Just like other groundbreaking inventions, the advent of the internet in 1983 was both fascinating and astounding. What started as a static network designed to shuttle a small freight of bytes or short messages between two terminals has quickly metamorphosed into an endless trove of information. The internet has penetrated deeply into our lives, drastically changing almost everything we do – from something as simple as ordering pizza to picking a vacation spot.
Among the many areas the internet has influenced, one of the most significant is ‘marketing’. Marketing has always been about connecting with your audience in the right place and at the right time. Hence, as more and more people migrate online, businesses have had to change the way they market themselves. Meeting customers where they are already spending time – on the internet – has birthed what we know today as digital marketing.
What is Digital Marketing?
You most likely scrolled through your Instagram or Twitter timeline today or sometime this week. When you did, did you see a “sponsored ad”? Or, how about when you type “Food delivery” on Google. Did you see that Jumia Foods dominates that specific “keyword”? This is peculiar to many businesses in recent times. They’re putting their products or services in front of people who are their potential customers. This is what digital marketing is all about.
While the term ‘digital marketing’ might sound very plain and simple, it has a lot going on. In other words, it is rather vast and comprises the following:
- Search Engine Marketing – using paid strategies to increase search visibility on Google, Bing etc.
- Search Engine Optimisation – increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to a website through organic search.
- Email Marketing – marketing products or services using email.
- Website Marketing – promoting your website on the internet.
- Content Marketing – how to use different types of content in your digital marketing campaigns.
- Affiliate Marketing – making sales by promoting other people’s products and getting an affiliate commission.
- UI/UX Design – UX or user experience, focuses on how a product works and how people interact with it. UI, or user interface, focuses on the look and layout.
- Video Marketing – Running video ads on YouTube, Vimeo, and other video channels
- Graphic Design – creating visual content to communicate ideas and messages.
- Social Media Marketing – marketing on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media networks.
- Mobile Marketing – marketing on the various App Stores (Google Play, Apple Store). This is often ascribed to app downloads campaign in order to get more users for your app.
While these channels may be different, they all have one goal which includes helping businesses to find new prospects, engaging audiences, driving traffic and converting visitors into customers.
Thinking of taking up digital marketing as a career?
No doubt, digital marketing is a career path that is exciting, full of shifting trends, with new strategies, technologies and markets to explore. As a result, it requires a special skill set and a specific type of person to navigate the ever-changing waters successfully. If you’re considering a career in digital marketing, we’ve listed some key traits you need to possess to help you decide if it’s right for you.
1. You thrive in a fast-paced environment: As a digital marketer, you’ll wear many hats – from being a brand advocate, an analyst and sometimes, a fortune teller. You need to always be on your toes to catch trends as they happen.
For example, what is Google’s latest update to its search engine algorithm? What new platforms or mediums are consumers using to search for your client’s product(s)? What’s the next big campaign you’ll be executing for a client? For a fact, it’s nearly impossible to get bored when you’re working in this field.
2. You are analytical and creative: Every client has a unique goal for its business. As a digital marketer, it is your job to devise effective strategies that will meet these goals whilst taking into consideration factors such as budgets, resources and time.
Your analytical mind will be useful in drawing insights from data full of numbers and breaking them down into a few simple and easy-to-digest instances. For example, if your analytics reveals your customers are on Instagram, you need to creatively come up with a 30-35 seconds ad that’ll get them to take action.
3. The idea of helping others grow their businesses excites you: Your clients have sought your expertise for one sole reason – to grow their businesses. While each of them may have goals such as driving website traffic, fostering relationships, building brand awareness, e.t.c, all of these efforts invariably lead to business growth.
As a digital marketer, facilitating this growth by helping these businesses achieve their set goals is what you should live for.
4. You have a good understanding of people: As a digital marketer, you deal with people, whether directly or indirectly, and you need to understand them to a considerable extent. This will help you give them the content, insights, and information they need to get them to take action.
Ever wondered what makes the best ads and marketing campaigns so impactful? It is simply because they speak to consumers’ needs, wants and aspirations with ease.
5. Your communication skills are top-notch: While creating high-quality content is a must for any digital marketer, the ability to convey complex ideas in easy-to-understand ways is a plus. Asides from being comfortable with different storytelling media, such as video, text and audio, it’s also important to have clear and open lines of communication with the clients in order to deliver the results that they want.
In conclusion, if you embody the above skill sets, then, you certainly can venture into the digital marketing career path. As you may have read earlier, digital marketing has different channels. Don’t get stressed, you don’t have to learn everything from day one. As you progress through your digital marketing career path, you’ll get a chance to work with different techniques, technologies, and tools, and eventually, the puzzle will be completed. If you’re looking to get first-hand experience in digital marketing, you may want to sign up for our newsletters and stay updated on when our next Forward by Anakle internship programme will commence.