How to Become a Digital Marketing Specialist - Learning Paths Explored

How to Become a Digital Marketing Specialist - Learning Paths Explored
Author

Nikita Duggal

Last updated September 19, 2018


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If you have a computer, a laptop or a smartphone, you’ve experienced digital marketing. It could be an email in your inbox, a search result when using Google, an ad on Facebook, a text message sent to your phone, or a post by an influencer on Instagram. Digital marketing is all-encompassing, leveraging all digital channels to promote goods and services businesses want you to buy. And it’s growing rapidly as a field in need of skilled professionals. 

If you’re interested in the career potential of digital marketing, but you aren’t sure where or how to start, we’ve laid out suggested learning paths below. Following any of these paths will give you a solid foundation in digital marketing basics, and then help you to specialize in one of four areas: search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, social media marketing, or digital marketing. Specializing in any one of these areas will qualify you for one of the increasing numbers of job opportunities, as brands struggle to find people with these skills.


Source: Statista

The Growing Digital Marketing Job Market

Companies know they must shift their marketing efforts and budgets to digital. Four out of 10 marketing job listings now ask for digital marketing skills and jobs in digital marketing are on the rise. For example, one study shows SEO jobs increased by 43 percent between 2017 and 2018 while content marketing jobs increased by 33 percent during that same time. 

However, the people qualified to do these jobs is not keeping pace. According to data reported by MarketingProfs, over half of businesses struggle to find skilled professionals for marketing positions, with 46 percent citing the search as somewhat challenging and 7 percent claiming it to be very challenging. Another study states the demand for digital marketing talent was at 56 percent in 2017 but the supply only 24 percent. 

Although this is bad news for businesses trying to hire the employees they need, this means plenty of opportunity for those who have the necessary digital marketing skills, whether they specialize in a niche area like SEO or acquire advanced digital marketing knowledge. 

How to Become a Digital Marketing Specialist: 4 Paths

If you’re interested in a digital marketing career, the diversity of the field gives you plenty of choices for how to go about it, and you can choose between a general role or a specialized one. Either way, you’ll need the training to get you started, and that initial training should be in the basics.  

We recommend starting with the Simplilearn Digital Marketing Certified Associate (DMCA). This course covers the core concepts including SEO, social media, PPC, conversion rate optimization, analytics, content marketing, mobile, email, and strategy. It provides a broad knowledge in all those areas—knowledge you can build upon to specialize. 

Then when you are ready to specialize, we recommend choosing one of these four learning paths: 

Getting trained in one of these four areas will prepare you to land a job in one of these roles, as employers are desperate for qualified candidates and not finding them. We’ll explore each of these learning paths in more detail below. 

Path 1: SEO Specialist

Some of the highest paid digital marketing jobs are those specializing in SEO. This is in part because search engines like Google are constantly changing their algorithms, and businesses need SEO experts who stay up-to-date with these changes. But it’s also because SEO is hard to achieve and it takes skill, persistence and time in order to rank high in search engine results.

Study with Simplilearn will prepare you for a job as an SEO specialist. The Simplilearn SEO Masters Program starts with the DMCA course described above, then proceeds through Advanced SEO, Advanced Content Marketing, and Advanced Web Analytics, for a thorough understanding of SEO as well as the related fields that affect it: content marketing because it’s the content the search engines rank, and web analytics because you must track results to know how to improve. 

Path 2: PPC Specialist

Pay-per-click is an Internet marketing model in which advertisers display ads on web pages but only pay for an ad when that ad is clicked on. Essentially, it’s a way of buying visits to a website, rather than attempting to earn those visits organically through SEO. It takes strong analytical skills, project management and attention to detail to succeed in PPC. 

Study with Simplilearn will prepare you for a job as a PPC specialist. The Simplilearn PPC Masters Program starts with the DMCA course described above, then proceeds through Advanced PPC, Display Advertising, Advanced Web Analytics, and Advanced Website Conversion Rate Optimization. 

By studying PPC, you’ll learn the principles of PPC and paid search, master the art of paid campaigns, and learn how to generate paid traffic using various PPC marketing channels. Learning about display advertising will prepare you to work with ads, remarketing campaigns, cookies, and third-party agencies. Knowing how to optimize conversion rates means learning a systematic, repeatable framework that consistently increases conversion rates on landing pages, microsites, and websites. And finally, understanding web analytics means knowing how to interpret and act on a wide range of data to improve your PPC results. 

Path 3: Social Media Marketing Specialist

Users use social media to generate, share or exchange content in the form of information, ideas, pictures or videos in virtual communities. As social media usage becomes more widespread, with over 3 billion users predicted by 2021, businesses and brands will need to be where their customers are with a strong social media presence. And they’ll need to use those channels to market their goods and services. 

Study with Simplilearn will prepare you for a job as a social media marketing specialist. The Simplilearn Social Media Masters Program starts with the DMCA course described above, then proceeds through Advanced Social Media Marketing, Advanced Content Marketing, and Advanced Web Analytics. Through this training, you’ll learn how to use the latest and most advanced techniques to attract traffic while promoting and protecting your brand’s online reputation. You’ll also learn how to plan for and execute content marketing strategies as well as how to use web analytics to gather the data you’ll need to improve. 

Path 4: Digital Marketing Specialist

If you’d rather not pursue a specialty such as SEO, PPC or social media, you can choose the fourth learning path to become a digital marketing specialist. This fourth path gives you an in-depth understanding and advanced knowledge of the most critical digital marketing areas, so you can lead a team and make informed decisions regarding those digital marketing channels that best fit with your company’s overall strategies and goals. 

Study with Simplilearn will prepare you for a job as a digital marketing specialist. The Simplilearn Digital Marketing Masters Program starts with the DMCA course described above, then proceeds through Advanced Web Analytics, Advanced SEO, Advanced PPC, and Advanced Social Media Marketing. As part of the training, you will gain all of those skills plus knowledge of email and mobile marketing, conversion rate optimization, strategy and much more. 

Become a Sought After Digital Marketing Specialist

Companies can not ignore the need for a digital and social media marketing strategy any longer, and they are hiring skilled professionals who can help them compete in the digital world. Now is the time to act to become one of those skilled professionals, when businesses are hiring and there is little competition for jobs. And what’s one of the best ways to become a digital marketing specialist? To pursue a learning path and get certified with Simplilearn. 

Find our Digital Marketing Certified Associate Online Classroom training classes in top cities:

Name Date Place
Digital Marketing Certified Associate 22 Dec -10 Feb 2019, Weekend batch Your City View Details
Digital Marketing Certified Associate 11 Jan -23 Feb 2019, Weekdays batch San Francisco View Details
Digital Marketing Certified Associate 21 Jan -13 Feb 2019, Weekdays batch Austin View Details

About the Author

Nikita Duggal holds an honors degree in English language and literature and is working with Simplilearn as a content writer. She is a passionate digital nomad who loves all sorts of writing. In her free time, she is a veteran of slam-poetry and philosophy.

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