I’ve been doing a lot of Python programming related to data analytics lately, and I noticed right off the bat that a lot of the skills could apply to internet marketing. For example, I was contact by an SEO company the other day mentioning how Python could be coupled with Google APIs to get excellent data and increase efficiency within the business. So I checked it out.
One of the big things that really stuck out to me was the Google AdWords API. A lot of digital marketing companies use pay per click advertising, and with the AdWords API you can automate a lot of the features, such as keyword analysis and optimization of spending.
If you’re interested in working with Python and the AdWords API, here’s a quick primer on the Python lib developed to work with it.
Now with the technicals set aside for the moment, I want to draw attention to the real power internet marketers would have if they understood programming. Think of all the APIs that could be used to create amazing SaaS products. Most of the products that many IM pros use are just pulling data from Google. Check out SEMRush, Moz, Majestic, and any keyword tool out there. They all pull data from the big G.
I’m not saying you should go build one of these websites, but there I am saying you should learn a language, like Python, that lets you automate a lot of mundane tasks. Maybe if it solves a big enough problem you can go and get it fully developed into a web app if you want, but that’s a post for another day :D.
The SEO company mentioned above contacted me about using the AdWords API specifically to get keyword volumes. Having that data is essential for finding profitable, low competition keywords, and in a marketers hands could generate massive income for themselves or their clients.
If you’re a marketer and at all interested in this concept of programming to streamline your business, you can do one of two things.
- Learn the language (Python is easy) by checking the free courses from Coursera, Edx, or by paying for a course on Udemy. Look for something that builds a good foundation of understanding. Also, look to find something you’re truly interested in that you want to pursue while you’re learning. For example, maybe you want to automate a file backup on an external drive. Learn how to create a really simple Python app that scans a designated folder on your hard drive and auto updates the USB backup drive file when new changes have been made. This will teach you how to run automated tasks on Windows or Mac, which is an essential skill to make things work for you without having to keep manually re-running them.
- Learn how to hire good developers. I don’t really like this method because it takes you out of the process. When you’re actually doing the work you get little insights that your dev may not transfer over to you. Regardless, hiring is a skill that you’ll need to know to scale up anything in your life, so you might as well do it now.
Both ways are good, and I think they should both be done eventually. If you have an agency, I’d probably suggest the second way if you have an idea and some money to use. If you’re just a guy looking to start out, feel free to take some spare time and learn programming in Python while you’re getting your IM skills sorted out.