In 2018, there was an increase of 144% in the number of online marketing job vacancies compared to 2017. However, as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to loom over the world, more and more people are wary of committing to a long-term contract in the freelance world. As search engine marketing (SEM) is a viable career path and a potential stepping stone to a full-time role, more and more people are looking to gain digital marketing skills and develop their freelance careers.
If you’re looking to get started in the digital marketing field and want to know what digital marketing courses you should take to further your career, this article will help you decide. We’ll define what is digital marketing and explore the different types of courses available to you.
What Is Digital Marketing?
In a nutshell, digital marketing is the process of getting potential customers to view, click, or otherwise interact with your digital content (web pages, emails, social media posts, and so on) in exchange for something valuable.
As the name would suggest, most of the content you’ll encounter in a digital marketing course is digital. However, that doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself to digital marketing courses and employers. While most digital marketing courses would include learning how to optimize websites, email marketing, and social media, you’ll also learn how to integrate offline marketing (such as radio advertisements, billboards, and magazine spreads) into your strategy. Additionally, you might even be asked to develop a comprehensive campaign plan and create digital marketing jobs you can use immediately after graduation.
Types Of Digital Marketing Courses
Depending on what path you choose, you can tailor your learning experience and find the right course for you. Here are the most popular types of digital marketing courses and the corresponding learning outcomes you can expect to acquire upon completing each course.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of improving a website or other digital content to make it appear more relevant in the organic (non-paid) search results of search engines such as Google and Bing. Essentially, SEO is the process of getting “free” traffic to your site. When a potential customer types in keywords or phrases related to your product or service and lands on your site, you’ve effectively achieved SEO.
There are four main components to an efficient SEO strategy:
- on-site SEO
- off-site SEO
- link building
- content creation
On-site SEO involves optimizing each page of your website for maximum search engine visibility. Your on-site SEO strategy might include things like creating appropriate headers and footers, including a sitemap to help search engines find and crawl your content, and devising a keyword strategy to ensure your site is optimized for key words and phrases related to your products or services. This entails analyzing the competition to see what keywords they are using and implementing these keywords into your content to enhance your SEO.
Off-site SEO is pretty self-explanatory. It involves getting other websites to link to your website. A website linked to yours is considered “authoritative” and provides additional exposure to your site. This could be done by either hiring a freelancer to get a link created for you on other websites or purchasing a backlink (in the form of a reciprocal link or “nofollow” link) through a link building program.
Another important factor in SEO is ensuring that your website is mobile-friendly. Since 2016, Google has favored mobile-friendly sites over their non-friendly counterparts in search rankings. In 2020, accessing your site over a mobile device is considered a “signal” that you’re providing a good user experience and may improve your site’s position in search results. To learn more, check out Google’s official website on mobile search.
2. Social Media
The world of social media is constantly evolving, and in order to keep up with the ever-changing platforms and tactics, it’s important to keep learning. If you’re looking to enter the world of social media, you might consider taking a specialized course that focuses on a single platform such as Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest. Alternatively, you could learn the general principles behind social media marketing and apply these to multiple platforms using tools like Hootsuite, TikTok, or WordPress.
3. Email Marketing
Emails are one of the most popular digital marketing courses. Many internet users have hundreds, if not thousands, of email addresses entered into their accounts across platforms like Gmail, Yahoo, and iCloud. As such, it’s easy to target an audience with email marketing campaigns.
While it’s not essential that you learn how to send emails, it’s considered a useful skill to have. Email marketing is a quick, easy, and cost-effective way to communicate with your audience, and with the right tools and coursework, you can put together a comprehensive plan and gain effective email marketing skills.
4. Marketing Analytics
If you’re looking to further your career in digital marketing and want to be able to prove the worth of your work, you might consider looking into marketing analytics. Marketers with a keen interest in analytics often find employment in advertising agencies or in-house marketing departments where they can use their analytical skillset to gain insight into the effectiveness of their campaigns. In 2020, there were 120,000 unfilled marketing analytics jobs globally, so if you’re looking to get into this field, now might be a good chance to do so.
To learn more, check out these marketing analytics jobs listed on CareerBuilder.com. On the other hand, if you’re looking for an easy way to make a quick buck, you might consider starting your own marketing agency and using your analytical skills to develop marketing plans and execute marketing campaigns for your clients. With the right training and qualifications, you could easily find yourself leading a team of analysts working on a range of marketing initiatives for brands worldwide.
Why Should You Take These Courses?
If you’re entering the field of digital marketing and want to gain expertise in areas like SEO, social media, email marketing, or marketing analytics, these courses will help you get there. Learning to optimize a website for search engines is an easy way to get your foot in the door, and the ability to do so can be extremely useful in gaining further employment opportunities. Additionally, all of these courses can be taken online, which makes them accessible to those who might otherwise be unable to take a traditional class due to geographical or financial limitations. Not only that, but due to the world transitioning to a digital sphere, these courses are often required in order to gain further employability. The information and knowledge you learn from these courses can also be used to create effective marketing strategies for your employers or clients, gaining you some valuable job skills and a valuable reference in the process.
If you’re looking for accredited online marketing degrees, top-ranking universities such as the University of Southern California, the University of Texas at Austin, and the Georgia Institute of Technology have some of the most sought-after programs. For those seeking personal rather than professional development, self-paced online learning platforms like FutureLearn offer extensive knowledge and a friendly learning environment. With so much information available online, it’s never been easier to get a degree and be equipped for a career in a relatively short amount of time. With the world of digital marketing constantly evolving, it’s essential to stay informed and learn new things.