Whether you’re considering online marketing for your business or are a professional looking to break into the field, online marketing is an in-demand skill that has overtaken traditional marketing methods.
In a nutshell, online marketing uses the internet to market and sell products and services. The job can be done in various ways, including pay-per-click advertising (PPC), search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, and social media marketing.
Why has online marketing become so popular?
Online marketing’s popularity is due to several key factors. With it, you can reach larger and more targeted audiences with a smaller budget. The analytics it provides also makes it more measurable. Marketers get to see data such as where their audiences are coming from, what times of the day people interact with their materials, what languages they speak, and more. As you can imagine, this is a valuable edge that lets professionals tweak and optimize campaigns, strategies, and collaterals.
In this article, we explore the role of the online marketer. Each organization has different titles for roles with similar and overlapping functions. Online marketers are sometimes called online marketing specialists, digital marketing specialists, digital specialists, internet marketing specialists, and digital marketing specialists.
Since there doesn’t seem to be a distinguishable difference between these roles, we will be using them interchangeably throughout this article.
Let’s start with what an online marketing job is.
Breaking It Down
What is an Online Marketing Job?
Online marketers are responsible for planning, executing, and monitoring online successful marketing campaigns. They use a variety of techniques to help clients achieve their marketing goals, including search engine optimization, email marketing, and social media marketing. The role can include tasks such as managing a company’s website, social media accounts, handling email marketing, and other similar responsibilities.
Online marketing jobs are in high demand because companies are shifting their focus to digital channels. In 2021, LinkedIn listed digital marketing specialists as one of the 15 most in-demand jobs. It ranked sixth on their list with job openings growing almost 33% year-on-year.
Web marketing specialists have four main objectives that they must meet using digital channels and technology:
- To increase sales
- To build brand awareness
- To generate leads
- To retain customers
To accomplish these goals, online marketers need a diverse set of skills which we’ll explore in greater detail later.
9 to 5 Grind | Digital Marketing Specialist Duties & Responsibilities
What does a digital marketing specialist’s job description look like?
Pulling off online campaigns entails strategic thinking and a variety of digital marketing specialist duties and responsibilities. Here are some common roles and responsibilities of digital marketing specialists:
- Planning and executing digital marketing campaigns.
- Developing and implementing search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine management (SEM) tactics.
- Managing the company’s website and social media accounts, including creating and managing a business’ social media presence.
- Growing website traffic and engagement.
- Creating and managing online ad campaigns.
- Creating and publishing content for online assets.
- Tracking website analytics and reporting on campaign results.
- Conducting keyword research
- Analyzing data and metrics to assess campaign performance and return on investment (ROI).
Become a Digital Marketer | How to Become a Digital Marketing Specialist
If you’re exploring online marketing as a career option or are looking to hire an online marketer, it helps to know what background, skills, and education are commonly required for the role.
Digital Marketing Specialist Training
No formal education is required for internet marketing specialists, however, it helps if candidates have an undergraduate degree in marketing or a similar field like business, journalism, communication, etc. Regular marketing positions typically need candidates to be marketing graduates.
Knowledge gained from an educational institution is a good foundation for applying marketing techniques and concepts to online campaigns and analytics. A degree in marketing or a marketing specialist course can prepare digital marketers for the role since their education would have covered marketing and market research, communication methods and technology, sales, as well as consumer behavior. A digital marketing specialist program or a digital marketing specialist degree is also useful.
Background & Experience
To become a digital marketing expert, it helps to have a few years of experience in the field. Here are some typical qualifications for an internet marketing specialist position:
- Two or more years in digital marketing.
- Broad business knowledge.
- Understanding of market trends and technology.
- Knowledge in graphic design, video production, and content creation.
- Ability to use video editing and image editing software.
- Experience with paid social media campaigns.
- A solid understanding of various social media platforms.
- Ability to work with content management systems.
- Strong communication skills
- Experience with web analytics
- Copywriting skills
- Knowledge in SEO
Digital Marketing Specialist Profile
Online marketing specialists need a diverse range of traits to succeed at their jobs. They must be creative yet analytical at the same time. Specifically, the following traits will serve them well:
- Ability to collaborate and work with others.
- Problem-solving and critical thinking skills, ability to think out-of-the-box.
- Must be able to juggle multiple projects at the same time.
- Empathetic with the ability to listen, observe, and engage audiences.
- Good coordination skills
- Ability to manage one’s schedule and meet project timelines.
Common Roles in Online Marketing
Online marketing is a broad field. While a digital marketer is in many ways a jack-of-all-trades, professionals may also choose to specialize in certain areas. You’ll often see dedicated employees assigned to specific roles in SEO firms and larger companies that have the resources for bigger teams.
These areas of specialization have given birth to the following roles:
Digital Marketing Manager
Digital marketing managers manage the overall strategy for content and online marketing campaigns. Managers are big-picture employees tasked with increasing brand awareness and driving traffic to the company’s website and other online assets.
To be successful, digital marketing managers need to know the latest technologies to improve their digital marketing efforts and campaigns. They should also know how to evaluate their analytics and ROI.
Social Media Manager
As the title implies, social media managers are in charge of an entity’s social media presence. The job entails creating a calendar of regular social media posts and may even involve creating those posts themselves.
Social media managers are expected to know about different social media platforms and related developments. To see their social media strategies come to life, they may work with content marketing, SEO teams, and digital marketers.
SEO is such an important part of online marketing success that subject matter experts like SEO managers are often pulled in to help. SEO managers ensure that a company’s online presence and content can be easily found by its target audience.
They contribute valuable know-how that helps a company’s performance in search engine results pages (SERPs) and social media. To get the job done, they will often work with content specialists to create SEO-optimized content.
Content Marketing Specialist
Content marketing specialists or content writers execute the SEO strategies of a company through content creation. This includes writing articles, website copy, and social media posts about certain topics and using certain keywords. The content must be aligned with the company’s overall brand guidelines and desired messaging.
They may also come up with ideas for the different content they create.
In-house content marketing specialists may work with SEO managers and the company’s marketing department.
Email Marketing Specialist
An email marketing specialist has more in-depth knowledge about email marketing tools and techniques. They can build and manage email lists with relevant customer details that are used for their promotional email campaigns.
It’s their job to gather relevant data about their target audience and ensure that email sign-ups are maximized. They can also take on duties like basic coding, creating graphics, and email automation.
Many brands take advantage of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising because it allows them access to targeted audiences while being affordable. A company that does a lot of PPC promotions will usually hire a PPC specialist to help them design, run, and evaluate an effective PPC campaign.
PPC specialists stay on top of their game by understanding current trends that are influencing their campaigns. They need to know how to work with keywords and content to generate relevant website traffic, increase brand value, and boost conversions.
User Experience Designer
User experience professionals aren’t limited to web development and navigation. They also play an important role in translating target users’ behaviors into user experiences that encourage conversion and allow companies to push them further down the sales funnel.
After all, an effective user experience translates into better sales, higher customer retention, and new customer acquisition.
Marketing Automation Coordinator
Monitoring, reporting on, and evaluating the results of a digital marketing campaign is a job for marketing automation coordinators. While the previous roles on this list entailed a mix of creative and problem-solving skills, the marketing automation coordinator is more analytical.
A marketing automation coordinator looks at the numbers behind marketing. They know how to use the best marketing automation tools so that they can identify relevant customer behaviors that lead to conversion.
How to Become an Internet Marketing Specialist
Despite the niched roles that have emerged, there are still general recommendations for everyone who wants to succeed in online marketing.
Follow Notable & Successful Digital Marketing Brands & Thought Leaders
Who are the movers and shakers in the digital marketing world? Who are the innovators that are reinventing digital marketing?
Since digital marketing entails out-of-the-box thinking, you’ll find lots of inspiration for your strategies and campaigns from thought leaders who are willing to share their knowledge with the public.
Brands like Zappos, American Express, and Airbnb are making digital marketing waves while digital marketing leaders like Neil Patel, Ann Handley, and Rand Fishkin all provide great insight into this ever-changing digital marketing landscape.
Attend Digital Marketing Events
Digital marketing events provide you visibility in the industry. It also gives you the chance to connect with your industry peers and thought leaders. Check the latest technology, rising trends, and current issues that are affecting digital marketing by attending relevant digital marketing events.
Doing this will make sure you’re aware of the latest developments in your field while expanding your network. You can also join discussions and share your ideas, especially if you’re doing something new. There are several events every year like the Gartner Marketing Symposium/Xpo, the DigiMarCon Central America, and Social Media Marketing World. Make sure to join events with the most professionals in your field.
Network With Fellow Digital Marketing Professionals
But that doesn’t mean you only build your network when you attend these events. You can network with digital marketing professionals through social media, such as LinkedIn. You can also create and join communities on YouTube or Facebook. These platforms provide opportunities to share your ideas and learn from other digital marketing professionals who are discussing current trends and issues.
Expanding your professional network beyond the confines of work is a good way to connect with other professionals who want to educate and connect with fellow marketers.
Apply for a Digital Marketing Internship
If you’re just starting in the industry, why not apply for an internship in a digital marketing agency? An internship is a learning opportunity to see how professionals do it in real life. If you play your cards right, you could end up with a few job offers after you complete your internship.
During your time as an intern, you can interview industry professionals and leaders to learn about their strategies and best practices. Learn their processes, how they’re executing their campaigns, and get some valuable real-life experience.
The field of digital marketing is constantly evolving and progressing. Even those who have been in the industry for a long time know the value of continuous learning. Attend digital marketing workshops, attend marketing and advertising seminars, and read about the latest trends and tech that are changing the industry. Doing so will not only keep you informed but prepare you to adapt and execute the different marketing strategies that arise from these changes.
Be the Next Big Thing in Digital Marketing
Online marketing is a broad term with many fields of specialization. Whether you want to be a jack-of-all-trades digital marketer or prefer to learn a particular area in-depth, you’ll find many opportunities to be part of this fast-evolving and booming industry.
Having a degree, a basic understanding of marketing, and tech know-how will help you start your career, but it takes more than education to succeed in the field.
You’ll also need digital marketing specialist training, exposure to different digital tech tools, and knowledge of your industry and business. Just as important, you should have a curious mind as well as excellent communication and analytical skills.
Digital marketing indeed requires a diverse skill-set and certain characteristics, but with patience and determination, you can be part of the next frontier in marketing.
Maybe you aren’t up for the challenge and need a little help? If so, contact the ELK Marketing Team today to begin the conversation on how we can achieve your online marketing goals.