With the growth in email, website, social media and texts, digital marketing has become a career route with high potential. Graduates fresh out of university and those in more traditional marketing fields are keen to specialize in a digital marketing role – and that’s because companies are radically changing their marketing focus to meet the power of the internet.
The creation of specialist diplomas in digital marketing and communications is a sure sign that the more traditional marketing career is on the wane. However, with so much competition, how can you get ahead of the crowd and start to climb the digital marketing career ladder?
While it’s useful to have a qualification in marketing or business-related subjects, it’s more important that you demonstrate a good understanding of the following aspects of the field:
- Web content/techniques – including web design, browser compatibility, search engine optimization, mobile optimization, pay per click campaigns and metrics
- Buying strategies – such as data lists, link building and advertising packages
- Social media – how customers engage with brands on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest; and how social media is integrated with landing pages, blogs and website promotions
- Email marketing – including email message design, leveraging customer databases and performance analytics
- Account management – involving tasks such as co-ordinating campaigns, client liaison and market research.
Aside from technical expertise, employers will be looking for excellent interpersonal, commercial and communications skills. They also prize individuals who are able to write persuasive and engaging messages in a concise format and be creative, but be able to understand data analysis at the same time. It’s essential that you emphasize these qualities on your CV and when you attend interviews.
Beating the Competition
Even if you can boast great knowledge and skills, you’ll still find it tough to break into the digital marketing sector. To be honest, it’s the kind of career that appeals to graduates – fast-changing, technology-driven and trendy – and employers often have a lot of applications from which to choose.
Here are our top tips to break into digital marketing:
Increase your networks and get your name known among local companies. Smaller businesses in the sector often don’t advertise vacancies as they receive a healthy number of speculative applications.
- If your finances can stand it, consider undertaking an internship. Work experience in digital marketing will give you a huge advantage over other candidates, although you should investigate each opportunity thoroughly. Check out job boards and websites such as Inspiring Interns.
- A growing element of digital marketing is social media management so make sure that you’re using your LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook profiles to highlight your professional knowledge and enthusiasm.
- Get some freelance experience. Contact a few local businesses and ask if they’d like you to improve their website or build their Facebook page for free or a nominal charge (eg, travel expenses). This will give your CV a boost, especially if you can persuade them to provide references or testimonials.
- You can also make your mark without persuading any organizations to hire you. Write a blog on the digital marketing industry, write traffic reports using Google Analytics or build a website.
While digital marketing is hard sector to enter, it’s also exciting and varied. By following the tips above, you should give your digital marketing ambitions a kickstart.
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