Being a digital marketer and marketing manager myself, I understand the challenges that teenaged students face when diving into the world of online marketing. Between limited access to tech and the fear of messing something up, many young people aren’t exactly sure how to start. Sure, they have heard of SEO, but don’t know what it means or how to use it.
If you are a high school student interested in getting into marketing but unsure of where to start, here are some of the best tips I can offer. Be sure to check out the tips at the end of the post for some additional suggestions.
Set A Budget
Before you start spending money on any digital marketing campaign, whether it’s on Facebook, Instagram, or any other social media channel, you’ll first need to set a budget. It’s essential that you know how much you are able to spend, otherwise, you’ll never be able to track your ROI (Return on Investment). Knowing how much you can spend is more important than knowing how much you can afford. You’ll also want to set a cap on how many hours you are willing to commit to this venture. Be realistic about this and don’t expect to be perfect at this. This is a difficult task for anyone, let alone teenagers. Take your time and explore every option available to you.
Learn From Mistakes
One of the best things that can help you get started is learning from mistakes. Whenever you make a mistake in digital marketing, you’ll learn something new and you’ll be able to apply it the next time you try something new. This is why I always recommend starting small then growing your way up. If you are looking for an easy way to get started, I also recommend jumping into Instagram marketing. There are lots of free tools and apps that you can use to easily get started with. Don’t be afraid to make a few mistakes along the way but above all, make sure that you are adjusting your strategy based on what is working and what is not.
Build A Small Audience
Even though you might not yet have a large audience, you can still start your own marketing team for an elementary school or high school. The most important thing is that you are building an audience. An audience is something that you can use to find potential clients. Having a small number of people (or a personal audience) that know, like, and trust you is more valuable than a large number of people that you know nothing about. An audience allows you to target the right people with your products or services. A good rule of thumb is to choose platforms that either your students, parents, or teachers use.
Find A Niche
If you are a high school student and want to get into marketing, you’ll need to pick a niche. This is something that you’ll have to decide upon yourself. A niche is a group of people or an area of interest that you can specialize in. Your niche should be something that you can build upon. A niche that is too broad is much more difficult to specialize in. Once you pick a niche, you can start researching the market size and the available platforms. There are many niches in digital marketing, so you’ll have your pick of ideas from which to choose.
Here are some examples of popular niches:
- Music Marketing
- Event Marketing
- Video Production
- Sustainable Shopping
Pick A Platform
The next step is to pick a platform. This is something that you’ll have to decide upon with your school’s administrative team. The platform should be one that can reach your target audience. Once you have your platform in mind, it’s time to move on to the next step.
Create A Strategy
Now that you have a niche and a platform in mind, it’s time to create a strategy. A strategy is something that you’ll use to map out the direction of your marketing plan. It helps you decide what platforms to use and how to use them. Sometimes, you’ll also need to adjust your budget based on the strategy. A good strategy will take a lot of thinking and exploring different options. It is a continuous process, which is why I recommend starting small and then evolving the strategy as you go along.
Once you have your strategy in place, it’s time to dive in and start marketing. Marketing is the process of getting the word out there about your existence and what you offer. There are many different types of marketing strategies, so you’ll have to choose one that suits you best. Once you start, it’s also important to track the results of your marketing efforts. This way, you’ll be able to see how effective your strategy was and if you need to make any adjustments. Above all, make sure that you are not spending more than you can afford.
An Important Note About Budget
Budget is important. Too many students think that because they are doing something for free that it does not cost money. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The main purpose of having a budget is to keep track of what you spend so that you can accurately budget for the next phase. Once you start making money, it’s a different story and you won’t need to keep track of every penny anymore.
As I stated before, creating a marketing strategy is a lot of work. This is why I recommend starting small then expanding as you go. A good place to start is with a small donation to a crowdfunding campaign and then step up your game gradually. This way, you’ll be able to track your progress and see the results of your efforts. This article is not meant to be a complete guide to getting started with online marketing for high school students. Instead, it is meant to give you some ideas for how to get started and to provide some resources, should you choose to do so.