Digital marketing is a vast yet remarkably young field that does not accommodate general specialism, as there are different extensive areas within the field. This means that you can specialize in any digital marketing role like content marketing, social media, digital strategy, growth marketing, search engine optimization, and email marketing. However, formal education and training lag in providing the ever-growing skillset needed, creating a skills gap in the industry. Plus, the digital marketing skills gap continues to grow as the years go by.
With the continuous growth of the digital marketplace, it is essential to close the skills gap by arming yourself with the right digital marketing skills to enable you to stand out among the competition, even without vast work experience. Besides, you don’t need an advanced college degree or formal experience to land your first digital marketing job. This article will discuss the multiple ways you can use to get digital marketing jobs. So, let’s get right to it.
1. Know the Digital Marketing Basics
Before you choose a specialist field or invest in digital marketing training, your first step is to understand digital marketing and all its different components.
Digital marketing, also referred to as online marketing, is a comprehensive term used to describe the varying marketing methods and processes used to promote products and services on the internet. This field is extensive with different channels such as search engine marketing, content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, website marketing, video marketing, and affiliate marketing. As stated earlier, this field does not accommodate holistic specialism, but it is vital to have the necessary skills needed if you want to stand out.
While digital marketing technical skills are essential, most professionals might argue that soft skills have a higher standing. Soft skills can help you effectively collaborate with others, and in a dynamic field like Digital marketing, they are needed more than ever. Even though some soft skills come more naturally to some people than others, you can learn and develop them over time. Besides, many digital marketing recruiters want to hire people with technical and soft skills to do the job. Highlighted below are some of the soft skills you need in digital marketing.
Digital marketing involves different methods and channels to communicate to an audience – which is why communication is a significant skill to have in this field. With strong communication skills, digital marketers will be able to analyze their target audience and express their concepts clearly and concisely to them. Additionally, this soft skill makes it easy for you to communicate with clients and team members, fostering sales and teamwork.
The digital marketing field is a fast-changing one, with new tools and practices constantly emerging every day – meaning that adaptability is a must-have in this field. Adapting to the constant changes in the digital marketing field is the only way to ensure you don’t get left behind. Also, because of the extensive nature of this field with its different channels, you need to be able to adapt to the varying digital marketing roles you’d have to take on, especially in the early stage of your career. This way, you will be able to build your skill level while remaining an invaluable member of your digital marketing team.
To be successful in digital marketing, you need to understand data and know ways to interpret it to create marketing campaigns and strategies. Analytical skills will enable you to know the digital marketing strategies working and those not working for your clients. It will also allow you to gain insight into consumer behaviour. You need to demonstrate your data interpretation and visualization skills to stand out above the rest. However, if this skill doesn’t come easy, you can continuously develop it over time.
Problem-solving is an essential skill to have in digital marketing. Many things can go wrong in this field, and you need to be able to proffer solutions without panicking. Having a practical approach to issues will always set you apart from your peers, as digital marketing will require you to tackle the problems from new angles using innovative solutions.
Writing is a primary transferrable skill that will make you stand out amongst other applicants. Besides, digital marketing involves writing sales campaigns, emails, and blog posts to attract consumers, and with solid writing skills, you will be able to create successful marketing campaigns. However, it is vital to note that writing for the internet is vastly different from average college writing.
Suppose you don’t usually work well in a team. In that case, digital marketing may not be the right industry for you because working in digital marketing means working closely with a bigger marketing team. Even digital marketing freelancers need to work in a group when implementing marketing strategies. Plus, if you want to continue this career path, you must build your interpersonal and communication skills.
As a digital marketer in a constantly evolving industry, you need to have an insatiable curiosity and thirst for knowledge. With the varying marketing channels in the digital marketing world, it is impossible to be an expert in all areas. However, choosing a specialist field and continuously learning about it is the best way to build your proficiency and advance your career. Additionally, you can be curious about different digital marketing channels before deciding on the most preferred one.
To be a successful digital marketer, you need to be creative regardless of your marketing field, as this skill will enable your campaigns to stand out. Creativity allows you to think outside the box and look for innovative ways to solve different problems.
2. Choose Your Digital Marketing Specialist Field
As stated earlier, there are different digital marketing specialist areas, and you do not need to be an expert in all of them. However, you need to be comfortable with the various digital marketing channels, but you only need to specialize in one or two to increase your earning potential. Being a generalist will enable you to discover the specialist area you enjoy and have an aptitude for, making your career decision easier. Besides, you can also choose the field where you have the interest and required skills to get the best out of your marketing career. Outlined below are the digital marketing roles in high demand you should note.
1. Search Engine Optimization & Search Engine Marketing
Whether they are SEO specialists, every digital marketer should have a basic handle of what search engine marketing and optimization entails. You don’t need to know the technical ins and outs, but having a solid understanding of SEO is essential to running a successful digital marketing campaign. Besides, SEO and SEM back every digital strategy, and if you don’t understand how they work together, you will not be able to communicate appropriately with your teammates.
On the other hand, a search engine optimization specialist or marketing specialist manages organic and paid campaigns on search engines. They are also responsible for data gathering and analysis, market trend research, page optimization, keywords implementation, and campaign execution. Additionally, this field can be challenging to specialize in because of the continuously fluctuating search engine algorithms, but there is potential for high earnings.
2. Pay-Per-Click (PPC)
Pay-per-click refers to paid internet advertising, usually through search engines like Bing Ads and Google AdWords. PPC specialists are responsible for planning, executing, and managing online advertising campaigns, including the ad performance analysis. This role, although challenging, is highly sought after as it involves varying responsibilities ranging from keyword research to trend analysis, campaign optimization, landing page design and trend watching. Plus, PPC specialists have to understand customer behaviour to determine customer intent, enabling them to place the right keywords and copy.
3. Email Marketing
All digital marketers must understand email marketing basics regardless of their specialization, as email marketing involves using email to market products and services. On the other hand, email marketing specialists are responsible for leading email campaign strategies, identifying the target audiences, managing email databases, creating newsletters, and analyzing campaign performance.
On the other hand, email marketing specialists are responsible for leading email campaign strategies, identifying the target audiences, managing email databases, creating newsletters, and analyzing campaign performance. These skills can be used to build a b2b leads database that will help increase conversions. Besides, email marketing specialists need to have copywriting, communication, and project management skills to run successful email marketing techniques.
4. Conversion Rate Optimization
Conversion rate optimization specialists work to improve social media and website conversion and engagement. They enable businesses to understand how their customers use their website and engage with social media. They are typically responsible for optimizing the business’s lead generation and managing conversion points in the digital marketing funnel. Some of the skills required for this role include problem-solving, communication, time management, multitasking, and critical thinking.
5. Web Development
As a digital marketer, you need to know how to build landing pages, update pages, and perform other basic web functionalities. You can use some web development tools to master the basics, including WordPress, Joomla, Magento, and Drupal. Plus, there are different content management systems, and you do not need to know the details of all of them, but you need to learn and understand the one your organization uses.
6. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a digital marketing channel that involves promoting other people’s products and services for a commission. An affiliate marketing specialist is responsible for handling the business relationships between marketing affiliates and retailers. Additional responsibilities include building affiliate networks, monitoring affiliate sites and managing affiliates. Some of the skills required for this role include communication, teamwork, analytics, and negotiation skills. Besides, you can use tools like Impact Radius, CJ Affiliate, JvZoo, and ClickBank to master this role.
7. Social Media Marketing
Social media is one of the major digital marketing channels organizations can use to reach their customers. This digital marketing role involves building your audience on different social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. As a specialist in this field, you are responsible for adapting the organization’s brand voice to the different platforms and connecting with your audience. Other responsibilities include social media strategy design and implementation, trend research, ROI reporting, content generation, and traffic management. Also, you need copywriting, content management, and problem-solving skills.
8. Marketing automation
Marketing automation involves using software to automate repetitive marketing tasks like nurturing a prospective customer into a paying customer, providing after-sales services, and encouraging repeat business. Specialists in this role are responsible for running automated marketing campaigns like scheduling social media posts, measuring campaign metrics, creating A/B tests, automating email marketing flows, and other digital marketing functions. These specialists need interpersonal skills, teamwork, and communication skills as they work closely with project managers, developers, and other digital marketers. Additionally. Marketo, Bronto, and Pardot are just a few of the tools you need to master in this role.
9. Web Analytics
Web analytics specialists use data analytics to determine website effectiveness to improve user experience, traffic, and conversions. This role involves creating data-driven marketing solutions, analyzing user data, and generating insights and visualizations. You can use different web analytics tools, like Google Analytics, enabling you to spend more time interpreting data collected. To be successful in this field, you need to follow the online marketing trends and work with other marketing team members to implement your solutions.
10. Content marketing
This role involves creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to a defined audience. Content marketing manifests in blog posts, emails, newsletters, landing pages, white papers, and product descriptions. Content marketing specialists need to understand how to create SEO-optimized content and share them on the proper channels. Plus, strong writing skills and attention to detail are must-have skills for this role.
3. How to Learn the Digital Marketing Skills
Once you’ve decided on the digital marketing career path, the next step is to find a course or training to learn the skills needed. The good news is that there are different digital marketing certification courses you can take online – free and paid alike. Also, you will find some of these courses on sites like Udemy, Coursera, LinkedIn learning, HubSpot, Google, and others—with a plethora of options to choose from. Some examples of digital marketing courses you can opt for include:
- Facebook Blueprint
- Google Academy for Ads
- Moz SEO learning centre
- HubSpot Inbound Marketing
- Google Analytics Academy
- Bing Ads Accreditation
- Hootsuite Academy
- HubSpot Online Marketing Course
- SEMRUSH Academy
- Google Digital Garage
4. Start Freelancing
The next step you need to take to become a professional in this field is to get hands-on work as a digital marketer. Freelancing is a good way to test your knowledge while gaining valuable experience to build your digital marketing portfolio. You can look for small businesses that need your skillset and help them grow their online presence, or you can opt for freelance websites to enable you to boost your skills faster. Before signing up to any freelance sites, you need to build your portfolio, as this would show prospective clients that you have the skills and expertise.
Some freelance sites you can choose from are Fiverr, Upwork, Freelancer, PeoplePerHour, FlexJobs, and others. After signing up, ensure you showcase your skill level and set competitive freelance rates. Besides, the more clients and companies you work with, the greater your experience and skill set.
5. Get an internship or apprenticeship
There are other ways you can get valuable experience apart from freelancing, such as getting apprenticeships and internships. Internships in established digital marketing agencies will expose you to some practices that will enable you continuously develop your skill. Although most internships are unpaid, the hands-on experience will set you apart from your peers with no agency experience and improve your portfolio. Plus, most companies retain apprentices when their apprenticeship is over, so it is good to make a good impression.
6. Apply to Digital Marketing Agencies
The first step to applying for digital marketing jobs is researching the companies you apply to. This research will enable you to tailor your application to fit the role. You should also highlight your skills and strengths on your CV while ensuring they overlap with the agency’s requirements. Before your interview, you should prepare yourself with likely questions, enabling you to plan.
During your interview, you should emphasize on digital marketing problems you have solved while giving detailed examples of the value you brought to different digital marketing campaigns. Some digital marketing jobs require you to take an assessment to access your skill level, so you must prepare for it. If you managed to excel in your test and interview and the company sent you an offer, you need to negotiate your salary instead of accepting it once you get it.
Most entry-level digital marketers make the mistake of accepting the initial offer because of the excitement, but the first offer is often not the best the company can offer. Also, you must remember that you are a valuable asset to the company, so don’t be afraid to ask for more.