Marketing Automation, Email marketing, SEO, SEM, PPC, Web Development
Are you interested in a career that’s fast-paced, ever-changing, and ripe with potential for advancement? Then consider a career in digital marketing, even if you lack experience. Digital marketing is one of those rare fields that has so many facets to it and changes so fast that experience is not necessarily a requirement for landing a job. Knowledge is needed, of course, and inherent skills such as creativity, eagerness to learn, analytical ability, and being a team player are all plusses for anyone entering this field. But a newbie can get started without a marketing degree and go on to do quite well in this field.
If you’re interested in a career in digital marketing, keep reading to learn more about the field, the job outlook, types of jobs within the field, and how to get started learning digital marketing skills—without heading back to school.
Digital Marketing Is a Constantly Evolving Industry
The rate at which technology is evolving is unbelievable; from new social platforms to new mobile technologies, every day brings a new challenge and opportunity. And given the rate at which companies are moving toward digital solutions, the future for traditional and conventional varieties of marketing are bleak. Thus, with each change that is introduced, people need to stay up-to-date.
Employers are not necessarily seeking job candidates with marketing degrees or years of experience in part because they need people with skills that might not even be taught on a college campus yet. If Facebook marketing is needed by an employer, but a college graduate doesn’t have that specific knowledge, the employer is going to seek out the job candidate that does have it.
In addition, digital marketing is so wide-ranging that the skills needed are going to differ from employer to employer. The industry needs to frequently adapt to new strategies and best practices which makes the job a constant revelation. Marketers need to always be on their toes and informed about the latest happenings around the world.
Digital marketing has so many parts to it—with those parts constantly changing as technology develops and consumer tastes evolve—that it’s almost impossible to list every aspect of the field, but some of the key components include:
- Marketing automation
- Email marketing
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Search engine marketing (SEM) which includes pay-per-click (PPC) advertising
- Social media marketing, including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and more
- Mobile marketing, including SMS
- Content marketing
- Web analytics
- Growth hacking
- Digital advertising
As you can see, digital marketing covers a wide and diverse range of areas of knowledge, with only some crossover between them. And while one employer needs someone highly knowledgeable in social media marketing, another might need an email marketing wiz while yet another is seeking a growth hacker. All of these are skillsets someone new to the field can learn without going back to school for a degree.
Digital marketers also need to know how to communicate with people. It isn’t enough to just know about things, it is also important to get the audience to listen to what you are saying. Sure, it’s important for a digital marketer to be familiar with tools, but there are lots of good tools to learn, and using them is the best way to become expert. What really matters for a digital marketer is understanding the strategy that drives the tool, how to use the tools to reach the right audience, with the right message, at the right time, on the right channel, and how to measure and refine the results. Only the street-smart survive in this industry.
Why Digital Marketing Is the Future
Digital marketing is not a trend, but how marketing will be done going forward. For one thing, going digital is a lot more affordable than traditional techniques. For example, an email campaign can broadcast a message to a much wider user-base than via conventional means – but for a fraction of the cost of a television or print ad. Besides, results can be monitored and tracked. Instead of an expensive customer survey or research, marketers can, in minutes, track customer response rates and measure the success of a campaign in real time. This will also enable the next campaign to be planned effectively. The bottom line is that the digital age is here. Businesses that cannot adapt to the new marketing climate run the risk of facing extinction sooner rather than later—and they are choosing to adapt by hiring digital marketers.
The Demand for Digital Marketers Is High
Large and small industries are increasingly moving away from conventional marketing methods and towards digital techniques. As a result, companies are hiring more digital marketers and the demand for people to fill these jobs is high.
If you’re interested in digital marketing and relieved you don’t need a college degree, but you’re not sure about the job outlook, rest assured the jobs are out there. According to a report by Burning Glass Technologies, four out of 10 jobs listed in marketing now call for digital marketing skills. In addition, the report states:
- Job postings that call for digital marketing skills almost doubled between 2011 and 2016.
- Demand for content marketers rose 450 percent during that time frame, while demand for digital analytics skills increased by 152 percent.
- Forrester Research predicts digital marketing will account for 35 percent of all marketing spending by 2019.
- Jobs requiring digital marketing skills pay almost $7,000 more than other marketing roles.
- Mobile marketing offers the highest salary at $88,681, followed by multi-channel marketing at $82,782.
- As an indication that these skills are needed but not readily found in job candidates, digital marketing jobs take 16 percent longer to fill.
And all this demand for skilled professionals is predicted to grow as marketing becomes ever more digital, keeping pace with our digital world.
Get Started in Digital Marketing—No Experience Required
If you like the sounds of that job outlook and you’re ready to make a digital marketing career happen from scratch, you might be wondering where on earth to start, especially given the wide-ranging facets of digital marketing. Start by narrowing your focus a little. Listed below are a number of disciplines within the broader umbrella of digital marketing and their respective perks and requirements:
Email marketing is a type of push messaging and outbound marketing that consists of sending emails to leads and customers. Typically, the intent of the emails is to engage with the customer or to advertise a product. Through email marketing, brands can quickly and easily reach target markets without huge investment into ATL communication such as print, television, or radio to target markets. Segmented email lists that divide the target segment up by geography, profession, years of experience, psychographic profile, etc., may be maintained, ensuring the emails that are sent out are relevant and contain content that would actually interest the reader. The basic skills an email marketer needs to possess are:
1. Understanding of metrics such as open, click through and bounce rates
2. A/B testing
4. Niche targeting
Salary Prospects: Average Base Pay is $60,000/yr.
Search Engine Optimization
An SEO specialist position calls for extensive analytical, tactical and strategic skills. This is because of the multidisciplinary nature of the SEO role, having to get their hands dirty with social media, content quality scoring, mobile search, and ongoing search engine updates. SEO professionals analyze, review, and implement changes to a website so they are optimized for search engines. The key responsibilities of an SEO specialist are to generate traffic and increase the number of visitors to the website. The skills required are:
1. Intuitive understanding of all aspects of SEO including the know how to drive organic traffic
2. Identification and evaluation of high-quality content
3. Competitor analysis
Salary Prospects: Average Base Pay is $56,557/yr.
Copywriters write texts for the purpose of advertising and other forms of marketing. The responsibilities of a copywriter include writing advertising and marketing copy, public relations copy, audiovisual and broadcast copy, in addition to ghostwriting and editing. Sometimes they also write taglines, direct mail pieces, web content, online ads and email. Skills that a copywriter should possess are:
1. Communication skills – vocabulary, sound grammatical knowledge
2. An eye for detail and research ability
4. An ability to see different points of view
Salary Prospects: Average Base Pay is $71,137/yr.
Content writers produce interesting, engaging content aimed at drawing readers to the site, nurturing them into regular followers, and encouraging their retention. Professional content writers are Internet savvy and create blogs, articles, and other written forms of web material. These professionals have a major hand in all the written material that is found all over the web. They have a solid grasp of the English language and writing skills, and many have experience working with content management systems and HTMLCSS. Skills required to be a content writer include:
1. English language skills – vocabulary, sound grammatical knowledge
2. An eye for detail and research ability
4. An ability to see different points of view
6. Good understanding of user needs, motivation and requirements
Salary prospects: Average Base Pay is $48,454/yr.
Social Media Marketing
This is a kind of marketing that uses social media networks to achieve branding goals by cultivating a voice and feel, and business goals via paid and free promotions. Social media marketers rely mainly on social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, etc., to promote the brand and the company’s offerings. Their primary activity involves social sharing of videos, content, and images for marketing purposes. The responsibilities of a social media marketer include:
1. Devising a social media strategy which is in line with the identity of the brand, its goals, and its audience.
2. Defining a communication style and a content strategy that is in-line with the above.
3. Creating and adapting the content for each social media network.
4. Keeping themselves up-to-date on the latest digital marketing trends.
The necessary skills for a social media marketer are:
2. Writing and analytical skills
3. A solid understanding of SEO and content writing
4. A customer service and relationship building mindset
Salary prospects: Average Base Pay is $49,395/yr.
Advertisers play a vital role in the generation of income for the media outlets. They are responsible for maintaining relationships with new clients, exploring new opportunities and finding new clients, and ensuring the advertising needs of both the customer and the organization are met to satisfaction. The skills of an advertiser are:
1. Ability to easily relate to people
2. Communication skills
Salary prospects: Average Base Pay is $40,000/yr.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Search engine marketers are in charge of the development of marketing campaigns built around keywords which will drive traffic to the website and result in conversions. The skills required for search engine marketer are:
1. Understanding of performance marketing, conversion and online customer acquisition
2. In-depth experience with website analytics tools (e.g., Google Analytics, NetInsight, Omniture, WebTrends)
3. Experience with bid management tools (e.g., Click Equations, Marin, Kenshoo, Search Ignite)
4. Experience with A/B and multivariate experiments
6. Staying up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices in SEO and SEM
Salary prospects: Average Base Pay is $62,829/yr.
A PPC Analyst, sometimes also known as a Paid Search Analyst, is primarily responsible for managing and executing PPC or Pay-Per-Click media and marketing strategies for the clients. By monitoring pay-per-click accounts on search engine platforms, keyword strategies, and industry trends daily, they ensure the success of client campaigns. The skills required for a PPC analyst are:
1. Attention to detail and excellent analytical abilities
2. Ability to think out of the box and effectively articulate ideas
3. Effective organisational and multitasking skills
4. Well-versed in Internet and search engine marketing
Salary prospects: Average Base Pay is $43,037/yr.
Mobile marketers are responsible for mobile marketing initiatives of the brand. They also manage mobile SEO, mobile display campaigns, and mobile PPC. Apart from this, they even ensure there are maximum downloads for mobile apps and perform A/B testing to ensure high conversions. The skills required for a mobile marketer are:
1. Good knowledge about mobile marketing
3. Good with numbers and analytics
4. Strong communication skills
5. Relationship building skills
Salary prospects: Average Base Pay is $58,328/yr.
Start Learning Digital Marketing Today
As you can see by all the aspects of the field that are listed above, digital marketing is made up of a lot of parts and you can’t possibly be an expert in all of them. Do some self-examination and determine where your strengths lie. Are you more creative or is your brain more analytical? Are you better with words or better with numbers? Are you adept at jumping from task to task or is sticking with one task for a longer time more your thing? For example, a creative person who writes well and likes to have more time with a task might choose to focus on content marketing, while a person with an analytical mind who can easily jump from task to task might want to focus on analytics. Think through your strengths and weaknesses and choose your focus based on what you do best.
Once you’re focused, start to learn. The Internet is full of digital marketing resources, on every facet of the field. Start to learn what you can by reading blogs and articles, downloading ebooks and watching videos. Eventually you’ll get to know who the major players are in your chosen area and you can dig deeper into your learning.
You don’t have to be employed in digital marketing to try out new skills. You can create a blog and do SEO and web analytics on your own. You can experiment with design and templates without a boss. You can research keywords and create Facebook ads all by yourself. At the same time, start critiquing the marketing you get as a consumer. Review the email marketing that shows up in your inbox, the ads you see on social media, the hero image used on a website, or the writing of a web page. How would you do it differently, or better?
Explore the tools and platforms, and start to put your newfound knowledge to work—even if you’re not working. Doing so will also help you to find what you like to do and what you’re good at while you’re also expanding that knowledge.
Once you’ve got an idea of how your area of digital marketing works, consider earning a certification to both increase your knowledge and give you credibility.
Meanwhile, as you’re learning and preparing for your future role, look for a professional organization you can join and start attending their events to learn from speakers and network with others in that field. Those in digital marketing tend to be open to meeting people new to the field and offering advice, so take advantage of these opportunities to get connected. Also look for LinkedIn groups in your chosen focus area and pay attention to the discussions other participants have online while you start building an online network.
Marketing Automation, Email marketing, SEO, SEM, PPC, Web Development