Why I did a Digital Marketing Internship

There are many great articles and blogs about the value of doing an internship, so I thought I’d write one from a students perspective on why I did an internship and what I learnt from it.

It’s July 2011, and I’ve just finished my second year of uni and I am due to do a gap year working…however there was one problem… I had nowhere to work!

My initial intention was to work somewhere like a shop for the year…but then I thought it’d be worth applying for somewhere that could help me in my career. So the idea of doing an internship was very appealing to get into the job area that I loved the most, marketing.

One of things I noticed was that many of the internships I looked at were three months and were unpaid. So my plan was to do three 3 month internships throughout the year to gain as much experience as possible…and also meant I had to start saving money!

I eventually found the perfect internship for a digital recruitment agency in London with the job title of a Marketing Intern…applied for it and was ecstatic to get it.

The first four months of my internship were unpaid with just expenses paid, but then from January 2012 I was fortunate enough that the position became a paid one, which for me was so overwhelming and amazing that my work was valued enough to become a paid member of the team.  Something which I’m extremely grateful for.

My internship lasted up until August 2012 which meant I had worked an entire year. For me this was brilliant considering when I signed my contract to join it was for two months and unpaid. So to stay an entire year and for it to be paid showed that working for free does have its rewards in the end if you work hard and embrace the company’s culture.

So here are some of the reasons why I took an internship and what I learnt:

The Work Experience 

This is probably the most important reason why I took an internship. I had virtually no work experience at all…apart from three weeks work experience in Year 11. So the idea of taking an internship was to build up the experience on my CV.

The great thing about the internship was that I could find out about the working environment and what a normal day entails…and the London commute. Also the experience of interacting with fellow employees, being part of a team and generally being involved in whatever goes on during the working day was something I hadn’t experienced really ever before, so it was incredibly valuable.

The Life/Social Experience and Meeting New People

For me there are two types of experiences, the ones you gain from the daily working environment and the ones you get outside of that. Doing an internship was a perfect chance to meet a group of new people that weren’t from school or uni or even people my age. I was extremely lucky that every person I met and worked with were just awesome and so welcoming & helpful. This ensured that I made friends there that will stay with me forever.

But it was the small things like going out for lunch with work mates, finding out what interests people have, meeting different personalities, going for a drink after work or attending the work Christmas party which were all part of the life and social experience of working during the year.

Learning New Skills and Developing Existing Ones

Another reason I took an internship was to learn new skills and develop the ones I’m already competent in. The internship definitely achieved this as I picked up so many new skills both personal and professional whilst working such as the added responsibility and being independent, self-confidence, the ability to adapt and many more. But there were skills which I had that I wanted to improve further such as my creativity, organisation, marketing & business knowledge and working in a team.

One area which I feel I developed a lot was my ability to be motivated and driven. This was exemplified by the fact I was unpaid for four months, which for some people might not motivate them. So it was good that I was motivated to perform tasks to the highest possible standard even though I wasn’t being paid. But it was without doubt the work experience that was more valuable than money.

These skills haven’t just helped me with my final year at uni, but will for my entire working life.

Learning about Marketing and Digital

The one area which has always interested me in business is marketing, so the internship was an opportunity to see what type of career it could be. It was very useful to find out what working in a marketing team entailed and the kind of marketing activities that the team does such as the social media presence, organising events, managing the website, researching and creating marketing related material.

Also working in the digital industry has made me decide that this is the career path that I want to get into, something the internship was a valuable experience to find out.

Getting into One of the Fastest Growing Industries

I didn’t realise it until I started working in the industry, but digital is huge! It’s well-known that many companies are expanding their digital operations, whether that’s starting a social media presence, developing an app, a better website or just budgeting more for online marketing than offline. But being in this fast-paced, creative and dynamic industry was a great introduction to work. It was ideal as being involved in digital recruitment meant I didn’t just learn about one aspect of digital marketing, but a broad range of areas ranging from web design to mobile to search.   

Making New Contacts

An internship gave me the opportunity to meet a number of people who hopefully when I leave uni can help me find a job in digital. This was another reason for doing an internship as the old saying of ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’,might be true.

So those are some of the reasons why I chose to do an internship and I would recommend it to anyone. Even if you aren’t lucky enough to get paid I found that the experience you can put on your CV shows you’re committed to that career or job area and that you’re motivated not by money but for experience you can gain which is essential in these tough economic and employment times.

Thanks for reading. Please feel free to comment on my blog with your thoughts. Or you can follow me on Twitter for digital news @digitalstuart.

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Did you say Paperclip…no I said Pay Per Click

When you hear the words ‘Pay Per Click’, you may think the person is saying ‘Paperclip’, however, they are surprisingly different. See a Paperclip is something which holds paper…whereas Pay Per Click is a search marketing term. This blog is going to get a camera and take a quick Digital Snapshot of what PPC is.

PPC is when a company pays for ads to be displayed in the results of a search engine in relation to keywords which have been entered by the user.

So why’s it called Pay Per Click? It’s called this as the advertiser only pays for the ad when it’s clicked on. So if no one clicks on it, then there’s no charge.

The PPC ads are the friendly advertisements that you typically see on the right hand side or directly below your search engine in the paid listings part of the page next to and above the organic/natural search.

The position of the ad within the search results is based on how much the advertiser has bid, so the more you bid, the greater the chance you have of being higher up in the search results. The bids are placed on keywords. So the key is to unlock those keywords! For instance, if you sold expensive watches, you could bid for keywords such as ‘watch’, ‘watches’, ‘expensive watch’, ‘luxury watches’…and so on.

You can also use ‘Negative Keywords’, which are words which when searched for you don’t want your ad to appear in. These could be ‘cheap watches’, ‘low priced watches’…and so on.

This makes PPC a highly targeted marketing tool, as the advertiser knows that when their ad appears, the user is in their target audience and could potentially purchase.

The actual PPC ad might be a text description accompanied by a picture and a link to that offering. So these prominent calls to action entice the user to click on the ad.

One of the best ways to manage a PPC campaign could be to use a helpful program called Google Adwords which enables you to bid on keyowrds in order to lock them down, create the actual ad, track the analytics and use reports on how the ads are performing.

So, what are the advantages and disadvantages of PPC.

Advantages

The advertiser doesn’t pay unless the ad is clicked on

Highly targeted approach through the use of keywords – Improves the chances of a sale or lead

Have a rough idea of where you’ll rank in the search engine in accordance to how much you have bid

PPC ads can be displayed quickly, rather than SEO results which take longer for the pages to be indexed by spiders/robots

Simpler than SEO as your rank is based on a bid amount – Whereas SEO requires re-structuring pages

PPC can be used as a branding tool

Can calculate ROI for each keyword and a campaign

Manage a campaign effectively via programs like Google Adwords

Disadvantages

PPC ads aren’t trusted as much as they are seen as advertising

The bidding process could see a lot being paid for keywords which could make it an expensive campaign tool

PPC campaigns require expertise and knowledge in areas such as the bidding process, keyword selection and managing the entire campaign

To remain competitive and ensure that a high ranking is kept it can be time consuming to manage a PPC campaign in-house

Unethical actions could occur from users or competitors constantly clicking the PPC ad so that you keep paying for the ad (though after a while the search engine will register this and the advertiser won’t be charged)

And that’s PPC!

So just for fun, here are some advantages and disadvantages of Paperclips.

Advantages

Keeps paper together so you don’t lose it

Some paperclips have a solid metal structure to keep paper positioned well

They come in different colours and sizes to accommodate colour preferences and the size of the paper

You can make a paperclip chain from many paperclips which can be used for a necklace or just for fun

Disadvantages

They can be quite sharp, and you might get injured from them

You can be restricted to the amount of paper it can hold

….and here’s the worlds most famous paperclip…Clippit!!!

Clippy

 

 

 

 

 

In the meantime please feel free to comment on the post. You can also follow me on Twitter @digitalstuart, or follow this blog via the button on the right hand side. Thanks for reading!

Stuart

Can you Notify me if Twitter needs Notifications

For my first real blog post I thought I’d start with a small topic.

So I was just thinking about social media earlier this evening, as you do, and it suddenly occurred to me that Twitter doesn’t have a notifications feature on their website. I mean there might be one… but I haven’t seen it yet! They have a notifications feature on their app, so when someone mentions or follows you, a notification pops up. However, unlike with Facebook and LinkedIn, who both have a small red notification icon, Twitter doesn’t seem to adopt this on their main site.

This feature has always been prevalent on Facebook, as this is where the notion of the notification came from. LinkedIn didn’t have this feature until recently when they introduced the ‘Flag’ notification icon. This is a red icon indicating the number of notifications you have, possibly when someone has looked at your profile. This new feature on LinkedIn has been very handy, and overdue.

Twitter would benefit I feel with introducing such a feature, as whenever you’re on the main site there isn’t really anyway of getting a notification if someone has mentioned, retweeted or followed you. There is that small blue circle on your inbox which indicates a direct message, but who reads them…?!

The typical way to find out about a Twitter notification is that you receive the update on your phone or email first before realising it on the website page. Obviously, you could download a social media dashboard or management tool such as TweetDeck, Hootsuite or Twitterfall, and get these notifications appearing on your screen, or just keep up to date on your mobile and email, but surely something as simple as a small notification feature is an important ingredient Twitter is missing?.

Of course there is an argument to suggest that this feature isn’t really needed on Twitter as they’ve never created it, like the chat service isn’t really applicable…but if you have a notification feature for the app and on some other platforms, it wouldn’t hurt having it to improve the users experience.

Anyway, accessing Twitter’s website is still common for most people, so just a small icon could be of use to us in order to reply to those very important tweets that we write about what we had for dinner, or where we are…

So if I was a TV programme, stay tuned for more digital posts and thoughts which I’ll be delivering to you.

In the meantime if you agree or disagree or just want to discuss something, please feel free to comment on the post. You can also follow me on Twitter @digitalstuart, or follow this blog via the button on the right hand side. Woooo thanks!

Stuart

Delivering the First Post

Digital Greetings!!!

I’ve been thinking about writing a digital type blog for some time now…and I’ve only gone and done it.

This blog is a digest of the digital news and views which I come across on a daily basis through searching the great World Wide Web or any thoughts that come into my head.

This blog records my thoughts on anything to do with digital marketing, whether that’s social media, websites, design, mobile, SEO, affiliate marketing, email marketing, advertising…the list is endless…

This blog is off the back of my Twitter account (@digitalstuart, just thought I’d plug it) where I tweet about the latest digital news stories and views in this incredibly faced paced and dynamic industry.

One thing I’ve already noticed is that the word ‘blog’ isn’t a recognised word on a blogging site…quite ironic!

My first ‘real’ digital post will be here soon…