Digital marketing is a fast-growing industry in the UK, and elsewhere around the world.
Developing your skills in this area could be good for a number of reasons.
You might be looking to start a career in SEO, content marketing, or paid media.
Or perhaps you’re a marketing manager who wants to understand everything a bit better, so you’re more comfortable dealing with agencies.
Whatever the reason, there are lots – and we mean lots – of great resources for those looking to learn.
A number of universities offer degrees in digital marketing now. If you want to learn at school, then you might want to consider this route.
But everything they can teach you on an expensive course can be learned in your own time online – and for considerably less money (often free).
Here, we’re going to show you how you can learn digital marketing.
Deciding on Your Specialty
We wouldn’t recommend aiming to become an expert in every area.
Simply by working in a digital marketing environment, you’ll pick up knowledge from all different channels.
But the term ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ definitely applies.
It’s very rare you’ll come across an SEO expert who writes all their own content, can manage paid media budgets, is a great designer, and can develop their own apps.
Set a goal of becoming the best you can possibly be in one specialty.
But which one do you choose?
For some the choice is obvious. If you enjoy writing, the roles of copywriter or content marketer are very appealing.
Likewise, designers tend to show an interest (and a talent for) design before ever even thinking about working in digital marketing.
But some positions have only been around since the start of the internet. SEO and PPC specialists, for example.
They can be quite technical roles. You have to love digging through the back end of a website, trawling through analytics software, and managing budgets.
Another option is social media. Most people use Facebook, Twitter etc. in their day to day lives – but it’s very different using it for promotional purposes.
You probably won’t know what you will and won’t like until you’ve given things a try. You don’t have to commit to anything, but reading some of the below resources can help you make a decision.
How to learn SEO
There are three elements to SEO – and if you want to really excel in such a role, you’ll need to become an expert in each.
The first is technical. Optimising a website so that it meets all technical requirements set by Google, to give your websites the best possible chance of ranking in the top positions.
Then there is on-page, which is mainly content-focused. You don’t need to be a writer (most SEOs delegate writing tasks to copywriters), but you do need to develop content strategies that will showcase your website as an authority in the industry.
Finally, there is off-page. This is all about getting other, high-authority websites in your industry to link back to your business. It shows Google you are a respected voice and will benefit your rankings.
To learn SEO, we’d advise heading over to Moz. They have detailed, informative guides on every aspect of SEO that will really help you get started.
How to Learn PPC
Similar to SEO, PPC is a large subject. It will take a couple of years – at least – for you to become a complete expert.
But everyone starts somewhere. Begin with the basics. Learn all about what PPC is, what a good strategy involves, and then you can start to get creative.
We’d recommend reading this article on Wordstream.
It’s written by Larry Kim, one of the biggest names in the industry. At the end of the post, you’ll see a link to his complete guide to PPC.
Get that too. It’s incredibly detailed, and offers all sorts of tips on developing your PPC skillset, so you can become an expert yourself.
But as always, the best way to learn is by doing. It’s definitely worth seeing if there any apprenticeship opportunities near you. Getting on the job experience will prove to be very valuable.
How to Learn Content Marketing
Content marketing is more of a creative discipline, rather than a technical one.
Typically the best content marketers will have a natural flair for this sort of thing. But that doesn’t mean things can’t be learned.
In fact, it’s essential that those starting out take the time to study what content marketing is, the effect it can have, and how it produces results.
We’d advise taking the online Content Marketing Certification Course at HubSpot.
It’s completely free. You just need to register at the above link, and you can begin going through all the course materials in your own time.
Content marketing can include a multitude of different content types – from blog posts and ebooks, to infographics and animations.
You don’t need to be skilled at all of these things – or even any. Simply being a good content strategist can lead to a long and successful career.
That means determining which type of content is going to help you achieve your goals, ensuring the project gets completed to a high-standard, and delivers results.
How to Learn Social Media
Social media is relatively new in the age of the internet. It hasn’t always been around, but it’s certainly important.
If you’re considering a career in social media marketing, whether that be in an organic or paid role (many choose to do both) – then here’s what you need to do.
Once again, we rely on HubSpot to produce the goods.
It has a fantastic course on How to Use Social Media in Every Stage of the Funnel.
Social media advertising is generally more accessible to businesses, as it’s cheaper. So it’s might be a good idea to start here rather than with paid Google ads.
Although we’ve talked about focusing on one specialty, paid social media and PPC have a lot in common, and so it’s not unusual to see ‘paid media specialists’ who are experts in both.
A lot of lessons learned in one can be applied to the other.
Get Started Today
The above resources we’ve linked to are all free.
And they’re easy to understand. They’ll really help you get started in the industry, once you’ve chosen your speciality area.
If you currently work at a business that requires digital marketing expertise, then you should be aware that The Source offers training services.
We can come to you, or you can come to us, for a face-to-face training session where we’ll cover any topics you’re interested in.
Read more about this in our Education section.