I have been part of the team here at Browser Media for around seven months now, with this role being my first within the digital marketing world. No matter what type of job you’re trying to secure, getting started in a new industry can be daunting, and it isn’t as easy as simply applying for roles and hoping for the best.
If you’re an aspiring digital marketer, read on for my tips for getting started in the industry.
Even if you’re applying for an entry-level, trainee position, it’s very beneficial to have some base knowledge behind you. This could be in the form of college courses or a university degree in marketing or a related subject, but these aren’t options for everybody.
Luckily, there is a wide range of alternatives. You may choose to complete online courses, certifications or workshops to help develop your knowledge of digital marketing.
Google Digital Garage has 160 free courses to choose from, so this can be a great place to start. Digital marketing is a very varied role, so it’s a good idea to cover a wide range of areas when starting out. Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to remember every little detail, as a lot of learning will be done in your job role, but familiarising yourself with key aspects is a great starting point.
Understandably, Google’s courses focus on Google systems, which are important to understand but do not cover the entire scope of a marketing role. Consider finding another course to work on alongside this to help broaden your knowledge. Reed is a great place to find a suitable course, but bear in mind that each course will likely cost money. Some shorter courses can be relatively cheap, whereas others can cost more depending on the provider and depth of the course. Don’t be deterred by this, as you’re investing in your future!
Not only will this base knowledge assist you in your future digital marketing role, but it will also help you decide if this industry really is right for you. If you’re enjoying learning the basics, it’s likely you’ll enjoy developing your skills further on the job.
Practise your skills
Once you’ve completed some courses and gained a basic understanding of some of the main digital marketing skills, spend time practising these skills to solidify your knowledge.
Google provides some handy resources for practising Google Analytics, giving you access to a demo account to test out the features for yourself. Getting a hands-on experience is often much more beneficial than simply reading and absorbing information, and anybody with a Google account can access the demos.
Another helpful thing to practise is your writing skills. Some aspects of digital marketing don’t really require much copywriting, however, it’s likely that you will have to delve into this for certain tasks. Aside from this, having good literacy skills is very handy when sending emails and managing social media, so it’s beneficial to brush up on this beforehand.
Stay up to date
There’s always something going on in the marketing world, whether that’s new changes from Google or big brand moves. Keep yourself up to date with what is going on by reading marketing news sites, publications and blogs – the Browser Media blog is a great place to start! Other publications that are worth browsing through include Search Engine Land, The Drum and Marketing Week.
Reading into brands’ marketing strategies can be a great way to visualise what you’ve learnt in a real-life scenario. You can learn what tactics have worked well, and which tactics haven’t produced the desired results, and why this has happened. Keeping up with Google’s frequent changes is also important so that when you secure your new job role, you’re aware of any important implementations that are likely to impact the way digital marketers work.
Agency or brand?
When searching for a digital marketing role, you will likely be faced with positions from brands to join their marketing department, as well as agency roles (like us!) that serve a variety of brands and businesses. Determining which of these you would prefer to work for is important.
Any digital marketing role will see you completing varied tasks on a day-to-day basis, but working within a marketing department means that your tasks will be centred around the same products or services. Agencies, on the other hand, mean that you will be completing a wide range of tasks for brands, often within a variety of sectors.
Some people prefer to be working for one particular brand, getting to know the industry inside and out, but other people may be more interested in the variety that comes with agency work. Working for Browser Media means that some days I could write three different blog posts for three different brands, with each one focussing on a vastly different sector than the previous one.
Update your CV
Make sure that your CV is up to date, detailing your most recent work roles, as well as some brief information about you. Any of the above-mentioned courses or workshops that you’ve completed are definitely worth including on your CV even if they aren’t nationally recognised qualifications, it shows your prospective employer that you’ve taken the initiative to start learning ahead of the role.
Start applying and preparing for interviews
There are various ways to source open job roles online, such as LinkedIn, Indeed and Reed. Another great way to find employment opportunities is to find companies that you like the look of online and send an email with your CV attached, detailing your interest in the industry and asking if they have any roles available. Many will not be hiring at this point in time, but they may well keep your details on file for when they next are.
Once you have secured an interview, you should make sure that you are prepared for it. Luckily, we have a blog post with tips on how to impress in a marketing interview!
Not every role will be the right fit for you, but don’t be discouraged! Keep practising your skills and applying for positions that interest you, and the right one will come along!