Tips for Launching Your Career in Digital Marketing
It may be hard to imagine now, but once upon a time, marketing happened much more passively, through advertisements on TV and the radio, print ads in magazines and newspapers, and things like billboards and direct mail. The digital world has revolutionized marketing, and for some companies, marketing may be entirely online. Even for those businesses that still advertise across a number of different mediums, digital marketing generally remains one of the main ways to get the word out about who they are and what they do. This means that the field of social media and digital marketing is a fast-growing and fast-changing one, and it can be a great career field to enter.
Understand Social Media
In order to be really good at digital marketing, you need to understand why high-quality content matters and be social media savvy across multiple platforms. The best way to learn this is to start several accounts yourself. Notice what kinds of things tend to engage people and how businesses, in particular, are able to get followers and retweets. Notice as well what accounts do wrong. Social media can be a minefield, but knowing how to navigate it is crucial. Just make sure that you don’t make one of those wrongfooted steps yourself under your own name since the internet has a very long memory.
Get an Education
These days, you can actually get a degree in digital marketing from some universities. Some offer master’s degrees as well. The best way to make yourself as attractive a candidate as possible is with a combination of education and experience. As far as education goes, you could get a broader undergraduate degree in marketing and then seek a graduate degree in social media management or digital marketing and social media, or vice versa. For both types of degrees, you may be able to pay for your tuition and other expenses with a combination of loans, scholarships, and grants. As a graduate student, a private student loan might be a particularly attractive option since you may have had time to build up a strong credit record, and this could lead to lower interest rates.
There are two elements to success in this field. One is understanding the field of marketing and how to apply those principles in the digital world, including the unique challenges and opportunities of social media. You might think of this as the extrovert side of the job, which is all about putting on a great public face and engaging with people.
The other element is what you might consider the introvert’s job, which is knowing how to gather data on the success of various methods, knowing how to calculate what gets customers clicking through and making purchases, and tracking other behaviors. Depending on the position that you have and the company that you work for, these are not necessarily the same job, but even if your position is exclusively about crafting a social media strategy while someone else crunches the numbers, it’s helpful if you are familiar with these types of analytics.
This article has been published in accordance with Socialnomics’ disclosure policy.