It’s the ad that plays before your YouTube video or the pop-up that appears while you’re browsing beauty products. It’s also the funny post you just read on an influencer’s feed or the informative article you found by Googling a question. Truth be told, it’s the words you’re reading right now! The work of a digital marketer takes many forms, but it’s essentially any way in which brands use digital resources to reach and connect with customers. This could involve channels like social media, email communication, blogs, mobile apps, and websites.
Marketing has always been about reaching your target audience at the right time and in the right place. As we spend more and more time on the internet, it makes sense that businesses are alotting more and more cash to digital marketing. This article takes a brief look at the study and practice of digital marketing, and how you can become a successful marketer in today’s fast-paced business environment.
Why Study Digital Marketing?
These days, it’s become almost mandatory to have a digital presence if you want your business to be competitive. The coronavirus pandemic has only escalated this situation, with many of us now relying on the internet even more for our everyday needs. With workplaces shifting online and people encouraged to stay inside their homes, conventional advertising like billboards has become even less relevant, and savvy digital marketers are dominating the ad world.
Digital marketing allows you to be creative, and to experiment with a broad variety of marketing tactics and targeting techniques. With the use of tools like analytics and dashboards, you can closely monitor the success of your campaigns, which has always been very difficult to do with traditional promotional content like print or broadcast advertising. There are plenty of other great reasons to pursue a career in digital marketing, like great salaries, strong job demand, and diverse career options.
Types of Digital Marketing
Digital marketing can describe a range of different activities and channels, including:
1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO): SEO is the process of optimizing your website to rank higher in search engine result pages, like Google. This increases organic traffic to your website. There are usually three techniques to generate quality traffic to your website—on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical SEO. All these techniques aim to convert potential visitors of your website into customers.
2. Content marketing: This deals with creating content assets for brand awareness, traffic growth, and customer relationships. Content marketing can be done through things like blog posts, eBooks, white papers, and infographics.
3. Social media marketing: With Social media marketing, you can promote your brands across the various social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
4. Pay Per Click (PPC): PPC marketing involves paying the publisher every time a particular ad is clicked on by an internet user. Google Ads is a popular PPC advertising option; it allows advertisers to bid for the top slots on Google's search engine results page. Other common PPC advertising options include sponsored messages on LinkedIn, Twitter ad campaigns, and paid ads on Facebook.
5. Affiliate marketing: This is a performance-based marketing method where you get a commission for endorsing someone else’s product or service through your website.
Aside from those mentioned above, other popular types of digital marketing include native advertising, market automation, email marketing, inbound marketing, sponsored content, and online public relations.
Careers in Digital Marketing
Digital marketers are mainly responsible for creating brand awareness and a customer base through digital media, both paid (sponsored) and free (organic). These channels can include social media, a company’s own website, search engine rankings, email advertising, and even the company’s blog. They’re also responsible for designing and marketing ad campaigns, ensuring a regular supply of quality content for, and keeping tabs on the visitor flow to the website.
Studying digital marketing could lead you into various different career paths and specializations. Job titles that fall under the gamut of digital marketing include:
- SEO Executive
- Social Media Manager
- Digital Marketing Copywriter
- Conversion Rate Optimizer
- Search Engine Specialist /Marketer
- Inbound Marketing Manager
- Content Marketing Manager
- Analytics Manager
- Digital Marketing Manager
Digital Marketing Salaries
According to Glassdoor.com, the annual salary of a digital marketer in the US ranges from $43,000 to $86,000, with the average being about $67,000. A recent survey shows that 78.2% of the entire population of the US consists of frequent internet users. Owing to such huge numbers, the US stands as one of the largest hubs for digital marketing. This also means that job opportunities for marketing specialists will continue to boom in the coming years.
Companies across the US, both large and small, will always be hiring content strategists and digital marketers to help them navigate the online market and create awareness for their brands. With a good educational foundation and the right skillsets, landing a great job with an enviable pay packet is almost a guarantee.
Learning Options for Digital Marketing
There are three main options available if you want to learn digital marketing:
- Bachelor’s degrees
- Master’s degrees
- Non-degree certificate programs
Below are some popular bachelor’s and master’s degree programs that are perfect for those looking to pursue a career in digital marketing:
- Marketing B.S. Focused on Digital and Integrated Marketing Communications, at Arizona State University
- B.S. in Interactive Marketing, at Northern Illinois University
- BBA with a Digital Marketing Major, offered by the University of Michigan at Dearborn
- B.S. in Internet Marketing, at Maryville University in St. Louis, Missouri
- M.S. in Digital Marketing and eCommerce, offered by Eastern Tennessee State University
- MBA program with a focus on Digital Marketing and eCommerce, offered by Santa Clara University and George Washington University
There are many more colleges across the US that offer great full-term degrees in Digital Marketing and allied fields. You can find details regarding course structure and admission criteria on the respective university websites.
Non-Degree Certificate Programs in Digital Marketing
If you’re lacking in the time or funds to invest in full-time education, there are several small online and offline certification programs available in digital marketing. Some of the popular certification courses available include:
- Graduate certificate in Social Media by the University of Alabama at Birmingham – An online course that deals with eCommerce, social media, and web analytics.
- Digital Marketing and Analytics Undergraduate Certificate by the University of Connecticut – Focuses on digital marketing and analytics, as well as integrated marketing strategies.
- Georgetown University offers professional certificates in digital and social media marketing.
- Digital Marketing course by Thinkful – Focuses on email marketing, SEO, brand development, social media and content marketing, and paid search campaigns.
- Digital Garage by Google – Offers free digital marketing training focusing on digital marketing fundamentals, social media marketing, and online advertising.
There are many more skill-development websites available online that offer a broad range of courses on digital marketing. There are options to suit everyone, so you can make your choice based on your own prior knowledge, current schedule, and financial constraints.
Desired Skillsets for Digital Marketers
For many, digital marketing is a dream job. The potential for a six-figure salary and flexible work schedules makes digital marketing one of the most popular career options among young people today. In general, you’ll need some expertise in digital and web platforms, along with a creative mindset to deliver new and promising marketing ideas.
Let’s take a look at some of the key skills that you’ll need to develop in order to excel in this profession.
1. Writing and editing – A good command over your written communication skills and editing proficiency is essential, as no job in digital marketing is possible without some writing and editing.
2. Design – A lot of digital marketing today depends on visuals. When creating a blog post, additional knowledge of image editing is important to help your content stand out. So design skills can be a huge advantage.
3. Customer relationship management – This involves strategies to maximize your customer experience. Soft skills like good communication and empathy can help you to connect better with your customers and understand their needs.
Take Your Next Step in Digital Marketing
If you’re keen to venture into the field of digital marketing and establish yourself as a successful digital marketer, great opportunities await you. You can count on plenty of growth opportunities as more and more companies see the potential of effective digital ads, social media marketing and improved search rankings. If you’re interested in kickstarting your career today, our Digital Marketing course offers a fast track into the industry. You’ll benefit from one-on-one mentorship throughout your journey, and career coaching to support you as you search for a job you love.
Launch Your Digital Marketing Career
Learn the technical skills needed to build an audience, create a brand, and drive sales. Study with a flexible, online schedule, a personal mentor, and peer groups.