For many, career opportunities in digital marketing are an appealing path to take right out of college. As the industry continues advancing at a rapid pace, many universities are encompassing the digital aspect of marketing into their courses. While these learning opportunities are abundant in 2019, they were quite scarce for me in 2010. After time and a ton of lessons learned, I have the experience and want to spread the wealth! Here’s my journey into digital marketing and my tips for digital marketing career growth.
Journey Through Non-Profits
In college, my advisor discovered my passions and strengths, and with that information, she guided me towards the idea that the non-profit sector was where my career path should lead. After landing my first full-time position with a non-profit organization, the learning curve began. As I obtained knowledge about what it meant to be part of a non-profit organization (i.e. relying on donations and grants, tax-exempt purchases, and sacrificing time), I had a deep appreciation for the opportunity to help those who benefited from the services our organizations provided. At my second non-profit, I learned the hard way that job security is a difficult thing to come by in the non-profit industry. Due to circumstances out of anyone’s control, I had to consider a new career path that was more compatible with my lifestyle and provided stability.
Diving into Digital Marketing Career Options
While scrolling through LinkedIn for jobs, I was often notified about digital marketing career opportunities in the area. Sure, I knew how to operate my own personal social media, but other than that I had no idea what the digital marketing field entailed. Was I ready for a career in an industry where I felt as though I knew little to nothing about? It was then that I took a leap of faith by applying for, and successfully landing, my first digital marketing job.
I had a great deal to learn and often felt in over my head at the start but, at the same time, I knew this was the career path for me. I quickly learned that digital marketing career options were endless. There were more aspects to the field than I could ever learn in the position I currently held. If I had known that my digital marketing career growth would contribute to so much of my young adult life, there are plenty of steps I wish I would have taken sooner.
Tips for Digital Marketing Career Growth
Understand the Field
Right after my first interview, I learned that the industry encompasses more than just social media, and so many who enter it right out of college still have a great deal to learn. Based on my experience, I encourage you to take time to learn as much as you can about the services provided by the company as you apply and interview. Whether you are seeking a position at an agency or one within the marketing department of a large company, there are undoubtedly a handful of areas all digital marketers should possess some knowledge within. Additionally, there are countless tools for success to utilize in support of a digital marketing career. Some digital marketing services to research include:
- Search Engine Optimization
- Social Advertising
- Pay-Per-Click Advertising
- Content Marketing
- Data Collecting Platforms
While all of these are important facets of the digital marketing industry, my personal experience has driven me to learn about these particular areas of the field.
Search Engine Optimization has become the backbone of digital marketing, often impacting the social media and content aspects of a campaign. Personally, I had never heard of the concept when I took on my first role in digital marketing. I was directed to check out the mother of all SEO sites, Moz. This is where many SEO specialists credit their wealth of knowledge. If you can educate yourself on the basics of SEO, you’ll have a foot in the door when it comes to your first experiences in digital marketing.
Facebook & Instagram Ads
Two of the largest social media platforms in the world are Facebook and Instagram. If you’re a user of either of these sites, it is highly likely that you’ve been served an ad relative to your likes and interests. As a digital marketing professional, it is crucial to understand how the paid advertising side of these social platforms operate. Social advertising is a huge component of business-to-consumer (B2C) advertising and marketing. Familiarize yourself with the value of Facebook Ads and Instagram Ads before diving into a digital marketing career.
Most are unaware of the platforms that Google provides to support digital marketing. These tools, including Google Ads, Analytics, and Search Console, play major roles in the everyday tasks of digital marketing professionals. For me, these were all new territories, but they have inevitably made up a large portion of my digital marketing career thus far. When you’re applying for positions, consider learning more about each of these, as it is more than likely that you will utilize them during your digital marketing career. SEM Rush offers a great platform for gaining certifications!
Become Familiar with Your Strengths & The Role They Play
Starting your journey to a new career path, to be honest, is terrifying at times. One major takeaway I learned when looking into digital marketing career options is that many companies in the field are willing to educate and work with you on the tactics they use in implementing their day-to-day efforts. I was surprised at the skills that I already possessed, which would support me in my digital marketing career path.
In almost every role in digital marketing, your strong communication skills will come into play. Whether you’re providing project updates to your clients or reiterating results from a campaign to your supervisor, the ability to properly deliver information in this industry is crucial. Strong, thoughtful communication in digital marketing will directly impact the success of the campaigns that you operate. Lack of communication internally and externally will likely hinder any movement forward for your company.
A wide variety of positions in the digital marketing industry heavily rely on healthy writing skills. While your role might not have you writing long pieces of content (like this blog!) on a regular basis, it is important to have well-rounded writing skills for plenty of other areas in the field. It is safe to say that most digital marketing organizations will welcome and value strong writing skills.
Desire to Continue Learning
One thing to always keep in mind with a field as rapidly growing as digital marketing is that the learning process never stops. You’ll pick up skills as you go, but you’ll also need to take the time and initiative to independently improve upon your digital marketing career growth. Between the terminology of the industry and the pace at which the rules are changing, being at the top of your game will always be of importance. There are countless opportunities and resources out there to enhance your knowledge of the duties that your job will entail.
Whether you’re looking to venture down a new career path or start your first career in digital marketing, you’ll need to prepare for the road ahead. One of the promising aspects of opportunities in digital marketing is that everyone started out with limited knowledge at some point. Don’t be surprised if entry-level positions fill your resume for a few years. Remember that with consistent developments in the digital marketing field, a chance to further develop your knowledge is often only a click away.