7 Helpful Tools for Students Entering the Advertising Industry

7 Helpful Tools for Future Advertising & Strategic Communication Professionals

There are many tools used by advertising and strategic communication professionals, but what are the most useful ones? We consulted seven professionals on the most helpful tools they’ve used throughout their careers and what they would recommend for graduates to start using as they enter the field. Read on to see what these experts had to say and learn about a powerful resource that can help you prepare career-ready graduates!

1. Employ Storytelling in Advertising

One tool or method that I highly recommend for graduates and future professionals entering the fields of advertising and strategic communication is storytelling techniques. Storytelling transcends traditional advertising formats and plays a significant role in captivating audiences and driving engagement. Research has shown that using VR technology to create immersive brand experiences or employing AR to enhance product demonstrations can significantly enhance the effectiveness of advertising campaigns.

By mastering immersive storytelling techniques through technology-driven, interactive multimedia content, professionals can differentiate themselves and add significant value to their work. These technology-driven storytelling methods allow brands to create memorable and impactful narratives that forge emotional connections with audiences and increase brand loyalty. By familiarizing themselves with immersive storytelling tools and techniques early on, graduates and future professionals can stay ahead by positioning themselves as forward-thinking practitioners in the advertising sector.

Matias Rodsevich, Founder, PRHive

2. Automate Workflows via Zapier or HubSpot

As an advertising professional, one tool I highly recommend that graduates and future professionals become proficient with is the development of automation workflows, particularly through platforms like Zapier or HubSpot. These tools are invaluable for streamlining repetitive tasks, allowing you to focus more on strategic planning and creative aspects of your role. Automation can significantly enhance efficiency in tasks such as social media posting, email marketing campaigns, lead tracking, and customer relationship management. By setting up workflows that automatically trigger actions based on specific criteria, you can ensure consistent engagement with your audience without manual intervention for every task.

Getting comfortable with these platforms before entering the workforce can give you a significant advantage. It not only showcases your technical skills but also your ability to innovate and optimize communication processes. This knowledge will enable you to bring immediate value to any role by improving operational efficiency, personalizing customer interactions, and ultimately driving better results in your marketing and communication efforts.

Blake Smith, Marketing Manager, ClockOn

3. Understand Google Analytics

I strongly recommend that everyone in advertising and communications develop a very strong understanding of Google Analytics! Google Analytics (GA) is similar to Microsoft Excel in that there is an incredible depth of functionality available to you, and most people only scratch the surface. Knowing how to set up custom conversion tracking using tools like Google Tag Manager, for example, is incredibly valuable and will likely set you apart from your peers.

Nearly all advertising ultimately ends up directing people to a website, app, or digital property of some kind, and Google Analytics can be used to track, report on, and understand the user behavior on all of these platforms. Understanding what is happening now is crucial to knowing what steps to take next to improve performance and forms the foundation of digital marketing as a whole.

Grant Hensel, CEO, Nonprofit Megaphone

4. Gather Feedback Using SurveyMonkey

SurveyMonkey has been a key tool for me in gathering feedback and insights, whether it’s for market research, customer satisfaction, or even organizing team events. Its intuitive survey design interface and powerful analytics make it easy to collect and interpret data.

For graduates, understanding how to create effective surveys with SurveyMonkey can be invaluable in roles that require data-driven decision-making or customer feedback analysis. It equips you with the skills to conduct research, analyze trends, and make informed recommendations, which are crucial competencies in many fields, including marketing, product development, and HR.

Tom Golubovich, Head of Marketing, Ninja Transfers

5. Design Like a Pro with Canva

Canva Pro can really make you look like a seasoned professional. From social posts to reports to videos, it seems like Canva covers everything you need to ensure that every piece of collateral you create comes from an actual designer. And if you’re just starting to look for a job, the resume templates are fantastic as well. Plus, if you need inspiration for text, the new AI tools will suggest content from basic text to fun headlines. It’s the most all-encompassing tool that my marketing team has found, and we can’t imagine working without it.

Lisha Dunlap, PR Marketing Manager, Chandler Gilbert Community College

6. Create Ads with Meta Ads Manager

A great tool/platform that I used extensively in college, and that I use for my businesses to this day, which I would recommend to graduates/future professionals in this field, is to start using Meta Ads Manager before or as they enter the workforce. Meta Ads Manager is an online tool/software that allows you to create and run ads across Facebook, Instagram, Audience Network, and Messenger.

Every company in this social media age has a Facebook or Instagram account that Meta Ads Manager connects to, so they are always on the lookout for advertising talent straight out of college who are well-versed in this platform. While there are a lot of features and properties to memorize in Meta Ads Manager, understanding the concepts and structure of creating these advertising campaigns is fairly simple and easy to learn. If students are studying some form of social media advertising and strategic communication and they want a job in this field of work, dipping their toes in Meta Ads Manager is always a great first step to getting that job!

Bill Lyons, CEO, Griffin Funding

7. Organize with Notion

Notion has become my go-to tool for organizing virtually everything in my life, from daily tasks to comprehensive project management. Its incredible versatility allows me to create custom layouts that suit any need, whether it’s for tracking my job applications or managing a complex project with my team. I’ve even used it to compile resources and notes for personal learning.

For graduates about to enter the workforce, I can’t recommend Notion enough; it not only helps you stay organized but also impresses in a professional setting with its capability for detailed project documentation and collaboration. The earlier you start integrating Notion into your routine, the more adept you’ll become at managing various aspects of your professional life efficiently.

Sergey Taver, Marketing Manager, Precision Watches

Create Career-Ready Graduates with the “Strategic Communication” Courseware

The “Strategic Communication Essentials” courseware provides a foundation for effective, holistic communications strategies. This resource pairs an authoritative text with hundreds of resources for educators, giving you the tools you need to introduce students to the strategic communications ecosystem and infrastructure; research application and techniques; writing, budgeting, and funding master plans; and issues management and crisis communications.

This courseware includes engaging assignments, detailed lesson plans, and auto-graded quizzes, making it easier to teach the systems and processes that facilitate strategic communication.

To learn about Stukent’s first-in-the-world Simternships™ and courseware and to get FREE instructor access to Stukent materials, visit our website.

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