How to jumpstart you career in Digital Marketing
November 16, 2020George Economides
Are you curious about how to start an exciting career in digital marketing? Are you wondering what’s the best way to find digital marketing jobs?
An internship program can help you diversify your current skills and can make a world of difference for your future career path.
Know the Difference Between Digital Versus Traditional Marketing
Most of you would have had some experience with traditional marketing (a course in collage it even hands on work), and are probably wondering whether it will be feasible to make a career change to digital marketing?
The big question is if there is really much difference?
The answer is Yes and no, and you will want to explore some of the key differences if you’re coming from a traditional marketing background.
Here are a few key similarities and differences:
- Both are heavily reliant on creative writing and design, so if you have a background in copywriting or graphics and if you are a creative person you have a good chance of making a smooth transition.
- Digital marketing is more data-driven than traditional marketing, so you’ll need to understand the different approach with regards to the customer journey as well as sales funnels.
- Unlike traditional marketing, with digital marketing there is right and wrong, which is dictated by what the numbers say and not by your personal feeling.
- Digital marketing is more of a two-way conversation and less of a “sales pitch” kind of approach.
- Digital advertising has two basic forms, organic and paid. If you have a background in advertising, you’ll want to get a handle on how it works online.
- Traditional marketing is largely based on campaigns, whereas digital marketing relies on continues conversation with your audience.
To work with digital you need to be digital
Digital marketeers, and especially social media marketeers need to be digitally social by nature. If you dislike social media activity or if you are not that into it, then this is probably not the field for you. You can try to work within the field but it is highly unlikely if you will ever be that good.
Assess Your Current Skills & Upskill Strategically
What are you really good at and passionate about right now? What do you have experience doing? There’s a good chance that you can find something that’s quite applicable to digital marketing since it’s such a versatile field. Here are some specialty areas you might want to consider:
- Creative design (Video or visual)
- Social media
- Mobile marketing
- Content management
- Digital publishing
- Business/marketing strategy
After you have taken an inventory of your current skills, you can get certified or just take a few courses to boost your skills but the point is to commit to upskilling now and well into the future. A good place to start is Google Digital Garage.
You can learn plenty about digital marketing without getting formally certified, but you’ll definitely be ahead of the game if you have extensive experience, an aptitude for learning on your own and a formal certification.
Get Familiar with the latest trends
There are so many digital channels and so much activity that causes trends to shift constantly. As a digital marketeer you will be expected o keep track of the latest trends and be in a position to enforce them within your daily workload.
Content / Social Media Strategy
You can be a great writer or an amazing designer, but without strategy you can go nowhere. Strategy and analysis are the real heroes in digital marketing.
You may, of course, what to focus on creative or copywriting, which is all good, as long as you realize that you need to have a solid strategy in place which is based on analytics, before you put a dot on paper, and as long as you are capable of working within the strict guidelines that are dictated by the digital marketing strategy of your client.
If you intent to get into the Management or Strategy end of digital marketing, you should be able to draw on a diverse range of tools to analyze and report numbers, but you don’t’ need to get super technical. What’s more important is that you can use a solid combination of creativity and hard data to contribute to effective ad campaigns and you understand how to deeply engage an audience via social media and content.
Everyone in digital marketing needs to know a little about search engine optimization (SEO) as well as search engine marketing -- but don’t let this somewhat technical specialty scare you off. Most digital marketing programs will include this in even basic training and in the meantime, you can learn the basics by following a google skillshop program.
Try (Almost) Everything
If you’re just starting out, you need specific experience. So, even if this means taking on internship positions or collaborating, if it’s something you need to learn, just go for it. Then you can include these experiences on your portfolio or resume as well.
You will learn a lot more from industry experts than you will ever manage to, by yourself.
(Usually internship take 2 forms, introductory unpaid – for a fixed period of time - leading to a paid internship).
Try to choose wisely. Most Digital Agencies will have a revolving internship program. If you feel you have the skills to get in a high-end Digital Agency, shoot for the top. You will usually go through an interview and you will compete against other candidates. Remember that for an Agency, an unpaid internship program requires resources who will train you. Especially High-end Agencies will never risk using your work for clients. Your job will mostly revolve around helping others while you learn, so you must demonstrate that you are both willing and capable to learn fast.
Tip: Agencies undertake internship programs in an effort to train their future staff without the overhead and the risk. So by entering an internship program and by proving that you have the skills, you can easily secure a job with them.
Stay Ahead of Trends
The field of digital marketing is always changing and evolving and to that end, you’ll have to keep ahead of what’s going on in the field in order to not only keep your personal skills up to date but also to be able to develop competitive marketing strategies as you work with various clients and agencies.
Forget About Your Resume (sort of)
We don’t mean this literally – of course, you want to keep your resume updated and even give it a creative spin if that’s what your brand or field looks like.
But what’s more important these days especially with careers with a digital focus is to have a strong LinkedIn profile as well as a great digital profile and website. Forward thinking and innovative companies will likely be having forward thinking hiring practices and beyond that will be looking for creativity especially if you’re in a creative field.
The Bottom Line
The wonderful thing is that in today’s world of online learning, there are plenty of opportunities to teach yourself all kinds of skills from the comfort of your own home, both formally and informally.
The industry standard today is to undertake an internship program which will help you obtain hands on experience and get you through the first door of your future job.