Digital marketing is a huge growth area – in the US alone, the rate it is growing is three times that of national GDP and here in the UK, it is growing at a similar rate. That means there’s never been a better time to kickstart your digital marketing career. And here are 10 expert tips to help you.
1. Be keen to learn
Digital marketing is a huge growth market and is also a hugely changing one. Not a day goes by where some new tool, technique, approach or methodology seems to emerge, and this means you need to be keen to learn. You need to be someone who loves to try something new, to learn and to explore their topic so they always know what might work.
2. Keep up to date
As well as being keen to learn, you also need to know how to keep up to date with the latest developments and where to go to get the best possible information. That often means having a system for the latest news and a way to check the most reliable sources for the information you need. For example, you might use an RSS feed reader to collate the latest news. Examples of authority sites include:
- SEO – MOZ, SEO Gadget, Search Engine Land
- PPC – PPC Hero, Search Engine Land, AdEspresso
- Social Media – Social Media Examiner, Social Media Today
- Content marketing – Hubspot
3. Learn to network
Networking is a traditional approach that has gone digital and remains as important as ever. You want to have a network of people to refer clients to you, to help with areas you don’t do and to give you support as you build your business. You can also attend industry meetups and other in-person events for the chance to do some traditional networking.
4. Use personal projects to test
Good marketers are confident in what they do, not just because they have learned but because they have tested. That’s why having personal projects to test ideas and concepts is a vital part of digital marketing success. This might mean testing on your own business or even having a side project such as a blog or an online store that you can use to experiment with. These results can then be used in case studies to show clients.
5. Know the terminology
While you don’t want to throw a load of jargon at customers and confuse them, you should still know it all and be able to use it where appropriate. Terms like PPC, SEO and SEM are going to be core to what you do, and you need to be able to explain them to customers – in particular, why they matter to the customer.
6. Have a personal brand
When you are your business, you are also the face of your business and that often means having a personal brand. This is something that can be used to show who you are and what you do but also creates that sense of trust with customers. A website is crucial and social media profiles for your business and you are also important.
7. Consider being a ‘T-shaped marketer’
This is a term created by Rand Fishkin of MOZ and refers to someone who has a basic understanding of a number of different marketing disciplines but specialises in one or two areas. So you may be able to offer general advice and tips on On-Page SEO, Rich Snippets and Schema, what tools to use and more. But you may be a specialist in PPC advertising or social media marketing.
8. Cultivate your inner numbers nerd
If there’s one thing marketing needs, its numbers. Numbers are what you aim for and what you measure with. So it is important to cultivate that inner numbers nerd and get used to looking at, understanding and even getting excited by numbers. You can also use these numbers to show what you do to clients. Of course, a side order of graphic design skills, coding or other areas wouldn’t hurt either.
9. Know key metrics
Metrics are the things that we measure to see what works and what doesn’t. Success as a marketer is knowing which of these to study and which to disregard. Obviously, the money made by a client is always the most important metric, traffic to the website may be key, conversion rates on ads or how much traffic you can get from a certain social media following. Know your metrics, why they matter and how you find them.
Digital marketing is still an industry where having a certificate can add to your appeal for customers. There are a few different options such as Marketing Digital, who offer help with getting a Diploma in Digital Marketing. Use this training to showcase what you do by having a certificate to prove it.