How to Become a Digital Marketing Specialist - Learning Paths Explored

How To Become A Digital Marketing Specialist - Learning Paths Explored
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Kamakshi Kamath

Published on December 31, 2015


  • 11846 Views

The world is getting increasingly digitized. More than two-thirds of the world’s population is online, and the numbers are growing each day.

With more than 1 billion global users, digital media is creating a significant impact in our everyday lives. Organizations around the world are waking up to the opportunity of this revolutionary medium to fulfil various business objectives in Sales, Marketing, CRM, Product Development and Research.

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The digital revolution is here, and shouldn’t be missed for sure!

Digital marketing is the promotion of products or brands on digital media. Digital marketers are responsible for executing marketing campaigns on digital channels such as email, website, mobile etc. to build awareness, provide information to prospects, and drive qualified prospects to conversions. Organizations are significantly increasing their digital marketing spends because of the scope and reach it offers.

Also read: Digital Marketing Learning Decoded- Here’s How to Become a Digital Marketing Expert

To drive the best results, organizations are looking to hire qualified digital marketers who have expertise in the domain. Since digital marketing is a new field and there is a dearth of experienced professionals, there is a lot of potential for fresh talent, traditional marketers, as well as graduates from other domains to build a career in Digital marketing.


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How do you build a career in Digital Marketing?

To build a career in Digital marketing, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. However, every Digital marketer should familiarize himself with some or all of the fundamentals given below before they take the plunge into this ever growing field to kick-start a career. It is important to:

  • Have a knowledge of marketing concepts
  • Know some basic digital marketing terminology
  • Understand web analytics
  • Have an overall understanding about the major domains of Digital marketing

We recommend The Digital Marketing Certified Associate course to help you get a grasp of this.

It is a comprehensive training program that enables participants to gain a fundamental level of knowledge on the major domains of Digital marketing – including SEO, PPC, Social Media Marketing, Content Marketing, Mobile Marketing, Conversion Optimization, Email Marketing, and Web Analytics. The course also helps understand major tools of Digital Marketing – Google Adwords, Google Analytics, and Facebook and YouTube marketing.

Digital Marketing Certification Once, well equipped with the above requirements, then one might consider to develop their expertise in a particular domain of Digital marketing to become a domain specialist or develop an overall expertise of various domains to become a Digital marketing expert.

Based on extensive research and real life experiences, the most desirable profiles in Digital Marketing currently are – Digital Marketer, SEO Specialist, Social Media Marketer, and PPC Specialist.

Digital Marketing Learning Path

Profile 1 - SEO specialist

Why SEO specialist?

SEO continues to capture the maximum share of digital marketing spends and has been cited as one of the most in-demand skills of the year by Smart Insights, http://www.cmo.com/ and http://digitalmarketinginstitute.com/

Skills Required

  • Knowledge of SEO tools & techniques
  • Content marketing
  • Web Analytics

Recommended path

DMCA -> Advanced SEO -> Advanced Content Marketing -> Advanced Web Analytics

Why this path?

Advanced SEO: To learn the latest SEO tools & techniques to apply for placing the website in the top of search engine rankings

Advanced Content marketing: An SEO specialist should be able to optimize the content on the website and other channels according to search engine practices to deliver best results.

Advanced Web analytics: To understand the contribution of SEO to the traffic on the website.

Profile 2 - Social Media Marketer

Why Social Media Marketing?

Social Media Marketing is attracting a large fraction of the marketing budgets and that is fuelling demand for social media marketers. According to Fractl and Moz, social media constitutes 46.7 % of job listings per keyword in Digital Marketing on Indeed.com (2015).

Skills Required

  • Knowledge of Social media channels and marketing techniques
  • Content Marketing
  • Web Analytics

Recommended path

DMCA -> Advanced Social Media Marketing -> Advanced Content Marketing -> Advanced Web Analytics

Why this path?

Advanced Social media marketing: To understand the various facets of social media marketing to execute effective campaigns on various social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Advanced Content marketing: To learn how to develop content that will build customer engagement value and influence them on various social media channels.

Advanced Web analytics: No marketing campaign is complete without performance measurement. Knowledge of web analytics aids in tracking the performance of various campaigns and also helps understand user behaviour.

Profile 3 – PPC specialist

Why PPC?

Search advertising continues to get more than 40% of digital marketing budgets. Google Adwords continues to be a top focus for companies to capture the search audience. So, there is a demand for candidates skilled in PPC. PPC is among the top 6 digital marketing job listing categories on Indeed.com.

Skills Required

  • Knowledge of PPC marketing techniques
  • Display Advertising
  • Conversion Optimization
  • Web Analytics

Recommended path

DMCA -> Advanced PPC Marketing -> Display Advertising -> Advanced Conversion Optimization -> Advanced Web Analytics

Why this path?

Advanced PPC marketing: To learn the various tools in paid advertising esp. Google adwords and also on how to leverage paid marketing campaigns to achieve marketing goals

Display advertising: After Google Adwords, the most predominant PPC medium used is Display advertising making it necessary to learn how to execute effective display advertising campaigns.

Advanced Conversion optimization – Ads on PPC drive traffic to website and as a PPC specialist, it is advisable to learn how to improve the conversion of the traffic that comes on to the website. The course helps in gaining in-depth knowledge on the techniques of conversion optimization.

Advanced Web analytics - No marketing campaign is complete without performance measurement. Knowledge of web analytics aids in tracking the performance of various campaigns and also in understanding user behaviour.

Profile 4 – Digital marketer

Why Digital Marketer?

Although companies are looking for experts in each domain of Digital marketing, the demand for skilled all-round professionals in digital marketing is also huge and growing. Not many companies would afford a specialist for each domain and thus prefer one person who can effectively build integrated Digital marketing campaigns.

Skills Required

  • Knowledge of  paid marketing tools
  • SEO tools & techniques
  • Web analytics
  • Social Media Marketing tools & techniques

Recommended path

DMCA -> Advanced Web Analytics -> Advanced SEO -> Advanced PPC -> Social Media Marketing

Why this path?

Advanced Web analytics: To track the performance of various campaigns and to understand user behaviour.

Advanced SEO: SEO is the most important channel of inbound marketing – every digital marketer ought to have understanding of SEO tools and techniques.

Advanced PPC: Paid marketing constitutes maximum share of digital marketing spends in most organizations. This course will help gain expertise in all the aspects of paid marketing.

Advanced Social Media Marketing: Social Media Marketing is interlinked with both organic and paid marketing strategies. Having knowledge of social media marketing channels and strategies helps you stand out and create effective integrated marketing campaigns.

Digital Marketing Learning Path

All set to take off on your Digital Marketing career launch? If you’ve got queries or suggestions, comment away!

Good luck.

About the Author

Kamakshi Kamath is a Knowledge Analyst at Simplilearn and writes on Project Management, Salesforce, TOGAF and Digital Marketing. With a degree in Journalism, Psychology and English Literature, Kamakshi is passionate about all things digital, and has been involved in digital marketing for premium brands such as The Oberoi Hotels and Resorts.


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