A career in digital marketing means a career in a relatively new industry that didn’t exist 20 years ago, but one that looks set to grow exponentially in the coming years. That makes it a good career choice for anyone of any age because getting into an industry (relatively) early gives you the opportunity to gain skills and expertise ahead of the pack.
There are many different types of skills that are required to work in digital marketing – some people choose to become adept at all, or most, of them, especially in small companies where there is likely to be just one person or just a small team managing everything related to digital marketing. This has its benefits because you won’t become too specialised and that could open up a wider variety of career choices when you move on. At large organisations, with larger digital marketing teams, you may find you specialise in just one area. This also has advantages in that you can become an expert in your field but it might narrow down your options for a career move to another employer.
Either way, whatever size company you work for it will be an exciting career using new tools and technology and, who knows, helping develop new processes and best practises in this relatively new industry.
Of course, there will also be skills you’ll need that are not specific to digital marketing, such as strong communication skills, planning, organisation and team-building skills. But let’s take a look at the different areas specifically related to digital marketing that you could be involved in:.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Very briefly, search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of making ongoing changes to a website as well as building backlinks to that website so that it will be easily found by potential customers in Google searches. It involves the use of complex software and tools, plus in-depth analysis of web-based data. It does not require you to have prior knowledge of web development but if you do have some development knowledge or experience then that can be a bonus as you will regularly be involved in liaising with web developers. For those with the aptitude and desire, you can get involved in technical SEO and SEO audits which does require some knowledge of how websites are built.
On the other hand, link-building requires outreach and collaboration with other businesses so strong communication skills are a must for this part of SEO (often known as “off-site” SEO) and all aspects require strong data analysis skills and familiarity with Google tools such as Analytics, Search Console, PageSpeed Insight, Data Studio etc.
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising has in recent years become a specialist skill in its own right with Google Ads, Facebook marketing and other social media channels all having developed their own advertising systems and tools. Google Ads, in particular have highly sophisticated algorithms that require data analysis of campaign data and also require staying abreast of the latest methods of improving and optimising online adverts to minimise the cost-per-click for the client but to also make sure that the web traffic from the adverts attracts potential customers with the right buying intent.
As with other areas of digital marketing it can be a specialist role for consultants or those working in large organisations; or it can be part of a wider job role in smaller companies. Either way, it is a much in demand skill that could boost your career prospects. One way to get real-world experience is to take a free course and then use those skills in a voluntary role, maybe for a charity or community group.
Social media management
Whilst this might sound like an easy job to those who spend a large proportion of their time on social media for pleasure, it brings with it huge responsibility when managing the social media accounts of a business. If you work for a digital agency, you might even be managing social media accounts for multiple clients. That means real-time monitoring, posting and responding to interactions with potential clients.
Whilst most companies will develop a social media calendar and plan, it can also be quite a stressful role if there are unplanned interactions on social media that require immediate response. Nevertheless, it is easy to see how it can be an ideal job for the right person.
Finally, an idea of salary
Digital marketers are in high demand so you could earn a good salary, especially once you have some experience. Many larger companies run digital marketing internships or take on digital marketing apprentices where you can gain some good experience. Charity and community groups are also a good place to gain real-world experience. This is one particular field that is set to see a huge growth in opportunities but, because it is still a developing industry, salaries currently vary widely from £25 per hour as a freelancer to 3 or 4 times that rate for experienced consultants. Permanent senior roles can command 6 figure salaries.
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