IN THIS ARTICLE
- What Is a Digital Marketing Manager?
- What Does a Digital Marketing Manager Do?
- Digital Marketing Manager Salary
- Skills Required To Become a Digital Marketing Manager
- Digital Marketing Manager Requirements
- How To Become a Digital Marketing Manager
- Digital Marketing Manager Job FAQs
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According to Sanjay Dholakia, former CMO of Marketo, “[d]igital is at the core of everything in marketing today—it has gone from ‘one of the things marketing does’ to ‘THE thing that marketing does.’”
Digital marketing leverages digital channels—including email, search engines, websites, and social media platforms—to generate leads, produce conversions and retain current clientele. Across these channels, digital marketers develop data-driven strategies to build brand awareness, establish thought leadership status, and convert leads into loyal customers.
Digital marketing professionals landed on LinkedIn’s “Jobs on the Rise” list in 2020, 2021, and 2022—reporting a 33% percent growth in hiring year-over-year. Keep reading to learn more about the qualifications needed to break into the field, how much you can expect to earn, and what your career path might look like.
What Is a Digital Marketing Manager?
Digital Marketing Managers create, deploy and track the performance of marketing campaigns across digital channels where the public engages with a brand. They often specialize in concentrations like social media, search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, conversion rate optimization, and more.
For further reading, learn more about digital marketing here.
What Does a Digital Marketing Manager Do?
Digital marketing managers use testing and analytics to formulate and adjust data-driven campaigns. Although some digital marketers are generalists, some roles require specialization. Some core niches include:
Digital marketers who specialize in search engine optimization strive to improve a website’s search engine results page (SERP) ranking in order to increase organic web traffic. They manage on-page SEO—which focuses on optimization of website content and keywords—as well as off-page SEO, which focuses on optimization of activity on other websites (like backlinks from authoritative sources) that affect how a site ranks for different keywords. SEO-focused digital marketers also handle technical SEO, which involves optimizing the backend of a website to improve usability, accessibility, and speed in ways that boost SERP ranking.
Digital marketers specializing in social media devise content and strategies that grow engagement across social platforms. Depending on experience, a social media specialist might interact directly with an audience via posts, comments, and replies. They may also direct high-level strategies to develop a brand’s voice. Social media specialists must also research trends, monitor digital conversation around their brand, and use analytics to evaluate campaign performance.
Email marketers nurture relationships with existing customers and prospective leads through targeted, value-rich email campaigns. Email marketers build email lists, create email templates and CTAs, and analyze the results of their campaigns. An effective email marketer will increase email subscriptions, generate leads, and use prior engagement and activity to personalize campaigns for various segments of their email list.
Content marketers create compelling digital content that generates leads, establishes a company’s thought leadership status, and maximizes customer engagement. Digital content spans blogs, videos, podcasts, social posts, white papers, and other types of media. Content marketers must tailor their content to align with each stage of the sales cycle, from awareness to consideration to the final point of sale. Effective digital content positions a brand as a valued knowledge source with a vested interest in the success of its audience.
Conversion Rate Optimization
Conversion rate optimization (CRO) specialists will manage, test, and adjust points of conversion in the sales funnel. These professionals work to improve conversion rates by using user experience (UX) knowledge to streamline the flow, structure, and design of an organization’s digital assets. Like UX researchers, conversion rate optimization specialists use quantitative tools to track and analyze user activity and qualitative methods to understand the motivations behind those behaviors. CRO specialists strive to build user-centric strategies to improve business outcomes.
Digital marketers who specialize in pay-per-click (PPC) advertising use paid promotions to expand traffic, boost brand visibility, and drive engagement. Popular PPC channels include Google Ads, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Using SEM and SEO expertise, PPC specialists develop and analyze the performance of PPC campaigns, manage accounts on search platforms, and identify high-value keywords that will help campaigns reach target audiences.
Related Read: A Day in the Life of a Digital Marketer
Digital Marketing Manager Salary
Digital marketing is an expanding field flush with opportunities for career growth. Entry-level roles often focus on content creation, vendor outreach, and day-to-day media management. Mid-level roles focus on strategy, team management, and goal-setting. Those who progress to a senior-level position can expect to focus on creative growth strategies and brand development.
Digital marketing salaries vary depending on experience, organizational structure, geographic location, and more. Here’s how much you can expect to earn at each career stage.
Entry Level Salary
Entry-level digital marketers may begin as generalists and have 0-2 years of experience. On average, early-career digital marketers earn a total compensation of $49,465 including bonuses and overtime pay. Examples of entry-level roles include:
These early-career professionals analyze and optimize website code and content to boost a site’s search engine results page ranking. SEO specialists research keywords to expand website visibility and monitor performance metrics to evaluate the performance of their SEO strategy.
Email Marketing Strategist
These early-career professionals develop, deploy, and test the efficacy of email campaigns to nurture leads and strengthen customer relationships. Email marketing strategists design responsive, personalized email templates with HTML and CSS, test and debug dynamic message features, and expand an organization’s email marketing database.
Mid Level Salary
Mid-level digital marketers focus on strategy development and may hold supervisory or managerial roles. Often, these professionals have 2-8 years of experience. The average base salary for a mid-career professional is $57,813. Examples of mid-level roles include:
Market Research Analyst
These professionals collect, analyze and interpret quantitative data to evaluate campaign performance and make strategy recommendations. Market research analysts use in-depth knowledge of data mining, data warehousing, and data analysis techniques to extract actionable insights. They also advise clients or senior management on possible applications of their findings.
These professionals develop content strategies that balance brand objectives with customer needs. Content strategists dictate content deliverables and oversee the production of content throughout a project’s life cycle. They also develop and manage a brand’s editorial calendar, create style guides, manage content producers, and ensure the quality of all published content.
Senior Level Salary
Senior-level digital marketers are responsible for brand progression, thought leadership, investment strategy, and long-term visions for growth. Senior-level digital marketers often have 8+ years of experience, and earn an average salary of $113,331, although C-suite executives may earn more. Examples of senior-level roles include:
Digital Marketing Director
A digital marketing director leads the digital marketing department, and is responsible for creating, implementing, and guiding a company’s digital marketing strategy. They oversee the flow of content across all channels and ensure that all campaigns align with the objectives of the PR and sales teams. They are also responsible for talent acquisition and allocating an organization’s digital marketing budget.
Chief Marketing Officer
These C-suite executives oversee the promotion, product strategy, marketing placement, and pricing. Chief Marketing Officers deliver high-level governance plans that drive sustainable growth. CMOs liaise with CEOs, CFOs, and COOs, offering insights about capital allocation, corporate strategy, and how a company’s portfolio can address customer needs and shifting market trends.
Skills Required To Become a Digital Marketing Manager
The skills you’ll need as a Digital Marketing Manager may vary, depending on organizational size and the demands of the position. Nevertheless, an ideal candidate will have experience in some combination of the following specialties:
- Data analysis. Proficiency with analytic tools and techniques is necessary to track and evaluate a digital campaign’s performance.
- SEO and SEM. Search engine optimization maximizes paid and organic web traffic.
- User Experience. UX knowledge creates a valuable, personalized customer experience.
- Social advertising. Familiarity with social advertising tools and processes is required to deploy paid ads across social media channels.
- Coding. HTML and CSS skills are vital for crafting email campaign templates.
In short, effective digital marketers are strategic, data-driven thinkers who possess strong oral, written, and visual communication abilities. They must show a capacity to empathize with both team and customer needs.
Digital Marketing Manager Requirements
Many digital marketing managers hold a BA in marketing, communications, or business administration—but a specific college degree is not required to enter the field. Self-learning, short courses, and bootcamp programs can help aspiring digital marketers cultivate the technical expertise needed to land a job in the field.
To launch your digital marketing career, you’ll need a professional background that demonstrates your experience with creative problem solving, an ability to foster relationships with diverse stakeholders, and a knack for strategy development.
How To Become a Digital Marketing Manager
Wondering how to navigate a career pivot into digital marketing? Let’s break down the process.
Evaluate Your Education and Background
Do you have a degree in marketing or a related field? Do you have experience in copywriting, data analysis, UX, programming, or other relevant areas? Which soft skills might carry over from your last job? Consider your qualifications and assess your need to upskill.
Build Your Skills
Explore free resources for independent learning and enroll in a bootcamp program that will equip you with valuable technical skills like coding, data analysis, or UX research.
Earn Work Experience
Offer your services to family and friends at a discount or free of charge. You can also search for internships that offer hands-on opportunities to build experience with specific tools, platforms, or techniques.
Work on Real-World Projects and Case Studies
Market yourself by launching and optimizing a personal website. Utilize pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and build an email marketing campaign to attract clients. Partner with local small businesses that need a boost and document each project with a case study that outlines the challenge at hand, your problem-solving process, and the results you achieved.
Demonstrate your skills to potential employers by earning valuable certifications. Completion of free Google Analytics Academy courses will verify your knowledge of Google’s measurement tools, and a Google Adwords Certification will show mastery of key paid search techniques.
Prepare a Killer Resume
Customize the objective at the top of your marketing CV to highlight the ways in which your skills make you a perfect fit for the role. Highlight your personal and professional projects to demonstrate your skills and experience.
Apply For Jobs
In addition to LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Indeed, and other large employment websites, take advantage of niche job boards like Mashable, Jobspresso, MediaBistro, and Swipe Files (previously HeyMarketers). Reach out to your professional network for insights, advice, and recommendations.
Digital Marketing Manager Job FAQs
Curious about what to expect from a digital marketing career? We’ve got answers to some of your top questions.
Is Digital Marketing a Good Career?
Digital marketing is indeed a great career. Demand for digital marketers is on the rise, and the field offers ample growth opportunities. Digital marketers are well-compensated and enjoy creative, analytical roles. This is why they report high levels of job satisfaction.
Who Can Become a Digital Marketing Manager?
Successful digital marketers don’t need a specific degree. But they do need to demonstrate relevant skills and hands-on experience. A qualified candidate with a background in coding, copywriting, data analytics, or UX can easily pivot into a digital marketing role.
How Long Does It Take To Become a Digital Marketing Manager?
If you enroll in a digital marketing bootcamp program, you can build the core technical skills you’ll need in six to nine months.
Related Read: How Long Does It Take to Become a Digital Marketer
How Do Companies Benefit From Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing helps companies improve conversion rates and attract high-quality leads. It also helps brands build credibility with target audiences and strengthens customer loyalty through communication at every stage of the buying process. Digital marketing yields high returns on investment and enables companies to measure results and adapt promotional campaigns accordingly.
Since you’re here…
Want to bring your marketing skills into the 21st century? Check out our free digital marketing curriculum for new ideas and insights.