There are thousands of businesses, applications, products and services in the digital marketing category on the internet. There are big career and business development opportunities for people in the digital marketing field. But to become successful in digital marketing they need the specific set of skills.
What is Digital Marketing?
Digital Marketing is exactly what it sounds like – marketing online, or promoting awareness of products and services and the benefits they provide to potential customers over the internet.
This can be done organically by creating content about your business that people are compelled to consume and share, or by purchasing and placing advertisements on the internet that compel people to take a desired action (i.e. visit your website, start a free trial, or watch an informational video).
While it might be easy to get caught up in the hype of a “new way of advertising,” it is important to realize that any kind of marketing is still marketing; the bottom line of your effort is to promote your product or service to an audience of potential buyers.
Digital marketing uses a lot of the same strategies as traditional marketing, adapted for the way people consume information online. The three most common ways people consume information online are through email, search engines, and social media.
What do I need to advertise online?
The most important asset for a great marketing campaign is a great product to market. The best marketing in the world won’t sell a product.
Besides a great product, the most basic asset you need for online advertising is a website. Your website is the command central to all business transactions and it’s generally the first place your potential customers (aka leads) will look to find more information about your brand, products, or services.
There are many companies that help individuals and businesses set up a website if you are not at all comfortable with coding (or technology), but sites like WordPress, Wix, SquareSpace, and GoDaddy have beginner-friendly website building tools to help you build a site on your own.
Besides a great product and a website to sell it on, you’re going to need constantly varied creatives. If you don’t have a designer background, a flat-rate design service like Design Pickle can help you create the graphics you need in the exact size and format that each marketing platform requires. You’ll require graphics for email marketing (headers, footers, supporting campaign graphics), search marketing (blog feature images, display ads) and social media marketing (Facebook ads, Instagram ads, post feature images).
Where should I start?
Nothing in digital marketing stays the same for very long. Algorithms change, competitors join the industry or the market demand shifts due to technological advances. To stay sane and productive in an ever-changing industry, you have to accept the fact that these changes are going to happen and prepare yourself to adapt every single time.
Are you simply brainstorming a potential business idea but don’t have a great background in basic marketing principles?
Are you comfortable with organic social media and want to test the waters with paid ads?
Do you have valuable content that you’d like to share with customers and fans of your business?
Do you want your business to rank high in relevant search terms on Google?
Spend some time figuring out what it is that you don’t know, and put everything else aside for a moment to learn that skill. Learning “digital marketing” all at once is liking learning how to drive a car all at once; you won’t get anywhere. You need to first learn the functions of the car, then the strategy behind the implementation of those functions, and finally how to course-correct if something goes wrong.
The same thing goes for digital marketing – you must learn the tools of the trade, how you can implement those tools to fulfill the mission of your business, and how to correct a course of action that is not fulfilling your mission.
There is no right or wrong way to learn how to be a digital marketer, but you have to learn the best digital marketers are quick to adapt, hungry for results, and committed to learning and expanding their knowledge in the industry.
Stay flexible and stay committed to expansion.