Maybe you’re a tech-obsessed millennial or just someone with social media skills. Either way, you’re curious about online advertising opportunities. It makes sense. Just a quick perusal of postings on job sites reveals a wealth of opportunities. It seems like everyone from ad agencies to in-house divisions needs a new digital marketing manager. Be warned. Becoming a success in the field is about more than Insta savvy. The job requires a unique set of soft and hard skills. Top talents know not only how to design ads but how to target their reach and access the results. Digital marketing managers are comfortable using a variety of complex tools. So if you’ve ever wondered how to be a digital marketing manager, here are the steps to take.
The job requires a well-rounded educational background because as a digital marketing manager you’ll oversee the creation, implementation, and management of online advertising campaigns. Successful campaigns use a combination of email, social media, and search advertising among others. You’ll be the lead not only in developing awareness of your client online but also driving traffic to your client’s site and getting new customers. You’ll also need to know how to analyze the campaign’s results by using analytical tools. As Justin Emig of Web Talent Marketing in Lancaster, Pennsylvania explains, a digital marketing manager “is responsible for driving relevant consumers with the goal of improving brand recognition [and] trust and ultimately drive purchase intent.”
Most digital marketing managers earned degrees in advertising or marketing. If you’re attending university, those would be ideal majors. Others come from more technical backgrounds focused on areas like information technology or web design. Regardless of your background, education doesn’t end at commencement. Most digital marketing managers have certifications like the ones offered by the The American Marketing Association in Digital Marketing or Marketing Management. You’ll also want to earn Continuing Education Credits throughout your career.
Training is Vital
As with other desirable jobs, people who land positions as digital marketing managers come up through the ranks. Their careers usually began with internships, often unpaid. Today many of these are remote. Getting an internship at an advertising agency or with a company’s in-house digital marketing division is a great way to start. However, it isn’t the only way. Companies crave experience. If a friend or family member has a small business, offer to handle their digital marketing. Polish or set up their website. Create content, like blogs or ads. Help them place advertising on Google, Facebook, SnapChat, or a variety of other platforms depending upon their customer’s demographics. Track how well those ads do and compile a report along with recommendations. You may be able to provide this service for companies that advertise on places like Craig’s List. This “training” could well lead to a steady income, even a career.
Develop Your Hard and Soft Skills
If you were pursuing a career in traditional advertising, you might be focused on the creative end. Becoming a successful digital marketing manager is about more than brainstorming ads. Because you’ll be treating words as data, if you’re lacking technical talents you need to develop them. Remember, digital marketing managers are strategic thinkers. That means they not only create ads perfectly tailored for the ideal buyer, they are skilled at analyzing data sets and making fast adjustments. You should be an adaptable, curious, problem solver who is people-centric with a deep understanding of business and marketing strategy.
Digital Marketing Managers Are Managers
If you don’t know how to manage a team you’ll never know how to be a digital marketing manager. Successful marketers often fail because they aren’t skilled at delegating. You won’t succeed if you try to do everything yourself. Your team won’t appreciate it either. Time management is vital –– especially when you are the go-to person and interruptions are common. You’ll also have to be a skilled communicator as speaking with higher ups including Vice Presidents is a big part of the job.
Succeeding as a digital marketing manager isn’t easy. Yet with job growth projections twice as high as for other professions and a median salary well into the six figures, this is a great time to enter the field.
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