5 Best Ways to Start a Career in Digital Marketing

5 Best Ways to Start a Career in Digital Marketing


As more and more people adjust to the digital lifestyle, brands and companies go up against each other to snatch the best digital marketing specialists. Given the vast field and various specialised skills required, it’s no wonder that careers in digital marketing were among the fastest growing in 2021 (LinkedIn News UK, “2021 Grad’s Guide to Getting Hired”.) 

The good news is, the high demand for these specialists also means an attractive salary. According to Credo, entry-level and junior digital marketing specialists can get paid anywhere between $50 – $100 per hour. Fifteen percent of them can even get as much as $200 to $300 per hour. 

It is indeed an exciting time to start your career in digital marketing. However, with more demands comes tighter competition. Everyone would immediately or instantly jump on the bandwagon. Read on to be sure that you have what it takes to thrive in this field and know how to stand out from the rest. 

What is Digital Marketing? 

Digital marketing is a term that refers to online marketing strategies used to identify, build, and target an audience to turn into paying customers for a product or service. It is part of the overall marketing strategy of a brand or company. 

How to Start a Career in Digital Marketing 

Digital marketing opportunities allow you to get as creative as you want and as analytical as you need to. These are a few steps you can take to develop both muscles and have a flourishing career in digital marketing. 

1. Choose a Specific Channel 

Digital marketing is a vast field that changes constantly. As a start, take a look at your strengths and interests. Choose what you want to specialise in, and give yourself a couple of years to build experience and expertise. To support your career development, make sure that you’ve got the basics of all the other channels covered. 

To help you understand the bigger picture, here are some of the channels currently sought after in digital marketing. 

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

People use search engines to find practically anything, and SEO is a field dedicated to help businesses win this “search keyword” game organically. In 2021, almost 70% of marketers invested in SEO. This shows that SEO is a key part of a brand or company’s organic digital marketing strategy. 

  • Content Marketing 

Marketers are investing in content marketing more than ever. In 2021, 82% report actively using content marketing compared to 70% in 2020. 

Content marketing is often educational and not directly about the product or services that the company sells. As quoted from Michele Lin, former Head of Editorial at Content Marketing Institute, “Answering your potential customers’ questions is key to reaping the benefits of content marketing.” In this regard, the one essential skill that you need to master content marketing is how to empathise with your customers. 

  • Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is a major part of content marketing, and also the most used channel in digital marketing. Our article on how to get a job in social media marketing will give you an idea of what you need for a career in this channel. 

  • Email Marketing 

Studies show that email has an average ROI of 4400% and that personalised email delivers 6 times higher transaction rates. Personalisation is crucial in digital marketing and email marketing will play a significant role. 

Email is easy to automate, provides sophisticated analytics, and – according to a US study in 2017 –  49% of consumers say they would like to receive promotional emails from their favourite brands on a weekly basis. The technical know-how of operating email marketing tools, such as MoEngage, Insider and MailChimp, and knowledge of best email marketing practices, will help you land a gig in email marketing. 

  • Performance Marketing

A slightly different path from all the organic digital marketing channels mentioned above is performance marketing, which is part of paid digital marketing channels. This is a highly analytical field of digital marketing. 

As performance marketers, you will be running ad campaigns across various networks such as Google Ads, Search Engine Marketing, and Social Media Ads (Facebook and Instagram Ads). You will run A/B testing experiments to see what kind of ad campaigns bring the most results. Key metrics include Return on Ad Spend, Cost Per Click, and Cost Per Lead. 

2. Create Your Own Personal Channels 

Get a handle on digital marketing by creating and getting results on your own channels. Get a freelance client from your blog, grow a community with similar interests in social media, or amass traffic from your reviews on your own website. Track it, improve it, and talk about it as part of your portfolio. This practice will let you stand out as a candidate who can show the results of your work. 

As suggested by Angel Zhou, Social Media Assistant at Capital Placement, “Creating your own website, writing your blogs, and building your own social accounts could help you showcase your hard skills in your CV – and this is what gets you in the industry.” 

3. Get an online Internship 

Your newly acquired hard skills will get you there, but your soft skills will take you an extra mile. An online remote internship will help build your soft skills, such as communication skills and time management. You can also learn from more experienced people about how they manage their priorities, solve problems, communicate to their bosses and colleagues, and work with others. 

The most exciting part about the internship is that it gives you the opportunity to work on real marketing campaigns, often with real business stakes! 

4. Stay Informed on New Updates and Learning 

Digital marketing is an incredibly dynamic industry, and your growth really depends on your willingness to get up-to-date with new learnings. 

Here are some actionable pointers you can do: 

  • Build genuine relationships with real world mentors or people with more experience. Offer them your assistance and help them with their needs.  
  • Can’t meet your mentors in real life? Read their books. 
  • Keep track of the latest editions of digital marketing media and websites. 
  • Follow LinkedIn Top Voices in Marketing & Advertising 
  • Follow digital marketing thought leaders on their social channels. Twitter is especially useful for this. 
  • Buy a ticket to online conferences if you have the budget 
  • Enrol in online courses – there are plenty to choose from! 
  • Take time off work to study or so you can concentrate during online training or conferences
  • Set a monthly budget for professional development. 

Constant learning will only work wonders for your career. It’s an investment for yourself, and –  like a financial investment –  you never know when you are going to need it. But when opportunities present themselves, and you come prepared, you will thank yourself. 

5. Networking 

Though networking is not a guaranteed way to get digital marketing jobs, it is still a recommended way to start and develop your careers in digital marketing. Approach it genuinely, to build a lifelong network of fellow digital marketing professionals and bring a mindset of learning. 

Get to know the people you meet when you attend conferences or an online class. Greet them, ask about their interests, and follow each other on social media. Post useful updates or engage with their posts to keep the relationship going. 

For people who are more senior, you can repost their social media content to show support, attend some of their classes/online training or their online events, and offer help when they need it. 

Final Thoughts 

Now that we’ve shown you the path to develop your careers in digital marketing, it’s time for you to walk towards your goal. Ready for a taste of digital marketing? We’re happy to help you get started with digital marketing internships!