Last week we looked at the growing demand for B2B digital marketing specialists. This week we’ve put together some practical advice on how to get started in the top digital marketing niches, including links to some helpful resources available for free online. If we’ve missed any, please do add your suggestions in the comments box below!
We’ll be sharing news and developments in each of these areas on a regular basis, so be sure to check in often, or even better – subscribe to our newsletter and we’ll send you a regular roundup.
Most marketers already know all about inbound marketing. The idea is that you generate leads by creating content that attracts prospective customers to your website. You start a relationship with them by offering valuable content in exchange for the opportunity to contact them. And then you use email campaigns, webinars, events and direct mailers to nurture your relationship with them. One day, when they’re ready to purchase, your company and its solutions will be top of mind.
Here’s a quick diagram overview of the principles of inbound marketing:
Inbound marketing is actually quite a broad subject, so there’s a lot to learn. Marketing automation software provider, HubSpot, does a great job of their own inbound marketing (in fact, I think they may have coined the term), and they post tips, templates and case studies regularly. Their website is one of the best places to learn all about the principles of inbound marketing.
Marketo has some helpful content too, including this round-up of inbound marketing. And if you’d like to do some more reading, here’s an article that suggests ten great inbound marketing blogs to follow.
Once you’ve done your homework, you can add something to your CV by completing the free HubSpot Inbound Certification online.
Part of inbound marketing, SEO is one of the most technical niches – and one of the most valuable. The goal is to ensure that when people search online for information that’s relevant to what your company does, your content is displayed as high up in the search results as possible. Experienced SEO specialists are always in high demand, and have high earning potential. If this is the route you want to go, you’ll need to understand the importance of valuable content, while being able to take care of the technical aspects of SEO, including on-site optimisation and link building.
The diagram below is a summary of the key elements of an effective SEO strategy:
Matt Cutts, Search Engine Land, Inside AdWords and the Moz blog are absolute must-reads. Search Engine Land recently released this great introduction to SEO – you’ll definitely be in the know if you can get through it. And Moz offers a free five-part online SEO training course.
Amp up your CV by completing the Google Adwords Exam and the Google Analytics Individual Qualification. Or, if you really want to prove your skills, consider creating a website or blog and work on your rankings.
Social media marketing
Social media marketing has been around for some time now. Unfortunately, it’s often palmed off to junior team members, who are tasked with ‘growing the company’s following’ and not much else. Like all marketing disciplines, social media marketing must be strategic, with measurable goals that tie into bigger sales and marketing goals.
Once you’ve got the strategy sorted, there’s a range of tactical skills required – including writing engaging posts, finding designs and images that appeal to your audience, setting up paid social media advertising campaigns, and measuring the impact. You should always be testing different combinations and platforms until you find the best fit.
Social Media Examiner is a great website to follow, with weekly tips and platform updates. Buffer Social, Razor Social and Simply Measured all offer well-researched, practical advice on creating high-performing Facebook ads, managing 60 social media accounts, using Twitter polls, and much more.
Digital or traditional – the challenges remain
One of the biggest challenges digital marketers face is demonstrating return on investment. Board members want to see the hard numbers – they’re more interested in how much revenue can be traced back to marketing, than how many new followers you gained last month.
It’s vital that you take the time to work out which digital marketing metrics to track. Then you need to ensure that your platforms are set up to make reporting as simple as possible.
If you can set SMART digital marketing goals (S – specific, M – measurable, A – agreed upon, R –realistic, T – time sensitive), achieve them, and prove the value, then you’ll be one of the most in-demand digital marketers in the country.
If you are a B2B digital marketer, we’d love to hear from you. We always have interesting digital marketing roles popping up. And if there’s nothing going just yet, we think you’d find value in connecting to our network.