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If you love communicating through digital mediums of all kinds, and you’re passionate about learning more, why not consider growing your career in digital marketing? This is one of the most fast-paced, versatile areas of growth you can choose to work in for 2018.
Digital marketing incorporates all kinds of tools and marketing techniques to sell all kinds of services and products. And as the online space takes up the majority of our marketing activities, there’s less and less of a need for traditional advertising. However, if you’re already well-versed in traditional media marketing and advertising and you’re thinking of shifting into the online world, there are plenty of valuable skills to transfer over.
There are plenty of training programs out there these days--so much so that it may feel overwhelming if you’re just starting your search. Here are some things to consider when you’re looking for the best type of digital marketing training for your needs.
Stay on Top of Trends
This is a field that’s constantly changing and evolving, and you need to prove that you can stay on top of the trends---not just for yourself, but you need to be able to show this when you’re interviewing or pitching for potential jobs or clients.
When you are able to stay abreast of the current trends on your own, you can then keep an eye out for what’s happening in the field, and look for training opportunities that encompass just that. Some avenues like AI may be a little on the technical side (not just anyone can learn to write a logarithm overnight), but you can follow certain sites to stay updated.
Trends you’ll want to keep abreast of as you go through your training and explore on your own include:
- Cryptocurrency and blockchain
- Digital Assistants
- Social media – new platforms, new functions, new purposes
- Influencer marketing
These days everyone requires an online presence, and the more you can demonstrate your know-how from the get-go, the more likely you are to get hired either in-house or as a freelance contractor. Not doing this isn’t really an option these days, seeing as how there’s so much competition.
The good news is that it’s not that hard. Keeping your favorite social media streams active, building a free website, and writing about relevant and interesting things you are learning about on your website or a simple platform like Medium are great starting points for building your online presence.
One important thing that you’ll want to pay attention to while you’re doing this is strategy and focus; in other words, what do you want to be known for? If your passion is Instagram, learn all you can about that and create a professional Insta profile; if it’s video, make sure your YouTube page is consistent with your career goals.
You can’t get around being visible these days, so if you’re going to do it, you may as well do it right from the get-go.
Create Your Own Experience
Don’t have any samples to submit with your job or course application? Create them. Then pay attention to the process that you used to create them, and write about that. These days there’s so much information available out there, that you can pretty much teach yourself the basics. Work on a blog, join some Facebook groups, develop a “fake” portfolio of whatever your content specialty is, and you’ll be ahead of the game when it comes to getting into school or landing that dream client.
There are also plenty of opportunities out there for side jobs and volunteer jobs. Even if this is something that’s not well-paying, they’re sometimes easy to land even with little experience, and they can offer big payoffs in terms of just getting your feet wet with some different types of writing and marketing activities.
Understand Analytics and Metrics
Becoming a professional digital marketer may appeal to creatives, which is wonderful because creatives are necessary to every team. However, anyone with a creative aptitude needs to understand that there’s a logical part of this field, especially if you’re planning on going into the management and strategy end of things. There’s certainly a demand for analysts out there, but focusing on this entirely requires a highly logical mindset.
Digital marketing isn’t just about making fun blog posts and videos--and on the flip side, for the techies, it’s not just about building a good website. It’s actually about innovation, problem-solving, and strategy. Thus, anyone thinking of going into this field must have a grasp on the big picture of what it takes to develop an advertorial strategy that meets the unique needs of a business.
You need to understand how analytics and other metrics (data) can inform a digital marketing strategy in the big picture. This doesn’t’ mean you have to be immersed in data, but you should have a good understanding of how to use basic tools like Google Keywords and Google Analytics for monitoring and reporting traffic patterns and reach.
Learn About Different Specializations in Digital Marketing
Whether or not you have formal training, it’s a good idea to get a sense of where this career can ultimately take you, once you gain more experience in the field. Get a good sense of the types of skills and competencies each career stream requires in order to be successful, and don’t try to push yourself into something you’re not naturally passionate about.
Some of the different areas you can specialize in include:
- E-commerce: E-commerce is always going to be an area that needs help with their digital marketing needs since everyone and their brother is shopping online these days. So, if you are confident that you can help a company market their product or service online, you’re way ahead of the game.
- Content management: Highly competent content managers will continue to be in demand. If this is something you’re aiming for, expect always to be taking the lead with new ideas while balancing the needs and demands of clients in accordance with key performance indicators. You’ll likely lead a team of writers, designers, and others in order to ensure that each part of the digital marketing “puzzle” is completed.
- Design: Mobile and web design is still key in digital marketing, and it can take many facets, from web design, which is often more technical, to simply being able to create fantastic digital content. Creatives can rejoice in the fact that they can dive into this field and still have plenty of opportunities to pursue their passion.
- Copywriting: Copywriting is much more than just about writing a blog post here and there; it’s about writing persuasively, strategically and in an engaging way. Essentially copy and content are in the same boat, and a great writer should be able to do both to further the success of their clients.
- Business: If you’re going into a digital marketing career of any kind, you’ll need to have a good grasp of business operations and strategy in general. As a marketer, you’ll likely have to be able to grasp the entirety of a business’ goals, act as a consultant, and teach them strategy if you’re working on a per-client basis.
Obviously, if you’re an adult looking to upgrade your current training, you’ll have to find something that suits your needs and schedule in terms of overall cost and time management. But what’s more important is finding something that actually is going to teach you the most up-to-date skills you need to compete in the ever-changing marketplace of digital technology, since everything in the digital sphere is changing so quickly these days.
No matter what area you want to focus on, whether you’re working in traditional advertising, or you’re wanting to upgrade your skills, finding a comprehensive, reputable training program that fits your goals and lifestyle is essential for boosting your knowledge and expanding your overall approach to all-things-digital. Once you have that certification, you’ll then have a leg-up amongst your peers when it comes to searching for fulfilling work.
There are many benefits to following this flexible and fascinating career path. If you already have a background in Business or Communications, it will serve you well. If you’re already in the field but want to get a leg up, find a reputable course to give you some specialized training in your chosen area. Because digital marketing is the future, you pretty much can’t go wrong with comprehensive training in this area, and there’s really something for everyone no matter what your age, background or interest, so long as you’re willing to learn.