Last Updated on 8 months by Anoob P
Digital marketing jobs are becoming more popular than ever before. This is a practical guide to help you get Get Entry Level Digital Marketing Jobs in 2021.
I’ve been into digital marketing for over 11 years and have handled digital marketing for several Series C funded companies and had even raised funding for my own media startup before I got kicked out (you can read about my story when you have the time).
This is my LinkedIn profile.
Many times, young graduates and even experienced professionals who are unhappy in their careers reach out to me to help them get entry level digital marketing jobs so that they can progress in their careers.
This post is for everyone who wants to know how to get entry level digital marketing jobs without spending a fortune on online digital marketing courses and to avoid common scams that online training institutes put into practice to extract fees from gullible students.
The COVID-19 pandemic has only emphasised how important digital marketing jobs will be in the future and digital marketing is one of those skills that will help you in more ways than one.
Benefits of Learning Digial Marketing
Some of the benefits of learning digital marketing and being prepared for digital marketing jobs are:
- A Good paying career
- Increase leads, sales and revenue for your company
- The confidence to start your own online business
- Become a digital nomad and work from anywhere
- Teach other students digital marketing and earn money online
These are some of the benefits of learning digital marketing but if you ask me the true benefit is your ability to start an online side business and grow it. Here are 10 Easy Ways to Earn Money Online you can start, read it once you are done with this post.
I recently helped a client of mine generate $1000 in income from his YouTube channel that was not making any money and even you can do the same.
If you are interested in the whole concept of making money online, you can check out some of my other posts including 10 Easy Ways to Earn Money Online without Investment, How to Earn Money from YouTube, how to earn money from Facebook and how to start a blog and make money.
Jobs are never secure and I have worked for over 11 years, mostly employed full time.
The problem with jobs is that you are always one email away from losing your source of income and you have to butter up a lot of people you do not like and may even work with people you hate.
If you have a side-gig generating some income (at least income to pay rent and food), then you are kind of invincible. You are not rich, but you will have peace of mind like never before.
When I was working full time, I had few sources of income that was generating me an excess of $6000 a month–which was more than my salary at that time.
Needless to say, I was never afraid of getting laid off or sucking up to my boss.
This lack of fear is one of the reasons I got kicked out of the company I had started after it raised funding.
So without further delays, let me guide you step by step on how to get entry level digital marketing jobs which is beneficial for you in the long run.
Learn the Basics
When you start with any career, you need to learn the basics.
A Digital marketing career is also the same.
The great thing about learning digital marketing is that there are so many resources available for free you really do not need to pay any institute or tutor to learn digital marketing.
When I say basics, these are the absolute basics anyone aspiring to get an entry level digital marketing job should learn.
Now, let us look at some of the common digital marketing terms you should know if you want to pursue a career in digital marketing
This website has all possible digital marketing terms that you should know.
It will be very difficult for you to learn all of these terms without knowing what they mean, so try to understand these terms and then you will learn them as you get practical experience.
I’ve also created a complete index of digital marketing terms you should know to get an entry level digital marketing job, fill the form below and I will send you the PDF file so that you can learn as per your convenience.
Once you have understood common digital marketing terms, now it is time to relate these digital marketing terms with different digital channels through which you will be marketing a product or a service.
Digital Marketing Channels
As you can imagine, there are different channels or avenues for marketing a product or service across the digital landscape.
If you are looking for entry level jobs as a digital marketer, one of the most fundamental things you have to do is have a basic understanding of these digital marketing channels.
I have tried to group these digital channels for your ease of understanding.
There are more channels & sub channels such as Bing, DuckDuckGo search engines or Quora marketing which as an entry level digital marketing professional you do not need to worry about right now.
First on the list of digital channels is the big daddy of all digital channels-Google.
As you know Google is the search engine used by millions of people to find information that they are looking for.
As a digital marketer, you can market your products using two methods in Google.
Organic marketing is a type of marketing that does not have a direct cost related to promoting your product or service.
Paid marketing like the name sounds is when you spend money to promote your products and services to reach out to customers.
Google Organic marketing is primarily SEO or Search Engine Optimization that helps search engines understand your website and help search engines show your website to search queries.
Some of the ways you can use Google’s paid marketing is through:
Also known as Search Engine Marketing, where you bid on keywords and then these keywords act as triggers to display your ads on the search engine.
Run banner ads across Google network to get impressions and prompt your potential customers to click the banner ads and come to your website or product purchase page.
Programmatic advertising can be described as an automated way of advertising using segmented audiences. You can think of programmatic advertising as a higher level of Google Adwords and Display campaigns. As a digital marketer you would have better targeting options and quite naturally you will have to spend more.
Android is owned by Google and Playstore is a marketplace through which Google lets users discover apps.
There are many app only companies that exist and for them playstore marketing is very important.
You can do organic as well as paid marketing for promoting your apps. Organic marketing on PlayStore is called App Store Optimization or ASO and to promote your apps through paid marketing you can use channels such as Google AdWords, Facebook or even Native Networks.
The largest video discovery and streaming platform on the planet, YouTube marketing is also something every aspiring digital marketing should learn.
Again, within YouTube you can optimize your videos for organic views or run ads to get views faster.
I have written a very detailed post about how to start a YouTube channel, how to optimize videos and how to earn money from YouTube, you can read this post.
Next we are going to look at some of the popular social media channels you should know to get a job as a digital marketer.
One of the largest social media networks in the world giving a ton of choices for advertisers. You can run awareness campaigns, app install campaigns, lead generation, video views, event promotions and so on.
LinkedIn is ideal for B2B Marketing and is also a good place to network for entry level digital marketing professionals. Performance marketing on LinkedIn is a little expensive ($2 per click) but when you are starting out with digital marketing, you should learn how to use LinkedIn to your advantage.
In my 11 years of working as a digital marketer, I have used Twitter only a few times.
This was mostly for brand engagement and building an audience for Influencers.
As an entry level digital marketing job aspirant, you should know how Twitter works as some aspects of Twitter marketing and nothing more.
Email marketing has evolved over the years and it is still considered one of the best channels for any digital marketer.
There are different levels of email marketing ranging from building lists, cleaning your email database, creating attractive email subject lines, having good mailer content, ensuring higher CTRs, drip email marketing and even cold emailing.
All of these are equally important if you want to learn email marketing so I urge you to read about all aspects of email and prepare yourself.
Email marketing is a pure numbers game.
The more emails you send, the more chances people will open it, the more people will click on your links and the more chances someone will buy your product or service.
For a small database, your list has to be very clean, targeted and engaged to see results.
If you have been on any content heavy websites such as news platforms, you would see something called as “Recommended Stories”.
These are basically content or native ads run by networks.
Some of the common native advertising channels are Taboola, OutBrain (now part of Taboola Network), MGid, RevContent etc.
As a consumer, I am sure you would have used plenty of apps in the past.
If you are joining an app only company, then you will need to understand how to market your business’s app.
Like I mentioned before, apps can be marketed through paid or organic. Paid marketing is when you spend money on Google, Facebook or other networks to get installs and then drive business.
If you are familiar with these tools, then I think you are almost halfway there into cracking your first digital marketing job.
Digital Marketing Tools
Digital marketing is all about tools and more often than not, your potential employer will ask you questions about the digital marketing tools you have handled.
Digital marketing tools itself is a billion dollar industry, so it is near impossible for you to have expertise with all the tools.
Not to worry, I am going to list down all the tools you need to know to get a job as an entry level digital marketer.
Google Keyword Planner
Google Keyword planner is the tool that helps you do keyword research for your Google Adwords campaigns. This comes as part of your Google Adwords account and gives you insights on the volume of searches for any keyword, the competition and estimated bid you need to place to have your keywords shown for a specific search term.
The most powerful SEO tool out there, Ahrefs is the bread and butter of any content marketer or SEO professional.
Ahrefs gives you deep insights on keywords, competition, search volume, backlinks and everything else you need to improve your organic search.
Ahrefs is slightly on the expensive side, but you can get a free trial for $7 to get a fair understanding of how the tool works.
SEMRush is similar to Ahrefs but I have found it more useful for running Search Engine Marketing campaigns than for SEO or content marketing. SEMRush gives powerful insights on competitor strategies and is a very useful tool for SEM professionals.
KeywordTool.io is another fantastic tool that helps you do research on keywords across different channels.
I have used keywordtool.io for many projects-specifically YouTube projects.
I have found that keywordtool.io provides good insights into keywords for YouTube and they are good for long tail keywords.
TubeBuddy is an all in one YouTube optimization tool that is great for optimizing your YouTube video to drive organic views and channel growth.
TubeBuddy is a paid tool but they also have a free version that gives you a good understanding of basic functionality which is more than enough for you to get an entry level digital marketing job.
MailChimp is an easy to use email marketing tool that all new digital marketers should be familiar with.
It is easy to set up, completely free for 2000 contacts and they are really good. As you grow as a marketer, you can consider other tools such as SendinBlue, SendGrid etc but do familiarize with MailChimp as many companies use this and once you have hang of MailChimp, you can probably use other email marketing tools as well.
Google Analytics is a web analytics service offered from Google. Google Analytics helps marketers and website owners track and understand various aspects of web traffic such as source, pages, time spent, bounce etc.
If you are unsure of these terms, go back to the index of digital marketing terms and read them again.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a web service by Google which allows webmasters or site owners to check indexing status and optimize visibility of websites.
Google Search Console helps you understand organic impressions, clicks and top performing pages and errors on your website to help you fix them and make your website more friendly for search engines.
A CRM Software
CRM or Customer relationship management software helps businesses track, manage and analyze information about customers in a single place.
A CRM software is essential for every business and even an Excel Sheet can be used as a CRM but for getting your first digital marketing job, it is essential that you are familiar with the concept of a CRM and how it functions.
I’ll try to explain to you in simple terms.
Let’s say you have a website that sells teddy bears.
Now, when someone orders a teddy bear from your site, data of your customer such as Name, Email, phone number, address, date of purchase etc are store in your CRM for future purposes.
Advanced CRMs will also have the source from where this customer came so that you can spend more time in optimizing the channel that gives you more results.
A CRM helps you know your customers better and increases the chances of repeat orders.
There are many free CRMs out there, you can sign up with any of these and just test them out in terms of functionality and usability.
HubSpot Free CRM: https://www.hubspot.com/products/crm
A Drip Email Campaign Tool
A drip email campaign is a sort of email campaign in which your subscribers are sent a series of automated emails based on where they are in the sales funnel and their interest levels in your product or service.
A simple example of drip email campaign is the email you recieve when you abandon cart in an ecommerce website.
Usually, within a few hours you get an email with some kind of discount code to prompt you to finish the purchase.
This is drip on a very basic level.
In B2B marketing where sales cycles are usually between 30-45 days, we use complex drip email systems to understand a customers interest and move the lead through the sales process.
Some of the drip email marketing tools I have used are:
You can sign up for any of these tools and try the free version and get an understanding of how drip email campaigns work.
A Social Media Automation Tool
Do note that these are only some of the digital marketing tools that an organization will expect you to know.
This is not an exhaustive list, but a starting point.
Identify Your Digital Marketing Area of Interest
Now that you know all of the various avenues for digital marketing and respective tools for these channels, you need to pick a few channels that interest you.
For example, even though I like Google Adwords and have extensive experience running Adwords campaigns for numerous clients, I prefer doing SEO or content marketing as I find it more satisfying and in line with my interests.
My second interest would be social media, as I was the founder of a media company and we used social media extensively and few of my articles even went viral through Facebook.
Similarly, you too can find your interest whether it is content marketing, social media or YouTube and then work more towards having practical real world experience across these channels.
Google is Your Friend
I worked for a couple of e-learning companies and I can tell you that most of them are pure bullshit.
They only want to extract money from you and they have higher levels of courses to get more money from students.
To learn digital marketing to secure an entry level digital marketing job, you do not need to attend any course (at least not expensive ones) and you will find all the information you need from Google.
For all of the topics I mentioned above, I have tried to add official links of tutorials so that you can learn.
If you still have any doubts, you can always message me, I will help you out.
Put Your Skills to Practice
Whenever I interview a candidate for a digital marketing job, I always look at two things.
- Professional Experience
- What the candidate has done on the side
I really like speaking to candidates about their personal projects as this gives me insights into their real passions and how much effort they have put in.
But there are interviewers who do not like to know about personal projects too.
Once, I was being interviewed for a senior digital marketing role for a well funded fintech company and they were launching a new payment bank.
The interviewer asked me, how can you prove your SEO skills?
I told him you can Google “Best Current Account in India” and you will find my website.
I think he got offended by that and thought that I was showing off.
I was only trying to help him see my worth but hey, you cannot please everyone.
If you are new to digital marketing, I urge you to put your skills to practical use and then have some kind of demonstrable proof that you know digital marketing.
You can sign up for Adwords for free, run a few ads and get a couple of sales for a product.
You can start a blog and rank for a keyword to showcase your SEO skills.
You can take few posts viral on LinkedIn to showcase your social media skills
You can draw a flow diagram of a drip email marketing campaign to show your understanding of drip email.
The possibilities are endless.
But the most important thing is that you put your theoretical knowledge to some kind of practical test so that you can prove to yourself and your interviewer you are a worthy hire.
Offer Your Skills for Free
I recently hired a 37 year old digital marketing intern who wanted to work for free.
This individual has been working in sales all his life and now wants to learn digital marketing and make a career switch.
I really liked the way he approached me for an internship.
He had a sales lead who wanted to sell a product and this person got my number from one of my acquaintances and called me and said that he will give me a digital marketing client–but only one condition.
I should let him work on the account so that he can learn digital marketing.
I get a client and he gets to learn–I thought that is a fair trade and I hired him.
He is now handling Google campaigns for the client under my supervision and looks like he is a fast learner.
For anyone who wants to get into digital marketing, the easiest way to get practical experience is by offering your services for free.
Free does not mean that you have to work day and night to impress your client or slave away long hours.
This is just to gain experience and exposure to various digital marketing tools, techniques and get a hands on understanding of how digital marketing works.
If you think offering your services for free is just not worth it, you can work for a minimal amount and still try to learn.
In digital marketing, hands on experience is everything.
Therefore, I recommend you try to work for someone for free or at a very minimal wage so that you can learn.
Keep in mind, there are some employers who will try to take advantage of free work, but you should be smart enough to know what is worth and what’s not.
Cracking Your Digital Marketing Interview
To get any job related to digital marketing, you will have to crack an interview.
In my experience, when companies are hiring for jobs for digital marketing, they look at two aspects.
- Your theoretical knowledge
- Your practical experience
Like I mentioned before theoretical knowledge is easier to procure but to remember all of it, you will have to put some theory into practice.
The great thing about when you have practical knowledge is that you will be more confident and you will know different aspects of running a digital marketing campaign.
Then there are interviewers who want to show thay they have done great things in digital marketing and try to pull down young professionals.
One of my friend recently had an interview with an e-learning company and at the end of the interview, the discussion was more about what the interviewer had achieved rather than what the candidate knows.
I would advice you to avoid such people and companies.
When you work for a company, it should be a mutual collaboration and you both should get value out of the relationship.
Salary vs Growth Equation
When I first started in my career my salary was INR 5500 or USD 80 per month.
This is my bank statement–I found it in an old bag.
I was hired as a content writer and as I moved through my career, I reached INR 30,00000 or $42,000 salary which is fairly decent considering where I live.
Also, because I am into digital marketing, I was able to start many online businesses on the side and at one point I was making $6000 per month on the side which was higher than my full time income.
This is possible because my job is into a domain that can potentially make me income without working for someone full time.
When you are looking for an entry level digital marketing job, it is important that you calculate your salary vs growth projection.
As a newbie digital marketer, you might not earn much but if you get a chance to work on paid accounts that are spending thousands of dollars that is a huge learning and in the future you would definitely make your money.
If you get a chance to work in a growing e-commerce company, do take the job even if the salary is on the lower side because in a few months/years you will be able to start your own e-commerce platform and work on your business.
Similarly, if you are working for a company that is very strong in SEO or content marketing, you will get hands on training on keyword research, content development and content distribution which is invaluable.
When you are starting out, even if your salary is less, try to think of your salary vs growth potential and pick a job where you can learn the most and where you have a natural inclination.
I like writing, so naturally I gravitate more towards blogging, video and digital media hence you are reading this post.
Digital marketing is one of those niches where there is constant change.
What works for you now might not work in the next six months.
There are so many factors beyond your control such as Google algorithm updates, Facebook algorithm update, Facebook changing their paid ads structure, YouTube algorithm change, new tools coming out that gives you better results etc.
When I was working in a startup accelerator, we developed a SaaS tool that could automate lot of digital marketing campaigns and give our clients the best ROI.
At that point I was constantly thinking whether automation will take away digital marketing jobs and I think to an extent automation will remove some digital marketing jobs.
But, professionals who are creative and know how to market using the latest tools and understanding on digital technologies will always stay in demand.
Better yet, if your digital marketing skills are updated, you can always start a side gig and make money online without having to depend on a job–If nothing else, you should learn digital marketing only for this.
Don’t Forget Your Side Gig
Lastly, if you do get an entry level digital marketing job and your work hours a day and earn a decent salary do not forget your side gig.
One of the biggest mistakes digital marketers make is not using their knowledge and expertise for themselves and only focusing on a day job.
Take my case for instance, I knew blogging, the potential of blogging, the freedom it gives and most importantly how to do it.
But for many years I never bothered because I was always chasing bigger numbers and trying to get companies funded working day and night.
After working hard 7 days a week, the company I started raised funding and then they kicked me out. You can read that story here.
The point is, no matter how satisfied you are with your job and how much money you make, always start a side project and let it grow by itself.
It might take a few months or few years but as long as it is growing you are on the right track.
Remote digital marketing jobs
In this section, I will give you an idea about remote digital marketing jobs and how you can get a remote digital marketing job to live your nomad life.
Few of my friends tell me, “Oh you are into digital marketing, you can work from anywhere a beach and still get paid.”
Technically, yes I can work from anywhere but it’s not that easy.
Ever since I quit my full time digital marketing job, I have been working for myself and providing digital marketing services for 4 clients.
As you can see, there is only one client who is professional and pays on time.
You might say, that is because you are freelancing and not actually working full time, remote.
To an extent that is true, but in the past, my experience with companies has been that they do not trust remote workers that much.
In my last company, one junior digital marketing associate who used to report to me got a remote digital marketing job with a very reputed company in the U.S and I asked her to go ahead with it.
Remote opportunities with good companies are rare but if they do present you with an opportunity, grab it with both hands.
The on-going pandemic has increased the scope of remote digital marketing jobs, but be sure to check the companies credentials and have all the paperwork verified before you start working.
Because I handle clients on a consulting basis, I take 50% of my fees advance but in a remote job you will not be able to do so.
So do verify everything before accepting a remote digital marketing job.
If possible, go to their LinkedIn company page and ask a few ex-employees how the company is and do the pay on time for remote digital marketing jobs.
7 Best Sites to Find Remote Digital Marketing Jobs
Digital marketing jobs description
As an entry level digital marketing executive, you might be asked to specifically handle a part of digital marketing or even an entire digital channel-depending on the company you work for.
This is a typical digital marketing executive job description that many companies use:
- Plan, execute and optimize SEO and PPC strategies
- Develop engaging digital media content including articles, videos, blogs to increase organic traffic and analyze the performance of content across channels.
- Work closely with senior digital marketing managers, content writers, social media executives to plan and execute content & social campaigns.
- Analyze, report and forecast digital growth, ROI & other key metrics as per business requirements.
- Manage projects, collaborate with team members, external vendors, delegate tasks & review project progress to meet specific outcomes.
- Interview new hires, vendors and digital marketing agencies as per business requirements.
- Use Google Analytics, Google AdWords, Facebook Ads Manager to create campaigns & reports highlighting performance of campaigns and suggest improvements.
- Be well-versed with new web technologies, digital marketing trends & implement new technologies & tools to improve campaign performance and revenue.
- Bachelor’s degree in Marketing or relevant field.
- A minimum of 3 years’ experience in a digital marketing.
- In-depth knowledge & experience handling different social media platforms, digital marketing best practices, website analytics & SEO.
- Excellent communication skills & analytical abilities.
- Outstanding team management and negotiation skills.
Digital marketing jobs salary
According to Payscale, the average salary of a digital marketing specialist is around
Social Media Marketing Professional is $49,028
Search Engine Optimization Professional is $48,998
Email Marketing Professional is $51,089
Google Analytics Professional is $49,740
Your salary as a digital marketing professional will depend on your experience, skills and the location you work. You can check the link below to find out the average salary of a digital marketing professional in your area.
Are Digital Marketing Jobs for You?
Digital Marketing jobs are for you if:
- You are curious about digital marketing
- You love testing different products, tools and experimenting
- You are a problem solver and can think of unique ways to solve problems
- You do not mind getting aggressive targets
- You do not mind your occasional arguments with your boss & other teams
- You can do almost handle everything yourself and without a team (if required)
DIgital Marketing Jobs are not for you if:
- You do not like working beyond a 9-5
- You are happy with your day job
- You hate learning new things
- You always want a team to get the job done
- You are impatient and want super quick career growth
I will keep updating this post as and when I get time, so do come back to read it again.
My best wishes for your journey,