Digital marketing is the use of online channels including computers, mobile phones, and other digital platforms to promote and sell products and services. As online overtakes traditional advertising media such as print, radio, and television, it has become absolutely critical to include digital as part of any marketing mix (and budget). In many ways, digital marketing relies on established techniques and time-tested principles of traditional marketing - know your customer, for example - but the advent of digital channels and marketing analytics has also created new ways of selling.
For example, inbound marketing, which attracts customers to come to you instead of the other way around, is a paradigm that has only become possible in the digital marketing era. It leverages social media marketing analytics and targeting capabilities, along with content marketing created with search engine optimization (SEO) in mind, to reach customers that are likely to already be interested in your product. Social media has also created the new paradigm of influencer marketing, which uses partnerships with key leaders or “influencers” in specific market niches to get the word out about your product.
Like so much else in our increasingly-digital world, digital marketing offers much more precise and data-driven solutions than those possible in the analog era. At the end of the day however, like any topic in advertising, digital marketing is still all about making a connection with your customer - regardless of what channel you’re using. Thus, communication skills, creativity, and the ability to empathize with your audience remain as important to digital marketing success as the mastery of any search algorithm.
Like trends in social media, trends in digital marketing evolve very quickly, making this an exciting and ever-changing field. If you like the challenge of figuring out ways to use the hot new social media network or viral media sensation to connect with customers in new and engaging ways, this fast-paced career path will never leave you bored.
If you have an all-around expertise in digital marketing trends and the way they can serve broader business goals, marketing research analysts and marketing managers with these skills are in high demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, marketing manager jobs are expected to grow by 8% between 2018 and 2028 and pay a median wage of $135,900 per year - and, unsurprisingly, “advertising managers who can navigate the digital world should have the best prospects.”
Copywriters, photographers, designers, and other “creatives” can also benefit greatly from understanding how digital marketing works. By learning what digital marketing campaigns need and how they are optimized, skilled “content creators” can find virtually unlimited work opportunities from companies eager to harness the power of these channels effectively.
Yes, Coursera has a wealth of courses and Specializations to choose from in digital marketing, as well as related courses in business and data science that can further enhance your expertise in this field. These courses offer a flexible schedule and a lower cost than on-campus programs, making them an ideal fit for working marketing professionals who want to bring their skills into the digital era while continuing to work full time or part time at their current job. And, because these are courses from top-ranked schools like Northwestern University and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, you don’t have to choose between getting a high-quality education and learning online.
Having skills and experience that include knowing the fundamentals of how internet searches work, search engine optimization (SEO), content writing, video work, and social media are helpful to already have before starting to learn digital marketing. This would include the skills to do content research, including keyword research, website audits, and the ability to create content in written, video, and audio formats. To learn this, it would help to have strategic thinking and a data-driven mindset in your experience.
The kind of people that are best suited for work that involves digital marketing are people who may be creative, analytical, or both. For the creative types, there are abundant opportunities in digital marketing in video creation, creative content writing for blogs, and audio skills for podcasts. Analytical-minded people are also highly sought after in digital marketing, as they work in areas that demand high focus and concentration, like SEO, keyword research, and website analytics. Digital marketing is important, as all of us are on the internet every day. The people who are best suited to learn digital marketing are those who have smart internet skills, writing ability, and social media insights. When you learn digital marketing, you find that these skills may help you achieve your marketing goals, to bring information for websites and content around a company's message closer to the top of search results.
You might know if learning digital marketing is right for you if you are a creative or analytical professional who can work collectively with others. Digital marketing is a science and an art form that combines both skills to achieve success for clients and companies. Digital marketing might be right for you if you are into data science, search analysis, and consumer behavior. Having this interest would help you to become a search engine analyst working in digital marketing. You may also get involved in digital marketing if you are creative in nature. Having the ability to write, make audio recordings for podcasts, shoot video, and work social media will certainly align your talents with working in digital marketing.
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