Over the past decade, the digital marketing sector has become so buoyant and exciting that many people are now seeking to work within the industry. If a business has a website, then they will need SEO, in addition to social stature and paid campaigns in order to get ahead of the competition.

The world is a technological hub, with over 80% of the inhabitants using a mobile device and a desktop. If you want to break into the digital marketing sector, then you will need to understand how users think, how they behave and how you can influence this from behind the scenes.

Digital marketing is all about using your knowledge, as well as carefully curated data sets in order to understand how people navigate through websites, how likely they are to purchase something and work towards creating the easiest platform in order to make them buy more things, to make more enquiries and to return to the website.

Digital marketing is a complex hub, made up of SEO, or search engine optimization, PPC, or pay per click and social media advertising. In order to become the best in the business, it’s important to have a working understanding and practice of all of them.

It’s important to understand that these forms of advertising should work in synergy with one another and that at times, your instincts will allow you to create the best strategy for your client. The more you learn and the more you practice within the industry, the more you will come to know about consumer behaviour, which is essentially the bread and butter of the industry. Here are some of the key skills that you will need in order to break into the industry.


Content marketing:

Digital marketers need to have an excellent grasp of the English language in order to be able to manipulate this to suit the campaign. You will hear the phrase “content is king”, as an almost mantra being spoken throughout your career, and this is entirely true.

SEO is becoming an integral part of online success for businesses everywhere. Appearing in the top positions in Google will ensure that a website will receive higher volumes of traffic than the websites appearing below it. This is achieved by researched keywords (the higher the search volume the more traffic a website will receive), which are added to the websites metadata and carefully created content for the respective page.

Over the past three years, Google has made it apparent that websites should focus on the user, meaning that the user should be the biggest priority in a digital marketer and developers mind. Google has recently rolled out a global algorithm, referred to as the Medic algorithm, which panders towards high quality content that is focused around the users’ needs. This means that content, above all else, should be useful to the users, as opposed to being stuffed with keywords in the hopes of increasing your keyword rankings.

One discernible skill that you must have as a digital marketer, is understanding the difference between quality and poor quality content and knowing how to manipulate words and keywords in order to appease the algorithm, whilst containing the plotted out keywords.

It’s important to ensure that your writing is articulate and professional enough to be published on a client’s website. Essentially, your writing skills will form the basis of your digital marketing career, everything else can be picked up along the way.


Social media knowledge:

Social media has become to interwoven in everyday life, that it is almost impossible to remember a time without it. Businesses have started to capitalise on this, due to the high volume of social media users and the ability to be able to find the perfect target audience for any campaign.

Paid social media is widely used by ecommerce websites and enquiry based websites alike, as there are so many different audiences to target. It’s important to have a working understanding of social media, the different platforms that people use for social advertising and which platforms perform best for each client.

Typically, websites use Facebook and Instagram, as these can be set up using the Facebook ad account, where you can then set up campaigns with different budgets, dates and objectives, displaying ad text, images, videos or a sequence of different product images.

It’s much easier to learn how to set up a campaign by actually putting it into practice. You can read lots of different articles and watch videos, but until you set up a campaign yourself, you won’t truly understand how to do it. If you have not had the opportunity to try this for yourself, it may be a good idea to try and get a short term internship at an agency, where you will be shown how to put all of the theory into practice.

It’s also important to know that there are two different types of social media campaigning, which is referred to as organic and paid social. Organic social encompasses they everyday postings of a business on social media, businesses use this platform to build brand awareness.

Paid social media involves actually setting up a campaign and sorting out the budget, the period of time, the content and everything in between. It’s important that you understand the difference between the two, so that if you go for a social media job role, that you will be able to confidently understand the role and that you won’t end up stuck with responsibilities that you don’t necessarily forget. For example, if you solely do organic social for a company, it can become quite tedious, so it’s important to establish what kind of social media you will be partaking in.


Data analysis:

Data analysis is the backbone of digital marketing. Without carefully assessing the data that we have collected about website users, how can we possibly improve our strategies and campaigns?

Google Analytics gives you a breakdown of the traffic that is directed to a website (paid, social, direct, referral and organic) which makes up the overall statistics of traffic. As well as telling you all of the traffic sources, Google analytics also shows you how people are behaving when they are on your website.

For example, you can get an indication of how long users are staying on your site for, how many pages they are clicking through to, what percentage of users are clicking on your site, just to click straight off again and so on.

As well as data analysis, for SEO it’s also important to track the keywords that you are trying to rank for to see how they are progressing daily, weekly and monthly. This will give you an indication of how successful your campaigns are.


Industry knowledge:

Industry knowledge is vital if you want to be a digital marketing superstar. Google is constantly changing algorithms to suit the user and to change the way that websites are presented, the content they have and so on. It’s important to make sure that you familiarise yourself with these algorithms and continue to read all of the industry news in order to keep ahead of the game.


UX knowledge:

User experience is becoming increasingly important across all marketing platforms. For example, the nature of social media is extremely fast paced, and it’s not uncommon for users to click through to a sponsored post to a website, to click back off again. If a website doesn’t look great and it isn’t easy to navigate, then users aren’t going to stay and spend, it’s that simple.

All digital marketing campaigns work to direct users to your client’s website, but if your client’s website is slow, difficult to use and doesn’t look aesthetically appealing, then it’s unlikely that people are going to use them. Google’s aforementioned Medic algorithm focuses on content and user experience, so it’s more important than ever to have a working understanding of user experience.

The digital marketing industry is fast paced and is constantly changing and adapting to match user trends. As a digital marketing professional, it’s your responsibility to keep up to date with all of these changes and to continue to push yourself throughout your career. As long as you show willingness to learn, you will be able to achieve so much.


Author bio: Alice Porter works closely with Gorvins to better inform professionals on how to become more successful within their respective industries.


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