So you’ve decided you’d like to pursue a career in digital marketing. That’s great! Australia is currently facing a digital marketing skills gap, which means qualified applicants are hard to come by. But the demand is certainly there. Digital Marketing Manager positions are expected to grow 21 per cent over the next five years, and salaries are already benchmarking around $110,000.
The big questions is: what kind of digital marketer do you want to be? Digital marketing comes in all shapes and sizes, and when you’re picking a digital marketing course, you need to find something that suits your personality, experience and career goals. Do you see yourself as more creative, or more data driven? Do you enjoy producing content, or tracking EDM open rates?
We’ve broken down some of the common digital marketing courses below, to make your decision easier.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Google tweaks their search algorithm, on average, about two times each day. That’s a lot of ongoing change, and it’s up to SEO professionals to keep their businesses ranking high, no matter what Google throws down the pipeline. SEO experts need good critical thinking skills, some knowledge of analytics, and the communication skills to handle several stakeholders at once. Some programming knowledge might come in handy—developers appreciate insights about page speeds, rendering, server-side redirects and microtagging, and being able to speak their language helps—but it’s not essential. SEO is a great career for the curious, the analytical and the driven. Demand isn’t going anywhere, either: 93 per cent of online experiences begin with a search engine.
Social Media Marketing
Are you passionate about social media? Not just using it, but understanding how it works, how to manipulate it, and what drives user motivation? If so, social media marketing (SMM) might be a good fit. As a social media marketer, it’s your job to build audiences, connect people, tell the brand’s story and create engaging content. You need to have a good head for analytics and data (you’ll be sifting through a lot of graphs and tables) but you also need a dollop of creativity. Some copywriting or design experience will definitely come in handy, as will organisational skills. The good news is that social media marketing jobs are booming: SEEK estimates 21 per cent growth over the next five years.
Most digital marketers work across organic (free) and paid channels, so paid advertising (in the form of Google Ads, pay-per-click, banner ads, Facebook ads and retargeting) is something all digital marketers will need to understand. But there is room to specialise. Big marketing teams may include one or two paid specialists, and it’s one of the more in-demand services when it comes to consultancy. The reason being: paid advertising costs money. Marketers need to justify their spend and prove ROI. So someone who can make their budget work harder, stretch further and engage more users brings a lot of value. Paid specialists need to have a firm grasp of algorithms, analytics and social media. Good communication skills are also a must: bouncing between copywriters, designers, campaign managers and senior leadership is all part of the job.
Email is always a tricky channel. There are 4 billion email users in the world, but 53 per cent of them say they get too many emails. Email marketing professionals need to be able to cut through the noise. To do that, you’ll need to love data. Emails are all about personalisation and automation. You’ll be doing a lot of A/B testing and audience segmentation, as well as working with the latest AI algorithms to serve up custom content. Email marketing also has several pathways: you might end up as an email consultant, a CRM manager, or branch into digital management. A solid understanding of email marketing will set you up with transferable data skills, which is always a plus. Get ready to live and die by your open rates.
The gold rush days of influencer marketing might be gone, but it’s still an important tool in the marketer’s arsenal. The global influencer market is expected to hit $13.8 billion in 2021. In fact, some industries have seen an increase of influencer activity during COVID. Influencer marketers are responsible for running influencer campaigns and building brand awareness. This obviously includes managing the influencer themselves, but also setting firm KPIs and optimising your brand message for particular social channels. Good people skills are a must for this one. You’re essentially the mediator between the influencer and the brand. The best influencer campaigns are based on shared values and hard data. Loving social media is a good start, influencer marketers need to leverage it.
Content marketers arguably inform all other specialties, because marketing channels don’t exist without content. In a recent survey, SEM Rush found 47 per cent of brands now spend more than $10,000 annually on content (up from 38 per cent in 2019). This can take the form of blogs and articles, but also podcasts, videos, Tik Tok posts, influencer campaigns, Clubhouse discussion panels, and even PPC advertising. Content is basically the fuel of the internet. It’s the juice on which it runs. Job opportunities for content marketers are definitely on the rise, too: SEEK is predicting 21 per cent growth over the next five years, with salaries around $85,000. As a content marketer, you’ll need to be organised, data-savvy and good with words. Some experience in video production and design wouldn’t hurt, either.
Brand marketers (also known as brand managers) are responsible for protecting and nurturing the brand itself. This doesn’t just mean the logo and fonts, but how the brand speaks, the talent it uses, its diversity and inclusivity, how it engages new customers. As a brand marketer, you’re the go-to for any brand related question, which pretty much means sleeping with the brand guidelines under your pillow. As Daleep Chhabria, former brand manager for Call of Duty, puts it: “The brand manager has to define the brand, find its audience, build and strengthen the connection between the brand and its audience, and then guard the brand using the full marketing mix.” You’ll need a grab-bag of interpersonal, analytical and organisations skills to be a good brand marketer, and there’s plenty of scope to move into consultancy, design, or even agency land.
With the rise of social commerce, e-commerce marketing has become much more complicated. You need the heart of a salesperson, the mind of a data scientist, and the savvy of an influencer. It’ll be your job to get your brand’s e-commerce store humming, and to develop campaigns to move product across multiple channels: mobile, web, social, radio and (potentially) print. The good news is, this career path isn’t going anywhere. In 2019, the value of e-commerce sales worldwide topped $3.5 trillion, and COVID has only supercharged that growth (check out Deloitte for some interesting stats on post-COVID consumer behavior). Brands need talented e-commerce marketers now more than ever. This is a great choice if you’re looking to forge a career in automation, marketing and AI.