How do you get started in a career in digital marketing when you don’t have any experience?
I’ve been doing digital marketing for different startups for over 5 years now, but when I first broke into this industry, it was through my skills in coding. However, I soon realized all my liberal arts bachelor’s degrees had turned me into a writer, yet left me with no preparation for entering the job market. I wanted hard skills. Skills that employers would actually pay for.
Coding was the perfect introduction to tech, but I didn’t end up sticking with the developer life for very long. Then, only a few months into my freelance web developing career, a tech startup hired me. They wanted me to run their blog.
It didn’t take long until I was working full-time as a content marketer and managing the content team. With this came more money than I’d ever made before. I was getting paid to write, all while still working in that fast-paced tech scene that I’d very quickly come to love.
While working and learning more about jobs like this and making my way up the marketing ladder, I stumbled upon a few secrets:
All tech companies need digital marketers. It doesn’t matter how technically talented they are, businesses can’t grow without their products being properly communicated to potential customers. This means it’s possible to work in tech, even if you don’t want to be a developer or designer. It is these digital marketing jobs that make the tech world accessible to newcomers.
So what exactly are the benefits of working a digital marketing job? These kinds of jobs allow you to work from home, all while earning a higher salary than in many other junior positions.
If you want to get started in tech, then landing a digital marketing job is the way to get in.
But what exactly is digital marketing? And how does it differ from traditional marketing?
Simply put, marketing is promoting or selling a product or service, whereas digital marketing is just this, but on a digital device.
Digital marketing is all about attracting customers through things like e-mail, internet ads, text messaging, blog posts and so on, rather than the traditional billboard and subway ad.
Digital marketing does involve online marketing, but it isn’t always online, as things such as radio and television also involve digital devices.
This post is purely focusing on the internet side of digital marketing, as this is what most companies these days would be hiring you to do.
First, you need some skills. No matter what business you end up digitally marketing for, there are a few concepts that you’ll need to know.
1. The customer journey.
It’s crucial to understand the journey that people take in order to become customers. Where did they first hear about the product? Do they trust the company? What made them make a purchase? What happens next, how do you keep them as returning customers? Which part of this journey are you, the digital marketer going to influence? This is where marketing strategies come into play.
This process and journey are called the marketing funnel. If you work for a smaller company, there is a possibility you will be responsible for the entire funnel, but if the company is larger, you may only be focussing on one part.
To put this into an example, a content marketer may focus on the top of the funnel, convincing new customers to share their email for further marketing, whereas a paid ad specialist may be focused on the bottom of the funnel, convincing customers to make purchases.
2 – Analyzing and optimizing
Working in marketing leads to an endless list of different ways to attract customers. From Facebook ads, blog posts, YouTube videos, giveaways, Instagram ads and everything in between. If it can be advertised on, it can attract customers.
This is why keeping track of the success of your projects is so important. Your employer needs to know that you spend their marketing budget wisely, and that means spending time on the ones that are working, and not the ones that aren’t.
What are the best entry-level digital marketing jobs?
Here are some of the most common marketing positions that you’ll see popping up on job boards and websites for beginners across the industry.
If the word ‘digital marketer’ is in the title, this is more than likely a digital marketing generalist. This job is more commonly found at a smaller business that is just beginning to build its marketing team.
A skill needed is the ability to switch gears quickly, and be able to make decisions on how to best spend your time. You could be jumping from e-mail marketing to liaising with potential sponsors to managing paid ads.
What kind of salary should you expect for this type of job?
Common job title names you’ll see often are ‘content strategist’ ‘content marketing specialist’ or ‘content marketer’, in the digital marketing world, sometimes they can be used interchangeably, and other times businesses can have them all mean three different things, talk about confusing!
A thorough read-through of the job description will give you a good idea on what the job entails. Generally speaking, a content strategist will work on the bigger picture strategy and maybe more hands-on than other roles. With this may come higher pay.
The goal of a content strategist is to bring in new users and leads. So basically, they want your e-mail address!
A content marketer is more of a catch all title for those working on the content creation end of things. These marketers generally bring in new leads with content such as posts, videos, infographics etc.
The main skills needed for a content marketer is writing, editing and copywriting. Some knowledge in SEO may come in handy too. Smaller companies may make this person be in charge of their social media marketing as well.
If you have a background in writing and editing, then a content marketer may be the perfect fit for you. Content producers and content creators focus more on the actual making of the content, rather than the strategy.
So what are the entry-level salaries for a content strategist?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and is what helps your business rank in searches online. An SEO specialist needs to understand how to conduct keyword research, and naturally bring this into the content. An understanding of metrics and tools such as google analytics will be very favorable.
The entry-level salary for this kind of position, as found on glassdoor, is $47,000
Social media manager
This job involves a lot more than just checking Facebook; there is a lot of strategies that go behind this in order to grow and engage followers, across many different platforms. This role works closely with designers, managers and content creators to post the perfect content online to get customers hooked. A community manager is also involved with social media, but their job is focused on keeping customers happy rather than growing their presence and finding new customers.
The average salary for a social media manager is $54,000
Just to keep you on your toes, a marketing manager works a wide variety of marketing tasks and can also fall under different names such as digital marketer, marketing associate and so on. In saying this, a marketing manager is less likely to be found working on social media content, but more likely to be working on campaigns further down the funnel.
They’ll focus on sales e-mails, the management of ad campaigns and work with partners on projects. This area can get even more specific and have someone like an e-mail marker who will purely focus on e-mail campaigns.
The average salary for a marketing manager is $102,000
Paid ads manager
Like the title suggests, this person is in charge of the management of the ads, which is generally split into 3 categories:
Search – The ads that appear in your search engine, think the top of google.
Display – The banner ads that appear on websites, such as Facebook.
Display – Banner ads that are related to your search history. If you search for socks one time, chances are you’ll get ads for socks for days to follow.
These marketers are normally working with a large budget and their day to day will involve working with designers and content teams to ensure all images and copy used in these ads are up to the high standard of the business and will do well as an advertisement online.
The entry-level salary for a paid ads manager is $76,000
These marketers manage strategic partnerships. They may be found spending their day meeting with big names in the industry, speaking about the companies products at conferences and speaking in podcast ad slots.
A few may be as follows:
Affiliate marketers work with people who make a commission on a company’s product.
Influencer marketers are partnering with influencers to have their products promoted to their followers.
The entry-level salary for a partnership marketing manager is $106,000
There is plenty of remote work out there for digital marketing jobs, and seeing as you can learn a lot of your skills while on the job this makes digital marketing a great option for anyone who is looking to change careers or has an interest in the field.