A digital marketing manager is responsible for developing, implementing and managing marketing campaigns that promote a company and its products and services. They play a major role in enhancing brand awareness within the digital space as well as driving website traffic and acquiring leads/customers.
A digital marketing manager also identifies and evaluates new digital technologies and uses Web analytics tools to measure site traffic to better optimise marketing campaigns, email marketing, social media and display and search advertising.
Digital marketer defined.
A digital marketer is responsible for using digital channels to generate leads and build brand awareness. Digital channels include:
- Company websites
- Social media
- Search engine rankings
- Email marketing
- Online display ads
- Corporate blogs
The digital marketer must also use measurable analytics to identify weaknesses and find ways to improve performance across these channels. In this role, you can be responsible for all aspects of a company’s digital strategy or just focus on one.
Smaller companies tend to have one general specialist or manager while corporations can spread the responsibilities around to an entire team or even across several different departments.
What do digital marketers do?
Relatively new position in marketing (in last 20 years) Born from vast online consumer presence Develop marketing strategies manage ad campaigns, social media, SEO (search engine optimization) Track KPIs (key performance indicators; measures used to assess the success of a digital marketing strategy. Analyse campaigns and identify what did and didn’t work.
- Manage digital/online elements of marketing
- Integrate with offline elements (print and PR)
- Set a strategic plan for company/brand
- Work with other departments (sales, HR, customer service) to coordinate, align and consistently implement marketing plan
Why is it Important?
Consumers have access to information any time and place:
Digital marketing can help consumers:
- Identify brands they can trust
- Feel that companies know them and what their preferences are
- Receive personalized and relevant communications
Digital ad spending has increased massively over the years.
Digital marketing professional must-do’s.
It can be a tough task to master all of these, but that’s not actually necessary. Digital marketing professional should be capable of adapting and growing.
Let’s take a look at some examples of habits and activities that digital marketing pros should always engage in to guarantee positive results for the business.
- Utilize analytics to prioritize and optimise marketing efforts
Data is king in digital marketing. This is how you can assess which path to take with a campaign. The level of data collection has become so sophisticated that the insights offered are light-years ahead of where they were just a decade ago. Tracking key performance indicators – measures of success in online marketing – is a much easier task with precise data at your disposal.
Some primary examples of valuable data include traffic volume, source by region, and conversion rate.
- Diligently monitor SEO reports and conduct keyword research
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a vital aspect of content marketing. It’s a fantastic way to drive consistent, relevant, and organic traffic to your site, and it’s a low-cost form of online marketing.
Before producing content, a savvy digital marketer needs to diligently conduct research on what their target audience is searching for. Here’s the basic process:
- To reach their targeted segment, they’ll need to use industry-relevant keywords. Tools like the Google Keyword Planner can help with determining what these are.
- Summarise the findings into a chart containing keywords and phrases with monthly search volumes for each.
- Make a content plan that emphasizes the keywords with the most significant search yield. Use blog posts, social media ads, YouTube videos, and anything else, while maintaining quality and relevancy.
- Produce the content. Great content will persist and your target market will have something they can discover organically and on an ongoing basis. High-quality content will stay relevant for a long time.
- Diversified channels
Exercising every channel available is key to increasing the breadth of your marketing efforts. This will ensure you reach the maximum number of people, capture the largest amount of leads, and convert as many customers as possible. The primary channels that digital marketers should focus on are:
- Email Marketing
- Pay-per-click Advertising (PPC)
- Display Advertising
- Social Media Marketing (SMM)
- Affiliate Marketing
- Public Relations
A consistent message and strategy should be applied to all channels.
- Leverage strategic content partnerships
Another great way to reach audiences that might not have been in previous consideration. Collaborating with agencies and companies that are outside of your immediate sphere can be mutually beneficial by allowing penetration into new regions and markets while lending credibility and awareness to your brand. The learning opportunities from working with other professionals can also prove invaluable.
- Work closely with design and copywriters to maximize campaign efficiency
It’s important to lean on teammates with different skill sets to provide the highest quality content possible. Make sure your strategy is clear and works collaboratively. This can lead to unique and powerful results once the team’s goals and skills are aligned and unified.
- Use A/B testing
It’s nearly impossible to get everything right the first time, so it’s an excellent practice to segment your audience, then create multiple campaigns to identify which produces the better results.
- Subscribe to industry-relevant newsletters
The biggest weapon a digital marketer can have is staying ahead of the game regarding industry trends and information. Proactively doing research is a great habit and there are some high-quality sites that pump out great, relevant content consistently. Most of these offer a free newsletter through an email subscription. It’s best to sign up for several of them to stay up to date.
Because the world of digital marketing changes so rapidly, it’s hard to define exactly what digital marketers do on a day-to-day basis.
Proficient digital marketers need to possess a varied skill set and comprehensive understanding of how their target market behaves, which channels are most effective, and how to interpret digital metrics that offer valuable insights into how to tailor marketing efforts.
The scope of work is largely dependent on the business they work for, their current career level, whether they work within the B2B or B2C, and if they’re specialised in certain areas. For example, an SEO expert would focus on driving organic traffic through strong keyword research and developing content on the relevant topics. A social media marketer would need to have a fluid understanding of how to engage with audiences across different platforms effectively.
Regardless of the focus of their work, any digital marketing professional needs to be able to:
- Understand the opportunities presented by different channels and devices.
- Maintain a competitive edge by staying up to date with ever-evolving trends, tools and behaviours.
- Know how to decipher “big data” strategically and capitalise on insights.
- Gauge why consumers use different channels and devices and for what purpose.
- Manage customer relationships to create meaningful interactions.
Various facets of digital marketing.
In digital marketing, you can choose to be a jack-of-all-trades or focus on one or two skills to set you apart. For example, being a strong creative individual who also understands coding or a techy person who gets how important content is to social media.
The overall skills and areas of expertise for a digital marketer include:
- Video: It’s hard to catch people’s attention online. Stats show that video increases engagement while ranking higher on Google. You don’t have to become a video producer but instead, focus on the basics of creating a video. Having an understanding of how to write scripts, use the platforms and apps to create videos, and what works in videos will add to your appeal when applying for digital marketing jobs.
- SEO & SEM: Online searches drive digital ads. You have to understand search engine optimisation (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) in order to work in the field. You don’t have to worry about the back-end techy stuff here. It’s more about understanding the importance of SEO and the best practices used in the industry. That is the 101 of any digital marketing campaign or content management initiative. Understanding how SEO and SEM affect your online efforts will allow you to work with the rest of a digital team without looking like you are in the wrong business.
- Content Marketing: Content is what is used to attract and engage customers whether it is a website, video, social media or blogging. It can also entail anything people can access online such as whitepapers, case studies, how-to booklets, and more. Understanding the aspects of content, how it is created, how it is effective, and how best to use it will provide the wealth of information needed for just about any digital marketing role. You will have to understand how best to use content to help a business meet their goals including social media. Depending on what level of work you are seeking within the digital marketing industry you will also have to understand content strategy and analysis.
- Data & Analytics: Google Analytics is central to many facets of digital marketing. You can track reports, but what is more important is how to use the information you find. Monitoring campaigns and applying findings based on consumer behaviour will allow you to come up with better solutions that will increase conversions and drive traffic. Gathering and using data is also essential as the data collected by today’s businesses is like a gold mine that has to be used in innovative ways to collect and retain new customers.
- Design Thinking: The user experience is the key to successful digital marketing. Design thinking is crucial as it teaches companies how best to engage customers, but beyond that, it ensures that their online experiences are simple and effective. That can include using online shopping sites, accessing information, and other things your company might offer to customers including customised apps.
You have to learn to see beyond the ideas presented to you and be able to look ahead at the potential issues it might cause. You must be able to suggest improvements based on these instincts and ensure your ideas are feasible.
- Tech Knowledge: Technology is the driving force in the digital world, so you will have to understand what the latest technology is and how it is being used. You have to adapt quickly to changes in the industry and know what’s coming so that your digital marketing plans are up to date. Using technology has to come easy to you, and you cannot be intimidated by change. No matter where you want to begin (or end up) in your career, some knowledge of web coding and Content Management (CMS) systems are a must.
- Understand Engagement: More than ever before you will need an understanding of how best to engage a customer. You will need great powers of persuasion in order to conceive innovative campaigns that will help grow the business. You have to understand what gets today’s consumer to make the commitment and convert to making a purchase.
It is not enough to just get people to follow your social media pages. You also have to persuade from within. Your team, fellow departments, and leaders will have to be convinced that where you want to put the money is the right thing to do. Understanding all aspects from SEO to content and the latest technology to what people respond to is the best way to keep people on board with your plans.
Be a leader in digital marketing.
Digital marketing sees constant change and requires a forward-thinking mind. You have to be a pioneer, continually championing the latest industry changes. You also have to have a collaborative spirit and be willing to work with other departments.
An appreciation for branding is also essential as you will have to build an online presence that reflects the brand. An analytical mind is helpful as you will have to look at data and learn how to extract the pertinent information that will keep your strategy strong. In a nutshell, you have to be tried and true in your beliefs that digital marketing reigns supreme, keep up to date to support your opinions, but also work well with others.
A day in the life.
As you know everyday will not look exactly like this. Unexpected problems may occur or a last-minute meeting may pop up. Each client has a specific part of digital marketing that they want to focus on more.
6:30 a.m: Get the day started and check the news and headlines. 7:15 a.m: Eat breakfast and have a coffee; read up on anything relevant and share it via one of many various business accounts or personal account. 7:45 a.m: Head to the office. 8:15 a.m: Check emails and meet to talk about projects and the progress. 9:30 a.m: Touch base with clients on anything outstanding. 10:30 a.m: Write a digital marketing plan, blog post, schedule following days posts. 1:00 p.m: Eat and catch up on news, articles, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and chat with other professionals and colleges in the industry. 2:00 p.m: Take stock of various client activities in place by looking at analytics reports; go over key metrics – what content has had the most attention, answer questions that requiring answering. Look for anything out of the ordinary or unexpected and look for any insights that might be there. 3:00 pm: Answer emails. 4:00 p.m: Get back to writing digital marketing plans or any other writing or progress reports needed to give clients. 6:00 p.m: Head home or go to a digital marketing event if it’s on the calendar. 9:00 p.m: Get ready for the night, catch up on blogging, research and posts on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok etc.
A short summary
Know the lingo
- Become familiar with industry jargon.
- Master marketing terminology and metrics – know what they mean and how to use them.
Cultivate your personal online presence
- Show you can build your personal brand.
- This can be a deciding factor when interviewing for a job.
Be a generalist with a specialisation
- Get experience in affiliate, search, social media, e-mail, mobile, display marketing, etc.
- Agency experience can give exposure to all aspects of digital marketing – paid search, social media, mobile, etc. – allowing you to work on a number of different accounts and determine a specialty interest.
- Specialty enables you to hone your skills and become an expert.
Industry meetups and conferences
- Spend time and engage with people in the industry.
Keep your finger on the pulse of the industry
- Technology is constantly evolving – learn what’s in the market and what’s coming.
- Consumer behaviour is radically and continually shifting – understand what consumers are doing online, what motivates them, and their social/mobile behaviour.
- Since media consumption is becoming increasingly fragmented, subscribing to industry blogs and newsletters can help stay on top of the latest news and trends.
Get a bit technical
- Understand the basic technical terminology can help you understand how users interact with content.
I hope these general concepts and practical tips have helped show the scope of work of the modern digital marketer. Take advantage of them all and find out how they can drive results for your business.