How to Learn Digital Marketing: The Ultimate Guide

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.

Core Skills 

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

Specialised/In-depth training 

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.

Cross-Functional Training 

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.

T-shaped Marketer 

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.

Buffer's T-shaped Marketer
Image Courtesy: Buffer

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. 

Specialised courses and Self-Learning Resources 

Here are some aids to help you get started with specific areas.

Experiential Marketing Blog posts on dio
Image Courtesy: diousa.com

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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