Digital Marketing is a fascinating field for young entrepreneurs, graduate students, and even employees working in the organization. Digital marketing skills have become a must-have.
This is because, for organizations to remain relevant and drive bottom-line growth, there’s a need to incorporate digital marketing strategies into their day-to-day operations.
Starting a career in the digital marketing landscape in Nigeria is a great choice that you’ll never regret. Because I never for once regret it.
It’s a field that’s never too late for anyone (with and without prior experience) to get into.
And you don’t even need a college degree to start. Although many institutions now offer digital marketing courses at colleges and universities, you can learn digital marketing independently.
By using online resources, you can start a career in Digital marketing by building the required skills needed to serve clients or work with organizations – as a full-time employee or consultant around the world, right from the comfort of your home.
Is digital marketing a promising career?
Digital marketing is a great career choice. We live in a digital world where technology has integrated itself well into marketing. And companies realizing this are now moving from the old traditional method of marketing. Organizations are now increasing budgets for digital advertising and away from traditional marketing channels.
Online has become where people spend time interacting with friends and families, including loved ones, and staying up-to-date with news and events around them – thanks to social media.
Companies now need to improve their online visibility, and the good thing is there’s an increasing demand for digital marketing jobs worldwide.
To make sales, you have to be where your customers are, thereby creating the need for companies to hire digital marketing managers.
A digital marketer plays a vital role in any organization by helping the company increase its online visibility, pushing the products irresistibly to where the customers are, and finally growing the revenue and the company’s sustainability.
It’s an exciting field to grow your career because working as a digital marketing professional, you don’t need to be physically present in a particular location, making it easy for you to work with many organizations at the same time. You can start your own business as a digital marketing agency or work as a freelancer.
Digital Marketing Salary
Digital marketing salaries are more than competitive. A recent survey by Credo showed that the average rate for digital marketing consultants worldwide is $140 per hour.
You definitely won’t be able to charge this rate from day one, but it’s something you’ll get to charge someday – even more as your years of experience in the industry increases. Aside from expertise, your location (country) also determines what you’ll earn. However, digital marketing specialists are among the well-paying people anywhere in the world.
Companies are increasing their digital marketing budgets, so there is lots of money to be made in the digital marketing industry.
Ultimate Guide to Starting a Successful Digital Marketing Career in Nigeria.
Here’s a list of 10 steps you can follow today to pursue a career path in digital marketing:
- Learn the basics of digital marketing
- Build your own website or blog
- Become an SEO Expert
- Get a Google Ads Certification/Bing Ads Accredited Professional
- Master Facebook Ads Advertising
- Get a Google Analytics Certification
- Go freelancing
- Get a real internship
- Stay informed of new updates and never stop learning
- Learn how to use digital marketing tools
1. Learn the basics of digital marketing
For beginners moving into the digital marketing landscape, the first step you need to take is learning and understanding what digital marketing is and the main components that make up digital marketing.
Digital marketing or online marketing is a broad scope and has about eight unique but overlapping components. At its most basic, it’s the process of using technology to reach the target audience and sell products to customers.
In between these components are marketing channels. And with different channels come different campaign strategies, and with different strategies come different tactics.
In particular, digital marketing has the following components (disciplines):
1 Search Engine Marketing covers two areas: search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search advertising.
2. Content Marketing: Involves creating, publishing, and distributing content such as videos, audio podcasts, articles, ebooks, infographics, etc., to drive revenue.
3. Email Marketing: Marketing products or services by sending emails to people.
4. Social Media Marketing: includes Facebook marketing, Instagram, and other social media platforms.
5. Mobile Marketing: Important in today’s marketing as more than half of the world’s population uses mobile devices. Mobile marketing allows for broader reach with the ability to target a specific location and personalize a message to each category of the audience (persona)
6. Video Marketing: This involves marketing on YouTube, Vimeo, and other video channels.
7. Web Analytics (Google Analytics): A good digital marketing manager must know data and be creative in approach when it comes to interpretation. Data allows markers to arrive at a decision that would help the company grow.
8. Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC): Running promotions or advertisements on search engines, social media platforms and other publishers' networks. E.g. Facebook ads, Google Ads, Promoted Tweets, etc.
Affiliate Marketing: Making sales by promoting other people’s products and, in return, getting an affiliate commission. E.g. Amazon Affiliate program, Jumia affiliate program.
Influencer marketing: A type of marketing that focuses on using key leaders to drive a brand’s message to a larger audience. so, rather than marketing directly to a large group of consumers, you engage and pay influencers or media evangelists with many followers on social media.
Do I have to start learning all the digital marketing disciplines on the very first day?
No, you don’t. Rome isn’t built in one day. And so, a career in digital marketing is a continuous learning process. While you’re at it, you’ll get a chance to work with different techniques, technologies, and tools, and eventually, the puzzle will be completed.
Just make sure you invest time in self-development and commit yourself to learn something new every day by following industry experts.
2. Build Your own Website or Blog
Once you’re familiar with the basics of digital marketing, the next step you need to take is to get your hands dirty and start practising digital marketing. Practising digital marketing means starting by building your own website and implementing all the theories you’ve learned.
You need to try and test the techniques because whatever the field of discipline you choose in online marketing, the theoretical concept will not make you a professional. And when it comes to building your portfolio, and self-confidence, you have to get your hands dirty and see yourself doing what you hear and read.
Another reason why you have to create your own website is that 95% of the time, you will be asked to work on and promote different websites. Even as a social media manager, you’ll be called to develop a strategy to promote a website on social media.
Because your role will be to bring traffic and qualified leads to the website and ultimately convert them to buying customers.
You can also create a blog and gradually implement an SEO strategy to increase your rankings. You could even go straight to joining an affiliate partner or creating your own product once you start getting significant rankings on search engines.
Having your own website will not only help you learn the different concepts, but you can also use it as a showcase to convince new employers or clients to trust you and secure a good contract or job.
When companies are looking to hire digital marketing specialists, they don’t just look for certifications but for people who can prove their knowledge. And having a website with good content, high rankings, and significant traffic qualifies you as one.
3. Become an SEO Expert
SEO teaches you how to create user-friendly and search engine-friendly websites. You must master various SEO techniques to become a professional digital marketer. SEO is a little bit different from other digital marketing aspects. It can be a bit technical. But not rocket science! If you run a website or blog, you can easily understand the nitty-gritty of SEO within a few months. And when you feel that you have mastered the skills of SEO, continue with the rest.
4. Get a Google Ads Certification or Bing Ads Accredited Professional
Google offers an industry-standard certification for all aspiring digital marketing specialists. Understanding Google Ads (previously known as Google AdWords) will help you to promote products or services on Google networks of sites.
Google Ads certification will boost your chances of getting clients or getting hired by companies.
There are a plethora of resources to help you become a Google AdWords Certified Expert.
Use the following resources to get Google Ads Certified:
5. Master Facebook Ads Advertising
The concept of setting up an advertising campaign is the same. However, you will come across different terms but still mean the same thing as what you learned in Google or Bing.
It’s easy to get started with Facebook ads once you understand Google Ads. Another advertising platform you need to be familiar with is Bing Microsoft. Microsoft will issue you a Bing Ads Accredited Professional certificate upon completion of their exams.
As a digital marketer, you need to know how the different social media platforms work. Major platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn have their own policy, which you must follow.
Facebook is one of the essential advertising tools for any digital marketing campaign.
To make the most out of Facebook, consider using it as an advertising tool to promote your products. This is because getting exposure on the platform organically is harder than before.
6. Get a Google Analytics Certification
Every digital marketing professional needs to know web analytics. Google Analytics, Facebook insights are great free tools you can use to learn digital analytics. There’s always so much data to analyze, especially when you are running campaigns.
Analytics lets you know how many people viewed your campaigns, how many people clicked on your ads and landed on your site, how many conversions were generated, and many other metrics you can use to improve your next campaign or the user’s experience of your website.
To make informed decisions for the success of your business, you need to know how to measure the effectiveness of a campaign and how to analyze the results.
You cannot define success without knowing how to measure success.
Pick up your Google Analytics certification to prove to your clients or potential employers that you understand web analytics.
7. Go freelance
While starting your own website is a great way to implement and execute the strategies and techniques you learn, taking on freelance jobs will advance your knowledge quickly.
By working on different websites, you’ll improve your analytics and reporting skills, learn how to handle budgets, and manage client communication.
Popular freelance sites where you can sign up and start work are upwork.com, peopleperhour.com, fivver.com to apply for digital marketing jobs.
Start with easy tasks first and gradually move to bigger projects. Be polite, be professional, and be transparent. Your client’s feedback and reviews will count a lot. Negative reviews will affect your portfolio.
When you’re looking out for a job, make sure you read the job posting requirements carefully and reply to any questions.
At first, it’s advisable to set low and reasonable prices. Your goal is to get your hands-on experience to attract bigger projects that will eventually pay off later.
8. Go for Internship in Digital Marketing Agency
Joining a digital marketing agency is another way to grow your skills and experience. There are numerous benefits that you’ll get working as an intern.
An internship opens up the opportunity for you to join the company working as a full-time employee. You could get a recommendation from your employer when seeking a job in the labour market. You will learn ways of developing digital marketing strategies, including many skills better than you would when you go freelancing after learning a few things. Another thing is you’ll know how to use digital marketing tools and even have the opportunity to use them on your personal project.
Freelancing without work experience in a company will be more difficult because you’ll have to figure out everything on your own of which you have little understanding of how things work.
As I mentioned above, working with clients is different from doing digital marketing on your own websites. If you don’t have the right processes in place, you will lose valuable time in not ‘billable activities.’ This will reduce your salary and revenue.
9. Stay Informed of New Updates and Never Stop Learning
Digital marketing is a field that experiences new disruptions every day. It’s a dynamic field. New tools, new strategies, daily updates to search engines algorithms, updates to social media platforms, and the only way to know what’s happening is to sign up for newsletters on popular blogs such as:
You can also follow relevant people in the industry on Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, or Instagram.
This article explains everything, including how to grow to become an expert, who to follow, and relevant newsletters to sign up for.
If you want to become an expert in digital marketing, go where the growth is. If you follow my blog and sign up for newsletters, you’ll get information about the important updates in the industry.
I spend about 20% of my time reading about industry updates and new developments, case studies, new tools and staying up-to-date with changes made in all digital marketing channels.
That’s why I can report and write about what’s happening in the digital marketing space. So, I advise you to do the same.
10. Learn how to use Digital Marketing Tools
Tools will make your work a lot easier. Besides Google analytics tools, there are hundreds if not thousands of digital marketing tools out there. You do not need to know all of them, but understanding how to use the most popular, widely used, and industry experts recommended will save you money and time.
When you grow and have to manage a team of digital marketing specialists, the only way to evaluate their works and monitor the progress of multiple projects at the same time is through tools.
The best way to learn tools is by working with a company with an active subscription to some of these tools because they can be quite expensive, especially the widely used tools.
Choosing a career path in digital marketing is an excellent choice because there’s an increased demand for digital marketing skills in Nigeria and worldwide.
Digital marketers are paid competitive salaries. And the good part is the control you’ll have over your time working from home and having enough time for your family.
Many disciplines make up digital marketing. My recommendation for people just starting is to take one of the disciplines and develop an in-depth knowledge of it before moving on to the next area. You should be an expert in all of them if you want to reach the higher end of the pay scale.
There’s a concept known as the “T-shape,” which describes the breadth of understanding and the depth of knowledge.
Go ahead and create your website or blog, develop your content writing ability, implement SEO, join an established digital marketing agency because the experience you will gain working with experts and on multiple projects will be invaluable.
You can start your career as a freelancer and gradually build your clientele if you want to become self-employed or create your own digital marketing company.