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When embarking on a digital marketing career, you will realize just how fast and unrelenting the industry can be. It requires thinking on your feet and originality at every turn, making this field seem daunting at first.
In order to thrive in the digital marketing world, your skills need to evolve continuously. Here are some important tips to boost your digital marketing career.
1. Advance and Refine Your Skill Set
In marketing, it's important to develop two skill types: your hard skills and your soft skills. The hard skill you need to master as a digital marketer is the ability to demonstrate a return on the marketing investments that stakeholders make. You need to utilize the data that is available to you to help others understand the benefits of marketing, beyond the bottom line. The higher the return is, the better chance you have of making real money from this industry.
Then, there are the soft skills. These skills range from creativity to innovation, collaboration, and power of influence. These skills make all the difference when it comes to hiring and are the basics you must possess to become a seasoned digital marketing professional.
Whether or not you're pursuing a digital marketing degree, learning must be a constant. Consult authoritative marketing websites as well as publications and magazines for the latest insights into the field. It is through all types of learning, whether perusing web articles, scrolling through LinkedIn or attending seminars, that you should consistently update your skill set.
2. Be Aware of the Latest Trends
Involving yourself in digital marketing also requires that you are trendy. With technology and social media constantly evolving, new trends emerge at a moment's notice. Pay attention to more than just marketing trends, however. Look at the overall advancements being made within advertising and digital industries. Furthermore, you need a nuanced understanding of business strategy, customer experience, industry news, and sales strategy. If your focus is more on the technological aspects, things such as machine learning, microservices, and artificial intelligence (AI) should be on your radar.
You need to read about and understand how emerging technologies and trends impact your company's competitiveness and sales strategy. It's advised that you look outside your own practice and establish knowledge bridges into related study fields to generate a great impact. The digital marketing industry is filled with resources via blogs, social feeds, and podcasts.
3. Develop a Strong Digital Presence
Having a wide-reaching digital presence is a core factor in becoming a successful digital marketing professional. If you hope to be hired within the industry, you need to be as visible as possible online because employers will be looking for demonstrable online skills when they research you as a potential candidate. From your LinkedIn profile to your Twitter feed, they'll be on the lookout. It also helps if you have a personal website or blog so employers can see your work and whether that work translates to their business and the skills they require.
Develop a polished, executive digital presence. Everything from your photo to your bio should represent how you want to be perceived in real life.
4. Build a Personal Brand
When establishing an online presence, you also want to become more than someone who posts on a regular basis online. You should be building a personal brand along the way as well.
That does not mean you have to post on every social media channel available or create the greatest blog imaginable. Sometimes it can be as simple as using one or two social media channels and establishing a solid following. Use social spaces as avenues to showcase your digital marketing expertise and gain the attention of other experts within those spaces. In becoming an industry expert, you'll show your employer or potential employer and clients that you can do for them what you've achieved for yourself.
You want to become a trusted go-to source for information and show a proactive approach to discovering and setting digital trends. Sharing your knowledge builds important connections, presents your leadership qualities and creates a legacy for others to remember in the short- and long-term.
5. Understand Data
Developer and software marketer, HubSpot, reports that 40% of marketers say proving the return on investment of their marketing activities is their greatest challenge. For clients, ROI and metrics about their campaigns are critical. You must include analytics and data-driven conclusions when sending over reports and evaluating campaigns.
Several marketing teams struggle to understand data or measure campaigns accurately. Everything you do in digital marketing is underpinned by analytics. Whether you're a social media specialist, search marketer or PPC specialist, analytics is crucial to understanding success, why it happened, and how to replicate it. Knowing how to collect and analyze data as well as draw insights and recommendations from that data are paramount.
You can even earn certifications from online courses that can be added to your resume, showcasing your proficiency. Use analytics as much as possible in your day-to-day decision-making and generate substantial evidence of the effectiveness of your work.
6. Don’t Be Afraid to Take Risks
Present yourself as someone who is open to trying new things. Show that you want to take on even the smallest task if it means learning a different skill or applying one. Getting out of your comfort zone is how you will grow and how you will learn to be confident in your knowledge and talents. Every calculated risk that you take exposes you to new skills and can make you a well-rounded professional that employers may be willing to take a chance on. Never limit your potential in this industry.
7. Learn to Adapt
Since the digital marketing industry changes on a dime, you also have to be able to adjust quickly. Adapting means updating both your hard and soft skills. At times, it may also mean taking over a leadership role when the team needs someone to take charge.
If you are in a leadership role, it may require that you change your style, trusting your team members to thrive in their roles as opposed to micromanaging. Sometimes stepping away and letting team members make decisions and recommendations will help you solve problems faster. You can pick up pointers from your team on how to address issues from different perspectives as well.
8. Always Seek Feedback
Getting regular feedback helps you know whether the work you’re doing has real value. If you’re a junior digital marketer, you need to boost your knowledge and bridge informational gaps. Seeking feedback from experienced professionals will expand your knowledge while bringing your attention to limitations you may have never noticed.
Try asking your manager for a walk and talk. This informal conversation can lead to more open and honest exchanges. Be willing to accept constructive criticism and understand what your weaknesses are. Not only can you correct those areas, but you may even learn tactics to build on your strengths too.
9. Focus on Yourself
A big determinant when transitioning into a digital marketing career is to focus on yourself. Take control of your career and don't wait for others to push it forward for you. Think about the goals you want to achieve and what steps you need to take to achieve them. Do you think a mentor could help you take that big step forward? Could an online class, week-long seminar, or extra certification get you that dream job? As long as you have hard work and confidence, you'll advance further than first imagined.
Ensure your attitude is positive and your mind is set on innovation. Be the person that you would want to collaborate with. You want to inspire confidence while being someone who thinks outside the box more often than not.
10. Get Out There and Network
With any career you're looking to delve into, networking plays a crucial part. Networking can lead you to opportunities and connections you may not have anticipated during your journey.
Networking is a continuous process, one that requires technological savvy as well as being a people person. Social media is an excellent place to start, particularly LinkedIn, where you can connect with people within your field and ask for tips. However, social media can only get you so far.
You need to go out into the world to meet these professionals who inspire your work. Attend relevant events so you can see them in action. Visit information sessions that may improve your understanding of analytics, social media, and other aspects of digital marketing. Go to meetups and events outside your skill set as well. You may just find that something you thought was too hard to grasp could become a brand new area of expertise.