How to Start Your Career in Digital Marketing
If you have been thinking about starting a career in digital marketing, there are a few statistics that you should become familiar with in 2019. First of all, the Pew Internet Research Center expects that three quarters of all adults in the United States will be tuning into YouTube in 2019; second, nearly 70 percent of Americans will continue to actively participate on Facebook while almost a quarter of them will be even more active on Twitter.
Instagram and Snapchat are the two social networks expected to experience more growth in 2019; the former will be used by 35 percent of Americans while the latter will capture 27 percent. The basis for these projections is that both Snapchat and Instagram allow users to post “Stories,” social media updates that combine images with video in an appealing format, and this means that brands will certainly take advantage of this trend.
The Massive Reach of Digital Marketing
To become a digital marketing professional these days means accepting the reality of the internet as a natural medium for advertising. While it is true that legacy media outlets still hold sway over certain industries in terms of promotion, brands cannot afford to ignore digital marketing efforts. Case in point: Heineken, the Dutch beer giant, still gets a very healthy 6:1 return on investment from television commercials, but this does not mean that brand managers are ignoring online channels because of their lower ROI, which barely reaches 2:1 in the best case scenario.
If anything, Heineken and its competitors are committed to improving digital marketing ROI, and they will continue to look for professionals who can help them achieve such goals. Everything comes down to the ever-expanding reach of the digital marketing world, which cannot be dismissed.
With all the above in mind, here are a few ideas on how you can get started on the path towards a digital marketing career in 2019:
Develop Your Own Online Profile
Even if you are just starting to attend school or take online marketing courses, it is important that you begin developing an online profile that is commensurate with your career goals, and a good place to start is LinkedIn. To treat LinkedIn as just another online job board is to miss the forest for the trees; this business social network is filled with learning and networking opportunities as well as valuable market insight. Twitter is another social network where digital marketers tend to gather, but it will not be long until Instagram claims this title as well.
Showcase the Right Projects
Digital marketing professionals build their portfolios as they go; virtually each project you work on and complete will end up somewhere on the internet, but it is up to you to preserve evidence. Many individuals incorrectly assume that everything posted online will remain there forever; instead of collecting URLs that may one day disappear or fail to redirect, you should grab screenshots, copies of wireframing projects and other materials that can be evaluated by prospective clients. Naturally, you may want to suppress controversial projects or campaigns that backfired.
Always Stay Up to Date
As various others field related to information technology, digital marketing is very dynamic. Clients will rely on you to keep them updated on the latest trends, and the success of your career will highly depend on your ability to stay on top of things. If you choose to specialize in search engine optimization, for example, missing out on a Google algorithm update could be disastrous for the websites of your clients.
To a great extent, the digital marketing career field is evolving in a manner similar to system and network administration during the early part of the 21st century. Remember when employers dismissed computer science college degrees and started seeking Cisco and CompTIA certificates? A similar situation is being observed by digital marketing professionals who are now expected to obtain certifications as Google Advertising Partners, HubSpot Content Marketing Specialists, Facebook Certified Planning Professionals, and others. Many certification programs can be obtained for free when individuals purchase subscriptions to analytics and SEO software tools.