Building a Career in Digital Marketing

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Digital marketing is marketing that makes use of electronic devices (computers) such as personal computers, smartphones, cellphones, tablets and game consoles to engage with stakeholders. Digital marketing applies technologies or platforms such as websites, e-mail, apps (classic and mobile) and social networks. Digital Marketing can be through Non-internet channels like TV, Radio, SMS, etc or through Internet channels like Social Media, Emails ads, Banner ads, etc. Social Media Marketing is a component of digital marketing. Many organizations use a combination of traditional and digital marketing channels; however, digital marketing is becoming more popular with marketers as it allows them to track their Return on Investment (ROI) more accurately compared to other traditional marketing channels.

In a smart and quirky infographic made by www.smartinsights.com which I am using to show to you what employers are wanting in candidates, they want to hire. Here is what they made it look like.

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So, living in a world where everything is based on digital communication, digital marketing is a sector where fortunes can be made. Specially in India which is one of the world’s largest growing and expanding economies at present, freshers can make a proving career in this field of digital marketing. If you’re really interested in what skill sets one needs to excel in this field then have a look yourself.

1) Eagerness to learn – The digital marketing industry is both fast-growing and incredibly competitive. It’s easy for businesses to differentiate between candidates who have the willingness to learn, and who are along for the ride. This industry requires passion and a desire to succeed.

2) Stay Updated –You need to keep on top of industry news by following major digital marketing sites and influential people on social media. As the major players such as Google, Facebook and Twitter regularly tweak their paid advertising platforms and algorithms, you’re in for a wild ride if you don’t keep on top of the latest changes.

Here’s some recommendations on websites to get started –

SEO – Moz, Distilled, SEOGadget, Search Engine Land

PPCPPC Hero, Search Engine Land

Social MediaSocial Media Examiner,  Social Media Today

ContentHubspot

3) Networking – Surround yourself with people more talented than yourself. The people you meet will be your ongoing support network when you run into problems, as well as help to open doors to opportunities you might not have otherwise found.

Attend industry meetups and conferences in your area to nurture relationships with other digital marketers and enhance your skill set through in-depth workshops and presentations.

4) Personal Projects – Try out your own ideas and don’t just treat industry leaders’ opinions as gospel. Everything isn’t always black and white in the digital marketing industry with many grey areas  between best practice and what can actually get results for a business.

Every digital marketer should have personal projects to test out theories, try their hand at multiple disciplines (SEO, PPC, Social Media, Content Marketing etc.) and be able to take accountability for the success or failure of a project.

5) Learn the terminology – Digital marketers needs to be comfortable with acronyms such as PPC, SEM, and SEO. They are all very different terms with a misunderstanding of them being a clear sign that you have a beginner’s skill set and need further training. The ability to analyse digital marketing campaigns and understand what elements worked or  not is dependent on your ability to understand industry jargon.

6) Build your personal brand – Fancy yourself as a digital marketing hotshot but you have no visible online presence? If you want to show to an employer that you can build their company’s visibility then you need to show that you can firstly build your own personal brand.

A strong online presence could potentially be the deciding factor between two candidates who have applied for the same position.

7) T-Shaped Marketer – As a term commonly used by Rand Fishkin of Moz, it refers to having a basic understanding of multiple marketing disciplines but specialising in one or two particular skills.

It’s not uncommon for companies to find candidates with a broad digital marketing skill set to be a valuable asset as there’s considerable cross over between the different channels. It will also make you better equipped for choosing a more specific path of focus that you can specialise in.

8) Get Nerdy – Digital marketing can often be perceived to be quite glamorous, but truth be told it’s often more technical and data driven then we would care to admit. You won’t be developing websites from scratch but you will be communicating your marketing strategy to a team of developers or designers who have a responsibility for incorporating your recommendations.

A basic knowledge of HTML and graphic design would help to make you stand out among the less technically minded candidates.

9) Metrics are King – Do you know your CPC from your CPA? If you want to set yourself apart in an interview, talk about the return on ad spend for a campaign you’ve run yourself. It’s easy to talk about an exciting creative concept you’ve helped to develop but the fact remains…money talks.

You really need to understand how each marketing channel has performed and what the key learnings have been.

10) Certification – If you really want to stand out from your peers in the industry, completing a certified digital marketing course will help. One of the issues facing the digital marketing industry is that there are no barriers to entry, meaning that anyone with a loose grasp of industry terminology can potentially get a position in a company.

As this industry matures, recruiters are becoming more savvy about what differentiates a candidate that can talk the talk, but maybe will be a costly mistake for the company.

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