By 2020, the digital marketing industry is expected to top $335 billion* making it one of the fastest growing and most well-paid job markets for graduates and professionals today.
Like any industry, developing a career in digital marketing requires a combination of skills, from social and networking abilities, analytical expertise to technical skills and much more.
As companies seek out employees with cutting-edge skills, aligning your digital competencies with the needs of industry is a sure fire way to secure a successful career with a healthy pay packet. So how do you go about it?
1) Specialise your skills
Understanding the foundations of digital will go some way to making you an attractive candidate. However, employers are looking for specialists that can make a difference to the way they engage with customers and their bottom line.
Know-how and skills in areas such as analytics, social media and user experience are valued by employers. So, having expertise in an in demand specialty will set you apart as an employee both in the hiring process and when a promotional opportunity arises.
To do this, research what type of role you would like to work in and match the skills of that role to the ones you need. By doing this you can then go about boosting existing skills through an industry aligned
professional certification or developing new ones to become one of the best people in your industry in a specific area.
2) Invest in yourself
Your personal brand is crucial when it comes to setting yourself apart from other candidates. Just like the consumer brands we all know so well - think Coca Cola, Unilever and IBM - a robust individual brand can demonstrate your digital capabilities.
This can be done in a number of ways:
- Build a presence on social platforms - Social media is an easy and powerful way to connect with other people and show your knowledge in a particular area. By using a professional photograph alongside a well thought out profile, you can populate networks such as LinkedIn or Twitter with content that reveals who you are and what you know.
- Create a blog - Blogs are a great way to stand out from the competition and give you an advantage when it comes to contacting an employer or influencer. Not only will a blog with interesting and relevant content put you on the map - using SEO to ensure you rank on search engines - but it will demonstrate a proactive attitude that employers love.
- Get involved in communities - Digital platforms are not only good for building a personal brand, they are also useful in helping you tap into communities. LinkedIn has a huge number of professional groups that you can join in the area of marketing or social media. By posting content in these groups you can build a name for yourself and start to build relationships with other people in the industry.
3) Learn how to analyse and optimise
While there are many important skills in marketing, knowing how to analyse your digital marketing activities is key to success. Seen as the cornerstone of marketing, the collection and analysis of data is a skill that is in huge demand by organisations across industries.
Whether it's through pay-per-click or using platforms such as LinkedIn Ads, the ability to dig into data and relate that back to consumer behavior enables you to help a business generate higher returns, reduce costs and increase lead quality.
After all, once you know the data from a campaign - good or bad - you will be able to select those that resonated with your audience and optimise them to make them even more effective.
Also, bear in mind that digital platforms are constantly evolving. As such, professionals with knowledge of new features such as 6-second Facebook ads or the new AdWords interface will help you become a hot commodity amongst employers.
4) Network, network, network
In such a competitive job market, the more people you know, the more likely you are to land that perfect job. Networking with other digital professionals and marketers will help you make connections in the industry and make yourself a potential candidate for new positions that match your skillset.
LinkedIn is a great platform for connecting with people in your desired industry and seeing the type of content they share. While sites like Meetup.com provide a simple way to make contact with like-minded people in your area and industry events are also great ways to connect.
By building your personal brand online along with a presence on social media you will be able to connect with peers, influencers and employers so soon they will be coming to you rather than the other way round.
— Guest Blog from our partners at The Digital Marketing Institute
Digital is now an integral part of modern society and the ability to make the most out of the opportunities it presents is key to career success. Become a Certified Digital Marketing Professional accredited by the Digital Marketing Institute to give your career the digital makeover it deserves.
* Source: eMarketer - Worldwide Ad Spending 27/10/16