Most businesses can’t afford to not have a website or social media presence in this day and age.
With the increasing need to reach people online, the marketing and sales field needs new recruits who are innovative and tech savvy. That’s where you come in. There are online marketing careers with small and large businesses, and you can also work for yourself as a freelancer.
The skills needed for traditional marketing and sales are essentially the same according to Patti Ellis, Senior Account Manager at A Couple of Chicks e-Marketing.
Beyond knowing online marketing tools and how they work, Ellis says, “The ability to write creatively is paramount. Having an engaging personality with a well-developed sense of humour also helps with interacting with customers online—which is key!”
Here are three fairly new online careers and how you can get one:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) experts make sure that all content on a website is search engine friendly and easy for customers to find.
This means making sure everything is tagged with proper tags and codes. They also help to strategize what keywords your target audience will use to search. They know how to drive traffic to a company’s website while thinking about a company’s offline marketing strategy as well.
A Search Engine Marketing (SEM) expert may look like they do the same thing as their SEO counterparts, but they focus more on online advertising as a whole rather than just designing and programming web pages to reach the top of search engine results. SEO is a more technical trade, while SEM is more related to an understanding of all online advertising tools.
SEM experts go beyond analyzing keywords and think about the bigger picture. They may make suggestions for how to improve an online marketing plan based on keywords, images, content or even the design of a website. The can analyze individual web pages, may suggest paid inclusions on search engines, or find other appropriate venues for online advertising to make sure that e-commerce ventures are going to pay off.
SEM experts need a broad education in marketing and advertising, experience with online advertising programs (such as AdSense) and search engines, and be very curious about learning new technology.
Jobs working with a company’s online presence are legitimate career paths that are growing in number all the time. Ellis describes seeing “an increase in demand for the hiring of people to be the ‘company voice,’ i.e., using and maintaining the company social accounts for Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, blogging, etc.”
A community manager is in charge of representing the company externally to online customers and clients. This can mean building communities, posting content to blogs and social media accounts, handling complaints and customer inquiries, and reporting back to different departments. Not only are you meant to make a large company seem personable, but you get to be on the Internet all day.
If you have great customer service skills, are creative, great at writing, and constantly on the lookout for new online trends, you’re a perfect fit for this position.
How to land the job
“Think of yourself as a brand,” says Ellis. Market yourself like one “and that you need to market that brand to show, by example, that you are knowledgeable about the importance of capitalizing on the benefits of online marketing, social media, etc., because YOU use it.”
She recommends maintaining your LinkedIn profile and participating in group discussions to show “that you are connected and ‘out there.'”
Don’t think that having a traditional degree means that you necessarily need more education or training in online marketing. “The 5 P’s of marketing are very much still an important part of marketing; they just need to be incorporated into the search engine marketing (SEM) mix as an integral part of the campaign to promote your business on the web,” Ellis says.
If you’re a technophile who thinks this is a career path for you, Ellis suggests honing your skills or gaining experience and training in the following areas:
- web traffic analysis
- creative writing
- Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc.
- Google (especially its webmaster tools)
A lot of this knowledge can be gained online if you’re resourceful. “Watch presentations and videos that have been given at conferences that have been posted online. And, read, read, read–subscribe to RSS feeds, email lists, set up Google Alerts related to your particular area of interest and expertise so that you can stay on top of what’s happening,” Ellis says.
For more articles, videos and jobs to help you hatch your Sales and Marketing career, visit TalentEgg’s Sales and Marketing Career Guide.