ONLINE MARKETING : WHAT TO LOOK FOR. WHAT TO AVOID.

Digital marketing is one of the most in-demand skills at the moment. Getting your site known to the world is priority only second to developing an effective and useful site. It this is not your skill set then that knowing how to hire a digital marketer is a key role on the team. If you’ve never hired an online marketer before, or even if you’re just a little rusty, read on, this one’s for you.

WHAT IS A MARKETING OBJECTIVE?

At the highest level, a marketing object is to generate leads and increase brand awareness, both online and traditional.  This is achieved through a variety of channels, including social media, SEO, a company website, email campaigns, content marketing and other contemporary marketing channels.

A DIGITAL MARKETER vs AN INFLUENCER. ARE THEY NOT THE SAME?

A digital marketer sets and tracks digital marketing KPIs. They perform this work by being a bit of a jack of all trades.  They understand selling, product production, technology, user inteface design,  internet technology, psychology and the creative process.

While experienced marketers are not engineers or developers,  they do have a good working understandings of how to use the technology and more importantly, how it works in all it’s forms.  That is key for their success, as the tools that are implemented, like a website, are enmeshed in their ability to drive traffic. 

An influencer is a person who drives traffic because they are people who write blogs on a specific topic.  They make regular posts about that topic on their preferred social media channels and generate large followings of enthusiastic, engaged people who pay close attention to their views. 

What influencers are not is marketers .  A more accurate description would be opinion generators. Brands love social media influencers because they have the potential to create trends and encourage their followers to buy products they promote.  This backups the work done by a Marketer. 

Marketers are logical  technically, driven by the numbers. Where as influences are more opinion communicators. To know what to look for with your digital media, let’s take a side trip and clarify the different types of Influencers

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Types of Influencers

The one common element within all types, is that while influencers may or may not, have achieved a higher level of business education, their power is not in their education, but in their ability to drive other people to do as they say through video, written word or posts. Their formal education level is not as important as their ability to get people to follow their lead.

You can separate different types of influencers in multiple ways.

By Follower Numbers : Mega-Influencers
Mega influencers are the people with a vast number of followers on their social networks, usually more than 1 million followers on  a single platform. Although there are no fixed rules on the boundaries between the different types of followers, a common view is that mega-influencers have more than 1 million followers on at least one social platform. Generally, only major brands should approach mega-influencers for influencer marketing due to the cost of their services. Some, as much as  $1 million per post, and they will most likely be extremely fussy about with whom they choose to partner

Marco-Influencers
Macro-influencers are one step down from the mega-influencers, and maybe more accessible as influencer marketers. You would consider people with followers in the range between 40,000 and 1 million followers on a social network to be macro-influencers.

Micro-Influencers
Micro-influencers are ordinary everyday people who have become known for their knowledge about some specialist niche.

Nano-Influencers
These people only have a small number of followers, but they tend to be experts in an obscure or highly specialized field. You can think of nano-influencers as being the proverbial big fish in a small pond, with a intense and interested set of followers.

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Digital Marketers Qualties

Marketers are typically “jack-of-all-trades” types, with a bit of knowledge about a lot of topics. You also get specialist marketers who are experts in their given field (and marketing is a huge field).

Recently, there has been talk of the “T-shaped marketer”.  That is someone who is a generalist but also has some deeper knowledge about one particular area.

Depending on the kind of role you’re hiring for, you’ll need to look out for some or all of these skills when evaluating  what type of person you need to hire.

Unlike the Influencers , the Marketer is not emotionally or personally invested in one particular product or opinion.  Of course they have them, but their role is to drive knowledge and traffic to a particular business or service.  They may use Influencers to help, but that comes second to the traditional basics of appeal.

  1. Marketers are highly analytical
    The biggest part of a digital marketer’s job is staring at numbers on their screen, usually from google analytics, and figuring out the story that they’re telling. 
  2. Marketers are great writers
    Even if their primary job is not writing copy, every digital marketer needs to have a talent for the written word.
  3. Marketers understand the full depth of SEO
    Even if they’re not an SEO specialist, every digital marketer should have some knowledge of SEO basics.
  4. Marketers are superb communicators
    A digital marketer is someone who is the face of your company. 
  5. Marketers are technically strong in both usage and function
    A digital marketer may not be an engineer or graphic artist, but they know the process and how to use the technology.
  6. Marketers understand the full development cycle. From concept to audience. 
    A digital marketer is someone who has worked nearly every aspect of the product development.  They understand the hiccups and how to work around them.
  7. Marketers are have a full upper level education, if not a master’s degree.
    A true digital marketer is someone who has put in their time of a good education. They have learned all the basics of marketing, business, costs, accounting and what it takes to make a product or service successful. 

    Not that this position could not be also achieved with practical on the job experience working with seasoned professionals. It just takes longer. Plan on reviewing their 10-15 years  past work experience .  10-15 years is the amount of time it takes, being mentored by the best, on a variety of product types, to achieve the same level of knowledge and understanding. It is not the technology capability that is at issue, is the the process of evaluation of that technology for successful results. 
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HOW TO CHOOSE

You have a product or service.  You have a website, possibly some social media accounts.  The question is, unless you have the funding to hire both types of individuals and blend them into your website designer, you are going to have to choose which type of person you would like to use to get your product or service known.   Here are some suggestions:

1. Don’t have funding for both: Hire a Marketer.
Perhaps not as fun as the influencer, the marketer is the work horse of the digital industry.   They know how to crunch the numbers and even how to make suggestions to your online presence, based on the indicators they are seeing.

2. Review their social media presence.
Most digital marketing experts maintain a great presence on social media platforms. Check out their LinkedIn, Twitter and perhaps even Facebook profiles to get a feeling of the kind of content they post, how active they are, what kind of communities they’ve built, and what kind of engagement they get. 

3. Get traditional and check out their past education and experience.
There is nothing like completing something difficult with no pay involved. Reviewing your candidates higher learning experience and successful completion followed by who they have worked with, can tell you a lot about the character and quality of the individual.  If they make it through to a Bachelors or higher degree, they have the stamina to complete your project. 

Without the education, you are going to need to see 10-15 years of successful experience with excellent recommendations from past business. What they have done before, is an indication of how they will perform for you.

4. Talk to them about their ideal work environment
Some marketers, like people, want to be independent entities, with no one telling them what to do. Other’s like to work on teams and consolidate ideas.  For your online digital product or service, the person is going to need to work with your web designer to implement your vision.   (thus you are going to have know what you want)  A marketers may have an opinion, but unless they can agree and respects your decisions, move on to the next person. The business is your’s not theirs. Their job is to be of service to you. 

END RESULTS

Even though it may sound complicated, knowing how to hire a digital marketer isn’t too hard once you do your homework. Take some time to learn the most important aspects of a digital marketer’s job, think about what you want them to do for your business, and you’ll have no problems finding the right person for the job.