What Is Digital Marketing: Definition, Courses, Tools, Blogs, And More

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Digital Marketing is one of the hottest careers today. In the last 6-8 years, numerous digital trends have emerged, making it a necessity for businesses to build an online presence.

If you aspire to make a Career in Digital Marketing, this blog will act as your digital marketing career guide. So, let us discuss in detail how you can build a career in digital marketing.

What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing is the marketing of products and services using digital channels to connect with current and prospective customers. Digital channels involve channels such as search engines, social media, email, and websites.

What does a digital marketer do?

Digital marketing is a very broad field. In general, digital marketers are in charge of driving brand awareness, generating traffic to the company’s website, and lead generation through various digital channels.

A digital marketer can take up multiple roles and use various digital channels such as digital advertising, social media, email marketing, blog content, etc. to reach out to the customers. For each digital channel, a digital marketer usually focuses on a unique goal to be able to measure the company’s performance across each channel.

ROLEMAJOR RESPONSIBILITIES
Digital Marketer or ConsultantDeveloping, planning & implementing marketing campaigns, Analysing analytics reports, Building & maintaining an online presence, etc.

Why build a career in digital marketing?

Companies, whether big or small, are constantly investing in digital marketing activities. Clearly, digital transformation is affecting every business today.

Scope of digital marketing

The growing influence of digital marketing as explained by the idustry experts:

  • India’s digital economy is expected to touch $1 trillion mark by 2022. (Business Insider)
  • 85 per cent marketers are tracking revenues generated through digital marketing with 50 per cent of them reporting that e-marketing activities are contributing more than 10 per cent of their revenues. (Indian Express)
  • Digital is no longer a medium, but a way of doing business. (Ashish Bhasin, CEO-South Asia, Dentsu Aegis Network)

Demand for digital marketing

As the scope of digital marketing is expanding, the demand for digital marketing job profiles is also increasing at a fast rate. These hiring trends reveal a growing demand for digital marketing skills:

  • The demand for Digital Marketing professionals will be more than 20 lakh by 2020. (Placement India)
  • 69% of companies are planned to hire more marketers in 2018. The most in-demand expertise was digital advertising (45%), content creation and curation (42%) and content strategy (39%). (Marketing Trends 2018, MCKinley)

Pros and cons of a career in digital marketing

PROSCONS
Lucrative and rewarding careerLack of structure in roles
Increasing demandCan be time-consuming
No particular degree requiredInitial salary can be low
Possibility to work remotely
High number of options to choose from for specialisation

Qualification required for digital marketing

As digital marketing is a broad field, the educational requirements can vary for different positions. Usually, a bachelor degree in Marketing, Analytics, or related fields can be a good means to enter the digital marketing industry.

DEGREEFIELD OF STUDY
Bachelors and/or MastersMarketing, Analytics, Business Administration, Advertising, etc.

Note: Even if you do not hold a background in marketing, you can easily enter the field of digital marketing with the help of some certifications and/or practical experiences gained through an internship or your own blog/website.

Digital marketing courses and certifications

There are numerous options in digital marketing courses, both online and offline. Some of these courses are free, while others are paid. Other than this, there are also some courses, wherein the learning is free but obtaining a certificate requires a fee. Below listed courses are some of the most popular digital marketing courses.

  1. Website: Google Academy for Ads
    CourseAdwords Certification
    Price: Free
    Format: Online
    Learning duration: Self-paced
  2. Website: Google Analytics
    CourseAnalytics Certification 
    Price: Free
    Format: Online
    Learning duration: Self-paced
  3. Website: Udemy
    CourseDigital Marketing Masterclass
    Price: Rs.12,800
    Format: Online
    Learning duration: Self-paced
  4. Website: Coursera
    CourseDigital Marketing Specialization
    Price: $474
    Format: Online
    Learning duration: Self-paced
  5. Website: Hubspot Academy
    CourseInbound Certification 
    Price: Free
    Format: Online
    Learning duration: Self-paced
  6. Website: Hubspot Academy
    CourseEmail Marketing
    Price: Free
    Format: Online
    Learning duration: Self-paced
  7. Website: Hootsuite Academy
    CourseHootsuite University Certification 
    Price: $99 to $2,20
    Format: Online
    Learning duration: Self-paced
  8. Website: Udacity
    CourseDigital Marketing Nanodegree Program 
    Price: Rs.44,900
    Format: Online
    Learning duration: 3 Months
  9. Website: Clickminded
    CourseClickMinded SEO Specialist
    Price: $497
    Format: Online
    Learning duration: Self-Paced
  10. Website: Facebook Business
    CourseFacebook Ad Certification
    Price: $300
    Format: Online
    Learning duration: Self-paced
  11. Website: The University of Vermont
    CourseDigital Marketing Fundamental Certificate
    Price: $1695
    Format: Online
    Learning duration: 10 weeks
  12. Website: University of California
    CourseDigital Marketing and Communications
    Price: $4765
    Format: Online
    Learning duration: 3-12 months
  13. Website: Microsoft
    CourseBing Ads Accredited Profesional
    Price: Free
    Format: Online
    Learning duration: Self-paced
  14. Website: Digital Vidya
    CourseCertified Digital Marketing Master (CDMM) Course
    Price: Rs. 49,900 + service tax
    Format: Offline
    Learning duration: 6 months
  15. Website: Edupristine
    CourseDigital Marketing
    Price: Rs. 24,000 for online, Rs. 36,500 for offline
    Format:Both Online & Offline
    Learning duration: 48 hours (For online), 60 hours (for offline)
  16. Website: Delhi School of Internet Marketing
    CourseMasters in Digital Marketing
    Price: Rs. 56,450 + 15.00% S.T.
    Format: Offline
    Learning duration: 5 months
  17. Website: Upgrad
    CoursePG Certification in Digital Marketing and Communication
    Price: Rs. 70,000 + 15% tax
    Format: Online
    Learning duration: 6.5 months
  18. Website: Simplilearn
    CourseDigital Marketing Certified Associate Certification
    Price: Rs. 12,999 (self paced), Rs. 20,999 (Online)
    Format: Online
    Learning duration: Self-paced or Online classroom
  19. Website: NIIT
    Course:Certified Digital Marketing Professional
    Price: INR 37,500 + 18% GST
    Format: Offline
    Learning duration: 33 hours
  20. Website: Learning Catalyst
    Course:Integrated Digital Marketing Course
    Price: 25,000/- + tax (online), 36,650/- + tax (offline)
    Format: Both Online & Offline
    Learning duration: 2 months
  21. Website: Learning Catalyst
    Course:Integrated Digital Marketing Course
    Price: 25,000/- + tax (online), 36,650/- + tax (offline)
    Format: Both Online & Offline
    Learning duration: 2 months

Apart from the above programs, there are also some executive courses in digital marketing offered by premier institutes:

  1. Digital Marketing for business Growth by IIM, Bangalore
  2. Digital & Social Media Marketing Strategies by ISB, Hyderabad.
  3. Executive Development Program in Digital Marketing by XLRI, Jamshedpur.
  4. Executive Programme On Digital & Social Media Marketing Strategy by IIM, Calcutta.

Digital marketing jobs in India

Let’s take a look at the number of digital marketing jobs available in India.

JOBSNAUKRIINDEEDMONSTERLINKEDINTOTAL
Digital marketing18k11k1k8k39k
SEO executive/SEO manager/SEO analyst12k8k627135222k
Search engine marketing15k27k24658619k
Social media marketing14k9k3897k31k
Web analyst2383k1382173k
Content marketing19168k2394k15k
Email marketing executive/manager5k9k1633k17k

NoteThe data provided above was last updated in January 2019. It is subject to change.

Job roles in digital marketing

ROLEMAJOR RESPONSIBILITIES
Digital Marketing ManagerImplementing marketing campaigns, Analytics reports, Building & maintaining an online presence, etc.
SEO SpecialistIncrease website traffic through on-page & off-page optimization, Implement keyword research strategies, MAintain performance reports
Search Engine MarketerDevelop, implement paid search campaigns, Ensure maximum ROI on paid campaigns, In-depth competitor analysis & website analysis
Social Media MarketerDevelop & implement social media campaigns and social media strategies, increase audience engagement, promote the brand via social media
Web Analyst/Data AnalystMarket research & analysis, create reports using website analytics tools
Content MarketerDevelop SEO friendly content, edit, & optimize website content, drive organic traffic, increase engagement through content
Inbound MarketerCreate & implement strategies to attract customers using content
Email MarketerCreate email marketing campaigns to promote product, page, or service & generate leads

In general, a digital marketer is expected to have some basic knowledge on all of the above areas, while specializing in one or more roles.

Digital marketing salaries

Salary in digital marketing domain can vary according to the area of expertise.

JOB ROLEAVERAGE ANNUAL SALARY (0-3 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE)SALARY RANGE (LPA)
Digital Marketing Manager4.7 Lakh1.9 to 10
Seo Specialist1.9 Lakh1.0 to 4.03
Search Engine Marketer3.6 Lakh2.57 to 7.34
Social Media Marketing Manager3.5 Lakh1.79 to 7.26
Web Analyst3.6 Lakh1.8 to 6.66
Content Marketing Manager6.4 Lakh3.7 to 10
Marketing Specialist4.6 Lakh2.1 to 10
Email Marketer5 Lakh2.2 to 10

Data sourceAmbitionBox

Digital marketing skills

Take a look at the typical skills that are required in digital marketing.

  • Core skills:
SKILLDETAILS
AnalyticsEfficient data analysis to understand metrics about the effectiveness of paid and organic campaigns.
Keyword analysisAbility to do thorough keyword research and incorporate it into the content
Customer behaviourA clear understanding of the target audience to market content & devise strategies to fulfill long-term objectives.
Customer engagementBuild an online community by creating personalized posts and address customer issues to make them feel that you care about them.
WritingGood command over the language to write grammatically correct content for website, ads, and social media posts.
Result-orientedGauge the impact of campaigns and alter strategies on the basis of data.
  • Soft skills
    Communication, Creativity, Critical thinking, and learning attitude

Digital marketing tools

Some of the common tools used by digital marketers have been mentioned below.

JOB ROLETOOLS
Search engine marketerGoogle Webmaster ToolsSEMrushHubSpot’s Website GraderGoogle Keyword PlannerSEMrushGoogle TrendsGoogle Adwords, etc.
Social Media MarketerHootsuiteSprout SocialBufferTwitterFacebook, etc.
Content MarketerGrammarlyClearVoiceBuzzsumoHubSpotCopyscapeThesaurus, etc.
Web AnalystGoogle AnalyticsAdobe SiteCatalystClickyOptimizelyCrazy EggMoz, etc.
Email MarketingMail ChimpAweberPutsMail, etc.

Digital marketing common career paths

Here are some common ways that can make your way to start a career in digital marketing.

A. When you have a bachelors degree in marketing:

Career Path 1:
Complete graduation in marketing → Gain online professional certification in digital marketing → Gain experience via internship or freelancing → Apply for a job or become a professional freelancer

Career Path 2:
Complete graduation in marketing → Work as an intern → Take a masters degree in digital marketing → Build your own brand via blog → Apply for a job

B. When you do not have a bachelors degree in marketing:

Career Path 1: Graduation (any specialization) → Get an online certification in digital marketing → Subscribe to blogs for free learning resources → Start a website or blog → Network → Find a job or work as an independent consultant

Career Path 2: Graduation (any specialization) → Masters degree in digital marketing or related specialization → Start a website or blog → Internship or job in the same specialization

Note: The above career paths are just examples of common career paths. There is no fixed career path to start a career in digital marketing. The career steps can vary as per the background, interests, and skills of the individual.

Tips to get a job in digital marketing

Let us discuss some useful tips to help you start your career in digital marketing.

1. Build skills

To begin a career in digital marketing, acquaint yourself with basic skills, especially if you do not come from the marketing background. Get hands-on experience with common tools in social media, online advertising, email marketing, SEO, etc. via certifications.

2. Build a blog

For an aspiring digital marketer, it is always a good idea to have an online presence. Having an active blog on a topic that you are passionate about can be a good start to show your motivation.

You can build a personal portfolio on blogging platforms such as WordPress or other ready-to-use publishing websites like Medium or Quora.

3. Get an internship

Internship experiences can increase your chances of getting a job in the field. It will also help you get a hang of the real job.

4. Professional certifications

These days, it is very easy to learn courses online and gain credibility through online certifications. Choose a specialisation of your choice and get a relevant professional certification to increase your chances of getting a job.

Some of the popular online portals for both free and paid certifications are UdemyLyndaEdx, etc.

5. Network

To get a job, you must network. Find out connections who work in similar fields, and reach out them either personally or digitally. Here is how you can get a job referral.

6. Follow Influencers

In the field of digital marketing, there are numerous influencers and bloggers who share important industry insights. Follow these influencers and subscribe to popular blogs in your area of interest to learn about the industry insights.

Find and apply for digital marketing jobs

Digital marketing blogs

Here is a list of popular digital marketing blogs:

  1. SparkToro
  2. Neil Patel blog
  3. Convince & Convert
  4. Mobile Monkey
  5. Hubspot
  6. Copyblogger
  7. Internet Marketing blog
  8. Social Media Examiner
  9. Content Marketing Institute Blog

Digital marketing books

Here is a list of popular digital marketing books:

  1. Permission Marketing by Seth Godin
  2. Hug your haters by Jay Baer
  3. Email Persuasion by Ian Brodie
  4. Spin Sucks by Gini Dietrich
  5. Meausure what Matters by John Doerr
  6. Non Obvious by Rohit Bhargava
  7. The Webinar Way by Sherrie Rose
  8. Don’t Make Me Think Revisited
  9. Digital Marketing for Dummies by Ryan Deiss

Digital marketing Youtube videos and channels

Here is a list of popular digital marketing videos:

  1. Moz
  2. Backlinko
  3. SEMrush
  4. Ahresfs
  5. Chase Reiner SEO
  6. Matthew Woodward
  7. On-page SEO techniques
  8. How to create landing pages that convert

Digital marketing forums

Some of the popular digital marketing forums are:

  1. Reddit SEO
  2. Digital Point
  3. Growthhackers
  4. SEO Chat
  5. WordPress Forum
  6. Warrior Forum
  7. SEO Mastering
  8. Webhosting Talk
  9. Youth4work

Digital marketing webinars

Most popular digital marketing webinars:

  1. SEMrush
  2. Search Engine Journal
  3. Digital Marketing Basics
  4. Unbounce
  5. Hubspot Free Webinars
  6. Marketo
  7. Adweek
  8. ConversionXL
  9. eMarketer

Digital marketing interview questions

Once you start applying for jobs, it is the right time to start preparing for common digital marketing interview questions.

Also readHR interview questions and answers

Top companies to follow

Here are some companies that are doing very well with their digital campaigns and online presence.

Popular companies:
AmazonAccentureFlipkartCapgeminiIBMCognizantTCSInfosysDellAmerican ExpressAxis bankBajaj Allianz, etc.

Popular startups:
ZomatoPaytmOlaAirbnbBooking.comMakemytripCashifyUrbanclapEdureka, etc.

For more information on companies, check out company pages.

Digital marketing is gaining momentum by each passing day. As more and more people are getting online, the opportunities for digital marketer are immense.

The above information will help you start a career in digital marketing. Let us know in the comments below your thoughts about a career in digital marketing.

Content Credit: Naukri.com

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