The internet has become so essential to our everyday life that it’s hard to imagine a world without it. Even those that don’t spend that much time online would find themselves at a loss without the many modern conveniences that the internet provides. Just stop and think for a minute about all the things you do that require an internet connection – it’s mind-blowing.
According to an article in the MIT Technology Review, many of us are spending an incredible amount of time online. In 2000, the average amount of time spent online hovered around 9 hours a week. Today, that number is just shy of 24 hours a week – basically the equivalent to a part-time job.
Knowing this, it’s become more critical for businesses to reach out to their audience where they’re most likely to be found – floating somewhere in the digital universe. What companies need is a way weeding through the masses that are online and attracting the attention of a targeted audience.
Digital marketing is how this is done, and the demand for professionals with the skills to elevate brands online is skyrocketing.
What Is Digital Marketing?
At any given moment there are millions of people on the internet, using search engines like Google to connect them with something specific they’re looking for. While all these people are searching online, there are an equal number of businesses trying to capture their attention.
The role of search engines is to connect each user with the web pages and businesses that are the most direct match to their needs. Digital marketing is a strategic approach that helps point search engines in the right direction.
Essentially, digital marketing is about enabling any business to connect with the right audience at the right place and time online. It’s any and every form of marketing that takes place online, and while it sounds straightforward, it’s actually quite complex.
Digital marketing involves knowledge of core strategies and an intuitive understanding about what fuels consumer behaviors. At the most basic level, digital marketing includes key disciplines like SEO, content creation and marketing, social media marketing, email marketing and the ability to effectively use specific tools like Google Analytics.
On a deeper level, digital marketing involves knowing how to leverage each of those disciplines to connect with the audiences that will help an individual business grow. It’s a nuanced process that requires more than just a basic level of digital strategies to succeed.
However, this doesn’t mean that you need an advanced degree in digital marketing to be successful in the field. Of course, a degree can help if you’re serious about this career path or are looking to start your own marketing agency. But the truth is that many great digital marketing professionals started with nothing more than a passion, curiosity, and willingness to learn. If you want to get your toes wet first, a digital marketing certificate is a great first step.
They also knew that they needed to develop the knowledge and skill set that would propel their careers forward. Earning a digital marketing certification through the completion of a comprehensive, professional course is a significant step in transforming a career aspiration into a reality.
The Many Benefits of a Career in Digital Marketing
The decision to further your career through education is one that should never be taken lightly. Not only does this typically involve at least a minor financial investment but doing so also demands your time and energy. You want to make sure that any steps you take along your career path are in step with your goals for the future.
With this in mind, you might be wondering about the real benefits of investing in a digital marketing certification course. How will taking a course and earning a certification prepare you for the future and help you meet your career goals?
To help you decide if this is the right career move for you, here are just a few of the benefits of earning a certificate and pursuing a career in digital marketing.
1. Filling the Digital Skills Gap
Each year we see incredible advancements in technology, and industries across the globe have had to adapt and integrate more digital technologies into their everyday business operations, including a stronger focus on digital marketing strategies.
This is great, except that there’s a tremendous gap in the level of digital skills that industries demand and the actual digital capabilities of the professionals who are currently filling key roles, especially in marketing.
If there’s one thing we know about digital marketing, it’s that it’s a discipline that’s never static. There are shifts in search engine algorithms, consumer expectations and technological growth that are constant considerations, and it takes a qualified professional with a high level of digital capabilities to continually meet these demands.
A digital marketing certification course provides you with the digital skillsets you need to stand out in the industry today.
2. Better Pay
Besides embarking on a career that you’re going to love, one of the most significant advantages of earning a digital marketing certification is the nice boost to your paycheck. As with any field, there are multiple levels of professionals, with a pay scale that increases with knowledge, experience, and training. Digital marketing is no different in this respect.
You don’t necessarily need much prior education or experience to get started in digital marketing. Some companies hire based on experience, others are only interested in those that hold an appropriate degree, and then there are those that are willing to give anyone with a certain amount of passion a chance, regardless of their experience. Where you fall along this spectrum will be a major factor in what you can expect regarding salary.
For example, the average salary for a starting level digital strategist is a bit more than $45,000 a year. For those with the training and experience that are looking to become a digital marketing manager, the average salary is almost double that of an entry-level position at nearly $87,000 according to Glassdoor.
Every step you take to level up your professional qualifications, including becoming a certified digital marketer, increases your overall earning potential.
3. Qualify for the Google Analytics Exam
Google is almost synonymous with digital marketing. This means that as a professional in the field, an exceptional level of knowledge and comfort working with Google’s tools will give you an edge over the competition.
Employers are going to be looking for the most qualified candidates to bring onto their teams, and your ability to express mastery in tools like Google Analytics is key to achieving success in the industry.
One of the most effective ways to demonstrate your knowledge of Google Analytics is by taking and passing the Google Analytics Individual Qualification Exam (GAIQ) and earning a certificate that confirms your qualifications.
Anyone can take the GAIQ exam, and it can be taken repeatedly, which leads many people to believe that preparing for it isn’t that big of a deal. You could take this approach, but you would only be shortchanging yourself.
The goal isn’t to just pass the exam, but to complete it with confidence and mastery. When you put the Google Analytics Certification on your CV or present a certificate to your employer, you want to do so with the real skills to back it up.
Completing a digital marketing certification course will put you in the position to successfully take and pass the GAIQ through hands-on experience and in-depth training.
4. Massive Demand
A recent report tells us that the demand for digital marketers is vast, yet there simply aren’t enough qualified individuals to fill the position. According to their numbers, the demand for digital marketing among businesses sits at around 56%, while the supply is less than half that number at only 24%.
It’s easy to see that digital marketing skills are in high demand at the present moment, but what about the future? While digital marketing is nothing new, many businesses are just now beginning to fully understand its importance fully.
This includes new businesses that are just starting and need a hand in building their reputation, along with well-established companies that realize the importance of maintaining digital visibility.
We’ve reached a point where businesses need a digital marketing strategy to survive and thrive in a growing competitive landscape. With a digital marketing certification, you’ll have the skillset and experience to help them meet and exceed their goals both now and into the future.
Required Skills of Successful Digital Marketers
Anyone can become a digital marketer, but it takes a specialized skill set and a specific type of mentality to succeed in the profession. This can be acquired through a combination of the right training or education, and hands-on experience that helps you gain a better understanding of the complexities and challenges of digital marketing across different industries.
That said, those who are the most successful in digital marketing share a common, core set of skills that help them achieve a peak level of performance and consistent results for their clients or employers. These skills include:
- A comprehensive foundational understanding of digital advertising
- The ability to build a strong content strategy and create compelling content to fuel it
- An up-to-date approach to social media marketing
- Everything SEO and how to achieve results through search engine marketing
- An understanding of how to leverage analytics for optimal campaign success
- At least a base level of comfort with technology
- Persuasiveness and people skills
- An unyielding desire to learn and grow with the industry
Think you have what it takes to become a digital marketing professional? The next step is to make it happen by developing the skills you need to build a career in digital marketing.
How to Develop the Skills Needed to Build a Career in Digital Marketing
Being successful in digital marketing requires a dedication to always seeking out ways to improve your knowledge and skillset. It’s not an industry where you want to become complacent, stale or outdated, and the most successful know that it takes consistent work to build the career of their dreams.
For those just starting out or in the early phases of their career, what does this really entail? What does it take to build upon your existing knowledge and skill level in digital marketing and continually move towards the career you deserve? Here a few starting points.
- The first step is signing up for a digital marketing certification course that will not only provide you with the knowledge and hands-on experience that you need to grow your career but will also instill you with the confidence you need to stand out in the crowd.
- Earning a certification is the best start, but it’s essential that you not get too comfortable in your existing skillset. You should continually be looking at how the industry is shifting, what major changes are taking place and what you need to do on your end to stay updated along the way.
- Finally, a little self-promotion never hurt. As a digital marketer, you can start your own blog and leverage your knowledge and skills to attract new, high-quality clients.
- You might also choose to contact non-profit organizations, which often offer opportunities for new digital marketers to break into the industry and demonstrate their level of expertise, as an entry point into your new career.
Begin Your Digital Marketing Journey Today
Are you ready to take the first step to build a successful and fulfilling career in digital marketing? There are many genuine sources which can help you learn digital marketing from entry level to advanced. You can consider taking up those online courses to become a successful digital marketer.