As digital marketing is becoming one of the fastest growing industries, here are the need-to-knows on how to go about kickstarting your career in the field.
1. Understand what a Digital Marketer is
The role requires a mixed bag of different skills and an understanding of the broader term of what marketing is…
A successful digital marketer doesn’t only know how to do Google Ad Words or write a killer blog that’s SEO friendly. They have knowledge on a combination of areas including paid advertising, PPC, optimising web pages, analysing web pages and social media data, creating content, updating social media, creating e-mail campaigns… The ability to make graphics and understand code is a bonus too.
More than ever, companies are looking for people to take the lead when it comes to digital marketing – people who can plan and execute.
2. Know how and where you want to work
You can take different routes in digital marketing which makes the industry an exciting one to be in… It’s also worth flagging that just because you decided to go down one route, it doesn’t mean you have to stick with it forever. Feel your way through the industry and figure out how you prefer to work, and in what type of environment…
There will be elements of all sorts when you’re working in-house. If you like wearing a lot of different hats and enjoy having a range of responsibilities, then becoming a part of an in-house team would work well for you.
When you work within a company, you’ll have more time to reflect and experiment, potentially leading to more effective ways of working. You’re much more likely to be closely involved in decisions about the projects that the team is working on and the strategies you use.
If you’re looking to specialise in a particular area of marketing then working as part of an agency will be for you. Finding your niche and developing your skills within that niche will mean over-time you’ll become a real expert. However, this will also mean that the details of work you do day-to-day will often remain the same.
When you work within an agency expect a high-tempo, high-expectations environment. There’s a focus on getting things done and achieving milestones, which sets you up with great time management skills and working efficiently.
Working as a freelance digital marketer means you get you forge your own path within the industry; picking the type of clients you want to work with, deciding what you want to specialise in as well as building your own brand along the way.
3. Curiosity is your friend
The industry is constantly changing, with new trends, technologies, software, and channels emerging all the time. Have your resources ready for you to check in on daily and make learning a priority. Luckily the industry is very open and willing to share knowledge and experience, so you’ll have plenty of articles, slideshares, videos and podcasts that will be stacked with useful insights.
Keep hold of your curiosity – let it drive you to improve your skills and knowledge.
4. Know how to analyse data
Data is fast becoming a central part of marketing. Gaining an understanding of analytics and being able to analyse data has huge advantages for your career as a digital marketer.
You’ll be able to base future decisions and concepts on what you know about the audience you’re targeting by being comfortable with numbers. Giving you then the opportunity to experiment with ideas; for example, if you usually send out graphic e-mail campaigns, try a plain text campaign and read the data to understand whether it was successful or not.
5. Don't be afraid to experiment
A big part of digital marketing is being experimental and not being afraid to try out new things. Try out different tools, software, and strategies based on the insights you’ve gained from the data you’ve analysed and the knowledge you’ve built up from all the research you’ve undertaken.
Being open to experimenting helps build your confidence as a digital marketer too – which is key when it comes to executing an idea or campaign when the opportunity is there.