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What is Digital Marketing and How to Start it in 2019

Digital Marketing, in a nutshell, is a tool used by businesses to increase online revenues effectively. Strictly speaking, it is an umbrella term that can be defined as strategic use of numerous digital channels – free and paid that are at a business’ disposal to reach and connect with customers where they now spend most of their time – on the internet.

Social media, email, online advertisements, mobile apps, and websites are the most commonly utilized digital channels used to pull customers. Furthermore, SMS marketing and Robocalls are also considered to be elements of digital marketing, albeit they’re not web-based.

Digital Marketing has evolved tremendously in the past 20 years. In the pre-ecommerce & YouTube era, it was limited to email marketing, SMS targetting, blog advertising, banners and interstitials and more. However, the exponential dominance of social media & ecommerce has transformed Digital marketing into a billion-dollar industry ruled by consistent innovation.

Almost 50% of the content you see throughout your social and mobile feed are sponsored in some or other way! You might be looking deep into a NativeAd and feel like you're reading a post that genuinely interests you!

Today, Ecommerce is the prime user of digital marketing, and it's most significant spend in on Social Media Marketing. According to Statista, revenue generated by the e-commerce industry is projected to grow upwards of 4.8 trillion dollars by 2021.

E-commerce began to gain steam around the year 2000, as a result of the dot-com boom. However, it wasn’t the only contributing factor. The surge in use of the net, the anticipation of new trends, and innovation coupled with technological advancements landed a massive blow to traditional advertising as digital channels could connect to customers on a more personal and extremely loyal level. Thus, Digital Marketing came into prime existence.

Private Label Brands can owe their existence to digital marketing and affiliate marketers who make the numbers come true. The idea of brand storytelling also transformed digital marketing.

Persuasion advertising was being replaced by Information advertising.

Examples of Digital Marketing today include:

  • Sponsored Stories, Posts, Videos, Statuses, Tweets
  • Native “Recommended For Your” Ads
  • Subtle Product Placements in between monetizable videos
  • Video Ads on popular Social Media Platforms

Based on your innovation, you can deepen your subset of digital marketing creativity. There is no limit to imagination.

A marketing strategy in the modern era that lacks the utilization of digital channels is considered obsolete. More often than not, whole marketing plans are tailored to work hand in hand with the web, because that’s where the action is.

In correspondence with these facts, more and more vendors are turning to the internet to generate sales, and the need for experts in digital marketing has never been greater.

As reported by Reuters, spending on digital marketing grew by 44% in 2017-18, and global spending on digital marketing exceeds $100 billion. This fact alone brings the field to the forefront, making it a cutting edge industry to be a part of, and allows one to reap lucrative benefits. You as a marketer can bag a teensy fraction of this pie, and you're golden!

The digital marketing field faces many challenges; thus, overcoming them is equally rewarding.

The set of skills that a seasoned digital marketer must include:

  • Lead generation, Lead Nurturing and Conversion Strategies

  • Designing marketing campaigns for email, social media and search engines.

  • Customer Relationship Management

  • Stellar Search Engine Optimization skills

  • Driving brand awareness

  • Expertise over Analytics, Number Crunching, Data Interpretation and Database Management

  • Managerial skills to guide experience designers, content strategists, SEO specialists and your entire digital marketing team.

Elite Digital marketers have a crystal clear understanding of how each digital marketing campaign supports their overarching goals.

Gaining such advantageous insight only comes with experience, and one has to work their fingers to the bone.

If you are willing to work relentlessly and diligently and have what it takes, then Digital Marketing is the best career choice to begin your journey. It is driven by innovation and thus never runs short on-demand for high-paying skills.

Here is a list of things you should do to kick start your digital marketing career in 2019:

#1 Build a strong online presence

Both employers and potential clients hunt for professionals that possess demonstrable skills, and creating your digital marketing blog, linking social media accounts to the websites that you built, and furnishing them alongside your online portfolio highlight these skills and corroborate you as reliable and authentic.

You can take a cue from Neil Patel and Pat Flynn, both global faces of digital marketing wisdom!

The idea here is to become as visible as possible while being as accurate as possible. Everything from your bio to your picture represents what you are like outside of the internet. Having the right profile establishes you as adept and dependable, which makes you an easy hire.

Believe in your competence, and tailor your approach by looking at the best in the field, don't replicate.

#2 Stay on Top of Industry trends and developments

Digital marketing is a fast-paced industry, and it is critical to keep up with trends.

  • What are the latest Google updates?
  • What are the latest tools that are helping Digital Marketers?
  • What are the consumer trends for internet consumption? Which way are they moving towards?

There are multiple ways to be kept in the loop. Listening to popular digital marketing focused podcasts like the Marketing Scoop Podcast, attending free webinars using resources like YouTube and PageTraffic, and reading from blogs like Buffer and Content Marketing Institute should keep you posted.

The best suggestion though is to sign up to WHAT THE AFF for free. The team there puts together a daily digest of evreything industry related from Monday to Friday so you stay up to date with the latest news, trends, tech, etc. in just a few minutes a day!

You can build on industry trends and carve your unique campaigns to stay on top of the game.

#3 Network

Although you can learn a lot online by listening to podcasts and reading, investing in a trip to a conference offers benefits and experiences that other sources just can’t.

Conferences are full of exciting workshops and events that help you enhance your skillset, and understand the field better. You have an opportunity to listen to industry experts and take advice from the best people around. You also have the chance to build more professional relationships for the future while nurturing your brand.

Meetups are a great way of meeting like-minded people, learning their methods and gaining from their experiences. Being in an active community pushes you to apply yourself consistently.

Many professionals also offer mentorship to the willing for a price. Being mentored is another great way of learning the ins and outs of the industry quickly and making new profitable connections. If you have the money, it is a great place to invest.

#4 Get Certified

While owning the skills is always better, certification is just an icing on the cake that makes you more credible than the next guy.

There are plenty of courses available both online and offline that will teach you the skills you need to become a digital marketer. The resources come in all forms – ebooks, online courses, and even full-fledged degrees, all of which have vastly different approaches. Some top resources are:

  • Google Certification Courses
  • FacebookAd Certification
  • SkillCrush
  • UpSkill
  • SimplyLearn

#5 Seek feedback

Regardless of if you’re working for a client, alongside coworkers or your boss, make sure you ask for feedback. It not only creates a better understanding between the two parties but also helps you see your shortcomings. When you gain such insight – it propels you into getting better and better.

Feedback is essential to refine your expertise rather than create it. As mentioned, being assiduous is critical in this competitive and ever-growing industry. However, the effectiveness of your methods overshadows the effort that you put in your work.

Different Subsets of Digital Marketing

According to Statista, Content marketing is most effective, boasting 20% conversion rate. No wonder, the content writing field generates revenue amounting to well over 32 Billion dollars!

AI and machine learning come in next – with a 14% conversion rate. Big Data stands third most active, also with a 14% conversion rate. Social media marketing comes in next with a 10% conversion rate. Mobile marketing and marketing automation both are equally effective and exhibit a 9% conversion rate.

Other tactics, like Search Engine Optimization, Paid Search marketing and wearables are some other very effective digital marketing tactics.

With knowledge of most effective tactics, following best practices and staying consistent, you will gracefully segue into a professional in time. All that’s left to do is to be bold and assertive, and everything will come your way.

Lastly, a bonus to narrow down your effort. Here is a compiled list of the best paying digital marketing niches:

  • Real Estate – Real estate agents representing small businesses, brokers, lessors of real estate and other related activities are often very profitable.
  • Restaurants – Marketing for restaurants, new and old brings in good profits. However, avoid mom and pop restaurants, since they're considered high-maintenance clients.
  • Legal services – It is a small but profitable business sector. Consider marketing a lawyer or a law firm. You may have to research this out as advertising private legal practices are prohibited in some countries.
  • Events – marketing sports events, conferences, expos, cultural arts, and music events are a great way of making profits. Steer clear of small theatres, since they often have a limited budget.

Digital marketing is a vast discipline and is constantly undersupplied with what it needs the most – creative and hardworking folk focused on taking things to the next level.

Master the right skills and then reap the most by filling these gaps.