What Is Digital Marketing and What You Need to Become a Digital Marketer?

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The landscape of marketing is continuing to shift in ways that have never been seen before. Companies both big and small are more in tune with the connective power of technology and have turned to digital marketing to grow their business. 

In this article we will break down the in’s and out’s of digital marketing, the terms, the tools and ultimately how you can apply these to your work experience and advance your career.

What is Digital Marketing?

Marketing can often be thought of as a mostly qualitative job, but the quantitative element is just as if not more so important. In the current landscape every company is a global company, being able to access any customer any part on the planet. That means there are billions of information and data points organizations need to process in order to effectively locate and reach customers. 

There are a litany of relevant products that can be useful for digital marketers, the most recognizable being GoogleAnalytics. This free tool is a great way to explore how people are finding your website, how long they stay on your website, and what they are looking at on your website. For a fee, it can be combined with other options such as HotJar to give you a more comprehensive view of your website viewers.

Though being good at data analytics goes beyond being able to sort data and spot trends. It is critical that your experience demonstrates that you not only can provide an overview of the data, but be able to explain what these data trends mean in the big picture and how you can translate them into actionable plans.

What’s the difference between digital marketing and traditional marketing?

Traditional marketing involves using print ads, television, and radio to reach your intended audience. Although these forms still have value, they have limitations to their effectiveness.

Digital technology is more web based and thus has a wider potential audience at a much more cost effective rate compared with traditional marketing methods.

Digital Marketing Channels

Digital marketing channels are the different internet driven mediums used by a business to promote their product or service. While there is overlap in the goals of each channel, each channel also has its own unique techniques to determine success.

Some of those channels are:

Search Engines

When people are looking for things online, search engines (like Google and Bing) are the first place they go to look. If your company isn’t near the front of search results, that means a potential customer could go to a competitor. Thus it is critical that companies have their website optimized for search patterns. 

The main technique when it comes to digital marketing through search engines is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Being successful in these areas requires understanding the mind of the searcher and generating useful content that the search engine will then match with your potential customer.

Your Website

This is the part of digital marketing that is most important as the business has 100% control of this site.

Users are looking for an easy way to learn about your company and product. It is critical that this aspect of digital marketing not be neglected.

Social Media

What is for many a great way to stay in touch with friends is a backbone for digital marketing. With so many people on these platforms, businesses must have a substantial social media strategy and presence to meet customers where they are.

Email

The only channel that might have more eyes on it than social media is email. Email is used for everything. Your goal as an email marketer is to be able to make personalized messages that make your emails stand out from the bombardment of emails your customers receive every day.

Types of Digital Marketing

With so many digital marketing techniques available, it falls on digital markers to test which channels are the most effective. Doing this involves testing and analyzing data to figure out which channels and which practices are the most effective.

Here are a few of the major types of digital marketing:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) & Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Both of these functions involve making sure content and the company website is optimized to appear on the top of the search page. The difference between SEO and SEM is that SEO is more involved in coming up with organic ways to appear near the top of the search while SEM is about using paid techniques that also hit the top of the search page such as running Google Ads.

Content Marketing

This type of marketing focuses on crafting, releasing, and promoting content for your audience. Doing this involves making sure that your companies’ content is relevant and high value to your target audience and accurately represents the business and its mission.

Social Media Marketing

Like the name suggests, this marketing is done through social media platforms. These websites offer a great way to reach customers both through free and paid options. In some instances, social media marketing can be broken down by specific social media sites.

Email marketing

Companies have been using email to reach customers well before digital marketing was such an all encompassing term. Email is not only a great way for businesses to promote their work, it is also a great way to communicate with customers or get feedback on the customer experience.

Why is Digital Marketing Important?

In the big picture, more and more of the world is interacting online meaning that more potential customers are occupying internet platforms, which is where businesses must go to find customers. And ultimately digital marketing works. This proven success highlights why companies must continually put smart resources towards their digital marketing operations.

Benefits of Digital Marketing

Still don’t believe in the power of digital marketing? Why not consider the following. Digital marketing:

  • Gives you a fuller perspective of what competitors are doing
  • Enhances customer loyalty
  • Demonstrates company credibility
  • Provides a more targeted way to reach customer segments
  • Yield higher Return on Investment (ROI)

Careers in Digital Marketing

Now is a great time to get into digital marketing. There is a noted digital marketing skills gap, meaning those with the adequate experience can be highly in demand. Furthermore, there are many different opportunities that fall within digital marketing. Some of those titles include:

  • Digital Marketer
  • Social Media Manager
  • Brand Manager
  • Digital Marketing Coordinator
  • Content Creator
  • Email Marketer
  • Marketing Associate
  • Digital Marketing Strategist

What Does a Digital Marketers Do?

In theory a “digital marketer” is responsible for implementing many of the techniques and channels outlined earlier. Depending on the structure and size of the company, someone could be considered a digital marketer in just one area. For instance, someone who has the title of “Email Marketer” and someone who has the title of “Social Media Marketer” both fall under the category of digital marketer, but both have different responsibilities and skills.

Why is Digital Marketing a Good Career?

Digital marketing is an extensive field with the accompanying skills in high demand. Businesses need sound marketing strategies and are always looking to add a digital marketer who will help them expand their marketing efforts. A digital marketing career path provides a variety of unique roles you can choose from based on your abilities and interests.

How Much Do Digital Marketers Make?

This depends heavily on how much leadership responsibility a title has with it. More entry level digital marketing positions can start out between $40k to $70k, while managers can make closer to or above $100K. These numbers are expected to rise significantly as more and more companies are spending money on digital marketing as they realize the much better ROI than traditional marketing forms. 

What skills does a Digital Marketer Need?

As with any job a digital marketer needs a combination of hard and soft skills, with the ability to see the big picture but also work on the details

Hard Skills: Some of the top job-specific skills for digital marketing include things like experience with analytics, social media, writing and more. Some positions may look for those familiar with certain programs such as Google Analytics, Ahrefs, Adobe Suite or others.

Soft Skills: These abilities are more related to personality and your ability and willingness to perform at a high level. Things like communication skills, empathy, energy and leadership are all traits employers look for in candidates. In many instances these can be even more important than the hard skills

How do I become a digital marketer?

If it isn’t clear already, there is no one way to be a digital marketer. First make sure you are passionate about digital marketing and then focus on what aspects might be a good fit for you in terms of skills and personality. Do this both through reading and practicing, but also network with people who have jobs you might want to have to match what you’ve researched with the reality of the job.

Most importantly though, employers want to see that you have work experience in these areas. Showing you are a versatile digital marketer is incredibly important if you want to break into this field so make sure you get as much work experience in Social Media Marketing, Email Marketing, PPC Marketing, and SEO Marketing as possible as most hiring managers want you to have work experience in at least 2 but most prefer 3 of these areas.

Digital Marketing Education

There are many ways to get formal training in digital marketing theory and techniques. Some of those ways include:

Digital Marketing Degrees

Getting a formal degree from a two or four-year institution. Just make sure that you don’t expect a degree to land you a job. It won’t. You need to make sure that you couple this with real world work experience as once again, that is by far the #1 thing hiring managers are looking for in who to hire. This is also the most expensive and time consuming.

Digital Marketing Certificates

Certificates tend to be a cost-effective way of learning about digital marketing compared to a degree and tend to take a little less time to complete. However, they do not go very in depth and they won’t lead to job offers unless you actually get the right real work experience that hiring managers want alongside this.

Digital Marketing Courses and Bootcamps

These intensive opportunities are a quick way to get well versed in digital marketing practices. The challenge with these is the range of quality and cost of each program. Also, you have very little opportunity to apply what you learned since the program is so condensed and none of them actually offer real work experience. At the end of the day, it’s the real world experience that really stands out when trying to break into this space and this is a huge reason why 94.3% of JobPrepped students get interviews or job offers within 3 weeks. Here are a few resources to help you in your journey: 
 
If you’re looking for a Social Media Bootcamp or an SEO Bootcamp, these are Career Karma’s top choices. If you’re looking for a more encompassing digital marketing bootcamp, Codingbootcamps.io does a great job of providing a rundown of the digital marketing landscape and provides some of their top recommendations for programs to check out. Finally, if you happen to be living that nomad lifestyle like so many digital marketers out there and are in Asia, our friends at Trusted Malaysia provide a rundown of the best Digital Marketing programs that you can take there.

Volunteering, Internships, Apprenticeships

All three of these are fully about getting real world experience. They are great for learning on the job but they lack the guidance of a classroom setting. Also, if you’re making a transition while you are already working, you might not have the time or money to commit to a low-paying or unpaid work opportunity. More importantly though, if you do go this route, make sure that you’re actually getting the work experience that hiring managers want. Too often we see applicants upset that they have 3-4 internships on their resumes yet they still can’t get hired. The main reason why is that a lot of internships don’t trust their interns with important tasks and therefore, they aren’t getting the work experience that hiring managers actually want. So, make sure you understand this otherwise this won’t be a good use of your time. 

JobPrepped

At JobPrepped we give you exactly what you need to get hired as an entry-level marketer quickly. We not only train you in digital marketing, but we are the only program to give you immediate work experience in the exact areas that hiring managers want to ensure you get hired quickly. On top of that, we help perfect your marketing resume and we train you on exactly what to say in your interviews to ensure you ace them. We are very proud to say that 94.3% of JobPrepped students get marketing interviews or job offers within 3 weeks and we’d love to help you too. 

If you think this might be the right opportunity, come explore more about the JobPrepped experience.

Tools and Resources

We’ve covered a lot today and there is still a lot more to learn. So, feel free to check out some of these links below if you want to learn more about the digital marketing space:

Books – if you want to read more about digital marketing, check out these suggested readings:

Digital Marketing Tools – From researching audiences to analyzing incoming data, these are a few guides to navigate some of the top programs in this area

Communications Tools – Being on the same page of all the stakeholders involved in a digital marketing campaign is critical to success. Some of these applications can help everyone stay in touch

Productivity Tools – With so many different assets needed for a campaign, organization is key. These programs can help you get a leg up in this area

Digital Marketing Dictionary – One of the biggest hurdles in breaking into the digital marketing space is the unique terminology. These guides should have you talking like a digital marketing expert in no time.

Hopefully you were able to get a better sense of what digital marketing entails.  If you’re interested in taking another big step in your path to digital marketing, learn more about the JobPrepped difference and how we can help you start an exciting career in digital marketing quickly.

Good luck out there!

By Guest Writer,
Will Lazar

Launch Your Digital Marketing Career Quickly

Get the results you deserve! 94.3% of JobPrepped Students get marketing interviews or job offers within 3 weeks.

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