Have you decided that you are ready to launch your career in digital marketing? No wonder, it is one of the fastest growing industries, growing three times faster than the pace of the United States GDP, and that growth is expected to continue. There are a few reasons for this, a key one being that it’s one of the top 10 earning careers that can be started without a degree. More and more people are realising that the skills required to become a successful digital marketer are not necessarily being taught in traditional, four-year degree programs. So what does it take to be a successful digital marketer? Read the following 10 tips to excel in your digital marketing career.
1. Never Stop Learning
If your thirst for knowledge is limited, then stop right here; this career is not for you. If you are going to excel in a career as a digital marketer, your schooling never ends, and that should excite you. If your desire to learn gets you out of bed in the morning and drives you all day long, then read on. You are going to read everything that is written about the industry by anyone who is anyone. You will know who the top influencers are and absorb everything they have to share. Your inbox will be full of useful content that you are excited to open daily. All day, every day, you will be learning as you work and sharing that knowledge.
2. Always Acquire
New skills, new ideas, new trends, new knowledge. As you are exposing yourself to industry news and exploring new ways to learn, you will be applying the skills you acquire on an ongoing basis. You are upgrading your certifications and updating your resume. You are always ready to take action. If there is a new way to market, you are the first to try it, make it work, and then report on it. You take advantage of new technology as it develops, and you’re always on the hunt for new apps that will help automate customer acquisitions.
3. Build Your Personal Brand by Positioning Yourself as an Expert
If you want to be taken seriously as a digital marketer, then your personal brand must be on point. Potential employers and clients are going to look for your online presence, and they are going to expect to find that who you are online represents what you can do for them. Having your own personal projects can help achieve this, and give you something to showcase. What are you good at? What are your areas of expertise? Write down whatever comes to mind. Now think about how you can use what you know to help others. There are three types of content you can create that will position you as an expert:
“Evergreen" means that it stays relevant. Something that you can share in five years from now and the information will still be valuable.
‘The proof is in the pudding,' so to speak. Show people that you have accomplished what you said you can, and how you did it. Nothing is more convincing than real, tangible evidence.
If you have enough knowledge to write a book, do it. Saying “I wrote a book” can make you feel good, but it can also position you as an expert and validate your authority on a subject.
4. Don’t Neglect Social Media
Share. Share. Share. Everything you learn, you must share. Evergreen content? Share it, and then reshare it again. Case Studies? Share them. Did you write a book? Share that always! Social media management is a full-time job on its own, and you need to be the master of your domain. Your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, blog, and website must all embody the principles of an expert digital marketer because that is what you are. People are looking for transparency; they want to know that your online persona is consistent with your real-life values. Use your social media as a tool to show the world your expertise.
Just because you can work from home in your pyjamas does not exempt you from contact with other humans. A large part of digital marketing is good old-fashioned networking. And while you can do some of it online by joining Facebook groups, following industry leaders, and engaging with your social media following, there is still an element of face-to-face networking that is invaluable. Networking conferences are a valuable resource that put you in contact with people who are more experienced than you, who want nothing more than to teach you everything they know. Their insights alone are worth the price tag, but if you’re not quite there yet financially, you can watch interviews and other videos that will share all of their valuable advice and motivate you to get to the next level.
6. Provide Value by Being Customer Centric
Content is king. Everything you read online has to be written by someone, and if you can be the person who gives the target audience what they want, then they will keep coming back for more. To understand the sales funnel in the digital marketing era, you must start with your customer. Understanding your customer (or “target audience”) is the first step of the process. Once you figure out who they are, you need to figure out how you can help them. You are in the business of building relationships, and you need to nurture them. By being able to anticipate your customer's needs and provide solutions before problems arise, they will remember and remain loyal to you. The good news is there are metrics you can use and data you can collect to help you understand all of your customers.
7. Understand Analytics
For some, this may be a skill that doesn’t come naturally. Not everyone is born mathematically inclined, and that’s okay. You don’t have to be a mathlete to garner a basic understanding of analytics, and a little knowledge in this area can go a long way. Understanding what happens when people come to your website is how you evaluate the success of your campaigns, and analytics tools will give you that information.
8. Understand Industry Jargon
Everyone loves their acronyms, and digital marketers are no exception. If you are going to make it as a digital marketer, you have to know the lingo, and that means knowing a CTA from a CPC. When you immerse yourself in the culture, it will not take long for this to come naturally, but when you're getting started, it's worth having a cheat sheet for reference.
Acronym Cheat Sheet:
SEO - Search Engine Optimization
SEM - Search Engine Marketing
PPC - Pay Per Click
CPC - Cost Per Click
CPL - Cost Per Lead
CPM - Cost Per Thousand (M is the Roman numeral for 1000)
CTA - Call to Action
CTR - Click Through Rate
KPI - Key Performance Indicator
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9. Add Certificates and Certifications to your Resume
There is a difference between certificates and certifications, but both will help you excel in your professional career. A certification is something that you receive after completing a certain number of required hours of learning or training. It is earned by successfully passing a test or exam on the course material, thus proving your competence in the area. A certificate is something that you receive after participating in a learning experience, like a course. A certificate is not always merit-based and therefore may not be as important for potential employers; however, everything you add to your resume shows your dedication to learning, and everything you learn helps you excel.
10. Just Do it
Go out there and become a digital marketer. Take all of the information you have gathered and start doing it. Action is the key to progressing in this industry, and you are ready. You are a bold, trend-setting leader with nothing standing in the way of rising to the top. As you can see, all of these tips to excel in your digital marketing career work together to help build you a winning online portfolio—showcasing your online presence and proven success rate. If you are a highly motivated individual ready to launch yourself into an exciting career, these 10 tips to excel in your digital marketing career will set you in the right direction.