In this guide, you’ll learn what a digital strategist does, and how to become a digital marketing strategist.
What is a Digital Marketing Strategist?
A digital marketing strategist is a creative mind behind a company’s online advertising efforts. Digital marketing strategists are responsible for planning, guiding, and supporting the execution of various digital marketing campaigns.
Creative and tech-savvy, digital marketing strategists can audit existing advertising methods used by a brand to determine which are having the right impact on a specific audience.
These experts are also effective at analyzing the competition, looking for trends in promotional strategies, and pinpointing changing expectations among customers.
Digital marketing strategists need an aptitude for data so they can analyze the results of both their own campaigns and those of competitors, to move marketing strategies forward.
While strategists will often help digital marketing specialists and content creators produce campaigns, they’re involved more with planning than production.
Digital Marketing Strategist Responsibilities
The role of a digital marketing strategist can vary depending on a company’s needs. Some employers will use their strategists primarily as consultants, asking them to analyze inbound marketing trends, and suggest potential campaign opportunities.
As experts in digital advertising, strategists will usually have a range of responsibilities to consider, including:
- Market analysis: Collecting information about a target audience, competitor marketing campaigns, and advertising trends associated with a specific industry.
- Auditing and analysis: Strategists will need to audit previous campaigns and analyze existing marketing strategies to determine which are driving the best results.
- Marketing campaign development: Digital strategists will need to identify opportunities to use digital channels to enhance the overall marketing strategy, using avenues like email, content creation, or social media.
- Search engine optimization: An online marketing strategist will often work with other professionals in the marketing team to find search engine optimization opportunities and develop inbound marketing campaigns.
- Brand management: Strategists may be involved with implementing various frameworks for building brand equity and value online.
Digital Marketing Strategist Skills and Education
As the digital methods used by brands to connect with customers continue to evolve, the skills required of a digital strategist also change.
Professionals hoping to maintain a successful career in digital marketing will often need to commit to ongoing education and learning.
Digital strategists need to be skilled in various aspects of digital marketing, from SEO to social media advertising.
They’ll need to know how to analyze the competition and a company’s target audience, to come up with sophisticated strategies for building brand awareness and capturing leads.
Most recruiters are looking for candidates with at least a bachelor’s degree in communications, or marketing. An online marketing strategist may also need:
- Proficiency and certification in Google Ads and Analytics
- Knowledge of how to use common analytics and marketing tools
- Planning, strategizing, and problem-solving skills
- Basic knowledge of SEO and search engine tools
- Knowledge of public relations, journalism, and brand-building techniques
- Insights into social media marketing methods
- Basic knowledge of email marketing and lead nurturing techniques
Commitment to consistently updating your education with new information about the latest marketing trends and digital strategies will be essential too.
The Digital Marketing Full Course will help you acquire all the necessary skills to work as a digital marketing strategist.
How to Become a Digital Marketing Strategist?
There are various steps involved in becoming a digital marketing strategist.
- Earn a relevant bachelor’s degree
- Learn about the types of digital marketing
- Develop your SEM knowledge
- Learn social media marketing
- Master content marketing
- Discover the basics of email marketing
- Learn about affiliate marketing
- Master branding and the art of earned media
- Work on your team management skills
- Master data analysis
1. Earn a relevant bachelor’s degree
While not every company looking for a digital strategist will demand a bachelor’s degree, the right education will improve your chances of a job offer.
A bachelor’s degree in communications, marketing, or journalism will highlight your knowledge of brand-building and connecting brands with their customers.
You can look into business science degrees in marketing or advertising too. If possible, prioritize qualifications that provide an insight into digital marketing channels, as this will help you to develop your skills in the online world.
2. Learn about the types of digital marketing
Next, you’ll need to focus your education specifically on the digital marketing environment.
Digital Marketing Courses which provide an overview of digital marketing and how it works are useful, to begin with.
Certification in digital marketing is particularly for when capturing the attention of potential employers.
When looking at digital marketing courses, make sure your education covers:
- Search engine marketing (both SEO and PPC)
- Website and content marketing
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
- Affiliate marketing
- Video marketing
As a digital strategist, you’ll need to know how each channel works as part of a comprehensive online advertising strategy, and what kind of campaigns are best suited to certain types of marketing.
3. Develop your SEM knowledge
One of the most important tasks you’ll have as a digital marketing strategist is helping your clients to be found online. This means showing them how to leverage the search engines to their advantage.
Search engine marketing (SEM) involves both organic campaigns, such as SEO strategies and content creation, and paid campaigns, like PPC.
A good online marketing strategist will need a clear understanding of SEO, and how to help companies choose keywords and content campaigns to develop their presence online.
At the same time, you’ll also need to know how to leverage PPC and Google Ads to help draw attention to specific promotions for your client.
4. Learn social media marketing
As a digital strategist, you’ll need to create marketing plans for clients leveraging all of the most successful digital channels, including social media platforms.
A successful strategist will know how to choose the ideal social media platforms for their client’s promotional needs, based on the kind of audience they’re trying to reach. You’ll also need an understanding of how to cross-promote on various social networks.
Make sure you know how to use everything from Facebook audiences and paid ads to organic campaigns on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
5. Master content marketing
As an online marketing strategist, you may not be responsible for creating content, but you will need to help guide content marketing teams.
Learning how to use content for different stages in the buyer journey will be essential to driving the right results from your client’s campaigns.
You’ll need to understand what it means to optimize content for different platforms, and how to identify “intent” for your target audience.
You’ll also need to know how to analyze the content produced by competitors and determine whether your company should be producing similar campaigns.
6. Discover the basics of email marketing
Email marketing is one of the top tools businesses use to nurture and convert leads. For most companies, an email strategy will be an essential part of their plan for online advertising success.
This means any great digital strategist needs to be familiar with email marketing.
You’ll need an in-depth knowledge of how to produce and plan “drip campaigns” in email marketing, intended to nurture and convert your audience at different stages of the buyer funnel.
As an online marketing strategist, you might also help your clients with segmenting their audience for email marketing efforts. This means you’ll need to know how to separate groups of email subscribers based on things like demographic data, or buyer history.
Digital strategists will also regularly use email marketing analytics tools to track the performance of email campaigns and suggest changes to the marketing team.
7. Learn about affiliate marketing
Digital strategists need to consider all of the various kinds of online advertising methods to improve the image of a specific client or brand. This could mean working with influential figures or other external marketers on affiliate marketing campaigns.
As a digital strategist, you’ll advise your client on how to work with affiliates to promote various products and services, using content distributed around the web. You may also help to manage some of the affiliate groups your team works with.
8. Master branding and the art of earned media
Digital strategists are experts in working with companies to ensure they’re positioned as effectively as possible online.
When guiding clients and companies on the best ways to promote their products or services online, strategists will need to consider the unique brand image they’re trying to create.
Basic knowledge of “brand building”, and how to preserve a company’s reputation will be crucial to ensuring you can protect your customer’s identity online.
You may find it helpful to learn about online business development, and how companies use things like tone of voice and image to generate a specific response online.
9. Work on your team management skills
As the guiding hand behind a company’s digital marketing strategy, an online strategist will need to be able to work with other digital marketing professionals and know how to effectively manage a team.
You’ll need to advise your team on how to use different marketing channels and methodologies to connect with customers and provide advice on how to improve the company’s image.
As a team leader, you’ll need excellent communication skills, as well as a knowledge of how to use project management tools and set targets for your team.
At the very least, a digital strategist will need to know how to convey a digital marketing plan in easy-to-follow language that the rest of their team can understand.
10. Master data analysis
A successful digital strategist build’s a company’s entire plan for promotion on data and insights.
You’ll need to know how to use everything from market research to competitor analysis tools, to understand how to position a company in the digital market.
As an online marketing strategist, you’ll also be responsible for creating reports and using those insights to determine whether your campaigns are delivering the right results. Some of the most essential tools you’ll need to master include:
- Google Analytics
- Google Search Console
- Facebook Ads Reporting
- Google Data Studio
- Ahrefs (or similar tools like Moz and Hubspot)
How much Do Digital Marketing Strategists Make?
The average salary for digital marketing strategists in the US is between $71K – $82K per year.
The salary you earn as a digital strategist will depend on a number of factors, including where you’re hired, and what kind of responsibilities you have.
It’s worth doing some research into the jobs available in your area to see what the average income could be at any given time.
Currently, the average salary for a digital marketing strategist according to Glassdoor is around $71,000 per year.
PayScale suggests the average salary could be as high as $79,000 per year, with the potential to earn up to $82,000 per year depending on your experience level.
Is Digital Marketing Strategist a Good Career?
If you have a mind for data, and a love of the marketing world, then you could enjoy an amazing career as a digital marketing strategist.
Rather than spending your time creating digital marketing campaigns, you’ll be responsible for constantly assessing the marketplace, and ensuring your clients or customers continue to make the right impression on their audience.
A career as a digital marketing strategist would be ideal for anyone who:
- Is creative, but also analytical
- Likes solving problems
- Enjoys working with data and reports
- Likes constantly updating their education
- Has a social personality
- Thrives in a fast-paced environment
- Likes taking on new challenges
As a digital marketing strategist, you can be the professional who guides countless companies towards reaching their goals in today’s modern promotional landscape. The most important thing to remember is this job comes with a constant commitment to learning.
You’ll need to ensure you’re always on the cutting edge of the latest digital marketing strategies and tools if you want to thrive as a digital strategist.
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