Digital Marketing Career Track

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  • Digital marketing includes any marketing that reaches an audience through a computer or mobile device.
  • A career in digital marketing involves both creative and analytical thinking.
  • Most careers in digital marketing require a bachelor’s degree.

When the fast-food chain Wendy’s began posting snarky tweets at anyone who interacted with them, internet users began to think of Wendy’s as someone they could relate to. This is one example of a successful digital marketing campaign.

With the rise of social media and the internet, digital marketing is a new and booming field. Smartphones have placed the internet directly in our hands, connecting us to people and brands across the globe. Digital marketers work across different electronic avenues, including social media, blogs and content production, email campaigns, video, and even search engines.

The end results may seem simple, but digital marketers work hard in the background to give potential customers a focused and intentional experience.

Popular Digital Marketing Bootcamps

What Is Digital Marketing?

What is digital marketing? Like traditional marketing, digital marketing is a method businesses use to reach customers to promote goods and services. Instead of billboards and print ads, digital marketing reaches customers through a computer or mobile device. Digital marketers can watch their marketing campaigns in real-time and use analytics to measure their effectiveness.

In digital marketing, customers can communicate with and interact directly with businesses and brands. This is especially true with social media marketing. Digital marketing has grown alongside the rise of the internet and social media. At a glance, businesses with entertaining Twitter accounts appear to be run by a witty intern or two but are, in reality, a successful and planned digital marketing campaign.

Not limited to posts on social media and clickable ads, digital marketing encompasses email, search engine optimization (SEO), and content marketing.

What Does a Digital Marketers Do?

So what does a digital marketer do? Using different electronic media, they advertise brands and businesses to potential customers. Unlike sales, a marketer is not trying to “close the deal” and sell items. A marketer’s job is to use their skills to increase brand awareness among potential customers.

Marketing campaigns may have several different components, including social media, email advertisements, podcasts, and other electronic formats. This might sound similar to running a personal social media page, but a digital marketer must have a deeper understanding of trends and the analytics behind interactions.

Digital marketers must be able to identify and build a voice for each brand they market for. Despite the creative elements of the job, a digital marketer does use some math. Analytic reports allow them to understand immediately what works in a digital marketing campaign and what does not.

Digital Marketing Career Outlook

Digital marketing is only as old as the internet, making it a new and ever-evolving field. Digital marketing is comparable to traditional advertising as many of these jobs work together. Marketing campaigns today often include both print and digital elements. Jobs in marketing are projected to grow by 8% across all positions, according to an April 2022 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The highest-paying states for the field are where many large businesses are located, including New York, California, Texas, Florida, and Massachusetts.

The median entry-level digital marketer salary is $47,920 per year, according to April 2022 data from Payscale. A digital marketing analyst a few years into their career can expect to make a median salary of $64,010 per year.

Digital Marketing Career Paths

A digital marketing career path has many different avenues to explore. Some roles are focused on the analytical side of marketing, while others are more creative.

Digital Marketing Analyst

A digital marketing analyst uses data tools to determine how well a marketing campaign is performing and how well it reaches potential customers. A digital marketing analyst needs to have good math and critical thinking skills. They should also know SQL and data visualization software, such as Tableau.

Like most careers in marketing, a bachelor’s degree in marketing or related study is needed to become a digital marketing analyst. The median annual pay for a digital marketing analyst was $54,830 in May 2022, according to Payscale.

Content Strategist

A content strategist designs marketing plans. This role relies on a deep understanding of current trends and takes a great deal of creativity and teamwork. These professionals set a style and tone for an individual brand using SEO skills and analytics. Writing skills are important. Generally, a bachelor’s degree is required for this position.

According to Payscale, the median salary for a content strategist was $63,260 in May 2022.

SEO Specialist

A search engine optimization (SEO) specialist creates a plan to increase their business or client’s visibility across search engine results. They must know how to use keywords and meta descriptions to help content rank on the web. An SEO specialist makes it easier for customers to find a business online or for a business to appear early in relevant search results.

A bachelor’s degree is often required for this position, along with relevant SEO experience. Some positions require some knowledge of programming languages. Individuals hoping to become SEO specialists can enroll in an online SEO course or bootcamp. The median pay for an SEO specialist was $48,460 in May 2022, according to Payscale.

What Kind of Skills Do Digital Marketers Need?

A full understanding of some basic skills is vital to becoming successful as a digital marketer.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is what digital marketers use to increase a business or brand’s presence in online search results using keywords. It is important that content is relevant and that information is easy to find. The earlier a website appears in search results, the more likely a customer will visit that website.

Video Marketing

Much like commercials on television, video marketing in the digital space increases a brand’s visibility. Video marketing also gives a brand or business better opportunities to present information to potential customers and clients more easily. Knowledge of the process behind video marketing and production is important, as well as crafting a narrative or the content within a video marketing piece.

Data Analytics

Digital marketing involves calculating growth through website clicks and views on campaigns and online interactions. Digital marketers can measure the effectiveness of a campaign by reading and understanding these metrics. Data analytics are the mathematical proof of a marketing campaign’s effectiveness, but not all answers will be definite. A good digital marketer can make decisions based on analytics that are not always clear.

Communication Skills

Communication skills are important across nearly all career paths, but especially in marketing and advertising. Marketing is a form of communication, and digital marketers communicate directly with millions of potential customers over the internet.

Along with the everyday communication skills needed to work with a team, knowing how to communicate with people from different backgrounds and for different brand voices is essential to succeed in digital marketing. Some digital marketers earn a bachelor’s in communication.

Is a Career in Digital Marketing Worth It?

Digital marketing is a relatively new field and, as a result, in demand. Small businesses often use social media for advertising, creating self-employment and freelance work opportunities. Some companies, such as Leo Burnett, currently have over 8,000 employees across the globe. Many large marketing and advertising firms have offices spread across different cities and countries.

If you are a creative and analytical person who works well on a team, a career in digital marketing may be a great fit. The field is constantly evolving and changing, making it appealing for people who love learning and adapting to new challenges. People best suited for this career may also have an established social media presence, showing they already can connect with people online.

But is digital marketing a good career? With the salary opportunities after career advancement and the field's creative nature, a digital marketing career is worth it to the right person.

Frequently Asked Questions About Digital Marketing Careers

What education is needed to become a digital marketer?

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Most often, digital marketers have at least a bachelor's degree. There is no one degree required to become a digital marketer, but some programs are more appropriate than others.

Bachelor's degrees in marketing, advertising, or communication are options for someone looking for a career in digital marketing. Good writing skills and a firm understanding of social media is also important.

A bachelor's degree will help you land an entry-level position and will come in handy when you are ready to further your career. Consider a master's in digital marketing if you wish to become a digital marketing manager or higher, though this is not always necessary.

Which marketer type has the highest salary?

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According to the BLS, marketing managers make the highest salary in the field, with a median annual salary of $135,030 as of May 2021. Keep in mind that this is a managerial position that will not be accessible to those looking for an entry-level job. As is true for all careers, experience and time will often lead to promotion and a higher salary.

If you're looking for a high-paying entry-level position, consider content strategy. Content strategists had an average salary of $63,260 as of May 2022, according to Payscale.

Is digital marketing hard?

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Digital marketing requires a blend of skills to master. The "difficulty" of this career path is dependent on the person.

Success in this field is reliant on your ability to be both creative and analytical at the same time. Some people may find the creative side of digital marketing too vague or difficult to grasp. Others might not be able to understand the mathematics side of the job.