In today’s ever-evolving digital landscape, marketing has become a dynamic and unpredictable discipline. It’s hugely exciting for those with the skills and knowledge for digital marketing but daunting for those who have been in the field for a while or are new to the game. Digital marketing has shifted the power balance between brands and consumers, upending conventional marketing tactics that worked in the past and demanding a very different approach and new skill-set. Plus, it’s an industry that continues to grow. Now is the time to break into digital marketing so here’s our top advice for marketers getting started in digital, from terminology to tools.

1. Master the fundamentals

To kickstart your digital marketing career, you should begin by understanding the basics. You need to grasp the fundamentals of the field—what it entails, its underlying principles, and its core components. Digital marketing is broad, encompassing different channels, strategies, and career paths, including content marketing, email marketing, SEO, influencer marketing, social media marketing, and more. Familiarising yourself with these fundamentals will give you a strong foundation to build on.

While you will continue to learn and refine your skills on the job, having a grasp of the fundamentals is a great starting point to help you progress in the field, enabling you to feel more confident and to contribute meaningfully from day one. Our National Certificate in Advertising specialising in Digital Marketing teaches these fundamentals and more.

2. Learn the lingo and master the terminology

Understanding the terminology is essential for success. It keeps you in the loop and enhances your ability to engage in conversations, ask insightful questions, and contribute effectively. Familiarising yourself with industry jargon shows your commitment, passion, and eagerness to learn, helping you to integrate into the digital marketing community and to contribute meaningfully and confidently. 

SEO: Search Engine Optimisation – The process of optimising a website to rank higher in organic (unpaid) search engine results pages, thereby increasing visibility and driving traffic.

SEM: Search Engine Marketing – A form of online advertising that promotes websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages through paid advertising campaigns.

PPC: Pay-Per-Click – An online advertising model in which advertisers pay a fee each time their ad is clicked, commonly used in search engine advertising (such as Google Ads) and social media advertising.

CTR: Click-Through Rate – A metric used to measure the percentage of users who click on a specific link out of the total number of users who view a webpage, email, or advertisement.

ROI: Return on Investment – A measure of the profitability of an investment, calculated by dividing the net profit generated by the investment by the initial cost of the investment, often used to evaluate the effectiveness of digital marketing campaigns.

KPI: Key Performance Indicator – Quantifiable metrics used to evaluate the success of a digital marketing campaign or strategy, such as website traffic, conversion rate, or social media engagement.

CRM: Customer Relationship Management – A strategy and technology used to manage and analyse interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle, with the goal of improving customer retention and driving sales.

CRO: Conversion Rate Optimisation – The process of increasing the percentage of website visitors who take a desired action, such as making a purchase, filling out a form, or subscribing to a newsletter, through website design, content, and user experience improvements.

UGC: User-Generated Content – Content created and shared by users of a brand, product, or service, often on social media platforms, which can be leveraged by brands to build credibility, engagement, and brand advocacy.

CTR: Customer Lifetime Value – A prediction of the net profit attributed to the entire future relationship with a customer, calculated by estimating the total revenue generated from a customer over their lifetime and subtracting the cost of acquiring and serving that customer.

3. Get to grips with the tools

You should get acquainted with common digital marketing tools, which are the backbone of the industry. Familiarising yourself with them will set you apart from the competition, enhance your capability, and boost your confidence.

Explore social media tools and platforms, delve into Google Analytics, and acquaint yourself with SEO tools, paid search platforms, email marketing tools, and emerging AI tools. Developing an understanding and skills in these areas will demonstrate your initiative and broad skillset.

Remember, the more experience you gain with these tools, the smoother your transition into the industry will be. So, dive in, explore, and equip yourself with the tools of the trade to excel in your digital marketing career.

Google Analytics: A web analytics tool that tracks and reports website traffic, providing valuable insights into user behavior, audience demographics, and website performance metrics.

Mailchimp: An email marketing platform that allows users to create, send, and track email campaigns, manage subscriber lists, and automate email marketing processes.

Hootsuite: A social media management platform that enables users to schedule and publish posts across multiple social media channels, monitor conversations, and analyse social media performance.

HubSpot: A comprehensive inbound marketing and sales software that offers tools for content management, lead generation, email marketing, social media marketing, and customer relationship management (CRM).

SEMrush: An all-in-one SEO toolkit that provides tools for keyword research, competitive analysis, backlink analysis, site auditing, rank tracking, and content optimisation to improve website visibility and search engine rankings.

Moz: A suite of SEO tools that helps users improve search engine rankings and drive organic traffic to their websites through features such as keyword research, link building, site audits, and local SEO optimisation.

Google Ads: An online advertising platform that allows businesses to create and manage pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaigns across Google’s search network, display network, and YouTube, targeting specific keywords and demographics to reach potential customers.

WordPress: A popular content management system (CMS) that enables users to create and manage websites and blogs with ease, offering customisable themes, plugins, and features for content creation, publishing, and optimisation.

5. Learn the latest skills

Digital marketing operates in a fast-paced, ever-changing environment. To thrive in this industry, continuous learning is essential. You need to have a curious mindset, be eager to adapt, and stay updated on the latest trends. Successful digital marketers are passionate about their craft and never stop learning. Failure to keep up with industry advancements can result in falling behind.

Your passion, willingness to learn, and ability to adapt are what set you apart in this dynamic field. Embracing change and committing to continuous learning is key to staying relevant. Whether through research, watching videos, listening to podcasts, or following industry experts, staying informed is vital.

It’s evident who is passionate and committed to growth versus those who are merely going through the motions. Don’t fall into the trap of complacency; instead, strive to be among the forward-thinkers who embrace change and drive innovation in digital marketing.

Meeting the increasing demand for digital marketing specialists, Red & Yellow’s National Certificate in Advertising specialising in Digital Marketing will teach you all the fundamentals of the marketing environment, from marketing strategy to how to put your customer first. You’ll engage with the latest successful tactics to bring campaigns to life, and you’ll understand paid media and the value of reporting and campaign management. Plus, it’s 100% online. 

If you’ve got a good grip of digital marketing skills and are looking for the very latest skills and cutting-edge knowledge, our Advanced Diploma in Digital Marketing is for you.This 2-year NQF 7 qualification certificate will equip you with highly respected and sought-after skills that will open the door to countless career opportunities. Created by leading industry experts, you’ll gain the world-class knowledge and expertise you need to be an effective and professional digital marketer.

Whether you’re an experienced marketer needing digital expertise or a future marketer wanting to get into the game, Digital Marketing is an exhilarating and fast-paced career path with a multitude of opportunities. From social media management to SEO, content marketing, copywriting, data analytics, and project management, the options are hugely exciting, vast, and varied.