Digital Marketing, SEO and My Life as a 20-Something

Tag: Social Media

The Best Of…Social Enterprise Marketing Resources

Over the last few weeks we’ve talked about what a social enterprise is, why marketing a social business is a little bit different, best practices for marketing your social enterprise and a fabulous social business brand example. Hopefully, you’re feeling inspired with some tangible ideas to improve or get started on your social enterprise’s marketing.

Today, it’s time to hand out some awards for the best social enterprise resources out there. These tools and resources will help you achieve marketing success, and hopefully save you some time and money along the way. Happy marketing!

The academy (errr, I) would like to congratulate the winners in the following categories.

 

Best Resource To Learn about Social Enterprise Branding

Brand the Change book

Brand the Change

 

Without this book introducing me to this world, this post wouldn’t exist. Brand The Change by Anne Miltenburg is an excellent resource for marketers and social entrepreneurs, whether they are building a brand from scratch or looking to strengthen their existing brand. The book provides a helpful mix of actionable steps, real world examples and anecdotes and exercises to help you bring the book’s wisdom to life. The information is clearly presented in an easy-to-digest manner that doesn’t require a marketing or business degree to understand. I ordered it when the new edition first came out so it took a while to arrive from the Netherlands, but it was absolutely worth the wait!

 

Best Website for Social Entrepreneurship and Business Planning Resources

MaRS Social Enterprise Resource

MaRS

 

As one of the world’s largest innovation hubs, MaRS has a wealth of online resources available about all aspects of social business from business planning to legal issues and everything in between. You can browse their extensive library of articles and videos or enroll in their Entrepreneurship 101 online course. For those in the Toronto area, you can take advantage of their workshops, events, funding or job board.

 

Best Online Courses – Marketing

 

HubSpot Academy to learn about marketing

HubSpot Academy

 

HubSpot is not a social business focused resource, but it is one of my go-to places to learn new marketing skills. They have a large collection of free articles, videos and courses about various aspects of marketing from social media marketing to inbound marketing. HubSpot also offers certifications so you can prove and display your newfound marketing knowledge. If you’re looking for a CRM or marketing stack for your social enterprise, HubSpot is one of the options you should consider.

 

Best Online Courses – Social Entrepreneurship

+Acumen Online Learning

+Acumen

 

With a mission “to provide anyone, anywhere the skills and community to drive social change” +Acumen offers free and paid online courses for social entrepreneurs and change makers. The courses are both on demand and scheduled on a wide range of topics including social entrepreneurship, human centered design, leadership, business planning, social finance and more! Having taken their Social Entrepreneurship 101 course, I can vouch for the quality of this online learning experience. If you want to learn more about social enterprise marketing and social business planning, +Acumen is the place to go.

 

Okay, enough learning! The tools below will help with your day-to-day marketing activities.

 

Best Social Media Management Tool

Hootsuite for social business social media management

Hootsuite

 

Entrepreneurs often complain they don’t have enough time for marketing. With Hootsuite, you can make the time for marketing by managing your social media platforms in one place. Hootsuite also lets you schedule posts in advance (amongst many other awesome features!) to save time and plan out your social media messages in one sitting. If you want to learn how to use Hootsuite or improve your social media marketing, the Hootsuite Academy offers excellent free courses and certifications (for a fee) in these areas.

 

Best Tool For Easy Graphic Design

Graphic design for social entrepreneurs

Canva

 

Can I use Photoshop? Yes. Do I usually just go to Canva because it’s so easy to use? Also yes. Canva’s easy-to-use and free platform means you can create beautiful graphics for your social business without being or paying a graphic designer. You can make images in all different sizes with one of their templates or start from scratch. While Canva is free, they do have paid options if you want to take your creations up a level. If you want to learn a bit about design, you can use the free Canva Design School.

 

Best Content Management System for Your Website/Blog

Best CMS WordPress

WordPress

 

Whether you use the easier WordPress.com or go full-in with WordPress.org, WordPress is my go to content management system, and not just because it’s a free, open source software! WordPress is extremely user friendly for all users from beginners to expert web developers, and offers many different theme, structure and hosting options to meet any social business’ needs. Need more proof of how awesome WordPress? Well, WordPress powers 32% of all sites on the internet, so they must be doing something right!

Well, this is it! As I wrap up my blog series on social enterprise marketing, I hope you are now equipped and confident with not just the knowledge, but the tools and resources you need to help your marketing and social business succeed. Social entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart; I wish you the best as you continue on your adventure and look forward to seeing the change your social business will create in our world.

Have you used any of these resources? Are there any good social enterprise marketing resources that I’ve missed? Let me know in the comments!

5 Things I Learned In My First Semester Studying Digital Marketing

After returning to school in January to begin a post-graduate program in digital media marketing, I often get asked, what the heck is digital marketing? What do you learn about? It was a whirlwind three months and I learned more than I could list here, but here are 5 key takeaways from my first semester.

Five Things I Learned In My First Semester of Digital Marketing

A whole lot of hard skills

Content marketing, Facebook ads, marketing strategy, Google Analytics, social listening, e-mail marketing, RFM, LTV, marketing research, building personas, paid ads, SEO…you name it, I probably learned it. Digital marketers require a multitude of skills and an extensive toolbox to draw from and I certainly got a good start on building mine.

Everything must come back to your marketing and business objectives

It’s easy to stray from your game plan when you’re focused on creating engaging content and making the most of all the tools digital marketers have at our disposal. But one thing that was really drilled into my head is that everything you do must help achieve your business objectives. The ultimate goal of marketing and business is to be profitable, and if that doesn’t happen then the only thing you’ll be managing is your own LinkedIn while searching for a new job.

Marketers are constantly learning

(I mean, this is true for everybody, but especially important in digital marketing) Our world is changing at an increasing pace, and marketing is no exception to that rule. Many of our courses didn’t even have textbooks, because they would be out of date by the time they were published. Digital marketers need to stay on top of changes and trends to make the most of what’s available and to be where their audiences are. Stay current by reading industry blogs and publications, and always find ways to keep upgrading and adding new skills.

You can’t be an expert at everything

As a professor once said ‘you don’t need to know how to do everything yourself, but you need to understand how it works so you can pay someone to do it for you.’ We laughed, but it’s true! You can’t do everything, but you need to understand enough to know what can be done and to communicate effectively with the person tasked with the job. You don’t need to code your own website, but you should know enough to talk with your web developer, and you should be able to do basic things like a blog post or update copy on a website without expert help! Stay informed, but know your limit and bring others on board when you need them

Data…data…and more data!

There’s so much data out there which presents many opportunities as well as nightmares for marketers. On the downside, there are increasing concerns and legislation about consumer privacy and use of data (Cambridge Analytica and GDPR anyone?), and even many marketers don’t know how to interpret the data and analytics available and how to act it it. On the plus side, data helps us better understand and segment our audiences, do incredibly targeted communications and understand the impact of our communications, from impressions and engagement to the all important ROI. Regardless, in an increasingly data driven world, data and analytics are two things digital marketers must understand and be able to act on.

It’s an exciting time to be in the digital marketing field, and I couldn’t be happier with my career choice. Do you have any questions about studying digital marketing? Do you need help with your own digital marketing? Let’s connect.

The Friday File: March 9th

A weekly post sharing some of what I’ve been reading and watching throughout the week. 

The clues to a great story (TED Talk, Andrew Stanton)

Make me care, 2+2, wonder. A great talk about telling great stories.

An Ode to Toronto FC (Jeffery P. Nesker, Waking the Red)

In Bez we trust. Toronto ‘Till I Die you guys. 

What Women Need to Know Before Getting an MBA (Bridget Casey on Greedy Rates)

An MBA is most likely the next to be added to the expensive paper collection, so I appreciated this read. We’ve made progress, but we’re not there yet.

Health system neglects northern patients by design: Doctor (Nick Purdon and Leonardo Palleja, CBC News)

In my 6 weeks on a remote reserve in northwestern Ontario, I learned a lot about the shocking realities of health care up there. Or rather, the lack thereof. Some amazing people doing great work, but talent and passion only go so far when you lack basic resources. Please read this. Please. Canada is an amazing country, but not for all.

12 Marketing Certifications That Can Land You a Job at Ladder (Michael Taylor, Ladder)

I’m making good progress on the hoops I need to jump through to finalize my summer internship. Now that I know the type of projects I’ll be working on, it’s time to get working on some learning above and beyond my coursework that will prepare me to learn and excel this summer. This is a great list of certifications for digital marketers, and ones I’ll be working towards (if I’m not already) as I gear up for a summer of social media and SEO! 

 

The Friday File: February 23rd

The first in a new weekly series sharing some of what I’ve been reading and watching throughout the week.

The Power of Sharing Your Story With Students by Beth Pandolpho

Educators are human beings too, the more you show this the more successful your students’ learning experience will be. Being honest about my experiences learning French with my former ESL students helped them see me on a more human level, especially as I was pretty much the first English speaker within their community they had met who wasn’t perfectly bilingual.

Can You Afford To Risk Not Aligning Corporate And Social Purposes? by Christopher P. Skroupa, Forbes

Nope, you can’t.

The Purpose-Driven Marketer: How Patagonia Uses Storytelling To Turn Consumers Into Activists by Jeff Beer, Fast Company

Social impact and mission driven brands have been capturing a lot of my ‘I should be textbook studying but it’s alright because I’m still learning’ time lately. Career goals, right there.

Millennials’ prolonged stay at Parents Inn is having a profound impact on housing markets by Murtaza Haider and Stephen Moranis, Financial Post

Honestly this one just made me really angry because it paints an unfair picture that ignores the struggles and obstacles my generation faces in affording basics such as our own housing. I WOULD BE 100% INDEPENDENT AND NOT LIVING WITH MY MOTHER IF I COULD. But worth a read nonetheless.

Advertisers warn social media to step up, or they’re out by Ramona Pringle, CBC News

Levels of trust in various forms of media has been changing in recent years, and Canadians feel it’s increasingly difficult to trust what they read online. It will be interesting to see how social media platforms continue to respond to problems of abuse, fake news etc. and how we can find an optimal balance between personal content, brands, news and paid ads as we move forward in this constantly changing and developing landscape.

Rotation Curation Love

If anybody reading this happens to follow me on twitter, you may have noticed that I’ve been relatively absent this week. Well, I’ve been absent from my personal account, but not from the twittersphere! Why? This week I’m the voice of Canada as the curator of @PeopleofCanada

Rotation Curation (or RoCur) started in Sweden with the @Sweden account. It’s a pretty simple concept, a new person each week that fits the topic of the account is the person who tweets from the account that week. Most of the ones that I’ve seen are related to geographical areas, but I’ve also seen ones for writers, francophones etc.

They’re neat to follow as you get a real mix of people curating them, and you get to see different people’s opinions on things, what they do, their experiences, and just the day to day happenings of different lives. Many curators will share a lot of other tweets as well, so it’s always neat to see what comes up on these accounts! It’s a fun way to learn about different ways of life, and to make some neat connections as well.

But my favorite part of RoCur accounts is curating them! I’m currently doing it for the second time. My first time was with @PeopleofLdnOnt and that was an absolute blast. London has some great people and it was so much fun to connect with lots of them, and I used it as an opportunity to learn more about London, a city I have come to love but still don’t know enough about. I didn’t tweet as much as I would have liked for my first day doing @PeopleofCanada, due to working as well as getting over what I think was a bit of food poisoning from the weekend, ugh, but it’s neat being able to connect with a much broader audience, both within Canada and internationally!  I love just asking questions and seeing what responses come in, everything from music to places to visit to what everybody has planned for the day! Even without tweeting anything it’s great to just read the newsfeed and see tweets from people all around the world.

It’s not like travelling, and it’s not like connecting in person, but it’s still a fun way to connect and learn with others in our increasingly connected world. I encourage you to follow some RoCur accounts, whether it’s from your local area or country, an area you have some sort of connection to, or somewhere you’d like to visit or just learn more about. I’d especially encourage you to sign up to curate one, they’re always looking for people and I promise you won’t regret it!