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Why 2022 Is the Best Time to Begin Your Digital Marketing Career

A digital marketing career can make for a lucrative future and there has never been a better time than 2022 to embark on that path. The digital marketing field is projected to grow 10% year over year through 2030. The barrier to entry is smaller today and there are different ways to get started. Read on if you want to understand why now is the best time to start a digital marketing career, the paths to consider, and how to begin the journey. 

Why a Digital Marketing Career in 2022?

It’s a Growing Industry

Jobs in the marketing space are on the rise. In 2021, LinkedIn reported a six-month increase in marketing jobs of 63%. With so many consumers shopping online, the growth is not likely to stop. Where 14.6% of total retail spending was e-commerce in 2019, the year before the pandemic, online sales accounted for nearly 21% of all retail sales in 2021 according to the New York Times.  

Comparison graph of online retail spending in 2019 to 2021 - Digital marketing grows as online shopping grows
Digital marketing grows as online shopping grows (Source: The New York Times)

The Pandemic Changed Marketing

We reached out to Jeff Hawley, marketing director at Allen & Heath USA, to get his thoughts on where the marketing industry stands as we enter 2022. “For those willing to figure out how to pilot the ship while it is tossing and turning at sea, digital marketing is in the midst of an exciting rethinking and reframing.” He continued, “If we peruse the traditional steps within the standard customer journey, it becomes immediately clear that 2022 doesn’t even bear a family resemblance to 2020.”

It Can Be Done From Anywhere

The COVID pandemic dramatically changed work forever. As the virus spread, professional work pushed everyone to work from home. As companies strive to rethink work, one department that can easily remain remote is marketing. Ladders is a jobs site for high-salary jobs. According to them, remote media, marketing, and design job posts went from 2% on the site pre-pandemic to 20%. 

A Digital Marketing Career Path Has a Lower Barrier of Entry

Today, there is also a lower barrier of entry for marketing jobs. While other paths require extensive specialization and years of education and training, many marketers today studied other areas in school. 

It’s Not All About the Degree

Pinterest’s global head of consumer and brand marketing, Celestine Maddy, believes companies should do away with degree requirements and focus on work experience and work ethic. “No one should require a college degree. It never came up at Pinterest. Whether you get your degree or not, the world demands hustle. I don’t think you need a degree if you can show aptitude.”

Companies Are Getting It

Maddy and Pinterest are not the only ones looking past the college degree. Apple, Google, and Tesla all look to hire the right person for the job with or without a degree. To further support this cause, Edstutia launched the No Hoops campaign. 

Logo of Edstutia No Hoops Pledge - Working to focus on the person and not the degree
Edstutia’s No Hoops Pledge to look past the college degree and focus on the person’s abilities

If you’re looking to change careers, a solid re-skilling plan can put you in a marketing position quickly. High schoolers looking for their next step can pursue marketing right away. You don’t have to worry about getting into the most prestigious school to land a marketing job. 

Entry Does Not Guarantee Success

I would like to take a moment to point out that a lower barrier of entry doesn’t guarantee a successful career. It’s true that getting started does not have as many obstacles as other paths. Turning this start into a rewarding, lifelong career requires ongoing training, a competitive mindset, and high attention to detail. 

Alarm clock with word "hustle" in place of time - Starting a digital marketing career does not have major barriers but you will have to hustle to find success
Entry may be easy but you need hustle to stay in marketing

A Digital Marketing Career Path Offers Several Job Choices

Finally, a digital marketing career can unfold as one of many different jobs in the digital marketing landscape. Jobs range from the visually creative (e.g., graphic designer) to the logical (e.g., data analyst) and everything in between. It’s highly plausible you will find something for you in one of the myriad marketing roles that exist today. You may even find your way into a nascent branch or one that doesn’t even exist yet. 

“Do something you are passionate about because it won’t feel like work. This way you will work harder and longer.”

Neil Patel

Branches of Digital Marketing

Let’s look at some of the digital marketing job opportunities. You will see there are different jobs within specific digital marketing categories and how jobs across categories are interconnected. 

SEO

Search engines like Google provide results by comparing website content to the keywords used in each question. Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is how companies use their website copy to jockey for position and answer users’ questions.

What makes 2022 the right year to specialize in SEO is how much change the digital marketing landscape is experiencing. Even two years ago, SEO focused on how people type. Today, marketers must think of keywords as spoken questions or even image requests. For more on these trends, check out this earlier Edstutia post

SEO Specialist

Marketing agencies bring them on to review and optimize customer web pages. SEO specialists also review the copy in the back end of the site. This includes image alternate tags and page metadata existing but not visible to the public when interfacing with websites.

SEO Researcher

SEO researchers specialize in the tools available for keyword research. They learn everything possible about the company they work for, its customers, competition, and industry. Researchers put everything together as a list of keywords to use at a global or campaign level. 

Content is king written on chalkboard - In digital marketing, content is king
Content is King

Content Creation

In marketing you often hear the phrase, “content is king.” If the goal of a website is to attract users, the best websites feature rich content specifically geared toward their target customers.

Content Writing and Copywriting

Each month, 409 million people consume over 20 billion pages. With many people continuing to live the bulk of their day in front of a computer screen, offering entertaining, educational content to read will continue to drive traffic in 2022 and beyond. Content writers with an understanding of SEO continue to be in demand.

There are now more digital channels than ever before on which to target audiences at all levels of the sales funnel. While content writers educate, entertain, and drive traffic, copywriters focus on getting readers to take a specific action. 

Video Creator

When Instagram started, it was all about taking the best still images with your phone and posting them for all to see. Those days are long gone and video has taken over the application and its algorithm. Add YouTube and TikTok and it’s easy to see why video creators are in high demand. 

Podcasting

In 2021, more than 104 million Americans listened to podcasts regularly—80 million are weekly listeners. Without a video aspect, podcasts can be on in the background while users work on other tasks. The audio-only side of marketing continues to expand; Insider Intelligence projects nearly 505 million monthly podcast listeners worldwide by 2024. 

In addition to podcasting, many in 2021 turned to services like Audible for audiobooks. Even social media took to audio with the popularity of Clubhouse, which was downloaded 2.3 million times this year. As we begin 2022, Twitter is banking on audio as a new side to their platform by releasing Twitter Spaces. 

Graphic Design

Today, graphic design goes beyond the poster board but is just as important as ever. If your branding is wrong and fails to capture your audience, you may not be able to recover. And with the changes we’ve experienced over the last years, graphic design is another area where 2022 looks different than years past. 

Starting this path in 2022 means you enter the industry with a fresh perspective and understanding of the importance of diversity and inclusion in your visuals. Other trends expected in 2022 include a continuing shift to motion design, a focus on experience rather than product, and a return to vibrant and playful typography. 

Web Developer

The web developer brings all forms of content together to create the final website. They work creatively with graphics but also understand how to write code to make websites behave as brands desire. They may help create landing pages and adapt social media pages to match the branding of the website. 

Various social media icons floating above phone screen - As more companies spring up, knowing how to manage them can lead to a long digital marketing career
The social media landscape is still growing

Social Media

Social media marketing wasn’t a career path 20 years ago. Even ten years ago, older marketing executives weren’t sure about hiring staff exclusively for social media. Today the question is not if a company should hire a social media specialist but how many it should hire.

At one point, the “big 3” platforms were Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Today, you would be shortsighted to try to name a big three to focus on. If your product is niche, selecting three platforms to focus on may work but bigger  companies use several platforms to reach their broader audience. 

Based on the audience and type of content, it’s likely the LinkedIn specialist will be a different person than the TikTok specialist. And in 2022, platform specialization works in your favor. Now is the time to become an expert in one or two that most engage a target audience. 

Influencer Marketing

The influencer marketing industry is projected to reach $13.8 billion in 2022. With the ongoing trend toward visual shopping, brands will continue to rely on creative video content creators. Influencers with 100,000 followers can earn about $1,000 per sponsored post. 

In 2022, experts believe the trend will continue to shift to the micro-influencer. Micro-influencers have between 5,000 and 20,000 followers and tend to work in niche industries. Micro-influencers develop close ties with their audience and engage with them on a more personal level than your average celebrity. As a result, consumers tend to favor their opinions over those of the big celebrities. 

Don’t have an influencer personality? Nothing to worry about, marketing departments need people to manage their influencer marketing campaigns. 

Marketing Data Analyst

This position is key in today’s marketing world because of the amount of raw data. Marketing directors focus only on a few key performance indicators, or KPI. Analysts, however, see all the data marketing departments collect. They can understand the data, separate it, and disseminate it accordingly. 

Kevin O’Leary of Shark Tank fame advises all companies to go direct-to-consumer and collect data. “I tell all CEOs now to start investing in what you can do with AI and data management.” User data is more important than the first sale because that data can be interpreted to better target a customer segment and get repeat business. 

The major shift in how companies handle data is the shift from third-party to first-party data collection. According to Claravine, 83% of surveyed advertisers have already started shifting to first-party data due to regulations making it harder to collect from third parties. 

Email Marketing

Email marketing may be one of the oldest positions in digital marketing but it remains highly relevant as consumers expect more targeted ads and promotions. Marketers today send smaller blasts to highly targeted audiences known to better match up with a specific product or call to action. In fact, carefully segmented email campaigns have a 100% higher click rate than non-segmented campaigns.  

There are even more digital marketing career choices available including SEM specialist and digital communications. This is just a sample of the opportunities in the growing industry. 

How to Get a Digital Marketing Career Started in 2022

Start With the Fundamentals

Books

The fundamentals of marketing remain at the roots of the growing marketing tree. You can read popular marketing books like From Backroom to Boardroom by Debbie Qaqish (2021) and Fanocracy by David Meerman Scott (2020) to get you started. 

Mentors

Some marketing experts today believe in the mentor approach. Jeff Hawley of Allen & Heath USA shared the following: “Where to start? Find a mentor and jump in.” He continued, “sometimes it is best to dive in and learn by doing.”

Digital

YouTube also serves up great videos from experts like Neil Patel. Other top YouTube marketing channels include SEMrush and Brandastic

If you want to pick up your marketing knowledge while in the car or subway, there are a number of marketing podcasts to help you understand marketing fundamentals and beyond. Check out “Marketing Over Coffee,” “Online Marketing Made Easy,” “The GaryVee Audio Experience,” and more.  

Graphic with laptop and graduation cap
Take advantage of online learning

Of course, for an innovative approach to more traditional education, Edstutia offers marketing modules focused on marketing fundamentals along with newer aspects of marketing like advertising in VR. 

Strive for the T-Shape

Start With One Area of Focus

The next step is to find the branch of marketing that most appeals to you. This should be your area of focus; the area in which you specialize. Read, watch, absorb, and practice as much as you possibly can to develop this area. 

One way to gain experience as you get started is to freelance on websites like Fiverr and Upwork. The latter boasts approximately 100,000 jobs across several industries at any given time and can help develop your skills and build experience. 

Celestine Maddy of Pinterest took this approach in lieu of a traditional college education. “In people’s minds, those four years of college dictate that you can do the gig. And I had to prove that in four years I could do the same.”

Build a Portfolio

The more you add to your portfolio, the more you’ll be able to convince employers you can do the job. In addition to job experience, be sure your education includes help with building a portfolio. Edstutia learners build and strengthen a digital portfolio with each completed module. 

Expand from Area of Focus

Now it’s time for the key to a long digital marketing career. The best marketers are T-shaped marketers. Your area of focus is the vertical line of the “T” in which you spend most of your time and do the best work. From there, you must expand your skills into the marketing tasks closely tied to your focus. 

For example, as a graphic designer, you may want to expand into social media and copywriting. If you’re already developing the bulk of the visual content, why not put yourself in a position to finish the job all the way through to its public result. 

As you gain more experience in the nearby tasks, you’ll be able to expand into others. As you gain these new skills, you’ll become a valuable and highly desirable marketer. 

Digital Marketing Career Wrap-Up

With a growing field, expanding marketing departments within large companies, the ability to work from anywhere in the world, and the abundance of starting points, 2022 is the best year to begin a digital marketing career. You can start that path using free tools but if you’re serious about a career in marketing and wish to learn from experts in the field, Edstutia is the route to take. 

Edstutia will soon offer modules focused on in-demand marketing skills and concepts, and an integrated Marketing & Analytics track tied to apprenticeships to help start your digital marketing career. Contact Edstutia for more information on marketing training and other exciting, in-demand modules offered on our fully virtual campus.

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