Member StoriesKaren Butterfield

Karen Butterfield

Specialist Diploma in Search Marketing

Member since: December 2018

DMI Specialist

Specialist Diploma in Search Marketing

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Since completing the course at the Digital Marketing Institute, I have not only the tools I need to begin implementing new strategies, but the knowledge I need to do so with confidence.

Tell us a bit about your story before the Digital Marketing Institute.

I came from the world of journalism, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri. During my senior year of college, I began an internship with the community newspaper in my hometown. Upon graduation, I worked as a general assignment reporter and then editor, before taking on the Director of Communications role for an executive search firm. Since joining the team, I have helped expand the firm's presence and maintain its reputation as a trusted Top 10 healthcare executive search firm. I focus on creating client facing documents, as well as website and social media maintenance and SEO/SEM activities.

What influenced your decision to study in the Digital Field?

I had some experience with content management systems, social media and site maintenance from my previous role. I did not, however, have any technical background, optimization experience or real search marketing skills, and I didn't even know where to begin. In my previous role, the website was a shared responsibility, but direct oversight and maintenance – particularly technical – all fell to the Digital Director/IT Manager.

It was clear that to be successful in my new role I would need to expand my depth of knowledge in search engine optimization and search engine marketing. Organizational leadership was supportive of this desire both in terms of brand and professional development.

Why did you choose to study your course in the Digital Marketing Institute?

When I decided it was time to gain new skills, I began with the research phase. I created a spreadsheet of available courses, whether it offered a certification, length of the course, starting dates, target audiences, class details, costs, format and other considerations, listing out these details, as well as pros and cons for a dozen options from one day courses to certifications, professional diplomas and degree programs.

During my research, I found the Specialist Diploma in Search Marketing course offered through the Digital Marketing Institute. The brochure listed program content, information about the class network, a certification and continued membership programs for professional development. I reached out to the Digital Marketing Institute and several other programs for more information. The correspondence I received from the Digital Marketing Institute was responsive, expansive and informational.

If my experience with staff members in the beginning wasn't a clear enough indicator that the Digital Marketing Institute would be a perfect choice to meet my learning goals, I quickly learned that was the case by browsing the website. I believe that a person cannot be too educated, especially in the digital field, and learning the skills I did in the Search Marketing Course at the Digital Marketing Institute will benefit myself and my organization for years to come.

Since completing the course in the Digital Marketing Institute, how has your career progressed?

The executive recruiting firm Grant Cooper was supportive of my educational aspirations. During the course, as I learned new concepts, I made a list of SEO and search marketing goals and strategies to reach those goals, as well as a log to track progress. I also created a separate list of ideas, topics I need to learn more about and how they can help our firm reach its search marketing goals.

I loved that the modules built on each other, so students could learn to plan, implement and measure strategies. Concepts were explored in-depth, rather than as a broad overview. Since completing the course at the Digital Marketing Institute, I have not only the tools I need to begin implementing new strategies, but the knowledge I need to do so with confidence.

Is there any advice you would give to new or future students at the Digital Marketing Institute?

For future students: just enroll. You will not regret the decision! For current students: if you don't know the answer to something, ask!

The team at the Digital Marketing Institute is responsive and thorough. I'd also suggest taking notes, not only to help study for the test, but for future reference.

In one word, how would you describe your time in the Digital Marketing Institute?