A Guide to the Most Common Career Paths in the Digital Marketing World
Digital marketing came into the limelight in the ‘90s when commercial internet access started being sold to consumers. Over the years, So many people have apply for different digital marketing jobs that this field has grown into one of the most coveted careers today.
Many businesses in 2023 rely heavily on digital marketing strategies to reach their target audiences in order to promote their products and services. Usually, companies and brands alike hire individuals with various digital marketing skills to boost their reputation, attract customers, and increase sales.
And if you look at the digital marketing trends expected to dominate 2023 and beyond, you will notice that the future of digital marketing jobs is quite promising.
So, if you want to start a career in digital marketing, you have come to the right place. This guide discusses different digital marketing roles, their income, and how to get started. Let’s start with a brief understanding of digital marketing.
What Is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is a form of marketing that relies on electronic devices connected to the internet and online-based channels to promote products and services. These channels include social media, emails, websites, etc.
Digital marketing is an umbrella term with several categories of marketing under it. They include SEO, Pay-per-click, social media marketing, marketing analytics, content marketing, email marketing, affiliate marketing, and mobile marketing.
Should You Consider a Career in Digital Marketing?
While traditional marketing is still important today, digital marketing is increasingly gaining traction since it is more affordable and easy to analyze.
With almost every brand having or considering having an online presence, digital marketing is increasingly becoming one of the most marketable skills you can learn today and build a career on.
Unlike in traditional professions, you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to learn the most-coveted digital marketing skills in 2023. A basic understanding of marketing is enough to get your foot in the door.
Furthermore, different marketing platforms are introduced regularly. These platforms require special skills to help brands connect with prospects and existing customers so that they can reach every touch point. This means the industry will continue evolving in the future.
Digital Marketing Roles And Salaries in 2023
Starting a career in digital marketing in 2023 is relatively easy because, as stated earlier, there are plenty of jobs for skilled individuals.
But, like other jobs, your skills will determine which position you can apply for. Now let’s discuss various positions in the digital marketing landscape, their roles, and salaries.
1. Digital Marketing Analyst
The role of a digital marketing analyst is to analyze how a specific digital marketing campaign is performing and come up with clear ideas to improve performance and maximize returns.
This can be achieved through data interpretation, meaning you must have data interpretation skills to get hired. The responsibility of a digital marketing analyst includes conducting market and competitor analysis to develop marketing strategies, prepare campaign results and create data visualization.
2. Pay Per Click Specialist
Pay-per-click (PPC) is an entry-level digital marketing role. As a PPC specialist, you will manage PPC advertising campaigns on platforms such as Google AdWords, Facebook Ads, and Twitter Ads.
Your duties will include creating and managing campaigns, conducting keyword research, creating ad copy, analyzing data to measure the success of campaigns, and adjusting strategies to improve results.
You will also collaborate with the marketing team to develop landing pages and other assets that support PPC campaigns.
Here’s an estimate of a PPC specialist’s yearly earnings in the US:
3. Social Media Manager
There are 4.9 billion social media users globally as of March 2023, and this number is expected to rise to 5.85 billion in 2027.
With various social media platforms coming up every other day, any business that wants to stay on top of its game must leverage social media.
The role of the social media manager is to use social media networks to reach and engage a target audience in a bid to create brand awareness. They do this by creating, curating, and publishing social media content.
Social media managers work closely with the marketing team to develop social media strategies that increase brand awareness and engagement, build relationships with customers, and drive traffic to the website. Here are the roles of a social media manager:
- Creating social media content
- Managing social media accounts
- Engaging with followers
- Analyzing data to measure the success of campaigns
- Staying up-to-date with the latest social media trends and best practices
4. SEO Specialist
As an SEO specialist, your job is to optimize a website’s content and structure to improve its search engine rankings. You will also conduct keyword research, optimize on-page content, monitor website traffic and user behavior, create link-building strategies, and analyze data to measure the effectiveness of SEO campaigns.
In addition, you will also stay up-to-date with the latest search engine algorithms and industry trends to ensure all SEO strategies are effective and relevant.
5. Digital Marketing Manager
The digital marketing manager job is one of the top jobs in the industry. Digital marketing managers are experts in the field of marketing and management. Their role includes planning, developing, implementing, and managing digital marketing strategies.
They are also responsible for managing, guiding, and training junior digital marketers. To achieve the desired results, they assign tasks and then manage progress and output.
Digital marketing managers are paid higher than most professionals in the digital marketing world. Here are pay estimates for digital marketing managers in the US.
6. Freelance Digital Marketing Professional
The beauty of digital marketing jobs is that you can work remotely. And if you wish to be your own boss, then freelance digital marketing is your ideal position.
As a freelance digital marketing specialist, you will need to be an expert in at least one field of digital marketing. However, you can learn more skills to help you negotiate better terms.
Freelance digital marketers’ salaries depend on their hourly rate. Consequently, the more hours you put in, the better the salary. Here are estimates for freelance digital marketers in the US.
7. Email Marketing Specialist
An email marketing specialist manages a company’s email marketing campaigns. As an email marketing specialist, your duties will include developing email campaigns that promote products or services, segmenting email lists to target specific audiences, and creating engaging email content.
You will also analyze data to measure the success of campaigns and collaborate with the marketing team to develop landing pages and other assets that support email campaigns.
Here are salary estimates for an email marketing specialist in the US:
8. Director of Digital Marketing
The director of digital marketing is a very senior position in digital marketing and usually commands a huge salary. In most cases, an individual occupying such a position must have kick-started their career in a digital marketing internship program then moved up the ladder.
Here is how much you can expect to earn as a director of digital marketing.
Factors That Affect Digital Marketing Salary
The digital marketing field is broad, and salaries can vary depending on the company, industry, years of experience, and role. Fortunately, there is always room for you to learn and grow to higher digital marketing jobs with better salaries. Here is a rundown of the factors that can affect your paycheck as a digital marketer:
1. Education Background
While you do not need a bachelor’s degree in digital marketing to start a career in digital marketing, having a related bachelor’s degree such as business administration, journalism, public relations, or marketing can help you get a better salary.
According to LinkedIn, 94% of the jobs advertised on the platform require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree or higher education. However, this is a general overview of jobs advertised on LinkedIn and not the representation of content marketing jobs.
Therefore, if you still want to start a digital marketing career and you don’t have a degree, you can start with entry-level jobs or digital marketing internship programs.
You should also consider taking specialized courses in specific digital marketing areas—such as search engine optimization (SEO), data analytics, and search engine marketing (SEM). It can help accelerate your career and command a better salary.
Just like in other careers, your responsibilities and salary in digital marketing increase as you move up the ladder. Those in senior positions earn more than the lower-ranking professionals. For example, a digital marketing manager’s salary will be higher than an Ad Specialist or a Social Media Specialist.
Having key digital marketing skills like search engine optimization, data analysis, copywriting, ad campaign, social media marketing, or project management will help you negotiate a better salary. However, reading the job description to understand what the employer is looking for is essential because listing skills outside the job description may not help your application.
Experience is another key factor that determines a digital marketer’s salary. Typically, people who have worked longer in the digital marketing space command higher salaries than the rest.
Experience may include freelance projects, prior employment, or personal projects such as managing the marketing campaign of your business.
On average, a new entry into digital marketing jobs can earn $52,000, a mid-level job earns $70,000, and a senior position can earn up to $105,000.
Digital marketers’ salaries also tend to vary depending on location. Marketers in the US get paid more than their counterparts in other countries. For example, the average salary for a mid-level digital marketer in the US is $70,000, while in Berlin, it is $50,000 per year.
The salaries will also vary based on cities. People in big cities earn more than their colleagues in smaller cities. For instance, a mid-level digital marketer in a big city can make $78,832, while the one in a smaller city $66,641.
Digital marketing salaries are also determined by the size of the company and its marketing budget. Tech companies and multinationals have larger marketing budgets and pay their digital marketers better salaries. For example, Amazon, Disney, and Cisco Systems pay their marketing managers around $100,000.
How to Find the Perfect Digital Marketing Job
Follow these tips and be sure to succeed as a digital marketer:
- Build a portfolio – While your degree may help you secure the job, employers prefer to see results. That’s why you don’t necessarily need academic papers to build a compelling portfolio.
For instance, if you’re looking for a social media manager position, it would help if you linked your social media platforms to your resume. Most employers prefer hiring influencers or someone who commands a following. You can create a website, open Facebook or YouTube accounts and start sharing your content.
- Build skills and gain experience – Skills play a major role in the amount of salary you can get. The more skills you have, the better your chances of securing a job.
You can gain skills by taking courses and getting certified. You can also gain experience as a freelance marketer or by working on your website.
- Put yourself out there and build a digital marketing network – A network of fellow digital marketers can help you find job opportunities easily. You can do this by attending networking events, joining online forums, and following other digital marketers online.
Starting a career in digital marketing can be exciting, especially for creative minds, because there are many opportunities. However, it is important to note that the expected salary will depend on your education, location, skills, and experience.
Digital marketing internships and other new entry jobs have lower salaries than high-experience jobs. In that case, it’s advisable to acquire more skills by taking courses and getting certified if you want to command better salaries in this industry.
You can also read more about Worldwide job opportunities in this guide of Content Marketing jobs.