Welcome to the digital marketing job revolution, and the explosion of digital marketing jobs!
Companies are paring back their budgets for traditional advertising and allocating more marketing dollars to digital. Traditional ad campaigns are increasingly offering extended content on the web. Practically every print ad, catalog, and television commercial is driving customer engagement online. Even billboards prominently display brand URLs. This unremitting shift is creating an insatiable demand for a huge and growing new category of highly skilled professionals: digital marketers.
As a result, organizations are hungry for candidates who are well grounded in the fundamentals of digital marketing, such as analytics, mobile, social media, content marketing, ecommerce, search engine marketing, search engine optimization, digital advertising, email marketing, and affiliate marketing. Even staffers who work in more traditional advertising roles are now expected to have at least a basic understanding of online marketing.
There’s more good news: As demand for digital talent has grown so have salaries, particularly in red-hot specialties like digital analytics and paid search.
The need for digital marketers has become so intense that companies’ inability to staff high-performance digital marketing teams is costing them business. Digital marketing is at the early stages of a golden era of employment. Employers are scrambling to lure the best talent available to fill their open digital marketing jobs.
Where do you look to find digital marketing jobs? The simple answer is…. all around you! (But I’ll give you a more complex – and more useful – answer.)
With literally thousands of digital marketing jobs to fill, employers post jobs anywhere they can, including the major job posting websites and aggregators, LinkedIn, on social networks, and on their own company career pages.
In the fall of 2013, the online job site indeed.com, which aggregates postings from other job sites and company career pages, listed nearly 10,000 digital marketing jobs-related job postings. Social media-related jobs, which by themselves represent only a small (albeit growing) slice of the digital marketing pie, recently accounted for more than 1 percent of all jobs listed on that site. Pretty amazing, when you consider that at any given time indeed.com lists hundreds of thousands of job openings. Speaking of social media, it’s more than just a channel for interacting with friends or discussing brands. Increasingly, employers are using social networks to post jobs.
For entry-level candidates, getting that first big break in digital marketing can be something of a Catch-22, as most employers want applicants to have at least some previous marketing experience. Networking may provide some opportunities, but getting that initial job can be difficult.
Fortunately, lots of companies offer internships as a way of attracting those who they believe have the potential to become full-time digital marketers. When candidates land an internship, I advise them to put in as many hours as the agency or marketer will allow, in order to learn the ropes. Very often, internships will lead to full-time digital marketing jobs.
Agency jobs are especially beneficial because of the exposure one can receive participating in a wide variety of digital marketing projects across different clients and industries. The most valuable internships are those that allow an employee to have hands-on involvement creating campaigns or doing analytics or optimization work.
Those still in school will find internship possibilities at in-school or off-campus job fairs, on job-posting sites, and even on social media sites. Academia can help – college job services are a valuable networking tool. I know of at least a couple of students who landed internships on Twitter. Internship experiences, especially when done in an environment where you’re able to work on real- world marketing projects, offer experience you can list on your resume.
If you can’t find an internship, don’t despair. One of the great aspects of digital marketing is that a basic – and often advanced – introduction to nearly all the tools of the trade are available online.
For instance, anyone can set up a website. With some careful planning and the right selection of keywords and content, you just might make the front page of search engine results for niche terms. Chances are you already have a presence through Facebook or Twitter.
Another good way of putting what you know to work and gaining valuable experience is to volunteer for a local charity. Smaller charities and non-profit organizations need digital marketing expertise just like any other business, but they don’t always have the budget for it. The cool thing about digital marketing is that pro bono work such as building or maintaining a website is visible on the web for all to see – including a prospective employer.
If you want to break into social media and you have no prior experience, try launching a project of your own and generating a following through social media. Candidates who can demonstrate that they use relevant, targeted platforms beyond Twitter or Facebook will have something to crow about. There are also plenty of free resources on the web that discuss the latest social media trends and best practices.