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  • Subject area(s): Marketing
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  • Published on: 14th September 2019
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An Optimized Personal Brand Online using Digital and social Media Marketing Tools and Techniques

ABSTRACT

The aim of this report is to identify the key skills and attributes required to become a successful digital marketer. To do so, a digital marketing situation and competitor analysis will be conducted followed by the industry key influencers to define the buyer persona. Each component will be critically analyzed and as a result, an optimized personal digital profile will be created including smart objectives and relevant keywords using different social media marketing tools and techniques.

INTRODUCTION

As a Digital Marketing student, my aim is to be employed in that field after graduation. My career aspiration is to become a great digital marketer specialized in digital marketing campaigns and analytics. Whilst the decision about which industry I would like to work in haven't been made yet, my primary goal will be to work in a digital marketing agency to begin with. In order to create an optimized digital profile, a background information about my current profile will be used as a starting point. That section will a summary of my current career situation, my goals and objectives, the resources and support available for my personal use. This information will be used to run a situation analysis and from that analysis, a social media marketing plan will be designed by defining the smart objectives and strategies that will need to be implemented in order to land in my dream job after completing my degree.

Griffin (1997) defined Benchmarking as the process used to compare current business performance in comparison to competitors and the industry as a whole

PERSONAL BENCHMARK

In the context of this assignment, a personal Benchmarking is conducted for two reasons: First, to determine how to outperform other jobseekers within the digital marketing industry. Second, to increase personal efficiency by constantly improving my performance through new skills and ideas learned from the potential competitors. Although the number of components may vary from one individual to another, the following six steps are crucial in benchmarking.

1. Decide on what to Benchmark

2. Understand the current performance

3. Plan

4. Study others

5. Learn from data

6. Use findings as opportunities

Background Information

Before starting this assignment, the number of connections in my LinkedIn profile was 90. The profile was not properly updated with relevant keywords, content was barely created and shared.

Figure1 LinkedIn Initial Profile – Source : LinkedIn

Current situation

• Master student in Digital Marketing

• Aspiring Digital and Social Media Marketer

• Actively looking for work experience in Digital Marketing

• Worldwide Jobseeker

Goals and Aspiration

• Look for any agency opportunity to start my Digital Marketer career

• Work on big digital marketing projects

• Gain more knowledge in content writing and analytics

• Become the head of digital in the future

Resources

• Master degree and online course materials

• Available University support

• Social media platforms (LinkedIn, Twitter)

• Networking events and job fairs

Personality

• Highly motivated and driven

• Eager to learn and quick to pick up new skills

• Passion for Digital and Analytics

• Constantly Keeping up to date with new market trends

ANALYSIS

Prior to developing a marketing strategy, it is crucial to conduct a situational analysis. According to Weihrich (1982), a situational analysis is an essential step for any marketing plan and should be periodically reviewed. This situational analysis will help define the internal and external of the digital marketing environment and will clearly identify the potential customers, competitors, capabilities and the impact they may have on my career prospects.

The reason why I chose LinkedIn as my main social media channel to develop my personal brand online is the fact that is it one of the biggest professional networking platforms used for job searches and recruitment. LinkedIn is a key tool for me to get in touch with potential recruiters and companies, to gain more skills by following the industry influencers but also to keep myself up to date with new market trends as the digital marketing environment is always changing.

As a result of a profile search on LinkedIn, we can see in figure 2 that I am ranked on the top 10 of the list according to my name. This is a great advantage point as the employers will definitely find me easily on LinkedIn using my name only. However, as the competition is very high in the job market, I will first of all conduct a personal benchmarking to define my unique selling point in order to increase my employability.

 

Figure 2 LinkedIn Name Search Result – Source: LinkedIn

Pestle Analysis

Pestle analysis should be included in every marketing strategy plan as it helps identify significant changes in the landscapes that may affect the business in the future (Makos, 2015). In the context of this report, only 4 components of the PESTLE analysis are relevant to my personal branding:

• Political

As a non-British EU citizen living in Manchester, Brexit might affect my job search. With new regulations and restrictions, it may be harder for a non-British citizen to get hired in the UK. As the digital marketing sector is very competitive and the number of graduates is increasing, employers will tend to prioritize British citizens over others.  

• Economical

With the upcoming Brexit, uncertainty prevails in the UK business markets. Some industry will benefit from changing economic trends and others will suffer. The unemployment rates are increasing, and the job market competition is high, therefore, as a jobseeker I will have to show my unique selling point through strong skills and hard work.

• Social

Digital marketing might be the new trend but the lack of digital literacy that results in digital technology usage inability can be a huge barrier to the adaption of digital marketing in certain demographics and areas. The inability to use to write or read

• Technological

Every single market is being disrupted by new technology. When it comes to the digital environment, the continuous need to adapt to new industry trends and changes is a must as the failure to do so may in the inaccurate use of social media platforms.

Competitor Analysis

Competitor analysis is a key tool to stretch a marketing plan to determine the barriers that could be improved to prevent competition from rising (Feisher, 2003).

Through our research we have found the Digital Marketing group on LinkedIn is one of the best places to find industry key competitors.

Figure 3 Digital Marketing Group Page - Source: LinkedIn

Digital Marketing is one of the most exciting and dynamic groups on LinkedIn for digital marketing professionals that aims to bring the digital marketing community together. Through networking events and conferences. With more than a million members, the group discussions cover all areas of the digital marketing landscape and provide members with the latest updates on innovation, trends and best digital marketing tools. To find the top competitors, ‘'Digital Marketing'' was used as the main keyword search within the group members. As a result, the top ten profiles listed below were chosen as potential competitors.

In the purpose of this study, the competitors will firstly be grouped according to their competitive advantages to understand their motivations and on the other hand, their strategies will be analyzed to determine their strengths and weaknesses. As Bergen (2002) mentioned, a competitor strength and weakness are based on the key skills and assets required to compete in the market.

     

   

   

   

Figure 4 Potential Competitors Profiles – Source: LinkedIn

Type of Engagement

• Produce content at least once or twice a week

• Share relevant Digital Marketing content

• Follow Industry top influencers

Social Media Channels

• LinkedIn

• Twitter

• Facebook

Strengths

• Work Experience in Digital Marketing

• Strong LinkedIn Profiles

• Large number of followers

• Up to date with the latest trends

• Google Analytics & AdWords Certifications

Weaknesses

• Lack of personal blog

• Mostly LinkedIn focused

• Lack of presence in other social media channels

Key Skills

• Digital Marketing

• Social Media Marketing

• Content Marketing

• Data Analysis

• SEO, SEM, PPC

From these top 10 competitors, 3 of them will be critically analyzed in table 1.

Name Job Title Strengths Weaknesses Top skills and Keywords

Anton Koekemoer Digital Marketing Specialist Managing Director Top ranked by name search

Highly experienced in Digital

Marketing

High number of followers

Share relevant Marketing content frequently

Only worked in one industry

No certifications mentioned in his profile

No blog

Online Marketing

SEO

Digital Marketing

Kat Ford SEO Consultant and Social Media Strategist SEO, Social Media and inbound Marketing certified

Owns Digital Marketing Agency

Highly experienced

Not top 10 of name and digital keyword search

No relevant content Digital Marketing content produced

Two Months of inactivity in LinkedIn

Email Marketing

SEO

SEM

Daniel Gaujac Digital Marketer for Luxury Brand Top ranked based on name search

Lots of awards from Retail industry

very experienced in Retail

No certifications

Only Luxury retail focused

Not very active on LinkedIn Brand Management

Marketing Strategy

Digital Marketing

Table 1 Top 3 Competitor Analysis

Personal Swot Analysis

To look more appealing to employers, personal development is essential for an individual, as it can increase self-image (Phadermrod, Crowder &Wills, 2016). Through this analysis, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats will be firstly identified and on the other hand, a comparison between personal strengths/weaknesses against competitors will be done.

Strengths

• Good Communication & interpersonal skills

• Volunteering Experience in social media

• Pursuing a Master Degree in Digital Marketing  

• Eager to learn and quick to pick new skills  

Weaknesses

• Career switch, new in the industry

• Lack of experience in Digital Marketing

• Lots of relevant skills improvement needed  

Opportunities      

• Networking events  

• Practical experience from coursework  

• Available Internship opportunities  

• Numerous online tools to gain more skills

Threats

• Tough competition in the job market

• Years of experience required for jobs

• Constantly changing industry

COMPARISON Personal Competitors

Strengths Top Ranked by name Search

Personal Blog

Active on both LinkedIn and Twitter

Master Degree Highly Experienced

Many Followers

Digital and Social Media Certifications

Optimized Profile

Weaknesses Moderate Experience

NO certifications

Low number of Followers

Only active on LinkedIn

Not top ranked by name search

No Blog

Table 2 Top 3 Personal / Competitor SWOT Comparison

KEY INFLUENCERS

When it comes to marketing influencer, the key is to determine whether they are relevant to your target audience as it can help increase brand awareness build trust and authenticity (Nguyen, 2016). To ensure that influencers will reach the right target audience of our marketing campaign, the right individual will be identified by determining who their followers are, how often they engage and the type of engagement they receive on different social media channels. According to our findings, the top 5 digital marketing influencers are listed below. These 5 figures were chosen as top influencers for my personal brand as they have the relevant skills and attributes required to be a great digital Marketer. Most of them are public speakers with a large number of followers. They actively create and share relevant digital marketing content and techniques and their expertise is used by many companies and individuals. For instance, Seth Godin's blog is one of the world most popular due to the great marketing content which is highly beneficial for people working in the digital environment. With a huge experience in Marketing, technology, and management, these influencers are also up to date with new market trends and are founders of great companies. Consequently, these people represent a great inspiration for anyone in the digital and marketing environment who strive to be and stay on the top.

Gary Vaynerchuk

As an entrepreneur who grew his family wine business from $3 million to $60 million, Gary is known for his work in digital marketing and social media running his own digital agency called VaynerMedia.

   

Seth Godin

Famous author of 17 best sellers, and founder of several companies like Squidoo, Seth Godin writes about spreading ideas, marketing, leadership and post-industrial revolution. His blog is the one of the most popular in the world.

Tim Ferriss

Author of 4 Wall Street Journal bestsellers, Tim is an advisor for Facebook, Uber and Shopify with a widespread podcast influence. He is also an early investor in technology.

Neil Patel

Designated as a top web influencer by the Wall Street Journal and the top 10 online marketers by Forbes, Neil is the co-founder of KissMetrics, Hello Bar and Crazy Egg, who helped companies like NBC, VIACOM an Amazon to grow their revenues. Neil's blog is a very interesting place to learn about effective digital marketing tools.

 

Guy Kawasaki

Chief Evangelist of the online graphic design tool Canva, Guy is a marketing and social media specialist who used to work for Apple back in 1894. With his huge experience in Digital marketing, Guy is a role model for aspiring digital marketer.

   

BUYER PERSONA

According to Pharr, 2017, a successful marketing or branding campaign should always start with understanding the audience. In contrast, any well-defined audience starts with a buyer persona. A buyer persona is the most important part of a marketing plan as it represents the ideal customer (Johnson, 2017).

As a university student and job seeker in digital marketing, the main buyer persona would be companies and recruiters which are actively looking for someone to fulfill a digital marketing position. Figure 5 illustrates the typical buyer persona. In Practice, the following 3 LinkedIn profiles below will represent my target audience.

The first buyer Persona is a Digital recruitment agency looking for digital talents across the world to join different companies, based in the UK, Australia and Dubai. The second buyer persona is a recruitment consultant appointed by several companies to search for the best digital talents across the UK. The third buyer persona is a big company whose founder has 29 years of  experience in digital marketing recruitment with the aim to recruit Digital marketing students from different sectors. All 3 buyer personas will be targeted with a different approach as the skill set required for each of them is different. Therefore, my LinkedIn profile will be optimized in a way that these companies and recruiters will notice my profile show interest and eventually get in touch.

   

Figure 5 Selected Buyer Personas Profile – Source: LinkedIn

After defining the target audience, the next important step is to define a strategy to increase brand awareness and customer engagement. In this case, a plan of action was put in place to attract and be noticed by employers through different social media channels and as a result get a job offer.

PLAN

One of the best ways to connect with the target audience is to display personality through social media. Therefore, social media marketing can lead to more customers, more traffic, and more engagement.

Smart Objectives

Establishing clear, and meaningful objectives are one of the most fundamental time, that can help any business or individual to prioritize their time. In the context of my personal branding, SMART goals will be set to focus my efforts, use resources and time efficiently enough to increase the chances of being noticed by potential employers.

Social Media Marketing Strategy

Short-Term Objectives (From 16 of July to Assignment Deadline) Long-Term Objectives

(for 12 months period) Channels Content Keywords

Review and update online profiles

Search for the most relevant keywords

Optimize Profiles using SEO tools

Create optimized content and blog posts

Gain more followers in each platform at least 10 Get industry recognized certifications

Attend different courses to develop and Gain more skills

Participate in different volunteering activities

Get an internship offer that leads to a permanent role

Complete Msc Digital Marketing

  LinkedIn

  Twitter

Relevant digital marketing articles

Share influencers contents

Blog post on Digital Marketing tools and techniques

New Digital Marketing Trends Digital Marketing

Social Media Marketing

SEO

SMM

Content Marketing

Data Analysis

Table 3 Search and Social Media Marketing Plan

Keywords Analysis

Before conducting keyword analysis, it is essential to look at different keywords trends. In order to drive content creation, SEO and have a better understanding of the target audience's behaviors and interests, Google trends is one of the best tools to use (Nghiem, 2016). In figure 6 and figure 7 we have compared the keywords ‘Digital Marketer' and ‘SSM' to see the trends. Looking at the graph we can see that SSM which stands for ‘Search and Social Media' was very trending during the past 12 months mainly in Australia, Canada, and the UK. This means that SSM can be used as a primary keyword.

Figure 6 Keywords Trends– Source: Google Trends

Figure 7 Trend Comparison by region– Source: Google Trends

Furthermore, SEMrush which is a great SEO tool was used to figure out the top keywords used by competitors (figure 8).

 Figure 8 Keywords from Competitors– Source: SEMrush

As a result, the following keywords were classified into two categories on table 4. The Google AdWords keyword planner tool was used to measure the average monthly search and competition each keyword listed.

Priority Keywords Average Monthly Search Competition Placement

Primary Keywords Digital Marketing

SMM-

Social Media Marketing

SEO 10K – 100K

1K – 10K

1K – 10K

10K – 100K

Medium

High

Low

Medium LinkedIn, Profile Heading, Blog Post

Secondary Keywords Content Marketing

Online Marketing

Business Analyst

Data analysis

1K – 10K

1K – 10K

1K – 10K

1K – 10K

Medium

High

Low

Medium LinkedIn Bio,

Twitter, Instagram,

Blog

Table 4 Keyword Analysis

Customer Journey Mapping

The following figure shows the process through which the buyer personas will go through in order to convert towards an online optimized profile.

IMPLEMENTATION

Implementing is the process of turning weaknesses into strengths and threats into opportunities (Tyron, 2015). In this section, the different actions undertaken to improve my personal brand online will be discussed and the result achieved within the time frame of this assignment will be shown.

Tasks Description

LinkedIn profile Update Added Primary keywords on profile heading

Updated work experience

Added relevant skills

Join Digital Marketing Group

Connected with industry influencers

Engaged in Digital marketing discussions

Twitter Profile update Changed the Bio with relevant keywords

Followed influencers

More than100 tweets

Shared Digital Marketing content

Certifications / Tools Started the Google Learn Digital certificate

 Google Analytics course certification

Downloaded the R software and started the learning process

Learned how to use Moz, SEMrush and AdWords efficiently

Blog Optimized blog post using relevant keywords.

Twitter and LinkedIn profile linked

Analytics applied

Table 5 Implementation Task List

Implementation Results

The results obtained after optimizing the LinkedIn and Twitter profile with relevant keywords are shown below. In 2 weeks period, my LinkedIn profile appeared in 29 searches and was viewed 16 times with ‘Digital Marketing'as the main keyword search. Those searchers appeared to be recruitment companies and individuals working in the digital environment. From this result, we can conclude that the choice and implementation of keywords was successful and the target audience was reached.

 

 

Figure 9 Profile Optimization results– Source: LinkedIn

The twitter account was initially inactive during the past 4 years. After the process of keyword optimization and content creation for 2 weeks, I have gained 12 more followers and 5900 impressions on my tweets.

  Figure 10 Profile Optimization results– Source: Twitter

 

Figure 11 Keywords added in Heading/Bio – Source: LinkedIn

     

Figure 12 Keywords added in the Bio – Source: Twitter

CONCLUSION

This assignment was very enriching in terms of acquiring knowledge.  It has helped me in many ways to improve self-image online and discover different Digital Marketing tools and techniques. Overall, this task has heavily contributed to my personal development but also has improved my job search and social media engagement.

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