A CAREER IN DIGITAL MARKETING: 7 UNAVOIDABLE THINGS I WISH I KNEW, #6 WILL OUTRAGE YOU

Many people believe that everyone is a digital marketer. According to them, access to a smartphone gives one the power to run marketing campaigns. The truth or falsity of this notion is not the subject of this article. We will probably examine that the next time I have my favourite meal. Winks.

For this piece, we’ll look at digital marketing as the art of promoting products and services on the internet.

As you must have noticed, the advancement of the internet, and the announcement of the COVID-inspired lockdown across countries, have amplified the importance of digital marketing as a professional skill.

The journey to digital marketing expertise can be blurry, from deciding on the few courses out of the many to focus on to picking a learning mode (whether free, paid, recorded, or real-time lesson) to choosing the platform to undertake your learning and certifications. It’s a barrage of decisions to make, and it can be overwhelming.

Last week, my friend, who had witnessed my journey into the heart of the digital marketing space, approached me to write an article for her magazine, The Pacesetter Magazine. And in a heartbeat, I decided that I would share some of the things that would have made my journey a lot less stressful if I had known them early on.

Let’s get to them. Shall we?

1. You Cannot Escape Writing

Sincerely, I still get anxious each time I am asked to write a new piece of content. Even when I know the target audience and the topics to write about, I still feel shivers running down my spine. Sometimes, I don’t even know where and how to start the opening paragraph, the exact keywords, and the tone to use. I know you may have felt this way too. It’s called writer’s block.

However, you cannot escape from content writing as a digital marketer. It’s one of the critical aspects of your job. It is how you translate and communicate your client’s needs. Since I started as a digital marketer, I’ve written blog posts, email newsletters, web content, Ad copy, social media captions, meta tags, product reviews, and descriptions.

The best way to learn how to write is by writing. I hope that’s straightforward enough. You have to start by identifying who your audience is and what content they will like to read. Then consider the message you want to convey and the action you want your readers to take after reading your content. The subsequent steps will include mapping out those abstract ideas, phrases, quotes, and concepts in your head and searching similar posts. Eventually, you’ll get the spark you so desire, and everything will come together nicely.

2. Knowing the Lingua

Have you ever been in a meeting where members use technical terms to communicate? Check this out;

“Choosing the right CTA in our PPC Campaign has the potential of increasing our CTR from SERP, which is good for both SEO and ROI.”

Was that confusing?

I guess you are still trying to figure out what I’m talking about

Digital Marketing, like every other field, has its jargon. Familiarizing yourself with them will do you a world of good. It will position you as an expert and give you a better understanding of the profession.

Don’t be left out of the discussion next time.

3. Design Knowledge

Graphics design and digital marketing have a lot in common. The two industries are becoming inseparable.

The appearance and feel of a site, blog, social media page, or email can signal to a reader that the product is for them. And a website that’s easy to use and has a great User Experience can inspire more trust, which translates to more purchases. That’s why, if you want to succeed in digital marketing, it’s worth getting some design skills under your belt.

Now, you don’t need to become a design genius, but understanding the basic principles behind a good design can take you a long way. You will work with software engineers, product designers, customer care representatives, and in most cases, the graphics designer. Since you’ll be the one making all the publishing on social media, blogs & sending the emails, you’ll need at least have a basic understanding of graphics design.

You can evaluate the designer’s work — to identify an error with a design; when it doesn’t fully describe the content; or represent the brand identity or convey the image and message you want to pass across. Most times, you’ll have it back and forth with the graphic design, reviewing, accepting, and rejecting designs until you get the most suitable for your content. A basic understanding of design will make you know how to talk to them. In some cases, you may not have to wait on the designer for corrections. You will easily slide into your design tools like Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator and effect the correction by yourself.

In addition, beyond basic design skills, a knack for photo and video editing can come in handy in a digital marketing role. As a digital marketer, you’ll need visuals for almost everything you do, whether it’s a sales video on Instagram or YouTube.

4. Web Analytics! What’s That? Don’t Pee in Your Pants Yet

The decisions that you’ve made in the past have gotten you to where you’re in life. Data analytics is all about analyzing the results of actions and inactions. It gives businesses the ability to make data-driven decisions and predictions about future trends, such as when a product will be in high demand. The digital marketer is responsible for interpreting the data and making forecasts. It won’t be wrong to say that the success of businesses lies on the shoulder of the digital marketer.

You should be able to look at a Google Ads dashboard with 100k impressions, 50k clicks, and only five conversions for 30 days and know that there is an issue with the URL or the website’s Landing Page.

Or

The fact that the difference between making $5,000 and $10,000 could come down to the SEO keyword in your email subject line that performs 30% better than another.

As a digital marketer, you should be comfortable with a large amount of data and analytics. That is because accurate, up-to-date, and robust information (data) may be all your client’s business needs to succeed.

Businesses need data to understand their consumers, market, buying behavior, thought patterns, and the demographics of the target audience. Where else will you get all this data if not reading data analytics?

Web Analytics! What’s that? Don’t pee in your pants yet. It’s easy to learn. There are many web analytic tools that you can use to collect and analyze website data, but Google Analytics is the most common. Google Analytics allows you to track and understand your customer’s behaviour, user experience, online content, device functionality, and more. You can get started by visiting Google Analytics Academy and taking a short beginner’s course on Google Analytics.

5. Communication & Interpersonal Skills

In digital marketing, you never work in isolation. Whether you go to the office to work or you work remotely, you’ll be in constant communication with people every day. These may include your employer, your teammates, those that will be reporting to you, and most importantly, customers.

You will have to give feedback and respond to customers’ queries via emails, live chats, social media, and Google My Business. As a result, effective verbal and written communication is a skill you must have.

There are times when you and a member of your team, your employer, or your client would disagree on an idea, strategy, or analytics report. As a digital marketer, you should have the ability to convince someone else that your solution is the best for the situation. It is not about arguing but having the confidence that you know what you’re doing and showing this in detail.

6. Don’t Believe Everything the Experts Say

Getting certifications in digital marketing is not the end. It is just the beginning. There’s a lot you’ll still have to catch up on. The learning platforms and the experts out there always try to make it as easy as it could be so that you will buy from them.

Learning is a continuous process, and nothing the industry experts say is the gospel here. The digital marketing business is evolving too rapidly. So maybe you have to do lots of A/B testing and catch up.

Start by doing.

To master the Google Ads software, Facebook Manager, Google Analytics, or email marketing software, you’ll have to apply what you’ve studied about them by opening (using) the software.

Just like the old saying goes, “practice makes perfect.”

Try out your ideas, try out other personal projects, test your new ideas on SEO, PPC, Social Media Marketing, etc. In addition, take up projects, apply for internships and volunteer roles when starting a career in digital marketing. That will give you hands-on experience, build your portfolio and hasten your learning process.

7. An Online Portfolio

It’s not enough to go through the training and acquire certifications in digital marketing — you’ll need to be able to attract paying clients.

What’s the essence of marketing another person’s business without curating it for your branding? If you want to build a good impression, you need to have a portfolio. You can’t call yourself an online marketer with no visible online presence. How do you show a potential client that you can build their company’s visibility when you’re not visible? Having an online portfolio shows that you are committed to your work?

There are thousands of digital marketers, and the number keeps increasing by the day. If you must stand out from the crowd, build an online portfolio.

If you don’t have any digital marketing work experience, you can still start making a portfolio. Start with passion projects, random content, and social media profiles, which can be a way to showcase your digital marketing skills and sensibilities.

By creating an online portfolio, you can showcase your best works, present yourself as a professional in the industry, showcase your learnings and certifications, promote your brand, and increase your chances of being discovered by potential clients.

What are your thoughts on this? What deep insights can you share from your career in digital marketing? You can add it as number 8, let our readers learn from it.

Daniel Nnechi is an SEO Specialist, helping entrepreneurs and businesses scale their business online. He is the Founder of Nnechi Digital, an SEO specialist at The Bulb, and the Lead Digital Marketer at Urbanvibes London. Connect with Nnechi on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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The Bulb Africa is a platform for Africans leveraging technology. We provide training and incubation programs that help turn tech ideas into business realities.

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The Bulb Africa

The Bulb Africa

The Bulb Africa is a platform for Africans leveraging technology. We provide training and incubation programs that help turn tech ideas into business realities.

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