Digital marketing may fall under the umbrella of marketing, but it requires enough work, focus, and expertise to easily dedicate your entire career to digital marketing. Digital marketing requires a lot of different skillsets than OOH marketing, and for that very reason, it is perfectly acceptable to focus on the digital aspect of marketing as a whole.
Digital marketing requires enough dedication as it is, so regardless of whether you are thinking of taking on clients and going freelance, or starting an agency of your own in the future, or even just working your way up to the top of your field within a company, you can do it all with digital marketing as your primary focus.
Sure, you will need to work with other teams that focus on OOH marketing, PR marketing, and the like, but if your interest lies in the digital sphere, this is where you should invest your focus. You can become big in digital marketing, especially if you build up your skillset and follow the advice outlined in this guide:
Education Tips to Make Waves in Digital Marketing
Higher education is a great way to make your way in digital marketing. Marketing, at its core, combines many of the humanities degrees. It is business, psychology, design and art. It is sociology, history, and English. There is a reason why marketing jobs, especially entry-level, don’t have strict requirements on what degree you have, only that you have a degree.
Marketing is very human. Even when you combine the technical side of research, analytics, and data science, marketing is at its core humanities-based. This means that you almost cannot go wrong when it comes to choosing your undergraduate.
You can either choose a degree that will give you a better foundation in marketing or a foundation in a topic that interests you most. If you already have a degree but want to become a digital marketer, then you can use that topic to specialize your marketing talents for that industry. Someone who studied chemistry in university can then follow up with a marketing master’s and use those combined skills to become invaluable to a pharmaceutical brand.
When Studying Marketing, Ensure Data Analytics is Included
When you want to go into digital marketing, you need to focus on both aspects of the job role. It isn’t just marketing, and it isn’t just digital. Thankfully there are many excellent master’s programs out there that combine the two. They can even be completed online, allowing you to finish the degree in as little as a year. You can even spread it out, allowing you to work and study while you support yourself.
By ensuring that your Masters in Digital Marketing includes data analytics, you combine both spheres of the role you want to go into. Marketing without understanding analytics and data science means that you will not be able to understand and make important conclusions from the data offered.
Digital marketing isn’t like OOH marketing because everything can be tracked. User behavior, clicks, buys, drop-offs, and more. That is a lot of data, and though you can use data management tools to help you understand the information, there is still going to be a disconnect.
There is a reason why data science is an entire field on its own and why data scientists make so much money. Combine the principles of data analytics with marketing, and you can become the golden child in your industry – especially when you add in your undergraduate background.
Get Certified and Stay Certified
You can earn several certifications that prove you know how to use some of the most basic and essential tools in the industry. This applies to Google Analytics, Google AdWords, and even YouTube. The ones that are managed by Google are free to complete, but they do have a time limit.
This makes sense when you consider how digital marketing tools have changed over the years. If you wait too long, even what you have learned in your digital marketing master’s will become outdated. Certification is how you can keep what you learned in that degree sharp and how you can prove to new clients or potential employers that you know what you are doing.
It isn’t essential in the sense that you need these certifications in order to get that new job or client, but it can help you stay on top of your toes and is a nice way to showcase your skills and your dedication with a clear, easy certification.
Attend Digital Marketing Events
Certifications help you stay up to date on the tools and how to use them, but to develop new ideas and strategies you need to listen. Attending events is one of the best ways to keep up with the discourse around marketing.
Marketing is tied to society, and therefore it must adapt and change with society so that you can always reflect a better world through your marketing efforts. That is what marketing is, at the end of the day: selling a better world through a product or a service. Sometimes that better world is just a minor inconvenience solved, other times, it can completely change someone’s life.
You are selling that idea, but the idea that you sell must always be based on the existing problems of today. If it isn’t, then there will be a disconnect between your product and your customers. This applies to OOH marketing, and it applies to digital marketing.
What you will learn from these events isn’t just how to use the tools better. It’s to keep yourself on top of the strategies and ideas that are making waves. It’s easy to feel like you have a finger on the pulse of what is going on, but there is too much to know everything. By going to these events, you’ll learn from other marketers, and more importantly, you’ll be able to network.
Just a few of the events you should look into, and book tickets for, include workshops, talks, and of course, conferences. If you are currently working in a marketing capacity, see if your employer can sponsor your attendance so that you can learn and improve as a marketer without having to dip into your own pockets.
There are many workshops out there. Choose the ones that are hosted by people with resumes that you admire or host voices that you respect. Some are going to be poorly done, and that’s okay. Soon you will figure out exactly what workshops are worth your time and which ones are not.
Workshops help you directly improve your skills, and can be a great way to meet other marketers in your field.
Talks are more laid-back. Instead of engaging and learning a new skill, you will be listening to key thinkers in your field. There is often mixers afterward, allowing you to meet others and even talk to the hosts and other speakers first-hand. It is an excellent way to keep up-to-date with the industry and to meet key players.
Digital marketing conferences are large, often including large talks, workshops, and everything in-between. It can be very worthwhile to go to conferences, especially if you live or operate out of a city or town that does not have a lot of talks or workshops outside of the conference. You may also find it easier to get your employer to sponsor you by attending a big conference in digital marketing.
Staying on Top of Trends and Tools
Events are a great way to learn from the mouths of others, but if you aren’t also working to stay up to date with the latest trends and news, then all your skills as a digital marketer are going to fall apart. Thankfully you don’t need to be involved in the research process and can instead just read the work others have done.
There are endless numbers of reports available. Some are available for free, and others are behind a paywall. They are all invaluable. You will want to stay on top of marketing and digital marketing trends. You will want to stay on top of your industry’s trends. You will want to stay on top of what your customers care about most.
There are entire companies dedicated to creating these reports and selling them to businesses and digital marketers just like you. Always try to get access through your company first, as these reports can be expensive, and keep an eye out for the free ones. Staying on top of this information is one of the best ways to always be at the forefront of your industry.
Trends and statistics, however, are not the only thing you want to stay on top of. As a digital marketer, you need to know the tools that you can use and the tools that your customers are using. If there is a new social media on the horizon, you are going to be the one expected to create a brand strategy that uses that new medium. If there is a new management tool that makes posting and managing your social calendar better, then you need to know about it.
Though it isn’t strictly in your field, keeping an ear out for different digital tools that will enhance the customer experience online is also another way to improve your role and position as a digital marketer.
Digital marketing can easily be expanded to include the customer experience online. After all, it is all part of the brand identity, so being the first to pitch these ideas can help you rise quickly from digital marketing manager to director of digital marketing.
Make a Name for Yourself
Listening and learning from others is great, but if you want to become a huge success in digital marketing, you will have to become a key leader in your field. This is how you can prepare yourself to start your own business or how you can market your talents to get your dream job.
Having a blog, managing your own brand image, and using your skills to get onto panels, to host workshops on your own, and to get published in key magazines and even journals are all options available to you. If you think of a unique approach to all of this, take it. The more you stand out, the easier it will be to make your name a household occurrence in the marketing industry.
It does take a lot of effort, of course, but if your goal is to become top of your field, it will be essential. Just remember to try to monetize your efforts. This will help support your side-job and even give you the option to take it up full-time.
Forging Your Own Path
Marketing is not like other careers. In some careers, there are very clear-cut ladders to your career path. Not only that, but there are requirements and licenses that you need to earn before you make that next step. Marketing is the opposite. There is an infinite number of ways to become a success in marketing and numerous specialization you can make even within the bracket of digital marketing.
You can become a content marketer, an SEO specialist, a social media marketer, and more. You can focus on the actual advertising side of marketing or on content creation. You can work within digital marketing in so many ways, meaning you can truly customize it to suit your personal interests without an issue.
Of course, forging your way forward can also be very daunting. It’s not easy traveling the path untraveled, especially when it is easier to just take what is available to you.
When it comes to starting your own business or making your way to the top, however, you will have to focus your interests and background to stand out. Being slightly different is a great thing in this industry because it gives you a different set of skills that are going to be necessary for your future.