Intro to Digital Marketing


Gearing up for my podcast this Wednesday with Nspire, I thought I would use this post to summarize the practical part of what I plan to say. Namely, the hard skills you should start building if you want to have a career in digital marketing. 

The Marketing Stack 

There are a number of skillsets that comprise the job of a digital marketer, and are summarized quite nicely in this post by Buffer. I’ve organized them below with short descriptions: 

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): increasing the chances your product will be found in a search engine. Learn more here (Part I & Part II)
  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM): using paid advertisements (Facebook Ads, Google Ads) to promote your product. 
  • Content Marketing: the creation of content (video, articles, etc) for your product, with various purposes. Learn more in this post
  • Marketing Attribution: tracking the performance of your marketing efforts (i.e. conversion rates). Learn more in this post
  • Email Marketing: the use of email to communicate with leads or customers. Learn more in this post
  • Partnerships/PR: using other mediums (i.e. news, social media) to gain traction for your product.
  • Offline Marketing: the use of events and in-person tactics to promote your product. 

The goal is to have a general understanding of all of the above areas, but know a select few (1–2) very well. This gives you versatility as a digital marketer, but also a unique value proposition depending on where you are an expert. For me, my t-shape looks something like the image below: 


Tools for Marketing  

Every company has a different combination of tools they use for marketing, but knowing how to use + having a basic understanding of a few can be helpful. I’ve listed the main ones I’ve noticed below: 

  • Content: platforms like Medium are very easy to use, but you can take it a step further by knowing tools like Wordpress or Squarespace. Learning Mailchimp is great for email marketing. 
  • Analysis: the gold standard is Google Analytics, and their academy is free to attend! Excel is very useful, along with SQL, to pull your own data. There’s a free tutorial on the latter here
  • Testing: tools like Optimizely and Unbounce are very common, to A/B test ideas and landing pages. 
  • SEO/SEM: AdEspresso breaks down Facebook Ads pretty thoroughly, while Google Academy covers their ad network. Check out Neil Patel’s podcasts for more on SEO. 

Nailing down some of these skills will make your value proposition as a digital marketer clear, and make it considerably easier to secure a job or internship. If you’re not sure how to start looking, you can read this post.

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