This post follows on from a LinkedIn post I wrote back in July about works experience.
We recently had a works experience student with us and I wrote a blog post about why it’s important to give students a real taste of working life. As part of that placement, Jack (the student) came up with some good questions that he wanted answers to. One of those questions was ‘Who needs digital marketing?’
As somebody completely new to marketing, it was understandable that he didn’t realise where and how digital marketing could be used. Just because you are not responsible for the marketing of a business in the traditional sense, it doesn’t mean you don’t need marketing.
If you’re running a business, then yes, content marketing, paid advertising and search engine optimisation all play a part, as does social media marketing and reputation management. You need to use these digital tools at some point to help retain customers, get new customers and grow your business. Everyone seems to get this.
But what if you are the business?
There’s no company, premises or staff, so no need for marketing right? Wrong! You still have a digital presence and that needs management. What if a large proportion of your income is dependent upon how others perceive you and what you say and do? Social media marketing and online reputation management should form a large part of your personal media management if this is the case.
Let’s take top sports people as an example. They don’t all run businesses but their income is solely dependent upon their performance and what they do and say. They have fans and followers on social media and normally, some pretty high profile sponsors that their fans follow too. One mistake on social media can cost them thousands in sponsorship. One poor decision can result in negative content being the first thing that anyone sees when they do an online search for anything they’re involved in, which means potential loss of future work. When I say future work, I don’t just mean the immediate future while they’re still playing whatever sport it is they do. What about when they give up their sport?
Unlike TV and film celebrities, top sports people have a relatively short career in the public eye before they have to find something else to do, and they can’t all be TV commentators!
Many will set up their own business or buy into an existing one, but for some they’ll have to join the ranks of people applying for positions and being interviewed along with the rest of us. Any negative coverage about their reputation could impact on their ability to be successful. While in the public eye, some will have management who may be helping or advising them about these things and doing some reputation management (maximising the good and also tackling anything negative), others won’t.
Now, there are some people (normally celebrities) who have had high profile social media issues or ‘fails’ as they’re more commonly known, and they’ve come out the other side fairly unscathed. But for most, that’s not the case.
And that’s why if you’re a person involved in the public eye in any way, you need some form of social media marketing and reputation management – Digital Marketing!
In a way, that’s the case for everyone, but when it comes to the everyday person on the street, the likes of you and I, well, the management of your social media and reputation will be down to you. You will be responsible for marketing yourself. There won’t be a management team to help, advise and try to get you out of any trouble. But be assured, most employers will review the social media accounts of anyone applying for a position with them. If you’ve said or been shown doing something inappropriate on social media, you can pretty much guarantee they’ll find it.
That’s not to say it will ultimately impact their decision over whether to interview or employ you. After all, I’m quite sure most people have, at some point in their life done something daft – it’s all relative. But it will give them an indication of your personality, interests and how you behave. When it comes to existing employees, the same thing applies – badmouth your employer on social media and it’s likely they’ll find out. It may even cost you your job.
So, in conclusion and to answer Jack’s original question. Who needs digital marketing? I guess everyone who has a digital presence and wants to maintain it. Whether it’s because of your profile,your job or your business,digital marketing will help in some shape or form.
So if you’re not sure how digital marketing can help your business, get in touch and we’ll look at your plans and business objectives to work out which tools are best for you at this time.