13 Amazing Examples of B2B Content Marketing

Content marketing has become the champion of B2B relations not only in Hong Kong but in most of the countries around the world. It is well suited to the longer sales cycles, where the customer is taking more time to research their options among competing companies. However, finding that perfect mix of excitement and intrigue for what can often prove to be a highly dry subject matter is never easy. 

To help you find your content marketing groove, here are 13 examples of amazing B2B content marketing for inspiration.

1. LeadPages

LeadPages are in the business of designing landing page templates and testing services.

The Strategy:

LeadPages focused on the following marketing assets to help them compete with major competitors such as HubSpot:

  • An expert marketing blog focused on lead generation and A/B testing with a novel approach to generating content, from cross-promotions on social media to stopping lead leaks

  • Expanding their content to include free educational marketing resources, including courses, eBooks, infographics, and case studies

  • Producing what has become one of the most popular marketing podcasts, “ConversionCast,” using a world-class podcaster, Tim Paige

  • Launching weekly webinars to continue and build upon their educational marketing

The Results:

According to Founder and CEO, Clay Collins, they acquired 35,000 customers in less than three years and hit over $16 million in revenue in 2015.

2. WP Engine

WP Engine is a managed hosting platform for WordPress users.

The Strategy:

Their highly focused targeting approach to content marketing compartmentalised their efforts into separate “buckets” that included:

  • Their product: Focused on their new features and company news.

  • Their industry: Helping people to build their online presence with a focus on WordPress users in marketing companies and agencies.

  • Business impact: Helping people drive growth using their online presence.

  • Torque: Creating a community with less talk about the business and more on providing a resource for WordPress users.

  • Support: Providing written and video content to help their customers solve problems.

The Results:

By focusing on specific problems and pain points, their focused content addressed the specific concerns of their different types of customers. They were able to acquire 300,000 sites in 128 countries and earn over $40 million.

3. STR Software

STR Software is in the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) industry, targeting larger organisations.

The Strategy:

To separate themselves from the competition, they focused on educational content, including:

  • The creation of BI Publisher University

  • The creation of gated content using an online form to capture data from leads

  • Using lead generated information to target and nurture leads, using email automation to share more relevant content

  • Promotion of their university throughout their website

  • Effective email marketing to reach their audience

The Results:

STR Software was able to increase the quality of their sales leads and inbound links for better organic traffic. They saw an increase in conversion rate for an average of 10% on their forms and a 54% increase in web traffic, with 67% more page views with longer time spent on their site. 

4. Simply Business

Simply Business is the largest insurance broker in the UK.

The Strategy:

Simply Business decided that they didn’t have to focus on insurance to sell it. Instead, they focused on creating content that would be relevant to business owners with guides for a myriad of issues, including:

The Results:

Simply Business’s idea was highly successful, resulting in increased rankings for their major keywords and significant increases in organic traffic. 

5. Single Grain

Single Grain is a digital marketing agency with a focus on tech startups.

The Strategy:

Single Grain wanted to attract major companies such as Uber and Amazon, using content designed to convert visitors into subscribers. They also wanted to create conversations about what they had to offer. Their content marketing included:

  • A blog focused on effective online marketing

  • A Marketing School podcast pairing their CEO, Eric Siu, with marketing thought leader Neil Patel

  • An extensive online resource centre featuring guides, courses, webinars, and infographics

The Results:

Their podcasts have become some of the most highly regarded in the industry while their articles have generated thousands of shares and links. They have attracted tons of traffic to their website and created awareness about their business. They have achieved their original goals to convert and engage.

6. HubSpot

HubSpot is a marketing company credited for coining the phrase “inbound marketing.”

The Strategy:

HubSpot’s approach is pretty simple. They created two types of content to address different stages of the funnel:

  • Their blog is designed to teach small businesses about inbound marketing to attract readers to the top of the funnel.

  • Their resources section includes an impressive library of eBooks, case studies, webinars, a quiz, and a marketing kit targeting mid to bottom of the funnel visitors.

The Results:

Their content marketing is a major driver of traffic, allowing them to transform in just ten years from being funded to a public company worth over a billion dollars.

7. Scripted

Scripted helps companies find and hire writers to develop their content.

The Strategy:

In order to compete with other writer marketplaces, their content marketing strategy focuses on each step of the buyer’s journey, including:

  • A blog and podcasts discussing common problems focused on feeding people into the top of the funnel

  • White papers and webinars offering deeper solutions to move people further down the funnel to encourage email sign-ups

  • Case studies to prove their effectiveness to subscribers who will hopefully then use their services

The Results:

Their approach has been highly successful with their blog posts driving 46% of their visitors. They also saw bounce rates for content close to three times lower than other sources.

8. Salesforce

Salesforce is the world’s largest vendor of CRM.

The Strategy:

Salesforce had to increase their search and paid traffic sources using a number of tactics that included:

The Results:

In three months, their strategy saw an 80% year-over-year increase in traffic. They also saw a staggering increase in traffic generated from their social pages by 2500%. Their eBook downloads reached 10,000, and their newsletter gained 6,500 sign-ups. 

9. SAP

SAP is one of the largest enterprise software vendors in the world across more than a dozen industries.

The Strategy:

With such a diverse target, SAP focused on segmentation that included:

  • Customised content marketing for 19 customer segments

  • Tailored messaging covering topics relevant to each industry

  • Solution-based content for each segment by demonstrating the industry-specific benefits of their product

  • Using the right content for each target, including email, Tweets, blog posts, LinkedIn status updates, their own SAP Community Network, virtual and live events, outbound and responder follow-up calls, and account-based marketing

The Results:

SAP saw Marketing Generated Ops to the tune of $3,675,000, and marketing touched pipeline growth equal to $50,037,709.

10. SecureWorks

This cybersecurity company specialises in helping companies detect potential sources of cyber-attack.

The Strategy:

SecureWorks focused on creating personas so that their content would be better able to solve problems for their customers to convert traffic into leads using:

  • A blog to answer questions about information security and compliance

  • In-depth resources such as webinars, white papers, reports, case studies, solution briefs, datasheets, and videos

The Results:

SecureWorks was able to make one out of two qualified leads an opportunity and double their conversion rate.

11. CB Insights

CB Insights is a tech market intelligence platform that analyses data points.

The Strategy:

They created the witty, engaging CB Insights Newsletter to provide tons of information that is useful to readers. Content includes:

  • Insights on technology

  • Information on venture capital

  • Outlines of emerging businesses

The Results:

By focusing on their buyer’s goals, they created content that remains relevant to their readers and helps them maintain a position of authority in their industry.

12. Velcro

This company needs no introduction as the inventor of the two-sided “hoop and loop” adhesive used on everything from picture hangers to running shoes.

The Strategy:

Velcro created clever, humorous content to talk about the fact that the use of their company name is illegal. Their content included:

  • Two videos featuring their legal team singing about the proper use of the term

  • An invitation to join the #DontSayVelcro “movement” on social media

  • Online quizzes about Velcro

The Results:

The first video saw tens of thousands of views with comments from 150 countries. The second video gained more than 650,000 views and generated multiple conversations about using Velcro as a noun or a verb. 

13. NextView Ventures

NextView is a venture capital platform to help companies put together their team, create a product, and get customers.

The Strategy:

NextView chose to create content using an unexpected online source:

  • They created an online publication, “Better Days” using Medium Publications.

  • The off-site content platform allowed them to generate different voices and content themes without worrying about their brand.

  • It generates off-site content that links back to their site.

  • It allows people to follow them on other content platforms.

The Results:

The platform gives them access to over 26 million followers, a number that their own blog could never reach on its own. 

Conclusion

As you can see, it just takes a little ingenuity to turn the driest information into useful and engaging content that will move prospects further down the sales funnel. If you want to know more successful cases carried out locally in Hong Kong, our course can be something you are interested in, as our experts are happy to share industry insights and case studies with you.

Source: Digital Marketing Institute

Photo by Diego PH on Unsplash

7 of the Hottest Digital Marketing Jobs

If you’re looking to transition into or build a career in the sphere of digital marketing - and we know there are more and more people in Hong Kong looking for such options in the field - you’re most likely looking in the right place. This is because there are a ton of different careers in this arena, each of which is quite varied in terms of required skill sets as well as aptitude and natural abilities.

Whether you veer towards business and management, tech or the creative end of the spectrum, there will always be digital jobs available. Here’s a breakdown of some of the areas that are expected to be in demand and have a solid salary trajectory in the coming years.

1. Content Managers & Strategists

Content management is really a central role for any agency or digital marketing team as it touches on almost all levels of marketing – and it encompasses much more than just writing and social media activity.

Content managers need to understand not only how to create SEO-friendly content from the ground up, but how to organise, store, and manage it as well. They need to understand how it feeds into different subsets of the marketing plan. They also need to have a grasp on how to develop and share the huge variety of content that is out there.

Content managers may be in charge of social media strategy, managing a team of writers, developing editorial calendars, creating engaging videos, reporting and strategising using analytics, and a whole range of related activities. They need to be able to coordinate teams and work with a diverse range of clients.

To this end, they not only need to be great writers, but they also need to be able to create stellar content that works across multiple channels. They also need to be good at relationship building, creative, organised and self-motivated.

2. Virtual Reality Developers and Editors

This is quite a high-tech job but it’s so new and interesting and there’s plenty of room for those who are in the realm of creative – tech. If you are someone with a background that combines technology and creativity, if you are into graphics or even special effects, virtual reality might be a great field for you.

People come into virtual reality from the video arts or if they are well versed in various creative software suites. You may end up with a director type role or start out as an assistant, tester or editor.

As a product, VR is still quite expensive to purchase and is a highly specialised field. It is being used more and more in digital marketing campaigns and to this end, those that have a strong foundation in technical arts and digital marketing management will be highly valued.

3. SEO/SEM Specialists

SEO and SEM are crucial for solid digital marketing campaign and to this end, anyone who can demonstrate a solid technical knowledge and combine it with digital marketing expertise, especially in the managerial end of the spectrum, will be the highest earners in this field.

SEO and SEM are difficult to specialise in, in part because search engine algorithms are always fluctuating. Businesses must stay up-to-date in order to have a consistently high ROI and the bigger the business is, the more complex this can be. In addition, e-commerce sites and those that depend highly on internet traffic for profits will be particularly dependent on a strong SEO / SEM strategy.

Basically, most businesses will want to rank high, so they will need people with deep expertise in these areas and this trend is not likely to slow down, especially as digital technology continues to permeate more and more aspects of our lives.

4. UX Designer

User Experience (UX) designers are responsible for the end-to-end development of websites and digital marketing applications. They may or may have a deep technical background or they may be better versed on the design end of the spectrum.

UX designers are focused on understanding the website from a whole marketing experience, and to that end they need to understand audiences as well as have an in-depth knowledge of the product or service a given client offers.

They will typically take the lead role in project management for visual design and testing, with a specific eye on the usability of a website or application from start to finish.

5. Email Marketing Specialist

Email marketing is an example of a specialised area of content development and marketing. People in charge of email marketing are typically extremely well versed in marketing as well as copywriting and editing.

Email continues to be one of the strongest modes of content out there. To do this well you need to be able to write persuasively. You’ll also be in charge of campaigns, launches, and PR activities based on extensive databases of customer data and various lists.

Email marketing is primarily a lead-generating activity and thus specialists would likely be working in tangent with digital marketing and/or content managers on targeted campaigns.

6. Digital Marketing Managers & Directors

CMOs and VPS can expect to make a lot of money per year, as can creative directors. This takes years of experience in the field but this may not take too long if you have plenty of managerial experience under your belt.

An effective digital marketing manager or creative director needs to have a solid grasp of everything to do with marketing and business. They must be extremely well versed in strategic planning and execution, as well as financial forecasting. And they must be able to delegate while taking risks and holding firm on decisions.

7. Analysts & AI Specialists

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably aware that AI (Artificial Intelligence) is one of the hottest up-and-coming technologies and it’s not about to go away soon. And with the rise of big data, anyone who can create systems to analyse this information in such a way that it can be applied to strategic marketing will be highly in demand.

Most people who specialise in these areas will have technical degrees and a computing science background. If this is something you’re interested in, you’ll want to get a solid understanding of data optimisation and machine learning, as well as have an in-depth knowledge of programming.

Data analysts will always be in demand as the world becomes more and more data-dependent because of, for instance, the Internet of Things.

Tips for Improving and Transform your Digital Marketing Skills

Anyone involved in business marketing or leadership should consider their current and potential level of digital marketing skills as highly valuable – because indeed they are. Even if they’re not super high tech.

But if you don’t feel that you’re that technologically aware or advanced, don’t worry! There are plenty of ways to acquire digital marketing training to learn and grow your skills, even if you don’t feel you have the time or resources to go back to school full time. Online learning and e-learning are keys to success for many, especially those who want to pivot existing skills mid-career.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Take a digital marketing course

  • Build your own website

  • Network like crazy in the field or specialisation that you are interested in

  • Conduct informational interviews

  • Subscribe to blogs that offer free learning resources regularly

  • Engage in Facebook groups in your area of interest

There are a few specific subsets of skills that you can work to improve on from the comfort of your own home. For instance, content development and marketing, WordPress, SEO, and marketing automation are all areas that will continue to be in demand.

No matter what you choose to specialise in, everyone will need people with digital marketing experience, and even if you’re not technically minded, there are still plenty of opportunities to develop the career of your dreams in digital marketing and earn a comfortable income.

Source: Digital Marketing Institute

Photo by Ashwin Vaswani on Unsplash

What Are the Career Options in Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is fast becoming the backbone of revenue generation in every company. Even traditional brick and mortar businesses are seeing the benefits of staying on top of digital marketing. 

So, who are these digital marketers? Where do they come from and what sort of education or experience do they need? 

The answers are as varied as the career options available, ranging from analytics to social media, and the skills required are equally vast and diverse. If you have any interest in digital marketing, it is likely that you already have skills you can hone in. Here some of the top jobs available and how you can put those skills to good use. 

SEO Manager

As an SEO manager, you will oversee the company’s overall SEO strategy from planning to implementation. Your main objective is to improve the company’s ranking in search engines, particularly Google. Your responsibilities will vary as needed but will include:

  • Web marketing

  • Web analytics

  • Content strategy planning

  • Developing a social media strategy

  • Organising campaigns to improve search listings results

  • Developing a keyword strategy

Who is this good for?

Someone with a proven SEO track record and good leadership skills will thrive in this role. It also calls for someone who is adaptable. You will be the driving force behind the company’s online presence, so you have to be able to stay on top of the trends and know how to use them to drive traffic and increase sales.

Qualifications

Minimum of a bachelor’s degree is required, and usually at least two years of relevant SEO experience.

PPC Marketing Manager

As a PPC marketing manager, your role will be to oversee pay-per-click campaigns. You will be responsible for running client campaigns in Google Ads and on Facebook, and Instagram. You will specifically handle:

  • Audience targeting and keyword selection

  • Writing copy

  • Running A/B testing

  • Data analysis

  • Increasing traffic and reducing ad spend through optimisation

Who is this good for?

People who love stats and data are excited about this job. PPC is all about analysing data sets and using the information to your advantage.

Qualifications

A minimum of a bachelor’s in Marketing, Digital Media, or a related field, and a certification in Google Ads (previously Google AdWords) is an asset. 

Blogger

As a blogger, your primary job is to write, edit, and publish content to a website or blog. Your goal is to increase traffic to the site by writing content that is relevant to and educational for the reader. Your specific duties will include:

  • Promoting products from affiliates

  • Writing & researching articles

  • Providing helpful tricks and tips to readers

  • Pitching ideas

  • Keeping up to date on social media trends that are relevant to the business

  • Maintaining the brand’s image and tone in all posts

  • Promoting the brand through social media

  • Working with the SEO team to implement keywords

Who is this good for?

Writers, of course, are suited to this position! If you’re someone who loves to learn and research, then this is for you.

Qualifications

For some in-house blogging positions with bigger companies, you may require a bachelor's in English, Journalism, or Communications. However, digital marketing is a freelancer’s game, and anyone with a knack for putting words together well and synthesising information can become quite successful.  

Influencer

As an influencer, you will promote a brand's message, products, or services on social media as you incorporate it into your daily life. In addition, you will interact with your followers on an ongoing basis. Your responsibilities will include:

  • Engaging your social media following with the brand

  • Promoting the brand and its products or services

  • Using hashtags to ensure that your posts come up in as many relevant places as possible

Who is this good for?

Those with a social media following of 10,000+ engaged followers and a niche are great influencers.

According to Influencer Marketing Hub, this market comprises celebrities, industry experts and thought leaders, bloggers and content creators, and micro-influencers (everyday people who have become known as an expert in a particular area or niche).

Qualifications

A sound working understanding of key social media platforms will get your foot in the door, as will a substantial, active, and engaged following. 

Marketing and Automation Specialist

As a marketing automation specialist, you will focus on the day to day handling of a company’s automated marketing strategy. You will be taking care of all the tech involved with that, such as website design and app development. Specifically, you will:

  • Make landing pages

  • Set up email automation and marketing campaigns

  • Use analytics to optimise targeting

  • Increase conversions

  • Automate customer communication

Who is this good for?

Anyone who likes data, technology and advertising can combine those interests in this role. The key to a good career in this field is creating successful ad campaigns, launching them, checking the data, optimising and adjusting, and then repeating it over again.

Qualifications

Most employers will want a minimum of a bachelor’s in Business or Marketing, although some will require a master’s degree in a related field. Having some experience in the industry is also an asset.

UX Designer

As a UX (user experience) designer, you will be responsible for what users see when interacting with an app or a website. That includes everything from the way it looks and functions to the emotional reaction they feel when using it. You can expect to consult with users for feedback throughout the process too. Some of your duties will include:

  • Designing functional and visually appealing software

  • Developing user interface elements as required

  • Pitching ideas using storyboards

  • Testing for bugs

Who is this good for?

UX/UI is a highly specialised field and requires tech skills. Former code writers, app designers, and video game developers are the sort who will do well in this position. UX Design is projected to be one of the twelve best jobs for the future.

Qualifications

A bachelor’s in Design, Computer Science, or a related field is required. 

Social Media Manager

As a social media manager, you will take care of the company's social media strategy, including creating content and advertising. Some of the duties you can expect to perform are:

  • Posting updates

  • Gaining followers for social media accounts

  • Interacting with followers of social media accounts and answering questions

  • Promoting the company’s brand and image

  • Measuring and analysing follower engagement

Who is this good for?

Anyone who loves social media and can use analytics will enjoy this role. If you know what goes into a great post and are great at interacting with social users, chances are right this is for you.

Qualifications

A strong understanding of social media platforms and how to use them to generate leads that convert to sales will go a long way. SEO experience is an asset.

What Qualifications Do You Need to Become a Digital Marketer?

There is a wide array of options if you are qualified and ready for a career in digital marketing. The possibilities are as endless as your willingness to explore them. Digital marketing is a growing industry where a little experience can go a long way, but it’s never too late to upgrade your qualifications. A small investment in education will launch you into a bright future career in this booming industry. 

We offer courses in Hong Kong with the flexibility to take courses part-time and online. Whether you are new to digital marketing or not, becoming a certified Digital Marketer will give you a competitive advantage and a cross-section of skills that can be applied across multiple forums. 

Source: Digital Marketing Institute

5 Steps to a Powerful Digital Marketing Strategy

According to a ‘Managing Digital Marketing’ study by Smart Insights, 46% of brands don’t have a defined digital marketing strategy, while 16% do have a strategy but haven’t yet integrated it into their marketing activity. But here’s the thing: if you don’t have a plan in place how can you expect to grow and innovate, to measure meaningful results and to learn from past mistakes?

It’s time to stop panicking about next year or next month and start crafting a plan that can pack a powerful punch. We’ve selected the 5 most important steps that you, the decision maker should take to ensure that your digital marketing efforts create a real impact on your bottom line.

1. Know What You Want (& Set the Objective)

Nail Your Mission:

  • Define your business’ overall mission/objective first – your digital marketing mission must fit into your grand plan.

  • Answer this question: what is the overriding objective you want your digital marketing efforts to achieve (for example do you want to position your company as the go-to online provider for computer parts in Europe)? This is your mission.

Set & Measure Your KPIs:

  • Get specific with your KPIs by identifying the figures you will be held accountable for achieving.

  • Among other skills that can be useful - get realistic with your KPIs by analysing your previous digital marketing efforts first – this will ensure you aim for a positive increase on your current results, while helping you to avoid setting your expectations too high.

  • Identify a method to help you measure each of your KPIs – for example, will you use Google Analytics to measure your conversions, your individual social media analytics to track engagement or a tool like BuzzSumo to assess the success of your content marketing?

  • Here’s a handy KPI template for you to steal: (Insert goal, e.g. ‘Increase traffic’) by (insert figure)% in (insert number of months).

  • Before you begin planning your KPIs find out which metrics matter most to your CEO.

2. Analyse Your Past (& Learn From Your Mistakes)

You don’t have to (and shouldn’t) go into the planning period in the dark. Analysing your digital marketing strategy’s past success and failures can help focus you on setting the best KPIs for your business. You, therefore, might want to complete step one and two together.

Choose a time period you’d like to analyse (it’s best to set this time period as the same length of time you plan for your new marketing strategy) – for example decide on whether you’re going to analyse the previous year, quarter or month.

How to Analyse:

  • Determine the time period you would like to analyse and set your Google Analytics calendar to match this timeframe.

  • Try out Google’s Benchmarking Reports in your Analytics account to compare your progress to your competitors.

  • Don’t forget to analyse your competitors’ marketing strategy too – create an analysis spreadsheet of their online activities (you can use SEMrush to identify the SEO strategy of a competitor, i.e. what keywords are driving the largest volume of organic traffic to their website. It can also be used to compare the organic and paid traffic of different websites so again quite useful to see how aggressive they’re being with their paid spend.)

  • Ask yourself this question at regular intervals: is there anything else I need to analyse that I haven’t thought of before – e.g. should I be testing the times I post my content or the types of images I use?

3. Remember Who You’re Talking to (& Speak Their Language)

Don’t let the planning take away from the people you’re trying to reach. You already know who your audience are (at least we hope you do) but sometimes they’re the first thing a digital marketer can forget amidst the KPI setting, budget fretting and channel selection.

You’re not going to make this mistake – not this time. Instead you’re going to put your audience at the heart of your digital marketing strategy, cater to their emotional needs and satisfy their deepest desires. How? Through the creation of well fleshed out and well thought out personas, of course.

Develop Useful Personas:

  • Start with the basics and note down all the demographic information you know about your target consumer – like age, gender and location.

  • Then dig a little deeper and Identify the problems you can help your target persona solve.

  • Delve into their emotional desires, goals, aspirations and fears and document all of the factors that could make them tick (think about their conscious and unconscious desires).

  • You can dive deep into the ‘Audience Reports of your Google Analytics account to identify key characteristics of your target persona like age, sex, career, etc.

  • When creating your personas this is the perfect time to identify the people who will be of influence to them – these will be the influencers your marketing strategy should target. When you have your personas, you can then work on your content marketing accordingly.

4. Identify Your Means (& Stick to Your Budget)

Three things are important for identifying your means: these are your budget, your digital channels and your team (or people). It is important to take stock of all of your resources before deciding on what else you might need for the next period.

For example, now is the perfect time for creating an audit of your existing digital channels and to decide whether you’re going to outsource specific sections of your digital marketing and whether you need to set budget aside for a new hire or two.

How to Identify Your Means:

Your Budget:

  • Define your overall digital marketing budget.

  • Look at the historical data of what has worked before (for example, have any specific channels brought you quality leads at a low cost?)

  • Decide whether you will use paid promotion (for, example Adwords or paid ads on social media).

  • Allocate a specific portion of the budget for each digital channel you want to use for paid promotion (delve into your Analytics to help you assess the most cost effective digital channels with the largest reach and conversions and the lowest Cost Per Click).

  • If a certain element of your paid promotion strategy isn’t bringing you the results you desire, revisit it and invest the allocated budget figure into the channel that’s bringing you the best results.

Your People:

  • Look at your current team and assess what you are capable of achieving (be realistic here and ensure that no-one will be over stretched or over worked).

  • Identify whether you need to hire more people and whether you have the means to do so.

  • Decide whether all of your digital marketing activity will take place in house or if you’ll need to outsource some elements to a third party agency.

  • Get each of your team members to review their digital marketing activity and brainstorm a few ideas for their future marketing strategy (the more autonomy your employee has in their role the more they’ll be on board with your new plan).

Your Channels:

  • Review your current digital marketing channels and decide which channels to keep and whether you’d like to invest in any new ones (this depends on where your customers are and the time you have available).

  • Clearly articulate what each digital channel is trying to achieve.

  • Make sure you have at least one KPI attached to each of your digital channels.

5. Make the Plan (& Don’t Stick to It)

‘Create a plan and don’t stick to it? But, but, what do you mean?’ Before the panic sets into the most organised of digital marketers let me explain…your plan is never going to be perfect from the outset. Not every assumption you make is going to be correct.

And although you’ve taken every care to craft a carefully constructed plan based on a set of insightful assumptions and analysis you still can’t predict exactly how your customers will behave. It is, therefore, essential to continuously measure and monitor the performance of your digital marketing strategy and to change elements where needed.

Create Your Digital Marketing Calendar:

  • Try creating your timeline using Google Calendars – that way you can share it with your team members and allow them to edit it where necessary.

  • Highlight the key campaigns you’ll create and promote throughout the year and allocate a timeframe for each.

  • Document the digital channels needed to ensure the success for each campaign.

Review Your Marketing Strategy & Identify Changes Needed:

  • Create a measurement and monitoring plan (this should fit in with your KPIs).

  • Check the success of the individual elements of your digital marketing strategy at continuous intervals.

  • If something is not working (i.e. you’re not achieving the KPIs you’ve set out) isolate the different elements and try to identify what is not working (e.g. is it the time you’re posting content or the taglines you’re using for your ads?).

  • Revisit your previous analysis, personas and budget allocation and try something new.

  • Create a clearly defined KPI for your new venture.

Want to take a step further in order to come up with even better digital marketing strategies, or be a better digital marketer? A digital marketing course will be helpful.

Source: Digital Marketing Institute

What Are the Benefits of Offering Digital Marketing Education?

Just 50 years ago, the idea of having constant, real-time updates of current events in another part of the world, or a vast social media network exchanging ideas was unheard of. Today, it’s something that people take for granted, especially in cities like Hong Kong.

However, with such immense changes to technology and society comes dramatic shifts in the way we do business and advertise it. Marketing, one of the cornerstones of any successful business, is rapidly changing in the 21st century. 

Successful marketing is now digital marketing, which is why digital marketing education is crucial in today's job market, for a flourishing career, and for any professional interested in staying relevant.

Marketing is constantly evolving

Just two years ago, the Wall Street Journal, proclaimed that traditional marketing was being replaced

There was an understanding that the old methods of marketing, such as billboards on roadsides or even 30-second commercials on broadcast television, were losing their effectiveness. That did not mean marketing was dying, far from it, in fact. It was simply an acknowledgment that the most effective means of marketing was no longer the older, established ones.

With online methods of advertising and engaging consumers, digital marketing education is vital. If traditional marketing is no longer working, then what is? 

“Analog media” such as television, print, and radio are still alive, but they no longer occupy the same niche in consumers’ lives.

Computers have become the nerve centre of most daily activity, whether in the form of a desktop, laptop or the ubiquitous smartphone. In fact, the smartphone is the most popular computing device in the world, with 6 billion phones in use in 2018! That’s a huge number compared to the figures for television viewing, newspaper circulation, or radio listeners. So what will digital marketing education cover in this new, digital world?

Targeted marketing is effective marketing

A recent Neilsen study on television programming and marketing revealed a disturbing trend. The 18–24 demographic of viewership shrunk by about 50% in just five years in the United States. And it is safe to assume the trend applies to Hong Kong as well.

But of course, this younger demographic hadn’t just given up on video consumption. They were still consuming huge amounts of video content; they just weren’t getting it from television anymore. They were watching videos on the internet, primarily on YouTube. In other words, they were seeking out their own kind of content, the type that was targeted at them.

Analog media methods have two major weaknesses for marketers. 

1) Analog is passive, and it is low on data collection. A television ad, for example, is like setting off fireworks. It goes up into the air, and it creates light and noise, and all the audience can do is watch it, then go home. 

2) The extent of the relationship between the marketing, media, and the audience; it’s entirely one-sided. The audience has no way to interact with the media; they can only consume it. And a marketer has no engagement with the consumer.

All of this means that there’s a lot to learn now for businesses, especially those that rely on traditional or analog media marketing. Continuing to invest in conventional marketing will yield lower, less certain results. 

For a new generation of marketers, not knowing how to take advantage of innovative, modern platforms means being hamstrung for relevancy when applying for jobs.

The Benefits of Offering a Digital Marketing Education

here is a growing demand for digital marketing skills, from businesses and students. Getting a digital marketing education benefits businesses that invest in training sessions and courses, students who are looking for employment, digital marketers who want to stay relevant, career changers who want new prospects, and of course, schools that want to increase their profits.

Investing in digital marketing education is a way to future-proof workers who can bring a highly desirable set of skills to the workforce.

Graduates

For people who are still in school, considering graduation and career choices, the increasing importance of digital marketing means career opportunities. 

Unlike other jobs that are vulnerable to automation in the future, digital marketing is something that will always require a human touch. A concentration in digital marketing immediately gives an edge when it comes to applying for jobs in today's digital business world.

Established Professionals

For employers, getting existing employees to upgrade their skill set with a digital marketing education is a wise investment. A trusted employee that already produces good results is invaluable to any business, but to help that employees grow is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve the bottom line. 

Employees feel more loyalty to a company that is willing to invest in their skills and help them thrive, and at the same time, the company benefits from a tried and tested asset with an upgraded, modernised skill set.

Career Changers

Nearly $50 billion was spent last year on digital advertising and the figure continues to grow. Many people already in the workforce are aware of how digital is affecting every industry, and they want to either remain relevant to their companies or get better job prospects through retraining and professional development.  

A program or course developed to enhance the skills of working people will boost enrolment rates and the number of qualified individuals who can fill open digital marketing positions. 

Quality Education Still Matters

Program coordinators or business executives who are looking at their curriculum or training sessions understand that education is always changing. 

With new technologies, markets, and industries, there’s a growing need for graduates and employees with relevant knowledge and training in digital marketing. In order to remain relevant, quality education must have its finger on the pulse of the conditions in the marketplace and workforce. Schools need to focus on offering what will get their students meaningful employment while businesses need to provide employees with opportunities to bring more value.

A valuable digital marketing education (for students and businesses) should not look like a diploma mill. The courses and topics should cover strategies, tools, and trends that prepare students for real-life situations and challenges. 

Digital marketing education is an area of professional development that is growing larger with each passing year due to the changing nature of jobs across industries and departments. 

Final Thoughts

Digital marketing is an ever-evolving field that continues to grow more important.

It’s not going to go away anytime soon, and organisations that can offer education in this field are future-proofing both upcoming graduates and established career professionals who want to broaden their skillset and prospects.


Source: Digital Marketing Institute

How to Become an SEO Professional

Whether you’re making your marketing content or not, the number of clicks on your page matters. When organic traffic increases, so does potential revenue. Investing time to become an expert in SEO is an essential part of any successful business marketing plan.

You may be switching careers or just starting out; perhaps, you’re a digital or traditional marketer looking to learn more. In any case, the first thing that any SEO professional knows is that SEO stands for “search engine optimisation." SEO is the practice of creating content designed to increase the quantity and quality of traffic to your site via organic results on search engines.

Search engines have algorithms, “crawlers,” that scan the pages of your site and organise yours and others on a SERP (Search Engine Results Page). Practicing SEO involves understanding the rules of the search engine’s crawler to make sure your posts skyrocket to the top of the first SERP.

An SEO professional stays current in this quickly moving digital marketing field. Though making your content according to SEO seems like a daunting task, it’s easy to grasp when you take the time to figure out how search engines work and how you can tailor your content to get it into the highest-ranking search results.

Here’s how to become an SEO professional and get as many clicks as you can.

Read, Read, Read

SEO writing is a constantly-changing field because search engines are always changing. It pays to stay on top of any updates to Google and know what current software patents they have.

A useful tool to unravel the mysteries behind the engine is checking out sites like Search Engine Roundtable. Here, authors fluent in SEO and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) create forums and threads about SEM topics. If you’re looking for discussions and information about Google’s recent bugs and tests not only in Hong Kong but in places all around the world, this is the site to check out.

Search Engine Land is another great platform to learn more about what industry experts are saying about current search engine trends. They even have SEO search engine specific content where you can learn about the difference between optimisation on Google and Bing.

A great way to get software-specific information is to check out companies that offer SEO solutions.

Software like YoastMoz ProConductor Searchlight, and Serpstat are good SEO tools that digital marketers use to improve their rankings on SERP. You can run your content through these products to get keyword analysis, backlink tracking, and trend analysis – these all provide useful insight into how to make your content more SEO friendly.

Check out an SEO software company’s blog to acquaint yourself with the kind of services they offer and what you’re looking for. Yoast has a great blog that’s specific to the SEO services they offer. Here, you can keep abreast of the kinds of updates coming to products that Yoast runs on. For example, their post about WordPress’ message to consumers to update their PHP for the upcoming WordPress 5.2.

Get Hands-On

All of that SEO reading can get repetitive and confusing after a while. Take a break and get hands-on by reading through some training guides or getting enrolled in an SEO course.

You’re never going to get better at SEO without practice. Training guides and courses are a great way to get real-life experience without buying the software.

Search Engine Land has a helpful video with Common Craft for beginners explaining how a search engine’s algorithm organises content’s position on SERP according to its words, titles, subtitles, and links.

They also offer a complete SEO Guide on common pitfalls and ways to improve your search rankings. If you don't have time to read the 9-chapter guide, they have a Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors that summarises the guide’s information for quick reference.

Yoast offers a variety of SEO courses designed to improve your SERP ranking. They also offer practical all-around training, specific copywriting training for a writer looking to make their content more SEO friendly, tips for web designers and marketers looking to improve their website’s SEO, more technical SEO training, and coding specific training.

Moz also offers an SEO guide for improving your rankings. Their guide is useful for beginners to people fluent in search engine algorithms. Moz takes a triangular approach to teaching SEO; their guide starts with a general focus on improving rank and then narrows its focus to making your content and website more competitive.

If you want a guide not created by an SEO software company, SEO by the Sea offers consultation, training, and coaching for people interested in being more web visible. 

Be Both Analytical and Creative

SEO is a unique field that blends creative content with the demands of a search engine algorithm. An SEO professional writes content with a two-pronged marketing approach. They must try to appeal to both people and search engines.

There are two types of SEO expert – the developer and the marketer. Website development improves the "crawlability" of the webpages, while the digital marketing aspect makes the links, titles, and diction more SEO friendly.

No matter how much people enjoy what you write, there’s no way it’s going to create traction and generate organic traffic if it doesn’t hit the top of the SERP. On the other hand, nobody wants to read content or buy a product that’s surrounded by a mass of keywords designed to exploit Google’s algorithm.

From January 2018 to 2019, Google searches took up 74% of all internet searches. If you’re not marketing your content in a way that’s Google-friendly, you’re missing out on most potential clicks.

Since algorithms scan and organise your page according to its code, link structure, titles, and diction, it helps to have a fundamental understanding of the technical aspects of SEM before you start writing and designing. 

Anyone Can Become an SEO Pro

It’s not hard to become an SEO pro with a little practice. Anyone can learn how to use search engine algorithms effectively regardless of whether they have a degree in digital marketing or computer science. Whether you’re transitioning careers, just at the beginning of your professional life, or looking to improve your digital marketing tactics, SEO fluency is vital, and it’s easy to learn.

Bill Slawski

Bill Slawski, the editor of SEO by the Sea and Director of SEO Research at Go Fish Digital, attended law school and worked as a legal and technical administrator at the Superior Court of Delaware for 14 years before he joined an SEO agency. Bill Slawski uses his expertise in law to focus on search engine patents and white pages. In Slawski’s words:

"Just because a search engine has a patent on an invention doesn’t mean that they are currently using it. The search engine may have technical or business reasons why they may not be or have decided to follow a different approach. But a patent is a clear signal that a search engine has researched a topic and has had search engineers and lawyers work together to protect their intellectual property and to exclude others from using the processes described in those patents."

Bill Slawski is just one of many people who have used their SEO knowledge to supplement their skills and experience. Understanding how to optimise search engines for your website is a transferrable skill that you can use across fields, businesses, and organisations.

Source: Digital Marketing Institute

Top 3 Social Media Benchmarks You Need To Know For Your Business

There’s no denying that social media has exploded on the online landscape. There are over four billion people around the world that use the Internet, and over three billion of them use social media; and it is no different in Hong Kong.

With that many people on social media, it’s no wonder that many businesses have realised that leveraging the scope of social media means engaging with a huge portion of the potential market, including launching appealing digital marketing campaigns.

Anyone that ignores social media in favour of traditional advertising channels like television and radio is in danger of losing relevancy as these platforms shrink in popularity.

Choosing to dive into social media and engage in online marketing in this arena means wading into new territories. Hashtags, shares, and a whole new suite of data and tracking metrics makes for a complex marketing environment. One of the chief concerns is how, aside from tracking your sales, do you assess your progress? How do you know how well you’re doing in your social media marketing when compared to your competitors? 

We’re going to break it down for you and explain three of the key social media benchmarks you should be tracking in different businesses across different platforms. 

The Cornerstone: Engagement

In a general sense, the “one metric that rules them all” is engagement.

Engagement broadly refers to whether or not people are even interacting with your marketing or not. Is there participation? Are people rating, sharing, liking or commenting on your content? When a video requires someone to click or tap on it to play it and view it, are users actually doing so?

All of these interactions are classed as engagement, and when we look at the different benchmarks across various social media platforms and measure their performance, we’re often just accessing more granular, specific forms of engagement, some of which may be specific to a particular social media platform, such as hashtags on Twitter.

The Best Metrics

There are a few key engagement metrics that help show how the benchmarks for different businesses are performing. These metrics are a mix of what a social media account holder is doing, versus how the audience is reacting to those actions. The metrics you should be looking at are things like:

1. Post Frequency

How much content is your social media platform producing? Post frequency can be measured in posts per day or posts per week. It’s a crucial starting metric for measuring your effectiveness. If you’re noticing no decrease in engagement with fewer posts per week, or you see you an increase in engagement with more posts per day, this is important information for formulating your marketing strategy.

2. Trending and Top Hashtags

This doesn’t apply to all social media platforms, but it matters a lot on Twitter and Instagram. By affixing a hashtag to a word or phrase, that hashtag becomes searchable. Paying close attention to the trending hashtags on Twitter or Instagram is a good way to exploit that trend. Strategic use of hashtags can yield good results.

3. Engagement Rate

This metric varies wildly depending on the Internet environment you’re in. Engagement rate is all about measuring participation. Comments, shares, and other interactions are engagements on Facebook, while time spent watching videos, liking or subscribing is part of the engagement rate metrics for YouTube. 

Even a website can measure engagement rates, such as time spent on a particular page, scroll depth, or reaching out to contact or comment on the website.

You can use all of these different metrics in one form or another across different social media platforms, but they can have very different implications, depending on the business and the platform. 

Social Media Benchmarks You Should Consider Based on Industry

Here are some of the benchmarks that a business should look at when it comes to social media across different platforms.

Higher Education

Post-secondary institutions such as universities and colleges are, unsurprisingly, very age-oriented. This can be seen in the way the benchmarks vary dramatically based on the different social media platforms, which themselves skew towards different age demographics. The RivalIQ breakdown across different platforms gives us these benchmarks:

  • Facebook

On average, Higher Education groups posted about 1.08 times daily on Facebook, with a return of about 0.12% engagement per post. This is not very impressive, but it is also consistent with the fact that Facebook caters primarily to the Baby Boomer and Generation X demographic, which doesn’t have the same interest in school.

  • Instagram

This is the clear winner for benchmarks when it comes to higher education. At just 0.49 posts per day, Instagram commands an impressive 3.96% average engagement rate per post. This is largely due to the age of the average Instagram user, between 18 and 24, a key post-secondary age range, and the use of photos and specific features like Carousel.

Influencers

One benchmark that many in different businesses want to keep an eye on is influencers. Celebrity endorsements have always been popular, but personalities have been taken to a whole new level online, with niche personalities commanding sizable audiences. Here’s how influencers stack up.

  • Facebook

Influencers command the space when it comes to Facebook. With 0.95 posts per day, they still garnered a 0.12% average engagement rate. Compared to other industries on Facebook this is quite good.

  • Instagram

Influencers did better on Instagram, getting the most engagement from photos, at 0.76 posts per day, and a 1.97% engagement rate per post.

Retail

Selling things online is nothing new, and marketing these retail products continues to be a staple across all the major social media platforms. Here’s how retail did in terms of benchmarks.

  • Facebook

Retail didn’t really “move the needle” one way or the other on Facebook with about average metrics. 1.12 posts per day were met with an engagement rate average of 0.08% - a consistent figure.

  • Instagram

Instagram is the winner again when it comes to retail. At just 0.79 posts per day, and an engagement rate of 0.97%, it’s clear that shoppers respond more strongly on Instagram.

Hotels & Resorts

Travel is still a popular pastime, and hotels and resorts continue to entice visitors on all the different social media platforms, but with different results.

  • Facebook

Numbers dropped all around for Facebook, with fewer posts at 0.77, and less engagement at 0.13%.

  • Instagram

Instagram did 0.64 posts per day, at 1.73% engagement, and this was an overall drop for the industry on this platform.

Food & Beverage

Everyone loves good food and drink, but that didn’t necessarily translate to big social media numbers.

  • Facebook

There was an average of 0.48 posts on Facebook, with an engagement rate of 0.12%. Not bad, but a dip in performance compared to previous years.

  • Instagram

Instagram averages were at 0.45 for daily posts, and 1.69% engagement, which is a drop-off in performance by about half.

The Future

An important thing to note for these metrics, especially for Facebook, is changes in the algorithm

Facebook is currently “unstable” in the sense that they are reorganising their algorithms to try to come down harder on harmful content, such as fake news and bots. This means that the results for what people see are less reliable and predictable than they have been in the past.

However, things are always in flux. Facebook continues to remain the dominant social media platform, and with more social platforms evolving and coming on the scene, there’s still a lot of room for surprises and upsets. This is not to say there is little we can do; in fact, there is plenty we can do to up our social media game: one way is to continue to invest in content marketing, as good contents always help, and learn from the industry experts to keep our social media game up to speed.


Source: Digital Marketing Institute

7 Ways to Become the Best Digital Marketer

In the modern world, our lives are much more intertwined with the digital world than they were even ten years ago. In fact, over half – 53% – of the world’s population can currently access the internet from various mobile devices, with 42% of people having access to the internet.

With so many people playing, working, and shopping online, it's no wonder that digital has moved to the forefront of the marketing department's priorities. From maintaining relevance in their customer's mind to building a profitable brand, companies, organisations, and businesses are starting to invest a lot in digital marketing

Whether you've set your sights for a future career as a digital marketer or want to level-up your skills, certain tactics and steps can be taken to find success in any position. Between working for yourself as a freelancer and landing a high-level digital marketing position in an organisation, there are a variety of jobs available to those with relevant and up-to-date skills. 

So what can you do to become the adaptable, in-demand digital marketer that companies are seeking? Here are 7 key tips that will help you specialise, strategise, and streamline your career as a digital marketer.

1. Attend Networking Events

Although knowledge and information on digital marketing are widely available from sources such as podcasts and online articles, investing in a trip to a professional conference offers you benefits that other informational sources just can't. 

At these conferences or networking events, you have the opportunity to listen to industry experts in Hong Kong, take advice from best-in-class digital marketing professionals and get a glimpse of the direction that the digital marketing industry is heading in. They are often full of interesting events, workshops, and lessons, all geared to help you enhance your skillset and expand your understanding of why you do what you do.

Not only can these local or international conferences revamp your professional skills, but they give you the opportunity to build better professional interpersonal relationships. 

2. Learn from Digital Marketing Brands and Entrepreneurs

If you're considering or just starting out in a career in digital marketing, making the investment in a professional digital marketing conference may sound like too big of a leap. Luckily, there is a variety of progressive and informative content online geared towards making your career in digital marketing a success.

These digital marketing 'thought leaders' have the experience, expertise, and knowledge needed to create digital content that is extremely accessible for beginners. And since most of these thought leaders are digital marketers themselves, they know exactly how to make their informative content easy to find on search engines and across social media platforms. 

Chances are you've already seen articles from digital marketing experts like Neil Patel and Service as a Software (SaaS) providers such as HubSpot. These professionals have created content directed towards industry newcomers and high-level marketers alike, helping you reach your goals as a digital marketer in a field that can sometimes feel like it is continually changing.

3. Connect with Like-Minded Individuals

As a digital marketer, a large part of what you do is developing communities online. Whether it's around your personal brand or for a global organisation, an active community can make or break your business. So why wouldn't you want to be actively involved in a like-minded community of digital marketers?

Active digital marketing communities either online or offline can help you recognise the importance of what you do and how it fits within the 'big picture' of your business and your life. 

When you're able to communicate your frustrations openly or simply ask a question about an area of digital marketing you're unfamiliar with, you can gain confidence in your abilities and push yourself to both learn and try new strategies and processes.

4. Find a Digital Marketing Internship

Like with any internship position, many individuals take them for the opportunity to be exposed to a professional environment that pushes their capabilities forward. An internship is often challenging, but when you're surrounded by the right team of professional marketers, you can learn from both the mistakes and successes they've experienced over the years.

Not only an internship can help you expand your digital marketing portfolio and experience, but it can help you determine what you appreciate in a work environment. 

As there are so many facets of digital marketing, you may find that you appreciate solitude when trying to write creative content, or instead that you thrive completing a collaborative content strategy to push a new product or service.

Although you can take the time to learn and experience facets of digital marketing for yourself, an internship will put you face to face with the real-world roadblocks that marketers must overcome and the processes that help them become the renowned marketing team that they are.

5. Become a Member of a Professional Body

Did you know that becoming a certified member of a professional body isn’t just for service-based careers like architects, solicitors, or doctors? 

Digital marketing is a necessary and growing industry around the world, meaning that being a member of a professional digital marketing representative body can help you stand out from the competition when trying to land your dream job.

Often, becoming a part of a professional body can only be achieved after completing a certificate program. For digital marketers, a Digital Marketing Professional Certification training course can qualify you to be a certified digital marketing professional. These courses often cover essential facets of digital marketing, including:

6. Stay Up to Date on the State of Digital Marketing

In the same way that programs, apps, and social media platforms are ever-evolving, so is the way in which digital marketers must interact with audiences. From keeping up with popular online acronyms to knowing how artificial intelligence (AI) is impacting the way people use technology, the world of digital marketing is ever-changing, and it takes adaptable digital marketers to keep up.

To become a best-in-class digital marketer, make sure that you are staying up to date with industry issues, valuable content, and various updates. 

The good news? Keeping up with the digital marketing industry isn't hard. Incredibly informative podcasts on the subject are widely available, and websites such as Buffer and the Content Marketing Institute write clear and well-researched pieces on basically anything you’d want to know about digital marketing.

Whether you subscribe to these publications to receive regular notifications of new content in your mailbox or prefer to tune into a podcast on your morning commute, this newfound understanding of your industry and its inner workings can help you become a digital marketing expert.

7. Practice Continuous Learning

Although education can be a valuable asset to any career in digital marketing, learning shouldn’t stop when school is done. Investing in training throughout your digital marketing career can help you become a stand-out digital marketer with a varied, in-demand skill set.

As we mentioned above, the digital marketing industry is continually evolving, meaning that your knowledge of the industry should be, too. A career in digital marketing allows you to follow your curiosities by taking advantage of available training sessions. 

As you know, you’re much more likely to follow through with a course or certification if it’s an area you are interested in. Curious to know how PPC advertisements work? Want to know what factors create a persuasive sales page that gets results? 

There are plenty of digital skills training courses available both online and offline, so don’t be afraid to invest in your career.

Becoming a Best-In-Class Digital Marketer

Are you eager to propel your digital marketing career to the next level? The tactics above are designed to help you learn, grow, and excel as a digital marketer, both online and offline. A career in digital marketing can be rewarding, allowing you to understand both your own goals and the world around you a bit better.

Whether you are aiming to start a successful self-run digital marketing business and brand or want to skyrocket to a management position on your digital marketing team, the industry is full of opportunities for those who are willing to put in the time to hone their craft and adapt to changing demands.

If you’re interested in reputable digital marketing training, a professional diploma or postgraduate diploma in digital marketing from the Digital Marketing Institute may propel you to bridge the gap between your current professional situation and your dreams.


Source: Digital Marketing Institute

How Are Jobs Evolving in the Digital Marketplace (& What Does it Mean for Education)?

We're living in a world where career considerations have to include a future-proofing plan. 

Many people live in fear that their jobs will be lost due to artificial intelligence and other forms of technology. However, learning to look at the changing digital marketplace as evolutionary can provide a clear picture of how continuing education can help improve chances for job security today and into the future.

As jobs evolve and skills gaps widen, employees and employers need to look for ways to upgrade skills to ensure their skills and knowledge are relevant. For the education sector, these changes can provide great opportunities provided colleges, universities and training providers know how to tap into the marketplace. 

Technology Skills

Between 2012 and 2016, the Association for Talent Development analysed over 30 million job descriptions asking for technology skills and experience. 

They reported that 60% of the jobs listed included technology skills and experience for non-IT jobs and discovered some other interesting facts about the role technology plays in the workplace.

Beyond the IT Department

Today, an understanding of technology is required across all departments and functions. Although the IT department still fulfils an important role in providing technology to business, almost 80% of business leaders have recruited employees with technical skills or experience instead of being reliant on IT alone.

As well, over 75% of workers require analytics tools and technologies to perform their jobs. This trend is tied to an increase in digital marketing, products delivered online, and the growing use of the cloud.

Security Skills

Security skills are not related to loss prevention or building management. Instead, the rise of breaches circling around personal and corporate information pose a new threat that has transformed the need for heightened cybersecurity.

Chief information security (CIS) officer positions have risen in profile with 20% finding themselves in front of corporate boards of directors who want to know what they are doing to protect corporate information. 

This means the role of the CIS has become a highly visible position. Security-related skills have also become a benefit for many marketing and finance job roles. 

More than Computer Literacy

Computer literacy is a given for just about any job today. However, there is a growing demand for technology skills once reserved for IT positions such as “solutions design” and “user interface.”

These additions to job descriptions span many different roles including HR and finance. Other job requirements once designated to IT departments include analytics skills, digital management skills, and experience managing technology vendors.

Closing the Skills Gap

The increasing demand for technology skills shows the strong shift towards the digitised workplace and the new skills more jobs will require.

Technology should not be seen as something that will replace humans, but instead is the reason humans have to be forward thinking on skills development. The desire to re-educate even the most educated professional is more real than ever before.

Leaders and workers alike will have to consider how they can contribute to the changing digital landscape to close the skills gap created by changing technology. This rapid innovation requires a new mindset and skill set that is adaptive in nature.

The world has changed the way products and services are delivered. These changes have altered the way technology is used from the manufacturing floor to the way marketers advertise their products. Efforts at adaptation must be made to improve technical knowledge and experience in order to further careers that can be sustained well into the future.

The education sector has the perfect opportunity to tap into the demand for digital skills across roles and industries by providing up-to-date and industry aligned qualifications that are recognized in the workplace. 

The Role of Education

The promise of increased productivity through automation raises questions for policymakers and business leaders who are struggling with the impact that automation will have across many facets of business. 

That includes jobs, in general, the skill level required in existing and new roles, as well as areas such as expected wages in a changing job market.

Many areas are still unknown and challenge conventional ideas of employment. One of the greatest challenges is keeping pace with the changing skill set required by the digital marketplace. Most companies do not have an educational program in place to help workers maintain the relevant skills required to perform their jobs effectively.

At the same time, educational systems are not changing to keep pace with workplace demands. In fact, according to a McKinsey survey, 60% percent of employers and young people in nine countries agreed that new graduates did not have the proper skills to enter the workplace. 

The Skills Gap

The same McKinsey survey found 40% of those surveyed cited lack of skills as the main reason for entry-level job vacancies. These gaps included technical skills as well as “soft skills” such as punctuality, teamwork, and communication. 

The survey also refers to research conducted by LinkedIn found that workers feel they are not able to realisze their full potential in their current roles. Of participants, 37% said they were not using their full skills and were in jobs that lacked challenge.

Digital Disruption

Digital disruption is the new industrial revolution in Hong Kong. It calls for organisations to embrace technology and incorporate effective training and educational programs into the workplace. More and more employees are looking for organisations that focus on skills training to encourage career growth.

Two years ago, Cushman Wakeman published a study exploring the opportunities presented by digital disruption in the workplace. They surveyed graduates entering the workplace who listed three attributes that were the most important when job hunting:

  1. Professional training and development

  2. Creative and dynamic working environment

  3. Leaders who support my development

Perhaps even more telling was an increase in organisations introducing more digital tools such as:

  • Customised mobile applications developed for internal use for both teamwork and customer interaction.

  • Using AI such as Siri and Cortana to find corporate information, as well as robots being used for security and other interactive roles. Some organisations are even introducing their own AI assistants.

  • Internal social media such as Yammer, Chatter, and WeWork, as well as customised apps, are providing new ways to reduce emails and offer instant conversations throughout an organisation.

  • Re-purposing existing applications such as WhatsApp offers an affordable way to communicate in group chats for special projects as well as corporate and customer communication.

All of this information points to internal training as the key to attracting talent and to ensuring staff can use digital tools in the workplace. 

Digital Enablement

In a world where independent work is made easier thanks to technology, digital “enablement” makes independent work easier.

McKinsey’s independent work study reported 20 to 30% of those employed in the U.S. and Europe are engaged in independent work. Although 70% of this group chose independent work, the rest of the group were forced into independent work when they were unable to find a traditional job. 

Those in the group who were forced to choose independent work cite income variability and the lack of benefits as reasons they do not prefer this mode of employment.

Companies who are going the independent worker route using digital platforms to enable working from home will have to find better solutions to meet the needs of independent workers. On the flip side, digital platforms empower those who prefer self-employment or contract work. It is not something unique to the U.S and European countries.

Conclusion

Digitisation is opening opportunities globally and across all sectors. Education systems will have to evolve as will organisational training programs to help improve preparedness for a digitally driven workplace. 

Creativity, critical thinking, and analysis will become the less traditional skills required to meet the challenges of the changing workplace. Systems and organisations that embrace adaptive, lifelong learning will prove to be the biggest talent draw now and into the future. 

Source: Digital Marketing Institute

How to Become a Digital Marketer

Are you a recent graduate, traditional marketer, or a tech-savvy entrepreneur who’s ready for an exciting career change? Do you want to excel in a field that bolsters unlimited learning opportunities and potential for rapid personal growth?

If you are ready to become a highly in-demand digital marketing professional, you are in the right place.

With the increased use of the internet and more people than ever in Hong Kong focusing on digital marketing — there's never been a better time to start a new career as a digital marketer! 

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is the combination of all the marketing efforts a company uses via digital media to connect with potential customers, such as websites, email, search engines, and social media. Marketers connect with consumers on devices like phones, tablets, and laptops. It involves understanding where your potential customers will be online, what device they will use to connect, and meeting them there.

Digital marketing differs from its traditional counterpart in that traditional marketing campaigns focus on selling the customer a product. Digital marketing focuses on providing value to potential customers where and when they need it. The goal of digital marketing efforts is to put what a person wants or needs in front of them when and where they are looking for it.

Digital marketing is an umbrella term, and there are many specialised jobs involved in the industry, including SEO, social media management, content marketing, data and analytics, and PPC to name a few.

Skills Needed to Work in Digital Marketing by Specialty

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

People are looking for information on Google and other search engines. Optimising websites to come up organically in search engines is a fundamental aspect of digital marketing. An understanding of how to integrate keywords into content, change alt text, collect backlinks, and so on are essential parts of this strategy.

Social Media Management

Running Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn is another aspect of digital marketing. You have to be able to attract followers and engage with them on a level that’s meaningful to them. An in-depth understanding of who is using what platform and when will help drive your social media campaigns. 

You want to use creative storytelling to post on relevant trends. To do so involves researching not just your audience, but also what they are interested in right now. It’s a fast-paced aspect of digital marketing that requires steady management and an ability to think on your feet.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is a big job. As a content marketer, you are both a creative thinker and data analyst. You use both of those skills to create content across multi-media platforms to spark the interest of your audience so that they come to you for more—which ultimately creates more leads and more conversations.

Data and Analytics

An understanding of Google Analytics is a must. One of the benefits of digital marketing over conventional methods of marketing is its measurability. You must be able to use your skills to interpret which of your marketing campaigns are the most successful. The metrics can be complicated but being able to use them to paint a picture of your target audience and what motivates them will give you the tools to scale your campaigns and increase overall profits.

Pay Per Click (PPC)

Where SEO focuses on organic traffic, PPC is the sponsored ad equivalent. The digital marketer bids on keywords that when searched will have your ad come up in the paid ad listings. A person in this role is responsible for driving traffic to a website, and the digital marketer determines what action the customer takes once there. It requires analysing data to reduce ad spend and increase ROI.

How to Become a Digital Marketer

Aside from the professional skills and the education you possess, digital marketers bring a certain attitude to the table. They are go-getters and thought leaders. If you want to be one, you will need to think like one. The best way to do that is to learn from them.

Take an Internship

If you are just starting out, an internship can help you gain experience and expand your portfolio. Being around other industry professionals will give you exposure to the different aspects of digital marketing and help you determine which is your preference.

Follow Thought Leaders

Digital marketers today understand that the field is growing at such a rate that sharing industry secrets isn’t creating competition or taking business away. Many digital marketers will not only tell you what they did, but they will share with you case studies showing you how they did it. Watch them, listen to them, sign up for their emails.

Network, Network, Network

You want to be a digital marketer, so go where digital marketers are and talk to them. Attend networking conferences or sign up for online groups. Often, it’s from these places that unexpected opportunities are born, and they can be great learning experiences.

Always Be Upgrading

Whatever you are good at, you should strive to be better. And if there is something you need to work on, there’s nothing stopping you from mastering it. As a digital marketer, you will always be upgrading your skills, and there is no shortage of courses, eBooks, and webinars both free and paid to help you keep your skills fresh.

Transition to a Role in Digital Marketing

If you have a degree or experience in any number of fields, as long as you have a keen interest, you can make the transition to a role in digital marketing. 

A few careers with skills that will translate well and propel you to a career in the field include but are not limited to:

  • Journalist

  • Teacher

  • Writer

  • Data Analyst

  • Newspaper Editor

  • Print Marketer

  • Sales

  • Retail Management

  • Blogger

Final Thoughts

If you want to be a digital marketer, you’ll need to have drive, ambition, and a real passion for the business, in addition to the tech, education, and professional skills required. 

You have to understand that digital marketing efforts are all about what you can do for the customer, not what you are trying to sell to the customer. If this sounds like your dream job, start learning today

Source: Digital Marketing Institute