If you are looking for a career that is varied, challenging, creative, is in demand, and offers lots of opportunities for progression, digital marketing is a great choice. Most businesses and brands have an online presence of some kind, but without a digital marketing strategy, they can often find themselves lost in the crowd. In the modern marketplace, having a digital marketing professional on board can be the difference between success and failure for businesses, and the demand for them is set to increase significantly over the next decade.
However, while a career in digital marketing is a great choice, it can be difficult to get your career off the ground when you have no experience. To help you get started, this guide takes you through the key steps to follow when launching a career in digital marketing.
Be ready to learn and adapt
Digital marketing best practices and industry trends are always changing, and it is vital that you stay as up to date as possible. Search engines and social media platforms are changing their algorithms several times a day, so taking your eyes off the ball is a real risk.
You should be ready to learn new techniques at a moment’s notice and take every opportunity you can to broaden your skillset. Being a ‘T-shaped’ marketer is a term often used, which means that you have a good understanding of several different marketing techniques, but you specialize in one or two areas.
Network as often as you can
Learning about the digital marketing industry from articles on the internet is a good place to start, but you also need to connect with and learn from people who are already established in the industry. Get yourself to some digital marketing conferences where you will hear expert speakers talk about the latest industry developments, attend workshops and seminars, and have the chance to meet like-minded professionals. Take business cards with you, and be sure to follow up your conversations with an email a few days later. The people you meet could be a great source of advice and knowledge, and you might even hear of a job opportunity through them.
Create and promote your personal brand
You will be asking a company to let you build a brand for them, so why not show them that you are more than capable by using yourself as a pilot project? Think of your professional self as a brand and start promoting yourself on social media. Open some public accounts where you can share content, engage with other digital marketers, and build a following. You might even want to build a website where you can post blogs and other content that you have created. Establish yourself as an online presence, and companies will be more likely to believe that you can do the same for them. This will also give you the chance to test your skills in SEO, PPC, and content marketing.
Learn the terminology
It will not take long for you to come across a term, phrase, or acronym which you do not understand, as the digital marketing world is full of them. You should spend some time getting to know as many of them as you can because you do not want to have to stumble across them for the first time in a job interview. For example, SEO is search engine optimization, PPC is pay-per-click (as in advertising), SEM is search engine marketing, CPL is cost per lead. It is easy to get confused, but it is important to understand what they mean, and how they come together in a marketing strategy. Take a look at a digital marketing glossary.
Get familiar with the technical side
While you may not be working on the technical aspects of building a website, designing pages, or uploading content, you need to be familiar with the jargon and terminology your colleagues will be using. You will need to communicate what you need in terms of page design, user experience, HTML, and plenty of other features, so do some reading around the topic prior to any interviews. If you can show that you have some understanding of the technical aspects of digital marketing, you will appear a much more rounded candidate who will go the extra mile.
Become an analytics expert
Digital marketing is multi-faceted, and it takes a lot of different techniques to achieve long-term success, but one area which has risen to prominence in recent years is data analysis. Thanks to the internet and technology, businesses now have access to a huge amount of data, which can help them to streamline their operation and grow their revenue. The key to this lies in the ability to track and analyze performance metrics relating to customer behavior and the impact of marketing activities.
If you can collect and understand data and combine this with algorithms, machine learning, and your own interpretation, you can discover the cheat codes to marketing. You will find out how each marketing channel performs, where you should be investing your time and money, which communication styles work best, and how/when your customers are shopping. Using predictive analytics can tell you how your customers are likely to behave in the future, so you can adapt your marketing strategy accordingly. Click here for more information on predictive analytics.
Certify your skills
During an interview, you will talk about what you have read, show them your portfolio of campaign mock-ups, and throw a few marketing buzzwords into the conversation, but how do you ensure you are remembered over the other candidates? Evidence your skills with certification or a master’s degree.
There are plenty of marketing graduates out there, and some people enter the industry without any formal training at all, so having an accredited qualification that shows your level of expertise will set you apart. In the past, many people would talk their way into a marketing team by using the right words, bragging about their wacky campaign ideas, and brimming with confidence, but businesses are less naïve than they used to be. Marketing professionals should be confident, educated, and creative, but they also need to be able to back up their words with measurable results and evidence.