Covid-19 has placed human lives and world economies into a crisis. The impact is significant. Amid this devastation, the human spirit is resilient and will prevail. We find ourselves having to pick up the pieces and move forward, some sooner than later. This may mean a career change for some, which is a daunting idea.
As we know it, change is a consistent part of life, sometimes bringing along something good, other times something bad. We resist change when it appears to be negative and forced upon us. Access to information helps us cope during a period of change; that along with the willingness to be positive and proactive moves us closer to accepting and embracing change. Given that there will be many businesses closing its doors, and people losing their jobs; this blog is written to provide you with information about careers within digital marketing, to help you transition from your current career or consider a potential career within digital marketing should it interest you.
Moving online is a necessity for all existing and new businesses and as a result the demand for digital marketing specialists will continue to grow. This blog offers you insight into digital marketing and the career opportunities that exist within this industry.
The basics of marketing has not changed, but the platforms on which, and the methods in which we communicate with our customers has. Digital marketing is the use of technology and the internet to reach and engage customers – think websites, mobile devices, mobile apps, social media to name a few.
A career in digital marketing
A career within this field is suited to individuals who enjoy challenges, is creative, analytical and logical, has problem solving and good communication skills. Being willing to accept that you will always be in the learning seat and having to adapt to change will do you well. Given the rapid pace at which technology is advancing, companies must keep abreast with technology and digital marketing if they are to survive. Technology is a major driving force that influences and changes the way in which people behave. As new technologies are introduced, people move to different platforms and engage with the brands who are agile enough to move with them.
A career in digital marketing is an exciting one. It offers career progression opportunities and is also a very satisfying and rewarding career when your efforts translate into business advancement and growth, which include employment opportunities and/or creates job security. Given our experience as a digital marketing agency in Cape Town, we have expanded on 9 broad career areas within digital marketing. This is not an exhaustive list at all, and more careers will become available as technology advances.
1. Digital Strategist / Manager / Director
This person may be responsible for the planning of the overall digital marketing strategy of a company or will have significant influence if working with a marketing manager. The digital strategist will be the one to advise how specific marketing campaigns should be executed. They have a firm understanding of what the best tools and channels are that should be utilized and how these tools work together towards achieving results for a company. A digital strategist usually gains this insight through their experience built up via the other roles within digital marketing and as such has a broad skill set, including technical, problem-solving, and analytical skills.
Strategists monitor trends to spot digital marketing trends and opportunities within digital technologies, as well as make sense of data which is used to enhance the overall marketing strategy of a company. They may be responsible for managing budgets and will usually works with a range of management staff including brand, marketing, and sales managers including digital administrators and digital specialists so need good people and communication skills.
2. Digital Marketing Administrators / Coordinators
Digital Marketing Administrators also go by the title Digital Marketing Coordinators. They are the glorified project managers who have a firm grasp of digital marketing tools and channels as well that make sure the strategies are rolled out on schedule and according to quality standards across the different tools and channels. They may have to manage service providers or partners to ensure the roll-out of campaigns in alignment with the planned strategy. Digital marketing administrators may also be responsible for updating and maintaining website content, managing social media communities and reporting to management on the performance of digital marketing activities. They have strong organisational, people-management and project management skills.
3. Designers & Developers
Every business needs an online presence. Today having a website is a must – back in the day the landline telephone number gave a business credibility and trust and a website achieves this today. Every website should be designed to align with the branded look and feel of the business as consistency across every marketing touch point creates reliable experiences that customers come to know and trust. The design also incorporates the layout and organisation of content across the website as this will influence how customers interact and experience the brand via it’s website.
Mobile apps are gaining momentum as well. Designers provide input on the look, feel and layout.
Websites are constantly being developed. Existing companies refresh their websites every couple of years to keep up with the pace of changing technology, or to give their website a brand refresh; others develop new products or sub-brands and needing a website that supports the new business development. With the explosion of online shopping, many are turning to e-commerce stores to buy their products and services online. E-commerce websites need to be created and set-up, managed and marketed.
4. Content producers
Content is not an easy concept to understand for many businesses embarking on the digital marketing journey. Content marketing is a broad term that covers a range of different platforms and content categories. Let’s first answer the question, what exactly is content marketing?
Content is everything and anything consumed on the internet by the audience about a brand, product or service. Think video, blog posts, photos, online news stories and more. Content is developed for the business’ website, their social media channels and other online platforms where the intent is to reach, engage, educate, and/or communicate with the customer or stakeholder.
Content marketing is a must-have for any company serious about achieving success with their digital marketing efforts as it has the ability to influence the market on the brand, and directly impact the bottom line. Careers to explore within content include:
— content developers
— community management for brand reputation management and customer service
— social media influencers
Video (for web, mobile, social media)
5. Paid Campaign Managers
Paid Campaign Managers are responsible for placing company ads in front of an interested audience. They understand PPC (pay-per-click) platforms such as Google Ads and Facebook Ads and roll-out campaigns aimed to achieve specific goals such as raising awareness, driving website traffic and achieve specific goals for a company. A paid marketing specialist manages the ad performance and campaign budgets to achieve the best or desired results for a company.
Think about it, when last did you click to page 2 of Google to find what you are looking for? Statistics confirm that most internet users do not move beyond page 1 of Google search. Customers trust Google to give them the best recommendations to solve their search enquiry. To build a website does not guarantee that it will appear within the top 5 search results of Google.
The overall goal of SEO is to:
1) Attract and increase organic and relevant traffic (not paid traffic) to a website.
2) Improve user experience on the website.
3) Work within SEO guidelines to educate search engines like Google and Bing about the website so that their bots can crawl, index, and rank the website helping potential customers discover the website and rank organically over time.
SEO specialist often analyse data to spot trends in order to adjust on-going SEO strategies.
Show me a business that does not need sales? The need for copywriters is expected to grow within digital marketing. Copywriters are your traditional salespeople in digital format. They write copy (the words) that connect with you emotionally, draw you in and convince you why a product or service is absolutely essential. Copywriting is used on websites, online advertising, within your social media content, through to online brochures as well as within email marketing and aims to sell, sell, sell. The unfortunate reality within South Africa and many other countries is that many companies believe that they can write their own sales copy and fail terribly at it. We believe that as the industry grows and more businesses become aware and understand the value of a skilled and professional copywriter, we should see a shift in the demand for this skillset.
8. Digital Brand Manager
The digital brand manager ensures that the customer has a consistent brand experience across every marketing touch point that the brand finds itself present on. A digital brand manager may be responsible for coming up with ideas to build brand awareness, customer loyalty, enhancing and protecting the image and reputation of the brand within the marketplace. He/She will have significant input to new product developments and will work with various departments and stakeholders both inside and outside of the business. A digital brand manager has good communication, good people and relationship building skills, is creative, analytical and works well under pressure.
9. Digital Sales Reps
Every business need sales to survive. The focus of digital marketing is to get an interested customer to the door, at which time it then becomes the sales manager, or sales department’s responsibility to convince and convert the interested customer into becoming a paying customer. Sales responsibility could be in determining correct pricing; selling the features and benefits of a product or service or simply providing good customer service and providing potential customers with the information that they need in order to make the sale possible.
Our experience in digital marketing often sees many companies failing to understand how critical this role is to the success of their business. Often sales enquiries are sent through via the website or via Facebook messenger and if not responded to quickly enough (or at all), the sale is potentially lost. The customer having access to technology simply moves along quickly to another company who is ready and available to answer questions and turn an interested customer into a paying customer. Having a digital sales rep, or digital sales teams along with tools that manage the customer relationship is critical for businesses to achieve success online. As more businesses move online, we expect to see an increase in the demand for digital sales agents.
Over to you?
What do you think about digital marketing, is there a career within this field for you? If so, do share.
Date: 19 May 2020 | Published: Janine Wood, Ignite Media
Janine Wood is a digital marketing specialist and business owner-manager of Ignite Media. Her experience spans brand development and digital marketing roles including management and strategy. Janine helps clients create memorable brands, increase their online visibility and attract, engage and convert their ideal customers. Janine is passionate about entrepreneurship and empowering others.