Digital marketing is a diverse and fascinating industry, with its allure calling to thousands of young people every year. Blogging, vlogging and influencer culture have thrust digital marketing into the spotlight under many different guises but if you’d like you make it your career, you need to know how to get a job in digital marketing in the first place.
Every path into digital marketing looks different, and there is no right or wrong way to get started. If you’re at the start of that journey and not sure where to go, we’ve brought together some different ways to get started in the industry.
What Does Working in Digital Marketing Mean?
No two digital marketers are the same, with specialisms and preferences playing a key role. Therefore, the first thing to consider when looking at how to get a job in digital marketing is how you would like to work.
While interest across the board is useful, it’s best to find one side of the industry to focus on as your specialism – that way you can focus your learning and your CV. For example, analytically-minded people might gravitate towards SEO and PPC, while creative types might be more drawn to content marketing. Social media is a great all-rounder if you want to see both sides!
You should also consider if you would prefer to work in-house or at an agency (or, if you already have a portfolio, as a freelancer). In-house work will allow you to be focused on one client and can be ideal if you’re looking to specialise in work for one industry, like fashion or technology. They also allow you to really get to grips with how the business runs. On the other hand, agency work can be great for a new starter because you’ll be able to work for a range of different clients and get used to a range of marketing styles and preferences.
How to Start in Digital Marketing
Okay, so the industry is for you, but you’re not sure how to start in digital marketing. Well, there are a few ways you can approach things:
- Get a degree
Having a degree can bolster your chances of getting a marketing job and it doesn’t have to be a degree in marketing! Here at Zelst, our team has a range of degrees between them, from English Literature and History to Business Studies and Sports Marketing.
If you already have a degree or want to get one but aren’t drawn to any marketing-specific courses, don’t worry; the key things to take away from a degree course are transferable skills. For example, an English degree will typically furnish you with strong writing skills, and studying History or Business will hone your analytical skills.
Another upside of a degree course is that most universities have well-established careers services that will help you write a CV and develop your interview skills. They also set up job fairs and provide industry connections to help you get your foot in the door.
- Vocational education
A degree course isn’t for everyone for any number of reasons. However, if you’d still like to engage with a structured learning environment, you could always try a vocational digital marketing course. The Chartered Institute of Marketing offers marketing courses that are more flexible than a university degree but will still give you key industry understanding and a qualification that you can put on your CV.
These courses start from a beginner level, so you can get a foundational knowledge which can be an advantage in hiring pools.
If you’d like to learn, work and get paid all at once, an apprenticeship might be the option for you. While under-19s and those in their first year will only be paid apprenticeship wage (the minimum currently being £4.30), after that, you will be entitled to at least national minimum wage, and the opportunities afforded to you once you complete the course will be worth it!
- Work experience
We’ve probably saved the best to last here; work experience is one of the most effective paths into digital marketing because it allows you to showcase the skills you need to make it in the field. Additionally, when you do work experience with a company, you can make connections to boost your chances of finding work.
The downside of work experience is that you likely won’t get paid for your work, making it harder to access for those who have to pay rent or expenses.
Whether work experience or an internship, make sure you give it your all and take everything in because all of it will help you learn more about digital marketing as a career. See what some of our past work experience placements had to say over on our blog, from learning what we actually do at Zelst to figuring out a career path after university.
How to Get into Digital Marketing with No Experience
Whether you’re just starting out in your career or coming from a different role, marketing is a competitive field, and it can be difficult to know how to get into digital marketing with no experience. Some of our top tips are:
- Look for learning opportunities
Marketers are never done learning – at Zelst, we ensure that every employee has significant dedicated time every month to training and keeping our skills sharp. When you’re new to digital marketing, you’re going to need to be prepared to do a lot of learning, from writing the right kind of content to managing SEO and biddable media (depending on your preferred specialism).
Moz and HubSpot both offer great fundamental resources to help you get to grips with the basics. Aside from that, keep an eye out for webinars, online courses and interesting blogs from within the industry – we recommend our own as a great place to start! Knowledge is key to getting into digital marketing with no experience.
- Get experience
We know it’s not what you want to hear, but experience is key to digital marketing, arguably more than formal qualifications in some cases. If you can prove that you helped a business or individual grow their brand online and how you did that, you’ll stand out much more to potential employers. Even just having a go at writing content or growing a social media
audience can be a good start! And this leads on nicely to our next point…
- Start your own blog
Having your own blog is a great place to start in digital marketing as it can display a lot of the necessary skills to work in marketing. Your blog doesn’t have to have thousands of followers or be about marketing – pick a hobby, trip or goal and post about it. Bonus points if you create a corresponding social media account to get to grips with growing an online audience!
Knowing how to get a job in digital marketing is not an exact science; the job market can be a scary place. However, we’re always looking for new, talented people to join our friendly team. We also take on work experience and interns, so if you’re interested in starting your digital marketing career with us, get in touch today and speak to our team.