This constantly evolving environment can pose a problem when applying for a digital marketing role. In an interview scenario, it's easy to pepper the conversation with industry jargon and buzzwords. The most important, and effective approach is to show initiative and go above and beyond the efforts of a typical candidate- set yourself apart from the pack when demonstrating your knowledge to an interviewer.
In order to keep abreast of the latest changes in digital marketing and to convey your knowledge to a recruiter, follow these simple steps:
1) Identify online training opportunities
2) Actively read digital marketing blogs
3) Follow industry experts on Twitter
4) Consider a certified digital marketing course
5) Get hands on experience
1) Identify Online Training Opportunities
If you’re just starting out in digital marketing, it may be the case that you lack sufficient funds to take advantage of a paid digital marketing course. Thankfully, there are numerous more affordable options available to you which can benefit your CV and allow you to gain valuable industry knowledge.
Hubspot, a leading provider of Inbound Marketing platform(s), provides a multitude of learning resources which cover various inbound marketing channels (SEO, Social Media, Blogging etc.) If you haven’t already discovered Hubspot’s blog, it should be your first port of call when trying to upskill your digital marketing knowledge. In addition, Hubspot offers an Inbound Certification programme which can provide a structured approach to inbound marketing education.
As a completely free training programme, it will familiarise you with the core principles of inbound marketing and, according to Hubspot, "prepare you to better attract strangers, convert visitors, close leads and delight customers". By completing the classes and taking the certification exam, you will be able to demonstrate your eagerness to broaden your knowledge of digital marketing practices.
If you wish to pursue a career in SEO or simply upskill your knowledge in this area, Distilled have developed an online search marketing university called DistilledU, which offers lessons suitable for beginner, intermediate and advanced users. While the company do not offer certification upon the completion of the course, there are many reasons to pay the $40 per month membership fee. You can access all of the recordings from search marketing conferences coordinated by Distilled (LinkLove and SearchLove), a repository of weekly webinars and their intuitive training platform.
Moz (formerly SEOMoz) also provide a wealth of useful free online tutorials via Moz Academy which encompass the broad range of inbound marketing channels and topics that a digital marketer will encounter on a daily basis. There is no certification exam to accompany the training material, but Moz is recognised as a leader within the industry, and their training materials are a valuable resource. Along with the videos in Moz Academy, the company posts a weekly Whiteboard Friday video on their blog which covers a different inbound marketing topic..
Social media enthusiasts can also make their CV stand out by enrolling in Hootsuite University, an online social media training provider that offers a contact directory for professionals that have completed their course. For the cost of $21 per month, you can gain access to 20-30 minute webinars that will walk you through the leading social media platforms, best practices for making effective use of them and tips on improving your social media strategy. If you’re actively seeking a social media role, the option to appear in the social media consultant directory is an added incentive, as each listed consultant has their own personal profile page which can be linked to their LinkedIn bio.
Google are also well renowned for the free online courses they provide in their Analytics Academy. With useful training resources suited to all skill levels, there’s no reason to ignore this training platform as your first foray into Google Analytics. You can also interact with fellow students and analytics experts in course forums and through the Academy Google+ page. Completing the course will help you to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of Google’s platform to your potential employer.
2) Actively Keep On Top Of Digital Marketing News
Let’s face it, as hard as we try to keep on top of the latest trends in digital marketing, it can be difficult to find both the time and relevant reading and resources. In order to demonstrate your knowledge of digital marketing’s latest developments and innovations, the below websites are a great starting point for cutting through the noise to the crucial news you should be reading.
3) Follow Industry Experts on Twitter
If you’re working in a digital marketing role, the importance of building both your personal brand and relationships with fellow industry practitioners cannot be understated. A strong online presence can help show a potential employer that you’re capable of building their company’s visibility as you’ve invested time into enhancing your own personal brand.
While it may be a long term endeavour, building strong relationships with industry experts can allow you to tap into their knowledge, find new job opportunities and open up potential new channels for promoting both your business and content.
To get started, we’ve listed some digital marketing experts below that you should consider following on Twitter -
Matt Cutts - Head of Webspam Team at Google
Barry Schwartz - CEO of Rustybrick and founder of the Search Engine Roundtable
Bill Slawski - Director of Search Marketing at Go Fish Digital
Danny Sullivan - Founding Editor of Marketing Land and Search Engine Land
Rand Fishkin - Founder of Moz and leading SEO expert
Jon Loomer - Facebook Marketing Strategist and founder of Jon Loomer Digital
Mark Trapheagen - Senior Director of Online Marketing at Stone Temple Digital
Jeff Bullas - Social Media Marketing Blogger and Strategist
Amy Porterfield - Social Media Strategist and Co-author of Facebook Marketing All-In-One for dummies
Jennifer Sable Lopez - Director of Community at Moz
Larry Kim - Founder and CTO of Wordstream
Elizabeth Marsten - VP of Search Marketing at Portent
Marty Weintraub - Founder of aimClear
Jeff Sauer - President of Jeffalytics
Aaron Levy - SEM Consultant at SEER Interactive
4) Consider a Certified Digital Marketing Course
If you really want to separate yourself from your peers in the industry, completing a certified digital marketing course will help. One of the potential pitfalls facing the digital marketing industry at the moment is that there are no barriers to entry for these roles, which means that potential candidates with a convincing grasp of industry terminology can earn a position in a company, without necessarily possessing the required skills. As the digital marketing industry matures, recruiters are becoming more savvy about what differentiates a candidate that can talk the talk from those that can effectively implement a range of digital marketing skills.
Education providers such as the Digital Marketing Institute offer a wide range of certified courses that are suited to every professional, regardless of their skill level or what stage they’re at within their career. As the courses are taught by experts within the industry, their shared knowledge and insight will help you to keep on top of the latest digital marketing tactics as you build your personal network by befriending fellow students and ultimately make your CV stand out.
5) Get Hands On Experience
Completing a digital marketing course can help you achieve industry success, but it's the application of your skills and knowledge that will really set you apart. It's quite easy to set up a simple Wordpress website, which can be used as a training platform to practise your skills. This will demonstrate to recruiters that you have the dedication and competence to take ownership of a project.
In any job interview, you will be asked for examples of when and how you have demonstrated your skills, so whether this is your first digital marketing role, or the next step in your career, making reference to a personal website or project will showcase your enthusiasm, and that it extends beyond your professional work.
Mark is an Inbound Marketing Specialist at the Digital Marketing Institute, Founder of Learninbound.com and experienced freelance SEO consultant. Having spent the last five years working in search marketing with leading Irish brands (including Daft.ie and TheJournal.ie), Mark has embraced the recent turbulent SEO changes as a chance to learn, develop and engage within an increasingly competitive industry.