17 February 2021
We are firmly living in the digital era and spending more time online than ever. Digital marketing has become essential to help businesses expand, remain competitive and continually attract clients, while the appetite for digital skills continues to grow and graduate job opportunities are increasing. Emma Mottram explains why it is a great time to enter this exciting sector.
Digital marketing refers to any kind of marketing or advertising that is delivered through channels such as websites, search engines, social media platforms, email and mobile apps.
While more traditional marketing methods, like printed adverts in magazines or newspapers, may still have their place in some areas, digital marketing is often much less expensive compared to these options and more effective, as there are far more possibilities for brands to reach customers digitally.
There are not many organisations that do not use digital marketing methods these days, and during the time of COVID-19, an online presence is fast becoming a real necessity.
Given this, it’s no surprise that this sector continues to be a growing career area, creating an increasing demand for graduates with digital skills. Last month, LinkedIn published their 2020 Emerging Jobs Report, which highlights the top 15 job categories experiencing significant growth in the UK. Digital Marketing and Social Media is 9th on the list, having grown by 52% in 2020.
As digital marketing spans many channels and methods, it is a broad and versatile area and there are many ways that you could shape a career in the field. Digital marketers may work across, for example, mobile/email marketing, search engine optimisation (SEO), advertising, web design and development, content creation, design work, blogging and copywriting, or develop expertise in a particular specialism depending on the size and requirements of their employer.
Digital Marketers can be employed across all industries too, either working in-house - as many medium to large sized businesses have their own marketing and communications departments - or working for a marketing agency, offering marketing services and solutions to companies who outsource this work. This means that digital marketing roles are hugely varied, diverse and often open to graduates from a range of different degree disciplines.
2018 BA Film and Media graduate Georgia Sinclair now works as a Digital Marketing Assistant for Onespacemedia, a web design and branding agency based in Cambridge. She says:
"In my degree I explored marketing through our set modules, which I took an interest and excelled in, so I knew straight away that I was going to pursue a career in this area.
"Looking at areas within the media and marketing industry pushed me to be open-minded and adaptive to different marketing platforms and materials, whilst still communicating the desired message, which has massively contributed to my skills in the workplace.”
Given how fast technology changes, it’s hard to imagine a time when the need for digital marketers and digital skills will stop increasing. As Georgia says, “I believe digital marketing is the future; every day you are learning a new skill, adapting and evolving, and taking risks to push yourself. I love the challenges, creativity and freedom it brings.”
There are many resources out there to help you understand the role of a digital marketer. Read Prospects' advice for getting into digital marketing.
Starting to hone these now will give you a competitive advantage later on. ARU students have free access to LinkedIn Learning, which offers a range of courses covering digital marketing essentials like Google Analytics and SEO.
As well as boosting your CV, work experience is a great way to ‘test out’ your interest and gain insight into what working in digital marketing is really like. Take a look at this job profile of a Digital Marketer, which has tips on gaining relevant work experience.
Even without work experience, you can still help yourself stand out to employers by developing your online presence. Why not create your own website to flex your web design skills and showcase your own content – whether that be a blog, links to social media accounts you have created, mock marketing campaigns or design work?
It is common for larger employers to offer graduate schemes in digital marketing. View our comprehensive guide to graduate schemes and starting your search (ARU login required).
For support with your career options, you can talk to your Employability & Careers Adviser – contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Emma Mottram, Employability & Careers Adviser