In my latest Marketing module I studied Search and Social Media Marketing (a type of Digital Marketing). In the first assignment I built an online personal brand and increased awareness of it using digital marketing. I am going to explain how I did it and the benefits I have gained from it. Maybe you will try it too!
In the first section of the report, I analysed my industry of choice. The idea is that the industry (or business/company) I want to work for is the “buyer” of my personal brand. I analysed the market research industry. More specifically, I examined Join the Dots and Mustard Market Research. They are two Manchester based market research companies who I would love to work for.
The analysis included: industry analysis, buyer persona, keyword analysis, seasonality, and a competitor and influencer analysis.
I conducted a PESTLE where I examined how the Market Research industry is currently affected by political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental factors. For example, I found that artificial intelligence could soon become crucial to everyday market research (there is a lot of debate).
I examined company websites and job advertisements to see what skills I need to demonstrate to further my career. I also spoke with a few individuals who work at Mustard and Join The Dots. They discussed how and where they look for possible employees e.g. Linkedin. I used this information to position my brand on the correct channels.
Keyword Analysis and Seasonality
I used Google Keyword Planner to determine which words people search with when looking at market research online. The words were then included in my blog and social media pages to make me more visible to the people who are searching. In seasonality, the words were entered into Google Trends to see which keywords people are searching the most (or least). For example, in December searches for market research are at their lowest in the year. A blog written in this period would not be very useful!
Competitor and Influencer analysis
I looked at the Linkedin accounts of individuals who work for Join the Dots and Mustard Market Research to examine their skills. In influencer analysis, I did the same but for industry giants such as Ray Poynter and Tom De Ruyck. I examined their skills and online activity (what do they post, how often they post etc). I completed a table which compared both my influencers and competitors to myself. This personal benchmarking allowed me to see where I could improve.
Pulling it all together
Finally I produced a SWOT analysis which illustrated my strengths and weaknesses in the context of the market research industry. From this I found some opportunities and threats to my career which I could use or minimise respectively.
In planning I produced 5 SMART objectives. These are goals which are specific, measurable, actionable, relevant and time bound. For example, one of mine was to gain one relevant (market research) Linkedin connection per week and appear in more searches.
Following this I conducted an analysis of different social media channels and concluded that the best channels for me to use are Linkedin, Twitter and a WordPress blog.
I created a 12 month Gantt chart for my digital marketing plan which visualised how I will improve awareness of my personal brand. A risk assessment also identified possible problems e.g. what if nobody reads my blog? This was ranked as high risk and high probability, as I had never written a blog before so anticipated that it could be slightly rubbish!
In implementation I put into action everything I had learned in my analysis. I applied it to my social media channels using SEO (search engine optimisation) techniques.
For Twitter, I included keywords in my biography and removed any inappropriate content (mostly swearing which I seem to do a lot). I added my location (as I want a job in Manchester) and provided a link to my Linkedin account.
For Linkedin, I added keywords to my bio and tagline. I provided a link to my Twitter and blog and again added my location. Finally I improved my skills and work experience section to give a better picture of who I am and what I have achieved!
The wordpress blog was more complex. I wrote a blog about why I chose a career in market research using the AIDA model of writing (that was the easy part). Then I had to edit the text to include keywords, improve the URL, meta description, picture tags, etc etc. I know it all sounds very technical; thats because it is! Honestly I had no idea what my lecturer was talking about when she first introduced it, but we got there in the end. The end goal was to have a readable blog which appears in the first page of search engine results.
I achieved my goals; I shared the blog across my social media channels and received positive responses. Quite a lot of people read my blog and gave good feedback. A few contacted me with offers of work experience or possible vacancies. My mind was blown (people actually want to hire me)!
I gained many more connections on Linkedin. I also began to learn more as I was reading posts and blogs written by my new connections. My social authority for Twitter improved (I used the tool Followerwonk to check). More importantly, when I searched “Ella Beaumont Market Research” my Twitter, Linkedin and blog all appeared in the first page of results.
Carrying it on…
Overall I felt the assignment went really well. I gained a mark of 85 which I am pleased with. However, my biggest gain has been in skills. I learned how to effectively use digital marketing techniques, to network with companies, to write a blog (which I hope to keep up). Now I understand the power of social media in achieving career goals (something which I did not believe was useful before).
I have made connections with people in the industry and have learned a lot from them. My Linkedin connections continue to grow. I try to keep up to date with current trends by reading blogs posted by influencers on both Linkedin and Twitter. Here’s hoping the skills I have gained put me in good stead for applying for Market Research jobs in the near future. Watch this space!
My social media can be found here:
Feel free to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org