Social media marketing: The new face of advertising

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Market Campus set up its main campus on University Avenue. The company specializes in teaching social media marketing. (Brandon Hassler)
Market Campus set up its main campus on University Avenue. The company specializes in teaching social media marketing. (Brandon Hassler)

Digital advertising is increasingly necessary to reach online consumers, and entrepreneurs are looking for instruction on how to approach marketing in a digital world. With hundreds of business ventures beginning every year between Salt Lake City and Spanish Fork, demand for digital marketing instruction has risen.

Cue the arrival of Brandon Hassler and Joshua Moody, two social media experts who have started a new program in Provo geared toward helping local startups. Hassler and Moody both work for 97th Floor, a digital marketing company in Lehi. Their new business, known as Market Campus, is the culmination of years of online marketing experience brought together and taught in semester-long increments.

Hassler, who created provobuzz.com and helped develop marketing strategies for companies like Discover, Intuit and Adobe, started Market Campus to help struggling new advertisers.

I’ve noticed that most people have no idea how to actually execute a digital marketing campaign,” Hassler said. “Josh and I wanted to create an affordable way people could learn everything they need to know about digital marketing and land an awesome job regardless of whether you have a college education or not.”

With so many technology companies moving operations to Utah, the Market Campus duo thought being based in Provo was a logical decision. Hassler cited Google’s operations in Provo, coupled with the high student population, as two dominant factors for setting up shop in Cougar Town.

As of June 2014, Utah Valley is ranked next to New York, Seattle and Los Angeles as one of the top places to land a digital marketing career. Moody offered advice to those wanting to start a business on a low budget. “Online you see small companies taking on giants and many times winning. It’s more about being able to execute timely strategies and personally connect with customers and influencers than it is about having insanely large marketing budgets,” he said.

Hassler and Moody point out that a business should be linked up with Twitter, Facebook and especially Google+. They reiterate that even though Google+ may seem like a ghost town, it’s the second largest social media platform in terms of active users. It’s a network businesses should utilize because it is projected to overtake Facebook by 2016.

Market Campus is typically a 12-week course consisting of two night classes and a Saturday morning session each week, making it possible for both students and full-time day workers to attend. The shortened and discounted six-week Marketing Campus course began July 8, with two other full-time courses starting the first couple days in September. Those who complete the course walk away with certification that will help course graduates land a marketing job.

Cole Saber, a Park City resident and international lawyer who deals with business in China, agrees that social media can be powerful. “Social media, especially from what I have seen among Chinese youth, can be a great tool in promoting a cause or business … it’s a ‘need to know’ element of marketing,” he said.

Tuition for the full course is $2,300, a reasonable investment considering that online marketers make an average of $65,000 a year.

Hassler stated the ultimate goal of the course by announcing, “We will do everything we can to make sure our students leave with a completely new and better understanding of digital marketing as well as a job opportunity.” 

The campus is located in downtown Provo at 443 N. University Ave. near the Bombay House. For more information, or to sign up for classes, visit marketcampus.com.

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