n the era of the internet and social media, a career in digital marketing sounds like a fool-proof way to secure your employment and job market value for years or even decades to come. This isn’t to say the career doesn’t require an extensive skill set and proper training to succeed. What many overlook is the time it takes to develop these skills.
Digital marketing encompasses any form of online marketing, and requires a talented group of creatives with expertise in various fields like Search Engine Optimization (SEO), online advertising, content creation, graphic design, copywriting, videography and more.
With many industries wanting to establish a strong online presence, digital marketers with a variety of skill sets, will continue to be in demand for the foreseeable future.
This article will help you learn everything you need to know about digital marketing and what it takes to become a digital marketer. We discuss the following topics:
Businesses use digital channels like search engines, more notably, Google, social media, email and websites to connect with customers. Television and radio, which once used to be the main and more popular forms of mass communication also moved online, allowing millions of users to stream movies, tv and radio shows on websites and mobile apps. While traditional methods like print magazines, flyers and billboards remain to be common advertising options for businesses, going digital provides companies with many advantages over the traditional methods like options for extensive consumer targeting, a cheaper advertising investment, opportunities to establish a regular presence in the lives of current and potential consumers through social media, and the metrics required to give businesses a more accurate depiction of their efforts’ results.
As of January 2021, Statista reported that there were 4.66 billion internet users worldwide with an astonishing 92.6 per cent accessing online forms of media through mobile. For local and international businesses, this makes online forms of visual and written communication vital to their success.
Online marketing may seem like an easy feat for many who don’t understand it. The complicated algorithms hidden behind the interface of search engines and social media apps can be easily overlooked by business owners who may not understand the time and effort required to be visible to online users and establish a connection with their target audience.
There are many facets to digital marketing that include but are not limited to, Search Engine Marketing (SEM), SEO, Pay-Per-Click (PPC), Social Media Marketing (SMM), content and email marketing.
Some companies require digital marketers to have not only an extensive knowledge of these different categories, but also have the creative experience and know-how of other aspects required to succeed in the field like content writing, graphic design, video production, audio editing and more.
The average annual income for advertising, marketing and public relations professionals in Alberta is around $ 69,165 per year, with an average hourly wage recorded at $ 36.24 by ALIS. But these numbers can be higher or lower, depending on the company, your position and job responsibilities, and the type of employment you agreed to — contract, part-time permanent, full-time etc.
There are various ways to pursue a career in digital marketing. Attending post-secondary education, taking diploma classes online, learning different sets of skills like graphic design, copywriting or videography, and attending short courses or webinars can help you effectively tackle the everyday challenges marketers face in the digital world.
But as consumer taste, marketing trends and ways of consuming information shift over time, so will your knowledge of the industry as constant learning will be necessary for as long as you are working in the field.
Depending on your educational background and experience, there are multiple ways for you to prepare for a job interview in digital marketing. Here are some points to consider:
This classic question allows you to explain why you developed a passion for marketing or content creation. Are you here for the job? Or do you truly care about the work? Employers can sense which one you are through your answer to this question.
Example: “I always knew I wanted to be a storyteller, hence, why I graduated with a degree in tv production. But I didn’t know I had the potential to be a marketer until working for my college newspaper. I was assigned to be a social media manager. When I tried putting together videos and graphics to increase engagement, we were overwhelmed by how much of a positive response we attained. Knowing that you can create content to track and adapt only to make it better resonate with people, that’s what made me fall in love with the job. Ultimately, it led me to add marketing as another major in my degree.”
We all have our strengths, and knowing yours can show employers that you are self-aware of your best qualities and capabilities.
Example: “I am creative and flexible. I think that helped me a lot in my work. Having worked as a freelance content creator who had to constantly adapt to the changing rules of SEO, I needed to make my clients, their audience and the algorithm happy in order to work effectively. Looking back at the success of previous projects and my clients satisfaction, I believe these two qualities allowed me to continue with the work that I do.”
We all have our weaknesses. After all, nobody is perfect. Your ability to admit what can potentially hold you back shows humility. Your ability to rationalize every step you took to change qualities or circumstances that can hold you back, shows that you are responsible and dependable.
Example: “I am aware that I can panic in the face of intense pressure. However, over the past few months, I have worked on developing my time management skills to prevent myself from procrastinating. While this has prevented me from facing intense moments of pressure, I understand that sometimes pressure can still be present because of the nature of our work. In this case, I have also made sure to communicate with team members my progress and be transparent as to when they can expect my deliverables before the deadline.”
Marketing departments are common in the workplace, and with the diverse set of skills required to succeed, you can work for a variety of job titles under different companies. This means you can work anywhere. Therefore, it is normal for employers to be curious on why you chose to work for a position in their company over many other available options.
Example: “I’ve followed your company’s work for multiple years. So, when I saw you were hiring a new team member for your digital marketing department, I immediately jumped at the opportunity. I understand that there is a lot that goes into creating and strategizing advertisements in the fashion you do, and I would love nothing more but to contribute my skill sets here and to learn from the many professionals who made you successful.”
Digital content can fall under multiple categories, including: blog posts, eBooks, video content, podcasts, email newsletters and social media. How you are able to create an effective campaign with the variety of options and vast combinations can differ based on your experience.
Example: “It depends on the business and the target audience. When I worked as a freelance social media manager, a lot of my companies didn’t have websites but were getting significant traffic through social media. It was my job to understand what other social platforms potential customers use and what types of content they engage best with in order to develop an effective campaign. For food industries, photos on instagram were a clear winner. For something as complex as a college education, more information would be required such as blog posts, eBooks, videos, infographics, newsletters and social media. Each content serves its purpose whether it is to connect with high school students on the benefits of higher education or inform high school graduates or post-secondary students about their respective programs of interest.”
Show your employers your knowledge of SEO and how you utilized it to measure the success of your strategies.
Example: “I would conduct keyword and content research, along with social listening to create blog and social media topics for our website and socials. For website blogs, I would do keyword research through marketing tools like SEMrush, Keywords Everywhere and Keyword Surfer. For social media, I would plug in our target keywords and see how social media users are doing their searches based on the app’s recommended keyword combinations and hashtags. For both cases, I would still monitor what our competitors are posting and how engaged online users are with these different types of content. We then would use Hootsuite Analytics to measure the success of posts over time and Google Analytics paired with SEMrush to review the performances of our blogs. If any changes need to happen, we address them and strategize right away.”
The buyer’s journey is a series of events customers go through before making a purchase. There are three essential stages to this journey which are the awareness stage, the consideration stage and the decision stage. Your knowledge of how to bring online users to the awareness stage and lead them to the decision stage can show employers how effective you are as a marketer.
Example: “In the past, we used social media to increase awareness of our brand and utilized keyword research to create educational blog and website content that can help customers consider the pros and cons of their options within the consideration stage. We designed our website in a way that users can easily find and learn what they need to know in order to consider our services. We also made links to our inquiry line and trial programs available on our service pages to help online users come to a decision or call our sales representatives for any questions or purchases they would like to proceed with.”
There are many marketing tools available. This question gives employers insight into your experience with the different types of software, and lets them know if you have experience with the types of tools they use on a daily basis or if you need to learn how to work with their systems.
Example: “For social media, I’ve worked primarily with Hootsuite and Facebook Business Suite for scheduling social posts and tracking our social performance. I’ve conducted organic keyword research and at times, with the help of Keyword Surfer and SEMrush. We also tracked traffic to our blogs and landing pages through SEMrush and Google Analytics. But I understand that there are many more platforms that marketers utilize, and so I am very open to learning more about the other marketing tools you are using.”
Digital marketing strategies and campaigns may not always end with the best results. However, regardless of how well they perform, marketers are always tasked to make their strategies and campaigns better. The amount of dedication, hardwork and perseverance required to succeed in the field is high. This requires marketers to be able to cope with the pressure of either a good or bad strategy.
Example: “I created a social media strategy for one of my clients who is just starting to build an online presence. Although we have hit our primary KPIs, we noticed that our follower growth on social media is slow. I recreated a strategy to test for the next three months that required additional business touchpoints to increase traffic to our social media channels. We noticed a 20 per cent growth during this time period. But regardless of that improvement, we are constantly working on more brand collaborations and having customers be aware of the value of following our social channels to stay updated with the business for us to hit a 30 per cent follower growth in the next three months.”
We recommend that you be honest in this part of the interview. You may want to make an interviewer happy by saying you respond best to any type of management style when you really respond best to a collaborative than authoritative working environment. Know for yourself what works best for you and go with that.
Example: “Marketing is a collaborative effort. Having worked as a digital marketer with skills in graphic design and copywriting, I see that I am better now because of the insights I’ve gained from my former colleagues who constructively critique my work. As an introvert, speaking up can be difficult at times, but I value teamwork more now than ever before, because I saw how much value it brought to every advertising campaign and marketing initiative I’ve been a part of in the past.”
In the time of the Covid-19 pandemic, we understand it is important for you to ace your video interviews and to expand your skill sets to prepare for better work opportunities. If you are unemployed, a freelancer or looking into entering the marketing industry, we encourage you to take time out of your day to continuously learn more about what it takes to market online.