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The Ultimate Digital Marketing Career Playbook: A Guide to Pursuing A Career As A Digital Marketer

Digital marketing is a rapidly evolving industry that offers a wealth of career opportunities for individuals with a passion for technology, creativity, and business. Whether you’re just starting out in marketing or looking to make a career change, in this guide, you’ll learn about the many career opportunities that digital marketing has to offer, the day-to-day responsibilities, and the skills you’ll need to succeed in this highly dynamic field. 

What is digital marketing?

If your marketing efforts are discoverable on the Internet or accessible on digital devices, they’re considered digital marketing. Digital marketing is an broad, expansive term used to describe a range of specialized marketing tactics, such as email marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), PPC advertising, and content marketing.

It’s no secret that the Internet and mobile devices are thoroughly ingrained in our everyday lives. More people than ever are searching for and discovering products and services on the Internet. As a result, digital marketing has become indispensable for businesses of all sizes

Careers in digital marketing

There’s no one-size fits all career path in any industry. This is especially true for digital marketers, as many take non-linear career paths. Let’s take a look at some relevant roles in the industry:

Digital marketing specialist

Digital marketing specialists may be tasked with developing and executing multi-channel campaigns, such as email, social media, and paid advertising. They’re responsible for tracking and analyzing the results of said campaigns, reporting results, and suggesting data-informed adjustments to optimize performance. Collaboration within teams and across departments is also common practice.

Generally, digital marketing specialists are expected to have 2-3 years of experience in a digital marketing vertical.

Content Strategist

Content strategists are largely responsible for providing strategic guidance to the digital, content, and social media marketing teams. People in this role are tasked with developing and implementing content marketing strategies that best align with the company’s objectives. To support their strategy, they typically conduct frequent market research and outline the best topics, channels, and formats to guide content creation and distribution.

On average, content strategists have 2-4 years of experience in content marketing roles, in addition to offering strong writing skills, design abilities, and a working knowledge of SEO principles.  

SEO Manager

Search engine optimization (SEO) managers are typically a managerial role and are responsible for owning the company’s SEO efforts. They often develop and implement an overall SEO strategy, conduct keyword research, audit website health, and identify opportunities to optimize content for search engines.

People in this role have extensive, up-to-date knowledge of SEO best practices (on-page, off-page, technical) and search engine algorithms. Many SEO managers have 3-5 years of hands-on experience with SEO.

[For a deep dive into digital marketing’s key components and career opportunities, check out our in-depth A-Z’s of Digital Marketing guide.]

Day-to-day responsibilities

As a digital marketer, your day-to-day tasks will depend on many factors – the size of your company, your role within it, your marketing goals, and the status of your campaigns will all impact your daily outlook. However, there are several core tasks that are common to most digital marketing positions. Let’s take a look at the most prevalent tasks you can expect to do on a regular basis:

·  Planning and executing campaigns

Digital marketers are responsible for strategizing and implementing marketing campaigns that reach and engage their target audience. This involves researching market research, creating content, distributing across channels, and analyzing data to optimize the campaign for maximum impact.

·  Implementing and managing SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is an important component of digital marketing. Depending on the size of your marketing department and the resources available to you, you may be tasked with implementing and managing SEO strategies that improve the visibility and ranking of a website. This includes conducting keyword research, optimizing website content, and improving website structure.

·  Executing PPC campaigns

Paid ads, such as PPC advertising, are typically managed by digital marketers. You may be responsible for creating and overseeing PPC campaigns that target specific keywords and phrases. This includes setting a budget, determining target keywords, and analyzing campaign results.

·  Creating and distributing content

Developing high-quality content that represents your brand and engages your target audience may be one of your regular duties. In practice, this may include writing blog posts, creating videos, and designing graphics. Once you’ve created your content, publishing and repurposing your content across channels will help get it in front of the right eyes.

·  Analyzing data

Like all marketing verticals, digital marketing is a data-driven field.  As a digital marketer, you’ll likely be responsible for tracking metrics like website traffic, conversion rates, and engagement rates. This information can then be used to identify trends, make data-informed adjustments, and improve future campaigns.

·  Reporting results

Once you have the main learnings and Digital marketers are responsible for measuring and reporting the results of their campaigns. This may involve creating reports that detail the success of their campaigns, analyzing data to make informed decisions, and presenting their results to senior management.

Skills & qualifications

Digital marketing is a fast-paced and ever-evolving field that warrants a diverse skillset to help you stand out from the competition.

First and foremost, your marketing skills are the backbone to achieving a successful career in digital marketing. This may sound obvious, but hear me out. As with any vertical, having a deep understanding of marketing principles and practices is essential for success.

Because digital marketing embodies several specialized disciplines, however, having a variety of diverse marketing experiences under your belt will help you navigate the broad responsibilities associated with the field. Prior exposure and hands-on knowledge of different digital channels will prepare you to tackle all aspects of digital marketing yourself – not to mention set you apart from the pack.

Being technologically-savvy is also a given. Digital marketing requires a strong foundation in digital technologies. You should have experience with digital tools such as search engines, social media, email marketing, and data analytics. You may be asked to switch between email automation tools and PPC platforms to SEO software at a moment’s notice. Being able to navigate technical software and principles with ease is evidence of your adaptability and digital proficiency.

Additionally, having a strategic mindset is key to developing and implementing effective marketing strategies. Successful marketers in this field must have the ability to think critically, recognize trends from market research, and analyze data to identify areas of opportunity.

Analyzing data should not be overlooked in any marketing role. It’s the cornerstone of understanding customer behavior and evaluating the success of your campaigns. Backing up your suggestions with data and Understanding data in a larger, long-term context will position you as a more capable, business-oriented marketer.

Is digital marketing the right career for you?

With the rise of digital marketing and the increasing demand for skilled professionals, there has never been a better time to enter the industry. However, success in digital marketing requires a unique combination of technical, creative, and business skills, as well as the ability to continuously learn and adapt to new technologies and trends. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in digital marketing, it’s important to assess your interests to determine if this is the right path for you.

For a deeper look into the world of digital marketing, read our guide on the A-Z’s of Digital Marketing!


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