Read our guide about starting your career as an Internet marketer. We explain who they are and what they do, how to get the right skills, and where to find the first clients.
Who is a digital marketer and what does he do
The scope of a digital marketer’s activity covers almost all elements of the company’s presence in the Internet space. They select and evaluates sites, studies the target audience, creates promotion strategies, uses advertising tools, and plans and creates content.
As a rule, a digital marketing specialist manages the activities of narrower specialists (SEO specialists, copywriters, designers, etc.), sets them tasks, and monitors the results. If we are talking about a small company or brand that is just discovering the benefits of online promotion, then an Internet marketer can do all the tasks themselves at once.
In both cases, to be successful, the marketer must know the basics of each direction and have certain skills.
Digital marketing specialities and the tasks they include
1. SMM – marketing in social networks
— lead communities in social networks, create, design and post content
— run advertising campaigns in social networks — targeted advertising, collaboration with bloggers
— create and maintain a community, community around the brand. Various activities — contests, sweepstakes, etc.
2. SEO – optimization of sites for promotion in search engines
— Select the semantic core for the site — the main keywords that will be optimized
— attract traffic from search engines
— optimize the site
— analyze the results — identify successful and problematic areas, adjust the activity for them — strive to ensure that the site occupies the intended positions in the search engine or rises as high as possible in General
3. Email marketing – collect and segment the base for the mailing list
— create a mailing plan, generate ideas, write or control the writing of texts
— test various ways of submitting information and design — from the topic title to the letter design
— analyze the results, make changes
4. Targeted advertising – collect and segment your ad base in social networks
— create ad teasers — ad text and photo or video illustration
— plan the budget
— configure your ad campaign and evaluate its effectiveness
5. Contextual advertising – collect and filter the database of keywords that will trigger ads
— work with Google & Bing Ads
— plan the advertising budget and strive to reduce the cost of clicks
— create ad banners according to the requirements of the site where the ad is launched; test various versions of ads
6. Web analytics
— analyze site metrics using Google Analytics
— draw conclusions based on data and think through actions to improve it
What are the skills needed to be an Internet marketer
The tasks of a marketer depend on the specifics of the business, the size of the company, and whether the marketer leads the team or performs most of the functions themselves. Let’s focus on the main skills that you will need:
1. Creating a marketing strategy. You need to be able to think through the USP, prepare the product for launch on the market, calculate risks, identify goals and tasks, and prescribe actions to achieve them.
2. Market research. The marketer studies the target audience and segments it, and analyzes competitors.
3. Promotion in the Internet space. You need to have the basic skills of advertising and native promotion: find and test different sites, understand targeted advertising, plan and not “merge” the advertising budget, be able to work with influencers and find a common language with information partners.
4. Planning and creating content. A digital marketer should be able to create content plans and content matrices, analyze the relevance of topics and formats, create illustrations and video content.
5. Resource Management (organization of the work of the Internet marketing Department). An important skill is to manage your existing resources correctly, to be able to organize several specialists on the staff or remotely, and to ensure that systems function properly.
6. Analysis of the results of marketing efforts. Of course, there is no place without Analytics. A mandatory skill is to track the results of actions, note progress, pay attention to gaps, and adjust the work based on the data you receive.
In addition to skills directly related to the profession, you will also need General skills (soft-skills):
- Be able to defend your point of view, listen to the interlocutor, conduct a productive dialogue with him
- Plan your work processes and organize your time correctly
- To understand people — to be able to find a reliable person and a good specialist
- Quickly search and process large amounts of information
- Be flexible and ready to learn, change and improve in your profession
How to become an Internet marketer: training options
In order to become a digital marketer, you do not need a higher education; you can get the necessary skills either by studying independently or by taking special professional courses.
1. Learn everything on your own
Training without teachers is an option for those who are good at self-education — they can organize themselves, do not lose motivation to study regularly, are able to structure and search for large amounts of information, highlight the main thing and cut off the excess. By themselves, the above skills are very useful for an Internet marketer, so if you have them, then that’s great.
You can get your own knowledge from numerous free sources — thematic telegram channels, Facebook communities, and video lectures on YouTube. In addition, experts and training centres regularly conduct free webinars on specific areas of digital marketing.
Useful information can also be found in books. However, you are unlikely to find a textbook on digital marketing. The fact is that in the field of Internet marketing changes so quickly that no sooner will the author reach the printing house with his book than there will be a dozen new chips that change everything in the root. Therefore, we recommend you to pay attention to books that address the “eternal themes”: the basics of traditional marketing, advertising, branding; psychological justification of customer behaviour, the art of sales and negotiations; creating text content and the subtleties of editing, building communication.
2. Take professional courses
Enrolling in courses is a more traditional and intuitive option. You can take full training in the Internet marketing program, or you can separately study specialities.
Advantages of professional courses and training programs:
- You get your knowledge in a systematic way, so you don’t have to collect it all by yourself
- The expert will share their experience with you and help you look at your work from a different angle
- Practical tasks help to fix the problem, immediately train in what you just learned.
- Feedback from a professional is something that is very important for a beginner. It is better to go through all the weaknesses as part of the training than then receive negative feedback from customers
It is logical that if you want to get professional knowledge in a field in which you do not yet understand much, you should contact an expert. But unfortunately, in digital marketing, not everyone is an expert who calls themselves that. Here are some tips that will help you not to fall for fake gurus:
1. Don’t buy into the prospect of quick and easy money. Avoid offers that promise to tell you how to earn from 100,000 rupees a month while working for two hours under a palm tree. These teachers are aimed at getting you, blinded by the prospect of a free income, to attend one course after another. As a rule, programs consist of stages, at the end of each one you are hinted that you are about to receive sacred knowledge, but there is still some key element missing, which will be given at the next stage.
2. Choose experts. Look at the teachers, who they are, where they work, and what experience they have. Give preference to experts — if a person is successfully working in their speciality, has made a career, can share practical knowledge — they have something to learn. Internet-marketing — for practitioners, theorists will not give you anything.
3. Use “free”. Try out free educational products the person or organization you are considering to train. Even for a small free class, you can tell a lot about the quality. If after a trial lesson you are confused by the teacher’s knowledge or are not satisfied with the organization of the process, it is better to trust your intuition and look for other options.
It is also important to understand that no professional training saves you from the need for constant self-education.
How to search for your first customers
Once you’ve got your initial knowledge and are ready to take on real projects and earn money, it’s time to look for customers. The search features will depend on which of the two ways you choose to go — become a freelancer/remote employee or work in an office.
Freelancing: If you want to work from home and search for projects on your own, you will need to learn how to organize your workday. Freelancing as an internet marketer gives you the desired freedom, but imposes additional obligations — you build your own workflow, “pay” yourself sick days and give out vacations. Another blessing and at the same time curse of freelancing — you will have to independently search for customers and projects, negotiate working conditions and pay. To do this, you need to set up an iron system for attracting customers. The cheapest way is word of mouth. We have already discussed how to launch this mechanism on Facebook. In General, the principles are the same everywhere — meet your potential target audience and colleagues, keep a page showing your professional opinion, give advice, offer your services, ask your friends to recommend you, collect feedback and share it on the page.
If you are afraid of the prospect of catching orders with your bare hands in the turbulent rivers of social networks, but still want to work at home under a blanket, then choose a compromise option. Many people confuse it with freelancing, thinking that it is the same thing. However, in remote work, you have all the same responsibilities and often even a schedule as employees in the office, just close tasks from home.
Office work – Do you want to choose a more traditional path and get a job in an office? In this case, your main task is to find a company that will hire a person with no experience. It will not be easy to get a job as an Internet marketer right away. To get started, try one of these specializations: recruiters often look for copywriters, SMM developers, content managers, and so on. If your financial situation allows, you can get a free internship in a large company — look at the processes from the inside and get a good experience.