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By now you’ve probably heard the hype – digital marketing skills are in serious demand and the digital skills gap is set to widen, the job market is booming (and quite frankly bursting at the seams) and brands are putting more of a focus on digital marketing than ever before.
Bigger budgets, increased pay and more career choice are just some of the benefits digital marketing professionals can look forward to this year and beyond.
Debating over whether to change career direction or what to study next? You might want to discover the 7 big digital marketing benefits first. They’re good, we promise.
But first, let’s look at what digital marketing is and what skills are in demand!
What is digital marketing?
In some ways, digital marketing is not that different from traditional marketing: you’ve got a product that you need to sell, and looking to ways to engage with customers to build brand awareness and eventually ‘close’ a sale.
Digital marketing encompasses more roles and skills than ever before, and it’s this flexible, versatile nature of the business that makes it so fascinating and exciting.
What types of digital marketing jobs are there and what topic areas would they cover?
There are a wide range of digital marketing jobs out there meaning there are a huge variety of career options.
- Video/audio production
- Interactive technology (such as AI)
- Mobile marketing
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Search engine marketing (SEM)
- Social media
- Email marketing
- Marketing automation
- Content management and curation
- Web development
- Web design
- Copywriting and editing
- Business/marketing strategy
To kickstart or advance your career it’s a good idea to think about getting training in at least one or two specialty areas unless you’re in or gunning for management, in which case you’ll probably need to know quite a bit about them all.
What digital skills are in demand?
The digital economy is embedded in every corner of our lives, and it’s not going anywhere. There’s a solid budget going into digital marketing now as opposed to traditional marketing.
93% of online activity starts with a search engine and ensures the continued effectiveness of SEO as a superior marketing strategy while about 80% of Americans make an online purchase at least once a month. Anyone thinking about starting or leading a business needs to have a basic understanding of digital marketing in order to convert customers.
There is plenty of room for people looking to enter the world of digital marketing and related careers. In 2019, some of the most in-demand skills are content creation and curation, social media strategy, martech and analytics, which is great news for those who veer towards the creative, social and business end of the spectrum.
For those who are more technically minded, there’s still plenty of demand and quite a high earning potential for those who specialize in technologies like SEO and SEM since this is what can be at the base of what drives profits in any business.
Content marketing relies on traffic and anyone with the technical expertise to analyze these patterns is going to be a valuable asset, especially as these types of jobs become more complex with the advent of artificial intelligence and machine learning.
So, now you know what digital marketing is and what the demand is, what are the benefits?
1. Become an In-Demand Professional
You’ve heard of the digital skills gap, right? By 2020, 2 million new digital jobs are expected in the U.K. alone and not enough digital professionals to fill them.
This provides those studying digital marketing with a unique competitive advantage – you’re gearing yourself up for a career where demand exceeds supply. Always a good move.
During the global recession, recent graduates were plunged into a world of uncertainty, job scarcity and all around terribleness. Wouldn’t it be nice to gain a fresh set of skills that could future-proof your career, increase your job security and even enhance career progression?
The most important thing for you is that you need to take back control of your career and reestablish the confidence you lost during the recession. Remember this: companies still want valuable skills – you might just need to turn them digital.
According to Marketing Hiring Trends demand for digital marketing professionals outstrips supply with 44% of companies wanting to hire more marketers. It’s time you took advantage.
Top Tip: Before you embark on your digital marketing career, find out what the most in-demand digital marketing skills are.
2. Benefit from More Career Choice
As digitization continues across industries, companies across the world from start-ups to established corporates are seeking digital professionals with relevant experience.
Digital titans such as Google and Airbnb are always on the lookout for new talent particularly in the area of emerging technologies as artificial intelligence becomes more mainstream and offers scalability. In terms of customer value using AI can help drive personalization and response times to queries using technology such as chatbots.
With such a wide array of new opportunities available, digital marketers can afford to be picky about the type of company they’d like to work for. We’d encourage you to take advantage of this choice and think of what kind of business best suits your career needs.
Top Tip - Research potential sectors:According to the 2018 Marketing Week Career and Salary Survey, the top five areas to work in as a marketer are automotive, travel, education and gaming and gambling.
3. Get Paid More Than Your Peers
We’ve already talked about how demand for digital marketing professionals is exceeding supply. In traditional economics we all know what happens next – the value of the product increases along with the price. When you’re working in a fruitful industry with a large skills shortage you can think of yourself like a commodity – and negotiate your salary accordingly.
A recent survey by The Creative Group projects a substantial increase for marketing professionals. For example, the median salary for a CMO in a corporate setting in the U.S. is expected to be $164,000.
What’s interesting and beneficial about the job market for digital professionals is that there is huge competition for skilled talent regardless of industry.
This means that individuals with the right skills can negotiate for great salaries but also land great benefits and perhaps even bonuses depending on their role.
Your digital skills are in demand further afield too. This inspiring video highlights the key skills American businesses are seeking and the salaries you can expect to earn.
Top tip: Guarantee pay increases on a yearly basis by u[skilling on a continuous basis on the skills that matter to your sector or business.
4. Kickstart Your Career Easily
In more traditional careers like advertising you’d have to wait for a coveted internship or graduate placement to open up so you can gain experience and create your own portfolio. The digital marketing world, however, provides a host of opportunities for you to kickstart your own career before you even set foot in a workplace.
Want to stand out to potential employers? Invest in building a powerful social media presence, gain your own Twitter followers, start your own blog and contribute to relevant online conversations. There are a whole host of online exams you can take to boost your CV and showcase your digital marketing knowledge.
There have been plenty of examples of people who have been hired after showcasing their talent and abilities through social media. For example, Dublin based fashion illustrator, Holly Shortall got noticed when she tweeted her illustrations to celebrities online. A number of glossy magazines and top fashion brands then approached her and commissioned her work.
Top Tip: Grab 10 invaluable tips to help you kickstart your own digital marketing career.
5. Become an Agile & Versatile Professional
Due to high demand for digital marketing skills and the fact you can apply this knowledge to any sector or role makes this an agile career.
So, if you choose a career path or specialization in this sector and decide to pivot later, you’ll probably only need a little training to upskill or hone 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.
That means that tere’s plenty of choices and ongoing learning opportunities, where different skills fit together in different ways.
Top tip: Keep abreast of new developments and trends and embrace continuous learning as a way to leanr new skills that can become invaluable to a current or prospective employer.
6. Work with Different People Every Day
As it’s such a dynamic sector with a range of disciplines, you’re likely to meet and work with individuals from different backgrounds and different interests.
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. An added bonus to this is that you can manage and work with freelancers from any corner of the world who can ring a new dimension and perspective to your work.
Whatever your role, the sector guarantees a lack of boredom in your professional life!
Top tip: Embrace new opportunities such as training events or breakfast networking meetings to gain new knowledge and meet influential peers.
7. Get to Be Creative (and Experiment)!
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.
After all, in such a dynamic environment there will always be new a need for new ways to think of marketing products, solving problems, conducting A/B tests, improving customer experience and engaging audiences.
In addition, the speed or digital marketing lends itself to experimentation as companies want creative ways to captalize on things that are working in the business as long as those that could perform better.
For example, imagine your blog gets a huge amount of traffic but the conversion rate is low? Or some markets are underperforming in Google Ads? Perhaps A/B testing would help to see what customers are doing on the blog. Or adding a U.S flag to the introduction to a video would drive engagement with an Amnerican audience.
Top tip: Embrace creativity and experimentation as they can hugely benefit your role and give you the opportuity to approach issues or roadblocks in a different way.
How Do You Become a Digital Marketing Professional?
If you have a background in marketing management, copywriting, web development or even design, you already possess plenty of transferable skills to go into digital marketing.
You’ll probably want to get started on your own personal branding and build a portfolio in order to build your own unique digital presence.It’s tough to stay on top of all of the latest trends, but getting a solid understanding of the basics of up and coming trends like AI and virtual reality in the context of how they’re being used for marketing is an excellent place to put your focus as well.
You should certainly make sure that your social media streams are consistent with your skills and aptitude--in other words, talk about what you are interested in and learning about publicly and as often as you can.
Start a blog over at Medium and join some Facebook groups in your field of interest. You’ll want to also look for a comprehensive, reputable training program to get official certification in one or more core areas.
Once you’re officially certified, you’ll then have a leg-up amongst your peers when it comes to searching for fulfilling opportunities.
Ultimately, there are huge opportunities for digital professionals across roles and industries.
As digitization continues at a rapid pace, employers on a global scale are seeking out skilled employees that can fill the skills gaps in their organizations and drive business objectives such as leads, revenue, and brand awareness.
Future-proof your career with a knowledge of digital marketing to enjoy a fast-paced and enjoyable career and competitive salary.