Study Modern Marketing Online
- Explore opportunities for business and career
- Start studying anytime, work at your own pace
- Study from anywhere
- Develop a foundation, to understand the subject, but also what is required to stay up to date and in front of the competition in the field of marketing
Learn to promote and sell goods and services using the internet. The internet has changed the face of marketing world wide. Many businesses have been struggling to adapt. Some have down sized, others collapsed. Others who have seen technology as an opportunity, rather than a problem have adapted and thrived.
This course lays the foundation for a fresh approach to marketing, where opportunities are plentiful.
Course Duration: 600 hours of self paced study (6 months full time; 1-2 years part time)
Course Content and Structure
There are six subjects in this course as follows:
This 100 hr module helps you to understand the marketing world and make decisions about marketing, based upon placed on profitability and efficiency. There are 10 lessons in this module as follows:
1. Marketing and the Business
2. Scope of Marketing
3. Target Marketing
4. The Marketing Mix and Managing the Marketing Effort
5. Product Presentation and Packaging
7. Product Pricing and Distribution
8. Customer Service
9. Market Research
10. Organisations - Structures and Roles
Develop an ability to manage commercial transactions electronically; particularly through the internet. While the module is concerned with management, processing of orders, and other aspects of electronic commerce, the primary concern is with marketing.
There are eight lessons in this module as follows:
1. Introduction –What is e-commerce …more than just the Internet!
2. Success and Failure –What makes the Difference?
3. Promotional Strategies –are different on the internet
4. Optimizing Web Site Potential
5. Increasing Web Site Exposure
6. Automating Supply of Goods, Services and Cash flow
7. Managing Constant Change
8. Dealing with E Commerce Problems
This module develops a capacity to use social media and other applications for marketing on the internet.There are 8 lessons in this module as follows:
1. Scope and Nature of Social Media
2. The Psychology of Internet Marketing
3. Social Media Applications
4. Websites, Advertising and Other Applications
5. Capturing and converting customers
6. Creating and Using Content
7. Blogs and Newsletters
8. Developing an Internet Marketing Program (PBL Project).
There are 11 lessons in this module as follows:
1. Introduction to Information Security
2. Information Security Ethics
3. Data Integrity and Backing up
4. Vulnerabilities of Operating Systems and Information Systems
5. Risk Management
6. Information Security Technologies, Developments and Initiatives
7. Physical Security
8. Developing a security Policy
9. Implementing and revising a security policy
10.Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Planning
11.Information Security Maintenance
This course provides sufficient training for you to start producing your own HTML pages and publish them to the Internet. With a fundamental understanding of how this computer code works, you will have a foundation for learning more if you so choose; or communicating better with programmers if you are outsourcing programming work.
There are eight lessons in this module as follows:
1. Getting Started
2. Page Layout
4. Images and Page Weights
5. Colour and Style
6. Designing a Web Site
7. Building and Testing a Web Site
Graphic Design (available mid 2013)
There are ten lessons in this module as follows:
1. Scope and Nature of Graphic Design
2. Design Fundamentals (line, tone, colour etc)
3. Colour Theory and Applications
5. Illustration -methods & techniques
6. Logotype Design
7. Layout Design
8. Design Systems and the Design Industry (design briefs, how to bid for jobs, etc)
9. Comparative Design -Lessons From Other Designers (lots of research)
10. Design Project - A practical project applying everything prior to this.
TIPS FOR POSTING ON SOCIAL MEDIA
An extract from the book "Modern Marketing" by John Mason and staff of ACS Distance Education
When it comes to social media posts it is better to post something new every day if possible. Better still, aim to post several times a day but be sure not to abuse social media.
Overt promotion or inviting people to join you in contradiction to "rules" can lead to your account being closed down; and you can lose all the work you put in. People may get sick of reading constant posts about how good your products are. So aim to make posts interesting and varied, around the same goods or services you offer, but not always overtly advertising your services.
It’s possible but not always wise to link different social media sites together. There are some sites such as Hootsuite and Ping.fm which allow you write one post which will automatically be broadcast to all of your social media sites. This can obviously save you time. It’s great for things like news events, press releases etc., but not so good for other things. Each social network is unique so the kinds of people it attracts and their interests are different. Also the requirements of each site differ. You need to tailor each post to the different sites, altering the messages tone and adjusting it to the different target audiences to be found on each site. You also need to remember that you might have a friend, or future customer, on one site who is also connected to you on another and they don’t necessarily want to be reading the same messages twice.
Aim to visit all of your different social media platforms regularly in order to increase your friends, links and followers on all of them. Regular activity on your sites will improve your overall visibility and search rankings.
Recognise the fact that success comes through first building contacts, relationships and interaction; rather than by overtly promoting your products or services.
Social media should be used to raise awareness of what you do; rather than sell your product or service. Add posts about the many things you do, for example, conferences you visit, places you have been, photographs you have taken, people you have spoken to, things you have been asked. Making sure your posts informative and interesting, but also showing that you are a human being and interesting.
Postings should be about making people feel like they know you, trust you and share common interests; they should be designed to fascinate, captivate and make the reader want to talk about you and what you wrote in a positive way.
Engage with the social media...use it, learn from it, see what others are doing.
Observe successful social media networkers. Learn from people who not only have lots of friends or likes; but also successfully increase their sales through activity in social media. Look at how often they are posting and what they are posting about. How do they use photographs and images? How often do they post links to their products and services?
Promote your friends, and eventually they may promote you.
When you see a photo or posting that attracts a lot of interest on someone else’s page, repost it on yours. Controversial or interesting posts can draw a lot of attention to your business. Just try to make sure it’s good attention.
What is Possible?
We are often being asked for tips on how to improve “traffic” flow to websites and social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Here are some useful pointers -
- The relative importance of different factors in social media and search engine optimisation are constantly changing, and unless you attend to all factors, you will not achieve consistent improvement.
- Do not rely on websites too much or too little for your marketing. Few companies succeed without other marketing initiatives. Few companies succeed without a good web site.
- Social Media is becoming increasingly important for business success. If you ignore it, or use it in the wrong way; your competitors will capture business from you.
Things You Must Do
Understand what you need to achieve.
- Rankings – sites normally need to be ranking between 1 and 2 million before they are getting consistent sales (but there are exceptions). Strong businesses need sites to rank around 0.5 million or better.
- Duration of visit – people need to be staying on the site for at least 2 minutes; but longer is better.
- Bounce rate – the bounce rate is determined by an equation which divides the total number of visitors per page by the total number of entries on that page. In clearer terms, it looks at whether or not people stay on a site and click the other links on it, or bounce straight back off because it either wasn’t what they were looking for or did not engage them. So the lower the bounce rate the better, unless everything that people need to know is on that first landing page.
- Drawing attention to the right place – people need to be noticing the things that bring business before the things that are less important (e.g. “click to buy” is far more important than “click to see how great we are”).
- Make it very obvious, fast and easy for people to find the most important information on your page and about your company.
- Try to avoid more than 2 clicks from the main page to a place where action can be taken (such as buying).
Use this test:
Close your eyes for a little while and open them fast. Notice what you see first on a page. Is it the thing you want your visitors to see first? Is it the first thing that is loaded when your website is loading?
Consider colour, contrast, position on page, and size of text or image. All these things make something appear more (or less) obvious. As we said earlier, it is important not to focus too heavily on the layout, but if something jumps out at you, that is usually good (but can be bad if it appears in a negative way).
Understand the process:
You must get people to come to your page. To do this, you need to be ranked in the top 10 in searches, or be advertising on relevant websites or search engines.
Once potential customers come, you need to keep them there and funnel them quickly through to the part of your site that will convince them to buy, contact you or do something else.
You generally only have about 2 seconds before interest starts to wane, so each page must be “in their face” and enable them to see the relevance to them in a flash. Don’t worry about losing some customers, but remember, if you are attracting the right demographic to the page you should be able to communicate very fast. Ideally your page should say “this is what you were looking for”, it should hook them in, cause them to stay on your page and cause them to actually take action. A well-worded statement and cleverly designed page can do this.
Consider and work on ALL of the following factors:
- Amount of content - never reduce the amount of words on a site. If a site is cluttered or you don’t want something seen; bury it further down the page or on a linking page rather than deleting it. Removing significant quantities of content is a cardinal sin because search engines use this to find your site and direct people to it.
- Keep content keyword rich.
- Monitor keyword significance and choose keywords that reach your audience. Look for what people are searching for in the countries you want to attract. You can do this by using Google’s keyword tools.
- Avoid keywords that are only strong in countries you want to avoid. Also check on spellings. For example, if you wanted to sell a book on animal behaviour. In the UK, you might say Animal Behaviour book. But if you put that on a site aimed at America, behaviour is spelled behavior so you would not necessarily appear in searches. So it is important to focus on what is relevant to the particular country or location you are advertising in. Another UK/America example, in the UK pants refer to knickers or underwear. In America they refer to trousers. So it is important to ensure the right words are used.
- Watch the order of keywords. You want the best keywords nearest to the top of each page.
- Avoid using too many adverbs, adjectives, pronouns. They have little effect on rankings. Try to use more nouns; but always the best nouns. For example, “The most wonderful, beautiful, poster of trees in the world” will not be as effective as “Tree Poster”.
- Make your content different to other sites. If you are promoting similar goods and services on different websites, then make each website different. It might be the same toy, but describe it differently on each site. If you write about the same toy in the same way on five websites, the search engine will probably recognise that and only show one website in a search. Whereas, if you write about the toy differently on all five sites, the search engine may bring up all five websites in a search.
- Ensure download speeds do not blow out. A main page is best to be no more than perhaps 150kb. Images are best to be kept small.
- Blend images on a page together for a faster download, so rather than using separate icons for facebook, twitter, linked in etc; put all the social media images together into one image. This is called a sprite.
- A website designer may be very experienced in designing websites, but they do not necessarily know about YOUR business, so ensure that you are actively involved in the website and how you want it to appear and what you want it to do.
- Get at least 100 high quality links to your site. These must be from sites that rank much higher than yours; and in the discipline you are trying to promote. Irrelevant or poorly ranked links can have a negative effect on your site.
You can achieve links by:
- Swapping with colleagues, other businesses etc.
- Submitting to Blogs and Forums (some accept and publish readily, others do not); but only use high ranked and relevant ones. This only works if you post a URL in with your submission.
- There are many sites on the web that you can submit relevant articles to (e.g. Digg)
- Submit links to relevant directories (education directories, professional bodies, etc)
- Paste URLs into social media (e.g. LinkedIn; facebook, twitter etc).
- Do these things for lots of different URLs from your site, not just the main page
- Increase interactivity on your site –make it easy for visitors to click and submit from anywhere and everywhere
- Use the best programming languages. Some programming languages may require less expertise to work with; but might not make your site run as fast, or might not be favoured by search engines.
- Make sure page titles and meta descriptions are appropriate, keyword rich and different for every page on a site.
- Treat a social media account like it is another web site. Optimise your content there in the same way as a web site. (e.g. A LinkedIn page with the right key words will over time, attract serious business that is relevant to your business).
But the best way to find out about social media is to use it. Bear in mind the rules above, but have a go, practice using social media, get involved and above all use them regularly to maintain your presence and profile. It is no good having twenty social media pages if you do not use them to market your products and services regularly.
You can check your page rank by going to sites like Alexa, mentioned above. If you are unable to access this one just do a search for “page ranking”.
Implement your plan and keep records so that you can analyse the effectiveness of your campaigns.
How Well are You Doing?
It is important to recognise that the factors that affect internet marketing success are continually changing.
You cannot expect to work out a way of successfully using the internet for marketing; and then continue marketing that way, year after year, without changing what you do.
- The most successful internet marketing will requires constantly monitoring success, recognising changes that are needed, and making those changes.
- Some of the ways that you can monitor your success include:
- Monitoring and analysing visitor statistics with mainstream services (eg. Google Stats)
- Capturing critical data through customised harvesting
- Monitoring overall rankings with search engines and online tools (eg. Alexa)
- Monitoring influence with respect to "target" markets.
- Monitoring changes in your influence (eg. Using tools such as Klout)
Stats are not always what they seem
- It can be a mistake to assume that more visitors to a web site, or more friends on social media will result in more business. Quantity of contacts made is only one factor. The quality is also critical (ie. if they are potential customers or not). The amount of attention they give you can be critical too (how often do they visit you and how much time is spent in contact with you).
- Some statistics can be skewed (Alexa only evaluates your rankings among web sites that are listed with Alexa. A search engine might rank you relative to millions of others within a multitude of categories, and not reflect your high ranking within a highly specialised category)
Consider the difference that might occur in influence generally, and influence with respect to a narrow target:
- When you do a search for restaurants, a particular restaurant might be ranked low, but when you search for something specific like "Thai Noodle Restaurant" it might be ranked high.
- In social media, a local landscaper might go unnoticed if people are searching for "landscaping"; but when they search for landscape designers in your town or region; you may become prominent.
You can get an indication of how effective social media is, by looking at the number of people reading and sharing something.
Some social media sites will also show you what is trending.
Some will have numbers of "likes", "friends", etc. listed. All such things are indicators of popularity/ influence.
One part of getting noticed is to know the words that potential customers are likely to search with; and an important way of determining your current effectiveness is to know what "key" words to use when evaluating your position.
The words that you choose to use and make prominent may have a strong affect upon the type of person as well as the quantity and quality of person you attract attention from on the internet. This may be more significant for some search engines than others.
- If you choose to use words that are very specialised, and only commonly used by a narrow target market, you may attract fewer people, but more of the right type of person.
- If you choose broader, less targeted terms, you may well get lost in the crowd.
- Keywords are given different weight by different search engines and sites. Google for instance, does not give them the value that they once had; however, thinking about the words you use is still important.
There are tools that can help you determine what keywords to use. These include:
- A thesaurus – this will list equivalent or similar words to the one you are focusing on so that if someone searches for the item using a slightly different term the thesaurus should help you find these potential alternatives.
- Internet marketing tools – marketing services on the internet (such as the Google Analytics Keyword tool) have automated services which allow you to enter a series of terms, and see the relative strength of each. You can see lists of suggested keywords and the demand for them as well as the relative popularity of different keywords.
The best keywords are not the best in every circumstance, for example:
- The best key word in one country might be different is another country. People in one country might search for “home study courses” more than “distance education”; while another country may use “distance education more frequently than “home study” for example.
- Changing a keyword from singular to plural may give you an advantage and vice versa.
- Using variations of the same keyword may give you an advantage
- The number of times you use a keyword may give an advantage.
- The places that you use a keyword may be important
- The best keyword to use is one that lots of people search for, but which your competitors are not using a lot.
- The best keyword today, can sometimes become the worst tomorrow.
- A popular keyword in one industry may not be as popular in another.
- The only way to work these things out it to analyse it using keyword tools.
Page Title Keywords
The page title is a single line of keywords that a web developer writes to be associated with the URL (web address). It might appear in the title bar at the top of a page, or in a pop up box when you move a cursor over the URL.
For example, a news web site might have a page title such as "latest news - current affairs, politics, events, weather and world reports.
The text that you use in the page title is very important. Not only do search engines use this text to rank your page but it also helps draw relevant traffic to your site. It is usually this text that will come up in listings which include your site.
When writing page titles it is crucial that you use as many keywords as you can, avoiding joining words if possible (at, is, and, etc). It is not necessarily helpful to have your businesses name in the title; you are better off having your product listed as a keyword because that is what people tend to search for rather than a specific business that sells it. Carefully chosen words for a page title can make a big difference and affect the quality and quantity of people attracted to a web site.
HOW DOES STUDY GET YOU A JOB?
Although doing a course may not guarantee you a job – it will set you apart from those that have not studied at all and it will improve your personal choices when applying for jobs.
Each job listed usually gets a huge amount of response – when employers choose people to interview they will look at a range of factors – what you have studied will be just one of those factors. You need to be able to catch a potential employer’s attention – stand out from the rest.
So what do employers look for?
- Great communication skills: verbal, written and also the ability to use a computer.
- Problem solving skills: thinking on your feet and working through problems in an orderly way.
- Efficiency: doing things in a logical order without compromising accuracy improves efficiency.
- Knowledge and skills demanded of the job.
- A passion for the work and willingness to learn.
- Presentation and grooming - people who present as being well organised and well-groomed will impress.
How Will A Course Help Me To Gain those Skills?
Choosing the right course will help i.e. one that develops knowledge, practical and also your problem solving skills. Not all courses do this. At ACS our courses focus on Problem Based Learning so this enables the student to develop these skills and at the same time using this learning method also improves you knowledge retention and recall.
What Can You do to Improve Your Career Prospects?
- Choose a course that you are passionate about – be open to learning and use this course to start building your future. Today we are expected to keep learning and studying in order to keep up with a world that is rapidly changing. Learning is a lifelong experience. Study a course that makes you stand out - a qualification that is different to all the other applicants will always catch the attention of a boss, and may be the difference between getting an interview or not.
- Network with people in the industry, attend conferences and trade shows – make yourself known to people in the industry in general.
- Try to build a range of skills – multi-skilled people catch the eye of the employer or potential employer.
- Write a good CV and ask for help if you need it. Tutors at this school will help our students with their C.V.'s if you ask -no cost. Resume Writing services can also be used, but they charge.
- Recognise your weaknesses and work on improving them - not just academically. And also know your strengths and demonstrate them.