The simple answer to this question is, “because there is an ever-growing digital marketplace.” But we specialise in high-quality content, so let us provide you with something a bit meatier to bite into. Over three billion people use the internet worldwide, and every second that number is growing. The world is going digital at a faster than ever rate and so, it naturally follows, business must be digital as well.
Why do we need digital marketers in the first place?
At a time when real life seems to hold fewer and fewer surprises, we have created an alternative universe of our own, composed of ones and zeros. It is easy to diminish our digital existence – perhaps because at times we are unwilling to confess our growing dependency on technology – but, the fact is, many people spend much of their waking lives on the internet.
According to Google reports, 76% of people in Ireland access the internet on a daily basis. This isn’t necessarily through one device. On average, Irish people use 3.2 devices. It is common business practice to engage with customers where they are and not where you happen to set up your company. Customers are online. Irish consumers, specifically, spend €850,000 an hour online, and this number does not even take into account the research consumers conduct online before committing to buying a product offline.
This figure comes from a report conducted by Minister of Communications, Denis Naughten, and it explains how the digital economy fuels our labour force, providing 116,000 jobs – 68,000 of which are directly linked to digital. It is a growing economy, and, therefore, digital marketing holds an essential role in the present and future of the Irish economy. But what does it take to be a digital marketer?
What makes a great marketer?
This short video gives you some insight into the skills and personality traits that make a really great digital marketer.
Watch their video over at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndR7_1t6qBg (We don’t embed videos to protect your privacy. If you click on the link, a new browser tab will open YouTube, where your activity is tracked by Google as a means of compiling and maintaining your multifaceted user profile. Such profiles can be used to, for example, target you with advertising.)
Personality is key
Many people have become wise to the demand for digital marketers. CEOs everywhere are searching for the right individual/team to control their digital presence. High demand coupled with the rapid rate of technological advancement, has formed a digital skills gap. There are many ‘digital marketers’ out there, but some of them have simply not kept up with digital trends and, as a result, their knowledge is fast becoming obsolete. This is why the correct personality fit is so important.
Digital marketers need to be continuous learners by nature. Their eye needs to be on the digital horizon at all times. It is not a straightforward task, for example, Google rarely gives any warning when they are about to roll out an update. This leaves it up to a responsive marketer to not only make themselves one of the first to know, but also to be quick on the keyboard with a response.
This is why marketers are business-savvy, with an entrepreneurial streak. Entrepreneurs are flexible at all times. They are open to change, and have the ambition and drive to want to not only find solutions, but to also carve out a competitive edge when the winds of change do come around. However, they are often not ‘complete’ entrepreneurs for the reason that digital marketers work within a larger organisation framework. Therefore, they have to be business-savvy enough to always keep the organisation’s strategies in the front of their mind.
If you are beginning to think that digital marketing is what you would imagine having a split personality is like, you’re not completely wrong. Digital marketers have to be creative, yet equally analytical in every aspect of their work. This is because so much of their job involves the creation of wowing content, but also the analysing of the customer’s engagement with such content to understand the true value of their actions.
Securing the right person for this job is the only way an ambitious company can ensure long-term, sustainable growth in the digital marketplace.
A day in the life
Not every company requires a digital marketer’s full expertise, and, as would be expected, small businesses often have very different needs and expectations compared to large corporations. A company can begin to determine what kind of input they need from a digital marketer by asking three questions:
- What digital marketing knowledge do we have at present?
- How much digital exposure do we want (aka what are our targets)?
- Where do our customers go online?
Now it is possible to begin to determine what kinds of tasks the digital marketer will set themselves to build the company’s online presence, increase leads and drive conversions. The tasks a digital marketer will most commonly engage in are the following:
Blogs offer so much fantastic potential to increase leads and conversions, but they only work when the content is of high quality (grammatically correct, punctuated appropriately, well-written, informative, engaging) and optimised correctly. They can show off the company’s expertise, increasing their reputability in their industry.
Blogs can be shared on social media and used to direct traffic to the website. Blogs are a friendly way to engage customers, rather than giving them the hard-sell all the time. For the same reason, they are a great way to hone your brand voice. An expert digital marketer will know how to use SEO effectively to increase traffic by bumping up the website’s Google ranking, or SERPs as we call it.
When a company has a new product/service, an event coming up, is running a competition or, perhaps, is advertising a job, a fresh webpage will need to be created. A digital marketer should be comfortable with the backend of websites and have the necessary expertise to not only create the webpage, but to keep it consistent with the rest of the website’s formatting and style.
Content creation (text, video, image, infographic)
There are many tools available for the creation of high-quality content, and a well-informed digital marketer will have the most up-to-date one for the task. This is when a multi-skilled digital marketer gets to really show off the depths of their talent and have some fun!
Social Media Management
Probably the most recurring task for digital marketers (besides checking emails!) is social media management. Whether the company is on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, or whatever the new trendy social app is at the time, a good digital marketer will know how to navigate them all for the purpose of driving traffic to the company’s website.
The letter may be dead and buried, but email is very much alive. Emails are a great opportunity for highly targeted, personalised connections with valuable customers. The best digital marketers design professional emails, containing high-value content and use effective Calls to Action (CTAs), while always deploying them at a time conducive to a high open rate.
Sometimes, especially with small businesses, all a digital marketer is required for is the imparting of their knowledge. This can occur for a number of various reasons: to clarify some of the more challenging aspects of digital marketing for a specific individual in an organisation, give an independent blogger direction on how to increase traffic, or perhaps brief a team on how to use their company social media accounts effectively.
At the end of the month, quarter and/or year, a digital marketer should always be able to analyse and clearly show the effect their actions have had for the company in a detailed report. This report should be clear and easily accessible for someone who is not versed in digital terminology.
All in all, digital marketing is not just about creating a few pretty infographics every now and then. Rather it is a combination of key skills, attributes and processes that form an essential aspect of business in the modern world. At one point in time, digital marketing was a game changer, taking business to the next level. Now it is what keeps a business in the game and, once starting from this standing point, gives the company endless possibilities for growth.