Whatever else may be said about life 50,000 years ago, there were a lot fewer distractions. No ancient Savannah-dweller was bombarded by facebook notifications and Tweet storms from a sitting president, no one was organizing meetups for single Cro Magnons. Finding great content was easy: you just wait until the people around you tell a good story.
This is not the case today. In a world where producing content is as simple as starting a blog or posting a 12,000 word manifesto on social media, it’s not surprising that there’s a lot more filtering that has to happen.
What this means is that any content creator is faced with the challenge of distinguishing themselves enough to build an audience. And that’s where digital marketing comes in.
This piece will focus on the basics of digital marketing, the role it plays, and what sorts of jobs a new entrant into the field can expect to be doing.
What Is Digital Marketing (And Why Does It Matter)?
Marketing can be defined as the process of capturing attention and mindshare. Nobody can buy your particular brand of organic, free-range artisanal toothpaste if they don’t know it exists, so your marketer’s job is to make sure they do.
Digital marketing entails adapting the techniques of classical marketing to the needs of a more connected world, while also inventing new strategies for platforms that didn’t exist a decade ago.
Since Zuckerberg invented a social network that has such a huge impact in the world, entrepreneurs discovered how its recommendation algorithms worked well enough to use it for marketing purposes. They did the same with Twitter, learning how best to fit a message into the character restrictions so that it’s most likely to be retweeted by a Kardashian.
This matters for the same reason that marketing has always mattered. Quality marketing makes it possible for others to find and use your product.
Entry-Level Digital Marketing Jobs
If you’re interested in being initiated into the secretive brotherhood of digital marketers, here are four entry-level jobs you might find yourself doing:
- Content Strategist: Many content strategists come from the world of writing, but they also need to develop the ability to think about building ‘sales funnels’ which draw prospective customers in. This means writing copy that catches the eye and compels a person to want to learn more.
- SEO Marketer: A specialty within content creation is SEO-driven marketing. Because of the central role played by the internet and search engines in how people find the things they need, an entire discipline has sprung up around crafting prose that’s more likely to be discovered, indexed, and ranked by Google. You can make good money if you know how to do this well.
- Social Media Marketing Manager: These days pretty much everyone and every business have Facebook pages and Twitter feeds. Learning how to use these tools effectively is a cornerstone in bringing in new customers and raising brand awareness.
- Paid Ads Specialist: Facebook, Google, and most other major online platforms have ways of purchasing advertisements, and each require unique strategies for making ads that have the most impact.
Digital marketing requires both savvy and technical know how (and a stellar marketing portfolio), and it’s not surprising that it draws a lot of high-level talent. If you’d like to get started in the field, consider learning more about these entry-level marketing jobs.