I’ve learned a lot about online marketing on my own own/forums/blogs/working on my own projects, but l’ve learned A LOT more by working at companies with established online marketing programs, that provide paid training, and working on teams. I think the average person getting started, unless they are the lemonade-stand type of kid their entire life, will learn a lot better taking a entry-level gig at a good digital marketing agency, rather than work on their own business from scratch. It’s high pressure, but you’ll learn the ropes a lot quicker and have the benefit from a steady paycheck if you have bills (not everyone can live in their mom’s basement). Then once you have a year or two under your belt, if you desire you can jump ship and apply that knowledge to your own business.
For instance, you might use Facebook’s Lookalike Audiences to get your message in front of an audience similar to your core demographic. Or, you could pay a social media influencer to share images of your products to her already well-established community. Paid social media can attract new customers to your brand or product, but you’ll want to conduct market research and A/B testing before investing too much in one social media channel.
Most online marketers find it necessary to outsource or delegate at least a few of their marketing tasks. It’s rare that any one individual will excel at (much less have time for) every aspect of marketing: writing, communications, social media, technical SEO, etc. For this reason it’s important to have great management skills -- in particular, the ability to inspire and motivate those around you to help you meet your goals.
In order to engage customers, retailers must shift from a linear marketing approach of one-way communication to a value exchange model of mutual dialogue and benefit-sharing between provider and consumer. Exchanges are more non-linear, free flowing, and both one-to-many or one-on-one. The spread of information and awareness can occur across numerous channels, such as the blogosphere, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and a variety of other platforms. Online communities and social networks allow individuals to easily create content and publicly publish their opinions, experiences, and thoughts and feelings about many topics and products, hyper-accelerating the diffusion of information.
Candidates with proven skills and professional certifications from online marketing certificate programs are often more likely to get paid more than the ones who are just starting their career without any certifications or proven practical skills. Companies are more likely to hire people with the right education, rather than those who have no previous experience or training.
There are many entities that need Internet marketing, but only budget a small amount for the work. If you’re willing to volunteer or offer a discounted rate, you can find projects. Non-profit entities and political campaigns need marketing help, but don’t have much money budgeted for the work. These types of organization may present an opportunity for you.