If you are looking to break into the online marketing industry, there is no better time than now. According to research, the digital economy is growing at triple the pace of U.S. GDP with employees working in the digital economy earning on average $114,275 a year, more than 72% of workers in the country.
We have compiled our top tips for aspiring digital marketers who wish to kick-start their online marketing career today.
1) Willingness to learn
The online marketing industry is both fast growing and incredibly competitive. It’s easy for businesses to differentiate between candidates who have the willingness to learn, and who are along for the ride. This industry requires passion and a desire to succeed.
2) Keep Updated
You need to keep on top of industry news by following major online marketing sites and prominent people on social media. As the major players such as Google, Facebook and Twitter frequently pinch their paid advertising platforms and algorithms, you are in for a crazy ride if you don’t keep on top of the latest changes.
Here are some recommendations on websites to get started –
SEO – Moz, Distilled, SEOGadget, Search Engine Land
PPC – PPC Hero, Search Engine Land
Social Media – Social Media Examiner, Social Media Today
Content – Hubspot
3) Make Nerdy
Online marketing can often be seen to be quite beautiful, but truth be told it is often more technical and data driven than we would care to confess. You will not be developing websites from scratch, but you will be conveying your marketing strategy to a team of developers or designers who have a responsibility for incorporating your recommendations.
A basic knowledge of HTML and graphic design would help to make you stand out among the less technically minded candidates.
Encircle yourself with people more brilliant than yourself. The people you meet will be your continuing support network when you run into problems, as well as help to open doors to opportunities you might not have otherwise found.
Attend industry meetups and seminars in your area to cultivate connections with other digital marketers and enhance your skill set through in-depth workshops and presentations.
5) Individual Projects
Try out your own ideas and do not just consider industry leaders’ opinions as gospel. Everything is not always black and white in the online marketing industry with many grey areas between best practice and what can get results for a business.
Every digital marketer should have personal projects to test out theories, try their hand at multiple disciplines (SEO, PPC, Social Media, Content Marketing etc.) and be able to take accountability for the success or failure of a project.
6) Discover the terminology
Digital marketers need to be relaxed with acronyms such as PPC, SEM and SEO. They are all quite different terms with a misinterpretation of them being a clear sign that you have a beginner’s skill set and need further training. The power to analyze online marketing campaigns and comprehend what elements worked or not is contingent on your ability to understand industry terminology.
7) Develop your personal brand
Fancy yourself as an online marketing achiever but you have no noticeable online presence. If you want to show to an employer that you can build their company’s visibility, then you need to show that you can firstly develop your own personal brand.
A solid online presence could possibly be the deciding factor between two candidates who have applied for the same position.
8) Metrics are King
Do you know your CPC from your CPA? If you want to set yourself apart in an interview, talk about the return on ad spend for a campaign you have run yourself. It is easy to talk about an exciting creative concept you’ve helped to develop but the fact remains…money talks.
You really need to understand how each marketing channel has performed and what the key learnings have been.
9) T-Shaped Marketer
As a term generally used by Rand Fishkin of Moz, it implies to having a basic comprehension of multiple marketing specialties but concentrating in one or two skills.
It is not unusual for companies to find candidates with a broad online marketing skill set to be an asset as there’s substantial cross over between the different channels. It will also make you better equipped for choosing a more specific path of focus that you can specialize in.
If you really want to stand out from your mates in the industry, achieving a certified online marketing course will help. One of the problems facing the online marketing industry is that there are no barriers to entry, meaning that anyone with a loose grasp of industry terminology can possibly get a position in a company.
As this industry grow up, recruiters are becoming savvier about what distinguishes a candidate that can talk the talk, but maybe will be a costly mistake for the company.