How To Get Into Digital Marketing - Digital Marketing Career Guide

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How To Get Into Digital Marketing

how to get into digital marketing

Whether you’re a recent graduate or someone looking to change your career, digital marketing can be an incredibly rewarding career. It’s an industry that only looks to continue growing.

But starting any new career can be difficult, and digital marketing is no exception. So you may be wondering, how can you get started in digital marketing? As recruitment experts in digital marketing, we’re here to offer you our insight on getting started in your career.

ONS Statistics show that more and more of shopping is moving online. As more people look online for their shopping needs, the need for digital marketing increases. And this has only been exacerbated by the pandemic. But while this means there are more job opportunities and more opportunities to progress, it also means, there is much more competition for the roles that are there.

Learning Digital Marketing On Your Own Time

One of the first steps you should take, is to take your professional growth into your own hands.

Earning certifications are a great way of developing a strong foundational understanding of the core attributes of digital marketing: Market research, marketing campaigns and the fundamentals of marketing tools and software. 

While there are paid certifications you can earn, there are also plenty of free online certification options to explore first. Certifications such as:

These are just a few examples of online resources that could help you get started. We’ve also put together a list of free digital online resources, that will help you get started in your journey.

Earn a Digital Marketing Degree

When getting into digital marketing you may consider earning a digital marketing degree. Of course this is no small undertaking, but it can be incredibly rewarding.

More and more universities are offering digital marketing degrees. Just a small sample of the universities offering both full and mixed marketing degrees includes:

  • Newcastle University’s: BSc Hons Marketing.
  • University of Liverpool’s: BA Hons Marketing with a Year in Industry.
  • London Metropolitan University’s: BA Hons Advertising, Marketing Communications and Public Relations.
  • King College London’s: MSc Digital Marketing.
  • University of Glasgow’s: MSc Marketing – Online.

What is essential when choosing a university and degree, is looking for a degree that offers some hands-on experience, and is accredited or recognised by industry bodies such as the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).

The list above, are all university degree’s that are accredited by the CIM, and can be found on their list of accredited degree’s here.

Of course a degree is a long-term commitment. But it can be a big help when starting your career. Many businesses will see your degree as an example of your commitment to a career in digital marketing as well as a sign of your expertise.

Different Digital Marketing Career Paths

Online courses can also help you understand which of the the many different areas of digital marketing to specialise in: 

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): In this role, your job is to rank a website higher on Search Engines like Google and Bing. This can be through producing content or improving the website technologically. The end goal is to increase organic traffic, and increase a websites visibility.
  • Content Marketing: As a Content Marketer, your job is to produce any and all content that a company needs. This can involve video marketing, research and writing. Your end goal is to increase organic traffic by producing valuable content to the business.
  • Social Media Marketing: In this role, you use social media platforms to drive branding and promote a businesses products and/ or services. This can include both organic and paid social media management.
  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising: This term covers a broad range of roles such as Paid Search, Paid Social, SEM (Search Engine Marketing). But in simple terms, this where you run ads, whether on search engines or social media platforms. The aim of this role is to drive traffic to a specific area of the website, such as an online store.
  • Email Marketing: In this role, you operate email marketing campaigns to customers and prospective customers with the aim of selling products and services to a specific target audience.
  • Affiliate Marketing: In this role, your job is to reach out and create partnerships with “affiliates” to increase sales and traffic for your business. These “affiliates” can be influencers, businesses or websites.

Of course you may choose to gain a broader digital marketing skillset and experience, instead of specialising in one particular area. Well-rounded marketers are more in-demand by businesses that have their own, in-house digital marketing teams.

For more information on the typical digital marketing career path, have a look at our digital marketing career guide here.

How To Get Digital Marketing Experience

Once you have a foundational understanding, now is the time for real-world application of the knowledge and skills you’ve learned. Because education and certification are important and great indicators of knowledge and skills. But certifications like these are a stepping stone. The most important thing to the agencies and businesses we work with here at Herd, is experience.

1. Digital Marketing Internships

Internships are designed to give you the support to make mistakes and grow. Making them a great way to gain real world experience, if you don’t have the necessary experience to get a graduate role.

Internships can also help you explore different areas of digital marketing, and help you find the area that’s right for you. Read here for more information on Internships, and why they can be a good alternative to graduate roles.

2. Digital Marketing Volunteer Work

Another great way to gain experience in digital marketing is with volunteer work. While predominantly unpaid, these opportunities help you gain experience. Additionally, you will show any future employers that you’re eager to learn and get started in your career. You’re willing to put in the extra effort to develop your skills, even when there’s no immediate monetary benefit.

3. Digital Marketing Graduate Roles

One of the best ways to gain digital marketing experience is with a graduate role. These roles are designed for those with little digital marketing experience, but with the desire and drive to learn. As such, they give plenty of training and support, but also expect you to learn quickly and grow into the role.

These roles are best if you have already decided what area of digital marketing you would like to progress into. However, these roles are highly competitive. You will likely already need to already have some digital marketing experience or a digital marketing related degree to stand out from the (often hundreds) of other applicants.

Making The Most of The Experience You Do Have

Even if you don’t have digital marketing specific experience, you will have transferable skills from previous experience. Even if you don’t realise it. It’s your job to think, how can you use what you do have to support you in your career?

First up is your degree (if you have one). While most digital marketing roles don’t require one, they do carry a lot of transferable skills, even if your degree wasn’t digital marketing related. For example, a History degree shows you have experience in writing and research. Meanwhile a degree in Mathematics shows you have skills in data analysis and coding. All very valuable skill sets for a digital marketer.

Similarly, while previous work experience you have may not be digital marketing related, it can still be useful. Transferable soft-skills such as working to deadlines, working under pressure, and working with a team are all valuable soft-skills for a marketerer.

Finding Your Digital Marketing Job

One of the most difficult aspects of getting into digital marketing is getting your first role in digital marketing.

You can start by looking for open job vacancies on job search sites like Indeed, Monster, Reed… Sites like these are great due to the high volume of new of jobs that are posted on there. With how popular graduates roles are, being one of the first applications can make all the difference.

But there are also job sites and agencies like Inspiring Interns, that aim to assist people who are just getting started in their careers. Additionally, sites like these aren’t just job boards, but can also offer great advice for graduates or those with little experience.

Networking on Social Media

A great way to search for your new role is to network with people in the digital marketing space. There are huge communities of digital marketers on LinkedIn and Twitter, as well as communities specific to people looking to get into digital marketing.

Communities like these can offer you insight on how you can get started in digital marketing and point you in the right direction for career opportunities. As well as things to look out for.

Job Searching on Social Media

LinkedIn can also be used for searching for your new job, both actively and passively. As the most business focused platform, LinkedIn is a great resource for searching for jobs. 

But LinkedIn can additionally be used to have the jobs come to you. Recruiters and hiring managers commonly used LinkedIn to search for candidates for roles. So having an up-to-date LinkedIn profile helps ensure that recruiters can find you with positions that are right to you and your career aspirations.

Additionally, interviewers commonly look at job applicants’ social media before an interview to find out more about them. Which makes it all the more essential to have a LinkedIn Profile that reflects the best of your digital marketing experience, skills and knowledge.

Working With a Digital Recruitment Agency

The best way to get into digital marketing is to speak to the experts. 

Graduate recruitment sites like Inspiring Interns can give you great advice on landing your first graduate role. But they can’t give you information specific to digital marketing like a digital marketing recruitment agency or recruiter can. 

Here at Herd Digital, we don’t just find Digital Marketers new jobs. We support them through the entire process of finding a new job, interviewing, and starting their new role. Part of this service, is offering career advice that is unique to their individual situation.

And if you’re struggling to, or scratching your head wondering how to get into digital marketing? Then speaking to a recruiter who helps Digital Marketers find jobs every day, might be the person you’re looking for.

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