How to Become a Digital Marketer: Learning Path Explored

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

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Reasons to Learn Digital Marketing

Digital marketing as a career as well as, as a marketing tool, is on a road to progress. In fact, 2016 can be the year of transformation with digital marketing being used not just as one of the marketing tools but a solid platform for all the marketing activities. According to MarketingProfs, digital marketing can provide burgeoning career opportunities in 2016 because:

  • There are higher budgets being allocated to digital marketing in corporates around the world and trained workforce will be required to run the department effectively and efficiently.
  • ROI for social media is a measurable metric today and significantly determines the brand strength as well as helps in honing the brand image.
  • Mobile advertising is the most effective platform for advertising and this being an evolving platform, there is a significant need for trained professionals to capture this space.
  • The latest technologies are constantly expanding the reach of digital marketing and there is an increasing need for corporates around the world to match the pace of the technologies in order the extract the best out of digital marketing.

The future of digital marketing can be said to be mainly driven by multichannel marketing, customer intelligence and the Internet of Things. These three dimensions of digital marketing are transforming the tools as well as the metrics of digital marketing.

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.

Read more: Digital Marketing Salary in India 2022

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Learning Digital Marketing: A Holistic View

Digital marketing is neither just a technology nor just a theory thus it is not about education. All you need to become a digital marketing expert is the ability to adapt and learn, out of the box thinking and awareness about the innovative technologies transforming the way we look at data and information.

Digital marketing is more about experiential learning than theory. Check out the guide to learn the different digital marketing terms. In a standard education format, there are not many case studies to bring about the actual application and potential of digital marketing or any other business tool for that matter. Plus digital marketing is a constantly transforming platform and there can’t be books written as rapidly as the digital marketing sphere is transforming. Your expertise is accumulated through learning, implementing, and reworking. The constantly evolving world of digital marketing needs you to be updated consistently while working directly with the tools and techniques.

This can come about in two ways

  1. Learn everything about digital marketing from courses, mentors and peers
  2. Read case studies and try to see what worked and most importantly learning from failures

The core structure of the digital marketing team and the individual experiences can collectively impact whether the digital marketing program is planned elaborately or only covers the basic needs outlined by the organization.

Digital marketing is not a well-defined course that can be completed in a specific amount of time. Digital marketing comprises a gamut of skills as well as technologies/certifications that can be completed in a specific amount of time.

Digital marketing is a diverse field encompassing various aspects of capturing, controlling as well as retaining the customer’s attention as well as the interest. While digital marketing experts need to be passionate learners, technology enthusiasts, proactive and creative thinkers, there are also specific skills that can make one’s journey as a digital marketer more fulfilling and worthwhile.

    What Skills Do You Need to Learn to Become a Digital Marketing Manager?

    When you're a digital marketer, you're building online communities. Whether you're running your own business or working for an international corporation, this is true.

    1. Strategic Thinking

    Strategic thinking is the most important digital marketing talent. You can use marketing in various ways to help a business succeed. As a marketing manager, your job is to determine which strategy is most appropriate given the company's current state. A multi-phase digital marketing strategy, which might take weeks or months to implement, requires extensive study, design, and creation from the digital marketing manager. 

    2. Data Analysis

    Digital marketing managers should understand a variety of analytics programs. These tools help in measuring the effectiveness of an experiment. 

    3. Knowledge of Key Digital Marketing Channels and Techniques

    Digital marketing managers require familiarity with the primary marketing channels and their applications. The direct routes are social media, email, native search, and display advertising. Most critical marketing strategies include SEO, SEM, PPC, email, and social media advertising.

    4. Knowledge of Marketing Funnel, Marketing Metrics, and KPIs

    The marketing funnel, business metrics, and KPIs, or key performance indicators, are all terms that may be baffling to some. To become an effective digital marketing manager, you'll have to understand these terms and what they imply in the context of your job. 

    5. An Eye for Good Copy

    The success or failure of a digital marketing campaign depends on the quality of the copy. To become a digital marketer, you must understand how to establish the tone and voice of the brand to resonate with the target audience, whether that's social media text, mail advertising, advertising copy, long-form blog articles, or landing page language.

    6. Visual Marketing Expertise

    For social media, the official website, and email campaigns, digital marketing managers collaborate closely with graphic designers. The ability to keep up with the latest visual marketing trends is critical here.

    7. User Experience and Customer Experience

    The brand's digital platforms should provide a seamless, enjoyable, and intuitive experience for the user. When it comes to website and social media optimization, a digital marketing manager needs to understand the psychology of their customers to meet and surpass customer expectations.

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    A Step-Wise Guide on How to Become a Digital Marketing Manager

    To begin your career in digital marketing, there is no shortcut, but there are measures you can take right now that will provide you a leg up on the competition. We have compiled a step-wise guide to assist you in getting started.

    Step 1: Educate Yourself About the Industry and Familiarize Yourself With Essential Concepts and Tools

    If you want to work in digital marketing management, doing your homework will be a tremendous asset. You'll get a realistic picture of the industry, its difficulties, and emerging trends. A wealth of information is readily available, including blogs, podcasts, webinars, and video tutorials that cover a wide range of digital marketing topics, techniques, and trends.

    Step 2: Acquire Certification in Digital Marketing

    There are several benefits of enrolling in an educational program, including meeting industry experts, obtaining guidance and input on your career path, and constructing a marketing portfolio you can display when you begin applying for your first jobs. There are a variety of paths you can take to gain a comprehensive understanding of digital marketing, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. 

    Digital Marketing Bootcamps

    Bootcamps for digital marketing tend to be realistic and short but intense, programs aimed to help students land a job in digital marketing. One-on-one tutoring and career counseling are available in some programs, but, in others, students are expected to lead their education. While in-person bootcamps are becoming increasingly popular, online bootcamps offer a more cost-effective and time-efficient option for a digital marketing degree. 

    Digital Marketing Programs

    A growing number of people are turning to certification programs to expand on and authenticate the talents they've obtained in the workplace or to master new skills to obtain a more lucrative job elsewhere. Students who want to pursue a career in digital marketing or improve their skills as marketing managers in the digital age can choose from various certificate programs. Simplilearn offers a wide range of digital marketing programs for freshers and working professionals. Some of the most popular programs are - 

    1. Post Graduate Program in Digital Marketing & Analytics
    2. Digital Marketing Certification Course
    3. Professional Certificate Digital Marketing
    4. Digital Marketing Program
    5. Advanced SEO Program

    You can explore all our digital marketing programs here. If you are a fresher who is interested in digital marketing careers, you can sign-up for free courses on skill-up

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    Step 3: Build Your Digital Marketing Portfolio

    When looking for your first job as a digital marketing manager, having a physical portfolio in interviews is a huge advantage. If you're pursuing a degree, certification, or bootcamp in digital marketing, you'll likely complete several projects and coursework that you can compile into a portfolio. 

    Step 4: Networking

    Interacting with other digital marketing experts will help you learn more about the role of a digital marketing manager and find out about employment possibilities or openings in the industry. When a new position becomes available, they'll likely turn to you first if you've impressed them.

    Step 5: Apply for Potential Digital Marketing Manager Roles 

    The time has come for you to try and apply for your first job in digital marketing. You've spent several months researching, learning, establishing a portfolio, and networking.  Signup on Google Job Alerts. Find jobs using search terms relating to your new career and companies you'd like to work for to stay up to date on the latest job opportunities. Be active on LikedIn, Naukri.com, Indeed, and other sites for job hunting. 

    How to Become a Digital Marketing Specialist?

    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.

    We recommend choosing one of these four learning paths: 

    • SEO specialist
    • PPC specialist
    • Social media marketing specialist
    • Digital marketing specialist

    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 Certification Course starts with Advanced SEO, and then proceeds through 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 Certificate Training Program focuses on 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. 

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    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 Marketing Course explores 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. 

    Read more: Top 9 Advantages of Digital Marketing

    A study with Simplilearn will prepare you for a job as a digital marketing specialist. The Simplilearn Digital Marketing Course covers 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.

    Do you want to master the essential disciplines in Digital Marketing? Check out the Digital Marketing Certification Course now.

    Become a Sought After Digital Marketing Specialist

    Interested in a career in Digital marketing? A certification in your specialization will help you excel in your field. Simplilearn offers Digital Marketing courses like the Digital Marketing Specialist, Introduction to Digital Marketing, and many more. Each course provides high quality eLearning content, practice tests, downloadable workbooks and exercises, online tests, and comprehensive content that is up to date. Enroll today to surge ahead!

    About the Author

    Nikita DuggalNikita Duggal

    Nikita Duggal is a passionate digital marketer with a major in English language and literature, a word connoisseur who loves writing about raging technologies, digital marketing, and career conundrums.

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