How To Get Into Digital Marketing [2022 Career Guide]
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Digital marketing is one of the most popular and fast-growing fields today. Rapidly evolving technologies—including expanded social and content marketing opportunities—have given today’s marketers some amazing opportunities to tell stories and build brands.
A career in marketing offers many opportunities for growth and flexibility. And best of all, you don’t need a traditional college degree to get started.
Want to get into digital marketing, but don’t know where to start? Then this guide is for you. We’ll cover what digital marketing is, the skills you need to succeed, and how to get started on your career in digital marketing.
What Is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing generally refers to advertising and marketing efforts that rely on digital technologies. This includes social networking and web-based publishing platforms, targeted ads for mobile devices, display advertising, search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing (SMM), email marketing, and affiliate marketing.
Understanding the Digital Marketing Process
While the best marketing approach will differ from brand to brand, successful businesses follow a systematic approach to plan, strategize, and measure their results. Here’s what that entails:
Digital marketers have to understand their product, their competitor’s product, and their competitor’s digital marketing strategy. Then they ask themselves: What channels would help us connect with our customers? How much time do we have available to spend on social media? How much money is available for marketing activities?
Marketers conduct research by studying other brands, conducting focus groups, and using analytical tools to understand customer behavior. By understanding these factors, marketers can create strategies that are more likely to reach their target audience and achieve their desired results.
Once digital marketers decide where they want people to engage with their brand, they’ll decide which digital channels are most effective in reaching these goals. Direct mail campaigns or gated downloads may lead to better lead-generation tools than social media. But social might be a good choice if your main objective is to build awareness and drive traffic back to your website, that is, unless you don’t have a big following yet, in which case, search engine marketing can help build your brand’s online presence. You may want to invest in paid advertising, relying on Google AdWords and Analytics.
The execution phase is when you set the plan into motion, and you’ll need to demonstrate follow-through. For example, if your social campaign relies on many visuals—like infographics or video—this is the time to ready those assets.
Digital marketers need to track and measure their results to see what’s working and what isn’t. Google Analytics is one of the most popular tools for measuring website traffic and engagement. Social media platforms also offer insights into how users interact with your brand on their sites. Paid advertising platforms also give you information on how successful your ads are. This helps companies measure the effectiveness of their campaigns by providing data that is necessary to improve future marketing campaigns.
When you collect the correct data to measure your results, you’ll see what worked well and capitalize on that. The data should also show any underperformed elements so you can tweak them.
Digital Marketing Job Requirements
While it’s possible to get into digital marketing without a degree, most employers require either an undergraduate or graduate degree. Associate’s degrees in online marketing and a couple of high school courses can also be enough for some entry-level jobs.
Employers want candidates who have strong communication skills to convey information about products and services while working well with others. When applying for jobs online, include links to websites where prospective employers can view examples of your work. You may also want to build a portfolio of your work specifically for this purpose.
Relevant certifications in specific areas such as search engine optimization (SEO) or social media marketing can also help you understand fundamentals and communicate that education on a resume or online profile.
Related Read: How To Get Into Social Media Marketing
How To Land Your First Digital Marketing Job
The best way to land your first digital marketing job is to distinguish yourself from other applicants. Begin by exploring different careers in digital marketing to ensure that you’re applying for the positions that best suit your strengths.
Pick a Specialty That Interests You
Especially when you’re an entry-level digital marketer, consider how your interests and skills can lend themselves to different specialties. Do you love moving through your inbox in the morning, paying attention to marketing emails you received, and wondering how you could improve upon the communication? Then consider specializing in email campaigns. A social media specialization might be for you if you’re fascinated by the ways brands communicate on social media, either directly or with influencers who’re part of their affiliate programs. Many marketers begin with one core focus—be it copywriting or graphic design—and continue up the ladder.
Consider Agency Jobs
Agency jobs offer on-the-job training and might be a good fit for someone looking to start marketing. A digital marketing agency typically manages a variety of clients, so you’ll have the chance to see different brand voices and strategies, and you may even get to work across industries and niches. Junior marketers at agencies often wear many hats—from lending a hand on smaller projects to helping pull and analyze reports—so this is a great way to grow your skills, gain valuable experience, and see different parts of the marketing machine at work.
Explore Related Jobs To Build Your Resume
If you don’t yet have enough experience to land a job in digital marketing, consider related jobs that can help you develop core competencies in a specific area of marketing.
Data entry roles may not sound like marketing jobs, but you’ll have the opportunity to learn about data management and reporting, critical skills in digital marketing work. Likewise, working in sales isn’t the same as working in marketing, but the two rely on similar skill sets.
Find Opportunities To Improve a Company’s Marketing
If you’re looking to land a new digital marketing job, then consider pitching some of your own ideas to a company that you want to work for. By taking the initiative and continually developing your skills, you’ll be in an excellent position to land a job in digital marketing.
Practice for Every Interview
One surefire way to feel prepared during job interviews is by practicing your answers beforehand. Find sample questions online or ask people currently employed in digital marketing how they respond when asked common questions like “Tell me about yourself” or “What’s your biggest weakness?” You’ll want to have go-to answers for frequent interview questions prepped and ready. You’ll also want to prepare for questions specific to the company, industry, and relevant skills. Doing diligence upfront to gather your thoughts and practice sounding natural will help you feel prepared, confident, and articulate. Remember, you’re applying for a marketing role, so interviews can give companies a glimpse of how you approach marketing yourself.
Related Read: 113 Digital Marketing Interview Questions
How To Succeed in Digital Marketing
Success in digital marketing depends on how well you can market yourself. But before you do that, make sure you have what it takes to be a marketable candidate in the job market. Focus on developing digital marketing skills and broadening your familiarity with the digital marketing field.
Work on Personal Projects To Build Your Portfolio
It’s hard to land any job without experience. So try working on personal projects that will help you build a portfolio. Connect with a local business or nonprofit that might allow you to do some marketing-related work on a volunteer basis, or consider simply crafting some “fake” projects to share in your portfolio. You can share your own concepts, as long as you make clear it wasn’t paid work. Try rewriting the copy on an existing page. Craft a blog post or a theoretical email campaign. Building your own online portfolio gives you the chance to showcase some of your design and writing skills, as well. Once you’ve built the foundations of a portfolio, you might try pitching yourself to potential clients as a freelance marketer to further grow your hands-on experience and key skills in making informed decisions around digital advertising goals.
Find a Mentor or Network
Don’t know how to find a mentor? There are several ways you can find one. Look up local groups on Meetup or Facebook and connect with people in your field. Follow trending hashtags on Twitter and LinkedIn. Reach out to someone directly—but be mindful of their time when you ask. Be specific about what help you need and be honest about your motivations when seeking advice or guidance. Many people are willing to offer advice or a short informational call, but if the person you contact isn’t up for it, simply thank them and move along to the next name on your list. It’s also a good idea to follow well-known digital marketers on social media.
Expand Your Skillset Whenever Possible
In addition to traditional academic education, you might also consider a bootcamp or a certificate. Many certificate programs can help you learn directly from an experienced mentor according to a detailed syllabus that covers all the basics and more. If a classroom setting isn’t your style, free online resources like HubSpot Academy also offer some great introductory material.
How Much Can You Earn as a Digital Marketer?
Digital marketing salaries vary, depending on experience and specializations. According to Glassdoor, it’s typical for entry-level digital marketing strategists with 0-2 years of experience to earn $50,000 to $60,000 per year. More experienced marketers can make up to $100,000 or more depending on their role and their company. Professionals with at least ten years of experience can typically command six figures (or more).
Is Digital Marketing For You?
If you’re a detail-oriented, creative person who enjoys research and planning, digital marketing might be for you. Let’s break down some of the digital marketing skills you’ll need to succeed:
Do You Enjoy Research and Planning?
Marketers spend a lot of time planning before they’re ready to execute. So marketing is a great career for those who are enthusiastic about laying the groundwork or building a framework for success.
Are You Able To Assess and Understand Results?
A digital marketer’s job is to increase the number of potential customers for their brand and convert those potential customers to paying clients. You’ll need to monitor your efforts closely, tracking conversion rate data to see what’s working and what needs to be tweaked. Marketing is often a considerable business expense, and you’ll need to demonstrate that marketing dollars drive results.
Are You Able To Explain Goals and Processes in an Easy-To-Understand Manner?
Being able to explain what you’re working on is crucial within a marketing department and across the business, particularly when you’re advocating for budget or suggesting new product positioning opportunities.
Related Read: Is digital marketing hard to learn?
Digital Marketing FAQs
Is Digital Marketing a Good Career?
Definitely, the digital marketing industry offers flexible career paths and great earning potential. There are many different marketing roles. You can be a marketer who works in social media, email, search engine optimization, and online advertising. Regardless of which route your career takes you, there are always ways to learn more and improve your skills to better yourself and become a valuable asset to any company or organization. Learn more about the factors that make digital marketing a good career in this post.
Can You Get Into Digital Marketing With No Experience?
It’s possible to pursue entry-level roles with education but no direct experience, but as in any industry, it’s easier to land a digital marketing job if you have experience. Focus on building your skillset and personal brand to demonstrate your industry skills and understanding. Stay updated on best practices and marketing trends, whether by reading reports, following thought leaders on social media channels, or attending conferences and talks. Volunteering or working for free can be a great way to develop skills and build a portfolio to demonstrate your capacities.
Do You Need a Degree To Be a Digital Marketer?
You don’t necessarily need a marketing degree to be a digital marketer, but it can help you stand out from other applicants and build a solid foundation of knowledge. Employers typically prefer candidates who have either an undergraduate or graduate degree. Digital marketing certifications can also be helpful.
Since you’re here…
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