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How to become a professional digital marketer
In this fast-growing era, digital marketers are expected to be skilled in a variety of areas, including analytics, creative direction, sales, digital media and more. Here's how to keep your skills sharp and gain new ones.
With more brands than ever relying on digital marketing as their main form of advertising, it’s no surprise that professional digital marketers are in very high demand. In fact, Reuters reports that in 2017, digital marketing spending increased by 44 percent in the United States and to $52 billion in Britain. Globally, digital marketing spend is estimated to approach $100 billion. If you’re looking to work in an industry that continues to grow and provide numerous opportunities, digital marketing may be the perfect career path for you.
What is a digital marketer?
Digital marketing uses many traditional forms of classic marketing and sales techniques, but is coupled with technology for a more modern approach. Depending on your interests and goals, you can train as a digital marketer who is well-rounded in all types of online advertising and marketing, or you can choose to focus on one specific area.
Why should you become a digital marketer?
Even if you don’t have any experience working in digital marketing, this is an industry that offers tremendous opportunities for all skill levels with the right training. It is a fast-paced field that is constantly evolving and as such, new roles that need to be filled pop up quite often. If you’re creative, interested in data, curious about how the consumer mind works, can work well independently and as part of a team, and you’re eager to learn, consider taking the next step toward becoming a professional digital marketer.
Another great advantage of training to become a digital marketer? Although training is often necessary for those new to the field, and a huge plus for those who have some experience, obtaining a four-year degree is often unnecessary. If you’re looking to train in a field that doesn’t require a significant upfront investment, digital marketing may be just what you’re looking for.
The demand for digital marketers is high
Burning Glass Technologies reports that for every four out of 10 marketing job ads, digital marketing knowledge is required. They also report that:
- Multi-channel marketing and mobile marketing offer some of the higher salaries.
- Digital marketing positions take approximately 16 percent longer to fill when compared to other roles.
- Marketing positions that call for digital marketing skills typically offer almost $7,000 more annually.
How to become a digital marketer?
The first step to becoming a digital marketer is to enroll in a training program that offers the skills needed to succeed in this field. It can also be helpful to know if there’s a specific area of digital marketing you’d like to focus on, as there are many training programs that target specific types of digital marketing. But it’s always an option to just learn about some of the digital marketing fundamentals initially, and then decide later on if there’s a specific area you’d prefer to concentrate on.
This video may help you understand how to become a digital marketer.
Enrolling in digital marketing courses
Enrolling in an online digital marketing course is typically the most economical, quickest, and most convenient way to learn about digital marketing. Some of the most knowledgeable professionals in the industry teach these courses, which also include hands-on projects and assignments, allowing students to get a real feel for working in digital marketing. Because the digital marketing field is so competitive, getting certified can get you one step ahead.
Learn from the industry’s best
Whether you’ve already completed a digital marketing course in the past, or you have experience working as a professional digital marketer, it’s important to remember that the industry is constantly changing and evolving. Even the most experienced digital marketers need to keep up with these changes and trends, and by enrolling in an online learning program, you can be sure that you’re always staying on top of these industry changes.
Without training and earning your digital marketing certification, you may still have a chance at landing an entry-level digital marketing job. Although you can gain some invaluable experience while on the job, you’ll still be at a disadvantage compared to those with several years of experience and/or those who are certified. You may overlook what seems like a minor detail or misunderstand an industry term, and as a result, make a major mistake that potentially costs you your job.
Learn by following the top digital marketing blogs
From learning the basics to fine-tuning advanced skills, following some of the top industry blogs can be a great way to learn about what’s happening in the digital marketing world. There are a lot of great digital marketing blogs to follow; two notable mentions are Search Engine Land and Search Engine Journal.
While these blogs can be a great resource for any skill level, they shouldn’t replace a structured online learning program if you’re serious about a career in digital marketing. They are a good supplement to any online course, but don’t provide the organization that online learning programs provide, nor do they provide certifications.
Learn the basics from free online courses
Similarly to following industry blogs, signing up for a free course can be a good way to supplement an accredited course, but it shouldn’t be a replacement. These courses are often not as structured as accredited programs, and usually won’t be able to prepare you for a certification exam. Students in these courses also don’t often have access to the same types of resources that paid programs provide, such as live lectures and hands-on assignments.
Choosing a path
When you’re ready to enroll in an online digital marketing program, we recommend beginning with the Simplilearn Digital Marketing Certified Associate (DMCA). Students learn all digital marketing fundamentals in this program, and can then choose a path to pursue upon completion. Some popular digital marketing paths include PPC specialist, SEO specialist, and social media marketing specialist. Alternatively, you can decide not to focus on one specific area and pursue a career as an all-around digital marketing specialist.
Let’s explore these different paths in a little more detail.
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Specialist
Whenever you search the web for any given term, you’ll often see top results in the ad space above all of the organic results. PPC specialists set up these ads, and it’s their goal to bring in as much qualified traffic as possible with their provided budget. In order to succeed in PPC, individuals need to be analytical and organized. Prepare for a career in PPC by enrolling in Simplilearn’s Advanced Pay Per Click (PPC) Certification Training.
In this course, students will learn various components of advanced PPC, including web analytics and display advertising. As a PPC specialist, learning about display advertising is essential. This skill prepares you to work with ads, third-party agencies, remarketing campaigns, browser cookies, optimization conversation rates, landing pages, microsites, and much more.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Specialist
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a crucial part of any digital marketing campaign, and an essential skill for a digital marketing professional. A good SEO campaign is what helps any given website perform well in search engines, and companies are often looking for experienced and trained SEO specialists to add to their teams. Sharpen your SEO skills with Simplilearn’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Training Course, which teaches advanced SEO, web analytics, content marketing, and other essential components of SEO.
Social Media Marketing Specialist
With social media becoming extremely widespread across several channels, more and more brands are taking advantage of these platforms for advertising purposes. Aside from creating paid advertisements that are tailor-made for specific audiences, social media marketers also manage company social media accounts to engage current and potential customers organically. This can include a wide range of responsibilities, from curating and posting eye-catching content, to analyzing and reporting on data.
Simplilearn offers several different programs that give students the opportunity to learn social media, from the basic fundamentals to advanced principles. The social media course is designed to teach students not only how to draw traffic to social media pages, but also how to protect a brand’s reputation in the process. Students learn how to plan and execute strategic social media marketing plans, as well as how to analyze data for improving and planning for future campaigns.
Digital Marketing Specialist
If you like all aspects of online marketing, you don’t necessarily have to focus on one specific area for your career path. As a general digital marketing specialist, you’ll get the opportunity to dabble in a little bit of everything when it comes to digital marketing. With this well-rounded approach, you may have the opportunity to lead a marketing team once you have enough experience. Becoming a digital marketing specialist, manager, or director can be a rewarding experience, but it’s also important to stand out amongst the competition by receiving the right training and certification.
Become a sought-after digital marketer
Simplilearn’s catalog of digital marketing courses offers a wide range of programs for all skill experience levels, whether you’re just starting out or have worked as a digital marketer for some time now. Learn more about the various programs offered and enroll today.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.