By Shalom Kamau
The increase in social media and digital technologies has led digital marketing to become the most in-demand form of advertising. It is easier to reach a larger audience and have a higher return on investment (ROI) within a short period in the digital marketing field.
For this reason, more people are interested in becoming digital marketers. This guide covers all the necessary steps you need to launch a career in digital marketing as well as similar jobs you can pursue. Read on to discover more and learn how to become a digital marketer in 2021.
What Is a Digital Marketer?
A digital marketer is a marketing expert in charge of using digital technologies to reach customers online. Their primary role is to ensure clients receive widespread recognition on digital channels, which in turn generates higher sales. Digital marketers must be conversant with most, if not all, of the digital marketing tools currently available.
Some of these tools include social media, email marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, and mobile marketing. It is essential to understand these powerful tools as you begin your career path to becoming a digital marketer.
Digital Marketer Job Description
In short, your primary role is to act as a bridge between a company and its customers. Digital marketers perform several duties, from creating and uploading content to strategizing ways of enhancing search engine rankings. You will be in charge of the client’s online platforms, such as the company website, Instagram page, or blog content.
You will plan and strategize ways to engage with customers and keep them interested in your client’s brand or product. You will also likely manage Google Analytics and other SEO tools, enhancing the company’s online presence through posting images, videos, and written content.
Digital Marketer Salary and Job Outlook
The Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS) indicates a six percent job growth for advertising and marketing jobs between 2019 and 2029, which is faster than average. The fast job growth can also be attributed to the lucrative annual salary. The BLS also reports that marketing management professionals earn $141,490 per year.
PayScale offers a more specific salary outlook. According to its official report, digital marketing specialists earn an average salary of $50,380. However, this can go up to $62,767 for experienced digital marketers. If you enter a digital marketing management position, your salary can double. This means you should enter the field as soon as possible.
Top Reasons to Become a Digital Marketer in 2021
Besides the job security and high salaries, there are many different reasons to become a digital marketer. This field is both fulfilling and full of variety. Below are more reasons why pursuing a digital marketing career in 2021 is worth it.
- Job outlook. Digital marketers have a great projected job outlook for the rest of the decade. The six percent growth rate projected by BLS emphasizes job security in the industry for an extended period.
- Flexibility. Apart from extensive job opportunities, you also have the freedom to work in any industry. Digital marketing professionals can work in retail, fashion, entertainment, education, technology, or sports.
- Lucrative salaries. The digital marketing industry pays its workers well. You can receive a median salary of $50,000 and above, depending on your skill level. In addition, most digital marketers have the freedom to work as freelancers, which is a great way to make extra income.
- Creative outlet. If you’re a creative person, working as a digital marketer is a dream come true. There are always opportunities for you to think outside the box and develop ways to make a marketing campaign stand out.
Digital Marketer Job Requirements
Although penetrating the digital marketing industry isn’t as challenging, you still need to meet specific criteria as a digital marketer. Employers are open to employing individuals who meet the following requirements.
- A bachelor’s degree. Employers look for candidates with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing or a related field. However, an Associate Degree in Marketing is still enough to get you a job as a digital marketer.
- Digital marketing tools. You must be familiar with several digital marketing tools. Tools like social media, email marketing, and search engines play a significant role in the success of digital marketing campaigns. In addition, you need to understand how Google Ads works, perform numbers analysis, and keep up with the current trends.
- Experience. On average, employers look for candidates who have worked for two or more years in the digital marketing industry. However, this doesn’t mean beginners are out of luck. You can launch your career by applying for entry-level digital marketing jobs to gain more experience.
- Problem-solving skills. Like every other industry, problems and emergencies occur in digital marketing. Therefore, you need to be a fast thinker and always come up with suitable solutions for any problem.
Types of Digital Marketing Careers
As mentioned above, digital marketers can work in any industry. You can also branch into different career paths under digital marketing. Whether you want to become an SEO expert or a digital marketing manager, your roles contribute to the business’s success. Below are some of the most popular digital marketing careers.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Specialist
An SEO specialist ensures a website ranks highly on several search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. You will delve into keyword research to ensure each article aligns with current common search terms. Your primary role is to increase website traffic by making sure your website activity generates leads.
A social media manager oversees a client’s social media platforms. You will be responsible for creating and posting content, responding to customer comments and queries, and monitoring engagement data. Moreover, you need to be up-to-date with current trends to ensure your client’s products align with contemporary markets.
A marketing coordinator is in charge of content marketing strategy for all marketing channels. You will also lead the marketing team in the day-to-day activities of the marketing department. These activities include tracking product performance, monitoring customer engagement, or drafting performance reports for clients.
Digital Marketer Meaning: What Does a Digital Marketer Do?
As mentioned earlier, a digital marketer acts as a bridge between the company and its customers on all digital platforms. Digital marketers wear many hats and therefore need to have many different skills. Read below to learn more about the responsibilities that digital marketers have.
Conducts Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing is one of the best ways to enhance a company’s website traffic. It involves marketing strategies that redirect user attention to your site. You will create and distribute content through link building, content marketing, and search engine optimization.
As a digital marketer, you will manage one or more social media pages. Your role is to enhance the client’s social media presence by posting regular content and engaging with the customers. You will also gather analytics, conduct pay-per-click (PPC) marketing, and write performance reports.
Communicates with Customers
Digital marketers are in charge of developing and maintaining relationships between the company and customers while increasing brand awareness. Digital marketers need to ensure that all content being produced and published online is in line with the brand’s image.
Essential Digital Marketer Skills
Digital marketing can be applied to any industry, meaning professionals need a variety of unique skills. Almost all businesses in 2021 have a digital marketing presence, and there are many jobs out there that require different skills and tools. Most employers look for the following skills in all potential employees.
SEO and SEM
Search engine optimization and management skills help you bring traffic to your client’s website. Therefore, you must know how to research keywords, analyze performances, and keep up with the analytics. This is arguably the most important part of digital marketing because it helps clients or customers find your business or organization.
You should learn how pay-per-click marketing works and use marketing channels like Google Ads and sponsored posts. Understanding trends will help a brand’s social media stay relevant. You should be familiar with Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and any other relevant platforms to the industry.
Whether visual or written, your posts, blogs, and images must tell a story. You should have the ability to make ideas flow in a way that any reader can understand and that adheres to your company’s brand. Communication is a vital part of digital marketing.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Digital Marketer?
It takes anywhere between six months to four years to become a digital marketer. You have the freedom to pursue various learning paths, including community college, bootcamp, university, or online courses. Therefore, depending on your learning path, the time frame will differ.
Can a Coding Bootcamp Help Me Become a Digital Marketer?
Yes, coding bootcamps offer short-term digital marketing courses for beginners and experienced professionals. You can learn various digital marketing fundamentals, such as advertising, PPC marketing, content strategies, email marketing, SEO, and marketing budgets at one of the best digital marketing bootcamps in 2021.
Can I Become a Digital Marketer from Home?
Yes, thanks to modern technology, it is possible to become a digital marketer from home. You can register for an online course, pursue an online degree, or join an online coding bootcamp remotely. All you need is a reliable Internet connection and a working computer.
How to Become a Digital Marketer: A Step-by-Step Guide
Becoming a digital marketer involves a straightforward process of getting an education, gaining experience, and finding a job in the industry. Below is an overview of how to become a digital marketer in 2021.
Step 1: Get an Education
Like all other careers, it is essential to get an education before launching your career. You can join a digital marketing bootcamp or any other educational institution. If you can, take this time to find a specialty within the industry.
Step 2: Gain Experience
You can gain experience by finding an internship or an entry-level job. You will gain hands-on experience in the field and develop the skills to flourish as a digital marketer. You can also take the initiative to create a personal portfolio of mock marketing or social media campaigns.
Step 3: Find a Job
After you gain enough work experience, find a career in the industry. For example, you can work as an SEO specialist, digital marketing manager, or email marketing manager. There are many different specialties within this field, so find one that works for you and your career goals.
Best Schools and Education for a Digital Marketer Career
There are several learning paths for a digital marketer. Some are long-term, while others only take a few months to complete. Below are the best schools for anyone pursuing a digital marketing career.
Digital Marketing Bootcamps
Digital marketing boot camps are short-term programs with a curriculum that focuses on the fundamentals of the industry. Most boot camps provide career services like resume reviews and mock interviews, and many boot camps partner with companies to ensure you receive job placement upon graduation.
Vocational schools focus on the technical aspects of digital marketing. You will receive hands-on training on using analytics tools like Google Adwords, social media networks, affiliate marketing, and other digital marketing concepts.
You can pursue a two-year associate degree at a community college. The education path is not equivalent to a bachelor’s degree, but most associate degree holders are eligible for entry-level positions. You can also transfer your credits over to a bachelor’s degree if you want.
Digital Marketing Degrees
A bachelor’s degree is enough for you to launch a lucrative career in the industry. However, after the four-year degree program, you have the opportunity to pursue a master’s degree or even a PhD. You should research the best online degrees before you decide which one to pursue.
The Most Important Digital Marketing Certifications
Certifications are essential for any career path. You solidify your authenticity as a digital marketer and gain the upper hand when it comes to attracting clients. Below are three of the best professional certifications for digital marketers.
This is a free certification program that tests your knowledge of Google Ads. You will explore basic and advanced knowledge before completing a Google Ads Fundamentals assessment. You can choose from a few different Google Ads certifications depending on your career goals and where you are in your journey.
This program focuses on the fundamentals of inbound marketing. It is a free four-hour Hubspot Academy course that teaches you everything you need to know to become a digital marketer. If you want to learn inbound marketing techniques, this certification program is the perfect choice for you.
The Copyblogger program is one of the best content marketing certifications courses. It is self-paced coursework that costs $495 on Copyblogger. Once done, you become listed in the Certified Content Marketer directory and have a certification for your resume and LinkedIn profile.
How to Prepare for Your Digital Marketer Job Interview
A job interview is a significant part of the job search process. You should research the company, find out about their products, prepare your cover letter, and practice mock interviews more than once. Remember to stay positive and always exude confidence when responding to questions. Practicing questions is the best way to prepare for your job interview.
Digital Marketer Job Interview Practice Questions
- Why do you want to pursue a digital marketing career?
- Which digital marketing tools do you use?
- How will you enhance our company’s online presence?
- What strategies would you implement to raise awareness for our company?
Should I Become a Digital Marketer in 2021?
Yes, digital marketing is a fast-growing industry with many opportunities. You get to explore your creativity, work in a fun environment, and network with a diverse team. Furthermore, you can earn a lucrative salary with many opportunities to move up in the field. If you want to work with digital content, social media, and SEO, you should become a digital marketer.
Digital Marketer FAQ
Can You Become a Digital Marketer Without a Degree?
Yes, you can enrol in a digital marketing boot camp or pursue any digital marketing online course on massive open online course (MOOC) platforms.
Is It Hard to Become a Digital Marketer?
No. Digital marketing is a flexible field and accommodates people with little to no experience. However, you need to be motivated and ready to work hard.
Is Digital Marketing Worth It?
Yes, digital marketing is worth it. The industry has an impressive job growth rate of six percent, according to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, which guarantees job security. Even better, it can be an exciting career where no day is the same.
How Many Years Does It Take to Become a Digital Marketer?
A digital marketing career takes a few months to four years to start, depending on your learning path. You can attend a digital marketing boot camp for two to six months, a community college program for two years, or a university degree program for four years.