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Digital marketing is the online promotion of people, brands, products or services. Digital marketers are people who write email campaigns and create social media profiles to represent their clients. Learning more about this field and the skills involved can help you determine whether it’s the right career for you. 

A digital marketer is someone who uses various digital channels to reach customers and prospects, promoting products and services and raising brand awareness. They can be responsible for strategy, planning, creativity and implementation. They advertise and promote brands, people, products, services and companies online. To do this, they may use email campaigns, clickable ads, social media strategies and content creation.

Successful digital marketers understand many digital marketing techniques. They may use content marketing like blog posts, eBooks and infographics to promote their client. Digital marketers may also use email or mobile promotion techniques, like SMS promotions or newsletters. Social media management is an important part of digital marketing as well, as it allows digital marketing specialists to grow and engage with their client’s audiences. This allows digital marketers to create feedback with customers to improve future marketing activities.

Below are some of the duties of a digital marketer:

  • Creating digital marketing strategies
  • Identifying trends and insights using online channels
  • Managing digital channels such as ad campaigns and social media
  • Tracking return on investment (ROI) and key performance indicators (KPI)
  • Analyzing campaigns to improve future content

Though obtaining a digital marketing degree can make it simpler to find a position within the field, it’s optional for some digital marketing jobs. You may enter the digital marketing field if you have a degree in a different field like creative writing, advertising or graphic design. The skills you learn while earning those degrees may be similar to the ones you need as a digital marketer. For example, in an advertising program, an aspiring marketer can develop communication and analysis skills.

Also, if you’re skilled in social media understanding, writing and search engine optimization, a bachelor’s may be optimal. Most digital marketing positions search for candidates with a high school diploma or equivalent, but not all require higher learning degrees. This depends on the specific organization you’re working for, as different hiring teams have different requirements for their ideal candidates, though many organizations are also searching for candidates with specialized skills or superior knowledge of digital marketing. You can gain these through additional education or certifications.

Skills for Successful Digital Marketers

These are some of the top skills for digital marketers:

  • Writing skills: A big part of digital marketing can involve writing social media content, emails and blog posts to attract consumers. Strong writing skills can help digital marketers create successful campaigns.
  • Communication: Digital marketing specialists communicate effectively with their clients. Engaging in active listening can help you understand a client’s needs and provide the best possible services you can.
  • Analysis and statistics: Digital marketing specialists are skilled with statistics and analysis so they can understand which digital marketing techniques are working best for their clients. The ability to adapt and find the best digital marketing strategy for each company or brand helps digital marketing specialists succeed.
  • Social media algorithms: Successful digital marketing specialists understand social media algorithms and can predict changes within the algorithm system.
  • Creative graphic design: Though this is optional for many digital marketers, having a basic understanding of graphic design can allow digital marketing specialists to assess the quality of the graphics they’re using in their campaigns. Digital marketers who can not only write but also create graphics for campaigns may be attractive to employers, particularly small- to medium-sized companies.
  • Website development: Blogs and sales pages are important aspects of the digital marketing field, and understanding how to build and design them using different content management systems or understanding basic HTML coding can be helpful for digital marketing specialists.
  • Pitching and advertising: If you’re working as an independent digital marketer, you may pitch your services to potential clients, and if you’re working for a company, you may pitch potential campaigns or advertising designs to your clients or management. These are important skills for digital marketers to have because they’re skilled in marketing for their clients and themselves.
  • Organization: Many digital marketers are responsible for planning and executing campaigns, with multiple channels being used consecutively. Strong organizational skills can help ensure all deadlines are met, posts are scheduled and digital channels are optimized effectively.

How to Get a Job in Digital Marketing

You can follow these steps to get a job in digital marketing:

1. Learn The Basics of Digital Marketing

For beginners in digital marketing, the first obvious step is to understand what digital marketing is and the main components that make up digital marketing. Digital marketing, or online marketing as it is sometimes known, is a broad term that is used to describe the process of marketing on the Internet.

It has several channels that cover all areas of online promotion. You need to understand that it’s not a single discipline, but it has many processes that can participate in a digital marketing campaign.

In particular, digital marketing has the following channels:

  • Search Engine Marketing – covers two areas: search engine optimization (organic SEO) and paid search advertising.
  • Website Marketing – techniques for promoting your website on the internet.
  • Content Marketing – how to use different types of content in your digital marketing campaigns.
  • Email Marketing – marketing products or services using email.
  • Social Media Marketing – marketing on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media networks
  • Mobile Marketing – marketing on the various App Stores (Google Play, Apple Store)
  • Video Marketing – marketing on YouTube, Vimeo, and other video channels
  • Affiliate Marketing – making sales by promoting other people’s products and getting an affiliate commission.

A good digital marketing specialist should have the necessary skills to work with ALL the above channels.

2. Start Your Own Website

Once you learn the basics, the next step is to get your hands dirty and start practicing digital marketing. One of the best ways to apply different digital marketing concepts in the real world is to start your own website.

Read Also: How Can I Improve my Digital Marketing Skills?

Digital marketing is not a theoretical concept, but it’s highly measurable and practical. It’s not enough to know the theory behind SEO and social media marketing. You need to know how to apply the different techniques in practice.

Throughout your digital marketing career, you’ll be asked to promote different kinds of websites to either increase their organic traffic (SEO) or sales through PPC and social media advertising. To gain the necessary skills and confidence, start your own website combining both concepts.

In other words, set up a blog and work on increasing your rankings and, at the same time, either create a product or find a product to promote through advertising and try to make sales.

Having your own website will not only help you to learn different concepts, but you can use it as a showcase to convince new employers or clients to trust you and secure a good contract or job.

3. Become An SEO Expert

You cannot start a career in digital marketing if you are not good at SEO. You first need to become an SEO expert and then build other skills. With SEO you’ll learn how to create websites that both users and search engines love, and you can apply the same concepts to improve your Google Ads and Facebook paid campaigns.

Build your SEO career gradually and when you feel that you have mastered the skills of SEO, continue with the rest.

4. Get a Google Ads Certification

Part of your job responsibilities as a digital marketing professional is to use Google Ads to promote products or services in the various Google properties and websites on the Internet.

The fastest way to acquire the necessary skills is to get a Google Ads certification. There are many online resources to help you become a Google Ads Expert, and getting a certification is a great way to prove to your clients or potential employers that you have the necessary skills.

5. Master Facebook Ads Advertising

The next step is to start with social media marketing and in particular Facebook Ads. As a digital marketing specialist, you need to learn how the different social media networks work (Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn) but the majority of your time and campaign budget, will be spent on Facebook and Instagram.

Facebook besides being a great social network, is now one of the most important tools for any digital marketing campaign. Getting organic exposure on Facebook is getting harder so the only way to use Facebook as a selling tool, is to learn how to use its advertising platform.

If you have already followed the steps above and have good knowledge of SEO and Google Ads, learning how to use Facebook Ads will not be difficult. Many of the concepts are similar to PPC but you still need to learn how to use the tool and familiarize yourself with the various Facebook policies.

6. Become An Expert In Google Analytics

Besides learning the different tools that can generate traffic, a digital marketing expert needs to know Analytics.

One of the main characteristics of any digital marketing campaign is that everything is measurable. You know how many people viewed your campaigns, how many people clicked on your ads, how many conversions they generated, and a lot of other metrics that cover every aspect of a campaign.

To be able to make informed decisions based on real data, you need to know how to measure the effectiveness of a campaign and how to analyze the results.

Your starting point is becoming an expert in Google Analytics.

7. Get a Digital Marketing Job As a Freelancer

The next step in your career path to becoming a digital marketer is to get a real digital marketing job. Starting your own website (step 2 above) is a great way to practice the different digital marketing techniques, but doing digital marketing for a client is a different story.

Handling client accounts will ‘force’ you to set up procedures, improve your analytics and reporting skills, learn how to handle budgets, and manage client communication. You can use job portals like upwork.com, peopleperhour.com, and fivver.com to apply for digital marketing jobs.

If you are a beginner, start with easy and quick tasks first and gradually move into bigger projects. It’s difficult for freelancers with no feedback to get a job assigned, so make sure that you:

  • Read the job posting requirements carefully and reply to any questions.
  • Reply fast. A job application will receive hundreds of applicants, so ensure yours is on top of the list.
  • Keep your prices low and reasonable. If you have no experience, you cannot charge a premium fee. Your goal at this stage is to gain experience so that you can make money later.

8. Work As a Digital Marketing Intern

Another way to grow your skills and experience fast is to get a real job as a digital marketing intern in an established agency. This is highly recommended because you will learn how a modern digital marketing agency works, and you can use some of their practices if you decide later to start your own agency or join another company as a digital marketing expert.

Starting your career as a freelance digital marketer without having working experience in a company will be more difficult because you’ll have to figure out everything from scratch.

As mentioned above, working with clients is different than doing digital marketing on your own websites, and if you don’t have the right processes in place, you will lose valuable time in activities that are not ‘billable’, reducing your salary and revenue.

9. Stay Informed of New Updates And Keep Learning

Digital marketing tactics change all the time. Some digital marketers love this, and some hate it, but it’s a fact that digital marketing is a fast-changing industry. Google is deploying hundreds of changes related to organic and paid searches per year, the Facebook algorithm is constantly changing, and in general, the digital marketing landscape is extremely dynamic.

This means that if you decide to start a career in digital marketing, you should know in advance that learning will be part of your DAILY activities.

10. Learn How To Use Digital Marketing Tools

Besides learning how to use Google Analytics, you must also learn other digital marketing tools. When you climb up the ladder and become a digital marketing manager, you will have to manage a team of digital marketing specialists. The only way to evaluate their work and control the progress of multiple projects simultaneously is through tools.

A good tool will allow you to create dashboards for all channels and meaningful reports to management or clients. There are many good tools available, and although they are not free, the monthly fee is an investment for your career and another great item for your resume.

Digital marketing is a great career choice. Companies need to improve their online visibility, and there is an increased demand for digital marketing jobs worldwide. Digital marketing professionals get higher salaries than other jobs.

In the US, the average annual salary is more than $75K. The fact that you don’t need to be physically present in a particular location makes digital marketing ideal for people who want to work from home.

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