As the virtual world of the net and social media assumes an ever greater role in our lives, so marketing becomes more synonymous with digital marketing. No major campaign would take place without a complementary set of digital components. And for more modest businesses alike, digital marketing offers an unbeatable range of channels to target new customers, to get their attention and ultimately persuade them to part with their money.
How to get a career in digital marketing.
Every business needs digital marketers, which is why careers in this area have become so popular so quickly.
Whether you’re interested in building a career in Content Marketing or Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Paid Search (PPC) or Email marketing, in Digital Display (Ad Ops) or Social Media Marketing, Mobile Marketing or Web Analytics & Reporting, you’ll need a knowledge base and set of skills to help you stand out from the crowd.
Only 10 years ago, the essential components of modern digital marketing either didn’t yet exist or were in a virtually unrecognisable fledgling form. In another 10 years – maybe as few as 2 or 3 – the digital marketing landscape will once again have changed beyond recognition.
Here’s a set of insider tips that give you the best chance to build a career in digital marketing.
Know the landscape.
Do you know what every one of the digital marketing disciplines listed above entails? Do you understand what each different sector adds to an overall strategy? How creative areas (digital PR) complement technical input (web design) and analytical skills (SEO)? That’s good, because your first task is to attain all the skills and knowledge required across each sector, then to keep your expertise alive and all your options open even when you specialise in a particular field.
Surround yourself with people with more experience, insight and talent. They can offer support when you run into difficulties, and be willing to share potentially useful contacts. Get your name known, post helpful tips and comments online. Be socially active. Attend conferences, workshops and meetings with other digital marketers arranged through social media.
Stay in touch with all the emerging industry news by following the key sites for your specialist area. Keep on top of developments and opinions via social media. Things change quickly in digital marketing, from advertising algorithms and new apps to whole new channels. You won’t get left behind if you keep an eye on sites such as Moz, Search Engine Land, Social Media Examiner, PPC Hero and eConsultancy.
The appliance of science.
At some point – why not right now? – you should study a formal, scientific breakdown of how marketing works. If you’re learning on the job, it’s useful to see mapped out the mechanics of the whole marketing process, in which you may currently play only a small (but quickly expanding) part. Textbooks tend to be instantly out of date when it comes to sector specifics, but the fundamentals are timeless. Address a Problem; Research; Hypothesis; Experiment; Analyse; Conclusion...
Grow your personal brand.
Your own personal online presence offers any potential employer a good indication of how you might be able to grow their company’s visibility. Your LinkedIn profile needs to be maintained to the highest professional standard, including your key achievements vs. targets, your skills and responsibilities, success stories and testimonials. Then you can consider taking the next step – steadily growing an engaged online following, and seeing how you rate on klout.com.
Know your data and metrics.
With new data now flooding in from every online click, the challenge for digital marketers is to take that mass of available information, to organise and analyse it, then use it to make inspirational marketing decisions. There’s only one thing as important as data, and that’s metrics. Cash is king. Always be prepared to quote the exact return on ad spend your efforts have achieved, which channels performed best, and what you learned along the way.