Using the internet to connect with possible customers is known as Digital Marketing or online marketing. Digital marketing has made things much easier for anyone with a product to promote to many people.
This form of marketing has also made it possible for anyone to become an expert in marketing and make a career out of marketing.
But is it necessary to get a degree to get into this field?
Digital marketing does not require a degree. There is no outlined formula required to get into digital marketing. Many who work in this field are freelancers, self-taught using the many resources available on the internet. Some firms hire based on certifications other than a degree.
Many current marketing experts have begun their careers this way and have become successful.
But what are these online resources? What skills will be required to become successful in online marketing? Do you need a degree to do digital marketing?
Don’t worry, I’ll take you through this, so keep reading below.
How Do I Become a Digital Marketer Without a Degree?
Getting into digital marketing without a degree is something anyone can do if they have the drive and educate themselves using the right online materials.
However, to go down this career path without a degree, there are a few aspects you should focus on.
- Find a form of marketing that you specialize in. Your niche could be social media marketing, product design, SEO, analytics, content creation, etc. If you can excel in one branch, your chances of success will increase. And by focusing on one, you will master it more quickly.
- Focus on your foundational or “soft skills”. Soft skills refer to non-technical skills which are applied to your work. For the field of marketing, these would be skills like writing, communication, or design.
- Build a Portfolio. Having a developed portfolio going into job interviews or when submitting proposals for freelance work will greatly improve your professional image and increase your chances.
- Network and learn from the people who do the job you want. This is as much a life lesson as it is relevant to marketing. Find digital marketers who do what you want to do and learn from them as much as you can.
- Set aside time to study and learn. In addition to soft skills, there are many “hard skills” geared specifically towards marketing. Having an ability in any one of these can greatly improve your value to a client or marketing firm.
Without a degree, it is still extremely feasible to find a path in marketing, and with all the learning resources available online, you have a better chance than ever.
But what skills should you study and focus on developing? What abilities will make you most valuable to prospective employers in marketing?
Let’s answer this now.
What Skills Do You Need to Be a Digital Marketer?
Whether or not you have a degree will not matter nearly as much to any prospective employer or client if you have the proper skillset and some enthusiasm.
The reason you would pursue a degree in marketing is to gain this skill set or at least a broad understanding of what skills will be required to succeed in digital marketing.
So what are these skills?
There are 6 skills that customers and marketing firms highly value for those pursuing a career in digital marketing. If a prospective marketer can excel in any of these skills, they have a great chance of succeeding.
- Data Analysis-There are many modern tools available that can help you organize and sift through data. Knowing how to use these tools efficiently can provide many insights into your market.
- Writing and Editing- Without someone creating good content, chances of a successful marketing campaign decrease significantly. It doesn’t matter what format or medium the marketing is done through, there needs to be good content.
- SEO- Search Engine Optimization is an important modern skill in marketing. By using SEO in your content it will have a much higher likelihood of being seen by the right people as they wade through the endless clutter of the internet.
- Email Marketing- Writing good content for marketing emails is important because it will keep your company’s emails out of consumers ‘junk’ folders. There is a significant amount of strategy involved just to get a prospective customer to open the email.
- Social Media Skills- Being able to manage one or multiple social media accounts, potentially on numerous platforms, is no easy task. You must be able to come up with content frequently to post consistently. And you must also be able to manage the community that builds around this account while focusing on promotion of your brand.
- Design Skills- Design skills or any artistic ability is always sought after in many industries. Not all content will be written word and that’s where visually and aesthetically pleasing design comes in. The right graphics or artwork can make all the difference in a marketing campaign’s success.
Any of these skills are a part of a solid base for starting a career in online marketing.
However, suppose you are confident with your status in all of these skills but still feel like you need some official certification or documentation. In that case, you can receive credentials outside of an expensive 4-year degree.
What Qualifications Do You Need for Online Marketing?
If a 4-year degree is not feasible due to budget or time restrictions, other options can give you a credential to put on your resume. These programs will allow you to focus on one or two aspects of digital marketing and gain your footing while showing prospective employers or clients that you know what you are doing.
Micro-credentials are a great way to gain understanding and qualification in digital marketing in a shorter time span than 4 years. These credentials can be earned through online courses, of which there are plenty.
Some of the marketing branches these credentials can be earned in include,
- Social Media Marketing
- Marketing Automation
- Search Engine Optimization
- PPC or ‘Pay per Click’ advertising
- Content Marketing
- Web Analytics
- Mobile Marketing
- Digital Marketing Strategy
- Conversion Rate Optimization
There are credentialing programs like the one offered by skyelearning.com that offer a course that focuses on all of these subjects. Their course can be completed in 30 hours and is far more affordable than a college degree.
With a better understanding of what it takes to get into digital marketing, there may still be questions about what you might do as a digital marketer. So I’ll go over this below.
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What is The Role of a Digital Marketer?
Marketing is meant to connect an organization or company with the customer that their product is intended for. Some people may also call it “sales & advertising,” but it’s way more than that.
A digital marketer’s goal is to use the world wide web to make this connection. There are several angles that a digital marketer can use to approach this task.
Different marketing strategies may be better suited for different products and target customers.
On a daily basis, a digital marketer can use their creativity and skills in social media, SEO (search engine optimization), and web analytics to maximize the visibility of their product or services. For example, they can create content, analyze data and product reviews looking for patterns, or to generate leads.
There is a wide variety in the day-to-day operations of a digital marketer.
For example, there is so much data available on the internet that marketers can use to increase public awareness around their brand or product and many ways to use that data to connect with a target group.
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Accessibility and Personal Motivation
Digital marketing is more accessible now than it ever has been, and it can be learned quickly. You can use the internet to develop any of the skills or achieve most of the credentials to succeed as a digital marketer.
It will just come down to how much time you put into developing this path for yourself.Stay positive, put in the work, and you will be able to make a career in digital marketing.
If you are beginning with digital marketing, check out our blog for more helpful posts on things like email marketing, sales funnels, landing pages, software products, and services.