Modern technology never slows down and only advances faster over time. Technology is tied to almost every facet of our daily lives, and keeping up with basic consumer-level technology can be tricky. However, those wishing to keep up with technology and digital advancement in the professional world have even more to keep track of. Tech never stops, which means digital marketing also never stops advancing, changing, and evolving. This continuous progress is not necessarily a bad thing, but it can make life harder for up and coming professionals trying to break into the industry.
It can be hard to know where to start, especially outside of a formal education setting. Thankfully, the ever-expanding digital marketing world has plenty of ways for a new person to jump in. Since digital marketing takes place online, the training and educational content for digital marketing is all captured in online media. Whether you scrap news headlines to find new information, read through more formal instructional design, or take a different approach, there are various ways to learn what you need to know to get started as a digital marketing professional.
One of the best ways to learn anything is to watch or observe a professional do it. If you can find a mentor to teach you the ways of digital marketing, take that offer, but not everyone is lucky enough to find a one on one teacher. However, you can still watch professionals in action without committing to a personal mentorship. Find a company or agency who’s content you like and want to emulate. Every marketer has their own style and flair, so find an example of what you want to be as a professional and work to match it in your own mock work.
You would not hire a doctor who uses medical procedures from five years ago, nor would you hire a digital marketer who uses out-of-date trends to drive plans or campaigns. The digital marketing realm moves fast, but professionals working in the field are expected to keep up. Learn about algorithm updates, SEO changes, new technologies that affect marketing, AI data collection and analysis, and much more are all aspects of digital marketing. You don’t need to be an expert in every facet of digital marketing, but if you want to join the industry, you will be expected to have sufficient current working knowledge of trends and practices.
There are plenty of places to learn about digital marketing. Major news outlets typically won’t cover digital marketing events unless it is a story that affects more than the marketing world. To find digital marketing stories and news, you will have to look for more tailored outlets. Follow marketing companies and professionals on LinkedIn to build a network that will fill your feed with helpful information. There are reputable marketing websites that are more than happy to show you educational content, but be sure you are learning from a qualified source and not a random person with a pretty looking blog.
Digital marketers do not work with just their brains and Google Docs, but many people might not think there are tools of that particular trade. Every company will use a different collection of tools, but some tools and programs will always be good to have a familiarity with. Slack, Google Suite, and Airtable are some of the most common organizational and communication tools for modern businesses, especially those dealing with an online business. AHRefs, HubSpot, SEMRush, and other tools make up the toolbox of digital marketers, but new tools are invented every year, and some companies use proprietary in-house software. Some of these tools have free trials, so you can learn about the software without shelling out money for a full license. Google Analytics remains a popular data analysis tool that is also free for anyone to try.
Digital marketing can be a daunting field to try and break into, but it can be done. There are various ways to learn what you need to know to join the ranks of a professional digital marketer. Learning from someone already working in the field is a fantastic idea, but it can be hard to find as working professionals have their own lives to worry about. However, just because you are not getting one on one teaching doesn’t mean you can’t learn from the best.
Observe what agencies and brands you like are doing for marketing, then try to emulate what you like. Keep up with industry news, trends, and new practices, so you are always up to date. Test out and become familiar with the trade’s standard tools because knowing how to use marketing software can be a whole separate battle. Learn how to interpret data and navigate charts along with your other research to become the best digital marketer possible.