Written by Michael Del Gigante
Although many colleges and universities do a good job of designing academic programs that provide students with a theoretical foundation in their field of study, they’re often lacking in the practical skills necessary to succeed in the workplace.
This is certainly true of the marketing field, considering the rapid rate of development and change within the industry. Marketing students often need to take matters into their own hands to ensure that they’re up-to-date with current trends.
The advertising and marketing professionals at MDG Advertising have compiled a list of five topics that you should study to develop the marketing skills necessary to succeed following graduation.
1. Social Media
You may think you know all that there is to know about social media since you probably use at least one platform every day; however, using it for business is far different from using it for personal purposes.
When used correctly in business, social media is a powerful promotional tool that can enhance brand visibility and improve search engine rankings. According to data published by Ambassador, 71% of consumers will recommend a product or service on social media following a positive experience, which can generate referral traffic, increase customer loyalty, and improve brand reputation.
Creating a successful social media strategy for a business can be deceptively challenging since each platform requires a different approach. For example, a strategy that works for Facebook may not translate to Twitter or Instagram.
As a student, your first step should be to learn how to create a comprehensive social media strategy from a business point of view and to explore real-life examples of successful—and unsuccessful—social media campaigns.
According to TechClient, business websites with active blogs typically have 434% more indexed pages and 97% more inbound links. Blogging is also an effective way to raise brand awareness, generate leads, and promote products and services on other sites.
To create a successful blog, you need to know how to create fresh content that will attract and hold a reader’s attention and encourage them to act, as well as how to promote your blog on social media.
Academic writing assignments typically focus more on argumentative essays, which are very different from blogs designed to attract, inform, and drive consumers to action.
As a student, you can hone your blogging skills by setting up a personal blog, offering to write content or guest posts for an existing blog, or by becoming an author for one of the dozens of online content creation companies. This type of practical experience will teach you valuable research skills, as well as how to create content that meets the needs of a target audience.
3. Content Marketing
As cited by Curata, 74% of companies rely on content marketing to increase the quality and quantity of their marketing leads. While content marketing includes the blogging mentioned earlier, it also encompasses email writing, video creation, and infographic design using a variety of digital tools.
Of course, the content must align with business objectives and take into consideration current data and trends relevant to the brand. There are a number of online resources, such as the Content Marketing Institute and HubSpot, that can help you master the basics.
4. Behavior Knowledge
At the end of the day, marketing is about creating relationships with consumers and understanding human behavior. By understanding the psychology behind the way your target audience makes decisions, you can create strategies and tailor the tone and voice of your content to awaken the desired emotions, which can generate more clicks and conversions.
Consumer behavior is constantly changing. For example, today’s consumers spend a lot of time on social media, so peer reviews often play a bigger role in the decision-making process than traditional ads. This means the study of behavior science must continue throughout your career.
5. Search Engine Optimization
Websites and blogs that are well optimized have higher conversion rates and outbound leads. While colleges and universities may touch on search engine optimization as part of their marketing programs, approaches and strategies can change quickly.
For example, the traditional approach of stuffing content with as many keywords as possible isn’t likely to improve search engine rankings. A more effective approach is to use a mix of keywords and variations that flow naturally within the content. Online digital marketing blogs, such as Moz Blog, are useful resources for learning more about using keywords and other strategies for optimizing content.
About Michael Del Gigante, CEO of MDG Advertising
In 1999, CEO Michael Del Gigante founded MDG Advertising, a full-service advertising agency with offices in Boca Raton, Florida and Brooklyn, New York. With his unique insight and decades of industry experience, he turned what was once a traditional ad agency into an integrated branding firm based on an innovative 360-degree marketing philosophy that provides a full spectrum of traditional and digital advertising services.