Navigating the Digital Frontier: A Marketer’s Odyssey to Success

Navigating the Digital Frontier: A Marketer’s Odyssey to Success

Navigating the Digital Frontier: A Marketer’s Odyssey to Success banner

Considering a career in marketing? If so, having a solid understanding of the world of digital marketing is a must. Digital marketing is a competitive industry, so going out of your way to stay on top of the latest trends and innovations (including AI) will serve you well in the long run.

So, what are some of the most essential keys to success as you embark on your career as a digital marketer? There are a few aspects to keep in mind in regard to key skills, search engine optimization (SEO) strategies, and the use of social media.

Transition From Traditional to Digital Marketer

When you think about marketing, what comes to mind? More than likely, you’re thinking of mediums like social media and email. After all, much of today’s marketing and advertising efforts are geared toward a digital audience.

However, before computers, the internet, and smartphones became such a big part of our everyday lives, marketing took on more traditional forms, including billboards, radio ads, and direct mail.

According to the Pew Research Center, the percentage of American adults who used computers nearly doubled between 1990 and 2014. Today, approximately 95 percent of Americans have internet access, with the majority of the population owning smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices.

With this shift, it only makes sense that the means by which businesses reach potential customers has also changed. Over the past few decades, we’ve witnessed a fundamental shift from more traditional forms of marketing to digital marketing—and that doesn’t seem to be changing any time soon.

Key Skills for the Modern Marketer

If you are looking to get into digital marketing as a career, you’ll need to have some solid knowledge in many different aspects of marketing online. Examples of key skills that the modern marketer needs to have in today’s market include:

  • Ability to leverage social media: With approximately 5.07 billion social media users across the globe, digital marketers can help brands reach a huge audience when they know how to use social media to their advantage.
  • Mastery in content creation: There’s a vast volume of content on the web, but only the most engaging and unique content gets noticed and shared. Digital marketers need to understand how to create share-worthy content for their target audiences in order to generate buzz and get people talking online.
  • Proficiency in data-driven decision-making: The most successful digital marketers are those who understand which metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) should be tracked and how to use analytics to inform decision-making.
  • Understanding of email marketing: Believe it or not, email marketing continues to provide one of the best returns on investment (ROI) for many businesses, offering as much as a $36 return for every dollar spent. Successful digital marketers understand how to grow and leverage email lists to improve engagement and conversion rates.

SEO Essentials for Today’s Marketer

Another essential facet of digital marketing for most brands these days is search engine optimization, or SEO. Specifically, SEO refers to the strategies a brand uses to boost its website rankings on the search engine results pages (SERPs). The idea is that the higher a page is ranked, the more likely a target customer will end up clicking on the page.

Understanding SEO and Its Importance

A knowledgeable digital marketer, then, understands not just the basics of how SEO works, but its overall significance and role as part of a larger digital marketing plan. Digital marketers will be able to conduct an audit of a brand’s current search engine rankings while coming up with goals and strategies to improve those rankings.

In some cases, digital marketers must also take the time to explain SEO and its importance to business owners and other professionals who are not in the marketing sphere.

Steps to Improve SEO Rankings

The right SEO strategies can make all the difference in a brand’s search engine rankings, but one wrong move can actually have the opposite effect and lead to a site being de-indexed by major search engines (such as Google). This is why it’s so crucial for digital marketers to stay up-to-date on the latest SEO strategies and search engine algorithm/policy changes, as these happen frequently and can impact the effectiveness of an SEO campaign.

Generally speaking, marketers need to take proactive steps to use legitimate measures to increase a brand’s search engine rankings. This means avoiding things like keyword- or backlink-stuffing in content. Some of the most effective strategies that marketers use for SEO today include:

  • Keyword research and optimization
  • Content creation
  • Use of metadata
  • Responsive web design

Keeping up With SEO Trends

Of course, SEO trends are constantly changing. Strategies that may have been effective for boosting search engine rankings even a few years ago may no longer be useful in a digital marketing strategy. Professional marketers must keep themselves up to speed on all the latest changes in search engine algorithms and guidelines so as to best serve their clients.

Mastering Social Media

You can’t expect to get into digital marketing without an in-depth understanding of social media and how to use it to a brand’s advantage. With so many people using different forms of social media (ranging from Facebook and X to LinkedIn and Instagram), marketing professionals must understand the nuances of each platform and decide on the right strategies to reach their target audiences.

Strategies for Effective Social Media Marketing

Social media offers the potential to reach a huge audience, but only when the right marketing strategies are followed. Some of the best tips and practices to keep in mind when creating a social media marketing plan include:

  • Knowing your audience (and doing in-depth audience research)
  • Getting to know your competition and what they’re doing on social media
  • Creating engaging and share-worthy content that can be published to your brand’s social media page
  • Choosing KPIs and metrics to measure performance and make changes as needed
  • Engaging with your target audience through messages and comments
  • Incorporating paid ads into your social media marketing plan, where sensible

Content Creation: The Heart of Modern Marketing

These days, content remains king when it comes to creating impactful marketing campaigns. Content creation and content marketing refer to any type of content (such as blog posts, videos, articles, and even images) that a brand puts out to capture the attention of a target audience.

Digital marketing professionals need to know how to create unique, engaging, and share-worthy content that gets brands noticed. Of course, that can be easier said than done.

Tips for Writing Engaging Content

Fortunately, there are plenty of tips and strategies that digital marketers can follow to improve their content marketing skills.

First and foremost, marketers need to put in the effort to get to know their target audiences. This may take some up-front time and money investment, but it can pay off when you are able to better understand what your target audience is seeking, their pain points, and what truly interests them. Pain points represent areas of discomfort or dissatisfaction for your audience, including obstacles hindering progress, unmet needs, or frustrations. By identifying these pain points, marketers gain insights into specific challenges their audience may face. Armed with this knowledge, they can tailor solutions to directly address pain points, enhancing customer satisfaction and building trust. 

Once you have a better idea of what your audience looks like, you can begin brainstorming ideas for content that will be truly useful to them. Another good way to get started with content creation is to simply look at what your brand’s competitors are doing; make note of what’s working versus what might not be working so well. If you can improve upon a topic they’ve already covered or even cover it from an entirely different perspective, that’s ideal.

In addition, it’s critical for digital marketers to understand that content creation isn’t just about creating quality content but also sharing it and getting it circulated across as many channels as possible. Sharing new content on social media, company blogs, email newsletters, and other platforms can increase engagement and build brand awareness. Many digital marketers find it useful to follow a content calendar, too, ensuring the brands they represent are consistently putting out new content.

Data-Driven Decision-Making

Another central aspect of digital marketing is using metrics and analytics to make smart decisions regarding a brand’s marketing plan. Before a campaign even launches, marketers should meet with brand leaders to set realistic goals and determine KPIs for the campaign.

From there, marketing professionals should understand how to properly track and assess the progress of each campaign based on those KPIs and goals. If a campaign isn’t meeting its goals, marketers need to have other plans in place to improve the success of future campaigns.

Email Marketing

Email marketing remains one of the most reliable means of digital marketing, but the landscape has changed over the years.

Tips for Successful Email Campaigns

Digital marketers should keep a few actionable tips in mind when creating email campaigns, such as:

  • Build a targeted email list – Having a solid email list is an excellent way to expand your reach. There are plenty of legitimate ways to build an email list, such as inviting social media followers to subscribe or even offering a one-time promotion to email subscribers.
  • Compelling subject lines – Never underestimate the impact of a compelling subject line. Customizing subject lines with the recipient’s name is a great way to catch their attention, but there are other strategies to draw upon as well.
  • Define clear objectives – Any email campaign should have clear and measurable objectives that you can track to determine the success of the campaign and inform future changes.
  • Clear call to action (CTA) – Every email message should include a clear call to action, whether it’s to visit the brand’s website, call the store, or make a purchase.
  • Engaging content – Including truly useful content in your email campaign is the best way to keep people reading and get your audience to engage with your brand.

A lot goes into building your skill set as a digital marketer. The best way to fast-track your career? Pursuing a degree in marketing from Johnson & Wales University. We offer a Bachelor’s Degree in Digital Marketing & Social Media as well as a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Marketing, so explore your options today.

For more information about completing your degree online, complete the Request Info form, call 855-JWU-1881, or email [email protected].

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