Which Marketing Career Is Right for You? Common Jobs from Social Media to SEO

Fa calendar 16 grey February 15, 2021   
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You don’t have to enter the industry with an unrealistic amount of suaveness, or even experience for that matter. To reach for success you need only an appetite. Skills will come in time.

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Photo credit: Saulo Mohana

A successful modern marketer is an individual with a very particular set of skills — skills acquired over a very long career. But with all respect to that famous Taken quote, you don’t have to enter the industry with an unrealistic amount of suaveness, or even experience for that matter.  

To reach for success you need only an appetite. Skills will come in time.

The good news is that the marketing industry is growing and within, there’s a wide variety of roles where you can sharpen your skill set. What is your end goal and which road should you take?

It’s not an easy decision, but to help you choose a path best suited for you, we’ve outlined a definitive roadmap. Lucky for you, these routes often overlap, so course correction shouldn’t be too much of a hassle. Besides, working in a digital branding agency is an ever-changing microcosm and becoming its rising star is a reasonable goal. 

Now, let’s hop on the road together.

Design

Not conventional marketing per se, but design encapsulates various disciplines such as graphic/visual design, UI/UX design (user interface/user experience), web design, etc. The design provides the building blocks of almost every major marketing strategy.

From an entry-level graphic designer to a creative director, employees with these titles are responsible for the total visual appeal of different marketing elements. Fluency with Adobe products is required but it’s only but a chisel. What’s far more preferable is the abundance of creativity and a keen eye for details.

Designers are directly responsible for corporate identity and establishing how a company visually communicates its brand identity. Remember, your work is the first thing a potential client sees and honestly, what’s eye-pleasing is often perceived as trustworthy. Make it count.

Social media marketing

Social Media Marketing is the most explicit (and obvious) aspect of digital marketing and judging by current trends and magnitude, it’s not going anywhere any time soon. At first glance, it seems like easy work, especially for the Gen Z demographic that spend most of their free time on various SM platforms.

However, no responsible company would put their Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram in the hands of a novice. Social strategy can make or break the business brand identity. It’s important to note that the job doesn’t just entail writing engaging copy all day. 

Social media marketers are expected to be autonomous, professional thinkers that post content informed by a brand’s style guide, but also engage with a brand’s audience in real-time (the Community Manager job title is related). They are responsible for the analysis of engagement data, planning future campaigns and KPIs based on said analysis. 

Social media marketing is all about developing brand awareness and building your audience, as well as generating leads, so a noticeable online presence is definitely a plus. Every single brand expects to broaden its reach by building a specific social community. Depending on the nature of the business, certain platforms are better for certain marketing tasks.

As a social media marketer, you’ll work closely with designers, content creators and ad managers to efficiently promote your brand and earn prospective customers’ trust.

Email marketing

Think of social media marketing as a huge fishing net. It has a broad reach, but no matter how meticulously you target your audience, more often than not, the prize catch slips out. That’s why companies found a more accurate method, a harpoon if you will, in email marketing.

Email marketing precedes social media marketing, but we have come a long way since its traditional roots. It utilizes a single channel to reach current and prospective customers alike through creative copy, various promotions, benefits, discounts, etc. 

The success of email campaigning largely depends on the creativity and versatility of the email marketing manager. 

Besides marketing a product and/or service, the main responsibilities of an email marketing manager include: 

  • Creating emails that the recipient not only opens but engages with

  • Increasing conversion rates

  • Growing and segmenting client networks.

  • Analyzing data and optimizing open rates

Product marketing

If you’re interested in this particular field, it’s a good thing to study well-known brand success stories such as Apple, Microsoft and Nike, that penetrated the market with a single main product. 

Product marketing often acts as a bridge between marketing, product and sales. In general, one needs to be a wordsmith to sell a product. 

A product marketer spends his time learning about a brand’s target audience, understanding its needs and most importantly — believing in the product itself! Conveying a convincing message is just one side of the medal. The other is relaying the general customer experience to those tasked with creating and promoting the company’s offerings. 

The product marketing managers focus their efforts on both prospective and existing customers. It’s imperative that, besides wanting and owning the product, customers know how to properly use it and be aware of potential new features. 

Who’s going to “translate” those messages? Enter a product marketer!

Content marketing

Storytelling. That’s basically it. There’s a reason stories reach the status of “bestsellers.” If you’re a skilled writer you’re already aware of the power words hold, but you may still need an education in branded storytelling before your marketing career takes off. 

Other than that, you need only convince hiring managers that you’re the perfect fit for their company. That’s the first step - be convincing!

Content marketing is all about creating and distributing valuable, knowledgeable, informative, current and relevant content to the audience, encouraging anyone who reads that your brand’s message is precious.

Content marketing often entails writing long-form articles, blogs, newsletters, emails, landing pages, product descriptions, guides, etc. For that reason, you’re far more likely to dip your toes in wider marketing waters. 

Your primary mission is to increase website visitors by targeting specific keywords related to the specific products and/or services that your company offers. Learning about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is imperative! We say learning and not” knowing,” since SEO is a never-ending learning process.

SEO/SEM 
Let’s peek behind the curtain. SEO (search engine optimization) and SEM (search engine marketing) directly depend on prospective customers’ online behavior. In other words, every Google search a customer makes before a purchase is a potential gold nugget.

SEO is the practice of designing a company’s website and accompanying content to search engine requirements and SEM targets the audience through paid search engine advertising.

The SEO Specialists are responsible for organically improving search rankings for their respective websites on a search engine results page (SERP). They conduct keyword research, make technical optimization recommendations, etc. 

The website optimization primarily entails writing and optimizing keyword-centric content and enhancing the overall user experience through quality web design.

The SEM Specialists leverage search engines to increase website visits, conversions and revenue through paid targeted ads.

SEO specialization is in high demand at the moment, and luckily the best SEO and SEM education is available for free, online. So, if you’re fascinated but the ins and outs of Google search (Bing, etc.) the knowledge awaits, just a few clicks away.   

Growth Marketing

In the end, it all revolves around raw data. Analysts are behind every marketing incentive and numbers are their main roadmap. They specialize in interpreting and studying the company data and presenting their findings internally to further feed the overall marketing course and strategy. 

Marketer armed with data is a powerful individual indeed and he can further specialize by focusing on growth marketing. “Growth” implies growth in terms of users, visitors, customers, conversions, revenue, etc.

A growth marketer is a data-driven professional who finds innovative ways to drive user acquisition, retain and keep customers engaged and turn them into somewhat brand ambassadors. 

For instance, a growth specialist maps the user journey, where and when a potential customer leaves/wanders off in the conversion funnel so he can strategically place (or recommend placing) a number of CTAs (calls-to-action) to improve the overall stats.

If you’re planning to land an entry-level job as a growth marketer or analyst, it’s safe to assume that you’re probably more statistically and tech-savvy than an average marketer. 

PR/Communications

What’s the difference between traditional marketing and focusing on public relations? Generally, marketing is explicitly focused on sales/conversions while PR is creating and attracting a positive impression of your brand.  

PR representatives are often tasked with promoting the content marketing team produces, as well as the brand and company as a whole for that matter. They are likely to draft and even write a handful of press releases and strengthen relationships with industry journalists who might find your brand newsworthy, potential stakeholders, guest speakers, professionals of all kinds...

If you’re ready to enter the world of PR, brace yourself. The phone will never stop ringing, but you wouldn’t have it any other way. 

Conclusion

Admittedly, it’s not an easy road, but it’s the most dynamic by far and any adventurous soul is magnetically drawn to marketing by definition. 

Before you tread the start line, remember that those hiring for marketing roles want candidates with excellent verbal and written communications skills, a strong character, creativity and analytical prowess. If you know how to market yourself, there’s a job for you.

 

About the Author

Oliver is a passionate digital marketer & tech blogger, internet nerd, and data enthusiast.

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