Marketing is the industry of advertising and prompting customers to make purchases or take actions. Marketing career pathways can be diverse, but most involve creative methods of drawing in potential customers. Today, marketing encompasses traditional advertising practices, such as those provided by an agency, as well as the new realms of online and social media marketing that are still being created.
Nearly all companies across the world engage in marketing. The power to change people’s perceptions of goods, services, ideals, political actions, and even the way people think comes from good marketing. Marketing enacts change, so it’s important before you jump into a career to think about how you want to impact people’s perceptions and what you may or may not want to promote.
People who have gone through marketing career pathways love to solve problems with creative solutions and know how to appeal to larger audiences. Since this is a people-focused industry, marketing professionals constantly work in teams and with clients looking to expand their business.
Marketing can be a fairly competitive industry; there aren’t too many marketing jobs without degrees. However, with the growing industry of social media marketing, if you have a history of success there will be opportunities.
Traditional marketing careers, such as those found at an agency, still require a college degree unless you can show previous proven successes. Most people report that working at a traditional marketing or ad agency is fun and exciting, but involves long hours and little pay at the beginning. However, if you stick with a powerful firm and show success, pay scales quickly go up and can lead to a lucrative and rewarding career.
There are also a lot of resources online like HubSpot Academy or Social Media Examiner where you can learn to do this on your own. Social media marketing is much more than clever posts and visually appealing graphics. Extensive amounts of data and analytics show how websites and ads can drive traffic (visitors to a website) and lead to a sale or change. If you want to make money in social media marketing, learning how to understand and utilize the data from each platform is key. Some online courses are free, such as Google Analytics or Google Ads, and can offer you certifications to show your competency with their platform. Because powerful organizations like Google offer certifications up to advanced levels, finding marketing jobs without degrees can be achievable.
If you’re marketing online, free or low-cost websites like Shopify, Wix, or BigCommerce might have marketing and ecommerce tools built-in. If you run an online business, marketing can occur both internally on your site’s platform, such as with a featured spot, or externally, using newsletters, other sites, or social media. Common online marketing practices include automated email newsletters, like with MailChimp or Constant Contact, search engine optimization, paid search or ads, and social media marketing. Each of these practices require different skills and methods for success.
In addition to traditional marketing campaigns, marketers have found success creating additional content to promote a product or different service. For example, online courses and informational blog posts on a software program can be used to promote the software itself. Courses on Udemy or Thinkific can simplify instructions for your existing customers and bring in new ones. If you have knowledge to offer, marketing yourself over social media or another online platform can be an excellent source of income if you’re willing to put it online.
The world of social media is an interesting one, and many individuals have found a way to make a living off of marketing themselves or their brand. Though getting to the level of international fame will take a lot of time and effort, it’s not unheard of. Many individuals optimize their online presence with social media management software, such as Hootsuite.
Social media personalities can take different forms. Some individuals share experiences and stories, such as travel bloggers. If travelling professionally interests you, platforms like Workaway can help you get there financially. Some social media personalities operate as marketing avenues themselves, since some companies will provide sponsorships through products and paid advertising so these individuals can reach out to their large follower base. In essence, anyone with a large social media following on any platform can capitalize on their fanbase. Building such a fan base can be difficult, but offering unique, relatable content that people enjoy can help grow your audience. Many individuals who have built successful media empires often do so using multiple forms of content or services. For example, Zach King (23M on Instagram, 7.5M on YouTube) began by offering in-depth tutorials for Final Cut Pro film editing software on YouTube and sold full courses on his own website. As people recognized the quality of his videos, his audience grew. He expanded his content and audience steadily over the course of several years. Now, he runs a successful business based on his online brand.