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From the Blog

Anyone who has been involved in digital marketing for the last ten to fifteen years will know there have been some pretty seismic changes. It seems we’ve only got used to one platform when another one comes along. Google changes their algorithms and suddenly our sites are no longer ranking. New tech for measuring performance puts our competitors at a better advantage. Not only has the digital landscape changed but customers are savvy, demanding more bang for their bucks. For the digital marketing professional it’s a constant challenge. One of the biggest problems is how to keep your skill set on track to meet future client and employee demands. There is a digital skills shortage in the UK at the moment and it’s costing the UK economy more than £2 billion a year , a figure that’s set to rise over the next decade. If you want to make yourself more professionally desirable, therefore, building on your existing skills is vital. It can also be quite daunting. Which skills are best? Where can you learn them? How much is it going to cost? What do employers really want?   1. Find Out What’s Missing The first step in deciding what new skills you need is to carry out an audit of what you already have. If you’re in a role at the moment, you may want to make a list of what it is you currently do exactly. Perhaps you’re planning to apply for a job. Taking a look at the spec to see what skills are required can be quite enlightening. Does it match your current abilities and skills? The trick here is to find out what you have and how it works for your business or future employers. More now than ever, job applicants in the digital sector need to demonstrate what they’ve done to keep their skills up to date in a constantly changing environment. It may help to get a third party to take a closer look at your digital skills set and make suggestions about what you are missing. Platforms like LinkedIn are great for reaching out to expertise that may not be available in your local area. You might want to employ a digital marketing coach for a short while to work with you in improving those desirable skills. Whatever you do, it’s important to have a clear idea of where your skill set rates at the moment and equally imperative you understand where the shortfalls are. You should, however, bear one thing in mind – as human beings we tend to overestimate our abilities and its important to be brutally honest with yourself.   2. Stay Current When you’re working hard and trying to meet your targets, it can be hard to keep up to date with the latest changes in digital marketing. Sometimes all you want to do is sit down and relax with a glass of wine and forget about all things social media, landing page and pay per click advertising. It’s easy to get into bad habits which is how so many of us end up with a skills shortage in the first place. Put aside at least some time each week to check what’s hot and what’s not in digital marketing so that you remain as current as possible. You can use RSS feeds and subscribe to digital marketing platforms to send you automatic emails or notifications. You might also like to keep a look out for webinars by industry experts or even new eBook releases on sites like Amazon. However you do it, understanding a market that is often in flux and changing rapidly is vital if you want to ensure your digital skills set remains relevant in today’s market.   3. Practice vs Theory One issue you may have at work is that a new strategy or marketing tool might come along but you don’t have an opportunity to use it. This can be frustrating and it may also be a key factor in you not bothering to engage with it at all. When it comes to new things, you should always be looking at ways to introduce the relevant tools into your daily practice. This doesn’t always have to be at work. If you have a project at home, then practicing these new skills with that might be all you need. The trouble is that we can have lots of theory clogging up our brains. Unless you combine it with hard practice, however, you’re probably not going to learn all you need to. There are a few ways to do it at work, of course. You could ask your boss to let you get involved in a new marketing initiative if it means you are likely to learn new things. A lot will depend on your manager and the makeup of your team but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pester and make a nuisance of yourself. Persistence can pay off.   4. Formal Training The other important step is to take charge of your own continuing professional development or CPD. Going on new courses and getting various certificates provides you with strong evidence to put on your CV that you’re a person who likes to learn new things. Most new employers will be looking for digital marketing professionals who are keen to take charge of their own learning and stay current.   5. Don’t Drift Finally, doing nothing shouldn’t be an option. If you want to be relevant in your career, it’s up to you to address any skills shortage you may have. While you can learn a lot online and from various free sites, undertaking some additional formal training plants smaller markers for your future career success. The vast majority of businesses, from SMEs to the big corporations, know how important the digital environment is for their own personal success. Taking a closer look at your digital skills set is vital if you want to appeal to more companies, give yourself greater opportunities and stay ahead of the competition when it’s time to apply for new jobs. There’s no doubt that digital skills shortage is a big issue in many countries. According to the Open University it’s actually reaching crisis levels. If you work in digital marketing , however, this is also a great opportunity to boost your employability and your reputation within the industry. Addressing any skills shortage, in fact, could ensure you’re ahead of the competition when you apply for that next big job. All you need to do is take control.
Landing that dream digital marketing job is not easy. There’s always plenty of competition for these posts and setting yourself apart from the rest of the candidates requires a lot of hard work. It’s a bit like going on Britain’s Got Talent for marketers or the point of the film Highlander – there can be only one! If you want to nail down your dream job at interview, however, there are some things you can do to tilt things more in your favour.   1. Start With Your CV It might seem a little odd to go back to the CV but this is usually the framework for deciding what is discussed at your digital marketing interview in the first place. Of course, it shows what you’ve achieved, who you’ve worked with and what qualifications you have. But it should also be a snap shot of you as an individual and your personality. Many digital marketing candidates make the mistake of throwing out the same old CV for each job they apply for. This is inevitably a mistake because it doesn’t leverage the full power of that, initial communication. You should always, always tailor your CV to the digital marketing job you are applying for. To do this, read the job specs closely and compare these to your CV. Look at ways to tweak and change what you have to better meet the requirements of the selection panel. That could mean changing your list of achievements slightly so that they are more inline with what the job is asking of you. You might also swap certain bullet points around to make them more prominent.   2. Don’t Forget the Basics Of course, digital marketing interviews have a lot in common with other interviews in other sectors. There are basics that you need to tick off, including turning up on time and being smartly dressed for the occasion. Body language is always important and you should avoid slouching or curtail any mannerisms that send the wrong message. Yes, digital marketing interviews can often be a little less formal but that doesn’t mean you should relax too much and ignore the norms. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.   3. Do Your Homework Do you really want to land this job opportunity? If you do, it’s time to undertake some serious research. You need to find out all you can about the company you’re being interviewed by and the people who work for it. Fortunately, that’s a lot easier nowadays with all the information available online. Find out what they are saying on social media, whether there are any videos on YouTube, look at LinkedIn profiles for staff pages and check news feeds for recent stories. A lot will depend on the sector or industry as to where you search. For instance, if your digital marketing interview is for a tech company then reviewing sites like TechCrunch and The Next Web is a good idea. Don’t just rely on your current knowledge, build a base of information that will assist you during the interview. In essence, get to know everything the company does, what their products are and how they brand and present themselves to the world. And drill down as deep as possible. All this combined, says to the interview panel that you are serious about the job and really want it.   4. Declutter Your Online World We all know that social media and our online presence is increasingly important when it comes to job opportunities. Nearly half of businesses say they are likely to check Twitter and Facebook feeds if they are interviewing someone. That digital marketing job could hang on an injudicious tweet or post you made a couple of years ago and have forgotten about. Some employers will check your timelines after they receive an application, others will leave it until that first digital marketing interview. Before you do anything else, it’s a good idea to go through all your online content and check there’s nothing that will work against you. That includes doing a search on Google. Check you privacy settings if you want to keep communications with friends on Facebook hidden. Update your LinkedIn profile and add in anything that can help you during interview. Cut out anything that is likely to make you look less than reliable. This is something you should be doing on a regular basis anyway but is particularly important ahead of any digital marketing job application.   5. Practice Makes Perfect With all the work you do to prepare for your interview, there is always the chance that you will find yourself tripped up by a difficult or unexpected question. In truth, most interviews tend to follow a certain format, covering similar areas. There are standard questions that tend to be asked in digital marketing interviews and having answers prepared for these obviously makes sense. But you also need to practice handling those difficult or unexpected questions so that you come across as calm under pressure and knowledgeable about your industry. Try to get as much interview practice with a friend or colleague beforehand so that you are fully prepared. The last thing you want is to be thrown by an unusual question and fluff your lines.   6. Make the Most of Your Experience Got a marketing degree or diploma? That’s all very well but most employers nowadays are much more focused on experience. They’re going to want to explore this during your digital marketing interview. What you need at the back of your mind is how to get this across at every opportunity. That means finding examples from your own work experience when you answer any question. Don’t just mention it in passing, either. Get as much meat on the bones as you can, including the stats and data associated with any marketing campaign you have been involved with and how you contributed. No interview is easy but preparing yourself well not only arms you with the right information but instils confidence as well. If you really want that digital marketing job, you need to apply yourself methodically and do everything you can to ensure success.
We live in a competitive world. Whatever your business and whichever sector you operate in, you need to fight for every customer. It helps to have a serious marketing strategy in place, something to cajole, convince and drag customers to your front door. Traditional marketing has normally involved your business sending out a communication to potential customers. In it’s simplest form, this is a flyer posted through the front door with a telephone number of web contact. It’s generally a one way, rather limited approach. You post out your message and sit back, waiting for that potential customer to reply. Or you produce a TV ad or bill board sign that you hope people are going to see and then buy your product or service.   1. The Power of Digital Marketing Digital marketing gives you the chance to utilise several layers of engagement and pull them all together to create a complete and responsive marketing campaign. What does that mean? Well, for a start, it allows the marketing conversation to go both ways, between that potential customer and your business. The power of digital marketing is delivered by its diversity: you’ve got your website, social media, pay per click campaigns, email, infographics, media coverage, video marketing, blogging and even affiliate marketing. There are so many ways to get your brand message across that it can often be difficult to narrow down the choices to match your advertising budget and the time you want to spend on it.   2. Brand Positioning Let’s face it, traditional advertising such as billboards and TV ads are expensive. If you are an up and coming business or just starting out, you want to make the most of your marketing budget and not throw all your eggs in one basket. Digital allows you to be more flexible with your brand development with a wider choice. Of course, with that flexibility comes a lot more responsibility. If you’re looking to tweak your brand approach or tail or it to specific customers, you still need to ensure your core message remains solid. But, if you can get your approach right, you can find a lot of new and interesting ways to forge a connections between customers and your product or service.   3. The Power of 4Cs If you’ve been in marketing for an lengthy of time or studied it at college, you’ll know all about product, price, placement and promotion or the 4 Ps. These have been circumvented in recent times by the 4Cs which are specific to digital marketing and business growth. Co-Creation: Many business are getting their customers in on the development phase. Why? It provides a host of brand ambassadors, greater engagement and enables the business to deliver a customised approach. Currency: Hop onto Amazon and you’ll see price changes constantly happening on products, often while you’re still sat there. Flexible pricing has a lot of benefits and is growing across all sectors. Yes, you need the right price but you also need to respond to changes in the market to alter that price when needed. Consumers: They are no longer cardboard cut outs but fully fleshed-out individuals and your digital marketing campaign needs to cater for their personal wants and needs. Communication: This is no longer a one way street, it’s a two way conversation. Businesses ignore this at their peril – if your customer wants to engage, they need to be engaged.   4. Segmentation and Reaching the Right Communities In traditional marketing, it’s more difficult to reach out to specific audiences. This is something that has really changed over the last five to ten years, largely with the advent of the smartphone and greater connectivity. We’ve all heard the term ‘big data’. What it allows digital marketers to do is segment more intelligently and reach audiences and communities and engage with them in new and exciting ways. If you know who your customers are, it’s now easier than ever to reach them in the digital world.   5. Knowing Customers There’s that old phrase: People buy from people. At no time has this been more true than in the digital age. The ability to segment customers and drill down into their wants and needs shouldn’t be ignored. It gives your business the chance to provide a personalised sales funnel from the moment they click on your site to the time they buy and the service or support that you supply after that. You can listen and you can care and that’s a powerful way to create brand loyalty because your customer will appreciate it. You can’t generally do that with traditional marketing. You can certainly achieve it with the right digital strategy.   6. Beyond Limitations Let’s face it, traditional marketing limits what you can do and achieve. Digital marketing opens up a whole new range of tools and opportunities to reach out and touch customers. You can tailor your campaigns, including focusing on a local audience or sending your message global. You can use social media posts, have videos that go viral, produce a blog article that gets shared around the world. Of course, bad news travels just as quickly (if not quicker) as good news. There is a price to pay for this freeing of the advertising shackles – you have to monitor your digital presence closely and keep control of it. And that’s not always easy.   7. The Cost is Low If you’ve every worked on producing a TV ad, you’ll know how expensive it is and how difficult it is to get a return on investment if things go south or you choose the wrong advertising company. The good news with digital marketing is that it’s relatively cheap. Social media platforms cost nothing to sign up on. Pay per click can be monitored and costs restricted to meet your budget. If you get involved with user generated content, you can create a load of free marketing across the world. What it does take, however, is time. You really do need to focus on what you are doing and select the right tools. For many business, a scatter gun approach is par for the course. They have a bit on social media, the odd email campaign, a video on YouTube and a couple of blogs to help SEO now and again. What they don’t have is a concrete and comprehensive strategy and that’s important in digital marketing. That’s also why you need to be a digital marketer if you want you business to be a success. Of course, if you’re running your business and dealing with customers all the time, you may not have the energy or the inclination to develop those skills. It’s why this is one of the fasted growing professions around the world. If you need to find a digital marketing expert to help you business, it’s time to advertise on Digital Marketing Jobs .
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