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What does a digital marketer do?

Working on a computer

Digital Marketers are responsible for handling all things marketing-related in the digital world.

Even though most of us can’t remember a time without the internet now, the role of a digital marketer is in fact something that is still relatively new.

Businesses are starting to see the value of investing their time and money into building the online presence of their brand and are hiring digital marketers to help them do this. Many people are still unfamiliar with this area but are interested in being involved. No doubt you’ll have questions like, what exactly is a digital marketer and what do they do? How do you get into the field and what experience do you need?

Let’s get stuck into it then…

Social media is everywhere

What Is A Digital Marketer?

The role of a digital marketer is to help businesses build up their brand awareness and generate leads.

Essentially, they do what traditional marketers do, but they do it online instead and use a variety of different digital channels.

This will usually include a mixture of social media marketing, developing the company’s website and/or blog using SEO, email marketing, and paid advertising.

One digital marketer may not do all of the above jobs.

In fact, it is more likely that they will specialise in one or two areas.

For example, a digital marketer who is an SEO specialist will work on improving the search engine rankings for a business’s website.

The goal? Increasing the volume of organic traffic.

A digital marketer of any specialism will need to stay up to date with any emerging trends and be constantly analysing how well their strategy is working.

Is There a Demand For Digital Marketers?

Digital marketers are in high demand across all industries.

Even though traditional marketing is a well-established field, there is still a gap when it comes to those focused on working in digital.

Businesses are upping their digital marketing budgets in recognition of the importance of investing in their online presence. This report found that 70% of businesses are investing in content marketing.

The growth in demand is not matched by the available supply of experienced digital marketers and it is therefore full of opportunity for those with relevant skills and looking for a change of career path.

What Are The Skills Needed To Be A Digital Marketer?

To succeed in digital marketing, you need a good mixture of analytical and people skills.

The exact skills you need will largely depend on whether you are a generalist or specialise in one particular area of digital marketing. It will also differ slightly to account for the work your company needs you to do.

The skills below will be helpful in a digital marketer position.

Being Social Media Savvy

  • A good understanding of social media and how to use it to generate leads is of course essential to the role of a digital marketer.
  • As part of this, you should be familiar with different platforms and know how to adapt your content accordingly.
  • You should be able to test what works and what doesn’t, know when to post, and what to post.

Understanding SEO

  • Even if it’s not your specialism, you’ll need a solid understanding of SEO.
  • It’s important to the role that you understand how to make sure people actually see the content you are producing and that you recognise the importance of driving traffic from Google to your website organically.
  • There’s no need to know all the ins and outs of the tech that goes behind SEO (unless you want to or specialise in this specifically).
  • What you do need to know is how to apply SEO to your content and why it matters.

Copywriting Skills

  • Copywriting skills shouldn’t be undervalued.
  • The ability to tell a compelling story in an Instagram caption or drafting an SEO optimised blog post for the company website can be the difference between making a sale and not.
  • Digital marketers with copywriting experience can write landing pages and email marketing sequences that generate thousands of pounds in revenue when done correctly.

Copywriting at a desk

Analytical skills

A good knowledge of how to use tools such as Google Analytics is necessary for this role.
Google Analytics can help you to understand key data, such as:

  • Where your website traffic is coming from
  • Any gaps in your content that need to be filled
  • Audience demographics
  • The devices your audience is using when engaging with your content
  • Audience behaviour when they are on your website

If you are not analysing this information, you are going into your content creation blind. You need to know who your audience is before you can know how to help them and a tool like Google Analytics can help you to do this. The information you can gather should be treated like gold dust as it’s the best way to finding new customers and keeping existing ones.

Being Able To Plan Strategically

Digital marketing is not something that often yields results overnight.
It can often take months before you start seeing results, but your strategy should account for this. A good digital marketing strategy will take into account predictions for the future and will also be adaptable to market changes and new emerging trends.

Leadership Skills

In this role, you’ll probably be working in parallel with other areas of the business.
As a result, you may find yourself needing to justify your decisions and the cost of actions you propose taking. This can involve convincing people at all levels of the organisation, some of which may not understand the value of your work. It’s therefore important that you have the skills to be able to influence those around you and an ability to work collaboratively with other teams in order to get the work done.

Design Skills

Some background in graphic design can be really helpful. Eye-catching graphics or videos help to grab the attention of your audience where a big chunk of text simply can’t.
Google is also known to favour content that utilises video. Understanding the basics of how to create good media for a business’s website / social media is a desirable skill in a digital marketer.

What Areas Can You Specialise In?

SEO Specialist

If you’re a keyword research expert, know your metadata from your title tags, and understand what it takes to reach the number one spot in Google search results – you could be an SEO specialist.
Your role would be to make sure that the website content is fully optimised for the best possible customer experience.
You may create content yourself or advise others on how to create SEO content.
The input you can give into this process will help drastically with improving the business’s online presence. It also feeds into a wider strategy of increasing the levels of organic traffic reaching the website.

A laptop computer showing it's capability

Content Marketer

A content marketer might work with an SEO Specialist as above. It’s your role to create content for the website and social media channels and then strategise what content should be as part of a marketing plan.
This is an important role in assisting with the business’s overall marketing strategy as it helps to both make great, relevant content and make sure people are seeing it.

Social Media Manager

A social media manager is responsible for building a business’s brand on social media.
The very basics of this role involve making content and posting it to the relevant platform. There’s much more to it than that, though. This role is quite analytics-focused and is driven by strategy. It also requires a good deal of customer service experience as it will involve directly speaking with an audience in the comments section. This is the perfect role for someone who has social media experience and is looking to work with a business to grow its brand using social media.

Digital Marketing Manager

Once you’ve been a digital marketer for a while and have some experience, you could move into a digital marketing manager role. This will mean being involved with the developing of a content strategy at an organisational level and being responsible for tracking results. If you’re looking to gain some management experience, this role might be a good step up as you’ll often have a number of staff to oversee.

What Experience Do You Need?

To get a job working as a digital marketer, you will need to demonstrate your experience in the work you’ll be expected to do. For example, you are likely going to need to be able to show that you have knowledge and experience of using SEO, analytics, email marketing, and social media marketing. A desire to keep up to date with technology and trends happening in the digital space is also a must for this kind of role. If you have your own blog, website, or online business, this can stand you in good stead as it will show you have experience being your own digital marketer! For example, if you can show that you have built a blog that has 50,000 unique visitors every month, makes you £2,000 each month, has an established social media presence, and 1,000 people on your email list – what could be a better example of your experience?

Do You Need Any Specific Qualifications For The Role?

There’s no requirement to have a specific qualification to have a career in digital marketing. In fact, there’s nothing stopping you from learning how to do it by yourself.

What Are The Benefits Of Being A Digital Marketer?

As more companies come to recognise the value of digital marketing as part of their overall marketing strategy, they are investing more into it. This includes investing in the people they have that are already doing it.
This means, therefore, that there is great opportunity for additional skills training paid for by your employer.
Some of the other benefits that come with the job are:

  • More job security due to being in demand and the growth of the field
  • Ability to work from home
  • Possibilities for promotion and career advancement
  • Competitive pay and the ability to negotiate a salary when you are a subject matter specialist

Similar Careers

As digital marketing is a term that covers a wide spectrum of things, there are plenty of other similar career options available. For example, you could work to build yourself up to be a specialist in any of the areas listed above.
You could market yourself as an email marketing specialist or could land yourself a role as a social media manager. It will all depend on the experience you’ve had and what you enjoy.

Your digital marketing experience can also help you in finding freelance work by marketing yourself as an expert. This can help you to niche down on what you do and ultimately help you to make more money.

You could also look at other forms of marketing, especially if you have a marketing degree. Experience in this role also lends itself well to a job in PR, or business, due to the transferable skills you’ll have gained.

What Next?

The digital marketer role is one that can be incredibly rewarding; especially when you see the business getting results due to your hard work. It is a role that offers you the opportunity to be as general or specific as you’d like in your practice. There are so many different avenues and specialisms you can take depending on your skills, experience, and what makes you happy. Businesses are investing into both their business and their digital marketing team more than ever before and so there is plenty of opportunity for you.

Ready to take your digital skills up a notch? check out our marketing courses or call us on 1300 738 955

Any questions? Ask away!