The term digital marketing is relatively new although the components that make up digital marketing have been around for a long time.
It’s only in the last 10 years or so that marketers, SEOs, and the industry realized that for a complete Internet Marketing strategy you need to take advantage of all digital marketing channels.
Thus, ‘digital marketing’ started receiving more attention and as with every other profession, there is always a place for a ‘manager’.
I’ve been working as a Digital Marketing Manager for the last few years and in this post, I’ll explain what a digital marketing manager is expected to do, what skills are needed for the job, and how much money you can make.
What does a Digital Marketing Manager do?
So, what does a digital marketing manager do?
A digital marketing manager is responsible to plan and execute a digital marketing campaign to promote a brand, products, or services on all available digital marketing channels. The role also includes the supervision of the other experts working in the digital marketing team.
In a typical scenario, the digital marketing manager is the head of the digital marketing department. Within the department, there is a manager for each digital marketing channel.
It’s the responsibility of the digital marketing manager to ensure that all departments work towards the same goals.
Some of the daily tasks a digital marketing manager must perform are:
Search Engine Optimization – design, plan and execute SEO campaigns with the goal of increasing rankings and traffic from search engines.
This is a very important element of a digital marketing strategy and in the absence of a dedicated SEO manager, the digital marketing manager needs to have the necessary skills and knowledge to manage all SEO-related tasks.
What is the difference between an SEO Manager and Digital Marketing Manager?
An SEO manager is an expert in Search Engine Optimization. He can tell you how to optimize your websites for Search Engines, how to build references from other websites (aka link building), and how to make sure that your website is accessible by Google for greater exposure.
A digital marketing manager, on the other hand, can do more than just SEO.
Most probably he started as an SEO consultant because, in reality, this is from where everything begins (in the Internet Marketing World).
But he has knowledge and skills related to the other components that make up digital marketing i.e. content marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, and mobile marketing.
So, in a nutshell, the difference between an SEO and a digital marketing manager is that the latest has a wider range of skills and knowledge and can design and execute a complete and effective digital marketing strategy that goes beyond SEO.
Content Marketing – In the digital world, you need content in any form (text, images, video, audio, etc) because without content you cannot do anything online.
The question is what kind of content you need, who will produce the content, what are the topics, titles, content length, etc.
These are the typical questions that the content marketing manager has to answer and if there is no content marketing manager (which is the case for most companies or agencies), then it’s the duty of the digital marketing manager.
Social Media Marketing – Social is a great tool and a fantastic way to promote your online store or business but how do you decide which social networks to use, how do you set goals and what kind of content do you publish?
What is a successful social media campaign and how do you manage your followers? Questions that the digital marketing manager has to answer with the social media manager or social media experts.
Paid Advertising – PPC advertising whether is on Google, Facebook or other platforms is a critical task for almost all types of digital marketing campaigns.
For small businesses or solo entrepreneurs, that’s not the case so it’s the job of the digital marketing manager to run and optimize PPC campaigns.
Email Marketing – Email marketing does not likely have a dedicated email marketing manager unless you use email in more advanced ways than sending newsletters and subscription offers.
It is the job of the digital marketing manager to design the email marketing strategy for a company that is in sync with the overall digital marketing strategy.
Mobile Marketing – Mobile is no longer an option so every business that is online should have a mobile marketing strategy.
This may have to do with providing users with a mobile-friendly website or even with developing mobile applications for the different markets (Apple store, Google Play, Amazon app store, etc.).
The digital marketing manager should have the necessary knowledge and market insights so as to suggest the best way to approach this.
Digital Marketing Manager Education
Education and Certification
To work as a digital marketing manager, you need to have proper education and the necessary experience.
With education, we don’t necessarily mean having a marketing-related degree. Although it’s a plus to have a degree in marketing or digital media, it’s not a strict requirement.
College graduates (or anyone) can go through a digital marketing course to learn how digital marketing works.
Then you can pursue an accredited digital marketing certification to verify your skills and prove to future employers or clients that you have the necessary education to work as a digital marketing manager.
What is equally important for making a career in digital marketing is experience. A digital marketing manager should have adequate experience with all digital marketing techniques.
This is necessary for two reasons:
The first reason is for running successful campaigns. To get to the point of maximizing the performance of your campaigns, you need to do a lot of practice and testing.
This is a task that takes time but while doing it you gain valuable experience.
The second reason is for properly managing the experts in your team. It’s not enough to have people management skills to lead the digital marketing team but you also need to have the necessary technical skills.
For example, to be able to guide and mentor your SEO manager, you need to have working experience with SEO.
So, if you’re considering entering the digital marketing industry with the role of a ‘manager’, have in mind that it’s not like other professions where the job of a manager is mostly to manage people and resources.
Digital Marketing Manager Skills
Besides technical and team management skills, a digital marketing manager should also have good communication and organizational skills.
Some of the tasks that a marketing manager is expected to perform are:
Talking to the client – Communicate with the client and explain to them the benefits of digital marketing as a whole and most importantly the benefits and gains for their businesses.
Design the digital marketing strategy – Use all the tools in his arsenal to create a complete strategy for promoting a business online.
Communicate the strategy to the client and interested parties – Explain the strategy to the client and other interested parties (for example the experts and managers in his team).
Monitor the execution of the plan – Monitor the execution of the digital marketing plan making sure that everything is executed correctly and on time.
Optimize the strategy for even better results – Optimizing the strategy based on current results.
Digital Marketing Manager Salary
How much you can actually earn depends on a lot of things like experience, size of the company you work for, type of clients, and success stories.
Unlike ‘offline’ marketing, everything in digital marketing is measurable, and digital marketing managers that have a proven record of increasing traffic and conversions of business, are more likely to earn more than managers who only know the theoretical part.
How to Become a Digital Marketing Manager?
Digital marketing is not a theoretical concept but it’s practical. It’s not enough to know the theories behind the different digital marketing techniques but you need to know how to implement them.
A digital marketing manager needs to have practical skills, and this means that taking a course on Digital Marketing is a good starting point but not enough.
My recommendation on how to become a digital marketing manager is the following:
- Become an SEO Expert – Learn everything you can about SEO and start practicing by creating your own website.
- Understand how social media works – Spend some time on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn and find out everything you can about their advertising platforms.
- Become a Google Ads Expert – Get certified on Google Ads. PPC advertising is a core component of digital marketing.
- Master email and content marketing – Good content is vital for the success of any campaign and email is still one of the most effective ways to make conversions.
- Learn how to use Google Analytics – Monitoring and reporting is part of the job responsibilities of a DM.
- Learn from experienced digital marketers – if you have the opportunity, apply for an entry-level digital marketing job in a company with experienced managers. If not, try to follow the work of other marketers and where possible replicate their steps (not copy).
It will take time to become an expert in all digital marketing components but unlike other professions, it’s skills you can gradually acquire without the need for special educational background.
A digital marketing manager is not just an expert in one digital marketing discipline, but he/she needs to have a range of skills that relate to the different ways you can promote a website online and also skills that relate to planning, project control, and team management.
In my opinion and experience, you cannot become a good digital marketing manager if you don’t have a deep knowledge of SEO.
SEO is the most important skill you need to have first and then you can build your knowledge for the rest.
If you don’t have a good SEO foundation, then it will be very difficult to become a successful digital marketing manager.