Updated: Mar 16
Starting a career in digital marketing is a very good decision. As every business is shifting from its traditional ways to modern ways, and digital marketing is only the modern world. For becoming a digital marketer you need to develop the skills which will only help you in moving further. But as we further continue we should know deeply what is digital marketing.
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Table Of Contents
WHAT IS DIGITAL MARKETING?
Any marketing that uses electronic devices and can be used by marketing specialists to convey promotional messaging and measure its impact through your customer journey. In practice, digital marketing typically refers to marketing campaigns that appear on a computer, phone, tablet, or other device. It can take many forms, including online video, display ads, search engine marketing, paid social ads and social media posts. Digital marketing is often compared to “traditional marketing” such as magazine ads, billboards, and direct mail. Oddly, television is usually lumped in with traditional marketing.
Digital marketing is an umbrella term that includes any and all of the online strategies that companies use to identify, build, and target an audience in the hopes of turning them into customers. Like traditional marketing, digital marketing focuses on promoting and selling a product or service.
Thanks to the rise of smartphones, though, marketing no longer means, Marketing strategies have evolved because consumers have evolved. That’s why digital marketing focuses on how to reach potential customers where they spend their time online and in highly targeted and relatable ways—an approach that’s often referred to as “conversational” marketing. That includes anything from social media marketing to paid ads to search engine optimization (SEO), among other techniques.
TYPES OF DIGITAL MARKETING
1. Content Marketing
As in any marketing strategy, the goal of content marketing is to attract leads that ultimately convert into customers. But it does so differently than traditional advertising. Instead of enticing prospects with potential value from a product or service, it offers value for free in the form of written material.
Content marketing matters, and there are plenty of stats to prove it:
84% of consumers expect companies to produce entertaining and helpful content experiences
62% of companies that have at least 5,000 employees produce content daily
92% of marketers believe that their company values content as an important asset
As effective as content marketing is, it can be tricky. Content marketing writers need to be able to rank highly in search engine results while also engaging people who will read the material, share it, and interact further with the brand. When the content is relevant, it can establish strong relationships throughout the pipeline.
2. Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing means driving traffic and brand awareness by engaging people in discussion online. The most popular platforms for social media marketing are Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, with LinkedIn and YouTube not far behind. Because social media marketing involves active audience participation, it has become a popular way of getting attention.
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It's the most popular content medium for B2C marketers at 96%, and it's gaining ground in the B2B sphere as well. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 61% of B2B content marketers increased their use of social media this year. Social media marketing offers built-in engagement metrics, which are extremely useful in helping you to understand how well you're reaching your audience. You get to decide which types of interactions mean the most to you, whether that means the number of shares, comments, or total clicks to your website.
3. Pay-Per-Click Marketing
Pay-per-click, or PPC, is posting an ad on a platform and paying every time someone clicks on it. How and when people see your ad is a bit more complicated. When a spot is available on a search engine results page, also known as a SERP, the engine fills the spot with what is essentially an instant auction. An algorithm prioritizes each available ad based on a number of factors, including:
Landing page quality
Each PPC campaign has 1 or more target actions that viewers are meant to complete after clicking an ad. These actions are known as conversions, and they can be transactional or non-transactional. Making a purchase is a conversion, but so is a newsletter signup or a call made to your home office.
4. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing lets someone make money by promoting another person's business. You could be either the promoter or the business who works with the promoter, but the process is the same in either case. It works using a revenue sharing model. If you're the affiliate, you get a commission every time someone purchases the item that you promote. If you're the merchant, you pay the affiliate for every sale they help you make.
Some affiliate marketers choose to review the products of just 1 company, perhaps on a blog or other third-party site. Others have relationships with multiple merchants. Whether you want to be an affiliate or find one, the first step is to make a connection with the other party. You can use a platform designed to connect affiliates with retailers, or you can start or join a single-retailer program.
5. Native Advertising
Native advertising is marketing in disguise. Its goal is to blend in with its surrounding content so that it’s less blatantly obvious as advertising. Native advertising was created in reaction to the cynicism of today's consumers toward ads. Knowing that the creator of an ad pays to run it, many consumers will conclude that the ad is biased and consequently ignore it.
A native ad gets around this bias by offering information or entertainment before it gets to anything promotional, downplaying the "ad" aspect. It’s important to always label your native ads clearly. Use words like “promoted” or “sponsored.” If those indicators are concealed, readers might end up spending significant time engaging with the content before they realize that it's advertising.
6. Marketing Automation
Marketing automation uses software to power digital marketing campaigns, improving the efficiency and relevance of advertising.
According to statistics:
90% of US consumers find personalization either “very” or “somewhat” appealing
81% of consumers would like the brands they engage with to understand them better
77% of companies believe in the value of real-time personalization, yet 60% struggle with it
Marketing automation lets companies keep up with the expectation of personalization. It allows brands to:
Collect and analyze consumer information
Design targeted marketing campaigns
Send and post marketing messages at the right times to the right audiences
7. E-mail Marketing
The concept of email marketing is simple—you send a promotional message and hope that your prospect clicks on it. However, the execution is much more complex. First of all, you have to make sure that your emails are wanted. This means having an opt-in list that does the following:
Individualizes the content, both in the body and in the subject line
States clearly what kind of emails the subscriber will get
Offers a clear unsubscribe option
Integrates both transactional and promotional emails
You want your prospects to see your campaign as a valued service, not just as a promotional tool. Email marketing is a proven, effective technique all on its own: 89% of surveyed professionals named it as their most effective lead generator.
8. Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is technically a marketing tool rather than a form of marketing in itself. The Balance defines it as “the art and science of making web pages attractive to search engines.”
The "art and science" part of SEO is what’s most important. SEO is a science because it requires you to research and weigh different contributing factors to achieve the highest possible ranking. Today, the most important elements to consider when optimizing a web page include:
Quality of content
Level of user engagement
Number and quality of inbound links
The strategic use of these factors makes SEO a science, but the unpredictability involved makes it an art.
EVOLUTION OF DIGITAL MARKETING
The term Digital Marketing was first used in the 1990s. The digital age took off with the coming of the internet and the development of the Web 1.0 platform. The Web 1.0 platform allowed users to find the information they wanted but did not allow them to share this information over the web. Up until then, marketers worldwide were still unsure of the digital platform.
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In 1993, the first clickable banner went live, after which HotWired purchased a few banner ads for their advertising. This marked the beginning of the transition to the digital era of marketing. Because of this gradual shift, the year 1994 saw new technologies enter the digital marketplace. Also known as "Jerry's Guide to the World Wide Web" after its founder Jerry Yang, Yahoo received close to 1 million hits within the first year. This prompted wholesale changes in the digital marketing space, with companies optimizing their websites to pull in higher search engine rankings. 1996 saw the launch of a couple of more search engines and tools like HotBot, LookSmart, and Alexa.
1998 saw the birth of Google. Microsoft launched the MSN search engine and Yahoo brought to the market Yahoo web search. Two years later, the internet bubble burst and all the smaller search engines were either left behind or wiped out leaving more space for the giants in the business. The digital marketing world saw its first steep surge in 2006 when search engine traffic was reported to have grown to about 6.4 billion in a single month. Not one to get left behind, Microsoft put MSN on the backburner and launched Live Search to compete with Google and Yahoo.
Then came Web 2.0, where people became more active participants rather than remain passive users. Web 2.0 allowed users to interact with other users and businesses. As a result, information flow volumes –including channels utilized by digital marketers- increased manifold, and by 2004, internet advertising and marketing in the US alone brought in around $2.9 billion.
Soon, social networking sites began to emerge. MySpace was the first social networking site to arrive, soon followed by Facebook. With new resources, they needed new approaches to promote their brands & capitalize on the social networking platform.
Products marketed digitally are now available to customers at all times. Statistics collected by the Marketingtechblog for 2014 show that posting on social media is the top online activity in the US. The average American spends 37 minutes a day on social media. 99% of digital marketers use Facebook to market, 97% use Twitter, 69% use Pinterest and 59% use Instagram. 70% of B2C marketers have acquired customers through Facebook. 67% of Twitter users are far more likely to buy from brands that they follow on Twitter. 83.8% of luxury brands have a presence on Pinterest. The top three social networking sites used by marketers are LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.
The global digital marketing market was valued at around $290–310 billion in 2019 with future estimates looking much stronger owing to continual attraction on digital channels. The scope of digital marketing is on its peak and this industry report forecasted the industry to grow at a CAGR of 12.8%, reaching around $330–340 billion in 2020.
WHY SHOULD YOU INVOLVE IN DIGITAL MARKETING?
Digital Marketing as a profession is a booming career pathway for learners. Digital Marketing is one of those professions that need a smart way in professional life. The Digital Marketing Industry is both rapidly shifting and extremely competitive. For those who are intent and passionate regarding Digital Marketing as a profession, it is a profession with outstanding long-term opportunities. Digital Marketing is a job where every day is additional for you. This industry demands passion and a craving to flourish.
Digital marketing is important because it merges a business with its consumers when they are online, & is acceptable in all industries. It combines businesses with ideal customers when they are on Google via SEO & PPC, on social media with social media marketing, & through email with email marketing.
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Beyond this, here are a few more reasons to consider this career.
Versatility: If you choose a career path or specialization in this field and you decide to pivot later, you’ll likely only need a little training in order to make the switch. In this sense, you can build on existing skills while still learning new ones, but still stay in the same field.
The Industry is Always Evolving: As the industry grows and changes, there’s always something new and interesting to learn, and you can follow along and learn, whether you’re taking the lead on these initiatives or not. Since there will be a variety of specialists working in a given agency, you’ll likely be working alongside professionals with a variety of backgrounds, with everyone having to come together to build marketing strategies.
Earnings: When a job is in demand, that means there’s more opportunity to negotiate remuneration whether you are working in-house or as a freelancer. So long as you “show” your work through the job search process, you’ll be able to bid higher and higher the more experience you get.
Be Creative: Not only is there plenty of opportunities for creatives to do their thing in writing, design and even video and audio production, there’s also plenty of room for day-to-day creativity in a general sense.
Work with Different People Every Day: You’re always going to find something new to do in this field - and have someone new to talk to. Whether it’s a new client, a colleague with an interesting specialty, or finding fun ways to engage and expand your audience, anyone with an interest in working with people will do well in the social and business end of this career. And if you’re a little more on the introverted side, you can stay behind the scenes doing writing or web work.
BENEFITS OF DIGITAL MARKETING
Digital marketing has become prominent largely because it reaches such a wide audience of people, but it offers a number of other advantages as well. These are a few of the benefits.
1. Customer Reach
When you post an ad online, people can see it no matter where they are (provided you haven’t limited your ad geographically). This makes it easy to grow your business's market reach.
2. Cost Efficiency
Digital marketing also carries a lower cost. Overhead costs for newspaper ads, television spots, and other traditional marketing opportunities can be high. They also give you less control over whether your target audiences will see those messages in the first place.
With digital marketing, you can create just 1 content piece that draws visitors to your blog as long as it's active. You can create an email marketing campaign that delivers messages to targeted customer lists on a schedule, and it's easy to change that schedule or the content if you need to do so.
3. Quantifiable Results
To know whether your marketing strategy works, you have to find out how many customers it attracts and how much revenue it ultimately drives.
There's always the traditional option of asking each customer, “How did you find us?"
Unfortunately, that doesn't work in all industries. Many companies don't get to have one-on-one conversations with their customers, and surveys don't always get complete results.
With digital marketing, results monitoring is simple. Digital marketing software and platforms automatically track the number of desired conversions that you get, whether that means email open rates, visits to your home page, or direct purchases.
4. Easier Personalization
Digital marketing allows you to gather customer data in a way that offline marketing can't. Data collected digitally tends to be much more precise and specific.
Imagine you offer financial services and want to send out special offers to people who have looked at your products. You know you'll get better results if you target the offer to the person's interest.
5. More Connection With Customers
Digital marketing lets you communicate with your customers in real-time. Think about your social media strategy. It's great when your target audience sees your latest post, but it's even better when they comment on it or share it.
Interactivity benefits your customers as well. Their level of engagement increases as they become active participants in your brand's story.
6. Easy and Convenient Conversions
Digital marketing lets your customers take action immediately after viewing your ad or content. With traditional advertisements, the most immediate result you can hope for is a phone call shortly after someone views your ad. But with digital marketing, they can click a link or save a blog post and move along the sales funnel right away. They might not make a purchase immediately, but they’ll stay connected with you and give you a chance to interact with them further.
HOW TO START DIGITAL MARKETING?
1. Know The Basics Of Digital Marketing
For beginners to digital marketing, the first obvious step is to understand what is digital marketing and the main components that make up digital marketing. Digital marketing or online marketing as it is sometimes known is a broad term that is used to describe the process of marketing on the Internet.
It has a number of components that cover all areas of online promotion. You need to understand that it’s not a single discipline but it has a number of processes that can participate in a digital marketing campaign. Don’t get stressed, you don’t have to learn everything from day 1.
As you progress through your digital marketing career path, you’ll get a chance to work with different techniques, technologies, and tools, and eventually, the puzzle will be completed.
2. Get Some Experience
Another way to grow your skills and experience fast is to get a real job as a digital marketing assistant in an established agency. This is highly recommended because you will get to learn how a modern digital marketing agency works and you can use some of their practices if you decide later to start your own agency or join another company as a digital marketing expert.
The only way you will get your career going is by gaining experience. You may have to do some unpaid jobs, but this is a worthwhile time investment with long term benefits. There are tons of online digital marketing jobs for freshers. Using any skills you acquire, help friends or community organizations with projects, and take on all kinds of side jobs that will give you plenty of experience that you can draw on when you to start applying for long-term digital marketing jobs.
3. Know The Trends
Digital marketing is a career that is always on the move and always changing. If you are choosing it as a career, you need to keep up with the latest trends. The needs of this industry vary over time, and if you fall behind, someone else will be waiting to take your place.
Attend virtual seminars, take online classes, and do your best to stay ahead of the game rather than simply keeping up with it.
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If you want to do a muscle-up, it doesn’t matter how many YouTube tutorials you watch. You still have to find a bar and practice. The same goes for digital marketing. Don’t just consume content. All that leads to is analysis paralysis—overthinking and yet not doing anything. Trust me, I’ve been there. When you’ve learned something, you have to get down, dirty and execute.
4. Create an Online Presence
One of the best ways to apply different digital marketing concepts in the real world is to start your own website. By building your own website, you’re creating a lab where you can test and learn different marketing strategies. Digital marketing is not a theoretical concept, but it’s highly measurable and practical. It’s not enough to know the theory behind SEO and social media marketing but you need to know how to apply the different techniques in practice.
This process will take time and if you are new to this, the learning curve will be big, but it’s the only way to build a solid foundation for your career. Having your own website will not only help you to learn the different concepts but you can use it as a showcase to convince new employers or clients to trust you and secure a good contract or job.
5. Get Certification
Anyone can get into digital marketing without a university degree, but the candidates who are getting the best positions are those who have a certification in digital marketing. There are classes you can take that will help you to prepare for the certification exams, and if you are really serious about digital marketing as a career, you should get certified as soon as possible.
This is going to make you stand out in a crowd of digital marketers who may be experienced, but definitely not certified.
The fastest way to acquire the necessary skills is to get a Google Ads certification. Google has a plethora of resources to help you become a Google AdWords Expert and getting a certification is a great way to prove to your clients or potential employers that you have the necessary skills.
6. Become an SEO Expert
You cannot pursue a career in digital marketing if you are not good at SEO. You first need to become an SEO expert and then build other skills.
With SEO you’ll learn how to create websites that both users and search engines love, and you can apply the same concepts to improve your Google Ads and Facebook paid campaigns.
Build your SEO career gradually and when you feel that you have master the skills of SEO, continue with the rest.
As a digital marketing specialist, you need to know how the different social media networks work (Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn) but the majority of your time and campaign budget, will be spent on Facebook and Instagram. Facebook besides being a great social network, is now one of the most important tools for any digital marketing campaign. Getting organic exposure on Facebook is getting harder so the only way to use Facebook as a selling tool, is to learn how to use their advertising platform.
7. Learn Digital Marketing Tools
Besides learning how to use Google analytics, you also need to learn how to use other digital marketing tools. A good tool will allow you to create dashboards for all channels and meaningful reports to management or clients. There are a plethora of good tools available, and although they are not free, the monthly fee is an investment for your career and another great item for you.
Don’t worry though—there are plenty of free ones around. Here are some you should get acquainted with:
Google Analytics. See data like the number of people visiting your site, which pages they go to, how long they stay, and hundreds of other actionable metrics. Learn how to use it in this guide.
Google Search Console (GSC). See which pages are indexed in Google, the keywords your site ranks for, and the websites that link to you. This guide will teach you how to use GSC optimally.
Ahrefs Webmaster Tools (AWT). See your website’s backlinks and keyword rankings, plus scan your site for common SEO issues that could be hurting its performance.
ConvertKit. An email marketing tool. Their free plan lets you manage up to 1,000 subscribers.
Buffer. Free social media scheduling tool. Automates the process of posting content.
8. Use Your Creativity
Digital marketing really allows you to use creative gifts in a variety of ways. Yes, there are methods and systems that are standardized for certain applications, but you can always add your personal flair to projects, making them creative and unique.
Digital marketing is built on creativity, so if you have an idea that you think will work, give it a try. The more creative you are, the more likely it is that you will be noticed and land that goal.
9. Learn About Analytics
In order to know how successful your marketing campaigns are, you need to understand analytics. This is the data that shows how well or how poorly a campaign is doing, and helps you to figure out how to make things better the next time around.
You don’t have to go to college for a degree, but there are many online classes you can take on your own time that will help you to learn about and understand how analytics work, and how to use them.
10. Learn New Updates and Keep Learning
Digital marketing tactics change all the time. Some digital marketers love this and some hate it, but it’s a fact that digital marketing is a fast-changing industry. Google is deploying hundreds of changes related to organic and paid searches per year, the Facebook algorithm is constantly changing and in general, the digital marketing landscape is extremely dynamic.
This means that if you decide to follow a career in digital marketing, you should know in advance that learning will be part of your DAILY activities.
Regardless which route you choose, to master digital marketing, there are two things you should always be doing.
First, learning. Marketing is a constantly evolving field. You’ll have to be constantly learning, applying, testing and refining. Read books, listen to podcasts, watch videos and follow thought leaders online.
Second, networking. Not only will networking expose you to future career opportunities, it also helps to meet people who have new and different ideas from yourself. This can open your perspective and help you excel further in your career. After all, you can never have all the answers yourself.
Digital marketing should be one of the primary focuses of almost any business’s overall marketing strategy. Never before has there been a way to stay in such consistent contact with your customers, and nothing else offers the level of personalization that digital data can provide. The more you embrace the possibilities of digital marketing, the more you'll be able to realize your company's growth potential.