’s published. The faster users interact with a post, the more likely it will appear at the top of others’ feeds

 
Users who regularly interact with others’ posts in their LinkedIn feed are more likely to see interactions on their content, which in turn means that they’ll be more likely to show up on other people’s feeds.
 

Elevate Your Brand’s LinkedIn Presence

 
The LinkedIn algorithm can seem intimidating, but it really isn’t. It relies on a series of rules and ranking measures that can be understood and mastered to present users with content they find helpful in their professional lives.

Knowing that the algorithm prioritizes engagement, relevance and connection will help get your posts in front of more LinkedIn users and improve your overall performance on the platform. And by following the eight best practices outlined in this article, you’ll be able to keep your audience’s interest and create plenty of opportunities for them to engage with your content. 

Tinuiti helps brands strengthen relationships with new and current customers through expert social media strategy and brilliant creative. Reach out to our Paid Social services team to learn how to start advancing your LinkedIn strategy today.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2021 and has been regularly updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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