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To understand digital marketing, we must first understand what went before. For much of the 20th century, people got their news from newspapers, their entertainment from television and theirgift ideas from billboards. When we speak about ‘traditional’ marketing we’re generally referring to:
This sort of marketing is still around and we’re all exposed to it daily. But our attentions and eyeballs are increasingly drawn elsewhere. People are spending twice as much time online as they did ten years ago and the figure jumps to almost triple for young people, almost 27 hours a week. Digital marketing is the practice of marketing on the internet or using digital technologies.
The sites where we spend our time online are also the major players in digital marketing; Facebook, YouTube, Amazon and Google. These websites, or ‘publishers’, host ads in much the same way a TV channel or newspaper does. The types of ads include text ads, banner ads, video ads and more. How they sell this advertising space also varies. Therefore making a digital media plan can be a complex operation, and this is before we consider entirely new digital marketing disciplines like:
“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half.” John Wanamaker
One of the main differences between traditional marketing and digital marketing is the ability to track it. Drafting awesome ad copy or creating striking imagery is still vital. However, a successful digital marketer also needs good analytical skills. No longer is a print ad distributed in the Sunday Papers and everybody crosses their fingers. A digital ad in an online newspaper is trackable from the first time somebody sees it (an impression), to the moment they click it, to their behaviour on the website, to their eventual purchases. Because of this, digital marketers need to be able to crunch the numbers and act based on the findings. What image worked best on Facebook? What line drove the most traffic from Google? What blog posts got shared the most often? These are just some of the questions a digital marketer will face day-to-day.
Andrew Chen is a digital marketing guru: subscribe to his weekly newsletter to keep up-to-date with all the latest digital news, hot topics and industry trends.
Social media isn't just about good quality content - it's about making sure people can find it! Read this blog post from buffer: 'A scientific guide to hashtags', and find some of your own blogs and marketing influencers to follow. Set up some Google alerts on keywords related to your passion/page so you can keep up to date with industry news and trends!
You might be a huge film geek, love cats or want to share your photos of trainers; whatever it is that you're passionate about, start your own social media page! Whether that be Instagram, Twitter or a YouTube channel - start to grow your following and prove to employers that they can trust you with their social channels. Click to check out this podcast from Buffer, The Science of Social Media, to help you get your first 1000 followers.
The Google Digital Garage is an amazingly comprehensive free online resource, covering all things digital - take the course! And put the badge on your LinkedIn and CV once you've finished it, so that employers know you've taken the time to upskill.
Have a think about recent campaigns that you loved or hated - why did that campaign work so well or why did it flop?! Really do your research and have some numbers and stats to hand about some of your favourites or the real clangers. This article from AdWeek on their top 25 campaigns of 2018 should give you some ideas, but make sure to keep checking sites like The Drum, Marketing Weekly and Marketing Tech News regularly to keep you really up to date on what's new.
Digital Marketing can feel full of jargon - get to know what all the different terms and acronyms actually mean by checking out this run down of the 20 must know definitions. You can use it as a handy revision guide - go back and test yourself.
Buckle in and watch this 60 second video for the speediest overview of the must know digital terms!
Search Engine Optimisation (or SEO for short) is what marketers do to make sure their excellent content is seen! Check out this handy starter's guide to SEO so that you can talk about it with confidence in an interview.
Interviewers will be super impressed if you can show an understanding of why businesses need a marketing department, and how your goals are going to fit into the commerical aims of the company you work for. This free online course will take you just 2-3 hours to complete and will help you understand how just that.