To become a Digital Marketing Expert is the dream of many. If you have the same dream, well, then making your dream come true is not very difficult.
Since the internet has penetrated deep into our lives, people spend more time browsing the internet than ever before. The time people spend on other mediums like TV, radio, newspapers, books, and magazines has drastically come down.
People use the internet for a lot of reasons like entertainment, communication, seek information, and express their feelings in forms of journals, blogs, articles, Q&A forums, social media, etc. It means people spend a lot of time on the internet. So it is a great opportunity to reach out to those people on the internet through digital marketing.
Sounds simple? But no, it is not that simple as it sounds. Capturing the attention of your audience at the right time, and at the right place is important in digital marketing. It requires a well planned digital marketing strategy to grab your audience’s attention and motivate them to take action on your website.
To build a successful digital marketing strategy and launch a successful digital marketing campaign you need a Digital Marketing Expert. A digital marketing expert is one who puts together the entire digital marketing strategy. Also, he executes it as per the plan to achieve the desired goals for the business.
How to Become a Digital Marketing Expert?
Most noteworthy is the question “How to Become a Digital Marketing Expert”.
To become a Digital Marketing Expert you technically don’t need a degree or diploma. But you need to have a certain set of skills. For instance, using the internet, writing engaging and meaningful content, knowledge about SEO, managing PPC advertisements, handling Social Media marketing, etc.
Digital marketing is not as easy as to follow the marketing’s rule book and as straight forward as traditional marketing used to be.
Its rules are literally not by the book but are tailor-made, built from the data analysis and gut feeling. This understanding comes from analyzing the digital trends, experience in digital marketing, industry & domain knowledge and requirement of the business.
Simple Steps to Become a Digital Marketing Expert?
Though a lot of information is available online about digital marketing, just finding where to start can be challenging. And even when you get started, how do you ensure you are not wasting your time, efforts, and money. Don’t worry, below is the Step by Step Learning Process to Become a Digital Marketing Expert. And this will help you proceed in an efficient way.
Step 1: Invest in a Good Personal Computer
Though it is not necessary, I recommend the learners to invest in buying a good personal computer. Many people are comfortable working on their smartphones. But when it comes to writing long content mobile devices might not be a good idea. Similarly, editing images and resizing them would also be better on a computer than a mobile device.
Step 2: Read Digital Marketing Blogs & Tutorials
The starting point in the journey to becoming a digital marketer is to first learn and understand digital marketing concepts. Digital marketing is complex and you need to learn a lot about the different digital marketing concepts. Start reading digital marketing blogs and tutorials in detail.
There are a lot of free & paid Udemy courses on digital marketing which will help you learn the concepts faster. That’s the good starting point, to begin with.
Step 3: Start Implementing Your Knowledge & Learning
Start writing your articles and try writing SEO optimized articles and save them for publishing online. List down the keywords with the highest search volume and write articles about them on your blog. This will quickly bring organic traffic to your website.
Step 4: Set up a Blog/Website
Think of a nice name for your blog depending on the topic you want to write about. Make sure your blog’s name is unique. Register your domain with the name you have decided for your blog and subscribe a hosting plan to host your website/blog. (Try to buy a .com domain if possible).
Install a free or paid WordPress theme that you like on your website. Make sure the theme you install on your website is responsive. Because a lot of visitors (63%) would be visiting your website from their mobile phones. Hence, your website needs to be responsive to serve those mobile visitors.
Buy a hosting plan to host your website which is reliable, fast and secure. You can use siteground which is very fast, reliable and affordable.
Step 5: Generate XML Sitemap of Your Website
Generating the XML sitemap of your website or blog will be handy when you submit your website to Google for crawling. Google bots read your website and its content from the sitemap you submit to Google Search Console. Best is to use a plugin which automatically generates and updates the sitemap whenever new content is added on the website and adds it to the sitemap.
Step 6: Verify Your Website with Google Search Console & Bing Webmaster
Now sign up with Google Search Console and submit your website for Google Crawling. Signing up with Webmaster tools will help you submit your sitemap on google. Google bots crawl your website through the sitemap and index your pages in google searches accordingly.
Step 7: Set up Google Analytics
Obviously, you want to see what is happening on your website and how your articles are performing, how many visitors you get on your website, etc. For that, you need to set up Google Analytics on your website. For that, you need to signup for Google Analytics and install Google Analytics tracking code on your website to see the amount of traffic you drive on your website.
Learn a little about Google Analytics to make sense of your Google Analytics data. This will help you understand your visitor’s behavior, the performance of your articles, demography of your visitors, etc.
Step 8: Set up Social Media
You also need to set up your social media channels like Facebook page, LinkedIn page, Twitter, YouTube if you also want to create some video content, Instagram, etc. Start with the setup of a Facebook page dedicated to your blog where you can share the links of your articles. Invite your friends to follow your page and read your articles. Also, ask them to share the posts on their walls and Facebook groups they are associated with.
Step 9: Enable Social Sharing & Integrate Facebook Page Plugin
Enable social sharing on your blog. If you are using WordPress then you can use the free WordPress plugin to share your articles on different social media platforms. This will also help you create back-links for your articles and drive traffic on your website.
And the readers on your website would also want to share the content which they like on social media, so this plugin would help them as well to share your content. Add Facebook Page Plugin in your blog and ask your readers on the blog to like and follow your Facebook page.
If you want you can also integrate the widgets for Instagram and Twitter to show the latest posts on your Twitter and Instagram and motivate your visitors to follow you on those channels.
Step 10: Enable Email Subscription
Enable email signup form in your blog and ask the visitors to subscribe for your newsletter. Email your subscribers whenever you publish something in your blog. Sign up for an email marketing service such as MailChimp or SendGrid.
They give you free emailing on a list of up to 2000 contacts. MailChimp also offers a WordPress plugin to directly add the newsletter subscribers from your blog in the email list. So, whenever you publish something on your website, you might want to inform your audience about it. Emailing is a great way to do that.
Step 11: Publish Your Content
Since you have done the basic setup of your website, now it is time to publish your content on the website. Publish your content on the website and don’t forget to follow the SEO guidelines while doing it.
If you properly write your content and optimize it for the search engines you will see the organic traffic growing pretty fast on your website.
This is what everyone out there in the digital world is killing for — to be seen on the web. And if you can get that position on the search engine organically, nothing is like that.
Step 12: Promote Your Content
First of all when you have published the content on your website make sure you have shared it on all the social media channels you have the presence on. Social plugins you have installed on your website would help you do that in just a few clicks.
Step 13: Start Paid Ads
You can drive more traffic on your website by advertisement. All the major social media channels and search engines like Google and Bing offer opportunities for paid ads. Paid Advertisements can quickly bring more targeted traffic to your website.
Google Ads gives Rs. 2000/- Free Credit on signing up which you can use with your Rs. 500 Ad Budget to promote your website. Keep lowest CPC bids so that you get more clicks and website visitors for your Ad budget.
With Google Ads, you can do both display and search ads. Also, you can show your ad banners on the entire Google network including YouTube.
If your target audience is mostly on the yahoo and bing networks then you should do advertisements on Bing. For the reason that your audience uses the bing network for searches, they will see and engage with your Bing Ads rather than the Google Ads.
You can also choose to promote your website with Facebook ads. Target people who might be interested in your blog subject.
If you want to reach out to more people on Twitter and LinkedIn you can choose to advertise on Twitter & LinkedIn. Though, Twitter and LinkedIn both are expensive as compared to Facebook Ads and Google Ads. But, if your target audience is on Twitter & LinkedIn you should for it.
Step 14: Create BackLinks
All of this you can do in about a month’s time and doing this would give you hands-on experience in SEO, Google Ads, Website Optimization, Domain Registration, installing WordPress themes, installing and using WordPress plugins, making use of the Google Analytics data, Email Marketing, Facebook Ads, Social Media Marketing, and most importantly writing SEO optimised articles and researching keywords to write articles.
And all this added together covers more than half of the Digital Marketer’s job. But the discussion would not be complete unless we discuss the important components of digital marketing.
These components comprise certifications of Google, Twitter, Bing, and HubSpot, etc. These certifications helps you enhance your knowledge. Let’s see that as well.
Important Components of Digital Marketing
Below are the most basic and important components which a Digital Marketing Expert should know in and out:
- Content Marketing
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
- Paid Search, also called Pay Per Click (PPC)
- Content Automation
- Influencer Marketing
- Campaign Marketing
- Data-Driven Marketing
- E-Commerce Marketing
- Affiliate Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Social Media Marketing (SMM)
- Social Media Optimization (SMO)
- Display Marketing
- Video Marketing
- Mobile Marketing
- Gaming Advertisements
- Web Analytics and Reporting
- Google Search Console
You will see that when you dedicate 3-4 hours daily for learning about Digital Marketing and about an hour to implement your learning on your website/blog then you are almost half-way there.
Mastering all the Digital Marketing Concepts, understanding and know-how of using the Digital Tools, and knowing the use of the Digital Marketing resources is one part of the Digital Marketing.
The second part is to make the strategy for any business you want to get involved with, for achieving its business objective, viz., branding, brand positioning, increasing revenue, upselling, cross-selling, lead generation, sign-ups, etc.
Digital Marketing Courses or Certifications to Enhance Your Digital Marketing Knowledge?
Digital Marketing is still an evolving industry and with new researches, new development, new technologies, new digital tools, new social media networks, new coding languages, it is certainly not possible to define a specific curriculum for it.
Anyone with a desire can become a Digital Marketer without any training. Unbelievable, isn’t it?
But, it’s true! There is a lot of free stuff available on the internet on different topics of digital marketing. You can read, understand and evaluate your learning by implementing the same in your project.
But, people who want to become a Digital Marketing Expert in less time can undergo professional training. Taking training from experts helps you to learn things better and faster.
Below are some of Google’s Certifications which you can do on your own. It will help you enhance your knowledge in digital marketing and understand Google’s Advertising systems.
- Search Certification
- Mobile Certification
- Mobile Sites Certification
- Video Certification
- Digital Sales Certification
- Shopping Certification
- Display Certification
- Apps Administrator Fundamentals
- Analytics Individual Qualification
- Google Analytics Premium
- Analytics 360
- Google Online Marketing Fundamentals
Below are some of the HubSpot’s Certifications which you can do on your own. These certifications would help enhance your knowledge in digital marketing and its components in detail.
- Inbound Marketing Certification
- Inbound Sales Certification
- Social Media Certification
- Content Marketing Certification
- Search Engine Optimization
- Brand Engagement Certification
- Graphic Design Certification
- Sales Manager Training Certification
- Facebook Marketing Certification
- Lead Management Certification
- Conversational Strategy Certification
- Facebook Advertising Certification
- Business Writing Certification
- Email Marketing Certification
- HubSpot Marketing Software Certification
- Sales Enablement Certification
- Sales Software Certification
- Growth-Driven Design Certification
Unlike Google, Bing offers one certification which covers everything about the Bing advertisement. Note that Yahoo also uses the Bing platform for advertisements.
Certification from Twitter helps you understand the twitter marketing system. It will also help you learn using a Twitter Business account to advertise on twitter.
NOTE: All of the above-mentioned courses and certifications are absolutely FREE. But it takes a lot of time to prepare for these certifications.
Now the important question is: Would I Become a Digital Marketing Expert by doing these courses and Certifications?
So, the answer to that question is like this: Learning Digital Marketing is like learning to ride a bike. Besides the instructor’s guidance, you need to practice on your own, and test your driving skills on all the terrains.
Similarly, in Digital Marketing you need to apply your skills in different Industry Verticals to become a Digital Marketing Expert.
Practice, innovative thinking, and patience are the keys to Success in Digital Marketing.
The best thing about digital marketing is that you can begin learning and implementing your understanding practically simultaneously. It’s kind of DIY (Do-It-Yourself). You can start small by setting up a website/blog of your own.
All you need is a computer connected with the internet and spirit to learn.
Digital Marketing is all about strategy and execution. And consequently, the execution takes much more time than learning the concepts, tools and using resources.
Your experience increases with the amount of work you do and the time you productively spent in Digital Marketing.
Companies are looking for people who are experts in building up 360° integrated marketing plans and executing them successfully.
Having relevant work experience and certifications from Google, HubSpot, etc., would be an added advantage in getting employment opportunities.
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