by Janette Speyer, Web Success Team ––
The short answer… for CREDIBILITY! Accountants have a certification; lawyers have the bar and professors have a PhD; so why can’t we get a certification for online marketing?
The Myth: There are many “gurus” and “experts” in the online marketing business today. It seems like anybody can do social media marketing. All you need to do is be a millennial or grow up with technology or know how to manage a Facebook page. Not!
It is becoming increasingly complicated for businesses to find good resources in the digital marketing field. Who can help you with your Internet needs? Is it the advertising agency that already manages your offline, the PR firm that takes care of your media outreach, a web developer or an online marketing firm? Who is most qualified these days?
I want to take an opportunity to stress the importance of getting a certification for online marketing. Candidates would need to have a sound knowledge of search engine optimization, search engine marketing, social media marketing, and know how to use all the technology to implement these strategies. It would make a big difference to this industry. If we can’t have a certification, then perhaps we could have a qualifying degree or a recognized organizational certification.
The Problem: Online marketing is one of the most controversial and misunderstood areas because there is no consensus on a uniform certification. Universities offer courses, private industries have their own version of a degree and even Google has their Online Marketing Challenge. What we know is that there is a growing demand in this budding industry for qualified professionals
The Solution: Online marketing is an important component of an online marketer’s arsenal and being certified is key to being viewed as an expert in the field it also helps build a fair amount of trust for your organization. Not only will a certification draw in future employers, but it will also catch the eye of potential clients. Adding information to your website claiming an “Online Marketing Certification” will opens other doors to opportunities including recognition from your competition, positive feedback from potential customers, and an increase in job opportunities.
Where we can start and what we have to date:
Bruce Clay is an internationally recognized SEO, SEM and SMM expert and trainer. He is one of the best and the most up-to-date when it comes to all things digital. Clay emphasizes that in order to achieve web success, you need to follow Google Best Practices Guidelines and keep up to with the ever-changing world of search by getting a certification. He also has segmented his program into different areas of practice: SEO, PPC, Analytics, CRO, SMM and web design. In essence he offers courses in everything you need to know in this business.
There are organizations like OMCP.org that offer a professional certification and other options include an online a bachelor’s degree from a university. Conferences like SES Conference, Social Media Marketing World or SMX can pack in all the learning you can get and then some in a few days are also a good start.
But when all is said and done which one is the universal one? We need the professionals out there to put their heads together and get a general degree that covers all the topics that an Internet professional will need to learn to practice his profession without being challenged or questioned. Right now our industry is very open ended.