Steps to kick-start your digital marketing career

Nabila Anzum | Published: January 09, 2019 21:01:16 | Updated: January 10, 2019 15:08:07

The concept of above the line (ATL) and below the line (BTL) marketing are well on its way to becoming archaic. The new battleground for the consumers' attention is the digital media. At first, it may seem easier. Indeed, digital marketing can be much more cost efficient than expensive television commercials (TVCs) and billboards. However, the digital marketing strategy is trickier to get right. Just throwing money at it to buy sponsored impressions would make you a laughing stock. Marketers need the right content for the right target audience at the right time to be successful. With a millennial consumer base and ever changing trends, this is extremely difficult. That is why digital marketers are high in demand. With increased smartphone penetration and social media user base, the demand will only balloon up in the coming years.

Other than mastering platform-specific skills, it is important to have knowledge about the marketing fundamentals to understand the whole digital marketing ecosystem. This plays a major role in differentiating the contents appropriate for digital marketing. Because what works in media like TV, radio, and print will not always work online and vice versa. To be effective at digital marketing, leveraging the technologies that fuel online media like websites, clickable ads, and social media profiles is mandatory. But to make the best use of search engines, content management systems like WordPress, Joomla!, and Magento, online ad platforms like Google AdWords and Facebook Ads, social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn-- the basic marketing fundamentals-- are a must.

It requires an adequate amount of branding knowledge to come up with the most effective digital strategy and planning. It is a must to approach specific audiences of people online with consistent, relevant, and engaging content. Without proper branding knowledge it is quite hard to specify consumers' actual needs and interests. Irrelevant contents due to lack of brand knowledge can hamper brand image and equity at the same time.

To make sure that the digital strategies are being implemented well, you need to have proper knowledge about visual media. Visual communication plays the most important role in the digital marketing industry. Copywriting skills are important to tune in with the visual communication. The right word at the right place could bring far better impacts than plain words.

But being confined in the bookish knowledge field is not enough to make a mark in this industry. Due to the incredibly competitive nature of this fast growing industry, keeping updated with the recent trends is absolute. It is necessary to keep on top of industry news by following major digital marketing sites and influential people on social media. As the major players such as Google, Facebook and Twitter regularly update their paid advertising platforms and algorithms, being outdated about this is not an option.

Having a strong portfolio can work as a major factor for people who choose digital marketing as a career. Having a strong presence online could work in a positive way. A strong online presence could potentially be the deciding factor between candidates applying for the same position.

To back up the knowledge and strong portfolio, completing a certified digital marketing course could work as a differentiating factor. One of the issues facing the digital marketing industry is that the number of digital agencies is growing at the rate of wild mushrooms these days. There are no barriers to entry, meaning that anyone with a loose grasp of industry can try, not to mention the free online courses which are playing a vital role in this scenario.

With the flow of time the number of free online courses are increasing rapidly. Among them Twitter Flight School, Google Academy for Ads, Google Digital Garage, Blueprint by Facebook are some popular free online courses on digital marketing. And these courses are becoming attractive due to certification opportunities.

For example, Google Digital Garage is one of the most popular sources for free digital marketing training which is loaded with a wide range of courses. Each course lesson features a video and a quiz to test knowledge of those who enroll the course. All the free course of Google Digital Garage are accredited by Interactive Advertising Bureau Europe and the Open University.

Existence of these wide range of available and easily accessible online free courses is one of the major reasons for  limited number of physical training centres in this sector. People prefer learning from home and for free, of course. Even online paid courses are more preferable in comparison to physical training school as it saves more time.  Other than that, a number of agencies are also taking in part timers and trainees. The newbies are getting chance to learn from the professionals and gather experience at a time.

As this industry matures, recruiters are becoming savvier about what differentiates candidates. Picking up the proper courses could be the differentiating factor between the people who are choosing their career in this sector.

The writer is currently studying BBA at East West University.
She can be reached at

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