A career in digital marketing is exciting, creative and just a little bit chaotic — in the best way possible. That’s what makes joining the field so rewarding because you never know what to expect. You can enter into a career in digital marketing at any stage of your career — whether just starting out or deciding to switch industries. You just need to make sure you prepare yourself for the fast-paced nature of the business. Between 2016 and 2026, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics predicts a 10% growth in the marketing industry, making now the perfect time to start your career.
Here are five things to add to your checklist when kickstarting your digital marketing career.
This might be an obvious one as it’s important across industries. When it comes to digital marketing, however, you don’t have much of a choice. The market and the industry itself lends itself to endless learning — you have to take in and seek out new information every day to ensure your campaigns stand out from the competition. Digital marketing is a field in which you need to be innovative in order to stay relevant and successful. You need to be able to wow your customers with a stellar email campaign, infusing creativity into your campaigns to capture your target audience and give them the digital experience that will lead to conversions.
There are plenty of ways to stay in the know. One of the easiest is by consuming as much information as possible. Set up news alerts so the next time a Google algorithm changes, for instance, you’ll be the first to know. You can also be proactive, signing up for conferences and workshops months in advance to ready yourself for the emerging technology and trends that will shape the next year of digital marketing. In order to excel in digital marketing, you have to be at the top of your game. The best way to do that is by staying in-the-know when it comes to all new and innovative solutions and tactics.
Before you become a seasoned marketer, it’s important that you try your hand at a number of different tactics, disciplines, and areas of focus. Give technical search engine optimization (SEO) a try and learn how to optimize websites & build content for Google. Then, switch gears and understand the intricacies of email marketing — crafting messages that compel consumers to open and click through. Maybe social media is next for you. Build calendars, create imagery, and interact with a digital audience directly. As you can see, there are so many avenues to explore when it comes to digital marketing. What will benefit you the most is giving them all a try to get a feel for what naturally calls to you.
Digital marketing is a field that relies heavily on your contacts. The more people you know and know you, the better chance you have at succeeding. Start by joining an alumni group, stay in contact with old professors and attend events where you can meet new colleagues and potential mentors. It’s these people that can put you in contact with the right professionals, giving you a foot in the door and an advantage over others looking to enter the industry.
When you’re ready to pull the trigger, don’t let bias hold you back. Apply everywhere you can. Of course, you should only accept the position that fits you best. However, it's better to apply to everything to ensure you get the experience that will continue to mold you into a digital marketer that can make an impact. You might not understand a certain discipline the best, and it might not be the most exciting field for you — but the learning opportunities are endless once you get that first foot in. Applying everywhere also ensures there’s a better chance you can jump right into the industry and secure your start as a digital marketing star.
Digital marketing is a tumultuous field — but once you add these tasks to your checklist, you’ll be one step closer to kickstarting a successful career in digital marketing. Don’t hold back — dive right in. Whether you’re interested in social, SEO, analytics, performance marketing or beyond, you’ll find your place in the field.
Want more? If you’re fresh out of university, check out this piece on the key of key traits every digital marketer has to put you on the path to success.