Digital marketer

What is a digital marketer?

A digital marketer is a role within a company where the employee solely focusses on promoting a company's products and services online.

Digital marketing is over 100 years old - It began with the invention of the radio. 

The job title of "digital marketer" is new, however, showing up in the 1990s. 

Prior to the internet, there wasn't enough digital content to keep a digital marketer gainfully employed. 

We have the opposite problem today. People spend over 11 hours a day consuming digital content on screens, most of which are open to digital marketing. 

Like traditional marketers, digital marketers use digital channels to help sell products and services. Digital marketers have an arsenal of tools at their disposal: real-time consumer data, powerful analytics and near constant screen access to customers. 

The best digital marketers use these tools to pitch customers at the right time, in the right space, with the right product. Here's how.

Digital marketers use digital channels

There are many channels for digital marketing. Digital marketers rarely use them all. There are two broad categories of digital marketing: 

Digital offline marketing

Digital marketing doesn't have to be online marketing. Four types of offline digital marketing are still widely used today, though all of them hold diminishing efficacy.

  • Radio
  • Television
  • Phone 
  • Digital Billboards

Online digital marketing

Though digital marketers still manage offline channels, most are working nearly full-time in creating an online presence through a robust digital marketing strategy. 

Today, online digital marketing is the easiest way to target a customer in the right place, at the right time. Digital marketers need to be proficient at the following skills:

  • Search engine optimization (SEO) and marketing (SEM)

  • Content marketing 

  • Content creation

  • Social media marketing (SMM)

  • Pay-per-click (PPC) copywriting

  • Email marketing

Specialization in one or several of the above skills is often an asset for a digital marketer. Today, however, consumers expect omnichannel marketing. The best digital marketers can design a fluid and consistent customer journey across all channels. 

What digital marketers do

Digital marketing is a fluid process, and not every digital marketer position is exactly the same. Digital marketers at larger companies, such as e-commerce businesses, are often allotted specific, specialized roles on a team. Smaller companies may hire a single person to oversee all of their digital marketing operations. 

Regardless of their specific role, digital marketers are an integral part of the well-defined digital marketing process. 

1. Define marketing goals

Defined goals lead to successful marketing campaigns. Digital marketers need to determine the objective of a campaign so they can collect data and analyze the results. Common goals fall along the marketing funnel -- e.g., awareness, lead generation, conversion.  

2. Identify target audience

Digital marketers identify their target audience and then conduct reconnaissance on it. They may create customer profiles from existing data. They analyze the target audience to design materials and copy that are appealing.

3. Budget across channels

Digital marketers need to identify where the target market is found -- physically and online. They then determine how much to budget and spend across different digital channels, keeping an eye on omnichannel marketing. 

4. Create compelling content

Most digital marketers participate in content strategy. The goal is to produce content that is engaging and speaks to the audience. Typical types of content that need to be created or modified across channels include:

  • Web copy and landing pages
  • Vector graphics, photos and videos
  • Blogs, ebooks and product descriptions
  • Social media posts
  • Emails

5. Optimize content for omnichannel experience

Content in hand, digital marketers then optimize it to produce a fluid excellent omnichannel experience. Style guides and branding typically guide these decisions. 

6. SEO and keyword research

SEO and keyword research help ensure the optimized marketing content is actually discovered. Today, over 71% of people searching with Google don't look past the first page. Determining how to increase rank in social media and web searches is increasingly useful. 

7. Optimize on analytics and trends

The best digital marketers are data experts. Digital devices provide a non-stop stream of information about consumers, allowing marketers to follow customers and leads through their journey. 

The best digital marketers have these three skills

There are three intangible skills you should look for when hiring a digital marketer. The better a digital marketer is at these three skills, the more likely they are going to contribute to many of the above tasks. 

  • Research. Digital marketers will spend a large amount of their time researching customer trends and data. They need to know how to find data and evaluate its reliability. They should also be adept at finding open source data -- i.e., reliable third-party datasets. 
  • Data Analysis. Digital channels produce immense amounts of metrics. Knowledge of statistics and analytical techniques is required to make informed -- and correct -- interpretations. 
  • Design Thinking. Designing unforgettable customer experiences requires innovation and planning. The best digital marketers have strong design thinking skills to take creative ideas through to completion across all channels.

Digital tools for digital marketers

You can have an incredibly adept digital marketer on your team and still achieve lackluster results if you don't use the right tools. Digital marketers require numerous types of software to do their job effectively. Here are a few of the most crucial ones:

  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  • Content Management System (CMS)
  • Customer Data Platform (DCP)
  • Statistical analysis software
  • Graphic design software
  • Web design software
  • Writing software

The above tools are required but largely fulfill a utilitarian role. What they don't provide is an opportunity for experimentation and innovation. 

Experimentation software gives digital marketers an edge

Innovative marketing, based on current trends, requires persistent testing of your existing customers. Experimentation platforms offer digital marketers an advantage. Optimizely, for example, is shown to increase conversions by up to 500%. 

Optimizely allows you to easily segment your customer base to test new, personalized content and user experience modifications. Experimentation can be done in real-time, with existing customer segments. Your digital marketers can test an innovative idea and immediately view its impact on conversion. They can then compare the results of the modification between existing users and the test group to make informed behavior-based marketing decisions.