Kevin Hofmaenner joined the RepEquity team in January. As a Search Engine Marketing Manager, he drives SEM results for our diverse range of B-to-B and B-to-C clients. Prior to working at RepEquity, Kevin managed digital marketing campaigns for some of the strongest hospitality brands including the Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton, Fairmont, Intercontinental and Loews. Kevin prides himself on closely following the industry and innovating with new strategies and tools.
What did you expect you would be doing when you graduated college?
I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Integrated Science and Technology from James Madison University. The focus of my degree was towards renewable energy/energy efficiency. I completed an undergraduate internship at an engineering firm where I helped conduct energy efficiency audits on large scale commercial buildings. When I graduated from JMU, I got a job as a Contractor for the Department of Energy in Washington, DC. I had no idea what I wanted to do when I graduated but I ended up finding that working with websites, analytics, and online marketing was more interesting to me.
How did you get started with paid search advertising?
I have always gravitated towards the web and over time it’s become second nature to me. I got my start with paid search marketing by building websites for friends and family. One thing led to another, and I began working at a digital agency that specialized in driving direct revenue for some of the world’s largest Hospitality brands.
What is one piece of advice you would give to someone who wants to pursue a career in paid search marketing?
Read, read, read. Keep abreast with current industry news and blogs. (Kevin recommends Search Engine Land, Search Engine Watch, SEOmoz, Mashable, LinkedIn and Google’s Inside AdWords blog.)
Build a blog or website, even if it’s just getting a tumblr up and running or a WordPress theme going. Install Google Analytics. Play around with registering domains. Learn a little bit of HTML/CSS. Google everything you don’t know and read it all. By doing things, you will run into dead ends that will force you to research and learn.
Get AdWords Certified and Bing Certified. While having certifications does not necessarily mean you know what you are doing, it helps when you are trying to get your foot in the door.
What did your work in the hospitality industry teach you?