Companies have used marketing to promote and sell products for hundreds of years. But it’s only since the birth of the internet, and more recently, the booming mobile industry, that digital marketing has really taken off.
This relatively new field is more cost-effective, more precise, and can reach more people than traditional forms of marketing like TV, radio, and newspaper advertising.
The data makes the difference. Digital marketers have bucket-loads of performance metrics they can use to optimize and refine their campaigns. This information simply isn’t available to traditional marketers.
We’ll explain what a digital marketer does, the specializations that exist within the field, and how you can fast-track your marketing career.
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Digital Marketing Channels
A digital marketer uses multiple channels to generate leads and build brand awareness. Digital marketing channels include:
- Official company sites
- Social media campaigns on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook
- Organic search engine rankings
- Paid search advertising
- Third-party advertising
- Email marketing campaigns
- Company blogs
- Video marketing on YouTube
- In-app pop-ups and push notifications
The budget spent on digital marketing channels can be micromanaged. This helps calculate the return on investment (ROI) from each channel. Using analytics, weaknesses can be identified and performance across each channel can be improved drastically. A digital marketer can focus on all channels or can specialize in one specific area.
Digital Marketer Responsibilities
In a typical organization, the role of a digital marketer includes:
- Developing a strategic marketing plan
- Budgeting campaigns and forecasting results
- Understanding the opportunities of different marketing channels
- Staying up to date with evolving trends, tools, and user behaviors
- Analyzing big data and discovering useful insights
- Understanding the different devices used by consumers
- Maintaining dynamic consumer relations and creating meaningful interactions
- Reporting campaign performance to company stakeholders
Skills Required to Become a Digital Marketer
Depending on the area of specialization you choose, you’ll need to learn a range of both technical and interpersonal skills. Here are some common skills that you’ll need to master:
The primary goal of a digital marketer is to capture the attention of potential customers. Online videos are a great way to do this. They’re more appealing and easier to digest than long blocks of text. They also allow for more creative expression.
You’ll need to understand how to tell a story through a video. If you can create an emotional response from the viewer, the campaign will have a higher chance of success. Funny, wholesome, or shocking videos tend to leave a lasting impression.
To succeed in video marketing, you should have strong editing skills. You’ll also need to write scripts and storyboard your ideas.
Search Engine Optimization
Most internet users start with a search engine. More specifically, they use Google to find what they’re looking for. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the science behind improving the rank of a website within the search results.
If you can boost your ranking, you’ll increase the number of visitors to your site. This in turn, will result in more sales, and more profit. SEO, therefore, plays a vital role in any digital marketing campaign.
The huge advantage of SEO over other digital marketing channels is that you can target customers that are actively searching for your product or service, in real-time. Search traffic from targeted keywords converts into sales at a much higher rate than ‘interruption’ banner advertising or pop-ups.
You’ll need to learn on-page and off-page SEO techniques. This includes adding title tags, meta descriptions, friendly-URLs, site maps, and breadcrumb navigation. You’ll also need to build backlinks and promote your site across the internet.
They say content is king. It attracts users to visit a website, watch a video, or subscribe to a social media page. Official blogs, whitepapers, case studies, and general guides for using an application all come under content marketing.
A digital marketer should know the nuances of creating content and should understand its effectiveness. You should know how to select content topics and deliver the type of content that your users want to read.
Data and Analytics
The availability of data is what makes digital marketing so powerful. You don’t just create a campaign and forget about it. You'll need to constantly analyze performance and track a range of different metrics. You can use this data to optimize campaigns and improve ROI.
For example, you can set up A/B split testing. Where half of the traffic is sent to an experimental landing page. Perhaps you’ve changed the design colors or altered the page layout. You’ll have direct access to the data which tells you which page has more sales.
You’ll need to calculate performance metrics like cost per click (CPC), click-through rate (CTR), conversion rate, and average spend per user.
Google Analytics is a free tool you can use to start collecting and analyzing data.
Design and Innovation
The more users enjoy the experience and feel comfortable using a site, the more likely a marketing campaign will be successful. Users always look for a simple, effective, and rich online experience. Any company that gets all three correct will enjoy maximum user retention.
Transition effects, page loading speed, ease of online payment, and calls to action are some of the crucial on-page factors of a digital marketing campaign.
Email marketing has been around since the early days of the internet. And is still a great way to communicate directly with new users, sales prospects, and existing customers.
Spam filters have become more sensitive over the years and you need to take care when sending unsolicited emails. But as long as you get permission from the user, you can build targeted lists to promote your products and services.
Email marketing works best when you’re providing real value to the user. For example, you can issue a monthly newsletter to your subscribers or send money-off vouchers to incentivize spending.
You can improve open rates by using catchy subject headings and your email body should include a call-to-action.
Tools like MailChimp, SendPulse, and HubSpot are powerful online resources to help you manage your email marketing campaigns.
Keeping up with Tech Trends
The digital marketing industry is technology-driven. As a result, it evolves extremely fast. You’ll be expected to stay up to date on all the latest tools and techniques and continually refresh your skills. Knowing the basics of coding and having hands-on experience in content management systems (CMS) like WordPress will help you stand out from the crowd.
Digital Marketing Positions
There are many different career paths available to aspiring digital marketers. By learning about each area, you can make a more informed decision on your future. Let’s go through some of the most popular job titles:
- SEO Manager: If you enjoy the challenge of ranking up a site in the search results, you may want to consider an SEO position. You’ll need to learn how the Google ranking algorithm works to boost traffic and drive sales. As an SEO manager, you’ll lead a team and be responsible for building inbound links, performing keyword research, generating content ideas, tracking progress, and reporting to senior management.
- Content Marketing Specialist: For creative individuals with a flair for originality, a content marketing specialist is an ideal role. You’ll need to come up with innovative content ideas and bring them to life using blogs, videos, and infographics. This role requires you to work closely with the SEO team. You should learn how to research relevant keywords that users may use to find your content. You’ll also need to understand how to engage with users and keep them coming back for more.
- Social Media Manager: A social media manager is responsible for representing the company brand on platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram. You’ll need to create posting schedules and monitor how users respond to your messages. You’re the voice of the company and will need to interact with customers, offer support, and organize giveaways and competitions to help build followers.
- Digital Marketing Manager: A digital marketing manager monitors the overall content strategy and marketing campaign. Your goal is to enhance brand awareness, drive traffic to company sites, and generate new leads. You’ll also need to keep existing customers happy and meet user retention targets. You’ll need to develop a marketing plan that includes budgets, goals, deadlines, and resource allocation. The success of the entire campaign will be your responsibility.
How to Become a Digital Marketer
To land a digital marketing job, you first need to learn the necessary skills, processes, and correct marketing approach. And if your end goal is a new career, then you need to learn the specific skills employers are looking for.
We have a range of online courses that can provide you with everything you need. Enroll in our digital marketing bootcamp and learn career-ready skills to fast-track your way into a well-paid marketing position. (How well paid, you ask? Find out how much digital marketers earn by reading our guide on digital marketer salaries.)
Our program is designed by experienced digital marketers who understand exactly what you need to learn. We'll provide you with expert mentorship throughout the course and even help you in your job search so you can launch your new career.
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.