This is an increasingly technology-dependent world. Advanced tools, software, and applications have become key parts of contemporary life, with online elements integrated into work and personal activities alike. Is it any wonder, then, that digital marketing has become a primary focus for businesses to reach customers in a crowded online environment?
This presents fantastic opportunities for those who have a desire to engage with digital marketing as a career path. As the world of online business continues to become more pronounced, so too does the demand for skilled professionals who can help companies to reach their ideal audiences. Indeed, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted a growth increase of 6% in opportunities for marketing managers within the next 10 years — which is above average. However, it’s important to note that this rise in popularity and opportunities often brings competition for roles.
So, what can you do to make yourself stand out in this interesting and rewarding field? We’re going to take a look at some of the tools and strategies you can employ to achieve your ideal career in digital marketing.
Create Your Package
As with any campaign that you’ll be undertaking as a digital marketer, it’s vital to ensure that you have a robust and agile package of resources at hand. In this case, it’s a multimedia group of materials that presents you to potential employers and clients alike as the expert that they want to be a part of their success.
Your package must include:
This may seem like the basic component that all applications packages should have, but it’s also where a lot of candidates slip up. Simply listing the facts of your experience and achievements doesn’t tend to make you stand out in a crowd. You need to talk about what actions you took to make those achievements happen. It can also be helpful to demonstrate what challenges affected those circumstances and what strategies you implemented to overcome them. This approach to resume writing not only highlights your achievements but most importantly showcases the skills and ideas that you applied to your success. This is a more practical approach for potential employers to understand your value to their business.
It might not seem important to have your own website, but it is a useful tool in an increasingly digital marketplace. It doesn’t have to be especially complicated. Include a bio, a little about your experience, and — most importantly — some content. Make some blog posts, videos, even podcasts that help you demonstrate your knowledge of the digital marketing industry. Ensure that you use relevant keywords throughout your site and adopt some personal branding.
Usually when job hunting, a portfolio is only necessary for those who work in traditionally creative industries. However, digital marketing is one of those areas where you are judged by the success of and skill applied to your previous campaigns. Start to gather key elements of strategies you’ve applied to past projects — materials you’ve created, plans, post-campaign reports (with confidential details redacted where necessary). Store this on a private, password accessible page on your website and refer potential employers and clients to it following initial outreach. This gives them insights into how you think and operate as a digital marketer.
Build Your Network
As with any industry, often it is as much about who you know in the industry as what you know.
Your experience and skills are very important but building a community around yourself can help propel you toward opportunities where your abilities can be recognized. You can start small by reaching out to people in your immediate professional vicinity. If you have recently graduated, connect with your alumni associations related to business — members can be excellent sources of information, and they understand what kind of assistance can be useful at this point in your career.
Getting involved with events can be especially important. In digital marketing fields, some of your best networking connections can be through online courses, conventions, and seminars. Indeed, since the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, many events have become primarily online, and are likely to remain that way for some time. Look into subjects that are relevant to your specialties, and make an effort to start conversations with fellow attendees both during and after the events.
It can also be useful to get involved with the planning of such events. Often, convention organizers will require volunteers to undertake logistical elements or even moderate panel discussions. Signing up for these opportunities exposes you to a wider range of potentially influential connections than you would have simply attended, and it also alerts them to your practical skillset.
Remember that social media and online groups are your friends. Use your LinkedIn account not just as another online resume but a chance to join and contribute to discussions.
Sign up for communities that are relevant to your professional interests and actually reach out to people. Be engaged — not just from the perspective of promoting your expertise, but also showing that you’re interested in others’ opinions.
Yes, make connections, but also make some friends along the way. The most valuable networking isn’t transactional — it’s about building meaningful relationships that can not just help you get jobs, but provide mutual support during difficult times.
Gather Your Knowledge
As with the working aspects of digital marketing, your job search will be that much more effective if you commit to some research. The industry shifts so frequently — between new technology, changes in methods, not to mention audiences — that the staffing needs often move right alongside them. This means that you have to keep up to date on your industry knowledge.
There’s a lot of elements that make these young, responsible, creative employees valuable to a business — particularly digital marketing, which can benefit from digital natives. Examine what skills and traits make these target employees specifically important for the industry, and adjust your resume to highlight these elements in your skillset.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that you won’t always be the ideal person for a job or a specific client. An awareness of how your abilities may become less relevant as the sector changes is vital to being able to stand out as an attractive prospect.
Commit to learning new skills periodically. Review what new techniques are becoming popular or effective, and seek to attend courses or even online seminars on these. The more quickly you can become a valued expert in the most appropriate skills for the industry, the better placed you’ll be to thrive.
The digital marketing industry is asserting dominance in online commercial spaces. While this presents exciting opportunities for careers, it’s important to make yourself stand out from the competition. Create an agile package to best present your skills, put effort into not just effective but meaningful networking. You also need to remember that this can be a fluid sector, and you have to build knowledge of the skills and needs of the industry to stay relevant.
Bio: Jori Hamilton is an experienced writer residing in the Northwestern U.S. She covers a wide range of subjects but takes a particular interest in covering topics related to business productivity, marketing strategies, and talent acquisition. To learn more about Jori, you can follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.