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How to Become a Digital Marketer

Why A Digital Marketing Certificate Is Worth It

Ready to start your career in Marketing? Find out more about BrainStation's Digital Marketing Bootcamp

BrainStation is now offering a part-time Digital Marketing course, both online and at our campuses in New York, Toronto and Vancouver.

The intensive, collaborative course was designed for companies and individuals looking to stay on top of the latest concepts, tools, and techniques. If you’re unsure whether this would benefit you, read on for a few reasons why a certification in digital marketing could be what you need to become a digital leader.

Demand for Digital Marketing Expertise is Growing

The digital skills gap is especially pronounced when it comes to digital marketers.

Mondo’s annual Tech and Digital Marketing Salary guide reported a “huge demand” for digital marketing professionals, with a 70 percent increase between 2016 and 2017. A recent study by Bullhorn, meanwhile, reported that 71 percent of respondents found they were struggling to find marketing/creative professionals skilled enough to fill their job openings.

Just as those companies are experiencing difficulties acquiring the right kind of digital marketing talent, they’re also looking to invest more money in digital marketing in general. Another recent report from Mondo found that 80 percent of marketing departments planned to increase their digital marketing budgets over the next year.

That shouldn’t be a surprise. By 2020, eMarketer predicts digital ad spending is expected to reach 44.9 percent of all U.S. advertising, up from just 28.3 percent in 2014.

Companies Are Prioritizing Digital Marketing Skills Training

It isn’t just that companies are investing in digital marketing – they’re also investing in the education of their digital marketers.

“The world of digital marketing is ever-changing,” said Maxie Friendly, North American recruitment consultant in marketing and creative for Smart Savvy + Associates. “It is important to stay current, and a certification program is a great way for marketing professionals to do so. This is especially true for leaders who started their careers in a more traditional marketing mix, and who need to learn and utilize new technologies.”

According to a 2018 digital trends study conducted by Adobe and Econsultancy, the best companies are spending significantly on digital marketing skills training and educating – and reaping the benefit.

That report found that 45 percent of top-performing companies will invest significantly in digital skills and education over the next year, as opposed to 23 percent among the companies that didn’t perform as well. Even those companies that aren’t at the leading edge of digital marketing plan to begin allocating more resources; 66 percent of North American companies reported that they planned to increase their digital marketing spending in 2018, as opposed to only six percent who planned to decrease their digital marketing budgets.

In addition, those top companies are expecting more from their digital marketing talent. The same Adobe/Econsultancy report found that 73 percent of respondents agreed that their companies were “combining digital marketing skills with technology,” and companies behaving in that way were almost twice as likely to significantly surpass their 2017 business goals (20 percent to 11 percent).

Strong Digital Marketers Need an Array of Skills “Strong digital marketers take time to understand the company’s business needs, then customize digital marketing plans based on specific goals,” Friendly said. “Digital marketing plans and best practices are not one size fits all. An exceptional digital marketer is a master of this.”

Achieving the kind of holistic skill set can be a challenge, but that’s where a digital marketing course help. BrainStation’s Digital Marketing course, for instance, gives professionals the chance to develop a full marketing strategy, covering: content and SEO; paid advertising, search advertising and display advertising; Google Analytics, data analysis, and reports; social media advertising, channel planning, content calendars and budgeting; and creating, testing, and optimizing email marketing campaigns.

The reality is, today’s digital marketers need to have all those skills. A report by the Economist Intelligence Unit and Marketo found that the specific skills being aggressively sought by marketers were: digital engagement and marketing operations/technology (39 percent), strategy and planning (38 percent), and data analysis (32 percent).

The study also found that more than half of marketers anticipate that the “Internet of Things” – the network of gadgets, devices, home appliances and vehicles that all constantly exchange data – will revolutionize marketing by 2020. In other words, digital marketers will be expected to evolve – and re-educate.

“Employers are looking for digital marketers who are curious,” said Miriam Groom, vice-president of sales and marketing with Groom & Associates, an executive staffing and recruitment agency with offices in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa and Montreal.

“The digital marketing world is constantly being introduced to new forms of technology and the digital marketer needs to be curious enough to ask themselves how they might first implement and secondly utilize this new technology to its full potential.”

Three Digital Marketing Certificates Worth Your Time

When it comes to digital marketing, there's always something you can learn (and in fact, there's almost always something you should be learning). Digital marketing certificates are an easy way to stay on top of the latest tools, techniques, and trends, all of which can help you increase your overall skill set and performance on the job.

So, if you're on the fence about additional marketing training, here are six digital marketing certificates that are certainly worth your time (and that you can do online from home).

Social Media Marketing 

What you'll learn: How to develop and manage a social media marketing strategy (across platforms) that builds your brand and drives traffic.

There are now more than three billion social media users in the world, with 56 percent of all adults using more than one platform on a regular basis, and as much as 90 percent of all companies using social media for marketing. Social media is now mainstream media, making it a great time to boost your social media marketing skills.

Social Media Marketing certification course can give you hands-on experience building measurable, end-to-end social campaigns with a variety of platforms. More importantly, it can help you define an effective social strategy, create a process for social content creation (including which campaign management platform to use), and then optimize your strategy and workflow for ongoing success.

SEO/SEM Analytics

What you'll learn: How to develop and implement a comprehensive search engine marketing (SEM) strategy and plan. 

No matter your level of marketing experience, it's never a bad idea to boost your SEM skills.

An SEM certificate course can help you get a better understanding of the principles and best practices of overall search marketing, which can then be used to develop an effective, comprehensive marketing strategy. In simplest terms, this means effectively using things like SEO and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to drive traffic and improve lead generation.

Most importantly, though, an understanding of SEM best practices can help you measure, analyze, and adjust campaigns on an ongoing basis, ensuring you're always making data-driven marketing decisions.

Digital Marketing Certificate Course

What you'll learn: Hands-on experience with the latest digital marketing tools and techniques used by professionals around the world.

From marketing novices to industry vets, a digital marketing certificate course can often work wonders, helping professionals boost key digital skills competencies and stay current in their field. A great digital marketing certification course will usually help you develop comprehensive marketing plans (incorporating social media, search, and email marketing), set effective KPIs, and learn how to leverage cutting-edge tools and industry best practices.

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