Finding a Digital Marketing Job in Virginia
What is Digital Marketing?
If nobody knows about your business, products, and services, how do you keep your business in operation? Marketing has been used since the dawn of time to promote businesses and help them sell their products and services. We see it used daily in billboards as we drive, promotional products at the store, discount coupons in the mail, and commercials on television. Without marketing, businesses can’t communicate with their customers or introduce their products and services to them.
But how is digital marketing different? With the advent of digital transformation, our world has become more connected, using smartphones, computers, and social media to stay connected to one another and find the products and services we need. As the tools and options grew for the general public, the way we communicated began to change. Instead of calling someone or sending a letter, we send texts, instant messages, social media posts, and emails. This has led to a similar change in how marketing takes place.
Digital marketing has the same end goals of helping people find the right products and services in the easiest possible fashion. Because the digital world is complicated, spanning numerous search engines, e-commerce sites, social media sites, and similar areas, new tools were needed to engage users across the internet using a range of new tools that have been fine-tuned to each area’s specific needs. The campaign that is used on business-to-consumer social media may have to take a very different approach in business-to-business LinkedIn, which in turn will be very different than a YouTube or Google Ads approach.
Digital marketing has evolved from merely promoting products and services in an online environment to include a wide range of marketing tactics and tools that work best for the digital world. Understanding how those tools and tactics work together to promote a business is vital to its success in the digital marketing realm. Rather than a product display used in offline marketing seen in a traditional department store, digital marketing focuses on what the consumer is looking for, customizing the specific advertisement shown to the consumer based on their browsing history or other data.
Do You Know Why Digital Marketing is Important?
As our world passes through digital transformation, consider how you’ve responded to digital advertisements in the past. After searching for a friend, were you inundated with ads based on that search? How many businesses did you choose to do business with because of their online presence, even if you did business in a brick-and-mortar store? Have you ever gone to a restaurant because it showed up on a Google search or had good reviews on Yelp? If you have, you’ve received digital marketing to bring you to the point of sale.
In today’s connected world, having a digital marketing strategy is vital to almost all businesses. Paid search delivers advertisements to you, hoping that you would potentially buy what your friend was looking for. Social media advertising told you about the local flower shop that you may have been otherwise unaware of, making it easy to go in and place an order for that beautiful bouquet for Mother’s Day. A Google algorithm introduced you to that great new restaurant because it was being marketed using proper search engine optimization techniques.
Because of the ease of finding a new restaurant, store, or website using online tools, today’s consumer is less likely to use offline marketing sources and more likely to use digital marketing resources that often customize their message to make the tool more user-friendly. For example, if a particular product or feature, such as a teen driving mode in a luxury car, has been very popular with 40 to 45-year-old executive mothers with two children or more that are in their teenage years, digital marketing allows that message to be targeted to that audience in a way that was very difficult in the past. Instead of a billboard selling the feature to everyone who drives by, it’s targeted to moms who meet those standards on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Google Ads, ensuring that the only ads that are being purchased for that campaign are focused on that specific group.
How Does Digital Marketing Work? The Facts
Many digital marketing best practices are used to ensure that consumers have a good user experience, are more likely to make a purchase, and do not feel taken advantage of. The digital marketing specialist employs these practices as part of their overall digital marketing strategy, allowing them to determine the course that their marketing efforts will take over a year, quarter, month, week, or even a single day or set number of hours for some popular product launches.
A wide range of digital marketing tools is employed throughout this strategy, from keyword tools to determine the best keywords to focus on to social media schedulers that allow the digital marketing expert to create several posts that will automatically appear at specific times of the day or week. These tools deliver reliable results, providing the business with growth and revenue in exchange for its marketing budget. Because of the shift that digital transformation has brought to our society as a whole, forward-thinking companies realize the value that an educated digital marketing agency or specialist can bring to their balance sheet by the end of the year.
Digital analytics programs are used to help create a laser-sharp focus for each marketing campaign, focusing on a very specific demographic of the population. Social media managers ensure that they keep a constant stream of content on each of their social media sites and that all consumer concerns are addressed as quickly as possible. Videographers, graphics designers, writers, and video editors all work to develop YouTube content to bring in more customers. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertisers develop a wide range of advertisements to target specific demographics based on search engine or social media searches.
Wherever the consumer is, digital marketing experts are working hard to reach them, ensuring that their needs are met, whether they’re looking for the best private school in the area, the tastiest Asian restaurant near a conference site, the most amazing getaway in the Caribbean or where to find the replacement parts for their vintage pickup truck. This also applies in the business world, with digital marketing specialists focused on business to business (B2B) digital marketing, bringing companies together to find mutually beneficial partnerships, such as a managed IT services company, outsourced accounting firm, a cleaning business to take care of after-hours tidying up or a digital marketing agency to help bring more business in.
Digital Marketing Agency Careers
If this sounds interesting to you, you might find that the range of digital marketing jobs available offers a diverse collection of potential career paths, from business-focused management to creative design and production opportunities. The digital marketing expert covers a wide range of specialties, from very creative copywriting and graphic design to business-world management skills. Though these are found in agencies, there are also numerous opportunities for in-house positions and freelance workers to build a promising career, which provides you with a broader range of potential paths. Here’s a quick look at some of the top specialties available today and what the digital marketing specialists do.
Digital Marketing Manager
Overseeing all of the digital marketing that takes place for a brand, a digital marketing manager will often supervise the company’s entire digital marketing strategy, including a wide range of managers handling digital marketing specialties. They develop a comprehensive digital marketing strategy for the business, whether it’s a small company or a multinational corporation. After guiding the managers underneath them, they supervise the overall SEO results, online advertising, email marketing, mobile app marketing, social media marketing, and similar aspects of the overall digital marketing strategy. If there are areas that are not living up to expectations, they will work with other managers to improve the digital marketing strategy to ensure better results.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Manager
SEO uses a range of digital marketing tools to improve the company’s position on search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing. This type of position requires the use of analytics tools and careful research to ensure they’re progressing in the right direction. In some positions, this job may include search engine marketing and pay-per-click advertising such as Google Ads. The improvement of rank can happen through improving the responsiveness of the website to enhance the customer experience, including specific keywords to improve ranking, delivering high-quality content through social media, articles, white papers, and blog posts, optimizing social media profiles and pages,, and providing landing pages to help improve high rankings across a broader spectrum of search queries. They may also oversee a team to help make this process happen, including SEO analysts, content writers, social media managers, and similar positions that fall under their purview.
Social Media Manager
Today’s social media covers a wide range of websites, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube, so businesses that want to be successful on these social media sites need to have someone overseeing, coordinating, and creating a strategy for their presence. The social media manager develops the overall strategy for the brand across multiple social media channels, including designing digital marketing campaigns, interacting with the brand’s customers and other social media users, analyzing the results of their efforts, and making adjustments to the strategy needed. They may also have a team to oversee for larger or busier social media profiles, ensuring that customer comments are responded to promptly, and will often partner with their company’s customer service team to help resolve customer issues that arise on social media sites.
Digital Marketing Assistants
A digital marketing assistant provides direct support to digital marketing managers, often providing an administrative support role to these professionals. They may write up campaign reports, arrange events, distribute information on a new strategy to other departments or digital marketing specialists, assist with budgeting, provide a liaison for other departments to the digital marketing manager, and support similar aspects. A position as an assistant may also include more mundane tasks such as keeping up with filing, following up on missing paperwork, sending out emails on behalf of the manager, and similar tasks. This can be a good entry-level position for those aspiring to a digital marketing manager position in the future, as it provides exposure to a wide range of skills required in a qualified digital marketing manager.
Digital Marketing Associates
Working directly under the digital marketing manager, a digital marketing associate may have a wide range of skills, including providing assistance in developing the company’s overall digital marketing strategy, running digital marketing programs, working with other digital marketing specialty managers such as SEO and Social Media to ensure the overall digital marketing strategy is reflected in that manager’s efforts and similar aspects. These positions are often found in larger businesses where there needs to be an additional point of contact beneath the digital marketing manager to carry the strategy forward and keep the tone across the entire business. This position also provides useful experience to those seeking a digital marketing management position in the future, making it a comfortable stepping stone to a higher position while still paying well in the process.
Digital Marketing Analysts
If you enjoy the intersection between technology and creativity, you could have a successful future as a digital marketing analyst. Analytics tools look at the results of different marketing campaigns and provide data to help digital marketing managers tweak their campaigns to optimize their investment returns. Digital marketing analysis uses a range of analytics tools, conducts market research, helps provide a data-driven strategy for the department, and tracks the company’s overall digital marketing efforts across a range of metrics to ensure that its overall digital marketing strategy and efforts are delivering reliable results. They may also work with other digital marketing managers and specialists to help them devise a specialty strategy.
Today, part of SEO, social media, and overall digital marketing strategies recognize the importance of quality content. Content managers keep the business’ blogs, downloadable ebooks and white papers, videos, social media posts, articles, guest posts, and similar content ready to go so that there is a constant stream of engagement happening. They often oversee teams of writers, editors, photographers, videographers, and graphics designers to keep content coming in for future use. They also develop editorial calendars, sometimes with other managers such as SEO or social media, to help drive timely content, such as content focused around a specific event, and develop strategies to distribute and amplify the content produced in their team.
Is Digital Marketing in Your Future?
Whether you’re a business owner, student, or just the average person looking for a change, digital advertising offers plenty of opportunities for everyone. If you’re a business owner, having a solid grasp of at least a basic understanding of digital marketing strategy will help you grow your business. You’ll have a better idea of what kind of return on investment you should expect from your digital marketing budget, what platforms the budget is best spent and how to understand what your digital marketing agency is telling you about your campaign.
If you’re a student, there are many options available to help you get a digital marketing degree, leading to a very promising future. Because the digital marketing specialty is so new and in such demand, you’re sure to have your choice of top-paying entry-level digital marketing jobs once you’ve finished your educational program. This allows you to make fast progress in your career, enabling you to reach a higher level of income and prestige with a much shorter waiting period.
But what if you already have a marketing degree? If you’ve already finished your program but want to take advantage of the surge in digital marketing opportunities, it’s easy to get a digital marketing certificate or take a digital marketing course to help make your education current. The flexibility of digital marketing online classes allows you to fit your new education on your schedule and any other personal or work activities essential to your happiness. This will enable you to add to your existing marketing knowledge and teaches you how to apply your new knowledge of digital marketing to grow your career in an exciting new direction.
Digital marketing delivers the opportunity for creative individuals to pursue a promising future with plenty of opportunities. From extremely creative options such as writing, photography, graphic design, and videography to more business-oriented positions such as digital marketing management or directorship, you’re sure to find something that will not only pay well but will be an enjoyable career path.