Are you a social media savant? Do you love keeping up with new technology and trends? A career in Digital Marketing could be a great way to use your talents and nurture your passion!
There’s a lot more to a job in Digital Marketing than sending out a few tweets. Your role could involve a whole variety of things including search engine optimisation (SEO), pay-per-click campaigns (PPC), content writing, analytical reporting and graphic design.
It’s a varied industry with many specialisms and a major selling point is that you don’t need to have a degree in Marketing to get a job. In fact, most of our own marketing team at ICS Learn didn’t study marketing as their degree subject!
You can also work in a huge variety of sectors as talented marketers will always be needed where there’s a product or service to be promoted - but how do you break into this attractive industry?
Although a Marketing degree isn’t essential, having a certification from a professional body will improve your chances of securing a job.
If you’re an absolute beginner, you can’t really go wrong with a qualification from the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).
You could start with either the total-beginner-level Level 3 Foundation Certificate or the slightly more Level 4 Certificate in Professional Marketing. If you'd like to specialise in digital marketing, the Level 4 Award in Digital Marketing could be for you.
You can study all of these CIM qualifications online so there’s no need for you to take time out to go to college. Plus, you can start applying for jobs in Digital Marketing whilst you’re still studying towards these qualifications - even putting 'Studying towards CIM' on your CV can give you an edge over other candidates.
Once you secure a junior role such as Digital Marketing Assistant, the knowledge you acquire from your studies will be invaluable to you as you can apply it practically in your new career.
There’s even a Level 6 Digital Marketer apprenticeship which allows you to combine work with studying towards a Digital Marketing degree.
Stay in the loop
In an interview for a Digital Marketing role, you’re likely to be asked to give examples of brands or influencers that you think run great campaigns.
You should be prepared to talk about two or three examples that are fairly recent, so you should do some research on a regular basis to keep yourself in the loop.
Digital Marketing is a fast-moving industry so it’s really important that you keep yourself up to date with the latest goings-on. This means having a handle on new tools, platforms, tricks and trends.
You can do this by signing up for industry publications such as Catalyst, which is included with CIM membership.
You can also access a wealth of information and advice from Digital Marketing blogs such as Moz, The Drum and HubSpot and by following your favourite brands, influencers and fellow marketers on social media.
You can also try testing out some of the tools that you might be working with to familiarise yourself with them. Most digital marketing tools have free trial periods or basic memberships that will allow you to get a feel for how they operate.
Brush up on the jargon
To the uninitiated, Digital Marketing lingo can often sound like gibberish or a confusing mess of acronyms.
You don’t want to be blindsided by jargon in an interview so take some time to get to grips with it. Learn to differentiate SEO from SEM and UX from UI and you’ll soon be wowing interviewers with the depth of your knowledge.
It can take a while to really get a handle on this kind of terminology, but luckily there are plenty of glossaries available online. This one is pretty comprehensive, so stick it in your bookmarks bar and refresh yourself as needed.
Attending industry conferences, events and meet-ups is a great way to connect with other professionals in your local area. That old saying about ‘it’s not what you know but who’ can still ring true today so it’s definitely worth making professional connections.
You might hear about job opportunities through the grapevine or even manage to acquire yourself a mentor who can give you valuable help and advice in this early stage of your career.
You can also get a lot out of engaging with other Digital Marketers on social media. There’s a Twitter chat dedicated to practically every aspect of Digital Marketing, so you’ll absolutely be able to find something to interest you.
Here’s just a few to get you started:
- #CMWorld - hosted by @CMIContent covers all things Content Marketing
- #BlogElevated - hosted by @BlogElevated discusses raising your blog game
- #SEMrushchat - hosted by @semrush talks in-depth SEO
- #PPCChat - founded by @Matt_Umbro covers PPC, SEO and keywords.
These are just a few of the many, many chats so have a search and join in to get tips and tricks from other professionals.
Develop your own USP
Entry-level Digital Marketing jobs can often want you to be a bit of a jack of all trades. This is great as you’ll get bags of experience in different areas over a short space of time, but you should also take some time to find your niche.
It’s great to be a good all-rounder to get your foot in the door, but once you discover your strengths you can really start to develop your future career.
While there are transferable skills that you can use in most Digital Marketing roles, the skills and knowledge you need to develop to become expert vastly differs. The specialist skills required to be a PPC Analyst are very different from that of a Content Marketing Executive, so you should try to think early on about where you want your career to end up.
Pick a specialism that you’re good at, but also one that you’re passionate about - that passion will really shine through when it comes to bigging up your skills in interviews!
Kick start your career in Digital Marketing with one of our online CIM qualifications.