It’s 2021, and the world usage of the internet has hit over 4 billion humans, with over 3 billion using some form of social media. That’s a lot of eyes and ears, and brands know that being present online is the most effective way to reach all of those people. Through digital marketing, so many careers have evolved and are becoming very popular ones to choose to step into.
There are dozens of different career choices in digital marketing. Find out what they are, how to get into it, and how much you’ll earn.
What is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is advertising through the internet. It utilizes social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and wherever else all the “influencers” hang out. To get the desired results, processes such as paid advertising, search engine optimization, eBooks and white papers, blog posts, social media, and a variety of other online marketing efforts are used. In fact, digital marketing is marketing that exists using any kind of digital device. A trivia fact: digital marketing’s origins can be traced back to 1981, when the first computer came out with enough power to store massive amounts of consumer data.
Tactics Used in Digital Marketing
When it comes to spending money, people like to see some sort of reward. If you buy a coat, then you want to be able to wear it immediately. When you spend money to advertise, you like being able to see the effects. Unlike the old days of taking out ads in newspapers or magazines and not truly being able to figure out how that “spend” is doing, digital marketing is measurable. Creating campaigns, whether organic (not spending any money other than salary), or paid (creating ads for social and search engines and boosting them with x-amount of money), are all able to be seen using a variety of analytic tools. You can see the results of your efforts almost immediately.
12 Popular Digital Marketing Careers
Within each segment of digital “advertising,” there are people who are skilled in that particular area. Every digital marketing team may have a variation of the following careers, but if you are looking to get into the field, here are 12 of the most popular jobs in digital marketing:
SEO is an important factor if you want your information to cut through all the internet noise. It sounds like it would be a confusing career, but it just entails combining a knowledge of internet marketing and SEO in order for the search engines to read the information and place it as a search result. The goal, of course, is to be top of page one on Google.
What hiring managers look for in SEO managers:
- Education: It’s true that many employers prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree. But don’t let that deter you. Experience also speaks volumes. Have a great resume that you keep updated with all those new skills you learn.
Other related Careers: SEO marketing manager (management), SEO strategist/SEO analyst (mid level), SEO specialist (entry level).Social Media Professional
Social Media Professional
In the last 10 years, all sizes of companies have realized that they have a better chance of reaching their target audiences if they hang out in the same places as them. Social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn are all handled quite differently than say, the company website and its content. To get the job done effectively, social media professionals are brought on board.
What hiring managers look for in social media professionals:
- Technical skills: You’ll need to understand the strategy behind your brand’s social media to create a compelling campaign and understand the brand’s community in order to manage it properly. You may be asked to create the content, so you’ll need to write creative short form content, keep up with all the new platforms and terms of service, and keep current with world events and pop culture.
- Education: This is another one of those careers where hiring managers will throw a requirement of a bachelor’s degree onto the job posting. But nowadays, with all social media being a way of life, experience trumps education. You will just need to be able to prove measurable results of your past efforts.
Other related Careers: director of social media, social media analyst, social media strategist, community manager, social media specialist.
Products, services, or messages need to get in front of an online audience As the digital manager, you’ll create a strategy in order to generate awareness around the brand and drive traffic to the company website. You may also implement and manage the strategy, as well. Hierarchy of most companies will have you working in the marketing department, directly under the head.
What hiring managers look for in a digital marketing professional:
- Technical skills: You’ve mastered SEO and are an expert in e-commerce. Your communication skills and objective thinking are just a couple of your super powers. You can write a good story with few words. Analytics are not a foreign language to you. You keep up with trends and technology. And, because it’s online marketing, you have experience with traditional marketing as well.
- Education: Most hiring managers look for someone with a bachelor’s degree. But they would prefer a master’s degree in marketing. It is not unheard of to become a self-taught digital marketer since there are so many online classes, as well as information, that can be found.
Other related Careers: digital marketing specialist, online marketing manager, SEO.
There’s a popular saying these days: “Content is King.” And having the right content written by someone who understands the voice of the brand is paramount to a successful digital marketing campaign. Without that content, both paid and organic website visits just won’t happen. They are the ones who plan, create, and share content in hopes of converting the website traffic into clients or customers. Not only are content marketers good writers, they also know search engine optimization best practices and how to incorporate that information into their drafts. Not to mention, they have a thorough understanding of the user experience (UX), along with copywriting, which is different from content marketing.
What hiring managers look for in content marketers:
- Technical skills: You should be versed in SEO, have a working knowledge of HTML, Google analytics or other analytic tools, a high level of writing, the ability to understand content strategy, critical and analytical thinking, and strong thought leadership.
- Education: Most job postings will say a bachelor’s degree in a related field is required. However, your portfolio and resume, if done right, will be your ticket to an interview and hopefully a job offer.
Other related Careers: blogger/content creator (entry level), content strategist/content analyst (mid level), content marketing manager (management).
You know the text you see in advertisements and marketing materials? That’s written by a copywriter. Copywriters are known in many industries as sales people in print. In this position, you’ll write copy that mirrors the brand voice. There is a collaboration component to the job; you’ll be working closely with marketing, PR, and other related teams. In many instances, you’ll be juggling quite a few projects simultaneously.
What hiring managers look for in copywriters:
- Technical skills: Be creative in written communication, have a knowledge of how to write for a variety of mediums such as emails, websites, and advertisements, work as a team player, and use the power of persuasion in both your text and your speaking, patience will be your virtue (things can move slowly). Be current and relevant with text, and understand your client’s brand tone and voice.
- Education: Technically, there isn’t any type of degree associated with this career. It’s a talent-based job. A job posting may ask for someone with a bachelor’s degree, but your portfolio, experience, and skill set are going to be the determining factor.
Other related Careers: Content writer, content strategist, content specialist, brand writer.
Email Marketing Pro
No matter the size of the business, email marketing is an effective way to target a built-in audience or to go after another one, including a different yet related demographic. Every email you receive from any type of company is considered part of an email marketing campaign, whether it’s to announce a new product or sale, to introducing yourself.
What hiring managers look for in an email marketing professional:
- Technical skills: If you’re in charge of the email marketing, then you’re going to need to be a pretty decent writer—unless you work with a copywriter or content writer, you’ll be creating the text for the emails. Analytics are something you’ll need to know; there are benchmarks you’ll be looking for such as a click-through rate and open rate. You must be a team player due to the fact that you won’t be a lone wolf. You’ve got game in the world of social media. Automation platforms are part of your strategy.
- Education: Having a background in marketing is probably beneficial. But, as par for the course with most other digital marketing professions, you can teach yourself how to do email marketing by utilizing YouTube, online classes, and reading materials.
Paid Media Professional
Paid search is a newer career within the realm of digital marketing. With paid marketing, you’re using a budget to create ads that get placed higher up in search engine rankings, as well as for ads seen on social media platforms. It works in conjunction with organic traffic, but very often has better results if it’s done correctly. Essentially, you’re bribing the system to place your business above all others in the search engine result pages (SERPs).
What hiring managers look for in PPC professionals:
- Education: A requirement of a bachelor’s degree in an area such as marketing will be on the job posting. However, what’s most important if you want a career in PPC is to be exceptionally familiar with all the platforms you’ll be working with. If you’re just starting out, keep focused on one area at a time, whether it’s Facebook or Google. Pay attention to competition, not just to keep on eye on what they’re doing, but to learn from them as well. Read books, watch YouTube videos, join relevant LinkedIn groups, and do plenty of research to become self taught. There are also many online certification courses you can take to learn PPC.
Other related careers: Search engine marketing (SEM), PPC manager, PPC specialist, PPC analyst
Very often, companies need help when it comes to organizing their projects. That’s where you’ll step in. You will take the project and delegate the tasks, as well as keeping a watchful eye over it to ensure it doesn’t run into any major hiccups.
What hiring managers look for in project managers:
- Technical skills: You’ll be doing a lot of communicating via email and face to face so you need to be able to easily get your thoughts across. You must show leadership, you have a team to motivate. Due to the nature of your work, your organizational skills have to be superior. You will need to be able to predict any potential problems and have a plan in place—so problem solving is high up on the list of skills needed. You’re a creative, yet critical, thinker. You’ll work on one project at a time, till the end goal, and move onto the next project.
- Education: If you’re going to college, a management or business administration degree is always a good path to head down. But you can be in any field prior to deciding project management is what you want to do. You can do a lot of self study through online courses, reading, and videos. You may also decide to go for the project management certification through Project Management Institute.
Other related Careers: IT project manager, construction project manager, technical project manager.
Throughout most industries, working with teams is a product manager. They map out the what, where, and why of products. As a product manager, you’ll help guide your company toward a product that is successful. Your role will be one that needs tremendous amounts of organization and critical thinking. You’ll take the product from concept to completion, road-mapping and strategizing the entire way.
What hiring managers look for in product managers:
- Technical skills: As an avid observer, you recognize things for what they are, and because you’re a problem solver, you’re able to come up with solutions or better processes. You’re a fabulous listener but also excellent at communicating. You’re able to visualize where something is headed, and know if that’s a good or bad thing. You fight for what you believe in, but you are also aware enough to recognize you may not always be right. You advocate for the brand, because your in-depth knowledge makes you the best brand ambassador. You can tell when something needs a band-aid, or it needs to be fixed altogether. You also know when something needs to be trashed and restarted. You need to know how every team in the company is connected in order to drive results.
- Education: Bachelor’s degree in either business or marketing. For senior level, an MBA can be helpful. You need to understand every piece of the business you’re product manager for.
Other related careers: associate product manager, junior product manager, principal product manager, lead product manager.
You have a product, or brand, or something that gets used in any possible way. And you want the experience of use to be the best possible case scenario. That’s where experience designers come in. User Interface (UI) is all about how the product is presented or laid out, and User Experience (UX) focuses on how the product feels for the user. Both UI and UX designers work in tandem to present a product that will achieve the desired results in the best possible way for the user.
What hiring managers look for in UI/UX designers:
- Technical skills: UI/UX designers need to be sensitive to the needs of the user, as well as the workings of technology. Maybe you’ll have a background in graphic or web design. Communication skills are imperative, as well.
- Education: For UI/UX, there isn’t an actual degree that goes along with it, but if you have a tech-related bachelor’s degree, that’s a leg up. Realistically, a high school diploma, some college, and skills that make you a great UX designer are all you really need to get into this type of career. Oftentimes, an employee who has the right specifications will just sort of mold into the role of UX or UI. If UI/UX design interests you, look for online courses that teach the fundamentals. Self learning is always a good idea.
Other related Careers: design, information architect, product design, interactive designer, visual designer.
The short version of “what”: a developer is involved with the development and processes of software, from research to creation. To clear up any confusion, there is not any significant difference between programmers, developers, or computer scientist; they all work well with code.
What hiring managers look for in developers:
- Technical skills: Algorithms are going to be a part of your everyday existence, so whether you go to college or you’re a self-taught programmer, learn them, know how to look at them to solve problems, and know how to write your own. Be the best at one platform, instead of O.K. on all of them. Build and deploy are your checks and balances. The ability to look into and analyze the users needs in order to code is a necessary quality. You’ll need to be versatile, adaptable so you are able to easily transition from working in a group to doing it on your own.
- Education: Most hiring managers look for developers with, at the very least, a bachelor’s degree in computer science. Many potential employers even prefer their candidates to have a master’s degree in a related field. And, you’ll need to be at the top of your computer programming game, being multi computer-language lingual. Internships are recommended; not only will you learn more, but also you’ll be able to use it as work experience when job hunting.
Graphic design uses imagery and typography to relay a message, provide an experience, and project ideas. In short, graphic design is a form of visual communication. Elements of graphic design include shapes, colors, textures, lines, space, forms, and sizes. It is found in print design, logos and other pieces of branding, web design, and so much more.
What hiring managers look for in graphic designers:
- Technical skills: If you dream of being a graphic designer, one of the key skills you’ll need is creativity. Many careers in digital marketing will require you to have good communication skills, and graphic design is no exception. You’ll need to be tech savvy and know how to use design software, which makes sense considering you wouldn’t be able to do graphic design without the software these days. Traditional, yet necessary, skills to have are typography and color theory. They have been a driving force of graphic design from the beginning and are still going strong.
- Education: There are many self-taught graphic designers out there, proving your portfolio speaks above your college degree. But if you were wanting to head down an educational path, you can choose between an associate or bachelor’s degree. One of the most important factors is to create a portfolio of all your top-notch work. It’s what’s going to be your selling point. Sure, degrees may help get your foot in the door, but your graphic design prowess is what will inevitably snag the position.
Other related careers: web designer, user experience (UX), creative director, and art director.
Careers in digital marketing can be lucrative, as well as exciting and rewarding. And for most of the positions, if you’re armed with a fabulous portfolio and a resume dripping with experience, then you don’t even need a college degree!
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