1. Social Media
According to a recent study, there are 2.7 billion active social media users worldwide. Of these, 2.5 billion are active users on mobile devices. These figures show a 30% increase in mobile social users in just a year which is projected to increase year-on-year.
The ability to understand and utilize social media effectively is a core skill every professional should have. Social media marketing goes beyond posting a tweet or Facebook update; it is about understanding the dynamic relationship between brands, influencers and consumers. To put it simply, businesses need to reach out to customers in ways that will drive traffic to their website—or product—for potential conversion.
Social media has permeated the fabric of our society, and become the primary source of communication and information flow between content creators and consumers. Educators who recognize social media’s influence should understand the intricacies of each platform and its potential influence to maximize community engagement in order to provide graduates with valuable and applicable skills.
2. Search Engine Marketing
Beyond social media, search engine marketing (SEM) is one of the most influential disciplines that marketers have come to rely on. To put things in perspective, more than 6.5 billion SEM results are carried out each day with Google accounting for 77% of that traffic.
Students with SEM experience will be able to increase the visibility of a company’s website on a search engine (e.g., Google) primarily via paid advertising. By doing so, the business will attract valuable web traffic from the search engine results page.
By using SEM, students will be able to capture part of the 6.5 billion search traffic results. That is why marketers, Content Managers and webmasters spend a great deal of time optimizing their websites and ad campaigns to ensure the highest conversion rates possible.
Most companies are in the business of selling products or services. It is therefore imperative that their brand is easily found online amongst their competition. Job seekers need to have a working knowledge of search marketing if they can understand the bigger context of their job function.
According to Forbes, only 22% of marketers claim that their data-driven marketing initiatives are achieving significant results.
Peter Drucker, a leader in management education and often described as the founder of modern management, has this to say:
“If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.”
Data analytics essentially allow students to make educated and data-driven decisions in their roles. Numbers define whether a campaign was successful, and by what percentage. The key to analytics is knowing what data to collect and measure in order to improve the next campaign. Companies do not want to waste valuable marketing dollars based on trends or gut instincts. It’s all about maximizing each campaign’s effectiveness and optimize the return on investment.
Analytics typically go hand-in-hand with SEM. These two complementary skills work together to ensure a business understands what consumers want, and how best to attract and retain their attention.
4. Content Marketing
Content comes in many forms – blog posts, videos, podcasts, infographics, even social media status updates.
53% of marketers say blog content creation is their top inbound marketing priority – HubSpot
Marketers may spend their time optimizing keywords and advertising campaigns, but content is still king. After all, a website or social media page is driven by its content and without it, customers have no way of understanding the benefits of a product or service.
Content is crucial in driving brand awareness and can establish brands or influencers as thought leaders. Therefore new hires need to understand the importance of creating not just content, but content that is relevant to keyword research and optimizing them in a strategy.
One of the best ways to obtain and retain leads is via a tried and tested method: email.
Email is one of the oldest forms of direct marketing and still packs a punch in customer acquisition and retention. From startups to multi-national corporations, email helps launch many successful campaigns.
But make no mistake, email marketing is an art form in itself. An experienced digital marketer knows that each funnel stage has to be carefully planned. From the signup page—including its placement on a website—to the first welcome email, every step needs to be optimized in order to attract and retain users and build engagement.
People may change social media accounts or home addresses, but people aren’t prone to changing their email addresses. That is why professionals that understand the power of email to connect directly with consumers are in high demand.
As such educators should not disqualify email as an old-fashioned tool, but instead challenge students to rethink of ways to use email in their roles – current and future.