Digital Marketing – How much of it is white noise and how much truly shows results? Any doubts surrounding this question have clearly been dispelled with marketing online reaching every nook and cranny of every business in every country. No one can escape it.
I have been at it for a while (since 2013) and I am still learning.
I wanted to give you a leg-up on insights around Digital Marketing that could help kickstart your journey in Digital Marketing.
The Why to any experience is essential for it to be life-changing. So let’s get to it.
Why Digital Marketing?
The Landscape Is Changing Way Too Quickly
With fast-evolving technology and market changes, it has become increasingly important to stay updated in order to stay ahead. Being on the outs widens the knowledge gap making it difficult to catch up with every passing trend. Every day there is a new tool, a new update, a new channel. Businesses are moving online and it’s important to stay current to survive.
Marketing Isn’t Silo’ed Anymore
The lines between technology, design, and marketing within the realms of digital marketing are now blurred. Every marketer should understand the basic workings of Tech & Design integrated with Marketing to fully comprehend the potential of Digital Marketing as a Weapon of Mass Dissemination.
These days digital marketers don many hats and that too seamlessly. They go from being savvy business developers, storytellers that use words and visuals to their advantage and discerning analysts that listen to what the numbers are saying – with equal ease.
You’ve understood the Why, you are super close (one paragraph away) to discovering the How but before that, you need to ask yourself ‘What do I want to learn and be great at?’
The skillset around Digital Marketing has expanded a great deal. Social Media Strategy, AdWords, SEO, Analytics, Animation, Infographics and their extended cousins have gained cult status in today’s times. Businesses and clients have come to expect these services from marketing service providers in addition to basic strategy, content, design, and execution.
Zero in on what you are good at or wish to develop. Are you a storyteller? Are you into numbers? Find your core skill. It could be Business Development, Content Creation/SEO, Data Analytics or a balanced mix of all.
How to get started and get good along the way
A wide array of resources online, many of which are freely available make it possible for budding marketers and old-school professionals to step up their game through specialized, in-depth training. Work towards gaining insights into the skills you wish to pursue and take it from there.
Once you are comfortable with a particular area of execution and have gathered a fair bit of experience in applying the insights you gathered, it is the right time to mix things up. Crossover to learning and working towards other skills that are an integral part of your work universe. Increasingly so cross-functional training is gaining acceptance and being encouraged in industries and businesses for teams to be more collaborative, communicative, innovative, experimental and diverse. Cross-functional training is crucial to reinvent yourself and stay relevant in more ways than one.
Buffer published a phenomenal blog on How to Become a T-Shaped Marketer that highlighted the traits of a marketer across primary components like Base Knowledge, Marketing Foundation, and Channel Expertise. This nifty graphic shows how the T shape provides a framework to depict people with diverse skills, at varying levels of depth and breadth.
Modes of Learning
You have the option of reading blogs, watching videos, listening to podcasts and attending webinars and workshops related to the topics you choose to learn. Zero in on what works for you and the format you are most likely to keep going back to consistently. You could mix it up too as long as the learning is on-going and effective in gaining clarity on concepts you choose. Find content in the medium you most relate to and consume it. Daily and diligently.
Learning by Doing
After having gained a fair bit of conceptual knowledge, getting some hands-on experience would help gauge your understanding of the topics and will further learning through live application. Startups are always on the lookout for interns and working professionals have the option of contributing their efforts and time to organizations, especially non-profits who need these services and would be willing to let you try your hand at it. You could also initiate an independent project that could use these skills.
What are some of the Best Digital Marketing Resources Out There
There is no dearth of courses, tutorials and free aids that can help you find your way in the world of Digital Marketing and become a force to reckon with. There are two broad options to go at this. You can immerse yourself in a course (online/in-person) that walks you through various topics of significance, followed by quizzes, assessments and a certification. This is the end-to-end option most effective for individuals who prefer the traditional classroom style of teaching. You could also resort to learning individual topics separately based on your area of interest and application. This works well for those who enjoy self-learning and are willing to invest the time, effort and discipline required for a sustainable self-learning format.
End to End Digital Marketing Courses
Here is a short list of some the best courses available in the online and offline space.
Disclaimer: I don’t make money promoting these courses. There are so many references online, so having something curated from all that content out there might be helpful. All the examples here are available online.
- SimpliLearn – Digital Marketing Certified Associate (DMCA). These guys have a self-paced course and a trainer integrated course where you can sign up for classes over the weekend online. The course content is comprehensive and certification focused. I actually taught Digital Marketing with them for a while.
- Digital Vidya – Certified Digital Marketing Master (CDMM) Their courses are quite comprehensive as well. Again certification focused.
- Udemy – The Complete Digital Marketing Course – 12 Courses in 1 & Digital Marketing Masterclass 2018 – 23 Courses in1 . If you are self-motivated and don’t need a classroom-like environment, these courses could be a game changer, especially because they are very cheap compared to the rest.
- Udacity – Become A Digital Marketer & Learn Digital Marketing in collaboration with In collaboration with Facebook, Google, Hootsuite, Hubspot, MailChimp, Moz.
- Reforge – Growth Series. These guys are legit. This is an 8-week program for Marketing Managers and Marketing Heads who want to get better. It is taught by Brian Balfour and Andrew Chen, two of the most data-driven marketers out there.
Specialised courses and Self-Learning Resources
Here are some aids to help you get started with specific areas.
- Reading Material / Free Resources
- GrowthLab’s Ultimate Guide to Email Copywriting
- Email marketing templates from Really Good Emails. I can’t believe this isn’t shared enough. A great resource for all types of emails. #Winning.
- 600 Free templates from Email on Acid
- 1500 Free Responsive Email Templates
- The 17,000-Word Beast Ramit Sethi Created to Launch His New Course by Copygrad. If you are a blogger and looking to start a platform, this is your go-to guy.
- Trip Advisor’s Email strategy. This is more about the 41 different types of emails they send that open emails and improve click-through rates. B2C folks will love this.
- Specialised Email Marketing Certification Courses
- Reading Material / Free Resources
- Reading Material / Free Resources
- The Beginner’s Guide to SEO. It doesn’t matter who you are, knowing SEO is a game changer. Most sites get their traffic organically. Thus learning this skill is essential. Moz and breaks it down into different chapters.
- Basic SEO by Moz Series of SEO blogs by Moz
- Neil Patel’s SEO Made Simple: A Step-by-Step Guide. Observe the style of writing in this one. Follows the best SEO practices with high readability. The use of shorter sentences, bolding text, images, and CTA in the blogs. It is gold.
- Backlinko’s 21 Actionable SEO Techniques That Work GREAT in 2018. Backlinko’s resources for anything SEO are amazing. From SEO hacks, latest SEO trends to how to get more traffic with less.
- Specialised SEO Courses
- SEMRush Academy
- SimpliLearn – Advanced Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Certification Training
- SEO That Works – Brian Dean, the founder of Backlinko and SEO That Works, is the latest stud in SEO. This course is worth a $1000. Yeah, it is freaking expensive but all the stuff that he mentions when implemented is exponential revenue for businesses.
- Reading Material / Free Resources
Conversion rate Optimization (CRO)
- by Hubspot
- Free Content Marketing Course by HubSpot (Recommended)
- Ankur Warikoo’s talk on Experiential Marketing at Nearbuy describes how to get started with Experiential Marketing and squeeze marketing juice out of your activities.
- Series of blog posts on Experiential Marketing by dio
- Click on each of the sub-categories under Experiential Marketing for industry-wide practices and strategies.
- 8 Best Practices for Using Google AdWords
- Adwords best practices
- 19 Reasons Why Single Keyword Ad Groups (SKAGs) Always Win. This is changing the way people run AdWords.
- LinkedIn Text Ads Best Practice: Case Study
- Coschedule’s 40 Social Media Marketing Tips Every Marketer Needs To Know (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn)
- 15 Psychological Studies That Will Boost Your Social Media Marketing by Buffer Social
- Writing for digital has taken on a whole new set of rules which are both scientific and creative when put to use. Look up this free tutorial on how to get your copy to convert – Conversion Copywriting 101
- The Ideal Length of Everything Online, Backed by Research by Buffer Social
- Canva. If you haven’t used this yet, start. Now marketers can design stuff too.
- The Definitive Guide to Growth Hacking by Quick Sprout, Neil Patel
- Growth Hacking Explainer Video from Growth Tribe. David actually explains it quite well.
Every minute new ideas, strategies, and software are joining the ranks of established systems of Digital Marketing and challenging their status quo.
This was just the tip of the iceberg. There is a lot more where that came from.
Keep up and keep at it. Cheers!
Gif Courtesy: Giphy
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