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If you’re new to the world of digital marketing, there’s a good chance you won’t have a strong specialty developed yet. However, if you want to have a specialization, or you have a unique set of skill sets to highlight, you should certainly be prepared to discuss these – so long as it’s relevant.
It’s important to note that many jobs in digital marketing have at least a bit of a crossover and teamwork as well, so you’ll want to prepare to demonstrate your knowledge across a breadth of topics.
Know a Little About Web Advertising
Even if you’re not working in sales and advertising, it’s a good idea to understand a little about different ways that people advertise online. For instance, you should know a little bit Pay-per-click (PPC) a mode of digital advertising where people pay every time an ad is clicked. (PPC is kind of like a traditional newspaper ad to the extent that advertisers will “buy” space on your website and then the cost really ends up being more about the amount of traffic that the website gets.)
You’ll also want to be clear on the difference between branding, which typically incorporates things like YouTube ads and display ads, and direct marketing, which is more about a target audience and typically uses things like search ads. Google AdWords is another thing you’ll want to be able to discuss, as it’s a common tool in agencies.
Show Your Writing (Communication) Chops
Digital marketing is all about communication – not only with your audience but also likely with a diverse range of colleagues and clients. Even if you’re not a copy or content writer, employers need to know that you can communicate.
If you are on the tech end of things, obviously you’re going to show you know code, analytics, or even video, this may not be “writing” per se, but the point is that you want to demonstrate your capacity to communicate in the relevant language.
Know the Lingo
Do you know the difference between a KPI (Key Performance Indicator) and API (Application Programming Interface)? How about a CRO (conversion rate optimization) and CTR (Click Through Rate)?
There are plenty of acronyms that could be hurled at you out of the blue in an interview, so be sure to get familiar with them first.
Understand Digital Marketing vs Traditional Marketing
You should be prepared to talk about the benefits of digital marketing over traditional marketing and the ways that the two can still work together in tangent to make a strong campaign.
Here are some points you may want to bring up with regards to the differences between the two types of marketing:
You can talk about how digital marketing has shifted traditional marketing because it has several benefits and a high ROI.
- Discuss the ways in which marketers are using blended schemes to create unique and incredible ad campaigns.
- Be sure to include your personal slant on this (and other) questions with applicable and clear examples from your own experiences.
- Digital marketing generates more leads and is much better for engaging.
- Digital marketing is more about a conversation and less about a “pitch” (though you still want to have a clear value-add no matter what method you’re using).
- Digital marketing is location independent
- Digital marketing is about analytics, data, tracking and measurement.
It’s a great idea to have one or two outstanding digital or blended marketing campaign case studies in mind if you don’t have a lot of your own experience to draw from.
Talk Customer Journey and Search Engine Marketing (SEO)
Being an effective digital marketer is all about understanding traffic flows – where the traffic is coming from, why it’s going away (if it’s dropping or shifting), and everything in between. Thus, having a good grasp of the customer or buyer’s journey is crucial.
You should focus on two key areas when talking customers: retention and conversion. If you’re on the content or social end, you’ll want to also be discussing different activities you do to generate and nurture leads as well.
Always frame your points in the context of the user experience, and try to talk beyond ROI and profits when discussing the buyer’s journey.
Tools & Resources
Talk in detail about the ways in which you keep your content organized but also the tools you use to get the job done well. You don’t just want to list things off, but choose one or two key tools that fit your specialty that you can discuss how they helped you to accomplish past goals.
If the job requires an in-depth knowledge of something, it should state in the ad, but even if not, would-be employers need to know that you are competent turning to online resources and SaaS (Software as Service) tools to ensure efficiency.
- Mailchimp is an extremely common and user-friendly tool for email marketing. It offers plenty of different templates and is very easy to use. Not only that but you can use it to create sales funnels for leads, nurturing and engagement.
- MOZ is a reputable go-to tool for all things SEO and they’re committed to offering a well-rounded information base for people of all knowledge levels.
- Buffer will help you manage all of your social media needs including scheduling, engagement and analytics.
- SEM Rush and BuzzSumo help you figure out your optimal SEO by checking out competitor’s behavior and overall rankings.
This will demonstrate that you are adaptable, resourceful and able to learn on your own (definitely highlight areas where you’re self-taught).
Strategy & Analytics
If you’re someone who is more on the managerial end of the spectrum of digital marketing careers – or you would like to be – having a concrete grasp of ad campaign development and execution from start to finish will be crucial. Developing a mock project map, for instance, if you don’t have a real one, could work wonders in convincing them of your competence in the realm of project management.
They’ll want to be looking for your ability to understand and track metrics so that you can track results as well so be sure to address these points, even if you are not an SEO expert or analyst.
Depending on what end of the spectrum you fall in in terms of expertise, you should be able to show that you understand exactly how to engage an audience deeply. This is the case if you’re focused on SEO or even content development, since they are all tied in together. You want to show you at least understand how content boosts traffic, how it ties in with social as well as web design.
Here are a few more ideas of points to prepare so that you’re ready to answer related questions during an interview:
- Talk about social engagement strategies to show how creative you are, and mention some of your favorite tools and trends.
- Prepare to talk about why you love this industry/position but also some of the challenges you have faced in your past and how you overcame them.
- Keep your LinkedIn profile and website up to date properly.
- Link your past experience directly to this job / position, even if it’s somewhat unrelated.
- Discuss current and emerging trends specific to your specialty and how you keep up with those on your own time.
What Digital Marketing Managers and Employers Really Want to Know
No matter what your digital marketing background or certifications you have, potential employers, clients and partners will need to have a thorough understanding not just what you do, but how you do it. You’ll want to show up with some specific accomplishments in mind.
If you’re new to the field, you can still find these! Building a demo website and portfolio, mentioning your personal social media success, and talking about past accomplishments in other careers are all good ideas. Interviewers will likely want to know that you are capable of solid teamwork, that you are a proficient and fast learner, and that you’re able to independently problem-solve.
The digital marketing world is fast-paced and you need to be able to keep up with new technologies and challenges, so anything you can demonstrate clearly (rather than just talk about) to prove your skills will be of benefit.
Here’s hoping that this digital marketing interview checklist will help guide you into the digital job of your dreams.