How to get into digital marketing
12 December 2022
This piece is written by Amber Burton, Course Leader of MA Marketing and Digital Communications (Online).
Digital marketing is such an interesting sector. According to LinkedIn’s Future of Skills data, the skills required to be a marketing manager have changed on average 64% since 2015 – one of the highest levels of change of any profession. And while there aren’t many industries untouched by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, digital marketing has seen a particularly significant transformation.
With freelancing becoming more popular and an increase in hybrid and working from home arrangements for entry level jobs, there are lots of opportunities for skilled digital marketers to take on a myriad of roles, and the demand for this skillset has never been higher. In this article, we look at the steps you can take to become a digital marketer.
Digital marketing roles
Many roles fall into the category of digital marketing. Whether you have ambitions to go into a specialist role, or one covering several different functions, digital marketing jobs are varied and rewarding. Some of the roles you may go into include:
- Brand and campaign planning
- Social media account management
- Video production
- Website management/web editing
- Analytics and audience insights
- Search engine optimisation (SEO)
- Content creation and partnerships, such as influencer marketing
- Paid social and advertising campaign management (often known as SEM or PPC)
- Lead generation strategies
- Email marketing
Soft skills for digital marketing
Whether creative or analytical, digital marketing roles call for lots of different skills, meaning digital marketing teams are often diverse places to work in which you can regularly share knowledge and learn new things from colleagues.
There is however a core set of soft skills which will help you to excel in any digital marketing role. These include:
- Time management: the ability to juggling clients and projects
- Attention to detail: the ability to copywrite and proofread, to make sure content is factually correct
- Teamwork: the ability to work virtually and in hybrid teams
- Empathy: the ability to place yourself in your audiences’ shoes
- Flexibility: the ability to work different hours and contracts (particularly if you are freelance)
- Creativity: coming up with ideas, solutions and alternatives
Building a personal brand as a digital marketer
So, you have identified the area of digital marketing you would like to work in. How do you go about securing a role? LinkedIn Jobs is a very good place to start, with most marketing jobs being advertised on the platform. It’s also a good place to develop your professional profile and make connections.
You must ensure you can be found by prospective employers, so getting your profile information accurate and engaging is key. It helps to regularly share, post or link content that is current and relevant to the job or role you want to go into - at least once a month, but ideally on a weekly basis. LinkedIn is also the place to keep an updated and ready-to-go CV, as well as a portfolio of work experience, case studies and coursework in which you excelled.
Managing your personal brand is much like managing brands for products and services. Creating a personal content plan will therefore support you in creating a steady stream of regular posts, shares and media, all of which build up a picture of you as an active digital marketing professional.
Proving yourself: manage your brand
Depending on your style, and whether you are better with words or visuals, having active social media feeds is important in this fast-paced sector. The pace does mean there is always another platform or professional page you will need to consider, and so ensuring you do not spread yourself too thinly is key. Is TikTok a good place to upload content for your expertise – will employers use it? Does Facebook have a specialist community that is worth engaging with? A lot of time and effort goes into a well-maintained social media account, and it is much better to have one or two quality feeds than trying to cover everything poorly. Having active social media pages can also help improve your Google ranking if someone searches for you, so ensuring your results show content that aligns with your professional image is important. Consider having the same profile picture and name across all sites – this can really help with your visibility.
Professional communities and virtual networking are other ways to promote your personal brand to the right people. LinkedIn discussion groups are ideal for this – join a relevant one and commit to actively engaging on a regular basis. Similarly, building follower lists on Twitter or Discord for specific interest groups and being part of Facebook communities can be very useful for gathering audience insights. Just be careful to spend your time wisely - little and often is the best way to go.
Another route into work is through specialist marketing recruiters. Often these are local to an area or city, so a quick Google search will show you if there are any recruiters in your area. Make sure that your brand and CV is ready to go, as graduate roles can be very competitive, and you want to help the recruiter get you your dream job in digital marketing
If you’re interested in learning more about digital marketing, then join our online master’s in Marketing and Digital Communications. You’ll immerse yourself in the ever-evolving landscape of marketing and digital communications and build a comprehensive working knowledge of marketing and branding strategy.