With 450 million internet users in India, businesses can no more choose to ignore their presence on digital and online media. In the absence of digital presence, customers are bound to discover and opt for the services of your competitor (who has already mastered digital marketing).
According to a report by Social Beat, 86% brands are leveraging digital media. The same report states that generating better quality leads is their top priority (for 73% correspondents).
The top 6 areas of focus for most brands are:
- Social media marketing – 88.17%
- Search engine optimization – 70.97%
- Content marketing via blogs – 56.99%
- Email campaigns – 55.91%
- Landing page optimization – 55.91%
- Search engine marketing – 55.91%
The growing population of tech-savvy internet users has massively expanded the scope of digital marketing in India and the future is looking great.
The primary reason why companies adopt online marketing is because it is a result-oriented mode of marketing. You can get to know where every penny is spent and the exact numbers in terms of traffic, conversions, the pages with the highest conversions and the channels bringing in this traffic.
With more than 1.5 lakh jobs being created in India due to digital marketing, there couldn’t be a better time to become a digital marketing consultant.
In this article, we look at what it takes to become a digital marketer.
You need to have knowledge of the following components of digital marketing:
- Search engine optimization
- Paid search
- Email marketing
- Social media marketing
- Content marketing
- Content writing
- Inbound marketing
- Conversion rate optimization
- Web analytics and reporting
Each of the above domain comes with their purpose and responsibilities. Let’s dig further into the actual job of a digital marketer.
Your role would be to create a strategy to market either your company’s service or products online, using social media, SEO, content and inbound marketing, paid ads, email marketing, and measure and analyze the results.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
The job is to help the company rank for keywords which the audience normally searches for on the search engines. This involves doing keyword research, using webmaster tools, doing user experience optimization and getting pages indexed to rank higher on search engines and to get free traffic from there.
Copywriting is used to create keyword rich content on the website regarding sales page copywriting, website content, blogs, infographics, e-books, and whitepapers. It includes reaching out to a new relevant audience in the form of guest posting, PR, native advertising and syndication, which falls in the domain of content marketing.
Getting ranked on the higher pages of search engines organically is no easy task. It may take long for a less established website to get ranked on the first few pages for a given keyword. Until then, you cannot just sit waiting for qualified leads. With paid search in the form of Pay-Per-Click (PPC campaign), Cost Per Click (CPC) or Cost Per Impression (CPI) your advertisement appears when anyone looks for your services or products on Google and other search engines.
Inbound marketing involves creating and managing conversion funnels, lead nurturing, drip campaigns and conversion rate optimization. Now you may wonder the difference between content and inbound marketing. While inbound marketing is to create a strategy to attract new users and retain the existing ones, content marketing focuses more on executing that strategy.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing has two aspects – spreading owned content organically on social media channels and running paid campaigns. You have to choose the most effective platforms, the right content formats and target the right audience for paid campaigns.
For every $1 spent in email marketing, you generate a return of $38. Also, according to E-consultancy 2016, three-quarters of companies agree that emails offer excellent to good ROI. As a digital marketer you’ll have to regularly manage newsletters and email campaigns, add intriguing subject lines, make the content of the email interesting and drive back traffic to your website. Your knowledge should extend to using email automation tools for sending and tracking these emails.
Conversion Rate Optimization
The digital marketer has to optimize and increase the conversion ratio at every stage of the marketing funnel. Tools such as CrazyEgg’s Heat Map and Optimizely’s split testing are used to convert visitors into leads and finally paying customers.
Data and Analytics
Data collection and analysis gives greater insights into the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. The actionable insights help you make more informed decisions based on your customer’s life, actions, preferences, and desires.
Now that you know the opportunities and roles involved in digital marketing, it’s time you start preparing to become a digital marketing consultant.
Resources to learn about digital marketing are:
1. Certification courses
- Digital Vidya’s CDMM Course
- UpGrad’s Digital Marketing Program
- Digital Academy India’s Certification Program in Digital Marketing
- AIMA’s Digital Marketing Course
2. By reading the blogs of digital marketing influencers
- Neil Patel
- Rand Fishkin’s Moz blog
- Sujan Patel
- Larry Kim
To become a successful digital marketer, you need to develop skills such as:
- Creativity: You need to come up with creative campaigns, conversations, and ideas to differentiate your brand from your competitors.
- Analytical ability: Analytical skills are critical to measuring what’s working and what’s failing.
- Willingness to experiment: The domain of digital marketing is ever-changing. There are no set rules to succeed. You should be open to experimenting new and unexplored ways to run campaigns.
- Copywriting: The job of the digital marketer involves copywriting for sales copy, A/B split testing and to create keyword rich content.
- Good knowledge about technology: You should have knowledge about the basic HTML coding, the search engine, and social media algorithms.
You can either opt for certification courses where you get mentored by highly experienced industry leaders or choose to become a self-made digital marketer (like me).
You could either take up a full-time job as the digital marketer of a company or take up consulting or freelance opportunities as a part-time digital marketing consultant. India has a big future in digital marketing and you should make sure that you capitalize on this opportunity.