The Ultimate Guide: How To Become A Digital Marketer In Less Than A Year
7 min read
7 min read
If you're looking to start your career in digital marketing, there are many ways to get started. This post covers the basics of landing your first job in less than a year.
Table of Contents
- What Is Digital Marketing?
- There Are Different Kinds Of Digital Marketing
- Before You Get Started In Digital Marketing
- Skills Needed For A Career In Digital Marketing
- Where To Find Training Programs
- Free Certified Programs
- Free With Paid Certification
- Fully Paid Programs
- Ways To Find Your First Job In The Industry
- Start Building Your Portfolio Early
- Start As A Freelancer
- Practice Interviews
- Network With Other Digital Marketers
- Start Applying For Jobs
- The Bottom Line
The digital marketing industry is booming, and it's not hard to see why. With the rise of social media, people are more connected globally than ever before. The internet has become a never-ending stream of information that most companies now use as their main form of advertising. This means there are tons of jobs in digital marketing for anyone who wants them! It doesn't matter if you're looking for an entry-level position or something with more responsibility - there are plenty of opportunities out there!
But how can you get started? That's what this ultimate guide will tell you! We'll cover everything from what skills you need to where to find training programs up to finding your first job so that by the end of this guide, you'll have all the tools you need to start your career!
What Is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is an umbrella term for any kind of marketing that uses digital technology. It's the process of promoting, selling, and distributing goods or services using digital channels instead of conventional business channels. It is also one of the most popular forms of marketing used today.
Digital marketing involves identifying prospects through their online behavior, especially through their interactions with your internet content. It can also include other variables such as age, household income, etc. Once a digital marketer has identified their target market and defined their buyer's persona, they'll use techniques such as SEO, SEM, Social Media and others to reach the perfect audience.
Chances are you've interacted with someone who's promoting a product or service on social media, for instance. You may have scrolled through an Instagram profile or watched a YouTube video. Perhaps you've even purchased something online. All of these interactions are examples of digital marketing at work!
There Are Different Kinds Of Digital Marketing
In the past, digital marketing was mostly used as a way to increase web traffic. Nowadays, companies use online advertising to generate revenue, create passive income streams, increase brand awareness, establish their brand, measure their return on investment, and more.
That said, there are several types of digital marketing. The most popular ones are search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), email marketing, content marketing, social media, and influencer marketing, among others.
There is a lot of overlap with the various types of digital marketing, but they all have their own unique benefits. Let's take a quick look at each one, so you know what they're about:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a webpage in a search engine's unpaid results--often referred to as "organic" or "natural" results. There are many aspects involved in SEO, but generally, it involves things like building high-quality content targetting specific keywords, getting links to your site, and so on.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Search engine marketing - also referred to as SEM - is the practice of running advertisements that are targeted to appear on search engine results pages (SERPS), the online pages that come up when someone conducts a "search." Advertisers bid on keywords and phrases relevant to their products, services, or brand names, and those bids determine the placement of those keywords in sponsored links.
Email marketing sees the creation of promotional or informative emails sent to a target customer base with different marketing goals in mind. An email list is one of the best ways to reach an engaged audience. It can be used for anything from developing relationships with potential customers, announcing special offers or events, promoting products or services - the possibilities are endless!
Content marketing is a marketing technique wherein web content plays a central role in attracting customers to a company's product or service. It usually entails producing content for one's website and making sure it is published where other people can see it.
Social Media Markeing
Social media marketing is focused on driving awareness of the brand through social networks. Social media marketers usually share interesting photos on social media to attract followers and drive engagement.
Influencer marketing is a technique of marketing where you identify and reach out to people within your target audience who have the most clout and credibility and can advocate for your brand. These people are usually called influencers, and they include personalities such as bloggers, social media stars, and more.
Before You Get Started In Digital Marketing
Now that you have a better idea of what digital marketing is all about, we can start discussing how to get into the industry, even if you're starting from scratch. The first thing you'll need to do is make a decision. Ask yourself what kind of digital marketer do you see yourself as. Do you want to be a digital marketer focusing on SEO, SEM, Social Media, or something else? The answer to that question will ultimately define your path regarding what type of certification you should pursue.
You may also want to ask yourself what kind of company you would like to work for - small business or big company. Smaller businesses often have more opportunity for growth, while bigger companies tend to have a more established infrastructure you'll need to adapt to. Getting a job as a digital marketer at a big tech firm will require extra training just to ace the interview process Alone.
Skills Needed For A Career In Digital Marketing
If you want to get started in digital marketing, it's a good idea to start by figuring out what skills you need. The first step is to ask yourself if any of the following skills resonate with you:
Creativity: Creativity is a key trait in digital marketing - from crafting content, writing headlines to designing ads. You need to think outside the box and come up with new ideas that will interest your target market.
Critical thinking: Good critical thinking skills are an essential requirement for a job in digital marketing because it's likely that you'll have to solve complex problems, write reports and carry out research.
Social and communication skills: You'll also need good social skills because you'll probably spend a lot of time talking to clients and colleagues. If you're not self-assured, it'll be difficult for you to convince people that your solution is the best one.
Networking: Networking is an important skill for digital marketers because it's the best way to learn about new opportunities and gain valuable contacts in your industry who can help you advance in your career later on.
Project management skills: You'll need good project management skills, especially if you work as part of a team or agency.
If you have these basic skills, you're already halfway there. The rest of the more technical skills you can pick up along the way or by taking in-person or online courses, which brings us to our next section.
Where To Find Training Programs
No matter what your skillset, there are tons of training programs out there that can teach you the ropes of any given type of marketing.
Free Certified Programs
Google offers free courses and certifications to help you use all the platforms' tools to the max. Microsoft offers their free Microsoft Advertising Certified Professional program that'll help you increase your Microsoft Advertising proficiency and optimize ad campaigns. Hubspot also offers a free certification program in inbound marketing.
Free With Paid Certification
Besides free certifications, you can also take hundreds of courses for free and pay for a certificate later if you wish. You can take an SEO course on Udemy or Coursera. These courses teach everything from using SEO tools like Google AdWords and Google Analytics to optimizing web pages and writing content that will rank high on SERPs.
Fully Paid Programs
If you have the means, one of the best ways to hit the ground running and become a world-class digital marketer in record time is to enroll in an immersive paid course. Some are very expensive, going for $10K and more. However, others offer an excellent curriculum for only a small fraction of that price. Wyncode and Coderhouse are only two of the myriad options out there that offer the benefits of most major courses without the hefty price tag.
The main benefits of a paid program are:
A well-structured curriculum that goes in-depth into digital marketing with a practical approach.
Fast-paced learning, sometimes with personalized tutoring sessions.
Career support and job placement (on some of the courses, not all of them)
Besides fast and effective training in the skills employers are looking for, the biggest perk that comes with paid courses is the career services and job placement support that some offer. These services include CV crafting, training in cover letter writing, interview training, and sometimes they'll even help you get an interview. In other words, they pave the way for your success.
Ways To Find Your First Job In The Industry
One of the major challenges that most people face when they want to work in digital marketing is the difficulty of getting their first job. However, some simple tricks can ensure you quickly find the first position.
Start Building Your Portfolio Early
One of the most important things employers look for is experience. But how do you get it if you haven't even landed your first job? You start by applying everything you've learned about digital marketing to a personal project. You can create a niche website, start a blog, start working on a strong personal brand on social media, etc.
You can also help friends and family who are starting a business with their marketing efforts free of charge. Take it seriously and do your best because their success will mean your success when an employer sees what you were able to do for them.
Start As A Freelancer
Once you have a minimum viable portfolio, it'll be a lot easier to start finding clients and small gigs on freelance sites such as freelancer.com, upwork.com, flexjobs.com or other similar platforms. At this point, you will finally start making some real money out of your new career, but, more importantly, you'll be gaining valuable experience and confidence for your dream job.
All the work that you've put in until now is geared towards one thing: getting recruiters to notice you and landing your first interview. This means that you want to make this interview count! So, prepare yourself for it. Research the companies you'd like to work at and see what types of questions they ask and how they expect candidates to answer.
Network With Other Digital Marketers
Reach out to others in your new industry and start building valuable connections. LinkedIn is an excellent place to start, but you can also try cold calling or emailing them about potential opportunities. Attending events where professionals in the field are invited, like conferences or workshops, is also a great place to meet potential employers face to face, which is way more effective than an email or a text message.
Start Applying For Jobs
Once you've gone through all of the above, it's time to get cracking and start applying for entry-level roles at your dream company. With a decent portfolio, some connections in the industry, and a great attitude, it won't be long until you break into an industry that is only set to keep growing in the coming years.
The Bottom Line
If you're looking to start your career in digital marketing, there are many ways to get started. The first thing is deciding what skills you need for the position that best suits your interests and qualifications. You can find programs at schools or online with a quick search on Google. From there, it's all about gaining some experience on personal projects to get the ball rolling, move on to freelancing to start making some real money, and finally look for your first job! Follow these tips today and become an expert marketer tomorrow!