Written by Michael Del Gigante
If you’re like most college students, you’re counting on your classes to provide you with the knowledge and skills you’ll need to find a job in your field following graduation. As a graduate, you’ll probably realize that while college provided you with a solid foundation, it didn’t equip you with all the practical skills you’ll need in the real world.
This is especially true in the study of marketing, since it can be difficult for schools to adapt their programs and courses quickly enough to reflect the constant changes and developments within the field.
The advertising and marketing experts at MDG Advertising have compiled the following list of topics that every marketing major should make the time to study, even if they’re not part of their degree program.
Since you probably spend a significant amount of time every day using social media platforms, it may be surprising that there’s a major difference between using social media in your personal life and using it for business.
In fact, creating a comprehensive and successful social media strategy across multiple platforms for a business can be quite challenging, since each platform requires a unique approach. For instance, a wildly successful Facebook campaign may not translate well to Twitter or Instagram.
Immersing yourself in case studies of social campaigns—both successful and unsuccessful—and exploring various methods for creating a solid social media strategy can help expand on the basics that you learn in the classroom.
Marketing experts will tell you that a blog is essential for generating leads, raising brand awareness, and promoting products and services through other sites. An effective blog must have content that’s original and compelling enough to hold the consumer’s attention and trigger action. But, creating a blog isn’t enough. You also need to know how to drive traffic to it by promoting it across social media.
While marketing majors may spend a great deal of time on writing assignments, most academic work focuses on argumentative essays, which are very different from writing blog posts aimed at consumers.
As a student, there are a number of ways that you can develop or refine your blogging skills, such as creating your own blog, contributing content to an existing blog, or by becoming an author for an online content creation company. This type of experience will teach you how to develop and research original blog topics, and how to create different types of content to engage various target audiences.
Content marketing is a broad term that includes blogging, as well as video creation, email campaigns, infographic design, and other techniques. According to data compiled by Curata, 74% of companies create content that takes into consideration trends and other data relevant to the brand to increase the quality and quantity of leads.
To be effective, content must align with the business objectives and mission of the brand. The Content Marketing Institute, HubSpot, and other online content marketing guides can help you understand the basics.
At its core, marketing requires an understanding of human behavior in order to create relationships with a target audience. Once you understand how consumers make decisions, you can develop a marketing strategy using content that’s designed to trigger the desired emotions and actions. By mastering the art of adapting the tone and voice of your content to your target audience, you can generate more clicks and leads.
Consumer preferences and behaviors are constantly changing. For example, peer reviews on social media often have a bigger influence on consumers than traditional ads thanks to the increasing amount of time that we all spend on social media. This means that your quest for behavior knowledge must continue throughout your career.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
To maximize conversion rates and outbound leads, blogs and websites must be optimized to rank as high as possible in search results. Most marketing programs touch on the subject of search engine optimization; however, the approaches and strategies you’re studying can change so fast that the information could easily be outdated.
For example, the traditional approach of stuffing as many keywords as possible into your content may actually lower a business’s ranking. Today’s search engine algorithms prefer a mix of keywords and variations that fit naturally within the content. Moz Blog and other online marketing blogs are good resources for expanding your knowledge of SEO and keyword use in content development.
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.